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516 [516]

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

first party of Christes law. The secōd partie of his law beth Christes commaundementes that beth written in the Gospel, and more verilich in Christen mens hartes.

And as touching the beleue, we beleuen that Christ is God, and that there ne is no God but he. We beleuen neuerthelesse that in the Godhead there bene three persons, the father, the Sonne, and the holy ghost, and all these thre persons ben one God, and not many Gods, and al they beth ylich 

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i.e. 'equally'.

mighty, ylich good, and ylich wise, and euer hue bene, and euer shullen ben. We beleuen thys God made the world of nought, and man he made after hys own lykenes in Paradise that was a land of blysse, and gaue hym that land for hys heritage, and bad him that hee shoulde not eate the tree of knowledge of good & euyl, that was * Marginalia* Amid Paradise, that is, in the middest of Paradise.a myd 
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i.e. 'in the middle of''.

Paradise. Then the deuell that was fallen out of heauen for his pride had enuie to mā, and by a false suggestion he made man eate of this tree, and breake the commaundement of God, and tho was man ouercome of the deuill, and so he lost his heritage, and was put out therof into the wrold that was a land of trauell, and of sorowe vnder the feendes thraldom, to be punished for his trespasse. There man followed wickednes and sinne, and God for the sinne of mā sent a floud into this world and drownd all mankinde saue eyght soules 
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This is a reference to Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives.

. And after this floud he let men multiplie in the world, and so he assayed whether man dread him or loued him. MarginaliaAbraham.and among other he found a man that hight Abrahā: this man he proued whether he loued him and drad him, and bad him that he should offeren Isaac his sonne vpō an hill, and Abraham as a true seruaunt fulfilled his Lords commaundement: and for this buxumnes and truth and truth, God sware vnto Abraham that he would multiplie his sede as the grauell in þe sea, and the starres of heauen, and he behight to him and to his heires the lād of behest for heritage for euer, gif they wolden ben his true seruauntes and kepe his hestes. And God * Marginalia* Held hym forward 
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i.e. 'kept his promise with him'.

, that is, kept promise with hym.
held him forwarde for Isaac Abrahams sonne begat Iacob and Esau: and of Iacob that is yeleped Israel, comen Gods people that he chose to be his seruauntes, & to whō he behight the land of behest. This people was in great thraldome in Egypt vnder Pharao that was king of Egypt: and they cryeden to god that he should deliueren them out of that thraldome, and so he did: for he sent to Pharao, Moses and his brother Aaron, and bad him deliuer his people to done him sacrifice: and to fore Pharao he made Moses done many wonders or that Pharao wold deliuer his people, & at the last by might he deliuered his people out of thraldom, and led them through a desert towarde the land of behest, and there he gaue them a law that they shulden liuen after, whē they comen into their countrey, & in their way thither ward, the ten cōmaundements God wrote hymself in two tables of stone: the remnaunt of the law he taught thē by Moses his seruant, how they shoulden do euerychone to other, & gif they trespassed again the law, he ordeined how they shoulden be punished. Also he taughte them what maner sacrifices they should do to him, and he chose him a people to been his priestes, that was Aaron and his children, to done sacrifices in the tabernacle, and afterward in the temple also. He chese him the remnaunt of the children of Leuy to been seruauntes in the tabernacle to the priestes, and he sayd: When ye come into þe land of behest, þe childrē of Leuy they shoullē haue none heritage amongest their brethren, for I would be their part, and her heritage, and they shullē serue me in the tabernacle by dayes and by nightes, and he ordeined that priests shouldē haue a part of the sacrifices that wer offred in the tabernacle, and the first begotten beastes, both of men and beastes and other thinges as the law telleth. And þe other childrē of Leuy þt serued in the tabernacle, should haue tythings of the people to their lyuelood, of the whiche tythings they should geuen the priestes the tenth partie in forme of offeryng. The children of Leuy both priestes and other, should haue houses and croftes and lesewes 
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i.e. 'pasture' or 'pastures'.

for their beastes in the lande of behest 
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i.e. 'the Promised Land'.

