Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.—Rom. 8.33

[A Sermon by John Calvin on Job 32:4-10.]
S e r m o n s
of  Maister  Iohn
Caluin, vpon the
Booke of

Translated out of French by
Arthur Golding.

Impensis Georgij


The .Cxx. Sermon, which is the seconde vpon the .xxxij. Chapter.
  1. Eliu vvayted till Iob had made an ende of his vvoordes, because they vvere all elder than he.
  2. And vvhen Eliu savv those three men to haue no reason, he vvas moued to anger.
  3. Therefore Eliu the sonne of Barachell the Buzyte aunsvvered and sayde, I am yonger in yeares than you, and you are auncient, and therefore I doubted and vvas afrayde too put forth mine opinion.
  4. For I thought vvith my selfe, the years shall speake, and the length of time shall bring forth vvisdome.
  5. But it is the spirite of God vvhich is in men, and the inspiration of the Almightie giueth vnderstanding.
  6. The great men shall not be vvise therefore, neither shall the aged haue judgement.
  7. Therefore I say, heare me, and I also vvill shevve my doctrine.
YESTERDAY I treated of the zeal of Elihu, which is praised to us here by the Holy Ghost, and I showed whereunto that example ought to serve us: namely that when we see God's truth defaced, and his name blasphemed, the same ought to wound our hearts. Also I showed, that if we have any affection to God and his honor: then must we maintain his truth to the uttermost of our power. True it is, that every man shall not have learning to do it. But yet nevertheless, according to our ability and measure, it behoveth us to show that our mind is to resist the evil, and not to consent unto it. And therewithal it was declared, that this zeal ought to be guided with reason, so as we must not be moved with overgreat headiness, but must have some good respect matched with it. And that is the thing which we read even now: namely that Elihu was not overhasty {564:A} but had given ear to all the saying that had been alledged afore, and therein he showed his modesty. Then let us mark well, that if a man thrust himself forth rashly, without considering whether it be needful for him to speak or no: it shall not be reckoned unto him for zealousness. As for example: we see many that think it long till they may have liberty to speak, and yet notwithstanding it is possible, that some other shall be much better able to lay forth the matter than they: and yet (to their own seeming) they shall never speak soon enough. This hastiness can never be allowable. And for proof thereof, what knoweth he which speaketh to instruct others, whether some men be better able to do it than he? He himself had need to be taught, and he thrusteth forth himself to be a teacher. But there is yet another fault: for when an ignorant person, or such a one as is not well grounded, babbleth: he stoppeth the mouths of such as have more grace, and better means to edify withall. Therefore let us mark well, that where modesty is not, there the zeal is rash, and not governed by the Spirit of God. For God's Spirit doth indeed deal abroad his gracious gifts, but he is not contrary to himself. Seeing then that he is named the spirit of discretion: it is meet for us to discern when it is needful to speak, or when to keep silence. [Isa. 11.2; 1 Cor. 12.10.]

True it is that a man may well put forth some good matter, although he be not of the most ability, but be inferior to others: Howbeit it behoveth him to deal fearfully, and to show that he cometh with a desire and readiness to take profit, and that he had lever be a learner than a teacher. If a man go so to work, although he speak before a multitude: yet will he not fail to be modest and lowly. But if a man fill his speech, and make no end of his talk, but determine upon all things: therein he showeth, that there is some vaingloriousness in him, and moreover, that he giveth not room to God's grace, as he ought to do.

