¶ Here after ensueth two fruytfull Sermons, made & compyled by the ryght Reuerende father in god John̄ Fyssher▪ Doctour of Dyuy­nyte and Bysshop of Rochester.

¶ Here begynneth the fyrst Sermon.

‘¶ Nisi abundauerit iustitia vestra plus (quam) Sribarum et Phariseorum non intrabitis in regnum celorum.’Mathee. 5.

THese wordes be wryten in the Gospell of Mathew, spoken by our sauyour Chryst. which be thus moche to say in Englyssh. Oneles your ryghtwyse lyfe be more ha­bundaunt than was the ly­uynge of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall nat entre into the kyngdome of heuyn.

¶ what the lyues & Justyce of the Pharysees was, & what our Justyce that be chrysten men ought to be, I intende to speke of at som other layser. Now for this day, because it is the feest of all Sayntes, it is conuenyent somwhat to speke of the soueraygne Joyes and pleasures which be aboue in the kyngedome of heuyn / where these blessed Sayntes be present now with our sauyour Chryst. And for asmoche al­so as many blessed soules whiche are ordeyned to come thyder into the same kyngedome, be let and taryed by the way in the greuouse paynes of Purgatory (of whome the chyrche as to mo­row [Page] maketh specyall remembraunce: we shall also by the grace of god somwhat speke of tho greuouse paynes which be there. ¶ Thyrdly as concernynge our owne soules, which as yet be abydynge in this worlde: we may by the re­membraunce of bothe those two places, som­what quycken and styre theym so to lyue here, that after our departure hence we be nat are­sted by the waye, and so cast into the pryson of Purgatory, but streyght to be receyuyd into that moost gloryouse place and kyngdome of Heuyn, wthouten any great delayes.

¶ These thre thynges by the leue and grace of almyghty god I intende to speke of by order / but fyrst of all we shall call for grace and say a Pater noster.

NIsi abundauerit iustitia vestra plus (quam) scriba­rum et Phariseorum non intrabitis in reg­num celorum. Mathei. 5. ¶ Fyrst than we shall endeuour our selfe somwhat to speke of the meruelous Joye & pleasure whiche now the blessed sayntes haue aboue in the kyngdom of heuen / which is so great that no tonge can tell or ex­presse, nor hart can thynke the same. That Joy, that pleasure, that conforte, passeth all other / nat only suche as can be spoken of man, but al­so suche as any man can thynke or deuyse in his hart of this mater. Oculus non vidit, nec au­ris audiuit, ne (que) in cor hominis ascend it, que pre­parauit deus diligentibus se. Neyther the iye of man hath sene the lyke, nor the ere of man hath [Page] herde the lyke, nor the herte hath thought the lyke. ¶ Duriyen hath sene many pleasures, many gay sightes, many wonderfull thynges that hath appered & semed vnto vs Joyous & confortable. But yet all these were but countrefeytes of the true Joyes / all these were but dull and darke ymages of the perfyte confort which the blessed sayntes haue now aboue in the kyngdō of heuyn. I doubte nat but ye haue herde of many goodly syghtes whiche were shewed of late beyonde the see, with moche Joy and pleasure worldly. was it nat a great thynge within so shorte a space, to se thre great Prynces of this worlde? I meane the Emperour, and the kyng our mayster, and the Frenche kynge. And eche of these thre in so great honour, she wyng theyr ryalty, she wyng theyr rychesse, she wyng theyr power / with eche of theyr noblesse appoynted and apparellyd in ryche clothes, in sylkes, vel­uettes, clothes of golde, & suche other precyouse araymentes. To se thre ryght excellent Que­nes at ones togider, and of thre great realmes. That one, the noble Quene our mastresse, the very exampler of vertue and noblenesse to all women. And the Frenche Quene. And the thyrde Quene Mary, somtyme wyfe vnto Lo­wys Frenche kynge, syster to our souereygne lorde, a ryght excellent and fayre Lady. And euery of them accōpanyed with so many other fayre ladyes in sumptuouse & gorgeouse appa­rell / suche daunsynges, suche armonyes, suche dalyaunce, and so many pleasaunt pastymes, [Page] so curyouse howses and buyldynges, so precy­ously apparayled, suche costely welfare of dy­ners, souppers, and bankettys, so delycate wy­nes, soo precyouse meatys, suche and soo many noble men of armes, soo ryche and goodly ten­tys, suche Justynges, suche tourneys, and suche feates of warre. These assuredly were wonder­full syghtes as for this worlde / and as moche as hath ben redde of in many yeres done, or in any Cronycles or Hystoryes here tofore wry­ten, and as great as mennes wyttes and stu­dyes coulde deuyse and ymagyn for that sea­son. Neuerthelesse, these great syghtes haue a farre dyfference from the Joyes of heuyn / and that in fyue poyntes.

FYrste, the Joyes and pleasures of this lyfe, be they neuer so great, yet they haue a werynesse and a fastydyousenes with them adioyned, whereby men at length of tyme be wery of theym, as thus. There is no meate nor drynke so delycate, so pleasaunt, so delectable, but yf a man or a woman be longe accusto­med therwith, he shal haue at the length a loth­somnes thereof. Take the mooste delycate and pleasaunt fysshe or flesshe that thyne hart stan­deth vnto, and vse it customably & none other, and thou shalte be full soone wery thereof. And in lyke maner it was of those goodly syghtes whiche were had and done beyonde the see. I say nat the contrary but they were very pleasaunt syghtes. But yet doubtlesse many were full wery of theym at length, and had a loth­somnes [Page] and a fastydyousnes of theym, and som of theym had moche leuer haue bene at home. And verely in suche a condycyon are and shall be the pleasures of this worlde. For the which kynge Salamon the which past all other kyn­ges of Israhell that reygned before hym / gy­uynge his harte and studye to folow all ma­ner of pleasure, fynally sayd that all pleasure, all myrth, and all Joye worldly, was but one­ly Vanitas, labor, et afflictio spiritus. That is to saye, vanytye, werynesse, and dyspleasure. And suche a kynge that had tastyd soo many plea­sures, and of the moost exquysyte, and had suche a great wysdom to deserue them dyd thus say: we may well be assured that there is no plea­sure of this worlde so perfyte, but that fynally it hath a werynesse, a fastydyousnes, and a ve­ry displeasure adioyned therunto.

¶ But contrary wyse it is of the Joyes of he­uyn / for they be pure, clene, and parfyte with­outen any admyxture of dyspleasure or wery­nesse. The Joyes of heuyn neuer shal make one wery. They haue in theym no lothesomnes, no fastydyousnes, ne no werynesse, at all / but euer they be lusty, euer newe and newe, euer alyke fresshe, and neuer doth wydder. For the whiche saynt Peter calleth it (Immarcessibilem) The pleasure of heuyn wydderyth nat nor corrup­tyth nat for any longe tyme. And therfore the Prophete Dauyd spekyng of the Joyes of that kyngdom, sayth (Melior est dies vna in atriis tu­is super milia). Better is one day within thyne [Page] entresse, than many thousandes els where. This is than one great difference of the Joyes of heuyn fro the Joyes of this worlde.

THe seconde dyfferēce is this. The ioyes of this worlde haue adioyned with thē many dredes. ¶ we be certayne that ones we must forgoo these pleasures here, we knowe it well, and therfore we can nat but alway drede to forgo and lese them. And the more dere they be vnto vs, & the deplyer we set our hertes vp­pon them, the more we shall drede to forgo thē. ¶ A lytle sykenes, a lytle trouble, a nye lykely­hood of dethe, dysapoynteth all these pleasures. we must nedes therfore drede and fere sikenes, feare trouble, and fere the sodeyne comynge of dethe, and fere euery thynge that may let or breke our pleasures. And verely of suche plea­sures aryseth theyr owne dystruccyon at the ende / the whiche dyd ryght well appere in the pleasaunt syghtes wherof I spake before. For by the reason of them, great money was spent, many great mennes coffers were emptyed / & many were brought to a great ebbe & pouerty. This ebbe caused a greater flowe of Couytyse afterwarde in many mennes hartes. Sumof them were the syker & the weker in theyr body­es, & dyuers toke theyr deth therby. Sum by re­ason of theyr sumptuouse apparelment, lernyd so great pryde, yt hytherto they coulde nat shyfte it fro them. Neuer was sene in England suche excesse of apparelment before, as hath ben vsed [Page] euer syns. And thereof also must nedes aryse moche harte brennynge and secrete enuye a­mongest many for the apparell. They whiche had the leest, dyd enuye the other whiche had rycher apparell than they had or myght reche vnto. Thus, many for these pleasures were the worse, bothe in theyr bodyes & in theyr soules. ¶ But the pleasures of heuyn be after another maner. No man is enpayred by theym. There is no dred of pouerty / there is no gredynesse of Couytyse / there is no wekenes of any maner of sykenesse, nor feare of any maner of dethe. There is no pryde nor enuye, nor desyre of ho­nour / but charyte, concorde, peace, tranquylyte, and perfyte rest / and euery persone Joyeth as well of his neyghbours furtheraunce as of his owne / as glad of his neyghbours welth as of his owne. ¶ Oh, what Joyfull place is this? Oh, how confortable it were to dwell in this kyngedome?. For these be the thynges whiche we all desyre / we flye pouertye, and we wolde haue rychesse / and there is plenty. Gloria et di­uitie in domo eius. we flye sykenes and dethe, and wolde haue contynuaunce of helth. Here we get it nat / there we may haue it. Mors vl­tra non erit. After that we be entred thether, we shall no more fele dethe, nor any cause or occa­syon therof / we flye trouble and busynes, and wolde haue rest / which can nat be gotten nor had here. There we may be sure to haue it / and therfore it is called (Eterna reqies) euerlastyng rest. And saint Paule sayth (Festinemus ingre­di [Page] in requiē illam). Let vs make spede to entre into that rest / for as it is wryten in the Apoca­lipsis (Ne (que) luctꝰ, ne (que) clamor, ne (que) dolor erit vl­tra). There shall neuer be mournynge, or com­playnyng of any maner of sorow. For these causes the Joyes of heuen incomperably passeth all the Joyes that can be deuysed in this wretchyd world, or cōceyued by mortall mennes wyttes.

