A late-15th-century English morality play re-written
for a contemporary audience by Miff Crommelin
Seized by Death, Everyman is summoned to appear before God to give an accounting of how he spent his life on earth. Everyman can persuade none of his friends, kinsmen, or worldly goods to go with him to meet his Maker, except Faith and Good Deeds.
Goods and Riches
Ec 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was:
and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Mt 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Mt 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
Ro 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Ec 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Messenger: I pray you all pay attention,
To this matter with reverence,
Presented in the form of a moral play or allegory-
The Summoning of Everyman is what it's called,
It deals with our lives and how it all ends
And shows how transitory our life really is.
This matter is wonderously profound,
But the moral of the story is even more wonderful,
And sweet to take to heart.
The moral is: "Man, from your early youth
Take heed and consider what faces you at the end of your life,
Even though you might be ever so gay right now!"
Yes, you may think sin to be attractive in the beginning,
But in the end it will cause your soul to weep,
When your body lies buried in the clay or ocean deep.
In this story you will see how Fellowship and Merriment,
And Strength, Pleasure, and Beauty,
Will all fade from you like flowers in May.
For you shall hear how our heavenly King
Calls Everyman to a general reckoning:
Pay attention then, and hear now what He says...
God: I perceive here in my majesty,
How all creatures are unkind to me,
As they live without reverential fear of me in worldly prosperity:
Without wisdom or spiritual insight the people are blind;
Drowning in sin, they don't know me to be their God;
Their minds are continually on worldly riches and pleasures,
And they fear neither my righteousness nor my rod of chastisement;
I revealed my Moral Law to them, and even died for them,
Knowing full well they would break it,
Taking upon myself the punishment for sin which rightfully was theirs to endure.
Yes, I shed my blood for them, but they completely ignored it.
I was hanged between two of them, it cannot be denied,
And I suffered death in order to give them life;
While I healed their feet, they bruised my head with thorns:
Indeed, I could do no more for them than what I did.
And now what do I see, but people who have completely forsaken me!
They wallow in the damnable seven deadly sins;
Things like pride, covetousness, wrath, lust and lechery,
Which are now considered commendable in the world.
Behold, even justice has become corrupt
As the wicked gain strength through new laws which oppress the righteous
Calling such wickedness 'human rights' so that wrong judgment goes forth;
How wrong they are to confuse legality with morality
Believing that if an immoral act is made into a legal right
Then it magically becomes moral as well!
Know they not that I and my Moral Law change not -
Whatever was wrong, is wrong, and will forever be wrong
And whatever is virtuous in my sight
Will always be virtuous for evermore.
It is I who declares what is good and bad, right and wrong
As revealed in my Word, the Holy Scriptures
And it is my Moral Law which must be the foundation of everyman's civil laws.
How dare they establish Human Rights Tribunals to protect damnable sins -
Scoundrels in government who pollute true justice
And outlaw my Holy Word, calling it 'hate speech'.
I am the everlasting King of kings, Lord of lords, and Judge of judges;
I laugh at these vipers who take counsel together,
Thinking they can sit in judgment of Me!
I will not stand idly by as I see justice twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Cunningly crafting a brand of justice which protects the wicked
And punishes the righteous, thus leading many to destruction;
And so I see Everyman leaving the heavenly company
As did the fallen angels before him;
Everyone living as he pleases, seeking his own pleasure,
And doing what is right in his own eyes.
And yet Everyman is oblivious of what awaits him as he stumbles along,
Thinking that life is just one big party in which there is no end and no accountability,
All the while sowing misery and reaping the fruits of his own iniquity.
And the more that I patiently bear what I see going on below
The worse they become from year to year;
It seems that all of humanity is degenerating before my eyes
Therefore I will hasten
To call Everyman to account
Because if I leave the people alone
In their present lifestyles and wickedness,
They will surely become worse than animals and pollute the whole human race
As they did in the days of Noah, and in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah;
Even now one would gladly devour another out of sheer lust and envy;
They express little outgoing concern for one another
As they greedily assert their selfish human rights
While ignoring their God-given responsibilities.
I had hoped that Everyman
Would attain the mansion I have prepared for him in my glory,
And thereto I would gladly have elected him and many others;
But now I see they are more like traitors who have rejected me,
They don't even thank me for the pleasures that I meant to bestow upon them,
And neither do they thank me for their very lives which I loaned them for a short time;
I offered the people great multitudes of mercy,
But few there be that even eagerly desire it, much less thank me for it.
They are so preoccupied with lust, sex, and human rights
And encumbered with worldly riches
That the time has come to deliver justice
To Everyman who blithely lives without thought or fear
Of the duties he has before me,
Having been born into a Moral Universe.
So where are you, Death, you mighty messenger?
Death: Almighty God, here I am at your behest,
Anxious to obey your every command and every request.
God: Death, go you down to Everyman,
And command him in my name
That he is to make a pilgrimage,
Which he in no way can avoid;
Tell him that he must bring with him an accounting of his life
Without delay or any tarrying.
Death: Lord, I will run throughout the world ,
And judiciously search out both great and small;
Every man will I trouble who lives sinfully
With respect to God's Moral Law, and who doesn't dread folly;
He that lives immorally and loves riches I will strike with my dart,
To blind him so he can never see his way to heaven,
(Unless, of course, Confession and Forgiveness happen to be his new friends)
So that he might live in hell for eternity.
