The Homilies of the Anglo-Saxon Church/XXXII
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IIII. KL. SEPT.
DECOLLATIO SCI IOHANNIS BAPTISTÆ.
THE DECOLLATION OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST.
|Misit Herodes et tenuit Iohannem: et reliqua.||Misit Herodes et tenuit Johannem: et reliqua.|
|Marcus se Godspellere awrát on Cristes béc be ðam mæran Fulluhtere Iohanne, þæt "se wælhreowa cyning Herodes hine gehæfte, and on cwearterne sette, for his broðor wife Herodiaden:" et reliqua.||Mark the Evangelist wrote in the book of Christ concerning the great Baptist John, that "the cruel king Herod bound him, and set him in prison, for the sake of his brother's wife Herodias," etc.|
|Þes Iohannes wæs se mærosta mann, swa swa Crist be him cyðnysse gecydde. He cwæð, "Betwux wifa bearnum ne arás nán mærra man þonne Iohannes se Fulluhtere." Nu hæbbe ge oft gehyred be his mæran drohtnunge and be his ðenunge, nu wylle we embe ðises godspelles trahtnunge sume swutelunge eow gereccan.||This John was the greatest man, as Christ bore witness concerning him. He said, "Among the children of women there hath not arisen any greater man than John the Baptist." Now ye have often heard of his great course and of his ministry, now we will relate to you some explanation touching the exposition of this gospel.|
|Þes Herodes, ðe Iohannem beheafdian hét, and on ðæs Hælendes ðrowunge Pilate ðam ealdormenn geðafode, and hine to his dome betæhte, wæs ðæs oðres Herodes sunu, ðe on ðam timan rixode ðe Crist geboren wæs; ac hit wæs swa gewunelic on ðam timan þæt rice menn sceopon heora bearnum naman be him sylfum, þæt hit wære geðuht þæs ðe mare gemynd þæs fæder, ðaða se sunu, his yrfenuma, wæs geciged þæs fæder naman. Se wælhreowa fæder Herodes læfde fif suna, þry he hét acwellan on his feorh-adle, ærðan ðe he gewite. Þa wearð he hreowlice and hrædlice dead æfter ðam ðe he ða cild acwealde for Cristes acennednysse. Þa feng Archelaus his sunu to rice. Ða embe tyn geara fyrst wearð hé ascofen of his cynesetle, forðan þe þæt Iudeisce folc wrehton his modignysse to ðam casere, and he ða hine on wræcsið asende. Þa dælde se casere þæt Iudeisce rice on feower, and sette ðærto feower gebroðra: ða sind gecwedene æfter Greciscum gereorde, tetrarche, þæt sind, fyðerrican. Fyðerrica bið se ðe hæfð feorðan dæl rices. Þa wæs án ðyssera gebroðra Philippus geháten, se gewifode on ðæs cyninges dehter Arethe, Arabiscre ðeode, seo hatte Herodias. Þa æfter sumum fyrste wurdon hí ungesome, Philippus and Arethe, and he genam ða dohtor of his aðumme, and forgeaf hí his breðer Herode; forðan ðe he wæs furðor on hlisan and on mihte. Herodes ða awearp his riht æwe, and forligerlice mánfulles sinscipes breac.||This Herod, who commanded John to be beheaded, and agreed with Pilate the ealdorman in the suffering of Jesus, and delivered him to his judgement, was the son of the other Herod, who reigned at the time when Christ was born; for it was usual at that time for rich men to give their children names after themselves, that it might seem the greater remembrance of the father, when the son, his heir, was called by his father's name. The cruel father, Herod, left five sons; three he commanded to be slain in his last illness, ere he departed. Then he died miserably and suddenly after he had slain the children on account of the birth of Christ; when Archelaus his son succeeded to the kingdom. Then after a space of ten years he was driven from his throne, because the Jewish people complained of his pride to the emperor, and he then sent him into exile. The emperor then divided the Jewish kingdom into four, and placed therein four brothers, who, according to the Greek tongue, are called 'tetrarchs,' that is, rulers over a fourth. A tetrarch is he who has a fourth part of a kingdom. One of these brothers was called Philip, who took to wife the daughter of the king Arethe, of an Arabian people, who was called Herodias. Then after some time they, Philip and Arethe, were at variance, and he took his daughter from his son-in-law, and gave her to his brother Herod; because he was greater in fame and in power. Herod then cast off his lawful wife, and adulterously lived in criminal union.|
