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And in another place, Deut. vi. God saith, These words which I command to thee this day, shall be in thine heart, and thou shall tell them to thy sons, and thou shalt think on them, sitting in thine house, and going in the way, and sleeping and rising. : And thou shalt bind them as a sign in thine hand, and they shall be betwixt thine eyes, and thou shalt write them on the lintels and door-posts of thy house. That is, thou shalt rule all thy thoughts, words, and deeds, secret and
open, within thy house and without, by the commandments of God. Keep thyself and thy soul carefully; nor forget thou the words which thine eyes have seen, and let them not fall from thine heart, in all the days of thy life. Thou shalt teach them to thy sons and to those that are near to thee. And St. Augustine saith to all christian men, Govern ye your houses, govern ye your sons, govern ye your household attendants. As it pertains to us to speak to you in the church, so it pertains to you to do in your
houses ; that ye yield good reason to God, of them that are subject to you. St. Paul saith, He that hath not care of his own, and most of his own household, hath denied the faith, and is worse than a heathen man. Therefore let each man first learn and do in deed himself, and after that excite and move others to keep these commandments.
[Wickliff then exhorts men, not“ to be negligent to learn, for dread of the sentence that God saith in his law." He quotes at length Deuteronomy xxviii., and adds,] That all men and women may have grace truly to keep the commands of God, and therethrough flee these curses, and have these blessings ; and ever to be above in virtue, and never under in sin, and after that, to reign above in everlasting bliss, grant, Jesus Christ, that bought man with his heart's blood, merciful God. Amen.
All these ten commands of God are contained in two words of love—that is, To love God above all things, and thy fellow. christian as thyself. For he that loveth God above all things, will worship no God but one, and he will hallow his holy day, for every day he will live holily, and out of great sin. For certain, every day that a man liveth in deadly sin, is the devil's work day, for the day man doeth the devil's works, he serveth the devil and not God, though he sing, preach, or read holy words. And he will not take God's name in vain; for he who loveth God above all things, will do nothing that God forbiddeth him. And he who loveth his fellow christian as himself, keepeth the other
do to you,
commands; for ne reverences his elders and all his fellow christians. And he will not slay his fellow christians in any manner, nor commit lechery, and he will not be a thief to rob his fellow christian, by any deceit or taking of his goods against his will. And he that loveth his fellow christian as himself, will not bear any false witness, and he will not covet his neighbour's house, nor land, nor wife, nor servant, nor any other goods that he owns. Thus the ten commands of God are kept in these two words of love. Therefore saith St. Paul, Whoso loveth, fulfilleth all the law. Whoso loveth God over all things, is ever dreading to offend him in thought, word, or deed. And to love thy fellow christian, is neither to covet, nor to suffer, nor counsel or procure, nor to consent to any thing to be done to him, other than thou shouldest desire were done to thee, if thou wert in his state. And therefore saith Christ himself, confirming this sentence, All things that ye desire men should
the same to them. [Wickliff enforces these considerations at considerable length by quotations from the scripture and the fathers. He proceeds,]
Whoso loveth God over all other things, and his neighbour as himself, will not be proud. For pride is either an unskilful highness, through which a man is disobedient to God and his commands, or it is an unreasonable highness, through which a man exalts himself above his fellow-christians, and despises them. Also, he that hath this love leaveth covetousness. For he that loveth God above all other things, and his fellow christian as he should, will desire nothing that is against the will of God, or harming to his fellow christian.
And he that hath this love will not live in sloth, for he will endeavour with all his might to serve his God in keeping his commands. And after the grace that he hath received of God, he will forsake his own ease, and put himself to travail and pain for the welfare of his brother. And he that hath this love will have no deadly wrath to any man, nor desire vengeance on him, though he have trespassed greatly against him. And he that hath this love, hath no envy to his fellow christian. For neither will he be glad of their harm, nor sorry for their welfare. And he that hath this love, will not for his filthy lust bring his sister into sorrow. And he that hath this love, will not take his meat or his drink but in measure, as he needs. For whoso doeth otherwise, doeth gluttony, and taketh his meat and his drink against the ordinances of God. And whoso hath this love, doeth the works of mercy to his brother.
[Wickliff enlarges upon love to our neighbours, recapitulating much that he had previously stated, and concludes :)
Thus in these ten commands of God, contained in two words of love, all good is fulfilled, and all evil eschewed. * And that we may live and end in this love, and so come to everlasting bliss, grant us, Jesus Christ, that liveth and reigneth, without end, merciful God. Amen. Amen.
ON THE LORD'S PRAYER.
CHRIst saith, whoso loveth him, will keep his commandments; and they that keep them are his friends, as he saith in another place. And he will hear his friends, and grant them all reasonable things that they ask of him, needful to health of soul and body. And all things needful to man, either for soul or body, are contained in the Lord's prayer. It is the prayer full of wisdom and health which Christ. taught his disciples.
