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VIII. KL. APRIL.

MARCH XXV.

ANNUNCIATIO S. MARIÆ.

THE ANNUNCIATION OF ST. MARY.

:Missus est Gabrihel Angelas: et reliqua. :Missus est Gabrihel Angelus: et reliqua.
Ure se Ælmihtiga Scyppend, seðe ealle gesceafta, buton ælcon antimbre, þurh his wisdom gesceop, and þurh his willan gelíffæste, hé gesceop mancynn to ði þæt hí sceoldon mid gehyrsumnysse and eadmodnysse ða heofenlican geðincðe geearnigan, þe se deofol mid ofermettum forwyrhte. Þa wearð eac se mann mid deofles lotwrencum bepæht, swa þæt he tobræc his Scyppendes bebod, and wearð deofle betæht, and eal his ofspring into helle-wite. Ða ðeah-hwæðere ofðuhte ðam Ælmihtigum Gode ealles mancynnes yrmða, and smeade hu he mihte his hand-geweorc of deofles anwealde alysan; forði him ofhreow þæs mannes, forðon ðe hé wæs bepæht mid þæs deofles searo-cræftum. Ac him ne ofhreow na ðæs deofles hryre; forðan ðe hé næs þurh nane tihtinge forlæred, ac hé sylf asmeade ða up-ahefednysse þe he ðurh ahreas; and he forði á on ecnysse wunað on forwyrde wælræw deofol. Our Almighty Creator, who created all creatures, without any matter through his wisdom, and through his will animated them, he created mankind that they might with obedience and humility merit those heavenly honours which the devil through pride had forfeited. Then was man deceived by the devil's wiles, so that he brake the command of his Creator, and was, with all his offspring, delivered to the devil into hell-torment. Then, nevertheless, the Almighty God was grieved for the miseries of all mankind, and he meditated how he might redeem his handiwork from the power of the devil; for he took pity on man, because he had been deceived by the wiles of the devil. But he had no pity for the devil's fall, because he had not been misled by any instigation, but had himself devised the presumption through which he fell; and he therefore, to all eternity, dwelleth in perdition, a bloodthirsty devil.
Þa fram frymðe mancynnes cydde se Ælmihtiga God, hwilon ðurh getacnunga, hwilon ðurh witegunga, þæt he wolde mancynn ahreddan þurh ðone þe he ealle gesceafta mid geworhte, ðurh his agen Bearn. Nu wæron ða witegunga swiðe menigfealdlice gesette on halgum gewritum, ærðam ðe se Godes Sunu menniscnysse underfenge. Sume wæron eac be ðære eadigan Marian gewitegode. An ðæra witegunga is Isaiae, se awrát betwux his witegungum, þus cweðende, "Efne sceal mæden geeacnian on hire innoðe, and acennan Sunu, and his nama bið gecíged Emmanuhel," þæt is gereht on urum geðeode, 'God is mid us.' Eft Ezechihel se witega geseah on his witegunge án belocen geat on Godes huse, and him cwæð to sum engel, "Þis geat ne bið nanum menn geopenod, ac se Hlaford ana færð inn þurh þæt geat, and eft út færð, and hit bið belocen on ecnysse." Þæt beclysede geat on Godes huse getacnode þone halgan mæigðhad þære eadigan Marian. Se Hlaford, ealra hlaforda Hlaford, þæt is Crist, becom on hire innoð, and ðurh hí on menniscnysse wearð acenned, and þæt geat bið belocen on ecnysse; þæt is, þæt Maria wæs mæden ær ðære cenninge, and mæden on ðære cenninge, and mæden æfter ðære cenninge. Then from the beginning of mankind the Almighty God made known, sometimes by signs, sometimes by prophecies, that he would redeem mankind through him with whom he had made all creatures, through his own Son. Now there were very many prophecies recorded in the holy writings, before the Son of God assumed human nature. Some were prophesied of the blessed Mary. One of these prophecies is of Isaiah, who wrote, among his prophecies, thus saying, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bring forth a son, and his name shall be called Emanuel," that is interpreted in our tongue, God is with us. Also Ezechiel the prophet saw in his prophecy a closed gate in the house of God, and an angel said to him, "This gate shall be opened to no man, for the Lord only will go in by that gate, and again go out, and it shall be shut for ever." That closed gate in the house of God betokened the holy maidenhood of the blessed Mary. The Lord, of all lords Lord, that is Christ, entered her womb, and through her was brought forth in human nature, and that gate is shut for ever; that is, Mary was a virgin before the birth, and a virgin at the birth, and a virgin after the birth.
