And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.—Acts 4.32.

[A Sermon by John Calvin on Deuteronomy 22:5-8.]
 
THE
S E R M O N S
OF M. IOHN CALVIN
VPON THE FIFTH BOOKE OF
Moses called Deuteronomie.
On Fryday the iij. of Ianuarie. 1556.

The Cxxvj. Sermon, which is the second upon the two and twentieth Chapter.

  1. A woman shal not weare the apparel of a man: neither shal a man put on the garments of a woman. For whosoeuer doth so, is an abhomination to the Lord thy God.
  2. When thou goest abroad and findest a birds nest in a tree or on the grounde, and young birdes or egges therein, & the dam sitting vpon her young or vpon the egges: thou shalt not take the dam with her young birdes:
  3. But thou shalt let the dam goe, & take the young ones to thy selfe, that it may goe well with thee, and that thou maist prolong thy dayes.
  4. When thou buildest thee a newe house, thou shalt make a battlement about the roofe of it, that thou bring not bloud vpon thy house by the falling of some man downe from it.
THE first law which I have rehearsed here, sheweth that in all our behaviour, we must have a care to be honest, & eschew all looseness. Truly it should seem to be no matter of great importance for a man to be appareled after one fashion or other: but yet for all that, God will have things done in order. For if men go disguised, & wear such apparel as serveth not for necessity but for folly: that is not convenient. If women be dissolute, what a thing is that? They forget their nature: for women ought to be modest. If there be no shame, but that they will needs be out of order: it is a very beastliness. That is the effect of God’s intent in saying that men ought not to put on women’s apparel, nor women ought not to be clothed in men’s apparel: For it is good reason that there should be a difference between men and women. And although there were no law written, doth not even nature teach it us? And when Paul (1 Cor. 11.5,) telleth us that women must come to the Church with their heads covered & not with their hair about their ears: he sheweth the same thing. What saith he? have we need to speak to you of such things? For if a woman were polled [her hair cut short], durst she shew her head abroad? A man may well be bold to shew his head bare, though he be polled: and shall a woman do so too? That were a shame, everybody would mock at her, and she should be fain to hide her head. Now since ye know this without any scripture or word written: do ye not see how God hath shown as it were a seed of modesty in you, to the intent that every man should have a regard to that which is comely for him? So then, let us mark that here God intended to shew us that everybody’s attiring of themselves ought to be such, as there may be a difference between men and women. And truly we see what dangers doe ensue when folk go so disguised: many inconveniences do accompany them, & God is offended with them. Therefore the setting down of this law is not without cause. For they that love to go so disguised, do despise God: as for example, in these maskings & mummings, when men put themselves into women’s apparel, and women put themselves into men’s as ye know: what comes of it? Although no evil ensued thereof, yet the very thing itself displeaseth God. We hear what is said of it in this place. Whosoever doth it, is an abomination. Ought not this saying to make the hair of our heads stand up, rather than we would provoke God’s {773:B} wrath upon us willfully? But besides this, we are sure that the suffering hereof is the opening of a gap to all whoredom. At a word, such disguisings are but enticements of baudry, as experience proveth. Therefore let us not think, that it was more than needed, for God to appoint men a several kind of appareling by themselves, and the women another kind of attiring by themselves agreeable to their several sexes. Whereupon we have to remember, that God liketh well, that there should be an honesty even in our apparel. Truly (as I have said afore) that is not the chief point: For if a man should set the perfection of our life in this thing: it were all one as if he should set the cart before the horse: but yet is it not to be omitted. For even the Heathen themselves have shewed us our lesson, telling us that if there be no regard of honesty, men do bewray that the rest of their virtues are not counted for virtues any more. For if they observe not some order, discretion and modesty in their behaviours & manner of dealings, they may seem to be degenerated into brute beasts. Then is it as a witness that we walk as before God, when we regard a kind of honesty in our apparel. Truly men may soon overshoot themselves. Although they attire not themselves like women, yet if they use any gaudishness, and make themselves to be as gazing-stocks: such superfluity displeaseth God already in another respect. Likewise though women attire not themselves in the raiment of men: Yet if they be too gallant & brave, and covet to have too great a show, they fail not to offend God, even in another respect, as I said afore. Yet notwithstanding, we must first of all see that men be so appareled as they become not womanlike, as we see diverse times that they attire themselves like brides. In so doing they seem to be sorry that God made them not women, & to be desirous to renounce their own sex. And that is a shameful thing. Again, when women go appareled like men of war, (as there be some which had rather to bear a hackbut on their shoulder than a distaff in their hand:) it is against kind, and we ought to abhor it. Although we were not spoken to, nor had any law or ordinance of God: yet do we even of ourselves perceive it to be strange and whosoever hath any spark of pureness in him, will judge so. Ye see then that first of all the fashion which men do use in apparelling themselves, must shew that God hath created them to be as men: and that the women also must observe the modesty that is agreeable to their sex. Thus much concerning {774:A} the first point.

