The Lanterne of Light
THE LANTERNE OF LIGHT: FOOTNOTES4 semeden, seemed.
5 dredyng, fearing.
7 habundaunce, abundance; kele, cool.
8 leeftenaunt, lieutenant.
9 doughtis, doubts; wawis . . . see, waves of the sea.
10 wonderful, wonder-provoking; iche, each.
11 sett oon acorde, made an agreement.
14 Baptem, baptism.
15 oonhed, oneness.
18 sowen taaris, sown tares (weeds).
19 clowtith, patches; roten raggis, filthy rags.
20 malise, malice; Judas, Judas's; whilis Symon, whilst Simon Peter.
21 takith noon hede, pays no attention.
24 smyt, smite;heele, heal; skape, escape.
25 keies of Davith, keys of David; hevene, heaven's.
25-26 thanne . . . opyneth, i.e., such that no one else may close them (heaven's gates) and no one else may open them.
30 dingeth, strikes;rerith, raises up.
33 bijlde, build; stressith, incarcerates.
34 quite, release.
35 vertu, power.
39 saaf, saved.
43 foultid schepard, foolish shepherd.
44-45 membris . . . lose, followers to bind and loose.
47 blyndlingis, blind men.
47-48 so ferforthe, to such an extent.
48 makith mornyng, grieves.
55 hidouse, hideous.
59 moun, may; algatis, especially.
60-61 swagith . . . soris, relieves and heals spiritual wounds.
63 plaistir, healing plaster.
65 lijf, life;quickenyng, giving life.
70 agen, contrary to.
71-72 Seint Austin, St. Augustine.
73 and, if.
76 brenne, burn.
80 glotonye . . . leccherie, gluttony . . . lechery (deadly sins).
80-81 sweyling, burning.
81 mete of, food for.
81-82 dampned, damned.
86 fled, avoided.
87 smale undirstondars, slow learners.
88 bolnyng, swelling, arrogance.
89 rightwisenesse, righteousness.
97 But if . . . drede, Unless you earnestly fear.
98 upsodoun, upside down.
100 wanhope, despair; overe . . . on, too little trust in.
105 It is . . . hem, The Lord is well pleased with them.
106 agenwarde, on the other hand.
107 entrien, enter.
108 cumbraunce, affliction.
113-14 avoket anenst, advocate with.
117 saaf, saved.
118 sleeth, slays.
119 biddingis. . . leche, doctor's orders.
120 thridde, third; obstinacioun, obstinacy; herte, heart.
121 contrit, contrite; conpunccioun, compunctions.
121-22 mevid . . . thretingis, moved by prayers or threats.
122 settith . . . betingis, cares nothing about beatings; It, i.e., such a one; unkynde, unnatural.
123 feeris . . . doomes, fierce and mad in judgments; unschamefast, without shame.
124 neithir . . . neithir, neither . . . nor; perelis, perils.
125 forgetil, forgetful.
125-26 purveiyng . . . cum, looking ahead to the times that are to come.
130 braied, ground up.
131 hevi, heavy.
133 endurid . . . synne, inured to sin.
134 Neighe thou, Approach.
136 fynali inrepentaunt, ultimate impenitence.
136-37 verri penaunce, true penitence.
137 ledith . . . fleische, leads his life according to the desires of his flesh.
139 leveth, abandons.
140 miche worschipe, great honor.
141 feyned schrifte, pretended confession; taken . . . sacramentis, take part in [the] sacraments.
142 ournmentis, adornments; rede, read.
143 releven . . . nedi, relieve the needy poor.
145 tixte, text.
146-47 Whethir . . . lijf, Is not life.
147 mete, food; clothe, clothing.
152 moost, most important.
153 settith . . . bi, sets a higher value on.
154 that, what.
155 govun, given.
157 dowid . . . kyndeli, endowed with natural.
158 tweyne, two (i.e., worldly goods and man's body).
159 that berith . . . licknes, which bears God's image and likeness.
160 putt peirement to, jeopardize.
160-61 wlatful . . . therfro, foul carcass when the soul has departed from it.
162 Loke . . . mys-dispendid, Watch out that these not be ill-spent.
163 biside ther ordir, outside their [proper] order.
163-64 oo ende, a single goal.
165 chaungist . . . upsodoun, reverses this order; axith, asks; the, thee.
169 Whethir . . . thou, Do you hate.
170 longabiding, long-suffering.
171 ledith othir dryveth, leads or impels; aftir, according to.
172 tresourist to thee, store up for yourself.
172-73 in . . . wraththe, on the day of Wrath.
173-74 yelde . . . werkis, yield to each man according to his works.
176 born up, commended; welthi, wealthy.
177 habundaunce, abundance.
177-78 upbreidith, reproveth, censures, chides.
179 goostli, spiritual.
184 anoon, straightway; puplische, publish; peple, people.
186 sclaundrid, denied; Belsabub, Beelzebub.
187 flighes, flies.
189 werre . . . hous-meyné, worse shall they care to say to His household.
190 traveilid, burdened.
192 entent, meaning.
194 chare, drive away.
195 sclaundir for, slander.
196-97 durne . . . sclaundir, dare not act or speak for [fear of] slander.
197 that stonyen for, who are amazed because of.
198 noon, no one.
199 wel. . . woe, prosperity or in adversity.
202 clennes, purity; hard ever, ever heard.
206 lettid to, prevented from.
207 bileve, belief; opunli, openly.
208 Numeri, Numbers; rad, read; Heldad, Eldad.
209 Moises, Moses; Josue, Joshua, son of Nun.
210 grucchiden agens, grumbled against; mad his pleynt, complained.
211 enviouse for me, jealous on my account; werne, prohibit.
216 han sen, have seen; that . . . us, who does not follow us.
217 forboden, forbidden; Nile ye werne, Don't prevent.
218 dorne, dare.
218-19 thise . . . lawes, both these laws of God.
219 docke, cut short.
220 prive hem, deprive them.
221 sacren, bless; miche rather, much sooner (i.e., it would be much better).
225 kutting the sentence, severing the meaning; meneth, means.
227 Maister of Sentence, Peter Lombard, author of Sententiae.
228 deken, deacon.
230 acorden togider, agree.
236 efte, again.
238 that disturblen, who upset.
241 gilti, sinner.
242 ungroundid resouns, baseless arguments; sotil, subtle; foltid, foolish.
245 stroumpetis, strumpet's.
248 agen-stooden, stood against (opposed).
250 axe, ask; clepith, calls.
252 maistir liears, master liars.
255 marke, heed.
257 hoolis, holes; fadris, fathers.
258 Woo, woe.
259 see, sea.
260 helle . . . youre-silf, child of hell twofold more than yourselves.
261 unkunnyngnes, ignorance.
262 impunyng, slander; sotil ypocritis, subtle hypocrites; hastli, quickly.
263 batailes, battles.
264 hounger, hunger; pestelence, plague.
265 toforne, before.
266 cheef, leader; passingli, surpassingly.
269 agee, age.
269-70 worschipful . . . to, revered by.
271 lesing, lying.
273 goostli marchauntis, merchants of spiritual things; chaffare, deal, trade.
