[Based on Holt lines 4,010-6,393 and Burchfield’s unpublished transcription and notes in the Oxford University Press library]
Orm based this homily on Luke 2:21.
Latin pericope: Postquam consummati sunt dies octo ut circumcideretur puer.
[Beginning incomplete due to columns 97-104 missing–or two folios–between folios 35 and 36]
And therefore it [circumcision] was first begun on him through the Lord because it should be on him signified very clearly to him that he was very dear to the Lord through the righteousness of faith. And it was also established through the Lord to honor him to signify that the Lord had given him such a blessing and such happiness that he, with all his kin, should follow his faith, should be forever without end with God in heaven’s bliss. And it was established through God in him because it should signify to him that all those who should follow him with faith and deeds, very eagerly ought to cleanse themselves in body and in soul if they wished to have a lot with him in eternal bliss. And it was established in him through God because it should mean to him that God’s Son Jesus Christ should come to people and be born from his kin in our human nature to cleanse here through Christianity, through baptism, and through belief, one flock that should love him and uphold his laws, that should rise up from death on doomsday in that way when it should be released from death’s yoke through Christ, and then be completely cleansed throughout of the flesh’s infirmity so that it should be with Christ in bliss always without end. And it was also established through the Lord, which you know well to be true, because it should cleanse them of all Adam’s sin, just as baptism now cleanses those who undertake it, for just as the Lord then said to that Jewish people, so our Lord Christ said to his servants after he was made human and spoke with people on earth, for then the Lord said thus to that Jewish people:
“That same person, whosoever it is, among the gang of men who are not counted to be circumcised in his foreskin, that same person, whosoever it is, destroys his own soul.”
And our Lord said thus to that Jewish people after he was come here and made human on earth:
“Whosoever that person is who is not baptized, that person cannot, whosoever it is, come into heaven.”
Now, you can see that was established then among the Jewish people to be circumcised in order to cleanse them of sin, just as now it is established to be baptized to abolish sin. They circumcised their foreskin, just as I have shown, a little of the skin [fell] in front all around, just as the Lord had established it in Abraham’s time. And Abraham took it on himself and also on his children, and also on all that male-kind that was in his power; and it was upheld always since then up to Christ’s coming among the Jewish folk, from which Christ was born.
And for the maiden-child it was established by the Lord that people should offer on an altar their gifts to cleanse and release their [them?] from that misdeed that was done by Adam and Eve; because it was established by the Lord then among the Jewish people to cut off in this way a boy’s foreskin and to offer a gift for the maiden because it should release them from Adam’s sin; and just as it helped them greatly to cleanse themselves of sin, so the baptism under Christ does for us in this time now. [4,113]
But it cannot open the gate of heaven’s bliss for them, for Christ was not yet come then nor made human on earth, which should open it through his death for all good souls, because the first day of man up to Christ’s rood the gate of Paradise was closed to all humankind on earth, but it was again opened through Christ’s death for good souls, to those who receive Christianity and end well therein.
That knife was of stone and not of iron, which duty was established for them through God Almighty himself, for circumcising the foreskin therewith of their boy-children to signify to us through such a thing of our necessity, which we and all Christian people ought to fulfill and perform completely. Because you ought to sheer away here completely from your will all that which is ever loathsome to the Lord, in thought, in word, in deed; and you ought to flee from all sins for the true love of Christ. For Christ was represented through that stone, which you know well to be true, for Christ is strong and steadfast and capable and trustworthy and he always was and he always will be an all-very-perfect [allfullfremedd] help to all those who please him and who ought to please him.
They circumcised Christ’s foreskin, just as the book taught them, right on that day that he was eight days old here to signify another thing that is necessary for us to believe so that it might help us save our souls. If you yourself take care well, you will see and understand that all life of this middle-earth runs by seven days: the six days God put his folk to their works; the seventh, the last day, he put them to rest. And it was named Sabbath among Jewish people, and it is always high mass-day at their week’s end. And if you turn Sabbath into English speech, it says that it is Rest-day from all servile deeds; it does us well to understand that we ought to keep ourselves well on mass-day and the same day completely from servile deeds, that is, from sinful words and works, from sinful thoughts and desires if we wish to please God and earn heaven’s bliss. The seventh day is Rest-day, just as I have shown, according to [how] the week goes among Jewish people and represents all that rest and peace that holy souls enjoy in the other world, in this time, while this world lasts.
Now you see well that all this life runs by seven days. The end day will be Doomsday when all humankind shall rise from death and come to the judgment and receive their reward; and whosoever then will be worthy to receive eternal bliss, he will be completely circumcised then throughout so well withal and cleansed all throughout so well from each uncleanness that never more shall he be in any way defiled but always without end he shall be with angels in bliss.
And your priests serve now before God’s altar, for each great mass-day, always eight altogether, to represent such a holy time, which Christ’s folk shall enjoy with angels after Doomsday always without end in bliss. [4,217] And just as they established then the name of their children, the day that they circumcise the boy-child of his foreskin, and the day that, for the maiden-child, a gift was offered on the altar, so your child receives his name the day that it’s baptized. They circumcised Christ’s foreskin just as he himself willed it, and he was on that same day eight days old; and that day is called New Year’s day among the Angle-people. And that the Lord Jesus Christ, which was completely clean of sin, received on his own body so that he might help the old folks, which was established for them through the Lord then to cleanse them of sin, which he did because he wished to give us all such an example, which we ought, according to our ability, to always persevere to follow, all that the Lord has established for us for our souls’ help. And they circumcised the foreskin of boy-children in such a way, which was established for them through the Lord in that way, because it should mean that we ought to clip away entirely the flesh’s foul desire, which hurts the wretched soul worst of all and most of all, by all that many kinds of misdeeds that rule in those limbs, in men and in women also, in the young and also in the old.
They circumcised Christ’s foreskin with stone for the knife’s edge, and he was on that same day called Jesus by name, all according to that which was declared by the archangel Gabriel before he was come in Saint Mary’s womb. And the angel said well why he should so be named: he said that he should be called Jesus by name because he should heal the wound of sin for his own folk, for “Jesus” in Greek speech is “Healer” in English. And Christ is called very rightly “Healer” in English speech, for he came here to cure us of death’s wound entirely, which Adam had given to us through his disobedience. For to that place came the Lord Christ to become human on earth because he wished to release humans out of the devil’s power, for which he wished to suffer death without his blame, and to turn humans to Christianity and to the proper faith, and to baptise them, and to cleanse them of all of Adam’s sin, which had been to all humankind a very grim wound of death, for through the strike of Adam’s misdeed all humankind was wounded through and fallen into eternal death in hell with the devil. And Christ came down to become human because he wished to heal us of all the wound that Adam gave us through his misdeed and thus can the Lord Christ well be called Healer, for humankind was healed through him of the grim wound of sin.
And this name of the Lord Christ, which you call Healer, is written in a Greek book right with book-staves; and it is called IESOϒS according to Greek speech; and each book-staff that is found upon this name represents a number right very well, just as I shall now show you.
