Saint Bede, The Complete Works of Venerable Bede, 8 vols. 
The Complete Works of Venerable Bede, in the original Latin, collated with the Manuscripts, and various printed editions, and accompanied by a new English translation of the Historical Works, and a Life of the Author. By the Rev. J.A. Giles (London: Whittaker and Co., 1843). 8 vols.
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Table of Contents
- Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum.: Liber Quartus.
- Cap. I.—: Ut, Defuncto Deusdedit, Wighardus Ad Suscipiendum Episcopatum Romam Sit Missus; Sed Illo Ibidem Defuncto, Theodorus Archiepiscopus Ordinatus Et Cum Hadriano Abbate Sit Britanniam Missus.
- Cap. II.—: Ut, Theodoro Cuncta Peragrante, Anglorum EcclesiÆ Cum Catholica Veritate, Literarum Quoque Sanctarum CŒperint Studiis Imbui; Et Ut Putta Pro Damiano Rhofensis EcclesiÆ Sit Factus Antistes.
- Cap. III.—: Ut Ceadda, De Quo Supra Dictum Est, ProvinciÆ Merciorum Sit Episcopus Datus; Et De Vita Et De Obitu Et Sepultura Ejus.
- Cap. IV.—: Ut Colmanus Episcopus, Relicta Britannia, Duo Monasteria In Scotia, Unum Scotis, Alterum Anglis, Quos Secum Adduxerat, Fecerit.
- Cap. V.—: De Morte Oswii Et Egberti Regum; Et De Synodo Facta Ad Locum Herutford, Cui PrÆsidebat Archiepiscopus Theodorus.
- Cap. VI.—: Ut, Deposito Winfrido, Sexwulfus Episcopatum Ejus Acceperit, Et Earconwaldus Orientalibus Saxonibus Sit Episcopus Datus.
- Cap. VII.—: Ut In Monasterio Bericinensi, Ubi Corpora Sanctimonialium Feminarum Poni Deberent, CŒlesti Sit Luce Monstratum.
- Cap. VIII.—: Ut In Eodem Monasterio Puerulus Moriens Virginem, QuÆ Se Erat Secutura, Clamaverit; Utque Alia De Corpore Egressura Jam Particulam FuturÆ Lucis Aspexerit.
- Cap. IX.—: QuÆ Sint Ostensa CŒlitus Signa Cum Et Ipsa Mater Congregationis Illius E Mundo Transiret.
- Cap. X.—: Ut Ad CŒmeterium Ejusdem Monasterii Orans CÆca Lumen Receperit.
- Cap. XI.—: Ut Rex Ejusdem ProvinciÆ Sebbi In Monachica Vitam Conversatione Finierit.
- Cap. XII.—: Ut Episcopatum Occidentalium Saxonum Pro Eleutherio Heddi, Episcopatum Rhofensis EcclesiÆ Pro Putta Cuichelmus, Et Pro Ipso Gebmundus, Acceperit; Et Qui Tunc Northanhumbrorum Fuerint Episcopi.
- Cap. XIII.—: Ut Wilfridus Episcopus Provinciam Australium Saxonum Ad Christum Converterit.
- Cap. XIV.—: Ut Intercessione Oswaldi Regis Pestifera Mortalitas Sit Sublata.
- Cap. XV.—: Ut Ceadwalla Rex, Interfecto Rege Gewissarum Ethelwalch, Provinciam Illam SÆva CÆde Ac Depopulatione Attriverit.
- Cap. XVI.—: Ut Vecta Insula Christianos Incolas Susceperit, Cujus Regii Duo Pueri Statim Post Acceptum Baptisma Sint Interemti.
- Cap. XVII.—: De Synodo Facta In Campo Hethfeld, PrÆsidente Archiepiscopo Theodoro.
- Cap. XVIII.—: De Joanne Cantatore Sedis ApostolicÆ, Qui Propter Docendum Britanniam Venerit.
- Cap. XIX.—: Ut Etheldrida Regina Virgo Perpetua Permanserit, Cujus Nec Corpus In Monumento Corrumpi Potuerit.
- Cap. XX.—: Hymnus De Illa.
- Cap. XXI.—: Ut Theodorus Episcopus Inter Egfridum Et Ethelredum Reges Pacem Fecerit.
- Cap. XXII.—: Ut Vincula Cujusdam Captivi, Cum Pro Eo MissÆ Cantarentur, Soluta Sint.
- Cap. XXIII.—: De Vita Et Obitu HildÆ AbbatissÆ.
- Cap. XXIV.—: Quod In Monasterio Ejus Fuerit Frater, Cui Donum Canendi Sit Divinitus Concessum.
- Cap. XXV.—: Qualis Visio Cuidam Viro Dei Apparuerit, Priusquam Monasterium ColudanÆ Urbis Esset Incendio Consumtum.
- Cap. XXVI.—: De Morte Egfridi Et Lotherii Regum.
- Cap. XXVII.—: Ut Vir Domini Cuthbertus Sit Episcopus Factus; Utque In Monachica Adhuc Vita Positus Vixerit Vel Docuerit.
- Cap. XXVIII.—: Ut Idem In Vita Anachoretica Et Fontem De Arente Terra Orando Produxerit, Et Segetem De Labore Manuum Ultra Tempus Serendi Acceperit.
- Cap. XXIX.—: Ut Idem Jam Episcopus Obitum Suum Proxime Futurum Hereberto AnachoretÆ PrÆdixerit.
- Cap. XXX.—: Ut Corpus Illius Post Undecim Annos SepulturÆ Sit Corruptionis Immune Repertum; Nec Multo Post Successor Episcopatus Ejus De Mundo Transierit.
- Cap. XXXI.—: Ut Quidam Ad Tumbam Ejus Sit a Paralysi Sanatus.
- Cap. XXXII.—: Ut Alter Ad Reliquias Ejus Nuper Fuerit Ab Oculi Languore Curatus.
- The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation.: Book IV.
- Chap. I. —: Deusdedit, Archbishop of Canterbury, Dying, Wighard Was Sent to Rome to Succeed Him In That Dignity; But He Dying There, Theodore Was Ordained Archbishop, and Sent Into Britain With the Abbot Hadrian.
- Chap. II.—: Theodore Visits All Places; the Churches of the English Begin to Be Instructed In Holy Literature, and In the Catholic Truth; Putta Is Made Bishop of the Church of Rochester In the Room of Damianus.
- Chap. III.—: How Ceadda, Above-mentioned, Was Made Bishop of the Mercians. of His Life, Death, and Burial.
- Chap. IV.—: Bishop Colman, Having Left Britain, Built Two Monasteries In Scotland; the One For the Scots, the Other For the English He Had Taken Along With Him.
- Chap. V.—: Of the Death of the Kings Oswy and Egbert, and of the Synod Held At Hertford, In Which Archbishop Theodore Presided.
- Chap. VI.—: Winfrid Being Deposed, Sexwulf Was Put Into His See, and Earconwald Made Bishop of the East Saxons.
- Chap. VII.—: How It Was Indicated By a Heavenly Light Where the Bodies of the Nuns Should Be Buried In the Monastery of Barking.
- Chap. VIII.—: A Little Boy, Dying In the Same Monastery, Called Upon a Virgin That Was to Follow Him; Another At the Point of Leaving Her Body, Saw Some Small Part of the Future Glory.
- Chap. IX.—: Of the Signs Which Were Shown From Heaven When the Mother of That Congregation Departed This Life.
- Chap. X.—: A Blind Woman, Praying In the Burial-place of That Monastery, Was Restored to Her Sight.
- Chap. XI.—: Sebbi, King of the Same Province, Ends His Life In a Monastery.
- Chap. XII.—: Heddi Succeeds Eleutherius In the Bishopric of the West Saxons; Cuichelm Succeeds Putta In That of Rochester, and Is Himself Succeeded By Gebmund; and Who Were Then Bishops of the Northumbrians.
- Chap. XIII.—: Bishop Wilfrid Converts the Province of the South Saxons to Christ.
- Chap. XIV.—: How a Pestilential Mortality Ceased Through the Intercession of King Oswald.
- Chap. XV.—: King Ceadwalla Having Slain Ethelwalch, King of the West Saxons, Wasted That Province With Rapine and Slaughter.
- Chap. XVI.—: How the Isle of Wight Received Christian Inhabitants, and Two Royal Youths of That Island Were Killed Immediately After Baptism.
- Chap. XVII.—: Of the Synod Held In the Plain of Heathfield, Where Archbishop Theodore Presided.
- Chap. XVIII.—: Of John, the Singer of the Apostolic See, Who Came Into Britain to Teach.
- Chap. XIX.—: How Queen Etheldrida Always Preserved Her Virginity, and Her Body Suffered No Corruption In the Grave.
- Chap. XX.—: An Hymn On the Aforesaid Holy Virgin.
- Chap. XXI.—: Bishop Theodore Made Peace Between the Kings Egfrid and Ethelred.
- Chap. XXII.—: How a Certain Captive’s Chains Fell Off When Masses Were Sung For Him.
- Chap. XXIII.—: Of the Life and Death of the Abbess Hilda.
- Chap. XXIV.—: There Was In the Same Monastery a Brother, On Whom the Gift of Writing Verses Was Bestowed By Heaven.
- Chap. XXV.—: Of the Vision That Appeared to a Certain Man of God Before the Monastery of the City Coludi Was Burned Down.
- Chap. XXVI.—: Of the Death of the Kings Egfrid and Lothere.
- Chap. XXVII.—: Cuthbert, a Man of God, Is Made Bishop; and How He Lived and Taught Whilst Still In a Monastic Life.
- Chap. XXVIII.—: The Same St. Cuthbert, Being an Anchorite, By His Prayers Obtained a Spring In a Dry Soil, and Had a Crop From Seed Sown By Himself Out of Season.
- Chap. XXIX.—: St. Cuthbert Foretold to the Anchorite, Herebert, That His Death Was At Hand.
- Chap. XXX.—: St. Cuthbert’s Body Was Found Altogether Uncorrupted After It Had Been Buried Eleven Years; His Successor In the Bishopric Departed This World Not Long After.
- Chap. XXXI.—: Of One That Was Cured of a Palsy At the Tomb of St. Cuthbert.
- Chap. XXXII.—: Of One Who Was Cured of a Distemper In His Eye At the Relics of St. Cuthbert.
- Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum.: Liber Quintus.
- Cap. I.—: Ut Ethelwaldus Successor Cuthberti In Anachoretica Vita, Laborantibus In Mari Fratribus, Tempestatem Orando Sedaverit.
- Cap. II.—: Ut Episcopus Joannes Mutum Et Scabiosum Benedicendo Curaverit.
- Cap. III.—: Ut Puellam Languentem Orando Sanaverit.
- Cap. IV.—: Ut Conjugem Comitis Infirmam Aqua Benedicta Curaverit.
- Cap. V.—: Ut Idem Puerum Comitis Orando a Morte Revocaverit.
- Cap. VI.—: Ut Clericum Suum Cadendo Contritum, Æque Orando Ac Benedicendo a Morte Revocaverit.
- Cap. VII.—: Ut Ceadwalla, Rex Occidentalium Saxonum, Baptizandus Romam Venerit; Sed Et Successor Ejus Ina Eadem Beatorum Apostolorum Limina Devotus Adierit.
- Cap. VIII.—: Ut, Theodoro Defuncto, Archiepiscopatus Gradum Berthwaldus Susceperit; Et Inter Plurimos, Quos Ordinavit, Etiam Tobiam Virum Doctissimum Rhofensi EcclesiÆ Fecerit Antistitem.
- Cap. IX.—: Ut Egbertus Vir Sanctus Ad PrÆdicandum In Germaniam Venire Voluerit, Nec Valuerit; Porro Wictbertus Advenerit Quidem, Sed Quia Nec Ipse Aliquid Profecisset, Rursum In Hiberniam, Unde Venerat, Redierit.
- Cap. X.—: Ut Wilbrordus In Fresia PrÆdicans Multos Ad Christum Converterit; Et Ut Socii Ejus Hewaldi Sint Martyrium Passi.
- Cap. XI.—: Ut Viri Venerabiles Suidbertus In Britannia, Wilbrordus RomÆ, Sint In Fresiam Ordinati Episcopi.
- Cap. XII.—: Ut Quidam In Provincia Northanhumbrorum a Mortuis Resurgens Multa Et Tremenda, Et Desideranda, QuÆ Viderat, Narraverit.
- Cap. XIII.—: Ut E Contra Alter Ad Mortem Veniens Oblatum Sibi a DÆmonibus Codicem Suorum Viderit Peccatorum.
- Cap. XIV.—: Ut Item Alius Moriturus Deputatum Sibi Apud Inferos Locum PŒnarum Viderit.
- Cap. XV.—: Ut PlurimÆ Scotorum EcclesiÆ, Instante Adamnano, Catholicum Pascha Susceperint; Utque Idem Librum De Locis Sanctis Scripserit.
- Cap. XVI.—: QuÆ In Eodem Libro De Loco DominicÆ Nativitatis, Passionis, Et Resurrectionis, Commemoraverit.
- Cap. XVII.—: QuÆ Item De Loco Ascensionis DominicÆ, Et Sepulcris Patriarcharum.
- Cap. XVIII.—: Ut Australes Saxones Episcopos Acceperint Eadbertum Et Eollam, Occidentales Danielem Et Aldhelmum; Et De Scriptis Ejusdem Aldhelmi.
- Cap. XIX.—: Ut Coinredus Merciorum Et Offa Orientalium Saxonum Rex In Monachico Habitu RomÆ Vitam Finierint; Et De Vita Vel Obitu Wilfridi Episcopi.
- Cap. XX.—: Ut Religioso Abbati Hadriano Albinus, Wilfrido In Episcopatum Acca, Successerit.
- Cap. XXI.—: Ut Ceolfridus Abbas Regi Pictorum Architectos EcclesiÆ, Simul Et Epistolam De Catholico Pascha, Vel De Tonsura, Miserit.
- Cap. XXII.—: Ut Hiienses Monachi Cum Subjectis Sibi Monasteriis Canonicum, PrÆdicante Egberto, Celebrare Pascha CŒperint.
- Cap. XXIII.—: Qui Sit In PrÆsenti Status Gentis Anglorum, Vel BritanniÆ Totius.
- The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation.: Book V.
- Chap. I.—: How Ethelwald, Successor to Cuthbert, Leading an Eremitical Life, Calmed a Tempest When the Brethren Were In Danger At Sea.
- Chap. II.—: How Bishop John Cured a Dumb Man By Blessing Him.
- Chap. III.—: The Same Bishop, John, By His Prayers, Healed a Sick Maiden.
- Chap. IV.—: The Same Bishop Healed an Earl’s Wife That Was Sick, With Holy Water.
- Chap. V.—: The Same Bishop Recovered One of the Earl’s Servants From Death.
- Chap. VI.—: The Same Bishop, By His Prayers and Blessing, Delivered From Death One of His Clerks, Who Had Bruised Himself By a Fall.
- Chap. VII.—: Ceadwalla, King of the West-saxons, Went to Rome to Be Baptized; His Successor Ina Also Devoutly Repaired to the Same Church of the Holy Apostles.
- Chap. VIII.—: Archbishop Theodore Dies, Berthwald Succeeds Him As Archbishop, and Among Many Others Whom He Ordained, He Made Tobias, a Most Learned Man, Bishop of the Church of Rochester.
- Chap. IX.—: Egbert, a Holy Man, Would Have Gone Into Germany to Preach, But Could Not; Wictbert Went, But Meeting With No Success, Returned Into Ireland, From Whence He Came.
- Chap. X.—: Wilbrord, Preaching In Frisland, Converted Many to Christ; His Two Companions, the Hewalds, Suffered Martyrdom.
- Chap. XI.—: How the Venerable Suidbert In Britain, and Wilbrord At Rome, Were Ordained Bishops For Frisland.
- Chap. XII.—: Of One Among the Northumbrians, Who Rose From the Dead, and Related the Things Which He Had Seen, Some Exciting Terror, Others Delight.
- Chap. XIII.—: Of Another, Who Before His Death Saw a Book Containing All His Sins, Which Was Showed Him By Devils.
- Chap. XIV.—: Of Another, Who Being At the Point of Death, Saw the Place of Punishment Appointed For Him In Hell.
- Chap. XV.—: Several Churches of the Scots, At the Instance of Adamnan, Conformed to the Catholic Easter; the Same Person Wrote a Book About the Holy Places.
- Chap. XVI.—: The Account Given By the Aforesaid Book of the Place of Our Lord’s Nativity, Passion and Resurrection.
- Chap. XVII.—: Of the Place of Our Lord’s Ascension, and the Tombs of the Patriarchs.
- Chap. XVIII.—: The South Saxons Received Eadbert and Eolla, and the West Saxons, Daniel and Aldhelm, For Their Bishops. of the Writings of the Same Aldhelm.
- Chap. XIX.—: Coinred, King of the Mercians, and Offa, of the East Saxons, Ended Their Days At Rome, In the Monastic Habit. of the Life and Death of Bishop Wilfrid.
- Chap. XX.—: Albinus Succeeded to the Religious Abbot Hadrian, and Acca to Bishop Wilfrid.
- Chap. XXI.—: Abbot Ceolfrid Sent the King of the Picts Architects to Build a Church, and With Them an Epistle Concerning the Catholic Easter and Tonsure.
- Chap. XXII.—: The Monks of Hii, and the Monasteries Subject to Them, Begin to Celebrate the Canonical Easter At the Preaching of Egbert.
- Chap. XXIII.—: Of the Present State of the English Nation, Or of All Britain.
- Appendices: Epitome Sive Recapitulatio Chronica Totius Operis.
- Epitome Or Chronological Summary of the Whole Work.
- Notitia De Se Ipso Et De Libris Suis.
- Notice of the Author Himself and of His Works.
- Epitome BedÆ Venerabilis Continuata Auctore Anonymo.
- BedÆ Chronologia Continuata Auctore Anonymo.
- VariÆ Lectiones.
- Collatio Hujus Editionis Cum Edd. Heidelberg. Et Stev.
- Collatio Tomi Secundi.
- VariÆ Lectiones QuÆ In Textu Editionis SmithianÆ Reperiuntur.
- Varietates Lectionis, Quas Smithius Ad Imam Paginam Subjecit.
- Collatio Tomi Secundi.
- Duration of the Kingdoms of the Anglo-saxon Heptarchy.
IN THE ORIGINAL LATIN,
COLLATED WITH THE MANUSCRIPTS, AND
VARIOUS PRINTED EDITIONS,
A NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION
OF THE HISTORICAL WORKS,
A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.
BY THE REV. J. A. GILES, D.C.L.
late fellow of c.c.c., oxford.
BOOKS IV. V.
WHITTAKER AND CO., AVE MARIA LANE.
LONDON: william stevens, printer, bell yard, temple bar.
[Back to Table of Contents]
In this volume are contained the Fourth and Fifth Books of the Ecclesiastical History, in Latin and English, as before; to the end are annexed the Notitia Librorum suorum and the Epitome, together with the continuation thereof by a later writer. Then follow the various readings of the editions collated, a Chronological Arrangement of Anglo-Saxon History, and a copious Index, forming a body of notes to the whole work.
It has been thought desirable thus to keep the Ecclesiastical History separate from the other Historical Works, which, under the title of Opuscula Historica, will be all contained in the next volume.
LIBRI IV ET V.
HISTORIA ECCLESIASTICA GENTIS ANGLORUM.
UT, DEFUNCTO DEUSDEDIT, WIGHARDUS AD SUSCIPIENDUM EPISCOPATUM ROMAM SIT MISSUS; SED ILLO IBIDEM DEFUNCTO, THEODORUS ARCHIEPISCOPUS ORDINATUS ET CUM HADRIANO ABBATE SIT BRITANNIAM MISSUS.
ANNO memorato præfatæ eclipsis et mox subsequentis pestilentiæ, quo et Colmanus episcopus, unanima catholicorum intentione superatus, ad suos reversus est, Deusdedit sextus ecclesiæ Dorovernensis episcopus obiit pridie iduum Juliarum; sed et Erconbertus rex Cantuariorum eodem mense ac die defunctus Egberto filio sedem regni reliquit, quam ille susceptam per novem annos tenuit. Tunc cessante non pauco tempore episcopatu, missus est Romam ab ipso simul et a rege Northanhumbrorum Oswio, ut in præcedente libro paucis diximus, Wighardus presbyter, vir in ecclesiasticis disciplinis doctissimus, de genere Anglorum, petentibus hunc ecclesiæ Anglorum archiepiscopum ordinari; missis pariter apostolico papæ donariis, et aureis atque argenteis vasis non paucis. Qui ubi Romam pervenit, cujus sedi apostolicæ tempore illo Vitalianus præerat, postquam itineris sui causam præfato papæ apostolico patefecit, non multo post et ipse et omnes pene, qui cum eo advenerant, socii, pestilentia superveniente, deleti sunt.
At apostolicus papa, habito de his consilio, quæsivit sedulus, quem ecclesiis Anglorum archiepiscopum mitteret. Erat autem in monasterio Niridano, quod est non longe a Neapoli Campaniæ, abbas Hadrianus, vir natione Afer, sacris literis diligenter imbutus, monasterialibus simul et ecclesiasticis disciplinis institutus, Græcæ pariter et Latinæ linguæ peritissimus. Hunc ad se accitum papa jussit, episcopatu accepto, Britanniam venire. Qui indignum se tanto gradui respondens, ostendere posse se dixit alium, cujus magis ad suscipiendum episcopatum et eruditio conveniret et ætas. Cumque monachum quendam de vicino virginum monasterio, nomine Andream, pontifici offerret, hic ab omnibus, qui eum novere, dignus episcopatu judicatus est. Verum pondus corporeæ infirmitatis, ne episcopus fieri posset, obstitit. Et rursum Hadrianus ad suscipiendum episcopatum actus est; qui petiit inducias si forte alium, qui episcopus ordinaretur, ex tempore posset evenire.
Erat ipso tempore Romæ monachus Hadriano notus, nomine Theodorus, natus ex Tarso Ciliciæ, vir et seculari et divina literatura, et Græce instructus et Latine, probus moribus et ætate venerandus, id est, annos habens ætatis sexaginta et sex. Hunc offerens Hadrianus pontifici, ut episcopus ordinaretur obtinuit, his tamen conditionibus interpositis, ut ipse eum perduceret Britanniam, eo quod jam bis partes Galliarum diversis ex causis adiisset; et ob id majorem hujus itineris peragendi notitiam haberet, sufficiensque esset in possessione hominum propriorum: et ut ei doctrinæ cooperator exsistens diligenter attenderet, ne quid ille contrarium veritati fidei, Græcorum more, in ecclesiam, cui præesset, introduceret. Qui subdiaconus ordinatus quatuor exspectavit menses, donec illi coma cresceret, quo in coronam tonderi posset; habuerat enim tonsuram more Orientalium sancti apostoli Pauli. Qui ordinatus est a Vitaliano papa, anno Dominicæ incarnationis sexcentesimo sexagesimo octavo, sub die septimo kalendarum Aprilium, Dominico; et ita una cum Hadriano sexto kalendas Junias Britanniam missus est.
Qui cum pariter per mare ad Massiliam et deinde per terram Arelas pervenissent, et tradidissent Joanni archiepiscopo civitatis illius scripta commendatitia Vitaliani pontificis, retenti sunt ab eo, quousque Ebrinus Major Domus regiæ copiam pergendi quoquo vellent tribuit eis. Qua accepta, Theodorus profectus est ad Agilbertum Parisiorum episcopum, de quo superius diximus, et ab eo benigne susceptus et multo tempore habitus est. Hadrianus vero perrexit primum ad Emme Senonum et postea ad Faronem Meldorum episcopos, et bene cum eis diutius fuit; coegerat enim eos imminens hiems, ut ubicunque potuissent quieti manerent. Quod cum nuncii certi narrassent regi Egberto, adesse scilicet episcopum, quem petierant a Romano antistite, in regno Francorum, misit illo continuo Redfridum præfectum suum, ad adducendum eum; quo cum pervenisset, assumsit Theodorum cum Ebrini licentia et perduxit eum ad portum, cui nomen est Quentavic, ubi fatigatus infirmitate aliquantisper moratus est, et cum convalescere cœpisset navigavit Britanniam. Hadrianum autem Ebrinus retinuit, quoniam suspicabatur eum habere aliquam legationem Imperatoris ad Britanniæ reges adversus regnum, cujus tunc ipse maximam curam gerebat. Sed cum nihil tale illum habere vel habuisse veraciter comperisset, absolvit eum et post Theodorum ire permisit. Qui statim ut ad illum pervenit, dedit ei monasterium beati Petri apostoli, ubi archiepiscopi Cantiæ sepeliri, ut præfatus sum, solent. Præceperat enim Theodoro abeunti dominus apostolicus, ut in diœcesi sua provideret, et daret ei locum, in quo cum suis apte degere potuisset.
UT, THEODORO CUNCTA PERAGRANTE, ANGLORUM ECCLESIÆ CUM CATHOLICA VERITATE, LITERARUM QUOQUE SANCTARUM CŒPERINT STUDIIS IMBUI; ET UT PUTTA PRO DAMIANO RHOFENSIS ECCLESIÆ SIT FACTUS ANTISTES.
Pervenit autem Theodorus ad ecclesiam suam secundo postquam consecratus est anno, sub die sexto kalendarum Juniarum, Dominico; et fecit in ea annos viginti et unum, menses tres, dies viginti sex. Moxque peragrata insula tota, quaquaversum Anglorum gentes morabantur, nam et libentissime ab omnibus suscipiebatur atque audiebatur, rectum vivendi ordinem, ritum Paschæ celebrandi canonicum, per omnia comitante et cooperante Hadriano, disseminabat. Isque primus erat in archiepiscopis, cui omnis Anglorum ecclesia manus dare consentiret. Et quia literis sacris simul et secularibus, ut diximus, abundanter ambo erant instructi, congregata discipulorum caterva, scientiæ salutaris quotidie flumina irrigandis eorum cordibus emanabant; ita ut etiam metricæ artis, astronomiæ et arithmeticæ ecclesiasticæ disciplinam inter sacrorum apicum volumina suis auditoribus contraderent. Indicio est, quod usque hodie supersunt de eorum discipulis, qui Latinam Græcamque linguam æque ut propriam, in qua nati sunt, norunt. Neque unquam prorsus ex quo Britanniam petierunt Angli feliciora fuere tempora; dum et fortissimos Christianosque habentes reges cunctis barbaris nationibus essent terrori, et omnium vota ad nuper audita cœlestis regni gaudia penderent, et quicunque lectionibus sacris cuperent erudiri, haberent in promtu magistros, qui docerent.
Sed et sonos cantandi in ecclesia, quos eatenus in Cantia tantum noverant, ab hoc tempore per omnes Anglorum ecclesias discere cœperunt; primusque, excepto Jacobo, de quo supra diximus, cantandi magister Northanhumbrorum ecclesiis Eddi cognomento Stephanus fuit, invitatus de Cantia a reverendissimo viro Wilfrido, qui primus inter episcopos, qui de Anglorum gente essent, Catholicum vivendi morem ecclesiis Anglorum tradere didicit.
Itaque Theodorus perlustrans universa ordinabat locis opportunis episcopos, et ea, quæ minus perfecta reperit, his quoque juvantibus, corrigebat. In quibus et Ceaddam episcopum cum argueret non fuisse rite consecratum, respondens ipse voce humillima, “Si me,” inquit, “nosti episcopatum non rite suscepisse, libenter ab officio discedo; quippe qui neque me unquam hoc esse dignum arbitrabar, sed obedientiæ causa jussus subire hoc, quamvis indignus, consensi.” At ille audiens humilitatem responsionis ejus, dixit, non eum episcopatum dimittere debere; sed ipse ordinationem ejus denuo catholica ratione consummavit. Eo autem tempore, quo, defuncto Deusdedit, Dorovernensis ecclesiæ episcopus quærebatur, ordinabatur, mittebatur, Wilfridus quoque de Britannia Galliam ordinandus est missus; et quoniam ante Theodorum rediit, ipse etiam in Cantia presbyteros et diaconos, usquedum archiepiscopus ad sedem suam perveniret, ordinabat. At ipse veniens mox in civitatem Rhofi, ubi, defuncto Damiano, episcopatus jam diu cessaverat, ordinavit virum magis ecclesiasticis disciplinis institutum et vitæ simplicitate contentum, quam in seculi rebus strenuum, cui nomen erat Putta; maxime autem modulandi in ecclesia more Romanorum, quem a discipulis beati papæ Gregorii didicerat, peritum.
UT CEADDA, DE QUO SUPRA DICTUM EST, PROVINCIÆ MERCIORUM SIT EPISCOPUS DATUS; ET DE VITA ET DE OBITU ET SEPULTURA EJUS.
EO tempore provinciæ Merciorum rex Wulfhere præfuit, qui cum, mortuo Jarumanno, sibi quoque suisque a Theodoro episcopum dari peteret, non eis novum voluit ordinare episcopum; sed postulavit a rege Oswio, ut illis episcopus Ceadda daretur, qui tune in monasterio suo, quod est in Lestingau, quietam vitam agebat, Wilfrido administrante episcopatum Eboracensis ecclesiæ, necnon et omnium Northanhumbrorum, sed et Pictorum, quousque rex Oswius imperium protendere poterat. Et quia moris erat eidem reverendissimo antistiti opus Evangelii magis ambulando per loca, quam equitando, perficere, jussit eum Theodorus, ubicunque longius iter instaret, equitare, multumque renitentem, studio et amore pii laboris, ipse eum manu sua levavit in equum; quia nimirum sanctum esse virum comperit, atque equo vehi, quo esset necesse, compulit. Susceptum itaque episcopatum gentis Merciorum simul et Lindisfarnorum Ceadda, juxta exempla patrum antiquorum, in magna vitæ perfectione administrare curavit: cui etiam rex Wulfhere donavit terram quinquaginta familiarum ad construendum monasterium in loco, qui dicitur “Ad Barve,” id est, “Ad Nemus,” in provincia Lindissi, in quo usque hodie instituta ab ipso regularis vitæ vestigia permanent.
Habuit autem sedem episcopalem in loco, qui vocatur Licithfelth, in quo et defunctus ac sepultus est; ubi usque hodie sequentium quoque provinciæ illius episcoporum sedes est. Fecerat vero sibi mansionem non longe ab ecclesia remotiorem, in qua secretius cum paucis, id est, septem sive octo fratribus, quoties a labore et ministerio verbi vacabat, orare ac legere solebat. Qui cum in illa provincia duobus annis ac dimidio eeclesiam gloriosissime rexisset, adfuit, superno dispensante judicio, tempus, de quo loquitur Ecclesiastes, [iii. 5,] Quia tempus mittendi lapides, et tempus colligendi. Supervenit namque clades divinitus missa, quæ per mortem carnis, vivos ecclesiæ lapides de terrenis sedibus ad ædificium cœleste transferret. Cumque, plurimis de ecclesia ejusdem reverendissimi antistitis de carne subtractis, veniret hora ipsius, ut transiret ex hoc mundo ad Dominum; contigit die quadam, ut in præfata mansione forte ipse cum uno tantum fratre, cui vocabulum erat Owini, commoraretur, ceteris ejus sociis pro causa opportuna ad ecclesiam reversis. Erat autem idem Owini monachus magni meriti, et pura intentione supernæ retributionis mundum derelinquens, dignusque per omnia, cui Dominus specialiter sua revelaret arcana, dignus cui fidem narranti audientes accommodarent. Venerat enim cum regina Etheldrida de provincia Orientalium Anglorum, eratque primus ministrorum et princeps domus ejus. Qui cum, crescente fidei fervore, seculo abrenunciare disponeret, non hoc segniter fecit; sed adeo se mundi rebus exuit, ut relictis omnibus quæ habebat, simplici tantum habitu indutus, et securim atque asciam in manu ferens, veniret ad monasterium ejusdem reverendissimi patris, quo vocatur Lestingau. Non enim ad otium, ut quidam, sed ad laborem se monasterium intrare signabat; quod ipsum etiam facto monstravit, nam quo minus sufficiebat meditationi Scripturarum, eo amplius operi manuum studium impendebat. Denique, cum episcopo in præfata mansione pro suæ reverentia devotionis inter fratres habitus, cum illi intus lectioni vacabant, ipse foris, quæ opus esse videbantur, operabatur.
Qui cum die quadam tale aliquid foris ageret, digressis ad ecclesiam sociis, ut dicere cœperam, et episcopus solus in oratorio loci lectioni vel orationi operam daret, audivit repente, ut postea referebat, vocem suavissimam cantantium atque lætantium de cœlo ad terras usque descendere; quam, videlicet, vocem ab euro-austro, id est, ab alto brumalis exortus, primo se audiisse dicebat, ac deinde paulatim eam sibi appropiare, donec ad tectum usque oratorii, in quo erat episcopus, perveniret: quod ingressa, totum implevit atque in gyro circumdedit. At ille, dum solicitus in ea, quæ audiebat, animum intenderet, audivit denuo, transacto quasi dimidiæ horæ spatio, ascendere de tecto ejusdem oratorii idem lætitiæ canticum, et ipsa qua venerat via, ad cœlos usque cum ineffabili dulcedine reverti. Qui cum aliquantulum horæ quasi attonitus maneret, et quid hoc esset solerti animo scrutaretur, aperuit episcopus fenestram oratorii, et sonitum manu faciens, ut sæpe consueverat, si quis foris esset, ad se intrare præcepit. Introivit ille concitus, cui dixit antistes, “Vade cito ad ecclesiam, et hos septem fratres huc venire facito; tu quoque simul adesto.” Qui cum venissent, primo admonuit eos, ut virtutem dilectionis et pacis ad invicem et ad omnes fideles servarent; instituta quoque disciplinæ regularis, quæ vel ab ipso didicissent et in ipso vidissent, vel in patrum præcedentium factis sive dictis invenissent, indefessa instantia sequerentur. Deinde subjunxit diem sui obitus jam proxime instare. “Namque hospes,” inquit, “ille amabilis, qui fratres nostros visitare solebat, ad me quoque hodie venire, meque de seculo evocare, dignatus est. Propter quod revertentes ad ecclesiam dicite fratribus, ut et meum exitum Domino precibus commendent, et suum quoque exitum, cujus hora incerta est, vigiliis, orationibus, bonis operibus, prævenire meminerint.”
Cumque hæc et hujusmodi plura loqueretur, atque illi, percepta ejus benedictione, jam multum tristes exiissent, rediit ipse solus, qui carmen cœleste audierat, et prosternens se in terram, “Obsecro,” inquit, “pater, licet aliquid interrogare?”—“Interroga,” inquit, “quod vis.” At ille, “Obsecro,” inquit, “ut dicas, quod erat canticum illud lætantium, quod audivi, venientium de cœlis super oratorium hoc, et post tempus redeuntium ad cœlos?” Respondit ille, “Si vocem carminis audiisti, et cœlestes supervenire cœtus cognovisti, præcipio tibi in nomine Domini, ne hoc cuiquam ante meum obitum dicas. Revera autem angelorum fuere spiritus, qui me ad cœlestia, quæ semper amabam ac desiderabam, præmia vocare venerunt, et post dies septem se redituros, ac me secum adducturos esse, promiserunt.” Quod quidem ita, ut dictum ei erat, opere completum est. Nam confestim languore corporis tactus est, et hoc per dies ingravescente, septimo, ut promissum ei fuerat, die, postquam obitum suum Dominici corporis et sanguinis perceptione munivit, soluta ab ergastulo corporis anima sancta, ducentibus, ut credi fas est, angelis comitibus, æterna gaudia petivit.
Non autem mirum si diem mortis, vel potius diem Domini, lætus aspexit, quem semper, usquedum veniret, solicitus exspectare curavit. Namque inter plura continentiæ, humilitatis, doctrinæ, orationum, voluntariæ paupertatis, et ceterarum virtutum, merita, in tantum erat timori Domini subditus, in tantum novissimorum suorum in omnibus operibus suis memor, ut sicut mihi frater quidam de eis, qui me in Scripturis erudiebant et erat in monasterio ac magisterio illius educatus, vocabulo Trumbertus, referre solebat, si forte legente eo vel aliud quid agente, repente flatus venti major assurgeret, continuo misericordiam Domini invocaret, et eam generi humano propitiari rogaret. Si autem violentior aura insisteret, jam, clauso codice, procideret in faciem atque obnixius orationi incumberet. At si procella fortior, aut nimbus perurgeret, vel etiam corusci ac tonitrua terras et aera terrerent; tunc veniens ad ecclesiam solicitus orationibus ac psalmis, donec serenitas aeris rediret, fixa mente vacaret. Cumque interrogaretur a suis, quare hoc faceret; respondebat, “Non legistis, quia [Ps. xvii. 15, 16] intonuit de cœlo Dominus, et Altissimus dedit vocem suam. Misit sagittas suas, et dissipavit eos, fulgura multiplicavit, et conturbavit eos. Movet enim aera Dominus, ventos excitat, jaculatur fulgura, de cœlo intonat, ut terrigenas ad timendum se suscitet, ut corda eorum in memoriam futuri judicii revocet, ut superbiam eorum dissipet et conturbet audaciam, reducto ad mentem tremendo illo tempore, quando ipse, cœlis ac terris ardentibus, venturus est in nubibus in potestate magna et majestate ad judicandos vivos et mortuos. Propter quod,” inquit, “oportet nos admonitioni ejus cœlesti debito cum timore et amore respondere; ut quoties, aere commoto, manum quasi ad feriendum minitans exerit, nec adhuc tamen percutit, mox imploremus ejus misericordiam, et discussis penetralibus cordis nostri, atque expurgatis vitiorum ruderibus, soliciti ne unquam percuti mereamur agamus.”
Convenit autem revelationi et relationi præfati fratris de obitu hujus antistitis etiam sermo reverendissimi patris Egberti, de quo supra diximus, qui dudum cum eodem Ceadda adolescente, et ipse adolescens in Hibernia monachicam in orationibus et continentia, et meditatione divinarum Scripturarum, vitam sedulus agebat. Sed illo postmodum patriam reverso, ipse peregrinus pro Domino usque ad finem vitæ permansit. Cum ergo veniret ad eum longo post tempore, gratia visitationis, de Britannia vir sanctissimus et continentissimus, vocabulo Hygbaldus, qui erat abbas in provincia Lindissi, et, ut sanctos decebat, de vita priorum patrum sermonem facerent atque hanc æmulari gauderent, intervenit mentio reverendissimi antistitis Ceaddæ, dixitque Egbertus, “Scio hominem in hac insula adhuc in carne manentem, qui, cum vir ille de mundo transiret, vidit animam Cedd fratris ipsius cum agmine angelorum descendere de cœlo, et assumta secum anima ejus, ad cœlestia regna redire.” Quod utrum de se an de alio aliquo diceret, nobis manet incertum; dum tamen hoc, quod tantus vir dixit, quia verum sit, esse non possit incertum.
Obiit autem Ceadda sexto die nonarum Martiarum, et sepultus est primo quidem juxta ecclesiam Sanctæ Mariæ; sed postmodum, constructa ibidem ecclesia beatissimi apostolorum principis Petri, in eandem sunt ejus ossa translata. In quo utroque loco, ad indicium virtutis illius, solent crebra sanitatum miracula operari. Denique nuper phreneticus quidam, dum per cuncta errando discurreret, devenit ibi vespere, nescientibus, sive non curantibus, loci custodibus, et ibi tota nocte requiescens mane sanato sensu egressus, mirantibus et gaudentibus cunctis, quod ibi sanitatem Domino largiente consequeretur, ostendit. Est autem locus idem sepulcri tumba lignea, in modum domunculæ facta, coopertus, habens foramen in pariete, per quod solent hi, qui causa devotionis illo adveniunt, manum suam immittere, ac partem pulveris inde assumere; quam cum in aquas miserint atque has infirmantibus jumentis sive hominibus gustandas dederint, mox infirmitatis ablata molestia, ad cupitæ sospitatis gaudia redibunt. In cujus locum ordinavit Theodorus Winfridum, virum bonum ac modestum, qui, sicut prædecessores ejus, provinciis Merciorum et Mediterraneorum Anglorum et Lindisfarnorum episcopatus officio præesset; in quibus cunctis Wulfhere, qui adhuc supererat, sceptrum regni tenebat. Erat autem Winfridus de clero ejus, cui ipse successerat, antistitis, et diaconatus officio sub eo non pauco tempore fungebatur.
UT COLMANUS EPISCOPUS, RELICTA BRITANNIA, DUO MONASTERIA IN SCOTIA, UNUM SCOTIS, ALTERUM ANGLIS, QUOS SECUM ADDUXERAT, FECERIT.
Interea Colmanus, qui de Scotia erat episcopus, relinquens Britanniam tulit secum omnes, quos in Lindisfarnensium insula congregaverat Scotos; sed et de gente Anglorum viros circiter triginta, qui utrique monachicæ conversationis erant studiis imbuti. Et relictis in ecclesia sua fratribus aliquot, primo venit ad insulam Hii, unde erat ad prædicandum verbum Dei Anglorum genti destinatus. Deinde secessit ad insulam quandam parvam, quæ ad occidentalem plagam ab Hibernia procul secreta, sermone Scotico Inisbofinde, id est, “Insula Vitulæ Albæ,” nuncupatur. In hanc ergo perveniens construxit monasterium, et monachos inibi, quos de utraque natione collectos adduxerat, collocavit. Qui cum invicem concordare non possent, eo quod Scoti tempore æstatis, quo fruges erant colligendæ, relicto monasterio, per nota sibi loca dispersi vagarentur, at vero, hieme succedente, redirent, et his, quæ Angli præparaverant, communiter uti desiderarent; quæsivit Colmanus huic dissensioni remedium, et circumiens omnia prope vel longe, invenit locum in Hibernia insula aptum monasterio construendo, qui lingua Scotorum Mageo nominatur; emitque partem ejus non grandem, ad construendum ibi monasterium, a comite ad cujus possessionem pertinebat; ea conditione addita, ut pro ipso etiam, qui eis locum commodaret, consistentes ibi monachi Domino preces offerrent. Et constructo statim monasterio, juvante etiam comite ac vicinis omnibus, Anglos ibidem collocavit, relictis in præfata insula Scotis; quod videlicet monasterium usque hodie ab Anglis tenetur incolis. Ipsum namque est, quod nunc grande de modico effectum, Mageo consuete vocatur, et conversis jamdudum ad meliora instituta omnibus, egregium examen continet monachorum, qui de provincia Anglorum ibidem collecti ad exemplum venerabilium patrum sub regula et abbate canonico, in magna continentia et sinceritate proprio labore manuum vivunt.
DE MORTE OSWII ET EGBERTI REGUM; ET DE SYNODO FACTA AD LOCUM HERUTFORD, CUI PRÆSIDEBAT ARCHIEPISCOPUS THEODORUS.
ANNO Dominicæ incarnationis sexcentesimo septuagesimo, qui est annus secundus, ex quo Britanniam venit Theodorus, Oswius rex Northanhumbrorum pressus est infirmitate, qua et mortuus est anno ætatis suæ quinquagesimo octavo; qui in tantum eo tempore tenebatur amore Romanæ et apostolicæ institutionis, ut, si ab infirmitate salvaretur, etiam Romam venire, ibique ad loca sancta vitam finire disponeret, Wilfridumque episcopum ducem sibi itineris fieri, promissa non parva pecuniarum donatione, rogaret. Qui defunctus die decimo quinto kalendarum Martiarum, Egfridum filium regni heredem reliquit; cujus anno regni tertio Theodorus cogit concilium episcoporum, una cum eis, qui canonica patrum statuta et diligerent et nossent, magistris ecclesiæ pluribus. Quibus pariter congregatis, diligenter ea, quæ unitati pacis ecclesiasticæ congruerunt, eo quo pontificem decebat animo, cœpit observanda docere. Cujus synodicæ actionis hujusmodi textus est:
“In nomine Domini Dei et Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi, regnante in perpetuum ac gubernante suam ecclesiam eodem Domino nostro Jesu Christo, placuit convenire nos, juxta morem canonum venerabilium, tractaturos de necessariis ecclesiæ negotiis. Convenimus autem die vigesima quarta mensis Septembris, indictione prima, in loco qui dicitur Herutford. Ego quidem Theodorus, quamvis indignus, ab apostolica sede destinatus Dorovernensis ecclesiæ episcopus; et consacerdos ac frater noster reverendissimus Bisi Orientalium Anglorum episcopus; quibus etiam frater et consacerdos noster Wilfridus Northanhumbrorum gentis episcopus per proprios legatarios affuit. Affuerunt et fratres ac consacerdotes nostri, Putta episcopus Castelli Cantuariorum, quod dicitur Rhofescestir, Eleutherius episcopus Occidentalium Saxonum, Winfridus episcopus provinciæ Merciorum. Cumque in unum convenientes juxta ordinem quique suum resedissemus, ‘Rogo,’ inquam, ‘dilectissimi fratres, propter timorem et amorem Redemtoris nostri, ut in commune omnes pro nostra fide tractemus; ut quæcunque decreta ac definita sunt a sanctis et probabilibus patribus, incorrupte ab omnibus nobis serventur.’ Hæc et alia quamplura, quæ ad caritatem pertinebant, unitatemque ecclesiæ conservandam, prosecutus sum. Cumque explessem prælocutionem, interrogavi unumquemque eorum per ordinem, si consentirent ea, quæ a patribus canonice sunt antiquitus decreta, custodire. Ad quod omnes consacerdotes nostri respondentes dixerunt, ‘Optime omnibus placet, quæcunque definierunt sanctorum canones patrum, nos quoque omnes alacri animo libentissime servare.’ Quibus statim protuli eundem librum canonum, et ex eodem libro decem capitula, quæ per loca notaveram, quia maxime nobis necessaria sciebam, illis coram ostendi, et ut hæc diligentius ab omnibus susciperentur rogavi.
Primum capitulum, Ut sanctum diem Paschæ in commune omnes servemus Dominica post quartam decimam lunam mensis primi.
Secundum, Ut nullus episcoporum parochiam alterius invadat, sed contentus sit gubernatione creditæ sibi plebis.
Tertium, Ut quæcunque monasteria Deo consecrata sunt, nulli episcoporum liceat ea in aliquo inquietare, nec quicquam de eorum rebus violenter abstrahere.
Quartum, Ut ipsi monachi non migrent de loco ad locum, hoc est, de monasterio ad monasterium, nisi per demissionem proprii abbatis; sed in ea permaneant obedientia, quam tempore suæ conversionis promiserunt.
Quintum, Ut nullus clericorum relinquens proprium episcopum passim quolibet discurrat, neque alicubi veniens absque commendatitiis literis sui præsulis suscipiatur. Quod si semel susceptus noluerit invitatus redire, et susceptor et is, qui susceptus est, excommunicationi subjacebit.
Sextum, Ut episcopi atque clerici peregrini contenti sint hospitalitatis munere oblato; nullique eorum liceat ullum officium sacerdotale absque permissu episcopi, in cujus parochia esse cognoscitur, agere.
Septimum, Ut bis in anno synodus congregetur; sed quia diversæ causæ impediunt, placuit omnibus in commune, ut kalendis Augusti in loco, qui appellatur Clofeshoch, semel in anno congregentur.
Octavum, Ut nullus episcoporum se præferat alteri per ambitionem; sed omnes agnoscant tempus et ordinem consecrationis suæ.
Nonum capitulum, In commune tractatum est, ut plures episcopi, crescente numero fidelium, augerentur; sed de hac re ad præsens siluimus.
Decimum capitulum pro conjugiis, Ut nulli liceat nisi legitimum habere connubium. Nullus incestum faciat, nullus conjugem propriam, nisi, ut sanctum Evangelium docet, fornicationis causa, relinquat. Quod si quisquam propriam expulerit conjugem legitimo sibi matrimonio conjunctam, si Christianus esse recte voluerit, nulli alteri copuletur; sed ita permaneat, aut propriæ reconcilietur conjugi.
His itaque capitulis in commune tractatis ac definitis, ut nullum deinceps ab aliquo nostrum oriatur contentionis scandalum, aut alia pro aliis divulgarentur, placuit, ut quæcunque definita sunt unusquisque nostrum manus propriæ subscriptione confirmaret. Quam sententiam definitionis nostræ Titillo notario scribendam dictavi. Actum in mense et indictione supra scriptis.
Quisquis igitur contra hanc sententiam, juxta decreta canonum, nostra etiam consensione ac subscriptione manus nostræ confirmatam, quoquo modo venire eamque infringere tentaverit, noverit se ab omni officio sacerdotali et nostra societate separatum. Divina nos gratia, in unitate sanctæ suæ ecclesiæ viventes, custodiat incolumes.
Facta est autem hæc synodus anno ab incarnatione Domini sexcentesimo septuagesimo tertio, quo anno rex Cantuariorum Egbertus mense Julio obierat, succedente in regnum fratre Lothere, quod ipse annos undecim et menses septem tenuit. Bisi autem episcopus Orientalium Anglorum, qui in præfata synodo fuisse perhibetur, ipse erat successor Bonifacii, cujus supra meminimus, vir multæ sanctitatis et religionis; nam Bonifacio post decem et septem episcopatus sui annos defuncto, episcopus ipse pro eo, Theodoro ordinante, factus est. Quo adhuc superstite, sed gravissima infirmitate ab administrando episcopatu prohibito, duo sunt pro illo, Ecci et Badwini, electi et consecrati episcopi; ex quo usque hodie provincia illa duos habere solet episcopos.
UT, DEPOSITO WINFRIDO, SEXWULFUS EPISCOPATUM EJUS ACCEPERIT, ET EARCONWALDUS ORIENTALIBUS SAXONIBUS SIT EPISCOPUS DATUS.
Now multo post hæc elapso tempore, offensus a Winfrido Merciorum episcopo per meritum cujusdam inobedientiæ Theodorus archiepiscopus, deposuit eum de episcopatu post annos accepti episcopatus non multos; et in loco ejus ordinavit episcopum Sexwulfum, qui erat constructor et abbas monasterii, quod dicitur Medeshamsted, in regione Girviorum. Depositus vero Winfridus rediit ad monasterium suum, quod dicitur “Ad Barve,” ibique in optima vitam conversatione finivit.
Tunc etiam Orientalibus Saxonibus, quibus eo tempore præfuerunt Sebbi et Sighere, quorum supra meminimus, Earconwaldum constituit episcopum in civitate Londonia; cujus videlicet viri in episcopatu et ante episcopatum vita et conversatio fertur fuisse sanctissima, sicut etiam nunc cœlestium signa virtutum indicio sunt. Etenim usque hodie feretrum ejus caballarium, quo infirmus vehi solebat, servatum a discipulis ejus, multos febricitantes, vel alio quolibet incommodo fessos, sanare non desistit. Non solum autem suppositi eidem feretro, vel appositi, curantur ægroti, sed et astulæ de illo abscissæ atque ad infirmos allatæ, citam illis solent afferre medelam.
Hic sane priusquam episcopus factus esset duo præclara monasteria, unum sibi, alterum sorori suæ Ethelbergæ, construxerat, quod utrumque regularibus disciplinis optime instituerat. Sibi quidem in regione Suthergeona, juxta fluvium Tamensem, in loco qui vocatur “Cerotesei,” id est, “Ceroti Insula;” sorori autem in Orientali Saxonum provincia, in loco qui nuncupatur “In Berecingum,” in quo ipsa Deo devotarum mater ac nutrix posset existere feminarum. Quæ, suscepto monasterii regimine, condignam se in omnibus episcopo fratre, et ipsa recte vivendo et subjectis regulariter et pie consulendo, præbuit; ut etiam cœlestia indicio fuere miracula.
UT IN MONASTERIO BERICINENSI, UBI CORPORA SANCTIMONIALIUM FEMINARUM PONI DEBERENT, CŒLESTI SIT LUCE MONSTRATUM.
In hoc etenim monasterio plura virtutum sunt signa patrata, quæ et ad memoriam ædificationemque sequentium, ab his qui novere, descripta habentur a multis; e quibus et nos aliqua Historiæ nostræ Ecclesiasticæ inserere curavimus. Cum tempestas sæpe dictæ cladis, late cuncta depopulans, etiam partem monasterii hujus illam, qua viri tenebantur, invasisset, et passim quotidie raperentur ad Dominum, solicita mater congregationis, qua hora etiam eam monasterii partem, qua ancillarum Dei caterva a virorum erat secreta contubernio, eadem plaga tangeret, crebrius in conventu sororum perquirere cœpit, quo loci in monasterio corpora sua poni et cœmeterium fieri vellent, cum eas eodem, quo ceteros exterminio raptari e mundo contingeret. Cumque nihil certi responsi, tametsi sæpius inquirens, a sororibus accepisset, accepit ipsa cum omnibus certissimum supernæ provisionis responsum. Cum enim nocte quadam, expletis matutinæ laudis psalmodiis, egressæ de oratorio famulæ Christi ad sepulcra fratrum, qui eas ex hac luce præcesserant, solitas Domino laudes decantarent, ecce, subito lux emissa cœlitus, veluti linteum magnum, venit super omnes, tantoque eas stupore perculit, ut etiam canticum, quod canebant, tremefactæ intermitterent. Ipse autem splendor emissæ lucis, in cujus comparatione sol meridianus videri posset obscurus, non multo post illo elevatus de loco in meridianam monasterii partem, hoc est, ad occidentem oratorii secessit, ibique aliquandiu remoratus et ea loca operiens, sic videntibus cunctis, ad cœli se alta subduxit, ut nulli esset dubium quin ipsa lux, quæ animas famularum Christi esset ductura vel susceptura in cœlis, etiam corporibus earum locum, in quo requietura et diem resurrectionis essent exspectatura, monstraret. Cujus radius lucis tantus exstitit, ut quidam de fratribus senior, qui ipsa hora in oratorio eorum cum alio juniore positus fuerat, referret mane, quod ingressi per rimas ostiorum vel fenestrarum radii lucis, omnem diurni luminis viderentur superare fulgorem.
UT IN EODEM MONASTERIO PUERULUS MORIENS VIRGINEM, QUÆ SE ERAT SECUTURA, CLAMAVERIT; UTQUE ALIA DE CORPORE EGRESSURA JAM PARTICULAM FUTURÆ LUCIS ASPEXERIT.
ERAT in eodem monasterio puer trium circiter, non amplius, annorum, Esica nomine, qui propter infantilem adhuc ætatem in virginum Deo dedicatarum solebat cella nutriri, ibique meditari. Hic præfata pestilentia tactus ubi ad extrema pervenit, clamavit ter unam de consecratis Christo virginibus, proprio eam nomine quasi præsentem alloquens, “Eadgyth, Eadgyth, Eadgyth;” et sic terminans temporalem vitam intravit æternam. At virgo illa, quam moriens vocabat, mox in loco, quo erat, eadem adtacta infirmitate, ipso, quo vocata est, die de hac luce subtracta, et illum, qui se vocavit, ad regnum cœleste secuta est.
Item quædam ex eisdem ancillis Dei, cum præfato tacta morbo atque ad extrema esset perducta, cœpit subito circa mediam noctem clamare his, quæ sibi ministrabant, petens ut lucernam, quæ inibi accensa erat, exstinguerent; quod cum frequenti voce repeteret, nec tamen ei aliquis obtemperaret, ad extremum intulit, “Scio quod me hæc insana mente loqui arbitramini, sed jam nunc non ita esse cognoscite; nam vere dico vobis, quod domum hanc tanta luce impletam esse perspicio, ut vestra illa lucerna mihi omnimodis esse videatur obscura.” Et cum ne adhuc quidem talia loquenti quisquam responderet, vel assensum præberet, iterum dixit, “Accendite ergo lucernam illam, quam diu vultis, attamen scitote quia non est mea lux; nam mea lux, incipiente aurora, mihi adventura est.” Cœpitque narrare quia apparuerit sibi quidam vir Dei, qui eodem anno fuerat defunctus, dicens quod, adveniente diluculo, perennem esset exitura ad lucem. Cujus veritas visionis ita circa exortum diei puellæ morte probata est.
