Homily 1.1 - Reading of Holy Scripture.

Discussion in 'Detailed Study' started by Botolph, Feb 28, 2017.

Tags:
  1. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    699
    Likes Received:
    889
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    First Book of Homilies

    Homily 1 - A Fruitful Exhortation to the Reading of Holy Scripture.

    The Praise of Holy Scripture.
    To a Christian there can be nothing either more necessary or profitable, then the knowledge of Holy Scripture, forasmuch as in it is contained God’s true word, setting forth his glory, and also a Christian’s duty.

    The Perfection of Holy Scripture:
    And there is no truth nor doctrine necessary for our justification and everlasting salvation, but that is (or may be) drawn out of that fountain and well of truth.

    The Knowledge of Holy Scripture is Necessary.
    Therefore as many as be desirous to enter into the right and perfect way unto GOD, must apply their minds to know holy Scripture, without the which, they can neither sufficiently know GOD and his will, neither their office and duty.

    To whom the knowledge of Holy Scripture is sweet and pleasant. Who be Enemies to Holy Scripture.
    And as drink is pleasant to them that bee dry, and meat to them that be hungry: so is the reading, hearing, searching, and studying of holy Scripture, to them that bee desirous to know God or themselves, and to do his will. And their stomachs only do loath and abhor the heavenly knowledge and food of God’s word, that be so drowned in worldly vanities, that they neither favour God, nor any godliness: for that is the cause why they desire such vanities, rather than the true knowledge of God.

    An apt Similitude, Declaring of whom the Scripture is Abhorred.
    As they that are sick of an age, whatsoever they eat and drink (though it be never so pleasant) yet it is as bitter to them as wormwood, not for the bitterness of the meat, but for the corrupt and bitter humour that is in their own tongue and mouth: even so is the sweetness of God’s word bitter, not of itself, but only unto them that have their minds corrupted with long custom of sin and love of this world.

    THE I. PART OF THE EXHORTATION

    An Exhortation unto the Diligent Reading and Searching of the Holy Scripture.
    Therefore forsaking the corrupt judgement of fleshly men, which care not but for their carcass: let us reverently hear and read Holy Scriptures, which is the food of the soul (Matthew 4.4). Let us diligently search for the Well of Life in the books of the New and Old Testament, and not run to the stinking puddles of men’s traditions (devised by mens imagination) for our justification and salvation.

    The Holy Scripture is a Sufficient Doctrine for our Salvation. What things we may learn in the Holy Scripture.
    For in holy Scripture is fully contained what we ought to doe, and what to eschew; what to believe, what to love, and what to look for at God’s hands at length. In these books we shall find the father from whom, the son by whom, and the holy Ghost, in whom all things have their being and keeping up, and these three persons to be but one God, and one substance. In these books we may learn to know ourselves, how vile and miserable we be, and and also to know God, how good he is of himself, and how he maketh us and all creatures partakers of his goodness. We may learn also in these books to know God’s will and pleasure, as much as (for this present time) is convenient for us to know. And (as the great Clerk and godly Preacher Saint John Chrysostom saith) whatsoever is required to salvation of man, is fully contained in the Scripture of God. He that is ignorant, may there learn and have knowledge. He that is hard hearted, and an obstinate sinner, shall there find everlasting torments (prepared of God’s justice) to make him afraid, and to mollify or soften him. He that is oppressed with misery in this world, shall there find relief in the promises of everlasting life, to his great consolation and comfort. He that is wounded by the Devil onto death, shall find there medicine whereby he may be restored again unto health.

