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their villages set on fire, their dear friends and neighbours murdered and slain, and their wives and daughters defiled and ravished, and all goeth to havoc, and is full of misery; even so in the spiritual warfare and field, if we yield unto the flesh and the devil, and resist them not manfully and constantly, we cast ourselves into perpetual danger, misery, and unquietness. But if we fight against Ephes. vi. 12. the ghostly enemies stoutly and patiently, we may the sooner attain to perpetual rest and quietness.
He that is sick, if he will not receive the medicine, because it is bitter and sour, it is no marvel nor wonder, if the same man perish in his sickness or disease ; but if he would suffer himself to be handled after the mind and counsel of the physician, he might overcome the smart, and have good hope to be restored to his health again : even so all right and faithful Christians, that are patient in adversity, may conceive a much more stedfast and sure hope, that they shall attain to everlasting rest of body and soul : whereas contrariwise, they which remain and continue in their frowardness and impatiency against God the heavenly physician, must smart for it everlastingly, both in body and soul. Scripture, to confirm and prove this, have we: “Happy is James i. 12. that man which suffereth in temptation ; for after that he is Prov. ii. 11, proved, he shall receive the crown of life.” But no man Hos. vi. 1. may gather or conclude upon this, that we merit or deserve eternal salvation for our patience, which thing only Christ &e. alone hath done.
Last of all, patience is profitable, and bringeth singular commodity, not only to him that hath the same virtue, but also to other; for when another perceiveth thee to be constant in the truth, he taketh occasion to exercise like patience and stedfastness. It is manifest by divers credible stories, when as the Christians have died boldly for the christian faith's sake, that certain of the persecutors have wondered so sore thereat, that they by that and no other occasion were converted to the faith of Christ'.
Item, patience and stedfastness have wrought quietness in commonwealths, in the church, in many nations, cities, and towns. Scipio, a noble ruler, chose rather to leave Rome, than to subdue and oppress his enemies with force of arms; (* Peterborough copy: faith and religion of Christ.)
1 Pet. iv. 12,
A SPIRITUAL AND MOST PRECIOUS PEARL. [ch. xxxi.]
the doing whereof turned to the singular commodity of the whole commonwealth : and contrariwise, a bitter, cruel, and unpatient mind bringeth, worketh, and occasioneth infinite harm and destruction?.
Also through our unpatientness in adversity? we give occasion to them that be weak in the faith to doubt, whether our faith be the true faith or no, when we confess of God, that he is our comfort both in this world and in the world to come, and yet shew ourselves so desperate in adversity, as though God had utterly forsaken us.
Wherefore we ought to prepare ourselves for all adversity in time of prosperity, and not to hang upon transitory things, that when need shall require, we may be content to forego them, and continue stedfast in the true faith, wherein “whosoever shall continue unto the end, shall be saved."
[1 To these words is added in the Peterborough copy: "in commonwealths, and heresies in the church of God"; and this sentence is succeeded by the following paragraph. “For Marius, as he came again to Rome, and could not refrain himself through his unpatientness, wrought great tyranny, and shewed much cruelness, causing divers principal people of the contrary part that held against him most cruelly to be murdered and put to death, wh upon did follow and ensue much inconvenience. Also Arius, because he could not obtain his purpose, nor bring his device to effect, for very frowardness and impatiency he vexed and disquieted the church of Christ with horrible heresies. In like manner through our unpatientness,” &c.]
[2 “Unpatientness in the cross and adversity," Peterborough copy.]
[3 To these words is added in the Peterborough copy: “and as though there were no better life after this.")
[* This concluding paragraph stands rather differently in the Peterborough copy: “Wherefore we ought to arm and prepare ourselves to all manner of adversity in time, while we are here in good wealth and prosperity, and not to depend and hang overmuch upon transitory goods and prosperity, that whensoever need shall require, we may be content with patience to forego and forbear them, and continue stedfast in the true faith, wherein whosoever shall continue unto the end shall be saved.” Matt. xxiv, 13. Amen. To God only be all honour and praise.]
PASSION, BURIAL, RESURRECTION, ASCENSION,
THE SENDING OF THE HOLY GHOST.
Ascension, and of the sending of
the holy Ghost.
GATHERED OVT OF THE FOVRE
Euangelists: with a plaine exposition
of the same.
By MILES COVERDALL.
JOHN 14. 6. I am the waie, the truth, and the life, no man commeth vnto the Fa
ther but by me.
The sending of the Holy Ghost