Sermons on the Temptation of Christ by Lancelot Andrews, 1592. Below is the introduction to the volume. I have modernized spelling and punctuation; and added some notes and glosses.
The Wonderful Combat
(for God’s glory and man’s salvation)
between Christ and Satan.
Opened in seven most excellent, learned and zealous sermons, upon the Temptations of Christ in the wilderness, &c.
Seen and allowed.
LONDON Printed by John Charlwood for Richard Smith: and are to be sold at his Shop, at the West door of Paules. 1592.
To the right honorable, Sir John Puckering, Knight, Lord Keeper of the great Seal of England, and one of her Highness most Honorable privy council: after all terrestrial blessings and joys, the perfect possession of all celestial comforts hardily wished.
If the painful [difficult, arduous] labors of the learned (right honorable) especially in God’s cause, are generally above all things reputed most worthy acceptation [reception]: the less then need I fear (my good Lord) the receipt of this small volume, containing not so many leaves [pages] as most excellent lessons; nor so many lines, as sound assurances of eternal life.
The Tree from whence this heavenly fruit was gathered, may well be discerned both by the beauty and taste: the one not so commendable in the show [appearance] but the other ten times more comfortable [more agreeable]in substance. And, as he [Andrews] is a sweet sounding cymbal or rather a singular instrument in God’s Church for the propagation of his truth, and special relief of hunger-pining souls: even so do these seven sermons bear witness of him [the sermons demonstrate his ability]: wading [as in wading into conflict] so weightly [heavily] in God’s cause, as by our Savior’s absolute conquest of the devil in all his temptations: our hearts are cheered & consciences prepared, to imitate so good a guide, whensoever our trials happen.
So, fearing least by needless circumstances, I should seem troublesome to your honor [Sir John], when the goodness of the work doth plainly declare itself: in humble duty I conclude, praying for your honor’s long health and happiness, as also to increase the number that may be benefited by these sermons.
To the Christian Reader.
Christian Reader, having sent unto me by a gentleman (a friend of mine) certain excellent sermons, with desire to have them published to the world: after perusing them to my great comfort [it was a pleasant task], I imparted them to other my friends of better judgment than myself: who did earnestly encourage me to the publishing of them, which to my great cost I have performed [he has paid the cost of publishing the sermons]: Hoping the well-disposed [those who will be receptive to these sermons] will be thankful to God for them. And because they are such, as my best praise can no way sufficiently commend, I leave their praise to thyself [your praise of these sermons will be sufficient], when thou hast received comfort by them. Finally, as the author to me is not certainly know, so am I driven to let them pass without name: desiring you to suspend your judgements whose they are. Thus, not doubting but I have done God good service, and pleased many that happily have heard them preached, I end.
Two most excellent prayers which the Preacher commonly used before his Exercises.
That the name of God may be glorified by this our assembly,
and his holy Word blessed, to the end he hath ordained it:
let us in all humbleness,
present ourselves before the mercy seat of God the Father,
in the name & mediation of Christ Jesus his dear Son,
through the sanctifying of his Holy Spirit,
with an unfeigned humble acknowledgement,
both of our own unworthiness, to receive any of his graces,
and unableness when we have received them, to make right use of them.
And both these, by reason of our manifold sundry [various] sins and offences,
among the rest, of this one (as a chief one)
that we divers [many] times have been hearers of his divine and precious word,
without care or conscience to become the better thereby:
let us beseech him in
the obedience of the life, & sacrifice of the death of Christ Jesus
his deer son to receive both us & this our humble confession:
to pardon both this and the rest of our sins,
and to turn from us the punishments deservedly due unto them all;
especially that punishment, which most usually he doth exercise at such meetings as this is, which is, the receiving of his sacred word into a dead & dull hart:
& so departing with no more delight to hear, nor desire to practice, than we came with.
That so, through the gracious assistance of his good Spirit
inward, adjoined to the outward ministry of his Word at this present:
the things which shall be spoken and heard, may redound to some glory of his everlasting blessed name, and to some Christian instruction & comfort of our own souls, through Jesus Christ our only Lord and Savior.
This prayer ended, he proceeds again in this manner.
And as the Church of Christ, wheresoever it is at this present assembled, & met together, is mindful of us that be here: is it our parts and duties, in our prayers to remember it, recommending unto the Majestie of Almighty God, the prosperous and florishing estate thereof [the flourishing of the Church]: beseeching God the Father, for Christ Jesus his Son’s sake,
to be merciful to all his servant,
even his whole Militant Church ,
scattered far and wide over the face of the whole earth:
both preserving it in those truths that it hath recovered,
from the sundry gross [obvious, great] and superstitious errors of the former age,
and restoring it also unto that unity (in his good time) which it hath almost lost, and daily loses, through the unchristian and unhappy contentions of these days of ours.
