The Homilies of the Anglo-Saxon Church/XV

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Oft ge gehyrdon embe ðæs Hælendes ærist, hú hé on ðisum dæge of deaðe arás; ac we willað eow myngian, þæt hit ne gange eow of gemynde. Ye have often heard concerning the Saviour's resurrection, how he on this day arose from death; but we will remind you, that it may not pass from your memory.
"Þaða Crist bebyrged wæs, þa cwædon þa Iudeiscan to heora ealdormenn Pilate, La leof, se swica ðe her ofslegen is, cwæð gelomlice, þaþa hé on lífe wæs, þæt hé wolde arisan of deaðe on þam ðriddan dæge:" et reliqua. "When Christ was buried, the Jews said to their governor Pilate, O Sir, the deceiver, who hath here been slain, said oftentimes, while he was living, that he would arise from death on the third day," etc.
We cweðað nu, gif hwá his lic forstæle, nolde he hine unscrydan, forðan ðe stalu ne lufað nane yldinge. Crist wearð æteowed on ðam ylcan dæge Petre, and oðrum twam his leorning-cnihtum, and hí gefrefrode. "Þa æt nextan com se Hælend to his leorning-cnihtum, þær hí gegaderode wæron, and cwæð him to, Sy sibb betwux eow; ic hit eom, ne beo ge na afyrhte. Þa wurdon hí afærede, and wendon þæt hit sum gast wære. Ða cwæð he him to, Hwí sind ge afærede, and mislice ðencað be me? Sceawiað mine handa and mine fét, þe wæron mid næglum þurhdrifene. Grapiað and sceawiað: gif ic gast wære, ðonne næfde ic flæsc and ban:" et reliqua. We say now, if any one had stolen his corpse, he would not have stript him, for theft loves no delay. Christ appeared on the same day to Peter and to two others his disciples, and comforted them. "Then at last Jesus came to his disciples, where they were assembled, and said to them, Peace be unto you; it is I, be ye not afraid. Then they were afraid, and weened it were a ghost. Then said he to them, Why are ye afraid, and think divers things of me? Behold my hands and my feet, that were pierced with nails. Grasp and behold: if I were a ghost, I should not have flesh and bones," etc.
Se Hælend wearð þa gelomlice ætíwed his leorning-cnihtum, and hí gewissode to ðære lare and to ðam geleafan, hú hí eallum mancynne tæcan sceoldon; and on ðam feowertigoðan dæge his æristes hé astáh lichamlice to heofonum to his Fæder. Ac we habbað nú micele maran endebyrdnysse þære Cristes bec gesǽd þonne ðis dægðerlice godspel behæfð, for trymminge eowres geleafan. Nu wylle we eow gereccan þæs dægþerlican godspelles traht, æfter ðæs halgan papan Gregories trahtnunge. Jesus then frequently appeared to his disciples, and directed them to doctrine and to faith, how they should teach all mankind; and on the fortieth day of his resurrection he ascended bodily to heaven to his Father. But we have now said much more of the tenour of the book of Christ than this present day's gospel requires for the confirmation of your faith. We will now give you the explanation of this day's gospel, according to the exposition of the holy pope Gregory.
