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Jonah
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Tyndale for Today, Jonah
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Prolog, Jonah

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The prophet Jonah
W. T. unto the Christian reader.
Prolog, Jonah, Ch. 1

A

As the envious Philistines stopped the wells of Abraham and filled them up with earth, to put the memorial out of mind, to the intent that they might challenge the ground: even so the fleshly minded hypocrites stop up the veins of life which are in the scripture, with the earth of their traditions, false similitudes & lying allegories: & that of like zeal — to make the scripture their own possession & merchandise: and so shut up the kingdom of heaven which is God’s word neither entering in themselves nor suffering them that would.

The scripture hath a body without — and within a soul, spirit & life. It hath without a bark — a shell and as it were an hard bone for the fleshly minded to gnaw upon. And within it hath pith, kernel, marrow & all sweetness for God’s elect which he hath chosen to give them his Spirit, & to write his law and the faith of his Son in their hearts.

knowledge = acknowledge


The scripture containeth .iij. things in it first the law to condemn all flesh: secondarily the Gospel, that is to say, promises of mercy for all that repent & knowledge their sins at the preaching of the law & consent in their hearts that the law is good, & submit themselves to be scholars to learn to keep the law & to learn to believe the mercy that is promised them: & thirdly the stories & lives of those scholars — both what chances fortuned them, & also by what means their schoolmaster taught them and made them perfect, & how he tried the true from the false.

When the hypocrites come to the law, they put glosses to and make no more of it than of a worldly law which is satisfied with the outward work and which a Turk may also fulfill. When yet God’s law never ceaseth to condemn a man until it be written in his heart and until he keep it naturally without compulsion & all other respect save only of pure love to God and his neighbor — as he naturally eateth when he is an hungered, without compulsion & all other respect, save to slake his hunger only.

glister = glitter
ner = nor


And when they come to the Gospel, there they mingle their leaven & say, God now receiveth us no more to mercy — But of mercy receiveth us to penance, that is to wit, holy deeds that make them fat bellies & us their captives — both in soul and body. And yet they feign their Fool the Pope so merciful, that if thou make a little money glister in his Balaam’s eyes, there is neither penance ner purgatory ner any fasting at all but to fly to heaven as swift as a thought and at the twinkling of an eye.

gests = deeds


























evens = evenings


And the lives stories and gests of men which are contained in the Bible, they read as things no more pertaining unto them — than a tale of Robin Hood, & as things they wot not whereto they serve, save to feign false descant & juggling allegories, to stablish their kingdom withal. And one the chiefest & fleshliest study they have, is to magnify the saints above measure & above the truth & with their poetry to make them greater then ever God make them. And if they find any infirmity or sin ascribed unto the saints, that they excuse with all diligence, diminishing the glory of the mercy of God & robbing wretched sinners of all their comfort — & think thereby to flatter the saints and to obtain their favor & to make special advocates of them: even as a man would obtain the favor of worldly tyrants: as they also feign the saints much more cruel than ever was any heathen man & more wreakful and vengeable than the poets feign their gods or their furies that torment the souls in hell — if their evens be not fasted & their images visited & saluted with a Pater noster (which prayer only our lips be acquainted with our hearts understanding none at all) and worshipped with a candle & the offering of our devotion, in the place which they have chosen to hear the supplications & meek petitions of their clients therein.

fast = firmly fixed, steadfast


But thou reader think of the law of God how that it is altogether spiritual, & so spiritual that it is never fulfilled with deeds or works, until they flow out of thine heart with as great love toward thy neighbor, for no deserving of his, yea though he be thine enemy, as Christ loved thee and died for thee, for no deserving of thine, but even when thou wast his enemy. And in the meantime, throughout all our infancy & childhood in Christ, till we be grown up into perfect men in the full knowledge of Christ & full love of Christ again & of our neighbors for his sake, after the ensample of his love to us — remember that the fulfilling of the law is — a fast faith in Christ’s blood coupled with our profession & submitting ourselves to learn to do better

fast = firmly fixed, steadfast


And of the Gospel or promises which thou meetest in the scripture, believe fast that God will fulfill them unto thee — and that unto the uttermost Jot, at the repentance of thine heart, when thou turnest to him & forsakest evil, even of his goodness & fatherly mercy unto thee, and not for thy flattering him with hypocritish works of thine own feigning. So that a fast faith only without respect of all works, is the forgiveness both of the sin which we did in time of ignorance with lust and consent to sin, & also of all the sin which we do by chance & of frailty, after that we are come to knowledge and have professed that law out of our hearts. And all deeds serve only for to help our neighbors & to tame our flesh that we fall not to sin again, & to exercise our souls in virtue, & not to make satisfaction to Godward for that sin that is once past.

fet = fetch, fetched


And all other stories of the Bible, without exception, are the practicing of the law & of the Gospel, and are true and faithful ensamples & sure earnest that God will even so deal with us, as he did with them, in all infirmities, in all temptations, & in all like cases & chances. Wherein ye see on the one side, how fatherly & tenderly & with all compassion God entreateth his elect which submit themselves as scholars, to learn to walk in the ways of his laws, & to keep them of love. If they forgat themselves at a time & went astray, he sought them out & fet them again with all mercy. If they fell & hurt themselves, he healed them again with all compassion & tenderness of heart. He hath oft brought great tribulation & adversity upon his elect: but all of fatherly love only, to teach them & to make them see their own hearts & the sin that there lay hid, that they might afterward feel his mercy. For his mercy waited upon them, to rid them out again, as soon as they were learned & come to the knowledge of their own hearts: so that he never cast man away how deep so ever he had sinned, save them only which had first cast the yoke of his laws from their necks, with utter defiance & malice of heart. Which ensamples how comfortable are they for us, when we be fallen into sin & God is come upon us with a scourge — that we despair not, but repent with full hope of mercy after the ensamples of mercy that are gone before? And therefore they were written for our learning, as testifieth Paul Ro. xv. to comfort us, that we might the better put our hope & trust in God, when we see — how merciful he hath been in times past unto our weak brethren that are gone before — in all their adversities, need, temptations, yea & horrible sins into which they now & then fell.

wax = to grow or become


And on the other side ye see how they that hardened their hearts & sinned of malice & refused mercy that was offered them & had no power to repent, perished at the later end with all confusion & shame mercilessly. Which ensamples are very good & necessary, to keep us in awe & dread in time of prosperity as thou mayest see by Paul .j. Cor .x. that we abide in the fear of God, & wax not wild and fall to vanities and so sin and provoke God and bring wrath upon us.

other, or, others








soft, or, soften


And thirdly ye see in that practice, how as God is merciful & longsuffering, even so were all his true prophets & preachers — bearing the infirmities of their weak brethren & their own wrongs & injuries with all patience & longsuffering — never casting any of them off their backs, until they sinned against the Holy Ghost, maliciously persecuting the open & manifest truth: contrary unto the ensample of the Pope, which in sinning against God & to quench the truth of his Holy Spirit, is ever chief captain and trumpet-blower, to set other awork, and seeketh only his own freedom, liberty, privilege, wealth, prosperity, profit, pleasure, past time, honor & glory — with the bondage, thralldom, captivity, misery, wretchedness & vile subjection of his brethren: & in his own cause is so fervent, so stiff & cruel, that he will not soft one word spoken against his false majesty, wily inventions and juggling hypocrisy to be unavenged — though all Christendom should be set together by the ears, and should cost he cared not how many hundred thousand their lives.

Prolog, Jonah, Ch. 2

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B

Now that thou mayest read Jonah fruitfully & not as a poet’s fable, but as an obligation between God and thy soul, as an earnest penny given thee of God — that he will help thee in time of need, if thou turn to him and as the word of God the only food and life of thy soul — this mark & note. First count Jonah the friend of God and a man chosen of God to testify his name unto the world: but yet a young scholar, weak & rude, after the fashion of the apostles, while Christ was yet with them bodily. Which though Christ taught them ever to be meek & to humble themselves, yet oft strove among themselves who should be greatest. The sons of Zebedee would sit, the one on the right hand of Christ and the other on the left. They would pray, that fire might descend from heaven, and consume the Samaritans.

wist: (from wit) past tense of know: had known

Mark ch. 3 ¶ 5


When Christ asked who say men that I am, Peter answered, thou art the Son of the living God — as though Peter had been as perfect as an angel. But immediately after, when Christ preached unto them of his death & passion, Peter was angry & rebuked Christ & thought earnestly that he had raved & not wist what he said: as at another time, when Christ was so fervently busied in healing the people, that he had no leisure to eat, they went out to hold him, supposing that he had been beside himself. And one that cast out devils in Christ’s name, they forbade, because he waited not on them — so glorious were they yet.

Luke ch. 22 ¶ 11


And though Christ taught alway to forgive, yet Peter after long going to school, asked whether men should forgive .vii. times, thinking that .viii. times had been too much. And at the last supper Peter would have died with Christ — but yet within few hours after, he denied him, both cowardly & shamefully. And after the same manner though he had so long heard that no man might avenge himself, but rather turn the other cheek to, than to smite again — yet when Christ was in taking, Peter asked whether it were lawful to smite with the sword, and tarried none answer, but laid on rashly. So that though when we come first unto the knowledge of the truth, and the peace is made between God & us, & we love his laws & believe & trust in him, as in our father & have good hearts unto him & be born anew in the Spirit: yet we are but children and young scholars weak & feeble & must have leisure to grow in the Spirit, in knowledge, love & in the deeds thereof — as young children must have time to grow in their bodies.

fineth (refineth)










man (manna)


And God our Father & schoolmaster feedeth us & teached us according unto the capacity of our stomachs, & maketh us to grow & wax perfect, & fineth us & trieth us as gold — in the fire of temptations & tribulations. As Moses witnesseth Deutero .viij. saying: Remember all the way by which the Lord thy God carried thee this .xl. years in the wilderness, to humble thee & to tempt or prove thee, that it might be known what were in thine heart. He brought thee into adversity & made thee an hungered, & then feed thee with man which neither thou ner yet thy fathers ever knew of — to teach thee that a man liveth not by bread only, but by all that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. For the promises of God are life unto all that cleave unto them — much more than is bread & bodily sustenance: as the journey of the children of Israel out of Egypt into the land promised them — ministereth the notable ensamples & that abundantly, as doth all the rest of the Bible also. Howbeit, it is impossible for flesh to believe & to trust in the truth of God’s promises, until he have learned it in much tribulation, after that God hath delivered him out thereof again.