The first staff is called I and means the number of ten; the other staff is called E and means the number of eight; the third staff is called S and signifies two hundred; the fourth staff is called O and signifies seventy; the fifth staff is called ϒ and means four hundred; the sixth staff is called S and means two hundred. [4,323] And if you know how to gather these numbers into one number, you find indeed without doubt eight times one hundred, and thereto eight times one, and eight times ten. And all these heap of three numbers are heaped together always with eight; for there is, as I said now, right eight times one hundred, and thereto eight times one, and eight times ten; here is three times clearly the number of eight named.
And the number of eight means to us all that immeasurable bliss that humankind receives because Christ rose up from death, who rose right on the eighth day after the week’s end, just as I have shown here before in this lesson. For that day was the eighth day that Christ rose from death, according to how the week goes among Jewish people; for Saturday was a holy day in that Jewish way, and always was their week gone all out that day at evening. And therefore was the eighth day that day that came thereafter; for seven days bring always the week to its end, and that day is the eighth day that comes after seven; and so comes our Sunday after that week’s end; and that day is the eighth day that Christ rose from death, and allowed us here through Christianity to rise up from sins so that we may rise up on Doomsday from death, to enjoy up eternal bliss in heaven’s dwelling-place with angels. And well is Christ’s name established all in the number of eight, for he rose on the eighth day to raise us from sin. And well was through the first staff the number ten meant, for first we ought to well fulfill here the ten commandments, which the Lord established through Moses’s hand for his folk, and afterward shall the Lord Christ give us our reward, all after we fulfill the ten commandments well.
And here I will show you these commandments completely, according to that little knowledge that my Lord has lent me. The first commandment was established by the Lord for your need: that you reject completely all heathendom and heathen god(s), and believe in one Almighty God and uphold his laws, for you might not be saved nor obtain eternal bliss unless you reject completely heathendom and heathen god(s), and believe in one Almighty God and uphold his laws.
The other commandment was established by God for your need: that you take not with derision, with scorn, nor with idleness the name of our Lord Christ who, for you, died on the rood, for you might not be saved nor obtain eternal bliss if you have no regard here neither for Christ nor for Christ’s mother.
The third commandment was established by God for your need: that you continue to celebrate and keep holy the mass-day well so that every single unclean desire and every single evil will may be trampled down through love of God, and quenched in your heart so that your heart may be that bed in which God rests himself, for you cannot celebrate acceptably if your heart is a servant of any evil will. [4,423]
The fourth commandment was established by God for your need: that you may be mild and meek with your father and your mother, and a ready person to do them good always according to your ability, for you cannot be saved nor obtain eternal bliss unless you are very good with them to [their] life and also to [their] soul;.
The fifth commandment was established by God for your need: that you not fill your life through foul fornication, for whosoever lies in whoredom he slays his own soul unless he can make amends for it in any kind of way;.
The sixth commandment was established by God for your need: that you not slay another person with hand nor with heart, if he does not wish to kill you to extinguish Christianity. Why did I say now that you not kill a person with your heart? Can any person slay another person and kill him with heart? Yea, very well says that Latin book that throughout does not lie, for if you bear hate and malice against any life and soul so that you wished blithely to see an evil end of both, you have slain him truly with heart and not with hand; and you cannot be saved nor obtain eternal bliss unless you can cleanse entirely your heart of hate and malice.
The seventh commandment was established by God and all for your need: that you look to yourself well that you not steal nor rob anything, for if you harm any person, you harm first yourself, and if you rob me of my things, you rob God of your soul; and you cannot be saved nor obtain eternal bliss unless you please the Lord well with your innocence.
The eighth commandment was established by God for your need: that you lock yourself well from a sin in oaths and in witness, that you not swear a false-oath for love nor for fear, nor that you come forth with woe to bear witness, for you cannot be saved nor obtain eternal bliss unless you can please your Lord well with truth and right.
The ninth commandment was established by God but all for your need: that you not yearn to approach another man’s wife with the foul desire of uncleanness, to fulfill you two both [ȝunnc baþe] in such a way, for both sin terribly if it pleases you two both [ȝunnc baþe], and both separate in such a way from God, and kill the souls of you two unless you two [ȝitt] can make amends for it in any kind of way; but you know that it is not light to make amends for a heavy sin, and therefore you ought to shun always to fall at all therein. But whosoever can reject it and cease to follow it, and inwardly repent it that it was ever performed, and go under the priest’s judgment to make amends for it with confession, and persevere to obtain health for his body from his sin, because he wishes to cleanse himself of all his uncleanness, that person through God’s help can well make amends for all his sin, and please God with a holy life and obtain well his grace.
The tenth commandment was established by God for your need: that you not yearn to obtain another person’s things, for greediness is a heavy crime before God’s eyes, and it binds all throughout and blinds a person’s heart [so] that it cannot have the power to follow God’s will. [4,527]
Now have I here shown you those ten commandments, which were through the first staff of Christ’s name signified, and if you fulfill Christ’s commandments according to your ability, you shall be saved on Doomsday through Christ’s name.
And well was the number of eight meant by that other staff, for in addition that eight can very clearly mean that same dear Sunday that Christ rose from death, just as I have shown here in this gospel’s lesson, where in addition it can well mean and means truly indeed those virtues that the Lord Christ set for us to follow, and gave us himself as an example thereto to fulfill and to follow them. And whosoever wishes to say them by number, he will find eight, and therefore they are signified very well through the number of eight. And these virtues all together are the eight chief virtues, and are good and strong weapons against the loathsome crime of gluttony, and against the heat of wantonness, and against covetousness and greediness, against sternness and anger, against listlessness and indolence, against earthly care and sorrow, against boasting, and against vainglory, against the weapon of pride. And always is one chief virtue set against one chief sin, and always can one chief virtue well extinguish one chief sin in each person who follows right the virtue to please Christ. And whosoever it is that follows well and fulfills these virtues, that same person shall be saved through Christ’s name in the end; because Christ’s name by one staff signifies the number of eight, therefore Christ shall save those who follow these virtues. And here I will show you by number these virtues because you should so much the better completely fulfill and follow them.
One chief virtue is measure and moderation in all that you ought to follow, in word, in work, in food, in drink, and also in clothes, in the desire to obtain earthly things, in labors and in rests. This virtue treads underfoot and extinguishes gluttony, and all that is in excess it drives from your heart if that is that you love it and follow and fulfill it.
The virtue of cleanness is indeed another chief virtue; if you follow cleanness right with body and with heart, you follow then, which you know well, a holy chief virtue, for through this virtue shall the virgin chiefly be saved, and the wedded man and the wedded woman and the widow it shall save, for virginity and widowhood, if it is right clean in all that lies to the body, and also in their will, and meek, and humble [daffte–this always tickles me], and modest in habits and desires, it will be eminently indeed through true cleanness saved. And if that wedded man and woman lawfully conduct themselves among themselves for love of God, then they follow cleanness, and it shall be able to save them at their lives’ end. Thus ought all of Jesus Christ’s herd, which is divided in three, thus it ought to follow true cleanness if it shall be saved, for virginity and widowhood and wedlock ought to be clean, and through cleanness please God, each one in their way, for all that follows uncleanness is completely unpleasing to the Lord. [4,629] Here I speak of unclean people and of unclean spirits; and whoredom is loathsome to the Lord and very pleasing to the devil, for the devil is an unclean spirit, and loves uncleanness. This virtue treads underfoot the loathsome strength of lust, and all the desire of whoredom it drives from your heart, if you love it and follow it with deeds.
