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INCIPIT LIBER CATHOLICORUM SERMONUM ANGLICE, IN ÆCCLESIA PER ANNUM RECITANDORUM.

HERE BEGINNETH THE BOOK OF CATHOLIC SERMONS IN ENGLISH, TO BE RECITED IN CHURCH DURING THE YEAR.

SERMO DE INITIO CREATURÆ, AD POPULUM, QUANDO VOLUERIS.

SERMON ON THE BEGINNING OF CREATION, TO THE PEOPLE, WHENEVER YOU WILL.

An angin is ealra þinga, þæt is God Ælmihtig. He is ordfruma and ende: he is ordfruma, forði þe he wæs æfre; he is ende butan ælcere geendunge, forðan þe he bið æfre ungeendod. He is ealra cyninga Cyning, and ealra hlaforda Hlaford. He hylt mid his mihte heofonas and eorðan, and ealle gesceafta butan geswince, and he besceawað þa niwelnyssa þe under þyssere eorðan sind. He awecð ealle duna mid anre handa, and ne mæg nan þing his willan wiðstandan. Ne mæg nan gesceaft fulfremedlice smeagan ne understandan ymbe god. Maran cyððe habbað englas to Gode þonne men, and þeah-hweðere hí ne magon fulfremedlice understandan ymbe God. Hé gesceop gesceafta þaða he wolde; þurh his wisdom he geworhte ealle þing, and þurh his willan hé hí ealle geliffæste. Ðeos þrynnys is án God; þæt is se Fæder and his wisdom of him sylfum æfre acenned; and heora begra willa, þæt is se Halga Gast: he nis na acenned, ac he gæð of þam Fæder and of þam Suna gelice. Ðas þry hadas sindon án Ælmihtig God, se geworhte heofenas, and eorðan, and ealle gesceafta. He gesceop tyn engla werod, þæt sind englas and heah-englas, throni, dominationes, principatus, potestates, uirtutes, cherubim, seraphim. Her sindon nigon engla werod: hí nabbað nænne lichaman, ac hí sindon ealle gastas swiðe strange and mihtige and wlitige, on micelre fægernysse gesceapene, to lofe and to wurðmynte heora Scyppende. Ðæt teoðe werod abreað and awende on yfel. God hí gesceop ealle góde, and let hí habban agenne cyre, swa hí heora Scyppend lufedon and filigdon, swa hí hine forleton. Ða wæs þæs teoðan werodes ealdor swiðe fæger and wlitig gesceapen, swa þæt hé wæs geháten Leohtberend. Þa began he to modigenne for þære fægernysse þe he hæfde, and cwæð on his heortan þæt hé wolde and eaðe mihte beon his Scyppende gelic, and sittan on þam norð-dæle heofenan rices, and habban andweald and rice ongean God Ælmihtigne. Þa gefæstnode he þisne ræd wið þæt werod þe hé bewiste, and hí ealle to ðam ræde gebugon. Ðaða hí ealle hæfdon þysne ræd betwux him gefæstnod, þa becom Godes grama ofer hí ealle, and hí ealle wurdon awende of þam fægeran híwe, þe hí on gesceapene wæron, to laðlicum deoflum. And swiðe rihtlice him swa getimode, þaða he wolde mid modignysse beon betera þonne he gesceapen wæs, and cwæð, þæt he mihte beon þam Ælmihtigum Gode gelíc. Þa wearð he and ealle his geferan forcuþran and wyrsan þonne ænig oðer gesceaft; and þa hwile þe he smeade hu he mihte dælan rice wið God, þa hwile gearcode se Ælmihtiga Scyppend him and his geferum helle wíte, and hí ealle adræfde of heofenan rices myrhðe, and let befeallan on þæt ece fyr, þe him gegearcod wæs for heora ofermettum. Þa sona þa nigon werod, þe ðær to lafe wæron, bugon to heora Scyppende mid ealre eaðmodnesse, and betæhton heora rǽd to his willan. Þa getrymde se Ælmihtiga God þa nigon engla werod, and gestaþelfæste swa þæt hí næfre ne mihton ne noldon syððan fram his willan gebugan; ne hí ne magon nu, ne hí nellað nane synne gewyrcan, ac hi æfre beoð ymbe þæt án, hu hi magon Gode gehyrsumian, and him gecweman. Swa mihton eac þa oðre þe ðær feollon dón, gif hi woldon; forþi ðe God hí geworhte to wlitegum engla gecynde, and let hí habban agenne cyre, and hí næfre ne gebigde ne ne nydde mid nanum þingum to þam yfelan ræde; ne næfre se yfela rǽd ne com of Godes geþance, ac com of þæs deofles, swa swa we ǽr cwædon. There is one origin of all things, that is God Almighty. He is beginning and end: he is beginning, because he was ever; he is end without any ending, because he is ever unended. He is King of all kings, and Lord of all lords. He holdeth with his might heavens, and earth, and all creatures, without toil, and he beholdeth the depths which are under this earth. He weigheth all hills with one hand, and no thing may withstand his will. No creature may perfectly search out nor understand concerning God: greater affinity have angels to God than men, and yet they may not perfectly understand concerning God. He created those creatures that he would; through his wisdom he wrought all things, and through his will he endued them all with life. This Trinity is one God, that is, the Father, and his Wisdom, of himself ever produced; and the Will of them both, that is, the Holy Ghost: he is not born, but he goeth alike from the Father and from the Son. These three persons are one Almighty God, who wrought the heavens, and the earth, and all creatures. He created ten hosts of angels, that is angels and archangels, throni, dominationes, principatus, potestates, virtutes, cherubim, seraphim. Here are nine hosts of angels: they have no body, but they are all spirits, very strong, and mighty, and beautiful, formed with great fairness, to the praise and glory of their Creator. The tenth host rebelled and turned to evil. God created them all good, and let them have their own discretion, whether they would love and follow their Creator, or would forsake him. Now the prince of the tenth host was formed very fair and beauteous, so that he was called 