Common Places
of the most famous and
renowned Divine Doctor
into four principal parts : with
a large addition of many theo-
logical and necessary dis-
courscs, some never
extant before.

Translated and partly gathered by
Anthonie Marten, one of the
Sewers of her Majesty’s
most Honourable

Meliora spero.

In the end of the book are annexed two tables of
all the notable matters therein contained.

I. Cor.3,11.
Other foundation can no man lay, than 
Christ Jesus, which is al-
ready laid.


Albeit that the knowledge of God is naturally engrafted in the minds of all men, and is also made the more manifest by the things created; yet such is the corrupt nature of men, as it shortly vanisheth away, unless we acknowledge God such as he is in the holy scriptures, and do avoid all illusions and sleights of Satan. And in the scriptures, besides diverse praises of God; first he must be considered in Trinity and unity; and secondly, as he created heaven and earth, and moderateth all things by his providence. Wherefore, in this first part we have set down those places, which pertain to the setting forth of these principal points. 


Cap.I. OF the ends of good and evil among the Christians,
pag. 1.
Cap. II. Of the natural knowledge of God by his creatures,
pag. 10.
Whether there by any yet that know not God, and after
what sort they be inexcusable, pag. 13.
Cap. III. Of prophecy, and of the name, causes, definition,
and effects thereof, pag. 17.
Of prophets, and the differences of them; & of the means
to discern the true from the false: and whether and how
far forth there be prophets at this day, pag. 19.
Cap. IIII. Of visions, & how, and how much God may be known of of men, as well in this life, as in the life to come, pag. 24.
What manner of visions the fathers had; and whether God
or only angels appeared unto them, pag. 25.
Cap. V. Of dreams, and of the causes and effects of them,
pag. 32.
Cap. VI. Of the holy scriptures, and of the dignity and profit
of them, and of the means how to understand them, pag.
An exhortation to the reading of the holy scriptures, pag.
Of history, pag. 48.
Cap. VII. Whether young and incontinent men, & c. should be
Excluded from hearing the word of God, pag. 52.
Cap. VIII. Of lots, and of Urim and Thumim, pag. 58.
Cap. IX. Of miracles, and the definition and difference of
them, pag. 62.
Whether it be lawful for the godly to desire miracles, and
why there be none in this our age, pag. 69.
Cap. X. Whether it was Samuel or the devil that appeared
unto Saul, pag. 72.
Of the nature, knowledge, power, apparitions, and  answers
Devils, pag. 77.
Whether, and how far devils do know things to come,
pag. 81.
Whether they know men’s thoughts, pag. 83.
Of the power of devils, and of their strength in doing of
things, pag. 85.
What bodies they assume to themselves, pag. 87.
Of the illusions called Lamiae, Empusae, and such like,
pag. 89.
Whether it be lawful to take counsel of the devil, and to
use his help, pag. 90.
Whether we use enchantments to take away mischiefs,
pag. 91.
Cap. XI. Of a good intent, zeal, prescription, and custom, pag.
The means to know which is good zeal, and which is bad,
pag. 94.
Cap. XII. Of the name of Jehovah, and of the sundry
attributes of God, pag. 99.
Of the holy Trinity, pag. 100.
That the holy Ghost is one God with the Father and the
Son, pag. 103.
How much the remembrance of wrath, and the effect of
repentance is attributed unto God, pag. 109.  
XIII. Of the creation of all things, pag. 110.
Of the creation of angels, their sundry names, visions,
Assuming of bodies, office, dignity, order, and degrees, pag.
Of man, pag. 121.
Of the soul, Ibidem.
Wherein consisteth the image of God, pag. 123.
Of paradise, pag. 125.
The long life of the fathers, pag. 126.
Of giants, pag. 128.
Cap. XIIII. Of felicity in general, pag. 132.
Of pleasure, and wherein it may concur with the chiefest
Good, pag. 134.
Of honor, pag. 141.
Of riches, beauty, nobility, and such like, pag. 145.
Of contemplation, pag. 149.
That virtue is not the chief good, pag. 176. [sic]
Whether any man can be counted happy while he liveth
here, pag. 158.
Cap. XV. Of the providence of God, pag. 167.
Cap. XVI. Whether God be author of sin, pag. 176.
Of three sorts of God’s working about his creatures, pag.
Of the will signified, and will effectual, pag. 201.
Cap. XVII. How it may be said that God doth repent, and doth
tempt, pag. 206.
How it may be said that the kingdom of Saul should be
established forever, the same being before appointed to the
tribe of Judah, pag. 208.

A method of the Common places of
the second Part.