|Þa on ðam timan bodade Iohannes se Fulluhtere Godes rihtwisnysse eallum Iudeiscum folce, and þreade ðone Herodem, for ðam fulan sinscipe. Aecclesiastica historia ita narrat: Þa geseah Herodes þæt eal seo Iudeisce meniu arn to Iohannes lare, and his mynegungum geornlice gehyrsumodon, þa wearð hé afyrht, and wende þæt hí woldon for Iohannes lare his cynedom forseon, and wolde ða forhradian, and gebrohte hine on cwearterne on anre byrig þe is gecweden Macherunta. Hwæt ða Iohannes asende of ðam cwearterne twegen leorning-cnihtas to Criste, and hine befrán, þus cweðende, "Eart ðu se ðe toweard is, oþþe we oðres andbidian sceolon?" Swilce hé cwæde, Geswutela me, gyf ðu sylf wylle nyðer-astigan to hellwarum for manna alysednysse, swa swa ðu woldest acenned beon for manna alysednysse; oððe gif ic sceole cyðan ðinne to-cyme hellwarum, swa swa ic middangearde þe toweardne bodade, geswutela. Hwæt ða se Hælend on ðære ylcan tide, swa swa Lucas se godspellere awrát, gehælde manega untruman fram mislicum coðum, and wodum mannum gewitt forgeaf, and blindum gesihðe; and cwæð syððan to Iohannes ærendracum, "Farað nu to Iohanne, and cyðað him þa ðing þe ge gesawon and gehyrdon. Efne nu blinde geseoð, and ða healtan gað, and hreoflige men synd geclænsode, deafe gehyrað, and ða deadan arisað, and ðearfan bodiað godspel; and se bið eadig þe on me ne bið geæswicod." Swylce hé cwæde to Iohanne, Þyllice wundra ic wyrce, ac swa-ðeah ic wylle deaðe sweltan for mancynnes alysednysse, and ðe sweltende æfterfyligan, and se bið gesælig þe mine wundra nu herað, gif he minne deað ne forsihð, and for ðam deaðe ne geortruwað þæt ic God eom. Þus onwreah se Hælend Iohanne þæt he wolde hine sylfne gemedemian to deaðe, and syððan hellwara geneosian.||Then at that time John the Baptist preached God's righteousness to all the Jewish people, and reproved Herod for that foul union. Ecclesiastica Historia ita narrat: When Herod saw that all the Jewish multitude ran to John's teaching, and zealously obeyed his admonitions, he was afraid, and imagined that through John's teaching they would despise his government, and would anticipate them, and brought him into prison in a town which is called Machæruntia. John sent then two disciples from the prison to Christ, and inquired of him, thus saying, "Art thou he who is to come, or are we to await another?" As though he had said, Manifest to me whether thou thyself wilt descend to the inmates of hell for the redemption of men, as I have preached to the world that thou wast to come,—manifest. Jesus then, at the same time as the evangelist Luke wrote, was healing many sick from divers diseases, and giving reason to insane men, and sight to the blind, and said then to John's messengers, "Go now to John, and make known to him the things which ye have seen and heard. Behold now blind see, and the halt go, and lepers are cleansed, deaf hear, and the dead arise, and poor preach the gospel; and he is happy who shall not be offended in me." As though he had said to John, Such wonders I work, and yet will I perish by death for the redemption of mankind, and follow thee dying, and happy shall he be who now praiseth my wonders, if he despise not my death, and on account of that death doubt not that I am God. Thus Jesus revealed to John that he himself would vouchsafe to die, and afterwards visit the inmates of hell.|
