The Homilies of the Anglo-Saxon Church/XL

DOMINICA II. IN ADUENTUM DOMINI.

THE SECOND SUNDAY IN THE LORD'S ADVENT.

Erunt signa in sole et luna et stellis: et reliqua. Erunt signa in sole et luna et stellis: et reliqua.
Se Godspellere Lucas awrát on ðisum dægðerlican godspelle, þæt ure Drihten wæs sprecende þisum wordum to his leorning-cnihtum, be ðam tácnum ðe ǽr þyssere worulde geendunge gelimpað. Drihten cwæð, "Tácna gewurðað on sunnan, and on mónan, and on steorrum, and on eorðan bið þeoda ofðryccednyss:" et reliqua. The Evangelist Luke wrote in this day's gospel, that our Lord was speaking in these words to his disciples, concerning the signs which will happen before the ending of this world. The Lord said, "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and on earth there shall be affliction of nations," etc.
Se halga Gregorius us trahtnode þyses godspelles digelnysse þus undergynnende: Drihten ure Alysend ús gewilnað gearwe gemetan, and forþi cydde ða yfelnyssa ðe folgiað þam ealdigendan middangearde, þæt hé us fram his lufe gestilde. He geswutelode hú fela ðrowunga forestæppað þyssere worulde geendunge, gif we God on smyltnysse ondrædan nellað, þæt we huru his genealæcendan dóm, mid mislicum swinglum afǽrede, ondrædon. Her wiðufan on þyssere rǽdinge cwæð se Hælend, "Ðeod arist ongean ðeode, and rice ongean rice, and micele eorðstyrunga beoð gehwær, and cwealm, and hunger." And syððan betwux ðam þus cwæð, "Tácna beoð on sunnan, and on mónan, and on steorrum, and on eorðan ðeoda ofðriccednys, for gemencgednysse sǽlicra yða and sweges." The holy Gregory has expounded for us the obscurity of this gospel, thus beginning: The Lord our Redeemer is desirous to find us ready, and therefore chid the evils which follow the senescent world, that he might wean us from its love. He manifested how many sufferings will precede the ending of this world, if we will not dread God in serenity, that at least, terrified with many tribulations, we may dread his approaching doom. Here above in this lesson Jesus said, "Nation shall arise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and great earthquakes shall be everywhere, and pestilence, and hunger." And afterwards among them thus said, "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and on earth affliction of nations, for the mingling of the sea-waves and sound."
Sume ðas tácna we gesawon gefremmede, sume we ondrædað us towearde. Witodlice on ðisum niwum dagum arison ðeoda ongean ðeoda, and heora ofðriccednyss on eorðan gelámp swiðor þonne we on ealdum bocum rædað. Oft eorðstyrung gehwǽr fela burhga ofhreas, swa swa gelámp on Tyberies dæge þæs caseres, þæt ðreottyne byrig ðurh eorðstyrunge afeollon. Mid cwealme and mid hungre we sind gelome geswencte, ac we nateshwon gyta swutele tácna on sunnan, and on mónan, and on steorrum ne gesáwon. We rædað on tungelcræfte þæt seo sunne bið hwiltidum þurh ðæs monelican trendles underscyte aðystrod, and eac se fulla móna færlice fagettað, þonne he ðæs sunlican leohtes bedæled bið ðurh ðære eorðan sceadwunge. Sind eac sume steorran leoht-beamede, færlice arísende, and hrædlice gewítende, and hí symle sum ðing níwes mid heora upspringe gebícniað: ac ne mænde Drihten ðas tácna on ðære godspellican witegunge, ac ða egefullan tácna þe ðam micclan dæge forestæppað. Matheus se Godspellere awrát swutelicor þas tácna, þus cweðende, "Þærrihte æfter ðære micclan gedrefednysse, bið seo sunne aðystrod, and se móna ne sylð nán leoht, and steorran feallað of heofonum, and heofonan mihta beoð astyrode, and ðonne bið æteowed Cristes róde-tácn on heofonum, and ealle eorðlice mægða heofiað." Ðære sǽ gemengednyssa, and dæra yða sweg ungewunelice gyt ne asprungon, ac ðonne fela ðæra foresædra tácna gefyllede sind, nis nán twynung þæt þa feawa ðe þær to lafe sind witodlice gefyllede beón. Some of