Mine gebroðra þa leofostan, ge gehyrdon þæt þa halgan wíf, þe Drihtne on life filigdon, comon to his byrgene mid þære deorwyrðan sealfe, and þone ðe hí lufedon on lífe þam hí woldon deadum mid menniscre gecneordnysse ðenian. Ac ðeos dǽd getacnað sum ðing to dónne on Godes gelaðunge. We ðe gelyfað Cristes æristes, we cumað gewislice to his byrgene mid deorwyrðre sealfe, gif we beoð gefyllede mid bræðe haligra mihta, and gif we mid hlysan godra weorca urne Drihten secað. Þa wíf ðe ða sealfe brohton, hi gesawon englas; forðan ðe ða geseoð þa heofonlican englas, þa þe mid bræðum godra weorca gewilniað þæs upplican færeldes. Se engel awylte þæt hlíd of ðære ðryh; na þæt hé Criste útganges rymde, ac he geswutelode mannum þæt hé arisen wæs. Se ðe com deaðlic to ðisum middangearde, acenned þurh beclysedne innoð þæs mædenes, se ylca, butan twéon, ðaða hé arás undeaðlic, mihte belocenre ðríh faran of middangearde. Se engel sæt on ða swiðran healfe ðære byrgene. Seo swiðre hand getacnað þæt ece líf, and seo wynstre ðis andwearde líf. Rihtlice sæt se engel on ða swiðran hand, forðon þe he cydde þæt se Hælend hæfde ða oferfaren ða brosnunga ðises andweardan lifes, and wæs ða wunigende on ecum ðingum undeaðlic. Se bydel wæs ymbscryd mid scinendum reafe, forðan ðe he bodade þa blisse þisre freols-tíde, and ure mærða. Hwæðer cweðe we, ðe ure ðe ðæra engla? We cweðað soðlice, ægðer ge ure ge heora. Þæs Hælendes ærist is ure freols-tíd and bliss, forðan ðe he gelædde us mid his æriste to ðære undeadlicnysse þe we to gesceapene wæron. His ærist wæs þæra engla bliss, forðon ðe God gefylð heora getel, þonne he ús to heofonum gebrincð. My dearest brothers, ye have heard that the holy women, who followed the Lord in life, came with precious ointment to his sepulchre, and him whom they had loved in life they would when dead serve with human devotion. But this deed betokens something to be done in God's church. We who believe in the resurrection of Christ come assuredly to his sepulchre with precious ointment, if we are filled with the breath of holy virtues, and if we with the fame of good works seek our Lord. The women who brought the ointment saw angels; for they see the heavenly angels, who with the breath of good works yearn after the upward journey. The angel rolled the lid from the tomb; not that he would make way for Christ's departure, but he would manifest to men that he was risen. He who came mortal to this world, born of the closed womb of the virgin, he, without doubt, might, when he arose immortal, though in a closed tomb, depart from the world. The angel sat on the right side of the sepulchre. The right hand betokens the eternal life, and the left this present life. Rightly sat the angel on the right hand, for he manifested that Jesus had surmounted the corruptions of this present life, and was then dwelling immortal in eternity. The messenger was clad in a shining garment, because he announced the happiness of this festival-tide, and our glories. But we ask, ours or the angels? We say verily, both ours and theirs. The resurrection of Jesus is our festival-tide, for by his resurrection he led us to the immortality for which we were created. His resurrection was bliss to the angels, because God fills up their number when he brings us to heaven.
Se engel gehyrte ða wíf, þus cweðende, "Ne beo ge afyrhte:" swilce he swa cwæde, Forhtian ða ðe ne lufiað engla to-cyme; beon ða ofdrædde þa þe sint ofsette mid flæsclicum lustum, and nabbað nænne hiht to engla werode. Hwi forhtige ge, ge ðe geseoð eowre geferan? "His wlite wæs swilce líget, and his reaf swa hwít swa snáw." Soðlice on lígette is óga, and on snáwe liðnys þære beorhtnysse. Rihtlice wæs se bydel Cristes æristes swa gehíwod; forðan þonne he sylf cymð to ðam micclan dome, þonne bið he swiðe egeful ðam synfullum, and swiðe liðe þam rihtwisum. He cwæð, "Ge secað þone Hælend: hé arás: nis hé her." He næs ða lichamlice on ðære byrgene, seðe æghwær bið þurh his godcundan mihte. Þær lǽig þæt reaf bæftan þe he mid bewunden wæs, forðon ðe hé ne rohte þæs eorðlican reafes, syððan he of deaðe arás. Þeah man deadne mannan mid reafe bewinde, ne arist þæt reaf na ðe hraðor eft mid þam men, ac he bið mid þam heofenlicum reafe gescryd æfter his æriste. The angel cheered the women, thus saying, "Be ye not afraid:" as if he had said thus, Let those fear who love not the advent of angels; let those be terrified who are beset with fleshly lusts, and have no joy in the host of angels. Why fear ye, ye who see your companions? "His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment as white as snow." Verily in lightning is terror, and in snow the mildness of brightness. Rightly was the messenger of Christ's resurrection so figured; for when he himself shall come to the great doom, he will be very awful to the sinful, and very mild to the righteous. He said, "Ye seek Jesus: he is risen: he is not here." He was not then bodily in the sepulchre, who is everywhere through his divine power. There lay the garment behind in which he had been wrapt, for he recked not of an earthly garment, after he had arisen from death. Though a dead man be wrapt in a garment, that garment does not the sooner rise again with the man, but he will be clad with the heavenly garment after his resurrection.