The third virtue is a chief virtue that you completely reject to yearn after world-things, to obtain it with sin. With this virtue can you truly follow Christ’s apostles well, if you reject greediness, and follow Christ’s will, for they reject all completely to obtain anything with sin, and continue to follow Christ completely at his dear will. If you yearn to obtain world-things at all with sin, then you yearn for that world-thing against the Lord’s will, and that thing is more to you thereof than the Lord’s will, and you think better of that thing than of the Lord’s will, and you love that thing more than anything of God’s will, if it is pleasing to you to obtain it against the Lord’s will. Look now yourself how far you go out of the right way, if you love to obtain world-things at all with sin, for if you obtain world-things against the Lord’s will, then you turn yourself away from God and toward earthly goods, and so you reject your God and hold with that goods. Look now if you are not right mad [wod] and completely deprived of understanding, that you will lose your Lord and all the bliss of heaven, because you may obtain here with sin somewhat little; though you might obtain here all the riches of middle-earth, you ought not to year for it against the Lord’s will. Look, now, what understanding it is in you, to obtain what little against God’s will so that you lose God there. Take yourself now to this holy virtue with Jesus Christ’s apostles, to completely reject here to obtain anything with sin, and (you) be eager night and day to follow God’s will. This virtue treads underfoot covetousness and greediness, and makes you a very liberal person from whatever God lends you, if you love it and follow it with deeds.
The fourth virtue is a chief virtue and holy virtue with all, that you be throughout mild, and meek, and soft, and still, and gentle, and throughout clean of sternness and throughout clean of anger. This is a very great virtue and pleases the Lord greatly, and if you can have and follow right this virtue, then you know well that Holy Spirit rests himself n your heart, and nevertheless you ought to be hard with skill against all sins, for you can quickly be tender against those who anger the Lord. This virtue treads underfoot all sternness and anger, and it drives hate and malice and haughtiness from your heart, if you love it and follow it with deeds, for whosoever is throughout mild, and meek, and soft, and still, and gentle, he completely rejects sternness, and hate, and malice, and anger.
The fifth virtue is a chief virtue and holy virtue to follow, that you be diligent in all good deeds, always at the right time, and always with skill, so that it may be pleasing to God, for clean deeds and clean labor are very pleasing to the Lord, and idleness is loathsome to him and all indolence, for idleness is a chief plight and resists against your soul and therefore you ought to be diligent in all good deeds always at the right time, and always in moderation, for that is pleasing to the Lord. [4,743] This virtue treads underfoot all throughout idleness, and listlessness, and indolence it drives from your heart, if you love it and follow it with deeds.
The sixth virtue is a chief virtue and very pleasing to the Lord, that you not be sad for any earthly unhappiness, but receive blithely therewith, and thank God for it with heart, and follow in such a way the good Job who was a king on earth, and all without guilt lost all his possessions one day, and still besides that evidently there was more to lament; ten people, a full-grown flock of sons and of daughters, the good Job lost that day, in addition to all his possessions. And moreover another woe happened to him that more might ail him, if he were not armed well through patience against unhappiness. He became completely, just as the true book tells us, very eminently sickened, so great that his body took to rotting above the earth all together, breast, and stomach, and thighs, and knees, and feet, and legs, and loins, and flanks, and shoulders, and back, and sides, and neck, and head. All this was outwardly unhealthy through very severe disease, and all he took to rotting forthright immediately and to stinking, and pus and corruption took to flowing out of his body. Here was enough severe unhappiness for one person to suffer, and if he were not armed very well through faithful patience, he would be a very sad person and sorrowful in his heart because he was bereft of all his things without guilt; and because he lost his offspring one day all in succession, ten people, just as I said now, of sons and of daughters, who were together in a house, and eating there and drinking, and there fell down that house by wind, and fell over them all; and also because he himself was very eminently sickened in all his body here and there through a very foul ailment. He would be a very sad person and sorrowful in heart if he were not armed well through the faithful weapon of patience.
But he was armed well by God against each calamity, by which he spoke wisely and well in all his great unhappiness, nor did he say at all: “I am made an unhappy person on earth. Why is the Lord angry at me thusly? Why am I despised?”
He did not say any of this to bewail nor to lament for himself but said: “The Lord gave this to me all with his dear will, and the Lord will take it from me all with his dear will, and all this has happened to me, just as it pleases the Lord, and my Lord is thanked for all that which he sends to me, and his name is blessed now and forever without end; if we receive blithely from God all that is happiness, then we ought to receive happily from him whatsoever is unhappiness.”
Thus spoke the Lord’s champion Job in all his great misfortune, and you ought to take example in him to thank God with heart, all that he sets upon you of fortune and misfortune so that you are not at all dreary of any earthly misfortune, but receive blithely therewith and thank God for it with heart, for this is a very great virtue and very pleasing to the Lord; and be you certain that he shall give you eternal bliss against all that wanders and woe that happens to you here if, for the love of him, you blithely endure it. [4,849] This virtue treads underfoot and drives from your heart all fleshly care and sorrow and pain of each earthly misfortune if you love it and show it with examples.
The seventh virtue is a chief virtue and holy virtue with all, that you always judge yourself very extremely meanly and consider yourself degenerate, and very greatly wicked, and because one that little might and little can to good [people?]. This same virtue is a chief virtue and wholesome to follow. And our Lord Christ himself gave us an example hereof, there where he said himself sometime through his prophet’s tongue, “I am a worm, and not a person, an object of reproach between people; I am that thing that is not worth anything, that everywhere is rejected, and wherever I am between people, I am hooted and howled upon, and speech all in scoffing and in scorn of me goes everywhere.” [From Psalm 21: 7-8, with some elaboration]
Thus spoke the Lord Jesus Christ through his prophet’s tongue, concerning that he was rejected among the Jewish people, for God’s Son Almighty God, who wrought all the world, became a crude and wretched human, to give an example for you, that you very extremely meanly judge yourself always, and consider yourself a degenerate, and very greatly wicked, and a person who little might and little can to [do] good, and a person who all with right ought to be hooted and howled upon. This same virtue, which you know well, is a holy virtue to follow, for just as you think less of yourself, so the Lord thinks more, and as you say worse about yourself, so the Lord says better. This virtue treads underfoot and extinguishes in your heart all boasting and vain glory, for that is a chief sin, to boast of your worth and of your good deeds, to boast of your skill and lie about yourself. And if you consider all your might and all your wit wicked, all vain glory and idle boasting you extinguish in yourself. And if you can reject thusly all vain glory, then you follow through that the path that Christ’s servant ought to follow, for Christ’s servant ought to fulfill well all that the Gospel asks, and when he has fulfilled it all, he ought to then say thus: “I am a completely rejected servant and completely useless and idle because I hate the Lord with words and I fulfill nothing with deeds.” Thus he ought to refuse here to boast about himself if he wishes to please God and obtain eternal bliss.
