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The Homilies of the Anglo-Saxon Church/XXXVII

IX. KL. DEC.

NOVEMBER XXIII.

NATALE SCI CLEMENTIS MARTYRIS.

THE NATIVITY OF ST. CLEMENT THE MARTYR.

Menn ða leofostan, eower geleafa bið þe trumra, gif ge gehyrað be Godes halgum, hú hi þæt heofonlice rice geearnodon; and ge magon ðe cuðlicor to him clypian, gif heora lifes drohtnunga eow þurh láreowa bodunge cuðe beoð. Most beloved men, your faith will be the firmer, if ye hear concerning God's saints, how they earned the heavenly kingdom; and ye may the more certainly call to them, if the course of their lives be known to you through the preaching of teachers.
Þes halga wer Clemens, þe we on ðisum andweardan freols-dæge wurðiað, wæs þæs eadigan Petres apostoles leorning-cniht. Þa wæs he ðeonde on gastlicere láre and gecneordnysse to ðan swiðe, þæt se apostol Petrus hine geceas to papan Romaniscre ðeode æfter his dæge, and ǽr his ðrowunge hine to papan gehádode, and on his biscop-setle gesette, to ði þæt he ðæra cristenra manna gymene hæfde. Hé gehádode twegen biscopas ǽr ðan, Linum et Cletum, ac hé ne sette na hí on his setle, swa swa hé dyde þisne halgan wer, þe we to-dæg wurðiað. Hwæt ða, Clemens æfter Petres ðrowunge geðeah on fægernysse góddra ðeawa, swa þæt he gecweme wæs Iudeiscum, and hæðenum, and cristenum samod. Þam hæðenum leodum he gelicode, forðan ðe he mid hospe heora godas ne gebysmrode, ac mid bóclicum gesceade him geswutelode hwæt hí wæron, and hwær acennede þa ðe hí him to godum wurðodon, and heora drohtnunge and geendunge mid swutelum seðungum gewissode; and cwæð, þæt hí sylfe eaðelice mihton to Godes miltsunge becuman, gif hí fram heora dwollicum biggengum eallunga gecyrdon. Iudeiscre ðeode hylde he begeat, forðan þe he soðlice geseðde þæt heora forðfæderas Godes frynd gecígede wæron, and him God halige ǽ sette to heora lifes rihtinge; and cwæð, þæt hí fyrmeste on Godes gecorennysse wæron, gif hí mid geleafan his bebodum gehyrsumodon. Fram cristenum he wæs swiðost gelufod, forðan ðe he gehwilce eardas namcuðlice on gemynde hæfde, and þa wanspedigan cristenan ðæra earda ne geðafode þæt hí openre wædlunge underðeodde wurdon, ac mid dæghwomlicere bodunge hé gemánode þa rican and þa spedigan, þæt hi ðæra cristenra wædlunge mid heora spedum gefrefrodon, þe-læs ðe hí ðurh hæðenra manna gifa besmitene wurdon. This holy man Clement, whom we honour on this present festival, was a disciple of the blessed apostle Peter. Then was he thriving in ghostly lore and study so greatly, that the apostle Peter chose him for pope of the Roman people after his day, and before his passion ordained him pope, and placed him in his episcopal seat, that he might have care of christian men. He had ordained two bishops previously, Linus and Clitus, but he did not place them in his seat, as he did this holy man, whom to-day we honour. Clement then after Peter's passion thrived in fairness of good morals, so that he was acceptable to Jews, and heathens, and christians together. He was liked by the heathen people, because he did not insult their gods with contumely, but with bookly reasoning manifested to them what they were, and where born whom they honoured as their gods, and showed to them, with manifest proofs, their lives and ends; and said that they themselves might easily attain to God's mercy, if they would wholly turn from their erroneous worship. The favour of the Jewish people he got, because he truly proved that their forefathers were called friends of God, and that God appointed them a holy law for their lives' direction; and said, that they would have been foremost in God's election, if with belief they had obeyed his commandments. By the christians he was most beloved, because he had all countries by name in his memory, and permitted not the indigent christians of those countries to be reduced to public mendicity, but by daily preaching he exhorted the rich and affluent to alleviate the poverty of the christians with their affluence, lest by the gifts of heathen men they should be corrupted.