'Light-bearing' (Lucifer). Then he began to wax proud by reason of the comeliness that he had, and said in his heart that he would and easily might be equal to his Creator, and sit in the north part of heaven's kingdom, and have power and sway against God Almighty. Then he confirmed this resolve with the host over which he ruled, and they all bowed to that resolve. When they all had confirmed this resolve among themselves, God's anger came over them all, and they were all changed from the fair form in which they were created to loathly devils. And very rightly it so befell him, when he would in pride be better than he was created, and said that he might be equal to Almighty God. Then became he and all his associates more wicked and worse than any other creatures; and while he meditated how he might share power with God, the Almighty Creator prepared hell-torment for him and his associates, and drove them all from the joy of heaven's kingdom, and caused them to fall into the eternal fire that was prepared for them for their pride. Then forthwith the nine hosts that were left bowed to their Creator with all humbleness, and resigned their purpose to his will. Then the Almighty God confirmed and established the nine hosts of angels, so that they never might or would afterwards swerve from his will; nor can they now perpetrate any sin, but they are ever meditating only how they may obey God and be acceptable to him. So might also the others who fell have done if they had been willing; seeing that God had made them of the beauteous nature of angels, and let them have their own will, and would never have inclined nor forced them in any way to that evil counsel; for the evil counsel never came from God's conception, but came from the devil's, as we before said.
Nu þencð menig man and smeað hwanon deofol come; þonne wite he þæt God gesceop to mæran engle þone þe nu is deofol: ac God ne gesceop hine na to deofle; ac þaða he wæs mid ealle fordón and forscyldgod þurh þa miclan up-ahefednysse and wiðerweardnysse, þa wearð he to deofle awend, seðe ǽr wæs mære engel geworht. Ða wolde God gefyllan and geinnian þone lyre þe forloren wæs of þam heofenlicum werode, and cwæð þæt hé wolde wyrcan mannan of eorðan, þæt se eorðlica man sceolde geþeon and geearnian mid eadmodnysse þa wununga on heofenan rice, þe se deofol forwyrhte mid modignysse. And God þa geworhte ænne mannan of láme, and him on ableow gast, and hine gelíffæste, and he wearð þa mann gesceapen on sawle and on lichaman; and God him sette naman Adám, and he wæs þa sume hwile ánstandende. God þa hine gebrohte on neorxna-wange, and hine þær gelogode, and him to cwæð, "Ealra þæra þinga þe on neorxna-wange sindon þu most brucan, and hí ealle beoð þe betæhte, buton anum treowe þe stent on middan neorxna-wange: ne hrepa þu þæs treowes wæstm, forþan ðe þu bist deadlic, gif ðu þæs treowes wæstm geetst." Hwí wolde God swa lytles þinges him forwyrnan, þe him swa miccle oðre þing betæhte? Gyse hu mihte Adám tocnawan hwæt hé wære, buton hé wære gehyrsum on sumum þince his Hlaforde. Swylce God ewǽde to him, "Nast þu na þæt ic eom þin Hlaford and þæt þu eart min þeowa, buton þu do þæt ic þe háte, and forgáng þæt ic þe forbeode. Hwæt mæg hit þonne beon þæt þu forgán sceole: ic ðe secge, forgang ðu anes treowes wæstm, and mid þære eaðelican gehyrsumnysse þu geearnast heofenan rices myrhðu and þone stede þe se deofol of-afeoll þurh ungehyrsumnesse. Gif ðu þonne ðis lytle bebód tobrecst, þu scealt deaðe sweltan." And þa wæs Adam swa wís þæt God gelædde to him nytenu, and deorcynn, and fugelcynn, ðaða he hí gesceapene hæfde; and Adam him eallum naman gesceop; and swa swa hé hí þa genamode swa hí sindon gyt gehatene. Þa cwæð God, "Nis na gedafenlic þæt þes man ana beo, and næbbe nænne fultum; ac uton gewyrcan him gemacan, him to fultume and to frofre." And God þa geswefode þone Adam, and þaþa he slep ða genam he an rib of his sidan, and geworhte of ðam ribbe ænne wifman, and axode Adam hu heo hatan sceolde. Þa cwæð Adam, "Heo is ban of minum banum, and flæsc of minum flæsce; beo hire nama Uirago, þæt is fæmne; forðan ðe heo is of hire were genumen." Ða sette Adam eft hire oðerne naman, Aeua, þæt is lif; forðan ðe heo is ealra lybbendra modor. Now many a man will think and inquire, whence the devil came? be it, therefore, known to him that God created as a great angel him who is now the devil: but God did not create him as the devil: but when he was wholly fordone and guilty towards God, through his great haughtiness and enmity, then became he changed to the devil, who before was created a great angel. Then would God supply and make good the loss that had been suffered in the heavenly host, and said that he would make man of earth, so that the earthly man should prosper, and merit with meekness those dwellings in the kingdom of heaven which the devil through his pride had forfeited. And God then wrought a man of clay, and blew spirit into him, and animated him, and he became a man formed with soul and body; and God bestowed on him the name of Adam, and he was for some time standing alone. God then brought him into Paradise, and established him there, and said unto him, "Of all the things which are in Paradise thou mayest eat, and they shall all be committed to thee, save one tree which stands in the middle of Paradise: touch thou not the fruit of this