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The Complaynt of Scotland
Chapter V

Of diuers opinions that the pagan philosophours held of the conditions ande induring of the varld, ande quhou the actor declaris that the varld is neir ane ende.

Chap. V

<f25v> THE special cause of the scurge that hes affligit vs, hes procedit of our disobediens contrar the command of god. Ande the cause of our disobediens hes procedit of ane varldly affectione ande cupidite that ve haue touart the vile corruptione of this varld that the scriptour callis mammon, quhilk ve hald for ane souerane felicite, bot nochtheles it is bot ane corrupit poison in sa far as ve can nocht serue gode ande it to gyddir. as Sanct mathou hes said, ze may nocht serue god ande mammon. ther is ane vthir cause that makkis vs disobedient, mony of us beleuis in our consait that ther is na thyng perdurabil bot the varld alanerly. sic abusione procedis of onfaythfulnes, ande of oure blynd affectione, quhilk makkis vs sa brutal, that ve vait nocht quhat thing the varld is, nor quhou lang it sal indure, bot rather ve beleue that it sal be perpetual. ther for oure cupidite constrenzeis vs to desire prolongatione of oure dais. that ve maye vse the blynd sensual felicite of it, quhilk mony of vs thynkis mair comodius ande necessair for our veilfayr, nor ve thynk of the sempeternal <f26r> olimp. Bot vald ve considir the diffinitione of the varld, than i beleue that oure solistnes ande vane opinione vald altir in ane faythtful consait. Ther is mony that speikis of the varld, & zit thai vait nocht quhat thing is the varld. the pagan philosophours held mony vane opinions & tynt mekil tyme in vane questions & speculations, ande hes tormentit the spreitis, drauand & compiland mony beukis, quhilkis ar set furtht in diuerse cuntreis, bot zit ther vas neuyr ane final accordance concludit amang them, for of the final verite that thai socht, thai gat litil, ande the ignorance that thai haue put in vrit, is verray mekil, be rason that the smallest part of ther ignorance in supernatural cacis, excedit the maist part of ther knaulage. Plato, aristotel, pithagoras, empedocles, epecurius, thales, & mony vthir of the pagan philosophours, hes hed grite defferens ande contentione to paynt ande discriue the origyne ande propriete of the varld Pithagoras said that the varld is ane thing, & it that ve cal vniuersal is ane vthir thyng. the philosophour thales said that ther is bot ane varld. the astrologien metrodore affermit, that ther is mony & infinit varldlis. selencus <f26v> the philosophour said that the varld is eternal. Plato said that the varld hed ane begynnyng, ande sal haue ane end, epicurius said that the varld is ronde lyik ane boule, & empedocles said that the varld is lang & ronde lyik ane eg. Socrates techit in his achademya, sayand, that eftir seuyn ande thretty thousand zeiris, al thingis, sal retourne, to that sammyn stait, as thai began, ande he to be borne agane in his mother voymbe ,ande to be neurist til his aige, ande sal teche philosophie in athenes. dionisius sal exsecute his ald tirranye in siracuse. Iulius cesar sal be lord of rome, ande annibal sal conques ytalie. scipio sal put cartage to sac ande to the sourde, ande grit Allexander sal venques kyng darius. of this sort al thingis that ar by past sal returne agane to there fyrst stait. My purpos is nocht to speik of this material varld that is maid of the four elementis, of the eird, the vattir the ayr ande the fyir: bot rather i vil speik of the varld that garris vs mysknau gode, ande be disobedient tyl his command, quhen the creator of al thingis, cam in this varld, to redeme vs, fra the eternal captiuite of sathan, he complenit ande repreuit the varld, bot zit <f27r> he repreuit nocht the eird, the vattir, the ayr nor the fyir, for thai foure elementis brac nocht his command, i hane herd diuers pepil regret, maling, ande mak exclamations contrar the varld, sayand, o false varld, o miserabil varld, o dissaitful varld, o inconstant varld, o malicius varld ,ande zit thai kneu nocht, quhat thing is the varld. eftir my purpos, that varld that the pepil malingnis, is nocht ane substancial material mas maid of eird, vattir, ayr & fyir, bot rather it is the euyl lyfe of the pepil that conuersis viciuslye, ande the prince of this last varld, is the deuyl ,the quhilk sal be cassin furtht as is rehersit in the euangel of Sanct ihone: this varld is nocht formit of the fouer elementis as of eird vattir ayr ande fyir as gode creat the material varld in the begynnyng, bot rather it is creat of seuyn elementis of sathans creatione, that is to saye, auereise ambitione, luxure, crualte, dissait, onfaythtfulnes, dissimulatione, & insaciabil cupidite. allace al thir seuyn elementis that this last varld is creat of, ar ouer abundand, vitht in oure affligit realme, quhilk is the cause of the calamite that it induris. bot var ve as solist to considir the vanite <f27v> of this last varld as Salomon considrit it, than doutles ve vald be verray solist to resist the inuasions of it, quhilk prouokis vs to