QUÆ SINT OSTENSA CŒLITUS SIGNA CUM ET IPSA MATER CONGREGATIONIS ILLIUS E MUNDO TRANSIRET.
CUM autem et ipsa mater pia Deo devotæ congregationis Ethelberga esset rapienda de mundo, apparuit visio miranda cuidam de sororibus, cui nomen erat Tortgith, quæ multis jam annis in eodem monasterio commorata, et ipsa semper in omni humilitate ac sinceritate Deo servire satagebat, et adjutrix disciplinæ regularis eidem matri exsistere, minores docendo vel castigando, curabat. Cujus ut virtus juxta apostolum in infirmitate perficeretur, tacta est repente gravissimo corporis morbo, et per annos novem pia Redemtoris nostri provisione multum fatigata; videlicet, ut quicquid in ea vitii sordidantis inter virtutes per ignorantiam vel incuriam resedisset, totum hoc caminus diutinæ tribulationis excoqueret. Hæc ergo quadam nocte, incipiente crepusculo, egressa de cubiculo, quo manebat, vidit manifeste quasi corpus hominis, quod esset sole clarius, sindone involutum in sublime ferri, elatum videlicet de domo, in qua sorores pausare solebant. Cumque diligentius intueretur quo trahente levaretur sursum hæc, quam contemplabatur, species corporis gloriosi, vidit quod quasi funibus auro clarioribus in superna tolleretur, donec, cœlis patentibus introducta, amplius ab illa videri non potuit. Nec dubium remansit cogitanti de visione, quin aliquis de illa congregatione citius esset moriturus, cujus anima per bona, quæ fecisset, opera, quasi per funes aureos, levanda esset ad cœlos; quod revera ita contigit. Nam non multis interpositis diebus, Deo dilecta mater congregationis ipsius ergastulo carnis educta est; cujus talem fuisse constat vitam, ut nemo qui eam noverit, dubitare debeat quin ei exeunti de hac vita cœlestis patriæ patuerit ingressus.
In codem quoque monasterio quædam erat femina sanctimonialis, et ad seculi hujus dignitatem nobilis et in amore futuri seculi nobilior; quæ ita multis jam annis omni corporis fuerat officio destituta, ut ne unum quidem movere ipsa membrum valeret. Hæc, ubi corpus abbatissæ venerabilis in ecclesiam delatum, donec sepulturæ daretur, cognovit, postulavit se illo afferri, et in modum orantium ad illud acclinari. Quod dum fieret, quasi viventem allocuta, rogavit, ut apud misericordiam pii Conditoris impetraret se a tantis tamque diutinis cruciatibus absolvi. Nec multo tardius exaudita est; nam post dies duodecim, et ipsa educta ex carne, temporales afflictiones æterna mercede mutavit.
Cum vero præfata Christi famula Tortgith tres adhuc annos post obitum dominæ in hac vita teneretur, in tantum ea, quam prædiximus, infirmitate decocta est, ut vix ossibus hæreret, et ad ultimum, cum tempus jam resolutionis ejus instaret, non solum membrorum ceterorum, sed et linguæ motu caruit. Quod dum tribus diebus et totidem noctibus ageretur, subito visione spirituali recreata, os et oculos aperuit; aspiciensque in cœlum sic ad eam, quam intuebatur visionem, cœpit loqui, “Gratus mihi est multum adventus tuus, et bene venisti,” et hoe dicto, parumper reticuit, quasi responsum ejus, quem videbat et cui loquebatur, exspectans. Rursumque quasi leviter indignata subjunxit, “Nequaquam hoc læta ferre queo.” Rursumque modicum silens, tertio dixit, “Si nullatenus hodie fieri potest, obsecro, ne sit longum spatium in medio,” et sicut antea, parum silens, ita sermonem conclusit, “Si omnimodis ita definitum est, neque hanc sententiam licet immutari, obsecro ne amplius quam hæc solummodo proxima nox intersit.” Quibus dictis, interrogata a circumsedentibus, cum quo loqueretur, “Cum carissima,” inquit, “mea matre Ethelberga.” Ex quo intellexere, quod ipsa ei tempus suæ transmigrationis proximum nunciare venisset. Nam et ita ut rogabat, transacta una die ac nocte, soluta carnis simul et infirmitatis vinculis, ad æternæ gaudia salutis intravit.
UT AD CŒMETERIUM EJUSDEM MONASTERII ORANS CÆCA LUMEN RECEPERIT.
SUCCESSIT autem Ethelbergæ in officio abbatissæ devota Deo famula, nomine Hildelitha, multisque annis, id est, usque ad ultimam senectutem eidem monasterio strenuissime, et in observantia disciplinæ regularis et in earum, quæ ad communes usus pertinent, rerum providentia præfuit. Cui, cum propter angustiam loci, in quo monasterium constructum est, placuisset, ut ossa famulorum famularumque Christi, quæ ibidem fuerant tumulata, tollerentur, et transferrentur omnia in ecclesiam beatæ Dei Genitricis, unoque conderentur in loco; quoties ibi claritas luminis cœlestis, quanta sæpe fragrantia mirandi apparuerit odoris, quæ alia sint signa ostensa, in ipso libro, de quo hæc excerpsimus, quisquis legerit, inveniet.
Sane nullatenus prætereundum arbitror miraculum sanitatis, quod ad ipsum cœmeterium Deo dicatæ congregationis factum idem libellus refert. Erat quippe in proximo comes quidam, cujus uxor, ingruente oculis caligine subita, tantum per dies, eadem molestia crebrescente, gravata est, ut ne minimam quidem lucis alicujus posset particulam videre. Cui dum aliquandiu cæcitatis hujus nocte clausa maneret, repente venit in mentem quia si ad monasterium delata virginum sanctimonialium ad reliquias sanctorum peteret, perditam posset recipere lucem. Nec distulit quin continuo, quod mente conceperat, expleret. Perducta namque a puellis suis ad monasterium, quia in proximo erat, ubi fidem suæ sanationis integram se habere professa est, introducta est ad cœmeterium; et cum ibidem diutius flexis genibus oraret, nihilo tardius meruit exaudiri. Nam exsurgens ab oratione, priusquam exiret de loco, petitæ lucis gratiam recepit, et quæ famularum manibus adducta fuerat, ipsa libero pedum incessu domum læta reversa est; quasi ad hoc solummodo lucem amitteret temporalem, ut quanta sanctos Christi lux in cœlis, quæ gratia virtutis possideret, sua sanatione demonstraret.
UT REX EJUSDEM PROVINCIÆ SEBBI IN MONACHICA VITAM CONVERSATIONE FINIERIT.
Eo tempore præerat regno Orientalium Saxonum, ut idem etiam libellus docet, vir multum Deo devotus, nomine Sebbi, cujus supra meminimus. Erat enim, religiosis actibus, crebris precibus, piis eleemosynarum fructibus plurimum intentus; vitam privatam et monachicam cunctis regni divitiis et honoribus præferens, quam et olim jam, si non obstinatus conjugis animus divortium negaret, relicto regno, subiisset. Unde et multis visum et sæpe dictum est, quia talis animi virum episcopum magis quam regem ordinari deceret. Cumque annos triginta in regno miles regni cœlestis exegisset, correptus est corporis infirmitate permaxima, qua et mortuus est; admonuitque conjugem, ut vel tunc divino se servitio pariter manciparent, cum amplius pariter mundum amplecti, vel potius mundo servire, non possent. Quod dum ægre impetraret ab ea, venit ad antistitem Londoniæ civitatis, vocabulo Waldhere, qui Earconwaldo successerat; et per ejus benedictionem habitum religionis, quem diu desiderabat, accepit. Attulit autem eidem et summam pecuniæ non parvam, pauperibus erogandam, nil omnimodis sibi reservans; sed pauper spiritu magis propter regnum cœlorum manere desiderans.
Qui cum, ingravescente præfata ægritudine, diem sibi mortis imminere sensisset, timere cœpit homo animi regalis, ne ad mortem veniens tanto affectus dolore, aliquid indignum suæ personæ, vel ore proferret, vel aliorum motu gereret membrorum. Unde accito ad se præfato urbis Londoniæ, in qua tunc ipse manebat, episcopo, rogavit, ne plures, eo moriente, quam ipse episcopus et duo sui ministri adessent. Quod dum episcopus libentissime se facturum promitteret, non multo post idem vir Dei, dum membra sopori dedisset, vidit visionem consolatoriam, quæ omnem ei anxietatem memoratæ solicitudinis auferret; insuper et qua die esset hanc vitam terminaturus ostenderet. Vidit enim, ut post ipse referebat, tres ad se venisse viros claro indutos habitu; quorum unus residens ante lectulum ejus, (stantibus his, qui secum advenerant, comitibus, et interrogantibus de statu ejus, quem languentem visitare venerant,) dixit quod anima ejus, et sine ullo dolore, et cum magno lucis splendore esset egressura de corpore; sed et tertium exinde diem quo esset moriturus insinuavit. Quod ita utrumque, ut ex visione didicit, completum est; nam die dehinc tertio, completa hora nona, subito quasi leviter obdormiens sine ullo sensu doloris emisit spiritum.
Cujus corpori tumulando præparaverant sarcophagum lapideum; sed cum huic corpus imponere cœpissent, invenerunt hoc mensura palmi longius esse sarcophago. Dolantes ergo lapidem, in quantum valebant, addiderunt longitudini sarcophagi quasi duorum mensuram digitorum; sed nec sic quidem corpus capiebat. Unde facta difficultate tumulandi, cogitabant aut alium quærere loculum, aut ipsum corpus, si possent, in genibus inflectendo breviare, donec ipso loculo caperetur. Sed mira res, et non nisi cœlitus facta, ne aliquid horum fieri deberet, prohibuit; nam subito (adstante episcopo, et filio regis ejusdem ac monachi Sighardo, qui post illum cum fratre Suefredo regnavit, et turba hominum non modica,) inventum est sarcophagum illud congruæ longitudinis ad mensuram corporis, adeo, ut a parte capitis etiam cervical posset interponi; a parte vero pedum, mensura quatuor digitorum in sarcophago corpus excederet. Conditus est autem in ecclesia beati doctoris gentium, cujus edoctus monitis cœlestia sperare didicerat.
UT EPISCOPATUM OCCIDENTALIUM SAXONUM PRO ELEUTHERIO HEDDI, EPISCOPATUM RHOFENSIS ECCLESIÆ PRO PUTTA CUICHELMUS, ET PRO IPSO GEBMUNDUS, ACCEPERIT; ET QUI TUNC NORTHANHUMBRORUM FUERINT EPISCOPI.
Quartus Occidentalium Saxonum antistes Eleutherius fuit. Siquidem primus Birinus, secundus Agilbertus, tertius exstitit Wine. Cumque mortuus esset Coinwalch, quo regnante, idem Eleutherius episcopus factus est, acceperunt subreguli regnum gentis, et divisum inter se tenuerunt annis circiter decem; ipsisque regnantibus, defunctus est ille, et episcopatu functus est Heddi pro eo, consecratus a Theodoro in civitate Londonia. Cujus episcopatus tempore, devictis atque amotis subregulis, Cadwalla suscepit imperium; et cum duobus annis hoc tenuisset, tandem superni regni amore compunctus reliquit, eodem adhuc præsule ecclesiam gubernante, ac Romam abiens ibi vitam finivit, ut in sequentibus latius dicendum est.
Anno autem Dominicæ incarnationis sexcentesimo septuagesimo sexto, cum Ethelredus rex Merciorum, adducto maligno exercitu, Cantiam vastaret et ecclesias ac monasteria, sine respectu pietatis vel divini timoris, fœdaret, civitatem quoque Rhofi, in qua erat Putta episcopus, quamvis eo tempore absens, communi clade absumsit. Quod ille ubi comperit, ecclesiam videlicet suam, rebus ablatis omnibus, depopulatam, divertit ad Sexwulfum Merciorum antistitem, et, accepta ab eo possessione ecclesiæ cujusdam et agelli non grandis, ibidem in pace vitam finivit, nil omnino de restaurando episcopatu suo agens; quia, sicut supra diximus, magis in ecclesiasticis, quam in mundanis rebus, erat industrius; sed in illa solum ecclesia Deo serviens et ubicunque rogabatur ad docenda ecclesiæ carmina divertens; pro quo Theodorus in civitate Rhofi Cuichelmum consecravit episcopum, sed illo post non multum temporis, præ inopia rerum, ab episcopatu decedente atque ad alia loca secedente, Gebmundum pro eo substituit antistitem.
Anno Dominicæ incarnationis sexcentesimo septuagesimo octavo, qui est annus imperii regis Egfridi octavus, apparuit mense Augusto stella, quæ dicitur cometa; et tribus mensibus permanens matutinis horis oriebatur, excelsam radiantis flammæ quasi columnam præferens. Quo etiam anno, orta inter ipsum regem Egfridum et reverendissimum antistitem Wilfridum dissensione, pulsus est idem antistes a sede sui episcopatus, et duo in locum ejus substituti episcopi, qui Northanhumbrorum genti præessent; Bosa videlicet, qui Deirorum, et Eata, qui Berniciorum, provinciam gubernaret, hic in civitate Eboraci, ille in Hagulstadensi, sive Lindisfarnensi ecclesia, cathedram habens episcopalem, ambo de monachorum collegio in episcopatus gradum adsciti. Cum quibus et Eadhedus, in provincia Lindisfarnorum, quam nuperrime rex Egfridus, superato in bello et fugato Wulfhere, obtinuerat, ordinatur episcopus; et hunc primum eadem provincia proprium accepit præsulem, secundum Ethelwinum, tertium Eadgarum, quartum Cynebertum, quem in presenti habet. Habebat enim ante Eadhedum antistitem Sexwulfum, qui etiam Merciorum et Mediterraneorum Anglorum simul episcopus fuit; unde et expulsus de Lindissi in illarum provinciarum regimine permansit. Ordinati sunt autem Eadhedus Bosa, et Eata Eboraci ab archiepiscopo Theodoro; qui etiam post tres abscessionis Wilfridi annos, horum numero duos addidit antistites, Tumbertum ad ecclesiam Hagulstadensem, remanente Eata ad Lindisfarnensem, et Trumwine ad provinciam Pictorum, quæ tunc temporis Anglorum erat imperio subjecta. Eadhedum de Lindissi reversum, eo quod Ethelredus provinciam recepisset, Ripensi ecclesiæ præfecit.
UT WILFRIDUS EPISCOPUS PROVINCIAM AUSTRALIUM SAXONUM AD CHRISTUM CONVERTERIT.
Pulsus autem ab episcopatu suo Wilfridus, et multa diu loca pervagatus, Romam adiit. Postea Britanniam rediit, et, si propter inimicitias memorati regis in patriam sive parochiam suam recipi non potuit, non tamen ab evangelizandi potuit ministerio cohiberi; siquidem divertens ad provinciam Australium Saxonum, (quæ post Cantuarios ad austrum et ad occidentem usque ad Occidentales Saxones pertingit, habens terram familiarum septem millium, et eo adhuc tempore paganis cultibus serviebat,) huic verbum fidei et lavacrum salutis ministrabat. Erat autem rex gentis ipsius Ethelwalch, non multo ante baptizatus in provincia Merciorum, præsente ac suggerente rege Wulfhere, a quo etiam egressus de fonte loco filii susceptus est; in cujus signum adoptionis, duas illi provincias donavit, Vectam videlicet insulam, et Meanwarorum provinciam in gente Occidentalium Saxonum. Itaque episcopus, concedente, imo multum gaudente rege, primos provinciæ duces ac milites sacrosancto fonte abluebat; verum presbyteri Eappa, et Padda, et Burghelm, et Eadda, ceteram plebem, vel tunc, vel tempore sequente, baptizabant. Porro regina, nomine Ebba, in sua, id est, Wicciorum provincia, fuerat baptizata; erat autem filia Eanfridi, fratris Eanheri, qui ambo cum suo populo Christiani fuere. Ceterum tota provincia Australium Saxonum divini nominis et fidei erat ignara. Erat autem ibi monachus quidam de natione Scotorum, vocabulo Dicul, habens monasteriolum permodicum in loco, qui vocatur Bosanham, silvis et mari circumdatum, et in eo fratres quinque sive sex in humili et paupere vita Domino famulantes. Sed provincialium nullus eorum vel vitam æmulari, vel prædicationem curabat audire.
Evangelizans autem genti episcopus Wilfridus, non solum eam ab ærumna perpetuæ damnationis, verum et a clade infanda temporalis interitus eripuit. Siquidem tribus annis ante adventum ejus in provinciam, nulla illis in locis pluvia ceciderat, unde et fames acerbissima plebem invadens impia nece prostravit. Denique ferunt quia sæpe quadraginta simul aut quinquaginta homines inedia macerati procederent ad præcipitium aliquod sive ripam maris, et, junctis misere manibus, pariter omnes aut ruina perituri, aut fluctibus absorbendi deciderent. Verum ipso die, quo baptisma fidei gens suscepit illa, descendit pluvia serena sed copiosa, refloruit terra, rediitque viridantibus arvis annus lætus et frugifer. Sicque, abjecta prisca superstitione, exsufflata idololatria, cor omnium et caro omnium exsultaverunt in Deum vivum; intelligentes eum, qui verus est Deus, et interioribus se bonis et exterioribus cœlesti gratia ditasse. Nam et antistes, cum venisset in provinciam tantamque ibi famis pœnam videret, docuit eos piscando victum quærere; namque mare et flumina eorum piscibus abundabant, sed piscandi peritia genti nulla, nisi ad anguillas tantum, inerat. Collectis ergo undecunque retibus anguillaribus, homines antistitis miserunt in mare, et, divina se juvante gratia, mox cepere pisces diversi generis trecentos; quibus trifariam divisis, centum pauperibus dederunt, centum his, a quibus retia acceperant, centum in suos usus habebant. Quo beneficio multum antistes cor omnium in suum convertit amorem, et libentius, eo prædicante, cœlestia sperare cœperunt, cujus ministerio temporalia bona sumserunt.
Quo tempore rex Ethelwalch donavit reverendissimo antistiti Wilfrido terram octoginta septem familiarum, ubi suos homines, qui exsules vagabantur, recipere posset, vocabulo Seleseu, quod dicitur Latine “Insula Vituli Marini.” Est autem locus ille undique mari circumdatus præter ab occidente, unde habet ingressum amplitudinis quasi jactus fundæ; qualis locus a Latinis Peninsula, a Græcis solet Cherronesos vocari. Hunc ergo locum cum accepisset episcopus Wilfridus, fundavit ibi monastorium ac regulari vita instituit, maxime ex his, quos secum adduxerat, fratribus; quod usque hodie successores ejus tenere noscuntur. Nam ipse illis in partibus annos quinque, id est, usque ad mortem Egfridi regis, merito omnibus honorabilis officium episcopatus et verbo exercebat et opere. Et quoniam illi rex cum præfata loci possessione, omnes, quæ ibidem erant, facultates cum agris et hominibus donavit, omnes fide Christi institutos unda baptismatis abluit, inter quos, servos et ancillas ducentos quinquaginta; quos omnes, non solum baptizando a servitute dæmonica salvavit, sed etiam libertatem donando humanæ jugo servitutis absolvit.
UT INTERCESSIONE OSWALDI REGIS PESTIFERA MORTALITAS SIT SUBLATA.
IN quo tunc monasterio nonnulla cœlestis gratiæ dona specialiter ostensa fuisse perhibentur, utpote ubi, nuper expulsa diaboli tyrannide, Christus jam regnare cœperat; e quibus unum, quod mihi reverendissimus antistes Acca sæpius referre, et a fidelissimis ejusdem monasterii fratribus sibi relatum asserere solebat, memoriæ mandare commodum duximus. Eodem ferme tempore, quo ipsa provincia nomen Christi susceperat, multas Britanniæ provincias mortalitas sæva corripiebat, (quæ cum præfatum quoque monasterium, cui tunc regendo religiosissimus Christi sacerdos, vocabulo Eappa, præfuit,) nutu divinæ dispensationis attingeret, multique sive de his, qui cum antistite illo venerant, sive de illis, qui de eadem provincia Saxonum nuper ad fidem fuerant vocati, passim de hac vita raperentur; visum est fratribus triduanum jejunium agere et divinam suppliciter obsecrare clementiam, ut misericordiam sibi dignaretur impendere, et sive periclitantes hoc morbo a præsenti morte liberaret, seu raptos e mundo a perpetua animæ damnatione servaret.
Erat tunc temporis in eodem monasterio puerulus quidam de natione Saxonum, nuper vocatus ad fidem, qui eadem tactus infirmitate non pauco tempore recubans in lectulo jacebat. Cum ergo secunda memorati jejunii ac supplicationum dies ageretur, contigit forte ipsum puerum hora ferme secunda diei in loco, in quo æger jacebat, solum inveniri; cui divina dispositione subito beatissimi apostolorum principes dignati sunt apparere. Erat enim puer multum simplicis ac mansueti animi, sinceraque devotione sacramenta fidei, quæ susceperat, servans. Salutantes ergo illum verbis piissimis apostoli dicebant, “Noli timere, fili, mortem, pro qua solicitus es; nos enim te hodierna die ad cœlestia sumus regna perducturi. Sed primum exspectare habes donec missæ celebrentur, ac viatico Dominici corporis ac sanguinis accepto, sic infirmitate simul et morte absolutus ad æterna in cœlis gaudia subleveris.”
“Clama ergo ad te presbyterum Eappam, et dicito illi quia Dominus exaudivit preces vestras, et devotionem ac jejunia propitius aspexit; neque aliquis de hoc monasterio, sive de adjacentibus ei possessiunculis, hac clade ultra moriturus est, sed omnes, qui alicubi de vestris hac ægritudine laborant, resurrecturi a languore pristina sunt sospitate recuperandi, præter te solum, qui hodierna es die liberandus a morte, et ad visionem Domini Christi, cui fideliter serviisti, perducendus in cœlum. Quod divina vobis misericordia per intercessionem religiosi ac Deo dilecti regis Oswaldi, qui quondam genti Northanhumbrorum et regni temporalis auctoritate et Christianæ pietatis, quæ ad regnum perenne ducit, devotione sublimiter præfuit, conferre dignata est. Hac etenim die idem rex ab infidelibus in bello corporaliter exstinctus, mox ad sempiterna animarum gaudia assumtus in cœlum et electorum est sociatus agminibus. Quærant in suis codicibus, in quibus defunctorum est annotata depositio, et invenient illum hac, ut diximus, die raptum esse de seculo. Celebrent ergo missas per cuncta monasterii oratoria hujus, sive pro gratiarum actione exauditæ suæ deprecationis, sive etiam in memoriam præfati regis Oswaldi, qui quondam ipsorum genti præerat. Ideoque pro eis, quasi pro suæ gentis advenis, supplex orabat ad Dominum; et, cunctis convenientibus ad ecclesiam fratribus, communicent omnes sacrificiis cœlestibus, et, ita soluto jejunio, corpus quoque suis reficiant alimentis.”
Quæ cum omnia, vocato ad se presbytero, puer verba narrasset, interrogavit eum solicitus quales essent habitu vel specie viri, qui sibi apparuissent. Respondit, “Præclari omnino habitu et vultu erant, lætissimi ac pulcherrimi, quales nunquam ante videram, neque aliquos hominum tanti decoris ac venustatis esse posse credebam. Unus quidem attonsus erat, ut clericus, alius barbam habebat prolixam; dicebantque, quod unus eorum Petrus, alius vocaretur Paulus, et ipsi essent ministri Domini et Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi, ad tuitionem nostri monasterii missi ab ipso de cœlis.” Credidit ergo verbis pueri presbyter, ac statim egressus requisivit in Annali suo, et invenit eadem ipsa die Oswaldum regem fuisse peremtum; vocatisque fratribus, parari prandium, missas fieri, atque omnes communicare more solito præcepit, simul et infirmanti puero de eodem sacrificio Dominicæ oblationis particulam deferri mandavit.
Quibus ita gestis, non multo post, eadem ipsa die puer defunctus est, suaque morte probavit vera fuisse verba, quæ ab apostolis Christi audierat. Sed et hoc ejus verbis testimonium perhibuit, quod nemo præter ipsum tempore illo ex eodem est monasterio raptus de mundo; ex qua nimirum visione multi, qui hæc audire potuerunt, et ad exorandam in adversis divinam clementiam et ad salutaria jejuniorum remedia subeunda sunt mirabiliter accensi; et ex eo tempore non solum in eodem monasterio, sed et in plerisque locis aliis, cœpit annuatim ejusdem regis ac militis Christi natalitius dies missarum celebratione venerari.
UT CEADWALLA REX, INTERFECTO REGE GEWISSARUM ETHELWALCH, PROVINCIAM ILLAM SÆVA CÆDE AC DEPOPULATIONE ATTRIVERIT.
Interea superveniens cum exercitu Ceadwalla, juvenis strenuissimus de regio genere Gewissarum, cum exsularet a patria sua, interfecit regem Ethelwalch, ac provinciam illam sæva cæde ac depopulatione attrivit; sed mox expulsus est a ducibus regis, Berthuno et Andhuno, qui deinceps regnum provinciæ tenuerunt: quorum prior postea ab eodem Ceadwalla, cum esset rex Gewissarum, occisus est, et provincia graviore servitio subacta. Sed et Ina, qui post Ceadwallam regnavit, simili provinciam illam afflictione plurimo annorum tempore mancipavit. Quare factum est, ut toto illo tempore episcopum proprium habere nequiret; sed revocato domum Wilfrido primo suo antistite, ipsi episcopo Gewissarum, id est, Occidentalium Saxonum, qui essent in Venta civitate, subjacerent.
UT VECTA INSULA CHRISTIANOS INCOLAS SUSCEPERIT, CUJUS REGII DUO PUERI STATIM POST ACCEPTUM BAPTISMA SINT INTEREMTI.
Postquam ergo Ceadwalla regno potitus est Gewissarum, cepit et insulam Vectam, quæ eatenus erat tota idololatriæ dedita; et tragica cæde omnes indigenas exterminare ac suæ provinciæ homines pro his substituere contendit, voto se obligans, quamvis nondum regeneratus, ut ferunt, in Christo; quia, si cepisset insulam, quartam partem ejus simul et prædæ Domino daret. Quod ita solvit, ut hanc Wilfrido episcopo, qui tunc forte de gente sua superveniens aderat, utendam pro Domino offerret. Est autem mensura ejusdem insulæ, juxta æstimationem Anglorum, mille ducentarum familiarum; unde data est episcopo possessio terræ trecentarum familiarum. At ipse partem, quam accepit, commendavit cuidam de clericis suis, cui nomen Bernwine, et erat filius sororis ejus, dans illi presbyterum nomine Hiddila; qui omnibus, qui salvari vellent, verbum ac lavacrum vitæ ministraret.
Ubi silentio prætereundum non esse reor, quod in primitias eorum, qui de eadem insula credendo salvati sunt, duo regii pueri, fratres videlicet Atwaldi regis insulæ, speciali sunt Dei gratia coronati. Siquidem, imminentibus insulæ hostibus, fuga lapsi sunt de insula et in proximam Jutorum provinciam translati; ubi cum delati essent in locum, qui vocatur “Ad lapidem,” occulendos se a facie regis victoris credidissent, proditi sunt, atque occidi jussi. Quod cum audiisset abbas quidam et presbyter, vocabulo Cynebertus, habens non longe ab inde monasterium in loco, qui vocatur Reodford, id est, “Vadum Arundinis,” venit ad regem, qui tunc eisdem in partibus occultus curabatur a vulneribus, quæ ei inflicta fuerant prœlianti in insula Vecta; postulavitque ab eo, ut si necesse esset pueros interfici, prius eos liceret fidei Christianæ sacramentis imbui. Concessit rex, et ipse instructos verbo veritatis ac fonte salutari ablutos de ingressu regni æterni certos reddidit. Moxque illi, instante carnifice, mortem læti subiere temporalem, per quam se ad vitam animæ perpetuam non dubitabant esse transituros. Hoc ergo ordine, postquam omnes Britanniarum provinciæ fidem Christi susceperant, suscepit et insula Vecta, in qua tamen ob ærumnam æternæ subjectionis, nemo gradum ministerii ac sedis episcopalis ante Danielem, qui nunc Occidentalium Saxonum est episcopus, accepit.
Sita est autem hæc insula contra medium Australium Saxonum et Gewissarum, interposito pelago latitudinis trium millium, quod vocatur Solente; in quo videlicet pelago bini æstus oceani, qui circum Britanniam ex infinito oceano septentrionali erumpunt, sibimet invicem quotidie compugnantes occurrunt, ultra ostium fluminis Homelea, quod per terras Jutorum, quæ ad regionem Gewissarum pertinent, præfatum pelagus intrat; finitoque conflictu, in oceanum refusi, unde venerant, redeunt.
DE SYNODO FACTA IN CAMPO HETHFELD, PRÆSIDENTE ARCHIEPISCOPO THEODORO.
HIS temporibus audiens Theodorus fidem ecclesiæ Constantinopoli per hæresim Eutychetis multum esse turbatam, et ecclesias Anglorum, quibus præerat, ab hujusmodi labe immunes perdurare desiderans, collecto venerabilium sacerdotum doctorumque plurimorum cœtu, cujus essent fidei singuli sedulus inquirebat, omniumque unanimem in fide catholica reperit consensum; et hunc synodalibus literis ad instructionem memoriamque sequentium commendare curavit. Quarum videlicet literarum istud exordium est.
“In nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi Salvatoris, imperantibus dominis piissimis nostris Egfrido rege Northanhumbrorum, anno decimo regni ejus, sub die quintadecima kalendas Octobres, indictione octava; et Ethelredo rege Mercinensium, anno sexto regni ejus; et Aldulfo rege Estanglorum, anno decimo septimo regni ejus; et Lothario rege Cantuariorum, regni ejus anno septimo: præsidente ipso Theodoro, gratia Dei archiepiscopo Britanniæ insulæ, et civitatis Dorovernensis; una cum eo sedentibus ceteris episcopis Britanniæ insulæ viris venerabilibus, præpositis sacrosanctis Evangeliis, in loco, qui Saxonico vocabulo Hethfeld nominatur, pariter tractantes, fidem rectam et orthodoxam exposuimus, sicut Dominus noster Jesus Christus incarnatus tradidit discipulis suis, qui præsentialiter viderunt et audierunt sermones ejus, atque sanctorum patrum tradidit symbolum, et generaliter omnes sancti et universales synodi, et omnis probabilium catholicæ ecclesiæ doctorum chorus. Hos itaque sequentes nos pie atque orthodoxe, juxta divinitus inspiratam doctrinam eorum, professi credimus consonanter et confitemur secundum sanctos patres, proprie et veraciter Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctum, trinitatem in unitate consubstantialem, et unitatem in trinitate, hoc est, unum Deum in tribus subsistentem personis consubstantialibus, æqualis gloriæ et honoris.”
Et post multa hujusmodi, quæ ad rectæ fidei confessionem pertinebant, hæc quoque sancta synodus suis literis addidit. “Suscepimus sanctas et universales quinque synodos beatorum et Deo acceptabilium patrum; id est, qui in Nicæa congregati fuerunt trecentorum decem et octo, contra Arium impiissimum et ejusdem dogmata; et in Constantinopoli centum quinquaginta, contra vesaniam Macedonii et Eudoxii et eorum dogmata; et in Epheso primo ducentorum, contra nequissimum Nestorium et ejusdem dogmata; et in Chalcedone sexcentorum et triginta, contra Eutychen et Nestorium, et eorum dogmata; et iterum in Constantinopoli, quinto congregati sunt concilio, in tempore Justiniani minoris, contra Theodorum, et Theodoreti et Ibæ epistolas et eorum dogmata contra Cyrillum.”
Et paulo post. “Et synodum, quæ facta est in urbe Roma, in tempore Martini papæ beatissimi, indictione octava, imperante Constantino piissimo anno nono suscipimus; et glorificamus Dominum nostrum Jesum, sicut isti glorificaverunt; nihil addentes vel subtrahentes; et anathematizamus corde et ore, quos anathematizaverunt; et quos susceperunt, suscipimus: glorificantes Deum Patrem sine initio, et Filium ejus unigenitum ex Patre generatum ante secula, et Spiritum Sanctum procedentem ex Patre et Filio inenarrabiliter, sicut prædicaverunt hi, quos memoravimus supra, sancti apostoli, et prophetæ, et doctores. Et nos omnes subscripsimus, qui cum Theodoro archiepiscopo fidem catholicam exposuimus.”
DE JOANNE CANTATORE SEDIS APOSTOLICÆ, QUI PROPTER DOCENDUM BRITANNIAM VENERIT.
Intererat huic synodo, pariterque catholicæ fidei decreta firmabat, vir venerabilis Joannes archicantator ecclesiæ sancti apostoli Petri, et abbas monasterii beati Martini, qui nuper venerat a Roma per jussionem papæ Agathonis, duce reverendissimo abbate Biscopo, cognomine Benedicto, cujus supra meminimus. Cum enim idem Benedictus construxisset monasterium Britanniæ, in honorem beatissimi apostolorum principis, juxta ostium fluminis Wiri, venit Romam cum cooperatore ac socio ejusdem operis Ceolfrido, qui post ipsum ejusdem monasterii abbas fuit, quod et ante sæpius facere consueverat, atque honorifice a beatæ memoriæ papa Agathone susceptus est; petiitque et accepit ab eo in munimentum libertatis monasterii, quod fecerat, epistolam privilegii ex auctoritate apostolica firmatam; juxta quod Egfridum regem voluisse ac licentiam dedisse noverat, quo concedente et possessionem terræ largiente, ipsum monasterium fecerat.
Accepit et præfatum Joannem abbatem Britanniam perducendum, quatenus in monasterio suo cursum canendi annuum, sicut ad sanctum Petrum Romæ agebatur, edoceret; egitque abbas Joannes ut jussionem acceperat pontificis, et ordinem videlicet ritumque canendi ac legendi viva voce præfati monasterii cantores edocendo, et ea, quæ totius anni circulus in celebratione dierum festorum poscebat, etiam literis mandando; quæ hactenus in eodem monasterio servata et a multis jam sunt circumquaque transcripta. Non solum autem idem Joannes ipsius monasterii fratres docebat, verum de omnibus pene ejusdem provinciæ monasteriis ad audiendum eum, qui cantandi erant periti, confluebant. Sed et ipsum per loca, in quibus doceret, multi invitare curabant.
Ipse autem, excepto cantandi vel legendi munere, et aliud in mandatis ab apostolico papa acceperat, ut cujus esset fidei Anglorum ecclesia diligenter edisceret, Romamque rediens referret. Nam et synodum beati papæ Martini, centum quinque episcoporum consensu non multo ante Romæ celebratam, contra eos maxime, qui unam in Christo operationem et voluntatem prædicabant, secum veniens attulit; atque in præfato religiosissimi abbatis Benedicti monasterio transcribendam commodavit. Tales namque eo tempore fidem Constantinopolitanæ ecclesiæ multum conturbaverunt; sed, Domino donante, proditi jam tunc et victi sunt. Unde volens Agatho papa, sicut in aliis provinciis, ita etiam in Britannia qualis esset status ecclesiæ, quam ab hæreticorum contagiis castus, ediscere; hoc negotium reverendissimo Abbati Joanni Britanniam destinato injunxit. Quamobrem, collecta pro hoc in Britannia synodo, quam diximus, inventa est in omnibus fides inviolata catholica; datumque illi exemplar ejus Romam perferendum.
Verum ille patriam revertens, non multo postquam oceanum transiit, arreptus infirmitate ac defunctus est; corpusque ejus ab amicis propter amorem sancti Martini, cujus monasterio præerat, Turonis delatum atque honorifice sepultum est. Nam et benigno ecclesiæ illius hospitio, cum Britanniam iret, exceptus est; rogatusque multum a fratribus, ut Romam revertens illo itinere veniret atque ad cam diverteret ecclesiam. Denique ibidem adjutores itineris et injuncti operis accepit; qui, etsi in itinere defunctus est, nihilominus exemplum catholicæ fidei Anglorum Romam perlatum est, atque ab apostolico papa omnibusque, qui audiere vel legere, gratantissime susceptum.
UT ETHELDRIDA REGINA VIRGO PERPETUA PERMANSERIT, CUJUS NEC CORPUS IN MONUMENTO CORRUMPI POTUERIT.
ACCEPIT autem rex Egfridus conjugem nomine Etheldridam, filiam Annæ regis Orientalium Anglorum, cujus sæpius mentionem fecimus, viri bene religiosi, ac per omnia mente et opere egregii; quam et alter ante illum vir habuerat uxorem, princeps videlicet Australium Girwiorum, vocabulo Tonbertus. Sed illo post modicum temporis, ex quo eam accepit, defuncto, data est regi præfato; cujus consortio cum duodecim annis uteretur, perpetua tamen mansit virginitatis integritate gloriosa, sicut mihimet sciscitanti, cum hoc an ita esset quibusdam venisset in dubium, beatæ memoriæ Wilfridus episcopus referebat, dicens se testem integritatis ejus esse certissimum; adeo ut Egfridus promiserit se ei terras ac pecunias multas esse donaturum, si reginæ posset persuadere ejus uti connubio, quia sciebat illam nullum virorum plus illo diligere. Nec diffidendum est nostra etiam ætate fieri potuisse, quod ævo præcedente aliquoties factum fideles historiæ narrant; donante uno eodemque Domino, qui se nobiscum usque in finem seculi manere pollicetur. Nam etiam signum divini miraculi, quo ejusdem feminæ sepulta caro corrumpi non potuit, indicio est quod a viri contactu incorrupta duraverit.
Quæ multum diu regem postulans, ut seculi curas relinquere atque in monasterio tantum vero regi Christo servire permitteretur; ubi vix aliquando impetravit, intravit monasterium Ebbæ abbatissæ, quæ erat amita regis Egfridi, positum in loco, quem ‘Coludi urbem’ nominant, accepto velamine sanctimonialis habitus a præfato antistite Wilfrido. Post annum vero ipsa facta est abbatissa in regione, quæ vocatur Elge; ubi, constructo monasterio, virginum Deo devotarum perplurium mater virgo et exemplis vitæ cœlestis esse cœpit et monitis. De qua ferunt, quia ex quo monasterium petiit, nunquam lineis, sed solum laneis vestimentis, uti voluerit; raroque in calidis balneis, præter imminentibus solenniis majoribus, verbi gratia Paschæ, Pentecostes, Epiphaniæ, lavari voluerit; et tunc novissima omnium, lotis prius suo suarumque ministrarum obsequio ceteris, quæ ibi essent, famulabus Christi. Raro etiam præter majora solennia, vel arctiorem necessitatem, plus quam semel per diem manducavit; semper, si non infirmitas gravior prohibuisset, ex tempore matutinæ synaxeos, usque ad ortum diei, in ecclesia precibus intenta perstiterit. Sunt etiam, qui dicant quia per prophetiæ spiritum et pestilentiam, qua ipsa esset moritura, prædixerit, et numerum quoque eorum, qui de suo monasterio hoc essent de mundo rapiendi, palam, cunctis præsentibus, intimaverit. Rapta est autem ad Dominum in medio suorum, post annos septem ex quo abbatissæ gradum susceperat; et æque, ut ipsa jusserat, non alibi quam in medio eorum, juxta ordinem quo transierat, ligneo in locello sepulta.
Cui successit in ministerium abbatissæ soror ejus Sexberga, quam habuerat in conjugem Earconbertus rex Cantuariorum. Et cum sedecim annis esset sepulta, placuit eidem abbatissæ levari ossa ejus, et in locello novo posita in ecclesiam transferri; jussitque quosdam e fratribus quærere lapidem, de quo locellum in hoc facere possent: qui ascensa navi, (ipsa enim regio Elge undique est aquis ac paludibus circumdata, neque lapides majores habet,) venerunt ad civitatulam quandam desolatam, non procul inde sitam, quæ lingua Anglorum Grantacestir vocatur; et mox invenerunt juxta muros civitatis locellum de marmore albo pulcherrime factum, operculo quoque similis lapidis aptissime tectum. Unde intelligentes a Domino suum iter esse prosperatum, gratias agentes retulerunt ad monasterium.
Cumque corpus sacræ virginis ac sponsæ Christi, aperto sepulcro, esset prolatum in lucem, ita incorruptum inventum est, ac si eodem die fuisset defuncta, sive humo condita; sicut et præfatus antistes Wilfridus et multi alii, qui novere, testantur. Sed certiori notitia medicus Cynefridus, qui et morienti illi et elevatæ de tumulo affuit; qui referre erat solitus, quod illa infirmata habuerat tumorem maximum sub maxilla. “Jusseruntque me,” inquit, “incidere tumorem illum, ut efflueret noxius humor, qui inerat; quod dum facerem, videbatur illa per biduum aliquanto levius habere, ita ut multi putarent quia sanari posset a languore. Tertia autem die, prioribus aggravata doloribus et rapta confestim de mundo, dolorem omnem ac mortem perpetua salute ac vita mutavit. Cumque post tot annos elevanda essent ossa de sepulcro, et extento desuper papilione, omnis congregatio, hinc fratrum, inde sororum, psallens circumstaret; ipsa autem abbatissa intus cum paucis ossa elevatura et delatura intrasset, repente audivimus abbatissam intus voce clara proclamare,—Sit gloria nomini Domini. Nec multo post clamaverunt me, intus reserato ostio papilionis; vidique elevatum de tumulo et positum in lectulo corpus sacræ Deo virginis, quasi dormienti simile. Sed et, discooperto vultus indumento, monstraverunt mihi etiam vulnus incisuræ, quod feceram, curatum; ita ut mirum in modum pro aperto et hiante vulnere, cum quo sepulta erat, tenuissima tunc cicatricis vestigia apparerent.”
Sed et linteamina omnia, quibus involutum erat corpus, integra apparuerunt, et ita nova, ut ipso die viderentur castis ejus membris esse circumdata. Ferunt autem, quia cum præfato tumore ac dolore maxillæ sive colli premeretur, multum delectata sit hoc genere infirmitatis, ac solita dicere, “Scio certissime, quia merito in collo pondus languoris porto, in quo juvenculam me memini supervacua monilium pondera portare; et credo quod ideo me superna pietas dolore colli voluit gravari, ut sic absolvar reatu supervacuæ levitatis; dum mihi nunc pro auro et margaritis de collo rubor tumoris ardorque promineat.” Contigit autem tactu indumentorum eorundem, et dæmonia ab obsessis effugata corporibus, et infirmitates alias aliquoties esse curatas. Sed et loculum, in quo primo sepulta est, nonnullis oculos dolentibus saluti fuisse perhibent; qui cum suum caput eidem loculo apponentes orassent, mox doloris sive caliginis incommodum ab oculis amoverent. Laverunt igitur virginis corpus, et novis indutum vestibus intulerunt in ecclesiam, atque in eo, quod allatum erat, sarcophago posuerunt, ubi usque hodie in magna veneratione habetur. Mirum vero in modum ita aptum corpori virginis sarcophagum inventum est, ac si ei specialiter præparatum fuisset; et locus quoque capitis seorsum fabrefactus ad mensuram capitis illius aptissime figuratus apparuit.
Est autem Elge in provincia Orientalium Anglorum regio familiarum circiter sexcentarum, in similitudinem insulæ, vel paludibus, ut diximus, circumdata, vel aquis, unde et a copia anguillarum, quæ in iisdem paludibus capiuntur, nomen accepit; ubi monasterium habere desideravit memorata Christi famula, quoniam de provincia eorundem Orientalium Anglorum ipsa, ut præfati sumus, carnis originem duxerat.
HYMNUS DE ILLA.
Videtur opportunum huic Historiæ etiam hymnum virginitatis inserere, quem ante annos plurimos in laudem ac præconium ejusdem reginæ ac sponsæ Christi (et ideo veraciter reginæ quia sponsæ Christi) elegiaco metro composuimus, et imitari morem sacræ Scripturæ, cujus historiæ carmina plurima indita; et hæc metro ac versibus constat esse composita.
- Alma Deus Trinitas, qui secula cuncta gubernas,
- Annue jam cœptis, alma Deus Trinitas.
- Bella Maro resonet, nos pacis dona canamus;
- Munera nos Christi, bella Maro resonet.
- Carmina casta mihi, fœdæ non raptus Helenæ;
- Luxus erit lubricis, carmina casta mihi.
- Dona superna loquar, miseræ non prœlia Trojæ;
- Terra quibus gaudet, dona superna loquar.
- En, Deus altus adit venerandæ virginis alvum;
- Liberet ut homines, en, Deus altus adit.
- Femina virgo parit mundi devota parentem,
- Porta Maria Dei, femina virgo parit.
- Gaudet amica cohors de virgine, matre Tonantis;
- Virginitate micans gaudet amica cohors.
- Hujus honor genuit casto de germine plures,
- Virgineos flores hujus honor genuit.
- Ignibus usta feris virgo non cessat Agatha,
- Eulalia et perfert ignibus usta feris;
- Casta feras superat mentis pro culmine Tecla,
- Euphemia sacra casta feras superat;
- Læta ridet gladios ferro robustior Agnes,
- Cæcilia infestos læta ridet gladios.
- Multus in orbe viget per sobria corda triumphus,
- Sobrietatis amor multus in orbe viget.
- Nostra quoque egregia jam tempora virgo beavit;
- Etheldrida nitet nostra quoque egregia.
- Orta patre eximio, regali et stemmate clara,
- Nobilior Domino est, orta patre eximio.
- Percipit inde decus reginæ et sceptra sub astris,
- Plus super astra manens percipit inde decus.
- Quid petis alma virum sponso jam dedita summo?
- Sponsus adest Christus, quid petis alma virum?
- Regis ut ætherei matrem jam credo sequaris;
- Tu quoque sis mater regis ut ætherei.
- Sponsa dicata Deo bis sex regnaverat annis,
- Inque monasterio est sponsa dicata Deo.
- Tota sacrata polo celsis ubi floruit actis,
- Reddidit atque animam tota sacrata polo.
- Virginis alma caro est tumulata bis octo Novembres,
- Nec putet in tumulo virginis alma caro.
- Christe, tui est operis, quia vestis et ipsa sepulcro
- Inviolata nitet; Christe, tui est operis.
- Hydros et ater abit, sacræ pro vestis honore,
- Morbi diffugiunt, hydros et ater abit.
- Zelus in hoste furit, quondam qui vicerat Evam:
- Virgo triumphat ovans, zelus in hoste furit.
- Aspice nupta Deo, quæ sit tibi gloria terris;
- Quæ maneat cœlis, aspice nupta Deo.
- Munera læta capis festivis fulgida tædis,
- Ecce, venit sponsus, munera læta capis:
- Et nova dulcisono modularis carmina plectro,
- Sponsa hymno exsultas et nova dulcisono.
- Nullus ab Altithroni comitatu segregat agni,
- Quam affectu tulerat nullus ab Altithroni.
UT THEODORUS EPISCOPUS INTER EGFRIDUM ET ETHELREDUM REGES PACEM FECERIT.
ANNO regni Egfridi nono, conserto gravi prœlio inter ipsum et Ethelredum regum Merciorum juxta fluvium Treentam, occisus est Elfwinus frater regis Egfridi, juvenis circiter decem et octo annorum, utrique provinciæ multum amabilis. Nam et sororem ejus, quæ dicebatur Osthrid, rex Ethelredus habebat uxorem. Cumque materies belli acrioris et inimicitiæ longioris inter reges populosque feroces videretur exorta, Theodorus Deo dilectus antistes, divino functus auxilio, salutifera exhortatione cœptum tanti periculi funditus exstinguit incendium; adeo ut, pacatis alterutrum regibus ac populis, nullius anima hominis pro interfecto regis fratre, sed debita solummodo mulcta pecuniæ regi ultori daretur. Cujus fœdera pacis multo exinde tempore inter cosdem reges eorumque regna durarunt.
UT VINCULA CUJUSDAM CAPTIVI, CUM PRO EO MISSÆ CANTARENTUR, SOLUTA SINT.
IN præfato autem prœlio, quo occisus est rex Elfwinus, memorabile quoddam factum esse constat, quod nequaquam silentio prætereundum arbitror, sed multorum saluti, si referatur, fore proficuum. Occisus est ibi inter alios de militia ejus juvenis, vocabulo Imma, qui cum die illo et nocte sequenti inter cadavera occisorum similis mortuo jaceret, tandem recepto spiritu revixit, ac residens sua vulnera, prout potuit, ipse alligavit; dein modicum requietus levavit se, et cœpit abire sicubi amicos, qui sui curam agerent, posset invenire. Quod dum faceret, inventus est et captus a viris hostilis exercitus, et ad dominum ipsorum, comitem videlicet Ethelredi regis, adductus; a quo interrogatus quis esset, timuit se militem fuisse confiteri, rusticum se potius et pauperem, atque uxoreo vinculo colligatum fuisse respondit, et propter victum militibus afferendum in expeditionem se cum sui similibus venisse testatus est. At ille suscipiens eum, curam vulneribus egit; et ubi sanescere cœpit, noctu eum, ne aufugeret, vinciri præcepit. Nec tamen vinciri potuit; nam mox ut abiere, qui vinxerant, eadem ejus sunt vincula soluta.
Habebat enim germanum fratrem, cui nomen erat Tunna, presbyterum et abbatem monasterii in civitate, quæ hactenus ab ejus nomine Tunnacestir cognominatur; qui cum eum in pugna peremtum audiret, venit quærere si forte corpus ejus invenire posset, inventumque alium illi per omnia simillimum, putavit ipsum esse, quem ad monasterium suum deferens honorifice sepelivit, et pro absolutione animæ ejus sæpius missas facere curavit. Quarum celebratione factum est quod dixi, ut nullus eum posset vincire, quin continuo solveretur. Interea comes, qui eum tenebat, mirari et interrogare cœpit quare ligari non posset, an forte literas solutorias, de qualibus fabulæ ferunt, apud se haberet, propter quas ligari non posset. At ille respondit, nihil se talium artium nosse; “sed habeo fratrem,” inquit, “presbyterum in mea provincia, et scio quia ille me interfectum putans pro me missas crebras facit; et si nunc in alia vita essem, ibi anima mea per intercessiones ejus solveretur a pœnis.”
Dumque aliquanto tempore apud comitem teneretur, animadverterunt, qui eum diligentius considerabant, ex vultu et habitu et sermonibus ejus, quia non erat de paupere vulgo, ut dixerat, sed de nobilibus. Tunc secreto advocans eum comes interrogavit eum intentius unde esset, promittens se nihil ei mali facturum pro eo, si simpliciter sibi, quis esset, proderet. Quod dum ille faceret, ministrum se regis fuisse manifestans, respondit, “Et ego per singula tua responsa cognoveram quia rusticus non eras, et nunc dignus quidem es morte, quia omnes fratres et cognati mei in illa sunt pugna interemti; nec te tamen occidam, ne fidem mei promissi prævaricem.”
Ut ergo convaluit, vendidit eum Londoniam Fresoni cuidam, sed nec ab illo cum illuc duceretur ullatenus potuit alligari; verum cum alia atque alia vinculorum ei genera hostes imponerent, dissoluta sunt cumque videret, qui emerat, vinculis eum non potuisse cohiberi, donavit ei facultatem sese redimendi, si posset. A tertia autem hora, quando missæ fieri solebant, sæpissime vincula solvebantur. At ille, dato jurejurando ut rediret, vel pecuniam illi pro se mitteret, venit Cantiam ad regem Lothere, qui erat filius sororis Etheldridæ reginæ, de qua supra dictum est, quia et ipse quondam ejusdem reginæ minister fuerat; petiitque et accepit ab eo pretium suæ redemtionis, ac suo domino pro se, ut promiserat, misit.
Qui post hæc in patriam reversus atque ad suum fratrem perveniens replicavit ex ordine cuncta, quæ sibi adversa, quæve in adversis solatia provenissent; cognovitque, referente illo, illis maxime temporibus sua fuisse vincula soluta, quibus pro se missarum fuerant celebrata solennia. Sed et alia, quæ periclitanti ei commoda contigissent et prospera, per intercessionem fraternam et oblationem hostiæ salutaris cœlitus sibi fuisse donata intellexit. Multique hæc a præfato viro audientes accensi sunt in fide ac devotione pietatis ad orandum, vel ad eleemosynas faciendas, vel ad offerendas Domino victimas sacræ oblationis, pro ereptione suorum, qui de seculo migraverant; intellexerunt enim quod sacrificium salutare ad redemtionem valeret et animæ et corporis sempiternam. Hanc mihi historiam etiam quidam eorum, qui ab ipso viro, in quo facta est, audiere, narraverunt; unde eam quia liquido comperi, indubitanter Historiæ nostræ Ecclesiasticæ inserendam credidi.
DE VITA ET OBITU HILDÆ ABBATISSÆ.
ANNO post hunc sequente, hoc est, anno Dominicæ incarnationis sexcentesimo octogesimo, religiosissima Christi famula Hilda, abbatissa monasterii, quod dicitur Streaneshalch, ut supra retulimus, post multa, quæ fecit in terris, opera cœlestia, ad percipienda præmia vitæ cœlestis de terris ablata transivit die quinta decima kalendarum Decembrium, cum esset annorum sexaginta sex; quibus æqua portione divisis, triginta tres primos in seculari habitu nobilissime conversata complevit, et totidem sequentes nobilius in monachica vita Domino consecravit. Nam et nobilis natu erat, hoc est, filia nepotis Edwini regis, vocabulo Hererici; cum quo etiam rege ad prædicationem beatæ memoriæ Paulini, primi Northanhumbrorum episcopi, fidem et sacramenta Christi suscepit, atque hæc, usquedum ad ejus visionem pervenire meruit, intemerata servavit.
Quæ cum, relicto habitu seculari, illi soli servire decrevisset, secessit ad provinciam Orientalium Anglorum; erat namque propinqua regis illius, desiderans exinde, si quo modo posset, derelicta patria et omnibus quæcunque habuerat, in Galliam pervenire, atque in monasterio Cale peregrinam pro Domino vitam ducere, quo facilius perpetuam in cœlis patriam posset mereri. Nam et in eodem monasterio soror ipsius Heresuid, mater Aldwulfi regis Orientalium Anglorum, regularibus subdita disciplinis ipso tempore coronam exspectabat æternam. Cujus æmulata exemplum et ipsa proposito peregrinandi annum totum in præfata provincia retenta est; deinde ab Aidano episcopo in patriam revocata accepit locum unius familiæ ad septentrionalem plagam Wiri fluminis, ubi æque anno uno monachicam cum perpaucis sociis vitam agebat.
Post hæc facta est abbatissa in monasterio, quod vocatur Heruteu; quod videlicet monasterium factum erat non multo ante a religiosa Christi famula Heru, quæ prima feminarum fertur in provincia Northanhumbrorum propositum vestemque sanctimonialis habitus, consecrante Aidano episcopo, suscepisse. Sed illa post non multum tempus facti monasterii secessit ad civitatem Calcariam, quæ a gente Anglorum Kalcacestir appellatur, ibique sibi mansionem instituit. Prælata autem regimini monasterii illius famula Christi Hilda, mox hoc regulari vita per omnia, prout a doctis viris discere poterat, ordinare curabat; nam et episcopus Aidanus et quicunque noverant eam religiosi, pro insita ei sapientia et amore divini famulatus, sedulo eam visitare, obnixe amare, diligenter erudire, solebant.
