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VIII. ID. JAN.

JANUARY VI.

EPIPHANIA DOMINI.

THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD.

Men ða leofostan, nu for feawum dagum we oferræddon þis godspel ætforan eow, þe belimpð to ðysses dæges ðenunge, for gereccednysse ðære godspellican endebyrdnysse; ac we ne hrepodon þone traht na swiðor þonne to ðæs dæges wurðmynte belámp: nu wille we eft oferyrnan þa ylcan godspellican endebyrdnysse, and be ðyssere andweardan freolstíde trahtnian. Most beloved men, a few days ago we read over this gospel before you, which belongs to the service of this day, for the interpretation of the evangelical narrative; but we did not touch on the exposition further than belonged to the dignity of that day: we will now again run over the same evangelical narrative, and expound it with regard to the present festival.
Matheus se Godspellere cwæð, "Cum natus esset Iesus in Bethleem Iudæ, in diebus Herodis regis, ecce Magi ab oriente uenerunt Hierosolimam, dicentes, Ubi est qui natus est Rex Iudeorum?" et reliqua. "Þaða se Hælend acenned wæs on þære Iudeiscan Bethleem, on Herodes dagum cyninges, efne ða comon fram east-dæle middangeardes ðry tungel-witegan to ðære byrig Hierusalem, þus befrínende, Hwær is Iudeiscra leoda Cyning, seðe acenned is?" etc. Matthew the Evangelist said, "Cum natus esset Jesus in Bethlehem Judæ, in diebus Herodis regis, ecce Magi ab oriente venerunt Hierosolymam, dicentes, Ubi est qui natus est Rex Judæorum?" et reliqua. "When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa, in the days of Herod the king, behold there came from the east part of the world three astrologers to the city of Jerusalem, thus inquiring, Where is the King of the Jews, who is born?" etc.
Ðes dæg is gehaten Epiphania Domini, þæt is Godes geswutelung-dæg. On þysum dæge Crist wæs geswutelod þam ðrym cyningum, ðe fram east-dæle middangeardes hine mid þrimfealdum lacum gesohton. Eft embe geara ymbrynum hé wearð on his fulluhte on þysum dæge middangearde geswutelod, ðaða se Halga Gást, on culfran híwe, uppon him gereste, and þæs Fæder stemn of heofenum hlúde swegde, þus cweðende, "Þes is min leofa Sunu, þe me wél licað; gehyrað him." Eac on ðisum dæge he awende wæter to æðelum wine, and mid þam geswutelode þæt he is se soða Scyppend, þe ða gesceafta awendan mihte. For ðisum þrym ðingum is ðes freols-dæg Godes swutelung gecweden. On ðam forman dæge his gebyrd-tide he wearð æteowed þrym hyrdum on Iudeiscum earde, þurh ðæs engles bodunge. On ðam ylcum dæge he wearð gecydd þam ðrym tungel-witegum on east-dæle, þurh ðone beorhtan steorran; ac on þysum dæge hí comon mid heora lacum. Hit wæs gedafenlic þæt se gesceadwisa engel hine cydde þam gesceadwisum Iudeiscum, ðe Godes ǽ cuðon, and ðam haðenum, þe ðæs godcundan gesceades nyston na ðurh stemne, ac ðurh tacn wære geswutelod. This day is called the Epiphany of the Lord, that is the day of God's manifestation. On this day Christ was manifested to the three kings, who, with threefold offerings, sought him from the eastern part of the world. Again, after a course of years, he was, at his baptism, manifested to the world, when the Holy Ghost, in likeness of a dove, rested upon him, and the voice of the Father sounded loudly from heaven, thus saying, "This is my beloved Son who well pleaseth me; obey him." On this day also he turned water to noble wine, and thereby manifested that he is the true Creator who could change his creatures. For these three reasons this festival is called the Manifestation of God. On the first day of his birth he was manifested to three shepherds in the Jewish country, through the announcement of the angel. On the same day he was made known to the three astrologers in the East, through the bright star: for on this day they came with their offerings. It was fitting that the discreet angel should make him known to those discreet Jews, who knew God's law, and that he should be manifested to the heathens, who knew not the divine purpose, not through a voice, but by a sign.
