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tions, to move the people to honour and worship Almighty God, and diligently to serve him, every one according to their degree, state, and vocation. All which Homilies her Majesty commandeth and straitly chargeth all Parsons, Vicars, Curates, and all others having spiritual cure, every Sunday and Holy-day in the year, at the ministering of the holy Communion, or, if there be no Communion ministered that day, yet after the Gospel and Creed, in such order and place as is appointed in the Book of Common Prayers, to read and declare to their Parishioners, plainly and distinctly, one of the said Homilies, in such order as they stand in the book except there be a Sermon, according as it is enjoined in the book of her Highness' Injunctions; and then for that cause only, and for none other, the reading of the said Homily to be deferred unto the next Sunday or Holy-day following And when the foresaid Book of Homilies is read over, her. Majesty's pleasure is, that the same be repeated and read again, in such like sort as was before prescribed. Furthermore, her Highness commandeth, that, notwithstanding this order, the said ecclesiastical persons shall read her Majesty's Injunctions at such times, and in such order, as is in the book thereof appointed; and that the Lord's Prayer, the Articles of the Faith, and the Ten Commandments, be openly read unto the people as in the said Injunctions is specified; that all her people, of what degree or condition soever they be, may learn how to invocate, and call upon, the name of God, and know what duty they owe both to God and man so that they may pray, believe, and work according to knowledge, while they shall live here; and after this life be with Him, that with his blood hath bought us all. To whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory for ever. Amen.
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"God leaveth no man untaught that hath a good will to know his Word."
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Majesty' UNTO a Christian man, there can be nothing either HOM. I. s in the more necessary or profitable, than the knowledge The praise yer, the of Holy Scripture; forasmuch as in it is contained of Holy e openly God's true word, setting forth his glory, and also And there is no truth nor doctrine, The pecified; man's duty.
perfeenecessary for our justification and everlasting sal- tion of Holy
ver they vation, but that is, or may be, drawn out of that name of fountain and well of truth. Therefore, as many as The knowd man be desirous to enter into the right and perfect way ledge of Hoknow unto God, must apply their minds to know Holy necessary. De with Scripture; without the which, they can neither sufficiently know God and his will, neither their of
fice and duty. And as drink is pleasant to them To whom the r and that be dry, and meat to them that be hungry; So knowledge of is the reading, hearing, searching, and studying of ture is sweet Holy Scripture, to them that be desirous to know and pleasant. God, or themselves, and to do his will. And their who be euestomachs only do loathe and abhor the heavenly mies to Holy knowledge and food of God's word, that be so
drowned in worldly vanities, that they neither sa vour God, nor any godliness: for that is the cause why they desire such vanities, rather than the true An apt simi- knowledge of God. As they that are sick of ar ing of whom ague, whatsoever they eat and drink, though it be the Scripture never so pleasant, yet it is as bitter to them as wormwood; not for the bitterness of the meat, but for the corrupt and bitter humour that is in their own tongue and mouth; even so is the sweetness of God's word bitter, not of itself, but only unto them that have their minds corrupted with long custom of sin and love of this world.
tion unto the
Therefore, forsaking the corrupt judgment of diligent read fleshly men, which care not but for their carcase. ing, hearing, let us reverently hear and read Holy Scripture.
of the Holy which is the food of the soul. Let us diligently Scripture. search for the well of life in the books of the New Matt. iv. and Old Testament, and not run to the stinking puddles of men's traditions, devised by men's ima gination, for our justification and salvation. For Scripture is a in Holy Scripture is fully contained what we ought trine for our to do, and what to eschew, what to believe, what to love, and what to look for at God's hands at length. In these books we shall find the Father' from whom, the Son by whom, and the Holy Ghost in whom, all things have their being and keeping up; and these three Persons to be but one God, What things and one substance. In these books we may learn to know ourselves, how vile and miserable we be ; and also to know God, how good he is of himself, and how he maketh us and all creatures partakers of his goodness. We may learn also in these books to know God's will and pleasure, as much as, for this present time, is convenient for us to know. And, as the great Clerk and godly Preacher, St. John Chrysostom, saith, whatsoever is required to the salvation of man, is fully contained in the Scripture of God. He that is ignorant, may there learn and have knowledge. He that is hard-hearted, and an obstinate sinner, shall there find everlasting torments, prepared of God's justice, to make him afraid, and to mollify, or soften, him. He that is
we may learn in the Holy Scripture.
