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517 [517]

Actes and Mon. of the church.

MarginaliaSinnes forgeuē without shrift. Magdaleine, and other many sinfull men withouten shriuing 

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i.e. 'to shrive is to perform the sacrament of Confession'.

to priestes, and taking penaunce of priestes for their sinnes. And Lord thou art as mightie now as thou were that tyme, buf gif any man haue bynome thee thy might. And we lewed men beleuen, þt there nys no man of so great power, and gif any man maketh himselfe of so great power he * Marginalia* Heigheth, that is, exalteth.heigheth himself aboue God: And S. Paule speaketh of one that sitteth in the tēple of God and highten hym aboue God, and gif any such be, he is a false Christ.

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MarginaliaObiection of the priestes to maintaine shrifte.But hereto seyn priestes, that when Christ made cleane leprous 

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The term is used to mean guilty or corrupt, not literally infected with leprosy.

men, he bade them goe and shewe them to priestes. And therefore they seyn that it is a commaundement of Christ, that a man should shewen hys sinne to prestes. For as they seyn, lepre in the olde law betokeneth sinne in this newe lawe. A Lord God, whe.her thyne Apostles knewe not thy meaning as well as men done now? And gif they hadden yknowe that thou haddest commaunded mē to shriuen them to priestes, and they ne taught not that commaundement to the people, me thinketh they hadden ben to balme: MarginaliaAnswer to the obiection.But I trowe they knewen well that it was none of thy cõmaundements, ne nedefull to heale of mannes soule. And as me thinketh the law of lepre, is nothing to the purpose of shriuing: for priestes in the olde lawe hadden certaine pointes and tokens to know whether a man were leprous or not: & gif they were leprous, they hadden power to putten them away from other cleane mē, for to that they weren cleane and then they hadden power to reyceyuen hym among his brethrē, and offeren for him a sacrifice to God.

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This nys nothing to the purpose of shriuing. For there nys but one priest that is Christ, that may knowe in certain the lepre of the soule. Ne no priest may make þe soule cleane of her sinne, but Christ that is priest after Melchysedekes order: ne no priest here beneath may ywit for certain whether a mã be cleane of his sinne or cleane assoyled, but gif God tell it hym by reuelation. MarginaliaPenaunce for sinne, is mans ordinance and not Gods.Ne God ordeined not that his priestes should set men apenaunce for ther sinne after the quantitie of the sinne, but this is mans ordinaunce, and it may well be that there commeth good therof. But I wote well that God is much vnworshipped therby. For men trust more in his absolutions, and in his yeares of grace, than in Christes absolutions, and therby is the people much apayred 

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i.e. 'decieved'.

. For now, the sorow a man should make for his sinne, is put away by this shrift: and a man is more bold to do sin for trust of this shrift, & of this bodilich penance.

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MarginaliaMischiefs that come by auricular confessiõ.An other mischief is, that the people is ybrought into this belefe, that one priest hath a greater power to assoylen a man of his sinne and clennere, then an other priest hath.

An other mischiefe is this, that some priest may assoylen thē both of sinne and payne, and in this they taken them a power that Christ graunted no man in earth, ne he ne vsed it nought on earth himself.

MarginaliaPopish priestes charged wyth Simony.An other mischiefe is, þt these preistes sellen forgeuenes of mens sinnes and absolutions for money, and thys is an heresie accursed that is yeleped 

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i.e. 'called'.

simonie: and all thilke priestes that axeth price for graunting of spirituall grace * Marginalia* Beth, that is, bee.beth by holy lawes depriued of their priesthode, & thilke that assenteth to this heresie. And be they ware, for Helyse the Prophet tooke no money of Naaman when he was made cleane of his lepre. but Giesi hys seruaunt: and therfore the lepre of Naamã abode with him & with his houes euermore after.

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Here is much matter of sorowe, to see the people thus far yled 

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i.e. 'led'.

away from God and worshupen a flase god in earth, that by might and by strength hath ydone away the great sacrifice of God out of hys temple: of which mischiefe & discomfort, Daniell maketh mention, adn Christ beareth therof witnesse in the Gospell. Who that readeth it vnderstande it. Thus we haue ytolde apertie, how he that sayth he sitteth in Christes stede, * Marginalia* Bynemeth, that is, taketh away.bynemeth Christ his worship and his sacrifice of his people, and maketh the people worshupen hym as a God on earth.

