¶ An exposition after the maner of a cōtemplacyon vpon ye .li. psalme called Miserere mei Deus.

ALas wretche ye I am / confortlesse & forsaken of all men / which haue offended both heuen & earth. Whether shall I go? or whether shall I turne me? To who shall I flye for so­coure? Who shall haue pytye or cōpassion on me? vnto heuē dare I not lifte vp myne eyes / for I haue greuously synned agaynst it. And in the earthe can I fynde no place of defence / for I haue bene noysom vnto it. What shall I nowe do? shall I despayre? God forbyd. full mercyfull is god / and my sauiour is meke and louyng / therfore only god is my refuge he wyll not despyse his creature neither forsake his owne ymage. Vnto the therfore most meke and merciful god come I all sad and sorowfull for thou onely art my hope / and thou art onely the toure of my defence. But what shall I say vnto ye / syth I dare not lyft vp myne eyes? I wyll poure oute the wordes of sorowe / [Page]I wyll hartelye beseche the for mercye and wyll saye. Haue mercy vpon me (oh god) accordynge to thy greate mercye.

¶ God whiche dwellest in lyghte that no man can attayne / God whiche art hid and canst not be sene with bodely eyes / nor cō ­prehended with ony vnderstondynge that euer was made / nether expressed with the tongues of men or angels. My god, the / which art incomprehensible do I seke, the which canst not be expressed do I cal vpon what thinge so euer thou art, which art in euery place. I knowe that thou art ye most hye & excellent thyng, yf thou be a thynge / and not rather the cause of all thynge, yf I may so call the, for I fynde no name by the whiche I maye name or expresse thyne in enarrable maiesty. God (I saye) whiche art all thynges that are in the, for thou art euen thyne owne wysdom, thy power and thy moste gloriouse felycyte. Seynge ther­fore that thou art mercyful, what art thou but euen the very mercy it selfe? And what am I / but very myserye? Beholde therfore a god whiche art mercye, beholde myserye is before the, what shalt thou do mercye? truely thy worke, canst thou do otherwyse then thy nature is? And what is thy worke verely to take awaye mysery, and to lyfte [Page]vp them yt are in wretched condicyon, therfore haue mercy on me oh god. God I saie whiche art mercye take awaye my misery / take awaye my synnes, for they are myne extreme miserye. Lyfte vp me which am so miserable / shew thy worke in me and exer­syse thy power vpon me. One depth requi­reth another, the depthe of myserye requi­reth the depthe of mercye. The depthe of synne axeth the depthe of grace & fauoure. Greater is ye depthe of mercy then ye depth of mserye. Let therfore the one depth swa­low vp the other. Let ye botomlesse depthe of mercye swalow vp the profounde depth of myserye.

¶ Haue mercy on me oh god according to thy greate mercye. Not after the mercye of men whiche is but small, but after thyne owne mercy whiche is greate, which is vnmesurable, which is incōprehēsible, which passeth all synnes without comparison.

Accordynge to that thy greate mercy with the whiche thou hast so loued the world, yt thou woldest geue thyne only sonne. What mercye can be greater? What loue can be more. Who can despayre? Who shulde not haue good confidence? God was made mā and crucyfied for men. Therfore haue mer­cye on me oh God accordynge to this thy [Page]greate mercye by the whiche thou hast ge­uen thy sonne for vs, by whiche (throughe hym) thou haste taken awaye the synne of the worlde, by whiche (through his crosse) thou haste lyghtened all men, by whiche (through hym) thou hast redressed all thynges in heuen and erth. Wash me (oh lorde) in his bloude, lyghten me in his humilite / redresse me in his resurreccion. Haue mer­cye on me oh god not after thy smal mercy for that is but thy small mercy (in compari­son) when thou helpest men of theyr bode­ly euylles, but it is greate when thou forgeuest synnes, and dost eleuate men by thy fa­uoure, aboue the toppe of the erth. Euen so Lorde haue mercye on me accordinge to this thy greate mercye, that thou turne me vnto the, yt thou put out my synnes, & that thou iustefie me by thy grace & fauoure.

And accordinge to the multitude of thy compassions wype awaye myne iniquite.

¶ Thy mercy lorde is the habundaunce of thy pytye, by the whiche thou lokest gentely on ye poore and wretched. Thy compas­sions are the workes, and processes of thy mercy. Marie Magdalene came vnto thy fete (good Iesu) she wasshed thē with her teares & wyped thē with her here, thou forgauest her and sentest her awaye in peace, [Page]this was (Lorde) one of thy compassions. Petre denyed the and forsoke the with an othe / thou lokedste vpō hym and he wepte bitterly / thou forgaueste hym and madeste hym one of the chyef amonge thyne Apost­les this was (lorde) a nother of thy cōpas­sions. The these on the crosse was saued with one worde. Paule in ye furious wod­nes of his persecution was called and by & by fulfylled with the holy ghoste, these are lorde thy compassions. The tyme shulde fayle me yf I sholde numbre all thy merci­able cōpassions, for loke how many ryght­wyse men there be, & so many at thy godly compassions. There is none that can glo­rye in hym selfe. Let them all come that at ryghtwyse other in erth, or in heauen and let vs axe them before the whether they be saued by theyr owne power and vertue.

And surely all they wyll answere with one herte and one mouthe sayenge. Not vnto vs (Lorde) not vnto vs, but vnto thy name geue all the prayse / for thy mercye and for thy truthes sake. For they in theyr owne swerde possessed not ye lande, & theyr owne arme or power saued thē not, but thy right hande & thyne arme, & the lyghtēing of thy coūtenaūce for thou delytedste in thē (yt is) they are not saued for theyr owne deser­uynges [Page]lest ony man shold boste him selfe / but because it pleased the so to be. whiche thynge the prophet doth also more expres­lye witnesse of the when he sayth: he saued me because he wolde haue me. Sith ther­fore that thou art the same god with whō is no alteration or variablenesse, neyther art thou chaūged vnto darknesse: and we thy creatures as well as our fathers whi­che were borne vnder cōcupiscence synners as well as we / and syth there is but one mediator & atonemente betwene god and man that is Christ Iesus which endureth for euer / why doste thou not poure on thy plentuous compassyons vpon vs / as well as thou didest vpon our fathers? hast thou forgoten vs? or are we only synners? dyd not Christe dye for vs? Are all thy mercies spent and none lefte?

¶ Lorde our god I desyre and hertely be­seche the / to put out myne iniquite accor­dyng vnto the multitude of thy compassi­ons. For many ye and infinite ar thy com­passions / that accordynge (I saye) to the multytude of thy cōpassions thou vouch­safe to quench my synne: that as thou hast drawen and receyued īnumerable synners and haste made them ryghtuous / euen so that thou wylte drawe and take me and [Page]make me ryghtwyse throughe thy grace and fauour / therfore accordyng to the mul­titude of thy cōpassions wype away myne iniquite. Clense and puritie myne herte yt (after all myne iniquite is put out & all my vnclennesse clensed) it maye be as a clene table in the whiche the fynger of god may wryte ye lawe of his loue and charite with the whiche can none iniquite continue.

Yet washe me more from myne iniquite and clense me from my synne.

¶ I graunte and knowlege oh lorde thou hast ones put out myne iniquite thou hast put it out agayne and haste washed me a thousande tymes / how be it yet washe me frō myne iniquite / for I am fallen agayne. Doste thou vse to spare a synfull man vn­tyll a certeyne numbre of his synne / whi­che when Peter enquyred / how often shal my brother offende agaynst me / and I shal forgeue hym / whether seuen tymes? thou answeredste: I saye not seuen tymes but seuentye tymes seuen tymes takynge that certeyne nūbre / for an infinite nūbre. Sith then that a man must forgeue so ofte shalt thou in pardonyng & forgeuenes be passed of a man? is not God more then man? is he not better then man? ye rather God is the great lorde & euery man lyuyng is no­thynge [Page]thing but all vanite. And only god is good and euery man a lyar, hast thou not sayed. In what houre so euer the synner doth re­pent I wyll not remēbre any of his iniqui­ties? Beholde I a synner do repête & morne for myne olde preuy sores festred within, & now at they broken forth for myne owne folyshnesse. I am depressed and sore broken I walke in continuall morninge / I am fe­ble and very weake / I roored for ye sorowe of myne herte. Lorde all my desyres are before the and my sorowfull syghes at not vnknowne vnto the. Myne herte trēbleth and panteth for sorow / my strēgth sayleth me and euen the very syghte of myne tyes cease from theyr office. Wherfore then oh lorde doste thou not put awaye myne ini­quity? And yf thou put it out accordinge to the multytude of thy mercyes / yet washe me from myne iniquite. For yet am I not perfeytly purefyed, funished thy worke, take awaye the hole offence and also the payne that is due vnto ye crune, encreate thy lyght with in me. Kendle myne herte with thy loue & cherite put out al feare / for perfayte loue sendeth awaye feare. Let the loue of the worlde, ye loue of the flesshe, the loue of vayne glorye, & the loue of my selfe vtterly departe fro me / yet fryll more & more wash [Page]me from myne iniquite by ye which I haue offended agaynst my neighbour, and clense me from my synne that I haue committed agaynste god. I wolde haue the put away not only the faute & payne that foloweth it, but also the occasion and nouryshment of synne. Washe me I saye with the water of thy gracyous fauoure, with water of which he that drinketh shall not thyrst for euer, but it shall be made in hym a fontay­ne of lyuynge water runnynge in to euer lastynge lyfe. Washe me with the comfortable waters of thy holye scriptures that I maye be nūbred among them vnto whom thou saydest. Now are ye clene for my wordes which I haue spokē vnto you Io. xiij.