274 feyned, fraudulent; likerouse, (falsely) pleasant; bigilen, seduce.
276 bicause of wynnyng, for material gain.
277 Thomas Alquin, Thomas Aquinas.
278 so ferforthe, to such an extent.
278-79 agenstonding, opposing.
282 bie, buy; be. . . if, whether he is a bondsman or a free man, unless.
284 heere, hear.
285 clepid, called.
289 Who that ever, Whoever.
290 wyn, wine.
291 brymston, brimstone; aungelis, angels.
292 turmentrie, torment; stighe, rise.
295 vessellis . . . schepard, instruments of a foolish shepherd.
296 suffre, permit; rerid up, exalted.
297 neithir . . . scatrid, he shall neither seek those who have been scattered.
298 hele . . . sore, heal those who are injured.
299 ydole, idol; bischopis habit, bishop's clothes; lijf ne dede, way of life nor deed.
300 longith, pertains.
302 tookenes, signs.
304 cruet, vial; rewme, kingdom.
305 eeten . . . togidir, eat their tongues together; blasfemeden, blasphemed.
306 of her dedis, for their deeds.
306-07 That . . . mene, That means.
309 deliten hem, take delight; magnifiyng . . . tungis, glorifying with their tongues.
311 gendring, engendering.
313 medeful, commendable.
314 Lyncoln, Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln; ugli, terribly, sore.
315 peraventure, perhaps.
318 autorité, authority; oone acordaunce, unanimous agreement; sueth, follow.
319 sadli . . . bileve, anchored seriously in true belief.
321 cloutid . . . chanouns, rag-tag sects, such as monks, canons; venymous, poisonous.
322 thre . . . waried, three parts (i.e., monks, canons, and friars) are cursed.
325 Caym, Cain.
326 schadde, separated; mede, reward, bribery.
327 mendiners, mendicants, beggars; agenseiyng, denying, gainsaying.
328 maynteners, defenders.
329 destroied, destroyed.
335-36 turnyng . . . doome, conversion of men's hearts by His grace to His law shortly before His Judgment.
337 loore to Joob, lesson to Job.
339-40 alle men seing, in the sight of all men.
340 throwen . . . heedlingis, cast down headlong.
340-41 take . . . him, mourn for him.
341 wariyng, cursing.
343 Davith, David.
345 saughtis, assaults.
346 haunt, practice, use.
347 saught, onslaught.
350 fals . . . lawis, false lucre or laws for material gain.
352 spoile, despoil.
353 thise newe constituciouns, see note;enterditith, interdicts.
353-54 soumneth, indicts.
354 resceyvours, receivers; priveth, deprives.
355 heerars, hearers; goodis of hem, their goods.
356 yhe, yea.
359 saught, assault.
361 mawmentrie, idolatry.
362 wene, suppose; waried of, cursed by.
368 outrage, excess.
370 blindfelt, blindfolded; wlatith, loathes; mysdispendid, ill-spent.
374 herkneth, listens.
375 modir . . . aftir, mother tongue, to lead their lives according to.
376 sensuris, censures.
377 hirten hem, injure them.
378-79 refreyne and abregge, curb and restrict.
380 wole . . . knowith, will allow him (to do); who (i.e., God) knows; prove, test.
381 furneise, furnace, crucible; meyné, followers.
382 hardid, hardened.
384 sottith, becomes besotted.
386 aspiseth, spies out; over-lepith, leaps upon.
387 goostli, spiritually.
388 triste . . . trowing, trust and a belief.
393 wlank, flourishing; habunding of, abounding in.
394 bilden her nestis, build their nests.
401-02 hoolis . . . purchassen of, holes by the water's edge control.
402 either sighde hem, either side of them.
403 her thankis . . . it, voluntarily either destroy it or surrender it.
405 partise, parts.
407 whighlen . . . catel, wheedle for themselves much of their goods.
408 wonnen, acquired.
409-10 thise richessis . . . synne, these riches they abet unruly, bold, and lawless knaves who go after those who say anything against this cursed sin.
414 refute and vertu, refuge and power.
414-15 tribulaciouns . . . passingli, troubles, which have found us exceedingly.
416 whilis, whilst.
417 born over, transported; abaschid, dismayed.
418 confedrid to, allied with.
426 execute, carry out.
430 sheed out, shed.
431 dore birie, dare bury.
431-32 fleische . . . beestis, flesh to birds of the air and their carcasses to beasts.
434 lordschip, dominion.
434-35 rering . . . gynnes, mounting against them divers instruments.
435 reprofe, repudiation.
438 and elles, or else; saaf, saved.
439 Helie . . . Acab, Elijah (Vulg. Elias); Ahab (Vulg. Achab).
440 reyn, rain.
441 this thing, see note.
443-44 bisecheing, siege.
444 Josophus, Josephus.
447 Machabeies, Machabees.
448 feele sithis, many times.
449 outake, except.
456 pees, peace.
457 woodnes, madness.
458 schullen mowen, shall be able to.
459 dewe, due.
460 verry, true.
462-63 Blyndnes . . . partie, Blindness struck partly.
465 Ennok and Hely, Enoch and Elijah.
THE LANTERNE OF LIGHT: NOTES3 daies of greet tribulacioun. A frequent refrain in Wycliffite and anticlerical literature, but here there may be topical specificity as well, as suggested in lines 4-5 ("losse of worldli goodis and bodili peyne"). In 1409 Archbishop Thomas Arundel promulgated his Constitutions, which prohibited unlicensed preaching in English (statutes aimed at the Lollards). In a section of the Lanterne (LL) not printed in this volume, the author complains:
Agen this comaundement ["Thou shalt not kill"], the fende in his membris settith wacche and bisie spie where that he may fynde ony peple that wole rede, privé or apert, Goddis lawe in Englische, that is oure modir tunge. Anoon he schal be sumned to come aforne his juggis to answere what is seide to him, and bring his book with him; and eithir he must forsake his book and reding of Englische and algatis he schal forswere to speke of Holi Writ. (LL, ed. Swinburn, p. 100 [spelling normalized, punctuation altered])5 Due to the constraints of HTML, letters that were superscript in the paper volume are bracketed in the online edition. Thus, "Mat. xxiv[o]" originally read "Mat. xxivo."
6-8 Quoniam . . . charité of many. Matt. 24:12; in the Wycliffite translation: "And for wickidness schal be plenteous, the charite of manye schal wexe cold." A locus classicus for medieval discussions of the world grown old and the end of the world.
17 Inimicus . . . zizania. Perhaps a conflation of Matt. 13:25 ("Inimicus eius superseminavit zizania") with 28 ("Inimicus homo hoc fecit"). See Swinburn's Appendix to the EETS edition of LL, p. 141.
69-70 Anticrist is every man . . . agen Crist. The standard definition of "Antichrist in general" as opposed to the specific individual, the Antichrist, who will lead the forces of evil in the world's latemost days. On these definitions of Antichrist, see Richard K. Emmerson, Antichrist in the Middle Ages (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1981), pp. 62-73.
