The Principles of the Christian Religion

Necessary to be known of the faithful newly set forth to the great profit of al the readers.

By Thomas Becon.

Parker Society, 1844

[Spelling selectively modernized.  Bible citations converted to all Arabic numerals.]


The Contents of This Book.

Of Faith.

What faith is.  What benefits we receive of God through faith.  The articles of the Christian faith, with confirmations of the same out of the holy scriptures.

Of Prayer.

What prayer is.  What benefits we receive of God by prayer.  The Lord’s prayer, called the Pater nester, with confirmations of every petition out of the holy scripture.

Of the Law.

What the law is.  To what use the law was given.  The ten commandments of God, with confirmations of every commandment out of the holy scripture.

Of Repentance.

What repentance is.  Of the fruits of repentance, declared by the word of God.

Of Baptism.

What baptism is.  To what use baptism was ordained.

Of the Lord’s Supper.

What the Lord’s supper is.  To what use Christ did institute it.

The duty of all estates and degrees, according to the doctrine of God’s holy word.  The duty of the high powers, and of the other temporal magistrates.  The duty of subjects toward the high powers.  The duty of bishops and ministers of God’s word.  The duty of parishioners unto the ministers of God’s word.  The duty of husbands unto their wives.  The duty of wives unto their husbands.  The duty of fathers and mothers unto their children.  The duty of children toward their fathers and mothers.  The duty of masters to their servants. The duty of servants to their masters. The duty of widows.  The duty of old men.  The duty of old women.  The duty of young folk.  The duty of all degrees and estates generally both toward God and their neighbour.


To the Most Gentle and Godly Disposed Child, Master Thomas Cecil*, Son to the Right Honourable Sir William Cecil, Knight, and Secretary to the King’s Majesty, Thomas Becon Wisheth the Favour of God With Increase of Virtue and Learning.

     [*The Cecils are descended from the ancient family of Sitselt, who were early seated in the principality of Wales.  Robert Sitselt aided Robert Fitzhamon in the conquest of Glamorganshire, (A.D. 1091, the 4th year of king William Rufus,) and for his services was rewarded by Fitzhamon with lands in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. Fourteenth in direct lineal descent from this Robert Sitselt was David Cyssel of Stamford in the county of Lincoln, made by Henry VIII one of his sergeants-at-arms.  He was grandfather to Sir William Cecil, afterwards lord Burleigh, whose son it was to whom this treatise is inscribed.  Of a personage so well known as lord Burleigh, who, after previously filling high employments, was principal minister of queen Elizabeth for forty years, from her accession till the period of his death in 1598, it is not necessary here to say any thing.  The character of this sagacious statesman is delineated in every history of England.  By his first wife Mary, daughter of Peter Cheke, and sister to Sir John Cheke, lord Burleigh had his eldest son Thomas, who succeeded him in his title, and afterwards became the first earl of Exeter.  He was yet but a youth when Becon dedicated to him the Principles of the Christian Religion.  He served as a volunteer, in the 16th year of queen Elizabeth, in the expedition sent into Scotland, when the castle of Edinburgh was besieged and taken.  The next year, having waited on the queen at the earl of Leicester’s, he received from her majesty the honour of knighthood.  He distinguished himself in the wars of the Low Countries, and was in 1585 made governor of the Brille, one of the cautionary towns which the states of Holland pledged to the English queen: this command he held for about two years.  In 1588, the memorable year of the Spanish attempted invasion, he and his brother Sir Robert Cecil were both volunteers on board the fleet.  He afterwards took a part in the suppression of the insurrection made by the earl of Essex, and was one of the commanders of the force that obliged that ill-fated nobleman to surrender.  For these and other services he was appointed a knight of the order of the Garter, and was installed at Windsor in 1601.  His credit did not decline in the ensuing reign: indeed fresh honours were heaped upon him.  Having been one of king James’ privy-council, he was raised by that monarch in 1605 to the dignity of earl of Exeter, this being, it it said, the first instance of the earldom of the principal town or city being conferred when the earldom of the county was already possessed by another. Lord Exeter was now advanced in years; but we find him employed even to the verge of his long life; for so late as 1620 he was put in commission with the archbishop of Canterbury against heresies and errors in matters of religion; and was also at the same time in another commission with the archbishop of York for matters of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in that province.  On Feb. 7, 1622, he died at the age of 80, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, where a monument still existing was erected to his memory.  He was married, first, to Dorothy Nevil, one of the co-heirs of John Nevil, lord Latimer, by whom he had five sons and eight daughters; secondly, to Frances, relict of Sir Thomas Smith, master of requests to James I, and daughter to William Brydges, 4th Lord Chandos by her he had an only daughter.  It may be added that lord Exeter was a benefactor to Clare Hall, Cambridge, to which he gave lands for the maintenance of three fellows and eight scholars.]

     If of holy letters we be not sleepy nor vain readers, but diligently mark what we read, we shall easily perceive that among other commandments of God this is not at the last nor the least, which he giveth concerning the bringing up of youth in the knowledge of his blessed will.  For the godly wisdom knoweth right well, that except the younglings of a commonweal be virtuously brought up, and faithfully framed according to the right rule of God’s holy appointment, it cannot come to pass, but that his glory (the good parents being once deceased) must needs be obscured in this world, the invocation of his name cease, and all godly religion decay: yea, the men themselves (if they be worthy that name) must needs become brute-like, be carried about with every strange doctrine, condemn all laudable laws, break all good orders, follow their fleshly appetites, like unreasonable beasts, and so at the last bring both themselves and their realms unto utter destruction.

     Therefore as God in his holy law requireth of parents nothing more earnestly than to bring up their children virtuously and according to his word; so likewise all godly fathers and mothers have ever from the beginning done their uttermost endeavour to train up their younglings, even from the very cradles, in the nurture, fear, and doctrine of the Lord; supposing themselves then best to please God, and most to do the true office of godly and natural parents, when they study how to garnish, not their children’s bodies with gay and sumptuous vestures, but their minds with noble and precious virtues; not how to lift them up unto transitory dignities and worldly honours, which, as daily experience teacheth, are more brittle than glass and fade away like the grass, but how to make them honourable and praiseworthy in the sight of good men, and profitable to the commonweal, through virtue, learning, wisdom, and counsel.  And the more the parents themselves did excel other in knowledge, wisdom, and learning, the greater desire had they to bring their children unto the like perfection, bearing heavily that theirs should in any point degenerate from their fathers’ virtues, and not orderly answer to the godly qualities of their noble parents.

     Histories, both godly and ethnic, do minister unto us examples abundantly in this behalf, which I would here gladly recite, if I had not attempted the like enterprise already in my preface unto the Governance of Virtue; again, if I were not fully persuaded, that you have heretofore both read and also heard of your teacher the same or else the like histories.  Your right honourable and most worthy father, knowing the good pleasure of God in this behalf, hath also, after the example of all other noble and godly parents, painfully travailed, both by himself and by learned teachers, to bring you up even from your cradles in the knowledge of God’s will and of good letters, that you might, as in age, so likewise in virtue and learning, grow and increase unto his comfort, unto your own commendation, and unto the profit of the commonweal hereafter.  And as your father is learned, and hath a breast stuffed with all godly virtues, so is his desire to have you both learned and virtuous; that when he shall give over to nature (God so disposing), he may leave behind him his own image, yea, as I may so speak, himself, not only in lineaments of body, but also in virtue, in godliness, in wisdom, in knowledge, and by this means be counted of his posterity a worthy member of the commonweal, both in himself and in his son.

     It is your duty, therefore, to satisfy the godly desire of so natural a father, and to answer the expectation of many which look to find in you hereafter that virtue, learning, wisdom, and gravity, that is evidently perceived in your most worthy father.  This shall be brought to pass, if according to your beginning ye go forth diligently to call on the name of God, to apply your mind to good letters, to give ear to the wholesome admonitions of your most dear father, and to take heed to the daily exhortations of your teacher, ever framing your life according to your knowledge.

     And that ye may do this the more conveniently, I give you this little treatise, which shall abundantly instruct you in those points of Christian religion, which at this present do most of all become your age.  In it are contained the principles of our profession, which I have so opened with the conference of the other scriptures, that they may worthily seem to strive with large commentaries.  I have also set forth the duties of all estates and degrees, as they be taught in God’s word, that all ages and all kinds of people may here learn to know their duty both toward God and their neighbour.  Neither is any thing taught in this treatise, that is not sufficiently fortressed with the authorities of the holy scriptures; so that I doubt not but the godly learned, which love to hear the voice of their Shepherd Christ, will not disallow this my diligence.  Let other entreat of high mysteries, and climb up to the highest heaven: I shall be content to write of things according to my knowledge and your capacity, and to creep upon the ground.  Let other talk of the unknown secrets of the blessed Trinity, of predestination, of the state of the souls departed, &c.: I will speak of the articles of the Christian faith, of the Lord’s prayer, of the ten commandments, of the sacraments of Christ’s church, &c.  Let other be counted the flowers of learning, for opening I know not how secret mysteries: I force not to be called unlearned, so that I may know Christ crucified, and in teaching him, either by my writings or sermons, win some unto God.

     But to end: embrace virtue, love learning, garnish your breast with the fruits of God’s Spirit, be not idle, flee vain and too much childish pastimes, spend your time fruitfully, exercise yourself in reading God’s word.  So shall God bless you, multiply your years on earth, and give you joyful days, unto the great comfort of yourself; and the singular joy of your honourable parents, whom with you I wish alway prosperously to do.

     Fare ye well.


The Principles of Christian Religion.




What Faith Is.

     Faith is a sure persuasion and an undoubted belief of the heart in the merciful promises of God, made to all faithful penitent sinners in Christ’s blood, and freely performed of God the Father for Christ’s sake.


What Benefits We Receive of God Through Faith.

     By faith we, which afore by nature were the children of wrath, are made the sons and children of God. [Eph. 2]

Probations out of the holy scriptures.

     “As many as received him, to them gave he power to be the sons of God, even them that believed on his name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor yet of the will of man, but of God.”  [John 1]

     “All ye are the sons of God, because ye have believed on Christ Jesu.”  [Gal. 3]


     By faith we, which afore were sinners, are justified and counted righteous in the sight of God for Christ’s sake.  [Rom. 4]

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “We plainly affirm that a man is justified by faith, without the works of the law.”  [Rom. 3]

     “We, being justified by faith, have peace toward God through our Lord Jesu Christ.”  [Rom. 5]

     “We know that a man is not justified by the deeds of the law, but by the faith of Jesu Christ; and we have believed on Jesu Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the deeds of the law; because by the deeds of the law no flesh shall be justified.”  [Gal. 2]

     “As many of you as are justified by the law are fallen from grace.  We look and hope for in the Spirit to be justified through faith.  For in Jesu Christ neither is circumcision any thing worth, neither yet uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love.”  [Gal. 5]


By faith we are married unto Christ.

Probations out of the holy scriptures.

     “I will marry thee unto myself in faith; and thou shalt know the Lord.”  [Hos. 2]

     Faith is the “wedding garment,” wherewith we be married unto Christ according to the parable, which we read in the gospel.  [Matt. 22]


By faith our prayers are accepted and heard of God.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “ All things whatsoever ye ask in prayer, if ye believe, ye shall receive them.”  [Matt. 21]

     “Let him that pray ask in faith, and doubt not.  For he that doubteth is like a wave of the sea, which is tossed of the winds and carried with violence.  Neither let that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”  [James 1]


By faith Christ’s fulfilling of the law is counted our fulfilling.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “Christ is the fulfilling of the law to justify all that believe.”  [Rom. 10]

     “Christ hath delivered us (he speaketh of the faithful) from the curse of the law; inasmuch as he was made accursed for our sake.” [Gal. 3]

     “Be it not known unto you, ye men and brethren, that through this man (Christ) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, and that by him all that believe are justified from all things, from the which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses?”  [Acts 13]


By faith our works are allowed before God for Christ’s sake.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”  [Rom. 14]

     “Thine eyes, O Lord, look upon faith.”  [Jer. 5]

     Abel’s sacrifice was allowed of God; because it was done in faith.  And so likewise were all the sacrifices which the holy patriarchs and other godly men offered in the old law.  [Gen. 4]


By faith everlasting life is given unto us for Christ’s sake.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that every one that believeth on him may not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God hath so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that every one that believeth in him may not perish, but have everlasting life.”  [John 3]

     “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.  But he that believeth not on the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

     “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into damnation, but is scaped from death unto life.”  [John 5]

     “This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son and believeth on him have everlasting life.”  [John 6]


The Articles of the Christian Faith, With Confirmations of the Same

Out of the Holy Scripture.


The First Article – I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

The Confirmations.

I believe.

     “Without faith it cannot be that any man should please God.  For he that cometh to God must believe that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek him.”  [Heb. 11]

In one God.

     “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is the Lord only.”  [Deut. 6]

     “I am God, and there is none but I.”  [Deut. 32]

     “I am the Lord, and there is else none.”  [Isai. 45]

     “I am the Lord, besides whom there is none other.”

     “I am the Lord, besides whom there is none other God; a true God, and such as saveth: there is none but I alone.”

     “I am he before whom there was never any God, neither shall there be any after me.  I am, yea, I am Lord alone, and besides me there is no saviour.”  [Isa. 43]

     “I am the first and the last, and besides me there is no God.”  [Isa. 44]

     “We are sure that there is none other God but one.”  [1 Cor. 8]

The Father.

     “Thou, O Lord, art our Father and Redeemer.  Thy name is from everlasting.”  [Isa. 63]

     “Have not we all one Father?  Hath not one God created us?  Why then doth every one of us despise his own brother, and so break the covenant of our Father?”  [Mal. 2]

     “Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”  [Matt. 23]

     “We have but one God, even the Father, of whom all things are.”  [1 Cor. 8]

     “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, which is above all, and through all, and in you all.”  [Eph. 4]


     “I am the Almighty God.  Walk before me, and be thou perfect.”  [Gen. 17]

     “Thou, O Lord, art the great and mighty God, whose name is the Lord of hosts, great in counsel and excellent in work.”  [Jer. 32]

     “Behold, I am the Lord God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?  Shall any thing be impossible in my sight? saith the Lord of hosts.”

