The Homilies of the Anglo-Saxon Church/XXIII

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Homo quidam erat diues: et reliqua. Homo quidam erat dives: et reliqua.
Se Wealdenda Drihten sæde ðis bígspell his gingrum, þus cweðende, "Sum welig man wæs mid purpuran and godewebbe geglenged, and dæghwamlice mærlice leofode. Þa læg sum wædla at his geate, and his nama wæs Lazarus, se wæs lic-ðrowere:" et reliqua. The Sovereign Lord spake this parable to his disciples, thus saying, "There was a certain rich man adorned with purple and fine linen, and daily lived sumptuously. A certain poor man lay at his gate, and his name was Lazarus, who was a leper," etc.
Þis godspel is nu anfealdlice gesǽd. Se halga papa Gregorius us onwreah ða digelnysse ðisre rædinge. He cwæð, "Ne sæde þæt halige godspel þæt se ríca reafere wære, ac wæs uncystig and modegode on his welum." Be ðisum is to smeagenne, hu se beo gewitnod þe oðerne berypð, þonne se bið to helle fordemed se his agen nolde for Godes lufon syllan. Ðises mannes uncyst and up-ahefednys hine besencte on cwycsusle, forðan ðe he næfde nane mildheortnysse, þæt he mid his gestreone his agene sawle alysde. Nu wenað sume menn þæt nan pleoh ne sy on deorwurðum gyrlum; ac gif hit gylt nære, þonne ne geswutulode þæt halige godspel swa gewislice be ðam rican, þæt he wære mid purpuran and mid godewebbe geglencged. Ne cepð nan man deorwyrðra reafa buton for ydelum gylpe, soðlice þæt he sy toforan oðrum mannum þurh his glencge geteald. Drihten on oðre stowe herede Iohannem ðone Fulluhtere for ðære teartnysse his reafes, forðan ðe hé wæs mid olfendes hærum gescryd, wáclice and stiðlice. This gospel is now simply said. The holy pope Gregory has revealed to us the mystery of this text. He said, "The holy gospel did not express that the rich man was a robber, but that he was parsimonious, and exulted in his wealth." By this it is to be considered how he will be punished who bereaves another, when he is condemned to hell, who would not give his own for love of God. This man's parsimony and pride sank him into quick torment, because he had no compassion, so that with his treasure he might have redeemed his own soul. Now some men will imagine that there is no peril in precious garments, but if there were no sin, the holy gospel would not have so evidently manifested with respect to the rich man, that he was adorned with purple and with fine linen. No man heeds precious garments save for vain pride, verily that he may through his splendour be accounted before other men. The Lord in another place praised John the Baptist for the rudeness of his garment, because he was clothed with camel's hair, poorly and ruggedly.
Þaða se Hælend spræc be ðam rican, þa cwæð he, "Sum rice man wæs." Eft be ðam wædlan, "Sum ðearfa wæs geháten Lazarus." Cuð is eow þæt se rica bið namcuðre on his leode þonne se þearfa; þeah-hwæðere ne nemde se Hælend þone welegan, ac ðone wædlan; forðan ðe him is cuð þæra eadmodra manna naman ðurh gecorennysse, ac he ne cann ða modigan ðurh heora aworpennysse. Sume beladunge mihte se rica habban his uncyste, gif se reoflia wædla ne læge ætforan his gesihðe: eac wære ðam earman leohtre on mode, gif he ðæs rican mannes welan ne gesawe. Mislice angsumnyssa he forbær, ðaða he næfde ne bigleofan, ne hælðe, ne hætera, and geseah ðone rican halne and deorweorðlice geglencgedne brucan his estmettas. Genoh wære þam wædlan his untrumnys, þeah ðe he wiste hæfde; and eft him wære genoh his hafenleast, ðeah ðe he gesundful wære. Ac seo menigfealde earfoðnys wæs his sawle clænsung, and ðæs rican uncyst and up-ahefednys wæs his geniðerung; forðon ðe he geseah ðæs oðres yrmðe, and hine mid toðundenum mode forseah. Ac ðaða he wæs fram mannum forsewen, ða genealæhton ða