THe thyrde dyfference is, that the plea­sures whereof I spake, had many inter­rupcyons. For that lytell whyle that we were there, somtyme there was suche dust, and there­withall so great wyndes, that all the ayre was full of dust. The gownes of veluet, and clothe of golde were full of dust / the ryche trappers of horses were full of dust / hattes, cappes, gow­nes, were full of dust / the here and faces of men were full of dust / & briefly to speke, horse & man were so encombred with dust, that scantly one myght se another. The wyndes blewe downe many tentes / shakyd sore the houses that were buylded for pleasure, and let dyuers of them to be buylded. Somtyme agayne we had raynes and thunders so vnmeasurably that noo man myght styre forth to to se no pleasures. Som­tyme whan men wolde lenger haue dysportyd them at the Justes, cam the nyght & darkenes vpon them, & interruptyd theyr pleasure. ¶ In Heuyn is no suche interrupcyons. There is no dust nor droughtes / there is no raynes nor no wetes / there is no blastes nor stormes of wyn­des / there is no thunder ne tempestes. There is [Page] no nyght nor darkenes, but a contynuall day, a contynuall temperaūce, a clere ayre without mystes and cloudes. wherfore the Joyes of that place be neuer interrupted, abated, nor myny­shed in any poynt.

THe fourth, the pleasures aforsayd were sone done / they dyd nat abyde / where be all tho pleasures now? they were but shado­wes, & lyke shadowes they be past, lyke shado­wes they be slyd away, lyke shadowes they be now vanysshed away from vs. Ye se somtyme a clowde that is alofte in the ayre betwene the sōne & the groūde, make a shadow vpōye groūde & tarieth nat but slydeth away, & euen so slydeth away ye pleasures of this life. But the pleasures of Heuyn contynually abyde. They passe nat, they slyde nat, they vanyssh nat away, they ne­uer lesse, but rather ēcrease / they neuer enpayre ne dye, but waxe better and fressher. Therfore the Prophete Dauyd sayd (Cūcupiscit et deficit aīa mea ī atria dn̄i). My soule couetith & faiteth for desyre to be within the house of my Lorde / . that is to say, within the kyngdome of heuyn.

THe fyft & last difference is, yt all the glo­ryous syghtes worldly yt can be deuised of men, be but coūtrefeytes in cōparyson of the Joyes aboue in heuyn. All the glory whiche is shewed i this world & of worldly prynces, be borowed of other creatures / it is nat theyr owne natural glory. Fyrst the cloth that they were. it cometh onely of the poore shepes backes. The fyne & costely furres, from other vnreasonable [Page] beestes. The sylkes wherwith they couer theyr bodyes, were taken of the intrales of wormes. The fresshe colours bothe of clothe and sylke, be made by the craft of diynge, and by the myxture of dyuers thynges taken of ryght vyle creatu­res. The golde whiche by crafte is tourned into theyr garmētes / what is it els but erthe?. The precyous stones lykewyse, be gadered, som out of beestes, some out of fysshes, som out of the see, some out of the erthe. In these thynges stande all the gloryous syght of man / and this is nat his owne naturall glory whiche he hath by nature / yet for synne, remaineth in vs the woūde of shame, that we dare nat shew our owne na­turall glory, but couer it with a borowed glory, taken and begged of other creatures / which is nat naturall vnto vs, but may be layd asyde & remoued whan so euer we lyst. And whan this apparell is remoued fro vs, where is than our glory? Take away the glysteryng garmentꝭ, take away the cloth of golde, take away the precyouse stones, & the other rychesse of apparell, & what dyfference is betwyxt an Emperour and another pore man? Take from the ladyes theyr gaye clothes, cheynes, and other Juels / & what dyfference of theym as concernynge this out­warde glory, & of a pore woman?. The Actes of the Apostels tellyth of Kyng Herode, that he in ryche apparell shewed hym selfe vpon a tyme vnto the people / & they for his glysteryng apparell & goodly ornacyon, magnyfyed & praysed hym soueraynly, as though he had bē a god / but [Page] bycause he referred nat that honour due vnto god, but toke it vnto hym selfe, almyghty god forthwith stroke hym with a soore sykenesse, wherupon he dyed / and so dyenge, he sayd (En ego deus vester morior). Loo sayde he, I your god must dye. ¶ Kynges & Emperours, all be but men, all be but mortall. All the golde & all the precyouse stones of this worlde, can nat make them but mortall men. All the ryche ap­parell that can be deuysed, can nat take from theym the condycyon of mortalyty. They be in them selfe but erth & asshes, & to erthe they must retourne / & all theyr glorye well consydered & beholdē with ryghtiyen, is but very myserable. ¶ But the gloryous apparell of the blessyd aungels and of the blessed sayntes, is nat after this maner / for theyr glory is so annext & so adioy­ned vnto thē, & it is so fastened vnto theyr sub­staunce, that it can not be taken away / they neuerley it aparte / they neuer put it of / nor they nede nat / for it neuer fadeth nor widereth / nor may in no wyse enpayre. It is the garment of gloryous immortalytye, more bryght than the sonne. In the which also shall be clad all the bodyes of them that shall be sauyd. O what mar­uelous Joy shall it be to se that gloryous syght of that court, where the leest grome is clad soo rychely aboue all the Kynges and Prynces of this worlde / & than to se so great a multytude of them, to se so many orders of aungels, and in euery order such innumerable companyes / nat a seuen or eyght thousandes, but many hūdred [Page] thousandes, ye many thousandes thousandes. And than to se so many dyuers orders of other blessyd sayntes, Patryarkes, Prophetes, Apo­stels, Martyres, Confessours, vyrgyns, wydo­wes, and such as haue trewly kept theyr bonde of matrymony. To se there our speciall frendes and acquayntaunce which we had here before in this lyfe / to se the other sayntes whiche we dyd chuse for our aduowrers and patrons here in erthe, and whom specyally we dyd worshyp in this worlde. To se our owne good aungels that were our guyders in this lyfe. Specyally to se the gloryouse vyrgyn Mary, the mother of Chryste, and the Quene of that moost gloryouse kyngedome. But aboue all other thynges to se that glory, that worthynesse, that excellency of that gloryouse Trynytyte, the Father, the Son, and the holy Goost. ¶ The father, which is the father of all mercyes, and his most blessed son our sauyour Chryst Jesu, and the holy spy­ryte, whiche is the fountayne of all graces.

¶ These thre, though they be thre dyuers per­sons, yet they be but one god perfytely knyt to gyder in a perfyte amytye, in one loue, in one wyll, in one wysdō, in one power inseperably. ¶ Tho thre Prynces of whome we spake of be­fore, were nat so / but they had dyuers wylles, dyuers councels, & no perdurable amyty, as af­ter that dyd well appere. These Prynces were mortall and mutable, and so theyr wylles dyd chaūge & nat abyde. But in the gloryous Try­nyty▪ amonge tho thre moost excellent persons [Page] hath bē, is, & euer shalbe, a very stabylnes, a sure cōcorde, & perfyte / & theyr realme & gouernaūce euer ꝑdurable. wherfore in theyr kyngdome be the gloryous sightes yt make a mā blessed to be­holde thē. And all the other syghtes worldly, be but as coūtrefeyt ymages in cōparison of these, as ye wolde say mydsomer games, Chrystmas games & playes. In these syghtes is the very trew Joye, the moost blessed & excellent glory that neuer shal haue ende. ¶ Thus moche than we haue spoken as concernyng the kyngdom of heuyn / wherby ye may cōceyue som lytle glymyryng of the ioyes & pleasures yt the blessyd sain­tes beynge delyueryd from the myseryes of this worlde, be now most plētyously refreshed with.

SEcondly, I sayd yt I wolde also speke of the other blessed soules which lykewyse be departed out of this myserable worlde / but they for theyr dettes lye now deteyned in the pryson of Purgatory, & let, as it were to com vnto the presence of the gloryouse Trynytye, and to be made parteners of the Joyes and pleasures inestymable of that most noble kyngdom. And therfore our mother holy chyrche as this nyght and tomorow, remembrynge theyr greuous paynes maketh specyall intercessyon vnto almyghty god for theyr delyueraunce out of that paynfull place. And truely many consy­deracyons shold moue vs effectually to remember them / but in especyall fyue.

FYrst, the nighnes which they haue to vs & we to thē by manyfold bōdꝭ / we haue all [Page] one father, almyghty god, the which made vs & them after the lykenes and ymage of hymselfe. They be his reasonable creatures and chyl­dren as we be, and our spyrytuall bretheren in hym. He hathe prouysyon and cure of theym, lyke as he hath of vs / for theym our Sauyour Cryste Jesu shed his moost precyous blood vp­pon the crosse, lyke as he dyd for vs. They be of the same fayth, hope, and charyte, that we be of. They haue ben made parteners of the same sa­cramentes. Wherfore whan there is so great a lykenes betwene vs and them, and in so ma­ny qualyties, this shold moue & styre vs great­ly to haue some tender compassyon vpon them. ¶ we may se the vnreasonable creatures how soon they be moued to haue ruthe, pytie, & com­passyon of theyr resēblaunce, of suche as be lyke vnto them in nature onely. The hogge, whiche is but a very churlysshe beest, yet whan one of theyr kynde cryeth, all the resydew nygh there about, gader to the relief of the same. whan one Sparow or other byrde is taken in a gylder or with a lyme twygge / all the other nere about gadereth about her to saue & socour her lyfe. And yf this the vnreasonable beestes & fowles do, for the lykenes onely of nature and kynde: how moche rather sholde we (beynge reasona­ble creatures) be moued to haue pytye, & styred to take compassyon of the blessed soules / which nat onely be lyke vs in nature, but also by soo many spyrytualll bondes be Joyned vnto vs. This is the fyrst consyderacyon.

