¶A boke newely translated out of Latyn in to Englisshe / called The folowing of Christe, with the Golden epistel of saynt Barnard.


The introductyon.

HEre after folowethe a boke callyd in la­tyn (Imitacio Christi that is to saye in En­glyshe / The folowe­ynge of Christ / wher­in be conteyned foure lytell bokes / whiche boke as some mē afferme was fyrst made & compyled in [...]atyn by the famous clerke mayster Iohan Gerson Chaūcellour of Paris. And the sayd four bokes he nowe of late newely translated in to Englyshe in suche maner as here after apperyth / & thoughe .iii. of the fyrst bokes of the sayd iiii. bokes haue bē before this tyme right well & deuoutly translated in to englyshe by a famous clerke called mayster Williā Atkynson whiche was a doctour of diuy­nyte. yet for as moch as the sayd translatour for some cause hym mouing ī diuers places lyfte out moche parte of some of the chapytres / & somtyme varyed fro the letter as in the .iii. chapitre & in the .xviii. & .xix. chapitre of the firste boke / & also in dyuers other chapitres of the sayd .iii. bokes wyll appere to thē that wyll examyn the latyne & the sayde firste trāslacyon to [Page] gyder / therfore the sayd .iii. bokes be efte­sones translatyd in to Englyshe in suche maner as here after foloweth / to ye intēt that they that lyst may at theyr pleasure be occupyed with the one / or with the o­ther after as theyr deuocyō shal styre thē to whan they haue sene them bothe. And after the sayd .iii. bokes foloweth the .iiii. boke whiche was fyrste translated out of Frenche ī to englyshe by the ryght noble & excellent princes Margarete late coū ­tesse of Richemoūt & De [...]by moder vnto the noble prynce of blessed memory kyng Henry ye .vii. father vnto our soueraine lorde the kyng that nowe is kyng Henry the .viii. And for as muche as it was trā ­slatyd by the sayde noble pryncesse out of frenche it coulde nat folowe the latyn so nyghe ne so dyrectly as if it had ben trā ­slated out of latyn. And therfor it is now translated also out of latyn / & yet neuertheles it kepeth the substaūce & the effect of the fyrst trāslaciō out of frēche though sōtyme it vary ī wordes as to the reders wyll appere. And in the later ende after the .iiii. boke is a shorte & deuout moral doctryne whiche is called the spyrytuall glasse of the soule. And it is ryght good [Page] and profytable to euery person ofte times to loke vpon it.

¶Here endeth the introduccion And here after foloweth the Imytacyon of Christe.

¶Of the Imytacion or [...]o­lowynge of Christe / and of the despysynge of all vanyties of the worlde. The fyrste Chapitre.

HE that fo­loweth me sayth Christe our Sa­uyoure walketh nat in derkenes / but he shall haue the lyght of lyfe / these be the wor­des of our lorde Iesu Christe: wherby we be admonys­shed and warned that we shal folowe his teachynges and his maner of liuynge: yf we wyll truely be illumyned and be dely­ueryd from all blyndnes of herte. Let all the study of our hert be therfore frō hens­forthe to haue our meditacion holly fired in the lyfe / & in the holy teachyng of Ie­su christe: for his techynges are of more vertue & of more ghostly strength thā are the techynge of al angelles and sayntes. And he that throughe grace might haue [Page] the inner eye of his soule / openyd ī to the sothfaste beholdynge of the gospelles of Christe / shulde fynde in them (Māna) yt is to say spiritual fode of the soule. But it is oft tymes sene that some persōs which ofte here the gospelles of Criste: haue ly­tell swetnes therī / & that is for they haue nat the spiryte of Christe. Wherfore: yf we wyll haue the trewe vnderstandynge of Cristes gospelles we muste study to cō forme our lyfe to his lyfe as nighe as we can. What auayleth it a man to reason highe secrete mysteries of the Trynite yf he lacke mekenes wherby he displeaseth the Trinite: truely nothynge / for hyghe curious reasons make nat the man holy nor ryght wyse. But a good lyfe maketh hym beloued with god / I had leuer fele compunction of herte for my synnes / thā onely to knowe the diffinicion of compūction. If thou couldest all the Byble with out the boke▪ and also seynges of all Phylosophers by herte what shulde it profyte the without grace & charite. Al that is in this worlde is vanyte: but to loue god & onely to serue hym. This is the moste noble and the most excellent wysdome that may be in any creature / by dispysyng of [Page ii] this worlde / to drawe dayly nerer & nerer to the kyngdome of heuē. It is therfor a greate vayne / to laboure mordinatly / for wordely ryches that shortly shall peryshe & to coueyte honour / or any other inordy­nate pleasures or fleshely delytes in thys lyfe wherby a man after this lyfe shal be sore & greuously punyshed. Howe greate a vanyte is it also to desyre a longe lyfe & lytell to care for a good lyfe / to hide thynges present: and nat to prouyde for thynges that are to come / to leue thyngꝭ that shortely shall passe awaye / & nat to haste thyther where is Ioye euerlastyng. Also haue thys common prouerbe ofte in thy mynde that the eye is nat satisfied ne fully pleased with the syght of any bodely thynge / ne the eare with herynge. And therfore studye to withdrawe the loue of thy soule frō all thyngꝭ that bene visyble and tourne it to thynges that be inuysy­ble. For they that folowe theyr sensualy­te hurte theyr owne conscyence / and lese the grace of god.

❧:Agaynst vayne seculer cōnynge and of a meke knowynge of oure selfe. The .ii. Chapytre.

[Page]EVery man naturally desyrethe to knowe: but what auayle the knowledge without the dreade of god. A meke Husbandman that seruethe god is more acceptable to him / than is a curyouse Phylosopher whiche consyde­rynge the course of heuen / wylfully for­getteth hym selfe: he that well knoweth hym selfe is vyle and obiecte in his owne syghte and hathe no delyte in the vayne praysynges of man / if I knewe all thyn­ges that be in this worlde without cha­rite / what shulde it auayle me before god that iugethe euery man after his dedes / let vs therfore c [...]sse fro the desyre of such vayne knowlege / for oftētymes is foūde therin greate dystracyon and deceyte of the enemy wherby the soule is much hindrede and let from the perfyte and trewe loue of god. They that haue great con­nynge desyre cōmonly to be sene and to be beholdē wyse in the worlde / and there be many thynges that the knowynge of them brynge but lytell profyte and lytell [...]rute to the soule / and he is very vnwyse that taketh hede to any other thynge thā to that / that shal profyte him to the helth of his soule wordꝭ fede nat the soule / hut [Page iii] a good lyfe refressheth the mynde / and a clene conscyēce bryngeth a man to a fer­me and a stable truste in god. The more cōnyng thou haste / if thou lyue nat ther­after / the more greuously shalt thou ther­fore be iuged for the mysusynge therof. Therfore ryse nat thy selfe in to pryde for any crafte or cōnīg that is gyuē vnto the but haue therfore the more feare & drede in thy herte / for certayne it is that thou muste hereafter yelde therfore the stray­ter accompte / if thou thynke that thou knoweste many thynges and haste great cōnynge / yet knowe it for certayne that there be many mo thyngꝭ that thou kno­west nat. And so thou mayste nat ryght­wysely thynke thy selfe cōning / but oughtest rather to confesse thyne ygnoraunce & vnconnynge: why wylte thou preferre thy selfe in connynge before other / sythe thereby many other more excellēt & more connynge than thou / and better lerned in the lawe? if thou wylte any thyng lerne and knowe profytablye to the helthe of thy soule / lerne to be vnknowē & be glade to be holden vyle & noughte and vncon­nyng as thou arte. The moste hygh and the moste profytable cōnynge is this. A [Page] man to haue a sothfaste knowlege / and a full despysynge of hym selfe. Also a man nat to presume of hym selfe / and alwaye to iuge and to thynke well and blessedly of other / is a sygne and a token of greate wysdome and of great perfection and singuler grace / yf thou se any person syne or cōmytte any greate cryme openly before the / yet iuge nat thy selfe to be better thā he. For thou knowest nat how lōge thou shalt perseuer in goodnes we be al frayle but thou shalte iuge no man more frayle than thy selfe.

❧Of the teachynge of trouthe. The .iii. Chapitre.

HAppy and blessed is that person whome trouthe teacheth / & en­formeth nat by fygures / or by deceytfull voyces but as the trouthe is / our oppinyō and our wytte many tymes deceyueth vs / For we se nat the trouthe / what auayleth vs the knowlege of suche thīgꝭ as shall neyther helpe vs at the day of Iugement yf we knowe thē nor hurte vs if we knowe them nat. It is therfore greate foly to be neglygent in suche thynges as be profytable and necessary to vs / [Page iiii] and to labour for suche thynges that be but curyous and dampnable. Truely yf we do so we haue eyen but we se nat / and what auayleth vs the knowledge of the kynde and werkynge of creatures truely nothynge / he to whome the euerlastynge worde that is Iesus speketh: is dyschar­ged of many vayne opynyōs / and of that worde all thynges procede and all thyn­ges openly shewe / crye and belyue that he is god. No man without hym vn­derstandeth the trouthe ne ryghtfully iu­geth / but he to whom all thynges is one and he that all thynges draweth ī to one and all thynges setteth in one / and desy­reth nothynge / but one may anone be stablyd ī herte and be fully pacifyed in god. O trouthe that God arte / make me one with the in perfyte charyte / for al that I rede / heare / or see / without the is a gre­uous thyng to me for in the is all that I wyll or may desyre / Let all Doctours be styll in thy presence: and let all creatures kepe thē in silēce & thou onely lorde speke to my soule. The more that man is onede to the / & the more that he is gathered to­gither ī the / the more he vndstādeth with out labour hygh secrete mysteries / for he [Page] hathe resceyued from aboue the lyght of vnderstandynge. A clene / pure and a sta­ble herte is nat broken ne lyghtely ouer­come with ghostly laboures / for he doth all thynge to the honoure of god / & for he is clerely mortified to hym selfe / therfore he coueyteth to be fre fro folowynge his owne wyl. What hyndreth the more than thy affeccions nat fully mortysied to the wyll of the spirite / truely nothyng more. A good deuoute man so ordreth his out­warde besynes that it drawe nat hym to the loue of it / but that he compell it to be obedient to the wyll of the spiryte and to the ryght iugement of reason. Who hath a strenger batayle: thā he that laboureth for to ouercome hym selfe / and that shuld be our dayly labour & our dayly desyre to ouercome our selfe / that we may be made strengers in spirite / & increase dayly from better to better. Euery perfeccion in this lyfe hath some imperfeccion annexed vn­to it / & there is no knowyng ī this worlde but that it is mixte with some blyndnes of ygnoraūce. And therfore a meke kno­wynge of our selfe is more syker waye to god / than is the serchyng for hyghnes of connynge. Connynge well ordred is nat [Page v] to be blamed for it is good and commeth of god / but a clene conscyence and a vertuous lyfe is moche better & more is to be desyred / bycause some men study to haue cōnynge rather than to lyue well. Ther­fore they arre many tymes & bryng forth lytel good fruit or none. O if they wold be as busye to auoyde synne & to plante ver­tues in theyr soules / as they be to moue questions: there shulde nat be so many e­uyll thyngꝭ sene in the world / ne so moch euyll example gyuen to the people / ne yet so moche dyssolate lyuyng in religion. At the daye of Iugement it shall nat be asked of vs what we haue red but what we haue done ne howe wel we haue sayd but howe religiously we haue lyued. Tel me nowe where be all the great clerkes & famous doctours whome thou hast well knowen. Whā they lyued they flourisshed greatly ī theyr lernyng / and nowe other men occupie theyr prebendes & ꝓmociōs and I can nat tell whether they thynke any thynge on them. In theyr lyfe they were holden great in the worlde / & nowe is lytell spekyng of them. O howe short­ly passeth awaye the glory of this world with all the false deceyuable pleasures of [Page] it / wolde to God theyr lyfe had accorded wel with theyr lernynge / for than hadde they well studyed and rede / howe many peryshe dayly ī thys worlde by vayne cō ­nynge that care lytell for a good lyfe / ne for the seruyce of god. And bycause they desyre rather to be great ī the worlde thā to be meke / therfore they vanysshe awaye in theyr lernynge as smoke in the heyre. Truely he is great / that hath greate charite: & he is great that is lytel ī his owne syght & that setteth at nought al worldly pleasures as vyle dunge / so that he may wynne Chryste. And that person is very wel taught that forsaketh his owne wyl and foloweth the wyll of god.

❧That lyght credence is nat to be gyuen to wordes. The .iiii. Chapitre.

IT is nat good lyghtely to by­leue euery worde / or instyncte that cōmeth / but the thynge is auysedly and leasurely to be cōsydered / & ponddred that almyghty god be nat offē ­ded thoroughe oure lyghtnes. But alas for sorowe we be so frayle that we anone [Page vi] byleue of other euyll soner thā god: But neuertheles parfyte men be nat so lyghte of credence / for they knowe well that the frayltye of mā is more prone to euyll thā to good and that it is in wordes very vn­stable. It is therfore great wysdome nat to be hasty ī our dedes / ne to truste moch in oure owne wyttes / nor lyghtely to by­leue euery tale / nor to shewe anone to o­ther all that we heare or byleue. Take al way counseyle of a wyse man and coueite rather to be instructed and to be ordered by other than to folowe thine owne inuē cyon / a good lyfe maketh a man wyse a­gaynst god and instructeth hym in many thyngꝭ that a sinfull man shal neuer fele ne knowe. The more meke that a man is in hym selfe and the more obediēt that he is to god / ye more wyse & the more please full shall he be in euery thynge that he shall haue to do.

❧Of the redynge of holy scripture. The .v. chapytre.

CHaryte is to be sought ī holy scripture / and nat eloquence / & it shulde be redde with the same spyryte that [Page] it was fyrste made: we ought also to seke in holye Scripture ghostely profyte / ra­ther than curyositie of style / and as glad­ly shall we rede symple & deuoute bokes of hyghe lernynge and connynge / let nat the auctoritie of thyne auctoure myslyke the / whether he were of great connynge or lytel / but that the loue of the very pure trouth styre the to rede Aske nat who said this: but take good hede what is sayde: Men passe lyghtly away / but the trouth of god euer abydeth. Almyghty god spe­keth to vs in his scripture in diuers ma­ners without acceptynge of persons / but our curyosyte ofte letteth vs in redynge of scripture whan we wyll reason and ar­gue thynges that we shulde mekely & simply passe ouer / if thou wylt profyte by re­dynge of scripture rede mekely simply & faythfully and neuer desyre to haue ther­by the name of connynge. Aske gladly & here mekely the sayenge of sayntes: and myslyke the nat the parables of aunciēt fathers / for they were nat spoken with­out greate cause.

❧Of inordinate affeccyons. The .vi. Chapitre.

[Page vii]WHan a mā desyreth any thynge in­ordinatly: forth with he is inquyet in hym selfe. The proude man / and the couetous man neuer haue reste: but the meke man and the pore in spiryte ly­ueth in greate abundaūce of rest & peace. A man that is nat yet mortifyed to hym selfe / is lyghtly tempted and ouercomme in lytell and small temptacyons. And he that is weyke in spyryte / and is yet som­what Carnall and inclyned to sensyble thynges maye hardely withdrawe hym selfe frō wordly desyres. And therfore he hathe ofte greate grefe & heuynes in hert whan he withdraweth hym from them. And he dysdayneth anone yf any man resyste hym / and if he opteyne that he desyreth: yet he is inquyeted with grudge of conscyence for he hathe folowed his pas­sion which nothynge helpeth to gettinge of the peace that he desyred. Than by resystynge of passyons is goten the very true peace of herte & nat by folowynge of thē / there is therfore no peace ī the herte of a Carnall man / Nor in the herte of a mā that gyueth hym selfe all to outward thyngꝭ / but in the herte of a ghostly man or woman whiche haue theyr delyte in [Page] god / is founde greate peace and inwarde quyetnes.

❧That vayne hope and elacyon of mynde are to be fled & auoyded. The .vii. Chapytre.

HE is vayne that puttethe hys truste in man or in any creature be nat ashamed to serue other for the loue of Iesu Christe / & to be pore ī this worlde for his sake / truste nat ī thy selfe / but al thy truste set in god / do that in the is to please hym: and he shall well helpe forthe thy good wyll. Truste nat in thyne owne connynge: ne yet in the con­nynge or policye of any creature lyuynge but rather in the grace of god whiche helpeth meke persons / & those that presume of them selfe he sufferethe to fall tyll they be meke / gloryfye nat thy selfe in thy ry­ches nor in thy worldely frendes for that they be myghty / but let al thy glory be in god onely that gyueth all thynges / and that desyreth to gyue hym selfe aboue al thynges. Exalte nat thy selfe for te lar­genes or fayrenes of bodye / for with a ly­tell syckenes it maye be sone defoueled / [Page viii] Ioye nat in thy selfe for the habylyte / or rydenes of wyt lefte thou dysplease god / of whose gyfte it is all that thou haste / holde nat thy selfe better thā other / leste happely thou be therby impeyred in the syght of god that knoweth all that is in man / be nat proude of thy good dedes / for the iugemētꝭ of god be other thā the iugementis of man to whō it dyspleaseth ofte tymes that pleaseth man. If thou haue any goodnes or vertue in the / belyue yet that there is moche more goodnes / and vertue in other / so that thou mayste al­waye kepe the in mekenes. It hurteth nat thoughe thou holdeste thy selfe worse than any other / thoughe it be nat so in dede / but it hurteth moche yf thou pre­ferre thy selfe aboue any other be he ne­uer so great a syner. Great peace is with the meke mā but in the herte of a proude man is alwaye enuye and indygnacyon.

❧:That moche famylyaryte is to be fledde. The .viii. Chapytre.

OPē nat thy herte to euery ꝑson but to him that is wyse / secrete and dredynge god / be seldome with yonge folkes and straungers flater [Page] nat ryche men / & afore great men do nat lyghtly appere. Accōpany thy selfe with meke persons and symple in herte that be deuoute and of good gouernaūce and treate with theym of thynges that maye edifye & strength thy soule. Be nat famy­lyer to any woman. Couete to be famy­lyer onely with god and his Angellꝭ / but the famylyarite of mā as moche as thou maiste loke thou eschewe / charite is to be had to all / but famylyarite is not expedyent. Somtyme it happeneth that a persō vnknowen throughe hys good fame is moche cōmendable / whose presence after lyketh vs nat so muche. We wene somty­me with our presēce to please other / whā we rather dysplease theym throughe the euyll maners and euyll condicyons that they se and wyll consyder in vs.

❧Of meke subiection and obedyence and that we shall gladly folowe the counseyle of other. The .ix. Chapitre.

IT is a greate thynge to be obedy­ent to lyue vnder a Prelate / and in nothynge to seke oure owne lybertye.:♣ [Page ix] It is mochemore suerer waye to stande in the state of obedyence / than in the state of prelacye. Many be vnder obedy­ence more of necessyte than of charyte / and they haue great payne and lyghtely murmure & grudge: and they shall neuer haue lyberte and frydome of spyryte tyll they hooly submytte thēselfe vnto theyr superyoure. Go here & there where thou wylte / & thou shalte neuer fynde perfyte rest: but in meke obedience vnder the go­uernaunce of thy prelate. The ymage­nynge & the chaungynge of places hathe deceyued many a religious person / trou­the it is that euery mā is dysposed to do after his owne wyll / and beeste can agre with thē that folowe hys wayes. But yf we wyll that god be amōge vs: we muste somtyme leue our owne wyll thoughe it seme good / that we may haue loue & pea­ce with other. Who is so wyse that he can fully knowe all thynges: truely none. Therfore truste nat muche to thyn owne wytte. But here gladely the counseyle of other. And yf parcase the thynge whiche thou woldest haue done be good and pro­fytable / and yet neuerthelesse thou leuest thyne owne wyll therin and foloweste o­ther: [Page] Thou shalte fynde muche profyte therby. I haue ofte tymes herde say that it is more surer waye to here & take counsayle than it is to gyue it. It is good to here euery mannes counsayle / but nat to agre whan reason requyreth it is a sygne of a greate syngularyte of mynde and of moche inwarde pryde.

❧That we shulde auoyde superfluyie of wordes and the company of worldly lyuynge people. The .x. Chapitre.

AVoyde the ꝯpany of all worldly lyuyng people as moche as thou mayste / for the creatyng of worldly maters letteth greatly the feruoure of spirite / thoughe it be done with a good intēt / we be anone deceyued with vanyte of the worlde / and in maner are made as thrall vnto it: but we take good hede. I wolde I had holdē my peace ma­ny tymes whā I haue spoken / and that I had nat bene so muche amonge world­ly company as I haue bē. But why are we so glad to speke & common to gyther fyth we so seldome departe without some [Page x] hurte of conscience / that is the cause by our cōmynynge to gyther we thynke to comforte eche other and to refresshe oure hertes whan we be troubled with vayne ymagynacyons: & we speke moste glad­ly of suche thynges as we moste loue / or elles of thynges that be moste contrary­ous vnto vs. But alas for sorowe all is vayne that we do / for this outwarde cō ­forte is no lytell hyndraunce of the trewe inwarde comforte that commeth of god. Therfore it is necessary that we watch & praye that the tyme passe nat awaye fro vs in ydelnes: If it be laufull and expe­dient to speke / speke thā of god and suche thingꝭ as are to the edyfying of thy soule or of thy neybours / & euyll vse and a nec­lygence of our ghostely profyte / maketh vs oft tymes to take lytell hede howe we shulde speke. Neuerthelesse somtyme it helpeth ryght moche to the helthe of the soule / a deuoute commynge of spirytuall thyngꝭ: specially whā men of one mynde & of one spyrite in god / do mete and speke and commen to gyther.

❧The meanes to gette peace / and of desyre to profyte in vertues. The xi. Chapitre.

[Page]WE myghte haue moch peace if we wolde nat medle wt other mēnes sayenges & doynges that belonge nat vnto vs / Howe maye he longe lyue ī peace that wylfully wyll medle with o­ther mēnes busynes / and that seketh oc­casyons without fourthe in the worlde / & seldome or neuer gathereth hym selfe to gether in god / blessed be the true symple & meke persons / for they shall haue great plente of peace / why haue many sayntes bene so perfytly contemplatyue / for they alwaye studyed to mortifie thē fro worldly desyres that they myght frell with all the power of theyr herte tēde to our lorde But we be occupyed with our passyons / & be muche busyed with trāsytory thingꝭ and it is very seldome that we may ouer come any one vyce. And we be nothynge quyke to our dayly dutyes / wherfore we remayne colde and slowe to deuocyon / yf we were perfytely mortified to the world and to the flesshe and were inwardly pu­ryfied in soule we shulde anone sauour heuenly thynges and somewhat shulde we haue experyence of heuenly contempla­cyon. The greatest hynderaūce of the he­uenly contemplacyon is / for we are nat [Page xi] yet clerely delyuerd fro our passyons and concupiscens / ne we enforce nat our selfe to folowe the waye that holy saintꝭ haue gone before vs / but whā any lytel aduer­syte cōmeth to vs we anone caste downe therin & tourne vs ouersone to seke man­nes cōforte. But yf we wolde as stronge men and as myghty Champions fyghte strōgly en this ghostly batayle / we shulde vndoughtedly se the helpe of god come in our nede / for he is alwaye redye to helpe all them that truste in hym. And he pro­cureth occasyōs of suche batayle to thēde we shulde ouercome & haue the vyctorye & in the ende to haue the greater rewarde therfore / yf we set thende and perfectyon of our religyon in these outwarde obser­uances our deuocyō shall sone be ended. Wherfore we muste set our axe depe to the rote of the tree / that we purged from all passyons maye haue a quyet mynde. It we wolde euery yere ouercome one vyce / we sholde anone come to perfectyon / but I feare rather yt contrary wyse we were better & purer in the begynnynge of oure conuersyon than we be many yeres after we were conuerted. Our feruour and de­syre to vertue shulde dayly increase in vs [Page] as we encreace in age. But it is nowe thought a great thynge if we may holde a lytell spercle of the feruour that we had fyrste / but if we wolde at the begynnynge breke the euyll inclinacyon that we haue to our selfe & to our owne wyll / we sholde after do vertuous werkes easely & with greate gladnes of herte. It is an harde thynge to leue euyl custommes: but it is more herde to breke our owne wyll▪ But it is moste herde euermore to lye in payne and endlesly to lese the ioyes of heuen. If thou ouercom nat small thyngꝭ & lyghte howe shalte thou thā ouercome the grea­ter. Resyste therfore quykely in the be­gynnynge thy euyll inclynacons: & leue of hole all thyne euyll customes leste haply by lytell and lytel they brynge the af­ter to greater dyffyculte. O yf thou wol­dest consydre howe greate inly peas thou shulde haue thy selfe & howe greate glad­nes thou shuldest cause in other in beha­uynge of thy selfe well. I suppose veryly thou woldest be moche more dylygent to profyte in vertue than thou haste bene before thys tyme.

❧:Of the profyte of aduersyte The .xii. Chapytre.

[Page xii]IT is good that we haue sōtyme gryeffes and aduersites / for they dryue a man to beholde hym self and to se that he is here but as in an ex­yle / and be lerned therby to know that he ought nat to put his truste ī any worldly thynge. It is good also that we suffre sō ­tyme cōtradiccyō / and that we be holden of other as euyll and wretched & synfull thoughe we do well and entend well / for suche thynges helpe vs to mekenes and myghtely defende vs frome vayne glory & pryde: we take god the better to be oure Iuge & wytnes / whan we be outwardely dispysed in the worlde / & that the worlde iugeth nat wel of vs / therfor a mā ought to stable him self so fully ī god that what aduersyte so euer befall vnto hym he shal nat nede to seke any outwarde comforte. Whā a good man is troubled or tempted or is inquyeted with euyll thoughtꝭ / thā he vnderstandeth & knoweth that god is moste necessary to hym / & that he may no thyng do that is good without him. Thā he soroweth / waylleth & prayethe for the miseries that he ryghtfuly suffreth. Thā it yrketh hym also the wretchydnesse of this lyfe and he coueyteth to be dissolued [Page] from thys bodye of dethe / and to be with Christe. And thā also he seeth well: there maye be no full peace ne perfyte syker­nes in thys worlde.

❧Of temptacyons to be resysted. The .xiii. Chapitre.

AS longe as we lyue in thys worlde we may nat be fully without tēp­tacyon. ☞:★: For as Iob sayth temptacyon is the lyfe of man vpon erth therfore euerye man shulde be well an­nenste hys temptacyons and watche in prayers that the ghostely enemy fynde nat tyme & place to deceyue hym / whiche neuer slepethe but alwaye goeth about [...] sekynge whome he may deuoute. There is no man so perfyte ne so holye in thys worlde / that he somtyme ne hathe temp­tacyons / & we maye nat fully be without them / for though they be for the tyme verye greuous and paynfull / yet yf they be resysted they be very profytable / for a mā by experyence of suche temptacyons / is made more meke and is also purged and īformed ī diuers maners whiche he shuld neuer haue knowen / but by experyence of [Page xiii] suche temptacyons. All blessed sayntes that nowe is crowned in heuen grewe & profyted by tēptacions and tribulacions and those that coulde nat well bere temptacyons / but were fynally outcome / be taken perpetuall prysoners in hell. There is no order so holye ne no place so secrete that is fully without temptacyon & there is no man that is fully syker from it here in this lyfe / for in our corrupte bodye we bere the mater wherby we be tēpted that is our inordinate cōcupyscence wherein we were borne. As one temptacyō goth / an other cōmeth / and so we alwaye haue somwhat to suffre / & the cause is for we haue lost our innocēsy. Many folke seke to fle temptacyon / and they fall the more greuously in to it. For by onely fleynge we maye nat haue victorye / but hy mekenes and pacyence we be made stronger thā all our enemies / He that onely fleeth the outwarde occasyons and cutteth nat awaye the inordinate desyres hydde inwardly in the herte shall lytell profyte / & temptacyōs shal lyghtely come to hym agayne and greue hym more thā they dyd fyrste by lytell and lytell with pacience & with sufferaunce / and with the helpe of [Page] god / thou shalte soner ouercome tempta­cyons than with thyne owne strength / & importunyte. In thyne temptacyon it is good that thou ofte aske counsayle / and that thou be nat rygorouse to no person that is tēpted / but be glad to cōforte him as thou woldest be cōforted. The begyn­nynge of all euyll temptayons is in con­staunce of mynde and to lytell a truste in god. For as a shype without a guyde is driuē hether & theder with euery storme So an vnstable man that anone leuethe hys good purpose in god / is diuersly tēp­ted / the fyre proueth golde / & temptacyon proueth the ryghtwyse man / we knowe nat many tymes what we can suffre / but tēptacyon sheweth playnly what we are and what vertue in vs. It is necessary in the begynnynge of euery tēptacyon to be well ware / for thā the enemye is sone ouercome yf he be nat suffred to entre in to the herte. But that he be resysted / and shytte out as sone as he ꝓfereth to entre for as a bodely medicyn is very late ministred whā the syckenes hathe ben suffred to encrease by longe contynuaunce / so it is of temptacyon. Fyrste commeth to the mynde an vnclene thoughte / and after [Page xiiii] foloweth a stronge Imagynacyon: and than delectacyon and dyuers euyll mo­cyons / and in the ende foloweth a full as­sent. And so by lytell and lytell the ene­mye hathe full entre for he was nat wy­sely resisted in the begynnyng / & the more floweth that a man is in resystynge the more weyke he is to resyste / and the ene­mye is dayly the more stronger agaynste hym. Some persons haue theyr greatest temptacyons in the beginnynge of theyr conuersyon / some in the ende: and somme in maner all theyr lyfe tyme be troubled therwith / and there be many that be but lyghtly tempted and al thys cometh of the great wysdom & ryghtwysnes of god whiche knoweth the state and meryte of euery person: & ordeyneth al thyngis for the beste / and to the euerlastynge helthe & saluacyon of his electe & chosen people. Therfore we shall nat despyre whan we be tempted but shall the more feruentlye praye vnto god that he of hys infynyte goodnes and fatherly pyte vouche safe or helpe vs ī euery nede & that he according to the saying of saynt Poule so preuēt vs with his grace in euery tēptacyō that we shall may susteyne / let vs than meke our [Page] soules vnder the strong hāde of almighty god / for he wyll saue all theym and exalte all them that be here meke and lowe in spiryte. In temptacyons & tribulacyons a man is proued howe moche he hathe ꝓfyted / and his meryte is therby the great anenste god / & his vertues are the more openly shewed. It is no greate maruayle if a man be feruent and deuoute whan he feleth no grefe▪ but if he can suffre paciēt­ly in the tyme of temptacyons / or other aduersyte / and therwith all can also styre hym selfe to feruour of spiryte it is a tokē that he shall greatly profyte hereafter in vertue and grace. Some persons be kept from any great tēptacyons: and yet day­ly they be ouercome throughe lytell and small occasyons / and that is of the great goodnes and sufferaunce of god to kepe thē in mekenes / that they shall nat truste ne presume of them selfe / that se thē selfe so lyghtely and in so lytell thinges dayly ouercome.

☞That we shall nat Iuge lyghtly other mēnes dedes / ne cleue moche to our owne styll The .xiiii. chap.

[Page xv]HAue alwaye a good eye to thy selfe: & beware thou iuge nat lyghtly other men. In iugyng other men a man ofte laboureth in vaine ofte erreth and lyghtly offēdeth god / but in iugynge hym selfe and his owne dedes he alwaye laboureth frutfully and to his ghostly profyte / we iuge oft tymes after our herte and our owne affeccyons & nat after the truthe / for we ofte l [...]se the true iugement throughe our pryuate loue. But if god were alwaye the hole intente of our desyre we shulde nat so lightly erre in our iugemētes / nor so lightly be trou­bled for that we be resisted of our wyll / but cōmenly there is in vs some inwarde inclynacion or some outwarde affeccyon that draweth our herte with them frome the true iugemēt. Many ꝑsōs throughe a secrete loue that they haue to theyr self worke vndescretely after theyr owne wil and nat after the wyll of god / & yet they wene nat so / & they seme to stande ī great inwarde peace whan thynges folowe af­ter theyr mīde: but if it folowe otherwyse than they wolde / anone they be moued with impacience and be ryght heuy and pensyfe. By diuersities of oppynyons be [Page] sprōge many tymes dyscenciōs bytwene frendes & neyghbours / and also bytwene religious & deuout persones. And olde custome is hardly broken and no man wyll lyghtly be remoued from his owne wyll / but if thou cleue more to thyne owne wyl or to thyne owne reason thā to the meke obediēce of Iesu Christe / it wyll be longe or thou be a mā illumined with grace / for almyghty god wyll that we be perfytely subiecte & obediente to hym / and that we ascende & ryse hyghe aboue our owne wil & aboue our owne reason by a great brennynge loue and a hole desyre to hym.

❧Of werkes done in charite. The .xv. chapiter.

FOR nothynge in the worlde nor for the loue of no creature / no euyll is to be done / but somtime for the nede cō forte of oure neyghboure a good dede maye be deferred or be tourned in to a nother good dede / for therby the good dede is nat destroyed / but is changed in to better without charite the outwarde dede is lytell to be praysed but what so euer is done of charite be it neuer so lytell or ne­uer [Page xvi] so despisable in ye syght of the worldes it is ryght profytable before god / whiche iugeth all thynge after the entente of the doer and nat after the greatnes or wor­thynes of the dede: he dothe moche that moche loueth god: & he doth moche that dothe his dede well: and he dothe his de­de well that dothe it rather for the com­mynalte than for his owne wyll. A dede somtime semeth to be done of charite & of loue to god / whā it is rather done of a carnalite & of a flesshhy loue than of a chari­table loue / for cōmonly some carnall inclinaciō to our frendes / or some inordynate loue to our selfe / or some hope of a temporall rewarde or a desyre of some other ꝓ­fyte mouethe vs to do the dede / & nat the pure loue of charite. Charite sekethe nat him selfe ī that he doth: but he desireth to do onely that shall be honoure & praising to god / he enuieth no mā for he loueth no pryuate loue: nor he wyll nat Ioye ī him selfe but he coueteth aboue al thīgꝭ to be blessed in god / he knowethe well that no goodnes begynneth originally of man / & therfore he referreth al goodnes to god of whome al thinges procede & ī whome all blessed saītes do rest ī euerlastyng feniciō [Page] O he that had a lytell spercle of this parfyte charite shulde fele sothefastly in his soule that all erthely thinges be ful of vanyte.

❧Of the sufferynge of other mennes defautes. The .xvi. chapiter.

SVche defautes as we can nat amēde in our selfe nor in other / we muste paciently suffre tyll our lorde of his goodnes wyll otherwyse dispose. And we shal thynke that happe­ly it is so best for to be for prouyng of our pacyence: without whiche our merytes are but lytell to be pondred / Neuertheles thou shalte praye hertely for suche impe­dimentes that our lorde of his great mercy and goodnes vouchesaue to helpe vs that we may pacyently bere thē. If thou admonysshe any persone ones or twyse & he wyll nat take it: stryue nat ouermoch with hym but cōmytte al to god that his wyll be done and his honoure in all his seruauntes / for he can well by his good­nes tourne euyl in to good: studye alway that thou be pacyēt in suffrynge al other mēnes defautꝭ for thou haste many thinges [Page xvii] in the that other do suffre of the / and if thou cane nat make thy selfe to be as thou woldest / howe mayste thou thā loke to haue an other to be ordred in all thyn­ges after thy wyl. we wolde gladly haue other perfite / but we wyl nat amende our owne defautes / we wolde ye other shulde be straytely corrected for theyre offences but we wyll nat be corrected. It mynsly­keth vs that other haue lybertie: but we wyll nat be denyed of that we aske. we wolde also that other shuld be restrayned accordynge to the statutes / but we in no wyse wyll be restrayned. Thus it appe­reth euydently that we seldome pondre our neyghbours as we do our selfe: if all men were perfyte what had we than to suffre of our neygbours for god / therfore god hath so ordeyned that one of vs shall lerne to bere anothers burden / for in this worlde no man is without defaute: no man without a burden / no man suffy­cyent to hym selfe / nor no man wyse ynoughe of hym selfe / wherfore it beho­ueth eche one of vs to bere the burden of other / to comforte other / to helpe other / to enforme other / and to instructe and admonysshe other in all charite: who is of [Page] moste vertue appereth best in tyme of aduersite. Occasiōs make nat a man frayle but they shewe openly what he is.

☞What shulde be the lyfe of a true reli­gious persone. The .xvii. Chapiter.

IT behoueth the to breke thyne owne wyll in many thynges if thou wylt haue peace and con­corde with other. It is no lytell thynge to be in monasteries or in congregacions and to contynue there without complaynynge or myssaynge and faythfully to ꝑ­seuer there vnto thende. Blessed be they that there lyue well & make a good ende. If thou wylte stande surely in grace and moche ꝓfyte in vertue: holde thy selfe as an outlawe and as a pylgrime here ī this lyfe / and be glad for the loue of god to be holden as a fole and as a vyle persone in the worlde as thou arte. The habyte and [...]onsure helpe lytell / but the chaungynge of lyfe & the mortifienge of passiōs make a persone perfyte and true religious / he that seketh any other thynge in religion thā purely god and the helthe of his soule shall fynde nothynge there but trouble & [Page xviii] sorowe / & he may nat stande longe there in peace & quyetnes / that labourethe nat to be lefte & subgect to al. It is god ther­fore that thou remembre ofte that thou cāmeste to religion to serue and nat to be serued. And that thou arte called thyther to suffre and to laboure / & nat to be ydle ne to tell vayne tales. ♣ In religion a man shall be proued as golde in a furnace and no man maye stande longe there in grace and vertue / but he wyll with al his herte meke hym selfe / for the loue of god.

❧Of the examples of holy fathers. The .xviii. Chapitre.

BEholde the lyuely examples of holy fathers and blessed saintes in whome flourisshed and shone all true perfeccyon of lyfe and all perfyte religion. And thou shalte se howe lytell it is and welnyghe as nothynge that we do nowe in these dayes in cōparyson of thē O what is our lyfe if it be to thē compayred. They serued our lorde in hunger & in thurste / in heate / in colde / in nakydnes / in laboure: and in werynesse / in vygylles [Page] and fastynges / in prayours and in holy meditacions in persecucions and in ma­ny repreffes. O howe many & howe gre­uous tribulatyōs suffred ye apostles martyrs / confessours / virgins and other holy sayntes that wolde folowe the steppes of Chryste. They refused honoures & all bodely pleasures here in this lyfe: that they might alway haue the euerlastynge lyfe. O howe strayte and howe adiecte a lyfe lede the holy fathers in wyldernes: howe greuous temptacions they suffred / howe fyersly they were with theyr ghostly enemyes assayled: howe feruēt prayour they dayly offered to god / what rygourous abstynence they vsed / howe great zeale and feruour they had to spirituall ꝓfyte / how stronge batayle they helde agaynste all synne / and howe pure and hole intēt they had to god in all theyr dedes / on the day they laboured & on the night they prayed And thoughe they laboured on the daye bodely / yet they prayed in mynde / and so they spente theyr tyme alwaye frutefully & thought euery howre shorte for the ser­uyse of god / & for the great swetnes that they had in heuenly contemplacion / they forgete ofte tymes theyr bodely refeccyō [Page xix] All rychesse honoure dygnytes kinnesmē and frendes / they renounced for the loue of god / they coueted to haue nothynge of the worlde and scarsely they wolde take that was necessary for the bodely kynde. They were poore in worldly goodes but they were riche in grace and vertue: they were nedye outwardly / but inwardlye in theyr soules they were replenysshed with grace & ghostly comfortes. To the world they were alyens and straungers / but to god they were ryght dere and famylyer frendes. In the syght of the worlde and in theyre owne syght they were vyle and abiecte / but in the sight of god and of his saintes they were precious and syngulerly electe. In them shone all perfeccion of vertue / true mekenes / symple obedience / charyte / and pacyēce / with other lyke vertues & gracyous gyftes of god. Wherfore they profyted dayly in spirite and obtey­ned great grace of god. They be lefte as an example to all relygious persons and more ought theyr examples to stere them to deuotion and to ꝓfyte more and more in vertue and grace / than the great mul­tytude of dyssolute & ydele persons shulde any thynge drawe them aback [...]. O what [Page] feruour was in religious persons at the begynnynge of theyr religion / what de­uocion in prayers / what zeale to vertue / what loue to ghostly dyscyplyne / & what reuerence and meke obedience florysshed in them vnder the rule of theyr superiour truely theyr dedes yet bere witnesse that they were holy and perfyte that so myghtely subdued the worlde and thruste it vnder fode. Nowe adayes he is occompted vertuous that is no offender and that may with pacyence kepe some lytell sparcle of that vertue & of that feruoure that he hadde fyrste. But alas for sorowe it is throughe our owne slouthe & neclygence and throughe lesynge of tyme that we be so sone fallen from our fyrste feruoure in to suche a ghostely weykenes & dulnes of spirite / that in maner it is to tedyous to vs for to lyue / but wolde to god that the desyre to profyte in vertue slepte nat so vtterly in the: that ofte haste sene the ho­ly examples of blessed sayntes.

♣Of the exercyses of a good re­ligious persone. The xix. Chapi­tre.

[Page xx]THe lyfe of a good religious man shulde shyne in all vertue and be inwarde as it appereth outwarde and that moche more inwarde for almyghtye god beholdethe the herte whome we shulde alwaye honoure and reuerence as if we were euer in his bode­ly presence and appere before hym as aū ­gelles clene and pure shynnyge in al ver­tue / we oughte euery daye to renewe our purpose in god / and to stere our herte to feruoure and deuocion: as thoughe it were the fyrste daye of our conuersyon & dayly we shal praye and say thus. Helpe me my lorde Iesu that I maye perseuer in good purpose and in thy holy seruyce vnto my deth and that I may nowe this present daye perfitely beginne for it is no thynge that I haue done in tyme paste. After our purpose & after our intent shall be our rewarde / & thoughe our intente be neuer so good yet it is necessarye that we put therto a good wyll and a greate deli­gence / for if he that ofte tymes purposeth to do well & to profyte in vertue yet fay­leth in his doynge / what shall he do than that seldō or neuer taketh suche purpose. [Page] Let vs entend to do the beste we can / and yet our good purpose maye happen to be letted and hyndred in dyuers maners / & our speciall hyndraūce is this / that we so lyghtly leue of oure good excercyses that we haue vsed to doo before tyme / for it is seldome sene that a good custome wylfully broken may be recouered agayne with out great spiritual hyndraunce. The purpose of ryght wyse men dependeth in the grace of god more than in them selfe or ī theyr owne wysdome / for man purposeth but god disposeth / ne the waye that man shall walke in this worlde is nat in hym selfe but in the grace of god. If a good custome be somtime lefte of for helpe of our neyghboure / it maye sone be recouered but if it be lefte of through slouthe or ne­glygēce of our selfe it wil hindre vs greatly and hardly wil it be recouered agayne Thus it appereth that though we incourage our selfe all that we can to do well / yet we shall lyghtly fayle in many thyn­ges. And neuertheles thoughe we maye nat alway fulfyl it / yet it is good that we alwaye take suche good purpose especially agaynste suche thynges as hyndrethe vs moste / we muste also make dylygente [Page xxi] serche bothe within vs and without vs / that we leue nothynge inordynate vnre­formed ī vs as nyghe as our fraylte may suffre / & yf thou can nat for fraylte of thy selfe do thus contynually / yet at the [...]eest that thou do it ones on the day euenyng or mornyng. In the mornīge thou shalte take a good purpose / for that daye folo­wynge: and at nyght thou shalte dyscusse dylygently howe thou haste behaued the the daye before in worde / in dede / and in thought / for in them we doo ofte offende god & our neyghboure. Arme the as chri­stes true knyght with mekenes and cha­ [...]ite agynst all the malyce of the enemye. Refrayne glotony & thou shalte the more lyghtly / refrayne at carnall desyres. Let nat the ghostly enemy fynde the all ydle but that thou be redynge / wrytynge / pra­ynge deuoutly / thynkynge / or some other good laboure doynge / for the cōmynalte. Bodely exercyses are to be done secretly / for that that is profytable to one is som­tyme hurtfull to a nother / and also spiri­tuall labours done of deuocion are more surely done in priuite than in open place. And thou muste beware that thou be nat more redy to pryuate deuocions than [...]o [Page] them that thou arte bounde to by duetye of thy religion / but whā thy duety is fulfylled than adde therto as thy deuocyon gyueth. All maye nat vse one maner of exercyse but one in one maner / another in another maner as they shall fele to be moste profitable to them. Also as the ty­me requyrethe so dyuers exercyses arr to be vsed / for one maner of exercyses is ne­cessary on the holy daye / another on the feriall daye / one in tyme of temptacyon another in tyme of peace & consalacyon / one whan we haue swetnes in deuocion / another whan deuocyon withdrawethe. Also agaynste principal feastes we ought to be more delygente in good w [...]rkes and deuoutly to call for helpe to the bles­sed Sayntes that than be worshypped in the Churche of God / than in other ty­mes and to dyspose our selfe in lyke ma­ner as if we shulde than be taken out of this worlde. And be brought ī to the euer lastynge feaste in heuen. And sythe that blesse is yet deferred from vs for a tyme we maye well thynge that we be nat yet redy ne worthy to come therto. And therfore we ought to prepayre our selfe to be more redye another tyme / for as Saynte [Page xxii] Luke sayethe. ♣ Blessed is that seruaunt whome oure Lorde (whā he shall come at the houre of dethe) shall fynde redy / for he shall take hym and lyfte hym vp hyghe aboue all erthly thynges in to the euerla­stynge ioye and blesse in the kingdome of heuen. Amen.

❧Of the loue of onlynes and scylence. The .xx. Cha [...]iter.

SEke for a conuenyente tyme to serche thyne owne conscyence. And thynke ofte on the bene­faytes of God / leue of all curyous thyn­ges. And rede suche maters as shall stere the to cōpunccion of her [...]e for thy synnes rather than to rede onely for occupyenge of the tyme / if thou wilte withdrawe thy selfe from superfluous wordes & fro vn­profytable rennynges aboute & frome herynge of rumours & of vayne tales / thou shalte fynde tyme conuenyent to be occu­pyed in holy meditacions. The moste ho­ly men & women that euer were: flede the company of worldly lyuynge men vppon theyr power / and charce to serue god in secrete of theyr herte / & one holy man sayde [Page] as ofte as I haue bene amonge worldely company I haue departed with lesse fer­uour of spirite than I came / and that we knowe well whā we talke longe for it is nat so harde to kepe alwaye sylence / as it is nat to excede ī wordes whā we speke moche. It is also more lyght to be alway solytary at home / than to go forthe in to the worlde and nat offende. Therfore he that intendeth to come to an inwarde set­tynge of his herte in god and to haue the grace of deuocion / muste with our sauy­our Christe withdraw him from the people. No man may surely appere amonge the people / but he that wolde gladly be solitary yf he myght / ne no man is sure in prelacy / but he that wolde gladly be a subge [...] / ne none may surely cōmaūde / but he that hathe lerned gladly to obeye / & none ioyeth truely / but he whose herte wytnessethe hym to haue a clene conscyence / ne none speake the surely / but he that wolde gladly kepe sylence if he myght. And al­waye the suertie of good men and of bles­sed men hath ben in mekenes and in the drede of God / and thoughe suche blessed men shone in al vertue / yet they were nat therfore lyfte vp in to Pryde / but were [Page xxiii] therfore the more delygent in the seruyce of god and the more meke in all theyr doynges / and on the contrary wyse the surety of euyll mē ryseth of pryde and of pre­sumpcion & in the ende it deceyueth them Therfore thynke thy selfe neuer sure in this lyfe whether thou be religious or se­culer / for ofte tymes they y [...] haue ben holden in the syght of the people moste per­fyte: haue bene suffered to fall more gre­uouslye for theyr presumpcion / also it is moche more profytable to many persons that they haue somtime tēptacyons / leste haply they thynke them selfe ouermoche syker and be therby lifte vp in to pryde or renne to sekynge of outwarde consolaciō. Then that they be alwayes without temptaciōs. ♣ O howe pure a cōsciēce shulde he haue that wolde dyspyse all transitory ioy / & neuer wyl medle with worldly busines / and what peace and inwarde quyet­nes shulde he haue that wolde cut awaye from hym all busynes of minde and only to thynke on heuenly thynges / no mā is worthy to haue ghostely comfortes / but we haue fyrste ben well execrysed in holy compunccion / and if thou wylt haue compunccion go in to a secrete place / and put [Page] from the all the clamours noyse of the world. ☞ For the prophet Dauyd sayth Let the sorowe for thy synnes be done in thy secret Chambre / ī thy cell thou shalte fynde greate grace whiche thou mayste lyghtly lese without. Thy cell well contynued shal ware swete and pleasaūt to the and shall be to the hereafter a ryght dere frende / and if it be but euyll kepte / it shall ware very tedyous and yrkesome to the. But if ī the begynnyng thou be ofte therin and kepe it well in good praiers and in holy meditacyons it shall be here after to the a synguler frēde and one of thy moste specyall comfortes: in scylence and quiet­nes of herte a deuoute soule profyte the moche and lerneth the heed sentences of scripture and fyndeth there: also many swete trees in deuocyon wherwith euery nyghte she washed her nyghtely from al fylthe of synne that she may be so muche the more familyer with god / as she is dysserued from the clamours noyse of worldly busynes. Therfore they that for the loue of vertue withdrawe them fro theyr acquayntaunce and from theyr worldely frendes / oure lorde with hys Angelles shall drawe nyght to them & shall abyde [Page xxiiii] with them. It is better a mā be solitayre and wel take hede of hym selfe. Thā that he do myracles in the worlde forgettyng hym selfe. It is also a laudable thynge in a relygious persone / seldome to go forth / seldome to se other: & seldome to be sene of other why wylte thou se that is nat law­full for the to haue / the worlde passeth a­waye with all his concupyscence and de­ceyuable pleasures. Thy sensuall apetite moueth the to go abrode: but whan the tyme is paste what bareste thou home a­gayne but remorse of conscyence and vn­quyetnes of herte. It is o [...]e sene that af­ter a mery goynge forth foloweth a heuy retornynge / & that a glade euyntyde cau­seth a heuy mornynge / and so all flesshely ioye entreth plesaūtly / but in the ende it byteth & sleeth what mayste thou se with out thy tell that thou mayste nat se with in / lo heuen & erthe and all the clementes wherof all erthely thynges be made / and what mayste thou elles where se vnder ye sonne that maye longe endure / & yf thou myghte se all erthly thynges & also haue all bodely pleasures presēt at ones before the / what were it but a vayne syght: lyfte vp thyne eyne therfore to god in heuen [Page] and praye hertely that thou mayste haue forgyuenesse for the offense / leue vayne thynges to them that wyll be vayne / and take thou hede onely to tho thinges that our lorde commaūdeth the. Shyt [...]e faste the dore of thy soule / that is to say thyne ymagynacyō and kepe it warely from beholdynge of any bodely thynge as moche as thou mayste / & thā lifte vp thy mynde to thy lorde Iesu & open thy herte fayth­fully to hym / and abyde with hym in thy Cell: for thou shalte nat fynde so muche peace without. If thou haddest nat gone forthe so muche as thou haste done / ne haue gyuē herynge to vayne tales / thou shuldest haue bene in moche more inward peace thā thou arte / but for as muche as it delyteth to the here newe thinges / it be houeth the therfore to suffre sōtyme both trouble of herte & vnquyetnes of mynde.

