A dialoge of comfort against tribulacion
of comfort against
tribulacion, made by
Syr Thomas More
KNYGHT, and set foorth by the
name of an Hungarien, not before this
Londini in aedibus Richardi Totteli.
Privilegio ad imprimendum solum.
PUBLISHED BY Richard Tottel
I thinke in very deade tribulacion so good, and profytable, that I shoulde happely doubte as you doe: wherfore, a manne mighte laboure or praie to be delivered of it, saving that God, whyche teacheth us [...]he one, teacheth us also the other. And as he bidde [...]h us take oure payne paciently, and exhorte oure neighbours to dooe also the same: so byddeth he us also not lette to dooe oure devoure to remove the payn from us both. And then when it is god that teacheth both, I shall not nede to breake my brayne, in devising wherfore he woulde bydde us to dooe both, the tone seming to resiste the other. Yf he sende the scourge of scarcitie and of greate famine, he wyll we shall beare it pacientlye: but yet wyll he that we shall eate oure meate when we can happe to geat it. Yf he sende us the plage of pestilence, he will we shall pacientlye take it, but yet will he that we lette us blud, and laye plai [...]ters to drawe it, and ripe it, and launce it, and geat it away. Both these poyntes teacheth God in Scripture, in moe than many places. Fastynge is better than eating, and more thanke hath of God, and yet wyll God that we shall eate. Praying is better than drinkyng, and mu [...]he more pleasaunt to god, And yet will God that we shall drinke. Waking in good busynes is muche more acceptable to God then sleping, & yet wil god that we shall slepe. God hath geven us oure bodyes here to kepe, and wyll that we may [...]tayne them to doe him service with, tyll he sende for us hence. Nowe can we not tell surely howe muche tribulacyon maye marre it [...] or peradventure hurte the soule also: wherefore the [Page] Apostle, after that he had commaunded the Corinthians to delyver to the devill the abhominable fornicator, that forbare not the bedde of hys owne fathers wyfe: yet after that he had been a whyle accursed and punished for hys sinne, the Apostle commaunded them charitablye to receive him agayne, and geve hym consolacion. Ut non a magnitudine doloris absorbeatur that the greatnes of his sorowe shoulde not swalowe him up. And therefore when God sendeth the tempeste, he wyll that the shyppe men shall geat them to their tackelyng, and dooe the beste they can for them selfe, that the seas eate them not up: for helpe oure selfes as well as we can, he can make hys plage as sore and as long lastyng as hymselfe [...]lu [...]te. And as he wyll that we dooe for oure selfe, so wyll he that we dooe for oure neyghboure too. And that we shall be in thys world eche to other petious, for Sine affeccione whiche the Apostle rebuketh them that lacke tender affeccyons here [...] so that of charitie sorye shoulde we be for theyr payne too: upon whom, for cause necessary, we be dryven oure selfe to putte it. And whoso sayeth that for piety of his neighbours soule he wyll have none of hys body, lette hym be sure, that as Saincte John sayeth: He that loveth not hys neyghboure whom he seeth, loveth God but a litle whom he seeth not, So he that hath no pitie of the payne that he seeth hys [...] neyghboure fele afore hym, pytyeth litle (whatsoever he saye) the payne of his soule that he seeth not: yet God sendeth us also suche tribulacion some tyme, because hys pleasure is, to have us praye unto hym for helpe. And therefore, when Sayncte Peter was in prieson, the Scrypture sheweth, that the whole churche withoute intermyssyon prayed in [...]essauntlye for hym: and [Page] at their fervent prayer god by miracle delivered hym. Whan the disciples in ye tempest stode in feare of drowning, they prayed unto Christe and saied: Salva nos Domin [...] perimus. Save us Lorde we perishe. And than at theyr prayer he shortly ceased the tempest. And nowe see we proved often that in sore weather or sickenes by general processions god geveth gracious helpe. And many a man in his great payn and sickenes by callyng upon god is mervelousli made whole. This is goddes goodnes that because in welth we remembre hym not, but forgeat to praye to him, sendeth us sorowe, and syckenes, to force us drawe towarde hym, and compelleth us to call upon hym and pray for release of our payn: wherby when we learne to knowe hym and seke to him we take a good occasion to fal after into farther grace.
2. The .xviii. Chapter.
Of them that in tribulacion seke not unto god, but some to the fleshe, and some to the world, and some to the devill himselfe.
Ye Cosyn but many men are there with whom god is not content, which abuse this great goodnes of his, whom neither faire treating nor hard handlyng canne cause to remembre their maker, but in welth they be wanton and forgeat god, and folowe their luste: and whan god with tribulacion draweth them towarde him, than waxe they woode and drawe backe al that ever they may, and rather runne and seke helpe at any other hande than to goe feke it at his. Some for comforte seke to the fleshe, some to the worlde, and some to the devil hymselfe. Some man that in worldlye prosperite is verye dull of welth, and hath depe [Page] stepped into many a sore sinne: whiche sinnes when he did them, he counted for part of his pleasure: god willing of his goodnes to call the man to grace, casteth a remorse into his minde amonge after hys firste slepe, and maketh him lye a lyttle while and bethinke him [...] Than beginneth he to remembre his life, and from that he falleth to thinke upon his death, and how he must leave all this worldly welthe within a while behinde here in this world, and walke hence alone, he woteth not whither, nor howe sone he shall take hys journey thyther, nor can tel what company he shal mete there. And than beginneth he to thinke that it were good to make sure and be mery so, that we be wyse therewyth, leste there happe to be such blacke bugges in dede as folke cal devilles [...] whose tormentes he was wont to take for Poetes tales. These thoughtes if they sinke depe, are a sore tribulacion. And surely if he take holde of the grace that god therein offereth hym, his tribulacion is holesome, & shalbe ful comfortable to remembre, that god by tribulacion calleth him and byddeth hym come home out of the countrey of sinne that he was bred and broughte up so longe in, and come into the lande of beheste that floweth mylke and honey. And then if he folowe this calling (as manye one full well doeth) joyfull shal hys sorow be, and glad shal he be to chaunge his life, leave his wanton lustes, & do penance for his sinnes, bestowing his time upon better busines.