As a king writes letters to those upom whom he whishes to confer patents and special gifts, and signifies to them all, “endevour to come quickle to me, that you may receive from me royal gifts”; and if they do not come and receive them, they will be none the better off for having read the letters, but, on the contrary, are liable to be put to death for not choosing to go and be honoured by the king’s hand; so God; the King, has sent to men the holy scriptures as His letters, declaring by them that they should pray to God and believing should ask and receive a heavelnly gift of the substance of His Godhead; for it is written, That we should be made partakers of the divine nature.
But if the man will not come, and ask, and receive, he is none the better off having read the scriptures, but is rather liable to death, because he did not choose to receive from the heavenly King the gift of life, without which it is impossible to obtain immortal life, which is Christ. To whom be the glory for ever. Amen.
— Pseudo-Macarius, “Fifty spiritual homilies of St. Macarius the Egyptian”