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always judge, (if at any time the laws of God and man be the one contrary to the other,) that a man ought rather to obey God than man. And they that think otherwise, and Acts iv. pretend a love to their country, forasmuch as they make their country to fight, as it were, against God, in whom consisteth the only stay of the country, surely I do think, that such are to be judged most deadly enemies and traitors to their country. For they that fight against God, which is the safety of their country, what do they else but go about to bring upon their country a present ruin and destruction? But they that do so, are worthily to be judged enemies to their country and betrayers of the realm. Therefore, &c.
Behold, Satan and
But this is the readiest way, ye say, to stir up sedition, to trouble the quiet of the commonwealth; therefore are these things to be repressed in time by force of laws. Satan doth not cease to practise his old guiles and accus- ters do always charge tomed subtleties. He hath ever this dart in a readiness the godly to hurl against his adversaries, to accuse them of sedition, sedition. that he may bring them (if he can) in danger of the higher powers; for so hath he by his ministers always charged the prophets of God. Ahab said unto Elias, "Art thou he 1 Kings that troubleth Israel?" The false prophets also complained to their princes of Jeremy, that his words were seditious Jer. xxvi. and not to be suffered. Did not the Scribes and Pharisees Luke xxiii. falsely accuse Christ as a seditious person, and one that spake against Cæsar? Did they not at last cry, "If you John xix. let this man go, you are not Cæsar's friend?" The orator Tertullus, how doth he accuse Paul before Felix, the highdeputy! "We have found this man (saith he) a pestilent Acts xxiv. fellow, and a stirrer of sedition unto all the Jews in the whole world," &c.
But I pray you, were these men as they were called, seditious persons, Christ, Paul, and the prophets? God forbid! But they were of false men falsely accused. And wherefore, I pray you, but because they reproved before the people their guiles, superstition and deceits? And when the other could not bear it, and would gladly have had them taken out of the way, they accused them as seditious persons and troublers of the commonwealth, that being by this means made hateful to the people and princes, they might the more
easily be snatched up, to be tormented and put to death. But how far they were from all sedition, their whole doctrine, life, and conversation, doth well declare. For that which was objected last of all, that he cannot be a faithful subject to his prince, which professeth openly that he will not observe the laws which the prince hath made, here I would wish that I might have an indifferent judge, and one that feareth God, to whose judgment in this cause I promise I will stand. I answer therefore, a man ought to obey his prince, but in the Lord, and never against the Lord. For he that knowingly obeyeth his prince against God, doth not a duty to the prince, but is a deceiver of the prince, and an helper unto him to work his own destruction. He is also unjust, which giveth not the prince that is the prince's, and to God that is God's. Here cometh to my rememTheod. Ecc. brance that notable saying of Valentinianus, the emperor, for choosing the bishop of Milan. "Set him," saith he, "in the bishop's seat, to whom, if we, as man, do offend at Euseb. Ecc. any time, we may submit ourselves'." Polycarpus, the most constant martyr, when he stood before the chief ruler, and was commanded to blaspheme Christ, and to swear by the fortune of Cæsar, &c. he answered with a mild spirit, "We are taught," saith he, "to give honour unto princes and those powers which be of God, but such honour as is not contrary to God's religion"."
Hist. lib. IV. cap. 5.
Hist. lib. iv. cap. 15.
Hitherunto ye see, good father, how I have in words only made, as it were, a flourish before the fight which I shortly look after, and how I have begun to prepare certain kinds of weapons to fight against the adversaries of Christ, and to muse with myself how the darts of the old enemy may be borne off, and after what sort I may smite him again with the sword of the Spirit. I learn also hereby to be in use with armour, and to assay how I can go armed.
[· Τοιοῦτον δὴ οὖν καὶ νῦν τοῖς ἀρχιερατικοῖς ἐγκαθιδρύσατε θώκοις, ὅπως καὶ ἡμεῖς, οἱ τὴν βασιλείαν ἰθύνοντες, εἰλικρινῶς αὐτῷ τὰς ἡμετέρας ὑποκλίνωμεν κεφαλὰς, καὶ τοὺς παρ ̓ ἐκείνου γενομένους ἐλέγχους (ἀνθρώπους γὰρ ὄντας καὶ προσπταίειν ἀνάγκη) ὡς ἰατρικὴν άoτаowμelа deраreíav. Theod. Ecc. Hist. lib. IV. cap. 6. Ed. Paris. 1673, p. 157. ED.]
[Euseb. Ecc. Hist. lib. iv. cap. 15. Ed. Par. Valesio, 1659, p.132. ED.]
In Tynedale, where I was born, not far from the Scottish borders, I have known my countrymen watch night and day in their harness, such as they had, that is, in their jacks, and their spears in their hands, (you call them northern gads), especially when they had any privy warning of the coming of the Scots. And so doing, although at every such bickering some of them spent their lives, yet by such means, like pretty men, they defended their country. And those that so died, I think that before God they died in a good quarrel, and their offspring and progeny all the country loved them the better for their fathers' sakes.