The second Part comprehendeth the Common place, which do express the natural corruption of all mankind by the fall of Adam: the which corruption of human nature is the more clearly discerned, by opposing it to the justice of God, which is expressed in the law; yet to nevertheless, as by the acknowledging of sins, we are brought to receive the grace of God, which was made manifest first to the fathers in the old testament; and then when the time was come, in the Gospel. Afterward is set forth unto us Christ the Messias, who is the wellspring and substance of all good things; who all manner of ways fulfilled all the parts of our salvation.


Cap. I. OF sin, especially original; and of the depraving of the whole nature of man, pag. 213.
By what means the corruption thereof is derived into the
posterity, 231,239.
That sin is the cause of death, 243.
That by sin all things are subject to vanity, pag.247.
II. Of free will, pag. 252.
Of voluntary, and not voluntary, 280.
Of man’s election, or making of choice, pag. 293.
III. Of the law, pag. 297.
Of philosophy, & the comparison thereof, especially moral,
with Divinity, 300.
Necessary rules for the interpretation and keeping of the
law, pag. 304.
IIII. The first precept, where is intreated of idolatry, and
sundry kinds of idols, 307.
Whether it be lawful for Christians to dwell among
infidels, pag. 309.
Whether it be lawful to have teachers, which belong not in
Christ, pag. 311.
Of the suffering of Jews & heretics, 328.
What is, to tempt God, pag. 331.
Of curiosity, pag. 332.
V. The second precept, which concerneth images, their
beginning, antiquity, and cause, pg. 333.
Whether it be awful to express Christ, the Angels, and
other creatures in images, pag. 340.
Whether it be lawful to place images in churches, pag.
Of Cherubim and Teraphim, pag. 356.
Of humane sacrifices, pag. 359.
Of the establishing of the second commandment whether
the child shall bear the iniquity of the father, pag. 362.
VI. The third precept: of sanctification of the name of God;
and generally of oaths, pag. 368.
VII. The fourth precept: of sanctifying the sabbath day, pag.
Of other feast days of the Jews, 376.
Whether it be lawful to solemnize the birthday of any
man, pag.377.
VIII. The fifth precept: of the honouring of superiors, pag.
A comparison between the duties of parents and
magistrates, Ibidem.
What dominion the husband hath over the wife, pag. 379.
Of ambition, pag. 381.
Of the desire of praise, pag. 382.
Of flattery, pag.383.
IX. The sixth precept: of friendship, 384.
Of homicide, pag. 385.
Whether Elias did well in killing of the Baalites, pag .386.
Of parricide, pag. 390.
Of sword-play, lbidem.
Whether it be lawful for any man to kill himself, pag. 391.
Of repelling of violence, pag. 397.
Of cursings, imprecations, and bannings, Ibidem.
How far it may be lawful to rejoice in our enemy’s
overthrow, pag. 400.
Of a curse & shunning of revenge, 403.
Of the affects in general, pag. 405.
Of shamefulness, pag. 411.
Of temperance, pag. 412.
Of mercy and Nemesis, lbidem.
Of cruelty, envy, emulation, and revenge, pag. 414.
X. The seventh precept: of not committing adultery, pag.418.
Of matrimony and concubines, Ibid.
Of polygamy, pag.420.
Of barrenness, pag. 430.
Whether it be lawful for children to marry without the
consent of their parents, pag. 431.
Of ravine, or violent taking away, 437.
Whether marriage be lawful in persons of sundry re1igions,
pag. 442.
Of degrees forbidden in marriage, pag. 447.
Dispensation for marriage, pag. 453.
Of dowries, pag.454.
Of divorcements, pag. 457.
Whether matrimony be a sacrament, pag. 462.
XI. Of whoredom, fornication, and adultery, pag. 468.
Of bastards, pag. 475.
Of idleness, pag. 479.
Of the punishments of adultery, 482.
Whether the man or woman do sin more grievously in
adultery, pag. 489.
Of reconciliation of man & wife, 495.
Of wine and drunkenness, pag. 497.
Of dances, pag. 503.
Of garments and apparel, pag. 506.
Of counterfeit and false colouring, 507.
XII. The eighth precept: of not committing theft, pag.517.
Of beneficence and hospitality, 518.
Of benefiting and unthankfulness, 523.
Of plays and pastimes, pag. 524.
Of gentleness and affabi1ty, pag. 528.
XIII. The ninth precept: of not bearing false witness, Ibiden.
Of contumely, Ibidem.
Of suspicions, pag. 533.
Of mocking and taunting, pag. 534.
Of deceit or guile, Ibidem.
Whether guile be lawful for the rooting out of idolatry and
heresies, 539.
Of dissimulation, pag. 541.
Of truth, and of a lie, pag. 542.
Whether it be lawful to lie for preserving the life of our
neighbour, pag. 546.
Whether we may lie for modesty’s sake, pag. 547.
Whether faith against a promise breaker must be kept,
pag. 548.
Of a fable and apolog, pag. 550.
XIIII. The last precept: against lusting, 551.
Of the comparison between sins, 553.
Of charity, which is the fulfilling of the law, pag. 556.
Of salutations, pag.560.
Whether the commandment of loving God with all the
heart, & c. may be kept in this life, pa. 562.
Whether the first motions should be accounted sins, pag.
Whether by rewards we ought to be moved to the obedience
of God, 573.
XV. Of the use and abrogating of the law, pag. 582.
XVI. Of the likeness and unlikeness of the old and new league
or covenant, pag. 582.
A comparison of the sacraments of the fathers with ours,
pag. 586.
XVII. Of Christ, and his manifestation in the flesh, and by
what means he performed all the parts of our salvation,
pag. 599.
XVIII. An exposition upon the twelve articles, pag. 612.