THe seconde consideracyon, & that which peraduēture ye wyll the more regarde, is this. Euery one of vs hath som of his frendes and kynsfolke there / eyther father or mother / syster or brother, neuew or nece, or some of his nygh acquayntaunce. There is non here, but he hath there sum of his kynrede, or som of his aly­aunce, or som of his frendes to whom he had in this worlde here tofore som fauour and frende­shyp. And whan is this frendeshyp moste to be shewyd, but whan his frende is in greate dy­stresse? for than hath he most nede of his helpe / & specyally whan he is in that condycyon that he can not helpe hymselfe. Now doubtles they be so, as I shal shew vnto you hereafter. Now therfore yf our frendeshyp be a trew frendshyp and nat fayned nor simulate (as god knoweth moche semblyd frendshyp reigneth now in this worlde) now let vs do lyke frēdes, now let vs study to releue them by our prayers and almose dedes / now let vs be louyng vnto them as we pretentyd loue before vnto theym whyles they were conuersaunt with vs in this worlde here. For as scrypture sayth. Omni tempore diligit qui amicus est. Nat onely for the tyme of pros­peryte (as many do now adays) but also for the tyme of aduersyte. They that only for the tyme of prosperytye shewe theyr frendeshyp, they be lyke vnto the Swalowes / which all the tyme of Somer abyde with men / but as sone as any blast of wynter or of colde wedder doth appere, they shrynke away and prately conuey them [Page] self, and leue the other to suffre the stormes. In lyke maner doth this fayned frendshyp / so long as any man hath prosperytye and possessyon of goodes, honours, & pleasures in this life, so long they be his frende. But whan the stormes of aduersytye begyn to blow, they shrynke & conuey themselfe away quyckly. ¶ For as moche than as vnto many of them that be now in Purgatory, we dyd pretende fauour and amyty, eyther by the reason of kyndred, or of alyaunce, or els by some other famylyar acquayntaunce of the same: let vs now be glad in this tyme of theyr suffraunce & trouble, to socour theym with our prayers. And this is the second consyderacyon.

THe thyrde consyderacyō is theyr necessyte. They be now in that condicyon that they can nat helpe them selfe. They be the prysoners of almyghty god, and lye there in pryson for theyr dettes. Great is the paynes that they there indure. ¶ Fyrst they haue no pleasures of this lyfe for to conforte theym withall, nor any resorte of suche as were theyr frendes here. It is a great refresshynge whan a man or a wo­man is in sykenesse or trouble or any payne, that may haue som refresshyng though it be but ryght lytle / and that theyr frendes wyll vysyt them and offre som kyndenes vnto them. But they want bothe these two confortes / for no frende of theyrs in this worlde can resorte vnto them for theyr conforte / nor yet any worldly refresshynge can be mynystred vnto them.

[Page]¶ Furthermore they be deferryd from the plea­sures of that other worlde / they be delayed frō the Joyes of heuyn and fro the gloryouse com­pany and from the blessed sight of theyr father. And so longe they shall be delayed and kepte therfro, tyll tyme they haue payd the vttermost ferthyng of theyr dettys. Donec reddideris no­uissimum quadrantē. Oh, this is no lytle payne to them that be in the state of grace, and know that they shall come vnto the kyngdome of he­uyn, & haue suche a longyng desyre to be there, and is thus delayed for lacke of helpe. Spes que differtur animam. Hope, whan it is delayed it tourmentyth a soule / and specyally this hope of so great a mater and so certaynly beleuyd. Besyde this, the sencyble paynes that they fele, is greuouse. Saynt Austyn sayth in a sermon. Ille purgatoriꝰ ignis durior erit, (quam) quicquid po­test in hoc seculum penarum videri, sentiri, aut cogitari. That is to say, the fyre of Purgatory is more greuouse than any maner of payne that can be sene in this worlde, or felte, or yet thought. Oh, we se many paines in this world, and we fele many / and yet our thought may deuyse many moo. It is a great payne of the hedache / it is a great payne of the tothe ache / it is a great payne of the gowte. It is a great and dolorouse payne of the stone, colycke, and stran­gury / who may know or thynke his frende to be in any of these paynes and be nat sory for them, nor take any cōpassion vpon him, or haue wyll to releue and helpe hym yf he myght so do.

[Page]¶ whan than the paynes of Purgatory be ma­ny tymes moche more greuouse than any of these that I haue rehercyd, or that euer were felt or thought in this worlde here tofore: we sholde the rather in this theyr great necessite be redy for to helpe thē after our power. For doubt lesse the paynes of that place (as saynt Austyn sayth) be so great, that one day there, semeth to be a thousande yeres for payne. And as many Doctours holde oppynyon, the paynes of Pur­gatory haue no dyuersyte in greuousnes (saue onely they be nat euerlastyng and perpetuall) but as the paynes of Hell be.

THe fourth consyderacyon is, that they crye vnto vs for helpe / they crye pyty­ously, they crye lamentably, they crye mysera­bly, Miseremini mei miseremini mei saltem vos amici mei. Eche of them sayeth vnto vs, frendes haue pytye vpon me, haue pytye vppon me. Oh mercyfull lorde, yf our eres myght here that so­rowfull, pyteous, and lamentable crye of so ma ny persons endurynge so greuous paynes, It wolde meue vs to pytye yf any pytye were lod­ged in our brestes. But though we here it not, we must neuerthelesse thynke that trouth it is yt the holy doctours haue assured vs of by theyr holy doctrynes. There the faders that haue sore laboured & swet for theyr good which they lefte vnto theyr chyldren, crye now for helpe vppon them. There the husbandes that hath lefte vn­to theyr wynes theyr substaunce, and put them in trust to do for them, now crye vpon them for [Page] socour. There the wyues which in this lyfe dyd bere true loue and fayth vnto theyr husbandes, now crye vppon theym for relyef. There euery person as they loued & shewyd frendeshyp and kyndnes in this worlde, now loke for kyndnes and frendeshyp agayne, and cryeth vnto theyr frendes for conforte, and sayth (Miseremini mei miseremini mei saltem vos amici mei). Oh yf the chyldren beyng alyue myght here theyr fathers crye in tho greuous paynes, and the fathers the chyldren in lykewyse / & the husbandes beynge alyue myght here theyr wyues / and the wyues agayne theyr husbandes / and so euery frende that now is lyuynge myght here his frendes cō playnt in tho fell and bytter paynes: I suppose his hart wolde somwhat erne, or els he shold be very harde & cruell bothe, yf he wolde nat ther­by be moued to some pytye. For as I sayde, the paynes there be wonderfull great / and the bles syd soules lye there only for the payeng of theyr dettes / wherin we myght ease them either with procuryng of masses to be sayd for thē, or pray­ers of deuout persons / or fastynges / & wylfull paynes sufferynge of our owne bodyes / or do­ynge of almose and charytable dedes. Of the which bycause I haue spokē vnto you in other yeres past, I shall nat nede now to reherce the same agayne.

THe fyfte consyderacyon is, for that our owne profyte and our owne welth han geth therby. ¶ who that wyll haue mercy of god must shew mercy fyrst into other, yf thou wylt [Page] that almyghty god shall haue pytye on the / be­gyn thou & haue pyte of other which haue nede and be in that necessytye / & than almyghty god wyll haue pytye vpon the. Our sauyour cryste sayth in the Gospell. Eadem mensura qua men­si fueritis remecietur vobis. In lyke measure as ye haue pytyed other, so shall pyty be measured vnto you. Shew your charyte vpon these pry­soners of god / take some pytye and compassyon vpon them / study to releue them in theyr neces­sytye by your prayers or other good workes / and than almyghty god shal haue pytye of you agayne / and els it shall be sayd vnto euery of vs that wyll haue no pyty, that that is wryten in a parable. Serue ne (que) nonne oportuit te mise­reri conserui tui, sicut et ego tui misertus sum.

SEcōdly yu shalt be rewarded of these blessyd soules for whom thou prayest. For whā they shall be delyueryd out of that paynfull pryson & set aboue in the kyngdome of heuyn, they shal there agayn be as myndefull of the, & a meane for thy delyueraūce, eyther fro the lust of synne in this present lyfe, or els from Purgatory, yf peraduc̄ture thou shalt com thyder. Scrypture tellyth that Joseph was benefycyall to one be­ynge Sargeant of the Celler to kyng Pharo / & the sayd Sergeant & he were in prysō / & as it chaūced after the sergeant was delyuered & re­stored vnto his offyce agayn / & he so delyuered, wolde nat forget the gentylnes of Joseph, but was so myndefull of hym, that by his wysdome he gate hym also delyuered out of pryson.

[Page]¶ Do thou lykewyse / be thou now benefycyall vnto these blessed soules in this tyme of theyr moost nede, whyles they be in this pryson of Purgatory, and they in the same wyse shall be benyfycyall agayne to releue the whan thou shalt peraduenture be there.

THyrdly thou shalt hereby do a great ple asure vnto theyr good aungels that be appoynted there to gyue theyr attendaūce vpō these blessyd soules in Purgatory. For these good aūgels neuer leue them yt shalbe sauyd frō the fyrst houre of theyr byrth into this worlde, tyll they brynge them before the face of almygh ty god aboue in heuyn. Therfore whā these sou les be delyuered out of that pryson, it is to theyr aungels a great Joy & conforte. And so by the same benefyte which yu doost exhybyt vnto any blessed soule there, thou byndest his good aūgell to haue the, the rather in remembraunce, & lyke wyse to pray for the at thy necessyte.

¶ Now whā we haue spoken, fyrst of the ioyes that the gloryouse & holy saintes haue aboue in the kyngdom of heuyn, that we may Joy with them in this feestfull day, & secōdly of the soules beyng in the myserable pryson of Purgatory, which so desyrously loke after ye confort of our prayers: let vs nat forget our owne soules as yet lyuynge in this wretchyd worlde, but speke also somwhat concernyng the profyte of them.

