Many men's mouths have been open a good while (and yet are not stopped) with speeches about the Translation so long in hand, or rather perusals of Translations made before: and ask what may be the reason, what the necessity of the employment: Has the Church been deceived, say they, all this while? Has her sweet bread been mingled with leaven, her silver with dross, her wine with water, her milk with lime? ("Lacte gypsum male miscetur", says Ireney). We hoped that we had been in the right way, that we had the Oracles of God delivered to us, and that all the world had cause to be offended and to complain, yet that we had none. Has the nurse holden out the breast, and nothing but wind in it? Has the bread been delivered by the fathers of the Church, and the same proved to be "lapidosus", as Seneca speaks? What is it to handle the Word of God deceitfully, if this be not? Thus certain brethren. Also the adversaries of Judah and Jerusalem, like Sanballat in Nehemiah, mock, as we hear, both at the work and the workmen saying; "What do these weak Jews &c. will they make the stones whole again out of the heaps of dust which are burnt? although they build, yet if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stony wall." (Neh.4:3). Was their Translation good before? Why do they now mend it? Was it not good? Why then was it obtruded to the people? Yes, why did the Catholics (meaning Popish Romanists) always go in jeopardy, for refusing to go to hear it? No, if it must be translated into English, Catholics are fittest to do it. They have learning, and they know whe a thing is well, they can "manum de tabula". We will answer them both briefly: and the former being brethren, thus, with S.Jerome, "Damnamus veteres? Minime, seapost priorum studia in domo Domini quod possumus laboramus." That is, "Do we condemn the ancient? in no case: but after the endeavors of them that were before us, we take the best pains we can in the house of God." As if he said, Being proved by the example of the learned that lived before my time, I have thought it my duty, to assay whether my talent in the knowledge of the tongues,may be profitable in any measure to Gods Church, lest I should seemed to have labored in them in vain, and lest I should be thought to gory in men, (although ancient) above that which was in them. Thus S.Jerome may be thought to speak.
And to the same effect say we, that we are so far off from condemning any of their labors that travailed before us in this kind, either in this land, or beyond sea, either in King Henry's time, or King Edward's (if there were any translation, or correction of a translation in his time) or Queen Elizabeth's of ever-renowned memory, that we acknowledge them to have been raised up of God, for the building and furnishing of His Church, and that they deserved to be had of us and of posterity in everlasting remembrance. The Judgment of Aristotle is worthy and well known: "If Timotheous had not been, we had not had mush sweet music; but if Phrynis (Timotheous his master) had not been, we had not had Timotheous." Therefore blessed be they, and most honored be their name, that break the ice, and glue onset upon that which helps forward to the saving of souls. Now what can be more available thereto, then to deliver God's Book to God's people in a tongue which they understand? Since of an hidden treasure, and of a fountain that is sealed, there is no profit, as Ptolome Philadelph wrote to the Rabbins or masters of the Jews, as witnesses Epiphanius: and as S.Augustine says; "A man had rather be with his dog then with a stranger" (whose tongue is strange to him). Yet for all that, as nothing is begun and perfited at the same time, and the latter thoughts are thought to be the wiser: so, if we building upon their foundation that went before us, and being helped by their labors, do endeavor to make that better which they left so good; no man, we are sure, has cause to mislike us; they, we persuade ourselves, if they were alive, would thank us. The vintage of Abiezer, that struck the stroke: yet the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim was not to be despised. See Judges 8:2. Joash the king of Israel did not satisfy himself, till he had smitten the ground three times; and yet he offended the prophet, for giving over then (2 Kings 13:18,19). Aquila, of whom we spoke before, translated the Bible as carefully, and as skilfully as he could; and yet he thought good to go over it again, and then it got the credit with the Jews, to be called accurately done, as Saint Jerome witnesses. How many books of profane learning have been gone over again and again, by the same translators, by others? of none and the same book of Aristotle's Ethics, there are extant not so few as six or seven several translations. Now if this cost may be bestowed upon the gourd, which affords us a little shade, and which today flourishes, but tomorrow is cut down; what may we bestow, no, what ought we not to bestow upon the Vine, the fruit whereof makes glad the conscience of man, and the stem whereof abides forever? And this is the word of God, which we translate, "What is the chaff to the wheat, says the Lord?" "Tanti vitreum, quanti verum margaritum" (says Tertullian) if a toy of glass be of that reckoning with us, how ought we value the true pearl? Therefore let no mans eye be evil, because his Majesty's is good; neither let any be grieved, that we have a Prince that seeks the increase of the spiritual wealth of Israel (let Sanballat's and Tobiah's do so, which therefore do bear their just reproof) but let us rather bless God from the ground of our heart, for working this religious care in Him, to have the translation of the Bible maturely considered of and examined. For by this means it comes to pass, that whatsoever is sound already (and all is sound for substance, in one or other of our editions, and the worst of ours fair