Lo, yonder I see Everyman walking;
Obviously my coming is the furthest thing from his mind;
In fact, his mind is on fleshly lusts and his wealth,
Things which will cause him to endure great suffering
Before the Lord King of Heaven.
Hello there, Everyman, stand still; where are you going so cheerfully?
Haven't you been neglecting your Maker?
Everyman: Why do you ask?
Why do you want to know?
Death: Yes, sir, I will show you;
I have been sent to you in great haste
From God out of his great majesty.
Everyman: What? You were sent to me by God?
Death: Yes, certainly.
While you may have forgotten Him here,
He has been thinking of you in the heavenly sphere,
As you will certainly realize before I depart.
Everyman: Well, what does God want from me?
Death: That I will tell you:
He requires from you an accounting of your life
And without delay.
Everyman: This unexpected business troubles me!
And to give such an accounting
I would surely need a little more time!
Death: You are about to make a long journey:
Therefore you must bring along your book of accounts;
You cannot avoid this summons, and you cannot turn back the clock,
And be sure that your accounts are accurate:
Because it is before God that you will answer, and show
Your many bad deeds and your few good ones;
You will disclose how you spent your life, and in what manner,
Before the chief Lord of Paradise.
Now prepare yourself for that journey,
Because you know that you will have no mediator or attorney.
Everyman: I find this news most disturbing.
In fact, I'm absolutely unprepared to give such a reckoning right now.
Besides, I don't know you. What sort of messenger are you?
Death: I am Death, one who fears no man.
Eventually I arrest everyman and spare no one;
For this is God’s commandment
That all should obey me.
Everyman: O Death, you have come when I least expected you;
It is within your power to save me,
So of my own good will I am prepared to give you, if you will kindly receive it,
Ten thousand dollars
If you will defer this matter until another day.
Death: Everyman, it isn't possible for me to accept such a generous gift
Because I have no interest in gold, silver or riches,
Neither am I partial to pope, emperor, king, duke,
Or any judge who sits on the Supreme Court.
For if I were to receive great gifts,
Then eventually all the world would be mine;
But my custom is absolutely contrary to all this.
Therefore I will give you no respite. So come now and do not tarry.
Everyman: Alas, will you not give me a moment's delay?
I must say that Death is inflexible and gives me no warning.
Just thinking about you makes my heart sick,
Because my book of accounts is quite unready.
But if I could stay for just twelve more years,
Then my account book would be made perfectly clear,
So clear in fact, that I should have nothing to fear.
Therefore, Death, I pray thee, for God’s mercy,
Spare me until I have managed to provide myself with some remedy.
Death: I'm afraid it avails you nothing to cry, weep, or beg:
But set off quickly now on that journey,
And prove who your friends are if you can.
You know very well that time and the tide waits for no man,
And in this world each living creature
Because of Adam’s sin must naturally die. Your time has come.
Everyman: Death, if I should make this pilgrimage,
And my reckoning make,
Tell me, please,
Should I not come back here again shortly thereafter?
Death: No, Everyman; once there,
You may never come back here again.
Trust me, it's the truth.
Everyman: O gracious God, in the most high celestial seat,
Have mercy on me in this most distressing situation!
Shall I have no one to accompany me from this terrestrial ball -
Someone I'm acquainted with who can lead me there?
Death: Well, yes, if there is anyone who would be so brave -
Someone who would go with you willingly and be a companion on your journey.
Now be on your way to God’s magnificence,
Your reckoning to give before his presence.
Don't you realize that your life was a gift from Him,
And your worldly goods also?
Everyman: I had supposed they were mine to keep.
Death: No, not at all; they were only on loan to you;
For as soon as you are gone,
They will belong to someone else for a while, and then thereafter to someone else again;
In the same manner as they came into your possession.
Everyman, you are mad for not having prepared yourself for this reckoning;
You have five senses and intelligence,
And yet here on earth you would not mend your ways,
And now suddenly I stand before you.
Everyman: O wretched man that I am, where can I flee to,
So that I might escape this prospect of endless sorrow?
Now, gentle Death, please spare me until tomorrow,
So that I might have a little more time to make amends
And to enlist for my long journey a few consoling friends.
Death: It is an unusual request.
Normally I give a respite to no man,
But suddenly to the heart I shall smite
Without any warning.
But for Everyman who now lives I will relent,
You now have but a few short hours
To take stock of yourself and find some true friends
To comfort you on your journey which begins tomorrow.
And now out of your sight I will vanish away;
So see that you make yourself ready without delay,
For it may be said by Everyman
That this could be the very day
In which my soul must fly away!
Everyman: Alas, I may as well sit here and weep and moan;
Because now I have no manner of company
To help me on my journey, and to give me comfort;
And also my writing is completely unready.
So what excuse can I possibly give?
I would to God that I had never been born
Because that would have been more profitable to me;
Because in losing my own soul,
I dread that I am in for more pain and suffering than I have ever known.
The time is fleeting away and, Lord, I am most distraught;
But though I am in great anguish, it does me no good.
The day is passing and is almost gone;
And yet I still don't know what to do.
To whom should I bring my grievous complaint?
Well, maybe I should bring my woes to Fellowship,
And inform him of this sudden thing that has befallen me!
Yes, in him rests my promise of hope;
For we have in the world over many days
Had good friends in sport and play.
I see him over yonder, that's him certainly;
I trust that he will be company for me in my journey;
Therefore I will approach him to ease my sorrow.
Well, how fortunate to meet you good Fellowship, and good evening to you!
