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St Macarius the Great Spiritual Homilies

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HOMILY 22: It is not enough for a man to be taken o from the delights of this world, unless he attain to the happiness of the other.

1. IF any man who has renounced this world, and is estranged from the delights of it, both possessions, and father and mother, for the sake of the Lord, and having crucified himself, becomes a stranger, poor and indigent; yet does not find in himself the Divine refreshment, in the room of the refreshment of this world,-arid instead of the delights which are temporary, the delights of the Spirit;-if, instead of this temporary and fleshly com.Inunion, he is riot acquainted with the communion of the heavenly Bridegroom-and instead of the joy of this world, he possesses not within, the joy of the Spirit, the consolation of the heavenly grace;-if, instead of this temporary fruition, he does riot possess that incorruptible fruition of God-this person is pitiable above all men he is deprived of the things here, and hath no enjoyment of the gifts divine.

2. He that has renounced this world, ought even now to pass in, through the Spirit, into another world, and there to have his conversation and his pleasures, and to enjoy the spiritual good things, being born of the Spirit, as the Lord has said, " He that believeth in me, is passed front death to life;" for as much as there is an- - other death besides that which is before our eyes, and another life besides that which does appear. For, says the Scripture, " She that lives in pleasure is dead while she lives:" and, " Let the dead bury their dead. For the dead shall not praise thee, O Lord; but we that are alive will bless thee." 3. The soul that is born of GOD, collecting all her thoughts, enters in unto the Lord, into " the house which is from heaven, not made with hands;" and all her thoughts become heavenly, and pure, and holy. For he that is once set free from the darkness of this world, finds thoughts pure and divine, because GOD has been pleased to make him partaker of the Divine nature.

4. If both your body and soul were spent every hour throughout your whole life for the sake of such good things, what would this amount to? O the inexpressible compassion of GOD, that so freely grants himself to them that believe, to inherit GOD, and for GOD to dwell in the body of man, and the Lord to have man for his house For as GOD created heaven and earth for man to dwell in-so has he created both the body and soul of man for his own house; that he may dwell and rest in the body as in his own house, having the soul for his bride, made according to his image. "For I have espoused you," says the apostle, " to one husband, that -I may present you a chaste virgin to CHRIST." 5. This is the Lord; she is a servant. This is the Creator; she a creature. This is the Workman; she the workmanship.

There is nothing common to both natures. But through his boundless, unutterable, and in conceivable love and tender compassion, has it pleased him to dwell in this work of his hands, his precious and choice work, " that we might be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures," for his wisdom and fellowship, for his own mansion-house, for his own precious and pure Bride.

Wherefore promises such good things being set before us, and such made to us, and the good pleasure of the Lord towards us having been such:-Children! let us not be negligent, neither delay our quick return to eternal life, and to-devote ourselves to the good pleasure of the Lord, wholly and entirely.

6. Let us therefore beseech the Lord, that, by the power of his Godhead, he would redeem us from the darkness of our vile affections; and that, having vindicated his own image and work, he would make it to shine out. And thus shall we be thought worthy of the communion of the Spirit, giving glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, for ever. Amen.

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