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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : LETTER IX (circa A.D. 1135) To Ardutio (or Ardutius, Bishop Elect of Geneva

Some Letters Of Saint Bernard Abbot Of Clairvaux by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

LETTER IX (circa A.D. 1135) To Ardutio (or Ardutius, Bishop Elect of Geneva

To Ardutio (or Ardutius, Bishop Elect of Geneva

He warns him that he must attribute his election to the grace of God, and strive thenceforth faithfully to co-operate with it.

I am glad to believe that your election, which I have heard was effected with so complete an assent both of the clergy and people, was from God. I congratulate you on His grace, and I do not speak of your merits, since we ought not to render to you excessive praise, but to recognise that, not because of works of righteousness which you have done, but according to His mercy He has done this for you. If you (which may God forbid!) should think otherwise, your exaltation will be to your ruin. But if you acknowledge it to be of grace, see that you receive it not in vain. Make your actions and your desires good, and your ministry holy; and if sanctity of life has not preceded, let it at least follow your elevation. Then I shall acknowledge that you have been prevented with the blessings of grace, and shall hope that after these you will receive still better graces. I shall be in joy and gladness that a good and faithful servant has been set over the family of the Lord, and you shall come to be as a son powerful and happy, meet to be set over all the good things of the Father. Otherwise, if it delights you to be in higher place rather in holier mind, I shall expect to see, not your reward, but your destruction. I hope, and pray God, that it may not be thus with you; and am prepared, if there is need, to render my aid, as far as in me lies, to assist you in whatever you think proper and expedient.

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