And as touching the second, let us mark also generally, that in our apparelling of ourselves God will have us to respect use & honesty. Those are the two things which we ought to set store by. The first is use. And my meaning by use, is that men should be contented with such apparel as will defend them from cold and heat. And by honesty I mean that they should not be clad & attired after a disguised fashion, as though they went to play an enterlude, or were desirous to make folk to gaze at them for the strangeness of their apparel, that it might be said, who is this? O, it is such a one. Now then, if we observe the use, that is to say, if we hold it enough to be clothed only: and therewithal do keep such measure as we break not common order: it is a rule that God alloweth. Also when women be not too curious in attiring themselves, nor desirous to draw all men’s eyes unto them to behold them in their decking: that is the honest kind of behaviour, which God commendeth unto us. And in the same respect doth Paul (1 Tim. 2.9,) say that women ought to have a holy honesty, or a comely holiness. In speaking of the attire and apparel of the faithful women, he useth a word which importeth that they must not only be honest, but also therewithal have a certain mark of holiness, that men may know them to have profited in God’s word. And truly if we considered well what was the first cause of apparel, we would not be so greatly given to superfluous bravery as we be. For as oft as we put on either shirt or Coat, we be put in mind that our Lord commandeth us to hide ourselves, because his image is disfigured in us: and our clothing of ourselves ought to make us think upon the sin of our father Adam. For by reason of sin, we become subject both to heat & cold. And again, God telleth us that it is a sign of our shame. For nakedness of itself is not unhonest, were it not that God’s image is disfigured in us by our corruption. Had we this regard with us, surely we would be more wary to keep order and measure in our apparel, than we be. Howsoever the world go, let us learn that God will have us not only to be pure and clean from all lechery, but also to prevent all inconveniences. As for example, when he saith, Thou shalt not commit adultery: that commandment hath an eye to this present text. I have told you already, that all the laws which are written here, concern manners, & are rules of good life, & are to be referred to the ten commandments: For God hath not added anything to those ten sentences. Therefore whereas in this text it is said that the man shall not wear the apparel of the woman; doth God set down an eleventh commandment? Did God bethink himself better afterward, and add somewhat else to that which we had heard of him heretofore? No, it is but only an exposition of this saying of his, Thou shalt not commit adultery. As how? For in forbidding adultery, God not only forbiddeth the act itself, which were punishable & worthy of reproach even before men: but also he forbiddeth in effect all unchaste behaviour, so {774:B} as none may appear, neither in apparel nor in any part of our conversation. We must keep such a measure, as our apparel tend not to unchastity, lest we run into such looseness, as we be blamed for seeking to make a hotchpotch, & to have had no regard of bringing all things to confusion by such disorderly dealing. Which mischief to eschew, both men and women must have a care to follow every of them their own vocation. If we be not of that mind, although we commit not any adultery in act, yet are we attainted already before God, with some vice that tendeth towards adultery. Wherefore let us learn that by this sentence where our Lord saith that men and women ought to differ one from another in fashion of their apparel, he meant to expound and confirm this former saying of his, Thou shalt not commit Adultery. Were this as well borne away as it ought to be, we should have better rule among us than we have: & there would be no such impediments in the redressing the abuse of apparel. The costliness thereof would soon be corrected in some countries. And why? For ye shall see nothing now but embroidery, & such over-sumptuous things, that by all likelihood men are wilfully bent to overcharge themselves with the deckings of women, but these things would be provided for. And in the meanwhile men look not to other vices which are as much or more to be condemned. For there is never any ho, when folk begin once to seek new fashions to disguise themselves. This seemeth to be nothing: but as it cometh from an evil root, so tendeth it also to an evil end. For it is certain that if it were not for ambition and pride, these things should not be seen so common as they be. Insomuch that there are a great sort, that can find in their hearts to endure hunger and thirst and a number of other incommodities in their bodies, only to bestow their money upon things that can serve them to none other end than pomp and vanity. And why do they so? O, they love well gay apparel: they have a delight to be tooted at and gazed at a great way off. And we see it more nowadays than ever it was seen. This fond curiosity hath reigned in all ages among the Frenchmen, and they cannot be reclaimed from it as yet at this day, but they despise God & nature more than ever they did. But we hear what God saith by his Prophet Zephaniah (1.8,) where he threateneth such folk as seek newfangled and strange attires, coveting always new shift. No doubt but he condemneth this pompousness and the persons themselves which seek everyday new fashions, that they may be gazed at afar off, and be the more esteemed, and that men may say of them; Such a one hath invented a new fashion: such a one is skillful in finding out new attires. Surely such folk are well worthy to be condemned to be tailours. These great lords & brave lads which will needs wear tablets at their necks, that is to say sumptuous Jewels for folk to gaze at a great way off ought of reason to be all made tailors, seeing they have so great pleasure in finding out so diverse sorts of apparel to disguise themselves with. {775:A} And by the way let us mark, that in saying so our Lord sheweth us that we must come back to the said use and honesty, and to the rule which he hath given us: and if we keep that; let us assure ourselves that it shall be an acceptable service to him. Contrariwise, if we be led with a foolish and inordinate lust, to change every minute of an hour and to disguise ourselves: it is a thing that displeaseth God, though it import none evil at all. And moreover, we see how it proceedeth of fond vainglory: and when men are so given to vanity, surely they despise their own Souls and never care for them. Also they be infected with overweening, so as they will needs be commended. Now when men deal after that fashion, can it be said that there is no evil in it? No: for whereto do all these disguisings and superfluities tend, but to all manner of corruption, and whoredom, and such other like things, besides superfluous expenses? And therefore let us mark, that to keep ourselves from such dangers, and from defiling our bodies with lechery, and other infections; we must eschew evil occasions, and not meddle with any thing that may allure us to any wicked lust of lechery, or otherwise, but apparel ourselves soberly and necessarily. Thus ye see in effect, how we ought to put this commandment in use.