❧Of compunccion of the herte. The .xxi. Chapitre.

IF thou wylt any thynge ꝓfyte to the helthe of thy soule / kepe the alwaye in the drede of god & neuer desyre to be fully at lybertye / but [Page xxv] kepe the alwaye vndersome holsome dys­cyplyne. Neuer gyue thy selfe to no vn­dyscrete myrthe / for no maner of thynge as nyghe as thou mayste. Haue perfyte compunccyon and sorowe for thy synnes and thou shalt fynde therby great inly deuocyon Cōpuncciō openeth to the syght of the soule many good thynge / whiche lyghtnes of hert and vayne myrthe / some dryueth awaye. It is meruayle that any man can be mery in thys lyfe / yf he consyder well howe farre he is exiled out of his countre: and howe great peryll hys soule dayly standeth in / but through lyghtnes of herte / and neglygence of our defautes we fele nat: ne we wyl nat fele the sorowe of oure owne soule / but ofte tymes we laughe whan we ought rather to wepe & morne: for there is no perfyte lyberty nor true ioye / but in the drede of god and in a good conscyence. That person is ryght happy that hathe grace to auoyde from hym all thynges that letteth hym fro be­holdynge of hys owne synnes / and that can tourne hym selfe to gody by inwarde compunccyon / and he is happy also that auoydeth fro hym all thynges that may offende or greue his conscyence. Fyght [Page] strongly therfore agaynste al synnes and drede nat ouermoche all though thou be encombered by an euyll custome / for that euyll custome maye be ouercome with a good custome. And excuse the nat that thou arte let by other mē / for if thou wylt leue the familyaryte with other they wil suffre the to do thy dedꝭ without īpedimēt Intrike the nat with other mēnes goodꝭ ne busy the nat in great mennes causes / haue alwaye an eye to thy selfe and dyly­gently enforme & admonyshe thy selfe by fore all other. ♣ If thou haue nat the fa­uour of worldely lyuynge people sorowe nat therfore: but be this thy daily sorowe that thou behauyst nat thy selfe in thy cō uersaciō as it besemeth a good relygious person for to do. It is muche expedient & more ꝓfytable that a mā somtyme lacke cōsolacions in his lyfe than that he haue thē alwayes after his wyl namely flesshely cōsolaciōs. Neuertheles that we haue nat somtyme heuenly cōsolacyōs or that we so seldome fele theym as we do. It is through our owne defaute: for we seke nat to haue the true cōpunctyon of herte ne we caste nat fully awaye from vs the false outwarde consolacyons: holde thy [Page xxvi] selfe therfore vnwordy to haue any con­solacyon and worthy to haue moche try­bulacion / whan a man soroweth perfytly for hys synnes / than all wordly comfor­tes be paynfull to hym. A good man fyn­deth alway mater inough why he oweth ryghtfully to sorowe & wepe / for yf he beholde hym selfe or if he thynke on his neyghbour / he seeth well that none lyuethe here without great mysery and the more throughly that he may cōsyder him selfe The more sorowe he hath and alway the mater of true sorowe and of true inly con­punccyō is the remēbraūce of our synnes wherwith we be so bylapped on euerye syde that seldome we maye beholde any ghostly thingꝭ. But if we wolde more oft thynke on our deth than we do on longe lyfe no doute but we shulde more feruently apply our selfe to amendement / & I beleue also that yf we wolde hertely remembre the paynes of Helle & of Purgatoyre that we shulde more gladly susteyne al laboures and sorowes & that we shulde nat dred any payn in this worlde with that we myghte auoyde the paynes that are to come. But for as moche as these thynges go nat to the herte & we yet loue the [Page] flateringe and the false pleasures of this worlde / therfore we remayne colde and voyde of deuocyon / and ofte it is through the weykenes of the spirite that the wretched body so lyghtly cōplayneth. Praye therfore mekely to oure lorde / that he of his greate goodnes gyue the / the spyryte of compuncyon / and say with the Pro­phete. ♣ Fede me lorde with the brede of cōpunccyon / & gyue me to drynke water of teres in great habundaunce.

❧Of the consyderynge of the mysery of mankynde / and wherin the fe­lycyte of man standeth. The xxii. Chapitre.

A Wretch thou art where so euer thou be / & where so [...]uer thou tourne the / but thou tourne the to god / why arte thou so lyghtly troubled / for it falleth nat to the as thou wol­dest and desyrest / what is he that hath all thyng after his wyll / neyther thou nor I ne no man lyuynge / for none lyueth here without some trouble or anguysshe be he Kynge or Pope. Who thynkest thou is in moste fauour with god / truely he that suffereth [Page xxxi] gladly moste for god. But many ꝑsones weke and feble in spyryte say thus in theyr hertes. Lo how good a lyfe that a mā ledeth howe ryche he is / how myghty he is / howe hyghe in auctori [...]e / howe great in syght of the people / & howe fayre and beauteous in hys bodely kynde / but if thou take hede to the goodnes euerlas­tynge / thou shalt wel se that these world­ly goodes and worldly lykynkes are but lytell worthe & that they be more rather greuous than pleasaunte / for they maye nat be had ne be kepte but by greate la­boure and busynes of mynde. The felicy­te of man standeth nat in abundaunce of worldely goodes? for the meane is beste. And verely to lyue in thys worlde is but mysery: and the more ghostly that a man wolde be / the more paynfull it is to hym for to lyue: for he feleth the more plainly the defautes of mannes corrupcyon / for why to eate / to drynke / / to slepe / to wake / to reste / to laboure / and to serue all other necessytes of the body is greate myserye and great affliccion to a deuoute soule. Whiche wolde gladlye be fro the bounda­ge of synne that it myght withoute lette serue our lorde in puryte of cōscience and [Page] in clennes of herte. The in warde man is greatly greued through the bodely necessites in this worlde. ☞ wherfore the prophete Dauid desyred that he myght be deliuered fro suche necessites. But wo be to thē that knowe nat theyr owne mysery & wo be to them that loue thys wretched and this corruptible lyfe / for some loue it so muche that yf they myghte euer lyue were thoughe they myghte porely gette theyr lyuyng with laboure and beggyng yet they wolde neuer care for the kynge­dom of heuen. ♣ O madde and vnfayth­full creatures are they that so depely set theyr loue on erthely thynges that they haue no felynge ne taste but in fleshely pleasures. Truly ī the houre of deth they shal knowe howe vyle & howe noughty it was that they so muche loued. But holy sayntes & deuoute folowers of Chryste hedede nat what pleased the flesshe / ne what was pleasaūte ī syght of the world But all theyr hole intent and desyre they helde to thyngꝭ inuysyble & fered leste by syghte of thynges vysyble they myghte be drawen downe to the loue of them. ♣: My welbeloued brother / lese nat the desyre to profyte in spyrituall thyngꝭ / for [Page xxviii] thou haste yet good tyme and space. Why wylt thou any lenger dyfferre the tyme. Aryse & nowe thys same instāte begynne and saye thus / nowe is tyme to laboure ī good workes / nowe is tyme to fyghte in ghostly batayle / & nowe is tyme to make amendes for trespas passed / whan thou art troubled than is beste tyme to meryte and get rewardes of god. It behouethe the to go through fyre and water or thou mayste come to the place of recreacyon / [...] but thou can full haue the maystry ouer thy selfe thou shalt neuer ouercome sinne ne lyue without great tedyousnes and sorowe we wolde gladly be delyuered from al misery and synne / but bicause we haue throughe synne loste our innocensy. We haue loste also the very ioye and felicyte / wherfore we muste holde vs in pacyence and with good hope abyde the mercy of god tyll wretchydnes be ouerpassed: and that thys bodely lyfe bechaunged in the euerlastyge ♣ O howe great is the frayle tye of man that is euer redy and proue to synne. Thys day thou arte confessed and to morowe thou falleste agayne. Nowe thou purposeste to be waie: and intendeste to go forthe strongely in good [Page] workes & shortly after thou doest as thou neuer haddest taken suche purpose / ryghtfully therfore we ought to meke our selfe and neuer to thynke in vs any vertue or goodnes: for we be so frayle and so vnstable. Sone may it be loste throught neglygence / that with muche labour and specyal grace was hardly gottē / but what shal become of vs in the ende whā we so sone wax dull and slowe. Sothely sorowe and wo shall be to vs if we fall to bodely reste nowe as thoughe we were in ghostly sy­kernes. Whan there appereth nat as yet neyther sygne ne tokē of vertu ne of good lyuynge in our conuersacyon. Wherfore it were expedyent to vs that we were it a­gayne instructe as nouyces to lerne good maners / yf hapely there myght by that meanes be founde here after any truste of an amendemēt and spyrytuall profyte in our conuersacyon.

❧Of the remembraunce of deth. The .xxiii. Chapitre.

THe houre of deathe wyll shortely come / and therfore take hede howe [...]ou or d [...]creste thy selfe for the comon prouerbe [Page xxix] for the cōmon prouerbe is true: to daye a mā to morowe none. And whan thou art out of syght thou art anone out of minde and sone shalte thou be forgotten. O the great dulnes and hardnes of mānes hert that onely thynketh on thynges presente and lytell prouydeth for the lyfe to come. If thou dydest well / thou sholdeste so be haue thy selfe in euery dede and in euery thoughte as thou shuldeste thys instance dye / yf thou haddeste a good conscyence thou shuldest nat moche fere deathe. It were better for the to leue synne than to feare deth. ♣: O my dere brother / yf thou be nat redy this daye / howe shalt thou be redy to morowe. To morowe is a day vncertayne: & thou canste nat tell whether thou shalte lyue so longe / what profyte is it to vs to lyue longe / whan we therby so lytell amende oure lyfe / longe lyfe dothe nat alwaye brynge vs in to any amende­mente: but ofte tymes encreasethe more synne / wolde to god that we myghte be one daye well conuersaūt in thys worlde many rekyne theyr yeres of cōuersyon / & yet there is but lytell frute of amendemēt ne of any good example sene in theyr conuersacyon / yf it be ferefull to dye perad­uenture [Page] it is more peryllous to lyue long blessed be to personns that euer haue the houre of deth before theyr eyen: and that euery day dispose thē selfe to dye / yf thou euer sauest any man dye / remembre that thou muste nedely go the same waye / In the mornynge doute whether thou shalle lyue tyll nyght: and at nyght thynke nat thy selfe sure to lyue tyll on the morowe. Be alway redy & liue in such maner that deth fynde the nat vnprouided. Remēber how many haue dyed sodaynly & vnꝓuy­ded: for our lorde hath called thē in suche houre as they leest went And whan that laste houre shall come thou shalt beginne to fele al otherwyse of thy lyfe passed / thā thou haste done before / & thou shal [...]e than sorowe greatly that thou haste bene so slowe & negligent in the seruice of god as thou haste bene. ♣ O howe happy & wyse is he therfore that laboureth now to stāde in suche state in this lyfe / as he wolde be foūde ī at his deth. Truely aperfyte dispisynge of the worlde / & a feruent desyre to profyte in vertue / alone to be taughte a frutefull laboure in workes of penaūce a redy wyll to obey / a full forsakyng of our selfe / & a wylfull sufferynge of all aduersytes [Page xxx] for the loue of god / shall gyue vs a greate truste that we shal dye wel. Nowe whylest thou arte in helth thou mayst do many good dedes / but it thou be sycke I can nat tell what thou mayst do / for why fewe be amended throughe sykenes / & in lyke wyse they that go muche on pilgry­mage be seldome therby made perfyte / & holy / put nat thy truste in thy frendes / & thy neyghbours / ne di [...]er [...]e nat thy good dedes tyll after thy d [...]th for thou shall soner be forgotten than thou weneste / bet­ter it is to prouyde for thy selfe betyme & sēde some good dedꝭ byfor the / thā so tru­ste to other that ꝑauētur wyll lyghtly forget the / if thou be nat nowe busye for thy selfe & for thyn [...]wne soule helth: who shal be busye for the after thy dethe. Nowe is thy tyme very precyous / but alas for so­rowe that thou spendeste the tyme so vn­ꝓfitable: in the which thou sholdest wyn the lyfe euerlastynge. The tyme shal com whan thou shal [...]e desyre one daye or one houre to amende the / but I wot nat whether it shalbe graūted vnto the. ♣ O my dere brother fro howe great peryl & drede myghtest thou nowe delyuer thy selfe / yf thou woldest alwaye in this ly [...]e drede to [Page] offende god / & alwaye haue the cōmynge of deth suspecte. Therfore studye nowe to lyue so that at the houre of deathe thou mayste rather ioy than drede / lerne nowe to dye to the worlde that thou mayst thā lyue with Christe / lerne also to dyspyse at worldely thynges that thou mayste than frely go to Christe / chastite nowe thy bo­dy with penaunce that thou mayste than haue a sure and a stedfaste hope of salua­cion. Thou arte a fole yf thou thynke to lyue longe▪ syghe thou arte nat syker to lyue one daye to the ende / howe many haue bene deceyued through truste of longe lyfe: and sodenly haue bene taken out of this worlde or they had thoughe / howe ofte haste thou herde say that suche a mā was slayne / and suche a man was drow­ned: and suche a man fell and brake hys necke / this man as he eat his meate was strangled / & thys man as he played toke his dethe / one with fyre: an other with y­ren: an other with sykenes: and some by thefte haue sodenly peryshed / and so the ende of all mē is deathe for the lyfe of mā as a shadowe sodaynly slydeth & passethe awaye / Thynke ofte who shall remembre the after thy dethe / & who shall praye for [Page xxxi] the / and do now for thy selfe al that thou causte / for thou wotrest nat whan thou shalte dye nor what shall folowe after thy deth: whylest thou haste tyme gather the ryches immortall / thynke nothynge abydingly but on thy ghostly helth. Set thy studye onely on thynges that be of god and that belonge to his honoure. Make the frendes agaynste that tyme / worshyp hys sayntes & folowe theyr steppes / that when thou shalte go out of thys worlde they maye receyue the in to the euerlas­tynge Tabernacles. Kepe the as a pyl­gryme & as a straūger here in this worlde to whom no thynge belōgeth of worldly besynes / kepe thy herte fre alway lyfte vp to god / for thou haste no cytye here longe abydynge / sende thy desyres & thy dayly prayers alway vpward to god / and pray perseueraūtly that thy soule at the houre of deth / may blessedly departe out of this worlde and go to Christe.

❧Of the laste Iugement and of the payne that is ordeyned for syn. The .xxiiii. Chapitre.

IN all thynges beholde the ende / & ofte remembre howe thou shalte stande byfore the hyghe Iuge to whome [Page] no thynge is hydde: whiche wyll nat be pleased with rewardes: ne receyue any maner excuses / but in all thynge wyll Iudge that is ryghtwyse and trewe. O moste vnwyse / and moste wretchyd syn­ner / what shalte thou than aunswere to god / whiche knoweth all thy synnes and wretchydnes / syth thou dredest here som­tyme the face of a mortall man / why do­ste thou nat nowe prouyde for thy selfe against that day / sith thou mayst nat thē be excusyd ne defendyd by none other. But euery man shall then haue ynoughe to do to answerere for him self. Now thy labour is fruteful / thy weping is acceptable / thy mornynge is worthy to be herde and thy sorowe also is satysfactorye and pourgynge of synnes. The pacyent man whiche sufferyth of other iniuryes and wronges / and yet neuertheles soroweth more for theyr malyce than for the wrōg done to hym selfe / hath a holsome and a blessyd purgatorye in this worlde / and so haue they that gladlye cā praye for theyr enemyes / and for theym that be contra­ryous vnto them / and that in theyr herte can forgyue those that offende them / and tary nat longe to aske forgyuenes. And [Page xxxii] so haue they also that more lyghtely he styred to mercye than to vengeaunce / and that can as it were by a vyolence br [...]ke downe theyr owne wyll and strongly re­syste synne / and laboure alway to subdue theyr bodye to the spyryte. It is better nowe to purge synne / and to put awaye vyce then to reserue it to be pourged here after / but verely we deceyue our selfe by inordinate loue that we haue to our bodely kynde / what shall the fyre of purgato­rye deuoure but thy sinne truly nothyng. Therfore the more thou sparest thy selfe nowe / and the more thou foloweste thy fleshly lykynge / the more greuously shalt thou wayle hereafter / and the more mat­ter thou reseruyste for the fyre of purga­torye. In suche thynges as a man moste hath offendyd shall he moste be punyshed the slouthfull persons shalbe there pryc­ked with brennyng pryckes of yron / and glotens shalbe tourmented with greate hunger and thurste. The lecherous persones and louers of voluptuous pleasures shalbe fulfyllyd with brennynge pyche / & brymstone / and enuyous persons shall wayle / and howle as dothe woode dog­ges. There shall no synne be without his [Page] proper tourment. The proude mā shalbe fulfylled with all shame & confusyon / and the coueytous man shall be pynyd with penury & nede / one houre there in payne shall be more geenous then here a hon­dreth yere in mooste sharpest penaunce. There shalbe no rest ne consolacyō to dā ­pned soules. But here somtyme we fele relefe of our paynes & haue somtyme consolacyō of our frēdes. Be now sorowefull for thy synnes that at the daye of Iuge­mente thou mayste be syker with blessyd saintes / Thē shall ryght wyse men stande in great cōstaunce agaynst thē that haue wronged them & oppressed thē here. Thē shall he stande as a iudge that here sub­mittith hym selfe mekely to the iugemēt of man. Then shall the meke poore man haue greate confidence and truste in god & the obstynate proude man shall quake & drede. Thē shall it appere that he was wyse in thys worlde / that for the loue of god was cōtentyd to be takē as a foole & to be dyspysed & set at nought. Thē shall it also please hym muche the trybulacion that he sufferyd pacyently in thys worlde & all wyckidnes shal stop his mouth. Thē euery deuoute person shall be ioyfull / and [Page xxxiii] glade & the vnreligyous ꝑsons shal way­le & drede. Thē shall the fleshe that hathe bē with dyscrecyon chastysyde ioye more Than if it had bene noryshed with all de­lectacyon and pleasure. Then shal the vyle habyte shall clere in the syght of god: and the precyous garmentes shall warre foule and lothsome to beholde. Then the poore cotage shal be more alowed thē the palayes ouer gylted with golde. Thē shal more helpe a constante pacyente / then all worldlye power & ryches. Thē shal meke obedyence be exalted more hyghe thē all worldelye wysdome and polycye: & then shal a good clene conscyēce make vs more glad some and me [...]y / then the cunnynge of all philosophye. Thē the dyspysynge of worldly goodꝭ shall be more of valure then all worldly ryches and treasure. Then shalt thou haue more comforte for thy deuout prayeng / then for all thy delycate fedynge. Then shalte thou also ioy more for thy scilence kepyge / thē for thy longe talkynge & ianglinge. Then good dedes shall plentyouslye be rewardyde / & fayre wordes shall lytell be regarded. Then shall it please more a strayte lyfe & harde penaunce here / than all worldely [Page] delectacyon & pleasure. Lerne nowe therfore to suffre the small trybulacyō in this worlde that thou mayste than be delyue­ryd from the greater there ordeyned for synne. Fyrste proue her what thou may­ste suffre hereafter. And if thou mayst nat now suffre so lytell a payne / howe shalte thou than suffre the euerlastynge tourmē tes / and if nowe so lytell a passyon make the inpacyent what shall then do the in­tollerable fyre of purgatorye or of hell. Thou mayste nat haue two heuens / that is to say to ioye here & to haue delectaciō here / and after to ioye also with christe in heuen. More oue [...] if thou haddest lyuyd alway vnto this day in honoures and in freshely delectacyons▪ what shulde it pro­fyte the now yf thou shuldest this present instaunt departe the worlde. Therfore al thyng is vanyte / but to loue god and to serue him / he that louyth god with al his herte / dredyth neyther deth / tourmnt iu­gemēt ne hell / for a perfyte loue makyth a sure passage to god / but if a man yet de­lyteth in synne it is no meruayle though he drede both deth & hell. And thoughe suche a dede be but a thralle drede / yet neuertheles it is good that yf the loue of [Page xxxiiii] god withdrawe vs nat frō synne that the drede of hell constreyne vs therto / he that s [...]t [...]yth apart the drede of god: maye nat longe stand in ye state of grace / but sonne shall he renne in to the snare of the fende & lygh [...]ely shall he therwith be deceyued.

❧Of the feruent amendynge of all our lyfe & that we shal specyally take hede of our owne soule helthe by­fore all other. The .xxv. Chapytre.

MI sone be wakynge & dylygent in the seruyce of god / and thynke ofte wherfore thou arte come / & why thou haste forsaken the worlde / was it nat that thou shuldest lyue to god / and be made a spyrytuall man / yes trwely. Therfore styre thy selfe to perfeccyon for in shorte tyme thou shalte receyue the ful rewarde of all thy laboures / and from thensforth shall neuer com to the sorowe nor drede: thy laboure shall be lytell and shorte / and thou sha [...]te receyue therfore agayne euerlastynge reste and cōforte: yf thou abyde faythfull and feruent in good dedes withoute doute oure lorde wyll be faythfull & lyberall to the in his rewardꝭ [Page] Thou shalte alwaye haue a good truste that thou shalt come to the palme of vyctory / but thou shalte not set the in a ful sykerners / therof leste haply thou war dul and proude in herte: A certayne persone whiche oftimes douted whether he were in the state of grace or nat / on a tyme fell prostrate in the churche and fayth thus. O that I myght knowe whether I shuld perseuer in vertue to the ende of my lyfe And anone he harde inwardely in hys soule the answere of oure lorde sayenge / what woldeste thou do yf thou kneweste thou shuldeste perseruer do nowe as thou woldest do thē / and thou shalte be saufe / & so anone he was comforted and commyt­ted hym selfe holly to the wyll of god and all his doutfulnes cessyd / and neuer after wolde he curiously serche to knowe what shulde be come of hym / but rather he stu­dyed to knowe what was the wyll of god agaynst hym / and howe he myght begyn and ende al his dedes that he shulde do to the pleasure of god and to hys honoure. Truste in god & do good dedes sayth the Prophet Dauyd / inhabyt the earth / and thou shalte be fed with the ryches of thy good dedꝭ. But one thynge withdraweth [Page xxxv] many from profytynge in vertue & from amendement of lyfe / that is an horrour & a fals worldely drede that they maye nat abyde the payne and laboure that is ne­defull for the gettynge therof. Therfore they shall moste profyte in vertue byfore all other that enforce theym selfe mygh­tely to ouercome tho thynges that be moste greuous and moste cōtraryous to thē For a man profyteth there moste & there wynneth moste grace where he mooste o­uercommeth hym selfe / and wherin he moste mortyfyeth his bodye to the soule. But all men haue nat in lyke muche to mortyfye and ouercome / for some haue mo passyons then some haue. Neuerthe­lesse a feruēt louer of god though he haue more greater passyons then other / yet shall he be more strōger to profyte in vertue than an other that is better manered and that hathe fewer possyons but he is lesse feruēt to vertu. Two thynges helpe a man moche to amendemente of lyfe / that is a myghty withdrawynge of hym selfe from those thynges that the bodye mooste inclineth hym to / and a feruent laboure for suche vertuous as he hathe moost nede of. Study also to ouercom in [Page] thy selfe two thynges that most myslyke the in other men. And take awaye some specyall plofyte in euery place where so­euer thou become / as if thou se any good example enforce the to folowe in / and yf thou se any euyll example loke thou es­chewe it as thy ioye consydereth the workes of other / ryght soo and in the same wyse thy workes be consyderyd of other O how ioyous and howe delectable is it to religyous men deuoute and feruent in the loue of god well maneryd and well taught in ghostely lernynge / and on the contrary wyse howe heuy and sorowfull is it to se theym lyue inordynately nat v­synge to thynges that they haue chosyn and taken them to. Also howe inconue­nyente a thynge it is a man to be necly­gente in the purpose of his fyrste callinge And to set hys mynde to thynges that be nat commyttrd to hym. Thynke oft therfore on the purpose that thou haste taken and sette before the eye of thy soule the mynde of Cristes passyō / and if thou be­holde well / and delygentely hys blessyd lyfe / thou mayste well be ashamyd that thou haste no more conformed the to him then thou haste done / he that wyll inwardely [Page xxxvi] and deuoutely exercyse hym selfe in the moste blessyd lyfe and passyon of our lorde Iesu Chryste / shalte fynde therin plentuously all that is necessary for hym so that he shall nat nede to seke any thing without hym. O if Iesu crucyfyed were ofte in oure hertes and in oure remem­braunce we shulde sonne be lernyd in all thinges that be necessarye for vs. A good relygious man that is feruent in hys re­lygyon takyth all thynge well and dothe gladly all that he is commaunded to do. But a relygyous personne that is necly­gent and slouthfull hath trouble vppon trouble and sufferyth greate anguysshe & payne on euerye syde / for he lackethe the true inwarde cōforte and to seke the out­warde comforte he is prohybyteth. Therfore a relygyous person that lyueth wit­houte discyplyne is lyke to fall to greate ruyne. Also he that in religyon sekyth to haue lybertye and relessynge of hys due­tye shall alwaye be in anguysshe & sorowe for one thynge or other shall euer dysplease hym. Therfore take hede howe other relygyous personnes do that be ryghte straytly kept vnder the rules of theyr re­lygion. They go seldom forthe / they lyue [Page] hardly / they ete poorely / and be clothed grosely / they laboure moche / speke lytell / watche longe / ryse erly / make longe prayers / rede ofte and kepe them selfe alwaye in some holsom edoctryne. Beholde the Chartusyenc [...]s and the Cysteur and many other Monkes / & Nonnes of dyuers relygyons / Howe they ryse euery nyght to serue oure lorde / And therfore it were greate shame to the yt thou shuldest waxe slowe and dull in so holy a warke where soo many laude and peayse oure lorde. O howe Ioyous a lyfe were it yf we shulde nothynge els do but with herte / and mouthe contynuelly to prayse our lorde / nowe truely yf we shulde neuer nede to ete / drynke / ne slepe but that we myght al way laude hym and oonly take to spyry­tuell studyes / then were we moche more happye and blessyd / than we are nowe when we are bounden of necessyte to ser­ue the bodye. O wolde to god that these bodely merytes were tourned in to spyrytuell refeccyons whiche al as for sorowe we taste but seldome / when a man is commen to that perfection that he sekith nat his consolacyon in any creature / then be­gynneth good fyrste to sauer swete vnto [Page xxxvii] hym / and then he shall be contentyd with euery thynge that cōmeth be it lykynge or myslykynge. And than he shall nat be glad for no wordely profyte be it neuer so greate ne sory for the wantynge of it for he hath set hym selfe and stablyshed hym selfe holy in god the whiche is to hym all in all / to whom nothynge perysheth / nor dyeth / but all thynge lyueth to hym and seruyth hym without cessynge after hys byddyng. In euery thyng remembre the ende and that tyme loste can nat be cal­led agayne without laboure and dylygence thou shalte neuer gette vertue If thou begyn to be neclygent thou begynnest to be feble and weyke / but if thou applie the to feruoure / thou shalt fynde great helpe of god and for the loue of vertue thou shalt fynde lesse payne in all thy laboures then thou dydest fyrste / he that is feruent and louinge is alway quycke and redy to all thyngꝭ that be of god and to hys ho­nour. It is more laboure to resyste vyces and passyons / then it is to swynke and swete bodely laboures / he that wyll nat fle small synnes / shall by lytell and lytell falle in to greater Thou shalt alwaye be glad at nyght when thou haste spent the [Page] daye before frutefully. Take hede to thy selfe and styre thy selfe alway to deuocyō admonyshe thy selfe / & what so euer thou do of other forget nat thy selfe / and so muche shalte thou profite ī vertue as thou canste breake thyne owne wyll and folowe ye wyl of god


¶Here begynneth the seconde boke of inwarde conuersacy­on. The fyrste Chapytre.

THe kyngdome of God is within you sayth Christ oure sauyoure. Turne the therfore with all thy herte to god / and forsake thys wretchyd worlde / and thy soule shall fynde great inwarde rest / lerne to dispise outward thīges & giue thy selfe to inwarde thynges and thou shalte se the kyngdō of God com in to thy soule. The kyngdom of god is peace and ioye in the holy ghost that is nat graunted to wyc­ked people / oure lorde Iesu Chryste wyll come to the and wyll shewe to the his cō solacyons / yf thou shalte make redy for hym within forth a dwellynge place / and all that he desyreth in the is withinforth and there is his pleasure to be. There is bytwyxte almyghty god / and a deuoute soule many ghostly vysytyngꝭ / swete in worde spekynge / greate gyftes of grace many consolacyōs / moche heuenly peace & wonderous famylyaryte of the blessyd [Page] presence of god. Therfore thou faythfull soule prepayre thy herte to Chryste thy spouse / that he may come to the and well in ye for he saith him selfe. Who so loueth me shall kepe my cōmaundemēt. And my father and I & the holy ghoste shall come to hym & we shall make in hym our dwellynge place / gyue therfore to Chryste fre entre into thy herte: and kepe out al thynges that letteth his entre: and whē thou art ryche ynough and he oonly shall suffice to the / and than he shall be thy prouy­der and defender and thy faythfull hel­per in euery necessyte so that thou shalte nat nede to put thy truste in any other without hym / man is soone chaungyd / & lyghtly fallyth awaye / but Chryste aby­deth for euer and standeth strongly with his louer to the ende. There is no greate truste to be put in man that is but mor­tall & frayle thoughe he be ryght moche profytable and also muche belouyd vnto the / ne any greate heuynes to be taken though he somtyme turne and be against the / for they that this daye be with the tomorowe maye happen to be agaynste the and maye ofte turne as dothe the wynde put thy full truste therfor ī god / & let him [Page xxxix] be thy loue and drede aboue all thynges: and he wyll answere for the and wyll do for the in al thynges as shalbe most nede­full and moste expediente for the. Thou haste here no place of longe abydyng / for where so euer thou become thou arte but a straunger and a pylgryme and neuer shalte thou fynde parfeyte reste tyll thou be fully oned to god / why doste thou loke to haue reste here syth this is nat thy re­styng place / thy ful reste muste be in heuē ly thynges / and all erthely thynges thou muste beholde as thinges transitory and shortly passynge awaye / and be wel ware thou cleue nat ouer moche to them: leste thou be taken with loue of theym and in the ende perisshe therby. Let thy thought be alwaye vpwarde to God / and dyrecte thy prayers to Christe contynually / and if thou may nat for frailte of thy selfe al­waye occupye thy mynde in contempla­cion of the godhede? Be than occupyed with mynde of hys passyon: and in hys blessed woundes make the a dwellynge place / and yf thou fle deuoutely to the wounde of Christes syde and to the mar­kes of his passyon thou shalte fele greate cōforte in euery trouble. And shalte lytell [Page] force thoughe thou be openly dispysed in the worlde / and what euyll wordꝭ so euer be spoken of the they shal lytel greue the. Our maister Christe was dyspysed in the worlde of all men / and in his moste nede was forsaken of his acquayntaunce and frendes and lefte amonge shames and re­bukes. He wolde suffre wronges and be­nought set by of the worlde: and he wyll nat that any persone doo vs wronge ne disprayse oure dedes. Christe had many aduersaries and backebytours / and we wolde haue all to be oure frendes and lo­uers. Howe sh [...]lde thy pacience be crow­ned in heuen▪ If no aduersytye shulde by fall to the in erthe: yf thou wylte suffre none aduersyte: howe mayste thou be the frende of Christe. It behoueth the to suf­fre with Christe / and for Christe if thou wylte reygne with Christe. Truely yf thou haddest ones entred in to the blody woundes of Iesu: and haddeste there tas­ted a lytell of his loue / thou shuldest lytell care for lykynges or myslykynges of the worlde / but thou shuldeste rather haue greate ioye whan wronges and reproues were done vnto the / for perfyte loue of God maketh a man perfytely to dyspyse [Page xl] hym selfe. The true inwarde loue of god that is fre from all inordinate affeccions may anone tourne hym self frely to god / and lyfte hym selfe vp in spirite in contē ­placion & frutefully reste hym in Christe. Also he to whome all thinges be estemed as they be / and nat as they be taken and thought to be of worldly people / is very wyse & is rather taught of god thā of mā And he that can īwardly lyfte his minde vpwardly to god & can lytell regarde outwarde thīges nedeth nat to seke for time or place to go to prayers: or to doo other good dedes or vertuous occupaciōs. For the ghostly mā may sone gather him self together and fyxe his mynde in God / for he neuer suffereth it to be fully occupyed in outwarde thynges. And therfore his outwarde laboures and his worldely oc­cupacions necessary for the tyme / hyndre hym nat but lytell / for as they come so he applyeth hym selfe to them and refer­reth thē alway to the wyll of god. More ouer a man that is well ordered in his soule / forseth lytel the vnkynde demeaner of worldly people ne yet theyr proude be­hauoure. As moche as a man loueth any worldly thīg more thā it shuld be beloued [Page] so moche hys mynde is hyndred and let­ted for the true ordynate loue that he shulde haue to god / if thou were well pur­ged from all inordinate affectyons / thane what so euer shulde befall to the shulde tourne to thy ghostely profyte and to the great encreasynge of grace and vertue in thy soule / but the cause why so many thī ­ges displease the and trouble the / is for thou arte nat yet parfytely deade to the worlde▪ ne thou arte nat yet fully seuered from the loue of erthly thynges / and no thynge so muche defouleth the soule / as an vnclene loue to creatures / yf thou forsake to be comforted by worldly thynges outwardly thou mayste beholde more parfytely heuenly thynges / and thou shalte than synge contynually laudes and praysynges to hym with greate ioye and in­warde gladnes of herte. The whiche graunte the and me the blessed Trynite Amen.

❧Of a meke knowynge of oure owne defautes. The .ii. Chapiter.

REgarde nat muche who ys with the: nor who is agaynste the / but be thys thy greateste studye that God [Page xli] maye be with the in euery thynge that thou dost haue a good conscyence and he shall well defende: and who so euer he wyll helpe ayd defende there may no malyce hynder ne greue: if thou can be styll and suffre a whyle thou shalte withoute doute se the helpe of god come in thy n [...]de he knowethe the tyme and place howe to delyuer the / and therfore thou muste re­sygne thy selfe hooly to hym. It partey­neth to hym to helpe and to delyuer from all confusyon. Neuertheles it is ofte tymes moche profytable to vs for the more surer kepynge of mekenes / that o­ther mē knowe our defautes and reproue vs of them. Whan a man mekethe hym selfe for his offences / he lyghtly pleaseth other and lyghtly reconcyleth hym selfe to them that he hath offended. The meke man / almyghty god defendeth and com­forteth: to hym he inclynethe hym selfe and sendeth hym great plēty of his grace to hym: also he sheweth his secretes and louyngely he draweth hym to hym / and after hys oppressyons he lyfteth hym vp to glorye. The meke man whan he hathe suffered cōfusyon and reproue / is in good peace: for he trusteth in God and nat in [Page] the worlde. Moreouer if thou wylte come to the hyghnes of perfeccion: thynke nat thy selfe any thynge profyted in vertue tyl thou can fele mekely in thy herte that thou haste lesse mekenes and lesse vertue than any other hath.

❧Howe good it is for a man to be peacefull. The .iii. Chapiter.

FIrste put thy selfe in peace / and than thou mayste the better pacy­fye other / a peacefull man and a pa­cient profytethe more to hym selfe and to other also / than a man wel lerned that is vnpeacefull. A man that is passyonate tourneth ofte tymes good in to euyll and lyghtely beleueth the worse parte. But a good peacefull man tourneth all thynge to the best: and hath suspeccyon to no mā but he that is nat contente is ofte trou­bled with many suspicious: and neyther is he quyet hym selfe / nor yet suffereth he other for to be quiet / he speketh oft times that he shulde nat speke / and he omitteth to speke / that were more expedient to be spoken: he consydereth greatelye what other be bounden to do / but to that that [Page xlii] he is bounden to hym selfe he ys full ne­gligen [...]e / haue therfore fyrste a zele and a respecte to thy selfe / and to thyne owne soule / and thā thou mayst the more right wysely and with the more due order of charite haue zele vpon thy neighboures. Thou arte anone redye to excuse thyne owne defautes / but thou wylte nat here the excuses of thy bretherne. Truely it were more charitable and more profyta­ble to the that thou shuldeste accuse thy selfe and excuse thy brother: For if thou wylte be borne? bere other / beholde howe farre thou arte yet fro perfyte mekenes & charite: whiche can nat be angrye with none but with them selfe. It is no greate thynge to be well cōuersaūte with good men & with tractable men / for that natu­rally pleasethe all people / and euery man gladly hath peace with thē & most loueth them that folowe theyre appetite / but to lyue peacybly with euyll men & with frowarde men that lacke good maners & be vntaught & that be also cōtrarious vnto vs / is a great gracee and a manly dede & moche to be praised for it can nat be done but through great ghostly strēgth. Som persones can be quyet thē selfe & also can [Page] lyue quyetly with other / and some canne nat be quiet them selfe: ne yet suffre other to be quyet / they be greuous to other / but they be more greuous to them selfe. And some can kepe them selfe in good peace / and can also bring other to lyue in peace / and neuertheles all our peace whyles we be in this mortall lyfe: standethe more in meke sufferyng of troubles and of thīges that be contrarious vnto vs: than in the nat felynge of thē. For no man may lyue here without some trouble. And therfore he that cane beste suffre shall haue moste peace / & it is very true ouercome of hym selfe / the lorde of the worlde / the frende of Christe / & the true enheritour of the kingdome of heuen.

❧Of a pure mynde and a symple intente. The .iiii. Chapitre.

MAn is borne vp from erthly thinges with two wynges / that is to say: with plaīnes and clēnes / plaīnes is in the entente / and clennes is in the loue / the good true and plainne in­tente loketh towarde God / but the clene loue taketh assaye & tasteth his swetnes. [Page xliii] If thou be fre from all inordynate loue there shall no good dede hynder the / but that thou shalte therwith encrease in the waye of perfection. If thou entente well and seke nothynge but god and the pro­fyte of thine owne soule and of thy neighboures / thou shalte haue greate inwarde lybertye of mynde. And if thy herte be strayte with god? Than euery creature shalbe to the a mirrour of life and a boke of holy doctryne / for there is no creature so lytell ne so vyle: but that it shewethe and representeth the goodnes of god. Also if thou were withinforth ī thy soule pure and clene / thou shuldeste than with­out lettynge take all thynges to the best. A clene herte perceth both heuen and hel Suche as a man is in his conscyence in­wardly / suche he sheweth to be by his outwarde conuersacion. If there be any true ioye in this worlde / that had a man of a clene cōscyēce. And if there be any where trybulacyon or anguysshe / an euyll con­scyence knoweth it best. Also as yron put in to the fyre is clensed from ruste and is made all clene and pure / ryght so a man tournynge hym selfe hooly to god is purged fro slouthfulnes & sodeynly is chaū ­ged [Page] in to a newe man. Whan a man be­gynneth to waxe dull & slowe to ghostlye busynes / than a lytell laboure fereth him greately / and that he taketh gladely out­warde cōfortes of the worlde and of the flesshe / but whan he begynneth perfytely to ouercome hym selfe & to walke strōgly in the way of God / thā he regardeth the labours but lytel / that before he thought were ryhhte greuous and as importable vnto hym.

❧Of the knowynge of our selfe. The .v. Chapitre.♣

WE may nat trust moche ī our selfe ne in our owne wyt / for oft tymes through our presūpcion we lacke grace: and ryght lytell lyght of true vn­derstandynge is in vs / and that we haue many tymes / we lese throughe our neglygence / and yet we se nat / ne we wyll nat se howe blynde we are. Often tymes we do euyll / and in defence therof we do moche worse / and somtyme we be moued with passyon and we wene it be of a zele to God / we can anone repreue small defautes in oure neyghboures: but our [Page xliiii] owne defautes that be muche greater we wyll nat se / we fele anone and pondre greatelye what we suffre of other / butte what other suffre of vs we wyll nat con­syder / but he that wolde well and ryght­wyselye iudge his owne defautes: shulde nat so rygourously iudge the defautes of his neyghboures. A man that is inwardly tourned to god taketh hede of him selfe before all other / and he that cane well take hede of hym selfe: cane lyghtlye be styll of other mennes dedes Thou shulte neuer be an inwarde man and a deuoute folower of Chryste / but thou cane kepe the from medelynge of other mennes de­des and can specyally take hede of thyne owne. If thou take hede hooly to God and to thy selfe / the defautes that thou seest in other shall lytell moue the. Where arte thou whan thou arte nat presente to thy selfe / and whan thou haste all renne aboute and moche haste consydered o­ther mennes workes. what haste thou profyted therby if thou haue forgottē thy selfe: if thou wylte therfore haue peace in thy soule and be perfytely oned to god in blessed loue set a parte all other mēnes dedes and onely set thy selfe & thyne owne [Page] dedes before the eye of thy soule and that thou seest amysse in the / shortelye do re­forme it. Thou shalte moche profyte in grace if thou kepe the fre frō altemporal cures / and it shall hyndre the greately yf thou set pryce by any temporall thinges. Therfore let nothynge be in thy syghte hyghe nothynge great nothynge / lyking ne acceptable to the but it be purely good or of good. Thynke all comfortes vayne that come to the by any creature / he that loueth god and his owne soule for God? dispisethe all other loue for he seeth well that god alone whiche is eternall incon­prehensible and that fulfylleth all thīges with his goodnes / is the hole solace and cōforte of the soule: and that he is the ve­ry true gladnes of herte / and none other but onely he.

❧Of the gladnes of a clene cōscyence. The .vi. chapiter.

THe glorye of a good man / is the wytnesse of God / that he hath a good conscyence / haue therfore a good conscyence & thou shalte alway haue gladnes. A good conscyence [Page xlv] may bere many wronges & it is euer me­ry and glade in aduersyties / but an euyll cōscyence is alwaye fereful and vnquiet. Thou shalte reste the swetely and blessedly? if thyne owne herte reproue the nat. Be neuer glade but whan thou hast done well. Euyll men haue neuer perfyte gladnes: ne they fele no inwarde peace. For our Lorde sayethe: ☞ There is no peace to wycked people. And thoughe they say we be in good peace there shall no euyll come to vs. Lo who maye greue vs or hurte vs / byleue them nat: for sodeynely the wrath of god shal fall vpon them but they amende / and all that they haue done shall tourne to noughte / and that they wolde haue done shall be vndone. It is no greuous thynge to a feruente louer of god to ioye in tribulacyon / for all his ioy [...] and glorye is to ioye in the crosse of oure Lorde Iesu Christe: It is a shorte glorye that is gyuen by man: and comenly some heuynes foloweth shortly after. The ioye and gladnes of good mē is in theyr own conscyence / and the ioye of ryghtwyse mē is in good / and of god / and theyr ioye is in vertue & in good lyfe he that d [...]syrethe the very perfyte ioye that is euerlastynge [Page] setteth lytell pryce by temporall ioy / and he that seketh any worldly ioye or dothe nat in his herte fully dyspyse it / shewethe hym selfe openly to loue but lytell the ioy of heuen. He hath great tranquylite and peace of herte that neyther regardethe prayses ne disprayses. And he shal sone be pacified and contēt that hathe a good conscyence. Thou arte nat the better for thou arte praysed: ne the worse for thou arte dispraysed / for as thou arte? thou arte / and what so euer be said of the: thou arte no better than almyghtye god whi­che is the sercher of mannes herte wyll wytnes the to be / if thou beholde well what thou arte inwardly: thou shalt nat care moche what the worlde speaketh of the outwarde. Man seethe the face / but god beholdeth the herte. Man beholdeth the dede / but god beholdeth the intent of the dede. It is a greate token of a meke herte: A man euer to do well / and yet to thynke hym selfe to haue done but lytell. And it is a great sygne of clennes of lyfe and of an inwarde truste in God whan a man taketh nat his comforte of any creature: whan a man sekethe no outwarde wytnes for hym selfe / it appereth that he [Page xlv] hath hooly commytted hym selfe to god. ☞Also after the wordes of saint Paule He that cōmendeth hym selfe is nat ius­tified / but he whome god cōmendeth and he that hathe his mynde alwaye lyfte vp to god / and is nat bounden with any in­ordinate affeccion withoutforth / is in the degre and in the state of a holy and a bles­sed man.

❧Of the loue of Iesu aboue al thinges The .vii. Chapitre.

BLessed is he that knoweth how good it is to loue Iesu / and for his sake to dispyse hym selfe. It behoueth the louer of Iesu to forsake all other loue besyde him / for he wyl be belo­ued only aboue al other. The loue of creatures is deceyuable and faylinge / but the loue of Iesu is faythefull & alwaye aby­dynge / he that cleuethe to any creatures muste of necessyte fayle as dothe the creature / but he that cleueth abydyngely to Iesu shalbe made stable in hym for euer. Loue him therfore & holde him thy frēde for whā all other forsake the he wyll nat forsake the ne suffre the finaly to perisshe Thou muste of necessytie be departed frō [Page] thy frendes and from all mānes cōpanye whether thou wylte or nat and therfore kepe the with thy lorde Iesu lyuyng and dyeng and cōmyt the to his fydelyte and he wyll be with the and helpe the whan all other forsake the. Thy beloued is of suche nature that he wyll nat admyt any other loue / for he wyll haue alonely the loue of thy herte and wyll syt therin as a kynge in his proper throne If thou coul­dest well auoyde frō the: the loue of crea­tures: he wolde alwaye abyde with the and neuer wolde he forsake the. Thou shalte in maner fynde it all as loste what so euer truste thou haste put in any ma­ner of thynge besyde Iesu / put nat thy truste therfore to suche thinges as is but a quel full of winde or as a holowe stycke whiche is nat able to susteyne the / ne to helpe the / but in thy moste nede wyll de­ceyue the / for man is but as hay / and all his glorye is as a floure in the felde / whiche sodeynly vanysshed & slydeth awaye. If thou take hede onely to the outwarde apparaunce thou shalte sone be deceyued and if thou seke thy cōforte in any thyng but in Iesu / thou shalte fele therby great spirytuall losse. But if thou seke in all [Page xlvii] thynges thy lorde Iesu / thou shalt truely fynde thy lorde Iesu / and if thou seke thy selfe thou shalte fynde thy selfe / but that shall be to thyne owne great losse / for truly a man is more greuous and more hurtfull to hym selfe yf he seke nat hys lorde Iesu: than is all the worlde / & more than all his aduersaryes may be.

❧Of the famylyer frendshyppe of Iesu. The .viii. Chapitre.

WHan our lorde Iesu is presente all thyng is lykynge and nothynge se­meth harde to do for hys loue / but whā he is absente all thinge that is done for his loue / is paynfull and harde / whan Iesu speketh nat to the soule there is no faythfull consolacyon / but if he speke but one worde onely / the soule feleth great inwarde comforte / dyd nat mary Magda­lyne ryse sone from wepyng whan Martha shewed her that her mayster Chryste was nyghe and called her: yes truely. ♣: O that is an happy houre whā Iesus called vs from wepyng to ioye of spiryte Remembre howe drye and howe vnde­uoute thou arte without Iesu / and howe [Page] vnwyse / howe vayne / and howe cōnynge thou arte whan thou desyrest any thyng besyde Iesu. Truely that desyre is more hurtfull to the: than if thou haddest loste al the worlde / what may this worlde giue the / but throughe the helpe of Iesu. To be without Iesu is a payne of hell. And to be with Iesu is plesaūt paradyse: yf Iesu be with the / there maye no enemye greue the / and he that fyndeth Iesu fyn­deth a great treasure that is beste aboue all other treasures / & he that leseth Iesu leseth very muche / and more than all the worlde / he is moste pore that lyueth without Iesu / & he is moste ryche that is with Iesu. It is greate connynge to be wel cō uersaunt with Iesu / and to kepe hym is ryght great wysdome / be meke & paceful & Iesu shall be with the / be deuout & quiet & Iesu wyll abyde with the. Thou mayst anone dryue awaye thy lorde Iesu & lese his grace / yf thou applye thy selfe to out­warde thynges / and yf throughe negly­gēce of thy selfe thou lese hym what frēde shalte thou than haue: without a frende thou mayste nat longe endure / and if Ie­su be nat thy frende moste byfore al other thou shalt be very heuy and disolate / & be [Page xlviii] lefte without all perfyte frenshype / & therfore thou doest nat wisely if thou truste or ioye in any other thynge besyde hym / we shulde rather chose to haue all the worlde agaynste vs thā to offende god / and ther­fore of all that the to be lefe and dere let thy lorde Iesu be the moste lefe and dere: and moste specially beloued to the aboue all other / and let all other by beloued for hym: and he onely for hym selfe. Iesus is onely to be beloued for him selfe / for he is onely proued good and faythfull before all other frendes. In hym: and for hym: bothe enemyes & frendes are to be belo­ued / and before all thynges we ought mekely wtth all dylygence to praye to hym that he maye be beloued and honoured of all his creatures. Neuer coueyt to be syngulerly loued or cōmended / for that belō ­geth onely to god whiche hath none lyke vnto hym / and desyre nat that any thing be occupied with the in thy herte / ne that thou be occupyed with loue of any crea­ture but that thy lorde Iesu may be ī the & in euery good man and womā. Be pure and clene withinforth without lettynge of any creature as nyghe as thou can for it behouethe the to haue a ryghte cleane [Page] and a pure herte to Iesu. If thou wylte knowe and fele howe swete he is / and ve­rely thou mayste nat come to that p [...]e but thou be preuented & drawen through his grace / and that all other thynges set aparte thou be inwardely kny [...]e & on [...]de to hym: whan the grace of god commeth to a man that is he made myghtye and stronge to do euery thynge that belon­geth to vertue / and whan grace with­draweth than is he made weyke and fea­ble to do any good dede / and is in maner as he were lefte onely to payne and punisshementes. ★: And yf it happen so with the / dispaire nat ouermuche therfore: nor leue nat thy good dedꝭ vndone: but stāde alwaye strongely after the wyll of god / & tourne all thynges that shall come to the to the laude and praysinges of hys name for after wynter cōmeth somer / and after the nyght commeth the daye / and after a greate tempeste / sheweth agayne tyghte cleare and plesaunte weder.

❧Of the wantynge of all so­lace and contorie. The .ix. Chapytre.