And Dionisius, Godes cyðere, seðe þurh Paules Apostoles láre and tácna to Cristes geleafan mid haligre drohtnunge gecyrde, gewende on ðam timan fram Greclande to ðam halgan papan Clementem, Petres æftergencgan, and he hine mid micclum wurðmynte underfeng, and for arwurðnysse his halgan lifes him cuðlice tolét, and mid lufe geheold. Eft æfter fyrste cwæð se eadiga Clemens to ðam halgan were Dionisium, "Si ðe forgyfen miht to gebindenne and to alysenne, swa swa me is; and þu far to ðæra Francena rice, and boda him godspel and heofonan rices wuldor." Dionisius þa wearð his hæsum gehyrsum, and mid geferum ferde to Franclande, cristendom bodigende mid micclum wundrum to ðan swiðe þæt þa reðan hæðenan, swa hraðe swa hi hine gesawon, oððe hí feallende his fét gesohton, him and Gode gehyrsumigende, oððe gif heora hwylc ðwyrode, þonne wearð se mid swa micelre fyrhte fornumen, þæt hé ðærrihte his andweardnysse forfleah. Wearð ða gebíged eal Francena rice to Godes geleafan, þurh bodunge and wundra þæs eadigan weres Dionisii; and hé eac sume his geferan to Ispanian gesende, þæt hi ðam leodscipe lifes word gecyddon. And Dionysius, God's martyr, who through the lore and miracles of Paul the Apostle had with holy life turned to the faith of Christ, returned at that time from Greece to the holy pope Clement, Peter's successor, and he received him with great honour, and in veneration expressly remitted to him his holy life, and with love retained him. Again, after a time, said the blessed Clement to the holy man Dionysius, "Be to thee given might to bind and to loose, so as there is to me; and go thou to the realm of the Franks, and preach to them the gospel and the glory of heaven's kingdom." Dionysius was then obedient to his commands, and with his companions went to Frankland, preaching christianity with great miracles so effectually, that the fierce heathen, as soon as they saw him, either falling sought his feet, obeying him and God, or if any one of them was hostile, he was seized with such great fear, that he straightways fled from his presence. Then was all the realm of the Franks inclined to God's faith, through the preaching and miracles of the blessed man Dionysius; and he also sent some of his companions to Spain, to announce the word of life to that nation.
Hwæt ða, Clemens Romana papa wearð gewreht to ðam casere Traianum, for ðam micclan cristendome þe he gehwær on his rice arærde. Þa sende se casere Traianus gewritu ongean, þæt se halga papa Clemens to hæðengylde gebugan sceolde, oððe hine mann asende ofer sǽ on wræcsið to sumum westene, on þam þe cristene menn for geleafan fordemde wræcsiðedon. Þæs caseres hǽs wearð þa forðgencge, and swa micele gife foresceawode se Ælmihtiga God Clemente, þæt se hæðena dema his sið mid wope bemænde, þus cweðende, "Se God þe ðu wurðast gefrefrige ðe, and fultumige on ðinum wræcsiðe." And het ða hine to scipe lǽdan, and ealle his neoda foresceawian, þe hé to bigwiste habban mihte. Wearð ða þæt scip gefylled mid cristenum mannum, þe þone halgan papan forlǽtan noldon. After this, Clement, the Romans' pope, was accused to the emperor Trajan, for the great christianity which he had raised everywhere in his realm. Then sent the emperor Trajan letters back, that the holy pope Clement should bow to heathenism, or should be sent over sea in exile to a waste, to which christian men condemned for belief were banished. The emperor's command was then carried into effect, and the Almighty God had provided so great grace for Clement, that the heathen judge bewailed his journey with weeping, thus saying, "May the God whom thou worshipest comfort and support thee in thy exile." And he then ordered him to be led to a ship, and all his needs to be provided for, which he might have for sustenance. The ship was then filled with christian men, who would not forsake the holy pope.
Þaða hé to ðam westene becom, þa gemette he ðær má þonne twa ðusend cristenra manna, þe mid langsumere genyðerunge to marmstán-gedelfe gesette wæron, þe his tocymes micclum fægnodon, mid anre stemne cweðende, "Efne her is ure hyrde, efne her is se frefrigend ures geswinces and weorces." Þaða hé mid tihtendlicum wordum heora gewǽhtan mód getrymde and gefrefrode, ða geaxode hé þæt hí dæghwomlice ofer six mila him wæter on heora exlum gefetton. Ða cwæð se eadiga biscop, "Uton biddan mid fæstum geleafan Drihten Hælend, þæt hé us his andetterum ða æddran his wyllspringes gehendor geopenige, þæt we on his wel-dædum blission." Þaða ðis gebed gefylled wæs, þa beheold se biscop on ælce healfe, and geseah ða on þa swiðran healfe an hwít lamb standan, þe bícnode mid his swyðran fét, swilce hit þa wæter-æddran geswutelian wolde. Ða undergeat Clemens þæs lambes gebícnunge, and cwæð, "Geopeniað þas eorðan on þyssere stowe þær ðær þæt lamb to-gebícnode." His geferan ða his hæse gefyldon, and þærrihte æt ðam forman gedelfe swegde út ormæte wyllspring, and mid micclum streame forð-yrnende wæs. Hwæt hí ealle ða micclum blissodon, and Gode ðancodon heora geswinces lisse. Þa wæs se cwyde gefylled, þe hí on ðæs biscopes to-cyme gecwædon, "Efne her is ure hyrde, efne her is se frefrigend ures geswinces." When he came to the waste, he found there more than two thousand christian men, who by a longsome condemnation were set to the digging of marble, who greatly rejoiced at his coming, with one voice saying, "Behold here is our shepherd, behold here is the comforter of our tribulation and work." When he with persuasive words had confirmed and comforted their afflicted minds, he was informed that they daily fetched water for themselves on their shoulders more than six miles. Then said the blessed bishop, "Let us with firm faith pray to the Lord Jesus, to open nearer at hand for us his professors the veins of his wellsprings, that we may rejoice in his benefits." When this prayer was ended, the bishop beheld on each side, and saw on the right side a white lamb standing, which beckoned with his right foot, as if it would show the water-vein. Then Clement understood the lamb's beckoning, and said, "Open the earth in this place where the lamb beckoned." His companions fulfilled his command, and straightways at the first digging an immense wellspring sounded out, and ran forth in a great stream. Whereupon they all greatly rejoiced, and thanked God for this alleviation of their tribulation. Then was the saying fulfilled, which they said at the bishop's coming, "Behold here is our shepherd, behold here is the comforter of our tribulation."
