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Exhortation before Communion.'

OOD men and women, y charge yow by the Auctoryte of holy churche, that no man nother woman that this day proposyth here to be comenyd [communicated] that he go note to Godds bord, lase than he byleue stedfastlych, that the sacrament that he ys avysyd here to reseue, that yt ys Godds body, flesche and blode, yn the forme of bred; & that [which] he receyvythe afterward, ys no thyng ells but wyne & water, for to clense yowr mowthys of the holy sacrament. Furthermor, y charge yow that no man nother woman go to Godds borde, lase than he be of ys synnys clen confessyd, & for hem contryte; that ys to sey, hauyng sorow yn yowr herts, for yowre synnys. Furthermore, I charge yow yf ther be eny man or woman, that beryth yn his herte eny wrothe or rancor to eny of his evencristen [fellowchristian] that he be not ther howselyd, ther to the tyme that he be with hym yn perfyte love & cheryte, for ho so [whoso] beryth wrethe or evyll wyll yn herte, to eny of hys evencristen, he ys note worthy hys God to receyue; and yf he do, he reseyvythe his dampnacyon, where he schuld receyue his saluacion. Furthermore, y charge yow that none of yow go to Godds

1 From Harleian MS. 2383. in the British Museum. This extract is preceded by a form of private confession; and followed by a long form of absolution in Latin: after which come a homily,

and other miscellaneous matters.

The reader will observe the remarkable similarity of several of the sentences in this exhortation, with that ordered in our present Liturgy.

borde to day, lasse than he be yn full wyll & purpose for to sese and to withstond the deds of syn. For who proposyth now to contynue yn syn azene after hys holy tyme, he is note worthy to receyue his God; & yf he do hyt ys to hym grete perell. Furthermore, I charge all strangers bothe men and women, that none of yow go to godds borde, yn to tyme that 3e haue spoke with me, other [or] with myn asynys. Furthermore, y charge yow bothe men and women that havythe servants, that ze takythe hede that they be well y gouernyd yn takyng of mets & drynks, for the perell that may be fall, thorow forfeytyng of mets & drynks, for yf he brakythe or castythe hit owte with yn a day & a ny3the that he take hit yn to a vessell and do hit yn the fyyr. Also I charge hym that he be confessyd therof a-morow. Also 3e shall knell adown apon yowr kneys, seyyng after me, y cry God mercy, and our lady seynt mary, & all the holy company of hevyn, & my gostelyche fadyr, of all the trespasse of syn that y have don, in thowte, word, other [or] yn dede, fro the tyme that y was bore, yn to this to this tyme; that ys to say in Pryde, Envy, Wrethe, Slowthe, Covetyse, Gloteny, & Lechery. The v. Commawndements, dyuerse tymys y broke. The werks of mercy, note y fulfyllyd. My v. wytts mysse spend. etc. Misereatur vestri omnipotens Deus.


Absolutionis forma.

Deus noster Jesus Christus, pro sua magna misericordia, etc.

A Form of Exhortation at visiting

the Sick.1

O comfort a man or a woman, yn her laste ende, a priste schulde seyze thys. My dere frende, hit semyth that thou hyest faste

owte of thys worlde, that ys so wrechyde, to the blysse of euer lastyng joyze; therefore put onlyche all thyn herte, & all thy mynde, yn Almy3ty Gode that made the, & hathe y bou3te the wythe his preciouse blode; and be glade that thou schalte com to heuen; there ys all maner joy3e; where thou schalte se almy3tty Gode our Saueour yn hys Godhede, sothefaste Gode & man; and ye schalte y fynde & y se all blessyde seintts, that prayeth for vs euer more, and principally our lady seint Marye, and holy angels, the apostelys, martyres, & confessours, & virgins & all blessyd men and wemen, that buthe y passyde to heuen a fore vs; the whych Cryste our Saueour bouzte whyth hys preciouse blode apon the roode tree, and therefor they louyde all my3tty Gode our Saueour aboue all thynges; fore as the holy doctor seint Austyn telluthe, all thyngs that Cryste suffrede fore loue of mankynde, hyt was for loue that he hadde to saue mans soule. So as he sauyde the by loue, & for the suffrede an herde pascion, ware by thou schalte be sauyde, loke that thou haue hys pascion yn mynde, and loue allm3ty Gode aboue all thyngs; for as seint Austyn seythe, so

1 From M.S. Harleian. 2383: in the library of the British Museum.

as Cryste suffrede all thys for loue of the, thou arte moste y holde of all thyngs to loue hym; and therfor, my dere frende, loke that thou be yn stydfaste fey, what euer thou hyre or se; and put the onlych in to the mercye of Gode our Saueour, & drede the nouzte of no thyng that thou haste y do: be sory for thy synnes, & schreue the clene, & thynke to synne no more. For seint Austyn sey3t, the goodnesse & the mercy of all myg3ty Gode our Saueour ys so meche, that throw sorow of herte & schryfte of mouthe, wyllyng to do no more amysse, he forzeue the clen his syn, for God hym sylfe seythe thus; what tyme that eny man ore woman for sakythe his synnes, and makuthe hym clen therof, he schall be sauyd: and holy doctours & blessyd seintts seythe, that God all my3tty ys mor redy to 3eue mercye than eny man or woman be for to axy. Austyn seythe, be the synne neuer so grete ne neuer so foule, and y wolde axe mercye of all myзtty God our Saueour, thou schalte se saue [sic] thouze thou schulduste dey anon: therfor my der worthe frende, drede the nouzte of dethe, but be glade as seint Austyn was when he schulde deyze; whan he seyde, welkome be thou dethe, for thou art ende of all wykkydnes of synnes & care & all wrechydnesse; and thou artt the begynnyng of all goodnesse of ever lastynge joyze, & blysse, & all blessydnes. And so he was glade to passye owt of thys wrechyd worlde, to the ioyfull blysse of heuen, there ys all blessyde company. And therfor, my dere brother, be gladde to passy to the blysse of heuen, for tho thou my33ttyste be lorde of all this wrechyd worlde, thou shuldyste be glad to passy to the blysse of heuen: for then thou schalt y se all myзtty God our Saueour, and all blessyd company, & ther thou schalt y fynde all goodness: for as seint

Paule seythe, that is no herte that may thenke, nore no tonge may telle, all the goodnesse that God all myte our Saueour hathy ordeynyd to alle thukke men and wemen, that with all hur herte clen forsakuthe hur synnes, and loueth all my3tty God our Saueour aboue all thyng: therefor, my dere frende, do thou so, and thou schalt com to the grete blysse of heuen, that euer schall laste, wythe owte ende. Amen, for charite.

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