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Homily 54, Nineteenth Sunday After Trinity


1 Nineteenth Sunday (after Trinity). The Gospel according to Matthew. In that time

2 Latin rubric (Matthew 9:1–8): And entering into a boat, he passed over the water [and came into his own city. And behold they brought to him one sick of the palsy lying in a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee. And behold some of the scribes said within themselves: He blasphemeth. And Jesus seeing their thoughts, said: Why do you think evil in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee: or to say, Arise, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then said he to the man sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house. And he arose, and went into his house. And the multitude seeing it, feared, and glorified God that gave such power to men.]

3 Lines 237–38: For he spilt the blood of all the children / in Bethlehem, who were without guilt


Abbreviations: MED: Middle English Dictionary; NHC: Northern Homily Cycle; NIMEV: The New Index of Middle English Verse, ed. Boffey and Edwards; OED: Oxford English Dic­tionary; Tubach: Index Exemplorum, ed. Tubach. For manuscript abbreviations (ED, A, D, G, L, V), see the Introduction.

Matthew’s account of the healing of a paralyzed man is both a testament to the faith of those who bring the man to Jesus and an acknowledgment of the tension between Jesus and the local authorities. The NHC-poet takes the scriptural text in rather different directions by first developing the metaphor of sin as a form of spiritual paralysis, and then elaborating on five reasons that God may deliberately visit humans with illness as a means of chastising or testing them. The first of the two very popular exempla that follow illustrates, through the story of Gregory’s prayers for the emperor Trajan, the power of Christian faith. The second, a demonstration of faith on the part of Alexander the Conqueror, is one of the most overtly anti-Semitic narratives to be found in NHC.

NIMEV 1521, 286; Manuscripts: A: fols. 206v–212v; G: fols. 136v–141v; D: fols. 197r–200r (begins line 55); L: fols. 58r–59v.

35 a clerk. There is no apparent use of Gregory or Bede for this homily, but the metaphor of the sea as the world and the ship as Holy Church was widely familiar. As Owst notes, “This developed nautical simile . . . has had a long and honoured career in medieval preaching,” adding that it is found at least as far back as the eleventh century in the preaching of Saint Anselm (Literature and Pulpit, p. 68).

42 wafulté. Cited in MED under wofulte, “misery, wretchedness,” where the only citation is from NHC. McIntosh suggests the meaning “woe,” noting further that it is not found in the OED and that woefulness is not recorded until 1513 (p. 208).

101–04 Dedes slye / Suld noght ger me bere me to hye; / My pride full wele chastisid es, / With prickinge of myne awne flehsse. These words are drawn from 2 Corinthians 12:7–9, where Paul alludes to the chronic physical ailment which afflicted him: “And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me. For which thing thrice I besought the Lord, that it might depart from me. And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (emphasis added).

121 Moyses sistir. “And Mary and Aaron spoke against Moses” (Numbers 12:1). Mary (called Miriam in the modern Bible) is indeed punished by God with leprosy for her act of rebellion; when Aaron beseeches Moses, who subsequently prays to the Lord on Mary’s behalf, God replies by saying that she must be separated for “seven days without the camp” (Numbers 12:14). Mary is further identified in Exodus 15:20 as Aaron’s sister and a prophetess.

138 Jobe. Satan, in the Book of Job, complains that Job is good only because God has protected him from harm: “But stretch forth thy hand a little, and touch all that he hath, and see if he blesseth thee not to thy face. Then the Lord said to Satan: Behold, all that he hath is in thy hand: only put not forth thy hand upon his person” (Job 1:11–12).

145 Saynte Thobie. “And as he was sleeping, hot dung out of a swallow’s nest fell upon his eyes, and he was made blind” (Tobias 2:11). The Book of Tobias, now found in the Apocrypha, characterizes Tobias as a good man who is persecuted as an example for posterity of patience. He makes the mistake, initially, of angering King Sennachedrib by burying the bodies of Israelites whom the king has slain. After being blinded, Tobias is supported by his wife Anna who “went daily to her weaving work” until, eventually, Tobias’ sight is restored along with everything else that had been taken away from him by the king.