|Þa betwux ðisum gelamp þæt Herodes, swa we ǽr cwædon, his witan gefeormode on ðam dæge þe he geboren wæs; forðan ðe hi hæfdon on ðam timan micele blisse on heora gebyrd-tidum. Seo dohtor ða, swa swa we ǽr sædon, plegode mid hire mædenum on ðam gebeorscipe, him eallum to gecwemednysse, and se fæder ða mid aðe behét, þæt he wolde hire forgyfan swa hwæs swa heo gewilnode. Þreo arleasa scylda we gehyrdon,—ungesælige mærsunge his gebyrd-tide, and ða unstæððigan hleapunge þæs mædenes, and ðæs fæder dyrstigan aðsware. Þam ðrim ðingum us gedafenað þæt we wiðcweðon on urum ðeawum. We ne moton ure gebyrd-tide to nanum freols-dæge mid idelum mærsungum awendan, ne ure acennednysse on swilcum gemynde habban; ac we sceolon urne endenextan dæg mid behreowsunge and dǽdbote forhradian, swa swa hit awriten is, "On eallum ðingum beo ðu gemyndig þines endenextan dæges, and þu ne syngast on ecnysse." Ne ús ne gedafenað þæt we urne lichaman, ðe Gode is gehalgod on ðam halwendan fulluhte, mid unþæslicum plegan and higleaste gescyndan; forðan ðe ure lichaman sind Godes lima, swa swa Paulus cwæð, "And he bebead, þæt we sceolon gearcian ure lichaman líflice onsægednysse, and halige, and Gode andfenge." Se lichama bið líflic onsægednys ðe wið heafod-leahtras bið gescyld, and ðurh halige mægnu Gode bið andfenge and halig. God sylf forbyt ælcne að cristenum mannum, þus cweðende, "Ne swera ðu þurh heofenan, forðan ðe heo is Godes þrymsetl. Ne swera ðu þurh eorðan, forðan ðe heo is Godes fotsceamol. Ne swera þu ðurh ðin agen heafod, forðan ðe ðu ne miht wyrcan an hǽr þines feaxes hwít oððe blacc. Ic secge eow, Ne swerige ge þurh nan þing, ac beo eower spræc ðus geendod, Hit is swa ic secge, oþþe hit nis swa. Swa hwæt swa ðær mare bið þurh að, þæt bið of ðam yfelan."||Then meanwhile it befell that Herod, as we before said, feasted his councillors on the day on which he was born; for at that time they had great rejoicing on their birth-tides. The daughter then, as we before said, played with her maidens at the feast, to the pleasure of them all, and the father then promised on oath that he would give her whatsoever she desired. Of three impious sins we have heard,—the unholy celebration of his birth-tide, and the giddy dancing of the maiden, and the father's presumptuous oath. These three things it befitteth us to oppose in our conduct. We may not with vain celebrations turn our birth-tide to any holyday, nor have our birth in such remembrance; but we should anticipate our last day with penitence and penance, so as it is written, "In all things be thou mindful of thy last day, and thou wilt sin not to eternity." It is not fitting to us to pollute our body, which is hallowed to God in the salutary baptism, with indecent and foolish play; for our bodies are limbs of God, as St. Paul said, "And he enjoined, that we should prepare our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, and acceptable to God." The body is a living sacrifice which is shielded against deadly sins, and through holy virtues is acceptable to God and holy. God himself forbids every oath to christian men, thus saying, "Swear thou not by heaven, for it is God's throne. Swear thou not by earth, for it is God's footstool. Swear thou not by thine own head, for thou canst not make one hair of thy locks white or black. I say unto you, swear ye not by anything, but be your speech thus ended, It is as I say, or it is not so. Whatsoever there is more by oath, that is of evil."|