71 Forsothe, now ben many anticristis. 1 John 2:18, the locus classicus for medieval discussions of sin, Antichrist, and contemporary conditions. The passage was useful to those who would denounce rival Christian organizations, such as friars, or sects, such as the Lollards. The antichrists of 1 John were regularly explained as the hypocrites of Matt. 23 and the false prophets of Matt. 24. See Emmerson, Antichrist, p. 63.
75 Forsothe the chaff . . . quenchid. Matt. 3:12.
79-81 Every proud soule . . . fire. Isaiah 9:5.
82 In margin: Nota bene.
127-28 Seint Bernard . . . Lincoln. St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) and Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln (c. 1168-1253). There is a problem in these references since Bernard anachronistically quotes Grosseteste. Ironically, Grosseteste served as regent of the Franciscan school at Oxford (1229-35) and thus fostered the friars whom the author of LL deplores as one of the three "parties" of Antichrist. Grosseteste appears often in Lollard tracts because he opposed the power of the Roman church. Of him Ranulph Higden says, in John Trevisa's translation: "He sente to þe ferþe pope Innocencius a pistel scharp inow þat bygynneþ in þis manere: 'Oure lord Jesus Crist.' [He] sente þat pistel for þe pope greved þe chirches of Engelond wiþ taxes and wiþ paimentis undewe and uncustemable" (Polychronicon 7.37; Rolls Series 41 8:241).
193 eten a flighe. "Evidently a taunt brought against the Lollards by their enemies. They are looked upon as followers of Beelzebub, the god of flies, through whose agency they obtain their knowledge of God's law. To have 'eten a flie' is probably equivalent to being possessed by a devil. 'Fly' is used later by B. Jonson for a 'familiar demon' (1610)" (Swinburn).
208 Heldad and Medad. Numbers 11:26-29.
227 Maister of Sentence. Peter Lombard, author of Sentences (1152), an authoritative and systematic exposition of theology and doctrine which became standard in the schools.
231 discipulis in the margin; also, est forma presbiterorum not underlined in the manuscript.
245 A stroumpetis forhed. In margin: no[ta].
247 restiterunt. So the MS; Swinburn resistiterunt. In Wordsworth and White's edition of the New Testament Vulgate, the passage reads: "Quemadmodum autem Iamnes et Mambres restiterunt Mosi, ita et hi resistunt ueritati" (Novum Testamentum Latine secundum editionem Sanctii Hieronymi [Oxford: Clarendon, 1920]). In the Stuttgart Vulgate the passage reads: "quemadmodum autem Iannes et Mambres restiterunt Mosi ita et hii resistunt veritati" (Biblia Sacra iuxta Vulgatam versionem, ed. R. Weber [Stuttgart: Württembergische Bibelanstalt, 1969], vol. 2).
247-49 Right as Jambres and Mambres . . . truthe. 2 Tim. 3:8. Iamnes and Mambres (or Jannes and Jambres) were rabbinical names for Pharoah's magicians who opposed Moses and performed magic tricks (Exod. 7). William of St. Amour glossed these Old Testament magicians as types of the friars (Szittya, The Antifraternal Tradition in Medieval Literature, p. 218). See the antifraternal Upland's Rejoinder, lines 211-12: "Yee, Jamnes and Mambres japid not so the kyng, / As thou with thi cursid secte the kyng and the puple."
260 whanne . . . youre-silf. For a similar argument see UR, lines 257-63.
353 thise newe constituciouns. A reference to new statutes of 1409 formulated by Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury (chief architect of De haeretico comburendo of 1401).
388-89 Anticrist . . . mouthe. Job 40:18: "and he [Behemoth, which the Wycliffite author interprets as Antichrist] trusteth that the Jordan may run into his mouth."
390 chathidera. So MS; Swinburn emends to cathedra.
420-21 rapere . . . eum. Psalm 10 [Hebrew]:9: "to catch the poor, whilst he draweth him to him."
423-24 Faciat . . . occidantur. Apoc. 13:15: " . . . and should cause, that whosoever will not adore the image of the beast, should be slain."
441 this thing. That is, the three and a half year reign of Antichrist, figured in other scriptural occurrences.
444 Josophus. Flavius Josephus (A.D. 37?-100?), author of Antiquities of the Jews and Wars of the Jews.
465 Ennok and Hely. A scriptural tradition (based on Malachi 4:5) and a persistent medieval tradition was that Enoch and Elijah would return to convert the Jews just before "the great and dreadful day of the Lord." Both were considered godly men who, instead of dying, were taken up by God. See Emmerson, Antichrist, pp. 95-101.
(British Library MS Harley 2324 fols. 1v-4r, 5r-20v)
Go To Lo, He That Can Be Cristes Clerc
Return To The Table of Contents
This is the prolog
God that is good in Him-silf, faire in Hise aungelis, merveilouse in Hise
seintis, and merciful upon synners: have merci on us now and ever, and gyve us
grace to holde the weye of truthe in thise daies of greet tribulacioun. For now
manye that semeden to have be stable in vertu fallen from her holi purpose,
dredyng losse of worldli goodis and bodili peyne, as Crist seith (Mat. xxiv[o]):
Quoniam habundabit iniquitas, refrigescet caritas multorum. That is to seie:
"The greet plent‚ and habundaunce of wickidnesse schal kele or make coolde
the charit‚ of many." For now the devel hath marrid this world bi his leeften-
aunt Anticrist that men ben born aboute in diverse doughtis, as wawis of the see,
wrechidli dividid in wonderful opyniouns, iche neighbore with othir. But, Seint
Poul sett oon acorde in al Cristendom, and seith (Eph. iv[o]): Unus dominus, una
fides, unum baptisma. That is to seie: "Ther is but oo Lord that alle men
schulden drede and love; oo Feith that alle men schulden bileve withouten
chaungyng; oo Baptem or Cristendom that alle men schulden kepe withouten
defouling." Alas, hou is this oonhed or unit‚ broken, that men unrulid walken
aftir her lustis, as beestis in the corne! Certis, the wickid man that Crist spekith
of hath done this dede (Matt. xiii[o]): Inimicus homo superseminavit zizania. That
is to seie: "The enemy of God hath sowen taaris upon the seed" of Jesu Crist.
This wickid man is Anticrist, that clowtith his lawis as roten raggis to the clene
cloth of Cristis Gospel, and wakith in malise as Judas childe whilis Symon slep-
ith and takith noon hede. O thou wickid man! Is ther ony othir that may save
soulis than Crist Jesu? God seith bi the mouthe of Moyses (Deuto xxxii[o]): Per-
cuciam et ego sanabo et non est qui de manu mea possit eruere. That is to seie: "I
schal smyt, and I schal heele, and ther is non that mai skape fro myn hand."