This holy prayer contains seven askings. And in these short askings is contained more wisdom than any tongue of man can fully tell here on earth. When a child is first set to school, men teach him his paternoster, (the Lord's prayer,) therefore, let him that will learn, be meek as a child, and without malice. God careth not for long tarrying, nor for smooth words, either rhymed or in prayer. For St. Gregory saith, True praying is not to speak fine words with the mouth, but to make great complaint and sorrow for sin, with sore sighing of heart, and great desire of forgiveness. What is it to patter with lips when the heart prayeth not by desire ? What difference there is betwixt the bran and the flour of the wheat, such there is between the sound of the lips and the devotion of heart. When the mouth prayeth God for one thing, and the heart is busy about another, such worship God with lips, but the heart of them is far from him, as he complaineth by the prophet.f
* Avoided, put out.
+ Wickliff ther states eight things needful to man when praying to God.
ON THE LORD'S PRAYER.
The first asking is, Our Father that art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. In that thou callest him Father, thou acknowledgest that he is Maker and Lord of heaven, earth, and hell, and Governor of all creatures, of whom all goodness cometh, and thus thou acknowledgest his might. And since he is Lord and Father, each man owes him dread and love. Therefore he asketh each man by his prophet, saying, The son worships the father, and the servant the lord. Therefore if I am Father, where is my worship; and if I be Lord, where is my dread? This word, Father, shows to each good christian man, great worthiness, fairness, and riches. For there can be no greater worthiness than to be the son of so great a Lord as almighty God is. Therefore Bede saith, No reward may be greater than for the sons of earthly men to be made the sons of the highest Lordgreater riches may no man have, than to be heir of the realm of heaven ; which riches each man shall have, that liveth and endeth in the lore and teaching of this noble Father, as St. Paul witnesses. Greater fairness can no man have, than to be like to this Father.
The more man loveth this Father, the more like he is to him; and ever the less man loveth him, the less he hath of his likeness. This likeness is likeness of soul, through virtuous life.
If thou wilt be son of this blessed Father, thou must hate all sin and filth, as he doth; and love all goodness and virtue, as he doth. Now when thou callest him Father, bethink thee that thou be obedient to his commands, and yield to him love, worship, reverence, service, and dread. And if thou desirest to find him a mild Father, be thou to him an obedient son. No man shall say, Father mine, but only he that is son by nature, without beginning and ending, as Christ, God's Son is. We are not his sons, save as we are made to his likeness. But we are his sons through grace, and by adoption or purchase; as a lord having no son of his own to be his heir, may make a poor man's son his heir. Thus this Lord and Emperor, when we were poor, and children of wrath and hell, as St. Paul saith, made us through grace, heirs of the realm of heaven, if we are obedient children to him.
We exclude pride when we say, Our Father, and not mine. This word “our” saith that we are all brethren,
great and small, poor and rich, high and low, of one father, and of one mother, that is, God and holy church; and that none scorn or despise another, but love as his brother, and one should help another, as limbs of a man's body, as St. Paul saith.
Truth it is that God is every where, but most properly he is said to be in heaven, for there he is most known, loved, and worshipped. And next to that he is said to be in heaven in a spiritual sense; that is, in holy souls, which are the temple of God, as St. Paul saith, and are reared on high from sin and earthly love, and are bright and clean as the heavens. For in such souls he is seen, known, dreaded, worshipped, and loved.
Hallowed be thy name. That is, in us. We hallow God in us, as St. John Chrysostom saith, when we, knowing him to be holy, dread him, and watch busily, lest we defile the holiness of his name in us, by our evil works. This, saitla he, this desire we should evermore have, that this name which is blessed, be confirmed in us, making us blessed and holy. Thy name, that is, thy faith, thy acknowledging, and thy love, be confirmed in our hearts, that as we bear thy naine, so thy acknowledging and thy love may be hallowed
that we be made by thy help, righteous, and abstaining froin all evil.
The name of God in itself cannot be more holy than it is, but ever the more it is known, loved, and worshipped of man, the more it is said to be holy. Therefore, sweet Father that art in heavens, thy name be hallowed in the hearts of heathen men, that they may believe in thee; and in the hearts of Jews, that they may believe more perfectly, and also love thee. Hallowed be thy name in the hearts of false christian men, that as thcy believe in thee so they may have perfect love and good works, without which, belief may not save any man, as the apostle saith. Also, O Father that art in heaven, thy name be hallowed in the hearts of thy chosen men, by more increase of charity, and knowledge of thee, and by more sweetness of heavenly love.
In the first asking of this holy prayer, we pray for the first and principal gift of the Holy Ghost, that is, the gift of wisdom, which binds and holds together the heart in God. This Spirit of wisdom hallows the heart, cleansing it from earthly love and fleshly affections, drawing it from many things, and setting it to one alone, that is, to God. There fore, sweet Father, thy name be hallowed in us; that is,