God therefore to teach Jonah & to shew him his own heart & to make him perfect & to instruct us also by his ensample, sent him out of the land of Israel where he was a prophet — to go among the heathen people & to the greatest & mightiest city of the world then — called Nineveh: to preach that within .vl. days they should all perish for their sins & that the city should be overthrown. Which message the freewill of Jonah had as much power to do — as the weakest hearted woman in the world hath power — if she were commanded — to leap into a tub of living snakes & adders: as happily if God had commanded Sara to have sacrificed her son Isaac, as he did Abraham — she would have disputed with him ere she had done it — or though she were strong enough — yet many an holy saint could not have found in their hearts, but would have disobeyed and have run away from the presence of the commandment of God with Jonah if they had been so strongly tempted.

For Jonah thought of this manner: lo I am here a prophet unto God’s people the Israelites. Which though they have God’s word testified unto them daily, yet despise it & worship God under the likeness of calves & after all manner fashions save after his own word, & therefore are of all nations the worst & most worthy of punishment. And yet God for love of few that are among them & for his name’s sake spareth them & defendeth them. How then should God take so cruel vengeance on so great a multitude of them to whom his name was never preached to and therefore are not the tenth part so evil as these? If I shall therefore go preach so shall I lie & shame myself & God thereto and make them the more to despise God and set the less by him and to be the more cruel unto his people.

cumbrance encumbrance


And upon that imagination he fled from the face or presence of God: that is, out of the country where God was worshipped in & from prosecuting of God’s commandment, and thought, I will get me another way among the heathen people & be no more a prophet, but live at rest & out of all cumbrance. Nevertheless the God of all mercy which careth for his elect children & turneth all unto good to them & smiteth them to heal them again & killeth them to make them alive again, & playeth with them (as a father doth some time with his young ignorant children) & tempteth them & proveth them to make them see their own hearts, provided for Jonah — how all thing should be.

gnew gnawed (caused to worry).
fret fretted


When Jonah was entered into the ship, he laid him down to sleep and to take his rest: that is, his conscience was tossed between the commandment of God which sent him to Niniveh, & his fleshly wisdom that dissuaded & counseled him the contrary & at the last prevailed against the commandment & carried him another way — as a ship caught between .ij. streams, & as poets feign the mother of Meleager to be between divers affections — while to avenge her brother’s death, she sought to slay her own son. Whereupon for very pain & tediousness, he lay down to sleep, for to put the commandment which so gnew & fret his conscience, out of mind, as the nature of all wicked is — when they have sinned agood — to seek all means with riot, revel & pastime, to drive the remembrance of sin out of their thoughts or as Adam did, to cover their nakedness with aprons of pope holy works. But God awoke him out of his dream, and set his sins before his face.

For when the lot had caught Jonah, then be sure that his sins came to remembrance again & that his conscience raged no less than the waves of the sea. And then he thought that he only was a sinner & the heathen that were in the ship none in respect of him — and thought also, as verily as he was fled from God, that as verily God had cast him away: for the sight of the rod maketh the natural child not only to see & to knowlege his fault, but also to forget all his father’s old mercy & kindness. And then he confessed his sin openly & had yet lever perish alone than that the other should have perished with him for his sake: and so of very desperation to have lived any longer, bade cast him into the sea betimes — except they would be lost also.

To speak of lots, how farforth they are lawful, is a light question. First to use them for the breaking of strife — as when partners, their goods as equally divided as they can, take every man his part by lot, to avoid all suspicion of deceitfulness: & as the apostles in the first of the Acts, when they sought another to succeed Judas the traitor, & .ij. persons were presents — then to break strife & to satisfy all parties, did cast lots, whether should be admitted — desiring God to temper them & to take whom he knew most meet — seeing they wist not whether to prefer — or haply could not all agree on either — is lawful and in all like cases. But to abuse them unto the tempting of God & to compel him therewith to utter things whereof we stand in doubt, when we have no commandment of him so to do, as these brethren here did, though God turned it unto his glory — cannot be but evil.

The heathen shipmen astonied at the sight of the miracle — feared God, prayed to him, offered sacrifice & vowed vows. And I doubt not, but that some of them or haply all came thereby unto the true knowledge & true worshipping of God & were won to God in their souls. And then God which is infinite merciful in all his ways — wrought their souls health out of the infirmity of Jonah, even of his good will & purpose & love wherewith he loved them before the world was made — & not of chance — as it appeareth unto the eyes of the ignorant.

And that Jonah was .iij. days & .iij. nights in the belly of his fish: we cannot thereby prove unto the Jews & infidels or unto any man — that Christ must therefore die and be buried & rise again. But we use the ensample and likeness to strength the faith of the weak. For he that believeth the one can not doubt in the other: inasmuch as the hand of God was no less mighty in preserving Jonah alive against all natural possibility & in delivering him safe out of his fish — than in raising up Christ again out of his sepulcher. And we may describe the power & virtue of the resurrection thereby — as Christ himself borroweth the similitude thereto Mat. xii. saying unto the Jews that came about him & desired a sign or a wonder from heaven to certify them that he was Christ: this evil & wedlock-breaking nation (which break the wedlock of faith wherewith they be married unto God — and believe in their false works) seek a sign, but there shall no sign be given them save the sign of the Prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was .iij. days and iij. nights in the belly of the whale, even so shall the son of man be .iij. days & .iij. nights in the heart of the earth. Which was a watch word — as we say, & a sharp threatening unto the Jews & as much to say as thus — ye hard hearted Jews seek a sign: lo, this shall be your sign, as Jonah was raised out of the sepulcher of his fish & then sent unto the Ninivites to preach that they should perish, even so shall I rise again out of my sepulcher & come & preach repentance unto you. See therefore when ye see that sign that ye repent or else ye shall surely perish & not escape. For though the infirmities which ye now see in my flesh be a let unto your faiths, ye shall yet then be with out excuse — when ye see so great a miracle & so great power of God shed out upon you. And so Christ came again after the resurrection, in his Spirit & preached repentance unto them — by the mouth of his apostles & disciples, & with miracles of the Holy Ghost. And all that repented not perished shortly after and were for the most part slain with sword and the rest carried away captive into all quarters of the world for an ensample, as ye see unto this day.

And in like manner since the world began, wheresoever repentance was offered and not received, there God took cruel vengeance immediately: as ye see in the flood of Noah, in the overthrowing of Sodom & Gomorrah & all the country about: & as ye see of Egypt, of the Amorites, Canaanites & afterward of the very Israelites, & then at the last of the Jews too, and of the Assyrians and Babylonians and so throughout all the empires of the world.

Gildas preached repentance unto the old Britains that inhabited England: they repented not — & therefore God sent in their enemies upon them on every side & destroyed them up & gave the land unto other nations And great vengeance hath been taken in that land for sin since that time.

Wycliffe preached repentance unto our fathers not long since: they repented not for their hearts were indurate & their eyes blinded with their own Pope holy righteousness wherewith they had made their souls gay against the receiving again of the wicked spirit that bringeth. vij. worse than himself with him & maketh the later end worse than the beginning: for in open sins there is hope of repentance, but in holy hypocrisy none at all. But what followed? they slew their true & right king and set up .iij. wrong kings arow, under which all the noble blood was slain up and half the commons thereto — what in France & what with their own sword, in fighting among themselves for the crown — & the cities and towns decayed and the land brought half into a wilderness in respect of that it was before.

And now Christ to preach repentance, is risen yet once again out of his sepulcher in which the Pope had buried him and kept him down with his pilars and poleaxes and all disguisings of hypocrisy — with guile, wiles and falsehood, and with the sword of all princes which he had blinded with his false merchandise. And as I doubt not of the ensamples that are past, so am I sure that great wrath will follow, except repentance turn it back again and cease it.

When Jonah had been in the fishes belly a space & the rage of his conscience was somewhat quieted and swaged and he come to himself again and had received a little hope — the qualms & pangs of desperation which went over his heart, half overcome, he prayed — as he maketh mention in the text saying: Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the belly of the fish. But the words of that prayer are not here set. The prayer that here standeth in the text — is the prayer of praise & thanksgiving which he prayed and wrote when he was escaped and past all jeopardy.

In the end of which prayer he saith, I will sacrifice with the voice of thanksgiving and pay that I have vowed — that saving cometh of the Lord. For verily to confess out of the heart, that all benefits come of God, even out of the goodness of his mercy and not deserving of our deeds, is the only sacrifice that pleaseth God. And to believe that God only is the saver, is the thing that all the Jews vowed in their circumcision — as we in our baptism. Which vow Jonah now taught with experience, promiseth to pay. For those outward sacrifices of beasts, unto which Jonah had haply ascribed too much before, were but feeble & childish things & not ordained — that the works of themselves should be a service unto God — but unto the people, to put them in remembrance of this inward sacrifice of thanks & of faith to trust and believe in God the only saver. Which signification when was away — they were abominable and devilish idolatry and image-service: as our ceremonies and sacraments are become now to all that trust & believe in the work of them and are not taught the significations — to edify their souls with knowledge and the doctrine of God.

When Jonah was cast upon land again, then his will was free and had power to go whither God sent him & to do what God bade — his own imaginations laid apart. For he had been at a new school, yea and in a furnace where he was purged of much refuse & dross of fleshly wisdom, which resisted the wisdom of God & led Jonah’s will contrary unto the will of God. For as far as we be blind in Adam, we cannot but seek & will our own profit, pleasure & glory. And as far as we be taught in the Spirit, we cannot but seek & will the pleasure and glory of God only.

And as for the .iii. days journey of Nineveh, whether it were in length or to go round about it or through all the streets, I commit unto the discretion of other men. But I think that it was then the greatest city of the world.

And that Jonah went a day journey in the city — I suppose he did it not in one day: but went fair & easily preaching here a sermon & there another & rebuked the sin of the people for which they must perish.

