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LATIMER



Christ's livery; there are but very few who
are endued with Christ's livery; with love
and charity, gentleness and meekness of
spirit ; but there are a great number that bear
hatred and malice in their hearts, that are
proud, stout, and lofty ; therefore the number
of the devil's servants is greater than the
number of Christ's servants.

Now St. Paul shows how needful this love
is. I speak not of carnal love, which is only
animal affection; but of this charitable love,
which is so necessary that when a man hath
it, without all other things it will suffice him.
Again, if a man have all other things and
lacketh that love it will not help him, it is
all vain and lost. St. Paul used it so : " Tho
I speak with tongues of men and angels, and
yet had no love, I were even as sounding
brass, or as a tinkling cymbal. And tho I
could prophesy and understand all secrets and
all knowledge; yet if I had faith, so that I
could move mountains out of their places,
and yet had no love, I were nothing. And
tho I bestowed all my goods to feed the poor,
and tho I gave my body even that I were
burned, and yet had no love, it profiteth me
nothing" (I Cor. xiii). These are godly
gifts, yet St. Paul calls them nothing when
a man hath them without charity ; which is a
great commendation, and shows the great
need of love, insomuch that all other virtues
are in vain when this love is absent. And

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THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

there have been some who taught that St. Paul
spake against the dignity of faith; but you
must understand that St. Paul speaks here
not of the justifying faith, wherewith we re-
ceive everlasting life, but he understands by
this Avord faith the gift to do miracles, to
remove hills ; of such a faith he speaks. This
I say to confirm this proposition. Faith only
justifieth; this proposition is most true and
certain. And St. Paul speaks not here of
this lively justifying faith ; for this right faith
is not without love, for love cometh and flow-
eth out of faith ; love is a child of faith ; for no
man can love except he believe, so that they
have two several offices, they themselves being
inseparable.

St. Paul has an expression in the 13th
chapter of the first of the Corinthians, which,
according to the outward letter, seems much
to the dispraise of this faith, and to the praise
of love; these are his words, ''Now abideth
faith, hope and love, even these three; but
the chief est of these is love. ' ' There are some
learned men who expound the greatness of
which St. Paul speaketh here as if meant for
eternity. For when we come to God, then
we believe no more, but rather see with our
eyes face to face how He is; yet for all that
love remains still; so that love may be called
the chiefest, because she endureth forever.
And tho she is the chiefest, yet we must not
attribute unto her the office which pertains

150



LATIMER



unto faith only. Like as I can not say, the
Mayor of Stamford must make me a pair of
shoes because he is a greater man than the
shoemaker is; for the mayor, tho he is a
greater man, yet it is not his office to make
shoes ; so tho love be greater, yet it is not her
office to save. Thus much I thought good to
say against those who fight against the truth.

Now, when we would know who are in
Christ's livery or not, we must learn it of St.
Paul, who most evidently described charity,
which is the only livery, saying, "Love is
patient, she suffereth long." Now whosoever
fumeth and is angry, he is out of this livery :
therefore let us remember that we do not cast
away the livery of Christ our Master. When
we are in sickness, or any manner of adversi-
ties, our duty is to be patient, to suffer will-
ingly, and to call upon Him for aid, help and
comfort; for without Him we are not able
to abide any tribulation. Therefore we must
call upon God, He has promised to help:
therefore let me not think Him to be false or
untrue to His promises, for we can not dis-
honor God more than by not believing or
trusting in Him. Therefore let us beware
above all things of dishonoring God; and so
we must be patient, trusting and most cer-
tainly belie\ang that He will deliver us when
it seems good to Him, who knows the time
better than we ourselves.

^^ Charity is gentle, friendly, and loving;

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THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

she envieth not. ' ' They that envy their neigh-
bor 's profit when it goes well with him, such
fellows are out of their liveries, and so out of
the service of God; for to be envious is to be
the servant of the devil.

''Love doth not frowardly, she is not a
provoker " ; as there are some men who will
provoke their neighbor so far that it is very
hard for them to be in charity with them ; but
we must wrestle with our affections ; we must
strive and see that we keep this livery of
Christ our master ; for ' ' the devil goeth about
as a roaring lion seeking to take us at a van-
tage," to bring us out of our liveries, and to
take from us the knot of love and charity.