Þa Iudeiscan hyrdas getácnodon ða gastlican hyrdas, þæt sind ða apostolas, þe Crist geceas of Iudeiscum folce, ús to hyrdum and to lareowum. Ða tungel-witegan, ðe wæron on hæðenscipe wunigende, hæfdon getacnunge ealles hæðenes folces, ðe wurdon to Gode gebígede þurh ðæra apostola láre, þe wæron Iudeiscre ðeode. Soðlice se sealm-sceop awrát be Criste, þæt hé is se hyrn-stan þe gefegð þa twegen weallas togædere, forðan ðe he geþeodde his gecorenan of Iudeiscum folce and þa geleaffullan of hæðenum, swilce twegen wagas to anre gelaðunge; be ðam cwæð Paulus se apostol, "Se Hælend bodade on his to-cyme sibbe us ðe feorran wǽron, and sibbe þam ðe gehende wǽron. He is ure sibb, seðe dyde ægðer to anum, towurpende ða ǽrran feondscipas on him sylfum." Þa Iudeiscan ðe on Crist gelyfdon wæron him gehéndor stówlice, and eac ðurh cyððe þære ealdan ǽ: we wæron swiðe fyrlyne, ægðer ge stówlice ge ðurh uncyððe; ac he us gegaderode mid ánum geleafan to ðam healicum hyrn-stane, þæt is to annysse his gelaðunge. The Jewish shepherds betokened the spiritual shepherds, that is the apostles, whom Christ chose from the Jewish people, as shepherds for us and teachers. The astrologers, who were continuing in heathenism, betokened all heathen people who should be turned to God through the teaching of the apostles, who were of the Jewish nation. For the psalmist wrote concerning Christ, that he is the corner-stone which joins the two walls together, because he united his chosen of the Jewish people and the faithful of the heathen, as two walls, to one church; concerning which Paul the apostle said, "Jesus at his advent announced peace to us who were far off, and peace to those who were at hand. He is our peace, who hath made both one, abolishing all our former enmities in himself." The Jews who believed in Christ were nearer to him locally, and also through knowledge of the old law: we were very remote, both locally and through ignorance; but he gathered us with one faith to the high corner-stone, that is to the unity of his church.
Ða easternan tungel-wítegan gesáwon níwne steorran beorhtne, na on heofenum betwux oðrum tunglum, ac wæs ángenga betwux heofenum and eorðan. Ða undergeaton hí þæt se seldcuða tungel gebicnode þæs soðan Cyninges acennednysse, on ðam earde ðe he oferglád; and forði comon to Iudea rice, and þone arleasan cyning Herodem mid heora bodunge ðearle afǽrdon; forðan ðe buton tweon seo eorðlice arleasnys wearð gescynd, þaða seo heofenlice healicnyss wearð geopenod. The eastern astrologers saw a new bright star, not in heaven among other stars, but it was solitary between heaven and earth. Then understood they that the wondrous star indicated the birth of the true King in the country over which it glided; and they therefore came to the kingdom of Juda, and greatly terrified the impious king Herod by their announcement; for earthly wickedness was without doubt confounded, when the heavenly greatness was disclosed.