better then their authentic vulgar) the same will shine as gold more brightly, being rubbed and polished; also, if any thing be halting, or superfluous, or not so agreeable to the original, the same may be corrected, and the truth set in place. And what can the King command to be done, that will bring him more true honor then this? and wherein could they that have been set a work, approve their duty to the King, yet their obedience to God, and love to His saints more, then by yielding their service, and all that is within them, for the furnishing of the work? But besides all this, they were the principal motives of it, and therefore ought least to quarrel it: for the very Historic truth is, that upon the importunate petitions of the Puritans, at his Majesty's coming to his crown, the Conference at Hampton Court having been appointed for hearing their complaints: when by force of reason they were put from all other grounds, they had recourse at the last, to this shift, that they could not with good conscience subscribe to the Communion book, since it maintained the Bible as it was there translated, which was as they said, a most corrupted translation. And although this was judged to be but a very poor and empty shift; yet even hereupon did his Majesty begin to bethink himself of the good that might ensue by a new translation, and presently after gave order for this Translation which is now presented to you. Thus much to satisfy our scrupulous Brethren.
Now to the latter we answer; that we do not deny, no, we affirm and avow, that the very meanest of the translations of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) contains the Word of God, no, is the Word of God. As the Kings Speech which he uttered in Parliment, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian and Latin, is still the Kings Speech, though it be not interpreted by every Translator with the like grace, nor perhaps so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, everywhere. for it is confessed, that things are to take their denomination of the greater part; and a natural man could say, verium ubi multa nitent in carmine, nonego paucis offendor maculis &c. A a may be counted a virtuous man, though he have made many slips in his life, (else, there were none virtuous, for "in many things we offend all" (James 3:2) also a comely man and lovely, though he has some warts upon his hand, yes, not only freckles upon his face, but also scars. No cause therefore why the Word translated should be denied to be the Word, or forbidden to be current, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth of it. For what ever was perfect under the Sun, were Apostles or Apostle like men, that is, men indeed with an extraordinary measure of God's Spirit, and privileged with the priviledge of infallibility, had not their hand? The Romanist therefore in refusing to hear, and daring to burn the Word translated, did no less than spite the Spirit of Grace, from Whom originally it proceeded, and whose sense and meaning, as well as mans weaknesses would enable, it did express. Judge by the example of two. Plutarch writes, that after that Rome had been burnt by the Galles, they fell soon to build it again: but doing it in haste, they did not cast the streets, nor proportion the houses in such comely fashion, as had been most sightly and convenient; was Cataline therefore an honest man, or a good patriot, that sought to bring it to a combustion? or Nero a good prince, that did indeed set it on fire? So, by the story of Ezra, and the prophecy of Haggai it may be gathered, that the Temple built by Zerubbabel after the return from Babylon, was by no means to be compared to the former built by Solomon (for they that remembered the former, wept when they considered the latter. Ezra 3:12) notwithstanding, might this latter either have been abhorred and forsaken by the Jews, or profaned by the Greeks? The like we are to think of Translations. The translation of the Seventy dissents from the original in many places, neither does it come near it, for perspicuity, gravity, majesty; yet which of the Apostles did condemn it? Condemn it? No, they used it, (as is apparent, and as Saint Jerome and most learned men do confess) which they would not have done, nor by their example of using it, so grace and commend it to the Church, if it had been unworthy the appellation and name of the Word of God. And whereas they urge for their second defense of their vilifying and abusing of the English Bibles, or some pieces thereof, which they meet with, for that heretics (forsooth) where the Authors of the translations, (heretics they call us by the same right that they call themselves Catholics, both being wrong) we marvel what divinity taught them so. We are sure Turtullian was of another mind: "Ex personis probamus fidem, an ex fide personas?" Do we try men's faith by their persons? we should try their persons by their faith. Also S.Augustine was of an other mind: for he lighting upon certain rules made by Tychoniu's a Donatist, for the better understanding of the Word, was not ashamed to make use of them into his own book, with giving commendation to them so far forth as the were worthy to be commended, as is to be seen in S.Augustine's third book De doctrina Christiana. To be short, Origen, and the whole Church of God for certain hundred years, were of an other mind: for they were so far from treading under foot, (much more from burning) the Translations of Aquila a Proselite, that is, one that had turned Jew; of Symmachus, and Theodotion, both Ebionites, that is, most vile heretics, that they joined them together with the Hebrew Original, and all the Translation of the Seventy (as has been before signified out of Epiphanius) set them forth openly to be considered of and perused by all. But we weary the unlearned, who need not know so much, and trouble the learned, who know it already.