"Love swelleth not, is not puffed up";
but there are many swellers nowadays, they
are so high, so lofty, insomuch that they de-
spise and contemn all others ; all such persons
are under the governance of the devil. God
rules not them with His good spirit; the evil
spirit has occupied their hearts and possest
them.

"She doth not dishonestly; she seeketh not
her own ; she doth all things to the commodity
of her neighbors." A charitable man will
not promote himself with the damage of
his neighbor. They that seek only their
own advantage, forgetting their neighbors,
they are not of God, they have not His livery.
Further, "Charity is not provoked to anger;
she thinketh not evil. " We ought not to think

153



LATIMER



evil of our neighbor, as long as we see not
open wickedness ; for it is w^ritten, ' ' You shall
not judge"; we should not take upon us to
condemn our neighbor. And surely the con-
demners of other men's works are not in the
livery of Christ. Christ hateth them.

''She rejoiceth not in iniquity"; she loveth
equity and godliness. And again, she is sorry
to hear of falsehood, of stealing, or such like,
which wickedness is now at this time com-
monly used. There never was such falsehood
among Christian men as there is no a-, at this
time; truly I think, and they that have ex-
perience report it so, that among the very
infidels and Turks there is more fidelity and
uprightness than among Christian men. For
no man setteth anything by his promise, yea,
and writings will not serve with some, they
are so shameless that they dare deny their own
handwriting; but, I pray you, are those false
fellows in the livery of Christ? Have they
His cognizance ? No, no ; they have the badge
of the devil, with whom they shall be damned
world without end, except they amend and
leave their wickedness.

"She suffereth all things; she believeth all
things." It is a great matter that should
make us to be grieved with our neighbor; we
should be patient when our neighbor doth
wrong, we should admonish him of his folly,
earnestly desiring him to leave his wickedness,
showing the danger that follows, everlasting

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THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

damnation. In such wise we should study to
amend our neighbor, and not to hate him or
do him a foul turn again, but rather chari-
tably study to amend him: whosoever now
does so, he has the livery and cognizance of
Christ, he shall be known at the last day for
his servant.

*'Love believeth all things"; it appears
daily that they who are charitable and
friendly are most deceived ; because they think
well of every man, they believe every man,
they trust their words, and therefore are
most deceived in this world, among the
children of the devil. These and such
like things are the tokens of the right
and godly love; therefore they that have
this love are soon known, for this love can
not be hid in corners, she has her opera-
tion: therefore all that have her are well
enough, tho they have no other gifts be-
sides her. Again, they that lack her, tho
they have many other gifts besides, yet is it
to no other purpose, it does then no good : for
when we shall come at the great day before
him, not having this livery (that is love) with
us, then we are lost; he will not take us for
His servants, because we have not His cog-
nizance. But if we have this livery, if we
wear His cognizance here in this world; that
is, if we love our neighbor, help him in his
distress, are charitable, loving, and friendly
unto him, then we shaJl be known at the last

154



LATIMER



day: but if we be uncharitable toward our
neighbor, hate him, seek our own advantage
with His damage, then we shall be rejected of
Christ and so damned world without end.

Our Savior saith here in this gospel, ''I
command you these things"; He speaketh in
the plural number, and lappeth it up in one
thing, which is that we should love one an-
other, much like St. Paul's saying in the
13th to the Eomans, "Owe nothing to any
man, but to love one another. Here St.
Paul lappeth up all things together, signify-
ing unto us that love is the consummation of
the law; for this commandment, "Thou shalt
not commit adultery, ' ' is contained in this law
of love : for he that loveth God will not break
wedlock, because wedlock-breaking is a dis-
honoring of God and a serving of the devil.
"Thou shalt not kill"; he that loveth will not
kill, he will do no harm. "Thou shalt not
steal " ; he that loveth his neighbor as himself
will not take away his goods. I had of late
occasion to speak of picking and stealing,
where I showed unto you the danger wherein
they are that steal their neighbor 's goods from
them, but I hear nothing yet of restitution.
Sirs, I tell you, except restitution is made,
look for no salvation. And it is a miserable
and heinous thing to consider that we are so
blinded with this world that, rather than we
would make restitution, we will sell unto the
devil our souls which are bought with the

