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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator
 


 

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 1-1000

070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

150: Melito: Homily of the Pascha

175: Irenaeus: Against Heresies

175: Clement of Alexandria: Stromata

198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

386: Chrysostom: Matthew and Mark

387: Chrysostom: Against the Jews

408: Jerome: Commentary on Daniel

417: Augustine: On Pelagius

426: Augustine: The City of God

428: Augustine: Harmony

420: Cassian: Conferences

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800: Aquinas: Eternity of the World

 


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1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

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1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

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"Then were many Oracles vnderstood, and one principall prophesie was fulfilled, that the Lorde should ascend vppon a light cloude, and should enter into Egypt, and the Idols of Egypt should bee ouerthrowne, and the heart of Egypt should languish in the middle thereof, for when the sonne of God became a man, he was in some sort hidden, that his glorie was not seene, and the flesh which hee tooke was likened vnto a light cloude, either because flesh is of it selfe no more lasting then is a thin cloude, which with euery little winde is dissolued, or else because he was of no lesse power when he was in that cloude, then he was before."

 

All faire and fortunate Princesse, the glorie of England, the gemme of all the world: so worthie of the highest renowne, as no one is worthie to pronounce thy name. By whom next vnto God wee not onely liue, but labour with ioy our heartes ease, our soules peace. Liue vnder whom England liueth in the farthermost part of the world, and raigne for euer vnder whom it hath beene a long time most graciously gouerned at home.

Vouchsafe noble Princes, who descendest of a princely race. Vouchsafe gracious Soueraigne, who condescendest to thy poorest subiects requestes. Vouchsafe worthie of all praise, this small-worth present, which although it bee but a harsh discourse of a sometime happie countrey, yet it is with a heartie wish it were not so greatly weaned from thee.

Too much presumption it may seeme, to presse vpon a Princesse so sleight a works protection. But the common lying in the wind to take aduantage against whatsoeuer is written, compelleth men to flie to those who can and will defend, which none will sooner then such a Princesse, as taketh to her heart her meanest subiectes loue, and thinketh their harme doth touch her owne honour, none may better then such a Princesse, as whose gracious looke can make it a most pleasing lure, & whose readie fauour can fast-locke all others iudgements in a liking.

A pleasing subiect are thy prayses, if by any they could be worthily desciphered, but they doe so much exceed the arte both of penne and pensell that men should wrest their wittes in vaine, that would do more then wonder at them.

Thy felicitie then being so great, thy bountie so gracious, as no one who needeth thy patronage may iustly either distrust, or dispaire thereof, hauing declared what most humblie I desire, and earnestly wish I may deserue, I cease & admire thee, with those who neuer cease to admire thee, and wish vnto thee what thou hast not, aboue all mens wishes.

Your Maiesties
humble seruant
not worth the naming.

PALESTINA.
Written by Mr. R. C. P. and Bachelor of Diuinitie.

In the heauenlye Hierusalem dwelleth an Emperor, so worthie, and so wealthie, as in his presence, both the rarest maiestie seemeth base; and the richest Monarch a beggar. The cite wherein hee abideth is so stately, and so strong, as neyther Niniuie without a lippe, nor Babilon for Ecbatane, may without a blush either be named, or numbred with it. It is of a glasse-like transparent, but the purest tried gold, that he resteth free from all doubt of euer hauing it wasted with fire, and voide of all feare, that it will not last for euer. The streetes of the citties are of the same gold, through them runneth a riuer as cleare as christall, on either side of which groweth a tree, which for euery of the twelue monethes giueth a seuerall fruite, and according vnto the effect it worketh, is called the tree of life: it is watered with the riuer which is of no lesse vertue then the tree, and hath his first vent from vnder the Emperour his throne. The citie is square 375. miles aswell in heigth, as length, and breadth, the compasse is 1500 mile: about it is a wal 216. foote high, all of Iasper stone, which beside the firmenes thereof, is of a most fresh and beautifull greene colour, that it mooueth the beholders to wish, as much as to wonder. The wall is built so low of purpose, that the statelinesse of the Citie may appeare the better vnto all passengers. The foundation of the wall is of twelue precious stones, the Iasper, the Saphire, the Calcedonicke, the Emerauld, the Sardonix, the Sardius, the Chrysolith, the Berill, the Topaze, the Chrysophrase, the Hyacinth, the Amethist. In this wall were twelue gates, in all poynts correspondent vnto the statelinesse of the wall, three toward the East, as many toward the West, also three towarde the North, and three toward the South: euerie seuerall gate is one of those twelue seuerall precious stones, and no one of the gates without all the rest of the stones, but they are not so much beautified by them, as by the presence of twelue princes, which stand in euery of the twelue gates one, who seeme there to abide, onely as allurements to their citie, if any beeing weary of the worlds illusions, should indeuour too seeke theyr safetie, for neyther haue they any cause to looke vnto their gates, nor any custome to locke them.

And no worse then princes can stande at his gates, all whose houshold are princes, euerie one of them rich, because they cannot enioy more then they doe: all happie, because they cannot become lesse then they are, and onely contend, who shall to their power giue him most praise, who hath filled their harts with such ioy, as neither eye hath seene, eare hath heard, nor heart, (but their owne) can conceiue, and furnished all their senses with such delight, as still they couet, but neuer want, still they taste, but are neuer glutted, because they no sooner wish, then haue, and euery taste giueth a fresh appetite. If the verie pauement of their streetes bee of most pure gold, and the foundation of their walles of most precious stones, thinke what ornaments are those which are within theyr Pallaces. No night succeedeth their day, no winters colde, nor summers heate, disturbeth that temperature, which an euerlasting spring-time maintaineth in liuely vigour. One Kingdome contenteth them all, and because they all hold it of one, in whome onelie they ioy, and by whome they enioy it; they know not how to liue, but as one; no one enuyeth at anothers good, both because euery one hath what his heart can desire, and also for that they all haue one obiect, which so mightily draweth all their powers to the continuall loue, and looking thereon, as they haue neither power nor leysure to apply themselues to any other, more then that they loue each other, in respect that euerie one loueth him, who, as each thinketh, cannot bee loued too much.

How daintily doe they seede, whose meate and drinke is loue? for if any thing delight without any likelyhood of euer loathing it, it is his loue: if any thing doe please without danger of poyson, it is his loue: if any thing bee able to quicken what seemeth quite dead, it is his loue. O howe well did the Poets aime at the truth, when they sayd that loue was a God, but shot much wide, when they fayned that hee was blinded, whose seeing onely, and being seene is that, which giueth life to all men, but neuer woundeth hee any against their willes, and whose heart hee woundeth, he salueth with the ioy of such a loue as is far more noble then themselues, and will not leaue the least loue vnrequited.

This soueraign Lord ouer so many happy Princes, his estate is such as cannot by any art be described, his glorious throne, no eye is able to behold, his profound wisedome no vnderstanding is able to comprehend, his authoritie no power is able to resist, hee liueth in light inaccessible, hee ruleth with maiestie incomparable, and because his verie name is ineffable, too much presumption it were to attempt to set foorth the worthinesse of his nature. In his workes hee hath shewed himselfe so prouident, as all may iustly admire him, so good, as all may aboue all loue him, so sweet as all may ioy sufficiently in him, but for any inferiour vnto him selfe perfectly to know him, where to limit his perfections, which are beyond all bounds, because they are infinite.

With this Emperour liued the aboue mentioned Princes, without any tediousnesse, desire of change, or any kinde of sorrow, being incapable of any thing but happinesse, vntill a maruailous rare and rigorous seeming accident befell them, for their Emperour hauing one onely sonne, equall vnro his father in power, might, and authoritie, and in no one poynt of perfection, degenerating from him, from both whome, for the infinite likenesse betwixt them, proceeded an infinite loue, hee deputed him to a publike, shamefull, and a painefull death, which did so amaze the Princes attendant, whose loue was no lesse vnto him, then vnto his father, that (might they haue beene suffered) they would all haue sustained that punishment to haue saued their Prince, but their offer was refused, for the sentence was irreuocable.

The motiue of this vnnaturall-seeming iudgement, was an exceeding great loue, which hee bare vnto a Lady his adopted daughter, who was so enchaunted by her owne folly, as of a most comely and beautifull creature, shee became so mishapen and so vgly, that shee was loathsome euen vnto her selfe. This enchauntment was by eating an apple, of which her father before had giuen her warning shee should not taste, vpon perill of that which should ensue thereof: but her pride was so great, that ingratefull to so good a Lord, and disobedient to so carefull a father, shee followed the motion which was made vnto her by a false, though a fayre spoken enemie, and eate thereof contrarie to her father his commaundement.

The Enchantment was so deuised, that hauing taken effect, it should not bee dissolued but by the death of the onely sonne of an Emperour, who should exceede all the princes in the world in giftes both of bodie and minde: he should bee peerelesse for his birth, riches, beautie, wisedom, and might; whose father should neuer know any woman, nor his mother any man, and should in the very selfe same instant both haue and want both father and mother. The liking by any such prince of such an vnlouely Lady being vnlike, and the birth of anie such prince or other seeming impossible, made the Enchanter secure, that this his work should endure for euer.

The Enchanter himselfe was one of more malice then might, but yet of more might then an vnrulie assailed could well resist. Hee was sometime a prince of the Emperour his court, & among princes a prince, being endewed with farre more excellent gifts then any his fellow princes, and exalted vnto that honor, as hee was reputed the chiefest vnder his Lord and Maister: but bearing himselfe so proudly against his maker, hee found by too late an experience, that hee who bestowed those graces vpon him, could also againe bereaue him of them, and because hee had once abused them with intollerable pride, hee should euer after be abridged of them to his eternal pain. To reuenge which disgrace hee assayed the Ladye the Emperour his daughter, and wonne her loue so farre foorth, as shee gaue more credite vnto him, then vnto her father, and would do more at his request, then at her fathers commaundement, for although she seemed at the first to haue a small liking vnto his motion, yet with faire promises, and too farre aboue his power to performe; in the ende hee made her giue a consent vnto her vtter ouerthrow, had not the Emperour his sonne being deputed by his Father thereunto, vndertaken to release her by the losse of his owne life.

The ransome being appointed to be disbursed infinitely exceeding that, which was to bee redeemed, too gracious for so vngracious a creature, and too bountifull for her, who wilfully made herselfe bondslaue, by selling outright a royall and reall good for a proud imaginatiue Godhead, a great difficultie arose in what manner it should be paid, for the prince being of so excellent a nature, that he was not capable of the smallest annoyance, and in so strong a hold, that hee could not sustaine the least harme, much lesse the losse of his life, it was needfull he should both take vppon him a nature, and abide in such place, as in which, and where he might effect his desire,

Here loue (which maketh euery one it possesseth to conforme themselues vnto their loue) quicklie determined what was in doubt, and make this conclusion; that hee should take vppon him the same nature, of which his sister was, and her peruersenes onely excepted, hee should in all thinges bee like vnto her, which conceit loue made so conformable vnto his former counsell, as the more hee thought vppon it, the fitter the meanes seemed to bring his purpose to a good passe. For first he thoght that hereby hee might in a most louelie manner enioy her companie, whome hee so entirely loued without giuing any cause of ielousie to her ouerdiligent keeper: Secondly, hee thought, that the keper taking him for his captiue, might the more easily be ouertaken by his carelesnes: Thirdly, he thought this nature fittest for his purpose, that shee whome hee loued being of the same nature, might the better gesse at the torture hee should suffer for her sake; because, by the shedding of his blood, hee was to worke her safety, and fancy him the sooner, who would aduenture so far to win her loue, who was not worthy of a good looke.

Wisedome therefore guiding the sterne as carefully, as loue seemed continually to fill the sayles, the prince proceedeth with no lesse policy then speede, and searching who of vnworthies was least vnworthy, (for no one was worthy to mother such a sonne) hee founde a maiden so farre exceeding all the rest, that he thought it both needles to seeke any further, shee was so fitte for his purpose, and impossible to finde her peere, she was so pure a creature, shee was descended of a princely race, but liued very obscurely, and although she were espoused to a mate, yet meant she to remaine a maiden. A princely ofspring was fittest to conceiue such a maiesty, and a poore maiden meetest to cloake so high a mystery, of her he determined to bee borne without a Father, who before all beginnings was begotten without a mother.

This maide dwelt in Palestina the chiefest Prouince of Syria, enuironed with Syria and Arabia on the east side, on the south with the desart of Pharam, and Egypt, on the west with the Mediterranean sea, and on the North with Mount Libanus: it was sometime called Chanaam, after the name of Noah his grand-child by Cham, who possessed this countrey after the great floud, which drowned all the world except Noah, and his familie, but by the principall Lord thereof it was promised to Abraham the great Patriarch, and to his ofspring: whereupon he forsooke Chaldea his owne countrey, and came into Chanaam, where hee and after him his children continued untill the famous dearth, which was in all the world for the space of seuen yeares draue them into Egypt, where after 400. yeares, as some say, or as other some say, after 200. yeares, their children returning (guided first by Moses, then by Iosue) ouerthrew aboue thirtie kings, & destroying many nations made a reentrie into the land, and euerie familie tooke a portion vnto them and theirs, as Iosue by cordes allotted it, which hee did with the greater facilitie, because it lay in length with litle breadth, betwixt the riuer Iordan, and the middle earth sea, for Iordan hauing two heades, the one from the mount Libanus, (not farre from the tower of Libanus) and was called Ior, the other from a mountaine not farre off also from Libanus, which was called Dan, both met at a city called Dan, (afterward Cęsarea Philippi,) and made one riuer, which is called Iordan, and runneth from these north partes of Palestina, by the East betweene Iturea, and Traconitis, into the sea of Galile, (otherwise called the poole of Genazereth,) through which it runens, keeping a streight course vntill it came to the dead sea, (which also was on the East side of the countrie, and reached vnto the mountaines which parted the south borders of Palestina fro the desart of Pharan.) The place where this sea is, was sometime both so pleasant and profitable, as it was compared vnto the highest his Paradise: insomuch as Abraham giuing his nephew Lot his choise, where he would go feed his flockes (willing to preuent such strife as was likely to grow between them by the falling out of their shepheards) Lot preferred this part before all the rest of the countrie, but the inhabitants increasing in wickednesse, as much as in wealth, prouoked God to so great wrath against them, that he consumed them all with fire, and all the countrie for the space of foure or fiue dayes iourney in length, and fiue or sixe miles in breadth, and this is the quantitie of the dead sea, which casteth vp many times great clods of clay, in colour like pitch, in smell like Brimstone, in holding togither that to which it is vsed (for it was long before vsed in place of mortar in their buildings) so strong as neither any force, fire, or water could dissolue it: and these valleyes (where the sea is) were verie full of this kinde of clay, before the countrie was destroyed. This sea breathed out very often great flames of fire, as if it had within it many furnaces, that, what with fire, and the filthinesse of the water, the trees within fiue miles compasse, did either beare nothing, or onely a likenes of fruit: for when it was touched or opened, nothing appeared but ashes, although before it were touched, it had an exceeding fresh, and liuely colour. Moreouer this qualitie had this sea, that what heauy thing soeuer was cast into it (so that it were no dead thing) it would neuer sinke: for triall whereof, Vespasian the Roman Emperour (by whom the countrie was last spoiled of her peerlesse beautie) caused certain men to be cast aliue into the sea, with their hands bound behinde them, who risse presently vnto the top, and lay there as securely from drowning, as they could haue beene vpon any drie land, and therefore perchance is it called the dead sea, not because no quicke thing liueth in it, but because it will not brooke any quicke thing, nor any thing which hath any similitude with life, as sufficient triall hath beene made by those, who when they threw in one candle lighted, & another not lighted, saw the candle which was lighted swim; and the other sinke.

The middle earth sea kept as streight a line vpon the west side of the countrie, so that Reuben beeing seated without the riuer Iordan, vpon the South, and halfe the tribe of Manasse vppon the North, and Gad in the middle betwixt them, the rest of the twelue tribes or familyes (for so were the people distinguished) tooke their portions in this sort betweene the riuer Iordan, and the middle earth sea, Iudah and Simeon, had the farthest south partes, next vnto whome were Beniamin and Dan, Nephtalim and Aser, were placed in the farthest North partes, and Zabulon bordered vpon them, the other halfe tribe of Manasse enioyed the middle of the land, and was neighboured on the south by Ephraim, and on the North side by Issachar: Leui, who had the Priesthoode, had no portion of land in this diuision, but had out of euerie portion certaine townes and commons about them, and in the diuision of the countrie, one of Ioseph his sonnes supplied his roome, and the other his owne fathers.

The whole country from Dan to Barsabee (that is from the farthest citie north, vnto the farthest citie south) containeth 67. myles, and the breadth betwixt Iordan, and the middle earth sea, is in some places sixteene miles, in other eighteene, which (euery mile esteemed a long houres iourney) seemeth to bee of no great quantitie. But this small compasse was sufficientlie recompensed with the great commoditie which the countrye did yeelde, for neither did the seas want great store of fish, nor the land great plentie of fruit, both of such things as did breed, and also of such as did bud, & for proofe of the latter two of these which were sent to take a view of the land, while the rest of the Israelites remained in the desart of Pharan, brought betwixt them but one bunch of Grapes vpon a Leuer, and thought that both had their full loade, yet were they not the least of such a stocke; as people nowe liuing are nothing like vnto them, either for strength or stature. And Ionathan, Sauls son, by no lesse then the losse of his life (had not the people saued him) prooued the Oracle true, which sayde, it was a land flowing with milke and honie. To conclude, what soeuer the world could afford, either to please mans sense, or delight mans mind, was within the compas of this little portion of land, which hauing equally round about it the East, west, north, and south, it self like a Princesse, sat in the midst of the whole world, to be admired by all for her beautie, and honoured for her soueraigntie, nowe lately triumphing that it could yet excell it selfe in bringing forth a flower, which passed al the rest in vertue, beautie, and sweetnesse, the fruit whereof being beaten downe, would of it selfe rise againe, and being eaten would neuerthelesse remaine for euer, it would giue sight to the blind, lims to the lame, ease to euery diseased, and life to those who are dead.

This flower grew in the top of a mountain in the north part of this (for this speciall cause) a most sacred land, 3. daies iourny from Ierusalem, the chiefest citie in the country, in a citie of the tribe of Zabulon, called Nazareth, for the beautie thereof, & pleasantnesse so called, for Nazareth signifieth a flower, yet hath it her principall worth in being a garde to her, who was for that time the flower, not onely of that country, but of the whole world, at the appearing of which vpon this mountaine, the lillies of the vallyes were ashamed of their whitenes, the roses in Hiericho blushed, whe they ordred their leaues to breath out their sweetnes, the Cedars of Libanus woulde neuer haue mustred theselues to make knowne their statelines, had not nature comanded them all to do this honor vnto their princesse, that they also appearing in thetr richest, beautifullest, sweetest & comliest attire, she might the more easily bee discerned to exceed them all, hauing in one what perfection was in them all, and what was not.

The seed of this sacred flower was Iudas, sonne to Israel, who was grandchilde to Abraham by Isaacke, the roote was Iesse, the stalke king Dauid, and his ofspring, the bud Anna wife to Ioachim, otherwise called Hely, or Eliachim, who hauing together from their youth liued in plenty, aswell of heauenly grace, as worldly goodes, onely felt this punishment of God, and this reproch of the world, they had no issue, for which cause Ioachim comming according to his religious custome to offer in the Temple, was vpbraided by the priests for his barennes, and iudged vnworthy to encrease Gods offeringes, whome God thought not worthy to encrease his people, which strake so great a sorrow into his hart, that forthwith he forsooke his house and friendes and liued as a man forlorne among his shepheardes. His wife also retyred her selfe vnto a priuate kind of life, best fitting the humor which now had gotten the maistery in her, yet shee frequented the Temple at Hierusalem, where shee seasoned all her prayers with this solemne vow, that if it would please God to rake from her that reproach shee would consecrate her childe vnto him in the Temple, and she was the more importunate in this kind of deuotion, because shee had heard, that one of like name and condition by feruent prayer, and such like promise made vnto God, obtained her sute, & she hoped she might (if so also God would) make her husband Ioachim as glad a Father, as Anna the mother of Samuell, made her Husbande Elcana.

How often did Ioachim also accompanie his wandering pensiue thoughts with a little, and that scant-settled comfort, when hee considered that Sara when shee was past child-bearing, had a sonne by Abraham? how often would hee increase this comfort, with calling to minde that Rachel, (for whose loue Iacob serued her father Laban fourteene yeares) was numbred among the barren vntill shee brought foorth Ioseph? Sampson would also offer himselfe many times vnto his thoughts, whome his father Manue neuer looked for, nor any other, because his wife was barren: and Samuel the Prophet and last Iudge of Israel, borne of a woman who was a long time barren, comming to poore Ioachim his maide, made him thinke it a thing possible vnto God, to giue him also a child, if it so pleased him; and herewithall he refreshed sometime his spirits, vntill his imagination recoyling backe vpon him, gaue him to vnderstand that Isaac was promised to Abraham, as one, from whom should spring the blisse of the whole world. Ioseph was ordained to saue the world from being destroyed with famine, when the earth yeelded no corne for seuen yeeres together, and therefore might it bee a great mystery, that hee made a ioyfull mother, who had beene barren before, whilst Lya Iacobs other wife, had brought foorth seuen children: the last onely of which being a daughter, imported a defect after plenty, which Ioseph supplyed. And although hee saw that the dissention betwixt the Asamones (who were both priests and princes did threaten vtter ruine of their estate (being alreadie in subiection to the Romans, and vnder the gouernement of Herod an vsurper of the kingdome) and therefore looked for a mightier then Samson, to deliuer them, as hee thought from that temporall bondage, yet withall he thought his part to be least in this worke, because that worthie which was to make this conquest, was to be borne of a Virgin. But neither conld he hope for an other Samuel, because the Messias approaching neare by all accounts, would speake no more so much by others as before hee had done but by himselfe, vpon which discourses (his sudden ioyes fayling him) he fell into his former griefes, and perswading himselfe that hee was vnworthie to father any great worthie, hee could not thinke that God would extraordinarily open his wiues wombe, after she had beene so long a time barren for a childe, who should not extraordinarily excell other children, wherefore hauing a conceit onely what God of his omnipotencie could doe, and not so much as any little hope of that which God of his clemencie would doe, he thought his miserie was so great, as iustly he could complaine himselfe of it, although he was so iust a man, as he would not repine against God for it.

So liued Anna frequenting the temple among saints, and Ioachim the fileds among sheep, fit places for such as were ordained to bring foorth a Saint-like mother of a sacred Lambes vntill the young Prince, who beganne to doe some honour to his mother, before shee was his mother, sent as solemne an Embassage to her parents, to foreshewe her comming into the worlde, as hee did afterwarde vnto her herselfe to further his owne. For while Ioachim, and his wife were at their woonted deuotions, a Prince appeared suddainlie vnto them, sent from him whose meanest subiect was no lesse then a Prince, who tolde them that they shoulde haue a childe, who shoulde bring them more ioy, then the want of one had bredde them griefe, and that the reproach they had sustayned by an infamous barrennesse, should be most honourably recompensed with a gracious fruit, and therewithall departed.

So straunge a message brought vnto them by a straunger, might haue seemed incredible, had it not beene pleasing vnto them, but being so welcome newes, they perswaded themselues that hee carryed as much truth in his mouth, as comlinesse in his person, and was so like one who woulde not deceyue them, that with most ioyfull mindes they well accepted the message, and expected what was promised vnto them, meeting therefore at the Temple, whither both repaired to giue GOD thankes for what they had heard, and embracing each other in signe of great ioy, likely to succeede an exceeding greate griefe, they returned home to Nazareth, where at her appointed tyme Anna was deliuered of a daughter, whom her parents named Mary, whose gracious priueledges were such, as no man is able worthily to expresse them and her perfections, so great, as the most perfect Angelles did admire them: for to which of the Angelles euer was it sayd as vnto her: Thou art my mother, this day was I conceiued in thee. Let it suffice then, that shee was to mother a sonne, who was most louing, and therefore would, hee was of infinite power, and therefore could not onely mende whatsoeuer might be amisse, but preserue her also from whatsoeuer was hurtfull: the first was a fauour which hee shewed vnto some of his seruants, the second was thought a priuiledge, meete to be bestowed onely vpon his mother, and hee was worthie of as great prayse for preuenting a mischiefe, that it should not light where hee loued, as if he had remoued it, after it had chanced to the otherwise vtter perill of the patient, and no lesse to be accounted to saue a soule, in awarding a deadly blow, then if he had cured the wound, which without his salue was incurable.

Thinke louing children, what, mooued either by naturall affection you would worke, or by supernaturall loue yee could wish, if one way or other your intention might take effect, to honour your mothers as well for your owne dignitie, as for theirs, and that no doubt did this Prince for her, toward whom hee bore as much loue and dutie, as any child could beare vnto his mother. After that shee was three yeeres of age, shee was brought vnto Hierusalem, and consecrated vnto God in the temple, that famous temple, whose building was so stately, as it might verie well bee admired by all, but whose ornaments were so costly, as they could not bee valued by any, whose riches were so great, as they were able to enrich the greatest Monarch of the world, but whose scituation was so strong, as without famine or treason it was not to be wonne.

It was builded vpon a mountain called Morea; where Abraham was appoynted to sacrifice his sonne Isaac, in whose seede hee had promised all nations should bee blessed, and vpon which the Angell was seene putte vp his sword, who by Gods commaundement slewe 70000. of the Israelites, because they made not their offering (as they were commaunded by the lawe) at what time King Dauid caused them to bee mustered from the one end of Palestina to the other.

This mountaine was scituate in the middle of the world, and was vnaccessible, but on the East side, for the exceeding great steepenesse, and ouer-hanging of the toppe thereof on all the other sides. The Temple was built by King Salomon, sonne, and successour to King Dauid, whom God chose to rule in place of Saul, the first King of the Iewes, and gaue order vnto him, in what sort hee would haue his temple built, and euery thing fashioned, which was thereunto belonging, which order King Dauid left with his sonne King Salomo, & infinit treasure for the performing therof.

The first part of the mountaine, where the going vp was, lay open for all men, as well Gentiles as Iewes, which came for deuotion vnto the Temple, where they might beholde right before them Westward a goodly great porch, which was built crosse the mountaine from the South part thereof vnto the North, vpholden with three rowes of pillars, which made the walkes double, the roofe was curiously wrought, it was of Cedar, a wood which rotteth not, fayre to the sight, and of as profitable as pleasant a sent, for beeing burned, it driueth away all venimous Serpents or killeth them, the gates belonging to the Porch were many and high, all of siluer and guilt: within the porch were certaine places of good receite, betweene the doores, where the Priestes, or other appoynted for the purpose, receiued of the people their voluntarie offerings, and of euerie one aboue the age of twentie yeeres, when they were mustered for the warres halfe a sicle (which is at the least account a groate, some say two groates) and layde it vppe for the repayring of the Temple. Heere liued those Priestes, which in theyr turnes did minister in the Temple, and in these places were also seates, wherein the Doctours did reason of the lawe, and expounded it vnto the people, and this porch was euer after called Salomons porch, euen when it was destroyed, and another built in the roome thereof, and the Court within it distinguished by that name from other places of the Temple.

Through this porch was it lawfull onely for the Iewes to passe foorth by those gates into a court, which they accounted as an holy place, where they did their deuotions, as wel women as men, but the court was so diuided, as each sex had their part seuerally from other, & a seueral entrance into it, but in such sort, as both might looke into another open court westward, which was diuided fro the with a wal 3. cubites high (a cubite is half a yard in measure) made with three rowes of stones one vppon another: and the top of the wall was a Cedar: At this wall stood such singing men as belonged to the temple, when their feast came, in which they vsed musick at theyr sacrifice, and ouer the same wall did those leane, who sometime tooke occasion to speak vnto the Iewes: but into the court which was diuided from them by this wall, it was not lawfull for any to enter but the Priests, and such as serued at the altar, or such of that tribe, as vppon some accident onely were vnfitte for that seruice, as by beeing blinde, or lame, or hauing such like impediment: but although these were admitted into the Court, yet it was not lawfull for them to put on any apparell belonging to their function, but they sate together in their lay apparrelll, & had part of the sacrifice which was offered, yet some do thinke that they were not admitted into the court. Some saye that the Nazarites were admitted into this Court, when they hadde ended theyr time, for the which they hadde made theyr vow neuer to drinke any drinke which might disteper their brain, or eate grapes or of grapes kind, but to serue God in a more peculiar sorte then they did before: during which time also it was not lawfull for them to cut their haire, but when they were to beginne it againe. In some this vowe was perpetuall, in others but for a certaine time, and this time of their vow, they were to beginne againe so often as they went to any deade body, although it were of Father or mother, or so oft as any shoulde by chance in their presence bee slaine: for in all such cases a Nazarite who had liued 5. of his 6. yeares in this profession (for some vowed for more yeares, some for fewer as themselues would) was to cut off his haire the same day, and the seauenth day after, and offer a sacrifice commaunded by the law, and beginne his time againe, which after hee had finished, his haire was cut off by the priestes, and burned, also a sacrifice was then offered, and he restored to liue afterward, as he did before he made his vow. Those men who were able, offered also 50. sickles, the women 30. if they were not able, the priestes were to vse their discretion.

Also those women were licensed to come into this Court, who could not by any other meanes satisfie their iealous husbandes, then with certaine circumstances to offer a sacrifice in the temple, appointed by the law, which sacrifice the priestes took out of their hands, and offered after that they had drunke the holy water which was giuen vnto them to drinke, with certaine imprecations, first written in parchment, and read vnto them, then washed out of the parchment into the earthen pot of water which they helde in their hande to drinke, the curses were, that if the woman were guilty, her belly shoulde swell with a dropsie, and her right thigh rotte, both for a punishment to her selfe, and an example to others, but this experiment was not seene vntill the tenth moneth after that shee had drunke the water, and then if shee were not guilty, her health did sufficientlie shew it, and many times it chaunced that the innocents were blessed with a young sonne. This water had this vertue by Gods appointment, not by any thing which was in it, for it was as other water in it selfe, and had nothing but the ashes of a red cow in a peculiar sort sacrificed, cast into it, by which it was annointed as holy water, and other thinges also were sanctified, or purified vpon which it was sprinckled with a branch of Isope, but beside all these thinges mentioned in this aforesaid ceremony some of the dust of the tabernacle or Temple, was taken vppe from the pauement, and put into the potte of water, which the woman had to drinke.

But notwithstanding, that some had thought that the Nazarites and those women entered into the Priestes Court, it is not vnlikely that they passed no further then the gate, where all those ceremonies might with sufficient conueniency bee perfected, but this is not much materiall.

This Court had but one gate, and it stoode in the east side thereof, whither the people brought the sacrifice, and deliuered them vnto the Priests, & the wal was made so low of purpose, which diuided the priestes from the rest, that the people whithout might behold the priests at their sacrifice, beside the aduauntage which they had by the scituation of the mountaine, which alwayes did rise the higher the nearer the top, where only stood the temple it selfe, so that those which were without the outmost court, might behold both the temple, and the priests at the altar in the court.

