The Homilies of the Anglo-Saxon Church/IX

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:Postquam impleti sunt dies purificationis Mariæ: et reliqua. :Postquam impleti sunt dies purificationis Mariæ, etc.
God bebead on þære ealdan ǽ, and het Moyses, þone heretogan, þæt he hit awrite betwux oðrum bebodum, þæt ælc wíf ðe cild gebære sceolde gebidan feowertig daga æfter þære cenninge, swa þæt heo ne cóme into Godes temple, ne on anum bedde mid hire were, ær ðam fyrste þe we ǽr cwædon; þæt is feowertig daga, gif hit hyse-cild wære: gif hit þonne mæden-cild wære, þonne sceolde heo forhabban fram ingange Godes huses hund-ehtatig daga, and eac fram hire gebeddan; and æfter ðam fyrste gán mid lace to Godes huse, and beran þæt cild forð mid þære láce, and syððan, mid Godes bletsunge, genealæcan hyre gemacan. Þis wæs geset be wifum. God commanded in the old law, and bade the leader Moses write it among other commandments, that every woman who had borne a child should wait forty days after the birth, so that she should come neither into God's temple, nor into a bed with her husband, before that space of time which we have said: that is forty days, if it were a male child; but if it were a maiden child, then she should abstain from entering God's house for eighty days, and also from her husband; and after that space go with a gift to God's house, and bear forth the child with the gift, and afterwards, with God's blessing, approach her consort. This was established regarding women.
Nu wæs ðeah-hwæðere þæt halige mæden Maria, Cristes moder, Godes beboda gemyndig, and eode on ðysum dæge to Godes huse mid láce, and gebrohte þæt cild þe heo acende, Hælend Crist, gelácod to þam Godes temple, swa swa hit on Godes ǽ geset wæs. Now was, nevertheless, the holy maiden Mary, Christ's mother, mindful of God's commands, and she went on this day to God's house with a gift, and brought the child that she had given birth to, Jesus Christ, to be presented to God's temple.
Ða wæs þær, binnan þære byrig Hierusalem, sum Godes mann, and his nama wæs Symeon; he wæs swyðe rihtwis, and hæfde micelne Godes ege, and he ge-andbidode ðone frofer, ðe behaten wæs þam folce Israhel, þæt is Cristes to-cyme. Se Halga Gast wæs wunigende on ðæm Symeone, and he wiste genoh georne þæt se Ælmihtiga Godes Sunu wolde to mannum cuman, and menniscnysse underfon. Þa wæs ðes man swiðe oflyst ðæs Hælendes to-cymes, and bæd æt Gode dæighwamlice on his gebedum, þæt he moste Crist geseon ær he deaðes onbyrigde. Þa forðy þe he swa micele gewilnunge hæfde Cristes to-cymes, ða com him andswaru fram þam Halgan Gaste, þæt he ne sceolde deaðes onbyrigan ærþam ðe he Crist gesawe. And he wæs þa bliðe þæs behates, and cóm to Godes temple, þurh myngunge ðæs Halgan Gastes. And seo halige Maria cóm ða to ðam temple mid þam cilde, and se ealda man Symeon eode togeanes þam cilde, and geseah þone Hælend, and hine georne gecneow, þæt he wæs Godes Sunu, Alysend ealles middan-eardes. He hine genam ða on his earmas mid micelre onbryrdnesse, and hine gebær into þam temple, and þancode georne Gode þæt he hine geseon moste. He cwæð þa, "Min Drihten, ðu forlætst me nú mid sibbe of þisum life, after þinum worde; forðon þe mine eagan gesawon þinne Halwendan, ðone ðu gearcodest ætforan ansyne ealles folces; leoht to onwrigennysse þeoda, and wuldor þinum folce Israhele." There was there, in the city of Jerusalem, a man of God, and his name was Simeon; he was very righteous, and had great fear of God, and he awaited the comfort which was promised to the people of Israel, that is the advent of Christ. The Holy Ghost was dwelling in Simeon, and he knew full well that the Son of Almighty God would come to men, and assume human nature. Then was this man very desirous of the advent of Jesus, and prayed daily to God in his prayers, that he might see Christ ere he tasted of death. Then, because he had so great desire of Christ's advent, there came to him an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not taste of death ere he had seen Christ. And he was then glad at the promise, and came to God's temple, through admonition of the Holy Ghost. And the holy Mary came then to the temple with the child, and the old man Simeon went towards the child, and saw Jesus, and well knew that he was the Son of God, the Redeemer of all the world. He took him in his arms with great feeling, and bare him into the temple, and fervently thanked God that he was allowed to see him. He then said, "My Lord, thou lettest me now go in peace from this life, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy Healing One, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light for the revelation of the gentiles, and a glory to thy people Israel."
