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A Ryght Profytable Treatyse Compendiously Drawen Out Of Many and Dyvers Wrytynges Of Holy Men   By:

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[Transcriber's Note: Abbreviated words and syllables are shown in [brackets]. ã,õ,ê,î,û = vowel with overline (following m or n) ¶ = symbol [V] [R] = Verse and Response symbols ]


ryght profytable treatyse

compendiously drawen out of many

and dyvers wrytynges

of holy men

by Thomas Betson

Printed in Caxton's house by Wynkyn de Worde about 1500

Cambridge at the University Press


The tract here reprinted is one of twenty six formerly bound together in a remarkable volume (AB. 4. 58) which was presented to the University in 1715 by King George the First together with the rest of the Library of John Moore, Bishop of Ely.

The name of the author is only known from the colophon. It will be seen from the facsimile that the fourth letter of the name is not certainly an s. Herbert (p. 204) on the information of W. Cole gives the name as Betton: but it seems probable that we are right in reading it as Betson. Mr Bernard W. Henderson, who has very kindly examined the copy in the Library of Exeter College, Oxford, and Mr F. Madan, to whom he has shown it, are decidedly of opinion that the letter is a blurred s.

The date of printing is fixed by competent authorities as 1500, on the evidence of the states of the printer's mark and of the cut of the Crucifixion.


This facsimile has been taken from the original in the Library of the University of Cambridge.

I certify that I have printed 250 copies only of this facsimile, that the impressions have been rubbed off the plates and the negatives destroyed.




¶ Here begynneth a ryght profytable treatyse cõpendiously drawen out of many & dyuers wrytynges of holy men / to dyspose men to be vertuously occupyed in theyr myndes & prayers. And declared the Pater noster. Aue. & Credo. in our moder tonge with many other deuoute prayers in lyke wyse medefull to religyous people as to the laye people with many other moost holsomest Instruccyons / as here after it shall folowe.

¶ The famous doctour Iohan gerson Chaûceler of Parys / takynge his groûde of holy scrypture. & accordynge with all other doctours sayth thus.

[Illuminated O]

Oure moost mercyfull fa[der] lord god knowyng our freelte & redynes to all s[yn]nes. is euer redy duryng this wretched & mortall lyf / by many & dyuers ways to forgyue vs our trespace / & to graûte & gyue vs his grace / yf so be that truly we ordeyne vnto hym these treuthes folowynge sayd & done with all our herte. The fyrst / thou shalt saye. Blessyd lorde I knowleche [that] I haue synned ayenst thy goodnes thus and thus Rehersynge thy synnes. And I am dyspleaseth therwith by reason of the whiche I do penaunce & wyll do. For I knowe well that I haue greued the & broken thy cõmaûdementes. In the whiche thou only ought to be worshypped. The seconde saye this treuthe. Good lorde I haue good purpose & desyre with thyn helpe to be ryght ware herafter that I fall not in to synne / & I entende to flee the occasions after [the] possibilyte of my power. The thyrde is this. Mercyful lorde I haue a good wyll to make an hole confessyon of all my synnes whan place & tyme cõuenient may be had acordynge to thy cõmaûdement & all holy chirche. These thre treuthes who soeuer sayth [with] his herte vnfaynyngly in what place [that] euer it be / he may be sure [that] he is in [the] state of helth & grace & he shal haue euer lastynge lyf though he had done all the synnes of the worlde. And yf he decessed [with]out ony other confession for lacke of a preest... Continue reading book >>

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