Art. 4, De seint Johan le Ewangeliste

Art. 4, De seint Johan le Ewangeliste: EXPLANATORY NOTES


1 Domicien l’emperur. Domitian was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96 A.D., coming considerably after Nero (54–68 A.D.). Situated first, The Life of Saint John the Evangelist is temporally the last of the Anglo-Norman saints’ legends in Harley 2253.

82-84 The biblical echo here is to Matthew 13:44, the verse preceding the parable of the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45–46). Together these three verses inspire the vita’s core theme of how one must exchange worldly wealth for the soul’s salvation. Very popular and widely disseminated, this legend was often attached to the Apocalypse (thought to be authored by John). On how it served as a source for the Middle English poem Pearl, see Fein 2014.

88 tu faiz. For good sense in modern English, this phrase meaning “you shall do” must be rendered as a negative “you shall [un]do.”

177 Mammona. Mammon, that is, wealth. Compare Luke 16:13: “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

190 parçunerie. In English law, a coparcener is a person who shares equally in an inheritance of an undivided estate; the form derives from Anglo-Norman parcenarie. See MED, coparcener (n.), “joint heir, coheir.”

Art. 4, De seint Johan le Ewangeliste: TEXTUAL NOTES


Abbreviations: MS: MS Harley 2253; M: Meyer 1895; O: O’Connor; P: Perman; R: D. Russell 1989.

title MS: De S’ Johan le ewangel’. Scribe B inserts this title in red ink on a blank line.

1 fist. So R. MS: fud.

3 Effesie. So MS. R: Effesi.

7 Dunc Domicien. So MS. R: Dunc dist Domicien.

10 e aur. So MS (e abbreviated). R: et aur.

14 apelet. So MS. R: apelés.

21 oscistrent. So MS. R: ocistrent.

23 vurgine, e que. MS: uurgine e qui. R: wirgine a qui.

32 prendre. So R. MS: prerdre.

35 sacrifierai. So MS. R: sacrifieras.

52 ne. So MS. R: omitted.

57 que. So R. MS: qui.

fut. So R. MS: fui.

64 unm. So MS. R: umn.

68 a l’apostre. So R. MS: al postre.

75 cels. So MS. R: celes.

80 n’ost. So MS. R: n’oste.

82 vi. So MS. R: vie.

que si. So MS. R: e si.

qu’il. So R. MS: quil il.

126 renunciez. So MS. R: renuntiez.

131 saien. So MS. R: sain.

134 perirez. MS: perir. R: puissez perir.

142 resplendissablement. So R. MS: resplendissalement.

143 releif. So MS. R: relief.

144 ambesdous. So MS. R: ambedous.

146 fut. So R. MS: fu.

148 que. So R. MS: qui.

165 testimoinerent. So MS. R: testimonierent.

173 rendez. So MS. R: renduz.

toleite. So MS. R: toleste.

179 suffire. So R. MS: suffrire.

191 douçur. So R. MS: doueur.

193 sans. So R. MS: omitted.

198 nuz. So MS. R: nuiz.

208 que. So R. MS: qui.

209 nuz. So R. MS: nuiz.

214 gemisanz. So MS. R: gemissanz.

216 ke. So R. MS: ki.

219 ki. So R. MS: ke.

232 peines, pleines. So MS. R: peines pleins.

anguisses, pleines. So MS. R: anguisses plaines.

242 penitence. So MS. R: pentience.

243 que. So R. MS: qui.

244 quai. So MS (ua abbreviated). R: quei.

246 Tuz. So MS. R: Tuz jurs.

256 qui. So R. MS: que.

di. So MS. R: dis.

257 de ses. So R. MS: des ses.

259 saciez. So R. MS: saiez.

264 orent. So MS. R: ourent.

 
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De seint Johan le Ewangeliste [art. 4]

Le secunt travails as cristiens, aprof Nerun l’emperur, fist Domicien l’emperur, qui
aprés lui regna, e il fist amener sain Johan le euuangeliste devant sei. Si li
demanda par ki congé il feseit edifier les eglises de Effesie e aillurs, e en qui nun.
Il respundi nun pourusement, kar il ert plain de la vertu del Saint Esperit. “Jo,”
dist Johan, “les face edefier en l’onur Nostre Seignur Jhesu Crist e de la Virgine
Marie sa mere.”

Dunc Domicien le emperur: “Osez vus dunc contredire a mai qui sui emperur, e
a mes deus ke jo aur?”

Dunc respundi sain Johan: “Jo ne contredi pas a Deu, kar il nen est fors un Deu,
Jhesu Crist le Fiz Marie, que crei e preche e aur. E a voz ydles surz e muz de Marz
e de Diane, ki el nun del Diable sunt consecrez, contredi.”


Dunc respundi Domicien: “Noz deus qui vus tant avilez e despicez, qui maint aie
nus unt fait en noz bosoinz, vus mustrent uncore ui lur ires.”

Dunc respundi seint Johan: “Voz ydles qui vus apelet deus ne vus firent unques aie
ne succurs, mes les debles en qui nun il sunt consecrez vus funt entendre par subtil
espirement que les bones aventures que vus avenent erent par voz ydles en lur nun
consecrez. E cument vus pount il aider, qui sunt e surz e muz e mesmes ne se poent
muveier, ne turner, ne remuer?”

Dunc se corecea Domicien, si dit a sain Johan: “E le vostre Jhesu Crist Deu, qui fud
fiz de une femme, cum vus dites, cument vus poet il aider ne valer, e qui li Jude
crucifierent e oscistrent vileinement?”

