"Salvation belongs to the Lord" [Ps. 3:8, NKJ]. Just as no man is from himself, so no man is saved by himself. Therefore most truly and right well does the psalm say, "O Lord, You shall save men and beasts." Why? "Even as your mercy is multiplied, O God." For You are God, You have created, You save: You gave life, You give health…"Because with You is the fountain of life." The very fountain of life walked on the earth, the same who said, "Whoever thirsts, let him come to Me." Behold the fountain!
Then, so that no one would believe this light to mean the sun, we came thence to the psalm, [and discover] that the Lord is the fountain of life. Drink and live. "With You," it says, "is the fountain of life;" therefore, "under the shadow of Your wings the sons of men hope," seeking to be full drunk with this fountain. But we were speaking of the Light. Follow on, then; for the prophet, having said, "With You is the fountain of life," went on to add, "In Your light shall we see light,"–God of God, Light of Light. By this Light the sun’s light was made; and the Light which made the sun, under which He also made us, was made under the sun for our sake. That Light which made the sun was made, I say, under the sun for our sake. Do not despise the cloud of the flesh; with that cloud it is covered, not to be obscured, but to be moderated.
That unfailing Light, the Light of wisdom, speaking through the cloud of the flesh, says to men, "I am the Light of the world; he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life." How He has withdrawn you from the eyes of the flesh, and recalled you to the eyes of the heart! For it is not enough to say, "Whoever follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have light;" He also added, "of life;" even as it was there said, "For with You is the fountain of life." See, my brethren, how the words of the Lord agree with the truth of that psalm: both there, the light is put with the fountain of life, and by the Lord it is said, "light of life." But for bodily use, light and fountain are different things: our mouths seek a fountain, our eyes light; when we thirst we seek a fountain, when we are in darkness we seek light; and if we chance to thirst in the night, we kindle a light to come to a fountain. Not so with God: light and fountain are the same thing: He who shines for you that you may see, the same flows for you that you may drink.
You see, then, my brethren, you see, if you see inwardly, what kind of light this is, of which the Lord says, "He that follows Me shall not walk in darkness." Follow the sun, and let us see if you will not walk in darkness. Behold, by rising it comes forth to you; it goes by its course towards the west. Perhaps your journey is towards the east: unless you go in an opposite direction to that in which it travels, you wilt certainly err by following it, and instead of east will get to the west. If you follow it by land, you will go wrong. If the mariner follow its by sea, he will go wrong. Even if you follow the sun also travel towards the west (where it also travels), soon you too will walk in darkness. See how, although you are not willing to desert it, yet it will desert you, to finish the day by necessity of its service? But our Lord Jesus Christ, even when He was not manifest to all through the cloud of His flesh, was yet at the same time holding all things by the power of His wisdom. Your God is complete everywhere. If you do not fall away from Him, He will never fall away from you.
Those who follow now (in the present) by sight, "shall have (in the future) the light of life."…He who follows now by faith shall have hereafter by sight. For the apostle says, "While we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight" [2 Cor. 5:6, 7]. When shall we walk by sight? When we shall have the light of life. When will we come to that vision? When this night has passed away.
Of that day, indeed, which is to arise, it is said. "In the morning I will stand near you, and contemplate You" [cf. Ps. 5:3]. What means "in the morning"? When the night of this world is over, when the terrors of temptations are over, when that lion which goes about roaring in the night, seeking whom it may devour, is defeated. "In the morning I will stand near You, and contemplate." Now what do we think, brethren, to be our duty for the present time, but what is again said in the psalm, "I shall wash my bed every night; I shall water my couch with tears" [Ps. 6:6, LXX]. Though every night, he says, I will weep; I will burn with desire for the light. The Lord sees my desire: for another psalm says to Him, "But all my desire is before You; and my groaning is not hidden from You" [Ps. 37:9, LXX].
Do you desire gold? You can be seen; for, while seeking gold, you will be manifest to men. Do you desire corn? You ask one that has it; whom also you inform, while seeking to get at that what you desire. Do you desire God? Who sees, but God? From whom, then, do you seek God, as you seek bread, water, gold, silver, and corn? From whom do you seek God, except from God? He is sought from Himself who has promised Himself. Let the soul extend her desire, and with more capacious bosom seek to comprehend that which "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man" [1 Cor. 2:9]. We can desire it, we can long for it, we can pant after it; but we cannot worthily conceive it, we cannot worthily unfold it in words.
Therefore, my brethren, let us do what He has commanded, that we may not with shameless face demand what He has promised…What have You commanded, then, O Lord our God? He says to you, That you should follow Me. You have sought counsel of life? Of what life, but of that of which it is said, "With You is the fountain of life" [Ps. 35:9, LXX]? A certain man heard it said to him, "Go, sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me" [Mt. 19:21]. He did not follow, but went away sorrowful; he sought the "good Master," went to Him as a teacher, and despised His teaching. He went away sorrowful, tied and bound by his lusts; he went away sorrowful, having a great load of greed on his shoulders. He toiled and fretted; and yet he thought that He, who was willing to rid him of his load, was not to be followed but forsaken. The But after the Lord has, by the gospel, cried aloud, "Come to Me, all you who labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart" [Mt. 11:28-29]. How many, on hearing the gospel, have done what that rich man, on hearing from His own mouth, did not do? Therefore, let us do it now, let us follow the Lord; let us loose the fetters by which we are hindered from following Him. And who is sufficient to loose such bonds, unless He helps, to whom it is said, "You have burst my bonds asunder?" [Ps. 115:16, LXX]. Of whom another psalm says, "The Lord looses them that are in bonds; the Lord raises up them that are crushed and oppressed" [perhaps Ps. 106:14, LXX].
The Lord gives light to the blind. Therefore we, brethren, having the eye-ointment of faith, are now enlightened. For His spittle mingled with the earth, and the eyes of him who was born blind were anointed with it. We, too, have been born blind of Adam, and need Him to enlighten us. He mixed spittle with clay: "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." He mixed spittle with earth; as it was predicted, "Truth has sprung up from the earth" [Ps. 84:11, LXX]; and He said Himself, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" [Jn. 14:6].
When we shall see face to face, we shall have the full fruition of the truth; for this also is promised to us…"For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known" [1 Cor. 13:12]. And the Apostle John says in his epistle, "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" [1 Jn. 3:2].