The altar was of brasse, 20. cubits long, 20. cubits broad, & 10. cubits high, to which the priests ascended vpon plain and euen ground, when they went to offer sacrifice: likewise all things, which they vsed about their sacrifice, were of brasse. There was also a great Vessell of exceeding pure and cleare Brasse, such as with which women sometime vsed to dresse theselues, as now they do in glasses, which they offered vp vnto God, when liuing in the world they forsooke the worlde. The vessell was round, fiue cubits high, and thirtie cubits in compasse: it stoode vpon the hinder partes of 12. brasen oxen; which looked three toward the east, three towarde the west, & as many toward the north and & south, here did the priests wash their hands, and their feete at cockes before they offered sacrifice: and because it was so great, and contained so much water (for it helde for the most part eightie tunne, and was capable of thirtie more) the Iewes called it a Sea, as they did euerie great quantitie of water, and as it was spent it was supplied againe by the Gabaonites, a people which dwelt among them by this slight.

When the Gabaonites heard that the Israelites were come into the countrey, and ouerthrew all who resisted them, they apparrelled themselues in old clothes, tooke stale bread in their bags, & sower wine in their bottels, and came as if they had dwelled in some countrey farre distant from Palestina, to craue peace and friendship of the Israelites. Iosue and the rest of the people seeing their attire as if it were oueworne with iournying, and their prouision for the stalenes thereof scantly to be eaten, granted them their demand: but afterward vnderstanding that they were inhabitantes of the land, and could not call backe their word, they deputed them for euer after to cut & carrie wood, and water, & do what drudgerie soeuer belonged vnto the temple.

In this court were also 10. other vessels of brasse, euerie one of them contayning about the quantity of a tunne & a halfe, wherin they washed the beasts after that they were diuided to be offred, for before they were quartered they were washed in a ponde, which stood below the mountaine on the Northeast part thereof in a great market place (which serued for the vse of the temple) and were brought vp to the priestes by the Gabionites. These ten vessels were ech of them foure cubits high, & foure cubits at the top betweene the brimmes. They were the narrower the nearer they were to the bottome, and set vppon broade square peeces of brasse of a great thicknesse, & very curiously wrought with image worke: they stood vppon wheeles, which were so perfect in all points, as if they had beene to remoue from place to place. Fiue of these vessels stoode in the North part of the court, and fiue in the South part, the brasse whereof these vessels were made, was esteemed more precious then golde, and the quantitie thereof belonging vnto the Temple, was so great, as no man knew it.

Close by these vessels of brasse, and by the altar, were conueyances vnder the ground for the bloud of the beasts, which was shed, & all the water which was spent, and it passed without any annoyance through the mountain into a brooke called Cedron, which ran along by the East side of Hierusalem into the dead sea.

At the west end of this court the priests ascended by staires into a porch, which was 120. cubits high, where stood two pillers, one vpon the right hand of the entrance, and the other on the left hand, each of them 18. cubits high, & 12. cubits in compasse, they were hollow, & not aboue 4. fingers thicke, the head vpon each pillar was 5. cubits high, made like vnto a lilly, compassed with a network chaine, which went 7, times about the lilly, adorned with Pomgranates, one hanging downe, and an other made in the border going about, to the number of almost 200. all were of brasse, pillars, & al things beloging vnto the.

The length of this porch, was from the south to the north, 20. cubits, and the bredth from the east vnto the west 10. cubits: the ornaments of this porch, are not any where mentioned what they were, more then that it was gilded, but no doubt it was conformable to the house to which it did belong: for full west from this porch was a building 60. cubits long from east to west, and 20. cubits broad from south to north, it had 3. roofes one ouer another, all which togither cotained in height 120. cubits, and in the two vpper roomes were kept the chiefest riches belonging to the temple. It was built with square white stone to the top, which was flat, couered with cedars (as the maner of building was in Palestina) and had battlements round about it fiue cubits high. About this (except the east side) were other buildings as great as the narrownes of the mountaine would suffer, 3. staires high, whereof the lowest was 5. cubits broade, the middle 6. the highest 7. they were all of them seuerally fiue cubits long, and 20, cubits high, they had windows only northward, & southward, but they were verie great, because through the came the light to the middle building, which was diuided in two parts, with a wall which left a roome of 20, cubits square toward the west.

The outmost part had the walles couered within with Cedar, which was carued with image work of Cherubins, palm trees, and other deuises, vpo which were plates of gold carued in the like maner, & layd so close as if all had bin but one peece of work, euery image in the wood had the like in gold, so fitted vnto it, that when al were couered with the gold, they shewed as perfitly, as before the golde was fastened vnto them. It had a roofe 30. cubits high of Cedar carued after the same maner, & couered with golde: the wall next vnto the porch was 10. cubits thicke, wherin were two double folded doores of firre-tree, both the foldes of equall breadth, fiue cubites, which were couered as the walles were, and so artificially made, as whether they stood wide open or close shut, they could not be perceiued to be dores, for being shut, they seemed part of the fore-front of the wall, and being opened, they couered the thicknes of the wall, in such sort, as by no meanes it could be seene where they hung, or where they were ioyned. Some say that in euery one of the 4. corners of the entry was a single doore, fiue cubits broad, that the inside toward the teple, when these doores were shut, was as one wall, as well as the out-side toward the porch. The windowes were only in the South, & north wals verie broad within, & narrow in the out-side, right against the great windowes in the out-buildings. Within the south part of the wal which was ten cubits thicke, was a paire of round turning stayres, which serued to all the out-buildings, for they were so made, as one opened into another, euen vnto the farthest on the same floure. In the north part of the same wall was another paire stayres, to goe vp into the middle roomes, which were right ouer the temple, yet some are of opinion that the former stairs did serue also for those rooms.

In the middle of this temple, neere vnto the inward roome, was an altar of Setim, which is acconnted the lightest, cleerest, and most beautifull of all trees, and hath this propertie, that it neuer rotteth, it was one cubit square, and two cubites high, it was couered within & without with gold, and made like vnto a censor, but that at the foure corners for the greater ornament, were foure pillars of the same wood, couered likewise with golde. Some do say that this altar stood within the inmost Temple, and that in this place was an altar made of Cedar by Salomon, and couered with gold as the other: others say, that Salomon onely couered that of Setim with Cedar and gold, so that both were but one altar, and stood in the middle of this outmost temple. It was sometime called the golden altar, somtime the altar of incense. In the South side, toward the west, stood a candlestick of gold, wherin on each side were 3. branches or armes carued, as also the bodie thereof, with lillies, cups, and balles: in this candle-sticke were seuen lights maintained day and night, the snuffers, the vessell that held the oyle, that which receiued the snuffings, & whatsoeuer els belonged vnto the candlestick, were of gold. In the north side, right against the cadlestick, was a table of Setim 2. cubits long, one cubit broad, and a cubit & a half high, it was couered top & sides with golde, & round about vpon the top of the edges of the table, were two crowns of gold, the vndermost was wrought, the vppermost was plaine. Vpon this table euery Sabaoth day were set 12. new loaues of vnleuened bread, euery loafe of 8. pound weight, 6. in a heap, one vpon another, & were called bread of proposition, because they were alwaies sette by the Iewes in Gods sight in the temple, to acknowledge that they liued by him, vpo the tops of those heaps stood 2. cups of gold, full of most pure incense, & at the end of the weeke the bread was taken away for the priests vse, & fresh set in their places, but al the incense was burned. Heere also were tenne other tables, little worse then that, fiue stood in the North side, and fiue in the South side, whereon stood a hundred cuppes of gold for the Priests to drinke in: also here were tenne other candlesticks of gold, which stood in the like order: before the doore of this temple hung a vayle of miage worke, in foure most liuely and rich colours, white, scarlet, redde, and skie-colour.

The inmost building diuided with a wall full west from the former temple, was twentie cubits square, and differed nothing from it, but onelie that the doores were of oliue, and the pauement of Cedar, but couered with golde as the other were: it was accounted the holyest place in all the temple, and no man might enter into it, but the high Priest, nor hee but once in the yeere.

In the middle of this temple stood the Arke, which God taught Moyses to make in the wildernes, after hee had led the Israelites out of Egypt through the redde sea dry-foote, at what time Pharao King of Egypt pursuing them, was drowned, and all his armie. It was made of Setim, two cubites and a halfe long, one cubite and a halfe broade, and so high: it was plated within and without with most pure gold, at euery corner was a ring of gold so bigge, as on each side of the Arke a strong barre of Setim couered with gold, might go through them, for the conuenient carriage thereof, when it was remooued. The couer of the Arke was plaine and of fine gold, so long and broade as the Arke was, vpon which stoode two Cherubins of gold with their winges spread from one end of the couer vnto the other, and they stood as if they were one loking toward the other. This couer to the Arck they called a propitiatorie, because from thence did God promise mercy vnto his people, when he was sued vnto by the high priestes: Within this Arke were the two Tables of the law, which God himselfe carued in a stone, and gaue to Moses. Here was also a golden pot with Manna, which was the onely food, by which the Israelites liued after they came forth of Egypt for the space of 40 years, it was of that qualitie (as some say) that in the eating, what delicious meate soeuer the eater desired, hee found the tast thereof in his mouth, certaine it is, that it was a most pleasant food, and although it would not remaine aboue one day vncorrupted (except onelie when they gathered to keepe for their Sabboath dayes victuall) yet not without a speciall miracle it continued in this pot many hundred yeares. Aaron his rod was here likewise kept, which was set in the tabernacle with twelue other, by the florishing of which, his election to the Priesthood was manifested vnto the people, and he preferred before the other twelue princes which stoode in contention with him. In this Temple stoode also two other Cherubins of Oliue couered with gold 10. cubites high, their winges spread in bredth euery one fiue cubits they looked both towarde the east, on each side of the arke stoode one, so that they filled the whole bredth of the Temple with their winges, & couered with them the toppe of the Arke. The dores stoode alwaies open, and before the entrance hong such a vaile as hung before the dores of the outmost Temple.

Foure hundred yeares, and more continued this Temple in this glorie, vntill Sedechias (who was left king of the Iewes by Nabuchadonosor king of the Chaldees) rebelled against him (encouraged perchance by mistaking the Oracle that hee should neither be slain in fight, nor see Babilon) for which cause Nabuchadonoser pressing the Cittie with famine, forced him & his children with others to flie by night, and vnderstanding so much afterward by his espials followed them, and tooke them in the chase, and when they were brought before him, hee slew Sedechias his children in their Fathers sight, then put out his eyes, and led him captiue to Babilon, whether before hee had carried Ioachim, otherwise called Ieconias, who was nephew to this Sedechias, and king of the Iewes, and had yeelded himselfe vnto Nabugodonosor. The victorie obtained against Sedechias, the Chaldees returned to Ierusalem, and tooke the spoile of the Temple, and afterward burned it down to the ground, for which cause and other abuses offred by Nabuchodonosor and his childre, vnto those holy thinges which belonged vnto the Temple, himselfe liued abroad seauen years amongst beasts, eating nothing but what they eate, nor hauing any other defence against hard weather, then what they had and his grandchild in short time lost his life, and left his kingdome to the Medes and Persians, who setting the Iewes at libertie, gaue them leaue to build their Temple againe, but not in that ample maner as before it was, being enformed by those who were bad neighbours to the Iewes, that the maiesty and strength thereof would encourage them to reuolte from their obedience, but neither had they been able to perform it if they might haue had licence, hauing beene in captiuity seauenty yeares, and spoiled of all their substance, yet had they to helpe them vntil it was built, thirty talentes yearely allowed them by king Darius, whereof 20. were for the setting it vp, and tenne for their sacrifice, and all the vessels which were remaining of the spoile, with Nabuchodonosor carried out of the first temple, were restored vnto them.

Being this second time builte it continued aboue fiue hundred yeares, but it was many times in danger of vtter ruine, as by Alexander the greate king of Macedon, who in his voiages in which he conquered all those east partes of the world, came with a full resolution to spoile Ierusalem and the temple, although at the sight of Iaddus the high Priest, attired in his priestly ornaments, he altered his purpose and allighted from his horse, and worshipped him on his knees, saying that in the same attire God appeared vnto him, and encouraged him in his valourous enterprise. It was also in daunger, when Antiochus (called Epiphanes) did tyranize ouer them, for they were oppressed sometime by one, somtime by an other, and in the end became subiect to the Romaines, who were contented they shold obserue the rights of their law, but appoynted Herod a stranger to bee their king, yet was he much worse welcome then acquainted in the countrey, for hee had borne office before in some part thereof, vnder Antipater his father, but hee was willing in what hee could to win them vnto him, and for that cause hee circumcised himselfe, and became a Iew in profession, who was an Idumean by birth, & framed a new temple of square white stone, some 25. cubits long, some 45. with breadth, & thicknes correspondent, which appeared a farre off like vnto a mountain of snow, where it was not couered with gold, & when it was al framed, he pulled down the other, & set vp this, for the Iewes would not suffer him to destroy the old temple, vntill they see a new readie to bee erected in the place thereof, which was so goodly a thing, that it was reuerenced by the heauens, for neuer fell any raine in the day time, while men were at worke about it, but onely in the night, some small showres, lest their worke should be hindered.

It was much bigger then was that, which Salomon built, for the people in time had enlarged the mountaine with earth, which they raised 400. cubits high, but Herod altogether obserued the same order in the temple & the courts, sauing that he enclosed one court round about the temple, which was curiously paued with all manner of rich stone, and compassed it with double walkes, diuided with white marble pillars, one stone in a pillar, 25. cubits hie, out of which were some gates opening toward euerie quarter. In the east part hung such spoyles as the Iews had taken from barbarous nations, & dedicated vnto the temple, where also Herod placed such as himselfe had taken from the Arabians, but in the south side were the principall walkes, for they were diuided with such pillars as the other were, but where the other were double, in this side they were triple, and the middle much higher then the other two, yet all made so stately, as it was a wonder to behold them, and into this court might any whosoeuer enter. He made also the entrance out of one court into another with stayres, for out of this court the Iewes did ascend fourteene steps round about the temple, vnto a plaine, which contained ten cubits in breadth, from which they ascended againe fiue steps, to come to the porch wherein were the gates, by which they entred into their court, which they called holy, and into which no Gentiles might come vppon paine of death, and because no man should pleade ignorance, being deprehended past his limits, this law was written both in Greeke and Latin, and hung in a table at the foote of the lower stayres, that all the Gentiles might reade it. Euerie Alien which shall presume to enter into the holy place, lette him die, which lawe was so straightly obserued, that the Romanes, who were their rulers, dared not to goe any farther then the first Court, but neither could the Iewes enter into it, which were not pure according vnto their Lawes.

To this Court were foure gates in the North side, and foure in the South side, couered with siluer and gold, as also the posts ouer the gates, and on which they hung, but two gates which stood in the East, one right before the other, farre exceeded them all: by the first whereof, entred both men and women into the porch, and from thence by two priuate doores, into the place allotted to theselues, & this was called the great gate of the Temple, by the other onely men vsually did enter into their Court: and this gate was of brasse; called brasse of Corinth, a confused mettal of gold, siluer, and other mettals, of which they of Corinth framed their Idols, and with which they adorned their temples melted altogether, when the Romanes tooke the Citie, and burnt it downe to the ground. This gate for the woorth and curious workmanship aboue the rest, was called the beautifull gate, and was so great that 20. men could hardly shut it.

To this gate the men ascended by fifteene steps, and entred into their court, which was diuided from the court where the Priestes offred sacrifice, as in the first Temple, but although it were not lawfull for the women to passe through the beautifull gate, yet they might come vnto it, to deliuer vp what they offered.

Heere did Ioachim deliuer vp his charge, and dedicate his childe to the seruice of God, and Anna his wife was not a little proude, when shee had wherewith to performe her promise, wherefore with no lesse ioy then Ioachim, shee fulfilled her vow, and made a present vnto God of the first fruits of her wombe, for many places were prepared in the Temple for such purpose (seuerall from the Priests and Leuits, who lay there while they performed theyr weekely function, for whome, during the time, it was not lawfull to drinke any wine, nor accompanie with their wiues, much lesse might they bee in continuall daunger of committing sinne, such puritie and sobrietie was required of those, which ministred at theyr altar) and in those places liued many, both young maidens, and graue matrons, such, (no doubt) as hauing forsaken the world, and the pride thereof, continued at the doore of the tabernacle (before the Temple was built) in fasting and prayer, yet was this difference among them, that the yonger sort might after their religious education, bee giuen in marriage by the Priestes, according to the accustomed manner, but the elder women continued there vntill theyr dying day, as appeareth by Anna the daughter of Phanuel.

It is manifest also, that those places were not open indifferently to all commers, because that Iosabe wife vnto Ioiada the high Priest, and sister vnto Ochesias king of the Iewes stole away Ioas, who was sonne to Ochesias, and hidde him and his nurse (for as yet hee was an infant) sixe yeeres in the Temple, lest that Athalia (Ochesias his mother) should also murther him, as shee had many of the kings linage, because shee would both bee sole Queene, and rule the more securely.

But now the teple is not a secret receptacle for Ioas, who after should bee king of the Iewes, but it is a stately habitacle for Marie, who afterward should be the mother of God, and therefore inferiour to none who was no better then a creature. Both censors, and sents, altars and sacrifice, golde, siluer, and setim, and whatsoeuer was valued precious in the Temple, was nothing woorth in comparison of this virgin. A person worthie so noble a house, and a most rich house enriched by the presence of so noble a personage. A common thing it was among the Iewes to lay vp in their temple in a dangerous times their chiefest Iewels, but now the temple is become Gods chiefest treasure-house, and a defence for a more sacred temple. That temple was built by Salomon, and this by a greater then Salomon, that was dayly ransacked, yea and sometime raised to the earth. This dayly rose vntill it reached aboue the heauens. The treasure of that was such, as it allured men to vice: but the treasure of this was such, as it prouoked all to vertue. And it was so much more excellent in all poynts then the temple of Salomon, by how much it is a more worthy thing to be Gods mother, then his manour, although also she wanted not this title of honour, which euery faithfull soule is sayd to haue, when it is called Gods temple: for being pronounced full of grace, no doubt she was accounted also the chiefest of Gods temples in that degree.

In that temple was the arke, wherin were kept the tables of the law, which God deliuered to Moses; but she was temple and arke, wherein was the Lawgiuer himselfe to bee included. There also was kept part of that Manna, which fed the Israelites in the desart; but now is she presented in the temple, who was to keepe a bread of so much more perfection, As Manna was but a shadow of bread in comparison of it, and to counteruaile Aaron his rod, a rod of more fauour, then was that which King Ahasuerus held out to Queene Hester, and which hath giuen more incouragement to demaund whatsoeuer wee want, and hope to obtaine it,

She remained in the temple vntill shee was fourteene yeares of age in praier and meditation, carrying as much lowlines in her mind as chastitie in her thoughts, neuer lesse idle then when she was alone, and yet neuer weary of her company: for in that she seemed afterward to be troubled onely at the angels maner of salutation, it appeareth she was as well acquainted with such a presence as others, to whome (as infallible true hystories affirme) it was nothing so dainty as now to vs to see an angel) otherwise, no doubt, he had manifested himselfe vnto her, as before he had done elsewhere, when he told Zacharias that he was Gabriel, and one of those, which stoode continually before God.

Nowe began the Priestes to thinke vpon the bestowing her, but they could not thinke on any who they iudged worthie to match with her: shee made them acquainted with her vow, to remaine perpetually a virgin, and they were afraid to put her in daunger of breaking it.

The Scribes, who were interpreters of the lawe, and other of the same sect, but of more subtile learning, and therfore also differing from them in name, and were called Pharisies, vowed many times virginitie, or chastitie for certaine yeares, which they obserued most strictly: and for that purpose (as at all other times, so especially at these) they neither tooke much ease, nor eate much meate, but day and night applied themselues wholy to prayer. Also some of the Esseni (which were diuided into foure sects) liued all their life time virgins, but neuer vntil this time did any of the other sexe professe such a kinde of life, which troubled the Priestes the more, yet in the ende being resolued by diuine inspiration to bestow her, they found out one of the same tribe of which shee was, who although his auncesters also had beene Princes of the Iewes, yet was hee but a poore Carpenter, and to him they gaue what was most excellent in the whole worlde, choosing for her safetie, rather a well disposed, then a wealthie husbande. Ioseph (for so was the Carpenter called) receyuing her at the Priestes handes, was according to the custome of the countrie espoused vnth her, at a solemne meeting of their friendes, which was done by the taking of their names, by such as were in authoritie for the purpose, but afterward her parents kept her at home vntill the day came of her marryage: during which season, they were accounted as husbande and wife, and as fast linked, as if they had beene marryed. And her sonne before hee became her sonne, wrought maruailouslie to her contentment in Ioseph, least at any time her virginitie shoulde haue beene in ieopardie, for who would haue iudged her to haue meant to remaine a Maide, which see her take a mate, her selfe beeing of tender yeares, and her husbande no olde man: but Ioseph (hauing the same minde that shee had before hee marryed her, or perswaded by her after hee was marryed, as shee was enformed (no doubt) by him who wrought it) that shee shoulde preuaile with him in that matter, did neuer so much as purpose to preiudice her vowe, which shee had made of perpetuall virginitie, but being moste truly and properly her husband, he resolued to behaue himselfe onely as a most constant, faithful, and chastly louing friend.

By this meane was the Enchaunter deceyued, taking her for no pure maiden being marryed, and the worlde satisfied afterwarde, when shee was with childe, which else woulde haue iudged her to haue done amisse. Thus did the Prince conceale from his aduersarie what was doone, and left him to iudge as hee lysted of that, which was neuer doone, and as of himselfe the aduersarie was not of power to enter into the Virgins thoughtes; so was hee also restrayned, that his knowledge might deceyue him in her deedes. And although that hee coulde neuer perceyue that euer shee gaue consent to anye such act, yet was shee of such a nature, as hee knewe shee might, and being maried, he thought it so likelie a matter as he hoped he should not by her in any sort be restrayned in his malice, yet because he knew the time approached neere, of which had beene many prophesies of the end of that wickednes hee had wrought, he could doe no lesse then feare, and withall, bee verie watchfull: but the yong Prince beeing more wise then the other was wilie, and more cunning to conceile, then the other was to conceiue, gaue him leaue by some accidents, to coniecture his neerest miseries, but yet kept him altogether vncertaine of the cheefest misteries.

The Virgin being in her fathers house, retyred in her chamber, as shee vsed to bee, a Prince of the Emperour his court came vnto her, either one of those which was wont to visit her, or some of higher qualitie, whom shee was most ioyfull to see: but when shee heard him salute her after an accustomed manner, shee beganne to bee afrayd, and to tremble for feare. Hayle full of grace (saith the Embassadour) our Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women. And how could shee, that was mother of all humilitie, not blush to bee told that shee was full of grace? howe could shee choose but bee astonished to heare him, who, or his like was woont alwayes before to speake nothing but truth, now say that, which she thought was verie farre from the ttuth: shee doubted not, but that her Lord of his kindnesse was continually with her; but shee could not resolue her selfe that shee was so gracious a creature in his sight, as to bee saluted by this name Full of Grace: shee was woont to bee called Marie, to which name shee neuer feared to aunswere, but now that shee heareth one called full of Garce, humilitie would haue assured her, that the Embassadour meant some other than her, but that shee neither had any thought of any others being in place, nor the Prince any power to fixe his eye, but vpon her. Here therefore made she a stop, and stayed vpon this salutation: for easily would she haue consented, that the woman was most blessed aboue all other women, who was full of grace, but her humble thoughts would not graunt that shee was this woman. Whereupon falling into a verie deepe meditation, whereunto this vnwoonted salutation should tend, shee changed her colour so often, as her imagination varyed, making with her, or against her, which the Embassadour perceiuing, hee awaked her as it were out of some troublesome dreame, and soluing all her doubts, sayd thus vnto her.

Feare not Mary, for thou hast found grace with God, behold thou shalt conceiue in thy wombe, and shalt beare a sonne, and thou shalt cal his name Iesus, hee shall bee great, and shall bee called the sonne of the most high, and our Lord God shall giue him the seate of Dauid his father, and hee shall raigne in the house of Iacob for euer, and of his kingdome shall bee no end.

When shee perceiued, beeing nowe named, that shee was the partie to whome the embassage was to bee deliuered, and was also perswaded that her Lord had that care of her, that hee would not suffer her easily to bee deceiued, either with any fayned shewe, or that which was not, or false promise of that which could not bee: with a modest boldnesse shee demaunded of him, how so great a mysterie should bee wrought in her, being a thing well knowne vnto his Lord, and her, that shee did not knowe any man: which shee spake with that constancie in her gesture, and shamefulnesse in her countenance, as the Embassadour might very well coniecture, that as she did not mistrust his message, so shee meant not to preiudice her vow she had made, of perpetuall keeping her selfe a maiden, and therefore he returned her this aunswere. The holy Ghost shall come vpon thee, and the power of the most high shall ouer-shadow thee, and therefore that holy one which shall bee borne of thee, shall bee called the sonne of God, and behold, Elizabeth thy cosin, shee also hath conceiued a sonne in her old age, & this moneth is the sixt of her, who is called barren, because no worke shall bee impossible to God.

This Virgin, who had profited so much in vertue, as nowe shee was become peerelesse, seeing right wel, that without any blemish to her honour, shee might entertaine such loue, as was offered her by him, who was of so high renowne, as shee might presume hee would not, and so absolute, as she might be throughly perswaded hee could not doe any thing, whereby either repentance should fall to him, or any shame redound to her, to satisfie the expectation of the Emperour, his sonne, and all the Princes attendant on them, which seemed at this time to mind nothing else then her answere: shee yeelded her selfe to her Lords will, and with more humilitie then Abigail to king Dauids messenger (when hee sent to demaund her consent vnto him in marriage) shee sayde vnto this Prince Embassadour, Behold the handmaid of my Lord, bee it done to me according to thy word.

Her consent obtained, the Embassadour gaue her a farewell mixed with such ioy and reuerence, as if hee had beene loth to detract time to be gone with so great good newes, and yet could not but stay a while to doe his dutie, but being of that agility, that hee could passe so much space in a moment, as is betwixt heauen and earth, & dispatched himselfe with that speede, that in a trice hee both encreased a ioy in the place where hee was, & began another in the place from whence hee came. Whereupon Loue, who is impatient of delaye, caused him from whom, as well as from his father, proceed infinit loue, with all his might to pursue this matter, & the wole Trinitie working miraculously in the wombe of the Virgin, & gathering of her most pure bloud together, framed therof in one instant, a perfect body, & no sooner could that body enioy the soule which was created for it, then the emperor his son vnited the whole vnto him, a work as worthy praise as wonder, & so wonderful, as reason hauing tyed it selfe to discourse of this worke, leaueth off, & beginneth to do nothing but wonder for which cause one among the rest, being wearied with ouermuch musing, began to refresh himselfe a little with his Muses ln this maner.



Whom earth, the sea, the heauens,
   doe worship, praise, adore,
King of this threefolde frame,
   the wombe of Marie bore.
To whom Moone, sunne, and all
   do seruice in their turnes:
Chast bowels beare with fall
   of grace, which from heauen comes.
Blessed such a mother,
   within whose wombe is closde,
Her heauenly maker,
   holding from being losde
With ease the world, and blest,
   for that she had receiude,
By angels mouth addrest.
   a message she belieude,
That she conceiuing by
   the helpe of holy Ghost.
He should within her lie,
   Whom Gentils wished most.

But although others lost themselues in the consideration of this diuine mysterie, the Virgin no doubt was so perfectly instructed in it, that shee found as much knowledge, as she had felt comfort, and her comfort was the more, because her knowledge was so great, and remembring that the higher shee was in calling, the more lowly best beseemed her to bee in her carriage, shee did alwayes with most humble thoughts attend vpon high conceits, neither thinking at any time too well of herselfe, for that shee should mother so worthy a prince, nor yet so vnwary as to giue any cause, why from thence forth hee should disdaine her to bee his mother.

Among other her comforts, she remembred what the Embassador had said vnto her of her cosen Elizabeth, whome before shee loued, but now she longed to see, and if the wayes presented themselues in her imagination very long, her desire looked to bee preferred, which was in heart also very great, & and the time of the yeare being both fit and pleasant to trauel in, enuited her ernestly to the iorney, to a citie called Hebron, in the mountaines of Iuda, liing southward from Ierusalem 22. miles, one of the most famous cities in Palestina for antiquitie, and of greatest renown, because it was sometime the kings seat. The inhabitants of this place were sometime such men (or rather monsters) as neither eye coulde without horrour beholde, nor eare without feare heare speake: here was Dauid who slew Goliah the Giant in a single combat with his sling, annointed king, and ruled all Israell by the space of seauen yeares, a place also for this cause had in reuerence by all the worlde, for that Adam the first parent of all mankind, here is said to haue forsooke the world, here also was Iacob the great Patriarke buried, & his father Isaack, who was miraculously in this place coceiued by Sara, when shee was by natures course past childbearing, from hence Abraham issued with 318. of his men, and ioyned with him the 3. brethre mabre (who gaue name to the valley ioyning vnto it) Aner and Escoll, & pursuing 4. kings conquerors ouerthrew them neare vnto mount Libanus, and broght back all the spoile which they had taken out of the richest part of the country, and was here also afterward buried. A place notoriously worked fro the beginning of the world with an oak which continued there 400. years after the incarnation of the young prince we spake of, & it was one of the 46. cities which were allotted vnto the priests to dwel in.

Hether hastened the virgin, if not so well accompayned as noble & welthie parents could send their only daughter, aswel for her gard, as theit own credite, yet neither was it likely she wold caresly of her selfe haue strayed so far alone, nor her parents suffer her to go without some company, being so far fro the basest blood in Palestina, as they were of the best, & none of the poorest, who coulde spare vnto the temple one third part of what they had, & an other to relieue the poore, but her chiefest gard was inuisible, and therefore it was inuincible, for if euer any princes with child trauelling was choisely attended on least any hurt should befal vnto her, or vnto that shee wente with, much more was shee and euery thing so well ordered, as she neither felt any inconuenience in long vneasie wayes (being a yong maiden) nor found any inconuenience in her iorney by her burden (being lately become a mother) for it is not to be thoght that he which came to bring ease for his enemies, would breede any paine in his best friendes.

But no sooner had shee set foote into her cosens house and saluted her, but the child within her cosens wombe bewrayed who shee was, and Elizabeth by diuine instinct, cried out with a loud voice beginning where the Prince Embassador had ended his salutation, and saide vnto her: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy wombe, whence is this to mee, that the mother of my Lord doth come vnto mee? for beholde as the voice of thy salutation sounded in myne eares, the infant in my wombe did leape for ioy, & blessed art thou which didst belieue, because those things shall be accomplished which were spoken vnto thee by our Lord.

