The Christians, who are come the nearest to the King, are at all times devoted to the cross of Christ. And when they are anointed with the heavenly unction, they commence to be kings and prophets of the heavenly mysteries.
For if the anointing oil that came from an outward plant had so much virtue that the persons anointed with it were constituted kings thereby; how much more do they who are anointed with the sanctifying and cheering oil of gladness, the heavenly and spiritual oil, receive the sign of that incorruptible kingdom, and everlasting power, the earnest of the Spirit, the very spirit of holiness and comfort?
It is called the Comforter, by reason of that comfort and support it bestows upon them that are in afflictions.
These being anointed from the tree of life, Jesus Christ, from the heavenly plant, are thought worthy to come to perfection; to the kingdom, and the adoption, being admitted to the secret councils of the heavenly King, and having free access to the Almighty, entering into his very palace, where are angels, and the spirits of the holy persons, though at the same time they live in this present world.
For though they have not actually received the inheritance prepared for them in that world, they are secure from the earnest of the Spirit, which they have received, as if they were already crowned, and in possession of the kingdom.
Nor does it seem a strange thing to them that they shall reign together with Christ, through the overflowing presence of the Spirit. For what reason? Even because though in the flesh, they have a relish of its sweetness, and that effectual working of his power.
For they that are to reign in the world to come are beforehand acquainted with the mysteries of grace. Indeed, since man transgressed the commandment, the devil has covered the whole soul with a dark veil.
But when grace comes, the veil is thrown off; so that the soul, becoming pure and regaining its proper nature, a creature free from blame or spot, ever after beholds with a clear sight the glory of the true light and the true Sun of Righteousness flashing with his bright beams upon the heart itself.
Macarius the Egyptian (c. 300-391) [attributed]; Spiritual Homily 9, 1-2, trans. by the Revd D.R. Jenning; full text, with corrections and editorial, at the Monachos.net Library Project.