¶Here begynneth a ly­tell boke, that speketh of Purgatorye: & what Pur­gatorye is & in what place / and of the paynes that be therin / and whiche soules do abyde therin tyll they be pourged of synne / and whiche abyde not there. And for what syn̄es a soule goth to hell / & of the helpe that soules ī purgatorye may haue of theyr frendꝭ that be on fyue: & what pardon aueyfeth to mānes soule.


¶The Prologue.

MAny men speke / as they in the boke rede
Of the paynes of purgatorye / but fewe it drede
For many a man wotteth not / what thynge it is
Therfore they drede it / the lesse ywys
And for some men / haue therof no knowynge
Of the place of purgatorye / not vnderstandynge
Therfore I wyll tell / what it is in lykenes
And in what place / as the boke is wytnes
And whiche soules goth thyther / and for what syn
And what maner of paynes / ben therin
And also what thynge / is most in certayne
That myght a mannes soule / brynge out of payne.

¶Fyrste here it telleth what is Purgatorye.

PUrgatorye is / nothynge elles to tell
But a clensynge place / soules in to dwell
That haue done syn̄e / and haue cōtrycyon
And ben in the waye / of saluacyon
And there they shulde suffre / both sorowe and wo
Tyll all theyr synnes / ben awaye ydo
And clensed of all synnes / that euer they wrought
Both in worde and wyll / in dede and eke in thought
For so pured golde / neuer none there was
As the soules shall ben / or they thens passe
wherfore the payne / that the soule there shall hent
Is more bytter / than all the tourment
That all martyres suffred / both yonge and olde
Syth that god was borne / and to the Iewes solde
For the leste payne / of the paynes there
Is more bytter / than the most payne that is here
As wytnesseth a great clerke / and sayth shortly
In a boke / that speketh of Purgatorye.
Minima pena Purgatorii maior est maxima pena mundi.
¶He sayth the leste payne / is well more
In Purgatorye / that greueth sore
Than the most payne / that maye be
In all this worlde / to fele or se
For the payne there / is more ferse and fell
Than herte maye thynke / or tonge maye tell
Betwene the payne of hell / certaynly
And betwene the payne / of Purgatorye
Is no dyfference / but certes that one
[Page] Shall haue an ende / and that other none
For the paynes of hell / shulde neuer cease
Ne the soules therin / haue neuer release
But in purgatorye / the soules dwelleth styll
Tyll they ben clensyd / of all maner yll
And as moche ben there .xl. dayes tolde
As here .xl. yere / be a man neuer so olde
So that a payne there / one daye to se
Is as moche / as a yere tolde here maye be
But euery daye of penaunce / that is done here
Shall stande there in stede / of an hole yere
As Chryste sayth openly / and wytnesseth well
By his holy prophete / Ezechiell.
Diem pro anno deditibi.
¶That is so moche / to vnderstande nowe
For an hole yere / I gaue one daye to you
Than serueth that payne / as the boke telleth
To clense the soules / that therin dwelleth
But penaunce here done / with good wyll
Serueth for two thynges / goddes lawe to fulfyll
One cause is / to clense the soules well
Of all deedly synnes / and eke venyell
Another is to haue / in heuen more mede
To these two thynges / penaunce maye vs lede
For euery penaunce that a man doth here
Shall haue a specyall ioye / in heuen clere
That euer without ende / shall than last
Yf they done penaunce / with herte stedfast.

¶In what place Purgatorye is.

THe place there / that purgatorye is holde
Is vnder erth / as clerkes men tolde
[Page] Aboue the same place / as clerkes men telleth
There that deed chyldren / vnchrystened dwelleth
That from the fayre syght / of goddes face
Ben put for euer / without any grace
And that place / is euen aboue hell pyt
Betwene purgatorye / and hell is it
And so is the place / of purgatorye sette
Aboue them both / thyther soules be fette
That must nedes / theyr payne there haue
And after that payne / Ihesus wyll them saue
Yet aboue that stede / is that fayre place
That god after his deth / vysyted through his grace
And all that were there / with hym he toke
And lefte none therin / as telleth the boke
Nor from that tyme / as clerkes can tell
Come neuer no soule / there for to dwell
Ne neuer none hereafter / therin shall fall
For that place is Lymbo / as clerkes it call
That is a fayre pryson / as telleth the boke
where oure forne fathers / were in yloke
And of all these foure / men maye one hell make
And eueryche of them / for hell maye be take
And therfore holy churche / that for soules prayth
Calleth purgatorye hell / and thus therof sayth.
Domine Ihesu christe / libera animas omnium fide­lium defunctorum de manu inferni / et de profundis aquaram. &c.
¶Lorde Ihesu chryste / delyuer out of hell honde
All chrysten soules / that ben there vnder bonde
That is from that place / in to heuen blysse
For moche pyne / haue soules there ywysse
But from the lowest hell / without any doute
[Page] Maye no soule thens / be delyuered oute
Of mercy to haue / is no hope ne truste
As holy Iob telleth / that the soth wyste.
Quia in inferno / nulla est redemptio.
¶He sayth that in hell / that is so farre adowne
Is neuer delyueraunce / for no raunsowne
And therfore masses & prayers / helpeth them nought
To the same soules / that thyther be brought
For masse ne prayer / abateth not theyr pyne
As wytnesseth the holy man / saynt Austyne.
Si sarem patrem aut matrem in inferno / non pro eis orarem.
¶He sayth / yf my father and my mother were
In the pytte of hell / and I wyst them there
I wolde neuer / by daye ne by nyght
Praye for them to god / that is full of myght
But purgatorye so longe / last not maye
For it lasteth no lenger / than tyll domes daye
For after domes daye / as clerkes can se
The place of purgatorye / shall no where be
Than shall hell be full of fendes within
That euermore shall last / to auenge synne
But some men haue wonder / and asketh why
That purgatorye is ordeyned / with mercy
And hell without mercy / that is so lowe
The cause why / men must well knowe
For the same synne / that in erth is wrought
From the erth vpwarde / ne passeth nought
Than nedes punysshed / must be that synne
Here vpon erth / or elles within
That is here in erth / there that we dwell
Other elles in purgatorye / or elles in hell
For the soule synne / is so heuy and harde
[Page] That it draweth the soule / euer downewarde
And tyll the synne / with penaunce be awaye nome
Erst maye the soule / neuer to heuen come.

¶Of two Purgatoryes / that god hath ordeyned.

YEt telleth these clerkes / more openly
That two purgatoryes / there be namely
One is cōmon / for to tell
That is within erth / aboue hell
And the other / is specyally through grace
That is here in erth / in dyuerse place
For some ben not / in cōmon stede pyght
But they ben punysshed here / by daye or nyght
In many dyuerse stedes / within in theyr ghost
There that they / haue synne done most
But that pyne / maye be brought out of drede
Through prayer of frendes / and almes dede
To the whiche / they maye ghostly appere
Through great grace / in dyuerse stede here
That payne as I erst tolde / wonder sore greueth
But it is a warnynge / to them that here lyueth
And thus maye men here / truely se
where that purgatorye / nedes must be.

¶Of the paynes that ben in Purgatorye.

IN purgatorye / as the boke wytnesse beryth
Ben dyuerse paynes / that the soule deryth
Many mo certes / than I can neuen
But I fynde therof / wryten seuen
That maye be called / paynes full well
[Page] And to you of them / I wyll tell somedell.
¶The fyrste payne / of the seuen ywys
As men maye knowe / that redeth this
Is the great drede / that the soule is in
whan the body and it / departeth atwyn
For the soule seyth / than aboute it stonde
Many foule deuylles / to do it shonde
And that syght is a payne / wonder greuous
For the deuylles ben / so foule and hydeous
So that so hardy man / was neuer none
Here in erth lyuynge / in flesshe and in bone
But yf a man sawe / that syght that he shall se
Anone for drede / woode shulde he be
A great payne it is than / to se suche a syght
But more is to the soule / that therwith shall fyght.
¶The seconde payne / is next than afterwarde
Is great drede of deth / that is wonder harde
That the soule shall haue / with moche care
Tyll the dome be gyuen / howe it shall fare
For many aungelles / shulde all redy be there
And many deuylles / with horryble chere
Than shall the soule / betwene them stande
And aungelles shall be / in her ryght hande
And the deuylles shall be / in her lefte syde
So that the soule / nedes must there abyde
Tyll that her contakes / ben brought to ende
For erst he wot not / whyther to wende
whyther that god / wyll dampne it or saue
Than shall the soule / so great drede haue
Ryght as a man / that is amyddes the se
In great peryll / and wot not whyther to fle
whan tempestes falleth / and storme smarte
[Page] Than may he thens / neuer starte
And as a man hath here / bodely drede
whan he is enpeched / of any peryllous dede
Before the kynges iustyce / and of the countre
That ben charged / yf he gylty be
Than wot he not / yf he shall be spylte
Other ben delyuered / and the lawe fulfylte
In great peryll of lyfe / maye that man be
Yet hath the soule mor drede / than hath suche thre
For yf it haue the dome / of dampnacyon here
Than goth it to hell / and the deuylles fere
And yf the soule be dampned / in to that place
Than is no maner hope / of mercy and grace
what wonder is than / though the soule haue drede
That to god after / mercy dare not ones grede.
¶The thyrde payne / is an exyle
whan that the soules / here some whyle
Ben exyled from lyfe / and to deth brought
For the cōmynge agayne / they knowe nought
Therfore they shulde haue / moche mournynge
whan they be dampned / from theyr lykynge
And the mournynge that they haue / without lysse
Shall than be to them / great anguysshe.
¶And the fourth payne / is dyuerse syckenes
That soules haue / in moche dystres
For dyuerse euylles / they shall haue therin
For dyuerse dedes / that they dyd in synne
And some for pryde / that they vsed ofte
Shall haue the colde feuer / that is not softe
For that shall greue the soule / more bytterly
Than euer any feuer / dyde the body
And some shall haue there / for couetyse
[Page] Stronge dropsye / that they shall not aryse
And some shall haue / in all theyr ly [...]es aboute
For slouth in theyr lyfe / the podagre and goute
And byles and felones / and postumes also
That in mannes body / doth moche wo
And some for wrath / shall haue the palsye
That to the soule / shall sore derye
And some for glotony / shall haue euermore
The harde quynsy / that shall greue them sore
And some for lechery / shall haue also
A foule mesylry / go whyther they go
Thus shall the soule / that god wyll saue
For dyuerse synnes / dyuerse paynes shall haue
That in erth here / had veray repentaunce
And had not in erth / done theyr penaunce
Nowe thynke we / what payne the body suffreth here
Through dyuerse euylles / that greuyth euery where
Though that it last / but a lytell stounde
Yet it bryngeth a man / full soone to the grounde
And as the maladye / greuyth the body sore
Yet it greuyth for the tyme / the soule well more
So that the soule / hath there more penaunce
Than hath the body / for any maner greuaunce
But nowe a man / maye speke there agayne
And axe howe the soule / maye fele payne
That after deth is so sottel / as in boke we rede
That it maye occupye / no maner stede
And to this questyon / I maye answere well
As I haue clerkes / herde therof tell
The soule of the body / the lyfe is
Of euery man / both more and lesse
And without lyfe / is nothynge lyuynge
[Page] For in no deed thynge / maye be any felynge
Than is all the felynge / of the lyfe hooly
All in the soule / and nought in the body
For whan a mannes soule / is passed awaye
Than is the body / but [...]oule erth and claye
And that is than / as deed as any stone
That no thynge feleth / but hym selfe one
Yet maye some men aske / more therto
Nowe maye the soule / that is in wo
Be pyned / with suche maladye withoute
That is in dyuerse lymmes / of the body aboute
Syth it hath / neyther body ne hed
Ne none other lymme / theron byleued
To this / I maye answere shortly
That the soule / though it haue no body
It shall haue payne / as in lymmes there
with whiche it dyd / most synne here
For eche to other than / shall seme ywys
As though it had the shape / as a man is
And in this maner / shall a soule another se
But certes none of them / maye feled be
Nomore than maye / a mannes breth here
whan it passeth from hym / in no manere
Ensample of Lazar / and a ryche man
That cordeth to this mater / as I proude can
The ryche man warned / the lazar mete
That in Abrahams bosome / had his sete
But the ryche man / was buryed in hell
And sawe lazar / in heuen dwell
He cryed to Abraham / and bad fayre withall
That a drope of water / myght downe fall
Upon his tonge / from lazarus fyngers ende
[Page] For he myght not / out of that payne wende
By the ryche man / that spake so to that other
Had no lymme / ne tonge nother
Ne lazar / as ye maye well vnderstande
Had nother fynger / ne hande
For they were / spyrytes both onely
That had nother lymme / ne body
But the ryche mannes soule / feled pyne in hell
As though it had ben a body / in flesshe and fell
And lazarus soule / semed to hym than
As though he had ben / a lyues man
But I haue herde / some clerkes mayntayne
Suche maner opynyons / as I wene