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THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

blood of our Savior Christ. AVhat can be
done more to the dishonoring of Christ than
to cast our souls away to the devil for the
value of a little money? — the soul which He
has bought with His painful passion and
death. But I tell you those that will do so,
and that will not make restitution when they
have done wrong, or taken away their neigh-
bor's goods, they are not in the livery of
Christ, they are not his servants ; let them go
as they will in this world, yet for all that
they are foul and filthy enough before God;
they stink before His face ; and therefore they
shall be cast from His presence into everlast-
ing fire ; this shall be all their good cheer that
they shall have, because they have not the
livery of Christ, nor His cognizance, which
is love. They remember not that Christ com-
manded us, saying, "This I command you,
that ye love one another." This is Christ's
commandment. Moses, the great prophet of
God, gave many laws, but he gave not the
spirit to fulfil the same laws : but Christ gave
this law, and promised unto us, that when we
call upon Him He w^ill give us His Holy
Ghost, who shall make us able to fulfil His
laws, tho not so perfectly as the law requires ;
but yet to the contention of God, and to
the protection of our faith : for as long as we
are in this world, we can do nothing as we
ought to do, because our flesh leadeth us,
which is ever bent against the law of God;

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LATIMER



yet our works which we do are well taken for
Christ's sake, and God will reward them in
heaven.

Therefore our Savior saith, ''my yoke is
easy, and my burden is light," because He
helpeth to bear them ; else- indeed we should
not be able to bear them. And in another
place He saith, "His commandments are not
heavy ' ' ; they are heavy to our flesh, but being
qualified with the Spirit of God, to the faith-
ful which believe in Christ, to them, I say,
they are not heavy; for tho their doings are
not perfect, yet they are well taken for
Christ's sake.

You must not be offended because the Scrip-
ture commends love so highly, for he that
commends the daughter commends the
mother ; for love is the daughter, and faith is
the mother: love floweth out of faith; w^here
faith is, there is love; but yet we must con-
sider their offices, faith is the hand wherewith
we take hold on everlasting life.

Now let us enter into ourselves, and exam-
ine our ow^n hearts, whether we are in the
livery of God, or not : and when we find our-
selves to be out of this livery, let us repent
and amend our lives, so that we may come
again to the favor of God, and spend our
time in this world to His honor and glory,
forgiving our neighbors all such things as
they have done against us.

And now to make an end: mark here who

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gave this precept of love — Christ our Savior
Himself. When and at what time? At His
departing, when He should suffer death.
Therefore these words ought the more to be
regarded, seeing He Himself spake them at
His last departing from us. May God of His
mercy give us grace so to walk here in this
world, charitably and friendly one with an-
other, that we may attain the joy which God
hath prepared for all those that love Him.
Amen.



158



MELANCHTHON
THE SAFETY OF THE VIRTUOUS



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Philip Melanchthon (Schwarzerd) was
born at Bretten, in Baden, in 1497.
His name is noteworthy as first a fellow
laborer and eventually a controversial an-
tagonist of Luther. At the Diet of Augs-
burg, in 1530, he was the leading
representative of the Reformation. He
formulated the seventeen articles of
the evangelical faith known as the
"Augsburg Confession," the moderate
tone of which surprized even the Catholics
and eventually led to a split with the
Lutherans of extreme Calvinistic views.
He was a true child of the Renaissance,
and is styled by some writers "the
founder of general learning throughout
Europe." While he was never called or
ordained to the mmistry of the Church,
he was in the habit of addressing the
local religious assemblies or collegia from
time to time, and, being a man of pro-
found piety, his sympathetic and natural
style of delivery made him an impressive
speaker. He died in 1560, and his body
was laid beside that of Martin Luther.



MELANCHTHON

1497—1560
THE SAFETY OF THE VIRTUOUS

Neither sJiall any man pluclc them out of my hatid,
—John X., 28.