Who hath the keies of Davith to opyn hevene gatis, and thanne noon othir
closith to close, and thanne noon othir opyneth? Seint Jon seith (Apoc. iii[o]):
Sanctus et verus habet clavem David qui aperit et nemo claudit, claudit et nemo
aperit. That is to seie: "Holi and trewe Crist Jesu hath the keie of Davith the
whiche opineth and noon othir closith, closith and thanne noon othir opineth"
- who dingeth doun and thanne no man rerith; who rerith, and thanne no man
dingeth doun. Job seith (xii[o]): Si destruxerit nemo est qui edificet; si incluserit
hominem nullus est qui apariat. That is to seie: "Whanne the Lord God hath
distroied, ther may noon othir bijlde; and whanne the Lord God stressith a man
in the prisoun, ther mai noon othir delyver him" ne quite him from hise
boondis. And therfore in the vertu of this name Jesu stondith al mannes salva-
cioun, as it is writen (Actus iv[o]): Nec enim aliud nomen est sub celo datum hom-
inibus unde oporteat nos salvos fieri. Seint Petir seith: "Ther is noon othir name
undir hevene gyven to men but this name Jesu, in the whiche it bihoveth us to
be made saaf," for oonli in vertu of this name cometh remyssioun of synnes, as
it is writen (Luc. xxiiii[o]): Oportebat predicari in nomine eius penitenciam et
remissionem peccatorum in omnes gentes. That is to seie: "It bihoved to be prechid
among alle folkis penaunce and remissioun of synnes in the name of Jesu." Art
not thou thanne a wickid man, a foultid schepard, a cruel beest, the sone of
perdicioun and Anticrist him-silf that pretendist in thee and in thi membris to
bynde and lose, to blesse and curse, biside this name Jesu? Peple withouten
noumbre, folowyng thee and thi divided lawis, ben dividid from Crist Jesu, and
gon with thee blyndlingis to helle for everemore. And this is greetli to sorow, so
ferforthe that Crist makith mornyng therupon and seith (Jon v[o]): Ego veni in
nomine Patris mei et non accepistis me; si alius venerit in nomine eius illum acci-
pietis. That is to seie: "I have comen in the name of my Fadir, and ye have not
taken me; whanne anothir cometh in his owene name, him ye schal take." And
this is Anticrist, as Seint Jon Crisostum seith upon this Gospel (Mat. xi[o]): Tu es
qui venturus es, an alium expectamus. For who that wole not resceyve Crist, in
peyne of synne he is compellid and constreyned to resceyve Anticrist. Therfore
in this tyme of hidouse derknes somme seeken the lanterne of light, of the
whiche spekith the prophete (Ps. cxviii): Lucerna pedibus meis verbum tuum. That
is to seie: "Lord, Thi word is a lanterne to my feet." For as fer as the light of
this lanterne schineth, so fer derkness of synne and cloudis of the fendis temp-
taciouns vanischen awey and moun not abide. And algatis whanne the lanterne
lightneth into the hert, it purgeth and clensith from corrupcioun; it swagith and
heelith goostli soris. As the wise man seith (Sap. xvi[o]): Neque herba neque mal-
agma sanavit illos, sed omnipotens sermo tuus, Domine, qui sanat universa.
That is to seie: "Neithir herbe ne plaistir hath helid hem, but Lord Thi mighti
Word that heelith alle thingis." For Lord whanne Thou diedist upon the Cros, Thou
puttidist in Thi Word the spirit of lijf, and gavest to it power of quickenyng bi
Thin owene preciouse blood, as Thou Thi-silf seist (Jon. vi[o]): Verba que ego
locutus sum vobis spiritus et vita sunt. That is to seie: "The wordis that I speke
to yow, thei ben spirit and lijf."
What is Anticrist in general with .VI. condiciouns
To speke in general, that is in moost in comune, Anticrist is every man that
lyveth agen Crist, as Seint Jon seith (Jon. ii0): Nunc autem sunt multi antichristi.
That is to seie: "Forsothe, now ben manye anticristis." And therfore seith Seint
Austin, "Who that lyveth contrarie to Crist, he is an anticrist, be thou withynne,
be thou withoute"; and thou lyve contrarie to Crist, thou arte but chaff, of the
whiche chaff Crist (Mat. iii[o]): Paleas autem conburet igni inextinguibli. That is to
seie: "Forsothe the chaff schal brenne with fire that mai not be quenchid"; for
it schal brenne and never quenche, and the soule that is chaff schal evere suffre
and never die. As the prophete seith (Isaie. ix[o]): Omnis violenta predacio cum
tumultu et omne vestimentum commixtum sanguine erit in combustionem et cibus
ignis. That is to seie: "Every proud soule that risith in swelling agens his God
and every-bodi that is defoulid in glotonye and in leccherie schal be in to sweyl-
ing, and mete of the fire." As if he schulde seie, The bodi and the soule damp-
ned schullen feed and norische the fire, the whiche schal evere brenne hem with
moost grevous peyne.
Six synnes ther ben agen the Holi Goost that turned the wrecchid soule in to
this chaff. But the philosophur seith: Nullum malum vitatur nisi cognitum. That
is to seie: "Ther is non yvel fled but if it be knowen"; and therfore we schullen
name hem in this litil tretise for the more lernyng of smale undirstondars.
The firste of thise synnes is presumpcioun. That is highe bolnyng of the spirit
withouten drede of Goddis rightwisenesse; and of this synne al manere malice
and wickidnes cacchith roote that regneth among mankynde in lewid or in
lerned. For the wise man seith (Ecc. i[o]): Qui non timet non poterit justificari.
"He that dredith not, he mai not be made rightwise." Forsothe in whom so that
this synne of presumpcioun hath noo lordschipe, in him the devel is overcomen;
for it is writen (Ecc. xv[o]): Qui timet Deum faciet bona. "He that dredith the Lord
schal do good thingis." And therfore seith the Holi Goost (Ecc. xxvii[o]): Si non
in timore Domini tenueris te instanter, cito subvertetur domus tua. That is to
seie: "But if thou holde the bisili in the drede of the Lord, thin hous schal soone
be turned upsodoun"; that is, thi bodi and thi soule schullen be turned from God
into the fendis service.
The secounde synne is desperacioun othir wanhope, that is, overe litil triste on
the merci of God. Seint Austin seith: Amare et timere sunt due janue vite.
"Drede of Goddis rightwisenesse and hope of Goddis merci ben twoo gatis of lijf," for
bi hem we entren here in to grace, and aftir in to blisse. As the prophete seith
(Ps. cxlvi): Bene placitum est Domino super timentes eum, et in eis qui sperant
super misericordia eius. "It is wel plesid unto the Lord upon hem that dreden
Him, and in hem that tristen on His mercy." And agenwarde, presumpcioun and
disperacioun ben twoo gatis of deeth, bi the whiche men entrien in to synne and
cumbraunce, and aftir in to the peyne of helle withouten ende. Seint Jon techith
us loore agen this synne, and seith (Jon ii[o]): Filioli mei, hec scribo vobis ut non
peccetis, sed et si quis peccaverit advocatum habemus apud patrem Jesum Christum
justum et ipse est propiciacio pro peccatis nostris. Non pro nostris tantum sed pro
tocius mundi. "Mi litil sones, thise thingis I write unto you, that ye synne not in
the synne of dispeire; but if it be so that ony of us have synned, we have avoket
anenst the Fadir Jesu Crist, oure just Lord, and He is the mercy-asker for oure
synnes, not oonli for oure synnes but also for the synnes of al the world." Jesu
is for to seie a Saviour in oure tung, for He hath plenté of medicyn to save all
mankynde if thei wolde take this medicyn and be saaf. For Gregor seith: Se
ipsum interimit qui precepta medici observare non vult. "He sleeth him-silf that
wole not kepe the biddingis of his leche."