     “With God all things are possible.”  [Matt. 19]

     “O Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.”  [Rev. 16]

Maker of heaven and earth.

     “In the beginning God made heaven and earth.”  [Gen. 1]

     “The heavens, O Lord, are thine, the earth also is thine: thou hast laid the foundation of the round world, and all that therein is.”  [Psa. 89]

     “The Lord made the heavens, and spread them abroad, and set forth the earth with her increase, which giveth breath unto the people that is in it, and spirit to them that dwell therein.”  [Isa. 42]

     “O Lord God, it is thou that hast made heaven and earth with thy great power and high arm; and there is nothing hid from thee.” [Jer. 32]

     “O Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.”  [Acts 4]

     “God made all things through Jesu Christ.”  [Eph. 3]


The Second Article – And in Jesu Christ his only-begotten Son our Lord.

The Confirmations.

And in Jesus Christ.

     “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.  But he that believeth not on the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth upon him.”  [John 3]

     “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”  [John 6]

     “If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”  [John 8]

     Christ said to the blind man whom he had made to see: “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?  He answered and said, Who is it, Lord, that I might believe on him?  Jesus said unto him, Thou hast seen him, and he it is this that talketh with thee.  And he said, Lord, I believe.  And he worshipped him.”  [John 9]

     Christ said unto Martha: “He that believeth on me, yea, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die.  Believest thou this?  She said unto him, Yea, Lord, I believe that thou art Christ the Son of God, which should come into the world.”  [John 11]

     “Ye believe in God, believe also in me.”  [John 14]

     “This is God the Father’s commandment, that we believe on the name of his son Jesu Christ.”  [1 John 3]

     “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.  He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believed not the record that God gave of his Son.  And this is that record, how that God hath given unto us eternal life; and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life.”  [1 John 5]

His only-begotten Son.

     “The Lord said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”  [Psa. 2]

     “This is my well-beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  [Matt. 3]

     “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.”  [Matt. 16]

     “God hath so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that every one that believeth on him may not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved by him.”  [John 3]

     “He that believeth on him is not condemned.  But he that believeth not is already condemned; because he hath not believed on the name of the only-begotten Son of God.”  [John 3]

     “In this appeareth the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”  [1 John 4]

Our Lord.

     “I am the Lord, and this is my name.  My glory will I give to none other, neither mine honour to graven images.”  [Isa. 42]

     “God is faithful, by whom ye are called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”  [1 Cor. 1]

     “There is but one Lord, even Jesu Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”  [1 Cor. 8]

     “Ye call me Master and Lord, and ye say well; for so am I in deed.”  [John 13]


The Third Article – Which was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary.

The Confirmations.

Which was conceived by the Holy Ghost.

     “Joseph, the son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife.  For that which is conceived in her cometh of the Holy Ghost.”  [Matt. 1]

     “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.  Therefore that holy thing which shall be born shall be called the Son of God.”  [Luke 1]

Born of the virgin Mary.

     “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son; and thou shalt call his name Emmanuel.”  [Isa. 7]

     “Unto us a child is born, and unto us a Son is given.”  [Isa. 9]

     “There shall come a rod forth of the kindred of Isay, and a blossom shall flourish out of his root.”  [Isa. 11]

     “Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, which is called Christ.”  [Matt. 1]

     “She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus.  For he shall save his people from their sins.”

     “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bear a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.”  [Luke 1]

     “When the time was full come, God sent his Son, made of a woman, and made bond unto the law.”  [Gal. 4]


The Fourth Article – He suffered under Ponce Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried.  He descended unto hell.

The Confirmations.

He suffered under Ponce Pilate, &c.

     “The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers took counsel together, against Nat. a. the Lord and against his Anointed.”  [Psa. 2]

     “Of a truth, O Lord, against thy holy child Jesus (whom thou hast anointed), both Herod, and also Ponce Pilate, with the gentiles and the people of Israel, gathered themselves together in this city, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”  [Acts 4]

     “I give thee the charge in the sight of God, which quickeneth all things, and before Jesu Christ (which under Ponce Pilate witnessed a good witnessing), that thou keep the commandment, and be without spot,” &c.  [1 Tim. 6]

Was crucified.

     “They pierced my hands and my feet.”  [Psa. 22]

     “He was wounded for our offences, and smitten for our wickedness.”  [Isa. 53]

     “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced.”  [Zech. 12]

     “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that every one which believeth on him may not perish, but have everlasting life.”  [John 3]

     “Ye seek Jesus that was crucified.”  [Matt. 28]

     “We preach Christ crucified.”  [1 Cor. 1]

     “Christ his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree, that we, being delivered from sin, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”  [1 Pet. 2]


     “After this sixty-two weeks shall Christ be slain; and they shall have no pleasure in him.”  [Dan. 9]

     “When we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  [Rom. 5]

     “Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures.”  [1 Cor. 15]


     “His grave was given him with the condemned.”  [Isa. 53]

     “First of all I delivered unto you that which I received, how that Christ died for our sins, agreeing to the scripture, and that he was buried.”  [1 Cor. 15]

     Joseph and Nicodemus took Jesus’ body, and buried it in a new grave.  [John 19]

He descended into hell.

     “Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell, neither shalt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.”  [Psa. 16]

     “Thou through the blood of thy covenant shalt let thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water.”  [Zech. 9]

     “O death, I will be thy death: O hell, I will be thy destruction.”  [Hos. 13]

     “Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God, and was killed as pertaining to the flesh, but was quickened in the Spirit: in which Spirit he also went, and preached unto the spirits that were in prison.”  [1 Pet. 3]


The Fifth Article – The third day he rose again from the dead.

The Confirmations.

     “I laid me down and slept, and rose up again; for the Lord sustained me.”  [Psa. 3]

     “After two days shall he quicken us, and in the third day shall he raise us up, so that we shall live in his sight.”  [Hos. 6]

     “Ye slay the author of life, whom God hath raised up from the dead.”  [Acts 3]

     “Jesus Christ our Lord rose again from the dead.”  [Rom. 1]

     “Christ died for our sins, and rose again for our justification.”  [Rom. 4]

     “Jesus Christ rose again the third day, according to the scriptures.”  [1 Cor. 15]

     “Remember that Jesu Christ, of the seed of David, rose again from death, according to my gospel.”  [2 Tim. 2]


The Sixth Article – He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

The Confirmations.

He ascended into heaven.

     “God is gone up with a merry noise, and the Lord with the sound of the trump.”  [Psa. 47]

     “Thou art gone up on high, thou hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men.”  [Psa. 68]

     “It came to pass, as he blessed them, he departed from them, and was carried up into heaven.”  [Luke 24]

     “Jesus was taken up on high; and a cloud received him up out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly up toward heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as ye have seen him go into heaven.”  [Acts 1]

     “When he went on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  That he ascended, what meaneth it, but that he also descended first into the lowest parts of the earth?  He that descended is even the same also that ascended up above all heavens; to fulfil all things.  [Eph. 4]

And sitteth on the right hand, &c.

The Confirmations.

     “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”  [Psa. 110]

     “When the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received into heaven, and is sitting on the right hand of God.”  [Mark 16]

     “Christ ... is on the right hand of God, and maketh intercession for us.”  [Rom. 8]

     “If ye be risen again with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”  [Col. 3]

     Christ “hath by his own person purged our sins, and sitteth on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”  [Heb. 1]


The Seventh Article – From thence he shall come to judge the quick and dead.

The Confirmations.

     “The Lord shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with equity.”  [Psa. 98]

     Read the twenty-fifth chapter of St Matthew’s gospel.

     “The Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son, because that all men should honour the Son as they honour the Father.”  [John 5]

     Christ “was ordained of God to be judge of quick and dead.”  [Acts 10]

     “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every man may receive the works of his body according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  [2 Cor. 5]

     “Our conversation is in heaven, from whence we look for a Saviour, even the Lord Jesus Christ; which shall change our vile body, that he may make it like unto his glorious body, according to the working, whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself.”  [Phil. 3]

     “The Lord Jesus Christ shall judge the quick and dead at his appearing in his kingdom.”  [2 Tim. 4]

     God “is ready to judge the quick and the dead.”  [1 Pet. 4]


The Eighth Article – I believe in the Holy Ghost.

The Confirmations.

     “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”  [Gen. 1]

     “Take not thy holy Spirit from me.”  [Psa. 51]

     “When Christ was baptized, the Holy Ghost came down upon Christ in the likeness

of a dove.”  [Matt. 3]

     “Christ commanded his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  [Matt. 28]

     The Holy Ghost shall “reprove the world of sin.”  [John 16]

     “There are three which give witness in heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and they three are one.”  [1 John 5]


The Ninth Article – I believe the holy universal congregation, which is the fellowship of saints.

The Confirmations.

     “If he will not hear the congregation, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and as a publican.”  [Matt. 18]

     “Christ loved the congregation, and gave himself for it to sanctify it, and cleansed it in the fountain of water through the word, to make it unto himself a glorious congregation, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that it should be holy and without blame.”  [Eph. 5]

     “I write these things unto thee,...that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the congregation of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth.”  [1 Tim. 3]

     “All that believed kept themselves together, and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  And they continued daily with one accord in the temple, and brake bread from house to house, and did eat their meat together with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God.”  [Acts 2]

     “The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.”  “And great grace was with them all.  Neither was there any among them that lacked.  For as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the price of the things that were sold, and laid it down at the apostles’ feet.  And distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”  [Acts 4]


The Tenth Article – I believe the forgiveness of sins.

The Confirmations.

     “I am he, yea, I am he, which put away thine iniquities, and that for mine own sake, and will remember them no more.”  [Isa. 43]

     “The Lord shall put down our wickednesses, and cast all our sins into the bottom of the sea.”  [Mic. 7]

     “Look, how wide the east is from the west, so far hath he set our sins from us.  Yea, like as a father pitieth his own children, even so is the Lord merciful unto all them that fear him.  For he knoweth perfectly whereof we be made: he remembereth that we are but dust.”  [Psa. 103]

     Christ “hath taken upon him our infirmities, and borne our diseases.”  [Isa. 53, Matt. 8]

     “The Son of man came to seek and save that was lost.”  [Luke 19]

     “All that believe in Christ shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  [John 3]

     “This is a true saying, and worthy to be noted, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”  [1 Tim. 1]

     “The blood of Jesus Christ maketh us clean from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves; and the truth is not in us.  But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to make us clean from all iniquity.”  [1 John 1]


The Eleventh Article – I believe the resurrection of the body.

The Confirmations.

     “I believe that my Redeemer liveth, and that I shall rise out of the earth in the latter day, and that I shall be clothed again with this skin, and see God my Saviour in my flesh.  Yea, I myself shall behold him, not with other eyes, but with these same eyes.  This hope is steadfastly set in my heart.”  [Job. 19]

     “Thy dead men shall live, even with my body shall they rise again.  Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust.  For thy dew is even as the dew of herbs; and the earth shall cast out them that be under her,” &c.  [Isa. 26]

     “O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.  Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones: Behold, I will put breath unto you that ye may live, I will give you sinews, and make flesh grow upon you, and cover you over with skin, and so give you breath, that ye may live, and know that I am the Lord.”  [Ezek. 37]

     “Behold, I will open your graves, O my people, and take you out of your sepulchers.”

     “The hour shall come, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.”  [John 5]

     “If Christ be preached how that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?  If there be no rising again of the dead, then is Christ not risen again.  If Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching in vain, and your faith also is in vain.”  [1 Cor. 15]

     Read the whole chapter.

     “We know that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise us up also by the means of Jesus.”  [2 Cor. 4]

     “If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even them also which sleep by Jesus will God bring again with him.”  [1 Thess. 4]

     Read the latter end of the chapter.


The Twelfth Article – I believe everlasting life.

The Confirmations.

     “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to perpetual shame and reproof.  The wise (such as have taught other) shall glister as the shining of heaven, and those that have instructed the multitude unto godliness shall be as the stars world without end.”  [Dan. 12]

     Read the second chapter of the fourth* book of Esdras.  [2 Esdr. 2]

[*That is, 2 Esdras; the books of Ezra and Nehemiah being formerly called 1 and 2 Esdras.]

     “The righteous shall go into everlasting life.”  [Matt. 25]

     “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give them everlasting life.”  [John 10]

     “This is everlasting life, even to know thee the alone true God, and whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ.”  [John 17]

     “O Father, these that thou hast given me, I will that where I am there also be they with me, that they may see my glory, which thou hast given me.”

     “The eye hath not seen, and the ear hath not heard, neither have the things entered into the heart of man, which God hath prepared for them that love him.”  [1 Cor. 2]

     “We know that, if our earthy mansion of this dwelling were destroyed, we have a building of God, an habitation not made with hands, but everlasting in heaven.”  Amen.  [2 Cor. 5]

     All these articles aforesaid I with my whole heart believe, and with my mouth unfeignedly confess to .be true and agreeable to God’s holy word.



“Lord, increase our faith.”




What Prayer Is.

     Prayer is a lifting up of a pure mind unto God, wherein we ask somewhat of God that is agreeable to his holy will.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “We know not what we should desire and pray for as we ought; nevertheless the Spirit itself maketh intercession mightily for us with unoutspeakable groanings.  Howbeit he that searcheth the heart knoweth what the mind of the Spirit is; for he maketh intercession for the saints, according to the pleasure of God.”  [Rom. 8]

     “The time cometh, and is now already, that the true worshippers shall worship in spirit and truth.  For the Father will have such to worship him.  God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.”  [John 4]

     “We are the circumcision, even we that serve God in spirit.”  [Phil. 3]

     “I will that all men pray in all places, lifting up pure hands without wrath and strife.”  [1 Tim. 2]

     “This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me: verily, they worship me in vain.”  [Matt. 15]

     “Ask, and it shall be given you.  Seek, and ye shall find.  Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  For whosoever asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”  [Matt. 7]

     “This is the trust that we have in God, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he heareth us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of him.”  [1 John 5]


What Benefits We Receive of God By Prayer.