Yet before we end, we must answer a third cavil and objection of theirs against us, for altering and amending our Translations so often; wherein truly they deal hardly, and strangely with us. For to whom was it ever imputed for a fault (by such as were wise) to go over that which he had done, and to amend it where he saw cause? Saint Augustine was not afraid to exhort S.Jerome to a Palinodia or recantation; the same S.Augustine was not ashamed to retract, we might say revoke, many things that had passed him, and does even glory that he sees his infirmities. If we be sons of the Truth, we must consider what it speaks, and trample upon our own credit, yes, and upon other men's too, if either be any way hindrance to it. This to the cause: Then to the person we say, that of all men they ought to be most silent in this case. For what varieties have they, and what alterations have they made, not only of their Service books, Portesses and Breviaries, but also of their Latin Translations? The Service book supposed to be made by S.Ambrose (Officium Amrosianum) was a great while in special use and request: but Pope Hardrian calling a Council with the aid of Charles the Emperor, abolished it, yes, burnt it, and commanded the Service-book of Saint Gregory universally to be used. Well, Officium Gregorianum gets by this means to be in credit, but does it continue without change or altering? No, the very Roman Service was of two fasions, the New fashion, and the Old, (the one used in one Church, the other in another) as is to be seen in Pamelius, his Preface, before Micrologus. The same Pamelius reports out of Radulphus de Riuo, that about the year of our Lord, 1277. Pope Nicolas the third removed out of the Churches of Rome, the more ancient books (of Service) and brought into use the Missals of the Friers Minorites, and commanded them to be observed there; insomuch that about a hundred years after, where the above named Radulphus happened to be at Rome, he found all the books to be new, (of the new stamp). Neither was there this chopping and changing in the more ancient times only, but also of late. Pius Quintus himself confesses, that every Bishopric almost had a peculiar kind of service, most unlike to that which others had: which moved him to abolish all other Breviaries, though never so ancient, and privileged and published by Bishops in their Diocesses, and to establish and ratify that only which was of his own setting forth, in the year 1568. Now when the father of their Church, who would gladly heal the sore of the daughter of his people softly and slightly, and make the best of it, finds so great fault with them for their odds and jarring; we hope the children have no great cause to vaunt of their uniformity. But the difference that appears between our Translations, and our often correcting of them, is the thing we are especially charged with; let us see therefore whether they themselves be without fault this way, (if it be to be counted a fault, to correct) and whether they be fit men to throw stones at us: O tandem major parcas insane minori: that they are less sound themselves, ought not to object infirmities to others. If we should tell them that Valla, Stapulensis, Erasmus, and Viues found fault with their vulgar Translation, and consequently wished the same to be mended, or a new one to be made, they would answer perhaps, that we produced their enemies for witness against them; albeit, they were in no other sort enemies, then as S.Paul was to the Galatians, for telling them the truth (Galatians 4:16): and it were to be wished, that they had dared to tell it them plainer and oftener. But what will they say to this, that Pope Leo the tenth allowed Erasmus Translation of the New Testament, so much different from the vulgar, by his Apostolike Letter & Bull; that the same Leo exhorted Pagnin to translate the whole Bible, and bare whatsoever charges was necessary for the work? Surely as the Apostle reasons to the Hebrews, that"if the former Law and Testament had been sufficient, there had been no need of the latter." (Heb.7:11; 8:7): so we may say, that if the old vulgar had been at all points allowable, to small purpose had labor and charges been undergone, about framing of a new. If they say, it was one Popes private opinion, and that he consulted only himself; then we are able to go further with them, and to aver, that more of their chief men of all sorts, even their own Trent-champions Paiua & Vega, and their own Inquisitors, Hieronymus ab Oleastro, and their own Bishop Isidorus Clarius, and their own Cardinal Thomas a Vio Caietan, do either make new Translations themselves, or follow new ones of other mens making, or note the vulgar interpreter for halting; none of them fear to dissent from him, nor yet to except against him. And call they this a uniform tenor of text and judgment about the text, so many of the Worthies disclaiming the now received conceit? No, we will yet come near the quick: does not their Paris-edition differ from Louaine, and Hentenius his from the both, and yet all of them allowed by authority? No, does not Sixtus Quintus confess, that certain Catholics (he means certain of his own side) were in such a humor of translating the Scriptures into Latin, that Satan taking occasion by them, though they thought of no such matter, did strive what he could, out of so uncertain and manifold a variety of Translations, so to mingle all things, that nothing might seem to be left certain and firm in them, &c. No, further, did not the same Sixtus ordain by an inviolable decree, and that with the council and consent of his Cardinals, that the Latin edition of the old and new Testament, which the Council of Trent would have to be authentic, is the same without controversy