Dunc dist sain Johan: “Veirement, di jo que le men Seignur Jhesu Crist fud fiz ne
mie de femme corrumpue, mes de femme vurgine, e que prist char pur nus
rechater del pecché Adam nostre premirain pere | e suffri mort sicum il volt. E
puis resuscita al tierz jur. E al quarantime jur munta el ciel u il seet a la destre sun
Pere e Deu tut puissant en ciel e en tere.”

Dunc dist Domicien: “Quant les noz deus sunt si nunpuissant e le vostre est de si
grant puissance, ore verrum si il vus delivera de mes mains, ki ci despreiciez les
miens deus e le vostre loez.”

Dunc comanda Domicien emplir chaudieres de oile e fere le ben boiller. E puis
comanda mettre en une grante cuve tresque ele fust pleine. E quant ceo fut fait, si
comanda prendre sain Johan l’apostre e despoillier le tut nu. E quant il orent si
fait, dunc si li dist Domicien: “Ore saciez, Johan, que tu serras en cest oille boillant
quit tresque mort u tu sacrefieras a mes deus u le tuen Deu te delivera.”


Dunc respundi sain Johan: “As tuens deus ne sacrifierai, kar le men Deu est si
puissant que bien me delivera de totes les peines que tu me purras faire.”

Dunc comanda Domicien qu’il le jetassent en la cuve de oille pleine buillant.

“Laissez,” dist sain Johan. “N’estuet pas ke vus me metez mai enz par force, kar jo
el nun al mien Seignur Jhesu Crist, hardiement i entrai.” Dunc se fist le signacle
de sainte croiz sur la cuve, si entra senz dutance, e si sist grant pece. E puis si en
eissi senz mal qu’il i suffrist si cum li fud virgine e nez senz corrupciun charnel.


E quant çoe veit Domicien, qu’il mal nen out de l’oile boillant, si dist qu’il ert
enchantere e que par enchantement se ert gari. E dist qu’il li apparillereit tel
turment dunt pas ne eschapereit. Quant oi le pople — ki si grant miracle li aveit
veu faire e ki crei en Jhesu Crist par sain Johan — si escria encuntre Domicien. E
dist tut a une voiz que pas ne suffreit qu’il mes li feist turment en nule manere.
Dunc out Domicien grant ire e grant desdein. Si se suffri tresque le pople fu
departi, puis sil comanda enchartrer. Aprés çoe, l’enveia il celeement en eissil en
l’idle de Padme, u il escrit le livre de l’Apochalipse si cum Nostre Seignur li
mustra.


Domicien, adecertes, en l’en mesmes qu’il aveit eissilé saint Johan, fud oscis dé
Romains, e nient ne voldreint aver establé de quanque Domicien aveit establi, pur
laquele chose il firent | revenir sain Johan de l’eissil od grant honur a la cité de
Effesie. E tuit le pople le reçut od grant honur e a grant joie. E dist: “Beneit seit
le nun Deu ki saint Johan nus ad remené de l’eissil.”


E cum il entra en la cité de Effesie, une dame par nun Drusiane qui pur la dolur
d’içoe que sain Johan fut enveié en eissil murut. Kar mult l’aveit servi e amé,
laquele i portouent morte encuntre lui. Si cum sain Johan vit les povres, e les
vedves, e les orfanins, e ses parenz, pluranz e disanz: “Beu sire, veez nostre amie
Drusiene que nus portum ici morte, ki par vostre amonestement nus tuz nuriseit
e servi Deu en chasteté e en humilité. E chascun jur desirout vostre repaire, e si
diseit: ‘Deus, verrai joe sain Johan l’apostre ainz ke jo muire?’ E, sire, ore estes
venu, e pas ne vus poet veeir si cum ele desirout.”


Dunc comanda sain Johan mettre suz la bere u unm portout la dame. Si la
comanda deslier. E od clere voiz si dist: “Leve sus, si va a ta maisun si m’aparaille
a mangier.”

A iceste voiz, se releva cele qui morte aveit esté. Si en ala mult halegre et mult
ententive del comandement a l’apostre, si que li sembla que pas n’esteit resuscité
de mort mes sicum ele fust esveillé de dormir. Dunc cria tuit le pople par trais
hores, si dist: “Un Deu est qui sain Johan preche, e un verrai Jhesu Crist Nostre
Seignur.”

A l’altre jur aprés, Craton, un sage philosophe, fist un sermun enmi la cité al pople
del despit del munde. E diseit que nient ne valeient tutes les richescez de cest
siecle. Quant çoe oirent, dous richez homes — freres qui aveient vendu tut lur
heritage pur dous preciousus gemmes qu’il aveient achaté — cels si aporterent al
philosophe. E il lur comanda a depiescier veanz tut le pople en menues pieces.


E sicum il aveint depeciez les gemmes, si avint si que l’apostre passa par iloec. Si
apela a sei Craton le philosofe, si li dist: “Fol despit del mund ad cil qui est loé des
buches des homes e de Deu est despit. Sicum vaine est la mescine ki pas n’oste
enfermeté, si est vaine la doctrine qui pas n’ost les vices de l’anme ne des corages.
Li mien maistre,” dist sein Johan, “enseigna un jofne home qui coveitout a aveir
vi parmanable par ces paroles. Si li dist que si il volsist estre | parfit, qu’il alast si
vendist quanque il aveit e donast as povres, e par çoe si avereit tresor el ciel e vie
parmanable trovereit.”

Dunc respundi Craton le philosopphe: “Jo ai fait destrure le humaine coveitise ki
esteit es gemmes, kar tutes sunt depesciez veant le pople. Mes si veirs Deus est
vostre maistre, e il voile que le pris de ces precioses gemmes sait doné as povres,
fai les entyers, que çoe que jo fis pur loenge dé homes, tu faiz, que sait fait aloenge
a tun maistre.”