Fellowship: Yes, good evening to you, Everyman.
But sir, why do you look so downcast?
Is anything wrong? If so, I pray, please tell me
So that I might be able to help you.
Everyman: Yes indeed, good Fellowship,
I am in great trouble.
Fellowship: Well then, tell me what's on your mind, my true friend;
You know I won't forsake you for as long as I live,
At least by way of being good company to you.
Everyman: That was well spoken, Fellowship, and lovingly too.
Fellowship: Sir, please share your burden with me;
It hurts to see you in such distress;
I assure you that if anyone has wronged you, you shall be avenged,
Even if it kills me -
And even if I knew in advance that I would die trying to help you!
Everyman: Well, dear Fellowship, that truly is a consolation.
Fellowship: Oh, think nothing of it. Any friend would do the same.
So expose your grief to me, and say no more.
Everyman: But if I were to unburden my heart to you,
And then you happened to turn away from me,
And will not comfort me when you hear me speak,
Then truly I would be ten times sorrier than I am right now!
Fellowship: Sir, don't fret over such a prospect. What I say I will do - I will do.
Everyman: Then you are indeed a good friend for one who is in such dire need;
Why should I have doubted you?
Indeed, I have found you to be true when I faced many troubles before!
Fellowship: Yes, and so you shall evermore;
For, indeed, I would even march into Hell
Before I forsook you when I saw you in need!
Everyman: You speak like a noble friend, Fellowship, and I believe you are sincere;
However I might have to take you up on your promise,
Because Hell is what I deserve right now.
Fellowship: Nonsense! Let's not talk about morbid things like that today.
I simply declare that whoever promises something, and then doesn't perform it
Isn't worthy to be called a friend;
So tell me your problem, Everyman,
Unburden yourself to your friend who is most loving and kind.
Everyman: Alright I'll explain my dilemma;
You see, I'm obliged to go on a long journey,
A very long trip - one that is hard and dangerous,
In order to give an accurate accounting of myself without delay
Before the most high Judge, Adonai - God.
Therefore I'm asking you to accompany me on that journey,
As you have promised.
Fellowship: Well, now wait a minute. This is a grave matter indeed! Promise is duty, certainly,
But if I were to take on the responsibility of such a voyage,
I know very well, I would suffer for it:
Besides, the prospect of such a journey terrifies me.
So why don't we just reconsider the situation.
What you are saying would instill fear in even the bravest man!
Everyman: But you said that if I had any need,
You would never forsake me, even if it killed you,
And that you would even march into Hell for me if necessary!
Fellowship: Well, yes, I did say that certainly,
But setting such pleasantries aside, can you tell me
That if we took such a journey together,
What the chances are of my coming back here again?
Everyman: None whatsoever. Neither of us would be coming back here until doomsday.
Fellowship: Well then, Everyman, I will not be going with you on this journey.
Besides, who brought you such sober tidings?
Everyman: It was Death who was with me here only a short time ago.
Fellowship: Well, that really is serious business because it is God who has summoned you
Through Death, His messenger.
And for no man living today
Would I make such a frightening journey -
No, not even for my own father!
Everyman: But you promised me otherwise, dear chum.
Fellowship: Yes, I know that,
But if you will eat, drink, and be merry,
Or need a lusty companion when there are women around,
Then certainly I wouldn't forsake you - well, at least not while the sun is shining,
You can count on me for sure!
Everyman: Yes, I'm sure I could count on you in fair weather;
To be there for me in mirth, comfort and play.
You always have plenty of time for pubs and parties,
For TV, football and drinking with your buddies
But no time for prayer, scripture and contemplation of the hereafter.
Yes, you'd much rather apply your mind to silly games
Than face the serious things of life
Or be a solace on my long journey.
Fellowship: Now, look, don't downplay my sincerity. I'm not like that.
You know very well that if it was simply a matter
Of murdering someone you didn't like,
Or wanting a loan of one million dollars
Then I'd be right beside you to help you with a will!
Everyman: O yes, talk is cheap, and that is a great consolation indeed!
But, dear friend, please help me in my hour of desperate need;
We have loved each other for a long time, and now I really need you,
So, gentle Fellowship, please come to my rescue!
Fellowship: Now look here, whether we have loved each other or not,
I simply will not go with you.
Everyman: Fellowship, I beg you, if you won't go with me all the way,
Then for the sake of friendship and charity,
At least go with me to the outskirts of our city.
Fellowship: No, I'm sorry. Not for a million dollars and a case of beer
Would I travel a foot with you on this journey;
No, not for free season's tickets to the NFL, NHL, and PNE
So all I can say is 'Ciao, Amigo, have a nice trip!',
For yours is a game I really don't want to play.
Unfortunately I'm already late for a round of bridge
And you know I don't like to keep my buddies waiting,
True friend that I am!
Everyman: Farewell, then, good Fellowship;
This parting has made my heart sore;
Adieu for ever, I shall see you no more.
Well, now I'm really in despair and without any comfort,
Fellowship has abandoned me when I needed him most:
So where in the world can I turn for consolation?
At least Fellowship was able to add a few cheers
To my humdrum life and dreary years;
But now his parting has left me with nothing
But a hangover and sorrow.
Friends are plentiful in health and prosperity today,
But when adversity comes, you'll have none by tomorrow.
So now where can I flee for solace,
Seeing that Fellowship has forsaken me?