¶ The remembraunce of these two places sholde greatly moue and styre our hartes and myndes / that one to withdraw our appetytes [Page] from this worlde, wherby we dayly gather the dust at the leest of venyall synnes, and to make vs to couyte and desyre that ioyfull kyngdom of heuyn, where is all conforte and pleasure. That other, shold quycken vs to lyue so for this lytle whyle that we haue to abyde i this world that we be nat taryed nor arested by the way, and so peraduenture cast into that ferefull pry­son of Purgafory, tyll tyme we haue payd eue­ry ferthynge of our dettys / which hange as yet vpon our hedes for our synnes past.

FYrst here I say that the remembraunce of the Joyes of Heuyn, sholde greately styre vs to forsake the false pleasures of this lyfe, and to desyre to be there where be the ve­ry sure abydynge pleasures. ¶ whiche of vs wolde nat gladly be in that place where is ne­uer werynesse, nor lothsomnesse, ne fastydyous­nes / where there is no pouertye, no sykenes, no feare of dethe, no maner of trouble, no enuy, no malice, no hatred, no pryde, no couertise, but true peace and perfyte rest. where there is no inter­tupcyon of pleasures, neyther by hetes nor col­des, neyther by dustes ne by raynes, neyther by wyndes ne by tempeslys, neyther by nyght ne by darknes / but euer a fayre bryght clere ayre, euer a styll goodly calme, euer a swete pleasaūt attemperaunce. where the pleasures vanysshe nat away as do the shadowes, the smokes, the blases, the dremes, & other fantasyes / but euer styll abyde a lyke fresshe, a lyke new, a lyke con­fortable / where be no countrefeyt ymagys or [Page] dysguysynge for a tyme: but the very thynges, the true ioyes, the sure pleasures, the very glo­ry that euer shall indure and neuer shall ende. where we shall se face to face, nat hym that is a kynge but for a few yeres, and vppon a Re­alme that is subiect vnto many myseryes: But hym that is the kynge of all kynges, the lorde of all realmes, the Emperour of heuyn and of erthe, the gouernour of all the worlde.

¶ Halas, what meane we? Oh myserable dul­nesse of our hartes? Crysten men, what do we? what thynke we?. Oh hartes so sore congelyd in the frosty colde of synne, that can nat warme nor delyte in the remembraunce of these moost cōfortable Joyes. Oh Jesus, we can take pay­nes, we can take labours to get the transytory pleasures of this lyfe, whiche we be nat sure to kepe the space of halfe an houre / and tho Joyes and pleasures that be so excellent and that euer shall endure and abyde, & that also which with moche lesse paynes and labours myght be go­ten, we nothynge study for to get.

¶ Halas, what cursed blyndenes is this? how be men thus deceyued, ye thus wretchyd, thus inchaunted and charmed with subtyll craftes of the deuyll, that they clene forget theyr owne moste welthe, which they myght attayne vnto with moche lesse labour and payne than they now take?. And yet they wery them selfe, toy­lynge and labourynge with moche care, trou­ble, and study for the wretchyd pleasures & va­nytes of this transytory worlde, that nat only [Page] wyll nat abyde with them, but also lede theym to euerlastynge werynesse and to perpetuall trauayle and labour in the moste extreme pay­nes of hell, which euer shall endure.

SEcondly, the remembraunce of Purga­tory sholde make vs so to lyue here, that whan we depart hence, we be nat taryed by the waye and be arested for our dettes, & so be cast into that paynfull pryson / from the whiche, no man shall be delyueryd, tyll tyme he haue payd the vttermost ferthynge.

¶ Marke well what Saynt Austyn sayth of this fyre / that it is more greuouse than any paynes that thou canst se, fele, or thynke in this world / wherby thou mayst be sure that it farre passeth the common fyre that we haue here in this worlde.

Take than a profe of this fyre whether thou mayst endure to suffre thy fynger in it by the space of halfe an houre. Consyder whether thou mayst indure that payn ye or nay. And yf thou mayst nat indure that payne whiche is a thou­sande partes lesse. what vnwysdome is it for the to Jeoparde thy soule vnto the fyre of Pur gatorye, where thou canst nat tell how many houres, how many days, how many yeres thou shalte there abyde.

¶ Do therfore as dyd a ryghte good father an holy man / whan he was tempted to synne, and was almoste ouercome by temptacyon, he sayd vnto hym selfe, let me fyrst proue and assay whe ther I may endure the payne that is ordeyned [Page] for synne, before that I do take any pleasure or the same. And forthwith into the fyre that was before hym, he put in his fynger. But whan the payne of brennyng waxed so great yt he myght no longer suffre his fynger in fyre, he cryed / say eng. It is a great madnes to take that pleasure yt nedes must haue so greuous payn folowyng. This gracyouse man vsed a synguler wysdom. Yf we shall do well, we must do in lyke manner / we must folow the same wysdome. Before we entre into synne, let vs fyrst assay how painfull that fyre is. And than I suppose we shall de­uyse and study with our selfe how that we may escape the fyre of Purgatory.

THyrdly for a conclusyon of my tale, I wolde aduyse euery chrysten man and woman that hath begon a new gracyouse lyfe in chryste, to reken with theym selfe as though theyr owne soules were now in that same gre­uous pryson of Purgatory / and that they must lye there for the satiffaccyon of theyr synne tyll tyme euery parcell of theyr dettys be fully con­tendyd and declared, how longe that shall be no man can tell.

¶ Saynt Bernarde, which was a mā of great & synguler holynesse, sayth in a sermon, that yf after this lyfe he myght be delyuered fro the pry son of Purgatory at any tyme before the dred­full day of Jugement: he wolde reken that he were well and mercyfully delt withall. And yf this synguler holy man thought within hym selfe thus longe for to abyde in Purgatorye: [Page] what shall become of vs, whose lyues be farre from the great holynes of this man? ¶ Let vs than study to delyuer our pore soules from that paynfull pryson by prayers and good workes whyle we lyue here. ¶ Do this crysten man thy selfe, while thou hast space for thyn owne soule, and trust non other with the doynge therof af­ter thy dethe. Be now thyne owne frende in this vrgent and necessary cause. Thou ought moost specyally to do for thy selfe. Thou sholde do this moost effectually / and thou maist do the same moost merytoryously.

Fyrst I saye thou ought to do this moste specyally for thyne owne soule. Thyne owne soule vnder god sholde be most dere vnto the. Our sauyour Cryste sayth in the Gospell. (Quid ꝓderit homini si vniuersū mundū lucretur, aīe vero sue detrimentum pacietur. Aut quā commutationem dabit homo pro anima sua?. ¶ what shall it profyte any man to wynne all this world▪ and for the same to suffre an harme in his owne soule?. Or what thynge hathe a man more precyouse or acceptable for to gyue for the recouerynge of his soule agayne, whan it is in peryll, than is it selfe?. ¶ By this than euery man may lerne how dere his owne soule ought to be vnto hym selfe. So dere was euery of our soules vnto our sauyour Jesu Chryste, that he for the welth and saluacyon of theym, dyd shede all the precyouse blode of his moost noble & blessed body. And for this cause doubt­lesse our soules ought to be moche more dere [Page] vnto euery one of vs / that is to saye bycause they be so dere and precyouse in the eres of our sauyour Jesu Chryste. For this derenesse, eue­ry one of vs shold indeuour hym selfe more lar­gely to delyuer his soule from this paynfull pryson. Oh chrysten man for thy workes, for this wretchyd pleasures takynge, and for thyne of­fencys, thy bere soule must suffre tho greuouse paynes. Thou art the cause of suffraunce / and therfore of ryght thou oughtest moste specyally to labour for this delyueraunce.

SEcondly I say yu sholdest do this most ef­fectually. Supposest thou that any frēde of thyne wyll do this more studyously & more effectually after thy departure hēce, than thou thyne owne selfe wyll do?. If thou do so thynk I fere me that thou shalt be sore beceyued / and that for two reasons especyall.

¶ The fyrst is this. Yf thou to whome thyne owne soule ought to haue ben moost dere (as I haue sayd) forget the welth therof and made it to folow thy vayne desyres, and take no care ne study for this present tyme here for the delyue­raūce of the same out of Purgatory, what maruell is it yf other do forget the same after thy dethe. For how mayst thou thynke that any other shall be more dylygent for thy soule than thou thy selfe was? Thy soule can nat be more dere to any other, than it was vnto thy selfe. And therfore yf thou be thus neglygent therof, thynke nat that any other shalbe more dylygēt than thy selfe was for thyne owne soule.

[Page]¶ The seconde reason is this. Thou mayst ryght well and easely perceyue that other of thy frendes haue soules of theyr owne whiche of ryght must be more dere vnto them than is thy soule / and that of theyr owne soules they must be more myndefull than of thy soule / or els they be ryght vnwyse.

¶ Forthermore thou mayst consider that euery man hath ynough to do to satysfy for his owne synnes. And therfore as our sauyour tellyth in a parable. whan the fyue folyssh vyrgyns wold haue borowed som oyle of ye other fyue vyrgyns for theyr lampes agaynst the comynge of theyr great spouse. The fyue wyse vyrgyns āswered, and bad them prouyde som where els, Ne forte nonsufficiat nobis et vobis. That is to say, leest peraduenture it can nat suffyse bothe for you and for vs. Euery mannes good workes there shal be lytle ynough for his owne soule / & ther­fore thy frende shall haue ynough to do to pro­uyde for hym selfe.

THyrdly I say that any man may more merytoryousty helpe & cōforte his owne soule whan that he is here lyuynge, than any other frende of his after his dethe. For now is the tyme of merytynge. And after this lyfe whan the nyghnes of dethe is come, thou canst meryt no more. And therfore our sauyour sayth (Veniet antē nox quādo nemo potest operari). whan deth is comen ones, farewell the tyme of merytoryouse workynge.

¶ I wyll nat say the contrary but thy frendes [Page] prayers after thy dethe may moche profyte the: Neuerthelesse I say that thyne owne prayers as deuoutly sayd for thy selfe here in this lyfe, sholde haue profyted vnto the moche more. For as all the dysputers agree, the hyghest de­gree of fruyte in euery mannes prayer retour­neth vnto hym selfe. And it is but a secondary fruyt that retourneth into other.