The sunne although it appeare vnto vs to bee in a cloude, because there is a cloude betwixt it and vs, is not altogether depriued of his power, but giueth some light, and by his light life, where it lighteth, and the sonne of iustice hauing builte his glorious throne in the wombe of a virgin, where hee did as it were ascend vppon a thinne cloude, shall he lease his vertue, and not rather worke, not of any necessitie, as a natural cause of such like qualited effects, but voluntarilie, as a liberal and free agent of supernaturall graces? How may wee thinke woulde hee draw vnto him, if hee were once exalted, who drewe so mightilie being imprisoned? for although his imprisonmente was rather for his owne pleasure, then vppon any others compulsion, and his keeper such, as ioied she had him, rather for that perfect loue she did beare vnto him, the for any priuate gain she ment to make of him more, then that she might by this meane get him to seale her a patent, by which she might be assured she shold loue him, and be beloued againe with an enles loue: yet was he a prisoner, & a close prisoner, & to that end at this time a close prisoner, that after once he had gotten liberty, he would bring it to passe, that no man but by his own falt should die a perpetuall prisoner.

He drew not as the Adamant stone draweth iron, & there holdeth it, neuer again to banish it, neither euer to beter it, but he drew as a most pretious stone hewed out of a rock of infinite vertue without the hands of men, battering euery thing which cometh neare vnto it, if it be capable of goodnes, although it batter that all to pieces where it lighteth, if it fal vpon any thing which is brittle. It turneth iron into gold, and gold into inestimable iewels, being able to adde perfection to whatsoeuer is made perfect, and by the infusion of a gracious quality, to alter the most ramish and hardliest reclamed nature.

The maiden mother blushed at her cosens words, & began to muse how she shold come to the knowledge of this secret worke, but presently she perceiued that he had told the tales; who best might without rebuke, iudging it therefore no boot for her to conceale it, whe the riddle was so rightly read, with a modest downcast of her eyes, she acknowledged it, & therwithal in thanksgiuing vnto him vnto who she had receiued such an especiall grace, according vnto the custome of the countrey when any extraordinary cause of ioy was ministred vnto them, she brake out into this song.



My soule doth magnifie my Lord,
My spirit doth also accord
   To ioy in God my Sauiour.
For that he hath regardfully
Beheld his maides humilitie,
   Her meek and low behauiour.
Therefore all generations
From this time forth of nations
   Shall euermore me blessed call.
For he hath done great things to me,
Who able is in each degree,
   And holy his name aboue all.
Whose mercy also doth extend,
From one to other without end.
   The which of him do stand in feare.
With power and might of his strong arme,
He hath disperst them to their harme,
   Who proud & loftie minds did beare.
He hath deposed from their seat
Who in their owne conceit were great,
   Exalting humble minds for aye.
The hungrie he hath fild with good,
Vnto the rich he gaue no food,
   But sent them all emptie away.
He hath receiued Israel
His child (who euer pleasd him well,)
   His mercies forgotten neuer.
As he before had promised,
Vnto our fathers (which are dead)
   Abraham and his seed for euer.

 

There was so sweete a consorte in her countenaunce, and so exquisite a concorde in her cariage, that there was no need of other musicke to grace her song: the eare had so full an obiect of her voyce, and the eye had wherewith to delight it selfe so sufficiently with her lookes, that those which heard her, and see her as they had done impiously to haue taken her for a Goddesse, so had they done iniuriously, if they had taken her for lesse then the mother of God.

But while she and her cosen entertained inexplicable ioyes by these their mutuall and most kinde greetinges, Zacharias came with as hartie although a speechlesse congratulation vnto the blessed virgine, and gaue her as friendly a welcome as his dumbnesse would permit him. A sharpe pennance did Zacharias endure, but it was deserued, because hee knewe not how to doe any wrong who enioyned it.

This Zacharias was a priest and husbande to Elizabeth, honoured among the Iewes for his worthinesse, and highly esteemed by God for his vertues, punished with a momentarie losse, because hee was thought worthie of an eternall gaine: for while hee ministred in the Temple, and made his prayers for a childe vnto him, who coulde open the wombe of a barren and aged woman, an Angell appeared vnto him at the right hande of the Altar of incense, first frighting him with his presence, then encouraging him with a friendly message, and tolde him, that his wife Elizabeth should beare him a sonne, whome he should call Iohn, in whose natiuitie hee and many other shoulde reioyce, with so many circumstances of so great importance, that Zacharias thought it a thing impossible.

Whereuppon the Angell meaning to assure him of his message, shewed vnto him that he was Gabriel, and sent vnto him from God, to tell him these good tidinges, but because of his incredulitie, hee shoulde remaine dumbe vntill the day came wherein all these things should bee done, and therewithall departed from him. But Zacharias presently founde by experience the signe was too true, which was giuen him of the childbirth, for comming abroade among the people, who had expected him aboue the vsuall time allotted for that kind of worship, hee saluted them with signes, & not being able to speake vnto them, they all vnderstoode that hee had seene some vision.

This notwithstanding hee continued still in the Temple, vntill the dayes of his office were expired, for all the Priestes did minister in their turnes, which being performed, they rested three and twentie weekes before they returned to doe their function. This order did king Dauid institute to auoyde a confusion, likely to growe among them, by reason of the multitude of them, for sending for all the priestes which were in his time, and finding foure and twentie principall families, he appointed that euerie familie should serue in the temple in their seuerall weeke, the order to be euer after kept, according to the lots then presently to be cast, which course also the Leuites obserued which serued the priests: and because Zacharias was the chiefe priest of his family, many call him absolutely the high priest, wheras among them were 23. more of equall dignitie, & no one of them greater then an other, as appeareth by that no one of them was preferred before the other, but euerie familie serued in the temple, according as their lot fell vnto them, and Zacharias was of the familie of Abias, to whom fell the eight lot: but aboue all these was one chiefe priest, to whome onely belonged the chiefest office in the temple, which was to enter into the holyest part thereof, and this was but once in the yeare, that is to say, the tenth day of their seuenth moneth, they accounted the first (for the most part) part of our March, and part of Aprill: & the length of their moneth to the first appearing of the new moone. The high Priest when he entred that place, put on a paire of breeches made with twisted silke (for when the law ws first giuen, men did weare no breeches) and they were so made for strength, but they were of most pure white silke, & exceeding fine.

They were tyed fast vnder his nauell, and reached to his knees: then he put on a garment of the same stuffe, which was open in the breast, and back, but to be made fast with hookes of gold, the sleeues were straite vnto his armes, it reached to his feete without pleite or fold, it was girt vnto him next vnto his bodie, a little beneath his armepittes, with a girdle foure fingers broad, but hollow like vnto the skinnes which Snakes doe cast, in it were manie flowers and precious stones, wrought in red, purple, skie-coloured, and white, so liuely as if they had beene set, not wrought: the ground was white, and it hung downe to his feete from the knot where it was tied. Vpon his head, he wore a Mytre wrought with white silke, which was tied behind with a silke ribband, that it should not fall off from his heade, when he stirred about the sacrifice. It was made like vnto a halfe Moone, and not so high, but that some part of his head was seene toward the crowne, and round about it were little ribbandes sowed one part of the one ouer some part of the other, but so cunningly as no man could perceyue where the needle was vsed.

Thus attired did hee goe into that part of the temple, which was called the holy of holies, with the bloud of a calfe, which hee sprinkled vpon the couer of the arch, and also the bloud of a Goat. Then comming foorth he laid his handes vpon the head of another Goat, confessing before God all the sins of the people, and praying that the punishment due vnto them might light vpon that Goat, he caused it to be caried away into some desart, and there to bee left. After this ceremonie, he put of those vestments, and washed himselfe. Then was he attyred againe, adding to his former ornaments an other coat of sky colour, which was made open in the breast, & in the backe, and where the priest was to put foorth his armes, without any sleeues, and a welt of the same stuffe was sowed round vnto the edges where it was open: it reached downe vnto his ancles, and was wrought neare vnto the lower part, with pomegranates, in white, red sky-colour, and purple silke, in such order, as betwixt euery pomegranate did hang a little bell of gold, to the number as some say of 72. Ouer this coat he wore a garment, which came no farther then vnto his middle, it hung halfe before, and halfe behind, it was open in the shoulders, but the sleeues were close to his arme, and where it was open vnder the arme, it was to be fastned, by being sowed together, or with buttons. This kind of garment did not onely Priests, and Leuites weare, but whosoeuer applied themselues in any peculiar worship of God, but with this difference, that their garment was onely wrought with silke, without any other ornament. And that which the high Priest did weare, was wrought also with golde, and had vpon each shoulder, where it was open a precious stone called an Onix, which is transparent, and of a mixed colour betweene white and redde. In these stones were engrauen the names of the twelue sons of Iacob, sauing that in place of Leui, and Ioseph, were two of Iosephs sonnes, Ephraim, and Manasses: for Leui hauing the Priesthoode, and offering sacrifice, was a sufficient representation of that familie before God, for which cause principally were the others engrauen in the stones, and to bee worne at that time. These stones were set in golde, and in place of buttons to close this habit on the shoulders: but the stone which was on the right shoulder, as often as the high Priest offered sacrifice, did aboue his woont, and aboue his nature shine so bright, that it might bee seene a great way off, of which perchaunce the reason may bee, because on that shoulder were the names of the sixe eldest, among the which was Iudas, from whome he should spring, who should bee a light to the whole worlde. This habite was girt vnto him with a girdle of white silke wrought with diuerse colours, and intermingled with golde, the edges whereof were conueied into pipes of gold, and this also hung down before. This habit they called an Ephod, and it had a farre more costly ornament fastened vnto it. It had a place in the middle of the breast without any worke, about a spanne square, to supplie which, was a peece of the same stuffe double wrought, because it shoulde bee of good strength, for in it were set twelue precious stones, in euery one of which were the twelue names aboue mentioned, engrauen, they were set three in a ranke, so that they made foure rankes in the peece. In the first order was sette a Sardius, a Topaze, and an Emerauld: in the second, a Carbuncle, a Saphire, and a Iasper: in the thirde, an Anthracite, an Achate, and an Amathist: in the fourth a Chrysolite, an Onix, and a Berill.

This peece thus beset with precious stones double wrought (as is saide for strength, because no doubt these stones were very great containing in euerie one of them twelue names) was fastened in the breast of the Ephod, with foure ringes of golde, which were in the foure corners on that side, which was next vnto the Ephod, in which were also foure other rings of gold, to which it was tyed with a sky-colour silke lace, but in the outside of the peece (in the vpper part thereof) were two greater ringes of gold, one in one corner, and another in the other corner, through each of which rings went a chaine of gold to the shoulder, through hollow pipes of gold, and was fastened by both the endes thereof to the vpper part of the Ephod in the backe, which for the purpose had twoo hookes of gold sette in it: and this little square rich peece they called Rationall, wherein they sayd was also put knowledge and truth, which was no more, then that the Priest putting it on him, when he put on the Ephod, and demaunding of God the euent of things to come, or the truth of things which were doubtfull, he was so assisted by Gods goodnesse, as he obtained that for which hee prayed, and could giue a right iudgement thereof: by this also when they went to warres, they alwaies knewe what successe they should haue, for if they should haue the victorie, the precious stones would giue an extraordinary glimse and brightnesse, to the great encouragement of the people, and although others putting on their Ephod, did often demaunde of God the euent of things to come, and had aunswere, yet none was so particularly ordained for this purpose by God, as this, neither was there so manifest a certainty, as was by this, for by the glistering of this, all the people might also diuine, without any doubt of their good or euill successe, for which cause the Grecians vsed to call it an Oracle.

Vpon his head hee wore a mitar like vnto the other, but it was couered al ouer with a skie-colour needle-worke, and in the fore-part thereof, hung plate of gold somewhat ouer his fordhead, tyed with a skie-coloure silke ribband behind his head, in which plate of gold were engrauen words of this signification, The holy of the Lord, but the word which signified the Lord, was expressed with these foure caracters, by which no man euer knew howe to spell it rightly, or at the least were afrayde to speake it, yet some presumed to call it Iehouah: from this plate backward went rounde about on both sides of his head a triple crowne of golde, wrought and embossed much like vnto the Henbane leafe.

In these ornaments the high Priests offred sacrifice that same day at the altar which stood in the Court, which was called the Priestes court, and at all other times when they offered sacrifice, and the reason why hee did not in this glorious attire enter into the most holy place, was because hee entred at that time to sacrifice for the sinnes of the people, for which hee went in, in a more humble sort, and all the people that daye did fast; but afterwarde in token of ioy, that all were cleansed from their sinnes, hee attired himselfe as is declared, and proceeded to a second sacrifice in the place, where the inferiour Priestes did offer euerie day, according to the order taken for the purpose, but their ornaments were no other then such, as the high Priest did weare, when hee entred into the holyest place of all holyes. This dayly sacrifice which they offred in the Court, was a lambe a yeere olde or vnder, which was without spot (that is, without any deformitie or disease either in skin or limbe) with somewhat more then a pecke of flower, a pottle of wine, and as much of the best oyle, and this was offered morning and euening, beside all other sacrifices whatsoeuer, or whensoeuer they were offered, and this was the second office of the Priests in the Temple, the third was to change the bread of proposition, which stood in the Temple next vnto the Court Westward, which was but once in a weeke, the fourth was to trimme the lampes in the golden candlesticke in the same place, and this was also doone morning and euening. The fift was to offer vp incense at the Altar, called the Altar of Incense, or the golden Altar, which stood in the same Temple right before the doore, by whch the high Priest entred into the inmost Temple, which office was performed euerie day morning and euening, whom Zacharias, because he would not beleeue what was sayd vnto him by the Angell, was bereaued of the vse of his owne tongue, so that the B. virgin might gesse at her welcome onely by the entertainement onely which hee gaue her, and was not to looke for any lip-ceremonies of him, who could not in that maner bid himselfe welcome, but had it not beene that truth could not haue beene contrary to it selfe, he who had sette a locke vpon his lips, vntil his child should be named, would haue giuen Zacharias his tongue as free passage to haue ioyed in his libertie, as his heart had often felt paine for his incredulitie, and not haue let the father make so many dumbe shewes of his inward griefe, who caused both the mother and the son in her wombe, to make so many open signes of their vnspeakable mirth, but his word being past, standeth still for a law: yet so farre forth, as his lips could doe heartie loues message, he omitted not what kinred inuited him vnto, and the custome of the countrey allowed him to doe, acknowledging that in his mind, which he could not vtter as hee would with his mouth, and because she was one, whose company could not bee too much desired, it was no small corasiue vnto him, that he could not giue her that entertainement which shee deserued, but both hee and his wife did their endeuour to let their guest vnderstand, that although neither the place, nor the companie were able to giue her condigne entertainement, yet that both the place, and the companye were at her commaundement, and shee as one who had her minde well fraught with humilitie, thinking too much homage could not bee exhibited vnto her childe, nor too little honour vnto her selfe, requited their forwardnesse with as friendly, but humble thankes, minding in no one poynt to be wanting vnto her coosens, if at any time they should stand in need of her seruice.

The dayes of her abode with them, seemed to them both too short, their discourses euery day waxing sweeter then other, and the nightes were iudged too long, although they promised still they would bee shorter, which both cut off their talke too soone, and kept them too long asunder, hauing very ample and pleasing themes to delate vpon in the day time, and nothing but dreames of their day talke in the night time.

Elizabeth would discourse vnto her coosen, how the Angell appeared to Zacharias in the Temple, what hee promised, and how farre forth his promise was performed, with hope that he which punished an others false heart in his tongue, would not haue his owne tongue blemished with any falshoode, for no doubt Zacharias did seeke by all meanes possible to animate his amated wife, when hee sawe her in her dumpes for his dumbnesse, and for such cause woulde not sticke to write, that at the least in Tables, which hee coulde not vtter with his tongue, which shee laboured as a most gratefull lesson, vntill shee had perfectly learned his fortunate misfortunes, and perceyuing howe greatlie his incredulitie had displeased the Angell, shee often intimated to her Coosen, as at her first meeting, howe blessed shee was, who had beleeued the Oracle. And the virgin, when her warrant was sufficiently signed with her coosens silence, requited her with as straunge a storie in respect of the maner: but of a farre more noble, pleasaunt, and profitable a matter. For although her Coosen had supernaturally some notice thereof, yet was shee very farre from the knowledge of many circumstances belonging therevnto. Entring therefore into the discourse of her annunciation, she vsed few wordes, as became a Maiden, but such as might fitly proceed from the gre[illeg.]test Matron, leauing off when shee sawe her time, with a full period of her se[illeg.]ure speach, and giuing a greater appetite of knowing how in the end she sped, beside infinite other matters, which continually came into her minde, both of her sonnes greatnesse in himselfe, and his goodnesse toward others: for being his mother, & therefore not without iust cause iudging herselfe to haue the second right in him, she thought it fit she should giue place to no more then one, in the commendations of him, one thing onely seemed to afflict those poore women in the highest of their happinesse, that they might talke of perchance, and feele, but could neither see, nor here those sacred babes, which made them both so blessed mothers, yet did they often embrace, and kisse them in their mindes, whome they were sure they had inclosed within their sanctified wombs.

But Elizabeth whose time was at hande, was somewhat comforted, and the blessed virgin when shee espied her sonnes harbinger, was the more contented, the one seeing her ioy present, the other knowing hers not to bee farre distant. For although some do doubt whether she staid her coosens deliuerie, because it was the custome that Maydens shoulde not bee present at womens labours, yet the house contayning more roomes then one, woulde affoorde her another, vntill her Coosen were deliuered: and it is not likely shee woulde take so long a iourney, stay there so long, and then leaue her kinswoman whome shee so entirely effected, when she shoulde haue most need of her comfort, as being in labour in her olde age, with her first childe, whose worthinesse was such, as his father not beleeuing it, was bereaued of the vse of his tongue, he by her presence sanctified in his mothers wombe, and in whose natiuitie it was foretolde by the Oracle, that not onely his parents, but many other also shoulde reioyce. And although a diuine Hystorie dooth mention the Virgins departure, before it mentioneth Elizabeths trauaile, yet dooth it not say it was before her trauaile. And a festiuall day beeing celebrated in remembraunce of this visitation, the morrowe after the Circumcision of the childe, wee may probalye thinke shee stayed there vntill that tyme, comforting the olde couple with her companie, and delighting hir selfe with her young Coosen, who had as great affiaunce with her by spitituall giftes, as hee had by carnall generation. And if wee should allowe her but a fewe dayes to thinke vppon that which the Angell sayde vnto her, which was a matter not lightly to bee considered on, as also to obtaine leaue of her parents to goe vnto her Coosen, and to prepare her selfe for her iourney, she could not stay there three moneths, and go away before her coosen was deliuered.

No Ladies title was here giuen vnto her, much lesse the honour due to any princesse. Shee gloryed more in beeing an humble Coosen among her kinsfolke, then in her chiefest calling among the Angels, and being mother to the greatest prince in the worlde, she fayned her selfe at this downe lying of her coosen (as a most venerable writer affirmeth) to be seruiceable vnto his seruantes.

The day came, in which the child should be circucised, a ceremonie prescribed vnto the Iews to distinguish the from al the world, except the Israelites, otherwise callen Saracens (a people which ranged in the Desart of Pharan) for these did circumcise themselues, and the Arabians which descended of them, but not vntill they were thirteene yeeres of age, because that Ismael was so olde when he was circumcised. And in this they differ from the Iewes, who descending from Isaac, did circumcise their children the eight day after their natiuitie, as Isaac was, and as their lawe commaunded, vnder paine of death, which penaltie was perchaunce onely to terrifie the parents (as it seemeth) for during the time they were in the Desart, none were circumcised, which no doubt was through exceeding great negligence, for infants of 8. dayes old did aske little attendaunce, more when they were circumcysed, then otherwise, also when Moses was going from God vnto Pharao, to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, an Angell appeared vnto him and his wife in their Inne, making proffer to kill him, because one of his sonnes much elder, which hee had there with him, was not circumcised, at what time sodainely Sephora his wife, daughter to Iethro the Medianite tooke vp a sharpe stone, which lay by her, as the next instrument for such a purpose, and cut off the superfluous skin of her sons priuie members, after which done, the Angell departed, and this maner of circumcising with a stone endured euer after among the Iewes, great paine no doubt to little infants, and no great pleasure to such as at riper yeeres were circumcised, for it was lawfull for any to bee circumcised who would, and afterward to bee accounted in some sort as a Iew, but distinguished by the name of a Proselite, that is, one who passed from one Religion to another: and because there should be no confusion of families by this cohabitation of Iewes and Proselites, a verie exact order was obserued in keeping euerie mans pedigree, both in publike offices, and priuate mens houses, vntill the first Herod, which was king of the Iews, to this end, that there should bee no knowledge of the nobilitie from others, because himselfe came of a base house, and was no Iew borne, called for all those pedigrees, and burned the, so that neuer after was any kept publikely as before, but onely with priuate families, such as had them alwayes in theyr owne keeping before Herod was King.

Abraham the great Patriarch, the Iewes glorie, Gods especiall friend and worshipper, liuing vnder the law of nature, when hee was an hundred yeeres of age, by order giuen him from heauen, circumcised himselfe first, and all his familie, and from him, as the first father of circumcision, descended this ceremonie vnto all his posteritie, and because at that time that hee was commaunded to circumcised himselfe, God changed his name from Abram to Abraham: the Iewes also vsed at that time to take their names, by which euer after they should bee called, obseruing this custome in euery familie and kindred, that their children should either beare the fathers name, or of some other their kinsmen, which at this present bredde a mutinie among a menye, which came to Zacharias his house, eyther for kindred, neighbourhood, or wonders sake, but the greater part would haue had the childe named Zacharias, as his Father was, against which Elizabeth (beeing before instructed eyther by her husband, or some heauenly spirite) exclaymed, saying: His name should bee Iohn, to which the companie replyed, that none of her kindred were so called, and therewith they made signes to Zacharias to end this controuersie, who making signes to them againe for writing tables, and receiuing them, writ in this manner, Iohn is his name, and immediately feeling his tongue at his often wished for libertie, as if hee had beene nine moneths busied in setting a tune vnto a dittie, which contayned many worthy misteries, as comfortable words, he beganne to prayse God, and prophesie of his yong sonne with this canticle.



Blessed be our Lord God of Israel,
Who visiting his folke, redeemed them,
And hath erect for vs an horne of health,
Of holy Dauid his childs royall stemme:
As long before himselfe by others told;
Who sacred Prophets euer counted were,
Health from our foes (to whom our sins vs fold)
And from their hands who did vs hatred beare.
To shew his mercie vnto our fathers,
And call vnto his mind his holy will,
An oath sworne to Abraham we without feares,
Freed from our enemies, should serue him still,
In holines and iustice all our dayes
Before his face, and thou child a Prophet,
Shalt called be of the most high, whose wayes
Shall bee to make his paths before him straight,
To giue his folke knowledge of their safetie,
By pardon of their deedes doone sinfully,
Through the bowels of our Lords mercie,
In which he came to vs rising from high,
To comfort those with light, the which doe sit
In darkenesse, and in the shadow of death,
And that the waies of peace each one may hit,
Our feete from straying he also guideth.

 

His song being ended, and his enduring without ende, next vnto her sonne, whome in this songe hee acknowledged the author of his ioy, he thought the B. virgin was to haue her due, wherefore comming vnto her, he gaue her that honour which at that time hee thought meete, although hee dared not to giue her in open shew, so much as he meant her in his minde. And by this time the companye finding theyr sences, which they seemed to haue lost vpon this sodaine accident, beganne to whisper among themselues, what such straunge wonders should portend. An old and barren couple to haue a childe, was a thing full of ioye to theyr friendes, and maruaile to straungers, but Zacharias his speech restored vnto him after nine moneths dumnesse was to them both, both ioy and wonder.

They remembred when hee was first dumbe, (which by their account was immediately before the conception of the child) they did assure themselues that he had seene some vision in the Temple, but when they heard him at the circumcision of his sonne, not onely speake, but fore-show also matters of such importance to be now at hand, they could doe no lesse then coniecture that this child should beare some part in them, and therefore demanded they ech of other how think you will this childe proue? which doubt one which was present would soon haue solued, if he would haue bin seen, but it was somwhat too soone, & therfore he deferred it vntil a fitter opportunitie should be offred for that purpose, where we shall in part also vnderstand what this child proued, & for this time accopany the blessed virgin, who verie well vnderstanding the matter, when she saw her time, left her coosens with a friendly farewell, although they were greatly sorie for her departure, to comfort themselues in their little one, and the rest to diuulge those strange wonders in the mountaines.

Her guard was quickly in a readinesse to safeconduct her to Nazareth, where her parents reioyced not a little to see their daughter, and Ioseph was exceeding glad to inioy his spouse, who thought the time very long of her stay, and therefore requyted her long absence with his often presence after her returne, through which he perceyued the sooner that she was with childe, which did not onely checke in some part his loue, but also choaked all his ioy.

He loued her so intirely well, that hee knew not howe to hate her, and yet in his conceyte she had deserued such hatred, that hee knewe not howe hereafter hee coulde loue her. He meant truly and faythfully to haue kept his promise made vnto her, when they were betrothed, and hee could not but thinke it great disloyaltie in her towarde him by this supposed spousebreach, For the loue he bare vnto her he would not openly defame her, for then according to the lawe shee shoulde haue beene stoned to death, yet could he not frame himselfe to detaine her, becanse he conceiued an offence impardonable: and if at any time her vertues ranne in his thoughts to bee such, that it coulde not bee possible shee shoulde in so foule a matter fall from her faith giuen to God and him, yet againe hee thought it impossible but that she should be faultie, hauing such manifest proofe of a matter, of which he could conceiue no reason, but guiltines against reason. Not brooking therefore what he mistrusted, nor yet willing that she should be a by-word for the world, hee bethought himselfe that it would bee best for them both, if hee should dismisse her without defaming her, for although he saw euident perill of his owne life, as well by forsaking her whom he loued as his life, as by liuing with her, who had alreadie grieued him almost vnto the death, yet hee thought it would be an easier death, if he were altotogether from her, then to die in the dayly sight of her, whom he tooke to be his murderer.

But while hee was thus troubled in chusing by which torture he could best like to end his life, and in a manner resolued to dismisse her, crying out against heauen & earth, the one because he thought it had wrought him this wrong, the other to reuenge it, his eyes grew as heauie as his heart, and by a mourneful fall bereaued him of all his sences. And being now at some little rest, not because he had no griefe, but because he felt it not, hee thought hee saw a man whose attire, comelinesse, and maiestie, bewraied him to be no lesse then a prince, although some kinde of his behauiour shewed him to bee no more then a messenger, as bold to speake, as he seemed able to perswade him he thought he heard vse these words vnto him. Ioseph sonne of Dauid feare not to take Marie thy wife, for that which is bred in her is of the holy ghost, she shalbe deliuered of a son whom thou shalt call Iesus, for he shall saue his people from their sins. Which message being done, he departed. Ioyfull tydinges to poore Ioseph, but straight he feared that they wer too good to be true. He knew her vertue was such as she might very wel be thought the least vnfit to mother such a child, but againe he thought himselfe not worthy to husband such a wife: with which conceit being somewhat troubled, he awaked, and calling to mind the vision which he had seene sleeping, hee remembred also what he had often heard waking, that a serpent was threatned by a diuine oracle, & a perpetuall enmity pronounced betwixt him on the one part, & a woman, and her seed on the other part, which he heard expounded of a maiden, who should bring forth a son without the company of man, expressed sufficiently in that it was called her seed, and confirmed at another time by the same oracle to Achas K. of the Iewes, when it was told him that a virgin shold conceiue in her womb, & bring forth a son: & afterward an other answer was giuen, that a sprig shold spring from the root of Iesse (who was K. Dauids father) & a flower from thence shold bud, to shew that as a flower grew only fro one, so likewise shold he of who was so great expectation. And what strange or new thing this should be which the oracle did insinuate God wold make that a virgin shold conceiue a man, he could not imagin vnles it shold be vnderstood to be done without the company of a man, & that the infant shold haue what perfection could be in man, which agreed very wel with his visio. These & such like as her recounted in his mind, he recanted that which before he ment, & now hauing as great difficulty to beare the ioyes he felt, as he had before to brooke the fault which he found, he held it, & not without cause the gretest happines he could haue in this worlde to enioy the loue of her, whose vertue surmounted all who were vertuous, & were not vertue it selfe. She was a yong maiden, but of graue demeanor, able to haue prouoked the best mortified to loue, but she reproued euen in her face all maner of lust, for whom her modestie drew to admire her, her maiestie draue from thought of sinning by her: & although her pouertie sought to conceale it, her properties shewed her princely desent. Wherefore he thanked the heauens for his good hap, & began to thinke how he should make her amends, of whom he had conceiued so hardly.

But when he came againe vnto her, he stood stone still, as though either his soule had forsaken him, or his sences forgotten her: if only sorrow for his suspition past, & ioy of his present resolution had fought the combat, the quarrell might haue beene quickly ended, & poore Ioseph wold with teares either haue confessed vnto her his fault, or haue congratulated his owne good fortune, but a reuerence entring into the lists, preuailed against both, which made him as backward in his paces, as loue could make him forwarde in his lookes, wherefore shee perceyuing his eyes fixed so vpon her, as if he meant they shoulde not straye, and his heeles so fastened to the ground, as if he had beene minded they should neuer stirre, she beganne to be abashed at this so sodaine an alteration, and blushed to thinke whether she had giuen him any iust cause of so strange a salutation: but her conscience assuring her, that shee had beene alwaies as forwarde in shewing him all manner of curtesie, as she was free from suffering any maner of corruption, she encountred him with such sweet piercing lookes, as she encouraged him to prosecute his former professed loues, but in such sort, as ioy, griefe, and reuerence were moderators in his wordes, countenance, and behauiour. He confessed his iealousie, and suspition he had of her, & humblie craued pardon therefore, vowing himselfe for his pennance, vntill his dying day in sight of the world, a true and faithfull spouse, and in all his actions a most diligent and obedient seruant, he vttered his intention to dismisse her: and being so fully satisfied in the misterie wrought in her, he was now become a suter vnto her, that she wold vouchsafe to accept of him.

And she perceiuing that this worke could not possiblie proceed without his knowledge, recounted vnto him what had chanced vnto her, but with such humilitie & lowlines of mind, as was sufficient to haue perswaded a truth, & disswaded him from his determined purpose, if he had before discouered his iealousie vnto her. Wherfore after humble thanks to her Lord, who in such sort had supplied her bashfull backwardnes she embraced her spouse, who trembled for reuerence to touch her, and she did not onely pardon his offence past, but dispensed also with that pennance which hee had enioyned himselfe, so farre foorth as it concerned her owne person, but craued most careful attendance on him, whome shee had conceiued. Many wordes passed not betwixt them at this meeting, because they both were willing that this his fault, as it was quietly forgiuen, so it should also be quickly forgotten, but they could not parte without many ioyes, because they both had their wish, that this sacred conception, as it cleared her from all suspected faultes, so it should clense him from all superfluons fancies, and they liued euer after with such contentment & happinesse, that they neither enuied at the statelie port of earthly princes, nor desired the highest estate of the heauenly spirites, yet coulde they not but wish euery day her time were expired, that not onely they, but the whole world also might enioye whome they expected, for although a speciall choice was made of the Iewes, yet were not the getiles abandoned, being each as nobly born, as other, and both as one.