Dunc cuilli sein Johan tutes les pecez des gemmes sis tint en sa main. Si leva ces
oilz vers le ciel, e dist: “Sire Jhesu Crist qui tut avez en poesté — ki, le munde perdu
par le fust de coveitise, par le fust de la tue sainte croiz le munde restoras; ki, al ceu
nez a qui nature aveit veuue deveié, rendistes les oilz; e resuscitas Lazarum aprés
le quart jur qu’il fud mort; e tuz mals e tutes enfermetez par la force de ta parole
sanas — tu facez ore que ses gemmes que les homes depescierent pur loenge de
gent seient entiers e en meimes la bealté u il furent, que le pris des gemmes pouset
estre doné as povres, e que cels qui en tei creient puissent glorifier tun Pere, e tai
sun cher Fiz, e le Saint Espirit ki est enluminere e seintifiur de tute saint Iglise.”



Dunc respundirent tuz les cristiens qui furent od l’apostre: “Amen.” E tutes les
pieces de gemmes issi sunt resemblés e rejuntes que nul enseigne de çoe qu’eles
erent depeciez ne pout home trover.

Dunc chai Craton le philosophe od les dous juvencels e od tuz ces disciples as piez
de l’apostre. Si se fist baptizer. Si comença a precher le nun Nostre Seignur Jhesu
Crist veant tuz.

Dunc vindrent de la cité d’Effecie dous honurables baruns e riches par l’esample
de dous honorables baruns ki aveient vendu lur heritage pur les gemmes achater
e ki tuit le pris aveient doné as povres. Si vendirent quanque il orent e tut le pris
donerent as povres. E puis si sywirent l’apostre la u il alout par les citéz prechant
le nun Nostre Seignur Jhesu Crist.

Aprés çoe, avint sicum il entrerent en la cité de Pergame ke les dous juvencels qui
aveient vendu lur heritage e le pris doné | as povres qu’il virent lur serfs qui
aveient esté vestu de vestemens de seie alant par la cité od grant orgoil e en la
glorie del siecle resplendissant. Dunc avint qu’il furent feru de la seate al Diable.
E devindrent tristes d’içoe qu’il se virent en un sul malveis mantel e suffreitus de
multes choses, e lur cerfs virent aisiez de grant richesces.


Mes icez engin del Diable entendi l’apostre, si dist: “Jo vei que vus avez mué
ambure e les chieres e les curages pur çoe ke vus avez sywi la doctrine mun Seignur
Jhesu Crist e quanque vus eustes avez doné as povres. E se vus volez recoverir
quanque vus eustes en or, e en argent, e en preciosus peres, aportez mei faiselez
de dreites verges. Si varrez que joe frai.”

E il alerent aporter. E el nun Nostre Seignur Jhesu Crist, il les mua en or. E puis
altre feid les rova aporter des menues peres del rivage de la mer. E il li aporterent.
E saint Johan apela la majesté Nostre Seignur Jhesu Crist, sis muat en preciuses
gemmes. Aprés çoe, lur dist sain Johan l’apostre: “Set jurz alés per les orfevres e
par les periers, e quant vus averez prové que çoe est verrai or e verraies pieres, sil
me renunciez.”


E il alerent. E aprés seet jurz si repairerent a sain Johan, si distrent: “Bel sire, tuz
les orfevres avum ascherchié, e tut li orfeur nus dient que unques si bon or ne
virent ne si pur, e tut li perier nus dient qu’il unkes si bones peres ne si preciuses
gemmes ne virent.”

Dunc lur dist saien Johan: “Alez si rechatez vestemenz de seie, que vus en cest secle
pucez resplendir cum rose. E si vus rechatez voz teres que vus vendistes, kar le
celestien guerdun avez perdu. E endementers que vus flurirez en ceste secle, aiez
resplendisur e odur. E quant vostre flur ert chete, ke vus perirez, kar vus suspirez
mult en la guarde de voz serfs ki si sunt richement aturnez, e doluzez mult de çoe
que vus estes si povres pur amur Deu. Ore seiez riche temporelement que vus
puissez mendier pardurablement. Dun ne poet Nostre Seignur faire ces cerfs
abundant de richesce e resplendir pardurablement? Mes grant bataille lur estuet
suffrir des corages qui velent | parvenir a pardurable richesce e pur amur Deu
guerpir les temporeles choses.”

Dunc dist sain Johan: “Nostre Seignur Jhesu Crist nus cunta de un riche home ke
manjout chascun jur resplendissablement e qui reluseit en or e en porpre, a qui
porte un povre giseit, par nun Lazarus, qui desirout a manger del releif ki chaiet
de sa table, e nuls ne li volt doner. E avint si que ambesdous murirent ensemble en
un jur. E cil Lazarus fut porté en joie e en repos el sein seint Abraham, e li richez
fut porté en flamme de pardurable turment.

“E cum il vit Lazere seant en repos en le sein Abraham, si dist, en criant: ‘Bel pere
Abraham, aiez merci de mai! Enveiez mei Lazre, que il muilt sulement sun dei en
ewe e refreit ma buche, kar jo su crucié en ceste flamme.’

“Dunc respundi Abraham, si dist: ‘Membre tei que eus grant bien en ta vie, e
Lazarus tut mal. E or ad il confort, e tu grant turment. E grant deseverance ad
entre nus e vus, kar nus ne poums a vus venir, ne vus a nus.’