Cum ergo aliquot annos huic monasterio regularis vitæ institutioni multum intenta præesset, contigit eam suscipere etiam construendum sive ordinandum monasterium in loco, qui vocatur Streaneshalch, quod opus sibi injunctum non segniter implevit. Nam eisdem, quibus prius monasterium, etiam hoc disciplinis vitæ regularis instituit; et quidem multam inibi quoque justitiæ, pietatis, et castimoniæ, ceterarumque virtutum, sed maxime pacis et caritatis, custodiam docuit: ita ut in exemplum primitivæ ecclesiæ nullus ibi dives, nullus esset egens, omnibus essent omnia communia, cum nihil cujusquam esse videretur proprium. Tantæ autem erat ipsa prudentiæ, ut non solum mediocres quique in necessitatibus suis, sed etiam reges ac principes nonnunquam ab ea quærerent consilium, et invenirent. Tantum lectioni divinarum scripturarum suos vacare subditos, tantum operibus justitiæ se exercere, faciebat, ut facillime viderentur ibidem, qui ecclesiasticum gradum, hoc est, altaris officium, apte subirent, plurimi posse reperiri.
Denique, quinque ex eodem monasterio postea episcopos vidimus, et hos omnes singularis meriti ac sanctitatis viros, quorum hæc sunt nomina, Bosa, Eda, Oftfor, Joannes, et Wilfridus. De primo supra diximus, quod Eboraci fuerit consecratus antistes; de secundo breviter intimandum, quod in episcopatum Dorciccestræ fuerit ordinatus; de ultimis infra dicendum est, quod eorum primus Hagulstadensis, secundus Eboracensis ecclesiæ sit ordinatus episcopus. De medio nunc dicamus, quia cum in utroque Hildæ abbatissæ monasterio lectioni et observationi scripturarum operam dedisset, tandem perfectiora desiderans, venit Cantiam ad archiepiscopum beatæ recordationis Theodorum; ubi postquam aliquandiu lectionibus sacris vacavit, etiam Romam adire curavit, (quod eo tempore magnæ virtutis æstimabatur,) et inde cum rediens Britanniam adiisset, divertit ad provinciam Wicciorum, cui tunc rex Osric præfuit; ibique verbum fidei prædicans simul et exemplum vivendi sese videntibus atque audientibus exhibens multo tempore mansit. Quo tempore antistes provinciæ illius, vocabulo Bosel, tanta erat corporis infirmitate depressus, ut officium episcopatus per se implere non posset; propter quod omnium judicio præfatus vir in episcopatum pro eo electus ac, jubente Ethelredo rege, per Wilfridum beatæ memoriæ antistitem, qui tunc temporis Mediterraneorum Anglorum episcopatum gerebat, ordinatus est; pro eo quod archiepiscopus Theodorus jam defunctus erat, et nondum alius pro eo ordinatus episcopus. In quam videlicet provinciam paulo ante, hoc est, ante præfatum virum Dei Bosel, vir strenuissimus et doctissimus atque excellentis ingenii, vocabulo Tatfridus, de ejusdem abbatissæ monasterio electus est antistes; sed priusquam ordinari posset, morte immatura præreptus est.
Non solum vero præfata Christi ancilla et abbatissa Hilda, quam omnes, qui noverant, ob insigne pietatis et gratiæ Matrem vocare consueverant, in suo monasterio vitæ exemplo præsentibus exstitit; sed etiam plurimis longe manentibus, ad quos felix industriæ ac virtutis ejus rumor pervenit, occasionem salutis et correctionis ministravit. Oportebat namque impleri somnium, quod mater ejus Bregusuid in infantia ejus vidit: quæ (cum vir ejus Herericus exsularet sub rege Britonum Cerdice, ubi et veneno periit,) vidit per somnium, quasi subito sublatum eum quæsierit cum omni diligentia, nullumque ejus uspiam vestigium apparuerit. Verum cum solertissime illum quæsisset, extemplo se reperire sub veste sua monile pretiosissimum; quod dum attentius consideraret tanti fulgore luminis refulgere videbatur, ut omnes Britanniæ fines illius gratia splendoris impleret. Quod nimirum somnium veraciter in filia ejus, de qua loquimur, expletum est; cujus vita non sibi solummodo, sed multis bene vivere volentibus exempla operum lucis præbuit.
Verum illa cum multis annis huic monasterio præesset, placuit pio provisori salutis nostræ sanctam ejus animam longa etiam infirmitate carnis examinari, ut, juxta exemplum apostoli, virtus ejus in infirmitate perficeretur. Percussa etenim febribus acri cœpit ardore fatigari, et per sex continuos annos eadem molestia laborare non cessabat; in quo toto tempore nunquam ipsa vel Conditori suo gratias agere, vel commissum sibi gregem et publice et privatim docere, prætermittebat. Nam suo prædocta exemplo monebat omnes, et in salute accepta corporis Domino obtemperanter serviendum, et in adversis rerum sive infirmitatibus membrorum fideliter Domino esse gratias semper agendas. Septimo ergo suæ infirmitatis anno, converso ad interanea dolore, ad diem pervenit ultimum, et circa galli cantum, percepto viatico sacrosanctæ communionis, cum, accersitis ancillis Christi, quæ erant in eodem monasterio, de servanda eas invicem imo cum omnibus pace Evangelica admoneret; inter verba exhortationis læta mortem vidit, imo, ut verbis Domini loquar, de morte transivit ad vitam.
Qua videlicet nocte Dominus omnipotens obitum ipsius in alio longius posita monasterio, quod ipsa eodem anno construxerat et appellatur Hacanos, manifesta visione revelare dignatus est. Erat in ipso monasterio quædam sanctimonialis femina, nomine Begu, quæ triginta et amplius annos, dedicata Domino virginitate, in monachica conversatione serviebat. Hæc tunc in dormitorio sororum pausans audivit subito in aere notum campanæ sonum, quo ad orationes excitari vel convocari solebant, cum quis eorum de seculo fuisset evocatus; apertisque, ut sibi videbatur, oculis, aspexit, detecto domus culmine, fusam desuper lucem omnia replevisse; cui videlicet luci dum solicita intenderet, vidit animam præfatæ Dei famulæ in ipsa luce, comitantibus ac ducentibus angelis, ad cœlum ferri. Cumque somno excussa videret ceteras pausantes circa se sorores, intellexit vel in somnio vel in visione mentis ostensum sibi esse, quod viderat. Statimque exsurgens nimio timore perterrita cucurrit ad virginem, quæ tunc monasterio abbatissæ vice præfuit, cui nomen erat Frigyda, fletuque ac lacrimis multum perfusa ac suspiria longa trahens nunciavit matrem illarum omnium Hildam abbatissam jam migrasse de seculo, et, se aspectante, cum luce immensa, ducibus angelis, ad æternæ limina lucis et supernorum consortia civium ascendisse. Quod cum illa audiisset, suscitavit cunctas sorores, et in ecclesiam convocatas orationibus ac psalmis pro anima Matris operam dare monuit. Quod cum residuo noctis tempore diligenter agerent, venerunt primo diluculo fratres, qui ejus obitum nunciarent, a loco ubi defuncta est. At illæ respondentes dixerunt, se prius eadem cognovisse; et cum exponerent per ordinem quomodo hæc vel quando didicissent, inventum est, eadem hora transitum ejus illis ostensum esse per visionem, qua illam referebant exiisse de mundo. Pulchraque rerum concordia procuratum est divinitus, ut cum illi exitum ejus de hac vita viderent, tunc isti introitum ejus in perpetuam animarum vitam cognoscerent. Distant autem inter se monasteria hæc tredecim ferme millibus passuum.
Ferunt autem, quod eadem nocte, in ipso quoque monasterio, ubi præfata Dei famula obiit, cuidam virginum Deo devotarum, quæ illam immenso amore diligebat, obitus illius in visione apparuerit, quæ animam ejus cum angelis ad cœlum ire conspexerit, atque hoc ipsa, qua factum est, hora, his, quæ secum erant, famulabus Christi manifeste narraverit, easque ad orandum pro anima ejus, etiam priusquam cetera congregatio ejus obitum cognovisset, excitaverit; quod ita fuisse factum mox congregationi, mane facto, innotuit. Erat enim hæc ipsa hora, cum aliis nonnullis Christi ancillis, in extremis monasterii locis seorsum posita, ubi nuper venientes ad conversionem feminæ solebant probari, donec regulariter institutæ in societatem congregationis susciperentur.
QUOD IN MONASTERIO EJUS FUERIT FRATER, CUI DONUM CANENDI SIT DIVINITUS CONCESSUM.
IN hujus monasterio abbatissæ fuit frater quidam divina gratia specialiter insignis, quia carmina religioni et pietati apta facere solebat; ita ut quicquid ex divinis literis per interpretes disceret, hoc ipse post pusillum verbis poeticis maxima suavitate et compunctione compositis, in sua, id est, Anglorum lingua, proferret; cujus carminibus multorum sæpe animi ad contemtum seculi et appetitum sunt vitæ cœlestis accensi. Et quidem et alii post illum in gente Anglorum religiosa poemata facere tentabant; sed nullus eum æquiparare potuit. Namque ipse non ab hominibus, neque per hominem institutus, canendi artem didicit; sed divinitus adjutus gratis canendi donum accepit. Unde nihil unquam frivoli et supervacui poematis facere potuit; sed ea tantummodo, quæ ad religionem pertinent, religiosam ejus linguam decebant. Siquidem in habitu seculari usque ad tempora provectioris ætatis constitutus nil carminum aliquando didicerat. Unde nonnunquam in convivio, cum esset lætitiæ causa decretum, ut omnes per ordinem cantare deberent, ille ubi, appropinquare sibi citharam cernebat, surgebat a media cœna et egressus ad suam domum repedabat.
Quod cum tempore quodam faceret, et, relicta domo convivii, egressus esset ad stabula jumentorum, quorum ei custodia nocte illa erat delegata, ibique hora jam competente membra dedisset sopori, adstitit ei quidam per somnium, eumque salutans ac suo appellans nomine, “Caedmon,” inquit, “canta mihi aliquid.” At ille respondens, “Nescio,” inquit, “cantare; nam et ideo de convivio egressus huc secessi, quia cantare non poteram.” Rursum ille, qui cum eo loquebatur, “Attamen,” ait, “mihi cantare habes.”—“Quid,” inquit, “debeo cantare?” At ille, “Canta,” inquit, “principium creaturarum.” Quo accepto responso, statim ipse cœpit cantare in laudem Dei conditoris versus, quos nunquam audierat, quorum iste est sensus, “Nunc laudare debemus auctorem regni cœlestis, potentiam Creatoris et consilium illius, facta Patris gloriæ. Quomodo ille, cum sit æternus Deus, omnium miraculorum auctor exstitit, qui primo filiis hominum cœlum pro culmine tecti, dehinc terram custos humani generis omnipotens creavit.” Hic est sensus, non autem ordo ipse verborum, quæ dormiens ille canebat; neque enim possunt carmina, quamvis optime composita, ex alia in aliam linguam ad verbum sine detrimento sui decoris ac dignitatis transferri. Exsurgens autem a somno cuncta, quæ dormiens cantaverat, memoriter retinuit, et eis mox plura in eundem modum verba Deo digni carminis adjunxit.
Veniensque mane ad villicum, qui sibi præerat, quid doni percepisset indicavit, atque ad abbatissam perductus jussus est, multis doctioribus viris præsentibus, indicare somnium et dicere carmen, ut universorum judicio quid, vel unde esset, quod referebat, probaretur; visumque est omnibus cœlestem ei a Domino concessam esse gratiam. Exponebantque illi quendam sacræ historiæ sive doctrinæ sermonem, præcipientes ei, si posset, hunc in modulationem carminis transferre. At ille, suscepto negotio, abiit, et mane rediens optimo carmine, quod jubebatur, compositum reddidit. Unde mox abbatissa amplexata gratiam Dei in viro, secularem illum habitum relinquere et monachicum suscipere propositum docuit, susceptumque in monasterium cum omnibus suis fratrum cohorti associavit, jussitque illum seriem sacræ historiæ doceri. At ipse cuncta, quæ audiendo discere poterat, rememorando secum et quasi mundum animal ruminando, in carmen dulcissimum convertebat; suaviusque resonando doctores suos vicissim auditores sui faciebat. Canebat autem de creatione mundi, et origine humani generis, et tota Genesis historia, de egressu Israel ex Ægypto et ingressu in terram repromissionis, de aliis plurimis sacræ Scripturæ historiis, de incarnatione Dominica, passione, resurrectione, et ascensione in cœlum, de Spiritus Sancti adventu, et apostolorum doctrina: item, de terrore futuri judicii, et horrore pœnæ gehennalis, ac dulcedine regni cœlestis multa carmina faciebat, sed et alia perplura de beneficiis et judiciis divinis; in quibus cunctis homines ab amore scelerum abstrahere, ad dilectionem vero et solertiam bonæ actionis excitare, curabat. Erat enim vir multum religiosus et regularibus disciplinis humiliter subditus, adversum vero illos, qui aliter facere volebant, zelo magni fervoris accensus; unde et pulchro vitam suam fine conclusit.
Nam propinquante hora sui decessus, quatuordecim diebus, præveniente corporea infirmitate pressus est; adeo tamen moderate, ut et loqui toto eo tempore posset et ingredi. Erat autem in proximo casa, in qua infirmiores et qui prope morituri esse videbantur, induci solebant. Rogavit ergo ministrum suum vespere incumbente, nocte, qua de seculo erat exiturus, ut in ea sibi locum quiescendi præpararet; qui miratus cur hoc rogaret, qui nequaquam adhuc moriturus esse videbatur, fecit tamen quod dixerat. Cumque ibidem positus vicissim aliqua, gaudente animo, una cum eis, qui ibidem ante inerant, loqueretur ac jocaretur, et jam mediæ noctis tempus esset transcensum, interrogavit omnes, si Eucharistiam intus haberent. Respondebant, “Quid opus est Eucharistia? neque enim mori adhuc habes, qui tam hilariter nobiscum velut sospes loqueris.” Rursus ille, “Et tamen,” ait, “afferte mihi Eucharistiam.” Qua accepta in manu, interrogavit, si omnes placidum erga se animum et sine querela controversiæ ac rancoris haberent. Respondebant omnes, placidissimam se mentem ad illum et ab omni ira remotam habere; eumque vicissim rogabant, an placidam erga ipsos mentem gereret. Qui confestim respondit, “Placidam ego mentem, filioli, erga omnes Dei famulos gero.” Sicque se cœlesti muniens viatico vitæ alterius ingressui paravit; et interrogavit, quam prope esset hora, qua fratres ad dicendas Domino laudes nocturnas excitari deberent. Respondebant, “Non longe est.” At ille, “Bene ergo, exspectemus horam illam.” Et signans se signo sanctæ crucis reclinavit caput ad cervical, modicumque obdormiens, ita cum silentio vitam finivit.
Sicque factum est, ut quomodo simplici ac pura mente tranquillaque devotione Domino servierat, ita etiam tranquilla morte mundum relinquens ad ejus visionem veniret, illaque lingua, quæ tot salutaria verba in laudem Conditoris composuerat, ultima quoque verba in laudem ipsius, signando sese, et spiritum suum in manus ejus commendando, clauderet; qui etiam præscius sui obitus exstitisse, ex his, quæ narravimus, videtur.
QUALIS VISIO CUIDAM VIRO DEI APPARUERIT, PRIUSQUAM MONASTERIUM COLUDANÆ URBIS ESSET INCENDIO CONSUMTUM.
HIS temporibus monasterium virginum, quod “Coludi urbem” cognominant, cujus et supra meminimus, per culpam incuriæ flammis assumtum est; quod tamen a malitia inhabitantium in eo, et præcipue illorum, qui majores esse videbantur, contigisse, omnes, qui novere, facillime potuerunt advertere. Sed non defuit puniendis admonitio divinæ pietatis, qua correcti per jejunia, fletus et preces, iram a se, instar Ninevitarum, justi Judicis averterent.
Erat namque in eodem monasterio vir de genere Scotorum, Adamnanus vocabulo, ducens vitam in continentia et orationibus multum Deo devotam, ita ut nihil unquam cibi vel potus, excepta die Dominica et quinta Sabbati, perciperet; sæpe autem noctes integras pervigil in oratione transigeret. Quæ quidem illi districtio vitæ arctioris, primo ex necessitate emendandæ suæ pravitatis obvenerat; sed, procedente tempore, necessitatem in consuetudinem verterat.
Siquidem in adolescentia sui sceleris aliquid commiserat, quod commissum, ubi ad cor suum rediit, gravissime exhorruit, et se pro illo puniendum a districto Judice timebat. Accedens ergo ad sacerdotem, a quo sibi sperabat iter salutis posse demonstrari, confessus est reatum suum, petiitque, ut consilium sibi daret, quo posset fugere a ventura Dei ira. Qui, audito ejus commisso, dixit, “Grande vulnus grandioris curam medelæ desiderat; et ideo jejuniis, psalmis et orationibus, quantum vales, insiste, quo præoccupando faciem Domini, in confessione propitium eum invenire merearis.” At ille, quem nimius reæ conscientiæ tenebat dolor, et internis peccatorum vinculis, quibus gravabatur, ocius desiderabat absolvi, “Adolescentior sum,” inquit, “ætate, et vegetus corpore; quidquid mihi imposueris agendum, dummodo salvus fiam in die Domini, totum facile feram, etiam si totam noctem stando in precibus peragere, si integram septimanam jubeas abstinendo transigere.” Qui dixit, “Multum est, ut tota septimana absque alimento corporis perdures; sed biduanum vel triduanum sat est observare jejunium. Hoc facito, donec post modicum tempus rediens ad te, quid facere debeas, et quamdiu pœnitentiæ insistere, tibi plenius ostendam.” Quibus dictis et descripta illi mensura pœnitendi, abiit sacerdos, et ingruente causa subita, secessit Hiberniam, unde originem duxerat, neque ultra ad eum juxta suum condictum rediit. At ipse memor præcepti ejus simul et promissi sui, totum se lacrimis, pœnitentiæ, vigiliis sanctis et continentiæ, mancipavit; ita, ut quinta solum Sabbati et Dominica, sicut prædixi, reficeretur, ceteris septimanæ diebus jejunus permaneret. Cumque sacerdotem suum Hiberniam secessisse ibique defunctum esse audiisset, semper ex eo tempore juxta condictum ejus memoratum, continentiæ modum observabat; et quod causa divini timoris semel ob reatum compunctus cœperat, jam causa divini amoris delectatus præmiis indefessus agebat.
Quod dum multo tempore sedulus exsequeretur, contigit eum die quadam de monasterio illo longius egressum, comitante secum uno de fratribus, peracto itinere redire; qui cum monasterio propinquarent et ædificia illius sublimiter erecta aspicerent, solutus est in lacrimas vir Dei, et tristitiam cordis vultu indice prodebat. Quod intuens comes, quare faceret inquisivit; at ille, “Cuncta,” inquit, “hæc, quæ cernis ædificia, publica vel privata, in proximo est ut ignis absumens in cinerem convertat.” Quod ille audiens mox, ut intraverunt monasterium, matri congregationis, vocabulo Ebbæ, curavit indicare. At illa merito turbata de tali præsagio, vocavit ad se virum, et diligentius ab eo rem, vel unde hoc ipse nosset, inquirebat. Qui ait, “Nuper occupatus noctu vigiliis et psalmis vidi adstantem mihi subito quendam incogniti vultus; cujus præsentia cum essem exterritus, dixit mihi, ne timerem; et quasi familiari me voce alloquens, ‘Bene facis,’ inquit, ‘qui tempore isto nocturno quietis non somno indulgere, sed vigiliis et orationibus insistere, maluisti.’ At ego, ‘Novi,’ inquam, ‘multum mihi esse necesse vigiliis salutaribus insistere, et pro meis erratibus sedulo Dominum deprecari.’ Qui adjiciens, ‘Verum,’ inquit, ‘dicis, quia et tibi et multis opus est peccata sua bonis operibus redimere, et cum cessant a laboribus rerum temporalium, tunc pro appetitu æternorum bonorum liberius laborare; sed hoc tamen paucissimi faciunt. Siquidem modo totum hoc monasterium ex ordine perlustrans, singulorum casas ac lectos inspexi, et neminem ex omnibus præter te erga sanitatem animæ suæ occupatum reperi; sed omnes prorsus et viri et feminæ aut somno torpent inerti, aut ad peccata vigilant. Nam et domunculæ, quæ ad orandum vel legendum factæ erant, nunc in commessationum, potationum, fabulationum, et ceterarum sunt illecebrarum cubilia conversæ. Virgines quoque Deo dicatæ, contempta reverentia suæ professionis, quotiescunque vacant, texendis subtilioribus indumentis operam dant, quibus aut seipsas ad vicem sponsarum in periculum sui status adornent, aut externorum sibi virorum amicitiam comparent. Unde merito loco huic et habitatoribus ejus gravis de cœlo vindicta flammis sævientibus præparata est.’ ” Dixit autem abbatissa, “Et quare non citius hoc compertum mihi revelare voluisti?” Qui respondit, “Timui propter reverentiam tuam, ne forte nimium conturbareris; et tamen hanc consolationem habeas, quod in diebus tuis hæc plaga non superveniet.” Qua divulgata visione, aliquantulum loci accolæ paucis diebus timere et seipsos, intermissis facinoribus, castigare cœperunt; verum post obitum ipsius abbatissæ redierunt ad pristinas sordes, imo sceleratiora fecerunt, et cum dicerent, Pax et securitas, extemplo præfatæ ultionis sunt pœna mulctati.
Quæ mihi cuncta sic esse facta reverendissimus meus compresbyter Edgilsus referebat, qui tunc in illo monasterio degebat; postea autem, discedentibus inde ob desolationem plurimis incolarum, in nostro monasterio plurimo tempore conversatus ibidemque defunctus est. Hæc ideo nostræ Historiæ inserenda credidimus, ut admoneremus lectorem operum Domini, quam terribilis sit in consiliis super filios hominum; ne forte nos tempore aliquo carnis illecebris servientes, minusque Dei judicium formidantes, repentina ejus ira corripiat, et vel temporalibus damnis juste sæviens affligat, vel ad perpetuam perditionem districtius examinans tollat.
DE MORTE EGFRIDI ET LOTHERII REGUM.
ANNO Dominicæ incarnationis sexcentesimo octogesimo quarto, Egfridus rex Northanhumbrorum, misso Hiberniam cum exercitu duce Beorto, vastavit misere gentem innoxiam et nationi Anglorum semper amicissimam; ita ut ne ecclesiis quidem, aut monasteriis, manus parceret hostilis. At insulani, et quantum valuere, armis arma repellebant, et invocantes divinæ auxilium pietatis cœlitus se vindicari continuis diu imprecationibus postulabant. Et quamvis maledici regnum Dei possidere non possint, creditum est tamen quod hi, qui merito impietatis suæ maledicebantur, ocius, Domino vindice, pœnas sui reatus luerent. Siquidem anno post hunc proximo idem rex, cum temere exercitum ad vastandam Pictorum provinciam duxisset, (multum prohibentibus amicis, et maxime beatæ memoriæ Cuthberto, qui nuper fuerat ordinatus episcopus,) introductus est, simulantibus fugam hostibus, in angustias inaccessorum montium, et cum maxima parte copiarum, quas secum adduxerat, exstinctus, anno ætatis suæ quadragesimo, regni autem quinto decimo, die decima tertia kalendarum Juniarum. Et quidem, ut dixi, prohibuerunt amici, ne hoc bellum iniret; sed quoniam anno præcedente noluerat audire reverendissimum patrem Egbertum, ne Scotiam nil se lædentem impugnaret, datum est illi ex pœna peccati illius, ne nunc eos, qui ipsum ab interitu revocare cupiebant, audiret.
Ex quo tempore spes cœpit et virtus regni Anglorum fluere, ac retro sublapsa referri. Nam et Picti terram possessionis suæ, quam tenuerunt Angli et Scoti, qui erant in Britannia, Britonum quoque pars nonnulla, libertatem receperunt, quam et hactenus habent per annos circiter quadraginta sex; ubi inter plurimos gentis Anglorum vel interemtos gladio, vel servitio addictos, vel de terra Pictorum fuga lapsos, etiam reverendissimus vir Dei Trumwine, qui in eos episcopatum acceperat, recessit cum suis, qui erant in monasterio Ebbercurnig, posito quidem in regione Anglorum, sed in vicinia freti quod Anglorum terras Pictorumque disterminat; eosque, ubicunque poterat, amicis per monasteria commendans, ipse in sæpedicto famulorum famularumque Dei monasterio, quod vocatur Streaneshalch, locum mansionis elegit; ibique cum paucis suorum in monachica districtione vitam non sibi solummodo, sed et multis, utilem plurimo annorum tempore duxit; ubi etiam defunctus in ecclesia beati Petri apostoli, juxta honorem et vita et gradu ejus condignum, conditus est. Præerat quidem tunc eidem monasterio regia virgo Elfleda una cum matre Eanfleda, quarum supra fecimus mentionem; sed adveniente illuc episcopo, maximum regendi auxilium simul et suæ vitæ solatium devota Deo doctrix invenit. Successit autem Egfrido in regnum Alfridus, vir in Scripturis doctissimus, qui frater ejus et filius Oswii regis esse dicebatur; destructumque regni statum, quamvis intra fines angustiores, nobiliter recuperavit.
Quo videlicet anno, qui est ab incarnatione Dominica sexcentesimus octogesimus quintus, Lothere Cantuariorum rex, cum post Egbertum fratrem suum, qui novem annis regnaverat, ipse duodecim annis regnasset, mortuus erat octavo idus Februarias. Vulneratus namque est in pugna Australium Saxonum, quos contra eum Edricus filius Egberti aggregaverat, et inter medendum defunctus est. Ac post eum idem Edricus anno uno ac dimidio regnavit; quo defuncto, regnum illud per aliquod temporis spatium reges dubii vel externi disperdiderunt, donec legitimus rex Wictredus, id est filius Egberti, confortatus in regno, religione simul et industria gentem suam ab extranea invasione liberaret.
UT VIR DOMINI CUTHBERTUS SIT EPISCOPUS FACTUS; UTQUE IN MONACHICA ADHUC VITA POSITUS VIXERIT VEL DOCUERIT.
IPSO etiam anno, quo finem vitæ accepit rex Egfridus, episcopum, ut diximus, fecerat ordinari Lindisfarnensium ecclesiæ, virum sanctum et venerabilem Cuthbertum; qui in insula permodica, quæ appellatur Farne, et ab eadem ecclesia novem ferme millibus passuum in oceano procul abest, vitam solitariam per annos plures in magna corporis et mentis continentia duxerat. Qui quidem a prima ætate pueritiæ studio religiosæ vitæ semper ardebat; sed ab ineunte adolescentia monachicum et nomen assumsit et habitum. Intravit autem primo monasterium Mailros, quod in ripa Tuedi fluminis positum tunc abbas Eata, vir omnium mansuetissimus ac simplicissimus, regebat; qui postea episcopus Hagulstadensis, sive Lindisfarnensis ecclesiæ factus est, ut supra memoravimus: cui tempore illo præpositus Boisil magnarum virtutum et prophetici spiritus sacerdos fuit. Hujus discipulatui Cuthbertus humiliter subditus et scientiam ab eo Scripturarum et bonorum operum sumsit exempla.
Qui postquam migravit ad Dominum, Cuthbertus eidem monasterio factus præpositus plures et auctoritate magistri et exemplo suæ actionis regularem instituebat ad vitam. Nec solum ipsi monasterio regularis vitæ monita simul et exempla præbebat, sed et vulgus circumpositum longe lateque a vita stultæ consuetudinis ad cœlestium gaudiorum convertere curabat amorem. Nam et multi fidem, quam habebant, iniquis profanabant operibus; et aliqui etiam tempore mortalitatis, neglectis fidei sacramentis, quibus erant imbuti, ad erratica idololatriæ medicamina concurrebant; quasi missam a Deo conditore plagam per incantationes, vel phylacteria, vel alia quælibet dæmoniacæ artis arcana, cohibere valerent. Ad utrorumque ergo corrigendum errorem crebro ipse de monasterio egressus aliquoties equo sedens, sed sæpius pedibus incedens, circumpositas veniebat ad villas, et viam veritatis prædicabat errantibus; quod ipsum etiam Boisil suo tempore facere consueverat. Erat quippe moris eo tempore populis Anglorum, ut, veniente in villam clerico vel presbytero, cuncti ad ejus imperium verbum audituri confluerent; libenter ea, quæ dicerentur, audirent; libentius ea, quæ audire et intelligere poterant, operando sequerentur. Porro Cuthberto tanta erat dicendi peritia, tantus amor persuadendi, quæ cœperat, tale vultus angelici lumen, ut nullus præsentium latebras ei sui cordis celare præsumeret; quin omnes palam, quæ gesserant, confitendo proferrent, quia nimirum hæc eadem illum latere nullo modo putabant; et confessa dignis, ut imperabat, pœnitentiæ fructibus abstergerent. Solebat autem ea maxime loca peragrare, et illis prædicare in viculis, qui in arduis asperisque montibus procul positi aliis horrori erant ad visendum, et paupertate pariter ac rusticitate sua doctorum arcebant accessum. Quos tamen ille pio libenter mancipatus labori tanta doctrinæ solertis excolebat industria, ut de monasterio egressus sæpe hebdomada integra, aliquando duabus vel tribus, nonnunquam etiam mense pleno, domum non rediret; sed demoratus in montanis plebem rusticam verbo prædicationis simul et opere virtutis ad cœlestia vocaret.
Cum ergo venerabilis Domini famulus multos in Mailrosensi monasterio degens annos magnis virtutum signis effulgeret, transtulit eum reverendissimus abbas ipsius Eata ad insulam Lindisfarnensium, ut ibi quoque fratribus custodiam disciplinæ regularis et auctoritate præpositi intimaret, et propria actione præmonstraret. Nam et ipsum locum tunc idem reverendissimus pater abbatis jure regebat. Siquidem a temporibus antiquis ibidem et episcopus cum clero et abbas solebat manere cum monachis; qui tamen et ipsi ad curam episcopi familiariter pertinerent. Quia nimirum Aidanus, qui primus ejus loci episcopus fuit, cum monachis illuc et ipse monachus adveniens, monachicam in eo conversationem instituit; quomodo et prius beatus pater Augustinus in Cantia fecisse noscitur, scribente ei reverendissimo papa Gregorio, quod et supra posuimus. “Sed quia tua fraternitas,” inquit, “monasterii regulis erudita, seorsum fieri non debet a clericis suis; in ecclesia Anglorum, quæ nuper, auctore Deo, ad fidem perducta est, hanc debet conversationem instituere, quæ in initio nascentis ecclesiæ fuit patribus nostris; in quibus nullus eorum ex his, quæ possidebant, aliquid suum esse dicebat, sed erant illis omnia communia.”
UT IDEM IN VITA ANACHORETICA ET FONTEM DE ARENTE TERRA ORANDO PRODUXERIT, ET SEGETEM DE LABORE MANUUM ULTRA TEMPUS SERENDI ACCEPERIT.
Exin Cuthbertus, crescentibus meritis religiosæ intentionis, ad anachoreticæ quoque contemplationis, quæ diximus, silentia secreta pervenit. Verum quia de vita illius et virtutibus ante annos plures sufficienter et versibus heroicis, et simplici oratione, conscripsimus, hoc tantum in præsenti commemorare satis sit, quod aditurus insulam protestatus est fratribus, dicens, “Si mihi divina gratia in loco illo donaverit, ut de opere manuum mearum vivere queam, libens ibi morabor; sin alias, ad vos citissime, Deo volente, revertar.” Erat autem locus et aquæ prorsus et frugis et arboris inops, sed et spirituum malignorum frequentia humanæ habitationi minus accommodus; sed ad votum viri Dei habitabilis per omnia factus est, siquidem ad adventum ejus spiritus recessere maligni. Cum autem ipse sibi ibidem, expulsis hostibus, mansionem angustam, circumvallante aggere, et domos in ea necessarias, juvante fratrum manu, id est, oratorium et habitaculum commune, construxisset, jussit fratres in ejusdem habitaculi pavimento foveam facere; erat autem tellus durissima et saxosa, cui nulla omnino spes venæ fontanæ videretur inesse. Quod dum facerent, ad fidem et preces famuli Dei alio die aqua plena inventa est, quæ usque ad hanc diem, sufficientem cunctis illo advenientibus, gratiæ suæ cœlestis copiam ministrat. Sed et ferramenta sibi ruralia cum frumento afferri rogavit, quod dum, præparata terra, tempore congruo seminaret, nil omnino, non dico spicarum, sed ne herbæ quidem, ex eo germinare usque ad æstatis tempora contigit. Unde visitantibus se ex more fratribus, hordeum jussit afferri, si forte vel natura soli illius, vel voluntas esset superni Largitoris, ut illius frugis ibi potius seges oriretur. Quod dum sibi allatum, ultra omne tempus serendi, ultra omnem spem fructificandi, eodem in agro sereret; mox copiosa seges exorta desideratam proprii laboris viro Dei refectionem præbebat.
Cum ergo multis ibidem annis Deo solitarius serviret, tanta autem erat altitudo aggeris, quo mansio ejus erat vallata, ut cœlum tantum ex ea, cujus introitum sitiebat, aspicere posset, contigit ut, (congregata synodo non parva sub præsentia regis Egfridi juxta fluvium Alne, in loco, qui dicitur “Adtwiforda,” quod significat, “Ad duplex vadum,” cui beatæ memoriæ Theodorus archiepiscopus præsidebat,) uno animo omniumque consensu ad episcopatum ecclesiæ Lindisfarnensis eligeretur. Qui cum, multis legatariis ac literis ad se præmissis, nequaquam suo monasterio posset erui; tandem rex ipse præfatus una cum sanctissimo antistite Trumwine, necnon et aliis religiosis ac potentibus viris, in insulam navigavit. Conveniunt et de ipsa insula Lindisfarnensi in hoc ipsum multi de fratribus, genu flectunt omnes, adjurant per Dominum, lacrimas fundunt, obsecrant; donec ipsum quoque lacrimis plenum dulcibus extrahunt latebris atque ad synodum pertrahunt. Quo cum perveniret, quamvis multum renitens, unanima cunctorum voluntate superatur, atque ad suscipiendum episcopatus officium collum submittere compellitur; eo maxime victus sermone, quod famulus Domini Boisil, (cum ei mente prophetica cuncta, quæ ei essent superventura, patefaceret,) antistitem quoque eum futurum esse prædixerat. Nec tamen statim ordinatio decreta, sed peracta hieme, quæ imminebat, in ipsa solennitate Paschali completa est Eboraci sub præsentia præfati regis Egfridi, convenientibus ad consecrationem ejus septem episcopis, in quibus beatæ memoriæ Theodorus primatum tenebat. Electus est autem primo in episcopatum Hagulstadensis ecclesiæ pro Tunberto, qui ab episcopatu fuerat depositus; sed quoniam ipse plus Lindisfarnensi ecclesiæ, in qua conversatus fuerat, dilexit præfici, placuit, ut, Eata reverso ad sedem ecclesiæ Hagulstadensis, cui regendæ primo fuerat ordinatus, Cuthbertus ecclesiæ Lindisfarnensis gubernacula susciperet.
Qui susceptum episcopatus gradum, ad imitationem beatorum apostolorum, virtutum ornabat operibus. Commissam namque sibi plebem et orationibus protegebat assiduis, et admonitionibus saluberrimis ad cœlestia vocabat. Et, quod maxime doctores juvare solet, ea, quæ agenda docebat, ipse prius agendo præmonstrabat. Erat quippe ante omnia divinæ caritatis igne fervidus, patientiæ virtute modestus, orationum devotioni solertissime intentus, affabilis omnibus, qui ad se consolationis gratia veniebant; hoc ipsum quoque orationis loco ducens, si infirmis fratribus opem suæ exhortationis tribueret; sciens quia, qui dixit, “Diliges Dominum Deum tuum;” dixit et, “Diliges proximum.” Erat et abstinentiæ castigatione insignis, erat gratia compunctionis semper ad cœlestia suspensus. Denique, cum sacrificium Deo victimæ salutaris offerret, non elevata in altum voce, sed profusis ex imo pectore lacrimis, Domino sua vota commendabat.
Duobus autem annis in episcopatu peractis, repetiit insulam ac monasterium suum, divino admonitus oraculo, quia dies sibi mortis, vel vitæ magis illius, quæ sola vita dicenda est, jam appropiaret introitus; sicut ipse quoque tempore eodem nonnullis, sed verbis obscurioribus, quæ tamen postmodum manifeste intelligerentur, solita sibi simplicitate pandebat; quibusdam autem hoc idem etiam manifeste revelabat.
UT IDEM JAM EPISCOPUS OBITUM SUUM PROXIME FUTURUM HEREBERTO ANACHORETÆ PRÆDIXERIT.
ERAT enim quidam presbyter vitæ venerabilis, nomine Herebertus, jamdudum viro Dei spiritualis amicitiæ fœdere copulatus; qui in insula stagni illius pergrandis, de quo Derwentionis fluvii primordia erumpunt, vitam ducens solitariam, annis singulis eum visitare, et monita ab eo perpetuæ salutis audire solebat. Hic, cum audiret eum ad civitatem Lugubaliam devenisse, venit ex more, cupiens salutaribus ejus exhortationibus ad superna desideria magis magisque accendi. Qui dum sese alterutrum cœlestis vitæ poculis debriarent, dixit inter alia antistes, “Memento, frater Hereberte, ut modo, quidquid opus habes, me interroges, mecumque loquaris; postquam enim ab invicem digressi fuerimus, non ultra nos in hoc seculo carnis obtutibus invicem aspiciemus. Certus sum namque, quod tempus meæ resolutionis instat, et velox est depositio tabernaculi mei.” Qui hæc audiens, provolutus est ejus vestigiis, et fusis cum gemitu lacrimis, “Obsecro,” inquit, “per Dominum, ne me deseras, sed tui memor sis fidissimi sodalis, rogesque supernam pietatem, ut cui simul in terris servivimus, ad ejus videndam gratiam simul transeamus ad cœlos. Nosti enim quia ad tui oris imperium semper vivere studui, et quicquid ignorantia vel fragilitate deliqui, æque ad tuæ voluntatis examen mox emendare curavi.” Incubuit precibus antistes, statimque edoctus in spiritu impetrasse se, quod petebat a Domino, “Surge,” inquit, “frater mi, et noli plorare, sed gaudio gaude, quia, quod rogavimus, superna nobis clementia donavit.
Cujus promissi et prophetiæ veritatem sequens rerum astruxit eventus, quia et digredientes ab invicem non se ultra corporaliter viderunt, sed uno eodemque die, hoc est, tertio decimo kalendarum Aprilium, egredientes e corpore spiritus eorum mox beata invicem visione conjuncti sunt, atque angelico ministerio pariter ad regnum cœleste translati. Sed Herebertus diutina prius infirmitate decoquitur; illa, ut credibile est, dispensatione Dominicæ pietatis, ut si quid minus haberet meriti a beato Cuthberto, suppleret hoc castigans longæ ægritudinis dolor: quatenus æquatus gratia suo intercessori, sicut uno eodemque tempore cum eo de corpore egredi, ita etiam una atque indissimili sede perpetuæ beatitudinis meruisset recipi.
Obiit autem pater reverendissimus in insula Farne, multum deprecatus fratres, ut ibi quoque sepeliretur, ubi non parvo tempore pro Domino militarat. Attamen tandem eorum precibus victus assensum dedit, ut ad insulam Lindisfarnensium relatus in ecclesia deponeretur; quod cum factum esset, episcopatum ecclesiæ illius anno uno servabat venerabilis antistes Wilfridus, donec eligeretur, qui pro Cuthberto antistes ordinari deberet. Ordinatus est autem post hæc Eadbertus vir scientia divinarum Scripturarum simul et præceptorum cœlestium observantia, ac maxime eleemosynarum operatione insignis; ita ut juxta legem, omnibus annis decimam non solum quadrupedum, verum etiam frugum omnium atque pomorum, necnon et vestimentorum partem, pauperibus daret.
UT CORPUS ILLIUS POST UNDECIM ANNOS SEPULTURÆ SIT CORRUPTIONIS IMMUNE REPERTUM; NEC MULTO POST SUCCESSOR EPISCOPATUS EJUS DE MUNDO TRANSIERIT.
Volens autem latius demonstrare divina dispensatio quanta in gloria vir Domini Cuthbertus post mortem viveret, cujus ante mortem vita sublimis crebris etiam miraculorum patebat indiciis, transactis sepulturæ ejus annis undecim, immisit in animo fratrum, ut tollerent ossa illius, quæ, more mortuorum, consumto jam et in pulverem redacto corpore reliquo, sicca invenienda putabant; atque in novo recondita loculo, in eodem quidem loco, sed supra pavimentum, dignæ venerationis gratia locarent. Quod dum sibi placuisse Eadberto antistiti suo referrent, annuit consilio eorum jussitque, ut die depositionis ejus hoc facere meminissent. Fecerunt autem ita, et aperientes sepulcrum invenerunt corpus totum quasi adhuc viveret integrum, et flexilibus artuum compagibus multo dormienti quam mortuo similius; sed et vestimenta omnia, quibus indutum erat, non solum intemerata, verum etiam prisca novitate et claritudine miranda apparebant. Quod ubi videre fratres, nimio mox timore perculsi, festinaverunt referre antistiti quæ invenerant, qui tum forte in remotiore ab ecclesia loco refluis undique pelagi fluctibus cincto solitarius manebat. In hoc etenim semper Quadragesimæ tempus agere, in hoc quadraginta ante Dominicum natale dies in magna continentiæ, orationis et lacrimarum, devotione transigere solebat; in quo etiam venerabilis prædecessor ejus Cuthbertus, priusquam insulam Farne peteret, aliquandiu secretus Domino militabat.
Attulerunt autem ei et partem indumentorum, quæ corpus sanctum ambierant, quæ cum ille et munera gratanter acciperet et miracula libenter audiret, nam et ipsa indumenta quasi patris adhuc corpori circumdata miro deosculabatur affectu, “Nova,” inquit, “indumenta corpori pro his, quæ tulistis, circumdate, et sic reponite in arca, quam parastis. Scio autem certissime, quia non diu vacuus remanebit locus ille, qui tanta miraculi cœlestis gratia sacratus est; et quam beatus est, cui in eo facultatem quiescendi Dominus totius beatitudinis auctor atque largitor præstare dignabitur.” Hæc et hujusmodi plura ubi multis cum lacrimis et magna compunctione antistes lingua etiam tremente complevit, fecerunt fratres ut jusserat, et involutum novo amictu corpus novaque in theca reconditum supra pavimentum sanctuarii posuerunt. Nec mora, Deo dilectus antistes Eadbertus morbo correptus est acerbo, ac per dies crescente multumque ingravescente ardore languoris, non multo post, id est, pridie nonas Maias etiam ipse migravit ad Dominum; cujus corpus in sepulcro benedicti patris Cuthberti ponentes apposuerunt desuper arcam, in qua incorrupta ejusdem patris membra locaverant; in quo etiam loco signa sanitatum aliquoties facta meritis amborum testimonium ferunt. E quibus aliqua in libro vitæ illius olim memoriæ mandavimus, sed et in hac Historia quædam, quæ nos nuper audiisse contigit, superadjicere commodum duximus.
UT QUIDAM AD TUMBAM EJUS SIT A PARALYSI SANATUS.
Erat in eodem monasterio frater quidam, nomine Bethwegen, tempore non pauco hospitum ministerio deserviens, qui nunc usque superest, testimonium habens ab universis fratribus cunctisque supervenientibus hospitibus, quod vir esset multæ pietatis ac religionis, injunctoque sibi officio supernæ tantum mercedis gratia subditus. Hic cum quadam die lænas sive saga, quibus in hospitali utebatur, in mari lavasset, rediens domum repentina medio itinere molestia tactus est, ita ut corruens in terram et aliquandiu pronus jacens, vix tandem resurgeret; resurgens autem sensit dimidiam corporis sui partem a capite usque ad pedes paralysis languore depressam, et maximo cum labore baculo innitens domum pervenit. Crescebat morbus paulatim, et, nocte superveniente, gravior effectus est, ita ut, die redeunte, vix ipse per se exsurgere aut incedere valeret. Quo affectus incommodo, concepit utillimum mente consilium, ut ad ecclesiam quoquo modo posset perveniens intraret ad tumbam reverendissimi patris Cuthberti, ibique genibus flexis supplex supernam pietatem rogaret, ut vel ab hujuscemodi languore, si hoc sibi utile esset, liberaretur; vel si se tali molestia diutius castigari, divina providente gratia, oporteret, patienter dolorem ac placida mente sustineret illatum.
Fecit igitur ut animo disposuerat, et imbecilles artus baculo sustentans intravit ecclesiam, ac prosternens se ad corpus viri Dei, pia intentione per ejus auxilium Dominum sibi propitium fieri precabatur; atque inter preces velut in soporem solutus sensit, ut ipse postea referre erat solitus, quasi magnam latamque manum caput sibi in parte, qua dolebat, tetigisse, eodemque tactu totam illam, quæ languore pressa fuerat, corporis sui partem, paulatim fugiente dolore ac sanitate subsequente, ad pedes usque pertransisse. Quo facto, mox evigilans sanissimus surrexit, ac pro sua sanitate Domino gratias denuo referens quid erga se actum esset fratribus indicavit; cunctisque congaudentibus, ad ministerium, quod solicitus exhibere solebat, quasi flagello probante, castigatior rediit. Sed et indumenta, quibus Deo dicatum corpus Cuthberti, vel vivum antea, vel postea defunctum vestierant, etiam ipsa a gratia curandi non vacarunt, sicut in volumine vitæ et virtutum ejus quisquis legerit, inveniet.
UT ALTER AD RELIQUIAS EJUS NUPER FUERIT AB OCULI LANGUORE CURATUS.
Nec silentio prætereundum, quod ante triennium per reliquias ejus factum, nuper mihi per ipsum, in quo factum est, fratrem innotuit. Est autem factum in monasterio, quod juxta amnem Dacore constructum ab eo cognomen accepit, cui tunc vir religiosus Suidbertus abbatis jure præfuit. Erat in eo quidam adolescens, cui tumor deformis palpebram oculi fœdaverat, qui cum per dies crescens oculo interitum minaretur, curabant medici hunc, appositis pigmentorum fomentis, emollire, nec valebant. Quidam abscidendum esse dicebant; alii hoc fieri metu majoris periculi vetabant. Cumque tempore non pauco frater præfatus tali incommodo laboraret, neque imminens oculo exitium humana manus curare valeret, quin per dies augesceret, contigit eum subito divinæ pietatis gratia per sanctissimi patris Cuthberti reliquias sanari. Nam quando fratres sui corpus ipsius post multos sepulturæ annos incorruptum repererant, tulerunt partem de capillis, quam more reliquiarum rogantibus amicis dare, vel ostendere in signum miraculi possent.
Harum particulam reliquiarum eo tempore habebat penes se quidam de presbyteris ejusdem monasterii, nomine Thridredus, qui nunc ipsius monasterii abbas est. Qui cum die quadam ingressus ecclesiam aperuisset thecam reliquiarum, ut portionem earum roganti amico præstaret, contigit et ipsum adolescentem, cui oculus languebat, in eadem ecclesia tunc adesse. Cumque presbyter portionem quantam voluit amico dedisset, residuum dedit adolescenti, ut suo in loco reponeret. At ille salubri instinctu admonitus, cum accepisset capillos sancti capitis, apposuit palpebræ languenti, et aliquandiu tumorem illum infestum horum appositione comprimere ac mollire curabat. Quo facto, reliquias, ut jussus erat, sua in theca recondidit, credens suum oculum capillis viri Dei, quibus attactus erat, ocius esse sanandum. Neque eum sua fides fefellit; erat enim, ut referre erat solitus, tunc hora circiter secunda diei, sed cum alia, quæcunque dies illa exigebat, cogitaret et faceret, imminente hora ipsius diei sexta, repente contingens oculum ita sanum cum palpebra invenit, ac si nil unquam in eo deformitatis ac tumoris apparuisset.
THE ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH NATION.
CHAP. I. —
DEUSDEDIT, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, DYING, WIGHARD WAS SENT TO ROME TO SUCCEED HIM IN THAT DIGNITY; BUT HE DYING THERE, THEODORE WAS ORDAINED ARCHBISHOP, AND SENT INTO BRITAIN WITH THE ABBOT HADRIAN.
Death of Archbishop Deusdedit. 664.
IN the above-mentioned year of the aforesaid eclipse, which was presently followed by the pestilence, in which also Bishop Colman, being overcome by the unanimous consent of the Catholics, returned home, Deusdedit, the sixth bishop of the church of Canterbury, died on the 14th of July. Erconbert, also, king of Kent, departed this life the same month and day; leaving his kingdom to his son Egbert, which he held nine years. The see then became vacant for some considerable time, until the priest Wighard, a man skilled in ecclesiastical discipline, of the English race, was sent to Rome by the said King Egbert, and Oswy, king of the Northumbrians, as was briefly mentioned in the foregoing book, with a request that he might be ordained bishop of the church of England; sending at the same time presents to the apostolic pope, and many vessels of gold and silver. Arriving at Rome, where Vitalian presided at that time over the Apostolic See, and having made known to the aforesaid pope the occasion of his journey, he was not long after snatched away, with almost all his companions that went with him, by a pestilence which happened at that time.
But the apostolic pope having consulted about that affair, made diligent inquiry for some one to send to be archbishop of the English churches. There was then in the Niridan monastery, which is not far from the city of Naples in Campania, an abbot, called Hadrian, by nation an African, well versed in holy writ, experienced in monastical and ecclesiastical discipline, and excellently skilled both in the Greek and Latin tongues. The pope, sending for him, commanded him to accept of the bishopric, and repair into Britain; he answered, that he was unworthy of so great a dignity, but said he could name another, whose learning and age were fitter for the episcopal office. And having proposed to the pope a certain monk, belonging to a neighbouring monastery of virgins, whose name was Andrew, he was by all that knew him judged worthy of a bishopric; but bodily infirmity prevented his being advanced to the episcopal station. Then again Hadrian was pressed to accept of the bishopric; but he desired a respite for a time, to see whether he could find another fit to be ordained bishop.
Theodore ordained. 668.
There was at that time in Rome, a monk, called Theodore, well known to Hadrian, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, a man well instructed in worldly and Divine literature, as also in Greek and Latin; of known probity of life, and venerable for age, being sixty-six years old. Hadrian offered him to the pope to be ordained bishop, and prevailed; but upon these conditions, that he should conduct him into Britain, because he had already travelled through France twice upon several occasions, and was, therefore, better acquainted with the way, and was, moreover, sufficiently provided with men of his own; as also that being his fellow-labourer in doctrine, he might take special care that Theodore should not, according to the custom of the Greeks, introduce any thing contrary to the true faith into the church where he presided. Hadrian, being ordained subdeacon, waited four months for his hair to grow, that it might be shorn into the shape of a crown; for he had before the tonsure of St. Paul, the apostle, after the manner of the eastern people. He was ordained by Pope Vitalian, in the year of our Lord 668, on Sunday, the 26th of March, and on the 27th of May was sent with Hadrian into Britain.
They proceeded by sea to Marseilles, and thence by land to Arles, and having there delivered to John, archbishop of that city, Pope Vitalian’s letters of recommendation, were by him detained till Ebrin, the king’s mayor of the palace, sent them a pass to go where they pleased. Having received the same, Theodore repaired to Agilbert, bishop of Paris, of whom we have spoken above, and was by him kindly received, and long entertained. But Hadrian went first to Emme, and then to Faro, bishops of Sens and Meaux, and lived with them a considerable time; for the hard winter had obliged them to rest wherever they could. King Egbert, being informed by messengers that the bishop they had asked of the Roman prelate was in the kingdom of France, sent thither his præfect, Redfrid, to conduct him; who, being arrived there, with Ebrin’s leave, conveyed him to the port of Quentavic; where, being indisposed, he made some stay, and as soon as he began to recover, sailed over into Britain. But Ebrin detained Hadrian, suspecting that he went on some message from the emperor to the kings of Britain, to the prejudice of the kingdom, of which he at that time took especial care; however, when he found that he really had no such commission, he discharged him, and permitted him to follow Theodore. As soon as he came, he received from him the monastery of St. Peter the apostle, where the archbishops of Canterbury are usually buried, as I have said before; for at his departure, the apostolic lord had ordered that he should provide for him in his diocese, and give him a suitable place to live in with his followers.
THEODORE VISITS ALL PLACES; THE CHURCHES OF THE ENGLISH BEGIN TO BE INSTRUCTED IN HOLY LITERATURE, AND IN THE CATHOLIC TRUTH; PUTTA IS MADE BISHOP OF THE CHURCH OF ROCHESTER IN THE ROOM OF DAMIANUS.
Archbishop Theodore arrives. 669.The Greek language introduced.
THEODORE arrived at his church the second year after his consecration, on Sunday, the 27th of May, and held the same twenty-one years, three months, and twenty-six days. Soon after, he visited all the island, wherever the tribes of the Angles inhabited, for he was willingly entertained and heard by all persons; and every where attended and assisted by Hadrian, he taught the right rule of life, and the canonical custom of celebrating Easter. This was the first archbishop whom all the English church obeyed. And forasmuch as both of them were, as has been said before, well read both in sacred and in secular literature, they gathered a crowd of disciples, and there daily flowed from them rivers of knowledge to water the hearts of their hearers; and, together with the books of holy writ, they also taught them the arts of ecclesiastical poetry, astronomy, and arithmetic. A testimony of which is, that there are still living at this day some of their scholars, who are as well versed in the Greek and Latin tongues as in their own, in which they were born. Nor were there ever happier times since the English came into Britain; for their kings being brave men and good Christians, they were a terror to all barbarous nations, and the minds of all men were bent upon the joys of the heavenly kingdom of which they had just heard; and all who desired to be instructed in sacred reading, had masters at hand to teach them.
From that time also they began in all the churches of the English to learn sacred music, which till then had been only known in Kent. And excepting James above-mentioned, the first singing-master in the churches of the Northumbrians was Eddi, surnamed Stephen, invited from Kent by the most reverend Wilfrid, who was the first of the bishops of the English nation that taught the churches of the English the Catholic mode of life.
His reforms.Putta, bishop of Rochester.
Theodore, visiting all parts, ordained bishops in proper places, and with their assistance corrected such things as he found faulty. Among the rest, when he upbraided Bishop Ceadda that he had not been duly consecrated, he, with great humility, answered, “If you know I have not duly received episcopal ordination, I willingly resign the office, for I never thought myself worthy of it; but, though unworthy, in obedience submitted to undertake it.” Hearing his humble answer, he said that he should not resign the bishopric, and he himself completed his ordination after the Catholic manner. At the same time when Deusdedit died, and a bishop for the church of Canterbury was by request ordained and sent, Wilfrid was also sent out of Britain into France to be ordained; and because he returned before Theodore, he ordained priests and deacons in Kent till the archbishop should come to his see. Being arrived in the city of Rochester, where the see had been long vacant by the death of Damianus, he ordained a person better skilled in ecclesiastical discipline, and more addicted to simplicity of life than active in worldly affairs. His name was Putta, and he was extraordinarily skilful in the Roman style of church music, which he had learned from the disciples of the holy Pope Gregory.
HOW CEADDA, ABOVE-MENTIONED, WAS MADE BISHOP OF THE MERCIANS. OF HIS LIFE, DEATH, AND BURIAL.
