165. MASTER PATRICK'S PLACES
Hereunto I thought good to adjoin a certain godly and profitable treatise of the said Master Patrick Hamilton, written first by him in Latin, and afterwards translated by John Frith into English; which he names "Patrick's Places;" not unprofitable, in my mind, to be seen and read of all men, for the pure and comfortable doctrine contained in the same, as not only by the treatise itself may appear, but also by the preface of the said John Frith, prefixed before, which also I thought not inconvenient to insert with the same, as here followeth:
John Frith unto the Christian reader.
"Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in these last days and perilous times hath stirred up in all countries witnesses unto his Son, to testify the truth unto the unfaithful, to save at least some from the snares of antichrist, which lead to perdition, as ye may here perceive by that excellent and well learned young man, Patrick Hamilton, born in Scotland of a noble progeny: who, to testify the truth, sought all means, and took upon him priesthood, (even as Paul circumcised Timothy, to win the weak Jews,) that he might be admitted to preach the pure word of God. Notwithstanding, as soon as the chamberlain and other bishops of Scotland had perceived that the light began to shine, which disclosed their falsehood that they conveyed in darkness, they laid hands on him, and because he would not deny his Saviour Christ at their instance, they burnt him to ashes. Nevertheless God of his bounteous mercy (to publish to the whole world what a man these monsters have murdered) hath reserved a little treatise, made by this Patrick, which, if ye list, ye may call Patrick's Places; for it treateth exactly of certain commonplaces, which known, ye have the pith of all divinity. This treatise I have turned into the English tongue, to the profit of my nation: to whom I beseech God to give light, that they may espy the deceitful paths of perdition, and return to the right way, which leadeth to life everlasting, Amen."
The doctrine of the law.
"The law is a doctrine that biddeth good, and forbiddeth evil, as the commandments do specify here following:
I. Thou shalt worship but one God.
II. Thou shalt make thee no image to worship it.
III. Thou shalt not swear by his name in vain.
IV. Hold the sabbath day holy.
V. Honour thy father and thy mother.
VI. Thou shalt not kill.
VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
VIII. Thou shalt not steal.
IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
X. Thou shalt not desire aught that belongeth to thy neighbour.
"All these commandments are briefly comprised in these two, Matt. xxii. 37, Love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind: this is the first, and great commandment. The second is like unto this, that is, Love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hangeth all the law and the prophets."
Certain general propositions proved by the Scripture.
The First Proposition.
"He that loveth God loveth his neighbour.
"This proposition is proved, 1 John iv. 20, If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar. He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"
The Second Proposition.
"He that loveth his neighbour as himself, keepeth all the commandments of God.
"This proposition is proved: Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, even so do to them: for this is the law and the prophets. He that loveth his neighbour, fulfilleth the law. Thou shalt not commit adultery: thou shalt not kill: thou shalt not steal: thou shalt not bear false witness: thou shalt not desire. And if there be any other commandment, all are comprehended in this saying, Love thy neighbour as thyself. All the law is fulfilled in one word, that is, Love thy neighbour as thyself."
"He that loveth his neighbour, keepeth all the commandments of God.
"He that loveth God, loveth his neighbour.
"Ergo, he that loveth God, keepeth all the commandments of God."
The Third Proposition.
"He that hath faith, loveth God.
"My Father loveth you, because you love me, and I believe that I come of God."
"He that keepeth the commandments of God, hath the love of God.
"He that hath faith, keepeth the commandments of God.
"Ergo, he that hath faith, loveth God."
The Fourth Proposition.
"He that keepeth one commandment of God, keepeth them all.
"This proposition is confirmed: It is impossible for a man without faith to please God; that is, to keep any one of God's commandments, as he should do. Then whosoever keepeth any one commandment hath faith."
"He that hath faith keepeth all the commandments of God.
"He that keepeth any one commandment of God, hath faith.
"Ergo, he that keepeth one commandment keepeth them all.
The Fifth Proposition.
"He that keepeth not all the commandments of God, keepeth not one of them."
"He that keepeth one commandment of God, keepeth all.
"Ergo, he that keepeth not all the commandments of God, keepeth not one of them."
The Sixth Proposition.
"It is not in our power to keep any one of the commandments of God."
"It is impossible to keep any of the commandments of God, without grace.
"It is not in our power to have grace.
"Ergo, it is not in our power to keep any of the commandments of God.
"And even so may you reason concerning the Holy Ghost and faith, forasmuch as neither without them we are able to keep any of the commandments of God, neither yet be they in our power to have: It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth."
The Seventh Proposition.
"The law was given us to show our sin.
"By the law cometh the knowledge of sin. I knew not what sin meant, but through the law; for I had not known what lust had meant, except the law had said, Thou shalt not lust. Without the law sin was dead, that is, it moved me not, neither wist I that it was sin, which notwithstanding was sin, and forbidden by the law."
The Eighth Proposition.
"The law biddeth us do that thing which is impossible for us."
"The keeping of the commandments is to us impossible.
"The law commandeth to us the keeping of the commandments.
"Ergo, the law commandeth unto us that is impossible.
"Objection. But thou wilt say, Wherefore doth God bid us do what is impossible for us?