, and none other heritage: and so God gaue them their lād of behest, and bade them that theyu ne should worship no other God then him. Also he bade that they should kepe his commaundemēts, and gife they did so, all their enemies about them should drede them and be their seruaunts. And giue they worshipped false Gods and so forsaken his lawes, he byhight them that he would bryng them out of that land and make them serue their enemies, but yet he sayd he would not benemen 
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i.e. 'takes' or 'taken'.

his mercy away from them, if they would cry mercy and amende their defautes, and all this was done on Gods side.

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MarginaliaGods loue to man.And here is much loue showed of God to man. And who so looketh the Bible he shall find, that man showed hym litle loue again ward: for when they were come into their heritage, they forgetten their God, and worshypped false Gods. And God sent to them the Prophetes and his seruants * MarginaliaFeile 

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i.e. 'many times'.

times, that is, oft tymes.fele tymes to byd them withdrawen them from their sinnes, and other they slowen them, or they beaten them, or they led them in prison: and oft tymes God tooke vpon thē great vengeannce for theyr sinnes, and when they cried after helpē to God, he sent them helpe and succour. This is the general proces of the olde Testament, that God gaue to his people by Moses hys seruaunt. And all this Testament & this doyng ne was but a shadow and a figure of a new Testament that was geuen by Christ. And it was vyhotē  
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i.e. 'worships' or 'worshipping'.

by Ieremie the Prophet, as S. Paul beareth witnes in the Epistle that he writeth to the Iewes. And Ieremy saytrh in this wise: Lo dayes shall come, God saith, and I wil make a new bande to the house of Israell, and to the house of Iuda, not like the forward that I made with their fathers in that day that I tooke theyr hande to led them out of the lande of Egypt, the which forward they madē veyne, and I had Lordship ouer thē. But this shalbe the forward that I would make with them after those dais: I will geue my lawes with them in ther inwardnes, & I wil written them in ther harts, and I wil be theyr God and they should be my people, and after that a mā shall not teach his neyghbour ne his brother. For all (God sayth) from the least to the most, should know me, for I will forgeuen them their sinnes, & I wil no more thinke on theyr sinnes.

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This is the new testament that Christ both God and mā borne of the mayd Mary, he taught here in this world to bryng man out of sinne and out of the deuils thraldome and seruice to heauen that is land of blisse and heritage to all tho that beleuen on him & kepen hys commaundementes, & for his teaching he was done to þe death. But the thyrd day arose againe frō death to life, & set Adam & Eue and many other folke out of hell and afterward he came to hys disciples and comforted them. After he flyed vp to heauen to hys father, and tho he sent the holy ghost amonges his disciples: and in tyme comming he wole come and demen all mankinde after theyr werkes, & after the words he spake apon earth: some to blidde, both in body and in soule euer withouten ende, and some to payne withouten end, both in body and in soule.

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Thys is our beleue and all christen mens, and thys beleue is the first poynt of the new Testament that yehe christen man is holde stedfastly to beleue, and raather to suffer the death than forsaken this beleue, and so this beleue is the bread of spirituall lyfe, in forsaking sinne, that Christ brought vs to lyfe.

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But for asmuch as mannes liuing ne stondeth not all onlyeh by bread, he hath ygiuen vs a draught of water of life to drinke. And who that drinketh of that water, he ne shall neuer afterward ben a thurst. For thys water is the clere teaching of the gospel, that encloseth seuen commaundementes.

MarginaliaSpecial precepts or lessons of the Gospell.The furst is this: thou shalt loue thy God ouer all other things, and thy brother as thy selfe, both enemie and frend.

The second cōmaundement is of meekenes, in the which Christ chardgeth vs to forsake lordship vpon our brethren & other worldly worships, and so he did himselfe.

The thyrd commaundement, is in stonding stedfastlich in truth and forsaking all falsenes.

The fourth commaundement, is to suffer in this world diseases and wronges withouten agemstondinges.

The fifth commaundement is mercye, to forgeuen our brethren theyr trespasse, as often tyme as they gylteth, without asking of vengeaunce.

The sixth commaundement is poorenes in spirit, but not to be a begger.

