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may not be herde ferre of; his prayer therfore was holpen with all theyrs that prayed with hym and for hym; and theyr prayer was as the voyce of hym, whiche was soo grete that it muste nedes be herde. Impossibile est multorum preces non exaudiri, sayth Saynt Austyn; that is to saye, the prayer of many can not be but herde. One of the kynges of Juda whose name was Menasses, after many grete abhomynacyons and outrages agenst almyghty God, as it appereth in the fourth boke of the kynges, and in the seconde of Paralipomenon, he prayed unto hym for mercy with true repentaunce, and mercy was gyven unto hym. If this soo grete a synner for his owne prayer were herde of God, how may we doubte but where so grete a nombre prayeth for one as dyd for our late Kynge and Souerayne, but that all the nombre shall be herde? Quin exaudiet Dominus vocem deprecationis mee. The cause of this hope was true byleve that he had in God, in his chirche, and in the sacramentes therof, whiche he receyued all with mervaylous devocion; namely in the sacrament of penaunce, the sacrament of the auter, and the sacrament of anelynge. The sacrament of penaunce, with a mervaylous compassyon and flowe of teres, that at some tyme he wepte and sobbed by the space of thre quarters of an houre. The sacrament of the auter he receyved at Mydlent, and agayne upon Eesterday, with so grete reverence that all that were present were astonyed therat; for at his first entre in to the closet where the sacrament was, he toke of his bonet, and kneled downe upon

his knees, and so crept forth devoutly tyl he came unto the place selfe where he receyved the sacrament. Two dayes nexte before his departynge, he was of that feblenes that he myght not receyve it agayn; yet nevertheless he desyred to se the monstraunt wherin it was conteyned. The good fader, his confessour, in goodly maner as was convenyent, brought it unto hym; he with suche a reverence, with so many knockynges and betynges of his brest, with so quycke and lyfely a countenaunce, with so desyrous an harte, made his humble obeysaunce therunto; with soo grete humblenes and devocyon kyssed, not the selfe place where the blessed body of our Lorde was conteyned, but the lowest parte of the fote of the monstraunt, that all that stode aboute hym scarsly myght conteyne them from teres and wepynge. The Sacrament of anelynge, whan he wel perceyved that he began utterly to fayle, he desyrously asked therfore, and hertely prayed that it myght be admynystred unto hym; wherein he made redy and offred every parte of his body by ordre, and as he myght for weykenes turned himselfe at every tyme, and answered in the suffrages therof. That same day of his departynge, he herde masse of the gloryous virgin the moder of Cryste, to whome alwaye in his lyfe he had a synguler and specyal devocyon. The ymage of the crucyfyxe many a tyme that daye full devoutly he dyd beholde with grete reverence, lyftynge up his heed as he myght, holdynge up his handes before it, and often enbrasynge it in his armes, and with grete devocion kyss

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ynge it, and betynge ofte his brest. Who may thynke that in this maner was not perfyte fayth? Who may suppose that by this maner of delynge, he faythfully beleved not that the eere of almighty God was open unto hym, and redy to here hym crye for mercy; and assystent unto these same sacramentes whiche he soo devoutly receyved? And therfore in his persone it may be sayd, Quia inclinavit aurem suam michi. For the fourth poynt, whiche was a dylygent askynge of mercy in the tyme of mercy, it foloweth, Et in diebus meis invocavi; that is to saye, and in my dayes I have called for mercy. Whiche were his dayes? verily all the tyme of his lyfe. As longe as a man lyveth in this mortall lyfe, and truly calleth upon almyghty God for mercy, he may trust assuredly to have it. So it appereth by Saynt John in the Appocalyps, sayenge, Ecce dedi illi tempus ut poenitentiam ageret, I have gyven hym tyme to repente hym. And all this tyme Almyghty God mercyfully abydeth the retourne of the synner, to the entent he may have mercy upon hym; as it is wryten in the prophete Esaye, Expectat vos deus, ut misereatur vestri. There is no parte of his lyfe but a synner, yf he truly call for mercy, he may have it, wytnessynge the prophete Ezechiel, Impietas impii non nocebit ei in quacunque die aversus fuerit ab impietate sua. In what daye soever the synner tourneth hym from his synne, his synne shall not noye hym; moche rather than, yf he do it many dayes, and specyally those dayes that be to almyghty God moost acceptable, as be the dayes of Lent; of

whome the chyrche redeth, Ecce nunc tempus acceptabile, ecce nunc dies salutis. This is the tyme acceptable, these be the dayes of helth and mercy; than for all penytentes the hole chyrche maketh specyall prayer. Wherfore it is veryly to be trusted that so true a turnynge to the love of God, despysynge this worlde; so fast an hope in prayer, so ferme a byleve in the sacramentes of the chyrche, and so devoute a receyvynge of them; so many lyftynge up of his eyen, so many betynges and knockynges of his brest, so many syghes, so many teres, so many callynges for mercy, by all that gracyous tyme, by all the hole lente, with the helpe of the hole chyrche than prayenge for hym, coude not be in vayne; for the whiche, as I sayd before, he thus departynge made, I doubte not, a gracyous ende and conclusyon of his lyf, whiche was the fyrst parte promysed.

The seconde parte of this psalme I sayd sholde styre us to have compassyon and pyte upon this moost noble kynge; and that for a lamentable and pyteous complaynt folowynge, whiche resteth in foure poyntes. Fyrste, touchynge the sorowes of deth in his body. Seconde, touchynge the dredes of his Jugement in his soule. Thyrde, touchynge the miseryes of this worlde, full of labour and grevaunce. Fourth, touchynge his sorowfull crye to God for helpe and socour. As to the fyrst, it is sayd, Circumdederunt me dolores mortis, The sorowes of deth hath envyrouned me. When we here a lamentable complaynt of ony persone that is in sorowe or hevynesse, yf there be in our hertes ony gentylnes or pyte, it wyll move us to

compassyon, though he were ryght symple and of poore and lowe degree; moche rather yf it were some noble man, whiche of late had ben in grete prosperyte, but moost of all our Lord and souerayne; that shold perse our hertes with sorowe, to here hym lamentably complayne of ony of his sorowfull grevaunces. And what can be more sorowful and more paynful than be the payne, and sorowes of deth? Mors omnium terribilissima, sayth Arystotle. And why is deth so ferefull, but for the grevous paynes that are in it? There is so grete an amyte bytwene the soule and the body, and so surely a joyned knotte and bonde, that dysseveraunce of them is to paynfull; which thynge appered well in our savyour cryst Jhesu, where he, remembrynge the nyghnesse of his deth, complayned hym unto his apsotles, sayenge, Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem. And after, for the And after, for the very drede of the paynes, was in so grete agony of body and soule, that he swette water and blode for the only remembraunce. He then that is wrapped in dede in the very sorowes and paynes of deth, he feleth moche grevaunce; specyally yf his body be delycate, and he of tender and sensyble nature, as was this noble kynge. Let us therfore tender his complaynt sayenge in this maner, Circumdederunt me dolores mortis, that is to say, the bytter sorowes of deth have envyroned me on every parte; not onely one sorowe, but many sorowes, dolores; and many sorowes of deth whiche is moost paynfull, dolores mortis; not touched hym or pynched hym, but on every parte

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