By prayer we are delivered out of trouble.

Probations out of the holy. scripture.

     “When I was in trouble, I called on the Lord; and he graciously heard me.”  [Psa. 120]

     “Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt honour me.”  [Psa. 50]

     “He shall call upon me, and I will hear him; yea, I am with him in trouble.  I will deliver him, and bring him to honour,” &c.  [Psa. 91]

     “When any man in his trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of him.”  [2 Chron. 15]


By prayer we are preserved from our enemies.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “I will call upon the Lord, which is worthy to be praised; so shall I be safe from mine enemies.”  [Psa. 18]

     King Ezechias by prayer was delivered from the proud wicked tyrant Sennacherib,

both he and all his.  [2 Kings 19]

     So likewise were Joseph, Daniel, Susanne, Peter, &c.


By prayer we get the victory of our enemies in battle.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     The people of Israel got the victory over the Amalekites so long as Moses prayed for them.  [Exod. 17]

     When the black Moors came out to fight against Asa king of Judah, Asa prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord gave him the victory; so that all his enemies were destroyed in battle.  Read the chapter.  [2 Chron. 14]

     Judas Machabeus, after he had called on the name of the Lord, got a noble victory of Gorgias and his company.  [1 Macc. 4]


By prayer we obtain health of body.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     The miracles which Christ wrought upon them that were diseased, and fled unto him for help with faithful prayer, prove this true.


By prayer we obtain all thing necessary for the body.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     Moses by prayer obtained manna from heaven for the Israelites.  [Exod. 16]

     Helias by prayer obtained rain of God to water the earth.  [1 Kings 18]


By prayer our sins are forgiven us.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “I said, I will confess my sins unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the wickedness of my sin.  For this shall every one that is godly make his prayer unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found.”  [Psa. 32]

     “I forgave thee all that debt, when thou desiredst me.”  [Matt. 18]

     The sinful publican, praying for remission of his sins, went home more righteous in the sight of God than the proud Pharisee.  [Luke 18]

     “If any be diseased among you, let him call for the elders of the congregation, and let them pray over him, and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him.”  [James 5]


By prayer we overcome the devil and all our ghostly enemies.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “This kind of devils is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.” [Matt. 17]

     “Watch and pray, that ye fall not into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  [Matt. 26]


By prayer we obtain of God the Holy Ghost.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “If ye which are evil can give your children good gifts, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give the Holy Ghost to them that desire it of him?”  [Luke 11]

     As the disciples of Christ were gathered together in one place, and continued in prayer, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.  [Acts 1 & 2]


By prayer we obtain all good things, both for the body and the soul.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that, ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  [Mark 11]

     “The harvest is much, but the labourers are few.  Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send labourers into his harvest.”  [Matt. 9]

     “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of him that giveth it, even God, which giveth to all men indifferently, and casteth no man in the teeth; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith,” &c.  [James 1]

     “The Lord is even at hand.  Be careful for nothing, but in all prayer and supplication let your petitions be known unto God with thanksgiving.”  [Phil. 4]

     Many other benefits receive we of God through prayer, which here to rehearse were too long.  Read diligently my book called “The Pathway unto Prayer”; and that shall sufficiently instruct thee in all things concerning prayer.



     The disciples said unto Christ: “Lord, teach us to pray.”  Christ said unto them: “When ye pray, say on this manner, Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,” &c.  [Luke 11, Deut. 32]


The Preface of the Lord’s Prayer – Our Father, which art in heaven.

The Confirmations.


Our Father.

     “Is not the Lord God the Father and thine honour?  Hath he not made thee and ordained thee?  Thou, O Lord God, art our Father and Redeemer.”  [Isa. 63]

     “Have we not all one Father?  Hath not God made us?  Why doth every one of us then despise his own brother?”  [Mal. 2]

     “Should not the son honour his father, and a servant his master?  If I be now a father, where is my honour?  If I be a lord, where is my fear?”  [Mal. 1]

     “Ye have not received the spirit of bondage to fear any more; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba (that is to say) Father.  The same Spirit certifieth our spirit, that we are the children of God.  If we be children, then are we heirs also; yea, heirs of God, and fellow heirs with Christ.”  [Rom. 8]


Which art in heaven.

     “Heaven is my seat, and the earth is my footstool.”  [Isa. 66]

     “The Lord hath prepared his seat in heaven.”  [Psa. 103]

     “Our God is in heaven: he doth whatsoever pleaseth him.”  [Psa. 115]

     “Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, which dwellest in the heavens.”  [Psa. 123]

     “Call no man father upon earth; for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”  [Matt. 23]


The First Petition – Hallowed be thy Name.

The Confirmations.

     “I will make the name of my holiness to be known among my people of Israel, and I will not let my holy name to be evil spoken of any more; but the very heathen also shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.”  [Ezek. 39]

     “The time shall come, that whosoever calleth on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  [Joel 2]

     “From the rising up of the sun unto the going down of the same my name is great among the gentiles; yea, and that in all places.”  [Mal. 1]

     “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.  Now blessed be the name of the Lord.”  [Job 1]

     “Sing unto the Lord, and praise his name: be telling of his salvation from day to day.  Declare his honour among the heathen, and his wonders among all people.”  [Psa. 96]

     “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.”  [Psa. 22]

     “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous fleeth unto it, and shall be saved.”  [Prov. 18]

     “By Christ do we offer the sacrifice of prayer always unto God, that is to say, the fruit of those lips which confess his name.  [Heb. 13]


The Second Petition – Thy kingdom come.

The Confirmations.

     “Seek first the kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof; and all things shall be ministered unto you.”  [Matt. 6]

     “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence; and the violent pluck it unto them.”   [Matt. 11]

     “Whosoever receiveth not the kingdom of God as a child, he shall not enter into it.”  [Luke 18]

     “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”  [John 3]

     “The kingdom of God is no meat and drink, but righteousnesses, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”  [Rom. 14]

     “The kingdom of God is not in words, but in power.”  [1 Cor. 4]


The Third Petition – Thy will be done, as in heaven so likewise in earth.

The Confirmations.

     “Teach me, O Lord, to do thy will; for thou art my God.”  [Psa. 143]

     “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”  [Matt. 7]

     “Whosoever doth the will of my Father which is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.”  [Matt. 12]

     “This is the will of him which sent me, that whosoever seeth the Son, and believeth on him, have everlasting life.”  [John 6]

     “Fashion not yourselves like unto this world; but be ye changed through the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what thing that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God is.”  [Rom. 12]

     “This is the will of God, even your sanctifying, that ye abstain from whoredom, I that every one of you know how to keep his vessel in holiness and honour, and not in the lust of concupiscence, as the heathen do, which know not God.”  [1 Thess. 4]

     “Forasmuch as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm ye yourselves likewise with the same mind.  For he which suffereth in the flesh ceaseth from sin, that he from henceforth should live, as much time as remaineth in the flesh, not after the lusts of men, but after the will of God.  For it is sufficient for us, that we have spent the time that is past of the life after the will of the gentiles, walking in wantonness, lusts, excess of drinking, and abominable idolatry.”  [1 Pet. 4]


The Fourth Petition – Give us this day our daily bread.

The Confirmations.

     “I have been young, and now am old; and yet saw I never the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread.  He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and yet have his children God’s plenty and enough.”  [Psa. 37]

     “The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord; and thou givest them their meat in due season.  Thou openest thy hand, and fillest every living creature with thy blessing.”  [Psa. 145]

     “The blessing of the Lord maketh men rich: as for careful travail, it doth nothing thereto.”  [Prov. 10]

     “The Lord will not let the soul of the righteous suffer hunger; but he taketh away the riches of the ungodly.”

     “Two things have I required of thee, that thou wilt not deny me before I die.  Remove from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches: only grant me a necessary living; lest, if I be too full, I deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? and lest I, being constrained through poverty, fall unto stealing, and forswear the name of my God.”  [Prov. 30]

     “Be not careful for your life, what ye shall eat or drink; nor yet for your body, what raiment ye shall wear.  Is not the life more worth than meat, and the body more of value than raiment?”  Read forth the chapter.  [Matt. 6]

     “Cast all your care on God; for he careth for you.”  [1 Pet. 5]


The Fifth Petition – And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

The Confirmations.

And forgive us.

     “I am he, yea, I am he, which put away thine iniquities, and that for mine own sake, and will remember thy sins no more.”  [Isa. 43]

     “As for thine offences, I drive them away like the clouds, and thy sins as the mist.  Turn thee again unto me; and I will deliver thee.”  [Isa. 44]

     God is that king which forgiveth his servant the ten thousand talents.  [Matt. 18]

     “No man can forgive sin, but God alone.”  [Mark. 2, Luke 5]

     God is the most loving father which joyfully receiveth home again his lost son, when he repent and convert.  [Luke 15]


Our debts.

     “They are all gone out of the way, they are all together become abominable: there is none that doth good, no, not one.”  [Psa. 14]

     “Who can tell how oft he offendeth?  O cleanse thou me from my secret faults!”  [Psa. 19]

     “Who can say, My heart is clean, I am free from sin?”  [Prov. 20]

     “There is not one righteous man in all the earth, that doth good and sinneth not.”  [Eccles. 7]

     “Behold, God hath found unfaithfulness among his own saints; yea, the very heavens are unclean in his sight. How much more then abominable and vile man, which drinketh wickedness like water!”  [Job 4, 15, 25]

     “All the children of men are wicked; and all their works are naught: neither is there any truth in them.”  [1 Esdr. 4]

     “All are hypocrites and wicked.”  [Isa. 9]

     “We are all become unclean; and all our righteousnesses are as a cloth polluted.”*  [Isa. 64]

     “We are all unprofitable servants.”  [Luke 17]

     “All have sinned, and want the glory of God.”  [Rom. 3]

     “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to make us clean from all iniquity.”  [1 John 1]


As we forgive our debtors.

     “He that seeketh vengeance shall find vengeance of the Lord, which shall surely keep him his sins.  Forgive thy neighbour the hurt that he hath done thee, and so shall thy sins be forgiven thee also when thou prayest.  A man that beareth hatred against another, how dare he desire forgiveness of God?  He that sheweth no mercy to a man, which is like himself, how dare he ask forgiveness of his sins?  If he that is but flesh beareth hatred and keepeth it, who will entreat for his sins?  Remember the end, and let enmity pass.”  [Ecclus. 28]

     “If ye forgive other men their trespasses, the heavenly Father shall forgive you.  But if ye will not forgive men their trespasses, no more shall your Father forgive you your trespasses.”  [Matt. 6]

     “When ye stand and pray, forgive, if ye have ought against any man, that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”  [Mark 11]

     “Forgive, and it shall be forgiven unto you.”  [Luke 6]

     “Forbear one another, and forgive one another.  If any man have a quarrel against col. iii. another, like as Christ hath forgiven you, even so do ye likewise.”  [Col. 3]

     Christ forgave his persecutors, and prayed for them, saying: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”  [Luke 23]

     St Stephen forgave his enemies, and prayed for them on this manner: “O Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.”  [Acts. 7]


The Sixth Petition – And lead us not into temptation.

The Confirmations.

     “My son, if thou wilt come into the service of God, stand fast in righteousness and fear, and arm thy soul to temptation,” &c.  [Ecclus. 2]

     “Watch and pray, that ye fall not into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  [Matt. 26]

     “Blessed is the man that standeth fast in temptation. For when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.  Let no man say, when he is tempted, that he is tempted of God.  For as God cannot be tempted with evil, so neither he himself tempteth any man unto evil.  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away and enticed of his own concupiscence.  Then when lust hath conceived, she bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is done in deed, bringeth forth death.”  [James 1]


The Seventh Petition – But deliver us from the evil.

The Confirmations.

     “Satan hath desired after you, that he might sift you even as wheat.  But I have prayed for thee, O Simon, that thy faith may not fail.  And when thou art converted, strength thy brethren.”  [Luke 22]

     “God is faithful, which will not suffer you to be tempted above your strength, but shall in the midst of the temptation make a way to come out, that ye may be able to bear it.”  [1 Cor. 10]

     “Be sober and watch; for your adversary the devil walketh about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith.”  [1 Pet. 5]

     “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of the temptation.”  [2 Pet. 2]

     “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked toucheth him not.”  [1 John 5]


The Conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer – For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.

The Confirmations.

     “Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our Father, for ever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is might, power, glory, victory, and praise.  For all that is in heaven and in earth is thine.  O Lord, thine is the kingdom, and thou excellest above all, even as the head of all.  Thine are the riches, treasures, honour, and dominion over all.  And in thy hands is the virtue, might, power, excellency, empire, and rule, upon and above all things.  Wherefore now, O our God, we give laud, praise, and glory to thy most noble name.”  [1 Chron. 29]

     “Of him, and through him, and in him, are all things.  To him be praise for ever.”  [Rom. 11]

     “To God, which alone is wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever.”  [Rom. 16]

     “Unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, be praise in the congregation by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.”  [Eph. 3]

     “Unto God, King everlasting, immortal, invisible, alone wise, be honour and glory for ever and ever!”  [1 Tim. 1]

     “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy will’s sake they were and are created.” [Rev. 4]

     “Blessing, honour, glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the seat, and unto the Lamb for evermore.  Amen.”  [Rev. 5]

     All these petitions I undoubtedly believe that I shall enjoy, whensoever I ask them in faith of God, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord.




What the Law Is.

     The law of God is a doctrine prescribing unto us what we ought to do, and what to eschew, both toward God and our neighbour.

The Confirmations.

     “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.”  [Exod. 20]

     “Thou shalt not take the name of thy Lord God in vain.”

     “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

     “Thou shalt not kill: thou shalt not steal.”


To What Use the Law Was Given.

     First, that it should declare unto us the will of God, how we ought to live, and what works we ought to do, that we may please the Lord our God.

The Confirmations.