Hit is awriten on Crístes béc, and gehwær on oþrum bocum, þæt fela witegan and rihtwise men woldan geseon Cristes to-cyme, ac hit næs na him getiðod, ac wæs getiðod þisum ealdan men; forðam þe hit is be him awriten, þæt he cwæde dæghwamlice on his gebedum, "Ela, hwænne cymð se Hælend? Hwænne bið he acenned? Hwænne mot ic hine geseon? Hwæðer ic mote lybban oðþæt ic hine geseo?" And þa for ðysre gewilnunge him com andswaru, þæt he ne gesawe deað, ærðam ðe he Crist gesawe. It is written in the book of Christ, and elsewhere in other books, that many prophets and righteous men were desirous of seeing the advent of Christ, but it was not granted to them: but it was granted to this old man; for of him it is written, that he said daily in his prayers, "Ah! when will the Saviour come? When will he be born? When may I see him? May I live until I see him?" And then, for this desire, an answer came to him, that he should not see death before he had seen Christ.
Maria, Cristes moder, bær þæt cild, and se ealda Symeon eode hire togeanes, and gecneow þæt cild ðurh onwrigenysse, and hit beclypte and bær into ðam temple. He bær þæt cild, and þæt cild bær hine. Hu bær þæt cild hine? Þone bær se ealda Symeon on his earmum, þe ealle ðing hylt and gewylt. Lytel he wæs ðær gesewen, ac ðeah-hwæðere he wæs swiðe micel and ormæte. Lytel he wæs gesewen, forðan ðe he wolde gefeccan þa lytlan, and gebringan up to his rice. Hwæt synd ða lytlan ðe he wolde habban up to his rice? Þæt synd ða eaðmodan. Ne sohte Crist na ða modigan, þa þa micele beoð on hyra geþance; ac ða ðe beoð lytle and eaðmode on heora heortan, þa cumað to Godes rice; ac ðider ne mæg astigan nán modignys. Þær wæs se deofol ðe modegode, ac his modignes hine awearp into helle grunde; forðy ne mæg ure tyddernes ðyder astigan, gif heo modig bið, þaþa se engel ðær beon ne mihte þaþa he modegode. Mary, Christ's mother, bare the child, and the old Simeon went towards her, and knew the child through revelation, and took it in his arms and bare it into the temple. He bare the child, and the child bare him. How did the child bear him? The old Simeon bare in his arms him who preserves and rules over all things. Little he there appeared, yet was he, nevertheless, very great and infinite. Little he appeared, because he would fetch the little and bring them up to his kingdom. Who are the little ones that he would raise up to his kingdom? They are the humble. Christ sought not the proud, those who are great in their own imagination, but those who are little and humble in their hearts, these shall come to God's kingdom; but thither may no pride ascend. The devil was there, who became proud, but his pride cast him into the depth of hell; therefore our weakness may not ascend thither, if it be proud, when the angel might not be there when he became proud.
