William Barlow

(1500-1568 / England)

O Christen Reder From Rashnes Refraine - Poem by William Barlow

O Christen reder from rashnes refraine
Of hastye iudgemēt & lyght sentence.
though sū reckē it frowardnes of brayne
Thus to detecte y&supere; clergyes incōueniēce.
Vnto christes wordes geue thou aduertence
Which saieth nothinge to be done so secretly
But it shall be knowen manifestly.
Where as men discerne no grefe of darcknes
Full litle is desyred the confortable lyght
The daye is restrayned to shewe his clerenes
Tyll the clowdes be expelled of the night
As longe as we perceyue not wronge frō right
Nether holynes from false hypocrisye
The truthe can not be knowen manifestly.
Cursed they are as Esaye dothe expresse
Which presume the euyll for good to commēde
Sayenge that swete is soure & light darcknes
As nowe in the clergye we may perpende.
Whos disguysed madnes in the later ende
As seynt Paule to Timothe did prophesye
Shall be knowen to all men manifestly.
Example of twayne he dothe there recyte
Whos names were called Jānes & Iambres
Which by enchauntmēt through deuels might
Strongely resisted the prophete Moyses.
Doynge lyke merueyles and wonderfulnes
So that none could the very trouth espye
Tyll their Iugglynge was knowen manifestly
Christe like wise with his predicacion
The phariseyes shewynge outwarde holynes
Was a counted of small reputacion
Vyce cloked vnder shone of vertuousnes.
Vntill at the last their furiousnes
Accusyng the woman taken in aduoutery
They sawe their fautes detecte manifestly.
Their vyces opened they could not abyde
Shame drevynge them to confusyon
Which afore season through pope holy pryde
They bolstred out vnder abusyon
It is the practyse of their collusyon.
Zele of rightuousnes to fayne outwardly
Tyll their fautes be detecte manifestly
Which in oure clergye is evidently sene
Fayned godlynes falsly pretendynge
Wherby moste parte of people do wene
That they seke goddes honour in all thinge
How be it men shuld se that their sekynge
Is to confounde christes gospell vtterly
Were their fautes detecte manifestly.
What greater despyte can they ymagine
Agaynst god his hye honour to deface
Than to vsurpe on them his power diuine
Abhominably sittinge in holy place?
Which hath continued longe tyme & space
And shall with outragious blasphemy
Till their fautes be detecte manifestly.
Scripture vnto them was first proferyd
Mekely without any prouocacion.
Which to receyue when it was offeryd
They refused with indignacion.
Wherfore touchinge their reformacion.
Litle trust is to be had certaynly
Tyll their fautes be detecte manifestly.
Thus to conclude o christen reder.
Vnto pacience I the exhorte.
Aduertesynge howe & in what maner
Christe rebuked this pharisaycall sorte.
Whom as Mathew in the .xxiij. doth reporte.
With fearefull sentence he cursed ernestly
Their wicked fautes detectynge manifestly.

Nihil est opertum 'h; nō reueletur.
Mtah. x.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 8, 2010

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