    Holy Scripture Ministers Sufficient Doctrine for all degrees and ages. What commodities and profits, the knowledge of Holy Scripture Brings.
    If it shall require to teach any truth, or reprove false doctrine, to rebuke any vice, to commend any virtue, to give good counsel, to comfort or to exhort, or to do any other thing requisite for our salvation, all those things (saith Saint Chrysostom ) we may learn plentifully of the Scripture. There is (saith Fulgentius) abundantly enough, both for men to eat, and children to suck. There is, whatsoever is meet for all ages, and for all degrees and sorts of men. These Books therefore ought to be much in our hands, in our eyes, in our ears, in our mouths, but most of all in our hearts. For the Scripture of God is the heavenly meat of our souls (Matthew 4.4), the hearing and keeping of it makes us blessed (Luke 11.28), sanctifies us (John 17.17), and makes us holy, it turns our souls (Psalms 19.7-10), it is a light lantern to our feet (Psalms 119.105), it is a sure, steadfast, and everlasting instrument of salvation, it gives wisdom to the humble and lowly hearts, it comforts, makes glad, cheers, and cherishes our conscience: it is a more excellent jewel or treasure, than any gold or precious stone, it is more sweet than honey, or honeycomb, it is called the best part, which Mary did choose, for it hath in it everlasting comfort (Luke 10.42). The words of Holy Scripture be called words of everlasting life (John 6.68): for they be God’s instrument, ordained for the same purpose. They have power to turn through God’s promise, and they be effectual through God’s assistance, and (being received in a faithful heart) they have ever an heavenly spiritual working in them: they are lively, quick, and mighty in operation, and sharper than any two edged sword, and enter through, even unto the dividing asunder of the soul and the spirit, of the joints and the marrow (Hebrews 4.12). Christ calls him a wise builder, that builds upon his word, upon his sure and substantial foundation (Matthew 7.24). By this word of God, we shall be judged: for the word that I speak (saith Christ) is it, that shall judge in the last day (John 12.48). He that keeps the word of Christ, is promised the love and favour of God, and that he shall be the dwelling place or temple of the blessed Trinity (John 14.23). This word, whosoever is diligent to read, and in his heart to print that he readeth, the great affection to the transitory things of this world, shall be diminished in him, and the great desire of heavenly things (that be therein promised of God) shall increase in him. And there is nothing that so much strengthens our faith and trust in God, that so much keeps up innocency and pureness of the heart, and also of outward godly life and conversation, as continual reading and recording of God’s word. For that thing, which (by continual use of reading of Holy Scripture, and diligent searching of the same) is deeply printed and graven in the heart, at length turns almost into nature. And moreover, the effect and virtue of God’s word is, to illuminate the ignorant, and to give more light unto them, that faithfully and diligently read it, to comfort their hearts, and to encourage them to perform that, which God commands. It teaches patience in all adversity, in prosperity, humbleness: what honour is due unto God, what, mercy and charity to our neighbour. It giveth good counsel in all doubtful things. It shews of whom we shall look for aid and help in all perils, and that God is the only giver of victory, in all battles and temptations of our enemies, bodily and ghostly (1 Samuel 14.4-23, 2 Chronicles 20.7, 17, 29, 1 Corinthians 15.57, 1 John 5.4).

    Who Profit Most in Reading God’s Word.
    And in reading of God’s word, he most profits not always, that is most ready in turning of the book, or in saying of it without the book, but he that is most turned into it, that is most inspired with the Holy Ghost, most in his heart and life altered and changed into that thing which he reads: he that is daily less and less proud, less wrathful, less covetous, and less desirous of worldly and vain pleasures: he that daily (forsaking his old vicious life) increases in virtue more and more. And to be short, there is nothing that more maintains godliness of the mind, and driveth away ungodliness, than does the continual reading or hearing of God’s word, if it be joined with a godly mind, and a good affection, to know and follow God’s will.

    What Inconvenience the Ignorance of God’s Word Brings.
    For without a single eye, pure intent, and good mind, nothing is allowed for good before God. And on the other side, nothing more darkens Christ, and the glory of God, nor brings in more blindness, and all kinds of vices, then does the ignorance of God’s word (Isaiah 5.13, 24, Matthew 22.29, 1 Corinthians 14.20, 37-38).
     
    Christina and Lowly Layman like this.
  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    699
    Likes Received:
    889
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    THE SECOND PART OF THE SERMON OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF HOLY SCRIPTURE.

    The first part of this Sermon, which exhorteth to the knowledge of Holy Scripture, was declared wherefore the knowledge of the same is necessary and profitable to all men, and that by the true knowledge and understanding of Scripture, the most necessary points of our duty towards God and our neighbours are also known. Now as concerning the same matter, you shall hear what follows. If we profess Christ, why be we not ashamed to be ignorant in his doctrine? Seeing that every man is ashamed to be ignorant in that learning which he professes.

    God’s Word Excels All Science.
    That man is ashamed to be called a philosopher, which reads not the books of philosophy, and to be called a lawyer, and astronomer, or physician, that is ignorant in the books of law, astronomy, and physics. Now can any man then say that he professes Christ and his religion, if he will not apply himself (as far forward as he can or may conveniently) to read and hear, and so to know the books of Christ’s Gospel and doctrine? Although other sciences be good, and to be learned, yet no man can deny, but this is the chief, and passes all others incomparably. What excuse shall we therefore make (at the last day before Christ) that delight to read or hear men’s fantasies and inventions, more than his most holy Gospel? And will find no time to do that which chiefly (above all things) we should do, and will rather read other things then that, for the which we ought rather to leave reading of all other things. Let us therefore apply ourselves, as far forth as we can have time and leisure, to know God’s word, by diligent hearing and reading thereof, as many as profess God, and have faith and trust in him.