For I knowlege myne inyquyte, and my synne is euer before myne iyes.

¶ Although through the beholding of thy mercy and compassions I may be bolde to flye vnto the (oh lorde) yet wyl I not come as the Pharise whiche prayed not, but ra­ther ther praysed hym selfe, & despised his neigh boure, but I come vnto the, as ye publican Lu. xviij. which durst not lyfte vp his iyes vnto Heauen. For I also do knowlege myne inyquyte / and whyles I pondre my synnes I dare not lyfte vp myne tyes / but humbelynge my selfe with the Publicane [Page]I saye: God be mercyfull to me a synner. My soule wauereth betwene hope & feare and somtyme for ye feare of my synnes (whiche I feale and knowlege to be in me) I am ready to despayre / somtyme throughe the hope of thy mercy / I am lyfted vp and conforted. Neuerthelesse because that thy mercy is greater thē my misery I wyl euer lorde truste in the and wyll synge oute thy plentuous compassyons for euer. For I knowe that thou desyrest not the deathe of a synner / but rather that he were con­uerted and that he wolde knowlege his iniquite and forsake his synne / and so come to the that he maye lyue.

¶ My god graunte me that I maye lyue in the / for I knowlege my wyckednesse / I knowe what a greuous burthen it is, how copious / & how ieoperdious. I am not ig­noraunt of it / I hide it not but set it euē be­fore myne eies / that I maye washe it with my teares and knowlege vnto the Lorde myne vnryghtwysnesse agaynste my selfe. And also my synne which I haue proudly done agaynste the / is euer agaynst me / and therfore it is agaynste me / because I haue sinned agaynst the: & it is truly against me / for it is euē against my soule / & accuseth me euer before the my iudge & condēpneth me [Page]euer & in euery place: and it is so agaynste me that it is euer before my face and ston­deth but agaynst me that my prayer maye not perce through vnto the / that it myght take thy mercy fro me & hynder thy mercye yt it can not come at me: therfore do I trē ­ble and therfore do I morne besechyng thy mercy. Therfore (oh lorde) as thou hast gy­uen this grace vnto me to knowe my wic­kednesse and to bewayle my synne: euē so accomplysh this thy beneuolence gyuynge me a ꝑfayte fayth / & drawyng me vnto thy sonne which hath made a ful satisfactiō for all my sinnes. Geue me lorde this precious gyfte for euery good gyfte and euery par­feyte gyfte is from aboue comyng from the father of lyght. Agaynst the only haue I synned: & haue done that which is euyll in thy sight: yt thou maist be iustified in thy wordꝭ: & mayst haue ye victorie when thou art iudged. ¶ I haue ouermoch sinned vnto the alone / for thou cōmaundedst me ye I sholde loue ye for thy selfe / & shold loue al creatures for thy sake. But I haue loued a creature more then ye / louynge it euen for it selfe. What is synne, but to loue a crea­ture for it selfe? and what is that / but to do agaynst the? Surely he ye loueth a creature for it selfe maketh that creature his God. [Page]And therfore haue I synned agaynste the onely / for I haue made a creature my god. So haue I caste the awaye / and haue ben miurious only to the / for I haue not offen ded agaynste ony creature in that I haue set my truste or confidence in it. For it was not cōmaunded me that I sholde loue ony creature for it selfe. Yf thou haddest cōmaū ded me that I sholde haue loued an aun­gell onely for hym selfe / and I had loued mony for it selfe / then no doubte I had of­fended agaynst the angell. But sith yt thou only art to be loued for thy selfe (that is to say without ony respecte other of good or euyll) and euery creature is to be loued in the & for thy sake. Therfore haue I surely offended onely agaynst the / for I haue lo­ued a creature for it selfe.

¶ But yet haue I worse done / for I haue synned euen ī thy syght. I was nothig as­shamed to synne before thy face. Oh merciful god / how many synnes haue I done in thy syght which I wolde in no wyse haue done before mortal mē / yea yt I wolde not in ony case ye men sholde knowe I feared men more then ye / for I was blinde & loued blyndnes / & so did I nether se nor ones cō ­sidre the. I had only fleshly eyes / therfore did I only feare and loke on men whiche [Page]ar flesh. But thou lokedst on al my synnes and numbred them / therfore I can nether hyde them frō the / nether turne my backe and flye from thy face.

¶ Whether shall I go from thy spirite and whether shall I flye from thy face? What shall I then do? whether shall I turne me? whome shall I fynde to be my defender? whom I praye you but the my god? who is so good? who is so gētle? who is so mer­cyfull? for thou passest without comparisō al creatures in gentlenesse. It is one of thy chyefest propertyes to forgeue and be mer­cifull / for throughe mercy and forgeuenesse thou dost most declare thy almyhgtynesse. I graunt lorde that I haue offended only agaynst the / and haue done that whiche is euyll in thy syght. Haue mercy therfore on me & expresse thy puysaunce in me / yt thou mayst be iustified ī thy wordꝭ / for thou hast sayde: yt thou camest not to cal ye rightwise / but fynners vnto repentaunce. Justefie me lorde accordyng to thy wordes: call me / re­ceyue me / and gyue me grace to do true workes of repentaūce. For this cause wast thou crucyfied / deade and buryed. Thou saydest also: John̄. iij. whē I am lyfted vp from of the earth / I wyl drawe al vnto my selfe / verefie thy wordꝭ, draw me after yt let [Page]vs rūne to gether in ye swetenesse of thyne oyntmentes. Besydes that thou saydeste: Math. xi. Lome vnto me all ye yt laboure / and are laden, and I wyll case you. Loo I come vnto the laden with synnes / labo­ryng day and nyght in the sorow of myne harte refresh and ease me lorde that thou mayste be iustefied and proued true in thy wordes / and mayste ouercome when thou art iudged / for there are manye that saye: he shall haue no so coure of his god. God hath forsaken hym. Ouercome lorde these parsones when thou arte thus iudged of them & forsake me not at any tyme. Gyue me thy mercye and holesome socoure / and then are they vaynqueshed.

¶ They saye / that thou wylt haue no mer­cye on me / & that thou wylte cast me clene out of thy fanoure & no more receyue me. thus art thou iudged of men / and thus do men speake of ye / and these are theyr deter­mynacyons / but thou whiche arte meke & merciful haue mercy on me and ouercome theyr iudgemētes / shewe thy mercy on me and let thy godlye pytye be praysed in me. Make me a vessell of thy mercye / yt thou mayste be iustefied in thy wordes & haue the vyctorye when men do iudge the / for men do iudge the to be firce and inflexible. [Page]Ouercome theyr iudgemēt with mekenes & beneuolence / so yt men may lerne to haue compassion on synners / and that malefa­tours may be enflamed vnto repentaunce, seynge in me / thy pytye and mercye.

To I was fasshoned ī wyckednes & my mother cōceyued me poluted with synne.

¶ Beholde not lorde the greuousnes of my synnes / cōsidre not the multitude / but loke mercifully on me whiche am thy creature. Remēbre yt I am dust / & that al fleshe is as wytherd hay / for lo I am fasshoned in wickednes & in sinne hath my mother cōceiued me. My naturall mother (I say) hath con­ceiued me of cōcupiscēce / & in hit am I vol­luted with originall synne. What is origi­nall synne / but ye lacke of originall iustice & of the ryght & pure innocēcy which mā had at his creacyon? therfore a man cōceiued & borne in suche synne is hole croked & out of frame. The fleshe coueteth against ye spirit. Reason is slender / ye wyl is weake / man is fraile & like vanitie / his sences deceiue him, his ymagynacyon fayleth hym his igno­raunce leadeth him out of the ryght way / & he hath infinite īpedimentꝭ which plucke hym frome goodnes and dryue hym in to euyll. Therfore oryginall synne is the rote of all synnes & the nurse of all wickednesse. [Page]for all be it ye in euery man of sheyr owue nature it is but one synne yet in powet it is all synnes. Thou seiste therfore Lorde what I am, and of whence I am, for in or­gynall synne (which conteyneth al synnes and iniquites in it) am I fashoned / and in it hath my mother cōceaued me, syth then I am hole in synnes, and enuyroned with snares on euery side, howe shall I escape? for what I wolde that do I not / but the euyll that I wolde not that do I. For I finde a nother lawe in my membres rebel­lynge agayneste the lawe of my mynde / and subduynge me vnto the lawe of synne and deth. Therfore the more frayle and entang led thy godly beneuolêce seeth me, so much the more let it lyft vp and confort me, who wolde not pytye one ye is syke? who wolde not haue compassion on hym that is dysea sed? Come come swete Samaritane & take vp the wounded and halfe deade / cure my woundes / poure in wyne and oyle, set me vpon thy beest, bringe me into the houry / cōmytte me vnto the hoste, take out two pence & saye vnto hym, what so euer thou spendest aboue this, when I come agayne I wyll recōpence ye. To thou hast, loued truth / ye vnknowne & secrete tgyngs of thy wysdome, haste thou vttered vnto me.

