The Homilies of the Anglo-Saxon Church/XXXV



Loquebatur Iesus cum discipulis suis in parabolis, dicens: et reliqua. Loquebatur Jesus cum discipulis suis in parabolis, dicens: et reliqua.
"Drihten wæs sprecende on sumere tide to his apostolum mid bigspellum, þus cweðende, Heofonan rice is gelíc sumum cyninge þe worhte his suna gyfte. Þa sende he his bydelas to gelaðigenne his underðeoddan:" et reliqua. "The Lord was speaking at a certain time to his apostles in parables, thus saying, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king who made a marriage for his son. Then sent he his messengers to invite his subjects," etc.
We folgiað þæs papan Gregories trahtnunge on þyssere rædinge. We follow in this text the exposition of pope Gregory.
Mine gebroðra þa leofostan, gelomlice ic eow sæde, þæt gehwær on halgum godspelle þeos andwerde gelaðung is geháten heofenan rice. Witodlice rihtwisra manna gegaderung is gecweden heofonan rice. God cwæð þurh his witegan, "Heofon is min setl." Paulus se Apostol cwæð, þæt "Crist is Godes Miht and Godes Wisdom." Swutelice we magon understandan þæt gehwilces rihtwises mannes sawul is heofon, þonne Crist is Godes Wisdom, and rihtwises mannes sawul is þæs wisdomes setl, and seo heofen is his setl. Be þisum cwæð se sealm-scóp, "Heofonas cyðað Godes wuldor." Godes bydelas he het heofonas. Eornostlice haligra manna gelaðung is heofonan rice, forðan ðe heora heortan ne beoð begripene on eorðlicum gewilnungum, ac hí geomriað to ðam upplican; and God nu iu rixað on him, swa swa on heofenlicum wunungum. My dearest brothers, I have frequently told you, that everywhere in the holy gospel this present church is called the kingdom of heaven. Verily a gathering of righteous men is called the kingdom of heaven. God said through his prophet, "Heaven is my seat." Paul the Apostle said that "Christ is God's Might and God's Wisdom." Clearly we may understand that the soul of every righteous man is heaven, when Christ is God's Wisdom, and the soul of a righteous man is the seat of wisdom, and heaven is his seat. Of this the psalmist said, "The heavens make known the glory of God." He calls the heavens God's messengers. But the congregation of holy men is the kingdom of heaven, because their hearts are not occupied in earthly desires, but they sigh for that which is above; and God now long since reigns in them, as in the heavenly dwellings.
Se cyning ðe worhte his suna gifta is God Fæder, þe ða halgan gelaðunge geðeodde his Bearne þurh geryno his flæsclicnysse. Seo halige gelaðung is Cristes bryd, þurh ða hé gestrynð dæghwomlice gastlice bearn, and heo is ealra cristenra manna modor, and ðeah-hwæðere ungewemmed mæden. Þurh geleafan and fulluht we beoð Gode gestrynde, and him to gastlicum bearnum gewiscede, þurh Cristes menniscnysse, and þurh gife þæs Halgan Gastes. The king who made a marriage for his son is God the Father, who associated the holy church with his Son through the mystery of his incarnation. The holy church is Christ's bride, by which he daily begets spiritual children, and she is the mother of all christian men, and, nevertheless, an undefiled maiden. Through belief and baptism we are begotten to God, and adopted as his spiritual children, through Christ's humanity, and through grace of the Holy Ghost.
God sende his ærendracan, þæt hé gehwilce to ðisum giftum gelaðode. Æne hé sende and eft; forðan ðe hé sende his witegan, þe cyddon his Suna menniscnysse towearde, and he sende eft siððan his apostolas, þe cyddon his to-cyme gefremmedne, swa swa ða witegan hit ǽr gewitegodon. Þaða hí noldon cuman to ðam giftum, ða sende hé eft, þus cweðende, "Secgað ðam gelaðodum, Efne, ic gegearcode mine gód, ic ofslóh mine fearras, and mine gemæstan fugelas, and ealle mine ðing ic gearcode: cumað to þam giftum." God sent his messengers, that he might invite everyone to this marriage. He sent once and again; for he sent his prophets, who announced his Son's humanity to come, and again, he afterwards sent his apostles, who announced his advent accomplished, as the prophets had erst prophesied it. When they would not come to the marriage, he sent again, thus saying, "Say to those who are invited, Behold, I have prepared my meats, I have slain my oxen and my fatted fowls, and have prepared all my things: come to the marriage."