    Vain excuses dissuading from the knowledge of Christ’s word. The first. The second.
    But they that have no good affection to God’s word (to color this their fault) commonly use two vain and feigned excuses. Some go about to excuse them by their own frailness and fearfulness, saying that they dare not read Holy Scripture, least through their ignorance, they should fall into any error. Other pretend that the difficulty to understand it, and the hardness thereof is so great, that it is meet to be read only of clerks and learned men.

    As touching the first: Ignorance of God’s word, is the cause of all error, as Christ himself affirmed to the Sadducees, saying that they erred, because they knew not the Scripture (Matthew 22.29). How should they then eschew error, that will be still ignorant? And how should they come out of ignorance, that will not read nor hear that thing which should give them knowledge? He that now hath most knowledge, was at the first ignorant, yet he forbade not to read, for fear he should fall into error: but he diligently read, lest he should remain in ignorance, and through ignorance in error. And if you will not know the truth of God (a thing most necessary for you) lest you fall into error, by the same reason you may then lie still, and never go, lest (if you go) you fall in the mire: nor eat any good meat, lest you take a surfeit, nor sow your corn, nor labour in your occupation, nor use your merchandise, for fear you lose your seed, your labour, your stock, and so by that reason, it should be best for you to live idly, and never to take in hand to do any manner of good thing, lest by chance some evil thing may chance thereof. And if you be afraid to fall into error, by reading of holy Scripture: I shall shew you how you may read it without danger of error.

    How Largely and Without all Peril the Holy Scripture is to be Read.
    Read it humbly with a meek and lowly heart, to the intent you may glorify God, and not yourself, with the knowledge of it: and read it not without daily praying to God, that he would direct your reading to good effect: and take upon you to expound it no further, then you can plainly understand it. For (as Saint Augustine saith) the knowledge of Holy Scripture, is a great, large, and a high place, but the door is very low, so that the high & arrogant man cannot run in: but he must stoop low, and humble himself, that shall enter into it. Presumption and arrogance is the mother of all error: and humility is needed to fear no error. For humility will only search to know the truth, it will search, and will bring together one place with another, and where it cannot find out the meaning, it will pray, it will ask of others that know, and will not presumptuously and rashly define any thing, which it knows not. Therefore the humble man may search any truth boldly in the Scripture, without any danger of error. And if he be ignorant, he ought the more to read and to search holy Scripture, to bring him out of ignorance. I say not nay, but a man may prosper with only hearing, but he may much more prosper, with both hearing and reading.

    Scripture in some places is easy, and in some places hard to be understood.
    This have I said, as touching the fear to read, through ignorance of the person. And concerning the hardness of Scripture, he that is so weak that he is not able to break strong meat, yet he may suck the sweet and tender milk, and defer the rest, until he wax stronger, and come to more knowledge. For God receives the learned and unlearned, and casts away none, but is indifferent unto all. And the Scripture is full, as well of low valleys, plain ways, and easy for every man to use, and to walk in: as also of high hills & mountains, which few men can climb unto.

    God leaveth no man untaught, that hath good will to know his word. And whosoever gives his mind to Holy Scriptures, with diligent study and burning desire, it can not be (saith Saint Chrysostom) that he should be left without help. For either God Almighty will send him some godly doctor, to teach him, as he did to instruct the Eunuch, a noble man of Ethiopia, and Treasurer unto Queen Candace, who having affection to read the Scripture (although he understood it not) yet for the desire that he had unto God’s word, God sent his Apostle Philip to declare unto him the true sense of the Scripture that he read: or else, if we lack a learned man to instruct and teach us, yet God himself from above, will give light unto our minds, and teach us those things which are necessary for us, & wherein we be ignorant.

    How the Knowledge of the Scripture May be Attained Unto.
    And in another place Chrysostom says, that man’s humane and worldly wisdom or science, needs not to the understanding of Scripture, but the revelation of the Holy Ghost, who inspires the true meaning unto them, that with humility and diligence do search therefore. He that asks, shall have, and he that seeks shall find, and he that knocks, shall have the door open (Matthew 7.7-8).