these signs we have seen accomplished, some we fear are to come. Verily in these new days nations have arisen against nations, and their affliction on earth has happened greater than we in old books read. Oft an earthquake in divers places has overthrown many cities, as it happened in the days of the emperor Tiberius, that thirteen cities fell through an earthquake. With pestilence and with hunger we are frequently afflicted, but we have not yet seen manifest signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars. We read in astronomy, that the sun is sometimes darkened by the intervention of the lunar orb, and also the full moon suddenly becomes dusky, when it is deprived of the solar light by the shadow of the earth. There are also some stars beamed with light, suddenly rising, and quickly departing, and they by their uprise ever indicate something new: but the Lord meant not these signs in the evangelical prophecy, but the awful signs which will precede the great day. Matthew the Evangelist wrote more plainly of these signs, thus saying, "Straightways after the great tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall give no light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be agitated, and then shall appear the sign of Christ's cross in the heavens, and all earthly powers shall mourn." The minglings of the sea, and the sound of the waves have not yet unusually happened, but when many of the before-said signs have been fulfilled, there is no doubt that the few which are remaining will also be fulfilled.
Mine gebroðra, þas ðing sind awritene þæt ure mód þurh wærscipe wacole beon, þæt hi ðurh orsorhnysse ne asleacion, ne ðurh nytennysse geadlion; ac þæt symle se óga hí gebysgige, and seo embhydignys on gódum weorcum getrymme. Drihten cwæð, "Menn forseariað for ógan and andbidunge ðæra ðinga þe becumað ofer ealne middangeard. Witodlice heofonan mihta beoð astyrode." Heofonan mihta sind englas and heah-englas, þrymsetl, ealdorscipas, hlafordscipas and anwealdu. Þas engla werod beoð æteowde gesewenlice urum gesihðum on to-cyme ðæs strecan Déman, þæt hí stiðlice æt ús ofgan þæt þæt se ungesewenlica Scyppend emlice forberð. Þonne we geseoð mannes Bearn cumende on wolcnum, mid micelre mihte and mægenðrymme. Drihten gecígde hine sylfne mannes Bearn gelomlicor ðonne Godes Bearn, for eadmodnysse þære underfangenan menniscnysse, þæt hé us mynegige mid þam gecynde þe he for ús underfeng. He is soðlice mannes Bearn, and ne manna Bearn, and nis nán oðer anes mannes bearn buton Crist ána. He bið on mihte and on mægenðrymme geswutelod þam ðe hine on eadmodnysse wunigende gehyran noldon, þæt hí ðonne gefredon his mihte swa miccle stiðlicor, swa micclum swa hí nu heora swuran to his geðylde nellað gebigan. Þas word sind gecwedene be ðam wiðercorenum, ac her fyliað þa word ðe ða gecorenan frefriað. Se Hælend cwæð, "Þonne ðas wundra ongynnað, ahebbað þonne eowre heafda and behealdað, forðan ðe eower alysednyss genealæhð." Swilce hé swutellice his gecorenan mánode, 'Þonne middangeardes wita gelomlæcað, þonne se óga ðæs micclan domes bið æteowod, ahebbað þonne eowre heafda, þæt is, gladiað on eowrum mode, forði ðonne þes middangeard bið geendod, þe ge ne lufodon; þonne bið gehende seo alysednyss ðe ge sohton.' On halgum gewrite bið gelomlice heafod gesett for þæs mannes mode, forðan ðe þæt heafod gewissað þam oðrum limum, swa swa þæt mód gediht ða geðohtas. We ahebbað ure heafda þonne we ure mód arærað to gefean þæs heofonlican eðles. Þa ðe God lufiað, hí sind gemánode þæt hí gladion on middangeardes geendunge, forðan þonne he gewít, ðe hí ne lufodon, ðonne witodlice hí gemetað þone ðe hí lufodon. My brothers, these things are written that our minds may be vigilant through heedfulness, that through security they slacken not, nor through ignorance become void; but that terror