PREIER OF JEREMYE
(The Prayer of Jeremiah)
1 For the synnes which ye synneden bifor God, ye schulen be led prisoneris in to Babiloyne, of Nabugodonosor, kyng of Babiloynes.
2 Therfor ye schulen entre in to Babiloyne, and ye schulen be there ful many yeeris, and in to long tyme, til to seuene generaciouns; forsothe after this Y schal lede out you fro thennus with pees.
3 But now ye schulen se in Babiloyne goddis of gold, and of siluer, and of stoon, and of tree, to be borun on schuldris, schewynge drede to hethene men.
4 Therfor se ye, lest also ye be maad lijk alien dedis, and lest ye dreden, and drede take you in hem.
5 Therfor whanne ye seen a cumpeny bihynde and bifore, worschipe ye God, and seie in youre hertes, Lord God, it bihoueth that thou be worschipid.
6 Forsothe myn aungel is with you, but Y schal seke youre soulis.
7 For whi the trees of hem ben polischid of a carpenter; also tho ben araied with gold, and araied with siluer, and ben false, and moun not speke.
8 And as to a virgyn louynge ournementis, so, whanne gold is takun, ourenementis ben maad to idols.
9 Certis the goddis of hem han goldun corouns on her heedis; wherfor prestis withdrawen fro tho goddis gold and siluer, and spenden it in hem silf.
10 Sotheli thei yyuen also of that to hooris, and araien hooris; and eft whanne thei resseyuen that of hooris, thei araien her goddis.
11 But tho goddis ben not delyuered fro rust and mouyte.
12 Forsothe whanne `tho goddis ben hilid with a cloth of purpure, preestis schulen wipe the face of tho, for dust of the hous, which is ful myche among tho goddis.
13 Forsothe idols han a septre, as a man hath; as the iuge of a cuntrei, that sleeth not a man synnynge ayens him silf.
14 Also tho han in the hond a swerd, and ax; but tho delyueren not hem silf fro batel and fro theues. Wherfor be it knowun to you, that tho ben not goddis;
15 therfor worschipe ye not tho. For as a brokun vessel of a man is maad vnprofitable, siche also ben the goddis of hem.
16 Whanne tho ben set in the hous, the iyen of tho ben ful of dust of the feet of men entrynge.
17 And as yatis ben set aboute a man that offendide the kyng, ether as whanne a deed man is brouyt to the sepulcre, so preestis kepen sikirli the doris with closyngis and lockis, lest tho be robbid of theuys.
18 Thei teenden lanternes to tho, and sotheli many lanternes, of which tho moun se noon; forsothe tho ben as beemes in an hous.
19 Sotheli men seien that serpentis, that ben of erthe, licken out the hertis of tho; while the serpentis eten tho, and her cloth, and tho feelen not.
20 The faces of tho ben blake of the smoke, which is maad in the hous.
21 Nyyt crowis and swalewis fleen aboue the bodi of tho, and aboue the heed of tho, and briddis also, and cattis in lijk maner.
22 Wherfor wite ye, that tho ben not goddis; therfor drede ye not tho.
23 Also the gold which tho han, is to fairnesse; no but summan wipe awei the rust, tho schulen not schyne. For tho feliden not, the while tho weren wellid togidere.
24 Tho ben bouyt of al prijs, in which no spirit is in tho.
25 Tho without feet ben borun on schuldris of men, and schewen opynli her vnnoblei to men; be thei schent also that worschipen tho.
26 Therfor if tho fallen doun to erthe, tho schulen not rise of hem silf; and if ony man settith that idol upriyt, it schal not stonde bi it silf, but as to deed thingis schuldris schulen be put to tho.
27 The prestis of tho sillen the sacrifices of tho, and mysvsen; in lijk maner and the wymmen of hem rauyschen awei, nether to a sijk man, nether to a begger tho yyuen ony thing.
28 Of her sacrifices foule wymmen, and in vncleene blood, touchen. Therfor wite ye bi these thingis, that tho ben not goddis, and drede ye not tho.
29 For wherof ben tho clepid goddis? For wymmen setten sacrifices to goddis of siluer, and of gold, and of tre;
30 and preestis that han cootis to-rent, and heedis and berd schauun, whos heedis ben nakid, sitten in the housis of tho.
31 Sotheli thei roren and crien ayens her goddis, as in the soper of a deed man.
32 Prestis taken awei the clothis of tho, and clothen her wyues, and her children. And if tho suffren ony thing of yuel of ony man,
33 ether if tho suffren ony thing of good, tho moun not yelde. Nether tho moun ordeyne a kyng, nethir do awei.
34 In lijk maner tho moun nether yyue richessis, nether yilde yuel. If ony man makith a vow to tho, and yeldith not, tho axen not this.
35 Tho delyueren not a man fro deth, nether rauyschen a sijk man fro a miytiere.
36 Tho restoren not a blynd man to siyt; tho schulen not delyuere a man fro nede.
37 Tho schulen not haue merci on a widewe, nether tho schulen do good to fadirles children.
38 Her goddis of tre, and of stoon, and of gold, and of siluer, ben lijk stoonys of the mounteyn; forsothe thei that worschipen tho, schulen be schent.