“Dunc dist icil qui aveit esté riche home: ‘Bel sire, jo ai al secle cinc freres, ci vus
pri que faciés resusciter alcun home kis guarnisse, qu’il ne viengent en cest lui de
turment e de flambe.’

“A ki Abraham respondi: ‘Il unt Moysen e les prophetes. Oient els si il velent.’


“E il respundi: ‘Si alcuns ne resucite qui lur die, il ne crerrunt pas.’


“E Abraham respundi: ‘Si il ne velent creire a Moysen e as prophetes, qui alcuns
resuscitout de mort qui lur deist, ne plus ne crereient.’ Icestes paroles enferma
nostre maistre Jhesu Crist par esamples dé vertuz.” [Compare Luke 16:19–31.]


Dunc distrent les juvencels a sain Johan: “Ki vint unques d’iloec a nus que nus
puissum craire?”

Dunc dist sain Johan: “Aportez mai les morz qui sunt en ceste cité.”

E il, cum oirent, si aportent treis morz devant lui. Sis comanda lever si cum il les
aveilast de dormir. E si testimoinerent totes les paroles que saint Johan lur aveit
cuntés.

“Mes que vus conterai jo plus des paroles nostre maistre Jhesu Crist, quant ci sunt
en present les morz que jo ai resuscitez ci devant vus par la vertu de li — ki
testimonient quanque joe di — e en qui nun vus m’avez veu curer les pa|ralitikes,
e munder les leprus, e enluminer les ceus, e les homes deliverer de Deable. Mes la
puissance de ces vertuz pas ne puent aver ki coveitent aveir les terrenes richesses.
E vus mesmes, quant vus veez as maledes par le nun Jhesu Crist que vus en apelez
si garisient, e vus chaciez les diables, e as cieus rendez lur veue, ore vus est toleite
ceste grace. Si estes chatif devenuz, ki einz eriez fort e puissant de vertuz. E li deble
tant vus cremeient que par voz comandemenz eissent des cors as homes qu’il
aveient purpris. E vus des ore les creindrez, kar li amant de richeises sunt serfs de
Mammona. Mammona adecertes est nun a diable ki est maistre de seculers guainz
e est seignur de ceus qui aiment le munde.


“Ore seit un ventre,” dist l’apostre, “si seit mis devant li qui puisse suffire a mil
ventres. E seit un cors devant ki seit mis tant de vestesmenz ki puissent suffire a
vestir cors de mil homes. Par Deu, çoe qu’il ne purra vestir estura guarder.


“E si ne saura nuls a qui oez. Kar çoe dist le prophete par le Saint Espirit: ‘En vain
se travaille chascun home qui quilt tresor e ne seet a ki oez. [Compare Psalm 39:7.].
Nus nus espandirent en tere les enfantemenz des femmes businus de viande e de
beivre e de vestesmenz, e nus nus receverat la tere.’

“Mes les communes richeisez que Deu nus dona tuz les avum uelement. La
resplendur del solail e al riche e al povre est commune, ensement la lumere de
lune e des esteilles, e la temprance de l’air, e les gutes de la pluve, e l’entree de
saint Iglise, e la significatiun de la baptesme e le remissiun dé pecchiez, e la
parçunerie de l’alter, e le communiun del cors e del sanc Nostre Seignur, e del
seint cresme le unctiun, e la large visitatiun del large douçur Nostre Seignur, e le
pardun de universel pecchié.

“Tutes ces choses sunt communes a tuz [sans] reguard de personage, par la
grace al Salveur, ne nient altrement use ces douns le riche e altrement le povre.
Mais chaitif est l’ume ki vuelt plus aveir que li ne suffist. E d’iço, naissent a
home neis corporalement chalurs de deverses fevres e dolurs de diverses enfermetez
issi, qu’il ne poent beivre ne man|jer. Que la coveitise deive conuistre que poi lur
valdrunt lur richises, ki si fait lur guardeins estre ententif e curius de nuz e de jurz,
qu’il unques ne pount estre senz cure, neis la space de un ore, ne nule fié seurs en
nul lui. [Compare Ecclesiastes 5:9.] Kar dunc guard um la maisun de larruns quant
home i asemble l’aveir.


“Ahi, vus homes — dementers ke vus entendez a vos charues, e rendez al rei ses
rentes, e edifiez voz gerniers, e estudiez as seculers guainz; e endementiers ke vus
entendez a acorder a riches homes ki sunt curiciez a vus, e les meins puissanz de
vus despoilliez, e rendez guereduns des ires a ceus que puez, e avisunkes le puez
suffrir ki vus coruseint; dementers que vus entendez a la suatume de vostre char;
dementiers ke vus estudiez a juer as chiez e as tables e as esgarz dé deverses deduz;
e dementiers que vus suilliez voz cors en luxuria e suffrez ke home vus suilt — e
aprés icés, issiez de cest secle nuz e nient ne portez sulement fors pecchiez pur
lesqueles suffrez pardurables tormenz.” [Compare Ecclesiastes 5:14.]

E si cum saint Johan les guarnisseit e diseit ces paroles, estevus une vedva ki porta
sun fiz mort, ki aveit pris femme dunc aveit trente jurz ensemblé od li. Vindrent
grant gent aprés le mort, que l’um portout. E tuz chairent od la vedve as piez de
l’apostre, muianz e gemisanz e pluranz. E prient pur amur de sun Seignur Crist
qu’il resuscitast cel juvencel sicum il aveit resuscité Drusiene la vedve. Tant crierent
trestuz e plurerent ke l’apostre a peine se pout atemprer de plur. Dunc si laissa le
pople, si chai en ureisuns si plura lungement. Puis si s’eleva de ureisuns, si espandi
ses meins vers le ciel, e teisable praire dist lungement.