|Crist sylf gefæstnode his spræce, þaða hé spræc to anum Samaritaniscan wífe mid ðisum worde, "Crede mihi:" þæt is, "Gelyf me." Þeah-hwæðere gif we hwær unwærlice swerion, and se að ús geneadige to wyrsan dæde, þonne bið us rǽdlicor þæt we ðone maran gylt forbugon, and ðone að wið God gebétan. Witodlice Dauid swor þurh God þæt he wolde þone stuntan wer Nabal ofslean, and ealle his ðing adylegian; ac æt ðære forman þingunge þæs snoteran wifes Abigail, hé awende his swúrd into ðære sceaðe, and hérode ðæs wifes snoternysse, ðe him forwyrnde þone pleolican mannsliht. Herodes swór þurh stuntnysse þæt he wolde ðære hleapendan dehter forgyfan swa hwæt swa heo bæde: þa forðam ðe he nolde fram his gebeorum beon gecweden mánswara, ðone beorscipe mid blode gemencgde, and ðæs mæran witegan deað þære lyðran hoppystran hire glíges to mede forgeaf. Micele selre him wære þæt he ðone að tobræce, þonne he swylcne witegan acwellan hete.||Christ himself confirmed his speech, when he spake to a Samaritan woman with these words, "Crede mihi," that is, "Believe me." Yet if we anywhere heedlessly swear, and the oath compel us to a worse deed, then will it be more advisable for us to avoid the greater guilt, and atone to God for the oath. David, for example, swore by God that he would slay the foolish man Nabal, and destroy all his things; but at the first intercession of the prudent woman Abigail, he returned his sword into the sheath, and praised the woman's prudence, who forbade him that perilous murder. Herod through folly swore that he would give the dancing daughter whatsoever she might ask: then, because he would not be called a perjurer by his guests, he stained the feast with blood, and gave the death of the great prophet to the lewd dancer in reward of her play. Much better for him had it been to have broken the oath, than to have commanded such a prophet to be slain.|
|On eallum ðingum we sceolon carfullice hógian, gif we awar, þurh deofles syrwunge, on twam frecednyssum samod befeallað, þæt we symle ðone maran gylt forfleon þurh útfære þæs læssan, swa swa deð se ðe his feondum ofer sumne weall ætfleon wile, ðonne cepð hé hwær se weall unhehst sy, and ðær oferscyt. Witodlice Herodes, ðaðe he nolde, þurh Iohannes mynegunge, þone unclænan sinscipe awendan, ða wearð hé to manslihte befeallen; and wæs seo læsse synn intinga þære maran, þæt he for his fulan forlígre, ðe he georne wiste þæt Gode andsæte wæs, ðæs wítegan blod ageat, þe he wiste þæt Gode gecweme wæs. Þis is se cwyde þæs godcundlican domes, be ðam þe is gecweden, "Se ðe derað, derige he gyt swyðor; and se ðe on fulnyssum wunað, befyle hine gyt swyðor." Þes cwyde gelamp þam wælhreowan Herode. Nu is oðer cwyde be gódum mannum sceortlice gecweden, "Se ðe halig is, beo he gyt swyðor gehalgod." Þis gelamp þam Fulluhtere Iohanne, se ðe wæs halig þurh menigfealde geearnunga; and he wæs gyt swyðor gehalgod, ðaða he ðurh soðfæstnysse bodunge becom to sigefæstum martyrdome.||In all things we should carefully consider, if we anywhere, through the devil's machinations, fall at once into two perils, that we always flee from the greater guilt by the outlet of the less, as he does who will flee from his foes over a wall, then observes he where the wall is lowest, and there darts over. But Herod, when he would not, through John's remonstrance, turn from the unclean connexion, fell into murder, and the smaller sin was the cause of the greater, so that he for his foul adultery, which he well knew was hateful to God, shed the prophet's blood, who he knew was acceptable to God. This is the sentence of the divine judgement, by which it is said, "Let him who injureth, injure yet more; and let him who liveth in foulness, defile himself yet more." This sentence befell the cruel Herod. Now there is another sentence shortly said concerning good men, "Let him who is holy be yet more hallowed." This befell the Baptist John, who was holy through manifold deserts; and was yet more hallowed, when he through the preaching of truth came to triumphant martyrdom.|