[Page xlix]IT is no great thynge to dispyse mannes comforte whan the cō forte of god is present: but it is a greate thynge and that a ryght greate thynge a man to be so stronge in spyryte that he may bere the wantynge of them bothe / and for the loue of god and to hys honoure to haue a redy wyll to here as it were a desolacion of spirite / and yet in nothynge to seke hym selfe ne his owne me­rytes / what profe of vertue is it yf a man be merie and deuoute in god whan grace commeth and vysyteth the soule / for that houre is desyred of euerye creature / he rydeth right saffely whom the grace of god bereth and supporteth and what merueil is it if he fele no bourdē that is borne vp by hym that is almyghty and that is led by the souerayne guyde that is good himselfe / we be alwaye glad to haue solace / & consolacyon but we wolde haue no tribu­lacyon / ne we wyll nat lyghtly caste from vs the false loue of oure selfe. The blessed martyr saynt Laurēce throughe the loue of god myghtly ouercame the loue of the worlde and of hym selfe / for he dyspyse [...] all that was lykynge & delectable in the worlde / and Sixtus the pope whome he [Page] moste loued for the loue of god he suffred mekely to be taken frō hym / & so through the loue of god / he ouercame the loue of man / and for mānes conforte he chose ra­ther to folowe the wyll of god: do than in lykewyse and lerne to forsake some neces­sary / and some welbeloued frende for the loue of god: & take it nat greuously whan thou arte lefte or forsakē of thy frēde / for of necessyte it behoueth worldely frendes to be dysseuered. It behoueth a man to fyght longe and myghtely to stryue with hym selfe or that he shall lerne fully to o­uercome hym selfe / and or that he shal frely and redely sette all his desyres in god. Whan a mā loueth hym selfe & muche trusteth to hym selfe: he falleth anone to mā nes confortes: but the very true louer of Chryste & the dylygent folower of vertue falleth nat so lightly to thē ne seketh nat muche suche sensible swetnes ne suche bodely delytes / but rather is glad to suffer great harde labours & payne for the loue of Christe. Neuertheles whā ghostely cō fortes is sent to the of god take it mekely and gyue thankynges mekely for it: but know it for certayn that it is of the great goodnes of god that sendeth it to the / & [Page l] nat of thy deseruynge / & loke thou be nat lyfte vp therfore in to pryde [...] ne that thou ioy nat muche therof ne p̄sume nat vaynly therī: but rather that thou be the more meke. For so noble a gyfte and the more ware and the more ferfull in all thy war­kes / for that tyme wyll passe awaye / and the tyme of temptacyon wyll shortly folowe after. Whan conforte is withdrawen dyspayre nat therfore / but mekely and paciently abyde the visitacion of god / for he is able & of more power to gyue the more grace and more ghostely comforte than thou haddest fyrste. Suche alteracyon of grace is no newe thynge / ne no straunge thynge to thē that haue had experiēce in the way of god / for in greate sayntes & in holy Prophetes was many tymes foūde lyke alteracyon / wherfore the Prophete Dauid saith. ☞ Ego diri in habūdancia mea▪ nō mouebor ineternū) ♣ That is to saye: whā Dauid had habundaūce of ghostly comforte he sayde to our lorde that he trusted he shulde neuer be remoued from suche comforte / but after whā grace withdrewe: he sayde. ☞ Auertisti faciem tuā a me: & factꝰ sum cōturbatꝰ. ♣ That is: O lorde thou haste withdrawen thy ghostly [Page] cōfortes frō me / and I am lefte in greate trouble and heuines: and yet neuertheles he dispayred nat therfore / but prayed hertely vnto our lorde and sayde. ☞: Ad te domine clamabo et ad deum meum deprecabor / That is to saye I shall busely crye to the lorde / and I shall mekely praye to the for grace and cōforte. And anone he had the effecte of hys prayers as he wyt­nesseth him selfe sayng thus. ☞ Audi [...]it dominus et misertus est mei dominus fac [...]us est adiutor meus) that is to saye / our lorde hath harde my prayer / & hath had mercy on me / and hath nowe againe sent me his helpe & ghostely cōforte. And therfore he sayth afterwarde: lorde thou haste tourned my sorowe ī to Ioy / & thou haste belapped me with heuenly gladnes / and if almyghty god hath thus done with holy saintes / it is nat for vs weyke and fea­ble persons to dyspayre though we som­tyme haue feruoure of spirite and be somtyme lefte colde and voyde of deuocyon. The holy ghoste goth and cōmeth after his pleasure & therfore the holy mā Iob sayth. ☞ Lorde thou gracyously visitest thy louer in the morowe tyde / that is to saye in the tyme of comforte / and sodein­ly [Page li] thou prouest hym that is to say ī with drawynge suche comfortes from hym / wherin than maye I truste or in whome may I haue any confidence / but oney in the greate endeles grace & mercy of god for why: the company of good mene / ne yt felyshype of deuoute brethren and fayth­full frendes / ne the hauynge of holy bokꝭ or of deuoute treatises / ne yet the heryng of swete songes: or of deuoute Impnes / may lytell auayle and brynge forthe but lytell comforte to the soule whan we are lefte to our owne fraylty and pouertye. And whā we be so lefte there is no better remedy but pacyence with a hoole resyg­nyng of our owne wyll to the wyll of god I neuer founde yet any religyous person so ꝑfyte / but that he had somtyme absen­tynge of grace or some mynysshyng of feruour / and there was neuer yet any saynt so hyghly rauysshed / but that he fyrste or laste had some temptacyon / he is nat worthy to haue the hyghe gyfte of cōtemplacyon / that hath nat suffered for god some trybulacyon. The temptacyōs goyng before / were wonte to be a sothfaste tokē of heuenly comforte shortly comming after And to them that be foūde stable in theyr [Page] tēptacyōs is promised by our lorde great consolacyon / and therfore he sayth thus. ☞He that ouercōmeth I shal giue him to eate of the tre of lyfe. ♣ Heuēly cōforte is somtyme gyuē to a mā that he may after be more stronge to suffre aduersyties / but after foloweth temptacyō that he be nat lyfte vp ī to pryde & thynke that he is worthy suche consolacyon. The ghostely enemy slepeth nat ne the fleshe is nat yet fully mortifyed / & therfore thou shalt ne­uer cesse to prepayre thy selfe to ghostely batayle for thou haste enemyes on euery side that euer wyl be redy to assayle the / & to let thy good purpose all that they can.

❧:Of yeldynge thankes to god / for hys manyfolde grace. The .x. Chapitre.

WHy sekest thou rest here syth thou arte borne to laboure / dispose thy self to pacyence: rather thā to confortes / to bere the crosse of penaunce: ra­ther than to haue gladnes: what tempo­rall man wolde nat gladly haue spiritu­all cōfortes yf he myght alway kepe thē: for spirytuall cōfortes excede far worlde­ly delytes and all bodely pleasures / for al [Page lii] worldly delytes be eyther foule or vayne but ghostely delytes are onely iocunde / & honeste / brought forthe by vertues & sent of god in to a clene soule. But suche con­fortes no man may haue whan he wolde / for the tyme of tētacyon tarieth nat lōge The false lybertye of wyll / and the ouer­moche truste that we haue in our selfe / be moche contrary to the heuenly visitacy­ons. Our lorde dothe well in sendynge suche confortes / but we do nat well / whā we yelde na [...] all the thankes therfore to him againe. The greatest cause why the giftes of grace maye nat lyghtly come to vs / is for we be vnkynde to the giuer and yelde nat thākes to hym from whom all goodnes cōmeth. Grace is alwaye gy­uen to theym that be redy to yelde than­kes therfore agayne. And therfore it shal be taken from the Proude man that is wrute to be gyuen to the meke man: I wolde none of that consolacyō that shuld take from me compunction / ne I wolde none of that contemplacyon that shulde lyfte my soule in to presumpcion. Euery hyghe thyng in syght of man is nat holy ne euery desyre is nat cleane and pure / ne euery swete thing is nat good / ne all that [Page] is lefe and dere to man is nat alway ple­saūt to god / we shall therfore gladly take suche gyftꝭ wherby he shalbe the more redy to forsake our selfe and our owne wyll he that knoweth the cōfortes that come through the gyfte of grace / and knoweth also howe sharpe and paynfull the absentynge of grace is: shall nat dare thynke that any goodnes commeth of hym felfe but he shall openly confesse that of hym sel [...]e he is ryght pore and naked of all vertue / yelde therfore to god that is his / and to thy selfe that is thyne: that is to saye / thāke god of his manyfolde graces / and blame thy selfe for thy offences. Holde in the alway a sure grounde and a sure foundacyon of mekenes: and thā the highnes of vertue shall shortely be giuen vnto the for the hyghe tourne of vertue maye nat longe stande / but it be borne vp with the lowe foundacyon of mekenes. They that be moste greate in heuen be leste in theyr owne syght / and the more gloryous they be / the meker they are in them selfe / ful of truthe and of heuenly ioye / nat desyrous of any vayne glory or praysinge of man. Also they that be groūdely stabled & con­firmed in god maye in no wyse be lyft vp [Page liii] in to pryde / and they that ascribe al goodnes to god / seke no glorye ne vayne pray­synges in the worlde / but they desyre onely to ioy and to be glorified in god and desyre ī herte that he may be honoured / lauded / and praysed / aboue al thynges both ī hym selfe and in all his sayntes / and that is alwaye the thynge that perfyte men moste coueyte and moste desyre to brynge aboute / be thou louynge & thankefull to god for the leste benefyte that he gyueth the and thā thou shalte be the more apte and the more worthy to receyue of hym more greate benefaites. Thynke the leste gyfte that he gyueth is great & the moste dyspysable thynges take a specyall gyf­tes and as great tokens of loue / for if the dygnyte of the gyuer be well consydered no gyfte that he gyueth shall feme lytell. It is no lytell thyng that is gyuē of god for though he sende paine and sorowe we shulde take them gladly and thankfully: for it is for our ghostely helth all that he suffereth to come vnto vs. If a mā desyre to holde the grace of god be he kinde and thankfull for suche grace as he hathe re­ceyued / pacyent whan it is withdrawen praye he deuoutely that it maye shortely [Page] come agayne / & thā be he meke & lowe in spirite that he lese it nat agayne through his presumpcyon and pryde of herte.

❧Of the smale nombre of the louers of the crosse. The .xi. Chapytre.

IEsus hathe many louers of his kyngdome of heuen but he hath fewe berers of hys Crosse / ma­ny desyre hys consolacyon / but fewe de­syre his tribulacion: he fyndeth many fe­lowes at eatynge & drynking / but he fyn­deth fewe that will be with him in his abstynēce & fastynge / all mē wolde ioye with Christe / but fewe wyll any thynge suffre [...] for Christe / many folowe hym to the bre­kynge of his breade for theyr bodely refecyon but fewe wyl folowe hym to drynke a draught of the Chalyce of his passyon. Many meruayle and honoure his myracles / but fewe wyll folowe the shame of his crosse: and of his other vilanyes / ma­ny loue Iesu as longe as no aduersyte foloweth to them / and can prayse hym and blesse hym whan they receyue any beny­fayte of hī / but if Iesu a lytell withdrawe [Page liii] hym from them / & a lytell forsaketh them anone they fall to som great grudgynge / or to ouer greate deieccyon / or in to open desperacyon / but they that loue Iesu pu­rely for hym selfe and nat for theyr owne profyte nor commodyte / they blesse hym as hartely in temptacyon and tribulaciō and in all other aduersytes: as they do in tyme of consolacyon. And if he neuer sent them consolacyon: yet wolde they alway laude hym and prayse hym. ☞: O howe maye the loue of Iesu do to the helpe of a soule / yf it be pure and cleane nat myxte with any īordinate loue to hym selfe truely nothynge more: Maye nat they than that euer loke for worldly confortes / and for worldly consolacyons be called worldly marchauntes and worldely louers ra­ther than louers of god / do they nat openly shewe by theyr dedes that they rather loue them selfe than god / yes truely. ♣ O where may be foundē any that wyl serue god frely and purely without lokinge for some rewarde for it agayne. And where maye be founde any so spyrituall / that he is clerely deliuered and byrafte from loue of hym selfe / and that is truely poore in spiryte and is holy auoyded from loue of [Page] creaturꝭ. I trowe none suche can be foūd but if be far hens and in far countreys / if a man gyue all hys substance for god / yet he is nought and if he do great penaunce for his synnes / yet he is but lytell: and yf he haue greate connynge and knowlege / yet he is far from vertue / and yf he haue great vertue and bre [...]ning deuocyon: yet moche wāteth hym / and that is specially one thynge / whiche is moste necessary to hym / what is that? that all thinges forsaken and hym selfe also forsakyn / he go clerely out from hym selfe & kepe no thynge to hym selfe of any pryuate loue / & whan he hath done all that he ought to do that he fele in hym selfe as he had nothynge done ne that he thynke it nat greate that some other myght thinke great: but that he thynke hym selfe truely as he is an vnprofytable seruaūt. ☞ For the auctoure of trouth our sauioure. Cryst sayth. Whā ye haue done all that is cōmaundyd you to do: yet saye that ye be but vnprofyta­ble seruauntes. Thā he that can thus do may wel be called pore in spyryte & naked of priuate loue / and he may wel say with the prophete Dauyd. ☞: I am onede in god and am pore & meke in herte. There [Page lv] is none more ryche / none more fre / ne none of more power / than he that can forsake hym selfe and all passyng thynges / and that truely can holde hym selfe to be lowest and wyllest of all other.

❧Of the waye of the crosse / and howe profytable pacyence is in aduer­syte. The .xii▪ Chapytre.

THe wordes of our sauyoure be thought very harde and gre­uous: whan he saythe thus ☞Forsake your selfe take the crosse and folowe me. ♣ But it shalbe moche more greuous to here these wordes at the laste Iugement. ☞ Go ye from me ye cursed people in to the fyre that euer shall laste. ♣:But to that nowe gladly here and fo­lowe the wordꝭ of Christe wherby he coū ceyleth theym to folowe hym: shall nat than nede to drede for herynge those wordes of euerlastynge dampnacyon. The sygne of the crosse shall appere in heuen / whan our lorde shall come to Iudge the worlde / and the seruauntes of the Crosse whiche confirmed them selfe here in this lyfe to Chryste crucyfyed on the Crosse / [Page] shall go to Christe their iuge with greate fayth and truste in hym / why doste thou than drede to take thys crosse syth is the very way to the kyngdome of heuen: and none but that. In the crosse is helthe / in the crosse is lyfe / in the Crosse is defence fro our enemyes / in the crosse is infusyon of heuenly swetnes / in the Crosse is the strength of mynde / the ioy of spiryte / the hyghnes of vertue / and the full perfeccyō of all holynes: and there is no helthe of soule nor hope of euerlastynge lyfe / but through vertue of the crosse. Take ther­fore the crosse and folowe Iesu and thou shalte go in to the lyfe euerlastynge / he hath gone before the / berynge his crosse / and dyed for the vpō the crosse / that thou shuldest in lyke wyse beare with hym the crosse of penaunce and of tribulaciō / and that thou shuldeste be redy lyke wyse for his loue to suffre deth if nede requyre as he hath done for the. If thou dye with hym / thou shalte lyue with hym / and yf thou be felowe with hym in payne: thou shalte be with hym in glory. Beholde thā howe in the crosse standeth all and howe in dyeng to the worlde lyeth all our helth and that there is no other waye to lyfe & [Page lvi] true inwarde peace but the waye of the crosse & of daily mortifiyng of the body to the spiryte. Go whether thou wylte and seke what the lyst & thou shalt neuer finde aboute the: ne byneth the / within the: ne without the / more hygh / more excellente / ne more sure way to Christe thā the way of the holy crosse / dyspose euery thyng af­ter thy wyll / & thou shalt neuer fynde but that thou must of necessyte sōwhat suffre eyther with thy wyll or agaynst thy wyll and so thou shalte alway fynde the crosse for eyther thou shalt fele payne ī thy body or in thy soule thou shalte haue troube of spirite. Thou shalte be somtyme as thou were forsaken of god. Somtyme thou shalt be vexed with thy neyghboure / and that is yet more paynfull / thou shalt somtyme be greuous to thy selfe: & thou shalt fynde no meane to be delyuered / but that it behoueth the for to suffre tyll it shall please almyghty god of hys goodnes o­therwyse to dyspose for the: for he wyll yt thou shalte lerne to suffre trybulacyon without consolacyō but thou mayst therby lerne holly to submyt thy selfe to hym and by tribulacyō to be made more meek than thou were fyrste. No man feleth [Page] the passyon of Chryste so effectuously / as he that feleth lyke payne as Chryste dyd This crosse is alway redy & euery where it abydeth the / and thou mayste nat fle it ne fully escape it where euer thou become for where so euer thou become thou shalt bere thy selfe aboute with ye and so thou shalte alwaye fynde thy selfe. Tourne the where thou wylte about the & beneth the: within the and without the / & thou shalte fynde this crosse on euery syde / so that it shalbe necessary for the that thou alwaye kepe the in pacyence / and that it behoueth the to do yf thou wylte haue in warde peace / and deserue the perpetuall crowne in heuen / yf thou wylte gladely bere this crosse it shall bere the and it shal brynge the to the ende that thou desyrest where thou shalte neuer after haue any thinge to suffre: And yf thou bere thys croste agaynste thy wyll / thou makeste a greate burden to thy selfe / and it wyll be more greuous to the and yet it behoueth the to bere it / and if it happen the to pul awaye one crosse / that is to saye one try­bulacyon: yet surely an other wyll come and happely more greuous thā the fyrste was T [...]oweste thou to escape that neuer [Page lvii] yet any mortall mā myght escape. What saynte in thys worlde hath ben without thys Crosse and without some trouble. Truly our lorde Iesu was nat one houre without some sorowe & payne as long as he lyued here / for it behoueth hym to suf­fre death and to ryse agayne & so to entre in to his glory / and howe it is than that thou sekeste any other way to heuen that this playne hygh waye of the Crosse. All the lyfe of Christe? was crosse and mar­terdome / and thou sekest pleasure & ioye: Thou erreste greatly yf thou seke any o­ther thynge than to suffre: For all thys mortall lyfe is full of myseryes and is all beset aboute and marked with Crosses / and the more hyghely that a man profy­teth in spiryte the more paynfull crosses shall he fynde / for by the sothfastnes of Christes lone wherin he daily increaseth dayly appereth vnto him more and more the payne of his exyle. But neuertheles a man thus vexed with payne is nat sef [...]e hooly without all conforte / for he seethe well that greate frute and hygh rewarde shall growe vnto hym by the berynge of his crosse: And whan a man frely submitteth hym selfe vnto suche trybulacyon / [Page] than all the burden of trybulacyon is so­deynly tourned in to a great truste of he­uenly cōsolaciō. And the more the flesshe is punysshed with trybulacion / the more is the soule strengthed dayly by inwarde consolacion / and somtyme the soule shall fele suche cōforte in aduersyties / that for the loue and desyre that it hath to be conformed to Chryste crucified it wolbe nat be without sorowe and trouble / for it con­sydereth wel that there more that it may suffre for his loue here / the more acceptable shall be to hym in the lyfe to come. But this workyng is nat in the power of man: but through the grace of god that is to say that a frayle man shulde take and loue that his bodely kynde so muche abhorreth and fleeth / for it is nat in the power of mā gladly to bere the crosse / to loue the Crosse / to chastyce the body and to make it burn in to the wyll of the spy­rite / to [...]e honoures gladly to sustayne reprefes / to dispyse hym selfe and to coueyt to be dispysed / pacyently to suffre aduer­syties / with all dyspleasures therof / and nat to desyre any maner of profite in this worlde / yf thou truste in thy selfe thou shalt neuer bryng this mater aboute: but [Page lviii] yf thou truste in god / he shall sende the strength from heuen / and the worlde and the fleshe shalbe made subiecte to the: yea and if thou be strongly armed with fayth and be merked with the crosse of Chryste as his housholde seruaūte thou shalt nat nede to fere the ghostly enemy for he shal also be made subiecte to the: so that he shall haue no power agaynste the. Pur­pose thy selfe therfore as a true faythfull seruaūte of god to bere māfully the crosse of thy lorde Iesu: that for thy loue was crucyfied vpon the crosse / prepayre thy selfe to suffre all maner of aduersytes and dyscomodites in thys wretched lyfe / for so shall it be with the where so euer thou hyde the / & there is no remedye to escape / but that thou muste kepe thy selfe alway in pacyēce / if thou desyre to be a dere and a welbeloued frende of Chryste: drynke affectuously with hym a draught of the chalyce of his trybulacyon. As for conso­lacyons cōmitte them to his wyl that he order them as he knoweth most expediēt for the / but as for thy selfe / and for as muche as in the is / dyspose the to suffre & whan tribulaciōs come take thē as specyal cōsolacyōs. Saying with the Apostle [Page] thus. ☞ The passyon of thys worlde he nat worthy of them selfe to brynge vs to the glorye that is ordeyned for vs in the life to come. And that is true though one man alone myght suffre asmuche as all men do suffer / whā thou commest to that degre of pacyence: that trybulacyon is swete to the and for the loue of god is sa­uoury and pleasaunte in thy syght / than mayst thou truste that it is well with the and that thou arte in good estate for thou haste founde Paradyse in erthe. But as longe as it is greuous to the to suffre and thou sekeste to fle / so longe it is nat well with the: ne so longe thou arte nat in the perfyte way of pacyence / but yf thou couldeste brynge thy selfe to that estate that thou shouldest be at / that is to suffre gladly for god / and to dye fully to the worlde than it shulde shortely be better with the and thou shuldest fynde greate peace / but yet all though thou were rapte wt Paule in to the thyrde heuen / thou shuldeste nat therfore be sure withoute all aduersyte. For our sauyour speking of saynt Paule after he had bene rapte in to heuen: sayde thus of hym. ☞ I shall shewe him howe many thynges he shall suffre for me.:☜ [Page lix] To suffre therfore remayneth to the yf thou wylte loue thy lorde Iesu and serue hym perpetually: wolde to god that thou werte worthy to suffre som what for hys loue. O howe great ioy shulde it be to the to suffre for hym / what gladnes to all the saintes of heuen / & howe great edifiynge to thy neyghboure / all men cōmende pa­cyence / & yet fewe men wyll suffre. Ryght wysly thou oughtest to suffre some lytell thynge for god that suffered muche more for the worlde. And knowe thys for cer­tayne that after this bodely death / thou shalte yet lyue / and the more that thou canste dye to thy selfe here the more thou begynnest to lyne to god. No mā is apte to receyue the heuenly rewardes / but he haue firste lerned to bere aduersyties for the loue of Chryste for nothynge is more acceptable to god / nor more profytable to man in thys worlde thā to be glad to suffre for Christe / in so muche that if it were put in thy eleccyon / thou shuldest rather those aduersyte than prosperyte / for than by the pacient sufferyng therof thou shuldest be the more lyke to Chryste / and the more confermed to all his sayntes. Our merite and our perfection of lyfe stādeth [Page] nat in consolacyons and swetnes / but ra­ther in suffering of great greuous aduer­sytes and tribulacyons For yf there had ben any nerer or better way for the helth of mannes soule than to suffre / our lorde Iesu wolde haue shewed it by wordes / or by examples. But for there was nat / therfore he openly exorted his discyples that folowed hym / and all other that desyred to folowe him: to forsake theyr owne wyl and to take the Crosse of penaunce / and folowe hym. Sayinge thus, ☞: Who so wyll come after me: forsake he hys owne wyll: take he the crosse & folowe he me.♣ Therfore all thynges serched and red / be thys the fynall conclusyon / that by many tryb [...]lacyons it behoueth vs to entre in to the kyngdome of heuen / vnto the which bring vs oure Lorde Iesus. Amen.

¶Here beginneth the thyrde boke Of the inwarde spekyng of Christe to a faythfull soule. The fyrste Chapytre.☜

IS shall take hede saith a deuoute soule and I shal here what my Lorde Iesu shall speake in me. Blessed is that man whiche hereth Iesu spekyng in hys soule and that taketh of his mouth som worde of conforte / and blessed be tho eares that here the secrete rownynges of Iesu and hede nat the deceytefull rownynges of thys worlde. ☞: And blessed be the good playne eares that hede nat the outwarde speche / but rather take hede what god speketh and teacheth with inforth in the soule. Blessed be tho eyen also that be shet from sight of outwarde vanytes and that take hede to the inwarde mouynges of god. Blessed be they also that gette them vertues and prepayre them by god dayly & ghostly warkes to receyue dayly more and more the secrete inspiracions & [Page] inwarde teachynges of god. Also blessed be they that set them selfe hooly to serue god and for hys seruyce set aparte all lettynges of the worlde. ♣ O thou my soule take hede to that is sayde before / and shut the dores of thy sensualytes that are thy v. wyttest that thou maist here in wardly what our lorde Iesu speketh in thy soule. Thus sayth thy beloued. ☞: I am thy helthe / I am thy peace / I am thy lyfe / kepe the with me / and thou shalte fynde peace in me / forsake the loue of trāsytory thynges: and seke thynges that be euer­lastynge. What be all temporall thynges but deceyuable / and what may any crea­ture helpe the: yf thy lorde Iesu forsake the. Therfore all creatures & all worldely thinges forsagen and lefte: do that in the is to make the pleasaunte in hys syght that thou mayste after hys lyfe come to the euerlastynge lyfe in the kyngdome of heuen. Amen.

❧Howe almyghty god speketh inwardely to mannes soule with­out sounde of wordes.:☜ The seconde Chapytre.

[Page xlxi]SPeke lorde / for I thy seruaunte am redy to here the. I am thy seruaunte / gyue me wysdomme and vnderstandyng to knowe thy cōmaū dementes. Bowe my herte to folowe the wordes of thy holy teachynges that they may distyll in to my soule / as dewe in to the grasse. ☞: The chyldren of Israell sayde to Moyses / speke thou to vs & we shall here the / but let nat our lorde speke to vs lest haply we dye for drede. ♣: Nat so lorde nat so I beseche the / but rather I aske mekely with Samuel the prophet that thou vouchesafe to speke to me thy selfe / and I shall gladly here the / let nat Moyses ne none other of the prophetes speake to me / but rather thou lorde that arte the inwarde inspirour and gyuer of lyght to all Prophetes / for thou onely without them mayste fully enforme me & instructe me. They without the may ly­tell profyte me They speake thy wordes but they gyue nat the spiryte to vnder­stande the wordes. They speke fayre / but if thou be styll they kyndle nat the herte. They shewe fayre letters / but thou declarest the sentēce. They brynge forth great high mysteries / but thou openest therof [Page] the true vnderstandynge they declare thy cōmaundementꝭ / but thou helpest to performe thē. They shewe the way but thou gyuest cōforte to walke therin. They do all outwardely / but thou illumynest & informest ye herte withī. They water one­ly without forth / but thou gyuest the in­warde growyng. They crye al in wordes but thou gyueste to the heres vnderstan­dyng of the wordes that he harde. ♣: Let nat Moyses therfore speake to me but thou my lorde Iesu that arte the euerla­styng trouth / leste haply I dye & be made as a man without frute warned without forth and nat enflamed within: and so to haue the harder iugemēt for that I haue herde thy worde & nat done it / knowē it & nat loued it / byleued it & nat fulfylled it. Speke therfore to me thy selfe for I thy seruaūte am redy to here the. Thou haste the wordꝭ of eternall lyfe speke thē to me to the full conforte of my soule & gyue me amendemēt of all my lyfe past to thy ioy honoure and glory euerlastyngly. Amen

¶That the wordꝭ of god are to be herde with great mekenes / and that there be but fewe that ponder them as they ought to do. The .iii. Chapytre.

[Page lvii]MI sonne sayth our lorde heare my wordes and folowe theym for they be moste swete fare passing the wysdome and connyng of all philoso­phers & of al the wyse men of the worlde. My wordes be spiritual and ghostly and can nat be fully cōprehended by mannes wytte ne they art nat to be tourned ne to be applyed to the vayne pleasure of the hearer / but are to be hearde in scylence with greate mekenes and reuerence and with greate inwarde affeccion of the hert and also in greate reste and quyetnes of body and of soule. O blessed is he lorde whome thou enformeste and teacheste so that thou mayste be meke and mercyfull lorde vnto hym in the euyll day / that is to saye in the daye of the mooste dredfull iugemente / that he be nat than lefte de­solate and confortles in the lande of dāpnacyon. ❧: Than sayth our Lorde a­gayne. ☞: I haue taught Prophetes frō the begynnyng: and yet I cesse nat to speke to euery creature / but many be defe and wyll nat heare / and many heare the worlde more gladly thā me / & more lyghtly folowe the appetyte of the fleshe / than the pleasure of god. The worlde ꝓmiseth [Page] temporall thingꝭ of smale val [...]re and yet he is serued with great affeccion but god promyseth hys thynges / and thynges eternall and the hertes of the people be slowe and dull. O who serueth and obey­eth god in all thingꝭ with so great desyre as he doth the worlde & as worldly pryn­ces be serued and obeyed I trowe none. For why? For a lytell prebende / greate iournayes be taken. But for the lyfe euerlastyng the people wyl skarsly lyfte their fete ones from the grounde. A thynge that is of small pryse many tymes is bu­sely sought / and for a peny is somtyme greate stryfe / and for the promyse of a ly­tell worldely profyte men eschewe nat to swynke and sweate both daye and nyght But alas for sorowe for the goodes euerlastynge and for the rewarde that maye nat be estemed by mannes herte / and for the hyghe honoure and glorye that neuer shall haue ende. Mē be slowe to take any maner of payne or laboure. Be thou therfore ashamed thy slowe seruaunte of god that they be foundē more redy to warkes of deth than thou arte to warkes of lyfe / and that they ioye more in vanyte than thou in trouth: & yet they be ofte deceiued [Page lxiiii] that: that they haue moste truste in / but my promyse deceyueth no man ne leueth no mā that trusteth in me without some comforte / that I haue promysed I wyll performe / and that I haue sayde I wyll fulfyll to euery ꝑsone / so that they abyde faythfully in my loue and drede vnto the ende / for I am the rewarde of all good men / and a stronge prouer of all deuoute soules: wryte my wordes therfore in thy herte dilygently & ofte thynke thou vpon them / and they shalbe in tyme of tempta­cyon moche necessarye vnto the / that thou vnderstandest nat whan thou redest it: thou shalte vnderstande in the tyme of my visitacyon. I am wonte to vysyte my seruauntes two maner of wayes / that is to saye with temptacyon and with con­solacyon / and two lessons dayly I reade vnto them / one wherby I rebuke theyr vyces / an other wherby I styre them to encrease ī vertues. And he that knoweth my wordes and dispiseth them / hath that that shall iuge hym in the laste daye.

❧A prayer to optayne the grace of deuocyon. The fourth Chapytre.

[Page] O Lorde Iesu thou arte all my ry­ches / and all that I haue: I haue it of the / but what am I Lorde that I dare thus speke to the I am thy poreste seruaunte / and a worne moste ab­iecte / more poore / and more dyspysable than I can or dare saye. Beholde Lorde that I am nought / that I haue nought / & of my selfe I am nought worthe. Thou arte onely god / ryghtwyse and holy / thou orderest all thynge / thou gyuest all thyng and thou fulfylleste all thynges with thy goodnes / leuyng onely the wretched syn­ner bareyne and voyde of heuēly cōforte Remēber thy mercyes and fyll my herte with thy many folde graces / for thou wylt nat that thy warkꝭ in me be made in vayne. How many I bere the miseries of thys lyfe: but thy grace and mercye do cōforte me therin. Tourne nat thy face fro me: differre nat thy vysityng of me / ne withdrawe nat thy cōfortes frō me / leste haply my soule be made as drye earthe: without the water of grace / & as it were a thynge vnprofytable to the. Teache me Lorde to fulfyll thy wyll / and to lyue mekely and worthely before the / for thou arte all my wysdome and connynge / and [Page lxiiii] thou arte he that knoweste me as I am / and that kneweste me before the worlde was made / and before that I was borne or brought in to thys lyfe.

❧:Howe we ought to be conuersaunte before god in trouth and mekenes. The .v. Chapitre.

MI sone sayth our lorde Iesu / walke before me in trouthe and mekenes / and seke me alwaye in symplenes / and playnnes of herte. He that walketh in trouthe shalbe defended from all perylles and daungers / and trouthe shall delyuer hym fro all deceyuours and from al euyl saynges of wycked people. If trouth de­lyuer the / thou arte very fre: and thou shalte lytell care for the vayne sayinges of the people. ♣: Lorde it is true all that thou sayeste / be it done to me after thy sayng: I besech the that thy trouth may teache me and kepe me / and fynally leade me to a blessed endynge / and that it may delyuer me from all euyll affeccyons / and from all inordynate loue / that I maye walke with the in fredome of spyrite and in lybertye of herte.

[Page]Than trouth sayth agayne I shal teache the what is acceptable and likyng to me thinke on thy synnes past with great dis­pleasure and sorowe of herte / and neuer thynke thy selfe worthy to be called holy or vertuous for no good dedes that thou haste done / but that thou thynke howe greate a synner thou arte belapped and boundē with many folde synnes and pas­sions / and that of thy selfe thou droweste to nought sone falleste / sone arte ouer­come / sone troubeled / and sone arte thou brokē with laboure and payne / and thou hast nothyng wherof thou mayst ryght­wysely glorify thy selfe / but many thingꝭ thou haste wherfore thou oughtest to dis­pise thy selfe / for thou arte more vnstable and more weyke to ghostly werkes than thou knoweste or mayste thynke: Let no­thynge therfore seme greate to the / no­thyng precyous / nothyng worthy any reputacion / ne worthy to be praysed in thy syght / but that is euerlastynge. Let the euerlastynge trouth be moste lykyng and mooste pleasaunte in the aboue all other thynges / and thyne owne synne & vylete be moste myslykynge and moste dysplea­saunte to the / dreade nothynge so muche [Page lxv] ne reproue nothynge so muche: ne let no­thynge be to the so muche hated / ne fle thou nothynge so muche as thy synnes and wyckednes / for they shulde more dis­please the: thā shulde the losse of al worldly thynges. ☞:★: Some there be that walke nat purelye before me: for they throughe pryde and curiosyte of thē selfe desyre to serch & to knowe hygh thynges of my godhede forgettyng them selfe and the helthe of theyr owne soules. Suche persones fall ofte tymes in greate temp­tacyons & into greuous synnes for theyr pryde and curiosyte / for the whiche I am tourned agaynste them: and leue them to them selfe withoute helpe or counseyle of me. ☞: Drede therfore the iugemente of God and the wrathe of hym that is al­mighty and discusse nat ne serche nat his secretes / but serche well thyne owne ini­quities. Howe ofte and howe greuously thou haste offendyd hym / and howe ma­ny good dedes thou haste neglygantly omytted and lefte vndone / whiche thou myghtest well haue done. Some persons bere theyr deuocion in bokꝭ / some in ymages / some in outwarde tokenes and figu­res / some haue me in theyr mouthe: but [Page] lytell in theyr harte / but some ther [...] be that hath theyr reason clerely illumyned with the lyght of true vnderstandynge. wherby theyr affeccyon is so purged and purifyed frō loue of erthely thynges that they may alway coueyte and desyre heuē ly thyngꝭ: in so muche that it is greuous to theym for to here of erthely thynges / and it is to thē also a ryght greate payne to serue the necessytes of the bodye / and they thynke al the time as loste that they go aboute it. Suche persones fele and knowe well what the spirite of trouth speketh in theyr soules / for it teacheth them to dispyse erthly thynges / and to loue he­uenly thynges: to forsake the worlde that is transitory / and to desyre both day and nyght to come thether where is ioye euer lastynge. To the whiche brynge vs our lorde Iesus amen.

❧Of the meruaylous effecte of the loue of God. The .vi. Chapytre.

BLessed be thou heuenly Father: The father of my Lorde Iesu Chryste / for thou haste vouchedsafe to remēbre me thy poorest seruaunte [Page lxvi] and somtyme doste comforte me with thy gra [...]yous presence / that am vnworthye all comforte. I blesse the and glorifye the alwaye with the onely begotten sone and the holy ghoste without endyng. Amen. ♣O my lorde god moste faythfull louer / whan thou cōmest into my herte: all my inwarde partyes do ioye. Thou arte my glory: and the ioye of my herte / my hope and my hole refuge in all my troubles. But for asmuch as I am yet feble in loue and vnperfyte in vertue: therfore I haue nede to haue more conforte / and more helpe of the / voutchesafe therfore ofte ty­mes to vysyte me / and to instructe me with thy holy teachynger / delyuer me fro all euyll passyons / and helpe my syke herte from al inordinate affeccyons / that I maye be inwardely healed and purged from all inordinate affeccions and vyces and be made apte and able to loue the / stronge for to suffre for the / and stable to perseuer in the. Loue is a greate thynge and a good / and onely maketh heuy bourden lyght / and bereth in lyke balaunce thingꝭ pleasaunte & displeasaunte / it be­reth a heuy bourdē & feleth it nat / & ma­keth bytter thyngꝭ to be sauoury & swete [Page] Also the noble loue of Iesu perfytly prynted in mannes soule maketh a man to do great thynges and styreth hym alwaye to desyre perfeccyon / and to growe more and more in grace and goodnes. Loue wyll alway haue hys mynde vpwarde to god and wyll nat be occupyed with loue of the worlde. Loue well also be fre from all worldly affeccyons that the inwarde syght of the soule be nat darked ne let / ne that his affeccyon to heuenly thynges be nat put from his fre liberte by inordinate wynning or lesynge of worldly thynges. Nothynge therfore is more sweter than loue / nothynge hygher / nothynge stron­ger / nothynge larger / nothynge ioyfuller nothynge fuller / ne nothynge better in heuen: ne in erthe / for loue discendeth frō god and may nat reste finally in nothing lower than god. ♣ Suche a louer fleethe hyghe / he renneth sweftely / he is mery in god / he is fre in soule / he gyueth all for all / and hath all in all / for he restethe in one hygh goodnes aboue all thynges / of whome all goodnes floweth & procedeth he beholdeth nat onely the gyfte / but the gyuer aboue all gyfte / loue knoweth no measure but is feruent without measure▪ [Page lxvii] It feleth no burden: it regardeth no la­boure / it desyreth more than it may at­tayne / it cōplaineth of none inpossibilyte for it thynketh all thynge that maye be done for his beloued possyble and lawful vnto hym. Loue therfore dothe many great thynges and bryngeth them to ef­fecte wherin he that is no louer faynteth and fayleth. Koue waketh muche and fle yet lytell / and slepyng? slepeth nat / it faynteth: and is nat wery: is restrayned of lyberte? and is in greate fredome. He seeth causes of frre? and fereth nat / but as a quycke bronde or sparkle of fyre fla­meth alway vpwarde by feruoure of loue in to god / and through the speciall helpe of grace is delyuered frō all perylles / and daungers. He that is thus a ghostely lo­uer knoweth well what thys voyce mea­neth whiche sayth thus. ☞: Thou lorde god art my hole loue and my desyre / thou arte all myne and I all thyne. Sprede thou my herte in to thy loue that I may taste & fele howe swete it is to serue the and howe ioyfull it is to laude the and to be as I were all molten in to thy loue. O am bounden in loue and go far aboue my selfe for the greate wonder feruoure [Page] that I fele of thy vnspekable goodnes I shall synge to the: the songe of loue / and I shall folowe the my beloued: by hygh­nes of thought: where so euer thou go. And my soule shal neuer be wery to praise the with the ioyfull song of ghostely loue that I shall synge to the. I shall loue the more than my selfe / and nat my selfe but for the and all other in the and for the / as the lawe of loue commaundeth whiche [...]s giuē by the. Loue is swyfte / pure meke / ioyous and glad / stronge / pacyent / faythfull / wyse / forberynge / manly and neuer sekynge hym selfe ne hys owne wyll / for whan so euer a man seketh hym selfe / he falleth fro loue / also loue is circumspecte meke / ryghtwyse / nat tender / nat lyght / ne hedyng vayne thynges / sober / chaste / stable / quyet / and well stabled in hys out­warde wyttes. And loue is subiecte and obedyent to hys prelate / vyle and dispisa­ble in hys owne syght: deuout & thanke­full to god / trustynge and alway hopyng in hym / and that whan he hath but ly­tell deuocyō or lytell sauoure in hym / for withoute some sorowe or payne no man may lyue in loue / he that is nat alwaye redye to sussre / and to stande fully at the [Page lxviii] wyll of hys beloued / is nat worthy to be called a louer / for it behoueth a louer to suffre gladly all harde and bytter thyngꝭ for hys beloued / and nat to declyne from hys loue for no contrarious thynge that may befall vnto hym.

❧Of the proufe of a true louer of god. The .vii. Chapytre.

MI son sayth our sauyour Christe thou arte nat yet a stronge and a wyse louer: for why? For a ly­tel aduersite thou leuest anone that thou haste begonne in my seruice & with great desyre thou sekest outwarde cōsolacyons But a stronge and a faythfull louer of god standeth stable in all aduersytes and gyueth lytell hed [...] to the deceytfull per­suacyons of the enemye. And as I please hym in prosperyte: so I dysplease hym nat in aduersyte. A wyse louer consyde­reth nat so muche the gyfte of hys louer as he doth the loue of the gyuer / he regardethe more the loue than the gyfte / and accompteth all gyftes lytell in compary­son of his beloued that giueth thē to him A noble louer restethe nat in the gyfte / [Page] but in me aboue all gyftes / ferthermore it is nat all loste thoughe thou somtyme fele lesse deuocyō to me and to my saintes than thou woldeste do / and on that other syde the swete ghostely desyre that thou felest somtyme to thy Lorde Iesu / is the feable gyfte of grace gyuen to thy con­forte in this lyfe and a taste of the heuenly glory in the lyfe to come / but it is nat good that thou leue ouermoche to suche confortes for they lyghtely come and go after the wyll of a gyuer / but to stryue alway without cessyng agaynste all euyl mocyons of syne / and to dyspyse all the suggestyons of the enemye is a token of perfyte loue and greate meryte and syneguler grace / let no vanitis ne no straunge fantysyes trouble the of what matter so euer they be▪ Kepe thyne intente and thy purpose alwaye hole and stronge to me / and thynke nat that it is an illusion that thou arte sodeynly rauysshed in to excesse of mynde / and that thou arte sone after tourned agayne in to thy fyrste lyghtnes of herte / for thou sufferest suche lyghtnes rather agaynste thy wyll than with thy wyll. And therfore if thou be dyspleased therwith / it shalbe to the greate meryte [Page lxix] and no perdicion. ☞ I knowe sayth ou [...] lorde that the olde auncyente enemye the fynde wyll assaye to lette thy good wyll / and to extincte the good desyre that thou haste to me / and to all goodnes all that he can / and he wyll also hyndre the from all good warkes and deuoute exercises if he maye: that is to say from the honoure and worshype that thou arte bounden to gyue to me and to my sayntes / and from mynde of my passyon / & from the remem­braunce of thyne owne synnes / frō a dili­gente kepynge of thy herte in good meditacyons: and from a stedfaste purpose to profyte in vertue / he wyll also put in to thy minde many ydell thoughtꝭ to make [...]he yrke and to be sone wery with prayer and with redynge & with all other good vertuous warkes. A meke cōfessyon dys­pleaseth hym muche and if he can he wyl let a man that he shall nat be howsyled. But beleue hym nat ne care nat for hym thoughe he assayle the neuer so muche / make all his malice retourne to him selfe agayne and say to him thus. ❧ Go frō me thou wycked spiryte: and be thou a­shamed / for thou arte foule and vggely that woldest brynge suche thynges in to [Page] my mynde. Go fro me thou false decey­uer of mākynde: thou shalt haue no parte in me / for my sauyoure Iesu standeth by me as a myghty warryour and a stronge champyō / and thou shalt fle away to thy confusyon. I had leuer suffre the moste cruell deth than to consente to thy maly­cious styrrynges / be styll therfore thou cursed fynde and cesse thy malyce: for I shall neuer assente to the / thoughe thou vexe me neuer so muche. Our lorde is my lyght and my helth whome shall I drede and he is the defender of my lyfe / what shall I feare. Truely thoughe an hoste of men aryse agaynste me: my herte shall nat drede them: for why? God is my hel­per & my redemer. Than sayth our lorde agayne to suche a soule. ☞: Stryue al­waye as a true knyght agaynste all the styrryngꝭ of the enemy: & yf thou be som­tyme through thy fraylte ouercome ryse sone agayne and take more strength thā thou haddest fyrste & truste verely to haue more grace and more cōforte of god thā thou haddeste before / but beware alwaye of vayne glory and pryde / for therby ma­ny persons haue fallē into great errours and into greate blyndnes of soule so far: [Page lxx] that it hath ben ryght nyghe incurable. Be it therfore to the a great example and a matter of perpetuall mekenes: the fall and ruyne of suche proude folkes / that folyshely haue presumed of them selfe. And haue in the ende finally peryshed by theyr presumpcyon.

❧Howe grace is to be kepte close through the vertue of mekenes. The .viii. Chapytre.

MI sonne: it is muche more expedy­ente: and moche more the suerer waye for the / that thou hyde the grace of deuocyon / and nat to speake moche of it / ne muche to regarde it / but rather to dys­pise thy selfe the more for it: and to thinke thy selfe vnworthy any suche gracyous gyfte of god / than to speke of it. And it is nat good to cleaue muche to suche affec­tions that may be sone tourned to the cō ­trary. Whā thou hast the grace of deuociō cōsider howe wretched & howe nedy thou wert wōt to be whā thou hadest no suche grace. The profyte & encrease of lyfe spy­ritual is nat only whā thou hast deuociō but rather whan thou canste mekely and [Page] pacyently bere the withdrawynge / and the absentinge therof / and yet nat to leue thy prayers ne thy other good dedes that thou arte accustomed to do: vndone but to thy power and as farre as in the is / thou doste thy beste therin and forgettest nat thy duety therfore nor thou arte nat negligente for any dulnes or vnquietnes of mynde that thou feleste. Neuertheles there be many persones that whan any aduersyte falleth to them they be anone vnpacyēt and be made therby very slowe and dull to do any good dede / and they hyndre them selfe greatly. For it is nat in the power of man the way that he shal take / but it is onely in the grace of god to dyspose that after his wyll and to sende cōforte whā he wyll and as muche as he wyll & to whome he wyll as it shal please hym and none otherwyse. Some vnware persones throughe an vndescrete desyre that they haue had to haue the grace of deuocyon haue distroyed themselfe / for they wolde doo more than theyr power was to do. And wolde nat knowe the mesure of their gyfte ne thy lytelnes of their owne strength: but rather wolde folowe the pryde of theyr herte thā the iugement that it [Page lxxi] of reason. And bycause they presumed to do greater thynges than was pleasaunt to god / therfore they lost anone the grace that they had before / and were lefte nedy and without comforte / whiche thought to haue buylded theyr nestes in heuen / & so they were taught nat to presume of them selfe / but mekely to truste in god & in hys goodnes. Also suche persones as be begynners: & yet lacke experyence in ghostly trauayle: may lyghtely erre & be deceyued / but they wyll be ruled by counsayle of other. And if they wyll nedely fo­lowe theyr owne coūsayle and wyll in no wyse be remoued fro theyr owne wyll / it wyll be very perylous to them ī the ende And it is nat lyghtly sene that they that be wyse and cōnynge in theyr owne sight wyll be mekely ruled or ordered by other It is better to haue lytell conninge with mekenes than great cōnyng with vayne lykyng therin / and it is better to haue ly­tell connyng with grace / than muche cō ­nynge wherof thou shuldeste be proude / also he doth nat discretly that in tyme of deuocion setteth him selfe all to spiritual myrth and as it were to a heuenly glad­nes: and forgetteth his former desolacion [Page] and the meke dreade of god. Ne he dothe nat well nor vertuously that in tyme of trouble or of any maner aduersyte or grauite bereth him selfe ouermuch desperat­ly and feleth nat ne thynketh nat so trustfully of me as he ought to do / he that in tyme of peace & of ghostly conforte wyll thynke hym selfe ouer muche syker / cōmō ly in tyme of batayle and of temptacyon shalbe founde ouermuhe deiecte and fe­refull. But if thou couldest alwaye abyde meke and lytell in thyne owne syght and couldest order well the mocyons of thyne owne soule / thou shuldest nat so sone fall into presumpcyō or dyspayre / ne so lyghtly offende almyghtye god / wherfore thys is good and holsome coūsayle / that whan thou haste the spyryte of feruoure thou thynke howe thou shalt do whan that feruoure is passed / and than whan it happe­neth so with the: that thou thynke that it may sone come agayne / whiche to my honoure & to thy prouynge I haue with­drawen for a time. And it is more profitable to the that thou shuldeste be so proued than that thou shuldest alway haue pro­sperous thynges after thy wyll / for why merytes are nat to be thought greate in [Page lxxii] any persone bycause he hath many vysy­ons or many ghostly cōfortes / or for that he hath clere vnderstandyng of scripture or that he is set in hyghe degre But if he be stably groūded in mekenes and be ful­fylled with charyte / & seke hooly the wor­shyppe of god and in nothinge regardeth hym selfe / but fully ī his herte can dispyse hym selfe / and also coueyteth to be dyspy­sed of other / than may he haue good trust that he hath somwhat profyted in grace and that he shall in the ende haue greate rewarde of god for hys good trauayle. Amen.

❧Howe we shall thynke throughe me­kenes our selfe vyle and abiecte in the syght of God. The .ix. Chapyter.

SHall I lorde Iesu dare speke to the: that am but duste and as­shes: verely if I thynke my selfe any better than asshes & duste / thou stan­deste agaynste me. And also myne owne synnes bere wytnes agaynste me that I maye nat with saye it / but yf I dyspyse my selfe and set my selfe at noughte / and thynke my selfe but asshes and duste as [Page] I am / than thy grace shalbe nyghe vnto me: and the lyght of true vnderstandyng shall entre into my herte / so that all pre­sumpcion and pryde in me shall be drow­ned in the vale of mekenes throughe parfyte knowynge of my wretchednes. Through mekenes thou shalt shewe vn­to me what I am / what I haue ben and fro whens I came / for I am nought and knewe it nat / yf I be lefte to my selfe thā am I naught and all is feblenes and inꝑfeccion. But if thou vouchesafe a lytell to beholde me / anone I am made stronge / and fylled with a newe ioy and meruayle it is that I wretche / and so sone lyfte vp fro my vnstablenes in to the beholdynge of heuenly thynges / and that I am so lo­uyngly enhalsed of the: that of my selfe fall downe alwaye to erthely lykynges. But thy loue lorde: causeth al this which preuenth me: and helpeth me in all my necessytyes / and kepeth me warely from all perylles and daūgers that I am day­ly lyke to fall into. I haue loste the and also my selfe by inordynate loue that I haue had to my selfe / and in keping of the agayne. I haue founde bothe the and me & therfore wyll I more depely from henseforth [Page lxxiii] set my selfe at nought and more de­lygently seke the thā I haue done ī tyme paste / for thou lorde Iesu thou doste to me aboue all my merytes / and aboue all that I can aske or desyre. But blessed be thou in all thy warkes for thoughe I be vnworthy good thynges / yet thy good­nes neuer cesseth to do well to me and all so to many other / whiche be vnkynde to the & that are tourned ryght far fro the. Tourne vs Lorde therfore to the agayne that we may hensforwarde be louynge / thankeful / meke / & deuoute to ye / for thou arte our helth / thou arte our vertue / and all our strength in body and in soule / and none but thou / to the therfore be ioye and glory euerlastyngly in the blesse of heuen Amen.

