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St Macarius the Great Spiritual Homilies

HOMILIES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

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Page 27

6. As a man that is a complete worker of evil, is insatiable after mischief; so Christians that have been baptized into the Holy Spirit, are insatiable after God. Yet while they have a mixture of sin, they are liable to fear, and travel through frightful places.

7. For as merchants, though they have now a fair wind, and a smooth sea, are in fear, lest on a sudden there should be a contrary wind, and the sea grow tempestuous: so Christians, though they have in themselves the favorable wind of the Spirit blowing, yet are in concern, lest the wind of the adverse power should rise upon them, and stir up a tempest in their souls.

There is need therefore of great industry, that we may come to the haven of rest, to the perfect world, to eternal life and pleasure, to the " city of the saints, to the heavenly Jerusalem, to the church of the first-born." 8. Nor ought we to be secure. For as a garden that is set with fruit-trees, and sweet-smelling plants, and all well laid out and contrived with beauty, and has withal a little wall for an hedge, to keep it; if -it should so fall out that a rapid river runs by it, and by little and little dissolves the foundation, having once gained entrance, it roots up all that was planted. Even thus is the heart of man; it has good thoughts and desires, but there are rivers of corruption ever approaching. And if the mind but a little give way to unclean thoughts; lo, the spirits of error have entered in, and overturned all the beauties that were there, and laid the soul waste.

9. As the eye is little beyond all the members, and yet contains the heaven, the stars, the sun, the moon, cities, and other creatures; for all these are seen under one, are formed and imagined in the pupil of the eye. Thus also the heart is a little vessel. And yet there are dragons, and there are lions, the poisonous beasts, and all the treasures of wickedness, and there are rugged ways, and precipices. In like manner there is GOD, there are the angels; there is the life and the kingdom; there is the light, there are the treasures of grace: there are all things.

1O. And yet many find them not. For as when the alarm of war is sounding, the wise-men, and the great ones were not there; but the poor, and the unlearned are sent forth; and they work a victory over their enemies, and receive from the king the rewards of their victory, and crowns, and dignities. Thus also is it in heavenly things. It is the poor and unlearned from the beginning, that love the truth, do what it requires, fight the good fight, and receive from GOD the grace of his Spirit. But the wise and great flee the war; neither do they make any progress, and consequently are left behind them who have fought and overcome. And the Lord has promised, a Where I am, there also shall these my servants be." And they shall reign together with the Father, and with the Son, and with the Holy Spirit, even to ages of ages? Amen.

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