E cum il aveit si fait treis feiz, si comanda a deslier le cors. E dist: “Tu, juvencel, ki
pur l’amur de ta char as perdue t’aneme! Ahi, juvencel, ki pas ne coneus le Salveur
des homes ne tun verrai ami, e pur çoe vus livre al felun Enemi par la tue
mescreance! Jo ai espandues lermes pur tai a Deu Nostre Seignur que tu puissez
relever de mort desliez de tuz | liens, e que tu puissez annuncier a cels dous
juvencels, qui pur Deu aveient vendu e duné quanque il aveient, cum grant glorie
il unt perdu e cum grant paine les atent.”


Dunc se leva celui qui mort aveit esté si aura l’apostre. Si comença a blasmer ceus
dous, si lur dist: “Joe vi voz angles plurant e les angles Sathané esjoisanz de vostre
dejectiun. Ja avez perdu le regne ki vus ert apparillé, e les segez aurnez pleines des
joies e des presiouses pieres avirunez, e pleines dé delisiouses viandes e de vie
parmanable, e pleines de perpetuele lumere e dilectiun. E avez purchacié lieus dé
tenebres pleines dé draguns, pleines dé cruciantes flambes, pleines dé turmenz e
dé nuncomparables peines, pleines de dolur, pleines dé anguisses, pleines de
pour e d’espontable tremblement. Uncore, avez perdu lieus de dulçur pleines de
nunflestrisanz flurz, pleines de voiz dé orgues. E avez purchacié lieuz u ne
defailent ne par nuit ne par jur guaimentemenz, e criz, e plurs. Mes jo ne vus sai
meillur consail doner fors ke vus alez chaiez as piez de apostre. E sicum me
resuscita de mort a vie, issi vus resuscite del perpetuel peines e voz almes, que ja
sunt osteez dé livres de vie u eles erent escrites



Dunc vint celui qui fud resuscité, si se chai a tere od tut le pople e od les dous
juvencels ki lur aveir aveient departi as povres. Si crierent tuz merci a l’apostre, si
li preierent qu’il deust preier pur eus a Nostre Seignur. E li sainz apostre en cest
manere lur respundi: qu’il offrisent penitence par trente jurz a Dampnedeu, es
queles il puissent mesmement prier que les verges d’or returnassent en lur nature,
e les gemmes ensement a la vilté a quai il furent faites repairassent.


E cum le terme de trente jurz fud passé, e les verges e les gemmes furent returnés
en lur nature, dunc vindrent les dous juvencels a l’apostre. Si li distrent: “Tuz avez
prechié misericorde e pardun, avez enseigné e comandez ke home parduinst a
altre sun mesfait. E si Deu volt ke hom parduinst a | altre si a ceus sun mesfait, dun
ne deit il dunc parduner a altre si a ceus qui mesfait unt a lui? Ben savum que nus
avum pechié. E çoe, od oilz covetans le mund, avum mesfait. Od oilz pleines des
lermes, nus repentums. Ore te preum, sir saint apostre, ore te preium, sir ami Deu,
que la misericorde que vus avez prechié en paroles e en faiz nus mustrez.”


Dunc vit sain Johan le plur e la repentance de eus e d’iceus qui preoent pur eus,
si dist: “Nostre Seignur Jhesu Crist, quant il parla de peccheur, dist qu’il ne voleit
pas lur morz; einz voleit qu’il se convertisent e vesquissent. [Compare Ezekiel 33:11.]
E de ceus qui se repintirent, si dist: ‘Veirement, vus di que greindre joie est as
angles de un peccheur que se convert a Deu od repentance de ses pecchiez que de
nonante e noef justes qui n’unt nient de mester de penitence qui unkes ne
pecchierunt.’ [Compare Luke 15:7.] E ben voil ke vus saciez que Nostre Seignur ad
receu lur penitence.”

Dunc si dist as dous juvencels: “Alez si portez les verges al bois dunt vus
l’aportastes, kar eles sunt returnez en lur nature, e les gemmes, kar eles sunt peres
devenues.”

E quant ço fud faite, si receurent la grace qu’il orent perdue, issi qu’il achasoent
les deables des cors as homes sicum il firent primers, e les malades sanoent e les
ceus enluminerent, e multes vertuz feseit Nostre Seignur par eles.


The Life of Saint John the Evangelist [art. 4]

After Emperor Nero, the next persecution of Christians was conducted by Emperor
Domitian, who ruled after him, and he had Saint John the Evangelist brought
before him. Then he asked him by whose leave he had built the churches of
Ephesus and elsewhere, and in whose name. He answered without fear, for he was
filled with the power of the Holy Ghost. “I,” said John, “had them built in honor
of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary his mother.”

Then Emperor Domitian: “Dare you then to oppose me who am emperor, and my
gods whom I worship?”

Then answered Saint John: “I do not oppose God, for there is only one God, Jesus
Christ the Son of Mary, in whom I believe and preach and worship. And your deaf
and dumb idols of Mars and Diana, who are consecrated in the name of the Devil,
I do oppose.”

Then responded Domitian: “Our gods whom you so revile and insult, who have
given us great help in our need, will show you yet today their anger.”

Then responded Saint John: “Your idols whom you call gods have never given you
help or aid, but the devils in whose name they’re consecrated make you believe by
subtle insinuation that the good fortune coming to you was consecrated by your
idols in their name. But how can they help you, they who’re deaf and dumb and
can’t even move, turn, or budge?”