And when thou art come unto the repentance of the Ninevites, there hast thou sure earnest, that howsoever angry God be, yet he remembreth mercy unto all that truly repent and believe in mercy. Which ensample our Savior Christ also casteth in the teeth of the indurate Jews saying: the Ninevites shall rise in judgment with this nation and condemn them, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold a greater than Jonah is here — meaning of himself. At whose preaching yet, though it were never so mighty to pierce the heart, & for all his miracles thereto, the hard hearted Jews could not repent: when the heathen Ninevites repented at the bare preaching of Jonah rebuking their sins without any miracle at all.

Why? For the Jews had leavened the spiritual law of God and with their glosses had made it altogether earthy and fleshly, and so had set a veil or covering on Moses’ face, to shadow and darken the glorious brightness of his countenance. It was sin to steal: but to rob widow’s houses under a color of long praying, & to poll in the name of offerings, and to snare the people with intolerable constitutions against all love — to catch their money out of their purses — was no sin at all.

woolward-going: penance by wearing uncomfortable woolen clothing next to the skin


To smite father and mother was sin: But to withdraw help from them at their need, for blind zeal of offering, unto the profit of the holy Pharisees — was then as meritorious as it is now to let all thy kin chose whether they will sink or swim — while thou buildest and makest goodly foundations for holy people which thou hast chosen to be thy christ — for to supple thy soul with the oil of their sweet blessings, & to be thy Jesus for to save thy soul from that purgatory of the blood that only purgeth sin — with their watching, fasting, woolward-going & rising at midnight etc. wherewith yet they purge not themselves from their covetousness, pride, lechery or any vice that thou seeist among the lay people.

It was great sin for Christ to heal the people on the Sabbath day unto the glory of God his Father — but none at all for them to help their cattle unto their own profit.

It was sin to eat with unwashen hands or on an unwashen table, or out of an unwashen dish: but to eat out of that purified dish that which came of bribery, theft & extortion — was no sin at all.

It was exceeding meritorious to make many disciples: But to teach them to fear God in his ordinances — had they no care at all.

The high prelates so defended the right of holy church and so feared the people with the curse of God & terrible pains of hell, that no man durst leave the vilest herb in his garden untithed. And the offering and things dedicat unto God for the profit of his holy vicars where in such estimation and reverence, that is was much greater sin to swear truly by them, than to forswear thyself by God: what vengeance then of God, and how terrible and cruel damnation think ye preached they to fall on them that had stolen such holy things? And yet saith Christ — that righteousness and faith in keeping promise, mercy and indifferent judgment were utterly trodden underfoot and clean despised of those blessed fathers — which so mightily maintained Aaron’s patrimony and had made it so prosperous and environed it and walled it about on every side with the fear of God — that no man durst touch it.

It was great holiness to garnish the sepulchers of the prophets & to condemn their own fathers for slaying of them: and yet were they themselves for blind zeal of their own constitutions, as ready as their fathers to slay whosoever testified unto them — the same truth which the prophets testified unto their fathers. So that Christ compareth all the righteousness of those holy patriarchs unto the outward beauty of a painted sepulcher full of stench and all uncleanness within.

cauteles —from cautele: deceit


And finally to beguile a man’s neighbor in subtle bargaining and to wrap and compass him in with cautels of the law, was then as it is now in the kingdom of the Pope. By the reason whereof they excluded the law of love out of their hearts, and consequently all true repentance: for how could they repent of that they could not see to be sin?

And on the other side they had set up a righteousness of holy works, to cleanse their souls withal: as the Pope sanctifieth us with holy oil, holy bread, holy salt, holy candles, holy dumb ceremonies and holy dumb blessings, and with whatsoever holiness thou wilt — save with the holiness of God’s word which only speaketh unto the heart and sheweth the soul her filthiness and uncleanness of sin, and leadeth her by the way of repentance unto the fountain of Christ’s blood to wash it away through faith. By the reason of which false righteousness they were disobedient unto the righteousness of God, which is the forgiveness of sin in Christ’s blood and could not believe it. And so through fleshly interpreting the law and false imagined righteousness, their hearts were hardened and made as stony as clay in an hot furnace of fire — that they could receive neither repentance ner faith or any moisture of grace at all.

But the heathen Ninevites, though they were blinded with lusts agood — yet were in those .ij. points uncorrupt and unhardened, & therefore with only the preaching of Jonah came unto the knowledge of their sins and confessed them & repented truly & turned every man from his evil deeds & declared their sorrow of heart & true repentance — with their deeds which they did out of faith & hope of forgiveness, chastising their bodies with prayer & fasting & with taking all pleasures from the flesh: trusting — as God was angry for their wickedness, even so should he forgive them of his mercy — if they repented & forsook their mis-living.

And in the last end of all, thou hast yet a goodly ensample of learning — to see how earthy Jonah is still for all his crying in the whale’s belly. He was so sore displeased because the Ninevites perished not, that he was weary of his life and wished after the death for very sorrow & pain — that he had lost the glory of his prophesying — in that his prophesy come not to pass. But God rebuked him with a likeness saying: it grieveth thine heart for the loss of a vile shrub or spray — whereon thou bestoweddest no labor or cost, neither was it thine handwork. How much more then should grieve mine heart — the loss of so great a multitude of innocents as are in Nineveh, which are all mine hand’s work. Nay Jonah — I am God over all, and Father as well unto the heathen as unto the Jews and merciful to all and warn ere I smite: neither threat I so cruelly by any prophet — but that I will forgive if they repent and ask mercy: neither on the other side — whatsoever I promise — will I fulfill it — save for their sakes only which trust in me and submit themselves to keep my laws of very love, as natural children.

Prolog, Jonah, Ch. 3

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C

On this manner to read the scripture is the right use thereof & why the Holy Ghost caused it to be written. That is that thou first seek out the law — what God will have thee to do — interpreting it spiritually without gloss or covering the brightness of Moses’ face — so that thou feel in thine heart — how that it is damnable sin before God — not to love thy neighbor that is thine enemy — as purely as Christ loved thee — and that not to love thy neighbor in thine heart — is to have committed already all sin against him. And therefore until that love be come — thou must knowledge unfeignedly that there is sin in the best deed thou doest. And it must earnestly grieve thine heart and thou must wash all thy good deeds in Christ’s blood — ere they can be pure and an acceptable sacrifice unto God — and must desire God the Father for his sake — to take thy deeds aworth & to pardon the imperfectness of them, & to give thee power to do them better and with more fervent love.

commune ( orig., comen: to come; common; or commune )


And on the other side thou must search diligently for the promises of mercy which God hath promised thee again. Which .ij. points, that is to wit, the law spiritually interpreted — how that all is damnable sin that is not unfeigned love out of the ground and bottom of the heart after the ensample of Christ’s love to us — because we be all equally created and formed of one God our Father — and indifferently bought & redeemed with one blood of our savior Jesus Christ: and that the promises be given unto a repenting soul that thirsteth and longeth after them — of the pure and fatherly mercy of God through our faith only without all deserving of our deeds or merits of our works — but for Christ’s sake alone and for the merits and deservings of his works, death and passions that he suffered altogether for us & not for himself: which .ij. points I say, if they be written in thine heart, are the keys which so open all the scripture unto thee — that no creature can lock thee out — and with which thou shalt go in and out — and find pasture and food everywhere. And if these lessons be not written in thine heart, then is all the scripture shut up — as a kernel in the shell — so that thou mayst read it and commune of it and rehearse all the stories of it and dispute subtly and be a profound sophister — and yet understand not one Jot thereof.

And thirdly that thou take the stories & lives which are contained in the Bible — for sure and undoubted ensamples — that God so will deal with us unto the world’s end.

Herewith Reader farewell and be commended unto God, and unto the grace of his Spirit. And first see that thou stop not thine ears unto the calling of God, and that thou harden not thine heart beguiled with fleshly interpreting of the law & false imagined and hypocritish righteousness, and so the Ninevites rise with thee at the day of judgment & condemn thee.

And secondarily if thou find ought amiss — when thou seeist thyself in the glass of God’s word — think it compendious wisdom — to amend the same betimes, monished & warned by the ensample of other men — rather than to tarry until thou be beaten also.

And thirdly if it shall so chance, that the wild lusts of thy flesh shall blind thee and carry thee clean away with them for a time: yet at the later end, when the God of all mercy shall have compassed thee in on every side with temptations, tribulations, adversities & cumbrance — to bring thee home again unto thine own heart, & to set thy sins which thou wouldest so feign cover & put out of mind with delectation of voluptuous pastimes — before the eyes of thy conscience: then call the faithful ensample of Jonah & all like stories unto thy remembrance — and with Jonah turn unto thy Father that smote thee: not to cast thee away, but to lay a corrosive and a fretting plaster unto the pock that lay hid & fret inward — to draw the disease out & to make it appear — that thou mightest feel thy sickness & the danger thereof & come & receive the healing plaster of mercy.

And forget not that whatsoever ensample of mercy God hath shewed since the beginning of the world, the same is promised thee — if thou wilt in like manner turn again and receive it as they did. And with Jonah be aknown of thy sin & confess it & knowledge it unto thy Father.

And as the law which freteth thy conscience, is in thine heart & is none outward thing — even so seek within in thine heart — the plaster of mercy, the promises of forgiveness in our Savior Jesus Christ — according unto all the ensamples of mercy that are gone before.

And with Jonah let them that wait on vanities & seek God here & there & in every temple save in their hearts go — & seek thou the testament of God in thine heart. For in thine heart is the word of the law, & in thine heart is the word of faith in the promises of mercy in Jesus Christ. So that if thou confess with a repenting heart & acknowlege and surely believe that Jesus is Lord over all sin, thou art safe.