"Answer. I answer, To make thee know that thou art but evil, and that there is no remedy to save thee in thine own hand: and that thou mayest seek remedy at some other; for the law doth nothing else but command thee."
The doctrine of the gospel.
"The gospel is as much as to say, in our tongue,good tidings; like as these be hereunder following, and such others, Luke ii. 10.
"Christ is the Saviour of the world, John iv. 42.
"Christ is the Saviour, Luke ii. 11.
"Christ died for us, Rom. v. 6.
"Christ died for our sins, Rom. iv. 25.
"Christ bought us with his blood, 1 Pet. i. 19.
"Christ washed us with his blood, Rev. i. 5.
"Christ offered himself for us, Gal. i. 4.
"Christ bare our sins on his back, Isa. liii. 6.
"Christ came into this world to save sinners, 1 Tim. i. 15.
"Christ came into this world to take away our sins, 1 John iii. 5.
"Christ was the price that was given for us and our sins, 1 Tim. ii. 6.
"Christ was made debtor for us, Rom. viii. 12.
"Christ hath paid our debt, for he died for us, Col. ii. 14.
"Christ made satisfaction for us and our sins, 1 Cor. vii. 23.
"Christ is our righteousness, 1 Cor. i. 30.
"Christ is our sanctification, 1 Cor. i. 30.
"Christ is our redemption, 1 Cor. i. 30.
"Christ is our peace, Eph. ii. 14.
"Christ hath pacified the Father of heaven for us, Rom. v. 1.
"Christ is ours and all his, 1 Cor. iii. 23.
"Christ hath delivered us from the law, from the devil, and from hell, Col. ii. 14-17.
"The Father of heaven hath forgiven us our sins, for Christ's sake, 1 John i. 9.
"(Or any such other, like to the same, which declare unto us the mercy of God.) "
The nature and office of the law and of the gospel.
"The law showeth us our sin, Rom. iii. 9-20.
"The gospel showeth us remedy for it, John i. 29.
"The law showeth us our condemnation, Rom. vii. 23, 24.
"The gospel showeth us our redemption, Eph. i.
"The law is the word of ire, Rom. iv. 15.
"The gospel is the word of grace, Acts xx. 24.
"The law is the word of despair, Deut. xxvii. 15-26.
"The gospel is the word of comfort, Luke ii. 10.
"The law is the word of unrest, Rom. vii. 24.
"The gospel is the word of peace, Eph. vi. 15."
A disputation between the law and the gospel; where is shown the difference or contrariety between them both.
"The law saith, Pay thy debt.
"The gospel saith, Christ hath paid it.
"The law saith, Thou art a sinner; despair, and thou shalt be damned.
"The gospel saith, Thy sins are forgiven thee, be of good comfort, thou shalt be saved!
"The law saith, Make amends for thy sins.
"The gospel saith, Christ hath made it for thee. "The law saith, The Father of heaven is angry with thee.
The gospel saith, Christ hath pacified him with his blood.
"The law saith, Where is thy righteousness, goodness, and satisfaction?
"The gospel saith, Christ is thy righteousness, thy goodness, thy satisfaction.
"The law saith, Thou art bound and obliged to me, to the devil, and to hell.
"The gospel saith, Christ hath delivered thee from them all."
The doctrine of faith.
"Faith is to believe God, like as Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness.
"To believe God, is to believe his word, and to account it true, that he saith.
"He that believeth not God's word, believeth not God himself.
"He that believeth not God's word, he counteth him false and a liar, and believeth not that he may and will fulfil his word; and so he denieth both the might of God, and God himself."
The Ninth Proposition.
"Faith is the gift of God."
"Every good thing is the gift of God. "Faith is good.
"Ergo, faith is the gift of God.
The Tenth Proposition.
"Faith is not in our power."
"The gift of God is not in our power.
"Faith is the gift of God.
"Ergo, faith is not in our power."
The Eleventh Proposition.
"He that lacketh faith, cannot please God.
"Without faith it is impossible to please God; all that cometh not of faith is sin; for without faith can no man please God."
"He that lacketh faith, trusteth not God: he that trusteth not God, trusteth not his word: he that trusteth not his word, holdeth him false and a liar: he that holdeth him false and a liar, believethnot that he may do that he promiseth, and so denieth he that he is God.
"Ergo, he that lacketh faith cannot please God.
"If it were possible for any man to do all the good deeds that ever were done either by men or angels, yet being in this case, it is impossible for him to please God."
The Twelfth Proposition.
"All that is done in faith, pleaseth God.
"Right is the word of God, and all his works in faith.
"Lord, thine eyes look to faith: that is as much as to say, Lord, thou delightest in faith."
The Thirteenth Proposition.
"He that hath faith is just and good."
"He that is a good tree, bringing forth good fruit, is just and good.
"He that hath faith, is a good tree bringing forth good fruit.
"Ergo, he that hath faith, is just and good."
The Fourteenth Proposition.
"He that hath faith, and believeth God, cannot displease him."
"He that hath faith, believeth God; he that believeth God, believeth his word; he that believeth his word, wotteth well that he is true and faithful, and may not lie, knowing that he both may, and will, fulfil his word.
"Ergo, he that hath faith cannot displease God, neither can any man do a greater honour to God, than to count him true."