tree; for thou shalt be mortal if thou eatest the fruit of this tree." Why would God forbid him so little a thing, when he had committed to him other things so great? But how could Adam know what he was, unless he were obedient in some thing to his Lord? as if God had said to him, "Thou knowest not that I am thy Lord, and that thou art my servant, unless thou dost that which I command, and forgoest that which I forbid thee. But what may it be that thou shalt forgo? I say unto thee, forgo thou the fruit of one tree, and with that easy obedience thou shalt merit the joys of heaven, and the place from which the devil fell through disobedience. But if thou breakest this little commandment, thou shalt perish by death." And then was Adam so wise that God led to him the cattle, and brute race, and bird race, when he had created them; and Adam made names for them all; and so as he named them are they yet called. Then said God, "It is not fitting that this man be alone, and have no help; now let us make him a mate for help and comfort." And God then caused Adam to sleep, and as he slept, he took a rib from his side, and of that rib wrought a woman, and asked Adam how she should be called. Then said Adam, "She is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; be her name Virago, that is female; because she is taken from her husband." Then Adam afterwards bestowed on her another name, Eva, that is life; because she is the mother of all living.
Ealle gesceafta, heofonas and englas, sunnan and monan, steorran and eorðan, ealle nytenu and fugelas, sǽ and ealle fixas, and ealle gesceafta God gesceop and geworhte on six dagum; and on ðam seofoðan dæge hé geendode his weorc, and geswac ða and gehalgode þone seofoðan dæg, forðan ðe hé on ðam dæge his weorc geendode. And he beheold þa ealle his weorc ðe he geworhte, and hí wæron ealle swiðe gode. Ealle ðing he geworhte buton ælcum antimbre. He cwæð, "Geweorðe leoht," and ðærrihte wæs leoht geworden. He cwæð eft, "Geweorðe heofen," and þærrihte wæs heofen geworht, swa swa he mid his wisdome and mid his willan hit gedihte. He cwæð eft, and het ða eorðan þæt heo sceolde forðlædan cuce nytenu; and hé ða gesceop of ðære eorðan eall nytencynn, and deorcynn, ealle ða ðe on feower fotum gað; ealswa eft of wætere he gesceop fixas and fugelas, and sealde ðam fixum sund, and ðam fugelum fliht; ac he ne sealde nanum nytene ne nanum fisce nane sawle; ac heora blod is heora lif, and swa hraðe swa hi beoð deade, swa beoð hí mid ealle geendode. Þaða he worhte ðone mann Adám, he ne cwæð ná, "Geweorðe man geworht," ac he cwæð, "Uton gewyrcan mannan to ure anlicnysse," and hé worhte ða þone man mid his handum, and him on ableow sawle; forði is se man betera, gif hé góde geðihð, þonne ealle ða nytenu sindon; forðan ðe hí ealle gewurðað to nahte, and se man is ece on anum dæle, þæt is on ðære sawle; heo ne geendað næfre. Se lichama is deadlic þurh Adames gylt, ac ðeah-hwæðere God arærð eft ðone lichaman to ecum ðingum on domes dæg. Nu cwædon gedwolmen þæt deofol gesceope sume gesceafta, ac hí leogað; ne mæg hé nane gesceafta gescyppan, forðan ðe he nis na Scyppend, ac is atelic sceocca, and mid leasunge he wile beswican and fordón þone unwaran; ac he ne mæg nænne man to nanum leahtre geneadian, buton se mon his agenes willes to his lare gebuge. Swa hwæt swa is on gesceaftum wiðerweardlic geþuht and mannum derige, þæt is eall for urum synnum and yfelum geearnungum. All creatures, heavens and angels, sun and moon, stars and earth, all beasts and birds, the sea and all fishes, and all creatures, God created and wrought in six days; and on the seventh day he ended his work, and ceased, and hallowed the seventh day, because on that day he ended his work. And he beheld then all his works that he had wrought, and they were all exceedingly good. All things he wrought without any matter. He said, "Let there be light," and instantly there was light. He said again, "Let there be heaven," and instantly heaven was made, as he with his wisdom and his will had appointed it. He said again, and bade the earth bring forth all living cattle, and he then created of earth all the race of cattle, and the brute race, all those which go on four feet; in like manner of water he created fishes and birds, and gave the power of swimming to the fishes, and flight to the birds; but he gave no soul to any beast, nor to any fish; but their blood is their life, and as soon as they are dead they are totally ended. When he had made the man Adam, he did not say, "Let man be made," but he said, "Let us make man in our likeness," and he then made man with his hands, and blew into him a soul; therefore is man better, if he grow up in good, than all the beasts are; because they will all come to naught, and man is in one part eternal, that is in the soul; that will never end. The body is mortal through Adam's sin, but, nevertheless, God will raise again the body to eternity on doomsday. Now the heretics say that the devil created some creatures, but they lie; he can create no creatures, for he is not a creator, but is a loathsome fiend, and with leasing he will deceive and fordo the unwary; but he may not compel any man to any crime, unless the man voluntarily incline to his teaching. Whatsoever among things created seems pernicious and is injurious to men, is all for our sins and evil deserts.