Ðis wundor ða asprang geond þa gehendan scira, and hí ealle þone halgan biscop mid arwurðnysse geneosodon, biddende þæt hé hí mid his láre getrymde. He ða hi ealle to Godes geleafan gebígde, and binnan feawum dagum þær fif hund manna gefullode; and wurdon ða fela cyrcan gehwær arærede, and deofolgild toworpene; swa þæt binnan anes geares fyrste næs gemet hæðengild geond hund-teontig mila neawiste. This miracle then became known through the neighbouring provinces, and they all visited the holy bishop with reverence, praying that he would confirm them with his lore. He then inclined them all to God's faith, and within a few days baptized there five hundred men; and many churches were raised everywhere, and idols overthrown; so that within the space of one year idolatry was not found over a neighbourhood of a hundred miles.
Þa gelámp hit þæt sume ða hæðenan wurdon mid ándan getyrigde, and heora ærende to ðam casere asendon, and him cyddon þæt his folc eall endemes astyred wære, and eallunga fram his biggencgum gecyrred, þurh Clementem ðæra cristenra biscop. Þa wearð se hæþena casere Traianus mycclum astyred, and asende ænne wælhreowne heretogan, his nama wæs Aufidianus, se mid mislicum witum fela cristenra manna acwealde, þæt he þone halgan biscop mid þam geleaffullan folce adylegian sceolde. Se arleasa cwellere ða, Aufidianus, ðaða he ne mihte mid nánum þeowracan ða cristenan geegsian, forðan ðe hi ealle samod blissigende to martyrdome onetton, þa forlét he þæt folc, and ðone biscop ænne to þam hæðengylde genydde; ac ðaða he geseah þæt hé nateshwon hine gebígan ne mihte, þa cwæð he to his underðeoddum, "Lædað hine to middere sǽ, and getigað ænne ancran to his swuran, and ascufað hine út on middan þære dypan." Hit wearð þa gedón be hǽse þæs wælhreowan cwelleres, and micel menigu þæra cristenra stód on þære sǽ-strande, wepende and biddende þone Ælmihtigan, þe sǽ and eorðan gesceop, þæt hí moston his halige líc mid heora ðenungum behwurfan. It happened then that certain heathens were stimulated by envy, and sent their errand to the emperor, and announced to him that his folk were at last all excited, and wholly turned from his worship, through Clement, the christians' bishop. Then was the heathen emperor, Trajan, greatly excited, and sent a cruel commander, his name was Aufidianus, who with divers torments had killed many christian men, that he might destroy the holy bishop with the faithful folk. The impious murderer then, Aufidianus, when he could not by any threats terrify the christians, for they all rejoicing together hastened to martyrdom, left the folk and would compel the bishop alone to idolatry; but when he saw that he could not in any way incline him, he said to those under him, "Lead him to the middle of the sea, and tie an anchor to his neck, and thrust him out into the middle of the deep." It was then done by command of the cruel murderer, and a great multitude of the christians stood on the sea strand, weeping and praying to the Almighty, who created sea and earth, that they might attend his holy body with their services.