[Page] ¶ Come most swete Samaritane / for be­holde thou haste loued truthe / the truthe (I saye) of thy promyses whiche thou hast made vnto mankynde / theym haste thou truly loued: for thou haste made and kepte them / so that thy loue is nothynge els but euen to do good for in thy selfe thou art in­uartable & immutable / thou vseste not now to loue & anon not to loue (as mē do) ney­ther doth thy loue so come & go. But thou art suche a louer as do the neuer chaunge for thy loue is very god. Thy loue therfore wherwith thou louest a creature / is to do it good, and whom thou most truest / to them art thou moste beneficyall. Therfore what meaneth / that thou louest truthe / but that of thy gracious mercy thou makest vs pro­myses / and fulfyllest them for thy truthes sake? Thou dydest promyse vnto Abraham a sonne when he was aged / thou fulfilledst thy promyse in olde and bāreyn Sara / be­cause thou louedst truth. Thou promisedst vnto the chyldren of Israell a lande that flowed with milke and honye / and at the last didest geue it thē / for thy truthes sake.

¶ Thou madest a promyse to Dauid say­enge: I shall set vp thy seate regall one of the frute of thy bodye. and it came euen to passe / because thou woldest be founde true. [Page]There are other iunumerable promystes in which thou hast euer bene faithful because thou louedst truthe. Thou haste promysed to synners which wyll come vnto the / for­gyuenesse and fauour / and thou hast neues defrauded man for thou hast loued truthe. That vnthryftye Sonne Luce. xv. that toke his iourney in to a farte countre and wasted all his goodes with royatous ly­uynge / when he came to hym selfe / he re­tourned vnto the sayenge: father I haue synned agaynst heuen and before the / now am I not worthye to be called thy sonne / make me as one of thy hyred seruauntes. When he was yet a greate waye of / thou sawest hym and haddest cōpassion on him / and rannest vnto hym / fallynge vpon his necke and kyssynge hym / thou broughtest forth the best garment and puttest a rynge on his finger and showes on his fete / thou kylledst that fatted calfe and madest all the house mery saieng let vs eate and be mery / for this my sonne was deade and is alyue agayne / he was lost and is now founde.

¶ Why didest thou al this lorde god? sure­lye because thou louedst truth. Loue ther­fore (o father of mercies) this truthe in me / which returne vnto ye frō a far cūtre runne [...] wardꝭ me & geue me a kys of thi mouth / [Page]geue me those chefe garmētꝭ / draw me ī to thy house / kyll ye fatted calfe that all which truste in the maye reioyce in me / and lette vs eate together in spyrytuall feastes. On lorde wylte thou exclude me alone & wylte thou not kepe this truth vnto me? yf thou shuldest loke narowly on our wickednesse a lorde: Lorde who myght abyde the? But lorde thou wylte not be soo strayte vnto vs / for thou louest truth: ye and that with a feruent and incomprehensyble loue.

¶ Whiche is the truth that thou so louest? is it not thy sonne that sayde Iohan .xiiij. I am the waye / truth / and lyfe? he is the very truthe of whom all truthe is named in heuen and in earthe / this is it that thou haste loued and in it only haste thou dely­ted for thou dydeste fynde it pure and with out spotte and woldeste that it shulde dye for synners. Kepe therfore (Oh god) this truthe / beholde I am a greate synner in whome thou mayste kepe it / to whome thou mayst forgeue many synnes / whome thou mayste purifye in the bloude of thy Chryste / and whome thou mayste redeme through his passion why (Oh Lorde) hast thou geuē me this knowlege of thi sonne / and this sayth of hym? Because I sholde se my redempcyon and not to attayne it that [Page]I myght by that meanes be the more vex­ed with sorowe? God forbyd. But rather that I maye perceyue the remission of my synnes purchased by Christes bloude / and so by his grace maye obteyne it. Purge me therefore & redeme me oh lorde (for thou hast vttered vnto me the vnknowne and secret poyntes of thy wysdome) that this know­lege maye helpe me and brynge me vnto health / for truely the Phylosophers neuer knewe these thyngꝭ they were vnknowne vnto them / yea and vtterly hyd frō them. And no man knewe these thynges (excepte a fewe whom thou louedste entyrelye) be­fore thy sonnes incarnacyon.

¶ The moste curious serchers of ye worlde (I meanet the wyse men of this worlde) lif­ted vp theyr eyes aboue heuen & yet coulde not fynde this thy wysdom / for thou haste hyd these thynges from the wyse and pru­dente / and haste opened them vnto babes / that is / to hūble fysshers and thy holy pro­pehtes which also haue vittered them vnto vs. And so hast thou vttered ye vnknowne and secrete thynges of thy wysdom and of thy scryptures vnto me / why do I knowe them in vayne? I knowe theym surelye in vayne if they profyt me not vnto my helth and saluacion. For the philosophers when [Page]they knewe god by his meruelous creatu­res they gloryfied hym not as god neyther were thankefull / but vexed full of vanities in theyr imaginacyons and theyr folysshe hertes were blynded. When they counted them selues wyse / they became toles. Wylt thou suffer me lorde to be or theyr numbre? God forbyd. For thou arte euen mercye it selfe which doth neuer vtterly forsake any man. Fauoure therefore lorde / fauour and spare thy seruaunt / and cōmaunde hym to be of the numbre of thy babes / that the vnknowne secretes of thy wysdome whiche is an hye / that thou mayste be praysed in the worke of thy mercye whiche thou doste ex­ercyse towardes thy seruante (Lorde) whi­che neuer forsakest them that truste in the.

Sprynkle me Lorde with ysope and so shall I be clene / thou shalt washe me / and then shall I be whytter then snowe.

¶ Because lorde that thou haste loued the truthe and haste opened vnto me the vn­knowne secretes of thy wisdom / I am wel counforted and I trust that thou wylt not cast me out of thy fauoure / but thou wylte sprynkle me with ysope and so shall I be etensed. Ysope is a lowe herbe / it is hore [Page]and of a good sauour / whiche sygnyfyeth nothynge els / but thy onely sone our lord Iesu chryst / which humbled hym self vnto deth: euen vnto ye deth of the crosse. Which with the hete of his feruent charyte loued vs / and washed vs from our synnes in his bloude. Which with the redolent sauoure of his beneuolence and ryghtuousnes re­plenyshed the hole worlde. Therfore with this ysope shalte thou spryncle me / when thou poureste vpon me the vertue of his bloude: when Chryste thrughe fayth shall dwell in me: when thrughe loue I am ioyned with hym: when I shall countrefayte his humylyte and passyon / then shall I be clensed frome all myne vnclennes. Then shalte thou washe me with myne owne teares which flowe out of ye loue of christ / then shall I syghe vntyll I be weeye / I shall water my bed euery nyght with my teares / so that it shall swymme in them / & then shalte thou wasshe me and I shall be whytter then snowe.

Snowe is whyte and colde / but lorde yf thou spryncle me with ysope, I shall be more whyter then snowe / for I shall be thrughly endued with thy splendent light whiche passeth all bodelye wytnesse. And when I am enflamed with ye lyght I shall [Page]forsake all my carnall cōcupiscences / colde vnto worldly thīgꝭ / & ēflamed vnto heuēly

Unto my hearynge shalte thou geue ioye and gladnes & my brosed bones shall be refreshed. ¶ Then lorde shall I pray vnto the / erly (that is in the begynnyge of thy lyght) shalt thou heare my voyce and I shal heare what ye lorde god shall speake in me for he shall speake peace for his peo­ple and shall geue me peace. Lorde thou shalte geue me peace for I haue trusted in the / vnto my hearyng shalt thou geue ioy and glagdnesse / When I shall heare that confortable wordes that marie herde. And what herde marie (I speake of that marye which sate at the fere of Jesus mat .xxvj.) what herde she? Thy fayth hath saued the to thy wayes in peace. Let me also heare that the these herde: this daye shalte thou be with me in paradyse / then shall I haue ioye for the remyssyon of my synnes / and gladnesse for thy bounteous and lyberall promyses / shall I not reioyce and be glad / when thou shalt gyue me two folde for all my synnes? then shall I begynne to taste how swete the lorde is / then shall I lerne to be cōuersant in heuenly thigꝭ and shall saye with the prophete: how great and copious is that swetenesse lorde which thom haste layde vppe for they in that feare the [Page]Then shall I reioyse and be glad and my brosed bones shall be refresshed. What are the bones whiche sustayne the flesshe but the powers of oure soule and reason that bere vp the fraylte of oure flesshe that he runne not hedlonge in to all vyces / that a man fall not hole in to vanite and so con­sume awaye? These bones I saye are sore brosed / for the reason is very weake / and the wyll is prone & ready to all myschyef / for euen nowe the fleshe obeyeth not rea­son / but reason muste obaye the flesshe / so that I can not resist vyce / for my bones at brosed. And why are they brosed? for they haue forsaken the / the fountaine of liuyng water / and haue dygged for them selues cesterns full of chynnes whiche can holde no waters / for they are not filled with thy grace withoute whiche no man can lyue well / for without the we can do nothyng. They trusted in theyr owne power which is no power and therfore decayed they in theyr owne folysshnesses. Therfore let thy power come (oh lorde) and then shal these brosed bones be refresshed / let thy grace come & that faith which worketh through loue. Let thy powers and giftes assist me / and then my brosed bones shall be refre­shed / for my reason shall be mercy / my me­morye [Page]glad and my wyll full of ioye. And thus shall they all reioyse / for aboue theyr owne naturall strenghte / when they goo aboute ony good worke they shall procede and prospere well / neither shall they leaue it vnperfeyte but through thy helpe shall they brynge it to good passe and effecte.