Þa ongeat se deofol þæt Adam and Eua wæron to ðy gesceapene þæt hi sceolon mid eadmodnysse and mid gehyrsumnysse geearnian ða wununge on heofenan rice ðe hé of-afeoll for his up-ahefednysse, þa nam hé micelne graman and ándan to þam mannum, and smeade hú hé hí fordón mihte. He com ða on næddran hiwe to þam twam mannum, ærest to ðam wife, and hire to cwæð, "Hwí forbead God eow þæs treowes wæstm, ðe stent on middan neorxna-wange?" Þa cwæð þæt wíf, "God us forbead þæs treowes wæstm, and cwæð þæt we sceoldon deaðe sweltan, gif we his on byrigdon." Ða cwæð se deofol, "Nis hit na swa ðu segst, ac God wát genoh geare, gif ge of ðam treowe geetað, þonne beoð eowere eagan geopenode, and ge magon geseon and tocnáwan ægðer ge gód ge yfel, and ge beoð englum gelice." Næron hí blinde gesceapene, ac God hí gesceop swa bilewite þæt hí ne cuðon nan ðing yfeles, naðor ne on gesihðe, ne on spræce, ne on weorce. Wearð þeah þæt wíf ða forspanen þurh ðæs deofles láre, and genam of ðæs treowes wæstme, and geæt, and sealde hire were, and hé geæt. Ða wæron hí butu deadlice, and cuðon ægðer ge gód ge yfel; and hí wæron ða nacode, and him ðæs sceamode. Þa com God and axode hwi he his bebod tobræce? and adræfde hí butu of neorxna-wange, and cwæð, "Forðan ðe ðu wære gehyrsum ðines wifes wordum, and min bebod forsawe, þu scealt mid earfoðnyssum þe metes tilian, and seo eorðe þe is awyriged on þinum weorce, sylð þe ðornas and bremblas. Þu eart of eorðan genumen, and þu awenst to eorðan. Þu eart dust, and ðu awentst to duste." God him worhte ða reaf of fellum, and hí wæron mid þam fellum gescrydde. When the devil understood that Adam and Eve were created, that they might with meekness and obedience merit the dwelling in the kingdom of heaven from which he had fallen for his haughtiness, then he felt great anger and envy towards those persons, and meditated how he might fordo them. He came then in a serpent's form to the two persons, first to the woman, and said to her, "Why has God forbidden you the fruit of this tree, which stands in the middle of Paradise?" Then said the woman, "God forbade us the fruit of the tree and said, that we should perish by death, if we tasted its fruit." Then said the devil, "It is not as thou sayest, but God knows full well, if ye eat of that tree that your eyes will then be opened, and ye can see and know both good and evil, and ye will be like to angels." They were not created blind, but God created them so simple-minded that they knew nothing evil, neither by sight, nor by speech, nor by deed. But the woman was seduced by the devil's counsel, and took of the fruit of the tree, and ate, and gave to her consort, and he ate. Then they both became mortal, and knew both good and evil; and they were naked, and thereat they were ashamed. Then came God and asked why he had broken his commandment? and drove them both from Paradise, and said, "Because thou wast obedient to the words of thy wife, and despisedst my commandment, thou shalt get thee food with hardships, and the earth, which is accursed through thy deed, shall give thee thorns and brambles. Thou art taken from earth, and thou shalt to earth return. Thou art dust, and thou shalt turn to dust." God then wrought for them garments of skins, and they were clothed with the skins.