Swutol is þæt ða tungel-witegan tocneowon Crist soðne mann, ðaða hí befrunon, "Hwær is se ðe acenned is?" Hí oncneowon hine soðne Cyning, þaða hí cwædon, "Iudea Cyning." Hí hine wurðodon soðne God, þaða hí cwædon, "We comon to ðy þæt we us to him gebiddan." Eaðe mihte God hí gewissian þurh ðone steorran to ðære byrig þe þæt cild on wæs, swa swa he his acennednysse þurh ðæs steorran up-spring geswutelode; ac he wolde þæt ða Iudeiscan boceras ða witegunge be ðam ræddon, and swa his cenning-stowe geswutelodon, þæt hí gehealdene wæron, gif hí woldon mid þan tungel-witegum hí to Criste gebiddan: gif hí þonne noldon, þæt hí wurdon mid þære geswutelunge geniðerode. Þa tungel-witegan ferdon and hí gebædon, and ða Iudeiscan boceras bæftan belifon, þe þa cenning-stowe þurh bóclic gescead gebícnodon. It is manifest that the astrologers knew Christ to be a true man, when they inquired, "Where is he who is born?" They knew him to be a true king, when they said, "King of Juda." They worshipped him as true God, when they said, "We come that we may adore him." Easily might God have directed them by the star to the city in which the child was, as he had manifested his birth by the rising of that star; but he would that the Jewish scribes should read the prophecy concerning him, and so manifest his birth-place, that they might be saved if, with the astrologers, they would worship Christ: but if they would not, that they might by that manifestation be condemned. The astrologers went and worshipped, and the Jewish scribes remained behind, who had through book-knowledge pointed out the birth-place.
Ealle gesceafta oncneowon heora Scyppendes to-cyme, buton ðam arleasum Iudeiscum anum. Heofonas oncneowon heora Scyppend, ðaða hí on his acennednysse níwne steorran æteowdon. Sǽ oncneow ðaða Crist mid drium fot-wylmum ofer hyre yða mihtelice eode. Sunne oncneow, þaþa heo on his ðrowunge hire leoman fram mid-dæge oð nón behydde. Stanas oncneowon, ðaða hí on his forðsiðe sticmælum toburston. Seo eorðe oncneow, ðaða heo on his æriste eall byfode. Hell oncneow, ðaða heo hire hæftlingas unðances forlet. And ðeah þa heard-heortan Iudei noldon for eallum ðam tacnum þone soðan Scyppend tocnáwan, þe þa dumban gesceafta undergeaton, and mid gebicnungum geswutolodon. Næron hí swa-ðeah ealle endemes ungeleaffulle, ac of heora cynne wæron ægðer ge wítegan ge apostolas, and fela ðusenda gelyfedra manna. All creatures acknowledged their Creator's advent, save only the impious Jews. The heavens acknowledged their Creator, when they at his nativity displayed a new star. The sea acknowledged him, when Christ in his might with dry footsteps passed over its waves. The sun acknowledged him, when at his passion he hid his beams from mid-day till the ninth hour. The stones acknowledged him, when at his death they burst in pieces. The earth acknowledged him, when it all trembled at his resurrection. Hell acknowledged him, when it unwillingly released its captives. And yet the hard-hearted Jews would not for all those signs acknowledge the true Creator, whom the dumb creation knew, and by tokens manifested. They were not, however, all equally unbelieving, but of their race there were both prophets and apostles, and many thousands of believing men.
Þaþa ða tungel-witegan þone cyning gecyrdon, þa wearð se steorra him ungesewen; and eft, ðaða hí to ðam cilde gecyrdon, þa gesawon hí eft ðone steorran, and he ða hí gelædde to þam huse, þær hé inne wunode. Ne glad hé ealne weig him ætforan, ac syððan hí comon to Iudeiscum earde, syððan he wæs heora latteow, oð þæt he bufan Cristes gesthuse ætstod. When the astrologers went to the king the star became invisible to them; and afterwards, when they went to the child, they again saw the star, which then led them to the house in which he was staying. It did not glide before them all the way, but after they came to the Jewish country it was their guide until it stopt above Christ's inn.
Herodes hæfde deofles getacnunge; and se ðe fram Gode bichð to deofle he forlyst Godes gife, þæt is his modes onlihtinge, swa swa ða tungel-witegan ðone steorran forluron, ðaða hí ðone reðan cyning gecyrdon. Gif he ðonne eft þone deofol anrædlice forlǽt, ðonne gemét hé eft þæs halgan Gastes gife, þe his heortan onliht, and to Criste gelæt. Herod betokens the devil; and he who inclines from God to the devil loses God's grace, that is the enlightening of his understanding, as the astrologers lost the star when they went to the cruel king. But if he afterwards resolutely forsake the devil, then will he again have found the grace of the Holy Ghost, which enlightens his heart and leads to Christ.