And finally when the rage of thy conscience is ceased and quieted with fast faith in the promises of mercy, then offer with Jonah the offering of praise and thanksgiving, & pay the vow of thy baptism — that God only saveth — of his only mercy & goodness: that is, believe steadfastly & preach constantly — that it is God only that smiteth, and God only that healeth: ascribing the cause of thy tribulation unto thine own sin, and the cause of thy deliverance unto the mercy of God.

panter, someone who supplies the pantry


And beware of the leaven that saith we have power in our freewill before the preaching of the Gospel — to deserve grace, to keep the law, of congruity, or God to be unrighteous. And say with John in the first — that as the law was given by Moses, even so grace to fulfill it, is given by Christ. And when they say our deeds with grace deserve heaven — say thou with Paul Ro. vj. that everlasting life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord, & that we be made sons by faith John .j. & therefore heirs of God with Christ Ro .viij. And say that we receive all of God through faith that followeth repentance — & that we do not our works unto God — but either unto ourselves, to slay the sin that remaineth in the flesh & to wax perfect — either unto our neighbors which do as much for us again in some other things. And when a man exceedeth in gifts of grace — let him understand that they be given him, as well for his weak brethren, as for himself: as though all the bread be committed unto the panter — yet for his fellows with him — which give the thanks unto their lord — and recompense the panter again with other kind service in their offices. And when they say that Christ hath made no satisfaction for the sin we do after our baptism: say thou with the doctrine of Paul — that in our baptism we receive the merits of Christ’s death through repentance and faith of which two — baptism is the sign. And though when we sin of frailty after our baptism we receive the sign no more — yet we be renewed again through repentance and faith in Christ’s blood — which twain — the sign of baptism ever continued among us in baptizing our young children doth ever keep in mind and call us back again unto our profession if we be gone astray — & promiseth us forgiveness. Neither can actual sin be washed away with our works — but with Christ’s blood: neither can there be any other sacrifice or satisfaction to Godward for them — save Christ’s blood. For as much as we can do no works unto God — but receive only of his mercy with our repenting faith — through Jesus Christ our Lord and only saver: unto whom & unto God our Father through him, and unto his Holy Spirit — that only purgeth, sanctifieth & washeth us in the innocent blood of our redemption — be praise for ever


Jonah

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The Story of the prophet Jonah.
Jonah, Ch. 1

The first Chapter.

(Biblical Hebr.) קום לך both are imperative verb forms: you arise (start, make a move) and you go.

Jonah יונה BDB 401, 2 I. n.f. dove. II. n.pr.m prophet.

He restored the border of Israel …according to the word of Jehovah, the God of Israel, which he spake by his servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet (2 Ki. 14)

The word of the Lord came unto the prophet Jonah the son of Amittai saying: rise & get thee to Nineveh that great city & preach unto them — how that their wickedness is come up before me.

And Jonah made him ready to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, & gat him down to Joppa, and found there a ship ready to go to Tarshish, & paid his fare, & went aboard — to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

הטיל Hiph. Pf. Hurl (send violently), of Yaweh sending furious wind. —from טול vb. Pilp. etc., hurl, cast

יתעשת hitp. impf. turn out to take notice; 3 ms. perhaps God will give a thought to us
cf. Ps. 40.17

As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God. (Ps. 40.17, NRSV)

And I will remember my bond with Jacob and my testament with Isaac, and my testament with Abraham, and will think on the land. (Lev. 26, TFT)

But the Lord hurled a great wind into the sea, so that there was a mighty tempest in the sea: insomuch that the ship was like to go in pieces. And the mariners were afraid & cried every man unto his god, & cast out the goods that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah gat him under the hatches & laid him down and slumbered. And the master of the ship came to him & said unto him, why slumberest thou. Up — & call unto thy god — that God may think on us — that we perish not.

And they said one to another, come & let us cast lots — to know for whose cause we are thus troubled. And they cast lots. And the lot fell upon Jonah.

Then they said unto him, tell us for whose cause we are thus troubled: what is thine occupation, whence comest thou, how is thy country called, & of what nation art thou?

(Biblical Hebr.) ואת יהוה אלהי השמים
אני ירא
And the Everlasting Lord, God of all heaven (who made the sea and the dry land), I fear…


And he answered them, I am an Hebrew: & the Lord God of heaven which made both sea and dry land — I fear. Then were the men exceedingly afraid & said unto him, why didest thou so? For they knew that he was fled from the presence of the Lord — because he had told them.

Then they said unto him, what shall we do unto thee — that the sea may cease from troubling us? For the sea wrought & was troublous. And he answered them, take me and cast me in to the sea — & so shall it let you be in rest: for I wot — it is for my sake — that this great tempest is come upon you. Nevertheless the men assayed with rowing to bring the ship to land: but it would not be — because the sea so wrought & was so troublous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the Lord & said: O Lord let us not perish for this man’s death, neither lay innocent blood unto our charge: for thou Lord even as thy pleasure was, so thou hast done.

And then they took Jonah & cast him into the sea, & the sea left raging. And the men feared the Lord exceedingly: & sacrificed sacrifices unto the Lord: and vowed vows.

Jonah, Ch. 2

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The second Chapter.

But the Lord prepared a great fish — to swallow up Jonah. And so was Jonah in the bowels of the fish .iij. days & .iij. nights. And Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the bowels of the fish.

And he said: in my tribulation I called unto the Lord — and he answered me: out of the belly of hell I cried, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadest cast me down deep in the midst of the sea: & the flood compassed me about: and all thy waves & rolls of water went over me: & I thought that I had been cast away out of thy sight. But I will yet again look toward thy holy temple. The water compassed me even unto the very soul of me: the deep lay about me: and the weeds were wrapt about mine head. And I went down unto the bottom of the hills, & was barred in with earth on every side for ever. And yet thou Lord my God broughtest up my life again out of corruption. When my soul fainted in me — I thought on the Lord: & my prayer came in unto thee, even in to thy holy temple. They that observe vain vanities — have forsaken him that was merciful unto them. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving, & will pay that I have vowed — that saving cometh of the Lord.

And the Lord spake unto the fish: and it cast out Jonah again upon the dry land.

Jonah, Ch. 3

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The .iij. Chapter.

Then came the word of the Lord unto Jonah again saying: up — and get thee to Nineveh that great city, & preach unto them the preaching which I bade thee. And he arose & went to Nineveh at the Lord’s commandment. Nineveh was a great city unto God — containing .iij. days journey

And Jonah went to & entered into the city even a day’s journey, and cried saying: There shall not pass .xl. days but Nineveh shall be overthrown.

And the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed fasting, and arrayed themselves in sackcloth — as well the great as the small of them.

And the tidings came unto the king of Nineveh — which arose out of his seat — and did his apparel off & put on sackcloth — & sat him down in ashes. And it was cried and commanded in Nineveh by the authority of the king and of his lords saying: see that neither man or beast, ox or sheep taste ought at all — & that they neither feed or drink water.

And they put on sackcloth both man and beast — & cried unto God mightily — and turned every man from his wicked way — and from doing wrong in which they were accustomed, saying: who can tell whether God will turn & repent — & cease from his fierce wrath — that we perish not: And when God saw their works, how they turned from their wicked ways, he repented on the evil which he said he would do unto them — and did it not.

Jonah, Ch. 4

Previous

The .iiij. Chapter.

( cf. ) In those days came Elijah to Beer-sheba, that is in Judah, and left his lad there. And he went into the wilderness a day’s journey, and came and sat under a juniper tree, and wished to his soul that he might die, and said: it is now enough Lord, take my soul, for I am not better than my fathers.

Wherefore Jonah was sore discontent and angry. And he prayed unto the Lord and said: O Lord, was not this my saying when I was yet in my country? And therefore I hasted rather to flee to Tarshish: for I knew well enough that thou was a merciful God, full of compassion — long ere thou be angry and of great mercy and repentest when thou art come to take punishment. Now therefore take my life from me, for I had lever die than live. And the Lord said unto Jonah, art thou so angry?

And Jonah gat him out of the city and sat him down on the east side thereof, and made him there a booth and sat thereunder in the shadow — till he might see what should chance unto the city.

And the Lord prepared as it were a wild vine which sprang up over Jonah — that he might have shadow over his head — to deliver him out of his pain. And Jonah was exceeding glad of the wild vine.

And the Lord ordained a worm against the spring of the morrow morning which smote the wild vine, that it withered away. And as soon as the sun was up, God prepared a fervent east wind: so that the sun beat over the head of Jonah — that he fainted again and wished unto his soul that he might die — and said, it is better for me to die than to live.

And God said unto Jonah, art thou so angry for thy wild vine? And he said, I am angry agood — even on to the death. And the Lord said, thou hast compassion on a wild vine — whereon thou bestowedest no labor ner madest it grow — which sprang up in one night and perished in another: and should not I have compassion on Nineveh that great city — wherein there is a multitude of people, even above an hundred thousand that know not their right hand from the left — besides much cattle?

© Prism Crafting Publications, 2016

 

The prophete Jonas
W. T. unto the Christen reader.

A

¶As the envious Philistenes stopped the welles of Abraham and filled them vpp with erth / ts put the memoriall out of minde / to the entent that they might chalenge the grounde: even so the fleshly minded hypocrites stoppe vpp the vaynes of life which are in the scripture / with the erth of theyr tradicions / false similitudes & lienge allegories: & that of like zele / to make the scripture theyr awne possession & marchandice: and so shutt vpp the kingdome of heven which is Gods worde nether enteringe in them selues nor soferinge them that wolde.

¶The scripture hath a body with out / and within a soule / sprite & life. It hath with out a barke / a shell and as it were an hard bone for the fleshly mynded to gnaw vppon. And within it hath pith / cornell / mary & all swetness for Gods electe which he hath chosen to geve them his spirite / & to write his law & the faith of his sonne in their hertes.

¶The scripture conteyneth .iij. thinges in it first the law to condemne all flesh: secondaryly the Gospell / that is to saye / promises of mercie for all the repent & knowlege their sinnes at the preachinge of the law & consent in their hertes that the law is good / & submitte them selues to be scolers to lern to kepe the lawe & to lerne to beleue the mercie that is promised them: & thridly the stories & liues of those scolars / both what chaunces fortuned them / & also by what meanes their scolemaster taught them and made them perfecte / & how he tried the true from the false.

¶When the ypocrites come to the lawe / they put gloses to and make no moare of it then of a worldly law which is satisfied with the outwarde worke and which a turke maye also fulfill. When yet Gods law never ceaseth to condemne a man vntill it be written in his herte and vntill he kepe it naturally without compulsion & all other respecte saue only of pure love to God and his neyboure / as he naturally eateth when he is an hongred / without compulsion & all other respecte / saue to slake his hongre only.