Now Moses addeth, That if a man find a birds-nest, he may take the young ones, but he must let go the dam, when she broodeth her eggs or her young ones. At the first sight this seemeth not worthy to be set down in God’s Law. For were there no greater & necessarier things to speak of than young birds? Why doth not God say rather that if a man see a mother nursing of her child, he shall not trouble her, but rather succour her and help her, and in any wise beware that he touch her not, for that were a hurting of the infant which is a silly innocent soul. Why doth not God speak after that manner? What needed it to go say that a man should let a Bird alone when she broodeth her young? Hereby he meant to express the better, how greatly he abhorreth all cruelty. For if he cannot bear with it when it extendeth but to the little birds; shall a man escape unpunished when he falleth to hurting the image of God himself, that is to say when he offereth wrong to another man? So then let us mark that in speaking of little birds, GOD hath much better declared his meaning, than if he had spoken simply of men. For it is all one as if he had said, Accustom yourselves in such wise to be kind-hearted, and to do no deed of cruelty, as that even the little birds may feel it. Not only practice you it among yourselves; but also when ye see a little Bird, consider thus with yourselves: no, our Lord, to inure us the better to uprightness and reason; will have us to give some proof and witness of it even towards the creatures which cannot complain of us. A young bird hath no tongue to crave reason at our hands, or to attempt an action against us. Yet notwithstanding, albeit that (to our seeming) there is no account to be made of them, neither is uprightness to be used but among {775:B} men: yet for all that God will have us willing to frame our affections the better thereby; that when we come to deal with our neighbors, we may be restrained by it to say, What? It is not lawful for us to be cruel to the Birds: and how may we then be cruel to such as are of our own kind, in whom we see the image of God imprinted? Thus ye see what we have to remember in the first place, where our Lord speaketh so of little Birds.