which he then set forth, being diligently corrected and printed in the Printing-house of Vatican? Thus Sixtus in his Preface before his Bible, and yet Clement the eighth his immediate successor, publishes another edition of the Bible, containing in it infinite differences from that of Sixtus, (and many of them weighty and material) and yet this must be authentic by all means. What is to have the faith of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with Yes and No, if this be not? Again, what is sweet harmony and consent, if this be? Therefore, as Demaratus of Corinth advised a great king, before he talked of the dissension among the Grecians, to compose his domestic broils (for at the time his queen and his son and heir were at deadly feud with him) so all the while that our adversaries do make so many and so various editions themselves, and do ire so much about the worth and authority of them, they can with no show of equity challenge us for changing and correcting.
But it is high time to leave them, and to show in brief what we proposed to ourselves, and what course we held in this our perusal and survey of the Bible. Truly (good Christian Reader) we never thought from the beginning, that we should need to make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one, (for then the imputation of Sixtus had been true in some sort, that our people had been fed with gall of dragons instead of wine, with whey instead of milk) but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principal good one, not justly to be excepted against; that has been our endeavor, that our mark. To that purpose there were many chosen, that were greater in other men's eyes then in their own, and that sought the truth rather than their own praise. Again, they came or were thought to come to the work, not exercedi causa (as one says) but exercilati, that is, learned, not to learn: For the chief overseer under his Majesty, to whom not only we, but also our whole Church was much bound, knew by his wisom, which things also Nazianzen taught long ago, that it is a preposterous order to teach first and to learn after, yes, that to learn and practice together, is neither commendable for the workman, nor safe for the work. Therefore such were thought upon, as could say modestly with Saint Jerome, "Et Hebraeum Sermoneum ex parte didicimus, & in Latino pene ab ipsis incunabulis &c. detriti sumus". "Both we have learned the Hebrew tongue in part, and in the Latin we have been exercised almost from our very cradle". S.Jerome makes no mention of the Greek tongue, wherein yet he did excel, because he translated not the old Testament out of the Greek, but out of Hebrew. And in what sort did these assemble? In the trust of their own knowledge, or of their sharpness of wit, or deepness of judgment, as it were in an arm of flesh? At no hand. They trusted in him that has the key of David, opening and no man shutting: they prayed to the Lord the Father of our Lord, to the effect that S.Augustine did; "O let Your Scriptures be my pure delight, let me be not deceived in them, neither let me deceive by them." In ths confidence, and with this devotion did they assemble together; not too many, lest one should trouble another, and yet many, lest many things haply might escape them. If you ask what they had before them, truly it was the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the Greek of the New. These are the two golden pipes, or rather conduits, where-through the olive branches empty themselves into the gold. Saint Augustine calls them precedent, or original tongues; Saint Jerome, fountains. The same Saint Jerome affirms, and Gratian has not spared to put it into his Decree, That "as the credit of the old Books (he means of the Old Testament) is to be tried by the Hebrew Volumes, so of the New by the Greek tongue", he means by the original Greek. If truth be to be tried by these tongues, then whence should a Translation be made, but out of them? These tongues therefore, the Scriptures we say in those tongues, we set before us to translate, being the tongues wherein God was pleased to speak to his Church by his Prophets and Apostles. Neither did we run over the work with that posting haste that the Septuagint did, if that be true which is reported of them, that they finished in 72 days; neither were we barred or hindered from going over it again, having once done it, like S.Jerome, if that be true which himself reports, that he could no sooner write any thing, but presently it was caught from him, and published, and he could not have leave to mend it: neither, to be short, were we the first that fell in hand with translating the Scripture into English, and consequently destitute of former helps, as it is written of Origen, that he was the first in a manner, that put his hand to write Commentaries upon the Scriptures, and therefore no marvel, if he overshot himself many times. None of these things: the work has not been huddled up in 72 days, but has cost the workmen, as light as it seems, the pains of twice seven times seventy two days (1008) and more: matters of such weight and consequence are to be speeded up with maturity: for in a business of moment a man fears not the blame of convenient slackness. Neither did we think much to consult the Translators or the Commentators, Chaldee, Hebrew, Syrian, Greek, or Latin, no nor the Spanish, French, Italian, or Dutch; neither did we disdain to revise that which we had done, and to bring back to the anvil that which we had hammered: but having and using as great helps as were needful, and fearing no reproach for slowness, nor counting praise for expedition, we have at the length, through the good hand of the Lord upon us, brought the work that pass that you see.
