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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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HOMILY 20: And art or wealth of this world, but the manifestation of CHRIST alone, is able to heal man.

1. HE that has made CHRIST his choice, ought to look upon all things in this world, as out of his way and foreign to him. For he that truly follows after the cross of CHRIST, having renounced all things, and even his own soul, ought to have his mind fixed upon the love of CHRIST; preferring the Lord before parents, brethren, wife, children, kindred, friends, and possessions. For this has CHRIST plainly declared in these words, "Every one that has not left father, or mother, or brethren, or wife, or children, or lands, and follows not me, is not worthy of Inc." For in no other is there found salvation and rest for mankind.

2. How many kings have there sprung from the race of Adam, whose thoughts have been lifted up by their royal power l' Yet not one of these has so much as known that corruption which from the transgression of the first man broke in upon the soul. There have also been several wise men in the world, and variety of artificers. But all these being held fast by the serpent dwelling within, and being sensible of the sin that cohabited with' them, because the captives and slaves of the wicked power, without gaining any advantage from their knowledge and skill.

3. The world therefore, thus stored with all manner of varieties, is like a rich man that is possessed of great and splendid houses, gold and silver, and possessions; but being distressed with pains and distempers, cannot with all that wealth, release himself of his infirmity. No application of any thing relating to this life, neither riches, nor strength rescue the soul from sin; nothing less than the appearance of CHRIST, that alone is able to cleanse both soul. and body. Wherefore having disengaged ourselves from the cares of this life, let us devote ourselves to the Lord, crying to him night and day. For this visible world, and the rest which it affords, the more they seem to cherish the body, so much the more do they sharpen the disorders of the soul, and increase her illness.

4. GOD has created both the heaven and the earth; the sun, and the moon, the waters, the trees, and all kinds of living, creatures. But in none of these does GOD take up his rest. The creation is under his command, but he has no where fixed his throne, nor vouchsafed communion with himself to any but man, in whom alone he is well pleased-to whom he has imparted himself, and in whom he has taken up his rest. Do you behold here the near relation of GOD to man, and of man to God? Wherefore the soul having made trial of all the creatures, has not found any rest for herself but in the Lord alone. Nor has the Lord found pleasure in any other, but man only.

5. If you open your eyes towards the sun, you find his orb in the heaven, but his light and rays glancing full upon the earth, and the whole force of his light, and his brightness shooting down upon it. So likewise Both our Lord sit in person at the right hand of the Father, above all principality and power;" but his eyes extended to the hearts of men upon earth, that he may raise them to the place where he himself is; yea, " He has raised us up together with him, and made us sit together at his right hand in heavenly places." To' Him be glory for ever Amen.

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