Þa fearras getácniað ða heah-fæderas ðære ealdan ǽ, þe moston ða, be leafe ðære ealdan ǽ, on fearres wisan, heora fynd ofslean. Hit is þus awriten on þære ealdan ǽ, "Lufa ðinne freond, and hata ðinne feond." Þus wæs alyfed þam ealdum mannum, þæt hí moston Godes wiðerwinnan and heora agene fynd mid stranglicere mihte ofsittan, and mid wæpne acwellan. Ac se ylca God, þe þas leafe sealde þurh Moyses gesetnysse ǽr his to-cyme, se ylca eft, ðaða he þurh menniscnysse to middangearde com, awende ðone cwyde, þus cweðende, "Ic bebeode eow, Lufiað eowre fynd, and doþ tela þam ðe eow hátiað, and gebiddað for eowre ehteras, þæt ge beon bearn þæs Heofonlican Fæder, seðe lǽt his sunnan scinan ofer góde and yfele, and he sylð rén-scuras and wæstmas rihtwisum and unrihtwisum." Hwæt getácniað þa fearras buton fæderas ðære ealdan ǽ? Hwæt wæron hí, buton fearra gelican, þaða hí, mid leafe þære ealdan ǽ, heora fynd mid horne lichamlicere mihte potedon? The oxen betoken the patriarchs of the old law, who might then, by permission of the old law, slay their foes in the manner of an ox. It is thus written in the old law, "Love thy friend, and hate thy foe." Thus it was allowed to men of old, that they might with strong might oppress, and with weapons slay the adversaries of God and their own foes. But the same God, who gave this permission through the law of Moses before his advent, the same afterwards, when he through human nature came to the world, changed the mandate, thus saying, "I command you, Love your foes, and do good to those who hate you, and pray for your persecutors, that ye may be children of the Heavenly Father, who letteth his sun shine over good and evil, and he giveth rain-showers and fruits to the righteous and to the unrighteous." What betoken the oxen but the fathers of the old law? What were they but the like of oxen, when, by permission of the old law, they struck their foes with the horn of bodily might?
Þa gemǽstan fugelas getácniað þa halgan láreowas þære Níwan Gecyðnysse. Þa sind gemæste mid gife þæs Halgan Gastes to ðam swiðe, þæt hí wilniað þæs upplican færeldes mid fyðerum gastlicere drohtnunge. Hwæt is þæt man besette his geðanc on nyðerlicum þingum, buton swilce modes hlænnys? Se ðe mid fódan þære upplican lufe bið gefylled, he bið swilce he sy mid rumlicum mettum gemæst. Mid þyssere fætnysse wolde se sealm-wyrhta beon gemæst, ðaða hé cwæð, "Beo min sawul gefylled swa swa mid rysle and mid ungele." The fatted fowls betoken the holy teachers of the New Testament. These are fatted with the grace of the Holy Ghost to that degree, that they desire the heavenly journey with the wings of spiritual life. What is it for a man to set his thoughts on sublunary things but, as it were, a tenuity of mind? He who is filled with the food of heavenly love, is as though he were fatted with generous meats. With this fatness the psalmist would be fatted, when he said, "Be my soul filled as with fat and with tallow."
Hwæt is, "Mine fearras sind ofslagene, and mine gemæstan fugelas," buton swilce he cwæde, 'Behealdað ðæra ealdfædera drohtnunga, and understandað þæra wítegena gyddunge, and þæra apostola bodunge embe mines Bearnes menniscnysse, and cumað to ðam giftum'? Þæt is, 'Cumað mid geleafan, and geðeodað eow to ðære halgan gelaðunge, ðe is his bryd and eower modor.' What is, "My oxen and my fatted fowls are slain," but as though he had said, 'Behold the lives of the old fathers, and understand the singing of the prophets, and the preaching of the apostles concerning my Son's humanity, and come to the marriage'? That is, 'Come with faith, and associate yourselves to the holy church, which is his bride and your mother.'