Wel is gecweden be ðam Hælende, þæt he wolde cuman togeanes his geferon on Galilea. Galilea is gecweden 'Oferfæreld.' Se Hælend wæs ða afaren fram ðrowunge to ǽriste, fram deaðe to life, fram wite to wuldre. And gif we farað fram leahtrum to halgum mægnum, þonne mote we geseon ðone Hælend æfter urum færelde of ðisum life. Twa líf sind soðlice: þæt án we cunnon, þæt oðer us wæs uncuð ær Cristes to-cyme. Þæt án líf is deadlic, þæt oðer undeadlic. Ac se Hælend com and underfeng þæt án líf, and geswutelode þæt oðer. Þæt án líf he æteowde mid his deaðe, and þæt oðer mid his æriste. Gif he us deadlicum mannum ærist and þæt ece líf behete, and þeah-hwæðere nolde hit þurh hine sylfne geswutelian, hwa wolde þonne his behatum gelyfan? Ac ðaða he man beon wolde, ða gemedemode hé hine sylfne eac to deaðe agenes willan, and he arás of deaðe þurh his godcundan mihte, and geswutelode þurh hine sylfne þæt þæt he us behét. It is well said of Jesus, that he would meet his companions in Galilee. Galilee is interpreted, Passing over. Jesus passed over from passion to resurrection, from death to life, from torment to glory. And if we pass from sins to holy virtues, then may we see Jesus after our passage from this life. For there are two lives: the one we know, the other was unknown to us before Christ's advent. The one life is mortal, the other immortal. But Jesus came and assumed the one life, and made manifest the other. The one life he manifested by his death, and the other by his resurrection. If he to us mortal men had promised resurrection and life eternal, and yet had not been willing to manifest them in himself, who would have believed in his promises? But when he would become man, then he also voluntarily humbled himself to death, and he arose from death through his divine power, and manifested in himself that which he had promised to us.
Nu cwyð sum man on his geðance, 'Eaðe mihte he arisan of deaðe, forðan ðe he is God: ne mihte se deað hine gehæftan.' Gehyre se mann þe þis smeað andsware his smeagunge. Crist forðferde ana on ðam timan, ac he ne arás na ana of deaðe, ac arás mid micclum werede. Se godspellere Matheus awrát on Cristes béc, þæt manega halige menn, ðe wæron on ðære ealdan ǽ forðfarene, þæt hí arison mid Criste; and þæt sædon gehwilce wíse láreowas, þæt hi habbað gefremod heora ærist to ðam ecan lífe, swa swa we ealle dón sceolon on ende þisre worulde. Þa láreowas cwædon, þæt ða aræredan menn næron soðlice gewitan Cristes æristes, gif hí næron ecelice arærde. Nu sind adwæscede ealle geleaflystu, þæt nan man ne sceal ortruwian be his agenum æriste, þonne se godspellere awrát þæt fela arison mid Criste, ðe wæron anfealde men, ðeah ðe Crist God sy. Now will some man say in his thoughts, 'Easily might he arise from death, because he is God: death could not hold him captive.' Let the man who imagines this hear an answer to his imagination. Christ departed at that time alone, but he arose not from death alone, but arose with a great host. The evangelist Matthew wrote in the book of Christ, that many holy men, who had died in the old law, arose with Christ; and all wise doctors have said that they have effected their resurrection to eternal life, as we all shall do at the end of this world. Those doctors said, that the raised men would not truly have been witnesses of Christ's resurrection, if they had not been raised for ever. Now are extinguished all infidelities, so that no man may despair of his own resurrection, when the evangelist wrote that many arose with Christ, who were simple men, although Christ be God.