Þa cwædon his twegen leorning-cnihtas, Febus and Cornelius, "Eala ge gebroðra, uton anmodlice biddan urne Drihten, þæt hé us geswutelige ða arwurðfullan andweardnysse his halgan cyðeres." Hwæt ða, seo sǽ, ðurh Godes hǽse, útflowende, him gerymde þreora mila dries færeldes, swa þæt þa cristenan bealdlice inn-eodon, and gemetton niwe ðruh of marmanstáne on cyrcan wison gesceapene, and þæs halgan cyðeres líc ðær-binnan ðurh engla ðenunge gelogod, and þone ancran wið his sidan licgende. Þa wearð him geswutelod þæt he æt Gode abǽde, þæt on ælces geares ymbryne, ymbe his ðrowung-tíde, seo sǽ seofan dagas drígne grund þam folce gegearcige, þæt hí binnan ðam fyrste his halgan lichaman gesecan magon. Þæt belimpð to lofe and herunge ures Hælendes, seðe his halgan cyðere ða arwurðan byrgene gegearcode. Þa ðurh ðis tácn wurdon ealle þa ungeleaffullan cristene, swa þæt nateshwón næs gemét on ðam earde naðor ne hæðen ne Iudeisc ðe nære gebíged to cristenum geleafan. Soðlice æt þære halgan þrýh sind getiðode heofonlice lacnunga adlium lichaman, þurh ðingunge ðæs halgan cyðeres. Swa hwá swa on his freols-tide untrum his byrgene gesehð, he gewent blissigende and gesundful ongean. Þær beoð blinde onlihte, and deofolseoce gewittige, and gehwilce gedrehte þær beoð geblissode; and ealle geleaffulle his weldæda brucað, and mid wurþmynte Godes gerynu ðær beoð gefyllede. Then said his two disciples Phœbus and Cornelius, "O ye brothers, let us unanimously pray to our Lord, that he manifest to us the venerable presence of his holy martyr." Whereupon the sea, at God's behest, flowing out, cleared for them three miles of dry space, so that the christians boldly went in, and found a new coffin of marble shaped in form of a church, and the holy martyr's body placed therein through the ministry of angels, and the anchor lying by his side. Then was manifested to them that they should obtain from God, that in the course of every year, at the time of his passion, the sea for seven days should prepare dry ground for the people, that they within that time might seek his holy body. That happens to the praise and honour of our Saviour, who prepared the honourable sepulchre for his holy martyr. Then through this miracle all the unbelieving became christians, so that there was not found in the country either heathen or Jew that was not converted to the christian faith. But at the holy coffin heavenly cures are permitted for diseased bodies, through the intercession of the holy martyr. Whosoever sick seeks his sepulchre on his festival, returns rejoicing and healthy. There are the blind enlightened, and the possessed with devils restored to reason, and all afflicted are there made joyful; and all the faithful enjoy his benefits, and with reverence God's mysteries are there fulfilled.
Hit gelámp ða on sumum geare on his freols-tide, þæt sum wíf mid hire nywerenan cylde betwux oðrum mannum þone halgan wer geneosode. Þa geendodum dagum þære freols-tide com seo sǽ færlice swegende, and þæt folc swiðlice aweg efste, and þæt wíf ðurh ða færlican styrunge ne gymde hire cildes ǽrðan þe heo to lánde becom. Heo ða sárig þa twelf monað adreah, and eft embe ðæs geares ymbryne, on þære ylcan freols-tide, for-arn ðam folce, and genealæhte to þære byrgene mid wope, þus biddende, "Þu Drihten Hælend, þe ðære wydewan ancennedan sunu to life arærdest, beseoh me to miltse, þæt ic, ðurh ðingunge þines halgan þe her gerest, beo ðæs tiðe þe ic geornlice bidde." Þa mid þyssere bene beseah heo to ðære stowe ðær heo þæt cild ǽr forlét, and gemette hit swa slapende swa heo hit ǽr gelede. Heo ða mid micelre blisse hit awrehte, and wepende cossode. Þa befrán heo þæt cild, betwux ðam cossum, hú hit macode on eallum ðam fyrste þæs geares ymbrynes? Þæt cild þære meder geandwyrde, "Modor min, nyste ic hú ðyses geares ymryne geendode, forðan ðe ic softum slæpe me gereste, swa swa ðu me forlete, oð þæt þu eft me nu awrehtest." Þæt geleaffulle folc ða micclum blissigende, herode and bletsode þone Ælmihtigan Hælend, seðe his halgan mid tácnum and wundrum gewurðað, and swa heora geearnunga geswutelað. It happened in one year at his festival, that a woman with her tender child among other persons visited the holy man. When the days of the festival were ended, the sea came suddenly sounding, and the folk hastened away with all speed, and the woman, through the sudden tumult, heeded not her child before she came to land. She then passed the twelve months in sorrow, and again after the expiration of the year, at the same festival, ran before the folk, and approached the sepulchre with weeping, thus praying, "Thou Lord Jesus, who didst raise the widow's only son to life, look on me in mercy, that I, through the intercession of thy holy one who here resteth, may obtain that for which I fervently pray." Then with this prayer she looked to the place where she had before left the child, and found it so sleeping as she had previously laid it. She then with great joy awakened it, and weeping kissed it. Then she asked the child, between the kisses, how it had fared in all the time of the year's course? The child answered the mother, "My mother, I know not how this year's course has ended, for I was resting in soft sleep, as thou didst leave me, until thou now again hast awakened me." The believing folk then greatly rejoicing, praised and blessed the Almighty Jesus, who honours his saints with signs and wonders, and so manifests their merits.
Oft hwónlice gelyfede menn smeagað mid heora stuntan gesceade, hwí se Ælmihtiga God æfre geðafian wolde þæt þa hæðenan his halgan mid gehwilcum tintregum acwellan moston; ac we wyllað nu eow gereccan sume geswutelunge of ðære ealdan ǽ, and eac of ðære niwan, hú mihtiglice se Wealdenda Drihten his halgan wið hæðenne here, oþþe wælhreowe ehteras gelome ahredde, and heora wiðerwinnan bysmorlice gescynde. Oft men of slight faith inquire with their foolish reason, why the Almighty God would ever permit that the heathen should slay his saints with all kinds of torments; but we will now relate to you some manifestation from the old law, and also from the new, how mightily the Powerful Lord has frequently saved his holy from the heathen host or from cruel persecutors, and ignominiously confounded their adversaries.
Hit gelámp on ðam feowerteoðan geare Ezechían cynedomes, Iudeisces cyninges, þæt Sennacherib, Syria cyning, manega leoda mid micclum cræfte to his anwealde gebígde, and swa wolde eac þone gelyfedan cyning Ezechíam, and asende his heretogan Rapsacen to þære byrig Hierusalem mid micclum ðrymme, and mid ærend-gewritum þæs Ælmihtigan Godes mihte gehyrwde, þus cweðende to ðam ymbsettan folce, "Ne bepǽce Ezechías eow mid leasum hopan, þæt God eow wið me ahredde. Ic gewyllde and oferwánn fela ðeoda, and heora godas ne mihton hí gescyldan wið minne ðrymm. Hwæt is se god þe mage ðas burh wið minne here bewerian?" Hwæt ða, se cyning Ezechías awearp his purpuran reaf, and dyde hæran to his lice, and bær ða gewritu into Godes temple, and astrehtum limum hine gebæd, þus cweðende, "Drihten, weroda God, þu ðe gesitst ofer engla ðrymm, þu eart ana God ealra ðeoda; þu geworhtest heofonas, and eorðan, and ealle gesceafta. Ahyld ðin eare and gehyr, geopena ðine eagan and geseoh ðas wórd, þe Sennacherib asende to hospe and to tále ðe and þinum folce. Soðlice hé towende þa hæðenan godas, and hí forbærnde, forðan ðe hí næron godas, ac wæron manna hand-geweorc, treowene and stænene, and he hí forði tobrytte. Alys us nu, Drihten, fram his gebeote and mihte, þæt ealle ðeoda tocnawon þæt þu ána eart Ælmihtig God." It happened in the fourteenth year of the reign of Hezekiah, the Jewish king, that Sennacherib, king of Assyria, had bowed many nations with great craft to his power, and so would he also the faithful king Hezekiah, and sent his general Rabshakeh to the city of Jerusalem with a great host, and by his letters contemned the power of the Almighty God, thus saying to the beleaguered folk, "Let not Hezekiah deceive you with false hope, that God will save you from me. I have conquered and overcome many nations, and their gods could not shield them against my host. Who is the god that can defend this city against my army?" Hereupon the king Hezekiah cast off his purple robe, and put haircloth on his body, and bare the letter into God's temple, and with outstretched limbs prayed, thus saying, "Lord, God of hosts, thou who sittest above the company of angels, thou alone art God of all nations; thou wroughtest heavens, and earth, and all creatures. Incline thine ear and hear, open thine eyes and see these words, which Sennacherib hath sent in scorn and reproach to thee and thy folk. Verily he overthrew and burned the heathen gods, for they were not gods, but were the handiwork of men, of wood and of stone, and he therefore brake them in pieces. Redeem us now, Lord, from his threatening and might, that all nations may know that thou alone art Almighty God."
Ezechías eac asende his witan mid hǽran gescrydde to ðam witegan Isaiam, þus cweðende, "Ahefe ðine gebedu for Israhela ðeode, þæt se Ælmihtiga God gehyre þa talu ðe Syria cyning asende to hospe and to edwite his micclan mægenðrymme." Þa andwyrde se witega Isaias þam bodum, "Secgað eowrum hlaforde, þæt hé unforht sy. God Ælmihtig cwyð, Ne ascytt Sennacherib flán into ðære byrig Hierusalem, ne mid his scylde hí ne gewylt; ac ic geslea ænne wriðan on his nosu, and ænne bridel on his weleras, and ic hine gelǽde ongean to his leode, and ic do þæt he fylð under swurdes ecge on his agenum eðele; and ic ða burh gescylde for me and for minum ðeowan Dauid." Þa on ðære nihte ferde Godes engel, and ofsloh ðæs Syrian cyninges here án hund þusend manna, and fif and hund-eahtatig þusenda. Þæs on merigen arás Sennacherib, and geseah ða deadan líc, and gecyrde mid micelre sceame ongean to þære byrig Niniué. Hit gelámp ða þæt he hine gebæd to his deofolgylde, and his twegen suna hine mid swurde acwealdon, swa swa se witega þurh Godes Gast gewitegode. Hezekiah also sent his counsellors clad in haircloth to the prophet Isaiah, thus saying, "Raise thy prayers for the people of Israel, that the Almighty God may hear the calumnies which the king of Assyria has sent in scorn and reproach of his great majesty." Then answered the prophet Isaiah to the messengers, "Say to your lord that he be fearless. God Almighty saith, Sennacherib shall not shoot arrows into the city of Jerusalem, nor with his shield overpower it; but I will cast a hook into his nose, and a bridle on his lips, and I will lead him back to his people, and I will cause him to fall under the sword's edge in his own country; and I will shield the city for myself and for my servant David." Then on that night God's angel went, and slew of the Assyrian king's army a hundred and eighty-five thousand men. On the morrow Sennacherib arose, and saw the dead bodies, and turned with great shame back to the city of Nineveh. It happened then that he was praying to his idol, and his two sons slew him with the sword, as the prophet through the Spirit of God had prophesied.
Eft siððan Nabochodonossor, se Chaldeisca cyning, het gebindan handum and fotum þa ðry gelyfedan cnihtas, Annanias, Azarias, Missael, and into ánum byrnendum ofne awurpan; forþan ðe hí noldon hí gebiddan to his deofolgilde. Ac se Ælmihtiga God, þe hí anrædlice on belyfdon, asende his engel into ðam ofne mid þam cnihtum, and he ða tosceoc þone líg of ðam ofne, swa þæt þæt fyr ne mihte him derigan, ac sloh út of ðam ofne nigan and feowertig fæþma, and forswælde þa cwelleras þe þæt fyr onældon. Þa sceawode se cyning þæra ðreora cnihta feax and lichaman, þus cweðende, "Sy gebletsod eower God, seðe asende his engel, and swa mihtelice his ðeowan of þam byrnendan ofne alysde." After that Nebuchadnezzar, the Chaldean king, commanded the three believing youths, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, to be bound hands and feet, and cast into a burning oven; because they would not pray to his idol. But the Almighty God, in whom they stedfastly believed, sent his angel into the oven with the youths, and he scattered the flame from the oven, so that the fire might not hurt them, but struck out of the oven nine and forty fathoms, and burned the executioners who had kindled the fire. Then the king beheld the hair and bodies of the three youths, thus saying, "Blessed be your God, who hath sent his angel, and so mightily released his servants from the burning oven."
Eac syððan, on Cyres dagum cyninges, wrehton ða Babiloniscan þone witegan Daniel, forðan ðe he towearp heora deofolgyld, and cwædon anmodlice to ðam foresædan cyninge Cyrum, "Betæc us Daniel, ðe urne god Bél towearp, and þone dracan acwealde, þe we on belyfdon. Gif ðu hine forstenst, we fordylegiað þe and ðinne hyred." Þa geseah se cyning þæt hí anmode wæron, and neadunga þone witegan him to handum asceaf. Hi ða hine awurpon into anum seaðe, on þam wæron seofan leon, þam mann sealde dæghwomlice twa hryðeru and twa scép, ac him wæs ða oftogen ælces fodan six dagas, þæt hí ðone Godes mann abitan sceoldon. Also afterwards, in the days of Cyrus the king, the Babylonians accused the prophet Daniel, because he had cast down their idol, and said unanimously to the beforesaid king Cyrus, "Deliver unto}} us Daniel, who hath cast down our god Bel, and slain the dragon, in which we believed. If thou protectest him, we will destroy thee and thine household." Then the king saw that they were unanimous, and unwillingly delivered the prophet into their hands. They then cast him into a pit, in which were seven lions, to which were given daily two oxen and two sheep, but then all food had been withheld from them for six days, that they might devour the man of God.