"Hí hit forgymeleasodon, and ferdon, sume to heora tunum, sume to heora ceape." Se færð to his tune and forsihð Godes gearcunge, seðe ungemetlice eorðlice teolunge begæð to ðan swiðe, þæt he his Godes dǽl forgymeleasað. Se færð embe his mangunge, seðe mid gytsunge woruldlicra gestreona cepð swiðor þonne ðæs ecan lifes welan. Eornostlice þonne hí sume mid eorðlicum teolungum ungefohlice hí gebysgiað, and sume mid woruldlicum hordum, þonne ne magon hí for ðære bysga smeagan embe þæs Hælendes menniscnysse; and eac him bið swiðe héfigtyme geðuht, þæt hí heora þeawas be his regole geemnetton. Sume eac beoð swa ðwyrlice gemódode, þæt hí ne magon Godes bodunge gehyran, ac mid ehtnysse Godes bydelas geswencað, swa swa þæt godspel her bæftan cwæð, "Sume hí gelæhton þa bydelas, and mid teonan gewæhton, and ofslogon. Ac se cyning, ðaða he þis geaxode, sende his here to, and þa manslagan fordyde, and heora burh forbærnde." "They neglected it, and went, some to their farms, some to their merchandise." He goes to his farm and neglects God's preparation, who immoderately attends to earthly pursuits to that degree that he neglects God's portion. He goes about his traffic, who with covetousness heeds worldly gains more than the riches of eternal life. But when they busy themselves immoderately, some with earthly pursuits and some with worldly treasures, then they cannot for that business meditate on the humanity of Jesus; and it also seems to them very irksome to adjust their conduct to his rule. Some also are so perversely minded, that they may not hear God's preaching, but with persecution afflict God's messengers, as the gospel hereafter says, "Some seized the messengers, and with injury afflicted them, and slew them. But the king, when he was informed of this, sent his army, and destroyed the murderers and burned their city."
Þa manslagan he fordyde, forðan ðe hé ða arleasan ehteras hreowlice acwealde, swa swa we gehwǽr on martyra þrowungum rædað. Nero, se wælhreowa casere, [hét ahón Petrum, and Paulum beheafdian, ac he wearð færlice of his rice aflymed, and hine wulfas totæron. Herodes beheafdode þone apostol Iacob, and Petrum gebrohte on cwearterne; ac God hine ahredde of his hæftnede, and þaða se cyning smeade hú he of ðam cwearterne come, þa æfter þan him com to Godes engel, and hine to deaðe gesloh. Astriges, se Indisca cyning, þe Bartholomeum ofsloh, awedde, and on þam wodan dreame gewát. Ealswa Egeas, þe Andream ahencg, þærrihte on wodan dreame geendode. Langsum bið to gereccenne ealra þæra arleasra ehtera geendunga, hú gramlice se Ælmihtiga God his halgena þrowunga on him gewræc. Ðæt godspel cwyð, þæt he heora burh forbærnde, forþan ðe hi beoð ægðer ge mid sawle ge mid lichaman on ecere susle forbærnde. "He sende his here tó," forþan ðe he þurh his englas þa mánfullan fordeð. Hwæt sind þæra engla werod buton here þæs Heofonlican Cyninges? He is geháten Dominus Sabaoð, þæt is 'Heres Hlaford,' oððe 'Weroda Drihten.' He destroyed the murderers, because he fiercely slew the impious persecutors, as we read everywhere in the passions of the martyrs. Nero, the cruel emperor, [commanded Peter and Paul to be beheaded, but he was suddenly driven from his realm, and wolves tore him in pieces. Herod beheaded the apostle James, and brought Peter into prison, but God saved him from his captivity, and when the king was inquiring how he came out of the prison, God's angel came to him afterwards and slew him to death. Astryges, the Indian king, who slew Bartholomew, became mad, and in a fit of madness departed. In like manner Egeas, who crucified Andrew, ended forthwith in a fit of madness. Longsome would it be to recount the ends of all the impious persecutors, how sternly the Almighty God avenged on them the sufferings of his saints. The gospel says, that he burned their city, because they will be, both with soul and with body, burned in everlasting torment. "He sent his army," because through his angels he destroys the wicked. What are the hosts of angels but the army of the Heavenly King? He is called Dominus Sabaoth, that is 'Lord of an army,' or 'Lord of Hosts.'
