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93

ELEVENTH CHAPTER

Of a great prodigy that was wrought in certain persons through this sermon, as afterwards appeared, whereby we are given to understand what great wonders God works by good instruments, that is that He will do more by one sermon of an enlightened man than by a hundred others.

WHEN this sermon was ended, the Master went down and read Mass, and gave the Lord’s Body to certain good people; but after the sermon the man perceived that some forty people remained sitting in the churchyard. When Mass was over he told the Master of it, and they went out to where he had seen the people sitting that they might see how it was with them. But in the meantime, while the Master had been celebrating Mass, they had risen up and gone away, except twelve, who were still there. Then said the Master to the man, “Dear son, what dost thou think we had best do with these people?” Then the man went from one to another and touched them, but they lay as if they were dead, and scarcely moved. The Master knew not what to think of this strange thing, for he had never seen the like before, and so he said to the man, “Tell me, what dost thou think? Are the people alive or dead?” Then he smiled and said, “If they were dead, it would be your fault and the Bridegroom’s; how then should you bring them round again?” The Master said, “But if the Bridegroom be with me in this 94business, ought I to awaken them?” The man answered, “Sir, these people are still in this present state, and I wish that you would ask the convent ladies to let them be carried into their cloister, that they may not take some sickness and harm to their bodies, by lying in the open air on the cold earth.” And they did so; and the people were brought into a warm place. Then the convent ladies said, “Dear sir, we have a nun here to whom the same thing has happened, and she is lying on her bed as if she were dead.” Then said the Master, “My dear daughters, be patient, for God’s sake, and look to these sick people, and when any one of them comes to himself give him something warm to take; if he will have it; give it him in Christ’s name.” And the ladies said they would willingly do so. So the Master and the man went their way, and entered into the Master’s cell. Then the man said, “Now, dear Master, what think you of this? Has the like ever happened to you in your life before? Now I wot you see what wonders God works with good tools. Dear sir, I perceive that this sermon will stir many, and one will tell it to another. If it please you, methinks it were well that you let these sick children rest for awhile, for this sermon will give them plenty to digest for some time, and if you think it good, and God give you so to do, that you preach a sermon also to those who are in the world, seeing it is now Lent.” And the Master did so gladly, and preached also to those who were in the world, to the great amendment of certain of them.55Here follow two chapters in the original, containing sketches of other sermons preached by Tauler; but as they are less valuable than most of his sermons, and have nothing whatever to do with the progress of the story, I have judged it best to omit them.—Tr.


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