The eighth virtue is the greatest of all, of all these virtues, and therefore it is the mother of all the others, that you, for faithful love of God, follow faithful meekness. This virtue is, as I said now, the mother of all the others, for all virtues spring out of the root of true meekness, for it is not a virtue that is worth anything, completely separated from true meekness; for always true meekness ought to be with each virtue in help if it shall assist you at all in obtaining eternal bliss. This same virtue is totally good to save your soul for you if you follow it well completely with body and with heart. This holy virtue you can do if you follow it right, faithfully to serve other people, to obey your laws. [4,951] This holy virtue does you well if you follow it well to honor everywhere all people, most especially your laws. This chief virtue does you well if it is in your heart to shun precious clothing and precious meals. This holy virtue a person does to you if it is in his hear completely to forgive other people with words and also with heart all that they have scathed him and shamed and injured him.
And our Lord Christ himself, just as the Gospel makes known, to his apostles said thus about the virtue of true meekness: “Learn from me that I am indeed right mild and meek with heart and so that you are able to find rest and peace to your souls, for there is no virtue that may better obtain eternal bliss for you than may the root of all virtues and mother of all virtues.”
This virtue treads underfoot all the strength of pride if you love it and follow it with heart. Now have I here shown you right eight of the chief virtues that were all signified for our need through that book-staff that stands upon Christ’s name right nearest the first of all. And if you follow throughout the path of these virtues well, then you will indeed be saved through Christ’s name.
The third staff signifies to us the number of two-hundred, and the number of two-hundred can mean that full love that ought to be, as the true book tells us, twofold if it’ll help, for you ought to love God and man if you wish to be saved, but not in 1 way though, as the book tells us, for you ought to love Lord God and praise and honor him with all your intellect, with all your desire, with all your body might, with all your spirit, with all your thought, and more than yourself so that you do not stand against your God in any way, not through your intellect, nor through your lust, nor through your body deeds, nor through your spirit, that you do not anger your God through your will, nor through your thought, that you do not anger your God through evil thought. Thus you ought to love your Lord and more than yourself, and that is really very right, for God is good with all and you yourself are not right worth anything without God’s help and are a thing that is not worth anything if you forfeit your God. And therefore you ought to love God still more than yourself, for all your help and all your support is in God’s mercy that may, if it seems good to him, cast you down into hell, and if it seems good to him, he may give you heaven’s bliss.
And you ought to love each person who lives here on earth the way that you love yourself, that is, to be saved; a Jewish person and a heathen person, thus, both you ought to love, who everywhere turn him[self?] toward Christ so that he will be saved. Thus, you must love also that person who hates you with heart, who accuses you, who injures you, who steals your possessions. Thus, you ought to love all those if you wish to save yourself, that each one correct his sin so that each one is saved, for you cannot be saved to enjoy eternal bliss if you curse any person and hate him with heart so that you wished blithely to see an evil end, for man is God’s handiwork, and one very noble nature, and God’s likeness, and completely very good in all his nature. [5,058] And therefore you ought to love a person, the body and the soul, for that is God’s handiwork, and good and noble nature; but you ought to hate in me all that which is ever sin completely just as you ought to hate it in yourself. And therefore I dare a person to hate well all that which is ever sin because the loathsome crime of that sin is not one of God’s creations, but is the devil’s loathsome seed that ever sowed the devils in our flesh’s lust and also in our soul’s will. And all that is ever good in me in nature and also in deed, you ought to love it completely in me, just as in yourself; for you ought to love all the good, and hate all the sin throughout in each other person, just as in yourself; and you ought also, which know you well, to help in good deeds and encourage each other person.
Now you ought to take great care of this that I show you, of which I say that you ought also to love others and hate others, and help them, just as yourself. I do not say to you at all that you ought to bestow also great help, and also great love, and also great care completely on each other person, for the Lord bid you not to do great help on another as on yourself also; but in that same way with others he bids you do well what you do with yourself; for you ought to love other people and love also yourself, but more yourself than other people you might love a beloved, and good you ought to do for other people and do good also for yourself, but more for yourself than for other people you might do good for a beloved. And you ought to yearn day and night that all folk be saved, and nevertheless you must still yearn for your own salvation most of all. Thus might you love all people just as yourself and help further all people just as yourself, and nevertheless love and nevertheless help always yourself most of all. Thus you ought to love God and man, just as I have shown, and because you must fill this love in two parts, therefore was it signified well through the number of two hundred. And because everywhere one hundred is a full number completely filled and so full-grown that it cannot grow anymore, therefore the number was set everywhere very clearly to mean that you ought to perfectly fill the virtue of love everywhere so well that everywhere be filled completely well with all.
And you ought to attend yourself that you do not any evil deed for the love of no living person, for God forbade you it to sin against him in any way to please any person; for if you do what is evil, and openly sin for the love of any other person, there you hate the two of you both, through what you do the two of you both there sin against God. Now you might say here to me this word, if you think, “Why must I love God and man? Why must I love both? It is enough for me to love God, through whom I can be saved.” [5,155]
For this I will answer you that which I understand, according to what little intellect my Lord has lent me. If you might love God so that it were pleasing to him without the love of every person, then you might be saved without the love of every person through the love of the Lord alone; for if you might please God, then you might be saved. But you ought to know indeed that God is not pleased neither that you love him greatly nor that you yearn to serve him if you do not love all people just as yourself. And Christ loves you not at all in all his two natures if you do not love man, one part of Christ’s nature; for Christ is God, and Christ is man, one head of two natures. And if you love the Lord at all, you ought to show it in people; for you must, for the love of God, love and help people well; for you cannot love God and hate people and cause [them] harm. And Christ’s apostle, Saint John, wrote of this for us and said, “If you say that you love God and hate people and cause [them] harm, you lie, and deceive in such a way your own wretched soul; for you cannot love God and hate people and cause [them] harm.”
Elijah was a holy man and a worthy prophet in the old days, much earlier before Christ’s coming. [Orm takes the following from 2 Kings 2:9] And with him was another man, his man to serve for him, and he was called Elisha, and he was pleasing to God, and then came the time that God wished them to separate on earth and to receive Elijah the prophet completely without death, and bring him completely out from people to where he should live with rest and peace, without labor, until Antichrist’s coming. And Elisha his man was aware that they then should depart, and he then began to call on Elijah the prophet and said, “Beloved father, yield to me now a right reward for all my labor because I have followed you to do me some good in the end.”
And then Elijah the prophet gave him an answer thus, “What do you wish that I give you as reward for all your labor?”
And Elisha then said thus, “Beloved father, I beg you, give me now that twofold spirit that rests himself in your heart, that it be now henceforth in me also well with all, just as it has been in you through your Lord’s help.”
