A fruitful treatise of fasting wherin is declared what ye Christen fast is, how we ought to fast, [and] what ye true vse of fastyng is. Newlye made by Thomas Becon.
Becon, Thomas, 1512-1567.

¶The .x. Chapter.

AGaine at night albeit the po¦pish fasters eat no meat,* yet make thei such a drinkīg, as might iustli seme a costious kind of bāketting. Besides their white bread & fine cakes, thei haue their figges, reasons, almonds, aples, Page  [unnumbered] peares, nuts, carowis, biskits, su¦cat, marmilado, cherise condite, quinches condite, & I know not what. And besides their nappi ale and heady beere, they haue sun∣dry wines, some spiced, & som bre¦wed wt a cup of Ipocras at y lat∣ter end to make vp their mouthe withal and to finishe theyr holye and religious fast. Is it not to be thought, yt these men take great paines in their fastīg? do not such fastes please god greatly thinke you? O abhominable mockers of christen abstinence. Theese are those Epicurcs, whych as ye Poet saith, Curios simulant et bacchanalia ui∣uunt.* These are those hipocrites, which bind heaui burdens & gre¦uous to be born,* & lay thē on mēs shoulders, but they thē selfs wyl not heaue at thē with one of their Page  [unnumbered] figers. And as y welthi worldlīgs & rich Epicures thinck thē selues to faste wel, if they make but one mele on y day, though otherwise they enfarse their bellies with ne¦uer so mani deinties, euen so iudg the baser kinde of people, yt they fast wel, if thei eat no meat, though they stuffe their paūches with ne¦uer so much bread & drinke. No∣table is this sentence of .s. Hierō against al such belli gods. What auaileth it, saith he, to eat no oil, & to seke about for such meates as are most deinty & hardest to come bi,* as dry figs, pepper, nuts, dates sine cakes, hony,* & pistacies? All the deinties that gardens canne bring forthe are soughte, that we shuld not eat ye vsual bread. And while we seke deliciously to lyue, we ar plucked back from the king¦dom of heauē. Moreouer I hear Page  [unnumbered] say, that ther be some which con∣trarye to the rule and nature of men,* drynke no water, nor eate bread, but soupe not out of a cup but out of a shel deynty brothes, and herbes brayde, and the iuce of Beetes. Fye for shame, are we not ashamed of such fōdnes, nor wearye of the supersticion? Yea we liuing in al deliciousnes, seke to be praysed for our abstinence. The myghtiest fastis water and bread, but because it hath no glo¦rye nor notable fame, & because we al liue with bread & water, it is not coūted as the publyque & cōmon fast. Wold God yt al they that fast, yea & so many as profes Christ wold remēber & cōtinual∣ly set before their eyes thys say∣ing of s. Austē.* It nothing profy∣teth, sayeth he, to haue passed an Page  [unnumbered] whole day in lōg fasting, if after¦ward the soul be oppressed wyth dylyciousnes or superfluitye of meates, for so is the minde much filled, soone dulled, and the erth of our body so watered, wil bring forth thornes of wicked lusts. Let therfore our meate be temperate & no more then is sufficient, & let our belly neuer be to ful. And let vs alwayes haue more mynd of the meate for the hearte, then of meate for the body, because with in the inward man we be made after the image of God, but in the flesh we are fashioned of the slime of the earth.