That a soule / that is in purgatorye
Other in hell / hath of the ayre a body
To suffre payne / in his lymmes there
After that he hath / in erth synned here
But whyther a soule haue / a body or none
It shall haue payne / as the body hath done.
¶And the fyfth payne / though it be somwhat late
Is hote brennynge fyre / that northynge maye bate
But almes dede / masses and prayere
That of frendes / for them ben done here
To abate that fyre / tho thre ben best
For they brynge soone / mannes soule to rest
But that fyre / is hotter and more kene
Than any fyre of this worlde / that maye be sene
For all the water / that a man maye on thenche
One sparcle of that fyre / myght not quenche
For one sparcle of that fyre / is more brennynge
Than all the fyre / in this worlde lyghtnynge
And the soule is also / more tendre and nesshe
[Page] Than a mannes body / with blode and flesshe
Than the soule / that is so tender of kynde
Must nedes theyr penaunce / more harder fynde
Than any maner body / that euer alyue was
Though it shulde there through / make his pas
But no soule maye / from thens wende
Tyll all theyr penaunce / be brought to ende
And that fyre / werketh not through kynde a ryght
In the same soule / that to penaunce is dyght
As doth the fyre / that in erth brenneth here
But euermore it werketh / in another manere
As god hath ordeyned / for why it is so
As it were an instrument / that longeth therto
Through the whiche / the soule clensed maye be
In the payne of purgatorye / or that it god se
For why all maner fyre / that is therin
It is a maner fyre / for to waste synne
For as the fyre in the worlde / maye all thynge brenne
And make metall melt / and abrode renne
And ryght so the fyre / there through longe heat
wasteth there / both small synnes and great
There be nowe fyres / some more some lesse
But all one maner fyre / that neuer shall cesse
For as the sonne / maye ouer all thynge passe
That men greuyth / some more and some lesse
Ryght so ye same fyre / that in purgatorye is brought
Some soules it pyneth sore / and some nought
For all soules / must nedes dwell therin
After that theyr charge / is there of synne
But some soules / shulde delyuered be thens soone
That here in erth / haue theyr penaunce doone
But some soule shall abyde there / many a yere
[Page] That lytell penaunce hath done / with his body here
And hath lyued longe / in his synne also
And therfore / saynt Austyn sayth thus therto.
Necesse est vt tantus sit dolor: pro peccatis quantus fuerit amor / tanto divtius anima torquetur in penis: quāto affec [...] tus mundanis inherebat desiderus. &c.
¶Saynt Austyn sayth / that nedefull it is
That as moche sorowe / he haue here and no les
For euery synne / and eke trespas
As lust and lykynge / in the synne was
And he sayth also / as before as rad
That the more lykynge / that a man in synne had
And euer gyueth therto / his lust and wyll
His flesshely lykynge / all to fulfyll
The longer must nedes / the soule in payne be
In purgatorye / that he maye not fle
And or the soule maye se god / in his face
As thre thynges / they must brenne in that place
That is to saye / as woode and haye also
And stoble / that wyll awaye with the fyre go
For the most venyall synnes / shulde brenne longe
As a tre that is great / and hath rotes stronge
But the small synnes / soone shall brenne awaye
As doth stoble in erth / whan fyre cōmeth there nye
But the meane synnes / brenneth not so soone
For they brenne slowly / and haue more to doone
Ryght as doth the haye / that with fyre is tende
That longe lyeth & smoketh / or it be through brende
Thus shulde they ben brende / and wasten sore
For theyr venyall synnes / both lesse and more
And for deedly synne / that they ben of shryue
And the trespasse therof / god hath forgyue
[Page] And penaunce therfore / nought haue done here
They shall there be brende / in the same manere
And whan they be fyned / and made bryght
Than shall they come / before goddes syght
In to mery Paradyse / that is a ioyfull place
That is euermore full / of mercy and grace.
¶And the fyxte payne / is for to tell
For the soules vnclensed / shulde there dwell
Styll in purgatorye / and be bounde fast
with bondes of synne / to make them agast
And as many soules / as be in that prysone
For no gyfte they maye / ne for no raunsome
From that harde payne / them selfe wynne
Tyll that fyre haue brent / theyr bondes of synne
And thus they ben bounde / both handes and fete
In hote brennynge fyre / that is wonder greate
Certes than me thynketh / no payne maye be more
Than the soules suffreth / that greuyth them sore
For nothynge thens / maye them borowe
Nother abrydge any thynge / of theyr moche sorowe
Nother to helpe them / thens to be brought
For theyr owne prayer / ne helpeth them nought
But yf in erth / they any good dyde
As masses done / songe and almes dede
Of theyr frendes in erth / ye to god for them besought
That made this worlde / and all thynge of nought
Full harde ben the paynes / ye the soules suffre there
Yf hope of mercy / soone after ne were
But some tyme they shulde / so moche payne haue
That they take no kepe / that god wyll them saue
Therfore we shulde thynke / that in erth ben here
what payne the soule suffreth / that is there
[Page] Amonge soule fendes / that there haue leue
Some tyme the soules / to tourment and greue
As longe as they haue / any spotte of synne
For erst from that place / maye no man them wynne
Tyll they ben clensed / and made all clene
Of all maner synnes / that none be sene
And whan they ben deyuered / of all maner synne
No more payne / shall they fele therin
But soone than after / they shall euen wende
To the blysse of heuen / that hath none ende.
¶And the seuenth payne / is in lykenesse
There that the soules ben / as in wyldernesse
There that defaulte is / of all good thynge
That a man myght haue / of his lykynge
For theyr payne to them / is many foide
For nowe they ben in great hete / and nowe in colde
And that payne to them / is full longe
As nowe in great hete / and after colde stronge
And there shulde suffre / both hungre and threst
And many great that paynes / without any rest
And sore ben bette / to make more theyr payne
with great stormes of hayle / and of rayne
And that betynge / is both sharpe and kene
But suche stormes / neuer erst were sene
As the soules there / shulde fele and se
And with dyuerse tourmentes / tourmented be
For some many a yere / shall abyde there for synne
Tyll they the syght of god / cleanly maye wynne
And suche maner paynes / they shall haue euermore
with many other tourmentes / ye shall greue them sore
But amonge all other / a great payne that shall be
The moche coueytyse / that they haue to se
[Page] The swete face of god / that is euer so bryght
And the longe taryenge / of tht fayre syght
But to that same syght / maye they neuer come
Tyll all theyr synnes / from them be nome
And here I haue tolde / somedell to you
Of the paynes of purgatorye / that be harde ynowe.

¶Of the soules that wendeth in to purga­torye / and abydeth there tyll they ben pourged of synne / and whiche soules abyde not there.

THe soules that / to purgatorye shulde wende
whan that deth / of them hath made an ende
Nedes they must / in purgatorye dwell
And suffre paynes / that ben smart and fell
For eueryche syn̄e: there shalbe punysshed after kynde
Through bytter paynes / that there they shulde fynde
After that theyr dedes / ben more or lasse
And theyr penaunce haue done / or they hens passe
But all soules / abydeth not in that place
For some after theyr deth / anone haue grace
And sykerly / shulde wende to blysse
As holy Innocentes / that neuer dyd mysse
And other soules / of good men and parfyte
That neuer in erthly thynge / had any delyte
But onely on god / that them dere bought
And here in erth / great penaunce wrought
But some men that deth / sodaynly doth take
And in deedly synne / theyr ende make
Euen in to hell / they shulde wende
And there dwell in payne / euer without ende
[Page] And that is no wonder / me thynketh in my mynde
For eche deedly synne / so heuy is of kynde
That it maye than / within a lytell stounde
Brynge a mannes soule / in to hell grounde
But a soule that is / of deedly synne shryue
And his trespase in erth / is clenely forgyue
And also the penaunce / that is hym enioyned
Ben not done here / at dayes apoynted
wherfore the soule / is not clensed clene
Of other small synnes / that ofte cōmeth betwene
Than these soules / shulde ben saue
But yet in purgatorye / them behoueth to haue
Harde payne and bytter / and there abyde longe
Tyll the soules haue / theyr clensynge a fonge
As they fyrste were / whan they toke flesshe and bone
And the holy baptysme / at the font stone
Yet telleth these clerkes also / in this manere
That so clene out of synne / lyueth no man here
Nother none so parfyte is / in chrysten lawe
Nor a chylde / that is from his mother drawe
That after his deth / to heuen wendeth on hye
Tyll he haue passed / through that strayte waye
And tyll he haue seen there / the paynes euerychone
But the yonge chyldren / therof shall fele none
For they coulde neuer / no maner synne werche
But went in the true waye / of holy churche
Therfore they shulde / through purgatorye fle
As doth the foule in the erth / as euery man maye se
without any pyne / that myght them dere
And from all wyckednes / me shall them were
But vnneth maye any man / quyte there through go
That ne shall of purgatorye / fele some wo
[Page] For that fyre / wyll fonde hym to brenne
Yf it maye on hym / any venyall synne kenne
For ye shulde vnderstande / as I tell can
That there is lyuynge / none so parfyte a man
That he some tyme / ne thynketh an ydell thought
And lyghtly letteth it passe / and chargeth it nought
Of the whiche / he shall clenled be
Or that he maye / the face of god se
For as golde / that shyneth clere and bryght
Semeth well pured / vnto a mannes syght
And yf it were put / in to the fyre eft soone
It shulde be the clerer / by hym selfe alone
Ryght so the soules / in the same manere
Of the parfyte men / that semeth most clere
Of all synnes / and maketh them to god yare
Yet they shall in purgatorye / somedell fele of care
For all they must nedes / there through passe
Both yonge and olde / more and lasse
For that same fyre / that is there within
Shall fynde on them / some spotte of synne
As lyght thought / the whiche ben in vayne
And for them / they shulde there suffre payne
For so pure golde fyned / neuer in erth was
As they ben through that fyre / or they thens passe.

¶For whiche synnes, a soule goth to hell.

MAny maner synnes / ye the soules greuyth
Reygneth amōges men / ye in erth lyueth
And some ben deedly / ī thought & in dede
And some ben venyall / as I in boke rede
But synnes that men / deedly doth call
[Page] Shulde not in purgatorye / be clensed all
But tho ben punysshed / euermore in hell
And whiche these ben / I wyll you tell
These ben the heuy synnes / that I wyll descrye
Fyrste pryde than wrath / and afterwarde enuye
Glotonye and slouthe / in goddes seruyce
The foule synne of lechery / and eke coueytyce
Manslaughter also / and false othes swerynge
And sacrylege also / and false wytnesse berynge
Robbrye and to poore men / to done rauayne
These ben the synnes / that bryngeth men to payne
For eueryche of all these / is a deedly synne
And letteth mannes soule / heuen to wynne
And hatred also / is deedly synne amonge
Yf it be holde / in mannes herte longe
And dronkennes / is deedly synne also
Yf a man vse it / and ofte wyll it do
And therfore euery man / that gylty be of this
And thynke his soule / to brynge to blys
But he hym amende / or he hens wende
He shall not though he wolde / after his lyues ende
And in to purgatorye / shall he neuer come
But without ende / in to hell be nome
And yf he be repentaunt / and shryfe
Of all suche synne / here by his lyfe
Fro hell pyne / than he maye hym saue
But penaunce in his body / yet must he haue
Than must the soule gone / after as I wene
In to purgatorye / tyll of synnes it be clene
For penaunce done for synne / as I tolde ere
Nedes must be fulfylled / here or there. [Page] [...] [Page] [...]
[Page] And whan thou att hole in body / and thy myght last
And ofte thou etest / whan thou shuldest fast
And whan the lyst slepe / and wylt not aryse
And euer cōmest to late / to goddes seruyce
And makest for thy synnes no maner sorowynge
whan thou arte in good state / and in lykynge
Or whan thou prayest / and makest thyne orayson
And hast in thy prayer / but lytell deuocyon
Or whan thou hast lykynge / through lust and lyfe
In thy bed flesshely / to medle with thy wyfe
Onely thy lykynge / more there to fulfyll
Than to begette a chylde / through goddes wyll
And also whan thou / vysytest men to late
That haue great syckenes / and ben in feble state
Or men that lyeth here / in stronge pryson
Or haue in theyr bodyes / any trybulacyon
Or men that ben / synfull and sory
For theyr frendes soules / that ben in purgatorye
Them to vysyte / it were great mede
Through good prayers / and almes dede
And also yf thou do not / after thyne estate
To make them frendes / that ben in debate
And yf thou speke to any man / but yf thou wyt why
Bytterly with noyse / and with lowde cry
Or whan thou praysest / any man more
For encheson of glosynge / than for his lore
Or whan in churche / makest any iangelynge
Or thy waye is / in any ydle thynge
Be it out of churche / or elles within
It is accompted / for a venyall synne
And also whan thou arte / ouer lyghtly wrothe
And swerest / and myght not holde thyne othe
[Page] Or whan thou cursest / any maner man
And haste no cause / hym for to ban
Or whan thou supposest / any wyckednesse
Through euyll suspycyon / or euyll trowenesse
These ben thynges / as saynt Austyn telleth
That maketh in purgatorye / ye many soule dwelleth
That haueth there / moche sorowe and wo
And there ben yet / of other wyckednesse many mo
And of venyall synnes / full many a score
without them that I / haue tolde before
But so wytty / is none erthely man
That all venyall synnes / tell can
For oft tymes / in the daye men falleth
In to synnes / that men venyall calleth
And euery he synne / is worthy a payne
That is done in dede / or in worde in vayne
That must clenely / be fordone
Here or in purgatorye / euerychone
Therfore I counceyll / eche man that be wyse
To haunt this lore / that is of pryse
That fordoth / through holy mannes lore
All venyall synnes / both lesse and more
And yf any man fall / in deedly synne
Lette hym aryse / and lye not therin
And take a preest / and do hym to shryue
And do his penaunce / by his lyfe
And euermore / haue in his thought
Sorowe for synnes / that he hath wrought
And do his penaunce / with all his myght
And praye to god / both daye and nyght
And go woolwarde / and fast and wake
And suffre dysease / for our lordes sake
[Page] For no man maye / in to heuen go
But yf he suffre here / both sorowe and wo
And whan god greuyth a man / in any wyse
Than shulde he suffre it / without fayntyse
what syckenes that maye / any man greue
Or losse of catell / that god wyll hym reue
Or vnkyndenes / falshed other treason
Or any dysease / that myght be agaynst reason
Than suffre it mekely / and thynke in thy thought
That without encheson / ne cōmeth it nought
But god wottes all / and why it is
Perchaunce for thynges / that he hath done amys
To chastyce hym / in suche manere
For synnes that he / hath done here
Or it maye be / hym to preue
To the loue of god / the more hym to meue
For oft tyme that thynge / that god wyll saue
Angre and dysease / he must haue
Other for his synnes / is that sonde
Than shulde he thanke / goddes honde
And take mekely / that god hym sendeth
And fle all euyll thynge / that he defendeth
For through dyseases / and angres here
He maketh a man / as a prysonere
Penaunce to suffre / for his folye
That he hath done / through the deuylles trecherye
For yf he suffre it / without grutchynge
It standeth hym in stede / of penaunce alowynge
And afterwarde / god wyll more to hym do
Gyue hym great mede / and grace also
And full blysse in heuen / haue therfore
Yf he take it mekely / though it greue hym sore
[Page] As a good chylde / suffreth mekely and styll
whan his father chastyseth hym / after his wyll
And done all goodnesse / and lette all quede
And so shulde eche man / suffre god and drede
And namely / almes dede ofte to make
Cloth the naked / and to the hungrye mete take
And other werkes of mercy / ofte to werche
As techeth vs / good men of holy churche
And lede clene lyfe / in to his lyues ende
And after his deth / his soule shall wende
To blysse / and all paynes lyghtly passe
That ben in purgatorye / both more and lesse
And nowe / I haue tolde to you all
The synnes that saynt Austyn / venyall doth call
And nowe wyll I tell / what helpeth in certayne
The soules that in purgatorye / haueth payne.

¶Of the helpe that soules hath that ben in purgatorye, of good frendes that ben left behynde them lyuynge in erthe.

THe soules that / to purgatorye wendes
Be brought thens / through helpe of frēdes
That done almes dede / for them well afyne
And so sayth the holy man / saynt Austyne.
Non est negandum ꝙ spiritus defunctorum pietate amicorum suorum viuentium possint refeuari ab omnibus penis. &c.
¶He sayth it is not to gayne saye / in no manere
That the soules of them / that deed ben here
From payne myght soone / vnbounde be
Through frendes in erth / that had of them pyte
Foure maner of helpes generall / me maye call
[Page] That in purgatorye auayleth to the soules all
That is byddynge of Pater noster / and eke fastynge
And almes dedes / and masses syngynge
And in two maners / as clerkes can se
The soule from purgatorye / delyuered maye be
One is / through grace and mekenesse
And another / through waye of ryghtfulnesse
By waye of grace / in two manere
As it is wryten / in this boke here
Fyrst prayer to chryste / that is our heed
whan he is offred / in fourme of breed
In the preestes handes / with good entent
whan the breade is tourned / in to the sacrament
As through prayer / of goddes seruauntes here
That euer ben busye / in theyr prayere
Than maye the soule / that in purgatorye is
Through waye of grace / specyally haue this
Delyueraunce of payne / that there sore greuyth
Through masses and prayers / that there releuyth
And by waye of ryghtfulnesse / it is helpe also
By two wayes / that I can shewe therto
Fyrste through almes dede / that me gyueth the poore
It is brought of payne / that greuyth it sore
Another is / of theyr penaunce abrydgynge
Through penaunce of frendes / and of fastynge
Thus maye the soule / as the boke is wytnesse
Be helpe / through waye of ryghtfulnesse
That is to saye / that they maye in that nede
Be brought from payne / through almes dede
And through penaunce / and through pardon
Tyll there ben payed / a certayne raunsom
Than maye the soule / be delyuered awaye
[Page] Through frendes that wyll / theyr raunsome paye
And thus maye the soules / that hens wendes
To purgatorye be helpe / through theyr frendes
But some maye helpe / and some maye nought
The soules / that in to purgatorye be brought
But through suche frendes / they maye helpe be
That lyueth here in erth / in parfyte charyte
For the helpe of them / that charyte fayleth
To the soules in purgatorye / no thynge auayleth
For they ben all / as lymmes of one bodye
That ben in erth here / and tho in purgatorye
And as we maye se / proprely here
One body haue / many lymmes sere
And eche of them / both lesse and more
Maye another helpe / yf it greue them sore
But yf one of the lymmes / begynneth to fayle
That lymme maye to the other / lytell auayle
Ryght so it fareth / in the same wyse
By hym that lyeth in payne / and may not aryse
As they that be in purgatorye / in theyr penaunce
without helpe of frendes / haue none alegaunce
But who that in deedly synne / is brought
And charyte / in his herte hath nought
He ne is / but as deed in soule within
As longe as he is / in that deedly syn
And his helpe ne is / but as in vayne
To soules that dwelleth / in that payne
For that helpe standeth / in no maner stede
Nor nought auayleth / that they haue bede
And neuerthelesse / all though that he so be
In deedly synne / and out of charyte
Yet maye the soule / be helpe thus
[Page] Yf he to the poore man / gyue almes
That they for the soule / specyally praye
That lyeth in purgatorye / as I you saye
Yet maye the helpe / and the trauayle
Of a synfull man / to the soule auayle
Yf it in byddynge / done here be
Of a frende / that is in charyte
That helpe maye auayle / the soule soone
For his sake / that byddeth it to be done
That in his herte / hath charyte knyt
And for his sake / wolde do it
For god wyll nothynge do / for his sake
That wyll not charyte / in his herte take
This case falleth ofte / as I vnderstande
Betwene a lorde / and his seruaunt bonde
There that the lorde / good and ryghtfull is
And his seruaunt / is wycked ywys
And yf his seruaunt do / any maner thynge
That is good / to the lordes byddynge
Yet it maye auayle / to some profyte
Though he in goodnes / haue no delyte
And that is through reason / and goodnes ywys
Of hym through whom / that prayer is
For though it be / agaynst the doers wyll
Yet as agaynst the bydder / it standeth styll
But yf in charyte / they were bothe
The more were the helpe / to the deth for sothe
And also though a preest / in any maner tyme be
Synfull / and out of charyte
Yet he is goddes mynyster / and holy churches
That the sacrament / vpon the aulter werches
That is nought / the lesse of myght
[Page] All thoughe / the preest lyue not aryght
For though a preest / that syngeth the masse
Be neuer so full / of wyckednesse
Yet that sacrament / that is so holy
Maye not be enpayred / through his foly