hundas, and his wunda geliccedon. Hundes liccung gehælð wunda. When Jesus spake of the rich man he said, "There was a certain rich man." Again, of the poor man, "There was a certain poor man called Lazarus." It is known to you that a rich man is more known by name among his people than a poor one; nevertheless Jesus named not the wealthy man, but the needy one; because the names of humble men are known to him through election, but he knows not the proud through their rejection. Some excuse the rich man might have had for his parsimony, if the leprous beggar had not lain before his sight: the mind of the poor man would also have been easier, if he had not seen the rich man's wealth. Divers afflictions he endured, seeing that he had neither nourishment, nor health, nor garments, and saw the rich man, hale and sumptuously decorated, enjoying his luxuries. For the beggar his infirmity had been enough, though he had had food; and again, his indigence had been enough for him, although he had been healthful. But the manifold hardship was the cleansing of his soul, and the parsimony and pride of the rich man were his condemnation; because he saw the other's misery, and with inflated mind despised him. But when he was despised of men, the dogs approached, and licked his wounds. The licking of a dog heals wounds.
Þa gelamp hit þæt se wædla gewát, and englas ferodon his sawle to ðæs heahfæderes wununge Abrahámes; and ðæs rican gast æfter forðsiðe wearð on helle besenct; and he ða ðone wolde habban him to mundboran, þam ðe he nolde ǽr his cruman syllan. He bæd þa Abraham mid earmlicre stemne þæt Lazarus moste his tungan drypan; ac him næs getiðod ðære lytlan lisse, forðan ðe Lazarus ne moste ǽr on life hedan ðæra crumena his mysan. His tungan he mænde swiðost, forðan ðe hit is gewunelic þæt ða welegan on heora gebeorscipe begað derigendlice gafetunge; þa wæs seo tunge, ðurh rihtwisnysse edlean, teartlicor gewítnod for his gegafspræce. Se heahfæder Abraham him cwæð to, "Ðu, mín bearn, beo ðe gemyndig þæt ðu underfenge welan on ðinum life, and Lazarus yrmðe." Þes cwyde is swiðor to ondrædenne þonne to trahtnigenne. Ðam rican wæs forgolden mid ðam hwilwendlicum spedum, gif he hwæt to gode gefremode; and ðam ðearfan wæs forgolden mid ðære yrmðe, gif he hwæt to yfle gefremode. Þa underfeng se welega his gesælðe to edleane to sceortum brice, and þæs ðearfan hafenleast aclænsode his lytlan gyltas. Hine geswencte seo wædlung, and afeormode; þone oðerne gewelgode his genihtsumnys, and bepæhte. It then happened that the beggar died, and angels bare his soul to the dwelling of the patriarch Abraham; and the rich man's spirit after death was sunk into hell; and he then wished to have him for protector, to whom he would not before give his crumbs. He then bade Abraham with piteous voice, that Lazarus might moisten his tongue; but that little favour was not granted him, because Lazarus might not before in life gather the crumbs of his table. He particularly complained of his tongue, because it is usual that the wealthy in their feasting practise pernicious scoffing; therefore was his tongue, through righteous retribution, more harshly punished for his scoffing speech. The patriarch Abraham said to him, "My son, be thou mindful that thou receivedst riches in thy life, and Lazarus misery." This saying is rather to be feared than expounded. The rich man was requited with transitory prosperity, if he did aught of good; and the poor man was requited with misery, if he had perpetrated aught of evil. Then the wealthy man received his happiness in reward for short enjoyment, and the indigence of the needy one cleansed away his little sins. Poverty afflicted and purified him; his abundance enriched and deceived the other.