Ða deadan fell getacnodon þæt hí wæron ða deadlice þe mihton beon undeadlice, gif hi heoldon þæt eaðelice Godes bebod. Ne þorfte Adam ne eal mancynn þe him siððan ofacom næfre deaðes onbyrian, gif þæt treow moste standan ungehrepod, and his nan man ne onbyrigde; ac sceolde Adam and his ofspring tyman on asettum tyman, swa swa nu doð clæne nytenu, and siððan ealle buton deaðe faran to ðan ecan life. Næs him gesceapen fram Gode, ne hé næs genedd þæt hé sceolde Godes bebod tobrecan; ac God hine lét frigne, and sealde him agenne cyre, swa hé wære gehyrsum, swa hé wære ungehyrsum. Hé wearð þa deofle gehyrsum, and Gode ungehyrsum, and wearð betæht, hé and eal mancynn, æfter ðisum lífe, into helle-wíte, mid þam deofle ðe hine forlærde. Þa wiste God hwæðere þæt hé wæs forlæred, and smeade hu he mihte his and ealles mancynnes eft gemiltsian. The dead skins betokened that they were then mortal who might have been immortal, if they had held that easy command of God. Neither Adam nor all mankind that have since come from him needed ever to have tasted of death, if that tree could have stood untouched, and no one had tasted of it; but Adam and his offspring would have propagated at set times, as the clean beasts now do, and afterwards, without death, have gone to eternal life. It was not ordained him from God, nor was he compelled to break God's commandment; for God left him free, and gave him his own choice, whether he would be obedient, or whether he would be disobedient. Then was he to the devil obedient, and to God disobedient, and was delivered, he and all mankind, after this life, to hell-torment, with the devil who seduced him. But God knew, however, that he had been seduced, and meditated how he might again be merciful to him and all mankind.
On twam þingum hæfde God þæs mannes sawle gegodod; þæt is mid undeadlicnysse, and mid gesælðe. Þa þurh deofles swicdom and Adames gylt we forluron þa gesælðe ure sawle, ac we ne forluron ná þa undeadlicnysse; heo is éce, and næfre ne geendað, þeah se lichama geendige, þe sceal eft þurh Godes mihte arisan to ecere wununge. Adam þa wæs wunigende on þisum life mid geswince, and hé and his wíf ða bearn gestryndon, ægðer ge suna ge dohtra; and he leofode nigon hund geara and þrittig geara, and siððan swealt, swa swa him ær behaten wæs, for þan gylte; and his sawul gewende to helle. With two things had God endowed this man's soul; that is immortality and with happiness. Then through the devil's treachery and Adam's guilt we lost the happiness of our soul, but we lost not the immortality: that is eternal and never ends, though the body ends, which shall again, through God's might, arise to everlasting duration. Adam then was continuing in this life with toil, and he and his wife begat children, both sons and daughters; and he lived nine hundred and thirty years, and then died, as had been promised him for that sin; and his soul went to hell.
Nu smeagiað sume men hwanon him come sawul? hwæþer ðe of þam fæder, þe of þære meder? We cweðað of heora naðrum; ac se ylca God þe gesceop Adam mid his handum, he gescypð ælces mannes lichaman on his modor innoðe; and se ylca seðe ableów on Adámes lichaman, and him forgeaf sawle, se ylca forgyfð cildum sawle and líf on heora modor innoðe, þonne hí gesceapene beoð; and he lætt hí habban agenne cyre, þonne hí geweaxene beoð, swa swa Adám hæfde. Now some men will inquire, whence came his soul? whether from the father or from the mother? We say, from neither of them; but the same God who created Adam with his hands, createth every man's body in his mother's womb: and the same who blew into Adam's body, and gave him a soul, that same giveth a soul and life to children in their mother's womb, when they are created; and he letteth them have their own will, when they are grown up, as Adam had.
