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right as the rote of the tree hideth him in the erthe. Of this rote of contrition springeth a stalke, that bereth branches and leves of confession, and fruit of satisfaction. Of which Crist sayth in his gospell; doth ye digne fruit of penitence; for by this fruit mow men understonde and knowe this tree, and not by the rote that is hid in the herte of man, ne by the branches, ne the leves of confession. And therfore our Lord Jesu Crist saith thus; by the fruit of hem shal ye knowe hem. Of this rote also springeth a seed of grace, which seed is moder of sikernesse, and this seed is eger and hote. The grace of this seed springeth of God, thurgh remembrance on the day of dome, and on the peines of helle. Of this matere saith Salomon, that in the drede of God man forletteth his sinne. The hete of this sede is the love of God, and the desiring of the joye perdurable. This hete draweth the herte of man to God, and doth him hate his sinne. For sothly, ther is nothing that savoureth so sote to a child, as the milke of his norice, ne nothing is to him more abhominable than that milke, whan it is medled with other mete. Right so the sinful man that loveth his sinne, him semeth, that it is to him most swete of any thing; but fro that time that he loveth sadly our Lord Jesu Crist, and desireth the lif per

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durable, ther is to him nothing more abhominable. For sothly the lawe of God is the love of God. For which David the prophet sayth; I have loved thy lawe, and hated wickednesse: he that loveth God, kepeth his lawe and his word. This tree saw the prophet Daniel in spirit, upon the vision of Nabuchodonosor, whan he counseiled him to do penance. Penance is the tree of lif, to hem that it receiven: and he that holdeth him in veray penance, is blisful, after the sentence of Salomon.

In this penance or contrition man shal understond foure thinges; that is to say, what is contrition; and which ben the causes that moven a man to contrition; and how he shuld be contrite; and what contrition availeth to the soule. Than is it thus, that contrition is the veray sorwe that a man receiveth in his herte for his sinnes, with sad purpos to shriven him, and to do penance, and never more to don sinne. And this sorwe shal be in this maner, as sayth Seint Bernard; it shal ben hevy and grevous, and ful sharpe and poinant in herte; first, for a man hath agilted his Lord and his creatour; and more sharpe and poinant, for he hath agilted his father celestial; and yet more sharpe and poinant, for he hath wrathed and agilted him that boughte him, that with his precious

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blod hath delivered us fro the bondes of sinne, and fro the crueltee of the devil, and fro the peines of helle.

The causes that ought to meve a man to contrition ben sixe. First, a man shal remembre him of his sinnes. But loke that that remembrance ne be to him no delit, by no way, but grete shame and sorwe for his sinnes. For Job sayth, sinful men don werkes worthy of confession. And therfore sayth Ezechiel; I wol remembre me all the yeres of my lif, in the bitternesse of my herte. And God sayth in the Apocalipse; remembre you fro whens that ye ben fall, for before the time that ye sinned, ye weren children of God, and limmes of the regne of God; but for your sinne ye ben waxen thral and foule; membres of the fende; hate of angels; sclaunder of holy chirche, and fode of the false serpent; perpetuel matere of the fire of helle; and yet more foule and abhominable, for ye trespassen so oft times, as doth the hound that torneth again to ete his owen spewing; and yet fouler, for your long continuing in sinne, and your sinful usage, for which ye be roten in your sinnes, as a beest in his donge. Swiche manere thoughtes make a man to have shame of his sinne, and no delit; as God saith, by the Prophet Ezechiel; ye shul remembre

you of your wayes, and they shul' displese you. Sothly, sinnes ben the waies that lede folk to hell.

The second cause that ought to make a man to have disdeigne of sinne is this, that, as saith Seint Peter, who so doth sinne, is thral to sinne, and sinne putteth a man in gret thraldom. And therfore sayth the Prophet Ezechiel; I went sorweful, and had disdeigne of myself. Certes, wel ought a man have disdeigne of sinne, and withdrawe him fro that thraldom and vilany. And lo, what sayth Seneke in this mater. He saith thus; though I wist, that neither God ne man shuld never know it, yet wold I have disdeigne for to do sinne. And the same Seneke also sayth: I am borne to greter thinges, than to be thral to my body, or for to make of my body a thral. Ne a fouler thral may no man, ne woman, make of his body, than for to yeve his body to sinne. Al were it the foulest chorle, or the foulest woman that liveth, and lest of value, yet is he than more foule, and more in servitude. Ever fro the higher degree that man falleth, the more is he thral, and more to God and to the world vile and abhominable. O good God, wel ought a man have disdeigne of sinne, sith that thurgh sinne, ther he was free, he is made bond. And therfore sayth Seint Augustine if thou hast disdeigne of thy servant, if

he offend or sinne, have thou than disdeigne, that thou thy self shuldest do sinne. Take reward of thin owen value, that thou ne be to foule to thyself. Alas! wel oughten they than have disdeigne to be servants and thralles to sinne, and sore to be ashamed of hemself, that God of his endles goodnesse hath sette in high estat, or yeve hem witte, strength of body, hele, beautee, or prosperitee, and bought hem fro the deth with his herte blood, that they so unkindly agains his gentillesse, quiten him so vilainsly, to slaughter of hir owen soules. O good God! ye women that ben of gret beautee, remembreth you on the proverbe of Salomon, that likeneth a faire woman, that is a fool of hire body, to a ring of gold that is worne in the groine of a sowe; for right as a sowe wroteth in every ordure, so wroteth she hire beautee in stinking ordure of sinne.

The thridde cause, that ought to meve a man to contrition, is drede of the day of dome, and of the horrible peines of helle. For as Seint Jerome sayth: at every time that me remembreth of the day of dome, I quake: for whan I ete or drinke, or do what so I do, ever semeth me that the trompe sowneth in min eres : riseth ye up that ben ded, and cometh to the jugement. O good God! moche ought a man to drede swiche a jugement, ther as

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