They both had their Prophetes, which did forshew his birth, that both might take like profite by his death. Among the Gentiles were Trimegistus, Hidaspes and the Sibilles, and the Iewes were not without those which foretolde both the time and the circumstances most iustlie.

The Gentiles vnderstood that about that time a king should be born, by whome onely (as the most eloquent Orator that euer spake in Rome saide) all people should be saued, but they vnderstanding no more then hee did, what this saying ment, some of them which thought well of themselues, beganne to cast how they might bee kinges, hoping that the Prophetes spake of them, for this cause did Lentulus ioyne himselfe in Catalines conspiracie, and Anthony boldly set a crown vpon Iulius Cęsar his head, when they sported themselues at their Lupercals, at which Cęsar seemed to grieue, and the Senate to grudge, and Cęsar refusing the crowne, Anthony to the dislike of all the Romaines set it vppon Cęsar his Image: others thougbt that Augustus Cęsar was the man, and the rather because hee was borne aboute such a time as vppon a strange accident coniecture was made, a mighty prince should arise, for the Image of Iupiter which stoode in the Capitoll, and the image of the Wolfe which nursed Romulus and Rhemus, as also many other Idols were either broken or melted, yet was Augustus a fauourer of Idols, and by sacrificing vnto them, acknowledged himselfe rather a bearer of them out, then a breaker of them down, but whosoeuer was born that yeare by the Senates decree was murdered, because the very name of a king was hated amongst them. All thought the appeariug of the sunne in a rainebow, (when the skie was rounde aboute then cleare) at Cęsar his returne to Rome from Apollonia, was a confirmation of this Empire: so likewise did they enterprite the flowing of oile by the space of one whole daye out of a well on the foreside of Tiber, (a famous riuer that runneth thorough Rome ) in a place hetherto permitted to the Iewes to inhabite, and to liue according vnto their lawes, but the well stoode in a Tauerne, sometime vsed by aged soldiers to soiourne in, when they had serued in the warres in defence of the common wealth, for after that a souldier came to his threescore yeare, hee had his certaine allowance vntill his death, which commonly was spent in that place? And when they sawe the sunne in the middle of three circles vpon one of which was a crowne burning made as it were of eares of corn, they applied it to their Triumuiri, that is, to signifie that three men shoulde sitte vppon capitall matters, on which onely two satte before, and were called Triumuiri.

But Augustus Cęsar who had searched their olde southsayers, saw hee was to waite for a greater then eyther they or himselfe was, or the Gods whome hee worshipped, and Apollo (whose sonne hee was accounted) confirmed the same, insomuch as hee refused the title of a Lorde, and hauing great treasure brought vnto him for to make Statues, hee would haue none dedicated either to him selfe, or vnto anye other then vnto him, who shoulde saue all mankinde, and vnto Peace, for hee had reade the Sibilles, which promised such a prince, and prophesied of the whole course of his life, among the which being ten of great fame all virgins, and of diuerse places, one which was called Cumana, of her cittie where shee was borne in the lesser Asia named Cuma, disciphering his birth, constitution, and his name, gaue forth this oracle.



Then vnto mortall men the sonne
Of an Omnipotent Father shall come:
He shalbe like vnto a mortall man
Clothed with flesh, with natures two but one,
In 6. letters is containde his name,
Foure vowels, two none, remember this same,
Eight & 8. tens, & one hundred ten times 8.
Declare his name vnto the faithles streight. [Side note: 1Kb]

 

These Oracles as they were with much maruaile receyued, so were they giuen with much maiestie: the manner thereof is thus set downe by one, who writte of Sibella surnamed Cumea, because she forsooke Babilon in Chaldea, and liued in a towne called Cumea in Campania a Prouince of Italie.

In Cumea was a Church of great praise, because it was of a strange bignes, and of as greate price because it was of one stone, in the middle whereof were 3. large vessels of the same stone, wherein this Sibill vsed to bath her selfe, and afterwarde being attyred with some precious robe, shee went into a more secret place in the same temple, in the middle of which was a seate like vnto a princes throne, shee spake of future thinges, as if they had beene present.

But Apollo who was accounted most cunning in reading riddles, after that hee had beene a long time ashamed to shew himselfe, and to the daunting of the whole world, had many yeeres beene dumbe, being fayrely entreated by Augustus Cęsar, and in the end importunated with a sacrifice of an hundred Oxen, to tell the cause of such an extraordinarie silence, hee made him this answere.



A Iew, a child in shew, a God in power,
Who rules all other Gods, commandeth me
Hence to depart, and dwell in hellish bower,
Hereafter silence must thine answere be.

 

Hereupon Augustus returning to Rome, erected presently in the capitoll, an Altar with this description: The Altar of the first begotten of God, for he was conuinced with these Oracles, and conceiued no reason, why this child could not as well cause these accidents which befell them in Rome, both in the heauens and in the capitoll, as haue power so long before to putte the Oracle to silence. Great shame it might haue beene for the Iewes, that Gentiles should giue such credite to euill spirits, if they had beene carelesse of diuine inspirations.

David a prisoner in Babilon, & a Prophet among his people, after that hee had foretold them in how short a time they were to returne to Hierusalem, hee added also that 69. weekes after, hee should come whom they expected, vnderstanding a yeere for euerie day in the week, which mount to 483. yeeres, at the which time the Prince was borne.

Israel by being whose children they were distinguished from other nations, lying vpon his death-bed, after that hee was 147. yeeres of age, called all his sonnes vnto him, and blessed them, foreshewed what should befall vnto all their families, and among the rest of Iudas, who was his fourth sonne, hee prophesied in this sort.

Iudas, thy brethren shall prayse thee, thy hands shall be vpon the necks of thine enemies, and thy fathers children shall adore thee. The scepter shall not bee taken from Iudas, neither shall there bee a ruler, who shall not be of his stocke, vntil he come, which is to bee sent, and he shall be the expectation of the Gentiles.

These notwithstanding, and diuers other tending thereunto, some were as forward as the Gentiles, and began to haue a great opinion of themselues.

Theodas a Iew, hearing that as mightie a Prophet as Moyses should about that time be raised, hee perswaded himselfe that he could as well diuide the riuer of Iordane with his word, as Moyses did the red sea with his wand, with which brags hee seduced many, but going to shewe the people this idle slight, he, and many of his followers were slaine.

Iudas of Galile, knowing also that about that time a Prince should be borne, who should redeeme the Iews, and that none but themselues should eate the labor of their hands, deuised how he might compas this conceit, & imperiously gaue a commandemet vnto the people, not to pay tribute vnto Cęsar, which many obeyed, euen to the suffering of exquisite torments, and cruell death, in so much as children, not without wonder, would abide great torture, rather then yeeld to accept Cęsar for theyr Lord, but in the end he with his followers failed of their purpose. Others seeing Herod confirmed in the kingdom, assured themselues that he was the prince which was so long before promised vnto them, because now first did the scepter faile in the familie of Iudas, for whe Nabuchodonosor carryed Ioachim king of the Iewes, captiue into Babilon, he left no prince ouer them, but one of the same familie, called Sededechias, vncle vnto Ioachim, & Sedechias afterward rebelling against him, & being carried away also into Babilon, none was accepted for king or ruler ouer the Iewes, vntill their returne out of captiuitie, at which time Zarobabel who was of the kings family, took vpon him the gouernment of them, but would not be called king, either because he was tributarie vnto the Medes and Persians, who since the Iewes their captiuity, had conquered Chaldea, & all the countries therabout, or els because perchance he did not directly descend fro the later kings of the Iews, for diuers had bin tributaries both to the Egiptians and Chaldes, who notwithstanding both were, and were called kings. Also when Antiochus Epiphanes, King of the Sirians, made war vpon the Iewes, and preuailed somtime by falshood, sometime by force against them, he vsed the victorie with such cruelty, that hee caused them to eate meate forbidden by their lawes, yea, and offer sacrifice vnto Idols, which he set in their temple, as also in other places, where were new altars erected for that purpose. But hauing brought their Princes to so low an estate, as they were accounted of no more then priuate men, yet before he could set vp a Prince ouer them, Mathathias, who by some small right was high Priest, and also of the tribe of Iudas (for those twoo tribes, and onely those might marrie together) gathering such vnto him, as would rather leaue their liues, then liue against their lawes, restsied Antiochus his power, and his children following their fathers example, remained high Priests and Princes ouer the people, so that the scepter still remained in the familie of Iudas, till Herod vsurped the crowne, into which by these meanes he incroched.

Aristobulus grand-child vnto Simon, the last suruiuing brother of the Machabees, sonnes of Mathathias, tooke vpon him the name of a king, neuer before vsed, since their captiuitie in Babilon, and dying without issue a yeere after hee beganne his raigne, leaft his wife (according to their lawes) as well as his kingdome vnto his brother Alexander, who had by her two sonnes, the elder was named Hircanus, who after his fathers decease, during his mothers widowhood, was high priest, and after her death was also king of the Iewes: the yonger who was called Aristobulus, aspiring to the kingdome by force of armes, made his elder brother to yeeld it vnto him, and to content himselfe with the high priesthood, which also not long after hee demaunded in like sort, as he had demaunded the kingdome. Wherefore Hircanus beeing too weake to resist his forces, fledde for ayde vnto Pompey, a noble Romane well experienced in wars, and had alreadie beene a conquerour of many Kings, who lay with a great armie at that time in Damascus, a principall citie of Siria, bordering vpon the north side of Palestina. This did Hircanus, partly because not long before had beene a great league of friendship concluded and kept betwixt the Iewes and the Romanes, and partly by the perswasion of one in some credite with him, whose name was Antipater, hee was no Iew, but of Idumea, or as some say, of Ascalon, (one of the fiue Dutchies of the Philistins, neere vnto the middle earth sea) and some to one of those Idolatrous priests which belonged to Apollo, or some other which kept his temple, and was stolne away by the theeues of Idumea, whence because his friends were either not able, or not willing to redeeme him, he remained vntill in the ende hee was one of their cheefe leaders, and in a skirmish betwixt them and the Iewes taken prisoner, but beeing found by Alexander king of the Iewes, to be both valiant and wise, he was made gouernor of Idumea, in which office he behaued himselfe so well, as the Arabians sought his friendship, and to confirme it, gaue him to wife a noble woman of their country named Cypros, and for his sake were euer after readie to ayde the Iewes, vntill some priuate quarrelles chanced to be betweene them, and when hee returned againe to Palestina, he alwaies fauoured Hircanus, eldest sonne to Alexander, and encouraged him to maintaine his right against Aristobulus his yonger brother. Nicholas of Damascus, who (when neede was) pleaded before Cęsar for Herod, and Archelaus, laboured to shew that this Antipater was descended of the kings of Palestina, & fetched his pedigree from the chiefest of those Iewes, which returned after their captiuitie from Babilon: but if Antipater or his children were the first which would seeke to gentilzie a base bloud, Nicholas will not be the last which will find it.

Pompey hauing giuen Aristobulus the ouerthrow, & carryed him away captiue to Rome, although hee restored Hircanus to his kingdome, yet he made the Iewes tributarie to the Romanes, & left Antipater as a president ouer the countrey, who because hee was in yeeres, committed Galile, which contained al the north end of Palestina, vnto his sonne Herod, and Iudea, which contained all the South part, vnto his sonne Phaselus, himselfe ruling onely in Samaria, which was the heart of the countrey, which when Antigonus, Aristobulus his sonne perceiued, and conceiued small hope of any helpe from the Iewes to recouer the dignitie which his father lost, he requested ayde of the Parthians, who comming with a great power, set vp Antigonus in Hircanus his rome, and led away Hircanus prisoner, & also Phaselus, but Antigonus, to the end that Hircanus should neuer after be capable of the high priesthood, disfigured him by cutting or biting off his eares, and Phaselus hearing that his brother had escaped, & hoping that he would reuenge his death, beate out his owne brains against a stone. Antipater not long before was poysoned by Malchus a Iew, and Herod escaping although verie hardly, trauailed with great paine to Rome, notwithstanding the time of the yeere was vnseasonable for so long a iourney, where declaring vnto Augustus Cęsar, and vnto the Senate, what had chanced in Palestina, he was created in the capitoll, king of the Iewes, and returning with a great power of men, after much bloudshed against Antigonus, whom Antony Emperour of the East, by an agreement made betwixt him and Augustus Emperour of the west, against which Antony, Tully thundred out in vain, & to his cost, so many phillipics, after he had whipped and crucified him, caused to be beheaded, and established Herod in the kingdom of the Iewes.

But although many were so besotted with Herod as to take him to be the Prince, of which they had so many prophesies, yet many others which see the scepter fayle in Iudas his familie, and knew that hee who was promised vnto them, should not onelye come when the scepter fayled, but be also of that family, and of Dauids stocke, expected dayly when he would shew himselfe, and set them at libertie, who liued vnder Herod in too much slauery, but Marie and Ioseph kept al things most secret, awaking themselues often with the consideration of this heauely misterie, & waiting the wished time of her happie deliuery.

And when the virgin had made prouision, not such as princes commonly affect, but such as their pouerty could conuenietly afford, she gaue her self wholy to the meditation of that, which had ful ofte broken her sleep, without any trouble, & bereaued her of her senses without any paine, and poore Ioseph was as forward in will, although he were not so highly fauoured as his wife, when suddenly did a speach arise, which wrought in him an vnspeakable will, and would also haue amased her, had she not beene well armed against all weather.

Augustus Cęsar, sole Emperour, both in the East, and West, (hauing ouercome Anthonie at Achum in Greece) as at other times before, so now sendeth order to the Presidents of euerie prouince, to gather the tribute due vnto him: the maner wherof was in Palestina, as it seemeth at that time, to take the names of the people, not where they dwelled, but where was the portion of land alotted to the tribe of which they were, and as neare as they could in the citie, which principally belonged to that family, which exquisite course of exacting the tribute, hath giuen a probable cause of suspition, that this was the first description, which was made of Palestina, by cause afterward we read, that one of the tribe of Iudah, and of the familie of Dauid, borne in Bethlehem belonging vnto the same tribe and familie, and brought vp in a citie of Zabulon, paied tribute in Capernaum, a Citie of Nepthalim. But whether this were the first description of Palestina, or no, it is not materiall. Ioseph being of the tribe of Iudah, and of the family of Dauid, was forced to depart from Nazareth, toward his country, there to giue vp his name, and to pay the tribute demaunded, which was ordinarily euerie fiue yeares, for euery man two grotes sterling, or foure groates as some say, beside what extraordinarie taxes were sometime exacted by the Emperour, as his treasure wasted. And most gladly would Ioseph at this time haue doubled the tax, that he might haue stayed at Nazareth: for Winter being but half gone, and therefore at the sharpest, and the virgin almost all gone out her time, and therefore at the biggest, it did not onely moue him to extreame melancholie, but menaced also an irreparable miserie: for Ioseph pitying as hee loued, and louing without limit, pitie caused that in him, which because he enioyed his loue, loue could not, so that now he began to languish, with thinking that she whom he so intirely loued, should be subiect to so perilous an accident, as not hauing many daies to reckon to her deliuerie, she should be compelled to trauaile no few dayes iourney. But shee who was alway aswell fraught with ioy, as she was full of grace, and assured that neither foule weather could wrong her, nor long waies weary her, to doe her any harme, hauing him in her wombe, who was to commaund both the earth and the heauens, comforted her husbande in such sort, as she both acquieted his minde, and quickned againe his spirits, that now he beganne to haue an assured hope hee should bring her happily to the ende of a hard iourney: in which after that he had once set forward, hee wayted more vpon her lookes, then he looked vnto his owne wayes, more then necessarie care commanded him for her easier trauaile, thinking not any thing did more then dutie, which either exhibited that which might ease her, or prohibited that which might displease her.

Three dayes iourney was Nazareth from Hierusalem, but all circumstances considered, very likelie they made it aboue foure, from whence they went to Bethleem: for although that Hierusalem were the chiefe Citie, and all the kings were of the tribe of Iuda (after king Saul) yet was Hierusalem in that portion of land, which fell by lot to Beniamin. Bethleem, was a Citie sixe miles south from Hierusalem, possessed by Caleb: at the Iewes first entrance into Palestina, he was a prince of the tribe of Iuda, and one of the twelue Princes sent by Moyses from the desart, to take view of Palestina, and also one of the two, which brought all glad tydings to enconrage the people, wherefore he onely, and Iasine, who was the other, of all the Iewes who were aboue twentie yeeres of age, (when these two returned backe to Moyses) entred into this land, the rest being all dead in the wildernes, for murmuring against God, who had promised to bring them thither. It was also the more famous for one called Abessan, who liued in the time that the people were gouerned by Iudges, & himself was iudge 7. yeeres, he married fro thence out of his house 30. daughters, & tooke home vnto him 30. wiues, for his 30. sons. This Citie was sometime called Ephrada, and the whole countrey about it, as some doe say, because that Ephrada (Caleb his wife) was there buried (but others doe shew that it was so called in Iacob the patriarch his time) and it kept that name, vntill a great plentie of corne came, after that death which caused Noemi and her husband and houshold to goe and dwell in the countrie of the Moabites, and after this plentifull time it beganne to bee called Bethleem, which is as much to say, as the house of bread: but when as that king Dauid was their annoynted king of the Iewes (for there was he first annoynted by Samuel) and because he was there borne and brought vp, as also his father, grandfather, and other his ancestors, it was called after his name, as the worthiest of them all, the Citie of Dauid.

The soyle round about it, was comparable vnto the most fruitfull part of Palestina, the Citie stood vpon the top of a reasonable high hill, which what it lacked in breadth, it had in length, the going vppe vnto it, was only on the west side, and that not verie easie, because it was somewhat steepe.

Hither came Ioseph and Mary, not so welcome as wearie, yet not so hardly vsed, as they were well contented, they enquired from one end of the Citie to the other, & neither for loue nor mony could they bee entertained, euerie house perchance in the Citie hauing some guest, might also haue some colour for their discurtesie, but any little corner in a house at such a pinch, could not but haue beene accounted great hospitalltie, they looked not for the best, they sought a meane host; but the verie worst cottage would not bee opened vnto them, this fauour onely did they finde, that being come in at the one gate, they might without any trouble goe out at the other, where by good fortune nature wrought that in beasts, which nurture could not work in men. A yong woma tired with trauel, & for in mans conceit it had beene more fit to haue been with hir midwife in some house, then to be wandering in the streets with her husband, moued people to so little pittie, as the beastes were thereof ashamed, and freely gaue them such house-roome as themselues enioied: for not farre from the East gate of the Citie was an hollow place in a rocke, either by nature, or art, made fit for the receite of cattell, wherein was a maunger, where stoode an Oxe, and an Asse, and into this rocke entered the wearied couple in the coldest time of Winter, where they neither had other companie, nor comfort, then is alreadie shewed, no bed was made to ease them, no boord was spred to refresh them. Some little what did poore Ioseph prouide in the towne to vittail the, and som what perchaunce had he from the beasts to lay vnder them: he got some light that they might see, aswel as feele, what they wanted. And when they perceiued the incoueniencie of the place to be such as they knew not where to make any little fire, they resolued themselues that patience and contentment must be their best fare: with which after they had spent halfe the night, and the virgin perceiued her houre was come to be deliuered, she applied her self vnto her wonted deuotions, & Ioseph being warned thereof, hastened to make ready such cloutes as he brought with him, when in a moment did he appeare in the world, who was before all worldes, and his mother taking him in his armes, swadled him in as good order, as either her skill, or her clothes would suffer her, and laide him in the maunger betwixt the Oxe & the Asse, who with their breath qualified the coldnesse of the aire round about him, her selfe also being readie to comfort him, what she could, least that he should suffer any inconuenience by taking cold.

Wonder (O ye heauens) be astonished, O earth, he who was prince both of heauen and earth, seemeth to haue forsaken heauen to lyue in earth. Was it euer heard since the beginning of the world, that one of such a nature, as neither any sense could discerne any portraiture, nor any science discouer his least perfection, should not only become an obiect to euery mans sense, but accounted also as an abiect in euery mans sentence? Lament, O heauens, your losse, and earth ioy in your gaine: if it bee to be iudged your gaine, that he who was begotten a prince in heauen, and in al points comparable to the mightiest Emperour, should be borne in so poore an estate in earth, as hee seemed a companion onely for the meanest begger.

Princes hauing choise of Pallaces, remoue sometime from one vnto an other, where they neither brooke the diminishing of their port, nor abate the least portion of their pleasure: but this Prince hath remooued himselfe from a large, stately, and a glorious pallace, where hee had much companie most noble, pure, beautifull, and sure vnto him, vnto a narrow, homely, and base place, where hee findeth small companie, of such condition: but for the most part poore, impure, deformed, and false vnto him. He remoued from a pallace, at the building whereof was neither any noyse heard of any toole, nor any noysomenesse complayned of for any toyle, it was with one onely word made, and made so firme, that vnlesse that word be again vnsayde, it is an eternall frame. From hence hee remooued not to anie other Pallace, any house, no, not to a poore mans cottage, but to a caue, not in Babilon, not in Rome, not in Hierusalem, citties famous, either for soueraintie, or sanctitie, no nor in Bethlehem, which was the least of a thousande in Iudah, but in a rocke without the towne walles, either as if hee had meant to haue made an escape from the world, or else, if the world had made a scorne of him,

The Caruer was iudged passionate, who wished his woorke transformed into his owne nature, keeping the shape which hee had giuen it. Runne Iewes and Gentiles, beholde your creature, who had power not onelie to wish, but also for the loue of you to worke himselfe into your natures, which argued a passion of more intention, and also of more perfection, in that the Caruer wished it more for his owne pleasure, then for his workes preferment, and what your Creator hath wrought, was to his owne paine, and onelie for his workes profite, for the compassing of which, he thought that this present condition, place, and companie so fit, as hee woulde not haue accepted any other, had it beene offered, for a more wealthie condition, woulde perchaunce haue obtained a more conuenient place, and hauing a more conuenient place, the virgin must haue had more companie, or if she had refused them, she would haue incurred a suspition, either to haue offended by some shamefull fact, or else intended some crueltie against her selfe, and her infant. And companie being admitted vnto her labour, the midwife at the least (if not all the rest) woulde haue beene priuie vnto this misterie, which was as yet to be kept most secrete. For the virgins labour was not such as other womens labour are, nor the childe in that maner borne that other childen are: for neither did she feele anie pain in her deliuerie, nor he leaue lesse integritie in her bodie then hee founde, that kinde of paine beeing the rewarde onelie of sinne, of which hee acquitte her, and corruption of bodie not without concupiscence, which neuer was acquainted with her: so that in all poynts shee was as pure and perfect a virgin after this natiuitie, as shee was the firste day after her owne. Such a mother onelie became Gods sonne to haue, and such a sonne was none, but a uirgin worthie to conceiue.

So was the Oracle fulfilled, which spake of a gate in the East, which should euer bee shut, through which no man shoulde passe, because the Lorde God of Israel had entered by it, and it shoulde remaine, shut for the Prince, who was therein to make his seate, and to passe in and out thorow it.

So was the figure verified, which being a bush flaming with fire, and not consuming, foreshewed a virgin should conceiue a childe in her wombe without any corruption.

So was the expectation both of heauen and earth in part satisfied, because he now beganne to runne his race like a giant (although hee seemed but a weake infant, who tooke vpon him to right the earths wrongs, and to repayre the heauens ruines.

But the higher powers, the heauenly spirits not able to containe themselues from communicating the cause vnto the earth of her ioy, which was not more sodaine then secret (for no doubt al the world at this time reioyced, although they knewe not whereat) left theyr Princely pallace for a time, and descended into a plaine (neere vnto a tower, whereabout Iacob once fed his sheepe, a mile distant from Bethleem) where they founde three poore shepheards, verie prouidently watching ouer theyr flocke, in a field where neither the cattell could lacke meate to fill them, nor their keepers foode to refresh them, beeing as fertile of Oliues to the ease of the one, as it was of grasse to the vse of the other, where one of the Princes saluted these shepheards, but with a kinde of reuerence vnto that shape, for their maister his sake who lately had vouchsafed it, and was as perfect in a peasant as in a Prince, beside, that by their office and abilitie, they made the representation of him the more liuely, whom they entirely loued, but the shepheards perceiuing a light beyond all their night obseruations to shine so bright, and in the middest thereof a stately prince, such as neither day nor night they had euer seene the like, were so much affrighted therewith that the prince thought it high time to harten them againe, and spake vnto in this manner: Feare yee not, for beholde I bring you newes of great ioy which shalbe vnto all people, for this day is borne vnto you in the cittie of Dauid a sauiour, who is Christ our Lord, this is your signe, yee shall find the infant wrapped in clothes, and laide in a maunger, which said, he ioyned himselfe vnto the rest of his company, and for exceeding great ioy began to sing with them this or the like Canticle.



[ Chorus 1. ] All glorie and praise be to God on high,
[ 2. ] And peace on earth to men of a good will.
[ 1. ] Such glorie as endures eternally,
[ 2. ] Such peace as none but ill wild men can spill.
[ 1. ] Glorie to God the which shall neuer cease
And vnto good wild men eternall peace.
[ 2. ] The heauens are full of glorie which is Gods,
The earth brings peace twixt those which were at ods,
[ 1. ] Glory & peace the ornaments of heaue,
The Lord of both to men in earth hath giuen.
[ 2. ] God will this glory shall continue still,
And peace twixt heauen & earth, if so me wil
[ Chor. 1-2. ] Glory be to him therfore, who made this peace.
And blessed earth which gaue so good encrease.

 

The shepheardes when they had consulted vppon what they had hearde and seene, they concluded to goe vnto Bethleem, to trie the truth of those their gladde tidinges, whether whe they were come, they found Mary & Ioseph in a rock without the town wals, & fast by them an infante lying in a maunger betwixt an oxe and an asse, & after that they had in their rustical maner maruailed inough thereat, in some rude sorte they did their small deuotion vnto their Lord, and then declared vnto the maiden mother, howe they were sent vnto that sacred place, by whom and for what cause, likewise what musicke they hearde after the message was done vnto them, but care of their flock excusing their short tariance, they tooke their leaue in the best manner they could, feeding the virgins thoughts with these words, & filled the world with wonder.

O happie shepheards, honoured aboue the highest soueraignes, in being chosen to bee beholders of this heauenly babe, blessed bee the eyes which see what yee did see, for many kinges and princes would haue seene what yee did see, and haue heard what ye did heare, and could not, but tell vs good shepheardes, tell vs what yee did see.

The king of glory, the glory of heauen, the heauen of Angels, the Angels ioy, the heauens ornament glories truest image, who was when no other thing was, although that others were, begotten before all worldes, although borne after that himselfe had builte the world, as old as the most auncient, although an infant of an houre, a prince of peace, but a conquerour of mighty powers, a mirrour of loue, but a reuenger of wronges, the God of might, but become a man.

O heauenly sight, but where good shepheardes did you see, what you say, and in what sort.

In Bethleem of Iuda, or to say more true, without Bethleem, because in Bethleem was no room for him, he lay a young, tender, and a most delicate infant, in a rude rocke, without the towne walles in the very sharpest time of winter; without any succour, but what hee receyued by the breath of an oxe, and an asse, which stood tyed to the maunger wherein he was laide, for although his mother could not bee far from him, yet had she not wherewithall to comfort him, but rather wanted cherishing herself, not being without some griefe to see her owne bowels lie shiuering for cold, who coulde with a worde haue made the heauens to shake, & whom Angels could not without terror behold in heauen, to lie trembling in a maunger.

O heauie sight, that the corner stone vpon which the safety of the whole world was to bee founded, hewed out of a rocke without mans hands, shoulde now be so laide in a rocke as it seemeth to be left almost by all but by a rocke. O hearts more hard the the most stony rocke. O heades more dull then the most senceles beast. O Bethleem hadst thou been so poore as thou couldest not, thou mightiest haue beene excused, but thou wert so peeuish as thou wouldest not, and therefore art thou iustly refused: had humility aunswered for thine vnworthinesse to receiue so noble guestes, happie hadst thou beene, and thou hadst beene made worthy, but a contrarie humor made thee swell so bigge, as thou wouldest not haue any spare roome for thy Lorde and maker, at what time both the oxe knewe his owner, and the asse the maunger of his maister, and sticked not by the instinct of nature to giue him entertainement, and the institutor of nature vouchsafed it.

Succour heauenly Peeres your prince, since that hee whome yee tooke delight to beholde in heauen, is destitute of helpe in earth, and disdained of such as yet knew not their owne dignity, forget that he choose rathero be a man then an angel, for now doth hee feele that he hath taken vpon him a nature which cannot helpe it self, and left an other which could haue helped others. Be present worthie princes at this spectacle, and giue diligent attendance vpon him and his mother, who pittied him as much as yee did, although shee coulde not profite him, well might his wailing make her weepe, being her owne most noble, tender and sweete infant, but all the helpe she could giue him, was scantlie worth the hauing at that instant.

O hardie shepheards to hazard sheepe and selues rather then foreshow the sight of this little infante: right worthie were yee to be lighted in the middest of the darkenesse with a more piercing light then eyther the sunne is by daye, or your starre by night: the fielde wherein you watched your flocke was lighted, the senses wherewith yee watched your selues were lighted, but your soules seemed to haue receiued the chiefest light which coulde so perfectlie knowe, whome your senses see, and for whose sake yee forsooke for the time your flocke, (except what ye saued to present vnto this infant) but go shepheards go, and shewe vnto the worlde whome yee haue seene in want.

O Ioseph thrise happie, because it was thy happe to light whereas thou couldest not chuse but like. Now doest thou see the Saint whome thou hast serued to be such, as neither heauen nor earth can shew thee the like. What sweet flowers haue budded in thy land, what soueraigne fruite haue blossomed, the time being now come, that the husbandman would pruine euerie tree, and trimme it for the last triall, whether it would rather carrie fruite worthie his pheere, or become fewell for a neuer wasting fire. The mournefull voice of a sorrowfull Turtle is heard in thy land, (because in his owne it could not) hauing lost his entirely beloued mate, for the recouerie of whome he would refuse no martirdome. Stand not therefore any longer wondring to heare him so grieuously lament, but rather trie if by wayling with him thou mayest lessen his woes, approach neere vnto this princely infant, whome although thou wert not worthie to father, yet must it bee thy worke to foster, hardly didst thou conceiue of thy spouse when she conceiued this infant, but happily didst thou receiue her, when thou wert better enformed, and now mayest thou see it waking of which thou wert warned sleeping, that shee conceiued without sinne, who was deliuered without paine.