ever occupy, and attention to good works confirm them. The Lord said, "Men shall wither for terror and for awaiting the things which shall come over all the world: for the powers of heaven shall be agitated." The powers of heaven are angels and archangels, thrones, principalities, lordships and powers. These hosts of angels will appear visible to our sights at the advent of the severe Judge, that they may sternly exact from us that which the invisible Creator patiently forbears. Then we shall see the Son of man coming in clouds, with great might and majesty. The Lord called himself the Son of man oftener than the Son of God, from the humility of his assumed humanity, that he may admonish us with the nature which he for us received. He is truly Son of man, and not Son of men, and there is no other son of one man but Christ alone. He will be manifested in might and in majesty to those who would not obey him while existing in humility, that they then may feel his might by so much the more severely as they now will not bow their necks to his patience. These words are said of the reprobates, but here follow the words which comfort the chosen. Jesus said, "When these wonders begin, then lift up your heads and behold, for your redemption approacheth." As if he had manifestly exhorted his chosen, 'When the torments of the world shall thicken, when the dread of the great doom shall appear, raise then your heads, that is, be glad in your minds, for then this world shall be ended, which ye loved not; then shall be at hand the redemption which ye sought.' In holy writ head is very frequently put for the mind of man, because the head directs the other members, as the mind devises the thoughts. We lift up our heads when we raise our minds to the joys of the heavenly country. Those whom God loves are exhorted to be glad for the ending of the world, for when that passes away, which they loved not, then certainly they will find that which they loved.
Ne gewurðe hit la, þæt ænig geleafful, seðe gewilnað God to geseonne, þæt hé heofige for middangeardes hryrum; hit is soðlice awriten, "Swa hwá swa wile beon freond þyssere worulde, he bið Godes feond geteald." Witodlice se ðe ne blissað on nealæcunge middangeardes geendunge, se geswutelað þæt he his freond wæs, and bið þonne oferstæled þæt he Godes feond is. Ac gewíte þises middangeardes freondscipe fram geleaffulra manna heortan, and gewíte fram ðam ðe þæt oðer líf gelyfað toweard, and hit ðurh weorc lufiað. Þa sceolon heofian for middangeardes toworpennysse, þa ðe heora heortan wyrtruman on his lufe aplantodon, þa ðe þæt towearde líf ne secað, ne his furðon ne gelyfað: we soðlice, ðe þæs heofonlican eðles gefean eallunga oncneowon, sceolon anmodlice to ðam ónettan. Us is to gewiscenne þæt we hrædlice to ðam faron, and þurh ðone scyrtran weg becumon, forðan ðe ðes middangeard is mid menigfealdum unrótnyssum geðread, and mid ðwyrnyssum geangsumod. O let it not be, that any believer, who desires to see God, mourn for the fall of the world; for it is written, "Whosoever will be a friend of this world, will be accounted a foe of God." But he who rejoices not at the approach of the ending of the world, manifests that he was its friend, and will then be convicted that he is God's foe. But let friendship for this world depart from the hearts of believing men, and depart from them who believe the other life to come, and really love it. They should mourn for the destruction of the world who have planted the root of their heart in its love, who seek not the life to come, nor even believe in it: but we, who full well know the joys of the heavenly country, should unanimously hasten to it. It is for us to wish that we may go to it quickly, and arrive by the shorter way, for this world is afflicted with manifold tribulations, and with crosses tormented.