"Thou wilt then say, that theft, murder, adultery, and all vices, please God."
"Nay verily, for they cannot be done in faith; for a good tree beareth good fruit."
The Fifteenth Proposition.
"Faith is a certainty or assuredness.
"Faith is a sure confidence of things which are hoped for, and certainty of things which are not seen.
"The same Spirit certifieth our spirit, that we are the children of God. Moreover, he that hath faith, wotteth well that God will fulfil his word: whereby it appeareth, that faith is a certainty or assuredness.
A man is justified by faith.
"Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness.
"We suppose therefore, that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law.
"He that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the wicked, his faith is counted to him for righteousness.
"The just man liveth by his faith.
"We wot that a man is not justified by the deeds of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; and we believe in Jesus Christ, that we may be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the deeds of the law."
What is the faith of Christ?
"The faith of Christ is to believe in him; that is, to believe his word, and believe that he will help thee in all thy need, and deliver thee from all evil.
"Thou wilt ask me, What word? I answer, The gospel.
"He that believeth in Christ shall be saved, Mark xvi. 16.
"He that believeth the Son hath everlasting life, John iii. 15.
"Verily I say unto you, He that believeth in me, hath everlasting life, John vi. 47.
"This I write unto you, that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, 1 John v. 13.
"Thomas! because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they which have not seen, and yet have believed, John xx. 29.
"To him gave all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of their sins, Acts x. 43.
"What must I do to be saved? The apostles answered, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, Acts xvi. 30, 31.
"If thou dost acknowledge with thy mouth that Jesus is the Lord, and believe with thine heart that God raised him from death, thou shalt be safe, Rom. x. 9.
"He that believeth not in Christ shall be condemned. He that believeth not the Son shall never see life, but the ire of God bideth upon him, John iii. 36.
"The Holy Ghost shall reprove the world of sin, because they believe not in me, John xvi. 9.
"They that believe in Jesus Christ are the sons of God. Ye are all the sons of God, because ye believe in Jesus Christ, 1 John iii.
"He that believeth that Christ is the Son of God, is safe, John iii. 30.
"Peter said, Thou art Christ the Son of the living God! Jesus answered and said unto him, Happy artthou, Simon, the son of Jonas, for flesh and blood hath not opened to thee that, but my Father that is in heaven, Matt. xvi. 16, 17.
"We have believed, and know that thou art Christ the Son of the living God.
"I believe that thou art Christ the Son of God, which should come into the world, John xi. 27. "These things are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is Christ the Son of God, and that ye, in believing, might have life through his name, John xx. 31.
"I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Acts viii. 37."
The Sixteenth Proposition.
"He that believeth the gospel, believeth God."
"He that believeth God's word, believeth God. "The gospel is God's word.
"Ergo, he that believeth the gospel, believeth God.
"To believe the gospel is this: that Christ is the Saviour of the world, John vi. 29.
"Christ is our Saviour, Luke ii. 11.
"Christ bought us with his blood, Heb. xiii. 20; 1 Pet. i. 19; Rev. v. 9.
"Christ washed us with his blood, Rev. i. 5. "Christ offered himself for us, Heb. ix. 25.
"Christ bare our sins on his own back, &c., 1 Pet. ii. 24."
The Seventeenth Proposition.
"He that believeth not the gospel believeth not God."
"He that believeth not God's word, believeth not God himself.
"The gospel is God's word.
"Ergo, he that believeth not the gospel, believeth not God himself; and consequently, he that believeth not those things above written, and such others, believeth not God."
The Eighteenth Proposition.
"He that believeth the gospel, shall be safe.
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel unto every creature: he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be condemned, Mark xvi."
A comparison between Faith and Incredulity.
"Faith is the root of all good: incredulity is the root of all evil.
"Faith maketh God and man good friends: incredulity maketh them foes.
"Faith bringeth God and man together: incredulity sundereth them.
"All that faith doth, pleaseth God: all that incredulity doth, displeaseth God.
"Faith only maketh a man good and righteous: incredulity only maketh him unjust and evil.
"Faith maketh a man a member of Christ: incredulity maketh him a member of the devil.
"Faith maketh a man the inheritor of heaven: incredulity maketh him inheritor of hell.
"Faith maketh a man the servant of God: incredulity maketh him the servant of the devil.
"Faith showeth us God to be a sweet Father: incredulity showeth him a terrible Judge.
"Faith holdeth stiff by the word of God: incredulity wavereth here and there.
"Faith counteth and holdeth God to be true: incredulity holdeth him false and a liar.
"Faith knoweth God: incredulity knoweth him not.
"Faith loveth both God and his neighbour: incredulity loveth neither of them.
"Faith only saveth us: incredulity only condemneth us.
"Faith extolleth God and his deeds: incredulity extolleth herself and her own deeds."
"Hope is a trusty looking after the thing that is promised us to come, as we hope after the everlasting joy, which Christ hath promised unto all that believe in him."
We should put our hope and trust in God alone, and in no other thing.
"It is better to trust in God and not in man, Psal. cxviii. 8.
"He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool, Prov. xxviii. 26.
"It is good to trust in God, and not in princes, Psal. cxviii. 9.