The seuenth commaundement, is chastitie: that is a forsaking of fleshlych lykinges displeasing to God. These commaundements enclosen the ten commaundementes of the olde law, and somewhat more.

This water is a blessed drink for christen mens soule. But more harme is, much folke would drinke of this water, but they mowe not come thereto: for God saith by Ezechiel the prophet: when iche geue to you the most cleane water to drinke, ye troubled that water with your feete, and that water so defouled, ye geue my shepe to drinke. MarginaliaChristes sheepe stopped from cleane water, & compelled to drinke puddel.But the clene water is yhid fro the sheepe, and but gif God cleare this, it is bread least the sheepe dyen for thurst. And Christ that is the wisdome of the father of heauen, and well of thys wysdome that come from heauen to earth to teach man this wysdome, thorow the which man should ouercome the sleightes of the deuill that is principall enemy of mankinde: haue mercy and pitye of hys people, and shew if it be his wil how this water is troubled, and by whom: and * Marginalia* Syth, that is, afterward.sith cler this water that his shepe mown drinken hereof, and kele the thurst of their soules. Blessed mote our Lordebene, for he hath itaught vs in the Gospel, that ere than he woulde come to the vniuersall dome, their should come many in his name and sayen, that they weren Christ: and they shoulden done manye wonders, and begylen many men. And many false prophets should.m arisen and begylen much folke.

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A Lorde, yblessed mote thou ben of euerich creature: which bene they that haue ysayde that they weren Christ, and haae begyled thus thy peopel? Trulich Lord I trow, thilke that sayen that they bene in thy steede, and * Marginalia* Binemen, that is, take away.bynemen thy worship, and maken thy people worhsippen them as God, and haue hyd thy lawes from the people. Lord, who durst syt in they steede and venemen thee thy worship and thy sacrifice, and durst maken the people woorshyp them as Gods? The Sauter telles, that God ne wole not in the daye of dome demen men for bodyliche sacrifices and Holocaustes: But God sayth, yelde to me sacrifice of hearing and yelde to God thine auowes, and clepe me in þe day of tribulation, and yche wole defend thee, and thou shalt worship me.

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The herieng 

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i.e. 'worships' or 'worshipping'.

Marginalia* Herieng, that is, worshipping.of God standeth in three thinges. MarginaliaThe honoryng of God stādeth in iii. thinges.In louing God ouer all other thynges. In dreading God ouer all other thynges. In trusting in God ouer all other thinges.

These three poyntes Christ teacheth in the gospel. But I trow men ouen him but a litle. For who so loueth Christ, he wole kepē hys wordes. But men holden his words for heresie and floye, and kepeth mens wordes. Also men dreden more men and mens lawes and their cursings, then Christ and his lawes and his cursinges. Also men hopen more in men & mens helpes, thā they do in Christ & in his helpe. And thus hath he þt setteth in Gods stede, bynomen God these three heryengs, & maketh men louen him & his lawes, more than Christ & Christes law, & dreden him also. And there as þe people shulden yelde to God their vowes, he saith he hath power to assoylen 

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i.e. 'absolve'.

thē of their avowes, & so this sacrifice he * Marginalia* Nemeth, that is, taketh.nemeth away frō God. And there as þe people should cry to god in þe day of tribulation, he letteth thē of their cryeng to God & bynemeth God that worship. this day of tribulatiō is whā mā is fallen thorow sinne into þe deuills seruice, & than we shoulden cry to God after helpe, & axen forgeuenes of our sinne, & make great sorowe for our sinne, & ben in full will to we so no more ne none other sinne, and than our Lord God wole forgeuen vs our sinne, and maken our soulde clene For his mercy is endles.

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MarginaliaAgainst auricular confession.But Lord, here men haue bynomen thee much worship: For men seyn that thou ne might not cleane assoylen vs of our sinne. But if we knowlegen our sinnes to priestes, and taken of them a penance for our sinne gif we mowen 

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i.e. 'may'.

speake with them.

A Lord thou forgaue somtime Peter his sinnes and also Mary

V. ii.
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