Now let us come to the pith of this Law. It is said, Thou shalt let the Dam go, and only take the young ones to thyself. When a Henbird broodeth her young ones, therein we have an image of a mother’s duty towards her children. And the silly birds do sometimes teach us our lesson, when men and women are so brutish, that GOD is fain to send them to school to the beasts. (Isa. 1.3.) For when as the Prophet Isaiah saith, The Ox knoweth his Master’s stable, and the Ass knoweth his Crib: thereby he meant to put men in mind of their lewdness, and as it were to upbraid them thus, Ye be worse than the brute beasts, therefore go learn of them. For the Ox in knowing his own Crib or stall, doth shew you that you ought to know the Lord your GOD. And seeing he vouchsafeth to gather you into his flock and into his Church, and yet you remain worse than the wild beasts: do ye not shew yourselves to have utterly forgotten the order of nature? Now then, seeing that the birds have such a care of the young ones, surely they may teach men and women their lesson, when they shew themselves to have no care of their Children, as we see some riotous folk do, which care not though they let their wives and Children starve at home, without regard thereof, and in the meanwhile go and spend thrice as much at the tavern as would find their whole house. Again there are mothers that have no care at all of their children, all their seeking is to rid their hands of them, they cannot find in their hearts to take the pains with them: wherein they shew themselves to be utterly void of lovingness and kindness, and to be worse than brute beasts, which teach us our lesson in this behalf. For although the beasts have no further care of their young, than till they be able to shift for themselves: yet are men taught their duty and charge thereby, and what they have to do all the time of their life. Why do not the birds take care for their young ones, furtherforth than till they be able to shift for themselves? Because a bird is not created in the world to be governed by his sire and his dam all the time of his life; He is not bound to that: for he is a reasonless creature. But the case standeth not so with men. For even when they be come to years of liberty, they must still be guided and governed by counsel, and their fathers and mothers must put them in mind of their duty when they have done amiss. This needeth not in the beasts: but yet do the beasts discharge themselves of their duty so long till their young ones be exempted out of their charge. And sith it is so, what shall men do? {776:A} Let us resort to that which is said here, namely, Thou shalt not catch the dam when she sitteth upon he young. And why? I see the dam brooding her young ones, and (as we see) she had rather suffer herself to be eaten with vermin, than forsake her young: she sits there as upon a torture, and she passeth not for it. For why? She hath such a care of her young, that she forgetteth herself for their sakes: If ye demand a reason of it, there is none that we know, but this; it is a natural inclination and moving impressed by God in birds, that when they see their little ones, to their seeming they be dearer to them than their own life. And although it be a painful thing to them to tarry sitting there in such care: yet go they to it with a cheerful courage. Now then we behold this, is it not all one to us as if we saw a picture wherein God shewed us our duty? Let fathers take warning here, to travail earnestly for their children. And as they ought to have a care for the feeding and maintaining of them: so must the mothers also do their diligence in that behalf, assuring themselves that it is an acceptable service to God, when they take such pains in respect that GOD hath bound them to that Condition, and that it behoveth them to yield thereunto, willingly and with a frank and free goodwill. Seeing then that we see an Image of our charge, and God sheweth as it were with his finger, what duty fathers and mothers do owe to their children: shall we go overthrow it, were not that all one as if a Child should go burn his book? When he hath a book bought for him to go to school with, and he teareth it in pieces, shall he not be beaten for it? Then if we burn the book which our Lord sheweth us, and wittingly defeat the order which he hath set in nature, by playing the butchers in killing with our own hands the silly bird, brought thereto by constraint of necessity for the discharge of her fatherly and motherly duty: what will become of us? True it is that God hath given us the birds for our food, as we know he hath made the whole world for us. Yet notwithstanding if we be so cruel that we will not spare the poor birds, even when they be as it were under God’s tuition, employing themselves in his service: is it not a refusing of the grace which he offereth us, in setting before our eyes as in a looking-glass, the duty which we owe towards those whom he hath committed unto us? Yes verily. Insomuch that if we be not besides our wits, and carried with too cruel a rage, we will have pity and compassion upon the poor birds, when we see them yield their life in that sort, to discharge their duty. And in deed, it should seem that men intended to defy God and nature, when they take the dams so upon their little ones. For they be so lean, that they be as it were froth or slime. Now our Lord meant to restrain men, and to shew them that their lusts are altogether out of order. As if he should say, What will ye do? Ye see there is no substance or strength in them. For {776:B} during the time that I take them into my tuition, they be not good for sustenance. Now then if a man be so cruel towards the birds without having regard hereto: surely he will be cruel to his neighbours also. And he that maketh no sticking nor conscience to kill birds in their breeding time, will also cut his neighbor’s throat if he think he may have any gain by it. Thus we see now why our Lord hath told us that he would have the Broodbirds to be in safety though their young ones be taken from them. Hereby we be taught so to use God’s creatures, as the use of them may be orderly, and specially that we may inure ourselves to pity and compassion all our life long. For to that end is this commandment to be referred.