On þære tide wæs sum oðer witega on Iudea-lande, his nama wæs Abacuc, se bær his ryfterum mete to æcere. Þa com him to Godes engel, and cwæð, "Abacuc, bær ðone mete to Babilone, and syle Daniele, seðe sitt on ðæra leona seaðe." Abacuc andwyrde þam engle, "La leof, ne geseah ic næfre ða burh, ne ic ðone seað nát." Þa se engel gelæhte hine be ðam fexe, and hine bær to Babilone, and hine sette bufan ðam seaðe. Ða clypode se Abacuc, "Þu Godes ðeowa, Daniel, nim ðas lac ðe þe God sende." Daniel cwæð, "Min Drihten Hælend, sy ðe lof and wurðmynt þæt þu me gemundest." And he ða ðære sande breac. Witodlice Godes engel þærrihte mid swyftum flihte gebrohte ðone disc-ðen, Abacuc, þær he hine ǽr genam. Se cyning ða Cyrus on ðam seofoðan dæge eode dreorig to ðæra leona seaðe, and innbeseah, and efne ða Daniel sittende wæs gesundful on middan þam leonum. Þa clypode se cyning mid micelre stemne, "Mære is se God þe Daniel on belyfð." And he ða mid þam worde hine ateah of ðam scræfe, and het inn-awurpan ða þe hine ǽr fordón woldon. Þæs cyninges hæs wearð hrædlice gefremmed, and þæs witegan ehteras wurdon asceofene betwux ða leon, and hi ðærrihte mid grædigum ceaflum hí ealle totæron. Þa cwæð se cyning, "Forhtion and ondrædon ealle eorðbuende Danieles God, forðan ðe he is Alysend and Hælend, wyrcende tácna and wundra on heofonan and on eorðan." At that time there was another prophet in the land of Judah, his name was Habakkuk, who bare for his reapers meat to the field. Then God's angel came to him, and said, "Habakkuk, bear the meat to Babylon, and give it to Daniel, who sitteth in the lions' pit." Habakkuk answered the angel, "Sir, I never saw the city, nor know I the pit." Then the angel seized him by the hair, and bare him to Babylon, and set him above the pit. Then Habakkuk cried, "Thou servant of God, Daniel, take this gift which God hath sent thee." Daniel said, "My Lord Jesus, be to thee praise and honour, for that thou hast remembered me." And he then ate of the dish. And the angel of the Lord straightways brought the minister of food, Habakkuk, to the place whence he had before taken him. Then the king Cyrus on the seventh day went sad to the lions' pit, and looked in, and behold, there was Daniel sitting unhurt in the midst of the lions. Then the king cried with a loud voice, "Great is the God in whom Daniel believeth." And he then with that word drew him from the den, and ordered those to be cast in who before would fordo him. The king's command was quickly executed, and the prophet's persecutors were thrust among the lions, and they straightways with greedy jaws tore them all in pieces. Then said the king, "Let all dwellers on earth fear and dread the God of Daniel, for he is the Redeemer and Saviour, working signs and wonders in heaven and on earth."
On ðære Niwan Gecyðnysse, æfter Cristes ðrowunge, and his æriste and upstige to heofonum, wurdon ða Iudeiscan mid ándan afyllede ongean his apostolas, and gebrohton hí on cwearterne. On ðære ylcan nihte Godes engel undyde þa locu ðæs cwearternes, and hí út-alædde, þus cweðende, "Gað to ðam temple, and bodiað þam folce lifes word." And hí swa dydon. Hwæt ða Iudeiscan þæs on merien ðeahtodon embe ðæra apostola forwyrd, and sendon to ðam cwearterne, þæt hí man gefette. Þa cwelleras ða geopenodon þæt cweartern, and nænne ne gemetton. Hí ða cyddon heora ealdrum, "Þæt cweartern we fundon fæste beclysed, and ða weardas wiðutan standende, ac we ne gemetton nænne wiðinnan." In the New Testament, after Christ's passion, and his resurrection and ascension to heaven, the Jews were filled with envy towards his apostles, and brought them into prison. In the same night God's angel undid the locks of the prison, and led them out, thus saying, "Go to the temple, and preach to the folk the word of life." And they so did. Then the Jews on the morrow deliberated concerning the destruction of the apostles, and sent to the prison, that they might be fetched. The executioners then opened the prison, and found no one. They then announced to their elders, "We have found the prison fast closed, and the wards standing without, but we found no one within."
Eft siððan Herodes, Iudea cyning, sette ðone apostol Petrum on cwearterne mid twam racenteagum gebundenne, and weardas wiðinnan and wiðutan gesette: ac on ðære nihte þe se arleasa cyning hine on merigen acwellan wolde, com Godes engel scinende of heofonum, and gelædde hine út ðurh ða isenan gatu; and stód eft on merigen þæt cweartern fæste belocen. After that Herod, king of Judah, set the apostle Peter in prison bound with two chains, and set wards within and without: but on the night when the impious king would slay him on the morrow, God's angel came shining from heaven, and led him out through the iron gates, and on the morrow the prison again stood fast locked.
