¶ This sermon folowynge was compyled & sayd in the Cathedrall chyrche of saynt Poule within ye cyte of London by the ryght reuerende fader in god John̄ bysshop of Rochester / the body beynge present of the moost famouse prynce kynge Henry the. vii. the ix. daye of Maye / the yere of our lorde god. M. CCCCC. ix. whiche sermon was enprynted at the specyall request of ye ryght excellent pryncesse Margarete moder vnto the sayd noble prynce and Countesse of Rychemonde and Derby.


DIlexi. &c. For as moche as this honorable audyen ce now is here assembled to prosecute the funeral obseruaunces & ceremonyes aboute this moost noble prȳce late our kynge and souerayne / kynge Henry ye seuenth. And all be it I knowe well myne vn worthynes & vnhabylytees to this so grete a mater / yet for my most bounden duty / and for his gracyous fauour and synguler benefeytes exhybyte vnto me in his lyfe / I wolde now after his deth ryght affectuously some thyng saye / wher­by your charytees ye rather myght haue his soule recēmended. And to that purpose I wyll entreate the fyrst psalme of the dirige / whiche psalme was wryten of the holy kynge and prophete kynge Dauid / cōfortynge hym after his grete falles and trespasses ayenst almyghty god & redde in the chyrche in the funerall obsequyes of euery crysten per­sone whan that he dyeth. And specially it may be redde in the persone of this moost noble prynce / for in it is compry­sed all that is to be sayd in this mater. And in yt same ordre that the seculer oratours haue in theyr funerall oracyons moost dylygently obserued whiche resteth in. iij. poyntes Fyrst in the cōmendacyon of hym that deed is. Seconde in a styrynge of the herers to haue compassyon vpon hym And thyrde in a comfortynge of them agayne. Whiche. iij be done by ordre in this same psalme as by the grace of our lorde it may here after appere. Fyrst as touchynge his laude and cōmendacyon let no man thynke that myn entent is for to prayse hym for ony vayne transytory thynges of this lyfe / whiche by the example of hym all kynges & prynces may lerne how slydynge / how slyppery / how faylyng [Page] they be. All be it he had as moche of them as was possy­ble in maner for ony kynge to haue / his polytyque wyse­dome in gouernaunce it was synguler / his wytte alway quycke and redy / his reason pytthy and substancyall / his memory fresshe and holdynge / his experyence notable / his counseylles fortunate and taken by wyse delyberacyon / his speche gracyous in dyuerse languages / his persone goodly and amyable / his naturall complexyon of the pu­rest myxture / his yssue fayre and in good nombre / leages and confederyes he hadde with all crysten prynces / his mighty power was dredde euery where / not onely with in his realme but without also / his people were to hym in as humble subgeccyon as euer they were to kynge / his lande many a daye in peas and tranquyllyte / his prospe­ryte in batayle ayenst his enemyes was meruaylous / his delynge in tyme of perylles and daungers was cold and sobre with grete hardynesse. If ony treason were conspyred ayenst hym it came out wonderfully / his treasour and rychesse incomparable / his buyldynges mooste goodly and after the newest cast all of pleasure. But what is all this now as vnto hym / all be but Fumus & vmbra A smoke that soone vanyssheth / and a shadowe soone passynge awaye. Shall I prayse hym than for theym. Nay forsothe. The grete wyfe man Solon whan that the kynge Cresus hadde shewed vnto hym all his glo­ryous state and condycyon that he was in as touchynge the thynges aboue rehersed he wolde not afferme that he was blessyd for all that but sayd. Expectandus est finis. The ende is to be abydē & loked vpon / wherin he sayd full trouthe / all be it perauenture not as he entended but veryly a trouth it is / in the ende is all togyder / a good ende and a gracyous conclusyon of the lyf maketh all / and [Page] therfore Senec in his epystles sayth. Bonam vite clausulā impone. In ony wyse make a good conclusyon of thy lyfe / whiche thynge I may conferme by holy letters. In the prophete Ezechiel it is wryten & spoken by the mouth of god in this maner. Iusticia iusti non liberabit eū in quacū (que) die peccauerit & im­pietas impij nō nocebit ei in quacū (que) die cō uersus fuerit ab ipietate sua. That is to saye / yf ye rightwyse mā haue lyued neuer so vertuously / & in ye ende of his lyf cōmytte one deedly syn̄e & so departe / al his ryghtwyse delynge before shall not defende hym frō euerlastynge dampnacyon / & in cōtrary wyse / yf the synful man haue lyued neuer so wretchedly in tymes past yet in the ende of his lyfe yf he retourne from his wyckednes vnto god / all his wyckednes before shall not let hȳ to be saued. Let no synner presume of this to do amysse or to contynue the lenger in his synne / for of suche presumers scant one amonge a. M. cometh vnto this grace but the deth taketh them or they beware. Let no man