"They shall be like unto the images which they make, and all that trust in them, Psal. cxv. 8.
"He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool, Prov. xxviii. 26.
"Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, Jer. xvii. 5.
"Bid the rich men of this world, that they trust not in their unstable riches; but that they trust in the living God, I Tim. vi. 17.
"It is hard for them that trust in money, to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
"Moreover we should trust in him only, that mayhelp us: God only may help us, therefore we should trust in him only.
"Well are they that trust in God, and woe to them that trust not in him.
"Well is that man that trusteth in God, for God shall be his trust.
"They shall rejoice that trust in thee; they shall ever be glad, and thou wilt defend them."
"Charity is the love of thy neighbour. The rule of charity is this: Do as thou wouldst be done to: for Christ holdeth all alike, the rich, the poor, the friend and the foe, the thankful and unthankful, the kinsman and stranger."
A comparison between faith, hope, and charity.
"Faith cometh of the word of God; hope cometh of faith; and charity springeth of them both.
"Faith believeth the word; hope trusteth after that which is promised by the word; charity doth good unto her neighbour, through the love that she hath to God, and gladness that is within herself.
"Faith looketh to God and his word; hope looketh unto his gift and reward; charity looketh on her neighbour's profit.
"Faith receiveth God; hope receiveth his reward; charity loveth her neighbour with a glad heart, and that without any respect of reward. "Faith pertaineth to God only; hope to his reward; and charity to her neighbour."
The doctrine of works.
No manner of works make us righteous.
"We believe that a man shall be justified without works, Rom. iii.
"No man is justified by the deeds of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; and we believe in Jesus Christ, that we may he justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the deeds of the law; for if righteousness come by the law, then died Christ in vain, Gal. ii.
"That no man is justified by the law is manifest; for a righteous man liveth by his faith, but the law is not of faith, Acts xvii.
"Moreover, since Christ the Maker of heaven and earth, and all that is therein, behoved to die for us, we are compelled to grant that we were so far drowned and sunken in sin, that neither our deeds, nor all the treasures that ever God made or might make, could have holpen us out of them: therefore no deeds or works may make us righteous."
No works make us unrighteous.
"If any evil works make us unrighteous, then the contrary works should make us righteous. But it is proved that no works can make us righteous: therefore no works make us unrighteous."
Works make us neither good nor evil.
"It is proved that works neither make us righteous nor unrighteous: therefore no works make us either good or evil. For righteous and good are one thing, and unrighteous and evil likewise one.
"Good works make not a good man, nor evil works an evil man: but a good man bringeth forth good works, and an evil man evil works.
"Good fruit maketh not the tree good, nor evil fruit the tree evil: but a good tree beareth good fruit, and an evil tree evil fruit.
"A good man cannot do evil works, nor an evil man good works: for a good tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor an evil tree good fruit.
A man is good ere he do good works, and evil ere he do evil works: for the tree is good ere it bear good fruit, and evil ere it bear evil fruit."
Every man, and the works of man, are either good or evil.
"Every tree, and the fruits thereof, are either good or evil. Either make ye the tree good, and the fruit good also, or else make the tree evil, and the fruit of it likewise evil, Matt. xii. 23.
"A good man is known by his works: for a good man doth good works, and an evil man evil works. Ye shall know them by their fruit; for a good tree beareth good fruit, and an evil tree evil fruit. A man is likened to the tree, and his works to the fruit of the tree.
"Beware of the false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves: ye shall know them by their fruits, Matt. vii. 15.
None of our works either save us or condemn us.
"If works make us neither righteous nor unrighteous, then thou wilt say, it maketh no matter what we do. I answer, If thou do evil, it is a sure argument that thou art evil, and wantest faith. If thou do good, it is an argument that thou art good, and hast faith; for a good tree beareth good fruit, and an evil tree evil. Yet good fruit makes not the tree good, nor evil fruit the tree evil; so that man is good ere he do good deeds, and evil ere he do evil deeds."
The man is the tree, his works are the fruit.
"Faith, maketh the good tree, and incredulity the evil tree: such a tree, such fruit; such a man, such works. For all things that are done in faith, please God, and are good works; and all that are done without faith, displease God, and are evil works.
"Whosoever believeth or thinketh to be saved by his works, denieth that Christ is his Saviour, that Christ died for him, and that all things pertain to Christ. For how is he thy Saviour, if thou mightest save thyself by thy works? or whereto should he die for thee, if any works might have saved thee?
"What is this to say, Christ died for thee? Verily, that thou shouldst have died perpetually; and Christ, to deliver thee from death, died for thee, and changed thy perpetual death into his own death; for thou madest the fault, and he suffered the pain; and that, for the love he had to thee before thou wast born, when thou hadst done neither good nor evil.
"Now, seeing he hath paid thy debt, thou needest not, neither canst thou, pay it; but shouldst be damned if his blood were not. But since he was punished for thee, thou shalt not be punished.
"Finally, He hath delivered thee from thy condemnation and all evil, and desireth nought of thee, but that thou wilt acknowledge what he hath done for thee, and bear it in mind; and that thou wouldst help others for his sake, both in word and deed, even as he hath holpen thee for nought, and without reward.