Than maye a masse / from payne soules brynge
Though a synfull preest / doth it synge
For he syngeth the masse / in goddes name
Under whiche ordre / he maye do no shame
But preuy prayers made with good entent
That be sayde / besydes the sacrament
Of a good preest / doth more god paye
Than of a synfull preest / vsed eche daye
But the offrynge / of goddes body so swete
Bryngeth many soules / from paynes greate
wherfore me thynketh / that masses syngynge
Maye rathest a soule / from payne brynge
That goth out of this worlde / in charyte
And in purgatorye / clensed shall be
But to them / that be dampned for aye
No good dede / to them auayle maye
Nother almes dede / prayer ne masse
For they ben / as the boke bereth wytnesse
Departed fro chryste / that of Mary was borne
And the soules of them / euer be forlorne
And as lymmes ben deed / and layde in claye
And all ben / from the body awaye
Than maye nothynge helpe / in no maner kynde
The lymmes that ben dryed / as it were a rynde
Ryght so all the helpe / that a man can tell
Nothynge auayleth / to them that be in hell
But yet helpe of frendes / that be in goddes seruyce [Page] [...] [Page] [...]
[Page] Maye auayle to the soule / in some maner wyse
For suche seruyce maye / to the good be wrought
So that in lesse payne / they shall be brought
For therto auayleth / almes dedes and bedes
To the soules that ben / in all thre stedes
For it auayleth to the soule / that in purgatorye is
To brynge it rather thens / to blys
Also it auayleth them / that in heuen be sette
For eche daye / theyr ioye encreaseth therfore the bette
And the mo that cōmeth / in to that holy place
The more is theyr ioye / before goddes face
Also it auayleth them / that be in hell
For the fewer / shulde come there to dwell
And the fewer / that cōmeth there for syn
The lesse payne they haue / that ben therin
And the mo / that in to that place doth wende
The more is theyr payne / without ende
Thus maye helpe of frendes / auayle by reason
To the soules that ben / in that stronge pryson
And namely to them / that be in hell
And to them also / that in purgatorye doth dwell
But suche helpe / maketh no soules fro payne wende
But charyte be with them / at theyr ende
For in hell / was neuer no charyte
And in heuen / therof no nede maye be
And as a man maye / here with his honde
Make a sete for another / that is vnder bonde
And is not of power / it to make
But another maketh it / all for his sake
Ryght so maye a man / for the deed body do
For of helpe / he hath moche nede therto
And the soules / that ben to paradyse gone
[Page] Nede of helpe / they haue ryght none
But yf any good dede / for them be wrought
It maye to the nedefull / in helpe be brought
For all the helpe / that specyally is done here
Auayleth to the soules / that in purgatorye ere
And to some more / and to some lesse
After that they be tolde / of worthynesse
And after that charyte / is in them clere ynowe
Of them that lyueth in erth / amonges you
That euer most be busye / well for to do
As well for hym selfe / as for them in wo
For whan a man / shall from this worlde flytte
Than can no man tell / by no maner of wytte
whether that he shall than / in to purgatorye wende
Other in to heuen blysse / that hath none ende
For some men semeth good / and parfyte alone
That after theyr deth daye / be dampned full soone
For perchaunce / they ben full foule within
And passeth of this worlde / in deedly syn
And some men semeth here / that they lyue amysse
That soone ben saued / and wendeth to blysse
For perchaunce in erth / before theyr dyenge
They ben amended / of theyr myslyuynge
But of this maye no man / in certayne be
For it falleth hooly / to goddes [...]ryuyte
And neuerthelesse / we shulde here byleue aye
That all tho that dye / go in good waye
That we saye in erth here / good werkes werche
And hath all the sacramentes / of holy churche
And whether so they be / oure frende or fo
All thynge that is in us / we shulde do
And praye to almyghty god / both lowde and styll
[Page] For all chrysten soules / as it is goddes wyll
Yet men maye aske / why me doth masses synge
For yonge chyldren / after theyr dyenge
That of masses ne prayer / hath no maner nede
For they dyd neuer / no maner synfull dede
To this I maye answere / by good reason
That for reuerence of god / is the encheson
That masses me doth synge / and prayers make
That god both to yonge and olde / his mercy take
And also for the custome / of holy churche
And for them that ben deed / some good to werche
Nowe ye haue herde / as the boke is wytnesse
Nowe almes dede and prayers / penaunce and masse
That ben done / through frendes true and certayne
Maye helpe the soules / that ben in stronge payne
And nowe I wyll tell to you / more therto
what profyte pardon / the soule maye do
That is pourchased in erth / in a good manere
And also in clene lyfe / whyle he lyueth here.