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Crye we to god, and knowledge we our sinnes euerichone to other as Seint Iames teacheth, and pray we hartiliche to God euerichone for other and then we shulen hopen forgeuenes of our sinnes. For God that is endeles in mercy sayth, that he ne will not a sinfull mans death, but that he be turned from his sinne & liuen. And therfore, when he came downe to saue mankinde, he gaue vs a lawe of loue and of mercy: and bade, gif a man do a trespasse, amend him priuilich: and gif he leue not his sinne, amend him before witnesse: and gif he ne amendeth not, men should tel to the church: and gif he ne amendeth not thanne, men should shone his company as a a publicane, or a man that is misbeleued, and this lawe was figured in the law of lepre 

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That is, according to the laws regarding lepers given in the Old Testament, which demanded that those afflicted be isolated from the community.

, who that readeth it, he may see the sooth.

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But Lord God, he that sittest, in thy steede, hath vndo thy law of mercy, and of loue Lord. thou byddest louen enemies as our self: as thou shewest in the Gospell, there as the Samaritane had mercy on the Iew. And thou biddest vs also prayen for them that cursen vs, and that defamen vs and pursuen vs to death. And so Lord thou didst, and thine apostles also. MarginaliaThe pope breaketh the law of loue, and mercy.But he that clepeth 

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i.e. 'call' or 'calls'.

himself thy vicar on earth, and head of thy churche, he hath vndone thy lawe of loue and of mercy. For gif we speaken of ouing our ennemyes, he teacheth vs to fight with our enemies, that Christ hath forbodden. He cursteh and desireth vengeaunce to them that so doth to him Gif any man pursueth him, he curseth him, that it is a sorow a Christen man to hearen the cursinges that they maken, and blasphemies in such cursyng. Of what thing that I know, I maye beare true witnes.

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But gif we speake of louing of our brehren, thys is vndone by him that sayth he is Gods Vikar in earth. For Christ in the Gospell byddeth vs, that we shoalden clepen vs no father vpon earth: But clepen God our father, to maken vs loue perfitlish together. MarginaliaThe pope wuld be a father, but he beareth no loue.And he clepeth himself father of fathers, & maketh many religiõs, and to euerich a father. But whether is loue and charity encreased by these fathers and by their religions, or els ymade lesse? For a Friar ne loueth not a monke, ne a secular man neither nor yet one frier a nother that is not of the order: and it is agaynwaid.

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A Lord, me thinketh that there is litle persection in these religions. For Lord, what charity hauen such men of religion, that knowen how they mowen against and sinne, and fleen awat from their brethren that bene more vncunning then they ben, and suffren thē to trauelen in the world withouten their councel as beastes? Trulich Lord, me thinketh that there is litle charitye, and then is ther litle perfection. Lord God, when thou were one earth, thou were among synfull men to drawen them frõ sinne, and thy disciples also. And Lord, I trow thou ne grauntest not o man more kunning thē an other all for him selfe: and I wote wel that lewd men that been laborers, ne trauel not alonlich for him self. MarginaliaTo forsake the worlde is not to liue in ease from company.Lord our belief is, that thou ne were not of the world, ne thy teaching neither, ne thy seruantes that lyueden after thy teaching. But all they forsaken the world, and so euery christen man must. But Lord, whether thou taughtest men forsake their brethrens company and trauell of the world, to lyuen in ease and in rest, and out of trouble and anger of the world, by their brethrens trauel and so forsaken the world?

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A Lord, thou ne taughtest not a man to forsaken a poore estate & trauel, to ben afterward a lord of hsi brethren, or ben a lords fellow and dwelling with Lords, as doth men of these new religiõs. Lorde thou ne taughtest not men of thy religiõ thus to forsake the world. to lyuen in perfection by them selfe in ease, and by other mēs trauell. MarginaliaTrue seruice of god stãdeth not in long prayer, but in kepyng gods commaundementes.But Lord they sayen they ben ybounde to thy seruise, and seruen thee both night & day in singing their prayers, both for them selfe & for other men, that done them good both quick & dead, & som of them gone about to teach thy people when they hauen leysure.

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A Lord, gif they ben thy seruauntes: whose seruauntes ben we that cãnot preyen as they done? And whē thou were here on earth, for our nede thou taughtest thy seruantes to preyen thy father priuilich and shortlich: And gif there had bene a better maner of preyeng, I trowe thou wouldest haue taught it in helpe of thy people. And Lord thou reprouest hipocrites that preyen in long prayer and in open places, to ben yholden holy men. And thou seyst in the Gospel, woe to you Pharisees hipocrites And lord thou ne chargedest not thy seruauntes with such maner seruice: But thou seyst in the Gospel, that the Phariseis worshopen the with their lippes, and their hart is far from the. For they * Marginalia* Chargen 

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i.e. 'care for'.

, that is, they care for.chargen more mens traditions than thy commaundementes.