     “The law of the Lord is an undefiled law, converting souls: the testimony of the Lord is sure, and giveth wisdom to the simple.  The statutes of the Lord are right, and rejoice the heart.  The commandment of the Lord is pure, and giveth light to the eyes.”  [Psa. 19]

     “Thy word is a lantern to my feet, and a light to my pathways.”  [Psa. 119]

     “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and ordinances unto Israel.  He hath not dealt so with any nation, neither have the heathen knowledge of his laws.”  [Psa. 147]


     Secondly, that it should reveal and open unto us our sin and wickedness, while we consider how unable we be of ourselves to do that which the holy, righteous, and good law of God requireth of us to be done.

The Confirmations.

     “By the law cometh the knowledge of sin.”  [Rom. 3]

     “The law entered in, that sin should increase.”  [Rom. 5]

     “What shall we say?  Is the law sin?  God forbid.  But I knew not what sin meant but by the law: for I had not known what lust had meant, except the law had said, Thou shalt not lust.  But sin took an occasion by the means of the commandment, and wrought in me all manner of concupiscence.  For without the law sin was dead.  I once lived without law: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I was dead.  And the very same commandment, which was ordained unto life, was found to be unto me an occasion of death.  For sin took occasion by the means of the commandment, and so deceived me, and by the self commandment slew me.”  [Rom. 7]

     “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.”  [1 Cor. 15]

     “The letter,” that is to say, the law, “killeth.”  [2 Cor. 3]

     The law is “the ministering of condemnation.”

     “Moses,” saith Christ, “gave you a law; and yet none of you fulfilleth the law John vii. in deed.”  [John 7]


     Thirdly, after we have learned our weakness, our wretchedness, our sin, our wickedness, by comparing our strength and life with the law of God, which proveth us all sinners and worthy of eternal damnation, lest we should fall into desperation, and so be damned, the law was given of God to be a schoolmaster unto us to lead us unto Christ, the alone end and perfect fulfiller of all the laws of God; that we, through faith taking upon us his righteousness, and his fulfilling of the law, might be found blameless through him in the sight of God, and so be made inheritors of everlasting glory.

The Confirmations.

     “The law was our schoolmaster unto Christ, that we should be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under the schoolmaster.  For ye are all the children of God, because ye believe in Christ Jesu.”  [Gal. 3]

     “The law brought nothing to perfection, but was an introduction to a better hope, Heb. vii. by the which we draw nigh unto God.”  [Heb. 7]

     “Be it known unto you, ye men and brethren, that through this man Christ is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, and that by him all that believe are justified from all things, from the which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”  [Acts 13]

     “Why tempt ye God, to put on the disciples’ necks the yoke which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?  But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesu Christ we shall be saved.”  [Acts 15]

     “Christ is the fulfilling of the law, to justify all that believe.”  [Rom. 10]

     “Christ hath delivered us from the curse of the law, inasmuch as he was made accursed for us.”  [Gal. 3]





The First Table of the Law, Containing Four Commandments, Wherein Is Declared Our Duty Toward God.


The First Commandment – I am the Lord thy God.  Thou shalt have no strange gods before me.  [Exod. 20]

The Confirmations.

     “The Lord he is God, and there is none other but he alone.”  [Deut. 4]

     “Understand and think it in thy heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath; neither is there any other.”

     “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is God alone.  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”  [Deut. 6]

     “Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him alone.”

     “If thou forget the Lord thy God, and walk after strange gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify unto you that ye shall surely perish.”  [Deut. 8]

     “Now, O Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but that thou shouldest fear the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways and love him, and serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and keep the commandments of the Lord?”  [Deut. 10]

     “If thine heart turn away from God, so that thou wilt not hear his word, but go astray and worship strange gods, and serve them, I pronounce unto you this day that ye shall surely perish, and not live long on the earth.”  [Deut. 30]

     “See now how that I, yea, that I am God, and there is none but I.”  [Deut. 32]

     “I will assure thee, O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me.  There shall no strange god be in thee, neither shalt thou worship any other god. I am the Lord thy God.”  [Psa. 81]

     “Besides me there was never any God, neither shall there be after me: I am, I am the Lord alone, and besides me there is no saviour.”  [Isa. 43]

     “There is none other God but I.  A true God, and such one as saveth; there is none but I alone.”  [Isa. 45]

     “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.”  [Matt. 22]

     “This is the everlasting life, even to know thee the alone true God, and whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ.”  [John 17]

     “There is none other God but one.  And although there be that are called gods, whether in heaven, either in earth (as there be gods many and lords many), yet unto you there is but one God.”  [1 Cor. 8]

     “There is one God and one Mediator.”  [1Tim. 2]


The Second Commandment – Thou shalt make thee no graven or carved image, nor likeness at all of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth: thou shalt not bow before them, nor worship them.  For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, punishing the wickedness of the parents in the children, unto the third and fourth generation, if they hate me, and skew mercy unto the thousands, even unto those that love me, and keep my commandment.  [Exod. 20]

The Confirmations.

     “Ye shall not turn unto idols, nor make you gods of metal.”  [Lev. 19]

     “Take heed unto yourselves, that ye forget not the appointment of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and that ye make you no graven image, nor any picture that the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee.  For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, and a jealous God.  If ye do wickedly, and make any manner of graven image, and work evil in the sight of the Lord thy God to provoke him to anger, I call heaven and earth to record against you this day, that ye shall shortly perish.”  [Deut. 4]

     “Ye shall overthrow the altars of the idols, and break down their pillars, cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.  For thou art an holy nation unto the Lord thy God.”  [Deut. 7]

     “Cursed be the man that maketh any carved or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place.  And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.”  [Deut. 27]

     “Confounded be all they that worship carved images, and that delight in vain gods.”  [Psa. 97]

     “I am the Lord, this is my name; my glory will I give to none other, neither mine honour to graven images.”  [Isa. 42]

     Read the forty-fourth and forty-sixth chapters of Esay.

     “Be converted, and forsake your idols.”  [Ezek. 14]

     “The seeking out of idols is the beginning of whoredom, and the bringing up of them is the destruction of life.  For they were not from the beginning, neither shall they continue unto the end.  The wealthy idleness of men hath found them out upon the earth; therefore shall they come shortly to an end.”  [Wisd. 14]

     “The honouring of abominable images is the cause, the beginning, and the end of all evil.”

     Read the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth chapters of Wisdom. Read also the sixth chapter of the prophet Baruch.

     “We preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.”  [Acts. 14]

     “My sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the gentiles are turned to God; but that we write unto them that they abstain themselves from the filthiness of images.”  [Acts 15]

     “They are not gods which are made with hands.”  [Acts 19]

     “Be not worshippers of images.”  [1 Cor. 10]

     “No worshippers of images shall inherit the kingdom of God.”  [1 Cor. 6]

     “Babes, keep yourselves from images.”  [1 John 5]


The Third Commandment – Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.  For the Lord will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his name in vain.  [Exod. 20]

The Confirmations.

     “Ye shall not swear by my name in vain, neither shalt thou defile the name of thy God.  I am the Lord.”  [Lev. 19]

     “He that hath not sworn to deceive his neighbour, he shall receive blessing from the Lord, and mercy from God his Saviour.”  [Psa. 24]

     “He that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, let him be slain; and all the multitude shall stone him to death.”  [Lev. 24]

     “Thou shalt swear, The Lord liveth, in truth, in equity, and righteousness.”  [Jer. 4]

     “My curse and vengeance,” saith the Lord, “ shall fall upon his house, that falsely sweareth by my name, and shall remain in his house, and consume it with the timber and stones thereof.”

     “Ye have heard how it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord those things that thou swearest.  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God’s seat; neither by the earth, for it is his footstool; neither by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King; neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.  But your communication shall be yea, yea, and nay, nay; for whatsoever is added more than these, it cometh of evil.”  [Matt. 5]

     “Above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, nor by earth, neither any other oath.  Let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay, lest ye fall into dissimulation.”  [James 5]

     “Let not thy mouth be accustomed with swearing; for in it there are many falls.  A man that useth much swearing shall be filled with wickedness; and the plague shall never go from his house.  He that sweareth in vain shall not be found righteous; for his house shall be full of plagues.  The words of the swearer bring death: God grant that be it not found in the house of Jacob; but they that fear God eschew all such, and lie not weltering in sin?’  [Ecclus. 23]

     “O praise the Lord with me, and let us magnify his name together.”  [Psa. 34]

     “All our glory is in God all the day long; and we will praise thy name for ever.”  [Psa. 44]

     “Call on me in the time of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt honour me.”  [Psa. 50]

     “Forasmuch as he hath trusted in me, I will deliver him, yea, I will defend him, because he hath known my name.  He shall call. upon me, and I will hear him: yea, I am with him in trouble: I will deliver him, and bring him to honour.  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.”  [Psa. 91]

     “The name of the Lord is a strong castle: the righteous flieth unto it, and is in safeguard.”  [Prov. 18]

     “Whosoever calleth on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  [Joel 2]


THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT –Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.  Six days shalt thou work and do all thy business.  But in the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God, wherein thou shalt do no work, neither thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy servant, nor thy maid, nor thy beast, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, sea, and all that is therein, and the seventh day he rested; and therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.  [Exod. 20]

The Confirmations.

     “ In any wise see that ye keep my sabbaths; for it is a sign between me and you in your generations, for to know that I the Lord am he that doth sanctify you,” &c.  [Exod. 31]

     The man that was found gathering sticks on the sabbath-day was stoned to death at the commandment of God.  [Num. 15]

     “Blessed is the man that taketh heed that he unhalloweth not the Sabbath, that is to say, keepeth himself so that he do no evil.”  [Isa. 56]

     “All they which keep themselves that they unhallow not the sabbath, I mean that they fulfil my covenant, them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer.”

     “If thou on the sabbath day turn thy feet, so that thou do not the thing which pleaseth thyself in my holy day, but givest God the honour, so that thou do not after thine own imagination, neither seek thine own will, nor speak thine own words, then shalt thou have thy pleasure in the Lord; and I will carry thee high above the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father.  For the Lord’s own mouth hath so promised.”  [Isa. 58]

     “There shall be a new sabbath for the other old sabbath; and all flesh shall come to worship before me, saith the Lord.”  [Isa. 66]

     “There remaineth yet a rest to the people of God.  For he that is entered into his rest hath ceased also from his own works, as God did from his.  Let us study therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same ensample of unbelief.”  [Heb. 4]



What It Is To Keep Holy the Sabbath Day.

     To keep holy the sabbath day is not to cease from bodily labour, that thou shouldest the more licentiously give thy mind to the wearing of gallant apparel, to banqueting, to idle talk, to vain pastimes, and such other filthy pleasures of the flesh; but that thou, setting aside all worldly businesses, shouldest the more freely apply thyself to read, hear, and learn the word of God, to pray in the temple with the congregation, to be thankful to God for his benefits, to be present at the ministration of the holy sacraments, to be partaker of the mysteries of the Lord’s body and blood, to give some good thing to the relief of the poor, to visit and comfort the sick and them that are in prison, and, casting away the works of the flesh, wholly to exercise thyself in the fruits of the Spirit.


The Second Table of the Law of God, Containing Six Commandments,

Wherein Is Declared Our Duty Toward Our Neighbour.


The Fifth Commandment – Honour thy father and mother, that thy days may be made long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.  [Exod. 20]

The Confirmations.

     “Ye shall reverence every man his father and his mother.”  [Lev. 19]

     “Whosoever he be that curseth his father or his mother, let him die; for he hath cursed his father and mother: his blood be upon him.”  [Lev. 20]

     “He that smiteth his father or mother, let him be slain for it.”  [Exod. 21]

     “If any man have a son that is stubborn and disobedient, that he will not hearken unto the voice of his mother, and they have chastened him, and he would not hearken unto them; then shall his father and his mother take him and bring him out unto the elders of that city, and unto the gate of the same place, and say unto the elders of the city, This our son is stubborn and disobedient, and will not hearken unto our voice: he is a rioter and a drunkard.  And all the men of that city shall stone him with stones unto death.”  [Deut. 21]

     “Cursed be he that curseth his father and his mother.  And all the people shall say, Amen.”  [Deut. 27]

     “My son, hear thy father’s doctrine, and forsake not the law of thy mother.  For that shall bring grace to thy head, and shall be as a chain about thy neck.”  [Prov. 1]

     “A good child will hearken to his father’s warning; but he that is scornful will not hear when he is reproved.”  [Prov. 13]

     “He that hurteth his father, or shutteth out his mother, is a scornful and an unworthy son.”  [Prov. 19]

     “Whoso robbeth his father and mother, and saith it is no sin, the same is like unto a destroyer.”  [Prov. 28]

     “Whoso laugheth his father to scorn, and setteth his mother’s commandment at naught, the ravens pick out his eyes in the valley, and devoured be he of the young eagles.”  [Prov. 30]

     “The Lord will have the father honoured of the children; and look, what a mother commandeth her children, he will have it kept.”  [Ecclus. 3]

     “Whoso honoureth his father shall have a joy of his own children, and when he maketh his prayer he shall be heard.  He that honoureth his father shall have long life, and he that is obedient for the Lord’s sake, his mother shall have joy of him.  He that feareth the Lord honoureth his father and mother, and doth them service, as it were unto the Lord himself.  Honour thy father in deed, in word, and in all patience, that thou mayest have God’s blessing; and his blessing shall abide with thee at the last.  The blessing of the father buildeth up the houses of the children; but the mother’s curse rooteth out the foundations.  Rejoice not when thy father is reproved; for it is not honour unto thee, but a shame.  For the worship of a man’s father is his own worship; and where the father is without honour, it is the dishonesty of the son.  My son, make much of thy father in his age, and grieve him not as long as he liveth.  And if his understanding fail, have patience with him, and despise him not in thy strength.  For the good deed that thou shewest to thy father shall not be forgotten, and when thou thyself wantest,* it shall be rewarded thee (and for thy mother’s offence thou shalt be recompensed with good, yea, it shall be founded for thee in righteousness), and in the day of trouble thou shalt be remembered: thy sins also shall meale* away, like as the ice in the air and warm weather.  But he that forsaketh his father shall come to shame, and he that despiseth his mother is cursed of God.”

