The ymage of Loue.

¶Here foloweth a goostly pamphlete or mater cō pendyously extract of holy scrypture / and doctours of ye chyrche / called ye ymage of Loue / very necessary for all vertuous persones to / loke vpon.




The Ymage of loue


COnsyderȳge in my mynde how that dyuers persones in the begynnynge of the newe yere gyue many gyftes & tokēs / I wolde fayne haue cōfyrmyd my selfe vnto thē / yf my pouerte wold haue suffered me. My wyl was good my abylyte was lytyl or nothȳge / yet be cause I sawe dyuers poore folkes geue small thynges of lytyll valour / & receyued agayne therfore good thȳges of moche valoure / I thought with the poore woman of the gospell to be stowe a myte or twayne / mar. xij. vpon some thynge for your pleasure / trustynge to be rewar­dyd agayne wt ye woman that made a lytyll lofe of a handefull of mele & a lytyll quantyte of oyle and gaue it vnto the holy prophete Helyas.iij. regū. xvij. And this I be leue wtout doubte / yt he in whose name I do it fore / wyl not se it loste / thoughe it were but a cup of colde water. And as to spirituall persones & my souerayns / math̄. x. me thought it best to gyue some good­ly pyctures & ymages of our sauyour Iesu of our blyssed lady or of some other holy sayntes. And as I was sekynge about for dyuers pyctures / there came to my mynde for to gete an ymage of loue.

¶Of naturall loue. Capitulum primum.

BUt by cause I wyst not well where to fynde it / I wente vnto dame Nature & she shewed me many goodly ymages which she sayd came from her parētes [Page] & forefaders / wherfore she loued thē very moche. Neuerthelesse I lyked them not bycause theyr co­lours faded / & dayly dyde dekaye. They were also comyn to fooles to wyse men to crysten men to he­then men to beestes to fowles & serpentes & lytyll profyte come of them. These ymages be often ty­mes payntyd vndyscretely & dysceyuably / & doeth moche harme in the chyrche of god.j. And there be many of theym. One that is made amonges kyn­rede & parentes / whiche yf the holy ghost put not to his hande it is of no valoure but somtyme very noysom / for it maketh men blynde & peruerteth ye ryght ordre of Iustyce / & settyth fooles before wy­se men / it takyth awaye ryght Iugemēt contrary to saynt Paulys doctryne & example / for he sayde. Neminem nouimus scdm carnem.ij. cor̄. v. I knowe no man after kynred or carnall affecciō / j. reg. ij. it caused He­ly to be reprouyd of god whan our lorde sayd vnto hym / why hast yu made more of thy chyldren than of me / wherfore as it foloweth in ye byble he dyed an euyl deth & his chyldren also / it causeth yt Iesu can not be founde / example or fygure we haue in ye gospel of Luke whan chryst was sought amonge his kynsfolkes:Luc. ij. he coude not be founde / therfore sayth saynt Barnarde. Lorde I can not fynde the but in the crosse.ij. An other ymage of naturall loue / is made bytwene the soule & the body.Ro. viij. The soule loue so the body that it bydeth woo to be departyd therfro / but whan it is ordered after ye holy ghost so yt the soule vse the body vnder the lawe of god / for to do penaunce to encrease merytys to profytte other to chose rather to want all erthely pleasure [Page] and to dye than to cōmytte ony synne / than is it a paȳted ymage / but yf we loue this lyfe for to Ioy here & to dilyte in this worlde for to abyde longe in lustes & pleasures & for ye mainteynȳge of thē care not for ye displeasure of god / than it is a deuylysshe ymage portrayed by ye deuyll / whiche is very pe­ryllous & moche myschefe come by it / as it appe­reth in the epystell of saynt Paule vnto Thimothe as shall be rehersed after.ij. tīo. iij. And as saynt Augustyn sayth by it is bylded ye cyte of ye deuyl.iij. The thyrde ymage of natural loue is made by twene the fyue wyttes & theyr obiectes / as bytwene the syght & beautefull thynges of pleasant coloures / bytwene the herynge of swete voyce or sounde of hermony / bytwene ye tastynge & sauour in delyciouse metes & drynkes / by twene smellynge & swete odoures / bytwene the felynge or touchynge & all thynges yt be pleasaunt to it.iiij. And an other ymage of natu­rall loue is made bytwene man & his wyfe.v. The fyfth bytwene contrary men.vj. The syxte bytwene frendes & them that be brought vp togyder frome theyr youth / & all these but yf ye holy ghost worke in them it is easy to consyder what yll come of thē. The Romayns in olde tyme praised moche an y­mage that they had / which (as I rede) was por­trayed lyke a yonge man standyng bareheed & in his foreheed was wryten. Estas et Hyems. That is wynter & somer / he had on a shorte thynne cote / in whose hemme they wrote. Mors et Uita. Deth & lyfe / his syde was open that his herte myght be seen / his arme was bowed poyntynge with his fynger to his hert / where was wrytē by it. Longe [Page] et prope. farre & nere / he was peynted lyke a yon­ge mā sygnyfyenge yt true loue & frendeshyppe is alway fresshe & newe neuer fadynge ne faylynge / he was bareheed for to shewe him selfe vnto all mē & yt he was not a ferde to shewe hym selfe a frende at all tymes / his rude & thynne vesture shewed yt a very frende wyl not refuse to suffre harde thyn­ges & extreme pouerte for loue of his frende / there was wryten. Uita et mors. for he yt loueth truely loueth his frende all his lyfe vnto deth and after. Estas et hyems. That is true frendeshyppe endureth as wel in aduersyte as in ꝓsperite / his herte was open for he wolde hyde nothynge frome his louer / he shewed his herte with his fynger she­wynge that his dedes doeth accorde to his herte and his herte to his wordes. There was wryten. Longe et prope. For trewe loue in no tyme can be done awaye ne mynysshed by no distance of place. This semeth a good ymage and a precyous / very necessary to this lyfe / whom Plato Arystotle Ca­to & many other prayse aboue all thynges that be in nature.Eccli. vj. And ye wise man Eccliasticꝰ sayth there is no cōparison to a faythfull frēde. I coude fynde no faute therin saue it loked alwaye downewarde vpon erthely thynges / & cruelly vpon theyr eny­myes / yf it had loked vpwarde hauynge respecte vnto god & to heuenly thynges / I had thought to haue bought it / but saynt Paule for ye cause dispy­sed it sayenge to theym that paynted this ymage though they knewe god they dyd not honour hȳ / Ro. j. loue hym ne thāke hym as they ought for to haue do / but gaue them selfe to vanytees and soo fell to [Page] blyndenes of mynde thynkynge them selfe wyse / and were but fooles & fell to Idolatrye & to many grete inconuenyences.Luc. vj. Our sauyour also refused this ymage & suche other / both for this cause and for yt it loketh so cruelly vpon theyr enymys sayn­ge / yf ye loue onely them yt loueth you for yt cause: what rewarde loke ye for to haue / treuly ye shall haue none of me / for ye haue receyued youre re­warde all redy and this caused me to seke farther.

¶The ymage of worldly loue. Capi. ij.