"Oh how ready would we be to help others, if we knew his goodness and gentleness towards us; he is a good and a gentle Lord, for he doth all for nought. Let us, I beseech you therefore, follow his footsteps, whom all the world ought to praise and worship. Amen! "
He that thinketh to be saved by his works calleth himself Christ:
"For he calleth himself the Saviour; which pertaineth to Christ only.
"What is a Saviour, but he that saveth? and he saith, I saved myself; which is as much to say as, I am Christ; for Christ only is the Saviour of the world."
We should do no good works for the intent to get the inheritance of heaven, or remission of sin:
"For whosoever believeth to get the inheritance of heaven, or remission of sin, through works, he believeth not to get the same for Christ's sake; and they that believe not that their sins are forgiven them, and that they shall be saved, for Christ's sake, they believe not the gospel: for the gospel saith, You shall be saved for Christ's sake; your sins are forgiven for Christ's sake.
"He that believeth not the gospel, believeth not God. So it followeth, that those who believe to be saved by their works, or to get remission of their sins by their own deeds, believe not God, but account him as a liar, and so utterly deny him to be God.
"Thou wilt say, Shall we then do no good deeds?"
"I say not so, but I say we should do no good works to the intent to get the inheritance of heaven, or remission of sin. For if we believe to get the inheritance of heaven through good works, then we believe not to get it through the promise of God: or if we think to get remission of our sins by our deeds, then we believe not that they are forgiven us, and so we count God a liar. For God saith, Thou shalt have the inheritance of heaven for my Son's sake; thy sins are forgiven thee for my Son's sake: and you say it is not so, But I will win it through my works.
"Thus you see I condemn not good deeds, but I condemn the false trust in any works; for all the works wherein a man putteth any confidence, are therewith poisoned, and become evil. Wherefore thou must do good works, but beware thou do them not to deserve any good through them; for if thou do, thou receivest the good not as the gifts of God, but as a debt to thee, and makest thyself fellow with God, because thou wilt take nothing of him for nought. And what needeth he any thing of thine, who giveth all things, and is not the poorer? Therefore do nothing to him, but take of him, for he is a gentle Lord; and with a gladder will giveth us all that we need, than we can take it of him: if then we want aught, let us blame ourselves.
"Press not therefore to the inheritance of heaven through presumption of thy good works; for if thou do, thou countest thyself holy, and equal to God, because thou wilt take nothing of him for nought; and so shalt thou fall as Lucifer fell for his pride."
Certain brief notes or declarations upon the aforesaid Places of Master Patrick.
"This little treatise of Master Patrick's Places, albeit in quantity it be short, yet in effect it comprehendeth matter able to fill large volumes, declaring to us the true doctrine of the law, of the gospel, of faith, and of works, with the nature and properties, and also the difference of the same: which difference is thus to be understood: that in the cause of salvation, and in the office of justifying, these are to be removed and separated asunder, the law from the gospel, and faith from works: otherwise, in the person that is justified, and also in order of doctrine, they ought commonly to go necessarily together.
"Therefore, wheresoever any question or doubt riseth of salvation, or our justifying before God, there the law and all good works must be utterly excluded and stand apart, that grace may appear free, the promise simple, and that faith may stand alone; which faith alone, without law or works, worketh to every man particularly, his salvation, through mere promise, and the free grace of God. This word particularly, I add, for the particular certifying of every man's heart, privately and peculiarly, that believeth in Christ. For as the body of Christ is the cause efficient of the redemption of the whole world in general; so is faith the instrumental cause, by which every man applieth the said body of Christ particularly to his own salvation. So that in the action and office of justification, both law and works here be utterly secluded and exempted, as things having nothing to do in this behalf. The reason is this, for seeing that all our redemption universally springeth only from the body of the Son of God crucified, then is there nothing that can stand us in stead, but that only wherewith this body of Christ is apprehended. Now, forasmuch as neither the law nor works, but faith only, is the thing which apprehendeth the body and death of Christ, therefore faith only is that matter which justifieth every soul before God, through the strength of that object which it doth apprehend. For the object only of our faith is the body of Christ, like as the brazen serpent was the object only of the eyes of the Israelites' looking, and not of their hands working: by the strength of which object, through the promise of God, immediately proceeded health to the beholders. So the body of Christ, being the object of our faith, striketh righteousness to our souls, not through working, but believing only.
"Thus you see how faith, being the only eye of our soul, standeth alone with her object in case of justifying; but yet, nevertheless, in the body she standeth not alone: for besides the eye, there be also hands to work, feet to walk, ears to hear, and other members more, every one convenient for the service of the body, and yet there is none of them all that can see, but only the eye. So in a Christian man's life, and in order of doctrine, there is the law, there is repentance, there is hope, charity, and deeds of charity; all which, in life and in doctrine, are joined, and necessarily do concur together: and yet, in the action of justifying, there is nothing else in man, that hath any part or place, but only faith apprehending the object, which is the body of Christ Jesus for us crucified, in whom consisteth all the worthiness and fulness of our salvation, by faith; that is, by our apprehending and receiving of him: according as it is written in John i. 12, "Whosoever received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, even all such as believed in his name," &c. Also in Isa. liii. 11, "This just servant of mine, in the knowledge of him shall justify many, &c."
