Select English works of John Wyclif; edited from original mss. by Thomas Arnold.
Wycliffe, John, d. 1384., Arnold, Thomas, ed. 1823-1900.



Respiciens Jesus in discipulos.
—JOHN xvii. [II.]*. [In the modern Roman missal this gospel belongs to the mass 'for the removal of Schism;' the gospel for All Hallows eve is taken from Luke vi. 17-23.]

ÞIS gospel telliþ how Crist preied for his apostlis upon þe Þursdai þat he shulde die on þe morewe. And so he medliþ many treuþis, boþe hiȝe and sutil. Joon seiþ þat, Jesus lokynge upon hise disciplis seide: Holi Fadir, kepe hem in þi name which þou hast ȝovun me, þat þei ben oon, as we two ben oon. And here it is seid comunli, þat ech oonhede is of sum fourme. And so þer ben foure oonhedis þat men speken of comunli. Page  403 Þe leste oonhede is in peple*. [þe puple, E.], þe which ben oon in kynde; and ȝif þei ben oon in vertues þan þei ben more oon. Þe secounde oonheede is of man; þat many partis of him ben knitt in oo soule and governed bi þe vertue of it. Leeve we oþer oonhedis of oþer bodies bi her fourmes. Þe þridde onhede is of þe Chirche and of her partis, oon in God; and þis is more woundirful þan ony man can her*. [here, E.] telle. Þe ferþe oonhede and þe moste, þat is rote of alle oþir, is oonhede of þe Trinite, in þe fourme of oo Godhede. And þus þree per|soones ben oon, and noon oþer mai þus be oon. Neþeles Crist preieþ þat hise apostlis ben oon, as þe Trinyte is oon; but not in þe same manere; but as þe Trinite is oon in oonhede of substaunce, so Cristis apostlis ben oon in þe same Godhede, and mai nevere after be severid, as þes þree per|soones mai nevere be severid. And þis is sum similitude, al ȝif it be fer fro God. And betere preier miȝte no man preie to God for synful men. Crist seiþ of his apostlis: Whanne he dwelte wiþ hem, he kepte hem in his Fadirs name, and noon of hem perishide but þe child of lesyng, þat moste nedis be lost, for he was a quyk fend, to fulfille Holi Writt. And here men douten comunli whi Crist chees Judas, siþ Crist wiste þat he shulde be dampned. But here we seien þat*. [Understand, after þat, the words 'Christ chose him.'] for helpe of þe Chirche þat Crist wiste þat he shulde do, and, as Crist himsilf seiþ here, to fulfille holi writt. And þe same questioun maist þou axe, whi God made men þat shulde be dampned, siþ þat God wiste of þese men al þat shulde befalle of hem? siþ God ordeyneþ good for hem, and good þat falliþ to his Chirche; for þei have levere þus to be dampned þan nevere to have be; but þei wolen not þis expresli, alȝif þei wolen þis pryvyli. And myche good cam of Judas, wherefore we shulde þanke God, and dampne þis traitour to Crist, and flee siche bi ensaumple of him. Lord! siþ Scarioth was ordeyned to be in Cristis religioun, þe which is þe beste þat mai be, and Crist suffride him to go out þerof, whi shulden not þes newe ordris suffre men to go from hem, and speciali whanne þei synnen Page  404 and men wolden go out for vertues? And many of þes newe ordris passen Scarioth in coveitise, and for averise of goodis þei ben traitours to treuþe.

Many þingis telliþ þe gospel of Crist and of Scarioth, þe which ben liȝt to men after, ȝif þei wolden take hem. Crist telliþ bifore of traiterie of Scarioth, and how he shal be dampned to helle, notwiþstonding his ordre. Crist seiþ aftirward, þat he comeþ to his Fadir, and spekiþ þes þingis to his disciplis, þat þei have his joie fulfillid in hem. And, as Crist myȝte not faile of þis, so þei myȝten not faile of þis ende. And alȝif Crist was evermore in wending to his Fadir,—for he myȝte not gon abak, ne erre in his weye bi synne,—neþeles, in tyme of his deþ, he wente out of þis worldli lyf. Crist ȝaf to his disciplis Goddis word for to preche, and þe world hatide hem, for þei ben not of þe world, as Crist is not of þis world; and þerfore weren þei goode prechours. He þat loveþ worldli goodis and worldli dwelling, as propre to him, is lettid to seie þe treuþe, as we mai se in þes ordris. Crist preieþ not to take hem ȝit out of þe world, but to kepe hem here fro þe greet yvel, and þat þei profite to þe Chirche in þe name of þe Trinite. Crist seiþ of hise apostlis, þat þei ben not of þe world as he is not of þe world. And þis men undirstonden þus; þis world is alle þo men þat ben dampned for love of þe world. And þanne þis word of Crist is open, for þei loven heven and litil þis world. For sich as is þis fadir and priour of þe ordre of Cristyn men, sich ben his children of his covent, and haten þe welþe of þis world. And bi þis mai men knowen which ben disciplis of Crist.

