A sermon of Saint Chrysostome, wherein besyde that it is furnysshed with heuenly wisedome [and] teachinge, he wonderfully proueth, that no man is hurted but of hym selfe: translated into Englishe by the floure of lerned menne in his tyme, Thomas Lupsette Londoner
John Chrysostom, Saint, d. 407., Lupset, Thomas, 1495?-1530. aut
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A SERMON OF SAINT CHRYSOSTOM, That no man is hurt, but onely of hym selfe.

I KNOVVE VVEL that all men of a grosse iudgement, and gyuen to the pleasures of this pre∣sente lyfe, drowned in worldiynesse, bound ser∣uantes to theyr owne lu∣stes, that regarde not the spirituall sence, shall thynke my tale meruay∣lous and newe, and peraduenture wyll mocke me, as though in the fyrste entre and title of our sermon, we propose a thyng both folyshe, and that to no mans eares can seme true. But this not withstandyng we woll prosecute our intente, and by this frowardnesse we shall be more sturred to approue the sayde sentence: so that they the whiche seme agreued with our speakynge, wyll in the begynnynge haue a ly∣tell pacience, nor will not at the first herynge interrupt my tale, but be content to abide the ende and conclusion of this matter. For plain∣ly if they so doo, I am perswaded, that they Page  [unnumbered] shall vtterly change theyr myndes herein, and cleaue to our partie, denyeng their owne opi∣nion, and rebukynge theym selfe for theyr er∣rour, that they haue hytherto defended: and ferthermore thanking me, as sike men thanke phisitions, whan they haue recouered theyr helthe. So nowe I wolde not haue the bring forth thyne olde roted opinion, but a lytell ta∣ry and consider the reasons of my tale, wher∣by thou mayst iustly iudge of this matter, and specially whan thou hast lopped and cutte a∣way thine own crokid fantasy that thou now arte in, and mayste see the right and streight waye of iudgement. For the iudges of these worldly causes, though they haue diligently herde the fyrst partie, to declare and pleite his action, with stronge and playne reasons: yet this not withstanding they loke what the con¦trary partie wyll aunswere, whom pa••ently they also here, and be not moued to gyue sen∣tence, although the former persone broughte forthe neuer so true and iuste reasons. For al∣waye there is in theyr courte a place reserued to the seconde partie: Seing it is an ordinate rule amonge these iudges, fyrste well to per∣ceyue the controuersy and cause of bothe par∣ties, and than afterward to gyue sentence ac∣cordynge. In lyke maner therfore I requyre the seconde place and audience of my tale, for Page  [unnumbered] the first partie hath longe heretofore prosecu∣ted his cause. This aduersary of myne is the roted opinion of longe tyme with many men, that wandereth through the worlde, and con∣firmeth, that all thinges be confused and trou bled, soo that amongest men nothynge can be iustly and well kepte, nothing in right order. Dayly we see many men hurted troubled and oppresied with al sortes of wronges and iniu∣ries: Feble and weake persons be ouerthro∣wen by the stronge and myghtye: the symple and poore folke be vndone by the rycher: and as possible it is to telle the waues of the sea, as to reherse all them that suffre wronge and be offended, whom no lawes no feare of iud∣ges dothe helpe. This noyfull pesrylence noo power can resyst, but rather dayly the teares, the syghes, the lamentyng of men, bewaylyng theyr wronges and hurtes, growe more and more. For the iudges, to whome is gyuen au∣thoritie to redresse and amend these wronges, be they that cause ino greues they that sturre vp greatter myscheues. And nowe this faute is so farre passed and growen, that many vn∣fortunate persons and vayne foles breake out into suche madnesse, that they blame for this disorder the Prouidence and wisedom of god, specially whan they behold a man that liueth n honest and quiete lyfe, to be drawen to the Page  [unnumbered] lawe, to be cast in prison, to be vexed and trou∣bled, and to suffre the extreme rigour and cru eltie: on the contrary part they se a frowarde person, an vngracious lyuer, a man set vpon mischiefe to be at ease, to waxe ryche, to come to high promotion, high dignities, great ho∣nour, in so moch that he is made feareful and terrible to all other, and innumerable wayes he vexeth, troubleth, renteth, tcareth, and as you wolde say, stampeth vnder foote the ho∣nest good and innocent persons. This vniuste iniquitie, these shameful wronges be vsed and continually exercised in cities, townes, bo∣roughes, vyllages, in euery place by sea and by lande. Seing than in many mens myndes this olde opinion reygneth, necessarily oure course nowe commeth in, to declare the con∣trary part, that shall ouerthrow the old buyl∣dyng of this foresaid false perswasion. Ther∣fore as I sayd before, though it seme new and meruaylous: yet I promise you, if you wylle diligently with pacience here me, my sayinge shall be founde true. But I saye, ye may not at the fyrst hearyng be therwith offended: I promyse you, to declare and shewe, howe that notwithstandyng men thynke the contrarye, yet it is surely true, that? no person can be hur∣ted, but onely by hym selfe: but that this sen∣tence maye be more manyfest and playner, let Page  [unnumbered] vs fyrste boulte oute, what betokeneth this worde, To Be hurted, and in what mattier, thynge, or substaunce it chaunceth any person to be hurted, the whiche selfe thynge shall be opener, yf we fyrst of all seke out, what is the excellency and vertue of man, and where it re steth. For though it shall appere, wherof and in what wyse it hapneth to a man, to be hur∣ted: and more ouer it shal than be sene, in what thing a man semeth to be hurted, and yet hath no hurte, and this also by examples we shall shewe the playner.

¶ Euery thynge in this worlde hathe some∣what, wherby it maye be corrupted and hur∣ted, as in example: Rustynesse hurteth yron, mothes hurte wolle, sheepe be hurted by wol∣ues, the chaungynge into vynegre corrupteth wyne, the swetenes of hunney is corrupted by bytternesse, wormes noyen corne, hayle hur∣teth the vynes, and lest in rehersynge I be to longe, to euery thing dyuers kyndes bringeth corruption, so that the hurt alway resteth in that part, wherin standeth the saufenes and helthe of the same, and that is hurt, wherby the welthy estate of any thyng is dimynished and corrupted. Let vs nowe serche out, what thynge that is, wherby the vertue of mannes mynde may be noyed or hurted. Dyuers men herein haue dyuers myndes. We must brynge Page  [unnumbered] forth also fals opinions, and destroy the same, that by such meanes the very trouth may ap∣pere: wherof we intend to proue, that of none other person nor thynge we can be hurted in very dede, but onely of our owne selfe. Some there be, the which thinke, that pouertie hur∣teth a man, some saye the losse of goodes or sclaunder, some brynge forth deathe. In these and such like thinges, men wepe and bewaile theyr wretchednes and mysfortune: and great pitie is taken of them that be in such case, and with moche lamentation they complayne, say∣inge amongest them selfe: O what an hurt or losse hath he suffered? all his substaunce and goodes were sodeynly taken away. Of some other is sayd: He is extremely sycke, phisiti∣ons haue gyuen hym ouer, there is no hope in hym of lyfe. For some other that lye in prison is great mne made: for other that be outla∣wed and banysshed theyr countrey. for other that be plucked into bondage from their fre∣dome: for other that be spoyled of their enne∣mies, that be in thrauldome, that be throught sea wrackes distroyed, through fyre bourned, through ruines squashed. All this sorte is la∣mented bewayled mourned for of all menne. They that do naught, and lyue vngraciously, be of no man pitied or weped for, but rather oftentymes they be of all men preysed, and be Page  [unnumbered] callid fortunate, and had in great honour, and this truely is the cause of all euylle and mys∣chiefe. But nowe, so that (as I sayde in the begynnyng) no man interrupt my tale, let vs shewe how that none of the forsayd yuels and mysfortunes can hurt a wise man, nor yet cor∣rupt the vertue of this mynde. For tell me, he that by theues is spoyled of all his goodes, what hurt hath he in the vertue of his mind? But (if you wyll) let vs fyrste, as we propo∣sed, describe what is the vertue of the mynd, and that this inuisible vertue may the better be knowen, let vs make a coniecture and take a lykelyhode of sensible and bodyly thinges: and for exaumple let vs see, what is the excel∣lency and vertue of an horse. I pray you, wyll ye saye it is in the gaye trapper, in the syluer brydell, in the harneys besette with preciouse stone and perle, begarded with golden fryn∣ges, with riche tassels, shal the vertue and no∣blenes of an horse be in these thynges? or els* rather in the swystnes of runnyng, in the sted fastnes of fote, in the assurednes of pace, and lusty courage of stomak, and such other poin∣tes apte and mete eyther to make a iourney, or to vse in warre, as to be an horse, that no∣thinge amased nor afrayde, rusheth