"Apprehending and receiving of Christ only maketh us justified before God.
"Christ only is apprehended and received by faith.
"Ergo, faith only maketh us justified before God."
"Justification cometh only by apprehending and receiving of Christ.
"The law and works do nothing pertain to the apprehending of Christ.
"Ergo, the law and works pertain nothing to justification."
"Nothing which is unjust of itself, can justify us before God, or help any thing to our justifying.
"Every work we do, is unjust before God.
"Ergo, no work that we do, can justify us before God, or help any thing to our justifying."
"If works could any thing further our justification, then should our works something profit us before God.
"No works, do the best we can, do profit us before God.
"Ergo, no works that we do, can any thing further our justification."
"All that we can do with God, is only by Christ.
"Our works and merits be not Christ, neither any part of him.
"Ergo, our works and merits can do nothing with God."
"That which is the cause of condemnation, cannot be the cause of justification." The law is the cause of condemnation.
"Ergo, it is not the cause of justification."
"We are quit and delivered from the law.
"Ergo, we are not quit and delivered by the law.
"Forasmuch therefore as the truth of the Scripture, in express words, hath thus included our salvation in faith only, we are enforced necessarily to exclude all other causes and means in our justification, and to make this difference between the law and the gospel, between faith and works; affirming, with Scripture and the word of God, that the law condemneth us, our works do not avail us, and that faith in Christ only justifieth us. And this difference and distinction ought diligently to be learned and retained of all Christians; especially in conflict of conscience between the law and the gospel, faith and works, grace and merits, promise and condition, God's free election and man's free-will: so that the light of the free grace of God in our salvation may appear to all consciences, to the immortal glory of God's holy name. Amen."
The order and difference of places.
"The gospel and the law; Faith and works;
"Grace and merits; Promise and condition;
"God's free election and man's free-will."
"The difference and repugnance of these aforesaid Places being well noted and expended, it shall give no small light to every faithful Christian, both to understand the Scriptures, to judge in cases of conscience, and to reconcile such places in the Old and New Testament as else may seem to repugn; according to the rule of St. Augustine, saying, Make distinction of times, and thou shalt reconcile the Scriptures, &c. Contrariwise, where men be not perfectly in these places instructed to discern between the law and the gospel, between faith and works, &c., so long they can never rightly establish their minds in the free promises of God's grace, but walk confusedly, without order, in all matters of religion; example whereof we have too much in the Romish Church, who, confounding these places together without distinction, following no method, hath perverted the true order of Christian doctrine, and hath obscured the sweet comfort and benefit of the gospel of Christ, not knowing what the true use of the law, nor of the gospel, meaneth."
In the doctrine of the law three things to be noted.
"In the law, therefore, three things are to be considered. First, what is the true rigour and strength of the law, which is, to require full and perfect obedience of the whole man, not only to restrain his outward actions, but also his inward motions and inclinations of will and affection, from the appetite of sin: and therefore saith St. Paul, The law is spiritual, but I am carnal, &c. Whereupon riseth this proposition, That it is not in our nature and power to fulfil the law. Item, the law commandeth that which is to us impossible, &c.
"The second thing to be noted in the doctrine of the law, is, to consider the time and place of the law, what they be, and how far they extend. For, as the surging seas have their banks and bars to keep them in, so the law hath its times and limits, which it ought not to pass. If Christ had not come and suffered, the time and dominion of the law had been everlasting: but now, seeing Christ hath come, and hath died in his righteous flesh, the power of the law against our sinful flesh doth cease. For the end of the law is Christ; that is, the death of Christ's body is the death of the law to all that believe in him: so that whosoever repent of their sins, and flee to the death and passion of Christ, the condemnation and time of the law to them is expired. Wherefore this is to be understood as a perpetual rule in the Scripture, that the law with all his sentences and judgments, wheresoever they are written, either in the Old Testament or in the New, do ever include a privy exception of repentance and belief in Christ, to the which always it giveth place, having there his end; and can proceed no further: according as St. Paul doth say, The law is our schoolmaster until Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
"Moreover, as the law hath his time how long to reign, so also it hath his proper place, where to reign. By the reign of the law here is meant the condemnation of the law: for as the time of the law ceaseth, when the faith of Christ, in a true repenting heart, beginneth, so hath the law no place in such as be good and faithful; that is, in sinners repenting and amending, but only in them which be evil and wicked. Evil men here I call such, which, walking in sinful flesh, are not yet driven by earnest repentance to flee to Christ for succour. And therefore saith St. Paul, To the just man there is no law set, but to the unjust and disobedient, &c. By the just man here is meant, not he which never had disease, but he who, knowing his disease, seeketh out the physician; and, being cured, keepeth himself in health, as much as he may, from any more surfeits. Notwithstanding he shall never so keep himself, but that his health (that is, his new obedience) shall always remain frail and imperfect, and shall continually need the physician. Where, by the way, these three things are to be noted: first, the sickness itself; secondly, the knowing of the sickness; thirdly, the physician. The sickness is sin: the knowing of the sickness is repentance, which the law worketh: the physician is Christ. And therefore, although in remission of our sins repentance is joined with faith, yet it is not the dignity or worthiness of repentance, that causeth remission of sins, but only the worthiness of Christ, whom faith only apprehendeth: no more than the feeling of the disease is the cause of health, but only the physician. For else, when a man is cast and condemned by the law, it is not repentance that can save or deserve life, but if his pardon come, then is it the grace of the prince, and not his repentance, that saveth.