Turne thy face from of my synnes and wype awaye all my wyckednes.

¶ Why lokest thou lorde vpon my sinnes? why nūbrest thou them? why considerest them so dilygētlye? doste thou not knowe that man is euen as a floure of the felde. why doste thou not rather loke in the face of thy Christe? Alas wretche that I am. why se I the angry agaynst me? I graunt I haue synned / howe be it for thy gentle­nesse haue mercye on me. Turne thy face from of my synnes. Thy face is nothynge but thy knowlege / turne awaye therfore thy knowlege wherwith thou scest & perceyuest all thynges / but that wherby thou approuest and disalowest al thinges / wherbye thou alowest the workes of the ryghtwyse and condemp [...]st the reproua­ble synnes of the wycked / knowe not my synnes on that maner that thou woldest impute them vnto me and laye theym to [Page]my charge. But rather turne awaye thy face frome my synnes that throughe thy mercy they may be quenched / loke lord on the creature whom thou haste wroughte / loke vpon thine owne ymage / for I poore wrethe haue put vpon me the ymage or ye deuyll (that is synne) turne away thy face from the ymage of the deuyll and be not angry with me / and beholde thyne owne image that thou maist haue mercy on me. ¶ O mercyfull lorde / remembre that thou lokedste vpon Zacheum whiche dyd clym vp in to a wylde figge tre to se the. Lu .xix. And thou entredst in to his house whiche thou woldest neuer haue done if thou had­dest loked on the ymage of the deuyll whiche he had put on hym / but because thou sawest thyne owne ymage on hym / thou haddest compassion on hym & heledst him. He promysed to geue yt halfe of his goodꝭ to the poore / and yf he had falsly deceyued ony man to restore it foure folde & he ob­tayned mercy and healthe. And I bequeth my selfe euen hole vnto ye nothynge reser­ued. And promyse to serue ye for euer with a pure herte & wil fulfil my ꝓmyse al daies of my lyfe wherfore then Lorde dost thou not loke in thyne ymage in me also? Why dost thou yet cons [...]d [...] my synnes? Turne, [Page]I beseche the thy face frō my synnes and wipe away al my wickednes / wype away a: I praye ye that none remayne. For it is wryten he ye kepeth the hole lawe & offen­deth in one poynte is gyltye in the hole / yt is to say, hath desetued damonatiō / which is the payne of all synnes that leade vnto deathe. Put out therfore all my wycked­nesse / that none offende the / whiche sholde brynge me to condempnacyon.

A pure herre create in me oh god & an vpryghte spiryte make a newe within me.

¶ For my herte hath forsaken me & goeth astraye vtterly forgettyng his owe helthe: it is wandred in to straūge cuntres & ensu­eth vanities / & his eies / are in ye vtmust co­stes of the worlde. I called it againe / but it aswerd me not. It is gone / lost / & solde vn­der sinne. what now lord? what shal I say? A pure hert create ī me go / an hūble herte / a curteous herte / a peaceable herte / a gērie herte / a deuout herte / such an herte as wyl nether do an other mā hurte / nether yet a­uenge him selfe whē he is offended / but ra­ther do good agaynst euyl, & suche an hert as wyll loue yt aboue all thyng / which wil thinke of yt, speke of the, & thanke yt. which wyll delyte in hymynes & spiritual songes and be hole conuersaunt in heuēly thyngꝭ [Page]Treate this herte in me (oh God) create is of nothyng / that it may be of suche effeca­cite throughe grace / as nature is neuer a­ble to make it. This grace cometh onely from the in to the soule through thy crea­cyon / it is the beautye of a pure herte / it draweth vnto him al vertue and expelleth all vyce / therfore create in me Oh god a pure herte through thy grace and make a newe an vpryght spirite in my bowels.

¶ For thy spyryte shall leade me in to a ryghte waye / whiche shall purge me from all erthy affectes and shall lyfte me vp vn­to heuenlye thynges. The louer and the thynge that is loued are bothe of one na­ture. He that loueth bodelye thynges is worldly / but he yt loueth spirituall thyngꝭ is spirituall. Beue me aspirite that maye loue the and worshyppe the / the most hye spirite / for god is a spirite and they which worshyp hym, muste worshyp hym in the spiryte and verite. Beue me an vpryghte spiryte not sekyng his owne spirite profyt and glorye / but the wyll and glorye of god renewe an vpryghte spirite within me / re­newe it / for my synnes haue quenched the first that thou gauest me. Beue me nowe a newe spiryte that it maye redresse that thynge whiche is inueterate / my soule is [Page]also a spirite and so made of the that of hir selfe she is ryghte / for of hir owne nature she loueth the aboue hir selfe and desireth all thynges for thy glory / so that hir owne naturall loue is ryght / for it cometh of the but of hir owne frowarde wyl it is inuete­rate and polluted causing hir natural loue to decay. Make newe therfore this spirite & this loue through thy grace that it maye walke in the ryght waye accordyng to his nature renue it (I saye) that it maye euer enflame me with heuēly loue / that it may euer cause me to sighe vnto the / to enbrace the contynually and neuer to forsake the.

Caste me not away from thy face / and thy holy ghost take not from me.

¶ Beholde lorde I stande before thy face that I maye fynde mercy I stonde before thy benigne goodnes lokynge for thy fa­uorable aunswere / caste me not confused frome thy face. who came euer lorde vnto the / and wente away confused? who euer desyred thy fauour / and wente without it. Surelye thou passeste in thy aboundamte pytye bothe the deseruynges and also the desyres of them that pray vnto ye / for thou gyuest more then men can desyre ye or vn­derstonde when they haue it. It was neuer herde that thou dydest caste awaye frome [Page]thy face ony man that euer came vnto th [...] Shall I oh lorde be the fyrste that shall be caste away frome thy face and vtterly con­founded? wylt thou begynne at me to cō ­founde them yt come vnto the? wylt thou neuer more haue mercye and compassyon? god forbydde. The woman of canane folowed the / she cried and made piteous noyse she moued the dyscyples vnto cōpassyon / and thou hyldest thy peace / she contynued knockynge / she worshypped the and sayd: Lorde helpe me / neyther yet woldest thou answere. Thy dyscyples entreated for her sayenge: let her go for she cryeth after vs. But what was thyn answer lorde I pray the / what dydst thou answere: forsoothe y she wepte in vayne & laboured for nought for thou saydst that thou wast not sent but vnto the shepe that were peryshed of the house of Israel. What sholde this woman do when she herde these wordes? verelye euen dyspeyre as concernynge the grace yt she requyred: and yet dispeyred she not / but trustynge in thy meercye prayed yet agayne sayenge: Lorde helpe me / vnto whose im­portunyte (Lorde) thou answeredst / it is not good to take the chyldrens breede and caste it to houndes as thoughe thou shol­dest haue geuē her a full answere and sayd [Page]departe from me / you Canaanites at w [...] ­ges / ye are Idolatres / the precious gyftes of heuenly fauour perteyne not vnto you / I ought not to take them away from the iewes which worship tho true and liuyng god / and to geue them to such dogges as ye are whiche worshyp ydols and deuyls. What shalt thou now do thou woman of Canaan? thou mayste nowe be a shamed and gette the away / for the lorde is angry not with the alone / but also thy hole na­cyon. Oh lorde god / who wolde not haue bene cōfounde & haue pyked hym away at these thy wordes? who wolde not haue mumbled and grudged agaygst the? who wolde not haue iudged the to be cruell? And yet did this woman contynue styll in prayer. She cast not away hir confydence / she toke not these harde wordes heuelye / she was not angry / but she hūbled hir self the more and abode styll in hir petycyon and sayde with good fyaunce: It is truthe lorde that thou sayest / but I axe no breed / I axe not the fauoure that the chyldrene sholde haue. I am a lytle whelpe and de­syre the cromes which fal frō the childrens table. Let them floryshe & aboundde with myracles & other gracioꝰ fauours / but let not me be destitute of th [...] crūme of grace, yt [Page]my doughter maye be delyuerd frome the fendes possessyon for the whelpes do eate of ye crūmes which fall from theyr masters tables / Beholde what faythe / what trust, and what humylyte was in this woman / therfore thou not dyspleased with her im­portunate instaunce / but reioysynge in her excellent cōstauncye dydst saye. O woman greate is thy fayth / be it vnto the as thou wylte. Why are these thynges wryten lord god? that we may lerne to trust in the, that we may humbly and deuoutlye contynew in prayer / for thou wylte geue it yf men be greadye. But the kyngdome of heuen suf­fereth vyolence / and they ye make vyolence vnto it catche it / for what thynges so euer are wryten are wryten for our lernynge ye thrughe patience and confort of the scryp­tures we maye haue hope. Laste me not therfore lorde from thy face / which stonde wepynge and waylynge daye and nyght before thy face / not that thou sholdest de­lyuer me frome the bodelye oppressyon of deuylles / but that thou wylte delyuer my soule frome his spyrytuall power and do­mynyon. Let me not be shamed (O swere Iesu) for in ye onely haue I trusted I haue no helthe nor confort but in the o lorde: for all haue forsaken me / euen my bretherne & [Page]childrē haue cast me of / & myn own bowels abhorre me. I haue none othee helper / but only ye / Last me not therfore away frō thy face / and take not thy holye spirite fro me. There is no man which can say ye Iesus is ye lorde but the holy ghost / therfore yf I cal vpon the lorde Iesu / that do I in the holy ghoste. Yf I be sorye for my synnes whiche are passed / yf I are forgyuenesse / this do I verely by the holy ghoste. Therfore I be­seche the take not fro me thy holye ghoste / but that it maye be with me / and laboure with me / for we wore not what to desyre as we ought to do. But the spirite helpeth our infirmiries and maketh intercessiō for vs / that is, maketh vs to praye with suche sorowfull groninges as can not be expres­sed with tungue therfore take not awaye this thy holye spirite fro me / that he maye teache me to praye / and helpe me in my la­boure and maye cause me to contynue in prayers and reares / that at the lengthe I maye fynde fauoure before thy face / and maye serue the all dayes of my lyfe.

Make me agayne, to reioyse in thy sa­uynge healthe / and strengthen me with a pryncypall spirite.

¶ It is a great thyng that I desyre o lord / how be it sith thou art god a great Lorde / [Page]and kynge ouer all goddes / he dothe the iniurie which asketh smal thynges of the. All transytory and corruptible thynges at but small in thy syghte: but spirituall and euerlastyng thynges are great & precious. Take away the spirite and soule from the bodye / and what remayneth but most vile dunge / duste and a vayne shadowe? ther­fore euen so muche dyfference there is be­twene the spirite and the body / as it is be­twene the body and his shaw we / so maye I conclude that he whiche asketh bodely thynges asketh but vayne tryfles but he that desyreth spiritual thynges doth sure­lye desyre greate thynges / but specallye he that desyreth thy sauyng healthe. What is thy sauynge healthe but Iesus thy sonne? whiche is very god and euerlastynge lyfe / why shall I not then aske of the this thy sauyour / syth thou art a myghty and most lyberall father / whiche gauest hym vnto the deathe of the crosse for me. Nowe syth thou hast so offered him for me / why shold I be a shamed to aske hym of the? It is a greate and noble presente, neyther am I worthy to haue suche a gyfte / how be it, it becometh thy worthye lyberalite to gyue suche noble gyftes / for this therfore thyne inestable gentlenes I dare p̄ro;sume to come [Page]boldely vnto the and to desyre thy sauyng healthe in whome I myght fully reioyce. ¶ For yf of his carnall father ony sonne aske fyshe / wyll he reache hym a serpente? And yf he aske an egge / wyll he gyue hym a scorpion? or if he aske breed / wil he geue hym a stone? Nowe yf carnall fathers be­yng euell & synners / wyll geue vnto theyr chyldre good gyftes whiche they haue re­ceyued of the: howe moche more thou he­uenlye father whiche of thyne owne sub­stance arte good / and wylte geue a good spirite to them ye desyre it of the? Beholde thy sonne whiche is returned from a farre cuntrey sorowyng and repentyng / asketh of the, the fyshe of faythe / for as the fyshe lyeth secrete vnder the water / euen so is faythe of suche thynges as are not sene / he asketh I say a true fayth yt he may reioyce in thy sauyng helth: wilt thou reach him a serpent? wilt thou geue hym ye venome of vnfaythfulnes which procedeth frō yt olde and croked serpent ye deuyl? I desyre of the o lorde the egge of hope ye euē as out of an egge we hope for a chykē / so thrugh hope / that thou wylte graunte me to come vn­to the syghte of thy sauynge healthe / that oute of my hope maye come this holsome syght / as the chycke doth out of the egge. [Page]I desyre the egge of hope / that my soule throughe hope maye be sustayned in this vale of teares & may reioyce in thy sauing helth: wylt thou geue me the scorpyon of desperaciō? ye as a scorpyon hath poyson in the ende of her tayle / so I in the laste ende of my lyfe shulde reserue synne / delyrynge my selfe and takynge my pleasure with ye entysementes of this worlde / whiche seme beautyful and flateryng / euen as a scorpy­on doth in the face? I desyre of the also (o lorde) the breed of Christes charite by the which he doth comunycate him selfe (euen as breed) vnto all men / that I maye euer reioyce in thy sauynge helthe / wylte thou geue me a stone / that is to saye hardnes of herte? God forbyd. Why shall I then my­strust for to desyre and obteyne great thyn­ges of the o lorde, seynge thou sturryst me vp and byddest me aske and knocke / euen tyl I seme importunate? And what thyng can I aske whiche thou shalt be better cō tente with all / or els that sholde be more holsome for me then ye thou sholdest make me reioyse in thy sonne our sauing helthe? ¶ Now haue I tasted how swete the lord is how easy and pleasaunt his burthen is. I remembre what peace and tranquilite of mynde I was in / when I ioyed in god / [Page]and reioysed in Christe my Lorde and sa­uyour / therfore am I now in more sorow / for I knowe what goodnes and commo­dicye I haue loste / therfore wyll I crye more importunatlye: Make me againe to reioyse in thy sauynge helth / restore me a­gayne ye thyng which my sinnes haue lost. Restore me that whiche through my faure is perisshed in me. Restore me (I beseche the for his sake that euer is on thy ryghte hande and maketh intercession for vs) thy gracyous fauoure / that I maye perceyue that throughe hym thou arte pacefyed to­wardes me that it may be as a seale vpon my herte / and that I maye saye with the Apostle Paule Galath .ij. I am crucyfyed with Christ / I liue verely / yet now not I / but Christe lyueth in me. But because my frailtye is greate / strength me with a prin­cypall spirite that no troubles or afflycti­ons maye seperate me frome Christe that no feare maye cause me to renye the / and that no paynes maye make me flyde from the. My strengt is not suffycyent to resist and fyghte with that olde serpent and to preuayle agaynst hym. Peter hath taught me how great our infyrmitye is / he saw ye with his bodely iyes (Lord Iesu) and was moste famylyarlye conuersaunt with the [Page]he tasted of thy glorye in the mountayne / when thou wast transfigured: he herde the fathers voyce: he sawe thy manyfolde and wondrous workes / yea and throughe thy power dyd hym selfe manye myracles. He walked on his feate vpon the waters / and herde dayly thy mighty & swete wordes: he thought hym selfe most feruent & hote in ye faith & sayde that he was ready to go with the both in to presō & vnto very death. And when thou toldest hym yt he sholdest denye the he beleued the not: he trusted in his owne strenght / and trusted more vnto him selfe beynge but a man / then vnto the be­ynge very god. But when the hande may­den sayde vnto hym. Thou art of the same companye / he was afrayde by and by and denied it. There came an other mayde and sayde: Surcly thou art of the same folke: And he denyed the agayne.

¶ He coude not stonde before wemen, how shoulde he then haue stonde before kynges and tyrauntes? And whē he was yet ones more enquyred of the by standers and was accused to be one of his disyples / he began to curse & to swere that he knewe the not / what thynke you he sayde I suppose yt he sware by god and by the lawe of Moyses yt he knewe the not / addynge such wordes. [Page]Thynke you that I am the disciple of this Samaritane whiche / deceyueth the peo­ple whiche is inspyred with the deuyl / and destroyeth our lawe? I am the discyple of Moyses / and knowe not from whence this felowe is. Blyssed be God that they ceased enquiryng any further / for els wold he neuer haue ceased denyenge the / so that a thousande interogacyons wolde haue made a thousande flatte negations: yea a thousande curses and periuryes / yet were these interogations but wordes. What wolde he haue done (I praye the) yf they had scourged hym and buffeted hym well? Trulye he wolde haue sought and proued all meanes / denyenge / for swerynge / cur­syng and blasphemyng vntyll that he had escaped their handes. But thou most meke Lorde lokedst backe vpon him & by and by he knowleged his offence: Neyther yet durste he leape in to the myddes of they in and confesse the to be the sonne of God / for he was not yet strengthed with power frome aboue / so that withoute doubte he wolde haue denyed the agayne yf he had sene ony ieoperdye at bande / therfore as it was woste mete for hym / he went forth & wepte bytterly. But thou after thi resurreciō appearedst vnto hym & cōfortedst hym [Page]& yet hyd he hym selfe for feare of ye iewes? he sawe the so gloryously ascendyng vnto heuen and was strengthed by the syghte & and comfort of angelles / and yet durste he not go abrode / for he had learned by expe­rience to knowe his owne fragylite & had proued his weakenesse. Therfore dyd he tarye and wayte for the holy ghost whiche was promised. Whē he was come and had [...]uled Peters herte with grace / then siep [...]e he forthe: then began he to speke / and then with great power & signes bare he witnes of thy resurrectiō. Thē feared he neyther the hye preestes nether yet kynges / but re­ioysed in tribulacions & receiued the crosse with all myrthe and gladnes. Therfore strengthen me lorde with a principal spirit that I may contynually reioyce in thy sa­uyng helthe / or els can I not beare so ma­nye assautes agaynst me. The fleshe coue­teth contrarye to the spirite. The worlde assayleth me on euery syde. The deuyl sie­peth not. Geue me the strenghte of thy spirite yt there maye fall by my syde a thou­sande and tenne thousande by my ryghte hande that I maye be a sure and stronge witnesse of thy faythe / for yf Peter whom thou enduedste with so manye fauoura­ble gyftes / dyd fall so wretchelye / what [Page]shulde I do lorde which haue nether sene thy naturall presens: nether haue tastede of thy glory in the moūtayne: nether haue sene thy gracyous myracles: yea and haue scarsely perceiued thy meruelous workes / and haue neuer herde thy voyce / but haue bene euer subdued vnder▪ synne therfore strength me with a pryncypall spirite that I maye perseuer / in thy scruyce and geue my lyfe for thy sake.

I wil instructe the wycked that they may knowe thy wayes: and the vngodly shall be conuerted vnto the.

Ascribe not this oh Lorde vnto presumsiō / yf I go aboute to teache the vngodly thy wayes for I desyre not to teache them as I nowe am wycked / vngodlye and vnder ye bondes of syfie / but yf thou make me a­gayne to reioyce in thy sauyng healthe: yf thou strengthē me with a prynecip al spirits and yf also thou sette me free / then shall I teach the vngodlye thy wayes. Neither is this harde vnto the / whiche of very sto­nes canst rayse vp chldren vnto Abraham / neither can my synnes be impediment vn­to the yf thou wylte do this / but rather where synne is so aboundaunte / there a­boundeth grace Paule yet brethynge out threatnynges and slaughter agayyste the [Page]dyscyples of the lorde receyued cōmyssyon that yf he founde ony whether thy were men or women whiche folowed the & pro­fessed thy fayth / he sholde brynge them presoners to Hierusalem. And forthe was he goynge lyke a mad harebrayn and as a rauenyng wolfe / for to stray a brode / rauysh and kyll thy shepe. But whylles he was yet in his iourney euen in the heate of his persecucion / and in actuall doynge of his fynne / whyles he was persecuting the and wolde haue slayne thy chosen / hauyng no maner of preparatyue vnto grace / neyther yet knowlege of his syn̄e / when with hert and wyl he was thyne aduersarte / blasphe med and cursed the. Beholde the voyce of thy mercyable pytye vnto hi sayeng: saule saule why perscuteste me? by the whiche voyce he was immedyatlye bothe layed a longe and raysed vp: he was layde a longe and ouerthrowne as cōcernyng his body / but he was taysed vp with ye mynnd / thou raysedste hym vp that was in the slepe of darke ignorauncie and pouredst in thy glo­ryous lyght in those yets which were op­pressed with this blynde sleape: thou she­wedst hun thy fauourable face and endued hym with thy gracious mercy. Then was he reyfed as it had bene frome dethe / he [Page]opened his yeis / he sawe the and sayd: lord what wylt thou that I do? & after dydest thou send a shepe to this wolfe / for thou cōmaundest Ananias to go vnto him: And then was he baptysed and anone was he replenyshed with the holy ghost / and was made a chosen vessel to beare thy name before kinges / natiōs & the chylder of Israel. And without delaye he entred in to the sy­nagoges and preached thy name stoutlye / affyrmynge that thou arte chryste / He dy­sputed / preuayled and confoūded ye Jues. Beholde lorde euen streyght of a persecu­toure / thou madest hym a preacher & suche a preacher that laboured more then all the other Appostles. O how greate is thy powere / yf thou wylt of a wycked man make a ryghtwyse / or of a ꝑsecurtoure a preacher / who shal forbyd the? Who shall rysyst the? who maye saye vnto the, why doest thou so? All thingꝭ that thou woldest haue thou made in heuen and in erthe / in the see and in all bottomlesse depth. Therfore impute it not to arrogancye yf I coueyte thrughe thy power and not thrugh myne owne to teche the wycked thy wayes / for I know that I can offre nothynge whiche can be so acceptable in thy godly syghte / this is the most pleasaunt sacryfyce / & also for my [Page]for my singuler profit / now if thou chafige me in to an other man / then will I teache the wycked thy wayes / not the wayes of Plato and Aristole / not the intricate and sotle proposicyons of mannes wytte / not the iustructions of phylosophye / not the paynted wordes and vayne coulours of ye rethorycans. Not worldly maters and po­licyes / not vnfrutfull wayes of vanue / not wayes that leade men in to deathe: But thy wayes and thy preceptes whiche lead vnto lyfe / nether wyll I teache them only one waye but many wayes for manye are thy cōmaundementes / how be it all these wayes ende in one / that is in loue & cha­ryte / whiche doth so combynde the fayth­full hertes / that they haue one mynde and one wyll in god. Or elles maye we vnder­stonde by thy many waies / the dyuers maner of liuyng / wherin euery man walketh accordyng to his vocacyon: some maryed / some lyuynge chaste in wedowhod / some vyrgyns and so forth / these walke after dyuerse wayes in to theyr heuenlye inherytaunce he may best subdue his rebellyous mē ­bres. Thus wyll I teache the wycked thy wayes accordyng to theyr capacite and cō dicyon: And the vngodly shall be cōuerted [Page]vnto the / for I wyll preache vnto theym not my selfe / but Christ crucified: and they shal be conuerted not vnto my prayse / but vnto the / geuyng the all honour & prayse / they shal leaue theyr owne wayes & come vnto thyne / that they may walke in them and so consequently attayne vnto the.

Delyuer me frome bloudes (oh god) the god of my helthe / and my tongue shal try­umphe vpon thy ryghtwysnes.

¶ I am styfled in moch bloude / and from the depth of it shall I crye vnto the lorde / Lorde herken vnto my voyce. Tarye not lorde for I am euen at the verye poynte of deathe / this bloude that I speake of ar my synnes / for as the bodelye lyfe consysteth in bloude / euen so is the lyfe of a synner in his synne: poure out the bloude / and the beaste dyeth: poure out the synne know­legynge it vnto god / and the synner dyeth and is made ryghtwyse. Neyther am I wrapped in bloude / but ouerwhelmed and drowned in bloudes / ful stremes of bloudʒ do dryue me in to hell / helpe me lorde lesse I peryshe. Oh God whiche gouernest all thynges / whiche onely canst delyuer me / in whose hande is the spirite of al lyfe / ryd and purge me from these bloudes. Deliuer me from bloudes (Oh God) the auctor of [Page]my healthe / God in whome onelye con­systeth my saluacyon. Delyuer me Lorde / as thou delyueredst Noe from the waters of the floude. Delyuer me as thou dely­ueredst Lothe frome the fyer of Sodom. Delyuer me as thou delyueredst the chyl­dren of Israel frome the depthe of the red see / delyuer me as thou delyuerdst Ionas frō the bely of ye whale / deliuer me as thou delyueredst the thre chyldren from the fur­nace of burnyng fyer. Delyuer me as thou delyueredst Peter frome the peryll of the see. Delyuer me as thou deliueredst Paule from the depthe of the see. Delyuer me as thou hast delyuered infinyte synners from the power of deathe and from the gates of hell. And then shall my tongue tryumphe thy ryghtwysnes / that is, for thy ryght­wysnes whiche I shall feale ane perceyue in me through thy gracyous fauoure. For thy ryghtwysnes (as thapostle say the Ro. iij.) cometh by the faythe of Iesus Christe vnto all and vpon all them that beleue in hym / then shall my tongue tryumphe in praysyng this thy ryghtwysnes / cōmen­dynge thy fauoure / magnifieng thy pyty / knowlegynge my synnes / that thy mercye may be declared in me which wold vouch safe to iustefye suche a greate synner / and [Page]that all men may knowe that thou sauest them whiche truste in the and delyuerest them from extreme anguysshe and aduer­site o lorde our god. [...] Lorde opē thou my lippes: and then my mouth shal shewe forthe thy prayse. [...] ¶ Thy prayse is a great thynge o lorde / for it proceadeth out of thy fountayne wherof no synner dryn­keth. It is no glorious prayse that cometh of a synners mouthe / delyuer me therfore frō bloude (oh lorde) ye god of my helthe & my tongue shall magnifie thy ryghtwys­nes. And then shalte thou lorde open my lyppes & my mouth shal shewe forthe thy prayse / for thou hast ye kaye of Dauid whi­che shettest & no man openeth / & openest & no man shetteth / therfore open thou my lyppes as thou openest the mouthes of in­fantes & sucktlynges / out of whose mou­thes thou hast stablisshed thi praise. These truely were thy Prophetes / Apostels and other saintes which haue praised the with a syngle and pure herte and mouth / & not the Philosophers & oratours which haue sayde / we wyll magnyfie our tongue / our lyppes be in our owne power / who is our god? They opened theyr owne mouthes / & thou openedst them not / neither yet sta­blysshed thy prayse out of thyr mouthes. [Page]Thy infauntes lorde praysed the and des­pysed thē selues: The phylosophers went aboute to prayse them selues and magni­fye theyr owne name. Thy suckelynges extolied thy fame & glorye which they knew throughe heuenlye fa [...]oure. The philoso­phers knowyng the only by natural crea­tures / coulde neuer perfeytlye exproue thy renowne. Thy sayntꝭ magnified the with theyr hert / mouth and good workes. The philosophers only with wordes and their own sotle imaginations, thy chyldrē haue spred thy glorie throughout all the world: The philosophers haue instruct but a few of theyr own adherentꝭ. Thy fredes wi [...]h spredyng thy glorye haue conuerted innu­merable men from synne vnto vertue and vnto true felicyte: The Philosophers ne­ther knewe true vertues neither yet true felycyte. Thy welbeloued haue preached openlye thy bounteous gentlenes & mer­cyable fauoure / whiche thou shewedst in thy deare sonne vnto all the worlde. But the philosophers coulde neuer attayne to knowe it. Therfore out of the mouthe of infauntes and suckelynges haste thou sta­blysshed thy praise / for it haue euer pleased the to exalte the humble and brynge lowe the proude / now seynge thou dost euer re­siste [Page]fyst the proude / geue me true humilite that thou mayste stablysshe thy prayse by my mouthe. Geue me a chyldes herte / for ex­cepre I turne backe & become as a chylde I can not entre in to the kyngdome of he­uen / make me as one of thy infauntes or suckelynges / that I maye euer hange on the teates of thy wysdome for thy teates are better then wyne / and thy wysdome better then all rychesse / so that nothynge can be compared vnto it / for it is to mē an infinite treasure whiche they that vse are made pertetakers of the frendshyp of god / therfore yf thou make me a childe thē shalt thou stablyshe thy prayse in my mouthe. for then shalte thou open my lyppes & my mouth shall shewe forth thy prayse & shall ꝑfeytly declare it euen as thou hast publy­shed it by the mouth of thyne infantꝭ and suckelinges. Yf thou hadst desyred sacri­fices I had surely offered them but thou delyghtedst nor in brente sacryfices.

