I, Jacke Upland, make my mone to very God,
and to all true in Christ,
that Antichrist and his disciples,
by colour of holines,
walking and deceiving Christs church
by many false figures,
Where through (by Antichrist and his) many vertues
been transposed to vices.
But the felliest folke
that ever Antichrist found,
been last brought into the church,
and in a woonder wise;
for they been of diverse sects of Antichrist,
sown of diverse countries and kindreds.
And all men knowne well that
they bee not obedient to bishops,
ne leege men to kings;
neither they tillen ne sowen,
weeden ne reapen,
wood, corn, ne grasse,
neither nothing that man should helpe,
but onely themselves,
their lives to susteine.
And these men han all manner power
of God, as they seyn,
in heaven and in yearth,
to sell heaven and hell
to whom that them liketh;
and these wretches weet never
where to been themselves.
And therefore, freer, if thine order and rules
been grounded on Goddis law,
tell thou mee, Jacke Upland,
that I aske of thee,
and if thou be or thinkest to be on Christes side,
keepe thy paciens.
Saint Paule teacheth that all our deedes
should be do in charitie,
and els it is nought worth,
but displeasing to God,
and harme to oure soules.
And for that freers challenge
to be greatest clerkes of the church,
and next following Christ in living,
men should for charitie
ask them some questions,
and pray them to ground their answeres
in reason and holy writ;
for else their answer would nought be woorth,
be it flourished never so faire,
and, as me thinke, men might skilfully
aske thus of a freer.
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