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Ch.s. How the Church us’d by her watchmen. 151 with feare and griefe , to consider how Christ now speaketh to them afarre off, comes not neare to their hearts and consciences ; so that now, though they used such meanes to finde him as the times af. forded, yet Christ did take no pleasure in those meanes, in those worships, norto their fense, in thote that used them.

The watchmen that went about the city Ver.g. found me, they (mote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls tooke away my vaile from me.

The watchmen that went about the city found mee.] These watchmen are the Bishops and Ministers of that time, as also the keepers of the wals may well be the Magistrates : for civill government is a wall of defence to the Church of God.

They found mee. ] And yet the Church enquireth not of them, as shee had done before of other watchmen, * Have you not feen him whom my foule loves. For she knew 3.3. these watchmen were of another spirit,rather wolves in sheeps cloaching, and more ready to beat her from Christ, then to bring her to Christ. They ímote ine with cenfures of Excommunications,àsGregory the third Pope of Rome did Leo. Isauri

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The Church wounded by her watchmen. Ch.s. ricus for his endeavours. Afterwards, when sundry Christians, having intelligence that the Bishops and Doctors were affembled in a temple at Byzantium, to give sentence for restoring of Images, in the dayes of the Empresse Irene , came upon them, and forced them with weapons to leave offsuch decrees ; these people were afterwarps disarmed aud banished into sundry Islands. Thus were the faithfull smitten with the censures of Excommunication by the watchmen of the city; of banishment by the keepers of the walls.

They wounded me. ] With the Canons of the secound Councel of Nice; whither that Councell, assembled in the temple of Byzantium , and scattered by the people, was afterwards translated by the Councel of the Bishops of Rome. In this Councell Images were againe restored, to the great griefe of the godly, yea, to the wounding of their hearts. The sentence of a generall Councell in the behalfe of any error is no small wound to the whole Church..

They tooke away my vaile from mee.] When they forced the Bishops of Rhodes, Nice, Neo-Cesarea, Hierapolis, and others

to

Ch.5. Waldenses why so called.

153 to recantation, who before had worthily opposed Images. To bring men to open recantation, to lay open their nakednesse, especially when they recant from the truth, is to take away the vaile.

I charge you, o daughters of lerusalem, Verle 8. if yee finde my beloved, that ye tell him that í am ficke of love.

I charge you, o daughters of lerusalem.] The Church finding her felfe so hardly dealt with by the Ministers and Magistrates,would not give over her search af. ter Christ; yet now seeketh him in the fellowship of private Christians and stirreth them up to pray for her.

Tell him I am ficke of love. ] That is, in

your prayers acknowledge that the Church is ready to faile and perish for want of his presence and fellowship in his publike ordinances.

What is thy beloved more then another Verse 9. beloved , o thou faireft among women? &c.]

The Christians, the daughters of Jerusalem, from this day forward to the dayes of Peter Waldus ( of whom the Waldenses tooke their name, were very ignorant of Christ, and therefore they aske who hee

was,

144

was,

Ver.so.

The Albingenses defeat the Pope. Ch.5.

and wherein better then another : But in stead of him they magnified the Church; Holy mother Church was all in all with them : Her they acknowledged to be fairest among women, though they see nothing in Christ better then in another.

My beloved is white and ruddy, dc.] Thus Petrus Waldus, a citizen of Lions, Opened Christ to the daughters of Jerusalem, to the children of the Church setting before them the white innocency of true holinesse in him, and the ruddy scarlet dye of his death. The righteousnesse and death of Christ plainly, yet powerfully opened by him, brought many to behold Christ, and to professe him; who(when by persecution stirred up against them by the Bishop of Rome, they were dispersed into many places) multiplied exceeding. ly; ; and being then called Albingenses, in many battels fought against the souldi. ers which Pope Innocent the third had sent against them under conduct of Simon Mounteford, and others signed with the croffe: in

many

of which the Albingenses prevailed, helped by Reymund Earle of Thelus,and Peter King of Aragon; though

after

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Ch.5. Frederick the II.wherein famous. ifterwards they were overcome and scatered further into many places of Chritendome. So in regard of these troups of many thousands , Christ is here called che ftandard-bearer, as the word signifieth, or the choyce of ten thousand. Againe, at that time Christ may be said to be white and ruddy in regard of his members, who were then white with innocency of life, yet ruddy,enduring persecution.

His head is as the moft fine gold; bis lockes are bufbie, and black as a raven.

His head is as the most fine gold. ] Chrift comes now to be described in his members more particularly: This head of gold Christ shewed on the earth in the person of Frederick, the second Emperour of Rome,a Prince of much purity and worth, as an head of the Church of fine gold: Hee contended with many Popes about the head hip of the Church, advanced the headship of Christ and of himselfe, his Vicegerents , above the counterfeit head of the Popes Supremacy. He wra. ftled for Christ againit them with much difficulty, yet prevailed, so that even in the Popish schools, his election of God was agreed and condescended unto by fundry.

His

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