also murmure ayenst this / for this is the grete treasour of the mercy of almyghty god / & ayenst suche murmures is suffycyētly answered in ye same place / for what sholde become of ony of vs ne were this grete mercy. Quis potest dicere mūdū est cor meū innocens ego sū a pctō. Who may say (sayth ecclesiasticus) myn herte is clene / I am innocent & gyltles of synne. As who sayth / noo man may speke this worde. Whan than all men haue in theyr lyfe trespassed ayenst al­myghty god. I may well saye that he is gracyous that maketh a blessyd ende. And to that purpose saynt John̄ in the appocalyps sayth. Beati mortui qui in dn̄o moriuntur. Blessyd are tho whiche haue made vertuous [Page] ende and conclusyon of theyr lyfe in our lorde / whiche veryly I suppose this most noble prynce hath done / the profe wherof shall stande in foure poyntes. The fyrst is a true tournynge of his soule from this wretched worlde vnto the loue of almyghty god. Seconde is a fast hope & confydence yt he had in prayer. Thyrde a stedfast byleue of god and of ye sacramentes of the chyrche. Fourth in a dylygent askynge of mercy in ye tyme of mercy / whiche. iiij. poyntes by ordre be expressed in the fyrst parte of this psalme. As to the fyrst at the begynnynge of lent last passed he called vn to hym his confessoure a man of synguler wysdome / ler­nynge and vertue / by whose assured instruccyon I speke this that I shall saye. This noble prynce after his confes­syon made with all dylygence and grete repentaunce / he promysed thre thynges that is to saye / a true reformacyon of all them that were offycers and ministres of his lawes to the entent that Justyce from hens for warde truly and indyfferently myghte be executed in all causes. An other that the promocyons of the chyrche that were of his dys­posycyon sholde from hens forth be dysposed to able men suche as were vertuous and well lerned. Thyrde that as touchynge the daūgers and Jeopardyes of his lawes for thynges done in tymes passed he wolde graūte a par­don generally vnto all his people / whiche. iij. thynges he let not openly to speke to dyuerse as dyd resorte vnto hym And many a tyme vnto his secrete seruaūtes he sayd that yf it pleased god to sende hym lyfe they sholde se hym a newe chaunged man. Ferthermore with all hūblenes he recognised the synguler and many benefeytes that he had receyued of almighty god / & wt grete repentaūce & meruaylous sorowe accused hȳselfe of his vnkyndnes towardes hȳ / specyally yt he no more feruently had ꝓcured ye honour of god / & that he had no more dylygently perfourmed the [Page] wyll & pleasure of hym / wherin he promysed by the grace of god an assured amendement. who may suppose but that this man had veryly set his herte & loue vpon god / or who may thynke that in his persone may not be sayd Dilexi. That is to saye / I haue set my loue on my lord god. Kynge Dauid that wrote this psalme / all be it he had ben an auoutrer & murdrer also / yet with one worde spekȳge his herte was chaūged sayenge. Peccaui. This kyn­ge sayd & confessed it many tymes with grete sorowe and grete repentaūce / promisynge fully a true amendement of all h [...]s lyf / wherfore in his persone it may also be sayd Dilexi. That is to saye / I haue turned myn herte & loue vn to god. The cause of this loue was ye fast hope yt he alway had before in prayer / It is not vnknowen the studyous & desyrous mȳde that he had vnto prayer. whiche he procured of relygyous & seculers chyrche thrughout his realme In all ye chirches of Englond dayly his collecte was sayd for hym. Besydes that dyuerse yeres aboute lent he sente money to be dystrybuted for. x. M. l. masses peculeer to be sayd for hym. Ouer this was in his realme no vertuous man that he might be credybly enfourmed of / but he gaue hym a contynuall remembraunce yerely to praye for hym / some. x. marke / some. x. li. besydes his yerely & dayly almes vnto the prysoners / & the other poore & nedy / for the whi­che it may be thought vndoutedly that he had grete hope and confydence in prayer / whiche prayer and confydence therin / no doubte of was cause of the very tournynge of his soule to the faste loue of god. And for that he saythe. Dilexi quoniā exaudiet dn̄s. I loue bycause I had an hope that my lorde sholde gracyously here me / but what shall he here. Vocem deprecationis mee The voyce of a prayer maketh it more audyble. A softe [Page] brest may not be herde ferre of / his prayer therfore was holpen with all theyrs that prayed with hym & for hym / & theyr prayer was as the voyce of hym whiche was soo grete that it muste nedes be herde. Impossibile est multo (rum) p̄ces nō exaudiri sayth saynt Austyn / that is to saye / the prayer of many can not be but herde. One of the kynges of Juda whose name was Manasses after many grete abhomynacyons & outrages ayenst almygh­ty god as it appereth in the fourth boke of the kynges / & in the secōde of paralipomenon / he prayed