Ic bidde eow, men ða leofostan, ne forseo ge Godes ðearfan, ðeah ðe hi tallice hwæt gefremman; forðan ðe heora yrmð afeormað þæt þæt seo gehwæde oferflowendnys gewemð. Háwiað be gehwilcum, forðan ðe oft getimað yfelum teala for life. Se heahfæder cwæð to ðam welegan, "Betwux us and eow is gefæstnod micel ðrosm; þeah hwa wille fram ús to eow, he ne mæg; ne eac fram eow to ús." Mid micelre geornfulnysse gewilniað þa wiðercoran þæt hi moton of ðære susle ðe hi on cwylmiað, ac seo fæstnung ðære hellican clysinge ne geðafað þæt hi æfre ut-abrecon. Eac ða halgan beoð mid heora Scyppendes rihtwisnysse swa afyllede, þæt hi nateshwon ne besargiað ðæra wiðercorenra yrmðe; forðan ðe hi geseoð þa fordónan swa micclum fram him geælfremode, swa micclum swa hi beoð fram heora leofan Drihtne ascofene. I pray you, men most beloved, despise not God's poor, though they perpetrate anything reprehensible; because their misery cleanses that which a little superfluity corrupts. Observe each one, for good often befalls the evil for life. The patriarch said to the wealthy man, "Betwixt us and you is fixed a great vapour; though any-one will pass from us to you, he cannot; nor also from you to us." With great eagerness the wicked desire to pass from the torment in which they suffer, but the fastening of the hellish enclosure never allows them to break out. Also the holy are so filled with their Creator's righteousness, that they in no wise lament the misery of the wicked; because they see the fordone ones as greatly estranged from them, as they are thrust away from their beloved Lord.
Siððan se rica wearð orwene his agenre alysednysse, ða beárn him on mod his gebroðra gemynd; forðan ðe ðæra wiðercorenra wite tiht for wel oft heora mod unnytwurðlice to lufe, swilce hi þonne lufian heora siblingas, ðe ǽr on life ne hi sylfe ne heora magas ne lufedon. Ne lufað se hine sylfne seðe hine mid synnum bebint. He oncneow Lazarum, ðone ðe he ǽr forseah, and he gemunde his gebroðra, ða ðe he bæftan forlet; forðan ðe se ðearfa nære fullice gewrecen on ðam rican, gif he on his wite hine ne oncneowe; and eft nære his wite fulfremed on ðam fyre, buton he ða ylcan pinunga his siblingum gewende. When the rich man became hopeless of his own deliverance, the remembrance of his brothers entered into his mind; for the punishment of the wicked very often uselessly stimulates their minds to love, so that they then love their relatives, who before in life loved neither themselves nor their kinsmen. He loves not himself who binds himself with sins. He recognized Lazarus, whom he had before despised, and he remembered his brothers, whom he had left behind; for the needy one would not have been fully avenged on the rich, if he in his punishment had not recognized him; and again, his punishment would not have been complete in the fire, unless he had expected the same torments for his relatives.
Þa synfullan geseoð nu hwiltidum ða gecorenan on wuldre, ðe hi forsawon on worulde, þæt seo angsumnys heora modes ðe mare sy: and ða rihtwisan symle geseoð ða unrihtwisan on heora tintregum cwylmigende, þæt heora bliss ðe mare sy, and lufu to heora Drihtne, þe hi ahredde fram deofles anwealde, and fram ðam mánfullum heape. Ne astyrað þæra rihtwisra gesihð him nænne ógan, ne heora wuldor ne wanað; forðan ðe ðær ne bið nán besargung ðæra mánfulra yrmðe, ac heora tintrega becymð þam gecorenum to maran blisse, swa swa on metinge bið forsewen seo blace anlicnys, þæt seo hwite sy beorhtre gesewen. Þa gecorenan geseoð symle heora Scyppendes beorhtnysse, and forði nis nan ðing on gesceaftum him bediglod. The sinful will now sometimes see the chosen in glory, whom they in the world despised, that the affliction of their minds may be the greater: and the righteous will ever see the unrighteous suffering in their torments, that their bliss and love to their Lord may be the greater, who rescued them from the power of the devil, and from the wicked band. That spectacle will excite no terror to the righteous, nor will their glory wane; for there will be no sorrowing for the misery of the wicked, but their torments will turn to the greater bliss of the chosen, as in a picture a dark likeness is provided, that the white may appear the brighter. The chosen will constantly see their Creator's brightness, and therefore there is nothing in creation concealed from him.