173 Saynte Lazere. The raising of Lazarus can be found in John 11:1–45.

209 reevelie. This odd spelling could be taken to denote reuli, “sorrowfully,’’ or ryfly, “commonly.” Since G has ryfly, “commonly” and D has comonly, the second meaning seems more likely.

213 Erode. The story of Herod’s ghastly end is told at some length by Josephus, but is also briefly noted in Acts 12:21–3: “And upon a day appointed, Herod being arrayed in kingly apparel, sat in the judgment seat, and made an oration to them. And the people made acclamation, saying: It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And forthwith an angel of the Lord struck him, because he had not given the honour to God: and being eaten up by worms, he gave up the ghost.”

223 hoghyle bones. Not found in MED as such. McIntosh compares it to hough n. (2), “hip” and hokebon, “hip” (p. 200).

287 Ane empoure was wonand in Rome. Tubach 2368: Gregor, Pope, and Trajan. Accord­ing to Gaston Paris (Whatley, “Uses of Hagiography,” p. 25n2), the ultimate classical source for the famous tale of Gregory’s compassion for the pagan emperor Trajan may have been Dio Cassius. In any case the narrative was fixed in its basic form by the eighth century, and it is already found at that time in England, in the earliest life of Gregory by a monk of Whitby. The many medieval versions include those of John the Deacon, Peter Abelard, John of Salisbury, Dante, Langland, and Wyclif, each with its own very different interpretation. Some of these focus on Trajan’s justice as emperor, while others emphasize Gregory’s power and compassion, and still others express admiration for the pagan past. Some versions also bring Trajan back to life so that he can repent and believe. For Dante, Langland, and Wyclif the tale becomes a complex meditation on Christianity, set against the background of the “just pagan.” The NHC-poet not only eschews any of this complexity, he omits the entire first part of the story, in which Trajan is accosted by a tearful widow demanding justice for the murder of her son. In the poet’s hands the exemplum becomes a simple demonstration of the value of trouthe or “faith,” and, unlike some of the above-mentioned versions, Trajan’s salvation, as a consequence of Gregory’s prayer, is not in doubt. For the above information as well as further insightful com­mentary on the Gregory/Trajan material, see Whatley (“Uses of Hagiography”).

329 God of Hevene a folk him chese. Tubach 147: Alexander, walls in Jews. This exemplum is descended from pseudo-Calisthenes’ legendary Greek history of Alexan­der (c. 200 CE), which reports on Alexander’s building of an iron gate to shut in the tribes of his enemies, Gog and Magog, variously identified throughout history with Turks, Huns, Tartars, and Mongols, among others (the names are also found in the Old Testament books of Genesis and Ezechiel). The account found in Peter Comestor’s twelfth-century Historia Scholastica, which replaces Gog and Magog with the tribes of Israel, proliferated in many forms throughout the Middle Ages, including the Speculum Historiale of Vincent of Beauvais, as well as such later works as Higden’s Polychronicon and Mandeville’s Travels. As Christendom increasingly came under threat in these later times, the story’s power and popularity doubtless derived in part from the assurance of a final victory over its perceived enemies and the might of the Anti-Christ (see Anderson, Alexander’s Gate, passim).

416 theine. According to MED, a Northern form of thine, “from that place,” and a shortened form of the adverb thethen.

421 Antecriste. Details regarding the figure of the Antichrist occur chiefly in post-biblical literature, although the book of Apocalypse abounds in images sugges­tive of the time of the Antichrist. The name itself occurs only in the epistle of John, as, for example: “Little children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are become many Antichrists: whereby we know it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18).


For manuscript abbreviations (ED, A, D, G, L, V), see the Introduction.