Þa wearð þa hrædlice micel mennisc geweaxen, and wæron swiðe manega on yfel awende, and gegremodon God mid mislicum leahtrum, and swiðost mid forligere. Ða wearð God to þan swiðe gegremod þurh manna mándæda þæt he cwæð þæt him ofþuhte þæt hé æfre mancynn gesceop. Ða wæs hwæþere án man rihtwis ætforan Gode, se wæs Nóe geháten. Þa cwæð God to him, "Ic wylle fordón eal mancynn mid wætere, for heora synnum, ac ic wylle gehealdan þe ænne, and þin wíf, and þine þry suna, Sem, and Cham, and Iafeth, and heora þreo wíf; forðan þe ðu eart rihtwis, and me gecweme. Wyrc þe nú ænne arc, þreo hund fæðma lang, and fiftig fæðma wíd, and þritig fæðma heah: gehref hit eall, and geclǽm ealle þa seamas mid tyrwan, and gá inn syððan mid þinum híwum. Ic gegaderige in to þe of deorcynne, and of fugelcynne symble gemacan, þæt hí eft to fostre beon. Ic wille sendan flod ofer ealne middangeard." He dyde þa swa him God bebead, and God beleac hí bynnan þam arce, and asende rén of heofonum feowertig daga togædere, and geopenode þær togeanes ealle wyll-springas and wæter-þeotan of þære micclan niwelnysse. Ðæt flod weox ða and abǽr up þone arc, and hit oferstah ealle dúna. Wearð þa ælc þing cuces adrenct, buton þam ðe binnon þam arce wæron; of þam wearð eft ge-edstaðelod eall middangeard. Ða behét God þæt hé nolde næfre eft eal mancynn mid wætere acwellan, and cwæð to Noe and to his sunum, "Ic wylle settan mín wedd betwux me and eow to þisum beháte; þæt is, þonne ic oferteo heofenas mid wólcnum, þonne bið æteowod min rénboga betwux þam wolcnum, þonne beo ic gemyndig mines weddes, þæt ic nelle heonon-forð mancynn mid wætere adrencan." Noe leofode on eallum his life, ær þam flode and æfter þam flode, nigon hund geara and fiftig geara, and he þa forðferde. Then there was rapidly a great increase of people, and very many were turned to evil, and exasperated God with various crimes, and above all with fornication. Then was God so exasperated through the wicked deeds of men that he said, that he repented that he had ever created mankind. Nevertheless, there was one man righteous before God, who was called Noah. Then said God to him, "I will destroy all mankind with water, for their sins, but I will preserve thee alone, and thy wife, and thy three sons, Shem, and Ham, and Japhet, and their three wives; because thou art righteous and acceptable unto me. Make thee now an ark, three hundred fathoms long, and fifty fathoms wide, and thirty fathoms high: roof it all, and smear all the seams with tar, and then go in with thy family. I will gather in to thee of beast-kind and of bird-kind mates of each, that they may hereafter be for foster. I will send a flood over all the earth." He did as God bade him, and God shut them within the ark, and sent rain from heaven forty days together, and opened, to meet it, all the well-springs and water-torrents of the great deep. The flood then waxed and bare up the ark, and it rose above all the hills. Then was everything living drowned, save those who were within the ark, by whom was again established all the earth. Then God promised that he would never again destroy all mankind with water, and said to Noah and to his sons: "I will set my covenant betwixt me and you for this promise: that is, when I overspread the heavens with clouds, then shall be shown my rainbow betwixt the clouds, then will I be mindful of my covenant, that I will not henceforth drown mankind with water." Noah lived in all his life, before the flood and after the flood, nine hundred and fifty years, and then he departed.
Ða wæs þa sume hwíle Godes ege on mancynne æfter þam flode, and wæs án gereord on him eallum. Ða cwædon hi betwux him þæt hi woldon wyrcan ane burh, and ænne stypel binnon þære byrig, swa heahne þæt his hrof astige up to heofenum: and begunnon þa to wyrcenne. Ða com God þærto, þaða hí swiðost worhton, and sealde ælcum men þe ðær wæs synderlice spræce. Þa wæron þær swa fela gereord swa ðær manna wæron; and heora nán nyste hwæt oðer cwæð. And hí ða geswicon þære getimbrunge, and toferdon geond ealne middangeard. Then for some time after the flood there was fear of God among mankind, and there was one language among them all. Then said they among themselves that they would make a city, and a tower within that city, so high that its roof should mount up to heaven: and they begun to work. Then came God thereto, when they were most busily working, and gave to every man who was there a separate speech. Then were there as many languages as there were men, and none of them knew what other said. And they then ceased from the building, and went divers ways over all the earth.
Ða siððan wearð mancynn þurh deofol beswicen, and gebiged fram Godes geleafan, swa þæt hí worhton him anlicnyssa, sume of golde, sume of seolfre, sume eac of stanum, sume of treowe, and sceopon him naman; þæra manna naman þe wæron entas and yfel-dæde. Eft ðonne hí deade wæron, þonne cwædon þa cucan þæt hí wæron godas, and wurðodon hí, and him lác offrodon; and comon þa deoflu to heora anlicnyssum, and þæron wunodon, and to mannum spræcon swilce hí godas wæron; and þæt beswicene mennisc feoll on cneowum to þam anlicnyssum, and cwædon, "Ge sind ure godas and we besettað urne geleafan and urne hiht on eow." Ða asprang þis gedwyld geond ealne middangeard, and wæs se soða Scyppend, seðe ána is God, forsewen, and geunwurþod. Ða wæs hwæðere an mægð þe næfre ne abeah to nanum deofolgylde, ac æfre wurðode þone soðan God. Seo mægð aspráng of Nóes eltstan suna, se wæs gehaten Sem: he leofode six hund geara, and his sunu hatte Arfaxað, se leofode þreo hund geara and þreo and þrittig, and his sunu hatte Salé, se leofode feower hund geara and XXXIII.; þa gestrynde he sunu se wæs geháten Ebér, of þam aspráng þæt Ebreisce folc, þe God lufode: and of þam cynne comon ealle heahfæderas and witegan, þa ðe cyðdon Cristes to-cyme to þisum life; þæt hé wolde man beon, fornean