The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A New Yeres Gyft,


A Playne Pathway To Perfect Rest

For the New Year

Author: Edward Wollay.
Imprinted at London, by William How, for Richard Johnes: and are to be solde at
his Shoppe joyning to the Southwest doore of Paules Church. 1571.

A new yeres Gyft, intituled, A playne Pathway, HEH Britwell 18347
The Huntington Collection
Located at English Broadside Ballad Archive
University of California, Santa Barbara


A new yeres Gyft, intituled, A playne Pathway to perfect rest:
Gathered out of sundry Godly Patriarkes, and Prophets, very comfortable
for all Christians, and most needefull to be had in remembraunce.
To the Right honorable Lorde Rowland Hayward, Lord
Maior of the Cittie of London, your dayly Orator
Edward Wollay, wisheth longe life, with in-
crease of Fayth and Justice.

ISraell ought to be commended by reason of Doctrin
and Wisdome, shewinge therfore, that they whiche
have it, should not onely themselves be wise ther-
thorough, but should also serve others by teaching
and preaching: that is, that Maisters & Parentes
should instruct their family, and the Shepherd his sheep, to save
them from the Wolfe: what strength is the sheepe of to escape
the violence or force of the Wolfe? none, saith Ecclesiast. but even
by his Shepherd: Even so, the Minister & the Preacher, if they
be true Preachers & true teachers, surelye then doth his Flocke
increase: & when the Wolfe Sathan, which ever hath ben mans
Enemie shall come seekyng if he may devoure man, then by the
Doctrine of his Shepherde taught unto hym, shall overcome
Sathan his Enemie. Here is the Sheep saved by the force
of the Shepharde: God graunt increase.

Let us praise God for al his benefits which we have received:
Consent not unto sinne. Geve Almes of thy Goods. Be mercy-
ful after thy power. Be alwayes thankful unto God for his mer-
cifull benefits geven unto thee: use them well, for thou art but a
Stewarde. God graunt that we may so bestow our tyme in this
worlde, that in the world to come we may be found good Ste-
wards and have lyfe everlasting. Amen.


O, that men were not so much lovers of themselves. Be not
overcome with Coveitousnes: Be not Boasters of yourselves:
but remember who doth geve the increase. Be not prowd, nor
cursed speakers: Be not disobedient to Father & mother. Be not
unthanckful nor ungodly. Be not unkind, nor Trusebreakers.
Be not false Accusers, nor Riottous Persons.


Be not fierce Despisers of them which are good, or do good:
but alway lay to thy healpyng hande, incourage them to go for-
wardes in their good deedes, and if thou se them step backe, go
thou forwardes in their place: that is the good servant, incou-
ragyng the rest to seeke their maisters commoditie so muche as
in them doth lie, dealyng truly with all men, then be you wel as-
sured to winne the crowne of everlastyng glory, world without


All is but vanitie saith the Preacher, why be you then so heddy
and hie minded, greedy upon voluptuousnesse more then the lo-
vers of God, having a similitude of godlinesse, but have denied
the power therof, and suche you abhorre. The servant of the
Lorde must not strive, but apt to teache, be gentill unto al men,
and one that can suffer wronge with meekenesse: nay wee can
not do so, why? because wee are men of corrupt mindes: but it
shall not longe prevayle, the evill men and deceivers shall waxe
worse and worse: while they deceive, they shal be deceived them-
selves: therfore let every man that calleth on the name of Christe
flie from iniquitie. Great are thy Judgements (O Lorde) ther-
fore men do erre that will not be reformed with thy wisdome,
God graunt wee may be reformed by him.


If thou harken unto the voyce of the Lorde thy God: blessed
shalt thou be, but if thou knowest my commaundementes, saith
the Lorde, and keepe them not, cursed shalt thou be, yea cursed
shall be the fruite of thy store: though wee have sinned sayth
Daniell yet if wee call to God in time, he will geve us time to re-
pent, to know the truth: and that wee may come to ourselves a-
gayne, to avoyde the snare of the Devill, which wee are holden
captive of him: and nothyng is able to unloose us saith Timothy
but a sure faith fixed on Jesus Christ, and through his precious
Bloud shedyng, wee are all saved from death, and shall come by
him to life everlastyng. God graunt for his sonne Jesus Christe
sake that after this life we may com to life everlasting. Amen.