God bebead, on þære ealdan ǽ, his folce þæt hi sceoldon him offrian ælc frumcenned hyse-cild, oþþe alysan hit ut mid fif scyllingum. Eac on heora orfe, swa hwæt swa frumcenned wære, bringan þæt to Godes huse, and hit ðær Gode offrian. Gif hit þonne unclæne nyten wære, þonne sceolde se hlaford hit acwellan, oþþe syllan Gode oþer clæne nyten. We ne þurfon þas bebodu healdan nú lichamlice, ac gástlice. Þonne on urum mode bið acenned sum ðing gódes, and we þæt to weorce awendað, þonne sceole we þæt tellan to Godes gyfe, and þæt Gode betæcan. Ure yfelan geðohtas oððe weorc we sceolan alysan mid fif scyllingum; þæt is we sceolon ure yfelnysse behreowsian mid urum fif andgitum, þæt synd gesihþ, and hlyst, and swæc, and stenc, and hrepung. Eac swa þa unclænan nytenu getacniað ure unclænan geþohtas and weorc, ða we sceolon symle acwellan, oððe behwyrfan mid clænum; þæt is þæt we sceolon ure unclænnysse and ure yfelnesse symle adwæscan, and forlætan yfel, and dón gód. God, in the old law, commanded his people, that they should offer to him every firstborn male child, or redeem it with five shillings. Of their cattle also, to bring whatever was firstborn to God's house, and there offer it to God. But if it were an unclean beast, then should the master slay it, or give to God another clean beast. We need not now hold these commands bodily, but spiritually. When in our mind something good is brought forth and we turn it to action, then should we account that as God's grace, and consign it to God. Our evil thoughts or actions we should redeem with five shillings; that is, we should repent of our wickedness with our five senses, which are, sight, and hearing, and taste, and smell, and touch. So also as the unclean beasts betoken our unclean thoughts and actions, these we should always kill or exchange for pure; that is, we should always destroy our impurity and our wickedness, and forsake evil, and do good.
Seo eadige Maria ða geoffrode hire lác Gode mid þam cilde, swa hit on Godes ǽ geset wæs. Hit wæs swa geset on þære ealdan ǽ þurh Godes hæse, þæt ða þe mihton ðurhteon sceoldon bringan anes geares lamb mid heora cylde, Gode to lace, and ane culfran, oþþe ane turtlan. Gif þonne hwylc wif to ðam unspedig wære þæt heo ðas ðing begytan ne mihte, þonne sceolde heo bringan twegen culfran-briddas, oððe twá turtlan. The blessed Mary then offered her gift to God with the child, as it was appointed in God's law. It was so appointed in the old law, by God's behest, that those who could accomplish it, should bring a yearling lamb with their child, as a gift to God, and a pigeon or a turtle-dove. But if any woman were so needy that she could not get those things, then she should bring two young pigeons, or two turtle-doves.
Þas læssan lác, þæt sind þa fugelas, þe wæron wannspedigra manna lác, wæron for Criste geoffrode. Se Ælmihtiga Godes Sunu wæs swiðe gemyndig ure neoda on eallum ðingum; na þæt an þæt he wolde mann beon for ús, ðaða he God wæs, ac eac swylce he wolde beon þearfa for us, ðaða he rice wæs: to ðy þæt he us forgeafe dæl on his rice, and mænsumunge on his godcundnysse. Lamb getacnað unscæððinysse and þa maran godnysse; gif we þonne swa earme beoð þæt we ne magon þa maran godnysse Gode offrian, þonne sceole we him bringan twa turtlan, oþþe twegen culfran-briddas, þæt is twyfealdlic onbryrdnes eges and lufe. On twa wisan bið se man onbryrd: ærest he him ondræt helle wíte, and bewepð his synna, syððan he nimð eft lufe to Gode; þonne onginð he to murcnienne, and ðincð him to lang hwænne he beo genumen of ðyses lifes earfoðnyssum, and gebroht to ecere reste. These smaller gifts, that is, the birds, which were the gifts of indigent persons, were offered for Christ. The Almighty Son of God was very mindful of our needs in all things; not only would he for us become man when he was God, but he would also be poor for us when he was rich, that he might give us part in his kingdom and community in his Godhead. A lamb betokens innocence and the greater goodness; but if we are so poor that we cannot offer to God the greater goodness, then should we bring him two turtle-doves or two young pigeons; that is, a twofold affection of awe and love. In two ways is a man affected: first, he dreads hell-torment, and bewails his sins; afterwards he again feels love to God; then he begins to murmur, and it seems to him too long when he shall be taken from the afflictions of this life, and brought to everlasting rest.
