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not deceive another, nor will hurt another, but laboureth for another, as the band doth not hurt the head, the leg, or the foot, but will labour for them, and provide that they want nothing, or that they be not hurt, and will in no wise deceive them; so should we all do one to another, seeing we be members of Christ's body, and one labour in truth for another, without deceit, craft, or falsehood, as members do.
Be ye angry, but sin not : the Apostle would, we should not be angry at all ; but if so be it, that we be angry, as we be men, subject to the infirmities of the flesh, he inoveth us to pacify and put away this anger, lest it burst out in chidings, brawlings, contentiousness, fightings, in backbiting, or detraction of others; or lest by anger not pacified, it bring to words, and from words multiplied to fighting, and so to murder, as ofttimes we do see to come to pass, Therefore, the Apostle would that we should pacify the ire, and put away anger, stirred up by occasion or infirmity of the flesh, clear away from our minds, that no part of ire or wrath should remain in heart or mind, or at the least it should not remain till the sun set, or go down. Therefore he saith, let not the sun go down upon your wrath ; that is, pacify and put away anger and wrath, as soon as can be by the help of God, and be reconciled in love with him, with whom you were angry, and desire of him no vengeance; but leave all vengeance to God, that will punish all malefactors that will not repent.
And give no place to the backbiter : he sheweth why we should pacify the ire and anger of mind, lest the devil seeing ire and anger remaining in mind or heart, should stir up men to avenge themselves, or move inen to chiding, brawling, fighting, and so to murder : "for the devil doth not cease, but he goeth busily about as a ramping lion, searching whom he may devour and kill.” He ceaseth not, but he dili
gently labours to bring men to eternal death, and to death, both of body and soul : therefore, pacify ire and wrath, lest it burst up and bring more evils. To be angry sometimes, it is lawful; as with sin and evil doers, that they may desist from evil doing, repent, and amend : yea, not to be angry with sin is unlawful, and ofttimes cherisheth evil doers in their naughty doings, and maketh them more bold to continue in evilness; and so winking at men's faults, is, as it were, approving of evil doing.
He that hath stolen, let him steal no more: he moveth men to flee theft, or taking away other men's goods against the will of the master. Thieves be they, not only that steal, and rob openly by highways, or otherwise take away other men's goods; but also all they, which by craft, falsehood, usury, might, power, or mastership, take away other men's goods, the master of those goods not knowing, or else not willing. And although all these be not counted for thieves before the world, and be not punished of the world for thieves, yet before God they be thieves, and shall be punished and hanged in hell, if they do not repent and amend. There be others, that be thieves before God; all they that be idle and will not labour in their calling, but take profit and pleasure in idleness, filling their bellies; which God will punish as thieves, if they do not repent and amend, for they be thieves before God, although they be counted not thieves by the world, but honest men or God's servants alway occupied in God's service ; when God, peradventure, neither knoweth them to be his servants, nor yet their service to be his service, to his honour and glory. Many such bellybeasts hath this realm found and cherished, and yet doth. And thieves of this sort be in every country, in every state of men, which take the profit due to them, and do not their duty again to them to whom
they should. Therefore let every one amend, and be no more thieves before God, that they may escape punishment due for thieves, and the wrath of God.
Let every man labour in his calling, that he may have to give to him that needeth : here is shewed one cause, why we should labour, that we may have to help them, that have need: but he sheweth not how we should labour, in what works, aster what fashion, he willeth every one to work in his calling, according to his gifts given him of God. Some to labour with hand, some with mind, and study, or counsel, or in any other way to occupy themselves to the glory of God and to the profit of their neighbours. All such do labour : there are some that think no man doth labour, but they that do occupy handy-crafts or works: but these do not think well of workers, for they be called labourers, that do work to the glory of God, to the profit of others, whether it be by hand, foot, tongue, mind, study, counsel, or any otherways in their calling. For there are divers members in the body, and to every one is given his gift of God to the profit of others, and to God's glory: wherefore, methink it is not against God's law, that priests should labour with hand, specially such as cannot preach God's word; or if they could preach, it is not against God's commandment to labour with hand, after the example of Paul, which laboured with his hands to get necessaries for himself and for others, lest he should be painful to others, or be a slander to the Gospel ; lest any should think he preached for lucre sake, or for to get him a living rather than to win and bring men to Christ; and also that he would give others example to labour and not to be idle.
For these causes and others, Paul laboured with his hand, and did get his living for himself and for others, when he might justly have taken it of them to whom he preached : but of his gentleness, and for other causes above shewed, he remitted his duty due to him ; although a priest, yea, a preacher of God's word, may labour with his band and remit his duty due to him, yet the special labour of priests should be to be exercised in the study of the Scriptures of God, which requireth all a man's labour and diligence, that they may have learning, whereby they may profit others, and shew to the people on the sabbath day. The study of the Scripture is required of priests (1 Tim. iv.), rather than saying or mumbling up of a popish pair of Matins or Evensong, without edifying.
We must labour, that we may have to give to them that have need, and not only to get necessaries for ourselves, or to get us a quiet or a pleasant life. This place maketh against them, that say they would never labour, if they might get their living in other ways, and against all them that forsake labour and give themselves to idleness, and will not labour when they may labour to the glory of God, and to the profit of others. For what purpose and end good works are to be done, it is shewed, Eph. ii. where the Apostle saith, we are “not justified of works, lest any should rejoice, but by grace through faith.” There if you please you may see my mind.
Ver. 29–32. Let no filthy communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to edify withal, when need is, that it le gracious to hear. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, wherewith ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and fearfulness, and wrath, and roaring, and cursed speaking, be far from you, with all maliciousness : but te ye courteous one to another, merciful and forgiving one another, even as God hath forgiven you in Christ.
The Apostle exhorteth men to flee all unclean speaking, and all filthy communication, and willeth
them to speak cleanly and honest words, to the edifying of others in Christ, and not to make sad the Holy Ghost, which is grieved at filthy communication and unclean words, which be signs of a filthy and unclean heart. 6. For of the abundance of the heart the tongue speaketh.” The Apostle forbiddeth all filthy cominunication or unclean words in all companies of men, as at dinner, or supper, or any other banquets; and in these words he reproveth minstrels, jesters, or railers, that use filthy or unclean words, songs, railings, or jestings, to delight the ears of the hearers with indelicate songs or ribaldry words ; yea, - the Apostle reproveth all them that have pleasure in
such unclean words or songs, in the which many have pleasure, and cannot be merry, without they have a jester that can make them and all their guests merry with filthy words, and unclean communication; with the which, great men's tables be furnished, and their guests made merry and glad, at the which great men do laugh.
So the breaking of God's commandments is counted a pastime and a pleasure. But let all such take heed, for it will be no pastime at the last day, when we shall make answer for every idle word (Mat. xii.): much more we shall make answer for every noisome word and unprofitable, therefore let every man refrain his tongue from speaking of filthy words, and his ears from hearing of unclean communication, and from pleasure in the same, and in this point we shall not provoke God to pour his vengeance upon us, nor yet fear the reckoning at the last day, for noisome and unclean words: but let our communication be to the glory of God, and to the edifying of one another.
Filthy communication grieveth the Holy Ghost, given to us to be as a sureness of the heavenly inhe