Imagens das páginas

meekly related her dreadful offences. Then being entirely and truly penitent, she was absolved; and a very few days afterwards, slept in the Lord. Her death was long lamented by the whole state. (10)


My beloved, the emperor, is Jesus Christ, who married a beautiful girl, that is, our human nature, when he became incarnate. But first he was betrothed to her, when the Father, speaking to the Son and Holy Ghost, said—“ Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Our Lord had a fair child, that is to say, the soul made free from all spot by his Passion, and by virtue of baptism. That soul is slain in us by sin. Do you ask how? I will tell you. By giving ourselves up to carnal delights, whose fruit is death. The blood on the hand is sin, which tenaciously cleaves to us; as it is said, “ My soul is ever in my own hands”-that is, whether it does well or ill, is as openly apparent, as if it were placed in the hands for the inspection and sentence of the Supreme Judge:

[I have omitted the greater part of this moral

ization as somewhat too delicate in its nature, and too complex in its construction. A second follows upon the same subject, which I have also omitted, and for the same reason.]



In the reign of the Emperor Dorotheus a decree was passed, that children should support their parents. There was, at that time, in the kingdom, a certain soldier, who had espoused a very fair and virtuous woman, by whom he had a son.

It happened that the soldier went upon a journey, was made prisoner, and very rigidly confined. Immediately he wrote to his wife and son for ransom. The intelligence communicated great uneasiness to the former, who wept so bitterly that she became blind. Whereupon the son said to his mother, “I will hasten to my father, and release him from prison.” The mother answered, “ Thou shalt not

go; for thou art my only son-even the half of my soul *, and it may happen to thee as it has done to him. Hadst thou rather ransom thy absent parent than protect her who is with thee, and presses thee to her affectionate arms ? Is not the possession of one thing better than the expectation of two ? (11) Thou art my son as well as thy father's; and I am present, while he is absent. I conclude, therefore, that you ought by no means to forsake me though to redeem your father.” The son very properly answered, “ Although I am thy son yet he is my father. He is abroad and surrounded by the merciless; but thou art at home, protected and cherished by loving friends. He is a captive, but thou art free-blind, indeed, but he perhaps sees not the light of heaven, and pours forth unheeded groans in the gloom of a loathsome dungeon oppressed with chains, with wounds, and misery. Therefore, it is my determination to go to him and redeem him.” The son did so; and every one applauded and honoured him for the indefatigable industry with which he achieved his father's liberation.

" Animæ dimidium meæ." This phrase is met with frequently in these volumes, and would almost lead one to suspect that the Author was acquainted with Horace, where the line oc


See his third Ode.


My beloved, the Emperor is our heavenly Father, who imposes upon sons the duty of maintaining and obeying their parents. But who is our father and mother? Christ is our father, as we read in Deut. 32. His affection for us partakes more of this, than of the maternal character. You know that when the son transgresses, the father corrects him somewhat harshly, even with stripes and blows ; while the doating mother soothes and coaxes her favourite into humour. Christ permits us to be scourged, because of our many failings ; on the contrary, our mother, the world, promises us infinite pleasures and lascivious enjoyments. Christ forsakes us, and goes into a far country, as it is written in the Psalms, “ I am made a stranger by my brethren." Christ is still bound and in pri

son; not indeed by himself, but by those who are the members of his Church; for so says the Apostle to the Hebrews.

- Whosoever lives in any mortal sin is cast into the prison of the devil;" but our Father wills that we labour for his redemption.- Luke 12. “ Let the dead bury their dead," said our blessed Lord ; “ but go thou, and declare the kingdom of God,”—and this is to redeem Christ. For whosoever powerfully preaches the word of God, advantages his brother, and in him redeems Christ.-Matt. 20. " That which you have done to the least of these


followers, ye have also done unto me.” But the mother, that is, the world, will not permit a man to follow Christ into exile and poverty, but detains him with diverse arguments. “ I cannot,” she says, “ endure a life of abstinence and privation which I must necessarily submit to, if you repent and turn after Christ." Thus it is with whatsoever she proposes to man's acceptance : but do not comply with her wishes. She is blind indeed, for she exclaims, “Let us enjoy the good things of life, and speedily use the creature like as in youth;" but, my beloved, if you

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