agaynste our ennemies: or whan nede shalbe, can dely∣uer his master by swift flight from slaughter. Page  [unnumbered] Is it not clere? that the vertue of an horse re∣steth rather in these thinges, than in the other foresayd? In lyke maner what shall we saye of other beastes? Is not the goodnes of them in theyr strength and theyr propretie mete for oure vse? For he that wolde prayse an oxe,* wyll he consyder the stall, where the oxe stan∣deth, or any thynge caste vppon the beaste, or els onely beholde the bygnesse of his body, the strength of his lymmes, the surenesse of his hooffe? And he that wolde preyse a vyne, wyll* he not consyder the largenes of the leaues, the lengthe of the wrynkled spurges, or elles ra∣ther loke howe thycke the clusters be, howe bygge the grapes growe? and other fruites and trees in the same maner. Wherfore let vs also of this fashion speake of men, boultynge out in them, what is the very vertu of a man: and than let vs recken the man to be hurted, whan he is hurted in that vertue. What now is the excellency and vertue of a man, it is not* rychenesse, feare not pouertie: nor it is not bo∣dily helth, feare no syckenes, nor it is not re∣nowme and fame, let no yuel tonge feare the, nor it is not this cōmon lyfe, thou nedest not feare deathe: nor it is not libertie nor noble∣nes, lest thou be afrayd of bondage, or of that we call churles bloudde. but yet what is this vertue of mans mynde? It is to thynk right Page  [unnumbered] of god, and to do ryght amongest men. For al the foresayd vanities may be taken from man agaynst his wyl: but this said vertue, he that hath it, can not lose it by noo mans violence, nor yet by the dyuels, excepte he hym selfe de∣stroy it. Our aduersary the dyuell knew well this order and degree of thinges, and therfore whan he assauted the blessed man Iob, he de∣stroyed al his substāce, not to make hym pore, but that he agreued with so great losse, shuld speake som wordes of blasphemy ageinst god, and for the same selfe cause the dyuell fynally vexed and turmoyled the hole bodye of this pacient saynt, not that he shuld be sycke, wher of rose none hurt to Iob, but the dyuelles in∣tent was, to moue hym through the panges of syckenes, yf perchaunce he myght forget his constant wyll toward god, and so be priuated of that vertue, that his mynde alway kepte. For this onely purpose the fynde slewe all his chyldren: for this intent he turmented Iobs bodye with more cruell and greuous peynes than though he hadde bene rent with the vi∣olent handes of hangemen, or of turmenters. For no nayles nor fleshchokes coulde so haue torne the sydes of that holy man, as the fynde dygged in theym with wormes, to hurte hym was the dyuels purpose: and therfore al these peynfull sorowes he cast vpon Iob, to make Page  [unnumbered] hym thynke somwhat amysse of god, without the whiche poynte Iob coulde not be hurted. To this purpose Iobs frendes that came to comfort him, were by the find pricked to pro∣uoke greuously Iob, and they sayd to hym, O Iob, thou art not yet punyshed accordyng to the greatnes of thy trespasses and weighte of thy synnes. And many such wordis they spake and accused hym. But the blessed Iob, priua∣ted and spoyled of citie, of house, of goodes, of seruauntes, of chyldren, had for his palaice a dunge hyll, for his bedde the grounde, for his clothes cotten and stinking straw. Yet al this not with and ynge the blessed man Iob is not only by these meanes nothing hurted, but also by this persecution he is made better, more no∣ble, and of higher dignity. For where the find had spoyled him of all his goodes, and also of all bodily ease and healthe, there blessed Iob, through his pacience, gatherid infinite riches of vertue. Nor he was not with god in soo great hope and truste before he swette and la∣boured in this cruell batayle. Than of this let vs consyder, if this holy man Iob, that suffred so moche and so intollerable thinges, & suffred of him that far passeth al maner of mē in al kides of cruelty, & of vngraciousnes: yet if he could not be hurted in the vertu strength and power of his mynde, who nowe than is Page  [unnumbered] there, whose excuse shal appere right and iust, whan he saith: That person lettid me, that mā offended me, that man hurted me, that person dyd me great wrong. For if the dyuel, that is full of al mischief, with his hole power and al his might setting vpon the house substāce and body of so iust and holy a man, with al his da∣tes, al his ingins, & al his artillery, yet coulde not hurt hym, but as I said made him hereby more glorious, and more worthy to be looked vpon: how than (I pray the) can any persone blame an other, as though he might be by an other man hurted or noyed? Here thou obiec∣test and sayst, what, was not Adam hurted of the dyuell, was not he deceyued and dryuen out of Paradyse? To this I tell the, The di∣uell hurted not Adam, but his owne fraylnes and sluggishnes hurted him, whilest he regar∣ded not the kepinge of goddis cōmandement. For this synd that cam so armed with so ma∣ny weapons & deceytes agaynst the sayd bles∣sed man Iob, yet was not able to cōquere and ouercome him. Howe could he by any meanes haue deceiuid Adam, except Adam by his own yper negligēce willingly had hurtid & distroid him self? But again thou saist. what thā? A mā betrayd & accused of backbiters loseth all his substance & goodes, is not he hurtid? whan he is spoyled of all his patrimonye, of all his he∣ritage, and brought to extreme wretchednes. Page  [unnumbered] is soore vexed and troubled? I say no. Ye not onely he is not hurted, but he shall haue here of great aduantage and gaynes, yf he be di∣ligent and take good hede. For I pray the tel me, in what poynt dyd the pouertie of Christ hurt the apostles? Lyued not they in hunger, in thyrste, poore and naked? and yet hereby they grewe more noble, and were more glory∣ous, and opteyned a great hope and truste in god by theyr misery. Dyd not syckenes, scab∣bes, extreme wretchednes, nede, and pouertie bryng Lazar to the blessed lyfe: and for his ve∣xation and troubles in this worlde, was not he crowned in the euerlastynge ioye? What shall we say of Ioseph? was not he contynu∣ally sclandered and rebuked, both at home in his owne countrey and forth: in so moch that he was punished for an aduoutrer, and driuen from his kynne, howse, and all acquayntance: is not he for these thynges in greate honour with all men, and with god in great glorye? But why do we reherse, that by banyshmen∣tes, by rebukes, by bondages, by prisonmen∣tes, holy men came to great glory? I pray the shewe me, deathe it selfe, what hurte dyd it to the moste iuste and blessed Abell? I saye, that bytter and cruell death, committed of no straunger but of his owne naturall brother? Is not Abell for this thynge celebrated and Page  [unnumbered] worshipped through al this world? Thou seest howe my processe declareth more than I pro∣mysed, for it dothe not only open, that no man is hurted of an other besyde hym selfe, but al∣so that holy men take infinite gaynes and pro fytes in these thynges, by the which they seme to be yuell handled. Here thou sayst, what ne∣deth so many peynes, so many punyshmentes? What nedeth hell, and so many thretnynges, if it be true, that no man hurteth, nor no man is hurted? Here me to this, peruert not, nor myngle not my tale. For I sayde not, that no man hurteth: but I sayd, that no man is hur∣ted of an other. Agayne thou sayste, howe can this be, that some shall hurt, and yet noo man be hurted? It may be as I haue shewed. for his owne bretherne hurted Ioseph, and dydde wyckedly agaynst hym: but Ioseph him selfe was not hurted. And Layn dyd wyckedly a∣gaynst Abell, whan he layde in wayte to slaye hym: yet Abell hym selfe was not hurted nor suffred no part of yuell. To this purpose ser∣ueth peynes and punyshementes. For the ver∣tue of pacience in them that suffre, dothe not take away the trespasse of them that with an vngratious intent set vppon other, and doo wrongfully. For albeit that they by theyr pa∣cience be made more glorious: yet the other be not redemed of theyr mischiefe in their ma∣licious Page  [unnumbered] purpose. And therfore the vertue and nobulnes of mynde auaunceth the sufferer to honour, and the malicious stomak drowneth the doers in depe peynes. Thus the rightous iudge almyghty god, to them that constantlye contynue in a vertuous lyfe, and come to re∣ceyue the reward of victory, prepareth a king¦dome in heuen, and for them that without re∣pentaunce, persecute euer theyr synfull pour∣pose, hell is ordeined. Therfore if thy goodes be taken from the, say with holy Iob: I cam* naked out of my mothers wombe, and naked I shall depart hence. Put hereto the apostles saying: We brought nothing into this world,* nor we can not take hens with vs any thynge. Thou hast hard thy self to be yuell spoken by, to be infamed and sclaundered with men: re∣member thou, and put before thyne eies the wordes of our maister, where he sayth: Wo* be ye whan ye be of al men preysed. And in an other place: Be ye mery and reioyce, whā men reuyle your name as naughte for my sake.

