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The mirroure of golde for the synfull soule.

THis presēt boke is called the Mirrour of golde to the sinfull soule / the whiche hath ben translated at parice oute of laten in to frensshe / and after the transla­cion seen and corrected at length of many clarkis / Doctours / and maisters in diuinite / and nowe of late trāslated oute of frenche in to Englisshe by the right excellent princesse Margaret moder to oure souerain lorde kinge Henry the .vii. and Countesse of Richemond & derby. The wise man in his boke named Ecclesiastes consideringe the miserye and fraylete of the worlde saith / that it is vanite of alle vanites And all thingꝭ that ben in the worlde pre­sent ought to be called vanites / & therfore saith the holy doctour saint Gregory that there is noon more acceptable sacrifice to god: then is gode zele / that it is to say an hernest desire to the weale of soules / For the whiche cause I haue willed to make and accomplisshe this present trety / gederinge & assem­blinge many diuerse auctoriteis / of holy doctours of the churche / to thentent that the pore synfull sou­le troubled by the fraude of enmye and oft ouerco­me: May by holy monicions and auctorites / be addressed to the light of iustice and trouth / And so led by the meane of the holy gooste that the shepe that were perisshed may be reduced and led agayne to their grene paster. And to the ende also that the pore soule redressed and reuokinge his errour / kno­winge his synne / and by inwarde sorowe of con­cricion conuertinge hym to god / and therwith to [Page] do suche penaunce as he fynably may with all the saintꝭ possede the lyfe eternall / as saithe Crisostome sith it is so that from day to day vanyte of all vanyteis abuseth vs & theym that in the delitꝭ of this my scheuous world is cōuersant they ought in their yatis / wallis & habitacions / & their clothinge & all places where moost ordinately they vse to be: that they shold write and make to paynte but principally in their cōscience this faire auctoritie vanitas vanitatū et om̄ia vanitas. To thende that often of the daye / and of the night. they may haue if afore their Iene and fele it in their hert. And for somoche that paynters / and Images of foulysshe pleasures / deceyueth theym that so deliteth? It is right confienable and helthfull in euery company as well in e [...]ynge & drinkynge as other occupacions. often to syn­ge and resite th [...]s present wordis / vanite of all va­neties and all thinge of this worlde is vanite. Certainly soo saithe crisostome all thingis passeth / but oonly the seruice and loue of god / And for to know the order and maner howe to procede in this lytell boke. It is to knowe it shalbe deuided in .vii. chapitours after the vii. dayes of the weke. To thentent that the synfull soule solyed and defowlyd by synne maye in euery chapitoure haue a newe mirrour / wherin he maye be holde and consyder the face of his soule.

¶The table of this present booke.
[Page]¶The table.

  • ¶Firste of the filthenes and miserie of man.
  • ¶The Secounde of the synnes ingeneralle and of their effectis.
  • ¶The Thyrde howe they ought hastely with all diligence to do penaunce.
  • ¶The Fourth howe they ought to fle the world.
  • ¶The Fyfthe of the false Riches and vayne ho­noures of the worlde.
  • ¶The Sixt howe they ought to drede deth.
  • ¶The Seuenth of the Ioyes of paradyse and of the paynes of hell.
¶Explicit. Tabula.

¶Of the vilenes and myserie of man.

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Ieremie.

THe prophete Ieremie consideringe the freylte and myserie of mā ­kynde by maner of lamentacion in writyng saith thus Alas I poore creature wherfore was I borne out of the wombe of my moder / to se the labour & sorowe of this world / & to consume my dayes in cōfusion. Alas if this holy man Ieremie the whiche almighty god sāctified in the wōbe of his moder he him self said & ꝓfered so piteous wordꝭ: what may I say yt am engēdred & cōceyued in the wōbe of my moder by syn̄e And to yt purpose saith saint Barnard / Study to know thy self for that is the thinge moost auayllable & more praysa­ble to thy weale to knowe thy self: then it shuld be to knowe the course of sterres / the strengeth of herbes / or the compleccion of all men. The naturis of beestꝭ / or the science of all erthly thinge / For in that knowleige thou knowest not what to thy soule is profitable / Nowe consider / & beholde thou mortall & miserable man what was of the byfore thy nati­uitie / And what is it of the nowe sythe thou was borne / And what shalbe of the to the houre of thy deth / and what shalbe of the after this mortall lyfe Certainly thou haste been frome thy begynnynge [Page] a thynge vile / stinkynge / detestable and abhomynable / conceyued in fylthe rotennes of flesshe / & styn­kynge fylthy concupiscence: and in theimbracemēt of stinkyng lechery / & that worse is cōceyued in the vnclene spottꝭ of synne. & yf thou beholde & cōsyder well what mete thou art norisshed within thy moders wōbe: truly noon other but wt corrupt & īfect blod / as well is knowen by many phylosophers & other great clerkꝭ. & after thy natiuite thou that haste ben norisshed of so foule & vile nature in thy moders wōbe / as bifore is said: thou art also ordeined to wepingꝭ & criyngꝭ / & to many other mi (ser)ies / ī the exile of this sorowfull worlde. & that / that is more greuous / thou art also subiecte to thy deth the whiche euery true cristē man ought daily to remēbre / & thinke vpon / Behold then & cōsider in thy lyf / that amonge all thing that almighty god hath created & fourmed man is made of the most foule & abhomynable mater / that is to know of the slyme of therth the which erth is the lest worthy of al other Elimē tis / god hath made the planetꝭ & sterrꝭ of the nature of the fyre. The windes & birdes of the ayre / the fisshes of the water / the men & other beestꝭ of the erth Now cōsider thē the thingꝭ of olde ātiquite & thou shalt finde thy self most foule / & whē thou shalt knowe the other bodies which of the fire hath ben made & brought forth. thou shalt amōg al other creto's repute thy self right vile / & mi (ser)able / & thou shalt not will or may say or thīke thy self semblable to celestiall thingꝭ / or shalbe bold to preferre thy selfe byfore [Page] the thingis erthely / but yf thou wilt company thy selfe with any creatour a company the to brute be estis and thou shalt fynde thy selfe to thyem moost Semblable and lyke / For so saith the wyse Sala­mon / man and brute beestꝭ semblably be comen of the erth / and to therthe they shall retourne / knowe then howe noble thou art in this worlde / and take hede that the beaute / the praysinge of people / the strengeth and the heate of youthe / the Riches & thonours of the worlde / may not kepe the frome kno­winge of the vilite of thy birth / And yf more playnly thou desyre to knowe what is of the harken to the story of doctours holy saint Augustine that spekyth in this maner Alas myserable creature what am I what is of me Certainly I am a sake full of synne and Rotennes filled with stenche / and with blinde horrour / pore / naked and subgiet to all myserable necessities / and tribulacions / ignorante of my Entre / and outgoynge vnknowynge. miserable & deedly / of the whiche the day passeth sodenly & lightely as the shadowe. And the lyfe waneth as the mone / & as the grene lefe on the tree that by a lytell heate of sonne is sone drye: & with a lytell wynde is sone beten downe. I am myserable Erthe the synne of Ire / a vessell full of pryde / engendred by vilenesse and fylthy lyuynge in miserie / and mortall / in payne / anguisshe / and sorowe / to the whiche purpose saythe saynt Bernarde that a man is noon o­ther thynge thenne a fowle stynkynge frothe / and a sacke fulle of rotennes / and mete to wormes. [Page] ¶And for so moche as it is a thynge that shewyth by experience? beholde and consider what goothe frome thy mouthe / thy nose / and other condittis of thy body / And thou shalte say th [...]e can not be foun­de a more vile dunghyll / of the whiche thinge spe­keth [...]i [...]e Innocent fynable saiynge thus. O vile noughty condicion of man / beholde & consider the herbes and trees / they bringe forthe of theym braū ches floures / and fruytis / And thou bringest fourth nyttis / and stynkynge vermyn. They brynge forth frome theym wyne / oyle / and precious Bawme / & thou bringest forthe spetyll vryne / and dirty corrupcion / they floresshe and odoure with swetenes and suauyte / And thou yeldest frome the thabomynacyon of stynke / for other thing can not be brought out of the / for suche as the tree is / suche is the fruyte / ¶And man is noon other thynge after the four­me? but a tree tourned vp so downe / of the whiche the heyir be the rootys / and the blocke is the heed and necke / the stokke is the breste and tharme hoo­les / the greate braunches be the armes / and the legges / and the lytell braunches be the fyngers / and the Tooes / And the man is as the leef in the wyn­de and as the stubble dryed with the sonne / of the whiche saythe Iobe / the man is boone of the wo­man / lyuyge breue and shorte space of tyme / and replenysshed with many miseries / the whiche com­myth & groweth as the floure / that sodenly is bea­ten downe and flieth and passeth as the shadowe that neuer in oon self astate abydeth / wherfore it is [Page] spoken in the thirde of genesie. That god saide to man remembre thou arte but duste / and too duste thou shalte tourne / And for somoche saith Iobe lorde remembre thou haste made me as myre and duste / and therto shall I tourne agayne Alas pore creature that arte but slyme and myre wherof ough­test thou too be proude? thou that arte butte duste wherfore sholdest thou lifte vp thy selfe? thou that arte but asshes / wherfore sholdeste thou gloryfye thy selfe. See and consider that thou arte concey­ued in synne. ¶Thy natiuitie in payne / and tra­ueyll thy lyfe in miserye and laboure / And too the dethe necessaryly obligide. ¶Alas wherfore no­rysshes thou thy flesshe wyth dilycyousse meetys / and apparelles / thy selfe with riche & precious ha­bitis / whē within a fewe dayes the wormes shal deuoure the in the erthe / And thou takest noo hede to anowrne thy pore soule with good condiciōs & werkis the whiche if thou dyd not let it: shulde be presented to god thy creatour and his aungellis in the Ioye of heuen / wherfore settis thou at nought thy soule and lettꝭ and suffers thy cursid flesshe ha­ue senyorie and gouernaūce / knowe it suerly that it is a greate foule abusion to make a Chamberer a maistres and a maistres a Chamberer and ser­uaunt O soule thou haste an euill household of Enmies thy frende is to the an aduersary and yeldeth a retribucion to the euill for good / & vnder the like­nes of good is thy cruel enmye / O cursed flesshe as often tymes as thou sechest to norisshe and fede it [Page] diliciously. thou addresses and lyftꝭ vp agayne the thy mortall enmy / And as ofte as thou apparellis and ordeyns to thy selfe diuerse and precious vest [...] mentis thou armest thine enmye agayne the / and dispoyleth thy selfe from all the faier and precious ournamentis celestiall. O pore flesshe consider and be holde what thou shalte do / and what shalle be come of the after this mortall lyfe. Certainly thou shalte be but carion vile / and stynkinge corrupcion And miserable meate and fedinge / to wormys. Beholde the sepulcres & toumbes of theym that be asswed oute of this mortall lyfe And thou shalt furde noon other thinge but asses vermen horrour & stynche / I wys they haue been as thou art / & thou shalte be seche as they be. ¶They were men as thou arte / and haue e [...]en and dronken and passed the dayes in Ioyes and delitis of this wolde and in a momet they be dissended in to hell / & their fles­she hathe be en [...]en with wormes. And the sorowe full poure soule is deputed to be piteously treated and tourmented in the fiere of hell vnto the greate daye of Iugement / after the whiche daye both body and soule shall be buried in eternall dampnacino. ¶Then see what hath prouffited to the cursed synner the vayne glorie of this world for they that haue been folowars and foloweth in the pleasaunte and delitis of synne be nowe in like wise in the tourmentis of hell what hath prouffited to theym their shorte gladnes the myghtis of the world the delitis of the flesshe and the great concupiscence of [Page] false riches. Tell me nowe where be their laghingis where be now their Ioyes. their playes: their vanites. and organs. ¶O what Intollerable so­rowe is be comen of thies greate Ioyes with the grace and bitter distres / for so lytell tyme of voluptuoes delites as to be caste and ouer throwne in e­ternall payne euer duringe / Thinke then thinke & often for thinke in thy herte / that so as to theym is haponed it maye happen to the for thou art man & man is of therthe / And for soo moche as thou arte erth to the erthe thou shalt tourne when the houre of deth shall come / the whiche is vncertayne & vn­knowen. when howe or in what place it shall co­me for euery place alweys deth watchith and ge­uith attendaunce. ¶And therfore if thou be wise. thou shalt alwayes in euery place geue sure atten­daūce for hym / And of theym that so moche loueth their delitꝭ and pleasures of the worlde speketh I­soder in this maner Right dere frendes we ought well to remembre the lytell and breue tyme / that the felicite of this world durith and how lytell the Ioye of this worlde is and howe frayle / and fay­linge is the temporall myght of this world Now say presently what thou mayst saye. where be the kynges. the princis. the Emperours with the Ri­ches / and the powers of the worlde. They be as the shadowe vanisshed / they seche & aske for theim And they be departed / but what shall I saye you further the kingꝭ & the princes be deed / of the whi­che many of theym thought to lyue longe / and had [Page] went they had been suche men as deth myght not noye. O cursed mischeuous pore soule / leste & of all for getton / & cast out without any memory for thy miserable & abused synnes / is not so ordeyned that deth shall come? certainly ye shall dye and aswell a prince as other shal fall / Saint Bernard spekinge of the cōdicion of man after the deth? saith that there is no thinge more stinkinge or horrible then Carione of a dede man / for he of whome in his lyf the enbrasementis and collingis were swete and ple­saunte: In the deth it is horrible / and detestable to beholde. And for so moche he sayde after man? the wormes. after the wormes: stike / & horrour. what proffettis then in this present worlde Riches deli­tis and honour. The reches deliuerith not the sou­le from deth. The delitis deliueryth hym not from wormes / ne the honours frome stinke: and of the seluesame saint Iohn̄ crisostome / howe moche ha­the it prouffited to theym that in lechery and in voluptuoies of the body hathe continued to the laste daye of this present lyfe.

¶Howe lechery causeth many euellis to come to man.

LEchery is enmy to all vertues and to alle goodnes / and for that saithe Boice in his thirde boke of consolacion / that he is hap­py that lyueth withoute lechery / for leche­ry is a swete sykenes / and bringith a man to dethe [Page] or euer he perceyue it / as witnessith valerie in his .ix. boke the whiche valerie also in his .iiii. boke tel­leth howe Iosephus in his age demaundide of on yf he were not lecherous / ¶And he answered I praye the speke to me of sōme other thinge / For as I am aduised I haue had a greate victorie that I maye by age eschewe lechery / For by lechery alle euyllis commythe and to that creature alle goode thinges be troubled / Alas what was the cause of the distruccion of the people of Sichen? but for violacion of digne the doughter of Iacob / the whiche wolde goo to see to the dauncꝭ / and there rauisshed as it apperith in the booke of Ienesie in the .xxiii. Chapitour. ¶we rede also of many that is to saye moo then fifty thousande were slayne by cause of the lecherye comytted with the womon of leuite / as it apperith in the .xx. Chapitour of the booke of Iugis / And aman was slayne for the lechery of absolon his brother / for somoche that he had defouled Thamar his suster / as it apperith in the secounde boke of kingis in the .x. chaptour / Abnar by his lechery knewe the concupiscens of his fader hisbo­seth / but within shorte while after they were both slayne / as it apperith in the secounde boke of kyngꝭ in the .iiii. Chaptour / what was the cause of the diluuye but lechery / Beholde in the sepulcres if thou fynde any token of ventalse or certayne signes of lechery or of Riches / See and beholde yf thou fynde any token of precious clothingꝭ or riche anourmentis. where be nowe thabūdaunce of folisshe worldly [Page] plesauce / with great dyuers / and seruauntꝭ / their Ioyes / their solace / their inmoderate gladnes / where be they? for all memory and remembrauncꝭ thou shalt fynde in their tombes wormes asshes / & styn­kinge filthe / Remembre the then that suche is then­de of the moost dere and Riche frendis howe be it they haue passed their dayes in suche Ioious deli­tis of the worlde / Nowe wolde it please god that thou might ꝑfitely thinke in thyne hart. with con­tynuall labour / al theis thingis. But the cursed sonnes of Adam leauith the true and helthfull studies & demaundeth thingꝭ passinge & transitorye / & therfore if thou wyll in thyn hert by right deliberacion dreme & cōsider the vilete of this lyf? & fle pride / & folowe mekenes? in knowyng that pride is the syn̄e by the whiche the deuyil dyuideth & knoweth his? frō other. wherfor Iob saith ī his .xlv. chapitur / the deuyl is king ouer all the sōnys of pride / & saint gregory saith? that the true signe of euyll mē is pride / & the signe of gode is meknes / & by theis .ii. signes be knowen the (ser)uaūtꝭ of god / & the (ser)uaūtꝭ of the deuil & furthermore Isodor saith / yt the proud soule is lefte of god? & made a habitacle of deuillꝭ / to the wich purpose saith the wise mā / yt pride is to be hated of god & mā. so as it well apꝑith. For pride cast out lucifer from heuē / & adā from ꝑadise / pride made pharao drowned ī these / wt all his army pride put saule frō his relame / by pride nabigodonosor was tur­ned to liknes of a beest / by pride anthiochꝰ sufferd a viloꝰ deth / by prid harod had ye ꝑsecuciō of his tūg

¶Of synnes Ingenerall.