Þa witegunga be Cristes acennednysse and be ðære eadigan Marian mægðhade sindon swiðe menigfealdlice on ðære ealdan ǽ gesette, and se ðe hí asmeagan wile, þær he hí afint mid micelre genihtsumnysse. Eac se apostol Paulus cwæð, "Þaþa ðæra tída gefyllednys com, ða sende God Fæder his Sunu to mancynnes alysednysse." Seo wurðfulle sánd wearð on ðisum dæge gefylled, swa swa Cristes boc us gewissað, þus cweðende, "Godes heah-engel, Gabrihel, wæs asend fram Gode to ðære Galileiscan byrig Nazareth, to ðam mædene þe wæs Maria gehaten, and heo asprang of Dauides cynne, þæs maran cyninges, and heo wæs beweddod þam rihtwisan Iosepe:" et reliqua. The prophecies of the birth of Christ and the virginity of the blessed Mary are recorded very frequently in the old law, and he who searches will there find them in great abundance. Also the apostle Paul said, "When the fullness of times came, then God sent his Son for the redemption of mankind." The glorious mission was on this day fulfilled, as the book of Christ shows us, thus saying, "The archangel of God, Gabriel, was sent from God to the Galilean city Nazareth, to the maiden who was called Mary, and she sprang from the race of David, the great king, and she was wedded to the righteous Joseph," etc.
Ure alysednysse anginn we gehyrdon on ðisre dægþerlican rædinge, þurh ða we awurpon þa derigendlican ealdnysse, and we sind getealde betwux Godes bearnum, þurh Cristes flæsclicnysse. Swiðe þæslic anginn menniscre alysednysse wæs þæt þa se engel wearð asend fram Gode to ðam mædene, to cyðenne Godes acennednysse þurh hí; forðan ðe se forma intinga mennisces forwyrdes wæs, þaþa se deofol asende oðerne deofol, on næddran anlicnysse, to ðam frumsceapenan wífe Euan, hí to beswicenne. Us becom ða deað and forwyrd þurh wíf, and us becom eft lif and hredding þurh wimman. The beginning of our redemption we heard in this daily lecture, through which we have cast off pernicious age, and are accounted among the children of God, through Christ's incarnation. A very fitting beginning of human redemption was that when the angel was sent from God to the virgin, to announce the birth of God through her; because the first cause of man's perdition was when the devil sent another devil, in likeness of a serpent, to the first-created woman Eve, for the purpose of deceiving her. Death and perdition befell us through a woman, and afterwards life and salvation came to us through a woman.
Se heah-engel, þe cydde þæs Hælendes acennednysse, wæs gehaten Gabrihel, þæt is gereht, 'Godes strengð,' þone he bodode toweardne, þe se sealm-sceop mid þisum wordum herede, "Drihten is strang and mihtig on gefeohte." On ðam gefeohte, butan tweon, þe se Hælend deofol oferwann, and middangeard him ætbræd. The archangel, who announced the birth of Christ, was called Gabriel, which is interpreted, God's strength, which he announced was to come, and which the psalmist praised in these words, "The Lord is strong and mighty in battle." In the battle, without doubt, in which Jesus overcame the devil, and took from him the world.