Thou art cast out of thy cuntrey, and dryuen frome thy house and possessions: remembre that we haue not here our dwellyng cuntrey, but that we seke the worlde to comme. Why than doest thou thynke, that thou haste loste thy countrey whan in this whole world thou arte a straunger, an alien, and a pylgryme? Page  [unnumbered] Thou arte fallen into a greuous and ieoper∣dous* syckenes: vse and exercyse the apostles sayeng, that is this: Although our bodye the outwarde man be infected and sycke, yet our sowle the inwarde man is therby renued and refreshed day by daye. Thou art closed and shette in prison, and some cruel death hangeth ouer thyne head: Loke vpon S. Iohn̄ behea∣ded in prison, and there fastly behold so great a prophetes head granted and giuen to a tum blyng wenche in the rewarde of bodyly plea∣sure. These thynges whan they chance to the wrongfully: loke thou regarde not the iniury and malyce of them that do hurt, but ponder and way thou, the reward and glory that shal be gyuen the for these wronges. For he that willyngly and paciently suffreth all such trou∣bles, is not only forgiuen of his trespases and synnes, but also he opteyneth therby the meri∣tes & the rewardis due to vertu & goodnes: so high & great a thing it is to kepe stedfastly an assured and ful saith in god. Than seing that nother the losse of goodes and substaunce, nor sclaunder, nor defyaunce, nor banysshement, nor syckenesse, nor tormentes, nor deth it self, that semeth the mooste greuous thynge of all the foresayde, ran hurte men, but more rather helpe and do good to men, in makinge vs bet∣ter and worthy of soo great a rewarde, howe Page  [unnumbered] and wherof shal we proue any man to be hur∣ted, when of none of these sayd greues a man can be hurted? But I wyll nowe assay to lay plainly before thine eies, that they only be hur∣ted, the which do hurt, and that the hurte, the whiche they do, noyeth not, nor toucheth not none other {per}son, but only them self that infor∣ceth to hurt. for tel me, what can now be more vnhappy than Cain? The deth, by the which he with his owne handis slew his proper bro∣ther, hath made Abel for euermore a saynt and a glorious martyr, and hathe caused the slear for euermore to be taken for a wicked mankil∣ler, and that against his own blud. Also what is more wretched thā that Herodis wyfe? the whiche desired to haue S. Iohn̄s heade in a dishe, that her owne heade shuld be drowned in the euerlastyng flames of bournynge helle. What is in worse case than the diuel hym self the whiche by his malice made the holy Iob so glorious, that as moch as that blessed man waxed nobler, so moche grewe and increased the dyuels peyne. I thynke thou nowe seest, that my tale hath shewed moche more than I promysed. For it is open and playne, not only howe noo man is hurted of theym that doo wronge, but also that the hurters and none els be hurted and suffre yuell. For nother riches, nor libertie, nor noblenes, nor helthe, nor lyfe, Page  [unnumbered] nor suche other thynges be the proper goo∣des and substaunce of manne, that hathe no∣thynge proprely his owne, but onely the ver∣tue of mynde. And therfore whan in these out warde thinges, other hurte or losse, or trouble happeneth, man is not hurted, seinge all his treasure is in the sayd vertue of mynde. Here thou askest, what if a manne be hurted in the sayde vertue? It can not be but thus. If a∣ny be hurted therein, he is hurted of none o∣ther persone, but onely of hym selfe. Thou desyrest to here howe a man is hurted of hym selfe. Whan he is beaten of somme other, or robbed and spoyled of his goodes, or by any meanes troubled, yf than he speake any op∣probrious worde, any vnpacyent sentence, he is hurted, yea and soore hurted: and yet (I say) not of an other, but of hym self, through his owne lacke of pacience. For as it is said before, Beholde what the blessyd Iob suffe∣red, not of any manne, but of hym that pas∣seth all menne in myschyefe and crueltie.

That yf he, that blouddye tourmentour the dyuell that haynouse kaytyfe, with soo ma∣ny inginnes, soo many craftes, soo many pey∣nes, coulde nothyng preuayle in constraynyng Iob to trespasse with his toungue before the face of God, specyally whanne Iob hadde neuer herde the lawe of God, nor hadde not Page  [unnumbered] part of the redemption of the glorious resur∣rection of our sauiour Christe: If the blessed Iob I say, lackyng this ayde of Christis pas∣sion, was able to resyst all the fyndes malice: howe moche more thou christen man arte able to withstande all stormes▪ If thou wylte vse and exercise thy power, and take ayd and suc∣cour of thy feyth, it is not possible for the to be ouercom. For behold S. Paule how moch he suffred, his peynes can scante be tolde, the prisons, the bondes, the scurges, the whippes, the strokes, the blowes, the tormentes, besto∣ned he was of the Iewes, with roddis al bea∣ten, caste downe headlynge, in the handes of theues, he suffred of his enemyes, of his false bretherne contynuall treason, in his mynde he suffred feare, outwarde he suffred striues, ba∣tayles, hunger, thyrst, nakednes, defamynge, tribulation, beastis, and what nede I speake more, he dayly dyed, and yet all this not with∣standynge, not one small vnpacient worde es∣caped his lyppes, but he in these thynges glo∣rieth and reioyceth, and with myrthe sayth: I take pleasure in my passions and tribulati∣ons. If than S. Paule sufferyng soo greate vexations, was glad and ioyfull, and gloried in the same, what excuse shall they haue, that for euery tryfle and small wronge, or beatyng or other trouble, farre vnlyke to these forsayd, Page  [unnumbered] aske a vengeance, cry out and make a sorow∣full a do? Here thou comest agayn and sayst, If I without resisting suffre, my goodes shal be taken from me, and therby I shall be made vnmete to doo any worke of mercy. This is an euasion nothynge laudable. For if thou de∣syre to worke mercy, and to do almose dedes, here what I say: Pouertie letteth not a man to exercyse mercifull actes, I say it letteth not a man that is mercyfull. For though thou be pore, thou shalt haue. ii. mites, or one farding, the whiche whan thou haste offered, it shalbe reckened to the aboue all the treasure of riche men. Though thou be pore, thou hast an hand full of meale, that suffiseth to fede a prophete: that if thou be so poore, that thou lackest these sayd lyttell and small thynges, yet beleue me, thou shalt neuer lacke a cuppe of colde water, whereby thou mayste passe all manier of ry∣chesse, largely bestowed in mercyfull workes. For god requyreth a mercyfull mynde, not the quantitie of money, nor the heape of goodes. Doest thou nowe see, that thou sufferest none hurte whan thou losest al thy goodes, ye thou haste a great gaynes and vauntage. For thou haste with two mites, or for the price of a cup of colde water, bought the crowne of euerla∣stynge lyfe, the whiche other scant with their infinite expences opteyne. I doubte not, but Page  [unnumbered] this tale is playne to them that be studious of the trouth, and haue care for their spyrituall helthe and saluation: but to theym that lye in the bondes of theyr pleasures, in the pryson of theyr lustes, that waaste theyr holle lyfe in the course of synne, to theym this tale is vayn and foolyshe, bycause theyr mynde and srudye enbraceth nothynge but shadowes and wyn∣des. For these thynges that seme to them the goodis of this world, shal slyppe out of theyr handes, and flie from them lyke as shadowes and the wynde Wherfore it is well, that we open to this sort the priuy causes of these fan∣tasies: and let vs take awaye the image that deceyueth them, and shewe to them the verye plaine face of this filthy and sluttyshe harlot, the which they loue and enbrace. For surely I call this present lyfe an harlot, an hoorish wo∣man, the whiche lyfe is spent in the pleasures, and the vanity of riches, in the delitis and the power of this worlde. And I do not only call this lyfe an hatlot▪ but a foule stynkyng slut∣tyshe and beastly harlot, whose face is so farre out of shape and fashion, so bytter, so croked, and cruell a loke, that there is