The thridde synne is obstinacioun or hardnes of herte, the whiche wole not be
contrit for conpunccioun neithir be made softe with pité ne mevid with preiours
ne thretingis, and settith nought bi betingis. It is unkynde agen good dedis,
unfeithful to counseils, feeris and wood in doomes, unschamefast in foule
thingis; neithir feerful in perelis, neithir manful in manhod; foolhardi agens God,
forgetil of tyme that is passid, necligent in tyme that is present, not purveiyng
for tyme that is to cum. And schortli for to seie, this is that synne that neithir
dredith God ne schameth man. Thus seith Seint Bernard (v. distinccioun iiii[o]). A
medicyn for this hard herte techith Lincoln where he seith (diccio cvl): Cor
durum debet conteri in mortarialo petrino gravi pila. Mortarialum sunt vulnera
Christi, pila ex timore pene peccati. "An harde herte wolde be braied in a morter
with an hevi pestel. This morter is the bodi of Crist, hoolid or woundid in His
passioun; this pestel is the drede of dampnacioun, that folowith aftir this synne."
Thanne thus thou obstinat man, thou endurid man in synne, thou hard
hertid wrecche. Neighe thou to the bodi of Crist, and for drede of dampnacioun, con-
forme thee to Cristis passioun.
The fourthe synne is fynali inrepentaunt, that is, he that wole never do verri
penaunce but contynueli ledith his lijf aftir the desiris of his fleische, overcomen
with the fende and the fals world. For no man doth verry penaunce to God but
he that fulli leveth that synne, for the whiche he suffrith penaunce, thus seith
Seint Austin. But for thei holden it miche worschipe to write her names in the
erthe, thei maken a feyned schrifte to a prest, and taken part of sacramentis; thei
bilden chirches with other ournmentis, and fynden prestis to rede and syng; thei
releven the pore nedi, and menden placis that ben perilous; but stille thei lien
harde, congelid as froost, in oolde custum of synne. To thise unrepentaunt men
spekith Gregor moost scharpli in hise Pastorals upon this tixte (Mat. vi[o]): Nonne
anima plus est quam esca, et corpus plus quam vestimentum? "Whethir is not
the lijf more than mete, and the bodi more than clothe?" Upon this seith this
doctour: Qui cibum vel vestem pauperibus largitur et anime vel corporis iniquitate
polluitur quod magis est contulit culpe quod minus est contulit justicie, sua dedit
Deo, se ipsum diabolo. "He that gyveth mete or clothe to the pore nedi and is
pollutid or defoulid in wickidenesse of bodi and of soule, that thyng that is
moost he gyveth to synne, that thing that is leest he gyveth to rightwisenesse;
hise goodis he gyveth to God, him-silf to the devel, for he settith more prijs bi
worldli richesse than he doth bi the bodi or the soule, and loveth moost that
God loveth leest, wherfore his love is turned to hate. God hath govun to man
fyve preciouse giftis. The leest of alle is worldli goodis. Betir than thise is man-
nes bodi, that God hath dowid with kyndeli strengthis and grauntid in resoun to
use this world, him-silf to chastise, cloothe, and feede. Aboven thise tweyne is
mannes soule, that berith Goddis ymage and his licknes. Lord, what profite were
it to wynne this world and putt peirement to this soule? And the bodi is a wlat-
ful careyn whanne the soule is goo therfro. But Goddis grace passith thise thre;
for where this failith, no wisdam availith. Loke thise ben not mys-dispendid,
neithir worche oony thing biside ther ordir, but that thei strecche alle to oo
ende: to wynne the fifthe, that is the blisse of hevene for evere. Thou that
chaungist this ordir upsodoun, Seint Poul axith this questioun of the (Ro. ii[o]):
An divicias bonitatis eius et paciencie et longanimitatis contempnis? Ignoras quon-
iam benignitas Dei ad penitenciam te adducit, secundum autem duriciam tuam
et cor impenitens thesaurizas tibi iram in die ire et revelacionis justi judicii Dei
qui reddet unicuique secundum opera eius. "Whethir dispisist thou the richessis of the
goodnes and pacience and longabiding of thi God? Knowist thou not that the
goodnes of God ledith othir dryveth thee to penaunce? Forsothe, aftir thin
hardnes and thin unrepentaunt herte thou tresourist to thee wraththe in the dai
of wraththe, and schewing of rightwise jugement of God, that schal yelde iche
man aftir hise werkis."
The fifte synne is envie of thi brotheris grace, as whanne thi neighbour is wise,
wel governed, preisid or born up, riche, welthi, strong, faire, or vertuouse in
greet habundaunce of grace. Thanne this enviouse man sclaundrith, upbreidith,
reproveth, dispisith, hatith, and hyndrith, scorneth, and pursueth, to defoule and
waast his brotheris goodis that ben goostli gracis as miche as he mai. As the wise
man seith (Prov. xiiii[o]): Ambulans recto itinere et timens Deum despicitur ab eo
qui infami graditur via. "A man walking in the highe weie and dreding God is dis-
pised of him that walkith in the wrong weye." Whanne Jesu Crist kest out a
devel from a man that was doumb, as it is writen (Mat. xii[o], Marc. iii[o], Luc. xi[o]),
anoon this man bigan to speke to puplische this miracle among the peple.
Thanne Scribis and Pharises, enviouse sectis that weren a fals privat religioun,
sclaundrid that Crist wrought this miracle in Belsabub that was prince of develis.
Belsabub is to seie a god of flighes or ellis a god that makith discorde. Lord,
sithen thise sectis dursten seie thus to Crist, heed of mannis soule, hou miche
werre schullen they moun dore seie to Hise hous-meyné? Thus prelatis and freris
in thise daies ben traveilid with this synne agen the Holi Goost, and schamfulli
sclaundren her symple britheren that casten yvel maners from her soule or
prechen the Gospel to Cristis entent, to turne the peple to vertuouse lyvyng.
Thei seien this man hath eten a flighe that gyveth him lore of Goddis lawe. This
is more foule to eete a flie than to be a god and chare thise flighes. Thus han
they brought her malice aboute, to sclaundir for Lollardis that speken of God,
and dryven the peple from the feith that durne not worche ne speke for sclaun-
dir. But certis they ben not worthi Crist, that stonyen for barkyng of thise
houndis; for noon is worthi to be with this Lord, that schameth His servyse in
wel or in woo. And suche men schewen hem traitours to God, that with her
sclaundris hindren her britheren and seyn the fende mai and wil make wise hise
membris that serven him in synne; but so wole not Crist Hise loved servauntis,
that lyven in clennes to serve Him in vertu. O, I preie you, who hard ever a
fouler blasfemye? Certis, this dispit strecchith unto the godhed to be punischid
in the dai of Jugement. For Goddis lawe techith (Prov. iii[o]): Noli prohibere bene-
facere qui potest si vales et ipse benefac. "Forbede him not that mai wel do but if
thou mai do wel thi silf." That a prest schulde not be lettid to preche the
trouthe, ne Goddis peple to speke of her bileve, is opunli taught in the book of
Numeri xio. There it is rad that Heldad and Medad prophecied albeit that thei
weren not lisensid bi Moises. Josue, the mynyster of Moises and chosen of
manye, grucchiden agens thise men, and mad his pleynt to Moises; and Moises
seide, "Whi art thou enviouse for me, who mai werne that alle the peple proph-
ecie, and God graunt His spirit to hem?" This is confermed in the Gospel of
oure Lord Jesu Crist, bothe in Mark ix[o] and in Luc. ix[o]: "Magister, vidimus quem-
dam in nomine tuo demonia eicientem qui non sequitur nos et prohibuimus eum."