A method and order of the Common places of
the third Part.

After these things do follow the causes, and the general means, whereby we are both put and retained in the possession of Christ and salutation: and there be also showed the effects of Christ remaining in us. All which things, the places following do plainly teach; to wit, the places of predestination and calling, of faith and hope, of adoption, justification, Christian liberty, of repentance, of Christian life, of patience in afflictions, of the praises of good men; and finally, of eternal life.

Cap. I OF the eternal predestination of God, wherein also are
refelled the arguments, which the adversaries make
against the same, pag. 1.
Whether God would destroy any man, pag. 42.
Cap. II Of the calling of God, pag. 44.
Of grace, pag. 47.
How grace and works are unto eternal life, pag. 52.
III. Of faith and the certainty thereof; and how faith may
agree with fear, pag. 63.
Of security, pag.67.
Whether true faith may be separated from charity, pag. 69.
How faith excelleth charity, and the contrary pag.75
What union the godly have with Christ, pag. 77.
Of the adoption of the sons of God, pag. 79.
The description of Christian hope, 82.
IIII. That justification is of faith only, not of works, pag.89.
V. Of peace, bondage, Christian liberty, of offence, of
conscience, and of the choice meat, pag. 161.
VI. Of vows in general, pag.17.
Of the vow of Nazareth, pag. 117.
Of the vow of Jeptha, pag. 182.
Of the Rechabites, pag. 188.
Of peregrinations, pag. 191.
VII. Of marriage, and sole life, especially of ministers, pag.
That charity is no common gift of God.  pag. 198.
VIII. Of repentance, of contrition, confession, and
satisfaction, pag. 203.
IX. Of the works of supererogation, & imagined perfection of
the Papists, pag. 227.
Of purgatory and papistical indulgences, pag. 232.
X. Of tears, fasting; & there also of Lent, pag. 245.
Of watches, pag. 256.
XI. Of a Christian life, and there of vocations, pag. 257.
Of friendship, pag. 258.
How we are to take counsel of God, pag. 260.
The example of Naaman declared, 263.
That the possession of riches is lawful for godly men, pag.
XII. Of liberality and magnificence, 269.
Of fortitude, mortification, enduring the cross and
affliction, pag. 270.
Of flight, pag. 287.
Whether David did well in fleeing to the Philistines for fear
of Saul, pag. 291.
Whether the holy men were inferior to the Ethnics in
abiding adversaries, pag. 296.
Of holy prayers, pag. 300.
Whether prayers be the causes of the benefits of God, pag.
How God saith he will give that which he will not give, and
contrariwise, ibid.
Of the abuse of foreign language, 309.
Of music and meter, pag. 311.
XIIII. Of death, and of the consolation of the godly against
the same, pag. 314.
Of mourning for the dead, pag315.
Of burial, pag.319.
That fools looted from their bodies do not sleep, pag. 323.
Of wandering spirits, pag. 326.
XV. Of the resurrection, pag. 327.
XVI. Of the taking up of Elias and Enoch, and of their return,
pag. 370.
XVII. Of the end of the world, pag. 385.
Of the last judgement, pag. 386.
That all men’s glory in heaven shall be alike, pag. 389.
Of the change of all things, pag. 393.

A method of the Common places of
the fourth part.

Albeit that the holy Ghost be the only bond that we have with Christ, and the most assured pledge of our salvation, and an undoubted preseerver of all thins; yet useth he thereunto diverse, and those external instruments for into the church he gathereth the elect, and by the ministry of the word and the sacraments, and also by the bond and help of discipline, he begetteth us unto Christ, and he feedeth and preserveth us unto eternal life. And herewithall he raiseth up and useth magistrates, as well for the preservation of man's society, and public honesty; as also for the maintenance of piety and service of God; so then this last part comprehendeth an explication of these places.