Lytel wæs an lamb, oððe twa turtlan, Gode to bringenne; ac hé ne sceawað na þæs mannes lac swa swiðe swa hé sceawað his heortan. Nis Gode nan neod ure æhta; ealle ðing sindon his, ægðer ge heofen, ge eorðe, and sǽ, and ealle ða ðing ðe on him wuniað: ac he forgeaf eorðlice ðing mannum to brice, and bebead him þæt hí sceoldon mid þam eorðlicum ðingum hine oncnawan þe hí ær forgeaf, na for his neode, ac for mancynnes neode. Gif ðu oncnæwst ðinne Drihten mid ðinum æhtum, be ðinre mæðe, hit fremeð þe sylfum to ðam ecan life: gif ðu hine forgitst, hit hearmað þe sylfum and na Gode, and þu ðolast ðære ecan mede. God gyrnð þa godnysse ðines modes, and na ðinra æhta. Gif ðu hwæt dest Gode to lofe, mid cystigum mode, þonne geswutelast ðu þa gódnysse þines modes mid þære dæde; gif þu ðonne nan gód dón nelt, Gode to wurðmynte, ðonne geswutelast ðu mid þære uncyste ðine yfelnysse, and seo yfelnys þe fordeð wið God. Little was a lamb, or two turtle-doves to bring to God; but he regards not a man's gift so much as he regards his heart. God hath no need of our gifts; all things are his, heaven, and earth, and sea, and all the things which dwell in them: but he gave to men earthly things for use, and commanded them with those earthly things to acknowledge him who first gave them, not for His need, but for need of mankind. If thou acknowledgest thy Lord with thy possessions, according to thy ability, it forwards thyself to eternal life; if thou forgettest him, it harms thyself and not God, and thou losest the everlasting meed. God desires the goodness of thy mind, and not of thy possessions. If thou doest aught for the praise of God with devout mind, then thou manifestest the goodness of thy mind by that deed; but if thou wilt do no good for the honour of God, then thou, by that offence, manifestest thy wickedness, and that wickedness shall fordo thee with God.
On ðære ealdan ǽ is gehwær gesett, þæt God het gelomlice þas fugelas offrian on his lace, for ðære getacnunge þe hí getacniað. Nis nu nanum men alyfed þæt he healde þa ealdan ǽ lichomlice, ac gehealde gehwa hí gastlice. Culfran sind swiðe unscæððige fugelas, and bilewite, and hí lufiað annysse, and fleoð him floccmælum. Do eac swa se cristena man; beo him únsceaðþig, and bilewite, and lufige annysse, and broðorrædene betwux cristenum mannum; þonne geoffrað he gastlice Gode þa culfran-briddas. Þa turtlan getacniað clænnysse: hí sind swa geworhte, gif hyra oðer oðerne forlyst, þonne ne secð seo cucu næfre hire oðerne gemacan. Gif ðonne se cristena man swa deð for Godes lufon, þonne geoffrað he ða turtlan on þa betstan wisan. Ðas twa fugel-cyn ne singað na, swa swa oðre fugelas, ac hi geomeriað, forðan þe hi getacniað haligra manna geomerunge on ðisum life, swa swa Crist cwæð to his apostolum, "Ge beoð geunrotsode on þisum life, ac eower unrotnys bið awend to ecere blisse." And eft he cwæð, "Eadige beoð þa þe heora synna bewepað, forðan ðe hi beoð gefrefrode." In the old law it is in several places mentioned, that God frequently commanded birds to be offered to him in sacrifice, for the betokening which they betoken. Now it is not allowed to any man to hold the old law bodily, but let everyone hold it spiritually. Pigeons are very innocent and gentle birds, and they love unity, and fly flockwise. Let the christian man also do so; let him be innocent, and gentle, and love unity and fellowship among christian men; then offers he to God spiritually the young pigeons. The turtle-doves betoken purity: they are so created, that if one of them lose the other, the living one never seeks to itself another mate. But if the christian man does so for love of God, then offers he the turtle-doves in the best manner. These two birds sing not like other birds, but they murmur; for they betoken the groaning of holy men in this life, as Christ said to his apostles, "Ye will be sad in this life, but your sadness will be turned to everlasting bliss." And again he said, "Blessed are they who bewail their sins, for they shall be comforted."