Some perhaps would have no variety of senses to be set in the margin, lest the authority of the Scriptures for deciding of controversies by that show of uncertainty, should somewhat be shaken. But we hold their judgment not to be so sound in this point. For though "whatsoever things are necessary are manifest", as S.Chrysostome says, and as S.Augustine, "In those things that are plainly set down in the Scriptures, all such matters are found that concern Faith, Hope, and Charity." Yet for all that it cannot be dissembled, that partly to exercise and wet our wits, partly to weane the curious from loathing of them for their every-where-plainness, partly also to stir up our devotion to crave the assistance of Gods Spirit by prayer, and lastly, that we might be forward to seek aid of our brethren by conference, and never scorn those that be not in all respects so complete as they sould be, being to seek in many things ourselves, it has pleased God in His Divine providence, here and there to scatter words and sentences of that difficulty and doubtfulness, not in doctrinal points that concern salvation (for in such it has been vouched that the Scriptures are plain), but in matters of less moment, that fearfulness would better beseem us then confidence, and if we will resolve, to resolve upon modesty with S.Augustine (though not in this same case altogether, yet upon the same ground), "Melius est dubitare de occultis, quam litigare de incertis", it is better to make doubt of those things which are secret, then to strive about those things that are uncertain. There may be many words in the Scriptures, which be never found there but once (having neither brother nor neighbor, as the Hebrews speak), so that we cannot be helped by conference of places. Again, there may be rare names of certain birds, beasts and precious stones, &c., concerning which the Hebrews themselves are so divided among themselves for judgment, that they may seem to have defined this or that, rather because they would say something, the because they were sure of that which they said, as S.Jerome somewhere says in the Septuagint. Now in such a case, does not a margin do well to admonish the Reader to seek further, and not to conclude or dogmatize upon this or that peremtorily? For as it is a fault of incredulity, to doubt of those things that are evident: so to determine of such things as the Spirit of God has left (even in the judgment of the judicious) questionable, can be no less than presumption. Therefore as S.Augustine says, that variety of Translations is profitable for finding out of the sense of the Scriptures: so diversity of signification and sense in the margin, where the text is not clear, must needs do good, yes, is necessary, as we are persuaded. We know that Sixtus Quintus expressly forbids, that any variety of readings of their vulgar edition, should be put in the margin, (which though it be not altogether the same thing to what we have in hand, yet it looks that way) but we think he has not all of his own side his favors, for this conceit. They that are wise, had rather have their judgments at liberty in differences of readings, then to be captivated to one, when it may be the other. If they were sure that their high priest had all the laws shut up in his breast, as Paul the second bragged, and that he was as free from error by special privileged, as the dictators of Rome were made by law inviolable, it were another matter; then his word were an Oracle, his opinion a decision. But the eyes of the world are now open, God be thanked, and have been a great while, they find that he is subject to the same afflictions and infirmities that others be, that his skin is penetrable, and therefore so much as he proves, not as much as he claims, they grant and embrace.
