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:Ductus est Iesus in desertum a Spiritu: et reliqua. :Ductus est Jesus in desertum a Spiritu: et reliqua.
Ic wolde eow trahtnian þis godspel, ðe mann nu beforan eow rædde, ac ic ondræde þæt ge ne magon ða micelan deopnysse þæs godspelles swa understandan swa hit gedafenlic sy. Nu bidde ic eow þæt ge beon geðyldige on eowerum geðance, oðþæt we ðone traht mid Godes fylste oferrædan magon. I would expound to you this gospel which has just now been read before you, but I fear that ye cannot understand the great depth of this gospel as it is fitting. Now I pray you to be patient in your thoughts till, with God's assistance, we can read over the text.
"Se Hælend wæs gelæd fram þam Halgan Gaste to anum westene, to ðy þæt he wære gecostnod fram deofle: and he ða fæste feowertig daga and feowertig nihta, swa þæt he ne onbyrigde ætes ne wætes on eallum þam fyrste: ac siððan him hingrode. Þa genealæhte se costnere, and him to cwæð, Gif ðu sy Godes Sunu, cweð to ðisum stanum þæt hi beon awende to hlafum. Ða andwearde se Hælend, and cwæð, Hit is awriten, ne leofað se mann na be hlafe anum, ac lyfað be eallum ðam wordum þe gað of Godes muðe. Þa genam se deofol hine, and gesette hine uppan ðam scylfe þæs heagan temples, and cwæð, Gif ðu Godes Sunu sy, feall nu adún: hit is awriten, þæt englum is beboden be ðe, þæt hi ðe on hira handum ahebbon, þæt þu furðon ne ðurfe ðinne fot æt stane ætspurnan. Þa cwæð se Hælend eft him to, Hit is awriten, Ne fanda þines Drihtnes. Þa genam se deofol hine eft, and gesette hine uppan anre swiðe heahre dune, and æteowde him ealles middangeardes welan, and his wuldor, and cwæð him to, Ealle ðas ðing ic forgife ðe, gif ðu wilt feallan to minum fotum and gebiddan þe to me. Ða cwæð se Hælend him to, Ga ðu underbæcc, sceocca! Hit is awriten, Gehwá sceal hine gebiddan to his Drihtne anum, and him anum ðeowian. Þa forlet se deofol hine, and him comon englas to, and him ðenodon." "Jesus was led by the Holy Ghost to a waste, in order that he might be tempted by the devil: and he there fasted forty days and forty nights, so that he tasted neither food nor drink in all that time: but he then hungered. Then the tempter approached, and said to him, If thou art the Son of God, say to these stones that they be turned to loaves. Then Jesus answered, and said, It is written, Man liveth not by bread alone, but liveth by all the words that go from the mouth of God. Then the devil took him, and set him upon the summit of the lofty temple, and said, If thou art the Son of God, fall now down: it is written, that angels are commanded concerning thee, that they shall lift thee in their hands, that thou may not dash thy foot on a stone. Then said Jesus again to him, It is written, Tempt not thy Lord. Then the devil took him again, and set him upon a very high mountain, and showed him all the wealth and glory of the world, and said to him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall at my feet, and adore me. Then said Jesus to him, Go thou behind, Satan! It is written, Everyone shall adore his Lord alone, and him alone serve. Then the devil left him, and angels came to him, and ministered unto him."