❧Howe all thynges are to be referred to god as ende of euery warke. The .x. Chapyter.

MI sone sayeth our sauyour Chryste I muste be the ende of all thy war­ [...]es if thou desyre to be happy and blessed And if thou referre all goodnes to me frō whome all goodnes commeth. Thā shall [Page] be pourged and made cleane in the / thyne in warde affeccyons whiche els wolde be euyll enclyned to thy selfe & to other creatures / if thou seke thy selfe in any thynge as ende of thy warke / anone thou faylest in thy doyng and waxest drye and bareyn from all moyster of grace / wherfore thou muste refarre al thyngꝭ to me for I gyue all. Beholde therfore all thinges as they be flowynge and spryngynge oute of my souerayne goodnes: and reduce al thingꝭ to me as to theyr original begīninge / for of me both smale and great / poore & ryche as of a quycke springyng well drawe water of lyfe / he that serueth me freely / and with good wyll / shall receyue grace for grace. But he that wyll glorifye hym self in hym selfe / or wyll fully ioy ī any thyng besyde me / shall nat be stablesshed in par­fyte ioy ne be dilated in soule / but he shall be letted & anguysshed many wayes from the trewe fredome of spiryte / thou shalte therfore ascrybe no goodnes to thy selfe ne thou shalte nat thynke that any per­sone hath any goodnes of hym selfe / but that thou yelde alwaye the goodnes to me / without whome man hath nothyng. I haue gyuen all: and all wyll I haue a­gayne [Page lxxiiii] and with great straynes / wyll I loke to haue thankynges therfore. Thys is the trouthe wherby is dryuen away al maner of vayne glory and pryde of herte if heuēly grace and perfyte charyte enter into thy herte / than there shall no enuye ne vnquyetnes of mynde ne any pryuate loue haue true ruele in the. For the cha­ryte of god shall ouercome all thynges / & shall dilate and enflame al the powers of thy soule. Wherfore if thou vnderstandest a ryght thou shalte neuer ioy but in me: and in me onely thou shalte haue truste / for no man is good but god alone / which is aboue all thynges to be honoured and in all thynges to be blessed. Amen.

❧That it is swete & delectable to serue god / and to forsake the worlde. The .xi. Chapyter.

HOwe shall I yet speake agayne to the my Lorde Iesu / and nat cease. And I shall saye in the [...]ares of my Lorde: my god and kynge / that is in heuen. ★: O howe greate is the ha­bundaūce of ye swetnes whiche thou hast [Page] hyde and kept for them that drede the. But what is it than to thē that loue the: and that with all theyr herte do serue the / verely it is the vnspekeable swetnes of cō templacyō that thou giuest to them that loue the. In thys Lorde thou haste moste shewed the swetnes of thy charyte to me / that whan I was nat thou madest me / & whan I erred far from the / thou brough­teste me agayne to serue the / and thou cō ­maundest me also that I shal loue the.♣ O fountayne of loue euerlastynge what shall I say of the / howe may I forgette the: that haste vouchedsafe thus loungly to remēbre me. Whan I was like to haue perished thou shewedest thy mercy to me aboue all that I coulde haue thought and desyred / and haste sente me of thy grace & of thy loue aboue my merites. But what shall I gyue to the agayne for all thys goodnes. It is nat gyuen to all men to forsake the worlde and to take a solytary lyfe & onely to serue the. And yet it is no great thynge to serue the / whome euerye creature is boūden to serue. It ought nat therfore to seme any greate thynge to me to serue the / but rather it shulde seme meruayle and wonder to me / that thou wylte [Page lxxv] vouchesafe to receyue so poore / and so vnworthy a creature as I am into thy ser­uyce / and that thou wylt ioyne me to thy welbeloued seruaūtes. Lo lorde al thingꝭ that I haue: and al that I do the seruyce with be thyne. And yet thy goodnes is suche that thou rather seruest me than I the. For lo? heuen and erthe / planettes / & sterres with theyr cōtentes whiche thou haste created to serue man / be redy at thy byddyng & do dayly that thou haste com­maunded. And thou haste also ordeyned Angels to the mynistery of man. But a­boue all thys thou haste vouchedsafe to serue man thy selfe / and haste ꝓmysed to gyue thy selfe vnto hym / what shal I thā gyue to the againe for this thousāde folde goodnes / wolde to god that I myght serue the all the dayes of my lyfe / or at the leste / that I myght one day be able to do the faylthful seruice for thou arte worthy al honour seruyce and praysinge for euer Thou arte my lorde and my god / and I thy poorest seruaunt moste boundē before al other to loue the and prayse the / and I neuer ought to wax wery of the praising of the. And that is it that I aske: that I desyre / that is to say / that I may alwaye [Page] laude the and prayse the / voutchsafe therfore most mercyfull lorde to supplye that wanteth in me / for it is great honoure to serue the and al erthly thynges to dispyse for the loue of the. They shall haue great grace that frely submytteth them selfe to thy holy seruyce. And they shal fynde also the moste swete consolacyon of the holy ghooste / & shall haue great fredome of spirite / that here forsake al worldly busynes and chose an harde and a strayte lyfe in this worlde for thy name. ♣. O fre & ioy­full seruice of god / by the which a man is made fre and holy / and also blessed in the syght of god. ♣. O holy state of religyon whiche maketh a man lyke to Aungelles pleasaunt to god / dredfull to wycked spi­rites / & to all faythful people ryght hyghly cōmendable. O seruice muche to be en­halsed and alway to be desired / by whom the hyghe goodnes is wonne & the euer­lastyng ioy and gladnes is gotten with­oute ende.

❧:That the desyres of the herte ought to be well examyned / and well to be modered. The .xii. Chapyter.

[Page lxxvi]MI sone sayth our lorde it behoueth the to lerne many thynges / that thou haste nat yet well lerned. What be they Lorde that thou order thy desyres and thy affeccyons hooly after my plea­sure / and that thou be nat a louer of thy selfe / but a desyrous folower of my wyll in all thynges / I knowe well that desy­res ofte moue the to thys thynge or to that. But consyder well whether thou be moued principally for my honoure or for thyn owne. If I be ī the cause thou shalt be wel cōtēted what so euer I do with [...]he but if any thynge remayne in thy hert of thyne owne wyll / that is it that letteth the and hyndereth the. Beware therfore that thou leue nat muche to thyne owne desyre without my counsayle / leste hape­ly it for thynke the and displease the ī the ende that fyrste pleased the. Euery affec­cyon and desyre of mannes herte that se­meth good and holy / is nat forhwith to be folowed nor euery contrarious affecci­on or desyre is nat hastely to be refused it is somtyme ryght expedyent that a man refrayne his affeccions & desyres though they be good / leste happely by his impor­tunite he fall into vnquyetnes of mynde / [Page] or be letted by other / & so fayle ī his doing and somtyme it behoueth vs to vse as it were a vyolence to our selfe and strongly to resyst and breke downe our sensual ap­petyt and nat to regarde what the fleshe wyll / or wyll nat / but alway to take hede that it be made subiecte to the wyll of the spirite / and that it be so longe chastysed & cōpelled to serue tyll it be redy to al thing that the soule cōmaūdeth / and that it can lerne to be contente with a lytell and can delyght in symple thynges: & nat to mur­mur ne to grudge for no cōtrarious thin­ger that may befall vnto it.

❧:Howe we shulde kepe pacyence and contynually stryue agaynste al concupiscence. The .xiii Chapyter.

O My lorde god as I here say pa­cyence is muche necessary vnto me / for many contraryous thinges fall dayly in this lyfe. I se well that howe so euer I order my self to haue peas yet my lyfe can nat be without some ba­tayle and sorowe. ☞: My sone it is true as thou sayest / wherfor I wyll nat that [Page lxxvii] thou seke to haue suche peace as wanteth temptacions or as feleth nat some contradiccyon. But that thou trowe and beleue that thou haste founde peace whan thou haste many troubles & arte proued with many cōtrarious thynges in this worlde and yf thou saye thou mayste nat suffre suche thynges / howe shalt thou than suf­fre the fyre of purgatory. Of two euyl [...]es the lesse euyll is to be taken. Suffre ther­fore pacyently the lytell paynes of thys worlde / that thou mayst here after escape the greater in the worlde to come. Tro­west thou that worldly men suffre litel or nothynge? yes truely / thou shalte fynde none without some trouble thoughe thou seke the moste delycate persones that be. But percase thou sayest vnto me agayne they haue many delectacyons and folow theyr owne pleasures so muche that they pōder but lytell all theyr aduersite. I wyl well it be as thou sayest that they haue al that they can desyre / but howe longe trowest thou that it shall endure. Sothely it shall sodaynly vanysshe awaye as smoke in the ayre / so that there shall nat be left any remembraunce of theyr ioyes passed And yet whan they lyued they were nat [Page] without great bytternes & grefe / for oftē times of the same thing wherin they had theyr greatest pleasure receyued they af­ter greate trouble and payne: and ryghtewysely came that vnto them / that for as­moche as they sought delectacyons and pleasures inordynately / that they shulde nat fulfyll theyr desyre therein but with great bytternes and sorowe. ❧: Howe shorte / howe false / and howe inordynate be all the pleasures of this worlde / sothly for dronkenshype and blyndnes of herte / the worldely people perceyue it nat / ne wyl nat perceyue it: but as a dombre bea­stes· For a lyt [...]ll pleasure of thys corrup­tyble lyfe they rēne hedlyng into euerla­stynge deth. ♣: Therfore my sone go nat thou after thy concupycense / but tourne the lyghtly from thyne owne wyll: delyte the in god and fixe thy loue strongely in hym and he shall gyue the / the askyng of thy herte. And if thou wylt haue consola­cyon abundantly and wylte receyue the sothfast comfort that cōmeth of god / dys­pose thy selfe fully to dispise thys worlde and put from the hooly all inordynate delectacyon / & thou shalte haue plentuously the comforte of god. And the more that [Page lxxviii] thou withdrawest the from the consolacyon of all creatures / the more swete and blessed consolaciōs shalte thou receyue of thy creatoure. But sothly thou canste nat at the fyrste come to suche consolacyons but with heuynes and laboure going be­fore thy olde custome wyll somwhat with stande the / but with a better custome yf may be ouercome. The flesshe wyll mur­mure agaynste the / but with feruoure of spirite it shalbe refrayned. The olde aūcyent enemye the fende wyll let the yf he cā but with deuout prayer he shalbe dryuen alwaye / & with good bodely and ghostely labours hys way shalbe stopped so that he shall nat dare nyghe vnto the.

❧:Of the obedyence of a meke subiect after the example of our lorde Ie­su Christe. The .xiiii. Chapyter

MI sone sayth our sauyour Christ he that laboureth to withdrawe hym from obedyence withdrawethe hym fro grace And he that seketh to haue pryua­te thynges leseth the thynges that be in [Page] cōmon / if a man can nat gladly submytte hym to hys superyoure / it is a token that his fleshe is nat yet fully obedyent to the spirite / but that it ofte rebelleth and murmureth. Therfore if thou desyre to ouer­come thy selfe & to make thy flesshe obeye mekely to the wyl of the spirite / lerne first to obey gladly to thy superiour. The out warde enemy is the soner ouercome if the inner man that is the soule be nat febled nor wastede. There is no worse ne none more greuous enemye to the soule: than thy selfe yf thy fleshe be nat well agreyng to the wyll of the spirite. It behoueth the therfore to haue a true dispising and con­tempte of thy selfe / yf thou wylt preuayle agaynste thy fleshe and blode / but for as­moche as thou yet louest thy selfe inordynatly / therfore thou fearest to resigne thy wyll holy to an other mannes wyll. But what greate thynge is it to the that arte but duste and nought / yf thou subdue thy selfe to man for my sake / whā I that am all myghty and mooste highe god / maker of all thynges subdued my selfe mekelye to manne for thy sake. I made my selfe mooste meke and moste lowe of all men / that thou shuldest lerne to ouercome thy [Page lxxix] pryde throughe my mekenes / lerne ther­fore thou ashes to be tractable / learne thou earthe and duste to be meke and to bowe thy selfe vnder euery mannes so [...]e for my sake / learne to breake thyne owne wyll / and to be subiecte to all mene as in thy herte. Ryse in greate wrath agaynst thy selfe / and suffre nat pryde to reygne in the / but shewe thy selfe so lytell and so obedyent and so noughty in thyne owne syght: that as the thynkes all men may ryghtwysely go ouer the and trede vpon the / as vpon erthe or clay. O vayne man what haste thou to complayne. O thou soule synner / what mayste thou ryght­wysely say agaynste thē that reproue the syth thou haste so ofte offended god / and haste also so ofte deserued the paynes of hell. But neuertheles my eye of mercye hath spared the for thy soule is precyous in my syght / that thou shuldesse therby knowe the greate loue that I haue to the and be therfore the more thankfull to me agayne & gyue thy selfe to parfyte & true subieccion and mekenes / and to [...]e redy in herte paciētly to suffre for my sake thyne owne cōtemptes & dispisingꝭ / whā so euer they shall happen to fall vnto the. Amen.

❧Of the secrete and hyd iugementes of god to be consydered: that we be nat proued of our good dedes. The .xv. Chapiter.

LOrde thou sowneste thy iugemen­tes terryblye vppon me / and fyl­leste my bodye and bones with greate feare and drede / my soule also trembleth very sore / for I am greatly astonyed for that I se that heuenes bene nat cleane in thy syght / for sythe thou foundeste de­faut in angelles and sparedest them nat what shall become of me yt am but vyle and stynkyng careyne. Sterres fell from heuen: and I duste & asshes what shulde I presume. Also some people that semed to haue great werkes of vertue / haue fallen full lowe. And suche as were fedde with meate of angels / I haue sene after delyte in swynes meate / that is to say in flesshly pleasures / wherfore it maye be wel sayde and verified that there is no holynes ne goodnes in vs: yf thou with­drawe thy hande of mercye from vs / ne that no wysdome maye auayle vs. ★: If [Page lxxx] thou lorde gouerne it nat: ne any strēgth helpe / yf thou ceise to preserue vs / ne no sure chastyte can be yf thou lorde defende it nat / ne any sure kepynge many profyte vs / yf thou lorde be nat wakery vpon vs for yf we be forsaken of the anone we be drowned and perysshe / but yf thou a ly­tell vysyte vs with thy grace: we anone lyue and be lyfte vp agayne. We be vnstable: but by the we be confermed / we be colde and dull / but by the we be styrred to feruoure of spiryte. O howe mekely and howe abiectely ought I therfore to fele of my selfe / and howe muche ought I in my herte dyspyse my selfe / thoughe I be holdē neuer so good and holy in syght of the worlde / and howe profoundely ought I to submytte me to thy depe and profounde iugementes / syth I fynde in my selfe nothynge elles but naught and naught. O substaunce that maye nat be pondered. O see that may nat be sayled / in the / and by the I fynde that my sub­staūce is nothynge and ouer all naught. Where is now the shadowe of this worldely glory / & where is the truste that I had in it. Truly it is vanyshed away through the depnes of thy secrete and hydde iuge­mentes [Page] vpon me. What is flesshe in thy syght / howe may clay glorifye hym selfe agaynst his maker / howe maye he be de­ceyued with vayne prayses / whose herte in trouth is subiecte to god: all the worlde maye nat lyfte hym selfe in to the pryde / whome trouth that god is: hath perfyte­ly made subiecte vnto hym / ne he maye nat be deceyued with any flateryng: that putteth all his hole truste in god. For he seeth wel that they that speake be vayne and nought / and that they shall shortely fayle with the sounde of wordes / but the trouth of god alwaye abydeth.

❧Howe a man shall ordre hym selfe in hys desyres. The .xvi. Chapiter.

MI sonne (saythe our Sauyour Christe) Thus shalte thou saye in euery thynge that thou de­syreste. Lorde yf it be thy wyll: be it done as I aske / and yf it be to thy praysinge / be it fulfylled in thy name. And yf thou se it good and profytable to me / gyue me grace to vse it to thy honoure. ♣: But yf thou knowe it hurtefull to me: and nat profytable to the helth of my soule / than [Page lxxxi] take from me suche desyre. Euery desyre cōmeth nat of the holy ghoste thoughe it seme ryght wyse and good / for it is som­tyme full herde to iudge whether a good spiryte or an euell spirite / moueth to this thynge or to that / or whether thou be moued of thyne owne spiryte: Many be de­ceyued in the ende / whiche fyrste semed to haue bene moued of the holy ghooste. Therfore with dreade of god / and with mekenes of herte it is to desyre and aske what so euer cōmeth to our mynde / to be desyred and asked / and with a hole forsa­kynge of our selfe: to cōmyte all thynges to god and say thus. ★: Lorde thou kno­west what thynge is to me mooste profy­table: do this or that after thy wyll / gyue me what thou wylte / as muche as thou wylte / and whan thou wylte / do with me as thou knoweste best to be done / and as it shall please the / and as shalbe moste to thy honour / put me where thou wylte / and frely do with me in all thynges after thy wyll: thy creature I am and in thy handes lede me & tourne me where thou wylte. Lo. I am thy seruaunte redy to al thynges that thou cōmaundest: for I de­syre nat to lyue to my selfe: but to the [Page] wolde to god it myght be worthely and profytably and to thy honoure. Amen.

❧A prayer that the wyll of god he alwaye fulfylled. The .xvii. Chapytre.

MOoste benygne lorde Iesu graūt me thy grace / that it maye be al­waye with me and warke with me and perseruer with me vnto the ende And that I may euer desyre & wyll that is moste pleasaūte and moste acceptable to the. ☞: Thy wyll be my wyll / and my wyll alway to folowe thy wyll / and beste accorde therwith. Be there alway in me one wyll: and one desyre with the / and that I haue no power to wyll: or to nat wyll: but as thou wylte: or wyll nat. And graūte me that I may dye to all thyngꝭ that be in the worlde and for the / to loue to be dispised and to be as a man vnkno­wen in thys worlde. Graunte me also aboue all thynges that can be desyred that I may reste me in the: and fully in the to pacyfye my herte / for thou lorde arte the very true peace of herte and the parfyte reste of body and of soule. And [Page lxxxii] without the all thynges be greuous and vnquyet / wh [...]fore in that peace tha [...] is in the one hygh one blessed and one end­les goodnes shall I alwaye reste me / so mo [...] it be. Amen.

❧:That the very true solace and conforte is in god. The .xviii. Chapytre.

WHat so euer I may desyre or thinke to my cōforte / I abyde it nat here / but I truste to haue it herafter / for if I alone myght haue all the solace and cōforte of this worlde and myght vse the delytes thereof after myne owne desyre without synne. It is certayne that they myght nat longe endure / wherfore my soule may not fully be cōforted ne perfy­tely be refresshed but in god only that is the cōforter of the poore in spiryt and the embracer of the meke and lowe in herte. Abyde my soule: abyde the promyse of god / and thou shalte haue abundaūce of al goodnes in heuen. If thou inordinatly coueyte these goodꝭ p̄sent thou shalte lese the goodnes eternal / haue therfore goodꝭ present in [...]se and eternal in desire. Thou [Page] mayste in no maner be sacyate with tem­porall goodes / far thou arte nat create to vse them and to restethe in them / for yf thou alone myghtest haue all the goodes that euer were create & made thou migh­teste nat therfore be happy: and blessed / but thy blessed fulnes and thy full felicite standeth onely in god that hath made all thynges of nought / and that is nat suche felicite as is cōmended of the folysshe lo­uers of the worlde: but suche as good crysten men and women hope to haue in the bleshe of heuen / and as some ghostely persons clene and pure in herte somtyme do taste here in thys present lyfe / whose conuersacyon is in heuen. All worldly solace and all mānes conforte is vaine and shorte: but that conforte is blessed & soth­faste that is perceyued by trouth inwardely in the herte. A deuoute folower of god bereth alwaye aboute with hym hys cō ­forter that is Iesu / and sayth thus vnto hym. My lorde Iesu I beseche the that thou be with me in euery place and euery tyme and that it be to me a specyal solace gladely for thy loue to wante all mannes solace. And yf thy solace want also / that thy wyll and thy ryghtwyse prouynge [Page lxxxiiii] and assayinge of me / may be to me a syn­guler conforte and a hyghe solace / thou shalte nat alwaye be angry with me: ne thou shalte nat alway threte me: so mo [...] it be. Amen.

❧That all our study and busynes of mynde ought to be put in God. The .xix. Chapitre.

MI sonne (hathe our lorde to his seruaunt [...]) suffre me to do with the what I wyll for I knowe what is best & moste expediēt to the thou workest ī many thinges after thy kyndly reason & after as thy affeccyon and thy worldely pollycy styreth the / and so thou mayste lyghtly erre and be deceyued.☜ O lorde it is true all that thou sayest / thy prouidence is muche more better for me / than all that I can do saye for my selfe. Wherfore it may wel be sayde and verified that he standeth very casually that setteth nat all his trust in the / therfore lorde whyle my wyt abydeth stedfaste and sta­ble: do with me in all thynges as it plea­seth the / for it maye nat be but well all that thou doeste / yf thou wylte that I be [Page] in lyght be thou blessed / and yf thou wylt I be in darkenes: be thou also blessed. If thou vouchesafe to cōfort me / be thou hyghly blessed. And if thou wylte I lyue in trouble & without all cōforte: be thou in lyke moche blessed. My sonne so it be­houeth to be with the / if thou wylt walke with me / as redy muste thou be to suffre as to ioye / and as gladly be nedy & poore as welthy and ryche Lorde I wyll glad­ly suffre for the what so euer thou wylte shall fall vppon me / indyfferently wyll I take of thy hande good and bad / bytter and swete / gladnes and sorowe / and for all thynges that shall befall to me / herte­ly wyll I thanke the. Kepe me lorde frō synne and I shall neyther drede dethe ne hell / put nat my name out of the boke of lyfe / and it shall nat greue me what trou­ble so euer befall vpon me.

❧That all temporall miseris are gladely to be borne through exāple of Christe. The xx. Chapitre.

MI sonne (sayth our Lorde) I des­cended from heuen / and for thy helth haue taken thy myseryes nat com­pelled [Page lxxxiiii] therto of necessyte / but of my cha­ryte / that thou shuldeste learne to haue pacyence with me / and nat to dysdayne to beare the myseryes / and the wretched­nes of thys lyfe: as I haue done for the for from the fyrste houre of my byrth vn­to my death vppon the crosse / I was ne­uer without some sorowe or paine / I had great lacke of tēporall thynges / I harde great cōplayntes made on me / I suffered benyngnely many shames and rebukes / for my benefaytes: I receyued vnkynd­nes / for my myracles / blasphemes / and for my true doctryne many repre [...]es.:★ O lorde for asmuche as thou werte foūde pacyente in thy lyfe / fulfyllynge in that moste specyally the wyll of thy father / it is syttynge that I moste wretched syn­ner bere me pacyently after thy wyll in all thynges / and as longe as thou wylte that I for myne owne helthe bere the bourden of thys corruptyble lyfe. ★: For though thys lyfe be tedyous / and as an heuy bourden to the soule / yet neuerthe­lesse / it is nowe thoroughe thy grace made very merytoryous / and by ex­ample of the and of thy holy Sayntes it is nowe made to weyke persones more [Page] sufferable and more clerer and also much more confortable than it was in the olde lawe: whan the gates of heuen were shut and the way thetherwarde was darke & so fewe dyd couet to seke it And yet they that were thā ryght wise and were ordayned to be saued / before thy blessed passion and death: myght neuer haue come the­ther. O what thankes am I bounde therfore to yelde to the / that so louyngly hast vouchesaufe to shewe to me / and to all faythfull people that wyll folowe the / the very true & strayte way to thy kyngdom. Thy holy lyfe is our way and by thy pa­cience we walke to the that arte our heed and gouernour. And but thou lorde had­dest gone before and shewed vs the way / who wolde haue endeuoured him to haue folowed. O howe many shulde haue ta­ried behynde yf they had nat sene thy blessed examples goynge before: we be yet slowe and dull / nowe we haue sene and harde thy sygnes and doctrynes: what shulde we thā haue bene if we had sene no suche lyght goynge before vs: truely we shulde haue fired our mynde and our loue hooly in worldly thynges / frō the whiche kepe vs lorde of thy gret goodnes. Amē.

❧Of pacyente sufferyng / of iniuryes and wronges / and who is true­ly pacyente. The .xxi.

MI sone what is it that thou spekest why dost thou thus cōplayne / cesse cesse cōplayne no more / cōsider my passyon / and the passyons of my sayntes and thou shalt well se that it is ryght ly­tell that thou doeste suffre for me / thou haste nat yet suffered to the shedynge of thy blode / and truely thou haste lytell suffered in cōparyson of thē that haue suffe­red so many thingꝭ for me in tyme paste / and that haue bene so strongly tempted / so greuously troubled / & so many wayes proued. It behoueth the therfore to re­membre the great greuous thynges that other haue suffred for me / that thou maist the more lyghtly bere thy lytell grefes. And yf they seme nat lytell to the / loke thy inpacience cause nat that but neuertheles whether they be lytell or greate / study alway to bere them paciently with out gruogynge or cōplaynynge yf thou may / and the better that thou canste dys­pose the to suffre them the more wyselyer thou doeste / and the more meryte shalte [Page] thou haue and thy bourden by reason of thy good custome and of thy good wyll shalbe the lyghter / thou shalte neuer saye I can suffre thys thynge of suche a personne / nor it is nat for me to suffre it / he hath done me greate wronge / and leyith vnto my charge that I neuer thought / but of an other man I wyll suffer as I shall thynke / suche maner saynges ben of good / for they consyder nat the vertue of pacyēce nor of whome it shalbe crowned / but they rather cōsyder the persones and the offences done vnto them. Therfore he is nat truely pacyente that wyll nat suffre but asmuche as he wyl & of whome he wyll / for a true pacyente man forseth nat of whome he suffereth: wh [...]ther of hys prelate or of hys felowe that is egall vnto hym: or any other that is vnder hym / nor whether he be a good man and a hooly / or an euyll man and an vnwor­thy / but whan so euer any aduersyte / or wronge fayleth vnto hym what so it be and of whome so euer it be / and howe oft so euer it be / he taketh all thankefully as of the hande of God / accompteth it is a ryche gyfte and a great benefayte of god for he knoweth well that there is nothīg [Page lxxxvi] that a man may suffre for god that maye passe without great merite. Be thou therfore redy to batayle / yf thou wylte haue victory / without batayle thou mayst nat come to the crowne of pacyence / and yf thou wylte nat suffre: thou refusest to be crowned / wherfore yf thou wylte nedely be crowned resyste strongly and suffre pa­ciently / for without labour no man may come to reste / nor without batayle no mā may come to vyctory. ☞: O lorde Iesu: make it possyble to me by grace: that is impossyble to me by nature. Thou kno­weste well that I maye lytell suffre and that I am anone caste downe with a ly­tell aduersyte / wherfore I beseche the that trouble and aduersyte may herafter for thy name be beloued and defired of me for truely to suffre and to be vexed for the is very good and profytable to the helth of my soule.

❧Of the knowleginge of our owne in­firmyties / and of the myseryes of thys lyfe. The .xxii. Chapytre

I Shal knowlege agaynst me al my vnryghtwysenes / and I shall con­fesse [Page] to the Lorde all the vnstablenes of myne herte. Oftymes it is but a lytell thynge that casteth me downe and ma­keth me dull and slowe to al good warkꝭ and somtyme I purpose to stande strong­ly but whan a lytell temptacyon cōmeth it is to me greate anguysshes and grefe / and somtyme of a ryght lytell thynge / a greuous temptacyon ryseth: and whan I thynke my selfe to be somwhat syker / and that as it semeth I haue the hygher hande: sodenly I fele my selfe nere hande ouercome by a lyght tēptacyon. Beholde therfore good lorde / beholde my wekenes and my fraylnes beste knowen to the be­fore all other. Haue mercy on me Lorde and delyuer me fro the fylthy dregges of synne that my fete be neuer fyxed in thē. But this is it that ofte grudgeth me sore and in maner confoundeth me before the that I am so vnstable: and so weyke and so frayle to resyste my passyons. ★: And though they drawe me nat alway to consent: yet neuertheles theyr cruell assautꝭ be very greuous vnto me / so that it is in maner tedyous to me for to lyue in suche batayle: but yet suche batayle is nat all vnprofytable to me / for therby I knowe [Page lxxxvii] the better myne owne infirmytꝭ / for I se well that suche wycked fantesye do ryse in me muche so [...]er than they go awaye. But wolde [...]o god that thou moste stron­gest god of Israell the louer of all fayth­full soules woldeste vouchesafe to beholde the laboure and the sorowe of me thy po­teste seruaunt / and that thou woldest as­syste me in all thynges that I haue to do Strength me lorde with heuēly strength so that the olde enemye the [...]ende / ne my wretched flesshe whiche is nat yet fully subiecte to the spirite / haue nat power ne lordeshype ouer me / agaynste whome I muste syghe continually / whyle I shall lyue ī this miserable lyfe. But alas what lyfe is this: where no trouble nor mysery wanteth / where also euery place is ful of snares: and of mortall enemyes / for one trouble or temptacyon goynge awaye: a nother cōmeth / & the fyrste conslycte ye [...] durynge: many other sodenly ryse / mo than can be bought / howe may thys lyf [...] therfore be loued that hath suche bytter­nes and that is subiecte to so many myseries / and howe may it be called a life that bryngeth forthe so many dethes & so ma­ny ghostly infeccyons / and yet it is belo­ued [Page] and muche delyted in of many ꝑsons The worlde is ofte reproued that it is deceytfull & vayne and yet it is nat lyghtly forsaken (especially) whan the concupiscē ces of the flesshe be suffred to haue reuele somthynges styre a man to loue the worlde and some to dyspyse it / the concupys­sence of the fleshe / the cōcupyscence of the eye / and the pryde of the herte: styrre man to loue the worlde. But the paynes & the myseres that folowe of it / causeth hatred and tediousnes of it againe. But alas for sorowe a lytell delectacyon ouercometh the mynde of theym that be muche set to loue the worlde / and dryueth out of theyr hertes all heuēly desyres / in somuche that many accompte it as a ioye of paradyse to lyue vnder suche sensyble pleasures / and that is bycause they neyther haue sene ne tasted the swetnes in God / in the inwarde gladnes that commeth of ver­tues. ★: But they that perfytely dyspyse the worlde and that studye to lyue vnder holy dyscyplynes be nat ignoraunt of the heuenly swetnes that is promysed vnto ghostely lyuers / and they se also howe greuously the worlde erreth / & howe gre­uously it is deceyued in dyuers maners.

❧:Howe a man shulde reste in god aboue all thynge. The .xxiii. Chapytre.

ABoue all thynges & in all thinges reste thou my soule in thy lorde God / for he is eternall reste of all Angelles and sayntes. Gyue me Lorde Iesu this specyall grace for to reste me in the / aboue al creatures / aboue all helthe and fayrenes / aboue all glory & honoure aboue al dygnite and power / a­boue all connynge and pollycy / aboue all ryches and craftes / aboue all gladnes of body and soule / aboue all fame and pray­synge / aboue all swetnes and consolacion aboue all hope and repromyssyon / aboue all merytes and desyre / aboue all gyftes and rewardes that thou mayst gyue or sende besyde thy selfe. ★: And aboue all ioye and myrthe that mannes herte / or mynde maye take or fele. ☞ And also a­boue all Angelles and Archaungelles / & aboue all the company of heuenly spyry­tes / aboue all thynges vysyble and inuy­syble / and aboue all thynges that is nat thy selfe. For thou Lorde god ar [...]e moste [Page] beste / moste hygheste / moste myghtyeste / moste sufficyēt / and moste ful of goodnes moste swete / moste cōfortable / most faire moste louynge / moste noble / moste glory­ous aboue all thynge / in whome all goodnes is to gether perfytly and fully / hath ben & shall be. And therfore what so euer thou gyuest me besyde me selfe it is lytell and insufficient to me for my herte maye nat reste ne fully be pacifyed but in the so that is ascende aboue all gyftes and also aboue all maner of thynges that be crea­ted. ★ O my lorde Iesu Christe moste lo­uynge spouse / moste purest louer and go­uernour of euery creature / who shal giue me wrong of perfite lyberty that I may fle hyghe and reste me in the. ★ O whan shall I fully tente to the / & se & fele howe swete thou arte / whan shall I hooly ga­ther my selfe to gether in the so perfytely that I shall nat for thy loue fele me selfe / but the onely aboue my selfe / and abou [...] all bodely thynges and that thou vysyte me in suche wyse as thou doste visyte thy faythfull louers. Nowe I ofte mourne & complayne the myseryes of this lyfe and with sorowe & wo bere them with ryght greate heuynes / for many euyll thynges [Page lxxxix] happen dayly in thys lyfe / whiche ofte tymes trouble me and make me very heuy and greatly darken myn vnderstādyng. They hyndre me greatly & put my mynd from the and so encōbre me many wayes that I can nat haue fre mynde and clene desyre to the / ne haue thy swete enbrasynges that to thy blessed sayntes be alwaye presente. ♣ Wherfore I beseche the Lorde Christe Iesu that the syghinges and the inwarde desyres of my herte with my manyfolde desolacions may somwhat moue the and inclyne the to here me· ★ O Iesu the lyght and bryghtnes of euerlastynge glory / the ioye and conforte of all christen people that are walkynge & labourynge as pylgrimes in wyldernes of this world my herte cryeth to the by styll desyres without voyce & my scylēce speketh vnto the & sayth thus. ★ Howe longe taryeth my Lorde God to come to me / verely I truste that he wyll shortely come to me his poorest seruaunt and conforte me and make me ioyouse and glad in hym. And that he wyll delyuer me frō all anguyshe and sorowe. Come lorde come / for with­out the I haue no glade daye / ne houre / for thou arte al my ioye and gladnes and [Page] without the my soule is barayne & voyde I am a wretche and in maner in pryson / & bounde with fetters tyll thou throughe the light of my gracious presence vouchesaufe to vysyte me and to refresshe me / & to brynge me agayne to lybertie of spirite and that thou vouchesaufe to shewe thy fauorable and louely countenaunce vnto me. Let other seke what they wyll / but truely there is nothyng that I wyll seke nor that shal please me / but thou my lorde god my hope and euerlastynge helthe. I shall nat cesse of prayer: tyll thy grace re­tourne me agayne and that thou speake inwardely to my soule / and saye thus. Lo I am here / I am come to the for thou haste called me / thy teares & the desyres of thy herte: thy mekenes and thy contri­cyō / haue bowed me downe and brought me to the. And I shall saye agayne / lorde I haue called the / and I haue desyred to haue the / redy to forsake all thynges for the / thou firste haste styred me to seke the wherfore be thou alway blessed that hast shewed such goodnes to me after the multytude of the mercy / what hath thy ser­uaunt lorde more to do or say / but that he meken hym selfe before thy maieste / and [Page xc] euer haue in mynde hys owne iniquyte. There is none lyke to the Lorde in heuen ne in erthe: thy warkes be good thy iuge­mentes be ryghtwyse and by thy prouy­dence all thynges be gouerned / wherfore to the that art the wysdome of the father be euerlastynge ioye and glory / & I hum­bly beseche the that my bodye and soule / my herte and [...]onge / and all thy creatu­res may alwaye laude the and blesse the. Amen.

❧Of remembrynge of the greate and manyfolde benefaytes of God. The .xxiiii. Chapitre.

OPē myn herte lorde in to the beholdynge of thy lawes & in thy cōmaundementes teache me to walke / gyue me grace to knowe and to vnderstande thy wyll and with great re­uerence and dilygent consyderacion to remembre the manyfolde benefaytes that I may fro hensforth yelde to the due thā kynges for them agayne. But I knowe and confesse it for trouthe that I am nat able to yelde to the condygne thankyn­ges for the leste benefyte that thou haste [Page] gyuen me / for I am lesse than the leste be ne fayte that thou haste gyuen. And whā I beholde thy noblenes and thy worthynes my spirite dredeth and trēbleth very sore for the greatnes therof. ♣ O lorde all that we haue in body and in soule within forth and without forth naturally or suꝑ­naturall / they be they benefa [...]tes & shewe the openly to be a blessed and a good be­nefactoure of whome we haue receyued suche gyftes and thoughe one hath receyued more / and an other lesse: yet they all be thy gyftes and without the / the leste can nat be had / and he that hath more receyued may nat ryghtfully glorifye hym selfe therin as though he had goten it by his owne meryte / ne exalte hym selfe a­boue other / nor dysdayne other / nor dys­pyse his inferiours therfor / for he is greatest and moste acceptable to the / that leste ascrybeth to hym selfe & that is for suche gyftes the more weke & the more deuout in yeldynge thankynges to the for them agayne. And he that throughe mekenes can holde hym selfe moste vyle and moste vnworthy of al other: is the more apte to receyue of thy hande more larger gyftes. And he that hath receyued the fewer gyf­tes [Page xci] ought nat therfor to be heuy ne to disdayne at it / ne to be enuyous agaynste them that haue receyued the greater / but rather he ought to lyfte hys mynde vp­warde to the & hyghely to laude & prayse thy name that thou so lyberally / so lo­uyngly / and so frely without acceptynge of persons: departeste thy giftes amonge thy people / all thinges come of the & therfore thou arte in all thynges to be blessed Thou knowest what is expediēt to be gyuen to euery persone and why one hathe lesse and an other more / it is nat to vs to reason to dyscusse: but vnto the onely by whome the merytes of euery man shalbe dyscussed. wherfore Lorde I accompte it for a greate benefayte nat to haue many gyftes wherby outwardly and after mannes iugemente laude and praysyng shulde folowe. And ouer that as me semeth all though a man consyder and beholde hys owne pouertye & the vylenes of his owne persone he ought nat therfore take grefe or heuynes or deieccyon / but rather to cō ceyue therby great gladnes of soule / for thou haste chosen & daily doste chose pore meke persons and suche as be dispysed in the worlde / to be thy [...]mylyer and house vnder [Page] holde seruauntes / wytnes thy Appostles whome thou madeste Prynces of all the worlde whiche neuertheles were conuer­saunte amonge the people without com­playnynge or myssayge so meke and symple without all malyce and dysceyte that [...]hey ioyed to suffre reprofes for thy name so farforth that suche thyngꝭ as ye worlde abhorreth and fleeth they coueyted with great desyre / that it appereth that there ought nothynge so muche to conforte / & glad thy louer and hym that hath recey­ued thy benefaytes as that thy wyll and pleasure in him be fulfylled after thy eternall dysposicyon of hym from the begyn­nynge / wherwith he ought to be so well contented and pleased that he wolde as gladely beholden leste: as other wolde be holden moste / and as pacefull wolde he be & as well pleased in the loweste place as in the hyghest / and as glad to be dispysed and abiec [...]e and of no name ne reputaciō in the worlde as other to be nobler: or greater / for thy wyll lorde & the honoure of thy name ought to excell all thynges / and more ought it to please and conforte thy louer than all other benefaytes gyuē or that myght be gyuen vnto hym.

❧Of foure thynges that brynge peace in to thy soule. The .xxv. Chapytre.

MI sonne: nowe shall I teache the the very true waye of peace / and of perfyte lybertye. ☞: O Lorde Iesu do as thou sayste / for that is ryght ioy­ous for me to here / study my sonne rather to fulfyll an other mannes wyll thā thyn owne chose alway to haue lytell worldly ryches rather thā muche / seke also the lo­weste place & desyre to be vnder other ra­ther than aboue / and coueyt alwaye and praye that the wyll of god be hooly done in the. Lo suche a persone enreth sothfastly in to the very true way of peace and in warde quyetnes. ♣ O lorde this short les­son that thou haste taught me cōteyneth in it selfe muche hyghe perfeccion. It is shorte in wordes but it is full of sentence and frutefull in vertue / for if it were well and faythfully kepte of me / vnrestfulnes shulde nat so lyghtly sprynge in me as it hathe done / for as ofte as I fele my selfe vnrestfull and nat contēted / I fynde that I haue gone from thys lesson and / from thys good and swete doctryne. ★: But thou Lorde Iesu that all thynges haste [Page] vnder thy gouernaunce / & alway loueste the heleth of mannes soule encrease more grace in me that I maye from hensforth fully these teachynges and that I maye do alwaye that shalbe to thy honoure and to the helth of my soule. Amen.

❧:A prayer agaynste all euyll thoughtes. The .xxvi. Chapytre.

MI lorde Iesu: I beseche the be nat far frō me but come shortly & helpe me / for vayne thoughtꝭ haue rysen in myne herte & worldly dredꝭ haue troubled me very sore / howe shall I breke them downe / howe shall I passe vnhurte without thy helpe / I shall go before the sayeth our lorde: & I shall dryue awaye the pryde of thy herte / than shall I set opē to the / the yatꝭ of ghostly know lege and shall shewe to the the priuites of my secretes. O lorde do as thou sayst and than shall fle from me all wycked fanta­syes / and truely thys is my hope and my onely conforte / to fle to the in euery trou­ble stedfastly to truste in the / inwardly to call the / & paciently to abyde thy cōmyng and thy heuenly consolacyons: whiche I [Page xciiii] truste shall shortly come to me. Amen.

❧:A prayer for the clearynge of mannes mynde. The .xxvii. Chapytre.

CLaryfye me Lorde Iesu with the clerenes of the euerastynge lyght / and dryue oute of my herte all maner of darkenes / and all vayne imagynacyons and vyolente temptacyons / fyght strongly for me / and dryue awaye the euyll bea­stes / that is to saye all my euyll and wycked cōcupiscences that peace of consciēce may entre and haue full reuele in me and that habundaunce of laude and praising of thy name / may sounde contynually in the chambre of my soule: That is to say. In a pure and a cleane conscience in me. Cōmaunde the windes and tempestes of pryde to cesse / byd the see of worldly couetyse to be in reste / & charge the northern wynde / that is to saye: the fendes temptacion that it blowe nat / & thā shalbe great tranquylyte and peace in me. Sende out thy lyght & thy trouth of ghostly know­lege: that it may shyne vpon the erth ba­rayne and drye & sende downe thy grace from aboute & therwith anoynte my dry [Page] herte. And gyue me the water of i [...]y de­uocyon to moyste therwith the drynes of my soule that it may brynge for the some good fruyte that shalbe lykynge and pleasaunt to the. Reyse vp my mynde that is sore oppressed with the heuye bourden of synne / and lyfte vp my desyre to the loue of heuenly thynges / that by a taste of the heuenly felycyte it may loth to thynke on any erthely thynges. Take me lorde and delyuer me from the vyle consolacyon of creatures / whiche muste of necessytye shortly peryshe and fayle. For ther is nothing create that may fully satisfie myne appetyte. Ioyne me therfore to the with a sure bonde of heuenly loue for thou onely suffyseth to thy louer. ★ And withoute the all thynges be vayne and of no sub­staunce.

❧:That it is nat good to serche cury­ously an other mannes lyfe The .xxviii. Chapytre.

MI sonne saythe our Lorde: loke thou be nat curyous in serchyng of an other mannes lyfe / ne that thou busy nat thy selfe with thyngꝭ that [Page xciiii] belong nat to the / what is this or that to the / folowe thou me / what is this to the whether this mā be good or bad. or whe­ther he saye or do thys or that. Thou ne­dest nat to answere for an other mannes dedes / but for thyne owne dedꝭ thou must nedely answere. Why dost thou thā me [...]ie where nedeth nat. I se and knowe eue­ry man / and euery thynge vnder the sone I se and beholde / and howe it is with euery persone / what he thynketh: wha [...] he wylleth and to what ende hys werke draweth is open to me. ☞: And therfore all thynges are to be referred to me. ♣ Kepe thy selfe alwaye in good peace and suffre hym that wyll algates serche an other mannes lyfe be as busye as he wyll. And in the ende shall fal vpon hym as he hath done and sayde / for he can nat disceiue me what so euer be he yf thou admonysshe a­ny persone for his soule helth. Loke thou do it nat to get the therby any name / or fame in the worlde / ne to haue the famy­lyaryte or pryuate loue of any persone / for suche thynges cause muche vnquyet­nes of mynde / and wyll make and ca [...]se the also to lose the rewarde that thou shuldeste haue of god / and wyll brynge great [Page] derkenes in to thy soule. I wolde gladly speke to the my wordes & open to th [...] the secrete mysteres of fraternall correccyon: if thou woldest prepayre thy soule redy a­gaynste hym cōmynge / & that thou wol­deste open the mouthe of thy herte fayth­fully to me. Be thou prouydent walke di­lygētly in prayer / meken thy selfe in eue­ry thynge / and thou shalt fynde great cō ­forte in god and lytell resystence in thyne euyn chrysten.

❧In what thynge peace of herte and greateste profyte of man standeth. The .xxix. Chapytre.

MI sone sayth our lorde Iesu / I sayde to my dyscyples thus.★ My peace I leue with you / my peare I gyue you / nat as the worlde gy­ueth / but muche more than it may gyue. All mē desyre peace / but all mē wil nat do that belōgeth to peace / my peace is with the meke & mylde in herte And thy peace shalbe in more pacience if thou wyll here me & folowe my wordes thou shalte haue great plētie of peace. ♣ O lorde what shal I do to come to that peace Thou shalt in al thy warkes take good hede what thou [Page lxxxxv] doeste and sayest / and thou shalte set all thy hole intent to please me / and nothyng shalt thou coueyt or seke without me / and of other mēnes dedes thou shalt nat iuge presumptuously / ne thou shalt nat medle with thynges that pertayne nat to the. If thou do thus it may be that thou shalt lytell or seldome be troubled / but neuer­theles to fele no tyme / no maner of trou­ble nor to suffre in heuynes in body ne in soule / is nat the state of thys lyfe but of the lyfe to come. ★: Thynke nat therfore that thou haste foundeth true peace / for thou fealeste no grefe / ne that all is well with the whan thou haste none aduersa­ry / ne that all is perfyte / for that euery thynge cometh after thy mynde. Ne yet that thou art great in godes syght or specyally beloued of hym for thou hast great feruour in deuocyon and great swetnes in contemplacyon / for a true louer of ver­tue is nat knowen by all these thynges / nor the true perfeccyon of man standeth nat in them (wherin than lorde) In offe­rynge of a man with all hys herte dooly to god nat sekyng hym selfe ne hys owne wyl: neyther in great thynge nor in small in tyme nor in eternite / but that he abyde [Page] alway one / and yelde alway lyke thankes to god for thynges plesaunt and dyspleasaunte: weynge them all in one lyke ba­launce as in his loue / and if he be also so strong in god that whan inwarde conso­lacyon is withdrawen / he can yet styre hys herte to suffre more yf God so wyll / and yet he iustyfieth nat him selfe ne praiseth nat hym selfe therfore / as holy and ryght wyse / than he walketh in the verye true way of peace and than he may well haue a sure and a perfyte hope and truste that he shall se me face to face in euerlas­tinge ioye and fruicyon in the kyngdome of heuen. And if he can come to a perfyte and a full contempt & dispysynge of hym selfe: than shall be haue full habundaūce of rest and peace in the ioye euerlastynge after the measure of hys gyfte. Amen.

❧Of the lybertye / excellencye / and worthynes of a fre mynde The .xxx. Chapitre.

LOrde it is the warke of a perfyte man / neuer to sequestre hys mynde from the beholdynge of heuenly thynges [Page lxxxxvi] and amonge many cures: to go as he were withoute cure / nat in the maner of an ydle: or of a dessolate persone / but by the specyall prerogatyue alwaye of a free mynde busye in goddes seruyce / nat cleuynge by inordynate affeccyon to any creature. ☞: I beseche the ther­fore my Lorde Iesu mooste meke / and mercyfull that thou kepe me from the busynes and cures of the worlde: and that I be nat ouermuche inquyted with the ne­cessytes of the bodely kynde / ne that I be nat takē with the voluptuous pleasures of the worlde ne of the flesshe / and that in lyke wyse thou preserue me from all hyn­deraunce of the soule / that I be nat bro­ken with ouermuche heuynesse / sorowe / nor worldly drede. ♣ And by these petyci­ons I aske nat only to be delyuered from suche vanytes as the worlde desyreth. But also frome suche myseryes as greue the soule of me thy seruaunte / with the common maled [...]ccyon of mankynde: that is with corrupcyon of the bodyly felynge wherwith I an so greued and letted that I may nat haue lybertye of spyryte to be holde the whā I wolde O lorde god yt art swetnes vnspekable tourne ī to bitternes [Page] to me all flesshly delytes / whiche wolde drawe me frō the loue of eternal thinges to the loue of a shorte and a vyle de [...]ecta­ble pleasure / let nat the flesshe and blode ouercome me / ne yet the worlde with hys shorte glorie disceyue me / nor the fynde with hys thousand folde craftes supplāte me / but gyue me ghostly strengthe in re­sistyng / pacyence in sufferynge / and con­staunce in perseueryng. Gyue me also for all worldly consolacyons the moste swete consolacion of the holy ghoste. ♣ And for all flesshely loue sende in to my soule the loue of thy holy name. Lo meate / drynke clothynge / and all other necessaryes for the body be paynfull and troublous to a feruent spirite whiche yf it myght wolde alway rest in god and in ghostly thynges Graunte me therfore grace to vse suche bodely necessaries temporately / and that I be nat deceyued with ouermuche desyre to them. To forsake all thynges it is nat lawfull for the bodely kynde must be pre­serued / and to seke superfluous thynges more for pleasure than for necessyte / thy holy lawe prohibitethe: for so the flesshe wolde rebell agaynste the spiryte / wher­fore lorde I beseche the that thy hande o / [Page lxxxvii] grace may so gouerne me and [...]eache me that I excede nat by any maner of super­fluyte. Amen.

❧:That pryuate loue moste let­teth a man from god. The xxxi. Chapitre.