And in this Church, let vs be mindful
of that part thereof, which most especially & principally needs our remembrance: that is, the poor afflicted members of Christ Jesus, in what place, for what cause, or with what cross soever: that it would please God to minister into our hearts the same spirit of compassion and fervency, now in the time of their need, that we would wish should be ministered into theirs, in the time of our need, for them to become suitors for us . And let vs wish them al from the Lord (in his good time) the same joyful deliverance; and till his good time be, the same measure of patience, that we would wish unto our own souls, or would have them entreat and pray for at his hands for vs, if ever our case shall be as theirs is at this present.
And forasmuch as those Churches or members of Churches, which enjoy the outward benefits of the Lord; as of health, plenty, peace, and quietness: do many times as much (for the most part) much more need the prayers of Christ his faithful congregation, than those that are under his hand in the house of affliction : Let us beseech him [God] for them also, that he will give unto each and every of them, a thankful receiving of those his benefits, a sober using of them, and a Christian employing of them, to his glory that hath sent them.
And in these our prayers, let vs be mindful also of the Church and country wherein we live, yielding first and foremost ever-more, our unfeigned and hearty thanksgivings, for all his mercies and gracious favors vouchsafed this land of ours: and namely for our last, no less gracious than marvelous deliverance from our enemies , and for all those good signs and tokens of his loving favor which ever since, and daily he shows towards us.
And together (withal) let us beseech him, that while these days of our peace do last, he will open our eyes to see, & incline our hearts to seek after those things, which may make for the continuance, and establishing of this peace long amongst us.
And (as by especial duty we all stand bound) let vs commend unto his Majesty, his chosen servant Elizabeth our Sovereign, by his grace, of England, France, & Ireland Queen, Defendress of the faith, and over all estates and persons within these her Dominions, (next and immediately under God) supreme Governess: let us beseech God (daily more and more) to persuade her Highness’ heart, that the advancement and flourishing of this Kingdom of hers, consists in the advancement and flourishing of the Kingdom of his Son Christ within it; that it may be therefore her Majesty’s special care and study, that both her Highness in that great place wherein GOD hath set her, and every one of us in the several degrees wherein we stand, may be as careful to testify unto the whole world, a special care and endeavor that we have, for the propagation of the Gospel of his Son: as Christ Jesus hath shown himself, by many arguments both of old and of late, (and that of weight) that he hath carried & still carries a special care of the preservation and welfare of us all.
Let us commend also unto God, the several Estates of the Land, for the right honorable of the Nobility, and of her Highness privy council; that they may be careful (from the Spirit of the Lord) to derive al their counsels that so God, which sends the counsel, may send it good and happy success also, and may confound & cast out the counsels of the enemy.
For the estate of the Clergy, the right reverend Fathers in GOD, in whose hand the government of the Church is, and all other inferior ministers; that he will give unto each and every of them, sufficiet graces for the discharge of their functions, & together (with the graces) both a faithful and a fruitful employing of them.
For the Estate of Magistry, and namely for the Governors of this honorable city: that they together with the rest, according to the trust that is reposed in them, may be no less careful speedily, without delay; than incorruptly, without partiality, to administer justice to the people of God.
For the Estate of the Commons, that they all in a Christian obedience, towards each and every of their superiors, and in a godly love, with the fruits and duties there of one towards another, may walk worthy of that glorious calling whereunto they are called. And that the blessings of the Lord may not only be with vs for our times, but successively also be delivered to our posterity: let vs beseech God, that he will visit with the Spirit of his grace, the two Universities, Cambridge and Oxford, all schooles of learning, and places of education of youth: that they being watered with the dew of his blessing, may yield forth such plants, as may both serve for a present supply of the Churches need: and also in such sort furnish the generations that are to come, that our posterity also may be counted unto the Lord, for a holy seed, and a Christian generation, as we ourselves are.
And thus recommending ourselves unto the prayers of Christ his Church, as wee have commended Christ his whole Church by our prayers unto the Majesty of Almighty God, reposing our trust and confidence, neither in our own prayers, nor in the Churches prayers, but in the alone mediation of Christ Jesus our Advocate: Let us unto him, (as unto our sole Intercessor) offer up these our supplications, that he may present them to God his Father, for the effectual obtaining of these▪ and whatsoever graces else he knows needful for his whole Church, and for us, calling upon him, as himself in his Gospel has taught us.
Our Father, &c.