Se Halga Gast lædde þone Hælend to þam westene, to ðy þæt he wære þær gecostnod. Nu wundrað gehwá hú se deofol dorste genealæcan to ðam Hælende, þæt he hine costnode: ac hé ne dorste Cristes fándian, gif him alyfed nære. Se Hælend com to mancynne forði þæt he wolde ealle ure costnunga oferswiðan mid his costnungum, and oferswiðan urne ðone ecan deað mid his hwilwendlicum deaðe. Nu wæs he swa eadmod þæt he geðafode ðam deofle þæt he his fandode, and he geðafode lyðrum mannum þæt hi hine ofslogon. Deofol is ealra unrihtwisra manna heafod, and þa yfelan men sind his lima: nu geðafode God þæt þæt heafod hine costnode, and þæt ða limu hine ahengon. The Holy Ghost led Jesus to the waste, that he might there be tempted. Now everyone will wonder how the devil durst approach Jesus to tempt him: but he durst not tempt Jesus, if it had not been allowed him. Jesus came to mankind because he would overcome all our temptations by his temptations, and overcome our eternal death with his temporary death. Now he was so humble that he permitted the devil to tempt him, and he permitted wicked men to slay him. The devil is the head of all unrighteous men, and evil men are his limbs: now God permitted the head to tempt him, and the limbs to crucify him.
Þam deofle wæs micel twynung, Hwæt Crist wære? His líf næs na gelógod swa swa oðra manna líf. Crist ne æt mid gyfernysse, ne he ne dránc mid oferflowendnysse, ne his eagan ne ferdon worigende geond mislice lustas. Þa smeade se deofol hwæt he wære; hwæðer he wære Godes Sunu, seðe manncynne behaten wæs. Cwæð þa on his geðance, þæt he fandian wolde hwæt he wære. Ða fæste Crist feowertig daga and feowertig nihta on án, ða on eallum þam fyrste ne cwæð se deofol to him þæt he etan sceolde, forðan þe hé geseh þæt him nan ðing ne hingrode. Eft, ðaða Crist hingrode æfter swa langum fyrste, ða wende se deofol soðlice þæt he God nære, and cwæð to him, "Hwi hingrað þe? Gif ðu Godes Sunu sy, wend þas stanas to hlafum, and et." To the devil it was a great doubt, What Christ were? His life was not ordered like the lives of other men. Christ ate not with avidity, nor did he drink with excess, nor did his eyes pass wandering amid various pleasures. Then the devil meditated what he were; whether he were the Son of God, who had been promised to mankind. He said then in his thoughts, that he would prove what he were. When Christ was fasting forty days and forty nights together, in all that time the devil did not say to him that he should eat, because he saw that he hungered not. Afterwards, when Christ hungered after so long a time, then verily the devil weened that he was not God, and said to him, "Why hungerest thou? If thou art the Son of God, turn these stones to loaves, and eat."
Eaðe mihte God, seðe awende wæter to wine, and seðe ealle gesceafta of nahte geworhte, eaðelice he mihte awendan ða stanas to hlafum: ac he nolde nan ðing don be ðæs deofles tæcunge; ac cwæð him to andsware, "Ne lifað na se man be hlafe anum, ac lifað be ðam wordum ðe gað of Godes muðe." Swa swa þæs mannes lichama leofað be hlafe, swa sceal his sawul lybban be Godes wordum, þæt is, be Godes lare, þe he þurh wise menn on bocum gesette. Gif se lichama næfð mete, oþþe ne mæg mete ðicgean, þonne forweornað he, and adeadað: swa eac seo sawul, gif heo næfð þa halgan lare, heo bið þonne weornigende and mægenleas. Þurh ða halgan lare heo bið strang and onbryrd to Godes willan. Easily might God, who turned water to wine, and he who wrought all creatures from nothing, easily might he have turned the stones to loaves: but he would do nothing by the devil's direction; but said to him in answer, "Man liveth not by bread alone, but liveth by the words which go from the mouth of God." As man's body lives by bread, so shall his soul live by the words of God, that is, by God's doctrine, which, through wise men, he has set in books. If the body has not food, or cannot eat food, then it decays and dies: so likewise the soul, if it has not the holy doctrine, it will be perishable and powerless. By the holy doctrine it will be strong, and stimulated to God's will.