Thus ye see what is showed us in the example of Elihu, when he said that he waited till their words were at an end: For he knew not as yet whereunto the matter would come. And hereunto he addeth, that he bare reverence unto age. For he saw that both Job, and those that talked with him, were ancient men. And forasmuch as age bringeth experience and gravity with it: Elihu thrusteth not himself forth, knowing that when God suffereth a man to live a long time in the world, he giveth him grace to be able to profit such as are younger. For he hath lived longer, and therefore he ought also to be better settled, and to have gotten some skill: And so the thing which we have to mark in the second place, is that Elihu acknowledged those that had spoken afore him, to be his ancients. And here young men have a good and profitable lesson, if they can put it well in use. For (as I have said already) when a man hath lived long, he ought to have remembered the things that God hath showed him by experience and those ought to serve him, not only for himself, but also to give good counsel to other which have not like experience. Also there is a gravity matched with it. For young men ought to think, that although God hath given them some understanding, yet they want much, because they have not seen much. If a man want experience, surely he shall from time to time rashly overshoot himself: for he forecasteth not the end of things, neither knoweth he where to begin: and moreover the heat that is in young men, is always contrary {564:B} to reason and good understanding. Though a young man be well stayed and also have good knowledge therewithal: yet notwithstanding youth driveth him headlong. There is such boiling in his nature, as he cannot always rule himself. We see how Paul warneth Timothy, that he should not be subject to the lusts of youth. [2 Tim. 2.22.] And by these lusts of youth, he meaneth not disorderedness in playing, whorehunting, drunkenness, or other such lewd behaviour: for Timothy was a mirror and pattern of all holiness in himself, yea and Paul was fain to exhort him to the drinking of wine, and yet notwithstanding he speaketh to him of the lusts of youth. [1 Tim. 5.23.] And why? For inasmuch as he was young of years: it was possible for him to be overhasty in divers things. Now if it behoved Timothy (who passed his elders in discretion and gravity) to receive this warning: what had the common sort need to do? Therefore let young folks look well to themselves: for if they have not the honesty to hearken to their elders, and to learn of them, and to follow their counsel: surely if they had all the virtues in the world, that only one vice [one vice alone] would stain and defile them all. And there is not a more common vice, than this presumption. For inasmuch as young men have not been acquainted with the difficulties that are in many things: therefore they step forth boldly: they stick not at anything: nothing (as they think) is impossible unto them. Youth then doth always carry presumption with it, as an overcommon and ordinary inconvenience: and yet is it not therefore to be borne withall. For (as I said) if a young man have many virtues besides, and yet do trust in himself, yea and despise his Ancients, and bear himself in hand, that he is able to lead all other: God will confound him with all his pride, and all the gifts that are in him shall be defaced. And therefore so much the more ought young folks, and such as have not yet seen much, bridle themselves. Yea and forasmuch as we see that nowadays the world is so far out of order, that young folks have gathered such a devilish pride, as they be past receiving any manner of nurture or instruction at all: Such of them as have any fear of God, ought to fight so much the more against themselves, to the end they be not carried away after the common fashion.

We shall see these young Roosters take upon them to be men, as soon as they be from under the rod, when notwithstanding they be not yet worthy to bear the name of children. They be but as young Cockchickens of three days hatching, and yet they will needs be great men. They ought to be kept yet half a score years more under the rod: and behold, they be (to their own seeming) fully men. And wherein? In malapertness: For they are as shameless as a harlot of the Stews, and they may not (by their good wills) be under any more awe or correction. All the world seeth this. Now seeing that this vice is common, and as it were a contagious disease: those to whom God hath given any grace, ought to bethink themselves well, and to take heed that they be not entangled with it: For they should be carried away as other are, if God hold them not by strong hand. So then let God's children stand upon their guard, and assure themselves that if they be modest, it is very much although it have not so gay a show. And albeit that they which are desirous to set forth themselves, despise them, because they go not perking up with their nebbes [beaks]: let them assure themselves, that they are much more allowed of God, and that he will bless their honest behaviour and make them to profit more in two years, than those overhasty fellows shall do in four. We see what happeneth unto fruits. {565:A} If a fruit be too soon ripe, and come soon to his perfect color: it doth also fade away incontinently: but the fruit that is more lateward, is of longer continuance. Even so is it with such as will put forth themselves before their time. Truly they may bear a goodly show, and have some taste in them: but it shall have no substantialness in it.