MI sonne (saythe our Lorde) it be­houeth the: to gyue all for all / and nothyng to kepe vnto the of thyne owne lout. ☞: For the loue of thy selfe more hurteth the / than any other thynge in thys worlde / after thy loue / and after thyne affeccyon / euery thynge eleuethe to the more or lesse. If thy loue be pure / symple and wel ordered thou shalt be without inordinate affeccion to any creature. Co­ueyte therfore nothynge that is nat leful for the to haue / and haue nothynge that may let the from ghostly trauayle or that may take frō the inwarde liberty of soule It is meruayle that thou comytteste nat thy selfe fully to me with all thy herte: with all thynges that thou mayste haue or desyre / why arte thou thus consumed with vayne sorowe / why arte thou wered with superfluous cures: stande at my wil and thou shalt fynde nothynge that shall [Page] hurte the or hynder the / but yf thou seke this thynge or that / or woldest be in this place or in that for thyne owne profyte & for thyne owne pleasure / thou shalt neuer be in reste / ne thou shalte neuer be fre fro some trouble of mynde / for in euery place shalbe founde some thynge that wyll myslyke the. Trāsitory thingꝭ whan they be had and greatly multiplyed in the worlde do nat alway helpe mānes soule to peace but rather whan they be dispysed & fully cut out of the loue and desyre of the herte and that is nat to be vnderstand onely of golde & syluer and other worldly ryches / but also of desyre of honours & praysingꝭ of the worlde: whiche shortly vanyssheth & passeth awaye as doth the smoke with the wynde / the place helpeth lytell yf the spirite of feruoure be awaye. ☞ Also the peace that a man getteth outwarde shall nat longe stande hole if it be voyde fro the true inwarde peace of herte / that is to say thoughe thou chaūge thy place yet it shal lytel amende the / but thou stande stable & stedfast in me: for by newe occasions that shal dayly ryse thou shalt fynde that thou haste fled & percase muche more perilous & muche more greuous thingꝭ thā ye first were)

❧:A prayer to the purgyng of mannes soule / and for heuenly wysdome and the grace of god to be opteyned and had. The .xxxiii. Chapitre.

COnferme me Lorde by the grace of the holy ghoste / and gyue me grace be stronge inwardely in soule: and auoyde oute therof all vnprofytable bu­busynes of the worlde: and of the flesshe that it be nat led by the vnstable desy­ [...]es of earthly thynges. And that I may beholde all thinges in the worlde as they be / transitory and of shorte abydyng / and me also to go with theym / for nothynge vnder the sonne may longe abyde / but al is vanite and afflictyō of spiryte. O howe wyse is he that feleth and vnderstandeth this to be true that I haue sayde giue me Lorde therfore heuenly wysdome that I may lerne to seke the & to fynde the. And aboue al thinges to loue the and al other thinges to vnderstande & knowe as they be after the order of thy wysdome & none otherwise. And gyue me grace also wisely [Page] to withdrawe me frō them that flater me and pacyently to suffre them that greue me. For it is great wysdome nat to be moued with euery blaste of wordes nor to gyue eare to hym that flatereth as doth the Mearmayde. The way that is thus be gon / shall brynge him that walketh in it to a good and a blessed endynge.

❧Agaynste the euyll sayenges of detractours. The .xxxiii. Chapytre

MI sone sayth our sauyour Christ Thou shalte nat take it to grefe: though some ꝑsons thynke euyll or say euil of the yt thou woldest nat gladly here / for thou shalte yet thynke worse of thy selfe / & that no man is so euyll as thou arte. If thou be well ordered with inforth in thy soule thou shalt nat muche care for suche fleynge wordes. And it is no lytel wysdome a man to kepe him selfe in scylence and in good peace whan euyll wordes be spoken to hym / and to tourne hys herte to god / and nat to be troubled with mannes iugement / let nat thy peace be in the hertes of men / for what so euer they say of the good or bad thou arte nat [Page lxxxxix] therfore an other man / for as thou arte: thou arte. ★ Where is the true peace / and the true glory / it is nat in me? Yes truely Therfore he that neyther desyrethe to please man: ne dredethe nat to dysplease hym shall haue greate plentye of peace. For of inordynate loue and vayne drede commeth all vnquyetnes of hert and vn­restfulnes of the mynde.

❧Howe almyghty god is to be in wardly called vnto / in tyme of trybulacyon. The .xxxiiii. Chapytre.

LOrde thy name be blessed for euer / that thou woldeste thys temptacyon: and trybulacyon shulde fall vp­pon me. ♣: I may nat escapeit: but of necessyte I am dryuen to fle to the / that thou vouchesafe to helpe me / and to tourne all in to my ghostely profyte.: ★ O lorde I am nowe in trouble / and it is nat well wfth me for I am greatly vexed with thys presente passyon / and nowe mooste beste beloued father what shall I saye: I am nowe taken with anguysshes and troubles on euery syde / saue me in thys houre / but I truste that I am come [Page] in to this houre that thou shalt be lauded and praysed whan I am perfytely made meke before the: and that I am clerely delyuered by the / be it therfor pleasaunte to ye to deliuer me / for what may I most synfull wretche do or whether may I go without the. Gyue me pacyence nowe at this tyme in all my troubles: helpe me my lorde god / and I shal nat feer ne drede what troubles so euer fall vpon me. And nowe what shall I say: but that thy wyl be done in me. I haue deserued to be troubled and greued / and therfore it behoueth that I suffre as long as it shall please the but wolde to god yt I myght suffre gladly tyll the furyous tēpestes were ouer passed / & that quietnes of herte myght come agayne. Thy myghty hande lord is strōg ynoughe to take this trouble fro me and to asswage the cruell assautes therof that I do nat vtterly fayle as thou hast oft tymes done to me before this time / and the more herde that it to me the more lyght it is to the. And whā I am clerely delyuered by the / than shall I say. Thys is the chaūgyng of the ryght hande of him that is hyghest: that is the blessed Trinite / to whome be ioye / honoure and glorye euer­lastyngly. Amen)

❧:Of the helpe of god to be asked / and of a full truste to recouer through deuoute prayer our former grace. The .xxxv. Chapitre.

MI sone I am thy lorde that sendeth cōforte in tyme of tribulacyō / come therfore to me whan it is nat well with the. This is it that letteth the most: that thou tourneste the ouer slowly to me / for before thou pray hertely to me thou sekest many other confortes and refresshest thy spirites in outwarde thynges. And ther­fore it is / that all that thou doste: lytell auayleth the tyll thou can beholde and se that I am he that sendeth conforte to all that faythfully do call to me / and that there is nat withoute me any profytable counsayle ne perfyte remedye. But nowe take a good spiryte to be and after thy troubles be thou conforted in me / and in the lyghte of my mercye: haue thou full truste / for I am nere to the to helpe the & to restore the agayne nat onely to lyke grace as thou haddeste fyrste / but also to muche more ī great abundaūce. Is there any thing herde or inpossible to em / or am [Page] I lyke to hym that sayth a thynge and doth it nat / where is thy faythe. Stande strongly and perseuerently in me / be sted­faste abidinge my promys and thou shall haue conforte in suche tyme as it shall be moste expedient to the. Abyde abyde and tary for me and I shall come soone / and helpe thē. It is temptacyon that vexeth the & a vayne drede that fereth the muche But what auayleth such fere or drede for thynges that perchaūce shall neuer come but that the ghostly enemye wolde thou shuldeste haue sorowe vpon sorowe. Bere therfore pacyently thy troubles that be presente / and drede nat ouermuche those that be to come / for it suffysethe to euery daye hys owne malyce. ☞ It is a vayne thynge and an vnprofytable to be heuye or glad for thynges that perchaunce shal neuer happen ne come. But it is the vn­stablenes of man that he wyl be deceyued and so lyghtely to folowe the suggestyon of the enemy for he carethe nat whether he may deceyue be true suggestyon or by false / ne whether it be by loue of thynges presente: or by drede of thynge a to come. Therfore be thou nat troubled: ne drede thou nat / truste strongly in me and in my [Page Ci] mercy haue perfyte hope / for whan thou wenest that thou arte ryghte farre fro me ofte tymes I am ryghte nere vnto the / and whan thou weneste that all is loste / than ofte tymes foloweth the greater re­warde. It is nat thehfore al lost thought some thynge happen agaynste thy wyll and thou shalte nat iudge therin after thy outwarde felynge / ne thou shalt nat take any grefe so sore to herte / but that thou shalte haue good truste to escape it. ne thou shalte nat thynke thy selfe all hooly forsaken of me: thoughe I sende the for a tyme some heuynes and trouble / for that is the seker way to the kingdome of heuē and doutles it is more expedyent to the and to other my seruauntes that ye som­tyme be proued with aduersites / thā that ye haue alwaye all thynges after your wylles / I knowe the hid thought of man and that it is much expedient to the helth of the soule that he be lefte somtyme to hym selfe without ghostly sauoure or conforte: lest haply he be reysed vp into pryde and thynke hym selfe better than he is. That I haue gyuen I may take awaye and may restore it agayne whan I shall lyste / whan I gyue a thynge to any per­sone [Page] it is myne owne that I haue gyuen and whan I take it away againe / I take none of his for euery good gyfte and eue­ry perfyte rewarde commeth of me. If I sende to the trouble or heuynes in what wyse so euer it be / take it gladly and dys­dayne it nat ne let nat thy herte fayle the therin / for I may anone lyfte the vp a­gayne & tourne thy heuynes in to greate ioye and ghostely gladnes / and verely I am ryghtwyse / and muche to be lauded and praysed whan I do so with the / yf thou vnderstande a ryghte: and beholde thy selfe truely as thou arte / thou shalte neuer be so dyrectly heuy for no aduersy­te / but rather thou shalte ioye therin and thinke it as the gretest gyfte that I spare nat to scourge the with suche trouble and aduersyte / for I sayde to my discyples thꝰ ☞As my fader loueth me I loue you. ♣ And yet I sente theym nat forth in to the worlde to haue tēporal ioyes: but to haue greate batayles / nat to haue honoures / but dispytes / nat to be ydle but to laboure nat to rest / but to bryng forth much good frute in pacyence / & in good workes. My sone remēbre wel these wordes yt I haue spoken to ye for they be true & can nat be denyed)

❧Howe we shulde forget all creatures that we myght fynde our crea­ture. The .xxxvi. Chapitre.

LOrde I haue greate nede of thy grace / and that of thy greate syn­guler grace / or that I maye come the­ther where no creature shall set me / ne hynder me fro the peryfte beholdynge of the for as longe as any transitory thyng holdeth me: or hath rule in me / I maye nat fle frely to the / he [...]oucy [...]e [...] to [...] with out let that sayde thus. ♣: Who shall gyue me wynges lyke to a Doue: that I maye fle in to the bosome of my sauyour [...] and in to the holes of hys blessed woundes / and reste me there. I se well that no man is more restfull: nor more lykynge in thys worlde that is that man whiche alwaye hath his mynde and his hole intente vp­warde to god / and nothynge desyreth of the worlde. ★ It behoueth hym therfore that wolde perfytely forsake hym selfe / and beholde the / to surmounte all creatu­res and hym selfe also / and throughe ex­cesse of mynde to se and beholde that thou maker of al thynges hast nothing amōg all creatures lyke vnto the / and but a mā [Page] be clerely delyuered fro the loue of crea­tures he may nat fully tende to hys crea­toure / and that is the greatest cause why there be so fewe contemplatyues / that is to say / bycause there be so fewe that wyl­fully wyll sequestre them selfe fro loue of creatures. To contemplacyon is greate grace requyred / for it lyfteth vp the soule and rauysshethe it vp in spiryte aboue it selfe. And but a man be lyfte vp in spirite aboue hym selfe and be clerely delyuered from all creatures as in hys loue: and be perfytely and fully oned to god / what so euer he can or what so euer he hauee it her in vertue or conning it is but litell worth afore god. Therfore he shall haue but ly­tell vertue: and longr shall he lye styll in earthely thynges that accomptethe any thinge great or worthy to be prayesd but onely god for all other thynges besydes god are nought and for nought are to be accompted. It is great differēce betwene the wys [...]ome of a deuoute man lyghtned by grace / and the connynge of a subtyll and studyous clerke / and that lernynge is muche more noble & muche more wor­thy that cometh by the influence and gracyous gyft of god: thā that that is goten [Page Ciii] by the labour and study of mā. Many desyre to haue the gyfte of contemplacyon / but they wyll nat vse suche thinges as be requyred to cōtemplacion / and one great let of contemplacion is / that we stande so longe in outwarde sygnes and insensyble thinges and take no hede of perfyte mor­tifyeng of our body to the spirite. I wote nat howe it is / ne with what spirite we be led / ne what we pretende / we that cal­led spirituall persones that we take gre­ter laboure and study for transytory thynges / that we do to knowe the inwarde state of our owne soule but alas for sorow anone as we haue made a lytell recollec­cyon to god we renne forth to outwarde thynges and do nat serche out owne conscyence with due examynacyon / as we shulde do ne we hede nat where our affec­cion resteth / ne we folowe nat that our dedes so euyll / and so vncleane as they be. The people corrupted thēselfe with fles­shely vnclennes and therfore folowed the great flode / and verely whā our inwarde affeccion is corrupted / it is necessary that our dedes folouinge therupon be also corrupted. For a cleane herte springeth the frute of good lyfe. It is ofte tymes asked [Page] what dedes suche a man hath done / but of what zele or of what entent he dyd thē is lytell regarded / whether a man ryche stronge / fayre / able / a good writer / a good synger / or a good labourer is ofte enquy­red but howe poore he is in spirite / howe pacyent & meke / howe deuoute / and howe inwardly tourned to god / is lytell regar­ded. Nature beholdeth the outwarde dede but grace tourned her to the inwarde in­tente of the dede. The fyrste ofte decey­ued / but the secōde putteth her truste ho­ly in god and is nat deceyued.

❧Howe we shulde forsake our selfe and thurste downe all couetyse out of our herte. The .xxxvii. Chapitre

MI sonne saythe oure Lorde / thou shalte nat haue perfyte lybertye of mynde / but hooly forsake thy selfe / all propryetayres / and all louers of theym selfe / all coueytous persones / curyous / vayne gloryous / and all renners about. And also suche as seke thinges softe & de­lectable in this worlde / and nat of Iesu Christe / ofte faynynge & gredely sykynge thingꝭ that shall nat longe endure / be as [Page Ciiii] men fetered and bounden with cheynes & haue no perfyte lyberty ne fredome of spirite / for all thinges shall perysshe that be nat wroughte of God / holde well in thy mynde this shorte worde / forsake all thinges and thou shalte fynde all thinges / for sake couetyse and thou shalte fynde great reste / prynte well ī thy minde that I haue sayde / for whā thou haste fulfylled it thou shalte well knowe that it is true. ♣ Lorde thys lesson is nat one dayes worke / ne a play for chyldren / for it is conteyned the full perfeccion of a religion. Also my sone thou oughteste nat to be tourned fro god ne to be any thinge dyscouraged frō hys seruyce whā thou hereste the strayte lyfe of perfyte men / but rather thou oughtest to be prouoked therby to hygher perfeccion and at leste to desyre ī herte that thou myghtest come therto. But wolde to god thou were fyrste come to this poynt that thou were nat a louer of thy self but that thou woldeste kepe my commaundemen­tes and the cōmaundemētes of hym that I haue appoynted to be thy father spiri­tuall / for than thou shuldeste please me greatly & than all thy lyfe shuldeste passe [Page] forth in ioye & peace. Thou haste yet ma­ny thynges to forsake / whiche but thou can hooly forsake (thou shalt nat get that thou desyreste. And therfore I counsayle the to bye of me bryght shyninge golde / that is to saye heuenly wysdome that dispyseth all earthly thynges / and caste fro the all worldy wysdome and all mannes conforte and all thyne owne affeccyons / and that thou chose to haue vile thinges and abiecte / rather than precious & hygh in syght of the worde / but the true heuenly wysdome semeth to many to be vyle & lytell & well nyghe forgotten. Many can saye with theyr mouthe that it is good / nat to desyre to be magnified in ye worlde but theyr lyfe foloweth nat theyr saying / and therfore they desire it priuely in their herte / but yet that is the precyous Mar­garete & the hyghe vertue that is hyd fro moche people for theyr presumpcion / get it who so may.

❧:Of the vnstablenes of mannes herte and that our fynall intent in all thynges shulde be to god. The .xxviiii. Cha­pitre.

[Page Cv]MI sonne / loke that thou byleue nat thyne owne affeccyon / for it changeth ofte from one to an other as lōge as thou lyuest thou shalt be subiecte to chaūge habilyte whether thou wylt or nat / as nowe glad / nowe sorowfull / nowe pleased / nowe dyspleased / nowe deuoute / nowe vndeuout / nowe lusty / nowe slouthful nowe heuy / nowe lightsōe. But a wife man that is wel taughte in ghostely tra­uayle standeth stable in all suche thinges & forseth lytell what he feleth / ne of what syde the wynde of vnstablenes bloweth / but all the intēte and study of hys mynde is howe he maye moste profyte in vertue and finally come to the moste fruyteful & moste blessed ende. By suche an hoole in­tente fully directed to god / many a man abyde stedfaste & stable in him selfe amōge many aduersytes / and the more pure and the more clene that his entēt is / the more stable shall he be in euery storme. But a­las for sorowe the eye of mannes soule is anone derked / for it beholdeth lyghtely delectable thynges that come of the worlde and of the flesshe / in so muche that there is seldome founde any person that is free and clere fro the venymous desyre of he­rynge [Page] of some tales or of some other fan­tasies / and that be theyr owne sekynge. In suche maner came the Iewes in to Bethany / to Martha / and to mary mag­dalene / nat for the loue of our lorde Iesu but for to se Lazar whome he had reysed fro dethe to lyfe / wherfore the eye of the soule is to be kepte full bryght that it be alwaye pure and cleane / and that it be a­boue all passynge thinges hooly dyrected to god the whiche graunte vs to. AMEN.

❧Howe our lorde God sauou­reth to hys louer swetely aboue all thynges: & in al thynges The .xxxix. Chapi­tre.

OVre Lorde is to me all in all / and sayth he is so / what wolde I more haue / or what can I more desyre. ☞:O thys is a sauoury worlde: and a swete to saye that our Lorde is to me all in all. But that is to hym that loueth the worde and nat the worlde. To hym that [Page Cvi] vnderstādeth this worde / is sayde inough but yet to repete it ofte is lykynge to him that loueth / I maye therfore more playnly speke of this mater and say / lorde whā thou arte present to me: all thinge is ple­saunte and lykynge / but whan thou arte absente all thinge is greuous and greately myslykynge / whan thou cōmes [...]e thou makeste myne herte restfull and bryngest in to it a newe ioye / thou makeste thy lo­uer to fele and vnderstande the trouthe & to haue a true iugemente in all thynges and in al thinges to laude the and prayse the. ★ O lorde without the nothing may be longe lykynge ne pleasaunt / for if any thynge shulde be lykynge and sauoury it muste be through helpe of thy grace and be tempered with the spicerie of thy wys­dome. To hym to whome thou sauourest well: that shall nat sauoure well. And to hym that thou sauoureste nat well vnto what maye be ioyfull or lykynge. But worldly wyse men and they that sauoure flesshely delytes fayle of thys wysdome / for in worldly wysdome is founde greate vanyte / and in flesshely pleasures is euer lastynge deathe. Therfore they that fo­lowe the lorde by dispisyng of the shorde [Page] And by perfyte mortifyēge of theyr fleshely lustes / be knowen to be very wyse / for they be led fro vanyte to trouth / and fro flesshly lykynge to spiryuall clennes. To suche persones God sauoureth wonder swete. And what so euer they fynde crea­tures / they referre it all to the laude and to the praysynge of theyr creatoure / for they se well that there is great difference betwyxt the creature and creatoure eter­nyte and tyme: and betwyxte the lyghte made / and the lyght vnmade. O euerla­stynge lyghte farre passynge all thynges that are made. ★ Sende downe the bea­mes of thy lyghtenyngs / frome aboue and purifye gladde / and clarifie in me all the inwarde parties of my herte. Quyc­ken my spirite with al the powers therof that it maye cleue faste and be ioyned to the in ioyfull gladnes of ghostely rauys­shynges ☞: O whan shall that blessed houre come that thou shalte vysyte me & gladde me with thy blessed presence / so that thou be to me all in all. As longe as that gyfte is nat gyuen to me / that thou be to me all in all / there shall be no ful ioy in me. But alas for sorowe mine olde man that is my fleshely lykinge / yet lyueth in [Page Cyi] me and is nat yet fully crucifyed nor parfitely deed in me / for yet striueth the fleshe strongely against the spirite and moueth great inwarde batayle agaynste me / and suffereth nat the kyngdome of my soule to lyue in peace / but thou good lorde that haste the lordeshype ouer all the power of the see / and doste asswage the stremes of his flouinges. Aryse and helpe me / breke downe the power of myn enemies which alwaye moue this batayle in me. Shewe the greatnes of thy goodnes / and let the power of thy ryght hande be glorified in me for there is to me none other hope nor refuge / but in the onely my lorde / my god to whome be ioye honoure / and glorye e­uerlastyngly. Amen.

❧:That there is no full suretye fro temptacyon in this lyfe The .xl. Chapitre

OVr lorde sayth to hys seruaunte thus / thou shalte neuer be seker fro temtacyon and tribulacyon in this lyfe. And therfore armoure spiry­tuall shall alway as longe as thou lyuest be necessary for the. Thou arte amonge [Page] thyne enemyes and shalt be troubled and vexed with them on euery syde: & but thou vse in euery place the shelde of pacyence thou shalt nat longe kepe the vnwoūded And ouer that yf thou set nat thy herte strongly in me with a redy wyll to suffre all thinges pacyently for me / thou mayst nat longe bere this ardoure ne come vnto the rewarde of blessed sayntes. It beho­ueth the therfore māly to passe ouer ma­ny thynges and to vse a stronge hande a­gaynste all the obieccyons of the enemye To the ouercomer is promysed Angelles fode and to hym that is ouercome is lefte moche mysery. If thou seke reste in thys lyfe? howe shalte thou than come to the rest euerlasting. Set nat thy selfe to haue reste here / but to haue pacyence / and seke the true southfaste reste / nat in erth but in heuen / nat in man ne in any creature but in god onely wher it is. For the loue of god thou oughtest to suffre gladly al thinges / that is to say: all laboures / sorowes / tēptacions: vexacyons / anguyshes / nede­nes / sykenes / iniuries / euyll saynges: re­preuynges / oppressyons / confusions / cor­reccions / and dispysynges. These helpe a man greatly to vertues: these proue the [Page Cviii] true knyght of Chryste / & make redy for hym the heuenly crowne / & our lorde shal yelde hym agayne euerlastynge rewarde for his shorte laboure / and infynyte glory for his transytory confusyon. Troweste thou that thou shalt haue alway spiritu­all confortes after thy wyll. Nay nay my saintꝭ had thē nat / but many great grefs and dyuers temptacyons and great deso­lacions / but they were all with pacyence & more trusted in me than in thē selfe / for they knewe wel that the passions of thys worlde be nat able of them selfe to get the glory that is ordeyned for thē ī the kyngdome of heuen. Wylte thou loke to haue anone that other before the myghte vn­nethes gette: afore greate wepynges and laboures. Abyde pacyently the cōmynge of our lorde / do manfully hys bidding / be conforted in hym / mystruste hym nat / ne go nat backe fro his seruyce for payne ne for drede / but lay forthe thy body & soule constauntly to his honoure in all good bodyly and ghostly laboures. And he shal rewarde the agayne moste plentuously for the good trauayle / and shall be with the and helpe the in euery trouble that shall befall vnto the / so muste it be. Amen.

❧:Agaynste the vayne iugemen­tes of man. The .xli. Chapitre

MI sonne / fyre thy herte stedfastly in god / and drede nat the iuge­ment of man where thyne owne conscyence witnesseth the to be innocent & clere. It is ryght good and blessed / somtyme to suffre suche sayenges / and it shall nat be greuous to a meke herte whiche trusteth more in God than in hym selfe / many folke can saye many thynges / and yet lytell fayth is to be gyuen vnto theyr sayenges / and to please all men it is nat possyble. For though saynt Poule laboured all that he myght to haue pleased all people in god / and dyd to all men all that he coulde for theyr saluacyon / yet neuer­theles he coulde nat let / but that he was somtyme iuged of other. He dyd for the edyfyenge and helthe of other as muche as in hym was: but that he shold nat somtyme be iuged of other or nat be dyspysed of other / he coulde nat let. Wherfore he cō mitted all to god that knoweth al thyng and armed hym selfe with pacyence and mekenes agaynste al thyngꝭ that myght be vntruly spoken agaynste hym. And [Page Cix] neuertheles sōtyme he answered agayne leste that by hys scyence hurte or hynde­raūce myght haue growē to other / what arte thou than that dredest so sore a mor­tall man. This day he is / and to morowe he appereth nat drede god and thou shalt nat nede to drede man / what maye man do with the in wordes or iniuries / he hurteth hym selfe more than the / and in the ende he shall ne fle / the iugement of God what so euer he be / haue alwaye good be­fore the eye of thy soule / and stryue nat a­gayne by multiplyeng of wordes. And yf thou seme for a tyme to suffre confusyon / that thou haste nat deserued / dysdayne thou nat therfore / nor throughe inpacyence / minyshe nat thy rewarde. But rather lyfte vp thy herte to God in heuen for he is able forto delyuer the from all confucyon and wron­ges / and to rewarde e­uery man after hys deserte and muche more than he can deserue.

[...] [Page] gette this fredome of spirite that I speke of praye for it / study for it / and alwaye de­sire it in thy herte that is to say that thou mayste clerely be spoyled / and byratre of all propertye and of thyne owne wyll / and that thou being naked of al worldly thynges mayste folowe me that honge­ked for the vpon the crosse / and that thou mayste dye to thy selfe and to al worldly thynges also / as in thy loue and blessedly to lyue to me. Thā if thou do thus all vanyues and all vayne fantasies / and all superfluous cures of the worlde and of the fleshe shall fayle and fade / and goo awaye Than also immoderate drede and inordynate loue shall dye in the / and thou shalte blessedly lyue in me and I in the. Amen.

❧:Howe a man shall rule hym selfe in outwarde thynges / and howe he ought to cal to god for helpe in al perylles and daungers. The .xliiii. Chapitre.

OVr lorde Iesu sayth to his ser­uaunt thus. Thou oughteste to take hede dilygētly that ī euery [Page Cxi] place / in euery dede / and in euery out­warde occupacyon that thou doste: thou be inwardly fre in thy soule and haue the rule ouer thy selfe / and that all thynges be vnder the as in thy sone / and thou nat vnder them / but that thou be the Lorde and gouernour ouer thy dedes: nat as a seruaunte or a bondman but rather ex­empted as a true Hebrue / that is to say As a true chrysten man goynge in to the nombre and into the fredome of the chyl­dren of god / whiche stande vpon thynges present / and loke towarde thynges euer­lastynge / and beholde thinges transitory with theyr lyfe eye: and thynges euer­lastynge with theyr ryght eye / whome worldly goodes can nat drawe downe to the loue of theym / but they rather drawe worldely goodes to serue: in suche wyse as they be ordeyned to of god / & as they be instytuted to do by the hygh maker of all thynges whiche leueth nothinge inordinate in his creatures. Also if thou stāde in euery aduenture / and doute that shall happen to the nat to the iugemēt of thy outwarde apparaunce / but anone in eue­ry suche do [...] thou entreste in to thyne owne soule by deuout prayer as Moyses [Page] dyd in to the tabernacle to aske coūsayle of god. Thou shalte here anone the aun­swere of our Lorde whiche shall instructe the sufficiently in many thingꝭ both pre­sent & for to come. It is red that Moyses had alway recourse to the tabernacle of god for doutes and questyons to be assoyled and that he there asked the helpe of god throughe deuoute prayer for the pe­rylles and daungers aswell of hym selfe as of the people. So shuldeste thou entre ī to the secrete tabernacle of thyne owne herte / and there aske īwardly with good deuocion the helpe of god in al suche doutes and perylles. We rede that Iosue and the chyldren of Israell were deceyued of the Gabaonites bicause they gyue lyght credence to theyr sayenges and dyd nat firste aske coūsayle of god as they shulde haue done / and so by the fayre wordes of the Gabaonites and through a false pite Iosue and the chyldren of Israell were illuded and greatly deceyued.

❧That a man shulde nat be importune in his busines. The .xliiii. Chapitre.

[Page Cxii]MI sonne sayth our lorde cōmytte alwaye thy cause to me / and I shall well dyspose it for the / whan tyme shall come / abyde myne ordinaunce and direc­tyon / and thou shalte fynde therby greate profyte and helpe. ★ O lorde gladly wyll I cōmytte all thinges to the: for it is ly­tell that I can do for my selfe / wolde to God that I dyd nat cleue to desyres of worldely thynges / but that I myght al­way offre my selfe hooly to thy wyll: and pleasure. ★: My sone so it is good for the to do: for somtyme a man that trustethe muche in hym selfe / and in his owne wyl setteth his mynde muche for to brynge a­boute this thinge or that as he desyreth. But whan he hath attayned that he de­syreth / than he begynneth to fele all o­therwyse of it than he dyd before / for the affeccyons and desyres of man be nat al­way one / but dryueth a man ofte fro one thynge to an other. ☞ Therfore it is no smale thynge a man fully to forsake hym selfe thoughe it be in ryght lytell & smale thinges. For truly the very perfeccyon of man is a perfyte denieng and a full forsakynge of hym selfe. And suche a man is very fre and beloued of god. But the olde [Page] auncyēt enemy the fende which resysteth goodnes all that he maye. Ceaseth nat longe fro temptacyon but day and night he maketh greuous assautes: to se yf [...]e may catche any vnware ꝑsone in to hys snare of deceyte. Therfore wake ye and pray yet that ye be nat deceyued by temp­tacyon.

❧:That man hath no goodnes of hym selfe / and that he may nat ryght fully glorifie hym selfe in any thynge. The .xlv. Chapitre.

O Lorde what is man that thou vouchestsafe to haue mynde on hym: or what hathe he done for the: that thou wylte visyte hym with thy grace / and what may he complayne al­thoughe thou somtyme forsake hym / or what may I ryght wysely saye thoughe thou graunte me nat that I aske / truely I may well thynke and say thus. I am nought / ne I haue no goodnes of my self but in all thynges I am of my selfe all in sufficient and go to nought / and but I be holpen of the and be inwardely informed and taught by the: I shalbe all hooly [Page Cxiii] slouthfull and to all thinge vnprofytable O lorde thou arte alwaye one / euer shalte be one / alwaye good: alwaye ryght wyse and holy / well ryhhtwysely and blessedly disposyng all thingꝭ after thy wysdome / but I wretche that alway am more redy and more prone to euyll thā to good / and nat I alway abydynge in one / for .vii. tymes be chaunged vpon me. Neuertheles it shall be better with me whan it shall please the to put to thy helpynge hande / for thou onely arte he that without man mayste helpe me: and so mayste thou con­ferme me and stable me in the that myne herte shal nat so lyghtly be chaunged fro the / but that it may be hooly fixed in the and finally to rest in the. And verely yf I coulde cast away fro me al mānes cōfort eyther for gettynge of deuocyon / or for I am compelled therto of necessyte for that I fynde no conforte in man / than myght I well truste in thy grace to haue of the newe visitacions / and newe heuenly consolacyons / but I confesse it for trouthe / that I am vnworthy to haue any suche consolacyons / and I thanke the as ofte as any good thynge cōmeth to me for al that is good commeth of the. I am but of all [Page] vanyte and nought bef [...]re the / a vncon­staunte man & a feble / and therfore wher­of many I ryghtwysly glorify my selfe or why shulde I loke to be magnified / truly vaynglory is a peryllous sekenes: a gre­uous pestilence and a ryght great vanite for it draweth a mā fro the true ioy that he shulde haue in god and roubeth hym clerely of all heuenly grace. For whan a man pleaseth him selfe he displeaseth the and whan he delyteth in mannes pray­singꝭ he is depreued fro the true vertues / for the true stedfast ioy and gladnes is to ioye in the and nat in hym selfe / in thy name / and nat in hys owne vertue / ne in any creature. Therfore thy name be praysed and nat myne / thy warkes be magni­fyed and nat myne / and thy goodnes be alway blessed: so that nothinge be gyuen to me of the laude and praysyng of man. Thou arte my glorye: and the ioy of my herte. In the shall I be glorifyed / and al­way shall I ioye in the / and in my selfe nothynge / but in my infirmytes. Let the Iewes seke glorye amonge thē selfe / but I wyll none seke but that is onely of the for all mannes glorye / all temporall ho­noure and worldely hyghnes to thy eter­nall [Page Cxiiii] glory cōpared is but as folysshenes / and a greate vanyte. ♣: O trouth / o mer­cy / o blessed Trinyte / to the be laude ho­noure and glorye euerlastyngly. Amen.

❧Howe all temporall honoure is to be dyspysed. The .xlvi. Chapitre.

MI sonne take it nat to no greue though thou se other men ho­noured & exalted & thy selfe dis­pysed & set at nought if thou reyse vp thy herte to me in heuen / the dispytes of man in erth shal lytel greue the. O lorde we be here in great derkenes / & sone are we de­ceyued with vanyties / but verely if I be­helde my selfe well I shulde opēly so that there was neuer wrōg done to me by any creature: ne that I haue nothing wherof I may rightwisely cōplayne. But for as­muche as I haue ofte synned / and gre­uously offended agaynste the. ♣ Therfore all creatures be armed agaynste me. To me therfore is due confusion and dispyte / to the laude / honoure / and glorye. And but I can brynge my selfe to thys poynte that I wolde gladly be dispised & forsakē [Page] of all creatures / and vt [...]erly to seme as nought in the worlde / I maye nat be in­wardly pacified ne stabled in the / ne spiritually be illumined / nor yet fully be oned to the.

❧That our truste is nat to be put in wordely people. The .xlvii. Chapitre.

MI sonne yf thou set thy peace with any persone for thyne owne plea­sure or worldly frendshype / thou shalte al­way be vnstable / and neuer shalt thou be contented / but yf thou haue alwaye re­course to the trouth euerlastynge that is god hym selfe: than the death or goynge away of thy derest frende what so euer he be shall lytell greue the. The loue of thy frende ought alway to be referred to me / and for me he is to be beloued howe good and howe profytable so euer he seme vn­to the in this lyfe / without me frendshype is nought worth / ne may nat longe en­dure / ne that loue is nat true and cleane that is nat knytte by me. Thou oughtest therfore to be so mortified to all suche af­feciōs of worldely men / that in as muche [Page Cxv] as in the is: thou woldeste coueyte to be without all mannes cōforte. So muche a man nygheth the more to God as he can withdrawe hym selfe fro the worlde and from all worldly conforte / & so muche the more he asscendeth the hygher to god as he can descende lower in hym selfe / and as he can were vyle and abiecte in hys owne syght / he that ascribeth any good­nes to hym selfe ayenstandeth the gra [...]e of God and letteth it to lyue in hym / for the grace of the holy ghost seketh alwaye a meke & an hūble herte / if thou couldeste perfitly noughty thy selfe & hooly auoyde thy herte fro all create loue / than shulde I (sayth our lorde) come to ye with great habundaunce of my grace. ★ But whan thou lokest to creatures / than is ryght­wysely withdrawen fro the: the syght of thy creatoure. Learne therfore to ouer­come thy selfe / for the loue of hym that made the lyke to him selfe / and thou shalt anone come to great ghostely knowlege: howe lytell so euer the thynge be that a man loueth yf he loue it inordynately / it hyndreth hym: and letteth hym greatly fro the true and ꝑfyte loue that he shulde haue vnto God.

❧That we shulde eschewe vayne seculer connynge. The .xlviii. Chapitre.

MI sonne sayth our Lorde / let nat fayre and also subtyll wordes moue the / for the kyngdome of heuen standethe nat in wordes / but in good vertuous warkes. ☞: Take hede vnto my wordes / for they enflame the herte / and lyghten the vnderstandynge and brynge in also cōpunciō of herte / for synnes paste / and cause also ofte tymes great heuenly conforte sodeynly to come in to the soule / rede neuer in any scyente to the intente thou woldest be called wyse but study rather to mortify in the all styrrynges of synnes as muche as in the is / and that shalbe more profytable in the / than the knowledge of many harde / and subtyll questions / whā thou hast rest and vnderstande many doutes / yet neuerthe­les it behoueth the to come to one that is begynnynge of all thynges that is god hym selfe / and els thy knowlege shall ly­tyll auayle the. I am he that teacheth a man connynge / and gyue more vnder­standynhe to meke persones / than can [Page Cxvi] be taught by mannes teachynge. ★ And he to whome I speake / shall sone be made wyse: and muche shall he profyte in spy­rite / whan payne and wo shalbe to them that onely seke for curyous lernynge ta­kynge lytell hede of the waye for to serue god. The tyme shall come whan Chryste lorde of Angels / and mayster of all mays­ters shall appere to here the lesson of eue­ry creature and to examyne the consciēce of euery persone / and than shall Ierusa­lem that is mannes soule beserched with lanternes and lyghtnes of goddes hygh knowledge: and ryghtfull iugementes / and thā also shalbe made open / the dedes and thoughtes of euery man and all ex­cuses and vayne argumentes shall cease and vtterly be set aparte. ★ I am he also that sodeynly at a poynte illumyne / and lyfte vp a meke soute / that it shalbe made able to take and to receyue in shorte tyme more perfitly the true reason of the wys­dome of God / than an other that study­eth .x. yeres in scoles and lacketh meke­nes. I teache withoute sounde of wor­des without desyre of oppynyons / with­oute desyre of honoure / & withoute stryfe and argumentes. ☞:❧: And I am [Page] he that teacheth all the people to dyspyse erthely thynges / to loth thynges that he presente / to seke and to sauoure eternall thinges / to fle honours / to bere pacyent­ly al euyll wordes and spekynges / to put their truste hooly [...] me / nothynge to co­ueyte without me / and aboue all thynge brenningly to loue me. And some folkes through an inwarde loue that they haue had to me: haue lerned many great thīgꝭ and haue spoken many hyghe mysteryes of my godheed. ★: They profyte more in forsakynge all thynge / than in studienge for hygh & subtyll lernynge. But to some men I speke comen thinges / to some spe­cyall thynges / to some I appere swetely in sygnes & fygures / and to some I gyue great vnderstandynge of scripture & open to them hyghe secrete misteries. There is in bokes one voyce and one lettre that is red / but it enformeth nat all persones a­lyke / for I am within secretly hyd in the lettre the teacher of trouth the sercher of mānes hert / ye knower of thoughtes the promoter of good warkes and the rewarder of all men after as my wysdome and goodnes iugeth theym to haue deserued and none otherwyse.

❧:That we shulde nat regarde muche outwarde thynges / ne pondre but lytell the iugemente of man. The .xlix. Chapitre.

MI sone it is profi [...]able to the to be ignoraūt in many thynges / and to thinke thy selfe as deed to the worlde & to whome at the worlde is crucyfied. And thou must also as with a de [...]e care let many thynges passe as thou neyther herde them ne sawe them & to thinke on suche thinges as shall cause in the an inwarde peace in soule. It is also more profitable to the that thou tourne the eye of thy soule fro thinges that displease the and to let euery man holde hys opinyon therin as hym semeth beste / rather than to stryue agayne with frowarde wordes. And truely yf thou were well stabled in God and beheldeste wel his iugementes thou shuldeste lyghtly be content to be iuged of other and to be ouercome of other as our lorde Iesu was for the in tyme of his passyon. ★ O lorde sith it is true that thou sayste what shall become of vs that hede [...]o muche wordly thynges & be wepe so greatly a lytell temporall losse / and we [Page] laboure & renne for worldly profyte with all our myhht / but our spirytuall profyte and the helthe of our owne soules we ly­tell regarde. Suche thinges as lytell or nothynge profyteth vs in muche set by / but that / that is moste necessary to vs is nyghe forgotten / for why all men renne gladly to outwarde thynges. And truely but they shortely tourne backe agayne / they shall gladly rest styll in them / which in the ende shalbe to them greate peryll: and daunger.

❧That men be nat alway to be be­loued / for that they so lyghtely offende in wordes. The. .l. Chapitre.

LOrde sende helpe vnto me in all my troubles: and vexacyons / for man­nes helpe is litel worth / howe ofte haue I nat founde frendshype where I thought I shulde haue founde it. And howe ofte haue I founde it where I leste presumed to haue founde it / where it is a vayne thynge to truste in man / for the true and sothfast truste and helth of ryghtwyse mē is onely in the. Blessed be thou lorde therfore in all thynges that happeneth vnto [Page Cxviii] vs / for we be weyke and vnstable: sone deceyued / and sone chaunged fro one thing to an other / who may so wately and so assuredly kepe hym selfe in euery thynge that he ne shall somtyme fall into some deceyte or in to some perplexyte / truely very fewe / but he that dothe truste in the and that seketh the with a true & cleane herte / slydeth nat so lyghtly fro the. And if it happen hym to fall in to any trouble or perple [...]ite what [...]o euer i [...] be / and howe greuous so euer it be / he shall anone ey­ther be delyuered by the: or be conforted by the / for thou dydest neuer forfake hym that trusteth in the. It is ryght harde to fynde so true and so faythfull a frende that wyll perseuer with hys frende in all his troubles / but thou Lorde arte moste faythfull in all thynges and lyke to the none can be founde. ☞ O howe well sa­uoured that holy soule in ghostely thyn­ges that sayde thus. My mynde is sta­blyshed in god / and is fully grounded in Chryste. Truely yf it were so with me the drede of man shulde nat so lyghtly entre in to me / ne other mennes wordes shulde nat so sone moue me / who maye force all thynges / or who may preuēte all [Page] euylls that are to come / and yf thingꝭ for se [...]e do it ofte tymes greate hurte / what shall thā tho thynges do that be nat for­sene. But why ha [...]e nat I wretche better sene to my selfe / and why haue I so lyghtly beleued other mēnes saynges truly for we be men & that [...]ut frayle men though we be estemed and thought of many to be as Aungels in our conuersacion / whome may I beleue but onely the. Thou arte the trouth that deceyueste no man: nor mayste nat be deceyued. And on the other syde euery man is a lyer weyke and vnstable and slydynge moste especially in wor­des / so that vnnethes it may be beleued that semeth openly to be true / howe pru­dently therfore haste thou warned vs to beware of the lyghtnes of man / and that our familier seruauntes may be our ene­mies so y [...] it is nat to be beleued though [...] one wyll say lo here is thy frēde / or there is thy frēde / for I am taught with myne owne herte: but wolde to god it myght be as a warnyng to me & nat to my more foly. ★ Some say to me beware / be ware / kepe close to thy selfe that I shall shewe to the. And whan I speake it close and beleued it to be secrete: he can nat be secrete [Page Cxix] in that hym selfe desyred but anone he betrayeth both hym selfe and me / and goth his way fro suche tales and fro suche vn­stable men / lorde defende me / that I fall nat in to theyr handes / ne that I neuer comyt any suche thynges. A true worde and a stable lorde gyue in to my mouthe / and a deceytfull tonge dryue farre away fro me / for that I wolde nat haue done to my selfe / I ought to be ware that I do it that to none other. O howe good and howe peacefull is it to kepe scylence of o­ther mēnes wordes and dedes and nat to gyue full credence tyll the trouth be tried and nat to reporte lyghtely to other all that we here or se. Ne to open our herte fully but to very fewe / and to seke the all waye that are the beholder of mannes herte / and not for to be moued with euery flake of wordes / but for to desyre in herte that all thynge in vs inwardely and out­wardely may be fulfylled after thy wyll / howe sure a thynge is it also for the ke­pynge of heuenly grace / to fle the conuer­sacyon of wordly people all that we may and nat to desyre thynges that seme outwardely to be pleasaunte: and lykynge. But with all the study of our hert to seke [Page] suche thynges as brynge in feruoure of spiryte and amendement of lyfe. It hath ben truely a great hurte to many ꝑsones a vertue knowen and ouer tymely pray­sed / and on the contrarywyse it hath ben ryght profytable to some: a grace kepte in scylence / and nat lyghtely reported to other in this frayle lyfe that is ful of tēptacyon and preuy enuye.

❧That we shall put all out confy­dence in god whan euyll wordes be spoken vnto vs. The .li. Cha­pitre.

MI sonne saythe our Lorde / stande strōgly and truste faythfully in me what be wordes but wynde / they fle in the heyre / but they hurte neuer astone on the grounde / and if thou knowe thy selfe nat gyltye / thynke that thou wylt suffre gladly suche wordes for god. It is but a hasty worde sith thou art yet stable to [...]uffre harde strokes. But why is it that so lytell a thynge goeth so nygh the hert / but that thou art yet fleshely and carnall and hedest to please men more than thou shul­dest. [Page Cxx] And bycause thou dredest to be dispysed / thou wylt nat gladly be reproued for thyne offenses / and thou serchest therfore busily & with great study how thou maist be excused. But beholde thy selfe wel and thou shalt se that the worlde yet lyueth in the & a vayne loue also to please mā. Whā thou refusest to be rebuked and punyshed for thy defautes / it appereth euydently that thou art nat yet sothfastly meke / ne that thou arte nat yet deed to the worlde nor the worlde to the net truely crucifyed But here my wordes and thou shalte nat nede to care for the wordꝭ of ten thousāde men. Lo if al thinges were sayde agaynst the that myght be most malicyously / and vntruly fayned agaynst the / what shulde they hurte yf thou suffred them to ouer­passe and go awaye / truely no more than a strawe vnder thy fote / and one heare of thy hed they myght nat take fro the. But he that hath nat a mannes herte withinforth / ne setteth nat God before the eye of hys soule / is sone moued with a sharpe worde / whan he that trusteth in me / and wyl nat stande vnto his owne iugemente shalbe fre fro all mānes drede for I am the Iudge that knoweth all / [Page] secretes. I knowe howe euery thynge is done and I knowe also both hym that doth the wronge and hym that it is done to. ☞: Of thys thynge is wrought and by my sufferaunce it is come aboute that the thoughtes of mennes hertes may be knowen / and whan the tyme commeth I shall iuge both the innocente & hym that is gylty. But fyrste throughe my ryght­wyse examinacyon I wyl proue thē both The wytnes of mā ofte tymes deceyueth but my iugemēte is alway true and shall nat be subuerted / and howe be it: it is somtyme hyd and nat knowen but to fewe / yet it is true and erreth nat / ne yet maye nat erre / thoughe in the syght of some vnwyse persones it semeth nat so. ★: Ther­fore in euery doute it behoueth for to rene to me / and nat to leaue muche vnto thyne owne reason / but with euery thing that I shall sende the to be contente / for a ryghtwyse man is neuer troubled with any thynge that I shall suffre to fall vn­to hym. In so much that though a thing were vntruely spoken agaynste hym / he shulde nat muche care for it. Ne he shulde nat muche ioy thoughe he were somtyme reasonably excused / for he thynketh al­way [Page Cxxi] that I am he that sercheth mannes herte / and that I iuge nat after the out­warde apparaunce / for ofte tymes it shal be founde in my syght worthy to be bla­med that in mānes syght semeth muche worthy to be praysed. O lorde god moste ryghtwyse Iuge stronge and pacyente / whiche knoweste the fraylte / and the malyce of man / be thou my strength and my hole conforte in all necessyties / for myne owne conscyence Lorde suffyseth me nat / for thou knoweste in me that I knowe nat. And therfor ī euery reprofe I ought alway to meken my selfe / and pacyently to suffre all thynges in charyte after thy pleasure / forgyue me lorde as ofte as I haue nat so done / and gyue me grace of greater sufferaūce in tyme to come. Thy mercy is more profytable and more sure waye for me vnto the gettinge of pardon and forgyuenes of my synnes thā a trust in myne owne warkes throughe defence of my derke conscyence. And thoughe I drede nat my conscyence / yet I may nat therfore iustyfy my selfe: for thy mercye remoued and taken away / no man maye be iustiyfyed: ne appere ryghtwyse in thy syght.

❧:Howe all greuous thynges in thys lyfe are gladely to be suffred for wynnynge of thys lyfe that is to come. The .lii. Chapitre.

MI sone (sayth our lorde) be nat bro­ken by impacyēce with the laboure that thou hast taken for my sake / ne suf­fre thou nat trybulacyons to caste the in dispayre nor in to vnresonable heuynes / ne anguyshe in no wyse / but be thou con­forted and strengthed in euery chaūce by my promyses and behestꝭ / for I am able and of power to rewarde the and other my seruaūtes haboundauntly more than yet an thynke or desyre / thou shalte nat laboure longe here ne alwaye be greued with heuynes / tary a whyle my promys­ses and thou shalt shortly se an ende of all thy troubles / one howre shall come whan all thy laboures and troubles shall cease and truely that howre wyll shortly come for all is shorte that passeth with tyme. Do therfore as thou doste / laboure bu­sely and faythfully in my vyneyarde / and I shall shortely be thy rewarde: wryte / rede / synge / mourne / be styll and praye [Page Cxxii] and suffre gladly aduersyte / for the kyng­dome of heuen is more worth than is all these thynges / and muche more greater thynges than they are: peace shall come one day that it is knowē to me / and that shall nat be the day of this lyfe / but a day euerlastynge with infynite clerenes sted­faste peace / & syker rest without endynge. And than thou shalt nat say / who shal de­liuer me frō the body of this deth ne thou shalt nat nede to cry. Wo is to me that my cōmyng whiche is the kyngdōe of heuen is thꝰ prolōged. For deth shal thā be dis­troyed & helth shalbe without ende of [...]o­dy and of soule / in so muche that no ma­ner of vnrestfulnes shalbe / but blessed ioy and most swetnes / & most fayrest cōpany. O if thou sawest the euerlasting crownes of my saintes in heuen / in howe gret ioy and glory they are that sōtyme semed to be vyle persons & as mēdispysable in the worlde / thou shuldeste anone meken thy selfe lowe to the groūde / and thou shuldest rather coueyt to be subiecte vnto al men / than to haue soueraynte ouer any one ꝑ­sone / and thou shuldest nat desyre to haue myrth & solace in this worlde / but rather tribulacyon and payne / and thou shuldest [Page] than accompte it as a great wynnynge / to be dispysed and to be taken as nought amonge the people. O yf these thynges sauoure well to the and depely perced in to thy herte / thou shuldest nat ones dare complayne for no maner of trouble that shulde befall vnto the. Are nat all payn­full thynges and most greuous laboures gladly to be suffrered for the ioyes euerlastyng? yes verely: for it is no lytell thyng to wynne or lese the kyngdome of heuen lyfte vp thy face therfore into the heuen & beholde howe I and all my sayntes that be with me in heuen: had in thys worlde greate batayle and conflycte / and nowe they ioye with me and be conforted in me and be sure to abyde with me / & to dwell with me in the kyngedome of my father without endynge. Amen.

❧Of the daye of eternyte / and of the myseryes of thys lyfe. The .liii. Cha­pitre.

O Blessed mansyon of the heuēly citie. O moste clerest day of eternite: whome the night may nat darken / but the hygh trouth that god is [Page Cxxiii] illumineth and clereth: the daye alwaye mery / alway syker / & neuer chaungynge his state to the contrarye / wolde to god that this day myght ones appere & shyne vpon vs / and that these tēporall thynges were at an ende. This blessed day shineth to Sayntes in heuen with euerlastynge bryghtnes and clerely / but to vs pylgry­mes in earth it shyneth nat but a farre of as throughe a myrroure or glasse. The heuenly citezēs knowe well howe ioyus this day is. But we outlawes: the chyl­dren of Eue wepe and wayle the bytter­nes and tedyousnes of this day that is of this presente lyfe shorte and euyll full of sorowes anguyshes: where a man is ofte tymes defouled with synne / encombred with passyons / inquyeted with dredes / bounden with charges / busyed with va­nites / blinded with errours / ouercharged with laboures / vexed with temptacyons ouercome with delytes and pleasures of the worlde: and greuously tormēted som­tyme with penury and nede. ♣: O whan shall the ende come of all these miseryes / and whan shall I be clerely delyuered fro the bondage of synne: whan shall I only lorde haue mynde on the & fully be made [Page] glad and mery in the / whan shall I be fre without lettynge and be in parfyte lyberty without greue of body and of soule whā shall I haue sad peace without trouble / peace within and without & on euery syde stedfast and syker. O lorde Iesu whā shall I stande and beholde the & haue ful syght & contemplacion of thy glorye / and whan shalte thou be to me all in all / and whā shall I be with the in thy kyngdom that thou hast ordeyned to thy electe peo­ple fro the begynnynge. I am lefte here poore and as an outlawe in the lande of myne enemyes / where dayly be batayles and great misfortunes. Cōforte my exyle aswage my sorowe / for all my desyre cry­eth to the / it is to me a greuous bourden what so euer the worlde offereth me here to my solace I desyre to haue īwarde fru [...] cion in the / but I can nat atteyne therto I coueyte to cleaue faste theuēly thinges but temporall thynges and passions vn­mortified: pull me alway downwarde in mynde I wolde be aboue all tēporal thinges / but whether I wyll or nat I am cō ­pelled through myne owne defaute to be subiecte vnto my fleshe / thus I mooste wretched man fyght in my selfe / and am [Page Cxxiiii] made greuous to my selfe / whyles my spirite desyreth to the vpwarde & my fleshe downwarde. O what suffre I inwardely whan in my mynde I beholde heuenly thynges: and a greate multytude of car­nall thoughtes entre into my soule. Therfore lorde be nat longe fro me / ne departe nat in thy wrath fro me thy seruaunte▪ sende to me the lyghtnes of thy grace & breke downe in me all eternal thoughtes Sende forth the dartes of thy loue & breke therwith all fantasies of the enemy. Ga­ther my wytnes: and powers of my soule to gether in the. Make me forgette all worldly thynges / and graunt me to caste awaye and hooly to dispyse all fantasies of synne / helpe me therfore thou euerla­stynge truth that no worldly vanite here after haue power in me. Come also thou heuenly swetnes and let all bytternes of synne fle farre fro me / pardone me and mercyfully forgyue me whan I thynke in my prayer of any thynge but of the / for I cōfesse for trouth that in time paste I haue vsed my selfe very vnstably ther­in / for many times I am nat there where I stande or sytte / but rather I am ther­fore there where my thoughtes lede me / [Page] for there I am where my thought is and there as my thought is accustomed to be there is that that I loue / and that ofte tymes commethe into my mynde that by custome pleaseth me beste / and that most delyteth me to thynke vppon. Wherfore thou that arte euerlastynge trouth sayste openly / there as thy treasure is: there is thy herte.★: Wherfore if I loue heuen: I speke gladly of heuenly thynges / and of suche thynges as be of god / and that perteyne moste vnto hys honoure and to the glorifyenge of and worshyppynge of his holy name. And yf I loue the worlde: I ioye anone at worldly felicite and sorowe anone at his aduersite / if I loue the fleshe I ymagyne ofte tymes that pleaseth the fleshe / and yf I loue my soule I delyte muche to speake and to here of thynges that be to my soule helthe. And so what so euer I loue: of them I gladly here and speake / and bere the ymages of them ofte in my mynde / blessed is that man that for the lorde forgetteth all creatures and lerneth truely to ouercome hym selfe / and with the feruoure of spirite crucifieth his fleshe / / so that in a cleane and in a p [...]re cō scyence he maye offre hys prayers to the [Page Cxxv] and he worthy to haue company of bles­sed Angels. All erthely thynges excluded fro hym and fully set aparte. Amen.

❧:Of the desyre of euerlastynge lyfe / and of the greate rewarde that is promysed to theym that strongely fyght agaynste synne. The .liiii. Chapitre.

MI sone whan thou felest y [...] a desyre of euerlastyng blysse is gyuē to the & that thou couetist to go out of the tabernacle of thy mortall body / y [...] thou myght clerely wtout shadowe beholde my clere­nes. Open thine herte & with ye desyre of thy soule take that holy īspiraciō: & yelde most large thankes to the hygh goodnes of god that so worthely doth to the / so benyngly vysyteth the / so brennyngly styr­reth the / and so myghtely bereth the vp: that throughe thyne owne burden thou fall nat downe to erthely lykynges / and thynke nat that that desyre commeth of thy selfe or of thyne owne werkynge / but rather that it commeth of the gyfte of grace / and of a louely beholdynge of god [Page] vpon the / that thou shuldeste profyte therby in mekenes and vertue / and that thou shuldest also p̄pare the to be redy agaynst an other tyme for batayles that are for to come / and the more surely to cleue to god with all the desyre & affecyon of thy herte and to study with al thy power how thou mayste moste purely and moste deuoutly serue hym / and take hede of thys comon prouerbe· The fyre doth ofte brenne / but the flame doth nat assende without some smoke. So in lykewyse the desyre of some men draweth to heuenly thynges / & yet they be nat all free fro the smoke of car­nall affecciōs / and therfore they do it nat alway purely for the honoure and loue of god that they aske so desyrously of hym. Suche ofte times is thy desyre that thou shewest to be so importune for that desire is nat clene & perfyte that is myxte with thyne owne cōmodyte. Aske therfore nat that is delectable & profytable to the / but that is acceptable & honoure to me / for if thou do well and iuge a ryght / thou shalt preferre my ordynaūce & my wyll before all thy desyres & before all thynges that may be desyred besyde me. I knowe well thy desyre. Thou woldest nowe be in the [Page Cxxvi] lybertye of the glory of the sonnes of god nowe the euerlastynge house and the he­uenly countrey full of ioye and glorye de­lyteth the muche: but that tyme cōmeth nat yet / for there is yet an other tyme to come / that is to saye: a tyme of laboure and of proufe / thou desyrest to be fulfilled with the hyghe goodnes in heuen / but thou mayste nat yet come therto. I am the full rewarde of man / abyde me vntyll I shall come / and thou shalte haue me to thy rewarde. Thou arte yet to be proued here vpō earth / and more throughly to be assayled in many thinges / some comforte shalbe gyuen the / but the fulnes thereof shall nat yet be graunted. Be thou ther­fore conforted in me / and be thou stronge as well in doynge as in sufferynge thyn­ges contrary to thy wyll. It behoueth the to be clothed in my bloode / and to be chaunged in to a newe man / and thou must oft tymes do that thou woldest nat do / & that yt thou woldest do thou muste forsake & leue vndone. That shall please other shall go well forwarde / & that shall please the shall haue no spede / that other mē say shalbe wel herde / & that thou shalt say shalbe set at nought. Other shall aske [Page] and haue theyr askynge / thou shalte aske and be denyed. Other shalbe greate and haue greate laude and prayse of the peo­ple / and of the no worde shalbe spoken. To other thys offyce or that shalbe com­mytted and thou shalt be iuged vnprofy­table in euery thynge / for these thynges and other lyke: nature wyll murmure & grudge / and thou shalte haue a greate ba­tayle in thy selfe if thou bere them secrete in thy herte without complaynynge and myssaynge. Neuertheles in suche thingꝭ and otherlyke my faythfull seruauntꝭ are wonte to be proued / howe they can deny them selfe and howe they can in all thyn­ges breyke theyr owne wylles / and there is nothyng that thou shalt nede so much to ouercome thy selfe in / as to lerne to be contented / nat to be set any pryce by in the worlde / and to suffre suche thynges as be most cōtrary to thy wyll especyally whan suche thingꝭ as in thy syghte seme vnprofytable be cōmaunded to be done. But my sonne consyder well the profyte fruyte of all these laboures the shorte ende and the greate rewarde / and than thou shalt fele no grefe ne payne in all thy la­boures / but the moste swetest conforte of [Page Cxxvii] the holy ghost throughe thy good wyll / and for that lytel wyl that thou forsakest here thou shalte alwaye haue thy wyll in heuē where thou shalt haue all that thou causte or mayste desyre. There shalt thou haue full possession of all goodnes with­out drede to lese it. There thy wyll shalbe euer one with my wyll / & it shall coueyte no straunge nor priuate thynges. There no man shall resyste the / no man shall cō ­playne on the / no man shal let the / nor no man shall witstande the / but all thinges that thou cāste desire shalbe there presen [...] and shall fulfyl al the powers of my soule vnto the full. There shall I yelde glorye for reproues / and a palle of laude for the heuynes / and for the loweste place here / a sete in heuen for euer. There shal appere the frute of obedyence▪ the laboure of pe­naunce shall ioye / and the humble subiec­cion shalbe crowned gloriously: bowe the therfore mekely nowe vnder euery man­nes hande / and force lytel who sayth this or who commaundeth this to be done. But with all thy study take hede yt whether thy p̄late or thy felowe or any other lower than thou aske any thynge of the or wyll any thyng to be done by the / that [Page] thou take it awaye vnto the beste / & with a glad wyll study to fulfyll it / let this mā seke thys thynge and an other that / and let this man ioye in this thyng and an o­ther in that what so it be and let them be landed and praysed a thousande tymes / but ioye thou neyther in thys thynge nor in that / but onely in thyne owne contēpt and dyspysinge / and in my wyll for to be fulfylled and whether it be by lyfe or deth that I maye alwaye be landed & honou­red in the and by the. Amen.

❧:Howe a man that is desolate ought to suffre hym selfe hoo­ly vnto god. The .lv. Chapiter

LOrde hooly fa [...]her / be thou bles­sed nowe and euer / for euen as thou wylte so it is done / and what that thou doeste is alwaye well / let me thy pooreste seruaūte and moste vnworthy ioye in the and nat in my selfe ne in nothyng els be­syde the / for thou lorde arte my gladnes / thou arte my hope / my crowne / my ioy / & all my honoure. What hath my seruaunt but that he hath of the and that without his deserte all thyngꝭ be thyne that thou haste gyuen and made. And I am poore [Page Cxxviii] and haue bene in trouble and in payne e­uer fro my yoth. and my soule hath bene in great heuynes with wepynge & teares and somtyme it hath bene troubled in it selfe throughe many folde passyons that come of the worlde & of the flesshe. Where fore lorde I desyre that I maye haue of the ioye of thy inwarde peace: and I do aske the reste of thy chosen chyldren that he fedde and norysshed of the ī the lyghte of heuenly confortes / but without thyne helpe I can nat come therevnto. If thou lorde gyue peace or if thou gyue inwarde ioye / my soule shalbe anone full of heuēly melody and be deuoute and seruēt in thy laudes and praysynges / but yf thou with drawe thy selfe from me as thou haste sō ­tyme done / than maye nat thy seruaunte renne the waye of thy commaundemen­tes as he dyd fyrste / but than he is com­pelled to bowe hys knees / and to knocke his brest / for it is nat with hym as it was before whā the lāterne of thy ghostly presence shone vpon his hedde / & that he was defended vnder the shadowe of thy mercy from all perylles & daungers. ★ O ryght wyse father euer to be praysed / the tyme is come that thou wylt thy seruaunte be [Page] proued. And ryghtwysely is it done that I shal nowe suffre somwhat for the / now is the houre come that thou haste knowē [...]t [...] the begynnynge that thy seruaūt for a tyme shulde outwardly be set at nought and inwardly to lyue to the: and that he shulde a lytell be dyspysed in the syght of the worlde and be broken with passyons & sykenes / that he myght after ryse with the in to a newe lyght & be claryfyed and made glorious in lyke kyngdome of heuē ★O holy father thou hast ordeyned it so to be / and it is done as thou haste cōmaū ded / this is thy grace to thy frende / to suffre and to be troubled in thys worlde / for thy loue / how ofte so euer it be / & of what persone so euer it be / and in what maner so euer thou suffre it to fal vnto him with out thy coūsayle and prouydence ne with out cause no thynge is done vpon earthe. O it is good to me Lorde that thou haste mekened me that I may therby lerne to knowe the ryghtwyse iugementes / & put fro me all maner of presumpcyon & hyghnes of herte / and it is very profytable to me that confusyon hath couered my face that I may lerne therby to seke for helpe and socour to the rather than vnto man. [Page Cxxix] And I haue therby lerned to drede thy secrete & terrible iugementes which scour­geste the ryghtwyse mā with the synner but nat w [...]thout equyte & iustice. I yelde thākes to the that thou haste nat spared my synnes / but haste punyshed me with scourges of loue / and haste sence me soro­wes and anguysshes within & without / so that there is no creature vnder heuen that may confort me / but thou lorde god the heuenly leche of mannes soule which strykeste and helest and bryngeste a man nyghe vnto bodely dethe and after r [...]sto­reste hym to helthe agayne that he maye therby lerne to knowe the lytelnes of his owne power and the more fully to truste in the. The dyscyplyne is fallen vpon me and thy rodde of correccyon hath taught me / and vnder that rode I hooly submyt me / stryke my backe and my bones as it shall please the and make me to bowe my croked wyll vnto thy wyll / make me a meke and a hūble dyscyple as thou haste somtime done with me that I may walk all after thy wyll. To the I cōmytte my selfe & all myne to be corrected / for better it is to be corrected by the here / than in tymes to come. Thou knowest all thynges [Page] and nothynge is hyd from the that is in mannes conscience. Thou knowest thynges to come before they fall / and it is nat nedeful that any mā reache the or warne the of any thynge that is done vpon the erth. Thou knoweste what is spedful for me and howe muche tribulacion helpeth to pourge the ruste of syn in me / do with me after thy pleasure / and dysdayne nat my synfull lyfe to none so well knowē as it is to the. Graūt me lorde that to know that is necessary to be knowen / that to loue that is to be loued that to prayse yt hyghly pleaseth the: that to regarde that apereth precyous ī thy syght & that to refuse that is vile before the Suffre me nat to iuge after my outwarde wyttes / ne to gyue sentence after the hearyng of vncō ­nynge men / but in a true iugemēt to des­cerne thynges vysible and vnuisible / and aboue all thynges alwaye to serche and folowe theyr wyll & pleasure. The out­warde wyttes of men be ofte deceyued in theyr ingementes. And in lyke wyse the louers of the worlde be deceyued through lyuynge onely of visible thingꝭ / what is a man the better / for he is taken better / truely nothynge / for a deceytfull man de­ceyueth [Page Cxxx] an other / a vayne man deceyueth an other / and a blynde / and a feble crea­ture deceyueth an other whā he exalteth hym / & rather confoundeth hym thā prayseth hym for why / howe muche so euer a mā be in sight of god / so muche he is and no more (sayth the meke saynt Fraūces) howe holy and howe vertuous so euer he be taken in syght of the people.

❧That is good that a man gyue hym selfe vnto meke bodely laboures / whan he feleth nat hym selfe disposed to hygh warkes of deuocyon. The .lvi. Chapiter.

MI sonne / thou mayste nat alway stande in the hyghe feruente de­syre of vertue / ne in the hygheste degre of contemplacyon / but thou muste of necessyte through the corrupcyō of the fyrst synne somtyme descende vnto lowe [...] thinges / and agaynste thy wyll and with greate tedyousnes to beare the burden of this corruptible body / for as lōge as thou herest this body of deth / thou muste nedes fele some grefe of herte / and thou shalte ofte tymes bewype and mourne the bur­den [Page] of the fleshely felynges / and the con­tradiccyon of thy body vnto thy soule / for thou maiste nat for the corrupcion therof perseuer in spirituall studyes and in heuē ly cōtemplacyon as thou woldest do / and thā it is good to the to fle to meke bodely labours and to exercyse thy selfe in good outwarde warkes / & in a stedfaste hope & truste to abyde my cōmyng and my newe heuenly vysitacyons / & to bere thy exile & the drynes of thy herte pacyētly / tyl thou shalt be visited by me agayne / and be delyuered fro all tediousnes and vnquyetnes of mynde / whā I shal come / I shall make the forgete all thy former laboures / and to haue inwarde reste & quietnes of soule. I shall also lay befor the ye florishing medowe of holy scrypture / & thou shalt with greate gladnes of herte in a newe blessed felinge / fele the very true vnderstandyng therof / and thou shalte than ren quyckely the waye of my commaundementes / and than shalte thou saye in greate spirytuall gladnes. The passions of thys worlde be nat worthy of them selfe to brynge vs to the ioy that shalbe shewed vs in the blesse of heuen. To the whiche blesse brynge vs our lorde Iesus. Amen.

❧That a man shall nat thynke hym selfe worthy to haue conforte / but rather to haue sorowe & payne and the profyte of the contricion. The .lvii. Chapitre.

LOrde I am nat worthy for to haue thy consolacyon / ne any other spy­tuall vysytacyon / and therfore thou doste ryght wysely vnto me / whan thou leuest me very nedy & desolate / for thoughe I myght wepe water of teares lyke to the see. Yet were I nat worthy to haue thy consolacyon / for I am nothinge worthy to haue but sorowe & payne / for I haue so greuously and so ofte offended the / and in so many thynges greatly trespased a­gaynste the. Therfore I maye well saye & confesse for trouthe that I am nat worthy to haue thy leste consolacyon. But thou lorde benyngne and mercyfull that wylt nat thy workꝭ do peryshe / to shewe the gretnes of thy goodnes in the vessel­les of thy mercy aboue all my merites or deserte / vouchesaufe somtyme to conforte thy seruaunt more than I can thynke or deuyse. The consolacyons be nat lyke to [Page] mentes fables / for they be in them selfe sothfaste and true / but what haue I done lorde that thou wylt vouchesaufe to giue me any heuenly cōsolacyon. I know nat that I haue done any thynge well / as I shulde haue done: but that I haue alway bene prone and redy to synne: and slowe to amendement / thys is true & I can nat denye it / for if I wolde denye it thou shuldest stande agaynste me / & no mā myght defende me. What haue I than deserued but hell & euerlastynge fyre. I cōfesse for trouth that I am worthy in thys worlde all shame and dispyte / and that it becom­meth nat me to be conuersaunte with de­uoute people. And thoughe it be greuous to me for to say thus (yet for the trouthe is so) I wyll confesse the trouth as it is / and wyll openly reproue my selfe of my defaultes that I may the rather optaine of thy mercy and forgyuenes / but what maye I thā saye lorde that thus am gyl­ty and full of confusion / truely I haue no mouth ne taught to speke but onely this worde / I haue synned lorde / I haue syn­ned / haue mercy on me / forgyue me & vn­knowen me trespas / suffre me a lytel that I maye wepe & wale my synnes / or that [Page Cxxxii] I passe hence to the lande of darknes co­uered with the shadowe of deathe. ♣ And what doste thou lorde aske muche of such wretched synner / but that he be contryte and meken hym selfe for hys synne / for in true contricyon and mekenes of herte / is faude the very hope of forgeuenes of syne and the troubled conscyence is therby clered / and the grace before loste is recoue­red agayne. Man also is therby defended fro the wrathe to come / & almighthy god and the penitente soule mete louyngly together in holy kyssynges of heuēly loue. A meke concricion of herte is to the lorde a ryght acceptable sacrifice / more swete­ly sauouryng in thy syght thā brennyng enscence. It is also the precious oyntmēt that thou woldest shulde be shede vpō thy blessed fete / for a meke & a contryte herte thou neuer dyspysest. This contricyon is the place of refuge fro the drede & wrathe of the enemye / and therby is washen and clensed / what so euer is before misdone or that is defouled throughe synne in any maner.

❧That grace wyll nat be myxte with loue of worldy thynges. The .lviii. Chapiter.

[Page]MI sonne: grace is a very precyous thynge / and wyll nat be my [...]te wt no pryuate loue / nor with worldely con­fortes. It behoueth the therfore to caste awaye all lettynges of grace yf thou wilt haue the gracyous gyfte therof. Chose therfore a secrete place & loue to be alone and kepe the from [...]eringe of vayne tales and fables / and offre to god deuoute prayers and pray hertely that thou may [...]e haue a contryte herte and a pure conscy­ence. Thynke all the worlde as nought & preferre my seruyce before al other thyn­ges / for thou mayste nat haue mynde on me & therwith all delyte the [...] transitory pleasures. It behoueth the therfore for to withdrawe the fro thy de [...]este frendes / & fro all thyne acquayntaunce / and to se­questre thy minde holy fro the inordynat desyre of all worldely conforte as muche as thou mayste. Thus prayde saynt Pe­ter that all chrysten people myght holde them selfe as straungers and as pylgry­mes vpon erthe / for than they shulde nat set but lytell pryce by the conforte therof. O howe sure a truste shall it be to man at his departynge out of this worlde / to fele inwardly in hys soule / that no worldely [Page Cxxxiii] loue / ne yet the affeccyon of no passyng or transitory thynge hathe any rule in hym But a weyke feble persone newely tour­ned to god may nat so lyghtely haue hys herte seuered from erthely lykynge / nor the beastly man knoweth nat ye fredome of a man that is inwardly tourned to god And therfore yf a man wyll perfytely be spirituall and ghostely: he muste aswell renounce straungers as kynsfolke / and spe­cyally before all other / that he be mooste ware of hym selfe if he ouercōe hym selfe parfytly / he shall the soner ouercome all other enemyes. The moste noble and the moste perfyte victory is: a man to haue yt victory of hym selfe / he therfore that hol­deth hym selfe so muche subiect / that t [...]e sensualyte obeyeth to reason: and reason in all thynges obeyeth to me / he is the true ouercomer of hym selfe and the lorde of the worlde. But if thou coueyte to come to that poynte: thou muste begynne man fully / and set thy are to the rote of the tre / and fully to cut awaye and to dystroye in the al the inordinate inclinaciō that thou haste to thy selfe or to any pryua [...]e or materiall thynge / for of that vyce that a mā loueth hym selfe inordinately / wel nyghe [Page] dependeth all that ought groundly to be dystroyed in man / and yf that be truely ouercome anone shall folowe great tran­quylite & peace of conscyence. But for as muche as there be but fewe that laboure to dye to them selfe / ne to ouercome them selfe perfytely / therfore they lye styll in theyr fleshely folynge / and worldely con­fortes / and may in no wyse ryse vp in spi­rite aboue thē selfe / for it behoueth hym that wyl be fre in herte and haue contemplacion of me / to mortifye all his euyll inclinacions that he hath to hym selfe / and to the worlde / and nat for to be bounde to any creature by any inordynate: or pry­uate loue.

❧:Of the diuersytes / and dyuers mouynges betwene nature & grace. The .lix. Chapiter.

MI sonne take good hede of the mocyons of nature: & grace for they be very subtyll & much cō trary the one to the other / & hardely may they be knowen a sondre / but it be by a ghostely man that throughe spirytuall grace is inwardely lyghtened in soule. Euery man desyreth some goodnes & pretendeth [Page Cxxxiiii] somwhat of goodnes in all hys wordes and dedes / & therfore vnder pre­tence of goodnes many be deceyued. Nature is wy [...]e and full of decey [...]e / and dra­weth many to her / whome she ofte tymes snareth and deceiueth and [...]uer beholdeth her owne welthe as ende of he [...] we [...]. But grace walketh simply without deceit she declyneth fro all euyll she pretendeth no gyle / but all thynges she doth purely for god in whome [...]y [...]a [...]ly she [...]esteth. Nature wyll nat gladly dye / ne gladly be op­pressed ne ouercome ne wyll nat be glad­ly vnder other ne be kept in sub [...] [...]o but grace studieth howe she may be mortified to the worlde / and to the fleshe [...] she resys­teth sensualyte / she seketh to be subiec [...]e / she desyreth to be ouercome / she wyll nat vse her owne lyberty / she loueth to be hol­dē vnder holy discyplyne / & coueteth nat to haue lordeshype ouer any one creature but to lyue and to stande alway vnder the drede of god / and for hit loue is alway redy to bowe her selfe mekely vnder euery creature. Nature laboureth for her owne profy [...]e and auauntage / and muche beholdeth what wynnynge cōmeth to her by other. ★: But grace beholdeth nat what [Page] is profytable to her selfe / but what is profytable to many. Nature receyueth glad­ly honoure and reuerence: but grace referreth all honoure and reuerence vnto god. Nature dredeth reprouynges and dyspy­synges / but grace ioyeth for the name of god to suffre them both and taketh them whan they come as specyal giftes of god Nature loueth ydelnes and flesshely reste but grace can nat be ydle without doing some good dede / and therfore seketh gladly some profytable laboures. Nature de­syreth fayre thynges and curious and abhorreth vyle thynges & groce / but grace delyteth in meke and symple thynges / she dispyseth nat harde thynges / ne refuseth nat to be glad in poore olde clothyng and symple garmētes / nature beholdeth gladly thynges temporal: she ioyeth at worldely wynnynges / is heuy for worldly lesyn­ges / and anone is moued with a sharpe worde / but grace beholdeth thinges euerlastynge and trusteth nat to thinges temporall nor is nat troubeled with the losse of them / ne she is nat greued with a fro­warde worde for she hath layde a treasure in god and in ghostely thynges whiche may nat peryshe. Nature is couetous / & [Page Cxxxv] more gladly taketh than gyueth: and lo­ueth muche to haue ꝓpetie and pryuate thynges / but grace is pyteous and libe­rall to the poore / she fleeth synguler pro­fyte / she is contente with lytell & iudgeth it more blessed to gyue than to take. Na­ture inclyneth vnto the loue of creatures to the loue of the fleshe / and vnto vanites and rēnyngꝭ aboute and to se newe thin­ges in the worlde: but grace draweth a man to the loue of god and to the loue of vertues / she renounceth all creatures / she flyeth from the worlde / she hateth desyres of the fleshe / restrayneth liberte and wandrynges aboute / and escheweth asmuche as she may to be sene amonge recourse of people. ★ Nature hath gladly some out­warde solace wherin she may feleably de­lyght in her outwarde wyttes / but grace seketh onely to be cōforted in god / and to delyght her in his goodnes aboue al thinges. ★: Nature doth all thynges for her owne wynnynge: and synguler profyte / she may do nothynge fre / but hopeth all way to haue lyke ꝓfyte or better: or laude or fauoure of the people / and coueyteth muche that her dedes & warkes be gretly pondred and praysed / but grace seketh [Page] no temporall thynge / ne none other re­warde for her hyre but onely god she wyl no more of temporall goodnes than shall nede for the gettynge of the goodes euer­lastynge / and ca [...]eth nat for the vayne praise of the worlde. Nature ioyeth greatly in many frendes and kynstolkes / and is gloryfyed muche of a noble place of byrth and of her noble blode and kynted / she ioyeth with myghty men / she fl [...]te­reth ryche men and as mery with them that she thynketh lyke to her in noblenes of the worlde / but grace maketh a man to loue his enemyes she hath no pryde in worldely frēdes / she regardeth nat the noblenes of kynne / ne the house of her fa­ther / but if the more vertue be there / she fauoureth more the poore than the ryche she hath more compassyon of an innocēte than of a myghty man / she ioyeth euer in trouth and nat in falsehed / and alwaye cōforteth good men more & more to ꝓfite and growe in vertue & goodnes & to seke dayly more hygher gyftes of grace that they may through good vertuous werkꝭ be made lyke to the sone of god. Nature cōplayneth anone for wanting of a right lytell thynge that she wolde haue: or for a [Page Cxxxvi] lytell worldly heuynes / but grace beryth gladly all nedynes and wantinges of the worlde Nature inclyneth all thynges to her selfe & to her owne ꝓfite as muche as she may / she argueth for her selfe: and stryueth & fyghteth for her selfe. But grace rendreth al thynges to god of whome all thynges floweth & springeth origynally / she ascrybeth no goodnes to her selfe / ne presumeth nat of her selfe / ne she stryueth nat. ne preferreth nat her opinyon before other mēnes / but in euery sentence she submytteth her mekely to the eternall wys­dome & iugement of god. Nature couey­teth to knowe & to here newe secrete thinges / she wyll that her warkes be shewed outwardly & wyll haue experience of many thinges in the worlde by her outwarde wyttes / she desyreth also to be knowē and to do great thynges in the worlde where of laude and p [...]aysinge may folowe / but grace ca [...]eth nat for any newe thinges ne for any curyous thynges: what so euer they be / for she knoweth well that all suche vanytes cōmeth of the corrupcyon of synne / and that no newe thynge maye longe endure vpō erth / she teached also [...]o restrayne the outwarde wittꝭ & to [...]schew [Page] all vayne pleasure and outwarde shewīg and mekely kepeth se re [...]e thynges that in the worlde were greatly to be meruay­led and praysed. And in euery thinge and in euery scyence she seketh some spirituall profyte to her selfe / and laude & honoure to almyghty God / she wyll nat that her good de [...]es ne her inwarde deuociō be outwardly knowen: but moste desyreth that our lorde be blessed in al his werkes whiche gyueth all thynges frely of hys hygh excellente charite / thys grace is a lyght supernaturall & a spirituall gyfte of God and it is the proper marke and token of electe people: and an erneste peny of the euerlastynge lyfe / for it rauysheth a man fro loue of ear [...]hly thynges to the loue of heuenly thynges / and of flesshely lyuer maketh an heuēly persone / and the more that nature is oppressed and ouercome the more grace is gyuen / and the soule throughe newe gracyous visitacyons is dayly reformed more / and more vnto the ymage of god.

❧:Of the corrupcyon of Nature and also of the worthynes of grace. The lx. Cha­pitre.

[Page Cxxxvii] O Lorde god whiche haste made me to thine ymage and lykenes graunt me this grace that thou hast shewed to me to be so great and so necessarye to the helth of my soule / that I may ouercome this wretched nature whiche draweth me alwaye to synne / and to thelesynge of myne owne soule. I fele in my flesshe the lawe of synne fyghtynge strongly agaynst the lawe of my spiryte: whiche ledeth me as a thrall or a bonde­man to obey to sēsualyte in many thingꝭ and I may nat resyst the passyons ther­of / but thy grace do assyste me therin. I haue therfore great nede of thy grace and that of the greate habundaunce of thy grace: if I shulde ouercome this wretched nature whiche alway fro my youth hath bene redy and prone to synne / for after that nature was vis [...]ate and defouled by the synne of the fyrste man Adam / the payne therof descended in to all hys posteryte so that: that nature whiche in the fyrste creacyon was good and ryghtwyse is nowe taken for synne and for corrup­cion (so farforth) that the mouyngꝭ that is nowe lef [...]e vnto nature draweth man alway to euyll. And that [...]s for this reasō [Page] for the lytell strength and mouinge vnto goodnes that yet remayneth in it is as a lytell sparkell of fyre that is hyd and ouer hylde with asshes / that is to saye the na­turall reason of man whiche is all about bylapped and ouerhylled with darkenes of ignoraunce / whiche neuertheles hath yet power to iuge betwyxte good & badde and to shewe the dystaunce and the diuer­syte betwyxte true and false: howe be it that through weyknes of it selfe it is nat able for to fulfyll all that it approueth / ne hath nat sythe the fyrste synne of Adam the full lyght of trouth / ne the swetnes of affeccyons to god as it had fyrste. Of this it commeth moste mercyfull lorde that in my inwarde man that is in the reason of my soule / I delyte me in thy lawes / and in thy teachynges knowynge that they are good / and ryghtwyse / and holy / and that all synne is euyll / and to be fled: and eschewed / and yet in my outwarde man: that is is to saye: in my fleshely felynge I serue the lawe of synne / whan I obeye rather to sensualyte than to reason. And of thys it folowethe also / that I wyll good / but to perfourme it withoute thy grace I may nat for weyknes of my selfe. [Page Cxxxviii] And sōtyme I purpose to do many good dedes / but for grace wanteth that shulde helpe me / I go backwarde and fayle in my doynge / I knowe the waye to perfec­cyon / and howe I shulde do I se it euydētly / but for I am so oppressed with the he­uy bourden of this corrupte bodye of syn I lye styll and ryse nat to perf [...]ccyon.★ O Lorde howe necessarye therfore is thy grace to me: to begynne well / to conty­newe well / and to ende well: for without the I may nothynge do that good is.★ O heuenly grace: withoute whome oure merytes are nought worth / ne the gyf­tes of nature no thynge to be poudred / ne craftes: or riches nothynge to be re­garded / nebeaute / strengthe / wytte / ne eloquence / nothynge may auayle / come thou shortely and helpe me. The gyftes of nature be commen to good men and to bad / but grace and loue are the gyftes of the electe and chosen people / wherby they be marked and made able and worthy to haue the kyngdome of heuen. ☞ Thys grace is of suche worthynes that neither the gyfte of proph [...]ye / ne thy workynge of myracles ne yet the gyfte of cōnynge & knowlege may nothyng auayle without [Page] it / ne yet fayth / hope / ne other vertues be nat acceptable to the without grace and charite. O blessed grace that maketh the poore in spirite / to be ryche in vertue and hym that is ryche in worldly goodes makeste meke and lowe in herte / come and descende in to my soule & fulfyll me with thy ghostly confortes that it fayle nat ne faynt nat for wermes / and drynes of it selfe. I beseche the lorde that I may finde grace in thy sight / for thy grace shall suf­fyse to me / thoughe I wante that nature desyreth / for although I be tempted and vexed with troubles on euery syde / yet I shal nat nede to drede whiles thy grace is with me / for she is my strength / she is my cōforte / and she is my counsayle & helpe she is stronger than all myne enemyes / and wyser: than all the wyseste of thys worlde / she is the maystres of trouth / the teacher ī discipline / the lyght of the herte the cōforte of trouble / the dryuer awaye of heuynes / the auoyder of drede / the nou­risher of deuocyon / and the brynger in of swete teares and deuoute wepinges what am I than without grace / but as a drye stoke to caste awaye. Graunte me ther­fore that thy grace may preuent me and [Page Cxxxix] folowe me and that it may make me euer busy and dyligence in good warkes vnto my deathe / so more it be. Amen.

❧:That we ought to forsake our selfe / and for to folowe Christe by berynge of hys Crosse. The .lxi. Chapitre.

MI sonne asmuche as thou canste go out fro thy selfe and fro thyne owne wyll / so muche thou maist entre in to me / and as to desyre nothynge outwardly bryngeth peace inwardely in to mānes soule / so a man by an inwarde forsakyng of hym selfe ioyneth him vnto god. I wyll therfore that thou learne to haue a perfyte forsakynge / and a full re­sygnyng of thy selfe in to my handꝭ without withsaynge or cōplaynyng / and that thou folowe me for I am the way / I am the trouth / and I am the lyfe: withoute a waye no man maye goo / and withoute trouth no man may knowe / and without lyfe no man maye lyue ♣ I am the waye whiche thou oughtest to go / the trouthe whiche thou oughtest to beleue / and the lyfe whiche thou shalte hope to haue / I [Page] am the way that can nat be defouled / the trouth whiche can nat be deceyued / and the lyfe that neuer shall haue ende / I am the way moste streyght / the trouth moste perfyte / and the lyfe moste sothfaste a blessed lyfe / and a lyfe vnmade that made all thynges / yf thou dwell and abyde in my way / thou shalte knowe the trouth / and trouth shall delyuer the / and thou shalte come to euerlastynge lyfe / yf thou wylte come to that lyfe kepe my cōmaundemē ­tes / yf thou wylte knowe the trouthe be­leue my teachynges / yf thou wylt be per­fyte: sell all that thou hast / yf thou wylte be my dyscyple forsake thy selfe / yf thou wylte haue [...]he blessed lyfe / dyspyse thys present lyfe / yf thou wylte be exalted in heuen meke the here in erth / and yf thou wylt reygne with me bere the crosse with me / for truely onely the seruaūtes of the crosse shall fynde the lyfe of blessedfulnes and of euerlastynge lyght. O lorde Iesu for asmuche as thy waye is narowe / and strayte / and is also muche dyspised in the worlde / gyue me grace to bere gladly the dispisinges of the worlde. ★: There is no seruaunte greater than his Lorde / ne no dyscyple aboue hys mayster / let thy ser­uaunt [Page Cxl] therfore be exercysed in thy waies for therin is the helth / and the very per­feccion of lyfe / what so euer I rede or here besyde that waye / it refressheth me nat ne delyteth me nat fully. My sone for as muche as thou knoweste these thynges / and haste red them all / thou shalte be blessed if thou fulfyll them / he that hathe my cōmaundementes and kepeth them / he it is that loueth me / and I shall loue hym / and I shall shewe my selfe vnto hym and shall make hym syt [...]e with me in ye kyngdome of my father. Lorde as thou haste sayde and promysed so be it done to me: I haue taken the crosse of penaunce of thy hande: and I shal here it vnto my deth as thou haste put it to me to do. For the lyfe of euery good mā is the crosse / & it is also the way and leder to Paradyse / and now it is begon it is nat lawefull for me to go abacke fro it ne it is nat behoueful for me to leue it: haue done therfore my welbelo­ued brethrene / go we forth to gether Iesu shalbe with vs for Iesu we haue takē this crosse / for Iesu let vs perseuer & he shall be our helpe that is our guyde & leder. Lo our kynge goth before vs that shal fyght for vs / folowe we hym strongly drede we [Page] no perylles / but be we redy to dy strongly with hym in batayle / that we put no blot in to our glorye: ne mynyshe nat our re­warde by fleynge cowardly awaye from the Crosse.

❧:That a man shall nat be ouer­much caste into heuynes though he happen to fall in to some defautes. The .lxii. Chapitre.

MI sone pacience and mekenes in aduersite please me more / thā muche consolacyon and deuocyon in prosperite / why arte thou so heuy for a lytell worde sayde or done agaynste the / if it had bene more thou shuldest nat haue bene moued therwith / but let it nowe ouerpasse: it is nat the fyrste / and it shall nat be the laste if thou lyue longe. ★ Thou arte manfull ynough as longe as no aduersyte falleth to the and thou canst well gyue coūsayle and wel canst thou cōforte and strengthē other with thy wordes. But whan aduersite knocketh at thy dore thou fayleste a­none both of counsayle and strength / be­holde well therfore thy great fraylte whiche thou hast dayly experyence of in lytel [Page Cxli] obiectꝭ. Neuertheles it is for thy ghostly helth that suche thynges and other lyke be suffred to come vnto the / purpose thy selfe in thy herte to do the beste that lyeth in the / and than whan suche tribulacyōs shall happen to fall vnto the / althoughe i [...] greue y / yet let it nat holly ouerthrow the ne let i [...] nat longe [...]a [...]y with the. And at the leste suffre it pacyently / althoughe thou may nat suffre it gladly. Moreouer though thou be loth to here suche thingꝭ and that thou fele great indignacyō [...]her­at in thy herte / yet thrust thy s [...]lfe downe lowe in thyne owne syght / and suffre no inordinate worde pa [...]e out of thy mouth wherby any other myght be hurted / and than all suche indignacyon shalbe anone aswaged and soone appeased in the. And than also that wh [...]che before was taken to so great heuynes to the / shall anone be made swete and pleasaunte in thy syght. For yet lyue I sayth our lorde redy for to helpe the and to cōforte ye more thā euer I dyd before / yf thou wylt hooly truste in me / and deuoutly call for helpe to me. Be quyet in herte / prepayre thy selfe yet to mo he sufferaunce. For it is nat all lost thoughe thou fele thy selfe ofte troubeled [Page] or greuously tempted. Thynke thou arte a man and nat god / a flesshely man: and no angell / howe mayst thou alway stande in one state of vertue / whan that wanted to angels in heuen: and to the fyrste man in Paradyse the whiche stode nat longe / I am he that reyse vp theym that be so­rowfull to helth and conforte / and those that knowe theyr owne vnstablenes: ♣ I lyfte them vp to be stabled in the syght of my godh [...]ed for euer. ★: Lorde blessed be thy holy worde: It is more sweter to my mouth than hony combe. What shulde I do in al my troubles & heuynes / yet thou dyddeste nat somtyme conforte me with thy holsome and swete wordes: therfore it shall nat force what trouble or aduer­syte / I suffre here for the so that I may in the ende come to the porte of euerlastyng helth. Gyue me a good ende and a blessed passage out of thys worlde / haue mynde on me my lorde / my god / and dyrecte me by a streyght and a redy waye in to thy kyngdome: I beseche the. Amen.

❧:That a man shall nat serche the iugementes of God. The .lxiii. Cha­pitre.

[Page Cxlii]MI sone beware to dyspute of hyghe maters and of the secrete iugemen­tes of god / why thys man is so lefte / and forsaken of God / and why thys man is taken to so greate grace / why also one man is so muche troubled: and an other so greatly auaunced. These thyngꝭ ouer­passe all mannes knowledge / ne to serche goddes iugement / no mānes reason may suffice ne yet hys dysputacyon. Therfore whan the ghostly enemye styret the vnto suche thynges: or yf any curyous men aske of the suche questyōs: answere with the prophete Dauyd: and say thus. Lorde thou arte ryghtwyse / and thy iugemētes are true and be iustified in them selfe / my iugemētes are to be dreded and nat to be discussed by mānes wyt / for they be to mā nes wytte inconprehensyble / beware also that thou serche nat / ne reason nat of the merites of saintes whiche of thē was ho­lyer than other or which of thē is higher in heuē. Suche questions ofte tymes no­rysshe great stryfes & vnprofitable reaso­ninges and procede of pryde & vainglory wherby enuye spryngeth and discencyon / that is to say whan one laboureth to p̄fer this saynte & an other this. And truely a [Page] desyre to knowe suche thinges rather dyspleseth sayntes than pleaseth them. For I (sayth our lorde) am nat god of discen­cyon and stryfe: but of vnyte and peace / the whiche peace standeth rather in true mekenes than in exaltynge of them selfe. Some menne be more styred to loue thys saynte or yt: & that with muche greater affeccyon / but truly that affeccyon is ofte tymes more rather a manly affeccion thā a godly: am nat I he that haue made all sayntes (yes truly) and ouer that I haue gyuen thē grace / and I haue gyuē them glory. I knowe all theyr merytes / I preuented them with the swetnes of my blessynges. ★ I knewe my electe and chosen people before the worlde was made / ♣: I haue chosen them from the worlde: they haue nat chosen me / I called them by my grace / I drewe them by my mercy / I led them through temptacyons / I sente thē inwarde cōfortes / I gaue them perseue­raunce / ★ I crowned theyr pacience / ♣ I knowe the fyrste man and the last: I loue thē all with an vnestymable loue. Thus I am to be praysed in al my sayntes / and aboue all thynges to be blessed & honou­red in all and in euery of them whome I [Page Cxliii] haue so gloriously magnyfied and prede­stinate without any merytes in them goyng before. Therfore he that disprayseth the lest of my sayntes / doth no honour to the greatest / for I haue made bothe the lesse and the more / and he that dyspray­seth any of my Sayntes / he dysprayseth me and other of my sayntes in the kyng­dome of heuen / for they be all one / faste o [...]ed and knyt to gether in one sure bōde of perfite charite. They fele all one thing and they wyll all one thynge / & they loue to gether all into one thynge / & they loue me muche more than them selfe / or theyr owne merytes / for they be rapte aboue them selfe and be drawen fro theyr owne loue / and hooly be tourned in to my loue in the whiche they reste by eternall fruy­cion. There is nothyng that may tourne them from my loue / ne that maye thrust them downe out of theyr glorye / for they be full of eternall trouth / and brenne in­wardly in soule with fyre of euerlastynge charyte that neuer shalbe quenched. Let all them cesse therfore that be carnal and bestly & that can nat loue but pryuate ioy to serche the state of my blessed sayntes in heuen / for they put awaye and adde to [Page] theyr merytes as they fauour and nat after the pleasure of the eternall trouthe of god. In many folkes is great ignoraūce but moste specyally in them that haue so lytell lyght of ghostely vnderstandynge: that they can nat loue any persone with a cleane loue. Many also be moued by a natural affeccyon or by a worldly frende­shype to loue this saynt or that / & as they imagine ī erthly thinges so they imagyn of heuēly thīgꝭ / but there is a distāce incō perable betwyxte thinges whiche inꝑfite mē imagyne by naturall reason / & which men truely illumyned with grace beholde by heuenly cōtemplacion. Beware ther­fore my sone to treate curyously of suche thīges for they passe thy knowledge / and endeuoure thy selfe / that thou mayste be worthy to be nōbred with the leste saynt that shall come to heuen. And if percase a man myght knowe who were holyer / or who shulde be taken greater in the kyng­dome of heuen / what shulde that knowe­lege auayle hym / but if he wolde therby the more meke hym selfe / & the more ryse therby into the laude & praysynge of my name / truely nothynge. Therfore he is muche more acceptable to god that thynketh [Page Clxiiii] on the greatnes of his synnes / & of the lytelnes of hys vertues / & howe farre he is fro the perfeccion of the leste saynte that is in heuen / than he that argueth of theyr greatnes or of theyr litelnes or blessednes of lyfe forgettynge them selfe. It is better also with deuout prayers & with wepinges & teares mekely to pray to saintes / & to call to thē for helpe / than vayn­ly to serche for theyr perfeccion. They be very wel cōtented with the ioy that they haue if men wolde refraine them selfe fro suche vayne argumentes. They glorifye nat them selfe of theyr merytes ne they a scrybe no goodnes to thē selfe / but they referre all goodnes to me / for they knowe well that I of my infinite goodnes & charite haue gyuen al vnto thē. And they be so muche fulfylled with loue of the God­hede & with our passinge ioy that no glory may want in them / ne no felicyte. And the hygher yt they be in heuen the meker they be in them selfe / & the more nyghe / & the more louynge vnto me. Therfore it is writen in the Apocalips / that saintꝭ in heuen layde theyr crownes before god & fell prostrate on theyr faces before the meke lambe that is Iesu and they worshypped [Page] hym as theyr lorde god / that is and shall belyuynge euermore without endynge. Amen. Many serche who is hyghest in heuen that knowe nat whether they shalbe worthy to be nombred with the leste / that shall come thyther / for it is a greate thynge to be the leste in heuen / where all be greate for all that shall come thyther / shalbe called the sones of god / and so shal they be in dede / the leste there shalbe coū ­ted for a .M. & a synner of a .C. yere shall be set at nought. Whan ye apostles asked amonge them selfe who shulde be greatest in the kyngdome of heuen. They herde this answere of Christ. but ye sayde he be cōuerted fro your synne: & be made meke as lytell chyldren / ye may nat entre in to the kyngdome of heuen. He therfore that maketh hym selfe as this lytel chylde / he shalbe greatest in the kyngdome of heuen Wo than be to them yt dysdayne to meke theym selfe with lytell Chyldren: for the meke yate of heuen wyll nat suffre them to entre in to it / wo also be vnto the ryche proude men that haue theyr consolacyon here. For whan the good poore men shal entre into the kyngdome of god / they shal stande wepynge and waylynge without. [Page Cxlv] ioye / ye than ye that be meke and poore in spirite / for youres is the kyngdome of god / so that ye walke and holde your iourney assuredly in the way of trouthe.

❧:That all our hope and truste is to be put in God onely. The .lxiii. Chapitre.

O Lorde? what is the truste that I haue in thys lyfe / or what is my mooste solace of all thynges vn­der heuen. Is it nat thou my lorde God whose mercy is withoute mesure / where hathe it bene well with me without the / or whan hathe it nat bene well with me thou beyng present / I had leuer be poore with ehe than ryche without the / I had leauer be with the as a pylgryme in thys worlde / than without the to be in heuen / for where thou arte there is heuen / and where thou arte nat / there is bothe dethe and hell. Thou arte to me all that I de­syre / and therfore it behoueth me to fighe to the / to crye for the / and hertely to pray to the / I haue nothynge to truste in that may helpe me in my necessytes but onely the / for thou arte my hope / thou arte my [Page] truste / thou arte my conforte / & thou arte my moste faythfull helper in euery nede / man seketh that is hys / but thou sekeste my helth and profyte / and tourneste all thynge into the beste for me / for yf thou sende temptacions and other aduersytes thou ordeynest all to my profyte / for thou arte wonte by a thousande wayes to pro­ue thy chosen people. ★ In whiche profe thou arte no lesse to be lauded and pray­sed / thā if thou haddest fulfylled thē with heuenly confortes. In the lorde therfore I put my truste: and in the I bere paciētly all my aduersites / for I fynde nothyng without the but vnstablenes and foly / for I se well that the multytude of worldely frendes profiteth nat / ne that stronge helpers nothynge may auayle / ne wyse coū ­sayler gyue profytable counsayle: ne con­nynge of doctours gyue cōsolacion / ne ryches delyuer in time of nede ne secreee place any thing defende / if thou lorde do nat assyste / helhe / conforte / coūsayle / informe / and defende / for all thynges that seme to be ordeined to mānes solace ī this worlde if thou be absent / be right nought worth ne may nat brynge to man any true fely­cyte / thou arte the ende Lorde of all good [Page Clxvi] thynges / the hyghnes of lyfe and the profounde wysdome of all thynge that is in heuen and in erthe / wherfore to truste in the aboue all thinges / is the gretest con­forte to all thy seruauntes. To the ther­fore I lyfte myne eyen / and in the only I put my trust / my lorde my god the father of mercy / blesse thou / & halowe thou my soule with thy heuenly blessynges / that it maye be thy dwellynge place / and the sete of thy eternall glory / so that nothing be founde in me at any time that may of­fende the eye of the maieste / beholde me lorde after the greatnes of thy goodnes / and of thy manyfolde mercyes and gra­ciously here the prayer of me thy poorest seruaunt / outlawed and farre exiled into the countre of shadowe of deth / defende: and kepe me amonge the manyfolde perilles: and daūgers of this corruptyble lyfe / & dyrecte me throughe thy grace by the way of peace into the countre of e­uerlastyng clerenes wtout ending. Amen.


¶Here after foloweth the fourth boke of the folowynge of Chryste whiche treateth moste specyally of the sacramente of the aulter.


COme to me (sayth our lorde) al ye that labour and be charged / & I shall gyue vnto you refeccyon And the brede that I shall gyue vnto you shal be my fles­she / for the lyfe of the worlde. Take it & eate it / for it is my body that for you shalbe gyuen in sacry­fice / do ye this in remembraunce of me for who eateth my flesshe: and dryn­keth my blode / he shall dwell in me and I in hym / these wordes that I haue sayde you be spyryte and lyfe.

❧:With howe greate reuerence Chryste is to be receyued. The fyrste Chapiter.