Of Bishop Ceadda’s life, death, and burial. 669.
AT that time, the Mercians were governed by King Wulfhere, who, on the death of Jaruman, desired of Theodore to supply him and his people with a bishop; but Theodore would not obtain a new one for them, but requested of King Oswy that Ceadda might be their bishop. He then lived retired at his monastery, which is at Lestingau, Wilfrid filling the bishopric of York, and of all the Northumbrians, and likewise of the Picts, as far as the dominions of King Oswy extended. And, seeing that it was the custom of that most reverend prelate to go about the work of the Gospel to several places rather on foot than on horseback, Theodore commanded him to ride whenever he had a long journey to undertake, and finding him very unwilling to omit his former pious labour, he himself, with his hands, lifted him on the horse; for he thought him a holy man, and therefore obliged him to ride wherever he had need to go. Ceadda having received the bishopric of the Mercians and Lindisfarne, took care to administer the same with great rectitude of life, according to the example of the ancients. King Wulfhere also gave him land of fifty families, to build a monastery, at the place called Barve, or “The Wood,” in the province of Lindsey, wherein marks of the regular life instituted by him continue to this day.
Bishopric of Litchfield.
He had his episcopal see in the place called Litchfield, in which he also died, and was buried, and where the see of the succeeding bishops of that province still continues. He had built himself a habitation not far from the church wherein he was wont to pray and read with seven or eight of the brethren, as often as he had any spare time from the labour and ministry of the word. When he had most gloriously governed the church in that province two years and a half, the Divine Providence so ordaining, there came round a season like that of which Ecclesiastes says, “That there is a time to cast stones, and a time to gather them;” for there happened a mortality sent from heaven, which, by means of the death of the flesh, translated the stones of the church from their earthly places to the heavenly building. And when, after many of the church of that most reverend prelate had been taken out of the flesh, his hour also drew near wherein he was to pass out of this world to our Lord, it happened one day that he was in the aforesaid dwelling with only one brother, called Owini, his other companion being upon some reasonable occasion returned to the church. Now Owini was a monk of great merit, having forsaken the world with the pure intention of obtaining the heavenly reward; worthy in all respects to have the secrets of our Lord revealed to him, and worthy to have credit given by his hearers to what he said, for he came with Queen Etheldrid from the province of the East Angles, and was her prime minister, and governor of her family. As the fervour of his faith increased, resolving to renounce the world, he did not go about it slothfully, but so fully forsook the things of this world, that, quitting all he had, clad in a plain garment, and carrying an axe and hatchet in his hand, he came to the monastery of that most reverend prelate, called Lestingau; denoting, that he did not go to the monastery to live idle, as some do, but to labour, which he also confirmed by practice; for as he was less capable of meditating on the Holy Scriptures, he the more earnestly applied himself to the labour of his hands. In short, he was received by the bishop into the house aforesaid, and there entertained with the brethren, and whilst they were engaged within in reading, he was without, doing such things as were necessary.
One day when he was thus employed abroad, and his companions were gone to the church, as I began to state, the bishop was alone reading or praying in the oratory of that place, when on a sudden, as he afterwards said, he heard the voice of persons singing most sweetly and rejoicing, and appearing to descend from heaven. Which voice he said he first heard coming from the south-east, and that afterwards it drew near him, till it came to the roof of the oratory where the bishop was, and entering therein, filled the same and all about it. He listened attentively to what he heard, and after about half an hour, perceived the same song of joy to ascend from the roof of the said oratory, and to return to heaven the same way it came, with inexpressible sweetness. When he had stood some time astonished, and seriously revolving in his mind what it might be, the bishop opened the window of the oratory, and making a noise with his hand, as he was often wont to do, ordered him to come in to him. He accordingly went hastily in, and the bishop said to him, “Make haste to the church, and cause the seven brothers to come hither, and do you come with them.” When they were come, he first admonished them to preserve the virtue of peace among themselves, and towards all others; and indefatigably to practise the rules of regular discipline, which they had either been taught by him, or seen him observe, or had noticed in the words or actions of the former fathers. Then he added, that the day of his death was at hand; “[Editor: illegible word],” said he, “that amiable guest, who was wont to visit the brethren, has vouchsafed also to come to me this day, and to call me out of this world. Return, therefore, to the church, and speak to the brethren, that they and their prayers recommend my passage to our Lord, and that they be careful to provide for their own, the hour whereof is uncertain, by watching, prayer, and good works.”
When he had spoken thus much and more, and they, having received his blessing, had gone away in sorrow, he, who had heard the heavenly song, returned alone, and prostrating himself on the ground, said, “I beseech you, father, may I be permitted to ask a question?”—“Ask what you will,” answered the bishop. Then he added, “I entreat you to tell me what song of joy was that which I heard coming upon this oratory, and after some time returning to heaven?” The bishop answered, “If you heard the singing, and know the coming of the heavenly company, I command you, in the name of our Lord, that you do not tell the same to any before my death. They were angelic spirits, who came to call me to my heavenly reward, which I have always longed after, and they promised they would return seven days hence, and take me away with them.” Which was accordingly fulfilled, as had been said to him; for being presently seized with a languishing distemper, and the same daily increasing, on the seventh day, as had been promised to him, when he had prepared for death by receiving the body and blood of our Lord, his soul being delivered from the prison of the body, the angels, as may justly be believed, attending him, he departed to the joys of heaven.
It is no wonder that he joyfully beheld the day of his death, or rather the day of our Lord, which he had always carefully expected till it came; for notwithstanding his many merits of continence, humility, teaching, prayer, voluntary poverty, and other virtues, he was so full of the fear of God, so mindful of his last end in all his actions, that, as I was informed by one of the brothers who instructed me in divinity, and who had been bred in his monastery, and under his direction, whose name was Trumhere, if it happened that there blew a strong gust of wind when he was reading or doing any other thing, he immediately called upon God for mercy, and begged it might be extended to all mankind. If the wind grew stronger, he closed his book, and prostrating himself on the ground, prayed still more earnestly. But, if it proved a violent storm of wind or rain, or else that the earth and air were filled with thunder and lightning, he would repair to the church, and devote himself to prayers and repeating of psalms till the weather became calm. Being asked by his followers why he did so, he answered, “Have not you read—‘The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave forth his voice. Yea, he sent out his arrows and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.’ For the Lord moves the air, raises the winds, darts lightning, and thunders from heaven, to excite the inhabitants of the earth to fear him; to put them in mind of the future judgment; to dispel their pride, and vanquish their boldness, by bringing into their thoughts that dreadful time, when the heavens and the earth being in a flame, he will come in the clouds, with great power and majesty, to judge the quick and the dead. Wherefore,” said he, “it behoves us to answer his heavenly admonition with due fear and love; that, as often as he lifts his hand through the trembling sky, as it were to strike, but does not yet let it fall, we may immediately implore his mercy; and searching the recesses of our hearts, and cleansing the filth of our vices, we may carefully behave ourselves so as never to be struck.”
With this revelation and account of the aforesaid brother, concerning the death of this prelate, agrees the discourse of the most reverend Father Egbert, above spoken of, who long led a monastic life with the same Ceadda, when both were youths, in Ireland, praying, observing continency, and meditating on the Holy Scriptures. But when he afterwards returned into his own country, the other continued in a strange country for our Lord’s sake till the end of his life. A long time after, Hygbald, a most holy and continent man, who was an abbot in the province of Lindsey, came out of Britain to visit him, and whilst these holy men were discoursing of the life of the former fathers, and rejoicing to imitate the same, mention was made of the most reverend prelate, Ceadda, and Egbert said, “I know a man in this island, still in the flesh, who, when that prelate passed out of this world, saw the soul of his brother Cedd, with a company of angels, descending from heaven, who, having taken his soul along with them, returned thither again.” Whether he said this of himself, or some other, we do not certainly know; but the same being said by so great a man, there can be no doubt of the truth thereof.
Ceadda dies. 672.
Ceadda died on the 2nd of March, and was first buried by St. Mary’s Church, but afterwards, when the church of the most holy prince of the apostles, Peter, was built, his bones were translated into it. In both which places, as a testimony of his virtue, frequent miraculous cures are wont to be wrought. And of late, a certain distracted person, who had been wandering about everywhere, arrived there in the evening, unknown or unregarded by the keepers of the place, and having rested there all the night, went out in his perfect senses the next morning, to the surprise and delight of all; thus showing that a cure had been performed on him through the goodness of God. The place of the sepulchre is a wooden monument, made like a little house, covered, having a hole in the wall, through which those that go thither for devotion usually put in their hand and take out some of the dust, which they put into water and give to sick cattle or men to drink, upon which they are presently eased of their infirmity, and restored to health. In his place, Theodore ordained Winfrid, a good and modest man, to preside, as his predecessors had done, over the bishoprics of the Mercians, the Midland Angles, and the Lindisfarnes, of all which, Wulfhere, who was still living, was king. Winfrid was one of the clergy of the prelate he had succeeded, and had for a considerable time filled the office of deacon under him.
BISHOP COLMAN, HAVING LEFT BRITAIN, BUILT TWO MONASTERIES IN SCOTLAND; THE ONE FOR THE SCOTS, THE OTHER FOR THE ENGLISH HE HAD TAKEN ALONG WITH HIM.
Colman goes to Ireland. 667.Iona.
IN the meantime, Colman, the Scottish bishop, departing from Britain, took along with him all the Scots he had assembled in the isle of Lindisfarne, and also about thirty of the English nation, who had been all instructed in the monastic life; and leaving some brothers in his church, he repaired first to the isle of Hii, whence he had been sent to preach the word of God to the English nation. Afterwards he retired to a small island, which is to the west of Ireland, and at some distance from its coast, called, in the language of the Scots, Inisbofinde, the Island of the White Heifer. Arriving there, he built a monastery, and placed in it the monks he had brought of both nations; who not agreeing among themselves, by reason that the Scots, in the summer season, when the harvest was to be brought in, leaving the monastery, wandered about through places with which they were acquainted; but returned again the next winter, and would have what the English had provided to be in common; Colman sought to put an end to this dissension, and travelling about far and near, he found a place in the island of Ireland fit to build a monastery, which, in the language of the Scots, is called Mageo, and bought a small part of it of the earl to whom it belonged, to build his monastery thereon; upon condition, that the monks residing there should pray to our Lord for him who let them have the place. Then building a monastery, with the assistance of the earl and all the neighbours, he placed the English there, leaving the Scots in the aforesaid island. This monastery is to this day possessed by English inhabitants; being the same that, grown up from a small beginning to be very large, is generally called Mageo; and as all things have long since been brought under a better method, it contains an exemplary society of monks, who are gathered there from the province of the English, and live by the labour of their hands, after the example of the venerable fathers, under a rule and a canonical abbot, in much continency and singleness of life.
OF THE DEATH OF THE KINGS OSWY AND EGBERT, AND OF THE SYNOD HELD AT HERTFORD, IN WHICH ARCHBISHOP THEODORE PRESIDED.
Death of Oswy. 670.
IN the year of the incarnation of our Lord 670, being the second year after Theodore arrived in England, Oswy, king of the Northumbrians, fell sick, and died, in the fifty-eighth year of his age. He at that time bore so great affection to the Roman apostolical institution, that had he recovered of his sickness, he had designed to go to Rome, and there to end his days at the Holy Places, having entreated Bishop Wilfrid, by the promise of a considerable donation in money, to conduct him on his journey. He died on the 15th of February, leaving his son Egfrid his successor in the kingdom. In the third year of his reign, Theodore assembled a synod of bishops, and many other teachers of the church, who loved and were acquainted with the canonical statutes of the fathers. When they were met together, he began, as became a prelate, to enjoin the observation of such things as were agreeable to the unity of the peace of the church. The purport of which synodical proceedings is as follows:—
Synod of Hertford. 673.
“In the name of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who reigns for ever and for ever, and governs his church, it was thought meet that we should assemble, according to the custom of the venerable canons, to treat about the necessary affairs of the church. We met on the 24th day of September, the first indiction, at a place called Hertford, myself, Theodore, the unworthy bishop of the see of Canterbury, appointed by the Apostolic See, our fellow-priest and most reverend brother, Bisi, bishop of the East Angles; also by his proxies, our brother and fellow-priest, Wilfrid, bishop of the nation of the Northumbrians, as also our brothers and fellowpriests, Putta, bishop of the Kentish castle, called Rochester; Eleutherius, bishop of the West Saxons, and Winfrid, bishop of the province of the Mercians. When we were all met together, and were sat down in order, I said, ‘I beseech you, most dear brothers, for the love and fear of our Redeemer, that we may all treat in common for our faith; to the end that whatsoever has been decreed and defined by the holy and revered fathers, may be inviolably observed by all.’ This and much more I spoke tending to the preservation of the charity and unity of the church; and when I had ended my discourse, I asked every one of them in order, whether they consented to observe the things that had been formerly canonically decreed by the fathers? To which all our fellow-priests answered, ‘It so pleases us, and we will all most willingly observe with a cheerful mind whatever is laid down in the canons of the holy fathers.’ I then produced the said book of canons, and publicly showed them ten chapters in the same, which I had marked in several places, because I knew them to be of the most importance to us, and entreated that they might be most particularly received by them all.
“Chapter I. That we all in common keep the holy day of Easter on the Sunday after the fourteenth moon of the first month.
“II. That no bishop intrude into the diocese of another, but be satisfied with the government of the people committed to him.
“III. That it shall not be lawful for any bishop to trouble monasteries dedicated to God, nor to take any thing forcibly from them.
“IV. That monks do not remove from one place to another, that is, from monastery to monastery, unless by the consent of their own abbot; but that they continue in the obedience which they promised at the time of their conversion.
“V. That no clergyman, forsaking his own bishop, shall wander about, or be any where entertained without letters of recommendation from his own prelate. But if he shall be once received, and will not return when invited, both the receiver, and the person received, be under excommunication.
“VI. That bishops and clergymen, when travelling, shall be content with the hospitality that is afforded them; and that it be not lawful for them to exercise any priestly function without leave of the bishop in whose diocese they are.
“VII. That a synod be assembled twice a year; but in regard that several causes obstruct the same, it was approved by all, that we should meet on the 1st of August once a year, at the place called Clofeshoch.
“VIII. That no bishop, through ambition, shall set himself before another; but that they shall all observe the time and order of their consecration.
“IX. It was generally set forth, that more bishops should be made, as the number of believers increased; but this matter for the present was passed over.
“X. Of marriages, that none be allowed any but lawful wedlock; that none commit incest; no man quit his true wife, unless, as the Gospel teaches, on account of fornication. And if any man shall put away his own wife, lawfully joined to him in matrimony, that he take no other, if he wishes to be a good Christian, but continue as he is, or else be reconciled to his own wife.
“These chapters being thus treated of and defined by all, to the end, that for the future, no scandal of contention might arise from any of us, or that things be falsely set forth, it was thought fit that every one of us should, by subscribing his hand, confirm all the particulars so laid down. Which definitive judgment of ours, I dictated to be written by Titillus our notary. Done in the month and indiction aforesaid. Whosoever, therefore, shall presume in any way to oppose or infringe this decision, confirmed by our consent, and by the subscription of our hands, according to the decree of the canons, must take notice, that he is excluded from all sacerdotal functions, and from our society. May the Divine Grace preserve us in safety, living in the unity of his holy church.”
King Egbert dies. 673.
This synod was held in the year from the incarnation of our Lord 673. In which year, Egbert, king of Kent, died in the month of July; his brother Lothere succeeded him on the throne, which he had held eleven years and seven months. Bisi, the bishop of the East Angles, who is said to have been in the aforesaid synod, was successor to Boniface, before spoken of, a man of much sanctity and religion; for when Boniface died, after having been bishop seventeen years, he was by Theodore substituted in his place. Whilst he was still alive, but hindered by much sickness from administering his episcopal functions, two bishops, Ecci and Badwin, were elected and consecrated in his place; from which time to the present, that province has had two bishops.
WINFRID BEING DEPOSED, SEXWULF WAS PUT INTO HIS SEE, AND EARCONWALD MADE BISHOP OF THE EAST SAXONS.
Winfrid deposed, Sexwulf made bishop in his place. 674.
Not long after, Theodore, the archbishop, taking offence at some disobedience of Winfrid, bishop of the Mercians, deposed him from his bishopric when he had been possessed of it but a few years, and in his place made Sexwulf bishop, who was founder and abbot of the monastery of Medeshamstead, in the country of the Girvii. Winfrid, thus deposed, returned to his monastery of Barve, and there ended his life in holy conversation.
Miracles of Bishop Earconwald.
He then also appointed Earconwald bishop of the East Saxons, in the city of London, over whom at that time presided Sebbe and Sighere, of whom mention has been made above. This Earconwald’s life and conversation, as well when he was bishop as before his advancement to that dignity, is reported to have been most holy, as is even at this time testified by heavenly miracles; for to this day, his horse-litter, in which he was wont to be carried when sick, is kept by his disciples, and continues to cure many of agues and other distempers; and not only sick persons who are laid in that litter, or close by it, are cured; but the very chips of it, when carried to the sick, are wont immediately to restore them to health.
This man, before he was made bishop, had built two famous monasteries, the one for himself, and the other for his sister Ethelberga, and established them both in regular discipline of the best kind. That for himself was in the county of Surrey, by the river Thames, at a place called Ceortesei, that is, the Island of Ceorot; that for his sister in the province of the East Saxons, at the place called Bercingum, wherein she might be a mother and nurse of devout women. Being put into the government of that monastery, she behaved herself in all respects as became the sister of such a brother, living herself regularly, and piously, and orderly, providing for those under her, as was also manifested by heavenly miracles.
HOW IT WAS INDICATED BY A HEAVENLY LIGHT WHERE THE BODIES OF THE NUNS SHOULD BE BURIED IN THE MONASTERY OF BARKING.
Miracle at Barking. 676.
IN this monastery many miracles were wrought, which have been committed to writing by many, from those who knew them, that their memory might be preserved, and following generations edified; some whereof we have also taken care to insert in our Ecclesiastical History. When the mortality, which we have already so often mentioned, ravaging all around, had also seized on that part of this monastery where the men resided, and they were daily hurried away to meet their God, the careful mother of the society began often to inquire in the convent, of the sisters, where they would have their bodies buried, and where a church-yard should be made, when the same pestilence should fall upon that part of the monastery in which God’s female servants were divided from the men, and they should be snatched away out of this world by the same destruction. Receiving no certain answer, though she often put the question to the sisters, she and all of them received a most certain answer from heaven. For one night, when the morning psalm was ended, and those servants of Christ were gone out of their oratory to the tombs of the brothers who had departed this life before them, and were singing the usual praises to our Lord, on a sudden a light from heaven, like a great sheet, came down upon them all, and struck them with so much terror, that they, in consternation, left off singing. But that resplendent light, which seemed to exceed the sun at noon-day, soon after rising from that place, removed to the south side of the monastery, that is, to the westward of the oratory, and having continued there some time, and covered those parts in the sight of them all, withdrew itself up again to heaven, leaving conviction in the minds of all, that the same light, which was to lead or to receive the souls of those servants of God into heaven, was intended to show the place in which their bodies were to rest, and await the day of the resurrection. This light was so great, that one of the eldest of the brothers, who at the same time was in their oratory with another younger than himself, related in the morning, that the rays of light which came in at the crannies of the doors and windows, seemed to exceed the utmost brightness of daylight itself.
A LITTLE BOY, DYING IN THE SAME MONASTERY, CALLED UPON A VIRGIN THAT WAS TO FOLLOW HIM; ANOTHER AT THE POINT OF LEAVING HER BODY, SAW SOME SMALL PART OF THE FUTURE GLORY.
Other miracles. 676.
THERE was, in the same monastery, a boy, not above three years old, called Esica; who, by reason of his infant age, was bred up among the virgins dedicated to God, and there to pursue his studies. This child being seized by the aforesaid pestilence, when he was at the last gasp, called three times upon one of the virgins consecrated to God, directing his words to her by her own name, as if she had been present, Eadgyth, Eadgyth, Eadgyth! and thus ending his temporal life, entered into that which is eternal. The virgin, whom he called, was immediately seized, where she was, with the same distemper, and departing this life the same day on which she had been called, followed him that called her into the heavenly country.
Likewise, one of those same servants of God, being ill of the same disease, and reduced to extremity, began on a sudden, about midnight, to cry out to them that attended her, desiring they would put out the candle that was lighted there; which, when she had often repeated, and yet no one did it, at last she said, “I know you think I speak this in a raving fit, but let me inform you it is not so; for I tell you, that I see this house filled with so much light, that your candle there seems to me to be dark.” And when still no one regarded what she said, or returned any answer, she added, “Let that candle burn as long as you will; but take notice, that it is not my light, for my light will come to me at the dawn of the day.” Then she began to tell, that a certain man of God, who had died that same year, had appeared to her, telling her that at the break of day she should depart to the heavenly light. The truth of which vision was made out by the virgin’s dying as soon as the day appeared.
OF THE SIGNS WHICH WERE SHOWN FROM HEAVEN WHEN THE MOTHER OF THAT CONGREGATION DEPARTED THIS LIFE.
Miracles at Ethelberga’s death. 676.
When Ethelberga, the pious mother of that holy congregation, was about to be taken out of this world, a wonderful vision appeared to one of the sisters, called Tortgith; who, having lived many years in that monastery, always endeavoured, in all humility and sincerity, to serve God, and took care to assist the same mother in keeping up regular discipline, by instructing and reproving the young ones. Now, in order that her virtue might be perfected in affliction, according to the apostle, she was suddenly seized with a most grievous distemper, under which, through the good providence of our Redeemer, she suffered very much for the space of nine years; to the end, that whatever stain of vice remained amidst her virtues, either through ignorance or neglect, might all be eradicated by the fire of long tribulation. This person, going out of her chamber one night, just at the first dawn of the day, plainly saw as it were a human body, which was brighter than the sun, wrapped up in a sheet, and lifted up on high, being taken out of the house in which the sisters used to reside. Then looking earnestly to see what it was that drew up the glorious body which she beheld, she perceived it was drawn up as it were by cords brighter than gold, until, entering into the open heavens, it could no longer be seen by her. Reflecting on this vision, she made no doubt that some one of the society would soon die, and her soul be lifted up to heaven by her good works as it were by golden cords, which accordingly happened; for a few days after, the beloved of God, Ethelberga, mother of that society, was delivered out of the prison of the flesh; and her life is known to have been such that no person who knew her ought to question but that the heavenly kingdom was open to her, when she departed from this world.
There was also, in the same monastery, a certain nun, of noble worldly origin, and much nobler in the love of the world to come; who had, for many years, been so disabled in all her body, that she could not move a single limb. Being informed that the venerable abbess’s body was carried into the church, till it could be buried, she desired to be carried thither, and to be bowed down towards it, after the manner of one praying; which being done, she spoke to her as if she had been living, and entreated her that she would obtain of the mercy of our compassionate Creator, that she might be delivered from such great and lasting pains; nor was it long before her prayer was heard: for being taken out of the flesh twelve days after, she exchanged her temporal afflictions for an eternal reward. Three years after the death of this lady, the above-mentioned servant of Christ, Tortgith, was so far spent with the distemper before mentioned, that her bones would scarcely hang together; and, at last, when the time of her dissolution was at hand, she not only lost the use of her other limbs, but also of her tongue; which having continued three days and as many nights, she was, on a sudden, relieved by a spiritual vision, opened her mouth and eyes, and looking up to heaven, began thus to direct her discourse to the vision which she saw: “Your coming is very acceptable to me, and you are welcome!” Having so said, she was silent awhile, as it were waiting for the answer of the person she saw and spoke to; then, as if displeased, she said, “I am not pleased with this;” then pausing awhile, she said again, “If it cannot be to-day, I beg the delay may not be long;” and again holding her peace a short while, she concluded thus: “If it is positively so decreed, and the resolution cannot be altered, I beg that it may be no longer deferred than this next night.” Having so said, and being asked by those about her to whom she talked, she said, “With my most dear mother, Ethelberga;” by which they understood, that she was come to acquaint her that the time of her departure was at hand; for, as she had desired, after one day and night, she was delivered from the bonds and infirmity of the flesh, and entered the joys of eternal salvation.
A BLIND WOMAN, PRAYING IN THE BURIAL-PLACE OF THAT MONASTERY, WAS RESTORED TO HER SIGHT.
Abbess Hildelith. 676.
HILDELITH, a devout servant of God, succeeded Ethelberga in the office of abbess, and presided over that monastery many years, till she was of an extreme old age, with exemplary conduct, in the observance of regular discipline, and in the care of providing all things for the public use. The narrowness of the place where the monastery is built, led her to think that the bones of the male and female servants of Christ, which had been there buried, should be taken up, and translated into the church of the blessed Mother of God, and interred in one place: whoever wishes to read it, may find in the book from which we have gathered these things, how often a brightness of heavenly light was seen there, and a fragrancy of wonderful odour smelled, and what other miracles were wrought.
However, I think it by no means fit to pass over the miraculous cure, which the same book informs us was wrought in the church-yard of the said religious house. There lived in that neighbourhood a certain earl, whose wife was seized with a dimness in her eyes, which at length became so bad, that she could not see the least glimpse of light; having continued some time in total darkness, on a sudden she bethought herself that she might recover her lost sight, if she were carried to the monastery of the nuns, and there pray for the same, at the relics of the saints. Nor did she lose any time in performing what she had thought of; for being conducted by her maids to the monastery, which was very near, and professing that she had perfect faith that she should be there healed, she was led into the burial-place; and having long prayed there on her knees, she did not fail to be heard, for as she rose from prayer, before she went out of the place, she received the gift of sight which she had desired; and whereas she had been led thither by her servants, she now returned home joyfully without help; as if she had lost her sight to no other end than that she might make it appear how great light the saints enjoyed in heaven, and how great was the power of their virtue.
SEBBI, KING OF THE SAME PROVINCE, ENDS HIS LIFE IN A MONASTERY.
King Sebbi turns monk. 694.
AT that time, as the same little book informs us, Sebbi, a devout man, of whom mention has been made above, governed the kingdom of the East Saxons. He was much addicted to religious actions, almsgivings, and frequent prayer; preferring a private and monastic life to all the wealth and honours of his kingdom, which sort of life he would also long before have undertaken, had not his wife positively refused to be divorced from him; for which reason many were of opinion, and often said so, that a person of such a disposition ought rather to have been a bishop than a king. When he had been thirty years a king, and a soldier of the heavenly kingdom, he fell into a violent sickness, of which he died, and admonished his wife, that they should then at least jointly devote themselves to the service of God, since they could no longer enjoy, or rather serve, the world. Having with much difficulty obtained this of her, he repaired to Waldhere, bishop of London, who had succeeded Earconwald, and with his blessing received the religious habit, which he had long desired. He also carried to him a considerable sum of money, to be given to the poor, reserving nothing for himself, but rather coveting to remain poor in spirit for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.
When the aforesaid distemper increased upon him, and he perceived the day of his death to be drawing near, being a man of a royal disposition, he began to apprehend lest, when under pain, and at the approach of death, he might be guilty of anything unworthy of his person, either in words, or any motion of his limbs. Wherefore, calling to him the aforesaid bishop of London, in which city he then was, he entreated him that none might be present at his death, besides the bishop himself, and two of his attendants. The bishop having promised that he would most willingly perform the same, not long after the man of God composed himself to sleep, and saw a comforting vision, which took from him all anxiety for the aforesaid uneasiness; and, moreover, showed him on what day he was to depart this life. For, as he afterwards related, he saw three men in bright garments come to him; one of whom sat down before his bed, whilst his companions stood and inquired about the state of the sick man they came to see: he who was sitting in front of the bed said, that his soul should depart his body without any pain, and with a great splendour of light; and declared that he should die the third day after; both which particulars happened, as he had been informed by the vision; for on the third day after, he suddenly fell, as it were, into a slumber, and breathed out his soul without any sense or pain.
A stone coffin having been provided for burying his body, when they came to lay it in the same, they found his body a span longer than the coffin. Hereupon they hewed away the stone, and made the coffin about two fingers longer; but neither would it then contain the body. Under this difficulty of entombing him, they had thoughts either to get another coffin, or else to shorten the body, by bending it at the knees, if they could. But a wonderful event, caused by Providence, prevented the execution of either of those designs; for on a sudden, in the presence of the bishop, and Sighard, the son of the king who had turned monk, and who reigned after him jointly with his brother Suefred, and of a considerable number of men, that same coffin was found to answer the length of the body, insomuch that a pillow might also be put in at the head; and at the feet the coffin was four fingers longer than the body. He was buried in the church of the blessed Apostle of the Gentiles, by whose instructions he had learned to hope for heavenly things.
HEDDI SUCCEEDS ELEUTHERIUS IN THE BISHOPRIC OF THE WEST SAXONS; CUICHELM SUCCEEDS PUTTA IN THAT OF ROCHESTER, AND IS HIMSELF SUCCEEDED BY GEBMUND; AND WHO WERE THEN BISHOPS OF THE NORTHUMBRIANS.
Birinus, Agilbert, Wine, Eleutherius, and Heddi, bishops of the West Saxons. 673.
ELEUTHERIUS was the fourth bishop of the West Saxons; for Birinus was the first, Agilbert the second, and Wine the third. When Coinwalch, in whose reign the said Eleutherius was made bishop, died, his under-rulers took upon them the kingdom of the people, and dividing it among themselves, held it ten years; and during their rule he died, and Heddi succeeded him in the bishopric, having been consecrated by Theodore, in the city of London; during whose prelacy, Cadwalla, having subdued and removed those rulers, took upon him the government. When he had reigned two years, and whilst the same bishop still governed the church, he quitted his sovereignty for the love of the heavenly kingdom, and, going away to Rome, ended his days there, as shall be said more fully hereafter.
In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 676, when Ethelred, king of the Mercians, ravaged Kent with a powerful army, and profaned churches and monasteries, without regard to religion, or the fear of God, he among the rest destroyed the city of Rochester; Putta, who was bishop, was absent at that time, but when he understood that his church was ravaged, and all things taken away, he went to Sexwulf, bishop of the Mercians, and having received of him a certain church, and a small spot of land, ended his days there in peace; in no way endeavouring to restore his bishopric, because (as has been said above) he was more industrious in spiritual than in worldly affairs; serving God only in that church, and going wherever he was desired, to teach church music. Theodore consecrated Cuichelm bishop of Rochester in his stead; but he, not long after, departing from his bishopric for want of necessaries, and withdrawing to other parts, Gebmund was substituted in his place.
In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 678, which is the eighth of the reign of Egfrid, in the month of August, appeared a star, called a comet, which continued for three months, rising in the morning, and darting out, as it were, a pillar of radiant flame. The same year a dissension broke out between King Egfrid and the most reverend prelate, Wilfrid, who was driven from his see, and two bishops substituted in his stead, to preside over the nation of the Northumbrians, namely, Bosa, to preside over the nation of the Deiri; and Eata over that of the Bernicians; the latter having his see in the city of York, the former in the church of Hagulstad, or else Lindisfarne; both of them promoted to the episcopal dignity from a society of monks. With them also was Edhed ordained bishop in the province of Lindsey, which King Egfrid had but newly subdued, having overcome and vanquished Wulfhere; and this was the first bishop of its own which that province had; the second was Ethelwin; the third Eadgar; the fourth Cynebert, who is there at present. Before Edhed, Sexwulf was bishop as well of that province, as of the Mercians and Midland Angles; so that when expelled from Lindsey, he continued in the government of those provinces. Edhed, Bosa, and Eata, were ordained at York by Archbishop Theodore; who also, three years after the departure of Wilfrid, added two bishops to their number; Tumbert, in the church of Hagulstad, Eata still continuing in that of Lindisfarne; and Trumwine in the province of the Picts, which at that time was subject to the English. Edhed returning from Lindsey, because Ethelred had recovered that province, was placed by him over the church of Ripon.
BISHOP WILFRID CONVERTS THE PROVINCE OF THE SOUTH SAXONS TO CHRIST.
South Saxons converted. 681.
BEING expelled from his bishopric, and having travelled in several parts, Wilfrid went to Rome. He afterwards returned to Britain; and though he could not, by reason of the enmity of the aforesaid king, be received into his own country or diocese, yet he could not be restrained from preaching the Gospel; for taking his way into the province of the South Saxons, which extends from Kent on the west and south, as far as the West Saxons, and contains land of 7000 families, who at that time were still pagans, he administered to them the word of faith, and the baptism of salvation. Ethelwalch, king of that nation, had been, not long before, baptized in the province of the Mercians, by the persuasion of King Wulfhere, who was present, and was also his godfather, and as such gave him two provinces, viz. the Isle of Wight, and the province of Meanwara, in the nation of the West Saxons. The bishop, therefore, with the king’s consent, or rather to his great satisfaction, baptized the principal generals and soldiers of that country; and the priests, Eappa, and Padda, and Burghelm, and Eadda, either then, or afterwards, baptized the rest of the people. The queen, whose name was Ebba, had been christened in her own island, the province of the Wiccii. She was the daughter of Eanfrid, the brother of Eanher, who were both Christians, as were their people; but all the province of the South Saxons were strangers to the name and faith of God. There was among them a certain monk of the Scottish nation, whose name was Dicul, who had a very small monastery, at the place called Bosanham, encompassed with the sea and woods, and in it five or six brothers, who served our Lord in poverty and humility; but none of the natives cared either to follow their course of life, or hear their preaching.
But Bishop Wilfrid, by preaching to them, not only delivered them from the misery of perpetual damnation, but also from an inexpressible calamity of temporal death, for no rain had fallen in that province in three years before his arrival, whereupon a dreadful famine ensued, which cruelly destroyed the people. In short, it is reported, that very often, forty or fifty men being spent with want, would go together to some precipice, or to the sea-shore, and there, hand in hand, perish by the fall, or be swallowed up by the waves. But on the very day on which the nation received the baptism of faith, there fell a soft but plentiful rain; the earth revived again, and the verdure being restored to the fields, the season was pleasant and fruitful. Thus the former superstition being rejected, and idolatry exploded, the hearts and flesh of all rejoiced in the living God, and became convinced that He who is the true God had, through his heavenly grace, enriched them with wealth, both temporal and spiritual. For the bishop, when he came into the province, and found so great misery from famine, taught them to get their food by fishing; for their sea and rivers abounded in fish, but the people had no skill to take them, except eels alone. The bishop’s men having gathered eel-nets every where, cast them into the sea, and by the blessing of God took three hundred fishes of several sorts, which, being divided into three parts, they gave a hundred to the poor, a hundred to those of whom they had the nets, and kept a hundred for their own use. By this benefit the bishop gained the affections of them all, and they began more readily at his preaching to hope for heavenly goods, seeing that by his help they had received those which are temporal.
At this time, King Ethelwalch gave to the most reverend prelate, Wilfrid, land of eighty-seven families, to maintain his company who were in banishment, which place is called Seleseu, that is, the Island of the Sea-Calf. That place is encompassed by the sea on all sides, except the west, where is an entrance about the cast of a sling in width; which sort of place is by the Latins called a peninsula, by the Greeks, a chersonesus. Bishop Wilfrid, having this place given him, founded therein a monastery, which his successors possess to this day, and established a regular course of life, chiefly of the brethren he had brought with him; for he both in word and actions performed the duties of a bishop in those parts during the space of five years, until the death of King Egfrid. And forasmuch as the aforesaid king, together with the said place, gave him all the goods that were therein, with the lands and men, he instructed them in the faith of Christ, and baptized them all. Among whom were two hundred and fifty men and women slaves, all of whom he, by baptism, not only rescued from the servitude of the Devil, but gave them their bodily liberty also, and exempted them from the yoke of human servitude.
HOW A PESTILENTIAL MORTALITY CEASED THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF KING OSWALD.
A pestilence stayed by St. Oswald. 681.
IN this monastery, at that time, certain manifestations of the heavenly grace are said to have been shown forth; for the tyranny of the Devil having been recently exploded, the faith of Christ began to prevail therein. Of which number I have thought it proper to perpetuate the memory of one, which the most reverend Bishop Acca was wont to relate to me, affirming it had been told him by most creditable brothers of the same monastery. About the same time that this province of the South Saxons embraced the faith of Christ, a grievous mortality ran through many provinces of Britain; which, also, by the Divine dispensation, reached to the aforesaid monastery, then governed by the most reverend and religious priest of Christ, Eappa; and many, as well of those that came thither with the bishop, as of those that had been called to the faith of the same province of the South Saxons, were snatched away out of this world. The brethren, in consequence, thought fit to keep a fast of three days, and to implore the Divine goodness, that it would vouchsafe to extend mercy to them, either by delivering those that were in danger by the distemper from death, or by delivering those who departed this life from eternal damnation.
There was at that time in the monastery, a little boy, of the Saxon nation, lately called to the faith, who had been seized with the same distemper, and had long kept his bed. On the second day of the fasting and praying, it happened that the said boy was, about the second hour of the day, left alone in the place where he lay sick, and through the Divine disposition, the most blessed princes of the apostles vouchsafed to appear to him; for he was a lad of an extraordinarily mild and innocent disposition, and with sincere devotion observed the mysteries of the faith which he had received. The apostles therefore saluting him in a most affectionate manner, said, “My child, do not fear death, about which you are so uneasy; for we will this day conduct you to the heavenly kingdom; but you are first to stay till the masses are said, that having received the body and blood of our Lord, to support you on your journey, and being so discharged through sickness and death, you may be carried up to the everlasting joys in heaven.
“Call therefore to you the priest, Eappa, and tell him, that the Lord has heard your prayers and devotion, and has favourably accepted of your fast, and not one more shall die of this plague, either in the monastery or its adjacent possessions; but all your people who any where labour under this distemper, shall be eased of their pain, and restored to their former health, except you alone, who are this day to be delivered by death, and to be carried into heaven, to behold our Lord Christ, whom you have faithfully served: this favour the Divine mercy has vouchsafed to grant you, through the intercession of the godly and dear servant of God, King Oswald, who formerly ruled over the nation of the Northumbrians, with the authority of a temporal king, and such devotion of Christian piety as leads to the heavenly kingdom; for this very day that king was killed in war by the infidels, and taken up to the everlasting joys of souls in heaven, and associated among the number of the elect. Let them look in their books, wherein the departure of the dead is set down, and they will find that he was, this day, as we have said, taken out of this world. Let them, therefore, celebrate masses in all the oratories of this monastery, either in thanksgiving for their prayers being heard, or else in memory of the aforesaid King Oswald, who once governed their nation; and therefore he humbly offered up his prayers to our Lord for them, as for strangers of his nation; and let all the brethren, assembling in the church, communicate in the heavenly sacrifices, and so let them cease to fast, and refresh themselves with food.”
The boy called the priest, and repeated all these words to him; the priest particularly inquired after the habit and form of the men that had appeared to him. He answered, “Their habit was noble, and their countenances most pleasant and beautiful, such as I had never seen before, nor did I think there could be any men so graceful and comely. One of them indeed was shorn like a clerk, the other had a long beard; and they said that one of them was called Peter, the other Paul; and both of them the servants of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, sent by him from heaven to protect our monastery.” The priest believed what the boy said, and going thence immediately, looked in his chronicle, and found that King Oswald had been killed on that very day. He then called the brethren, ordered dinner to be provided, masses to be said, and all of them to communicate as usual; causing also part of the Lord’s oblation of the same sacrifice to be carried to the sick boy.
Soon after this, the boy died, on that same day; and by his death proved that what he had heard from the apostles of God was true. A further testimony of the truth of his words was, that no person besides himself, belonging to the same monastery, died at that time. By which vision, many that heard of it were wonderfully excited to implore the Divine mercy in adversity, and to adopt the wholesome remedy of fasting. From that time, the day of the nativity of that king and soldier of Christ began to be yearly honoured with the celebration of masses, not only in that monastery, but in many other places.
KING CEADWALLA HAVING SLAIN ETHELWALCH, KING OF THE WEST SAXONS, WASTED THAT PROVINCE WITH RAPINE AND SLAUGHTER.
Ceadwalla slays Ethelwalch. 685.
IN the meantime, Ceadwalla, a daring young man, of the royal race of the Gewissæ, who had been banished his country, came with an army, slew Ethelwalch, and wasted that country with much slaughter and plundering; but he was soon expelled by Berthun and Andhun, the king’s commanders, who afterwards held the government of that province. The first of them was afterwards killed by the same Ceadwalla, when he was king of the Gewissæ, and the province was more entirely subdued: Ina, likewise, who reigned after Ceadwalla, kept that country under the like servitude for several years; for which reason, during all that time, they had no bishop of their own; but their first bishop, Wilfrid, having been recalled home, they were subject to the bishop of the Gewissæ, i. e. the West Saxons, in the city of Winchester.
HOW THE ISLE OF WIGHT RECEIVED CHRISTIAN INHABITANTS, AND TWO ROYAL YOUTHS OF THAT ISLAND WERE KILLED IMMEDIATELY AFTER BAPTISM.
Isle of Wight converted. 686.
AFTER Ceadwalla had possessed himself of the kingdom of the Gewissæ, he also took the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by cruel slaughter endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place in their stead people from his own province; having bound himself by a vow, though he was not yet, as is reported, regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land, and of the booty, to our Lord, if he took the island, which he performed by giving the same for our Lord to the use of Bishop Wilfrid, who happened at the time to have accidentally come thither out of his own nation. The measure of that island, according to the computation of the English, is of twelve hundred families, and accordingly the bishop had given him land of three hundred families. The part which he received, he committed to one of his clerks called Bernwin, who was his sister’s son, assigning him a priest, whose name was Hiddila, who might administer the word and baptism of salvation to all that would be saved.
Here I think it ought not to be omitted that, as the first fruits of the natives of that island that by believing were saved, two royal youths, brothers to Atwald, king of the island, were honoured by the particular grace of God. For the enemy approaching, they made their escape out of the island, and passed over into the neighbouring province of the Jutes. Where being conducted to the place called, At the Stone, as they thought to be concealed from the victorious king, they were betrayed and ordered to be killed. This being made known to a certain abbot and priest, whose name was Cynebert, who had a monastery not far from thence, at a place called Reodford, that is, the Ford of Reeds, he came to the king, who then lay privately in those parts, to be cured of the wounds which he had received whilst he was fighting in the Isle of Wight, and begged of him, that if the lads must inevitably be killed, he might be allowed first to instruct them in the mysteries of the faith. The king consented, and the bishop having taught them the word of truth, and cleansed their souls by baptism, made the entrance into the kingdom of heaven sure to them. Then the executioner being at hand, they joyfully underwent the temporal death, through which they did not doubt they were to pass to the life of the soul which is everlasting. Thus, after all the provinces of the island of Britain had embraced the faith of Christ, the Isle of Wight also received the same; yet being under the affliction of foreign subjection, no man there received the ministry, or rank of a bishop, before Daniel, who is now bishop of the West Saxons.
The island is situated opposite the division between the South Saxons and the Gewissæ, being separated from it by a sea, three miles over, which is called Solente. In this narrow sea, the two tides of the ocean, which flow round Britain from the immense northern ocean, daily meet and oppose one another beyond the mouth of the river Homelea, which runs into that narrow sea, from the lands of the Jutes, which belong to the country of the Gewissæ; after this meeting and struggling together of the two seas, they return into the ocean from whence they come.
OF THE SYNOD HELD IN THE PLAIN OF HEATHFIELD, WHERE ARCHBISHOP THEODORE PRESIDED.
Synod of Heathfield. 680.
ABOUT this time, Theodore being informed that the faith of the church at Constantinople was much perplexed by the heresy of Eutyches, and desiring to preserve the churches of the English, over which he presided, from that infection, an assembly of many venerable priests and doctors was convened, at which he diligently inquired into their doctrines, and found they all unanimously agreed in the Catholic faith. This he took care to have committed to writing by the authority of the synod, as a memorial, and for the instruction of succeeding generations; the beginning of which instrument is as follows:—
“In the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the tenth year of the reign of our most pious lord, Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians, the seventeenth of October, the eighth indiction; and in the sixth year of the reign of Ethelfrid, king of the Mercians, in the seventeenth year of the reign of Aldhulf, of the East Angles, in the seventh year of the reign of Lothair, king of Kent; Theodore, by the grace of God, archbishop of the island of Britain, and of the city of Canterbury, being president, and the other venerable bishops of the island of Britain sitting with him, the holy Gospels being laid before them, at the place which, in the Saxon tongue, is called Heathfield, we conferred together, and expounded the true and orthodox faith, as our Lord Jesus in the flesh delivered the same to his disciples, who saw him present, and heard his words, and as it is delivered in the creed of the holy fathers, and by all holy and universal synods in general, and by the consent of all approved doctors of the Catholic church; we, therefore, following them jointly and orthodoxly, and professing accordance to their divinely inspired doctrine, do believe, and do, according to the holy fathers, firmly confess, properly and truly, the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost, a trinity consubstantial in unity, and unity in trinity, that is, one God subsisting in three consubstantial persons, of equal honour and glory.”
And after much more of this sort, appertaining to the confession of the true faith, this holy synod added to its instrument, “We have received the five holy and general councils of the blessed fathers acceptable to God; that is, of 318 bishops, who were assembled at Nice, against the most impious Arius and his tenets; and at Constantinople, of 150, against the madness of Macedonius and Eudoxius, and their tenets; and at Ephesus, first of 200, against the most wicked Nestorius, and his tenets; and at Chalcedon, of 630, against Eutyches and Nestorius, and their tenets; and again, at Constantinople, in a fifth council, in the reign of Justinian the younger, against Theodorus and Theodoret, and the epistles of Iba, and their tenets, against Cyril;” and again a little lower, “the synod held in the city of Rome, in the time of the blessed Pope Martin, in the eighth indiction, and in the ninth year of the most pious Emperor Constantine, we receive: and we glorify our Lord Jesus Christ, as they glorified him, neither adding nor diminishing any thing; anathematizing those with our hearts and mouths whom they anathematized, and receiving those whom they received, glorifying God the Father, who is without beginning, and his only begotten Son generated from eternity, and the Holy Ghost proceeding from the Father and the Son in an ineffable manner, as those holy apostles, prophets, and doctors, whom we have above-mentioned, did declare. And all we, who, with Archbishop Theodore, have thus expounded the Catholic faith, have also subscribed thereto.”
OF JOHN, THE SINGER OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE, WHO CAME INTO BRITAIN TO TEACH.
680.Monastery of Weremouth.
AMONG those who were present at this synod, was the venerable John, archchanter of the church of the holy Apostle Peter, and abbot of the monastery of St. Martin, who came lately from Rome, by order of Pope Agatho, together with the most reverend Abbot Biscop, surnamed Benedict, of whom mention has been made above, and this John, with the rest, signed the declaration of the Catholic faith. For the said Benedict, having built a monastery in Britain, in honour of the most blessed prince of the apostles, at the mouth of the river Were, went to Rome with Ceolfrid, his companion and fellowlabourer in that work, who was after him abbot of the same monastery; he had been several times before at Rome, and was now honourably received by Pope Agatho of blessed memory; from whom he also obtained the confirmation of the immunities of this monastery, being a bull of privilege signed by apostolical authority, pursuant to what he knew to be the will and grant of King Egfrid, by whose consent and gift of land he had built that monastery.
He then received the aforesaid Abbot John to be conducted into Britain, that he might teach in his monastery the method of singing throughout the year, as it was practised at St. Peter’s at Rome. The Abbot John did as he had been commanded by the pope, teaching the singers of the said monastery the order and manner of singing and reading aloud, and committing to writing all that was requisite throughout the whole course of the year for the celebration of festivals; all which are still observed in that monastery, and have been copied by many others elsewhere. The said John not only taught the brothers of that monastery; but such as had skill in singing resorted from almost all the monasteries of the same province to hear him; and many invited him to teach in other places.
Besides singing and reading, he had also been directed by the pope, carefully to inform himself concerning the faith of the English church, and to give an account thereof at his return to Rome. For he also brought with him the decision of the synod of the blessed Pope Martin and 105 bishops, held not long before at Rome, principally against those who taught but one will and operation in Christ, and gave it to be transcribed in the aforesaid monastery of the most religious Abbot Benedict. The men who followed such opinion, much perplexed the faith of the church of Constantinople at that time; but by the help of God they were then discovered and subdued. Wherefore, Pope Agatho, being desirous to be informed concerning the state of the church in Britain, as well as in other provinces, and to what extent it was clear from the contagion of heretics, he gave this affair in charge to the most reverend Abbot John, then appointed to go to Britain. The synod we have spoken of having been called for this purpose in Britain, the Catholic faith was found untainted in them all, and a copy of the same given him to carry to Rome.
But in his return to his own country, soon after crossing the sea, he fell sick and died; and his body, for the sake of St. Martin, in whose monastery he presided, was by his friends carried to Tours, and honourably buried; for he had been kindly entertained there when he went into Britain, and earnestly entreated by the brethren, that in his return to Rome he would take that road, and give them a visit. In short, he was there supplied with some to conduct him on his way, and assist him in the work enjoined him. Though he died by the way, yet the testimony of the faith of the English nation was carried to Rome, and most agreeably received by the apostolic pope, and all those that heard or read it.
HOW QUEEN ETHELDRIDA ALWAYS PRESERVED HER VIRGINITY, AND HER BODY SUFFERED NO CORRUPTION IN THE GRAVE.
Queen Etheldrida. 660.
King Egfrid took to wife, Etheldrida, the daughter of Anna, king of the East Angles, of whom mention has been often made; a man very religious, and in all respects renowned for his inward disposition and actions. She had before been given in marriage to another, viz. to Tonbert, chief of the Southern Girvii; but he died soon after he had received her, and she was given to the aforesaid king. Though she lived with him twelve years, yet she preserved the glory of perfect virginity, as I was informed by Bishop Wilfrid, of blessed memory, of whom I inquired, because some questioned the truth thereof; and he told me that he was an undoubted witness of her virginity, forasmuch as Egfrid promised he would give many lands and much money, if he could persuade the queen to consent to pay the marriage duty, for he knew the queen loved no man so much as himself; and it is not to be doubted that the same might in one instance take place in our age, which true histories tell us happened several times in former ages, through the assistance of the same Lord who has promised to continue with us unto the end of the world; for the miraculous circumstance that her flesh, being buried, could not suffer corruption, is a token that she had not been defiled by familiarity with man.
She had long requested the king, that he would permit her to lay aside worldly cares, and to serve only the true King, Christ, in a monastery; and having at length with difficulty prevailed, she went as a nun into the monastery of the Abbess Ebba, who was aunt to King Egfrid, at the place called the city Coludi, having taken the veil from the hands of the aforesaid Bishop Wilfrid; but a year after she was herself made abbess in the country called Ely, where, having built a monastery, she began, by works and examples of a heavenly life, to be the virgin mother of very many virgins dedicated to God. It is reported of her, that from the time of her entering into the monastery, she never wore any linen but only woollen garments, and would rarely wash in any hot bath, unless just before any of the great festivals, as Easter, Whitsuntide, and the Epiphany, and then she did it last of all, after having, with the assistance of those about her, first washed the other servants of God there present; besides, she seldom did eat above once a day, excepting on the great solemnities, or some other urgent occasion, unless some considerable distemper obliged her. From the time of matins she continued in the church at prayer till it was day; some also say, that by the spirit of prophecy, she, in the presence of all, not only foretold the pestilence of which she was to die, but also the number of those that should be then snatched away out of her monastery. She was taken to our Lord, in the midst of her flock, seven years after she had been made abbess; and, as she had ordered, was buried among them, in such manner as she had died, in a wooden coffin.
She was succeeded in the office of abbess by her sister Sexberga, who had been wife to Erconbert, king of Kent; who, when her sister had been buried sixteen years, thought fit to take up her bones, and putting them into a new coffin, to translate them into the church. Accordingly she ordered some of the brothers to provide a stone to make a coffin of; they accordingly went on board ship, because the country of Ely is on every side encompassed with the sea or marshes, and has no large stones, and came to a small abandoned city, not far from thence, which, in the language of the English, is called Grantchester, and presently, near the city walls, they found a white marble coffin, most beautifully wrought, and neatly covered with a lid of the same sort of stone. Concluding therefore that God had prospered their journey, they returned thanks to him, and carried it to the monastery.
The body of the holy virgin and spouse of Christ, when her grave was opened, being brought into sight, was found as free from corruption as if she had died and been buried on that very day; as the aforesaid Bishop Wilfrid, and many others that know it, can testify. But the physician, Cynefrid, who was present at her death, and when she was taken up out of the grave, was wont of more certain knowledge to relate, that in her sickness she had a very great swelling under her jaw. “And I was ordered,” said he, “to lay open that swelling, to let out the noxious matter in it, which I did, and she seemed to be somewhat more easy for two days, so that many thought she might recover from her distemper; but the third day the former pains returning, she was soon snatched out of the world, and exchanged all pain and death for everlasting life and health. And when so many years after her bones were to be taken out of the grave, a pavilion being spread over it, all the congregation of brothers were on the one side and of sisters on the other, standing about it singing, and the abbess, with a few, being gone to take up and wash the bones, on a sudden we heard the abbess within loudly cry out, ‘Glory be to the name of the Lord.’ Not long after they called me in, opening the door of the pavilion, where I found the body of the holy virgin taken out of the grave and laid on a bed, as if it had been asleep; then taking off the veil from the face, they also showed the incision which I had made, healed up; so that, to my great astonishment, instead of the open gaping wound with which she had been buried, there then appeared only an extraordinarily slender scar.
“Besides, all the linen cloths in which the body had been buried, appeared entire and as fresh as if they had been that very day wrapped about her chaste limbs.” It is reported, that when she was much troubled with the aforesaid swelling and pain in her jaw, she was much pleased with that sort of distemper, and wont to say, “I know that I deservedly bear the weight of my sickness on my neck, on which, I remember, when I was very young, I bore the needless weight of jewels; and therefore I believe the Divine goodness would have me endure the pain in my neck, that I may be absolved from the guilt of my needless levity, having now, instead of gold and precious stones, a red swelling and burning on my neck.” It happened also that by the touch of that linen, devils were expelled from bodies possessed, and other distempers were sometimes cured; and the coffin she was first buried in is reported to have cured some of distempers in the eyes, who, praying with their heads touching that coffin, presently were delivered from the pain or dimness in their eyes. They washed the virgin’s body, and having clothed it in new garments, brought it into the church, and laid it in the coffin that had been brought, where it is held in great veneration to this day. The coffin was found in a wonderful manner, as fit for the virgin’s body as if it had been made purposely for her, and the place for the head particularly cut, exactly fit for her head, and shaped to a nicety.
Ely is in the province of the East Angles, a country of about six hundred families, in the nature of an island, enclosed, as has been said, either with marshes or waters, and therefore it has its name from the great plenty of eels taken in those marshes; there the aforesaid servant of Christ desired to have a monastery, because, as we have before observed, she was descended from that same province of the East Angles.
AN HYMN ON THE AFORESAID HOLY VIRGIN.
Bede’s hymn on Virginity.
I THINK it proper to insert in this history a hymn of virginity, which I composed in elegiac verse several years ago, in praise and honour of the same queen and spouse of Christ; and therefore truly a queen, because the spouse of Christ; and to imitate the method of the Holy Scripture, in whose history many poetical pieces are inserted which are known to be composed in metre.
- Hail, triune power, who rulest every age,
- Assist the numbers which my pen engage.
- Let Maro wars in loftier numbers sing,
- I sound the praises of our heavenly King.
- Chaste is my verse, nor Helen’s rape I write;
- Light tales like these, but prove the mind as light.
- See! from on high the God descends, confined
- In Mary’s womb, to rescue lost mankind.
- Behold! a spotless maid a God brings forth,
- A God is born, who gave e’en nature birth!
