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518 [518]

K. Edward. 3. The prayer and complaint of the Ploughman.

And for we shoulden haue mind of this lyuing, thou gauest vs the sacrament of thy flesh and bloud in forme of bread and wine at thy supper, before that thou shouldest suffer thy death, and toke bread in thine hand, and saydest: take ye this, and eate it, for it is my body: and thou tookest wyne, and blessedest it, and saydest: this is the bloud of a new and an euerlasting testament, that shall be shed for manye men in forgeuenes of sinnes: as oft as ye done this, doo ye thys in mynde of me.

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MarginaliaThe sacrament of the body of the Lord abused.A Lord, thou ne bede not thine disciples maken this a sacrifice, to bring men out of paynes, gif a priest offered thy body in the aulter: but thou bede them go and Marginalia* Fullē that is baptise.* fullen 

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i.e. 'baptise' or 'baptised'.

all the folke in the name of the father, and the sonne, and the holy ghost, in forgeuenes of their synnes: and teache ye them to keepe those thynges that ych haue cōmaunded you. MarginaliaPriests principally sent to preach, not to say masse, or to make the lords body.And Lord, thine disciples ne ordeyned not priests principallich to make thy bodye in sacrament, but for to teache the people, and good husbandmen that well gouern their housholdes, both wiues and children, & their meyny, they ordeined to be priests to teachen other men the law of Christ, both in word, in dede, and they lyuedeyn as true Christen men, euerye day they eaten Christes body, and drinken his bloude, to the sustenaunce of lyuyng of their soules, and other whyles they tooken the sacrament of hys body in forme of bread and wyne, in mind of our lord Iesu Christ.

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MarginaliaHe that speaketh gods teaching, is holden an heretike.But all thys is turned vpse downe: for now who so wyll lyuen as thou taughtest, he shal ben holden a foole. And gif he speake thy teaching, he shall ben holden an heretick, and accursed. Lord yhaue no lenger wonder hereof, for so they saiden to thee when thou wer here some tyme. And therefore wee moten taken in pacience theyr wordes of blasphemy as thou dydest thy selfe, or els we weren to blame. And trulych Lord I trowe, that if thou were nowe in the world, and taughtest as thou byddest some tyme, thou shuldest ben done to death. For thy teaching is damned for heresy of wyse men of the world, and then moten they nedes bene heretickes that teachen thy lore, and all they also that trauelen to lyue thereafter.

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And therfore Lord, gif it be thy wil, helpe thyne vnkunnyng & lewde seruauntes, that wolen by their power and their kunnyng, helpe to destroy synne. Leue Lorde, sithe thou madest woman in helpe of man, and in a more frayle degree then man is, to be gouerned by mans reason: What perfection of charity is in these priests and in men of religion, that haue forsaken spoushode 

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i.e. 'marriage'.

that thou ordeynedst in Paradise betwixt man and womā, for perfection to forsaken traueyle, and lyuen in ease by other mens traueile? For they mow not do bodilich workes for defoulyng of their handes, wyth whom they touchen thy precious body in the aulter.

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MarginaliaWhat inconuenience by the vnmaried lyues of priestes.Leue Lord, gif good men forsaken the companye of women, and nedes they moten haue the gouernaile of man, then moten they ben ycoupled with shrewes, and therefore thy spoushode that thou madest in clennes from sinne, it is now ychaunged into lyking of the fleshe. And Lorde, this is a greate mischiefe vnto thy people. And young priestes and men of religion, for defaulte of wyues maken many women horen, and drawen through their euel ensample many other men to sinne, and the ease that they lyuen in, and theyr welfare, is a great cause of this mischiefe. MarginaliaHe complaineth of the idlenes of priestes.And Lord me thynketh, that these ben quaynt orders of religion and none of thy sect, that wolen taken horen, whilke God forfendes, and forsaken wyues that God ne forfendeth not. And forsaken trauaile that God commaundes, and geuen their selfe to idlenes, that is the mother of al noughtines.

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And Lord, Mary thy blessed mother and Ioseph, touched often times thy body, and wroughten with their hondes, and lyueden in as much clennes of soule, as our priestes done nowe, and touched thy body, and then touchedest them in their soules. And Lord our hope is, that thou goen not out of a poore mans soule that traueileth for his lyuelode with his handes. MarginaliaWhat is the true church of Christ.For Lord, our beliefe is, þt thine house is mās soule, that thou madest after thine own likenes

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But Lord God, men maketh nowe great stonen houses full of glasen windowes, and clepeth thilke thyne houses and churches. And they setten in these houses Mawmets 

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i.e. 'idols'.

of stockes and stones, and Marginalia* To fore, that is, before.* to fore them they knelen priuilich and apert, and maken their prayers, and all this they sayen is thy woorshyp, and a great Marginalia* Herying, that is worshipping.* herieng to thee. A Lord, thou forbyddest somtime to make such mawmetes, & who þt had yworshipped such, had be woorthy to be deed.