"Maria wæs beweddod Iosepe ðam rihtwisan." Hwí wolde God beon acenned of beweddodan mædene? For micclum gesceade, and eac for neode. Þæt Iudeisce folc heold Godes ǽ on þam timan: seo ǽ tæhte, þæt man sceolde ælcne wimman þe cild hæfde butan rihtre æwe stænan. Nu ðonne, gif Maria unbeweddod wære, and cild hæfde, þonne wolde þæt Iudeisce folc, æfter Godes ǽ, mid stanum hí oftorfian. Ða wæs heo, ðurh Godes foresceawunge, þam rihtwisan were beweddod, and gehwá wende þæt he ðæs cildes fæder wære, ac he næs. Ac ðaða Ioseph undergeat þæt Maria mid cilde wæs, þa wearð he dreorig, and nolde hire genealæcan, ac ðohte þæt he wolde hí diglice forlætan. Þaða Ioseph þis smeade, þa com him to Godes engel, and bebead him, þæt sceolde habban gymene ægðer ge ðære meder ge þæs cildes, and cwæð, þæt þæt cild nære of nanum men gestryned, ac wære of þam Halgan Gaste. Nis na hwæðere se Halga Gast Cristes Fæder, ac hé is genemned to ðære fremminge Cristes menniscnysse; forðan ðe he is Willa and Lufu þæs Fæder and þæs Suna. Nu wearð seo menniscnys þurh þone micclan Willan gefremmed, and is ðeah-hwæðere heora Ðreora weorc untodæledlic. Hi sind þry on hádum, Fæder, and Sunu, and Halig Gast, and an God untodæledlic on anre godcundnysse. Ioseph ða, swa swa him se engel bebead, hæfde gymene ægðer ge Marian ge ðæs cildes, and wæs hyre gewita þæt heo mæden wæs, and wæs Cristes fostor-fæder, and mid his fultume and frofre on gehwilcum ðingum him ðenode on ðære menniscnysse. "Mary was wedded to the righteous Joseph." Why would God be born of a wedded virgin? For a great reason, and also of necessity. The Jewish people, at that time, held God's law: the old law directed, that every woman who had a child out of lawful wedlock should be stoned. Now, therefore, if Mary had been unmarried, and had a child, the Jewish people, according to God's law, would have stoned her with stones. Therefore was she, by the providence of God, married to that righteous man, and everyone imagined that he was the child's father, but he was not. But when Joseph understood that Mary was with child, he was sad, and would not approach her, but thought that he would privily dismiss her. While Joseph was meditating this God's angel came to him, and commanded him, that he should have care both of the mother and of the child, and said, that the child was of no man begotten, but was of the Holy Ghost. Yet is the Holy Ghost not the father of Christ, but he is named to the accomplishment of Christ's humanity; for he is the Will and Love of the Father and of the Son. Now the humanity was effected through the Great Will, and is, nevertheless, the indivisible work of the Three. They are three in persons, Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost, and one God indivisible, in one Godhead. Joseph then, as the angel had commanded him, had care both of Mary and of the child, and was her witness that she was a virgin; and was Christ's foster-father, and with his support and comfort served him in everything in his human state.
Se engel grette Marian, and cwæð, þæt heo wære mid Godes gife afylled, and þæt hyre wæs God mid, and heo wæs gebletsod betwux wifum. Soðlice heo wæs mid Godes gife afylled, forðon ðe hire wæs getiðod þæt heo ðone abǽr þe astealde ealle gifa and ealle soðfæstnyssa. God wæs mid hire, forðan ðe he wæs on hire innoðe belocen, seðe belicð ealne middangeard on his anre handa. And heo wæs gebletsod betwux wifum, forðan ðe heo, butan wiflicre bysnunge, mid wlite hyre mægðhádes, wæs modor þæs Ælmihtigan Godes. The angel greeted Mary, and said, that she was filled with God's grace, and that God was with her, and she was blessed among women. Verily she was filled with God's grace, for it was permitted her to bear him who instituted all grace and all truth. God was with her, for he was shut in her womb who compasses the whole earth with one hand. And she was blessed among women, for she, without female example, with the beauty of maidenhood, was mother of the Almighty God.
Se engel gehyrte hí mid his wordum, and cwæð hire to, "Efne ðu scealt geeacnian on ðinum innoðe, and þu acenst sunu." Oncnawað nu, þurh þas word, soðne mannan acennedne of mædenlicum lichaman. His nama wæs Hiesus, þæt is Hælend, forðan ðe hé gehælð ealle ða þe on hine rihtlice gelyfað. "Þes bið mǽre, and he bið gecíged Sunu þæs Hexstan." Gelyfað nu, þurh ðas wórd, þæt he is soð God of soðum Gode, and efen-ece his Fæder, of ðam he wæs æfre acenned butan anginne. Crist heold Dauides cynesetl, na lichamlice ac gastlice; forðan ðe he is ealra cyninga Cyning, and rixað ofer his gecorenan menn, ægðer ge ofer Israhela folc ge ofer ealle oðre leodscipas, ða ðe on rihtum geleafan wuniað; and Crist hí ealle gebrincð to his ecan rice. Israhel is gecweden, 'God geseonde,' and Iacob is gecweden, 'Forscrencend.' Nu ða men ðe God geseoð mid heora mode þurh geleafan, and þa ðe leahtras forscrencað, hí belimpað to Godes ríce, þe næfre ne ateorað. The angel encouraged her with his words, and said to her, "Behold thou shalt conceive, and thou shalt bear a Son." Acknowledge now, through these words, a true man, born of a maiden body. His name was Jesus, that is Saviour, for he shall save all those who rightly believe in him. "He shall be great, and he shall be called the Son of the Highest." Believe now, through these words, that he is true God of true God, and co-eternal with his Father, of whom he was ever begotten without beginning. Christ held David's throne, not bodily but spiritually, for he is king of all kings, and ruleth over his chosen people, both over the people of Israel and over all other nations which abide in the right faith; and Christ will bring them all to his eternal kingdom. Israel is interpreted, Seeing God, and Jacob is interpreted, Withering. Now those men who see God in their mind, through faith, and those who wither up sins, they belong to God's kingdom, which shall never fail.
