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munications and filthy doing, amend and do no more so, have pleasure therein no more, suffer these vices in no others, but reprove them : study to amend yourselves and others, that you may avoid the plague of God for these vices.
The Apostle would that Christians should avoid all uncomely behaviour, both in word and in gesture, that none should be provoked to unclean doings, by unclean words or gestures ; by the which, he reproveth many unclean songs, called lovers songs, that sound and provoke to unclean love, or filthy pleasure of the body. He reproveth all uncomely dances, used of women, and all other dissolute gestures, that becometh not. He reproveth all foolish speaking, idle talking, and feigned fables, of the which cometh no profit, nor edifying to the auditors. Also he reproveth all knavery in all scolding, all railing, all uncomely jesting, and all uncomely behaviour, that be not to the glory of God, nor yet to the edi. fying of the hearers, nor to help to amend evil doers, and make them better, to seek God's glory, and the profit of others.
He dissuadeth Christians froin whoredlom, uncleanness, covetousness, and fro: all vices that follow of these, if not for love of Goil, yet for fear of the punishment that follows those vices, that they should abstain from them. He saith, that no whoremonger, nor fornicator, no unclean person, no covetous men, shall have the kingdom of heaven. This pain threatened, which without doubt, will fail upon them, if they do not amend; this pain shewed how great sins before God be fornication, whoredom, uncleanness, covetousness, uncomely railing or jesting, for the which sins, men be excluded from the kingdom of Christ and of God. They must needs be great sins, that shut out from the kingdom of
heaven, howsoever they be esteemed of men in the world, great or small.
The covetous man is called a worshipper of images or idols: for as the idolaters do worship idols for God, and put hope and trust in idols; so doth the covetous man worship riches for his god, making more of riches than of God, loving riches better than God, setting his heart and mind more upon riches than upon God, putting trust and confidence in riches more than in the providence of God, extolling himself above others, by reason of his riches, substance, or goods, he hath above others.
After that he had admonished them to flee vices, he biddeth them beware, that they be not deceived by vain words ; from the which it appeareth, that there were amongst the Ephesians, some men of corrupt minds and judgments, blinded with sin, and ob-' durated in the same. As, peradventure, some desperate naughty fellows be ainongst us, that think whoredom, fornication, adultery, filthy speaking, and uncomely railing, uncomely gesture, and covetousness, to be no sins, nor no displeasure to God: but fornication or lechery to be manhood or proper to man, filthy railing or jesting, to be good pastime, and that God would not be greatly displeased with such little faults : so, they did extenuate and make little or no faults these crimes and sins, that God called great faults and abominable sins before him ; and so, cared nothing for God's inhibition of these sins, but played it away, laughing, mocking, and scorning at God's commandment.
That no man should do so, or think fornication, adultery, whoredom, covetousness, to be no sins before God, but to know them for great sins, for the which, God threateneth so grievous punishment, as expulsion from heaven ; and that none should think these vices to be no sin before God, the Apostle saith, that the vengeance of God shall come for fornication, adultery, whoredom, covetousness, and such like vices above rehearsed: he threateneth pain and punishment, that none should have pleasure any more in them, that none should commit them, for fear of punishment, and that none should commit these sins and think to escape unpunished, er that God will wink at these faults, and suffer them unpunished.
And not only the vengeance of God will come upon all them that commit these faults and vices, but also upon all them that do consent or approve them any ways for lucre, advantage, profit, pleasure, or for fear of man: or that do know them to be used, and will not correct and reprove and study to amend those that in these damnable sins offend God; and so provoke God to pour out his plagues of punishment upon these sinners, and consenters to them ; for doers and consenters are worthy of like pain (Rom. i.).
Let us learn here, for what things cometh the wrath of God upon disobedient children. Not for eggs-eating upon the Friday, for eating of flesh' upon St. Laurence's even, for breaking of Thomas Becket's day in Christmas, not for eating white meat in Lent, but for fornication, adultery, whoredom, uncleanness, covetousness, filthy speaking, and foolish speaking, which ofttimes is cause of naughty manners; for by evil speaking, the good is corrupted and made evil, by evil company, or communication of evil.
Ver. 8-14. For sometime ye were darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord; walk as the children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is all manner of goodness and righteousness, and truth); and prove what is pleasing unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather rebuke them. For it is shame even to name those
things which are done of them in secret. But all things are manifest, when they are rebuked of the light ; for whatsoever is manifest, that same is light. Therefore saith he, Awake thou that sleepest, and stand up from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
Of the vocation of men, now he exhorteth them to holiness of life, saying, You were sometime darkness, now you be light in the Lord, and delivered from darkness and from sin. Walk therefore, as it becometh children of light to walk, in all goodness, justice, equity, and truth, which be fruits of the Spirit of God: the Apostle willeth alway, that we should have before our eyes what we were, and what we are of ourselves without the grace of God; that we are darkness, of the which, no light doth come, but by the grace of God.
of God. We be made light in the Lord, and not by our own merits or deservings, that we should bring forth works of light to the glory of God, and to the profit of others (Mat. v.).
He sheweth how we should walk, as children of light, that is, to bring forth fruits of the Spirit in all goodness, justice, and truth, seeking alway, those things that may please God, having no company with works of darkness, but reproving them and the doers of evil, that they may repent and amend,
He sheweth that he is ashamed to tell all their faults, that they secretly do, thinking them to be no sin ; but afterward they be examined by the light, they be known to be sin, and those that have done them, are ashamed, and repent, and study to reform, and amend themselves.
He moveth men to arise from sleep, and from sin, and from deadly works by repentance and amendment of life, and he promiseth that God will be merciful to all penitent persons, and that will amend their life and live a new life.
Ver. 15–17. Take heed therefore, how you walk circumspectly, not as the unwise, but as the wise, and redeem the time, for it is a miserable time. Wherefore, be not ye unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
The Apostle admonisheth men to take heed with whom they walk, with whom they use company or be conversant, and that they walk circumspectly, not as unwise men, but as wise men, and as it becoineth wise men to do. If they will reprove men, look that they reprove things worthy to be reproved, and that in time and place, as becometh wise men to do, and as for their works, look they be such as please God, not of man's invention, but ordinated of God for us to walk in.
Redeeming the time : that is, watching all oppor. tunity of time to do good, to reprove sin in time and place convenient, or else amending time past, evil spent in idleness, in will-works, omitting God's works; or in sins and pleasures of the flesh, or in other evil works, to the which moveth the world, the flesh and the naughty time, which moveth men to evil.
For the days be evil: the days be called evil because of the inalice of man, which is done upon days, for the days are good, for they are the creatures of God, and so are good.
Therefore le not unwise, lut understand what the will of the Lord is. They are unwise, that do not seek time and place, to speak well and to do good; that seek more the glory of man than of God; that desire to know the will of man more than of God. This place sheweth many to be fools, that think themselves wise men, that be more diligent to know the law of man than of God, that be well learned in man's law, and ignorant in God's law, that be wise men in man's law, and idiot fools in God's