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And Lord, we lewede men han a belefe, that thy goodnes is endles: and gif we kepen thyne hestes, than ben we thy true seruaunts And though we preyen thee but a litle & shortlich, thou wilt thinkē on vs, and graunten vs that vs nedeth, for so thou Marginalia* Behited, that is, promised.byhighted 

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i.e. 'promised'.

vs somtime: And Lord I trow, that pray a man neuer so many quaint 
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In this context, the word means 'well worded' or 'eloquent'.

prayers, gif he ne keepe not thyne hestes 
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i.e. 'commandments'.

he ne is not thy good seruaunt. But gif he kepe thyne hestes, than he is thy good seruaūt, & so me thinketh. Lord þe prayeng of long prayers ne is not þe seruice that thou desirest, but keping of thyne hestes: & than a lewed man may serue God as wel as a man of religiõ. And so 
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i.e. this clause was omitted, almost certainly inadvertently, after the second edition.

lord our hope is, that þe wilt assone yheare a Plowmans prayer and he keepe thyne hestes, as thou wilt do a mans of religion: though þt the Plowman ne may not haue so much siluer for his prayer, as mē of religiõ. For they * Marginalia* Kunnen, that is, they can.kunnen not so wel preysen their prayers as these other chapmen 
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i.e. a 'merchant' or a 'purchaser'.

: But Lord our hope is, that our prayers be neuer the worse though it be not so well solde as other mens prayers.

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Lord, Ezechiel þe Prophet sayth þt whan he spake to the people thy words, they turned thy words into songs & into tales. And so lord men done now: they singin merilich thy words, & that singing the:clepē thy seruice. But lord I trow þt the best singers ne herieth hee not most: But he þt fulfilleth thy words he * Marginalia* Heryeth, that is, worshippeth.heryeth thee full wel, though he wepe more thē sing. And I trow þe weping for breaking of thy cõmaundemēts, be more pleasing seruice to the, thã the singing of thy wordes. And would God þt men would serue him in sorow for their sinnes, and they shoulden afterward seruen thee in myrth. For Christ sayth, yblessed ben they þt maken sorow, for they shoulden ben yconforted MarginaliaSingyng in churches falsly called Gods seruice.
Weyyng for synnes, better seruice then singing in church.
And woe to thē þt ben merry & haue their cõfort in thys world. And Christ said þt the world shuld ioyē, & his seruants shoulden be sory, but their sorow shuld be turned into ioy.

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A Lord, he þt clepeth himself thy vicar vpon earth, hath y ordained an order of priests to do thy seruice in church to fore thy lewde people, in singing matens, euensong, & masse. And therfore he chargeth lewd men in paine of cursing, to bring to his priests tithyngs and offeringes to finden his priestes, & he clepeth that Gods part, and due to priestes that seruen him in church.

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But Lord, in the old law, the tithings of the lewd people ne wer not due to priests, but to that other childer of Leuye that serueden thee in þe temple, & the priestes hadden their part of sacrifices, & the first bygeten beastes & other things as þe law telleth. And lord, S. Paul thy seruaunt sayth, that þe order of þe priesthode of Aaron ceased in Christes cõming & the law of þe priesthode. For Christ was end of sacrifices yoffeted vpõ þe crosse to þe father of heauē, to bring man out of sinne & become himself a priest of Melchisedekes order. For he was both king & priest without beginning & end, & both the priesthoode of Aaron & also þe law of þe priesthode, ben ychaunged in the comming of Christ. And S. Paule seyth it is reproued, for it brought no mã to perfectiõ: For bloud of gotes ne of other beastes ne myght no done away sinne, for to that Christ shadde his bloud.

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MarginaliaThe order of priestes not made to offer Christes body.A Lord Iesu, wether thou ordenest an order of prestes to offrē in the auter thy flesh and thy bloud to bryngen men out of sinne, and also out of peine? And wether thou geue them alonlych a power to eate thy flesh and thy bloud, and wether none other man may eate thy fleshe and thy bloud with outen leue of prestes? Lord, we beleuen, that thy flesh is verey meate and thy bloud verey drinke, and who eteth thy flesh and drinketh thy bloud dwelleth in thee, & thou in hym, & who that eateth this bread shall lyue withoute end. But Lord thyne disciples seyde, this is an hard worde, but thou answerest them and seydest: When ye seeth mans soone striuē vp there he was rather, the spirite is that maketh you lyue, the wordes that yche haue spoken to you ben spirite and lyfe. Lord, yblessed more thou be, for in this worde thou teachest vs that he that kepeth thy weordes and doth after them, eateth thy fleshe and drynketh thy bloud, and hath an euerlastyng lyfe in thee.

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