Þa cwæð Maria to ðam engle, "Hú mæg þæt beon þæt ic cild hæbbe, forðan ðe ic nanes weres ne bruce? Ic geteohode min lif on mægðhade to geendigenne: hu mæg hit ðonne gewurðan þæt ic, butan weres gemanan, cennan scyle?" Þa andwyrde se engel ðam mædene, "Se Halga Gast cymð ufen on ðe, and miht ðæs Hyhstan ofersceadewað ðe." Þurh ðæs Halgan Gastes fremminge, swa swa we ær cwædon, wearð Crist acenned on ðære menniscnysse; and Maria his modor wæs ofersceadewed ðurh mihte þæs Halgan Gastes. Hu wæs heo ofersceadewod? Heo wæs swa ofersceadewod þæt heo wæs geclænsod and gescyld wið ealle leahtras, þurh mihte ðæs Halgan Gastes, and mid heofenlicum gifum gefylled and gehalgod. Then said Mary to the angel, "How may that be that I have a child, for I have known no man? I had resolved to end my life in maidenhood: how can it then be that I, without connexion with man, shall bring forth?" Then answered the angel to the virgin, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." Through the efficacy of the Holy Ghost, as we before said, Christ was born in human nature; and Mary his mother was overshadowed by the power of the Holy Ghost. How was she overshadowed? She was so overshadowed that she was purified from, and shielded against all sins, by the power of the Holy Ghost, and with heavenly grace filled and hallowed.
Se engel cwæð, "Þæt Halige, þe of ðe bið acenned, bið geciged Godes Sunu." Witodlice ealle menn beoð, swa swa se witega cwæð, mid unrihtwisnysse geeacnode, and mid synnum acennede, ac ure Hælend ana wæs geeacnod butan unrihtwisnysse, and butan synnum acenned; and he wæs halig þærrihte swa hraðe swa hé mann wæs, and fulfremed God, þæs Ælmihtigan Godes Sunu, on anum hade mann and God. Ða cwæð Maria to ðam engle, "Ic eom Godes ðinen; getimige me æfter ðinum worde." Micel eadmodnys wunode on hyre mode, þaþa heo ðus cleopode. Ne cwæð heo na, Ic eom Godes modor, oððe, Ic eom cwen ealles middangeardes, ac cwæð, "Ic eom Godes þinen;" swa swa us mynegað þæt halige gewrit, þus cweðende, "Þonne ðu mære sy, geeadmed þe sylfne on eallum ðingum, and ðu gemetst gife and lean mid Gode." Heo cwæð to ðam engle, "Getimige me æfter ðinum worde:" þæt is, Gewurðe hit swa ðu segst, þæt ðæs Ælmihtigan Godes Sunu becume on minne innoð, and mennisce edwiste of me genime, and to alysednysse middangeardes forðstæppe of mé, swa swa brydguma of his brydbedde. The angel said, "The holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Verily all men are, as the prophet said, conceived in iniquity and born in sins, but our Saviour alone was conceived without iniquity, and born without sins; and he was holy as soon as he became man, and perfect God, the Son of the Almighty God, in one person man and God. Then said Mary to the angel, "I am God's handmaid; let it betide me according to thy word." Great humility dwelt in her mind, when she thus cried. She said not, I am the mother of God, or, I am queen of the whole world, but said, "I am God's handmaid;" as the holy writ admonishes us, thus saying, "When thou art great, humble thyself in all things, and thou shalt find grace and reward with God." She said to the angel, "Let it betide me according to thy word:" that is, Be it as thou sayst, that the Son of the Almighty God enter my womb, and receive human substance from me, and proceed from me, for the redemption of the world, as a bridegroom from his bride-bed.