34 Als man . . . saye. Expanded according to previous occurrences.

69 sinfull. D adds man after this word, which is slightly better metrically, but the meaning of A’s line is clear without emendation.

90 MS: Two lines resulting from eyeskip have been canceled following this line: The tother resoune whi sinfull mane / Es oft with seknes gasteli tane, with gasteli replaced at end of line by greteli. See lines 107–08.

94 MS: Forthi es gude, written as catchwords at lower right margin. gude is an unusual spelling for God, which is the intended meaning as line 95 makes clear.

102 MS: A second noʒt has been canceled following the second me.

221 full. So G. MS: foule.

228 Als he toward his dede drewe. MS: Following this line the scribe has canceled a line mistakenly repeated from line 219, above: He was so roten and stinkand.

250 The tother es sinne for to wreke. MS: Þe toþer es ffor to wreke.sinne, with a caret to indi­cate the proper position of sinne.

287 A tale. MS: written in the right hand margin, possibly in a different hand.

327 Yit will I more of trouthe yow tell. MS: there is a large paragraph marker at the left margin, not a common practice of this scribe, presumably to indicate the beginning of a second exemplum.

360 paynim. MS: payni. Compare D, line 356: þat ferth beʒonde payneme is. G reads Surry instead of paynim.

446 Amen. Slightly larger and in a different hand.
Dominica xix. Evangelium secundam Matheum. In illo tempore:1

Ascendens Jhesus in naviculam transfretavit etc2

























































































   In oure Gospell of Saynte Mathewe,
That Cristes dedes will us schewe,
He saise that Criste schippid over a se,
And come into his awne cité.
And men broght before him a man,
That in parlsy was taken than,
And sone when Criste thaire trouthe sawe
To thaim he wald his might knawe.
And sone he spak full myldelie,
To him that laye in the parelsy:
“Mi sonne,” he saide, “thou trowe on me —
All thi synnes er forgiven thee.”
The wickid Jewes that stude thareby,
Thoght of his wordis hetheli,
Thare he saide to that seke mane:
“Thi synnes er forgiven ilkane.”
Forthi he saide to ger yow se,
That mannes sonne hase pousté
In erthe, for to forgive clenlie
All mannes synne thorghe his mercie.
Than saide Criste to that seke man,
Before the Jewes everilkane:
“Ryse uppe thou seke, all hale and strange;
Bere forthe thi bed and hame thou gange.”
And this sekeman rase uppe all hale,
And felid him botid of all his bale.
He toke his bedde and forthe he yede,
And Criste was loued for his gode dede;
For all the folk that stode aboute,
That sawe this ferli had grete doute
And saide, “God blissid mote thou be
That hase given man so grete pousté.”
This es the Gospell of todaie.
Als man in Ynglihsse tonge mai saye.