on ende þyssere worulde, for ure alysednesse, seðe æfre wæs God mid þam healican Fæder. And þyssere mægðe God sealde and gesette ǽ, and hé hí lædde ofer sǽ mid drium fotum, and hé hí afedde feowertig wintra mid heofenlicum hlafe, and fela wundra on þam folce geworhte; forþan ðe he wolde of þyssere mægðe him modor geceosan. Then afterwards mankind was deceived by the devil, and turned from God's belief, so that they wrought them images, some of gold, some of silver, some also of stones, some of wood, and devised names for them; the names of those men who were giants, and evil-doing. Afterwards when they were dead then said the living that they were gods, and worshipped them, and offered sacrifices to them; and the devils then came to their images, and dwelt therein, and spake to men as though they were gods; and the deceived human race fell on their knees to those images, and said, "Ye are our gods, and we place our belief and our hope in you." Then sprang up this error through all the earth, and the true Creator, who alone is God, was despised and dishonoured. There was, nevertheless, one family which had never bent to any idol, but had ever worshipped the true God. That family sprang from Noah's eldest son, who was called Shem: he lived six hundred years, and his son was called Arphaxad, who lived three hundred and thirty-three years, and his son was called Salah, who lived four hundred and thirty-three years, when he begat a son who was called Eber, from whom sprang the Hebrew people, whom God loved: and from that race came all the patriarchs and prophets, those who announced Christ's advent to this life; that he would be man before the end of this world, for our redemption, he who ever was God with the supreme Father. And for this race God gave and established a law, and he led them over the sea with dry feet, and he fed them forty years with heavenly bread, and wrought many miracles among the people; because he would choose him a mother from this race.
Ða æt nextan, þa se tima com þe God foresceawode, þa asende he his engel Gabrihel to anum mædene of þam cynne, seo wæs María gehaten. Þa com se engel to hire, and hí gegrette mid Godes wordum, and cydde híre, þæt Godes Sunu sceolde beon acenned of hire, buton weres gemanan. And heo þa gelyfde his wordum, and wearð mid cilde. Ðaða hire tíma com heo acende, and þurhwunode mæden. Ðæt cild is tuwa acenned: he is acenned of þam Fæder on heofonum, buton ælcere meder, and eft þaða hé man gewearð, þa wæs hé acenned of þam clænan mædene Marían, buton ælcum eorðlicum fæder. God Fæder geworhte mancynn and ealle gesceafta þurh ðone Sunu, and eft, ðaða we forwyrhte wæron, þa asende hé ðone ylcan Sunu to úre alysednesse. Seo halige moder María þa afedde þæt cild mid micelre arwurðnesse, and hit weox swa swa oðre cild doð, buton synne anum. Then at last, when the time came that God had foreseen, he sent his angel Gabriel to a maiden of that race, who was called Mary. Then came the angel to her, and greeted her with God's words, and announced to her, that God's Son should be born of her, without communion of man. And she believed his words, and became with child. When her time was come she brought forth, and continued a maiden. That child is twice born: he is born of the Father in heaven, without any mother, and again, when he became man, he was born of the pure virgin Mary, without any earthly father. God the Father made mankind and all creatures through the Son; and again, when we were fordone, he sent that same Son for our redemption. The holy mother Mary then nourished that child with great veneration, and it waxed, as other children do, without any sin.
He wæs buton synnum acenned, and his líf wæs eal buton synnum. Ne worhte he þeah náne wúndra openlice ǽrðan ðe hé wæs þritig wintre on þære menniscnysse: þa siðþan geceas he him leorning-cnihtas; ærest twelf, þa we hátað apostolas, þæt sind ærendracan. Siþþan hé geceas twá and hund-seofontig, þa sind genemnede discipuli, þæt sind leorning-cnihtas. Ða worhte hé fela wundra, þæt men mihton gelyfan þæt he wæs Godes Bearn. Hé awende wæter to wine, and eode ofer sǽ mid drium fotum, and he gestilde windas mid his hæse, and hé forgeaf blindum mannum gesihðe, and healtum and lamum rihtne gáng, and hreoflium smeðnysse, and hælu heora lichaman; dumbum hé forgeaf getingnysse, and deafum heorcnunge; deofolseocum and wodum hé sealde gewitt, and þa deoflu todræfde, and ælce untrumnysse he gehælde; deade men hé arærde of heora byrgenum to lífe; and lærde þæt folc þe hé to com mid micclum wisdome; and cwæð þæt nán man ne mæg beon gehealden, buton he rihtlice on God gelyfe, and he beo gefullod, and his geleafan mid godum weorcum geglenge; he onscunode ælc unriht and ealle leasunga, and tæhte rihtwisnysse and soðfæstnysse. He was born without sins, and his life was all without sins. But he wrought no miracles openly ere that he had been thirty years in a state of man: then afterwards he chose to him disciples; first twelve, whom we call apostles, that is messengers: after that he chose seventy-two, who are denominated disciples, that is learners. Then he wrought many miracles, that men might believe that he was God's Child. He turned water to wine, and went over the sea with dry feet, and he stilled the winds by his behest, and he gave to blind men sight, and to the halt and lame a right gait, and to lepers smoothness and health to their bodies; to the dumb he gave power of speech, and hearing to the deaf; to the possessed of devils and the mad he gave sense, and drove away the devils, and every disease he healed; dead men he raised from their sepulchres to life; and taught the people to which he came with great wisdom; and said, that no man might be saved, except he rightly believe in God, and be baptized, and adorn his faith with good works; he eschewed all injustice and all leasings, and taught righteousness and truth.