As I said afore, GOD standeth not upon the birds, to put any great perfection therein: but he meant to teach us by an argument from the lesser to the greater after what manner we ought to behave ourselves towards our neighbours. Therefore if we trouble any man while he is doing his duty, and put him to any vexation under colour that he is busy in discharging himself towards God and towards those to whom he is bound: we be worthy of double blame. If a man disquiet a nurse or a mother in doing her duty towards her child, surely it is double cruelty. The instruction that we must take hereat, is that every of us must strain himself to help his neighbours. When we see them take pains to do the things that God hath enjoined them, we must endeavour to succour them, & no man is to be troubled or molested in that behalf. For if it be not lawful to trouble the birds, what may we do towards them that are joined unto us, as our brethren, as hath been declared heretofore?

Now it followeth, that when a man buildeth a house, he must make battlements or rails about the roof of it. This served for the houses of Jewry. For there they builded their houses with flat roof, and in all the East Countries they have kept the same fashion still to this day. And in that respect our Lord Jesus Christ said, look what ye hear now in secret, ye shall preach hereafter upon the housetops. [Matt. 10.27.] When we read this text, it seemeth strange to us, if we have an eye to the form of building that is used here in these countries. For how shall a man get up to the house top, to preach there? But their houses were made like Towers, that a man might walk up and down upon them. Now if those had not battlements or rails, men had been in danger to have fallen down from them. For their children went up to the tops of their houses, whereby many might have been slain through want of heed; sometime a man servant, sometime a chambermaid, and consequently a child might have fallen down, and so all should have been in danger. Now our Lord commandeth them to provide aforehand for it, by making battlements about their houses. But we must first of all advise ourselves whereunto all the sayings are referred, which are set down here. Following the key which I have given already, which is that there are but ten articles {777:A} whereby to rule our whole life well: we must not go seek for five legs in one sheep, as they say: but we must always hold us to this point, that God gave us a perfect rule of all righteousness and just dealing, when he comprised his Law in two Tables and in ten commandments. Now whereas here is mention made of building men’s houses in such sort as they bring not blood upon them; hereby we see how our Lord hath shewed us how dear the lives of all men ought to be unto us. Mark that for one point. And so have we the exposition of this commandment, Thou shalt not kill. But is it enough for a man, that he abstain from murdering, from cutting of throats, from beating, and from vexing his neighbour? Truly it would be abhorred, if it were but spoken of in common speech: but God hath yet a further respect in forbidding murder. Why is that? Let us come to this reason: that forasmuch as man’s life is precious unto him: therefore it followeth that we must preserve our neighbours’ lives to the uttermost of our power. For although we offer them no violence, yet shall we not be discharged. But every of us must look that he use no annoyance, nor give any cause or occasion of harm or loss to ensue to our neighbour. Ye see then how our Lord hath told us yet better in this text, the thing which he had spoken afore when he said, Thou shalt not kill. And so according to my rule, we must come to the fore-set-down and fore-expressed commandment, Thou shalt not kill. Well, God maketh there but a single forbidding: but yet must we learn thereby to seek all the means we can to maintain the life of our neighbour. Thou wouldest not that any man should put thee in danger of thy life, but rather that he should preserve it, and that thou mightest not be in peril by another man’s oversight. Therefore look that thou yield the like mind to thy neighbour.

Moreover let us mark that here God hath under one part comprehended the whole. He speaketh of the making of battlements or Rails upon the roofs of men’s houses: but it is all one as if he had said, whensoever men build, let them be well ware to build after such a sort, as no inconvenience may ensue thereof. Many be so gross witted, that they make things in their houses as it were of set purpose to entrap them that come in: so as a man had need of good skill where to set his foot, and if he be not very ware and look well to himself, he shall be in danger to break his neck. There are some which be so ill-disposed. And God saith that he which doeth so, bringeth blood upon his house, that is to say, defileth his house with man’s blood. Now then, let us look well about us, and let us so seek our own commodities, as our building may be without danger. And why? For otherwise we shall be worthy of blame. But (as hath been declared already) we have to gather upon this text, that God doth well vouchsafe to lay for the preserving of our lives, & to provide aforehand for all inconveniences, that none of us may fall {777:B} in danger. Forasmuch then as we see that GOD hath such a fatherly care of us: have we not cause to acknowledge his gracious goodness, and to be utterly ravished at it? Therefore although our duty be shewed us here, that is to say, although God tell us that every of us ought to provide for the safeguard of his neighbour’s life: yet have we another good lesson to gather here, namely that GOD descendeth hither unto us, and sheweth that he hath his eye upon our life, and that he intendeth to be the defender thereof. Now sith [since] we see this, have we not a singular record of his goodness: Ye see how our bodies are but Carrions: and yet GOD vouchsafeth to maintain them, and giveth us here a commandment to provide long aforehand for the dangers that may ensue to it, that it may be preserved from them. Ought not the sight of all these things to touch us to the quick, and to make us to magnify the goodness of our God?

