A Brief Treatise of Mr. Patrick Hamilton, translated into English by John Frith; with the Epistle of the said Frith prefixed before the same, as followeth: JOHN FRITH UNTO THE CHRISTIAN READER.
Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in these last days and perilous times, hath stirred up in all countries, witnesses unto his Son, to testify the truth unto the unfaithful, to save at the least some from the snares of Antichrist, which lead to perdition, as ye may here perceive by that excellent and well learned young man PATRIKE HAMELTON, born in Scotland of a noble progeny; who to testify the truth, sought all means, and took upon him Priesthood, (even as Paul circumcised Timothy, to win the weak Jews,) that he might be admitted to preach the pure word of God. Notwithstanding, as soon as the Chamberlain [Chancellor] and other Bishops of Scotland had perceived that the light began to shine, which disclosed their falsehood that they conveyed in darkness, they laid hands on him, and because he would not deny his Saviour Christ at their instance, they burnt him to ashes. Nevertheless, God of his bounteous mercy (to publish to the whole world what a man these monsters have murdered) hath reserved a little Treatise, made by this Patrick, which, if ye list [desire], ye may call PATRIK'S PLACES: For it treateth exactly of certain Common Places, which known, ye have the pith of all Divinity. This Treatise have I turned into the English tongue, to the profit of my nation; to whom I beseech God to give light, that they may espy the deceitful paths of perdition, and return to the right way which leadeth to life everlasting. Amen.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE LAW.
The Law is a doctrine that biddeth good, and forbiddeth evil, as the Commandments here contained do specify:
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
All these Commandments are briefly comprised in these two here under ensuing:"Love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (Deut. 6.)"This is the first and great commandment. The second is like unto this, Love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (Matth. 12.)
- Thou shalt worship but one God.
- Thou shalt make thee none image to worship it.
- Thou shalt not swear by his name in vain.
- Hold the Sabbath day holy.
- Honour thy father and mother.
- Thou shalt not kill.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Thou shalt not steal.
- Thou shalt bear no false witness.
- Thou shalt not desire ought that belongeth unto thy neighbour.
CERTAIN GENERAL PROPOSITIONS PROVED BY THE SCRIPTURE.
I. He that loveth God, loveth his neighbour."If any man say, I love God, and yet hateth his neighbour, he is a liar: He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (1 John 4.)
II. He that loveth his neighbour as himself, keepeth the whole commandments of God."Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do unto them: for this is the law and the prophets." (Matth. 7.)He that loveth his neighbour fulfilleth the law. "Thou shalt not commit adultery: Thou shalt not kill: Thou shalt not steal: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour: Thou shalt not desire; and so forth: And if there be any other commandment, all are comprehended under this saying, Love thy neighbour as thyself." (Rom. 13; Gal. 5.)
"He that loveth his neighbour, keepeth all the commandments of God." "He that loveth God, loveth his neighbour." (Rom. 13; 1 John 4.)Ergo, he that loveth God, keepeth all his commandments.
III. He that hath the faith, loveth God."My father loveth you, because ye love me, and believe that I came of God." (John 19.)He that hath the faith, keepeth all the commandments of God. He that hath the faith, loveth God; and he that loveth God, keepeth all the commandments of God.Ergo, he that hath faith, keepeth all the commandments of God.
IV. He that keepeth one commandment, keepeth them all."For without faith it is impossible to keep any of the commandments of God."And he that hath the faith, keepeth all the commandments of God.Ergo, he that keepeth one commandment of God, keepeth them all.
V. He that keepeth not all the commandments of God, he keepeth none of them.He that keepeth one of the commandments, he keepeth all.Ergo, he that keepeth not all the commandments, he keepeth none of them.
VI. It is not in our power, without grace, to keep any of God's commandments.Without grace it is impossible to keep any of God's commandments; and grace is not in our power.Ergo, it is not in our power to keep any of the commandments of God.
Even so may ye reason concerning the Holy Ghost, and faith.
VII. The law was given to show us our sin."By the law cometh the knowledge of sin. I knew not what sin meant, but through the law. I knew not what lust had meant, except the law had said, Thou shalt not lust. Without the law, sin was dead:" that is, It moved me not, neither wist [knew] I that it was sin, which notwithstanding was sin, and forbidden by the law.