¶And when they come to the Gospell / there they mingle their leuen & saye / God now receaueth vs no moare to mercie / But of mercie receaueth vs to penaunce / that is to wete / holy dedes that make them fatt belies & vs their captiues / both in soule and body. And yet they fayne theyr Foole the Pope so mercifull / that if thou make a litle money glister in his Balams eyes / there is nether penaunce ner purgatory ner any fastinge at all but to fle to heven as swefte as a thought and at the twinkellynge of an eye.

¶And the liues stories and gestes of men which are contayned in the bible / they reade as thinges no moare perteyninge vn to them / then a take of Robinhode / & as thinges they wott not wherto they serue / saue to fayne false discant & iuglinge allegories / to stablish their kingdome with all. And one the chefest & fleshliest studie they have / is to magnifie the sayntes above measure & aboue the trueth & with their poetrie to make them greater then euer God make them. And if they finde any infirmite or synne asscribed vn to the saintes / that they excuse with all diligence / diminushinge the glorie of the mercie of God & robbinge wretched sinners of all theyr comforte / & thinke therby to flater the sayntes and to obtayne their fauoure & to make speciall aduocates of them: even as a man wold obtayne the fauoure of wordely tirantes: as they also fayne the saintes moch moare cruell then ever was any heathen man & moare wrekefull and vengeable then the poetes faine their godes or their furies that torment the soules in hell / if theyr euens be not fasted & their images visited & saluted wyth a Pater noster (whych prayer only oure lippes be accoynted with oure hertes vnderstondinge none at all) and worsheped with a candell & the offeringe of oure deuocion / in the place which thei haue chosen to heare the supplicacions & meke peticions of theyr clientes therin.

¶But thou reader thinke of the law of God how that it is all to gether spirituall / & so spirituall that it is neuer fulfilled with dedes or werkes / vntill they flow out of thyne herte with as greate loue toward thy neyboure / for no deseruinge of his / ye though he be thine enimie / as Christ loued the and did for the / for no deseruinge of thyne / but even when thou wast his enimie. And in the meane time, thoroute all our infancie & childhod in Christ / tyll we be growen vpp in to perfecte men in the full knowlege of christ & full loue of christ agayne & of oure neyboures for his sake / after the ensample of his loue to vs / remenbir that the fulfillynge of the law is / a fast fayth in christes bloud coupled with our profession & submyttinge our selues to lerne to doo better

¶And of the Gospell or promises which thou metest in the scripture / beleue fast that God will fulfill them vn to the / and that vn to the vttermost Jott / at the repentaunce of thyne herte / when thou turnest to hym & forsakest euell / even of his goodnesse & fatherly mercie vn to the / and not for thy flatteringe hym with ypocritish workes of thyne awne fayning. So that a fast faith only with out respecte of all workes / is the forgeueness both of the synne which we did in tyme of ignoraunce with luste and consent to synne / & also of all the synne which we doo by chaunce & of frailte / after that we are come to knowlege and have professed that law out of oure hertes. And all dedes serue only for to helpe oure neyboures & to tame oure flesh that we fall not to synne agayne / & to exercice oure soules in vertue / & not to make satisfaction to God ward for that synne that is once paste.

¶And all other stories of the bible / with out exception / are the practisinge of the law & of the Gospell / and are true and faitfull ensamples & sure erneste that God will euen so deale with vs / as he did with them / in all infirmities / in all temptacions / & in all like cases & chaunces. Wherin ye se on the one syde / how fatherly & tendirly & with all compassion god entreateth his electe which submitte them selues as scolers / to lerne to walke in the wayes of his lawes / & to kepe them of loue. If they forgatt them selues at a time & went astraye / he sought them out & fett them agayne with all mercie. If they fell & hurte them selues / he healed them agayne with all compassion & tendernesse of hert. He hath ofte brought greate tribulation & aduersite vpon his electe: but all of fatherly loue only / to teach them & to make them se their awne hertes & the sinne that there laye hid / that they might aftirwarde feale his mercie. For his mercie wayted vppon them / to rid them out agayne / assone as they ware lerned & come to the knowlege of their awne hertes: so that he neuer cast man awaye how depe so euer he had sinned / saue them only which had first cast the yocke of his lawes from their neckes / with vtter diffiaunce & malice of herte. Which ensamples how comfortable are they for vs / when we be fallen in to sinne & God is come vppon vs with a storge / that we dispeare not / but repent with full hope of mercie after the ensamples of mercie that are gone before? And therfore they were written for our lerninge / as testifieth Paul Ro. xv. to comforte vs / that we might the better put oure hope & trust in God / when we se / how mercifull he hath bene in tymes past vn to our weake brethern that are gone before / in all theyr adversities / neade / temptacions / ye & horrible synnes in to which they now & then fell.

¶And on the other side ye se how they that hardened their hertes & synned of malice & refused mercie that was offered them & had no power to repent / perished at the later ende with all confusion & shame mercilessely. Which ensamples are very good & necessary / to kepe vs in awe & dreade in tyme of prosperite as thou maist se by Paul .j. Cor .x. that we abyde in the feare of God / & wax not wild and fall to vanities and so synne and prouoke God and bringe wrath vppon vs.

¶And thridly ye se in that practise / how as god is mercifull & longesuferynge / euen so were all his true prophetes & prechers / beringe the infirmities of their weake brethern & their awne wronges & iniuries with all pacience & longesoferinge / neuer castinge any of them of their backes / vn tyll they synned agenst the holy gost / maliciously persecutinge the open & manifest trouth: contrary vn to the ensample of the Pope / which in sinninge agenst God & to quench the trueth of his holy spirite / is euer chefe captayne and trompetblower / to sett other a werke / and seketh only his awne fredome / liberte / priuilege / welth / prosperite / profite / pleasure / pastyme / honoure & glorie / with the bondage / thraldome / captiuite / miserie / wretchednesse & vile subiection of his brethern: & in his awne cause is so feruent / so steffe & creull / that he will not softe one word spoken agenst his false magiste / wily inuencions and iuglynge ypocrisie to be vnaduenged / though all chri stendome shuld be sett to gether by the eares / and should cost he cared not how many hundred thousande their lives.

B

¶Now that thou mayst reade Jonas frute fully & not as a poetis fable / but as an obligacon betwene God and thy soule / as an ernist peny geuen the of God / that he wil helpe the in time of nede / if thou turne to him and as the word of god the only fode and life of thy soule / this marke & note. First count Jonas the frend of god and a man chosen of god to testifie his name vnto the worlde: but yet a younge scolar / weake & rude / after the facion of the appostles / while Christ was yet with them bodyly. Which though Christ taught them euer to be meke & to vmble them selues / yet oft stroue amonge them selues who shuld be greatest. The sonnes of Zebede wold sitt / the one on the right honde of Christ and the other on the lifte. They wold praye / that fire might descende from heuen / and consume the Samaritanes.

¶When Christ axed who saye men that I am / Peter answered / thou arte the sonne of the lyuinge God / as though Peter had bene as perfecte as an angell. But immediately after / when Christ preached vn to them of his deeth & passion / Peter was angre & rebuked Christe & thought ernestly that he had raued & not wist what he sayde: as at a nother time / when Christ was so feruently busied in healinge the people / that he had no leyser to eate / they went out to holde him / supposing that he had bene besyde him selfe. Ande one that cast out devels in Christes name / they forbade / because he wayted not on them / so glorious were they yet.

¶And though christ taughte all waye to forgeue / yet peter after longe goenge to scole / axed wether men shuld forgeue .vii. tymes / thynking that .viii. tymes had bene to moch. And at the last soper Peter wold have died with christe / but yet within fewe howres after / he denied hym / both cowardly & shamefully. And after the same maner though he had so longe herd that noman might auenge him selfe / but rather turne the other cheke to / then to smyte agayne / yet when Christ was in takinge / peter axed whether it were lawfull to smyte with the swerde / and taried none answere / but layed on rashly. So that though when we come first vn to the knowlege of the trueth / and the peace is made betwene God & vs / & we loue his lawes & beleue & trust in hym / as in oure father & haue good hertes vn to him & be born anew in the sprite: yet we are but childern and younge scolars weake & foble & must have leysar to grow in the spirite / in knowlege / leue & in the dedes therof / as younge childern must haue tyme to grow in their bodies.

¶And God oure father & scholemaster fedeth vs & teached vs accordinge vn to the capacite of oure stomakes / & maketh vs to grow & waxe perfecte / & fineth vs & trieth vs as gold / in the fire of temptacions & tribulations. As Moses wittneseth Deutero .viij. sayenge: Remember all the waye by which the lord thy God caried the this .xl. yeres in the wildernesse / to vmble the & to tempte or proue the / that it might be knowen what were in thine hert. He brougt the in to aduersite & made the an hongred / & then feed the with man which nether thou ner yet thi fathers euer knew of / to teach the that a man liueth not by bred only / but by all that proceadeth out of the mouth of God. For the promises of god are life vn to all that cleaue vn to them / moch moare then is bred & bodyly sustinaunce: as the iourney of the childern of Israel out of egypte in to the londe promised them / ministreth the notable ensamples & that aboundantly / as doeth all the rest of the bible also. How be it / it is impossible for flesh to beleue & to trust in the trueth of gods promises / vntyll he haue lerned it in moch tribulacion / after that God hath deliuered him out therof agayne.

¶God therfore to teach Jonas & to shew him his awne hert & to make him perfecte & to enstructe vs also bi his ensample / sent him out of the lande of Israel where he was a prophete / to goo amonge the heathen people & to the greatest & mightiest citie of the world then / called Niniue: to preach that within .vl. dayes they shuld all perish for their sinnes & that the citie shuld be ouerthrowen. Which message the frewil of Jonas had as moch power to doo / as the weakest herted woman in the world hath power / if she were commaunded / to leppe in to a tobbe of lyuinge snakes & edders: as happely if God had commaunded Sara to haue sacrificed hir sonne Isaac / as he did Abraham / she wold haue disputed with him yer she had done it / or though she were stronge ynough / yet many an holy seint coud not have found in their hertes / but wold haue disobeyed and haue runne awaye from the presens of the commaundement of god with Jonas if thei had bene so strongly tempted.