Hwæt is ðis deadlice líf buton weg? Understandað nu hwilc sy on weges geswince to ateorigenne, and ðeah nelle þone weg geendigan. Drihten cwæð, "Behealdað þæs fíctreowa and ealle oðre treowa, þonne hí spryttað, ðonne wite ge þæt hit sumorlæhð. Swa eac ge magon witan, ðonne ge ðas foresædan tácna geseoð, þæt Godes rice genealæhð." Soðlice mid þisum wordum is geswutelod þæt ðises middangeardes wæstm is hryre. To ðam hé wext þæt he fealle; to ðy he sprytt þæt hé mid cwyldum fornyme swa hwæt swa hé ær sprytte. Þes middangeard is ðam ealdigendan menn gelíc: on iugoðe bið se lichama þeonde on strangum breoste, on fullum limum and halum; witodlice on ealdlicum gearum bið þæs mannes wæstm gebíged, his swura aslacod, his neb gerifod, and his lima ealle gewæhte; his breost bið mid sicetungum geðread, and betwux wordum his orðung ateorað; þeah ðe him adl ón ne sitte, þeah forwel oft his hæl him bið adl. Swa is ðisum middangearde: æt fruman hé wæs ðeonde swylce on geogoðháde, he wæs on lichamlicere hælðe growende, and on spéda genihtsumnysse fætt, langsum on life, stille on langsumere sibbe; ac hé is nu mid ylde ofsett, swylce mid gelomlæcendum héfigtymnyssum to deaðe geðread. What is this deathlike life but a way? Understand now what it is to faint through the toil of the way, and yet not to desire the way to end. The Lord said, "Behold these figtrees and all other trees, when they sprout, then ye know that summer is near. So likewise ye may know, when ye see these before-said signs, that God's kingdom draweth near." Verily by these words it is manifested that the fruit of this world is falling. It grows that it may fall; it sprouts that it may destroy with diseases whatsoever it had before sprouted. This world is like to a senescent man: in youth the body is thriving with strong breast, with full and hale limbs; but in senile years the man's stature is bowed, his neck slackened, his face wrinkled, and his limbs all afflicted; his breast is tormented with sighs, and between his words his breath fails; though disease sit not on him, yet too often his health is a disease to him. So it is with this world: at first it was thriving as in youth, it was growing in bodily health, and fat in abundance of good things, long in life, still in long peace; but now it is with age oppressed, as it were with frequent tribulations afflicted to death.
Mine gebroðra, ne lufige ge þisne middangeard þe ge geseoð þæt lange wunian ne mæg. Be ðisum cwæð se apostol, "Ne lufige ge middangeard, ne ða ðing ðe him on wuniað, forðan swa hwá swa middangeard lufað, næfð hé Godes lufe on him." My brothers, love not this world which ye see cannot long exist. Of this the apostle said, "Love not the world, nor anything that dwelleth on it, for whosoever loveth the world, hath not love of God in him."
Wel is Godes rice sumerlicere tide wiðmeten, forði ðonne gewitað þa genipu ure dreorignysse, and lifes dagas ðurh beorhtnysse þære ecan sunnan scinað. Well is the kingdom of God compared with the summer season, for then the clouds of our dreariness pass away, and the days of life shine through the brightness of the eternal sun.