Þa wæs se deofol æne oferswiðed fram Criste. "And he ða hine genam, and bær upp on þæt templ, and hine sette æt ðam scylfe, and cwæð to him, Gif ðu Godes Sunu sy, sceot adún; forðan þe englum is beboden be ðe, þæt hí ðe on handum ahebban, þæt þu ne ðurfe ðinne fót æt stane ætspurnan." Her begánn se deofol to reccanne halige gewritu, and he leah mid þære race; forðan ðe hé is leas, and nan soðfæstnys nis on him; ac he is fæder ælcere leasunge. Næs þæt na awriten be Criste þæt hé ða sæde, ac wæs awriten be halgum mannum: hí behofiað engla fultumes on þissum life, þæt se deofol hí costnian ne mote swa swiðe swa he wolde. Swa hold is God mancynne, þæt he hæfð geset his englas us to hyrdum, þæt hí ne sceolon na geðafian þam reðum deoflum þæt hí ús fordon magon. Hi moton ure afandian, ac hí ne moton us nydan to nanum yfle, buton we hit sylfe agenes willan dón, þurh þa yfelan tihtinge ðæs deofles. We ne beoð na fulfremede buton we beon afandode: þurh ða fandunge we sceolon geðeon, gif we æfre wiðsacað deofle, and eallum his larum; and gif we genealæcað urum Drihtne mid geleafan, and lufe, and godum weorcum; gif we hwær aslidon, arisan eft þærrihte, and betan georne þæt ðær tobrocen bið. Then was the devil once overcome by Christ. "And he then took him and bare him up on the temple, and set him on the summit, and said to him, If thou art the Son of God, dart down; for it is commanded to angels concerning thee, that they shall raise thee on their hands, that thou may not dash thy foot against a stone." Here the devil began to expound the holy scriptures, and he lied in his exposition; because he is false, and there is no truth in him; but he is the father of all leasing. It was not written of Christ what he there said, but was written of holy men: they require the support of angels in this life, that the devil may not tempt them so much as he would. So benevolent is God to mankind, that he has set his angels over us as guardians, that they may not allow the fierce devils to fordo us. They may tempt us, but they cannot compel us to any evil, unless we ourselves do it of our own will, through the evil instigation of the devil. We shall not be perfect unless we be tempted: through temptation we shall thrive, if we ever resist the devil and all his precepts; and if we draw nigh to our Lord with faith, and love, and good works; if we anywhere slide down, arise forthwith, and earnestly mend what shall there be broken.
Crist cwæð þa to ðam deofle, "Ne sceal man fandigan his Drihtnes." Þæt wære swiðe gilplic dǽd gif Crist scute ða adún, þeah ðe he eaðe mihte butan awyrdnysse his lima nyðer asceotan, seðe gebigde þone heagan heofenlican bigels; ac he nolde nan ðing dón mid gylpe; forðon þe se gylp is an heafod-leahter; þa nolde he adún asceotan, forðon ðe he onscunode þone gylp; ac cwæð, "Ne sceal man his Drihtnes fándian." Se man fándiað his Drihtnes, seðe, mid dyslicum truwan and mid gylpe, sum wundorlic ðing on Godes naman dón wile, oððe seðe sumes wundres dyslice and butan neode, æt Gode abiddan wile. Þa wæs se deofol oðere siðe þurh Cristes geðyld oferswiðed. Christ said to the devil, "No one shall tempt his Lord." It would have been a very proud deed if Christ had cast himself down, though he easily might, without injury of his limbs, have cast himself down, who bowed the high arch of heaven; but he would do nothing in pride, because pride is a deadly sin; so he would not cast himself down, because he would shun pride; but said, "No one shall tempt his Lord." That man tempts his Lord, who, with foolish confidence and with pride, will do something in the name of God, or who will foolishly and without need pray to God for some miracle. Then was the devil, by Christ's patience, overcome a second time.