HE that doeth or comyttith synne is seruaunt to the deuyll / the whiche from his begynninge comytted synne: And soo as it is written in the first Canone of saint Iohn̄ the first chapitour / syn is a dede so heuy that the heuen wyll not suffer it / nor in thende the erth shall not susteyn it / but it shal discende in to hell with hym that cōmytted it / And we ought to knowe also as saint Augustyne saith all thingꝭ said or done by desire of concupiscence a­gainst the lawe of god is synne / the whiche thyng all creatours that willyth or desireth their saluaci­on ought with all their diligence flee and withstā de / and principally for .iii. thinges. ¶The firste is for somoche as synne is right displesaunt to god. ¶The secounde is aboue all thingis it is pleasure to the deuyll. ¶The thirde for somoche that synne is moste noyaunce to man. O pore synner and mi­serable man I say vnto the that thou ought with souerayn diligence flee and withstande all synne / by cause it is the thinge to god thy creature displeasaūt / Also that thou mayst consider & thinke what god hathe done for hate and detestacion of synne. For god our creatour for the displeasure of synne? distroyed and put to an ende nighe all his werkis That is to knowe alle the worlde by the flode of noe as it is written in the .vii. of genesie. Also we ought to knowe that god hath nat wasted and distroyed as other kyngꝭ and princis ded waste and [Page] distroye the landes of their enmyes / for their damage and defaultis: but god hathe distroyed and wasted his oonly propre lande / for the displeasure of synne / that was entred in to it in so greate aboun­daunce that all his lande perisshed / And furthermore god hath not synne in his displeasour oonly but also he hath displeasure with all that touches or is ꝑticipant with synne. And so ought we to knowe that god is not as the men / for they caste not theyr cuppes pottꝭ / & pecis of syluer / & golde in to the see / for the corrupt wyne that is within them / but they cast out the stinkyng wyne & kepith their vessels in suertie / but god dothe not in this maner with syn̄e for he casteth not only synne awaye: but with that he casteth & puttith to ꝑdicion the vesselles of sinne / That is to knowe the reasonable creatours / whome he hath made to the semblaunce of his Image / And with his precious blood bought agayn from dampnacion. The whiche pore soules for synne he shall caste in to the great & depe see of hell / & they so dye. And therfore it is saide in the boke of sapience in the .ix. chapitour The synner & his synne is most in the Dignacion of god / For god hath not so gode a frende in heuē: ne in erth: but that he hateth to the deth / if he fynde in hym one only mortall synne / for & saint peter had dyed in synne when he the thirde tyme denyed our lord not withstanding that he loued ihū crist more brēnyngly then any of the other apostels. He had ben cōdēpned by the diuine Iustice of almighty god / Secūdly it is well shewed vs [Page] ¶Howe almighty god hatyth synne when he for synnes of the worlde wolde make his oonly and pure Innocēt son piteously to dye the whiche thinge witnessith Isaye in his boke the fyfty & fourthe Chapitour sayng I haue deliuered and geuen my only sonne to deth for synne of people / for the sonne of god so as it is written ī the same boke of Isaye? hath willed to deliuer his soule to deth / to distroye synne. Nowe consyder who is he then that for the hate of his enmye wolde make his oonly and pro­pre son to dye. ¶Thirdely this same self thinge is shewed in that almighty god in the first begynninge cast synne out of heuen / And god seyng yet that syn̄e continued in the erth: he of his mercyful goodnes and frewyll. Discended frome heuen in to the worlde and put out synne / And at the daye of Iu­gement he shall caste and close synne in to the pytte of hell. wherfore Michee saithe in the laste Chapi­tour he shall caste in to the depth of the see our syn­ne / For god in the greate daye of Iugement shalle caste in the depe see of helle the synners with their syn̄es ¶Fourthly it is to shewe that god souerainly hathe synne in open detestacion by this similitu­de / for the good moder hathe inwardly the thinge in hate by the whiche she shold put her son in brennynge fyre & neuer take hym out. So in lyke wise is it of almighty god. For not withstandinge he hathe loued his children with so brennynge loue. That for theym he had wyll to dye / when the day of Iugement shall cōme he shall condempne theim [Page] in to euerlastinge fyre yf he fynde in theym one on­ly mortall synne / And thou pore synfull soule then for so moche that thou seest & vnderstandeth howe moche almighty god hateth / and hath abhomyna­cion of synne: if thou wyll please hym: thou ough­test before all thy workis flee and withstande alle synne / And gyue hym in the noo place / ne habitacy­on. For thou well knowest that the wife sholde be right vntrewe that wold ley in her bed a mā that shulde pursue the deth of her housbounde / wherby many euyllis might cōme to hym. Nowe is it soo then that synne is the thinge that our lorde Ihū caste the true spowse of soules whiche he hath so moche willed to loue that by their contynuaūce of syn many euillis hathe hapened them / and fynably the dethe / And therfore right dere frende thinke of thy saluacion / & flee synne / and herken the monicion of Dauid the prophete the whiche saith ī this maner O my almyghty god I pray the yeue me a fyrme / pure / and clene harte / And that it listeth to renewe my inwarde ꝑties / with thy holy and sacrid spiri­te. ¶Secoundely thou ought souerainly & wyth all diligence flee synne / principally deedly synne for that is the thinge that most pleaseth & reioisith our goostely enmye the deuyll / as thou maist know by thre signes / ¶The firste is that the fende askethe noon other disporte or wynnynge but only the soules. wherfore it is written ī the .xl. chapitour of ge­nesie that the deuyll spake to god: saiyng to hym in this maner / gyue me the soules of thy creatures / & [Page] all the remnaunt kepe to thy selfe. And saint Gregory saith / that the deuyll estemyth or Iugꝭ no thinge doon that pleasithe hym: yf it hurte not the soule. with the darte of deadly synne / For he doth as the birde for his praye. He sercheth nor askith noon o­ther thinge for his refeccion but the harte / In lykewise the deuyl asketh of man no thinge but the soule / The secounde thinge is that the deuyl aboue all desireth and loues synne / For his cōtynuall temptacion / For in cōmyttyng of synne / he was neuer wery ne ouer traueled. For he hath ben purchasynge synne by the space of .vi. M. yere & more / and neuer was wery nor fatigate / but alwaye sercheth & en­quireth the new maner to make the creatur to cō ­mytte syn̄e. For as it is writtē in the first chapitur of Iobe that when almighty god asked of the de­uill from whens he cōme he answered that he had circuyed all therth / The whiche is a signe he occupyed alway to moue synne / & neuer can take rest / & for this cause is the auctorite folowyng taken ī the boke of Iobe ī the .iii. chapitour saiyng in this maner / they yt deuoure me slepith not. The thirde sig­ne wherby it may be knowen that the fēde is souerainly pleased wt syn̄e For so moche he was neuer satisfied wt syn̄e / not withstāding yt he hath by sinne deuored infinite thousandꝭ of men / & yet is he al­waies hūgry as the ragious lion euer sechīg how he may deuoure moo / And as saint Peter saithe he is not only hungry of mete but with yt he thurstith for drynke / wherof saith Iobe the flode is horrible [Page] and the deuyll merueleth not therof / for he hathe trust that the flode of Iordane shall entre in to his throte that is to say in to hell / and the flode that the deuell so swaloeth without meruelinge is the synnes cōmynge day / and night in to the swallowin­ge of hell / the whiche he desireth souerainly to de­uour / And more clerly to proue that the deuyll ta­kith in syn̄e his dilectacion we haue an example in the lyf of faders / in the chapitour of deuylles. how one of theym a monge other was praysed and ho­nored of his prynce of deuyllꝭ / & was set ī a chayre bifore all other / in signe of victorie Bicause that he had led / & brought to the synne of fornicacion a mō ke / the whiche by the space of .lxiii. yere before he myght not drawe to synne / Nowe therfore synful soule wepe bitterly / as longe as thou hast reioyced against the? thy enmies. That is to knowe the fendis / whom thou hast reioyced / as many tymes as thou hast mortally synned / And for the tyme to co­me? order the by pure confession / & worthy satisfaccion? to make thy lorde god Ioye in the / with all his aungellis. for as saith saint Luke in his xv. chapitour / the aungellꝭ of heuē reioyces theym. when a synner is conuerted and dothe penaūce / Thryde­ly thou oughtest studiously to flee & withstand synne / for it annoyeth the / & is more cōtrary to the then any other thynge / in somoche that by synne we be­parted frome the loue of god / & be made his enmy­es. as saith the prophete Isaye in his .xix chapitour Oure iniquities hath put deuision bitwene god & [Page] vs / And our synnes hath withdrawen his face frome vs / that is to say frome our vision. For there is noon in paradise so iuste nor so holy? if he cōmytted synne? but a noon he shulde fall in to he. and lese the loue of god / to the whiche purpose saithe saint Au­gustyne / he that cōmytteth faulte or synne agaynst his true and moste true frende? ought to be repu­ted greatly reprouable Nowe then it behoueth the to knowe and vnderstond that by a more stronge reason he that cōmyteth faulte or synne against the souerayn & debonayre all mighty god? ought well to be reputed and of al holden abhomynable. Four thely it is to knowe that by synne the synner is Iuged to the Iebet of hell / & for so moche as the lawe of god is not farre different fro the lawe of man? Therfore in lyke maner al the brekers of the lawe of man? whiche dothe trespace againste the kingis Royall magestie? be worthy to deth / and ought to be punysshed corporally. So in sembliable wyse the pore and miserable synners: whiche haue offended not oonly the temporall prince: but to the heuē ­ly kinge: ought well to be condempned & to be hanged in hell perpetually / as it is written in the boke of Esdras the .xiiii. chapitour / And in lyke wyse in decre of daryous / in the whiche he saith thus / it oughte to be shewed that who so euer trangresseth & breketh the lawe yeuen & written as touchyng the synne of cōmyssion: or ellis dispises it: as touchinge the synne of omyssion: they ought to take of the propre wode that is to say of the gardeyn of their propre [Page] conscience / for in the consciens growyth a tree wheron the synner is hanged / and his gode dedes be forfeated and ascribed / For by cause he hathe of­fended and dispised the lawe of his prince. ¶Also in lyke wyse the punysshemente of synnes in wicked creatures: retourneth to the glory of the heuenly kinge as the rewarde of glorie is Ioyfull to hym: of theym that be gode. So mayste thou se that the lawe of mā doth bodely / & the lawe of god doth spiritually / & that same almost is redde in the .vii. Chapitour of hester / where it is said / take a mā and hange hym on the Iebet / by a man is vnder­stande a synner whiche the heuenly kinge shall cō ­maunde to be hanged on the Iebet of hell / if he fynde hym in mortall synne / Fyftely synne dispoylethe man in this worlde from all goodnesse and grace And in the other worlde frome eternall Ioy / so as it is written in the .xiiii. chapitour of ꝓuerbes / syn­ne / maketh man pore and miserable / for truely the synner ought well to be called pore whan he hath no thinge but hath lost him self by dedly synne / and frome fredome is entred in to the seruytute of the deuyll / yet ought the synner to be called more pore / for he may no thinge wyne beynge in suche astate / nor may do any workes meritorious or agreable to god / & finably / may be called right pore / for noon may yeue to hym any thīg yt gode is / for it shal profite hym noo thinge to the helthe of soule / for he ha­the no lyfe but only in the body / the soule is as ded. wherof Boice saith in his .iiii. boke of consolacion / [Page] an euyll man is noon other wyse to be called but a dede man. For man by synne is departed from the lyght of god / & derkely blyndide. For as it is writ­ten in the sophologie in the firste chapitour / They shall walke as blynde / that haue synned agaynste god. And as the psalmyste saith / they haue not knowen ne sene the waye of their helth / And therfore they walke in derkenes / to this purpose saith saint Ierome / The soule polluted by synne? is depryued and beaten downe / to thende that he is not wor­thy or hathe power to beholde on highe / And it is to be knowen that synne is as the rotennesse in an apple / for as the putrifaccion taketh frome the ap­ple the coloure and odoure? So dothe synne take frome man the odour of good renowne / & of Ioy? the colloure and beaute / with the sauour of grace wherfore synne of good right? well may be called rotennesse / of the whiche speketh Isaye in his .xv. chapitour / saiynge / he that doth synne ledeth a mo­re foule life? then is the myere or any rotennes of therth. And saint Augustyne saith & recitith / that it is a more swete odour to man to smell a nold stynkinge roten dede dog: then is a synfull soule to god & of this mater spekith saint augustine in a sermon the whiche he made / and by hym was drawen. A syn̄er there p̄sent? in to the way of saluaciō. Now aduise & consider poure & miserable synner. what auayleth to the thy cofer full of wordly goodes / yf thy conscience be voyde frome all good werkes / & dedis thou couetys to haue worldely goodes / and [Page] thou wilt not be good thy self. Arte thou not asha­med to haue thy house full of goodis: And thou re­plenisshed with so many euyllis. Nowe answere me to this question what is it that thou woldeste haue euyle. Firste thou woldest not haue a neuyle wyfe / euill children / nor euile seruaūtꝭ / nor yet euill gowne / nor euyll hoseen. And yet thou cursed & herted in thy synne. woldest leade stylle a cursed lyfe. Nowe I pray the for thyne owne helthe: loue not more deerly thy hosen then thy self / that is to say so as thou woldest not haue euile hosē whiche is one of the semplest aparelmentis of thy body: wyll not thou to led an euile lyfe. for the good lyfe is oon of the fayrest apparell of the soule all the thingis that thou seest fayre and plesaunte: thou holdes theym and reputis theym as dere / But and thou see well thy selfe: thou shall repute the as vile / and stinking and thinke thou verily yf the gooddes wherwith thy house is fylled had power to speke they wolde crye against the / saynge with an highe voyce / thou woldest haue and possede vs after thy appetite / & wyll / and we wolde haue a good true lorde. her­ken howe they crye against the in addressinge the­yr desires to god. O true god creatour of the worlde why hast thou yeuē to this man so moche good and he is so euyle what maye it prouffite hym the greate goodes that he possesses. whan he hath noo in hym the true loue of god. that alle hathe yeuen hym / Sixtely it is to be noted / that by synne man is be come a brute beest / And therfore saithe Boice [Page] in his .iiii. boke of cōsolacion / A man good / Iuste / and trewe: yf his wisdome and Iustice be lefte: he is no more man. For as sone as he yeueth hym to synne: he is conuerted to a brute beest / And the phelosopher in his Ethiques saith / That he is not oonly a beest but worse & more detestable then a beest. To the whiche accordith Dauid the prophete say­inge in this maner / man duringe the tyme that he was in honour: and to god agreable: had no wyll to vnderstande his helthe but fell frome god / wherfore he is compared to brute bestis: and fowle / and is made to theym semblable. for the .vii. and laste poynte it is to be noted / that of synne is borne deuilles seruitude. wherof writeth saint Iohn̄ in his firste Canonique in his thirde Chaptour: he that maketh or cōmytteth synne: is seruaunte to the deuill. wherfore all theis thingis considered: thou pore soroufull and miserable synner haue mercy and py­tie of thy soule. and haue noo wyll to put thy sou­le. in to synne: butte remembre howe by thy cur­sed synnes thou haste offended and wrathed thy lorde god. ¶And that thou haste reioyced thy greate enmye the deuylle. and doon / damage to thyne neyboure. ¶Nowe thenne I praye the pore synfull man knowe the noblenes of thy soule and howe greate and greuous hathe be the woū ­des of her comytted by synne. For the whiche of necessite the sonne of god hathe suffered soo greuous passion. For certaynly yf the woundes of thy soule had ben mortall: the sonne of god had neuer suffe­red [Page] deth for their remedy wyll not then to desoule and disprayse. when thou seest & knowest that his right highe mageste hathe had so moche pytye and compassion of his soule. And saith it is soo that he hath shed tearis and wepingꝭ for the / wasshe thou then thyne bed nightly with tearis of penaūce & cō tricion. He hathe shed his blode for the / shede thou thy tearis for hym by contynuall penaūce. Behold not that / that the flesshe wold / but cōsider that whiche the soule secheth & demaūdith: For as saith sainte Gregory / for asmoche as the flesshe in this worlde lyueth swetely in the delytꝭ & pleasauntis therof whithin a shorte space of tyme after the lyfe corpo­rall: the soule eternally shalbe tourmented. & asmo­che more as the flehe in this world shalbe chastised so moche more shall the soule haue Ioy and glory in the other worlde. ¶wherfore saithe saint Au­gustine lette vs leue and put behynde vs for the honoure of Ihesu criste: the thingis that be to be lefte & that lettyth the helth of our soules / to thende that for thingꝭ transitorye: we lese not eternall / and consider that if it were said to the take and vse at wyll the goodꝭ & delitꝭ of this worlde / asmoche as shalle please the / on that cōdicion: that after thy Iene shalbe taken frome the / & thou shalt all the remenaūt of thy lyf contyune in lang wishe / hungre / payne / and myserie. certeinly I am sure thou woldeste neuer thenne desyre suche temporall gooddꝭ: Nowe consider and rise diligently thenne / For all the course of the lyfe of man is not to compte one monethe or [Page] one daye / or one houre / of space or tyme: in regarde or comparison of the perpetuall curside paynes of hell / that hath noon ende. And to the whiche noon other paine is semblable nor hable to be cōpared.

¶Howe we ought with all diligence do penaunce.