none excuse for thē that be deceiued by her loue. And yet this not withstāding we se many, ye the most part of this world, to be drowned in the plesure of her, and though they se that in this life, al thin Page  [unnumbered] ges be cruel and bloudy, ful of ieoperdies, full of dethes, of misfortunes. And where men see her beset with most vnhappy naughty packis, with sclāders, rebukes, hatred, enuy, deceites, treasons, complaintes, thoughtes, extreme ca∣res, cōtinual feare, and with a thousand such other vngratious gosseps and handmaides be compassed round about, as with a gard of ser pentes, amongest whome is noo comforte nor fruit, but only cruel slaughter, deth, pestilence, & perpetual peyn: yet how many be there, that loue her, and that busily folowe her? The fo∣lyshnes of them is so great, so stockysshe, that no reason can plucke them from this destruc∣tion, no euidēt example of innumerable other, that continually and hourely perish. Shal not I reken these foles more blockishe, more rude, more childyshe than litell babes? the which be holly gyuen to sportis and plays, and so busily driue about a round houpe, so busily scurge a top through the longe cloysters, or about the stretes, that they can not be pluckid from their game, beinge vtterly ignoraunt and without knowledge, that in such plays is no profite, no∣thing of valure▪ yet the foly of these yong ba∣bes is excused by their fewe yeres and tender age, but these other, in their perfect age, old in the nūber of yeres, what excuse shal they bring forth, for defending and keping a mind moche Page  [unnumbered] folysher & weaker than any childes. Now thā tell me & pray the, why semeth ryches worthy to be desyred. For me thynke I must of riches begyn with the. Thou aunswerest, bycause it appereth to many men, that rychesse for oure healthe, lyfe, name, and fame, and the state of our countrey, be more cōmodious than other frendes, kynsmen, ye than all other thynges that be. This goodly and semely sentence is not onely obserued bothe by the sea and land, but is nowe mounted vp aboue the clowdes to the sterres. I knowe well that this reason is not so moche a sounde of wordes, as it is a bournyng flame and fyre, that distroyeth the holle worlde, and no man there is, that gothe about to quenche it, but many there be that blowe to it, and more and more kendle it. For all sortes of men fauoure this mischiefe and preyse of ryches, not onely they that be part∣takers thereof, but they also that yet be not come therto. Thou mayst see euery kynde of men, whether it be man or woman, seruant or maister, riche or poore, to the vttermoste that he can, helpeth to increase this fyre, and caste some matter thervpon, labourynge in it both by day and night: all I say, bryng to this fyre plenty of mattier, plenty of faggottes, not of wodde, nor strawe, nor hey: for this kynde of fyre consumeth no suche mattier, but they cast Page  [unnumbered] vpon it heapes of yuell workes and vngracy∣ous dedes, bothe of theyr bodye and sowle, wherwith this fore fyre is kyndled and fedde. For these couetous ryche men, though it were possible for eche of them to haue in possession the hole erth, yet neuertheles they wold burne in theyr desire and appetite to haue more. And poore men likewise, whilest they couete to be equall with rich men, they be turmoyled with an incurable fury, they be madde, they be wod they rage, they raue: and thus one sycknesse, and one disease, gendreth in eche of them a di∣uers kynde of fransy. The loue of money soo ruleth and cleaueth in euery mans mynde and hart, that it passeth the loue of frendeshyp, of kynrede, ye somtyme of wife and children, the which semeth the greatest affection amongest men: yet the loue of money ouerthroweth to the ground all these loues, and trampeth them vnder foote as a wylde beast, like a fierce and cruell maistresse she possesseth and holdeth all mens hartes, and as a tyran subdueth theym to al vncomly bondages. This loue of riches rageth, furieth like a hornewode and madde tyranne, and playeth euer a shamelesse parte lyke an harlot, she neuer taketh pitie, neuer a∣bashith, in euery place she comith forth proude disdaynfull, stubborne, terrible, cruelle, chur∣ly she, wicked: and though she more furiousely Page  [unnumbered] rageth than eyther beare, wolfe, or lyon: yet she semeth to men pleasant and amiable: what sayd I more pleasant, ye sweter th•• sugar or hunny. And where as she sharpeth swordes to her louers, and daily prepareth for theym sna∣res, pynfalles to the dethe, & with many thou¦sand seawrackes hurleth and tosseth them, to this rocke, to that rocke: yet she is styll loued, styll imbraced, stylle desired and sought for of them: and by their owne innumerable slaugh∣ters and deathes they be glad, that at the last somtyme they may approch nere, though it be but to the vtter gate of this strumpet & harlot. For as swyne they reioyce to tumble and wa∣low in her dounghyll, and as blind betyls they delite to sturre and to wrappe togydders her fylthy and stinking mucke. All they in maner, that defoyle theyr handes with this shameful couetousnes, be more vnhappy, more filthy thā be the said most vile beastis. And in this part their misbehauor is more for this poynt to be noted, that the more they be rolled in these fil∣thes, the gretter plesure they take of the same: The whiche vice and faute chaunceth not to theym through the nature of the thinge selfe, but of their owne corrupted wyll. How now maye we heale theyr myndes oppressed with suche diseases, except they wyll a lyttell gyue vs the herynge, and take good hede, and also Page  [unnumbered] gyue place to reason in grauntyng our sayin∣ges. For the said vnreasonable vile and brute beastes, that tumble and walowe in lyke fyl∣thes, can not be plucked from their fylthy ap∣petite?, bicause they want perceyuance wytte and reason: but we now haue adoo with men, to whome the goodnes of god hath giuen vn∣derstanding and the vse of reason: so that they wyll here, they may easily without great peyn or labour, be delyuered frome the stynche and fylthe of this worldly myer. Nowe than har∣ken, and as men shulde answere me, telle me, why semeth ryches worthy to be loued and fo∣lowed? There is no doubte, your answere is, that riches be coueted, fyrst for the pleasure of lyfe and welthe of body: secondaryly for the honor that is in this lyfe. and for offices, dig∣nities, promotions that be gyuen to men for theyr rychesse. Ferthermore, thyrdly bycause the ryche man may sone be auenged, may sone bewreke his angre vpon them that do hym a∣ny wronge or displeasure, and that he maye bē feared of other, as a man of power. I thynke thou hast no cause to alledge besyde these for∣sayde, that is to say, besyde pleasure, honour, offices feare and auengeaunce. For rychesse canne not make a manne nother better nor so∣brer, nor more mercyfulle, nor wyser, nor yet make a manne softe, quyete, and gentylle, Page  [unnumbered] nor fynally rychesse neuer teacheth an hastye man pacience, an outragious, man contynen∣cy, a drunkarde sobrenes, a shamelesse person shamefastnes, nor none other kynde of vertue is opteyned by rychesse, no vyce nor synne is tourned into the better by riches. So than if ryches prouayle nothing to the gettynge, or to the increasynge of the goodnes in the sowle and mynd, nor they make not a man in vertue better, tell me I pray the, for what cause shuld ryches be desyred? Ye contrary wyse this is trouthe, that ryches dothe not onely nothyng prouayle for vertue, but also whan they ones come into the mynde, yf they fynde any thing towarde goodnesse, and mete for vertue, they vtterly distroye and corrupt the same, and in the stede and place of vertue, they brynge in vice and synne. For the handmaidens and fo∣lowers of riches be bodily lustes, sensual ap∣petites, lechery, angre, gluttony, intemperācy, fury, wronge, pryde, bostynges, and al beastly and vnreasonable motion. But let vs deferre the speakynge of these enormities to an other place. For these men that haue their myndes sycke in the desyre of rychesse, wyll not gladly here communication of vertue or of synne.