"Þa genam he hine eft, and abær hine úpp on ane dune, and ætywde him ealles middangeardes welan and his wuldor, and cwæð to him, Ealle ðas ðing ic forgife ðe, gif ðu wilt afeallan to minum fotum, and þe to me gebiddan." Dyrstelice spræc se deofol her, swa swa he ær spræc, þaþa he on heofenum wæs, þaþa he wolde dælan heofonan rice wið his Scyppend, and beon Gode gelíc; ac his dyrstignys hine awearp ða into helle; and eac nu his dyrstignys hine geniðerode, þaða he, ðurh Cristes þrowunge, forlet mancynn of his anwealde. He cwæð, "Þas ðing ic forgife ðe." Him ðuhte þæt he ahte ealne middangeard; forðon ðe him ne wiðstod nan man ærðam þe Crist com þe hine gewylde. "Then he took him again, and bare him up on a mountain, and showed him all the riches of the world and its glory, and said to him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall at my feet, and adore me." Presumptuously spake the devil here, as he before spake, when he was in heaven, when he would share the heavenly kingdom with his Creator, and be equal to God; but his presumption then cast him down into hell; and now also his presumption humbled him, when he, through Christ's passion, let mankind out of his power. He said, "These things will I give thee." It seemed to him that he possessed all the world; because no man withstood him before Christ came who subdued him.
Hit is awriten on halgum bocum, "Eorðe and eall hire gefyllednys, and eal ymbhwyrft and þa ðe on ðam wuniað, ealle hit syndon Godes æhta," and na deofles. Þeah-hwæðere Crist cwæð on his godspelle be ðam deofle, þæt he wære middangeardes ealdor, and he sceolde beon út-adræfed. He is ðæra manna ealdor, þe lufiað þisne middangeard, and ealne heora hiht on þissum lífe besettað, and heora Scyppend forseoð. Ealle gesceafta, sunne, and mona, and ealle tunglan, land, and sǽ, and nytenu, ealle hí ðeowiað hyra Scyppende; forðon þe hí farað æfter Godes dihte. Se lyðra man ána, þonne he forsihð Godes beboda, and fullgǽð deofles willan, oððe þurh gytsunge, oþþe ðurh leasunge, oððe ðurh graman, oððe ðurh oðre leahtras, þonne bið he deofles ðeowa, þonne he deofle gecwemð, and þone forsihð ðe hine geworhte. It is written in holy books, "Earth and all its fullness, and all the globe and those who dwell on it, all are God's possessions," and not the devil's. Nevertheless, Christ said in his gospel concerning the devil, that he was the prince of the world, and he should be driven out. He is the prince of those men who love this world, and set all their hope in this life, and despise their Creator. All creatures, sun, and moon, and all stars, land, and sea, and cattle, all serve their Creator; because they perform their course after God's direction. Wicked man alone, when he despises the commandments of God, and fulfils the devil's will, either through covetousness, or through leasing, or through anger, or through other sins, then is he the devil's thrall, then is he acceptable to the devil, and despises him who created him.
"Crist cwæð ða to ðam deofle, Ga ðu underbæcc, sceocca! Hit is awriten, Man sceal hine gebiddan to his Drihtne, and him anum ðeowian." Quidam dicunt non dixisse Saluatorem, "Satane, uade retro," sed tantum "Uade": sed tamen in rectioribus et uetustioribus exemplaribus habetur, "Uade retro Satanas," sicut interpretatio ipsius nominis declarat; nam diabolus Deorsum ruens interpretatur. Apostolo igitur Petro dicitur a Xpo, "Uade retro me," id est, Sequere me. Diabolo non dicitur, Uade retro me, sed, "Uade retro," sicut jam diximus, et sic scripsit beatus Hieronimus, in una epistola. He cwæð to ðam deofle, "Ga ðu underbæc." Deofles nama is gereht, 'Nyðer-hreosende.' Nyðer he ahreas, and underbæc he eode fram frimðe his anginnes, þaða he wæs ascyred fram ðære heofonlican blisse; on hinder he eode eft þurh Cristes to-cyme; on hinder he sceal gán on domes dæge, þonne he bið belocen on helle-wite on écum fyre, he and ealle his geferan; and hí næfre siððan út-brecan ne magon. "Christ then said to the devil, Go thou behind, Satan! It is written, Man shall adore his Lord, and serve him alone." Quidam dicunt non dixisse Salvatorem, "Satane, vade retro," sed tantum "Vade": sed tamen in rectioribus et vetustioribus exemplaribus habetur, "Vade retro Satanas," sicut interpretatio ipsius nominis declarat; nam diabolus Deorsum ruens interpretatur. Apostolo igitur Petro dicitur a Christo, "Vade retro me," id est, Sequere me. Diabolo non dicitur, Vade retro me, sed "Vade retro," sicut jam diximus, et sic scripsit beatus Hieronymus, in una epistola. He said to the devil, "Go thou behind." The name of devil is interpreted, Falling down. He fell down, and he went behind from the beginning of his enterprize, when he was cut off from heavenly bliss; he went behind again through Christ's advent; he shall go behind on doomsday, when he shall be shut up in hell in eternal fire, he and all his associates; and they never afterwards may burst out.