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SAint Mathewe in his .xiiii. Cha­pitour saithe that oure lorde wyllinge and ad­moneshinge the creatu­re to doo penaunce: spe­kith in this maner / He that takes not his cros­se & folowe me? is not worthy to haue me / by this crosse we be taughte and geuen to vnder­stond penaūce / the whiche all synners ought to take and bere ꝑseueraunt­ly / yf he desyre in the beatitude eternalle to reigne with Ihesu criste For as saithe saint Ierome in apistole that he wrote to Susanne saynge thus / pe­naunce is to the synner necessarie / and ought to be so moche / that it be sufficient for the cryme done a­gainst god / or for the more meryte that the penaunce excede the synne / And as saint Augustyne saythe who that wyll be saued / it behoueth hym and is to [Page] hym necessarie: ofte to purge and wasshe his con­ciens / with tearis / frome al the filthes / & vnclennes where with he hathe poluted & defilyde hym selfe frome the tyme of his baptisme: But perauenture thou that hast geuen and hadde all thy pleasure of the worlde: wyll say in this maner. Thy sermond and the wordes that thou sayste to me in aduising me to do penaunce: me semeth verie harde / For I maye not dysprayse the worlde / nother correcte / ne chastyse my flesshe / Alas poore synner herkyn the / Doctrine not of me / but of holy saint Ierome / that saith in this maner. It is inpossible that a mā may vse and Ioye the goodes of this present worlde here: in fyllynge his Belly and accompliss hynge his wyll and thought: And after this worlde thinkith to haue the delitis in the heuenly world / for he can not haue his Ioye in this erthe here: and haue the greate glory in heuen. The whiche sentence con­fermeth sancte Gregory saiyng thus: many there be that couite and desyre to flee frome the presente exile of this wolde / in to the glory and Ioye of ꝑa­dise: but yet wolde they not leue their worldly de­litis / the grace of our lorde Ihū calleth theim / But the cursed concupiscence of this worlde reuoketh and with draweth theym / ¶They wolde gladly dye as right wyse people doth: but they wold not lye as they do. And therfore they shall euerlasting­ly perysshe / and folowe theyr werkes in to hollꝭ / & there to be in ꝑdurable dampnacion. To this pur­pose speketh saint Barnarde to the synners that refuse [Page] penaūce / O miserable syn̄ers know cōsyder in your hartꝭ the lyfe & strayte cōuersaciō of glorious saint Iohn̄ Baptiste / whiche strayte lyfe & conuersacion: is to all delicious synners not wyllynge to doo penaunce: the verie messenger of eternall deth Alas we pore miserable and vnresonable bestꝭ and wormes of therth: wherfore be we proude / dispyteous and displesaūt to do penaunce / sith that we see that he that amonge al men was borne the moste greate: hath wylled his holy body pure / clene / & Innocent / to chastice by penaunce / And we desyre to clothe and anourne our synfull bodies with precious clothinge / And the good holy saint: had none other clothinge to his boody but the harde sharpe skynne of a Camyl we couete and desire to drinke delicious wynes: & sainte Iohn̄ the Baptiste that glorious frende of god dranke in the deserte noon other thinge but clene & pure water / beholde than miserable synner: Oughtest thou then flee doynge of penaunce & folowe worldely pleasures: I wys nay / for certainly it is not the way to paradise / and more to moue thyne herte to penaunce and to flee the delitis of this worlde: remembre the of the euil Riche man / that was lord and maister of so great Riches / and was dayly clothed with precious ha­bitis / of purpyll / the whiche / not withstandyng all the delitys that he hadde in this worlde: after his mortall lyf was passed: might not atteyne to haue in the necessyte of his brennynge & heate one oonly drope of water / for to refresshe and coole his tunge [Page] ¶Therfore remembre these thyngꝭ dere frende & do penaunce whyle thou hast tyme & space / & trust not to moche of length of dayes / For thoughe almighty god haue ꝓmiside ꝑdone and mercy to them that wyll do penaunce / he hath not promisyd them certayne tyme to leue / nor yet a daye houre ne my­nute. And if thou wylte knowe what is penaunce I say vnto the it is wepyng teares of cōtricion for thy synnes passed / with fyrme purpose neuer to cō mytte them more / For as saith saint Augustine the penaunce is vayne: whiche synne folowynge defilith. And the wepyng no thinge profetith whenne they retourne agayne to syn̄e. Nor to aske ꝑdon of god: & wyll to falle agayne to synne. And for more declaracion thou ought to knowe & note that ther be thre maners of penaūce / that is contricion with harte / confession with mouthe / and Satisfaccion with warkꝭ / For that thre maners we offend god that is to knowe. The delectacion of thought by inprudence of wordes / and by warkꝭ of pride / and for that / that by the contrare it muste be curide: we muste make satisfaccion to god in thre other ma­ners / puttinge contricion againste the delectacion of synne / confession againste inprudēce of wordes / Satisfaccion against the warkis of pride. Nowe see thou firste what is contricion / Contricion is a sorowe wilfully taken for syn̄es cōmytted and do­ne / with full purpose to abstaine to make true con­fession & dewe satisfacciō / & as saith saint Barnard the sorowe ought to be in iii. maners / that is to say [Page] sharpe / more sharpe / and sharpest / Right sharpe: for cause we haue offended oure souerayne lorde god creator of all thingꝭ. And more sharp: for we haue inpungued our celestiall fader that so swetly hath norisshed & fedde vs / And in that we so haue offended him: we may be reputed wors then doggꝭ / for the doggꝭ of their nature: louyth & folowes them that norissheth & fedith them. Thirdly contricion ought to be moost harde and sharpe: For so moche that in cōmytting synne we offende god. And cru­cifie & tourment our redemer / that hath bought vs with his propre blode: and delyuered vs from the bondes of synne / & hath deliuered vs frome the cruelte of deuyllꝭ / and the paynes of hell / wherfore we ought to haue sorowe and displeasūce of thre thin­gis. ¶That is to witte of syn̄e cōmytted by good dedes lefte and tyme loste as spekith saint Augu­styne saiynge contricion of harte is more worth: then all the pylgrimagꝭ of the worlde / & in a clau­se made vpon the psalme Ad dūm cum tribularar. It is saide god can not despyse ne withstande the repentaunce of a contrite harte: that with verie cō tricion besechith his mercy / And in lyke wyse saith saynt Iohn̄ Crisistome / Contricion is that oonly thinge that makith a soule to hate the fresshe habi­tis / and maketh hym redy to loue sharpe clothinge of hear / to loue tearis / to hate and flee plesauntis and laughingis / for there is noo thinge that so conioyneth and vnityth the soule to god: as the tearis of a penytente. ¶And to the contrarie saythe [Page] saint Augustyne we maye not yeue the deuyll morre sharpe sorowis: then to heale oure woundes of synne by confession and penaunce. But alas howe be it that by penaunce and contricion we may gett so moche weale: And yet fewe folkis be that wol­de do penaunce / ¶wherfore thus oure lorde com­plaineth him / spekinge by Ieremye / there is no mā spekyth that good is: nor that wolde do penaunce for synne cōmytted and done. The secounde that is to saye confession is laufull and sufficient occasion and declaracion of synners trespace / byfore the pre­est: For this worde confession is as moche to saye / as an hole shewinge or shewinge of alle to geder. For he truely confessithe hym hoilly: that saithe all / Confession also as saith Isodore in the boke of his ethimologies / is that thinge by whiche the secreat sekenes of the soule vnder hope of pardone & mer­cye is made open to the praysinge of god / of the vertu of whiche saint Ambrose vpon the psalme beati inmaculati saith: the vengaunce of god seassith: yf mannys confession make hym selfe clene. And Cassidore vpon the psalme of. Confiteantur tibi popu­li deus saithe / that god is not as Iuge / But as an aduocate for them that by true confession condem­neth and yeldith them selfe gilte: And pore leo saith that the synne abidith not to condempne man in iugement whiche by confession hathe bene purged. And saint Augustyne in the boke of penaunce saith confession is the helthe of soule / the mynyshere and consumer of synne / restorer of vertues / ¶And the [Page] withstander and ouercomer of the deuyll / & what more / confession shettꝭ the gates of hel / And openith the gates of paradise / And for theis forsaide causis right dere frende truste the coūsaile of Isaye. Tell thyn iniquite so as thou maist be Iustified For the begynnynge of Iustice is cōfession of synne: wherfore it behouith to confes the of all thy synnes holy of the whiche thou canste knowe any remēbraūce to one preest whiche hath power to assoyle the / so that thou telle not ꝑte of thy synnes to one preest: & ꝑte to an other. For if thou shuldest cōfesse the after suche maner / nother the oon preest ne the other myghte assoyle the / for as saith saint Barnard / he that deuidethe his confession to diuers cōfessours: hath no ꝑdone / For it is detestable faynyng of hym / that deuideth & withholdeth his synne frome shewing the verray ꝓfoundenes of his synne enteerly. And they that makith suche cōfession / receiueth excōmu­nicacion for absolucion / & malidiccion for blessynge Sushe diuisions & cōfessions is made by ypocrisie For they shewe their greate greuous synne to the prestꝭ which they know not. And to thyem that be of their familier knowlege: they shewe their most light synnes / wherof saith saint Augustine as it is written in the decree / He that deuideth his confession is not to be praysed in noo condicion / For he ke­pith counsaill frome the on / that he sheweth to the other / the whiche thinge he dooth by maner of ypocrisie / to thentent to be praysed. Nowe lette vs speke thenne of satisfaccion the whiche Saint Au­gustyne [Page] Diffynyth in this maner / Satisfaccon is to withstande and leue the causis of synne: and not to fauoure his suggestions ne admonicions: saynt Gregorye saithe we make not satisfaccion by seas­synge of synne: yf we leue not the voluptuous by­longeing therto. And shewe wepinge and lamen­tacion vnfayned / for oure synne to the whiche purpose saithe Crisostome suche as the offence afore hathe been comysed: suche wyse ought agayne to fo­lowe the reconsiliacion and satisfaccion. And asmoche to be inclyned to wepyngis and lamentacion as thou haste been inclyned to synne. ¶And to ta­ke as greate / deuocion to penaunce: as thou haste hadde greate intente to commytte synne. ¶For thy greate and mighty synnes desyreth the greate lamentacions wherof saithe Eusebeus bys­shoppe / by lyghte contricion maye not be payde the deibte the whiche is due to the dethe eternall: For synne / ne with lytell satisfaccion the fyre eter­nall that is made redde for the euyll may be quen­ched / but many be soone wery in this mortall lyfe to doo penaunce and retourne frome the waye of satisfaccion / lokynge bakwarde as dyde the wyfe of lothe: agaynste the whiche spekythe saynt Bar­narde in a sermonde: and saithe / he that perfectely felythe and perceuyth the peysaunt dedes of synne and the lesyon and sekenes of the soule: can not ly­ghtely fele & perceyue the paynes of the body / nor repute the laboures any thinge: by the whiche he may do a waye synnes passed & withstand theym [Page] that be to cōme / And as saint Augustine saith vpon the .xv. psalme / many be that haue noo shame to cō ­mytte synne / but they haue greate shame to doo pe­naunce / O vnbelefull creature and far oute of thy reason / canste thou not haue shame and horrour of the great woūdes of synne: Seest thou not what foule stinke & Rotennes is therin renne to the me­dicyne and do penaunce and saye my lord god my creature I knowe myne Iniquite / and soo clerly: that my synne is alwaye againste me / to the oonly I haue cōmytted synne whiche is oonly withou­ten synne / Farthermore it is to be knowen that sa­tisfaccion is in thre thinges / that is to wytte in prayer / almes and in fasting. To thende that the noumbre of thre be opposite againste thre falce and deue­ly synnes / prayer againste pryde / Fastinge against concupiscence of the flesshe / and almes against Couetous / And for all thinge that is cōmytted again­ste god is ordened prayer / And for the synne againste his neyghboure is ordeyned almes: and for the synne against hym selfe / is ordeyned fastinge / And for more declaracion of satisfaccion he fpekyth somwhat of almes Almes is as moche to saye after the maner of spekinge: as cōmaundemente of mercy. And in this maner ought this worde to be written Elemosina by E and some tyme they write Elimosina by I then is it asmoche to saye as the cōmaun­demente of god / For he hym selfe cōmaunded it to be done with his owne propre mouthe: wherof saithe Ieremye / yeue almes: and all thingꝭ shalbe [Page] you pure & clene / Or thirdly Almes may be said after sume the water of god / for as water quencheth fyre of almes dede quencheth synne. wherfore it is to knowe that thre thingꝭ principally ought to moue vs to do and accomplisshe almes / and werkꝭ of mercy. ¶The fyrste is / for mercy bieth agayn the gilte of synne / for so moche as it is wirtten in the ꝓuerbe in the .xvi. Chapitour / by mercy vanite & ini­quitie is bought agayn / And danyell resitith in his xiiii. chapitour speking of a woman that put in all the vessellis that she hadde a lytell quantite of oyle. And a noon the oyle grewe ī suche maner that she paide and pacified her creditours. The vessellis of the woman / betokeneth the poore people whiche we sholde call in to oure housis: For as saith Isaie in his .liii. chapitour lede and calle the poore to thy house and kepe theym: And with that thou haste: that is to saye distrybute parte of thy substaūce to this pore vessels / moche lyke to that saith Thobye yf thou haue lytell to yeue yet study to yeue and departith the pore wyllingly / For then shall growe the oyle of mercye / when by gracious meritis. the synfull soule hathe made satisfaccion to god for his synnes. ¶The secounde thinge that ought to me­ue vs to yeue almes is / for it encreases and multi­plyes the temporall goodes / as saithe saint Grego­ry in his dialoge / worldly substaunce be multipli­ed. For so moche as they be destribute and yeuen to the poore. we haue example in the thirde booke of kinges in the xvi. chapitour of the widowe that [Page] fedde healy / to whome almighty god multiplied booth brede and oyle / wherby it is vnderderstan­de that more is to almous prouffitable to theym that fedeth the pore: then to the pore that receyueth it. ¶Thirdly wherfore we ought to doo almes and werkes of mercy is: for that / that almous ke­peth the almes yeuer / of the houre of dethe / and le­deth with clernes and Ioye his soule to the Real­me of heuen. And therfore saith saint Ambrose / that mercy is the oonly helpe to theym that ben passed. ¶O what felyshyppe is it of almes to hym that dyeth / leue not then so trewe and soo goode a ser­uaunte / nor put suche an aduocate behinde thy backe / ne doo not as they that in their lyfe withhold­deth their goodes by suche brennynge Couetous: that neuer with theyr propre handes / departed al­mes to the pore / For such be semblable to hym that for to see clerly his wayes berith his lyght behyn­de his backe / but doo as is taught to the by Eccle­siasticus / saye not to thy frende of thy soule that is to saye to Ihesu criste: or to the pore that shall aske the almes. ¶My frende goo and cōme agayne to morowe and thenne I shall yeue the / All be it that that thou mayste yeue hym. whanne he askyth it. ¶For it is to be knowen that the riche of whome the poore asketh almes: ought to consider thre thinges Firste who it is that asketh / for god hym selfe loueth so moche the poore that all that is yeuen to theym in the honoure of hym: he repentis to hym selfe. ¶And for so moche as it is wrytten in the [Page] thirde Chapitour of saynt Mathewe / alle that ye shall doo to any / oon of the leest seruauntis: ye doo it to me / god by the pore demaundeth almes of the Riche / and the riche demaundeth of god the real­me of heuen / soo that the riche ought well to drede to refuse or deney his almous to the poore / leest that almyghty god wyll deny his prayer and as­kynge of the Realme of heuen. For it is written in the prouerbes in the .xxi. Chapitoure / He that clo­seth his eers whanne he hereth the poore crye: the tyme shall cōme that he shalle crye and god shalle not here hym. ¶Secoundly / the ryche shuld well consyder what thynge it is that god asketh when by his poore people he askethe almous / Certaynly he asketh noo thynge of oures / But god asketh his oonly owen / wherfore he may welle be called vn­kynde to god: whanne he denyeth to the poore his necessarye almous: whanne he hathe metys and drynkes with other goodes aboundauntely: the whiche thynges well consydered Dauid: where he saythe in paralipomynone in his .xxix. Chapi­tour. ¶Oo my god and my lorde alle thynge be thyne: and we haue noon other thyngis to ye­ue the but oonly that / that we haue receyued and taken of thy hande. ¶For trewely oure lorde god asketh by the poore noo thynge: butte that is his: and apperteynethe to him: and not to haue yeuen / butte oonly to leane it / ¶And not oonly to yelde therfore the dowble or thirde parte: but as an vsu­ret wyll encreace it a hundreth tymes more· [Page] ¶O poore synner doo thenne after the saiynge of saint Augustyne / yeue to god for vserie and thou shalte take an .C. tymes more and possede the lyfe eternall To moche thou arte vnkynde if thou wil not yeue to god. For god to vsuri as thou woldest do to a Iew or a sarasyne. And therfore consider all theis thyngis / and I derely praye the assemble to gether the pore / and by theim make thy treasour in henen / in doynge the werkꝭ of mercy: and make not thy tresoures here in the Erth / but the harte of a couetous man is as a pytte withoute a botho­me. The more it receyueth the more it wolde haue And yet it is neuer full / And so saith Ecclesiasticus in the .vii. Chapitour. The couetous man shall ne­uer be fulfylled with money / for the herte alwaye folowith the treasour / sorowe maye be saide to theym that in perlyous exile of this worlde makyth their treasoure / and vppon that saith crisostome: assemble thy substaunce in place and countrey: whe­re shalbe thy dwellynge / for he that makith his tresoure but in the erth: shal noon haue in heuē when he no thinge hath put there / And beleue suerly that the thinge thou shall fynde there: is oonly the good thou haste yeuen to the poore. The goodes be not a mannys whiche he may not guyde ne bere with hym / Now vnderstand the fayre auctorite of saint Ambrose / he saithe that noo thinge is of so great cō mendacion towardes god as pity and charite / the good doctor sayde I haue beholde many bookes & scriptures butte I can not remember that I haue [Page] founde of any man: that wyllingly hath excersised the workes of mercy and pytie and viliously dyed And pope leo saithe he yeueth and sendeth to god precious and encere fruytis: that neuer lectyth the pore departe frome hym dispurneid or sorowfull. For the vertue of mercy is soo great / that without that: alle the other maye not prouffite. And howe be it that a man be true chaste / sobyre / garnisshed / and adryched with many other vertues: yf he be not mercyful and piteous neuer shal he fynde mercy. And this that I haue sayde of vertues / Almes and werkes of mercy / conceruyng the pore people suffisyth / And nowe we shall retourne to the pur­pose of the begynnynge of this Chapitour / where it is sayde: he that takes not his crosse and cōmyth after me: is not worthy to be with me. this crosse ought to be taken in the tyme of youthe / and stren­ghte to the whiche purpose it is sayde in the secoū ­de chapitour of Ecclesiastice: remember the of thy ceator in the daies of thy youth / For thenne it pro­fityth a man moost: and moste pleasyth god / In lyke wyse he saith / son tary not to cōuerte the to god: and differre not frome daye to daye / For his Ire shall cōme on the sodeinly. And in the tyme of ven­geaunce he shall distroye the / But agaynst the hel­thefull counsayle of the wyse / the deuill yeueth and promiseth to man enyl & damnable hope of longe lyf saiyng thou arte yonge and shall lyue and thou mayste goo to confessyon and doo penaunce. ¶O thies poore synners howe they be deceyued [Page] that soo lyghtly beleueth in his deceytis: and in the false hoope of longe lyfe / purposynge in their aige to currecte theym selfe / and amende / and thenne cō meth soden deth / and fynably rauyssheth and ta­keth them to dampnacion. ¶And for so moche as it is sayde in Ecclesiastico in the .xxix. chapitour That by the promission and hope of longe lyfe many be putte to perdicion. Nowe is it then to note that suche deuilishe promise of longe lyfe and thin­kynge to doo penaunce in age: is full euylle / for it is agaynste right and reason / And yet is it worse / For it is also agaynste the synner hym selfe / ¶And more euyll it is against the souerayne boū tie of god / and that it is agaynste right and reason it apperith by thre ensamples / the firste example is: that who that hadde .x. asses and shulde yeue the gretest burthen of charge to bere to the most feble: he shulde do agaynste reason and good Iustice. ¶And so wyll he that oonly wyll yeue to hym selfe in his aige the charge and burthen of the synnes that he hath cōmytted in his youth / and strengthe / for thenne he yeueth the burthen to the moost feble asse: that is to say to the debilitie of age / For in age man hathe no strength ne vertue to bere labour or payne. And they that so differre their penaūce: de­serueth malediccion of god as it is written in zacaria in the firste chapitour / The man full of fraude is cursed that in his bestiall lyfe hathe doon many euyllis / and makyth sacrifice to god of the worste / and the moost poore amendemente. [Page] ¶And in lyke wyse is he cursed that in the delitis of this worlde passeth the tyme of his youthe and strength / and differreth to make true sacrifice vnto almyghty god: tyll the tyme of feble and olde aige cōme vppon hym / ¶And therfore sayth Isodore / he that lyueth the conuenable tyme of penaūce / It shalbe to hym but as voyde thinge to cōme to the yate of god to praye. ¶The secounde example is / that he that in hys strength and power is not hable to lyfte a ferdell in his youth: and whanne he commeth to feblenes of aige thenne wolde take vppon hym the charge: myght welbe reputed a verye foole. ¶So in lyke wyse is he that in his youthe why­les strength is in hym: woll not take vppon hym the dedes of penaunce whiche thenne maye be to him light. And hopeth better to do them in his age whanne there shall be augmented in hym: greate debilite and feblenes / he well maye be resembled to a fole. ¶wherof as it is sayde in the lyfe of fa­ders that one went and kutte a fagotte of woode and thenne assayed to lyfte it / and founde it to he­uye. ¶And yet he wente to an other woode and putte in more / and wolde haue lyfted it / and founde it so moche more heuy to bere / ¶In this manere doth the synners whan they take the charge of synnes and leueth to do penaunce / from daye to day puttynge & adioynynge synne vpon synne. For as saith saynt Gregory / the synnes that by pe­naunce is not purged & taken away: of his nature [Page] desyrith and drawyth to hym other synnes. ¶The thyrde example is / he that all his lyfe hathe hadde greate study and cure with worke men to prepayre and make an howse in the whiche he ne­uer hathe purpose ne hoope to inhabite ne dwelle / ¶And the house whiche he desyreth to dwelle in wolde vtterly distroye to his power: It were a iuste cause to repute hym a defamed foole. Nowe ought men then to knowe and vnderstande that so is it of the syn̄er yt vnto the deth desireth to tourne hym to god and alwaye desireth and coueteth to lyue in the delytis and voluptuysnes of this so­rowfull and myserable worlde: folowynge euyll companyes / by the whiche he hathe greate occasi­ons to commytte many deedly synnes / by the meane wherof: He all the tyme of his lyfe is makynge redy and prepayreth his house in helle / where noo man shulde wyll to dwelle. ¶And therfore ought they to dred and doubte the sentence of sancte Paule / who saithe / he that gooth and dooth agaynste his consciens: he edifieth hym selfe an house and lodgynge in helle. ¶And for to shewe and proue that the promyse and hoope of longe lyfe is yet more euyll agayn­ste the synner. ¶It apperethe and is to vs clerly shewed by two examples. ¶wherof the firste is he that shulde desyre rather to be seke thenne hole and in seruitude rather then in lybertye: and to haue no thing leuer then to pos­sesse his ꝑte of al the goodꝭ of the world: he shuld be [Page] agaynste hym selfe In lyke condicion is the synner when he tarieth to do penaūce For he loueth better to be in synne whiche is the spiritualle sekenes of soule. And not oonly sykenes but eternall deth. Desireth rather his dedly sykenes then his eternall lyfe / wherby it clerely apperith that of the obstinate syn̄er it ought wel to be sayd that he is euyll againste hym selfe so that he loueth sekenes better thenne helthe and deth then lyfe / seruitude / then fredome / euyll then gode / As saithe saint Iohn̄ in his cano­nique / He that doth synne is in the seruitude of synne / And saint Augustyne saith that a man good iu­ste / and trewe. Not withstanding that he be in seruitude is in his bounte kepe alway free and in his fraunchies / But the euyll synfull man not withstā dynge he reigne and be dred and honoured in this worlde he shall alwaye dwell in cursed seruitude / and that worse thynge is to saye: as longe as he shall endure in the boundage of vices and synnes He shalbe in the boundage of euyll lordes and reulers. The secounde example is this / he that shulde owe a greate somme of money to a vsurer whiche shuld growe and be augmented from daye to day So that he shulde not be in power to paye it but wolde euer tary as longe as he might. He shulde greatly doo agaynst hym selfe / so to purpose asmo­che more as the synfull man shall dwel in synne: so moche more shalle he be bounde to payne wherof it is written in the booke of apocalips in the .xvi. chapitour asmoche as the synner glorifieth hym in [Page] his delitis soo moche more he yeueth hym selfe to tourmente wepynge and payne. ¶Thyrdely the promyse of longe lyfe is ryght e­uylle and daūgerous / in so moche as it is agaynst the wyl of god / as it the apperyth by .iii. examples / the fyrste is yf it were that a yonge man were impungnynge and contrarye to his mayster: of the whiche he sholde haue alle his weall by the space of his lyfe. ¶And that he thenne lefte his pro­pre lorde and mayster / for to serue the Enmye of the same durynge the tyme of his strengthe and youthe. ¶And whanne he shulde comme at impotencie and be atteynted wyth aige and feblenes: thanne wolde retourne to his fyrste maister in offerynge hym his seruyce for the remmenaunte of his lyfe: suche a seruaunte myght well be reputed of euyll and vntrewe cōdicion / and noo thynge to be thou­ghte agreable to the seruice of suche a man In this maner is it of the synner / he offendeth god and ser­uyth his enmye the deuyll / endurynge his strength and youthe and purposith / to serue god in his feble aige. ¶The secounde example is / yf there were any that hadde receyued of his lorde gerate gyftis and goodes wherby he myghte haue greate wynnynge and aduauntage: and yf he wolde dispen­de and waste theym for noughte: he myghte well be called a foole / and vnkynde to his mayster / the whyche thynge dooth the synner indirectely do­ynge agaynste the goodnes of god. [Page] ¶And in commyttynge synne dispendeth foleous­ly and wastethe vnkyndely the goodes that hys creatoure hathe yeuen hym / that is to knowe / the soule / the body / the wytte by the whyche hys soule is enoblisshed / the strenght and vertue of his body / hys worldely goodis temporall / the space of his lyfe / and manye other fayre and greate yeftys and benyfictis that of god he hathe receyued / saint Gregory spekynge of the soule: whiche god hathe gyuen vs as a precious tressoure / to vse reasona­bly in doynge meritorious workes: by the why­che we maye gette the Realme of paradyse saythe in this manere / Curses and sorowes be to me yf I by my neclygence fayle to kepe the Treasoure and Iowell that the precious lambe vndefyled Criste Ihesu hathe wylled full derely to bye agayne. And for the tyme that god hathe geuen vs in this mortall lyfe as saith the saide saint Gregory: thou haste not in this worlde daye / houre / ne mynett / ne space of tyme. wherof thou ne shalte yelde accōmptis byfore god / Howe & in what operacions thou haste inployed thy tyme. ¶The thirde example is yf the seruauntis whiche haue the dispendinge of their lordꝭ goodꝭ yeue to strangers and his Enmyes the best brede and wynes and yeue and myny­stre to his lorde the vitaylly that be corrupte rotten and stynkynge: He shulde doo vniustly and false­ly agaynste the wyll of his master / and ryght soo dooth the synner that alle the beste tyme of hys ye­res that is to saye in his youthe geuyth hym self [Page] to the worlde and to the deuyll: whiche be the en­myes of Ihesu criste and purposeth to yeue to god the worste whiche is the olde ende of theyr lyfe: Alas dyde not thus whiche sayd / my god my creatoure my strength my beaute and my youthe: will I oonly to thy seruice kepe and to this purpose it is sayde in ecclesiaticꝭ geue not to god the rotten­nes and dregges of thyne aige butte presente vnto hym the free wyne pure and clene of thy florisshinge youthe / Item saint Gregory spekythe of theym / Also that deferre to doo penaunce / and saythe the synner is to ferre straunge frome the faithe and loue of god that for doynge of penaunce abideth the tyme of his age / For he then hath not in his powre any tyme or houre of his lyfe wherfore and throu­ghe the counsayle of Isodore euery power synner ought diligently with alle his myght whenne he maye retourne hym to god for who that doth not penaunce. when he maye: when he wolde he shall not do it. Doo then penaunce and tary not to then­de that thou be not enclosed withoute heuen with the folisshe virginys.