THe worlde than callede me & shewed me an ymage that frome farre appe­red very goodly / all burned wt gold & syluer with many other ryche thȳges set out wt fresshe & oryent colours / & offerd it to me for lytyll valour whiche caused me to drawe nerer to it. And in ye border therof were portrayd / foules beestes / flyes / serpentes / wormes / & floures of dy­uers kyndes / so meruaylouse & so like vnto nature as it had be ye selfe liuȳge thynges. The foules appered so rauysshȳge / ye beestes so cruelly deuourȳ ­ge / ye flyes so defylynge erbes & floures & takynge awaye theyr sauoure / the serpentes so styngynge the wormes so gnawynge & freatynge that I am sure ye sholde a fered to put therto your hande / & specyally one lytyl worme frayed me moche / whi­che I can beleue none other but it was a very ly­uynge thynge called the worme of conscience. And as I stode chepynge of this ymage with a byble in my hande / I cast myn eye vpon my boke in the [Page] fyrst epistle of saȳt Iohn̄ where was wrytē. No­lite diligere mūdū ne (que) ea q̄ ī mūdo sūt.j. Ioh̄. ij. By not this ymage the loue of this world for yf ye do and loke moche vpon it / it shall bewytche you & make you blynde. And yf ye set your loue vpon the worlde (sayth saynt Iohn̄) ye charyte of god our sauyour crist yt is the very ymage of loue con not be in you. The prophete Dauyd shewed me yt these rauys­shynge foules / beestes / & serpentes were lyuynge men / bywytched & transfourmed by reasō of this false ymage / & shewed ye cause why saynge. Ho­mo cū in honore esset. &c. Man lorde of al creatures hauynge in hym selfe ye ymage of god (wherof he ought to drawe out the very ymage of loue) to his hyghe honour / knewe not his degre & hye state ye god hath made hȳ to / but set his mȳde more vpō these vayne outwarde ymages thrugh ye whiche he is cōpared & trāsformed vnto beestes moost vnresonable & is made lyke vnto thē. O false ymage I am sure thy colours be full dysceyuable / thus saint Iohan bad me loke surely vpon it / for ye ma­ter yt it was made of was very brytell venymous & noughte. Therfore I toke it in my hāde & loked warely vpon it / & so I perceyued that saint Iohn̄ sayd treuth where he sayth.j. Ioh̄. ij. Omne qd est in mū ­do aut est concupiscencia. &c. All yt is in this world other it is the concupiscence of the flesshe or elles ye concupiscence of the worlde or elles proude maner of lyuynge. I remembred also that ye mooste fayre apples be not alwaye best nor longest endurynge. And saint Paule sayth.j. cor̄. vij. Preterit figura huiꝰ mū ­di. The pycture of this worlde passeth fast awaye [Page] In tyme of trybulacyon it melteh awaye / as sno­we before ye sonne. Est amicꝰ scdm tēpꝰ & nō ꝑmanet ī tꝑe tribulatōis.Eccli. vj There is a frend for a tyme & do not endure in tyme of tribulaciō it was holowe and empty / as it had be blowen ful of wynde / & so lyght that it wolde be moued with euery wynde / so bretle that it wolde haue broken with the leest fal / it cleued vnto mens handes & defyled them as pytche and sououred very yll / it hath some waye so madde a countenaunce that it wyll make some fools to Ioye & laughe so moche that they laughe them selfe to dethe. Therfore sayth the wyse man. Bisū reputaui errorē.Eccli. ij. &c. I repute this laughter for a grete errour & dysceyte / sayenge vnto them ye Ioye in the ymage of this loue / why wyll ye be dysceyued for a thynge of nought. Quasi per ri­sum stultꝰ operatur scelus.ꝓuer. x. Thruhe thy laughter this folysshe ymage worketh moche myschefe / for they that laughe at it may be sure theyr laughter shall be myxed with moche payne and the last en­dynge of theyr Ioye / ꝓue. xiiij shall be ouerlayed with so­rowe & lamentacyō. This ymage taketh awaye the memory of man & maketh hym to forgete god and all that longeth to hym / it is so confedered wt ye deuyll that it can not do no seruyce vnto god / for cryst sayth.Luc. vj. Nemo potest doubz dn̄is seruire. No man maye serue two contrary maysters. This is the ymage yt couetouse men vse as theyr god put­tynge all theyr truste & affeccion in it / and yet it is as trayterous to them as Iudas was to cryst / & sayd to the deuyll as Iudas sayd to them that to­ke Iesu.mat. xxvj Quē cum (que) osculatꝰ fuero ip̄e est tenete [Page] cum. &c. who so euer I kysse he is for the / holde hȳ fast & lede hym warely that he scape not thy han­des / & at the last for as moche pleasure as he hath taken of this worlde so moche sorowe & turmentry shall the deuyll gyue hym therfore agayne. Thus perceyuynge these & many mo yll propertyes / I sayd with the prophete Naū.naū. iij. Omnes qui viderit te resiliet a te. Euery wyse man that loketh vpon the / wyl be a frayd & lepe swyftly frome the / ther­fore I [...]efte of & wolde none of this ymage.

The ymage of carnall loue. Ca. iij.

THan I sawe the flesshe stande nere by / cal­lynge yonge persones in to her shoppe by flaterynge wordes / sayenge. Come vnto me goodly yonge gentyll mē / I haue goodly pyc­tures & ymages for you / ye shal haue one of me for your loue it shall coste you nought. And thus she brought for the a meruelous pycture me thought passynge nature / whose foreheed hyghe sette vp glystered as glasse / ye yelowe here trussed in sylke with a fyne bonet a perle fylette & a frontlet braw­dred with sylke & golde set with stones and a good­ly broche of golde / the eyes rollynge in the heed / ye countenaunce solen & chaūgeable / the skyn whyte as lyly / with some lyuely rodenes / the necke and brestes bare the apparell all dysguysed of the new facyon with a longe trayne / where appered out ye tayle of a styngynge serpente / but I meruayled moost in ye countenaunce and gesture of it / for ston­dynge in some place it wolde appere to a mā with [Page] a smylynge and flaterynge countenaunce with ye armes redy to halsynge / in some place it appered as it had wepte & wt ye handes as yf it had called one to her / & in an other place it shewed a lowryng & a dysdaynynge countenaūce pretendynge grete dyspleasure. Thus lyke a foole I loked so longe vpon this ymage / that I was almoost dysceyued but thanked be our lorde I had warnynge be ty­mes. A certayne wyse man gaue me good counsell and bade me in no wyse I sholde beholde it lest I sholde perysshe and be lost by the false workynge of it.Eccli. xix Dropter spem mulieris multi perierunt. Through the beaute of this ymage many a thou­sande haue perysshed / and than I consydered ye he sayd treuth in all degres / remembrynge strōge Sampson / holy Dauyd / wise Salomon / & many other how they were disceyued.p̄. c. xviij. Therfore Dauyd axed helpe of our lorde to torne awaye his eyes frō the vanytees of this ymage for they were so allec­tyfe and pleasaunt to the outwarde syght / that he coude not refrayne hym selfe therfro. Than Salo­mon coude saye yt outwarde beaute was a vayne and a dysceyuable grace. Therfore sayth he in his prouerbes beholde not this disceyuable ymage for perauenture thou lokest not well aboute / ꝓu. xxxj. yf thou beholdest onely the outwarde countenaunce thou arte dysceyued. Eauꝰ em̄ distilans labia meritri­cis.ꝓuer, v. &c. For this harlottes lyppes be as swete as a hony combe and the throte of her shyninge more clerer than oyle / but ye last ende of it is very bytter and styngeth more venymously than the tayle of a serpente / he shewed me also that I perceyued not [Page] I was so blyndyd with lokynge vpon the ymage onely / and a lytell frome her was there deth & hell mouth gapynge to receyue her and all that were with her.ꝓuer. v. Pedes eiusdescendūt in mortem et ad inferos gressus eius penetrant. Therfore he bad me flee farre of and come not nere ye gates of that house where this ymage is / for though it be offe­red frely / yet at ye last it put bothe soule fame and goodes in grete Ieoperdy.Ro. viij. And saint Paule sayth yf ye lyue after flesshly pleasure delytynge in this ymage ye shal dye ghostly a very yll deth therfore sayth he it is not onely good not for to touch it / but it is necessary to fle farre from it and from all that longeth therto / it hathe a foule sanoure to them ye hath good tastynge / it gendereth pockes & leprou­sy bothe in body and soule / and is so infectyfe that many be dayly in grete Ieoperdy to perisshe ther­by / yf they haue no helpe and socoure onely of god.

The ymage of artyfycers: be not the very yma­ges of loue / nor but lytyl conducynge to pyete and charyte. Capi. iiij.