Domicianus, se hæðena casere, het awurpan þone godspellere Iohannem on weallendne ele, ac he, þurh Godes gescyldnysse, swa gesundfull út eode swa he inn aworpen wæs. Þam ylcan Iohanne sealde sum hæðengylda attor drincan, ac hé, æfter ðam drence, ansund and úngederod ðurhwunode. Domitian, the heathen emperor, commanded the evangelist John to be cast into boiling oil, but he, through God's protection, went out as unhurt as when he was cast in. To the same John an idolater gave poison to drink, but he, after the draught, continued sound and uninjured.
Paulus se apostol awrát be him sylfum, and cwæð, þæt hé ænne dæg and ane niht on sǽ-grunde adruge. Eft, æt sumum sæle hine gelæhte án næddre be ðam fingre, ac he ascoc hí into byrnendum fyre, and he ðæs ættres nán ðing ne gefredde. Paul the apostle wrote concerning himself, and said, that he passed one day and one night at the bottom of the sea. Again, on a time a serpent seized him by the finger, but he shook it into the burning fire, and he felt nothing of the poison.
Ne mæg nán eorðlic mann mid gewritum cyðan, ne mid tungan gereccan hú oft se Ælmihtiga Wealdend his gecorenan fram mislicum frecednyssum ahredde, to lofe and to wurðmynte his mægenþrymnysse. Ac he geðafað forwel oft þæt ða arleasan his halgan ðearle geswencað, hwilon mid hefigtymre ehtnysse, hwilon mid slege, þæt seo reðe ehtnyss becume ðam rihtwisan to ecere reste, and ðam cwellerum to ecum wite. Se sealm-scop cwæð, "Fela sind þæra rihtwisra gedreccednyssa, ac Drihten fram eallum ðysum hí alyst." On twá wisan alyst God his gecorenan, openlice and digellice. Openlice hí beoð alysede, þonne hí on manna gesihðe beoð ahredde, swa swa we nu eow rehton. Digellice hí beoð alysede, þonne hí ðurh martyrdom becumað to heofonlicum geðincðum. Gif hí for soðum geleafan oððe for rihtwisnysse þrowiað, hí beoð þonne martyras. Gif hi ðonne unscyldige gecwylmede beoð, heora unscæððignyss hí gelǽt to Godes halgena geferrædene; forðan þe unscæððignyss æfre orsorh wunað. Gif hwá ðonne for synnum ehtnysse ðolað, and hine sylfne oncnæwð, swa þæt he Godes mildheortnysse inweardlice bidde, þonne forscyt þæt hwilwendlice wite ða ecan geniðerunge. For mándædum wæron þa twegen sceaðan gewitnode ðe mid Criste hangodon, ac heora oðer mid micclum geleafan gebæd hine to Criste, þus cweðende, "Drihten, geðenc mín þonne ðu to þinum rice becymst." Crist him andwyrde, "Soð ic þe secge, nu to-dæg þu bist mid me on neorxna-wanges myrhðe." Unwilles we magon forleosan ða hwilwendlican gód, ac we ne forleosað næfre unwilles ða ecan gód. Þeah se reða reafere ús æt æhtum bereafige, oððe feores benæme, hé ne mæg us ætbredan urne geleafan ne þæt ece líf, gif we us sylfe mid agenum willan ne forpærað. Se soða Drihten us ahredde fram eallum frecednyssum, and to ðam ecan life gelǽde, seðe leofað and rixað á butan ende. Amen. No earthly man may by writings make known, nor with tongue relate how often the Almighty Ruler has saved his chosen from divers perils, to the praise and honour of his majesty. But he very often allows the impious greatly to afflict his saints, sometimes with painful persecution, sometimes with slaying, that fierce persecution may end for the righteous in eternal rest, and for the murderers in eternal torment. The psalmist said, "Many are the tribulations of the righteous, but the Lord from all these will release them." In two ways God releases his chosen, openly and secretly. Openly they are released, when in sight of men they are saved, as we have now recounted to you. Secretly they are released, when through martyrdom they come to heavenly honours. If they suffer for true faith or for righteousness, they will then be martyrs. But if they are slain guiltless, their innocence will lead them to the fellowship of God's saints; for innocence ever continues secure. But if any one suffers persecution for sins, and knows himself, so that he inwardly pray for God's mercy, then will the transient punishment prevent eternal damnation. For crimes were the two thieves punished who were crucified with Christ, but one of them with great faith prayed to Christ, thus saying, "Lord, think of me when thou comest to thy kingdom." Christ answered him, "Verily I say unto thee, now to-day thou shalt be with me in the joy of paradise." Against our will we may lose the transitory good, but against our will we never lose the eternal good. Though the cruel robber bereave us of our property, or deprive us of life, he cannot take from us our faith or the eternal life, if we do not of our own will pervert ourselves. May the true Lord save us from all perils, and lead us to everlasting life, who liveth and reigneth ever without end. Amen.