¶ Now therfore chrysten man whyles thou art in this lyfe, and whyle thou haste tyme and space. Study to make amendes for thy synnes. Study to store thy soule by trew contrycyon and sorow for thy synnes. Study here for to wasshe the same often with the gracyouse wa­ter of teares. Study to clense thy soule with often renewynge of thy confessyon. Study here by thy good and gracyouse workes to pay thyne owne dettys before thy departure hence. Study to kepe the commaundementes of god▪ without the whiche thou can nat entre into the kyngdome of heuyn. Be now redy to forgyue al iniuryes and wronges done vnto the, that there by almyghty god may the rather forgyue the suche trespasses or iniuryes as thou haste before tyme commytted vnto hym. Praye for thy selfe fast. For thy selfe gyue almesse. For thy selfe pray, and procure other to pray for the lyke wyse. Better is now one peny spent for the welth and saluacyon of thy soule whan thou mayst kepe it vnto thy selfe, than a thousande after thy dethe whan thou mayst no longer haue the vse the vse therof. ¶ Do thus, & by the [Page] grace of god thou shalt eschew that paynefull pryson. ¶ Do thus▪ and thy soule shall be clen­syd & stored agaynst thy departure out of this worlde, that thou shalt without any longe de­layes or taryenge by the way, be receyued into the Joyous kyngdome / where thou shalt se the gloryouse syghtes of that moste wonderfull contrey, and be made partyner of the moost excel­lent Joyes and pleasures whiche there euery where dothe abounde, and euer shall endure / to the which he brynge vs that for vs all dyed vp­pon the crosse, our sauyour. Chryste Jhesu. Am̄.

¶ Finis.
¶ Thus endeth the fyrst Sermon, and here after foloweth the seconde.

¶ Here begynneth the seconde sermon.

‘¶ Nisi abundauerit iustitia vestra plus (quam) Scribarum et Phariseorum, non intrabi tis in regnum celorum.’Math. 5.

I Dyd remēber vnto you in my fyrst Sermō this other day, somwhat of the Joyes that be aboue in the kyng­dom of heuyn. And to that intent I labored to brynge into your myndes an yma­ge of that gloryous courte, by a comparyson of the plesures that we haue sene in this lyfe here. I than declared vnto you that the pleasures of this lyfe, be they neuer so great: they haue fyue maner of dyuersytees frō ye pleasures of heuyn. ¶ Fyrst, the ioyes of this worlde, haue at length a werynesse. The Joyes of heuen neuer haue werynesse / but a. M. yeres is there but one day. ¶ Secondly, the Joyes of this lyfe, haue feares adioyned vnto thē / eyther of sykenesse, of dethe, or of trouble. In heuē is no fere of any of these. ¶ Thyrdly, the Joyes of this worlde, haue ma­ny interrupcyons / by hetes and coldes, by stor­mes, by tempestes, by nyght, and darkenes, by slepe, and dulnes. In heuen is no interrupcyon [Page] at all / but a pure contynuall Joy without any myxture of dyspleasure. ¶ Fourthly, the ioyes of this worlde vanysshe away lyke the smoke, and abideth nat / the ioyes of heuyn shal neuer passe. ¶ Fyftly the Joyes of this worlde, be lyke myd somer games / & Chrystmas games / or playes. The Courte of kynge Edwarde, the Courte of kynge Rycharde, & the courte of the kynge that now is ded / where be they now? all they were but counterfeyt ymages and dysguysynge for a tyme / it was but a playe for a tyme. But the courte of heuyn is alway stable in one poynte / where the offycers chaunge neuer. There is the true noblenesse, the sure honour, the very glory. This glory, this honour, this noblenes, we shal neuer se, we shal neuer come vnto it, oneles our lyfe be more ryghtwyse than was the lyues of the Jewes. ¶ A sore worde, a sore threte, neuer theles it is true. These be nat my wordes, these be nat my thretes, I wrote nat these wordes in the Gospels. The holy Euangelist wrote them, our sauyour Chryste Jesu spake them / they be his wordes that can nat lye / they be his wor­des that may perfourme them.

¶ Oh crysten soule, marke well these wordes, ponder theym, wey them / thynke what it is to be excludyd from that place of all pleasure, and to be throwen into the moost horryble donge­on of hell, from the whiche thou shalt neuer be delyuered. This lyfe is shorte, and the Joyes of this lyfe be but as dremes and fantasyes.

They be lyke to the pleasures that a pore man [Page] hathe in his dreme / whan he dremeth that he hath gotten a fayre wyfe & innumerable good with her, he thynketh hym selfe cladde in precy­ouse garmentes, and that he doth handell the golde and syluer and the goodly plate / some of syluer, som of golde / he seeth houses, gardeyns, feldes of his owne, and hath many pleasures. But whan he dothe awake out of his dreme, and fyndeth none of all these thynges, he is a sory man. Suche dremes many men haue had before this.

¶ Francys Petrarke wrytyth hym selfe that he had suche a dreme / and that he had founde a great heuy hurde full of golde / and he had great sorowe and care for the conueyaunce of the same / but as soone as he awaked out his slepe, his treasour was gone. So longe as such a dreme lastyth, who is more ioyouse than such a man is, in his owne oppinyon? who is more ioyous than he is in his owne fantasy?. But al that is but fantasye in dede / it is but a very dreme. And so whan he is awakyd out of his slepe, he fyndeth it in very trouthe / and than perceyueth he ryght well that all that, was but a fantasy.

¶ And in lyke maner, scripture calleth all this lyfe of man but a dreme & fantasy. Dormierūt somnium suum, et nihil inuenerint omnes viri di uitiarum in manibus suis. These wyse men saith scrypture, whan they be awaked out of theyr slepe, none of all these fantasayes wherof they dremyd before, they than fynde in theyr hādes. [Page] For whan dethe shaketh them out of theyr dre­mes, and maketh theym to awake: they must than depart hence with empty hādes / and ney­ther they shall haue these pleasaūt fantasyes of lyfe with them, nor yet they shall fynde before them the Joyfull pleasures of the lyfe to come. Better it is therfore to wake bytymes, accor­dynge to ye wordes this dayred of laynt Paule (Hora est iam de somno surgere). Now it is tyme for vs to aryse out of our slepe. A wake mā out of these dremes, and fantasies / and lese not for these dremes and fantasyes whiche be full vncertayne / and how sone we shal for goo them we knowe not / lese not I say for these transy­tory fantasyes, the Joyes euerlastynge. For whan we shalbe shakyd out of this slepe: yf thā we haue not the ryghtwysnes of good lyuyng, we shalbe excludyd from the kyngdom of heuyn accordyng to the wordes aboue rehersyd. Nisi abundauerit iustitia vestra plus (quam) scribarum et phariseorum non intrabitisin regnum celorum. ¶ Onelesse your ryghtwysnes be more large than was the ryghtwysenes of the scrybes and the pharyseys, ye shall not enter in to ye kyngdō of heuyn. Scrypture tellyth how that the fyrst man Adā was put into a place all of pleasure, named paradyse. In ye which was moche plea­saūt & delycate fruit / but especyally there was two trees, that is to saye the tree of lyfe, whiche was assygned vnto hym to eate vpon, and the tree of knowlege of good and bad, whiche was for bod vnto hym. Almyghty god gaue vnto [Page] hym vnder payne of deth that he shold not eate of this tree. But not withstandynge this com­maundemēt, Adam folowyng the mynde of his wyfe, left the tree of lyfe whiche was assigned vnto hym, and▪ate of that other whiche was forbed hym. ¶ For this dysobedyence, for this vnryghtwysnes, and for brekynge of this com­maundement, almyghty god excludyd hym out of paradyse, out of yt place of excellent pleasure, and put hym into this vale of mysery, this wret­chyd worlde. And fynyally to the entent that the waye of entresse into that place sholde be kept he set before hym an aungell of the order of Cherubin, and a brēnynge swerd two egged that neyther he nor yet any other of his poste­ryty, sholde haue entresse there, oneles he were iustified. ¶ This, Scripture euydently de­claryth the wordes of our sauyour chryst aboue rehersyd (that is to say) that no man shall en­ter in to the kyngdome of heuyn, yt hath in hym any spot of synne or of vnryghtwysnes. For the whiche more clerely to be shewyd▪ I wyll here touche thre thynges by order. ¶ Fyrst, how the demeanour of Adā representeth the demeanour of euery synner in this worlde. ¶ The second, how that for the brekynge of iustice and dyso­bedyence vnto the commaundemente of god, we be excludyd fro the pleasure of heuyn, lyke wyle as he was from the pleasures of paradise. ¶ The thyrde, what those lettes do mene which he set in the entresse in paradise, that no synner can entre thyder oneles he be iustifyed before.

[Page]¶ Euery man and woman that lyueth in this worlde, hath in them by a maner of representa­cyon, these two persones Adam & Eue / for they haue a soule and a body / and the soule representeth Adam, and the body, Eue. For as the man sholde order his wyfe, soo sholde the soule rule and gouerne the body. And as the wyfe sholde be ruled by her husbande, soo the body sholde be gouerned and be obedyent vnto the soule.

¶ where the soule gouerneth, there wysdom go­uerneth, there reason gouerneth, there Adam is mayster, and there is all well. ¶ where the bo­dy gouerneth, there foly gouerneth, there beste­lynes gouerneth, there Eue is maystresse, and all is amysse.

¶ But here we shall declare thre poyntes necessary to be knowen. ¶ Fyrst, what these fruytes do meane and betoken vnto vs. ¶ The second▪ whan we synne by tastynge of this fruyte, and whan nat. ¶ Thyrdly, the great foly of Adam, and how all synners be in lyke foly.

