Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916. Vol. I. Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century
By Richard Hooker (15541600)
From a Sermon on St. Judes Epistles
I APPEAL to the conscience of every soul, that hath been truly converted by us, Whether his heart were never raised up to God by our preaching: whether the words of our exhortation never wrung any tear of a penitent heart from his eyes; whether his soul never reaped any joy, any comfort, any consolation in Christ Jesus, by our sacraments, and prayers, and psalms, and thanksgiving; whether he were never bettered, but always worsed by us.
O merciful God! If heaven and earth in this case do not witness with us, and against them, let us be razed out from the land of the living! Let the earth on which we stand swallow us quick, as it hath done Corah, Dathan, and Abiram! But if we belong unto the Lord our God, and have not forsaken Him; if our priests, the sons of Aaron, minister unto the Lord, and the Levites in their office; if we offer unto the Lord every morning and every evening the burnt-offerings and sweet incense of prayers and thanksgivings; if the bread be set in order upon the pure table, and the candlestick of gold, with the lamps thereof, to burn every morning; that is to say, if amongst us Gods blessed sacraments be duly administered, His holy Word sincerely and daily preached; if we keep the watch of the Lord our God, and if ye have forsaken Him: then doubt ye not, this God is with us as a captain, His priests with sounding trumpets must cry alarm against you; O ye children of Israel, fight not against the Lord God of your fathers, for ye shall not prosper.