   Apon this Gospell spekes a clerk,
That mikil couthe of Goddes werk:
That be the se will he undirstand
This werld with sorow flowande,
And be the schippe that Criste in rade,
Hali Kirk that Criste hase made,
To ger man passe this werldes se,
Flowand with pride and wafulté.
For als a schippe fletes on the flode,
So Hali Kirk with costis gude,
Fletes aboven this werld that flowes
All ovre thaim that tharein rowes,
With flehssli lust and covetise,
With okirynge and fals marchandise,
With glotonye and synnes ma,
Bot Hali Kirk flees all this wa.
And passis qwite withouten synne,
To that blisse that may noght blynne.
I call thaim lymes of Hali Kirk,
That hase gude will gode werkes to wirk.
In this schippe passit Criste the se,
And come into his awne cité,
When he thorghe hali mannes prayere,
Makes sinfull mannes saule hale and fere;
For mannes saule es his cyté,
For thare thinkis him gode to be,
Evermore wones he tharein,
Whyles man es oute of dedeli synne.
Bot dedeli synne drivis him thare fra,
And takes in Sathanas his fa.
He hase full unceli rest,
That gestnes swilk a foule gest.
Bot als sone als man him schrives,
The foule fende fro him he drives.
Bot maye no sinfull so do,
Bot if Criste gasteli come him to,
And ger him schrive him openlie,
And hele his saule of parelsye.
For als thou seis, that maladi
Combirs the lymes of mannes bodye;
So combirs dedeli synne oure gastis,
For all oure sawlis strenghe it wastis,
And geris oure gaste so combird be,
That it maye nouthir here ne se.
For prechoure lare may it noght lere,
Bot Criste make it hale and fere,
And drawe mannes hert to repentaunce,
And sithen eftir to penaunce.
This es the helinge of parlsye,
That es dedeli synne gastelye.
Yit will we se wharefore and whi,
That this man fell in the parlsye,
And whi that God tholis many ane,
For to be with sekenes tane.
For fyve enchesones es man seke:
The first es for to make him meke;
Bot if that man umstont seke ware,
Ovre proudeli wald he fare,
And lat hetheli of febil and waike,
And give his hert to sinful layke.
Forthi es God full gode and wyse,
That man with sekenes will chastise.
Saynte Paule forsothe was thus chastiste,
That es full wele with Jesu Criste;
For he saise a worde in his sermoune,
That mikel comfortes oure resoune.
Forthi he sayse that “Dedes slye
Suld noght ger me bere me to hye;
My pride full wele chastisid es,
With prickinge of myne awne flehsse.”
Als who saie, lust makes me full seke,
And geres my hert be full meke.
The tothir resoune whi sinfull mane,
Es oft with sekenes greteli tane,
That es to warne him of his synne,
And ger him have will thareof to blynne.
For if man umstonte seke ne ware,
He walde do synne aye mare and mare,
And forget God Allmightie,
And of his awne saule late hetheli.
Forthi hase God of him mercye,
And sendes sekenes in his bodie,
And punihsses him with hard thrawes,
Wharethorghe his synnes he wele knawes,
And amendes wele his lyve,
For sekenes geres him his synne schrive.
Moyses sistir thorghe this resoune,
Was made unhale fro the fote to the croune,
For scho grucchid agayne Moyses,
Als in the Bibile writen es.
For God himself all tho men hates,
That grucchis agayne thaire prelates.
That was on Moyses sistir sene,
That spak of Moyses wordes kene,
And demid him behind his bak.
Forthi oure Lorde hir pride brak,
And gert hir fall in leprousnes,
For hir grucchinge agayne Moyses.
The thrid resoune whi that man es
Umstont chastisid wth sekenes,
Than es to ger him have more mede
In hevene for his awne dede.
Apon this wise tholid God Sathanase
To fande Jobe that rightwise wase.
The fende him fandid with seknes,
For to prove his tholemodenes;
And for he tholid his fandinge wele,
Oure Lorde doubild his catelle,
And gave him more werldes blisse,
And hevenerike thare he now is.
And Saynte Thobie on this manere
Was fandid fulli fyvetene yere,
That was with swalow filthe made blynde,
Als we in the Bybile fynde.
And his wife with wefeynge him fedde,
Five wyntir liggand in bedde;
And noghtforthi oure Lorde of Hevene,
Sende him eftir swilk godes sevene,
Als ever yitte he sent him are,
And mikil bettir gert him fare,
And gave him at his endinge daie,
The joye that lastis evermore and aie.
Forthi when the fende us fandes,
Or when we lye in Goddes bandes,
We awe to thank God Allmightie,
That will with sekenes us chastie.
For God that man lufis allthir best,
That sekenes here suffirs strangest.
Bettir it is God chasti us here,
Than ever in hell the fendes fere,
For in hell es no mercye,
Bot waa and sorowe aie redie.
The ferthe resoune wharefore and whi,
That man es seke in his bodie,
Than es to ger man loue in lede
Goddes might and his Godhede.
For we looue God als gude right es,
When we er helid of oure sekenes.
So did the Jewes for Saynte Lazere,
Als saynte Jone saise, the Gospellere;
For Criste him raisid on the thrid daie
Fro dede, in the toumbe thare he laie.
Oure Lorde tholid him for to drye
Hard sekenes, and sithen dye,
For to ger the Jewes se,
Cristis might and his pousté,
For to looue God for his qwiknynge,
For his might es ovre all thinge.
When Criste had raisid him fra the dede,
Full yerne the folk than in that stede
Looued God with full loude crie,
For that thai sawe he was mightie.
In many other stede we finde,
That deeve men, doumbe, and blinde
Ware helid, and for thaire helinge,
Men loouid God als Mighti Kinge.
The fift resoune wharefore and whi,
That man es pyned in his bodie,
Than es us all for to kenne,
That thai er full unceli men,
That es so rutid in thair synne,
And gose so forthirli tharein,
That God tholis rightfullie,
The fende to have of thaim maistrie;
That he in wanhope geres thaim fall,
That es the werst synne of all.
And when that thai er thider lopen,
Than hase the fende thaire saules dropen,
With wannehope so wrichidlie,
That thai maye never fynde mercie.
For aye the more synne that thai do,
The frehsser er thai aye thareto;
Thus er thai redie to do ylle,
And to fullfill the fendes wille.
Bot swilk men full reevelie,
Er pyned here in thaire bodie,
And sithen in hell with the fende,
Thare thai sall dwell withouten ende.
Als was Erode that corsid kinge,
That yode to hell at his endinge.
And here he tholid noghtforthi
So strange sekenes in his bodie,
That wormes and mawkes in him grewe,
When he toward his dede drewe.
He was so roten and so stinkand
That might no man wele be him stand.
Of foule wormes full was his bouke
And more pyne might no man brouke.
His hoghyle bones gon brist oute,
And mawkis crewlid him aboute,
For he soght Jhesu Criste to qwell,
And in his dedes was he so fell,
That he his awne childir slewe,
Als he toward his dede drewe.
And he did other wickid dedes
That geres him now brin in hell gledes;
An thus toke God on him vengeaunce,
For he had never repentaunce,
Forthi his pyne and his sekenes,
Come all of Goddes rightwisnes;
For to the fende he was betaht,
When he agayne Jhesu faght,
For all the childir blude he spilt,
In Bethleem withouten gilt;3
And sowght ymange thaim Criste to sla,
And forthi wellis he now in wa.
His pyne began in his lyve,
And now in hell with mikil strive,
Thare he sall dwell withouten ende,
In lastand pyne with the fende.
“Allas,” maye he saie, that he was borne,
For ever and aie he es forlorne.
Now have ye herd thir resounes fife,
Whi men er seke here in this live:
The first es mannes pride for to breke,
The tother es sinne for to wreke,
The thrid to ger man have more mede,
The ferthe to looue God in lede,
The fift thaire pyne here to beginne,
That of thaire synnes will nowyse blynne,
And sithen eftir withouten ende,
To wone in hell with the foule fende.
Bot that man that in parlesi fell,
Of whaim spekes oure Gospell,
Was chastisid for his awne folye,
When he fell in parlesye.
And when he was ynoghe chastyste,
Oure Lorde Jhesu him wariste,
Als ye herd me langare saye,
In oure Gospell of todaie.
Bot we will now loke forthirmare,
What may be undirstanden thare,
Thare oure Gospell will us schawe,
How that Criste gon thaire trouthe knawe,
That broght this seke man him to,
This ilk o worde will I undo:
Oure Gospell saise that Jhesu Criste
This sekeman of parlesy wariste,
When he sawe thaire will and thoght,
That this seke man before him broght.
Be this a worde may we se right,
That trouthe es of so mikil might,
That if a man ask a bone tharein,
And he be oute of dedeli syn,
He maye be siker to have that bone,
If resoune will that it be done.
And if he ask unskilfullie,
Yitte God of him will have mercie,
And ger him witte on whatkin wise,
That his askinge es unrightwise.
That may I schew yow be a tale,
That I to yow now tell sale.