And in the quarrel of Christ our Saviour, in the defence of his own divine ordinances, by the which he giveth unto us life and immortality, yea, in the quarrel of faith and christian religion, wherein resteth our everlasting salvation, shall we not watch? Shall we not go always armed, ever looking when our adversary (which, like a roaring lion, seeketh 1 Pet. v. whom he may devour,) shall come upon us by reason of our slothfulness? Yea, and woe be unto us, if he can oppress Matt. xxiv. us at unawares, which undoubtedly he will do, if he find us sleeping. Let us awake therefore; for if the good man of the house knew what hour the thief would come, he would surely watch, and not suffer his house to be broken up. Let us awake therefore, I say, and let us not suffer our house to be broken up. "Resist the devil," says St James, "and James iv. he will fly from you." Let us therefore resist him manfully, and, taking the cross upon our shoulders, let us follow our captain Christ, who by his own blood hath dedicated and hallowed the way, which leadeth unto the Father, that is, to the light which no man can attain, the fountain of everlasting joys. Let us follow, I say, whither he calleth 1 Tim. vi. and allureth us, that after these afflictions, which last but for a moment, whereby he trieth our faith, as gold by the fire, we may everlastingly reign and triumph with him in the glory of the Father, and that through the same our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen. Amen.
Good father, forasmuch as I have determined with myself to pour forth these my cogitations into your bosom,
1 Cor. iv.
here, methinketh, I see you suddenly lifting up your head towards heaven, after your manner, and then looking upon me with your prophetical countenance, and speaking unto me with these or like words: "Trust not, my son, (I beseech you, vouchsafe me the honour of this name, for in so doing I shall think myself both honoured and loved of you,) trust not, I say, my son, to these word-weapons, for the kingdom of God is not in words, but in power. And remember always the words of the Lord, 'Do not imagine aforehand, what and how you will speak, for it shall be given you even in that same hour, what ye shall speak; for it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
I pray you therefore, father, pray for me, that I may cast my whole care upon him, and trust upon him in all perils. For I know and am surely persuaded, that whatsoever I can imagine or think aforehand, it is nothing except he assist me with his Spirit, when the time is. I beseech you therefore, father, pray for me, that such a complete harness of the Spirit, such boldness of mind, may be given unto me, that I may out of a true faith say with David, “I will not trust in my bow, and it is not my sword that shall save me. For he hath no pleasure in the strength of a horse, &c. But the Lord's delight is in them that fear him, and put their trust in his mercy." I beseech you, pray, pray that I may enter this fight only in the name of God, and that when all is past, I, being not overcome, through his gracious aid, may remain and stand fast in him till that day of the Lord, in the which to them that obtain the victory shall be given the lively manna to eat, and a triumphant crown for evermore.
Now, father, I pray you, help me to buckle on this gear a little better; for ye know the deepness of Satan, being an old soldier, and you have collared with him ere now, blessed be God that hath ever aided you so well! I suppose he may well hold you at the bay. But truly, he will not be so willing, I think, to join with you, as with us younglings.
Sir, I beseech you, let your servant read this my babbling unto you; and now and then, as it shall seem unto you best,
let your pen run on my book. Spare not to blot my paper: I give you good leave.
As touching this Antonian, whom I have here made mine adversary, lest peradventure any imagination might carry you amiss, and make you think otherwise than I meant, know you that I have alluded to one Antony, a most cruel bishop of the Arians, and a very violent persecutor of them that were catholic and of a right judgment. To whom Hunericus, a tyrant of the Vandals, knowing Antony's fierceness, committed his whole authority, that he should either turn the christians which believed well unto his false religion, or else to punish and torment them at his pleasure. Which thing Antonius took in hand to do, and executed the same against a great number, but specially against two most godly bishops, and most constant in the doctrine which was according to godliness. The name of the one was Eugenius, an aged man; the other was named Habet-Deum. This latter, as it appears by Victor's history of the persecutions of the Vandals, Victor de both the tyrant and the false counterfeit bishop desired much Afric. lib.iii, to have turned unto their most pestilent heresy. This HabetDeum was bishop of the city of Tamullume, where Antony had been bishop before. And when Antony had vexed him (as the story saith) with diverse and sundry persecutions, and had found the soldier of Christ always constant in his confession, it is said, that at length in a great rage he swore and said to his friends on this wise: "If I make him not of our religion, then am I not Antony." It is incredible what harms and troubles he put him to; what cruelty he practised against him; and it were too long now to describe the same unto you. But the man of God stood always unmoveable; and in the confession of Christ's faith remained ever unto the end the constant and unfoiled soldier of Christ'. This good bishop, Habet-Deum, I pray to God our heavenly Father to give me grace, that I may faithfully follow, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Sir, I have caused my man not only to read your armour H. LAT. unto me, but also to write it out. For it is not only no bare armour, but also well buckled armour. I see not how it could be better. I thank you even from the bottom of
[ Vict. de Pers. Afric. lib. 111. Ed. Bas. 1539. p. 663.