Here Iustyce Exceptyth ageyne Al Excusacions

Capitulo xxiiii

What tyme that Iustyce had red this letter, she sayde vnto the Iuge: `Byhalde, Syre Prouost, how grete honour and worshyp hath Grace Dieu shewyd to this pylgrym, what chere she made hym by content of this letter, hym techyng and enformyng how for to saue hym self, so that by my wil he ne shal nought be herd of this excusacion. And ouer this, to grete shame and confusyon of his owne persone, I say ferthermore that he had redde bokes of moralyte, whiche that techen kyndely how that vertu shold be loued, and what wey a trewe pylgrym owed for to take,and not for to mystorne to one syde ne to other.

`But he as a fool hath lachessed & lost his tyme in veray vanyte. He auauntitha [21v] hym also of his skryp and burdon, whiche as he seyth he ne left neuer. But what suppose ye yf he had ben in the cruel tyme of Nero, other in the felle tyrauntes tyme Dyoclecyane
19 And of other perilous pursuers of the feyth, whiche in that tyme enforcyd them for tob myscryppe pylgryms with al theyr besynesse, & elles with importable peynes put them to the deth? I suppose that ful smartely he wold haue voydyd his scrippe for al this grete auaunte. Outher yf the perylous heretyke Arryus20 , outher other of his secte had met with hym? I drede that ful sone he wold haue byrafte hym that scrip and broken his burdon of kepyng, of which he now auaunteth hym, wherfore ther is noght why that now he make his boste, wherby he ne may excusen hym.

`He seyth also that Sathan hath hym deceyued, excytyng hym to al euyl werkes in whiche he hath surfetyd, & that he hath withdrawen hym fro werkes of penaunce, of whiche mater it wold more auaylen for to hold his pees. For why, yf he had vsed the armure that Grace Dieu had delyuered hym, Sathan shold but lytel myght or none haue had ayenst his persone. For there is neuer man ouercomen by hym, but only of his owne consent.

`In the selue wyse it standeth of the world. For he that seeth and byholdeth hit, standeth euer in perylle. But he that closyth his syght, that he ne see not vanyte, the wycked world may haue no myght ayenst hym. But this foole hath alwey his syght open therto, and abandouned hym self therto; withouten drede of perylle receyued the yeftes and the lustes therof with grete ioye and gladnesse of hert, as oftymes as it was profered hym. And more ouer, at some tyme with grete cours hath he pursued and trauayled for to haue it, soo that his excusacion is of no value, wherfore, yf Reson & Trouthe wil consenten, skile it is, Sire Iuge, that ye yeue the sentence.