Hit is awriten on ðære ealdan ǽ, þæt nan man ne sceal hine gebiddan to nanum deofelgylde, ne to nanum ðinge, buton to Gode anum; forðon ðe nán gesceaft nys wyrðe þæs wurðmyntes, buton se ana seðe Scyppend is ealra ðinga: to him anum we sceolon ús gebiddan; he ana is soð Hlaford and soð God. We biddað þingunga æt halgum mannum, þæt hi sceolon ús ðingian to heora Drihtne and to urum Drihtne; ne gebidde we ná, ðeah-hwæðere, us to him, swa swa we to Gode doð, ne hi þæt geðafian nellað; swa swa se engel cwæð to Iohanne þam apostole, ðaða he wolde feallan to his fotum: he cwæð, "Ne do þu hit na, þæt þu to me abuge. Ic eom Godes þeowa, swa swa ðu and þine gebroðra: gebide ðe to Gode anum." It is written in the old law that no man shall worship any idol, nor anything, save God alone; because no creature is worthy of that honour, save him alone who is the Creator of all things: him only should we worship; he alone is true Lord and true God. We pray for their intercessions to holy men, that they may mediate for us with their Lord and our Lord; still we do not worship them as we do God, nor would they permit it; as the angel said to John the apostle, when he would fall at his feet: he said, "Do thou it not, that thou bowest to me. I am God's servant, as thou and thy brethren: worship God alone."
"Þa forlét se deofol Crist, and him comon englas to, and him ðenodon." He wæs gecostnod swa swa mann, and æfter ðære costnunge him comon halige englas to, and him ðenodon, swa swa heora Scyppende. Buton se deofol gesawe þæt Crist man wære, ne gecostnode he hine; and buton he soð God wære, noldon ða englas him ðenian. Mycel wæs ures Hælendes eaðmodnys and his geþyld on ðisre dæde. He mihte mid anum worde besencan ðone deofol on þære deopan nywelnysse; ac hé ne æteowde his mihte, ac mid halgum gewritum he andwyrde ðam deofle, and sealde us bysne mid his geðylde, þæt swa oft swa we fram ðwyrum mannum ænig ðing þrowiað, þæt we sceolon wendan ure mod to Godes lare swiðor þonne to ænigre wrace. "Then the devil left Christ, and angels came to him, and ministered to him." He was tempted as a man, and after the temptation holy angels came to him, and ministered to him as to their Creator. Unless the devil had seen that Christ was a man, he would not have tempted him; and unless he had been true God, the angels would not have ministered to him. Great was our Saviour's meekness and his patience in this deed. He might with one word have sunk the devil into the deep abyss; but he manifested not his might, but answered the devil with the holy scriptures, and gave us an example by his patience, that, as often as we suffer anything from perverse men, we should turn our mind to God's precepts rather than to any vengeance.