Þus becom ure Hælend on Marian innoð on þissum dæge, ðe is gehaten Annuntiatio Sanctae Mariae, þæt is, Marian bodung-dæg gecweden; on þam dæge bodode se heah-engel Gabrihel ðam clænum mædene Godes to-cyme to mannum ðurh hí, and heo gelyfde þæs engles bodunge, and swa mid geleafan onfeng God on hyre innoð, and hine bær oð middewintres mæsse-dæg, and hine ða acende mid soðre menniscnysse, seðe æfre wæs wunigende on godcundnysse mid his Fæder, and mid þam Halgan Gaste, hi ðry an God untodæledlic. Thus did our Saviour enter the womb of Mary on this day, which is called Annunciatio Sanctæ Mariæ, which is interpreted, The Annunciation-day of Mary; on which day the archangel Gabriel announced to the pure virgin the advent of God to men through her, and she believed the angel's announcement, and so with faith received God into her womb, and bare him until midwinter's mass-day, and then brought him forth in true human nature, who was ever dwelling in divine nature with his Father and the Holy Ghost, those three one God indivisible.
Nu seigð se godspellere, þæt Maria ferde, æfter þæs engles bodunge, to hire magan Elisabeth, seo wæs Zacharian wif. Hí butu wæron rihtwise, and heoldon Godes beboda untællice. Ða wæron hí butan cilde, oðþæt hí wæron forwerede menn. Ða com se ylca engel Gabrihel to Zacharian syx monðum ærðan ðe hé come to Marian, and cydde þæt he sceolde be his ealdan wife sunu habban, Iohannem ðone Fulluhtere. Þa wearð he ungeleafful þæs engles bodungum. Se engel ða him cwæð to, "Nu ðu nylt gelyfan minum wordum, beo ðu dumb oðþæt þæt cild beo acenned." And he ða adumbode on eallum ðam fyrste, for his ungeleaffulnysse. "Nu com ða seo eadige Maria to his huse, and grette his wíf, hyre magan, Elisabeth. Ða mid þam þe þæt wíf gehyrde þæs mædenes gretinge, ða blissode þæt cild Iohannes on his modor innoðe, and seo moder wearð afylled mid þam Halgan Gaste, and heo clypode to Marian mid micelre stemne, and cwæð, Þu eart gebletsod betwux wifum, and gebletsod is se wæstm þines innoðes. Hu getimode me þæt mines Drihtnes moder wolde cuman to me? Efne mid þam þe seo stefn ðinre gretinge swegde on mínum earum, ða blissode min cild on minum innoðe, and hoppode ongean his Drihten, þe þu berst on ðinum innoðe." Now saith the evangelist, that Mary, after the annunciation of the angel, went to her cousin Elizabeth, who was the wife of Zacharias. They were both righteous, and held God's commandments blamelessly. They were both childless, till they were worn-out persons. But the same angel Gabriel came to Zacharias six months before he came to Mary, and announced that he should have a son by his aged wife, John the Baptist. But he believed not the annunciation of the angel. The angel then said to him, "Since thou wilt not believe my words, be thou dumb till the child shall be born." And he was dumb during all that time for his disbelief. "Now came the blessed Mary to his house, and greeted his wife Elizabeth, her cousin. When the woman heard the virgin's greeting, the child John rejoiced in his mother's womb, and the mother was filled with the Holy Ghost, and she cried to Mary with a loud voice, and said, Thou art blessed among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. How hath it befallen me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Lo, when the voice of thy greeting sounded in mine ears, my child rejoiced in my womb, and leaped towards his Lord, whom thou bearest in thy womb."