Se cyning cwæð ða to his þegnum, "Ðas gyfta sind gearowe, ac þa ðe ic þærtó gelaðode næron his wyrðe. Farað nu to wega utscytum, and swa hwylce swa ge gemetað, laþiað to þam gyftum." Wegas sind mislice manna dæda. Utscytas þæra wega sind ateorung woruldlicera weorca; and þa for wel oft becumað to Gode, þe on eorðlicum weorcum hwonlice speowð. Hwæt ða ðæs cyninges ærendracan ferdon geond wegas, gadrigende ealle þa ðe hi gemetton, ægðer ge yfele ge gode, and gesetton þa gifta endemes. On þyssere andwerdan gelaðunge sind gemengde yfele and gode, swa swa clæne corn mid fulum coccele: ac on ende þyssere worulde se soða Dema hæt his englas gadrian þone coccel byrþenmælum, and awurpan into ðam unadwæscendlicum fyre. Byrþenmælum hi gadriað þa synfullan fram þam rihtwisum: þonne ða manslagan beoð togædere getigede innon þam hellicum fyre, and sceaþan mid sceaþum, gytseras mid gytserum, forliras mid forlirum; and swa gehwylce mánfulle geferan on þam ecum tintregum samod gewriþene cwylmiað; and se clæna hwæte bið gebroht on Godes berne: þæt is, þæt ða rihtwisan beoð gebrohte to þam ecan life, þær ne cymð storm ne nan unweder þæt ðam corne derie. Ðonne ne beoð þa godan nahwar buton on heofenum, and þa yfelan nahwar buton on helle. The king then said to his servants, "The marriage is ready, but those whom I have thereto invited were not worthy of it. Go now to the outlets of the ways, and whomsoever ye find, invite to the marriage." Ways are the various deeds of men. Outlets of ways are the perishing of worldly works; and those very often come to God, who in earthly works but little prosper. Hereupon the king's messengers went through the ways, gathering all whom they found, both evil and good, and at length made the marriage. In this present church are mingled evil and good, as clean corn with foul cockle: but at the end of this world the true Judge will bid his angels gather the cockle by burthens, and cast it into the unquenchable fire. By burthens they will gather the sinful from the righteous: then will murderers be tied together within the hellish fire, and robbers with robbers, the covetous with the covetous, adulterers with adulterers; and so all wicked associates, bound together, shall suffer in everlasting torments; and the clean wheat shall be brought into God's barn: that is, the righteous shall be brought to everlasting life, where storm comes not nor any tempest that may injure the corn. Then will the good be nowhere but in heaven, and the evil nowhere but in hell.
Mine gebroþra, gif ge góde sind, þonne sceole ge emlice wiþercorenra manna yfelnysse forberan, swa lange swa ge on þisum andweardan life wuniað. Ne bið se gód seþe yfelne forberan nele. Be þisum cwæð Godes stemn to þam witegan Ezechiel, "Ðu mannes bearn, ungeleaffulle and yfel tihtende sind mid þe, and þu wunast mid þam wyrstan wyrmcynne." Eft Paulus se Apostol geleaffulra manna líf herode and getrymde, þus tihtende, "Gewuniað betwux þwyrum mancynne: scinað betwux þam swa swa steorran, lífes word healdende." My brothers, if ye are good, then should ye bear with equanimity the evilness of reprobate men, as long as ye continue in this present life. He is not good who will not bear with the evil. On this the voice of God said to the prophet Ezekiel, "Thou son of man, unbelieving and prompters to evil are with thee, and thou dwellest with the worst wormkind." Again Paul the Apostle praised and confirmed the lives of believing men, thus stimulating them, "Dwell among perverse mankind: shine among them as stars, holding the word of life."
"Se cyning eode inn, and gesceawode þa gebeoras, þa geseah he þær ænne mann þe næs gescryd mid gyftlicum reafe." Þæt giftlice reaf getácnað þa soðan lufe Godes and manna. Þa lufe ure Scyppend us geswutelode þurh hine sylfne, þaða he gemedemode þæt he us fram þam ecan deaþe mid his deorwurþan blode alysde, swa swa Iohannes se Godspellere cwæð, "Swa swiþe lufode God þysne middangeard, þæt he his áncennedan Sunu sealde for us." Se Godes Sunu, þe ðurh lufe to mannum becom, gebicnode on þam godspelle þæt ðæt giftlice reaf getácnode,—þa soðan lufe. Ælc þæra þe mid geleafan and fulluhte to Gode gebihð, he cymð to þam gyftum; ac he ne cymð na mid gyftlicum reafe, gif he þa soþan lufe ne hylt. Witodlice ge geseoð þæt gehwam sceamað, gif he gelaðod bið to woruldlicum gyftum, þæt he wáclice gescryd cume to þære scortan blisse; ac micele mare sceamu bið þam ðe mid horium reafe cymð to Godes gyftum, þæt he for his fulum gyrelan fram þære ecan