Nu cwæð Gregorius se trahtnere, þæt him come to gemynde, hu ða Iudeiscan clypodon be Criste, þaða he wæs on ðære rode gefæstnod. Hí cwædon, "Gif he sy Israhela cyning, þonne astige he nu of ðære rode, and we gelyfað on hine." Gif he ða of ðære rode astige, and nolde heora hosp forberan, þonne, butan tweon, ne sealde he us nane bysne his geðyldes: ac he abád hwon, and forbær heora hosp, and hæfde geðyld. Ac se ðe nolde of ðære rode abrecan, se arás of ðære byrgene. Mare wundor wæs, þæt hé of deaðe arás, þonne he cucu of ðære rode abræce. Mare miht wæs, þæt he ðone deað mid his æriste tobræc, þonne he his líf geheolde, of ðære rode astigende. Ac ðaða hí gesawon þæt he ne astah of ðære rode for heora hospum, ac ðæron deaðes gebád, þa gelyfdon hí þæt he oferswiðed wære, and his nama adwæsced: ac hit gelamp swa, þæt of ðam deaðe asprang his nama geond ealne middangeard. Þa wearð hyra bliss awend to ðam mæstan sare; forðan ðe heora sorh bið endeleas. Now said the expounder Gregory, that it came to his mind, how the Jews cried out concerning Christ, when he was fastened on the cross. They said, "If he be the king of Israel, then let him now descend from the cross, and we will believe in him." If he had then descended from the cross, and would not have borne their mockery, he had certainly not given us any example of his patience: but he remained a while, and bare their mockery, and had patience. But he who would not break from the cross, arose from the sepulchre. A greater miracle it was, that he arose from death, than that he living should have broken from the cross. A greater miracle it was, that he brake death in pieces, through his resurrection, than that he should have preserved his life by descending from the cross. But when they saw that he descended not from the cross, for their mockery, but thereon awaited death, they believed that he was vanquished and his name extinguished: but it so fell out, that from death his name sprang forth over the whole earth. Then was their joy turned to the greatest pain; for their sorrow shall be endless.
Þas ðing getacnode se stranga Samson, se hæfde fæhðe to ðam folce ðe is gehaten Philistei. Ða getimode hit þæt he becom to heora byrig þe wæs Gaza gehaten: þa wæron ða Philistei swiðe bliðe, and ymbsæton ða burh. Ac se stranga Samson arás on midre nihte, and gelæhte ða burh-geatu, and abær hi uppon ane dune, to bismere his gefaan. Se stranga Samson getacnode Crist, seo burh Gaza getacnode helle, and ða Philistei hæfdon Iudeisces folces getacnunge, þe besæton Cristes byrgene. Ac se Samson nolde gan ydel of ðære byrig, ac he abær ða gatu up to ðære dune; forðon þe ure Hælend Crist tobræc helle-gatu, and generode Adam, and Euan, and his gecorenan of heora cynne, and freolice of deaðe arás, and hí samod, and astah to heofonum. Þa mánfullan he lét bæftan to ðam ecum witum. And is nu helle-geat belocen rihtwisum mannum, and æfre open unrihtwisum. The strong Samson betokened these things, who had enmity to the people called Philistines. Then it befell that he came to their city which was called Gaza: whereupon the Philistines were very joyful, and surrounded the city. But the strong Samson arose at midnight, and took the city gates, and bare them up on a hill, in derision of his foes. The strong Samson betokened Christ, the city of Gaza betokened hell, and the Philistines were a token of the Jewish people, who beset the sepulchre of Christ. But Samson would not go empty-handed from the city, but he bare the gates up to the hill; for our Saviour Christ brake the gates of hell, and delivered Adam, and Eve, and his chosen of their kin, and joyfully from death arose, and they with him, and ascended to heaven. The wicked he left behind to eternal torments. And now is the gate of hell shut to righteous men, and ever open to the unrighteous.