¶Howe we ought to dispise and hate the worlde.

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SAint Iohn̄ in his firste canonique shewith vs that we ought not to loue the worlde ne the thī gis that be in the worl­de / And saith in this maner / loue ye not the worlde ne thyngis that be therin / yf there be any that loueth the worlde the charite of god is not with hym. Also the concupiscence of the world passeth and vanysshith awaye / And saynt Augustyne treatinge vpon the same wordes demaundeth in this maner / O thou pore creatour whice woldest thou chese of thies two: wolde thou loue / the worlde and the temporall thingꝭ & passe the tyme with theim: or dispise the world and lyue eternaly with god / yf thou loue the worlde: it wyll desceyue the / for the world calleth and draweth swetely to him who that loueth and foloweth him / but in their nede he fayleth theim / & maye not supporte ne socour them and certainly the world is as one excūmunicate / for so as the excōmunicate ī the churche is not prayed for so oure lorde Ihū criste prayeth not for the worlde / the whiche all tymes prayed for his ꝑ­secutours / and theym that crucified hym / Alas to moche is he a fole that serueth suche a maister and [Page] hath such a lord that in thende chaseth & kesteth out his seruaunte naked and pore and withoute hyre / for so the worlde doth: we rede of the Saulden of Babilon the whiche beynge seke in the cytie of da­masens of a mortall desease confessynge hym selfe of the shortn̄es of his lyf and of nighnes of his deth piteously and in great lamentacions called to oon of his seruantis / and sayde to hym in this manere / Thou were wounte to bere in my batayllis the banner and the sygne of myne Armes / by tryum­phant victory / Nowe a noon take and bere the signe of my sorowfull deth / that is to knowe this po­re cloth and myserable shete and crye with an hyghe / voyce by alle the Cytie thies wordes / see the kynge of alle the orientall parties the whiche dy­inge and fynysshynge his dayes bereth with hym noon of alle the richesses of this worlde but oonly this olde and poore clothe or shete / And semblably we rede of a yonge prince kynge of loreyn beynge in infirmitie of sekenes / consideryng his dayes were shorte / and his deth nigh / beholdynge his palacꝭ houses and great edifiynges: cryed in castyng ma­ny sighes and pyteous teares. O my god my creatour Ihesus / at this houre I see and maye knowe that the worlde ought welle to be dispised. ¶Alas I haue hadde in this worlde many sump­tuous palacis: houses / and lodges with greate Riches / and now knowe I not whether to goo: no­ther eny creature that wylle take and receyue me this nyght in to his house / Consider thies thynges [Page] poore and myserable synner and leue thy god and thy felicite / that is to knowe this diceyuable worl­de / byfore that by hym: and of hym / than be lefte in soo greate and myserable pouertye / herken what Saynt Iamys saythe / he that is frende of thys worlde: is Enmye of god. ¶And saynt Gregory saythe / soo moche more as the man is nyghe the loue of the worlde: soo mo­che farther is he fro the loue of god / for the why­che thynge manifestly oure Lorde Ihesu criste at the houre of his passyon wente oute of the Cytye of Iherusalem alle naked to be crusifyed and suf­fer dethe / wyllynge to shewe that they oughte to flee the worlde & his communitie yeuenge ensam­ple that he that wolde folowe the fruyte and me­ryte of his passyon: ought to Issue out of the worlde atte the leest by affeccyon / in fleynge the world­ly conuersacion / and desyringe the spirituall. ¶And for so moche oure Lorde Ihesu criste spa­ke to Ieremye / sayenge / flee and goo oute of Ba­bilon / to thende that euery parsone maye saue hys soule. ¶By babylon as sayth Saynt Ierōme is vnderstonde the house of confusyon / and that house representeth the worlde where / In all partyes reyneth confusyon as welle in the clarge as in the commune people. ¶And in Relygyous as in seculars / and in olde: as in yonge / & generally as well in men as in wo­men / in suche maner as saint Iohn̄ sayth veritably [Page] and with good right / All the worlde is euyll: and to all euyll it is obedient / wherfore saynt Barnard counsayllynge to flee the worlde and vse a religi­ous lyfe: saith on this wise / flee oute frome the middes of Babilon that is to saye fro the worlde and saue your soules: fle to the Cite of resuge that to to the relygious lyfe: and there ye may for the euylles passed do penaunce / and gette the Ioye Eternall. wherfore a basshe you not ne drede the hardenes or payne of doinge penaunce / For the passions and affeccions of this presente worlde: be not wor­thy ne sufficient: for to perdon the euylles and syn­nes passed byfore / ¶And therfore thinke of the re­warde that is promysed by doinge penaūce in the house of god / whiche is the heuēly realme eternall And for more ample declaracion of this mater: it is to be noted / that we ought to flee this fynfull & miserable worlde for .iiii. causes / Firste thou oughtest to consider / that the wyse wyllyngly wold departe for the conseruynge and kepynge of their helthe: placis corrupte with pestilence / and principal­ly yf they fele and perceyue sekenes of disposicion daungerous / In this maner is the world / for it is infecte with corrupte pestilence by thabboundaunce of synne / And in so moche as synne is right con­tagious sekenes: Soo it is to be fled and left. And also the company of wretched synnes / For it is vn­sure and vnholsome to them that be hole in all the­yr membres: to folowe & vse the company of them that be lepris and vnclene / In lyke wyse it can not [Page] be thinge sure to man: that wyll be pure and clene: to folowe this synfulle worlde fulfylled with alle vices / To the whiche purpose it is sayd in ecclesia­sticꝭ in the .xiii. Chapitour. He that toucheth pitche in berynge therof: shall take sōme to wche of fowlnes. And he that is companyed with prowde: shal fynde some apparell or clothinge of pryde. ¶And to saye the trouth: It is a thynge Inpossible that he abide longe in good werkes that often frequenteth with euyll parsones. And for so moche saith the psalmyste / with the hooly: thou shalte fynde the holy / and with the euyll: thou shalt fynde the euyll / and soo as euyll conuersacion is noysaunt and hurtefull: right so is the good company good & ꝓfyta­ble / for he that fyndethe good companye: fyndeth helthfull lyfe and haboundaunt in riches. ¶And for a true declaracion: beleue verayly that full seldome it is seen: butte a man becōmeth good or euyll: after the company / where he is entertey­ned / ¶And as saith Saint Ierome the hartis of chyldren is as it were a cleane pure table: In the whiche noo thinge is paynted / ¶wherfore it is a true lykenes: that the workes and cōdicions that they lerne in youth: be it goode or euyll: they wyll folowe in their aige / ¶Thenne lette vs withdrawe frome this worl­de: as frome an euyll neyghbour / For in this worlde is there not a worse neyghbour: nor that so mo­che maye annoy vs: as the affinite and affeccion of synnes / wherwith this worlde is replenysshed. [Page] ¶Secoundly the wyse of their nature withdra­with & departeh frome the placꝭ where they haue doubte to be trayed / solde / or delyuered to the han­dis of their Enmyes whiche the world doth from day to daye / wherfore the wordes of Iudas that betrayed his maister: is propre to that purpose: whiche saide he that I shalle kysse take and holde hym / for he is that I shulde delyuer you / suche or resemblable wordes saithe the world to the deuyll For he that the worlde clippeth and kysseth and lyftith vppe in great honour: he betrayeth & yeueth them into the handis of their greate Enmye the deuyll. ¶wherfore thou oughtest well to note that in this worlde there is noo suertie ne trouth / For as saithe saynt Ierome the moste greate and ma­nifest signe of dampnacion: is to haue and folowe in this corporall lyfe the pleasures / the sportis: and felicities therof and to be byloued of the worlde. For he erreth and far goeth oute of the way of Iustice. that by riches and delitis enforsith hym to please the worlde. ¶Thyrdly the wyse withdra­with hym frome that place where he weneth the­re be ꝑell / certainly soo is the worlde a place right ꝑlious / whiche is called a See as saithe the psal­myst / the worlde is a great see spacious / of the whiche as saithe saint Barnarde the difficulte of passage: and the multitude of passers proueth the daun­gier / as in the see of marcell if there be .iiii. shyppes oon scarslye can passe withoute perell Soo is it of the See of this worlde / of .iiii. soules one amonge [Page] them with payne cōmeth to saluacion. This worlde is lyke the diluuie where fewe folkꝭ be saued in respecte of them that perisshe. It is as the fournes of Babilon / enbraced with the fyre of hell / wherfo­re aboue all thinge: man ought to drede and flee it / For by the wynde of in a lytell worde: man is en­braced to the fyre of Ire / And for the beholdyng of oon woman: is enbraced with the fyre of lechery / and for the beholdynge of one precious Iuell: is enbraced with the fyre of couetous concupiscence. ¶Fourthly we see by experince that man gladly withdrawith and departith frome hym that desyreth hym / and principally frome his Capitall En­mye / ¶And oure capitalle Emnyes the de­uell / prince of the worlde that nyght and daye ma­nysseth oure deth / frome whome withdrawe vs: when we forsake the whrld / ¶And for so moche saith Ecclesiasticꝭ in the .ix. chapitour holde the al­way far frome a man that hathe power to slee the by the whiche man is vnderstande the deuyll / that man is ouercōme by as saithe saint Mathewe in his .xiiii. chapitour such thingꝭ be doon by the euyll man vnderstādyng the deuyl oure gostly Enmye. For whiche cause aboue said: we ought to knowe & vnderstonde that the souerayne remedy to ouer­come the worlde is to flee and departe therwith / And to this purpose we rede in the lyfe of faders / yt saint Agryme beyng resūdunt & dwellyng ī the palace of the Emperoure: made his Orison to god saynge / lorde I pray the addresse me in the way of [Page] helth / in the whiche Orison makyng came to hym a voice: saiynge / Agrym fle the world and the men therof: & thou shalt be saued / And a noon after the hooly man wente in to a deuoute Religion / in the whiche place he prayed semblaby as he had don a­fore / lorde addresse & shewe to me the way of helth And agayne a voice answered hym / agayne fle o­uercome / kepe silence / & rest the / Thies be the rotes to fle synne / by the fleynge: is ouercome the cōcupissence of the flesshe / by kepynge silence: is ouercome pryde / by rest & seassinge the loue and desires of the world: couetise / & auaricie is ouercome. Item Isodor she with vs ī this maner to dispraise the world yf thou wilt lyue ī rest: take away & put from the all thingꝭ that may noie: or take from the: thy gode purpose / be cōme to the world as dede / & so ye worlde to the nother care for the glory of the world more then thou were deed / dispraise ī thy lyf: the thīgꝭ that thou maist not haue after thy deth / of this mater spekith saint Ierome in this wyse / O lyf of the worlde: not lyf but deth / a lyfe false & deceyuable / a lyfe mixed / and medled with disters / A lyfe shado­wed with lyes / nowe as a fresshe floure: & a noon drye / a lyfe fragile & caduke / O lyf miserable: to the true lyfe contrary / that the more he groweth: the more he mynyssheth / the more he goeth forth: The nygher is the deth: O lyfe full of snares. ¶Howe many haste thou in this worlde: of miserable men: taken and wrapped in thy lases / howe many hast thou ledde and dayly leadeth: in to the tourmentis [Page] infernall. howe moche is he blessyd that may kno­we thy sotelties / moche more is he blessid that hath no cure of the / and disprayseth thy blandysshingꝭ & right blyssed ought he to be called: that is depriued frome the saint Augustyne saith the world cryeth: I shall faile the at nede & / the flesshe cryeth. I shall fall all to corrupcion / Nowe aduise the miserable syn: whiche thou wylt folowe / Alas right dere frē de if chies thingꝭ beforsaide / moue the not to dispise and condempne the worlde / herken the speakynge of saint Bernard to them that loueth this sorouful worlde / sorowe / payne / and trauayle / be to them to the whiche is p̄payred the mete of wormes / laboure / flames of fyre / thurst / contynuall wepynge / and gnastinge of teith. And also the horrible face and loke of deuillis / And sorowe may be sayd to them: yt be in that perpetuall tourment: where deth is desired night and day / and neuer shall cōme / for cursed synners in that tourment: demaundeth dethe / but / dye shall they not / for incessauntly they shalbe tour­mented in euerlastinge horrourꝭ Nowe miserable synners thinke ye nowe: what sorowe and lamentacions shalbe when the pore synners shalbe seꝑa­te and put out frome the company of the iuste people / And when they shalbe geuen to the power of deuellis / and shall goo with hym to eternall tour­ment. Depriued and departed from the glorye and felicitie of paradise / in sorowe and payne perdurably dwellyng in helle / where the fendis without seasynge: shall alwaye trauell and troument them [Page] He that thus shalbe tourmēted: shall neuer dye but euer lyue without hope or mercy / & for more aug­mentacion of sorowe: the dampned shal lyue without deth / and dye without beyng consumed wherfore it is to be noted what Isodore saythe / yf thou haue the witte of Solamō: the strength of Sam­pson: the tyme and longe lyfe that Enec hadde: the might of tholomeus: the riches of Cresie: what mighte all these profite the at that houre / whanne thy stynkynge infecte flesshe shalbe yeuen to the wor­mes / and thy soule to hell / with the soule of the cur­sed ryche man: there myserably to be tourmented without ende / Item an other thing ought to mooue and āmonisshe the to flee and dispise the world / that is to knowe: the shorte space and tyme of lyfe / and the houre of deth that to vs is vncertayne. ¶wherfore saith saint Gregory / the myserable obstinate syn̄ers: do purchase and desyre their cursed vyce / vnder the shadowe and hope: of longe lyfe / and the good and iuste: leauith the gyltꝭ of synne: bycause they knowe and Iuge in theym self. The shortenes and lytell whyle enduringe of this pre­sente right myserable world / wherof speketh saint Iamys ī the .iiii. chapitour of his canonique / what thinge saith he / is our lyfe: but a vapour lightly apperinge: and a noon adinchiled and loste / And as saint Augustyne saithe / Howe shorte is the lyfe of man frome his childehode vnto the decreped aige: for yf Adam hadde lyued sithen the tyme god fourmed hym vnto this daye: and nowe dyed: what [Page] profyte shulde be to hym the lengthe of his lyfe. ¶For what is oure lyf but the course to the deth / whiche maye not be letted / but it behoueth vs al­waye to attende the houre: that our souerayne lor­de and god hath lymytted / For in hym only is our houre certaynly determyned / to the whiche purpose saithe Senec / frome daye to daye we shall dye / for euery daye is taken frome vs acertayne of our lyfe. ¶O my dere frende yf thou weale consider and loke vppon thy self geuynge hede to these wordes before written: and perseuerantly prynte them in thyne herte: thou shalt haue noo mynde to synge any other songe: in this wretched worlde: but oonly this / I languysshe in myserie / and contynually goo to my dethe / forgettynge the tyme of longe lyf in this p̄sent world / For truly thou art deceyued & thou hope of longe lyfe / And therby to possede ma­ny yeres the temporall Ioes and delytis of this deceyuable worlde / not soo my frende not so / for day­ly thou seest the contrarie / & as the spalmyste saithe man is made semblable to vanitie: whiche lyght­ly passheth and consumeth: as a shadowe.