Cap. 1. OF the catholic church, pag. 1.
Of sundry ministers of the church, 3.
Of calling to the ministry, pag.9.
Of the dignity and contempt of the ministers, pag. 15.
Of the office of pastors, pag. 16.
Of the efficacy of the ministry, 21.
Of the mighty simpleness of the ministry, pag. 25.
Cap. II.  Of receiving or refusing of rewards, gifts and offices,
especially by ministers of the Church, pag. 28.
Of the immunity of ecclesiastical men, pag. 32
III. Whether there may be two heads of the church, one
visible ,and another invisible, pag. 35.
IIII. Of ecclesiastical laws, pag. 41.
An exposition of the place, To obey is better than sacrifice,
expounded, pag. 44.
Of traditions, pag. 45.
Of discerning of spirits, Ibidem.
Of the authority of the Councils, Fathers, and Canons,
pag. 46.
V. Of ecclesiastical discipline, pag. 56.
Of excommunication, pag. 57.
Of order and comeliness in the church, pag. 65.
Of temples and their ornaments, Ibid.
VI. Of schism, and whether the professors of the Gospel be
schismatics, pag. 68.
What is become of them, which in times past died in the
Pope’s religion, pag. 91.
VII. Of sacraments in general, pag. 96.
Of circumcision, pag. 107.
Of baptism, baptising of infants, and holiness of them;
pag. 120.
IX. Of the dedication of temples, the baptising of bells, of oil,
salt, spittle, wax, and other papistical corruptions about
baptism, pag. 123.
Of papistical holy water, pag. 138.
X. A treatise of the Lord’s supper, with a preface before the
same, pag. 147.
An epitome of the disputation of the Eucharist, against
Steven Gardiner, 198.
XI. Of the communion ender one kind, pg. 204.
XII. Of the Mass, pag. 215.
Of sacrifice, pag. 220.
Another Common place of sacrifice, 223.
Of altars, pag. 225,
XIII. Of a magistrate, of the difference between civil and
ecclesiastical power, p. 226.
Of tenths, pg. 235.
Of the office of magistrates, especially in exercising of
judgement, pag. 245.
That the charge of religion belongeth to princes, pag. 246.
Of the clemency of princes, pg. 248.
Whether it be lawful for the magistrates to let the guilty
go unpunished, Ibidem.
Whether the excuse of David in not punishing Joab may
be allowed, 256.
Whether it be1awful to release just punishments,
which are enjoined by 1aws, pag. 260.
Of executions and hangmen, pag. 264.
Of  sanctuaries, pag. 265.
XV. Of exile or banishment, pag. 270.
XVI. Whether it be lawful for a christian man to go to law,
pag. 275.
XVII. Of war or battle, pag. 280.
Whether unto a just war the authority of the magistrate be
always required, pag. 284.
Whether it be lawful for the godly to have peace with the
ungodly, pag. 294.
Offences and offpials , pag. 296.
Of treason, pag. 297.
XVIII. Whether captives ought to be put to death or saved,
pag. 300.
Of things which be taken by the right of war, pag. 303.
XIX. Of a several combat hand to hand, 308.
XX. Of nobility, pag. 311.
Of bondage, pag. 313.
Of debtors, pag. 315.
Of occupying of merchandise, 317.
XXI. Of troubles and sedition, pag. 319.
Whether it be lawful for subjects to rise against their
prince, pag.324.
Whether Jehoiada did right, in putting Athalia from the
kingdom, pag. 325.
Of enduring of tyranny by godly men, pag. 328.

Certain faults escaped.

There is no garden so well trimmed, but hath some weeds; no silver so well tried, but hath some dross; no wine so well fined, but hath some lees; no honey so well clarified, but hath some dregs; finally, no human action, but hath some defect: marvel not then (good Readers) that in so huge a volume, consisting of so many leaves, lines, and letters, oftentimes varied both in form and matter, a fault or two do escape; were the Correctors care never so great, his diligence never so earnest, his labour never so continual, his eyes never so quick, his judgement never so sound, his memory never so firm; briefly, all his senses never so active and lively. Such faults there as are passed, being but few in number, if it please you in reading favorably to amend, according as they be here corrected; yourselves shall be profited, and I satisfied.


They, Men.1   1432 19
anger,pride.   2   529    2  49
fathers,  father.  2  600    1  25
renewed,    removed.   4    59    1  58
whoredome,    idolatry.4   245   1  11

Lord my,    my Lord   4   113    2  10

These are thought necessary to be noted; others (if any be) I refer unto your own selves that shell take pains to
peruse the whole book advisedly.

Church of the Living Lord
of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church
Santa Ana, California
Editor´s Note: spellings have been corrected for modern usage, but everything else has been left as in the original work.
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