The Homilies of the Anglo-Saxon Church/XVIII

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IN LETANIA MAIORE.

ON THE GREATER LITANY.

Ðas dagas synd gehatene Letaniae, þæt sint, Gebed-dagas. On ðisum dagum we sceolon gebiddan ure eorðlicra wæstma genihtsumnysse, and us sylfum gesundfulnysse and sibbe, and, þæt gýt mare is, ure synna forgyfenysse. These days are called Litaniæ, that is, Prayer-days. On these days we should pray for abundance of our earthly fruits, and health for ourselves, and peace, and, what is yet more, forgiveness of our sins.
We rædað on bócum, þæt ðeos gehealdsumnys wurde arǽred on ðone timan ðe gelámp on anre byrig, ðe Uigenna is gecweden, micel eorð-styrung, and feollon cyrcan and hús, and comon wilde beran and wulfas, and abíton ðæs folces micelne dǽl, and þæs cynges botl wearð mid heofonlicum fyre forbærned. Þa bead se biscop Mamertus ðreora daga fæsten, and seo gedreccednys ða geswac; and se gewuna ðæs fæstenes ðurhwunað gehwær on geleaffulre gelaðunge. We read in books, that this observance was established at the time when there happened in a city, which is called Vienna, a great earthquake, and churches and houses fell, and there came wild bears and wolves, and devoured a large portion of the people, and the king's palace was burnt with heavenly fire. Then the bishop Mamertus commanded a fast of three days, and the affliction ceased; and the custom of the fast continues everywhere in the faithful church.
Hí namon þa bysne ðæs fæstenys æt ðam Niniueiscan folce. Þæt folc wæs swiðe fyrenful: þa wolde God hí fordón, ac hí gegladodon hine mid heora behreowsunge. God spræc to anum wítegan, se wæs Ionas geháten, "Far to ðære byrig Niniuen, and boda ðær ða word þe ic þe secge. Þa wearð se wítega afyrht, and wolde forfleon Godes gesihðe, ac hé ne mihte. Ferde ða to sǽ, and stah on scip. Ðaða þa scypmen comon ut on sǽ, þa sende him God to micelne wind and hreohnysse, swa þæt hí wæron órwene heora lífes. Hi ða wurpon heora waru oforbord, and se wítega læg and slép. Hi wurpon ða tán betweox him, and bædon þæt God sceolde geswutulian hwanon him þæt ungelimp become. Þa com ðæs wítegan tá upp. Hi axodon hine, Hwæt hé wære, oððe hú hé faran wolde? He cwæð, þæt hé wære Godes ðeow, seðe gesceop sǽ and lánd, and þæt hé fleon wolde of Godes gesihðe. Hí cwædon, Hú do we ymbe ðe? Hé andwyrde, Weorpað me oforbord, þonne geswicð þeos gedreccednys. Hí ða swa dydon, and seo hreohnys wearð gestilled, and hí offrodon Gode heora lác, and tugon forð." They took the example of the fast from the people of Nineveh. That people was very sinful: then would God destroy them, but they appeased him with their penitence. God spake to a prophet who was called Jonah, "Go to the city of Nineveh, and announce there the words which I say to thee. Then was the prophet afraid, and would flee from God's presence, but he could not. He went to the sea, and entered a ship. When the shipmen came out to sea, God sent to them a great wind and tempest, so that they were hopeless of their lives. They therefore cast their wares overboard, and the prophet lay and slept. They then cast lots among them, and prayed that God would manifest to them whence that affliction came upon them. Then the prophet's lot came up. They asked him who he was, or how he would go? He said that he was a servant of God, who created sea and land, and that he would flee from God's presence. They said, How shall we do regarding thee? He answered, Cast me overboard, then will this affliction cease. They then did so, and the tempest was stilled, and they offered their gifts to God, and went on their course."