     “Children, obey your fathers and mothers in the Lord; for that is right.  Honour thy father and mother; the same is the first commandment in the promise; that thou mayest prosper, and live long on earth.”  [Eph. 6]


The Sixth Commandment – Thou shalt not kill.  [Exod. 20]

The Confirmations.

     “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.  For in the image of God did God make man.”  [Gen. 9]

     “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart,” &c.  [Lev. 19]

     “Thou shalt not avenge thyself, nor be mindful of wrong against the children of my people; but shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.”

     “He that killeth any man, let him die the death.”  [Lev. 24]

     “Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly.  And all the people shall say, Amen.”  [Deut. 27]

     “Ye have heard that it was said unto them of the old time, Thou shalt not kill: whosoever killeth shall be in danger of judgment.  But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of judgment,” &c.  [Matt. 5]

     “Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for them which hurt you and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.  For he maketh his sun to arise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.”

     “Be ye merciful, as your Father is merciful.  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged.  Condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned.  Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.  Give, and it shall be given to you, good measure, and pressed down, and shaken together, and running over shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal, shall other men mete to you again.”  [Luke 6]

     “Recompense to no man evil for evil.”  [Rom. 12]

     “If it be possible (as much as is in you), live peaceably with all men.  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath.  For it is written, [Deut. 32] Vengeance is mine, and I will reward, saith the Lord.  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him: if he thirst, give him drink.  For in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with goodness.”

     “Be angry, and sin not.  Let not the sun go down upon your wrath, neither give place unto the backbiter.”  [Eph. 4]

     “Let all bitterness, and fierceness, and wrath, and roaring, and cursed speaking be put away from you, with all maliciousness.  Be ye courteous one to another, merciful, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

     “He that hateth his brother is a manslayer.  And ye know that every manslayer hath not everlasting life dwelling in him.”  [1 John 3]

     “This commandment have we of God, that he which loveth God should also love his brother.”  [1 John 4]


The Seventh Commandment – Thou shalt not commit advoutry.  [Exod. 20]

The Confirmations.

     “Thou shalt not lie with thy neighbour’s wife to defile her.”*  [Lev. 18]

     “Thou shalt not make thy daughter common, that thou wouldest cause her to be an whore, lest the land also fall to whoredom, and be full of wickedness.”  [Lev. 19]

     “If a man be found lying with a woman that hath a wedded husband, they shall die both of them, both the man that lay with the wife and also the wife; and so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”  [Deut. 22]

     “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor whore-keeper of the sons of Israel.”  [Deut. 23]

     “Cursed be he that lieth with his neighbour’s wife.  And all the people shall say, Amen.”  [Deut. 27]

     “The lips of an harlot are a dropping honeycomb, and her throat is more glistering than oil.  But at the last she is as bitter as wormwood, and her tongue as sharp as a two-edged sword.  Her feet go down unto death; and her steps pierce through unto hell.”  [Prov. 5]

     “Be glad with the wife of thy youth.  Loving is the hind, and friendly is the roe.  Let her breasts alway satisfy thee, and hold thee ever content with her love.  O my son, why wilt thou have pleasure in an harlot, and embrace the bosom of another woman?  Every man’s ways are open in the sight of the Lord, and he pondereth all their goings.  The wickedness of the ungodly shall catch himself, and with the snares of his own sins shall he be trapped.”

     “Keep thee from the evil woman, and from the flattering tongue of the harlot, that thou lust not after her beauty in thy heart, and lest thou be taken with her fair looks.  An harlot will make a man to beg his bread; but an honest woman will seek about to get her living.  May a man carry fire in his body, and his clothes not be burnt? or can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be hurt?  Even so whosoever goeth in to his neighbour’s wife and toucheth her cannot be unguilty.”  [Prov. 6]

     “Whoso committeth advoutry with a woman, he is a fool, and bringeth his life to destruction.  He getteth himself also shame and such dishonour as shall never be put out.”

     Read the seventh chapter of the Proverbs.

     “An whore is a deep grave, and an harlot is a narrow pit.  She lurketh like a thief, and bringeth unto her such men as be full of vice.”  [Prov. 23]

     “He that keepeth company with harlots shall come to beggary.”  [Prov. 29]

     Read the twenty-third chapter of Ecclesiasticus.

     “My son, keep thee well from all whoredom; and beside thy wife, see that no fault be known of thee.”  [Tob. 4]

     “If my heart hath lusted after my neighbour’s wife, or if I have laid wait at his door, O then let my wife be another man’s whore, and let other men lie with her.  For this is a wickedness and sin that is worthy to be punished; yea, a fire that should utterly consume and root out all my substance.”  [Job. 31]

     “Whoredom, wine, and drunkenness, take the heart away.”  [Hos. 4]

     “Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on another man’s wife to lust after her hath committed advoutry with her already in his heart.”  [Matt. 5]

     “If any that is called a brother be a fornicator, with him that is such see that ye eat not.”  [1 Cor. 5]

     “Neither fornicators, neither advouterers, neither weaklings, neither abusers of themselves with mankind, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”  [1 Cor. 6]

     “Let us not be defiled with fornication, as some of them were defiled with fornication, and fell in one day twenty-three thousand.”  [1 Cor. 10]

     “As for fornication and all uncleanness, let it not once be named among you, as it becometh saints; or filthiness, or foolish talking, or jesting, which are not comely; but rather giving of thanks.  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”  [Eph. 5]

     “This is the will of God, even your holiness, that ye should abstain from fornication; and that every one of you should know how to keep his vessel in holiness and honour, and not in the lust of concupiscence, as do the heathen, which know not God.”  [1 Thess. 4]

     “Wedlock is honourable among all men, and the bed undefiled.  As for whoremongers and advouterers, God shall judge them.”  [Heb. 13]

     “Whoremongers have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.”  [Rev. 21]


The Eighth Commandment – Thou shalt not steal.  [Exod. 20]

The Confirmations.

     “Thou shalt not do thy neighbour wrong, neither rob him violently; neither shall thy workman’s labour abide with thee till the morning.”  [Lev. 19]

     “Ye shall not steal, neither lie, neither deal falsely one with another.”

     “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure: true balances and true weights shall ye have.  I am the Lord.”

     “If thou sellest ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest of thy neighbour’s hand, ye shall not deceive one another.”  [Lev. 25]

     “If thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee, thou shalt relieve him, that he may live with thee. ... Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy corn for increase. ... Thou shalt not take usury of him for vantage.”

     “If one of thy brethren among you be poor within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother; but open thine hand unto him, and lend him sufficient for his need which he hath.”  [Deut. 15]

     “The land shall never be without poor; and therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand unto thy brother that is needy and poor in thy land.”

     “Whoso keepeth company with a thief hateth his own soul.”  [Prov. 29]

     “Woe be to thee that spoilest; for thou thyself shalt be spoiled.”  [Isa. 33]

     “Break thy bread to the hungry, and bring the poor wandering into thine house.  When thou seest a naked man, cover him, and so shalt thou not despise thy flesh.”  [Isa. 58]

     “The thief is cursed of God; and all that he hath shall come to naught.”  [Zech. 5]

     “Shame and sorrow goeth over the thief.”  [Ecclus. 5]

     Anna, old Toby’s wife, went daily to the weaving work; and look, what living she could get with the labour of her hands, she brought it home.  And it happened that she took a kid, and brought it home. And when her husband heard it cry, he said: “Look that it be not stolen: if it be, restore it again to the owners.  For it is not lawful for us to eat or touch any thing that is stolen.”  [Tob. 2]

     “Give alms of thy goods, and turn never thy face from the poor; so shall it come to pass that the face of the Lord shall not be turned away from thee.  Be merciful after thy power.  If thou hast much, give plenteously: if thou hast little, do thy diligence gladly to give of that little; for so gatherest thou thyself a good reward in the day of necessity.  For mercy delivereth from all sin and from death, and suffered not the soul to come in darkness.”  [Tob. 4]

     “Behold, Lord,” said Zacheus, “the half of my goods do I give to the poor: and if I have done any man wrong, I restore him fourfold.”  [Luke 19]

     “Neither thieves, neither pillers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”  [1 Cor. 6]

     “Let him that stole steal no more; but let him rather labour with his hands the thing which is good, that he may give unto him that needeth.”  [Eph. 4]


The Ninth Commandment – Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

     “Thou shalt not accept a vain tale, neither shalt thou put thy hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.”  [Exod. 23]

     “If an unrighteous witness rise up against a man to accuse him of trespass, then both the men which strive together shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; and the judges shall make diligent inquisition.  And if the witness be found false, and that he hath given false witness against his brother, then shall ye do unto him as he had thought to do to his brother.  And thou shalt put away evil from thee.”  [Deut. 27]

     “Cursed be he that taketh a reward to slay the soul of innocent blood.  And all the people shall say, Amen.”  [Prov. 6]

     “The Lord hateth a false witness that bringeth up lies.”  [Prov. 6]

     “A false witness shall not escape unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.”  [Prov. 19]

     “A false witness shall perish; but he that is a true man boldly speaketh that he hath heard.”  [Prov. 21]

     “Whoso beareth false witness against his neighbour, he is a very club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.”  [Prov. 25]

     “The mouth that lieth slayeth the soul.”  [Wisd. 1]

     “Thou, O Lord, wilt destroy all them that speak lies.”  [Psa. 5]

     “In no wise speak against the word of truth; but be ashamed of thy lying.”  [Ecclus. 4]

     “Use not to make any manner of lie; for the custom thereof is not good.”  [Ecclus. 7]

     “A thief is better than a man that is accustomed to lie; but they both shall have destruction to heritage.”  [Ecclus. 20]

     The two elders that bare witness against Susanna were stoned unto death.  [Hist. Sus.]

     “Out of the heart come false witnesses, ... and those defile man.”  [Matt. 15]

     “Evil speakers shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”  [1 Cor. 6]

     “Put away lying, and speak every man truth unto his neighbour; forasmuch as we are members one of another.”  [Eph. 4]

     “All liars shall have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.”  [Rev. 21]


The Tenth Commandment – Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house.  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, his servant, his maid, his ox, his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.  [Exod. 20]

The Confirmations.

     “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for thereupon hangeth life.”  [Prov. 4]

     “God hateth an heart that goeth about with wicked imaginations.”  [Prov. 6]

     “Take heed that thou lust not in thy heart after the beauty of a strange woman.”

     “Evil thoughts are abomination to the Lord.”  [Prov. 15]

     “Whosoever looketh upon another man’s wife, lusting after her, hath committed advoutry with her already in his heart.”  [Matt. 5]

     “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, ... and those defile man.”  [Matt. 15]

     “The cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things, choke the word, and make it unfruitful.”  [Mark 4]

     “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcome with the cares of this life.”  [Luke 21]

     “I had not known what lust had meant, except the law had said, Thou shalt not lust.”  [Rom. 7]

     “Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts of it.”  [Rom. 13]

     “Mortify your earthy members, fornication, uncleanness, unnatural lust, evil concupiscence,” &c.  [Col. 3]

     “Godliness is great riches, if a man be content with that he hath.  For we brought nothing into the world, neither can we carry any thing out.  But when we have food and raiment, let us be content therewith.  They that have a mind to be rich fall into temptation and snares of the devil, and into many foolish and noisome lusts, which drown men into perdition and destruction.  For covetousness is the root of all evil, which while some lusted after, they erred from the faith, and tangled themselves with many sorrows.  But thou, man of God, flee such things.  Follow righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness,” &c.  [1 Tim. 6]

     “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have already.”  [Heb. 13]

     “Love not the world, nor those things that are in the world.  For all that is in the world, as the concupiscence of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of the life, is not of the Father, but it is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof.  But he that doeth the will of God, abideth for ever.”  [1 John 2]


The Sum of These Ten Commandments, and All Other Laws of God.

     “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all the uttermost of thy power.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  The other is like unto this, Love thy neighbour as thyself.  In these two commandments are contained the whole law and prophets.”  [Matt. 22]

     “Owe nothing to any man, but that ye love one another.  For he that loveth the other hath fulfilled the law.  For these commandments, Thou shalt not commit advoutry, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt bear no false witness, Thou shalt not lust, and all other commandments are briefly comprehended in these words, Love thy neighbour as thyself.”  [Rom. 13]

     “The end of the law is charity, that cometh out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and a faith not feigned.”  [1 Tim. 1]

     “Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even the same to them also; for this is the law and the prophets.”  [Matt. 7]


Of Repentance.

What Repentance Is.

     Repentance is an inward sorrow of the mind, wrought by the Holy Ghost, for the sins tofore committed against God, joined both with a perfect faith to be forgiven for Christ’s sake, and also with a full determined purpose from henceforth to amend, and to lead a new life.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “I now rejoice, not that ye were sorry, but that ye so sorrowed that ye repented.  For ye sorrowed godly, so that in nothing ye were hurt by us.  For the sorrow that is wrought by God causeth repentance unto salvation not to be repented of; contrariwise, worldly sorrow causeth death.”  [2 Cor. 7]

     “The servant of God must inform them that resist, if that God at any time will give them repentance for to know the truth, and that they may come to themselves again out of the snare of the devil, which are holden captive of him at his will.”  [2 Tim. 2]

     “Convert thou me, O Lord, and I shall be converted; for thou art my Lord God.  Yea, as soon as thou turnest me, I repented, and as soon as thou shewest (my sins) unto me, I smote my thigh: yea, I was confounded and right greatly ashamed.”  [Jer. 31]

     “O Lord, turn thou us unto thee; and so shall we be turned.”  [Lam. 5]

     “I will pour clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: yea, from all your uncleannesses and from all your idols shall I cleanse you.  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put into you.  As for that stony heart, I will take it out of your body, and give you a fleshy heart.  I will give my Spirit among you, and cause you to walk in my commandments, to keep my laws, and to fulfil them.  And ye shall be my people; and I will be your God.”  [Ezek. 36]

     “O thou God of hosts, turn thou us, and shew us the light of thy countenance; and so shall we be whole.”  [Psa. 58]


Of the Fruits of Repentance Declared By the Word of God.