Jesu autem ait: "Nolite prohibere eum." Seint Jon evaungelist seide unto Crist:
"'Maister, we han sen a man casting out develis in Thi name, that sweth not us,
and we han forboden him. Forsothe Jesu seide: 'Nile ye werne him or forbeede
him."' Alas, how dorne oure bischopis, for schame, offende agens thise bothe
Goddis lawes, and docke her prestis on every side, to gyve hem a charge and
prive hem ther office! What is to be sett biforne the bodi of Crist that prestis
sacren? And sithen thei treten Cristes bodi, miche rather, seith Jerom, thei
schullen preche and blesse the peple (Hec. dist. 99[a]). But here the enemyes of
truthe objectun and leyn for hem Poul, where he seith (Ro. x[o]), Quomodo predic-
abunt nisi mittantur? "How schullen thei preche but if thei be sent?" With this
thei blynden mani folk, kutting the sentence from the wordis; for Poul meneth
that prestis schulde preche, for thei ben sent bothe of God and of the bischop
for to do that office. And the Maister of Sentence in his fourthe book and the
xxiiii. dist. seith: "It is the office of a deken to preche the Gospel; thanne bi
more strenger resoun it perteyneth to a prest." For Seint Jerom and Seint Beede
acorden togider and seyn: Sicut in forma apostolorum est forma episcoporum, ita
in septuaginta duobus discipulis est forma presbiterorum. "Right as in theapostlis
is the forme of bischopis, so in thre score and twelve disciplis is the forme of
prestis." But Crist gave charge bothe to thise bischopis and also to thise prestis,
and seide (Mat. x[o]): Ecce ego mitto vos. And Luc. x[o]: Designavit Jesus alios sep-
tuaginta duos et misit illos, etc. "Loo, I sende you as schepe among wolves."And
efte Jesu asigned threscore and twelve, and sent hem to preche. How schal thise
bischopis maynten ther constituciouns agens ther God and holi seintis? It schal
be more suffurable to Sodom and Gomor than to this peple, that disturblen
The sixt synne is fighting agens the truthe that a man knowith. That is, whanne
the truthe is tolde to the gilti, the whiche disposith him not to be amendid,
thanne he makith blynde ungroundid resouns with sotil argumentis and foltid
sophisticacioun, and dampneth the truthe agens his conscience with a boold
forheed that can not schame, as the prophet Jeromye seith iii[o]: Frons mulieris
meretricis facta est tibi, et noluisti erubescere. "A stroumpetis forhed is made
unto thee, and thou woldist not be aschamed." But as Poul seith (Thimo. iii[o]): Quem-
admodum Jambres et Mambres restiterunt Moisi, ita et hii resistent verit ati. "Right
as Jambres and Mambres agen-stooden Moises in the sight of Pharo, so thise
agen-stonden the truthe," corruptid men in ther mynde. And if thou wilt knowe
what thise men ben, axe Seint Peter and he wole telle thee; for he clepith hem
bi ther name in his epistil, where seith (II. Petir ii[o]): Magistri mendaces qui intro-
ducent sectas perdicionis. Seint Petir seith: "Thise ben maistir liears that schullen
bring in among the peple sectis of perdicioun," that is, of losse and deeth.
Though ye rise with Lucifer and make youre nestis among the sterris, from thens
ye schullen be drawen and throwen to the grounde. Whanne wole ye marke the
wordis of Crist that cursith you for youre apostasie, and for ye pullen as foxis to
her hoolis children from fadris? Crist seith to you (Mat. xxiii[o]): Ve vobis scribe
et pharisei, qui circuitis terram et mare, etc. "Woo to you, Scribis et Pharises, ypo-
critis, that cumpassen aboute the see and the lond to make you a novise, and
whanne ye han founden him, ye maken him helle broond double than youre-silf!"
As the unkunnyngnes of Pharoos philosophurs was made knowen, so the fals
impunyng of the truthe of thise sotil ypocritis schal hastli be made open. Alle
men take hede to thise sixe synnes, for thei ben cause of batailes, discenciouns,
hounger, pestelence, venjaunce, and of al maner of mischef; and at the laste thise
synnes ben cause whi soules ben chaff, as we seide toforne.
What is Anticrist in special with hise thre parties
But of the greet cheef Anticrist, that passingli and in special maner bringith
forth fals lawes agens Jesu Crist and pretendith him-silf moost hooli, thus tech-
ith the Lord God bi the prophete Isaie ixo: Longevus et venerabilis ipse est caput,
propheta docens mendacium, ipse est cauda. "A man of greet agee and worschip-
ful holden to the world, he is heed and cheef Anticrist; a prophete or a prechour
techyng lesing, he is the taile of this Anticrist." Of this taile spekith Seint Petir
more pleynli and seith (II Pet. ii[o]): Fictis verbis in avaricia de vobis negociabun tur.
That is to seie: "Thise ben goostli marchauntis that schal chaffare with the peple
in feyned wordis"; and with her sweet likerouse speche thei bigilen the hertis of
innocentis. For Jude seith ii[o]: Mirantes personas hominum questus causa. That
is to seie: "Thei schal worschip the persoones of men bicause of wynnyng." This
taile of Anticrist schal not preche freeli. Thomas Alquin seith (li[o]. VII[o]. ca. viii[o]):
"But for mammona iniquitatis -- that is, for coveitise -- so ferforthe crueli agen-
stooding the prechours of trouthe, that thei schul be holden in ther daies as
cursid of the peple." And Seint Jon evaungelist seith (Apoc. xiii[o]): Quod nemo
emet neque vendet nisi habuerit carecterem bestie. "Ther schal no man in that
tyme bie ne selle, be he bonde, be he free, but if he have the mark of the beest"
either in his forhed or in his right hond or ellis in noumbre; that is to seie, ther
schal no man preche Goddis word in thoo daies neither heere it but if he have
a special lettir of lisence that is clepid the mark of this beest Anticrist, or ellis
that thei maynten bi word or bi dede, or in bothe, that his lawe and his ordin-
aunce is good and trewe and worthi to be holden of the peple. But it is ferful
that folowith aftir (Apoc. xiiii[o]): Si quis acceperit carecterem bestie, etc. Seynt Jon
seith: "Who that ever worschipith this beest Anticrist, and takith this forseid
mark, he schal drink a draught of the wyn of Goddis wraththe, and he schal be
turmentid in fire and brymston in the sight of holi aungelis and in the sight of
the Lombe; and the smoke of her turmentrie schal stighe up in to the world of
worldis, that is, withouten ende."