VIII. The law biddeth us do that which is impossible for us.For it biddeth us keep all the commandments of God: yet it is not in our power to keep any of them.Ergo, it biddeth us do that which is impossible for us.
Thou wilt say, "Wherefore doth God command us that which is impossible for us." I answer, "To make thee know that thou art but evil, and that there is no remedy to save thee in thine own hand, and that thou mayest seek remedy at some other; for the law doth nothing but command thee."
THE DOCTRINE OF THE GOSPEL.
The Gospel, is as much to say, in our tongue, as Good Tidings: like as every one of these sentences be
Christ is the Saviour of the world.
Christ is our Saviour.
Christ died for us.
Christ died for our sins.
Christ offered himself for us.
Christ bear our sins upon his back.
Christ bought us with his blood.
Christ wash us with his blood.
Christ came in the world to save sinners.
Christ came in the world to take away our sins.
Christ was the price that was given for us and for our sins.
Christ was made debtor for our sins.
Christ hath paid our debt, for he died for us.
Christ hath made satisfaction for us and for our sin.
Christ is our righteousness.
Christ is our wisdom.
Christ is our sanctification.
Christ is our redemption.
Christ is our satisfaction.
Christ is our goodness.
Christ hath pacified the Father of Heaven.
Christ is ours, and all his.
Christ hath delivered us from the law, from the devil, and hell.
The Father of Heaven hath forgiven us for Christ's sake.
Or any such other, as declare unto us the mercies of God.
THE NATURE AND OFFICE OF THE LAW, AND OF THE GOSPEL.
The Law showeth us,
Is the word of ire.
Is the word of despair.
Is the word of displeasure.
The Gospel showeth us,
A remedy for it.
Is the word of grace.
Is the word of comfort.
Is the word of peace.
A DISPUTATION BETWIXT THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL.
The Law saith,
Pay thy debt.
Thou art a sinner desperate.
And thou shalt die.
The Gospel saith,
Christ hath paid it.
Thy sins are forgiven thee.
Be of good comfort, thou shalt be saved.
The Law saith,
Make amends for thy sin.
The Father of Heaven is wrath with thee.
Where is thy righteousness, goodness, and satisfaction?
Thou art bound and obliged unto me, to the devil, and to hell.
The Gospel saith,
Christ hath made it for thee.
Christ hath pacified him with his blood.
Christ is thy righteousness, thy goodness, and satisfaction.
Christ hath delivered thee from them all.
THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH.
Faith is to believe God; "like as Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." (Gen. 15.)"He that believed God, believed his word." (John 5.)To believe in him, is to believe his word, and account it true that he speaketh. He that believeth not God's word, believeth not himself. He that believeth not God's word, he counteth him false, and a liar, and believeth not that he may and will fulfill his word; and so he denieth both the might of God and himself.
IX. Faith is the gift of God."Every good thing is the gift of God." (James 1.) Faith is good.Ergo, faith is the gift of God.
X. [Faith is not in our power.]The gift of God is not in our power."Faith is the gift of God."Ergo, faith is not in our power.
XI. [He that lacketh faith cannot please God.]"Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Heb. 11)All that cometh not of faith, is sin; for without faith can no man please God.Besides, that he that lacketh faith, he trusteth not God. He that trusteth not God, trusteth not in his word. He that trusteth not in his word, holdeth himself false, and a liar. He that holdeth himself false and a liar, he believeth not that he may do that he promiseth, and so denieth he that he is God. And how can a man, being of this fashion, please him? No manner of way. Yea, suppose he did all the work of man and angel.
XII. All that is done in faith, pleaseth God."Right is the word of God, and all his works in faith." "Lord, thine eyes look to faith." That is asmuch as to say as, Lord, thou delightest in faith. God loveth him that believeth in him. How can they then displease him?
XIII. He that hath the faith, is just and good.And a good tree bringeth forth good fruit.Ergo, all that is in faith done pleaseth God.