¶ My mouth lorde shall shewe forth thy gloryous fame / for I knowe ye this thyng is most acceptable vnto the sith thou saiest by ye prophet Psal .xlix. ye sacrifice of prayse shall glorifie me / & by ye meanes shall I be entised to shew him my sauing helth / ther­fore wyll I offer prayse vnto ye euē ye praise of infauntes & suckelynges for my symies. [Page]And why shall I offer for my synnes ra­ther praise thē sacryfice? for if thou haddest desyred sacryfices I had surely offed them / but thou delyghtest not in brente sacryfi­ces / canst thou be pacefied with the bloude of calues or gootꝭ? wilt thou eate ye fleshe of bulles / or drynke the bloude of gootes? Other dost thou desyre golde whiche pos­sessest heuen and earthe? other wylt thou that I sacryfice my body vnto the whiche desyrest not the deathe of a synner / but ra­ther that he were conuerted and lyue?

Neuerthelesse I wyll chasten my fleshe in a measure that through thy grace it maye be subdued vnto reason and obey it / for in this poynt also yf I passe measure & bryng my body so lowe that it is vn apte to serue my neyghboure and to do that office whi­che is apoynted me of god / it shall be im­puted vnto me for synne. Let your seruing of god be resonable sayth ye apostle Ro. xij. And thou haste sayde also by the prophete I require mercy and not sacrifice Osee. vi. Therfore shal my mouthe shewe forth thy prayse / for this oblacion doth honour the / and sheweth vs the way vnto thy sauyng helth. My herte is ready (oh god) my hert is readye / it is ready through thy grace to do all thynges whiche are pleasaunt vnto the: this one thynge haue I founde most [Page]acceptable vnto the / that wyl I offer vnto the / that shall euer be in my herte / on that shall my lyppes euer be harpynge / yf thou haddest desyred a bodely sacryfyce I wolde surely haue geuē it the / for my herte is rea­dye through thy grace to fulfyll thy wyll: but in suche brente sacryfyce haste thou no delyght / thou madest the body for ye spirit / therfore seakest thou spirituall thyngꝭ and not bodelye / for thou sayste in a certeyne place Prouerb .xxiij. My sonne geue thine herte vnto me / this is the herte yt pleaseth the. Let vs offer vnto the an herte repen­tynge with sorow of our fynnes and enflamed with the loue of heuenlye thyngꝭ and then wylte thou desyre no more / for with suche a sacryfyce wylte thou be content.

A sacryfyce to god is a broken spyryte: a contrite and humble herte thou shalte not despyse (oh god)

¶ A broken spirite and not broken fleshe pleaseth the (o Lorde) for the fleshe is bro­ken and vexed because he hath not the carnall thynges that he desyreth / or els fea­leth in hym selfe suche thynges as he ha­teth. But the spyrite is broken and vnquy­eted for his faute / because he hath offended agaynst god whom he loueth. He sorow­eth ye he hathe synned agaynste his maker & redeemer / yt he hath despysed his bloude / [Page]that he hathe not regarded suche a good & louynge father: this broken & sorowynge spryte is vnto the a sacryfyce of most swete sauoure whiche notwithstondynge hathe his confeccyon of most bytter spyces / euen of the remēbraunce of our synnes, for whyles our synnes are gathered togyther in to the morter of the herte / and beaten with the pestle of conpunccyon / and made in to poudre and watered with teares / therof is made an oyntemente and sacryfyce moost swete which redolent offrynge thou wylt not despyse / for thou wylt not despyse a cō tryte and humble herte. Therfore he that breaketh his stonye herte whiche is made with the most harde stones of synne / that he maye therof prepare an oyntmente of repentaunce in aboūdaunce of teares / not despayrynge of the multytude and gre­uousnes of his synnes / but humblye offe­rynge this sacryfyce vnto the: he shall in no wyse be despysed of the / for a broken & humble her [...] wylt thou not despise oh god. Marye magdalyn whiche was a notable synner made suche an oyntment: and put it in the allablaster bore of her herte: she feared not to entre īto ye Pharesees house, she humbled her selfe flat [...]e before thy fete / she was not a shamed to wepe at thy mele tyde / she coulde not speake for inwarde so­rowe [Page]/ but her herte melted in to teares / with the whiche she washed thy fete / she wypyd them with her here immedyatlye / ye & anoynted theym with oyntment and ceased not kyssynge them. Who euer sawe suche another thyng? ye or who hath euer herde of a thynge lyke vnto this? Surely her sacryfyce pleased the well, and was so acceptable that thou prefarredst it aboue the Pharise which in his owne syght was ryghtwyse / for it may be gathered of thy wordes. Luce .vij. that there was so moch dyfference betwen the ryghtwysnes of marye & the pharesee as there was dyfference betwene these: to washe the fete with wa­ter / & to washe them with teares: to kysse one on ye face / and not to cease to kysse the feete: to anoynt the hed with oyle / and to anoynt the fete: with most precyous oynt­ment: ye moche more precelled she the pharesee / for he neyther gaue the water / kysse nor oyle. O grete is thy power Lord / grete is thy myght which declareth it selfe most cheeflye in sparynge and hauynge com­passyon. Now se I well that a contryte & meke herte thou shalt not despyse oh lord. And therfore endeuoure I my selfe to offre suche an herte vnto y. Nether is it ynough that I saye so outwardely / for thou arte a god whiche searchest our hertes & raynes. [Page]Accepte therfore this my sacryfyce: and yf it be vnperfyte / amende thou the defaulte which onely arte of power that to do: that it may be a brent sacryfyce / all hole enfla­med with the heate of thy bounteous che­ryte that it may be acceptable vnto the / or at the leest that thou despyse it not / for yf thou despyse it not / I knowe well that I shall fynde fauoure before the, and then shall none of thy sayntes other in heauen or erthe despyse me.

Deale gentlye of thy fauourable beneuo­lence with syon, Let the walles of Hieru­salem be bylte agayne.

¶ Because it is wreten Psalm .xviij. vnto the holy man thou shalte be holy / & with the innocen shalte thou deale innocenlye, with the pure and chosen shalte thou doo purelye / and with the wycked shalte thou playe ouertwarte: I am verye desyrous ye all men were saued / and that they sholde come vnto ye knowledge of the truth: which thynge were very necessarye for them and also for my profyte / for by theyr prayers, exortations and examples I myght ryse frō this fylthye synne and be prouoked daylye to procede vnto better. I beseche the ther­fore Oh Lorde althoughe I be a synner / [Page]that thou of thy fauourable beneuolence woldest deale gentlye with syon: that the walles of Hierusalē myght be bilt agayn. Syon is thy chyrche / for syon by interpre­tacyon sygnyfyeth a tootehyll / or a place where a man maye se farre aboute hym. And euen so thy chyrche thrughe the grace of the holy ghoste beholdeth a farre of the glorye of god accordynge to the capacyte of this lyfe / and therfore sayed the apostle. ij. Corynth .iij. all we with an vncouered face beholdyng as in a glasse the glorye of the lorde / after the same ymage ar transformed from glorye to glorye as by the sprete of the lorde.

Lorde god howe small is thy Chyrche at this daye? almost the hole worlde is fallen frome the, for there are manye mo myscre­auntes then chrysten / and yet amonge the chrystē how many are there which forsake worldly thynges and seke the glory of the lorde? surely ye shall fynde very fewe, in cō paryson of theym whiche are addycte to worldye thynges / whose god is thyr belye and glorye to theyr shame and confusyon. Deale gentelye Lorde of thy fauourable beneuolence with Syon: that it maye be encreased bothe in multytude and also in good lyuyng. Beholde frome heauen and deale gentelye as thou arte wonte to do: [Page]that thou wylte sende amonge vs the fyer of thy charyte / whiche maye consume all our synnes. Deale lorde accordynge to thy fauourable beneuolence / and do not with vs after our deseruyng / nether yelde thou vs againe according to our iniquities / but ordre vs accordynge to thy greate mercye. Thou art Lorde our father and redemer / thou art our hope and euerlastyng helche. Euery man desyreth goodnes of the / yf thou geue it them / then shall they gather it: yf thou open thy hande all shall be fyl­led with plenty / when thou turnest away thy face / then are they astonyed: whē thou gatherest in theyr breth then are they dead and returne in to erthe. And agayne when thou brethedst on them / then are they created anew: and thus renuest thou the face of the earth Psalme .C. iiij. Lorde I praye the what profyt is there in the dampnacy­on of so many thousande men: Hell is fyl­led and thy churche doth daylye decrease. Aryse Lorde / why sleapest thou so longe? Aryse / and dyffer not vnto the ende / Deale gently of thy fauourable beneuolēce with Syon / that the walles of Ierusalem may be buylded agayne / what is Ierusalem (whiche by interpretacyon signyfyeth the vysyon of peace) but the holye congrega­cyon and cytye of the blessed whiche is our [Page]mother? Her walles were decayed when Lucyfer with his aungels fel / in to whose places are the ryghtwyse men receyued. Deale therfore gentlye (Oh Lorde) with Syon / that the numbre of thy chosen may shortlye be fulfylled / and that the walles of Ierusalem may be edefied and fynisshed with newe stones whiche shal euer prayse the and endure euerlastynglye.