blisse ascofen beo into ecum þeostrum. Swa swa reaf wlitegað þone man lichamlice, swa eac seo soðe lufu wlitegað ure sawle mid gastlicere fægernysse. Ðeah se mann hæbbe fullne geleafan, and ælmessan wyrce, and fela to gode gedo, eal him bið ydel, swa hwæt swa he deð, buton he hæbbe soþe lufe to Gode and to eallum cristenum mannum. Seo is soð lufu, þæt gehwá his freond lufie on gode, and his feond for gode. Dæghwamlice gæð se Heofonlica Cyning into þam gyftum, þæt is, into his gelaðunge, and sceawað hwæðer we beón mid þam gyftlicum reafe innan gescrydde; and swa hwylcne swa he gemet butan soþre lufe, ðæne he befrinð mid graman, þus cweðende, "Þu freond, humeta dorstest ðu gán to minre gearcunge buton gyftlicum reafe?" "Freond" he hine het, and þeah awearp fram his gebeorum. Freond he wæs ðurh geleafan, and wiþercora þurh weorc. He þærrihte adumbode, forþan þe æt Godes dome ne bið nán beladung ne wiþertalu; ac se Dema þe wiðutan þreað, is gewita his ingehides wiðinnan. Ðeah ðe hwá þa soþan lufe gyt fulfremedlice næbbe, ne sceal he ðeah his sylfes geortruwian, forðan ðe se witega be swylcum cwæð to Gode, "Min Drihten, þine eagan gesawon mine unfulfremednysse, and on þinre béc ealle] sind awritene." "The king went in, and beheld the guests, when he saw one man there who was not clad in a marriage garment." The marriage garment betokens the true love of God and men. That love our Creator manifested to us in himself, when he vouchsafed to redeem us from eternal death with his precious blood, as John the Evangelist said, "So greatly God loved this world, that he gave his only-begotten Son for us." The Son of God, who through love came to men, signified in the gospel that which the marriage garment betokened,—true love. Every of those who with faith and baptism incline to God, comes to the marriage; but he comes not with a marriage garment, if he holds not true love. For ye see that everyone is ashamed, if he is invited to a worldly marriage, to come meanly clad to that short pleasure; but a much greater shame is it for him who with a sordid garment comes to God's marriage, so that for his foul habit he shall be cast from eternal bliss into eternal darkness. So as a garment adorns a man bodily, so also true love adorns our soul with spiritual fairness. Though a man have full faith, and give alms, and do much good, all will be vain, whatsoever he does, unless he have true love for God and for all christian men. It is true love, that everyone love his friend well, and his foe for his good. The Heavenly King goes daily to the marriage, that is, into his church, and looks whether we are clad within in the marriage garment; and whomsoever he finds without true love, him he questions with wrath, thus saying, "Thou friend, how durstest thou come to my preparation without a marriage garment?" "Friend" he called him, and, nevertheless, cast him from his guests. A friend he was through faith, and a reprobate in works. He was forthwith silent, because at God's doom there is no exculpation nor defence; for the Judge who convicts without, is cognizant of his mind within. Though any one have not true love perfectly, yet should he not despair of himself, for of such the prophet spake to God, "My Lord, thine eyes have seen my imperfections, and in thy book all] are written."
Se cyning cwæð to his ðegnum, "Bindað þone misscryddan hándum and fótum, and wurpað into ðam yttrum þeostrum, þær bið wóp and toða gebitt." Þa hánda and þa fét þe nú ne beoð gebundene mid Godes ege fram þwyrlicum weorcum, hi beoð þonne þurh strecnysse Godes domes fæste gewriðene. Þa fét ðe nellað untrumne geneosian, and þa hánda þe nán ðing þearfum ne syllað, þa beoð þonne mid wite gebundene; forðan þe hí synd nú sylfwilles fram gódum weorcum gewriðene. Se misscrydda wæs aworpen on ða yttran þeostru. Þa inran þeostru sind þære heortan blindnys. Þa yttran þeostru is seo swearte niht þære ecan geniðerunge. Se fordémda þonne þrowað on þam yttrum þeostrum neadunge, forðan ðe he nú sylfwilles his líf adrihð on blindnysse his heortan, and næfð nán gemynd þæs soðan leohtes, þæt is, Crist, þe be him sylfum cwæð, "Ic eom middangeardes leoht; se ðe me fyligð, ne gǽð he on þeostrum, ac he hæfð lifes leoht." On ðam yttrum þeostrum bið wóp and toða gebit. Þær wepað ða eagan on ðam hellican lige, þe nú ðurh unalyfedlice gewilnunga goretende hwearftliað; and þa téð, þe nú on ofer-æte blissiað, sceolon þær cearcian on þam unasecgendlicum pinungum, þe Godes wiðerwinnum gegearcod is. Þa eagan soðlice for swiðlicum smice tyrað, and þa téð for micclum cyle cwaciað; forðan ðe ða wiðercoran unacumendlice hætu þrowiað, and unasecgendlicne cyle. Witodlice þæt hellice fyr hæfð unasecgendlice hǽtan and nán leoht, ac écelice byrnð on sweartum ðeostrum. The king said to his servants, "Bind the misclad hands and feet, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." The hands and the feet which are not now bound through awe of God from perverse works, shall then, through the sternness of God's doom, be fast bound. The feet which will not visit the sick, and the hands which give nothing to the poor, shall then be bound in torment; because they are now wilfully bound from good works. The misclad was cast into outer darkness. The inner darkness is the blindness of the heart. The outer darkness is the swart night of eternal condemnation. The condemned will then by compulsion suffer in outer darkness, because he now wilfully passes his life in blindness of heart, and has no remembrance of the true light, that is, Christ, who said of himself, "I am the light of the world; he who followeth me goeth not in darkness, but hath the light of life." In the outer darkness shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. There the eyes shall weep in the hellish flame, which now libidinously roll about with unallowed desires; and the teeth, which now rejoice in gluttony, shall there grate in the unspeakable torments, which are prepared for the adversaries of God. Verily the eyes will smart with the powerful smoke, and the teeth quake with the great chill; for the reprobates shall suffer intolerable heat, and unspeakable chill. Verily the hellish fire has unspeakable heat and no light, but burns eternally in swart darkness.
Gif hwam twynige be æriste, þonne mæg hé understandan on þisum godspelle, þæt þær bið soð ærist þær ðær beoð eagan and téð. Eagan sind flæscene, and téð bænene; forðan þe we sceolon, wylle we nelle we, arisan on ende þyssere worulde mid flæsce and mid bane, and onfón edlean ealra ura dæda, oððe wununge mid Gode for gódum geearnungum, oþþe helle-wite mid deofle for mándædum. Be þisum cwæð se eadiga Iob, "Ic gelyfe þæt min Alysend leofað, and ic sceal on þam endenextan dæge of eorðan arisan, and eft ic beo mid minum felle befangen, and on minum flæsce ic geseo God, ic sylf, and na oðer." Þæt is, na oðer hiw þurh me, ac ic sylf hine geseo. If any one doubt concerning the resurrection, he may in this gospel understand, that there will be a true resurrection, where there are eyes and teeth. Eyes are of flesh, and teeth of bone; for we shall, whether we will or not, arise at the end of this world with flesh and with bone, and receive the reward of all our deeds, either a dwelling with God for good deserts, or hell-torment with the devil for deeds of wickedness. Of this the blessed Job said, "I believe that my Redeemer liveth, and that I shall on the last day from earth arise, and that I shall again be clothed in my flesh, and that in my flesh I shall see God, I myself, and no other." That is, no other form through me, but I myself shall see him.
Þises godspelles geendung is swiðe egefull: "Fela sind gecígede and feawa gecorene." Efne nu ure ealra stemn clypað Crist, ac ure ealra líf ne clypað; forðan ðe manega wiðcweðað on heora ðeawum þæt þæt hí mid heora stemne geandettað. Sume menn habbað gód anginn sume hwile, ac hí geendiað on yfele. Sume habbað yfel anginn, and wel geendiað þurh soðe dǽdbote. Sume onginnað wel, and bet geendiað. Nu sceal gehwá hine sylfne micclum ondrædan, þeah þe hé góde drohtnunge hæbbe, and nateshwon be him sylfum gedyrstlæcan; forðan þe hé nát hwæðer hé wurðe is into þam ecan rice. Ne he ne sceal be oðrum geortruwian, þeah ðe he on leahtras befealle; forðan ðe he nát þa menigfealdan welan Godes mildheortnysse. The ending of this gospel is very awful: "Many are called and few chosen." Behold now the voices of us all call Christ, but the lives of us all call him not; for many deny in their practices that which they profess with their voice. Some men have a good beginning for some while, but they end in evil. Some have an evil beginning, and end well through true penitence. Some begin well and end better. Now everyone should greatly fear, though he lead a good life, and not presume on himself; for he knows not whether he is worthy to enter into the eternal kingdom. Nor should he despair of another, though he fall into vices; for he knows not the manifold abundance of God's mercy.
