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12.30. The croising of kings. Chap. 30.

The croising of kings. Chap. 30.

BUt perchance the king was reserued by heauenlie disposition to the victorie of deser|ued loue. How much greater is it to repare things cast downe, than to vnderprop things likelie to fall? And who had knowne Hector, if Troie had continued in prosperitie? By so much as aduer|sitie is more instant and vrged, by so much the glorie of valiantnesse will shine the brighter. For by the se|cret iudgement of God, within two yeares after the victorie was giuen to the pagans and Parthians, a|gainst the christians, either to reuenge the cold deuo|tion of the east church, or to trie the deuout obedience of the westerne men; the worthie Richard earle of Poitiers hearing this ouerthrow, tooke deuoutlie the croisure vpon him at Towres, giuing an example to other princes in that matter. Whervpon the king of England, the earles father, and Philip king of France, who had bin before at variance (with Gods grace, and the archbishop of Towres persuasion) in that place and that houre, at their conference at Gui|sors were croised, with manie other great men of the clergie and laitie. And as kings folowed the example of the erle, so after their example the emperour Fre|derike, through the persuasion of the duke of Alba, with manie states of Almane were croised in the lords court at Mentz. So as it is thought, the king of England being reserued more than all other to the restoring of the decaied state of the holie land, if he had finished his life in this victorie; doubtlesse that famous prophesie of Merlin Ambrosius had beene verefied in him. His beginning (saith he) shall wauer A prophesie of Merlin tou|ching the king with wild affections, and his end shall mount to heauen.

12.31. The discord of the kings. Chap. 31.

The discord of the kings. Chap. 31.

A Sudden discord rose betwene the kings and that (which was woorse) betwéene the fa|ther and the earle, through the working of the old enimie, & their sinnes deseruing the same, to the great hinderance of their noble enterprise: as though they bring vnfit for it, the honor thereof was reserued for other; or perchance according to the sen|tence of Gregorie: Aduersitie, which is obiected a|gainst good vowes, is a triall of vertue, and not a signe of disproofe. Who is ignorant how happie a thing it was that Paule was driuen into Italie, and yet he suffered shipwracke? But the ship of his heart was safe among the surges of the sea. Likewise therfore as vertue is perfected in infirmitie, and gold tried in the fire: so the constancie of faith that can|not be craized with tribulations, dooth increase more as sinapis; and the courage of the mind is more va|liant againe than troublous assaults of fortune. O how much rather would I, that these kings accom|panied with a few men acceptable to God, had ta|ken vpon them this laborious, but yet a glorious iourneie, than to war proud for the great wealth that they had gathered of manie people to this end. Read ouer the whole bible, and consider thése latter times, and you shall find, that victorie hath béene gained, not with force and humane power, but with Gods grace and store of vertues. For as Cassiodorus saith: An armed people without the Lord is vnarmed. And as Seneca saith, Not the number of the people, but the vertue of a few get the victorie. Of the foure before named, the emperour Frederike, albeit he was the last croised, yet in the execution thereof he was the first: whome therefore I account so much the more woorthie of victorie in heauen, and glorie in earth, that he forsaking large kingdomes and his empire, delaied not out the matter.

12.32. A vision and exposition thereof. Chap. 32.

A vision and exposition thereof. Chap. 32.

THerfore I thought it not inconuenient to set downe a vision, which he that hideth much from wisemen & reuealeth it to babes visited me withall, being a most simple and vile wretch. In the miserie of this time, in that ciuill and detestable discord betwéene the king and the erle of Poitiers, I being with the king at Chinon castell the seuenth ides of Maie: at night in my sléepe a|bout the cocke crowing, me thought I saw a great multitude of men looking vp into heauen, and as it were woondering at somewhat. So I lifting vp mine eies to sée what the same was, I saw a bright light breake out betwéene the thickenesse of the A strange vision. clouds, and the clouds being incontinentlie seuered asunder, and the lower heauen as it were being o|pened, and the sight of mine eies pearsing through that window to the empeireall heauen, there appered the court thereof in great multitude, wide open as it were to be spoiled, all kinds of munition being bent against it. You might haue séene there a head cut from one, an arme from another, and some stri|ken through with arrowes, some with lances, and some with swords. And when manie of the beholders either for the brightnes, or terror, or pitie, had fallen flat on their faces: me thought that I (to see the end of the matter) did view it longer than the rest. So they hauing gotten the victorie ouer all the other, the bloudie slaues fell vpon the prince of the heauenlie orders, sitting in his throne as he was woont to bee pictured, and drawing him from the throne on the right hand, hauing his breast naked, they thrust him through the right side with their lances, and immedi|atlie there followed a terrible voice in this maner, Woch, woch, OHoli-ghost! But whether it came frõ heauen, or was vttered by the people beneath, I can not tell; and so the terror of this voice & the vision a|wakened me.

EEBO page image 51 I call him here to witnesse, to whome all things are apparant and manifest, that immediatlie as I sat in my bed, & reuolued these things in my mind, I was in so great an horror both of bodie and mind, for halfe an houre and more, that I feared least I should haue fallen besides my selfe. But recoursing deuout|lie to the onlie refuge of humane saluation, & blessing my forehead with the crosse estsoones, & fortifieng my mind thereby, I passed the rest of the night without sléepe, & so through Gods grace returned fullie to my selfe: yet to this daie I can neuer remember that vi|sion without horror. What may be more terrible to a creature than to see his creator smitten through with weapons? What man without gréefe can abide to sée the seruants of God, & patrons of men to be murthe|red? Who can behold the Lord of nature to suffer, & dooth not suffer therewith? What this vision porten|deth, The meaning of the foresaid vision. without preiudice to anie I will shew brieflie. He that suffered once in his owne person for all, gi|ueth vs to vnderstand, that he now suffereth againe, but that in his flocke. And he that by triumphing o|uer the crosse, and ascending to the right hand of his father, hath victoriouslie entered his kingdome; his enimies now go about to depriue him of his king|dome, and subuert his church, which he gathered vnto him by the shedding of his bloud. Therefore, as I doo suppose, this passion did not appeare vpon the crosse, but his maiestie: as though the crosse now being taken awaie, his enimies go about to take that glorie from him, which he got on the crosse. Or else that his faithfull had suffered, not in the crosse, but with weapons in that holie land, which he af|ter so manie miracles had consecrated with his bloud. So likewise he declared this his passion which he for his susteined, not in the crosse, but in his maie|stie: so he signified, that all the court of heauen suffe|red with the like compassion, mouing his to reuenge|ment with the shewing of so great greefe. As concer|ning that voice beginning in a barbarous language and ending in Latine, what I thinke I will shew. Woch, woch, in the Germane toong, is a signe of gréefe doubled. And where that wofull mourning voice began in the Germane toong, and ended in La|tine, it maie be signified thereby, that onelie the Al|mans and the Italians take this the affliction of their Lord more grieuouslie than other nations, as their hasting declareth. God forbid that the passion or la|mentation be here vnderstood by anie slaughter of the christians and people in this expedition.

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