Þa nam þæt Iudeisce folc micelne ándan ongean his láre, and smeadon hú hí mihton híne to deaðe gedón. Þa wearð án ðæra twelfa Cristes geferena, se wæs Iudas gehaten, þurh deofles tihtinge beswicen, and hé eode to þam Iudeiscum folce, and smeade wið hí, hu he Crist him belǽwan mihte. Þeah ðe eal mennisc wǽre gegaderod, ne mihton hí ealle hine acwellan, gif he sylf nolde; forði he cóm to us þæt hé wolde for ús deað þrowian, and swa eal mancynn þa ðe gelyfað mid his agenum deaðe alysan fram helle-wite. Hé nolde geniman ús neadunge of deofles anwealde, buton he hit forwyrhte; þa hé hit forwyrhte genóh swiðe, þaða hé gehwette and tihte ðæra Iudeiscra manna heortan to Cristes slege. Crist ða geðafode þæt ða wælhreowan hine genámon and gebundon, and on róde hengene acwealdon. Hwæt ða twegen gelyfede men hine arwurðlice bebyrigdon, and Crist on ðære hwile to helle gewende, and þone deofol gewylde, and him of-anám Adám and Euan, and heora ofspring, þone dǽl ðe him ǽr gecwemde, and gelædde hí to heora lichaman, and arás of deaðe mid þam micclum werede on þam þriddan dæge his þrowunge. Cóm þa to his apostolum, and hí gefrefrode, and geond feowertigra daga fyrst him mid wunode; and ða ylcan lare þe hé him ǽr tæhte eft ge-edlæhte, and het hí faran geond ealne middangeard, bodigende fulluht and soðne geleafan. Drihten ða on ðam feowerteogoðan dæge his æristes astah to heofenum, ætforan heora ealra gesihðe, mid þam ylcan lichaman þe hé on þrowode, and sitt on ða swiðran his Fæder, and ealra gesceafta gewylt. Hé hæfð gerymed rihtwisum mannum infær to his rice, and ða ðe his beboda eallunga forseoð beoð on helle besencte. Witodlice hé cymð on ende þyssere worulde mid micclum mægenþrymme on wolcnum, and ealle ða ðe æfre sawle underfengon arisað of deaðe him togeanes; and hé ðonne ða mánfullan deofle betæcð into ðam ecan fyre helle susle; þa rihtwisan he læt mid him into heofonan rice, on þam hí rixiað á on ecnysse. Then the Jewish people showed great envy of his doctrine, and meditated how they might put him to death. Now was one of the twelve of Christ's companions, who was called Judas, seduced by the instigation of the devil, and he went to the Jewish people, and consulted with them how he might betray Christ unto them. Though all people were gathered together they all might not destroy him, if he himself willed it not; therefore he came to us because he would suffer death for us, and so, by his own death, redeem all mankind who believe from hell's torment. He would not take us forcibly from the devil's power, unless he had forfeited it; but he forfeited it entirely when he whetted and instigated the hearts of the Jewish men to the slaying of Christ. Then Christ consented that the bloodthirsty ones should take him, and bind, and, hung on a cross, slay him. Verily then two believing men honourably buried him; and Christ, in that time, went to hell, and overcame the devil, and took from him Adam and Eve, and their offspring, that portion which had previously been most acceptable to him, and led them to their bodies, and arose from death with that great host on the third day of his passion: then came to his apostles, and comforted them, and for a space of forty days sojourned with them, and repeated the same doctrine which he had before taught them, and bade them go over all the earth, preaching baptism and true faith. Then, on the fortieth day of his resurrection, the Lord ascended to heaven in sight of them all, with the same body in which he had suffered, and sitteth on the right hand of his Father, and governeth all creatures. He hath opened to righteous men the entrance to his kingdom, and those who wholly despise his commandments shall be cast down into hell. Verily he shall come at the end of this world with great majesty, in clouds, and all those who have ever received a soul shall arise from death towards him; and he will then deliver the wicked to the devil, into the eternal fire of hell-torment; the righteous he will lead with him into the kingdom of heaven, in which they shall rule to all eternity.
Men ða leofestan, smeagað þysne cwyde, and mid micelre gymene forbugað unrihtwysnysse, and geearniað mid godum weorcum þæt éce líf mid Gode seðe ána on ecnysse rixað. Amen. Men most beloved, consider this discourse, and with great care eschew unrighteousness, and merit with good works the eternal life with God, who alone ruleth to eternity. Amen.