THan leauynge these peryllous ymages I wēte to ye artyfycers yt make meruaylous goodly ymages in diuers maters as ī me­tall / stone / tymbre / and cloth dyuers wayes / but the very ymage of loue was not there. Neuerthe­les there was many goodly ymages whiche I though sholde stere a man to deuocyon and to the loue of god. And bycause it was harde to fynde ye very treu ymage / I set my mȳde to by one of these [Page] and as I was chosynge out of ye goodlyest / there came to me a holy deuoute doctour rebukynge me gretely / Iero. de fet̄ & sayd why doest thou cast away thy mo­nye vpon these corruptyble and vayne thynges / thy goodes were not gyuen to the for that entente thou arte moche to blame / seyst not thou ye goodly lyuynge ymage of god moost pyetefull fade & de­caye euery daye in grete multytude / & yet yt wylte bestowe thy mony vpon these / yf thou hauynge worldly substaunce seyste thy broder haue nede / j. Ioh̄. iij & thou sparest frome hym the treasure of mercy and pyete in thy herte how is the charite of god in the / why syr sayd I may not I spēde myn owne good as I wyl / so that I spende it not in synne: & poore people were in extreme necessyte / I sholde synne deedly yf I sholde se them be loste hauynge more than is necessary for me / but I knowe none suche and there be many that wyll & be more able than I to helpe thē / nor I am not bounden to seke whe­re suche be that be in extreme necessyte.nota bn̄. Thus we fel in to a longe dysputaciō & at ye last he concluded thus / yt not onely extreme necessyte doeth bynde vs to gyue almes but also whan we haue more su­perfluꝰ / yt is whan we haue more than is necessa­ry to our state / and he ledged for hym the gospel of cryst.Luc. xj. Uerūtamen quod superest date elemosinā. Gyue almes of that that is superfluꝰ / it is to be thought that there shall be no lytyll company / of ye lyfte hande of cryst where he shal gyue sentence of dampnacyon vpon them / rehersynge the lacke of almes doynge / as pryncypall cause in maner? where the sentence is gyuen / he brought in saynt [Page] Ierom in ye decrees / saynt Augustyn vpon ye psal­me.distī. xlij. Lauda Ierusalem dn̄m. Saynt Thomas scda scde / and saynt Ambrose dysputynge ayenst suche persones that sayth thus / I breke not ne take awaye none other mens goodes but kepe that is myn owne / ayenst whome sayth saynt Ambrose O folysshe man what is thyne / distī. xlvij what broughtest thou in to this worlde / is god vniuste for that he wyl gyue more to one than to another / or is he vn­ryghtwyse for bycause thou doest habounde / and an other man do lacke / it is rather for to shewe the experience of his gentylnes that thou sholdest ha­ue the greter meryte for ye well bestowynge of thy goodes vnto the poore. And for yt the poore myght be as well rewarded for his pacience / and thus he dyde conclude. It is the brede and sustenaunce for the hungry that thou reteynest with the / it is the clothynge of naked men u thou sparrest vp in thy presses / it is ye redempcyon and relyfe of them yt be in thraldom and pryson / ye mony that thou hydest in the grounde (as wel it is synne not to gyue vnto the nedy whan thou hast superfluꝰ)hec ābro. distī. xlvij as it is to ta­ke awaye wrongfully frome them that haue ony thynge / therfore be ware how thou spendest thy goodes / why syr sayd I maye not I spende my goodes none other wayes but in almes. Ryches saythe he / is not to be loued for it selfe / but for an other thynge / that is for ye necessyte of this present lyfe. That / that is not necessary nother to the ne­cessary sustenaunce of the body / nor to the honeste and reasonable mayntaynynge of the degree and state of a persone? can not well be ordred but to an [Page] yll ende / excepte it be bestowed vpon poore people / or to the necessytees of crystes chyrche / as to the maynteynynge and defendynge of the fayth / to ye magnyfyenge of godes honour and to thencreace of vertue & good lyfe / & this yu thynkest doth make thy purpose / but yet it is not so / for as it is sayd in the lawe these ymages be ye bokes of lay people symple and vnlerned that be vnperfyte in ghostly lyfe / & yf they excyte peoples myndes to deuocyon as well that maye be by suche as be of lytyll pryce as by thē as be of grete pryce & curiously wrought whiche me thynketh brynge in to the mynde va­nyte or euagacyon / rather than deuocyon or con­templacyon / and perauenture some effeccyon or spyce of proprite amonges relygyouse / therfore se thy conuersaciō be holy & meke / and thy doctry­ne holsome / & let that be the thynge that shall stere people to deuocyon. Thus almoost confounded I sayd to hym / be ware syr what ye saye: your opy­nyon condempne the doynge of many good men ye be nowe a dayes / whiche honoure the temples of god with many goodly ymages of grete coste of syluer and of golde set with perle and stone grete plenty of coopes and vestementes of tyssewe and cloth of golde & meruelous riches in plate as cros­ses / cādelstyckes / sensers / chalyces wt many other thynges whiche be gretely to the honour of god. A. ha sayth he.nota bū. I se it is but vayne to preche and teche men to lerne and take example of saynt Am­brose / saynt Augustyn / Gregory / Exuperij / Ny­cholas / Martyn holy bisshoppes / and suche other in whose tyme were but lytyll of suche thynges / [Page] they wold haue all thynges yt longed to ye chyrche / and specyally to the sacramentes / honest pure and clene / but not costly nor curyouse / than were treen chalyces & golden preestes / now be golden chaly­ces & treen preestes or rather erthen preestes / thā were relygyous cladde with heere and sacke / and now they do dysdayne or grudge to were wullen / than were monasteryes hostryes for poore men / & now they be palacyes for lordes and states / than they were apparelled wt mekenes pouerte chastite & charyte / Ioh̄. x. now with sylkes cloth of golde pompe and vanyte / yet yf there were no poore people / I myght yet some what holde with all / but cryste sayth we shall euer haue poore men amonge vs. And also saynt Paule sayth. Templuz dei sāctū est qd estis vos. The tēple of god is a holy thynge yt is none other but your selfe. The temple of stone is not holy but by reason of the lyuynge temple / therfore that is more holy and nedeth more to be maynteyned and anourned / sholde we than go lay vp or spende our ryches in the stony temple / and suffre the quycke of the temple to perysshe other bodely or ghostly. ¶We fynde not that cryste com­maūded to haue so costly paramentes in his chyr­che / but he commaūdeth many tymes to norysshe his poore people / and now men leue the commaū ­dementes of god for theyr owne tradycens and ce­remones / as ye scrybes and pharyseys dyde / why dyde cryst and other holy fathers of relygyon pro­hybyte dyuersyte and curyosyte of pyctures / and assygne how many vestementes and coopes with other paramentes they sholde haue to ye Aulters. [Page] But some laye agaynst me / Moyses that made ye tabernacle of god / with grete sumptuousnes of syluer and golde and precyous stones / and Sala­mon lykewyse the temple / but yt make not with them / but rather more aynst thē / for all suche thȳ ­ges were but figures & shadowes as saint Paule sayth vnto vs vnder crystes lawe / j. cor̄. x. that is the ve­ry spyrytuall and perfyte lawe / therfore we shold leue the shadowe and folowe the treuth auoydyn­ge that is Imperfyte / & take that that is perfyte. Also in the tyme of moyses it was no nede to gy­ue almes to the poore peole / for they were fedde wt manna in deserte / & theyr clothynge dekayed not of all the tymes that they were there / as it is red in deutronomy.deut. viij. In the tyme of Salamon there was so grete habūdance of golde and syluer yt syl­uer was not set by / as we haue in ye thyrde boke of kynges.iij. reg. x. But why do I laboure in vayne / what nede me to stere all ye worlde agynst me (specyally preestes & relygiouse) it is but extreme madnes to laboure in vayne & to gete nothynge but hatred / yet I condempne no man pertycularly / but yf we loke well vpon holy scrypture and vpon the olde lyuynge of good crysten men / yf bokes be trewe / we may se and knowe that we be nowe out of the waye / and full vnlyke vnto the preestes and rely­gyouse in olde tyme / I praye god yt many be not onely vnlyke / but also contrary to theyr lyuynge. But thou good brother I pray yt somwhat lene to my counsell / medell with no tryfles ne vanytees / couet not to please ye world / ne fere not to dysplease it / yf thou wylte please god. And thou wylte haue [Page] this ymage yt thou sekest / leueall these other ymages and go to holy scrypture / and there thou shalt fynde it.

Where the treu ymage is founde and what it is. Capi. v.