Then Domitian grew enraged, and he said to Saint John: “But your Jesus Christ
God, who was the son of a woman, as you say, how can he help or assist you, he
whom the Jews basely crucified and killed?”

Then said Saint John: “Truly, I say that my Lord Jesus Christ was not at all the son
of a corrupt woman, but of a virgin woman, and that he took flesh to buy us back
from the sin of Adam our first father | and suffered death as he willed. And then
he revived on the third day. And on the fourth day he rose up to heaven where he
sits at the right hand of his Father and God Almighty in heaven and on earth.”

Then said Domitian: “Since our gods are so powerless and yours is so powerful,
let’s now see if he shall deliver you from my hands, you who so scorn my gods and
praise yours.”

Then Domitian commanded that cauldrons be filled with oil and made to boil
rapidly. And then he commanded that the oil be put in a large tub till it was full.
And when this was done, he then commanded that Saint John the apostle be seized
and stripped fully naked. And when they had done this, then said Domitian to
him: “Now understand, John, that you’ll be cooked to death in this boiling oil
unless you sacrifice to my gods or your God delivers you.”

Then responded Saint John: “I won’t sacrifice to your gods, for my God is so
powerful that he can easily deliver me from all the pains that you may inflict on me.”

Then Domitian commanded that they throw him into the tub of rapidly boiling oil.

“Let go,” said Saint John. “You needn’t put me in by force, for in the name of my
Lord Jesus Christ, I’ll enter there bravely.” Then he made the sign of the holy cross
on the tub and entered fearlessly, and then sat for a long time. And then he came
out without suffering any harm there because he was a virgin and born without
carnal corruption.

And when Domitian saw this, that he suffered no harm from the boiling oil, then
he said that he was a magician and that he’d been protected by enchantment. And
he said that he would prepare for him such torture that he’d not escape from it.
On hearing this, the people — who had seen him perform this great miracle and
believed in Jesus Christ on Saint John’s account — then cried out against
Domitian. And they all said in one voice that they’d never permit him to torture
him in any way. Then Domitian felt great anger and great contempt. So he waited
until the people had left, and then he commanded that he be imprisoned. After
that, he sent him secretly into exile on the island of Patmos, where he wrote the
book of the Apocalypse as Our Lord showed him.

Domitian, moreover, in the same year that he had exiled Saint John, was killed by
the Romans, and they didn’t want to maintain any of what Domitian had
established, for which reason they had | Saint John return from exile to the city of
Ephesus with great honor. And all the people received him with great honor and
great joy. And they said: “Blessed be the name of God who has brought Saint John
back to us from exile.”

And as he entered the city of Ephesus, [it happened that] a lady named Drusiana
had died for sorrow because Saint John had been sent into exile. Because she had
served and loved him greatly, they carried her dead body toward him. Then Saint
John saw the poor, the widows, the orphans, and her family, weeping and saying:
“Good lord, see our friend Drusiana whom we carry here dead, who by your
teaching nourished us all and served God in chastity and humility. And each day
she desired your return, and said this: ‘God, will I see Saint John the apostle before
I die?’ And, lord, now you have come, and she wasn’t able to see you as she
desired.”

Then Saint John commanded that he be placed on the bier where men carried the
lady. Then he commanded that she be unbound. And with a clear voice he said
this: “Rise up, and then go to your house and make preparations for me to eat.”

At this word, she who had been dead rose up. And she went away entirely healthy
and entirely intent upon the apostle’s commandment, so that it didn’t seem as
though she’d been raised up from death but that she’d awoken from sleep. Then
all the people cried out three times, and said: “There is one God of whom Saint
John preaches, and one true Jesus Christ Our Lord.”

On another day afterwards, Craton, a wise philosopher, gave a sermon in the
middle of the city to the people about the contempt of the world. And he said that
all the riches of this world were worth nothing. When they heard this, two rich men
— brothers who had sold all their inheritance for two precious gems that they had
bought — carried them to the philosopher. And he commanded them to shatter
them into little pieces in the sight of all the people.

And when they had broken the gems, it happened that the apostle passed by there.
Then he called to him Craton the philosopher, and said to him: “Foolish contempt
of the world has he who’s praised by the mouths of men and despised by God. Just
as the medicine is vain that doesn’t remove disease, so too is vain the doctrine that
doesn’t remove vices from the soul or heart. My teacher,” said Saint John, “taught
a covetous young man to have everlasting life through these words. He said that
if he wished to be | perfect, he must go and sell whatever he had and give to the
poor, and through this he would have treasure in heaven and find everlasting life.”

Then responded Craton the philosopher: “Human covetousness for gems I have
caused to be destroyed, for all are shattered in the sight of the people. But if true
God is your teacher, and he wishes that the value of these precious gems be given
to the poor, make them whole, so that what I did for the praise of men, you shall
[un]do, you who know what needs to be done in praise of your teacher.”

Then Saint John gathered all the gem fragments and held them in his hand.
Then he raised his eyes to the sky, and said: “Lord Jesus Christ who has power
over everything — you who, the world having been lost by the tree of
covetousness, restored the world by the tree of your holy cross; you who, to those
born blind from whom nature had taken away sight, restored their eyes; and you
raised up Lazarus on the fourth day after he had died; and you cured all evils and
sicknesses by the power of your Word — may you fashion now that these gems
shattered by men for the praise of the people be made whole and of the same
beauty that they had, so that the gems’ value may be given to the poor, and so that
those who believe in you may be able to glorify your Father, and you his dear Son,
and the Holy Ghost that is the light and sanctification of all Holy Church.”

Then responded all the Christians who were with the apostle: “Amen.” And all the
gem fragments were in this way reassembled and rejoined so that one mightn’t
find any sign that they’d been shattered.