39 Hou therfor is it to gesse, ether to seie,
40 that tho ben goddis? for whi yit whanne Caldeis onouren not tho. Which whanne thei heren that a doumb man mai not speke, offren hym to Bel, and axen of hym to speke;
41 as if thei that han no stiryng, moun feel. And thei, whanne thei schulen vndurstonde, schulen forsake tho idols; for tho goddis of hem han no wit.
42 Forsothe wymmen gird with roopis sitten in weies, and kyndelen boonys of olyues.
43 Sotheli whanne ony of tho wymmen is drawun awei of ony man passynge, and slepith with hym, sche dispisith her neiyboresse, that sche is not hadde worthi as hir silf, nether hir roop is brokun.
44 Forsothe alle thingis that ben don to tho, ben false. Hou therfor is it to gesse, ethir to seie, that tho ben goddis?
45 Forsothe the idols ben maad of smithis, and of goldsmithis. Tho schulen be noon other thing, no but that that prestis wolen, that tho be.
46 Also thilke goldsmithis that maken tho, ben not of myche tyme; therfor whether tho thingis that ben maad of them moun be goddis?
47 Sotheli thei leften false thingis, and schenschipe to men to comynge aftirward.
48 For whi whanne batels and yuels comen on hem, preestis thenken, where thei schulen hide hem silf with tho.
49 Hou therfor owen tho to be demyd, that tho ben goddis, which nether delyueren hem silf fro batel, nether delyueren hem silf fro yuelis?
50 For whi whanne tho ben of tree, and of stoon, and of gold, and of siluer, it schal be knowun aftirward of alle folkis, and kyngis, that tho thingis ben false, that ben maad open; for tho ben not goddis, but the werkis of hondis of men, and no werk of God is with tho.
51 Wherof therfor it is knowun, that tho ben not goddis, but the werkis of hondis of men, and no werk of God is in tho.
52 Tho reisen not a kyng to a cuntrei, nether schulen yyue reyn to men.
53 Also tho schulen not deme doom, nether tho schulen delyuere the cuntrei fro wrong.
54 For tho moun no thing, as litle crowis bitwixe the myddis of heuene and of erthe. For whanne fier fallith in to the hous of goddis of tree, and of gold, and of siluer, sotheli the prestis of tho schulen fle, and schulen be delyuered; but tho schulen be brent as beemys in the myddis.
55 Forsothe tho schulen not ayen stonde a kyng and batel. Hou therfor is it to gesse, or to resseyue, that tho ben goddis?
56 Goddis of tree, and of stoon, and of gold and of siluer, schulen not delyuere hem silf fro nyyt theues, nether fro dai theuys, and wickid men ben strongere than tho goddis.
57 Thei schulen take awei gold, and siluer, and cloth, bi which tho ben hilid, and thei schulen go awei; nether tho helpen hem silf.
58 Therfor it is betere to be a kyng schewynge his vertu, ether a profitable vessel in the hous, in which he schal haue glorie that weldith it, than false goddis; ether a dore in the hous, that kepith tho thingis that ben in it, is betere than false goddis.
59 Forsothe the sunne, and moone, and sterris, whan tho ben briyt, and sent out to profitis, obeien.
60 In lijk maner and leit, whanne it apperith, is cleer. Sotheli the same thing and wynd brethith in ech cuntrei.
61 And cloudis, to whiche, whanne it is comaundid of God to go thorouy al the world, perfourmen that, that is comaundid to tho.
62 Also fier `that is sent fro aboue, to waste mounteyns and wodis, doith that, that is comaundid to it; but these idols ben not lijk to oon of tho thingis, nether bi fourmes, nether bi vertues.
63 Wherfor it is nether to gesse, nether to seie, that tho ben goddis, whanne tho moun not nether deme doom, nether do to men.
64 Therfor wite ye that tho ben not goddis, and drede ye not tho.
65 For tho schulen nether curse, nethir schulen blesse kyngis.
66 Also tho schewen not to hethene men signes in heuene, nether tho schulen schyne as the sunne, nether tho schulen yyue liyt as the moone.
67 Beestis that moun fle vndur a roof, and do profit to hem silf, ben betere than tho.
68 Therfor bi no maner it is open to you, that tho ben goddis.
69 For which thing drede ye not tho. For whi as `a bugge, either a man of raggis, in a place where gourdis wexen, kepith no thing, so ben her goddis of tree, and of siluer, and of gold.
70 In the same maner and a whijt thorn in a gardyn kepith no thing, on which thorn ech brid sittith, in lijk maner and her goddis of tree, and of gold, and of siluer, ben lijk a deed man cast forth in derknessis.
71 Also of purpur and of marble, whiche thei holden aboue it; therfor ye schulen wite, that tho ben not goddis. Also tho ben etun at the laste, and it schal be in to schenschipe in the cuntrei.
72 Betere is a iust man, that hath no symylacris, for whi he schal be fer fro schenschipis.