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419

Selections

FROM THE

WORKS OF LATIMER.

The Seventh Sermon preached by Mr, Hugh

Latimer before King EDWARD, on the 19th of

April 1549. Rom. xv. 4. All things, that le written, are written

to be our doctrine. By occasion of this text (most honourable audience) I have walked this Lent in the broad field of Scripture, and used my liberty and entreated of such matters as I thought meet for this auditory. I have had ado with many estates, even with the highest of all. I have entreated of the duty of kings, of the duty of magistrates and judges, of the duty of prelates, allowing that that is good, and disallowing the contrary. "I have taught that we are all sinners. I think there is none of us all, neither preacher, nor hearer, but we may be amended; and redress our lives. We may all say, yea, all the pack of us, " We have offended and sinned with our forefathers.”—“ There is none of us all, but we have in sundry things grievously offended Almighty God.” I have entreated of many faults, and rebuked many kinds of sin.

I intend to-day, by God's grace, to shew you the remedy of şin. We be in the place of repentance. Now is the time to call for mercy, whiles we be in this world. We be all sinners, even the best of us all : therefore it is good to hear the remedy of sin. This day is commonly called Good Friday, although every day ought to be with us Good Friday : yet this day

we are accustomed specially to have a commemoration and remembrance of the passion of our Saviour Jesu Christ. This day we have in memory his bitter passion and death, which is the remedy of our sin. Therefore I intend to entreat of a piece of a story of his passion. I am not able to entreat of all. That I may do that the better, and that it may be to the honour of God and the edification of your souls and mine both, I shall desire you to pray. In this prayer I will desire you to remember the souls departed, with lauds and praises to Almighty God, that he did vouchsafe to assist them at the hour of their death. In so doing you shall be put in remembrance to pray for yourselves, that it may please God to assist and comfort you in the agonies and pains of death.

The place that I will entreat of is the xxvith chapter of St. Matthew. Howbeit, as I entreat of it, I will borrow part of St. Mark and St. Luke, for they have somewhat, that St. Matthew hath not, and especially Luke. The text is, “ Then when Jesus came,” some have, in villam ;" some, “ in agrum;" some, in prædium.” But it is all one, whether Christ came into a grange, into a piece of land, or into a field, it makes no matter, call it what ye

will. At what time he had come into an honest man's house, and there eaten his pascal lamb, and instituted and celebrated the Lord's supper, and set forth the blessed communion, then when this was done, he took his way to the place, where he knew Judas would come. It was a solitary place, and thither he went with his eleven Apostles. For Judas, the twelfth, was about his business : he was occupied about his merchandise, and was providing among the bishops and priests, to come with an ambush ment of Jews to take our Saviour Jesus Christ.

And when he was come into this field, or grange, this village or farm place, which was called Geth.

semane, there was a garden, saith Luke, into the which he goeth and leaveth eight of his disciples without. Howbeit, he appointed them, what they should do. He saith, “ Sit you here, whiles I go yonder and pray.” He told them that he went to pray, to admonish them what they should do, to fall to prayer as he did. He left them there, and took no more with him but three, Peter, James, and John ; to teach us that a solitary place is meet for

prayer. Then when he was come into this garden, he began to tremble, insomuch that he said,

My soul is heavy and pensive even unto death.”

This is a notable place, and one of the most especial and chiefest of all, that be in the story of the passion of Christ. Here is our remedy. Here we must have in consideration all his doings and sayings, for our learning, for our edification, for our comfort and consolation.

First of all, he set his three disciples that he took with him in an order, and told them what they should do, saying, " Sit here and pray that ye enter not into temptation.” But of that I will entreat afterward. Now, when he was in the garden, he began to be heavy, pensive, heavy-hearted. I like not Origen's playing with this word, cæpit : it was a perfect heaviness, it was such a one, as was never seen a greater.

These doctors, we have great cause to thank God for them, but yet I would not have them always to be allowed. They have handled inany points of our faith very godly, and we may have a great stay in them in many things; we might not well lack them. But yet I would not have men to be sworn to them, and so addicted as to take hand over head, whaisoever they say ; it were a great inconvenience so to do. Well, let us go forward. He took Peter, James, and John into this garden. And why did he take them with him, rather than others ? Marry, those that he had taken before, to whom he had revealed in the hill the transfiguration, and declaration of his deity, to see the revelation of the majesty of his Godhead; now in the garden he revealed to the same the infirmity of his manhood. Because they had tasted of the sweet he would they should taste also of the sour.

He took those with him at both times, for two or three is enough to bear witness. And he began to be heavy in his mind. He was greatly vexed within himself, he was sore afflicted, it was a great heavi. ness. He had been heavy many times before, and be had suffered great afflictions in his soul, from the blindness of the Jews, and he was like to suffer more pangs of pain in his body. But this pang was greater than any that he ever suffered ; yea, it was a greater torment unto him, I think a greater pain, than when he was hanged on the cross, than when the four nails were knocked and driven into his hands and feet, than when the sharp crown of thorns was thrust on his head. This was the heaviness and pensiveness of his heart, the agony of the spirit. And as the soul is more precious than the body, even so are the pains of the soul more grievous than the pains of the body. Therefore, there is another which writeth; “ The horror and ugsomeness of death is sorer than death itself.” This is the most grievous pain, that ever Christ suffered, even this pang that he suffered in the garden. It is the most notable place one of thein in the whole story of the passion, when he said, “My soul is heavy to death." And when he began to quiver, to shake, the grievousness of it is declared by this prayer that he made, “ Father, if it be possible, away with this cup, rid me of it.” He understood by this cup, his pains of death, for he knew well enough that his passion was at hand, that Judas was coming upon him with the Jews to take him.

There was offered unto him now the image of death, the image, the sense, the feeling of helì, for death and hell go both together. I will entrcat of this image of hell, which is death. Truly no inan can shew it perfectly, yet I will do the best I can, to make you understand the grievous pangs that our Saviour Christ was in, when he was in the garden. As man's power is not able to bear it, so no man's tongue is able to express it.

Painters paint death like a man without skin, and a body having nothing but bones. And hell they paint with horrible flames of burning fire: they bungle somewhat at it, they come nothing near it. But this is no true painting ; no painter can paint hell, unless he could paint the torment and condemnation both of body and soul, the possession and having of all infelicity. This is hell, this is the image of death. This is hell : such an evil-favoured face, such an ugsome countenance, such an horrible visage our Saviour Christ saw of death and hell in the garden. There is no pleasure in beholding of it, but more pain, than any tongue can tell. Death and hell took unto them this evil-favoured face of sin, and through sin. This sin is so highly hated of God, that he doth pronounce it worthy to be punished with lack of all felicity, with the fceling of infelicity.

Death and hell be not only the wages, the reward, the stipend of sin ; but they are brought into the world by sin. St. Paul saith, Through sin death entered into the world.” Moses sheweth the first coming in of it into the world, where as our first father Adam was set at liberty to live for ever, yet Gost, inhibiting him from eating of the apple, told him; “ If thou meddle with this fruit, thou and all ty

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