s: oppressed with misery in this world, shall there find HOM. I.
a the devil unto death, shall find there medicine, tb whereby he may be restored again unto health. If 1 2 it shall require to teach any truth, or reprove false bu doctrine, to rebuke any vice, to commend any he tue, to give good counsel, to comfort, or to exhort, nes or to do any other thing requisite for our salvation; int all those things, saith St. Chrysostom, we may learn Holy Scripon plentifully of the Scripture. There is, saith Fulgen- ture minitius, abundantly enough, both for men to eat, and ficient docchildren to suck. There is whatsoever is meet for degrees and all ages. and for all degrees and sorts of men. ast ages, These books, therefore, ought to be much in our nt hands, in our eyes, in our ears, in our mouths, but New most of all in our hearts. For the Scripture of God
trine for all
is the heavenly meat of our souls: the hearing and Matt. iv. keeping of it maketh us blessed, sanctifieth us, and Luke xi. maketh us holy; it turneth our souls, ft 18 a light Psalm xix. lantern to our feet; it is a sure, stedfast, and everlasting instrument of salvation; it giveth wisdom to profits the the humble and lowly hearts; it comforteth, maketh knowledge of Holy Scripthe glad, cheereth, and cherisheth our conscience; it is ture bringeth. a more excellent jewel,, or treasure, than any gold or precious stone; it is more sweet than honey or od honey-comb; it is called the best part, which Mary Luke x. did choose; for it hath in it everlasting comfort. The words of Holy Scripture be called words of John vi. self everlasting life: for they be God's instrument, ordained for the same purpose. They have power to turn, through God's promise; and they be effectual Coloss. i, through God's assistance; and being received in a faithful heart, they have ever an heavenly spiritual working in them. They are lively, quick, and Heb. iv. mighty in operation, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and enter through, even unto the dividing asunder of the soul and the spirit, of the joints and the marrow. Christ calleth him a wise builder, that Matt. vii. buildeth upon his word, upon his sure and substantial foundation. By this word of God we shall be judged for the word that I speak, saith Christ, is John xii.
HOM. I. it that shall judge in the last day. He that keepeth the word of Christ, is promised the love and favour of God, and that he shall be the dwelling-place or temple of the blessed Trinity. This word whosoever is diligent to read, and in his heart to print that he readeth, the great affection to the transitory things of this world shall be minished in him, and the great desire of heavenly things, that be therein promised of God, shall increase in him. And there is nothing that so much strengtheneth our faith and trust in God, that so much keepeth up innocency and pureness of the heart, and also of outward godly life and conversation, as continual reading and recording of God's word. For that thing, which by continual use of reading of Holy Scripture, and diligent searching of the same, is deeply printed and graven in the heart, at length turneth almost into nature. And, moreover, the effect and virtue of God's word, is to illuminate the ignorant, and to give more light unto them that faithfully and diligently read it; to comfort their hearts, and to encourage them to perform that which of God is commanded. It teacheth patience in all adversity, in prosperity humbleness; what honour is due unto God, what mercy and charity to our neighbour. 1 Sam. xiv. It giveth good counsel in all doubtful things. It
2 Chron. xx. 1 Cor. xv.
1 John v.
ing God's word.
sheweth of whom we shall look for aid and help in all perils; and that God is the only giver of victory in all battles and temptations of our enemies, Who profit bodily and ghostly. And in reading of God's word, most in read- he not always most profiteth, that is most ready in turning of the book, or in saying of it without the book; but he that is most turned into it; that is most inspired with the Holy Ghost; most in his heart and life altered and changed into that thing which he readeth; he that is daily less and less proud, less wrathful, less covetous, and less desirous of worldly and vain pleasures; he that daily, forsaking his old vicious life, increaseth in virtue more and more. And, to be short, there is nothing that more maintaineth godliness of the mind, and driveth away ungodliness, than doth the continual