- The virgin-choir the mother-maid resound,
- And chaste themselves, her praises shout around.
- Her bright example numerous vot’ries raise,
- Tread spotless paths, and imitate her ways.
- The blessed Agatha and Eulalia trust
- Sooner to flames, than far more dangerous lust.
- Tecla and chaste Euphemia overcame
- The fear of beasts to save a virgin name.
- Agnes and sweet Cecilia, joyful maids,
- Smile while the pointed sword their breasts invades.
- Triumphing joy attends the peaceful soul,
- Where heat, nor rain, nor wishes mean control.
- Thus Etheldrida, pure from sensual crime,
- Bright shining star! arose to bless our time.
- Born of a regal race, her sire a king,
- More noble honour to her lord shall bring.
- A queen her name, her hand a sceptre rears,
- But greater glories wait above the spheres.
- What man wouldst thou desire? See Christ is made
- Her spouse, her bless’d Redeemer weds the maid.
- While you attend the heavenly Mother’s train,
- Thou shalt be mother of a heavenly reign.
- The holy maid who twelve years sat a queen,
- A cloister’d nun devote to God was seen.
- Noted for pious deeds, her spotless soul
- Left the vile world, and soar’d above the pole.
- Sixteen Novembers since was the blest maid
- Entomb’d, whose flesh no putrid damps invade.
- Thy grace, O Christ! for in the coffin’s found
- No tainted vest wrapping the corpse around.
- The swelling dropsy, and dire atrophy,
- A pale disease from the blest vestments fly.
- Rage fires the fiend, who whilome Eve betray’d,
- While shouting angels hail the glorious maid.
- See! wedded to her God, what joy remains,
- In earth, or heaven, see! with her God she reigns!
- Behold! the spouse, the festal torches shine,
- He comes! behold! what joyful gifts are thine!
- Thou a new song on the sweet harp shalt sing,
- A hymn of praise to thy celestial King.
- None from the flock of the throned Lamb shall move,
- Whom grateful passion bind, and heavenly love.
BISHOP THEODORE MADE PEACE BETWEEN THE KINGS EGFRID AND ETHELRED.
Battle of the Trent. 679.
IN the ninth year of the reign of King Egfrid, a great battle was fought between him and Ethelred, king of the Mercians, near the river Trent, and Elfwin, brother to King Egfrid, was slain, a youth about eighteen years of age, and much beloved by both provinces, for King Ethelred had married his sister Osthrid. There was now reason to expect a more bloody war, and more lasting enmity between those kings and their fierce nations; but Theodore, the bishop beloved of God, relying on the Divine assistance, by his wholesome admonitions extinguished the dangerous fire that was breaking out; so that the kings and their people on both sides being appeased, no man was put to death, but only the usual mulet paid to the king for his brother that had been killed; and this peace continued long after between those kings and their kingdoms.
HOW A CERTAIN CAPTIVE’S CHAINS FELL OFF WHEN MASSES WERE SUNG FOR HIM.
A captive freed from his chains. 679.
IN the aforesaid battle, wherein Elfwin, the king’s brother, was killed, a memorable fact is known to have happened, which I think ought not to be passed by in silence; for the relation of the same will conduce to the salvation of many. In that battle, one Imma, a youth belonging to the king, was left as dead, and having lain so all that day and the next night among the dead bodies, at length he came to himself, and sitting, bound up his wounds in the best way he could. Then having rested awhile, he stood up, and began to go off to seek some friends that might take care of him; but in so doing he was discovered and taken by some of the enemy’s army, and carried before their lord, who was an earl belonging to King Ethelred. Being asked by him who he was, and fearing to own himself a soldier, he answered, “He was a peasant, poor and married, and that he came to the army with others to bring provisions to the soldiers.” The earl entertained him, and ordered his wounds to be dressed; and when he began to recover, to prevent his escaping, he ordered him to be bound; but that could not be performed, for as soon as they that bound him were gone, his bonds were all loosened.
He had a brother called Tunna, who was a priest and abbot of a monastery in the city, which from him is still called Tunnacester. Hearing that his brother had been killed in the fight, he went to see whether he could find his body; and finding another very like him in all respects, concluding it to be his, he carried the same to his monastery, and buried it honourably, and took care often to say masses for the absolution of his soul; the celebration whereof occasioned what I have said, that none could bind him but he was presently loosed again. In the meantime, the earl that kept him was amazed, and began to inquire why he could not be bound; whether he had any spells about him, as are spoken of in fabulous stories. He answered, “He knew nothing of those contrivances; but I have,” said he, “a brother who is a priest in my country, and I know that he, supposing me to be killed, causes masses to be said for me; and if I were now in the other life, my soul there, through his intercession, would be delivered from pain.”
Having continued with the earl some time, those who attentively observed him, by his countenance, mien, and discourse, took notice, that he was not of the meaner sort, as he had said, but of some quality. The earl then privately sending for him, pressed to know who he was, promising to do him no harm, if he would ingenuously confess his quality. Which when he had done, declaring that he had been the king’s servant, the earl answered, “I perceived by your answers that you were no peasant. And now you deserve to die, because all my brothers and relations were killed in that fight; yet I will not put you to death, because it will be a breach of my promise.”
As soon, therefore, as he was recovered, he sold him at London, to a Freson, but he could not be bound by him the whole way as he was led along; but though his enemies put several sorts of bonds on him, they were all loosed. The buyer, perceiving that he could in no way be bound, gave him leave to ransom himself if he could; now it was at the third hour (nine in the morning) when the masses were wont to be said, that his bonds were generally loosed. He, having taken an oath that he would either return, or send him the money for his ransom, went into Kent to King Lothaire, who was son to the sister of Queen Etheldrida, above spoken of, for he had once been her servant. From him he obtained the price of his ransom, and as he had promised, sent it to his master.
Returning afterwards into his own country, and coming to his brother, he gave him an exact account of all his fortunes, good and bad; and by his relation he understood, that his bonds had been generally loosed at those times when masses had been celebrated for him; and that other advantages which had accrued to him in his time of danger, had been conferred on him from Heaven, through the intercession of his brother, and the oblation of his saving sacrifice. Many persons, on hearing this account from the aforesaid man, were stirred up in the faith and devotion of piety either to prayer, or to alms-giving, or to offer up to our Lord the sacrifice of the holy oblation, for the deliverance of their friends who had departed this world; for they understood and knew that such saving sacrifice was available for the eternal redemption both of body and soul. This story was also told me by some of those who had heard it related by the person himself to whom it happened; therefore, I have thought fit to insert it in my Ecclesiastical History as I had it related to me.
OF THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE ABBESS HILDA.
Of the Abbess Hilda.
IN the year of the incarnation of our Lord 680, the most religious servant of Christ, Hilda, abbess of the monastery that is called Streaneshalch, as above-mentioned, after having performed many heavenly works on earth, passed from thence to receive the rewards of the heavenly life, on the 17th of November, at the age of sixty-six years; the first thirty-three of which she spent living most nobly in the secular habit; and more nobly dedicated the remaining half to our Lord in a monastic life. For she was nobly born, being the daughter of Hereric, nephew to King Edwin, with which king she also embraced the faith and mysteries of Christ, at the preaching of Paulinus, the first bishop of the Northumbrians, of blessed memory, and preserved the same undefiled till she attained to the sight of him in heaven.
Resolving to quit the secular habit, and to serve him alone, she withdrew into the province of the East Angles, for she was allied to the king; being desirous to pass over from thence into France, to forsake her native country and all she had, and so live a stranger for our Lord in the monastery of Cale, that she might with more ease attain to the eternal kingdom in heaven; because her sister Heresuid, mother to Aldwulf, king of the East Angles, at that time living in the same monastery, under regular discipline, was waiting for her eternal reward. Being led by her example, she continued a whole year in the aforesaid province, with the design of going abroad; afterwards, Bishop Aidan being recalled home, he gave her the land of one family on the north side of the river Wire; where for a year she also led a monastic life, with very few companions.
After this she was made abbess in the monastery called Heruteu, which monastery had been founded, not long before, by the religious servant of Christ, Heru, who is said to have been the first woman that in the province of the Northumbrians took upon her the habit and life of a nun, being consecrated by Bishop Aidan; but she, soon after she had founded that monastery, went away to the city of Kalcacestir, and there fixed her dwelling. Hilda, the servant of Christ, being set over that monastery, began immediately to reduce all things to a regular system, according as she had been instructed by learned men; for Bishop Aidan, and other religious men that knew her and loved her, frequently visited and diligently instructed her, because of her innate wisdom and inclination to the service of God.
When she had for some years governed this monastery, wholly intent upon establishing a regular life, it happened that she also undertook either to build or to arrange a monastery in the place called Streaneshalch, which work she industriously performed; for she put this monastery under the same regular discipline as she had done the former; and taught there the strict observance of justice, piety, chastity, and other virtues, and particularly of peace and charity; so that, after the example of the primitive church, no person was there rich, and none poor, all being in common to all, and none having any property. Her prudence was so great, that not only indifferent persons, but even kings and princes, as occasion offered, asked and received her advice; she obliged those who were under her direction to attend so much to reading of the Holy Scriptures, and to exercise themselves so much in works of justice, that many might be there found fit for ecclesiastical duties, and to serve at the altar.
In short, we afterwards saw five bishops taken out of that monastery, and all of them men of singular merit and sanctity, whose names were Bosa, Eda, Oftfor, John, and Wilfrid. We have above taken notice, that the first of them was consecrated bishop at York; of the second, it is to be observed that he was appointed bishop of Dorchester. Of the two last we shall speak hereafter, as they were consecrated: the first was bishop of Hagulstad, the second of the church of York; of the third we will here take notice, that having applied himself to the reading and observation of the scriptures, in both the monasteries of Hilda, at length being desirous to attain to greater perfection, he went into Kent, to Archbishop Theodore, of blessed memory; where having spent some more time in sacred studies, he also resolved to go to Rome, which, in those days, was reckoned of great moment: returning thence into Britain, he took his way into the province of the Wiccii, where King Osric then ruled, and continued there a long time, preaching the word of faith, and making himself an example of good life to all that saw and heard him. At that time, Bosel, the bishop of that province, laboured under such weakness of body, that he could not himself perform the episcopal functions; for which reason, this Oftfor was, by universal consent, chosen bishop in his stead, and by order of King Ethelred, consecrated by Bishop Wilfrid, of blessed memory, who was then bishop of the Midland Angles, because Archbishop Theodore was dead, and no other bishop ordained in his place. Before the aforesaid man of God, Bosel, Tatfrid, a most learned and industrious man, and of excellent ability, had been chosen bishop there, from the same abbess’s monastery, but had been snatched away by an untimely death, before he could be ordained.
Thus this servant of Christ, Abbess Hilda, whom all that knew her called Mother, for her singular piety and grace, was not only an example of good life to those that lived in her monastery, but afforded occasion of amendment and salvation to many who lived at a distance, to whom the fame was brought of her industry and virtue; for it was necessary that the dream which her mother, Bregusuit, had, during her infancy, should be fulfilled. At the time that her husband, Hereric, lived in banishment, under Cerdic, king of the Britons, where he was also poisoned, she fancied, in a dream, that she was seeking for him, most carefully, and could find no sign of him any where; but, after having used all her industry to seek him, she found a most precious jewel under her garment, which, whilst she was looking on it very attentively, cast such a light as spread itself throughout all Britain; which dream was brought to pass in her daughter that we speak of, whose life was a bright example, not only to herself, but to all who desired to live well.
When she had governed this monastery many years, it pleased Him who has made such merciful provision for our salvation, to give her holy soul the trial of a long sickness, to the end that, according to the apostle’s example, her virtue might be perfected in infirmity. Falling into a fever, she fell into a violent heat, and was afflicted with the same for six years continually; during all which time she never failed either to return thanks to her Maker, or publicly and privately to instruct the flock committed to her charge; for by her own example she admonished all persons to serve God dutifully in perfect health, and always to return thanks to him in adversity, or bodily infirmity. In the seventh year of her sickness, the distemper turning inwards, she approached her last day, and about cockcrowing, having received the holy communion to further her on her way, and called together the servants of Christ that were within the same monastery, she admonished them to preserve evangelical peace among themselves, and with all others; and as she was making her speech, she joyfully saw death approaching, or if I may speak in the words of our Lord, passed from death to life.
That same night it pleased Almighty God, by a manifest vision, to make known her death in another monastery, at a distance from hers, which she had built that same year, and is called Hakenes. There was in that monastery a certain nun called Begu, who, having dedicated her virginity to God, had served him upwards of thirty years in monastical conversation. This nun being then in the dormitory of the sisters, on a sudden heard the well-known sound of a bell in the air, which used to awake and call them to prayers, when any one of them was taken out of this world, and opening her eyes, as she thought, she saw the top of the house open, and a strong light pour in from above; looking earnestly upon that light, she saw the soul of the aforesaid servant of God in that same light, attended and conducted to heaven by angels. Then awaking, and seeing the other sisters lying round about her, she perceived that what she had seen was either in a dream or a vision; and rising immediately in a great fright, she ran to the virgin who then presided in the monastery instead of the abbess, and whose name was Frigyth, and with many tears and sighs, told her that the Abbess Hilda, mother of them all, had departed this life, and had in her sight ascended to eternal bliss, and to the company of the inhabitants of heaven, with a great light, and with angels conducting her. Frigyth having heard it, awoke all the sisters, and calling them to the church, admonished them to pray and sing psalms for her soul; which they did during the remainder of the night; and at break of day, the brothers came with news of her death, from the place where she had died. They answered that they knew it before, and then related how and when they had heard it, by which it appeared that her death had been revealed to them in a vision the very same hour that the others said she had died. Thus it was by Heaven happily ordained, that when some saw her departure out of this world, the others should be acquainted with her admittance into the spiritual life which is eternal. These monasteries are about thirteen miles distant from each other.
It is also reported, that her death was, in a vision, made known the same night to one of the holy virgins who loved her most passionately, in the same monastery where the said servant of God died. This nun saw her soul ascend to heaven in the company of angels; and this she declared, the very same hour that it happened, to those servants of Christ that were with her; and awakened them to pray for her soul, even before the rest of the congregation had heard of her death. The truth of which was known to the whole monastery in the morning. This same nun was at that time with some other servant of Christ, in the remotest part of the monastery, where the women newly converted were wont to be upon trial, till they were regularly instructed, and taken into the society of the congregation.
THERE WAS IN THE SAME MONASTERY A BROTHER, ON WHOM THE GIFT OF WRITING VERSES WAS BESTOWED BY HEAVEN.
Cædmon inspired to write poetry. 680.
THERE was in this abbess’s monastery a certain brother, particularly remarkable for the grace of God, who was wont to make pious and religious verses, so that whatever was interpreted to him out of Scripture, he soon after put the same into poetical expressions of much sweetness and humility, in English, which was his native language. By his verses the minds of many were often excited to despise the world, and to aspire to heaven. Others after him attempted, in the English nation, to compose religious poems, but none could ever compare with him, for he did not learn the art of poetry from men, but from God; for which reason he never could compose any trivial or vain poem, but only those which relate to religion suited his religious tongue; for having lived in a secular habit till he was well advanced in years, he had never learned any thing of versifying; for which reason being sometimes at entertainments, when it was agreed for the sake of mirth that all present should sing in their turns, when he saw the instrument come towards him, he rose up from table and returned home.
Having done so at a certain time, and gone out of the house where the entertainment was, to the stable, where he had to take care of the horses that night, he there composed himself to rest at the proper time; a person appeared to him in his sleep, and saluting him by his name, said, “Cædmon, sing some song to me.” He answered, “I cannot sing; for that was the reason why I left the entertainment, and retired to this place, because I could not sing.” The other who talked to him, replied, “However you shall sing.”—“What shall I sing?” rejoined he. “Sing the beginning of created beings,” said the other. Hereupon he presently began to sing verses to the praise of God, which he had never heard, the purport whereof was thus:—We are now to praise the Maker of the heavenly kingdom, the power of the Creator and his counsel, the deeds of the Father of glory. How he, being the eternal God, became the author of all miracles, who first, as almighty preserver of the human race, created heaven for the sons of men as the roof of the house, and next the earth. This is the sense, but not the words in order as he sang them in his sleep; for verses, though never so well composed, cannot be literally translated out of one language into another, without losing much of their beauty and loftiness. Awaking from his sleep, he remembered all that he had sung in his dream, and soon added much more to the same effect in verse worthy of the Deity.
In the morning he came to the steward, his superior, and having acquainted him with the gift he had received, was conducted to the abbess, by whom he was ordered, in the presence of many learned men, to tell his dream, and repeat the verses, that they might all give their judgment what it was, and whence his verse proceeded. They all concluded, that heavenly grace had been conferred on him by our Lord. They expounded to him a passage in holy writ, either historical, or doctrinal, ordering him, if he could, to put the same into verse. Having undertaken it, he went away, and returning the next morning, gave it to them composed in most excellent verse; whereupon the abbess, embracing the grace of God in the man, instructed him to quit the secular habit, and take upon him the monastic life; which being accordingly done, she associated him to the rest of the brethren in her monastery, and ordered that he should be taught the whole series of sacred history. Thus Cædmon, keeping in mind all he heard, and as it were chewing the cud, converted the same into most harmonious verse; and sweetly repeating the same, made his masters in their turn his hearers. He sang the creation of the world, the origin of man, and all the history of Genesis; and made many verses on the departure of the children of Israel out of Egypt, and their entering into the land of promise, with many other histories from holy writ; the incarnation, passion, resurrection of our Lord, and his ascension into heaven; the coming of the Holy Ghost, and the preaching of the apostles; also the terror of future judgment, the horror of the pains of hell, and the delights of heaven; besides many more about the Divine benefits and judgments, by which he endeavoured to turn away all men from the love of vice, and to excite in them the love of, and application to, good actions; for he was a very religious man, and humbly submissive to regular discipline, but full of zeal against those who behaved themselves otherwise; for which reason he ended his life happily.
For when the time of his departure drew near, he laboured for the space of fourteen days under a bodily infirmity which seemed to prepare the way, yet so moderate that he could talk and walk the whole time. In his neighbourhood was the house to which those that were sick, and like shortly to die, were carried. He desired the person that attended him, in the evening, as the night came on in which he was to depart this life, to make ready a place there for him to take his rest. This person, wondering why he should desire it, because there was as yet no sign of his dying soon, did what he had ordered. He accordingly went there, and conversing pleasantly in a joyful manner with the rest that were in the house before, when it was past midnight, he asked them, whether they had the Eucharist there? They answered, “What need of the Eucharist? for you are not likely to die, since you talk so merrily with us, as if you were in perfect health.”—“However,” said he, “bring me the Eucharist.” Having received the same into his hand, he asked, whether they were all in charity with him, and without any enmity or rancour? They answered, that they were all in perfect charity, and free from anger; and in their turn asked him, whether he was in the same mind towards them? He answered, “I am in charity, my children, with all the servants of God.” Then strengthening himself with the heavenly viaticum, he prepared for the entrance into another life, and asked, how near the time was when the brothers were to be awakened to sing the nocturnal praises of our Lord? They answered, “It is not far off.” Then he said, “Well, let us wait that hour;” and signing himself with the sign of the cross, he laid his head on the pillow, and falling into a slumber, ended his life so in silence.
Thus it came to pass, that as he had served God with a simple and pure mind, and undisturbed devotion, so he now departed to his presence, leaving the world by a quiet death; and that tongue, which had composed so many holy words in praise of the Creator, uttered its last words whilst he was in the act of signing himself with the cross, and recommending himself into his hands, and by what has been here said, he seems to have had foreknowledge of his death.
OF THE VISION THAT APPEARED TO A CERTAIN MAN OF GOD BEFORE THE MONASTERY OF THE CITY COLUDI WAS BURNED DOWN.
Monastery of Coldingham burnt. 679.
AT this time, the monastery of virgins, called the city of Coludi, above-mentioned, was burned down, through carelessness; and yet all that knew the same, might observe that it happened through the malice of those who dwelt in it, and chiefly of those who seemed to be the greatest. But there wanted not a warning of the approaching punishment from the Divine goodness, by which they might have stood corrected, and by fasting, prayers, and tears, like the Ninevites, have averted the anger of the just Judge.
There was in that monastery a man of the Scottish race, called Adamnan, leading a life entirely devoted to God in continence and prayer, insomuch that he never took any food or drink, except only on Sundays and Thursdays; but often spent whole nights in prayer. This austerity of life he had first adopted from necessity to correct his evil propensities; but in process of time the necessity became a custom.
For in his youth he had been guilty of some wicked action, for which, when he came to himself, he conceived extraordinary horror, and dreaded lest he should be punished for the same by the upright Judge. Repairing, therefore, to a priest, who he hoped might show him the way of salvation, he confessed his guilt, and desired to be advised how he might avoid the future wrath of God. The priest having heard his offence, said, “A great sore requires much attention in the cure; and, therefore, give yourself up as far as you are able to fasting, reading of psalms, and prayer, to the end, that thus preventing the wrath of our Lord, in confession, you may find him merciful.” Being highly affected with the grief of a guilty conscience, and desiring, as soon as possible, to be loosed from the inward fetters of sin, which lay heavy upon him, he answered, “I am young in years, and strong of body, and shall, therefore easily bear with whatsoever you shall enjoin me to do, so that I may be saved in the day of our Lord; though you should command me to spend the whole night in prayer standing, and to pass the whole week in abstinence.” The priest replied, “It is too much for you to hold out the whole week without bodily sustenance; but it is sufficient to fast two or three days; do this till I come again to you in a short time, when I will more fully show you what you are to do, and how long to continue your penance.” Having so said, and prescribed the measure of his penance, the priest went away, and upon some sudden occasion passed over into Ireland, whence he derived his origin, and returned no more to him, as he had appointed. Remembering this injunction and his own promise, he totally addicted himself to tears, penance, holy watching, and continence; so that he only fed on Thursdays and Sundays, as has been said; and ate nothing all the other days of the week. When he heard that his priest was gone to Ireland, and had died there, he ever after observed that same abstinence, according to his direction; and as he had begun that course through the fear of God, in penitence for his guilt, so he still continued the same unremittingly for the Divine love, and in hope of his reward.
Having practised this carefully for a long time, it happened that he had gone on a certain day to a distance from the monastery, accompanied by one of the brothers; and as they were returning from this journey, when they drew near to the monastery, and beheld its lofty buildings, the man of God burst out into tears, and his countenance discovered the trouble of his heart. His companion, perceiving it, asked what was the reason, to which he answered: “The time is at hand, when a devouring fire shall consume all these structures you behold, both public and private.” The other, hearing these words, as soon as they came into the monastery, told them to Ebba, the mother of the congregation. She, with good cause, being much concerned at that prediction, called the man to her, and narrowly inquired of him how he came to know it. He answered, “Being busy one night lately in watching and singing psalms, I on a sudden saw a person unknown standing by me, and being startled at his presence, he bade me not to fear, and speaking to me in a familiar manner, ‘You do well, said he, ‘in that you spend this night-time of rest, not in giving yourself up to sleep, but in watching and prayer.’ I answered, ‘I know I have great need of wholesome watching, and earnest praying to our Lord to pardon my trangressions.’ He replied, ‘You are in the right, for you and many more do need to redeem their sins by good works, and when they cease from labouring about temporal affairs, then to labour the more eagerly for the desire of heavenly goods; but this very few do; for I, having now visited all this monastery regularly, have looked into every one’s chambers and beds, and found none of them all besides yourself busy about the care of his soul; but all of them, both men and women, either indulge themselves in slothful sleep, or are awake in order to commit sin; for even the cells that were built for praying or reading, are now converted into places of feasting, drinking, talking, and other delights; the very virgins dedicated to God, laying aside the respect due to their profession, whensoever they are at leisure, apply themselves to weaving fine garments, either to use in adorning themselves like brides, to the danger of their condition, or to gain the friendship of strange men; for which reason, a heavy judgment from heaven is deservedly ready to fall on this place and its inhabitants by devouring fire.’ ” The abbess said, “Why did you not sooner acquaint me with what you knew?” He answered, “I was afraid to do it, out of respect to you, lest you should be too much afflicted; yet you may have this comfort, that the calamity will not happen in your days.” This vision being divulged abroad, the inhabitants of that place were for a few days in some little fear, and leaving off their sins, began to punish themselves; but after the abbess’s death, they returned to their former wickedness, nay, they became more wicked; and when they thought themselves in peace and security, they soon felt the effects of the aforesaid judgment.
That all this fell out thus, was told me by my most reverend fellow-priest, Edgils, who then lived in that monastery. Afterwards, when many of the inhabitants had departed thence, on account of the destruction, he lived a long time in our monastery, and died there. We have thought fit to insert this in our History, to admonish the reader of the works of our Lord, how terrible he is in his counsels on the sons of men, lest we should at some time or other indulge in the pleasures of the flesh, and dreading the judgment of God too little, fall under his sudden wrath, and either be severely afflicted with temporal losses, or else being more severely tried, be snatched away to eternal perdition.
OF THE DEATH OF THE KINGS EGFRID AND LOTHERE.
Deaths of Kings Egfrid and Lothere. 684
IN the year of our Lord’s incarnation 684, Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians, sending Beort, his general, with an army, into Ireland, miserably wasted that harmless nation, which had always been most friendly to the English; insomuch that in their hostile rage they spared not even the churches or monasteries. Those islanders, to the utmost of their power, repelled force with force, and imploring the assistance of the Divine mercy, prayed long and fervently for vengeance; and though such as curse cannot possess the kingdom of God, it is believed, that those who were justly cursed on account of their impiety, did soon suffer the penalty of their guilt from the avenging hand of God; for the very next year, that same king, rashly leading his army to ravage the province of the Picts, much against the advice of his friends, and particularly of Cuthbert, of blessed memory, who had been lately ordained bishop, the enemy made show as if they fled, and the king was drawn into the straits of inaccessible mountains, and slain, with the greatest part of his forces, on the 20th of May, in the fortieth year of his age, and the fifteenth of his reign. His friends, as has been said, advised him not to engage in this war; but he having the year before refused to listen to the most reverend father, Egbert, advising him not to attack the Scots, who did him no harm, it was laid upon him as a punishment for his sin, that he should not now regard those who would have prevented his death.
From that time the hopes and strength of the English crown “began to waver, and retrograde;” for the Picts recovered their own lands, which had been held by the English and the Scots that were in Britain, and some of the Britons their liberty, which they have now enjoyed for about forty-six years. Among the many English that then either fell by the sword, or were made slaves, or escaped by flight out of the country of the Picts, the most reverend man of God, Trumwine, who had been made bishop over them, withdrew with his people that were in the monastery of Ebbercuring, seated in the country of the English, but close by the arm of the sea, which parts the lands of the English and the Scots. Having recommended his followers, wheresoever he could, to his friends in the monasteries, he chose his own place of residence in the monastery, which we have so often mentioned, of men and women servants of God, at Streaneshalch; and there he, for several years, led a life in all monastical austerity, not only to his own, but to the benefit of many, with a few of his own people; and dying there, he was buried in the church of St. Peter the Apostle, with the honour due to his life and rank. The royal virgin, Elfled, with her mother, Eanfled, whom we have mentioned before, then presided over that monastery; but when the bishop came thither, this devout woman found in him extraordinary assistance in governing, and comfort to herself. Alfrid succeeded Egfrid in the throne, being a man most learned in Scripture, said to be brother to the other, and son to King Oswy: he nobly retrieved the ruined state of the kingdom, though within narrower bounds.
The same year, being the 685th from the incarnation of our Lord, Lothere, king of Kent, died on the 6th of February, when he had reigned twelve years after his brother Egbert, who had reigned nine years: he was wounded in battle with the South Saxons, whom Edric, the son of Egbert, had raised against him, and died whilst his wound was being dressed. After him, the same Edric reigned a year and a half. On his death, kings of doubtful title, or foreigners, for some time wasted the kingdom, till the lawful king, Wictred, the son of Egbert, being settled in the throne, by his piety and zeal delivered his nation from foreign invasion.
CUTHBERT, A MAN OF GOD, IS MADE BISHOP; AND HOW HE LIVED AND TAUGHT WHILST STILL IN A MONASTIC LIFE.
Of Bishop Cuthbert. 685.
THE same year that King Egfrid departed this life, he (as has been said) promoted to the bishopric of the church of Lindisfarne, the holy and venerable Cuthbert, who had for many years led a solitary life, in great continence of body and mind, in a very small island, called Farne, distant almost nine miles from that same church, in the ocean. From his very childhood he had always been inflamed with the desire of a religious life; but he took upon him the habit and name of a monk when he was a young man: he first entered into the monastery of Melros, which is on the bank of the river Twede, and was then governed by the Abbot Eata, a meek and simple man, who was afterwards made bishop of the church of Hagulstad or Lindisfarne, as has been said above, over which monastery at that time was placed Boisil, a priest of great virtue and of a prophetic spirit. Cuthbert, humbly submitting himself to this man’s direction, from him received both the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and example of good works.
After he had departed to our Lord, Cuthbert was placed over that monastery, where he instructed many in regular life, both by the authority of a master, and the example of his own behaviour. Nor did he afford admonitions and an example of a regular life to his monastery alone, but endeavoured to convert the people round about far and near from the life of foolish custom, to the love of heavenly joys; for many profaned the faith which they had received by their wicked actions; and some also, in the time of a mortality, neglecting the sacraments of faith which they had received, had recourse to the false remedies of idolatry, as if they could have put a stop to the plague sent from God, by enchantments, spells, or other secrets of the hellish art. In order to correct the error of both sorts, he often went out of the monastery, sometimes on horseback, but oftener on foot, and repaired to the neighbouring towns, where he preached the way of truth to such as were gone astray; which had been also done by Boisil in his time. It was then the custom of the English people, that when a clerk or priest came into the town, they all, at his command, flocked together to hear the word; willingly heard what was said, and more willingly practised those things that they could hear or understand. But Cuthbert was so skilful an orator, so fond was he of enforcing his subject, and such a brightness appeared in his angelic face, that no man present presumed to conceal from him the most hidden secrets of his heart, but all openly confessed what they had done; because they thought the same could not be concealed from him, and wiped off the guilt of what they had so confessed with worthy fruits of penance, as he commanded. He was wont chiefly to resort to those places, and preach in such villages, as being seated high up amid craggy uncouth mountains, were frightful to others to behold, and whose poverty and barbarity rendered them inaccessible to other teachers; which nevertheless he, having entirely devoted himself to that pious labour, did so industriously apply himself to polish with his doctrine, that when he departed out of his monastery, he would often stay a week, sometimes two or three, and sometimes a whole month, before he returned home, continuing among the mountains to allure that rustic people by his preaching and example to heavenly employments.
This venerable servant of our Lord, having thus spent many years in the monastery of Melros, and there become conspicuous by many miracles, his most reverend abbot, Eata, removed him to the isle of Lindisfarne, that he might there also, by the authority of a superior and his own example, instruct the brethren in the observance of regular discipline; for the same reverend father then governed that place also as abbot; for from ancient times, the bishop was wont to reside there with his clergy, and the abbot with his monks, who were likewise under the care of the bishop; because Aidan, who was the first bishop of the place, being himself a monk, brought monks thither, and settled the monastic institution there; as the blessed Father Augustine is known to have done before in Kent, the most reverend Pope Gregory writing to him, as has been said above, to this effect:—“But since, my brother, having been instructed in monastic rules, you must not live apart from your clergy in the church of the English, which has been lately, through the help of God, converted to the faith; you must, therefore, establish that course of life, which was among our ancestors in the primitive church, among whom, none called any thing that he possessed his own; but all things were in common to them.”
THE SAME ST. CUTHBERT, BEING AN ANCHORITE, BY HIS PRAYERS OBTAINED A SPRING IN A DRY SOIL, AND HAD A CROP FROM SEED SOWN BY HIMSELF OUT OF SEASON.
Of St. Cuthbert’s miracles. 664.
AFTER this, Cuthbert, advancing in his meritorious and devout intentions, proceeded even to the adoption of a hermit’s life of solitude, as we have mentioned. But forasmuch as we several years ago wrote enough of his life and virtues, both in heroic verse and prose, it may suffice at present only to mention this, that when he was about to repair to the island, he made this protestation to the brothers, saying, “If it shall please the Divine goodness to grant me, that I may live in that place by the labour of my hands, I will willingly reside there; but if not, I will, by God’s permission, very soon return to you.” The place was quite destitute of water, corn, and trees; and being infested by evil spirits, very ill suited for human habitation; but it became in all respects habitable, at the desire of the man of God; for upon his arrival the wicked spirits withdrew. When he had there, after expelling the enemies, with the assistance of the brethren, built himself a small dwelling, with a trench about it, and the necessary cells, and an oratory, he ordered the brothers to dig a pit in the floor of the dwelling, although the ground was hard and stony, and no hopes appeared of any spring. Having done this upon the faith and at the request of the servant of God, the next day it appeared full of water, and to this day affords plenty of its heavenly bounty to all that resort thither. He also desired that all instruments for husbandry might be brought him, and some wheat; and having sown the same at the proper season, neither stalk, nor so much as a leaf, sprouted from it by the next summer. Hereupon the brethren visiting him according to custom, he ordered barley to be brought him, in case it were either the nature of the soil, or the Divine will, that such grain should rather grow there. He sowed it in the same field just as it was brought him, after the proper time of sowing, and consequently without any likelihood of its coming to good: but a plentiful crop immediately came up, and afforded the man of God the means which he had so ardently desired of supporting himself by his own labour.
When he had here served God in solitude many years, the mound which encompassed his habitation being so high, that he could from thence see nothing but heaven, to which he so ardently aspired, it happened that a great synod was assembled in the presence of King Egfrid, near the river Alne, at a place called Twyford, which signifies “the two fords,” in which Archbishop Theodore, of blessed memory, presided, Cuthbert was, by the unanimous consent of all, chosen bishop of the church of Lindisfarne. They could not, however, persuade him to leave his monastery, though many messengers and letters were sent to him; at last the aforesaid king himself, with the most holy Bishop Trumwine, and other religious and great men, passed over into the island; many also of the brothers of the same isle of Lindisfarne assembled together for the same purpose: they all knelt, conjured him by our Lord, and with tears and entreaties, till they drew him, also in tears, from his retreat, and forced him to the synod. Being arrived there, after much opposition, he was overcome by the unanimous resolution of all present, and submitted to take upon himself the episcopal dignity; being chiefly prevailed upon by the mention that Boisil, the servant of God, when he had prophetically foretold all things that were to befall him, had also predicted that he should be a bishop. However, the consecration was not appointed immediately; but after the winter, which was then at hand, it was performed at Easter, in the city of York, and in the presence of the aforesaid King Egfrid; seven bishops meeting on the occasion, among whom, Theodore, of blessed memory, was primate. He was first elected bishop of the church of Hagulstad, in the place of Tunbert, who had been deposed from the episcopal dignity; but in regard that he chose rather to be placed over the church of Lindisfarne, in which he had lived, it was thought fit that Eata should return to the see of the church of Hagulstad, to which he had been first ordained, and that Cuthbert should take upon him the government of the church of Lindisfarne.
Following the example of the apostles, he became an ornament to the episcopal dignity, by his virtuous actions; for he both protected the people committed to his charge, by constant prayer, and excited them, by most wholesome admonitions, to heavenly practices; and, which is the greatest help in teachers, he first showed in his behaviour what he taught was to be performed by others; for he was much inflamed with the fire of Divine charity, modest in the virtue of patience, most diligently intent on devout prayers, and affable to all that came to him for comfort. He thought it equivalent to praying, to afford the infirm brethren the help of his exhortations, well knowing that he who said “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God,” said likewise, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” He was also remarkable for penitential abstinence, and always intent upon heavenly things, through the grace of humility: lastly, when he offered up to God the sacrifice of the saving victim, he commended his prayer to God, not with a loud voice, but with tears drawn from the bottom of his heart.
Having spent two years in his bishopric, he returned to his island and monastery, being advertised by a Divine oracle, that the day of his death, or rather of his life, was drawing near; as he, at that time, with his usual simplicity, signified to some persons, though in terms which were somewhat obscure, but which were nevertheless afterwards plainly understood; while to others he declared the same openly.
ST. CUTHBERT FORETOLD TO THE ANCHORITE, HEREBERT, THAT HIS DEATH WAS AT HAND.
Cuthbert foretells his death. 687.
THERE was a certain priest, venerable for the probity of his life and manners, called Herebert, who had long been united with the man of God, Cuthbert, in the bonds of spiritual friendship. This man leading a solitary life in the island of that great lake from which the river Derwent flows, was wont to visit him every year, and to receive from him spiritual advice. Hearing that Bishop Cuthbert was come to the city of Lugubalia, he repaired thither to him, according to custom, being desirous to be still more and more inflamed in heavenly desires through his wholesome admonitions; whilst they alternately entertained one another with the delights of the celestial life, the bishop, among other things, said, “Brother Herebert, remember at this time to ask me all the questions you wish to have resolved, and say all you design; for we shall see one another no more in this world. For I am sure that the time of my dissolution is at hand, and I shall speedily put off this tabernacle of the flesh.” Hearing these words, he fell down at his feet, and shedding tears, with a sigh, said, “I beseech you by our Lord, not to forsake me; but that you remember your most faithful companion, and entreat the Supreme Goodness that, as we served him together upon earth, we may depart together to see his bliss in heaven. For you know that I have always endeavoured to live according to your directions, and whatsoever faults I have committed, either through ignorance or frailty, I have instantly submitted to correction according to your will.” The bishop applied himself to prayer, and having presently had intimation in the spirit that he had obtained what he asked of the Lord, he said, “Rise, brother, and do not weep, but rejoice, because the Heavenly Goodness has granted what we desired.”
The event proved the truth of this promise and prophecy, for after their parting at that time, they no more saw one another in the flesh; but their souls quitting their bodies on the very same day, that is, on the 20th of March, they were immediately again united in spirit, and translated to the heavenly kingdom by the ministry of angels. But Herebert was first prepared by a tedious sickness, through the dispensation of the Divine Goodness, as may be believed, to the end that if he was any thing inferior in merit to the blessed Cuthbert, the same might be made up by the chastising pain of a long sickness, that being thus made equal in grace to his intercessor, as he departed out of the body at the very same time with him, so he might be received into the same seat of eternal bliss.
The most reverend father died in the isle of Farne, earnestly entreating the brothers that he might also be buried in that same place, where he had served God a considerable time. However, at length yielding to their entreaties, he consented to be carried back to the isle of Lindisfarne, and there buried in the church. This being done accordingly, the venerable Bishop Wilfrid held the episcopal see of that church one year, till such time as one was chosen to be ordained in the room of Cuthbert. Afterwards Eadbert was consecrated, a man renowned for his knowledge in the Divine writings, as also for keeping the Divine precepts, and chiefly for almsgiving, so that, according to the law, he every year gave the tenth part, not only of four-footed beasts, but also of all corn and fruit, as also of garments, to the poor.
ST. CUTHBERT’S BODY WAS FOUND ALTOGETHER UNCORRUPTED AFTER IT HAD BEEN BURIED ELEVEN YEARS; HIS SUCCESSOR IN THE BISHOPRIC DEPARTED THIS WORLD NOT LONG AFTER.
His body found uncorrupted. 698.
IN order to show with how much glory the man of God, Cuthbert, lived after death, his holy life having been before his death signalized by frequent miracles; when he had been buried eleven years, Divine Providence put it into the minds of the brethren to take up his bones, expecting, as is usual with dead bodies, to find all the flesh consumed and reduced to ashes, and the rest dried up, and intending to put the same into a new coffin, and to lay them in the same place, but above the pavement, for the honour due to him. They acquainted Bishop Eadbert with their design, and he consented to it, and ordered that the same should be done on the anniversary of his burial. They did so, and opening the grave, found all the body whole, as if it had been alive, and the joints pliable, more like one asleep than a dead person; besides, all the vestments the body had on were not only found, but wonderful for their freshness and gloss. The brothers seeing this, with much amazement hastened to tell the bishop what they had found; he being then alone in a place remote from the church, and encompassed by the sea. There he always used to spend the time of Lent, and was wont to continue there with great devotion, forty days before the birth of our Lord, in abstinence, prayer, and tears. There also his venerable predecessor, Cuthbert, had some time served God in private, before he went to the isle of Farne.
They brought him also some part of the garments that had covered his holy body; which presents he thankfully accepted, and attentively listening to the miracles, he with wonderful affection kissed those garments, as if they had been still upon his father’s body, and said, “Let the body be put into new garments in lieu of these you have brought, and so lay it into the coffin you have provided; for I am certain that the place will not long remain empty, having been sanctified with so many miracles of heavenly grace; and how happy is he to whom our Lord, the author and giver of all bliss, shall grant the privilege of lying in the same.” The bishop having said this and much more, with many tears and great humility, the brothers did as he had commanded them, and when they had dressed the body in new garments, and laid it in a new coffin, they placed it on the pavement of the sanctuary. Soon after, God’s beloved bishop, Eadbert, fell grievously sick, and his distemper daily increasing, in a short time, that is, on the 6th of May, he also departed to our Lord, and they laid his body in the grave of the holy father Cuthbert, placing the coffin over it, with the uncorrupted remains of that father. The miracles sometimes wrought in that place testify the merits of them both; some of which we before preserved the memory of in the book of his life, and have thought fit to add some more in this History, which have lately come to our knowledge.
OF ONE THAT WAS CURED OF A PALSY AT THE TOMB OF ST. CUTHBERT.
A cure performed at his tomb. 698.
There was in that same monastery a brother whose name was Bethwegen, who had for a considerable time waited upon the guests of the house, and is still living, having the testimony of all the brothers and strangers resorting thither, of being a man of much piety and religion, and serving the office put upon him only for the sake of the heavenly reward. This man, having on a certain day washed the mantles or garments which he used in the hospital, in the sea, was returning home, when on a sudden, about half way, he was seized with a sudden distemper in his body, insomuch that he fell down, and having lain some time, he could scarcely rise again. When at last he got up, he felt one half of his body, from the head to the foot, struck with palsy, and with much difficulty got home by the help of a staff. The distemper increased by degrees, and, as night approached, became still worse, so that when day returned, he could scarcely rise or go alone. In this weak condition, a good thought came into his mind, which was to go to the church, the best way he could, to the tomb of the reverend father Cuthbert, and there, on his knees, to beg of the Divine Goodness either to be delivered from that disease, if it were for his good, or if the Divine Providence had ordained him longer to lie under the same for his punishment, that he might bear the pain with patience and a composed mind.
He did accordingly, and supporting his weak limbs with a staff, entered the church, and prostrating himself before the body of the man of God, he, with pious earnestness, prayed, that through his intercession, our Lord might be propitious to him. In the midst of his prayers, he fell as it were into a stupor, and, as he was afterwards wont to relate, felt a large and broad hand touch his head, where the pain lay, and by that touch, all the part of his body which had been affected with the distemper, was delivered from the weakness, and restored to health down to his feet. He then awoke, and rose up in perfect health, and returning thanks to God for his recovery, told the brothers what had happened to him; and to the joy of them all, returned the more zealously, as if chastened by his affliction, to the service which he was wont before so carefully to perform. The very garments which had been on Cuthbert’s body, dedicated to God, either whilst living, or after he was dead, were not exempt from the virtue of performing cures, as may be seen in the book of his life and miracles, by such as shall read it.
OF ONE WHO WAS CURED OF A DISTEMPER IN HIS EYE AT THE RELICS OF ST. CUTHBERT.
Of another cure.
Nor is that cure to be passed over in silence, which was performed by his relics three years ago, and was told me by the brother himself, on whom it was wrought. It happened in the monastery, which being built near the river Dacore, has taken its name from the same, over which, at that time, the religious Suidbert presided as abbot. In that monastery was a youth whose eyelid had a great swelling on it, which growing daily, threatened the loss of the eye. The surgeons applied their medicines to ripen it, but in vain. Some said it ought to be cut off; others opposed it, for fear of worse consequences. The brother, having long laboured under this malady, and seeing no human means likely to save his eye, but that, on the contrary, it grew daily worse, was cured on a sudden, through the Divine Goodness, by the relics of the holy father, Cuthbert; for the brethren, finding his body uncorrupted, after having been many years buried, took some part of the hair, which they might, at the request of friends, give or show, in testimony of the miracle.
One of the priests of the monastery, named Thridred, who is now abbot there, had a small part of these relics by him at that time. One day in the church he opened the box of relics, to give some part to a friend that begged it, and it happened that the youth who had the distempered eye was then in the church; the priest, having given his friend as much as he thought fit, delivered the rest to the youth to put it into its place. Having received the hairs of the holy head, by some fortunate impulse, he clapped them to the sore eyelid, and endeavoured for some time, by the application of them, to soften and abate the swelling. Having done this, he again laid the relics into the box, as he had been ordered, believing that his eye would soon be cured by the hairs of the man of God, which had touched it; nor did his faith disappoint him. It was then, as he is wont to relate it, about the second hour of the day; but he, being busy about other things that belonged to that day, about the sixth hour of the same, touching his eye on a sudden, found it as sound with the lid, as if there never had been any swelling or deformity on it.
HISTORIA ECCLESIASTICA GENTIS ANGLORUM.
UT ETHELWALDUS SUCCESSOR CUTHBERTI IN ANACHORETICA VITA, LABORANTIBUS IN MARI FRATRIBUS, TEMPESTATEM ORANDO SEDAVERIT.
SUCCESSIT autem viro Domini Cuthberto in exercenda vita solitaria, quam in insula Farne ante episcopatus sui tempora gerebat, vir venerabilis Ethelwaldus, qui multis annis in monasterio, quod dicitur “Inrhypum,” acceptum presbyteratus officium condignis gradu ipse consecrabat actibus. Cujus ut meritum vel vita qualis fuerit certius clarescat, unum ejus narro miraculum, quod mihi unus e fratribus, propter quos et in quibus patratum est, ipse narravit, videlicet Guthfridus, venerabilis Christi famulus et presbyter, qui etiam postea fratribus ejusdem ecclesiæ Lindisfarnensis, in qua educatus est, abbatis jure præfuit.
“Veni,” inquit, “cum duobus fratribus aliis ad insulam Farne, loqui desiderans cum reverendissimo patre Ethelwaldo; cumque allocutione ejus refecti et benedictione petita domum rediremus, ecce subito, positis nobis in medio mari, interrupta est serenitas, qua vehebamur, et tanta ingruit tamque fera tempestatis hiems, ut neque velo neque remigio quicquam proficere, neque aliud quam mortem sperare, valeremus. Cumque diu multum cum vento pelagoque frustra certantes tandem post terga respiceremus, si forte vel ipsam, de qua egressi eramus, insulam aliquo conamine repetere possemus, invenimus nos undiqueversum pari tempestate præclusos, nullamque spem nobis in nobis restare salutis. Ubi autem longius visum levavimus, vidimus in ipsa insula Farne, egressum de latibulis suis amatissimum Deo patrem Ethelwaldum iter nostrum inspicere. Audito etenim fragore procellarum ac ferventis oceani, exierat videre quid nobis accideret; cumque nos in labore ac desperatione positos cerneret, flectebat genua sua ad patrem Domini nostri Jesu Christi pro nostra vita et salute precaturus. Et cum orationem compleret, simul tumida æquora placavit; adeo ut, cessante per omnia sævitia tempestatis, secundi nos venti ad terram usque per plana maris terga comitarentur. Cumque evadentes ad terram naviculam quoque nostram ab undis exportaremus, mox eadem, quæ nostri gratia modicum siluerat, tempestas rediit, et toto illo die multum furere non cessavit; ut palam daretur intelligi, quia modica illa, quæ provenerat, intercapedo quietis ad viri Dei preces nostræ evasionis gratia cœlitus donata esset.
Mansit autem idem vir Dei in insula Farne duodecim annis, ibidemque defunctus; sed in insula Lindisfarnensi juxta præfatorum corpora episcoporum in ecclesia beati apostoli Petri sepultus est. Gesta vero sunt hæc temporibus Alfridi regis, qui post fratrem suum Egfridum genti Northanhumbrorum decem et novem annis præfuit.
UT EPISCOPUS JOANNES MUTUM ET SCABIOSUM BENEDICENDO CURAVERIT.
CUJUS regni principio, defuncto Eata episcopo, Joannes, vir sanctus, Hagulstadensis ecclesiæ præsulatum suscepit; de quo plura virtutum miracula, qui eum familiariter noverunt, dicere solent, et maxime vir reverendissimus ac veracissimus Berthunus, diaconus quondam ejus, nunc autem abbas monasterii, quod vocatur “Inderawuda,” id est, “In silva Deirorum;” e quibus aliqua memoriæ tradere commodum duximus. Est mansio quædam secretior, nemore raro et vallo circumdata, non longe ab Hagulstadensi ecclesia, id est, unius ferme milliarii et dimidii spatio, interfluente Tino amne, separata, habens cœmeterium sancti Michaëlis archangeli, in qua vir Dei sæpius, ubi opportunitas arridebat temporis, et maxime in Quadragesima, manere cum paucis atque orationibus ac lectioni quietus operam dare consueverat. Cumque tempore quodam, incipiente Quadragesima, ibidem mansurus adveniret, jussit suis quærere pauperem aliquem majore infirmitate vel inopia gravatum, quem secum habere illis diebus ad faciendam eleemosynam posset; sic enim semper facere solebat.
Erat autem in villa non longe posita quidam adolescens mutus, episcopo notus, nam sæpius ante illum percipiendæ eleemosynæ gratia venire consueverat, qui ne unum quidem sermonem unquam profari poterat; sed et scabiem tantam ac furfures habebat in capite, ut nil unquam capillorum ei in superiori parte capitis nasci valeret, tantum in circuitu horridi crines stare videbantur. Hunc ergo adduci præcipit episcopus, et ei in conseptis ejusdem mansionis parvum tugurium fieri, in quo manens quotidianam ab eis stipem acciperet. Cumque una Quadragesimæ esset impleta septimana, sequente Dominica jussit ad se intrare pauperem, et ei ingresso linguam proferre ex ore ac sibi ostendere jussit; et apprehendens eum de mento signum sanctæ crucis linguæ ejus impressit, quam signatam revocare in os et loqui illum præcepit, “Dicito,” inquiens, “aliquod verbum, dicito Gae,” quod est, lingua Anglorum, verbum affirmandi et consentiendi, id est, Etiam. Dixit ille statim, soluto vinculo linguæ, quod jussus erat. Addidit episcopus nomina litterarum, “Dicito A,” dixit ille A; “Dicito B,” dixit ille et hoc. Cumque, singula litterarum nomina dicente episcopo, responderet, addidit et syllabas ac verba dicenda illi proponere. Et cum in omnibus consequenter responderet, præcepit eum sententias longiores dicere, et fecit; neque ultra cessavit tota die illa et nocte sequente, quantum vigilare potuit, ut ferunt, qui præsentes fuere, loqui aliquid, et arcana suæ cogitationis ac voluntatis, quod nunquam antea potuit, aliis ostendere; in similitudinem illius diu claudi, qui curatus ab apostolis Petro et Joanne, exsiliens stetit et ambulabat, et intravit cum illis in templum ambulans, et exsiliens, et laudans Dominum; gaudens nimirum uti officio pedum, quo tanto erat tempore destitutus. Cujus sanitati congaudens episcopus præcepit medico etiam sanandæ scabredini capitis ejus curam adhibere. Fecit ut jusserat, et, juvante benedictione ac precibus antistitis, nata est cum sanitate cutis venusta species capillorum, factusque est juvenis limpidus vultu et loquela promtus, capillis pulcherrime crispis, qui ante fuerat deformis, pauper, et mutus. Sicque de percepta lætatus sospitate, offerente etiam ei episcopo, ut in sua familia manendi locum acciperet, magis domum reversus est.
UT PUELLAM LANGUENTEM ORANDO SANAVERIT.
Narravit idem Berthunus et aliud de præfato antistite miraculum. Quia cum reverendissimus vir Wilfridus post longum exilium in episcopatum esset Hagulstadensis ecclesiæ receptus, et idem Joannes, defuncto Bosa, viro multæ sanctitatis et humilitatis, episcopus pro eo Eboraci substitutus, venerit ipse tempore quodam ad monasterium virginum in loco, qui vocatur Wetadun, cui tunc Hereberga abbatissa præfuit. “Ubi cum venissemus,” inquit, “et magno universorum gaudio suscepti essemus, indicavit nobis abbatissa, quod quædam de numero virginum, quæ erat filia ipsius carnalis, gravissimo languore teneretur; quia phlebotomata est nuper in brachio, et cum esset in studio tacta est infirmitate repentini doloris, quo mox increscente, magis gravatum est brachium illud vulneratum, ac versum in tumorem, adeo ut vix duabus manibus circumplecti posset, ipsaque jacens in lecto præ nimietate doloris jam moritura videretur. Rogavit ergo episcopum abbatissa, ut intraret ad eam ac benedicere illam dignaretur, quia crederet eam ad benedictionem vel tactum illius mox melius habituram. Interrogans autem ille quando phlebotomata esset puella, ut cognovit quia in luna quarta, dixit, ‘Multum insipienter et indocte fecistis in luna quarta phlebotomando. Memini enim beatæ memoriæ Theodorum archiepiscopum dicere, quia periculosa sit satis illius temporis phlebotomia, quando et lumen lunæ et rheuma oceani in cremento est. Et quid ego possum puellæ, si moritura est, facere?’
“At illa instantius obsecrans pro filia, quam oppido diligebat, nam et abbatissam eam pro se facere disposuerat, tandem obtinuit, ut ad languentem intraret. Intravit ergo, me secum assumto, ad virginem, quæ jacebat multo, ut dixi, dolore constricta, et brachio in tantum grossescente, ut nihil prorsus in cubito flexionis haberet; et adstans dixit orationem super illam, ac benedicens egressus est. Cumque post hæc hora competente consederemus ad mensam, adveniens quidam clamavit me foras, et ait, ‘Postulat Coenberga, (hoc enim erat nomen virginis,) ut ocius regrediaris ad eam.’ Quod dum facerem, reperi illam ingrediens vultu hilariorem, et velut sospiti similem. Et dum assiderem illi, dixit, ‘Vis petamus bibere?’ At ego, ‘Volo,’ inquam, ‘et multum delector, si potes.’ Cumque, oblato poculo, biberemus ambo, cœpit mihi dicere, ‘quod ex quo episcopus, oratione pro me et benedictione completa, egressus est, statim melius habere incipio; et si necdum vires pristinas recepi, dolor tamen omnis et de brachio, ubi ardentior inerat, et de toto meo corpore, velut ipso episcopo foras eum exportante, funditus ablatus est, tametsi tumor adhuc brachii manere videatur.’ Abeuntibus autem nobis inde, continuo fugatum dolorem membrorum fuga quoque tumoris horrendi secuta est; et erepta morti ac doloribus virgo laudes Domino Salvatori una cum ceteris, qui ibi erant, servis illius referebat.”
UT CONJUGEM COMITIS INFIRMAM AQUA BENEDICTA CURAVERIT.