   Ane empoure was wonand in Rome,
That was rightwise in his dome.
He was callid Sir Trajane —
Allas, he dyed a hethen mane.
He was full of debonerté,
And full of mercye and pité,
Bot for he dyed sarezyne,
His saule yode unto hell pyne.
Allas, allas, that swilk a kinge
Suld go to hell for missetrowynge.
Many wyntir thareeftir come
Saynte Gregore, the pape of Rome,
And passid before the emperoure gate,
And thare full sare gon he grate,
For he herd speke of his godenes,
Of his rewthe and rightwisnes;
Forthi he had so grete pité,
That swilk a kinge suld dampnid be,
That he prayed for him and saide, “Jesus —
Thow have mercie of Trajanus,
And bringe his saule oute of hell,
And late it noght tharein lange dwell.”
He knelid before the hali awtere,
And als he made his prayere,
He fell on slepe and als he laie,
He herd ane aungel to him saie:
“Thi Lorde Criste hase grauntid thee,
That Trajane may borowid be,
Bot luke thou praye namare for nane,
That to the pyne of hell es gane;
For unskilwise es swilk prayere,
It es noght right that God it here.”
Here may ye here what trouthe may do,
To man that gives him all thareto:
Forsothe he getes his boone in haste,
That in right trouthe es stedefaste.
And if he praie unskilfulli,
Als did the Pape, Saynte Gregorie,
Aye sall his prayere and his bede
Stande him in full mikil stede.