Perhaps to my kinsmen I will make my needs known,
Begging them to help me in my dire straits;
Blood is thicker than water,
And family members will surely rally 'round
To help when others have fallen away;
Therefore I will go and tell them, for yonder I see them going.
Hello, what brings you here, my dear friends and kinsmen?
Kindred: We've come because we heard you might be in some sort of trouble.
Dear Cousin, I pray, tell us all what is bothering you
And don't hold anything back.
Cousin: Yes indeed, Everyman, bring us up to date
Any way you can, if you feel up to it,
For you know very well that we will all live and die together.
Kindred: Yes indeed, both in sickness and health, prosperity and poverty we will be one with you,
And we won't ever let you down.
Indeed, a man can be quite forthright when dealing with his own kin.
Everyman: What a blessed thought, my dear friends and kind kinsmen.
You give me courage to reveal what has been on my heart lately:
You see, I have been commanded by a messenger,
Who is a high king's chief officer;
He ordered me to go on a pilgrimage to my detriment,
And I know very well that I shall never come back here again;
I must also give a true reckoning,
To one whom I fear will be my adversary. He is waiting for me
And will certainly punish me if I were to give him a true accounting.
Kindred: Well, what we would like to know first is
What kind of accounting are you being asked to render?
Everyman: I have to give an account of all my works - every word, every thought and every deed;
I have to show how I have lived my life - how I have spent all my days;
I also have to expose the evil things I have done under the sun
Seeing how my life was only on loan to me;
And then I have to account for every virtue that I have refused.
I pray you, therefore, please go there with me,
To help me make my accounting.
Please, please, be charitable and have compassion on me.
Cousin: What? You mean you want us to go there with you? Is that what this is all about?
No way, Everyman, I would rather be eating bread and water
For the next five years than go along with that idea!
Everyman: Oh dear, once again I've been let down!
For now I shall never find consolation
If you folks decide to abandon me too.
Kindred: Ah, sir; don't worry about it. You have always been a jolly fellow!
So take heart and don't be so depressed.
But be assured of one thing, we won't be going with you on this trip;
You will have to go there alone.
Everyman: Cousin, how about you? Will you not go with me?
Cousin: Ah, no, I'm sorry. You see I have a cramp in my toe and can't walk too well right now.
So please don't count on me for anything but to wish you 'God speed';
If I said I would accompany you,
Then I would only deceive you in your hour of need.
Kindred: Yes, unfortunately it wouldn't do any good to entice us further.
But as a consolation I would be happy to give you my maid;
She loves to go to feasts, and to get all nicely dressed up;
She loves to dance and to travel abroad for any occasion:
So I will give her leave to help you on your journey,
Provided, of course, that both of you can agree on this arrangement!
Everyman: Alright, now be frank with me, my kinsmen,
Will any of you go along with me, or stay behind?
Kindred: Stay behind? Yes, I believe that is our decision, and that is what we will do!
You see, we are working on our family tree
On which you, dear Everyman, are an honorable twig,
Having attained fame, fortune and status for us,
However our genealogy is yet unfinished
And though we'd love to go with you on this interesting pilgrimmage,
We must be off now to research our posterity
Therefore we simply can't go with you on this journey.
We kinsmen must therefore leave you, dear Everyman;
We give you our best wishes
And be sure to write and keep a journal on your journey
So generations to come will know how you fared!
Everyman: 'Journal on my journey...' How can I get satisfaction from any of this?
On all sides people make fair-sounding promises,
But now in my most urgent need, they all forsake me.
I am deceived, and that saddens me.
Cousin: Cousin, Everyman, I bid you farewell,
Because I also must leave you;
You see, I too am aware of the reckoning that I must make,
And it likewise troubles me;
Since I also have to give an account, which is quite unready,
Therefore I will tarry here to work on it.
So may God keep you, Everyman, for now I must go.
Everyman: Ah, dear Lord, is this what it all comes down to?
I see nothing before me but fair words and hypocrites;
They promise great things, but in the end they will do nothing for me, that's certain.
My kinsmen promised faithfully
To abide with me steadfastly,
And now see how quickly they flee from me!
Likewise Fellowship after he made me a promise.
So what friend is there to provide for my needs?
I'm wasting my time if I stay here any longer,
And yet in my mind's eye I see a thing which looks hopeful:
All my life I have loved riches;
Now that could be something worth turning to for help,
And to lighten my heart.
I will speak to him in my distress. -
Where are you, my dear Goods and my lovely riches?
Goods: What? Who's that calling me? Oh, it's you, Everyman. What can I do for you today?
You've woken me up from slumbering here in drawers and bank vaults,
All trussed up and piled so high,
You've even locked me away in treasure chests
You have been shrewd in getting all you can,
Then swiftly canning all you get,
And loaning it out again at compound interest that is exorbitant!
I've also been stashed away in bags where, as you can see,
I can't even move while lying here in neat little bundles
Or as nice little numbers on a bank statement.
So what, may I ask, would you like, Everyman?
A gold coin, perhaps? Or maybe a withdrawal from your fat investment portfolio?
Everyman: Come here, my Goods, as quickly as you can,
I need your advice on a matter of great importance.
Goods: Sir, if you in the world of materialism are beset with any trouble or adversity,
Then rest assured I can quickly provide you with a remedy!
Everyman: No, it's an affliction of another sort that's bothering me right now.
It has nothing to do with cash or materialism, I'll tell you straight away;
For I have been commanded to go another way - not through the world -
To give an honest general accounting of my life
Before the Lord of Lords.