|Herodes híwode hine sylfne unrótne, ða seo dohtor hine þæs heafdes bæd; ac hé blissode on his digelnyssum, forðan ðe heo þæs mannes deað bæd ðe hé ǽr acwellan wolde, gif hé intingan hæfde. Witodlice gif þæt cild bǽde þæs wífes heafod, mid micclum graman hé wolde hire wiðcweðan. Næs Iohannes mid ehtnysse geneadod þæt he Criste wiðsoce, ac ðeah he sealde his líf for Criste, ðaða he wæs for soðfæstnysse gemartyrod. Crist sylf cwæð, "Ic eom soðfæstnys." Iohannes wæs Cristes forrynel on his acennednysse and on his bodunge, on fulluhte, on ðrowunge, and hine to hellwarum mid deorwurðum deaðe forestóp. Þaða he beheafdod wæs, ða comon his leorning-cnihtas, and his halige líc ferodon to anre byrig seo is gecweden Sebaste, and hi ðær hine gelédon. Þæt hálige heafod wearð on Hierusalem bebyrged.||Herod feigned himself sad, when the daughter prayed him for the head; but he rejoiced in secret, because she prayed for the death of that man whom he would before have slain, if he had had a pretext. But if the child had prayed for the woman's head, he would with great anger have refused her. John was not by persecution compelled to deny Christ, but, nevertheless, he gave his life for Christ, when he was martyred for truth. Christ himself said, "I am the truth." John was Christ's forerunner in his birth, and in his preaching, in baptism, in suffering, and in his precious death preceded him to hell. When he was beheaded, his disciples came, and bare his holy body to a city which is called Sebastia, and they laid him there. The holy head was buried at Jerusalem.|
|Sume gedwolmenn cwædon þæt þæt heafod sceolde abláwan ðæs cyninges wíf Herodiaden, ðe he fore acweald wæs, swa þæt heo ferde mid windum geond ealle woruld; ac hí dwelodon mid þære segene, forðan ðe heo leofode hire líf oð ende æfter Iohannes slege. Soðlice Iohannes heafod wearð syððan geswutelod twam easternum munecum, þe mid gebedum ða burh geneosodon, and hi ðanon þone deorwurðan maðm feredon to sumere byrig þe is Edissa geháten; and se Ælmihtiga God þurh þæt heafod ungerime wundra geswutelode. His bán, æfter langum fyrste, wurdon gebrohte to ðære mæran byrig Alexandria, and þær mid micclum wurðmynte gelogode.||Some heretics said that the head blew the king's wife Herodias, for whom he had been slain, so that she went with winds over all the world; but they erred in that saying, for she lived to the end of her life after the slaying of John. But John's head was afterwards manifested to two eastern monks, who with prayers visited that city, and they bare the precious treasure thence to a city which is called Edessa; and the Almighty God, through that head, manifested innumerable miracles. His bones after a long time were brought to the great city of Alexandria, and there with great honour deposited.|
|Nu is to besceawigenne húmeta se Ælmihtiga God, be his gecorenan and ða gelufedan ðenas, þa ðe he to ðam ecan life forestihte, geðafað þæt hí mid swa micclum witum beon fornumene and tobrytte on ðisum andweardan lífe. Ac se apostol Paulus andwyrde be ðisum, and cwæð, þæt "God þreað and beswingð ælcne ðe he underfehð to his rice, and swa hé forsewenlicor bið gewitnod for Godes naman, swa his wuldor bið mare for Gode." Eft cwæð se ylca apostol on oðre stowe, "Ne sind na to wiðmetenne ða þrowunga þyssere tide ðam toweardan wuldre þe bið on ús geswutelod."||Now it is to be considered why the Almighty God allows that his chosen and his beloved servants, whom he has predestined to eternal life, be destroyed with so many pains, and broken in this present life. But the apostle Paul has answered concerning this, and said, that "God correcteth and chastiseth every one whom he receiveth into his kingdom, and the more ignominiously he is tortured for the name of God, so much shall his glory be greater before God." Again, the same apostle said in another place, "The sufferings of this life are not to be compared with the future glory which will be manifested in us."|