God ða gegearcode ænne hwǽl, and hé forswealh þone wítegan, and abǽr hine to ðam lande þe he tó sceolde, and hine ðær út-aspáw. Þa com eft Godes wórd to ðam wítegan, and cwæð, "Arís nu, and ga to ðære mycelan byrig Niniuén, and boda swa swa ic ðe ær sæde." He ferde, and bodode, þæt him wæs Godes grama ónsigende, gif hí to Gode bugan noldon. Ða arás se cyning of his cynesetle, and awearp his deorwyrðe reaf, and dyde hæran to his lice, and axan uppan his heafod, and bead þæt ælc man swa dón sceolde; and ægðer ge men ge ða sucendan cild and eac ða nytenu ne onbyrigdon nanes ðinges binnan ðrim dagum. Þa, ðurh þa gecyrrednysse, þæt hí yfeles geswicon, and ðurh þæt strange fæsten, him gemildsode God, and nolde hi fordón, swa swa he ǽr þa twa burhwara Sodomam and Gomorram, for heora leahtrum, mid heofonlicum fyre forbærnde. God then prepared a whale, and it swallowed up the prophet, and bare him to the land to which he should go, and there vomited him out. Then again came the word of God to the prophet, and said, "Arise now, and go to the great city Nineveh, and preach as I before said to thee." He went and preached, that God's anger was about to descend on them, if they would not incline to God. Then, the king arose from his throne, and cast off his precious robes, and put sackcloth on his body, and ashes upon his head, and commanded that every man should so do; and that both men and sucking children and also the cattle should not taste of anything within three days. Then through that conversion, that they desisted from evil, and through that strict fast, God had mercy on them, and would not destroy them, as he had before, for their crimes, burnt the inhabitants of the two cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, with heavenly fire.
We sceolon eac on ðissum dagum begán ure gebedu, and fyligan urum haligdome ut and inn, and ðone Ælmihtigan God mid geornfulnysse herian. We wyllað nu þis godspel eow gereccan, þe her nu geræd wæs: "Quis uestrum habebit amicum:" et reliqua. "Se Hælend cwæð to his leorning-cnihtum, Hwilc eower is þe hæfð sumne freond, and gæð him to on middere nihte, and cwyð": et reliqua. We also on these days should offer up our prayers, and follow our relics out and in, and with fervour praise Almighty God. We will now expound to you this gospel which has just been read: "Quis vestrum habebit amicum": et reliqua. "Jesus said to his disciples, Which of you who hath a friend, and goeth to him at midnight, and saith," etc.
Se halga Augustinus trahtnode þis godspel, and cwæð, þæt seo niht getacnode þa nytennysse þisre worulde. Þeos woruld is afylled mid nytennysse. Nu sceal forði gehwá arisan of ðære nytennysse, and gan to his frynd, þæt is, þæt he sceal gebugan to Criste mid ealre geornfulnysse, and biddan þæra ðreora hlafa, þæt is, geleafan þære Halgan Ðrynnysse. Se Ælmihtiga Fæder is God, and his Sunu is Ælmihtig God, and se Halga Gast is Ælmihtig God; na ðry Godas, ac hí ealle án Ælmihtig God untodæledlic. Þonne ðu becymst to ðisum ðrym hlafum, þæt is, to andgite ðære Halgan Ðrynnysse, þonne hæfst ðu on ðam geleafan líf and fódan ðinre sawle, and miht oðerne cuman eac mid ðam fedan, þæt is, ðu miht tæcan ðone geleafan oðrum frynd þe þe ðæs bitt. He cwæð, 'cuma,' forðan ðe we ealle sind cuman on ðisum life, and ure eard nis na her; ac we sind her swilce wegferende menn; án cymð, oðer færð; se bið acenned, se oðer forðfærð and rymð him setl. Nu sceal gehwá forði gewilnian þæs geleafan þære Halgan Ðrynnysse, forðan ðe se geleafa hine gebrincð to ðam ecan life. Saint Augustine expounded this gospel, and said, that the night betokened the ignorance of this world. This world is filled with ignorance. Now therefore should everyone arise from that ignorance, and go to his friend, that is, he should incline to Christ with all fervour, and pray for the three loaves, that is, belief in the Holy Trinity. The Almighty Father is God, and his Son is Almighty God, and the Holy Ghost is Almighty God; not three Gods, but they all one Almighty God indivisible. When thou comest to those three loaves, that is, to an understanding of the Holy Trinity, then hast thou, in that belief, life and food for thy soul, and mayest therewith feed another stranger also, that is, thou mayest teach the faith to another friend who shall ask it of thee. He said a 'stranger,' because we are all strangers in this life, and our country is not here; but we are here as wayfaring men; one comes, another goes; this is born, the other departs and yields up his seat to him. Now therefore should everyone desire faith in the Holy Trinity, for that faith will bring him to everlasting life.