vnto hȳ for mercy with true repentaūce / & mercy was gyuen vnto hym. If this soo grete a synner for his owne prayer were herde of god. How may we doubte / but where so grete a nombre prayeth for one as dyd for our late kynge & souerayne / but that all yt nombre shall be herde. Qm̄ exaudiet dn̄s vocē dep̄catiōis mee. The cause of this hope was the true beleue yt he had in god / in his chirche & in the sacramentes therof / whiche he receyued all wt merueylous de­uocion / namely in the sacrament of penaūce / the sacrament of ye auter / & the sacrament of anelynge. The sacrament of penaūce wt a meruaylous compassyon & flowe of teres / yt at some tyme he wepte & sobbed by the space of. iij. quar­ters of an houre / the sacrament of the auter he receyued at mydlent / & agayne vpon eester day wt so grete reuerence yt all that were present were astonyed therat / for at his fyrst entre in to the closet where the sacrament was he toke of his bonet & kneled downe vpon his knees & so crept forth deuoutly tyl he came vnto ye place selfe where he receyued the sacrament. Two dayes nexte before his departȳge he was of that feblenes yt he myght not receyue it agayn. yet neuertheles he desyred to se the monstraūt wherin it was conteyned / the good fader his confessour in goodly maner as was conuenyent brought it vnto hym / he with suche a [Page] reuerence / wt so many knockynges & betynges of his brest with so quycke & lyfely a countenaunce / wt so desyrous an herte made his humble obeysaūce therunto / & wt soo grete humblenes & deuocyon kyssed not the selfe place where ye blessyd body of our lorde was conteyned / but the lowest parte the fote of the monstraunt / that all that stode aboute hym scarssy myght conteyne them from teres & wepynge The sacrament of anelynge whan he wel perceyued that he began vtterly to fayle / he desyrously asked therfore / and hertely prayed that it myght be admynystred vnto hym / wherin he made redy & offred euery parte of his body by ordre / & as he myght for weykenes turned hymselfe at euery tyme & answered in ye suffrages therof. That same day of his departynge he herde masse of the gloryous virgyn the moder of cryste to whome alwaye in his lyfe he had a synguler & specyall deuocyon. The ymage of the crucyfyxe many a tyme that daye full deuoutly he dyd beholde with grete reuerence / lyftynge vp his heed as he might / holdynge vp his handes before it / & often enbrasynge it in his ar­mes & with grete deuocion kyssynge it / & betynge ofte his brest / who may thynke that in this maner was not per­fyte fayth / who may suppose that by this maner of delȳge he faythfully beleued not yt the eere of almyghty god was open vnto hym & redy to here hym crye for mercy / and as­systent vnto these same sacramentes whiche he soo de­uoutly receyued / & therfore in his persone it may be sayd. Quia inclinauit aurein suam michi. For the fourth poynt whiche was a dylygent askynge of mercy in the tyme of mercy. It foloweth. Et in diebus ineis inuocaui. That is to saye / and in my dayes I haue called for mercy / whiche were his dayes. Ueryly all the tyme of his lyfe. As longe as a man lyueth in this mortall lyfe and truly calleth vpon almyghty god for mercy / [Page] he may trust assuredly to haue it. So it appereth by saynt John̄ in the appocalyps sayenge. Ecce dedi illi tē ­pus vt pniam ageret. I haue gyuen hym tyme to repente hym / and all this tyme almyghty god mercyfully abydeth the retourne of the synner to the entente he may haue mercy vpon hym / as it is wryten in the prophete Esaye. Expectat vos deus vt misereatur vestri. There is no parte of his lyfe but a synner yf he tru­ly call for mercy he may haue it / wytnessynge the prophe­te Ezechiel Impietas impii non nocebit ei in quacū (que) die ꝯuersus fuerit ab impietate sua In what daye soeuer the synner tourneth hym from his synne / his synne shall not noye hym / moche rather than yf he do it many dayes and specyally those dayes that be to almyghty god moost acceptable as be the dayes of lent / of whome the chyrche redeth. Ecce nūc tempus ac­ceptabile ecce nunc dies salutis. This is the ty­me acceptable / these be the dayes of helth and mercy / than for all penytentes the hole chyrche maketh specyall prayer wherfore it is veryly to be trusted that so true a turnynge to the loue of god / despysynge this worlde / so fast an hope in prayer / so ferme a byleue in the sacramentes of the chyrche / & so deuoute a receyuynge of them / so many holdynge vp of his hādes / so many lyftynge vp of his eyen / so many betynges and knockynges of his brest / so many syghes / so many teres / so many callynges for mercy / by all that gracyous tyme / by all the hole lente / with the helpe of the hole chyrche than prayenge for hym coude not be in vayne / for the whiche as I sayd before / he thus departynge made (I doubte not) a gracyous ende and conclusyon of his lyf whiche was the fyrst parte promysed.

THe seconde parte of this psalme I sayd sholde styre vs to haue compassyon & pyte vpon this moost noble kynge / and that for a lamentable & pyteous complaynt folowynge whiche resteth in foure poyntes. Fyrst tou­chynge the sorowes of deth in his body. Seconde tou­chynge the dredes of his Jugement in his soule. Thyrde touchynge the miseryes of this worlde full of labour and greuaunce. Fourth touchynge his sorowfull crye to god for helpe and socour. As to the fyrst it is sayd. Circūdederūt me dolores mortis. The sorowes of deth hath enuyroned me. whan we here a lamentable com­playnt of ony persone that is in sorowe or heuynesse / yf therebe in our hertes ony gentylnes or pyte it wyll moue vs to cōpassyon / though he were ryght symple & of poore and lowe degre / moche rather yf it were some noble man whiche of late had ben in grete ꝓsperyte / but moost of all our lord & souerayne / that shold perse our hertes wt sorowe to here hym lamentably cōplayne of ony of his sorowfull greuaūces / & what can be more sorowfull & more paynful than be the paynes & sorowes of deth. Mors oīm ter ribilissima. Sayth Arystotle. And why is deth so ferefull: but for the greuous paynes yt are in it / there is so grete an amyte bytwene the soule & ye body / & so surely a Joyned knotte & bonde / that dysseueraūce of them is to paynfull / whiche thynge appered well in our sauyour cryst Jhesu. where here remembrynge the nyghnesse of his deth complayned hym vnto his apostles / sayenge. Tristis est aīa mea vs (que) ad mortē. And after for ye very drede of tho paynes was in so grete agony of body & soule that he swette water & blode for the onely remembraunce / he than that is wrapped in dede in ye very sorowes & paynes of deth / he feleth moche greuaūce / specyally yf his body be [Page] delycate / & he of tendre & sensyble nature as was this no­ble kynge. Let vs therfore tender his complaynt / sayenge in this maner. Circūdederūt me dolores mor­tis. That is to saye / the bytter sorowes of deth haue enuy toned me on euery parte / not onely one sorowe / but many sorowes. Dolores and many sorowes of deth whiche is moost paynfull. Dolores mortis not touched hȳ or pynched hym / but on euery parte hath assayled & oppres sed hym. Circūdederūt me And yt no shorte whyle but by longe contynuaūce by the space of. xxvii. houres to gyder / so longe I vnderstōde he laye cōtynually abidynge the sharpe assautes of deth / & therfore he sayth pyteously cō playnynge. Circūdederūt me dolores mortis Secondly as touchinge his soule / in what agony suppose ye that was / not for the drede of deth onely / but for ye drede of the Jugement of almyghty god / for all be it he myghte haue grete confydence / by the reason of his true cōuersyon vnto god / and by the sacramentes of crystes chyrche whi­che he with full grete deuocyon had receyued before / yet was not he without a drede. Nemo nouit an sit odio an amore dignus. There is no man be he ne uer so perfyte oneles he haue it by reuelacyon yt knoweth certaynly wheder he be in the state of grace or no / for of an other maner be the Jugementes of god than of men. And the holy abbot Hely sayd lykewyse. Thre thinges sayd he there be that I moche drede / one is what tyme my soule shall departe out of my body / an other is whan I shall be presented before my Juge / the thyrde is what sentence he shal gyue whether with me or ayenst me. If these holy fa ders whiche had forsaken this worlde & had lyued so ver tuously were in this fere / no meruayle though this grete [Page] man whiche had so moche worldly besynes & dayly occu­pyed in the causes therof / noo meruayle though he were in grete fere / & therof he complayneth sayenge. Et pe­ricula inferni inuenerunt me. That is to saye / and the perylles of hell dyd fynde me. Who that wyll not make his remembraunce famuler with them before / and often set them before the eye of his soule / they shall at the houre of deth in more terryble maner offre themselfe vnto his mynde euen as ye se these wood dogges these grete mastyues that be tyed in chaynes / vnto suche as often vy­syte them they be more gentyll and easy / but to the straun­gers whiche haue none acqueyntaunce of them they ra­gyously and furyously gape and ryse ayenst them as they wolde deuoure them. Et pericula inferni inue­nerūt me. Thyrdly touchȳge these worldly pleasures wherin men set grete parte of theyr cōforte bothe in body & soule / he had than full lytell comforte or pleasure in them but rather dyscomforte & sorowe / all his goodly houses so rychely dekte & appareyled / his walles & galaryes of grete pleasure / his gardyns large & wyde wt knottes curyously wrought / his orcheyardes set wt vynes & trees moost dyly cate / his meruaylous rychesse & treasour / his metes & dryn kes were they neuer so dylycately p̄pared might not than helpe hȳ / but rather were paynfull to hȳ / so moche yt longe before his deth his mete was to hym so lothsome (were it neuer so dilicately p̄payred) that many a tyme he sayd / but onely to folowe coūseyle he wold not for all this world re ceyue it / wherin he well ꝑceyued ye miseryes of this wretched world. Thā lo he had experience of that / yt lōge tyme before ye grete & wyse Salamō reported in his boke eccliastes. Cū (que) me ꝯuertissē ad vniuersa oꝑa q̄ fe cerāt manꝰ mee & ad labores ī (qui)abus frustra [Page] sudauerā vidi in oibus vanitatē & afflictio­nem animi. That is to saye whan I had tourned my remembraūce to all that I had ordeyned / & to the labours wherin I swette in vayne I founde in them all but va­nyte & turmentry of soule. This cōclusyon our late kynge and souerayne full truly than had lerned & the vayne trou bles and laboures whiche many take for this wretched worlde / wherin as I sayd full lytell pleasure than he had but moche displeasure and sorowe / wherfore it foloweth in his cōplaynt. Tribulationē & dolorē inueni The fourth percell of his complaynt is a lamentable crye vnto almyghty god for helpe and socoure / for whan he sawe playnly that noo where elles was ony socoure or comforte / the cruell assautes of deth was fyers and sharpe ayenst hym / the daungerous perylles whether he sholde become was importunely greuous / all this worlde and worldly pleasures were to hym vnswete & full dysplea­saunt therfore with al his myght & power he cryed vpon the name of our lord / for the whiche name is promysed by saynt Poule. Ois quicū (que) inuocauerit nomen dn̄i saluus erit. That is whosoeuer call vpon the na me of our lorde he shall be safe / he therfore full besyly / full studyously / full ernestly called vpon that blessyd name for socour & helpe / and so it foloweth in the psalme. Et no­men dn̄i inuocaui. O my blessyd Ihesu / o my moost mercyfull Ihesu / o my lorde & creatoure Ihesu. O dn̄e libera animā meā. O my lorde delyuer my soule / de lyuer my soule from the myseryes of this worlde / delyuer my soule from these deedly paynes / delyuer my soule from this corruptyble body / delyuer my soule from the bondes of synne / delyuer my soule from my mortall enemyes / de­lyuer [Page] my soule from the daungers of euerlastynge deth. O dn̄e libera aīam meā. A my lordes & maysters let this pyteous and lamentable cōplaynt of hym that of late was your kynge and souerayne / let it entre and synke into your brestes. Scrypture there vnto dooth moue you sayenge this wyse. Fili in mortuū ꝓduc lachrimas & quasi dira passus incipe plorare. And in an other place thus. Supra mortuū plora defecit enī lux eius. Example herof we haue of the gen­tyles. The cruell warryour Hanyball he pyteed the deth of his enemyes Paulus / Enulius / Tiberius / Graceus / Marcus / Marcellus. Whan he sawe theyr bodyes lye deed before hym. And in holy letters also kynge Dauyd whan it was tolde vnto hym the deth of his enemyes at dyuerse tymes he wepte ryght pyteously as at the deth of Saul / Absolon and Abner. If they so grete & noble men soo moche pyteed the deth of theyr mortall enemyes. We sholde moche rather tender and pyte the deth of our own kynge & souerayne. But wherto reherse I them whan he that was the lorde of all this worlde our sauyoure cryste Ihesu wepte at the monument of Lazarus whan he had ben buryed the space of foure dayes / gyuynge vnto vs all therby example of pyte. If he yt was the kynge of all kynges wepte for the deth of his subgecte soo longe after his buryall / what sholde we that be subgectes do for the deth of our kynge & souerayne hauynge yet the presence of his body vnburyed amonges vs / forsothe it sholde moue vs to haue pyte & compassyon the rather vpon hym. A kynge Henry kynge Henry yf thou were on lyue agayne many one that is here present now wolde pretende a full grete pyte & tendernesse vpon the. It is remembred in the boke of the kynges how a seruaūt of kynge Dauid whose na­me [Page] was Ethay whan his lorde & souerayne was in trouble he wolde not forsake him / but answered hym playnly in this maner saynge. In quocū (que) loco fuerꝭ dn̄e mi rex siue ī morte siue ī vita ibi erit seruus tuus. That is to say in what place soeuer thou shalte be my lorde my kynge in the same place shall thy seruaunt be A squyer also of kynge Saul whan he sawe his lorde & mayster deed his sorowe was so grete that he slewe hym selfe incontynent. Alas where is the true pyte & very compassyon become that shold be in the hertes of men. These two persones had so grete ruthe and compassyon of theyr maysters that they refused not to suffre ye deth with them How harde are our hertes / how stony / how flynty. If we relent not with pyte & compassyon / herynge so lamen table a complaynt of our late souerayne / and herynge him so pyteously crye sayenge. O dn̄e libera aīam meā O my lorde delyuer my soule. Let vs helpe hym at the lest with our prayers besechynge almyghty god for his infy­nyte mercy to delyuer his soule and to pardon it. And or we procede ony ferder of our psalme let vs here deuout­ly and affectually saye for his soule and all crysten soules euery of vs one pater noster.

THe thyrde parte of this psalme entreateth of com­forte / whiche is cōteyned in. iiij. poyntes. Fyrst yt almyghty god is mercyfull / seconde yt he hath taken hȳ in to his custody / thyrde yt he hath delyuered hȳ frō al euylles fourth yt hens for warde he shall contynue in the gracyous fauoure of almyghty god. For the fyrst it foloweth. Misericors dn̄s & iustus et deꝰ nr̄ miseret̄. That is to saye. The lorde is mercyfull and ryght wyse and our god wyll haue pyte / who is this lorde that is mercyfull & ryght wyse / who but our sauyour cryst Ihesu whiche of [Page] his infynyte mercy came into this worlde to dye for syn­ners. Christus iesus venit in hūc mūdū sal­uos facere pctōres. Why than sayth he. Et iustꝰ. that he is ryght wyse also / that rather sholde make ayenst the synner than for hym. Nay forsothe / the prophete and kynge Dauyd brought in this worde for hymselfe & not ayenst hym. Two wayes it maketh for the synner / one by reason of promyse made thrugh out all scrypture vnto the penytent that wyll vtterly forsake his synne. Our lorde yt is moost Juste of his promyse wyll pardon the synnes so repentynge hymselfe and soo truly retournynge whiche thynge saynt John̄ playnly wytnesseth in his fyrst epystle Si cōfiteamur petā nr̄a fidelis & iustus est vt remittat nobis petā nr̄a & emundet nos ab om̄i ini (qui)tate. That is to saye. If we wyll knowlege our synnes ye lorde is faythfull & Juste in his promyse to forgyue all our syn̄es & make vs clene from all wycked nes / this is one waye. Another waye also it may make & that is this. Our sauyour Jhū is Justus / for he is innocent and gyltles / & therfore he is a conuenyent meane / a suffy­cyent vocate for vs before the face of his fader accordynge to the wordes of the same saynt John̄. Si (qui)s pecca­uerit aduocatū habemꝰ apd' patrē iesū xp̄m iustū & ipse est ꝓpiciatio ꝓ pctīs / nō pro nr̄is tm̄ sed & tocius mūdi. That is to saye. If ony of vs haue synned / let vs not dispayre / for we haue an aduocate for vs before god / our sauyour whiche is Juste & without synne / & he shall be a meane for our synnes / not for ours all onely / but for all ye worldes. Who may be thought a more conuenyent vocate for synners than he yt neuer dyd synne than he yt suffycyently hath payed for ye raunsome of synne [Page] his owne moost precyous blode & paynfull & bytter deth than he that is the sone of almyghty god and that before his owne fader. But perauenture his fader is harde and straunge and wyll not be moued. Nay forsothe / for rather the contrary / he is full pyteous & full redy to haue mercy. And therfore it foloweth. Et deus noster miseretur. And our god wyll haue pyte & mercy. For the whi­che saynt Austyn sayth in his boke depnīa. Quecū (que) necessit as pctōrem ad penitenciā cogit ne (que) quātitas criminis / nec breuitas tēꝑis / nec enormitas sceleris / nec hore extremitas / si pura fuerit voluntatis mutacio excludit a venia. That is to saye / what necessyte soeuer compell the synner to repentaūce / neyther the gretnes of his synne nor yet the shortnesse of tyme / nor the enormyte of his tres passe / ne yet the vttermost houre of his lyfe shall exclude hym from pardon / yf so be yt his wyll be clerely chaūged & tourned to god. This is than one grete comforte that our late kynge and souerayne may haue / and all tho that bere hym true fayth and seruyce. The seconde comforte that he was taken in to the custodye of our lorde foloweth in the nexte verse. Custodiēs paruulos dominus humiliatus sum et liberauit me. Who that is in thraldome of synne is in full shrewed custody / and yf he wolde be at lyberte he must do as these prysoners doo that somtyme vndermyne the walles and crepe vnder them out at a strayte and narowe hole. And so they esca­pe out of the custody of prysone and come to theyr lyberte / In lyke wyse the synner must doo / he muste vndermyne the stronge walles of synne by true humblynge and lo­wynge of hymselfe / and make hymselfe lytell to the en­tent [Page] he may crepe out at the narowe hole from the daun­ger of synne and soo come vnto the lyberte of grace. For the whiche our sauyour sayd. Nisi conuersi fueri­tis et efficiamini sicut paruuli. Onelesse ye be chaunged and be made lytell ye can not enter to lyberte. Saynt Anthony sawe by reuelacyon that all the worlde was full of snares / and he asked this questyon. Blessyd [...]orde sayd he who shall passe these daungers. It was answered hym Sola humilitas. Onely humblenes and lowlynesse. The kynge Achab of whome scrypture sayth that he dyde more dyspleasure vnto god than all the kynges of Israhell that were before his tyme he dyde so grete ydolatry / he slewe so many prophetes / notwithstondynge so many wonderfull tokens & myracles that were shewed vnto hym / yet at the last when the prophete Hely came to hym in message & thretened hym fore in the name of god / he began to repent hym / & to humble hymselfe in the syght of god / for the whiche incōtynent almyghty god sayd vnto the prophete Hely. Nōne vidisti humi­liatū achab corā me: qr igit̄ hūiliatus ē mei eā in inducā malū in diebus eiꝰ. That is to say Dyde thou not se Achab humbled before me / I tell the for that he bycause of me dyde so humble hymselfe I shall not doo that euyll that I purposed in his tyme to haue done. O synguler goodnesse and gentylnesse of almyghty god. O meruaylous redynesse of hym vnto pyte and mercy. Soo soone as the synner can humble and make lytell hymselfe / soo soone he setteth hym at lyberte and taketh hym in to his custodye and tuicyon / herefore gretely we may be gretely comforted in our late kynge and soueray­ne / whiche soo moche humbled hymselfe before his deth [Page] humbled hym vnto god / humbled him vnto his cōfessout humbled hym vnto penaūce / humbled hym vnto the sa­crament of the auter / and to the other sacramentes / hum­bled him vnto the crucifyxe / and with a more humblenes and pacyence toke this sekenesse & euery thynge in it than euer he dyd before to the meruayle of all that were aboute hym / wherfore he now may saye to our and his comforte Custodiens puulos dn̄s humiliatus sūet liberauit me That is to saye / our lord taketh into his custodye the lytell & humble persones. I was humbled & he set me at lyberte. The thyrd comforte is that he is now at rest and the myseryes of this world hath escaped / what is in this lyfe but myserable vanyte / so he dooth wytnesse that therof had experyence at the full / he that had moost haboundaūce of all worldly pleasures I ment the kynge Salamō whiche sayd. Canitas vanitatū & oīa vanitas / quid habet hō amplius de labore suo qui laborat sub sole. That is to saye vanyte of banytees & all is but vanyte / what hath ony man more of all his labour and besynes vnder the sonne. A my lordes and maysters that haue this worldly wysdome that stu­dy and enploy your wyttes to cast & compasse this world what haue ye of all this besynes at the last but a lytell va­nyte. The spyder craftely spynneth her thredes and cury­ously weueth and Joyneth her webbe / but cometh a ly­tell blast of wynde & dysapoynteth all togyder to the whiche purpose Cietro in his thyrde boke be oratore maketh this exclamacyon. O fallacē hoūn spē fragilē (que) fortunā & inanes nr̄as cōtentiones q̄ medio in spacio sepe frangun (que) et corruunt. That is to saye. O deceytefull hope of men & bryttell fortune & bayne [Page] enforsementes, whiche often breke; & come to nought or euer they haue entred halfe theyr course / whiche thynge wysely consyderynge this noble prynce ordred hymselfe therafter / let call for his sone the kynge that now is our go uernour & souerayne endued with all graces of god & na­ture and with as grete habylytees & lyklyhodes of well doynge as euer was in kynge / whose begȳnynge is now [...]o gracyous & so comfortable vnto all his people / that the [...]eioysynge in hym in maner shado weth the sorowe that elles wolde haue ben taken for the deth of his fader. He called (I saye) vnto hym and gaue hym faderly and god­ly exhortacion / cōmyttynge vnto hym the laborous gouer naūce of this realme / & gaderȳge his owne soule in to the true reste cōfortynge it & sayenge vnto it. Cōuertere aīa mea in requiē tuā quia dn̄s bn̄fecit tibi. Be tourned my soule in to thy rest / for thy lorde hath ben benefycyall vnto the / benefycyal at euery tyme before / but now specyally by this moost gentyll & mercyfull callynge by so longe respyte & space gyuȳge of repentaūce wherby he hath escaped so many daūgers / daūgers of euerlastinge deth / daūgers of euerlastynge teres & wepyng / & daūgers of fallynge agayne to syn̄e / for the fyrst it is sayd. Quia eripuit animā meā a morte. That is / for he hath delyuered my soule from deth / bothe temporall & euerla­stynge daungers of euerlastynge wepynge & sorowe / for the whiche ye good fader Arsenius sayd vnto his brethren Brethren sayd he / eyther we must nedes wepe here with teres that wyll wasshe our soules / or elles after this with teres that wyll brenne bothe bodyes & soules / from these teres also he is delyuered / & therfore it foloweth. Ocu­los meos a lachrimis. And myne eyen from teres. Thyrdly from the daungers of fallynge to synne agayne. [Page] Noo man that lyueth here can be assured not to fall. And therfore saynt Poule sayth. Qui stat videat ne cadat. He that standeth let him beware that he slydeth not for the waye is slyppery / but tho that be hens departed in the state of grace be assured neuer to fall agayne. And for that it foloweth. Et pedes meos a lapsu. The fourth and the last porcyon of his comforte / whiche is to be assured of contynuaunce in the fauour of almighty go [...] passeth all the other. A grete comforte it is vnto the sorow full penytent that he hath a mercyfull lorde & god. A grete comforte also that he is taken in his tuicyon and custodye A greter yet that he is delyuered from soo many euylles & perylles. But the gretest whiche surmounteth all other is to haue the presence of that moost blessyd countenaunce & to be assured euer to contynue in that gracious fauour / no tonge can expresse / no speche can declare / no herte can thynke / how grete / how farre passynge this comforte is. Si decē mille iehēnias (qui)s dixerit sayth Crysostome Nichil tale est quale est ab illa btā visione excidere & exosum esse a xp̄o. If one wold thynke the greef of. x. M. helles / all that is yet no thynge lyke to be excluded from that blessyd countenaunce & to be hated of cryst. If this greef be so excessyfe and ferre passynge the contrary therof must nedes be of as extreme comforte and Joye agayne / that is to saye to haue the cōtynuall presence of that blessyd syght / & to knowe the assured fauoure and grace that he standeth in for the whiche is sayd. Place vo dn̄o in regione viuo (rum). That is to saye / I shall please my lorde god in the regyon and countre of lyuynge persones / where as is the very lyfe euer contynued with­out ony interupcyon of deth. Thus accordynge to my pro [Page] myse at the begynnynge I haue perused this psalme in the persone of this noble man / deuydynge it in thre partes in a cōmendacyon of hym / in a mouynge of you to haue compassyon vpon hym / & in a comfortynge of you agayne The cōmendacyon stode in foure poyntes / fyrst in a very tournynge of his loue to god / seconde in a fast hope & con­fydence of prayer / thyrde in a stedfast byleue of the sacra­mentes and a deuoute receyuynge of them / fourth in a dylygent callynge for grace. The mouynge to compassyon stode also in. iiij. poyntes / fyrst for the paynfull greuaūces of deth that he felte in his body / seconde for the ferefull re­membraunce in his soule of the Jugement of god / thyrde for the myserable vanytees of this lyfe wherin he founde but payne and trauayle / fourth for the lamentable crye to god for helpe and socour. The comfortynge agayne was lyke wyse in. iiij. poyntes / fyrst for that he hath so mercy­full a lorde and god / seconde for that he is taken in to his tuicyon and custody / thyrde for that he is now delyuered from so many perylles / fourth for that he shall from heus forwarde contynue in the gracyous sauour of almyghty god the whiche comforte he graūte hym yt for vs all dyed vpon the crosse our sauyour cryst Jhesu. Amen.

¶ Thus endeth this notable sermon. Enprynted at London in Fletestrete at the sygne of the sonne by wynkyn de worde / prynter vnto the moost excellent princ [...]sse my lady the kynges graundame. Anno dn̄i. M. CCCCC. ix.

W [...] C

wynkyn · de & · worde.

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