Ealle ðas foresædan ðing sind mid micelre gewissunge getrymde þurh ðisne æfterfyligendan cwyde, "Soð ic eow secge, Ne gewít ðeos mægð, oðþæt ealle ðas ðing gewurðað." Þas word spræc Drihten to Iudeiscre mægðe, and heora cynn ne gewít þurh ateorunge, ærðan ðe þes middangeard geendað. Be ðisum andgite cwæð se apostol Paulus, þæt "Drihten sylf astihð of heofonum on stemne þæs heah-engles, and mid Godes byman, and ða deadan ærest arisað; syððan we ðe lybbað, and on lichaman beoð gemette beoð gelæhte forð mid þam oðrum on wolcnum togeanes Criste, and we swa symle syððan mid Gode beoð. Frefriað eów mid þisum wordum." Eac on ðisum andgite geðwærlæhð se Godspellere Matheus, þisum wordum, "Drihten asent his englas mid byman and micelre stemne, and hí gaderiað his gecorenan fram feower windum, of eallum eorðlicum gemærum oð ða heálican heofonan." All these before-said things are with great certainty confirmed by this following sentence, "Verily I say unto you, This tribe shall not pass away, until all these things shall take place." These words the Lord spake to the Jewish tribe, and their kin will not pass away through decay, before this world ends. Of this sentence the apostle Paul said, that "the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead will first arise; afterwards, we who live, and shall be found in the body, will be caught forth with the others in clouds towards Christ, and so we shall ever after be with God. Comfort yourselves with these words." Also in this sentence the Evangelist Matthew agrees, in these words, "The Lord will send his angels with trumpet and loud voice, and they shall gather his chosen from the four winds, from all earthly boundaries to the high heavens."
Se apostol cwæð, "We ðe lybbað." Ne mænde he hine sylfne mid þam worde, ac ða ðe on life þurhwuniað oþ geendunge þyssere worulde. Mid þam is eac geswutelod, þæt mancynn mid ealle ne ateorað ær ðære geendunge, ac hí habbað hwæðere sceortne deað, þa ðe þonne on life gemette beoð; forðan ðe heofonlic fyr ofergæð ealne middangeard mid anum bryne, and ða deadan arisað of heora byrgenum mid ðam fyre, and ða lybbendan beoð acwealde þurh ðæs fyres hætan, and ðærrihte eft ge-edcucode to ecum ðingum. Ne derað þæt fyr nán ðing þam rihtwisum, ðe ǽr fram synnum geclænsode wæron; ac swa hwá swa ungeclænsod bið, he gefret þæs fyres ǽðm; and we ðonne ealle to ðam dóme becumað. Ne bið se dóm on nánum eorðlicum felda gedémed, ac bið swa swa se apostol her wiðufan on þyssere rǽdinge cwæð, þæt we beoð gegripene on wolcnum togeanes Criste, geond þas lyft; and þær bið seo twæming rihtwisra manna and arleasra. Þa rihtwisan nahwar syððan ne wuniað buton mid Gode on heofonan rice, and ða arleasan nahwar buton mid deofle on helle suslum. The apostle said, "We who live." He did not mean himself by those words, but those who continue in life until the ending of this world. By that it is likewise manifested, that mankind will not wholly perish before the ending, but that they will, nevertheless, have a short death who shall then be found in life; for heavenly fire will pass over all the world with one burning, and the dead will arise from their graves with that fire, and the living will be slain by the fire's heat, and straightways after requickened to eternity. The fire will in no wise injure the righteous who had before been cleansed from sins; but whosoever is uncleansed shall eat the fire's breath; and we shall then all come to the doom. The doom will be deemed on no earthly field, but will be as the apostle here above in this lesson said, that we shall be seized up in clouds towards Christ, through the air; and there will be the separation of righteous and impious men. The righteous will afterwards dwell nowhere but with God in the kingdom of heaven, and the impious nowhere but with the devil in hell-torments.