THan as I stode coniecturynge what I myght do / scripture spake vnto me and sayd.luc. xxiiij O folysshe man why doest thou seke a lyuynge thynge amonge deed thynges / lyght in derkenes / a ghostly thyng amonge erthely thynges / incorruptyble amonge corruptible / it is not there / it is meruaylous goodly & wonderfull to be holde / the ymage that thou sekest it can not be seen of ye bodely eyes / but onely with Aungelles eyes and pure with them that be deed frome this worlde leuynge with cryst / and he sayd also all that euer I had was nothynge to the pryce therof. Neuerthelesse I wolde fayne haue had it / sapi. vij. for thoughe I sawe it neuer I remembre that a shadowe I sawe therof in a glasse whiche passed by me sodeynly without ony taryenge and delited me so that euer syns I haue suche a desyre to it that I wold be glade to gyue all that I haue for a lytyll syght of it / but consyderynge myne vn­worthynes & inhabylyte to come therby / I stode in a stody whether I myght seke ony more for it in scrypture or not. Than met with me the prophete and shewed that it was vayne for me to gyue cor­ruptyble ymages to suche ꝑsones.p̄. xliiij. Quia omnis gloria eius filie reges abintus. For all the glory & [Page] pleasure of a kȳges doughter / is inwarde ghostly in ye soule / ye be ye doughters of the heuenly kynge espoused to his sone Iesu / your father I suppose dyde gyue you this liuely ymage whā he spake to you by grace & sayd. Audi filia et vide. &c. Heere my doughter & se Inclyne thyn eere and be obedyente / forgete thy cōtrary men / forgete thy fathers howsholde / that is forsake thy naturall loue / thy worldely loue / thy flesshely loue / forsake all vany­tees and make the naked of all erthly thynges / by pouerte and chastyte / and than the kynge my sone shall couete the beaute and apparell the with clo­thes of verteu.j. pet. ij. Thus I doubte not he yt hath cal­led you from derkenes / vnto so grete lyght of gra­ce / and hath now taken you vnto his spouses he hathe nowe shewed you this ymage and gyuen it vnto you moche more goodly than I can dyscryue it as it is / for it is infinyte and incomprehensible / yet it pleaseth hȳ to shewe it vnto all meke soules after theyr capacite callynge them his doughters sayenge. Audi filia. Heere my doughter in treu fayth and meke obedyence. Et vide. And se what I haue do & do dayly for you / se what ye do agayn or haue doo for me / se also what I do prepare for you. The beholdyng of these thre thynges I thȳ ­shold leaue some prynte of this ymage in our sou­les but moche more in you yt be his specyall spou­ses. And of this prynted ymage at ye leest I wolde shewe you somwhat in parte to performe myne entent and yet I fere me of presumpcion in enter­prisynge for to shewe that I neuer knewe / or that ye knowe better than I / yet a blynde man maye [Page] shewe yt he can not se yf it be put in to his handes. Saynt Paule put a glasse in to my hande / holy scrypture and bade me come out of derkenes in to lyght / for yf thou wyll se this ymage yu must loke besely vpon this glasse / for it can be shewed none other wyse here but by a glasse in a derke symyly­tude which do not shewe the thynge expressely as it is / j. cor̄. xiij. but the tyme shall come I trust that we shal se the very selfe thynge in dede. I loked vpon this glasse & I coude se nothynge but my owne face fouly deformed wt many foule spottes / I was bydden for to go wasshe me and make me clene and get me vnto the lyght so I dyde / and yet my eyes were so dymme with duste / and humour of vanyte & car­nalite / that I coude not yet perceyue this ymage. I wente to a place of relygyon and toke a ghostly father / shewynge hym myne entente that I came fore to clarifye my syght that I myght at the leest ones se this ymage. There me thought it sholde be / for there were ye moost goodly aparyld aulters with tabernacles subtelly caruen and costly gylte / there was ye moost swetest armony of songes and organs & goodly deuout obseruaūce yt euer I sawe or herde / in so moche that it moued me for a tyme vnto relygyon there / wherin I asked counsell of my ghostly fader / but he perswaded me the contrary / sayēge it is not all golde that sheneth as gold / there is one thynge yt dystroyeth moche goodnes the in ordynate loue to our selfe / whiche is cause of moche yll as saynt Paule the holy man prophe­syed to his dyscyple Thymothy / ij. tīo. iij. sayenge that at the last ende of the worlde / there shall come paryl­lous [Page] seasons men shall haue inordynate loue vnto them selfe that shal cause them to be couetouse / hy mȳded / dysoaynouse / proude / blasphemouse / dys­obedyent to theyr parentes / cruell and vnkynde without inwarde loue or affeccion / without peace / false accusers / vnchaste / vncurtese / without gen­tylnes / trecherouse frowarde and sturdy / louers rather of voluptuousnes than of god / hauynge a cloked ymage a symylytude of pyte that is of ho­nour & loue to god / but the very vertue and effecte therof / they renounce and haue it not / be ware of suche sayth saynt Paule & exchewe the company. ¶Thus I perceyued that charyte myght lacke / nota bn̄. for all this gay outwarde thynges & obseruaūces for all the gaye syngynge and playenge or multy­plyenge of orysons nor yet they be not euident pro­fes of loue and charite / but som time some of them letteth or hyndereth charyte and contemplacyon sterynge the mynde to elacion and vaynglory / but charyte sayth saynt Paule / j. cor̄. xij. is to edyfy our neygh­boure to thynke our selfe membres of one body & so to vse our selfe one to an other / as the membres naturally do in the body and so to vse our selfe one to another consyderynge our selfe as one body in cryste to be as gladde of our neyghbours profyte as of our owne / to helpe them in theyr distresse as they wolde be holpen in theyr owne / louyngely to reforme and correcte them that do a misse to helpe and releue them that be fallen in decaye bodely or ghostly / to conforte the heuy / to helpe the seke / to socoure the nedy.Colo. iij. And as to saye in fewe wordes to referre all our ryches laboure studyes and care [Page] to this ende / that we myght profyte and do good vnto many in our sauyour cryste that as he was not borne for his owne profyte nor lyued here for his owne pleasure / nor dyed for his owne greter pleasure / ne for to come the rather to Ioye / but he gaue hym selfe all hole to our vse and profyte / so sholde we applye our selfe to the cōmodytees and profytes of our euen crysten & not to our synguler profyte onely / the more we profite vnto many / the more is our auayle & meryte / yf it were thus sayd a good relygeouse man to me the lyfe of relygeous sholde be moche more Ioyous pleasaunt and easy than it is / where nowe we se it is contrary / heuy paynfull laborous full of supersticyons obseruaū ­ces and vayne customes leauynge fro them ye treu waye of lyfe ye folowynge of cryste the olde maner of lyuynge yt was vsed taught and shewed by our holy fore fathers. Saynt Augustyn saint Benet saynt Ierome / wt many other / so yt now there is lytyll defferēce bytwene lay persons preestes & re­lygeouse in crymes & worldely lyuynge / to whom it is sayd.Ro. xij. Nolite conformari huic sclo. Be not confyrmable to this worlde / & though theyr outwar­de habyte dyffer in coler it is lyke or excedynge in pryce so yt yf saynt Augustyn or saynt Benet were agayne a lyue (whome they take as fathers and auctours of theyr rules & orders of theyr lyuyng) I thynke they sholde not knowe thē / but say there was neuer thynge yt they more dysaproued / than suche lyuynge as is nowe in many places / they wyll saye that they ordeyned the maner of lyuyng after the rule of criste and his appostles / not after the superstycyouse maners of the Iewes yt made [Page] gaye and fayre al thynge without forth / and were wtin forth ful of rauen venyme synne and malyce. The ymage of loue yt saynt Paule drewe / whiche these holy fathers had set forth opēly in there mo­nasteryes / warnynge theyr discyples & successors before all thynges to loke therupon vnder gret cō ­munycacions and payne of cursynge / is now new portrayed with dyspensacyons dysceyued with vayne customs dysceyuable colours clene altered frome the olde symylytude and nought but as a fayned thynge / and they that do thus sayth saynt Paule do not agree to ye holy doctryne of cryst / ij. tīo. vj. but are proude / and can nothynge but multyplyenge of wordes wherof come contencyon blasphemy & many ylles / thynkynge grete honoure to god and a dede of pyte to gather ryches & to encreace tem­porall patrymony / but ye very ryches is to vse de­des of charyte beynge cōtent with mete / drynke / and clothe.

¶The propertees and effectes of this ymage. Capi. vj.

THis ymage as saynt Paule discryueth it / is very pacyent meke and gentyll of coun­tenaunce / j. cot̄. xiij. charitable without enuy to ony persone / it doeth no wronge it is not inflate ne blo­wyn full of pryde / it pretende none ambycyon / ne loke nother for honour ne dygnyte / it requyreth no profyte for it selfe but onely to ꝓfyte other / it hath none angry countenaunce so that ye shall thynke it can ymagen none yll / it bereth an heuy chere vnto [Page] all that is yll & false / and a Ioyouse vnto treuth and goodnes / it is very stronge for it may bere all trobles & aduersyte / it beleueth all treuth though it be a boue reason / it hath good hope in all thing yt god promiseth / it is stedfast & perceuerant berȳge pacyently all maner of displeasures without grudgynge tyll better maye be / it neuer fayleth ne fa­de / but the more longer that it endureth the more oryent & goodly is ye colours and ye more strength and vertue it is of and the more pleasaunt it is to beholde / it is so goodly that no creature can praise it at the full nor haue the ful knowlege of it in this lyfe to dyscryue it as it is / Grego. it worketh maruelous thynges and grete / wyghty / and substancyall in effecte yf it be ye very ymage / yf it be not the treu ymage it hathe but small effecte or none / it hathe this maruelous effecte yt what so euer is wrought or done where that is present it is suffycyent and good thoughe some tyme it appereth yll to some persons / j. cor̄. xiij. & contrary wyse all thynge that is done where that is not present thoughe it semeth neuer so good yet it is but of lytyll valour or nought / it vneth & make many men all one and cōfeder them so fast togyder that nothynge can sundre them / Colo. iij. it couereth the syn̄e of penytentes & redemeth theyr forfertes & transgressyons / j. pet. iiij. who so euer haue this ymage vpon hym shall not nede to fere ony parell nor no Iugement may go agaynst hȳ ne nothyng can hurte him / j. Ioh̄. iiij it gyueth lyght in darkenes it causeth Ioy in heuynes myrth in sadnes / in payne it maketh gladde pacyence / there can no wronge be done where it is / it maketh peace and concorde / it [Page] setteth all thynge in ordre it swageth hungre and thurst it maketh bonde men free poore men ryche seke mē hole / ye and some tymes it reseth the ded to lyfe / Osee. xj. it is so attractyfe that it draweth all good thynges to it selfe & than maketh all comyn / some tyme it hath a sharpe & a rygorous countenaunce vpon synners but neuer malycyous nor enuyous countenance / it morneth with morners it Ioyeth with them yt be gladde / it wepeth with wepers it taketh awaye all suspycyous and mysiugynge from the herte of man / it abhorreth all stryfe enuy murmure and contencyon / it hateth all yll and lo­ueth all yt is good / there is nothynge that pleaseth god more than this ymage & without it nothynge can please hym / there is nothynge more desyrous to the deuyll than the dystruccyon of it and to that entent he applyeth all his laboure all his caste wt moost extreme malyce in forsynge both nyght and daye full besely to dystroye this ymage of loue / yt is none other but charyte. But nowe lokynge in ye glasse of holy scrpture for this blyssed ymage / and perceyuynge my blyndenes / my ygnoraunce / my vnkyndenes / my vnworthynes / wretchednes / & presumpcyon / I fere me rather to gete shame & reprefe than thankes for myne enterpryce seynge this ymage so excellent so beautefull so full of ver­tue and grace so farre excedynge the praysynges and commendacyon of all men. And yet I wretch moost symple without lernynge presume to shewe in ony maner thy heuenly ymage: yt am moost vn­konnynge to gyue the leest prayse vnto it yt can be. Neuertheles as I sayd before a blynde man hold the ymage. D.j. [Page] forthe a picture for other to beholde / yf it be put in to his hande thoughe he handle it grosly & shewe it forth rudely / so it is and yet me thynke I presu­me blynde and ygnoraunt / I take of other holy doctoures this ymage to shewe vnto you whiche I thynke verely ye can shewe more hansomly vnto me and better dyscerne it than I yet though I can shewe no pleasure by reason of myn vnkōnynge and rude handlynge of this ymage / I trust at the leest ye shal be content for to se the symple ymage of myn owne loue towardes you. And thoughe it be rude & of lytyl valoure to consyder my spyry­tual entent & good wyll ye wolde better yf it coude.

¶That this ymage is a lyuyng thȳge takyng a patrone of ye inuysyble ymage of god. ca. vij.

I sayd be fore yt this ymage is a liuynge thynge and can not be founde amonge these deed ymages there is one yt saynt Paule speketh of.Colo. iij. Qui est imago dei inuisibilis. An ymage of god Inuisible incompre­hensible the sone of god by whome he hath made all creatures and man moost syngularly vnto his ymage and symylytude / & bycause he was inuy­syble and incomprehensyble / he toke a glasse that is our nature / whiche well may be compared to a brytyl glasse wherin he shewed vs this ymage of loue that is hymselfe / in whome though there ap­pered infynyte power and wysdome / yet charyte passed all as vnto our behofe / for that put awaye the olde ymage of deth in our soule / and reneweth [Page] his ymage agayn in vs & made it quycke thrugh his ymage of loue / Colo. iij. without ye whiche we are but deed as saynt Iohn̄ sayth.j. Ioh̄. iij. Qui nō diligit manet in morte. He yt is not in charyte is deed in his soule thus ye may se in parte an ymage of loue / yt is charite which is god hȳselfe & life of our soules whom we can not wel se but by ye glasse of his humanite. A glasse shewe not the ymage so moche as it is / no more we can consyder his loue so moche as it is / a glasse can represent nothynge: but yf somwhat be present vnto it. So in man can be no charyte but yf god be present vnto his soule / for. Deꝰ chari­tas est et q manet ī charitate ī deo manet.j. Ioh̄. iiij &c. God is charite sayth saynt Iohan / & he that is in cha­rite is in god / & god is in hym / In whome soeuer god is he doeth no syn̄e / yf he do syn̄e / god is gone frome hym / yf god be gone this ymage is loste & gone frome hym / as in the materiall glasse ye per­sone that was presēt to it goynge awaye / ye yma­ge in the glasse seaseth and hath no beynge. And forthwith the deuyll is redy to present hymselfe to ye glasse / causynge his contageouse ymage therin whiche infecteth so the glasse: that it is harde to purge it & to polisshe it clere / to make it apte & able to receyue againe ye ymage of god but yf it be done be tymes / and many tymes it is brokē or it can be made clene.hebre. iiij Remēbre therfore that god is alwaye present in euery place and neuer withdrawe his loue frome man / but many wayes prouoke them (ye his enymyes) vnto loue / math̄. v. and maketh his sone of grace & ryght wysnes to shyne vpon euery per­son good & yll. The grace of cryste & his doctryne [Page] is the lyght / kepe the glasse towardes the lyght / torne it not a waye towardes darkenes / and this ymage shall euer contynewe in the glasse. Saynt Iohan sayth / Ioh̄. ij. he that loueth his neyghboure / he dwelleth in lyght / and in hym is no sklaunder ne occasyon of yll / he that hateth his neyghboure is in derkenes / and torneth his glasse frome ye lyght walkyng he wote not where / somtyme in ye myre of other mens synnes / by suspectynge Iudgynge or talkynge of theyr defautes / somtime amonges the serpentes of sclaunder / detraccyon / and enuy / somtyme amonges the thornes breres and wylde beestes of couetous malyce & Ire / somtyme stum­melynge amonges swyne in the foule sleweth and stynkyng gore of gloteny and beestly lustes of the body / with many other parillous wayes wande­rynge with grete Ieoperdy into deth of the soule for lacke of lyght / whiche is not in defaute of the lyght of grace ne for the charyte of god is not pre­sent / bycause the glasse is turned fro the lyght and thā it is so infecte and defyled in derkenes / that it is vnapte to receyue the lyght of grace & the yma­ge of charite agayn as I sayd before / for it is har­de to remoue the foule deedly ymage of sinne / and onely possyble vnto hym that is auctour of lyfe & maker of this glasse. Yf we wyll turne it agayne redressynge our loue towardes hym & towardes our neyghboures / thā shal we receyue this yma­ge of lyfe agayne. And saye with saynt Iohan. Nos scunꝰ qm̄ translati sumus de morte ad vitā:j. Ioh̄. iij. qm diligunꝰ ir̄es. We knowe yt we be translated from deth to lyfe / yf we loue euery persone as our [Page] selfe / for yf we can not loue them that we se euery daye with our bodely eye / how shall we loue god that we can not se.j. Ioh̄. iiij Therfore I may saye ye charite is a lyuynge ymage and the spyryte of lyfe that gyueth onely lyfe vnto the body / and as the body hath .v. wyttes & worketh all his workes by them so ye soule hath .v. ghostly wyttes wherby it wor­keth all thynge that is merytoryous & pleasynge vnto god.

¶This lyuynge ymage hath .v. wyttes and the operacyons of them. capi. viij.

OF these .v. wyttes saynt Barnarde speketh in a sarmon shewynge that there is .v. maner of loues. The fyrst is a reuerent and a kyndly loue of pa­rentes and kynsfolkes. The seconde is the Iocounde and pleasaunt loue of our neygh­boures and they that dwell together. The thyrde is ryghtwyse loue yt we ought to haue vnto euery reasonable person. The fourthe is vyolent loue of our enymyes. The .v. is holy and deuoute loue of god aboue all. These .v. loues may well be compa­red vnto .v. bodely wyttes. The loue of kynred ac­cordeth well vnto ye sens of touchyng / for this sens perteyneth moost and onely vnto the flesshe and so that loue is shewed to none but that be nere togy­ther / touchynge carnall consanguynyte. And as the sens of touchinge is in the flesshe and in euery parte of the body / so this loue is in euery thynge that hath lyfe as well ye Iewes and pagans loue [Page] theyr kynne as crysten men / beestes also & erpētes loue theyr kynne and ofsprynge. The seconde loue of neyghboures agreeth properly vnto the sens of tastynge bycause of ye grete swetnes and pleasure that is therin / & bycause it is moost nedefull vnto mannes lyfe for I can not se by reason how a man shold lyue wel other bodely or ghostly ī this world but yf he loue those persones yt he lyueth amonges & he agayne be loued of them. The generall loue wherby of ryght we muste loue euery man / may be lykened vnto the smellynge in that / that this sens perceyueth thynges somwhat farther of / thā doeth the sens of tastyng / and it hath in it selfe not so grete pleasure and delectacyō / but yet it is very pleasaūt and necessary / so this loue extendeth not onely to our neyghboures but to theym yt be som­what farther of / that is to aungelles and all man­kynde. The heerynge perceyueth thynges moche farther of than doeth the other inferyor senses / so a monges men in this worlde / there be none far­ther a sunder than he that loueth one that loueth hym not agayne but hatteh hym / for in other sen­ses there is all waye some delectacyon and some nerenes in workynge vnto ye flesshe / but the heerȳ ge in maner goeth out frome the flesshe / as for ha­uynge ony delectacyon in the flesshe / and therfore it maye well be assembled vnto the vyolent loue yt is onely caused by the obedience of goddes cōmaū dement / Luc. vj. that byd vs loue our enymyes whiche o­bedyence appereth euedently / to pertayn vnto the sens of heeryng / where the grete occasyon & cause of other loues that I haue spoken of / are taken of [Page] the flesshe yt is of nature and kynde. But the syght aboue all other chalenge to it selfe the symylytude of the deuyne and holy loue of god in that / that is moost excellent of a synguler nature more clere & spyrytual than all other senses / & discerneth thyn­ges moost farre of / and knowe the dyfferences of many thynges / for though ye smellynge & heeryn­ge do perceyue thynges somwhat farre of / yet it is more by drawynge to of ye ayer that cometh from ye obiecte / or thynge that smelleth or soundeth wel or yll. But the syght do not so but rather it semeth to go forth & procede to thynges very farre of / so it is in these maner of louinge. In maner we drawe to vs our neyghboures / whome we loue as our lyfe hauynge profyte & pleasure of thē / we drawe to vs also our enymyes whome we loue for this cause that they myght be as we be / that is to say our frendes. But yf we loue god as it is worthy we sholde do / with all our strength / wt all our soule & mynde / we go frome our selfe vnto hym / we hye vs fast and moost swiftely (as the eye to the moost delectable obiecte) we caste all our loue vnto hym that is onspekably moost hye goodnes aboue vs and all creatures / hauynge no respecte vnto our owne profyte or pleasure no more than the eye can reflecte the syght to se it selfe / but to take it for the moost hye perfeccyon and pleasure onely to behol­de and loue hym in whome we maye moost perfy­tely and pleasaūtly beholde our selfe and all crea­tures. This is perfyte ynoughe and pleasure lar­gely suffysynge / what nede we to loke for other syth there is none but this witnes / cryst himselfe [Page] in the gospel of Iohn̄.Ioh̄. xvij Hec est vita eterna vt cog­noscant te solum deum. &c. This is the very cause and begynnynge of lyfe euerlastynge / to knowe & loue the very god onely and hym that thou haste sent Iesu cryst thy sone / one god with the. And as by the syght is goten moost konnynge and know­lege / so by this loue is goten moost perfite kōnyn­ge and sure knowlege of all thynge good & necessa­ry to be knowen / and as ye se in the bodely senses the syght excelleth all other / the heeryng excedeth the other thre / and so one is better in dygnyte and more noble than an other. After ye ordre and dyspo­sycion of the organs and membres that they be in / so in lyke maner ye loue of god is moost hye / mooste excellent of all loues / & of moost meryte. The loue of our enymye nexte vnto that in rewarde / ye Iust loue of euery persone the more it be extended and shewed the more meritoryous it is / the loue of our neyghboures and company / kyn and frendes / be very necessary / as those senses whiche yf they fayled / the lyfe ghostly sholde fayle / and all the other senses of loue sholde dekaye. If a mā lacke tastyn­ge and felynge / how can he heere / se / or yet lyue.j. Ioh̄. iiij If he can not loue his kynne / his neygboures or company that he is amonge. How can he loue god or his enymye or lyue in the state of grace / it can not be. Therfore these two loues be very necessary & excepte they be groūded in a better respecte thau of nature they be but lytell merytoryous / and yet lacke of them or hatered contrary to them be more dem [...]ytoryous than ye contrary of the two other loues nexte aboue / that is the loue of strayngers [Page] and enymyes. And bycause that these two ye loue of neyghtboures company & kynrede may redely & vnwarely be disordred (as we se by experyence) it is harde to ordre dyscretely the tastynge of mete and drynke and appetytes of the flesshe. Therfore it is necessare for to loke discretely that they be not inordynate / carnall ne for profyte nor ambycyon / lest they dymynysh or dystroye the other senses of loue causynge moche synne and percyalyte.gen̄. xij. Abra­ham by the commaundement of our lorde forsoke his good / his kyn / and his coūtre / for that he shold not be dysceyued by this loue / and so dydde many other holy fathers / as we haue examples & doctryne of our sauyour cryste (as ye knowe in dyuers places of scypture) Dauyd also stered by the holy ghost sayd. Obliuiscere populum tuū et domum patris tui.p̄. xliiij. Forgete thy carnall loue thy countree folkes and thy fathers housholde / and the kynge of all kynges shall cast loue vnto the beaute of thy soule. Therfore it is necessary to loue dyscretely / so that I loue euery creature in god & for god after ye goodnes of it / not for the profyte and pleasure / for so the catte loueth the mouse / and not to loue more that thynge that is lesse to be loued and lesse that is more to be loued / for charyte is not accepcyon of persones / but it loueth in worde & dede euery per­sone after theyr vertue and goodnes.j. Ioh. iij.