All my life I've had joy and pleasure in nobody but you.
And since you have been the lord of my life -
My master, and the god that I served,
Please, I pray that you might go with me on this journey;
I'm hoping that perhaps you will have some influence on the Lord God Almighty
In helping to clean my slate;
Because I've often heard it said
That money can hide a multitude of sins,
And turn all things that are wrong, into right!
Goods: No, I'm sorry, Everyman, I sing a different song than the one you want to hear;
You see, I follow no man on voyages which are not in this world;
In fact, if I went with you
You would certainly fare much worse than if I hadn't gone with you at all.
You have depended on me too much over the years,
Therefore my abundant presence will do nothing but spoil the reckoning
That you are required to make.
Thanks to me, your account book will not be a credit to you at all
Because the bottom line will reveal how great your love has been for me over the years,
Not the things of God.
Everyman: Yes, I see. Your presence might only make matters worse
When I compute my fearful balance sheet.
But come with me anyway since I have no one else to comfort me.
In fact, to sweeten the deal, I'll throw in all my lottery tickets
On next Friday's draw if you'll only consent to come with me on my journey.
Goods: No. I cannot go. You see, I'm too brittle and will likely wear out over such a long journey.
Besides, my brother, Mammon,
Is the one who decides what the winning lottery ticket numbers will be,
So we really have no use for silly stuff like that.
Therefore I make it a point to follow no man one centimeter into the other world.
You can bet on that.
Everyman: Dear Goods and Riches, I have loved you so much.
All my life-long days I have shared pleasure and good times thanks to you, my treasure.
Goods: Well, what can I say? That happens to be to your detriment now,
Because your temporal love for me is diametrically opposed
To the love which lasts forever.
But if you had only loved me moderately during your lifetime,
And given part of me to the poor,
Then you wouldn't be in this present state of misery,
Which, like old Scrooge, fills you with great sorrow and fear.
Everyman: Oh dear, I've been deceived and let down again, and neither did it ever occur to me,
That all those years devoted to getting and spending
Were spent on vanity and simply a waste of time!
Goods: What, did you really think that I belonged to you?
Everyman: Well, yes - I thought so.
Goods: No, not at all, Everyman, again I say NO!
I was only on loan to you for a short little while,
And for a season you did indeed hold much of me in your grasp;
But my nature is such that it tends to kill man's soul;
And for every one that it saves, it destroys thousands of others;
Now do you really think that if you departed from this world
That you could take me with you?
No, not a chance, Everyman, not a chance!
You can bet your bottom dollar on that!
Everyman: Well...I had thought otherwise.
You see, I thought you were mine to keep,
And if I had any left,
I didn't plan on going on any journeys
That are out of this world!
Goods: You were deceived, Everyman.
You should have known that goods and riches prosper the body only,
But to your soul Goods and Riches is nothing but a thief
Oh, I may seem attractive when you are alive,
But when you are dead, this is what I really look like [ripping off mask]
To foolish money-hungry suckers like you.
My pretty disguise attracts just about everyman to their destruction. Cute, eh?
And as I have done to you, so shall I tempt other souls to their eternal woe,
For the love of me is a root of all evil.
Everyman: O false Goods, you are nothing but a curse!
You are a traitor to God who has deceived me,
And caught me in your snare.
Goods: Well, you have nobody to blame for your misery but yourself;
In fact, I find it all rather amusing,
Seeing the worry on your face makes me laugh and gladdens my heart.
Everyman: Ah, dear Goods and Riches, you have played me for a fool
By having so much of my affection for so long.
I even spent the portion that belonged to the Lord above on myself!
But won't you still go with me, if only for old times' sake?
Tell me candidly, what say you?
Goods: No, absolutely not. It simply wouldn't be profitable to help you right now.
Time is money, especially when compound interest is involved,
And time's awasting as I sit here talking to you.
So, if I can't give you a loan or a mortage, then I bid you farewell, Everyman.
Have a nice day.
Everyman: O dear, whose shoulder can I cry on now
In hopes of finding someone - anyone - to go with me on this horrid journey?
First Fellowship said he would go with me, but he's long gone;
His words were certainly pleasant and gay,
But afterward I was left standing there all alone.
Then in my despair I spoke to all my kinsmen,
And they also gave me hope for a moment,
Thanks to the soothing words which they had plenty of,
But in the end they forsook me also.
Then I turned to Goods and Riches, my life-companion whom I have loved the most,
Having laid up all my treasure on earth in search of security and comfort,
But now I own little more than an empty bag and a heart that is ill at ease;
In fact, my Goods quite unashamedly did me tell
That he simply delights in bringing many into the pit of hell!
Now I'm most ashamed of myself,
And feel quite guilty;
To the point of hating myself for being such a fool.
Now whom can I turn to for advice?
I know! Perhaps my old attorney, Rights is the right man for the job!
How often have I availed myself of my Rights in a court of law,
Like when I sent my girl friend off to have an abortion.
And when I dallied with a homosexual lover,
Didn't the law say that I was perfectly within my rights?
But why do I tremble so when I reflect upon these deeds?
Yes, I'm sure I can hire Rights to go with me on my pilgrimmage
To plead my case before the Judge of judges
After all, he's certainly had enough experience in a court of law!
Ho, there, Rights, how fine you look today
In your majestic robes that all Supreme Court judges wear!
I have a delicate legal matter that troubles me much
And I would value your legal opinion thereon.
