How came this evil to enter into mankind?
Because Adam sinned at the first beginning,
By eating of the forbidden apple,
And thus the grain of the evil seed taking root in others,
He brought death to himself and all his posterity;
Well may we say, this was an evil morsel,
However Christ has redeemed the good by his death and passion.
But alas, we find in this lesson,
That Adam believed not God his creator,
Yea and we may be likewise, that nowadays,
Men forsake God the Father Almighty,
And believe in idols to their own destruction.
That which the law forbids, which was from the beginning,
Called the law of nature, common to all sorts,
Which God put into the heart of the man whom he first formed,
Giving him a power of doing good or evil,
But commanding him to do the good, and eschew the evil.
And this you may see was ill observed,
For that we have left the good, and done the evil
As did Cain the eldest son of Adam, who killed his brother Abel without any cause,
Save only for that he was good,
And had his hope in the Lord, and not in any creature.
Here we may take an example of the law of nature,
Which we have broken and transgressed,
We have sinned against the Creator, and offended the creature.
It was a noble law that was given us by God,
And written in the heart of every man,
That he might there read it and keep, and teach righteousness,
And love God in his heart above every creature,
And that he might serve and fear him without any reserve,
There being none to be found in the holy Scriptures.
That he might likewise keep firm the marriage-tie, that noble accord or contract,
And have perfect peace with his brethren, and love all other persons.
That he might hate pride, and love humility,
And do to others as he would be done by,
And that if he did the contrary, that he should be punished.
Now few they were that kept well this law,
And more they were who broke it,
Who forsook the Lord, not honouring him,
But believed the devil and his temptation,
Who loved too much the world, and too little the things of heaven,
And served the body more than the spirit.
Wherefore we find that many have perished.
Here every on may be reprehended of that faith,
That God created not man to suffer him to perish,
But let every one take heed, that it happeneth to him, as it did to them.
For the deluge came and destroyed the wicked,
But God caused an ark to be made, in which he saved the good.
So were the bad increased and the good diminished,
That in all the world there were saved but eight persons.