     “Seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is nigh.  Let the ungodly man forsake his own ways, and the unrighteous his own imaginations, and turn again unto the Lord; so shall he be merciful unto him; and to our God; for he is very ready to forgive.”  [Isa. 55]

     “O Israel, if thou wilt turn thee, then turn unto me, saith the Lord.  And if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, thou shalt not be moved.”  [Jer. 4]

     “Be circumcised in the Lord, and cut away the foreskin of your hearts, that my indignation break not forth like fire, and kindle, so that no man may quench it, because of the wickedness of your imaginations.”

     “If the ungodly will turn away from all his sins that he hath done, and keep all my commandments, and do the thing that is equal and right, doubtless he shall live and not die.  As for all his sins that he did before, they shall not be thought upon; but in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.  For have I any pleasure in the death of a sinner? saith the Lord God; but rather that he convert and live.  [Ezek. 18]

     “Be converted, and turn you clean from all your wickedness; so shall there no sin do you harm.  Cast away from you all your ungodliness that ye have done.  Make you new hearts and a new spirit.  Wherefore will ye die, O ye house of Israel, seeing I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth? saith the Lord God.  Turn ye then, and ye shall live.”

     “As truly as I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but much rather that the wicked turn from his way and live.  Turn you, turn you from your ungodly ways, O ye house of Israel.  O wherefore will ye die?  [Ezek. 33]

     “The wickedness of the wicked shall not hurt him, whensoever he converteth from his ungodliness.”

     “Turn you unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn me unto you.”  [Zech. 1]

     “Turn you unto me with all your hearts, with fasting, weeping, and mourning.  Rent your hearts, and not your clothes.  Turn you unto the Lord your God; for he is gracious and merciful, long-suffering, and of great compassion, and ready to pardon wickedness.”  [Joel 2]

     “Repent of the life that is past; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  [Matt. 3]

     “Bring forth the fruits that belongeth to repentance.  For even now is the axe put unto the root of the tree; so that every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.”

     “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”  [Matt. 9]

     “Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are laden; and I will ease you.”  [Matt. 11]

     “Repent, and believe the gospel.”  [Mark 1]

     “I say unto you, that joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”  [Luke 15]

     “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  [Luke 19]

     “Repent and convert, that your sins may be done away.”  [Acts 3]

     “As ye have given your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity (from one iniquity to another), even so now give over your members servants unto righteousness, that ye may be sanctified.”  [Rom. 6]

     “Put off that old man, which is corrupt according to the deceivable lusts, and be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind, putting on that new man, which after God is shapen in righteousness and true holiness,” &c.  [Eph. 4]

     “Mortify your earthy members; fornication, uncleanness, unnatural lust, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is worshipping of idols; for which things’ sake the wrath of God useth to come on the disobedient children: among whom ye walked sometime, when ye lived in them. But now put ye also away from you all such things; wrath, fierceness, maliciousness, cursed speaking, filthy communication.  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his works, and have put on the new man, which is renewed into the knowledge and image of him that made him.  Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against another.  As Christ forgave you, even so do ye.  Above all these things, put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesu, giving thanks to God the Father by him.”  [Col. 3]



What Baptism Is

     Baptism is the ordinance of Christ, to wash every believing Christian with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

     St Paul calleth baptism “the fountain of the new birth, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”  [Titus 3]


Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”  [Matt. 28]

     “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned.”  [Mark 16]

     “Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  [John 3]

     Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”


To What Use Baptism Was Used.

     First, to be a sure seal and an evident testimony unto us that God the Father for his Son Jesus Christ’s sake hath freely forgiven us all our sins, received us into his favour, and given us the Holy Ghost; by whom we are born anew, not of mortal, but of immortal seed; by whom also we are made the sons and heirs of God, and through faith reckoned pure and holy in his godly sight.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.”  [Mark 16]

     “Repent you of your sins, and be baptized every one in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  [Acts 2]

     “Christ loved the congregation, and gave himself for it, to sanctify it, and cleansed it in the fountain of water through the word, to make it unto himself a glorious congregation, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blame.”  [Eph. 5]

     “Not by the deeds of righteousness which we wrought, but according to his mercy hath he saved us, by the fountain of the new birth, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that we, justified by his grace, should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  [Titus 3]

     “Baptism saveth us, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but in that a good conscience consenteth to God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is on the right hand of God, and is gone into heaven.”  [1 Pet. 3]


     Secondly, to put us in remembrance that, forasmuch as we are become the soldiers of Christ, we ought, so long as we live, valiantly to fight against the devil, the world, and the flesh, to mortify all unclean lusts, to die unto sin, and to rise again new men, bearing the image of Christ, and fashioning our conversation and manners after his example, that we may learn* the Lord our God in such holiness and righteousness as is allowed before him all the days of our life.

Probations out of the holy scriptures.

     “Know ye not that all we which are baptized into Jesu Christ are baptized to die with him?  We are buried then with him by baptism for to die; that, like wise as Christ was raised from death by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in a new life.  For if we be graft in death like unto him, even so shall we be partakers of the resurrection; knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him also, that the body of sin might utterly be destroyed, that henceforth we should not be servants unto sin.  For he that is dead is justified from sin.  Wherefore if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.”  [Rom. 6]

     “All ye that are baptized have put on Christ.”  [Gal. 3]

     “Ye are buried with Christ through baptism, in whom ye are also risen again through faith that is wrought by the operation of God, which raised him from death.”  [Col. 2]

     “If ye then be risen again with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on heavenly things, and not on earthly things.  For ye are dead; and your life is hid with Christ in God.  Whensoever Christ, which is our life, shall shew himself, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”  [Col. 3]



What The Lord’s Supper Is.

     The Lord’s supper is an holy and heavenly banquet, in the which the faithful Christians, besides the corporal eating of the bread, and the outward drinking of the wine, do spiritually through faith both eat the body of Christ and drink his blood, unto the confirmation of their faith, the comfort of their conscience, and the salvation of their souls.


To What Use Christ Did Institute His Holy Supper.

     First, to put us in remembrance that his body was broken and his blood shed for our redemption.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “The Lord Jesus the same night in the which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take ye and eat: this is my body, which is broken for you.  This do ye in the remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when supper was done, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood.  This do, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  For as oft as ye shall eat this bread, and drink of this cup, ye shall chew the Lord’s death till he come.”  [1 Cor. 11]

     “When they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.  And he took the cup, and thanked, and gave it them, saying, Drink ye all of this.  For this is my blood (which is of the new testament), that is shed for many for the remission of sins.”  [Matt. 26]

     “As they did eat, Jesus took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.  And he took the cup; and when he had given thanks, he took it to them; and they all drank of it.  And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.”  [Mark 14]

     “He took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you.  This do in the remembrance of me. Likewise also, when he had supped, he took the cup, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”  [Luke 22]


     Secondly, to stir us up unto thanksgiving, while we consider how precious, great, and inestimable benefits we have received of God the Father by the death of his Son; as deliverance from Satan, freedom from the curse of the law, forgiveness of sins, the favour and goodwill of God, quietness of conscience, the Holy Ghost, righteousness, victory against sin, death, and hell, salvation, and finally everlasting life.  That we should not be unthankful, but rather joyfully burst out into all kind of spiritual praises, lauding and magnifying God the Father for these his most high and singular free gifts, the Lord Christ did institute this holy supper.  Therefore is it called of the ancient doctors Sacramentum Eucharisticae: “The sacrament of thanksgiving.”

Probations out of the holy scriptures.

     “All that believed continued daily with one accord in the temple, and brake bread from house to house, and did eat their meat together with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God.”  [Acts 2]

     “Is not the cup of thanksgiving, for the which we give thanks, partaking of the blood of Christ?  Is not the bread which we break partaking of the body of Christ?”  [1 Cor. 10]


     Thirdly, to put us in remembrance, that as the bread, which we eat at the Lord’s table, is made of many grains one loaf, and the wine pressed together of sundry grapes is made one wine; so we being many are one body, whereof Christ is the head.  And because we all are one body, we ought all to be beneficial one to another, one to love another, one to bear with another, one to wish well unto another, and one to do for another whatsoever we be able, even to the uttermost of our power, as our head Christ for our health and for our salvation disdained not to bestow his very life, and to suffer death, even the death of the cross, for our redemption.  And as we presently, at the receiving of the holy mysteries of Christ’s body and blood, do enjoy, through faith in God’s promises, all the benefits which Christ obtained for us by his blessed death and glorious passion; so likewise ought they that be partakers of the Lord’s table (every one according to their ability), at that present to be beneficial to the poor members of Christ, and somewhat to give that may relieve them, and ever after also, when occasion is given, gladly to distribute unto the needy some portion of their goods, wherewith God hath endued them.  That this was the custom in the apostles’ time, and in the primitive church, yea, and long after, till the popish mass had driven out of the church the right use of the Lord’s supper, it is evident enough by divers testimonies both of the holy scriptures and of ancient histories.


That We Are All One Body.

Probations out of the holy scriptures.

     “As we have many members in one body, and all members have not one office, so we being many are one body in Christ, and every man among ourselves one another’s members.”  [Rom. 12]

     “We, though we be many, yet are one bread and one body; inasmuch as we all are partakers of one bread.”  [1 Cor. 10]

     “As the body is one, and hath many members; and all the members of one body, though they be many, yet are but one body; even so is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized to make one body, whether we be Jews or gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have all drunk of one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many, &c.; therefore if one member suffer, all suffer with him: if one member be had in honour, all members be glad also.  Ye are the body of Christ, and members one of another.”  [1 Cor. 12]


Of the Distribution To the Needy.

     “All that believed kept themselves together, and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.”  [Acts 2]

     “Great grace was there with all them that believed.  Neither was there any among them that lacked.  For as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the price of the things that were sold, and laid it down at the apostles’ feet; and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”  [Acts 4]

     “Distribute unto the* necessity of the saints.  Be ready to harbour.”  [Rom. 12]

     “As concerning the gathering for the saints, ... let every one of you upon some Sabbath day put aside and lay up whatsoever is meet,” &c.  [1 Cor. 16]

     “It is not my mind that other be set at ease and ye brought into cumbrance; but that there be egalness* now at this time, and that your abundance may succour their lack, and that their abundance may supply your lack, that there may be equality [2 Cor. 8]: agreeing to that which is written, He that had much had not the more abundance; and he that had little had never the less,” &c.  [Exod. 16]

     Read the chapter.

     “Of the ministering to the saints, it is but superfluous for me to write unto you.  For I know the readiness of your mind, &c.  Yet this I say, He that soweth little shall reap little; and he that soweth (in giving) largely and freely shall reap plenteously.  And let every man do according as he hath purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.  God is able to make you rich in all grace, that ye, in all things having sufficient unto the uttermost, may be rich unto all manner of good works; as it is written, He hath sparsed abroad and hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.”  [2 Cor. 9; Psa. 102]

     “The office of this ministration not only supplieth the need of the saints, but also is abundant herein, that for this laudable ministering thanks might be given to God of many; which praise God for the obedience of your consenting to the gospel of Christ, and for your singleness in distributing to them and to all men, and in their prayers for you, which long after you for the abundant grace of God in you.  Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.  [2 Cor. 9]




The Duty of the High Powers and of the Other Temporal Magistrates.

     The duty of the high powers and of the other temporal rulers is to be learned in the law of God, to maintain pure and Christian religion, to nourish and defend the preachers and students of God’s word, to banish all false religion and idolatry, to punish, yea, and if they will not turn, to kill the preachers and maintainers of false doctrine, to judge equally and indifferently without partiality, to take no bribes, nor to oppress the common people, but to care for them as a father for his children, to defend the good, to correct the evil, to advance virtue, and to punish vice.


That They Ought To Be Learned in the Laws of God.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “The king shall not multiply horses to himself, ... neither ought he to multiply wives unto himself, lest his heart turn away: neither shall he gather him silver and gold too much.  And when he is set upon the seat of his kingdom, he shall write him out a copy of this law in a book.  And it shall be with him; and he ought to read therein all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, and to keep all the words of this law and these ordinances for to do them, and that his heart arise not above his brethren, and that he turn not from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, but that he may prolong his days in his kingdom.”  [Deut. 17]

     “Let not the book of this law depart out of thy mouth, but record therein day and night, that thou mayest observe and do according to all that is written therein.  For then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou do wisely.”  [Josh. 1]

     “Get ye understanding now, O ye kings: be learned, ye that judge the earth.  Serve the Lord in fear, and rejoice (unto him) with reverence.  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and so ye perish from the right way.”  [Psa. 2]

     “If your delight be in royal seats and scepters, O ye kings of the people, set your lust upon wisdom, that ye may reign for evermore.”  “O love the light of wisdom, all ye that be rulers of the people.”  [Wisd. 6]

     Read the ninth chapter of the Book of Wisdom.


That They Ought To Maintain Pure and Christian Religion.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     How greatly king David advanced God’s religion, and sought his glory, the holy scriptures make mention.  [1 Chron. 23, 24, 26, 28; 2 Chron. 14]

     “Asa, king of Judah, did that was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.  For he took away strange altars and the hill altars,* and brake down the images and cut down the groves, and commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to do according to the law and commandment.”  “Yea, he put away all the abominable idols that his father had made.  And he put down Maacha his mother for bearing rule, because she had made images in groves.  And Asa destroyed her images, and burnt them by the brook Cedron.” [1 Kings 15]  “The Lord God therefore gave him and all his land* rest and quietness.”