¶Of the vayne Ioye / might / dignite / honours / and riches of the worlde.

[Page]YF thou wolde knowe what is the Ioye / might / dignite / honours / and riches of the worlde vnderstande and herken the ꝓ [...] ­phete Baruc in his thirde chapitour / the which de­maundeth in this maner / where be the princes of the people: that had seignyorie and dominacion of the bestis of therth / and that played and disported with the birdes of heuē / where be the men that gadereth golde and siluer: and affye them in their treasour / neuer satisfied with gettynge / I wys they be all passed and deed / and discended in to hell / and other becōme in their placis / whiche nowe Ioye and vse of their goodes that they leste / And where be the grate clerkꝭ and the creatours: or where be the great dyuers in excesse and suꝑhaboundaunce of meatꝭ or they that haue put their pleasaūce to norisshe horses / palfreys / and suche other / And where be the p [...]s / Emperours / kynges / dukes / princes / Marques / Erles / Barons / noble Burgeis / Mar­chauntꝭ / laborers / and folkꝭ of all estates / they be all in powder and rottennes / and of the most greate: ther is noo more but a lytell memorye vppon their sepulcre / In lr̄es conteyned / but goo see in their se­pulcres and tombes / and loke and thou canst wel knowe / and truly Iuge: whiche is thy mayster: & whiche is the verlet / whiche bones be of the pore: and wiche be of the riche / deuide yf thou maye: the laborer from the kinge / the feble frome the strong the faire / from the foule / and deformed / Nowe certainly it is well to be vnderstande that this worl­dely [Page] Ioye: what that euer may come of it: is to be fled / Firste for it is ryght vyle of condicions. Se­coūdly / for it is right false of promyse: Thirdly for it is right frayle / and vayne in endurynge / Fourthly for the retribucion is right cursed / & dampnable I say then firste that the Ioye of the worlde is to be fleed: for so moche that of his nature: it is right vile and detestable / wherof it is written in the fir­ste of Machabeus / in the secounde chapitour / the Ioye of the worlde is donge / wormes / and corrupcion / whiche this daye is lyfte vppe and set on hy­ghe: & to morowe no thinge shalbe found / beholde then amonges all thingꝭ / what is more detestable then donge / and amonge the beestꝭ more vile then the worme / And thou shalte saye that the Ioye of the worlde is noon other thinge: butte donge and wormes / whiche ought to be withstande and dispraysed of men. The Ioye of the worlde also / is as the roten woode / of the whiche the philosopher te­cheth / and thexperiens appreueth / for of the nyght: it shyneth / and is pleasaunte / and on the daye: it apperyth rotten / and nought what other thinge is a man full of vayne glory (that in hymself taketh suche pleasure) but oonly a lyght and clernes faynte and deceyuable: whiche the Ieen of the pore crea­turis: that be weyke / feble / and sekely Iugeth by­holdynge outwardly: to be the true Ioye of felici­te / But whanne the pytuous daye of Iugemente shall cōme: In the whiche almyghty god shall illumyne the hydde and secrete thyngis that nowe be [Page] in derkenes: and shall beclare and open the coun­sayll of hertis: thenne they that nowe seme and appere glorius: shalle thenne appere fowle / and fulle of Rotennes / and of all people caste oute and refu­sed / as stynkynge and abhomynable. ¶For suche folkis that hathe the Riches and tuyssaunce of the worlde: be semblable to a backe: that in the night flieth and shineth: and in the day withdrawith / and hideth hym / and apperith alie blacke Alas yf thyes poore and myserable people that in their vayne riches puttyth their glory: which here after shalle returne into duste: with fylchynes of their flesshe: and nowe in this myserable worlde by dignite and greate power be exalted: wherby they oppresse and ouercome the power: whose pride shall shortly be swaged / by cruel deth then apperynge blacke / and rotten / worlde consyder thyes thinges byfore sayde. ¶I can not thinke butte they wolde condempne and haue in abhominacion: the temporall glory of the worlde / seynge and considerynge the opynion of sainte Ierome / that saithe: it is impossible that man in this worlde and in the other: shall appere glorious / ¶For the secounde we ought to flee and leaue the glorye of the worlde: for it is right frayle / and neuer assured ne conformed in stabilite But falce and defectiue / as is che smoke or vapour and odour of the floure / ¶The smoke is of that nature that the more it procedeth in higheth: so moche it mynyssheth of his puyssaunce / and substaun­ce [Page] / ¶In so moche that fynably in mountynge soo hyghe: it consumeth and vanisshith / ¶The floure semblably whiche hathe greate odoure: and for a lytell shorte tyme in sauoure and colour noble and pleasaunte / by a lytel wynde or haete of the sonne: it is deade / & dryed & leasith bothe sauoure / coloure & odour / So is the Ioy of this world / as writeth Isaye in the .iiii. Chapitour / alle thinges that god hathe created in flesshe: is as the hey / and alle the glorye of the flesshe is as the floures / of the sa­me: the hey be cōmeth drye / and leasyth his colour and floure / soo is the glorye of the worlde vayne / and infructuous / lyght and transitory. ¶And soo be they that loueth the worlde / as the hey sone drye and deed / a noon as they become out of the erth / ¶wherfore saith ecclesiasticꝭ / all temporall myghtis / alle corporall lyfe / is this daye du­ringe: and on the morowe ded / and at an ende / Beholde where is nowe the glorye of kynge assurey: whiche behelde vnder his seignorie and domina­cion: the nombre of .xxvi. prouincꝭ / where is the glory of kinge Alexaunder: that put all the erth vnder his subieccion / and obeysaunce: so as it is written in the firste of machabeus / where is nowe the glory of all his empire or the realmes: that he put vn­der his obeysaūce / where be the princꝭ: wriche had domynacion on the beestꝭ of therth: be they not all passed: as well the pilgrymes as the hostes of alle sortes: what was their contynuaūce: but shortely goon and sodenly departed in the space of one day [Page] ¶They haue in vanitye passed theyr dayes: and their yeres: in a shorte season / and lyke wyse in va­nitie they be departed & vanyshed and noon is abyding / for it is comon to all thing creat to dye / & deth is of suche condicion: that it beholdeth neyther ho­nour: ne Riches / but is so cruell that it spareth no­ne / his course: and lawe by alle the worlde is so co­mon: and egall: that it sparith no more the Empe­rour / kynge / or great astate: than it doth the moost caytefe / or power creature / for not withstandynge that the riche and mighty is norisshed in this worlde with dilicious metis: folowinge his voluptu­ous pleasures: by the which his soule is defouled: ī thende he shall bere no more with hym thenne the moste pore. ¶Thirdly the glory of the worlde is to be fleed for it is right falce and deceyuable / and holdeth to noon his promise / not withstandynge that it maye not yeue any man one moment or space of tyme / yet it promiseth man suertie of lyfe / beholde who maye compare with kynge Alexan­der / and with the glorye that he had in the worlde he lost neuer batayll: but often ouercome gret multitude of his Enmyes: he beseged neuer Cytie but he wan it / there was no prouince but he subdued it / to his domynacion yet not withstanding all his might / at the hour that he had went to haue ruled and gouerned all the world in peace: by a lytell venom he was constrayned to dye / & so departe / and leue all that worldly glorye / wherfore man doest thou folowe the Ioye of this worlde that in then­de [Page] maye not socoure the / of the whiche saith Petir blesense in a pistell / the falce deceiuable glory of the the worlde: abuseth and deceyueth his louers / For what so euer he promisith for the tyme to cōme: or what so euer he pretendeth for the tyme present: is thynge of nought / soden & passable as water Rynnynge / Fourthly the glory of the world is to be di­spised and fled / for it is right cursed / and of euyll retribucion / it ledeth a man to no Ioy but to all pay­ne / & confusion / of the whiche thinge speketh Osey in the .iiii. chapitour / saiynge the Ioye of the worlde shalle tourne to blame / and confusion: the puys­saunce in to debilitie / the wysdome in to folye / the loue and delectacion: in to tribulacion and payne / for by Iuste mesure & quantite for the gylt / shall be in the ende payne equiuolant / wherof saynt Iero­me spekyth in this maner to theym that loueth the glory of the worlde: sorowe and mysery be to you that wyll haste to goo to the Ioye of heuen: by the waye of youre Richesse / For it is a lyghter thynge for a Camell to passe the hole of a nedyll yee: then a riche man to entre to the Realme of heuen / And for more greate probacion he saythe / note not my wordes: but the wordes of Ihesu criste / that saith the heuen / and the erth / shalle passe and take ende: but my wordes shall euer be true: ferme: & stable Therfore wake and wepe ye miserable synners / vnstablisshed with the wynde of inconstaunt for­tune / that confoūdeth and dispiseth other / ye be derked and blynded with goodꝭ of vanitie: and with [Page] digniteis: that ye haue frauddently / and malyciously: gotten in the worlde / The terme of youre lyfe shalbe perauēture this night: kytt and brokē / your soule in hell without ende and withoute terme: in the intollerable and miserable tourmentꝭ / for as ye haue not been with the good men continuall hel­pyng in labour ne suffered them to lyue by their labour / but of your might hathe diffouled and extor­ted them: so shall ye not only be intourment wyth men: but perpetually with all the deuylles in hell / and so moche more as ye haue hadde Ioye & gladnes: so moche more in hell shall be prepared youre greue and payne / and more shall I saye you our sauiour and redemer Ihū criste chase in this world xii. Appostellꝭ / of the whiche there was of noble lynage but only one / whiche was saint Barthelme­we / and one riche: that was Mathewe / and al the other were pore fisshers / leuynge in payne and trauell of their body. ¶Nowe sith it so is: that god is iuste and true: and all thingis procedinge of his mouth is pure trouth: veraily I thinke with gret payne amonge alle the nobles and Riche of this worlde oon might be founde cōuenable and wor­thy to helthfull election / but enough maye be foun­de: that be propre and conuenable to the seruice of dampnacion. ¶And for a lytell whyle beyng / in hell they shall receyue their salarie / And if by aduē ­ture: any / derke or blynded frome the true lyghte: wolde haue meruayll / and question of this wor­des: I shulde answere in this maner / whether we [Page] beleue that for one deadly synne a mā shall be damnyed: yf he dye therin / is to be answered so it is. ¶wherby it is to be concluded that thies thingis considered amonge an hundred thousande wyth peyne one vnneth maye be saued / An other questi­on is this what is the riche with all his delytꝭ and pleasures / Truly noon other thinge: butte a vessellful of synne / replete with pride / lechery / & couetous pryncipally to the riche mighty & noble: reignyth many tyme alle synne and malidiccions. And they ought to be called theues / for violently they Robbe and steale frome the power: their salarye / and de­foulleth and putteth to deth them: that they ought to susteyne and norysshe / with the goodis that al­myghty god hathe yeuen to susteyne the pore / cer­taynly the mischeuous and miserable synners that in their oonly richesses taketh their felicite / oughte to yeue to the pore and in large theym: with the superfluens goodes that they put in their colthynge and their araye. ¶They take it to theym selfe: to their Ruen and dampnable confusion / Butte alas they se the pore mēbres of Ihesu criste naked / and dispurueyd: dyeng for hungre / and thurste: & ther­fore they forse not / but alwaye put their Tresoure frome the poore / that is to witte: the superfluyte and superaboundaunce of their Richesses in sum­ptuous edyfienge of greate palacis / that maye be pleasure to the sight of mortall men / to beholde: prepayringe greate diuers: the Riche: to the riche: furnisshynge their disshes full of dyuersse meatis / and [Page] fyllyng their belleis: and their caren bodyes: with the delytis of the worlde / hauynge noo pytye / mercy / nor compassion: of the pore that they see dye for hungre. ¶O miserable creature what other thyngis is it thenne synne: suche a dampnable lyfe consyder thenne / that as sone as the belly is fylled with haboundaunce of meatis: the falce dampna­ble lechery is presente / atte the yate / to drawe the to eternall dethe / what woldes thou that I sayde more of suche folkis / that in the honour and riches of this world: thus passeth thyer dayes / Certayn­ly alle the tunges of mortalle men: cane not saye nor determyn the enorme euylles / and synnes they commytte For they be thynke theim not of god: ne of the deth / but yf it be by aduenture / in theyr slepe: slepynge / or dremynge. ¶Suerly he lyghtely falleth in synne: that thyn­kyth not hym selfe mortall / and knowyth not god to be his Iuge / Too moche an ignoraunte fole is he: that of thyes thynges haue noo mynde / and fleeth not this lyghte temptacions / settynge nou­ghte by theym / and for to saye the trouthe I beleue that yf they had ꝑfight knowlogyng of god their creatoure: and knewe theym selfe to be mortalle: they shulde not so offende god by synne: at the leste so boldely and soo greuously. ¶Alas what doth suche synners in the churche / and in placis of deuo­cyon: certaynly they goo full synfully to see and beholde the beautye of women / whenne they ought to thinke of god and saluacion of their soule. [Page] ¶Theyr thoughtis is howe they maye saylle vppon the See / for to gedder and assemble tresours and worldly riches for theym: and for theyr chil­dren / thinkynge also howe they may apparell and clothe their bodies: with precious clothinge to the worlde most plesaunt / & howe they may make dy­uerse plaies and turmentꝭ / with suche other disportis / and dilicate meatis / to get and purchase the fa­uour of women: to accomplisshe the concupuscen­ce of theyr cursed flesshely desires / O pore misera­ble and cursed synners: ye be to ignoraunte / what doo ye / Alas ye distroye your bodyes / byfore the tyme of your dayes / and put youre soules to mortall deth. ¶wherof thinke ye cōmeth so many soden sekenes: but of to moche greate haboundaunce and excesse of meatis and drinkis / with che cursed detestable frequentacion of women / ye thinke to playe you with god / and abuse your self / ye for gette that the soule shulde obey to the body / and in so doynge ye distroye soule and body / byfore the tyme / And for a lytell shorte tyme of Ioyous and songis here / it behoueth you after / to langour in eternall tour­ment / & wepynge without ende / drinke ye / eate ye / clothe you with dyuerse habitis / in the often chaū ­gynge of theym / to thende that youre noblenes be reysed: and that no mortall man in honour excede you: and in hell shame and confusion ye shall receyue / where shall be then youre greate dyuers of dilicate and precious meatis / the wines of aromotike and confectid wyth diuerse spicis / eate nowe and [Page] ye shall be dronken: for after your deth ye may noo more do so / but ye shalbe in hell with the cursed Riche that so dayly lyued in this delitꝭ / And then axed but oon drope of water for to quenche his heate and myght not haue it / do euyll workes and so we the sedes of good werkes in corrupcion: and in sorowe & cursydnes ye shalle gader your seed at the day of iugemēt when it shalbe sayd to you cursed synners to the eternall fyre of dampnaciō / whiche is to the deuyl & to his folkis made redy / Alas hart more harde thenne is the stone: wolde thou abyde that day so terryble and so horryble: in the whiche thou shalt not only yelde accōmpte of thy lecheroꝰ clothingꝭ: dronkenes: and of euyl spent tyme: how thou haste lyued but with that: it shall behoue the to yelde accōmpte of euery vayne worde / O mise­rable syn̄er why doste thou not amende the / wherfore tariest thou frome day to day to tourne the to god / why doste thou not repente thyn euyll dedis / thy deth is nygh / that day and night is abought to ouerthrowe the. The deuyll is as nighe to take & receyue the / Thy riches shall fayle the at nede / the wormes habideth thy flesshe / that thou soo derely hathe norisshed / for to deuour & gnawe it vnto the tyme that / after the daye of Iugement it be conioyned to the soule: that they may suffre to gather eternal payne O abused creature thou sechest & hopeth to fynde by the vanites of this world Ioye / disporte / & infinite riches / & they be noon / but & thou wylt fynde Ioy: & perpetual filicite: labour diligently to [Page] seche the blessyd realme of heuē / for there thou shalt fynde infynite Ioy. The whiche neuer Iye sawe / or ear euer hard / nor herte of man can cōprehēde or thynke / the Ioy p̄pared for the louers of almyghty god. Nowe leue then thies vayne thingꝭ / that in so shorte space be gone / to thende: that thou mayst ha­ue in possession the goodis and felicite of the Ioye eternall. ¶Alas what shalbe of theym that ney­ther for the loue of god: the drede of dethe: ne the tourmentis of hell: woll leue their synnes / But be sorowfull and displeasaunte: whenne they maye not haue their cursed pleasures at their wylle and desire / whiche is so great displeasure to god. ¶O ye wretched folkis: sorowe vppon sorowe shalbe to you / that laugh and reioyse you so in this sorowefull worlde / for after in anguisshe & sorowfull wepynge: ye shall haue eternall sorowe / Reste yet a lytell & imploye your dayes / fyll the measour of your myseries & malicꝭ / so that the īdignacion of god: shall cōme vpon you / be feruēt in this lytell tyme: in vsing your outrageous plaies daūcꝭ / dronkē nes / letting the tyme vainly passe assēbling to your childer honours / Richesses mightꝭ & powers / aug­mētyng your noblenes & renowne: to thende that your children may folowe your lyf: & with you ꝑ­petually be dampned / But ꝑauenture sōme maye saye that god is benigne and mercyfull / and redy to receyue all synners / that to hym wolde tourne / I cōfesse it to be true / & not only benigne: but more benigne: then any may thīke / & ꝑdoneth al thē that [Page] truly tourneth to hym / Alas is not god right beni­gne: that endureth soo many Iniuries: and suffe­reth and yeueth space and tyme / to the synners to amende and correcte theym self / but of one thinge I wyll assure the / in that god is pyteous and mercy­full: in sufferinge of the synner: as moche is he iuste in punisshynge the euyll and iniquities / yet agayne it maye be sayde that a man whiche hath by longe space of tyme lyued and in his dayes hath doon no goode deade: and if any he haue done: it hath been veray lytell / Albe it in tharticle of deth he shall take penaunce / and shall opteyne pardone of his mysdedes / O folysshe and vayne cogitacion of man: cur­sed and dampnable hope: that so wolde habide to conuerte hym to god / at that daungerous nede / for amonge an hundred thousande men / that ledeth suche cursed lyfe: it shalbe harde to fynde one that at that tyme: can seche to god for mercy or pardone / ¶O lorde what gyfte / what grace: what mercy may mā axe of god: ingendered & norisshed in syn­ne: & neuer lyued after the lawes of god / ne neuer knewe ne wold here speke of him / ne yt euer wold knowleige his awne synne / ne what it is to do penaunce / but if he knewe it in slepynge / what grace myght that man aske of god so knytte and drow­ned in seculare besynesse / the whyche incessauntly thinketh what payne it is to leaue and for sake his children / on the one parte: whom sekenes constreyneth and oppressith on the other parte: the riches & temporall goodꝭ that he beholdeth and muste leue [Page] to the worlde: what sorowe what heuynes maye toche that harte: when he seeth that of all goodꝭ tē ­porall he is perpetually depriued / & they maye not socour hym at nede / vayne & lytell aualour shalbe to hym then: takynge of penaunce / for if he hoped of helth he wolde not aske pardon / and to make a breue conclusion: he that in his youth dyd not sha­me to offende god: in thende he shall not deserue to haue indulgence of god / what penaunce may it be to man that taketh it when he seeth to haue no modayes in this worlde / And if he shulde perchauns be worse then he was bifore / And in effecte: when he knowith the dayes and tyme of his lyf at an ende: then wyll he aske mercy of god to do penaunce And after the retourning to helth of body: he shuld be worse of lyuynge / for truly as saithe saint Iero­me / I holde and afferme and by many experientis it is to be knowen: that theym whose lyfe in this worlde hath alway ben euyl: can not be a good ende / whiche fearid not to synne: but alwaye leuyd after the concupiscence and pleasure of this world For the whiche / right dere frende consider in thy harte theis thingꝭ beforesayd / condempne and dis­prayse the world with the vayne Ioye / and decey­uable reioyses / for thonoure of hym: that is aboue all thyngꝭ / Alas what profite maye be to man the wynnyng of all the world: & after to suffer ꝑdiciō & distruccion of his soule Remembre the that thou arte man and that thonour of the worlde is the veray lettynge of grace and that worse is: it is the [Page] losse of eternall helth where haue we rede of any: puttynge their delitꝭ in the worlde here: that hathe entered the euerlastyng Ioye / O howe falce & vaine is the Ioy of this world whiche mē so greatly desireth / & they neuer seche for the great Ioy of heuen: that cōmyth only of god / yf man wold be p̄ferred aboue other & haue ouer theym domynacion & seignore: Is not he lyke to lucifer that saide: I shal put my seate in the north & I shalle be lyke to hym that is moste highe / then loke thou proude man to hym that wolde haue hadde that hyghe astate: whiche for his pride was cast into eternal Ruyne Therfore saith saint Augustine / he is well blessid & happy: that puttith his only desire ī the heuēly Ioy And reioyseth not hym self in prosꝑite of this worlde / nother in aduersitie is shamed or abasshed / he yt thynkith that no thing ī this world is to be loued: fearith lytell to lose & for sake the godꝭ & ꝓsꝑeriteis of this world for godꝭ sake. The Ioy of this worlde is noon other but as a blaste of wynde: passyng by the earis of man / weerfore myserable synner be holde howe thou arte blynded yf thou desyre this worldly Ioy / For as saith saint Anselme / thou maiste not be in worldly honour without payne & la­bour / Thou maiste not be in prelacie: without in­uye & trouble / nor in honour & highe dignite: with­out vayne glory / & therfore if thou wylt withstan­de the daūger & parell to the whiche thou Rūnyst: in desiryng tēporall honour & Ioye of the worlde: without doubte it is necessarye to the: to leaue flee [Page] and renounce the miserable vanities of the same.