O sweete office graunted thee with as sure a pattent, to be a garde to grace, a comfort to compassion, a nurse to nature, a supposed father to him, to whom princes sue for fauour. O trustie guardian of grace his truest gemme, to haue the sole custodie of thy Prince his chiefest spouse, to haue the sole conducting of thy prince his mother, & to haue the sole comforting of her when she was deliuered of thy prince, both worthy of thy loue: the one thy mate, the other thy maker, both worthy of thy seruice, the one thy God, the other his mother, both wanting at this time thy helpe, the one a tender infant, the other a young maiden. How vndoubtedly shal thy seruice be recompenced, thy loue requited doubly, & for thy present good will, shalt thou hereafter be presented with a crowne of glorie? Continue then thine accustomed care toward thy spouse, and her infant, that thou mayest bee a sufficient witnesse to the worldes wonder, as well of her motherly charitie, as thou art of her maidenly chastitie, and that at one, and the selfe same time she was both a pure virgine, and a perfect mother.

And thou diuine Ladie, most happie of all to be his mother, who was thy maker. O how well did those wordes of the Angell fit thee, when hee said thou wert ful of grace, being presently to be fraught with God. Behold now thy sweet infant borne into the world, who was nine monethes borne in thy wombe. Looke where hee lyeth for whose sight thou hast so much longed, embrace him at libertie in thine armes, whom thou haddest imprisoned in thy bowels. O how well did he prouide for thy comfort, who picked out so solitarie a place, where thou wert not likely to haue much companie, that thou mightest haue thy fill in looking on him, embracing him and kissing him, whom although thou seest lie crying in the manger, thou knewest hee was thy Lord and maker, and no lesse admirable in the sight of Angels, then amiable in thine. Thou neither needest to rise by night, nor yet to range by day, to seeke whom thy soule doeth loue, nor to aske of any watchman whether they did see him, for they which came through the citie vnto thee at night, would without any demanding demonstrate vnto thee where thy loue did lie. He sought thee, he found thee, he tooke such hold of thee, as hee meaneth still to haue thee: thy lappe must bee his board, thy bosome his bed, and betwixt thy breasts doth he resolue to build his nest.

Pouertie much hated by others, ought to bee honoured by thee, for that this meane estate hath brought thee more profite, then could a princely port. O happie want which compelleth thee vnto thy harts wish, for now that he hath not where els to lie, thy left arme must be a boster vnder his head, and thy right arme a border round about his bodie. Now that hee hath not where els to liue, thy cottage must bee his court, thy company his comfort. He is the center of thy thoughtes, about which they rowle. He is the loadstone of thine eies, from which they cannot roue. He is the rocke, against which thy speeches breake, driuen by a violent passion, he is the rest which thy thoughts best brooke, diuided by a new affection, the which are as often supplyed by teares, as thy wordes by them, being neither able to speake that which thou couldest, nor to thinke that which thou wouldest, for thou wert both ouertaken in thy wordes with thine owne gladnesse, and ouercharged in thy thoughtes with thy sonnes greatnesse: yet speake what thou mayest, & thinke that which thou mayest not speake, and in the ende let thy loue-teares witnesse, that thou art as farre vnable to vtter thy thoughts, as thou art from thinking the vttermost. Proceed then blessed virgin to embrace thy princely babe, presse him in thy bosome, who hath pierst thy breast, let him neuer passe from thy hand, who hath possessed thy heart, but seeing hee being thy Lord hath taken on him the person of a child, and vouchsafed to be thy sonne, thou being his maiden feare not to vse both the priuiledges of a nurse, and the preheminence of a mother.

But O most sacred babe, heauens blisse, helles bane, worthie of all praise, because the worker of our peace: shall wee congratulate thy comming into the worlde, or grieue that thou art become so short a word, the largest heauens were lately to little for thee, and now a little hole can do more then lodge thee. A short word, but a sweet worth, more of thine owne desire, then of our desert, for if thine owne loue driue thee, it was thy goodnes, if ours drew thee, it was thy gift. But tell vs sweet babe, in whome affection hath fully supplyed the defect of thy tongue, as yet an instrument onely of a lamentable sound, as thine eyes were fountaines of sorrowfull teares, tell vs, why hast thou loosed from the right hande of Maiestie, to arriue in a restlesse hauen of miserie? Was it to recouer againe the right which once was passed by thee, and inrolled in a most faythfull record. The heauen of heauens to the Lorde, but the earth hee hath giuen to the sonnes of men, and therefore wouldest thou of an omnipotent God, become an impotent man, yea, and contented to bee accounted, and that in scorne, king of the Iewes, who wert the true king both of the Iewes, and of the Gentiles? or rather was it to right the wrong done vnto the Ladie, who thy father adopted to his daughter, thou tookest for thy sister, and to redeeme her from her vnmercifull conquerour, (who had bereft her of her matchlesse beautie, and whatsoeuer else nature and grace could bestow vpon her) importunated ether by her suit, or rather inchaunted by thy selfe, thy loue towarde her being without limit, and her losse of thee being infinite? Tell vs sweete babe, who arte an eternall worde, although nowe too young to speake, tell vs what caused thee to descende from thine vnspeakeable dignitie, in which thou wert the onely food of Angels, vnto an irreparable infamie, because thou art nowe become the meate of beastes, for as an infallible truth hath reuealed vnto vs: All flesh is grasse, and grasse is beasts feeding.

In my bedde by night I sought whom I loued, I sought her, but I could not find her.

Inough sweet babe since that loue hath no higher cause, all this thou diddest, because thou diddest loue: and thou diddest loue because thou diddest. Well do I conceiue thee to haue beene in thy bed, that is, at thy quietest repose: but what nightes were those, where we supposed to haue bin one continuall day, or what darkenes could grieue thee, who art the brightnes of thy fathers glorie? Care which contrarie to the nature thereof, made thee looke many thousande yeeres yonger then thou art, did perchaunce contrarie also to the nature of the place seeme to bring a night, where the Sunne neuer vsed to goe downe, or cause thee to bee hidden in a cloude, who art the light of heauen, that not without some cause thou mayest say in the night in thy bedde, thou soughtest whom thou louedst: but what, when thou couldest not find her in thy bed?

I will rise and go round about the Citie through the streetes, and open places will I seeke whome I loue, I sought her, but I could not find her.

But what among all those glorious companie couldest thou not finde thy loue? If heauen bee not woorthie to holde thy loue, howe shall the earth yeelde her vnto thee? But it seemeth by thine intended course, that hell it selfe shall not escape thy search: But when thou couldest not finde her in the Citie.

The watch found me which kept the Citie: sawe yee whom my soule doth loue? And when I had a little passed them, I founde whome I loued, I helde her, and will not let her goe, vntill I haue brought her into my mothers house, and into her chamber who bred me.

O worthie Citizens of the heauenly Hierusalem, for whome did yee watch? Or whome did you finde in your watch? Did yee finde him because ye did watch, or did yee watch him, because yee founde him? O howe much to your eternall gaine did yee finde him, when yee kept your first watch ouer your selues, at what time manie of your fellowe Citizens drunke with selfe delight, were to their intollerable paine banished their bright and glorious Citie, and could neuer againe attaine vnto their former solicitie; and because that yee so happily watched at that time to doe those duties, which others sleeping ouerslipped, yee were admitted to watch continuallie in his prayse, neuer ceasing to sing that diuine song, Holie, holie, holie, Lorde God of Sabaoth, the earth is full of thy glorie, although yee neuer before sought it so fitlie as at this present childebyrth. But why did yee suffer this Prince to passe you, when yee founde him in your watch? Was hee so gracious in your sight, that yee would not stay him? or was he of so great might that ye could not? He was the purest fountaine of grace, and the surest fortresse against all griefes.

But if yee had so iust a cause, both of loue, and feare, why gaue yee him no aunswere vnto his demaund.

Loue thought the time too long, which was spent in asking the question, and desire to finde whom he loued, would not let him stay to take an answere.

But assoone as he had passed from the watch, hee found whom he loued: for a little inferiour to the angels had he created mankind, which through her owne fault was lost, and therefore rightly he is saide to find her: for vnto Gods Image and likenesse was man made, and placed in earth for a time in a Paradise, he was plentifullie enriched with all heauenly giftes, and created a Prince ouer all earthlie creatures, yea, the Angels themselues were so made to the seruice of him, that from the houre of his birth, hath euerie one an Angell attending on him. But man not vnderstanding the greatnesse of his owne honour, followed too much his aduersaries humour, who beguiling him with faire wordes, made him so fond and prodigall, that in one instant hee wasted all his patrimonie. Man made in the likenesse of God, did the diuell ransacke by a cowardly wylinesse, and therefore God made in the likenesse of man will restore him againe by a worthie victorie.

And now that thou hast found her whom thou louedst, thou hast taken such sure holde of her, as she cannot goe but whither thou guidest her, she cannot rest, but where thou remaynest, thou hast not onelie brought her into thy mothers house, (for father and mother was all one with thee in the beginning) & to expresse that infinite tendernes and loue which thy father had ouer thee, thou termest him thy mother) but into the chamber also, where thou wert begotten, keeping nothing secret from her, which thou mayst shew, & she conceiue, and adiuring all the daughters of Hierusalem by the goates and harts of the field, that they doe not rayse thy loue, or cause her to awake before her selfe will. A strong loue, a strange care, doth the diseasing of thy loue deserue so sharpe a punishment, as he who doth it shuld be accounted either as a goat, whose filthinesse signifieth all wante of grace, or as a hart, whose fearefulnesse supposeth him voyde of charitie, for grace will not dwell with filth, and charitie doth expell all feare, but what? dost thou thinke that euer shee will haue that will to arise, or to awake out of thine embracings, being, so fast ioyned to thee in matrimonie, that although yee bee God and man, yet ye are not two, but one Christ. Great dishonour would it be vnto thee, that after so much seeking after her, thou shouldest euer suffer her to be diuorced from thee, for al which know of how great power thou art, will imagine a want of loue in thee, to let her goe from thee. True it is, that by thy proclamation, thy warrant of peace in earth auayleth onely such as are of good will, but rather supplie theyr peruersnesse with thine effectuall mercy, then suffer them to part from thee to their eternall miserie.

How narrowly didst thou search, who wouldest not leaue the most secret corner in the world vnsought? howe feruently didst thou loue, who to gaine a little something, madest thy selfe almost nothing? how securely didst thou ioy, when thou foundest her, to whom thy soule was so surely ioyned? thy teares do witnesse it, with the which thou doest bewaile her more then thy selfe, and bewray thy glad sodaine finding her for her owne safetie: But still thy weeping, vntill thou art past thy mothers weaning, & begin now at the last to comfort her with a cheerefull countenance, whom thou hast chosen to giue thee this charitable attendance. Apply thy selfe to a virgins teate, whose breastes contained milke as strangely, as her womb conceiued a childe, change thy cribbe, although sacred with thy first cryes, for thy mothers armes, in whom are setled thy firmest ioyes, shoote vp apace heauenly Impe, to mans stature, who wert shaped in thy mothers wombe with a mans staydnes, and art of more wisedome in thy shortest cloutes, then are the grauest sages in their sidest cloakes. Runne out thine entended race, prouoke al aduerse powers, rowse thy selfe as like Lion against thy foes, as thou restest like a Lambe amonge thy friendes, and shewe as much proofe of thy might against the one, as thou hast of thy mildenesse among the other. So shall the world in parte bee satisfied, that whatsoeuer thou presently sufferest, is rather because thou wouldest conceale some secret mysterie, then that thou couldest bee compelled by any to fall into this secret miserie, and that thou, who couldest commaunde the stately heauens by thy power, wouldest not but for some great cause commend so small a hole with thy presence.

A little hole it was, but a most holy place, sacred with a more princely presence, then are the statelyest pallaces, and of no lesse and happie pleasure, then is the heaueliest paradise, a place worthy of all prayse, where princes dwell without shame, where virgins are enamored without sinne, where a virgin gaue sucke to the sonne of GOD, for so soone as the virgin was deliuered of this prince, her breasts beganne to fill, and she, who of her purest bloud, hadde framed the bodye of her princely babe, transformed also parte of the residewe into milke for his foode, that whence hee had receiued nature, hee should also haue his nourishment.

Nowe may the mount Sinai leaue bragging in the desart of Pharan of the deitie, which there gaue a lawe to men, by which they might knowe the heauens pleasure. Nowe may the Tarpeian rocke leaue boasting in Roome of her dignitie, which receiuing an extraordynarye light from the heauens, discouered theyr displeasure. Now may the mountaine Morea abate her maiestie in Hierusalem, whereuppon stoode the Temple, where in an obscure cloude appeared the holyest of all holyes, because nowe in a rocke vnder the walles of Bethleem, is no Lawe giuen, but life, a light for to directe, not to correct, and the holyest of all holyes enclosed in such a cloude, as he may both bee seene and handled by his creatures, and afterward this rocke was consecrated with the effusion of farre more holy bloud, then eyther was sprinckled in Moyses tabernacle, or shed in Salomons temple, for the eight day after the natiuitie, according to the law of the Iews, hee who was aboue all lawes was circumcised in this rocke, and thereby made subiect vnto the law, (the parents not being commaunded by the lawe, nor accustomed to carrie their infants to the temple, for the receiuing of that sacrament) at which time also hee had this name Iesus giuen vnto him, as the Angell called him before and after that he was conceiued in his mothers wombe, notwithstanding that long before many other names were assigned him by the diuine Oracle, as Admirable, the Counsellor, God, the Mightie, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace, with manie other correspondent either to his person, or some propertie which is in him, yet none was significant as this, and whatsoeuer it obscurely contained in them, is manifestly declared in this.

For the sinne which slew mankind being infinit, in respect that the partie offended was infinitelie more excellent then the offender, it required a satisfaction infinitely good, which man was not able to make, whose nature is within certaine limits of perfection, wherefore it was necessarye either that God, who is onely infinite, should of his mercie satisfie himselfe, or else in iustice the sinner was to haue an infinite punishment, which because the offender could not in any limited time sustaine, it was to be changed for a limited punishment, which should endure without limit, and because God his owne nature was so superexcellent, that it was capable of nothing but happinesse, hee was to take such a nature, as wherein he might best accomplish his gratious designement, and because man knewe of himselfe howe to sinne, hee thought it best in the same nature, to teach him also how to satisfie. He chose therefore to become a man, but in such sort, as he would bee but one, yet God and man: for if there had beene two, God, and a man, which also had not beene God, condigne satisfaction could not haue beene made vnto God for the sinne, for neither was a pure man able to satisfie, nor God in his owne nature subiect to suffer. Hauing therefore decreed to make himselfe admirable in this vnion of two so different natures, without the confusion of them, hee thought it an vnworthie thing for him to begin to be a man, by a carnall generation, as other men doe, and therfore chose a virgin, in whom hee was not without miracle conceiued, nor of whom, without as strang a miracle he was borne, after that her time came to bee deliuered, for shee remained as well for his honour, as her owne, as perfect a virgin after his birth, as shee was before.

He was a true and faythfull counseller vnto vs, enforming vs nothing, but what himselfe before performed euen to the effusion of his owne most precious blood, in following our cause for vs, & instructing vs by exhortation, and his owne example, that the meane for vs to win heauen, was wholy to weane our selues from the world.

He was true God, being the onely sonne of God, equal vnto his father in power, goodnes, and authoritie from whence proceeded his mightines, both in word and worke, to the redeeming of mankind, ransacking of hell, and in the end the ouerthrowing of death, which done, he would make al things new, and therefore rightly might hee be called the father of the world to come, restoring by himselfe onely, that which the whole Trinitie had before created, and thereby creating a new by grace, what was thorough sinne come to nought. He was also a Prince of peace, for the obtaining of which hee came into the world, to performe a single and bloudy combat, that not without cause hee was proclaimed by that name, so soone as hee was borne, and the eight day after to conclude all in one, he was called Iesus, that is, a Sauiour,

A name neuer heard before, although like sound hath beene heard, as Iosue the sonne of Naue, was called Iesus, who brought the Israelites into the land of promise, after fortie yeeres wandring in the Desart, and the high Priest, who returned with them from Babylon after seuentie yeeres captiuitie, was also called Iesus: but neither these nor any other, whose name sounded after the same maner (although either as chiefe priests, or Princes they brought their people into the holy land) were other the figures of this prince, and therefore neither were their names the right name which this prince had, it being giuen him by one, who knew verie well the propertie of euery thing, and either gaue, or ratified their names giuen vnto them accordingly. But the name it selfe discloseth some secret mysterie. For who is not deaf, and hath not his eares filled with a most sweete sound, when hee heareth this holy name Iesus? Who is not dumbe, and hath not his mouth flowing with a most sacred sweetnes, when he soundeth this holy name Iesus? who is not dead, and hath not all his senses furnished with a straunge delight, when hee apprehendeth the name of Iesus? who is not damned, and hath not his soule deified, by an infinite goodnes when hee engraueth this holy name Iesus?

A holy name was before, but it was holy, and terrible, because hee whose name it was, was a consuming fire. A holie name is nowe, but it is holie, and mercifull, because hee whose name it is, is a most gracious redeemer: insomuch as there is no other name giuen to men, by which they may bee saued, then the holie name of Iesus: so gloryous in heauen, so gratious in earth, so regarded in hell, that at the sounde thereof euerie knee boweth in heauen, earth, and hell. Glorious in heauen, because heauens storer, gracious in earth, because earthes restorer, regarded in hel because hels restrainer: glorious in heauen because a maintainer of maiesty: gracious in earth, because a moner of miserie: regarded in hell because a maisterer of tyrannie. Heauens honor, earthes myrror, helles terror. A most sweete and soueraigne oyle flowing from the heauens aboue vnto the lower partes of the earth, and refreshing all who were either oppressed with darknesse, or oppugned with ouermuch daunger, most nourishing a wasted light, and most necessarie for a wounded limme.

And verie fitly did this sacred oyle flow vpon such a day, as wherein no one glimse appeared of the light of nature, nor any sprake was seene of the least good nurture.

Many feastes did the Gentiles keepe to one or other false gods honour, and many sportes did they make according to each one his frailest humor. For although that some seemed to tende to the exercise onely of their strength, and wits, yet were such most attended, as made them both weake and wantons.

The games of Olympus were moste famous in Greece, so called because they were at the foot of the mountain Olympus, which was so hie that it gaue name vnto the heauens: for it reached so far aboue the middle region of the aire, that neuer came any winde or raine at the toppe thereof, as appeared by that certaine Philosophers left there some caracters in dust, which they found in the same maner after a yeare, but neither could any bird mount vp vnto the toppe thereof, because the aire was too pure for any inferiour creature: for which cause the Philosophers which went vp, caryed with them spunges full of water, through which they might take ayre more agreeable to their nature. In these games was nothing worthie praise vnpractised, and both warriours were rewarded for their worthy courses, and wise men regarded for their wittie discourses. These were first deuised by Hercules, in honour of his father Iupiter, and euerie fift yeeere so precisely obserued, that after they were once begun, no other account was made of the yeere, then from such an Olimpye game, or such a yeere after it, and these were alwayes vsed in summer, when the dayes were at the longest. Other games were followed by the Grecians in the worship of other Gods, as their Pythia in honour of Apollo at Delphos, and their Isthmia, in honour of Neptune, or Palęmon, or both, neere vnto Corinth.

The Romanes also, beside running with horses, and with chariots, and fighting naked with swords, to this end, that being in warres it should bee no wonder vnto them to see woundes, had other games, as their Saturnall, in honour of Saturne, which they kept fiue daies in December in feasting, sporting, and mutuall presenting with gifts, and in remembrance of the golden world, when Saturne was king, they reckoned all things so in common for those fiue dayes, as there was neither owner of any substance, nor maister of any seruant. These were first deuised by Ianus a king of Italy, and dedicated yeerely vnto Saturne.

They had other games, which they called Lupercals, in which the young nobilitie ranne naked vp and downe with such beasts skinnes, as were then sacrificed, striking euerie one whom they met, and women offered themselues in their way, hoping by their strokes to haue the easier trauaile, if they were with childe, or to waxe bigge, if they were before barren. These were vsed in the honour of Pan, and were named Lupercalles, either because they offered sacrifice to Pan, for the preseruing of their flocks from the wolfe, or because they sacrificed dogges to gratifie the wolfe, which nursed Romulus and Rhemus, or thirdly, because the sacrifice was offered at the foote of mounte Palatine in Rome, where there was a caue consecrated to Pan, which in remembrance that Romulus and Rhemus were there nursed by a wolfe, was named Lupercall. Some say these games were so called, because the sacrifices then offered, were to purge the hellish spirits with the bloud of goates, and that for this cause the moneth was called Februarie, in which these games were vsed. Others say they had their name of a mountain in Arcadia, called Lycea, where they were first inuented, and were afterward brought into Italy by Euander the Arcadian king, at what time hee was banished out of his owne countrey, and hereupon they say the games were performed by naked men, because they were deuised in Arcadia, when the people were both bare of cloathing, and of barbarous condition, and so continued also afterward, when they were of a more ciuill conuersation.

Others say, that Pan mistaking Hercules for Iole, (who vpon some occasion at that time, slept in he Lions skinne) was once so discouered, before hee got his wished pray, that he departed with nought but shame of his wanton purpose, and could neuer after that his conceited euil speed, abide any aparrel in his sports.

Other some say, this naked running vp and down was in remembrance of a worthie victorie, which Romulus had ouer certaine theeues, who, (while the people were busie in these sports) draue away a great companie of their cattell, and Romulus vnderstanding thereof (naked as he was vpon some other occasion, pursued them, and brought back the stoln pray, for which cause those which ran thus naked, had their faces stayned with bloud, and other followed after with wooll dipped in milke to wash them, but whatsoeuer was the cause of their sports, thus was the course of their life spent.

After these were other deuised in honour of Ianus, who was sometime a king of Italy, to who they built a famous temple, and set therein his picture, which they made with two faces, to signifie the concord which was made betwixt Romulus king of the Romanes, and Titus Tatius, king of the Sabins, at what time a bloudy warre being begun to one or others ouerthrow, the maidens which were stolne by the Romanes, and for reuege of which rape, the Sabians vowed the vtter ruine of the Romanes, came into the fielde, and offered themselues to death, rather then they would liue to see for theyr cause, either their parents slaine on the one side, or theyr husbandes whome they now fancyed on the other side. This Temple of Ianus the Romanes did leaue open so long, as they had any warres abroade with forraine nations, either because that going foorth to warre, they should also haue a care of their countrey they left behind them, as the Idoll looked both forward and backward, or else in hope of some extraordinarie helpe, by Ianus his protection, when they should bee driuen to any extremitie, because that the Sabions hauing compelled Romulus to take this Temple for his best defence, were forced to retyre by a whole water, which sprunge in great aboundance from before the Temple against them. Many other things are recorded of Ianus, which many thinke are to bee applyed to diuers of the same name, but hee in whose honour the first of the two moneths which Numa Pompilius, (Romulus his successor) added vnto Romulus his yeere, was Ianus king of Italie, who built a Citie not far from the place where afterward Rome was built, and called it Ianiculum, and him they thought they did so gretly honor, when they were either ouer lauish in expences, or too lasciuious in their sports, that when his calends came, that is the first day of that month, hee seemed the deuoutest in this rite, who shewed by his ryot, that hee neither deemed it a shame at any time afterward to bee in want, nor a sinne to be at all times wanton.

These as the first in the yeere, and other abuses as they fell, came the Prince this day to abolish, as hee shewed both by the shedding of his precious bloud, and the sound of his princely name.

Yet notwithstanding that he was a prince, and therefore freeborne, and a priest, and therefore to be forborne, so soone as his name was giuen him, he was sessed by the officers, and paid a tribute vnto his owne subiect (for as yet the infants of Palestina were not exempted from this taxe) and the mother was the more willing to conceale her sonnes deitie, because she thought it would nothing derogate from his dignitie, being at that time taken for a priuate person, not for a prince.

But not long after it was blowne abroad, that such a prince was borne, and princes hastened to do their homage.

An old prophesie was in Arabia, that a starre should rise in Iacob, and a rod spring in Israel, which should both strike the princes of Moab, and destroy the sonnes of Seth, with many other so great prerogatiues, that the prophet sighed to thinke hee should not liue to see it, and the king of Moab was frighted, fearing that hee had liued to feele it: for the Israelites comming out of the desart of Pharan towarde Palestina, encamped themselues neere vnto the riuer Iordan so strongly in middle of the Moabites, that Balaac the king of Moab had better courage to fight against them with shrewde wordes, then with sharpe weapons, and therefore vnderstanding that in Mesopotamia was one who did so forspeake people, as they neuer after prospered, sent speedily vnto him to come and curse the Israelites, but Balaam (so was the southsayer called) being taught before by diuine inspirations, when he came to the top of the mountaine, from whence Balaac shewed him the Israelites, performed what God and the angell had enformed him, and to the great preiudise of Balaac king of the Moabites, hee pronounced many blessinges ouer the Israelites, and prophesied of this yong prince, as is before shewed.

Hereupon Makida the Queene of Saba, Ethiopia & Egipt, vnderstanding of Salomon his wisdome, wealth, worthines, & large dominions, came with exceeding great pompe vnto Ierusalem to see him, and presented him with 120. talents of gold, many iewels, and infinite store of frankencense, being perswaded that he was the man who was meant by the prophesie in Arabia: for Saba was a prouince in the south side of Arabia, and tooke the name of Saba grand-child vnto Abraham by Iecsan, whom Abraham had by Cęthura, as also Madian father vnto Epha and others whom he sent away out of Chanaan (afterward called Palestina) into the East countries, as also he sent Ismael (whom hee had by Agar) southward, not suffering any of them to haue part with Isaac in the lande promised vnto him: yet did he not send them away emptie handed, but bestowed vpon them great riches, apparell, and iewels, which he had taken from the foure kings, whom hee conquered in the rescue of his nephew Lot: among which giftes some write that Abraham gaue vnto them mirrhe, and frankencense, not without some misterie then knowne vnto him, and now openly shewed by three princes, which came out of the East parts at this time vnto Bethleem of Iuda, which iourney they did the more willingly take, because probablie their ancestors were also Iewes: for the Queene of Saba among other great fauours which she receiued of king Salomon, was accepted for his wife, and returned into her countrey with childe, and carried with her twelue thousand Iewes, of euerie tribe one thousand, and did them that honor, that after a while the chiefest in the countrey vaunted that their fathers were Iewes, and the sonne which she had by Salomon she crowned king, surrendering all her dominions vnto him: and of that stocke vnto this day (as some say) remayneth the great monarch of those coastes, commonly called Priest Iohn. But the principall motiue of these three kinges their voyage was the sight of a starre, which did penetrate so farre into their vnderstanding, that by that extraordinarie light, and what they had by the prophesie, they resolued that the prince was now at the last borne, of which had beene so great expectation, for although they were men of great learning, yet could not their skill attaine to the perfect meaning of the star, which appeared vnto them, without farther helpe then they could haue by Astronomie: wonder they might to see so neere vnto them so bright a shining starre, because it was much lower then where exhalations fiered doe appeare blasing like starres, and comparable with the Sunne for brightnesse, as it receyued no light from the Sunne, as other starres doe: so neyther did the brightnesse of the sunne drowne the clearnesse thereof, as it doeth of other starres, where it selfe doth shine, and the greater might their wonder bee, because that all such tokens as were commonly in all other extraordinarie starres, or commets to signifie eyther diseases, or death were so farre from this starre, that it betokened nothing but health and life: and that the authour of life had taken vpon him a new kind of life, although perchance in some secondarie sort it might also pretend the death of the prince, whose life it shewed, as may appeare by some of the presentes which the kinges brought, who were both warned by this starre to seeke him, and warranted to finde him out: yet was it no Angell, as many haue thought, but a starre, as much superior to other starres in brightnesse, as inferior in bignesse, made of some former matter, or created of nothing by him to whome all thinges are possible, and afterward eyther resolued into that of which it was made, or if created for this purpose, the cause thereof ceasing, the effect came againe to nothing, but it kept such a course, as the kinges following it were no more subiect to bee deceiued of their purpose, then were the Israelites when trauelling from Egipt vnto the lande of promisse, they were guided by a cloude, which alway went before them in the daye time, and a fierie pillar in the night: for the starre neuer ceased to shine, but to their greater light, nor to conduct them but to their greater comfort: wherefore not without the prouidence of the stars guide, they entred Ierusalem where they were both confirmed in the truth of their former prophesie, and comforted with the shortnes of their following iorney: but not without the amasing both of Herod and all the cittie, because the last thing which the Iewes had done, was an oath sworne to accept Herod for their king, which althougb hee had laboured both with curtesie and with crueltie for the space of thirty years little more or lesse, hee neuer obtained it of the whole countrie vntill this time.

The three princes as soon as they came into the cittie, demaunded boldely what they doubted not euery man knew, (a kinges seate fitting best a princes birth, and such a birth being commonly celebrated with a publike triumph) they demaunded for him by his title, not knowing as yet his name, where is hee who is borne king of the Iewes? wee see his starre in the East, and are come with presentes to adore him, was it then any wonder that Herod was troubled, who wrongfully entered into the soueraigntie, and the Iewes touched deepelie, who had rashly sworne themselues his subiectes, the one hauing iust cause to feare that he should be put down as a tyrant, and the others no hope but to bee punished as traytors? and although Herod coulde haue beene very well contented neuer to haue heard any thing more concerning this matter, yet feare in the ende first encreased a desire to know the rest, & then to deuise some mischiefe for a remedie, wherefore calling the chiefe of the Priestes & the Scribes of the people, he asked them where Christ shoulde be borne (for so was the prince called, to shew that hee was annointed). In Bethleem they answered of Iuda,)for in Galilie was an other cittie called Bethleem, and was in the tribe of Zabulon) according vnto the prophesie: And thou Bethleem of Iuda art not the least among the chiefest (cities) of Iuda, because out of thee shall come a guide, who shall gouerne my people Israell. Herod being thus enstructed by the priestes of the prince, he beganne to deuise the prince his destruction, and hauing resolued how hee would preuent his misconstered fall, he ranne into a greater follie: he called the three kinges secretlie vnto him, and learned of them what he could aswell concerning the starre, as also their prophesies, and whatsoeuer they coulde enforme him eyther by their owne skill, or the traditions of their countrie, which they coulde not want, but rather haue in greate plentie, where so many Iewes had liued, and left a posterity, and afterwarde sent them to enquire diligently where the prince was, and requested them to bring him worde thereof, that hee might also goe to adore him.

