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essandum, ad ebrietatem sectandam, et potando usque ad vesperum, ut vino æstuetis." to you that arise early in the morning, and go to drinking until night, that ye may swim in wine.
This is the Scripture against banqueting and drunkenness. But now they banquet all night, and lie a-bed in the day-time till noon, and the Scripture speaketh nothing of that. But what then ? The devil hath his purpose this way, as well as the other; he hath his purpose as well by revelling and keeping ill-rule all night, as by rising early in the morning and banqueting all day. So the devil hath his purpose both ways. Ye noblemen, ye great men, I wot not what rule ye keep: for God's sake hear the complaints and suits of the poor. Many complain against you that ye lie a-bed till eight, or nine, or ten of the clock. I cannot tell what revel ye have over night, whether in banqueting, or dicing, or carding, or how it is; but in the morning, when poor suitors come to your houses, ye cannot be spoken withal. They are kept sometimes without your gates, or if they be let into the hall, or some outer chamber, out cometh one or other, “ Sir, ye cannot speak with my lord yet, my lord is asleep, or he hath had business of the king's all night," &c. And thus poor suitors are driven off from day to day, that they cannot speak with you in three
or four days, yea, a whole month : what shall I say more ? yea, a whole year sometimes, ere they can come to your speech, to be heard of you. For God's love look better to it, speak with poor men when they come to your houses, and despatch poor suitors, as indeed some noblemen do, and would Christ that all noblemen would so do. But some do.
I went one day myself betime in the morning to a great man's house to speak with him, in business that I had of mine own.
And methought I was up betimes ; but when I came thither the great man was gone forth about such affairs as behoved him, ere I came.
Well yet, thought I, this is well, I like this well: this man doth somewhat regard and consider his office and duty. I came too late for mine own matter, and lost my journey, and my early rising too : and yet I was glad that I had been so beguiled. For God's love follow this example, ye great men, and arise in the mornings, and be ready for men to speak with them, and to despatch suitors that resort unto you.---But all these I bring to disprove them that defend evil things, because they be not expressly spoken against in the Scripture. But what forceth that, when the devil hath his purpose, and is served as well one way, as another way? Though it be not expressly spoken against in Scripture, yet
I reckon it plainly enough implied in the Scripture.
But now to come to my matter again : “ Videte et cavete ab avaritiâ," See and beware of covetousness. And I shall desire you to consider four things : “Quis dicat, quid dicat, cui dicat, et quare dicat,” Who speaketh it, what he speaketh, to whom he speaketh, and wherefore he speaketh it. As here, Christ speaketh to a rich man against avarice. And why against avarice? What shall be the end of all covetous persons ! Eternal damnation. For the covetous persons, (saith Paul,) shall not possess, nor enter into the kingdom of God. Here therefore I desire you to pray, &c.*
* It was the custom of preachers in popish times, in some part of their sermon “to bid the beads,” or to call upon the auditors to say an Ave-Maria, or a Pater-noster, for a blessing upon all ranks and orders of men.
BEFORE KING EDWARD, IN THE AFTERNOON
OF THE SAME DAY.
Videte et cavete ab avaritiâ.-LUKE xii. 15.
First, who spake these words ? Forsooth, Christ spake them. If I had spoken them of myself, it had been little worth. But Christ spake them, and upon a good occasion. The story is, “Duo litigabant inter se," There were two at strife between themselves, (Luke xii.) and by this it appeareth that Christ spake them. Well, Christ spake these words at that time; and now he speaketh them by his preacher, whom ye ought to believe: and so it is all
what occasion did he speak it! There were two brethren at strife together for lands, wealthy men, as it appeareth, and the rich fellow would not tarry till Christ had end
ed his sermon, but interrupted it, and would needs have his matter despatched by and by. He was at Christ's sermon, but yet he would not defer his worldly cause till Christ had made an end of his godly exhortation. This was a thorny brother, he was a gospeller, he was a carnal gospeller (as many be now-a-days for a piece of an abbey, or for a portion of chantry lands,) to get somewhat by it, and to serve his commodity. He was a gospeller, one of the new brethren, somewhat worse than a rank papist. Howbeit, a rank papist now-a-days shall sooner have promotion than a true gospeller shall have; the more is the pity. But this was a thorny gospeller, he heard Christ's preaching, and followed him for company, and heard his words ; but he was never the better for it; but the care of the world so choked the word of God in him, that he could not hear the sermon to the end, but interrupted the sermon for his worldly matter ere it were all done.
And what was Christ then doing ? Forsooth, he was sowing of good seed; but it fell upon stony ground, so that it could not take any root in this fellow, to bring forth good fruit in him. And let me tell you of the seed that Christ was then sowing ; bear with me a while, and seeing that I come now to take
6 ultimum vale" of this place, hear me patiently, and give me