|Nu cwyð se trahtnere, þæt nán wilde deor, ne on fyðerfotum ne on creopendum, nis to wiðmetenne yfelum wife. Hwæt is betwux fyðerfotum reðre þonne leo? oððe hwæt is wælhreowre betwux næddercynne ðonne draca? Ac se wisa Salomon cwæð, þæt selre wære to wunigenne mid leon and dracan þonne mid yfelan wífe and oferspræcum. Witodlice Iohannes on westene wunade betwux eallum deorcynne ungederod, and betwux dracum, and aspidum, and eallum wyrmcynne, and hí hine ondredon. Soðlice seo awyrigede Herodias mid beheafdunge hine acwealde, and swa mǽres mannes deað to gife hire dehter hleapunge underfeng. Danihel se witega læg seofan niht betwux seofan leonum on anum seaðe ungewemmed, ac þæt awyrigede wíf Gezabel beswác ðone rihtwisan Naboð to his feore, þurh lease gewitnysse. Se witega Ionas wæs gehealden unformolten on ðæs hwæles innoðe ðreo niht, and seo swicole Dalila þone strangan Samson mid olæcunge bepæhte, and besceorenum fexe his feondum belæwde. Eornostlice nis nan wyrmcynn ne wilddeora cynn on yfelnysse gelíc yfelum wífe.||Now says the expositor, that no wild beast, neither among the four-footed nor the creeping, is to be compared with an evil woman. What among the four-footed is fiercer than a lion? or what among the serpent-kind is more cruel than a dragon? But the wise Solomon said, that it were better to dwell with lion and dragon than with an evil and loquacious woman. Now John had dwelt in the waste unhurt among all the beast-kind, and among serpents, and asps, and all the worm-kind, and they dreaded him. But the accursed Herodias slew him by beheading, and received the death of so great a man as a gift for her daughter's dancing. Daniel the prophet lay seven nights among seven lions in one den uninjured, but the accursed woman Jezabel betrayed the righteous Naboth to his death by false witness. The prophet Jonah was preserved unconsumed in the belly of the whale for three nights, and the treacherous Dalila deceived the strong Samson with flattery, and, his locks being shorn, betrayed him to his foes. Verily there is no worm-kind nor wild beast-kind like in evilness to an evil woman.|
|Se wyrdwritere Iosephus awrát, on ðære cyrclican gereccednysse, þæt se wælhreowa Herodes lytle hwile æfter Iohannes deaðe rices weolde, ac wearð for his mándædum ærest his here on gefeohte ofslegen, and he sylf siððan of his cynerice ascofen, and on wræcsið asend, swiðe rihtwisum dome, ðaða he nolde hlystan Iohannes láre to ðam ecan life, þæt hé eac hrædlice his hwilwendan cynedom mid hospe forlure. Augustinus se wisa ús manað mid þisum wordum, and cwyð, "Besceawiað, ic bidde eow, mine gebroðra, mid gleawnysse hú wræcfull ðis andwyrde líf is; and ðeah ge ondrædað eow þæt ge hit to hrædlice forlæton. Ge lufiað þis líf, on ðam þe ge mid geswince wuniað; ðu hógast embe ðine neode; ðu yrnst, and byst geancsumod; þu erast, and sæwst, and eft gegaderast; þu grinst, and bæcst; þu wyfst, and wæda tylast, and earfoðlice wast ealra ðinra neoda getel, ægðer ge on sǽ ge on lande, and scealt ealle þas foresædan ðing, and eac ðin agen líf mid earfoðnysse geendian. Leorniað nu forði, þæt ge cunnon þæt ece líf geearnian, on ðam ðe ge nán ðyssera geswinca ne ðrowiað, ac on ecnysse mid Gode rixiað."