The princes set forward to finish a long iorneye, for Ierusalem was at the least 1200. miles from Saba, which was the seat of Iasper, one of these three kings and no doubt Melchior and Balthasar (for so were the other two named) had their seates not far from thence, for in those times within the compas of 20. miles dwelled commonly three or foure kings, as in Palestina which for length or bredth seemed to little for one, were 37. kinges, so that they might without any great busines beginne this iorney together, or without any great difficultie meet by chance in the way, none knowing before of others intention, and perchance this might bee the cause, that all three brought of the same kind of presents, which might haue been thought superfluous if they had in one companie begunne their iorney, and the starre keeping his course toward the west might bee a guide vnto them all coming from places in the east, which were not much distant one from the other, but fro that part of Arabia (as some say) which was called Magodia, whereupon these kinges were called Magi, that is to say, men of that country, yet many think they were called Magi because they studied art Magicke, and say that by their skill in this art they had vnderstanding of this prince his birth, and who he was, but it is not likelie that the prince of that arte had himselfe any such knowledge, for there was as great reason to conceale the mysterie of this prince his birth, as the mysterie of his conception, others were also called Magi, who liued in great abstinence and spent their liues in honest studies, and of this sort perchance were these three kinges, who knowing no naturall cause of the appearing of this starre, remembred that extraordinarily a starre should appeare to shew the birth of a mighty prince in Iuda, and when this starre appeared in so strange a sorte, they perswaded themselues this was it, which was foretold by Balaam in their countrie, & mounting vpon Dromedaries (which are incomparaby swifter then any horses) in 13. dayes they came this long iorney guided by the same starre, which now lastly shewing it selfe again vnto their no little ioy, when they passed out of Ierusalem toward Bethleem, it wet before them vntill it came to the place where the prince was, and his mother, and there it staide so low in the aire, that the kinges neuer asked for the house in which they were, and hauing ended his course which was no longer then the kinges ioruey, (for it went not round aboute the worlde as other starres, planets, or cometes vse to doe, but kept his course in such order, as when the kinges remoued the starre did also remoue, and when they rested, the starre did not stirre any further) it was no longer seene eyther by them, or by any other.

When these three kings entered into the caue they founde the childe and Mary his mother, and falling downe they adored him, and vnderstanding perchance of the custome among the Iewes, that no man shold come empty handed in the presence of God, each of them offered of their treasure there but the same presents, golde, mirrhe and frankensence acknowledging thereby that hee was a prince, a mortall man, & yet a God, or as some will a priest, whose office it was to offer frankensence vnto God, but being both God and man, & not onely a prince by descent, but also a Priest, the frankensence could not without greate mystery bee offered vnto him, whether it was in the one respect or the other, yet it is more probable that it signified at that time that hee was God, because his priesthood by which he offered sacrifice was not according vnto the order of Aaron, who among other sacrifices offered also incense, but according to the order of Melchisedech, and was a farre more spirituall kind of priesthoode. Beside that these three kings brought it to offer it themselues vnto him, not that hee should offer it vnto an other.

That this infant was of the blood of the princes of Iudah, is manifestly deducted by his pedegree from Dauid by the kings of Iudah, vnto Ioseph the virgins husband: for although the law permitted mariage betwixt the tribe of Iudah, and Leui, yet was it vnlawful for such as to whom their fathers inheritance did descend, to marry with any other then the next of kinne in the same familie, least that any confusion should grow in the possessions, which were first giuen by portions vnto euery one of the 12. tribes, and Ioachim the virgins father being knowne to bee of such substance, as he liued onely vpon the thirde part of his yeerely reuenue, and when he died, to leaue his daughter Marie at the least a coheire with her sisters (if she had any) or sole heire (if shee had none) for Ioachim neuer had any male issue: it is a good proofe according vnto the law mentioned that if Maries husband were of the familie of Dauid, she was also of the same family. Wherfore although that the yong prince tooke no flesh of Ioseph, but only of the virgin, his petigree is sufficiently shewed by Iosephs: for neuer was any petigree kept of women, but of men only. Maidens prouing their petigrees by their fathers, and wiues by their husbands.

But an other hystorie seeming to fetch Ioseph his petigree from king Dauid by other parents, woulde make the former suspected, were it not a law among the Iewes, that the widow of the one brother should marry with the other, or the next of kin, if she had no children by the first, and that the child of the second husband should bee accounted by the law the first husbads child, although in nature it is the seconds: for by this meanes a man might be said to be the son of two men, of one by nature, and of another by the law. Hereof Ioseph is said in one petigree to bee the son of Iacob, and in another petigree the son of Hely, as being the naturall son of Iacob, and called the son of Hely, because Iacob had him by Helies wife, whom Hely left a widow, and without any children, for Hely and Iacob were brethren of one wombe, although of diuerse fathers: that is to say, of Mathan, who was father vnto Iacob, and Mathat, who was father vnto Hely.

But although it be most true that the yong prince did descend of the princes of the Iewes, and that he was of the familie of Dauid, yet these petigrees of Ioseph proue nothing, but that the prince his mother was of the tribe of Iuda, because Ioseph who in these petigrees is proued to be of that name, did espouse her (it being a thing vnlawful among the Iewes, that any shuld match but in their own tribe) but neither doth this proue that this prince was of the tribe of Iuda, because notwithstanding diuerse tribes should not ioyne togither in mariage, the tribe of Iuda and Leui might, and therefore the the proofe that Ioseph was of the tribe of Iuda, and of the family of Dauid sheweth nothing for the yong prince, but that hee did by his mother discend either of the tribe of Iuda, or of the tribe of Leuy.

For this cause many take the seconde petigree for the petigree, not of Ioseph, but of the yong prince by his mothers auncesters. Thus beginneth that petigree, Iesus was entring into his 30. yeare, who was thought to be the son of Ioseph, who was the sonne of Hely, that is to say, Iesus was accounted the sonne of Ioseph, but he was the sonne of Hely by Mary daughter to Hely, otherwise called Heliachim, or Ioachim (for all is one name among the Iewes, and although by this account the Prince should haue but one King among his auncesters, yet hee had manie absolute Princes, and gouernours of the people descending from Zorobabel, vnto Iamnes, (otherwise called Ioannes Hircanus) who not brooking the miserie in which hee and his people lyued, through the oppression of the Syrians, at the beginning of Antiochus Epiphanes his raigne, (who forced them to doe manie thinges agaynst their lawes) slewe himselfe, for which fact all his wealth was confiscate, which was a cause that the familie of Dauid liued afterwarde somewhat obscurely.

But in these petigrees appeareth a verie intricate difficultie. For if Salathiell, and Zorobabel, mencioned in the seconde petigree, are the same which are mencioned in the first, why doth not the seconde petigree name the princes auncestours from king Dauid by king Salomon, as the first doth, but by Nathan, an other of Dauids sonnes, by Bersabe king Salomon his mother. Againe, if Salathiel, and Zorobabel mentioned in the second petigree, are not the same which are mencioned in the first petigree, how came they which are reckoned in the second petigree to be princes of the people, and their posterity, vntill Iamnes slue himselfe. A sacred history affirmeth, that Zorobabel, who is saide to descend from Iechonias (the last king of the Iewes) by Salathiel, did carrie the people home out of Babylon, where they had beene captiues. And other hystories of authoritie continue this gouernment by Mosullam, or Misciola Zorobabels sonne, and such as are reckoned in the seconde petigree, to bee the prince his ancesters.

The difficultie will bee easilie solued, if we may say that Salathiel and Zorobabel, mencioned in the one petigree were the same, which are mentioned in the other, and that Salathiel was not sonne vnto Iechonias, but vnto Neri. And this is agreeable vnto the Oracle which said, that Iechonias should be barren, and one, who should neither prosper, nor haue anie ofspring, which shoulde sit in the throne of Dauid, or haue any authoritie euer after in Iudah, Which shoulde not haue beene true, if hee shoulde haue children to succede him, and to say that a man is barren, or that the sonne dooth not succeed his father, when the sonne hath not that pompe, and maiestie, which his father had, is to say that most men are barren, and few sons succeed their fathers, so we may say that neither Salomons sonne did succeed him from whom ten tribes fell, and followed Ieroboam, nor Ioachas succeed his father Iosias, because that Pharaoh king of Egypt, within three moneths after tooke him, & sent him into Egypt, where he died prisoner: nor Ioachim brother to Ioachas, who after that he had for a space paide to Pharaoh a yeerly tribute of a 100. talents of siluer, and one of gold, paide tribute for the space of three yeeres to Nabuchodonosor king of Chaldea, and rebelling against him, was taken and slaine, and throwne out of Hierusalem, and lay vnburied according to the Oracle, which sayd that hee should haue no other then the buriall of an Asse. Nor his sonne Iechonias, who was within three moneths after caried prisoner into Chaldea, least perchance he should by some meanes haue reuenged his fathers death: yet notwithstanding is this Iechonias sayde to haue sitten in the throne of Dauid, and Zorobabel, and his children, hauing authoritie in Iudah as Kinges, although for some cause they woulde not bee called Kings, it is euident (the Oracle being of infallible truth) that Salathiel father to Zorobabel, was not naturall sonne to Ieconias, but to Neri, and accounted the sonne of Ieconias, as descending of Ieconias his wife, who was left to Neri, the next of kinne to Ieconias, and to raise seed to Ieconias, who according to the Oracle was barren.

Some woulde seeme to solue this difficultie by saying that Salathiel was the naturall sonne of Ieconias, and adopted by Neri after Ieconias his death, but why then were the princes his auncestors reckoned from King Dauid by Nathan, the other beeing both a more true, and more honourable petigree.

By this pedigree also is shewed, how the prince was high priest, for Onias the high priest hauing one onely daughter, and one sonne, hee gaue his daughter in marriage vnto Tobias, otherwise called Mathathias Siloa, who was grandfather vnto Iamnes the last prince which the Iewes had immediately before the Machabees, and one of the yong prince his auncestors, but his sonne Onias (some call him Ananias, and say that hee was not his sonne, but his brother) fledde from Hierusalem into Egypt, where by Philomater the King of Egypt his lycense, hee built in Hieropolis a Temple like vnto the temple in Hierusalem, and there ended his life in scisme. Onias the Father hadde also twoo brethren, who after they hadde brought him out of the high-priesthood, were themselues as they bribed Antiochus Epiphanes, (the King of Siria,) nowe one of them high priest, nowe another, and in the ende both shutte out, and slaine. Some doe say, that those three brethren, were sonnes to Simon, who was high Priest, and sonne vnto that Onias, which fled into Egypt, but whosoeuer they were, all perished, and oue succeeded them in that dignitie, whose name was Alcinius, but had no title or right vnto it, and after him did Mathathias hold it, who was of the familye of Ioiarib, to whom fell the first lot to serue in the temple, according vnto that order which King Dauid appoynted to bee kept among the Priests, and therefore was but an ordynarie Priest dwelling in the Cittie of Modin, (Hierusalem being alwayes the seate of the high Priest) and the Machabees, his Sonnes were extraordinarily accepted of by the people, in respect that no man who was neerer, would challenge the high-priesthood, and they were admitted for cheefe Princes, not because the right line of Dauid was cleane extinguished, but because it was brought to so lowe an estate, that it could not, and no other would right the peoples wronges, which no doubt was Gods speciall prouidence, that for some fiue or sixe descents, both the high priesthood and the scepter should goe from the true heyre, although not from the right familie, that when this yong Prince came, he might in the more secret maner bring his purpose to good passe.

That this infant was a naturall man, notwithstanding any dignitie whatsoeuer was in him, it was euident, for that alreadie thereof, had beene sufficient proofe made by the griefe he felt, as well in his circumcision, as in cold, & whatsoeuer occasion else might chance to trie it. And although the virgin very wel vnderstood no lesse before, yet this offring of mirre (a thing which was vsed about the body, in the last obsequie done vnto it after death) did so refresh it in her minde, that in all this ioye which was made for three Kinges presence, shee coulde not choose but grieue, yet in the end vsing some kinde of patience in a matter, shee coulde not helpe, shee conformed her selfe into the rest of the princely companie, who nothing abashed either at the childes present lowe estate, nor daunted with the consideration of his death, which was afterwarde to followe at the time appoynted, performed that for which they came with all dutie, reuerence, and worship, as if they had not beene absolute Kinges, but subiectes vnto this young Prince, and helde it no abasing of themselues to do it.

Well woorthie were yee noble princes of the highest welcome, hauing made such haste to visite whome the worlde disdayneth, and to followe one who is so little fauoured. But howe can yee frame your selues to him, who hath set defiaunce what yee esteeme most fortunate, and hath expressed by his woorke, because as yet he would not by his woorde, that riches estimation, and what earthlie pompe soeuer the worlde breedeth, bringeth not so much ornament vnto the bodie, as anguish vnto the minde, and therefore lyeth, and lamenteth the miserie in which man liueth, as though hee were alreadie wearie of such estate, and more willing to leaue it, then to linger anie longer in it.

Had ye wist ye should haue found so bare parents, so base a place, so small a companie, you would perchaunce either not haue come, or not with so great speede, so great pompe, so great presentes but the wordes of your prophesie could not stande as yee thought with so great a pouertie, the brightnes of the starre be a signe of any obscurity, the expectation of the whole world bee satisfied without some great maiestie. This and not vnlikely this might be the cause why so confidently yee alighted at Ierusalem, because yee measured with mans witte, the wayes of an eternall wisedome, but thryse happie were yee when hearing he was not to bee found among such as liued delitiously, yee hastened to honour him where he lay throwne out disdainefullie, and where yee saw that not without iust cause wisedome is said to crie out in the streetes, since that as wel great pallaces, as little cottages, were aunswered to bee to narrow straytes, but take him as yee find him, and as yee now can tast him, hereafter fancie him.

The Queen of Saba saw in Salomon more wisedome then she thought, shee founde more fauour then she sought, shee returned with greater riches then she brought, and behold a greater then Salomon here. Salomon his wisedome was such as all might bee seene, his fauours such as all might bee wonne, his riches such as all might bee wanting, thinke then your pains in this iorney well bestowed since that yee haue found a greater then Salomon here. This his infancie, this pouertie, this rude place are but emboldnings to princes to command and warrants to preuaile, hee is able to giue more then yee are able to aske, for although hee seemeth to bee in the extreamest misery, yet neuer was Salomon to be compared with him, when hee was in his chiefest maiesty, make proofe of that which appeareth not in him, and make your profite of that for which others despise him. King Salomon was no more then a shadow of this young prince, and the Queene of Saba no other then a figure of your selues. King Salomon was no more then his shadow, whether ye respect his power or his wisedom his princely seat, or his peaceable gouernment, his stately Temple, or whatsoeuer was called his, which might eyther winne him grace or worke his glorie, for this prince his power is such, as by his word only, he can make or marre, his wisedome such as hee can both propose and dispose not onely of all this world but thousands of worldes, his princely seate so strong as no man can daunt him, his peaceable gouernment so secure as no man can endanger him, his temples as low founded, as high framed, and as pure golde within, as they shew goodly without: his glory may be worthily wondred at, because it cannot be worthily written of.

The Queen of Saba (so called because her chiefeest seat gaue that name vnto her countrie round about her) came to seeke whome yee haue founde, fame supplying to her the place of the starre which appeared vnto you, shee presented the king with gifts, and with problemes made triall of his wisedome, shee was aunswered to euery thing shee could demaunde, and shee was astonied to see what he could commaunde, and in the end being accepted for his wife, departed leauing with him seauen hundred other Queenes, and carried with her so much treasure as that which she brought seemed to be but borrowed of her for a short time, and paid againe with vnreasonable vsury.

Noble princes yee haue brought worthy presents & haue proposed no easie problemes, but if he can without long discourse shew the meaning of three kinges adoring one silly poore infant, iustly ye may admire his wisedome, and wonder at his might, and because the Queene of Saba shall not triumph ouer you, in being made Queene of Ierusalem, by her matching with Salomon, the prince hath espoused you al, and in you three as a most sacred number all forraine nations, and made you coheires with him of a celestiall Ierusalem, but the treasure with which yee shall returne into your countries, shalbee such as neuer could be valued with any prince, nor before this time comprehended in any place, the depth saide it is not in mee, and the sea disclaimed it, and other places of treasure were altogether vnknown, whence then commeth it, or what where hath it had? it hath beene hidden from mens eyes, and the Angels could neuer attaine vnto it. Death and destruction said they had heard of it, and now that same wisedom, which hath been concealed fro so many is reuealed vnto you, yee heard of it in Ephrata, & imbraced it in Bethleem, althogh in so poore an estate, as of all his statelines he seemeth to haue nothing remaining but what might moue both him and his to mourning.

How happie did these princes iudge all those, which might easily attend vpon this young prince, whose wisedome might verie well be wondred at, although hee had no wordes, as also his conquests which afterward hee obtained without any weapons: all his lookes and gestures did these princes marke, euery thing they saw, and heard imparting some maruelous great mysterie, and now nothing seemed grieuous vnto them after this long iorney, but that they must part from this so much desired companie, not because they would, but because it was necessarie they should, least their too long abode in such a place might cause to some to open a speech abroade of the prince, but determining to take their leaues, hauing now done their fealtie vnto a new king, of whome they acknowledged they held their kingdomes, they were warned in a vision not to goe backe againe to Herod, but to returne by some other waye into their countrie, not because that Herod should not know of their going, but because that Herod knowing the manner of their going (which was through such obscure places, as manie times they were constrained to lie in the hollowes of mountaines) shoulde thinke that these princes had committed some greate follie, in comming so farre with such iolitie and triumph, to seek a prince which was not to be found, and were therefore so ashamed of themselues that they would not be seen again of him, nor of any other which see them whe they came, for it is not credible that three kinges knowne to be in Palestina, and whether they went, could passe through it with their traine, although it were not very great, and with their dromedaries, & Herode not heare of it.

Herode therefore being thus perswaded of these kings their voyage, rested resolued vpon this matter, that since they had lost their labour in seeking out the prince to honour him, he would not also be laughed at in the like enterprise to murder him. Wherefore this iourney of the three kinges was quickly past, and Herode well pacified, but the kings, their guide their offerings, the place where, and to whom the offeringes were made, are briefly recorded for all posteritie to know them, by a deuout of the young prince in this Himne.


O onely Cittie of great worth,
Bethleem greater then the rest,
Whose chance it was for to bring forth
A heauenly guide of health inflesht. Whom shining starre (more the the sun
And of more comely portraicture)
Doth shew that to the earth is come
God in an earthly creature. Whom when as that the Magi see,
Their Easterne presents they vnfold,
And prostrate offer him on knee,
Frankencense, mirrh, & princely gold. By gold th'acknowledgde him a king,
A God by their sweet frankencense,
By mirrh they shewd a mortall thing:
Vnited was to Gods essence.

 

The maiden mother who slept not when shee heard the poore shepheards discourse, no doubt was wrathfull at those princes deeds, and both marked well the maner of her sonne his disclosing himselfe vnto the world, and mused that he would so soone diuulge so secret a word, but vnderstanding that the nearest of these princes, which came vnto him was a farre dweller, she hoped her sonne might be talked of in their countries without any danger, & therefore she staid the more securely in her caue, vntill her time came to go vnto the temple, when both she was expected to be purified, and her yong infant to bee presented: for the Iewes accounted all women vncleane, which according to natures course were deliuered of children, either male or female, with this difference, that of a manchild she remaine vncleane fortie dayes, and of a womanchild double so much. And God challenged the first begotten among the Iewes to bee his, whether it were man or beast: which dutie vnto God in diuers times was diuersly performed: for at the first euerie manchild did offer sacrifice, as appeareth by the historie of Cain and Abell. Afterward the first begotten onely, as the chiefest, was priest, and offered for the whole familie, but in the family of Iacob (who by a supernaturall dispensation got the eldership, and the priesthood from his brother Esau) the tribe of Leui, as the most faithfull to God (sufficiently proued in reuenging the wrong done vnto him by those, who adored the golden calfe in the desert) being accepted and assumpted vnto this dignitie, and to serue at the altar without any redemption, the rest of the people might according as they were appointed by their law, after a presentation made of their first begotten sonne, 10. dayes after his birth, redeeme him of God for fiue sicles. The first breed of beastes, such as were not admitted for the sacrifice, were to be redeemed by being chaunged for other beastes, which were lawfully sacrificed as the first breed of an Asse was redeemed for a sheep, and other beastes for a sicle and a halfe, and if they were not redeemed, they were to bee killed, which was freely granted by the consent of all the Iewes in remembrance that God slew the first begotten of the Egiptians, both man & beast, whe after many other plagues, they wold not suffer the Iewes to depart. According vnto this law, as also to fulfill the law of purifying women after their deliuerie, the maiden mother, although she knew both her selfe to be a virgin, & therfore without need of any such ceremony, & her son to be the son of God, & therfore in that respect, aswell as for that he opened not his mothers womb, not to be subiect vnto that law, yet she thought it most fit to present her selfe and her sonne at the temple, carrying with her 5. sicles to redeeme her son, & a paire of yong pigeons or turtles for her own offering, for such was the law, that who were able should offer a lambe and a turtle, or another pigeon, and who were not able to buy a lambe should bring a paire of turtles or yong pigeons, for old pigeons would not be accepted of, nor young turtles, because they are not so good as the other, and the best were thought bad enough to offer vnto God. And in this sort was this offering made: The whole lambe (if a lambe were offered) or one of the turtles or doues (if the partie were not able to buy a lambe) was consumed with fire in the sacrifice, & a turtle doue was offered as a sacrifice for sinne: for the Iewes had diuers kind of sacrifices, one which was offered vnto God for the speciall reuerence and loue which men did beare vnto him, and this sacrifice was all consumed vppon the altar. An other kind of sacrifice was called a sacrifice for sinne, and the one part of the oblation was consumed on the altar, and the other was to the priestes vse, and to be eaten presently by them in the same place, vnlesse the offering were made for the sinne of all the people, or for the high priest, for then it was all consumed with fire, & no foule were offered in this kind of sacrifice, because they could not be deuided, except at the purification of women, for then was a doue alwaies offered for sinne, whatsoeuer was so offered to be wholly burnt, but the doue offered at that time (after it was killed according to the law) was wholly vnto the priestes vse. A third sacrifice was offered vp either in thanksgiuing vnto God, for such his benefites as alreadie they had receiued, or to obtaine at Gods hand something which they wanted, and this host was diuided into three parts, whereof one was consumed with fire vpon the altar, another was to the priests vse, and all their family, and the third part was to theyr vse, whose offering it was, and none of all these sacrifices might be offered without salt.

The beasts which were offered in these sacrifices, were such as might easily be had in Palestina, and such as might bee driuen without any great difficultie, as sheepe, oxen, goates, and of theyr kind: the foule were such as were in great plentie, as turtles, and other common doues, fishes were altogether excluded from their offerings, both in respect they could not be had at all times, when men would, nor conueniently be brought aliue vnto the Temple, and it was not lawfull to offer any dead thing vnto God, but neither any quicke thing which had any defect, for to this end were the Priests exceeding cunning to feele euery ioynt, from the head vnto the feete, and to iudge whether any thing were otherwise then well in the beast or foule which was offered, and thereupon to accept of it, or reiect it, after which ceremonie the people washed their handes, and layd them vpon the beastes head which was offered, and left the rest vnto the priests, without medling any further in the sacrifice, except that in the third kinde of sacrifice, the priest deliuered all the suet, and the breast of the beast vnto them whose offering it was, who taking it of the Priest, lifted it vp before God, and deliuering it backe againe vnto the priest, the breast was to the Priests vse, and also the right shoulder, all the rest was to them which made the offeringe, but the suet was all consumed with fire, for it was as vnlawfull for them to eate any suet of their offerings, as of the bloud, and therfore they were as curious in offering all the suet, as they were in shedding all the bloud, a ceremony vsed euen where they might not vse any ordinarie instrument of death, for although it was not lawful for the to vse any instrument made for the purpose in killing their turtles or doues, yet might they not kill them, but by shedding their bloud, wherefore they wreathed the necke, & bowed the head backward vnto the winges, and with the nayles of their fingers cut the throate of the foule, letting it in that sort bleede to death.

But what mysterie so euer was in killing the turtle doues or pigions in this or in any other sacrifice, it cannot bee without some great mysterie, that the mayden mother made so poore an offering, for a payre of turtles or pigeons were not to be offered in this ceremony, but by such as were not able to prouide a Lambe for theyr sacrifice, and a turtle beside, or a pigeon for theyr sinne, and how could shee bee in such want, whose parents were of so great wealth, that the third parte onely of that which they had, was sufficient for them, and shee was eyther her fathers sole heyre, or at the least had a third part (if it bee true that shee hadde other twoo sisters) but put the case that shee reaped as yet no profite by her fathers substance, as who might yet bee liuing (yet some say hee was dead) or her mother, or that her father (if hee were deceased) gaue by will twoo thirds of that hee had, one to the poore, another to the Temple, as hee did in his life time, and that the maiden mother was then to haue the profits, but of the third part of that other third, and that not as yet, because her mother was liuing, yet howe can shee be accounted as poore, who so lately receiued so great presents: for who can imagine that three Kings would come so farre, to present another king with a trifle, whose byrth was talked of so magnificently, that no one was either before, or after iudged peerelesse for might and wisedome, but was thought among the Iewes and Gentiles to bee this Prince, beside the president which the Queene of Saba gaue vnto them, when shee came vnto King Salomon, and presented him with exceeding great gifts, meant vnto this Prince, and for this Prince his sake giuen vnto Salomon, because shee thought hee had beene the Prince of whome was the prophesie in her countrey: and although these three princes their Kingdomes all put together, were not to bee accounted of in comparison of the Queen of Saba her dominions, yet no doubt they were verie rich, as absolute Lords may bee of most fertile & rich countries, & all of the bringing gold according to their calling, as me who knew by the star, that they were to appeare before him, before whome theyr predecessor could not, no doubt they brought it in great aboundance, which neither the virgin could refuse beeing an offering of Kings, nor spend within the space of a moneth in so poore a cottage, but neither could she dispose of it to the poore without great speech of the country, and to haue sent it vnto the Temple, had beene to certifie them that the three kings had not onely beene with her (of which perchance they might haue some knowledge otherwise) but also had acknowledged her sonne to be the king of the Iews, which, whatsoeuer-else was to bee disclosed vnto them, was as yet to bee kept most secret from them, and perchance this was the cause why in her offering shee pretended that pouertie, which the better shee thought shee might doe, because shee was not bound to offer any thing, but was most pure before, and in place where shee did not onely touch that which was holy (forbidden by the lawe to women before they were purified) but handled in most sweete manner that holy one, by whome all are made holy. So that the question might haue more difficultie why shee offered any thing, then why shee did not offer almes, yet before that shee parted from the Temple, she vnderstood verie well, that shee had offered almes, at whose death a sword of griefe should pierce her owne soule.

For among others which expected the redemptio of Israel, one whose name was Simeon dwelling in Hierusalem, father vnto Gamaliel as some write, and sonne vnto Hilleb, who was one of the twoo chiefe maisters of the Scribes and Pharyses, men of great learning, and right vnderstanding, vntill opposing themselues against the Sadduces, who were accounted heretickes among the Iewes, they fell by two much precisenesse, into most absurd superstitions. This Hilleb liued 120. yeeres, and flourished not long after the Machabees, he was of the tribe of Iuda, and no doubt instructed his sonne Simeon how neere hee was, who was to come to redeeme Israel: for which cause Simeon made alwayes his prayer vnto God, that hee might see his Sauiour before hee dyed, which was promised vnto him, and this day of the virgins purification performed, for comming according vnto his custome into the Temple, and seeing the mayden mother and her sonne, hee tooke the childe with exceeding great ioy in his armes, and as one, who after a long time had obtained his hearts desire, hee beganne with a voyce, which was no lesse then an 100 yeere old, to sing this little Himme.



Now lettest thou thy seruant Lord depart,
   According to thy word in peace,
Because mine eyes haue seene (which ioyes my hart)
   Thy sacred health (my soules release)
Which thou prepared hast before all peoples face,
   A light to light the rest, renowne to Iacobs race.

 

Had this beene else where, the mayden mother vsed vnto such matters, would either haue beene very little or nothing mooued, but her sonne being at that time, and in that place descryed, it made her greatly amazed, much more did it astonish others, who could not but knowe that the three Kings came to Hierusalem to seeke such a childe, and poore Ioseph among the rest maruailed not a little, who was accounted by the people father of the childe, and for that cause is so called in the same sacred hystorie, which before had shewed how that the Maiden mother conceyued this childe by the holie Ghost without the companie of man. But old Simeon draue her out of that maze, by drawing her into a farre deeper muse, for afterwarde taking aduauntage of his owne gray haires, and her greene yeeres, hee blessed her, and gaue her as much cause of griefe in prose, as hee had giuen of ioy before in verse, and tolde her that her sonne should bee the ruine (although also the raysing) of manie in Israel, and that he shoulde be a signe, which shoulde bee contradicted, alluding perchaunce vnto that which the Oracle sayde vnto Achas king of Iudah, The Lorde shall giue you a signe, behold a virgin shall conceiue and bring forth a sonne. But in that Simeon sayde, that this signe shoulde bee contradicted, hee woulde insinuate eyther a troublesome life, or else a scandalous death, as that eyther his doctrine woulde bee little esteemed of, where hee preached, or that his manner of death shoulde bee such, as beeing suffered by him, shoulde in malicious mynded men, derogate from the worthinesse, which others attribute vnto him. For aptlie dooth the conclusion of Simeons speech vnto the virgin follow. And a sworde of griefe shall pierce thy soule, and manie secrete thoughts be reuealed.

And no sooner had Simeon done his deuotion, but a religious widow of 84. yeares, and aboue a hundred yeeres old, daughter vnto Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser, came, not vnto the Temple, for she was neuer from thence, spending there all her life in fasting, and prayer, but vnto the maiden mother, and hauing done her dutie vnto the yong prince, shee spake of him (for she had before the spirit of prophecie) vnto all such as looked for the redemption of Israel. And after these things were finished, they returned into Galile, vnto their citie Nazareth, from whence they parted, when they came to Bethleem. These ceremonys being finished, which satisfied the Iewes law, a new solemnitie was also begun, which should abolish the Gentiles loosenesse, for as by the princes his birth, the sports made in December in honour of Saturne, were afterwarde turned to celebrate his natiuitie, who was to bring again vnto the worlde, such tymes, or rather better, then in which Saturne raigned, and as by the effusion of his moste precious bloud, the first day of the yeare had a newe consecration, which was before performed with vain pastimes in honour of Ianus, so now in Februarie, wherein they vsed their lupercals either to purge the vnclean spirits, or to please themselues with vnseemly sports, both the virgin was purified, because she would not haue it knowne howe litle she needed it, and the yong prince was offered, who doubted not afterward to make himself a most gratefull sacrifice, thereby to chaunge these senselesse superstitions, into a moste sacred solemnitie, likely to teach them also some newe kinde of tryumph in March, in which Moneth theyr priestes which song and daunce, marched vp and downe in the streetes in armour.

But before the virgin and her spouse had disgested these sodaine ioyes, which hapned vnto them in the Temple, new dangers were set before them, insomuch as that their owne experience might sufficiently haue taught them, if they could not haue told before, that mourning is alwayes at one end of myrth. Ioseph his iealousie swallowed vppe his first ioy hee had in his spouse, their grieuous winter iourney, made him bewayle her wombes groth, their gladnesse at this childes birth, was checked with an inconuenient abode, the shepheards congratulation was soone choked with the childs circumcision, the kings oblation of golde and frankensence, was not perfected without mirrhe, and now that they haue beene at the Temple, and heard what ioy these made which did but see him, who was theirs, a message commeth, which to shew the more hast, commeth by night, and vrgeth Ioseph to arise and take the childe, and the childs mother, and flye into Egypt, for that Herod would make search after the childe to kill him.