XIV. [He that hath faith, and believeth God, cannot displease him.]Moreover, he that hath the faith believeth God.He that believeth God, believeth his word. He that believeth his word, wotteth [knoweth] well that he is true and faithful, and may not lie: But knoweth well that he may and will both fulfill his word. How can he then displease him? For thou canst not do any greater honour unto God, than to count him true. Thou wilt then say, that theft, murder, adultery, and all vices please God? Nay, verily; for they can not be done in faith: "for a good tree beareth good fruit." He that hath the faith wotteth well that he pleaseth God; for all that is done in faith pleaseth God. (Heb. 11.)
XV. Faith is a sureness."Faith is a sure confidence of things which are hoped for, and a certainty of things which are not seen." (Heb. 11.)"The same spirit certifieth our spirit that we are the children of God." (Rom. 8.)Moreover, he that hath the faith, wotteth well that God will fulfill his word.Ergo, faith is a sureness.
A MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY FAITH.
"Abraham believeth God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness." "We suppose therefore that a man is justified (saith the Apostle) without the works of the law." (Rom. 4.)"He that worketh not, but believeth in him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted unto him for righteousness." "The just man liveth by faith." (Hab. 2; Rom. 1.)"We wot, that a man that is justified, is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, and not by the deeds of the law."
OF THE FAITH OF CHRIST.
The faith of Christ is, to believe in him; that is, to believe his word, and to believe that he will help thee in all thy need, and deliver thee from evil. Thou wilt ask me, What word? I answer, the Gospel. "He that believeth on Christ shall be saved." "He that believeth the Son hath eternal life." "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." (John 6.)"This I write unto you, that believing in the name of the Son of God, ye may know that ye have eternal life." (1 John 5.)"Thomas, because thou hast seen me thou believest; but happy are they that have not seen, and yet believe in me." "All the Prophets to him bear witness, that whosoever believeth in him shall have remission of their sins." (Acts 10.)"What must I do that I may be saved?" The Apostle answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." "If thou acknowledge with the mouth, that Jesus is the Lord, and believe in thine heart that God raised him up from the death, thou shalt be saved." (Rom. 10.)"He that believeth not in Christ shall be condemned." "He that believeth not the Son shall never see life; but the ire of God abideth upon him." (John 3.)"The Holy Ghost shall reprove the world of sin, because they believe not in me." "They that believe in Jesus Christ are the sons of God." Ye are all the sons of God, because ye believe in Jesus Christ.
He that believeth in Christ the Son of God is saved. (Gal. 3.)"Peter said, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said unto him, Happy art thou, Simon, the son of Jonas; for flesh and blood hath not opened unto thee that, but my Father which is in heaven." (Matt. 16.)"We have believed and known that thou art Christ the Son of the living God." "I believe that thou art Christ the Son of the living God, which should come into the world." "These things are written that ye might believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that in believing ye might have life. I believe that Jesus is the Son of the living God." (John 9.)
XVI. He that believeth God, believeth the Gospel.He that believeth God, believeth his Word:And the Gospel is his Word. Therefore he that believeth God, believeth his Gospel. As Christ is the Saviour of the world, Christ is our Saviour. Christ bought us with his blood. Christ wash us with his blood. Christ offered himself for us. Christ bear our sins upon his back.
XVII. He that believeth not the Gospel, believeth not God.He that believeth not God's Word believeth not himself:And the Gospel is God's Word.Ergo, he that believeth not the Gospel believeth not God himself; and consequently they that believe not as is above written, and such other, believe not God.
XVIII. He that believeth the Gospel, shall be saved."Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel unto every creature: He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned."
A COMPARISON BETWIXT FAITH AND INCREDULITY.
Faith is the root of all good:
Maketh God and man friends.
Bringeth God and man together.
Incredulity is the root of all evil:
Maketh them deadly foes.
Bringeth them sundry.
All that proceeds from Faith pleaseth God.
All that proceedeth from Incredulity displeaseth God.
Faith only maketh a man good and righteous.
Incredulity maketh him unjust and evil.
Faith only maketh a man,
The member of Christ;
The inheritor of heaven;
The servant of God.
Faith showeth God to be a sweet Father.
Faith holdeth stiff by the Word of God: Counteth God to be true.
Faith knoweth God: Loveth God and his neighbour.
Faith only saveth: Extolleth God and his works.
Incredulity maketh him,
The member of the devil;
The inheritor of hell;
The servant of the devil.
Incredulity maketh God a terrible Judge: It causeth man wander here and there: Maketh him false and a liar.