Then Craton the philosopher with the two young men and all the disciples fell
down at the apostle’s feet. Then he had himself baptized. And he began to preach
the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of all.

Then there came from the city of Ephesus two rich and honorable men who
followed the example of the two honorable men who had sold their inheritance
to buy gems and had given the full value to the poor. And they sold everything
they had and gave to the poor the full value. And then they followed the apostle
wherever he went among the towns preaching the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

After this, it happened as they entered the city of Pergamum that the two young
men who’d sold their inheritance and given the value | to the poor saw their
servants clothed in silk garments going through the city with great pride and
resplendent in the world’s glory. Then it happened that they were struck by the
Devil’s arrow. And they became sad because they saw themselves in a single
wretched cloak and bereft of many things, and they saw their servants furnished
with great riches.

But the apostle perceived this trick of the Devil, and he said: “I see that you have
altered both your faces and your hearts because you’ve followed the doctrine of
my Lord Jesus Christ and given everything you had to the poor. And if you wish
to recover everything you had in gold, silver, and precious stones, bring me
baskets of straight sticks. And you shall see what I will do.”

And they went to bring them. And in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, he
changed them into gold. And then once more he commanded them to bring small
stones from the seashore. And they brought them. And Saint John called upon the
majesty of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and he changed them into precious gems.
Thereupon, Saint John the apostle said to them: “Go for seven days among the
goldsmiths and the jewelers, and when you’ve affirmed that these are true gold and
true stones, relate it to me.”

And they went out. And after seven days they returned to Saint John, and they
said: “Dear lord, we have questioned all the goldsmiths, and all the goldsmiths tell
us that they’ve never seen gold so good nor so pure, and all the jewelers tell us that
they’ve never seen stones so good nor gems so precious.”

Then Saint John said to them: “Go and buy back the silk garments, so that in this
world you may be as resplendent as a rose. And then buy back your lands that you
sold, for you’ve lost the heavenly reward. And while you flower in this world, you’ll
have splendor and fragrance. And when your flower has withered, then shall you
perish, for you sigh much at the sight of your richly adorned servants, and you
sorrow much because you’ve become so poor for the love of God. Now be rich
temporally so that you may beg eternally. Is it not the case that Our Lord may
make his servants abound in wealth and shine eternally? But it’s a great struggle
for them to be steadfast, those who wish | to attain eternal wealth and abandon
temporal things for the love of God.”

Then said Saint John: “Our Lord Jesus Christ told us of a rich man who feasted
sumptuously each day and who was resplendent in gold and in purple, at whose door
a poor man lay, by the name of Lazarus, who wished to eat the scraps that fell from
his table, but he wished to give him none. And it happened that both of them died
together on the same day. And this Lazarus was carried in joy and ease to the bosom
of holy Abraham, and the rich man was carried in flames of everlasting torment.

“And when he saw Lazarus sitting in ease in Abraham’s bosom, he said, crying out:
‘Dear father Abraham, have mercy on me! Send Lazarus to me, that he may only
moisten his finger in water and cool my mouth, for I am tormented in this flame.’

“Then Abraham answered, and said: ‘Remember that you had great wealth in your
life, and Lazarus every misfortune. And now he has comfort, and you great
torment. And there is great separation between us and you, so that we may not
come to you, nor you to us.’

“Then said the one who had been a rich man: ‘Dear lord, I have in the world five
brothers, and I pray you that you raise up some man who may warn them, so that
they not come to this place of torment and fire.’

“To which Abraham responded: ‘They have Moses and the prophets. They may
listen to them if they wish.’

“And he responded: ‘If someone who hasn’t been raised up speaks to them, they
won’t believe.’

“And Abraham responded: ‘If they don’t wish to believe Moses and the prophets,
who raised up some from the death that was their due, they’ll believe nothing
more.’ Our Lord Jesus Christ affirmed these words through virtuous examples.”
[Compare Luke 16:19-31.]

Then said the two young men to Saint John: “Who has ever come from there to us
whom we may believe?”

Then said Saint John: “Bring me the dead who are in this city.”

And then, as they had been bid, they brought three dead before him. Then he
commanded them to rise as if he had awakened them from sleep. And then they
testified to all the words that Saint John had spoken to them.

“Moreover, I will relate to you more concerning the words of Our Lord Jesus
Christ, when here are present the dead whom I’ve thus raised up before you by his
power — who testify to everything I say — and in whose name you’ve seen me cure
pa|ralytics, cleanse lepers, give sight to the blind, and deliver men from the Devil.
But the power of these virtues is not given to those who covet earthly wealth. And
you yourselves, when you see the sick whom you call in the name of Jesus Christ
and cure them, and you drive out devils, and to the blind restore their sight, now
this grace is taken from you. And you are become wretched, who formerly were
strong and powerful in virtues. And devils so feared you that by your
commandment they left the bodies of men whom they had seized. And you from
now on will fear them, for the lovers of wealth are servants of Mammon. Mammon
assuredly is the name of the devil who is master of worldly profits and lord of those
who love the world.

“Now let there be a belly,” said the apostle, “and let there be placed before it what
might suffice for a thousand bellies. And let there be a body before which is placed
as many garments as might suffice to clothe the bodies of a thousand men.
According to God, he who is unable to be clothed must be protected.

“And so one knows nothing of the purpose. For the prophet says this through the
Holy Ghost: ‘Each man works in vain who amasses treasure and does not know the
purpose. [Compare Psalm 39:7.] We spread upon the earth the progeny of women
in need of food and drink and clothing, and we will inherit the earth.’