     “Jeosaphat, king of Judah, sent to his lords ... that they should teach in the cities of Judah, and with them he set Levites and priests.  And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of God with them; and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people.  And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, and they fought not against Jeosaphat.”  “And the Lord stablished the kingdom in his hand, and all they that were in Judah brought king Jeosaphat presents, so that he had abundance of riches and honour.”  [2 Chron. 17]

     King Hezekiah put away the hill altars, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and all-to brake the brasen serpent that Moses had made.  He renewed the feast of the passover.  He ordained priests and Levites to serve the Lord God, and provided honest livings for them, that they might substantially apply themselves to the law of the Lord.  And the Lord was with him; so that he prospered in all things which he took in hand.  [2 Kings 18; 2 Chron. 31]

     The good king Josiah, besides the purging of Judah and Jerusalem from hill altars, groves, carved images, and images of metal, and such other kinds of idolatry, repaired the house of the Lord his God, renewed the feast of the passover, read in the ears of all the people the words of the law of the Lord, and made a faithful promise unto the Lord that he and all his people should walk according to the statutes of that book.  And they turned not aside from the Lord God of their fathers, so long as he lived.  The Lord God therefore deferred his plague that he had threatened to Judah, suffered Josiah to live in much honour, and brought him to his grave in peace, so that his eyes did not see the mischief that the Lord God afterward brought immediately upon Jerusalem and upon the inhabiters of the same.  [2 Chron. 34]

     “Kings shall be thy nursing fathers; and queens shall be thy nursing mothers.”  [Isa. 49]


That They Ought To Punish, Yea, and If They Will Not Turn, To Kill the Preachers and Maintainers of False Doctrine.

Probations out of the holy scriptures.

     “If there rise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and give thee a sign or wonder, and that sign or wonder which he hath said come to pass, and then say, Let us go after strange gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; hearken not thou unto the words of that prophet or dreamer of dreams.  For the Lord thy God proveth you, to wete, whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.  Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandment, and hearken unto his voice, serve him, and cleave unto him.  And the prophet or dreamer of dreams shall die, because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God.”  [Deut. 13]

     “The prophet which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that he speaketh in the name of strange gods, the same prophet shall die.”  [Deut. 18]

     Jehu, king of Israel, caused all the priests of Baal to be slain, all the images to be fet out of the temple of Baal, and to be burnt. He caused also his captains and men of war to break the image of Baal, and to destroy the house of Baal; so that Baal’s house was made a draught house unto this day.  And because Jehu thus sought the glory of God, and destroyed idolatry with the maintainers thereof, he lived quietly in his kingdom unto his dying day, and his children unto the fourth generation sat on the seat of Israel.  [2 Kings 10]

     King Josiah “put down the ministers of Baal, whom the kings of Judah had founded to burn incense in the hill altars and cities of Judah that were round about Jerusalem, and also them that burnt incense unto Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.”  [2 Kings 23]


That They Ought To Judge Equally.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment.  Thou shalt not favour the poor, nor honour the mighty; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.”  [Lev. 19]

     Moses said to the judges: “Hear the cause of your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.  See that ye know no faces in judgment; but hear the small as well as the great: and be afraid of no man; for the judgment is God’s.”  [Deut. 1]

     King Jehosaphat said also to the judges: “Take heed what ye do; for ye execute not the judgments of man, but of God, which is with you in the judgment.  Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you, and take heed, and be doing the thing that pleaseth him.  For there is no unrighteousness with the Lord our God, that should have any respect of persons, or take rewards.”  [2 Chron. 19]

     “A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment, and looketh well about him, driveth away all evil.”  [Prov. 20]

     “He that saith to the ungodly, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, yea, the commenty shall abhor him.  But they that rebuke the ungodly, in them doth God delight, and a rich blessing shall come upon them.”  [Prov. 24]

     “Judge the thing that is right, O ye sons of men.”  [Psa. 58]

     “O love righteousness, ye that are the judges of the earth.”  [Wisd. 1]


That They Ought To Take No Bribes.

Probations out of the holy scriptures.

     “Thou shalt take no gifts; for gifts blind the sight, and pervert the words of the righteous.”  [Exod. 23]

     “Wrest not thou the law, nor know any person, neither take any reward; for gifts blind the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.  That which is just and right shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and enjoy the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”  [Deut. 16]

     “Thou shalt seek out among all the people men of activity, and such as fear God, true men, hating covetousness; and make them heads over the people.”  [Exod. 18]

     “The fire shall consume the houses of such as are greedy to receive gifts.”  [Job 15]

     “Woe be unto them that give sentence with the ungodly for rewards, but condemn the just cause of the righteous!  Therefore, like as fire licketh up the straw, and as the flame consumeth the stubble, even so their root shall be as corruption, and their blossom shall vanish away like dust.”  [Isa. 5]

     “He that keepeth his hand, that he touch no reward, and he which stoppeth his ears, that he hear no counsel against the innocent blood, he it is that shall dwell on high.”  [Isa. 33]


That They Ought Not to Oppress the Common People.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “The increase and prosperity of the commons is the king’s honour; but the decay of the people is the confusion of the prince.”  [Prov. 14]

     “Like as a roaring lion, and as an hungry bear, even so is an ungodly prince over the poor people.  Where the prince is without understanding, there is great oppression and wrong; but if he be such a one as hateth covetousness, he shall long reign.”  [Prov. 28]

     “When the righteous have the overhand, the people are in prosperity; but when the ungodly bear rule, then that people mourn.”  [Prov. 29]

     “With true judgment the king setteth up the land; but if he be a man that oppresseth the people with gatherings, he turneth it upside down.”

     “O hear this word, ye that do poor men wrong, and oppress the needy, ye that say to your lords, Bring hither, let us drink.  Therefore the Lord hath sworn by his holiness, The days shall come upon you, that the enemies shall carry you away,” &c.  [Amos 4]

     “O woe be to the proud wealthy, to such as think themselves so sure, them which hold themselves for the best of the world, and rule the house of Israel even as they list!”  “Ye are taken out for the evil day, even ye that sit in the stool of willfulness.  Ye that lie upon beds of ivory, and use your wantonness upon your couches; ye that eat the best lambs of the flock, and the fattest calves of the drove; ye that sing at the lute, and in playing of instruments compare yourselves unto David; ye that drink wine out of goblets, and anoint yourselves with the best oil; but as for Joseph’s hurt, none of you all are sorry for it.  Therefore now shall ye be the first of them that shall be led away captive; and the lusty cheer of the wilful shall come to an end, &c.  The Lord is minded to smite the great houses.  For ye have turned true judgment unto bitterness, and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood.”  [Amos 6]

     “O ye that oppress the poor, and destroy the needy in the land, shall not your destruction come upon you as a water stream?” &c.  [Amos 8]

     “O ye heads of the house of Jacob, and ye leaders of the house of Israel, should not ye know what were lawful and right?  But ye hate the good, and love the evil.  Ye pluck off men’s skins, and the flesh from their bones.  Ye eat the flesh of my people, and flay off their skin, ye break their bones, ye chop them in pieces as it were into a cauldron, and as flesh into a pot.  Now the time shall come that, when they call unto the Lord, he shall not hear them, but hide his face from them; because that through their own imaginations they have dealt so wickedly,” &c.  [Mic. 3]

     “Behold, here am I,” said Samuel to the children of Israel: “bear record of me before the Lord, and before his anointed.  Whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? whom have I done wrong to? whom have I hurt? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you again.  They said, Thou hast done us no wrong, nor hurt us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand.  He said unto them again, The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have no evil in my hands.”  [1 Sam. 12]

     What chanced to Rehoboam, king Salomon’s son, for the ungentle entreating of his commons, the holy histories do testify.  [1 Kings 12]

     Read 1 Kings 12.


That They Ought To Care for the Commons, As a Father for His Children.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “Mercy and faithfulness preserve the king; and with loving-kindness his seat is holden up.”  [Prov. 20]

     “If thou be made a ruler, pride not thyself therein; but be thou as one of the people.  Take diligent care for them, and look well thereto; and when thou hast done all thy duty, set thee down, that thou mayest be merry with them, and receive a crown of honour.”  [Ecclus. 32]

     With how fatherly a care Moses, Samuel, David, and divers other noble princes governed their people, the holy scriptures do evidently declare.


That They Ought to Defend the Good, and to Correct the Evil, to Advance Virtue, and to Punish Vice.

Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “Learn to do right: apply yourselves to equity: deliver the oppressed: help the fatherless to his right: let the widow’s complaint come before you.”  [Isa. 1]

     “Thus the Lord commandeth, Keep equity and righteousness: deliver the oppressed from the power of the violent: do not grieve nor oppress the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow; and shed no innocent blood.”  [Jer. 22]

     “Execute true judgment: shew mercy and loving-kindness every man to his brother.  Do the widow, the fatherless, the stranger, and poor no wrong; and let no man imagine evil against his brother in his heart.”  [Zech. 7]

     “Deliver him that suffereth wrong from the hand of the oppressor, and be not faint hearted when thou sittest in judgment.  Be merciful unto the fatherless as a father, and be instead of an husband unto their mother; so shalt thou be as an obedient son of the Highest, and he shall love thee more than thy mother doth.”  [Ecclus 4]

     “My song shall be of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.  O let me have understanding in the way of godliness.  When wilt thou come unto me?  I will walk in my house with a perfect heart.  I will take no wicked thing in hand: I hate the sins of unfaithfulness: there shall no such cleave unto me.  A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.  Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I destroy.  Whoso hath also a proud look and an high stomach, I will not suffer him.  Mine eyes look unto such as be faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me.  Whoso leadeth a godly life, he shall be my servant.  There shall no deceitful person dwell in my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.  I shall soon destroy all the ungodly that are in the land, that I may root out all wicked doers from the city of the Lord.”  [Psa. 101]

     “Rulers are not fearful to them that do good, but to them that do evil.  Wilt thou be without fear of the power?  Do well then, and so shalt thou be praised of the same.  For he is the minister of God for thy wealth.  But and if thou do that which is evil, then fear; for he beareth not the sword for naught: for he is the minister of God to take vengeance on him that doeth evil.”  [Rom. 13]


The Duty of Subjects Unto the High Powers.

     The duty of subjects unto the high powers is honourably to speak of them, heartily to love and reverence them, humbly to obey them for conscience sake in all things that fight not with God’s word, fervently to pray for them, and willingly to pay such charges unto them as they reasonably require, either for the maintenance of their prince-like estate, or else for the safeguard of the commonwealth.

Probations out of the holy scriptures.

     “Thou shalt not rail upon the gods,” that is to say, the temporal magistrates, which execute that office of God, “neither blaspheme the ruler of thy people.”  [Exod. 22]

     “Wish the king no evil in thy thought, and speak no hurt of the rich in thy privy chamber; for a bird of the air shall betray thy voice, and with her feathers shall she betray thy words.”  [Eccles. 10]

     “Let every soul submit himself unto the higher powers.  For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God; but they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not fearful to them that do good, but to them that do evil.  Wilt thou be without fear of the power? do well then, and so shalt thou be praised of the same.  For he is the minister of God for thy wealth.  But if thou do that which is evil, then fear; for he beareth not the sword for naught: for he is the minister of God to take vengeance on him that doth evil.  Wherefore ye must needs obey, not only for fear of punishment, but also for conscience sake.  And for this cause pay ye tribute.  For they are God’s ministers, serving for the same purpose.  Give to every man therefore his duty; tribute to whom tribute belongeth; custom to whom custom is due; fear to whom fear belongeth; honour to whom honour pertaineth.”  [Rom. 13]

     “I exhort that above all things prayers, supplications, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be had for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may live a quiet and peaceable life with all godliness and honesty.  For that is good and accepted in the sight of God our Saviour.”  [1 Tim. 2]

     “Warn the subjects that they submit themselves to rule and power, that they obey the officers, that they be ready unto every good work, that they speak evil of no man, that they be no fighters, but gentle, shewing meekness unto all men.”  [Titus 3]

     “Submit yourselves unto all manner ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake; whether it be unto the king, as unto the chief head; either unto rulers, as unto them that are sent of him for the punishment of evildoers, but for the praise of them that do well, &c.  Fear God, honour the king.”  [1 Pet. 2]


The Duty of Bishops and Ministers of God’s Word.

     The duty of bishops and ministers of God’s word is, first, to feed Christ’s flock with the sweet bread of Christ’s gospel, without mingling of the Pharisees’ leaven: secondly, to lead a life agreeable to their doctrine, that they may teach both with word and work: thirdly, to relieve the poor and needy with such goods as they receive of the church, either by maintaining hospitality, or else by some other godly means.


Probations out of the holy scripture.

Of Doctrine.

     “Go up unto the high hill, thou that bringest good tidings: lift up thy voice with power, O thou preacher, lift it up, and be not afraid.”  [Isa. 40]

     “Cry now as loud as thou canst. Leave not off, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their offences, and the house of Jacob their sins.”

     “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall neither cease day nor night to preach the Lord.”  [Isa. 62]

     “Behold, I put my words in thy mouth; and behold, this day do I set thee over the people and kingdoms; that thou mayest root out, break off, destroy, and make waste, and that thou mayest build up and plant.”  [Jer. 1]

     “Thou son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore take good heed to the words of my mouth, and give them warning at my commandment.  If I say unto thee concerning the ungodly man, that without doubt he must die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest unto him that he may turn from his evil way, and so to live; then shall the same ungodly man die in his own unrighteousness; but his blood will I require of thy hand.  Nevertheless, if thou give warning unto the wicked, and be yet forsake not his ungodliness, then shall he die in his own wickedness; but thou hast discharged thy soul.”  [Ezek. 3]

     If thou lovest me, “ feed my sheep.”  [John 21]

     “Woe unto me if I preach not the gospel!”  [1 Cor. 9]

     “We preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ our Lord.”  [2 Cor. 4]

     “We are not as the most part are, which chop and change with the word of God; but out of pureness, and by the power of God, in the sight of God, so speak we in Christ.”  [2 Cor. 4]

     “Though we ourselves, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”  [Gal. 1]

     “A bishop must be meet to teach.”  [1 Tim. 3]

     “ Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”  [1 Tim. 4]

     “ Preach thou the word: be fervent in season and out of season: improve, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine,” &c.  [2 Tim. 4]


Of Life and Conversation.