What good was that twofold spirit that Elisha yearned there? True love ought to be twofold, just as I have shown; for you must love God and man if you wish to be saved. He begged his master to help him with prayers to the Lord that the Lord gave him the will and ability to follow true love rightly; also he had given it earlier to his master, this he yearned, and he was wise, for he saw well, and knew well truly, that all the Lord’s commandments and all the Gospels’ lessons are fulfilled perfectly well, if true love is fulfilled; for the love of God and love of man, if you keep it right, it makes you do in word, in work, all that you can for good, and it makes you refuse all evil according to your ability; and there is all that you ought to do, and the command is fulfilled completely if you love God and man, and for the love of both you do all for good that you can, and all evil you reject. [5,259] And here you can now see very well that love is all in deeds; for no love can save you without good deeds; for if you love God, you ought to show it with good deeds, and if you love man, you ought to show it with good deeds; then you might please God and good people and be saved.
And our Lord said thus to his disciples: “That is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you. Here one can understand which way you ought to love me, and each person love the other.”
The same way he demanded them love one another, the same way he had shown his love for them. Now I ought to show, if I can, in which kind of way the Lord Christ’s love was seen in his apostles, and then shall you be able to see in which kind of way those themselves ought to love other people to follow Christ’s example.
Christ gave his own dear life to suffer death on the rood for his apostles, and for you, and for all folk’s need, to release all humankind out of the devil’s power in that way. And you ought to follow Christ’s path, and you ought to be willing to die for Christ’s servants if one wishes to kill them totally guiltless, to extinguish Christendom in such a way, and to abolish Christ’s laws. If that person wishes to abolish Christendom and Christ’s name, you ought to stand there against those, and defend Christ’s servants, and Christ’s name, and Christendom while your life lasts, and for the true love of Christ and also of Christ’s servants you ought, if it befalls you in such a way, very happily die; and then you follow clearly the Lord Christ’s example, who died very happily for love of humankind on the rood; and also you follow clearly the Lord Christ’s apostles, who for the true love of Christ and also of Christ’s servants, died very happily to exalt Christendom. And you ought to know indeed, for the Gospel-book makes it known, that whosoever, for the love of Christ and also for love of Christ’s servants, goes forth to die happily to exalt Christendom, the most love he shows than any person can show; and therefore they went happily to die through martyrdom for God’s servants much more than any person can tell. This twofold love of God and man, which we ought to show to all, in word, in work, was shown to us well by those two hundred, which were signified by the third staff of Christ’s name.
And if you can fulfill right the love of God and also of man, then shall you be saved at your end through the name of Christ. And the number of seventy was signified well through the fourth staff of Christ’s name, from seven times one hundred; for the number of seven stands in a book to mean a great thing; for the number of seven means to us that prayer of seven kinds, which stands in the Pater Noster that Christ himself set for us; for all the Pater Noster is ended with seven prayers and with those prayers we ask for the Lord Christ’s help for all that is ever necessary for us for life and also for soul. And also the number of seven can mean seven gifts God’s Spirit gives us here if we please him right; for all that is ever necessary God’s Spirit grants us through seven gifts if we please him with a holy life. [5,367] And also the number of seven can mean those seven Beatitudes, of which our Lord Christ himself spoke to the people; some time there he told them a sermon of the bliss of the kingdom of heaven. He set himself once on a mount, as the Gospel makes known, and many folk were there with him to see and to hear him, and to receive a cure from him for each infirmity. And there he told them all a sermon of seven Beatitudes, which holy men follow here to please the Lord through it.
Now you can see that a great thing is signified through the number of seven, for it signifies clearly, as I have shown, right seven prayers that one finds in the Pater Noster; and seven gifts that one receives from the Holy Spirit’s help; and nevertheless it means, moreover, right seven Beatitudes that holy men follow here to please the Lord so.
The first prayer that one prays in the Pater Noster is that God’s name be praised and honored here right, for whosoever may praise and honor God’s name right here, he strives so that he shall be saved through God’s name. The other prayer that one prays in the Pater Noster is that God’s kingdom might be shown quickly, just like in this middle-earth as it is up in heaven. This same prayer will be fulfilled at the end of Doomsday, for then shall God’s kingdom be on earth just as it is up in heaven’s dwelling place today with God’s angels. And this might be a great good for us that it might be coming for us if we please God with thought, and word, and deed. The third prayer that one prays in the Pater Noster is that God’s will be fulfilled completely here on earth, just as it is fulfilled in heaven in God’s angels, for whosoever can fulfill God’s will here with word and work, he strives here so that he shall be saved through God’s will. The fourth prayer that one prays in the Pater Noster is that the Lord now today give us through his mercy all our daily bread; this bread is God’s help, and it is food for the life and food for the soul, and God gives it to all those who keep his laws. The fifth prayer that one prays in the Pater Noster is that our Lord forgives us through his mercy all that we have transgressed against him in thought, in word, in deed, that he forgive it in us just as we forgive others all that they transgress against us in any kind of way. Look now that you forgive well all folk all wrath and enmity if you wish to have forgiveness for your sin from God. The sixth prayer that one prays in the Pater Noster is that God not admit at all nor allow loathsome spirits to obtain mastery of us through their loathsome wiles, for whosoever obtains mastery and victory of loathsome spirits, he shall be crowned in eternal life’s bliss through the Lord. The seventh prayer that one prays to the Pater Noster is that our Lord God release us through his mercy out of all that which is evil with life and also with soul, for one cannot receive at all that good that is in heaven unless he be cleansed entirely of evil and of sin.
Here I have shown now to you those seven prayers completely that were signified, as I have said, through the number of seven. [5,477] And here I wish to show immediately those seven gifts that the Holy Spirit will give us here if we served him right. The first gift is intellect and reason in heavenly things, through which one can understand how one ought to yearn ever after that thing that lasts always, and is completely full of bliss. The Holy Spirit gives this gift to people who please him well, for always he longs for them from here and up to heaven’s bliss because they understood well how wicked it is on earth that it is in heaven’s dwelling place before God’s sight. Another gift God’s Spirit gives here to his servants is that he gives them here all full well to understand the deep mystery from the whole book in God’s house so that they can show you all that it says and means, and all how one ought to follow it to serve the Lord right so that you can all together follow that right way that leads those who keep God’s laws to heaven’s dwelling place. The third gift God’s Spirit gives to his servants here, he gives them himself here so far on earth so that they know how to guide right themselves and also others of all that ever is necessary either for the life and also for the soul.
The fourth gift from the Holy Spirit is strength against the devil: strength to fight stoutly against the flesh’s lusts; strength that love and lust give to torment the body with labor, with hunger, and with thirst, with cold in wicked clothes, with kneeling, and with prayer-song, with scourging, and with watching; strength to suffer right with skill each joy and each misfortune, and always to thank the Lord inwardly for all that he sends. This strength the Holy Spirit gives to those people who please him well. The fifth gift is discernment and reason in worldly things, through which one understands and sees well with the eye of the heart all that is right and that is woe before God’s eyes, and that happens to the life and that goes to the soul; and all how one ought to use and yet despise world-things; and how you ought to conduct yourself with reason with evil people and also with good people, that you not sin at all against either, but that (you) be the better of them both of those who abide near you; and how you ought to love in your friend in such a way the life and soul that yet you ought to hate in him all whatsoever is wickedness and sin; and how you ought to hate in your friend all wickedness and sin so that you ought to love nevertheless the life and soul in him. Such discernment and reason in world-things, how one shall lead himself, here the Holy Spirit sets in those who love and please him.
