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ST. PAUL'S EPISTLE
EPHESIANS, For the Instruction of them that be unlearned in Tongues,
gathered out of the Holy Scriptures, and out of the old Catholic Doctors of the Church, and of the best Authors that now-a-days do write ;
By LANCELOT RIDLEY,
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE.
First published A. D. 1540, and now re-printed entire, from an
original Copy, in the public Library of the University of Canibridge.
A PREFACE OF THE AUTHOR TO THE READER.
Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, be unto all them that love, favour, and promote the truth of God's word. Amen.
Many and divers causes moved me to write this Commentary in English, O gentle reader, for their sakes which do not understand Latin, but only read English, to help the rude and ignorant people to inore knowledge of God, and of his holy word. Because, I perceive few or none to go about to open by commentaries or expositions in English to the unlearned, to declare the holy Scriptures, now suffered to all people of this realm, to read and to study at their pleasure, to their edifying and comfort in God, by the king's gracious license, for the which thing, high thanks are to be given to God, and laud and praise to the king's highness, that so tendereth the health and salvation of his subjects, that willeth they shall lack nothing that may be to their comfort and soul's health; and specially that they shall not lack the word of God, which is the food of the soul (Mat. iv.); that saveth the soul (James, i.); the armour only whereby the devil and all his temptations are withstood, resisted, and overcome (Eph. vi.); the mean whereby God doth save them that believe (1 Cor. i.); yea, the spirit and the life, that bringeth the spirit of God, and life everlasting.
Because I could perceive few or none to go about to open and declare this word of life to the English people unlearned in tongues, that it might be life indeed, which, now undeclared to them, but only had in the bare letter, does appear to many, rather death
than life; rather to bring men into errors and heresies, than into the truth and verity of God's word, which, now undeclared, bringeth not so much the simple, rude, and ignorant people from their ignorant blindness, corrupt and backward judgments, false trusts, evil believings, vain superstitiousness, and feigned holiness, in the which the people have been in blindness long time, for lack of knowledge of holy Scripture. Which the man of Rome kept under the hatch, and would not suffer to come to light, to deliver the servants of God from ignorance and blind.. ness, but would have kept them alway in darkness, that his usurped power should not have been espied, his worldly glory minished, and his profit decayed.
Because, I did see none go about to deliver the rude people from their blindness, ignorance, or errors, by any exposition in English upon the Scriptures, but many to study rather to continue them still in errors, and in blind ignorance; therefore I, as one of the least learned of all, have set forth an exposition to this Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians, as afore this, in the Epistle of Jude, the Apostle of Christ, that the people, that can but only read English, may the better know part of the wholesome doctrine of St. Paul, may be delivered from their ignorance and blindness, corrupt and backward judgments, evil opinions rooted in their hearts, false trusts, and vain superstitiousness, which the Holy Ghost, here speaking in St. Paul, 'reproveth and condemneth, and teacheth necessary things for man's salvation,
for man's salvation, as you may here see and read in this exposition, wherein I have, as it hath pleased God to give his grace, opened the holy Scriptures, shewing the true use of them, and wherefore they serve. And in this thing to be done, I have used the help of tongues, as of the Greek, the Hebrew, and the Latin tongues, and the help of the old catholic Doctors, approved by the church, and my writings or sayings no farther to be taken, than they do agree with the holy Scriptures of God, and by them may be proved, and by the holy Scriptures only to be judged. I am a man, and may err as well as others have done; but I will not be obstinate, if I shall be gently admonished and instructed better by the holy Scriptures of God, to whom be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen,