A RIGHT FRVIT­full admonition, concer­ning the order of a good Chri­stian mans life, very profi­table for all maner of E­states, and other to be­holde and looke vppon. Made by the famous Doctour Colete, sometime deane of Paules.

¶ Imprinted at London for Gabriell Cawood. 1577.

A fruitful monition, con­cerning the order of a good Chri­stian mans life, very profi­table for all maner of E­states, and other to be­holde and looke vppon.

REmember first of all (vertuous reder) that it is highe wisedome and great perfection, thy selfe to know, and then thy selfe to des­pyse. Thou must knowe that thou haste no thing that good is of thy selfe, but of god: For the gifts of na­ture, and al other temporal giftes of this world, which ben lawfully and truely obteined, wel considered, ben come to thee by the infinite good­nes and grace of God, & not of thy selfe. But in especial it is necessary [Page] for thee to knowe that God of his great grace hath made thee his I­mage, hauing regarde to thy me­mory, vnderstanding, and free wil, and that God is thy maker, & thou his wretched creature, & that thou art redeemed of God by the passion of Christ Iesu, and that God is thy helper, thy refuge, and thy deliuerer from all euyl, and to consider and knowe the goodly order which god of his infinite wisedome hath or­deyned thee to be ordered by. As to haue these temporal goodes for the necessitie of thy body: the body and sensual appetites to be ordered by thy soule: thy soule to be ordred by reason and grace: by reason and grace to knowe thy duetie to God and to thy neighbour, & by all com­mon reason if thou kepe this conue­nient order to god & his creatures, they shal kepe their order to thee: [Page] But if thou breake thine order to them, of likelyhood they shal breake their order to thee. For how should thy wife, children, seruauntes, and other creatures, with the whiche thou hast dooings, doo their dutie, and kepe their order to thee, if thou doest not so to God and to them? And also thinke thou of a suretie, that if thy sensuall appetite be not ordred by reason & grace, thou art worse ordred than a beast: for then thou liuest out of order, and so doth not a beast, which is a great shame and rebuke to thee a reasonable creature, and without the great mercy of god, it shalbe to thine eter­nal damnation. And therfore think and thanke God, and vtterly des­pise thy selfe, and thinke thy selfe a great wretch, in that god hath done so muche for thee, and thou hast so oft offended his highnesse, and also [Page] done him so little seruice. Surely it is also great wisedome to thinke, that if it had pleased god for to haue giuen to all other men (aswel beg­gers as other) like grace as he hath giuen to thee, that they would haue serued his goodnes better than thy selfe hast done: Wherfore thinke thy selfe a wretch of al wretches, except the mercy of God: And therfore by his infinite mercy and grace, call vnto thy remembraunce the degree or dignitie whiche almightie God of his goodnes hath called thee vn­to, and according therevnto yelde thy debt, and doo thy duetie.