TO Thee, almighty and true God, eternal
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, maker
of heaven and earth, and of all creatures,
together with Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the Holy Ghost — to Thee, the wise, good,
true, righteous, compassionate, pure, gracious
God, we render thanks that Thou hast hitherto
upheld the Church in these lands, and gra-
ciously afforded it protection and care, and we
earnestly beseech Thee evermore to gather
among us an inheritance for Thy Son, which
may praise Thee to all eternity.

I have in these, our assemblies, often uttered
partly admonitions and partly reproofs, w^hich
I hope the most of you will bear in mind. But
since I must presume that now the hearts of
all are wrung with a new grief and a new
pang by reason of the war in our neighbor-
hood, this season seems to call for a word of
consolation. And, as we commonly say,
"Where the pain is there one claps his
hand," I could not, in this so great affliction,

l-ii 161



THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

make up my mind to turn my discourse upon
any other subject. I do not, indeed, doubt
that you yourselves seek comfort in the divine
declarations, yet will I also bring before you
some things collected therefrom, because al-
ways that on which we had ourselves thought
becomes more precious to us when we hear
that it proves itself salutary also to others.
And because long discourses are burdensome
in time of sorrow and mourning, I will, with-
out delay, bring forward that comfort which
is the most effectual.

Our pains are best assuaged when some-
thing good and beneficial, especially some help
toward a happy issue, presents itself. All
other topics of consolation, such as men bor-
row from the unavoidableness of suffering,
and the examples of others, bring us no great
alleviation. But the Son of God, our Lord
Jesus Christ, who was crucified for us and
raised again, and now sits at the right hand
of the Father, offers us help and deliverance,
and has manifested this disposition in many
declarations. I will now speak of the words:
"No man shall pluck my sheep out of my
hand." This expression has often raised me
up out of the deepest sorrow, and drawn me,
as it were, out of hell.

The wisest men in all times have bewailed
the great amount of human misery which we
see with our eyes before we pass into eternity
= — diseases, death, want, our own errors, by

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MELANCHTHON



which we bring harm and punishment on
ourselves, hostile men, unfaithfulness on the
part of those with whom we are closely con-
nected, banishment, abuse, desertion, misera-
ble children, public and domestic strife, wars,
murder, and devastation. And since such
things appear to befall good and bad without
distinction, many wise men have inquired
whether there were any Providence, or
whether accident brings everything to pass
independent of a divine purpose? But we
in the Church know that the first and prin-
cipal cause of human wo is this, that on ac-
count of sin man is made subject to death and
other calamity, which is so much more ve-
hement in the Church, because the devil,
from the hatred toward God, makes fearful
assaults on the Church and strives to destroy
it utterly.

Therefore it is written: "I will put
enmity between the serpent and the seed
of the woman." And Peter says: "Your ad-
versary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh
about and seeketh whom he may devour."

Not in vain, however, has God made known
to us the causes of our misery. We should
not only consider the greatness of our neces-
sity, but also discern the causes of it, and
recognize His righteous anger against sin, to
the end that we may, on the other hand, per-
ceive the Redeemer and the greatness of His
compassion; and as witnesses to these, His



163



THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

declarations, He adds the raising of dead men
to life, and other miracles.

Let us banish from our hearts, therefore,
the unbelieving opinions which imagine that
evils befall us by mere chance, or from phys-
ical causes.

But when thou considerest the wounds in
thy own circle of relations, or dost cast a
glance at the public disorders in the State,
which again afflict the individual also (as
Solon says: ''The general corruption pene-
trates even to thy quiet habitation"), then
think, first, of thy own and others' sins, and
of the righteous wrath of God ; and, secondly,
weigh the rage of the devil, who lets loose his
hate chiefly in the Church.

In all men, even the better class, great dark-
ness reigns. We see not how great an evil sin
is, and regard not ourselves as so shamefully
defiled. We flatter ourselves, in particular,
because we profess a better doctrine concern-
ing God. Nevertheless, we resign ourselves to
a careless slumber, or pamper each one his
own desires; our impurity, the disorders of
the Church, the necessity of brethren, fills us
not with pain; devotion is without fire and
fervor; zeal for doctrine and discipline lan-
guishes, and not a few are my sins, and thine,
and those of many others, by reason of which
such punishments are heaped upon us.

