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prayers, and shews of repentance, and petitions to God for defence against their enemies : and in many churches, continually thrice in the week, exercises of prayers, sermons, and fastings, all the day long, from morning to evening, with great admiration to see such general devotion (which I, and others, do judge to proceed more of fear than of devotion) so now, since the English navy is returned, and the Spanish navy defeated, and intelligence brought of the disorders in Flanders, of the dissensions betwixt the Spaniards and the other soldiers, of the contempt of the Duke of Parma by the Spaniards, being hereto maintained by a duke, called the Duke of Pastraw, the Catholick King's bastard, and of the departure and running away of the Duke’s mariners, hereis a like concourse of the people to sermons in all churches ; wherein is remembered the great goodness of God towards England, by the delivery thereof from the threatened conquest, and prayers also publickly, to give thanks to God for the same,
Imprinted at London, by John Windet, and are to be sold in Paul's Church
yard, at the Brasen-Serpost. MDLXXXVIII.
The following tract was written immediately after the natiou's deliverance from
the Spanish invasion, in the year 1588, with that judgment, justice, zeal, and elegancy of stile, that at once it perpetuates the just commendation of the Author, displays his eloquence, and confirms bis seasonable loyalty to his sovereign, bis religion, and his country. The several branches of this exhortation are so well united in the most solid rea
son, that neither time nor deceitful politicks are able to withstand their force; and so well adapted to the general foible of mankind, that it may be accounted
a standing exhortation on the like occasions, whenever God permits any such, calamities to befall us. For here every one may see his duty, and are instructed as well to avoid the misfortunes that ruin a nation, as the means, which, by God's blessing, frustrate and rout our enemies, and maintain our just rights and religion, laws and liberties.
LBEIT, my dear countrymen, and well beloved in the Lord, your venturing your lives for defence of your country; yet, because the same then happened in a fury against your enemies, and, as it i were, in the fear of final destruction; and that the trial of your valiant courages, and proof of your warlike furnitures, was prevented by the great mercy of God, and the provident foresight of her excellent Majesty; so as God himself hath stricken the stroke, and
ye have but looked on, I am not now to speak of any late acts, atchieved by your prowess and courage, but to set before your eyes the great and wonderful causes you have, to arm your bodies, to prepare your minds, and to sharpen your swords against your enemies. Not as your forefathers, against some one particular prince in France, in Spain, or in Scotland. Neither for lands, for honour, or conquest, which by battles one or twain might be decided, and the quarrel ended; but ye must strengthen yourselves against that horrible beast*, who hath received power from the dragon. Against the princes of the națions*, which have entered into league with the whore of Babylont, who hath sworn your destruction; and will not be satisfied with the blood of many days battle, nor with the lands which you hold, nor with the goods which ye possess, nor with the fair houses which ye have builded. Neither are they minded to carry you away, as the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Romans did the Israelites, into captivity. But, after they have taken their yile pleasure of your wives, your sons, and daughters, they will utterly destroy you, that the name of our nation shall be no more remembered upon the earth. Whosoever,' say they, “ falleth not down and worshippeth that golden images, shall be cast the same hour into the hot fiery furnace'll
. They will no more suffer you to try the truth by testimony of the scriptures, nor to plead for yourselves the most antient fathers. But, having prevailed against you, they will execute their malice upon you without judgment, and destroy you without mercy. They have already cast lots for your inheritance, and have given sentence upon the sacred person of the Queen ş. They will make no difference of degrees, but the Queen and the commons, the noble and ignoble, the learned and unlearned, the priest and the people, the poor and the rich, the old and the young, have all one punishment allotted unto them. Was there ever any nation in the world so barbarous, or people so bloody, or princo so cruel before this time, whether he warred for greediness, or malice, or revenge, or con• The whole power of Popery uniting to destroy the protestant interest. + The Pope.
!! Persecuted witla fire and sword. See Pope Sixtus V's bull of excommunic tion against the Quecu, and his letter to the King of Spain.
quest; but he satisfied himself with the blood and captivity of them that offended him; sparing the nation, and them that were innocent in the action.
Again, was there ever any king or prince, or magistrate, whether he were godless or religious, whether idolater or Christian, but, if he, minded to revenge against any other nation, he would plead the cause. by messengers*, according to the law of nations; and not purpose a sudden destruction before a perfect examination? What Barbarian, Turk, or tyrant, would seek to conquer his neighbour by fraud, to gain to his sect by falshood, to bereave a princess of her kingdom, by villany; of her subjects, by disloyalty; of her life, by treachery; and of all their lives and souls, by hypocrisy? Is this the spirit of him that, rebuked his disciples when they would have called for fire from heaven: to have consumed them, which would not receive him? “ No, saith he, * ye must be of another spirit; I am not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.'
Good King David, albeit he were already anointed King of Israel, in the life time of Saul, and had his said enemy many times alone, where he might have slain him, and so have possessed the kingdom, quietly, would not attempt so great a treachery.
What shall we say of the Roman captain, Camillus, that, while he lay at the siege of a city, called Falliscus, there came secretly to him, out of the city, a schoolmaster with his scholars, offering him to be-, tray the town into his hands. “No,' saith Camillus, “I will win it honourably, and thou shalt be sent home with shame;' and, so delivering rods into the hands of his own scholars, they whipped their master home into the city.
Is it not that beast of the bottomless pit that worketh all these tra-, gedies ? Hath he not made drunk the princes of the earth, with the cup of his fornication, even the bloody woman, that sitteth on the blood-coloured beast? That exalteth himself above all the princes, and maketh himself equal with God?
