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workes, but when we keape the sabboth daye as well with mynde as with bodie, when we heare the worde of God, when by praier we call vpon his name, and be partakers of his sacramentes. By which thinges we be monished, instructed, strenghtened and defended to be the more constante in our faith. And this is the trewe sense and meanyng of this precepte. Wherfore good children marke it wel I pray you, and when it shal chaunce you to be demaunded, how vnderstande you the thirde commaundement? Ye shal answer, we ought to feare and loue our Lord God aboue all thinges to heare diligently and reuerently his holy worde and with al diligence to folow the same.
THE FOURTH SERMON.
YOU haue hearde the thirde commaundement wherby we learne howe to vse oure selues towardes God in oure deedes and workes, now foloweth the fourth commaundemente whiche is this.
Honour thy father and thy mother that thou maist leade a long lyfe in the land whiche the Lord God shall giue onto the.
THYS good chyldren is the first and chief commaundemente of the seconde table, whiche doethe teache vs, how we oughte to behaue oure selfes towarde our neyghbour. And thys commaundement speaketh of the most excellent and most deare personages vnto vs that lyue vpon the yearth, as of our parentes and rulers of the commen wealth, and it teacheth howe we should order our selues towardes theym, that is to saye, to honoure and dreade them. It entreateth of no small or trifelyng thinges, but contayneth matiers of verye greate importaunce, and it gyueth great wysedome to all them that do rightlye vnderstande it. Wherefore good chyldren lysten to it dylygentlye, that you maye knowe the trewe meanyng therof. And firste of all ye shall vnderstande, that God dyd gyue vs these Ten Commaundementes for thys cause that by them we myght learne what doth please him. For this is a doctrine most certaine, that we vpon earth can interprise or worke nothynge that maye better please him, than to kepe his commaundementes. And they be most foles of all, that go about to serue God and winne his fauour with suche workes as he him
self hath not commaunded. For of suche Christe sayeth Math. xv. in the xv. chapter of Mathewe. They wourshippe me in
vayne with the commaundementes of men. But thys we maye be sure of, that it pleaseth God that we should honour our father and mother and obey them. And for this cause, all the workes also whiche they commaunde vs to do, do please God, yea the most vyle workes that they appoynt vs unto, as to swepe the house to poure water into the lauer and such like. Now this is a very great comforte for vs to know for a suertie that these small and druggynge workes do highlye please God, bicause in doyng them we obey our parentes. Contrarywise those kyndes of wourshyppynge God, those ceremonies and wourkes whiche be donne to please God without his commaundement and besides his wourde, do nothynge at al please him, although the world do neuer so highly esteme and praise theim. For it is the commaundement of God, onely and nothynge elles that maketh our workes holy and precious in his sight. Nowe here God commaundeth vs to honor our father and mother, that is to saye, to stande in awe of them, willyngly to obey them, to loue them and haue them in reuerence, and to helpe them with all the meanes we can. For these wourdes, honor thy father, and mother, do conteine al these thinges. And we be bounde to yelde unto them this honor, forasmuche as God hath gyuen them vnto vs as masters, tutors, gouernors, and rulers, in his stede, and by them hath powred vpon vs many high and great benefites, wherby we be most streyghtly bound to honor them and not to dyspise them. But when we do not feare them, when we lightly regard them, when they be angrye wyth vs, then we dispise them. And this is a verye haynous synne before God. For in no wyse we shoulde contemne them, but ought to take very great heede that we displease them not, no not in trifelyng thinges. Also when we do not obey them wyllynglye, then also we dyspyse them, for he that doth not obei his father and mother, he is a presumptuous person, and thinketh himselfe wiser or better then they, and this is a greate contempt and an heynous synne before God. Wherfore good children do not so dispise your fathers and mothers, but obey them with all your harte, and be subiect vnto them. Furthermore when we do not loue our fathers and mothers, then it is not possible that we should hartely honor them, wherfore we must beare an heartie and feruente loue towardes theym, speciallye, seynge that God hath thorowgh them poured so manye benefites vpon vs, as we shal declare more at large herafter, besides this it is our bownden dewtie to vse all kynd of gentlenes and lyberalytie towardes our fathers and mothers and in all thinges to shewe kindnes vnto them before all other parsons. For when we do any pleasure to other men, we loke that they shoulde thanke vs for the same. But of oure fathers and mothers, we oughte to loke for no thankes but without benefites we must honor them, that is to say, we must ordre our selues towardes them, no otherwise then we woulde do towarde kinges, princes, and lordes, to whom when we offer any presente, we thynke not that they be bound to render vnto vs any great thankes for the same, but we humblye fall on our knees before them, instantly desiryng them, that they wyl vouchesafe to take in good parte so smal a gyfte, wherein we declare oure good wyll farre to passe oure habilitie, and wyth all reuerence we sue vnto theym, that of theyr clemencye they wyl accept our good hartes and myndes. On this faschion we ought to behaue ourselues towardes our fathers and mothers, and when so euer we be able to do them any pleasure, we must honour them after the sayde maner, and reuerentli beseche them, that they wyll take well in worth suche small tokens of our deutye and loue towardes them. For we can not rendre unto oure fathers and mothers any gyft or presente so weyghty that shal be able to counterpoyse the kyndnes which they haue deserued at our handes, or can in any part recompense the great goodnesse and benefites whiche they haue heaped vpon vs without nombre.
So good childerne note well I praye you what is ment by this worde honor, whiche in this place comprehendeth feare, dreade, reuerence, obedience, and loue towardes our parentes, and that it is oure dewtie to lade theim with all kindes of gentlenes and lyberalitie. And when we haue donne all that we can do, yet not to loke for thankes againe at their handes, but rather to thanke them, that they would vouchesafe so gently to accept our smal benefytes. For God hath appointed them to be our maisters, tutors, and gouernors, ouer vs, wherfore of dewtie we owe ynto them this seruice and obedience. And onlesse we ordre our selues to our parentes after suche maner as is before rehersed, God wil be greuously offended with vs, and sore punishe vs. As it is plainly declared in Moses law in the. xxi. chapter of Deut. xxi. Deuteronomie where these wordes are written. Yf a man haue a frowarde and stubburne childe, which wil not heare his fathers and mothers commaundement and beyng corrected disdaynes to obey them, they shall take him and bryng him before the iudges of the cytie, and shall saye thus. Thys oure sonne is stubburne and disobedyent, he wil not heare vs, nor be ruled by vs, he is a ryoter and lyueth vngodly. Then all the people shall stone him to death, that this myscheuous wede may be weded out of the congregation, and al the people maye heare of his punishment, and feare to committe lyke offence Hereby you may learne good children, how greatly thys synne dyspleaseth God, seyng that in hys lawe he hath appoynted so paineful a punishement for dysobedient children. Hitherto you haue herde what it is to honor your parentes, now heare also the cause why God hath so diligently commaunded this thinge. Our Lorde God hath gyuen vs so many benefites by our fathers and mothers that no tongue can worthely expresse theim. For God veseth our parentes as his meanes by whome he gyueth vs lyfe, breth, fode and al thinges necessarie to the maintenaunce of this lyfe. Therfore we ought to wourshyp theim, as the chosen instrumentes of God. And forasmuche as God himselfe is inuisible to vs here . in earth, whom we nether se bodily nor heare his voice, therfore he hath appoynted our fathers and mothers in his stede to talke with vs, and to teache vs what we ought to do, and what to eschewe. Euen as the scholemaster doth oftentymes commit his scholers to his vscher, that he in the scholemasters absence may teache and go