On ðreo wisan bið deofles costnung: þæt is on tihtinge, on lustfullunge, on geðafunge. Deofol tiht ús to yfele, ac we sceolon hit onscunian, and ne geniman nane lustfullunge to ðære tihtinge: gif þonne ure mod nimð gelustfullunge, þonne sceole we huru wiðstandan, þæt ðær ne beo nán geðafung to ðam yfelan weorce. Seo yfele tihting is of deofle; ðonne bið oft þæs mannes mód gebiged to ðære lustfullunge, hwilon eac aslít to ðære geðafunge; forðon þe we sind of synfullum flæsce acennede. Næs na se Hælend on ða wisan gecostnod; forðon ðe he wæs of mædene acenned buton synne, and næs nan ðing ðwyrlices on him. He mihte beon gecostnod þurh tihtinge, ac nan lustfullung ne hrepede his mód. Þær næs eac nan geðafung, forðon ðe ðær næs nan lustfullung; ac wæs ðæs deofles costnung forðy eall wiðutan, and nan ðing wiðinnan. Ungewiss com se deofol to Criste, and ungewiss he eode aweig; forðan þe se Hælend ne geswutulode na him his mihte, ac oferdráf hine geðyldelice mid halgum gewritum. In three ways is temptation of the devil: that is in instigation, in pleasure, in consent. The devil instigates us to evil, but we should shun it, and take no pleasure in the instigation: but if our mind takes pleasure, then should we at least withstand, so that there be no consent to evil work. Instigation to evil is of the devil; but a man's mind is often bent to pleasure, sometimes also it lapses into consent; seeing that we are born of sinful flesh. Not in this wise was Jesus tempted; because he was born of a virgin without sin, and that there was nothing perverse in him. He might have been tempted by instigation, but no pleasure touched his mind. There was also no consent, because there was no pleasure; therefore was the devil's temptation all without, and nothing within. Uncertain came the devil to Christ, and uncertain he went away; seeing that Jesus manifested not his power to him, but overcame him patiently by the holy scriptures.
Se ealda deofol gecostnode urne fæder Adám on ðreo wisan: þæt is mid gyfernysse, and mid idelum wuldre, and mid gitsunge; and þa wearð he oferswiðed, forðon þe he geðafode ðam deofle on eallum þam ðrim costnungum. Þurh gyfernysse he wæs oferswiðed, þaþa he ðurh deofles lare æt ðone forbodenan æppel. Þurh idel wuldor he wæs oferswiðed, ðaða he gelyfde ðæs deofles wordum, ðaða he cwæð, "Swa mære ge beoð swa swa englas, gif ge of þam treowe etað." And hí ða gelyfdon his leasunge, and woldon mid idelum gylpe beon beteran þonne hí gesceapene wæron: ða wurdon hí wyrsan. Mid gytsunge he wæs oferswiðed, þaþa se deofol cwæð to him, "And ge habbað gescead ægðer ge gódes ge ýfeles." Nis na gytsung on feo anum, ac is eac on gewilnunge micelre geðincðe. The old devil tempted our father Adam in three ways: that is with greediness, with vain-glory, and with covetousness; and then he was overcome, because he consented to the devil in all those three temptations. Through greediness he was overcome, when, by the devil's instruction, he ate the forbidden apple. Through vain-glory he was overcome, when he believed the devil's words, when he said, "Ye shall be as great as angels, if ye eat of that tree." And they then believed his leasing, and would in their vain-glory be better than they had been created: then became they worse. With covetousness he was overcome, when the devil said to him, "And ye shall have the power to distinguish good from evil." Covetousness is not alone in money, but is also in the desire of great dignity.