ALIUD quoque non multum huic dissimile miraculum de præfato antistite narravit idem abbas, dicens, “Villa erat comitis cujusdam, qui vocabatur Puch, non longe a monasterio nostro, id est, duum ferme millium spatio separata; cujus conjux quadraginta ferme diebus erat acerbissimo languore detenta, ita ut tribus septimanis non posset de cubiculo, in quo jacebat, foras efferri. Contigit autem eo tempore virum Dei illo ad dedicandam ecclesiam ab eodem comite vocari. Cumque dedicata esset ecclesia, rogavit comes eum ad prandendum in domum suam ingredi. Renuit episcopus, dicens se ad monasterium, quod proxime erat, debere reverti. At ille obnixius precibus instans vovit etiam se eleemosynas pauperibus daturum, dummodo ille dignaretur eo die domum suam ingrediens jejunium solvere. Rogavi et ego una cum illo, promittens etiam me eleemosynas in alimoniam inopum dare, dum ille domum comitis pransurus ac benedictionem daturus intraret. Cumque hoc tarde ac difficulter impetraremus, intravimus ad reficiendum. Miserat autem episcopus mulieri, quæ infirma jacebat, de aqua benedicta, quam in dedicationem ecclesiæ consecraverat, per unum de his, qui mecum venerant, fratribus; præcipiens ut gustandam illi daret, et ubicunque maximum ei dolorem inesse didicisset, de ipsa eam aqua lavaret. Quod ut factum est, surrexit statim mulier sana, et non solum se infirmitate longa carere, sed et perditas dudum vires recepisse, sentiens, obtulit poculum episcopo ac nobis, cœptumque ministerium nobis omnibus propinandi usque ad prandium completum non omisit; imitata socrum beati Petri, quæ cum febrium fuisset ardoribus fatigata, ad tactum manus Dominicæ surrexit, et, sanitate simul ac virtute recepta, ministrabat eis.”
UT IDEM PUERUM COMITIS ORANDO A MORTE REVOCAVERIT.
Alio item tempore vocatus ad dedicandam ecclesiam comitis vocabulo Addi, cum postulatum complesset ministerium, rogatus est ab eodem comite intrare ad unum de pueris ejus, qui acerrima ægritudine premebatur, ita ut deficiente penitus omni membrorum officio, jam jamque moriturus esse videretur; cui etiam loculus jam tunc erat præparatus, in quo defunctus condi deberet. Addidit autem vir etiam lacrimas precibus, diligenter obsecrans ut intraret oraturus pro illo, quia multum necessaria sibi esset vita ipsius; crederet vero quia si ille ei manum imponere atque eum benedicere voluisset, statim melius haberet. Intravit ergo illo episcopus, et vidit eum, mœstis omnibus, jam morti proximum, positumque loculum juxta eum, in quo sepeliendus poni deberet; dixitque orationem ac benedixit eum, et egrediens dixit solito consolantium sermone, “Bene convalescas et cito.” Cumque post hæc sederent ad mensam, misit puer ad dominum suum, rogans sibi poculum vini mittere, quia sitiret. Gavisus ille multum quia bibere posset, misit ei calicem vini benedictum ab episcopo; quem ut bibit, surrexit continuo, et veterno infirmitatis discusso, induit se ipse vestimentis suis; et egressus inde intravit ac salutavit episcopum et convivas, dicens, quod ipse quoque delectaretur manducare et bibere cum eis. Jusserunt eum sedere secum ad epulas, multum gaudentes de sospitate illius. Residebat, vescebatur, bibebat, lætabatur, quasi unus e convivis agebat; et multis post hæc annis vivens in eadem, quam acceperat, salute permansit.” Hoc autem miraculum memoratus abbas, non se præsente, factum, sed ab his, qui præsentes fuere, sibi perhibet esse relatum.
UT CLERICUM SUUM CADENDO CONTRITUM, ÆQUE ORANDO AC BENEDICENDO A MORTE REVOCAVERIT.
Neque hoc silentio prætereundum arbitror, quod famulus Christi Herebaldus in seipso ab eo factum solet narrare miraculum, qui tunc quidem in clero illius conversatus, nunc monasterio, quod est juxta ostium Tini fluminis, abbatis jure præest. “Vitam,” inquit, “illius, quantum hominibus æstimare fas est, quam præsens optime cognovi, per omnia episcopo dignam esse comperi. Sed et cujus meriti apud internum judicem habitus sit, et in multis aliis, et in meipso maxime expertus sum; quipe quem ab ipso, ut ita dicam, mortis limite revocans, ad viam vitæ sua oratione ac benedictione reduxit. Nam cum primævo adolescentiæ meæ tempore in clero illius degerem legendi quidem canendique studiis traditus, sed non adhuc animum perfecte a juvenilibus cohibens illecebris, contigit die quadam nos iter agentes cum illo devenisse in viam planam et amplam, aptamque cursui equorum; cœperuntque juvenes, qui cum ipso erant, maxime laici, postulare episcopum, ut cursu majore equos suos invicem probare liceret. At ille primo negavit, otiosum dicens esse, quod desiderabant; sed ad ultimum multorum unanima intentione devictus, ‘Facite,’ inquit, ‘si vultis, ita tamen ut Herebaldus ab illo se certamine funditus abstineat.’ Porro ipse diligentius obsecrans, ut et mihi certandi cum illis copia daretur, (fidebam namque equo, quem mihi ipse optimum donaverat,) nequaquam impetrare potui.
“At cum sæpius huc atque illuc, spectante me et episcopo, concitatis in cursum equis, reverterentur; et ipse lascivo superatus animo non me potui cohibere, sed, prohibente licet illo, ludentibus me miscui et simul cursu equi contendere cœpi. Quod dum agerem, audivi illum post tergum mihi cum gemitu dicentem, O quam magnum væ facis mihi sic equitando!’ Et ego audiens nihilominus cœptis institi vetitis. Nec mora, dum fervens equus quoddam itineris concavum valentiore impetu transiliret, lapsus decidi et mox velut emoriens sensum penitus motumque omnem perdidi. Erat namque illo in loco lapis terræ æqualis obtectus cespite tenui, neque ullus alter in tota illa campi planitie lapis inveniri poterat; casuque evenit, vel potius divina provisione ad puniendam inobedientiæ meæ culpam, ut hunc capite ac manu, quam capiti ruens supposueram, tangerem, atque, infracto pollice, capitis quoque junctura solveretur; et ego, ut dixi, simillimus mortuo fierem.
“Et quia moveri non poteram, tetenderunt ibidem papilionem, in qua jacerem. Erat autem hora diei circiter septima, a qua ad vesperum usque quietus et quasi mortuus permanens tunc paululum revivisco, ferorque domum a sociis, ac tacitus tota nocte perduro. Vomebam autem sanguinem, eo quod et interanea essent ruendo convulsa. At episcopus gravissime de casu et interitu meo dolebat, eo quod me speciali diligeret affectu; nec voluit nocte illa juxta morem cum clericis suis manere, verum solus in oratione persistens noctem ducebat pervigilem, pro mea, ut reor, sospitate supernæ pietati supplicans. Et mane primo ingressus ad me, ac dicta super me oratione, vocavit me nomine meo, et quasi de somno gravi excitatum interrogavit si nossem quis esset, qui loqueretur ad me. At ego aperiens oculos aio, ‘Etiam: tu es antistes meus amatus.’—‘Potes,’ inquit, ‘vivere?’ Et ego, ‘Possum,’ inquam, ‘per orationes vestras, si voluerit Dominus.’
“Qui imponens capiti meo manum cum verbis benedictionis rediit ad orandum, et post pusillum me revisens invenit sedentem et jam loqui valentem; cœpitque me interrogare, divino, ut mox patuit, admonitus instinctu, an me esse baptizatum absque scrupulo nossem: cui ego absque ulla me hoc dubietate scire respondi, quod salutari fonte in remissionem peccatorum essem ablutus, et nomen presbyteri, a quo me baptizatum noveram, dixi. At ille, ‘Si ab hoc,’ inquit, ‘sacerdote baptizatus es, non es perfecte baptizatus; novi namque eum, et quia cum esset presbyter ordinatus, nullatenus propter ingenii tarditatem potuit catechizandi vel baptizandi ministerium discere, propter quod et ipse illum ab hujus præsumtione ministerii, quod regulariter implere nequibat, omnino cessare præcepi.’ Quibus dictis, eadem hora me cateohizare ipse curavit; factumque est ut, exsufflante illo in faciem meam, confetim me melius habere sentirem. Vocavit autem medicum, et dissolutam mihi cranii juncturam componere atque alligare jussit; tantumque mox, accepta ejus benedictione, convalui, ut in crastinum ascendens equum cum ipso iter in alium locum facerem, nec multo post plene curatus vitali etiam unda perfusus sum.”
Mansit autem in episcopatu annos triginta tres, et sic cœlestia regna conscendens sepultus est in porticu sancti Petri in monasterio suo, quod dicitur ‘In Silva Deirorum,’ anno ab incarnatione Dominica septingentesimo vicesimo primo. Nam cum, præ majore senectute, minus episcopatui administrando sufficeret, ordinato in episcopatum Eboracensis ecclesiæ Wilfrido presbytero suo, secessit ad monasterium præfatum, ibique vitam in Deo digna conversatione complevit.
UT CEADWALLA, REX OCCIDENTALIUM SAXONUM, BAPTIZANDUS ROMAM VENERIT; SED ET SUCCESSOR EJUS INA EADEM BEATORUM APOSTOLORUM LIMINA DEVOTUS ADIERIT.
ANNO autem regni Alfridi tertio, Ceadwalla rex Occidentalium Saxonum, cum genti suæ duobus annis strenuissime præesset, relicto imperio propter Dominum regnumque perpetuum, venit Romam, hoc sibi gloriæ singularis desiderans adipisci, ut ad limina beatorum apostolorum fonte baptismatis ablueretur, in quo solo didicerat generi humano patere vitæ cœlestis introitum; simul etiam sperans quia mox baptizatus, carne solutus ad æterna gaudia jam mundus transiret: quod utrumque, ut mente disposuerat, Domino juvante, completum est. Etenim illo perveniens, pontificatum agente Sergio, baptizatus est die sancto Sabbati Paschalis, anno ab incarnatione Domini sexcentesimo octuagesimo nono; et in albis adhuc positus, languore correptus, duodecimo kalendarum Maiarum die solutus est a carne, et beatorum regno sociatus in cœlis. Cui etiam tempore baptismatis papa memoratus Petri nomen imposuerat, ut beatissimo apostolorum principi, ad cujus sacratissimum corpus a finibus terræ pio ductus amore venerat, etiam nominis ipsius consortio jungeretur; qui in ejus quoque ecclesia sepultus est, et, jubente pontifice, epitaphium in ejus monumento scriptum, in quo et memoria devotionis ipsius fixa per secula maneret, et legentes quoque vel audientes exemplum facti, ad studium religionis accenderet. Scriptum est ergo hoc modo;
- Culmen, opes, subolem, pollentia regna, triumphos,
- Exuvias, proceres, mœnia, castra, lares,
- Quæque patrum virtus, et quæ congesserat ipse,
- Ceadwalla armipotens liquit amore Dei;
- Ut Petrum sedemque Petri rex cerneret hospes,
- Cujus fonte meras sumeret almus aquas,
- Splendificumque jubar radianti carperet haustu,
- Ex quo vivificus fulgor ubique fluit.
- Percipiensque alacer redivivæ præmia vitæ;
- Barbaricam rabiem, nomen et inde suum,
- Conversus convertit ovans; Petrumque vocari
- Sergius antistes jussit, ut ipse pater
- Fonte renascentis, quem Christi gratia purgans
- Protinus albatum vexit in arce poli.
- Mira fides regis, clementia maxima Christi,
- Cujus consilium nullus adire potest!
- Sospes enim veniens supremo ex orbe Britanni,
- Per varias gentes, per freta, perque vias,
- Urbem Romuleam vidit, templumque verendum
- Aspexit Petri, mystica dona gerens.
- Candidus inter oves Christi sociabilis ibit;
- Corpore nam tumulum, mente superna tenet.
- Commutasse magis sceptrorum insignia credas,
- Quem regnum Christi promeruisse vides.
Hic depositus est Ceadwalla, qui et Petrus, rex Saxonum, sub die duodecimo kalendarum Maiarum, indictione secunda; qui vixit annos plus minus triginta, imperante domino Justiniano piissimo Augusto, anno ejus consulatus quarto, pontificante apostolico viro domino Sergio papa anno secundo.
Abeunte autem Romam Ceadwalla, successit in regnum Ina de stirpe regia; qui cum triginta et septem annis imperium tenuisset gentis illius, et ipse, relicto regno ac junioribus commendato, ad limina beatorum apostolorum, Gregorio pontificatum tenente, profectus est, cupiens in vicinia sanctorum locorum ad tempus peregrinari in terris, quo familiarius a sanctis recipi mereretur in cœlis; quod his temporibus plures de gente Anglorum, nobiles, ignobiles, laici, clerici, viri ac feminæ, certatim facere consueverunt.
UT, THEODORO DEFUNCTO, ARCHIEPISCOPATUS GRADUM BERTHWALDUS SUSCEPERIT; ET INTER PLURIMOS, QUOS ORDINAVIT, ETIAM TOBIAM VIRUM DOCTISSIMUM RHOFENSI ECCLESIÆ FECERIT ANTISTITEM.
Anno autem post hunc, quo Ceadwalla Romæ defunctus est, proximo, id est, sexcentesimo nonagesimo incarnationis Dominicæ, Theodorus beatæ memoriæ archiepiscopus senex et plenus dierum, id est, annorum octoginta octo, defunctus est; quem se numerum annorum fuisse habiturum ipse jamdudum somnii revelatione edoctus suis prædicere solebat. Mansit autem in episcopatu annis viginti duobus, sepultusque est in ecclesia sancti Petri, in qua omnium episcoporum Dorovernensium sunt corpora deposita; de quo una cum consortibus ejusdem sui gradus recte ac veraciter dici potest, quia corpora ipsorum in pace sepulta sunt, et nomen eorum vivet in generationes et generationes. Ut enim breviter dicam, tantum profectus spiritualis tempore præsulatus illius Anglorum ecclesiæ, quantum nunquam antea potuere e ceperunt. Cujus personam, vitam, ætatem, et obitum, epitaphium quoque monumenti ipsius versibus heroicis triginta et quatuor palam ac lucide cunctis illo advenientibus pandit; quorum primi sunt hi,
- Hic sacer in tumba pausat cum corpore præsul,
- Quem nunc Theodorum lingua Pelasga vocat.
- Princeps pontificum, felix summusque sacerdos,
- Limpida discipulis dogmata disseruit.
Ultimi autem hi,
- Namque diem nonamdecimam September habebat,
- Cum carnis claustra spiritus egreditur.
- Alma novæ scandens felix consortia vitæ,
- Civibus angelicis junctus in arce poli.
Successit autem Theodoro in episcopatu Berthwaldus, qui erat abbas in monasterio, quod juxta ostium aquilonale fluminis Genlade positum Raculfe nuncupatur; vir et ipse scientia Scripturarum imbutus, et ecclesiasticis simul ac monasterialibus disciplinis summe instructus, tametsi prædecessori suo minime comparandus. Qui electus est quidem in episcopatum anno Dominicæ incarnationis sexcentesimo nonagesimo secundo, die primo mensis Julii, regnantibus in Cantia Withredo et Suebhardo; ordinatus autem anno sequente, tertio die kalendarum Juliarum Dominica, a Godwino, metropolitano episcopo Galliarum; et sedit in sede sua pridie kalendarum Septembrium Dominica; qui inter multos, quos ordinavit antistites, etiam Gebmundo Rhofensis ecclesiæ præsule defuncto, Tobiam pro illo consecravit, virum Latina, Græca et Saxonica lingua, atque eruditione multiplici instructum.
UT EGBERTUS VIR SANCTUS AD PRÆDICANDUM IN GERMANIAM VENIRE VOLUERIT, NEC VALUERIT; PORRO WICTBERTUS ADVENERIT QUIDEM, SED QUIA NEC IPSE ALIQUID PROFECISSET, RURSUM IN HIBERNIAM, UNDE VENERAT, REDIERIT.
Eo tempore venerabilis et cum omni honorificentia nominandus famulus Christi et sacerdos Egbertus, (quem in Hibernia insula peregrinam ducere vitam pro adipiscenda in cœlis patria retulimus,) proposuit animo pluribus prodesse, id est, inito opere apostolico, verbum Dei aliquibus earum, quæ nondum audierant, gentibus evangelizando committere; quarum in Germania plurimas noverat esse nationes, a quibus Angli vel Saxones, qui nunc Britanniam incolunt, genus et originem duxisse noscuntur; unde hactenus a vicina gente Britonum corrupte Garmani nuncupantur. Sunt autem Fresones, Rugini, Dani, Hunni, Antiqui Saxones, Boructuarii; sunt alii perplures iisdem in partibus populi, paganis adhuc ritibus servientes, ad quos venire præfatus Christi miles, circumnavigata Britannia, disposuit, si quos forte ex illis ereptos Satanæ ad Christum transferre valeret; vel, si hoc fieri non posset, Romam venire ad videnda atque adoranda beatorum apostolorum ac martyrum Christi limina cogitavit.
Sed ne aliquid horum perficeret, superna illi oracula simul et opera restiterunt. Siquidem electis sociis strenuissimis et ad prædicandum verbum idoneis, utpote actione simul et eruditione præclaris, præparatisque omnibus, quæ navigantibus esse necessaria videbantur, venit die quadam mane primo ad eum unus de fratribus, discipulus quondam in Britannia et minister Deo dilecti sacerdotis Boisili, (cum esset idem Boisil præpositus monasterii Mailrosensis sub abbate Eata, ut supra narravimus,) referens ei visionem, quæ sibi eadem nocte apparuisset. “Cum expletis,” inquiens, “hymnis matutinalibus, in lectulo membra posuissem, ac levis mihi somnus obrepsisset, apparuit magister quondam meus et nutritor amantissimus Boisil, interrogavitque me, an eum cognoscere possem. Aio, ‘Etiam, tu es enim Boisil.’ At ille, ‘Ad hoc,’ inquit, ‘veni, ut responsum Domini Salvatoris Egberto afferam, quod, te tamen referente, oportet ad illum venire. Dic ergo illi quia non valet iter, quod proposuit, implere; Dei enim voluntas est, ut ad Columbæ monasteria magis docenda pergat.’ ” Erat autem Columba primus doctor fidei Christianæ Transmontanis Pictis ad aquilonem, primusque fundator monasterii, quod in Hii insula multis diu Scotorum Pictorumque populis venerabile mansit. Qui, videlicet, Columba nunc a nonnullis, composito a Cella et Columba nomine, Columcelli vocatur. Audiens autem verba visionis Egbertus præcepit fratri, qui retulerat, ne cuiquam hæc alteri referret, ne forte illusoria esset visio. Ipse autem tacitus rem considerans veram esse timebat; nec tamen a præparando itinere, quo ad gentes docendas iret, cessare volebat.
At post dies paucos rursum venit ad eum præfatus frater, dicens quia et ea nocte sibi post expletas matutinas Boisil per visum apparuerit, dicens, “Quare tam negligenter ac tepide dixisti Egberto, quæ tibi dicenda præcepi? At nunc vade, et dic illi quia, velit nolit, debet ad monasteria Columbæ venire, quia aratra eorum non recte incedunt, oportet autem eum ad rectum hæc tramitem revocare.” Qui hæc audiens denuo præcepit fratri, ne hæc cuiquam patefaceret. Ipse vero, tametsi certus est factus de visione, nihilominus tentavit iter dispositum cum fratribus memoratis incipere. Cumque jam navi imposuissent quæ tanti itineris necessitas poscebat, atque opportunos aliquot dies ventos exspectarent, facta est nocte quadam tam sæva tempestas, quæ perditis nonnulla ex parte his, quæ in navi erant, rebus, ipsam in littus jacentem inter undas relinqueret; salvata sunt tamen omnia, quæ erant Egberti et sociorum ejus. Tum ipse quasi propheticum illud dicens, “Quia propter me est tempestas hæc,” subtraxit se illi profectioni, et remanere domi passus est.
At vero unus de sociis ejus, vocabulo Wictbertus, cum esset et ipse contemtu mundi ac doctrinæ scientia insignis, (nam multos annos in Hibernia peregrinus anachoreticam in magna perfectione vitam egerat,) ascendit navem, et Fresiam perveniens duobus annis continuis genti illi ac regi ejus Rathbedo verbum salutis prædicabat, neque aliquem tanti laboris fructum apud barbaros invenit auditores. Tunc reversus ad dilectæ locum peregrinationis, solito in silentio vacare Domino cœpit; et quoniam externis prodesse ad fidem non poterat, suis amplius ex virtutum exemplis prodesse curabat.
UT WILBRORDUS IN FRESIA PRÆDICANS MULTOS AD CHRISTUM CONVERTERIT; ET UT SOCII EJUS HEWALDI SINT MARTYRIUM PASSI.
Ut autem vidit vir Domini Egbertus, quia nec ipse ad prædicandum gentibus venire permittebatur, retentus ob aliam sanctæ ecclesiæ utilitatem, de qua oraculo fuerat præmonitus; nec Wictbertus illas deveniens in partes quicquam proficiebat; tentavit adhuc in opus verbi mittere viros sanctos et industrios, in quibus eximius Wilbrordus presbyterii gradu et merito præfulgebat. Qui cum illo advenissent, (erant autem numero duodecim,) divertentes ad Pipinum ducem Francorum gratanter ab illo suscepti sunt; et quia nuper citeriorem Fresiam, expulso inde Rathbedo rege, ceperat, illo eos ad prædicandum misit; ipse quoque imperiali auctoritate juvans, ne quis prædicantibus quicquam molestiæ inferret; multisque eos, qui fidem suscipere vellent, beneficiis attollens. Unde factum est, opitulante gratia divina, ut multos in brevi ab idololatria ad fidem converterent Christi.
Horum secuti exempla duo quidam presbyteri de natione Anglorum, qui in Hibernia multo tempore pro æterna patria exsulaverant, venerunt ad provinciam Antiquorum Saxonum, si forte aliquos ibidem prædicando Christo acquirere possent. Erant autem unius ambo, sicut devotionis, sic etiam vocabuli, nam uterque eorum appellabatur Hewaldus; ea tamen distinctione, ut pro diversa capillorum specie unus Niger, alter Albus Hewaldus, diceretur; quorum uterque pietate religionis imbutus, sed Niger Hewaldus magis sacrarum litterarum erat scientia institutus. Qui venientes in provinciam intraverunt hospitium cujusdam villici, petieruntque ab eo, ut transmitterentur ad satrapam, qui super eum erat, eo quod haberent aliquid legationis et causæ utilitatis, quod deberent ad illum perferre. Non enim habent regem iidem Antiqui Saxones, sed satrapas plurimos suæ genti præpositos, qui, ingruente belli articulo, mittunt æqualiter sortes, et quemcunque sors ostenderit, hunc tempore belli ducem omnes sequuntur, et huic obtemperant; peracto autem bello, rursum æqualis potentiæ omnes fiunt satrapæ. Suscepit ergo eos villicus, et promittens se mittere eos ad satrapam, qui super se erat, ut petebant, aliquot diebus secum retinuit.
Qui cum cogniti essent a barbaris quod essent alterius religionis, (nam hymnis et psalmis semper atque orationibus vacabant, et quotidie sacrificium Deo victimæ salutaris offerebant, habentes secum vascula sacra et tabulam altaris vice dedicatam,) suspecti sunt habiti, quia si pervenirent ad satrapam et loquerentur cum illo, averterent illum a diis suis, et ad novam Christianæ fidei religionem transferrent, sicque paulatim omnis eorum provincia veterem cogeretur in novam mutare culturam. Itaque rapuerunt eos subito, et interemerunt; Album quidem Hewaldum veloci occisione gladii, Nigellum autem longo suppliciorum cruciatu et horrenda membrorum omnium discerptione; quos interemtos in Rhenum projecerunt. Quod cum satrapa ille, quem videre volebant, audiisset, iratus est valde, quod ad se venire volentes peregrini non permitterentur; et mittens occidit vicanos illos omnes, vicumque incendio consumsit. Passi sunt autem præfati sacerdotes et famuli Christi, quinto nonarum Octobrium die.
Nec martyrio eorum cœlestia defuere miracula. Nam cum peremta eorum corpora amni, ut diximus, a paganis essent injecta, contigit, ut hæc contra impetum fluvii decurrentis, per quadraginta fere millia passuum, ad ea usque loca, ubi illorum erant socii, transferrentur. Sed et radius lucis permaximus atque ad cœlum usque altus omni nocte supra locum fulgebat illum, ubicunque ea pervenisse contingeret, et hoc etiam paganis, qui eos occiderant, intuentibus. Sed et unus ex eis in visione nocturna apparuit cuidam de sociis suis, cui nomen erat Tilmon, viro illustri, et ad seculum quoque nobili, qui de milite factus fuerat monachus; indicans, quod eo loci corpora eorum posset invenire, ubi lucem de cœlo terris radiasse conspiceret. Quod ita completum est. Inventa namque eorum corpora juxta honorem martyribus condignum recondita sunt, et dies passionis vel inventionis eorum congrua illis in locis veneratione celebratur. Denique, gloriosissimus dux Francorum Pipinus, ubi hæc comperit, misit, et adducta ad se eorum corpora condidit cum multa gloria in ecclesia Coloniæ civitatis, juxta Rhenum. Fertur autem quod in loco, in quo occisi sunt, fons ebullierit, qui in eodem loco usque hodie copiosa fluenti sui dona profundat.
UT VIRI VENERABILES SUIDBERTUS IN BRITANNIA, WILBRORDUS ROMÆ, SINT IN FRESIAM ORDINATI EPISCOPI.
Primis sane temporibus adventus eorum in Fresiam, mox ut comperit Wilbrordus datam sibi a principe licentiam ibidem prædicandi, acceleravit venire Romam, cujus sedi apostolicæ tunc Sergius papa præerat, ut cum ejus licentia et benedictione desideratum evangelizandi gentibus opus iniret; simul et reliquias beatorum apostolorum ac martyrum Christi ab eo se sperans accipere, ut dum in gente, cui prædicaret, destructis idolis, ecclesias institueret, haberet in promtu reliquias sanctorum, quas ibi introduceret; quibusque ibidem depositis, consequenter in eorum honorem, quorum essent illæ, singula quæque loca dedicaret. Sed et alia perplura, quæ tanti operis negotium quærebat, vel ibi discere, vel inde accipere, cupiebat. In quibus omnibus cum sui voti compos esset effectus, ad prædicandum rediit.
Quo tempore fratres, qui erant in Fresia verbi ministerio mancipati, elegerunt ex suo numero virum modestum moribus et mansuetum corde Suidbertum, qui eis ordinaretur antistes, quem Britanniam destinatum ad petitionem eorum ordinavit reverendissimus Wilfridus episcopus, qui tunc forte patria pulsus in Merciorum regionibus exulabat. Non enim eo tempore habebat episcopum Cantia, defuncto quidem Theodoro, sed necdum Berthwaldo successore ejus, qui trans mare ordinandus ierat, ad sedem episcopatus sui reverso.
Qui videlicet Suidbertus, accepto episcopatu, de Britannia regressus non multo post ad gentem Boructuariorum secessit, ac multos eorum prædicando ad viam veritatis perduxit. Sed expugnatis non longo post tempore Boructuariis a gente Antiquorum Saxonum, dispersi sunt quolibet hi, qui verbum receperant; ipseque antistes cum quibusdam Pipinum petiit, qui, interpellante Blithryda conjuge sua, dedit ei locum mansionis in insula quadam Rheni, quæ lingua eorum vocatur “In litore;” in qua ipse, constructo monasterio, quod hactenus heredes ejus possident, aliquandiu continentissimam gessit vitam, ibique diem clausit ultimum.
Postquam vero per annos aliquot in Fresia, qui advenerant docuerunt, misit Pipinus, favente omnium consensu, virum venerabilem Wilbrordum Romam, cujus adhuc pontificatum Sergius habebat, postulans, ut eidem Fresonum genti archiepiscopus ordinaretur. Quod ita ut petierat impletum est, anno ab incarnatione Domini sexcentesimo nonagesimo sexto. Ordinatus est autem in ecclesia sanctæ martyris Ceciliæ, die natalis ejus, imposito sibi a papa memorato nomine Clementis; ac mox remissus ad sedem episcopatus sui, id est, post dies quatuordecim, ex quo in urbem venerat.
Donavit autem ei Pipinus locum cathedræ episcopalis in castello suo illustri, quod antiquo gentium illarum vocabulo Wiltaburg, id est, Oppidum Wiltorum, lingua autem Gallica Trajectum, vocatur; in quo, ædificata ecclesia, reverendissimus pontifex longe lateque verbum fidei prædicans multosque ab errore revocans, plures per illas regiones ecclesias, et monasteria nonnulla construxit. Nam non multo post alios quoque illis in regionibus ipse constituit antistites ex eorum numero fratrum, qui vel secum, vel post se, illo ad prædicandum venerant; ex quibus aliquanti jam dormierunt in Domino. Ipse autem Wilbrordus cognomento Clemens, adhuc superest longa jam venerabilis ætate, utpote tricesimum et sextum in episcopatu habens annum, et post multiplices militiæ cœlestis agones ad præmia remunerationis supernæ tota mente suspirans.
UT QUIDAM IN PROVINCIA NORTHANHUMBRORUM A MORTUIS RESURGENS MULTA ET TREMENDA, ET DESIDERANDA, QUÆ VIDERAT, NARRAVERIT.
His temporibus miraculum memorabile, et antiquorum simile, in Britannia factum est. Namque, ad excitationem viventium de morte animæ, quidam aliquandiu mortuus ad vitam resurrexit corporis, et multa memoratu digna, quæ viderat, narravit; e quibus hic aliqua breviter perstringenda esse putavi. Erat ergo paterfamilias in regione Northanhumbrorum, quæ vocatur Incuningum, religiosam cum domo sua gerens vitam; qui infirmitate corporis tactus et, hac crescente per dies, ad extrema perductus, primo tempore noctis defunctus est; sed diluculo reviviscens ac repente residens omnes, qui corpori flentes assederant, timore immenso perculsos in fugam convertit: uxor tantum, quæ amplius amabat, quamvis multum tremens et pavida, remansit; quam ille consolatus, “Noli,” inquit, “timere, quia jam vere resurrexi a morte, qua tenebar, et apud homines sum iterum vivere permissus; non tamen ea mihi, qua ante consueram, conversatione, sed multum dissimili ex hoc tempore vivendum est.” Statimque surgens abiit ad villulæ oratorium, et usque ad diem in oratione persistens mox omnem, quam possederat, substantiam in tres divisit portiones, e quibus unam conjugi, alteram filiis, tradidit, tertiam sibi ipse retentans statim pauperibus distribuit. Nec multo post seculi curis absolutus ad monasterium Mailros, quod Tuedæ fluminis circumflexu maxima ex parte clauditur, pervenit; acceptaque tonsura, locum secretæ mansionis, quam præviderat abbas, intravit; et ibi usque ad diem mortis in tanta mentis et corporis contritione duravit, ut multa illum, quæ alios laterent, vel horrenda, vel desideranda, vidisse, etiam si lingua sileret, vita loqueretur.
Narrabat autem hoc modo quod viderat; “Lucidus,” inquiens, “aspectu, et clarus erat indumento, qui me ducebat. Incedebamus autem tacentes, ut videbatur mihi, contra ortum solis solsticialem, cumque ambularemus, devenimus ad vallem multæ latitudinis ac profunditatis, infinitæ autem longitudinis; quæ ad lævam nobis sita, unum latus flammis ferventibus nimium terribile, alterum furenti grandine ac frigore nivium omnia perflante atque verrente, non minus intolerabile præferebat. Utrumque autem erat animabus hominum plenum, quæ vicissim hinc inde videbantur quasi tempestatis impetu jactari. Cum enim vim fervoris immensi tolerare non possent, prosiliebant miseræ in medium frigoris infesti; et cum neque ibi quippiam requiei invenire valerent, resiliebant rursus urendæ in medium flammarum inextinguibilium. Cumque hac infelici vicissitudine longe lateque, prout aspicere poteram, sine ulla quietis intercapedine innumerabilis spirituum deformium multitudo torqueretur; cogitare cœpi quod hic fortasse esset infernus, de cujus tormentis intolerabilibus narrare sæpius audivi. Respondit cogitationi meæ ductor, qui me præcedebat; ‘Non hoc,’ inquiens, ‘suspiceris; non enim hic infernus est ille, quem putas.’
“At cum me hoc spectaculo tam horrendo perterritum paulatim in ulteriora produceret, vidi subito ante nos obscurari incipere loca, et tenebris omnia repleri. Quas cum intraremus, in tantum paulisper condensatæ sunt, ut nihil præter ipsas aspicerem, excepta duntaxat specie et veste ejus, qui me ducebat. Et cum progrederemur sola sub nocte per umbras, ecce, subito apparent ante nos crebri flammarum tetrarum globi, ascendentes quasi de puteo magno, rursumque decidentes in eundem. Quo cum perductus essem, repente ductor meus disparuit, ac me solum in medio tenebrarum et horrendæ visionis reliquit. At cum iidem globi ignium sine intermissione modo alta peterent, modo ima barathri repeterent, cerno omnia, quæ ascendebant, fastigia flammarum plena esse spiritibus hominum, qui instar favillarum cum fumo ascendentium nunc ad sublimiora projicerentur, nunc retractis ignium vaporibus relaberentur in profundum. Sed et fœtor incomparabilis cum eisdem vaporibus ebulliens, omnia illi tenebrarum loca replebat.
“Et cum diutius ibi pavidus consisterem, utpote incertus quid agerem, quo verterem gressum, qui me finis maneret; audio subito post terga sonitum immanissimi fletus ac miserrimi, simul et cachinnum crepitantem, quasi vulgi indocti captis hostibus insultantis. Ut autem sonitus idem clarior redditus ad me usque pervenit, considero turbam malignorum spirituum, quæ quinque animas hominum mœrentes ejulantesque, ipsa multum exultans et cachinnans, medias illas trahebat in tenebras; e quibus videlicet hominibus, ut dignoscere potui, quidam erat attonsus ut clericus, quidam laicus, quædam femina. Trahentes autem eos maligni spiritus descenderunt in medium barathri illius ardentis; factumque est, ut cum longius subeuntibus eis, fletum hominum et risum dæmoniorum clare discernere nequirem, sonum tamen adhuc promiscuum in auribus haberem. Interea ascenderunt quidam spirituum obscurorum de abysso illa flammivoma, et accurrentes circumdederunt me, atque oculis flammantibus et de ore ac naribus ignem putidum efflantes angebant; forcipibus quoque igneis, quos tenebant in manibus, minitabantur me comprehendere, nec tamen me ullatenus contingere, tametsi terrere præsumebant. Qui cum undiqueversum hostibus et cæcitate tenebratum conclusus huc illucque oculos circumferrem, si forte alicunde quid auxilii, quo salvarer, adveniret, apparuit retro via, qua veneram, quasi fulgor stellæ micantis inter tenebras, qui paulatim crescens et ad me ocius festinans ubi appropinquavit, dispersi sunt et aufugerunt omnes, qui me forcipibus rapere quærebant spiritus infesti.
“Ille autem, qui adveniens eos fugavit, erat ipse, qui me ante ducebat; qui mox conversus ad dexterum iter, quasi contra ortum solis brumalem, me ducere cœpit. Nec mora exemptum tenebris in auras me serenæ lucis eduxit; cumque me in luce aperta duceret, vidi ante nos murum permaximum, cujus neque longitudini hinc vel inde, neque altitudini, ullus esse terminus videretur. Cœpi autem mirari quare ad murum accederemus, cum in eo nullam januam, vel fenestram, vel ascensum, alicubi conspicerem. Cum ergo pervenissemus ad murum, statim nescio quo ordine fuimus in summitate ejus. Et ecce, ibi campus erat latissimus ac lætissimus, tantaque fragrantia vernantium flosculorum plenus, ut omnem mox fœtorem tenebrosæ fornacis, qui me pervaserat, effugaret admirandi hujus suavitas odoris. Tanta autem lux cuncta ea loca perfuderat, ut omni splendore diei, sive solis meridiani radiis, videretur esse præclarior. Erantque in hoc campo innumera hominum albatorum conventicula, sedesque plurimæ agminum lætantium. Cumque inter choros felicium incolarum medios me duceret, cogitare cœpi quod hoc fortasse esset regnum cœlorum, de quo prædicari sæpius audivi. Respondit ille cogitatui meo; ‘Non,’ inquiens, ‘non hoc est regnum cœlorum, quod autumas.’
“Cumque procedentes transiissemus et has beatorum mansiones spirituum, aspicio ante nos multo majorem luminis gratiam quam prius, in qua etiam vocem cantantium dulcissimam audivi, et odoris fragrantia miri tanta de loco effundebatur, ut is, quem antea degustans quasi maximum rebar, jam permodicus mihi odor videretur; sicut etiam lux illa campi florentis eximia in comparatione ejus, quæ nunc apparuit, lucis, tenuissima prorsus videbatur et parva. In cujus amœnitatem loci cum nos intraturos sperarem, repente ductor substitit; nec mora, gressum retorquens ipsa me via, qua venimus, reduxit.
“Cumque reversi perveniremus ad mansiones illas lætas spirituum candidatorum, dixit mihi, ‘Scis, quæ sint ista omnia, quæ vidisti?’ Respondi ego, ‘Non.’ Et ait, ‘Vallis illa, quam aspexisti flammis ferventibus et frigoribus horrenda rigidis, ipse est locus in quo examinandæ et castigandæ sunt animæ illorum, qui differentes confiteri et emendare scelera, quæ fecerunt, in ipso tandem mortis articulo ad pœnitentiam confugiunt, et sic de corpore exeunt; qui tamen quia confessionem et pœnitentiam vel in morte habuerunt, omnes in die judicii ad regnum cœlorum perveniunt. Multos autem preces viventium et eleemosynæ et jejunia, et maxime celebratio missarum, ut etiam ante diem judicii liberentur, adjuvant. Porro puteus ille flammivomus ac putidus, quem vidisti, ipsum est os gehennæ, in quo quicunque semel inciderit nunquam inde liberabitur in ævum. Locus vero iste florifer, in quo pulcherrimam hanc juventutem jocundari ac fulgere conspicis, ipse est, in quo recipiuntur animæ eorum, qui in bonis quidem operibus de corpore exeunt, non tamen sunt tantæ perfectionis, ut in regnum cœlorum statim mereantur introduci; qui tamen omnes in die Judicii ad visionem Christi et gaudia regni cœlestis intrabunt. Nam quicunque in omni verbo et opere et cogitatione perfecti sunt, mox de corpore egressi ad regnum cœleste perveniunt; ad cujus viciniam pertinet locus ille, ubi sonum cantilenæ dulcis cum odore suavitatis ac splendore lucis audiisti. Tu autem, quia nunc ad corpus reverti et rursum inter homines vivere debes, si actus tuos curiosius discutere et mores sermonesque tuos in rectitudine ac simplicitate servare studueris, accipies et ipse post mortem locum mansionis inter hæc, quæ cernis, agmina lætabunda spirituum beatorum. Namque ego, cum ad tempus abscessissem a te, ad hoc feci, ut quid de te fieri deberet agnoscerem.’ Hæc mihi cum dixisset, multum detestatus sum reverti ad corpus, delectatus nimirum suavitate ac decore loci illius, quem intuebar, simul et consortio eorum, quos in illo videbam. Nec tamen aliquid ductorem meum rogare audebam; sed inter hæc, nescio quo ordine, repente me inter homines vivere cerno.”
Hæc et alia, quæ viderat, idem vir Domini, non omnibus passim desidiosis ac vitæ suæ incuriosis referre volebat, sed illis solummodo, qui vel tormentorum metu perterriti, vel spe gaudiorum perennium delectati, profectum pietatis ex ejus verbis haurire volebant. Denique, in vicinia cellæ illius habitabat quidam monachus, nomine Hemgilsus, presbyteratus etiam, quem bonis operibus adornabat, gradu præeminens, qui adhuc superest, et in Hibernia insula solitarius ultimam vitæ ætatem pane cibario et frigida aqua sustentat. Hic sæpius ad eundem virum ingrediens audivit ab eo repetita interrogatione, quæ et qualia essent quæ exutus corpore videret; per cujus relationem ad nostram quoque agnitionem pervenere, quæ de his pauca perstrinximus. Narrabat autem visiones suas etiam regi Alfrido, viro undecunque doctissimo; et tam libenter tamque studiose ab illo auditus est, ut ejus rogatu monasterio supra memorato inditus ac monachica sit tonsura coronatus, atque ad eum audiendum sæpissime, cum illas in partes devenisset, accederet. Cui videlicet monasterio tempore illo religiosæ ac modestæ vitæ abbas et presbyter Ethelwaldus præerat, qui nunc episcopalem Lindisfarnensis ecclesiæ cathedram condignis gradu actibus servat.
Accepit autem in eodem monasterio locum mansionis secretiorem, ubi liberius continuis in orationibus famulatui sui conditoris vacaret. Et quia locus ipse super ripam fluminis erat situs, solebat hunc creber ob magnum castigandi corporis affectum ingredi, ac sæpius in eo supermeantibus undis immergi; sicque ibidem quamdiu sustinere posse videbatur, psalmis vel precibus insistere fixusque manere, ascendente aqua fluminis usque ad lumbos, aliquando et usque ad collum; atque inde egrediens ad terram nunquam ipsa vestimenta uda atque algida deponere curabat, donec ex suo corpore calefierent et siccarentur. Cumque tempore hiemali, defluentibus circa eum semifractarum crustis glacierum, quas et ipse aliquando contriverat quo haberet locum standi sive immergendi se in fluvio, dicerentque qui videbant. “Mirum, frater Drithelme,” (hoc enim erat viro nomen,) “quod tantam frigoris asperitatem ulla ratione tolerare prævales!” respondebat ille simpliciter, erat namque homo simplicis ingenii ac moderatæ naturæ, “Frigidiora ego vidi.” Et cum dicerent, “Mirum quod tam austeram tenere continentiam velis!” respondebat, “Austeriora ego vidi.” Sicque usque ad diem suæ vocationis infatigabili cœlestium bonorum desiderio corpus senile inter quotidiana jejunia domabat, multisque et verbo et conversatione saluti fuit.
UT E CONTRA ALTER AD MORTEM VENIENS OBLATUM SIBI A DÆMONIBUS CODICEM SUORUM VIDERIT PECCATORUM.
AT contra, fuit quidam in provincia Merciorum, cujus visiones ac verba, et conversatio, plurimis, sed non sibimetipsi, profuit. Fuit autem temporibus Coenredi, qui post Ethelredum regnavit, vir in laico habitu atque officio militari positus; sed quantum pro industria exteriori regi placens, tantum pro interna suimet negligentia displicens. Admonebat ergo illum sedulo, ut confiteretur et emendaret ac relinqueret scelera sua, priusquam subito mortis superventu tempus omne pœnitendi et emendandi perderet. Verum ille, frequenter licet admonitus, spernebat verba salutis, seseque tempore sequente pœnitentiam acturum esse promittebat. Hæc inter tactus infirmitate decidit in lectum, atque acri cœpit dolore torqueri. Ad quem ingressus rex, diligebat enim eum multum, hortabatur, ut vel tunc antequam moreretur pœnitentiam ageret commissorum. At ille respondit, non se tunc velle confiteri peccata sua, sed cum ab infirmitate resurgeret, ne exprobrarent sibi sodales, quod timore mortis faceret ea, quæ sospes facere noluerat; fortiter quidem, ut sibi videbatur, locutus, sed miserabiliter, ut postea patuit, dæmonica fraude seductus est.
Cumque, morbo ingravescente, denuo ad eum visitandum ac docendum rex intraret, clamavit statim miserabili voce, “Quid vis modo? quid huc venisti? non enim mihi aliquid utilitatis aut salutis potes ultra conferre.” At ille, “Noli,” inquit, “ita loqui, vide ut sanum sapias.”—“Non,” inquit, “insanio, sed pessimam mihi conscientiam certus præ oculis habeo.”—“Et quid,” inquit, “hoc est?”—“Paulo ante,” inquit, “intraverunt domum hanc duo pulcherrimi juvenes et resederunt circa me, unus ad caput et unus ad pedes; protulitque unus libellum perpulcrum, sed vehementer modicum, ac mihi ad legendum dedit, in quo omnia, quæ unquam bona feceram intuens scripta repperi, et hæc erant nimium pauca et modica. Receperunt codicem, neque aliquid mihi dicebant. Tum subito supervenit exercitus malignorum et horrendorum vultu spirituum, domumque hanc et exterius obsedit et intus maxima ex parte residens implevit. Tunc ille, qui et obscuritate tenebrosæ faciei et primatu sedis major esse videbatur eorum, proferens codicem horrendæ visionis et magnitudinis enormis et ponderis pene importabilis, jussit uni ex satellitibus suis mihi ad legendum deferre. Quem cum legissem, inveni omnia scelera, non solum quæ opere vel verbo, sed etiam quæ tenuissima cogitatione peccavi, manifestissime in eo tetris esse descripta litteris. Dicebatque ad illos, qui mihi assederant, viros albatos et præclaros, ‘Quid hic sedetis, scientes certissime quia noster est iste?’ Responderunt, ‘Verum dicitis; accipite et in cumulum damnationis vestræ ducite.’ Quo dicto, statim disparuerunt; surgentesque duo nequissimi spiritus, habentes in manibus furcas, percusserunt me, unus in capite et alius in pede; qui, videlicet, modo cum magno tormento irrepunt in interiora corporis mei, moxque ut ad se invicem perveniunt moriar, et paratis ad rapiendum me dæmonibus, in inferni claustra pertrahar.”
Sic loquebatur miser desperans, et non multo post defunctus pœnitentiam, quam ad breve tempus cum fructu veniæ facere supersedit, in æternum sine fructu pœnis subditus facit. De quo constat quia, sicut beatus papa Gregorius de quibusdam scribit, non pro se ista, cui non profuere, sed pro aliis, viderit, qui ejus interitum cognoscentes, differre tempus pœnitentiæ, dum vacat, timerent, ne improviso mortis articulo præventi impœnitentes perirent. Quod autem codices diversos per bonos sive malos spiritus sibi vidit offerri, ob id superna dispensatione factum est, ut meminerimus facta et cogitationes nostras non in ventum diffluere, sed ad examen summi Judicis cuncta servari; sive per amicos angelos in fine nobis ostendenda, sive per hostes. Quod vero prius candidum codicem protulerunt angeli, deinde atrum dæmones, illi perparvum, isti enormem, animadvertendum est, quod in prima ætate bona aliqua fecit, quæ tamen universa prave agendo juvenis obnubilavit. Qui si e contrario errores pueritiæ corrigere in adolescentia, ac bene faciendo a Dei oculis abscondere, curasset, posset eorum numero sociari, de quibus ait Psalmus, [xxxi. 1,] Beati, quorum remissæ sunt iniquitates, et quorum tecta sunt peccata. Hanc historiam, sicut a venerabili antistite Pechthelmo didici, simpliciter ob salutem legentium, sive audientium, narrandam esse putavi.
UT ITEM ALIUS MORITURUS DEPUTATUM SIBI APUD INFEROS LOCUM PŒNARUM VIDERIT.
Novi autem ipse fratrem, quem utinam non nossem, cujus etiam nomen, si hoc aliquid prodesset, dicere possem, positum in monasterio nobili, sed ipsum ignobiliter viventem. Corripiebatur quidem sedulo a fratribus ac majoribus loci, atque ad castigatiorem vitam converti admonebatur; et quamvis eos audire noluisset, tolerabatur tamen ab eis longanimiter ob necessitatem operum ipsius exteriorum; erat enim fabrili arte singularis. Serviebat autem multum ebrietati et ceteris vitæ remissioris illecebris; magisque in officina sua die noctuque residere, quam ad psallendum atque orandum in ecclesia, audiendumque cum fratribus verbum vitæ, concurrere consueverat. Unde accidit illi, quod solent dicere quidam, quia, qui non vult ecclesiæ januam sponte humiliatus ingredi, necesse habet in januam inferni non sponte damnatus introduci. Percussus enim languore atque ad extrema perductus vocavit fratres, et multum mœrens ac damnato similis cœpit narrare, quia videret inferos apertos et Satanam immersum in profundum Tartari, Caiphanque cum ceteris, qu iocciderunt Dominum, juxta eum flammis ultricibus contraditum; “in quorum vicinia,” inquit, “heu misero mihi locum aspicio æternæ perditionis esse præparatum.” Audientes hæc fratres cœperunt diligenter exhortari, ut vel tunc positus adhuc in corpore pœnitentiam ageret. Respondebat ille desperans, “Non est mihi modo tempus vitam mutandi, cum ipse viderim judicium meum jam esse completum.”
Talia dicens sine viatico salutis obiit, et corpus ejus in ultimis est monasterii locis humatum, neque aliquis pro eo vel missas facere, vel psalmos cantare, vel saltem orare, præsumebat. O quam grandi distantia divisit Deus inter lucem et tenebras! Beatus protomartyr Stephanus passurus mortem pro veritate vidit cœlos apertos, vidit gloriam Dei, et Jesum stantem a dextris Dei; et ubi erat futurus ipse post mortem, ibi oculos mentis ante mortem, quo lætior occumberet, misit. At contra, faber iste tenebrosæ mentis et actionis, imminente morte, vidit aperta Tartara, vidit damnationem diaboli et sequacium ejus; vidit etiam suum infelix inter tales carcerem, quo miserabilius ipse, desperata salute, periret, sed viventibus, qui hæc cognovissent, causam salutis sua perditione relinqueret. Factum est hoc nuper in provincia Berniciorum; ac longe lateque diffamatum multos ad agendam, et non differendam, scelerum suorum pœnitudinem provocavit. Quod utinam exhinc etiam nostrarum lectione literarum fiat.
UT PLURIMÆ SCOTORUM ECCLESIÆ, INSTANTE ADAMNANO, CATHOLICUM PASCHA SUSCEPERINT; UTQUE IDEM LIBRUM DE LOCIS SANCTIS SCRIPSERIT.
Quo tempore plurima pars Scotorum in Hibernia, et nonnulla etiam de Britonibus in Britannia, rationabile et ecclesiasticum Paschalis observantiæ tempus, Domino donante, suscepit. Siquidem Adamnanus presbyter et abbas monachorum, qui erant in insula Hii, cum legationis gratia missus a sua gente venisset ad Alfridum regem Anglorum, et aliquandiu in ea provincia moratus videret ritus ecclesiæ canonicos; sed et a pluribus, qui erant eruditiores, esset solerter admonitus, ne contra universalem ecclesiæ morem, vel in observantia Paschali, vel in aliis quibusque decretis, cum suis paucissimis et in extremo mundi angulo positis vivere præsumeret, mutatus mente est; ita ut ea, quæ viderat et audierat in ecclesiis Anglorum, suæ suorumque consuetudini libentissime præferret. Erat enim vir bonus et sapiens, et scientia Scripturarum nobilissime instructus.
Qui cum domum rediisset, curavit suos, qui erant in Hii, quive eidem erant subditi monasterio, ad eum, quem cognoverat, quemque ipse toto ex corde susceperat, veritatis callem perducere, nec valuit. Navigavit itaque Hiberniam, et prædicans eis ac modesta exhortatione declarans legitimum Paschæ tempus, plurimos eorum et pene omnes, qui ab Hiiensium dominio erant liberi, ab errore avito correctos ad unitatem reduxit catholicam, ac legitimum Paschæ tempus observare perdocuit. Qui cum, celebrato in Hibernia canonico Pascha, ad suam insulam revertisset suoque in monasterio catholicam temporis Paschalis observantiam instantissime prædicaret, nec tamen perficere, quod conabatur, posset, contigit eum ante expletum anni circulum migrasse de seculo. Divina utique gratia disponente, ut vir unitatis ac pacis studiosissimus ante ad vitam raperetur æternam, quam, redeunte tempore Paschali, graviorem cum eis, qui eum ad veritatem sequi nolebant, cogeretur habere discordiam.
Scripsit idem vir De Locis Sanctis librum legentibus multis utillimum; cujus auctor erat docendo ac dictando Galliarum episcopus Arculfus, qui locorum gratia sanctorum venerat Hierosolymam, et, lustrata omni terra Repromissionis, Damascum quoque, Constantinopolim, Alexandriam, multasque maris insulas, adierat; patriamque navigio revertens vi tempestatis in occidentalia Britanniæ littora delatus est; ac post multa ad memoratum Christi famulum Adamnanum perveniens, ubi doctus in Scripturis sanctorumque locorum gnarus esse compertus est, libentissime est ab illo susceptus, libentius auditus; adeo, ut quæcunque ille se in locis sanctis memoratu digna vidisse testabatur, cuncta mox ille litteris mandare curaverit. Fecitque opus, ut dixi, multum utile, et maxime illis, qui longius ab eis locis, in quibus patriarchæ et apostoli erant, secreti, ea tantum de his, quæ lectione didicerint, norunt. Porrexit autem librum hunc Adamnanus Alfrido regi, ac per ejus est largitionem etiam minoribus ad legendum contraditus. Scriptor quoque ipse multis ab eo muneribus donatus in patriam remissus est. De cujus scriptis aliqua decerpere ac nostræ huic Historiæ inserere commodum fore legentibus reor.
QUÆ IN EODEM LIBRO DE LOCO DOMINICÆ NATIVITATIS, PASSIONIS, ET RESURRECTIONIS, COMMEMORAVERIT.
SCRIPSIT ergo de loco Dominicæ nativitatis in hunc modum; “Bethleem, civitas David, in dorso sita est angusto ex omni parte vallibus circumdato, ab occidente in orientem mille passibus longa, humili sine turribus muro per extrema plani verticis instructo; in cujus orientali angulo quasi quoddam naturale semiantrum est, cujus exterior pars nativitatis Dominicæ fuisse dicitur locus; interior ‘Præsepe Domini’ nominatur. Hæc spelunca tota interius pretioso marmore tecta supra locum, ubi Dominus natus specialius traditur, sanctæ Mariæ grandem gestat ecclesiam.” Scripsit item hoc modo de loco Passionis ac Resurrectionis illius; “Ingressis a septentrionali parte urbem Hierosolymam, primum de locis sanctis pro conditione platearum divertendum est ad ecclesiam Constantinianam, quæ Martyrium appellatur. Hanc Constantinus imperator, eo quod ibi crux Domini ab Helena ejus matre reperta sit, magnifico et regio cultu construxit. Dehinc ab occasu Golgothana videtur ecclesia, in qua etiam rupis apparet illa, quæ quondam ipsam affixo Domini corpore crucem pertulit, argenteam modo pergrandem sustinens crucem, pendente magna desuper ærea rota cum lampadibus. Infra ipsum vero locum Dominicæ crucis, excisa in petra crypta est, in qua super altare pro defunctis honoratis sacrificium solet offerri, positis interim in platea corporibus. Hujus quoque ad occasum ecclesiæ, Anastasis, hoc est, resurrectionis Dominicæ rotunda ecclesia, tribus cincta parietibus, duodecim columnis sustentatur; inter parietes singulos latum habens spatium viæ, quæ tria altaria in tribus locis parietis medii continet, hoc est, australi, aquilonali, et occidentali. Hæc bis quaternas portas, id est in introitus, per tres e regione parietes habet, e quibus quatuor ad vulturnum et quatuor ad eurum spectant. Hujus in medio monumentum Domini rotundum in petra excisum est, cujus culmen intrinsecus stans homo manu contingere potest, ab oriente habens introitum, cui lapis ille magnus appositus est, quod intrinsecus ferramentorum vestigia usque in præsens ostendit; nam extrinsecus usque ad culminis summitatem totum marmore tectum est. Summum vero culmen auro ornatum auream magnam gestat crucem. In hujus ergo monumenti aquilonali parte sepulcrum Domini in eadem petra excisum, longitudinis septem pedum, trium mensura palmarum pavimento altius eminet; introitum habens a latere meridiano, ubi die noctuque duodecim lampades ardent, quatuor intra sepulcrum, octo supra in margine dextro. Lapis, qui ad ostium monumenti positus erat, nunc fissus est; cujus pars minor quadratum altare ante ostium nihilominus ejusdem monumenti stat; major vero pars in orientali ejusdem ecclesiæ loco quadrangulum aliud altare sub linteaminibus exstat. Color autem ejusdem monumenti et sepulcri albo et rubicundo permixtus esse videtur.”