Rights Of course, Everyman, you are perfectly within your rights to appeal to me.
And I am happy to be of service any way I can, (for a fee, of course.)
Everyman Oh yes, dear Rights, right now money is of little consequence
Because it is my soul in conflict with Moral Law that is in jeopardy,
Not my bank balance, and this is what I want to see you about.
Rights What? Your soul? Moral Law? Are there such things?
Ask me about legal technicalities and I will provide a ready response;
Ask me about Articles, Sections and SubSections of man-made laws
Derived from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
And I can make them say anything you want
In order to protect your selfish interests (for a fee, of course),
But I fear I know little about things like souls or Moral Law.
Everyman But I thought that you would know everything about Moral Law
Since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms openly declares
That our land is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God -
Hence his Moral Law which is revealed in scripture!
Rights Well, yes, there is something to that effect
But legal authorities like me choose to ignore that preamble
And focus instead on individual rights -
Something that we have absolute control over.
Now what do you wish to discuss?
Time is money, and your bill is already quite substantial.
Everyman Dear honorable Rights, I am obliged to stand before the Judge of judges
To give an account of all my deeds and misdeeds.
And since many of my questionable deeds were done
In the lofty name of Rights,
I would like to hire you to be my attorney.
You will be handsomely paid.
Rights Impossible! The deeds you committed as a human right
Were according to a list of man-made rights
Which is hostile to the God-made responsibilities of Moral Law
Which I deliberately and unlawfully ignored.
Therefore the Rights I have lavished upon you
Through my interpretation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Are, in fact, Wrongs or sins - transgressions of God's Moral Law.
Therefore, though my rights are perfectly legal,
They also happen to be perfectly immoral and sinful!
And therefore I will not plead your case before the Judge Most High.
When God gave Everyman his commandments and Moral Law
They were a Charter of Responsibilities, not a Charter of Rights.
So my kind of justice is completely opposite to his.
My justice involves protecting the wicked and punishing the righteous
Which, of course, is all quite contrary
To the kind of justice you can expect from the Judge of judges.
This was possible because I deliberately ignored the preamble
Of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Therefore my legal opinion is this:
Yes, I gave you the right to commit those questionable deeds,
But now you must answer to God yourself for having committed them!
If the rights I granted you lead you to hell,
Then that's no concern of mine.
Now I'm in great haste to confer rights
On another immoral special interest group (for a fee, of course).
My bill for professional services rendered
Will be in the mail tomorrow, Everyman.
Good day, and good luck.
Everyman What a fine attorney Rights turned out to be!
Indeed, I had pinned my hopes on him because of his legal expertise,
But like all the others he proved hollow, crafty and worthless,
Leaving me ten times worse off than I was before.
Again I was duped by someone I trusted implicitly.
Oh, is there no hope for me? Who else can I possibly turn to now?
Since all others have forsaken me,
Perhaps I should call upon my Beauty, Strength, and Knowledge
To go with me beyond the grave.
All my life they have served me well
They were always the perfect collateral I needed to purchase
Sex, fame and fortune.
Now, if the Lord above is a respecter of persons,
Then He will certainly have respect for me
If I stand before him with these favorable attributes in my company!
Oh, look yonder! I see them coming now!
[Beauty, Strength, Knowledge enter from the rear, singing]:
We three, we're all first class
We live in Everyman and thee,
We three, build self esteem,
Though Everyman may downcast be,
My strength is atomic
My wit makes me comic
Don't you think that I'm lovely to see?
We rise above troubles
Like soda with bubbles
So now we come to thee!
We three, we'll stand by you
From now until eternity
And me...ain't I pretty?!
Everyman: Ah, yes, welcome, welcome, my lovely assets...I mean, friends.
You must have read my mind, because I was about to go looking for you.
Something has come up that only you can help me with.
You see, I have to make a favourable impression
On someone greater than you and I.
Beauty: We three are up to the task, Everyman,
Have we ever let you down before?
If it's a lady you want to impress,
I can easily make you the most handsome and alluring man in all the world!
Strength: Yeah, but if it's someone who's hurt you in any way
I'll clobber and pulverize him if you want me to.
Knowledge: On the other hand, if this person is impressed by knowledge
Then I can surely sway him with my superior intellect.
Everyman: Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I can see you are all quite eager to help me in this task,
But I'm afraid that we must all work together on this one
For the One I'm to impress is no ordinary person
Who is easily swayed by craftiness and outward appearances.
You see, He looks upon the heart and judges motives and intentions -
Not superficial things like power, prestige, IQ's and deportment.
Beauty: Well, how can we help you then?
All our qualities have been groomed to attract
Those who are impressed by outward appearances, not inner ones.
Health, Beauty, Cleverness - these are the things that Everyman
Spends most of his time cultivating in order to better himself
In the eyes of Every Other Man and woman!
Success depends upon things such as these!
Everyman: But what is success?
Is success having a stable full of girlfriends
Each of whom you lust after but don't love?
Is success having a barn full of fancy cars and boats
Which seldom get used, and which cost too much to operate?
Is success having climbed up the corporate ladder
Having used craftiness to get to the top
Over the spent bodies of your colleagues?
Or is success something deeper than that -
Something that has to do with living righteously and doing good
In a world that is fast becoming hard, selfish and wicked?
Perhaps success has less to do with tangible things
Than with inner peace, contentment, charity, helping others live righteously,
Having worked hard and honestly for a modest number of things
So that one lives comfortably with self reliance and a good conscience.