   Yit will I more of trouthe yow tell,
If ye will listene and here mi spell.
God of Hevene a folk him chese,
Als in the Bybile writen es.
In thaire lede thai ware Jewes callid,
And for Goddes folk ware thai talde.
Of twelf brethir had thai kynde,
Bot thaire insight was aye so blynde,
That Goddes might wald thai noght knawe,
For all the wondirs that thai sawe.
God thorghe a se thaim drie fote ledde;
And sithen in wildirnes thaim stedde,
And fourty wyntir with manna fedde,
And aie in newe clothis thaim cledde,
And made thaim balde in all thaire mode,
Yit did thai evyle agaynes Gode.
For fals goddes honourid thaie,
And tenid God and did him traie,
And other synnes did thai mo,
Wharethorghe thai tholid mikil wo.
Now ware full lange all for to speke,
What schame thai tholid, what wo and wreke;
For als oft als thai God forsoke,
Als oft he vengeaunce on thaim toke.
Forthi of thaim I will tell here,
Thinge that touchis oure matere.
The kinge of Babyloines toune,
Had mani Jewe in his baundoune,
And flemid thaim into wyldirnes
For thair synne and wickidnes.
And sithen he gert comaunde and crie,
That none of thaim ware so hardie,
To passe oute of that wildirnes,
That fer beyonde the paynim es.
That wildirnes als the boke us telles,
Es loken aboute with hye felles.
Many wyntir eftir this fare,
The Kinge Alisaundir come thare,
When he had all this werld conquerde,
And all folk ware for him ferde.
Thir forsaide Jewis that wonid thare,
Praiede the kinge with swete sware,
That he wald give thaim leve to gange
Oute of that wildirnes so strange.
He askid thaim, als the boke us telles,
Whi thai ware pyndide in tha felles.
A man answerd unto the kinge,
All the matere of thaire speringe:
Forthi that thai oft God forsoke,
And to mawmetrie thaim toke.
He saide, “Thai have unkynde ay bene,
And that on thaim oft hase bene sene.
Thaire God hase done for thaim wele mare
Than he did for ani folk are,
And thai have done ylle agayne,
And to thaire Lorde bene unbayne.”
When Alexandir this worde herd,
Unto the Jewes he thus answerde:
“Sithen ye have youre God forsaken,
And to fals mawmetes hase you taken,
I sall fande to spere yow mare,
Or ever that I hethen fare.”
He gert full sone do call werkmen,
And ger thaim wirk in claye and fen,
And masones wroght thare many ane,
For to make walles of lyme and stane,
For to hald thir Jewes tharein,
And that thai suld nevir mare oute wynne.
All that thai made on daie with might,
Fell doune agayne apon the night.
Forthi the kinge was wondir wrathe,
That he might nanegate halde his athe;
And when he sawe that swilk travayle,
Ne na mannes laboure might avayle
To do his langinge and his will,
Na that werk for to fullfill,
He knelid doune on his knees thare,
And prayed God with mylde fare:
He suld fullfill his langinge
And ilk fell to othir bringe.
And als swith als he had praied,
The huge hye fellis that wyde ware strayed,
Ware so fast togider fest,
That northe ne southe, este ne west,
May noght passe oute of that lande,
Bot if it be the foule flyande.
And yitt thaire kynde dwellis thare
And so thai sall do evermare
Till agaynes Domesdaie;
Than sall taie all theine straye,
In many landes than sall tay wende,
The Cristen folk for to schende.
For ovre all where thai ga,
Cristen folk sall thai sla.
Thai sall ressaive Antecriste,
And trow that he es verraie Criste;
And sone eftir comes Domesdaie,
Als we in prophecie here saie.
All this tale I have you talde,
To ger yow in youre hertes halde,
That all that Cristen men will crave,
In stedfast trouthe thai sall it have.
That may ye se wele be this kinge,
That for his trouthe had his askinge,
And yit was he a hethen man.
And thareby may ye se wele than,/nobr>
That Cristen men aght mikil mare,
His askinge have if it right ware.
For thir sarzynes trowes noght,
That Jhesu Criste on rode thaim boght.
Forthi behoves ilk Cristen man,
That Goddes mark hase on him tane,
Wanhope oute of his hert cast,
And in right trouthe be aye stedfast;
For God maye he noght elles paie,
Ne no gude praiere make he maye.
Oure Lorde lene us grace to trowe,
So that it may be for oure prowe.
Amen, amen, saye we all sammen,
That we may come to joye and gammen. Amen.