||The historian Josephus wrote in the ecclesiastical history, that the cruel Herod, a little while after the death of John, ruled his kingdom, but first for his wicked deeds his army was slain in battle, and himself afterwards driven from his kingdom, and sent into exile, by a very righteous judgement, when he would not listen to John's exhortations to eternal life, that he suddenly with disgrace should lose his transitory kingdom. The wise Augustine exhorts us with these words, and says, "Consider, I pray you, my brethren, with understanding, how wretched is this present life, and yet ye dread leaving it too speedily. Ye love this life in which ye exist with toil; thou carest about thy need; thou runnest, and art filled with anxiety; thou ploughest, and sowest, and afterwards gatherest; thou grindest, and bakest; thou weavest and preparest garments, and hardly knowest the number of all thy needs, both on sea and on land, and shalt end all these aforesaid things, and also thy life with tribulation. Learn now, therefore, that ye may be able to earn the eternal life, in which ye will suffer none of these toils, but with God will reign to eternity."|
|On ðisum lífe we ateoriað, gif we ús mid bígleofan ne ferciað; gif we ne drincað, we beoð mid þurste fornumene; gif we to lange waciað, we ateoriað; gif we lange standað, we beoð gewæhte, and þonne sittað; eft, gif we to lange sittað, ús slapað ða lima. Sceawiað eac æfter ðisum, þæt nán stede nis ures lichaman: cildhád gewit to cnihtháde, and cnihthád to geðungenum wæstme; se fulfremeda wæstm gebyhð to ylde, and seo yld bið mid deaðe geendod. Witodlice ne stent ure yld on nanre staþolfæstnysse, ac swa micclum swa se lichama wext swa micclum beoð his dagas gewanode. Gehwær is on urum lífe ateorung, and werignys, and brosnung ðæs lichaman, and ðeah-hwæðere wilnað gehwá þæt he lange lybbe. Hwæt is lange lybban buton lange swincan? Feawum mannum gelimpð on ðisum dagum, þæt he gesundfull lybbe hund-eahtatig geara, and swa hwæt swa he ofer ðam leofað, hit bið him geswinc and sárnyss, swa swa se wítega cwæð, "Yfele sind ure dagas," and ðæs þe wyrsan þe we hí lufiað. Swa olæcð þes middangeard forwel menige, þæt hí nellað heora wræcfulle líf geendian. Soð líf and gesælig þæt is, þonne we arisað of deaðe, and mid Criste rixiað. On ðam life beoð gode dagas, na swa-ðeah manega dagas, ac án, se nát nænne upspring ne nane geendunge, ðam ne fyligð merigenlic dæg, forðan ðe him ne forestóp se gysternlica; ac se án dæg bið ece æfre ungeendod butan ælcere nihte, butan gedreccednyssum, butan eallum geswincum, þe we hwene ǽr on ðyssere rædinge tealdon. Þes dæg and þis líf is beháten rihtwisum cristenum, to ðam us gelæde se mildheorta Drihten, seðe leofað and rixað mid Fæder and mid Halgum Gaste á butan ende. Amen.||In this life we faint, if we sustain not ourselves with food; if we drink not, we are destroyed by thirst; if we watch too long, we faint; if we stand long, we are fatigued, and then sit; again, if we sit too long, our limbs sleep. Consider also after this, that there is no stability of our body: childhood passes to boyhood, and boyhood to full growth; full growth bows to age, and age is ended by death. Verily our age stands on no stability, but so much as the body grows so greatly are its days diminished. Everywhere in our life are faintness and weariness, and decay of the body, and yet every one desires that he may live long. What is to live long but long to toil? It happens to few men in these days to live eighty years in health, and whatsoever he lives over that, it is toil to him and pain, as the prophet said, "Evil are our days," and the worse that we love them. So this world flatters very many, that they are unwilling to end this life of exile. A true and blessed life it will be, when we from death arise and reign with Christ. In that life will be good days, yet not many days, but one, which knows no rise nor no ending, which no tomorrow follows, because no yesterday preceded it; but the one day will for ever be unended without any night, without afflictions, without all the toils, which we a little before in this lecture recounted. This day and this life are promised to righteous christians, to whom may the merciful Lord lead us, who liveth and reigneth with the Father and the Holy Ghost ever without end. Amen.|