Se ealda man Symeon, þe we ær embe spræcon, ne gyrnde ná þæt he moste Crist gehyran sprecan, forðan ðe he hine gecneow þæt he God wæs, ðeah ðe he ða-gyt on þære menniscnysse unsprecende wære. Sprecan he mihte, gif he wolde; and ealswa wis he wæs ða, þaþa he wæs anre nihte, swa swa he wæs, þaþa he wæs ðrittig geara; ac he wolde abídan his wæstma timan on ðære menniscnysse, swa swa hit gecyndelic is on mancynne. Symeon cwæð þa, "Drihten, þu forlætst me nu on sibbe of ðysum life, forðon þe míne eagan habbað gesewen ðinne Halwendan." Se Halwenda þe he embe spræc is ure Hælend Crist, seðe com to gehælenne ure wunda, þæt sindon ure synna. He cwæð þa Symeon, "Ðone þu gearcodest ætforan gesihðe ealles folces." Hine ne gesawon na ealle men lichomlice, ac he is gebodod eallum mannum, gelyfe seðe wylle. Se þe on hine gelyfð, he gesihð hine nu mid his geleafan, and on þan ecan life mid his eagum. Symeon cwæð þa-gyt, "He is leoht to onwrigennysse ðeoda, and wuldor þinum folce Israhel." Ealle ðas word spræc se Symeon be ðam cilde to þam heofenlican Fæder, þe hine to mannum sende. He is soð leoht þe todræfde þa þeostra ðises lifes, swa swa he sylf cwæð on his godspelle, "Ic eom leoht ealles middangeardes, se ðe me fyligð, ne cymð he na on þystrum, ac he hæfð lifes leoht." Swa swa leoht todræfð þeostra, swa eac todræfð Cristes lufu and his geleafa ealle leahtras and synna fram ure heortan: and he is wuldor and bliss ealles gelyfedes folces. The old man Simeon, of whom we erewhile spoke, desired not that he might hear Christ speak, for he knew him to be the Son of God, though he, in his state of humanity, was yet without speech. He could have spoken, had he been willing; and he was as wise when he was one day old as he was when he was thirty years; but he would abide the time of his growth in human nature, as is natural in mankind. Simeon then said, "Lord, thou wilt let me now depart in peace from this life, for mine eyes have seen thy Healing One." The Healing One of whom he spake is our Saviour Christ, who came to heal our wounds, that is, our sins. Simeon then said, "Whom thou hast prepared before the sight of all people." All men saw him not bodily, but he is announced to all men, let him believe who will. He who believes in him, sees him now with his faith, and in the eternal life with his eyes. Simeon yet said, "He is a light for the enlightening of the gentiles, and a glory to thy people Israel." All these words concerning the child, Simeon spake to the heavenly Father, who sent him to men. He is the true light who scattered the darkness of this life, as he himself said in his gospel, "I am the light of all the world; he who followeth me shall not come into darkness, but he shall have the light of life." As light scatters darkness, so also love and faith of Christ scatter all vices and sins from our heart; and he is the glory and bliss of all believing people.
Þa Maria, þæt halige mæden, and þæs cildes fostor-fæder, Ioseph, wæron ofwundrode þæra worda þe se ealda Symeon clypode be ðam cilde. And se Symeon him ða sealde bletsunge, and witegode gyt mare be þam cilde, and cwæð, "Þis cild is gesett manegum mannum to hryre, and manegum to æriste and to tacne, and þam bið wiðcweden." Swa swa ða men þe on Crist gelyfað beoð gehealdene þurh his to-cyme, swa eac þa þe nellað gelyfan on Crist beoð twyfealdlice fordemde. Anfealdlice hi sind scyldige ðurh Adames synne, and twyfealdlice hi beoð fordemde, þonne hí wiðsacað Cristes to-cymes, and nellað gelyfan on ðone soðan Hælend. Ðam ungeleaffullum mannum com Crist to hryre, and þam geleaffullum to æriste; and eac anum gehwilcum gelyfedum men wæs Cristes to-cyme ægðer ge hryre ge ærist. Hu ðonne? He com to ðy þæt he wolde ælc yfel towurpan, and ælc góod aræran. Nu towyrpð he