Se welega nolde on life gehyran ðone lareow Moysen, ne Godes witegan: ða wende he eac þæt his gebroðra hí woldon forseon, swa swa he dyde, and gyrnde forði þæt Lazarus hí moste warnigan, þæt hí ne becomon to his susle. Se heahfæder him andwyrde, "Gif hi forseoð Moyses ǽ and ðæra witegena bodunga, nellað hí gelyfan, þeah hwá of deaðe arise." Þa ðe forgimeleasiað þa eaðelican beboda þære ealdan ǽ, hu willað hí ðonne gehyrsumian þam healicum bebodum Cristes lare, ðe of deaðe arás? The rich man would not in life hear the teacher Moses, or God's prophets: then he thought that his brothers would also despise them as he did, and desired therefore that Lazarus might warn them, so that they came not to his torment. The patriarch answered him, "If they despise the law of Moses and the preachings of the prophets, they will not believe, though one arose from death." Those who neglect the easy commandments of the old law, how will they obey the sublime commandments of Christ's doctrine, who arose from death?
Ic bidde eow, mine gebroðra, þæt ge beon gemyndige ðæs Lazares reste and ðæs rican wite, and doð swa swa Crist sylf tæhte, "Tiliað eow freonda on Godes ðearfum, þæt hí on eowrum geendungum onfon eow into ecum eardung-stowum." Manega Lazaras ge habbað nu licgende æt eowrum gatum, biddende eowre oferflowendnysse. Ðeah ðe hí syn wáclice geðuhte, þeah-hwæðere hí beoð eft eowre ðingeras wið ðone Ælmihtigan. Soðlice we sceoldon beodan þam ðearfum þæt hí us biddað, forðan ðe hí beoð ure mundboran, þa ðe nu wædligende æt us bigleofan wilniað. Ne sceole we forseon heora wácnysse, forðan ðe Criste bið geðenod þurh ðearfena anfenge, swa swa he sylf cwæð, "Me hingrode, and ge me gereordodon; me ðyrste, and ge me scencton; ic wæs nacod, and ge me scryddon." I pray you, my brethren, that ye be mindful of Lazarus's rest and of the rich man's punishment, and do as Christ himself taught, "Gain to yourselves friends among God's poor, that they at your end may receive you into eternal dwelling-places." Many Lazaruses ye have now lying at your gates, begging for your superfluity. Though they are esteemed as vile, they will, nevertheless, be hereafter your interceders with the Almighty. Verily we ought to enjoin the poor to pray for us, because they will be our protectors, who, now begging, desire sustenance of us. We should not despise their vileness, for Christ himself is served through reception of the poor, as he himself said, "I was hungry, and ye fed me; I was thirsty, and ye gave me to drink; I was naked, and ye clothed me."
