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bulation arose then in their hearts ! I think no tongue can shew what pain and sorrow this mother felt in her heart for the loss of her child : for she thought thus, God hath rejected me, and therefore hath taken my son from me, I shall no more find him. Alas, that ever I was born, that I should lose my son, whom I heard say should be the Saviour of the world! This Saviour is lost now through my negligence and slothfulness : what shall I do? Where shall I seek ? In this great heaviness she turned back again to Jerusalem, inquiring for him by the way amongst their friends and acquaintance. But he could neither be heard of, nor found, until they came to Jerusalem, where they found him amongst the doctors and learned men, arguing with them, and posing them.

Here, is to be noted a negligence in Mary and Joseph; therefore they, which go about to make Mary to be without sin, are much deceived : for here it appeareth plainly, that Mary was in a fault. Here, also, all parents may learn to be diligent and careful about their children. The common sort of parents are either too careful for their children, or else too negligent. But the right carefulness, that you should have over your children is, first, to consider that God hath appointed his angels to keep and save your children from all peril and danger, that may happen unto them ; as it plainly appeareth daily. For surely a child is in many dangers of his life daily, but the angel of God keepeth them, and therefore the parents should not be too careful, neither yet too negligent. For they should consider, that it is the will, pleasure, and commandment of Almighty God, that they should keep their children in safe custody, and to preserve them, as much as in them lieth, from all danger and harm,


ST, LURE, ii. 42. 465 Further, here is to be noted, that this fault and sin of Mary was not set out to bolden us to sin, but raz ther to keep us from desperation, when we have șinned, making this reckoning: " Hath God, pana doned his saints and forgiven their faults? Then he will be inerciful unto me, and forgive my sin.". So by their example we may strengthen our faith, and not take boldness from them to sin.j

After that they found him, Mary beginneth to quarrel with him, saying, “ Son, why hast thou done thus unto us?” Here she speaketh like a mother, and is very quick with him. But he made as quick an answer, saying ; “Know ye not that I must do the will of my Father?” We learn here, how far forth children are bound to obey their parents ; namely, so far as the same may stand with godliness. If they will have to go further, and pluck us from true religion and the serving of God, making them this answer, “ We ought rather to obey God than men.” For otherwise we are bound to obey our parents. Here not only children may learn, but sub-, jects and servants, to obey their king and masters, so far as it may stand with God's pleasure, and further to go we ought not.

The child went home with them, and was obedient to them, although partly he had signified unto them, wherefore he was sent into the world, namely, to teach men the way to heaven. Yet he remained with them in his obedience from this time, being of the age of twelve years, unto the age of thirty years. And in this mean time (as is to be thought) he exercised his father's occupation, which was a carpenter. This is a wonderful thing, that the Saviour of the world, and the King above all kings, was not ashamed to labour ; yea, and to use so simple an occupation. Here he did sanctify all manner of occupations, ex



horting and teaching us with his example, every man to follow and keep the state, wherein God hath called him, and then we shall have living enough in this world, doing well and after his pleasure, and in the world to come life everlasting, which Christ by his death and passion hath deserved for us. To whom with God the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, both now and for ever. Amen.

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Mat. xx. 1, &c. The kingdom of heaven is like

unto a man, that is an householder, &c. This parable is written by the Evangelist Matthew in the xxth chapter, and is very dark and hard to be understood; yea, there is no harder piece of Scripture written by any Evangelist. Therefore it may well be called hard meat, not meat for mowers, nor ignorant people; which be not exercised in the word of God. And yet there is none other diversity in this Scripture, than is in any other : for though many Scriptures have divers expositions (as well to be allowed of, so long as they keep them in the tenor of the catholic faith), yet they pertain all to one end and effect, and they be all alike: therefore, although this parable be harder to understand than the others, at the first hearing or reading, yet, when we shall well advise and consider the same, we shall find it agreeable unto all the others.

Now to come to the matter, there are some learned men which apply this parable unto the ages of a man. For a man-child, when he is born, first he is a child, afterwards he becomes a lad, then a young man, and after that a perfect man. And in process of time he becometh an old man, and at length a cripple and impotent.

Some there be, which apply it to the ages of the world, as from Adam to Noah was the first hours From Noah to Abraham : from Abraham to David :


from David to Christ: from Christ to the end of the world.

Some there be, which would have an allegory of it: but all agree in this point, namely, that it is not requisite in a parable to expound every word of the

For every parable hath a certain scope, to the which we must have a respect, and not go about to set all the words together, or to make a gloss for the same : for it is enough for us, when we have the meaning of the principal scope, and more needeth not.

Now the principal cause and end, to the which our Saviour hath had respect in this parable, is, that he will teach us hereby that all Christian people are equal in all things appertaining to the kingdom of Christ. So that we have one Christ, one redeemer, one baptism, and one gospel, one supper of the Lord, and one kingdom of heaven. So that the poorest man, and most miserable that is in the world, may call God his Father, and Christ his Redeemer, as well as the greatest king or emperor in the world. And this is the scope of this parable, wherein Christ teacheth us this equality. And if this now were well considered, the whole parable will be easily and soon understood.

Here is declared unto us, that some laboured the whole day, which were hired for a penny, that is, of Our money, ten pence: for like as we have a piece of money which we call a shilling, and that is value twelve pence; so the Jews had a piece that they called denarium, and it was in value ten of our pence. The first company wrought twelve hours, and the other wrought, some nine hours, some seven hours, and some three hours, and some but one bour, Now when evening was come, and time of payment drew on, the householder said to his steward, “ Go, And give every man alike, and begin at those that came last." And when the others, that came early

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