Then shalte thou accepte the sacryfyce of ryghtwysnes / oblacyons and brente offe­rynges: then shall they laye vpon thyne altare wanton calues.

¶ When thou haste delt gentlye of thy fa­uourable will & beneuolence with Syon / then shalte thou accepte the sacryfyce of ryghtwysnes / for thou shalte consume it with burnyng fier of thy loue and charite / & so acceptedst thou the sacrifices of Woy­ses and Helyas. And then acceptest thou the sacryfices of ryghtwysnes / when thou fattenest with thy grace the soules whiche endeuoure them selues to lyne rightwisly. What profiteth to offer sacryfices vnto the when thou acceptest them not oh Lorde? Howe manye sacryfyces offer we nowe a dayes whiche are not pleasaunt vnto the but rather abhomynable? for we offre not the sacryfyces of ryghtwysnes / but oure owne ceremonyes: and therfore are they [Page]not accepted, nor regarded of the, where is nowe the glorye of the Apostles? where is the valyaunt perseueraunce of martyrs? where is the frute of preachers? where is that holye symplicyte of them that vsed to lyue solitarye? where are now the vertues and workes of the christen whiche were in olde tyme? Then shalt thou excepte theyr sacryfices / when thou shalt decke and gar­nyshe them with thy grace and vertues.

¶ Also yf thou deale gently with Syon of thy fauourable beneuolence / then shalte thou delyght in sacryfyces of ryghtwisnes / for the people shall begynne to lyue well / to kepe thy cōmaundementes and to deale iustlye and so shall thy people be endued with thy benefytes and blessynge. Then shall the oblacyons of the preestes and of the clargie be acceptable vnto the / for they shall forsake theyr carnal affection and en­deuoure them selues vnto a more perfeyte lyfe / and so shall the oyntment of thy blys­synge descende vpon theyr heades. Then shall the brente offerynges of the relygy­ous be pleasaunte to the / for they shal cast out all drousye sluggyshnes and false con­fydence / and be hooly enflamed and made perfayte with the burnynge fyer of goddes loue. Then shall the bysshoppes and prea­chers put calues vpō thyn altare / for after [Page]they at cōsummate in al kynde of vertue & replenysshed with the holye spiryte / they shal not feare to geue theyr lyues for theyr sheepe. What is thyne altare swete Iesu / but thy crosse where vpon thou wast offe­red? What signifyeth a want on calfe / but our bodye? Therfore / then shall they put calues on thyne altare / when they shal of­fer their owne bodies vnto the crosse / that is, vnto all afflyctions and euen vnto the verye deathe for thy names sake.

¶ Then shall the churche flory she and di­late her coostes / then shall thy prayse be noysed from the laste ende of the worlde / then shal ioye and gladnes fulfyll the hole worlde. Then shall thy sayntes reioyce in glorye and shal make myrth in theyr man­cyons waytynge for vs in the londe of the lyuynge. Accomplyshe in me euen nowe Lorde that / then / whiche I so ofte name that thou mayste haue compassion on me accordīg to thy great mercy / ye thou mayst receyue me for a sacryfice of ryghtwysnes / for a holy oblacyon: for a brente sacryfyce of good lyuynge / and for a calfe to be offe­red on thyne altare or crosse / by the which

I maye passe from this vale of mi­serye vnto that ioye whiche thou hast prepared for them that loue the.


¶ To fyll vp the lefe we haue touched cer­teyne places whiche we thought most ne­cessary to edefye the congregaciō of Christ.

¶ Of faythe.

FIrst dere dretherne ye ought to geue dylygent hede that you maye pure­lye vnderstonde what faythe is and what frutes procede out of her / And to conclude the summe in fewe wordes / fayth is a sure perswasyon and full knowlege that god for his truthe and ryghtwysnes sake wyll fulfyll suche promyses / as he hathe made vnto vs of his mercye and fauoure / which sure perswasion must be geuen from god. i. Corin .xij. For it can neither be goten by mannes power / nether yet retayned / ther­fore with feare and tremblynge performe that helthe whiche is begonne in you / for it is god that worketh in you both the wil and also the dede / euen at his owne plea­sure. And se that with all mekenes ye sub­myt your selues vnto the vocacion of god / not seking the lyberty of the fleshe / nether yet despysyng good workes / for faith doth mortefye the fleshe and her workes / & the spirite of god whiche resteth in a faythfull man helpeth our insurmitie and fyghteth without intermission agaynste synne / the deuyll and the worlde.

¶ The power of faythe.

THe power of fayth is to iustefye vs: that is / to dispoyle vs frome all our vices and laye them on Christꝭ backe whiche hathe pacefyed the fathers wrathe to­wardes vs: and to endue vs with an o­thers ryhtwysnes / that is Christꝭ / so that I and all my synnes are Christes / & Christ with all his vertues are myne / for he was borne for vs and geuen vnto vs. Esaye. ix. Roma .viii. To obteyne this ryghtwisnes god the father requireth nothing of vs but that we beleue in hym and make hym no lyar. He that beleueth that god of his mercye hath made vs these promises & that for his truthes sake he wil fulfyl them / he set­teth to his seale ye god is true. But he that beleueth not or doubteth of this (as much as in him is) he maketh him a liar .i. Iohn̄ v. for why sholdest thou doubte in hym ex­cepte thou thoughtest yt he were a lyar & wold not kepe his pro;messe which he made? Now yf thou counte God (whiche is the verye truthe) to be a lyar / arte thou not worthye a thousande dampnacyones.

¶ The worke of faythe.

FAyth worketh by charite / for when my ragyng conscience which fealeth her syn̄e is pacefied & set at one with God [Page]thrughe fayth / then remembrynge the fer­uent loue of god towardes me I can not but loue my neyghboure agayne / for there is no man that hertelye loueth the father and can hate the sone / and althoughe the sonne be naught and vnthriftye yet for his fathers sake he wyll helpe to better hym and euen lament and be sorye for ye sonnes wyckednesse. Lykewyse yf we hertely loue god for his infinyte benefytes done vnto vs / then can we not hate yt creature which he hath made after his own lykenes / whō god the father loueth so tenderly yt he gaue his owne sonne vnto the death to redeme him / yea & whom he hath adopted (thrugh Christe) to be his sonne and heyre. Nowe all be it we se no kyndenes in this man for whiche we sholde loue hym yet hath god shewed vs kyndnes ynough for the which we ought to loue hym & so coure hym at al tymes. Let vs therfore loue hym for ye loue that god his creatoure hathe shewed vs / & beare his infyrmitye / yf he faule let vs lyft hym vp agayne / and endue hym with our mysdome & all our workes euen as Christ hath done with vs / and this is an euydent token that thou louest god / when thou louest thy brother .i. Iohn̄ .iiij. and seakest al meanes to helpe hym / these are the good workes that folow fayth / and are euydent [Page]tokens that thy faythe is ryght and pure. Thus seest thou how good workes / flowe out of faythe through charite / & charite or loue is ye fulfilling of yt hole lawe. Ro .xiij.

¶ Good workes.

AMonge good workes the chyef are: to be obedyente in all thynges vnto kynges / prynces / Iudges / and suche other offycers as farre as they cōmaunde ciuyle thynges that is to say such thynges as are indyfferente / and not contrarye vnto the cōmaundemētes of god / for then must we rather obaye God then men / actes in the fyrst chapitre although we shold lese both our substaūce and lyfe therto: To honour rulers: To promote peace: To praye for all comynaltyes. And to applye al our stu­dyes to profyte them.

¶ The nexte are: to be obedyent vnto fa­ther & mother: To prouyde for our house­holde both nouryshyng our famylye with bodelye sustenaunce / and also to enstructe them with the worde of god / and so to be theyr gouernour carnall and spirituall.

¶ Then muste we loke howe we oughte to behaue our selues towardes our neygh boures knowlegynge yt al the gyftꝭ which are geuen vs of god / are not geuen vs for our owne selfe but for the edefyenge of the [Page]cōgregacyō .j. Corynth .xij. & yf we bestow them not on that maner we shall surelye geue a rekenyng for them before the lorde. Emonge these ought we to haue respecte vnto the preachers and mynesters of the worde / that they maye be had in honoure and well prouyded for. And aboue all thinges good bretherne addresse your selues vnto that necessary worke prayer. Remem­bre to praye for all estates / for yt is a worke that Chryst & his apostles full dylygently exhorted all men vnto / promysynge them that they sholde obtayne theyr perycyons Iohn̄ .xvj. also .j. Iohn̄ .iij. yf they be accor­dynge to the wyll of god and for his glorye .j. Iohn̄ .v.

¶ Here endeth the exposition vpon the lj. Psalme called Miserece meidens. Im­prented at Londō in Flete strete by Iohn̄ Byddeii / dwellynge next to Flete brydge at the sygne of our lady of pytye / for wyllyam Marshall.

Cum priuilegio Regali.

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