We wyllað eft embe ðone geleafan swiðor sprecan, forðan ðe ðises godspelles traht hæfð gódne tige. Se hiredes ealdor, þe wæs on his reste gebroht mid his cildum, is Crist, þe sitt on heofonum mid his apostolum, and mid martyrum, and mid eallum þam halgum, þe he on ðisum life gefette. We sceolon clypigan to Criste, and biddan ðæra ðreora hlafa. Þeah hé ús þærrihte ne getiðige, ne sceole we forði þære bene geswican. He elcað, and wyle hwæðere forgyfan. Þi hé elcað, þæt we sceolon beon oflyste, and deorwyrðlice healdan Godes gife. Swa hwæt swa man eaðelice begyt, þæt ne bið na swa deorwyrðe swa þæt þæt earfoðlice bið begyten. Se Hælend cwæð, "Gif he ðurhwunað cnucigende, þonne arist se hiredes ealdor, for ðæs oðres onhrope, and him getiðað þæs ðe he bitt, na for freondrædene, ac for his unstilnysse." Þi he cwæð, "Na for freondrædene," forðan ðe nán man nære wyrðe ne þæs geleafan ne ðæs ecan lifes, gif Godes mildheortnys nære ðe mare ofer manncynne. Nu sceole we cnucian, and hryman to Criste, forðan ðe hé wile us tiðian, swa swa he sylf cwæð, "Biddað, and eow bið forgifen; secað, and ge gemetað; cnuciað, and eow bið geopenod." Ælc ðæra ðe geornlice bitt, and þære bene ne geswicð, þam getiðað God þæs ecan lifes. We will again speak more concerning faith, because the exposition of this gospel has a good deduction. The master of the family, who was gone to rest with his children, is Christ, who sits in heaven with his apostles, and with martyrs, and with all the saints whom he fetched in this life. We should call to Christ, and pray for the three loaves. Though he do not forthwith grant them to us, we should not on that account desist from prayer. He delays, and yet will give. He delays, that we may be desirous, and dearly hold the grace of God. Whatsoever a man gets easily is not so precious as that which is gotten with difficulty. Jesus said, "If he continue knocking, the master of the family will arise, because of the other's importunity, and grant him what he asks, not for friendship, but for his clamour." He said, "Not for friendship," because no man were worthy either of that faith, or of eternal life, if God's mercy were not the greater towards mankind. We should knock, and call to Christ, because he will give to us, as he himself said, "Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you." To everyone who fervently asks, and ceases not from prayer, God will grant everlasting life.