The sixth gift from the Holy Spirit is one right good sorrow-song that God’s servant, whosoever it is, here bears in his heart. He repents for his own wickedness and his own sin, and also for other people’s wickedness, other people’s sin. He repents that he has not kept all, as he ought, Christendom with word and with work, and with the right faith, all according to what he promised God the day that he was baptized. [5,575] He repents that he dwells here so very long on earth which entirely full of hate and malice, and full of all sins. He repents that he has not the kingdom of Paradise that was prepared for him through the Lord to enjoy always with bliss. He repents that he cannot protect himself from all sin, moreover that he does not continue to sin of his own accord. He repents that he cannot show such holy example, as his heart brings forth to him if he can perform it. He repents also for all those who follow the devil’s teaching, for those who themselves do not make amends for their sins. Such a sorrow-song the Holy Spirit gives to those people who please him right.
The seventh gift God’s Spirit gives to God’s servants here is to dread the Lord right in thought, in word, in deed. This dreading is that rood tree of which Christ himself spoke, and said to the people thus, just as the Gospel makes known: “The one that wishes to follow me and obtain eternal bliss, he receives his rood, and bears it right, and so follows my example.” And right dreading of God can well be signified through the rood tree, for right dreading of God you do so bind your heart entirely, and all your body, so that you dare not anger the Lord at all, neither through your thought, nor through your word, nor through your body deed; and so you follow Christ’s path through right dreading being entirely bound, as if you were bound entirely on the rood tree with bonds. This dreading the Holy Spirit gives to those people who serve him right.
Here have I shown now to you all those seven gifts, which holy men receive through the Holy Spirit’s comfort. And here I wish immediately to show those seven Beatitudes that were signified, as I have said, through the number of seven. And here I wish to recount them all in that same way as Matthew the Gospel-writer set them in the Gospel-book.
The first Beatitude is that you be, all with your own will, a totally wretched and poor and miserable person for the love of eternal bliss. This Beatitude shall obtain for you here the high kingdom in heaven, as the Gospel-writer says, that throughout does not lie. The other Beatitude is that you be humble, and soft, and mild, all for the true love of God, all with your own will. This Beatitude shall obtain and conquer for you all the land of heaven’s dwelling place, as the Gospel-writer says, if you follow it well. The third Beatitude makes the person weep with skill and weaken in resolve not at all for any loss of world-things, nor for earthly misfortune, but for his own sin, and also for another person’s sin, for God’s servant here weeps always for others and for himself. He weeps here for all those who weep here with sin; he weeps also for all those who lower themselves here with sin. Now you might ask which is he who weeps here with sin, what person it is who weeps here for the loss of earthly possessions. And you might ask which is he who lowers himself with sin, the person who submits proudly for his earthly joys. Now God’s servant weeps for those who weep here with sin, and he shall be comforted by the Lord at his end-day from all his weeping and woe, as the Gospel makes known. [5,677]
The fourth Beatitude is that you be thirsty and also hungry, not for meat, nor for drink, but for righteousness. This hunger and thirst is always in the heart of Christ’s servant, for always and forever he perseveres to promote righteousness, and always to tread underfoot all whatsoever is wrong and sin; and all his hunger and his thirst shall be relieved, for he shall be filled completely by his Lord’s food of each good at his end-day, as the Gospel makes known. The fifth Beatitude is called forgiveness and mercy, and the heart of Christ’s servant is totally full of this holy Beatitude, always to forgive inwardly, with true forgiveness and mercy, all a person sins against him in all kinds of ways. And the Lord at his end-day, as the Gospel makes known, shall show mercy to him and forgive him, and bring him to heaven. The sixth blessing of the Beatitudes is a clean and pure heart, that all your heart be clean throughout in your conscience, that you not be familiar with the less sin nor the more at all. Such a heart is not blinded at all by the greediness of possessions, or by any other lust of the flesh, or by any pride, and therefore one can see it go with all the right way that leads people to heaven’s dwelling place, to see the Lord with eyes; and whosoever it is who has here such a heart all throughout clean, he shall see the Lord with bliss, as the Gospel makes known.
The seventh blessing of the Beatitudes is peace in a person’s heart so that every single unclean desire and every single evil will be trod down through the love of God, and quenched in his heart so that his body with his soul should be joined together and reconciled so that they both yearn as one and follow as one with will in all that thought and word and work that is completely pleasing to the Lord. And this Beatitude does the person always follow true reconciliation with a good person and with an evil person in all that is not a sin, for it behooves him not to be all one with not any person in sin, for he cannot be sinless, happily from any sin, but it behooves him to persist always with reason against all sins, and to show nevertheless reconciliation and peace, just as I have preached [spelled], still further toward an evil person in all that is not a sin. And if this holy peace be well within your heart, and also without toward people, as I have shown, then shall you become certainly one of the Lord’s children, as the Gospel makes known to us what Christ himself said to us.
Here I have shown now to you right seven Beatitudes, which were, as I said to you, through the number of seven signified, for the number of seven stands in a book to signify a great thing, for it signifies clearly to us, just as I have shown, those seven prayers that one finds in the Pater Noster, and seven gifts that one receives from the help of the Holy Spirit, and seven Beatitudes that one follows here for the love of the Lord. And all was through the fourth staff of Christ’s name signified; that fourth staff is called O and it […] [5,775]
[Columns 137-144 wanting = two folios.]
[Inserted Leaf, ll. 5,776-5,861.]
One of those four is St. Matthew, and he was also an apostle. Another Gospel-writer was called Mark by name, and he was a good Gospel-writer, but he was not an apostle. The third Gospel-writer was called Luke by name, and he was a good Gospel-writer, but he was not an apostle. The fourth Gospel-writer was John, and he was an apostle. Here I have named now to you those four Gospel-writers that were signified to us well through the number of four hundred, for their life was perfect in all good deeds, just as the number of 100 is called a perfect number. And these four were also through four beasts [der] signified, which God’s servant Ezechiel saw through spiritual sight.