Incredulity knoweth him not.
Incredulity loveth neither God nor neighbour: Only condemneth: Extolleth flesh and her own deeds.
Hope is a trusty looking for of things that are promised to come unto us: as we hope the everlasting joy which Christ hath promised unto all that believe on him. We should put our hope and trust in God only, and no other thing. "It is good to trust in God, and not in man." "He that trusteth in his own heart, he is a fool." "It is good to trust in God, and not in princes." (Psalm 117.)"They shall be like unto images that make them, and all that trust in them." He that trusteth in his own thoughts doeth ungodly. "Cursed be he that trusteth in man." "Bid the rich men of this world, that they trust not in their unstable riches, but that they trust in the living God." "It is hard for them that trust in money to enter in the kingdom of God." Moreover, we should trust in him only, that may help us: [God only can help us.]Ergo, we should trust in him only. Well is them that trust in God: and woe to them that trust him not. "Well is the man that trusts in God; for God shall be his trust." He that trusteth in him shall understand the truth. "They shall all rejoice that trust in thee: they shall all ever be glad; and thou wilt defend them."
Charity is the love of thy neighbour. The rule of charity is to do as thou wouldest were done unto thee: for charity esteemeth all alike; the rich and the poor; the friend and the foe; the thankful and the unthankful; the kinsman and stranger.
A COMPARISON BETWIXT FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY.
Faith cometh of the word of God: Hope cometh of faith; and Charity springs of them both.
Faith believes the word: Hope trusteth after that which is promised by the word: and Charity doth good unto her neighbour, through the love that such hath to God, and gladness that is within herself.
Faith looketh to God and his word: Hope looketh unto his gift and reward: Charity looketh unto her neighbour's profit.
Faith receiveth God: Hope receiveth his reward: Charity looketh to her neighbour with a glad heart, and that without any respect of reward.
Faith pertaineth to God only: Hope to his reward, and Charity to her neighbour.
THE DOCTRINE OF GOOD WORKS.
No manner of works make us righteous:"We believe that a man shall be justified without works." (Gal. 3.)"No man is justified by the deeds of the law; but by the faith of Jesus Christ. And we believe in Jesus Christ, that we may be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the deeds of the law. If righteousness came by the law, then Christ died in vain." That no man is justified by the law, it is manifest: for a righteous man liveth by his faith; but the law is not of faith. Moreover, since Christ, the maker of heaven and earth, and all that therein is, behoved to die for us; we are compelled to grant, that we were so far drowned in sin, that neither our deeds, nor all the treasures that ever God made, or might make, might have help us out of them: Ergo, no deeds nor works may make us righteous.
No works make us unrighteous.For if any work made us unrighteous, then the contrary works would make us righteous. But it is proven, that no works can make us righteous: Ergo, no works make us unrighteous.
WORKS MAKE US NEITHER GOOD NOR EVIL.
It is proven, that works neither make us righteous nor unrighteous: Ergo, no works neither make us good nor evil. For righteous and good are one thing, and unrighteous and evil, one. Good works make not a good man, nor evil works an evil man: But a good man maketh good works, and an evil man evil works. Good fruit maketh not the tree good, nor evil fruit the tree evil: But a good tree beareth good fruit, and an evil tree evil fruit. A good man can not do evil works, nor an evil man good works; for an evil tree can not bear good fruit, nor a good tree evil fruit. A man is good before he do good works, and an evil man is evil before he do evil works; for the tree is good before it bear good fruit, and evil before it bear evil fruit. Every man is either good or evil. Either make the tree good, and the fruit good also, or else make the tree evil, and the fruit likewise evil. Every man's works are either good or evil: for all fruits are either good or evil. "Either make the tree good and the fruit also, or else make the tree evil and the fruit of it likewise evil." (Matth. 13.)A good man is known by his works; for a good man doeth good works, and an evil, evil works. "Ye shall know them by their fruit; for a good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and an evil tree evil fruit." (Matth. 7.)A man is likened to the tree, and his works to the fruit of the tree. "Beware of the false prophets, which come unto you in sheep's clothing; but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits."
NONE OF OUR WORKS NEITHER SAVE US, NOR CONDEMN US.