The message being deliuered vnto Ioseph, he lost little time, but rose, and tooke the childe and his mother by night, and went into Egypt, where they remained not onely vntill the massacre was ended, but also vntill that Herod was dead.

Then were many Oracles vnderstood, and one principall prophesie was fulfilled, that the Lorde should ascend vppon a light cloude, and should enter into Egypt, and the Idols of Egypt should bee ouerthrowne, and the heart of Egypt should languish in the middle thereof, for when the sonne of God became a man, he was in some sort hidden, that his glorie was not seene, and the flesh which hee tooke was likened vnto a light cloude, either because flesh is of it selfe no more lasting then is a thin cloude, which with euery little winde is dissolued, or else because he was of no lesse power when he was in that cloude, then he was before.

At his comming into Egypt, some affirme that all the Idols in Egypt fell downe, others say, that onely one in euerie Temple, as at the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, one dyed in euerie house: some write, that onely those fell downe, which wer at Heliopolis in Thebais, whether the virgin went with her sonne to dwell: certaine it is, that a huge great tree was not farre from the Citie, whose fruit, leaues, or barke did heale many diseases, and no other cause was euer giuen thereof, then that it receiued this vertue myraculously, when the yong prince passed by it at his first comming, at what time it bowed downe vnto the ground, and was dispossessed of an euill spirite, which was woont there to bee honoured by the Egyptians, and all this is no wonder to those, who read that Dagon (the Idoll which the Philistins adored) was founde first lying vpon the ground before the Arke of God (which they took in a battell from the Iewes, and had placed it in Dagons temple at Ayolus) and the second time the body of the Idoll was in his place as they had set it vp againe, but the head and hands were off, and lay before the arch. If the arch were of such vertue (being a thing made of wood made by Moses at Gods commaundement to keep the law, which he gaue vnto the Israelites) that an Idoll could not stand in the presence therof, how coulde any Idols stande in the presence of an arch made without mans hand and where God himselfe was personally present? For into Egypt came now neither Abraham, Iacob, Moses, nor Ieremie, but one who was greater then euer was any of the patriarks, or prophets, and therefore no wonder, if Egypt felt such an alteration as neuer before. That this yong prince dwelt in Heliopolis a worthy fountaine not far from thence witnessed, wherein it is said the virgin washed the yong prince, and such things as she vsed about him, it was in a garden where grewe nothing but that which was most precious. For in the garde was nothing but Balsam, & it had no other water but of that fountain to water it, & the garden being afterward made greater, the inhabitants thereabout digged a greater place for the watering thereof, near vnto the other little fountaine, perswading themselues that there was some speciall vertue therein for this purpose, and that their Well which they digged, being neare vnto it, might be the better for it, but they all were deceyued of their expectation, vntill they made certaine Pipes by which they conueyed water out of the little fountane into their Well, and mingled it with other water, which sprung fast by it, in remembraunce of which, both that place, and the place where the virgin dwelled, were had in great reuerence by the heathen people, for they sawe a manifest signe that his bodie gaue vertue vnto that fountain, when as the water which was digged close by it had no such vertue in it.

This sequell perchance made the Egyptians to reflect the more vpon their Idols fall, both in their Temples, and elsewhere, and called to minde what they had beene before also informed by one, who although he were a Iew, and stoned to death by his owne countrymen in Egypt (because hee foretolde them they should all die by sworde and famine, which descended into Egypt after the destruction of their Temple by the Chaldees) yet he was highly esteemed of by all the Egyptians, for that by his prayers hee deliuered all that coast where he came, from Cocatrices (pernitious water serpents) & from Aspides, which were so wily, that if at any time the enchanter were about to charme them (thereby to take away their force in hurting them) they woulde lay one of their eares so close to the ground, and stop the other so fast with their taile, that the enchanter could not in any sort preuaile against them.

The Oracle which this prophet gaue them, was that when a virgin should bring forth a sonne their Idols should be destroied, which being beleeued by the priests, they erected in the most secret place of their teple the Image of a virgin with a child in her arms & adored it, which Ptolomeus their K. (for Alexander the great made Ptolo. K. of Egypt, & after him the K. of Egypt were called Ptolome, as before they all called Pharao) when hee demaunded what it meant, they sayde as before is shewed, and that their predecessors had left such a tradition amonge them, and that they beleeued it, and no doubt that Image did stand still in their temple, for the honor they bore vnto the Prophet, whom after the Iewes had stoned, the Egyptians buried close by theyr Kings, but afterward Alexander the Great translated his body with exceeding great pompe vnto Alexandria, that by the presence thereof, those Serpents shoulde auoyde, which by no other pollicie hee could ouercome, notwithstanding that hee had brought other kind of serpents out of Greece to destroy them.

But after that this blessed virgin and her childe were come into Egypt, Herod returning from Rome as most men affirme; either from making complaint of his sonnes Alexander and Aristobulus, or from aunswering to theyr complaints made vppon him to the Emperor, and not knowing this yong prince where to finde, but mistrusting onely, that hee was some where about Bethleem, sent to murder all the infants which were in Bethleem & neere about, so that Beniamin, as some doe thinke, bordering vpon that part of Iuda, lost also some of their infants, according to the olde prophesie. A voyce of weeping and howling was heard in Rama, Rachel bewayling her children, and would not bee comforted because they were not, that is to say, because shee was spoyled of them, for Beniamin was the yongest sonne of Rachel, and the yongest of the twelue patriarches, some doe thinke that Rama was a towne betwixt Bethleem and Hebron, and that Zacharias vpon ryot of this murder, conuayed away his sonne, for which hee was afterward slaine himselfe. Some say, that this Rama was a towne in Arabia, whose name was vsed to shewe how farre in a short time this crueltye was spred abroade. Some do thinke that Rama signified nothing but the vehemencie of the crye, which might very well bee, for 14000. infants were slain in this massacre, and as some do thinke, onely the infants of Iuda, and that Rachel is by the Prophet sayd to lament her children, not because that anie of the tribe of Beniamin were slaine, but because that shee lay buried neere vnto the place, where this murder was principally doone, (which was doone vpon all of twoo yeeres old, to fiue yeeres old, as some haue thought) because the childrens bones which were after seene, seemed to bee of a greater growth then twoo yeeres: others, who thinke that children were bigger at that time, then they were in a short time after, say all were slaine which were of two yeeres and vnder, which also some do limit, saying that none were slaine, who were vnder 40. dayes olde, because Herod vnderstood that the Prince was borne when the three Kings were with him, which was about fortie dayes before this murder, and these doe suppose, that the murder was done presently after the presentation in the Temple, but this limitation hath more pittie then pith in it, for if the Souldiours were debarred from killing those who were but fortie dayes olde or vnder, could they distinguish better betwixt one childes age then another of fortie dayes, and anothers of fortie fiue dayes, or fiftie dayes, then betwixt one of fortie dayes, and one of two yeeres old? if they were so cunning to distinguish one age from another, which differed but three or foure dayes, why were children of two yeeres olde murdered, for one little aboue fortie dayes olde? if they were not so cunning to distinguish, what securitie was it for Herod to kill some, and leaue other aliue, who might very well be taken for foure or fiue dayes yonger then they were? Wherefore it is more probable, that all were slaine which were twoo yeeres olde or vnder, for Herod assured himselfe, as hee might verie well, both by the Prince his presentation in the Temple, and also by the appearing of the starre, that the childe hee sought for was vnder those yeeres, and not knowing howe to sette a limit vnder that time, which could bee obserued for his purpose, hee might thinke it little more crueltie, then hee did principally intend to kill them all, beside that hee might thinke, that some for some bribes might bee fauoured, the souldiours hauing so iust an excuse, as a precise commaundement to kill such, and no other, and the younge Prince as well as any other, might by these meanes escape, beeing aboue a yeere olde, and thought to bee verie forwarde in growth, hauing in Herods conceite, more helpe by the influence of the starres, then other children, and the more, because hee vnderstoode that a starre did in a sort attende vpon him at his birth, and this cause doe some giue, why hee took so large a scope in the age of those, whome he caused to bee murdered, for hee thought the starres would make him looke yonger or older then hee was, for his aduantage, although others impute it altogether to Herods crueltie, which depriued him so much of reason, as in this commission he would not except his owne sonne, but suffered him also to bee murdered among the infants, perchance hating him for this cause, that being an infant, he was like vnto the Prince whome hee feared. The shepheards their tale was heard, wher they had reported abroad this childs birth, & helde for no more then a tale, because it chanced at such a time, as whe Gentiles and Iewes by their imitation, vsed to watch al the night. For an ancient custome was among them to keep watches twice in the yeere, at what time the nights were at the longest, & at the shortest, and spent them perchance in some kinde of pastime, and this watch did the Gentiles keepe (as some doe write) in honour of the sunne.

The three Kinges, their so straunge a demaunde in Hierusalem for him, who was borne King of the Iewes, draue Herod into a little feare, but theyr silent departure made him thinke that they missed what they sought for, and therefore the more secure, but when the Prince was openly proclaimed in no obscure place, but in the teple, & not in a corner, but in an open assemblie, Herod beganne to bee exceedingly troubled, and hauing a present witte, especially in any wicked practise, determined rather then to misse him, that all the children in Bethleem or neere about, should bee murdered, but deferred it vntill his returne from Rome (as many doe say) perchance because in his absence hee doubted, eyther that it would not bee doone vnto his minde, or else that it might cause some tumult among the people, or thirdlye, because hee would not haue this obiected against him when hee should come before Cęsar.

But heere may seeme some doubt why the Virgin should flie into Egypt for succour, beeing at Nazareth, for the sacred Historie sayth, shee went thither so soone as all thinges were ended in the Temple, which was foure dayes iourney from Bethleem, where (as it appeareth) shee was in sufficient securitie with her childe, to which may bee aunswered, that although Herod were enformed that the Prince he feared, was to bee borne in Bethleem, and that from Bethleem the childe came, of whom, at his presentation in the Temple, so many thinges both admirable, and woorthie eternall memorie were spoken, yet could hee not bee ignorant (whome feare made ouer-curious, and to search out whatsoeuer might make for his purpose) of an olde prophesie that was amongst the Iewes, that is to saye,

A sprig shall spring from the root of Iesse, and out of this sprig shall come a floure, or as some did reade it a Nazarene, so that it was conuenient that the virgine shoulde remoue the Prince from Nazareth, which Herode after his returne by diligent search hauing founde: but not whither they were remoued, and imagining that they were returned to Bethleem, or thereabout, because they were of the tribe of Iuda, he resolued to send his soldiers thither to kill all the infants of two yeares old, and vnder. But after this murther Herode grew odious in Palestina, and infamous in all the world, in so much as the Emperor, who had before a great conceit of the man, said by way of mocking, that he had rather be Herods hog, then his sonne: for the Iewes did not kill any swines flesh, either for the temple or for their owne priuate vses, because they accounted those beasts as vncleane, and therefore not to be eaten, for euery beast (saith their law) which doth not chew the cud, & hath not the foot cloue, is vnclean, by which the Hare although it chew the cudde, yet because it hath an whole foote is counted vncleane, & the hog which hath a clouen foot, because it doth not chaw the cud is also vncleane.

But neither were hogs kept in Palestina, vntil such had power ouer it, as were not vnder the Iewes lawes, & then were the Iewes contented (being for this cause priuiledged in other things aboue others) to keep hogs for others vses. And these obseruations were not onely for beasts, but for fishes, which were al accounted vncleane, which had not both fins & scales, & also for fowles: among which some were forbidden. which among other people are vsed ordinarily, some seldome, either in respect of daintines of the meat, or curiousnes of the eaters, as Swan, Puet, a sea foule like to a sea gull, Crowes, Hawkes, Owles, & many other, which perchance in far countries elswhere were accounted good meat: as Griffins, Kites, Ostriches, Eagles, & other strange birds which breed in Egipt or thereabout. Generally all flying things which had foure legs, were iudged vncleane, vnlesse they had their hinder legs longer the their forelegs.

But Herode his good fortune was such, as all things still chanced as he wished: and whereas Cęsar was thought by some to giue him a mocke, Cęsar (he thought) did highly commend him, for by Cęsars words Herode was noted to be so strickt an obseruer of the law he professed, as he wold preferre it before his sons life, yet was it manifest vnto the Iewes, that Herod wold not spare to kil, yea & to eat swines flesh, if by eating therof he could haue found any sweetnes, for all his religion was meere policy, & he caried onely a shew of religion to win mens mindes vnto him. He built a goodly temple in the place of that which the Iews built after they returned from their captiuitie in Babilon, but hee shewed with what deuotion when hee erected a golden Eagle vpon the great gate of the temple: for pulling downe of which (as a thing not tollerable by the Iewes lawes that any image shold be dedicated in their temple) many were put to death, and peraduenture more should, if he had liued longer, for howsoeuer he got the fauours of forraine people, he lost ordinarily the harts of all the Iewes, for beside the great taxes and aduantages which hee got of the people to enrich himselfe, by which riches he purchased straungers good will, he was alwaies exceeding cruell vnto his seruants. But due punishment for his crueltie, especially that murder of the infants, was not altogether deferred vntill after this life, for long before he died he had a most odious disease, & such as was so grieuous vnto him, that if others had not staid him, hee had in one of his pangs slaine himselfe. His disease tooke him with an extreame heate in all his bodie, so that his bowels were consumed, he fed greedily without any intermission, his entrailes were exceeding sore, and hee was troubled with an extreame collicke: his feet & his grines swelled, his members rotted, being full of wormes, with the which they had both a filthy stifnes, & gaue out an intollerable stinke: his sinewes were shrunke, and his breath he drew very short. After that the phisitions told him that he was past their cure, hee was carried beyond the riuer Iordan, to a citie called Callirhoe, neere vnto which is a great rock, hauing as they were two teats of equall height from the ground, & not far one fro the other, out of which ran two sorts of waters, one extreme hot & sweet, the other as cold and bitter, which meeting together made a pleasant medlie to drinke, & were also very medicinable for many diseases, especially for shrunke sinewes. Here did Herod bath himselfe, but to so small purpose, that being set afterward in a bathing tub full of oyle to refresh him, he fainted, and recouered not himselfe, but by the outcrie of those which were about him then began he to thinke he should die, and returning from thence to Hiericho he made his will, wherein he declared his sonne Achelaus king, and made his other sonnes princes of diuers places in Palestina: he bequeathed a great quantity of mony to the Emperor and to the Empresse, beside great store of plate, both of siluer and gold, & very rich ornaments: he distributed largely among his soldiers and friends, prouiding for all vnto their contentment, & after he had setled himselfe to die, he remembred that he was so much hated of all the Iewes, that whereas at the death of princes much mourning is in all their dominions, contrariwise at his death would bee as much ioy: therefore that he might bee honoured with teares after his departure, he commanded that all the nobilitie of Palestina should vppon paine of death come vnto him: with whome after he had a while quarelled, he sent them to be kept in an Amphytheater, with this charge vnto his trustiest and dearest friends (his sister Salome as some think & her husband, but others think he had caused the also to be murdered before) that as soone as he were dead, & before his death were knowne abroad, all those Iewes should in that place be slaine: but the ioy he conceiued of this (although it did him very great ease) was not able to make him forget his owne griefe, but in a raging impatiencie woulde haue slain himself with a knife, for which he called to pare an apple, as he vsed to do in the time of his sicknesse had not Achiabus his nephew stayed his hand, and not long after hee finished a most hatefull life, yet according as he had liued in exceeding great pomp, his body was buried with great honour.

The litter on which his body was laid, was of golde, adorned with very rich and pretious stones, it was couered with purple, as also his body was, he had a diademe on his head, and a crowne of gold ouer that, hee had also a scepter in his hand, his children and kinsmen were round about his body, next to them went his guarde and champions, first, the Thracians, then the Germaines, after these went the Frenchmen, then came the whole armie lead by their Captaines and Centurions all in warlike manner, after those went fiue hundred of his seruantes, carrying sweet perfumes, which order they kept vntill they came to Herodium (a castle built by himselfe before, not farre distant from Ierico) where hee was interred, but the Iewes whome hee had caused to bee shut vp in the Theater to bee slaine, were all let goe after his death, and a gratefull message came to Ioseph in Egypt by night in his sleepe, that he shold rise and take the child and his mother, and returne into Palestina, because they were all deade which sought the childe to murder him, which Ioseph slacked not, but as soone as he heard that Archelaus did rule in Iuda, he was afraide to go thether, and being in the same manner vrged againe, hee went to Galilie, and dwelled in Nazareth, whence he before had brought his spouse, and at this time was vnder Antipas, as also the countrie of Perea, vpon the far side of the riuer Iordan, and therefore called sometime Transamnana, for that part did Herod allot vnto him in his last will and testament, who gaue also vnto Philip an other of his sonnes the Tetrarchie of Traconites, Bathanea, Auranitis, & Paneas, all which prouinces except Paneas are also without the riuer Iordan, vpon the north part of Palestina, Iamnias, Ahotus and Phaselida, he gaue to Salone who was his sister, Iudea. Idumea, & Samaria remained to his sonne Archelaus, whome he appointed to bee king after him, if so Cęsar would, neither dared Archelaus (although all did congratulate him by that name) to take vpon him to bee king, vntill hee had beene at Rome with Cęsar, whether when he came he wanted no aduersaries to stande against him, especially the Iewes which laboured much to be deliuered from the tyranny vnder which they had liued being vnder his Father, and feared the like vnder him, who alreadie at Easter (when from all partes of the world came Iewes to Ierusalem to solemnize that feast) had slain about three thousand, and commaunded al to leaue of their accustomed deuotions, and returne vnto their owne countries: but his chiefest aduersarie was his brother Antipas, who claimed the kingdom by his fathers will, which was made when hee was in health, and would haue disprooued his Fathers last will, because it was made when hee was in great extremitie of sicknes, and knew not what hee did: but Nicholas of Damascus Archelaus his orator (knowing before whom he pleaded) answered that it was a sufficient argument that Herod knew what he did, because he left his will in all things to Cęsars wisedome, and after he had laid the blame of al the murders and misdemeaners of Archelaus vppon them which aunswered him as being rebellious and factious people against their prince, Archelaus came to Cęsar and vpon his knees offered himselfe vnto him whome Cęsar took vp, and promised that he would doe nothing against Herods last will, onely he would haue him refraine the name of a king for a while, which he doubted not, but that hee would quicklie deserue.

The cause of this strife betwixt these two brethren for the kingdome, was Herods their fathers rashnes, who in his life time appointed now one, then an other, almost all his sonnes for kinges, first hee ment that the kingdome should descend from him vnto his sonnes Alexander, & Aristobulus, whome he had by Mariamnes grandchild to Hircanus the last king of the Iewes, but his eldest son Antipater (whom he had by Doris a base woman) being prouoked oftentimes by the contemptuous speeches of the princes, for whose mothers loue his mother was reiected deuised how he might both take reuenge vpon the, and aduance himselfe, wherefore first hee wrought meanes by the discredite of the princes to come a little into his Fathers fauour, which when hee had gotten so farre as his Father put him before the two princes in the right of the kingdome, hee vsed matters in that sort, that Herod hauing by his sleight and his friends, put Mariamnes to death, now also by his false suggestions murdered his two sonnes which he had by her, then was Antipater honoured as a king by all, for Herod gaue ouer vnto him the gouernement of the countrie in such manner as he kept vnto himselfe little more then the bare title of a king which Antipater also thought was too much, yet first he stirred vp his father what he coulde against Archelaus and Philip two other of his brethren, the sought meanes to poison his Father, which being perceiued by Herod, hee presently chaunged his former will (by which hee had giuen the kingdome to Antipater) and being offended with Archelaus and Philip by Antipaters meanes, hee made Antipas his successor in this kingdom, but before hee dyed (hauing manifest proofe of Antipaters treasons against him) he repented too late his cruelty which now he mistrusted was without cause against Mariamnes & her children, and, accounting all which proceeded from Antipater to haue beene false accusations to further himselfe in the kingdome, he chaunged his will, and deuided the countrie into foure partes, & made foure Tetrarches ouer it, but the chiefest part he left to Archelaus, whome he set downe in his last wil for his successor, (if Cęsar shold think him meet) and not aboue fiue dayes before his death caused Antipater to be executed and buried obscurely, for as he had many causes for which hee thought hee might worthily haue put him to death before, so would he not vpon any of them execute him without Cęsars consent, to whome hee had signified by letters what Antipater had attempted and wrought against him, and how that in his treasons he had vsed the helpe of Acme, who attended vpon Iulia the Empresse, to which letters Cęsar aunswered that Acme being found guiltie at Rome, was executed as she had deserued, and that Antipater was now at his Fathers discretion to order him as hee would which was no small comfort vnto him in the extremitie of his sicknes, wherefore hee determined that Antipater should die, which intention vpon this occasion was put in execution. When Herod (beeing in an extreame fitte of his sicknesse) would haue slaine himselfe, and was hindered by Achiabus, who was his nephew. Achiabus (notwithstanding hee had preuented the stroake) gaue so great a skritch, that all in the pallace thought Herod had beene dead. And Antipater, who was not farre off (although a prisoner) hearing those newes, dealt with his keeper to lette him goe at libertie, as not doubting to gette the kingbome within a shorte time, and to the end he might perswade the more easily, hee promised great gifts both then, and for afterward. But this keeper, either for feare of Herod, or for little loue to Antipater, went presently to Herod, and declared his sonnes attempt, for which Herod in his rage commaunded him presently to bee slaine, so that now remained the other twoo willes which Herod made to bee tryed which of them were of force, but Cęsar decided the controuersie, and the two brethren vppon this conclusion returned from Rome to Palestina, where Archelaus, as well before as after his voyage, did so little degenerate from his father, that gladde were they who were out of his dominion, which was the cause why Ioseph auoyded his owne countrey, and went directly to Nazareth with his charge, from whence euerie yeare for deuotion sake, they went to Hierusalem to the Temple, especially at the feast of Easter, for many feasts did the Iewes obserue, and no one passed them without great solemnitie. Some of them might not bee celebrated but in Hierusalem, some againe might bee obserued els where wheresoeuer the Iewes dwelt.

Their Sabaoth they did celebrate euerie seuenth day, a daye solemne from the beginning of the world, sanctified by God himselfe, and called the sabaoth, because then hee ceased from creating the world, and the complements thereof, wherefore the Iewes alwayes (except when they were in Egypt) and all theyr auncestors, kept the seuenth day holy, in remembrance that after sixe dayes, in which all things were created, God rested the seuenth day, which although perchance when they were in Egypt they minded not, and in time forgot it, being so long in bondage, where they could not vse that honour vnto God vpon that day, as theyr fathers had taught them, yet were they assured, that was the day when they were in the wildernesse, by the myracle which chaunced so oft vnto them, that in the end they did by theyr murmur seeme to contemne it, for when they wanted victuall in the desart, God sent down vnto them like raine a food, which because they knewe not else what to call it, they called it Manna, which woord was in euerie mans mouth, when they first saw it, and signifieth what is this, it fell sixe dayes, and the seuenth nothing fell, but vppon the sixt day it fell in greater aboundance, then any other day, that the people might gather sufficientlye to serue them the same day and the next. Vpon this which they called sabaoth, it was not lawfull for them to doe anye worke, no, not to prouide or dresse any meate for their sustenaunce, for confirmation of which, they did see weekely that what Manna they gathered vpon the sixt day, was as good vpon the seuenth day as when they gathered it, whereas the Manna which was gathered vppon any other day, was eaten with wormes by the next morning, and this their sabaoth day is our Saturday.

By this name of sabaoth also they call the weeke, and accounted the morrow after the sabaoth, the first of the sabaoth, and so forward vnto the sixt of the sabaoth, which because then they prepared theyr victuall readie to be eaten the next day, they called the Parasceue of the sabaoth, and generally they called all their feastes sabaoths. But there was one sabaoth among them, which many doubt what kinde of holyday it was, they called it a seconde first sabaoth. Some say it was a sabaoth which fel next after another holiday. Some do say it was a sabaoth which fell the next day before another holiday. Some say that that word first doth not signifie any order, in number, but in dignitie, & that meaning of the second first Sabaoth, may bee of a Sabaoth, which was a chiefe Sabaoth, but not so great as another might be, such were the Sabaoths which lighted within the Octaues of some great feast, and were called great Sabaoths, but when the first day of the feast, being (no doubt) greater then the other, lighted vppon a Sabaoth, that Sabaoth was greater, then if the second daye of the feast should light vpon the Sabaoth, and if there were any difference betwixt the solemnitie of the first day of the feast, and the last day, then may such a Sabaoth, being the Octaue of a feast, be accounted the second chiefest Sabaoth, because none could bee greater then that but one, vppon which should fall the first day of the feast. So that the second first-sabaoth, may bee sayde to bee the second chiefe Sabaoth, that is, either a Sabaoth within the Octaues of a feast, or else the Octaue it selfe, if it fell on a Sabaoth day.

The Sabaoths, as also all other their feasts, beganne the euening before the day, and continued vntill the euening of the same day: the euening was then thought to beginne, when the shepheards starre appeared, and to euery day belonged but one euening, so that when it is sayd from euening to euening they celebrated their feasts, it is to be vnderstood from the beginning of the first, to the beginning of the next euening, for then was it lawfull for them to worke.

A greater difficultie it is, how farre the Iewes might walke vpon this Sabaoth, for as they were restrayned from dressing any meate (which vppon all other holydayes they might, except theyr day of expiation. So likewise it was lawfull for them to walke, but within certaine limits, which some haue thought did extend vnto twoo mile, and prooue it by tradition from the Iewes: some saye it did extend but vnto two thousand cubits, and prooue it by the order which the Iews obserued in the wildernesse, because they fixed their tents so farre from the tabernacle, whether no doubt they repayred vppon the Sabboath, others because that an infallible truth hath reuealed that the mount Oliuet was a sabaoth dayes iourney from Hierusalem, which mount was scantly two hundred foot from the Cittie, doe thinke that this was their stint, and they doe confirme it by the tradition of the Iewes, who affirme that their Rabbins so taught them, but how much, or how little so euer it was, no doubt the Iewes were as precise in obseruing it, as in other things belonging vnto the Sabaoth, which rather then they would not most strictly obserue, they would offer themselues to bee slaine, as once it chaunced at Sea, where a Iewe holding the sterne, as soone as hee perceiued the sunne set vpon Friday at night, left it, and lay prostrate vpon the ground, not without amazing all other in the shippe, who thought that they had beene in some desperate daunger of theyr liues, but when they vnderstood that hee did it for Religion sake, as who would do no worke vpon the sabaoth day then new begun, one ranne to him with a sword, and threatned to kil him, if he tooke not againe the sterne in hand, but his threates were in vaine, for the Iewe would not worke vntill he was sure the Sabaoth was past. And in the hystorie of the Machabees it is shewed, that a thousand suffered themselues to bee slaine by Antiochus his souldiers, who knew the Iewes would not strike that day in their owne defence, which when Mathathias perceiued, aud conceiued, that if they did keepe their Sabaoth so strictly in this point, that all the Iewes might bee slaine without any battaile, hee exhorted the rest not to stande vpon any nice points, which grewe rather vpon too much scrupulousnesse, then vpon the true meaning of the law. So that when the next sabaoth came, and the souldiers assaulted them as they did before, thinking to haue murdered them without assistaunce, the Iewes did not onely defend themselues, but also offended their enemies, and gaue them a bloudie ouerthrow and thought it no breach of their sabaoth, when they sawe by the contrarie obseruation that both the people, and their lawe would quicklie haue an ende.

And other solemnitie was among the Iews, which they called the feast of Neomenia, that is, the feast of the new Moone, or the first day of the Moone, for the Iewes reckoned their Moneths from the first appearing of the moon, vntil it did appeare again after once it left to appeare, for the discrying of which, they had euerywhere in their sinagogues (that is to say) their places where they met togither at their deuotions) a high tower into which one did ascende, with a trumpet in his hand at the sunne set, next day after they knewe the coniunction of the sunne and the Moone: and as soone as he saw the Moone, hee sounded his trumpet, by which he gaue all the Iews in that place, to vnderstande the beginning of the new moneth, this account did they alwayes obserue concerning the moone, without any respect either to her natural course, which is from west toward the east, and in 27. daies and 8. houres, returneth to the same point from whence it went, or to the time in which it doth appear in her violent course, from the east to the west, for that time is no more then 28. daies, but alwaies to her coniunction with the sun, which is once in 29. daies, & 12, houres, and because those od 12, houres should breed no confusion, they added to euery second month 1. day, so that the first month was alwaies of 29. dayes, & the second of 30. and in this sort they did account 12. monthes in the yeeare. But because in a short time, according vnto this account a cofusion might be of times, this yeare of 12. months thus reckoned wanting 11. daies euerie yeare of the course of the sunne, to accorde their yeares with the yeare of the sunne, in 19. yeares they added 7. months, 6, months of 30. daies, & one of 29. dayes, which amount iust vnto the number of the 11. daies which in euery one of the 19: years do wat in that other reckning: for in 19. years of 12. months in the year, according to the Iewes account, the sun had gotten 19. times 11. daies, which amount to two hundred and nine dayes, and these monthes added, one sometime to some third, and sometime an other to some second yeare of the nintenth, amount to as manie dayes, so that in the 19. yeare the yeere of the sunne and the yeere of the moone, by the Iewes account did perfectly agree.

The day of their Neomenia (that is, ahe first day of the moone was kept holyday, but so as any man might worke therein, and those which would not, might bee present at the sacrifice then offered extraordinarily with sounde of trumpets, and other musicke, to the ende that hauing consecrated to Gods honour the first of their time as first fruites, God would prosper the in all the month following

These were the ordinarie feasts, which continued, from the beginning of the yeere to the ende, the Sabaoth euerie seuenth day, and the calends or Neomenia euerie first day of the moone.

The solemnitie of their Phese or passeouer (by which they would both shew themselues gratefull for a good turne, and instruct all their posteritie how graciously God delt with them in Egypt, the night before they tooke their iourney from thence, when he slew the first begotten both of men and beast, from the highest to the lowest of euery kind: or as some thinke, not onely the first begotten, for a second sonne, although hee were not absolutelie the auncientest of his house, yet hee might bee the auncientest in the house, whereat that time he was, for in euerie house one laye dead, and passed ouer onely the housen in which were the Hebrewes, at the sight of a sign made like vnto a T. vppon the posts of their doores, with the bloud of a lambe, or a kid the same night killed, and eaten in the house, was obserued the fourteenth day of the first moone in the yeare, and that Moone they did alwayes account the first in the yeare, whose firste daye was nearest vnto the Equinoctiall in the Sommer spring time: for before this solemnitie was instituted, they accounted their beginning of their yeare at the other Equinoctiall according to the custome of the Egyptians, which account they did not altogether afterward neglect, but vsed it in their secular affayres, as they vsed this other in their diuine ceremonies, and called the one a holy yeare, and the other a secular yeare.

This holy yeare was instituted by God himself, and promulgated by Moses, and was obserued in remembrance that in this moneth they were brought fro Egypt, & this feast was celebrated in this maner.