"The third point to be considered in the doctrine of the law, is this: that we mark well the end and purpose why the law is given; which is, not to bring us to salvation, nor to work God's favour, nor to make us good; but rather to declare and convict our wickedness, and to make us feel the danger thereof, to this end and purpose, that we, seeing our condemnation, and being in ourselves confounded, may be driven thereby to have our refuge in Christ the Son of God, and to submit ourselves to him, in whom only is to be found our remedy, and in none other. And this end of the law ought discreetly to be pondered by all Christians: otherwise, they that consider not this end and purpose of the law, fall into manifold errors and inconveniences. First, they pervert all order of doctrine: secondly, they seek that in the law which the law cannot give: thirdly, they are not able to comfort themselves, nor other: fourthly, they keep men's souls in an uncertain doubt and dubitation of their salvation: fifthly, they obscure the light of God's grace: sixthly, they are unkind to God's benefits: seventhly, they are injurious to Christ's passion, and enemies to his cross: eighthly, they stop Christian liberty: ninthly, they bereave the church, the spouse of Christ, of her due comfort, as taking away the sun out of the world: tenthly, in all their doings they shoot to a wrong mark; for where Christ only is set up to be apprehended by our faith, and so freely to justify us, they, leaving this justification by faith, set up other marks, partly of the law, partly of their own devising, for men to shoot at. And here cometh in the manifest and manifold absurdities of the bishop of Rome's doctrine, which here (the Lord willing) we will rehearse, as in a catalogue here following:
"I. They erroneously conceive opinion of salvation in the law, which only is to be sought in the faith of Christ, and in no other.
"II. They erroneously do seek God's favour by works of the law; not knowing that the law, in this our corrupt nature, worketh only the anger of God.
"III. They err also in this, that where the office of the law is diverse from, and contrary to, the gospel, they, without any difference, confound the one with the other, making the gospel to be a law, and Christ to be a Moses.
"IV. They err in dividing the law unskilfully into three parts; into the law natural, the law moral, and the law evangelical.
"V. They err again in dividing the law evangelical into precepts and counsels, making the precepts to serve for all men, the counsels only to serve for them that be perfect.
"VI. The chief substance of all their teaching and preaching resteth upon the works of the law, as may appear by their religion, which wholly consisteth in men's merits, traditions, laws, canons, decrees, and ceremonies.
"VII. In the doctrines of salvation, remission, and justification, either they admix the law equally with the gospel, or else, clean secluding the gospel, they teach and preach the law, so that little mention is made of the faith of Christ, or none at all.
"VIII. They err in thinking that the law of God requireth nothing in us under pain of damnation, but only our obedience in external actions: as for the inward affections and concupiscence, they esteem but light matters.
"IX. They, not knowing the true nature and strength of the law, do erroneously imagine that it is in man's power to fulfil it.
"X. They err in thinking not only to be in man's power to keep the law of God, but also to perform more perfect works than be in God's law commanded; and these they call the works of perfection. And hereof rise the works of supererogation, of satisfaction, of congruity and condignity, to store up the treasure-house of the pope's church, to be sold out to the people for money.
"XI. They err in saying, that the state monastical is more perfect for keeping the counsels of the gospel, than other states be in keeping the law of the gospel.
"XII. The counsels of the gospel they call the vows of their religious men, as profound humility, perfect chastity, and wilful poverty.
"XIII. They err abominably, in equalling their laws and constitutions with God's law; and in saying, that man's law bindeth, under pain of damnation, no less than God's law.
"XIV. They err sinfully, in publishing the transgressors of their laws more sharply than the transgressors of the law of God; as appeareth by their inquisitions, and their canon law, &c.
"XV. Finally, they err most horribly in this, that where the free promise of God ascribeth oursalvation only to our faith in Christ, excluding works; they, contrary, ascribe salvation only, or principally, to works and merits, excluding faith: whereupon ariseth the application of the sacrifice of the mass, ex opere operato, for the quick and dead, application of the merits of Christ's passion in bulls, application of the merits of all religious orders, and such other more, above specified more at large in the former part of this history."
Here follow three cautions to be observed and avoided in the true understanding of the law.