¶For Jonas thought of this maner: loo I am here a prophete vn to Gods people the Israelites. Which though they haue gods word testified vn to them dayly / yet dispice it & worshepe God vnder the likenesse of calues & after all maner facions saue after his awne worde / & therfore are of all nacions the worst & most worthy of punishment. And yet god for loue of few that are amonge them & for his names sake spareth them & defendeth them. How then shuld god take so cruell vengeaunce on so greate a multitude of them to whome his name was neuer preached to and therfore are not the tenth parte so euel as these? If I shal therfore goo preach so shall I lye & shame my selfe & God therto and make them the moare to dispice god and sett the less by him and to be the moare cruell vnto his people.

¶And vppon that imaginacion he fled from the face or presens of God: that is / out of the contre where God was worsheped in & from prosecutynge of Gods commaundement / and thought / I wyll gett me a nother waye amonge the hethen people & be no moare a prophete / but lyue at rest & out of all combraunce. Neuer the lesse the god of all mercie which careth for his electe childern & turneth all vn to good to them & smiteth them to heale them agayne & killeth them to make them aliue agayne / & playeth with them (as a father doth some tyme with his younge ignoraunt childern) & tempteth them & proueth them to make them se theyr awne hertes / prouided for Jonas / how all thinge shuld be.

¶When Jonas was entered in to the sheppe / he layed him downe to slepe and to take his rest: that is / his conscience was tossed betwene the commaudement of God which sent him to Niniue / & his fleshly wisdome that dissuaded & counseled hym the contrary & at the last preualed agenst the commaundement & caried hym a nother waye / as a sheppe caught betwene .ij. streames / & as poetes faine the mother of Meliager to be betwene diuers affeccions / while to aduenge hir brothers deeth / she sought to sle hir awne sonne. Where vppon for very payne & tediousness / he laye downe to slepe / for to put the commaundement which so gnew & freate his conscience / out of minde / as the nature of all weked is / when they haue sinned a good / to seke al meanes with riot / reuell & pastyme / to driue the remenbraunce of synne out of their thoughtes or as Adam did / to couer their nakednesse with aporns of pope holy workes. But God awoke hym out of his dreame / and sett his synnes before his face.

¶For when the Lott had caught Jonas / then be sure that his synnes came to remembraunce agayne & that his conscience raged no lesse then the waues of the se. And then he thought that he only was a sinner & the hethen that ware in the shepp none in respecte of him / ad thought also / as veryly as he was fled from god / that as verily god had cast him awaye: for the sight of the rod maketh the natural child not only to se & to knowlege his faulte / but also to forgett all his fathers olde mercie & kindnesse. And then he confessed his synne openly & had yet leuer perish alone then that the other shuld haue perished with him for his sake: and so of very desperacion to haue liued any lenger / bad cast him in to the see betymes / excepte they wold be lost also.

¶To speake of lottes / how ferforth they are lawfull / is a light question. First to vse them for the breakinge of strife / as when partenars / their goodes as equally diuided as they can / take euery man his parte by lott / to avoyde all suspicion of disceptfulness: & as the appostles in the first of the Actes / when they sought another to succede Judas the traytoure / & .ij. persones were presentes / then to breake strife & to satisfie al parties / did cast lotttes / wheter shuld be admitted / desirynge god to temper them & to take whom he knew most mete / seynge they wist not wheter to preferre / or haply coude not all agre on ether / is lawfull ad in all like cases. But to abuse them vn to the temptinge of God & to compell him therwith to vtter thinges wherof we stond in doute / when we haue no commaundement of him so to do / as these bethen here dyd / though God turned it vn to his glorie / can not be but euell.

¶The hethen seepmen asstonied at the sight of the miracle / feared God / prayed to him / offered sacrifice & vowed vowes. And I doute not / but that some of them or haply all came therby vn to the true knowlege & true worshepinge of God & ware wonne to God in theyr soules. And then God which is infinite mercifull in all his wayes / wrought their soules health out of the infirmite of Jonas / euen of his good will & purpose & loue wherewith he loued them before the world was made / & not of chaunce / as it appereth vn to the eyes of the ignoraunt.

¶And that Jonas was .iij. dayes & .iij. nightes in the bely of his fish: we can not ther by proue vn to te Jewes & infideles or vn to any man / that Christ must therfore dye and be buried & rise agayne. But we vse the ensample and likenesse to strength the faith of the weake. For he that beleaueth the one can not doute in the other: in as moch as the hand of God was no lesse mightie in preseruinge Jonas aliue agenst all naturall possibilite & in deliuerynge him safe out of his fish / then in reysynge vpp Christ agayne out of his sepulchre. And we maye describe the power & vertue of the resurreccion therby / as Christ him selfe boroweth the similitude therto Mat. xii. sayenge vn to the Jewes that came aboute him & desyred a signe or a wonder from heuen to certifye them that he was christ: this euell & wedlockebreakinge nacion (which breake the wedlocke of faith wherwith they be maried vn to God / and beleue in their false workes) seke a signe / but there shal no signe be geuen them saue the signe of the Prophete Jonas. For as Jonas was .iij. dayes and iij. nightes in the bely of the whale / euen so shall the sonne of man be .iij. dayes & .iij. nyghtes in the herte of the erth. Which was a watch word / as we saye / & a sharpe threateninge vn to the Jewes & as moch to saye as thus / ye harde herted Jewes seke a signe: loo / thys shalbe youre sygne / as Jonas was reysed out of the sepulchre of his fishe & then sent vn to the Niniuites to preach that they shuld perish / euen so shall I ryse agayne out of my sepulchre & come & preach repentaunce vn to you. Se therfore when ye se that signe that ye repent or else ye shal suerly perish & not escape. For though the infirmities which ye now se in my flesh be a lett vn to youre faythes / ye shall yet then be with out excuse / when ye se so greate a miracle & so greate power of god shed out vppon you. And so Christe came agayne after the resurreccion / in his spirite & preached repentaunce vn to them / by the mouth of his appostles & disciples / & with miracles of the holy gost. And all that repented not perished shortly after and were for the most parte slayne with swerde and the rest caried awaye captiue in to all quarters of the world for an ensample / as ye se vn to this daye.

¶And in lyke maner sens the world beganne / where soeuer repentaunce was offered and not receaued / there God toke cruell vengeaunce immediately: as ye se in the floud of Noe / in the ouerthrowenge of Sodom & Gomor & all the contre aboute: & as ye se of Egipte / of the Amorites / Cananites & afterwarde of the very Israelites / & then at the last of the jewes to / and of the Assyriens and Babyloniens and so thorout all the imperes of the world.

¶Gyldas preached repentaunce vn to the olde Britaynes that inhabited englond: they repented not / & therfore God sent in theyr enimies vppon them on euery side & destroyed them vpp & gaue the lond vn to other nacions And greate vengeaunce hath bene taken in that lande for synne sens that tyme.

¶Wicleffe preached repentaunce vn to oure fathers not longe sens: they repented not for their hertes were indurat & theyr eyes blinded with their awne Pope holy rightwesnesse wherwith they had made theyr soules gaye agenst the receauinge agayne of the weked spirite that bringeth. vij. worse then hym selfe with him & maketh the later ende worse then the beginninge: for in open sinnes there is hope of repentaunce / but in holy ypocrisie none at all. But what folowed? they slew their true & right king and sett vpp .iij. wronge kinges arow / vnder which all the noble bloud was slayne vpp and halfe the comens therto / what in fraunce & what with their awne swerde / in fightinge amonge them selues for the crowne / & the cities and townes decayed and the land brought halfe in to a wyldernesse in respecte of that it was before.

¶And now Christ to preach repentaunce / is resen yet once agayne out of his sepulchre in which the pope had buried him and kepte him downe with his pilars and polaxes and all disgysinges of ypocrisie / with gyle / wiles and falshed / and with the swerd of al princes which he had blynded with his false marchaundice. And as I dowte not of the ensamples that are past / so am I sure that greate wrath will folow / excepte repentaunce turne it back agayne and cease it.

¶When Jonas had bene in te fishes bely a space & the rage of his conscience was somewhat quieted and swaged and he come to him selfe agayne and had receaued a lytle hope / the qualmes & panges of desperacion which went ouer hys hert / halfe ouercome / he prayed / as he maketh mencion in the texte sayenge: Jonas prayed vn to the lord his god out of the bely of the fishe. But the wordes of that prayer are not here sett. The prayer that here stondeth in the texte / is the prayer of prayse & thankesgeuenge which he prayed and wrote when he was escaped and past all ieopardie.

¶In the end of which prayer he sayth / I will sacrifice with the voyce of thankesgeuenge and paye that I haue vowed / that sauinge cometh of the lorde. For verely to confesse out of the herte / that all benefites come of God / euen out of the goodnesse of his mercie and not deseruinge of oure dedes / is the only sacrifice that pleaseth God. And to beleue that god only is the sauer / is the thynge that all the Jewes vowed in theyr circumcision / as we in oure baptim. Which vowe Jonas now tawght with experience / promiseth to paye. For those outwarde sacrifices of bestes / vn to which Jonas had haply asscribed to moch before / were but feble & childish thinges & not ordeyned / that the workes of them selues shuld be a seruice vn to god / but vn to the people / to put them in remembraunce of this inwarde sacrifice of thankes & of faith to trust and beleue in God the only sauer. Which significacion when was awaye / they were abhominable and deuellysh ydolatrye and imageseruice: as oure ceremonies and sacramentes are become now to all that trust & beleue in the werke of them and ar not taught the significacions / to edifye theyr soules with knowlege and the doctrine of God.

¶When Jonas was cast vppon lond agayne / then his will was fre and had power to goo whother God sent him & to doo what God bade / his awne imaginacions layed a parte. For he had bene at a new schole / ye and in a fornace where he was purged of moch refuse & droshe of fleshly wisdome / which resisted the wisdome of god & led Jonases wil contrary vn to the will of god. For as ferre as we be blynd in Adam / we can not but seke & will oure awne profitt / pleasure & glorie. And as ferre as we be taughte in the sprite / we can not but seke & wyll the pleasure and glorie of God only.