Contrariwise, they that are shamefast and honest, and not presumptuous to put forth themselves hastily: will surely be slow. But yet in the mean season, our Lord giveth them a fruit of longer continuance. Thus ye see a good point to bar away in this sentence. True it is that modesty is a virtue convenient for all men: but yet ought young folks to mark that which is said here: namely that they must yield honor to their Elders: acknowledging that they for their own part, may have excessive passions which had need to be restrained by other men: For they are not sufficiently stayed of their own nature, and again, they have not experience to be so skillful as were requisite. Furthermore, when a young man hath behaved himself so modestly: he must in time convenient utter the thing that God hath given him, yea even though it were among old men. For the order of nature letteth not, but that when old men discharge not their duty, young men may supply the room in that behalf, yea even to the shame of those that have lived long, and misspent the time that God hath given them, or rather utterly lost it. Ye see then that the mean which we have to hold, is that the reverence which young folks bear to their elders, must not hinder the continual maintenance of the truth, that God should not be honored and vices suppressed. For it may come to pass, that the elder sort shall be destitute of God's spirit, or else lewd persons that shall have nothing in them but craft and unfaithfulness: or else they shall be willful and brainless. Now in such cases, ought young folks to be held so under the yoke, that they should by the authority of their elders be turned away from God, and his words, and from the thing that is good and holy? No. Then let us mark, that this modesty importeth not that young men should become sheepish, to discern and know nothing: but that it is enough that they presume not of themselves to skirmish and cast their froth before their time. Let them hearken, let them be teachable, let them be always willing to keep silence when any good matter is in debating, and specially let them beware of stepping into other men's places. That being done, if they see that the elder sort show not good example, specially that they pervert the good by turning it into evil: then (as I said) it is meet that God's spirit should show itself where it is. Like as in our time, they that have been misled in the superstitions of Popery: the longer they have lived in the world, have still the lesser knowledge. Now to tarry till God should serve his turn by them, (I mean commonly) it were not needful. These then are aged men that have had long experience. But what for that? They have been plunged in darkness, and there is no knowledge of God in them, nor any pureness of Religion. What then could such aged men bring, but only a greater willfulness? For they have been so sapped in their errors, and so wholly given unto them, as there is no likelihood of any means to bring them out of them. Now if God list to call young men to publish his word abroad: It were no reason that the holiest should be so bridled, that young men might not speak, and old men be contented to hear them. True it is that like as God calleth some of {565:B} all sorts: so hath it commonly been his will, to be served by the elder sort: nevertheless he hath declared also, that his truth is not tied unto age. So then we see now what modesty ought to be in all men generally, and specially in young men: that is to wit, that they must yield themselves quietly, to learn so far as occasion shall be given them, and not desire to vaunt themselves, nor be led with fond longing to make a show: but receive the things with silence, which shall be alleged by other, and not make so much of their own painted sheath, as not to acknowledge that they have need to be guided and governed by those that are of more experience. This done, we shall not need to be restrained from judging, under the shadow of eldership, nor to go like silly beasts, and to hold all things that come out of their mouth to be as the word of God, because they say it must be so. For discretion ought to be matched with zeal, according as I have declared already, that the Spirit of God containeth both of them in him.