He cwæð þa oðer bigspel. "Hwilc fæder wile syllan his cilde stán, gif hit hine hlafes bitt? oþþe næddran, gif hit fisces bitt? oððe þone wyrm ðrowend, gif hit æges bitt?" God is ure Fæder þurh his mildheortnysse, and se fisc getacnað geleafan, and þæt æig ðone halgan hiht, se hláf ða soðan lufe. Þas ðreo ðing forgifð God his gecorenum; forðan ðe nan man ne mæg habban Godes rice, butan he hæbbe ðas ðreo ðing. He sceal rihtlice gelyfan, and habban hiht to Gode, and soðe lufe to Gode and to mannum, gif he wile to Godes rice becuman. Se fisc getacnað geleafan, forðan ðe his gecynd is, swa hine swiðor ða yða wealcað, swa he strengra bið, and swiðor batað. Swa eac se geleaffulla man, swa he swiðor bið geswenct for his geleafan, swa se geleafa strengra bið, þær ðær hé æltæwe bið. Gif hé abryð on ðære ehtnysse, he ne bið þonne geleafa, ac bið híwung. Þæt æig getacnað hiht, forði ðe fugelas ne tymað swa swa oðre nytenu, ac ærest hit bið æig, and seo modor siððan mid hihte bret þæt æig to bridde. Swa eac ure hiht ne becom na gyt to ðam ðe he hopað, ac is swilce hé sy æig. Þonne he hæfð þæt him behaten is, he bið fugel. Hláf getacnað þa soðan lufe, seo is ealra mægna mæst, swa swa se hláf bið ealra metta fyrmest. Micel mægen is geleafa, and micel is se soða hiht; þeah-hwæðere seo lufu hi oferswið, forðan ðe heo bið á on ecnysse, and ða oðre twa geendiað. We gelyfað nu on God, and we hopiað to him: eft þonne we becumað to his ríce, swa swa he us behet, þonne bið se geleafa geendod, forðan ðe we geseoð þonne þæt we nu gelyfað. Ure hiht bið eac geendod, forðan ðe we beoð hæbbende ðæs ðe we ær hopedon; ac seo lufu ne ateorað næfre: nu is heo forði heora selest. He then said another parable. "What father will give his child a stone, if he ask for bread? or a serpent, if he ask for a fish? or a scorpion, if he ask for an egg?" God is our Father through his mercy, and the fish betokens faith, and the egg holy hope, the bread true love. These three things God gives to his chosen; for no man can have God's kingdom, unless he have these three things. He must rightly believe, and have hope in God, and true love to God and to men, if he will come to God's kingdom. The fish betokens faith, because its nature is, that the more it is tossed by the waves, the stronger it is, and the more vigorously it strikes. In like manner the believing man, the more he is afflicted for his faith, the stronger will be his faith, wherever it is sound. If it sink under persecution, it is then not faith, but is hypocrisy. The egg betokens hope, seeing that birds teem not like other animals, but first it is an egg, and the mother then with hope cherishes the egg to a young bird. In like manner our hope comes not yet to that which it hopes, but is, as it were, an egg. When it has that which is promised it, it is a bird. Bread betokens true love, which of all virtues is greatest, as bread is of all food the principal. Faith is a great virtue, and a great virtue is true hope; yet love excels them, forasmuch as it is ever to eternity, and the other two will end. We now believe in God, and we hope in him: but after we come to his kingdom, as he has promised us, then will faith be ended, for we shall then see what we now believe. Our hope will also be ended, because we shall be in possession of what we had previously hoped for; but love will never decay: therefore is it the most excellent of them.