    A Good Rule for the Understanding of Scripture.
    If we read once, twice, or thrice, and understand not, let us not cease so, but still continue reading, praying, asking of other, and so by still knocking (at the last) the door shall be opened (as Saint Augustine says.) Although many things in the Scripture be spoken in obscure mysteries, yet there is nothing spoken under dark mysteries in one place, but the self same thing in other places, is spoken more familiarly and plainly, to the capacity both of learned and unlearned.

    No Man is Excepted From the Knowledge of Christ’s Will.
    And those things in the Scripture that be plain to understand, and necessary for salvation, every man’s duty is to learn them, to print them in memory, and effectually to exercise them. And as for the dark mysteries, to be contented to be ignorant in them, until such time as it shall please God to open those things unto him. In the mean season, if he lack either ability or opportunity, God will not impute it to his folly: but yet it behoves not, that such as be able, should set aside reading, because some other be inapt to read: nevertheless, for the hardness of such places, the reading of the whole ought not to be set apart.

    What persons would have ignorance to continue.
    And briefly to conclude, (as Saint Augustine says) by the Scripture, all men be amended, weak men be strengthened, and strong men be comforted. So that surely, none bee enemies to the reading of God’s word, but such as either bee so ignorant, that they know not how wholesome a thing it is: or else be so sick, that they hate the most comfortable medicine that should heal them: or so ungodly, that they would wish the people still to continue in blindness and ignorance of God.

    The holy Scripture is one of God’s chief benefits. Thus we have briefly touched some part of the commodities of God’s holy word, which is one of God’s chief and principal benefits, given and declared to mankind here in earth. Let us thank God heartily, for this his great and special gift, beneficial favour, and fatherly providence.
     
    Lowly Layman likes this.
  3. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    699
    Likes Received:
    889
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    The Right Reading, Use, and Fruitful Studying in Holy Scripture.

    Let us bee glad to review this precious gift of our heavenly Father. Let us hear, read, and know these holy rules, injunctions, and statutes of our Christian religion, and upon that we have made profession to God at our baptism. Let us with fear and reverence lay up (in the chest of our hearts) these necessary and fruitful lessons. Let us night and day muse, and have meditation and contemplation in them. Let us ruminate, and (as it were) chew the cud, that we may have the sweet juice, spiritual effect, marrow, honey, kernel, taste, comfort and consolation of them (Psalms 56.4). Let us stay, quiet, and certify our consciences, with the most infallible certainty, truth, and perpetual assurance of them. Let us pray to God (the only author of these heavenly studies) that we may speak, think, believe, live and depart hence, according to the wholesome doctrine, and verities of them.

    And by that means, in this world we shall have God's defence, favour, and grace, with the unspeakable solace of peace, and quietness of conscience, and after this miserable life, we shall enjoy the endless bliss and glory of heaven: which he grant vs all that died for vs all, Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and the holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, both now and everlastingly.
     
    Christina and Lowly Layman like this.
  4. JonahAF

    JonahAF Moderator Staff Member Typist Anglican

    Posts:
    104
    Likes Received:
    96
    Thank you @Philip Barrington for these and other typings of the Homilies. This is substantially aiding the mission of our website in making the works of classic Anglican writers and theologians known. We will endeavor to collect all these writings and publish them on www.anglican.net, in the same style as the other writings we've published, if that is your wish.
     
    Christina, Aidan and Lowly Layman like this.
  5. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    699
    Likes Received:
    889
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    All good, I have been trying to make them more ineligible to the modern reader preserving meaning as I understand it and not completely obliterating the archaic, but at the same time making it a more easy read. The very long paragraphs is an issue, and I have been getting around the 10000 character limit by splitting. I am happy for you to use them as you wish. I also wanted them to be just there rather than having to go off to another level to get to the text.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  6. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    2,003
    Likes Received:
    1,800
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    American Anglican
    My favorite homily! You can hear it preached here:


     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  7. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    699
    Likes Received:
    889
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Hi Jonah, maybe if I keep going and then when we have the First Book of Homiles completed, I will generate each as a PDF, and then in the Online Doc's section Create a Thread for the First Book of Homilies, and upload the files there, so essentially forming a list of hyperlinked documents. Does that seem like a plan?
     
    JonahAF likes this.
  8. JonahAF

    JonahAF Moderator Staff Member Typist Anglican

    Posts:
    104
    Likes Received:
    96
    That sounds like a plan!
     

Share This Page