O My lorde Iesu Christ eternall trouth: these wordes aforesayde be thy wordes / all be it they were nat sayd in one selfe tyme / nor wrytten in one selfe place. ★: And for that they be thy wordes / I wyll thankefully & faythfully accepte thē they be thy wordes / and thou haste spo­ken them / and they be nowe myne also / for thou hast sayde them for my helthe / I wyll gladly receyue thē of thy mouthe to the ende they maye be the better sowen: and planted in my herte / thy wordes of so greate pyte full of swetnes / and loue greatly e [...]cyte me. But lorde my synnes fere me greately / and my conscyen [...]e nat pure for to receyue so greate a mysterye / draweth me sore abacke. The swetnes of thy wordꝭ ꝓuoketh me / but the multitude of myne offences charge me very sore.★ Thou cōmaūdest that I shall come vnto [Page] the faythfully if I wyll haue parte with the and receyue the noryshyng of immortalyte. And coueyte to optayne the glory and lyfe eternall. Thou sayest lorde / come ye vnto me that laboure: and be charged and I shall refresshe you. O howe swete and howe amyable a worde is it in the eare of a synner that thou lorde god wyll byd me that am so poore and nedy to the communion of thy moste holy body. But what am I lorde that I dare presume to come to the. Lo heuen and earthe maye nat comprehende the / and thou sayeste come ye al to me / what meneth this most meke worthynes / & this louely & frendely byddyng / howe shall I dare come to the whiche knowe nat that I haue done any thynge well / howe shall I bryng the into myne house whiche so ofte haue offended before thy face. Angels & archangels ho­nour the / & ryghtwyse men drede the / and thou sayest yet come ye all vnto me / but yt thou lorde haddest sayde it / who wolde beleue it to be true. But thou hast cōmaū ded it / who durst attēpte to go to it. Noe that iuste mā laboured an hōdred yere to make the shype to ye ende he myght be saued with a fewe of his people / howe may [Page Clxviii] I prepare me than ī an houre to receyue the with due reuerence that art maker & creatoure of all the worlde. Moyses the seruaūt & greate familier & speciall frende made the arke of tymber nat corruptible which he couered with ryght purer golde & put in it the tables of the lawe / & I a corrupte creature / howe shall I so lyghtely dare receyue the that arte maker of the lawe & gyuer of grace & lyfe vnto all creatures. The wyse Salamon king of Isra­el edified a meruailous tēple to the pray­syng of thy name ī the space of .vii. yeres & by .viii. dayes halowed the feste of the dedicacion of the same / he offred a thousāde peasible hostes & put the arke of god ī the place made redy for it with great melody of clariōs & trūpettes. Howe dare I thā that am moste poore amōg other creatu­res receyue the ī to my house / which scar­sely haue well spent one houre of tyme or one halfe houre of my lyfe. ★ O my lorde howe muche studyeth they to please the / & how lytel is it that I do / how lytell tyme take I whan I dispose me to be houseled seldome am I gathered to gether in the / & more seldome am I pourged fro hauing my mynd ouermuch on worldly thinges [Page] and certaynly no vnprofitable thoughtꝭ ought to come into thy holy p̄sence of thy godhede nor no creatures ought there to haue place / for I shall nat receyue an An­gell / but the lorde of Angels in to myne herte / Neuertheles there is a great diffe­rence bytwene the arke of God with his relykes & thy moste pure & precyous body with hys vertues / whiche are more than can be spoken / & betwene the sacryfyce of the olde lawe / that was but a fygure of the newe lawe / & the true hoste of thy pre­cious body that is the accōplysshemēt of all the olde sacrifyce / why than am I nat more enflamed to come to the / why do I nat prepayre my selfe with greater dily­gence to receyue this holy & blessed sacramēt syth the holy aūcyent fathers the patriarkes & prophetes / kingꝭ & princꝭ with all the people haue shewed so great affec­cion towardes thy seruice in tyme passed ★The moste deuoute & blessed kynge the kyng Dauid went before the arke of god & honoured it with al his strength alway remembrynge the great benefytes before gyuen to the fathers / he made orgās of diuers maners & also Phalmes which be ordayned to be songe / & he him selfe songe [Page Cxlix] thē with great gladnes / and ofte tymes with his herpe he beīg fulfylled with the grace of the holy ghost taught the people of Israell to laude & prayse god with all theyr herte / & dayly with theyr mouth to blesse hym & preche his goodnes. And yf there were shewed thā so great denociō & remēbraūce of laude & praysing to god before the arke of the olde testamente / howe muche reuerēce & deuocion ought we thā nowe to haue ī the p̄sence of hys holy sa­cramēt & in the receyuyng of the most ex­cellēt body of our lorde Iesu Christe ma­ny rēne to dyuers places to visite relykes of sayntes & meruayle greately whā they here of theyre blessed dedꝭ. They se great buyldinges of tēples / & beholde how their bones & holy relyq̄s be couered with sylk & lapped in golde. And lo thou my lorde god thou arte present here with me in ye aulter: the moste holy saynt of saynts maker of all thynges & lorde of Angels. Ofte tymes there is great curiosite & vanite in the syght of all suche thinges & litel frute & amēdemēt is had therby & that specially where there is so lyght recouse / & waue­rynge without any contricyon goyne be­fore. But thou my lorde god my lorde Ie­su [Page] Christ god & mā arte here hole present in the sacrament of the aulter / where the frute of euerlastynge helth is had plentuously as ofte as thou arte worthely & de­uoutly receyued. But if that shall be done fruytefully / there may be no lyghtnes / curyously / nor sensualyte / but stedfast fayth deuoute hope and pure charite. ★ O god īuisible maker of al the worlde howe meruaylously doste thou with vs / howe swe­tely & howe gracyously dysp [...]sest thou all thinges to thy chosen people / so whome thou offerest thy selfe to be taken in thys glorious sacramēt. Certainly it surmoū ­teth all vnderstandynge & it draweth the hertes & kyndeleth the affeccion of all de­uoute mē. The true faythfull people that dispose al theyr lyfe to amendement▪ re­ceyue ofte tymes through thys gloryous sacramēt great grace & deuocyon & great loue of vertue. ♣ O meruaylous & secretely hydde is the grace of this sacramēt the whiche the faythfull people of Christe do only knowe / for infidels & they that lyue in synne may haue ther of no maner of experiēce. In this sacramēt spiritual grace is gyuen / & the vertue that was loste in theyr soule is repayred / & the beaute that [Page Clxxx] was defourmed through syne retourneth agayne / & the grace of this sacramēt somtyme is so muche that of the fulnes [...]f de­uocion that cometh therby / nat onely the mynde but also the feable bodyes recouer theyr former strength. ★: But verey it is greatly to be sorowed that we be so slowe & neclygēt / & that we be styrred with no­more affeccyon to receyue Christ than we be / for in hym standeth all meryte & hope of them that shalbe saued / he is our helth & our redempcion / he is the confortour of all that lyue in this worlde / and the eter­nall reste of sayntes in heuen. And it is al so streately to be sorowed / that so many take so lytell hede of thys hyghe mystery whiche gladeth the heuen & preserueth al the worlde. Alas the blydnes & hardnes of mannes herte that taketh no greatter hede to so noble a gyfte / but by the dayly vsīg therof is neclygēt & taketh lytel hede therto / if this blessed sacrament were mynistred only ī one place & cōsecrate by one preeste in the worlde / with how great de­syre thinkest thou the people wolde renne to that place & to yt p̄est that they might se there these heuenly mysteryes. Nowe there be many p̄estꝭ & crist is offred ī many [Page] places that the grace: and loue of god to mā may appere so much the more as the holy cōmunyon is spred the more abrode throughout the worlde / thankīgꝭ be to ye therfore my lorde Iesu that thou vouch saufe to refreshe vs poore outlawes with thy p̄cious blode & to stire vs with ye wordꝭ of thyn owne mouth to receiue this holy mistery / sayeng come ye all to me yt la­boure & be charged & I shal refresshe you.

¶That the great goodnes & charyte of god is gyuen to man in this blessed sacrament. The .ii. Chapyter.

O My lorde Iesu trustyng ī thy great goodnes & mer [...]ye I come to the as a syke man to hym that shall heale hym: and as he that is hongry & thursty to the foūtayne of lyfe / that is nedy to the kyng of heuen as a seruaūt to his lorde a crea­ture to his creature / and as a desolate persone to his meke and blessed confortour. But howe is it that thou comeste to me / who am I that thou wylt gyue thy selfe vnto me / howe dare I a synner appere byfore the / & howe is it that thou wylt vou­chesaufe to come to so symple a creature / thou knowest thy seruaūt & seest wel that he hath no godnꝭ of hī selfe wherby thou [Page Cli] shuldest gyue this grace vnto hym / I cō ­fesse therfore myne owne vnworthynesse and I knowledge thy goodnes / I prayse thy pite and yelde the thankinges for thy great charite. Verely thou doest all thys for thyne owne godnes / and nat for my merites that thy goodnes maye thereby the more appere / & thy charyte the more largely shewed / and thy mekenesse the more hyghly be cōmended. Therfore by­cause this pleaseth the / and thou hast cō ­maunded that it shulde thus be done: thy goodnes: also therin pleaseth me / and wolde to god that myne iniquyte resisted it nat. O my lorde Iesu howe greate re­uerence and thankynges with perpetual praysynges of thy name ought to be gy­uen the for the receyuyng of thy holy bo­dy / whose dygnyte no man is able to ex­presse. But what shall I thynke in thys communion / and in goynge to my Lorde god / whome I can nat worshyppe as I ought to do / and yet I desyre to receyue hym deuoutly. But what may I thynke better or more helthfull to me than holy to meke my selfe before the / exaltyng thy infinite goodnes farre aboue me. I laude the my lorde god and shal exalte the euer­lastyngly. [Page] I dyspyse my selfe / and sub­mytte me to the and sorowe greately the depenes of myne iniquyte. Thou arte the saynte all sayntes and I am the fylth of all synners / and yet thou inclyneste thy selfe to me: that am nat worthye to loke towarde the. Thou commest to me / thou wylt be with me. Thou biddest me to thy feaste / thou wylte gyue me thys heuenly meate & this Angels fode to eate whiche is playnly none other but thy selfe / that ar [...]e the lyuely breade whiche discendeste fro heuen & gyuest lyfe to the worlde / be­holde lorde fro whēs al this loue ꝓcedeth and howe great goodnes shyneth vpō vs & howe greate thankes & prayses are due to the therfore. O howe helthfull & howe ꝓfitable a coūsayle was it whan thou or daynest this glorious sacrament / & howe swete / & howe ioyus a feaste was it whā thou gauest thy selfe as meate to be eatē. O lorde howe meruaylous is thy werke / howe myghty is thy vertue / & howe farre vnspekeable is thy trouth. By thy worde all thinges were made & al thinges were done as thou hast cōmaunded / it is mer­uaylous thyng and worthy to be beleued and farre aboue the vnderstanding of mā [Page Clii] that thou lorde that art god and v [...] [...]ā art holy conteyned vnder a lytel lykenes of breade and wyne and arte eaten with out consumynge of hym that take [...]h the / & that thou that arte lorde of all thynges and that nedest nothynge in thys worlde woldest by this gloryous sacramēt dwell in vs / kepe thou myne herte and my body immaculate that in a glad & a pure cōscyence. I may ofte tymes celebrate thy misteres & receyue thē to my euerlastīg helth which thou haste ordeyned most specially to thy honoure & perpetuall memorye O my soule be thou mery & glad for so noble a gyfte and so synguler a cōforte lefte to the in this vale of myserye / for as ofte as thou remembrest this mistery / and takest the bodye of Christ: so ofte thou workest the worke of thy redempcyon / & art made parte taker of all the merytes of Chryste Truely the charyte of Chryste is neuer minished / and the greatnes of hys mercy is neuer ꝯsumed▪ & therfore thou oughtest alway with a newe renewinge of mynde to dispose the to it / & with a well aduysed and a depe cōsideracion to thinke on this great mistery of helth / it shulde seme to ye as newe & as pleasaūt a ioy & cōfort whā [Page] thou singest masse or herest it / as yf christ the same day fyrst entred into the wombe of the vyrgyne and were made man / or if he the same day suffred & dyed vppon the crosse for the helth of mankynde.

❧:That it is very profytable ofte to be houseled· The thyrde Chapyter.

O Lorde I come to the: to the ende that it maye be well with me throughe thy gyfte / and that I maye ioye at the holy feaste that thou of thy great goodnes hast made redy for me In the is all that I may or shall desyre / for thou arte my helthe and my redemp­cyon / my hope / my strength / my honoure and glory. Make me thy seruaunte thys day mery and glad in the / for I haue lyft my soule vnto the / nowe I desyre deuoutly / & reuerently to receyue the in to myne house that I maye dese [...]e with zachee to be blessed of the / and to be accompanyed amonge the chyldren of Abraham / my soule coueyteth to receyue thy bodye / my herte desyreth to be oned with the / betake thy selfe to me lorde / and it suffyseth / for [Page Cliii] withoute the there is no cōforte / ne without the I may nat be / ne without thy vysitacyon I may nat lyue / and therfore it behoueth me ofte tymes to go to the and for my helthe to receyue the / lest haply yf I shulde be defrauded from that heuenly meate I shulde fayle in the waye. ☞ So thou saydest thy selfe most mercyful Iesu as thou were preachyng vnto the people and heleddest theym of theyr sykenes / I wyll nat let thē retourne into theyr hou­ses fastynge leste they fayle by the waye / do with me therfore in lyke maner / that haste lefte thy selfe in this glorious sacrament for the conforte of al faythfull peo­ple. Thou arte forsake the true refeccyon of the soule / and he that worthely eateth the shalbe parte taker: and heyre of eter­nall glory / it is necessary vnto me that so ofte do offende / so sone ware dull & slowe / that by ofte prayours and confessyons I may renewe my selfe / purefye my selfe / and kyndle my selfe to quyckes / and fa­uoure of spirite / lest haply by longe obteynynge I myght all fro that holy purpose for the wyttes of man and woman be fro theyr youthe proude and redy to euyll / & but this heuenly medecyne do helpe / man [Page] may anone fall to worse and worse: ther­fore this holy cōmunyon draweth a man fro euyll and cōforteth hym in goodnesse if I nowe be ofte times so neclygent and slouthful whā I am cōmonde what shuld I be if I receyued nat that blessed medycine nor sought nat for that great helpe / and thoughe I be nat euery day apte nor disposed to receyue my creatoure / neuer­theles I shall take hede to receyue hym in tymes conuenyrnt / so that I maye be parte taker of so greate a grace / for it is one of the most pryncypall cōsolacions to a faythfull soule: that is to saye / that as longe as he is as a pylgryme in this mortall body / that he ofte remembre his lorde God and receyue hym that is hys onely beloued aboue all thynges. It is a mer­uaylous goodnes of the great pytye that thou lorde hast auenste vs / that thou creatour & gyuer of lyfe to all spiritꝭ vouchest safe to come to a pore creature / and with thy godhede and manhode to refreshe his hungre & nede. O happy is that man and blessed is that soule that deserueth deuoutly to receyue his lorde god / and in that receyuynge to be fulfylled with a spirytuall ioye. ♣ O howe greate lorde dothe he re­ceyue [Page Clxxx] / howe well beloued a geste doth he brynge into hys house / howe ioyous a felowe dothe he receyue / howe faythfull a frēde doth he accept / howe noble a spouse doth he enbrace / that receyueth the / for thou arte onely to be beloued before all o­ther / and aboue all thynges / let heuen & earth and all the ornamentes of them be styll in thy presence / for what so euer they haue worthy laude or prayse / they haue it of the larges of thy gyfte / and yet they may nat be lyke to the honoure and glo­ry of thy name / of whose wysdome there is no nombre nor measure.

❧That many commodytes be gy­uen vnto them that deuoutly receyue thys holy sacramente. The .iiii. Chapiter.

O My lorde God / preuente thy ser­uaunte with the blessynges of thy swetnes that he maye deserue for to go reuerently and deuoutly to this hyghe sacrament / styrre vp myne herte in to a full beholdīg of the / & deliuer me fro the great sloth & ydelnes yt I haue bē ī time passed [Page] visite me in thy goodnes & gyue me grace to taste inwardely in my soule / the swet­nes that is hyd secretly in thys blessed sacramente as in a mooste plentuous foun­tayne. ☞ Illumyne also myne eyen to se and beholde so great a mystery & strēgthē me that I maye alwaye faythfully & vn­doutedly beleue it / for it is thy operacyon and nat the power of man / thy hooly in­stitucyon & nat mannes inuencyon. And therfore to take and to vnderstande these thinges no man is sufficyent of hym selfe and they also ouerpasse the subtylte of all angels and heuenly spirites / what maye I than most vnworthy synner earth and asshes serche and take of so hygh a secrete but onely that in symplenes of herte / in a good stable fayth and by thy commaundemente / I come to the with meke hope and reuerēce and beleue verely that thou arte here present in this sacramente god and man. ★ Thou wylte therfore that I shall receyue the / and knitte my selfe vnto the inperfyte charyte / wherfore I aske the mercy: and desyre that thou gyue me thy specyall grace that I maye fro hense forth be fully molten: and relented in to the and flowe in thy loue / and neuer after [Page Clv] to intermytte my selfe with any other cō forte. Thys most hygh and most worthy sacrament is the lyfe of the soule and bo­dy▪ The medecyne of al spiritual sykenes whereby all vyces be cured / passyons be refrayned / temptacyōs be ouercome and demynysshed: the greatier grace is sen [...]e vertue is encreased / fayth is stablysshed / hope is strengthed / and charyte is kyn­deled and spred abrode. Thou hast gyuen and yet ofte tymes gyueste many greate gyftes by this sacramente to thy beloued seruauntes that deuoutly receyue the: for thou thereby arte the stronge vpholder of my soule / the repayrer of all the infyrmy­ties of man / and the gyuer of all inwarde consolacion / and of cōforte in tribulacion and fro the depenes of theyr owne de [...]ec­tion thou lay [...]est thē agayne into a strōg hope of thy preseruacyon / and reneweste them and lyghtest them inwardely with a newe grace / so that they that felte thē selfe before receyuynge of that blessed sa­cramēt heuy and without affec [...]ion after whan they haue receyued it / haue founde them selfe chaunged into great ghostely feruoure / and al this thou doste vnto thy electe people of thy greate goodnes that [Page] they may se and knowe openly by experi­ence that they haue nothynge of thē selfe but that all grace and goodnes that they haue / they haue receyued of the: for they of them selfe be colde / dull / and vndeuout and by the they be made feruente quycke in spirite & deuoute folowers of thy wyll / who may go mekely to the fountayne of swetenes but that he shall brynge awaye with hym greate plentye of swetnesse / or who may stande by a greate fyre / but he shall fele greate hete thereof / & thou lorde arte the fountayne of all swetnesse / and the fyre alwayes brennynge / and neuer faylynge / and therfore thoughe I maye nat drawe of thy fulnes of that foūtayne ne drynke therof to the full. I shall neuer the lesse put my mouthe to the hole of the heuenly pype that I may take some litel droppe thereof to refresshe my thurste so that I be nat all dryed awaye / & thoughe I be nat all heuenly and all brennyng in charite as the Seraphyns and Cheru­byns be / neuertheles I shall endeuer me to set my selfe to deuocyon / & to prepayre myne herte that I maye get some lytell sparkle of the brennynge of heuenly lyue though the meke receyuīg of thys lyuely [Page Clvi] sacrament / and what so euer wanteth in me I beseche the my lorde Iesu moste holy and blessed that thou benyngly & gra­cyously supply in me: for thou haste vou­chedsafe to call all to thy sayenge. Come ye to me all that laboure and be charged and I shall refresshe you. ★: I laboure in the swete of my body: and am turmented with the sorowe of my herte / I am char­ged with synnes / trauayled with temp­tacyons intriked & oppressed with many euyll passyons / & there is none that may helpe or that maye delyurr me / ne that may make me saufe / but thou lorde God my only sauyoure / to whome I cōmytte me and all myne that thou kepe me / and lede me into lyfe euerlastyng / accepte me and take me into the laude and glorye of thy name that haste ordayned to me thy body and blode into my meate & drynke / and graunte me lorde I beseche the that by the ofte receyuynge of thy highe mys­tery the feruoure of deuocyon may dayly encrease in me.

❧:Of the worthynes of the sacramente of the aulter / and of the state of preesthode. The .v. Chapiter.

[Page]IF thou haddest ye purete of Angels and the holines of saynt Iohn̄ Baptist: thou shuldest nat for yt be wor­thy to receyue ne touche this holy sacra­mente / for it is nat graunted for the me­rytes of man that a man shulde cōsecrate and touche the sacrament of Christe and take to his meate the breade of angels / it is a greate misterye and it is a great dig­nyte of preestes to whome it is graunted that is nat graunted to angelles / for pre­stes onely that [...]e duely ordayned in the churche haue power to synge masse / and to cansecrate the bodye of Chryste / for a preeste is the minyster of god: vsynge the worde of consecracion by the cōmaunde­ment and ordinaunce of god / and god is there the pryncypall doer: & the inuisyble worker / to whome is subiecte all that he wylleth / and all obeyeth to that he com­maundeth. Thou oughtest therfore more to beleue almyghty god in this moste ex­cellent sacrament / thā thyne owne wytte or any other vysible token or sygne. And therfore with drede and reuerence it is to go to this blessed werke. Take hede than diligently and se fro whens this mystery and seruyce commeth that is gyuen vnto [Page Clvii] the by the touchyng of the handes of the bysshope. Thou arte nowe made a preeste and arte cōsecrate to synge masse. Take hede therfore that thou faythfully and deuoutely offre thy sacryfyce to god in due tyme / and that thou kepe thy selfe with­out reprofe / thou hast nat made thy bourden more light▪ but thou arte nowe boūde in a strayter bonde of dyscyplyne and of muche more hyghe perfeccion than thou were before A preeste ought to be adour­ned with all vertues: and to gyue other example of good lyfe / hys conuersacyon shulde nat be with the cōmon people / ne in the comon way of the worlde / but with Angels in heuen or with perfyte men in erthe that [...]e moste beste disposed to serue god. A preeste also clothed in hooly veste­mentes bereth the place of Chryste that he shulde humbly and mekely pray to our lorde for hym selfe: and for all the people he hath before hym and behynde him the sygne of the crosse of Chryste / that he dy­lygently shulde remembre hys passyon / he beareth before hym the crosse that he may dilygently beholde: and se ye steppes of Chryste and study feruently to folowe them / and behynde hym also he is sygned [Page] with the crosse that he shulde gladly and mekely suffre all aduersityes for the loue of god / he bereth the crosse before hym / that he shulde bewayle hys owne synnes and he bearethe it behynde hym that he may through cōpassyon bewepe the syn­nes of other / and knowe hym selfe to be set as a meane betwene God and all the people / and nat to cease of prayer and ho­ly oblacyō tyl he may deserue of almygh­ty god mercy and grace / whan a preeste saythe masse / he honoureth God / he ma­keth angels glad / he edifieth the churche he helpeth the people that be on lyue / & gyueth reste to theym that be deed / and maketh hym selfe parte taker of all good dedes.

❧:Of the inwarde remembraunce and exercyse that a man ought to haue afore the receyuing of the body of Christ The .vi. Cha­pitre.

LOrde whan I thynke of thy wor­thynes: and of my great fylthynes I tremble strongly and am confounded in my selfe / for yf I receyue the nat [Page Clviii] I fle the eternall lyfe / and yf I vnwor­thely receyue the. I rēne into thy wrath what shall I than do my good lorde / my helper / my protectoure / conforter / and ryght sure counsayloure in all my neces­sites. ★ Teache me good lorde the ryghte waye / and purpose vnto me some redy ex­c [...]rcyse couenable vnto the receyuynge of this holy mystery / for it is necessary vn­to me / and greatly profytable to knowe howe deuoutly and reuerently I oughte to prepayre myne herte to receyue it / or to consecrate so greate and so goodely a sa­crifise as it is.

❧:Of the dyscussynge of our owne conscyence / and of the purpose of amendemente. The .v.iii. Cha­piter.

IT behoueth the aboue all thyn­ges with soueraygne reuerence and profounde mekenes of hert and with full faythe and humble intent [...] to the honoure of God to celebrate: take and receyue thys hooly sacramente / exa­myne dilygentely thy conscyence by true [Page] contrycyon and meke confessyon & make it cleane after thy power: so that thou knowe nothynge that greueth: or byteth thy conscyence or that maye let the to go frely vnto it / haue dyspleasure of all thy synnes in generall / and for thy dayly ex­cesses and offences haue syghynges / and sorowyngꝭ more speciall / and if the tyme wyll suffre it / confesse vnto god in secrete of thyne herte the miseryes of all thy pas­syons / wepe and sorowe that thou arte yet so carnall and worldely / so on morty­fied fro thy passyons / so full of mocyons of concupiscences so vnware and so euyll ordered in thy outwarde wyttes / so ofte intryked with vayne fantasies / so muche enclyned to outwarde & to worldly thyn­ges so neglygent to inwarde thynges / so redy to laughynge and dyssolucyon / so harde to wepynge and cōpunccion / so re­dy to easy thynges / and to that / that is lykyng to the fleshe / so slowe to penaunce and feruoure of spirite / so curious to here newe thynges and to se fayre thinges / so loth to meke and abiecte thynges / so co­uetous to haue muche / so scarse to gyue / so glad to holde / so vnaduysed in speking so incontynent to be styll so euyll ordered [Page Clix] in maners / so importune in dedes / so gre­dy vpō meate / so defe to the worde of god so quycke to reste / so slowe to laboure / so attētyue to fables / so slepy to holy vigels hasty to the ende / so vnstable to take hede vnto the waye to the ende / so neclygente in the seruyce of god so dulie and so vndeuoute to go to masse / so drye in thy how­sen / so sone fallen at large to outwarde thinges so seldome gathered to gether to inwarde thinges / so sone moued to angre and wrathe / so lyghtely styred to the dys­pleasure of other / so redy to iuge / so rygo­rous to reproue / so glad in prosperyte / so feble in aduersyte / so o [...]te purposynge many good thynges: and so syldome bryng­ynge them to effecte. And whā thou haste thus confessed and bewepte all these de­fautes and suche other lyke in the / with great sorowe & displeasure of thine owne fraylnes / set the than in a full purpose to amende thy lyfe / and to profyte alwaye fro better to better / and than with a full resygngne / and a hole wyll offre thy selfe in to the honoure of my name in the aul­ter of thy herte as sacrafyce to me: that is to say faythfull cōmyttīg to me bothe thy body and soule / so that thou mayst be [Page] worthy to offre to me this hygh sacryfice and to receyue helthfully the sacramente of my holy body / for there is no oblacyon more worthy nor satisfaccyon greater to put away synne / than a man to offre him selfe purely and hooly to god with the of­ferynge of the body of Chryste in masse & in holy cōmunyon. If a man do that in him is and is truely penytente as ofte as he cometh to me for grace & forgyuenes. I am the lorde that sayth / I will nat the deth of a synner but rather that he be cō ­uerted and lyue / and I shall no more re­membre his synnes / but they all shalbe forgyuen and pardoned vnto hym.

❧:Of the oblacyon of Chryste in the crosse / and a full forsa­kynge of our selfe. The .viii. Chapiter.

OVr Lorde Iesu sayth vnto hys seruaunte thus. ☞:★: As I hanginge all naked with myne armes spredde vppon the Crosse / offered my selfe vnto God the for thy synnes / so that nothynge remayned in me / but that all wente in sacrifyce / for to please my Father: and to appease hys wrathe a­uenste [Page Clx] mankynde / so thou oughteste for­to offre thy sel [...]e freely to God / as muche as thou mayste in a pure and hooly ob­lacyon dayly in ye masse with al thy power and affeccyon. What requyre I more of the than that thou shuldest study holy to resygne thy selfe vnto me / for what so euer thou gyuest beside thy selfe I regarde it nat / for I loke nat for thy gyftes: but for the / for as it shulde nat suffyce to the to haue all thynges besydes me: so it may nat please me what so euer thou giue but thou gyue thy selfe. Offre thy selfe to me and gyue thy selfe all for god / and thy oblacyon shalbe acceptable. ♣: Lo I offered my selfe hooly to my father for the / and I gaue my body and blode to thy meate that I shulde be all holy thyne / and thou myne / but yf thou haue a trust in thy selfe and doest nat freely offre the to my wyll: thy oblacion is nat pleasaunte / and there shall be betwene vs no perfyte onynge. Therfore a fre offerynge of thy selfe into the handes of god muste go before all thy werkes yf thou wyll optayne grace / and the true lybertye. Therfore it is that so fewe be inwardly ylluminate and fre by­cause they can nat hooly forsake thē selfe [Page] (for my wordꝭ be true) but a mā renoūce hym selfe he may nat be my disciple / and therfore if thou coueyte to be my dysciple offre thy selfe fully to me with all thynge affeccyon and loue. Amen.

❧That we ought to offre our selfe and all ours to god: & to pray for all people. The .ix. Chapyter.

LOrde all thynges be thyne that be in heuen and earth. I desyre to of­fre my selfe to the in a free and perpetuall oblacyon / so that I maye perpetually be with the. ★ Lorde in simplenesse of herte I offre me thys daye to the to be thy ser­uaūte in thy seruyce and sacrifice of laude perpetuall / accept me with this oblacion of thy precyous body whiche I this day offre to the in presence of thy holy Aun­gels that be here presente inuysyble that it may be to my helth and to the helth of all the people / and lorde I offre to the all my synnes and offences that I haue commytted before the and thy holy Aungels fro the day that I myghte fyrste offende vnto thys daye / that thou vouchesaufe through thy great charite to put away al [Page Clxi] my synnes and to clense my conscience of all myne offences & restore to me agayne the grace that I through synne haue lost and that thou forgyue me all thynges paste and receyue me mercyfully in to a blessed kyssyng of peace & of forgyuenes / what may I do than but mekely confesse and bewayle my sinnes / and continually aske mercy of the / forgyue me mercyfull lorde nowe I beseche the for al my syn̄es displease me muche / and I wyll neuer cō mytte them agayne but sorowe for them redy to do penaūce and satisfaccyon after my power / forgyue me lorde forgyue me my synnes & for thy holy name / saue my soule yt thou haste redemed with thy precyous blode / I cōmytte my selfe holy vnto thy mercy / I resygne me in to thy handes do with me after thy goodnesse / and nat after my malyce and wretchednesse. I offre also vnto the all my good dedes / though they be very fewe and imparfyte that thou amende them & sanctifye them and make them lykynge: and acceptable to the / and alway make them better and better / and that thou brynge me though [...] I be a slowe and an vnprofytable person to a blessed and laudable ende. ♣ I offer [Page] also to the all the desyres of deuoute per­sones / the necessyte of myne auncesters / frendes / brother / syster / and of all my lo­uers / & of all them that for thy loue haue done good to me or to any other / and that haue desyred and asked me to praye or to do sacryfyce for them or for theyr frendes whether they be on lyue or dede / that they may the rather fele thy helpe of thy grace and the gyft of thy heuenly consolacyon thy proteccyon fro all peryls / and the de­lyueraunce fro all payne / and that they so beynge delyuered fro all euyls maye in spyrytuall gladnesse yelde to the hyghe laude and praysynges. I offre to the also my prayer and my peasyble offerynge for all them that haue in any thynge hyndered me or made me heuye / or that haue done me any hurte or greue / and for all theym also whome I haue at any tyme made heuy / troubled / greued / or sclaunde­red in wordes or dede wittyngly or igno­raūtly: that thou forgyue vs all together our synnes and offences agaynst the / and of eche of vs against other / and that thou lorde take fro our hertes al suspicion and indignacyon / wrathe / varyaunce / and what so euer may let charyte or dimynis­she [Page Clxii] ye fraternal loue that eche of vs shulde haue to other / hauē mercy lorde haue mercy on all them that aske the mercy / and gyue grace to thē that haue nede & make vs to stande in suche case that we be worthy to haue thy grace / & fynally to come to the lyfe euerlastynge. Amen.

❧:That the holy communyon is nat lyghtely to be forborne. The .x. Chapiter.

IT behoueth the to renne ofte to the fountayne of grace and mercye / and to the fountayne of all goodnes and puryte: that thou mayst be heled fro the passyons and vyces / and be made more strongt against all the temp­tacyons and deceytfull craftes of the ene­mye. The fyue knowynge / the greateste frute and hygheste remedy to be in recey­uynge of thys blessed sacramēt enforseth hym by all the wayes that he can to let & withdrawe all faythfull & deuoute people fro it as muche as he can / & therfore some men whā they dispose thā selfe to it haue more greater temptacions than they had [Page] before / for as it is wryten in Iob the wycked spiryte cōmeth amonge the chyldren of god: that he may by hys olde malyce & wyckednes trouble thē or make thē ouer muche fearefull and perplexed / so that he may dymynysshe theyr affeccyon / or take away theyr faythe / if haply he may ther­by make them eyther vtterly to cease fro beynge howseled or els that they go to it with lytel deuocyō / but it is nat any thīg to care for all hys craftes and fantasyes howe vyle and vgly so euer they be / but al fantasies are to be throwen agayne at hys owne hede / and he so farre to be dys­pysed that for all his assau [...]es and cōmo­cyons that he can styre vp / the holy com­munyon be nat omytted / sometyme ouer muche curiousnesse to haue deuocyon / or ouer great doute of makyng confessyon / letteth muche this holy purpose / do ther­fore after the coūsayle of wyse men / and put away all doutfulnes & scripulousnes for they let the grace of god and dystroye holly the deuocyon of thy mynde. Also it is nat good that for any lytell trouble or grefe that thou leue thys holy worke but go lyghtly and be confessed / and forgyue gladly all that haue offended the. And yf [Page Clxiii] thou haue offēded any other mekely aske of them forgyuenesse / and god shall right mercyfully forgyue the / what profyteth it longe to tary fro cōfessyon or to dyffer this holy communyon. Pourge the fyrst and quyckely cast out thy venyme & hast the after to take thy medecyne: and thou shall fele more profyte therby thā if thou taryeddest lenger fro it / yf thou differre it to day fro this thinge or that / to morowe may happen to come a greatter / and so thou mayst be let longe fro thy good pur­pose / & be made afterwarde more vnapte vnto it. Therfore as sone as thou canste discharge thy selfe fro suche heuynes and dulnes of mynde / and fro all slouch / for it nothynge profyteth longe to be anguys­shed: longe to go with trouble / and to se­quester hym selfe: for suche dayly obsta­cles fro yt deuyne mysteryes / but it doth great hurte: and commonly bryngeth in great slouth and lacke of deuocyon. But alas for sorowe some slouthfull and dissolute persones gladely seke causes to tary fro confessyon / and so dyfferre the longer this holy cōmunyon and that they do to the entente that they shulde nat be boūde to gyue them selfe to a more sure kepyng [Page] of thē selfe in time to come thā they haue done before. But alas howe lytell chary­te and slender deuocion haue they that so lyghtly leaue of so hooly a thyng / & howe happy is he and howe acceptable to God that so lyueth and that kepeth hys con­science in suche a clennes that he is euery day redy and hathe good affeccyon to be howsled if it were laufull vnto hym / and that he myght do it without note or slaū der / He that somtime absteyneth of mekenes or for any other laufull impedyment is to be praysed for his reuerence / but yf it be throughe slouthfulnesse: he ougt to quycken hym selfe & to do that in hym is and our lorde shal strengthē his desire for his good wyll / for to a good wyl our lorde hath alwaye a specyall respecte / and whā he is lawfully lette / he shall haue a good wyll & meke intente to it / and so he shall nat wante the frute of the sacramēt. And verely euery deuoute man may euery day and euery houre go helthfully & without prohibicion vnto the spirituall cōmunion of Christe / that is to saye in remēbrynge of his passyon / & neuertheles in certayne dayes & tymes he is bounde to receyue sacramentally the body of hys redemoure [Page Clxiiii] with a great reuerence: and rather to pretende therein the laude & honoure of god than his owne consolacion. For so ofte a man is houseled mystically and inuysibly as he remembreth deuoutly the mystery of the incarnacion of Christ & his passion and is thereby kyndled into hys loue / he that doth nat prepaire hym selfe for none other cause but bicause the feaste is com­mynge or the custome cōpelleth him therto / he shall comonly be vnredy to it / bles­sed is he therfore that as ofte as he sayth masse or is houseled offereth hym selfe vnto our Lorde in holy sacrafice / be nat in sayeng masse ouer longe nor ouer shorte / but kepe the good comon way as they do that thou lyueste with / for thou oughtest nat to do that shulde greue other or make thē tedyous but to kepe the comon waye after the ordynaūce of the holy fathers / & rather to confyrme thy selfe to that that shalbe profytable to other / than to folow thyne owne deuocion or pryuate plesure.

❧:That the body of Chryst / and holy scrypture are moste necesary for the helpe of man­nes soule. The .xi. Chapiter.

[Page] O Mooste sweteste Iesu / howe greate swetnesse is it vnto a deuoute soule whanne he is fedde with the at thyne he­uenly feaste / where there is none other meate brought forth to eate but thou his onely beloued: and that ar [...]e moste desy­rable to him aboue all the desyres of hys herte / and verely it shulde be swete & pleasaūte to me / by an inwarde and meke af­feccyon to wepe before the / and with the blessed woman (Mary Magdaleyne) to wasshe thy fete with the teares of myne eyen. But where is that deuocion / where is that plentuous shedynge oute of hooly teares. Certaynly all my herte oughte to brenne and to wepe for ioy in the sight of the and of thy holy Aungels / for I haue the verely present with me / thoughe thou be hyd vnder an other lykenes / for to be­holde the in thy proper & diuyne clerenes myne eyen myght nat bere it / nor all the worlde myght nat sustayne to se the in ye clerenes and glory of thy magesty Therfore thou greately helpe my waykenesse in that thou hydeste thy selfe vnder thys holy sacramente. I haue him verely and worshype hym whome angels worsshype in heuen / but I onely in faythe and they [Page Clxv] in open syght and in thine owne lykenes without any conuerture / it behoueth me to be contente in the lyght of true faythe and therin to walke tyll the day of euer­lastynge clerenesse shall appere / and that the shadowe of fygures shall go awaye whan that that is parfyte shall come all vse of sacramentes shall cease / for they that be blessed in the heuenly glorye haue no nede of this sacramental medicine: for they ioye without ende in the presence of god / beholdynge his glorye / face to face / and so trans [...]ormed fro clerenesse to clere­nesse of the godhede they taste ye glory of the sone of God made man as he was in his godhede fro the begynnyng and shal be euerlastynge / whanne I remember al these meruaylous confortes what solace so euer I haue in this worlde thoughe i [...] be spirituall: it is greuous and tedyous vnto me / for as long as I se nat my lorde openly in his glory / I se it at nought all that I se and here in this worlde Lorde thou arte my wytnes that nothyng may cōforte me ne no creature may quyete me but thou my lorde God whome I desyre to se and beholde eternally. ♣ But that is nat possyble for me to do as longe as I [Page] shalbe in this mortall lyfe / wherfore it behoueth me to kepe my selfe in great pacyence / and to submytte my selfe to the in euery thynge that I desyre / for thy holy sayntes that [...]owe ioy with the abode in good fayth and pacyence all whyles they lyued here the comynge of thy glorye. ★ That they beleued I beleue / that they hoped to haue: I hope to haue / & thyder as they by thy grace be come: I truste to come / and tyll than I shal walke in fayth and take conforte of the examples of the sayde holy saintes. I haue also holy bokꝭ for my solace as a spirituall glasse to loke vppon / and aboue all these I haue for a synguler remedye thy holy body. I per­ceyue wel that two thynges be muche necessary vnto me in thys worlde / without whiche this miserable life shulde be to me as importable / for as longe as I shall be in this body: I confesse my selfe to haue nede of two thynges / that is to saye of meate and lyghte. These two haste thou gyuen vnto me / that is to say. Thy holy body to the refreshynge of my body and soule / and thou haste set thy wordes as a lanterne before my fete: to shewe me the way that I shall go without these two I [Page Clxvi] may nat well lyue / for the worde of god is the lyght of my soule / and thys sacra­ment is the breade of my lyfe. These two may also be called the two tables set here and there in the spirituall treasure of ho­ly churche / the one is the table of the ho­ly aulter / hauynge this holy breade that is the precyous body of Chryste. The o­ther is the table of the lawes of god con­teyninge the hooly doctryne of the lawe of god and instuctynge man in the ryght faythe / and in the true beleue: leadynge hym into the inwarde secretes: that be called Sancta sanctorum: where the in­warde secretes of scripture be hyd & con­teyned. I yelde thākinges to the my lorde Iesu the bryghtnes of the eternall lyght for this table of holy doctryne / the which thou haste ministred to vs by thy seruaū ­tes / prophetes / and apostles & other doc­tours / and thankynges also be [...]o the: the creatoure and redemer of mankynde that thou to shewe to all the worlde the great­nes of thy charite preparedest a great souper in the whiche thou settest nat forth ye lambe figured in ye olde lawe but thy ho­ly body & blode to be eatē / gladdīg therby in that holy feast al faythfull people / and [Page] gyuynge theym to drynke of the chalyce of helth in the whiche be cōteyned all the delytes of Paradyse / where Angels eate with vs with much more plentuous swetnes. ☞★ O howe greate and howe ho­nourable is the office of prestes / to whom is giuen power to cōsecrate with the ho­ly wordes of consecracyon the lorde of all magesty / to blesse hym with theyr lyppes to holde hym in theyr handes / to receyue hym in to theyr mouthes / & to mynyster hym to other. O howe cleane shulde tho handes be / howe pure a mouth / howe ho­ly a body / and howe vndefouled shulde be the herte of a preest: to whome so ofte en­treth the auctoure of all clennes. Truely there ought to ꝓcede fro the mouthe of a preest that so ofte receyueth the sacramēt of Chrystes bodye / no worde but that is holy / honeste / and hrofytable / hys eyen shulde be full symple: and chaste that vse to beholde the body of Chryste / and hys handes shulde be full pure and lyfte vp in to heuen / whiche vse to touche the crea­toure of heuen and earthe / and therfore it is specially sayde in the lawe to ye prestes Be ye holy for I your lorde god am ho­ly. O god almighty thy grace be with vs [Page Clxvii] & helpe vs that haue receyued the offyce of presthode / that we may serue the wor­thely & deuoutly in all purety & in a good cōscyence. And thoughe we may nat lyue in so great innocencye as we ought to do yet gyue vs grace at the lest tha we may wepe and sorowe the euyls that we haue done / so that in spiritual mekenes and in a ful purpose of a good wyl we may serue the here after. Amen.

❧.That he that shalbe houseled ought to repayre hym selfe therto before with great dily­gence. The .xii. Chapiter.

I Am the louer of all purety / and ly­berall gyuer of all holynes. I seke a clene herte / and there is my restyng place make redy for me a great chambre strawed that is thyne herte / and I with my discyples shall kepe myne Ester with the / yf thou wylt that I shall come to the and dwell with the / clense the of all the olde fylth of synne / and clense also the habitacle of thyne herte / and make it plea­saūt and fayre / exclude the worlde and al the clamerous noyse of synne / and syt so­litary [Page] as a sparowe in a howse easynge & thynke vpon all thy offences with greate bytternesse of herte / for a true louer wyll prepare to hys beloued frende ye best and the fayrest place that he can / for in that is knowen the loue & affeccyon of hym that receyueth his frende / but neuerthelesse I knowe that thou mayste nat of thy selfe suffyce to make this / preparinge fully as it ought to be in euery poynte / thoughe thou wente about it an hoole yere toge­ther and haddest none other thyng in thy mynde to thinke vpon / but of my mercye & grace only / thou arte suffred to go vnto my table / as if a poore mā were called to the dyner of a ryche man / & he had none other thinge to gyue hym agayne but o­nely to humble hym selfe & thāke him for it / do that in the is with thy beste dily­gence / and do it nat onely of custome nor of a necessyte onely / for thou arte bounde to it / but with drede and reuerence and greate affeccyon / take the body of thy beloued Lorde god / that so louyngly vouched saufe for to come vnto the. ☞❧ I am he that hathe called the / I haue commaunded that this thynge shulde be done I shall supply that wanteth in the. [Page Clxviii] Come therfore and receyue me / whan I gyue ye the grace of deuociō yelde than­kinges to me therfore / nat for yt thou art worthy to haue it / but for yt I haue she­wed my mercy louyngly to the / & yf thou haue nat grace of deuocyon throughe re­ceyuinge of this sacramēt / but that thou feleste thy selfe more drye and more vndeuoute than thou were before / yet conty­newe styll in thy prayer / wayle / wept and call for grace / & cease nat tyll thou mayst receyue some lytell drope of this helthful grace of deuocion. Thou hast nede of me and nat I of the / ne thou comeste nat to sanctifie me but I come to sanctifye the & to make the better than thou were before Thou commest to be sanctified and be o­ned to me / and that thou mayste receyue a newe grace / and be kyndled of newe to amendemēt / do nat forget this grace but alwaye with all thy dylygence prepayre thy herte & brynge thy beloued to the & it behoueth the nat only to p̄payre thy selfe vnto deuociō before thou shalt be housled but that thou also kepe thy selfe therein diligently after the receyuynge of the sa­crament: and there is no lesse kepynge requysite after than a deuoute preparacion [Page] is nedefull before / for a good kepynge af­ter is the best p̄paracion to receyue newe grace here after / & a man shalbe the more vndisposed thereto / yf he anone after he hath receyued the sacrament / gyue hym selfe to outwarde solace / beware of much spekynge / abyde in some secrete place and kepe the with thy lorde god / for thou hast hym that all the worlde maye nat take from the / I am he to whome thou muste gyue all / so that fro hens forth thou lyue nat in thy selfe but onely in me.

❧That a deuout soule shulde great­ly desyre with all hys herte to onyed to Christ in this blessed sacramente. The .xiii. Chapiter.

WHo shall graunt vnto me lorde ye I may fynde the onely / & open al mine herte to the and haue the as myne herte desyreth / so that no man may disceyue me nor no creature moue me nor drawe me backe but that thou only speke to me and I to the as a louer is wonte to speke to his beloued / and a frende with his beloued frende. That is it that I pray for / that is it that I desyre / that I maye [Page Clxix] be hooly onyed to the / and that I maye withdrawe myne hert fro all thynges create and throughe the holy cōmunion and ofte sayenge masse to sauer and taste eternall thynges. ★ Ah lorde god whan shall I be al onyed to the and hooly be molten in to thy loue / so that I hooly forget my selfe / be thou in me and I in the / & graūte that we may so abyde alway to gether in one / verely thou arte my beloued electe & chosen before all other ī whome my soule coueyteth to abyde all dayes of hys lyfe Thou arte the lorde of peace in whome is the sufferayne peace & the true reste / with out whome is laboure and sorowe and infinite misery: verely thou art the hyd god & thy counsayle is nat with wycked peo­ple / but with meke men & symple in herte O howe swete and howe benygne is thy holy spiryte whiche to the intēt thou woldest shewe to thy chosen people thy swet­nes / haste vouchedsafe to refresshe them with the moste swete breade that dyscen­deth from heuen. Verely there is none o­ther nacyon so great that hath their god­des so nyghe vnto thē / as thou lorde god arte to all thy faythfull people to whome for theyr dayly solace & to reyse their her­tes [Page] into the loue of heuenly thinges / thou gyuest thy selfe as meate & drynke. ★: O what people be there that be so noble as the chrysten people are / or what creature vnder heuen is so muche beloued as the deuoute chrystē soule into whome god entreth and fedeth her with hys owne glo­rious fleshe and blode. ☞: O inestimable grace / O meruaylous worthines / O loue without measure / syngulerly shewed vn­to man / but what shal I yelde agayne to god for all this grace and this hyghe charyte / truely there is nothing that is more acceptable vnto hym than that / I hooly gyue hym myne herte & inwardely ioyne my selfe vnto him and than shal all myne inwarde partes ioy in him whā my soule is perfytely oned into hym. Than shal he say to me if thou wylt be with me I wyl be with the / and I shall answere to hym agayne and saye. Vouche saufe Lorde to abyde with me / and I wyll gladly abyde with the / for that is al my desyre that my herte may be faste knyt vnto the without departynge. Amen.

❧Of the brennynge desyre that some deuoute persones haue had to the body of Chryste. The .xiiii. Cha.

[Page Clxx] O Howe great multitude of swetnesse is it lorde that thou haste hydde / for them that drede the / but what is it than for theym that loue the: verely whan I remembre me of many deuoute persones that haue come to this hooly sacramente with so great feruoure of deuocyon I am than many tymes astonyed & confoūded ī my selfe that I go vnto thy aulter and to the table of the holy cōmunion so coldely & with so lytel feruour & that I abyde stil so drye and without any affeccyon of hert and that I am nat so hooly kyndeled be­fore the my lorde god / nor so strōgly dra­wen therby in affeccion to the as many deuoute persones haue bene / the whiche of the greate desyre that they haue hadde to this hooly communion / and for a feable loue of herte that they haue had thereto myght nat refrayne them selfe from we­pynge / but effectuously with the mouthe of theyr herte and body to gether opened their mouthes to the Lorde that arte the lyuely fountayne bicause they coulde nat otherwyse aswage ne temper theyr hun­ger but that they toke the holy body whiche they dyd with great ioy and spiritual gredines. Truely the great brēuing faith [Page] of them is a probable argumēt of thy holy presence / and they also knowe verely theyr lorde in brekynge of breade whose hertes so strongly brenneth in thē by the presence of their lorde Iesu sacramental­ly than walkynge with them / but verely suche affeccion and deuocion & so stronge feruour and loue be ofte tyme farre from me / be thou therfor moste swete and be­nygne lorde Iesu mercifull and meke vn­to me and graunt me thy poore seruaunt that I may fele somtyme some lytel part of the harty affeccyon of thy loue in thys holy cōmunyon / that my fayth maye the more recouer and amende / & myne hope through thy goodnes be the more perfite and my charite beynge ones perfitly kyndeled / and hauynge experyence of the he­uenly Manna: do neuer fayle. Thy mer­cy lorde is stronge ynoughe to graunt to me thys grace that I so muche desyre / & whan the tyme of thy pleasure shal come beningly to visite me with the spirite of a brennyng feruour to the / and thoughe I do nat brenne in so greate desyre as suche specyall deuoute persones haue done / yet neuerthelesse I haue desyre by thy grace to be inflamed with that brēnyng desyre [Page Clxxi] prayeng & desyryng that I may be made parte taker of all suche thy feruēt louers & to be nombred into theyr holy cōpany.

❧:That the grace of deuocyon is got­ten throughe mekenes / and forsa­kynge of our selfe. The .xv. Chapiter.