QUÆ ITEM DE LOCO ASCENSIONIS DOMINICÆ, ET SEPULCRIS PATRIARCHARUM.
DE loco quoque Dominicæ ascensionis præfatus auctor hoc modo refert. “Mons Olivarum altitudine monti Sion par est, sed latitudine et longitudine præstat, exceptis vitibus et olivis, raræ ferax arboris, frumenti quoque et hordei fertilis. Neque enim brucosa, sed herbosa et florida, soli illius est qualitas; in cujus summo vertice, ubi Dominus ad cœlos ascendit, ecclesia rotunda grandis ternas per circuitum cameratas habet porticus desuper tectas. Interior namque domus propter Dominici corporis meatum camerari et tegi non potuit; altare ad orientem habens angusto culmine protectum, in cujus medio ultima Domini vestigia, cœlo desuper patente, ubi ascendit, visuntur. Quæ cum quotidie a credentibus terra tollatur, nihilominus manet, candemque adhuc speciem veluti impressis signata vestigiis servat. Hæc circa ærea rota jacet, usque ad cervicem alta, ab occasu habens introitum, pendente desuper in trochleis magna lampade tota die et nocte lucente. In occidentali ejusdem ecclesiæ parte sunt fenestræ octo, totidemque e regione lampades in funibus pendentes usque Hierosolymam per vitrum fulgent; quarum lux corda intuentium cum quadam alacritate et compunctione pavefacere dicitur. In die ascensionis Dominicæ per annos singulos, missa peracta, validi flaminis procella desursum venire consuevit, et omnes, qui in ecclesia affuerint, terræ prosternere.”
De situ etiam Hebron et monumentis Patrum ita scribit; “Hebron quondam civitas et metropolis regni David, nunc ruinis tantum quid tunc fuerit ostendens. Uno ad orientem stadio speluncam duplicem in valle habet, ubi sepulcra patriarcharum quadrato muro circumdantur, capitibus versis ad aquilonem; et hæc singula singulis tecta lapidibus instar basilicæ dolatis; trium patriarcharum candidis, Adam obscurioris et vilioris operis, qui haud longe ab illis ad borealem extremamque muri illius partem pausat. Trium quoque feminarum viliores et minores memoriæ cernuntur. Mamre etiam collis mille passibus est a monumentis his ad boream, herbosus valde et floridus, campestrem habens in vertice planitiem; in cujus aquilonali parte quercus Abrahæ, duorum hominum altitudinis truncus, ecclesia circumdata est.”
Hæc de opusculis excerpta præfati scriptoris, ad sensum quidem verborum illius, sed brevioribus strictisque comprehensa sermonibus, nostris ad utilitatem legentium Historiis indere placuit. Plura voluminis illius, si quem scire delectat, vel in ipso illo volumine, vel in eo, quod de illo dudum strictim excerpsimus, epitomate requirat.
UT AUSTRALES SAXONES EPISCOPOS ACCEPERINT EADBERTUM ET EOLLAM, OCCIDENTALES DANIELEM ET ALDHELMUM; ET DE SCRIPTIS EJUSDEM ALDHELMI.
ANNO Dominicæ incarnationis septingentesimo quinto, Alfridus rex Northanhumbrorum defunctus est anno regni sui vicesimo necdum impleto; cui succedens in imperium filius suus Osredus, puer octo circiter annorum, regnavit annis undecim. Hujus regni principio antistes Occidentalium Saxonum Heddi cœlestem migravit ad vitam; bonus quippe erat vir ac justus et episcopalem vitam, sive doctrinam, magis insito sibi virtutum amore, quam lectionibus, institutus exercebat. Denique, reverendissimus antistes Pechthelmus, de quo in sequentibus suo loco dicendum est, qui cum successore ejus Aldhelmo multo tempore adhuc diaconus sive monachus fuit, referre est solitus, quod in loco, quo defunctus est, ob meritum sanctitatis ejus multa sanitatum sint patrata miracula, hominesque provinciæ illius solitos ablatum inde pulverem propter languentes in aquam mittere, atque hujus gustum, sive aspersionem, multis sanitatem ægrotis et hominibus et pecoribus conferre; propter quod frequenti ablatione pulveris sacri fossa sit ibidem facta non minima.
Quo defuncto, episcopatus provinciæ illius in duas parochias divisus est; una data Danieli, quam usque hodie regit, altera Aldhelmo, cui annis quatuor strenuissime præfuit; ambo et in rebus ecclesiasticis, et in scientia Scripturarum, sufficienter instructi. Denique, Aldhelmus, cum adhuc esset presbyter et abbas monasterii, quod Maildufi Urbem nominant, scripsit, jubente synodo suæ gentis, librum egregium adversus errorem Britonum, quo vel Pascha non suo tempore celebrant, vel alia perplura ecclesiasticæ castitati et paci contraria gerunt, multosque eorum, qui Occidentalibus Saxonibus subditi erant Britones, ad catholicam Dominici Paschæ celebrationem hujus lectione perduxit. Scripsit et De Virginitate librum eximium, quem in exemplum Sedulii geminato opere, et versibus hexametris et prosa, composuit. Scripsit et alia nonnulla, utpote vir undecunque doctissimus: nam et sermone nitidus et Scripturarum, ut dixi, tam liberalium quam ecclesiasticarum, erat eruditione mirandus. Quo defuncto, pontificatum pro eo suscepit Forthere, qui usque hodie superest; vir et ipse in Scripturis sanctis multum eruditus.
Quibus episcopatum administrantibus, statutum est synodali decreto, ut provincia Australium Saxonum, quæ eatenus ad civitatis Ventanæ, cui tunc Daniel præerat, parochiam pertinebat, et ipsa sedem episcopalem ac proprium haberet episcopum; consecratusque est eis primus antistes Eadbertus, qui erat abbas monasterii beatæ memoriæ, Wilfridi episcopi, quod dicitur Seleseu; quo defuncto, Eolla suscepit officium pontificatus. Ipso autem ante aliquot annos ex hac luce subtracto, episcopatus usque hodie cessavit.
UT COINREDUS MERCIORUM ET OFFA ORIENTALIUM SAXONUM REX IN MONACHICO HABITU ROMÆ VITAM FINIERINT; ET DE VITA VEL OBITU WILFRIDI EPISCOPI.
ANNO autem imperii Osredi quarto, Coinredus, qui regno Merciorum nobilissime tempore aliquanto præfuerat, nobilius multo regni sceptra reliquit. Nam venit Romam, ibique attonsus, pontificatum habente Constantino, ac monachus factus, ad limina apostolorum, in precibus, jejuniis et eleemosynis, usque ad diem permansit ultimum; succedente in regnum Ceolredo filio Ethelredi, qui ante ipsum Coinredum idem regnum tenebat. Venit autem cum illo et filius Sighere regis Orientalium Saxonum, cujus supra meminimus, vocabulo Offa, juvenis amantissimæ ætatis et venustatis, totæque suæ genti ad tenenda servandaque regni sceptra exoptatissimus. Qui pari ductus devotione mentis reliquit uxorem, agros, cognatos et patriam, propter Christum et propter Evangelium, ut in hac vita centuplum acciperet, et in seculo venturo vitam æternam. Et ipse ergo, ubi ad loca sancta Romam pervenerunt, attonsus, et in monachico vitam habitu complens, ad visionem beatorum apostolorum in cœlis diu desideratam pervenit.
Eodem sane anno, quo hi Britanniam reliquere, antistes eximius Wilfridus, post quadraginta et quinque annos accepti episcopatus, diem clausit extremum in provincia, quæ vocatur Inundalum; corpusque ejus loculo inditum perlatum est in monasterium ipsius, quod dicitur Inrhypum, et juxta honorem tanto pontifici congruum, in ecclesia beati apostoli Petri sepultum. De cujus statu vitæ, ut ad priora repedantes, paucis, quæ sunt gesta, memoremus. Cum esset puer bonæ indolis, atque vitam in probis moribus transigens, ita se modeste et circumspecte in omnibus gerebat, ut merito a majoribus quasi unus ex ipsis amaretur, et veneraretur. Ubi quartum decimum ætatis contigit annum, monasticam seculari vitam prætulit: quod ubi patri suo narravit, jam enim mater obierat, libenter ejus votis ac desideriis cœlestibus annuit, eumque cœptis insistere salutaribus jussit. Venit ergo ad insulam Lindisfarnensem, ibique monachorum famulatui se contradens diligenter ea, quæ monasticæ castitatis ac pietatis erant, et discere curabat et agere. Et quia acris erat ingenii, didicit citissime psalmos et aliquot codices; necdum quidem attonsus, verum eis, quæ tonsura majores sunt, virtutibus, id est humilitatis et obedientiæ, non mediocriter insignitus; propter quod et a senioribus et coætaneis suis justo colebatur affectu. In quo, videlicet, monasterio cum aliquot annos Deo serviret, animadvertit paulatim adolescens animi sagacis minime perfectam esse virtutis viam, quæ tradebatur a Scotis, proposuitque animo venire Romam, et qui ad sedem apostolicam ritus ecclesiastici sive monasteriales servarentur videre. Quod cum fratribus referret, laudaverunt ejus propositum, eumque id, quod mente disposuerat, perficere suadebant. At ille confestim veniens ad reginam Eanfledam, quia notus erat ei, ejusque consilio et suffragiis præfato fuerat monasterio sociatus, indicavit ei desiderium sibi inesse beatorum apostolorum limina visitandi; quæ delectata bono adolescentis proposito misit eum Cantiam ad regem Erconbertum, qui erat filius avunculi sui, postulans, ut eum honorifice Romam transmitteret. Quo tempore ibi gradum archiepiscopi Honorius, unus ex discipulis beati papæ Gregorii, vir in rebus ecclesiasticis sublimiter institutus, servabat. Ubi cum aliquandiu demoratus adolescens animi vivacis diligenter his, quæ inspiciebat, discendis operam daret, supervenit illo alius adolescens, nomine Biscop, cognomento Benedictus, de nobilibus Anglorum, cupiens et ipse Romam venire; cujus supra meminimus.
Hujus ergo comitatui rex sociavit Wilfridum, atque illum secum Romam perducere, jussit. Qui cum Lugdunum pervenissent, Wilfridus a Dalfino civitatis episcopo ibi retentus est, Benedictus cœptum iter gnaviter Romam usque complevit. Delectabatur enim antistes prudentia verborum juvenis, gratia venusti vultus, alacritate actionis, et constantia ac maturitate cogitationis; unde et omnia, quæ necesse habebat, abundanter ipsi cum sociis suis, quamdiu secum erant, donabat: et insuper offerebat, ut si vellet, partem Galliarum non minimam illi regendam committeret, ac filiam fratris sui virginem illi conjugem daret, eumque ipse loco adoptivi semper haberet. At ille gratias agens pietati, quam erga eum, cum esset peregrinus, habere dignaretur, respondit propositum se magis alterius conversationis habere, atque ideo, patria relicta, Romam iter agere cœpisse.
Quibus auditis, antistes misit eum Romam, dato duce itineris et cunctis simul, quæ necessitas poscebat itineris, largiter subministratis; obsecrans sedulo, ut cum patriam reverteretur, per se iter facere meminisset. Veniens vero Wilfridus Romam, et orationibus ac meditationi rerum ecclesiasticarum, ut animo proposuerat, quotidiana mancipatus instantia, pervenit ad amicitiam viri doctissimi ac sanctissimi, Bonifacii, videlicet, archidiaconi, qui etiam consiliarius erat apostolici papæ; cujus magisterio quatuor Evangeliorum libros ex ordine didicit, computum Paschæ rationabilem et alia multa, quæ in patria nequiverat, ecclesiasticis disciplinis accommoda, eodem magistro tradente, percepit; et cum menses aliquot ibi studiis occupatus felicibus exegisset, rediit ad Dalfinum in Galliam, et tres annos apud eum commoratus attonsus est ab eo, et in tanto habitus amore, ut heredem sibi illum facere cogitaret. Sed ne hoc fieri posset, antistes crudeli morte præreptus est, et Wilfridus ad suæ potius, hoc est, Anglorum, gentis episcopatum reservatus. Namque Baldhilda regina, missis militibus, episcopum jussit interfici; quem ad locum quidem quo decollandus erat secutus est Wilfridus clericus illius, desiderans cum eo, tametsi ipso multum prohibente, pariter occumbere. Sed hunc ubi peregrinum atque oriundum de natione Anglorum cognovere carnifices, pepercere illi, neque eum trucidare cum suo voluere pontifice.
At ille Britanniam veniens conjunctus est amicitiis Alfridi regis, qui catholicas ecclesiæ regulas sequi semper et amare didicerat. Unde et ille, quia catholicum eum esse comperit, mox donavit terram decem familiarum in loco, qui dicitur Stanford, et non multo post monasterium triginta familiarum in loco, qui vocatur Inhrypum; quem, videlicet, locum dederat pridem ad construendum inibi monasterium his, qui Scotos sequebantur. Verum quia illi postmodum, optione data, maluerunt loco cedere, quam Pascha catholicum ceterosque ritus canonicos juxta Romanæ et apostolicæ ecclesiæ consuetudinem recipere, dedit hoc illi, quem melioribus imbutum disciplinis ac moribus vidit.
Quo in tempore, ad jussionem præfati regis, presbyter ordinatus est in eodem monasterio ab Agilberto episcopo Gewissarum, cujus supra meminimus, desiderante rege, ut vir tantæ eruditionis ac religionis sibi specialiter individuo comitatu sacerdos esset ac doctor. Quem non multo post (detecta et eliminata, ut et supra docuimus, Scotorum secta,) Galliam mittens, cum consilio atque consensu patris sui Oswii, episcopum sibi rogavit ordinari, cum esset annorum circiter triginta, eodem Agilberto tunc episcopatum agente Parisiacæ civitatis; cum quo et alii undecim episcopi ad dedicationem antistitis convenientes multum honorifice ministerium impleverunt. Quo adhuc in transmarinis partibus demorante, consecratus est in episcopatum Eboraci, jubente rege Oswio, Ceadda vir sanctus, ut supra memoratum est, et tribus annis ecclesiam sublimiter regens dehinc ad monasterii sui, quod est in Lestingau, curam secessit, accipiente Wilfrido episcopatum totius Northanhumbrorum provinciæ.
Qui deinde, regnante Egfrido, pulsus est episcopatu, et alii pro illo consecrati antistites, quorum supra meminimus; Romamque iturus et coram apostolico papa causam dicturus, ubi navem conscendit, flante Favonio, pulsus est Fresiam, et honorifice susceptus a barbaris ac rege illorum Aldgilso, prædicabat eis Christum, et multa eorum millia verbo veritatis instituens a peccatorum suorum sordibus fonte Salvatoris abluit; et quod postmodum Wilbrordus reverendissimus Christi pontifex in magna devotione complevit, ipse primus ibi opus evangelicum cœpit. Ibi ergo hiemem cum nova Dei plebe feliciter exigens sic Romam veniendi iter repetiit; et ubi causa ejus ventilata est, præsente Agathone papa et pluribus episcopis, universorum judicio absque crimine accusatus fuisse et episcopatu esse dignus inventus est.
Quo in tempore idem papa Agatho, cum synodum congregaret Romæ centum viginti quinque episcoporum adversus eos, qui unam in Domino Salvatore voluntatem atque operationem dogmatizabant, vocari jussit et Wilfridum, atque inter episcopos considentem dicere fidem suam simul et provinciæ sive insulæ, de qua venerat; cumque catholicus fide cum suis esset inventus, placuit hoc inter cetera ejusdem synodi gestis inseri, scriptumque est hoc modo: “Wilfridus Deo amabilis episcopus Eboracensis civitatis apostolicam sedem de sua causa appellans, et ab hac potestate de certis incertisque rebus absolutus, et cum aliis centum viginti quinque episcopis in synodo in judicii sede constitutus, et pro omni aquilonali parte, Britanniæ et Hiberniæ insulis, quæ ab Anglorum et Britonum, necnon Scotorum et Pictorum, gentibus incoluntur, veram et catholicam fidem confessus est, et cum subscriptione sua corroboravit.”
Post hæc reversus Britanniam provinciam Australium Saxonum ab idololatriæ ritibus ad Christi fidem convertit. Vectæ quoque insulæ Verbi ministros destinavit; et secundo anno Alfridi, qui post Egfridum regnavit, sedem suam et episcopatum, ipso rege invitante, recepit. Sed post quinque annos denuo accusatus ab eodem ipso rege et plurimis episcopis præsulatu pulsus est; veniensque Romam, cum, præsentibus accusatoribus, acciperet locum se defendendi, considentibus episcopis pluribus cum apostolico papa Joanne, omnium judicio probatum est accusatores ejus nonnulla in parte falsas contra eum machinasse calumnias, scriptumque a præfato papa regibus Anglorum Ethelredo et Alfrido, ut eum in episcopatum suum, eo quod injuste fuerit condemnatus, facerent recipi.
Juvit autem causam absolutionis ejus lectio synodi beatæ memoriæ papæ Agathonis, quæ quondam, ipso præsente in urbe atque in eodem concilio inter episcopos residente, ut prædiximus, acta est. Cum ergo, causa exigente, synodus eadem coram nobilibus et frequentia populi, jubente apostolico papa, diebus aliquot legeretur, ventum est ad locum, ubi scriptum erat, “Wilfridus, Deo amabilis, episcopus Eboracensis civitatis, apostolicam sedem de sua causa appellans, et ab hac potestate de certis incertisque rebus absolutus,” et cetera, quæ supra posuimus. Quod ubi lectum est, stupor apprehendit audientes; et, silente lectore, cœperunt alterutrum requirere, quis esset ille Wilfridus episcopus? Tunc Bonifacius consiliarius apostolici papæ et alii perplures, qui eum temporibus Agathonis papæ ibi viderant, dicebant ipsum esse episcopum, qui nuper Roman accusatus a suis atque ab apostolica sede judicandus advenerat, “qui jamdudum,” inquiunt, “æque accusatus huc adveniens, mox audita ac dijudicata causa et controversia utriusque partis, a beatæ memoriæ papa Agathone probatus est contra fas a suo episcopatu repulsus; et tanto apud eum habitus est honore ut ipsum in concilio, quod congregarat, episcoporum, quasi virum incorruptæ fidei et animi probi residere præciperet.” Quibus auditis, dicebant omnes una cum ipso pontifice, virum tantæ auctoritatis, qui per quadraginta prope annos episcopatu fungebatur, nequaquam damnari debere, sed ad integrum culpis accusationum absolutum patriam cum honore reverti.
Qui cum Britanniam remeans in Galliarum partes devenisset, tactus est infirmitate repentina, et, ea crescente, adeo pressus, ut neque equo vehi posset, sed manibus ministrorum portaretur in grabato. Sic delatus in Meldum civitatem Galliæ, quatuor diebus ac noctibus quasi mortuus jacebat, halitu tantum pertenui quia viveret demonstrans. Cumque ita sine cibo et potu, sine voce et auditu, quatriduo perseveraret, quinta demum illucescente die, quasi de gravi experrectus somno exurgens resedit; apertisque oculis, vidit circa se choros psallentium simul et flentium fratrum; ac modicum suspirans interrogavit, ubi esset Acca presbyter, qui statim vocatus intravit et videns eum melius habentem ac loqui jam valentem, flexis genibus gratias egit Deo cum omnibus, qui aderant, fratribus. Et cum parum consedissent ac de supernis judiciis trepidi aliquantum confabulari cœpissent, jussit pontifex ceteros ad horam egredi, et ad Accam presbyterum ita loqui exorsus est.
“Visio mihi modo tremenda apparuit, quam te audire ac silentio tegere volo, donec sciam quid de me fieri velit Deus. Astitit enim mihi quidam candido præclarus habitu, dicens se Michaëlem esse archangelum; et ‘ob hoc,’ inquit, ‘missus sum, ut te a morte revocem; donavit enim tibi Dominus vitam per orationes ac lacrimas discipulorum ac fratrum tuorum, et per intercessionem beatæ suæ genitricis semperque virginis Mariæ. Quapropter dico tibi, quia modo quidem ab infirmitate hac sanaberis, sed paratus esto, quia post quadriennium revertens visitabo te; patriam vero perveniens maximam possessionum tuarum, quæ tibi ablatæ sunt, portionem recipies, atque in pace tranquilla vitam terminabis.’ ” Convaluit igitur episcopus, cunctis gaudentibus ac Deo gratias agentibus, cœptoque itinere Britanniam venit.
Lectis autem epistolis, quas ab apostolico papa advexerat, Bertwaldus archiepiscopus, et Ethelredus quondam rex, tunc autem abbas, libentissime faverunt; qui, videlicet, Ethelredus accitum ad se Coinredum, quem pro se regem fecerat, amicum episcopo fieri petiit et impetravit. Sed Alfridus Northanhumbrorum rex eum suscipere contempsit, nec longo tempore superfuit; unde factum est ut, regnante Osredo filio ejus, mox synodo facta juxta fluvium Nidd, post aliquantum utriusque partis conflictum, tandem, cunctis faventibus, in præsulatum sit suæ receptus ecclesiæ. Sicque quatuor annis, id est, usque ad diem obitus sui, vitam duxit in pace. Defunctus est autem [quarta Idus Octobris] in monasterio suo, quod habebat in provincia Undalum sub regimine Cuthbaldi abbatis; et ministerio fratrum perlatus in primum suum monasterium, quod vocatur Inhrypum, positus est in ecclesia beati apostoli Petri, juxta altare ad austrum, ut et supra docuimus; et hoc de illo supra epitaphium scriptum:
- Wilfridus hic magnus requiescit corpore præsul,
- Hanc Domino qui aulam ductus pietatis amore
- Fecit, et eximio sacravit nomine Petri,
- Cui claves cœli Christus dedit arbiter orbis;
- Atque auro ac Tyrio devotus vestiit ostro.
- Quin etiam sublime crucis, radiante metallo,
- Hic posuit tropæum, necnon et quatuor auro
- Scribi Evangelii præcepit in ordine libros,
- Ac thecam e rutilo his condignam condidit auro;
- Paschalis qui etiam solennia tempora cursus
- Catholici ad justum correxit dogma canonis,
- Quem statuere patres; dubioque errore remoto,
- Certa suæ genti ostendit moderamina ritus.
- Inque locis istis monachorum examina crebra
- Colligit, ac monitis cavit quæ regula patrum
- Sedulus instituit; multisque domique forisque
- Jactatus nimium per tempora longa periclis,
- Quindecies ternos postquam egit episcopus annos
- Transiit, et gaudens cœlestia regna petivit.
- Dona, Jesu, ut grex pastoris calle sequatur.
UT RELIGIOSO ABBATI HADRIANO ALBINUS, WILFRIDO IN EPISCOPATUM ACCA, SUCCESSERIT.
ANNO post obitum præfati patris proximo, id est, quinto Osredi regis, reverendissimus pater Hadrianus abbas, cooperator in verbo Dei Theodori beatæ memoriæ episcopi, defunctus est, et in monasterio suo in ecclesia beatæ Dei genitricis sepultus; qui est annus quadragesimus primus ex quo a Vitaliano papa directus est cum Theodoro, ex quo autem Britanniam venit tricesimus nonus. Cujus doctrinæ simul et Theodori inter alia testimonium perhibet, quod Albinus discipulus ejus, qui monasterio ipsius in regimine successit, in tantum studiis Scripturarum institutus est, ut Græcam quidem linguam non parva ex parte, Latinam vero non minus quam Anglorum, quæ sibi naturalis est, noverit.
Suscepit vero pro Wilfrido episcopatum Hagulstadensis ecclesiæ Acca presbyter ejus, vir et ipse strenuissimus et coram Deo et hominibus magnificus; qui et ipsius ecclesiæ suæ, quæ in beati Andreæ apostoli honorem consecrata est, ædificium multifario decore ac mirificis ampliavit operibus. Dedit namque operam, quod et hodie facit, ut acquisitis undecunque reliquiis beatorum apostolorum et martyrum Christi, in venerationem illorum poneret altaria, distinctis porticibus in hoc ipsum intra muros ejusdem ecclesiæ, sed et historias passionum eorum, una cum ceteris ecclesiasticis voluminibus, summa industria congregans, amplissimam ibi ac nobilissimam bibliothecam fecit, necnon et vasa sancta et luminaria aliaque hujusmodi, quæ ad ornatum domus Dei pertinent, studiosissime paravit. Cantatorem quoque egregium, vocabulo Maban, qui a successoribus discipulorum beati papæ Gregorii in Cantia fuerat cantandi sonos edoctus, ad se suosque instituendos accersiit ac per annos duodecim tenuit; quatenus et ea, quæ illi non noverant, carmina ecclesiastica doceret; et ea, quæ quondam cognita longo usu vel negligentia inveterare cœperant, hujus doctrina priscum renovarentur in statum. Nam et ipse episcopus Acca cantator erat peritissimus, quomodo etiam in literis sanctis doctissimus et in catholicæ fidei confessione castissimus, in ecclesiasticæ quoque institutionis regulis solertissimus exstiterat; et usquedum præmia piæ devotionis acciperet, exsistere non destitit: utpote, qui a pueritia in clero sanctissimi ac Deo dilecti Bosæ, Eboracensis episcopi, nutritus atque eruditus est, deinde ad Wilfridum episcopum spe melioris propositi adveniens omnem in ejus obsequio usque ad obitum illius explevit ætatem; cum quo etiam Romam veniens multa illic, quæ in patria nequiverat, ecclesiæ sanctæ institutis utilia didicit.
UT CEOLFRIDUS ABBAS REGI PICTORUM ARCHITECTOS ECCLESIÆ, SIMUL ET EPISTOLAM DE CATHOLICO PASCHA, VEL DE TONSURA, MISERIT.
EO tempore Naitanus rex Pictorum, qui septentrionales Britanniæ plagas inhabitant, admonitus ecclesiasticarum frequenti meditatione Scripturarum, abrenunciavit errori. quo eatenus in observatione Paschæ cum sua gente tenebatur; et se suosque omnes ad catholicum Dominicæ resurrectionis tempus celebrandum perduxit. Quod ut facilius et majori auctoritate perficeret, quæsivit auxilium de gente Anglorum, quos jamdudum ad exemplum sanctæ Romanæ et apostolicæ ecclesiæ suam religionem instituisse cognovit. Siquidem misit legatarios ad virum venerabilem Ceolfridum, abbatem monasterii beatorum apostolorum Petri et Pauli, quod est ad ostium Wiri amnis, et juxta amnem Tinam, in loco, qui vocatur “In Gyrvum,” cui ipse post Benedictum, de quo supra diximus, gloriosissime præfuit; postulans, ut exhortatorias sibi literas mitteret, quibus potentius confutare posset eos, qui Pascha non suo tempore observare præsumerent; simul et de tonsuræ modo vel ratione, qua clericos insigniri deceret; excepto, quod etiam ipse in his non parva ex parte esset imbutus. Sed et architectos sibi mitti petiit, qui juxta morem Romanorum ecclesiam de lapide in gente ipsius facerent, promittens hanc in honorem beati apostolorum principis dedicandam; se quoque ipsum cum suis omnibus morem sanctæ Romanæ et apostolicæ ecclesiæ semper imitaturum, in quantum duntaxat tam longe a Romanorum loquela et natione segregati hunc ediscere potuissent. Cujus religiosis votis ac precibus favens reverendissimus abbas Ceolfridus misit architectos, quos petebatur, misit illi et literas scriptas in hunc modum:
“Domino excellentissimo et gloriosissimo regi Naitano, Ceolfridus abbas, in Domino salutem.
“Catholicam sancti Paschæ observantiam, quam a nobis, rex Deo devote, religioso studio quæsisti, promptissime ac libentissime tuo desiderio, juxta quod ab apostolica sede didicimus, patefacere satagimus. Scimus namque cœlitus sanctæ ecclesiæ donatum, quoties ipsi rerum Domini discendæ, docendæ, custodiendæ, veritati operam impendunt. Nam et vere omnino dixit quidam secularium scriptorum, quod felicissimo mundi statu ageretur, si vel reges philosopharentur, vel regnarent philosophi. Quod si de philosophia hujus mundi vere intelligere, de statu hujus mundi merito diligere potuit homo hujus mundi; quanto magis civibus patriæ cœlestis in hoc mundo peregrinantibus optandum est et totis animi viribus supplicandum, ut quo plus in mundo quique valent, eo amplius ejus, qui super omnia est, Judicis mandatis auscultare contendant, atque ad hæc observanda secum eos quoque, qui sibi commissi sunt, exemplis simul et auctoritate instituant?
“Tres sunt ergo regulæ sacris inditæ literis, quibus Paschæ celebrandi tempus nobis præfinitum, nulla prorsus humana licet auctoritate mutari; e quibus duæ in lege Moysi divinitus statutæ, tertia in Evangelio per effectum Dominicæ passionis et resurrectionis adjuncta est. Præcepit enim Lex, ut Pascha primo mense anni, et tertia ejusdem mensis septimana, id est, a quinta decima die usque ad vicesimam primam, fieri deberet; additum est per institutionem apostolicam ex Evangelio, ut in ipsa tertia septimana diem Dominicam exspectare, atque in ea temporis Paschalis initium tenere, debeamus. Quam, videlicet, regulam triformem quisquis rite custodierit, nunquam in annotatione festi Paschalis errabit. Verum si de his singulis enucleatius ac latius audire desideras, scriptum est in Exodo, ubi liberandus de Ægypto populus Israel primum Pascha facere jubetur, quia dixerit Dominus ad Moysen et Aaron, [Ex. vii. 2, 3, 6,] Mensis iste vobis principium mensium, primus erit in mensibus anni. Loquimini ad universum cœtum filiorum Israel, et dicite eis, Decima die mensis hujus tollat unusquisque agnum per familias et domos suas. Et paulo post, Et servabitis eum usque ad quartamdecimam diem mensis hujus; immolabitque eum universa multitudo filiorum Israel ad vesperam. Quibus verbis manifestissime constat, quod ita in observatione Paschali mentio fit diei quartædecimæ, ut non tamen in ipsa die quartadecima Pascha fieri præcipiatur; sed adveniente tandem vespera dici quartædecimæ, id est, quintadecima luna, quæ initium tertiæ septimanæ faciat, in cœli faciem prodeunte, agnus immolari jubeatur; et quod ipsa sit nox quintædecimæ lunæ, in qua, percussis Ægyptiis, Israel est a longa servitute redemptus. Septem, inquit, [Ex. xii. 15,] diebus azyma comedetis. Quibus item verbis tota tertia septimana ejusdem primi mensis decernitur solennis esse debere. Sed ne putaremus easdem septem dies a quartadecima usque ad vicesimam esse computandas, continuo subjecit, [Ex. xii. 15,] In die primo non erit fermentum in domibus vestris; quicunque comederit fermentum a die primo usque ad diem septimum, peribit anima illa de Israel, et cetera, usquedum ait, [Ex. xii. 17,] In eadem enim ipsa die educam exercitum vestrum de terra Ægypti.
“Primum ergo diem azymorum appellat eum, in quo exercitum eorum esset educturus de Ægypto. Constat autem quia non quartadecima die, in cujus vespera agnus est immolatus, et quæ propriæ Pascha sive phase dicitur; sed quintadecima sunt educti ex Ægypto, sicut in libro Numerorum apertissime scribitur. Profecti igitur de Ramesse quintadecima die mensis primi, altera die fecerunt phase filii Israel in manu excelsa. Septem ergo dies azymorum, in quarum prima eductus est populus Domini ex Ægypto, ab initio, ut diximus, tertiæ septimanæ, hoc est, a quintadecima die mensis primi, usque ad vicesimam primam ejusdem mensis diem completam computari oportet. Porro, dies quartadecima extra hunc numerum separatim sub Paschæ titulo prænotatur, sicut Exodi sequentia patenter edocent; ubi cum dictum esset, [Ex. xii. 17, 18, 19,] In eadem enim ipsa die educam exercitum vestrum de terra Ægypti; protinus adjunctum est, Et custodietis diem istum in generationes vestras ritu perpetuo. Primo mense, quartadecima die mensis comedetis azyma usque ad diem vicesimam primam ejusdem mensis ad vesperam. Septem diebus fermentatum non invenietur in domibus vestris. Quis enim non videat, a quartadecima usque ad vicesimam primam, non septem solummodo, sed octo potius esse dies, si et ipsa quartadecima annumeretur? Sin autem, ut diligentius explorata Scripturæ veritas docet, a vespera diei quartædecimæ usque ad vesperam vicesimæ primæ computaverimus, videbimus profecto quod ita dies quartadecima vesperam suam in festi Paschalis initium prorogat, ut non amplius tota sacra solennitas quam septem tantummodo noctes cum totidem diebus comprehendat; unde et vera esse probatur nostra definitio, qua tempus Paschale primo mense anni, et tertia ejus hebdomada, celebrandum esse diximus. Veraciter enim tertia agitur hebdomada, quod a vespera quartædecimæ diei incipit, et in vespera vicesimæ primæ completur.
“Postquam vero Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus, diemque nobis Dominicam, quæ apud antiquos Una vel Prima Sabbati, sive Sabbatorum, vocatur, gaudio suæ resurrectionis fecit esse solennem; ita hanc apostolica traditio festis Paschalibus inseruit, ut nil omnino de tempore Paschæ legalis præoccupandum, nihil minuendum, esse decerneret. Quin potius statuit, ut exspectaretur juxta præceptum Legis idem primus anni mensis, exspectaretur quartadecima dies illius, exspectaretur vespera ejusdem. Et cum hæc dies in Sabbatum forte inciderit, tolleret unusquisque agnum per familias et domos suas, et immolaret eum ad vesperam, id est, præpararent omnes ecclesiæ per orbem, quæ unam catholicam faciunt, panem et vinum in mysterium carnis et sanguinis Agni immaculati, qui abstulit peccata mundi; et præcedente congrua lectionum, orationum, cæremoniarum Paschalium, solennitate, offerrent hæc Domino in spem futuræ suæ redemptionis. Ipsa est enim eadem nox, in qua de Ægypto per sanguinem agni Israelitica plebs erepta est; ipsa est, in qua per resurrectionem Christi liberatus est a morte æterna populus omnis Dei. Mane autem illucescente die Dominica, primam Paschalis festi diem celebrarent. Ipsa est enim dies, in qua resurrectionis suæ gloriam Dominus multifario piæ revelationis gaudio discipulis patefecit. Ipsa prima dies azymorum, de qua multum distincte in Levitico scriptum est, [xxiii. 5,] Mense primo, quartadecima die mensis, ad vesperam, phase Domini est, et quintadecima die mensis hujus solennitas azymorum Domini est. Septem diebus azyma comedetis. Dies primus erit celeberrimus sanctusque.
“Si ergo fieri posset, ut semper in diem quintumdecimum primi mensis, id est, in lunam quintamdecimam, Dominica dies incurreret, uno semper eodemque tempore cum antiquo Dei populo, quanquam sacramentorum genere discreto, sicut una eademque fide, Pascha celebrare possemus. Quia vero dies septimanæ non æquali cum luna tramite procurrit, decrevit apostolica traditio, quæ per beatum Petrum Romæ prædicata, per Marcum evangelistam et interpretem ipsius Alexandriæ confirmata est, ut adveniente primo mense, adveniente in eo vespera diei quartædecimæ, exspectetur etiam dies Dominica, a quintadecima usque ad vicesimam primam diem ejusdem mensis. In quacunque enim harum inventa fuerit, merito in ea Pascha celebrabitur; quia, nimirum, hæc ad numerum pertinet illarum septem dierum, quibus azyma celebrari jubetur. Itaque fit, ut nunquam Pascha nostrum a septimana mensis primi tertia in utramvis partem declinet; sed vel totam eam, id est, omnes septem legalium azymorum dies, vel certe aliquos de illis, teneat. Nam etsi saltem unum ex eis, hoc est, ipsum septimum apprehenderit, quem tam excellenter Scriptura commendat, Dies autem, inquiens, septimus erit celebrior et sanctior, nullumque servile opus fiet in eo; nullus arguere nos poterit, quod non recte Dominicum Paschæ diem, quem de Evangelio suscepimus, in ipsa, quam Lex statuit, tertia primi mensis hebdomada celebremus.
“Cujus observantiæ catholica ratione patefacta, patet e contrario error irrationabilis eorum, qui præfixos in Lege terminos, nulla cogente necessitate, vel anticipare, vel transcendere, præsumunt. Namque sine ratione necessitatis alicujus anticipant illi tempus in Lege præscriptum, qui Dominicum Paschæ diem a quartadecima mensis primi usque ad vicesimam putant lunam esse servandum. Cum enim a vespera diei tertiædecimæ vigilias sanctæ noctis celebrare incipiunt, claret, quod illam in exordio sui Paschæ diem statuunt, cujus nullam omnino mentionem in decreto Legis inveniunt. Et cum vicesima prima die mensis Pascha Dominicum celebrare refugiunt, patet profecto, quod illam per omnia diem a sua solennitate secernunt, quam Lex majore præ ceteris festivitate memorabilem sæpenumero commendat. Sicque diem Paschæ ordine perverso, et aliquando in secunda hebdomada totam compleant, et nunquam in hebdomadæ tertiæ die septimo ponant; rursumque, qui a sextadecima die mensis sæpedicti usque ad vicesimam secundam Pascha celebrandum magis autumant, non minore utique errore, tametsi altero latere a recto veritatis tramite, divertunt, et veluti naufragia Scyllæ fugientes in Charybdis voraginem submergendi decidunt. Nam cum a luna sextadecima primi mensis oriente, id est, a vespera diei quintædecimæ, Pascha incipiendum doceant; nimirum constat, quod quartamdecimam diem mensis ejusdem, quam Lex primitus et præcipue commendat, a sua prorsus solennitate secludunt; ita ut quintædecimæ, in qua populus Dei ab Ægyptiaca servitute redemptus est, et in qua Dominus suo mundum sanguine a peccatorum tenebris liberavit, in qua etiam sepultus spem nobis post mortem beatæ quietis tribuit, vix vesperam tangant.
“Iidemque pœnam erroris sui in semetipsos recipientes, cum in vicesima secunda die mensis Paschæ diem statuunt Dominicum, legitimos utique terminos Paschæ aperta transgressione violant, utpote qui ab illius diei vespera Pascha incipiunt, in qua hoc Lex consummari et perfici debere decrevit. Illam in Pascha diem assignent primam, cujus in Lege mentio nulla usquam reperitur, id est, quartæ primam septimanæ. Qui utrique non solum in definitione et computo lunaris ætatis, sed et in mensis primi nonnunquam inventione, falluntur. Quæ disputatio major est, quam epistola hac vel valeat comprehendi, vel debeat. Tantum hoc dicam, quod per æquinoctium vernale semper inerrabiliter possit inveniri, qui mensis juxta computum lunæ primus anni, qui esse debeat ultimus. Æquinoctium autem, juxta sententiam omnium Orientalium, et maxime Ægyptiorum, qui præ ceteris doctoribus calculandi palmam tenent, duodecimo kalendarum Aprilium die provenire consuevit, ut etiam ipsi horologica inspectione probamus. Quæcunque ergo luna ante æquinoctium plena est, quartadecima videlicet, vel quintadecima, exsistens, hæc ad præcedentis anni novissimum pertinet mensem, ideoque Paschæ celebrando, habilis non est. Quæ vero post æquinoctium, vel in ipso æquinoctio, suum plenilunium habet, in hac absque ulla dubietate, quia primi mensis est, et antiquos Pascha celebrare solitos, et nos, ubi Dominica dies advenerit, celebrare debere noscendum est. Quod ita fieri oportere illa nimirum ratio cogit, quia in Genesi scriptum est, [i. 16,] quod fecit Deus duo luminaria magna; luminare majus, ut præesset diei; et luminare minus, ut præesset nocti: vel, sicut alia dicit editio, luminare majus in inchoationem diei, et luminare minus in inchoationem noctis. Sicut ergo prius sol a medio procedens orientis æquinoctium vernale suo præfixit exortu; deinde luna, sole ad vesperam occidente, et ipsa plena a medio secuta est orientis: ita omnibus annis idem primus lunæ mensis eodem necesse est ordine reservari, ut non ante æquinoctium, sed vel ipso æquinoctii die, sicut in principio factum est, vel eo transcenso, plenilunium habere debeat. At si uno saltem die plenilunium tempus æquinoctii præcesserit, non hanc primo mensi anni incipientis, sed ultimo potius præteriti, lunam esse adscribendam; et ideo festis Paschalibus inhabilem, memorata ratio probat.
“Quod si mysticam quoque vos in his rationem audire delectat, primo mense anni, qui etiam mensis novorum dictus est, Pascha facere jubemur; quia, renovato ad amorem cœlestium spiritu mentis nostræ, sacramenta Dominicæ resurrectionis et ereptionis nostræ celebrare debemus, tertia ejusdem mensis septimana facere præcipimur; quia ante Legem et sub Lege promissus tertio tempore seculi cum gratia venit ipse, qui Pascha nostrum immolaretur, Christus: quia tertia post immolationem suæ passionis die resurgens a mortuis hanc Dominicam vocari, et in ea nos annuatim Paschalia ejusdem resurrectionis voluit festa celebrare: quia nos quoque ita solum veraciter ejus solennia celebramus, si per fidem, spem et caritatem, Pascha, id est, transitum de hoc mundo ad Patrem, cum illo facere curamus. Post æquinoctium veris, plenilunium mensis præcipimur observare Paschalis; ut, videlicet, primo sol longiorem nocte faciat diem, deinde luna plenum suæ lucis orbem mundo præsentet; quia primo quidem sol justitiæ, in cujus pennis est sanitas, id est, Dominus Jesus, per resurrectionis suæ triumphum cunctas mortis tenebras superavit; ac sic ascendens in cœlos, misso desuper Spiritu, ecclesiam suam, quæ sæpe lunæ vocabulo designatur, internæ gratiæ luce replevit. Quem, videlicet, ordinem nostræ salutis propheta contemplatus aiebat, Elevatus est sol, et luna stetit in ordine suo.
“Qui ergo plenitudinem lunæ Paschalis ante æquinoctium provenire posse contenderit, talis in mysteriorum celebratione maximorum a sanctarum quidem Scripturarum doctrina discordat, concordat autem eis, qui sine præveniente gratia Christi se salvari posse confidunt; quia etsi vera lux tenebras mundi moriendo ac resurgendo nunquam vicisset, perfectam se habere posse justitiam dogmatizare præsumunt. Itaque post æquinoctialem solis exortum, post plenilunium primi mensis hunc ex ordine subsequens, id est, post completam diem ejusdem mensis quartamdecimam, quæ cuncta ex Lege observanda accepimus, exspectamus adhuc, monente Evangelio, in ipsa hebdomada tertia tempus diei Dominicæ, et sic demum votiva Paschæ nostri festa celebramus, ut indicemus nos non cum antiquis excussum Ægyptiæ servitutis jugum venerari, sed redemtionem totius mundi, quæ, in antiqui Dei populi liberatione præfigurata, in Christi autem resurrectione completa est, devota fide ac dilectione colere, utque resurrectionis etiam nostræ, quam eadem die Dominica futuram credimus, spe nos certissima gaudere signemus.
“Hic autem, quem vobis sequendum monstramus, computus Paschæ, decennovenali circulo continetur; qui dudum quidem, hoc est, ipsis Apostolorum temporibus, jam servari in ecclesia cœpit, maxime Romæ et Ægypti, ut supra jam diximus. Sed per industriam Eusebii, qui a beato martyre Pamphilo cognomen habet, distinctius in ordinem compositus est; ut quod eatenus per Alexandriæ pontificem singulis annis per omnes ecclesias mandari consueverat, jam deinde congesta in ordinem serie lunæ quartædecimæ facillime posset ab omnibus sciri. Cujus computum Paschalis Theophilus Alexandriæ præsul in centum annorum tempus Theodosio Imperatori composuit. Item, successor ejus Cyrillus seriem nonaginta et quinque annorum in quinque decennovenalibus circulis comprehendit; post quem Dionysius Exiguus totidem alios ex ordine pari schemate subnexuit, qui ad nostra usque tempora pertingebant. Quibus termino appropinquantibus, tanta hodie calculatorum exuberat copia, ut etiam in nostris per Britanniam ecclesiis plures sint, qui, mandatis memoriæ veteribus illis Ægyptiorum argumentis, facillime possint in quotlibet spatia temporum Paschales protendere circulos, etiamsi ad quingentos usque et triginta duos voluerint annos; quibus expletis, omnia, quæ ad solis et lunæ, mensis et septimanæ, consequentiam spectant, eodem, quo prius, ordine recurrunt. Ideo autem circulos eosdem temporum instantium vobis mittere supersedimus, quia de ratione tantum temporis Paschalis instrui quærentes, ipsos vobis circulos Paschæ catholicos abundare probastis.
“Verum his de Pascha succincte, ut petistis, strictimque commemoratis, tonsuram quoque, de qua pariter vobis literas fieri voluistis, hortor, ut ecclesiasticam et Christianæ fidei congruam habere curetis. Et quidem scimus, quia neque Apostoli omnes uno eodemque sunt modo attonsi, neque nunc ecclesia catholica, sicut una fide, spe et caritate, in Deum consentit, ita etiam una atque indissimili totum per orbem tonsuræ sibi forma congruit. Denique, ut superiora, id est, Patriarcharum, tempora respiciamus, Job exemplar patientiæ, dum, ingruente tribulationum articulo, caput totondit, probavit utique quia tempore felicitatis capillos nutrire consueverat. At Joseph, et ipse castitatis, humilitatis, pietatis, ceterarumque virtutum, exsecutor ac doctor eximius, cum esset servitio absolvendus, attonsus esse legitur; patet profecto quia tempore servitutis, intonsis in carcere crinibus manere solebat. Ecce, uterque vir Dei diversum ab altero vultus habitum foris præmonstrabat, quorum tamen intus conscientia in parili virtutum sibi gratia concordabat.
“Verum, etsi profiteri nobis liberum est, quia tonsuræ discrimen non noceat, quibus pura in Deum fides et caritas in proximum sincera est, maxime cum nunquam patribus catholicis, sicut de Paschæ vel fidei diversitate, conflictus, ita etiam de tonsuræ differentia legatur aliqua fuisse controversia; inter omnes tamen, quas vel in ecclesia, vel in universo hominum genere, reperimus tonsuras, nullam magis sequendam nobis amplectendamque jure dixerim ea, quam in capite suo gestabat ille, cui se confitenti Dominus ait, [Matth. xvi. 18,] Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram ædificabo ecclesiam meam, et portæ inferni non prævalebunt adversus eam; et tibi dabo claves regni cœlorum. Nullam vero magis abominandam detestandamque merito cunctis fidelibus crediderim ea, quam habebat ille, cui gratiam sancti Spiritus comparare volenti dicit idem Petrus, Pecunia tua tecum sit in perditionem, quoniam donum Dei existimasti per pecuniam possideri; non enim est tibi pars neque sors in sermone hoc. Neque vero ob id tantum in coronam attondemur, quia Petrus ita attonsus est; sed quia Petrus in memoriam Dominicæ passionis ita attonsus est, idcirco et nos, qui per eandem passionem salvari desideramus, ipsius passionis signum cum illo in vertice, summa videlicet corporis nostri parte, gestamus. Sicut enim omnis ecclesia, quia per mortem sui vivificatoris ecclesia facta est, signum sanctæ crucis ejus in fronte portare consuevit, ut crebro vexilli hujus munimine a malignorum spirituum defendatur incursibus, crebra hujus admonitione doceatur se quoque carnem suam cum vitiis et concupiscentiis crucifigere debere; ita etiam oportet eos, qui vel monachi votum, vel gradum clericatus, habentes, arctioribus se necesse habent pro Domino continentiæ frenis astringere.
“Formam quoque coronæ, quam ipse in passione spineam portavit in capite, ut spinas ac tribulos peccatorum nostrorum portaret, id est, exportaret et auferret a nobis, suo quemque in capite per tonsuram præferre, ut se etiam irrisiones et opprobria pro illo libenter ac prompto animo sufferre ipso etiam frontispicio doceant; ut coronam vitæ æternæ, quam repromisit Deus diligentibus se, se semper exspectare, proque hujus perceptione et adversa se mundi et prospera contemnere, designent. Ceterum, tonsuram eam, quam magum ferunt habuisse Simonem, quis, rogo, fidelium non statim cum ipsa magia detestetur, et merito exsufflet? Quæ primo aspectu in frontis quidem superficie coronæ videtur speciem præferre; sed ubi ad cervicem considerando perveneris decurtatam eam, quam te videre putabas, invenies coronam, ut merito talem Simoniacis et non Christianis habitum convenire cognoscas; qui in præsenti quidem vita a deceptis hominibus putabantur digni perpetuæ gloria coronæ, sed in ea, quæ hanc sequitur, vitam, non solum omni spe coronæ privati, sed æterna insuper sunt pœna damnati.
“Neque vero me hæc ita prosecutum æstimes, quasi eos, qui hanc tonsuram habent, condemnandos judicem, si fide et operibus unitati catholicæ faverint; imo confidenter profiteor plurimos ex eis sanctos ac Deo dignos exstitisse, ex quibus est Adamnanus abbas et sacerdos Columbiensium egregius, qui cum legatus suæ gentis ad Alfridum regem missus nostrum quoque monasterium videre voluisset, miramque in moribus ac verbis prudentiam, humilitatem, religionem, ostenderet, dixi illi inter alia colloquens; ‘Obsecro, sancte frater, qui ad coronam te vitæ, quæ terminum nesciat, tendere credis, quid contrario tuæ fidei habitu terminatam in capite coronæ imaginem portas? et si beati consortium Petri quæris, cur ejus, quem ille anathematizavit, tonsuræ imaginem imitaris? et non potius ejus, cum quo in æternum beatus vivere cupis, etiam nunc habitum te, quantum potes, diligere monstras?’ Respondit ille; ‘Scias pro certo, frater mi dilecte, quia etsi Simonis tonsuram ex consuetudine patria habeam, Simoniacam tamen perfidiam tota mente detestor ac respuo; beatissimi autem apostolorum principis, quantum mea parvitas sufficit, vestigia sequi desidero.’ At ego; ‘Credo,’ inquam, ‘vere quod ita sit; sed tamen indicio fit quod ea, quæ apostoli Petri sunt, in abdito cordis amplectimini, si quæ ejus esse nostis, etiam in facie tenetis. Namque prudentiam tuam facillime dijudicare reor, quod aptius multo sit ejus, quem corde toto abominaris, cujusque horrendam faciem videre refugis, habitum vultus a tuo vultu Deo jam dicato separare; et e contra, ejus, quem apud Deum habere patronum quæris, sicut facta vel monita cupis sequi, sic etiam morem habitus te imitari condeceat.’
“Hæc tunc Adamnano dixi, qui quidem quantum, conspectis ecclesiarum nostrarum statutis, profecisset, probavit, cum reversus ad Scotiam multas postea gentis ejusdem turbas ad catholicam temporis Paschalis observantiam sua prædicatione correxit; tametsi eos, qui in Hii insula morabantur, monachos, quibusque speciali rectoris jure præerat, necdum ad viam statuti melioris reducere valebat. Tonsuram quoque, si tantum sibi auctoritatis subesset, emendare meminisset.
“Sed et tuam nunc prudentiam, rex, admoneo, ut ea, quæ unitati catholicæ et apostolicæ ecclesiæ concinunt, una cum gente, cui te Rex regum et Dominus dominorum præfecit, in omnibus servare contendas. Sic enim fit, ut post acceptam temporalis regni potentiam, ipse beatissimus apostolorum princeps cœlestis quoque regni tibi tuisque cum ceteris electis libens pandat introitum. Gratia te Regis æterni longiori tempore regnantem, ad nostram omnium pacem custodiat incolumem, dilectissime in Christo fili.”
Hæc epistola cum, præsente rege Naitano multisque viris doctioribus, esset lecta ac diligenter ab his, qui intelligere poterant, in linguam ejus propriam interpretata, multum de ejus exhortatione gavisus esse perhibetur; ita ut exsurgens de medio optimatum suorum consessu genua flecteret in terram, Deo gratias agens, quod tale munusculum de terra Anglorum mereretur accipere. “Et quidem et antea novi,” inquit, “quia hæc erat vera Paschæ celebratio, sed in tantum modo rationem hujus temporis observandam cognosco, ut parum mihi omnino videar de his antea intellexisse. Unde palam profiteor, vobisque, qui assidetis, præsentibus protestor, quia hoc observare tempus Paschæ cum universa mea gente perpetuo volo; et hanc accipere debere tonsuram, quam plenam esse rationis audiimus, omnes, qui in meo regno sunt, clericos decerno.” Nec mora, quæ dixerat regia auctoritate perfecit. Statim namque jussu publico mittebantur ad transcribendum, discendum, observandum, per universas Pictorum provincias circuli Paschæ decennovenales, obliteratis per omnia erroneis octoginta et quatuor annorum circulis. Attondebantur omnes in coronam ministri altaris ac monachi; et quasi novo se discipulatui beatissimi apostolorum principis Petri subditam, ejusque tutandam patrocinio, gens correcta gaudebat.
UT HIIENSES MONACHI CUM SUBJECTIS SIBI MONASTERIIS CANONICUM, PRÆDICANTE EGBERTO, CELEBRARE PASCHA CŒPERINT.
Nec multo post illi quoque, qui insulam Hii incolebant, monachi Scoticæ nationis, cum his, quæ sibi erant subdita, monasteriis, ad ritum Paschæ ac tonsuræ canonicum, Domino procurante, perducti sunt. Siquidem anno ab incarnatione Domini septingentesimo sextodecimo, quo, Osredo occiso, Coenredus gubernacula regni Northanhumbrorum suscepit, cum venisset ad eos de Hibernia Deo amabilis et cum omni honorificentia nominandus pater ac sacerdos Egbertus, cujus superius memoriam sæpius fecimus, honorifice ab eis et multo cum gaudio susceptus est. Qui quoniam et doctor suavissimus et eorum, quæ agenda docebat, erat exsecutor devotissimus, libenter auditus ab universis immutavit piis ac sedulis exhortationibus inveteratam illam traditionem parentum eorum, de quibus apostolicum illum licet proferre sermonem, quod æmulationem Dei habebant, sed non secundum scientiam; catholicoque illos atque apostolico more celebrationem, ut diximus, præcipuæ solennitatis sub figura coronæ perpetuæ agere perdocuit. Quod mira divinæ constat factum dispensatione pietatis, ut quoniam gens illa, quam noverat, scientiam divinæ cognitionis libenter ac sine invidia populis Anglorum communicare curavit, ipsa quoque postmodum per gentem Anglorum in eis, quæ minus habuerat, ad perfectam vivendi normam perveniret. Sicut e contra Britones, qui nolebant Anglis eam, quam habebant, fidei Christianæ notitiam pandere, credentibus jam populis Anglorum et in regula fidei catholicæ per omnia instructis, ipsi adhuc inveterati et claudicantes a semitis suis, et capita sine corona prætendunt, et solennia Christi sine ecclesiæ Christi societate venerantur.