Strength: Everyman, you don't sound like the jolly old self
Who would spend hours in a gymnasium, night club and tavern,
One who had an eye for the ladies,
And one who was the life of the office party!
We knew how to advance your cause in the game of life
Through clever strategems, timely compliments, and fancy dress;
So who do you want us to impress now?
Who is this person who is supposedly immune to all manner of outward show?
Don't keep us in suspence!
Everyman: My dear friends, I want you to impress someone who looks only upon the heart.
I'm asking you to come with me to meet my Maker -
God, the Creator and sustainer of all things.
I have been summoned to see him shortly and to give Him an account of my life.
Other friends who I have cherished all my life have all turned away
So I appeal to you now to mend this broken vessel
So that the Master Potter might yet find some redeeming qualities in me.
Knowledge: Oh, Everyman, we are touched that you would confide in us
For such a great mission,
But we simply aren't able to do what you ask.
Like your Goods and Riches, we, your Beauty, Strength, and Knowledge
Have influence which satisfies only on this side of the grave, not the other.
Though with all our heart we would love to help you
Our powers have also declined over the years, and we are nearly spent.
Once we were young, vibrant, carefree and smart
But now look in the mirror
And only a shadow of your former self you'll see.
Things of this world tend to fade away
And we too will be gone when your long journey begins.
Everyman: Yes, what you say is true, my dear friends
I knew I couldn't reasonably expect you to come on my journey;
It was only desperation that made me turn to you.
Therefore I bid you all a fond farewell
And thank you for the faithful service you have given me
All the days of my life.
Well, maybe as a last resort I shouldn't begin my journey
Until I've spoken to my Good-Deeds;
But unfortunately she's so weak,
She can hardly be expected to go anywhere with me
Or to speak on my behalf;
And yet, what other choice do I have? I'll go see her now.-
My Good-Deeds, where are you?
Good-Deeds: Here I am, Everyman, lying cold on the ground;
Your sins have bound me so securely
That I can't even move.
Everyman: O, Good-Deeds, I'm a worried man;
And I must have a word of advice from you.
You see, I'm in a terrible fix and I desperately need your help right now.
Good-Deeds: Everyman, I've heard rumours about
Your having been summoned to give an account
Before Messiah, the King of Kings;
And you'd like my company on that journey.
Everyman: Yes, it's true. I've come to cry on your shoulder;
And to beg you that you might go there with me.
Good-Deeds: Why... I'd love to do that, but... I can barely stand, let alone walk!
Everyman: Oh, is there something preventing you from doing that? Has something befallen you, perhaps?
Good-Deeds: Yes, sir, I seem to have fallen on hard times,
And I believe I can thank you for that!
For if only you had devoted a little more time to me,
Your book of accounts would now be ready, and something to be proud of.
Here, look at the account book of your works and deeds;
See how your good deeds are practically non-existent,
Much to your soul's eternal detriment.
Everyman: Oh, dear me!
It's true, there isn't one good letter in here that I can see.
Good-Deeds: Ah, but there is a blind reckoning which takes place in times of distress!
Everyman: Good-Deeds, I pray you, if you know something that I don't, then please help me now, I beg you.
Otherwise I'll be damned forever, that's absolutely certain.
Please help me make my reckoning
Before the Redeemer of all things,
The One who is, and who was, and who forever shall be -
The One who is the King of Kings.
Good-Deeds: Everyman, I am truly sorry for your desperate condition,
And I would love to help you if I could.
Everyman: Good-Deeds, I pray that you will put in a good word for me.
Perhaps you could embellish and exaggerate my good deeds a wee bit,
And perhaps minimize my bad ones a little -
Or...even more than a little, if you like!
Then perhaps the scales of justice will tip in my favor!
Good-Deeds: Yes, Everyman, I'd be happy to put in a good word for you,
But I certainly can't travel there on foot.
However I have a sister, who will go with you;
She is called Faith, and she will accompany you,
And help you make that dreadful reckoning.
Faith: Yes, here I am, Everyman, I will go with you and be your guide,
To be with you in your hour of trial
On the other side.
Everyman: Oh, blessed relief! Now I am prepared to embark upon this journey
And am well pleased with my good turn of fortune;
May God, my creator, be thanked.
Good-Deeds: Yes indeed, and when Faith has brought you further,
To where you will be healed of all your afflictions,
Then go together with your reckoning and me, your Good Deeds
To make your heart joyful
Before the blessed Trinity.
Everyman: My goodness, Good-Deeds,
How comforting your sweet words are to me!
Faith: Yes, now off we go together,
To our first stop: that cleansing river -
To the one who is called Confession.
Because unless you are aware of your sin,
You will never earnestly seek a Saviour from the penalty of sin.
And unless you confess your sin
You can never meet your Saviour's servant called Forgiveness.
Everyman: Oh, yes indeed. I could weep for joy; I wish we were there now;
But, I pray you, please tell me
Where that holy man, Confession, lives.
Faith: He lives in the House of Salvation,
And that's where we will find him,
To comfort us by God's grace.
Lo, there we are now, and this is Confession.
Confession, this is Everyman,
And he has something on his mind which he wishes to say to you.
Everyman, you may be very candid and true with Confession
Because he has your best interests at heart
And is a servant of God Almighty.
Everyman: O glorious fountain that cleanses from all iniquity,
So that no more sin on me may be seen;
I have come here with Faith to seek redemption,
To repent heartily with full contrition;
For I am commanded to embark upon a pilgrimage very soon,
In order to make a great accounting before God.