on ús leahtras, and arærð mihta. He towyrpð modignysse, and arærð eadmodnysse. He towyrpð galnysse, and arærð clænnysse. And ealle unðeawas he towyrpð on his gecorenum mannum, and arærð on him ealle godnysse. Ne mæg þæt gód beon getymbrod buton þæt yfel beo ær toworpen. "To tacne com Crist, and þam is wiðcweden." His acennednys is wundorlic tacn, forðan ðe he wæs of mædene acenned, swa swa nan oðer nis; and þæt wiðcwædon þa ungeleaffullan men, and noldon gelyfan. And eac his æriste of deaðe, and his upstige to heofenum, and ealle ða wundra þe he worhte, ealle hit wæron tacna, and ðam wiðcwædon þa ungeleaffullan, and þa geleaffullan gelyfdon. Then the holy maiden Mary, and Joseph, the child's foster-father, wondered at the words which the old Simeon uttered concerning the child. And Simeon then gave him his blessing, and prophesied yet more concerning the child, and said, "This child is set for the fall of many men, and for the rising of many, and for a sign, and which shall be spoken against." So as those men who believe in Christ will be saved by his coming, so also those who will not believe in Christ will be doubly condemned. Simply they are guilty through Adam's sin, and doubly they will be condemned, when they deny Christ's coming, and will not believe in the true Saviour. Christ came for the fall of unbelieving men, and for the rising of the faithful; and also to every believing man was Christ's coming both a fall and a rising. But how? He came because he would cast down every evil, and rear up every good. Now he casts down vices in us, and rears up virtues. He casts down pride, and rears up humility. He casts down libidinousness, and rears up chastity. And all wickedness he casts down in his chosen men, and rears up all goodness. Good cannot be built up unless evil be previously cast down. "Christ came for a sign, and which shall be spoken against." His birth is a wonderful sign, because he was born of a maiden, as no other is; and against that unbelieving men spake, and would not believe. And, likewise, his resurrection from death, and his ascension to heaven, and all the wonders which he wrought—all these were signs, and the unbelieving spake against them, and the faithful believed.
Þa cwæð se ealda Symeon to ðære eadigan Marian, "His swurd sceal ðurhgán ðine sawle." Þæt swurd getacnode Cristes ðrowunge. Næs seo eadige Maria na ofslegen ne gemartyrod lichomlice, ac gastlice. Ðaða heo geseh niman hyre cild, and adrifan ísene næglas þurh þa handa and þurh ða fét, and syððan mid spere gewundigan on ða siðan, þa wæs Cristes ðrowung hire ðrowung; and heo wæs mare ðonne martyr, forðon þe mare wæs hyre modes þrowung þonne wære hire lichaman, gif heo gemartyrod wære. Ne cwæð na se Symeon þæt Cristes swurd sceolde þurhgán Marian lichaman, ac hyre sawle. Cristes swurd is her gesett, swa swa we cwædon, for his ðrowunge. Þeah ðe Maria gelyfde þæt Crist arisan wolde of deaðe, þeah-hwæðere eode hyre cildes þrowung swiðe þearle into hire heortan. Then said the old Simeon to the blessed Mary, "His sword shall pierce through thy soul." The sword betokened Christ's passion. The blessed Mary was not slain nor martyred bodily, but spiritually. When she saw her child taken, and iron nails driven through his hands and through his feet, and his side afterwards wounded with a spear, then was his suffering her suffering; and she was then more than a martyr, for her mind's suffering was greater than her body's would have been, had she been martyred. The old Simeon said not that Christ's sword should pierce through Mary's body, but her soul. Christ's sword is here set, as we said, for his passion. Though Mary believed that Christ would arise from death, her child's suffering went, nevertheless, very deeply into her heart.