Cwyð nu Scs Gregorius, þæt sum broðor gecyrde to anum mynstre þe he sylf gestaðelode, and æfter regollicere fándunge munuchád underfeng. Þam filigde sum flæsclic broðor to mynstre, na for gecnyrdnysse góddre drohtnunge, ac for flæsclicere lufe. Se gastlica broðor eallum þam mynster-munecum þearle ðurh góde drohtnunge gelicode; and his flæsclica broðor micclum his lifes ðeawum mid þwyrnysse wiðcwæð. He leofode on mynstre for neode swiðor þonne for beterunge. He wæs gegaf spræce, and þwyr on dǽdum; wel besewen on reafe, and yfele on ðeawum. He nahte geðyld, gif hine hwá to góddre drohtnunge tihte. Wearð ða his líf swiðe héfigtyme ðam gebroðrum, ac hi hit emlice forbæron for his broðer gódnysse. He ne mihte nán ðing to gode gedón, ne he nolde nán gód gehyran. Þa wearð hé færlice mid sumere coðe gestanden, and to deaðe gebroht. Þaða hé to forðsiðe aháfen wæs, ða comon þa gebroðra to ði þæt hí his sawle becwædon. He læg acealdod on nyþeweardum limum: on ðam breoste anum orðode ða-gyt se gast. Þa gebroðra ða swa micel geornfullicor for hine gebædon, swa micclum swa hí gesawon þæt he hrædlice gewítan sceolde. He ða færlice hrymde, þus cweðende, "Gewitað fram me. Efne her is cumen an draca þe me sceal forswelgan, ac he ne mæg for eower andwerdnysse. Min heafod he hæfð mid his ceaflum befangen. Rymað him, þæt he me léng ne swence. Gif ic þisum dracan to forswelgenne geseald eom, hwí sceal ic elcunge þrowian for eowerum oferstealle?" St. Gregory now says, that a certain brother entered into a monastery which he himself had founded, and after regular probation received monkhood. A fleshly brother followed him to the monastery, not for desire of a good life, but for fleshly love. The ghostly brother, through his good life, was exceedingly liked by the monks of the monastery; and his fleshly brother with perverseness greatly contradicted the usages of his life. He lived in the monastery rather from necessity than for bettering. He was idle of speech, and perverse in deeds; appearing well in raiment, and evil in morals. He had no patience, if any one exhorted him to a good course. Hence was his life very irksome to the brothers, but they endured it calmly on account of his brother's goodness. He could do nothing good, nor would he hear any good. He was then suddenly seized with some disease, and brought to death. When he was raised up for departure, the brothers came that they might pray for his soul. He lay chilled in his lower limbs: in his breast alone the spirit yet breathed. The brothers then prayed for him the more fervently, the more they saw that he would quickly depart. He then suddenly cried, thus saying, "Depart from me. Lo here is a dragon come which is to swallow me, but he cannot for your presence. He has seized my head in his jaws. Give place to him, that he may no longer afflict me. If I am given to this dragon to be swallowed, why should I suffer delay through your presence?"
Þa gebroðra him cwædon to, "Hwí sprecst þu mid swa micelre orwennysse? Mearca ðe sylfne mid tácne þære halgan róde." He andwyrde be his mihte, "Ic wolde lustbære mid tácne þære halgan róde me bletsian, ac ic næbbe ða mihte, forðan ðe se draca me þearle ofþryhð." Hwæt ða munecas ða hí astrehton mid wópe to eorðan, and ongunnon geornlicor for his hreddinge þone Wealdendan God biddan. Efne ða færlice awyrpte se adliga cniht, and mid blissigendre stemne cwæð, "Ic þancige Gode: efne nu se draca, þe me forswelgan wolde, is aflíged for eowerum benum. He is fram me ascofen, and standan ne mihte ongean eowre þingunge. Beoð nu mine ðingeras, biddende for minum synnum; forðan ðe ic eom gearo to gecyrrenne to munuclicere drohtnunge, and woruldlice ðeawas ealle forlætan." His cealdan limu þa ge-edcucodon, and he mid ealre heortan to Gode gecyrde, and mid langsumum broce on his gecyrrednysse wearð gerihtlæced, and æt nextan on þære ylcan untrumnysse gewát; ac he ne geseah þone dracan on his forðsiðe, forðan ðe he hine oferswiðde mid gecyrrednysse his heortan. The brothers said to him, "Why speakst thou with such great despair? Mark thyself with the sign of the holy rood." He answered as he was able, "I would joyfully bless myself with the sign of the holy rood, but I have not the power, for the dragon sorely oppresses me." Whereupon the monks prostrated themselves with weeping to the earth, and begun more fervently to pray to the Powerful God for his salvation. Lo then, the sick man suddenly started, and with exulting voice said, "I thank God: behold now the dragon which would swallow me is put to flight through your prayers. He is driven from me, and could not stand against your intercession. Be now my interceders, praying for my sins; for I am ready to turn to monastic life, and to forsake all worldly practices." His cold limbs then requickened, and he turned with all his heart to God, and by long sickness in his conversion was justified, and at length died of the same disease; but he saw not the dragon at his departure, for he had overcome him by the conversion of his heart.