Us is eac to witenne, þæt wæron sume gedwolmen ðe cwǽdon, þæt ælc man beo acenned be steorrena gesetnyssum, and þurh heora ymbryna him wyrd gelimpe, and námon to fultume heora gedwylde þæt níwe steorra asprang þaþa Drihten lichamlice acenned wearð, and cwædon þæt se steorra his gewyrd wære. Gewíte ðis gedwyld fram geleaffullum heortum, þæt ænig gewyrd sy, buton se Ælmihtiga Scyppend, seðe ælcum men foresceawað lif be his geearnungum. Nis se man for steorrum gesceapen, ac ða steorran sint mannum to nihtlicere lihtinge gesceapene. Þaða se steorra glád, and þa tungel-witegan gelædde, and him ðæs cildes inn gebícnode, ða geswutelode he þæt he wæs Cristes gesceaft, and rihtlice his Scyppende þenode: ac hé næs his gewyrd. Eft we biddað þæt nán geleafful man his geleafan mid þisum gedwylde ne befyle. Witodlice Rebecca, Isaáces wíf, acende twegen getwysan, Iacob and Esau, on ánre tide, swa þæt Iacob heold þone yldran broðer Esau be ðam fét on ðære cenninge, and hi næron ðeah gelice on ðeawum, ne on lifes geearnungum. Witodlice þæt halige gewrit cwyð þæt God lufode Iacob, and hatode Esau; na for gewyrde, ac for mislicum geearnungum. Hit gelimpð forwel oft þæt on anre tíde acenð seo cwén and seo wyln, and ðeah geðicð se æðeling be his gebyrdum to healicum cynesetle, and ðære wylne sunu wunað eal his líf on ðeowte. We are also to know, that there were some heretics who said, that every man is born according to the position of the stars, and that by their course his destiny befalls him, and advanced in support of their error, that a new star sprang up when the Lord was corporally born, and said that that star was his destiny. Let this error depart from believing hearts, that there is any destiny excepting the Almighty Creator, who provides for every man life by his merits. Man is not created for the stars, but the stars are created as a light by night for men. When the star glided, and led the astrologers, and pointed out to them the Child's inn, it showed that it was Christ's creature, and rightly ministered to its Creator: but it was not his destiny. Again we beseech that no believing man defile his faith with this error. Verily Rebekah, Isaac's wife, brought forth twins, Jacob and Esau, at one time, so that Jacob held his elder brother Esau by the foot at his birth; yet were they not alike in character, nor in the actions of their life. Holy writ indeed says that God loved Jacob, and hated Esau; not by destiny, but for various acts. It happens very often that the queen and the slave bring forth at one time, and yet the prince, through his birth, grows up for the lofty throne, and the son of the slave continues all his life in servitude.
Nu cweðað oft stunte men þæt hi be gewyrde lybban sceolon, swylce God hí neadige to yfel-dædum! Ac we wyllað þyssera stuntra manna ydele leasunge adwæscan mid deopnysse godcundra gewrita. Se Ælmihtiga Scyppend gesceop englas þurh his godcundan mihte, and for his micclan rihtwisnysse forgeaf him agenne cyre, þæt hí moston ðurhwunian on ecere gesælðe ðurh gehyrsumnysse, and mihton eac ða gesælða forleosan, na for gewyrde, ac for ungehyrsumnysse. His deope rihtwisnys nolde hí neadian to naðrum, ac forgeaf him agenne cyre; forðan ðe þæt is rihtwisnys þæt gehwylcum sy his agen cyre geðafod. Þonne wære seo rihtwisnys awǽged, gif he hí neadunge to his ðeowte gebigde, oððe gif he hí to yfelnysse bescufe. Ða miswendon sume þa englas heora agenne cyre, and þurh modignysse hy sylfe to awyrigedum deoflum geworhton. Now foolish men often say that they must live according to destiny, as if God compels them to evil deeds! But we will overthrow the idle leasing of these foolish men with the deepness of the divine writings. The Almighty Creator created angels by his divine power, and in his great righteousness gave them their own choice, that they might continue in eternal happiness through obedience, and might also lose that happiness, not through destiny, but for disobedience. His great righteousness would not compel them to either, but gave them their own choice; for that is righteousness, that to every one be allowed his own choice. For his righteousness would be rendered vain, if he forcibly subjected them to his service, or if he impelled them to evil. Then some angels abused their own choice, and through pride transformed themselves to accursed devils.