And another thing we think good to admonish you of (gentle Reader) that we have not tied ourselves to a uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words, as some perhaps would wish that we had done, because they observe, that some learned men somewhere, have been as exact as they could that way. Truly, that we may not vary from the sense of that which we had translated before, if the word signified the same thing in both places (for there be some words that be not of the same sense everywhere) we were especially careful, and made a conscience, according to our duty. But, that we should express the same notion in the same particular word; as for example, if we translate the Hebrew or Greek word once by "Purpose", never to call it "Intent"; if one were "Journeying", never "Traveling"; if one were "Think", never "Suppose"; if one were "Pain", never "Ache"; if one were "Joy", never "Gladness", &c. Thus to minse the matter, we thought to savor more of curiosity then wisdom, and that rather it would breed scor in the Atheist, then bring profit to the godly Reader. For is the Kingdom of God become words or syllables? why should we be in bondage to them if we may be free, use one precisely when we may use another no less fit, as commodiously? A godly Father in the Primitive time showed himself greatly moved, that one of newfanglenes called ...... (I have to look up the Greek here. Jim), thought the difference be little or none: and another reports, that he was much abused for turning Many other things we might give you warning of (gentle Reader) if we had not exceeded the measure of a Preface already. It remains, that we commend you to God, and to the Spirit of His grace, which is able to build further then we can ask or think. He removes the scales from our eyes, the vail from our hearts, opening our wits that we may understand His Word, enlarging our hearts, yes correcting our affections, that we may love it above gold and silver,yes that we may love it to the end. You all are brought unto fountains of living water which you all digged not (Gen.26:15); do not cast earth into them with the Philistines, neither prefer broken pits before them with the wicked Jews (=Kenites, the sons of Cain) (Jeremiah 2:13). Others have labored, and you may enter into their labors; O receive not so great things in vain, O despise not so great salvation! Be not like swine to tread under foot so precious things, neither yet like dogs to tear and abuse holy things. Say not to our Savior with the Geresites, "Depart out of our coasts" (Matt.8:34); neither yet with Esau sell your birthright for a mess of pottage (Heb.16:16). If light be come into the world, love not darkness more than light; if food, if clothing be offered, go ot naked, starve not your selves. Remember the advise of Nazianzene, "It is a grievous thing (or dangerous) to neglect a great fair, and to seek to make market afterwards:" also the encouragement of S.Chrysostome, "It is altogether impossible, that he that is sober (and watchful) should at any time be neglected": Lasly the admonition and menacing of S.Augustine, "Tey that despise God's will inviting them, shall feel God's will taking vengeance of them". It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God; but a blessed thing it is, and will bring us to everlasting blessedness in the end, when God speaks to us, to listen; when He sets His Word before us, to read it; when He stretches out His hand and calls, to answer, Here I am; here we are to do Your will, O God. The Lord work a care and conscience in us to know Him and serve Him, that we may be acknowledged of Him at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom with the Holy Spirit, be all praise and thanksgiving. Amen.
Many other things we might give you warning of (gentle Reader) if we had not exceeded the measure of a Preface already. It remains, that we commend you to God, and to the Spirit of His grace, which is able to build further then we can ask or think. He removes the scales from our eyes, the vail from our hearts, opening our wits that we may understand His Word, enlarging our hearts, yes correcting our affections, that we may love it above gold and silver,yes that we may love it to the end. You all are brought unto fountains of living water which you all digged not (Gen.26:15); do not cast earth into them with the Philistines, neither prefer broken pits before them with the wicked Jews (=Kenites, the sons of Cain) (Jeremiah 2:13). Others have labored, and you may enter into their labors; O receive not so great things in vain, O despise not so great salvation! Be not like swine to tread under foot so precious things, neither yet like dogs to tear and abuse holy things. Say not to our Savior with the Geresites, "Depart out of our coasts" (Matt.8:34); neither yet with Esau sell your birthright for a mess of pottage (Heb.16:16). If light be come into the world, love not darkness more than light; if food, if clothing be offered, go ot naked, starve not your selves. Remember the advise of Nazianzene, "It is a grievous thing (or dangerous) to neglect a great fair, and to seek to make market afterwards:" also the encouragement of S.Chrysostome, "It is altogether impossible, that he that is sober (and watchful) should at any time be neglected": Lasly the admonition and menacing of S.Augustine, "Tey that despise God's will inviting them, shall feel God's will taking vengeance of them". It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God; but a blessed thing it is, and will bring us to everlasting blessedness in the end, when God speaks to us, to listen; when He sets His Word before us, to read it; when He stretches out His hand and calls, to answer, Here I am; here we are to do Your will, O God. The Lord work a care and conscience in us to know Him and serve Him, that we may be acknowledged of Him at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom with the Holy Spirit, be all praise and thanksgiving. Amen.