This same Ezechiel was a worthy and high prophet in the very great period before that when Christ came here to humankind; and he saw once four beasts through the Holy Spirit in heaven about the Lord, king of heaven, because they should signify to us those four Gospel-writers who wrote the Gospel of the Lord Christ in four books. That first beast of those four beasts was in a likeness of a person because it should signify to us Matthew, the Gospel-writer who wrote for us in his Gospel-book of Christ’s human nature because Christ was made human for the need of all humankind, so that he was true God and also true man in life and in soul; and also of all that holy work that Christ on earth wrought in our body that he received from St. Mary’s nature. Another beast was seen there in the likeness of a lion because it should signify to us Mark the Gospel-writer who wrote for us in his Gospel-book how Christ rose up from death in predawn twilight [uhhtentid] the third day after he died on the rood. And that was right that the lion was set against that Gospel-writer who wrote of how the Lord rose the third day from death, for a lion’s whelp, there where it is born, there it lies still three days as if it were dead to signify Christ’s death. And on the third day it is woken from sleep and raised because the father goes thereto and stirs and wakes it, just as the Lord rose on the third day from death all through his Holy Father’s might and through his own might. The third beast that he saw there was in a calf’s likeness because it should signify to us Luke the Gospel-writer whoh wrote for us in his Gospel-book about Christ’s death on the rood where he was offered as a sacrifice to release us out of hell. And that was right that the calf was set against the Gospel-writer who wrote about how the Lord Chris was offered upon the rood,
[End Inserted Leaf]
for a calf was, certainly very true, one sacrifice among those sacrifices that were offered to Lord God before Christ’s coming. The fourth beast that he saw there was in an eagle’s likeness because it should signify to us John the Gospel-writer who wrote for us in his Gospel-book about Christ’s divinity, about how the Lord Jesus Christ in his divine nature always was and is and ever will be his Father’s coequal [efennmete], Almighty and All-powerful God that wrought all creation, with the Father and Holy Spirit all one in divinity. [5,879] And that was right that the eagle was set against that Gosepl-writer who wrote the most in Gospel-book about Christ’s divinity, for in that which he wrote aobut such he flew up into heaven, because he wrote here in this life about God’s profound nature, and there was he very similar to an eagle that flies up very high.
Thus, through those four beasts those four men signified who wrote the Gospel of the Lord Christ in four books. And these four good men, with their four books, are spiritual in spiritual knowledge, one wagon with four wheels that bears in this middle-earth the Lord from land to land, for far and wide it is preached through their four books about our Lord Jesus Christ and how it behooves a person to serve him. And where in any land it is that a person preaches from the Gospel, how a person ought to serve Jesus Christ and love and dread him, there is the Lord Christ himself, and thither is he carried [wa33nedd] upon that holy wagon that goes on four Gospel-wheels.
[Inserted Leaf, ll. 5912-5971]
This wagon was signified by one king’s wagon in the old days, a very great time before that when Christ came here to people, and he, that king, by name was called Amminadab, and he, that same Amminadab, was born to signify Christ, God’s Son, through his wagon and through his name both. His name was Amminadab, and in English speech it signifies to us that person who does God’s work with inward heart, with great desire, with all his might, with all his full will. And that person is named Spontaneous in Latin speech, who does with inward heart good and all with full will; and so was Christ spontaneous in all his holy deeds for all that he came to people to become a human on earth, and that his foreskin was circumcised in the old ways, and that was properly very obedient to Saint Mary his mother, that he was baptized in the river [flumm] by Saint John the Baptist, and that afterwards he held a fast in the wild desert/waste, and that through the loathsome spirit he was then tempted thrice, and that he did great good with sermons and with deeds, and that he afterwards was taken completely innocent and bound and nailed upon the rood-tree, and that he rose the third day from death’s sleep to life, and passed up into heaven’s dwelling-place. He did all that on earth with inward heart’s love and desire, with all his full will, and, therefore, he was very well signified through Amminadab, who signifies to us that person that does God’s work with inward heart, with all his might, with great desire, with all his full will. And by Amminadab’s wagon was Christ’s Gospel signified, which is placed in four books by four Gospel-writers, and, therefore, it is Christ’s Gospel, all Christ’s holy instruction, as if it were Christ’s wagon in four Gospel-wheels. [5,971]
[End Inserted Leaf]
And our Lord Christ himself in our human nature was signified by those four beasts, which we now speak of, for he was human for our need, to release us from hell; and he was signified by the lion because he rose on earth, just as was his dear will, the third day from death; and he was signified through the calf because he was upon the rood, just as was his dear will, offered to the Lord in a sacrifice; and he was signified through the eagle because he passed up into heaven on that day that in English is named Holy Thursday. There was he signified well through the eagle, for an eagle can fly high. And every single holy person that properly holds the Lord’s laws is signified through those four beasts, which we now speak of, for a good person follows knowledge and reason and with wisdom he leads and is so signified through that beast that was in a human’s likeness, for it behooves a person to follow right that knowledge that God has lent him, but folly all with will in all that is against the Lord, in all kinds of sin, those he does not hold for a person before God’s eyes, for there is no number in heaven’s dwelling-place among God’s saints of evil people, who is evil all with his full will, but all such number as is of one hundred, for either is unclean.
And a good person rises always upward in all good deeds, and improves always and advances always before God’s eyes, and if he is guilty of any sin it is all against his will, and he will not lie therein but rises up through confession and atones immediately forthwith for the sin which [he] was fallen in. He rises up and reconciles himself with God through proper penitence, and is so signfiied through that beast that was in the lion’s likeness, which rises on the third day after it is born. And a good person stands always against his flesh’s foul will and quenches always with all his power his flesh’s foul desires and offers so before God a sacrifice very very dear, his own body with his spirit together in all good, and is so signified through that beast that was in a calf’s likeness, for a calf was offered to God in sacrifice before Christ’s coming among the Jewish people who then was very pleasing to God. And a good person yearns always and forever for his life’s end, and always longs after henceforth and up to heaven’s bliss, for all his love and all his desire is nailed up in heaven so that he throughout scorns all this world-thing’s happiness, and all his heart flies up and completely rejects earth, and is so signified through that beast that was in an eagle’s likeness, for an eagle can fly in the sky very high toward heaven, and signifies well that good person that yearns up to Christ.
Thus were those four men who wrote of the Lord Christ’s Gospel in four books signified by those four beasts, and Jesus Christ himself was also by all four signified. And every single holy person who properly holds the Lord’s laws was signfiied by those four beasts, just as I have shown, and all were signified to us through the number of four hundred, which were by the fifth staff of Christ’s name signified, for all that which those four beasts have signified to us, it was all a righ very perfect thing and throughout good withal, just as every one hundred is a complete number, and all full-grown so completely that it cannot grow or become more. And whosoever it is that person who follows this perfection, that was signified for us very well by the number of four hundred, which was signified for us by the fifth staff of Christ’s name, that a person shall be worthy to be saved through Christ’s name. [6,089]
The sixth staff signified to us the number of two hundred, and two hundred signifies to us those two holy lives that Christ’s herd in Christendom follows with Christ’s help. And it behooves you [pl.] to know which one of these two lives belong to that holy labor that follows God’s will to labor after meat and clothes with true innocence so that your labor is a clean labor and labored at the right time, and always in moderation, and always with reason so that neither angers nor hurts a living person according to what you can ascertain. Thus you can labor a holy labor and labor for God acceptably, and thus you can obtain the world-things with God’s leave; and whatever is obtained it behooves you to use it wisely upon yourself and on those that rely on your food with measure and moderation in meat and drink and also in your clothes. It behooves you to use the gain of your right labor upon you [pl.] completely, and it behooves you to use your possessions wisely on your God very blithely.