So then if there be modesty in men, there must be also zeal and discretion, and we must not only not be bridled by the authority of such as have lived long, but also if the whole world were brought against us, yet ought not antiquity too prejudice the thing that is rightful and necessary. As how? I have told you already, that if all the old men in the Popedom had conspired against the Gospel, and would have other men to stand to their accustomed fashion: it is not meant that their ancientness should shut God and his word out of the doors, or that young men should be letted [hindered] to maintain the truth, although that the old men set themselves against them, and would have all other men to hold themselves to their customs, because they have maintained the evil a long time. For those to whom God hath given better grace, ought to step up against them. Howbeit, it behoveth us to pass further: and if any man say unto us, how now? It is above a hundred years ago since our fathers and forefathers have lived after this sort: or it is five hundred years, yea or a thousand years ago since these things have been observed, and since men have held them for a law and infallible rule: I say if men alledge this antiquity of time: yea or if a man should alledge from the creation of the world: yet must not God's truth be oppressed under that shadow. So then we see now, that to be modest, it behoveth us not to be blind Buzzards, but to keep a mean and measure. And this is it which Elihu meaneth by adding, I said age shall speak, and the multitude of years shall utter knowledge. But it is the Spirit of God that dwelleth in men, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding. Mark how the order of nature goeth afore: that is to wit, that we must give ear to our elders: For when men choose governors in a City, or in a Country, if they should take young lightheaded and brainless fools, which have no skill to govern their own persons, the choosing of such to be their Judges and leaders, were a perverting of the order of nature, yea and it were a shame, and it might seem that men intended to spite God as often as it were so.

Then if men which might choose settled personages and men of great gravity and ripeness, would let them sit still in their houses, and in the mean while take fantastical fellows, and little Snails of one night's growth, and set them in the seat of Justice, when as they know not what it meaneth: It were like, as if men should marry little babes. It would please them well to be married, {566:A} because it would be said unto them, you shall eat roast meat and pastycrust, and that would like them very well. But were it therefore a marriage? Even so (say I) is it with those that are set in the seat of Justice, and have neither skill nor wit, but are worse than babes, because men had not a consideration to choose such as were of more gravity and experience. Therefore it behoveth the order of nature to be observed first of all: which is, that when we have men of years whom God hath endued with grace, then they should be put in office to guide others, and the younger sort humble themselves under them. For it is a shame that young men should take upon them the room of their elders, and disdain to receive instruction at the hands of those that have lived long. This pride bindeth not itself against mortal men, but is a resisting of God, who hath settled the order of nature, and would have men to observe it. As much is to be said of us preachers, and of the state of bearing abroad, and publishing God's word: for when there is a well tried man of good experience and knowledge: If men vouchsafe not to be served with such a one, but take a young man at aventure: what a thing is it? Therefore it behoveth us to have the same order in estimation. Nevertheless there must no general rule be made of it: for oftentimes it may come to pass, that God shall give much more grace to young men, than to such as have lived double their time. And therefore the said order which we have spoken of, must not hinder the Spirit of God, that he should not be received where he showeth himself, and his gifts be applied to good use, according as he distributeth them. And that is the cause why Paul chose Timothy, though there were many elder men at that time. For when he had seen that excellent man (as who had the record not only of men, but also of the Holy Ghost) he preferred him before those that were elder. [Acts 16.1,2; Rom. 16.21; Phil. 2.20; 1 Tim. 1.18.] Even so dealeth Elihu here: who after he had hearkened unto others, sayeth, he knew that it is the Spirit of God which is in men: as if he should say, true it is, that we must not judge that old men do dote, except we know how the matter goeth: neither must we fail to give them room and place: but we must yield such honor to their age, as to say, well, the man that hath seen much, is able to teach us. But if we perceive that he discharge not his duty, or that he hath lost his time which he hath lived in the world: then if the Spirit of God be in a young man, it behoveth him to put forth himself.

Then let us mark well, that the observing of the order of nature, must not be always with such condition, that when God endueth them with any gifts of grace, they should not serve his Church, or that they should not teach, not only their equals and companions, but also even the oldest men of all. And consequently, the rich men must not stick to their age, and thereupon be impatient, and reject all warnings, to say, how now? I have lived a long time, and shall a young lad teach me my lesson? No, but let them think thus with themselves: I ought to have profited in such wise, as I might have been a leader of others: but I see now, that I have need to be led myself: I am a young child in comparison of those that should have been taught by me. And seeing it is so, that God hath disappointed me of the grace that was requisite in a leader: it behoveth me to be a scholar and not a master. {566:B}

Ye see then that old men ought to yield themselves to conformity, when they see that God hath given larger gifts of grace to those that ought to follow them, and not to go afore them. Now have we a good doctrine to put in use, which we gather of the things set down heretofore: which is, that God's Spirit reigneth above the order of nature. And for the better conceiving of the thing which is contained here: let us mark that Elihu in saying that it is the Spirit of God which dwelleth in men, meant to express, that when it pleaseth God that one man shall be of greater understanding than another: it is a special gift which he granteth as it were for a privilege.

