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

Capitulum 6m.

[page 88] Jon euaungelist spak sharpliche of þis matere, boþe in epistel of his wisdom & in his book of priuetees; but for he spekiþ þere mystiliche, & fewe wolen þere approue his sentence,*. [setence MS.] þerfore leue we þis book, & speke we a word of hise epistlis. Ion seiþ in his book hou alle men shulden kepe charite, & so men shulden Page  310 loue þingis aftir þat þei ben goode. But here þenken somme þat freris failen openliche, for bi graunte of hem self oþere ordris ben betere þen heeren, & ȝit þei louen more here owen þen þei don þe betere ordris. as ȝif men askeden of þise foure sectis wheþer alle þise ordris ben euene goode, þei wolen seye anon: "nay, but oon is betere þen an oþer;" & þus bi here owen speche þey tellen þat þey leuen þe betere and louen persones of here ordre not euene aftir þat þei ben goode, & so þis diuision of freris bi þise ordris þat ben not groundid makiþ a priuee enuye and puttiþ out loue of god; but certis þenne þei ben mansleers & of þe fendis religion, for ion seiþ þat ilche*. [[1] John iii. [15.]] man þat hatiþ his broþer is mansleer. & þus it semeþ of heere lyues, þat many of hem ben irreguler; & þus in trauel of þise freris, When þei wandren aboute to preche, it semeþ þat þei louen more worldliche goodis þen heelþe of soulis þat þei visiten; & who drediþ þat siche ordris ne ben brouȝt in bi þe fend? þei leuen to proue bi goddis lawe heyȝnesse of þingis þat þei preysen so; but bi talis byneþe bileeue, & bi bull of þe pope þei prouen heyȝnesse of heere patroun & holynesse of here ordre. & þus seiþ ion soþeliche þat þer ben now many*. [[1] John ii. [18.]] makid anticristis; for alle þise men þat ben aȝen crist in here loue, þei louen not moost crist of alle þingis þat ben. but þise men louedon more crist, ȝif þei haueden oonliche crist here patroun; for vnordynel love of here patroun departiþ hem fro hool loue of crist; & þus þei hauen not god here fadir, but somme patroun byneþe god; & þenne þei ben anticristis and fendis children, as ion seyþ. & þus seiþ ion,*. [[1 John iv. 3.]] þat ilche spirit þat lousiþ ihesu is not of god [page 88b] but antecrist, & þus þer ben pseudo-prophetis now in þis laste hour brouȝt in. Men may louse ihesu crist on many maneres aȝens god, as he þat trowiþ not of crist þat he is boþe god & man, but trowiþ þe oon not þe other, lousiþ crist aȝen bileue. and þise men lousen crist þat maken hise membris heere special patrouns, & leuen to haue crist oonliche heere patroun, werbi þei louen lasse crist. & þise men lousen crist þat, bi heere prechyng or heere lif, maken þat crist is vnstableliche in mennes hertis Page  311 where he was bifore. & boþe freris and oþer prestis lousen crist on many maneres, & þus men hauen of holy writ þe names þat þei putten oon freris. Ion telliþ in his secunde epistle hou men shulden leue siche antecristis, & not receyue hem in-to heere housis ne greete hem in þe weie; & in mong alle þe remedies þat god spak aȝen siche men, þis is a special remedie of god, to which ilche man is holdon. for ion seiþ*. [2 John [11.]] þat what man seiþ heyl to siche antecristis shal haue part of heere werkis for assent þat he ȝiueþ. & meche more ȝif a man norisshe hem wiþ hise goodis, or defende hem in worde & dede, for þenne he defendiþ cristis enmyes; & certis bi lawe þat men vsen þenne he is traitour to crist; & þis perile shulden men flee more þen perele of mannes lawe. & herfore biddiþ ion þat "men shulden assaye siche priuee men, wheþer*. [1 John iv. [1.]] þei ben on goddis side," for mony siche ben antecristis. & bi certeyn rewele of ion, ȝif ony siche louse crist, he is þat ilke þat men shulden fle, boþe in speche & in lyf. & þus ȝif it were wel studied ouer, mony of þise newe ordris shulden be þus fled as antecristis for diuision þat þei maken; & þus bi alle þe autours þat ben in þe newe lawe men shulden speke þus aȝen freris, when þei don þus aȝen crist. & it were al oon to men to lette þis in word or dede & to destrie bileeue þat god haþ ȝiuen in þe newe lawe. but as it is seyd bifore men shulden kepe hem in goddis boundis & kepe treuþe & good entent; & þus for charite of þe chirche & of freris speke þise wordis; [page 89] & certis þise wordis ben soþe, & ilche man shulde graunte hem. But oon errour is in þis matere when freris continuen in heere synne, & iugen to what entent oþer men seien þise treuþis to hem. But here þise wordis ben suspect for many resouns of goddis lawe. It is propre to god to iuge entent þat man haueþ; what fendis ben þei þat taken on hem to what entent a man spekiþ. Certis alle þe fendis in helle kunnen not see a mannes entent, & men shulden not in þis hye hem aboue fendis but ȝif god hadde beden hem þis. & þus men shewen hem nakid of resoun; when þat noon of hem kan proue þat þis sentence þat men seyen is fals bi goddis Page  312 lawe, but trewe & sewynge of bileue, þey shewen ferrere hou þei ben disciplis of fals pharisees, þe whiche haueden þis maner when þei myȝten not denye cristis dedis, þat þei ne weren goode in hem self & ful of myraclis & grace of god, þei depraueden þe maner of doyng, & þus crist in hise dedis. Þei seyden som tyme þat crist was not on goddis syde, but wiþ þe fend, for he kepte not his haliday in doyng of siche myraclis. Othere seyden þat crist dide þise wondris in þe vertu of beelzebub. & þus þei casteden to depraue crist when þei myȝten not forsake þe treuþe; & þus þei shewen hem luciferis children þat wolen not amende hem self, but studien hou þei may depraue men þat tellen hem treuþe to here good.