And Crist preieþ to þis ende, þat his Fadir stable hem in treuþe, and þanne he stabliþ hem in his word; for his word is þe firste treuþe. He biddiþ not stable hem in worldli wordis, as ben fablis and feyned lesingis, but in treuþe of Jesus Crist, which þei shulden trowe and teche. And, to conferme þis preier, Crist spekiþ to his Fadir, As þou sentist me in to þis world, so Y sente hem in*. [into, E.]þis world*. [So E; in A the words As—world are not italicized.]. Crist cam in to þis world to witnesse treuþe, and to liȝte þis world; and as Crist boþe God and man cam hidir to þis entent, so alle his disciplis Page  405 traveilen þus unto her deeþ. How shulde treuþe not kepe hem þat stonden þus to defenden treuþe? Crist, and Baptist, and oþer moo hadden not here reward for þis, but in hevene blis, hid fro men, for þe world is unworthi to take it. And trowe we not þat clepid miraclis þat ben maad at þe tumbis of seintis maken hem more blessid in hevene þan oþer þat done not here sich miraclis. And to conferme þis word of seintis, seiþ Crist of himsilf: For hem I conferme mysilf, þat þei ben confermed in truþe. Alle þe dedis þat Crist dide here weren so stabled in God, þat boþe þei and manere of hem moten nedis come as þei camen. And þes dedis of Cristis liif weren maad ensaumple to his disciplis, þat þei shulden sadli do Goddis workes, and take þerto ensaumple of Crist.

Crist ȝeveþ us after a confort and seiþ, He preieþ not oonli for hem, but for alle þat comen after and bileve in Crist bi her word. And þes wordis seid of Crist shulden quykene men þat ben dede, and, ȝif bileve stood in hem, make hem do as apostlis diden. For alle men þat shal be saf, riȝt to þe dai of dome, moten nedis in þis sue Crist, and ellis þei shal not make oo Chirche.

And þus seiþ Crist, þat his preier moot nedis make alle seintis oon; for o bodi, þat is holi Chirche, drawiþ*. [So E; þat drawiþ, A.] to Crist, as erþe to þe centre. For as it is seid bifore, holi Chirche moot nedis be oon, as þe Fadir is in þe Sone, and þe Sone is in þe Fadir; and so, bi stabilnes of Cristis membris, þat þe world trowe þat God sente him*. [So E; the clause is not italicized in A.]. And now prelatis traveilen to litil to maken men trowe þis bileve, for þei gon not in Cristis weie, neiþer bi word ne bi dede. And Crist seiþ of þes membris, þat he ȝaf hem þe clarite*. [charite, E; clerenesse in both Wycliffite versions.]þat his Fadir ȝaf hem; þat þei ben oon after oonhede of Persones; and so þis oonhede be þus maad,— þat Crist be in his lymes, as þe Fadir is in Crist. And so þei ben endid in oon, be fillid*. [and so þey ben in one, and þis endyng in one schal be fulfillyng, E.] in þe blisse of hevene, for þus shal þe Chirche wite how þe Fadir sente his Sone and lovede membris of þe Chirche, as he haþ loved Crist. Fadir, þo þat þou ȝavest me, Y wole þat þei be þere þat Y am, þat þei see my clarite*. [charite, E.]whichPage  406þou hast ȝovun me. And confermyng of þis preier is treuþe of þes wordis, þat þe Fadir lovede Crist bifore þe making of þe world. Juste Fadir, þis world haþ not knowun þee, but Y have knowun þee, and þes knewen þat þou sentist me. And Y have maad knowun þi name to hem, and I shal make it knowun, þat þe love þat þou hast loved me be in hem and Y in hem. And in þis hiȝe unite is endid þe blisse of þe Chirche.