Se Hælend beleac þis godspel mid þisum wordum: "Heofen and eorðe gewítað, and mine word næfre ne gewítað." Ne awendað heofon and eorðe to nahte, ac hi beoð awende of ðam hiwe ðe hí nu on wuniað to beteran hiwe, swa swa Iohannes se Godspellere cwæð, "Þonne bið niwe heofon and niwe eorðe." Ne beoð witodlice oðre gesceapene, ac ðas beoð ge-edniwode. Heofon and eorðe gewítað, and ðeah ðurhwuniað, forðan ðe hí beoð fram ðam hiwe ðe hí nu habbað þurh fyr geclænsode, and swa-ðeah symle on heora gecynde standað. Þonne bið seo sunne be seofonfealdum beorhtre þonne heo nu sy, and se móna hæfð þære sunnan leoht. Jesus concluded this gospel with these words: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall never pass away." Heaven and earth will not turn to naught, but they will be changed from the form in which they now exist to a better form, as John the Evangelist said, "Then there shall be a new heaven and a new earth." There will not indeed be others created, but these will be renewed. Heaven and earth will pass away, but will, nevertheless, continue, for they will be cleansed by fire from the form which they now have, and will yet stand ever in their own nature. Then will the sun be sevenfold brighter than it now is, and the moon will have the light of the sun.
Dauid soðlice be Cristes to-cyme þisum wordum witegode: "God cymð swutellice, and hé ne suwað. Fyr byrnð on his gesihðe, and on his ymbhwyrfte bið swiðlic storm." Se storm aðwyhð swa hwæt swa þæt fyr forswælð. Be ðam dæge cwæð se witega Sofonias, "Se miccla Godes dæg is swiðe gehende, and ðearle swyft: biter bið þæs dæges stemn: þær bið se stránga gedrefed. Se dæg is yrres dæg, and gedrefednysse dæg and angsumnysse, yrmðe dæg and wánunge, þeostra dæg and dimnysse, byman dæg and cyrmes." David verily prophesied of Christ's advent in these words: "God shall come manifestly, and he will not keep silence. Fire shall burn in his sight, and round about him shall be a mighty storm." The storm will wash whatsoever the fire burns. Of that day the prophet Zephaniah said, "The great day of God is very near at hand, and exceedingly swift: bitter shall be the voice of that day: there shall the strong be afflicted. That day is a day of wrath, and a day of affliction and anxiety, a day of misery and wail, a day of darkness and dimness, a day of the trumpet and of outcry."
Mine gebroðra, settað þises dæges gemynd ætforan eowrum eagum, and swa hwæt swa bið nu héfigtyme geðuht, eal hit bið on his wiðmetennysse geliðegod. Gerihtlæcað eower líf, and awendað eowre ðeawas, witniað mid wope eowre yfelan dæda, wiðstandað deofles costnungum; bugað fram yfele, and doð gód, and ge beoð swa micclum orsorgran on to-cyme þæs ecan Déman, swa micclum swa ge nu his strecnysse mid ege forhrádiað. Se witega cwæð, þæt se miccla Godes dæg is swiðe gehende, and þearle swyft. Þeah ðe gyt wære oðer þusend geara to ðam dæge, nære hit langsum; forðan swa hwæt swa geendað, þæt bið sceort and hræd, and bið swilce hit næfre ne gewurde, þonne hit geendod bið. Hwæt þeah hit langsum wære to ðam dæge, swa hit nis, þeah ne bið ure tíma langsum, and on úre geendunge us bið gedémed, hwæðer we on reste oþþe on wite ðone gemǽnelican dóm anbidian sceolon. Uton forði brucan þæs fyrstes ðe us God forgeaf, and geearnian þæt ece líf mid him seðe leofað and rixað in ealra worulda woruld. Amen. My brothers, set the remembrance of this day before your eyes, and whatsoever now appears to be trouble, it shall all be mitigated on comparison with it. Correct your lives, and change your conduct, punish your evil deeds with weeping, withstand the temptations of the devil; eschew evil and do good, and ye will be by so much the more secure at the advent of the eternal Judge, as ye now with terror anticipate his severity. The prophet said, that the great day of God is very near at hand and very swift. Though there were yet another thousand years to that day, it would not be long; for whatsoever ends is short and quick, and will be as it had never been, when it is ended. But though it were long to that day, as it is not, yet will our time not be long, and at our ending it will be adjudged to us, whether we in rest or in torment shall await the common doom. Let us, therefore, profit by the time which God has given us, and merit the everlasting life with him who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen.