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 He made the world free by the blood of The Saviour; then, again, He has caused the grave to be...

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He made the world free by the blood of The Saviour; then, again, He has caused the grave to be trodden down by The Saviour's death, and furnished a way to the Heavenly Gates free from obstacles to those who are going up. Wherefore, one of the saints, while he acknowledged the Grace, but was insufficient to repay it, said, What shall I render unto The Lord for all He has done unto me?" (Psalm CXVI, 12) For instead of death he had received life, instead of bondage, freedom, and instead of the grave, the Kingdom Of Heaven. For of old time, death reigned from Adam to Moses; but now the Divine Voice Hath Said, To-day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise". And the saints, being sensible of this, said, Except the Lord had helped me, my soul had almost dwelt in Hell" (Romans 5:14; Luke 23:43; Psalm XCIV, 17). Besides all this, being powerless to make a return, he yet acknowledged the gift, and wrote finally, saying, "I will take the Cup Of Salvation, and call on the name of The Lord; precious in His Sight is the death of His saints. (Psalm CXVI, 13-15).

With regard to the Cup, The Lord Said, "Are ye able to drink of that cup which I am about to drink of?" And when the disciples assented, The Lord Said, "Ye shall indeed drink of My Cup; but that ye should sit on My Right Hand, and on My Left, is not Mine to give; but to those for whom it is prepared" (Matthew 20:22-23). Therefore, my beloved, let us be sensible of the gift, though we are found insufficient to repay it. As we have ability, let us meet the occasion. For although nature is not able, with things unworthy of The Word, to return a recompense for such benefits, yet let us render Him thanks while we persevere in piety. And how can we more abide in piety than when we acknowledge God, Who in His love to mankind has bestowed on us such benefits? (For thus we shall obediently keep the law, and observe its commandments. And, further, we shall not, as unthankful persons, be accounted transgressors of the law, or do those things which ought to be hated, for The Lord Loveth the thankful); when too we offer ourselves to The Lord, like the saints, when we subscribe ourselves entirely [as] living henceforth not to ourselves, but to The Lord Who Died for us, as also the blessed Paul did, when he said, "I am crucified with Christ, yet I live; yet not I, but Christ Liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20).

- St. Athanasius, Letter 5, For Pascha, 3.

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