For they defende lustes and pleasure, and they wyll not suffre any thing to be sayd herin ageynst theym. Therfore we wyll nowe moue Page  [unnumbered] this questyon, whether there be any thynge in rychesse, that maye delyte and please men: or whether there be any honour in the same. And here, yf it please you, lette vs begynne from feastes, from the great aboundance of meates. For in this thynge chiefly is praysed the magnificence and glorye of ryches. Lette vs in this place compare togythers the table of a ryche man, and of a meane person, and let vs boulte out the gestes of eyther party, whe∣ther of theym take of theyr chere more plea∣sure. They that syt eatyng in feastis tyl their armes be wery, and ioyn their supper to their dyner, and in maner stretche theyr bealyes tyl they burste, ouerladed with the bourdeyne of meate and drynke, in whose bodye the sowle swymmeth, drowned in the fluddes as in a sea wracke, of ale biere and wyne: whose nother eies nor tonge, nor fote can do his duetie, but al theyr membres lye more greuouser fettered with the bondes of drinke, than men that lye in cheynes, to whom slepe bringeth no rest nor helth, but with madde furious dreames they be feared and made worse, and in maner wil∣lyngly they bryng into their soules and phan∣tasies yuell spirites, being mocked and skor∣ned of all that see them, ye of theyr owne ser∣uauntes: They remembre nothyng that they see, they perceyue nothyng, they fele nothing, Page  [unnumbered] they knowe nothyng, they can not her here nor speake, but fynally with shame they be borne from the table to bedde. Is there than more pleasure in suche feastis than in other, where is as moche of meate and drynk, as is suffici∣ent to dryue away hunger and thyrst? the whi che moderate diete Nature taught: the other superfluous maner was brought in by corrupt lustes and beastly pleasures, and therfore also healthe abydeth in the sayde temperate diete, and Honestie with sobrenes continueth in the same: and rysynge fro the table, the bodye is not ouerchargid or oppressid, but rather amen ded and cased, and increased in strengthe and lustynesse: That if thou wylte not beleue my tale, consyder thou the mindes and bodies of bothe parties, and thou shalt find them stron∣ger, lustier, and of better courage, that vse this moderate and meane dyete. Nor thou nedest not to lay to me, that of these also som be now and than sycke: as for that chanceth of an no∣ther cause, the whiche we wyll at an other sea∣son speake of. But these that lyue in their lu∣stes, delites, in superfluousnes of meates and drynkes, haue their bodyes loused slaked and made softer than wexe, and in manier fylled with an hoste and multitude of diseases and syckenesses, whome foloweth to increase the heapes of their peynes, the goute, the paulsey, Page  [unnumbered] and feble olde age longe before his tyme: their lyfe euer hath adoo with phisitions, with me∣dicines: theyr fyue wittes and senses be dull, slowe, heauy, dead, halfe buried in them. And if there be any ioy, any pleasure or myrthe in their lyfe: who is there that can set by it, spe∣cially if he be one that knoweth, what is the very ioy and pleasure? For of wyse men plea∣sure* is thus defined and called, That there is onely pleasure, where a man hath the franke vse of his desyres. For where a man can not vse his desires, whilest that eyther syckenesse letteth hym, orelles is so full, that he hath no desyre: without doubt there all pleasure and swetenesse is loste and gone. For looke vppon these sycke men, howe they looth all thynges: and althoughe there be neuer so delicate and swete meates put before theym, yet they take them rather with tediousnes, thā any luste or plesure to eate. In lykewise, whan by to moch abundance the lust & desire is quenched, there also the pleasure and swetenes is lost For the delicatenes of meates gendreth not swetenes and pleasure, so moch as the fulfyllyng of our appetite and desyre dothe. Wherof a certaine philosopher, well expert in this matter, saith: Whan the mynd is ful & satiated, he mocketh & dispiseth the swete hony comes. Declaringe that plesure restith not in the nature of metis, Page  [unnumbered] but only in the strength of our desire and lust. Wherfore the prophete, rehersynge the mer∣uayles that were done in Aegypte and in the wyldernesse, amongest the rest he reherseth al∣so this thynge: howe hunny rounnynge oute of the stones satisfied and fylled theym. For we neuer fynde that hunny sprange out of sto∣nes: What than meaneth this prophetes say∣ing? that after theyr labours and werynesse in the longe iourney, hauyng great thyrst, they dranke the swete colde water, that ranne oute of the stones: and of that water with a great luste and desire they tasted. And therfore by∣cause their desyre and appetite of drinkynge was moste swetely satiated and fylled, the pro phete callyd those waters hunney: not that the nature of water was tourned or changed, but that the swetenesse of drynke was in soo thyrsty a desire lyke hunney. Seing than it is so, nor of these foresayd thynges there can be no doubte, excepte the herer be eyther folyshe, or gyuen to stryfe, is it not nowe playne, that the symple and meane diete hath moche plea∣sure, and keepeth vs in healthe: where con∣trary wyse these abhominable feastes be fulle of diseases, full of corruption, and as a wyse doctour sayth: The dishes that seme to bring in delyte and pleasure, be fulle of syckenesses, full of grieues and peynes. But Ryches they*Page  [unnumbered] saye, getteth honoure, and gyueth abilitie to be reuenged of our ennemies. Shall we here∣fore thynke, that rychesse be necessary, bicause they helpe vice and synne, and maketh that anger shall haue his effecte and purpose: and stereth vp vayn blastes to get honour and pro motion, and increaseth the diuellyshe synne of pride: yet to say the trouthe, for suche causes chiefly richesse were to be eschewed & fledde▪ For in this wyse men shuld willyngly nourish in their hartes wylde and furyous beastis. More ouer, rychesse intice men to forsake the very true and gostly honor, and maketh them seke the false feyned honour and glory, that in very dede is no honour, but onely hath the co∣lour and vtter face lyke vnto honor. As often tymes these harlottes beinge soule of nature, they deceyue men with peinted faces, and vn∣der fayre white and ruddy colours, they hyde theyr shameful and fylthy visages. In lyke ma ner dothe riches, with whom flattery and fei∣ned curtesy is rekened to be honour For these preyses and homages of the people be not in dede true: but they be reckned vnder the false name of honor and worship. For if thou migh test se the consciences, the hartes and inward thoughtes of the preysers, thou shuldest fynd in euery one mās hart a thousande curses and defiaunces of thy maners. Finally whan thy Page  [unnumbered] authoritie cesseth, whan thou arte Iacke out of office, than shalt thou here innumerable de∣famers, complayners, dispreysers of thy lyfe: And all these shall be the same selfe persones, that before magnified and worshipped the. Callest thou this honour? and thynkeste thou this worthy to be gotten by ryches, thai brin∣geth euer, more of hatred then of loue? Soo that if they came to vs without sekynge, yet they were to be refused, and to be cast awaye, for the vngraciousnes that euer foloweth thē. But nowe if thou wylt here me, I shall shewe the, what is the very true glorye and honour. The true worshyp and honor is the vertue of the mynde, the whiche honour no kynge canne gyue the, nor no flattering nor money can get the. This honour hath in hym nothing feined nothyng peyuted, nothing hyd. Of this honor there is no successour, none accuser, nor defoy∣ler. This honour is not varied or chaunged by no tyme, it feareth no yran, nor it estemeth nother fauour nor displeasure of princis. But ageyne thou sayst, without ryches thou canste not be reuenged of thyn ennemies▪ ye for this cause ryches be chiefely worthy to be rehated and cursed, and pouertie is to be louid and che rished. For riches by this way sharpeth for the thyn owne swerd, seing they make the a tran∣sgressour of the cōmandement, where our lord Page  [unnumbered] sayd: Leaue to me thy bewrekyng and reuen∣geaunce, and I wyll requyte thy quarell. for wylt thou see, howe moche hurte is conteyned in the synfull appetite of reuengeance? It ta∣keth from man the mercy of god, and distroy∣eth and quencheth the grace that god had gy∣uen. For it is writen in the gospel of hym that was in many thousande poundes detter, and asked remission and pardon of his dette: his maister and lord graunted therto. Afeerward the same person turned hym to one of his own seruantes, that ought a very small thyng, and punyshed without mercy his said seruant and detter, nat beinge able to repaye hym: by the whiche acte he condemned hym self, not to be worthy to haue for his greatter det the grace and fauour that his lorde had before granted hym, so that he had no remissiō of his infinite bōdage, & was deliuered to the hādis of tormē tors, to be constrained by fore peines, to repay euery smal ioe of his dt. Thus the abhomi∣nable fole, through his immoderat desyre to be reuēged, lost the don of god. woldest thou thā haue ryches, that by them thou mightest haue an easier way to thy distructiō? shuldest thou not rather flee and eschue them in this behalf, as thy deadly ennemies, and causer of all mis∣chiefe? Nowe agaynste this thou speakest of Pouertie, as of a thynge that is peynefull, Page  [unnumbered] and that oftentymes causeth men for nede to banne, to curse, to do many poyntes, vncomly, vnhonest, and full of shame. It is not pouer∣tie that dothe this, it is the weakenes and fe∣blenes of mynd. For Lazar was poore and ve∣ry poore: whose pouertie also was increased with syckenes, and a very peynfull syckenesse, that caused his pouertie to be faire greuouser seing the peynes of his disease required many thinges of comfort and refreshing, where his pouertie coulde gyue none helpe. Eyther of these two, syckenes or pouertie alone by hym selfe, is peynefull and greuous: but whanne these two, pouertie and sycknesse, be ioyned in one, and haue no succour nor easement, there riseth an intollerable griefe, a fyer