Was there ever any prince or monarch of the world before this petty God
sprang up; nay, did ever all the princes of the world seek to deprive any one absolute prince of his kingdom, and entitle the same unto another, without an express commandment of God, unless it were by honourable conquest or just victory? . By me,' saith God, • Kings reigu, and noblemen of the earth do bear rule. Where is there any example in the Old Testament, that any priest did ever depose any prince? For Athaliah was but an usurper, and was slain by consent both of priest and people as a murdress of her own chil-, dren; and Joash the right heir was established in the kingdom. Was not Peter, in the New Testament, greater than any pope on the earth? And yet so far from deposing of Princes, as he himself of all other was most obedient to secular power, and gave the same lesson unto. others? But was not Christ himself the prince of all princes; and yet, seeing his kingdom was spiritual, was be not obedient to all govern
ment, commanding all manner of obedience and humility to all his disciples?
Now let us see more at large, by whom, against whom, and for what causes this war, or rather cruel proscription, groweth. That, these things being plainly set down before your eyes, not only they that be of the poorer sort, which, having excellent courages, will set to their hearts and hands to defend their prince, their country, and religion, if they may be enabled thereunto, but chiefly those that have substance, lands, and living, which God hath given them, not to con sume in their own pleasures and vanities, but especially to these ends and purposes, may be persuaded with a full and perfect resolution, forsaking the pomps and vanities of this life, to live frugally, honestly, and temperately, as shall best become the loyal servants of so godly a prince, and the valiant defenders of so Christian a commonweal; and henceforth be ready, not alone with their lands and goods, but also with their bodies and lives to defend so just, so godly, and so holy a cause.
What time as it pleased our most merciful and heavenly Father, in this our age, to discover unto his church, by certain preachers of great courage and magnanimity, the manifold abuses and heap of tra ditions, which the bishops of Rome, by their letters, decrees, and canons, have brought into the church, by little and little, from the second
age of Christ unto that time : whereby the sincere and plain religion of Christ, pronounced, written, and established by his apostles over all the world, was so corrupted and overshadowed, as even unto this day, unless it be those, whose minds God hath lightened with the bright beams of his spirit, men can hardly remove that vale of vanities from their hearts : even then also, it pleased his fatherly goodness, to open the eyes of that noble prince of everlasting memory, King Henry the Eighth, father to her excellent Majesty ; that he plainly saw how long the princes and people had been abused, and, as it were, bewitched, with that ungodly antichrist of Rome. Who being puffed up with certain liberal donations of some well-minded princes, by little and little, became, of the poorest of all human creatures, the most mighty Pope and primate and commander of all Christian princes. Wherefore, by the advice of his most prudent and godly council, with the assent of the whole realm in parliament, he discharged himself of the Romish yoke, which many of his progenitors, the Kings of England, for fellowship of other princes had so long submitted themselves unto, And therewithal, delivering to all his subjects the law of the Lord* in their own mother tongue, so many years excluded from them, gave power unto godly preachers to publish the truth, maugre all the enemies of the same.
Whose godly example, his virtuous and prudent son, King Edward the Sixth, faithfully following, utterly chased away in one moment all the remnant of traditions, that men had been so long in devising, and restored religion to the self-same form, that the holy apostles left the same,
• The Holy Bible
According whereunto our most gracious Sovereign, leading us out of the captivity of Babylon, where God for our manifold sins made us by the space of six years, or thereabout*, to serve under antichrist, till we were returned unto him by prayer and amendment of life, perfectly restored us again to all those heavenly gifts which her royal father and brother had bestowed upon us.
Wherefore, these things being thus godly and sincerely taken in hand, the Pope in his greatness sore appalled; fearing at the very first, that, if these things should prosper and have good success, he and his whole religion should be overthrown, and himself cast down from that high dignity of a Pope, to the poor degree of Peter; from being carried on men's shoulders to be sent abroad to preach in his own person; from the wearing of Paul's sword, to be obedient to princes laws ; from being served as a king at his table, to serve as a minister in the church; and from being an universal head, to be content with his own city of Rome. He at the very first, in a great fury, persuaded the Christian princes, that were taking in hand a noble action against infidels, to turn their forces against such their own neighbours as were enemies to his superstition.
So, then, it is the Romish antichrist that hath blown the trum. pet of this cruel sedition. It was that man of sin, which caused the commotion of the north against King Henry the Eighth. It was he that raised up divers rebellions against that virtuous young Prince, King Edward the Sixth, and also against her Majesty. It was he that cursed the Queen our Sovereign, and, in his own fond imagination, deposed her royal person from her crown and dignity; and of his own free gift (forsooth) bestowed the same upon others, but never durst give livery and seisin' of the same himself. He it is that Aatly against the word of God (wherein it was said: ' let every soul submit itself to the king as to his headt :) discharged all her Majesty's subjects of their due obedience towards her, and sent in swarms of false hypocrites, to steal away the hearts of the simple people from her, and to carry away their consciences captive unto Satan. He it is that hath sundry times laid plots for the destruction of her royal person; and, so far as in him lay, committed cruel murder by assenting unto vile persons to slay her, and by giving them pardons beforehand for their villanies. Finally, he it is, that hath sown sedition in the kingdom; that hath driven men, women, and children from true religion to perdition ; from sincere worshiping to damnable superstition. And he it is, that hath made not the holy, but the hellish league, with the great and mighty princes of his religion, to devour and consume us. But God be blessed for evermore, which hath lately delivered us, and turned some of their own weapons, prepared against us, into their own bowels, and hath drowned Pharaoh and his horsemen in the sea. For, though the Spanish King lately approached to the kingdom with wonderful force and preparation to have conquered the same, yet was he but a deputy therein to the Pope, and should have taken posses
. During the Popish reign of Queen Mary,
+ 1 Pet. ii, Rom. xiii.