And furthermore, when we know this goodness, as in respect of this present life and this world: let us mount up one step higher, and not doubt but he hath a far greater care of our souls, as he sheweth by experience. And therefore let us rest boldly upon him, and not doubt but we shall be preserved if we abide under his protection, and play not the loose Colts, but come brood ourselves under his wings (as the Scripture saith) not doubting but he will keep us safe and sound. And besides this, let us mark also, that if they which put their neighbours in peril of their bodies are guilty before GOD: much more shall they be accountable to him, which cast any stumbling block in their neighbours’ ways, whereby they be turned from the way of salvation. If a man shoot at all adventure and wound one as he passeth by, he is worthy of blame, yea and of punishment too. For why? Men ought to look one to another. Am I to be excused if I shoot at all adventure and kill a poor man that mistrusted no such thing? Nay, I ought to be advised for him aforehand. Even so is it with all other like things. Insomuch that if any neighbour fall into any mishap through my fault or negligence, it is an offence committed against GOD, and the world also knoweth such things to be punishable. But I make my neighbour to stumble, not only to the breaking of his arm or of his leg, yea or even of his neck: but also to the destroying of his soul: and what a thing is that? For we see that the stumbling blocks which are cast in men’s ways, serve to the utter destruction and casting down of the silly souls that were purchased by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore when men procure troubles & stumbling blocks in the Church, do they not cause the things to go to destruction, which God had begun to build up? And is not that one of the highest points of treason against God? Therefore let us look to ourselves, and seeing that God hath such a care of our persons, let every of us follow his example: & if we provide aforehand that no hurt may befall {778:A} to men’s bodies, let us have much greater regard of their souls.

And moreover, let us mark what is said here concerning every man’s house. For if a man give evil example to his household: he not only bringeth blood upon his house, that is to say, he not only defileth the house wherein he dwelleth; but also he bringeth much worse upon it, that is to say, all manner of cursedness, and he provoketh God’s wrath. There is a man which is a despiser of all Religion, he passeth not to have GOD dishonoured in his house, nay he never openeth his mouth, but to the spewing out of some blasphemy or devilishness: again on the other side his wife is a harlot, or a drunkard, or a field of hell, utterly void of the fear of GOD, void of courtesy, void of modesty: and besides all this, there are a great sort of other evil examples to be seen there in divers manners: and is not the doing of all these things a willful defiling of his own house? And what can come thereof? When a man hath goods, and a great household, if in the mean while he defile the place that was given him and wherein he dwelleth, so as all is full of filth, as for example, his children are ill nurtured, his servants are unruly, and instead of giving themselves to the service of God, there is nothing but looseness and cause of offence: what other can come of it than is said in this text, namely, that his house is defiled? And therefore let us mark that after our Lord had declared in this text, that all those are counted for murderers before him, {778:B} which are not careful to preserve all men’s lives: he addeth likewise, that every man must so provide for his own household, as no offence may be committed there, and that the poor souls be not destroyed: [as for example,] that the young children be not corrupted and marred by wicked bringing up, nor the servants and household folk see anything that may mar them: but that the Masters and Mistresses do so behave themselves that GOD be honoured and served, to the intent their houses be not defiled and infected with the common filth of the world, but that we may shew that God reigneth there, so as his blessings may be poured out upon it in all respects, as well of body as of soul.

Nowe let vs fall downe before the Maiestie of our good God with acknowledgement of our sinnes, praying him to make us so to feele them more and more, as we may returne to him as to the Phisition that can heale vs of all our diseases: Praying him also, so to call vs home to himselfe, that with all sobernesse and modestie we may cast aforehand to keepe ourselues chast and vndefiled for his seruice; and that therwithal we may euerichone of vs haue a care and regarde of our neighbours, being ready to releeue one another, & (as much as is possible) eschuing all anoyaunce and harme doing: and that by this meane wee may with one common accorde shewe our selues to bee true children towardes him, and bee able to call vppon him with full trust. And for the bringing heereof to passe, it may please him to rayse vp true and faithfull Ministers of his woorde, &c.