Mid þam ylcum ðrim ðingum þe se deofol ðone frumsceapenan mann oferswiðde, mid þam ylcan Crist oferswiðde hine, and astrehte. Þurh gyfernysse fandode se deofol Cristes, ðaða he cwæð, "Cweð to ðysum stanum þæt hí beon to hlafum awende, and et." Þurh idel wuldor he fandode his, þaþa he hine tihte þæt hé sceolde sceotan nyðer of ðæs temples scylfe. Þurh gitsunge he fandode his, ðaða he mid leasunge him behet ealles middangeardes welan, gif he wolde feallan to his fotum. Ac se deofol wæs þa oferswiðed ðurh Crist on þam ylcum gemetum þe he ær Adam oferswiðde; þæt he gewite fram urum heortum mid þam innfære gehæft, mid þam þe he inn-afaren wæs and us gehæfte. With the same three things with which the devil overcame the first-created man, Christ overcame and prostrated him. Through greediness the devil tempted Christ, when he said, "Say to these stones that they be turned to loaves, and eat." Through vain-glory he tempted him, when he would instigate him to dart down from the temple's summit. Through covetousness he tempted him, when, with leasing, he promised him the wealth of all the world, if he would fall at his feet. But the devil was overcome by Christ by the same means with which he had of yore overcome Adam; so that he departed from our hearts made captive by the entrance at which he had entered and made us captives.
We gehyrdon on ðisum godspelle þæt ure Drihten fæste feowertig daga and feowertig nihta on án. Ðaða he swa lange fæste, þa geswutelode he þa micelan mihte his godcundnysse, þurh ða he mihte on eallum ðisum andweardum life butan eorðlicum mettum lybban, gif he wolde. Eft, ðaða him hingrode, þa geswutelode he þæt hé wæs soð man, and forði metes behofode. Moyses se heretoga fæste eac feowertig daga and feowertig nihta, to ði þæt he moste underfon Godes ǽ; ac he ne fæste na þurh his agene mihte, ac þurh Godes. Eac se witega Elias fæste ealswa lange eac þurh Godes mihte, and siððan wæs genumen butan deaðe of ðisum life. We have heard in this gospel that our Lord fasted forty days and forty nights together. When he had fasted so long he manifested the great power of his godhead, by which he might, in all this present life, without earthly food, have lived, if he had been willing. Afterwards, when he was hungry, he manifested that he was a true man, and therefore required food. Moses the leader fasted also forty days and forty nights, that he might receive God's law; but he fasted not through his own power, but through God's. The prophet Elijah also fasted as long through God's power, and was afterwards, without death, taken from this life.
Nu is ðis fæsten eallum cristenum mannum geset to healdenne on ælces geares ymbryne; ac we moton ælce dæg ures metes brucan mid forhæfednysse, ðæra metta þe alyfede sind. Hwí is ðis fæsten þus geteald þurh feowertig daga? On eallum geare sind getealde ðreo hund daga and fif and sixtig daga; þonne, gif we teoðiað þas gearlican dagas, þonne beoð þær six and ðritig teoðing-dagas; and fram ðisum dæge oð þone halgan Easter-dæg sind twa and feowertig daga: dó þonne ða six sunnan-dagas of ðam getele, þonne beoð þa six and ðritig þæs geares teoðing-dagas ús to forhæfednysse getealde. Now this fast is appointed to be held by all Christian men in the course of every year; but we must also on each day eat our food with abstemiousness, of those meats which are permitted. Why is this fast computed for forty days? In every year there are reckoned three hundred and sixty-five days; now, if we tithe these yearly days, then will there be six and thirty tithing-days, and from this day to the holy Easter-day are two and forty days: take then the six Sundays from that number, then there will be six and thirty days of the year's tithing-days reckoned for our abstinence.