make known

believe in me


every one

each one of

Carry; go home

healed; ailment


miracle; awe


(see note)

rode in

pass over
misery; (see note)
floats; ocean





away from there

Unless; spiritually



teaching; learn [from]
healthy and strong


be scornful
pleasures; (t-note)

clever; (see note)
bear myself too proudly; (t-note)

In other words


admonish him against

be scornful


(see note)


religious leaders
demonstrated through Moses’ sister
about; sharp


tempt; who was righteous; (see note)

try; patience
because he endured; temptations

Kingdom of Heaven
Tobit; (see note)

swallow droppings

supported him by her weaving

seven times as much


For God loves best of all that man


ever present

praise among the people

Lazarus; (see note)


praise; bringing to life

eagerly; place

deaf; mute


So that; despair


more eager

commonly; (see note)


Herod; (see note)


next to
belly; (t-note)
hip; burst; (see note)


death approached; (t-note)

burn; coals

given over




avenge; (t-note)

in no manner

look further [into]


very same one; explicate


make a request




dwelling; (see note); (t-note)


because; pagan




compassion; righteousness



see that you; no one


gives himself altogether


Be of advantage to him

(see note)

They were descended from twelve brothers
Despite; miracles
sea; dry shod

brave at heart

angered; betrayed him

Because of which
it would be

is germane to our subject

Because of

heathen lands; (t-note)

surrounded by hills
these events

afraid of him





in return

attempt; enclose
Before; hence go

clayey soil; marshland

So that; escape

in no way keep his promise

carry out; desire


each hill


flying birds
still; descendants

away from there, wander; (see note)
shall they wander

(see note)
believe; true

hear spoken


[it] behooves

[to] cast


delight; (t-note)

[Homily 55 not included in this edition. See Explanatory Notes.]

Go To Homily 56, Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity