Antiquarian Anabaptist

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

La Nobla Leyçon – IX

But herein is clearly manifest the malice of those men,
That they which will curse, lie, and swear,
He that will frequently put his money to usury, kill, and whore,
And avenge himself on those which hurt him;
This they say is a good man, and to be accounted faithful.
But let him take heed that he be not deceived at the end,
When he has received the stroke of death, and when death seizes on him, and he becomes almost speechless,
Then he desires the priest to confess him:
But according to the Scriptures he has delayed too long, for that commands us
To repent while we have time, and not to put it off till the last:
The priest asketh him if he hath any sin,
He answers two or three words, and soon has done;
The priest tells him he cannot be forgiven,
If he do not restore, and examine well his faults:
When he hears this he’s very much troubled,
And thinks with himself, if he restore entirely,
What shall he leave his children, and what will the world say?
Then he commandeth his children to examine their faults,
And buyeth of the priest his absolution;
Though he hath a thousand pounds of another and a better penny, yet
The priest acquits him for a hundred pence,
And sometimes for less when he can get no more,
Telling him a large story, and promising him pardon,
That he’ll say mass for him, and for his ancestors,
And thus he pardons them, be they righteous or wicked,
Laying his hand upon their heads,
(But when he leaves them, he maketh the better cheer)
And telling him that he is very well absolved,
But alas, they are but sadly confessed who are thus faulty,
And will certainly be deceived in such an absolution,
And he that maketh him believe it sinneth mortally.
For, I dare say, and it is very true,
That all the popes that have been from Sylvester to this present,
And all cardinals, bishops, abbots and the like,
Have no power to absolve or pardon,
Any creature so much as one mortal sin;
‘Tis God alone who pardons, and no other.
But this ought they to do that are pastors,
They ought to preach to the people, and pray with them,
And feed them often with divine doctrine;
And chastise the sinners with discipline,
That is by declaring that they ought to repent.
First, that they confess their sins freely and fully,
And that they repent in this present life,
That they fast and give alms, and pray with a fervent heart,
For, by these things the soul finds salvation:
Wherefore we Christians which have sinned
And forsaken the law of Jesus Christ,
Having neither fear, faith, nor love,
We must confess our sins without delay,
We must amend with weeping and repentance,
The offences which we have committed, and for those three mortal sins,
That is, the lust of the eye, the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life, through which we have done evil;
We must keep this way.
If we will love and follow Jesus Christ,
We must have spiritual poverty of heart,
And love charity, and serve God humbly,
For, so we may follow the way of Jesus Christ,
And thus we may overcome our enemies.

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