¶Of the apparell of this ymage and where it shall be sette Capi. ix.

[Page] THus haue I shewed you yt this is a lyuynge ymage by reason of the ghostly sēses that it hath for as ye soule yf it departe from the body / all the sēses fayle and dekay / so yf charyte departe fro the soule / all these senses of loue must nedes dekaye and perysshe and than ye soule is deed. This is the ymage yt all ghostly persones delyte in and haue pleasure to beholde. This is ye lyuynge ymage portrayed lyke a quene and is the very quene of all vertues / to whome all crystē peo­ple ought to entende & loke vpon. This is the que­ne that stondeth alway on the ryght hande of god as ye prophete Dauyd sayth.p̄. lxxxiiij In vestitu de aura­to circūdata varietate. In apparell goodly gylte set aboute with dyuersyte of oryent colours & pre­cious stones of vertues and gyftes of grace wt borders & heēmes of golde. In this ymage sholde all swete soules yt be the spouses of cryste haue theyr glory & delyte / not in paynted clothes and karued ymages set aboute wt dyuersete of byrdes beestes and foules which is but a grosse or a colored deuo­cyon / let them haue suche yt fele no glorye inwarde in theyr soules / ij. cor̄. j. by testymony of good conscience yt haue no zele to perfyte mekenes / and feruent loue of god that can not Ioy but in erthely and traun­sytory thynges. But you yt be kynges doughters shold haue pryncypally all your glory from with­inforth. In fimbreis aureis circūamicta varie­tatibus. In hemmes and borders of golde that is contynuall perseueraunce in loue and pacyence yt [Page] is treu golde surely proued in ye fyre of trouble and aduersyte / apparelled rounde aboute wt coloures of dyuers vertues so cōuenyently set in ordre that one setteth forth an other meruclouse goodly so yt one encreaseth ye beaute of an other. And yt whiche of ye owne nature is lasse oryent & lytyll shynynge by ye settynge forth amōges other appereth moch more goodly and precyous.nota bn̄. Put dylygence to obe­dyence & nothynge can be more plesaunt / let mekenes be Ioyned to chastyte and nothynge is more splendent / Ioyne pacyence with pouerte and no­thyng can be more delectable. Connynge coupled with lowlynes what is more shynynge / set mercy and Iustice togyther and nothynge can do better / benygnyte set with magnyfycence sadnes or gra­uyte doeth merueylously wel / & discrecyon myxed amonge all these maketh all the apparell goodly sure and profytable. And aboue all this is ye gylte vesture that I spake of goodly wysdome / whiche is not in getynge riches pleasures and honoures / but in dispysyng them & all other erthly thynges. It is in compunccyon of herte and contrycyon for synnes in exercyse of charytable workes / & in me­dytacyon and contemplacion of ghostly & heuenly thynges. In study of holy scrypture and the lawe of god and worker after the same. The hemme is perseueraunt loue as saynt Paule sayth.j. tīo. j. Finis p̄cepti charitas est de corde puro & constencia bona & fide non ficta. The extreme parte of ghosty wys­dome that is in the commaundementes of god is perseueraunt loue co mynge frome a pure herte & a good conscyence with fayth vnfayned wherin [Page] is set grete plenty of precyous stones / ye .xij. arty­cles of ye fayth / with the .vij. gyftes of grace. The whyte kerchef vpon ye heed was sure hope made by the workes of clennes and dedes of pyte / why­ted with dewe of grace from aboue. Lo here is the apparell of this ymage of loue. Occupye the eyes of your mȳde in these varyetes / ye be ye very tem­ples of god / set vp therin the aulter of your herte and there make your sacryfyce and your prayers for now is the tyme yt cryst spake of to the woman of Samary / sayenge.Ioh. iiij. The houre is come whan ye very treu worshyp of god shall worshyp hym in­wardely for spyrytuall thynges in treuth vnfay­nyngely and not in Ierusalem / that is not onely after the outwarde obseruauntes as the Iewes dyd that kepte ye outwarde obseruauntes of theyr lawe in sacryfyces & in prayers with theyr mouth but theyr herte & loue was farre from god.mat. xv. esa. xxix. Ther­fore he lothyd and dispysed theyr sacryfyce sayng. Quo mihi multitudinē victima (rum) vr̄a (rum) plenus sū. &c. What shall I do with your dyuerse sacryfyces / I am full of them I requyre them not of you / but a louynge and a couerte herte he neuer dyspy­seth / and that is the sacryfyce that he requyreth.

¶How it sholde be honoured. Capi. x.

OUr lorde consyder ye inwarde thynges of man. Non scdm visionem iudicabit ne (que) scdm auditum aurium arguet. &c. And he shall Iudge / not after the out­warde seynge of mans eyes nor after ye heerynge [Page] of the eeres / but after the very ryght and after ye thought and the entent of man. Therfore yf a mā take hede and is ware what he do in the syght of man / moche more let hym be ware what he do in ye syght of god. The body is cladde in a relygeous vesture it is well / but what auayleth that yf the mynde bere a seculer habyte after ye worlde. They kepe scylence without forth moche more take hede yt ye mynde inwarde be at rest from vayne though­tes not clateringe with worldely ymagynacions. In the materyall temple we kneele and go lowe to the grounde / what profyte is that yf in the in­warde temple of our soule we stōde sturdely ryght vp aeynst god or our superyoures by dysobeynge theyr commaūdementes / some fast and abstayne frome many thinges that do not defyle man as of them selfe / but shall they not rather absteyn them frome suspeccyon / detraccyon / and frome all ylle sayenge of other / whiche polluteth and defyleth bothe other persones conscyence and theyr owne / many do adourne and make gaye the materyall chyrche and hath grete reuerence to it / but what is yt where the temple of there soule / esech. viij as Ezechiell sayd is ful of serpentes / Idolles & abomynacyons of egepte that is yll & vnclene thoughtes worthy to be suspended / we syng & pray god wt our tonge / let vs se that we do so also with our hert & mynde / we speke fayre and deuoutly with our mouth / let vs meane aswel in our soules / or els it is not well. The body is kepte in wtin a lytyll cell / let not than the mynde be wanderynge all aboute the worlde. It is very well done oftentymes to accuse our self the ymage. [Page] before a preest of our sȳnes / it is treuth yf it be also afore god / whan do we vtterly accuse our selfe be­fore god / whan we vtterly hate our sȳnes and for­sake them with inwarde contrycyon for the treu loue and feere of god / for an inwarde woūde must haue an inwarde medsyn / yf ye heere the worde of god which is moost necessary for the soule / heere it inwardely lest it be sayd.math̄. xiij Audientes nō audiunt. They heere & heere not / but heere so goddes wor­des outwarde that ye may saye with ye prophete I shall heere what my lorde speketh in me with feruent desyre to accomplysshe in dede that is she­wed in worde / p̄. lxxxiiij that it maye be sayd to you blyssed be they that heere the worde of god / Luc. xj. that is with the eere of obedience whiche eere Dauyd exhorted the kynges doughter to enclyne she whose beaute is withinforth in golden hemmes as we spake of before. This I haue spoken yt we sholde not leene ne trust to moche vnto outwarde obseruaunces & cerymonyes more otherwyse than ye treuth doeth assygne sayenge that also they be lytyl acceptable but yf ghostly and inwarde workynge goeth wtall we maye not leue of the honourable and deuoute customes and holy ordynaunces of the chyrche. Hec oportet non omittere sz illa necesse est facere.mat. xxiij These it behoueth not to omyt ne to leue of but to obserue them / ye other yt is the ghostly and inwar­de obseruaunce is necessary and must nedes be do yf we wyll haue ony profyte of thē. Saynt Iohn̄ therfore sayth in his gospell.Ioh̄. iiij. Spūs est deus. God is a spyrytuall thynge / therfore sayth he / he must be serued with spyrytuall sacryfyce / remembre he [Page] knewe not the folysshe vyrgyns that had lampes of goodly workes outwarde / mat. xv. but they lacked that they sholde haue had withinforth ye oyle of grace / wherfore they were excluded from the maryage. Therfore rere vp an aulter in your temples that is your selfe that be the lyuynge temples of god. There set vp lyghtes gete you lernynge bothe by doctryne and grace wherby ye maye worke teche & shewe examples of lihtg / make there your obla­cyons of a meke and a contryte herte / there sence our lorde with brennynge cooles of loue and swete ensence of deuocyon / there kneele mekely with re­uerent inclinacyons / there make prostracyons wt lowly feere and compuccyons / there fyxe vp your ymages of loue / there vse your medytacyons and contemplacions / there beholde these two ymages that I spake of before. That one is a gret ymage increate & incomprehensyble that is god hymsefe. Deꝰ charitas est.j. Ioh̄. iiij The other is our lytyll ymage our lytyll loue / created and caused by te ymage of god / as a lytyl ymage in a glasse but yet it is very precyouse and good by meanes wherof the soule hath lyfe and ye ghostly sēces that I spake of. And thoughe it be very lytyll and nothynge in compa­ryson to ye other ymage that is infynyte and with­out comparison excedynge all thynges create / yet he wyll haue it vnto ye lykenes of his loue sayeng.Ioh̄. xv. Hoc mando vobis vt diligatis inuicem sicut di­lexi vos. This I commaunde you that ye loue to­gyther as I haue loued you. And many tymes he exciteth vs to loue one an other & techeth vs how / sayenge loue me as I haue loued you.

