Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/205

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The homily.

judgment, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant,for thou hast been faithful over a few things: I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of the Lord thy God." Small are the goods of this present life, in comparison of the goods which are to come; but whosoever labours faithfully in the former, shall rest happily in the latter. This holy saint, whom you have come together to honour, laboured for the salvation of many; wherefore on the day of judgment he shall receive the rewards of many. He chastened himself by rigorous abstinence, and benefited others by sedulous preaching: wherefore he is worthy to be praised by all men, according to the saying of Solomon, the wisest of men, "The memory of the just man shall be accompanied with praises, but the name of the wicked rotteth: whilst the life of the just shall be praised, the iniquity of the wicked, like dung, is detested by all men." What greater happiness can there be than by a good life and conversation to earn from God the glory of eternal happiness, and to be praised by the mouths of all men? Let us consider daily with what assurance we can come before the tribunal of the Chief Judge, what good works we can carry with us; His justice will be no accepter of persons; but will render to every one according to his works: and he who labours the most in the works of the Lord, shall receive the most in the kingdom of God. Let each of us, in whatever vocation he is placed, strive therein to work out his own salvation. The door of the heavenly kingdom is open to all; but the quality of men's merits will admit one man and reject another. How wretched must it be for a man to be shut from the glory of the saints, and to be consigned with the Devil to eternal flames! The burden of its sins sinks the soul into Tartarus; but the overflowing of God's justice exalts it to heavenly glory. Let us throng frequently to the church of Christ: let us diligently hear therein the word of God; and what we receive in