Nu cweð se halga Gregorius, þæt sum arwurðe munuc wæs on ðam earde Licaonia, swiðe eawfæst, his nama wæs Martirius. Se ferde, be his abbudes hæse, to sumum oðrum mynstre, on his ærende: ða gemette he be wege sumne lic-ðrowere licgende eal tocínen, and nahte his feðes geweald: cwæð þæt he wolde genealæcan his hulce, gif he mihte. Þa ofhreow ðam munece þæs hreoflian mægenleast, and bewand hine mid his cæppan and bær to mynstreweard. Þa wearð his abbude geswutelod hwæne he bær, and hrymde mid micelre stemne, and cwæð, "Yrnað, yrnað, and undoð þæs mynstres geat ardlice, forðan ðe ure broðor Martyrius berð þone Hælend on his bæce." Þaða se munuc genealæhte ðæs mynstres geate, þa wánd se of his swuran þe wæs hreoflig geðuht, and wearð gesewen on Cristes gelicnysse. Ða beseah se munuc up, and beheold hu he to heofonum astah. Þa cwæð se Hælend mid ðam upstige, "Martíri, ne sceamode ðe mín ofer eorðan, ne me ne sceamað þin on heofonum." Þa efste se abbud wið þæs muneces, and neodlice cwæð, "Broðor min, hwær is se ðe ðu feredest?" He cwæð, "Gif ic wiste hwæt he wære, ic wolde licgan æt his fotum. Þaða ic hine bær ne gefredde ic nanre byrðene swærnysse." Hu mihte hé gefredan æniges hefes swærnysse, ðaða he ðone ferode ðe hine bær? Nu cweð se halga Gregorius, þæt se Hælend ða geseðde ðone cwyde þe he sylf cwæð, "Þæt þæt ge doð þearfum on minum naman, þæt ge doð me sylfum." Now says the holy Gregory, there was a reverend monk in the country of Lycaonia, very pious, his name was Martyrius. He went by order of his abbot to some other monastery, on his errand, when he found a leper lying by the way all chapped, and having no power of his feet: he said he wished to reach his hut, if he could. Then the monk was grieved for the helplessness of the leper, and he wrapt him in his cloak and bare him towards his monastery. Then it was disclosed to his abbot whom he was bearing, and he cried with a loud voice, and said, "Run, run, and undo the gate of the monastery quickly, for our brother Martyrius bears Jesus on his back." When the monk had reached the gate of the monastery, he who seemed a leper quitted his neck, and appeared in the likeness of Christ. The monk then looked up, and beheld how he ascended to heaven. Then said Jesus, while ascending, "Martyrius, thou wast not ashamed of me on earth, nor will I be ashamed of thee in heaven." Then the abbot hastened towards the monk, and eagerly said, "My brother, where is he whom thou didst carry?" He said, "If I had known who he was, I would have lain at his feet. When I bore him I felt no heaviness of any burthen." How could he feel the heaviness of any weight, when he carried one who bore him? Now says the holy Gregory, Jesus verified the saying which he himself said, "That which ye do for the poor in my name, that ye do for myself."
Hwæt is on menniscum gecynde swa mærlic swa Cristes menniscnys? and hwæt is atelicor geðuht on menniscum gecynde þonne is ðæs hreoflian líc, mid toðundennesse, and springum, and reocendum stence? Ac se ðe is arwurðful ofer ealle gesceafta, he gemedemode hine sylfne þæt he wære gesewen on ðam atelican híwe, to ði þæt we sceolon besargian menniscra manna yrmðe, and be ure mihte gefrefrian, for lufe ðæs mildheortan and ðæs eadmodan Hælendes; þæt he us getiðige wununge on his rice to ecum life, seðe us ahredde fram deofles hæftnydum; seðe rixað on ecnysse mid þam Ælmihtigan Fæder and þam Halgan Gaste, hi ðry on anre Godcundnysse wunigende, butan anginne and ende, á on worulde. Amen. What is there in human nature so glorious as the humanity of Christ, and what is esteemed more foul in human nature than the carcase of the leper, with tumours, and ulcers, and reeking stench? But he who is to be venerated above all creatures, vouchsafed to appear in that foul form, to the end that we might pity the misery of human beings, and according to our power comfort them, for love of the merciful and humble Jesus; that he may grant us a dwelling in his kingdom to eternal life, who rescued us from the devil's thraldom; who reigneth to eternity with the Almighty Father and the Holy Ghost, those three existing in one Godhead, without beginning and end, ever to eternity. Amen.