Early Travels in Palestine: Comprising the Narratives of Arculf

By Thomas Wright | Go to book overview

THE BOOK OF SIR JOHN MAUNDEVILLE. .
A.D. 1322-1356

THE PROLOGUE.

FORASMUCH as the land beyond the sea, that is to say, the Holy Land, which men call the land of promise or of behest, passing all other lands, is the most worthy land, most excellent, and lady and sovereign of all other lands, and is blessed and hallowed with the precious body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; in the which land it pleased him to take flesh and blood of the Virgin Mary, to environ that holy land with his blessed feet; and there he would of his blessedness shadow him in the said blessed and glorious Virgin Mary, and become man, and work many miracles, and preach and teach the faith and the law of Christian men unto his children; and there it pleased him to suffer many reprovings and scorns for us; and he that was king of heaven, of air, of earth, of sea, and of all things that are contained in them, would only be called king of that land, when he said, "Rex sum Judeorum," that is to say, I am king of the Jews; and that land he chose before all other lands, as the best and most worthy land, and the most virtuous land of all the world; for it is the heart and the middle of all the world; by witness of the philosopher, who saith thus "Virtus rerum in medio consistit:" that is to say, The virtue of things is in the middle; and in that land he would lead his life, and suffer passion and death from the Jews for us, to redeem and deliver us from the pains of hell and from death without end, which was ordained for us for the sin of our first father Adam, and for our own sins also; for, as for himself, he had deserved no evil: for he thought never evil nor did evil, and he that was king of glory and of joy might best in that place suffer death, because he chose in that land, rather than in any other, to suffer his passion said his death: for he that will publish any thing to make it openly known, he will cause it to be cried and proclaimed in the middle place of a town; so that the thing that is proclaimed and pronounced may equally reach to all parts: right so, he that was creator of all the world would suffer for us at Jerusalem, that is the middle of the world, to the end and intent that his. passion and his death, which was published

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