¶And as for the .iij. dayes iourney of Niniue / whether it were in length or to goo rounde aboute it or thorow all the stretes / I committe vn to the discrecion of other men. But I thinke that it was then the greatest citie of the world.

¶And that Jonas went a daye iourney in the citie / I suppose he did it not in one day: but went fayre & easyly preachinge here a sermon & there a nother & rebuked the synne of the people for which they must perishe.

¶And when thou art come vn to the repentaunce of the Niniuites / there hast thou sure ernest / that how soeuer angre god be / yet he remembreth mercie vn to all that truly repent and beleue in mercie. Which ensample our savioure Christ also casteth in the teeth of the indurat Jewes sayenge: the Niniuites shall rise in iudgement with this nacion and condemne them / for they repented at the preachynge of Jonas / and beholde a greater then Jonas here / meanynge of hym selfe. At whose preachinge yet / though it were neuer so mightie to perce the herte / & for all his miracles therto / the hard herted Jewes coude not repent: when the heathen Niniuites repented at the bare preachynge of Jonas rebukinge theyr synnes with out any miracle at all.

¶Why? For the Jewes had leuended the spirituall law of God and with theyr gloses had made it all to gether erthie and fleshly / and so had sett a vayle or coueringe on Moses face / to shodowe and darken the glorious brightnesse of his contenaunce. It was synne to stele: but to robbe wedowes howses vnder a coloure of longe prayenge / & to polle in the name of offeringes / and to snare the people with intollerable constitucions agenst all loue / to ketch theyr money out of theyr purses / was no synne at all.

¶To smyte father and mother was synn: But to withdraw helpe from them at theyr nede / for blynde zele of offeringe / vn to the profytt of the holy phareses / was then as meritorious as it is now to let all thy kynne chose wheter they will synke or sweme / while thou byldest and makest goodly fundacions for holy people which thou hast chosen to be thy christe / for to sowple thy soule with the oyle of theyr swete blessynges / & to be thy Jesus for to saue thy soule from that purgatory of the bloud that only purgeth synne / with theyr watching / fastinge / wolward goinge & rysynge at mydnyght etc. where wyth yet they purge not them selues from theyr couetousnesse / pryde / lechury or any vyce that thou seyst amonge the laye people.

¶It was greate synne for Christ to heale the people on the sabboth daye vn to the glorie of God hys father / but none at all for them to helpe theyr catell vnto theyr awne profett.

¶It was synne to eate wyth vn washen handes or on an vn washen table / or out of an vnwashen dish: but to eate out of that purifyed dysh that which came of brybery / theft & extorsion / was no synne at all.

¶It was exceadynge meritorious to make many dyscyples: But to teach them to feare God in hys ordynaunces / had they no care at all.

¶The hye prelates so defended the ryght of holy church and so feared the people with the curse of God & terreble paynes of hell / that no man durst leaue the vilest herke in hys gardeyne vntythed. And the offerynge and thynges dedycat vn to God for the profitt of hys holy vycars where in soch estymacion and reuerence / that is was moch greater synne to sweare truly by them / then to forswere thy selfe by God: what vengeaunce then of God / and how terreble and cruell damnacion thynke ye preached they to fall on them that had stolen soch holy thinges? And yet sayth Christ / that ryghtwesnesse and faith in kepynge promise / mercie and indyfferent iudgement were vtturly troden vnder fote and cleane dispysed of those blessed fathers / whych so mightely mayntened Arons patrimony and had mad it so prosperous and enuironed it and walled it aboute on euery syde with the feare of god / that noman durst twech it.

¶It was greate holynesse to garnysh the sepulchres of the prophetes & to condemne their awne fathers for sleynge of them: and yet were they them selves for blinde zele of their awne constitucions / as ready as their fathers to sle whosoeuer testified vn to them / the same trueth which the prophetes testified vn to theyr fathers. So that Christ compareth all the rightwesnesse of those holy patriarkes vn to the outwarde bewtye of a paynted sepulchre full of stench and all vnclennesse wythyn.

¶And finally to begyld a mans neyboure in sotle bargeninge and to wrappe and compase him in with cauteles of the law / was then as it is now in the kingdome of the Pope. By the reason where of they excluded the law of loue out of theyr hertes / and conseqently all true repentaunce: for how coude they repent of that they coude not se to be sinne?

¶And on the other syde they had set upp a rightwesnesse of holy workes / to clense theyr soules with all: as the Pope sanctifieth vs with holy oyle / holy bred / holy salt / holy candels / holy dome ceremonies and holy dome blessynges / and with what soever holyness thou wilt saue with the holynes of Gods worde which only speaketh vn to the herte and sheweth the soule hir filthynesse and vnclennesse of synne / and leadeth hir by the waye of repentaunce vn to the fountayne of Christes bloude to washe it awaye thorow faith. By the reason of which false rightwesnesse they were dysobedient vn to the rightwesnesse of God / which is the forgeuenesse of synne in Christes bloude and coude not beleue it. And so thorow fleshly interpretynge the law and false imagined rightwesnesse / their hertes were hardened and made as stony as clay in an hote furnace of fire / that they coude receaue nether repentaunce ner faith or any moyster of grace at all.

¶But the hethen Niniuites / though they were blynded with lusts a good / yet were in those .ij. poyntes vncorrupte and vnhardened / & therfore with the only preachinge of Jonas came vn to the knowlege of their synnes and confessed them & repented truly & turned euery man from his euell dedes & declared theyr sorow of hert & true repentaunce / with theyr dedes which they dyd out of faith & hope of forgeueness / chastysing their bodies with prayer & fastinge & with takinge all pleasures from the flesh: trustynge / as god was angre for their wekednesse / even so shuld he forgeue them of his mercye / yf they repented & forsoke their mysse lyuinge.

¶And in the last ende of all / thou hast yet a goodly ensample of lernynge / to se how erthye Jonas is styll for all hys tryenge in the whales bely. He was so sore displeased because the Niniuites perished not / that he was wery of hys lyfe and wished after the deeth for very sorow & payne / that he had loost the glorie of his prophesienge / in that his prophesie come not to passe. But god rebuked him with a likenesse sayenge: it greueth thyne hert for the losse of a vile shrobbe or spraye / wheron thou bestoweddest no laboure or cost / nether was it thyne handwerke. How moch moare then shuld greue myne herte / the losse of so greate a multitude of innocentes as are in Niniue / which are all myne handes werke. Nay Jonas / I am God ouer all / and father as well vn to the hethen as vn to the Jews and mercifull to all and warne yer I smyte: nether threte I so cruelly by any prophete / but that I wyll forgeue yf they repent and ax mercie: nether on the other syde / what soeuer I promyse / wyll I fulfyll it / saue for theyr sakes only whych trust in me and submitte them selues to kepe my lawes of very loue / as naturall chyldren.

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¶ ON thys maner to read the scripture is the right vse therof & why the holy gost caused it to be written. That is that thou first seke out the law / what god will haue the to doo / interpretinge it spiritually with out glose or coueringe the brightnesse of Moses face / so that thou fele in thyne hert / how that it is damnable synne before god / not to loue they neyboure that is thyne enimie / as puerly as Christ loued the / and that not to loue thy neyboure in thyne herte / is to haue committed all ready all synne agenst him. And therfore vn tyll that loue become / thou must knowlege vnfaynedly that there is synne in the best dede thou doest. And it must ernestly greue thyne hert and thou must washe all thy good dedes in christes bloude / yer they can be pure and an acceptable sacrifice vn to God / and must desire god the father for his sake / to take thi dedes aworth & to pardon the imperfectenesse of them / & to geue the power to doo them better and with moare feruent loue.

¶ And on the other syde thou must serch diligently for the promises of mercie which God hath promised the agayne. Which .ij. poyntes / that is to wete / the lawe spiritually interpreted / how that all is damnable synne that is not vnfayned loue out of the grownde and botom of the herte after the ensample of Christes loue to vs / because we be all equally created and formed of one god oure father / and indifferently bought & redemed with one bloud of oure sauioure Jesus Christe: and that the promises be geuen vn to a repentynge soule that thursteth and longeth after them / of the pure and fatherly mercie of god thorow oure faith onely with oute al deseruinge of oure dedes or merites of oure werkes / but for Christes sake alone and for the merites and deseruinges of his werkes / deth and passions that he sofered all to gether for vs & not for him selfe: whych .ij. poyntes I saye / if they be written in thine herte / are the keyes which so open all the scripture vn to the / that no creature can locke the out / and with which thou shalt goo in and out / and finde pasture and fode euery where. And yf these lesons be not writtten in thyne herte / then is all the scripture shutt vpp / as a cornell in the shale / so that thou mayst read it and comen of it and reherse all the stories of it and dispute sotilly and be a profounde sophister / and yet vnderstond not one Jot therof.

¶And thridly that thou take the stories & liues which are conteyned in the bible / for sure and vndowted ensamples / that God so will deale with vs vn to the worldes ende.

¶Here with Reader farewell and be commended vn to God / and vn to the grace of hys spryte. And first se that thou stoppe not thyne eares vn to the callynge of god / and that thou harden not thine herte begyled with fleshly interpretinge of the law & false imagined and ypocritish rightwesnesse / and so the Niniuites ryse with the at the day of iudgement & condemne the.

¶And secondarily if thou finde ought amisse / when thou seyst thy selfe in the glasse of Gods worde / thynke it compendious wisdome / to amende the same betymes / moneshed & warned by the ensample of other men / rather then to tary vntill thou be beten also.

¶And thridly if it shall so chaunce / that the wild lustes of thy flesh shall blynd the and carie the cleane awaye with them for a tyme: yet at the later ende / when the god of all mercie shall haue compased the in on euery syde with temptacions / tribulacions / aduersities & combraunce / to bringe the home agayne vn to thyne awne herte / & to set thy sinnes wich thou woldest so fayne couer & put out of mynd with delectacion of voluptuous pastymes / before the eyes of thy conscience: then call the faithfull ensample of Jonas & all lyke stories vn to thy remembraunce / and with Jonas turne vn to thi father that smote the: not to cast the a waye / but to laye a corosie and a freatinge playster vn to the pocke that laye hid & fret inwarde / to draw the disease out & to make it appere / that thou mightest feale thy seckenes & the daunger therof & come & receaue the healynge playster of mercie.