Now, I pray you, dear Confession and Repentence, mother of salvation,
Help liven my few good deeds
Which are but a pitiful representation of my sojourn on earth!
Confession: I know your sorrow well, Everyman;
And because with Faith you have come to me,
I will comfort you as best I can,
And a precious jewel I will give you,
Called Grace and Mercy to remind you always
That when Christ said "It is finished", nothing more can be done
To merit salvation and eternal life.
Only through Faith alone in Christ alone can you be saved,
Not through any merit of your own, penance, good deeds or anything else,
But only through Christ, for He is the door to salvation
And no man may dwell in God's presence unless he comes through that Door.
Faith, keep him in this pilgrimmage,
Until Good-Deeds is able to rejoin you later.
But in any case, be assured of mercy,
For your time is quickly drawing to a close.
Just remember that if you wish to be saved
Ask God for mercy and He will abundantly pardon.
He delights in mercy and forgiveness while you are alive
Because of what Christ has already accomplished on your behalf;
The oil of forgiveness is yours simply for the asking
If only you will do it with a grateful and repentent heart.
There is no other requirement.
Everyman: Praise God for his gracious work!
My heart rejoices that it pleased God
To provide an atonement for my sin
Which Christ, the perfect sacrifice, fully paid through his precious blood.
O Way of salvation, O goodly Vision,
Which descended down by way of a virgin to Bethlehem
Because He would Everyman redeem,
Which Adam forfeited by his disobedience:
O blessed Godhead, elect and high-divine,
Forgive my grievous offence;
Here I cry to you for mercy in this presence.
O divine treasure, O ransomer and redeemer
Of all the world, my one and only hope and saviour,
Please hear my earnest confession, though it be ever so late;
Receive my prayers from stammering lips; unworthy though they are,
Because before you stands a sinner most abominable,
Yet please let my name be written in the Book Of Life;
And deliver me from the power of my enemy,
For Death has summoned me and Satan accuses me.
God of Mercy, please forgive all my iniquity.
Confession: Everyman, Be assured that God has heard your earnest prayer:
You have come with nothing but Faith and empty hands,
Trusting not in penance or Good-deeds,
But in Jesus Christ alone, the sinless One,
Who died in your stead for the redemption of sin.
Everyman, you have made your reckoning sure.
I will introduce you to my brother,
The Lord's merciful servant called, Forgiveness.
Forgiveness: Everyman, your confession is true
And because you were not attended by your Good Deeds
Or any other merit of your own,
But have thrown yourself completely on the mercy of God Almighty
Trusting wholly on the perfect atonement for sin which only God could provide,
I am authorized to declare that your sins are forgiven.
You may now wear this Robe of Righteousness
Which has no stain or wrinkle to remind anyone of your former sin.
Though your sins were as scarlet,
Your soul has been cleared of all condemnation
Making you whiter than snow.
Good-Deeds: I thank God, now I can walk and go;
I am no longer fettered by Everyman's sin
And am delivered of my sickness and woe.
Therefore with Everyman I will travail,
To vouch for his good deeds, at his upcoming trial.
Faith: Everyman, be merry and glad;
Good-Deeds can go with you now;
Because you have not trusted in her for salvation.
You see, compared to Christ's atoning work,
Good works are but filthy rags,
But now your Good-Deeds are a credit to you;
Whole and sound, she is able to go upright upon the ground
And speak well for you in every trial.
Everyman: My heart is light, and shall be evermore;
My apprehension has lifted,
Gone is the fear that gripped me before.
Good-Deeds: Everyman, pilgrim, my special friend,
Blessed are you without any end;
For you there is prepared a life everlasting,
Your confession and repentence have me made whole and sound,
It gives me great pleasure now to stand by your side.
Everyman: Good-Deeds! You are well! I hear your voice! Welcome, my love!
I weep for joy and gratitude that you look so well!
Faith: Be no more sad, but ever rejoice,
God looks upon the living from his throne up above;
So put on his garment to thy eternal benefit,
Which is wet with your tears,
Or else before God you will surely forget,
As you gaze upon the beauty of his holiness
When you to your journey's end have come.
[Enter Death in the background]
Everyman: I perceive that my time has fully come,
For my journey to begin and my eternal reward to receive,
Take heed, all you who hear and see,
How all those that I loved the most did forsake me,
Except Faith and charity - my Good-Deeds
Who alone stayed by my side.
And take heed because this is most important:
After death, amends no man can make,
Because then mercy and forgiveness do him also forsake!
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation;
Which was first spoken of by the Lord of all nations,
A salvation confirmed by witnesses
To what God said when he dwelt among us.
Good-Deeds: Yes, all earthly things are but vanity:
Beauty, Strength, and Knowledge, do everyman forsake,
Foolish friends, kinsmen, riches and legal rights that fair spake,
All fled away like blossoms in May,
Except for my sister Faith and I, your Good Deeds.
Let us therefore go together, and never return.
Everyman: Into thy hands, O Lord, my soul I commend;
Receive it, Lord, that it be not lost;
You have purchased me with your blood, so me defend,
And save me from Satan's boast,
That I may dwell forever amongst that heavenly host.
Though I have lived in a manner deserving of hell
Thanks be to Jesus, my soul is now well! Amen.
THUS ENDETH THIS MORAL PLAY OF EVERYMAN.