Seo næddre is geset on ðam godspelle ongean ðone fisc. On næddran híwe beswác se deofol Adam; and æfre hé winð nu ongean urne geleafan: ac seo gescyldnys is æt urum Fæder gelang. Se wyrm ðrowend, þe is geset ongean þæt æig, is ættren, and slihð mid þam tægle to deaðe. Þa ðing ðe we geseoð on ðisum lífe, ða sind ateorigendlice; þa ðe we ne geseoð, and us sind behátene, hi sind éce: strece ðærto þinne hiht, and anbida oðþæt ðu hi hæbbe. Ne loca ðu underbæc; ondræd þe ðone ðrowend þe geǽttrað mid þam tægle. Se man locað underbæc, þe geortruwað Godes mildheortnysse; þonne bið his hiht geættrod mid þæs ðrowendes tægle. Ac we sceolon æigðer ge on earfoðnyssum, ge on gelimpe and on ungelimpe, cweðan, swa swa se witega cwæð, "Ic herige minne Drihten on ælcne tíman." Getimige ús tela on lichaman, getimige ús untela, symle we sceolon þæs Gode ðancian, and his naman bletsian; þonne bið ure hiht gehealden wið þæs wyrmes slege. The serpent is placed in the gospel in opposition to the fish. In a serpent's form the devil deceived Adam; and he is now ever striving against our faith: but our protection is in the hand of our Father. The scorpion, which is set in opposition to the egg, is venomous, and stings with its tail to death. Those things which we see in this life are perishable; those which we see not, and which are promised to us are eternal: stretch thereto thy hope, and wait until thou have them. Look not behind; dread the scorpion which envenoms with its tail. The man looks behind, who despairs of God's mercy; then is his hope envenomed by the scorpion's tail. But we should both in difficulties, and in chances and in mischances, say as the prophet said, "I will praise the Lord at every time." Betide us good in body, betide us evil, we ought ever to thank God, and bless his name; then will our hope be preserved from the scorpion's sting.
Stán is gesett ongean ðone hláf, forðan ðe heardmodnys is wiðerræde soðre lufe. Heardheort bið se mann, ðe nele þurh lufe oðrum fremigan, þær ðær hé mæg. Þæt godspel cwæð, "Gif ge cunnon, þa ðe yfele sind, syllan ða gódnysse eowrum bearnum, hu micele swiðor wile eower Heofonlica Fæder forgyfan gódne gast him biddendum." Hwæt sind ða gód þe men syllað heora cildum? Hwilwendlice gódnyssa, swylce swa þæt godspel hrepode, hláf, and fisc, and æig. Góde sind þas ðing be heora mæðe, forðan ðe se eorðlica lichama behofað þæs fodan. Nu ge, gleawe men, nellað syllan eowrum cildum næddran for fisce, nele eac ure Heofonlica Fæder us syllan þæs deofles geleaflæste, gif we hine biddað þæt he ús sylle soðne geleafan. And ðu nelt syllan ðinum bearne þrowend for ǽge, nele eac God us syllan orwenysse for hihte. And ðu nelt ðinum bearne syllan stán for hláfe, nele eac God us syllan heardheortnysse for soðre lufe. Ac se goda Heofonlica Fæder forgifð us geleafan, and hiht, and ða soðan lufe, and deð þæt we habbað gódne gast, þæt is, gódne willan. A stone is set in opposition to bread, because hardness of mind is contrary to true love. Hardhearted is the man who will not through love promote the welfare of others where he can. The gospel says, "If ye can, who are evil, give to your children what is good, how much more will your Heavenly Father give a good spirit to those asking him?" What are the good things that men give to their children? Transitory goods, such as the gospel touched on, bread, and fish, and an egg. These things are good in their degree, because the earthly body requires food. Now ye, prudent men, will not give your children a serpent for a fish, nor also will your Heavenly Father give us the devil's unbelief, if we pray to him to give us true faith. And thou wilt not give thy child a scorpion for an egg, nor also will God give us despair for hope. And thou wilt not give thy child a stone for bread, nor also will God give us hardheartedness for true love. But the good Heavenly Father will give us faith, and hope, and true love, and will cause us to have a good spirit, that is, good will.