Of all those goods that are added to your possessions in the year, of all those goods it behooves you to bring the tenth part to your God, and it behooves you to entrust it all to the priest on God’s behalf. In return, he shall confess you and give you Holy Communion also, and instruct you, and pray for you day and night, and bring you to earth [i.e., bury you]. And, moreover, all your tenth part, it behooves you to bring it the more, for it behooves you to do your help always according to your power, to find all that ever is need about God’s altar. And it behooves you to kneel to your God and to obey and to present gifts to him, and it behooves you to love well your priest and to obey and to aid him, yet especially though he may not be as good a person as it behooves him. And look that you not accuse him though he may be to blame, for if the priest misdoes, he shall atone for it with Christ’s help, and if he does not atone for it, it will draw him to hell. And if your priest misdoes, it behooves you to pray inwardly that the Lord may give him the will and power to atone for his sins, for if you pray for your priest, you pray for yourself and please God because you so pray for you two [dual] both.
And it behooves you also to use your right gain always at your need, yet especially upon strange people [i.e., strangers] who need your help, for it behooves you to feed a hungry person and to give drink to the thirsty; and it behooves you to clothe a naked person; and it behooves you to comfort a sick person; and it behooves you to find shelter for him who is without shelter; and for him who lies in prison, bound and oppressed, it behooves you to aid him with your money to release him from bonds. And always it behooves you to conduct yourself properly and lawfully toward every single living person whom you shall share something with. It behooves your lord to be obedient to you and faithful and secure and true. It behooves your mate to love you well if she dreads the Lord, and you can follow her will in all that is not a sin, in all that she yearns for with reason, for the good of you two both. And if that is that she is completely foolish and weak and wicked, it behooves you completely to exercise your might thereto, to protect and direct her so that she may be saved at her life’s end, for if she is careless and fearless and wild, she sins quickly; and if you know it and it is nothing to you thereof, then you are not at all guiltless of the [fact that] she lies in sin. [6,195] And if your mate is wise and good, and you foolish and wicked, then it behooves your mate to direct you all that she can from sin, for it behooves either to be helped by the other to become saved. And if you two both follow right and love and dread God and uphold the Christianity of you two well according to the might of you two so that you two both lead you two cleanly among you two, then you two follow that narrow path that leads you two to heaven, if you two end the life of you two all according to Christ’s will, with all your right belief in God and all in good deeds, with love toward all people, with Holy Communion and with confession. And it behooves you two to take great care to serve the children of you two, and it behooves you two to instruct them eagerly to love and dread God if you two do not wish to anger God through sinful negligence.
And it behooves you two to lead right lawfully the hired servants [i.e., “le3hemenn”] of you two so that you two do not need them to labor immoderately, for it behooves you two to know very well and inwardly believe that there is no difference between you two and them in human nature, and that they may be good before the eyes of God, and that you two may anger God if you two overcharge them. And it behooves their servants to be ready for them when it is earned, for that is God’s command—observe, if you wish to follow it—that their daily labor be paid to them daily. And it behooves them, if it is loathsome to them to sin very heavily, to be early and late in the work of you two and yearning always thereon, for if they work the work for you two defectively and ill, then they sin very heavily against God and aginst you two both. It does not behoove you to disgrace any person nor to hurt [them] by your will, and moreover, if you sin at all with any person in life, it behooves you to atone for it blithely and to honor him with a remedy. And if it is that any person disgraces or hurts you, it behooves you to pray for him to do the right and lawful [thing] there towards you, and if he does the lawful and right [thing], then he becomes there your brother if it is done with heart, if either loves the other. And if he neglects to honor you through his pride and he wishes not to do right by you, neither for love nor for fear, that person is indeed the devil’s servant through malice and pride; and you will be meek, just as it behooves you, against his pride, and for the love of your Lord you will forgive him his anger and enmity, and you will completely refuse to seek vengeance against him, for you can please your God so and overcome the devil if you show true meekness towards pride, and if you wish not at all to hate him who hates you with heart.
Thus, you can lead right well here that life, with God’s help, that follows all that holy labor that is with God’s leave; and it is, as I said to you [pl.], one of those two lives that were signified by the sixth staff of Christ’s name because that staff signifies to us the number of two hundred. [6,289] That other life, which was signified by the number of two hundred, is found within a monk-life [i.e., monastic life] in those that are good. That life that is in a monk-life is separate from your labors, and it is all one other life and a higher and better life, for if it is held right, it earns more reward.
That person who shall lead this life that we now speak about, it behooves him to be meek in his heart and soft and still and mild and obedient to his abbot who has to direct him, to follow all his will completely in all that is not a sin, for there is not any obedience set by God, nor by his faith, to follow any person’s will in any kind of sin, for it behooves you neither to do sin for love nor for fear. And thereof martyrdom came to you among God’s saints, for before they wished to suffer death with all kinds of pain, before then they wished to sin in some way against God’s will, and for him who shall lead this life that we now speak about, it behooves him to flee from and completely reject al worldly matters, and it behooves him to reject all his flesh’s desires for love of Christ, and that is very strong and hard to effect here on earth. And therefore know you well that it is a higher and better life to live right in a monk-life, just as it is to live there, as it is to lead your life with wedlock and with possessions, for it behooves him to be a very clean person and all without possessions unless that person shall find for himself plain food and clothing. And there is all that earthly thing that behooves that minster-man [i.e., monk] to own without a knife and sheath and comb and needle, if he yearns for it. And all this a person shall find for him and it behooves him well to keep it, for it behooves him to do neither thereof, to give nor to sell it. And it behooves him forever to persevere to praise and honor God, and it always behooves him to be fresh thereto by day and by night; and that is a hard and strong and difficult and heavy life to lead, and therefore it behooves well a cloister-man [i.e., monk] to receive a great reward from his Lord All-powerful God, for whom he labors greatly. And all his heart and all his desire it behooves always to be toward heaven, and it behooves him to yearn always for that alone, to please his Lord well with day-songs and with early morning songs [i.e., matins], and with masses and with prayers, and with allowing him to scourge, to torment the body in such a way, with fasting for the love of God, with kneeling and with watching. And it behooves him to be humble and meek and good with the brothers, and also toward other people in all that is not a sin, for he can quickly be mild with him who is immoral.
This is that other life of those that were signified to us, just as I have shown you [pl.], by the number of two hundred that was signified by the sixth staff of Christ’s name. And these lives were signified to us by two sisters, a very great time before that when Christ came here to humanity, those sisters, which know you very certainly, were Laban’s daughters. And Laban was a rich man in world-thing’s happiness, and his two daughters signified to us two lives, those lives that I have preached about in some part to you now, according to the little knowledge that my Lord has lent me. That one was a very fair woman and was called Rachel […] [6,393]
[End of homily and beginning of the next missing (columns 157-160 missing = one folio).]
Pingback: Why the "wedded" in "wedded wife"? - English Vision