not able to be quenched, a sorowe without remedy, a tem pest full of wrackes, a bournyng flame bothe of body and sowle. Yet besyde this, the sayde blessed Lazar had a more griefe, that was a neighbour very riche, that lyued in al ease and pleasure, and fared delicately: and yet moche more his peynes were heaped, in that he laye at the gate of this ryche neighbour, seinge be∣fore his eies the superfluous expenses & wast of meates. For moche greatter griefe it was to be constrayned to wante the helpe and suc∣cour of thinges, that he presently seeth, than it was to lacke that he saw not. But al this not Page  [unnumbered] withstandyng, this cruel riche mā is nothing moued, but he continueth in his accustomated pleasures, in rialtie of feastes, in noumber of seruantes, of cokes, of mynstrels, of gesters, not diminy shyng his lustes and plesure in any smal poynt: in the meane season, hunger, thirst and syckenes soore vexeth the said blessed La∣zar, no seruant, no comforte commeth to hym, no gobbet, no morselle from that riche mans table, that fedeth a sorte of crauynge knaues and lurdeyns tyl they vomit and burst ageyn, not so moche as the crummes that were caste away, were giuen to succour this poore Lazar being in perylle to die for hunger: and yet he suffered this moste peynefull pouertie in suche manier, that he neuer spake iniurious or an∣gry worde: but as golde by fyre is made pu∣rer and cleaner, so he thus examined by passi∣ons and peynes was made throughe pacience more noble and glorious. For if it be trouthe, that many poore men only seinge other ryche men, be vexed and greued with enuy, and haue therby a more peynfull lyfe, thoughe that they wāt not as moch as is for their life necessary, and haue meanely inough of helpe and ease: what dyd than Lazar suffre, that was poorer than any other, and not onely poore, but alsoo sycke, that no man coulde be more sycke, and was in the myddes of the citie as cleane with Page  [unnumbered] out all succour and helpe, as though he had ly∣ued in a wyldernesse, sufferynge extreme hun∣ger and lacke of all thynges, and moste of all suffryng hunger in the superfluous feastynge of his neighbour▪ he saw the riche man swim myng in ouermoch substance, as in fountayns of goodis, and fluddis of riches: but he sawe hym self haue no erthly aide nor help, only pi∣tied of dogges, beinge so weake, that he was not able to driue them from hym. This bles∣sed Lazar, if he had not lerned the verye true and most perfect philosophy and lernynge of god▪ howe coude he haue suffred so paciently, so assuredly all these greues? Seest thou not, that he that hurteth not hym self, coude of no man be hurted? I wyll renew and repete my promise aforsaid. Loke vpon this Lazar, what coulde bodily sycknes? what coulde the lacke of al thinges, what coude the dogges rubbing vpon his soores? what coude the neighborhed of that couetous rych & proude man hurt this noble and glorious champiō of god? In what litel point was he for al this hurted or discou∣raged in the vertue of his mynde? Surely not one iote, but by these tribulatiōs he was more confirmed in the loue and faythe of god: and hereof the glorious crowne and reward of e∣uerlastyng ioy was prepared for hym wherof he was reputid most vnhappy, of the self same Page  [unnumbered] he was glorifyed: and whereof his sorowes his peynes and passyons were heaped, of the selfe same he was rewarded with perpetualle lyfe: His hunger prepared abundance & plea∣ty of the goodis that were to come▪ his sycke∣nes prepared the lyfe of heauen: his scabbes that the dogges lycked, brought hym the glo∣rious seruice of aungels, the despite of that proude and cruell riche manne, that vyle ca∣nelle at his gate, opteyned the mooste holye companye and blessed embrasynge of Abra∣ham. What dydde the apostle Paule (for we maye ones agayne speake of hym) was not he assayde with innumerable storines of tribu∣lation? And yet in what poynte was he for all that hurted? Was he not thereby made more gloryous? Wherein dydde hunger or colde hurte hym? what dyd whyppes, stro∣kes, or stones to hym? what hurte suffered he in the sea wrackes, in the bottome of the seas? Dyd he not alway remayn the same self Paul and the same selfe chosen apostelle of God? Of thother parte, Iudas also was one of the twelue, & chosen apostell of Christ, but it pre uayled hym nothyng, nother that he was one of the twelue, nor yet that he was callid an a∣postell, seyng his mynde was not set to vertus and goodnes But Paule with pouertie & stro kes, hath run the course that ledeth to heuen. Page  [unnumbered] Iudas that was called to be an apostle before Paule that was indued with lyke grace that thother had, that had lerned the heauenly do∣ctrine, that was parttaker of the holy sacra∣ment and bourde of Christ, that had the gyfte also of the holy ghoste, soo that he reuiued the deade, he healed the lepers, he draue oute the yuell spirites, that was thought to despise the goodes of this worlde, that myghte cleaue to the syde of Christe, that had the cure and rule of all Christis expenses, whereby his priuie synne of couetousnes myght haue bene amen∣ded, for he was a thiefe: yet not withstandyng all these foresayde gyftes, all these prouisions of our sauioure, he coulde not waxe better. Christ knew well that Iudas was couetous, and that for the loue of money, he shoulde be damned. And therfore Christ not onely rebu∣ked hym for this synne, but also by secrete and priuy meanes, wolde haue holped this faulte, gyuynge to hym the rule and order of money, that he hauynge in his handes the thynge he desired to haue, mighte be satiated and leaue that synfull appetite, nor shoulde not fall into the pyt of deathe, but with lesse yucll shuld re∣presse the greatter. So in all thynges he that hurteth not hymselfe, can not be hurted of an other. And ageyne, he that wylle not amende and correcte hymselfe, as moche as is in his Page  [unnumbered] power and wylle to doo, can not be helped of any other.

¶ Finally besides this, the holy scripture, as it were done in a large image & picture, hath peinted to the many lyues of the olde fathers, from Adam to the tyme of our maister Christ, that thereby thou mightest see the synnes and fautes of some, and also the rewardes of som other: and by bothe examples thou mightest be instructed and taught, that excepte a man hurteth hymselfe, he can not be hurted of any other, although the hole vniuersal world wold conspire & agree agaynst hym, although there shuld be a chaunge of all tymes and of al thin¦ges, although the fury of kynges and pryncis shulde rage ageynst hym, and as well frendes as foes shulde wayte to betray hym, other by deceyte or by force, yet al this can not moue or sturre in any small iote, the constant stomake and wakynge mynde in vertue. Likewise of the other part, the sluggard, the negligent bo∣dy, he that betrayeth and destroyeth himselfe, can not be made better, nor be amended, al∣though thou lay to him a thousand medicines and get for hym a thousande bulwarkes and defences: excepte he fyrst put forth his owne strength, and exercise all the power and wylle that is in hym. The same lesson we may lerne of the similitude and parabole, that Christe Page  [unnumbered] maketh of diuers builders, one that buyldeth his house vpon a sure stone: another that byl∣deth vpon the sand, not that we shuld of these wordes vnderstand, other sande or stone, nor any buyldyng of timber: nor yet that we shuld imagyn fluddis, showers, or wyndes, that as∣say our houses, but that by this similitude we shuld remember other the vertue of mynde, or the negligence of the same: and that we shulde hereby perceyue, howe except he hurteth him▪ selfe, no man can be hurted of another, so that nother stormy raynes, nor violent rūnyng flud dis, nor the great blasting windes coude shake an house that is buylded vppon a sure stoone. Wherby Christe teacheth the, that a man, the whiche betrayeth not hymselfe, nor is not of himself sturred or troubled, no temptatiō can moue or ouerthrow hym. But the other buyl∣dyng is soone cast downe, not for the violence of temptation, but for the wekeues of the foū dation, that is the feblenes of mans mind and purpose. For sande is a lose thing and fleting: the which without doubte signifieth the vn∣stablenes and inconstancy of mynde. Wher∣fore the cause of the houses ruine, is not tem∣ptation, but the negligence and the wauering of the mynde, the whiche sometyme withoute any blast of temptation is ouerthrowen, as a buyldynge that is sette vpon the softe sande, Page  [unnumbered] though there ryse no wynde, nor russhe forthe no fluddes: yet the fltynge sande causeth the hole house to ouerthrowe. For by itselfe sand wyll breake and flytte: but the hard adamant stone can not be broken with hammers. Doo thā he that is not of himself hurtid, can not be hurtid of other, although he be by many ways violently assayd, but he that by his own myn∣des slouthfulnes and negligence is betraied, though no man touche hym: yet by hymselfe he falleth and is ouerthrowen: As that syn∣full Iudas fel not only without al constraynt but also being holpe with many stays and re∣medies, he coude not stande. This thynge I shall shewe you to be true, not onely in prsuate men, but also in hole nations. For consyder thou what a care and prouidēce God had to∣warde the nation of the Iewes. Were not all other creatures in manier ordeyned and made to serue them? was there not gyuen to theym aboue all other men certayne newe and exqui∣site lawes to lyue by? Was not a drye waye made for them through the middis of the sea? and in the same place where they were in safe∣tie, their ennemies and persecutours were di∣stroyed. They lyued forty yeres in wyldernes without plowyng or sowyng. They knew not nor felt not the labour of haruest▪ they had no peyne in bakyng or brewyng, theyr wyues did Page  [unnumbered] nother carde nor spynne, there was no neces∣sitie of marchandyse, no man there to bye his meate loked for a market place: but all these commodities the word of god gaue them, and fedde them in the wyldernesse, without theyr labour or peyne. For this was the nature of Manna, it semed dayly a newe meate: and as euery mans appetite was, so it had his taste. Also by