     “God said to the ungodly, Why dost thou preach my laws, and takest my testament in thy mouth? where thou hatest to be reformed, and hast cast my words behind thee.  When as thou sawest a thief, thou consentest unto him, and hast been partaker with the advouterers.”  [Psa. 50]

     “Whosoever doeth and teacheth, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”  [Matt. 5]

     “Be unto them that believe an ensample in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, in pureness.”  [1 Tim. 4]

     “Keep thyself pure.”  [1 Tim. 5]

     “Study to shew thyself laudable unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, distributing the word of truth justly.”  [2 Tim. 2]

     “In all things shew thyself an ensample of good works, in the doctrine with honesty, gravity, and with the wholesome word, which cannot be rebuked; that he which withstandeth may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”  [Titus 2]

     “Feed ye Christ’s flock, as much as lieth in you, taking the oversight of them not as compelled thereto, but willingly; not for the desire of filthy lucre, but of a good mind; not as though ye were lords over the parishes, but that ye be an ensample to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive an incorruptible crown of glory.”  [1 Pet. 5]


Of Hospitality.

     “Distribute unto the necessity of the saints.  Be ready to harbour.”  [Rom. 12]

     “A bishop must be a maintainer of hospitality.”  [1 Tim. 3]

     “Forget not hospitality.  For thereby have divers men lodged angels unwares.”  [Heb. 13]


The Duty of Parishioners Unto the Ministers of God’s Word.

     The duty of parishioners unto the ministers of God’s word is outwardly to honour and reverence them, to receive them as the angels and ambassadors of God, to regard them as the ministers and stewards of God’s mysteries, and liberally to give unto them whatsoever is necessary for the maintenance of their degree and estate; that they may quietly give their minds to the study of godly letters, to prayer, to the preaching of God’s word, and to the ministration of the sacraments.


Probations out of the holy scriptures.

     “Fear the Lord with all thy soul, and honour his ministers.  Love thy Maker with all thy strength, and forsake not his ministers.  Honour God with all thy soul, and reverence his priests.  Give them their portion of the first-fruits and increase of the earth, like as it is commanded thee.”  [Ecclus. 7]

     “The priests that rule well are worthy of double honour, most specially they which labour in the word and teaching.”  [1 Tim. 5]

     “We beseech you, brethren, that ye know them which labour among you, and have the oversight of you in the Lord, and give you exhortation, that ye have them in high reputation through love for their work’s sake, and be at peace with them.”  [1 Thess. 5]

     “Obey them that have the oversight of you, and submit yourselves unto them; for they watch for your souls, even as they that must give accompts; that they may do it with joy, and not with grief.”  [Heb. 3]

     “In the priest’s lips should be sure knowledge, that men may seek the law at his mouth; for he is the angel of the Lord of hosts.”  [Mal. 2]

     “Ye despised me not, neither did ye abhor me; but ye received me as an angel of God, yea, even as Christ Jesus.  For I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.”  [Gal. 4]

     “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me,” &c.  [Matt. 10]

     “He that heareth you heareth me.  He that despiseth you despiseth me, and be that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.”  [Luke 10]

     “Let a man this wise esteem us, even as the ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”  [1 Cor. 4]

     “Bring every tithe into my barn, that there may be meat in my house.”  [Mal. 3]

     “The workman is worthy of his meat.”  [Matt. 10]

     “If the gentiles be made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is to minister unto them in bodily things.”  [Rom. 15]

     “It is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn.  Doth God take thought for oxen?  Saith he it not altogether for our sake?  For our sake, no doubt, this is written; that he which eareth should ear in hope; and that he which thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.  If we sow unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we reap your bodily things? ... Do ye not know how that they which minister about holy things live of the sacrifice?  They which wait of the temple are partakers of the temple.  Even so also did the Lord ordain, that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.”  [1 Cor. 9]

     “Who goeth a warfare any time at his own cost?  Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof?  Or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?” &c.

     “Let him that is taught in the word minister unto him that teacheth him in all good things.  Be not deceived.  God is not mocked,” &c.  [Gal. 6]

     “The priests that rule well are worthy of double honour, most specially they which labour in the word and teaching.  For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn: and, The labourer is worthy of his reward.”  [1 Tim. 5; Deut. 25; 1 Cor. 9, Matt. 10]


The Duty of Husbands Unto Their Wives.

     The duty of a faithful husband unto his wife is to forsake all other for her sake, to cleave only to his wife, to love her as Christ loved the congregation, to cherish her as he would cherish his own body, to provide for her, to teach her the law of God, to dwell with her according to knowledge, and to give honour unto her, although the weaker vessel, as to one that is fellow heir with him of the grace of life.


Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.  She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined with his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”  [Gen. 2]

     “Be glad with the wife of thy youth.”  “Let her breasts alway satisfy thee, and hold thee ever content with her love.  My son, why wilt thou have pleasure in an harlot, and embrace the bosom of another woman?” &c.  [Prov. 5]

     “Ye husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the congregation, and gave himself for it, to sanctify it, and cleansed it in the fountain of water through the word, to make it unto himself a glorious congregation, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blame.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord doth the congregation,” &c.  [Eph. 5]

     “Ye husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter to them.”  [Col. 3]

     “Ye men, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as unto them that are heirs also of the grace of life.”  [1 Pet. 3]


The Duty of Wives Unto Their Husbands.

     The duty of an honest faithful woman unto her husband is to knowledge her husband to be her head, to be subject unto him, to reverence him, to obey him, quietly to learn of him, to lead a blameless life, to use much silence, peaceably and circumspectly to look unto her household, and to tire herself with such apparel as becometh a sober Christian woman.


Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “Ye women, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the wife’s head, even as Christ is the head of the congregation; and the same is he that ministereth salvation to the body.  Therefore, as the congregation is in subjection to Christ, even so let the wives be in subjection to their husbands in all things.”  [Eph. 5]

     “Ye wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is comely in the Lord.”  [Col. 3]

     “Let the women learn in silence with all subjection.  But I suffer not a woman to teach, neither to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”  [1 Tim. 2]

     “I will that women array themselves in comely apparel, with shamefacedness and discreet behaviour; not with braided hair, either gold, or pearls, or costly array; but as it becometh women that profess godliness through good works.”

     “Ye wives, be in subjection to your husbands; that even they which obey not the word may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.  Whose apparel shall not be outward with broidered hair and hanging on of gold, either in putting on of gorgeous apparel; but let the hid man, which is in the heart, be without all corruption, so that the spirit be at rest and quiet, which spirit before God is a thing much set by.  For after this manner in the old time did the holy women, which trusted in God, tire themselves, and were obedient to their husbands; even as Sara obeyed Abraham, and called him lord: whose daughters ye are, so long as ye do well.”  [1 Pet. 3]


The Duty of Fathers and Mothers Unto Their Children.

     The duty of fathers and mothers unto their children is to train them up in the law of God, to teach them to know God and his holy word even from their cradles, to bring them up in good learning and necessary acts, to bridle them from the foolish and noisome lusts of youth, and to garnish their life with sober and grave manners.


Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify unto you this day, and ye shall command them unto your children, that they may observe and do all the words of this law.”  [Deut. 32]

     “If thou have sons, bring them up in nurture and learning, and hold them in awe from their youth up.  If thou have daughters, keep their body, and spew not thy face cheerful toward them.  Marry thy daughter, and so shalt thou perform a weighty matter; but give her to a man of understanding.”  [Ecclus. 7]

     “He that teacheth his son shall have joy in him and need not to be ashamed of him among his acquaintance.”  [Ecclus. 30]

     “He that spareth the rod hateth his son; but whoso loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”  [Prov. 13]

     “Ye fathers, move not your children to wrath; but bring them up through the doctrine and information of the Lord.”  [Eph. 6]

     How godly Salomon, young Thoby, Susanna, Philip the evangelist’s daughters, Timothy, and such like, were brought up of their parents, the holy scriptures bear witness.


The Duty of Children Toward Their Fathers and Mothers.

     The duty of children toward their parents is in their mind to love them, outwardly to reverence and honour them, to obey them in all things that are agreeable to God’s will, and if they chance to fall into poverty, to help them, and to give them whereof to live.


Probations out of the holy scriptures.

     “Honour thy father from thy whole heart, and forget not the sorrowful travail that thy mother had with thee. Remember that thou wast born through them; and how canst thou recompense them the things that they have done for thee?”  [Ecclus. 7]

     “Children, obey your fathers and mothers in the Lord; for that is right.  Honour thy father and mother (the same is the first commandment in the promise); that thou mayest prosper, and live long on earth.”  [Eph. 6]

     Read the confirmations of the fifth commandment.


The Duty Of Masters To Their Servants.

     The duty of masters to their servants is to entreat them gently, to give them their covenants, and to help them, that they may afterward be able to live,


Probations out of the holy scripture..

     “Where as thy servant worketh truly, entreat him not evil, nor the hireling that is faithful unto thee.  Love a discreet servant as thine own soul: defraud him not of his liberty, neither leave him a poor man.”  [Ecclus. 7]

     “Ye masters, do unto your servants that which is just and equal, putting away threatenings; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven, neither is there any respect of persons with him.”  [Col. 4]


The Duty of Servants to Their Masters.

     The duty of servants to their masters is willingly and with a free courage to serve them even for conscience sake, not with the eye but with the heart, to obey them, to honour them, gently to answer them, not to pick or steal away their goods, but to be faithful unto them in all things.


Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “Ye servants, obey them that are your bodily masters with fear and trembling, even with the singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not doing service unto the eye, as they that go about to please men; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill serving the Lord, and not men; knowing this, that whatsoever good deed any man doth, the same shall he receive again of God, whether he be bond or free.”  [Eph. 6]

     “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not evil spoken of.”  [1 Tim. 6]

     “Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them in all things, not answering again, neither to be pickers, but that they shew all good faithfulness; that they may do worship to the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”  [Titus 2]



     The duty of true ancient widows (besides the looking to their own household, and provision-making for their living) is to put their trust in God, to give themselves to the exercises of the Spirit, to frequent the temple, to be present at the sermons, to visit the sick, to relieve the needy, to be rich in good works, and to continue in supplications and prayers both day and night.  But as touching the younger widows, lest they should wax wanton against Christ and follow Satan, breaking their first faith and promise that they made to God at their baptism (which is to abstain from all uncleanness both of body and mind, and to lead a pure and honest life), and so cast themselves into the danger of everlasting damnation, it is convenient that they marry again, bring forth children, guide their house virtuously, and so live in the holy state of matrimony, that no man may have occasion to speak evil of them.


Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “She that is a true widow and friendless putteth her trust in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers day and night.”  [1 Tim. 5]

     Judith, that virtuous widow, “in the higher parts of her house made herself a privy chamber, where she dwelt, being closed in with her maids.  She ware a smock of hair, and fasted all the days of her life, except the sabbaths and new moons and the solemn days that the people of Israel kept. ... She was a woman of a very good report with every one; for she feared the Lord greatly, and there was nobody that spake an evil word of her.”  [Judith 8]

     The godly ancient widow Anna “departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”  [Luke 2]


Of the Younger Widows.

     “The younger widows refuse.  For when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ they will marry, having damnation, because they have cast away their first faith.  And also they learn to go from house to house idle; yea, not idle only, but also tattlers and busybodies, speaking things which are not comely.  I will therefore that the younger women marry, to bear children, to guide the house, and give none occasion to the adversary to speak evil.”  [1 Tim. 5]


The Duty of Old Men.

     The duty of old men is to avoid all lightness, both in word, deed, and countenance, to talk of wisdom and grave matters, to be sober, sage, and discreet, and to lead a pure and undefiled life, that they may be an ensample of true godliness to the younger folk.


Probations out of the holy scripture.

     God hateth “an old body that doteth, and is unchaste.”  [Ecclus. 25]

     “Age is an honourable thing: nevertheless it standeth not only in the length of time, nor in the multitude of years; but a man’s wisdom is the gray hair, and an undefiled life is the old age.”  [Wisd. 4]

     “Exhort the elder men to be sober, sage, discreet, sound in the faith, in love, in patience.”  [Titus 2]


The Duty of Old Women.

     The duty of old women is, as in age, so in manners, to be sober, sage, and ancient; to wear no light apparel, but such raiment as become their age and profession; to be no tattlers, but to order their tongues discreetly; to be no tavern hunters, nor given to drunkenness, but to lead a sober life; to provoke no young women unto lewdness and dishonesty, but rather to shew themselves lively glasses and natural mirrors of all godliness and honesty.


Probations out of the holy scriptures.

     “Exhort the elder women that they be in such raiment as becometh holiness; not being false accusers, not given to much wine, but that they teach honest things; to make the young women sober minded, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, housewifely, good, obedient to their husbands, that the word of God be not evil spoken of.”  [Titus 2]


The Duty Of Young Folk.

     The duty of young folk is not to be proud, but humble, lowly, and gentle; gladly to hear the discreet talk of their elders, and to be ordered by them; not to be rash, but sober minded in all their doings.


Probations out of the holy scriptures.

     “Ye younger folk, submit yourselves unto the elders.  Submit yourselves every man one to another, knit yourselves together in lowliness of mind.  For God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”  [1 Pet. 5]

     “Thou young man, keep company with the multitude of such elders as have understanding, and consent unto their wisdom with thine heart, that thou mayest hear all godly sermons, and that the worthy sentences escape thee not,” &c.  [Ecclus. 6]

     “If thou be among men of higher authority, desire not to compare thyself unto them; and when an elder speaketh, make not thou many words.”  [Ecclus. 32]

     “Exhort the young men that they be sober minded.”


The Duty of All Degrees and Estates Generally, Both Toward God and Their Neighbour.

     The duty of all degrees and estates generally, both toward God and their neighbour, is to believe in God, to fear God and to keep his commandments, to love God above all things, and our neighbour as ourself, and to do none otherwise unto other than we wish to be done unto ourself.


Probations out of the holy scripture.

     “Ye believe in God, believe also in me,” saith Christ.  [John 14]

     “Fear God, and keep his commandments.  For that belongeth to all men.”  [Eccles. 12]

     “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  The second is like unto this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  In these two commandments are contained the whole law and prophets.”  [Matt. 22]

     “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even the same to them also.  For this is the law and the prophets.”  [Matt. 7]


Give the glory to God alone.