True it is, that generally God hath made us all reasonable Creatures: and that is the thing wherein we differ from the brute beasts. God then hath given some discretion, and understanding to all men without exception: and yet notwithstanding we see that some are slow and dull, and othersome quick witted, some are fantastical, and othersome are of good gravity. Whereof cometh that? Let us understand that God holdeth his gifts in his hand, and dealeth them at his pleasure, to whom he thinketh good. This is it that Elihu meant to express in this place, to the end that men should not think themselves to have it by natural inheritance from their mothers womb, nor as a thing belonging to them of duty, nor as gotten by their own purchase. Behold, Elihu telleth us that God hath created us all: and true it is, that we have some reason: howbeit but by measure. Yet notwithstanding if a man have knowledge and wisdom: it behoveth him to know, that God hath reached out his hand unto him peculiarly, and that therefore he is the more beholden and bound unto him. And this is said unto us, to the intent we should not be exalted with pride, nor think ourselves to be the more worth, because we have knowledge and understanding: But that we should consider, that forasmuch as it hath pleased God to give us that grace, it behoveth us to walk in so much the greater fear: For we be so much the more in his debt: and therewithal his giving of his benefits, is to the end we should communicate them with our neighbors. Therefore if we cannot use them to the glorifying of our God, and to the edifying of such as have need of them: it is certain, that we are so much the more blameworthy. This is it that we have to mark here for one point.

And further, it behoveth us also to make comparison here between two degrees: that is to wit, that if it be God that giveth special understanding unto men, to discern the things that pertain to this transitory life: what is to be said of the doctrine of the Gospel, and of the true and pure Religion? Have we those of nature? Can we purchase those by our own travail? Alas, we must needs come far too short. If it fall out that a man be a good schoolmaster to teach children, or a good Advocate or Physician, or a good Merchant of a City, or a good Labourer in the Country. It is continually the Spirit of God that worketh in all these things. A man shall have need to be sharp witted, in some one thing more than in some other: like as there is required a greater skill in some handicrafts, than in merchandise.

Now then, even in all these things which seem to be common and of no value in themselves, God must be fain to distribute his spirit unto men. But if we come to the doctrine of the Gospel: {567:A} there is a wisdom that surmounteth all man's understanding: yea and is wonderful even to the very Angels. They be the very secrets of heaven which are contained in the Gospel. For it concerneth the knowing of God in the person of his Son. And although our Lord Jesus Christ came down here beneath: yet must we comprehend his godly Majesty, or else we cannot ground and settle our faith in him. I say it concerneth the knowledge of things that are incomprehensible to man's nature.