IT behoueth the abydyngly to seke the grace of deuocyon and without ceasynge to aske it: pacyently and fath­fully to abyde it: than fully to receyue it / mekely to kepe it studiously to work with it / & hooly to cōmytte to god the tyme & the maner of his heuenly visytacyon tyll his plesure shalbe to come vnto the / and pryncypally thou oughteste to meke the whan thou felyste but lytell inwarde de­uocyon / but thou shalte nat be ouermuch caste downe therfore nor inordynately be heuy / for our lorde giueth many tymes in a shorte momente / that he denyed longe tyme before / he gyueth also somtyme in the ende / that in the begynnynge of the prayour he deferred to graunte: yf grace shulde alwayes anone be graūted & shulde anone be presente after the wyll of hym that asketh it / it shulde nat be well able to be borne by a weke and feble person / and [Page] therfore in a good hope & meke pacyence the grace of deuocyon is to be abydden & taryed for / & thou oughteste to arrecte it to thy selffe & to thyne owne synes whan grace is nat giuē the / or that it is secret­ly taken fro the. Somtyme it is but a ly­tell thinge that letteth grace or hydeth it away / if it may be called lytell / and nat rather great that letteth and prohibiteth so good a thynge / but whether it be lytell or great if thou amoue it and perfitely o­uercome it / it shall be graunted vnto the that thou desyrest / and forthwith as thou betakest thy selfe with all thyne herte to god and desyrest neyther this thinge nor that for thyne owne pleasure / but hooly puttest thy wyll to hys wyll / thou shalte fynde thy selfe oned to hym & set ī a great inwarde peace / for nothing shall sauoure so well to the / nor so muche please the as that the wyll and pleasure of god be fully done in the / who so euer therfore ī a pure symple herte lyfte his intent vp to god / & voyde hym selfe fro all inordinate loue or displeasure of any worldely thynge / shall be more apte to recyue grace and shall be beste worthy to haue the gyfte of deuocy­on / for there our lorde giueth his blessing [Page Clxxii] where he fyndeth the vessels emptye / and voyde / and the more perfytely a man can renounce hym selfe and all worldly thyn­ges / and can by dispysynge of hym selfe the more drye to him selfe / so much the soner grace shall come & shall the more plentuously entre into hym / and the hygher shall lyfte vp his herte into God. Than his herte shall se and abounde & shall meruayle and be delated in hym selfe for the hande of our lorde is with him / & he hath holy put him into his hande for euer. Lo so shall a man be blessed that seketh God with all his herte & taketh nat hys soule in vayne. Suche a man in receyuing this holy sacrament deserueth greate grace of the onyng in god / for he loketh nat to his owne deuocyon and consolacyon / but to the glory and honoure of god.

❧That we shulde open all our necessy­tes to Chryste / and aske hys grace. The .xxi. Chapyter.

O Most swete lorde whome I desyre deuoutly to receyue / thou knowest ye infirmite & necessite that I am in / in how many synnes & vyces I lye / howe ofte I am greued / tempted / troubled / & defouled [Page] I come to the for remedy / & I make my praiour to the for cōforte / & I speke vnto hym that knoweth all thyngꝭ: to whome all my secrete and inwarde thoughtes be manyfeste and open / and the whiche only mayste perfytly counsayle me & helpe me thou knowest what I nede to haue / and howe poore I am in vertue. Lo I stande before the poore & naked askynge & desy­ryng thy grace. Refresshe me therfor thy poorest seruaūt begging for spiritual fode kyndle my herte with the fyre of thy loue & illumyne my blyndenes with the clere­nes of thy p̄sence / tourne all worldly thinges into bitternes to me / and al greuous thinges & contraryous thynges into pa­cience / & al create thinges into dispisyng & into forgettyng of them / lyfte vp myne herte to the into heuen & suffre me nat to lyue vaynly ne to erre in thys worlde. Thou lorde fro hensforthe shalte be swete to me for euer: for thou arte only my mete & drinke my loue / my ioye / my swetnes / & all my goodnes / wolde god that thou woldest kyndell me: inflame me / & tourne me hooly into the that I maye be made one spirite with the by grace of īwarde oning and meltyng of brennynge loue into the / [Page Clxxiii] suffre me nat to departe fro the fastyng & drye / but worke with me mercyfully as thou haste ofte tymes meruaylously wrought with thy beloued seruantes in tyme paste: what meruayle were it / yf I were all inflamed into the / & fayled in my selfe syth thou arte the fyre alway brennynge and neuer faylyng / the loue puryfyenge the hertes / and lyghtenynge the vnder­standynge of all thy creatures.

❧Of the brennynge loue and great affeccyon that we shulde haue to receyue Chryste. The .xvii. Chapiter.

WIth hygh deuocyon and brennynge loue / & with all feruoure & affeccyon of the herte I desyre to receyue the lorde as many sayntꝭ & deuoute persones haue desyred the in theyr cōmunyon and that moste specially pleased the in the holynes of theyr lyfe & were in moste bren­ning deuocion to the. O my lorde god my louer eternall / all my goodnes & felycyte without endyng. I coueyte to receyue ye with as great desyre & as due reuerēce as any holy man euer dyd or myght do: and though I be vnworthy to haue suche fe­lingꝭ in deuo [...]yon as they had / yet neuetheles [Page] I offre to the the hole affeccyon of my herte as verely as yf I onely had all the brēning & flamyng desyres that they had / & ouer that all that a meke mynde may ymagyne & desyre: I gyue & offre to the with hyghe reuerence & worshipe & inwarde feruour / and I desyre to reserue no thing to my selfe / but me & all myne I of­fre to the ī sacrifyce frely & most liberally And also my lorde god my createur & re­demer / wt suche affeccyon / reuerē [...] / laude and honoure with suche thankes / dignite & loue / & with suche faythe / hope & puryte I desyre to receyue the thys daye as thy most holy & glorious mother the virgyne Mary desyred & receiued the / whā she mekely & deuoutly answered the Angel that shewed her the mystery of thy incarnaciō & saide. Ecce ancilla dn̄i fiat michi secun­dū verbū tuū. That is to say / lo I am the hande mayde of god / be it to me after thy worde / & as thy blessed precursour saynte Iohn̄ the Baptyste moste excellent of all sayntꝭ was glad & ioyed in great ioy in ye holy ghost throughe thy presence whā he was yet ī his mothers wōbe / & after whā he sawe the walkynge amonge ye people very mekely & with deuoute affeccyon he [Page Clxxiiii] sayde ye frende of a spouse that standeth & hereth: ioyeth with great ioye for to here the voyce of the spouse / & so coueyte I in great & holy desyres to be enflamed & to presente my selfe to the with all my herte & also I offre & yelde to the all the laudes of deuoute hartꝭ / the brēnyng affeccyons excessyue thoughtes / spiritual illuminacions / & heuēly visyons / with all vertues & praisinges done or to be done by any creature in heuē or in earth for me & for al thē that be cōmytted to my prayer: that thou mayste be worthely lauded & glorified for euer / excepte lorde god my mynde & the desyres of the manyfolde laudes & blessingꝭ that by me are to the due of ryght after the multitude of thy greatnes more than can be spoken: & all these I yelde to the & desyre to yelde to the euery daye & euery momēt: & with al my desyre & affecciō mekely exorte & pray al heuenly spirites & al faythful people to yelde with me thākin­ges & laudes to ye / & I beseche the that al people tribus & tongꝭ may magnifie thy holy & thy moste swete name with greate ioye and brenninge deuocion / and that al they that reuerently and deuoutly minis­ter this moste hygh sacramēt / or with ful [Page] fayth receyue it maye thereby deserue to fynde before the thy grace and mercye / & whan they haue obteyned the deuocyon that they desyred & be spirytually onyed to the: & be therby wel cōforted & meruaylously refresshed and be departed fro thy heuēly table / that they wyl haue me pore synner in theyr remembraunce. Amen.

❧:That a man shall nat be a curyous sercher of thys hooly sacramente but a meke folower of Christe subduynge alway his rea­son to the fayth. The .xviii. Chapiter.

THou must beware of a curioꝰ & an vnprofitable serching of thys most profounde sacram̄t if thou wylt nat be drowned in to greate deppeth of doutfulnes / for he that is ser­choure of Goddes magesty shalbe anone thurste out of glorye: god is of power to worke muche more than mā may vnder­stande. Neuertheles a meke & an humble serchyng of the trouthe / redy alway to be taught & to talke after the teachynge of holy fathers is sufferable: blessed is that symplicite that leueth the waye of harde [Page Clxxv] questyons and goth in the playne & sted­fast way of the cōmaundementes of god many haue loste theyr deuocyon bycause they wolde serche higher thingꝭ thā ꝑteyneth to thē. Fayth & a good lyfe is asked of the & na [...] the hyghnes of vnderstāding nor the depenes of the mysteryes of god / if thou may nat vnderstāde nor take such thingꝭ as be within ye / howe mayst thou than comp̄hende those thingꝭ yt be aboue the / submitte thy selfe therfore mekely to god & submytte also thy reason to faith: & the lyght of knowlege & of true vnderstā ­dynge shalbe gyuen vnto the as it shalbe most profitable & necessary for ye / some be greuously tēpted of the fayth & of the sa­crament: but that is nat to be reputed to thē but rather to the enemy: therfore care nat for him nor disput nat wt thy thoughtes nor answere nat to ye doutꝭ yt thyne enemy shall laye vnto the / but beleue the wordis of god & beleue his sainctes & prophetes & ye wycken enemy shall fle away fro the: & it is ofte tymes muche profita­ble that ye seruauntes of god shulde fele & susteyne such doutes for their more ꝓfe / & comonly ye enemye tempteth nat vnfaithful people & sīners whōe he hath sure possessyon [Page] / but he tēpteth & vexeth in diuers maners the faithful & deuoute ꝑsons. Go therfore with a pure & vndoubted fayth & with an hūble reuerēce ꝓcede to this sa­cramēt / & what so euer thou canst nat vnderstāde cōmitte it faythfully to god. For god wyll nat deceyue the / but he shalbe deceyued that trusteth ouermuche to hymselfe God walketh wt the simple ꝑsons he opened hīselfe & shewed himselfe to meke persons: he gyueth vnderstandyng to thē that be poore in spirite: he openeth ye wet to pure clene myndes / & hydeth his grace fro curyous mē & proude mē. Mannes reson is feble & weyke & anone may be deceyued / but faith is stable & true & can nat be deceyued / therfore all reason & al natural workyng muste folowe faith without ferther resoning for faith & loue in this most holy & most excellēt sacrament surmonte & worke hygh in secrete maner aboue all reason. O the eternal god & the lorde of infinite power doth great thynges in heuē and in earth yt may nat be serched / for yf the workes of God were suche that they might be lyghtly vnderstande by mānes reason / they were nat so meruaylous & so inestimable as they be.


❧:A spirituall glasse.

REde distynctely. ♣ Pray deuoutly. Sighe depely. ★: Suffre pacietly. Meke you lowely. Gyue no sentence ha­stely. Speke but rath and that truely. Preuente your spech discretely. Do your dedes in charyte. Temptacyon resyste strongly. Breke his hed shortely. Wepe bytterly. Haue compassyon tenderly. Do good worke busily. Loue perseueraūtely. Loue hertely. Loue faithfully. Loue god alonely / and all other for hym charyta­bly. Loue in aduersyte. Loue in ꝓsperite ☞ Thynke alwaye of loue. For loue is none other but god hym selfe. Thus to loue bringeth the louer to loue withoute ende. Amen.

❧:Here endeth the folowynge of Chryste.

HEre after foloweth an Epystell of saynt Barnarde called ye golden Epistle which he sent to a yonge religyous man whom he much loued. And to ye encrease of ye deuocyō of thē yt can rede Englishe & vnderstande nat latyn tonge / it is tran­slated [Page] out of laten into Englyshe in such maner as hereafter ensueth. And it is in some bokes imprynted in the latter ende of the boke called in laten (Imitacio Christi) that is to saye in Englyshe The folowynge of Chryste.

☞Than after the sayde Epystle folowe four reuelacyons of saynte Birget wher­of the fyrste treateth that nothinge plea­seth god so muche as that he be beloued aboue all thynge. The seconde treateth of the lyues actyue and contemplatyue. The thyrde sheweth that there shall be in tyme to come so greate deuocyon in gen­tyles / that Chrysten men spirytually shal be in maner theyr seruauntes. ♣: The fourth declareth what thynges be neces­sary to hym that desyreth to vysyte the landes of the infideles.

❧:Hhere begynneth the Epystell of saynt Barnarde / whiche he sente vnto a yonge relygy­ous man / whome he muche loued that is called the gol­den Epi­stell.

[Page Clxxvii] THat the wildernesse of relygyon / maye were pleasaunte swere vnto the / and that thou shalte nat be in the syght of hym founde vnkynde / that was moste mekely crucified for ye: I counsaile the yt nowe thou hast takē it vpon the thou cast it nat lyghtely awaye leste happely an o­ther more acceptable to God / than thou take it and occupye thy place / and that thou be caste out as a stynkynge caryen. Consyder therfore howe muche thou art bounde to the veraye true lambe / that is Christ whiche was ledde to be offered in sacrifyce for the vppon the aulter of the Crosse / and suffered many represses / and mooste harde scourgynges of theym: of whome he had suche compassyon that he wept tenderly vppon them. ★: Therfore that thou mayste attayne to lyke thynge cal vnto thy lorde Iesu with deuout prayer besechynge hym that thou mayste as a true membre be onyed throughe good vertuous workes / to be very true heed / that is Chryste. ☞: But thou mayste nat cone to that poynte withoute hys [Page] grace do helpe the as well before as af­ter. For without grace all thy workynge shalbe vnprofitable and vayne / lyke as he watcheth in vayne that beleueth to kepe a cytie without our lorde. Therfore yf thou wylte fynde hys grace and be trewly solitarye / two thynges be necessarye vnto the. The firste is / that thou so withdrawe thy selfe frō all tran­sitory thynges / that thou care no more for them than yf there were none suche / and that thou sette thy selfe at so vyle a pryce in thyne owne syght / that thou ac­compte thy selfe as nought / beleuynge all men to be better than thou arte / and more to please God. ★ Also what so euer thou here or se of Relygyous persones / thynke that they do it of a good intente / thoughe it seme nat so / for mannes sus­pition is ofte deceyued / and therfore iuge thou nothynge in certayne / speake no­ther any thynge that may sounde to thy owne prayse / but laboure rather to kepe thy vertue secrete than thy vyces. ☞ In no wyse speake no yuell of no man / howe trewe and manyfeste so euer it be / and more gladely gyue herynge whan a man is praysed / than whan he is dispraysed. [Page Clxxviii] Also whan thou spekeste: let thy wordes be trewe / sobre / apte / weighty / and of god If a seculer man speake with the / and aske of the many questyons / as soone as thou canste breake of the tale / and set the to those thynges that be of god. What worldely thynge so euer be happen to the or any other / howe dere beloued so euer he be vnto the / care nat for it / yf it be prosperous and lykynge / ioye nat in it / and if it be myslykyng / sorowe nat for it / but thynke all as nought / and laude and prayse almyghty god. Seke solyta­rinesse asmuche as thou can so that thou mayst diligētly take hede of thyne owne gostely helth. Flye talkynge and vayne tangelynge as muche as thou mayst / for it is more sure waye to kepe scilence than to speake. After complayne speke nat tyl masse be done on the daye folowynge / but it be for a greate cause. ★ Whan thou seste any thyng that displeaseth the / con­syder whether there be nat lyke thynge in the that displeaseth other / and yf there be cut it lyghtely awaye. And yf thou se or here any thynge that pleaseth the / consyder whether it be in the / and yf it beholde it warely / and if it be nat take it to [Page] the / and so it shalbe to the as a glasse to loke vppon. ☞ Grudge at nothynge to­warde no man / but whan thou beleueste it maye profyte hys soule helthe / howe greuous so euer it be to ye / neuer afferme nor deny any thynge hedyly / but lette thy denyenges and affyrmynges be alwaye tempred with discrecyon. Abstayne thy selfe alwaye from all mockynges and fro all dyssolute laughynges.☞★☜ In all thy sayenges behaue the so that thou haue a certayne of all thy dedes and wordes that they be true / and those that be doubtful / let them go as thynges that be euell. ☞: The seconde that is neces­sary vnto the is / that thou shalte so fully offre thy selfe to god that thou shalte say nothynge: nor do nothynge / but that thou beleueste veryly wyll please hym / and take hede of thy seruyce with greate deuocyon / so that that thou sayeste with thy mouthe be also in thy herte. ♣: Haue these thre thinges alwaye in thy mynde / what thou haste bene / what thou arte / & what thou shalte be. ☞ what thou haste bene / stynkynge corrupcyon. What thou arte / a vessell full of dunge ☞ What thou shalte be / meate for wormes.☞♣☜ [Page Clxxix] Also thynke on the paynes of them that be in hell / and that they shall neuer be ended. And that for a lytell delectacyon in thys worlde they suffre those paynes. And lykewyse thinke in the glorye of the kyngdome of heuen the whiche shall ne­uer haue ende / and that lyghtely and in shorte tyme it maye be wonne. ☞: And than remember howe greate sorowe and waylynge shalbe to them that haue loste so great a glorye for so lytell a thynge. Also whan thou haste any thynge that dyspleaseth the or greueth the / thynke yf that thou shalte come to hell / thou shalte haue alwaye that dyspleasure / and all o­ther also that thou mooste dredest whan any pryncipall feaste cometh / thynke on that Saynte that than is worshypped in the churche of god / what thynges he suf­fred for Chryste / for they were but shorte and what he wanne thereby / for they be euerlastynge. ♣ Thynke also that aswell the tormentes of goodmen / as the ioyes of yuell men in thys worlde be paste and gone / and that neuerthelesse good men by theyr tormentes / haue receyued eter­nall glorye / and yuell men by theyr short worldly ioye eternall payne / and though [Page] thou be neuer so slouthfull / yet take this lytell writynge and remembre and yma­gyne all these thynges dilygently that I haue sayde / and at the leste bethynke the on the tyme that thou thus leseste / and that they that be in hell wolde gyue all the worlde for it. Whan thou haste any tribulacions / thynke that they that be in heuen wante theym / and that they that be in hell haue many mo. Euery daye at the lest whan thou goest to bed / examyne diligently what thou haste thoughte the day before / what thou hast done / & what thou hast sayde / & how thou hast spent ye p̄cious time yt was gyuē the to win there in the kyngdome of heuen. And yf thou hast paste it well / thanke God and laude hym for it / and if thou haste spent it yuell and neglygently: be sory for it / and defer nat the nexte daye to be confessed: than I put this in the ende / to thentent that thou shalt diligently ymagine as it were two cityes before the / one full of all tur­mentes as hell is / the other full of all cō ­solacyon / as is the kyngdome of heuen / and that it behoueth the of necessyte to entre and come into the one of them / be­holde than what might draw the against [Page Clxxx] thy wyll vnto the yuell cytye / and what myght set the from the good cytye / and I trowe that thou shalt fynde nothynge that myght do it (yf thou woldeste with all thine herte turne the to god / and put­tyng away all neglygence / wolde mekely call to hym for grace and mercy) the whiche that is mooste blessed aboue all vou­che safe to graunte vnto vs. Amen.

❧:That nothynge pleasethe God so moche as that he be beloued aboue all thyng as our lady sheweth to saynt Bir­get by example of a pagan woman / whi­che optayned great grace for the great loue she had to her creature / as it apperyth in the .vi. boke of saynt Birgettes reuelacy­ons. The .l. Chapiter.♣

THe mother of god our lady saynte Mary speketh to the spouse of her sonne saynt Birget / saienge thus. Nothynge so muche pleaseth god / as that a man loue hym aboue all thynge / as I shall shewe to the by a symylytude of a Pagan woman / whiche knowynge nothynge of the faythe / thoughe to her [Page] selfe thus I knowe sayde she of what ma­ter I am come in to thys worlde / and of what thynges I came in to my mothers wombe. ♣ And I beleue that it had bene impossible that I shulde haue had my body so knyt togyther as it is / and my rea­son and vnderstandynge / but they had be gyuen vnto me / and therrfore I knowe well there is some creatoure and mayster of me that hathe made me a reasonable creaure / nat deformed me lyke vnto wor­mes or serpentes / wherfore me thynketh that though I had many husbandes and all they called me / I wolde rather come at one callynge of my creatoure than at the callynge of them all. I haue also ma­ny sonnes and many doughters / and ne neuerthelesse if I sawe them haue meate in theyr handes / and I knewe my crea­toure to wante meate / I wolde take the meate from my chyldren and wolde gladly gyue it vnto my creatour / I haue also many possessyons / whiche I order after myne owne wyll / and neuertheles yf I knewe the wyll of my creatour / I wolde gladely leaue myne owne wyll and dys­pose them to his honour. But my doughter se what god dyd with thys pagan woman. [Page Clxxxi] He sente vnto her one of his electe seruauntes / that instructed her in the faith / and god hym selfe visyted her herte as thou mayste well knowe and vnder­stande hereafter by the answere of the woman. ☞: For whan that man shew­ed vnto her that there was one god withoute begynnynge / and withoute endyng that is to say the creatoure and maker of all thynges / he answered and sayde. It is well to be beleued that he yt hath cre­ated me & all thingꝭ / that he hath no cre­atour aboue hym / and it is lyke that hys life is euerlastynge that myght gyue me lyfe. ★: And whan the woman herde fer­ther that the same creatoure toke man­houde of a vyrgyne / and that he preched in this worlde / and taught the people in his owne persone / she answered. ♣ It is to beleue god in euery thynge / and than she sayde further ♣: I pray the shewe me what be the wordes that my Creatoure dyd speake and commaunde / for I wyll holly leaue myne owne wyll / and fully o­bey vnto hym / and to euery worde that he hathe spoken. Than whan he decla­red vnto her of the passyon of our lorde / of his crosse / hys dethe / and of hys resur­recciō. [Page] The woman with great wepyng answerered and sayde. Blessed be my creatour yt so pacyently sheweth hys charite in the worlde / that he had to vs in heuen. And therfore yf I loued hym / fyrste by­cause he created me / I am nowe more bounden to loue hym / bycause he hathe shewed me the streght waye vnto heuen / and hath redemed me with hys precyous blode / and I am bounde therfore to serue hym with all my strength and all ye par­tes of my bodye / and I am bounden also to remoue all my desyre from me that I had / fyrste to my possessyons / and to my chyldren and kynsmen / and onely to de­sire to se my creatoure in hys glorye that neuer shall haue ende. Than sayde our blessed lady to saint Birget (Lo dough­ter) Howe greate rewarde that woman had for her great loue. ♣ So is dayly gy­uen greate rewarde to euery man after the loue that he hathe vnto god whyle he lyueth in thys worlde.

❧:Our lorde Iesu Chryste gyueth to his spouse saynte Birget a notable doc­trine of ye lyues Actyue & Contēplatiue which be notable sygnifyed by Martha / [Page Clxxxii] and Mary Magdaleyne / that is to saye howe a man shall begyn & profyte in the lyfe spūall / & in grace and vertue that he may finally ascende vnto the hyghe de­gre of the loue of god / & of hys neygh­bour / whiche doctryne appereth in the .vi. boke of the reuela­cyons of saynte Birget. The .lxv. Chapiter.

THe sone of god speketh to his spouse saynt Birget / sayenge thus. ★: There be two lyues whiche be lykened to Martha / & Mary Magdaleyne / & who so euer wyll folowe those two lyues muste make pure confes­syon of all his synnes / takynge very con­tricyon for them / hauynge full wyl neuer after to offende. And the fyrste lyfe as I do wytnesse my selfe in my gospell / Ma­ry Magdaleyne dyd chose whiche ledeth a man to contēplacion / that is to saye to the beholdinge of heuenly thynges / and that is the best parte and is the very way of the lyfe euerlastynge. Therfore euery man that coueyteth to folowe the lyfe of Mary / that is to saye the lyfe contem­platyue It suffyseth to hym to haue one­ly [Page] the necessaryes for the body / that is to say clothynge without vanyte / mete and drynke in scarsyte / and nat insuꝑfluytye. Chastitie without any yuell delectacyon fastynge and abstynence after the ordy­naunce of the churche / and he that fas­teth muste take hede that he be nat ouer­muche enfebled and made weyke by hys vnreasonable fastynge / leste thoroughe that weyknes he be inforced to leaue his prayers and his counsayle gyuynge / or other good dedes / wherewith he myghte bothe profyte hym selfe and hys neygh­boure also. And he muste also dilygently take hede that he be nat through hys fa­stynge ye more slowe to iustice / nor more slaker to the workes of mercy / for why: to punyshe rebels / and to bryng infideles vnder the yoke of the fayth is requysyte greate strengthe as well of body / as of soule. ♣ Therfore euery seke persone that wolde rather to the honour of god: faste then ete / shall haue lyke rewarde for hys good wyll / as he that fasteth of charytie. And in lyke wyse / he that for obedyence eteth / desyring rather to faste: thā to eate shall haue lyke rewarde as he yt fastethe Seconde the contemplatyue man shall [Page Clxxxiiii] nat ioye of the honoure of the worlde / nor of the prosperyte thereof / ne sorowe for his aduersyte / but he shall ioye specy­ally in thys / that wycked men be come deuoute men / that louers of the worlde be come louers of God / and that good men profyte in goodnes / and be through good labour and dilygence in the seruyce of god made dayly more deuoute than o­ther ☞ Of this also the contemplatyue man shall sorowe that synners be made dayly worse and worse / that almyghty god is nat beloued of hys creatures / as he ought to be / and that the commaun­dementes of God be dispised and sette at nought. ★ Thyrdely the contemplatyue man may nat be ydell / ne no more maye he that vseth the actyue lyfe / but anone whan he hath taken his necessarye slepe he shall ryse and thanke almyghty God with all his herte / for that he hath create and made all thynges / and that of hys charyte by takynge our nature he hathe reformed and renewed mankynde / shew­ynge by hys passyon and deathe the loue that he hath to man / whiche is so greate that none can be greater. ♣ Also the con­templatyue man shall thanke almyghty [Page] God for all theym that be saued / and for all them that be in purgatorye / and for them that yet be lyuynge in the worlde / prayenge mekely for them vnto our lorde that he suffre them nat to be tempted a­boue theyr power. ☞: The contempla­tyue man also muste be dyscrete in hys prayers / and well ordered in hys laudes and praysynges of God / for yf he haue sufficyent to lyue with withoute laboure or busynesse / he muste make the longer prayers. And yf he be wery and tempta­tyon ryse in hys prayers / he may laboure with his handes some honeste and profy­table werke / eyther for hym selfe yf he haue nede or for other. ☞ And if he be in maner yrkesome with bothe / that is to saye: with prayer and laboure / than he may haue some other honest occcupacion or here some good holsome wordes / or profytable counseyls in all sobernes / all scur [...]ylytie and vncleane wordes sette a­parte tyll the body and soule be made more apte / and more able to the seruyce of god. ★ And if the contemplatyue man haue nat sufficyent to lyue with all / but through his labour / than maye he make the shorte prayers for hys necessarye la­bour [Page Clxxxiiii] / and that laboure shalbe the perfec­cion and encreasynge of hys prayer / and if he can nat laboure nor maye nat / than let nat hym be ashamed / ne thynke it nat greuous to begge / but rather that he be ioyous for it / for than he foloweth me the sonne of God that made my selfe poore: to make man ryche / and yf the contem­platyue man be vnder obedyence / than he muste lyue after the obedyence of hys prelate / and hys rewarde shalbe double more than yf he were at lybertye. Fourthly the contemplatyue man maye nat be couytous / no more maye the ac­tyue man / nor he maye nat be prodygall for as the actyue man dystrybuteth tem­porall goodes for god / so the contempla­tyue man must distrybute hys spirytuall goodes. Morouer yf the contemplatyue man wyll haue almyghty god inwardly in his herte: let hym beware to saye thus as many do. It suffyseth to me yf I can saue myne owne soule / for yf I can do so / what haue I to do with the dedes of o­ther men / or yf I be good my selfe / what is it to me howe other lyue. O my doughter / they that say or think so / if they sawe theyr frende dishoneste and troubled / they [Page] wolde renne with all theyr power to the deathe / that theyr frende myght be dely­uered out of his trouble / so shall the con­templatyue man do / he must sorowe that almyghty god is offended that hys bro­ther whiche is his neyghbour hath occa­syon to offende. And if any fall into syn / the contemplatyue man shall endeuoure hym all that he can to helpe hym oute of his synne with all discressyon. And yf he haue trouble or persecucyon for it / lette hym leaue that place and seke an other place that is more quyet. For I my selfe that am very good / sayde vnto my discy­ples thus. If they persecute you in one cytie flye ye in to an other: and so dyd Paule / the whiche by cause he shulde be more necessarye an other tyme / was let go by a wall in a basket. Therfore that the contemplatyue man may be lyberall and pitious / there be fyue thynges neces­sarye vnto hym. The fyrste is a house in the whiche his gestes maye slepe. The seconde is clothynge to clothe the naked. The thyrde is meate to fede the hungry. The fourth is fyre to warme theym that be colde. ♣ The fifte is medicins for them that be seke that is to saye: good confor­table [Page Clxxxv] wordes with the charyte of god. ❧:★The house of the contemplatyue man is his hert / wherof the yuell ghestes be all tho thinges that trouble hys hert / that is to saye / wrathe / heuenesse / coue­tyse / pryde / and many other lyke. Ther­fore all tho vyces whan they come / they shall in maner lyke as ghestes that be on slepe / and as they that be at reste. ☞ For as an hoste receyueth yuell ghestes / and good with pacyence / so the contempla­tyue man muste suffre all thynges / for god throughe vertue of pacyence / and in no wyse to consent to vyces / nat to them that seme leste ne to delyte in theym / but as muche as he maye be lytell and lytell throughe the helpe of grace / to remoue them clerely out of the herte. ♣ And yf he can not clerely remoue theym / he muste suffre them pacyently agaynste his wyll as enemyes: and neuer to assent to them knowynge certeynly that they shall pro­fyte hym to the greater rewarde in he­uen and nat to dampnacion. Seconde the contemplatyue man muste haue clothes to cloth his ghestes / that is to say meke­nesse bothe inwarde and outewarde / and compassyon of mynde for the afflyc­tion [Page] of hys neyghbour. And yf the con­templatiue man be dyspysed of ye worlde lette hym thynke howe I the God al­myghty beynge contempned and dyspy­sed suffred pacyentely / and whan I was iudged I helde my peace / and whan I was scourged: and crowned with thor­nes I murmured nat. The contempla­tyue man also muste take hede / that he shewe nat to them that reproue hym / or rebuke hym any synnes of anger or im­pacyence / but that he blesse thē that per­secute him / that they that se it may blesse god whome ye contemplatyue man doth folowe / and almyghty god shal gyue blessynges for tho maledi [...]cyons. The con­templatyue man muste be ware also that he do nat speke yuell of them nor rebuke them that do greue hym / for it is damp­nable to bacbyte other / and wylfully to here them that do bacbyte / or thoroughe impacyence for to reproue or rebuke hys neyghbour. Than that the contempla­tyue man maye haue perfytely the gyfte of mekenes and pacyence / he muste stu­dy to admonysshe and warne them that do bacbyte other / of the greate peryl that they stande in / and that he exorte theym [Page Clxxxvi] in all charyte with wordes and with ex­amples to perfyte mekenes. Also the clo­thynge of the contemplatyue man muste be compassyon / for yf these hys neygh­bours do any synne: he muste haue com­passyon of hym / prayenge to almyghty god to haue mercy vpon hym. ★: And yf he se hym suffre any wronge or hurte / or reproue: he muste be sory for hym and helpe hym with hys prayers / and with his ayde and dilygence / and that yf nede be before the greate Men of the worlde for the true perfyte compassyon sekethe nat that is hys / but that is hys neygh­bours. ♣ And yf the contemplatyue man be suche a one that he is nat herde with prynces / and that it profytethe nat that he go out of hys selfe. ☞: Than he shall praye hartely for theym that be in trou­ble and almyghty god that is the behol­der of mannes herte / for the charytye of hym that prayeth / shall turne the hertes of the people to the peace and quyetnesse of hym that is in trouble / so that he shall eyther be delyuered oute of hys trouble / or he shall haue pacyence sente hym of god to suffre it / and so his rewarde shalbe doubled. Therfore such clothynge / that [Page] is to say: mekenes and compassyon must be in the herte of the contemplatiue man for nothynge so myghtely draweth god in to the herte as mekenes and compas­syon of the neyghbour dothe. Thyrdely the contemplatiue man must haue meate and drynke for hys gestes / for somtyme yuell gestes do lodge in the herte of the contemplatiue man / that is to say whan the herte is drawen fro beholdynge of it selfe: and coueteth thynges delectable / to se worldely thynges / to haue posses­sion of temporall goodes. ☞ And whan the eeres desyre to here hys owne honowre / the flesshe desyreth to delyte in car­nall thynges / the spirite leyth excuse of his fraylnesse / and that syne is but lyght and whan there cometh a paynfulnesse and an hardenesse for to do good dedes / and a forgetfulnesse of thynges to come. ❧:And whan he thynketh hys good dedes great and forgetteth hys yuell de­des. Agaynste all suche ghestes it is ne­cessarye for the contemplatyue man to haue good counseyle / and nat to dyssem­ble as thoughe he were a sleape / but that be armed strongely with trewe fayth an­swere vnto suche ghestes: sayeng thus. [Page Clxxxvii] I wyll haue nothyng of temporal goodꝭ but barely for the sustaynynge of my bo­dely kynde / and I wyll nat spende houre nor time but to the honour of god nor I wyll nat take hede what is fayre or foule in the worlde / ne what is pleasaunte or displeasaunt to the flesshe: or sauoury / or nat sauoury to the mouth / but to ye plea­sure of god and helthe of my soule / for I wolde nat lette one houre but to the ho­nour of god. Such a wyl is mete & drinke for the ghestes that come / and that an­swere extyncteth and putteth awaye all inordynate delytes and pleasures of the worlde and of the fleshe. Fourthly the cō ­tēplatyue man muste haue fyre to warme his ghestes and to gyue them lyght / this fyre is the herte of the holy ghost / it is impossible any man to leaue his owne wyll or to forsake the carnall loue of his fren­des or the loue of ryches / but thoroughe the instincte and hete of the holy ghoste. Also the contemplatyue man / howe ho­ly and perfyte so euer he be / maye nat of hym selfe begynne nor contynue in good lyfe withoute helpe of grace in the hooly goste. Therfore that the contemplatyue man may set a lyght before hys ghestes. [Page] Fyrst lette hym thynke thus: Almyghty God hath created me / that I shulde ho­noure hym aboue all thynges. And in honourynge hym / that I shulde loue hym and drede hym / and he was borne of a virgyne to teache me the waye to heuen / and that I shulde folowe that waye in all mekenes. ☞ And with his deathe he opened the gates of heuen / that I shulde with grēate desyre hast me thyther. Also the contemplatyue man muste examyne diligently all his dedes / all his thoughtꝭ and all his affeccyons / that is to say how he hath offended god / and howe pacient­ly god sufferethe man / and howe many wayes he calleth man vnto hym / suche thoughtes and suche ghestes of the con­templatyue man: be in maner but as they were a slepe / but they be illumynate with the fyre of ye holy ghost / the which fyre than comethe in to the herte whan the contemplatyue man thynketh howe reasonable it is to serue God / and whan he thynketh that he had leuer suffre all payne / than wyttyngly no prouoke God to wrathe / whose goodnes hys soule is create and made / and it is also redemed with hys precyous blode. Than also the [Page Clxxxviii] herte hath hete of his heuenly fyre / that is the holy ghoste / whan the soule thyn­keth and dyscernethe to what intente e­uery ghest / that is to saye / euery thought [...]ommethe. ☞ And whether it moue the mynde to couyte ioye perpetually or trā ­sitorie / and that he leaue no thought vn­dyscussed: ne vncorrected with drede of god. ★: Therfore that thys fyre maye be goten / and whan it is goten that it may be falsely kepte. ☞: The contemplatyue man muste laye to drye stickes / that is to saye: he muste dilygently take hede of the mocyons of the flesshe / that it rebell nat agaynste the spiryte. ♣ And he muste put to all hys dylygence that the wordes of pitie and good prayers maye be deuout­ly encreased / wherewith the holy ghoste may haue delyte / but he muste specyally knowe and consyder that where a fyre is made in a close vessell that hath no a­uoydaūce anone the fyre goeth oute / and the vessell wereth colde. ♣: So it is with the contemplatyue man / yf he wolde nat lyue to nothynge els but that he myght do honour to God / It is expedyent that his mouth be opened / and that the flame of hys charytye go forthe. Than is the [Page] mouthe opened whan by hys speakynge whiche procedeth of feruent charytye / he getteth spiritual children to god / but the cōtemplatyue man muste take good hede that he open his mouth to preach / where good men shalbe made more feruent / and where yuel men may be amended / where ryghtwysenes maye be encreased / and yuell customes maye be put awaye. For the Apostle Paule somtyme wolde haue spoken but the holy ghost dyd prohybyte hym / and somtyme he helde hys peace / and whā tyme conuenyēt cam (he spake) and somtyme he vsed softe wordes / and an other tyme more sharper wordes / and alwaye he ordered his wordes to the ho­nour and glory of god / and to the confortynge and strenthynge of the fayth. And if the contemplatiue man may nat prea­che but he hath good wyll and connynge to preache and lacketh good hearers / he muste do as the fore dothe / the whyche goth about many mountaynes and ser­chethe with hys fete in many places and where he fyndeth the softeste place / and mooste apte for hym / there he maketh a dene to rest hym in. ♣ So the contempla­tyue man must assay with wordes / with [Page Clxxxix] examples / and with good prayers / the hertes of many people / and where he fyndeth the hertes most apt to here the wordes of god / there he must tary in counsaylynge and inducynge the people to God all that he can. The contemplatyue man also muste labour al that he can that cō ­uenient auoydance maye be had for hys flame / for the greater that the flame is the mo be illumined and made hote ther­by. Than hath the flame conuenyente auoydaunce / whan the contemplatyue man neyther dredeth rebukes ne couey­teth nat hys owne prayse / whan he ney­ther dredeth aduersites / ne delyteth hym nat in prosperytyes: and than it is more pleasure to God that he do hys good de­des openly than pryuely / that they that se them maye glorifye god. ♣ And it is to vnderstāde: that the contemplatyue man muste put forthe two flames / one secre­tely / an other openly / that is to saye he muste haue a double mekenes. ☞: The fyrste muste be within forth in the herte. the seconde muste be without forth to the worlde. The firste is that the contemplatyue man thynke hym selfe vnworthy and vnprofytable to all good warkes. [Page] and that he preferre nat hym selfe in hys owne syght aboue no man / ne that he coueyte nat to be lauded nor to be sene in the worlde that he flye pryde / and desyre god aboue all thynge / folowing hys wordes & his teachinges. And if the contem­platyue man put forth such a flame with good warkes / than hys herte shalbe illu­myned with charytye / and all the contrarious thynges that come vnto hym shall lyghtly be suffred and ouercome. The se­conde flame must be openly / for if perfyte mekenes be in the herte / it muste also ap­pere in hys apparell without forthe / and be herde in hys wordes / and be perfor­med in hys dedes. True mekenesse is in the apparell / whan the contemplatyue man coueytet more to haue clothynge of smal pryce whiche is profitable / than clothyng of greater value wherby he maye fall in to pryde / and in to a desyre to be sene in the worlde / for that apparell that is lytell worth: and is called in ye worlde vyle and abiecte / is very fayre and pre­cyous before god / for it prouoketh meke­nes. And that apparrell that is of greate pryce and is called fayre in the worlde / is very foule and vnsemely before god / for [Page Clxxxx] for it takethe awaye the fayrenes of aungels / that is to saye mekenesse. ☞: But yf the contemplatyue man for any reaso­nable cause be constrayned to haue an habyt somwhat better than he wolde: let hym nat be troubled therfore / for hys re­warde shall therby be encreased. Also the contēplatyue man muste haue meakenes in his mouth / that is to saye in spekynge meke thynges / eschewynge all rybaldry and superfluytye of wordes / nat spea­kynge subtylly ne disceytfully / ne prefer­rynge his sentence before other. And yf the contemplatyue man here hym selfe praysed for any good dedes / lette hym nat be lyfte vp in hys hert therfore / but that he answere thus. All laude and ho­nour be to god that gyuech all thynges. ❧What am I but duste in the wynde / or what goodnes commethe of me that am nought elles but drye earthe with­oute water? ☞:♣ And yf he be reproued in the worlde / lette hym nat be moued therwith / but that he answere thus. I am worthy all thys and muche more for I haue so ofte offended god / and haue nat made amendes therfore agayne. Therfore praye ye for me therby suffring [Page] of suche temporall reproues / I maye es­cape the shames and reproues euerlas­tynge. ★ And yf the contemplatyue man be prouoked to anger or wrathe by the vngoodly dealynge of hys neyghbours lette hym be well warre & take good hede that he answere nat vndiscretely / for cō ­menly pryde foloweth anger and wrath. Therfore it is good coūsayle / that whan anger or pryde come: that he holde hys peace so longe tyme / tyll the wyll maye aske helpe of God to suffre / and to take good auysemente howe and what to an­swere / that he maye fyrste ouercome him selfe / and than the wrathe shalbe abated in the herte / so that he maye answere wysely to them that be vnwyse. ☞:♣:Thou shalte knowe also that the deuyll hath greate enuye to a contemplatyue man: and yf he can nat hynder hym by breakynge of the commaundementes of god / than he wyll styrre hym to be ey­ther lyghtly moued with wrathe / or to be dysposed to somme vayne and vndys­crete myrth / or elles to haue some vayne and vnprofytable wordes. ☞: Therfore the cōtemplatyue man must alway aske helpe of god that all hys wordes and de­des [Page Clxxxxi] be gouerned by hym and be holly di­rected vnto hym. ♣ And the contempla­tyue man muste haue mekenesse in all his workes / that is to say / that he do no­thynge for worldly prayse / ne that he at­tempte no newe thynge of hym selfe / and that he be nat ashamed of no worke how vyle so euer it be / so that he maye ther­by please god / that he flye syngularytye that he do good to all that he can / and in euery good dede that he dothe / thynke that he myght haue do better. ♣: Also he muste chose to sytte rather with poore men than with ryche / rather to obey thā to commaunde / to kepe scylence rather than to speake / to be solytarye than to be with myghty men or with hys worldely frendes. ♣: Also the contemplatyue man muste hate hys owne wyll / ofte remem­bre his dethe / flye curiosyte / all murmu­ringe and grudgynge / alway remembre the ryhgtwysenesse of god / and take hede of his owne affeccyons. Also the contem­platyue man muste ofte vse confession be stable and dilygent in his temptacyons / and nat be desyre to lyue to none other entente / but that the honoure of God / and helthe of soules maye be encreased. [Page] ★Than if the contemplatyue man that hath suche affeccyons and suche desyres as is sayde before / be chosen into the of­fyce of an Actyue man / and of obedyence and charyte to god he taketh vpon hym the rule of other he shall haue a double rewarde / as it maye appere by thys sy­mylytude. ★ There was a myghtie man that had a shyppe charged with precious marchaundises / whiche sayde to hys ser­uaunt this. ★ Go ye with this shippe to suche a porte / for ther I shall haue ryght greate encrease / if ye wynde ryse laboure manfully and yrke nat at it / for your re­warde shalbe great. After as the seruaūt sayled / a greate wynde rose / the stormes wexed greate and the shyppe was tossed and broken greuously. Than the gouer­nour of the shippe wexed wery and slowe and all that were in the ship dispeyred of theyr lyues / and agreed to go to some o­ther porte whyther as the wynde wolde dryue them / and nat to that porte that their lorde had appoynted them to. And that hearynge / one of the mooste fayth­full seruauntes and mooste feruente / so­rowynge throughe greate zele and loue that he had to hys Lorde toke vpon hym [Page Clxxxxii] the gouernaunce of the shyppe / and with strength brought the shyppe to the porte that the lorde assigned them to go to. ☞:Is nat that man that so manfully brought the shyppe to the porte / worthy to haue greater rewarde than any of his felowes? Yes trewely. ☞: So it is of a good ruler that for the loue of god / and helthe of soules / taketh vppon hym the charge of gouernaunce of other / and ca­reth nat for the honour / and trewely he shall haue a double rewarde. ★ Fyrste he shall be parte taker of the good dedes of al them that he bringeth to the safe port. Seconde his glorie shalbe encreased without ende. And contrarywise it shalbe of them that come to honoure & prelacy by theyr ambicyon for they shalbe parte ta­kers of all the paynes and offences of all them that they toke vppon them to rule. Seconde theyr confusion shal neuer haue ende for prelates that coueyte honoures / be more lyke to strumpettes than to pre­lates / for they deceyue theyr subiectes by theyr yuel examrles and theyr yuel wor­des / and be nat worthy to be called ney­ther Contemplatyue mē nor Actyue mē / but they amende and do due penaunce. [Page] ❧Fyftly the cōtemplatyue man muste gyue medicyns to his ghestes / that is to saye / he muste conforte them with good wordes / and to all thynges that come / lykynge or mystykynge / plesaunt or dys­pleasaunt he must saye thus. I wyll eue­ry thynge that it pleaseth our lorde that I shulde wyll / thoughe I shulde go vnto hell. ☞ And truely suche a wyll is a me­dicine to all thynges that come vnto the herte / and is all delyte in a troubles that come / and a greate temperaunce in all prosperyte. ☞ But bycause the contem­platyue man hath many enemyes / ther­fore he muste ofte make confession / for as longe as he wylfully abydeth in synne / hauyng tyme and oportunytie to be con­fessed / and is neglyente or hedeth it nat he is rather to be called an Apostata be­fore god than a contemplatyue man. The actyue lyfe. ☞: Also the dedes of a man that lyueth in the actyue lyfe. Thou shalte vnderstande that thoughe the parte of the contemplatyue man be best / that yet the parte of the actyue man is nat yuell but it is very laudable / and muche pleasaunt to god: therfore I shall shewe the uowe howe the actyue man [Page Clxxxxiii] muste order hym selfe. ★: He muste haue as ye contemplatiue man hath fiue thin­ges. The first is true faith of holy church The seconde is that he knoweth the commaundementes of god and the coūsailes of the euangelycall truthe / and them he must performe / in wyll / worde / and dede. ♣:Thirdely he muste refrayne his tonge from all yuell wordes / that are agannste god and hys neyghbour / and hys hand­des from all vnhoneste and vnlaufull de­des. And hys mynde from ouermuch de­syre of worldely goodes / and from ouer­greate delyte of worldly pleasures / and lerne to be contente with that God hath sente hym / and to desyre no superfluous thynges. Fourthly he shall do the dedes of mercye reasonably in all mekenesse / so that for truste of tho good dedes / he in nothynge offende god. Fyftly he muste loue god aboue all thynges / and than hym selfe / as Martha dyd / for she gaue her selfe gladly to me folowynge my wordes and dedes / and afterwarde she gaue all her goodes for my loue / & lothed all tem­porall thynges desyryng onely thynges euerlastynge / and therefore she susteyned all thynges pacyently as they came / and [Page] cared as well for the helth of other as of him selfe / thynkynge alwaye on my cha­ritye & on my possyon / and she was glad in troubles / mery in aduersities / and lo­ued all people as a mother her chylde. She wolde also ofte folowe me whan I was in the worlde / desyrynge nothynge but to here me. She also had compassy­on of them that were in trouble. ★: She conforted theym that were in heuynesse / releued them that were syke / she cursed no man ne sayde yuel to no man / but dis­symuled the yuell maners of her neygh­bours all that she myght / and prayde al­waye for them. ☞: Therfore euery man that desyreth to lyue charytabely in the actyue lyfe muste folowe Martha / lo­uynge his neyghbour to the ende that he maye come to heuen / but nat to fauoure his synne or yuell lyfe / flyenge hys owne prayse / and pryde and doublenesse of hert and wrath and enuy he may nat folowe. But thou shalte vnderstande / that whan Martha prayde for her brother Lazar that was deed / she came fyrste to me / but her brother was nat raysed forwith vp­pon her commynge / but afterwarde Mary was called / and whan she came than [Page Clxxxiiii] at ye prayer of them both togyther their brother was reysed from deathe. So it is spirytually / for he that desyreth perfytely to come to the lyfe contempla­tyue must firste exercyse him selfe well in the Actyue lyfe / labourynge all that he maye to the honoure of god in good bodily labours. And lerne firste to resyste all flesshly desyres / and to withstande migh­tely the fendes temptacyons / and than he maye afterwarde with good delybe­racyon ascende to the hygher deg [...]e that is to saye to the lyfe contemplatyue / for he that is nat proued and well assayed with temptacyons / and hath nat yet ful­ly ouercomme the yuell mocyons of the flesshe / maye nat holly sette hym selfe to heuenly thynges. But who is the deed brother of the actyue man and of the contemplatyue man / but their vndiscrete de­des / for many tymes a good dede is done with an vndiscrete entent & of an vncon­staunt mynde / and therfore it is but as it were deed. ★: Wherfore that a good dede may be acceptable to god / it is raysed a­gayne and commeth to lyfe by the actiue man and by the cōtemplatyue man / that is to saye whā the neyghboure is purely [Page] loued for god and to god / and god is one­ly desyred for him selfe aboue all thinges And than euery good dede of man or woman is pleasaūt to god. Therfore I saide in my gospell / that Mary had chosen the better parte.

☞:The lyfe of the actyue man is good whan he sorowethe for the synnes of his neyghbours / but his parte is better whā he laboureth all that he maye that hys neyghbours maye do well / and perseuer well vnto the ende / and that he do al that he dothe for the loue of god. But the part of the contemplatyue man is beste whan he onely beholdeth heuenly thinges / and the helth of soules. ♣ Whan the mynde is fulfylled with good affec [...]yons / & whan he is well at reste from the clamorous noyse of worldely busynesse / and thynketh alwaye God to be pre­sente vnto hym / and setteth hys medytacyons fully in the loue of God / and laboreth feruente fully therin both daye and also the nyght.

❧Christe saythe / that the deuocyon of thinfideles in tyme to come shalbe much more than the deuocyon of the chrysten men / and they shall all synge ioye be to the father / vnto the sonne / and to the holy goost / & honour to al his saintes. Amen. The .vi. boke of the reuelacions of saynt Byr­gete / the .lxxxiii. Chapiter.

THe sonne of god speketh vnto hys spouse saynte Byrget / sa­inge. Thou shalte knowe that yet there shalbe so muche deuotyon in the infideles / that christen men shalbe as theyr spirytuall ser­uauntes / and scrypture shalbe fulfylled that saythe. ☞: The people nat vnder­standynge shall gloryfye me / and deser­tes shalbe buylded agayne / and they shal all ioye be vnto the father / to the sonne / and to the holy ghoste / and honour vnto all the Sayntes. Amen.

❧.What thynges be necessary to hym that desyreth to vysyte the landes of the infidels. The .vi. boke of ye reuelacions of Saynte Byrgette. The .xl [...]. Chapiter. in the ende of the sayde Chapiter.

[Page]THe sonne of god speaketh to saynt Byrget / and saith he that desyreth to visyte the landes of the infidels ought to haue .v. thynges. The firste is that he discharge hys conscyence with true con­fessyon & contricion / as thoughe he shulde forth with dye. Seconde that he putte a­waye al lyghtnesse of maners and of ap­paryll / nat takynge hede to newe custo­mes or vanytyes / but to suche laudable customes as his auncesters haue vsed before tyme. Thyrdly that he haue no tem­porall thynge but / for necessytye and to the honour of god / and yf he knowe any thynge vnryghtwysely gotten eyther by hym selfe or by his auncesters that he re­store it / whether it be lytel or greate. Fourthly / that he labour to the intente that the vnfaythfull men maye come to the true catholycall fayth / nat desyringe theyr goodes ne catell: or any other thing but to the onely necessytye of the bodye. ☞:Fyftely that he haue full wyll gladly to dye for the honoure of god / and so to dyspose hym selfe in laudable conuer­sacyon that he maye deserue to come to a good and a blessed endinge. Amen.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.