Let us, therefore, apply our hearts to re-
pentance, and direct our eyes to the Son of

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MELANCHTHON



God, in respect to whom we have the assurance
that, after the wonderful counsel of God, He
is placed over the family of man, to be the
protector and preserver of his Church.

We perceive not fully either of our wretch-
edness or our dangers, or the fury of enemies,
until after events of extraordinary sorrowful-
ness. Still we ought to reflect thus: there
must exist great need and a fearful might
and rage of enemies, since so powerful a
protector has been given to us, even God's
Son. When He says: ''No man shall pluck
my sheep out of my hand, ' ' He indicates that
He is no idle spectator of wo, but that
mighty and incessant strife is going on. The
devil incites his tools to disturb the Church
or the political commonwealth, that boundless
confusion may enter, followed by heathenish
desolation. But the Son of God, who holds
in His hands, as it were, the congregation
of those who call upon His name, hurls back
the devils by His infinite power, conquers and
chases them thence, and will one day shut
them up in the prison of hell, and punish them
to all eternity with fearful pains. This com-
fort we must hold fast in regard to the entire
Church, as well as each in regard to himself.

If, in these distracted and warring times,
we see States blaze up and fall to ruin, then
look away to the Son of God, who stands in
the secret counsel of the Godhead and guards
His little flock and carries the weak lambs,

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THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

as it were, in His own hands. Be persuaded
that by Him thou also shalt be protected and
upheld.

Here some, not rightly instructed, will ex-
claim: "Truly I could wish to commend my-
self to such a keeper, but only His sheep does
He preserve. Whether I also am counted in
that flock, I know not." Against this doubt
we must most strenuously contend, for the
Lord Himself assures us in this very passage,
that all who "hear and with faith receive the
voice of the gospel are His sheep"; and He
says expressly: "If a man love me, he will
keep my words, and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our abode
with him." These promises of the Son of
God, which can not be shaken, we must con-
fidently appropriate to ourselves. Nor
shouldst thou, by thy doubts, exclude thyself
from this blest flock, which originates in the
righteousness of the gospel. They do not
rightly distinguish between the law and the
gospel, who, because they are unworthy,
reckon not themselves among the sheep.
Rather is this consolation afforded us, that we
are accepted "for the Son of God's sake,"
truly, without merit, not on account of
our own righteousness, but through faith, be-
cause we are unworthy, and impure, and far
from having fulfilled the law of God. That
is, moreover, a universal promise, in which the
Son of God saith: "Come unto me, all ye

166



MELANCHTHON



that labor and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest."

The eternal Father earnestly commands
that we should hear the Son, and it is the
greatest of all transgressions if we despise Him
and do not approve His voice. This is what
every one should often and diligently con-
sider, and in this disposition of the Father,
revealed through the Son, find grace.

Altho, amid so great disturbances, many
a sorrowful spectacle meets thine eye, and the
Church is rent by discord and hate, and mani-
fold and domestic public necessity is added
thereto, still let not despair overcome thee,
but know thou that thou hast the Son of God
for a keeper and protector, who will not suffer
either the Church, or thee, or thy family, to
be plucked out of His hand by the fury of
the devil.

With all my heart, therefore, do I suppli-
cate the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ,
who, having been crucified for us, and raised
again, sits at the right hand of the Father, to
bless men with His gifts, and to Him I pray
that He would protect and govern this little
church and me therein. Other sure trust, in
this great flame when the whole world is on
fire, I discern nowhere. Each one has his
separate hopes, and each one with his under-
standing seeks to repose in something else ; but
however good that may all be, it is still a far
better, and unquestionably a more effectual,

167



THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMONS

consolation to flee to the Son of God and ex-
pect help and deliverances from Him.

Such wishes will not be in vain. For to
this end are we laden with such a crowd of
dangei^, that in events and occurrences which
to human prudence are an inexplicable
enigma, we may recognize the infinite goodness
and presentness of God, in that He, for His
Son's sake, and through His Son, affords us
aid. God will be owned in such deliverance
just as in the deliverance of your first par-
ents, who, after the fall, when they were for-
saken by all the creatures, were upheld by
the help of God alone. So was the family of
Noah in the flood, so were the Israelites pre-


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