TO those which writers be, and perfit verses make,
Leave of your triflyng toyes, and, such doynges undertake,
As shall both profit, and, brynge gayne to Common wealth,
Then shall the writers winne the prayse and Readers shall gaine health,
To reade that which is good, it will their soules advaunce,
And writers knowledge knit with grace, may vanquish ignoraunce:
You Readers marke this well, and Printe this in your harte,
And do not as the Partridge doth, at every thinge to starte,
At every winde that blowes, it runnes in wods to lie,
And every Childe that throwes a stone, doth make the Partridge flie,
Now as I trust you will, plante this within your brest,
It shall incourage me to write the way to perfit rest.

When I did call to minde, what cures wee have in care,
This one chief clause I finde, most mindefull to beware,
Wee know what God hath wild to do, or to forbeare:
Yet willingly wee yeelde, from safetie unto snare,
And therfore in this case, my judgement doth advaunce,
That knowledge without grace, is worse then Ignoraunce.
Wee know what thanckes wee owe, to God for all his giftes,
Yet contrary we showe to him, ourselves unthriftes,
The good from evill we see, in all our daily driftes,
Yet to do good we flee, for lacke of graces giftes,
Then may we use this frase, most nice in remembraunce,
That knowledge without grace, is worse then ignoraunce.

Now know wee Scripture plaine, wheras before we did not,
Yet are wee much more vaine, then when the same we read not,
Wee run forth hedlonge so, as God or man wee dreade not,
Which soone will plante our woe, if God the same forbed not,
While wee know no right race, wee runne under obeysaunce,
Our knowledge without grace, is worse then ignoraunce.
We know wee ought to love, although wee be not loved,
Againe no wrong to move, though wrong to us be moved,
Although wee be reproved, we ought not to reprove,
These godly wordes approved, doth show for our behove,
Yet wanting grace, wee chase away Gods ordinaunce,
This knowledge without grace, is worse then ignoraunce.

Wee know wee should forgeve, as wee would be forgeven,
Yet styll in yre wee live, as though our hartes were reeven,
Revengements we do keepe, for light occasions geven,
Our Neighboures greefe we seeke, both every Morne and Even,
The more wee spie in space, the lesse yet our entraunce,
Our knowledge without grace, is worse then ignoraunce,
All falshood and deceite, wee should also abhorre,
Yet use wee more that sleight, than ever wee did before
Lingryng still to view, to hurte our Neighbour sore,
So wee may them pursue, wee care not for no more
Repression beares the Mace, and Lucre leades the Daunce,
Their knowledge without grace, is worse then ignoraunce,

Wee know that wee should worke the workes of righteousnesse,
Yet lie wee still and lurke in slouth and idlenesse,
Wee should eschew the darke, and to the light adresse,
Yet do wee as the Turke, all godly light expresse,
In steede of workes wee place, our lust and daliaunce,
Thus knowledge without grace, is worse then ignoraunce.
Eche man accompt must make, as he hath heare vocation,
His Talent not to slake, but turne to augmentacion,
This must wee do I say, in paine of our dampnacion,
Then crake no more I pray, of our justificacion,
Wee thinke to know the pace, dischargeth our allegiaunce,
This knowledge without grace, is worse then ignoraunce.

Better to sit even still, then for to rise and fall,
So is it much lesse yll, to know nothing at all,
Then for to have great skyll, and then live worst of all,
Fulfilling not Gods will, as he hath wild wee shall,
Thus ignoraunce may face, our knowledge no entraunce,
For knowledge without grace, is worse then ignoraunce.
Which grace that wee now lacke, for want of calling for,
Pray wee the Lorde to graunt, to salve this forsayde sore,
That in us he may put, repentaunce in such store,
God graunt us out to shut, all our wilfull errour,
All Vertue eke imbrace, and Vice away to glaunce,
That knowledge knit with grace, may vanquish ignoraunce.

Loe this much I write plaine, to show which way is best,
then folow this and do not faine, then shall you joy and rest,
With God which sittes above, with Angels round about,
knocke and I will open, (saith he) of this have thou no doubt,
Great compfort sure is this, then let us cal and pray,
for our good Queene and her Counsell, to save them from decay.



Some types of New Year's ballads were intended to spark the conscience, and were paired with Christmas ballads during these times, with the ultimate goal to be a reminder of the Second Advent (the Second Coming of Christ, and the subsequent Judgment). Examples of such ballads include:

Other New Year's Broadsides include:

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