vice, or var ve as solist til impung the occasione of syn, as ve ar solist to seik remeid contrar the exterior accidentis that oft occurris til hurt oure body, than doutles our sensual cupidite vald be cum mortefeit ande venqueist. Oft tymys ve seik remeide to keip vs fra euyl accidentis that hurtis oure body, as quhen the sune castis oure grite heyt: ve pas vndir the vmbre or the schaddou. quhen ve ar tirit to gang on oure feit, ve ar solist to seik horse to ryde. quhen the rane cummis, ve pas vndir the thak, or vthir couuert place. quhen ve ar thirsty ve seik drynk. quhen the plag of pestilens occurris, ve ar solist to seik ane cleene duelling place vndir ane temperat climat. Bot in opposit, quhen auereise assailzeis vs, ve seik nocht the vertu of liberalite, nor quhen vile luxure trublis vs, ve adhere nocht to the vertu of temperance ande contenens. quhen ire affligis vs, ve seik nocht the vertu of patiens quhen arrogans ande ambitione entris in our hartis, ve seik nocht the vertu of humilite. ande nou be cause that ve seik na remeid contrar <f28r> our disordinat cupidite, nor zit resistis the occasions ande temptations of the prouocations of vice, ve becum haistylye venqueist, be rason that oure smal resistance, generis grit hardynes in the aduerse party of oure saul. ther is ane mair odius thing amang vs, for al the vicis that oure cupidite prouokis vs to commit, our blynd affectione garris vs beleue, that tha ar supreme vertu ande felicite be cause thai ar pleisand tyl oure fragil nature, the quhilk is the principal occasione that ve conuerse sa viciusle as this miserabil sensual lyif var perpetual, ande as the dede hed na pouuer to sla oure bodeis, & as there var nocht ane hel to torment oure saulis, bot as ther var ane fenzet hel of the poietis fictions, as virgil hes set furtht in the sext beuk of his eneados. Bot as i hef befor rehersit, i suspect that there is ouer mony that beleuis in the opinione of Socrates, that is to saye that the varld sal indure seuyn ande thretty thousand zeiris. bot admittand vndir protestatione, that socrates opinione var of verite, zit socrates hes nocht said that the terme of oure lyue dais sal pas the course of nature, that is to saye, to pas the course of ane hundretht zeir, <f28v> ve haue experiens daly, that quhar ane man lyuis ane hundretht zeir in ony cuntre ane hundretht lyuis nocht ane hundretht monetht. Nou to confound the opinione of Socrates, ande to confound al them that vil nocht beleue that the varld is neir ane final ende, i vil arme me vitht the croniklis of master ihone carion, quhar he allegis the prophesye of helie. sayand that fra the begynnyng of the varld, on to the consummatione of it, sal be the space of sex thousand zeir. the quhilk sex thousand zeir sal be deuydit in thre partis. the fyrst tua thousand zeir, the varld sal be vitht out ony specefeit lau in vrit, quhilk vas the tyme betuix adam ande abraham, the nyxt tua thousand zeir vas the lau of circoncisione, vitht ane institutione of diuyne policie, ande vitht adoratione of god, quhilk vas the tyme betuix Abraham ande the incarnatione quhen crist ihus resauit our humanite for our redemptione. the thrid tua thousand zeir sal be betuix the incarnatione & the last aduent quhilk sal be the consummatione of the varld. bot thir last tua thousand zeir, (as master ihone carion allegis in the prophesye of helie) sal nocht be completit, be rason <f29r> that the daye of iugement sal be antecipet, be cause of them that ar his electis, as is vrityn in the xxiiii cheptour of Sanct mathou, & nisi breuiati fuissent dies illi, non fieret salua omnis caro: sed propter electos breuiabuntur dies illi. quha listis to reide al the xxiiii cheptour of Sanct mathou, tha sal persaue euidently that the varld is verray neir ane ende, be rason that mony of the singis & taikkyns that precedis the daye of iugement that ar expremit in the foirsaid cheptour, ar by past, & the remanent ar nou presently in oure dais: ther for efftir the supputatione of helie as mastir ihone carion hes rehersit, the varld hes bot four hundretht fyfty tua zeir tyl indure be cause that ther is fiue hundrethe fourty aucht zeir by past of the foir said sex thousand zeir. bot eftir the vordis of Sanct mathou, the consummatione of the varld sal be haistiar nor foure hundretht fyftye & tua zeir. zit god hes nocht affixt ane certan daye to fal vithtin the said terme of iiii.c.lii zeir, as is rehersit in Sanct mathou, de die autem illa & hora, nemo s(c)it neque angeli celorum nisi solus pater. ther for ve haue mistir to be vigilant ande reddy, sen the terme of cristis cumming is schort, ande <f29v> the day oncertane, as is said in the foir said euangel. vigilate ergo quia nescitis qua hora dominus vester venturus sit. this veil considrit, maye be ane probabil rason that the varld is neir ane ende. quhilk suld be occasione til haue it in detestatione, ande til haue premeditatione of the future eternal beatitude & felicite, that gode hes promeist til al them that haldis it in abhominatione.

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