Us is to smeagenne þæt word þe he cwæð, "Ge ðe sind yfele." Yfele we sind, ac we habbað gódne Fæder. We habbað gehyred urne naman, "Ge ðe synt yfele." Ac hwá is ure Fæder? Se Ælmihtiga God. And hwilcera manna Fæder is he? Swutelice hit is gesǽd, yfelra manna. And hwilc is se Fæder? Be ðam þe is gecweden, "Nis nan man gód butan Gode anum." Se ðe æfre is gód, he brincð us yfele to gódum mannum, gif we bugað fram yfele, and doð gód. Gód wæs se man gesceapen Adam, ac ðurh his agenne cyre, and deofles tihtinge, he wearð yfel, and eal his ofspring. Se ðe synful bið, he bið yfel, and nán man nis on lífe butan sumere synne. Ac ure góda Fæder us geclænsað and gehælð, swa swa se witega cwæð, "Drihten, gehæl me, and ic beo gehæled; geheald þu me, and ic beo gehealden." We have to consider the words which he said, "Ye who are evil." We are evil, but we have a good Father. We have heard our name, "Ye who are evil." But who is our Father? The Almighty God. And of what men is he the Father? It is manifestly said, of evil men. And of what kind is the Father? Of whom it is said, "No one is good save God only." He who ever is good will bring us who are evil to be good men, if we will eschew evil and do good. The man Adam was created good, but by his own election and the instigation of the devil, he and all his offspring became evil. He who is sinful is evil, and there is no man in life without some sin. But our good Father will cleanse and heal us, as the prophet said, "Lord, heal me, and I shall be healed; preserve thou me, and I shall be preserved."
Se ðe gód beon wile, clypige to ðam þe æfre is gód, þæt he hine gódne gewyrce. Se man hæfð gold, þæt is gód be his mæðe: he hæfð land and welan, þa sint góde. Ac ne bið se man gód þurh ðas ðing, butan he mid þam gód wyrce, swa swa se witega cwæð, "He aspende his ðing, and todælde ðearfum, and his rihtwisnys wunað á on worulde." He gewanode his feoh and geihte his rihtwisnysse. He gewanode þæt he forlætan sceal, and þæt bið geiht þæt þæt he habban sceal on ecnysse. Þu herast ðone mancgere ðe begytt gold mid leade, and nelt herigan ðone ðe begytt rihtwisnysse and heofonan rice mid brosnigendlicum feo. Se ríca and se ðearfa sind wegferende on ðisre worulde. Nu berð se ríca swære byrðene his gestreona, and se ðearfa gæð æmtig. Se ríca berð mare þonne he behófige to his formettum, se oðer berð æmtigne pusan. Forði sceal se ríca dælan his byrðene wið þone ðearfan, þonne wanað he ða byrðene his synna, and ðam þearfan gehelpð. Ealle we sind Godes þearfan; uton forði oncnawan þa ðearfan þe us biddað, þæt God oncnawe us, þonne we hine biddað ure neoda. Hwæt sind þa ðe us biddað? Earme men, and tiddre, and deadlice. Æt hwam biddað hí? Æt earmum mannum, and tiddrum, and deadlicum. Butan þam æhtum, gelice sind þa þe ðær biddað, and ðaðe hí ætbiddað. Hú mihtu for sceame æniges ðinges æt Gode biddan, gif ðu forwyrnst ðinum gelícan þæs ðe ðu foreaðelice him getiðian miht? Ac se ríca besihð on his pællenum gyrlum, and cwyð, 'Nis se loddere mid his tættecon mín gelíca.' Ac se apostol Paulus hine nebbað mid þisum wordum, "Ne brohte we nán ðing to ðisum middangearde, ne we nán ðing heonon mid ús lædan ne magon." Let him who desires to be good call to him who ever is good, that he make him good. A man has gold, that is good in its kind: he has land and riches, they are good. But the man is not good through these things, unless he do good with them, as the prophet said, "He distributed his wealth, and divided it among the poor, and his righteousness continueth for ever." He diminished his money, and increased his righteousness. He diminished that which he must leave, and that will be increased which he shall have to eternity. Thou praisest the merchant who gets gold for lead, and wilt not praise him who gets righteousness and the kingdom of heaven for perishable money. The rich and the poor are wayfarers in this world. The rich now bears the heavy burthen of his treasures, and the poor goes empty. The rich bears more provisions for his journey than he requires, the other bears an empty scrip. Therefore should the rich share his burthen with the poor; then will he lessen the burthen of his sins, and help the poor. We are all God's poor; let us therefore acknowledge the poor who ask of us, that God may acknowledge us, when we ask our needs of him. Who are those that ask of us? Men poor, and feeble, and mortal. Of whom ask they? Of men poor, and feeble, and mortal. Except the possessions, alike are those who ask and those of whom they ask. How canst thou for shame ask anything of God, if thou refuse to thy fellow that which thou canst most easily grant him? But the rich looks on his purple garments, and says, 'The wretch with his rags is not my fellow.' But the apostle Paul beards him with these words, "We brought nothing to this world, nor may we take with us anything hence."