THre maner of frutes there was i Para dyse. One that was called the fruyt of ye tree of lyfe. This, Adam▪ate nat of, all the tyme he was in Paradyse / as apereth. Ne forte mit­tat manum suam et sumat etiam de ligno vite & viuat ineternum. ¶ Than was there another fruyte of the tree, that was called the tree of knowlege of good & bad. And the taste of this fruyte, was to Adam the fruyt of dethe. Besyde these two was the thyrde maner of fruyte / the whiche neyther gaue lyfe nor dethe / but onely [Page] refresshed the eater, and was as ye wolde say, Indyfferent. These thre fruytes betoken thre kynde of pleasures that we men taste in this wolde. Fruyt, may well betoken vnto vs plea­sure / because that fruyt is pleasant for to taste. And therfore these thre fruytes betoken thre dyuers maners of pleasures whiche be offred vnto vs in this lyfe.

THe fyrst maner of pleasures be the pleasures of lyfe / which fruyt comyth of the tree of lyfe / that is to say (of Cryst Jesu) which is called in Scriptutes (the tree of lyfe). Out of this tree spryngeth moche dylycyouse fruyt. wherof to taste is to be made partyners of euer lastynge lyfe. ¶ we taste of this fruyt whan we delyte in his wordes, whan we conforte vs in his doctryne, whan we Joy in his moost blessed byrth, passyon, & Resurreccyon, whan we take pleasure in redyng of his moost gpacyous lyfe. And generally all pleasures in god and godly thynges, is the fruyte that spryngeth of thys moost gracyouse tree. For by hym and of hym aryseth all these gracyouse pleasures vnto vs. And for the tastynge of this fruyt, we shal haue the rewarde of euerlastynge lyfe.

¶ we taste & ete of this fruit whan for the loue of Chryste we gyue almesse vnto the nedy, and do forgyue iuiuryes done vnto vs. ¶ whan we pray, fast, watch / any of these to do for the loue of Cryste, is to taste of the fruyt and of the tree of euerlastynge lyfe.

THe seconde maner of pleasures, be the pleasures of deth, and bryng our soules to euerlastynge deth. And these be suche plea­sures as be forbed by the law of god. They be forbed by the commaundementes of god. who that foloweth these pleasures, and taste of this fruyt: breketh the commaundementes of al­myghty god. Suche be they that lyuyth in auowtry / the man that taketh an other woma besyde his wyfe, and that woman that takyth an other man besyde her husbande / they that beleuyth not trewly of almyghty god and of his doctryne / they that commyt periuryes and wyllyngly for swere them selfe vpon a boke or other wyse / they that breke theyr holy dayes, and commyth not to the seruyce of god, and to here the worde of god as other chrysten people do. They that brybe and stele, & by wrongfull meanes get other mennes goodes / they that do nat nat due honour to theyr fathers and mothers / they that commyt, assent, or councell to any murder doynge. They that bere false wytnesse, or brynge vp false slaunders of theyr neyghbours. All these be dedly pleasures and be the fruyte of dethe. And the synall rewarde of these pleasures and of this truyte, shall be euerlastynge deth.

THe thyrde maner of pleasures be those that be indyfferent / so that neyther we shall haue greate rewarde for theym, ne yet great punysshment. And these pleasures, be ne­cessary eatyng, drynkyng, kepyng, walkyng, & [Page] spekynge, and necessary recreacyon. For these we shall neither haue euerlastyng punysshmēt, nor yet the rewarde of euerlastyng lyfe. These pleasures be comon to all folke, and indifferent to good & bad / without these pleasures no man may contynue. Euery man must eat, drynke, & slepe. And in these, so longe as they passe nat ye bondes of necessytye, neyther make a man good ne bad, nor make it to deserue other ponysshmēt or any rewarde by theym. Thus ye perceyue what is ment by these thre maner of frutes.

¶ Now secondly I wyll shew vnto you whan the tastynge of this fruyte is dedly synne.

¶ Loke man or woman, whan thou folowest the desyres of thy body: Eue is the ruler.

Whan thou folowes the desyre of thy soule & of thy reason: than Adam is orderer. Therfore saynt Austyn sayth. whan yu begynnest to fele in thy selfe any vnlefull pleasure aryse: there Eue he sayth, tastyth of the apple, and offreth it vnto Adam for to eat / yet Adam is at his lyberty whether he will taste of this apple, ye or nay. That is to say, after that the body be styred to vnclennes, the [...]reasonable soule is at his ly­berty whether it wyll assent to the styrynges & vnclene delytes of the flesshe ye or nay. But yf it assent, than Adam eteth of the Apple.

¶ Also yf thy reason and thy wyll do assent to this vnlefull pleasure: than doste thou taste of this dedly fruyte of deth. For by this fruyt is betokened (as I sayd before) all vnlefull plea­sures / specyally those which be contrary vnto the commaūdement of almyghty god. ¶ whā so [Page] euer for our pleasure to be done, we breke ye cō ­maūdement of almighty god: than we taste of this myscheuous fruyt. Our flesshe & carnall desyres, are ꝓne & redy to tast of this fruit of deth, & of all yt nought is & perillous vnto our soules. Our flesshe wolde haue ye carnall pleasures, the worldly rychesse, the cōmodytees & honours of this life. All these desyres aryse in vs by the reason of our flesshe / & no man lyueth, but he felyth in him selfe som desyre of these. Neuertheles, yf his soule & wyll assent nat vnto these desyres: yet Adam hath nat tastyd of the fruyte of deth, nor hath as yet broken the cōmaūdement of al­mighty god. Many a good man, & many a good woman, felyth in them selfe great temptacyōs, great mociōs, & styringes / now to lechery, now to pryde, now to couetise. But if they be sory for them in theyr soules, & resyst & wrastyll against them, & kepe them selfe so, that they do nat assēt inwardly by theyr wylles to folow these same mocyons, Yet they kepe them fro the eatyng of the apple. This is no synne in them / but it shall be gretly to theyr meryt. These batailes which they make agaynst the sterynges & desyres, so longe as Adam is nat wyllyng to take & folow this pleasure, all is well. So long as the reason of man is content to forbere, & stryueth, there is no synne. But whan Adam (that is to say mā ­nes reason & wyll) agreeth to the eatyng of this apple, whan he doth assent & is content to take any pleasure contrary to the commaundement of god: than is synne done, than is synne com­mytted in thy soule, though thou neuer made [Page] further in doyng the dede. This consent is syn. ¶ Marke what I say. Thou man seest perad­uenture a fayre woman, & thou haste a carnall lykynge of her, & a pleasure to beholde her / so yt thy body is styred & moued with an vnclene de­syre to haue her at thy wyll / yf thy soule do nat assent vnto this steryng & mocyon of thy body, yet art thou safe front any certayne syn / except thy negligence to repell this thought fro the, & ye suffraūce of it to abyde in thy mynde wtout any resistence / which by the fathers is thought to be synne. But yf thy wyll ones assēt to this desyre of thy flesshe, though they neuer go any forther, or though thou neuer come to the actuall dede, thou doost offende and synne deedly by this only consent of thy selfe. Neuerthelesse, yf thou reuoke this consent betymes, & repēt thy selfe, it is moche lesse offece, & more pardonable, than yf thou perfourmed thy desyre wt the actuall dede. ¶ By this that I haue sayd, thou mayst ꝑceyue whan thou doest synne by tastyng of this fruyt. Now let vs here the great foly of synners.

¶ Many there be whiche folow the steppes of the olde Adam / they leue the moost profytable fruyte and take the worse. ¶ Adam lefte the fruyte of lyfe, and tastyd of the fruyte of dethe.

¶ Adam, all the whyle that he was in Para­dyse, he neuer touched the tree of lyfe / as playn­ly it dothe appere by the wordes wryten in the same storye. Ne forte sumat etiam de ligno vite et comedat et viuat in eternū. That is as moche to saye, leest peraduenture he eate of the tree of lyfe, and so lyue for euer.

[Page]¶ Almyghty god wolde betymes haue hym ex­cludyd out of paradyse, leest he sholde haue etyn of the tree of lyfe, lyke as he had done before of the tree of dethe. Adam tasted of the tree of deth, & so brake the cōmaundement of almyghty god thereby / wherby he became mortall, & was assured for to dye. But yf he had absteined therfro & kept hym selfe to the fruyt of the tree of lyfe: he sholde neuer haue dyed, but haue lyued euer la­styngly. Thus all synners do / they leue the gracyous fruyt wherby they myght meryt the lyfe euerlastyng, & boldly taste & eat of the pestylent fruit, wherby they deserue the deth euerlastyng. Yf Adam had had any lyke example before hym of som punysshment taken for synne, as was taken vpon hym selfe for brekyng of this cōmaun dement: it is full lyke that he wolde haue esche wed that offence / but he neuer saw example of suche ponysshement. And for this cōsyderacyon the madnes of synners in tastyng of this vnle­full fruyte is moche more greuous & odyous be­before the tyē of god / for whā they haue nat on­ly ye example of this sore punisshment, but many other mo before theyr iyes: yet they wyll nat be­ware, but styll cōtynue in theyr foly & madnes. This one example, yf there were no mo wryten in all scrypture, myght suffyse to make the syn­ner to represse & leue his wretchyd pleasures that be agaynst the lawes & cōmaundementes of almyghty god / seyng so greuous punysshmēt was taken vpon the fyrst man Adam for so ly­tle a defaut. This greuous punysshmēt was ta­ken vpon hym for eatyng of an apple. Thus he [Page] yt was so ꝑfytely created & made by the handes of god nat many houres before & was lifted vp to suche a dygnyty. Yet for the fyrst faut yt euer he made, & for so lytle a faut, he was spoyled of his dygnyte: & cast out of Paradyse, the place of excellēt pleasures, into mysery & wretchydnes / & fynally striken with dethe / & nat only in hym selfe, but in all his postorytye. ¶ Yf this one de­faut in hym that neuer herde ne saw any example of punysshment before, were thus sore pu­nysshed / how greuously shall in other men the multytude of defautes be toutmentyd, whiche hath herde and sene many great & greuous pu­nysshmentes taken for synne, & for brekyng of the commaundementes of almighty god?. ¶ Yf this lytle defaut was thus roughly intreated / how roughly shall be punysshed the horryble & abhomynable trespasses that stynke before the nostrels of god, & crye vengeaunce at his eares, whan so openly without any chaunge, they be commytted & done before the face & iyen of god, & prouoke hym to be reuengyd of them. ¶ For what may ye suppose or thynk, whan this fyrst defaut of man which neuer offended before, nor saw any correccyon done before for synne, was thus straytly correctyd, but yt moche more straitly the contynuaunce & longe lyuyng in syn, he­pyng syn vpon syn from day to day / and after so many examples of correccyon done & shewed before, shall at the last be greuously correctyd & punysshed, yf betymes they wyll nat repent thē selfe and sue for remedy.