¶To knowe whan it is ye treu ymage. Ca. xj.

ALbert sayth yt a delycate soule and gentyl in maner abhorreth to loue god by reason of profyte or reward / but as god gaue hȳ selfe frely vnto mānes soule lo­kynge for no rewarde but wyl­lynge frely to make mā partey­ner of his blysse / so a perfyte louynge soule sholde gyue hymselfe feruently & frely to god in loue wtall his streyngth & power / sekynge no profyte nother traunsitory nor euerlastynge / but onely set all his affeccyō and loue vpon god for his hyghe maieste and goodnes power wysdome holynes perfeccyō & blysse that he is of by kynde / he that loueth god onely bycause he is good and profytable vnto him & bycause of that pryncypally that he sholde make hym perteyner of his Ioye and blysse / he maye be conuynced that he hath but naturall loue and vn­perfyte charyte. A very profe of charyte cryst put­teth hym selfe in ye gospell of Iohn̄ sayenge.Ioh̄. xiiij Qui habet mādata mea & seruet ea: ille est qi diligit me. He that hathe treu knowlege of my commaunde­mentes and obserue and kepe them / he it is that loueth me / wherupon sayth saȳt Austyn as sayth ye foresayd doctour / he loueth god that kepeth his commaundementes (not therfore that he is com­pelled for feere of grete payne or for couetousnes of Ioye) but bycause the thynge that is cōmaunded is moost good and honest. The loue of our neygh­boure must be lyke maner without ony regarde [Page] of profyte or rewarde / yf it be treu charite lyke vnto his that cōmaundeth vs to loue our neyghbour as he loueth vs.Ioh. xv. There be two euydent sygnes of loue to god in vs / one is whā we Ioye and gladly prayse god in all thynges that pleaseth him what so euer they be / whan so euer / of whome so euer / & where so euer they be do. An other sygne is whan a man is sory in god for all thynges ye be dysplea­saūt vnto hym what so euer they be whan so euer of whome or where so euer they be done. An other rule of charyte / our swete sauyour Iesus putteh in the gospell.mat. xxij. Diliges dn̄m deum tuum ex toto corde tuo / ex tota aīa tua / & extota mente tua. &c. Thou shalte loue god with all thy reason wt all thy wyll with all thy mynde & memory.ex toto corde. with all thy reason without ony errour subduynge ye wyt and vnderstandynge vnto ye meke seruyce of cryst ap­plyenge our study towardes hȳ inforcynge with hole desyre to ye knowlege and syght of hym.ex tota anima. with all our wyll obedyently that is whan the feere of no traunsitory yll dryueth vs frome his obedyēce ne loue of ony thȳge traūsytory drawith vs frome seruyce.ex tota mente. wt all thy mynde & memore forgetynge & settynge of our mynde frome all thynge that dys­pleaseth god and letteth his loue / as be Iniuryes done vnto vs / whiche whan they be called to re­membraunce be as yren lefte in a wounde whiche letteth the helynge of the wounde. And some men saye that we must forgete our owne synnes after due confessyon made / yf we wyll gete perfyte loue we must subdewe our reason and vnderstondyng vnder ye obedyence of god after his wyll & mynde foure maner wayes. Fyrst in all thynge that per­tayneth [Page] to ye fayth / we must obey god and byleue hym / wherof Hyllarius sayth. Soli deo de se cre­dēdū est qi se solus nouit. &c. We must byleue onely god of tho thynges that longe to hym selfe / for he onely knoweth hym selfe. The seconde waye is to perceyue Iuge or consyder yll of our selfe and wel of all other. The thyrde is to preferre the mynde and sentence of our superyours before our owne mynde / and that moost specyally is to be done in relygyon. The fourth way is to consydre our selfe our actes and all that longeth to vs / and to torne awaye our eyes frome the consyderacyon of other folkes actes and maners / wherupon sayth saynt Barnarde kepe diligently thy selfe / and that thou mayst so do.nota bn̄. Tourne away thyne eyes from other men. The rule of charyte towardes our neygh­bour is.mat. xxij. mar. xij. Diliges proximū sicut te ipsum. Thou shalt loue thy neyghbour as thy selfe that is after saynt Austyn / thy frende as thy selfe / thy enymye as thy frende / and as euery man loueth that that is good to hymselfe in body and soule goodes and honoure / and exchewe or hate his owne hurte and domage in ony of these foure. So we ought to loue & be gladde of all that is good ony of these wayes in our neyghboure bothe frende and fo / and to ha­te & be sory of theyr hurte and domage. Notwith­stondynge there is an ordre in charyte wherof the spouse of cryst speketh in canticis. Ordinauit in me charitatem.cant. ij. nota bn̄. Our lorde hath sette in me charite in an ordre whiche saynt Austyn declareth this. Primo diligendū est quod supra nos est. &c. Fyrst we must loue god aboue all / nex our owne soules [Page] than our neyghboure yt is aungell and man / than our owne bodyes & ye bodyes of our neyghboures and as for wordly goodes he speketh not of them / for they sholde not be loued / but vsed as a bytter medycyne. Some men declare that we sholde loue our neyghboure as our selfe. In deo ad deum. ꝓpter deo. In god vnto god for god. In god that is for yt he is a specyall creature of god. Unto god that is for he is made to his ymage / wherfore our entente in louynge sholde haue respecte vnto god. For god yt is for that he shold come to blysse & helpe vs to the same. Therfore to honoure god without ende in tyme of prosperyte we can not well knowe treu charyte / nor it is not well proued by loue of frēdes onely. ¶To loue other onely bycause they loue vs it belongeth to nature and it is without reward / but to loue them that loue not vs / it cometh of grace / and to drawe our enymyes vnto loue by shewynge pleasures gyftes and benefytes / it lon­geth to perfeccyon & hath a hye rewarde. I thȳke there is no thynge yt maketh vs so lyke vnto cryst (whiche is the very ymage of loue) as do / to loue our enymyes and to be well contente with them yt saye yll of vs and put vnto vs grete dyspleasures & payne.math. v. For this I am sure we sholde gete more grace and glory of theyr persecucyon than of theyr fauoure / yf we coude ordre vs with good manner and vse it well for the loue of god. Thus dyde eny­myes & tyrauntes profyte moche more vnto holy marters towardes euerlastynge Ioye and glory than dyde all theyr frendes. The very tokens of loue to our neyghboures be whan we are sory for [Page] theyr hurte payne and aduersyte as well of our e­nymyes / as of our frendes / and be as gladde with all our herte of theyr profyte helthe & prosperyte / whiche be two denty byrdes & are harde to fynde. But contrary the very tokens of hatred / malyce / and enuy / or whan it greueth a man to thynke of his neyghbours / or to speke vnto hym / whan it is paynful for to heere good of hym / and whan he is gladde to let or hynder / that thynge that sholde be to his profyte / pleasure or honeste / & dylygent to promote his dysprofyte and dyshoneste / demy­nyshynge his good fame / & peruertynge his good werkes. Crisostome sayth that whan malice hath ones goten entresse in to mannes herte / all thyng that be spoken herde or done / be so taken & vnder­stonde / that they encrease all waye ye more malyce and longer enuyte. If there be sayd ony thynge of the enymye that is good / it is not beleued or elles it shall be peruerted. If ony yll be sayd / that onely is beleued forthwith confyrmed and multyplyed. Thus dyd not cryste vnto Iudas.

¶The pycture of enuy and malyce. capi. xij.

