Oppynyon of the Crosse

Capitulo tercio

`Opynyons ben ther fonden, be they soth, or elles hit nedeth not fully to byleuen them, ne fully to repreuen, what tyme that Adam lay, as seyth this oppynyon, in his deth bed, he send his sone Seth to Paradys for to fetche hym medecyna & helpe for his dysese. He dyd his message then as he had in charge of his fader, and thennes he brought a braunche, delyuered hym by an aungel, of the same tree that Adam hadde spoylled, whiche aungel badde hym to plaunten this braunche and it growen to a grete tree. And suche fruyte shold it bere, wherby that Adam sholde haue his hele.

`So was this brauncheb planted in the same place where Adam was beryed, & waxe afterward to a grete tree, and was after hewen doune for to be made a beme in Salamons temple. But it wold nought be accordaunt to the place that hit was ordeyned for. And thenne was it cast oute, and maade therof a brydge ouer the brook of Cedron in the Vale of Iosephat, in to the tyme that the Quene of Saba
51 come to Ierusalem, and shold haue passid that brydge.

`Thenne she eshewed it and took another wey fer aboute the cite, & come to Salamon
c & seide thatd vpon [60r] suche a tree that lay ouer that broke shold suche one be hanged, by whome the Iewes lawe shold vtterly be fordone; that was this swete appel Ihesu Cryst, that after was hanged vpon this same tre. By cause of these wordes thenne of this wyse lady, this tre was taken thens and cast in the pond, whiche that in the gospell is cleped probatica piscina52.

`But whether that this oppynyon be sothfast or elles, lytel charge is it. Neuertheles it may be trowid by lykely euydence that the tree, of whiche the Crosse was made, shold come of the same wherof Adam ete, so that in punysshyng of his mysdede and resta­blysshyng of this appel, hit behoued that Goddes Sone were made an appel, and that it shold vpon this drye tree be tatched, and stretchid openly to shewynge of al the world.

`And whether hit be soothe or noo that the tree on whiche he was hanged thus come of that other tree, that Adam hadde spoylled, the sothe hit is, the lusty greene tree hadde bee spoylled of hyr appel, as that other was before, elles myght neuer the appel haue be restored, ne the trespas fully punysshed, ne neuer haue be relecyd, wherfore was it good ryght, sith that this olde tree tho­rugh spoylynge of his fruyte was woxen drye and al withouten humoure, that it shold efte by receyuynge of newe fruyte eftsones be restablysshed and be made grene in florisshynge as it was before. But al drye and humourles hit stood to euery mans knowynge in to the tyme that the worthy Lady Iustyce with ful fyers semblauntf come forth for to maken an ordynaunce that this myght be done.