Of this Anticrist God seith to the prophete Zachare xi[o]: Sume tibi vasa pas toris
stulti. That is to seie: "Take thou to thee the vessellis of a foltid schepard." For
loo, I schal suffre Anticrist to be rerid up in lond, the which schal not visite hem
that ben forsaken; neithir he schal seke hem that ben scatrid, neithir he schal
hele hem that ben sore. O, thou foltid schepard Anticrist! God seith thou art an
ydole havyng a bischopis habit but neithir vertu ne spirit, lijf ne dede, that
longith to a bischop. For Poul seith (Rom. viii[o]): Qui non habet spiritum Christi
nec est eius. "He that hath not the spirit of Crist, he is not His servaunt "albeit
that he have the outward tookenes; and therfore seith Seint Jon (Apoc. xvi[o]):
Quintus angelus effudit phiolam suam super sedem bestie, etc. "The fifthe aungel
pourid his cruet upon the seete of the beest, and his rewme is made derke; and
thei eeten her toungis togidir for sorow, and thei blasfemeden God of heven for
her sorowis and her woundis, and thei diden no penaunce of her dedis." That is
to mene archebischopis and bischopis ben the seet of the beest Anticrist, for in
hem he sittith and regneth over othir peple in the derknes of his heresie; and in
this thei deliten hem, magnifiyng with her tungis her fals ordinaunce, the whiche
is sorow to men of trewe undirstonding, and thus thei putten abak Goddis holi
lawe for prechyng of Cristis Gospel, the whiche ben sorowis to hem, gendring
synnes in her sowlis that wounden hem to the deeth. And thei thus woundid
schullen never do medeful penaunce of dedis, for the whiche thei schal be
dampned. Lyncoln seith: "I quake, I drede, and ugli I am aferde; but I dare not
be stille leste peraventure that sentence falle on me that the prophete seith
(Isaie. vi[o]): Ve mihi quia tacui. 'Wo to me, for I have stilled.' The welle, the
bigynnyng, and the cause of al ruyn and myschef is the court of Rome." Now bi
the autorit‚ of God and oone acordaunce of Hise holi seintis sueth an open
conclucioun, sadli groundid in trewe bileve, that in the court of Rome is the
heed of Anticrist and in archebischopis and bischopis is the bodi of Anticrist.
But in thise cloutid sectis, as mounkis, chanouns, and freris is the venymous taile
of Anticrist. Thise thre parties ben waried of the apostle Seint Jude, seiyng in
this forme (ca[o]. 1[o]): Ve qui in via Caym abierunt et in errore Balaam mercede
effuci sunt et in contradiccione Chore perierunt. That is to seie: "Woo to hem that
walken in the weye of Caym: thise ben fals possessioners. And woo to hem that
ben schadde out for mede in the errour of Balaam: thise ben mighti nedles
mendiners. And woo to hem that ben perischide in the agenseiyng of Chore":
thise ben proude, sturdi maynteners.
How this Anticrist schal be destroied God Him-silf techith bi the prophete
Daniel, and seith (ca.[o] viii[o]): Sine manu conteretur. That is to seie: "This Anti-
crist schal be destried withouten hand," that is, withouten power of man. For
Poul seith (II Thess. ii[o]): Antichristum deus interficiet spiritu oris sui et destruet
illustracione adventus sui. That is to seie: "Crist schal slee Anticrist with the
spirit of His mouthe, that is, with the holi word of His lawe. And the Lord schal
destrie him with schynnyng of His comyng"; that is, with turnyng of mennes
hertis bi His grace to His lawe a litil aforne His doome. But God taught more
pleynli this loore to Joob, and seide (Job xl. ca[o].): Ecce spes eius frustrabitur
eum et videntibus cuntis precipitabitur. "Loo," seith God, "that hope that Anticrist
hath in richessis and in worldli favour schal bring him to nought; and alle men
seing he schal be throwen doun heedlingis, so that alle the peple schal take a
weiling upon him with greet lamentacioun, wariyng him and dampnyng him with
alle hise fals ordinauncis.
What is Anticrist in special, with fyve condiciouns
But now at the last we schullen bring to mynde and to witnesse holi Davith
the kyng, that had yovun to him the ful spirit of prophecie; and he seing the
comyng of Anticrist, his lyvyng and his fal, markith fyve hidouse saughtis, the
whiche he schal haunt agen the servauntis of God. Ps. foure score and ten.
The first saught of Anticrist is constitucioun, as the prophete seith: Constitue,
domine, legis latorem super eos. "Lord, suffre thou to ordeyne a lawemaker
upon the peple," in peyne of her synne, for thei wole not consent to the trouthe. That
is thus to mene: Anticrist useth fals lucratif or wynnyng lawis as ben absoluci-
ouns, indulgence, pardouns, privelegis, and alle othir hevenli tresour that is
brought in to sale for to spoile the peple of her worldli goodis; and principali
thise newe constituciouns bi whos strengthe Anticrist enterditith chirchis, soum-
neth prechours, suspendith resceyvours, and priveth hem ther bennefice, cursith
heerars, and takith awey the goodis of hem that fortheren the precheing of a
prest - yhe, though it were an aungel of hevene - but if that prest schewe the
mark of the beest, the whiche is turned in to a newe name and clepid a special
lettir of lisence for the more blyndyng of the lewid peple.
The secounde saught of Anticrist is tribulacioun, as the prophet seith: Despicis
in oportunitatibus in tribulacione. That is to seie: "Anticrist vexith the peple
over might, in hunting hem on mawmentrie and doyng of ydolatrie; but ever Anticrist
maketh hem to wene that thei gon on pilgrimage and therfor he is waried of
God, that seith bi the prophete Isaye vo: Ve qui dicitis bonum malum vel malum
bonum, ponentes tenebras lucem et lucem tenebras, ponentes amarum in dulce et
dulce in amarum. That is to seie: "Woo to you that seyn good is yvel and yvel is
good, putting light in to derknes and derknes in to light, turnyng sweet in to
bittir and bittir in to sweet." And thus doth Anticrist whanne he transposith
vertues in to vicis, and vicis in to vertues, as pilgrimage in to outrage, and out-
rage in to pilgrimage. And for this weywarde entent God dispisith Anticrist with
alle hise blindfelt peple, and wlatith alle her mysdispendid goodis in her moost
The thridde saught of Anticrist is Inquisiscioun. As the prophet seith: Secun-
dum multitudinem ire sue non queret. That is to seie: Anticrist enquerith, sechith,
and herkneth where he mai fynde ony man or womman that writith, redith,
lerneth, or studieth Goddis lawe in her modir tung, to lede her lijf aftir the
plesing wille of God; and soone he caccheth hem in hise sensuris, and aftir
smytith as he mai moost grevousli hirten hem. But he schal not make this in-
quisisioun aftir the multitude or greetnes of his wraththe, for God schal refreyne
and abregge the powere of his malice, so that he schal no more do than God
wole suffre him; that knowith the mesure of hise dedis to prove hise servauntis
bi the furneise of penaunce acceptable, and Anticrist with hise meyné, thus
hardid in malice, inexcusable.
