And here an end of the first part of this my text, which I have read to you out of Saint Paul. Wherein has been declared unto you, the gracious and joyful message sent of God, in the name of Christ, by his Apostle, messengers. By the which message you have heard, how almighty God not only is reconciled to you, but also, how lovingly he entreats you to be reconciled unto him. Further, what this reconciliation of God is, how firm it stands and perpetual, what when before it, what variance there was between him and us, and how this variance was reconciled, and God’s wrath pacified by one oblation once done for ever: moreover what things follow after this reconciliation, with the golden chain, and principal points of our salvation depending upon the same: and finally, how far the time of the law and of wrath lasted, and when the time of grace begins, what difference is between these two times, and how a Christian is both under wrath, and also under reconciliation in divers respects: of the outward manner first, and then of the inward manner, with other things not unworthy to be mused upon, partly is set forth in this former part unto you….
But this is enough, and here and end: not for lack of matter, but for very weariness. I have overspent the time, I see, and my voice likewise, and almost myself. In standing upon these matters I have stayed so long, as I am weary of standing Wherefore I shall desire you: look for no solemn peroration on me. Only instead of a repetition, I will conclude with little short exhortation, as weary as I am: praying you, as I first began, according to the words of my message: Rogamus pro Christ, I pray you for Christ’s love, and not I alone, but all the ministers and messengers of Christ in all England with me, do pray you with S. Paul, and with all the Apostles of Christ and not we only, yea God himself by all his Apostles, ministers, and messengers, we all do pray and entreat you, not as messengers of men, nor of any Bishop, no, nor of the Bishop of Rome. The Bishop of Rome, if he be a true bishop is but a messenger of himself, and that only in his own Diocese, where he is Bishop. In Christ’s name we pray you that you, what, or where so ever you be, that have been hitherto strangers, unacquainted, or enemies unto God, now you will draw near, and be reconciled, and be friends, not with the Bishop, whom we call Pope of Rome, who as I understand of late has sent his proctors, and messengers to reconcile you to him.
Alack2 he is no God, nor yet good man, his reconciliation can do us no good, and is not worth a rush. Our message is, that you will be reconciled unto the living God. And as you have long tasted his wrath, so now begin to taste his friendship. A better friend you can not have. Yea, to say the truth, no other friend you lack but him. Whom if you have your friend, no enemy, can do you hurt. If he be your enemy, no friend can do you good. His friendship if you desire, you need not seek it far, it is here offered unto you for taking [2 Cor. 6.]. But then you must take it while it is offered. Behold now is the acceptable year: yet is the good time: the golden time: yet us the day of salvation: yet today lasts, and the gate yet is open, wherein the wise virgins may enter: but if it be once shut again, the foolish virgins shall never have it open anymore [Matth. 25.]. You that be rich, remember your coffin dives the rich man in hell. Who because in his life time, when he might have whole fountains of favor, and refused, afterward would have had one drop of water, and could not. Take therefore while it is offered.
not to be
Refuse not, lest you be refused. Crave and have. Come and spare not. Behold and fear not. For what should let you to behold, having such a patron to make your way for you. If God’s wrath do fear you, he has killed it. If you dread the law, he has hanged it. If your heart condemn you he is greater than your heart. If you be sick, he came, therefore, to play the physician. If you be hungry, he is the bread of life. If you be poor, he was made poor for you, to make you rich. If God’s curse lie upon you, he was accursed for you. If you be sinful, he was made sin for you, that you might be made the righteousness of GOD by him. What can we have more of him, or what can he do more for us then this which is all. For he that has bestowed his own Son upon us, how can it be, but he will give with him Omnia, all things to us. Omnia vestra sun. i. “All things be yours,” says the Lord to us, by his Apostle. John Foxe, A Sermon of Christ Crucified, preached, at Paules Crosse on Fridaie before Easter, commonly called Goodfri-daie, (At London: Imprinter by Ihon Daie: ouer Aldersgate, 1575), 95-96, 204-208. [Some spelling modernized; some reformatting; marginal side headers cited; marginal Scripture references cited inline; footnote values and content mine; and underlining mine.]
[Note: John Foxe, the famous historian and martyrologist was clearly a classic Augustinian believing in both unconditional election and Christ's dying for and bearing the of all men.]
1Archaic word for conclusion of a speech.
2Archaic word for grief or sorrow.