It is proven, that no works make us either righteous or unrighteous, good nor evil: but first we are good before that we do good works, and evil before we do evil works: Ergo, no work neither save us nor condemn us. Thou wilt say then, Maketh it no matter what we do? I answer thee, Yes; for if thou doest evil, it is a sure argument that thou art evil, and wantest faith. If thou do good, it is an argument that thou art good and hast faith; for a good tree beareth good fruit, and an evil tree evil fruit. Yet good fruit maketh not the tree good, nor evil fruit the tree evil. So that man is good before he do good works, and evil before he do evil works.
The man is the tree: the works are the fruit. Faith maketh the good tree: Incredulity the evil tree. Such a tree, such a fruit: such man, such works. For all that is done in faith pleaseth God, and are good works; and all that is done without faith displeaseth God, and are evil works. Whosoever thinketh to be saved by his works, denieth Christ is our Saviour, that Christ died for him, and, finally, all things that belongeth to Christ. For how is he thy Saviour, if thou mightest save thyself by thy works? Or to what end should he have died for thee, if any works of thine might have saved thee? What is this to say, Christ died for thee? It is not that thou shouldest have died perpetually, and that Christ, to deliver thee from death, died for thee, and changed thy perpetual death in his own death. For thou madest the fault, and he suffered the pain, and that for the love he had to thee, before ever thou wast born, when thou hadst done neither good nor evil. Now, since he hath paid thy debt, thou diest not: no, thou canst not, but shouldest have been damned, if his death were not. But since he was punished for thee, thou shalt not be punished. Finally, he hath delivered thee from thine condemnation, and desireth nought of thee, but that thou shouldest acknowledge what he hath done for thee, and bear it in mind; and that thou wouldest help other for his sake, both in word and deed, even as he hath helped thee for nought, and without reward. O how ready would we be to help others, if we knew his goodness and gentleness towards us! He is a good and a gentle Lord, and he doeth all things for nought. Let us, I beseech you, follow his footsteps, whom all the world ought to praise and worship. Amen.
HE THAT THINKETH TO BE SAVED BY HIS WORKS, CALLETH HIMSELF CHRIST:
For he calleth himself a Saviour, which appertaineth to Christ only. What is a Saviour, but he that saveth? And thou sayest, I save myself; which is asmuch to say as, I am Christ, for Christ is only the Saviour of the world.
We should do no good works, for that intent to get the inheritance of heaven, or remission of sins through them. For whosoever believeth to get the inheritance of heaven or remission of sins, through works, he believeth not to get that for Christ's sake. And they that believe not, that their sins are forgiven them, and that they shall be saved for Christ's sake, they believe not the Gospel; for the Gospel saith, You shall be saved for Christ's sake: sins are forgiven you, for Christ's sake.
He that believeth not the Gospel, believeth not God. And consequently, they which believe to be saved by their works, or to get remission of sins by their own deeds, believe not God, but account him a liar, and so utterly deny him to be God. Thou wilt say, Shall we then do no good works? I say not so, but I say, We should do no good works for the intent to get the kingdom of heaven, or remission of sins. For if we believe to get the inheritance of heaven through good works, then we believe not to get it through the promise of God. Or, if we think to get remission of our sins, as said is, we believe not that they are forgiven us by Christ, and so we count God a liar. For God saith, Thou shalt have the inheritance of heaven for my Son's sake. You say, It is not so; but I will win it through my own works. So, I condemn not good works; but I condemn the false trust in any works; for all the works that a man putteth confidence in, are therewith intoxicate or empoisoned, and become evil. Wherefore, do good works; but beware thou do them to get any good through them; for if thou do, thou receivest the good, not as the gift of God, but as debt unto thee, and makest thyself fellow with God, because thou wilt take nothing from him for nought. What needeth he anything of thine, who giveth all things, and is not the poorer? Therefore do nothing to him, but take of him; for he is a gentle Lord, and with a gladder heart will give us all things that we need, than we take it of him. So that if we want anything, let us wit [blame] ourselves. Press not then to the inheritance of heaven, through presumption of thy good works; for if thou do, thou countest thyself holy and equal unto him, because thou wilt take nothing of him for nought; and so shalt thou fall as Lucifer fell from heaven for his pride.
Thus ends the said Master Patrick's Articles.