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Lord in the Gospel thou sayst, that true Marginalia* Heriers, worshipers.* heriers of God ne herieth hym not in that hil beside Samarie, ne in Hierusalem neither, but true heriers of God heryeth him in spirite and in truth. And Lord God what heryeng is it to bylden thee a churche of deed stones, and robben thy quicke churches of their bodyliche lyueloode? Lord God what heryeng is it, to cloth mawmettes of stockes and of stones in siluer & in gold, and in other good colours? And Lord I see thyne ymage gone in colde and in hete in clothes all to brokē, withouten shone and hosen, an hungred and a thrust, MarginaliaHe complaineth of images in churches.Lord what heryenge is it to teende tapers and torches before blinde mawmetts that mowen not Iseyen: And hyde thee that art our light and our lanterne to warde heauen and put the vnder a bushell that for darkenes we ne may not sene our way toward blisse. Lorde what heryenge is it to kneele tofore mawmetes that mowe not yheren, and worshipen thē with preyers, and maken thine quicke images knele before them and asken of them absolutions and blessings, and worshupen them as gods, and putten thy quicke images in thraldome and in traueile euermore as bestes, in colde and in heate, and in feble fare to fynden them in lyking of the world? Lorde what heryeng is it to fetch deed mennes bones out of the ground there as they shulden kyndelich 

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i.e. 'naturally'.

roten, and shrinen them in golde and in siluer: And suffren thy quicke bones of thine images to rot in prison for default of clothingh? And suffren also thy quicke images to perishe for defaulte of sustenaunce, and rooten in the hoore house in abhominable lecherye? Some become theues & robbers, and māquellers 
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i.e. 'murderers'.

þt mighten ben y holpen wt the golde & siluer that hongeth about deed mens bones & other blind maumetes of stockes & stones.

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¶ Lord here ben great abhominations that thou shewdist to E-zechiell thy Prophet, that priestes done in thy temple, and yet they clepen that thine heryenge. But leue Lord, me thinketh that they louen the litle that thus defoulen thy quicke images, and worshippen blinde mawmettes 

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i.e. 'they defile thy living images and worship blind idols'.

.

MarginaliaHe cōplaineth of false pastors that lyue by their flocke, but fedeth not them.And Lord an other great mischief there is now in the world, an hunger that Amos thy Prophet speaketh of, that there shall comē an hōger in the earth not of bread ne thruct of drink, but of hearing of Gods worde. And thy sheepe woulden be refreshed, but theyr shepheardes taken of thy sheepe their lyfeloode, as tythinges. &c. and lyuen them selfe therby where them lyketh.

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Of such shepheardes thou speaketh by Ezechiell thy Prophet & seist: wo to the shepheardes of Israell that feden them selfe, for the flockes of sheepe shoulden ben yfede of their shepheardes: but ye eaten the milke and clothen you with their wolle and the fatte sheep ye slow, and my flocke ye ne fede not, the sicke shepe ye ne heled not, thilke that weren to broken ye ne knyt not to gether, thilke that perished ye ne brought not again: but ye railed thē with sternship and with power. And so the sheepe be spred abroade in deuouryng of all the beastes of the feelde. And Ieremie the Prophet sayeth: woo to the shepeherdes that disparseth abroad and teareth the flocke of my Marginalia* Lesew, that is, pasture.* lesewe.

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¶ A Lorde, thou were a good shepehearde, for thou puttest thy soule for thy sheepe: but lord thou toldest 

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i.e. 'told' or 'declared'.

that thilke that comen not in by the dore ben night theues and day theues, and a thefe as thou seest commeth not but for to steale, to sleine, and to destroy. And Zacharie the Prophet sayth, that thou wouldest reren vp a shepeherde vnkunning, that ne wole not hele thy shepe that Marginalia* Beth, that is, bee.* beth sick, ne seek thilke that beth lost. Apon his arme is a swerd, and vpon his right eye: his arme shall waxe drye, and his right eye shall lose his light. O Lord, help, for thy shepe beth at great mischefe in the shepheardes defaute.

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MarginaliaAgainst hirelings.But Lord, there commeth hyred men and they ne fedden not thy shepe in thy plentuous lesew, but feeden thy shepe with Marginalia* Sweuens 

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i.e. 'dreams'.