the prouysion of god they lacked not clothes, hose, or shoes. For duryng al the sayd yeres theyr clothes continued in one case, no∣thynge worne out: no persone amonge theym was diseased, or syck, nor had nede of phisyk, no man soughte for medicines. The prophete Dauid sayth: God brought them forth in sil∣uer* and golde, and in all their Tribus none was sycke. But as though they had lefte this present worlde, aud had gone into an nother better and more happy place: soo all thynges necessary without theyr care was giuen them by the worde of god. And besyde all this the greattest myracle of all, leste the heate of the bournynge sonne shulde noye and hurt them, they were in the day tyme couered with clou∣des, and whére soo euer they remoued, this heauenly ruffe and coueryng folowed theym. In the nyghte also they were not without so∣late and comfort▪ for a lampe set a fyre by the worde of god shyned before them: the whiche Page  [unnumbered] dyd not onely gyue them comfortable lyghte, but also shewed them the righte waye in that deserte wyldernesse. what shulde I speake of the stone, that folowed them with abundant yssue of water? What shoulde I speake of the multitude of byrdes, the which with their clusterynge couered the hole erthe? And other meruels that were shewed to them in Egypte what shuld I reherce? Or what shuld I repete the great vertues and noblenesse perfourmed in the wyldernesse? the battaylles doone by prayers, the greatte vyctoryes gotten onely by the callynge of God? For they not lyke men fyghtyng, but as though they hadde ben in a daunce contynually tryumphed. And how can it be tolde, that as they passed Aegypte, where the seas fyght for theym, soo with the sownde of theyr songes and trumpettes they ouerthrewe the walles of Hiericho, in suche fasshyon that they semed rather to be a com∣panye and a quyere of syngynge menne, than an hooste of aduersaries or ennemyes: and they seemed menne rather to execute myste∣ryes thanne warre. All these wonderfull sy∣gnes and tokens, al these myracles were done, not soo moche for the pleasure and safegarde of that nation, as that the doctryne and knowledge of God, the whyche they lerned of Moses, myghte the faster stycke in their Page  [unnumbered] myndes. For these meruaylouse actes were certayn voyces, that declared and preached to them the knowlege of God, lord of heauen, of earth, of all the worlde. The seas that they with dry fete passed ouer, cried vpon them to know God, and the drowning of their enmies cried the same. The same also shewed to them the waters tourned into bloude, the same the rayny storme of toodis taught theym: and fy∣nally all the wonders that were done other in Aegipt, or in the wildernes, signified the same. These infinite myracles were to theym as a boke and writing, that coude neuer be blotted nor put out, nor turne from their conscience: This boke they might alwaye rede, and haue euer in their hartes. yet all this not withstan∣dyng, so euident tokens of the power and ver tue of almyghty god: And not withstandyng the honour and glory that god gaue to theym aboue all other: yet they were vnkynde, and remayned infidels, hauing no stedfast feith in god. For they worshipped the head of a calf, & wold haue other gods made for thē, although they had in their sight & memory so many ma∣nifest signes of the infinite power of god. But loke vpon the people of Niniuites, that was barbarous & aliens, not accustomed with no benefites of the prouidence of god, not instru∣cted with no lawes, not sturrid vp with no mi racles, no cōmandementes, rude and ignorant▪ Page  [unnumbered] they saw a poore man Ionas, as he cam from the sea wracke, a straunger neuer before sene or knowen of them, that sayd at his fyrst en∣trie into their citie: Within these thre dayes this citie Niniue shalbe distroyd. Of the whi che onely sayenge they were conuerted and brought to the feare of god, and streight they forsoke theyr synfull lyfe, and by penance they gaue them selfe to vertue and goodnes, with so stedfast a feythe, that they reuoked the ter∣rible sentence of god, that was giuen of their distruction, and reserued their citie beinge at the poynt to be destroyed. For the texte saythe thus: God sawe that euery man had lefte his moste vngracious lyfe. Telle me, howe lefte they their lyfe so synfull: for theyr abhomina∣tion was greate, and extended vp to heauen, theyr iniquitie was infinite, theyr woundes were vncurable. For that meaneth the pro∣phete whan he sayth, Theyr malice and synne mounted vp to heauen: by the which infinite space he signifyeth the greatnes of theyr tres∣paces. yet al this not withstandyng, theyr ter∣rible synnes that stretched vnto the heauen, they being warned with fewe wordes, and a lyttell cōmuniation of a stranger vnknowen, neuer before in that countrey seene, a man to be hold wretched coming from the sea wrack: in a short space of thre days, were so quenchid Page  [unnumbered] and put oute, that they deserued to here this gracious sentence of god, saying: And whan god saw that euery one of them had left their vngratious lyuynge, he chaunged his angrye mynde, and reuoked the bluddy sentence that he hadde purposed agaynste them. Doest thou not here euidently see, how that he that hath his mynde redy and bent to resyste synne, and well remembreth hym selfe, can not only take none hurt of men, but also tourneth from him the angre and vengeance of god, being at the poynt to punyshe hym? Contrary wyse he that betrayeth and hurteth hym selfe, although he haue an hundred thousand gracis and helpes of almyghty god to his outward furtherance and staying vp: yet all suffiseth hym not for his saluation. For as ye see in the forsayd ex∣amples, all the wonderfull myracles and pro∣uidence of god, helped nothyng the obstinate Iewes: nor the Niniuites beinge straungers were not hyndered for the lacke of such aides and succour as the Iewes had: but in as mo∣che they gaue them self to god with hole hart and mynde, they greatly preuayled by a lytell occasion, to opteyne the mercye and grace of god. And thus they dyd being rude, vntaught straungers, and men set aparte frome the ler∣nynge of god, lackyng bothe lawes and tea∣chers to be instructed by.

Page  [unnumbered]¶ What maye we nowe speake of the three chylderne? agaynste whom although so great and soo many tourmentes were deuysed: yet there coulde noo cruell peyne eyther hurte or decaye the noble vertue of theyr myndes.

Were they not three chylderne of tender age? that in the fyrste entrye of theyr lyfe were broughte into thraldome, and subdewed vn∣der the rule of a fierce mayster, beynge from theyr countrey outlawes, dryuen frome their howse, churche, and all acqueyntaunce, dys∣vsed from the lawes of theyr countrey, pluc∣ked from the accustomated sacrifices and ce∣remonyes of God, drawen from the sounde of the holy psalmes, and, broughte to a straunge order, where was nothynge lyke, vnder an heynouse and terrible lorde, that they seemed rather to be amonge wylde beastes, thanne a∣monge men, herynge no voyce lyke theyr fa∣thers and mothers tongue, herynge noo com∣munycation nor teachynge of prophetes: they hadde noo comforte other of priestes or shepe∣herdes, that they were wont to haue. For these wordes they saye theym selfe, complaynynge that in that tyme and place they lacked a ru∣ler, prophetes, capytayns, a conuenient place to make theyr sacrifice before god, to aske and opteyne his mercy. Furthermore besydes all this they were in a strayter ieoperdye, in that Page  [unnumbered] they were contynuallye kepte in the kynges courte: where seemed to be a sea alwaye ra∣gyng and troublous with stormes, with tem∣pestes, with waues, with rorynge flouddes, with blusterynge wyndes: and here they were constrayned to ieoparde theyr lyfe with∣out shypmayster, without maryners, with∣oute sayle, without oores. Neuerthelesse by∣cause theyr hartes and myndes were fast set in the knowledge of god, and hadde theyr in∣warde eyes lyfte vp to heauen, and coulde welle remember, that this pryncis power, his regall pompe, his fasynge pryde, all his holle glorye of rychesse were fraylle, vyle, vnworthye to be regarded: They thus helped and stayed vp with the fethers and wynges of fayth, fleing to heuen, regarded and comp∣ted the kynges courte for a stynkynge dongi∣on and pryson, full of prowde gloryouse state∣ly persones: yet the kynge commanded them to be sette downe at his owne bourde, that pompouse table besette with all the shewe and muster of gluttonye and bealyfare. They toke this princis companye for none honour, but for an abhomynable sclaunder and shame to theym, and were lyke lambes sette in the myddes of wolues, and were by necessitie dri∣uen other to dye for hunger, or to eate of those meates, that were becursed and forbedde of Page  [unnumbered] god. What dydde than these yonge chyldren▪ this tender age bounde in this thrauldome? They soughte none excuse in that god knewe theyr necessitie, and myght se howe they were constrayned, beinge in the handes of a tyran, kepte in bondage, hauynge noo power to re∣syste theyr cruelle lorde and prowde conque∣rour: they imagyned none of these excuses, but determyned vtterly with them selues to forbeare to the dethe, only that they wold not offende nor dysplease God, or do that thynge that was not lefull for them to do. Thus they were on all sydes besette with thynges cleane resysting and contrary agaynste theyr desyre. They were bare and naked of almoney, wher by they myght haue sommewhat swaged the fiersenesse of theyr rulars and kepers: nor yet they coulde haue no sure truste in any mans frendeshyp, seing they were alyens and stran∣gers, and authoritie they hadde none, beynge bonde prisoners, nor in number they could not preuayle, beinge but thre alone. what do they than? Surely that thyng that onely semed to be in theyr power. With fayre wordes they ntreate theyr keper, whome they founde full of feare, leste he shoulde be putte to deathe, yf he fauoured and applyed to theyr desyres. and soo this keper sayde to theym, I soore feare my lorde the kynge, leste he loke vppon Page  [unnumbered] you, and see your faces paler and leanet than bet the other yong men, and vpon that blame me, and putte me for your sake to deathe.