Now if God must be fain to deal his Spirit in respect of the handicrafts and worldly trades that concern this transitory life: much more ought we to think, that our own sharp wit is not able to know the things that concern God and the secrets of his kingdom, and that it behoveth us to be taught by him, and in the mean season to become fools in respect of our selves, as Paul saith, that we may be partakers of that wisdom. [1 Cor. 3.18.] For this is the sentence that is given thereof: namely that the natural man doth never comprehend the doctrine of God [1 Cor. 2.14]: that is to say, as long as men abide in their own natural kind, they neither know what God is, nor can at any time taste of his word, but (which worse is) it is folly to them as Paul saith [1 Cor. 1.18]: For to their seeming it is an unreasonable doctrine: and therefore it is the only Spirit of God that giveth us faith and enlighteneth us. And this ought to be well marked. For when we see there are so few that know God, yea and that many men which are well stricken in years, and have lived long time in the world, are stark mad in their Superstitions, and fight fiercely against the doctrine of the Gospel: oftentimes it dazzleth our eyes, and we are amazed at it. Yea; but here is a text which ought to arm us against such stumblingblocks. It is the Spirit of God which dwelleth in men: it is the inspiration of the Almighty that giveth understanding. Do we see wretched men blinded, and so plunged in ignorance, as they cannot come to the gospel? Let us not marvel at it. And why? For it is man's natural kind, not to discern any whit of God's secrets, until we be enlightened. [1 Cor. 2.14.] But contrariwise when we see a man that knoweth God (whether he be young or old) or if we see an old man that hath been sapped a long while in the dotages of Papistry, come to right Religion, let us assure ourselves that God hath wrought a miracle in that case. Also if we see young folks come to it, let us assure ourselves that God draweth them to him after a marvelous fashion. For they do not easily receive the yoke, because they be full of presumption as I said afore. Then if God tame them, and make them teachable, it is his mighty hand that hath brought them unto it.

And so we see, that this text ought to serve us in two things. The first is, that seeing that by our wit we can never reach so high as to know God or his truth: we ought to put our own reason from us, and to renounce it utterly. And that is the thing which Paul termeth to be made a fool. [1 Cor. 3.18.]

Then if we will have our Lord to fill us with his wisdom: it behoveth us to become fools: that is to say, we must not bring any thing of our own, nor ween [imagine] ourselves to have one thing or other: For that were a shutting of the door against God. Wherefore if we will have God to continue the grace of his Holy Spirit, when he shall have given us any portion of it: we must learn to exalt and {567:B} magnify him as he deserveth, and to acknowledge that there is not one drop of good understanding in us, till God have put it into us. And again, the same must cause us to persist always in his obedience, and to walk in great fear and carefulness: seeing that if God should quench the light that he hath put into us, we should be in darkness, yea and in so horrible darkness, as we could never get out of it. This is the first use of this place. The second is, that although we see the greater part of the world go astray, and scarcely any man willing to submit himself unto God: we must not think it strange that men should be so far out of order, as to play the wild beasts. And why? For it is the spirit of God that giveth understanding. Wherefore let the same be as a ground for us, to magnify God's grace the more, which we shall have received: and therewithal let us not be carried away though we see such rebelliousness. And why? For men do but follow their own kind, they follow their own head, and in the meanwhile resist God: and that is because the doctrine of the Gospel surmounteth all man's reason: and God must be fain to work by his Holy Spirit in opening their eyes, or else they shall abide continually in their beastliness.

Finally, Elihu concludeth thereupon, that great men are not always wise, and that sometimes aged men have no understanding, skill nor discretion, more than other men. Truly Elihu meaneth not here, to pervert the order of nature. For he hath protested heretofore, that he would hearken to the aged, and was willing to submit himself to their doctrine. But he meaneth that which I have touched already: namely that God is not bound to age, nor to the states and qualities of men.

When it pleaseth God to advance a man to dignity, if he will have him to serve for the welfare of his people, he endueth him with grace to be able to discharge his office: Otherwise he leaveth him destitute, and the higher that a man is in degree, the more shall he be known to be a double beast. As for example, If there be a man chosen to preach God's word, and God be minded to show favour to his Church: he will endue the said man with his Spirit, he will give him understanding of his word, and he will grant him cunning and skill to apply it to the use of the people, and to gather good doctrine of it: and finally, he will give him zealousness and all other things that are requisite: and he will show himself so manifestly in that behalf, as we may say, that he hath a care of us, for that he distributeth his graces after that sort unto men, in the things that are requisite for our welfare. As much is to say of them that sit in the seat of justice: according as they have need that the Spirit of God should be doubled in them, so also when God intendeth to be served by them, he giveth them a mighty power to discharge their duty.