Eft ðaða se ðrimwealdenda Scyppend mancyn geworhte, þa forgeaf hé Adame and Euan agenne cyre, swa hi, ðurh gehyrsumnysse, á on ecnysse, butan deaðe, on gesælðe wunodon, mid eallum heora ofspringe, swa hi, ðurh ungehyrsumnysse, deadlice wurdon. Ac ðaþa hí Godes bebod forgægdon, and þæs awyrigedan deofles lare gehyrsumodon, þa wurdon hi deadlice, and forscyldegode þurh agenne cyre, hí and eall heora ofspring; and ðeah ðe næfre ne wurde syððan mancynne gemiltsod, ðe má ðe ðam deoflum is, ðeah wære Godes rihtwisnys eallunga untæle. Ac eft seo miccle mildheortnys ures Drihtnes us alysde þurh his menniscnysse, gif we his bebodum mid ealre heortan gehyrsumiað. Witodlice ða ðe nu þurh agenne cyre and deofles tihtinge God forlætað, God forlæt hí eac to ðam ecan forwyrde. Again, when the glorious Creator made mankind, he gave to Adam and Eve their own choice, whether they, through obedience, would for ever, without death, continue in happiness, with all their offspring, or whether, through disobedience, they would become mortal. But when they transgressed God's command, and obeyed the instruction of the accursed devil, then they became mortal, and guilty through their own choice, they and all their offspring; and although mercy should never after be shown to mankind, more than to the devils, nevertheless, the righteousness would be infinite. But the great mercy of our Lord hath redeemed us through his humanity, if we with all our heart will obey his commandments. Verily those who now, through their own choice, and the devil's instigation, forsake God, God will abandon them also to eternal perdition.
Georne wiste se Ælmihtiga Scyppend, ærðan þe he þa gesceafta gesceope, hwæt toweard wæs. He cuðe gewislice getel ægðer ge gecorenra engla ge gecorenra manna, and eac ðæra modigra gasta and arleasra manna, þe ðurh heora arleasnysse forwurðað; ac he ne forestihte nænne to yfelnysse, forðan þe he sylf is eall gódnyss; ne hé nænne to forwyrde ne gestihte, forðan ðe he is soð líf. He forestihte ða gecorenan to ðam ecan life, forðan ðe he wiste hí swilce towearde, þurh his gife and agene gehyrsumnysse. He nolde forestihtan þa arleasan to his rice, forðan ðe he wiste hí swilce towearde, þurh heora agene forgægednysse and ðwyrnysse. Healdað þis fæste on eowerum heortum, þæt se Ælmihtiga and se Rihtwisa God nænne mann ne neadað to syngigenne, ac he wát swa-ðeah on ǽr hwilce þurh agenne willan syngian willað. Hwí ne sceal he ðonne rihtlice wrecan þæt yfel þæt he onscunað? He lufað ælc gód and rihtwisnysse, forðan ðe he is gecyndelice gód and rihtwis; and he hatað ealle ða ðe unrihtwisnysse wyrcað, and þa fordeð þe leasunge sprecað. Witodlice þa þe on God belyfað, hi sind þurh ðone Halgan Gást gewissode. Nis seo gecyrrednys to Gode of us sylfum, ac of Godes gife, swa swa se apostol cwyð, "Þurh Godes gife ge sind gehealdene on geleafan." The Almighty Father well knew, before he created his creatures, what was to come to pass. He knew with certainty the number both of chosen angels and of chosen men, and also of the haughty spirits and impious men, who through their impiety perish. But he predestined no one to evil, for he himself is all goodness; nor destined he any one to perdition, for he is true life. He predestined the elect for eternal life, because he knew that they would be such, through his grace and their own obedience. He would not predestine the wicked to his kingdom, because he knew that they would be such, through their own transgression and perversity. Hold this fast in your hearts, that the Almighty and the Righteous God compels no man to sin, but he knows, nevertheless, beforehand who will sin through their own will. Why then shall he not justly avenge that evil which he abominates? He loves every good and righteousness, for he is by nature good and righteous; and he hates all those who work unrighteousness, and fordoes those who speak leasing. Verily those who believe in God are directed by the Holy Ghost. The turning to God is not of ourselves, but by God's grace, as the apostle says, "Through God's grace we are held in faith."
