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shall be quenched--there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and thick darkness. Each hateth the other as the foul fiend, and ever curse the time that they wrought sin. Above all things they desire to die, and they are ever dying, and fully die they never shall, but ever dying live in rain and wo. They hated death while they lived here, but now they had rather have it than all the wide world. Souls that are there shall be dark and dim, offensive and loathsome to see. The bodies shall be heavy and charged with sin, so that they shall move neither body nor limb, but have all manner of wo that shall grieve them. They shall think upon no good, and have no knowledge but of their pains and sins that they have wrought. And of all these pains, and many more sorrows than we can tell, end shall never come.
When thou understandest that the deadly sin which man has wrought, and which is not amended with better forthinking* ere he go hence, shall be bought so dearly with that everlasting pain, that thou wouldest desire rather to let thy skin be worn from thy flesh, and thy body hewn to pieces, than that thou wouldest wilfully do a deadly sinthis spur of dread shall make our horse awake, and hold him in an even way, and speed him fast forward, and cause him ever to flee deadly sin, which is thus dearly bought, and maketh man to be thus bitterly pained for ever. When thy heart hath thoroughly sought all these fearful pains which the sinful shall suffer who will not leave their sins, then send him to purgatory, and look how they shall fare who shall there be cleansed.
[Wickliff then describes the sufferings of purgatory, and the pains there to be endured for the doing away such sins as are not deadly,t cautioning however thus,] Of such as
Repentance. + Dr. James gives the following account of Wickliff's views respecting purgatory. “ It cannot be denied but that in some places of his works he speaketh of the dreadful pains of purgatory, and praying for the dead.-It seemeth that he was not fully grounded in this opinion whereat some of the grave doctors of the church have stumbled ; or rather, that howsoever he had maintained it, upon better advice he changed his opinion, which I gather by two circumstances. First, he writes, (De veritate Scripturæ, p. 267.) that all the sayings of purgatory were spoken by way of commination, as it were so many pious lies to scare the people. Secondly, he divides the church into three parts, the highest are the angels of heaven, the second are the saints sleeping or resting in purgatory. The third are folk that shall be saved, here fighting upon earth. Of these three, saith he, and of none other, is made holy church; and surely by this division popish purgatory is thrust clean out of doors. For there is
some call small sins, is full needful to beware. For St. Augustine saith, that many venial sins draw a man to perdition as one deadly sin doth. Many drops of rain make a great flood, and water entering little and little by the ship's bottom, and not cast out, sinketh the ship at the last, as a great wave drowns it suddenly. And since God is displeased and dishonoured by each sin, each sin is full great, though some sin is called little sin
in comparison of greater sin, as St. Anselm saith. Wickliff proceeds thus :
Heretofore some that have defiled their souls with many deadly sins, and also with innumerable that are venial, oftimes for dread to offend God more, and to get forgiveness of all their sins, and to flee the pains of hell and purgatory, have forsaken all this world, and the company thereof, and have fled into desert places, to learn to love Jesus, and bewail their own sins, and other men's also. Some souls are cleansed here, and have their purgatory with fire of tribulation and persecution, meekly suffering for the truth of God, and have much trouble because they would live well. Some also are cleansed through the fire of God's love. For the love of man's soul might so fully be set on God, that God of his great grace would cleanse him in this world, so clean from each spot of sin, that after this life he should feel little
And this is the right spur that should quicken thy horse to speed in his way; that thou learn to love Jesus Christ, in all thy living. And therefore send thou thy thought into that land of life, where no disease is, of no kind ; neither age nor sickness, nor any other grievance. Courtesy and wisdom there must men learn, for there all villainy is shut out. And whoso goeth thither shall there find a gracious fellowship; the orders of angels, and of all holy saints, and the Lord above them, who gladdeneth them all. There is plenty of all good, and want of all things that may grieve. There are fairness and riches, honour and joy that each man may feel ; love and wisdom that ever shall last. There is no disease that men suffer here; as hypocrisy or flattery, nor falsehood, envy, and ire. Thence are banished thieves and tyrants, cruel and greedy men that pillage the poor, proud men and boasters, covetous and beguilers, slothful and licentious, all such are banished out of that pure land. little rest and less sleeping there, if we believe them that have (feigned to) come from thence, and have told us so. And by this reason, if the fire of purgatory be clean put out, the smoke of it, that is prayers for the dead, must needs in a very short time vanish away.'
For there is nothing that men may fear, but liking and joy and mirth at will, melody and song of angels, bright and lasting bliss that never shall cease. Man's body there shall be brighter than the sun ever was to man's sight.—As the light of the sun suddenly flees out of the east into the west, so shall the blissful, without any travail, be where they like. And though they were sick and feeble while they lived here, they shall be so strong there, that nothing shall move against their will. They shall have such great freedom that nothing shall be contrary to their liking. The saved bodies shall never have sickness, nor anger nor grievance. Also they shall be filled with joy in all their senses ; for as a vessel that is dipped in water or other liquor, is wet within and without, above and beneath, and also all about, and no more liquor can be within it, even so shall those that are saved, be full filled with all joy and bliss. Also they shall have endless life in the sight of the Holy Trinity, and this joy shall pass all other. They shall be in full security, that they never fail of that joy, nor be put out thereof. They shall also be filled with wisdom; for they shall know all that is, and was, and shall be. They shall have full knowledge of the Holy Trinity; the might of the Father, the wisdom of the Son, and the goodness of the Holy Ghost. For in the sight of the blessed face of God, they shall know all things that may be seen of any creature. For as Augustine saith, They shall see him, both God and man, and they shall see themselves in him also. All things that are now hid from man, he shall then see and know.