¶ The great foly of Adam, apereth many wyse.

[Page]¶ First in that, yt he wolde preferre the pleasure of his lyfe before the pleasure of god, Secondly in that, that he lefte the fruyt of the tree of lyfe, & tastyd of the fruyte of the tree of dethe. For by this meanes he lefte the Joyes of Paradise, the which he myght haue kept, & also was throwen out therof into the myseryes of this lyfe, whiche he endured by ye space of. M. yeres almost. And at the last he suffred deth, which he myght haue eschewyd. And fynally after his deth was kept in the pryson of darkenes, called (limbus patrū) frō the face of almyghty god, & fro the ioyes of heuyn by thre thousande yeres. And all this ponysshmēt fell vpō hym for the tastyng of an ap­ple. was nat this a wonderfull foly?.

¶ But yet greater is the madnes of them that folow his steppes / in the whiche condycyon be all synners that breketh the commaundement of almyghty god. They preferre the pleasures of theyr flesshe, before the pleasure of god. They taste of the fruyte of the tree of dethe, and leue ye fruyte of lyfe vntastyd of. ¶ And therfore as Adam lost the Joyes of Paradyse: so they lese the Joyes of a clere conscyence. As Adam was cast into mysery: so they euer after indure my­sery, and suffre the frettynge and gnawynges of theyr troubled conscyence, whiche hath a contynuall remors & a corsy of theyr synfull dea­lynge. ¶ Adam suffred temporall dethe / and they shall suffre euerlastynge dethe. Adā was kept in darke pryson fro the face of god, and fro the Joyes of heuyn by thre. M. yeres / and they shall be kept in the pryson of hell from the face [Page] of god and all the gloryouse court of heuyn, by innumerable thousandes & thousades of yeres / that is to say, for euer.

¶ By this than ye may lerne to know the great foly of synners, that for a lytle transytory plea­sure, they do exclude them selfe from the place of euer lastynge pleasure, and for the same also they must nedes be throwen into euer lastyng mysery. ¶ Adam, as ye haue herde, myght haue continued many yeres in Paradise / and fynal­ly at the last sholde haue ben translate into the Joyes of heuyn / but for the castynge of an ap­ple contrary to the commaundement of god, he was soon excluded from thens, and so lyued in this worlde in payne and mysery almoost. M. yere / and after his dethe, yet was he kept fro the syght and face of almyghty god by the space of thre thousande yere and more.

¶ But ye wyll say vnto me after this maner. Syr we were borne and ordeynyd for to haue the Joyes and pleasures of heuyn for our inherytaunce / and it was derely bought for vs by the bytter passyon of our sauyour Chryste Je­su, and by the same it was assuredly promysed vnto vs.

¶ To this I answere and say, that no mannes inherytaunce is so sure vnto hym, but he may lese it by his foly. ¶ we haue herde of many no­ble men, & great Erles & Dukes, that for theyr mysbehauour agaynst theyr Prynce, for theyr treason & traitoury haue lost theyr inheritaūce, & yet they were borne vnto the same, & theyr aū ­cetours many yeres before, had possessyō therof.

[Page]¶ And yu crysten man, whan so euer yu cōmyttest any dedly iyn, yu deest great treason vnto thy Prynce ye, vnto ye prynce of all prynces our sauyour cryste Jesu / for to hym yy hast ꝓmysed to kepe thy fayth & treuth, & to forsake the deuyll & all his workes. This promise thou made whan thou becam a crysten man & receyued the sacra­ment of Baptyme. But contrary to this ꝓmyse thou haste done many tymes yu hast falsed this promyse, thou haste vyolate this promyse, & be­trayed thy prynce. Thou hast folowyd the councell of his enemy & set at nought the cōmaunde­ment of thy moste gracyous & louynge prynce. That strong holde which he most specyally de­syred, & with blody swete laboured to haue gotē & kept vnto hym selfe (yt is to say thyne hart) yu hast betrayed into the handes of his enemy the deuyll, & let hym haue entresse there, & suffereth hym to reigne there, & there to make his dōghyll agaynst thy promise, against the cōmaundemēt of thy prynce, & therfore ryghtwysly thou shalt be excluded from thyne inheritaūce. And where thou sayst that our sauyour cryste Jesu bought this inheritaunce with his moste bytter passion for the it is of a trouth. But this is more to thy condempnacyon. For the more payne yt he hath taken to bryng the to this inheritaūce, the greater is thyne vnkyndnes, & the more odyous & detestable is thy treason & traytory towarde hym But know this for a certayn / he nether bought this inherytaūce for the, ne made promyse ther­of, but with condicion / which condicyon yf thou kepe, yu shalt be sure to haue this inherytaunce / [Page] and yf thou breke it, than shalt thou be sure to forgoo the same.

¶ Ye here dayly of promyses and of leases that be made with certayne condycyons / that he that taketh this lease, shall do thus or thus as the case requyryth. And yf case be that he ob­serue these condycyons, well / this lease is good and sure. But yf the condycyon be broken, the lease is of no valew.

¶ Oh chrysten man, the very condycyon of thy lease, is this. Si vis ad vitam ingredi, serua man­data. Yf thou wylt entre into the kyngdome of lyfe, thou must obserue and kepe the commaun­dementes of god. This condycyon obseruyd, thou shalt entre. But yf this condycyon be bro­ken, than farewell, thy lease is broken.

¶ And therfore man, yf thou wylt nat obserue this condicyon (that is to say) yf thou wylt nat kepe the commaundementes of our Sauyour Chryste, neyther loke for to haue this inhery­taunce, nor that any promyse shall be perfour­med vnto the, or that any benefyte shall aryse vnto the by the passyon and precyous blood of our sauyour chryste Jesu.

¶ Oh wretchid synners, Oh most stynkyng le­chours, that lyue thus synfully against ye lawes & commaundementes of our sauyour Jesu that so waste your bodyes and dystroye your soules in the foule synne of Lechery / to you this aun­swere appertayneth. ¶ And you moost horry­ble bawdes, the whiche kepe this foule bawdry and brodelry in your houses, stynkynge bothe [Page] in the syght of god and also before the worlde. And you that vse these blasphemous othes and great periuryes, and that breke your holy days ordeyned by the chyrche. To you and vnto all other suche that breketh the lawes and com­maundementes of our lorde, this worde apper­tayneth. ¶ I say vnto you that ye shall neuer enioye that inherytaunce aboue in heuen, by­cause ye wyll nat endeuour your selfe to kepe the condycyons therunto belongynge. Ye wyll nat labour to get a ryghtwyse lyfe / and ther­fore nat I, but our sauyour sayth vnto you the wordes aboue rehersyd, Nisi abundauerit iusti­tia vestra plus (quam) Scribarum et Phariseorum nō intrabitia in regnum celorum.

NOw thyrdly we haue to speke of ye stop­nes that be in the way, that (without suffycyent Justyce) shall let many to entre / and these thre be they. ¶ First, the double two edged swerde. The seconde, the brennynge flambe.

The thyrde, the aungels of the order of Cheru­byn. Euery one of these thre, yf there be nat in vs perfyte Justyce, shall let vs frome the en­tresse into the moost gloryouse kyngedome.

Shortely to saye yf there be dedly synne in vs, it must take punysshemente by the two edged sworde / the whiche of that one syde sleeth the body, and of that other, the soule / and bothe at one stroke. Yf there be any venyall synnes a­bydyng in vs, they must be clene scoured by the flambe of this sayd fyre / and they shall be swyn gedere they passe. Yf there be neyther deedly [Page] synne nor venyall synne in vs remaynynge / Yet yf our soules be nat apparellyd accordyn­gly with good workes, we shal nat entre there. For the aungels shall so duely and streyghtly examyn and make serche of euery suche person that shall couet or prese to entre there, that no­thynge can escape ne passe wt out theyr streyght examynacyon.

FYrst the sworde betokeneth that terry­ryble punysshment, that moost dredfull punysshment, that punysshment of euerlastyng dethe bothe in soule and body.

¶ There is a greate dyfference betwyrte thys sworde and the sworde of temporall Prynces / and especyally for two causes.

¶ This is a wonderfull swerde / for at the fyrst stroke it sleeth bothe soule and body. A kynges sworde dothe nat so. Quum occiderint corpus, non amplius quid faciant. whan that sworde hathe slayne the body, it can nat rage no fur­ther. But this sworde sleeth bothe the bodye and the soule. And in a token therof it is two edged. ¶ Forthermore the dethe stroke that this sworde dothe gyue, takyth nat awaye the felynge from a man / neyther of the soule nor of the body. The kynges sworde taketh away the felynge from the body forthwith / for pryck it, bete it, bounche it, brenne it / it felyth none of all these paynes. But cōtrary wise, this sworde gyueth rather a more perfyte selynge, & a more clere perceyuynge of the payne than had the [Page] persones before they were stryken with it. And therfore our sauyour tellyth of the great payne that the ryche glotton felt, whiche lay dampned and broyled in the fyre of hell. Amongest other of his paynes, he felt so great and so paynfull a dryenesse in his tongue, that he was fayne to begge one drop of lycour to refressh his tongue, and coulde nat get it in his thyrst. Many syn­ners peraduenture wolde be glad yt they sholde haue neyther felynge nor beynge, neyther in soule nor bodye, after this lyfe / for than they sholde fele no payne. But that can nat be so / for they shall haue perfyte felynge, & very perfyte­ly fele the greuous paynes that they shal be in / whiche shall be as greuouse as thoughe they were in the contynuall paynes of dethe euery moneth. desiderabūt mori et mors fugiet ab eis. Theyr paynes shall be so excedyngly greuous, that they shall wysshe to dye a thousand tymes, and dethe shall alway flee from theym. They shall neuer dye, but lyue euer in the contynuall paynes of deth. ¶ Our sauyour saith of Judas, consyderynge the paynes that he sholde suffre for his offence, Melius ei esset si natus non fuisset homo ille. It had ben better for hym that he neuer had ben borne. whiche worde may in lyke wyse be sayd of all them that shall be excludyd from the heuyn celestyall▪ into the dongeon of dampnacyon / for it had ben moche better for theym that they neuer had ben borne into this worlde, than to endure that greuous stroke of that two edged sworde.

