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.
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The .vii. Chapter

FUrthermore the true and chri¦sten faste riseth either of an* hearte contryte and sorowfull for the sinnes commytted against God, or elsse of a mynde feruent∣lye geuen to godlynesse. As tou∣chinge that fast, whiche commeth frome a contryte and sorowefull hearte for the synnes commytted agaynste God, it is a worthy and noble faste in the syghte of God, and can not but hyghelye please him.* For the Psalmographe say∣eth, A troubled spirite is a sacri∣fice vnto God, neyther dothe hee desyyse a contryte and humbled hearte. And God hym selfe say∣eth by the Prophete.* Whome shall I regarde and fauoure? E¦uen hym that is poore, and of a lowelye and troubled spirit, and Page  [unnumbered] suche one as standeth in awe of my wordes. Who so euer doothe so feare God and stande in awe of hys indygnacyon and hea∣uye displeasure, that he is loth to offende hym,* and therefore see∣keth al meanes possible to please hym: and if at anye tyme thorow fraylenesse of nature hee chaun∣ceth to offende, hee is strayghte∣wayes angrye wyth hym selfe, repēteth of his former misdedes, and conceiueth suche an inward sorowe in hys hearte, that hee de∣lyteth in no worldlye thynge, ney¦ther in meate, dryncke, apparell, rychesse, pastimes, pleasures. &c. but contynuallye soroweth for hys dysobedyente vnkyndenesse and vnkynde dysobedyence a∣gainst God our heauenly father, so that the verye trouble of hys Page  [unnumbered] heart wyl not suffer him to eat or drynke, tyl thorow continual cal¦lyng on the name of the Lord he feeleth in hys mynde some token of Gods goodnes, grace and fa∣uour toward hym, and is thorow faythe in Christes bloude fullye perswaded that all hys synnes are forgeuen hym, and he again receyued into fauoure, the faste of suche one is an acceptable sa∣cryfyce vnto God.

Of thys inwarde sorowe of the hearte dyd the fastes of ma∣nye good menne heretofore ryse, as the holye Scryptures do de∣clare, and therefore dydde they hyghlye please God, in so muche that God graunted theym theyr requestes, and was theyr merci∣ful and most louing lord. Exam∣ples hereof are the Israelytes, Page  [unnumbered] that were gathered together a Mispha, the Niniuites, Either & her companye, Iudith wyth the citisenses of Bethulia, Achab, & diuers other, whose fasts God al¦lowed because they proceded frō the heartes of suche as humbled them selues in his sighte, repen∣pented them of theyr sinnes, as∣ked forgeuenesse, and promysed amendmente of lyfe.