IUSTYCE SPEKETH AGEYNE MERCY
Iustyce thenne spak, and seyd
in this maner: `Certes', quod she, `Syre Prouost,
wonder grete Grace did that Blysful Lord Goddes Sone
Ihesu to the kynd of man. But syth it is, he ne dyde
them nought that Grace for occasyon and lyberte of
synne. But his purpoos and entencyon was this: that
they shold after receyuyng of that Grace be more besy
and tendre aboute the kepyng of them self, disposyng
them in goode wyse to entren in to Paradyse by
the veray Passage of Vertu, whiche passage byfore that
tyme was so fast closyd and wardyd, that though they
had them seluen neuer so wel gouerned and disposyd, yet
ther come noone within in to that tyme of Grace. And
wel I wote that prouffyte or
auauntage that man hath therby.
`Yet is hit sothe that Ihesu Cryst neuer ne suffred deth in mayntenaunce of synners, but only to theym it shal auayle, that haue forsake her synnes as ferforth as they myght, for sykerly that Blisful Lord hade made, as me semyth, a symple marchaundyse yf he shold haue taken his deth for tho that neuer wold konne hym no thank, ne neuer dide for hym no thynge at al, ne neuer wold amende them of theyr synnes. The deth of Ihesu Crist maye helpe and auayle only to these whiche that retourne fro their errour wilfully. Nought that this was establisshed by me, but clene ayenste my law [24r] by purchace of this present lady Dame Miserycord, to whome I mote at somtyme assente. And elles sothely it myght not haue ben suffred, for a ful huge merueyle it is in my syght for to saue these that so greuously haue mystaken ayenst hym.
`In this wyse it standeth at myn aduys anents the prayer and the help of the Blessyd Crystes Moder, that no synner to hyr may ben acceptable ne plesynge, but al they ben to hyr in grete dysdayne as veray abhomynacion, excepte tho that haue ferme purpos of amendement and for to make asseth for theyr errours. For why the pleye were not euenly departyd yf he that hade so euel done as hath this present pylgrym, shold haue so lyghtely the benyuolence of the Noble Lady, as they that haue wel and vertuously gouerned them, and yf they ought mystake them, smartely haue amendyd.
`Soo what that euer this pytous Lady Mysericord saye or entend in this mater, it is veray douteles that God taketh noo rewarde, ne his Blessid Moder Clene Vnwemmyd Mayden, of these synners that wille nought in their lyues amende them self by penaunce of al that they haue mysdone, missaid, or mysthought ayenst Goddes Lawe. But this pilgrim is such one that hath nought amendid him, wherfore I saye that Mercy hath noo right to laboure for his saluacion.'