Þaða se Symeon hæfde gewitegod þas witegunge be Criste, þa com þær sum wuduwe, seo wæs Anna gehaten. "Seo leofode mid hire were seofon gear, and syððan heo wæs wuduwe feower and hund-eahtatig geara, and þeowode Gode on fæstenum, and on gebedum, and on clænnysse; and wæs on eallum þam fyrste wunigende binnan þam Godes temple; and com ða to þam cilde, and witegode be him, and andette Gode." Rihtlice swa halig wíf wæs þæs wyrðe þæt heo moste witigian embe Crist, ðaða heo swa lange on clænnesse Gode þeowode. Behealde, ge wíf, and understandað hu be hire awriten is. Seofon gear heo leofode mid hire were, and siððan heo wæs wunigende on wudewan háde, oð feower and hund-eahtatig geara, swa lybbende swa se apostol tæhte. He cwæð, se apostol Paulus, "Seo wuduwe þe lyfað on estmettum, heo ne lyfað na, ac heo is dead." Þeos Anna, ðe we embe sprecað, ne lufude heo na estmettas, ac lufude fæstenu. Ne lufude heo ydele spellunge, ac beeode hire gebedu. Ne ferde heo wórigende geond land, ac wæs wunigende geþyldelice binnan Godes temple. Gif wife getimige þæt heo hire wer forleose, ðonne nime heo bysne be ðisre wudewan. When Simeon had prophesied this prophecy concerning Christ, then came there a widow, who was called Anna. "She had lived with her husband seven years; and had afterwards been a widow eighty-four years, and served God with fastings, and prayers, and with chastity; and was in all that time dwelling within God's temple; and came then to the child, and prophesied concerning him, and confessed to God." Rightly was so holy a woman worthy to prophesy concerning Christ, since she had so long served God in chastity. Behold, ye women, and understand how it is written concerning her. Seven years she had lived with her husband, and was afterwards continuing in widowhood eighty-four years; so living as the apostle taught. He, the apostle Paul, said, "The widow who liveth in luxuries, she liveth not, but she is dead." This Anna, of whom we speak, loved not luxuries, but loved fasts. She loved not idle discourses, but occupied herself in prayers. She went not wandering through the land, but remained patiently within God's temple. If it happen to a woman to lose her husband, let her take example by this widow.
Ðry hadas sindon þe cyðdon gecyðnysse be Criste; þæt is mæigð-had, and wudewan-had, and riht sinscype. Mæden is Cristes modor, and on mægð-hade wunude Iohannes se Fulluhtere, þe embe Crist cydde, and manega oðre to-eacan him. Widewe wæs ðeos Anna, þe we gefyrn ær embe spræcon. Zacharias, Iohannes fæder, wæs wer; ægðer ge he ge his wíf witegodon embe Crist. Þas ðry hadas syndon Gode gecweme, gif hi rihtlice lybbað. Mægð-had is ægþer ge on wæpmannum ge on wífmannum. Þa habbað rihtne mægð-had þa þe fram cild-hade wuniað on clænnysse, and ealle galnysse on him sylfum forseoð, ægðer ge modes ge lichoman, þurh Godes fultum. Þonne habbað hi æt Gode hundfealde mede on ðam ecan life. Widewan beoð þa þe æfter heora gemacan on clænnysse wuniað for Godes lufon: hí habbað þonne syxtigfealde mede æt Gode hyra geswinces. Þa ðe rihtlice healdað hyra ǽwe, and on alyfedum timan, for bearnes gestreone, hæmed begáð, hí habbað þrittigfealde mede for hyra gesceadwisnysse. Se ðe wile his galnysse gefyllan swa oft swa hine lyst, þonne bið he wiðmeten nytenum and na mannum. Be þysum tæhte se apostol Paulus, "Þa ðe wíf habbað, beon hí swilce hí nan nabbon;" forðan ealle hyra unlustas hi sceolon gebetan sylfwylles on þyssum life, oððe unþances æfter ðyssum life; and hí cumað siððan to ðam ecan life mid maran earfoðnysse. Þa men þe beoð butan rihtre ǽwe, and yrnað fram anum to oðrum, nabbað hí nænne dæl ne nane bletsunge mid Criste, buton hí ðæs geswicon and hit gebeton. Uton fon nu on þæt godspel ðær we hit ær forleton. There are three states which bare witness of Christ: that is maidenhood, and widowhood, and lawful matrimony. A maiden is the mother of Christ, and in maidenhood John the Baptist continued, who testified of Christ, and many others besides him. This Anna, of whom we before spake, was a widow. Zacharias, the father of John, was a married man; both he and his wife prophesied concerning Christ. These three states are agreeable to God, if men righteously live in them. Maidenhood is both in men and in women. Those have right maidenhood who from childhood continue in chastity, and despise in themselves all lust, both of body and mind, through God's succour. Then shall they have from God a hundredfold meed in the everlasting life. Widows are those who, after the death of their consorts, live in chastity for love of God: they shall have a sixtyfold meed from God for their tribulation. Those who rightly hold their marriage vow, and at permitted times, and for procreation of children, have carnal intercourse, shall have a thirtyfold meed for their discretion. He who will satiate his libidinousness as often as he lists, shall be compared with the beasts and not with men. Concerning this the apostle Paul taught, "Let those who have wives be as though they had none." For they shall atone for all their evil lusts voluntarily in this life, or involuntarily after this life; and they shall come afterwards to the everlasting life with more difficulty. Those men who are without a lawful consort, and run from one to other, shall have no part and no blessing with Christ, unless they desist and make atonement. Let us now resume the gospel where we previously left it.