¶Howe men ought alway to attende and dreade deth⸫

[figure]

REmembre the often yt deeth folo­weth the & tarieth not / for it is writen ī Eccleciasticꝭ yt moche is it ꝓfytable to the helth of man for to haue often meditacōn & mynde of deth / whiche is declared ī dyuerse placꝭ of holy scripturis / wherof the sayde Eccleciasticꝭ sayth to the same purpose / Remembre and recorde the laste thingꝭ that is to saye deth / the Ioys of paradyse / and the payne of hell: and thou shalt neuer cōmytte synne to thy dampnacion / ¶And to this puropse sayth saynt Barnarde / the moost soueray­ne felicite: is contynually to thynke of deth / for that man that berythe with hym the remorse of consci­ence: and the often thinkynge of deeth: shall neuer doo synne to be dampned fore / and Saynt Augu­styne confermynge the same: sayth / that there is no thynge that so moche reuoketh synne fro man: as oftē to thinke that he must nedes dye / for it makith [Page] man to meke hym / and dispise alle vayne thinges / and redy to accepte penaunce / For as saith saynte Ierome / he lyghtly dyspisyth all thingis: that thin­keth alwaye to dye / For he despisith fyrste the con­cupiscence of his Ien: that considerith howe sodenly he must leaue all thyngis in this worlde: to the worlde / and the concupiscence of the flesshe is dis­pised: when he considerith that his body in one in­stante: shall be wormes meate / Pride is dispised: when he considerith in his harte: that he that wyll in this worlde be aboue other: in a lytell whyle after: shalbe put vnder the feete of all other / I wolde that princis and kynges wolde vnderstande and consider: howe piteously it shall be houe theym to leaue their Richesses / and the glorye of this world to be borne and lodged: in an olde fowle and strayte sepulcre lowe in the erth / to leaue also their shy­nynge and beautifull palacis: for to entre in to a sepulcre horrible / and derke / ful of stynke and corrupcion / voyde of all Ioye / and riches / and full of misery / hauynge neyther children ne louynge seruaun­tis / ¶O where thenne shalle be the pompe and pryde the tyme passed wyth the multitude of seruauntis / that folowed theym / or their riche shy­nynge clothynges / Certaynly he that hathe hadde this worldly Ioy and folewed in filicite this day: to morowe maye be in his sepulcre / sorously gna­wen & eten of wormes / wherof spekith pope In­nocent in this maner / my bretherne vnderstande & beholde ye see aman not longe a goo lyuynge in [Page] his house: noble / riche and myghty and sodenly pore and naked frome all goodis in his sepulcre / He that so moche hathe hadde tryumphe and honour in his hall and palace: lieth nowe disformed vnder a tombe / He that was accustomed with delicious meatis and drinkꝭ in his ꝑlour: is nowe eaten and consumed with wormes in his sepulcre / And lyke to this purpose writeth peter damyan / spekyng of the memorie of deth in a pistole that he sente to a Countesse / O almighty god howe meruellous is it to remembre and thynke on the bitter sorowe & drede that the pore synfull soule susteyneth and suffereth / when it seeth and knowith that the world shall fayle and that the flesshe shalbe departed fro­me it / ¶Howe sharpe and bytynge prikkynges: shall thenne tourment the soule / whenne it remembrith the syn̄es that it hath cōmytted in this worl­de / brekynge the cōmaundementis of god: and by necligence hathe lefte taccomplysshe them / It plaineth and wepeth the tyme taken in vayne / why­che was graunted and yeuen to hym to do penaū ce / dredynge the strayghte vengeaunce of Iuge­mente vnreuocable that he seeth apere / It is con­streyned to leaue the body / thenne wolde he ma­ke amendis for the faultis of the tyme passed but it shall not be harde / It beholdeth bakwarde the ty­me of mortall lyfe passed and gone: it semeth hym but a lytell way / a soden course / and a lyght passa­ge. ¶Then he wepeth for that he hathe loste in so lytell and shorte tyme: the loue of alle sayntis / and [Page] for so lytell transitory Ioye: hathe loste the swete Ioye and glorye perpetuall / and hathe shame that he hathe obeyed to that carien body: whiche is the meate of wormes / whiche soule shulde haue been presented in the company of aungellꝭ / when he cō ­sydereth at that houre the Riches of mortall men by the whiche they be put to perdicion: he wepith and in hym selfe is vtterly confounded / for the los­se of the soueraigne clerenes in heuen / he knowith That whiche he loued in this worlde: is but der­kenes / At that houre and that sorowfull contem­placion: the Iyen begynne to meruayle & for feare tourne in the hede. ¶The breste begynneth to tremble and to beate. The throte is horose / and the breth shorte. The tethe becōme blacke. The lyppis and the mouthe: dedly and pale and alle the mem­bres be shronke to gedder / And the vaynes of the herte: brekyth / for forowe / And the forsayde signes shalbe neghbours doynge seruise to deth. ¶There shalbe present the horrible and euyll synnes / The false thoughtis and vnlaufull desyres / The ydell wordes that hathe be spoken: shall not be absent / but redy to bere bitter witnesse againste the doer of theym / there shall alle thingis be made open and knowen / where noo creature shall flee: but straightly geue attendaūce / The horrible and fearefull companye of deuylles: shall there be pre­sent. ¶And also the blessed companye of aungellꝭ to thentente that euery creature shalbe rewarded accordynge to their demearitis / For yf the soule be [Page] founde withoute synne: the holy company of aungellꝭ shall represente it byfore god / with great me­lody and swete songe / neuer to departe frome glorye. ¶And on the contrarye parte: if it be founde in synne: the blakenes & fearefulnes of deuellis: a­none with intollerable feare: shall strike & smyght the cely soule / with so great violence: that it shalbe throwen downe / & compelled to deꝑte oute: frome the body of miserable flesshe / Then goth the soule aboute to euery membre of the body / first to the lippis: To whom the lippis doth say / O soule what wilt thou do / It answerith saiynge / I muste deꝑ­te & go out of this body / The lippis geuyth answere saiynge / thou came not in to the body by vs: nor by vs shall go out / Then the cely soule goth to the eares and to the nose thirlis: & they make answere to it in lyke wyse / Afterwarde it gooth to the Ien By whome it entred in to the bodye: and vppe to the crowne of the heade. And lokynge aboute hy­ther & theder: it takith greate thought / if it be dampned / saiynge: vnto it selfe / O I cursed soule of the excōicate / theef / ad adulterer / fornicator / ꝑiurer / ex­torcioner / And anone it lokith oboute and seith the vesture whiche it hadde at the founte of baptisme / whight & vndefiled: and nowe blacker then pyt­che: with a greate voice it crieth & wepith saiynge Alas alas who hath chaūged my vesture / whiche was so faire & precious whiter then snowe clerer then cristall / At this sorowfull clamour apꝑith vnto hym the deuell that to this: hathe guyded & go­uernyd [Page] hym saiynge in this manere. ¶O my sou­le and my louer maruell the not / For it am I that hathe made redy to the this clothinge / take conforte to the / for thou art not a lone: but accompanyed with the moost parte of the worlde. ¶Then saith the soroufull soule: what arte thou that spekyth to me / The deuell shall answere I haue tolde the I am he that hathe made redy this clothynge to the / I haue shewed my lyfe to the in the worlde. ¶Thou haste obeyed and beleued me in all thyn­gis and with me laboured / Thou haste done and accōplisshed all my coūsaylles: And therfore thou shall cōme and abyde with me in the realme whe­re is and shalbe euer lasting sorowe without Ioy hungre withoute meate / thurst withoute drynke derkenes without lyght / putrifaccion and stynke without any good odour or smell / sorowe with­out cōforte / waylynge without remedy / wepinge without ende / noyes & piteous clamacions with­out silēce / howling without Ioy or reste / brynnynge fyre without any quensshyng / wynde without tranquilite / colde without a temꝑaunce or meane / heate without ende / and all euyll without hope of good / And therfore my frende ryse thou and cōme with me / se here the Angellꝭ of hell that cometh to mete the: and shall synge right bytter songis of so­rowe and heuynes / And thenne on the other parte shalle appere the good Angell / to whome he was cōmytted by god. And he shall saye in this manere blesshed & happy be they in this worlde that fleeth [Page] and withstandeth this right foule and cursed clo­thinge or garment / O cursed soule of the deuyll / O vnhappy creatur / that of almighti god is cursed I in this worlde haue dwelled with the & thou hast not seen me I haue taught the / and thou woldeste not vnderstande me / I haue yeuen the counsayll: and thou woldest not here me. ¶And therfore go in to the handes of the deuilles / in to the place of ꝑ­petuall tourmente whiche is prepayred and made redy: for the / for thy cursed workes: thou art nowe condempned / Alas who may thinke or deuyse the bytter company of deuylles / waytinge with soro­we: risynge on euery parte: and beringe dartꝭ and speres of hell / by the whiche: the poore cursed soule is taken & ledde with great sorowe / to tourmētis / saiyng to hym / O sorouful caytif how proude hast thou ben tyll nowe: howe viciously haste thou ly­ued with howe riche and precious habitis haste thou been in the worlde: nowe say vnto vs / wherfore eatest not thou now thy dilicious meatꝭ / why art thou not cloched with riche clothynge / wher­fore haste thou not nowe care and thought of thy Riches / wherfore comfortis thou not the with thy wyfe / children / and frendis: wherfore spekeste not with theym / And after theis wordes the soroufull soule with wepinge and lamētacions: cursyth the body saiynge in this maner / O temple of the deuyl ¶Thy cursed workes and operacion hath pollu­ted and filed me / O cursed erth: O habitacion of sathanas: Rise vp and cōme with me / to thende that [Page] thou mayst see the place of tourmentis: that by the to me is made redy in the whiche I shall be with­oute reste tylle the daye of Iugemente / and after that daye: thou shalte be with me in eternall dam­pnacion / Cursed be thyne Iyen that wolde not see the lyght of trouth / And the way of Iustice of god Cursed be thyn eares that wolde not here the wordes of eternall lyfe / Cursed be thy nose thirles that wolde not receyue the odour of holy vertues / Cursed be thy lyppes and thy tounge: that wolde not taste the Ioye and eternall glorye / that wolde not open the dore of praysynge: to thonour and exalta­cion of theyr creator / Cursed be thyne handis for by theym: almos hathe not been yeuen and presen­ted to the poore / Cursed be the inwarde partis of thy harte: whiche hathe in this worlde yeuen and brought forthe many false and euyll counsaylles / Cursed be thy feete: that of the churche of god / ha­the not vysited the pathes and steppes: Cursed be all thy membres: whiche neuer desyred celestyall Ioyes / Cursed be thy workes: whiche hathe ta­ken / chosen / and excepted: the euerlastynge tourmē tis / Beholde my dere frende: of howe greate pa­rell thou myghtest delyuer the: and howe greate feare thou myghtest flee: yf in this worlde: thou be fearefull and thynkynge of deth. Study to lyfe soo in this worlde: that at the houre of deth: thou mayste haue more cause to reioyse thenne to dreade / of feare / lerne nowe to dye in thys worlde: and dis­prayse alle worldely thynges / to thende that thou [Page] mayste haste the: with Ihesu Criste vnto Ioye / Chastes thy body with penaūce in this world: to thende that after thy deth: thou mayste haue sure and parfite hope of eternall lyfe. ¶Oo howe happy is he and wyse: that takythe thought and inforseth hym selfe to lyue soo in this lyfe: he that wylleth & desireth soo to be founde af­ter his deth. ¶Alas worke thou and purchase with alle thy myght and power / thy helth: duryn­ge the tyme that thou haste space / for thou kowest not whenne thou shalte dye / nor what thou shlate fynde after / haue noo hope ne truste to thy frendes nor kyndesmen / For certaynly they wylle soner forgette the: thenne thou thynkeste / yf thou haue not nowe cure and remembraunce of thy selfe. ¶who wyll haue it for the after thy deth / Alas it is moche better in this worlde to prouyde hastely for thy necessytiees in doynge sōme goode for thy self: then to haue hope & abyd of the helpe or aide of other as lōge as thou haste space: assemble and gather to gether immortall Riches: by largely yeuynge of almos / purches and get vnto the in this worlde: hominable frendes / that is to saye: the saintis of paradyse / to thende that by thy good and meritoriouse workis: they maye receyue the to the Ioyes celestyall / for as saynte Gregorye saythe / we ought dayly wyth wepynge teares remembre and haue in mynde / howe the prynce of this worlde atte the houre of oure departynge wyll demaunde or aske of vs the accōmptis of alle oure workes / Saynt [Page] Barnarde saith / O my soule what maner of feare and dreade shall it be: when it shalbe houe the to leue all maner of thingis / of the whiche the presence was to the right Ioyus / and the sight right agreable / and all alone left: shall thou goo and entre in to a region vnknowen / & thou shalt see cōme agayn­ste the: monsters hugly / and abhomynable wyth hornes / who is he that shall cōme to socoure the at that daye / of greate necessitie / who shalle kepe the frome Ramping lyons: prepaired fode and meate Then may noo body yeue to the comforte ne con­solacion / ¶But other wyse it shalbe of true and iuste soules / for the holy aungellꝭ shall come againste them: the whiche shall constayne and put a backe the deuyllis: so that they shall not lette ne trou­ble the holy soules. ¶And the same: vnto heuen with Ioye and melodye shall beare / Saint Bar­narde spekyng of the synfull soule: saith / in this manere. ¶That at the oute gate or issuynge of the body. It hathe dreade: feare: shame: and con­fucion / to the regarde of the greate Ioye of god / wherof is written in the spalmes that the deth of synners: is right euyll / it is euyll in the leasynge of the worlde / It is worse: at the departynge of seꝑacion of the soule and the body / And verie greuous for the bytinge of the stynkynge vermyn / And for the greate heate and brinnynge of euerlastynge fyre / And worste of all: is the losse and the seperacy­on of the sight of god / For whiche thingꝭ right de­re frende cōsider that deth can not fayle nor be put [Page] backe / the houre can not be knowen / And the tyme of god ordeyned: can not be meaued / And therfore certaynly: when the assured lyfe is accepte in deuocion: the deth of the right wysman is good / For .iii thynges / Firste it is good for reste. It is better by renewynge: and beste for the suernes and Sted­fastnes therof⸫