Þa ðe ne gelyfað ðurh agenne cyre hí scoriað, na ðurh gewyrd, forðan ðe gewyrd nis nan ðing buton leas wena; ne nan ðing soðlice be gewyrde ne gewyrð, ac ealle ðing þurh Godes dom beoð geendebyrde, seðe cwæð þurh his witegan, "Ic afandige manna heortan, and heora lendena, and ælcum sylle æfter his færelde, and æfter his agenre afundennysse." Ne talige nan man his yfelan dæda to Gode, ac talige ærest to þam deofle, þe mancyn beswác, and to Adámes forgægednysse; ac ðeah swiðost to him sylfum, þæt him yfel gelicað, and ne licað gód. Those who believe not through their own choice perish, not through destiny, for destiny is nothing but a false imagination; for nothing takes place by destiny, but all things are ordered by the doom of God, who said through his prophet, "I try the hearts of men, and their loins, and give to everyone according to his course, and according to his own invention." Let no man ascribe his evil deeds to God, but ascribe them first to the devil, who deceived mankind, and to Adam's transgression; but above all to himself, that evil pleases him and good pleases him not.
Bið þeah gelome ofsprincg forscyldegod þurh forðfædera mándæda, gif he mid yfele him geefenlæhð. Gif ðonne se ofspring rihtwis bið, þonne leofað he on his rihtwisnysse, and nateshwon his yldrena synna ne aberð. Ne sy nán man to ðan arleas þæt hé Adam wyrige oððe Euan, ðe nu on heofenum mid Gode rixiað, ac geearnige swiðor Godes mildheortnysse, swa þæt hé wende his agenne cyre to his Scyppendes gehyrsumnysse and bebodum; forðan þe nan man ne bið gehealden buton þurh gife Hælendes Cristes: þa gife he gearcode and forestihte on ecum ræde ær middangeardes gesetnysse. It often, however, happens that the offspring are condemned through the wicked deeds of their forefathers, if they imitate them in evil. But if the offspring are righteous, then will they live in their righteousness, and will not in the least bear their parents' sins. Let no man be so impious that he curse Adam or Eve, who now reign with God in heaven, but let him rather merit God's mercy, so that he turn his own choice to the obedience and commandments of his Creator; for no man will be saved, but through the grace of Jesus Christ: that grace he prepared and preordained to last for ever, before the foundation of the world.