Seo eadige Maria, and Ioseph, ðæs cildes fostor-fæder, gecyrdon to þære byrig Nazareth mid þam cilde; "and þæt cild weox, and wæs gestrangod, and mid wisdome afylled, and Godes gifu wæs on him wunigende." He weox and wæs gestrangod on þære menniscnysse, and he ne behofode nanes wæstmes ne nanre strangunge on þære godcundnysse. He æt, and dranc, and slep, and weox on gearum, and wæs þeah-hwæðere eal his lif butan synnum. He nære na man geðuht, gif he mannes life ne lyfode. He wæs mid wisdome afylled, forþan ðe he is himsylf wisdom, and on him wunað eal gefyllednys þære godcundnysse: lichomlice Godes gifu wunude on him. Micel gifu wæs þæt ðære menniscnysse, þæt he wæs Godes Sunu and God sylf, swa hraðe swa he ongann man to beonne. He wæs æfre God of þam Fæder acenned, and wunigende mid þam Fæder and mid þam Halgan Gaste: hí ðry án God untodæledlic; þry on hadum, and án God on anre godcundnysse, and on anum gecynde æfre wunigende. Se Sunu ana underfeng þa menniscnysse, and hæfde anginn, seðe æfre wæs. He wæs cild, and weox on þære menniscnysse, and þrowode deað sylfwilles, and aras of deaðe mid þam lichaman þe he ær on þrowode, and astah to heofenum, and wunað nu æfre on godcundnysse and on menniscnysse, an Crist, ægðer ge God ge mann, undeadlic, seðe ær his ðrowunge wæs deadlic. He þrowade, ac he ne ðrowað heonon-forð næfre eft, ac bið æfre butan ende, eallswa éce on þære menniscnysse swa he is on þære godcundnysse. The blessed Mary, and Joseph, the child's foster-father, returned to the city of Nazareth with the child; "and the child grew, and was strengthened, and filled with wisdom, and God's grace was dwelling within him." He grew and was strengthened in human nature, but he required no growth and no strengthening in his divine nature. He ate, and drank, and slept, and grew in years, and was, nevertheless, all his life without sins. He would not have seemed a man, if he had not lived the life of a man. He was filled with wisdom, because he is himself wisdom, and in him dwelleth all fullness of the divine nature: God's grace dwelt bodily within him. A great grace was that of his human nature, that he was the Son of God and God himself, as soon as he began to be man. He was ever God begotten of the Father, and dwelling with the Father and with the Holy Ghost: these three one God indivisible; three in persons, and one God in one Godhead, and in one nature ever continuing. The Son only assumed human nature, and had a beginning, who was ever. He was a child, and grew in human nature, and voluntarily suffered death, and arose from death with the body in which he before had suffered, and ascended to heaven, and continueth now for ever in divine nature and in human nature, one Christ, both God and man, immortal, who before his passion was mortal. He suffered, but henceforth he will never suffer again, but will ever be without end, as eternal in his human nature as he is in his divine nature.
Wite gehwa eac þæt geset is on cyrclicum þeawum, þæt we sceolon on ðisum dæge beran ure leoht to cyrcan, and lætan hí ðær bletsian: and we sceolon gán siððan mid þam leohte betwux Godes husum, and singan ðone lofsang ðe þærto geset is. Þeah ðe sume men singan ne cunnon, hi beron þeah-hwæðere þæt leoht on heora handum; forðy on ðissum dæge wæs þæt soðe Leoht Crist geboren to þam temple, seðe us alysde fram þystrum, and us gebrincð to þam ecan leohte, seðe leofað and rixað á butan ende. Amen. Be it known also to everyone that it is appointed in the ecclesiastical observances, that we on this day bear our lights to church, and let them there be blessed: and that we should go afterwards with the light among God's houses, and sing the hymn that is thereto appointed. Though some men cannot sing, they can, nevertheless, bear the light in their hands; for on this day was Christ, the true Light, borne to the temple, who redeemed us from darkness and bringeth us to the Eternal Light, who liveth and ruleth ever without end. Amen.