¶And forget not that what soeuer ensample of mercie god hath shewed sens the beginninge of the world / the same is promised the / yf thou wilt in like maner turne agayne and receaued it as they dyd. And with Jonas be aknowen of thy synne & confesse it & knowlege it vn to thy father.

¶And as the law which freteth thy conscience / is in thyne herte & is none outwarde thinge / euen so seke within in thine herte / the playster of mercie / the promyses of forgeuenesse in oure sauioure Jesus Christe / accordinge vn to all the ensamples of mercie that are gonne before.

¶And with Jonas let them that wayte on vanities & seke god here & there & in euery temple saue in their hertes goo / & seke thou the testament of god in thyne hert. For in thyne hert is the worde of the law / & in thyne hert is the worde of fayth in the promises of mercie in Jesus Christe. So that yf thou confesse with a repentynge herte & knowlege and surely beleue that Jesus is lorde ouer all synne / thou art saffe.

¶ And finally when the rage of thy conscience is ceased and quieted with fast faith in the promises of mercie / then offer with Jonas the offeringe of prayse and thankesgeuinge / & paye the vow of thy baptim / that God only saueth / of his only mercie & goodnesse: that is / beleue stedfastly & preach constantly / that it is God only that smyteth / and God only that healeth: ascribynge the cause of thy tribulation vn to thyne awne synne / and the cause of thy deliueraunce vn to the mercie of God.

¶And be ware of the leuen that saith we haue power in oure frewill before the preachinge of the Gospell / to deserue grace / to kepe the law / of congruite / or god to be vnrightwesse. And saie with Jhon in the first / that as the law was geuen by Moses / euen so grace to fulfill it / is geuen by christe. And when they saye oure dedes with grace deserue heuen / saye thou with Paule Ro. vj. that euerlastinge life is the gift of god thorow Jesns Christ oure lorde / & that we be made sonnes by faith Jhon .j. & therfore heyres of god with christ Ro .viij. And saye that we receaue al of god thorow faith that foloweth repentaunce / & that we doo not oure werkes vn to god / but ether vn to oure selues / to sley the sinne that remayneth in the flesh & to waxe perfecte / ether vn to oure neyboures which doo as moch for vs agayne in some other thinges. And when a man excedeth in giftes of grace / let him vnderstonde that they be geuen him / as wel for his weake brethern / as for him selfe: as though all the bred be committed vn to the panter / yet for his felowes with hym / which geue the thankes vn to theyr lorde / and recompence the panter agayne with other kynde seruice in theyr offices. And when they saye that Christ hath made no satisfaccion for the synne we doo after oure baptym: saye thou wyth the doctrine of Paule / that in oure baptym we receaue the merytes of Christes deeth thorow repentaunce and fayth of which two / baptim is the sygne. And though when we synne of frailtie after oure baptym we receaue the sygne no moare / yet we be renewed agayne thorow repentaunce and faith in Christes bloude / whych twayne / the sygne of baptym ever contynued amonge vs in baptisynge oure younge childern doeth euer kepe in mynde and call vs backe agayne vn to oure profession if we be gonne astraye / & promiseth vs forgeuenesse. Nether can actuall synne be washed awaye with oure werkes / but withe Christes bloude: nether can there be any other sacrifice or satisfaccion to Godward for them / saue Christes bloude. For as moch as we can doo no werkes vnto God / but receaue only of his mercie with oure repentynge fayth / thorow Jesus Christe oure lorde and only saver: vn to whom & vn to God oure father thorow him / and vn to hys holy spirite / that only purgeth / sanctifieth & washeth vs in the innocent bloude of oure redemption / be prayse for ever

The Storie of the prophete Jonas.

The first Chapter.

¶ The worde of the lorde came vn to the prophete Jonas the sonne of Amithai sayenge: ryse & gett the to Niniue that greate citie & preach vn to them / how that theyr wekednesse is come vpp before me.

¶ And Jonas made him ready to fle to Tharsis from the presens of the lorde / & gatt hym downe to Joppe / and founde there a sheppe ready to goo to Tharsis / & payed his fare / & went aborde / to goo with them to Tharsis from the presens of the lorde.

¶But the lorde hurled a greate winde in to the se / so that there was a myghtie tempest in the se: in so moch that the shepp was lyke to goo in peces. And the mariners were a frayed & cried euery man vn to his god / & cast out the goodes that were in the sheppe in to the se / to lighten it of them. But Jonas gatt him vnder the hatches & layed him downe and slombrede. And the master of the sheppe came to him & sayd vn to him / why slomberest thou. Vpp / & call vn to thy god / that God may thinke on vs / that we perish not.

¶And they sayde one to a nother / come & lett vs cast lottes / to know for whose cause we are thus troublede. And they cast lottes. And the lott fell vppon Jonas.

¶Then they said vnto him / tel vs for whose cause we are thus trowbled: what is thine occupacion / whence comest thou / how is thy contre called / & of what nacion art thou?

¶And he answered them / I am an Ebrue: & the lord God of heuen which made both se and drie land / I feare. Then were the men exceadingly afrayd & sayd vn to him / why didest thou so? For they knew that he was fled from the presens of the lorde / because he had told them.

¶Then they sayd vnto hym / what shall we doo vnto the / that the se maye cease from trowblinge vs? For the se wrought & was trowblous. And he answered them / take me and cast me in to the se / & so shall it lett you be in reste: for I wotte / it is for my sake / that this greate tempest is come vppon you. Neverthelesse the men assayed wyth rowenge to bringe the sheppe to lande: but it wold not be / because the se so wrought & was so trowblous agenst them. Wherefore they cried vn to the lorde & sayd: O lorde latt vs not perih for this mans deeth / nether laye innocent bloud vn to oure charge: for thou lorde even as thy pleasure was / so thou hast done.

¶And then they toke Jonas & cast him in to the se / & the se lefte ragynge. And the men feared the lorde excedingly: & sacrificed sacrififice vn to the lorde: and vowed vowes.

The seconde Chapter.

¶ But the lorde prepared a greate fyshe / to swalow vp Jonas. And so was Jonas in the bowels of the fish .iij. dayes & .iij. nightes. And Jonas prayed vnto the lord his god out of the bowels of the fish.

¶ And he sayde: in my tribulacion I called vn to the lorde / and he answered me: out of the bely of hell I cried / and thou herdest my voyce. For thou hadest cast me downe depe in the middes of the se: & the floud compased me aboute: and all thy waues & rowles of water went ouer me: & I thought that I had bene cast awaye out of thy sight. But I will yet agayne loke towarde thy holy temple. The water compased me euen vn to the very soule of me: the depe laye aboute me: and the wedes were wrappte aboude myne heed. And I went downe vn to the botome of the hylles / & was barred in with erth on euery syde for euer. And yet thou lorde my God broughtest vp my life agayne out of corrupcion. When my soule faynted in me / I thought on the lorde: & my prayer came in vn to the / even in to thy holy temple. They that obserue vayne vanities / haue forsaken him that was mercifull vn to them. But I wil sacrifice vn to the with the voce of thankes geuinge / & will paye that I haue vowed / that sauinge cometh of the lorde.

¶ And the lorde spake vnto the fish: and it cast out Jonas agayne vppon the drie lande.

The .iij. Chapter.

¶ Then came the worde of the lorde vn to Jonas agayne sayenge: vpp / and gett the to Niniue that greate citie / & preache vn to them the preachynge which I bade the. And he arose & went to Niniue at the lordes commaundment. Niniue was a greate citie vn to god / conteyninge .iij. dayes iourney

¶ And Jonas went to & entred in to the citie euen a dayes iourney / and cried sayenge: There shall not passe .xl. dayes but Niniue shalbe ouerthrowen.

¶ And the people of Niniue beleued God / and proclaymed fastyng / and arayed them selues in sackcloth / as well the greate as the small of them.

¶ And the tydinges came vn to the kinge of Niniue / which arose out of his sete / and did his apparell of & put on sackcloth / & sate him downe in asshes. And it was cried and commaunded in Niniue by the auctorite of the kinge and of his lordes sayenge: se that nether man or beest / oxe or shepe tast ought at al / & that they nether fede or drinke water.

¶ And they put on sackcloth both man and beest / & cried vn to God mightily / and turned euery man from his weked waye / and from doenge wronge in which they were acustomed / sayenge: who can tell whether god will turne & repent / & cease from his fearce wrathe / that we perish not: And when god saw theyr workes / how they turned from theyr weked wayes / he repented on the euell which he sayd he wold doo vn to them / and dyd it not.

The .iiij. Chapter.

¶ Wherefore Jonas was sore discontent and angre. And he prayed vn to the lorde and sayd: O lord / was not this my sayenge when I was yet in my contre? And therfore I hasted rather to fle to Tharsis: for I knew well ynough that thou was a mercifull god / ful of compassion / long yer thou be angre and of greate mercie and repentest when thou art come to take punishment. Now therfore take my life from me / for I had leuer dye then liue. And the lorde said vn to Jonas / art thou so angrie?

¶ And Jonas gatt him out of the citie and sate him downe on the est syde theroffe / and made him there a bothe and sate thervnder in the shadowe / till he might se what shuld chaunce vn to the citie.

¶ And the lorde prepared as it were a wild vine which sprange vp ouer Jonas / that he might haue shadowe ouer his heed / to deliuer him out of his payne. And Jonas was exceadynge glad of the wild vine.

¶ And the lorde ordeyned a worme agenst the springe of the morow morninge which smo te the wild vine / that it wethered awaye. And assone as the sonne was vpp / God prepared a feruent eest winde: so that the son ne bete ouer the heed of Jonas / that he fainted agayne and wished vn to hys soule that he might dye / and sayd / it is better for me to dye then to liue.

¶ And god sayd vn to Jonas / art thou so angre for thy wildvine? And he sayde / I am agrie a goode / even on to the deeth. And the lorde sayde / thou hast compassion on a wild vine / wheron thou bestoweddest no laboure ner madest it growe / which sprange vp in one night and perished in a nother: and shuld not I haue compassion on Niniue that greate citie / wherin there is a multitude of people / euen aboue an hundred thousande that know not theyr right hand from the lyfte / besydes moch catell?

Moon