I had not thought to haue spoken of this deuyllysshe and deedly ymage of enuy and malyce / that is so vggely pale and wan / for it maye stonde in no wyse by this ymage of loue / excepte it be troden vnder the fote as we se the pyctures of the deuyll and of ty­rauntes vnder the fete of sayntes to theyr vtter confucyon rebuke and dampnacyon. If I sholde [Page] portraye it lyke the deuyll / it is worse than he / for by it ye deuyll fel frome heuen horrybly dyfformed and dayly his malyce doeth encrease thrughe the same. If I sholde make it lyke Nero / yet is enuy moche worse / for Nero brent but a parte of Rome / but this enuy hath set all the worlde vpon a fyre yt can not well be quenched. Compare it vnto deth / and it is moche worse / for it brought deth in to the worlde / & banysshed mā frome paradyse. It slewe abell and hath wrought moche of all the myschefe seth the begynnynge of ye worlde / it was ye worker of crystes deth & yet it contyneweth dayly in mys­chefe more & more. It is the cruell beest that was supposed to haue deuoured Ioseph. Ouyde discryued it lyke to an olde trotte with a lene face pale & wan / the teth blacke / a fyry tonge / the mouth full of venyme / the eyes holowe neuer lokynge ryght forth / grymme & cruell of countenaunce / the brest swollen full of poyson / cruell nayles with blody hādes & many other yll fetures / but yet he cowde not dyscryue it so yll as it is in dede. And bycause to haue it in dyspyte / I wyll cast it vnder the fete of myne ymage as a monstre made of all yll. The tayle of the serpente Detraccyon backebytynge of sclaunder whiche is a tayle of the serpent that the wyse man speketh of.Eccli. x. Qui mordet in silencio. That styngeth preuely wt the prickes of detraccy­on sclaunder and backebytynge / It hath the feete and subtelnes of a fox / thrughe Ipocrysy. A fox in the wodde goeth neuer ryght forth / but somtyme of the one hand / & somtyme of the other / & he wyll feyne hȳselfe deed for to dysceyue byrdes.ezech. xiij Quasi the ymage. [Page] Uulpes in desertis prophete tui. These enuyouse Ipocrytes be as foxes in wyldernes / they walke by subtel wayes that they sholde not be espyed / & feyne them selfe holy & religyous to disceyue them that be good / it hath the bely of a dragon whiche is Idelnes full of stynkynge thoughtes and false Imagynaciōs / ye breste of alyon proude & disday­nous / ye heed partly lyke deth & partly like ye deuyl it hathe holes in stede of the eyes lyke vnto deth / for it hath nother loue nother fere of god / it hath ye lyfte eere like Nero / redy to heere all yll / the ryght eere chopped awaye lyke malcus & stopped that it can heere nothynge good / the mouth wyde open lyke a graue open full of karyn / p̄s. v. the tongue sharpe as a swerde and all fyry / wherof the leest sparke is able to set a hole cyte a fyre / Iaco. iij. and all is venyme as a cokatryce. But the prophete wyll that myne ymage shall trede vpō this vggely mōster sayēge. Suꝑ aspidē & basiliscū ambulabis & cōculcabis leonem & draconem.p̄. lxxxx. Thou shalt go vpon this ser­pent and cokatryce and trede downe the dragon & the lyon. We rede yt moyses. Uerbis suis mōstra placauit.eccl. xlv. With his good wordes pacefyed ye mon­sters of egypte. But this monster coude neuer be pacyfyed nor contente.exod. vij. Example of pharo after he was infecte with this monster no maner of thyng nother of loue nor of feere coude pacefy his mynde for to be content with the chyldren of Israell. Be ware of this false monster / and for this intente I haue thus drawen hym / that euery man sholde be ware of hym & vtterly dyspyse hym.j. cor̄. xl. Notwith­standynge many tymes he wyll traūsforme hym­selfe [Page] in to an aungel of lyght by flaterynge & dissy­mulacyon / and therof specyally be ware. But yet he maye be easyly knowen / yf we wyll not hastly gyue credence vnto hym. Thus I haue paynted this vggely pycture / for to set out myne ymage ye more goodly. Therfore I praye you accepte this ymage of loue that I vnworthy haue drawen to you vnkonnyngely.

The cōmendacyon of this ymage after Hugo de sancto Uyctore. Capi. xiij.

NOtwithstandynge I shall shewe you somwhat of the pryce yt the holy man Hugo de sancto Uyctore saythe of it.nota bn̄. O charitas qid dicam de te? quō lau­dabote? si saperē? appreciarer te. &c O charyte what shall I saye of the / how shall I prayse the / yf I felte the or perceyued the I sholde caste in my mynde somwhat: what yu arte worth / yf I knewe thy valour: I coulde esteme som pryce for the. But perchaunce thou excedest my poore scarsnes / thy price can not be founde with me / it passeth my lytyll power / and yet wyll I gyue all that I haue and all that I can gete for the / all ye substaunce of my house I wyll permute for the / all that is in ye poore loggynge of my body I wyll gyue for the / all that is in ye habytacle of my soule I wyll bestowe for ye / and yet whan I shall gyue all / I may repute it as nothynge. All the delecta­cyous of my flesshe / all the Iocundytes Ioye and pleasure of my herte / I wyll gladly bestowe that [Page] I myght haue ye onely in possessyon. Thou onely arte to me more dere / thou arte onely to me more profytable / thou arte only to me more swete / more Ioconde / more delectable / than ony creature. Sa­tysfyenge me more plenteously / sauynge me more surely / conseruynge me more prosperously. I wyll shewe to all other men of the. Saye to me. O thou herte of man whiche wylte thou chose: to Ioye alwaye with this worlde / or to be alwaye with god. That thyng yt thou louest moost / that thinge doest thou rather chose. Take hede therfore yu faȳt herte: that other thou redressest thy loue or els de­lay not the better eleccion. what maner of goodly­nes is there / where ye maker of ye worlde is / Loue therfore yt better that thou mayst chose the better. Chose than charyte / for who so hath charyte hath god / he that hath charite whan he goeth whan he resteth / what so euer he doeth his herte goeth not from god. They that haue charyte in exortynge of other to charyte / they inflame themselfe wt loue / & they shewe not onely inwarde but also in dede to euery man how swete the loue of god is. And how sower and bytter is the vnpure and dysceyuable loue of the worlde. Charyte scorneth the glory of this worlde / it dysdayne and reproue ye toylynge and besynes therof. And sheweth what folisshnes it is to haue confidence and trust in these thynges that passen awaye so lyghtly / it merueyleth at the blyndenes of men yt louen so this erthely thinges / it wondereth why they do not vtterly contempne them. Charyte thynketh that thynge to be swete vnto all men that sauoureth well vnto her selfe / yt [Page] thynge to please them that she loueth / it thynketh that thyng that she knoweth to be manyfest vnto all. And thus it discouereth it selfe where it is / for it wyll not abyde onely withinforth in ye wyll / but it must go withoutforth by shewyng of good wor­kes in outwarde conuersacion. O charyte I haue praysed ye as ferre as I can / and yet I caste in my mynde yf there maye be sayd ony more excellente prayse vnto thy laude. I can not saye whether it be more to call the god: or to saye that thou dyddest ouercome god that / that is more yf ony be more / that gladly and boldely wolde I saye of the / thus prayseth Hugo myn ymage. Take it therfore and set it fast vpon the aulter of your herte / alwaye lo­kynge vpon it / consyder the goodnes of it / remem­bre the vertue & power of it / se the many folde mer­ueylouse effectes. It caused god to make man / it drewe hym from heuen to erth for to redeme hym agayne frome seruitude of the deuyll / it Ioyned ye moost hye and pure nature to the moost lowe and vyle nature wherin it wrought merueylouse thȳ ­ges / in resynge deed men / helynge lypers / and all maner dyseases. And at the last it wounded cryst full bytterly / and slewe hym full pyteously / for to quyckē our soules full mercyfully / and resyd hym agayne full gloryously / vs for to Iustefy / it lyfte hym vp agayn to heuen ful Ioyously / there man­kynde to gloryfye / it drewe vp steuē vyctoryously / and crowned hym eternally. It conuerted sodenly saynt Paule and fixed hym so fast vnto Iesu / Ro. viij. that nother trybulacyon ne anguysh persecucyon hun­ger pouerte to go naked sworde ne other parelles / [Page] coude not dysseuer hym frome the loue of cryst / ye and it made Paule so stronge that he sayd more of hymselfe and his folowers. I trust sayth he that nother dethe ne lyfe / nor none of all the aungelles in heuen nor in hell / ne nothynge good nor yll that is present or for to come / no strong violence nor hye power ne depe wytte / nor ony other creature / can seperate vs frome ye charyte of god / that is in our lorde Iesu cryste / and after them this loue made innumerable people to loue & cast away al wordly thynges / and to ronne after cryst not sparyng nor ferynge / fyre / sworde / payne / ne no maner of tor­mētes / but gladly toke them with grete desyre / it was but a smalle thynge to thē for to forsake theyr frendes for the loue of Ihesu. And thus not onely in stronge men / but also in women and chyldren weyke and frayle / and in yonge tender vyrgyns yt were made by loue more stronge than all tyraūtes that fered nother kynge nor Emperour / and ouer­came them both in wysdome and in strength / for to suffre more paynes than theyr tormentoures coude put them to / and vtterly confounded them. O good charyte O dere charyte / yf I vnworthy defyled wretche haue presumed to prayse the and to shewe thyn ymage thus rudely / where so many holy and noble men haue praised and commended the / but yet nothynge as yu arte worthy / as they wytnes themselfe. I cry the mercy and them also besechynge the to come in to my soule for to kyndle it in loue / to lyghten it with grace / to dilate myne hert / to stretche out my desyre / to open ye bosome of my mynde / to enlarge & stablysshe thy dwellynge [Page] place in my soule. ¶That it maye receyue ye good lorde. Father / sone / and holy ghost / moost hye cha­ryte in to my reason wyll and memory / for a con­tynuall dweller in me. And lykewyse in you good ladyes perpetually. AMEN

¶Thus Endeth this lytyll treatyse / called the ymage of Loue.

Imprynted at London in the Flete strete at the sygne of the Sonne by Wynkyn de worde. The yere of our lorde. M.CCCCC. &. xxv. The vij. daye of Octo­ber.

wynkyn worde

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