¶Of the Ioyes of paradyse / and paynes of hell.

[figure]

IT is written by saint Paule in a pistole that he sente to the correnthioes in the .v. Chapi­toure [Page] that the Iye of man hathe not seen: not the eare harde: or harte can thinke: the Ioyes that our lorde god hathe & prepayred to his frendꝭ & louers O pore wretched & synfull soule gyue hede diligēt­ly: what Ioyes / howe great Ioyes / & howe ma­ny they be: whiche be prepared in heuen: to the lo­uers of god / to thētent that all thingꝭ in this worl­de: may be to the: vile / & adiecte / for certaynly it is to be knowen / that the Ioyes of heuen be so great & many in numbre: that all arsmetricious by theyr numbres: can not numbre ne mesure theim / nor all the gramarions and ritoriciens with all theyr fayre spechis: can or maye declare them / For as it is sayde before: neyther Ie maye see them: nor Eare here: nother the harte of man maye comprehende them / For certaynly in the glorie eternall: all the sayntꝭ shall Ioye theym in the vision of god / Aboue them: they shall Ioye the beaute of heuē / & of other spirituall creatures / they shall Ioye within them: of the glorificacion of the body / & nigh vnto thē: the associacion and company of aungellꝭ and men / A worthy doctor named anselme putteth and decla­reth .vii. yestꝭ of the soule / that the iuste people shall haue in the celestiall beatitude / First he putteth the yestꝭ of the bodye / as beautie lyghtnes / strengeth / libertie / and helthe / Of the beautie of Iuste people: saith this doctor: it shalbe seuē tymes more shynynge then the sonne is nowe / the whiche witnessith the scripture saiynge thus / the vertuous persones shall shyne: as the sonne: in the Realme of theyr fa­der [Page] swetnes shall so accompany iuste lyuers: that it shall make theym semblable or lyke: to the aun­gellꝭ of heuen / whiche frome heuen vnto the erth: and frome therth vnto heuen: transporte them self lyghter and sodenlyer: then the mouynge of a fyn­ger / Of the whiche swetnes is made a familiar example by the beamys of the sonne / the whiche ry­syng in the Est: attaineth and touchest the farthest parte of the west / that by the sayde example: we maye haue true hope and truste: not to be In pos­sible that is spoken: of our swestnes to come / wherfore they that shall accompany them selfe with the Cytezens of the soueraigne cytye: shall excede and passe all other: in vertue and strength / as in moo­uynge / in tournynge or / in any other acte doynge / and in all thexcercisynge of their workis shall not suffre ne endure no more labour or trauell: thenne we suffre in the mouyng of our Ien / And therfore I pray & require the / that no thynge excede thy soule / whiche hath taken the similitude of the aungellꝭ Geuen of almighty god vnto it / wherrfor it must nedes folowe: that lyke wyse as we may receyue the power & similitude of aungellꝭ: so we may ha­ue the suertie & libertie of thē / for certainly lyke as vnto an̄gellꝭ may be no lettyng nor gaynsayng in this world: but at their owne wyll: In lyke wise shall ther be noon obstacle nor let to hynder vs / nor wall ne clausure: to kepe vs out / nor yet Element: whiche vnto our wyl: may withstād or annoye / & as to speke of thelth: what thing can ther be better [Page] to iuste people: then helth and reste / what sykenes may anoaye theym that shalbe .ix. the porte of true helth / and in effecte we ought to beleue vndoubtably: to holde and afferme thelth of the lyfe to cōme: to be so noble / in corruptible / and īmouable: that it fylleth man with an Insuperable swetnes of hel­the / whiche swetnes can not be rehersed / So that all hurtꝭ: suspecious / and contrarieties: be there cō ­sumed / Item in the lyfe to cōme there is a desire of delitꝭ: that fylleth and replenissheth the good peo­ple: with suche an Inestimable swetenes: that it is felt in euery ꝑte of the body / that is to saye in the Iyen / Eares / mouth / handꝭ / fete / and harte / with al the partꝭ of the body and all the membres by order eche one singulerly / and also al in one: shalbe fulfylled with that swete dilecciō inestimable / In suche maner: that euery oon with the prouision and glorye eternall: shall be fulfylled / wherfore he is right ignorante of his helth: that wyll sette his thought his harte: and his affeccion: to the pleasures of this worlde / whiche is vile and faylyng / Furthermore they that shalbe in the Ioye eternall: shall lyue perdurably / not oonly the lyfe: as wordely creatures desire here: but they shall haue suche lyf: as is / written: that is to knowe: the rightwyse true people of god shall dwelle with hym and with sayntꝭ in paradyse eternally / many other thingꝭ be and ought to be adioyned to the soule: whiche god hath crea­ted so nobly / that is to knowe: amittie / sapiens / concorde / might honour assuraunce / and Ioy / And as [Page] to the fyrste: Sapience shall be suche in the lyfe to cōme: that the soules shall knowe all thingꝭ: what they wyll / by the gyfte of almyghty god / whiche knowith all thingis presente: passed: and to cōme / For ī that Ioye sigulerly eueryche knowith other And then no thing may be counsailed or hydde: of what people: of what countrey: or what kynrede place or workꝭ: they haue ben: or excercised in their lyfe / in suche maner: that by loue: the diuine puisaū ce and faruent dileccion: shall make theim ꝑfyte / in true and stedfaste loue / as vnied & cōmuned in one oonly body / of the whiche our lorde Ihū criste is chefe and hede / whiche is the true peace and ꝑfyte loue / for alle shall loue to gether / the oon the other / as the membres of their propre bodyes / For thou shalt loue other as thy selfe: and other shal loue the as their self / & thou shalbe haboūdaunt with all dileccion: as thy true & pure possession / And therfore beholde and remembre hym that all thies thinges shall yeue vnto the / And so by a swetnes vnable to be spoken: thou shalt loue hym more then thy self / So shall there be amonge them that be saued seen suche cōcorde: that thou shalt not fele or ꝑceiue any thinge contrary to thy wyll / we shalbe also one only body / & one oonly soule: weded to our lord Ihū criste / and more discorde shall there not be amonge vs: or discencion: then nowe is in the membres of one body / & as thou seest & knowest the mouing of thyne Iyen: of what ꝑte the oon turneth the other anone after foloweth: so shall it be of the / for wher [Page] thy wyll shalbe: thou shalbe sodenly / And yet that more greate is to recyte: the wyll of god shall not be contrary / nor dyuerse to thy wyl / but so as thou woldest he shall wyll: and his wyll shalbe ferme­ly thyne / for the hede neuer contrayes to the mem­bres Consyder then whenne thou shalte haue god concorded and vnied at thy wyll: thou mayste nothinge desyre: but at thy wyll it shall be done / For thou shall haue the wyll of almghty god: accordinge in all thingis to the / Nowe then syth thou mayste haue so moche in thy possession: thou oughteste well to be contente and to esteme in thy selfe: that that thou then shalbe in assuraunce of lyfe perpetuall / whiche shall neuer parte frome the / and be dis­charged frome all diuersities / for noon enmy may perse this inestimable Ioy / nor shal atteyne: for the multitude of theim that there be possessed / whiche be thousande thousandes / and innumerable thou­sandꝭ that hathe fruicion and Ioye: with one hole blessednes / in suche cōdicion: that eueryche of them takyth delectacion as moche in the weale of other As in theym self. ¶And furthermore / they enioye theim in the vision of god / the whiche aboue them selfe they shall loue / For the whiche thinge it is to be considered / that syth it is so that the blessed shall be fulfylled with suche filicite and Ioye: the poore myserable dampned synners: shalbe on the contrarye parte / tourmented with innumerable paynes / For soo as mercy / strength / beautye / lyghtnes / fre­dome of wyll / shalbe to the right wyse people. So [Page] by the contrarye: shalbe to the synners / stynkynge drede / langoure / sorowe / and tourmentis / with all maner of paynes / for the perpetuall Ioye that the rightwyse shall haue / shallbe to the synners inter­mynable payne and tourmente. ¶And for to speke of the sapience of the rightwyse / It is to be vnderstand / that theyr knowlege: shalbe to theyr augmentacion of Ioye / honoure / and exultacion. And to the synners: theyr knowlege shall be: we­rynges / confusion / diminission / and lamentacion / And of the amitie with the whiche the rightwyse be to geder bounde: yf any porcion of Amitie be in the dampned. It shall be to the Augmentacion of their tourmente / For as moche more as oon hathe loued an other in vnlefull loue: The more shall be their sorowe / tourmente / and payne / for they shall haue discorde with all cretures / and alle shall di­scorde with theim / For all difourmitie and cala­mitie: shalle folowe them / & shalbe yeuen to them suche malediction: that the thynge whiche they desyre they shall not haue: and alle that they wolde not haue: they shall haue / And so in steade of good thy shall obtayne perpetuall shame / and inestima­ble dyspisinge / by the whiche they shalbe withou­ten ende: closed and depryued frome all Ioye / and filicite / And as the frendes of god their souerayne creatour: shalbe fermely assured: neuer to lese the goodis and glory eternall: So the myserable and dampned senners / shall euer be in desperacion / for so moche: as they shall knowe euer to deꝑte frome [Page] the payne sorowe & tourment ꝑdurable / & so as the good shalbe recōpensed with Ioye: the euyll shall haue for their heritage: sorow inestimable / like as saith the good doctor anselme / all they that by con­cupiscens of the flesshe passeth theyr dayes in this worlde: haue with theym in cōpany all the deuillꝭ of hell / And saint Augustine saith to this purpose / god shall make glad / comforte / & enioy: all the felingis & wittꝭ of the blessed people / by a spirituall dilectacion / For he is thobiect of all witꝭ / our lord shall also be a glasse vnto their sighte / an harpe of swet­nes to their hering / hunny to their tastinge / Baw­me to their smellyng / and a floure to their touchin­ge / And for so moche god was made man: to thende that man shulde holy be blessed in hym: soo that thinwarde vnderstanstynge be in the contempla­cion of his humanitie / & breuely to speke after the saiynge of saint Augustyne & saint Gregory / in the glorye of heuen there is so greate beaute with Iustice / so moche Ioye with eternall lyght: that yf it were laufull and possible to abyde and lyue there but oonly the space of one daye. For that: the innu­merable dayes of this lyfe full of worldly pleasu­res and aboundaunce of temꝑall goodꝭ: ought of very right: to be dispised / For it was not spoken of a lytell & vntrewe effecte of dauid: saiynge on this wyse / Oon daye to abide in thy dwellynge place good lorde: is moche better then a thousāde in this miserable lyfe / wherof speketh Saint Barnarde who in thys lyfe maye thynke or conceyue in his [Page] mynde: howe greate felicite and pleasure the bles­syd saintꝭ haue in heuen / Firste to se almyghty god to lyue with almyghty god / to be with almyghty god / whiche doth operacion in all thynges / and is aboue all thingꝭ / to haue god: whiche is alle good / And where so euer is all goodnes: there is mooste Ioye and myrth / there is also verey lybertie / perfe­cte charitie / and euerlastinge felawship and suertie to the same agreith saint Augustine: saiyng in this maner / O Ioye aboue all Ioyes: to see god: why­che made man / whiche saued man / whiche glorified man / & indued hym: with the vision of his most holy face / whiche is the moost highe goodnes / the Ioye of Angellꝭ and of all saintꝭ / Saint Gregorye askith this question / is not god of soo inestimable fayrenes: that the Angellꝭ whiche be seuen tymes brighter then the sonne doth desire to loke vppon his moost holy face: and to hym minister besily in great company / Also saint Augusten of the Ioyes of heuen spekith on this maner In heuē is no ma­ner of malice / there is noo maner of mysery of the flesshe / there is nother wyll: nother power to syn̄e or do a mysse / but all Ioye and gladnes / all creatures saued: shall haue in possession those same Ioy­es felawshipped with aungellꝭ / ¶O pore soule nowe thou haste harde howe great the Ioyes of rightwyse people / howe great gladnes / howe great clerenes / and howe greate myrth: is the heuē ly Cytye / O blessed myrth / O howe mery felicitye is it: to see the sayntꝭ / and to haue god euerlastyngly [Page] yf we shulde dayly suffre payne & tourmentrye though it were as greate as the paynes of hell: so that it might haue an ende / to thentent that at the laste we myght see almghty god in his glory / and to be fellawshipped with his sayntis: were it not worthy and proffitable that we shuld suffer theim And in conclusion to be parte takers of euerlastynge Ioyes truly / wherfore good soule let vs desyre of almghty god that grace: to flee frome the com­pany of them that desireth inordinat pleasures / of worldly thingꝭ. And soo vtterly puttynge awaye the grugeyngꝭ of vnlaufull thoughtꝭ: frome the se­crete place of our hartꝭ: and desyringe inwardely the loue of the heuenly company: we maye tourne vnto the celestiall Cytie / wherof we be written & decreed to the Cytezens / & parte takers / lyke vnto saintis: and the householde seruauntis of god / and & right inheritours of criste / & after this present lyf to come & be with hym in eruerlastyng Ioye / per­aduēture some wyll aske this question howe this might be done: & by what manere of meanes / To this it is answered on this / wise / Euery thinge to be done is in the free wyll of hym that shall doo it / So it is in our free wyll: whether we wyll desy­re to haue the kyngdome of heuen or not / yf thou wyll aske what is the price of the kyngdom of he­uen truly noon other but thy self / gyue thy self to it by good warkꝭ in this worlde & without doubte thou shalte haue it / Criste gaue hym selfe to suffre passion to thentent that thou shuldest be parte ta­ker [Page] of the kyngdome of heuen / geue thy self to him and thou shalt haue his kyngdome. And ī any wyse lette noo synne abyde in thy mortall bodye / ¶O wretched and synfull soule / yf thyes excellent Ioyes wherin the saintꝭ and chosen people of god shall Ioye euerlastyngly in the kyngdome of heuē can not mooue and styre the by penaunce and vertuous doingys too comme by the grace of god to the saide kyngdome of heuen: I wylle aduise the feare: quake / and consider with greate dreade: the miserable condicions & penalities of hell / the cytye of the deuyl / that by the feare & drede of them: thou may ryse agayn from synne & be tourned vnto thy lorde god with all thy harte / Of the whiche pay­nes it is to be knowen: that lyke as the soules that be dampned hath diuersitie of synnes: so lyke wy­se: is to theim diuersitie of paynes / wherof speketh saint Gregory on this wyse / Oon fyre of hell is to be beleued / but it brēneth not al synners in lyke maner / For eueryche one of them according to the greuousnes of their synnes: shall suffre condigne pay­ne / as by oon fyre: chaffe is brent / woode is brent / & Iron is brent: but not by oon maner / The fyre of hell is so flamed in & kyndeled by the Ire & wrath of the euerlastyng Iuge: that it shall neuer be quē shed / butte dure euerlastynge / wherof it is spoken of Iobe the .xxi. chapitour / the fyre of hell shall de­uour theym that be dampned / whiche shall neuer be quenched. ¶Of the sharpenes of the fyre of hell spekyth Saynt Sebastiane / to whome an [Page] Aungell appered saiynge on this maner / this materiall fyre whiche we see and vse Dayly: is no mo­re vnto the fyre of hell: then is the fyre paynted vp­pon a wall lyke vnto the sayde sensible and vsuall fyre / ¶And Isodore saith / that in hell shall be a cretayne vision of a derke