Mine gebroðra, ge habbað nu gehyred be ðan leasan wenan, þe ydele men gewyrd hatað: uton nu fón on þæs godspelles trahtnunge, þær we hit ær forleton. Þa tungel-witegan eodon into ðæs cildes gesthuse, and hine gemetton mid þære meder. Hí ða mid astrehtum lichaman hi to Criste gebædon, and geopenodon heora hordfatu, and him geoffrodon þryfealde lác, gold, and recels, and myrran. Gold gedafenað cyninge; stór gebyrað to Godes ðenunge; mid myrran man behwyrfð deadra manna líc, þæt hí late rotian. Ðas ðrý tungel-wítegan hí to Criste gebǽdon, and him getacnigendlice lac offrodon. Þæt gold getacnode þæt he is soð Cyning. Se stór þæt he is soð God. Seo myrre þæt he wæs ða deadlic; ac he þurhwunað nu undeadlic on ecnysse. My brothers, ye have now heard concerning the false imagination, which vain men call destiny: let us now resume the exposition of the gospel, where we previously left it. The astrologers went into the child's inn, and found him with his mother. They then, with outstretched bodies, worshipped Christ, and opened their coffers, and offered to him threefold gifts, gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Gold befits a king; frankincense belongs to God's service; with myrrh the corpses of the dead are prepared that they may not soon rot. These three astrologers worshipped Christ, and offered to him significant gifts. The gold betokened that he is a true King. The frankincense that he is true God. The myrrh that he was then mortal; but he now continues immortal to eternity.
Sume gedwolmen wæron þe gelyfdon þæt hé God wære, ac hi nateshwón ne gelyfdon þæt hé æghwær rixode: hi offrodon Criste gastlice recels, and noldon him gold offrian. Eft wæron oðre gedwolmen ðe gelyfdon þæt he soð Cyning wære, ac hi wiðsocon þæt he God wære: ðas, buton twyn, him offrodon gold, and noldon offrian recels. Sume gedwolan andetton þæt he soð God wære and soð Cyning, and wiðsocon þæt hé deadlic flæsc underfenge: þas witodlice him brohton gold and stór, and noldon bringan myrran þære onfangenre deadlicnysse. There were some heretics who believed that he was God, but they in no wise believed that he anywhere reigned: they offered frankincense to Christ spiritually, and would not offer him gold. Again, there were other heretics who believed that he was a true King, but they denied that he was God: these, without doubt, offered gold to him, and would not offer frankincense. Some heretics acknowledged that he was true God and true King, and denied that he assumed mortal flesh: these brought him gold and frankincense, and would not bring the myrrh of the assumed mortality.
Mine gebroðra, uton we geoffrian urum Drihtne gold, þæt we andettan þæt hé soð Cyning sy, and æghwær rixige. Uton him offrian stór, þæt we gelyfon þæt hé ǽfre God wæs, seðe on þære tide man æteowde. Uton him bringan myrran, þæt we gelyfan þæt he wæs deadlic on urum flæsce, seðe is unðrowigendlic on his godcundnysse. He wæs deadlic on menniscnysse ær his ðrowunge, ac he bið heonon-forð undeadlic, swa swa we ealle beoð æfter ðam gemænelicum æriste. My brothers, let us offer to our Lord gold in acknowledgment that he is a true King, and rules everywhere. Let us offer to him frankincense, because we believe that he ever was God, who at that time appeared man. Let us bring him myrrh, because we believe that he was mortal in our flesh, who is impassible in his divine nature. He was mortal in human nature before his passion, but he is henceforth immortal, as we all shall be after the universal resurrection.