Ne sceole we beon ormode, þeah ðe on þyssere andweardan gelaðunge fela syndon yfele and feawa góde; forðan ðe Noes arc on yþum ðæs micclan flodes hæfde getácnunge þyssere gelaðunge, and hé wæs on nyðeweardan wíd, and on ufeweardan nearo. On ðære nyðemystan bytminge wunodon þa reðan deor and creopende wurmas. On oþre fleringe wunodon fugelas and clæne nytenu. On þære ðriddan fleringe wunode Noe mid his wife, and his ðry suna mid heora þrim wifum. On ðære bytminge wæs se arc rúm, þær ða reðan deor wunedon, and wiðufan genyrwed, þær ðæra manna wunung wæs; forðan ðe seo halige gelaðung on flæsclicum mannum is swiðe brád, and on gastlicum nearo. Heo tosprǽt hire bosm þær ðær þa reðan wuniað on nytenlicum ðeawum, and heo is genyrwed on þone ende þe þa gesceadwisan wuniað, on gastlicum ðeawum drohtnigende; forðan swa hí haligran beoð on þyssere andwerdan gelaðunge, swa heora læs bið. Micele ma is þæra manna þe lybbað be agenum lustum, ðonne þæra sy þe heora lifes ðeawas æfter Godes bebodum gerihtlæcað: þeah-hwæðere symle bið haligra manna getel geeacnod þurh arleasra manna wanunge. Nis þæt getel Godes gecorenra lytel, swa swa Crist on oðre stowe cwæð, "Manega cumað fram east-dæle and fram west-dæle, and sittað mid þam heahfædere Abraháme, and Isaace, and Iacobe on heofonan rice." Eft, se sealm-wyrhta be Godes gecorenum cwæð, "Ic hí getealde, and heora getel is mare ðonne sand-ceosol." On ðisum andweardan life sind þa gecorenan feawa geðuhte ongean getel þæra wiðercorenra, ac þonne hí to ðam ecan life gegaderode beoð, heora tel bið swa menigfeald, þæt hit oferstihð, be ðæs witegan cwyde, sand-ceosles gerím. We should not be hopeless, though in this present church many are evil and few good; for Noah's ark on the waves of the great flood was a type of this church, and it was in the lower part wide and in the upper narrow. In the lowermost bottom dwelt the fierce beasts and creeping worms. On the second flooring dwelt birds and clean animals. On the third flooring dwelt Noah with his wife, and his three sons with their three wives. In the bottom the ark was roomy, where the fierce beasts dwelt, and narrowed above, where the dwelling of men was; for the holy church is in fleshly men very broad, and in spiritual narrow. She spreads her bosom where the rugged dwell in brutal habits, and she is narrowed at the end which the discreet inhabit, living in spiritual practices; for the holier they are in this present church, so the less of them there is. Much more is there of those men who live for their own lusts, than there is of those who regulate their life's actions after the commandments of God: yet is the number of holy men ever increased through the diminution of impious men. The number of God's chosen is not little, as Christ said in another place, "Many shall come from the east part and from the west, and shall sit with the patriarch Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." Again, the psalmist said of God's chosen, "I counted them, and their number is greater than the sand-grains." In this present life the chosen appear few in comparison with the number of the reprobates, but when they shall be gathered to the eternal life, their number will be so manifold, that it will exceed, according to the prophet's saying, the number of the sand-grains.
Lǽd us, Ælmihtig God, to getele ðinra gecorenra halgena, inn to þære ecan blisse ðines rices, þe þu gearcodest fram frymðe middangeardes þe lufigendum, þu ðe leofast and rixast mid þam Ecan Fæder and Halgum Gaste on ealra worulda woruld. Amen. Lead us, Almighty God, to the number of thy chosen saints, into the everlasting bliss of thy kingdom, which thou hast prepared from the beginning of the world for those who love thee, thou who livest and reignest with the Eternal Father and the Holy Ghost for ever and ever. Amen.