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CHAPTER XI: A Brief Rehearsal of what hath been said in the former Chapters, with a Portraiture of this dark Image of sin

BY this that I have said mayest thou see a little the darkness of this image of sin, not that I have described it fully to thee as it is, for I cannot; nevertheless by this little thou mayest see more if thou look well.

But thou wilt say, how know you that I bear about me such an image as you speak of? To which I answer, that I may take to me a word said by the prophet, which is this: Inveni idolum mihi—I have found an idol in myself;144144    Joel 12. that is, a false image, which some call an idol, very foul, disfigured and misshapen with wretchedness of all those sins which I have spoken of, by the which I am cast down into fleshly or sensual pleasures and worldly vanities, from cleanness of heart, and feeling of spiritual virtues, more than I can or may say: and such fall of mine much grieveth me, and I cry God mercy for it. By this wretchedness which I feel in my own self, more than I have said, may I the better tell thee of thy image, for we all came of Adam and Eve, clothed with clothes of beasts’ skins, as the Scripture saith: Our Lord made to Adam and his wife clothes of a beast’s hide.145145    Gen. 3. In token that by sin they were come to be misshapen like to a beast, in which beastly clothes we all are born, and wrapped, and disfigured from our kingly shape.

This then is an ugly image to look upon; whose head is pride; for pride is the first and principal sin, as the wise man saith: The beginning of all manner of sin is pride.146146    Ecclus. 10. The back and hinder part of it is covetousness, as St Paul saith: I forget that which is behind (vizi, all worldly things) and I stretch forward to that which is before.147147    Phil. 3. The breast (in which is the heart) is Envy; for it is no fleshly sin, but it is a devil’s sin, as the wise man saith: By envy of the devil death came into the world,148148    Wisd. 2. for all those that are of his party follow him therein. The arms of it are wrath, inasmuch as a man wreaketh or revengeth himself by his arms, contrary to Christ’s bidding in the Gospel: If a man smite thee upon one cheek, thou shalt not smite him again, but offer him the other.149149    St Matthew 5. The belly of this image is gluttony, as St Paul saith: Meat serveth for the belly, and the belly for meat, but God shall destroy them both;150150    1 Cor. 4. namely, at the last day, when shall be the full reforming of his chosen, and damning of the reprobate, The members of it are lechery, of the which St Paul saith thus: Yield not your members to be instruments of iniquity unto sin; especially to this sin of lechery. The feet of it are sloth; therefore the wise man said to the slow and lazy person (to stir him up to do good deeds), Run, make haste, raise thy friend,151151    Prov. 6. that is to say, run quickly about to good works, and make haste, for the time passeth, and raise up thy friend, which is Jesus, by devout Prayer and Meditation. Here hast thou heard the members of this image.


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