¶ First and principally, honour God as thy maker, loue him as thy redeemer, feare him as thy iudge. Secondarily, thy neighbour which is thy superiour, obey: Haue con­corde and peace with them which be euen with thee in degree: & haue [Page] mercy and pitie on thine inferiours. Thirdly, prouide thee to haue a cleane hart, and a good custodie of thy tong. Pray and take labour, by grace to haue wisedome & cunning to do thy duety to God and to thy neighbour. And in all thy words & dedes haue euer in minde, that god and his angels heareth and seeth e­uery thing, and that nothing is so priuily done, but it shal be made o­pen. And in especial haue in minde that thou shalt dye shortly, & howe Christ died for thee, the subtiltie and falsenes of this temporal world, the ioyes of heauen, and the paynes of hell. And euery morning, among o­ther thy meditations and prayers, pray vnto thy Lorde God, that the day folowing, thou (according to the degree which he of his infinite goodnes and mercy hath called thee vnto) mayst vse this temporall [Page] wretched world in thy thoughtes, words, and deedes, that by them and the merite of Christes passion, thou mayst eschewe the paynes of hel, and come to the ioy euerlasting. And in executing thereof kepe truth in wordes and deedes. Defende no man, nor no matter, agaynst the trueth. In all thinges thinke and trust in God, and he shal direct thy wayes. Trust not to thine owne witte, but feare God, and he wyl keepe thee from euyl. If thou trust more in thine owne witte than in the grace of God, thy policie shall be soone subuerted. Be content to heare good counsayle, though it be contrary to thy will: For he is a very foole that will heare nothing gladly, but that is according to his mind. Do thou no man harme, least thou sufferest the same. As thou wouldest be done vnto, so do [Page] thou vnto other. Be suche to other, as thou desirest they shoulde be to thee. If thou be religious, remem­ber that the due execution of true religion is not in wearing of the habite, but with a cleane mynde in very deede to execute the rules and ordinances of religion: For so it is, that to weare the habite and not to execute the rule and order of re­ligion, is rather to be deemed hy­pocrisie, or apostatasie, than other­wise. If thou be lay and vnmaried, keepe thee cleane vnto the time thou be maried. And remember the sore and terrible punishmente of Noes stood, and of the terrible fyre and brimstone and sore punishment of Sodome and Gomor, done to man for misusing of the fleshe. And in especial call to remembrance the marueylous and horrible punishe­ment of yt abhominable great pocks [Page] daylye appearing to our sightes, growing in and vpon mans fleshe, the which sore punishment (euery thing wel remembred) can not be thought, but principally for the in­ordinate misuse of the fleshe. And if thou intende to mary, or be ma­ried, and hast a good wife, thanke our Lord therefore, for she is of his sending. And remember that three thinges in especiall bene pleasaunt to the spirite of God, that is to say, concord betwene brethren, loue and charitie betwene neighbours, and a man and his wyfe wel agreeing. And if thou haue an euyl wife, take pacience, and thanke God, for all is for the best, well taken: Howbeit thou art bounde to doo and pray for her amendement, least she go to the Deuyl, from whom she came. And haue in remembraunce, that the intent of mariage is not in the [Page] beastly appetite or pleasure in the thing, but the intent thereof is, to eschewe the sinne of the fleshe, or els to haue children. And if thou haue children, as muche as thou mayest bring them vp in vertue, to be the seruauntes of God: for it is better for thee and them not to be borne, than to be otherwise. In thine auc­thoritie, busie thee rather to be belo­ued of thine inferiours, than to be dreaded. Let thy subiectes and ser­uauntes rather serue and obey thee for loue, than for dread or neede: With suche a soueraigne goodnes gouerne thy subiectes, that they may be glad to serue thee both in punishing and in cheryshing. Keepe a manerly meane. Be not to straite. Forgiue not to soone. Keepe a conuenient measure in all thy works. Go not to meate as a beast, but as a reasonable man, say thy [Page] grace, and then remember that mo be sicke and dye by superfluities of meates, then otherwise. Wherefore eate with measure, to liue in health▪ At thy meate haue none other but honest communication, and suche as is according to thy cunning. Backbyte no man. Be mery in honestie: For sorowe and care hath killed many, and no profite therin. In no wise sweare, without com­pulsion of the lawe: For where as is great swearing, from thence is neuer the plague of God. In no wise braule, ne chyde without an vrgent cause: For Salomon sayth, better is a little with ioye, than a house ful of vitayle with brawling. Also he sayth, An euyl person is euer chyding, and therefore the Angell of God shall be sent agaynst him. Be content at thy dynner, and al­so at other times, to geue part of [Page] that which God hath sent thee: For he that wyl not heare the cry of a poore man, he shal cry to God, and not be heard. After thy meat thank God of that he hath sent thee, or els thou dost not as a reasonable man, but like a beast, which in eating re­membreth nothing but his meate. With good prouidence and discre­tion see the time wher, when, how, why, or wherefore thou speakest, doest, or byddest any thing to be done. When thou demest or iudgest any, be he poore or riche, behold and consider the cause, and not the per­son. Be as meke in other mens cau­ses and offences, as in thine owne. Sit neuer in dome and iudgement without pitie or mercy. For while thou hast pitie, and art mercyfull to other mens offences, thou hast mer­cye on thy selfe: For in what mea­sure thou measurest, it shal be mea­sured [Page] to thee. Yet thou muste exe­cute iudgment, but it must be with pitie or mercy: For (of a suretie) to do mercy and iustice, is more plea­saunt to God, than to pray or to doo sacrifice vnto him. Deeme no man by light suspections. First proue, and then deeme. In doubtes, re­serue the sentence to Gods might. That thou knowest not, commit it to God. Haue little or none affec­tion and loue to these earthly and temporall thinges: For blessed is the riche man that trusteth not in his money and treasure. Remem­ber, as a man loueth, so he is: For the louer is in the thing loued more properly, than in him selfe. Where­fore, if a man loue earthly things, he may be called, An earthly man. And if he loue principally heauenly thinges or God, he may be called, An heauenly or a godly man. And [Page] therefore loue God and heauenly thinges, for vndoubtedly that is best and most assured loue, for they be, and euer shal be permanent, and all earthly thinges be soone vani­shed and ended, and so the loue of them is in vayne. Also it is wise­dome to feare God: For as he say­eth him selfe, Feare not him that may kill the body, and can not hurt the soule: but feare him that can kill the body and also the soule, and commit them to euerlasting payne, Wherefore, euery euening ere thou go to bed, cal to remembraunce (as much as thou canst) thy thoughts, words, and deedes, sayd and done that day. And if any haue bene to thine owne profite and to the plea­sure of God, hartily thanke him, for by his grace it was done. And if any haue bene contrary to hys pleasure, aske hartily mercy, and [Page] reconcile thy selfe shortly by repen­taunce, to eschewe the euerlasting and terrible paynes of hel, For (as Saint Austine sayth) there is not a greater madnes, than for a little temporal delectation (which is sone done) to lese the eternall ioye, and to be bounde to euerlasting paine: from the which the almightie Fa­ther of heauē by his infinite power and mercy, and bytter passion and infinite wisedome of Iesu Christe, and by the infinite goodnes and charitie of the holy Ghost, keepe vs. Amen. Deo gratias.

Vse well tem­poral thinges.
Desire eter­nal thinges.

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