“But the common riches that God gave us we all have equally. The radiance of the
sun is common both to the rich and the poor, likewise the light of the moon and
the stars, and the mildness of air, and the drops of rain, and the entrance into
Holy Church, and the true meaning of baptism and the remission of sins, and the
sharing of the altar, and the communion of the body and the blood of Our Lord,
and the unction of the holy oil, and the copious visitation of the copious sorrow of
Our Lord, and the pardon of universal sin.

“All these things are common to all without regard for personal status, by the
grace of the Savior, nor is anything different in the use of these gifts by the rich
and the poor. But wretched is the man who wishes to have more than is sufficient
to him. And from this, natural bodily heats from various fevers and the pains of
various infirmities arise in men, such that they can neither drink nor e|at. Thus
the covetous should know that of little worth to them are their riches, which make
their possessors be attentive and anxious night and day, so that they can never be
without worry, not even the space of an hour, nor feel any security anywhere.
[Compare Ecclesiastes 5:9.] For a man must guard his house from thieves whenever
he gathers wealth there.

“Ah, you men — while you attend to your plows, give the king his rents, build your
granaries, and concern yourselves with your worldly profit; while you attend to
reconciling with rich men who are angry with you, despoil those less powerful, give
the wages of anger to those to whom you’re able, and are scarcely able to endure
those angry with you; while you attend to the sweetness of your flesh; while you
study to play at chess and at checkers and at the diversions of various delights; and
while you soil your body in lust and permit that a man soil you — after this, you go
out from this world naked and carry nothing except the sins for which you will
suffer everlasting torments.” [Compare Ecclesiastes 5:14.]

And as Saint John warned them and said these words, there came a widow who
carried her dead son, who had taken a woman and then been together with her for
thirty days. A large crowd came behind the dead man, whom a man carried. And
they all fell down with the widow at the apostle’s feet, lamenting and groaning and
weeping. And they prayed for the love of their Lord Christ that he might raise up
the young man as he had raised up Drusiana the widow. So much did they all cry
and weep that the apostle was hardly able to refrain from tears. Then he left the
people, and he fell down in prayer and wept for a long time. And then he rose
from prayer, spread his hands to the sky, and said a silent prayer for a long time.

And when he had done this three times, then he ordered that the body be
unbound. And he said: “You, young man, who for the love of your flesh have lost
your soul! Ah, young man, who didn’t know the Savior of men nor your true friend,
and for this gave yourself to the wicked Enemy for your lack of faith! I have shed
tears for you to God Our Lord that you may rise up from death free of all | bonds,
and that you may proclaim to these two young men, who for God’s sake have sold
and given away all that they had, what great glory they have lost and what great
punishment awaits them.”

Then he who had been dead rose up and blessed the apostle. And he began to
reproach those two, and he said to them: “I see your angels weeping and the
angels of Satan rejoicing in your being cast down. You have already lost the realm
that was prepared for you, and the adorned seats filled with joys and surrounded
by precious stones, and filled with delicious foods and with everlasting life, and
filled with perpetual light and pleasure. And you have purchased places of
darkness filled with dragons, filled with excruciating flames, filled with tortures
and incomparable pains, filled with suffering, filled with anguish, filled with fear
and dreadful trembling. Moreover, you have lost places of sweetness filled with
unwithering flowers, filled with the sound of organs. And you have purchased
places where neither night nor day do lamentations, weeping, or tears cease. But
I know no better counsel to give to you, than that you go fall down at the apostle’s
feet. And as he raised me from death to life, so may he raise up from perpetual
punishment you and your souls, which now are removed from the books of life
where they were written.”

Then the one who had been raised up came, and he fell down to the ground with
all the people and the two young men who had distributed their wealth among the
poor. And they all cried for mercy to the apostle, and they prayed to him that he
pray for them to Our Lord. And the holy apostle answered them in this manner:
that they should offer penance for thirty days to God, and that they might in
particular pray that the gold sticks return to their natural state, and that the gems
similarly might return to the worthlessness in which they were created.

And when the term of thirty days had passed, and both the sticks and the gems had
returned to their natural states, then came the two young men to the apostle. And
they said to him: “You’ve always preached mercy and pardon, and you’ve taught and
commanded that a man should give pardon to another for his misdeed. And just as
God wishes that a man pardon | another for his misdeed, then shouldn’t he
therefore pardon those who’ve misbehaved similarly toward him? We know well that
we’ve sinned. And thus, with eyes coveting the world, we’ve done wrong. With eyes
filled with tears, we repent. Now we pray to you, lord holy apostle, now we pray you,
lord friend of God, that you show us the mercy you’ve preached in word and deed.”

Then Saint John saw the tears and repentance of them and those who prayed with
them. And he said: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, when he spoke of sinners, said that he
did not wish their death; rather he wished that they convert and conquer
themselves. [Compare Ezekiel 33:11.] And of those who repented, he said: ‘Truly, I
say to you that there is a greater joy to the angels in a sinner who converts himself
to God with repentance for his sins than in ninety-nine just men who have no need
at all for penance and who never sinned.’ [Compare Luke 15:7.] And I wish you to
know well that Our Lord accepted their penance.”

And then he said to the two young men: “Go and carry the sticks to the woods from
whence you brought them, for they’ve returned to their proper nature, and the
gems, for they’ve become stones.”

And when that was done, then they received the grace that they’d lost, so that they
chased devils out from the bodies of men as they’d done initially, and they healed
the sick and gave sight to the blind, and Our Lord performed many miracles
through them.


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Go to Art. 5, De seint Johan le Baptist, Introduction
Go to Art. 5, De seint Johan le Baptist, Text