We habbað gesǽd embe ðas þryfealdan lac, hú hí to Criste belimpað: we willað eac secgan hú hí to ús belimpað æfter ðeawlicum andgite. Mid golde witodlice bið wisdom getácnod, swa swa Salomon cwæð, "Gewilnigendlic gold-hord lið on ðæs witan muðe." Mid store bið geswutelod halig gebed, be ðam sang se sealm-scop, "Drihten, sy min gebed asend swa swa byrnende stór on ðinre gesihðe." Þurh myrran is gehíwod cwelmbærnys ures flæsces; be ðam cweð seo halige gelaðung, "Mine handa drypton myrran." Þam acennedan Cyninge we bringað gold, gif we on his gesihðe mid beorhtnysse þæs upplican wisdomes scinende beoð. Stór we him bringað, gif we ure geðohtas ðurh gecnyrdnysse haligra gebeda on weofode ure heortan onǽlað, þæt we magon hwæthwega wynsumlice ðurh heofenlice gewilnunge stincan. Myrran we him offriað, gif we ða flæsclican lustas þurh forhæfednysse cwylmiað. Myrra deð, swa we ær cwædon, þæt þæt deade flæsc eaðelice ne rotað. Witodlice þæt deade flæsc rotað leahtorlice, þonne se deadlica lichama ðeowað þære flowendan galnysse, swa swa se wítega be sumum cwæð, "Ða nytenu forrotedon on heora meoxe." Þonne forrotiað þa nytenu on heora meoxe, þonne flæsclice men on stence heora galnysse geendiað heora dagas. Ac gif we ða myrran Gode gastlice geoffriað, þonne bið ure deadlica lichama fram galnysse stencum ðurh forhæfednysse gehealden. We have said concerning these threefold gifts, how they apply to Christ: we wish also to say how they, in a moral sense, apply to us. By gold is wisdom betokened, as Solomon said, "A desirable gold-treasure lieth in the wise man's mouth." With frankincense is manifested holy prayer, concerning which the psalmist sang, "Lord, be my prayer sent forth like burning frankincense in thy sight." By myrrh is typified the mortality of our flesh, concerning which the holy congregation says, "My hands dropt myrrh." To the born King we bring gold, if we are shining in his sight with the brightness of heavenly wisdom. Frankincense we bring him, if we, by diligence of holy prayers, kindle our thoughts on the altar of our heart, so that we may, through heavenly desire, give forth a sweetish savour. Myrrh we offer him, if through continence we quell the lusts of the flesh. Myrrh, as we have before said, acts so that dead flesh does not easily rot. Verily the dead flesh rots flagitiously, when the mortal body is subservient to overflowing lust, as the prophet said by one, "The beasts rotted in their dung." Then the beasts rot in their dung, when fleshly men end their days in the stench of their lust. But if we offer myrrh to God spiritually, then will our mortal body be preserved through continence from the stenches of lust.
Sum ðing miccles gebícnodon þa tungel-witegan us mid þam þæt hi ðurh oðerne weg to heora earde gecyrdon. Ure eard soðlice is neorxna-wang, to ðam we ne magon gecyrran þæs weges ðe we comon. Se frumsceapena man and eall his ofspring wearð adræfed of neorxena-wanges myrhðe, þurh ungehyrsumnysse, and for ðigene þæs forbodenan bigleofan, and ðurh modignysse, ðaða he wolde beon betera ðonne hine se Ælmihtiga Scyppend gesceop. Ac us is micel neod þæt we ðurh oðerne weg þone swicolan deofol forbugan, þæt we moton gesæliglice to urum eðele becuman, þe we to gesceapene wæron. The astrologers pointed out to us something great by returning another way to their country. For our country is Paradise, to which we cannot return by the way we came. The first-created man and all his offspring were driven from the joy of Paradise, through disobedience, and for eating the forbidden food, and through pride, when he would be better than the Almighty Creator had created him. But it is greatly needful to us that we should, by another way, avoid the treacherous devil, that we may happily come to our country, for which we were created.
We sceolon þurh gehyrsumnysse, and forhæfednysse, and eadmodnysse, ánmodlice to urum eðele stæppan, and mid halgum mægnum ðone eard ofgan, þe we ðurh leahtras forluron. Rihtlice wæs se swicola Herodes fram þam tungel-witegum bepæht, and he to Criste ne becom, forðan ðe hé mid facenfullum mode hine sohte. He getacnode þa leasan licceteras, ðe mid híwunge God secað, and næfre ne gemetað. He is to secenne mid soðfæstre heortan, and anrædum mode, seðe leofað and rixað mid Fæder and Halgum Gaste, on ealra worulda woruld. Amen. We should, by obedience, and continence, and humility, unanimously proceed to our home, and with holy virtues require the country, which we lost through sins. Rightly was the treacherous Herod deceived by the astrologers, and came not to Christ; because he sought him with a guileful purpose. He betokened the false hypocrites, who in outward show seek God, and never find him. He is to be sought with a true heart, and steadfast mind, who liveth and ruleth with the Father and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.