The fourthe saught of Anticrist is persecucioun, as the prophet seith: Insidiatur
ut rapiat pauperem. That is to seie: Anticrist sittith and sottith in pees of this
world with riche men in her dennes, but the pore, meke, symple, and loweli, hem
he aspiseth and pursueth; hem he over-lepith and over-renneth, raveisching hem
bothe bodili and goostli. For God seid unto Job xl:Habet fudiciam quod influat
Jordanis in os eius. Anticrist hath a triste and a trowing that Jordan mai flowe in
to his mouthe, and therfor he makith his dwelling place in the herte of the see.
As God seith bi the prophete Ezechiel xxviii[o]: In chathidera Dei sedi in corde
maris cum sis homo et non deus. Anticrist makith his boost and seith: "I have
sitten in the chaier of God in the herte of the see, whane thou art but a man and
not God but ever in wlank countré, fat and habunding of worldli goodis." There
Anticrist with hise clerkis bilden her nestis; and if thou loke uttirli aboute thee,
thou schalt fynde hem among woodis and watris. As Seint Jon seith (Apoc. xvi[o]):
Vidi de ore draconis et de ore bestie et de ore pseudoprophete spiritus tres im-
mundos exisse in modum ranarum. "I saw," seith Seint Jon, "out of the mouthe
of the dragoun (that is, the heed of Anticrist) and out of the mouthe of the beest
(that is, the bodi of Anticrist), and out of the mouthe of the pseudo-prophete or
fals precheour (that is, the taile of Anticrist) thre unclene spiritis to have passid
out in the maner of froggis. Froggis sitting in hoolis bi the watir-brink purchas-
sen of the ground aboven hem and on either sighde hem; but that that is undir-
nethen hem thei wole not her thankis neither leesen it ne loosen it. So thise thre
spiritis croking in coveitis, glotenie, and leccherie bitokenen Anticrist in hise
thre partise. For thei purchassen of lordis that ben aboven hem miche parte of
her good with the tung of flatering and feyned ypocrisie; and of the comunes
abouten hem, thei whighlen in to her handis miche parte of her catel. But that
that thei han wonnen thei holden fast agen the autorité‚ of bothe Goddis lawes;
and with thise richessis thei nurischen wilde, sturdi, and laweles highnen that
pursuen hem that wollen ought seie agens this cursid synne. But God in this
persecucioun thorugh his prophete counfortith hise servauntis and seith (Ps.
xlv): Deus noster refugium et virtus adiutor in tribulacionibus que invenerunt
nos nimis propterea non timebimus dum turbabitur terra, et transferentur mon-
tes in cor maris. That is to seie: "Oure God is refute and vertu; oure God is help in tribu-
laciouns, the whiche hath founden us passingli. Wherefore we schal not drede
whilis that men lyvyng aftir this world schullen be troublid, and hillis schullen be
born over in to the hert of the see"; that is, trewe men schal not be abaschid
though proud fleischeli men be confedrid to Anticrist and helpe him in his
The fifte saught of Anticrist is execucioun; as the prophete seith: rapere paup-
erem dum atrahit eum. That is to seie: Whanne Anticrist seth that he availith not
in thise forseid turmentis, thanne he executith his malice agens Cristis chosen.
To this acordith Seint Jon in his Apoc. xiii[o]: Faciat ut quicunque non adoraverint
ymagynem bestie occidantur. That is to seie: The beest of the erthe schal gyve
power to the beest of the see, for in this tyme of execucioun the viciouse parte
of the lait‚, fro the highest unto the lowest, schullen consent to execute the
wickidnes of this viciouse parte of the clergie. Thanne schal this prophecie be
fulfillid (Ps. lxxviii): Effuderunt sanguinem eorum tanquam aquam et non erat qui
sepeliret posuerunt morticina servorum tuorum escas volatilibus celi carnes sanc-
torum tuorum bestijs terre. "Thei schal sheed out innocent blood, and ther schal
no man dore birie ther bodies, for thei schal cast ther fleische to foulis of the
heire and her careynes to beestis of the erthe." Thanne seith the prophete: Cadet
cum dominatus fuerit pauperum. That is to seie, as seynt Austin declarith, whanne
Anticrist weneth that he hath lordschip overe alle the servauntis of God, rering
upon hem diverse gynnes of turmentrie, thanne schal he falle to open reprofe for
The ful tyme of Anticrist durith thre yeer and an half, but that the Gospel
maketh remyssioun and elles schulde not alle fleische be saaf. This tyme was
figurid under Helie the prophete and kyng Acab, that wickid man. There tellith
the stori that reyn was stoppid (III. Reg. xvii[o]) thre yeere and sixe monethes; that
no drope fel on the erthe. Seint Jame berith witnes of this thing in his epistil
canonysid. The fleeyng of David from Kyng Saule markith this thing, who-so
takith hede (I. Reg. xviii[o]) and rede that book to the last ende. Also the bise-
cheing of Jerusalem maketh knowen this tyme, as Josophus tellith. Daniel taught
this noumbre also, in tyme and tymes and half a tyme (Dan. vii[o]) -- and this is
thre yeere and an half, as Seint Jerom declarith in his book of seyntis. The
mighti Machabeies undir this noumbre made clene her temple; wherfore seint
Jon in his Apocalyps feele sithis rehersith this noumbre whanne he spekith of
Anticrist. And Crist kept this noumbre for tyme of his precheing, outake that
leest bi vertu of His passioun. Seint Jon Crisostum upon Mat. (Om. lvii[o) seith
thus: In tribus annis et sex mensibus hoc sacrificium christianorum tollendum est
ab antichristo fugientibus christianis per loca deserta non erit qui aut in eccle-
siam intret aut oblacionem offerat Deo. That is to seie: "Bi thre yeere and sixe
monethis the sacrifice of Goddis preising that schulde be in mannes mouthe, the
sacrifice of rightwisenesse that schulde be in mannes werkis, and the sacrifice of
pees that schulde be in treting of Cristis bodi, schal be taken awey from all
feithful thorugh strong woodnes of Anticrist; thanne schalle alle trewe Cristen
flee the face of Anticrist, so that noon schullen mowen entre in to the Chirche
to do dewe servyce to her God." Aftir this, peple schal turne hem with al her
herte, bothe Cristen and Jewis, to the keping of Goddis lawe and doing of verry
penaunce; as Poul seith (Ro. xi[o]): Cecitas ex parte contigit in Israel donec pleni-
tudo gencium intraret, et sic omnis Israel salvus fieret. That is to seie: "Blyndnes
fel partie in Israel until the tyme that plent‚ of hethen men schulde entre in to
Cristendom, and thanne in the ende of the world (that is, after the distruccioun
of Anticrist) al Israel schulde be mad saaf." No man loke aftir Ennok and Hely
in persoone, for thanne he mai lightli be bigilid; but in spirit and in vertu now
thei ben comen to make mennes hertis redi aforn Cristis doome. To whom be
glori now and evere. Amen.
Go To Lo, He That Can Be Cristes Clerc
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