"The first caution: that we, through the misunderstanding of the Scriptures, do not take the law for the gospel, nor the gospel for the law; but skilfully discern and distinct the voice of the one from the voice of the other. Many there be, which reading the book of the New Testament, do take and understand whatsoever they see contained in the said book, to be only and merely the voice of the gospel. And contrariwise, whatsoever is contained in the compass of the Old Testament; that is, within the law, stories, psalms, and prophets, to be only and merely the word and voice of the law. Wherein many are deceived; for the preaching of the law and of the gospel are mixed together in both the Testaments, as well the Old as the New; neither is the order of these two doctrines to be distinguished by books and leaves, but by the diversity of God's Spirit speaking unto us. For sometimes in the Old Testament God doth comfort, as he comforted Adam, with the voice of the gospel: sometimes also in the New Testament he doth threaten and terrify, as when Christ threatened the Pharisees. In some places again, Moses and the prophets play the evangelists; insomuch that Jerome doubtethWhether he should call Isaiah a prophet or an evangelist. In some places likewise Christ and the apostles supply the part of Moses; and as Christ himself, until his death, was under the law, (which law he came not to break, but to fulfil,) so his sermons made to the Jews, run all, for the most part, upon the perfect doctrine and works of the law, showing and teaching what we ought to do by the right law of justice, and what danger ensueth in not performing the same: all which places, though they be contained in the book of the New Testament, yet are they to be referred to the doctrine of the law, ever having in them included a privy exception of repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. As for example, where Christ thus preacheth, Blessed be they that be pure of heart, for they shall see God. Again, Except ye be made like these children, ye shall not enter, &c. Item, But he that doth the will of my Father, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, &c. Item, the parable of the unkind servant, justly cast into prison for not forgiving his fellow, &c. The casting of the rich glutton into hell, &c. Item, He that denieth me here before men, I will deny him before my Father, &c.: with such other places of like condition. All these, I say, pertaining to the doctrine of the law, do ever include in them a secret exception of earnest repentance, and faith in Christ's precious blood. For else, Peter denied, and yet repented. Many publicans and sinners were unkind, unmerciful, and hard-hearted to their fellow servants; and yet many of them repented, and by faith were saved, &c. The grace of Christ Jesus work in us earnest repentance, and faith in him unfeigned. Amen!
"Briefly, to know when the law speaketh, and when the gospel speaketh, and to discern the voice of the one from the voice of the other, this may serve for a note, that when there is any moral work commanded to be done, either for eschewing of punishment, or upon promise of any reward temporal or eternal, or else when any promise is made with condition of any work commanded in the law, there is to be understood the voice of the law. Contrary, where the promise of life and salvation is offered unto us freely, without all our merits, and simply, without any condition annexed of any law, either natural, ceremonial, or moral; all those places, whether they be read in the Old Testament or in the New, are to be referred to the voice and doctrine of the gospel. And this promise of God, freely made to us by the merits of Jesus Christ, so long before prophesied to us in the Old Testament, and afterwards exhibited in the New Testament, and now requiring nothing but our faith in the Son of God, is called properly the voice of the gospel, and differeth from the voice of the law in this, that it hath no condition adjoined of our meriting, but only respecteth the merits of Christ the Son of God; by whose faith only we are promised of God to be saved and justified: according as we read in Rom. iii., The righteousness of God cometh by faith of Jesus Christ, in all, and upon all, that do believe, &c.
"The second caution or danger to be avoided is, that we now, knowing how to discern rightly between the law and the gospel, and having intelligence not to mistake the one for the other, must take heed again that we break not the order between these two, taking and applying the law where the gospel is to be applied, either to ourselves or towards others. For albeit the law and the gospel many times are to be joined together in order of doctrine, yet case may fall sometimes, that the law must be utterly sequestered from the gospel: as when any personor persons do feel themselves, with the majesty of the law and judgment of God, so terrified and oppressed, and with the burden of their sins overweighed and thrown down into utter discomfort, and almost even to the pit of hell; as happeneth many times to soft and timorous consciences of God's good servants. When such mortified hearts do hear, either in preaching or in reading, any such example or place of the Scripture which pertaineth to the law, let them think the same nothing to belong to them, no more than a mourning weed belongeth to a marriage feast: and therefore, removing utterly out of their minds all cogitation of the law, of fear, of judgment, and condemnation, let them only set before their eyes the gospel, the sweet comforts of God's promise, free forgiveness of sins in Christ, grace, redemption, liberty, rejoicing, psalms, thanks, singing, and a paradise of spiritual jocundity, and nothing else; thinking thus with themselves, that the law hath done his office in them already, and now must needs give place to his better, that is, must needs give room to Christ the Son of God, who is the Lord and Master, the fulfiller, and also the finisher of the law; for the end of the law is Christ.
"The third danger to be avoided is, that we do not use or apply, on the contrary side, the gospel instead of the law. For as the other before was even as much as to put on a mourning gown in the feast of a marriage, so is this but even to cast pearls before swine; wherein is a great abuse among many. For commonly it is seen, that these worldly epicures and secure Mammonists, to whom the doctrine of the law doth properly appertain, do receive and apply to themselves most principally the sweet promises of the gospel: and, contrariwise, the other contrite and bruised hearts, to whom belong only the joyful tidings of the gospel, and not the law, for the most part receive and retain to themselves the terrible voice and sentences of the law. Whereby it cometh to pass, that many do rejoice where they should mourn; and on the other side, many do fear and mourn where they need not: wherefore, to conclude, in private use of life, let every person discreetly discern between the law and the gospel, and aptly apply to himself that which he seeth convenient.
"And again, in public order of doctrine, let every discreet preacher put a difference between the broken heart of the mourning sinner, and the unrepentant worldling, and so conjoin both the law with the gospel, and the gospel with the law, that in throwing down the wicked, ever he spare the weak-hearted; and again, so spare the weak, that he do not encourage the ungodly."
And thus much concerning the conjunction and difference between the law and the gospel, upon the occasion of Mr. Patrick's Places.