Swa swa Godes ǽ ús bebyt þæt we sceolon ealle þa ðing þe us gesceotað of úres geares teolunge Gode þa teoðunge syllan, swa we sceolon eac on ðisum teoðing-dagum urne lichaman mid forhæfednysse Gode to lofe teoðian. We sceolon ús gearcian on eallum ðingum swa swa Godes þenas, æfter þæs apostoles tæcunge, on micclum geðylde, and on halgum wæccum, on fæstenum, and on clænnysse modes and lichaman; forði læsse pleoh bið þam cristenum men þæt he flæsces bruce, þonne he on ðissere halgan tide wífes bruce. Lætað aweg ealle saca, and ælc geflitt, and gehealdað þas tid mid sibbe and mid soðre lufe; forðon ne bið nan fæsten Gode andfenge butan sibbe. And doð swa swa God tæhte, tobrec ðinne hlaf, and syle ðone oþerne dæl hungrium men, and læd into þinum huse wǽdlan, and ða earman ælfremedan men, and gefrefra hí mid þinum godum. Þonne ðu nacodne geseo, scryd hine, and ne forseoh ðin agen flæsc. Se mann þe fæst buton ælmyssan, hé deð swilce hé sparige his mete, and eft ett þæt hé ǽr mid forhæfednysse foreode; ac þæt fæsten tælð God. Ac gif ðu fæstan wille Gode to gecwemednysse, þonne gehelp ðu earmra manna mid þam dæle ðe ðu þe sylfum oftihst, and eac mid maran, gif ðe to onhagige. Forbúgað idele spellunge, and dyslice blissa, and bewepað eowre synna; forðon ðe Crist cwæð, "Wá eow þe nu hlihgað, ge sceolon heofian and wepan." Eft he cwæð, "Eadige beoð ða ðe nu wepað, forðon ðe hi sceolon beon gefrefrode." As God's law enjoins us that we should of all the things which accrue to us from our yearly tillage give the tithe to God, so should we likewise on these tithing-days tithe our body with abstinence to the praise of God. We should prepare ourselves in all things as God's servants, according to the apostle's teaching, with great patience, and with holy vigils, with fasts, and with chastity of mind and body; for it is less perilous for a Christian man to eat flesh, than at this holy tide to have intercourse with woman. Set aside all quarrels and every dispute, and hold this tide with peace and with true love; for no fast will be acceptable to God without peace. And do as God taught, break thy loaf, and give the second portion to an hungry man, and lead into thy house the poor, and miserable strangers, and comfort them with thy possessions. When thou seest one naked, clothe him, and despise not thy own flesh. The man who fasts without alms does as though he spares his food, and afterwards eats that which he had previously forgone in his abstinence; but God contemns such fasting. But if thou wilt fast to God's contentment, then help poor men with the portion which thou withdrawest from thyself, and also with more, if it be thy pleasure. Avoid idle discourse and foolish pleasures, and bewail your sins; for Christ said, "Woe to you who now laugh, ye shall mourn and weep." Again he said, "Blessed are they who now weep, for they shall be comforted."
We lybbað mislice on twelf monðum: nu sceole we ure gymeleaste on þysne timan geinnian, and lybban Gode, we ðe oðrum timan us sylfum leofodon. And swa hwæt swa we doð to gode, uton dón þæt butan gylpe and idelre herunge. Se mann þe for gylpe hwæt to góde deð, him sylfum to herunge, næfð he ðæs nane mede æt Gode, ac hæfð his wite. Ac uton dón swa swa God tæhte, þæt ure godan weorc beon on ða wisan mannum cuðe, þæt hí magon geseon ure gódnysse, and þæt hí wuldrian and herigan urne Heofenlican Fæder, God Ælmihtigne, seðe forgilt mid hundfealdum swa hwæt swa we doð earmum mannum for his lufon, seðe leofað and rixað á butan ende on ecnysse. Amen. We live diversely for twelve months: now we shall at this time repair our heedlessness, and live to God, we who at other times have lived for ourselves. And whatsoever good we do, let us do it without pride and vain praise. The man who does any good for pride, to his own praise, will have no reward with God, but will have his punishment. But let us do as God hath taught, that our good works may be so known to men that they may see our goodness, and glorify and praise our Heavenly Father, God Almighty, who requites an hundredfold whatsoever we do to poor men for love of him who liveth and reigneth ever without end to eternity. Amen.