Contrariwise, if God be angry with us: then they which shall have the preaching of his word, shall be beasts without understanding, and men shall despise them for disguising things, so as the good doctrine shall be defaced, and defiled by them, and (to be short) scarcely shall they be good scholars, and therefore much less good Masters. Ye see then what Elihu meant to show in saying, that the great men shall not always be wise, nor the aged men always the {568:A} men of best understanding. As if he should say, we must not make a general rule to say this man is advanced to his estate and authority, and therefore he must needs be a man of knowledge: we must not gather any such consequent of it. And why? For God can well forsake the great ones, so as they shall become gross beasts, and the longer they shall have lived, they shall but have misspent the more bread in being fed at God's cost, insomuch that it had been better (as you would say) that an Ox had been fed with it. For it had been better bestowed.

So then let us learn, that forasmuch as God distributeth his Spirit to those whom he intendeth to apply to his service: they ought so much the better to employ themselves carefully and in the fear of God. And if they do otherwise, it will appear that those which were taken to be wisest, shall be utterly blinded, so as they shall not know God, according as God threateneth by his Prophet Isaiah, saying, that the aged shall not see any wit, and that the wise shall become brutish and utterly dull. [Isa. 29.14; 1 Cor. 1.19.] We see then how God declareth a much more horrible vengeance against the great men, old men, and governors, than against the common people. Hereby we be warned, that we must not attribute an infallible authority to them, as though they could never err nor misgovern others. Now if God do blind the old men, great men, and such as are in authority after that sort: what shall become of them (I pray you) if God give them not his Holy Spirit? And let us mark well the cause why God maketh that threatening. [Isa. 29.13.] It is for men's hypocrisy, because they served him but for countenance sake, and their heart was far from him, so as they protested to serve him with their mouth, and in the meanwhile gave themselves to the traditions of men: that is to say, God reigned not alone over them by his word, but men had their own scope. [Matt. 15.9; Mark. 7.7.] But God cannot abide that his authority should be so diminished. And that is the cause why he saith, I will blind the wise, and take away understanding and reason from the aged. Wherefore if we desire to have God to govern {568:B} us, and to reign among us, and to enjoy the gracious gifts that are necessary for our salvation: let us learn that it behoveth us to yield him the dominion and sovereignty over us, and all of us both great and small, must frame ourselves to his obedience.

Furthermore, let us take his word for our rule, and suffer ourselves to be governed by it: assuring ourselves that otherwise we must not look [expect] that the Holy Ghost shall work in us. And therefore let us seek all the means that can be to be taught. God would that there should be shepherds in his Church to preach his word, and that we should receive correction and warning at their hands. Is this not done so throughly as it ought to be? Let us pray God to supply that default. Wherefore let us walk in such humility, as our whole desire may be, that God should have all preeminence over us, assuring ourselves that we can have no further reason nor understanding, than we be enlightened by his Holy Spirit. That is the mean whereby he will never suffer us to be thrust out of the way, but when he hath once begun to guide us and teach us, he will make us grow stronger and stronger in all wisdom, according as Paul saith, that seeing that God hath once begun in us, he will not suffer us to want anything, until the latter day, at which time we shall have full knowledge of the things which we know as now but in part. [1 Cor. 1; 1 Cor. 13.]

Now let vs fall down before the face of our good god, with acknowledgement of our sins, praying him to make vs so too perceyue them, as wee may bee vtterly beaten downe in them, and specially that knowing what a number of wantes and miseries be in vs, we may pray him too reforme vs and clense vs from all our spots, and make vs so pure by his holy spirite, as hee may alwayes acknowledge and auowe vs too bee his children: and that wee also on our side may serue and honour him as our father, and shewe such brotherly loue one towardes another, as he commaundeth, so as we may seeke nothing but to exalt his holy name among vs, and euery of vs in his degree too yeeld him his due honour. That it maye please him to graunt this grace, not onely to vs, but also too all people and nations, &c.