They shall also have perfect love to each other, for every one shall accord with the other's will. And these joys and many more than any tongue of man can fully tell, shall those have that shall be saved, both in body and soul, after the day of doom.
This is the right spur, which should stir men joyfully to love Jesus Christ, and to hasten in the heavenly way. For so sweet is the bliss there, and so great withal, that whoso might taste a single drop thereof, should be so rapt in liking of God, and of heavenly joy, and he should have such a languishing to go thither, that all the joy of the world should seem pain to him. This love should move such a man to live more virtuously, and to flee sin, a hundred told more than any dread of the pain of purgatory or of hell. For perfect love putteth out all dread, and cleanseth the soul from filth, and maketh it to see God, and to flee oft to heaven by desire, hoping to dwell there, world without end.
TO LOVE JESUS.
WHOSOEVER thou art that arrayest thyself to love God, if thou wilt neither be deceived nor deceive, if thou wilt be saved and not fail, if thou wilt stand and not fall, study to have this name Jesus constantly in mind. If thou doest so the enemy shall fall, and thou shalt stand, the enemy shall be enfeebled, and thou shalt be strengthened—therefore seek this name, Jesus, hold it and forget it not. Nothing so quenches flames, restrains evil thoughts, cuts away venomous affections, or alienates from us vain occupations.
This name, Jesus, truly held in mind, rooteth up vices, planteth virtues, bringeth charity or love to men, getteth men savour of heavenly things, wasteth discord, informeth peace, giveth everlasting rest, or doeth away heaviness of fleshly desires. All earthly desires, all earthly things, it turneth into heaviness. It filleth those that it loveth with spiritual joy; so that worthily it may be said, All shall be glorified in thee, that love thy name, for thou shalt bless the righteous. The righteous deserveth to be blessed, for he hath truly loved this name, Jesus. He is called righteous, because he seeks earnestly to love Jesus. What can fail to him who unceasingly covets to love Jesus? He loveth and he desireth to love, for thus we know the love of God to stand; for the more we love, the more we covet to love.
It is said, They that eat me shall not hunger, and they that drink me, shall not thirst. Therefore the love of Jesus by itself is delectable and desirable. Therefore no joy shall fail those that covet earnestly to love him whom angels desire to behold. Angels see him always, and ever desire to see him; for they are so full filled that their filling doeth not away their desire, and they desire so that their desire doeth not away their fullness. This is full joy, this is glorious joy. Therefore all men shall be glorified that love thy name.—If they loved not, they should not be glorified, and those that love most, shall joy most. For of love proceedeth joy, therefore he that loveth not shall for ever be without joy.
Therefore many caitiffs * think to joy with Christ, but as they love not his name, Jesus, they shall sorrow without end, whatever they do. And if they give all things that they have to poor men, unless they love this name
* Wretched beings.
Jesus, they shall labour in vain. For only such shall be gladdened in Jesus who have loved him in this present life. Those that defoul him with vices and foul thoughts, and turn not again, there is no doubt but they are put out from the glory of God. Therefore he shall not see the glory of God, that hath not joyfully loved this name Jesus.
Be the wicked man done away that he see not the glory of God-righteous men seek glory and life, and they find it in Jesus whom they loved. I went about hy coveting and riches, and I found not Jesus. I went about by the swallow of lusts, and I found not Jesus. I ran by wantonness of my flesh, and I found not Jesus. I sat in company of worldly mirth, but there I found him not. I sought him in highness of myself,* but there I found him not. In all these things I sought him, but I found him not. For he let me know by his grace that he is not found in the land of easy and soft living. Therefore I turned by another way and sought him by poverty; and I found Jesus—born into the world poor, laid in a craitch,t and wrapped in poor rags. I went by sharp sufferings, and I found Jesus weary in the way, tormented with hunger, and thirst, and cold; filled with slanders and reproofs. I sat by myself, fleeing the vanities of the world, and I found Jesus fasting in the desert, and praying by himself in the hill. I went about in penance and pain, and I found Jesus, bound fast, hand and foot, to a pillar of stone, and from the head to the feet all torn with scourges.
I found Jesus hanging on the cross, fast nailed hand and foot, having gall given him to drink, and dying on the cross. Therefore Jesus is not found in riches, but in poverty; not in delicacies, but in penance; not in idle and wanton joying, but in bitter weeping and mourning ; not among many, but in a lonely place; not in soft nourishing of body, but in pain of body.
In truth, an evil man findeth not Jesus; for he sees him not where he is. He enforces himself to seek Jesus in the joys of this world, where he shall never be found. O ye worldly and fleshly caitiffs, I ye are led away from the joy of God, and deceived with the devil's fraud, not abiding the blessed hope, nor desiring the coming of the glory of God. Worthily shall ye suffer everlasting death, for ye follow this life, which ye know shall not long be had here. Truly your eyes are blinded—the devil hath put them out; • Pride, high thoughts. + Crib, or manger. # Wretched creatures.