By this than ye may conceyne, that this swerde meanyth euerlastynge ponysh­ment / and that it shall be a stop to all thē that shall be founde in dedly synne (that is to saye) that hath broken the lawes and the cōmaunde­mentes of almyghty god and hath so commyt any dedly synne, of the whiche here before theyr deth and departure hence out of this world, they haue nat suffycyently repētyd them. ¶ Neuer­theles, who that eyther hath taken sufficyent repētaunce in this lyfe, or els hath trewly kept the commaundementes of almyghty god / to thē this swerde shal be no stop nor any impedymēt. The stroke of this swerde can nat anoye them, nor they shall nat be stryken with this swerde.

THe flambe of this swerde betokenyth vnto vs the fyre of purgatory / ye whiche is ordeynyd for them that be founde in any ve­nyall synne / for euery venyall lynne must be scouryd out of our soules, ere we can be suffryd to haue any interest. ¶ But here peraduenture ye wyll aske me what venyall synnes be. To this quest yen saynt Austyn sayth that venyall synnes be these synnes that we dayly commyt / without the whiche the fraylty can nat cōtynue in this lyfe. In to these maner of synnes we dayly fall & offende / whan we eate and drynke more than very necessytye requyryth / whan we speke more ydle wordes than nedyth to be spo­ken / whan we holde our peace & le iust cause to speke, as in tellynge other folkes theyr fautes, and so forbere for lothnesse of dyspleasure / whā [Page] we be more neclygent in prayer thā were pro­fytable for vs / whan we be slacke in hauynge pytye and compassyon vpon the pore / whan we cheryshe and nourysshe our bodyes to delycatly without cause / whā we let the tyme passe from vs vnfruytefully / whan we iangle ydelly and vnfruytefully / whā we be dull and slepy in the seruyce of god / whan we speke more roughly thā the cause requyryth / or agayne flater more than is expedyent. These and other lyke vnto those (as sayth saynt Austyn) be suche as must be scouryd in the fyre of purgatory. But ye wyll say agayne / Syr no man lyuyth so parfytely but yt he dayly fallyth in some of these. A trouth it is / and therfore the same saynt Austyn sayth, that the holy saynt lyuyd nat without many of these. But whan so euer they fel in any of these, they were sory and knew theyr offence. And so must we do whan we so fall in any of these, we must be sory therfore, and knowlege our of­fencys / and almyghty god wyll than be mercy­full vnto vs yf we so do. But in no wyse we may repute them as nought, and rekyn them to be no synnes, for thā we shall fynde them great synnes. And especyally whan we shal approche into that fire, we may nat therfore I say recōpt them as nothynge / for than they shall encrease vpon vs dayly more & more, & that so largely that the nomber of them shall be importable. These durynge this lyfe may be lyghtly put asyde by betynge of our brestes, & by ostēdynge the wordes in the Pater noster, Dimitte nobis [Page] debita uostra, forgyue vs father our dettes, By vysityng also of thē that be seke / by cōfortynge of them that be in trouble / by forgyuynge of our iniuryes / by pacyēt suffrynge of aduersytye and by many other suche. But we may nat ac­compt them as nought / for saint Austyn saith / though they be lytle, yet many lytels makyth a moche. It is but a lytle thynge he sayth one corne of grauell / but yet thou mayst ouerlade thy bote with many of them. Thou mayst put so many cornes in to thy bote, that it shall be ouerchargyd / and fynally drowned. And so lyke wyse yf thou be neglygent of these lytle synnes / yu mayst hepe so many of them togyther, that fynally they shall drowne thy soule. And in another place the same saynt Austyn dothe lyke them to lytle blaines and scabbes / and the dedly synnes to great mortall woundes. Ma­ny blaynes or scabbes in a man or a woman, though they slee nat, yet they defourme and dysfygure the face and the body of mā, and makyth it lothsom to be lokyd vpon. And so sayth he, these lytle synnes defourme our soules, and makyth them vngoodly to be loked vpon / and vnworthy the presence of almyghty god. They may be also lykenyd to the rust of a knyfe, and the dedly synnes to the cancre. The rust that is nat cankeryd may more easely be remoued with a lytle rubbynge and scourynge, thā may the very cancre, And so lykewyse these lytle synnes, albeit they cancrenat the soule lyke as dothe the greate synnes: yet they rust the soule. [Page] And therfore they must haue a scouryng / either in this worlde, or els in the fyre of purga ory. we shall nat escape nor passe by that flambe, tyll tyme we be clene scoutyd from all venyall synnes. A trouth it is, the two edged swerde can nat harme the, yf thou haue no dedly synne in thy soule. But yf the brennynge flambe shall swynge away thy venyall synnes ere thou passe that way.

THe thyrde stop that we shall fynde be­fore vs whan we shall couet to enter, shal be Cherubyn. ¶ Cherubyn betokenyth the streyght examynacyon that shall be made of euery person the whiche shall passe and enter into that kyngdome / for these aungels shall gyue hede that all suche as shall entre there, be accordyngly aparelled with the iustyce of good workes. Ye se that in the kynges courte, the porters standynge▪ before the gate, wyll nat suffre any person to entre that is nat in honest apparell. For yf his garmēt be raggydor torne, he shall nat entre there. In lyke maner these blyssyd aūgels of Cherubyn, which is as moche to say as (plenitudo scientie) that is plentye of connynge and knowlege, and nothynge can escape theyr iyes, but that they wyll anon per­ceyue yf we want our apparell (that is to say) the ryghtwysenes of good workes. For it suf­fysyth nat to them that shall entre there, yf they be scouryd of theyr euyll workes / but they must haue also many good workes. For of theyr ap­parell ye prophete sayth, Domine quis habitabit [Page] in tabernaculo tuo? My lorde who shal inhabyt in thy tabernacle? And he answereth, Qui in­greditur sine macula, et operatur institiam, He that entreth without any spot, & worketh right­wysenes. ¶ we must bothe be clene of al scabbes of synnes, & also be apparellyd with the workes of ryghtwysenes. And our sauyour sayth of hym that was nat apparellyd accordyngly, that he sholde be bounde hande and fote, and so throwē out into outwarde darkenes, where shall be wepynge and gnastynge of teeth. Thou must therfore haue thy garment made of ryghtwyse workes, or els thou shalt nat entre into that kyngdom. ¶ whan thou art clensyd from dedly synne, and purged from venyall synne / yet yf there be founde in the no good workes, thou shalt nat be suffryd to entre there. Thou must brynge with the a clene garment of iustyce / whiche was betokenyd by that whyte garment that was taken vnto the at the Sacrament of baptysme by the preest whan he sayd vnto the, Accipe vestē candidā quā perferas ante tribunal dn̄i nr̄i Jesu christi, Take here this whyte gar­ment, to the entent that thou maist bryng it be­fore the trone of our lorde Jesu chryst. This garmēt yf thou haue lost, or torne, or solde, thou must study bytymes to repayre it agayne by / som good workes. But alas I feare me that this garmēt be farre to seke with many persōs. Som hath smodged this garment with the smoke of worldly affeccyon / some hath male it and spot it with many venyall synnes / som [Page] hath foule blottyd it by dedly synne / som hath made it vggly by pryde / som by wrath and enuy hath torne it / some hath made it horrybly styn­kynge by lechery / som by couytyse hath clerely cast it from them. But none of these as saynt Paule sayth, Regnum dei possidebunt, Shall haue possessyon of the kyngdome of god. ¶ we must therfore study to recouer this clene white garment agayne by ryghtwyse lyuynge, and kepyng of the commaundementes of almyghty god / of the which my purpose is to speke at large for the tyme that I inten [...] to be occupyed with you / for doubtlesse as I [...] [...]hersyd vnto you the wordes of our sauy [...]ur, [...] [...]etyng vs all, Nisi abundauerit, &c. Onelesse your ryghtwyse lyse be more amyle, than was the lyfe of the scry­bes and pharyseys: ye shall nat entre into the kyngdom of heuen. & Thus than I suppose ye conceyue those thre thynges that I promysed to declare. ¶ Fyrst, how after the exāple of Ada [...] and Eue whiche brake the commaundement of god: euery other synner fallyth vnto synne. ¶ The, secōde how that for the vnryghtwysnes of synne, and brekynge of the commaūdemētes of god: all synners nat amendynge theyr lyfe, shal be excludyd from the intresse into the kyng­dom of heuyn. ¶ The thyrde, that there standeth suche stoppes in our way, that oneles we begyn ones to enfouime our lyfe by the true kepynge of the cōmaundemētes of god, to recouer agayn this vnryghtwysnes that we haue lost, we shal neuer haue entresse into that kyngdome.

[Page]¶ wherfore it shall be expedyent for euery true chrysten man and woman to lerne to know the commaundementes of our lorde / to the entente that he may endeuour hym selfe to kepe them / and so by the kepynge of them, he may recouer agayne the possybylytye to entre into that ioyfull and gloryous place / the whiche he graunt vs, qui cum patre et spiritu sancto viuit et reg­nat deus.

Amen.

¶ Finis.

¶ Newly Enprynted at London, by me w. Rastell, the. xxviii. day of June / the yere of our lorde. M. CCCCC. xxxii.

¶ Cum priuilegio.

¶ These bokes be to sell at London in Southwarke by me Peter Treuerys.

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