Gif ríce wíf, and earm acennað togædere, gangon hí aweig; nast ðu hwæðer bið þæs rícan wífan cild, hwæðer þæs earman. Eft, gif man openað deaddra manna byrgynu, nast ðu hwæðer beoð þæs rícan mannes bán, hwæðer þæs ðearfan. Ac seo gytsung is ealra yfelra ðinga wyrtruma; and þa ðe fyligað þære gytsunge, hí dweliað fram Godes geleafan, and hi befeallað on mislice costnunga and derigendlice lustas, ðe hi besencað on forwyrd. Oðer is þæt hwá ríce beo, gif his yldran him æhta becwædon; oðer is, gif hwá þurh gytsunge ríce gewurðe. Þises mannes gytsung is gewreht wið God, na ðæs oðres æht, gif his heorte ne bið ontend mid þære gytsunge. Swilcum mannum bebead se apostol Paulus, "Bebeodað þam ricum þæt hí ne modigan, ne hí ne hópian on heora ungewissum welan; ac beon hí rice on godum weorcum, and syllan Godes ðearfum mid cystigum mode, and God him forgylt mid hundfealdum swa hwæt swa he deð þam earman for his lufon." If a rich woman, and a poor one bring forth together, let them go away; thou knowest not which is the rich woman's child, which the poor one's. Again, if we open the graves of dead men, thou knowest not which are the rich man's bones, which the poor one's. But covetousness is of all evil things the root, and those who follow covetousness swerve from God's faith, and fall into divers temptations, and pernicious lusts, which sink them into perdition. It is one thing, that a man be rich, if his parents have bequeathed him possessions; another thing, if any one become rich through covetousness. The covetousness of the latter is accused before God, not the other's wealth, if his heart be not inflamed with covetousness. For such men the apostle Paul enjoined, "Enjoin the rich that they be not proud, and that they hope not in their uncertain wealth; but let them be rich in good works, and give to God's poor with bountiful spirit, and God will requite them an hundredfold for whatsoever they do for the poor for love of him."
Se ríca and se þearfa sind him betwynan nyd-behefe. Se welega is geworht for ðan ðearfan, and se ðearfa for þan welegan. Þam spedigum gedafenað þæt he spende and dæle; ðam wædlan gedafenað þæt he gebidde for ðane dælere. Se earma is se weg þe læt us to Godes rice. Mare sylð se ðearfa þam rícan þonne he æt him nime. Se ríca him sylð þone hláf ðe bið to meoxe awend, and se ðearfa sylð þam rícan þæt éce líf: na hé swa-ðeah, ac Crist, seðe þus cwæð, "Þæt þæt ge doð anum ðearfan on mínum naman, þæt ge doð me sylfum," seðe leofað and rixað mid Fæder and mid Halgum Gaste á butan ende. Amen. The rich and the poor are needful to each other. The wealthy is made for the poor, and the poor for the wealthy. It is incumbent on the affluent, that he scatter and distribute; on the indigent it is incumbent, that he pray for the distributor. The poor is the way that leads us to the kingdom of God. The poor gives to the rich more than he receives from him. The rich gives him bread that will be turned to ordure, and the poor gives to the rich everlasting life: yet not he, but Christ, who thus said, "That which ye do for the poor in my name, that ye do for myself," who liveth and reigneth with the Father and the Holy Ghost ever without end. Amen.