The English works of Wyclif hitherto unprinted.Edited by F. D. Matthew.
Wycliffe, John, d. 1384., Matthew, Frederic David, 1838-1918.

Capitulum 5m.

Þe fourþe whel of belialis carte is þis: ȝif cristene men seyn þei knowen bi bileue þat þis is cristis gospel, þes malicious heretikis axen whi þei bileuen þat þis is gospel. but trewe men axen of hem aȝenward whi þei bileuen þat god is god; & ȝif þei tellen a good sufficient cause, telle we þe same cause whi we bileuen þat þis is cristis gospel. but þes heretikis wolden haue þis cause: for þes prelatis techen þat þis is cristis gospel; & þanne*. [omitted X.] þei wolden haue of þis cause alle here false purpos, þat what euere þes prelatis techen opynly & meyntenen stedfastly, were of as gret autorite or more þan is cristis gospel; [page 212c] & so þei wolden distroie holy writt & cristene feiþ, & meyntenen þat what-euere þei don were no synne. but cristene men taken here feiþ of god bi his Page  261 gracious ȝifte, whanne he ȝeueþ to hem knowynge & vnder|stondynge of treuþes nedful for to saue mennus soulis bi, & grace to assente in here herte to suche treuþes; & þis men clepen feiþ. & of þis feiþ cristene men ben more certeyn þan ony man is of ony*. [only X.] worldly þing bi ony bodily witt; & þer|fore crist reproueþ most defaute of bileue, boþe in þe iewis & in his disciplis, & þerfore cristis apostlis preieden*. [preiseden X.] most to haue stabilnesse in feiþ; for it is unpossible þat ony man plese god wiþ-outen feiþ, & so crist preide principaly þat þe feiþ of petir & oþere disciplis schulden not faile endeles; & goddis lawe telliþ hou bi feiþ seyntis wrouȝten alle here grete wondris & meruailis þat þei diden. & ȝif anticrist seie here þat eche man may*. [omitted X.] feyne þat he haþ riȝt feiþ & goode vnderstondynge of holy writt ȝouyn of god whanne he is in errour, late a man seke in alle þingis trewely þe honour of god & lyue iustly to god & man, & þanne god wole not faile to him in ony þing þat is nedful to hym, neiþer in feiþ ne vnderstondynge ne in answere aȝenst his enemyes. & for feiþ is scheld of cristene men aȝenst alle temptacions of þe fend & ground of alle vertues, þerfore sathanas ordeyned þes newe sectis to be so manye & haue name of kunnynge & holynesse bifore alle oþere, & groundiþ in hem pride, enuye, coueitise, glotonye, lecherie & ypocrisie to walwe among þe peple & stire hem bi word & ensaumple to be vnstable in þe feiþ; & stireþ heiȝe worldly prelatis to be fauourable to hem & meyntenen hem in þis ypocrisie to coloure here owene synne þer-bi, & to lette treue men to preche pleynly & frely cristis gospel & þe hestis of god for sauynge of mannus soule. & here-bi & [bi] many moo disceitis schulden cristene men knowe how þes newe religious ben false prophetis & cursed sectis, of whiche crist & his apostlis prophecieden bifore, & tauȝten men to knowe hem bi here werkis,*. [clerkis AA.] þat ben ypocrisie, coueitise & meyn|tenynge of synne bi fals prechynge, flaterynge, fals conseilynge & sclaunderynge of trewe men,*. [omitted X.] & makynge*. [maken X.] men siker of Page  262 gostly helpe bi fals letteris of fraternyte & many oþere nouel|ries brouȝt vp bi ypocrisie & coueitise. & as ion þe euaungelist*. [2 John 10.] comaundiþ, cristene men schulden not resceyue hem in-to here houses ne seie to hem, heil. & poul biddiþ þat men schulden*. [2 Thess. iii. 14.] not comune wiþ hem, þat þei ben confoundid & schamed of here false heresie & turne to cristis clene religion wiþ-outen errour of synful mennus tradicions. God almyȝtty strengþe his litil flok*. [folk X.] aȝenst þes foure whelis of sathanas chaar, aȝenst [page 213] anticristis clerkis & helperis, & make hem stronge in riȝtful feiþ, hope & charite, to seke trewely þe worschipe of ihū crist & sauynge of mennus soulis; to dispise anticristis bost & feyned power; & wilfully & ioiefully suffre peyne & reproue*. [reprof AA.] in þe world for þe name*. [þanne AA.] of ihū & his gospel, to ȝeue sade ensaumple to oþere for to folowe & conquere þe heiȝe blisse of heuene bi glorious martirdom as oþere seyntis diden bifore. Ihū for þin endeles myȝt, endeles wisdom, endeles goodnesse & charite, graunte to vs synful wrecchis þis bone. Amen.