Þæt cild ne mihte na ða-gyt mid wordum his Hælend gegretan, ac he gegrette hine mid blissigendum mode. Heo cwæð, "Eadig eart ðu, Maria, forðon ðe þu gelyfdest þam wordum ðe þe fram Gode gebodode wæron, and hit bið gefremmed swa swa hit ðe gecydd wæs." Ða sang Maria þærrihte ðone lofsang þe we singað on Godes cyrcan, æt ælcum æfensange, "Magnificat anima mea Dominum," and forð oð ende. Þæt is, "Min sawul mærsað Drihten:" et reliqua. Langsum hit bið þæt we ealne þisne lofsang ofertrahtnian; ac we wyllað scortlice oferyrnan ða digelystan word. "God awearp ða rican of setle:" þæt sind ða modigan ðe hí onhebbað ofer heora mæðe. "And he ahof ða eadmodan;" swa swa Crist sylf cwæð on his godspelle, "Ælc ðæra þe hine onhefð, he sceal beon geeadmet; and se ðe hine geeadmet, he sceal beon ahafen." The child could not yet with words greet his Lord, but he greeted him with a rejoicing mind. She said, "Blessed art thou, Mary, for thou hast believed the words that were announced to thee from God, and it shall be accomplished so as it hath been declared to thee." Then forthwith Mary sang the hymn which we sing in God's church at every evensong, "Magnificat anima mea Dominum," and so forth to the end. That is "My soul magnifieth the Lord," etc. It will be tedious for us to expound all this hymn, but we will shortly run over its most obscure words. "God hath cast the mighty from their seat:" these are the proud, who lift themselves above their degree. "And he hath exalted the humble;" as Christ himself said in his gospel, "Everyone who exalteth himself shall be humbled; and he who humbleth himself shall be exalted."
"God gefylð þa hingrigendan mid his godum;" swa swa he sylf cwæð, "Eadige beoð þa þe sind ofhingrode and oflyste rihtwisnysse, forðan ðe hí sceolon beon gefyllede mid rihtwisnysse." "He forlet ða rícan idele." Þæt sind ða rícan, þa ðe mid modignysse þa eorðlican welan lufiað swiðor þonne ða heofonlican. Fela riccra manna geðeoð Gode, þæra ðe swa doð swa swa hit awriten is, "Þæs rícan mannes welan sind his sawle alysednyss." His welan beoð his sawle alysednyss, gif hé mid þam gewitendlicum gestreonum beceapað him þæt ece líf, and ða heofonlican welan mid Gode. Gif he ðis forgymeleasað, and besett his hiht on ðam eorðlicum welan, þonne forlæt God hine idelne and æmtigne, fram ðam ecum godnyssum. "God filleth the hungry with his good things;" as he himself said, "Blessed are they who are hungry and desirous of righteousness, for they shall be filled with righteousness." "He hath sent the rich empty away." Those are the rich, who with pride love earthly riches more than heavenly. Many rich men thrive to God, those who do as it is written, "The rich man's wealth is his soul's redemption." His wealth is his soul's redemption, if he with those transitory treasures buy for himself eternal life, and heavenly wealth with God. If he neglect this, and place his hope in earthly wealth, then will God send him away void and empty, from everlasting good.
"God underfeng his cnapan Israhel." Mid þam naman syndon getacnode ealle ða þe Gode gehyrsumiað mid soðre eadmodnysse, þa he underfehð to his werode. "Swa swa hé spræc to urum fæderum, Abrahame and his ofspringe on worulda." God behet ðam heahfædere Abrahame, þæt on his cynne sceolde beon gebletsod eal mancynn. Of Abrahames cynne aspráng seo gesælige Maria, and of Marían com Crist, æfter ðære menniscnysse, and þurh Crist beoð ealle ða geleaffullan gebletsode. Ne synd we na Abrahames cynnes flæsclice, ac gastlice, swa swa se apostol Paulus cwæð, "Witodlice, gif ge cristene synd, þonne beo ge Abrahames ofspring, and yrfenuman æfter beháte." Þæt æftemyste word is ðises lofsanges, "On worulda;" forðan ðe ure behát, þe us God behet, ðurhwunað á on worulda woruld butan ende. "God hath received his servant Israel." By that name are betokened all those who obey God with true humility, whom he receives into his company. "As he spake to our fathers, Abraham and his offspring for ever." God promised the patriarch Abraham, that in his race all mankind should be blessed. From the race of Abraham sprang the blessed Mary, and from Mary came Christ, according to his human nature, and through Christ shall all the faithful be blessed. We are not of Abraham's race after the flesh, but spiritually, as the apostle Paul said, "Verily if ye are christians, then are ye of Abraham's offspring, and heirs according to the promise." The last words of this hymn are "For ever;" because our promise, which God hath promised to us, continueth for ever and ever without end.
Uton biddan nu þæt eadige and þæt gesælige mæden Marían, þæt heo us geðingige to hyre agenum Suna and to hire Scyppende, Hælende Criste, seðe gewylt ealra ðinga mid Fæder and mid þam Halgum Gaste, á on ecnysse. Amen. Let us now pray the blessed and happy Virgin Mary, that she intercede for us to her own Son and Creator, Jesus Christ, who governs all things with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever to eternity. Amen.