But they of the other parte, with wyse aun∣sweres toke from hym all his feare, and cau∣sed hym to beare theym fauour. Thus whan they had done as moche as lay in theym, and as moche as was possyble for theym to doo, streyght the ayde and succour of god was at hande and dydde for theym his parte. Than I saye this worke is not the worke of god a∣lone, but the begynnynge thereof commeth of theyr pourpose and redy mynd. For they were fully determyned with theym selfe, not to tast of the vnlefull meates. And whanne they had constantely and strongely kepte this mynde, streyght the becke of almyghtye god confyr∣med theym in the same, and broughte theyr pourpose to a gloryouse ende. Seest thou nowe in this place, that who soo euer hur∣teth not hym selfe, he canne not be hurted of an nother? For I praye the, looke with me vppon the case of these thre chylderne, yonge they were, in bondage, in thrauldome, all a∣lone, there hanged ouer theym a stronge and myghtye power, cruelle commaundementes, feare of deathe, compulsyon of the tyranne, and fierce threttenynges. On the other syde helpe and succour was there none, nother of Page  [unnumbered] kynseman, nor of neyghbour, nor of cytesyn, acquayntaunce, none that coulde counsaylle theym to folowe the beste, noo earthely com∣forte: yet in all this heape was there nothing that coulde hurte theym, seynge theyr owne mynde and pourpose hurted theym not. But contrarye on the other syde, the chosen people of god the Iewes, hauynge on all sydes soo many aydes (as I before rehersed) soo great succour and helpe of god: yet they preuay∣led nothynge in the healthe of theyr mynde, onely by cause theyr owne proper sluggysshe∣nesse, theyr owne frowardenes betrayed and distroyed theym selues. But lette vs retourne to oure three chylderne. They fyrste optey∣ned this gloryous vyctorye, that they were not defoyled with fowle and vnlefulle mea∣tes. And whanne the tyranne was in this poynte ouerthrowen and caste vnder theyr feete, they were brought to greatte enterpri∣ses and battayles of more honour. for a mo∣che more cruel constreynment, a far greater mi schiefe and heynouse condicion was put be∣fore theym. A furneys was sette on fyer, the fierce and cruelle people of the Persis cluste∣reth aboute theym, the tyranne rageth, all that countreye is sette to dysceyue and per∣uerte these symple and innocente chylderne, there is ordered dyuers and sundry sortes of Page  [unnumbered] instrumentes to sounde after the sweete con∣sente of musyke. O a newe kynde of cruel∣tie, fyre and musyke is coupled together, the threttenynges of tourmentes and feare of deathe is myngled with pleasure. And yet all not withstandynge, he that dothe his ende∣uour and vttermooste power, can not be hur∣ted of an nother, yea by the inforcementes of his ennemyes, he shall increase in glorye and honoure: as by these foresayde meanes these chylderne came to an hygher vycto∣rye than they hadde before. For the tyranne Nabugodonosor bounde them and cast them in the sayde fourneysse of fyre: but he coulde nothynge hurte theym, but dydde them pas∣synge good, in that his fiercenesse and cruel∣tie gotte theym a greatter crowne, and an hygher rewarde. For they in the myddes of the bournynge fornace, in the myddes of the ragynge Persis that bourned more than the verye fyre in suryouse madnesse, had a noble and gloryouse vyctorye ouer theyr ennemies: and beinge but thre selly chylderne and pryso∣ners, ouercame that holle nation with theyr tyrannye: whose noble actes and honour is songe and shall be songe for euermore. Thus than he that hurteth not hym selfe, an other persone can not hurte hym. I wyll not ceasse often to repete the title of my Sermon and Page  [unnumbered] summe of my pourpose. For if (as we haue before touched) nother imprysonemente, nor bondage, nor thrauldome, nor the losse of countreye, of all frendes and acquayntaunce, nor an hole hoste of enemyes, nor the fyre, nor the cruell tyranne was not of sufficient power to hurte three yonge chyldren, beinge lefte of all ayde, beinge straungers, and brought into the handes of theyr ennemyes, what thyng is there able to breake the vertue and courage of the mynde? But thou sayest to me: God hel∣ped and was with them, and delyuered them out of the fyre. In lykewise thou oughtest, if thou fulfylle thyne vttermooste endeuour, to hoope and truste to haue the ayde and grace of god. For doubtelesse God wylle be with the, yf thou leaue not before thy selfe. Howe be it I doo not compte the sayde chylderne happye and blessed, bycause they trampilled and walkyd vppon the fyre wythoute hurte, but by cause they wolde be bounde, and wolde be caste in to the fourneysse for the la∣wes of their countrey and of god, the whyche thynge conteyneth theyr vertue, preyse, and glorye. For by and by whan they were thro∣wen in the fyre, beganne theyr vyctorie, and in that instaunt momente they hadde deser∣ued theyr rewarde, by theyr assured faythe and aunswere, sayenge vnto the kynge: Page  [unnumbered] We nede not aunswere the to this questyon: for our god is in heauen, whome we honoure and serue, that maye delyuer vs oute of this bournynge ouen, and shall delyuer vs O thou tyranne out of thy handes. that if god wylle not delyuer vs, thou shalte well knowe, that to thy goddis we wyll neuer bowe: nor this ymage of golde, that thou settest vp, we ne∣uer wyl worshyp. Of these wordes they were crowned, and in this testimonye and feythe they had theyr rewarde and thanke of god, in this rested theyr course, the whyche they en∣ded in the martyrdome of theyr confessyon: But as touchynge that the fyre was ashamed to touche theyr bodyes, and loused theyr bon∣des, and forsakynge his owne nature refres∣shed theym with the dewe of heauen in the myddes of the hotte fourneysse: This was a poynte of the grace of god, whose pleasure was to make his power be knowen by the wounder and meruaylle of soo straunge a thynge: but the chylderne in this hadde noo vauntage, theyr vyctorie was in theyr owne stedfast confessyon, in theyr owne constaunte and assured feythe, wherby they opteyned the glorye of soo noble a martyrdome. What nowe canste thou creke agaynste this? al∣though thou art banysshed thy countrey, dry∣uen from thyne acqueyntaunce and frendes, Page  [unnumbered] broughte to thrauldome, to be bounde in the seruyce of cruell maysters? All this hapned to the sayde chyldern: thou lyuest withoute teachyng, without instruction, without com∣forte, the sayde chylderne were in the same case. Thou arte bounde, thou arte spoyled, thou arte constrayned to dye: all this passed the sayde chylderne, that euer by theyr passy∣ons wexed more glorious. And the Iewes ha∣uynge theyr temple, theyr sacrifyces, the boke wrytten with the hande of god, hauynge also Cherubin, their holy and secrete place of pray∣ers, and all other thynges mete for theyr dai∣ly sacrifices, and hauyng the prophetes, some departed, some yet alyue, the whiche instruc∣ted them in theyr present maniers, and shewed what god dydde contynually for theym, and what he hadde in tymes paste done: what he dyddde for theym in Aegypte, what in the wyldernesse: and what alsoo god d•••e for theym whan they came into the place promy∣sed to theym. Yet all this not withstandyng, they not onely nothyng proceded in grace and vertue, but also in a perpetuall wytnesse of theyr owne myschiefe and vngratiousenesse, they sette vp in theyr churche ydols and yma∣ges of false goddis, sacryfyenge to the same bothe theyr owne sunnes and daughters. Thus they dydde in theyr temple, and also in Page  [unnumbered] other places in woddis and mountaynes, but these sayde three chyldren, in a straunge coun∣trey, in the handes of theyr ennemies, vnder the power of a cruelle tyranne, throwen into the fyre, be nothynge hurted, and not onely that, but also take therof greatte honour and glorye. Nowe thanne to make an ende, we knowynge and gatheryng these manier of ex∣aumples out of the holy scrypture, where be many mo, that make to this purpose, if a man wyll seke there: so that diuersely we may see∣some without all constraynte, without all ne∣cessitie, without any cause, to be against them selfe, and take soore hurte: somme other ha∣uyng all the worlde agaynste them, to be sted∣fast in theyr right way, and not able to be ne∣uer so lytel remoued from theyr vertue. Thus whan we euidently knowe and see▪ we shulde without all doubtyng conclude with our self, that if any man be hurtid, he is hurted of him selfe, although the number of theym that do hurte, be infinite, althoughe all in a plumpe that dwelle other in the earthe or in the sea, wolde agree to hurte: yet they can not in noo smalle poynte hurte hym, that is not hurted of hym selfe. With this we▪ began, and with this we make here an ende.

☞FINIS.
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