¶what pardon auayleth to mannes soule.

PArdon helpeth them / by many wayes
That haue purchased it / [...] theyr lyfe dayes
For pardon of popes / & of bysshoppes hys
That in erth is graunted / or a man dye
Maye auayle to the soule / that in purgatorye is
Yf it be purchased / worthely ywys
And yf they haue for theyr synnes / contrycyon
And ben shryuen / before that same pardon
Thā may pardō after theyr deth / through godes sōde
In purgatorye to them / great profyte [...]nde
[Page] For pardon that is / ryght full and certayne
Maye a man release / both of dette and payne
As farre as the pardon / maye it areche
For thus haue I lerned / through clerke speche
Pardon is nothynge elles / to vs in lykenesse
But of payne that is dette / forgyuenesse
Pardon maye no man haue / but he well werche
For it is a treasoure / of holy churche
That gadred is / for mede of pardon
Through vertue / of Chrystes holy passyon
And of the worthynesse / and of the dedes
Of holy sayntes / and of theyr medes
And it is gadred / of mykell goode
Fyrste through martyrdome / and shedynge of blode
Of holy Martyres / that moche loued Chrystes laye
For whose loue they were brought / in to great afraye
And in penaunce / and trauayle of confessours
And through good techynge / of wyse doctours
And of chastyte / of good vyrgynes and clene
That to god euer / wolde theyr mone mene
And also / of all holy churche werkes
And of prayers / of holy preestes and clerkes
And of all this / that I haue nowe before tolde
Is gadred this treasoure / both newe and olde
And of that treasoure / the Pope bereth the kaye
That openeth and closeth / and synnes doth awaye
For that falleth to hym / of offyce to holde
For he is vycar in erth / god hym make wolde
The kayes be nothynge elles / to vnderstonde
But ful power / gyuen to hym through goddes sonde
Through whiche power / he maye the lawe fulfyll
Bynde and vnbynde / after his wyll
[Page] For the same power / hym falleth to haue
That god gaue to Peter / soules to saue
For god gaue to Peter / in erth full power
And sayde to hym / in this maner.
Quodcū (que) ligaueris super terram / erit ligatum et in celis: et quodcū (que) solucris super terram / erit solutum et in celis.
¶All that thou byndest / in erth sayth he
Shall euer in heuen / bounde be
And all that thou vnbyndest / in erth ryght
Shall be vnbounde / in heuen bryght
This power to all popes / gaue our lorde
After saynt Peter / to holde that worde
As telleth therof / in an exposycyon
Of the Gospell / in a lesson
Than semeth it well / by this reason
That eche pope hath / a great iurysdyccyon
To assoyle a man / and hym forgyue
All dettes of payne / that he shulde be to dryue
But yet must a man yelde / forsothe also
All that he hath wrongefully / take or do
For the pope / whan he graunteth that grace
He byndeth holy churche / in that same place
For hym / to whom that grace auayleth
To fulfyll all thynges / that hym fayleth
But the bysshoppes / that ben of lesse state
Haue lesse power / as clerkes knoweth that
For theyr dygnyte / is moche lasse
Therfore they / maye not theyr power passe
And though it be / not so suffysaunt
As is the popes / yet they maye make a graunt
Of theyr power of pardon / a great partye
To theyr vnderlynges / both lowe and hye
[Page] But yet it must / as I before haue sayde
Be gyuē through holy churches treasour: by god rede
And neuerthelesse / there maye no man pardon wynne
But he ben out / of deedly synne
For he that hath / the kepynge of that treasoure
That to mannes soule / is so precyous a floure
Maye not gyue it / to holy churches foose
Lest he gette hym therby / an euyll loose
For suche men they ben / and none other ywys
That dwell in deedly synne / and euer doth amys
For they ben out / of holy churche lawe
Therfore they maye / no pardon to them drawe
But frendes of holy churche / maye well craue
After pardon / for they shulde it haue
For they be suche / that euer be fre
Of deedly synne / and in parfyte charyte
To them suche pardon / shall neuermore fayle
But in purgatorye / to them shall auayle
To brynge out of payne / theyr soules clene
As ferforth / as the pardon maye mene
As clerkes telleth / that god wyll sette
For the remenaunt of paynes / that ben of dette
That perchaunce is lefte / and not done here
As it maye fall / in dyuerse manere
A partye of penaunce / that is enioynt
And is not done here / before dethes poynt
And in partye / of venyall synnes wrought
And in partye of synnes / that ben out of thought
And in partye / for lytell repentaunce
And in partye / for ouer lytell penaunce
And in partye / of penaunce enioynt and not do
And perchaunce / with lytell deuocyon also
[Page] And all these maye be called / the remenaunt
Of dette of payne / that is not suffysaunt
That shulde be fulfylled / in erth here
Other in purgatorye / to make the soules more clere
But suche dette / maye soone there be quyte
who that to suche pardon / hath any delyte
In forgyuenesse of all penaunce / ye maye be thought
whether it be enioyned here / or be nought
For so moche pardon / maye a man pourchace
Here in his lyfe / that he maye haue grace
In purgatorye to be quyte / of all maner dette
That from the blysse / myght hym lette
For so large / is holy churches treasoure
That it maye brynge soules / from all doloure
And from all paynes of dette / that maye be
Of all men that ben / in chrystente
And thus pardon / i purgatorye to soules may auayle
But some clerkes / gyueth vs counceyle
That we shulde kepe it / and hooly spare
Tyll we to purgatorye / come all yare
And in erth do penaunce / whyle we maye
For a man in purgatorye / shall thynke one daye
Longer than hym thought / euer in erth here
The space and tyme / of an hole yere
Than is one daye of pardon / in forgyuenesse
More worth / than all this worldes rychesse
For the soule had leuer / that suche payne shall dryue
One daye of pardon / than any thynge on lyue
For all this wyde worlde / and it were his
He wolde gyue to haue rest there / one daye ywys
Of this mater / that I make of mencyon
Is good helpe of frendes / and eke of pardon
[Page] That auayleth to them / that in pryson be sette
wherfore I haue / myne auctours for me fette
And so sayth Innocent / and saynt Austyne
That speketh in theyr bokes / of this well afyne
And mayster Raymonde also / speketh of the same
In a boke / that is called after his name
And Thomas Alquin / speketh also
Of this mater / and other mo
In a boke that is / of great phylosophye
That is called / Ueritas theologye
And to you / I haue many maters red
That in this lytell boke / before ben sped
In the whiche / ye haue herde me specyfye
Of the condycyons / of Purgatorye
And nowe I wyll / no further wende
But of this mater / thus I make an ende.
¶Here endeth the Boke of Purgatorye. And hereafter foloweth a lytell re­gestre or table of the same.

¶Here begynneth the regestre or table.

  • FYrste the Prologue. Folio. primo.
  • ¶Here he telleth what Purgatorye is. Folio. i.
  • ¶In what place purgatorye is. Folio. ii.
  • ¶Of two purgatoryes / that god hathe ordeyned. Folio. iii.
  • ¶Of the paynes that ben in purgatorye. Folio. iii.
  • ¶Of the soules that wendeth in to purgatorye / and abydeth there tyll they ben pourged of synne / & whi­che soules abyde not there. Folio. viii.
  • ¶For whiche synnes, a soule goth to hell. Folio. ix.
  • ¶Of the helpe that soules hath that ben in purgato rye, of good frendes that be left behynde them lyuyn­ge in erth. Folio. xiii.
  • ¶what pardon auayleth to mānes soule. Folio. xvi.
¶Here endeth the regestre or table of this present Boke.

¶Cum priuilegio Regali▪



[Page] ¶Imprynted by me Robert wyer, dwellynge at the sygne of saynt Iohan Euangelyste / in saynt Martyns parysshe in the felde / in the bys shop of Norwytche rentes / besyde Charynge Crosse.


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