Vpon the 14. day of that moone at the sunne set, or before, they had ready a lambe, or a kid of a yeare old, or vnder, cleare from all disease, both in the skin and body, and after that it was offered vnto God, (which the Priests did by lifting it vp before God) it should be killed, rosted & eaten in the same house, and if they were not sufficient in the house to eate a lambe, or a kidde, they should call in their neighbours (alwayes prouided that they were Iews) or at the least Proselites (that is, circucised if they were Gentiles before) which was a great helpe vnto the poore, who were not able to buy a lambe, or, a kidde: they might not cast away anie part of the lambe or kidde, but after they had washed the entrailes, they put them in again, and rosted it whole from the heade vnto the feete, neyther might they breake any bone thereof, or seeth any part: they were to eate it with vnleauened bread, and wild lettuse, they had staues in their handes, and shooes on their feet (a thing not vsed in their feasts, for at feasts they sat barefoote) whereby they woulde signifie, that they did eat in haste, and were readie to bee gone, and therefore they did not sit but stood at this feast: wherefore when wee reade of some who did rise to wash others feete after this feast, it is not to be vnderstoode, that they did rise immediately after this feast, for they were vp, and stoode at it (although the phrase might beare it, when anie newe thing is attempted) but they did rise from the supper which was vsually made after this feast: this being instituted to fulfill a ceremonie rather then to fill the bellie: and the same custome continued a long time after, that the thing it selfe was vsed, of which this was partly a figure, if any of the lambe, or kidde remayned not eaten, it was to bee burned the next morning: if the housholde were verie great, that a lambe could not satisfie their hunger, it was not lawfull for them to kill any more then one in this ceremonie: but they might afterward eat what they would to satisfie them. Yet some haue thought that no moe, nor fewer then ten persons might be at the eating of a lambe.

This holy day began when the lambes or kiddes beganne to bee offered, and ended when the euening was come, yet they might eate of the lambe vntill midnight, notwithstanding that the same euening an other feast was begun, which continued 8. dayes, and was called the feast of vnleauened bread, because it was not lawfull for the to haue any other in the house all that time. It was also called Phase, as the former feast was, & by the same name wer the sacrifices called, which were offered in those dayes of the feast, and the like conditions were required of puritie, in those which eate of them, for as they were commaunded vnder paine of death to eate their pascall lambe, so might they not eate it, if they had contracted any vncleannesse by touching any dead body, wherfore in such case it was lawfull for them to keepe the next moneth, and keepe this feast then according vnto their rites prescribed.

In this feast of their Phase, they kept the first day and the last so holy, that in them they might doe no other work, then dresse meate vpon the second day (vnlesse it were the sabaoth) they gathered of the ripest of the barley, and after they had scorched the sheafe in the fire, they grinded the corne, & brought the quantity of 4. poud weight, which they mingled with oyle, & offered it with frankensence, as the first fruits of the earth, partly in remebrance that at such a time they came fro Egypt, partly in thanksgiuing vnto God for their increase, which the priests took and throwing some of the flower and oyle into the fire, also all the frankensence, they kept the rest of the flowre and the oyle to their owne vse.

The cause why their phase had so short a solemnitie, and their feast of sweete bread so long, is for that their first phase was no longer, and they eate of vnleauened bread a long time, and this order did they alwayes keepe, that what feast they did celebrate in remembrance of that which chaunced but once, or for one day, they did keepe but one day solemne for it, and for that which chanced many dayes, they kept their Octaues, and therefore they celebrated also their feast of Penticost in one day, because the fifteth day after they were come into the wildernes, God did appeare vnto them vpon the mount Sinai, and gaue them the law, so that this fifteth day was not accounted after the eating of the Lamb, but after the offring of the first fruits in the Temple, which was the thirde day after the eating of the Lambe, in which day they entred into the wildernesse.

In the feast of Penticost they offered wheate corne, euerie one two loaues, but with leauen, of foure pound weight a loafe, at what time also they offered other sacrifices vnto God for his benefites, but some of the cattell when the priestes had lifted them vp, were to the priests vse, and all the bread, because it was not lawfull to sacrifice any leuen vnto God. In their seuenth month of their yeere, which they called their holy yeere, they had 4 solemnities. First they celebrated the first daye of the moneth as in all other moneths, with the sound of Trumpets, and other musicke, with this onely difference, that in remembrance of the sacrifice of the ramme, which hung by the hornes in the brambles, on the top of the mountaine Morea, & was offered in place of Isaac, whom by Gods commandement Abraham had sacrificed, had he not beene at that time countermanded: the Iews did in this solemnitie sound their rammes hornes, thanking God for Isaac his deliuerie, and hoping of like fauour, whensoeuer they should bee in like affliction. The second feast in this moneth was the day of Expiation, which was as strictly obserued as the sabaoth. It was celebrated in remembrance of Gods mercie towarde them, after they had fallen into Idolatrie at mounte Sinai, where they adored the golden calfe, of which mercye they had a manifest signe, when Moses as that day brought vnto them the tables wherein the law was written the seconde time, for when it was written, Moyses offended with their Idolatrie, brake the tables which he had receiued of God.

Vpon this day only did the high Priest, & no ma but hee, enter into the holyest place of the Temple with the bloud of a calfe, and a goat prayed for the people, that their sins might be forgiuen the, which he confessed before God, laying his hand vpon the head of a quick goat, & afterward he caused it to bee carried away into the wildernes, wherby he would signifie that al their sins were forgiuen them. Then attiring himself in his rich ornaments (for when he went into the holiest place, hee wore no other then the ordinarie Priests did weare when they offered sacrifice) he offred at the common Altar a great sacrifice, and this feast was alwaies vpon the 10. of the 7. month, but it began vpon the 9. day at night, whe also al the people bega their fasting, which they did continue all the next daye, this fast began so soone in respect of the solemnitie thereof, as far exceeding all other fasts, of which they had in euery of the twelue moneths some, beside their ordinarie feasts euery weeke, which were vpon the second & fift of their sabaoth, that is to say, vpon munday and Thursday.

Vpon the fifteenth of the same moneth they did celebrate the feast of the Tabernacles, in remembrance that they dwelled in Tabernacles, at theyr return from Egypt, this feast continued 7. dayes, of which the first onely was holy from work, and not the last, because the next day after the last of the feast, they did celebrate another holyday, which they caled the Meeting for a special worship of god, & thanksgiuing vnto him for his benefits, on which it was not lawfull for them to do any worke (except such as was necessarie for their foode) and two such dayes they would not haue together, because it seemed inconuenient for the poore, who got their liuing by their handie labour, by which custome it appeareth, that the opinion of those was not improbable, who thought that the first day of the feast of vnleuened bread was neuer kept vppon Friday, but when it so fell, it was put off vnto the sabaoth, lest two dayes should come together, in which the people might not worke, and that accordingly, the eating of the Lambe was transferred a day longer for that yeere, which whether it were lawfull or no, it is a verie great difficultie to define, but not materiall in this place, whether it were so or no, because in some things they would do often as themselues listed, but the like feast as that was of their meeting, was also celebrated vpon the last day of their feast of vnleauened bread, which nowe in this feast of the Tabernacles they could not so well doe, because that the solemnitie of this feast of Tabernacles, consisted in dwelling abroade in tabernacles, where they could not conueniently meete, for euerie houshold set vp a tabernacle, not so large as they would, but to serue their own copanie, they set them vp in such order as tabernacles are nowe vsed, the couering was of linnen, & perchance some skins ouer the linnen, to keepe out the weather, and the poorer sort, who were not able to make such prouision, made their Tabernacles with bowes. Great sacrifice was offred in this feast of the Tabernacles, & all the time of the feast the people carried in their hands bows of mirtle, willowes, citron, and palm-tree, with their fruit hanging on them, wherby they would shew, how that they were brought out of a barren desart into a verie fruitfull country, where was great plentie of all things, this feast they called the feast of Scenopegia, to signifie that they dwelled for this time in Tabernacles, not that they might not goe forth at their pleasure, but because there was their principall abode for that time.

At this feast was their seuenth yeere alwayes ended, which they accounted fro seuenth to seuenth, fro their time of their entrace into Palestina. In euery 7. yeere, they did neither sow, nor set, nor gather any thing as their own in particular, but al the fruits which the earth of it self did yeeld, were comon for as well Gentiles as Iewes, and for this cause God gaue them treble increase of all things in the sixth yeere, also all those Iewes which were sold to any Iew, were in this yeere sette at libertie, and no debt dew to a Iew, by a Iew could bee demaunded, and yet they were forbidden to withdraw theyr loane from their poore neighbours. when this yeere approached. In this yeere the Booke of the lawe was read vnto the people, and this was the solemnity of the seuenth yeere.

After the same manner they did account euery fiftie yeere, which they did proclaim in the seuenth moneth of the 49 yeere, with sound of Trumpet to bee a yeere of Iubile, that is, a yeere of remission, for in that yeere all slaues were set at libertie, and such Iewes as would not part from their maister in the seuenth yeere, either because they loued him or else (if perchance the slaues had married in his seruice a woman, who was no Iewe, and therefore not to bee set at libertie before) because they would not forsake their wiues and children, which during that time they had by them, and in this case a slaue was brought vnto the priests, and being set against the post of the doore his eare was bored through with an All, and then he could not goe from his maister vntill the yeere of Iubile, but in the yeere of Iubilee, hee and his wife and children were al free. Also in this yeere of Iubile, al the possessions which were sold, returned to their first owner, lest in time should grow a confusion among the tribes, which were distinguished by the partition of the land, but with this caution, that if the buyer had layde out more then was the commoditie hee hadde by it, hee that solde it should giue him satisfaction for it, but if any house (except the Leuits house) in a Citie were solde it could neuer bee redeemed againe, if it were not redeemed within a yeere after it was solde, which was to make the people haue care of the Cittie wherein they dwelled, seeing their houses were after a yeere to passe cleane from them. All loanes or lettinges of moueable goodes were ordered euerie seauenth yeare. The trumpets which they vsed in this yeare of Iubilie, were not of siluer as those were with which they called the people to the temple, nor such as they vsed in the feast of their trumpetes the first day of their seauenth month, for these were of Rams hornes, but were of hotns of greater bests, as Buffelars and were made of that fashion that the brasen trumpets were made.

The fourth solemnitie of the seauenth moneth was in remembrance of the finding holy fire, which was hid by Ieremie the Prophet, when the Iewes were carried prisoners into Babilon, and their temple destroyed, and it was found at their return again which when it was brought forth, it appeared to be nothing but a congealed water, but when it was laid vpon the sacrifice, and the sunne did shine vpon it, it flamed vp and consumed the sacrifice, and continued so long as anie sacrifice continued in the temple, for from the first time that the Iewes had this fire (which came miraculously from heauen, when Aaron offered as high priest first sacrifice, it was neuer extinguished, but night and day it was maintained by the priestes.

In the 9. month they kept their Encoenia which was in remembrance of the renouation of their teple by Iudas the Machabee, after the Gentiles had prophaned it, this feast continued eight dayes, and in their 12. moneth they had a holyday in remembrance of an ouerthrow which Iudas gaue vnto Nicanor, whome Demetrius king of Siria sent to destroy the Iewes, and in the same moneth they solemnized those dayes which being granted by Asseuerus (who ruled 55. yeares from India to Ethiopia 127. prouinces) to Aman for the massacre of all the Iewes within those dominions, were afterwarde by Hester her meanes (who was a Iew, and wife to Asseuerus) dayes for the Iewes to reuenge themselues vppon all their enemies, and Aman before the rest was hanged vppon a gibbet, which hee had prouided for Mardocheus who was vncle vnto Queene Hester.

Among these feasts were three, in which all the male kind were to shew themselues at the temple by their law, to wit at the feastes of their Phase, their Pentecost, and their Scenopegia, but male and female who could come were to appeare at their Phase, because they were all bound to offer or eate of a lambe or a kid offered at that time, and it was not lawfull for them to offer it but in Ierusalem, and for this cause did the maide mother & Ioseph repaire vnto the temple euery yeare at this feast, & carried the young prince with the, who passed to & fro the more securely, because no shew mas made of any such personage, yet did he once aboue al other times draw all to marke him, & giue them some cause to admire him. The virgin carried him (as she was wont) vnto the temple, where were so many glad of his company that presuming once that some of her kinsfolke had gotten him amongst them, she & her spouse departed from Ierusalem without him, but when at night they found him not amongst their kinsfolke, the virgins griefe was so great as it cannot be shewed, although returning vnto Ierusalem, and not finding him so soon as she would, it was encreased, but before she left seeking him, she found him in the temple sitting among the Doctors, hearing their discourses, and demaunding of the some questions, for such was the custome among the Iewes that it was not onely lawful, but well accepted by al, that any of what years or condition soeuer might reason with the learnedest Doctors, who for that cause sate in their chayres at the entrance of the Iews court, & other places were prepared for others, euery one according to their reputation, and mats on the ground for the yonger sort to sit, & heare what was taught by the Doctors, and it was as lawfull for them as any in these conferences to demaund of others, and vsuall to declare their owne mindes, but so soon as she saw him, she went vnto him, and full of ioy, and reuerence she said, Sonne why hast thou thus done vnto vs, thy Father (for so was Ioseph reputed in the worlde,) and I haue sought thee with no little griefe, but hee replyed againe vnto her, demaunding why they sought for him, taking no exceptions against that word Father, because it was in a publike assembly, yet because hee would giue them somewhat to muse vpon, he added vnto his former speech, knew yee not that I was to be aboute my Fathers businesse, by which the staders by might easily perceiue that Ioseph was not his Father, both for that Ioseph was present, and that kind of busines about which he was imploied, could not belong to Ioseph: after which aunswere made vnto them, they were somewhat amased, but the virgin let neither word nor deede slippe her without a deepe meditation, conferring euery thing together which she heard him speake or see him do, notwithstanding he returned to Nazareth with them, and liued vnder them in most dutifull manner, as who had before all worldes knowne what belonged to a sonne profiting euery day in wisedome and grace, both in the sight of God and men, which profit was not absolutely in either, for hee had all wisedome essentiall vnto him being the eternall wisedome of his Father, but he profited in that he practised what before he knew, and ioyned to his speculatiue wisedome, a wisedome gotten by experience, and so likewise is hee saide to profite in grace, not that hee was not from the very instant of his conception replenished with all grace, by reason of that heauenly vnion which then was made, but that as a man he encreased it by other kind of actions, then he practised before he was a man, which what they were more then his subiection to his mother, and to the poore Carpenter his supposed father are not in any credible historie recorded, except what hee did after he was thirty yeares of age, and so forward vntill his returne from whence he first came.

But concerning the spending of his youth, some affirme that he vsed the Carpenters art, which hee seemed to haue learned of Ioseph, because an infallible truth hath reuealed, that men of that place where he dwelled, & such as in such a matter could not be deceiued, after they heard him what he said, and saw what he did (when he shewed himselfe vnto the world) maruelled whence he should haue so great power, and so much knowledge, one of them putting another in mind that he was the Carpenter, who was Maries sonne, and whose kinsfolke dwelled among them.

But how can it be that the virgine should bee an inheretrix, and to no small reuenewes, and yet bee forced to liue vpon her sonnes labour? (for Ioseph liued not many yeares after his returne from Egipt) it seemeth a very inconuenient thing, that without any necessitie either she should giue from her selfe all that she had, or he be subiect both to euill words and worse vsage. To this some do easily make this answere, that the virgine enioyed what her parents had before, although after her sonne shewed himselfe vnto the world, both he and she forced themselues to liue vppon the charitie of others, lest in counselling others to sell all which they had, and giue it to the poore if they would follow him, hee might iustly haue beene challenged for preaching one thing, and practising another: wherefore the yong prince vsed an arte, onely because he would not seeme to the world to liue idely, for that was so scandalous a thing in that country, that the chiefest men did train vp their children in one kind of trade or other, but the young prince although hee could haue vsed what arte hee would, being skilfull in all by his extraordinarie knowledge, as well of the least matters as the greatest, yet hee chose to bee a Carpenter rather then any other artificer: first, because he was not yet to shew himselfe vnto the world, and therefore would do nothing but what people might thinke he was taught by Ioseph, whom they tooke to bee his father. Secondly, for the affection he did beare vnto that arte aboue all other, hauing vsed it from the first framing of the world, a worke so much more excellent then euer any other Carpenter could make, by how much the instrument by which it was made is incomparablie better then any Carpenters tooles. Thirdly, because it was the custome among the prophetes, which were sent vnto the Iewes, to shew before they did prophesie by some action what was the effect of their message: and he would do the like.

The Prophete Ose being to foretell the ouerthrow of the house of Iehn, who was king of Israel, and also how Israel (that is the ten Tribes which diuided themselues from Iuda and Beniamin) was forsaken of God for their sinne, and euill customes, he tooke a wife which was before an harlot, by which hee would signifie vnto the people, that they liued in fornication and all manner of filth, although because he married her he committed no sinne, and when hee had gotten by her a sonne hee called his name Iesrael, whereby hee would signifie that the blood which was shed in Iesrael should bee reuenged vpon Iehu, for although Iehu pleased God well in ouerthrowing the house of Achab and Iezabell, and therefore was rewarded with the kingdome of Israel, and his posteritie vnto the fourth generation: yet because he was not free from those vices of Ieroboam the first king of the Israelites: which diuided themselues from the rest. Zacharias who was the fourth from him was slaine, and the kingdome possessed by Sellum, who was of another stocke. And after the prophet had this sonne by his wife, he had also a daughter, which hee called without mercie, because God would haue no mercie vpon Israel: then he had also by her another sonne, whom hee named, Not my people, whereby hee would shewe vnto them how that God had altogether forsaken them. So that three yeares or thereabout at the least were past before hee ended his prophesie, which without this action hee might haue ended in fewe more then three wordes.

In the same manner Ezechiel the prophet (when hee was in Babilon) carried out of his house all his substance by day, in the sight of the Iewes, who were captiues there at the same time, and by night hee digged a hole in the wall of his house, through which he crept, and when hee was out he was taken vp, and caried away, by which he would shew vnto the Iewes which see this strange deuise, how Hierusalem should be spoiled, and Zedechias the king carried away captiue, as afterward it proued, although by night hee had thought to saue himselfe by flight through a priuate gate.

Ieremie also the Prophet after he had tried in vaine to stay the reliques of the people in Palestina, who hastened into Egipt for feare that Nabuchodonosor would reuenge vpon them the death of Godolias, (who was left by him as president of the countrie and slaine by the Iewes) when he came into Egipt (for thither the Iewes carried him against his will) he laid a great heape of stones in a caue which was vnder a bricke wal at Pharao his court gate, and then he said vnto them, that Nabuchodonosor who was king of Babilon should place his throne vpon these stones, and when hee should strike Egipt they also should perish with the Egiptians.

Many other things are recorded, which both this and other prophets did before they vttered their message, but these suffice to shew their names of prophesying, and the young prince perchance because he would obserue the soone course being the chiefest of all prophetes, busied himselfe in such things before he preached, as might very fitly bee applyed to his purpose: for as some men do say, he wrought nothing but yoakes and ploughes. Hee made yoakes to shew that the perfection of his law consisted in mutuall loue: and because in a yoake are as it were two parts in one, wee should studie for nothing else but the true loue of God, and our neighbour, and this not so much for any our own interest or our neighbours, as purely and onely for God, in which yoake whosoeuer draweth, tasteth first, and then tryeth how sweete it is, for hee which made this yoake, sayde also, my yoake is sweete, and my burden light. He made ploughes, to shew that men must perseuere in that good woorke they beganne, or else all the former gaine is to little purpose, because he which holdeth the plough, and looketh backward, is not iudged fitte for the kingdome of God, as also hee afterward preached, which sentences may haue a more fit place hereafter to bee discussed, lette it nowe suffice, that they shew howe that the young prince did not in vaine spend his time in making yoakes and ploughes, whose principall arrant was for nothing else, but that his spouse taking on her his yoake, and going stil forward fro vertue to vertue, might recouer with a sweet pain, what she carelesly lost by a proude sin.

But Palestina labored all this while vnder a most grieuous yoake, & so much the more grieuous, because they had no hope of any help. The 72. seniors who were alwaies of the familie of Dauid, and the chiefe princes of the people, & therfore could beare great sway among the, were al murdered by Herod, for he could neuer brooke any of the ancient nobility; and Proselithes, as himselfe was, were in their place. The two brethren whose falling out for the Kingdome, was Herods falling into it, were both put to death, first Aristobulus, who gaue the first occasion of the ruine of the countrey, was poysoned by Pompey, afterwarde Hircanus, in whome was all the right which was knowne, both to the priesthood and to the kingdome, was put to death by Herod, Alexander, eldest sonne to Aristobulus, and husband to Alexandra, daughter to Hircanus, was beheaded at Antioch in Siria, Antigonus his other sonne fled with his sisters to mount Libanus, where hee bestowed one of them vppon a great Lorde without the mountaine, but himselfe was afterwarde taken, and after some grieuous torture, beheaded by Antony. Alexandra daughter to Hireanus, Herod did put to death, and her daughter Mariamnes, who was his owne wife, also his own sonnes Alexander and Aristobulus, whome hee had by her, but before those hee caused Aristobulus, who was brother to Mariamnes, to bee drowned, for he was the onely man whome at that time hee feared, as well for his towardlinesse, as his title hee hadde to the kingdome. Yet to colour his malice, hee gaue him all the honour which hee could, he displaced Ananelus, whome before hee had exalted vnto the priesthood, and restored Aristobulus to the high-priesthood, by which fact, all that stocke thought themselues bound to him: he might at his pleasure make him away when he would, for before, Alexandra had procured Cleopatra the Queene of Egypt, to make Antony the Emperour send for him, fearing lest that at one time or other, hee should be murdered by Herod: but when that Herod perceiued that some did worke to get him out of his handes, after the first excuse made to Antony, that the people would not like well to haue their onely hope from them in a strange countrey: by this exalting him hee contented them all, and Alexandra ioyed so much to see her sonne made high priest, as shee forgot that euer shee had any iust cause to thinke him in any perill. Herod seeing all things to goe forward as hee would wish, and that nowe hee was trusted with the youth, for hee was not past sixteene or seuenteene yeeres of age, which was vsed for a colour, that he was not before placed in that dignity, he practised the more securely what he intended against Aristobulus, but as it is thought, hee made the more haste, because he saw an extraordinary ioy in all the people, who were maruailously affected vnto the youth, for that in all his actions, especially at the Altar in his rich ornaments, hee did most liuely represent vnto them his grandfather Aristobulus, performed all things with exceeding great maiestie and reuerence. Herod resolued to rid him and his owne feare, playd with him as he was woont to doe (for he cared not sometime if hee were seene to vse some youthfull games in his companie, to make him and others thinke how much hee loued him) and when they were both somewhat hote, vnder pretence of some refreshing, hee carryed Aristobulus to a verie pleasant place, where were large pondes, and men swimming in them, (amongst whome (at Herods verie importunate intreatie) Aristobulus went also to swimme, and the swimmers hauing gotten him into the water, pretended to make him some sport, but Herod, (who was a looker on) had all the pleasure, for they diued so long, and so often, and ducked him with them so much, that in the end striuing to small purpose, hee was drowned by them. Then was nothing heard in the country, but weeping and lamenting, and Herod himselfe, although hee wept at the beginning, was thought afterwarde to grieue somewhat, when hee reflected vpon those commendable parts, which were in the youth, and hee repeated this fact, when Antony by Cleopatra her procurement, at Alexandra her suite, sent for him to answere for it, but before hee went to make his answere, hee sent such effectually pleading presents, as when hee came, all which he swore and forswore was beleeued, and contrary to the expectation of the whole world and his own, was not only acquited of this cruell murder, but also vsed in most friendly and familiar manner. The children which Alexander and Aristobulus, Herods sonnes by Mariamnes left behinde them, were too yong at this time to lay clayme to the kingdome, although afterward Agrippa, who was sonne to Aristobulus, enioyed it.

But Archelaus shewing himself to be Herods son in all things which might vexe the Iews, brought them all into such humours, as they cared not what King they had, so that they might bee freed from Herods kinred, and some of them without anye head, opposed themselues at Hierusalem agaynst the Romanes, as the cheefest authours of their miseries, others seeing no possibilitie of withstanding the Romanes, who were now become conquerours of all the worlde, made suite at Rome to the Emperour Augustus, that they might bee altogether vnder the Romanes gouernement. Some followed one named Iudas, whose father Ezechias had in Herods time troubled the whole countrey, and they were the more encouraged to accept him for their King, because at Sephoris, the cheefest Citie of Galile, hee tooke the Storehouse, wherein was exceeding much armour, with the which hee armed those who followed him. Others about Hierico, were contented to honour one named Simon with the title of a Kinge, hee had serued Herod in his life time, and nowe perswaded himselfe that hee had as much right vnto the kingdome, as Herod his maister had before him: whereupon to shewe some forwardenesse, hee burned and spoyled many Pallaces therabout, and gaue what was to bee gotten, among his souldiours. But these factions continued not so longe, as that which a shephearde beganne of a huge stature and strengthe, his name was Athronges, hee had foure bretheren, not much inferiour to himselfe, whome hee made gouernours of those multitudes which flocked vnto him, but in the end some of the brethren being taken, the other vpon condition yeelded vnto Archelaus.

Others hearing a rumor, that Alexander one of Herods sonnes, whom he had by Mariamnes, was yet liuing, beleeued it, because they much wished it, and no honour due vnto a King, was thought too much for him, hee was brought to Rome in most princely manner, with hope to haue this kingdome of Palestina, and to requite all those, who had in this sort maintained him.

But Cęsar, who knew that Herod was too carefull to lette any of them escape death, who he resolued should die, especially such as whose kind he feared, would not beleeue that any such report could bee true, yet hearing that many thousands of people would not onely say it, but sweare it, hee beganne somewhat to doubt, and sent Celadus, who hadde beene a companion with Alexander and Aristobulus while they liued at Rome, to see what this should meane, and whether it were Alexander or some counterfeit, but both his countenance and his skill in all matters concerning Palestina was such as Celadus returned answere, that it could bee no other then the same Alexander. Then did Cęsar seeke for him, congratulating his happie escape, and demanding for his brother Aristobulus, was answered that hee stayd in Cyprus vntill hee heard of Alexanders safe arriuall in Italy, least that the Iewes should by the casualtie of the seas, hazard all their hope in one voyage, but before hee had long talked with this Alexander, hee perceiued somewhat differ in his countenance from Alexanders fauour, and in the ende by that, and some defect in his behauiour, (which was not possible to bee in Alexander, who in all poynts, as well in behauiour as countenance, shewed himselfe a maruailous braue and towardly prince, Cęsar perswaded himselfe that this was some counterfeit, and not Alexander Herods sonne: beside that, hee felt his hande verie hard and rough, more like vnto some peasants hand of the countrey, then the hand of a prince. Wherefore in some earnest manner, but with fayre speeches, he commanded him to shew truely who hee was, and who had put this attempt into his head, and promised him his pardon. Alexander not hauing nowe his tutor at his elbow, discouered himselfe, and of whom he had all his instruments, at which after Cęsar had a while laughed, Alexander was sent to the gallyes, and his tutor put to death, by which meanes all wente still currant with Archelaus, who presuming much vpon the Emperour his fauour, hid nothing of his owne disposition, but ruled where hee had authoritie with so much tyrannie, as both the Iewes and Samaritanes ioyned together (who were euer deadly enemies, after their persecution vnder Antiochus Epiphanes, at what time the Samaritanes renounced both Gods law, and allyance with the other parte of Palestina, and sacrificed both to whom, & where Antiochus would haue them, and sent an Embassage to Rome vnto the Emperour, where they touched Archelaus with so many crimes, that about nine yeeres after hee beganne his raigne, the Emperour banished him into France to Vienna, and seased vppon all that was his, adding that part of the countrye (ouer which before Archelaus was tetrarch) vnto Siria, and sent one from Rome to gouerne it.

Thus came Hierusalem the cheefest Citie of Palestina, vnder the gouernement of the Romanes, who although they often attempted as Herod had before them, to prophane the temple, yet at theyr times euery thing was performed in the temple, which was accustomed to bee doone before. The Romanes saw that Archelaus and Herod made it no matter of religion to change the high priest so often as they listed, and that libertie also they vsed, contrary to the custome which was alwayes obserued among the Iewes, for while one high priest once chosen was liuing, no one did the office of the high-priesthood but hee, except vpon some accident hee were not fitte for it, as once it chaunced, that the high priest dreaming that hee lay with his wife the night before hee was to offer a solemne sacrifice, was accounted vncleane for that which passed from him in his sleepe, at which time another for that daye supplyed his place, for they required great puritie in the priests which did theyr functions in the Temple. Antiochus Epiphanes was the first that did substitute one in the high priestes roome while the other liued. Aristobulus forced his brother Hircanus to leaue both the kingdome and priesthood to him, & the third time that the high-priest was changed, was whe Herod placed or displaced Ananelus, for Aristob. his wiues brother, but afterward it became a verie ordinarie matter, which both Herod, Archelaus, & the Romanes did the more boldly, because in the time of their gouernment, they had the keeping of the high priests rich ornamets, vntil Vitellius sending away Pilate (called Pontius, because he came fro gouerning Pontus to beare some sway at Hierusalem, although at that time hee was not made president of the country) & willing to gratifie the Iews, beside many other priuiledges, gaue the also the keeping of those ornamets, which first fell into Herods hands, when they seased on that Pallace, which afterward hee made a verie strong Castle, and called it after the name of his friend Antony, who was his chiefest stay during his life. This pallace did belong to the Machabees, and Hircanus high priest and prince of the countrey, hauing his pallace so neere vnto the Temple, would vse no other place to put on, or off his attyre but this, and in a chest for the purpose, he alwaies locked vppe his ornaments, which order was obserued by those who succeeded him and Herod getting the kingdome, and finding this chest with the ornaments, thought it good pollicie to haue them still in his own keeping, and thereby in some sort to be able to bridle the Iewes. Archelaus succeeded his father, and kept them in the same manner, and when hee was banished, the Romanes entred vpon the Castle, and all things which they founde there: yet to content the Iewes, the president kept a lampe continually burning before them, which was accounted a reuerent keeping of these holy ornaments, & deliuered them seuen dayes before they were to bee vsed, that they might bee purified before the feast, for they were accounted as prophaned by lying in a prophane house, or by passing through prophane handes, but the next day after they were vsed, they were brought backe to the president, and locked vp vntill they were to bee vsed againe, which was but thrice ordinarily in the yeere.

The yong prince, who a long time appeared no other then a carpenter, in the thirtieth yeere of his age beginneth to finish that, which at the first hee entended to frame, which whosoeuer shall prosecute, and shew in what sort hee vncharmed the Lady, which was enchaunted by eating of the fruite of a tree, by choaking the inchaunter with no other thing, then what also a tree did beare, shall both finde a most pleasant entrance, and when hee hath entred, an endlesse entising paradise.


FINIS.

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