, that is dreames.* sweuens and talle miracles and talys. But at thy trewth they ne comen not. For Lord, I trowe thou sendest them neuer. For haue they hyre of thy sheepe they ne careth but little of the fedyng and the kepyng of thy shepe. Lord of these hyred men speaketh Ieremie thy prophet, and thou seyst that woorde by him: I ne sende them not, and they ronne Marginalia* Bliue, 
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i.e. 'quickly'.

quickly.
* blyue: I ne speake vnto them, and they propheciden. For if they hadden stoyden in my counsel, and they had made my wordes knowē to the puple, ych wolde haue turned them awaye from their yuell waye and from their wicked thoughtes. For Lord, thou seist that thy woordes ben as fyre, and as an hamer breakyng stones. And Lord, thou saist: Lo I to these Prophetes meetyng sweuens of lesing, that haue ytold her sweuens, and haue begyled my puple in ther lesing and in their fals miracles, when I nether sent ne bede them. And these haue profited nothyng to my puple. And as Ieremie sayth, from the leste to the Marginalia* Meste, moste* mest all they studien couetis, and from the Prophet to the priest, all they done gyle.

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MarginaliaPopish priestes neither teach thē selues, nor wyl suffer other besyde thēselues to teach.A Lord, here is mych mischef and matere of sorow, and yet there is more. For gif a lewed man wold teach thy puple treweth of thy wordes as he is y holde by thy commaundement of charite, he shal be forboden and put in prison gif he do it. And so Lord, thilke that haue the keye of connyng, haue y lockt the trewth of thy teachyng vnder many wardes, and yhid it from thy children. But Lord, sith thy teachyng is y come from heauen aboue, our hope is, that with thy grace it shall breaken these wardes, and showe hym to thy puple, to kele both the hunger and the thrust of the soule. And thē shall no shephearde, ner no false hyridman begile thy puple no more. For by thy lawe I write, as thou Marginalia* Ihightest, promised.*yhightest 

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i.e. 'promised'.

some tyme, that frō the lest to the mest, all they shullen knowen thy wil, and Marginalia* Weten, know* weten 
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i.e. 'know'.

how they shullen please the euer more in certayne.

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And leue lord, gif it be thy will helpe at this nede, for there is none helpe but in thee. Thus Lord, by hym that maketh hym selfe thy viker in earth, is thy commaundement of loue to the and to our brothern ybrokē, both to him & to thy puple. But Lord God, mercy & paciēce that beth Marginalia* Tweyne, that is, two.* tweyne of thy cōmaundemēts, beth distroyed, & thy puple hath forsake mercy. For Lord, Dauid in þe Sauter 

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i.e. 'the Psalter'.

saith: Blessed beth they that done dome & rightfulnes in euerich tyme.

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O Lord, thou hast itaught vs as rightfulnes of heauen, and hast ybeden vs forgeuen our brethren as oft as they trespassen agaynst vs. And Lord, thine olde law of iustice was, that suche harme as a man did his brother, such he should suffer by the law, as eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth. But Christ made an ende of thys lawe, that one brother should not desyre wracke of an other: but not that he would that synne should ben vnpunished, for thereto hath he ordayned kinges and Dukes and other lewde officers vnder them, whilke as saint Paule saith, ne carien not the swerde in vayne, for they ben the ministers of god, and wrakers to wrath, to them that euill done. And thus hath Christ ymade an ende of this old lawe, that one brother may not suen an other himself, Marginalia* For that, i. but* for that to wrekē without sinne, for breaking of charitie. But this charitie Lord hath thy vicar ybroke, and says that we sinnen, but gif we suen for our right. And we se I wote that thou taughtest vs some time to geue our mantell also, euer that we shoulden suen for our coate. And so Lord beleuen we, that we ben ybounden to done by thy law, that is all charity, and officers duty is to defenden vs from thilk theuery though we cōplaynen not. But lord, thy law is turned vpsedown.

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MarginaliaHe cōplaineth for punishing litle faults, and to let great faultes escape.A Lord, what dome 

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i.e. 'judgement'.

is it to sleane a theefe that take a mans cattell away from him, and suffren a spousebreaker to lyue, and a lecherour that kylleth a womans soule? And yet thy lawe stoned the spousebreakers and leachours, and let the theues lyuen and haue other punishment.

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A Lord, what dome is it to sleane a thefe for stealing of a horse, and to let him liue vnpunished, and to maintaine him that robbeth thy poore people of there liuelod, and the soule of hys foode?

MarginaliaIf he be an heretike that breaketh mans law, what is the pope that breaketh gods law?Lord, it was neuer thy dome to sayen, that a man is an heretike and cursed for breaking of mans lawe, and demen hym for a good man for breaking thine hestes.

Lord
V.iij.
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