and obscure lyght: by the whiche they that be dampned: may se in what maner of wyse: they suffre payne / but noo thynge by the whiche: they maye Ioye / And the damp­ned spretꝭ shall see there in payne with theym: tho­se people whiche they loued īordinatly ī this worlde to thetent that lyke wyse as they had worldely pleasure in ordinatly to gether: soo they shall suffer payne euerlastynge in hell / here may a question be asked whether that the dampned spritꝭ may se the glory of saintꝭ / to the whiche answereth saint Gregorye: In an omelie of the riche man that sette all his felicite and pleasure in eatynge and drinkynge And inordinate apparell / saiynge on this wyse / It is to be beleued that byfore the rewarde of thextreme Iugement of god: the vnrightwyse people do see the rightwyse people in reste and quietenes / and / seynge theym in Ioye: they be not oonly cru­cified by their owne payne: but also they be crucified by the sight of them in Ioye / ¶The rightwyse people and they that be saued seth alwaye the vn­rightwyse & dampned soules / to thentēt that their Ioye may encrease / For why: they beholde the in­tollerable payne whiche by the greate grace and mercy of god: they haue auoyded and escaped. [Page] ¶And for so moche they geue more thankingꝭ vnto their creatour and maker: In how moche theyse yt payne ī other: whiche they shuld haue suffred: yf they had doon as they dyd: and made noo sutis­faccion byfore they departed this miserable worl­de / And as the same saint Gregory saith ī an other place. The open payne of theym that be repreued of god dooth not frustrate nother hurte the blesse of theym that be saued / For why: there shalbe noo compassion of misery / and the Ioy of those blessed soules maye in noo wyse be made lesse / ¶And all though: those blessed soules be merciful of their nature: neuerthelesse they be soo Ioyned to gether in so greate rightwysnes: that in no wyse they may be mooued to be dampned soules with any com­passyon or pytye / And more ouer it is added: that then the misery of theyr childer / of theyr fader and moder / and of their wyues: shall not make the blessyd soules to be sorye / the dampned spretys byfore the daye of Iugemente shall see the blessed creatu­res / not in that maner wyse to knowe their Ioye what it is: but only they shall knowe theym to be in a Ioye vnhable to be tolde / And by that syght: they shall sore be crucified / greatly Inuyinge: the greate felecitie of blessyd soules / by the sight of the godhede / of the whiche sight: the dampned spretis shalbe depriued / and their payne shalbe in no wy­se minisshed but in created / bycause they shall haue in mynde the Ioye of the blessed creatures whi­che Ioye they dyd see in the Iugemente or byfore [Page] the Iugemente / and that shall be to theym greate tourmentry and payne / And moreouer they shalbe scorged: in that they shall see theim selfe: to be reputed and taken as vnworthy: to see to Ioye why­che the holy saintꝭ doth see contynually / A question maye be asked whether the dampned soules may se and knowe what is done in this wolde / to this Saynt Gregory treatinge vpon this text of Iobe the .ix. chapitour. ¶They doo vnderstande whe­ther their children be noble / or vnnoble: say the oon this manere / they that be alyue in this worlde knowe not where the soules be of theym that be deade / so lyke wyse: they that be deade knowe not the disposicion of theym: whiche be lefte on therth For the lyfe of the soule is farre frome the lyfe of the flesshe / Neuerthelesse it is to be knowen: that they whiche haue the inwarde knoleyge of the clerenesse of god: maye in noo wyse be ignorante of outwarde effectis or dedis / ¶And for this cause it is to be thought that the good people in heuen: doth see what is done amongis erthely creatures in the worlde / ¶And not the dampned people / per chaunce thou wyll saye the Ioye of the soules that be saued: is a greate waye forther frome the sou­les that be dampned: then the acetis and dedes of the worlde / wherfore they myght see soner the de­dis of the worlde: then the Ioyes of blessid soules / It is answered oon this wyse / that those thingis whiche be done in the worlde: maye not greue or vexe the dampned soules noo thynge so moche yf [Page] they might se them: as the beholdynge of the Ioye that the blessed soules be in. ¶Therfor they be not shewed to theym / visebly / Theyse be the suffraunce of god suche thingꝭ that maye incresse moost their sorowe but noo thynge that shulde be to theyr Ioye or comforte Sōme ꝑauenture wolde aske thys questyon whether the dampned soules in helle: wolde that euery crea­ture shulde be dampned as they be. To this maye be answered / that lyke as perfyght charite is con­uenient and accordynge euer to be with the holy soules: So amonges the dampned soules: shall e­uer be ꝑfyght hate & enuie / then thus / The holy & blessed soules shall euer Ioye in all good dedes: & on the contrary: the dampned shalbe sory for euery good dede / The consideringe of the Ioye & felicite of saintꝭ: is to theim great affeccion / Therfore they wold all good peple shuld be dāpned / The enuy of them shalbe so great: that beinge in eternall payne they shall Inuye the Ioye of theyr naybours that be saued / and of them with whom / they haue ben conuersaunte in this worlde / A questyon myght be moued whether the dampned soules wolde haue their naybours acquayntaūce dampned with theym aswell as alle other: It maye be answered thus / that they be not so enuyous to their acquayntaunce or naibours: with whome they haue com­mytted and vsyd sensuall pleasures and delyghtis in the worlde: as they be to all other / wyllynge to haue them dampned as they be / for this cause. [Page] If their companyons shulde be dampned as they be: theyr tribulacion shulde be encreased acciden­tally / in so moche as they that be dampned: were parte takers with their acquayntaunce of theyr pleasures and vicious concupiscence of their ple­asures and vicious concupiscence in the worlde: they must of equitie be parte takers of their payne And so shuld they not only suffre sorowe for theyr owne gilt: but also for the gylte of their fellowes / and acquayntaunce / An example is put of the dampned riche man / whiche beynge in payne eternall desyred that his brethern a lyfe: might haue knowleige what payne he endured / to thentent they myghte haue grace: to saue theym selfe / for if they shulde be dampned with hym: whiche was the cause of their misdoynge in this worlde: his payne shul­de be increased / For he shuld suffre with theim ꝑte of their payne / And though by the multitude of the dampned soules the payne of iche oon of theim singularie is increased: yet their enuie and hatered is so greate: that they couyt more to suffre tribulaci­on and tourmentrie with a great multitude: then with one alone / For it is a comon saiynge wret­ches be glade and desirous / to haue fellawshyp in payne / Aquestion might be mooued / whether they that be dede: namely that be dampned: may know or haue any remembraunce of those thyngys that they had knowlege of: in the world. To this may be saide / that in the dampned soules shalbe a consyderacion of thingꝭ whiche they dyd knowe before [Page] And that knowlege or considerasion: shalbe as a­materiall cause of their sorowe / And no thinge of loue nor cōforte / They shall also cōsider the synnes that they haue cōmytted / wherfore they be dam­pned / & they shall haue in remembraunce the good dedes: whiche they might haue done: and wolde not / And for both: they shall suffre payne / Farther­more in hell shalbe two diuerse paynes / oon is cal­led pena Dāni whiche is the wantinge of the sy­ghte of god: the other is called pena sensus: whi­che crist touchith in a gospell of mathewe the .vii. Chaptour: saiyng / euery tree that bearith no good feuyte: shalbe cutte downe and caste in to the fyre Of the paine whiche is called pena sensus: spekith saint Gregory vppon the gospell of mathewe the .viii. Ehapitour / The dampned soule shalbe caste oute into the outwarde derkenesse. This sayd pe­na sensus hath many diuersiteis of kyndes / & as I thinke innumerable / sūme of them be shewed and spoken of in this wyse / In hell shalbe colde vnha­ble to be ouercomyn / Fyre neuer to be quenched / wormes that be mmortall / intollerable stynke / derkenes palpable / Scorges of deuyllis / the horryble sight of deuellꝭ / the confusion of synnes / and dispayre of all goodnes / The dampned soules shalbe full of euery sorowe and heuynes / They shall also ha­ue contynuall wepynge in their Iyes / gnastynge in their teeth / stynke in their nose thirles / wailyng and criyngis in their voices / ferefulnes in their eares / Bandes vpon their handes and feet / And a cō tynuall [Page] fyre and heate: in all their membres / wherof a certayne doctour spekith on this maner / hell is a deadly diche or pytte: heaptd full of all paynes & wretchednes / And as it is written in the .xiii. cha­pitour of ysaye / euery dampned soule shalbe fea­red of other / Their facis and countenaunce shalbe flamynge as fyre / It is written in the .ii. chapitour of Baruch / yt their facis shalbe blacke of the smoke and accordynge to the same: it is spoken in the .ii. chapitour of Iohell / All the facis of synners shalbe tourned as blacke as a potte / Also the sharpnes of the paynes of hell maye be consideryd by the we­pynge and gnastyng of teeth / by the desire of deth By the eatinge of their tunges / and by the blasphemynge of their maker / with many other that be there to cōme: As it is open in many placis of scripture / wherof it is written in the appocalippes the xix. chapitour on this wyse / For the greate and in­tollerable sorowe: they dyd eate their owne tungꝭ and blasphemed god of heuen: for theyr woundes and tribulacions / The sharnes of their payne shalbe so great: that they shall dispise lyfe whiche is naturally desyred of euery creature: & desireth deeth that euery creature naturally doth flee / ¶As it is written in the appocalippis the .ix. chapitour / In thoo fearefull dayes and atte that fearefull tyme: men shall seke deth: whiche they shalle not fynde / they shalle desire to dye: and deeth shall flee frome them / saint Crisostome saith on this maner / what shall we doo there / what shall we answere / whe­re [Page] no thynge is but gnastynge of teeth / howlynge And wepynge / noo helpe to be goten / to late to do penaūce / On euery syde & in euery ꝑte vexed inces­sauntly with paynes intollerable / And neuer to haue any parte of solace. ¶There shall no creature appere byfore oure Iyen: but only the mynesters and tourmentours of hell / to minester paynes in e­uery syde / and that worste is of all: there shalbe no comfore of the ayre nother of sight / O good lorde what feare shall be to theym that shall suffre theis paynes / what breakyng of bowellꝭ / what crushinge of membres / what & howe many dyuerse crucifiyngis shalbe in euery sensible parte of body and soule: truly no creature maye expresse by any meane / Saint Crisostome spekynge of the losse of the sight of gode whiche is called pena dāni saith the­se wordes / perauenture sūme and many folke doo thinke no payne to greate of theis forsaid paynes: yf they might escape the daunger of hell / but I call moche more greuous paynes than hell: to be remouyd / excluded / and cast oute: from the grace of god / frome alle goodnes prepared and made redy for good and holy people / And moost of all: the priua­cion and lakke of the sight of god / to be hated of criste / and to her of hym this ferefull worde: I kno­we you not / For sothe it is better a thousande ty­mes: to suffer lightnynge / thenne to see that blessed lorde full of mekenes and pyty againste vs / as our aduersarye / And to suffer the Iyen of all tranquil­lite and reste to beholde vs. ¶O meke sonne of [Page] god: we beseche the / lette vs not suffre theys pay­nes / nother haue in experience: the intollerable and horrible tourmentrie / woo shall to vs that thynke not nother haue any remembraunce of theis fore­sayde paynes / ¶For we doo nowe as men that by necligence: and thinkith theym selfe sure: takynge noo hede of bodye nor soule / But gooth wyth­oute lette: in to the sayde paynes of helle / perauen­ture sūme man wyll saye that it semethe god to be vnrightwyse / for man is punysshed eternally for one deadly synne done in one houre / Saynt Gre­gorye askith the sayde question: and geuyth soluci­on to it on this manere / Almyghty god whiche is a streyghte Iuge: dooth not consider the wordes of men oonly: but also he payseth the hertys. And so it is: that yf the wykked people myght ly­ue in this worlde euer: they wolde perseuerantly contynue in their wyckydnes / and neuer amende them selfe / For truly they that neuer wylle leaue synne: shewyth and desyryth alwaye to lyue in synne. ¶Therfore it longyth to / the greate right­wysnes of god: to punysshe them by eternall pay­ne: whiche in this lyf wold neuer be out of synne / ¶And that noone ende of payne be geuen to the synfull creature: that whilis he lyued in this worlde: wolde haue noone ende of synne. ¶And other reason why that oon deadly synne byndith a man to eternalle payne maye be taken: consyderynge hym to whome the offence is done / whyche is the god of all goodnes and myght. [Page] ¶Therfore the offence done: is worthy eternall / payne / For as aristotill saith ī the .vii. of his ethic In howe moche the ꝑsone is greater indignitie to whome the offence or trespace is done: so moche more it ought to be punysshed / and Crisostome accordinge to the same saith / An Iniure or wronge done to a persone: is to be considered as the perso­ne is / A lytell offence done to a great persone indignite: is great / And great cryme cōmytted to a sym­ple bodye: is compted but as a lytell faulte / O my dere and welbeloued frende: knowynge and oft remembrynge in thyne harte theis paynes byfore rehersed besely take hede & see: for the helth of thyn owne soule / And euer beholde inwardly the greate paynes of hell to be beleued / Consider in thy self what thingꝭ be profitable and holsome to thy sou­le / whether it is better to wayle / to be sorye / and often to aske mercy for thy syn̄es in this world: than to wepe in euerlastynge fyre / without remedye or profite / thou shall deserue ī short tyme of this worlde: yf thou wyll / by penaunce and sorowe for thy synnes: forgeuenes / & euerlastyng comforte. Therfore be sory for thy syn̄es here in this lytell tyme: to thentente thou may hereafter be deliued forme the sorowe euerlastynge / Meke thy selfe in this worlde: that peraduenture thou be not made meke in the paynes of hell / and be caste in to the fyre vnha­ble to be quenched Blessyd is that creature that in this worlde hatyth and makyth hym selfe redy to be foūde hable at the daye of Iugement: with the [Page] people that be worthy to be saued / And wretched is that creature whiche by his synne hathe made hym selfe vnhable to haue the glorye of oure lorde / At the houre of the daye of Iugemente by the po­wer of god: the clowdes shall take vppe to heuen: body and soule of theym that be saued / And the de­uellis shalle take bodye and soule of the dampned creatures: Castynge them in to the fornase the of brennynge fyre of hell. ¶who shall geue to myne heade a great porcion of water: and to myne Ien the founten of teares: besely flowinge oute / that I my selfe maye wepe / daye and nyght / besechynge our lorde I be not founde vnstable in the houre of his cōmynge: And that I maye deserue: not to he­re the fearefull sentence of oure lorde / whenne he shall saye: Goo fro me: ye that hathe ben the doers of wyckednesse / I knowe not what ye be / whiche oure lorde Ihesu Criste: tourne a waye frome vs / that leueth and reigneth for euermore. Amen.

¶Enprynted at london in fletstrete. at the signe of saynt George. By Richarde Pynson.

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