Ungesælig wæs þæt Iudeisce folc, þæt hí swa ungeleaffulle wæron. Ealle gesceafta oncneowon heora Scyppend, buton ðam Iudeiscum anum. Heofonas oncneowon Cristes acennednysse; forðan ðaða hé acenned wæs, þa wearð gesewen níwe steorra. Sǽ oncneow Crist, ðaða hé eode mid drium fotum uppon hire yðum. Eorðe oncneow, þaþa heo eal bifode on Cristes æriste. Seo sunne oncneow, þaþa heo wearð aðystrod on Cristes ðrowunge fram mid-dæge oð nón. Stanas oncneowon, þaþa hí toburston on heora Scyppendes forðsiðe. Hell oncneow Crist, ðaða heo forlét hyre hæftlingas út, þurh ðæs Hælendes hergunge. And ða heardheortan Iudei ðeah þurh ealle ða tacna noldon gebugan mid geleafan to ðam mildheortan Hælende, seðe wile eallum mannum gehelpan on hine gelyfendum. Ac uton we gelyfan þæt God Fæder wæs æfre butan anginne, and æfre wæs se Sunu of ðam Fæder acenned; forðan ðe he is se Wisdom and Miht ðe se Fæder ealle gesceafta þurh gesceop; and hí ealle wurdon gelíffæste þurh ðone Halgan Gast, seðe is Willa and Lufu þæs Fæder and þæs Suna; hí ðry án God untodæledlic, on ánre godcundnysse wunigende, hí ealle gelíce mihtige; forðan swa hwæt swa læsse bið and unmihtigre, þæt ne bið na God. Ac se Fæder sende ðone Sunu to ure alysednysse, and he ána underfeng ða menniscnysse, and þrowode deað be his agenum willan, and arás of deaðe on ðisum dæge, and astah to heofonum on ðam feowertigeðan dæge his æristes, ætforan manegra manna gesihðe, and rixað mid þam Ælmihtigan Fæder and ðam Halgum Gaste, nú and á on ecnysse. Amen. Unhappy was the Jewish people, that they were so unbelieving. All creatures acknowledged their Creator, save only the Jews. Heaven acknowledged the birth of Christ; for when he was born a new star was seen. The sea acknowledged Christ, when he went with dry feet on its waves. Earth acknowledged him, when it all trembled at Christ's resurrection. The sun acknowledged him, when it was darkened at Christ's passion from mid-day to the ninth hour. The stones acknowledged him, when they burst asunder at their Creator's departure. Hell acknowledged Christ, when it let forth its captives, through the harrowing of Jesus. And yet the hardhearted Jews, through all these signs, would not incline with faith to the merciful Jesus, who will help all men who believe in him. But let us believe that God the Father was ever without beginning, and that the Son was ever begotten of the Father; for he is the Wisdom and Power through which the Father hath created all creatures; and they were all quickened by the Holy Ghost who is the Will and Love of the Father and of the Son; these three one God indivisible, existing in one Godhead, all equally powerful; for whatsoever is less and less powerful, that is not God. But the Father sent the Son for our redemption, and he alone assumed human nature, and suffered death of his own will, and arose from death on this day, and ascended to heaven on the fortieth day after his resurrection, before the sight of many men, and ruleth with the Almighty Father and the Holy Ghost, now and ever to eternity. Amen.