Susceperunt autem Hiienses monachi, docente Egberto, ritus vivendi catholicos sub abbate Dunchado, post annos circiter octoginta, ex quo ad prædicationem gentis Anglorum Aidanum miserant antistitem. Mansit autem vir Domini Egbertus annos tredecim in præfata insula, quam ipse, velut nova quadam relucente gratia ecclesiasticæ societatis et pacis, Christo consecraverat; annoque Dominicæ incarnationis septingentesimo vicesimo nono, quo Pascha Dominicum octavo kalendarum Maiarum die celebrabatur, cum missarum solennia in memoriam ejusdem Dominicæ resurrectionis celebrasset, eodem die et ipse migravit ad Dominum; ac gaudium summæ festivitatis, quod cum fratribus, quos ad unitatis gratiam converterat, inchoavit, cum Domino et apostolis, ceterisque cœli civibus, complevit, imo id ipsum celebrare sine fine non desinit. Mira autem divinæ dispensatio provisionis erat, quod venerabilis vir non solum in Pascha transivit de hoc mundo ad Patrem; verum etiam cum eo die Pascha celebraretur, quo nunquam prius in eis locis celebrari solebat. Gaudebant ergo fratres de cognitione certa et catholica temporis Paschalis; lætabantur de patrocinio pergentis ad Dominum patris, per quem fuerant correcti; gratulabatur ille quod eatenus in carne servatus est, donec illum in Pascha diem suos auditores, quem semper antea vitabant, suscipere ac secum agere videret. Sicque certus de illorum correctione reverendissimus pater exsultavit, ut videret diem Domini; vidit, et gavisus est.
QUI SIT IN PRÆSENTI STATUS GENTIS ANGLORUM, VEL BRITANNIÆ TOTIUS.
ANNO Dominicæ incarnationis septingentesimo vicesimo quinto, qui erat septimus Osrici regis Northanhumbrorum, qui Coenredo successerat, Wictredus filius Egberti, rex Cantuariorum, defunctus est nono die kalendarum Maiarum; et regni, quod per triginta quatuor semis annos tenebat, filios tres, Ethelbertum, Eadbertum, et Alricum, reliquit heredes. Anno post quem proximo, Tobias Rhofensis ecclesiæ præsul defunctus est, vir, ut supra meminimus, doctissimus; erat enim discipulus beatæ memoriæ magistrorum Theodori archiepiscopi et abbatis Hadriani, unde, ut dictum est, cum eruditione literarum vel ecclesiasticarum vel generalium, ita Græcam quoque cum Latina didicit linguam, ut tam notas ac familiares sibi eas, quam nativitatis suæ loquelam, haberet. Sepultus vero est in porticu sancti Pauli apostoli, quam intro ecclesiam sancti Andreæ sibi ipse in locum sepulcri fecerat. Post quem episcopatus officium Aldwulfus, Bertwaldo archiepiscopo consecrante, suscepit.
Anno Dominicæ incarnationis septingentesimo vicesimo nono, apparuerunt cometæ duæ circa solem, multum intuentibus terrorem incutientes. Una quippe solem præcedebat mane orientem; altera vespere sequebatur occidentem, quasi orienti simul et occidenti diræ cladis præsagæ; vel certe una diei, altera noctis, præcurrebat exortum, ut utroque tempore mala mortalibus imminere signarent. Portabant autem facem ignis contra aquilonem, quasi ad accendendum acclinem; apparebantque mense Januario, et duabus ferme septimanis permanebant. Quo tempore gravissima Sarracenorum lues Gallias misera clade vastabat, et ipsi non multo post in cadem provincia dignas suæ perfidiæ pœnas luebant. Quo anno sanctus vir Domini Egbertus, ut supra commemoravimus, ipso die Paschæ migravit ad Dominum; et mox, peracto Pascha, hoc est, septima iduum Maiarum die, Osricus rex Northanhumbrorum vita decessit, cum ipse regni, quod undecim annis gubernabat, successorem fore Ceolwulfum decrevisset, fratrem illius, qui ante se regnaverat, Coenredi regis, cujus regni et principia et processus tot ac tantis redundavere rerum adversantium motibus, ut quid de his scribi debeat, quemve habitura sint finem singula, necdum sciri valeat.
Anno Dominicæ incarnationis septingentesimo tricesimo primo, Bertwaldus archiepiscopus, longa consumptus ætate, defunctus est die quinto iduum Januariarum, qui sedit annos triginta septem, menses sex, dies quatuordecim; pro quo anno eodem factus est archiepiscopus vocabulo Tatwine de provincia Merciorum, cum fuisset presbyter in monasterio, quod vocatur Briudun. Consecratus est autem in Dorovernensi civitate, a viris venerabilibus Daniele Ventano, et Ingwaldo Londoniensi, et Aldwino Liccitfeldensi, et Aldwulfo Rhofensi, antistitibus, die decima Junii mensis, Dominica; vir religione et prudentia insignis, sacris quoque literis nobiliter instructus.
Itaque in præsenti, ecclesiis Cantuariorum Tatwine et Aldwulfus episcopi præsunt. Porro provinciæ Orientalium Saxonum Ingwaldus episcopus; provinciæ Orientalium Anglorum Aldbertus et Hadulacus episcopi; provinciæ Occidentalium Saxonum, Daniel et Forthere episcopi; provinciæ Merciorum, Aldwinus episcopus; et eis populis, qui ultra amnem Sabrinam ad occidentem habitant, Walstodus episcopus; provinciæ Wicciorum Wilfridus episcopus; provinciæ Lindisfarnorum Cynebertus episcopus, præest. Episcopatus Vectæ insulæ ad Danielem pertinet, episcopum Ventæ civitatis. Provincia Australium Saxonum jam aliquot annis absque episcopo manens ministerium sibi episcopale ab Occidentalium Saxonum antistite quærit. Et hæ omnes provinciæ ceteræque australes ad confinium usque Humbræ fluminis, cum suis quæque regibus, Merciorum regi Ethelbaldo subjectæ sunt.
At vero provinciæ Northanhumbrorum, cui rex Ceolwulfus præest, quatuor nunc episcopi præsulatum tenent; Wilfridus in Eboracensi ecclesia, Ethelwaldus in Lindisfarnensi, Acca in Hagulstadensi ecclesia, Pecthelmus in ea, quæ Candida Casa vocatur, quæ nuper, multiplicatis fidelium plebibus, in sedem pontificatus addita ipsum primum habet antistitem. Pictorum quoque natio tempore hoc et fœdus pacis cum gente habet Anglorum, et catholicæ pacis et veritatis cum universali ecclesia particeps exsistere gaudet. Scoti, qui Britanniam incolunt, suis contenti finibus nil contra gentem Anglorum insidiarum moliuntur aut fraudium. Britones, quamvis et maxima ex parte domestico sibi odio gentem Anglorum et totius catholicæ ecclesiæ statutum Pascha minus recte moribusque improbis impugnent, tamen et divina sibi et humana prorsus resistente virtute, in neutro cupitum possunt obtinere propositum; quippe, qui quamvis ex parte sui sint juris, nonnulla tamen ex parte Anglorum sunt servitio mancipati. Qua arridente pace ac serenitate temporum, plures in gente Northanhumbrorum, tam nobiles, quam privati, se suosque liberos, depositis armis, satagunt magis, accepta tonsura, monasterialibus ascribere votis, quam bellicis exercere studiis. Quæ res quem sit habitura finem, posterior ætas videbit. Hic est inpræsentiarum universæ status Britanniæ, anno adventus Anglorum in Britanniam circiter ducentesimo octogesimo quinto, Dominicæ autem incarnationis anno septingentesimo tricesimo primo; in cujus regno perpetuo exsultet terra, et congratulante in fide ejus Britannia, lætentur insulæ multæ et confiteantur memoriæ sanctitatis ejus.
THE ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH NATION.
HOW ETHELWALD, SUCCESSOR TO CUTHBERT, LEADING AN EREMITICAL LIFE, CALMED A TEMPEST WHEN THE BRETHREN WERE IN DANGER AT SEA.
Ethelwald succeeds Cuthbert at Farne. 687.
THE venerable Ethelwald, who had received the priesthood in the monastery of Inhrypum, and had, by actions worthy of the same, sanctified his holy office, succeeded the man of God, Cuthbert, in the exercise of a solitary life, having practised the same before he was bishop, in the isle of Farne. For the more certain demonstration of the life which he led, and his merit, I will relate one miracle of his, which was told me by one of these brothers for and on whom the same was wrought; viz. Guthfrid, the venerable servant and priest of Christ, who, afterwards, as abbot, presided over the brethren of the same church of Lindisfarne, in which he had been educated.
“I came,” says he, “to the island of Farne, with two others of the brethren, to speak with the most reverend father, Ethelwald. Having been refreshed with his discourse, and taken his blessing, as we were returning home, on a sudden, when we were in the midst of the sea, the fair weather which was wafting us over was checked, and there ensued so great and dismal a tempest, that neither the sails nor oars were of any use to us, nor had we any thing to expect but death. After long struggling with the wind and waves to no effect, we looked behind us to see whether it were practicable at least to recover the island from whence we came, but we found ourselves on all sides so enveloped in the storm, that there was no hope of escaping. But looking out as far as we could see, we observed, on the island of Farne, Father Ethelwald, beloved of God, come out of his cavern to watch our course, for, hearing the noise of the storm and raging sea, he was come out to see what would become of us. When he beheld us in distress and despair, he bowed his knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in prayer for our life and safety; upon which, the swelling sea was calmed, so that the storm ceased on all sides, and a fair wind attended us to the very shore. When we had landed, and had dragged upon the shore the small vessel that brought us, the storm, which had ceased a short time for our sake, immediately returned, and raged continually during the whole day; so that it plainly appeared that the brief cessation of the storm had been granted from Heaven, at the request of the man of God, in order that we might escape.”
Buried at Lindisfarne 699.
The man of God remained in the isle of Farne twelve years, and died there; but was buried in the church of St. Peter and Paul, in the isle of Lindisfarne, beside the bodies of the aforesaid bishops. These things happened in the days of King Alfred, who ruled the nation of the Northumbrians eighteen years after his brother Egfrid.
HOW BISHOP JOHN CURED A DUMB MAN BY BLESSING HIM.
John of Beverley’s miracles. 685.
In the beginning of the aforesaid reign, Bishop Eata died, and was succeeded in the prelacy of the church of Hagulstad by John, a holy man, of whom those that familiarly knew him are wont to tell many miracles; and more particularly, the reverend Berthun, a man of undoubted veracity, and once his deacon, now abbot of the monastery called Inderawood, that is, in the wood of the Deiri: some of which miracles we have thought fit to transmit to posterity. There is a certain building in a retired situation, and enclosed by a narrow wood and a trench, about a mile and a half from the church of Hagulstad, and separated from it by the river Tyne, having a burying-place dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel, where the man of God used frequently, as occasion offered, and particularly in Lent, to reside with a few companions. Being come thither once at the beginning of Lent, to stay, he commanded his followers to find out some poor person labouring under any grievous infirmity, or want, whom he might keep with him during those days, by way of alms, for so he was always used to do.
He cures a dumb youth.
There was in a village not far off, a certain dumb youth, known to the bishop, for he often used to come into his presence to receive alms, and who had never been able to speak one word. Besides, he had so much scurf and scabs on his head, that no hair ever grew on the top of it, but only some scattered hairs in a circle round about. The bishop caused this man to be brought, and a little cottage to be made him within the enclosure of the dwelling, in which he might reside, and receive a daily allowance from him. When one week of Lent was over, the next Sunday he caused the poor man to come in to him, and ordered him to put his tongue out of his mouth and show it him; then laying hold of his chin, he made the sign of the cross on his tongue, directing him to draw it back into his mouth and to speak. “Pronounce some word,” said he; “say yea,” which, in the language of the Angles, is the word of affirming and consenting, that is, yes. His tongue being loosed, he immediately said what he was ordered. The bishop, then pronouncing the names of the letters, directed him to say A; he did so, and afterwards B, which he also did. When he had named all the letters after the bishop, the latter proceeded to put syllables and words to him, which being also repeated by him, he commanded him to utter whole sentences, and he did it. Nor did he cease all that day and the next night, as long as he could keep awake, as those who were present relate, to talk something, and to express his private thoughts and will to others, which he could never do before; after the manner of the cripple, who, being healed by the Apostles Peter and John, stood up leaping, and walked, and went with them into the temple, walking, and skipping, and praising the Lord, rejoicing to have the use of his feet, which he had so long wanted. The bishop, rejoicing at his recovery of speech, ordered the physician to take in hand the cure of his scurfed head. He did so, and with the help of the bishop’s blessing and prayers, a good head of hair grew as the flesh was healed. Thus the youth obtained a good aspect, a ready utterance, and a beautiful head of hair, whereas before he had been deformed, poor, and dumb. Thus rejoicing at his recovery, the bishop offered to keep him in his family, but he rather chose to return home.
THE SAME BISHOP, JOHN, BY HIS PRAYERS, HEALED A SICK MAIDEN.
Cures a sick girl. 686.
The same Berthun told another miracle of the bishop’s. When the reverend Wilfrid, after a long banishment, was admitted to the bishopric of the church of Hagulstad, and the aforesaid John, upon the death of Bosa, a man of great sanctity and humility, was, in his place, appointed bishop of York, he came, once upon a time, to the monastery of Virgins, at the place called Wetadun, where the Abbess Hereberga then presided. “When we were come thither,” said he, “and had been received with great and universal joy, the abbess told us, that one of the virgins, who was her daughter in the flesh, laboured under a grievous distemper, having been lately bled in the arm, and whilst she was engaged in study, was seized with a sudden violent pain, which increased so that the wounded arm became worse, and so much swelled, that it could not be grasped with both hands; and thus being confined to her bed, through excess of pain, she was expected to die very soon. The abbess entreated the bishop that he would vouchsafe to go in and give her his blessing; for that she believed she would be the better for his blessing or touching her. He asked when the maiden had been bled? and being told that it was on the fourth day of the moon, said, ‘You did very indiscreetly and unskilfully to bleed her on the fourth day of the moon; for I remember that Archbishop Theodore, of blessed memory, said, that bleeding at that time was very dangerous, when the light of the moon and the tide of the ocean is increasing; and what can I do to the girl if she is like to die?’
“The abbess still earnestly entreated for her daughter, whom she dearly loved, and designed to make abbess in her stead, and at last prevailed with him to go in to her. He accordingly went in, taking me with him to the virgin, who lay, as I said, in great anguish, and her arm swelled so fast that there was no bending of the elbow; the bishop stood and said a prayer over her, and having given his blessing, went out. Afterwards, as we were sitting at table, some one came in and called me out, saying, ‘Coenberg,’ (that was the virgin’s name) ‘desires you will immediately go back to her.’ I did so, and entering the house, perceived her countenance more cheerful, and like one in perfect health. Having seated myself down by her, she said, ‘Would you like me to call for something to drink?’—‘Yes,’ said I, ‘and am very glad if you can.’ When the cup was brought, and we had both drunk, she said, ‘As soon as the bishop had said the prayer, given me his blessing, and gone out, I immediately began to mend; and though I have not yet recovered my former strength, yet all the pain is quite gone from my arm, where it was most intense, and from all my body, as if the bishop had carried it away with him; though the swelling of the arm still seems to remain.’ When we departed from thence, the cure of the pain in her limbs was followed by the assuaging of the swelling; and the virgin being thus delivered from torture and death, returned praise to our Lord and Saviour, with his other servants who were there.”
THE SAME BISHOP HEALED AN EARL’S WIFE THAT WAS SICK, WITH HOLY WATER.
Heals Earl Puch’s wife.
THE same abbot related another miracle, not unlike the former, of the aforesaid bishop. “Not very far from our monastery, that is, about two miles off, was the country-house of one Puch, an earl, whose wife had languished near forty days under a very acute disease, insomuch that for three weeks she could not be carried out of the room where she lay. It happened that the man of God was, at that time, invited thither by the earl to consecrate a church; and when that was done, the earl desired him to dine at his house. The bishop declined, saying, “He must return to the monastery, which was very near.” The earl pressing him more earnestly, vowed he would also give alms to the poor, if the bishop would break his fast that day in his house. I joined my entreaties to his, promising in like manner to give alms for the relief of the poor, if he would go and dine at the earl’s house, and give his blessing. Having at length, with much difficulty, prevailed, we went in to dine. The bishop had sent to the woman that lay sick some of the holy water, which he had blessed for the consecration of the church, by one of the brothers that went along with me, ordering him to give her some to drink, and wash the place where her greatest pain was, with some of the same. This being done, the woman immediately got up in health, and perceiving that she had not only been delivered from her tedious distemper, but at the same time recovered the strength which she had lost, she presented the cup to the bishop and to us, and continued serving us with drink as she had begun till dinner was over; following the example of Peter’s mother-in-law, who, having been sick of a fever, arose at the touch of our Lord, and having at once received health and strength, ministered to them.”
THE SAME BISHOP RECOVERED ONE OF THE EARL’S SERVANTS FROM DEATH.
Also one of his servants. 686.
AT another time also, being called to consecrate Earl Addi’s church, when he had performed that duty, he was entreated by the earl to go in to one of his servants, who lay dangerously ill, and having lost the use of all his limbs, seemed to be just at death’s door; and indeed the coffin had been provided to bury him in. The earl urged his entreaties with tears, earnestly praying that he would go in and pray for him, because his life was of great consequence to him; and he believed that if the bishop would lay his hand upon him and give him his blessing, he would soon mend. The bishop went in, and saw him in a dying condition, and the coffin by his side, whilst all that were present were in tears. He said a prayer, blessed him, and on going out, as is the usual expression of comforters, said, “May you soon recover.” Afterwards, when they were sitting at table, the lad sent to his lord, to desire he would let him have a cup of wine, because he was thirsty. The earl, rejoicing that he could drink, sent him a cup of wine, blessed by the bishop; which, as soon as he had drunk, he immediately got up, and, shaking off his late infirmity, dressed himself, and going in to the bishop, saluted him and the other guests, saying, “He would also eat and be merry with them.” They ordered him to sit down with them at the entertainment, rejoicing at his recovery. He sate down, ate and drank merrily, and behaved himself like the rest of the company; and living many years after, continued in the same state of health. The aforesaid abbot says this miracle was not wrought in his presence, but that he had it from those who were there.
THE SAME BISHOP, BY HIS PRAYERS AND BLESSING, DELIVERED FROM DEATH ONE OF HIS CLERKS, WHO HAD BRUISED HIMSELF BY A FALL.
Cures one of his clerks of a bruise. 686.
Nor do I think that this further miracle, which Herebald, the servant of Christ, says was wrought upon himself, is to be passed over in silence. He being then one of that bishop’s clergy, now presides as abbot in the monastery at the mouth of the river Tyne. “Being present,” said he, “and very well acquainted with his course of life, I found it to be most worthy of a bishop, as far as it is lawful for men to judge; but I have known by the experience of others, and more particularly by my own, how great his merit was before Him who is the judge of the heart; having been by his prayer and blessing brought back from the gates of death to the way of life. For, when in the prime of my youth, I lived among his clergy, applying myself to reading and singing, but not having yet altogether withdrawn my heart from youthful pleasures, it happened one day that as we were travelling with him, we came into a plain and open road, well adapted for galloping our horses. The young men that were with him, and particularly those of the laity, began to entreat the bishop to give them leave to gallop, and make trial of the goodness of their horses. He at first refused, saying, ‘it was an idle request;’ but at last, being prevailed on by the unanimous desire of so many, ‘Do so,’ said he, ‘if you will, but let Herebald have no part in the trial.’ I earnestly prayed that I might have leave to ride with the rest, for I relied on an excellent horse, which he had given me, but I could not obtain my request.
Herebald falls from his horse, and is nearly killed.
“When they had several times galloped backwards and forwards, the bishop and I looking on, my wanton humour prevailed, and I could no longer refrain, but though he forbade me, I struck in among them, and began to ride at full speed; at which I heard him call after me, ‘Alas! how much you grieve me by riding after that manner.’ Though I heard him, I went on against his command; but immediately the fiery horse taking a great leap over a hollow place, I fell, and lost both sense and motion, as if I had been dead; for there was in that place a stone, level with the ground, covered with only a small turf, and no other stone to be found in all that plain; and it happened, as a punishment for my disobedience, either by chance, or by Divine Providence so ordering it, that my head and hand, which in falling I had clapped to my head, hit upon that stone, so that my thumb was broken and my skull cracked, and I lay, as I said, like one dead.
“And because I could not move, they stretched a canopy for me to lie in. It was about the seventh hour of the day, and having lain still, and as it were dead from that time till the evening, I then revived a little, and was carried home by my companions, but lay speechless all the night, vomiting blood, because something was broken within me by the fall. The bishop was very much grieved at my misfortune, and expected my death, for he bore me extraordinary affection. Nor would he stay that night, as he was wont, among his clergy; but spent it all in watching and prayer alone, imploring the Divine goodness, as I imagine, for my health. Coming to me in the morning early, and having said a prayer over me, he called me by my name, and as it were waking me out of a heavy sleep, asked ‘Whether I knew who it was that spoke to me?’ I opened my eyes and said, ‘I do; you are my beloved bishop.’—‘Can you live?’ said he. I answered, ‘I may, through your prayers, if it shall please our Lord.’
“He then laid his hand on my head, with the words of blessing, and returned to prayer; when he came again to see me, in a short time, he found me sitting and able to talk; and, being induced by Divine instinct, as it soon appeared, began to ask me, ‘Whether I knew for certain that I had been baptized?’ I answered, ‘I knew beyond all doubt that I had been washed in the laver of salvation, to the remission of my sins, and I named the priest by whom I knew myself to have been baptized.’ He replied, ‘If you were baptized by that priest, your baptism is not perfect; for I know him, and that having been ordained priest, he could not, by reason of the dulness of his understanding, learn the ministry of catechising and baptizing; for which reason I commanded him altogether to desist from his presumptuous exercising of the ministry, which he could not duly perform.’ This said, he took care to catechise me at that very time; and it happened that he blew upon my face, on which I presently found myself better. He called the surgeon, and ordered him to close and bind up my skull where it was cracked; and having then received his blessing, I was so much better that I mounted on horseback the next day, and travelled with him to another place; and being soon after perfectly recovered, I received the baptism of life.”
Ethelwald died. 721.
He continued in his see thirty-three years, and then ascending to the heavenly kingdom, was buried in St. Peter’s Porch, in his own monastery, called Inderawood, in the year of our Lord’s incarnation 721. For having, by his great age, become unable to govern his bishopric, he ordained Wilfrid, his priest, bishop of the church of York, and retired to the aforesaid monastery, and there ended his days in holy conversation.
CEADWALLA, KING OF THE WEST-SAXONS, WENT TO ROME TO BE BAPTIZED; HIS SUCCESSOR INA ALSO DEVOUTLY REPAIRED TO THE SAME CHURCH OF THE HOLY APOSTLES.
Ceadwalla resigns his crown and goes to Rome. 688.Dies, April 20, 689.
IN the third year of the reign of Alfrid, Ceadwalla, king of the West-Saxons, having most honourably governed his nation two years, quitted his crown for the sake of our Lord and his everlasting kingdom, and went to Rome, being desirous to obtain the peculiar honour of being baptized in the church of the blessed apostles, for he had learned that in baptism alone, the entrance into heaven is opened to mankind; and he hoped at the same time, that laying down the flesh, as soon as baptized, he should immediately pass to the eternal joys of heaven; both which things, by the blessing of our Lord, came to pass according as he had conceived in his mind. For coming to Rome, at the time that Sergius was pope, he was baptized on the holy Saturday before Easter Day, in the year of our Lord 689, and being still in his white garments, he fell sick, and departed this life on the 20th of April, and was associated with the blessed in heaven. At his baptism, the aforesaid pope had given him the name of Peter, to the end, that he might be also united in name to the most blessed prince of the apostles, to whose most holy body his pious love had brought him from the utmost bounds of the earth. He was likewise buried in his church, and by the pope’s command an epitaph written on his tomb, wherein the memory of his devotion might be preserved for ever, and the readers or hearers might be inflamed with religious desire by the example of what he had done.
The epitaph was this:—
- High state and place, kindred, a wealthy crown,
- Triumphs, and spoils in glorious battles won,
- Nobles, and cities walled, to guard his state,
- High palaces, and his familiar seat,
- Whatever honours his own virtue won,
- Or those his great forefathers handed down,
- Ceadwal armipotent, from heaven inspir’d,
- For love of heaven hath left, and here retir’d;
- Peter to see, and Peter’s sacred chair,
- The royal pilgrim travelled from afar,
- Here to imbibe pure draughts from his clear stream,
- And share the influence of his heavenly beam;
- Here for the glories of a future claim,
- Converted, chang’d his first and barbarous name.
- And following Peter’s rule, he from his Lord
- Assumed the name at father Sergius’ word,
- At the pure font, and by Christ’s grace made clean,
- In heaven is free from former taints of sin.
- Great was his faith, but greater God’s decree,
- Whose secret counsels mortal cannot see,
- Safe came he, e’en from Britain’s isle, o’er seas,
- And lands and countries, and through dangerous ways,
- Rome to behold, her glorious temple see,
- And mystic presents offer’d on his knee.
- Now in the grave his fleshly members lie,
- His soul, amid Christ’s flock, ascends the sky.
- Sure wise was he to lay his sceptre down,
- And gain in heaven above a lasting crown.
Here was deposited Ceadwalla, called also Peter, king of the Saxons, on the twelfth day of the kalends of May, the second indiction. He lived about thirty years, in the reign of the most pious emperor, Justinian, in the fourth year of his consulship, in the second year of our apostolic lord, Pope Sergius.
King Ina. From 689 to 726. 726.
When Ceadwalla went to Rome, Ina succeeded him on the throne, being of the blood royal; and having reigned thirty-seven years over that nation, he gave up the kingdom in like manner to younger persons, and went away to Rome, to visit the blessed apostles, at the time when Gregory was pope, being desirous to spend some time of his pilgrimage upon earth in the neighbourhood of the holy place, that he might be more easily received by the saints into heaven. The same thing, about the same time, was done through the zeal of many of the English nation, noble and ignoble, laity and clergy, men and women.
ARCHBISHOP THEODORE DIES, BERTHWALD SUCCEEDS HIM AS ARCHBISHOP, AND AMONG MANY OTHERS WHOM HE ORDAINED, HE MADE TOBIAS, A MOST LEARNED MAN, BISHOP OF THE CHURCH OF ROCHESTER.
Archbishop Theodore dies. 690.
The year after that in which Ceadwalla died at Rome, that is, 690 after the incarnation of our Lord, Archbishop Theodore, of blessed memory, departed this life, old and full of days, for he was eighty-eight years of age; which number of years he had been wont long before to foretell to his friends that he should live, the same having been revealed to him in a dream. He held the bishopric twenty-two years, and was buried in St. Peter’s church, where all the bodies of the bishops of Canterbury are buried. Of whom, as well as of his companions, of the same degree, it may rightly and truly be said, that their bodies are interred in peace, and their names shall live from generation to generation. For to say all in few words, the English churches received more advantage during the time of his pontificate, than ever they had done before. His person, life, age, and death, are plainly described to all that resort thither, by the epitaph on his tomb, consisting of thirty-four heroic verses. The first whereof are these:—
- Here rests fam’d Theodore, a Grecian name,
- Who had o’er England an archbishop’s claim;
- Happy and blessed, industriously he wrought,
- And wholesome precepts to his scholars taught.
The four last are as follow:—
- And now it was September’s nineteenth day,
- When bursting from its ligaments of clay,
- His spirit rose to its eternal rest,
- And joined in heaven the chorus of the blest.
Berthwald archbishop. 692.
Berthwald succeeded Theodore in the archbishopric, being abbot of the monastery of Raculph, which lies on the north side of the mouth of the river Genlade. He was a man learned in the Scriptures, and well instructed in ecclesiastical and monastic discipline, yet not to be compared to his predecessor. He was chosen bishop in the year of our Lord’s incarnation 692, on the first day of July, Withred and Suebhard being kings in Kent; but he was consecrated the next year, on Sunday the 29th of June, by Godwin, metropolitan bishop of France, and was enthroned on Sunday the 31st of August. Among the many bishops whom he ordained was Tobias, a man learned in the Latin, Greek, and Saxon tongues, otherwise also possessing much erudition, whom he consecrated in the stead of Gebmund, bishop of that see, deceased.
EGBERT, A HOLY MAN, WOULD HAVE GONE INTO GERMANY TO PREACH, BUT COULD NOT; WICTBERT WENT, BUT MEETING WITH NO SUCCESS, RETURNED INTO IRELAND, FROM WHENCE HE CAME.
Bishop Egbert. 689.
AT that time the venerable servant of Christ, and priest, Egbert, whom I cannot name but with the greatest respect, and who, as was said before, lived a stranger in Ireland to obtain hereafter a residence in heaven, proposed to himself to do good to many, by taking upon him the apostolical work, and preaching the word of God to some of those nations that had not yet heard it; many of which nations he knew there were in Germany, from whom the Angles or Saxons, who now inhabit Britain, are known to have derived their origin; for which reason they are still corruptly called Garmans by the neighbouring nation of the Britons. Such are the Fresons, the Rugins, the Danes, the Huns, the Ancient Saxons, and the Boructuars (or Bructers). There are also in the same parts many other nations still following pagan rites, to whom the aforesaid soldier of Christ designed to repair, sailing round Britain, and to try whether he could deliver any of them from Satan, and bring them over to Christ; or if this could not be done, to go to Rome, to see and adore the hallowed thresholds of the holy apostles and martyrs of Christ.
But the Divine oracles and certain events proceeding from heaven obstructed his performing either of those designs; for when he had made choice of some most courageous companions, fit to preach the word of God, as being renowned for their learning and virtue; when all things were provided for the voyage, there came to him on a certain day in the morning one of the brethren, formerly disciple and minister in Britain to the beloved priest of God, Boisil, when the said Boisil was superior of the monastery of Mailros, under the Abbot Eata, as has been said above. This brother told him the vision which he had seen that night. “When after the morning hymns,” said he, “I had laid me down in my bed, and was fallen into a slumber, my former master, and loving tutor, Boisil, appeared to me, and asked, ‘Whether I knew him?’ I said, ‘I do; you are Boisil.’ He answered, ‘I am come to bring Egbert a message from our Lord and Saviour, which nevertheless must be delivered to him by you. Tell him, therefore, that he cannot perform the journey he has undertaken; for it is the will of God that he should rather go to instruct the monasteries of Columba.’ ” Now Columba was the first teacher of Christianity to the Picts beyond the mountains northward, and the founder of the monastery in the island Hii, which was for a long time much honoured by many tribes of the Scots and Picts; and which is now by some called Columbkill, the name being compounded from Columb and Cell. Egbert, having heard the vision, ordered the brother that had told it him, not to mention it to any other, lest it should happen to be an illusion. However, when he considered of it with himself, he apprehended that it was real; yet would not desist from preparing for his voyage to instruct those nations.
A few days after the aforesaid brother came again to him, saying, “That Boisil had that night again appeared to him after matins, and said, ‘Why did you tell Egbert that which I enjoined you in so light and cold a manner? However, go now and tell him, that whether he will or no, he shall go to Columb’s monastery, because their ploughs do not go straight; and he is to bring them into the right way.’ ” Hearing this, Egbert again commanded the brother not to reveal the same to any person. Though now assured of the vision, he nevertheless attempted to undertake his intended voyage with the brethren. When they had put aboard all that was requisite for so long a voyage, and had waited some days for a fair wind, there arose one night on a sudden so violent a storm, that the ship was run aground, and part of what had been put aboard spoiled. However, all that belonged to Egbert and his companions was saved. Then he, saying, like the prophet, “This tempest has happened upon my account,” laid aside the undertaking and stayed at home.
However, Wictbert, one of his companions, being famous for his contempt of the world and for his knowledge, for he had lived many years a stranger in Ireland, leading an eremitical life in great purity, went abroad, and arriving in Frisland, preached the word of salvation for the space of two years successively to that nation and to its king, Rathbed; but reaped no fruit of all his great labour among his barbarous auditors. Returning then to the beloved place of his peregrination, he gave himself up to our Lord in his wonted repose, and since he could not be profitable to strangers by teaching them the faith, he took care to be the more useful to his own people by the example of his virtue.
WILBRORD, PREACHING IN FRISLAND, CONVERTED MANY TO CHRIST; HIS TWO COMPANIONS, THE HEWALDS, SUFFERED MARTYRDOM.
Wilbrord’s preaching in Frisland. 690.White Hewald.Black Hewald.
When the man of God, Egbert, perceived that neither he himself was permitted to preach to the Gentiles, being withheld, on account of some other advantage to the church, which had been foretold him by the Divine oracle; nor that Wictbert, when he went into those parts, had met with any success; he nevertheless still attempted to send some holy and industrious men to the work of the word, among whom was Wilbrord, a man eminent for his merit and rank in the priesthood. They arrived there, twelve in number, and turning aside to Pepin, duke of the Franks, were graciously received by him; and as he had lately subdued the Hither Frisland, and expelled King Rathbed, he sent them thither to preach, supporting them at the same time with his authority, that none might molest them in their preaching, and bestowing many favours on those who consented to embrace the faith. Thus it came to pass, that with the assistance of the Divine grace, they in a short time converted many from idolatry to the faith of Christ.
Two other priests of the English nation, who had long lived strangers in Ireland, for the sake of the eternal kingdom, following the example of the former, went into the province of the Ancient Saxons, to try whether they could there gain any to Christ by preaching. They both bore the same name, as they were the same in devotion, Hewald being the name of both, with this distinction, that, on account of the difference of their hair, the one was called Black Hewald and the other White Hewald. They were both piously religious, but Black Hewald was the more learned of the two in Scripture. On entering that province, these men took up their lodging in a certain steward’s house, and requested that he would conduct them to his lord, for that they had a message, and something to his advantage, to communicate to him; for those Ancient Saxons have no king, but several lords that rule their nation; and when any war happens, they cast lots indifferently, and on whomsoever the lot falls, him they follow and obey during the war; but as soon as the war is ended, all those lords are again equal in power. The steward received and entertained them in his house some days, promising to send them to his lord, as they desired.
The Hewalds are put to death.Oct. 3.
But the barbarians finding them to be of another religion, by their continual prayer and singing of psalms and hymns, and by their daily offering the sacrifice of the saving oblation,—for they had with them sacred vessels and a consecrated table for an altar,—they began to grow jealous of them, lest if they should come into the presence of their chief, and converse with him, they should turn his heart from their gods, and convert him to the new religion of the Christian faith; and thus by degrees all their province should change its old worship for a new. Hereupon they, on a sudden, laid hold of them and put them to death; the White Hewald they slew immediately with the sword; but the Black they put to tedious torture and tore limb from limb, throwing them into the Rhine. The chief, whom they had desired to see, hearing of it, was highly incensed, that the strangers who desired to come to him had not been allowed; and therefore he sent and put to death all those peasants and burnt their village. The aforesaid priests and servants of Christ suffered on the 3rd of October.
Nor did their martyrdom want the honour of miracles; for their dead bodies having been cast into the river by the pagans, as has been said, were carried against the stream for the space of almost forty miles, to the place where their companions were. Moreover, a long ray of light, reaching up to heaven, shined every night over the place where they arrived, in the sight of the very pagans that had slain them. Moreover, one of them appeared in a vision by night to one of his companions, whose name was Tilmon, a man of illustrious and of noble birth, who from a soldier was become a monk, acquainting him that he might find their bodies in that place, where he should see rays of light reaching from heaven to the earth; which turned out accordingly; and their bodies being found, were interred with the honour due to martyrs; and the day of their passion or of their bodies being found, is celebrated in those parts with proper veneration. At length, Pepin, the most glorious general of the Franks, understanding these things, caused the bodies to be brought to him, and buried them with much honour in the church of the city of Cologne, on the Rhine. It is reported, that a spring gushed out in the place where they were killed, which to this day affords a plentiful stream.
HOW THE VENERABLE SUIDBERT IN BRITAIN, AND WILBRORD AT ROME, WERE ORDAINED BISHOPS FOR FRISLAND.
Wilbrord ordained at Rome, bishop of Frisland. 692.
AT their first coming into Frisland, as soon as Wilbrord found he had leave given him by the prince to preach, he made haste to Rome, Pope Sergius then presiding over the apostolical see, that he might undertake the desired work of preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, with his license and blessing; and hoping to receive of him some relics of the blessed apostles and martyrs of Christ; to the end, that when he destroyed the idols, and erected churches in the nation to which he preached, he might have the relics of saints at hand to put into them, and having deposited them there, might accordingly dedicate those places to the honour of each of the saints whose relics they were. He was also desirous there to learn or to receive from thence many other things which so great a work required. Having obtained all that he wanted, he returned to preach.
At which time, the brothers who were in Frisland, attending the ministry of the word, chose out of their own number a man, modest of behaviour, and meek of heart, called Suidbert, to be ordained bishop for them. He, being sent into Britain, was consecrated by the most reverend Bishop Wilfrid, who, happening to be then driven out of his country, lived in banishment among the Mercians; for Kent had no bishop at that time, Theodore being dead, and Berthwald, his successor, who was gone beyond the sea, to be ordained, not having returned.
The said Suidbert, being made bishop, returned from Britain not long after, and went among the Boructuarians; and by his preaching brought many of them into the way of truth; but the Boructuarians being not long after subdued by the Ancient Saxons, those who had received the word were dispersed abroad; and the bishop himself repaired to Pepin, who, at the request of his wife, Blithryda, gave him a place of residence in a certain island on the Rhine, which, in their tongue, is called Inlitore; where he built a monastery, which his heirs still possess, and for a time led a most continent life, and there ended his days.
When they who went over had spent some years teaching in Frisland, Pepin, with the consent of them all, sent the venerable Wilbrord to Rome, where Sergius was still pope, desiring that he might be consecrated archbishop over the nation of the Frisons; which was accordingly done, in the year of our Lord’s incarnation 696. He was consecrated in the church of the Holy Martyr Cecilia, on her feast-day; the pope gave him the name of Clement, and sent him back to his bishopric, fourteen days after his arrival at Rome.
Pepin gave him a place for his episcopal see, in his famous castle, which in the ancient language of those people is called Wiltaburg, that is, the town of the Wilts; but, in the French tongue, Utrecht. The most reverend prelate having built a church there, and preaching the word of faith far and near, drew many from their errors, and erected several churches and monasteries. For not long after he constituted other bishops in those parts, from among the brethren that either came with him or after him to preach there; some of which are now departed in our Lord; but Wilbrord himself, surnamed Clement, is still living, venerable for old age, having been thirty-six years a bishop, and sighing after the rewards of the heavenly life, after the many spiritual conflicts which he has waged.
OF ONE AMONG THE NORTHUMBRIANS, WHO ROSE FROM THE DEAD, AND RELATED THE THINGS WHICH HE HAD SEEN, SOME EXCITING TERROR, OTHERS DELIGHT.
Of the vision of one who rose from the dead. 696.
AT this time a memorable miracle, and like to those of former days, was wrought in Britain; for, to the end that the living might be saved from the death of the soul, a certain person, who had been some time dead, rose again to life, and related many remarkable things he had seen; some of which I have thought fit here briefly to take notice of. There was a master of a family in that district of the Northumbrians, which is called Cuningham, who led a religious life, as did also all that belonged to him. This man fell sick, and his distemmper daily increasing, being brought to extremity, he died in the beginning of the night; but in the morning early, he suddenly came to life again, and sat up, upon which all those that sat about the body weeping, fled away in a great fright, only his wife, who loved him best, though in a great consternation and trembling, remained with him. He, comforting her, said, “Fear not, for I am now truly risen from death, and permitted again to live among men; however, I am not to live hereafter as I was wont, but from henceforward after a very different manner.” Then rising immediately, he repaired to the oratory of the little town, and continuing in prayer till day, immediately divided all his substance into three parts; one whereof he gave to his wife, another to his children, and the third, belonging to himself, he instantly distributed among the poor. Not long after he repaired to the monastery of Melros, which is almost enclosed by the winding of the river Twede, and having been shaven, went into a private dwelling, which the abbot had provided, where he continued till the day of his death, in such extraordinary contrition of mind and body, that though his tongue had been silent, his life declared that he had seen many things either to be dreaded or coveted, which others knew nothing of.
Thus he related what he had seen. “He that led me had a shining countenance and a bright garment, and we went on silently, as I thought, towards the northeast. Walking on, we came to a vale of great breadth and depth, but of infinite length; on the left it appeared full of dreadful flames, the other side was no less horrid for violent hail and cold snow flying in all directions; both places were full of men’s souls, which seemed by turns to be tossed from one side to the other, as it were by a violent storm; for when the wretches could no longer endure the excess of heat, they leaped into the middle of the cutting cold; and finding no rest there, they leaped back again into the middle of the unquenchable flames. Now whereas an innumerable multitude of deformed spirits were thus alternately tormented far and near, as far as could be seen, without any intermission, I began to think that this perhaps might be hell, of whose intolerable flames I had often heard talk. My guide, who went before me, answered to my thought, saying, ‘Do not believe so, for this is not the hell you imagine.’
“When he had conducted me, much frightened with that horrid spectacle, by degrees, to the farther end, on a sudden I saw the place begin to grow dusk and filled with darkness. When I came into it, the darkness, by degrees, grew so thick, that I could see nothing besides it and the shape and garment of him that led me. As we went on through the shades of night, on a sudden there appeared before us frequent globes of black flames, rising as it were out of a great pit, and falling back again into the same. When I had been conducted thither, my leader suddenly vanished, and left me alone in the midst of darkness and this horrid vision, whilst those same globes of fire, without intermission, at one time flew up and at another fell back into the bottom of the abyss; and I observed that all the flames, as they ascended, were full of human souls, which, like sparks flying up with smoke, were sometimes thrown on high, and again, when the vapour of the fire ceased, dropped down into the depth below. Moreover, an insufferable stench came forth with the vapours, and filled all those dark places.
“Having stood there a long time in much dread, not knowing what to do, which way to turn, or what end I might expect, on a sudden I heard behind me the noise of a most hideous and wretched lamentation, and at the same time a loud laughing, as of a rude multitude insulting captured enemies. When that noise, growing plainer, came up to me, I observed a gang of evil spirits dragging the howling and lamenting souls of men into the midst of the darkness, whilst they themselves laughed and rejoiced. Among those men, as I could discern, there was one shorn like a clergyman, a layman, and a woman. The evil spirits that dragged them went down into the midst of the burning pit; and as they went down deeper, I could no longer distinguish between the lamentation of the men and the laughing of the devils, yet I still had a confused sound in my ears. In the meantime, some of the dark spirits ascended from that flaming abyss, and running forward, beset me on all sides, and much perplexed me with their glaring eyes and the stinking fire which proceeded from their mouths and nostrils; and threatened to lay hold on me with burning tongs, which they had in their hands, yet they durst not touch me, though they frightened me. Being thus on all sides enclosed with enemies and darkness, and looking about on every side for assistance, there appeared behind me, on the way that I came, as it were, the brightness of a star shining amidst the darkness; which increased by degrees, and came rapidly towards me: when it drew near, all those evil spirits, that sought to carry me away with their tongs, dispersed and fled.
“He, whose approach put them to flight, was the same that had led me before; who, then turning towards the right, began to lead me, as it were, towards the south-east, and having soon brought me out of the darkness, conducted me into an atmosphere of clear light. While he thus led me in open light, I saw a vast wall before us, the length and height of which, in every direction, seemed to be altogether boundless. I began to wonder why we went up to the wall, seeing no door, window, or path through it. When we came to the wall, we were presently, I know not by what means, on the top of it, and within it was a vast and delightful field, so full of fragrant flowers that the odour of its delightful sweetness immediately dispelled the stink of the dark furnace, which had pierced me through and through. So great was the light in this place, that it seemed to exceed the brightness of the day, or the sun in its meridian height. In this field were innumerable assemblies of men in white, and many companies seated together rejoicing. As he led me through the midst of those happy inhabitants, I began to think that this might, perhaps, be the kingdom of heaven, of which I had often heard so much. He answered to my thought, saying, ‘This is not the kingdom of heaven, as you imagine.’
“When we had passed those mansions of blessed souls and gone farther on, I discovered before me a much more beautiful light, and therein heard sweet voices of persons singing, and so wonderful a fragrancy proceeded from the place, that the other which I had before thought most delicious, then seemed to me but very indifferent; even as that extraordinary brightness of the flowery field, compared with this, appeared mean and inconsiderable. When I began to hope we should enter that delightful place, my guide, on a sudden, stood still; and then turning back, led me back by the way we came.
“When we returned to those joyful mansions of the souls in white, he said to me, ‘Do you know what all these things are which you have seen?’ I answered, I did not; and then he replied, ‘That vale you saw so dreadful for consuming flames and cutting cold, is the place in which the souls of those are tried and punished, who, delaying to confess and amend their crimes, at length have recourse to repentance at the point of death, and so depart this life; but nevertheless because they, even at their death, confessed and repented, they shall all be received into the kingdom of heaven at the day of judgment; but many are relieved before the day of judgment, by the prayers, alms, and fasting, of the living, and more especially by masses. That fiery and stinking pit, which you saw, is the mouth of hell, into which whosoever falls shall never be delivered to all eternity. This flowery place, in which you see these most beautiful young people, so bright and merry, is that into which the souls of those are received who depart the body in good works, but who are not so perfect as to deserve to be immediately admitted into the kingdom of heaven; yet they shall all, at the day of judgment, see Christ, and partake of the joys of his kingdom; for whoever are perfect in thought, word and deed, as soon as they depart the body, immediately enter into the kingdom of heaven; in the neighbourhood whereof that place is, where you heard the sound of sweet singing, with the fragrant odour and bright light. As for you, who are now to return to your body, and live among men again, if you will endeavour nicely to examine your actions, and direct your speech and behaviour in righteousness and simplicity, you shall, after death, have a place of residence among these joyful troops of blessed souls; for when I left you for a while, it was to know how you were to be disposed of.’ When he had said this to me, I much abhorred returning to my body, being delighted with the sweetness and beauty of the place I beheld, and with the company of those I saw in it. However, I durst not ask him any questions; but in the meantime, on a sudden, I found myself alive among men.”
Now these and other things which this man of God saw, he would not relate to slothful persons and such as lived negligently; but only to those who, being terrified with the dread of torments, or delighted with the hopes of heavenly joys, would make use of his words to advance in piety. In the neighbourhood of his cell lived one Hemgils, a monk, eminent in the priesthood, which he honoured by his good works: he is still living, and leading a solitary life in Ireland, supporting his declining age with coarse bread and cold water. He often went to that man, and asking several questions, heard of him all the particulars of what he had seen when separated from his body; by whose relation we also came to the knowledge of those few particulars which we have briefly set down. He also related his visions to King Alfrid, a man most learned in all respects, and was by him so willingly and attentively heard, that at his request he was admitted into the monastery above-mentioned, and received the monastic tonsure; and the said king, when he happened to be in those parts, very often went to hear him. At that time the religious and humble abbot and priest, Ethelwald, presided over the monastery, and now with worthy conduct possesses the episcopal see of the church of Lindisfarne.
He had a more private place of residence assigned him in that monastery, where he might apply himself to the service of his Creator in continual prayer. And as that place lay on the bank of the river, he was wont often to go into the same to do penance in his body, and many times to dip quite under the water, and to continue saying psalms or prayers in the same as long as he could endure it, standing still sometimes up to the middle, and sometimes to the neck in water; and when he went out from thence ashore, he never took off his cold and frozen garments till they grew warm and dry on his body. And when in the winter the half-broken pieces of ice were swimming about him, which he had himself broken, to make room to stand or dip himself in the river, those who beheld it would say, “It is wonderful, brother Drithelm, (for so he was called,) that you are able to endure such violent cold;” he simply answered, for he was a man of much simplicity and indifferent wit, “I have seen greater cold.” And when they said, “It is strange that you will endure such austerity;” he replied, “I have seen more austerity.” Thus he continued, through an indefatigable desire of heavenly bliss, to subdue his aged body with daily fasting, till the day of his being called away; and he forwarded the salvation of many by his words and example.
OF ANOTHER, WHO BEFORE HIS DEATH SAW A BOOK CONTAINING ALL HIS SINS, WHICH WAS SHOWED HIM BY DEVILS.
A vision in Mercia. 704-709.
IT happened quite the contrary with one in the province of the Mercians, whose visions and words, and also his behaviour, were neither advantageous to others nor to himself. In the reign of Coenred, who succeeded Ethelred, there was a layman in a military employment, no less acceptable to the king for his worldly industry than displeasing to him for his private neglect of himself. The king often admonished him to confess and amend, and to forsake his wicked courses, before he should lose all time for repentance and amendment by a sudden death. Though frequently warned, he despised the words of salvation, and promised he would do penance at some future time. In the meantime, falling sick, he was confined to his bed, and began to feel very severe pains. The king coming to him (for he loved the man), earnestly exhorted him, even then, before death, to repent of his offences. He answered, “He would not then confess his sins, but would do it when he was recovered of his sickness, lest his companions should upbraid him of having done that for fear of death, which he had refused to do in health.” He thought he then spoke very bravely, but it afterwards appeared that he had been miserably deluded by the wiles of the Devil.
The distemper still increasing, when the king came again to visit and instruct him, he cried out with a lamentable voice, “What will you have now? What are you come for? for you can no longer do me any good.” The king answered, “Do not talk so; behave yourself like a man in his right mind.”—“I am not mad,” replied he, “but I have now all the guilt of my wicked conscience before my eyes.”—“What is the meaning of that?” rejoined the king. “Not long since,” said he, “there came into this room two most beautiful youths, and sat down by me, the one at my head, and the other at my feet. One of them produced a very small and most curious book, and gave it me to read; looking into it, I there found all the good actions I had ever done in my life, written down, and they were very few and inconsiderable. They took back the book and said nothing to me. Then, on a sudden, appeared an army of wicked and deformed spirits, encompassing this house without, and filling it within. Then he, who, by the blackness of his dismal face, and his sitting above the rest, seemed to be the chief of them, taking out a book, horrid to behold, of a prodigious size, and of almost insupportable weight, commanded one of his followers to bring it to me to read. Having read it, I found therein most plainly written in black characters, all the crimes I ever committed, not only in word and deed, but even in the least thought; and he said to those men in white, who sat by me, ‘Why do you sit here, since you most certainly know that this man is ours?’ They answered, ‘You are in the right; take and add him to the number of the damned.’ This said, they immediately vanished, and two most wicked spirits rising, having forks in their hands, one of them struck me on the head, and the other on the foot. These strokes are now with great torture penetrating through my bowels to the inward parts of my body, and as soon as they meet I shall die, and the devils being ready to snatch me away, I shall be dragged into hell.”
Thus talked that wretch in despair, and dying soon after, he is now in vain suffering in eternal torments that penance which he refused to suffer during a short time, that he might obtain forgiveness. Of whom it is manifest, that (as the holy Pope Gregory writes of certain persons) he did not see these things for his own sake, since they availed him only for the instruction of others, who, knowing of his death, should be afraid to put off the time of repentance, whilst they have leisure, lest being prevented by sudden death, they should depart impenitent. His having books laid before him by the good or evil spirits, was done by Divine dispensation, that we may keep in mind that our actions and thoughts are not lost in the wind, but are all kept to be examined by the Supreme Judge, and will in the end be shown us either by friendly or hostile angels. As to the angels first producing a white book, and then the devils a black one; the former a very small one, the latter one very large; it is to be observed, that in his first years he did some good actions, all which he nevertheless obscured by the evil actions of his youth. If, on the contrary, he had taken care in his youth to correct the errors of his more tender years, and to cancel them in God’s sight by doing well, he might have been associated to the number of those of whom the Psalm says, “Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are hid.” This story, as I learned it of the venerable Bishop Pechthelm, I thought proper to relate in a plain manner, for the salvation of my hearers.
OF ANOTHER, WHO BEING AT THE POINT OF DEATH, SAW THE PLACE OF PUNISHMENT APPOINTED FOR HIM IN HELL.
Of another vision. 704-9.
I KNEW a brother myself, would to God I had not known him, whose name I could mention if it were necessary, and who resided in a noble monastery, but lived himself ignobly. He was frequently reproved by the brethren and elders of the place, and admonished to adopt a more regular life; and though he would not give ear to them, he was long patiently borne with by them, on account of his usefulness in temporal works, for he was an excellent carpenter; he was much addicted to drunkenness, and other pleasures of a lawless life, and more used to stop in his workhouse day and night, than to go to church to sing and pray, and hear the word of life with the brethren. For which reason it happened to him according to the saying, that he who will not willingly and humbly enter the door of the church will certainly be damned, and enter the gate of hell against his will. For he falling sick, and being reduced to extremity, called the brethren, and with much lamentation, and like one damned, began to tell them, that he saw hell open, and Satan at the bottom thereof; as also Caiaphas, with the others that slew our Lord, by him delivered up to avenging flames. “In whose neighbourhood,” said he, “I see a place of eternal perdition provided for me, miserable wretch.” The brothers, hearing these words, began seriously to exhort him, that he should repent even then whilst he was in the flesh. He answered in despair, “I have no time now to change my course of life, when I have myself seen my judgment passed.”
Whilst uttering these words, he died without having received the saving viaticum, and his body was buried in the remotest parts of the monastery, nor did any one dare either to say masses or sing psalms, or even to pray for him. How far has our Lord divided the light from darkness! The blessed martyr, Stephen, being about to suffer death for the truth, saw the heavens open, the glory of God revealed, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And where he was to be after death, there he fixed the eyes of his mind, that he might die with the more satisfaction. On the contrary, this carpenter, of a dark mind and actions, when death was at hand, saw hell open and witnessed the damnation of the Devil and his followers; the unhappy wretch also saw his own prison among them, to the end that, despairing of his salvation, he might die the more miserably; but might by his perdition afford cause of salvation to the living who should hear of it. This happened lately in the province of the Bernicians, and being reported abroad far and near, inclined many to do penance for their sins without delay, which we hope may also be the result of this our narrative.
SEVERAL CHURCHES OF THE SCOTS, AT THE INSTANCE OF ADAMNAN, CONFORMED TO THE CATHOLIC EASTER; THE SAME PERSON WROTE A BOOK ABOUT THE HOLY PLACES.
AT this time a great part of the Scots in Ireland, and some also of the Britons in Britain, through the goodness of God, conformed to the proper and ecclesiastical time of keeping Easter. Adamnan, priest and abbot of the monks that were in the isle of Hii, was sent ambassador by his nation to Alfrid, king of the English, where he made some stay, observing the canonical rites of the church, and was earnestly admonished by many, who were more learned than himself, not to presume to live contrary to the universal custom of the Church, either in relation to the observance of Easter, or any other decrees whatsoever, considering the small number of his followers, seated in so distant a corner of the world; in consequence of this he changed his mind, and readily preferred those things which he had seen and heard in the English churches, to the customs which he and his people had hitherto followed. For he was a good and wise man, and remarkably learned in Holy Scripture. Returning home, he endeavoured to bring his own people that were in the isle of Hii, or that were subject to that monastery, into the way of truth, which he had learned and embraced with all his heart; but in this he could not prevail. He then sailed over into Ireland, to preach to those people, and by modestly declaring the legal time of Easter, he reduced many of them, and almost all that were not under the dominion of those of Hii, to the Catholic unity, and taught them to keep the legal time of Easter.
Adamnan dies. 704.
Returning to his island, after having celebrated the canonical Easter in Ireland, he most earnestly inculcated the observance of the Catholic time of Easter in his monastery, yet without being able to prevail; and it so happened that he departed this life before the next year came round, the Divine goodness so ordaining it, that as he was a great lover of peace and unity, he should be taken away to everlasting life before he should be obliged, on the return of the time of Easter, to quarrel still more seriously with those that would not follow him in the truth.
Adamnan’s book on the Holy Places.
This same person wrote a book about the holy places, most useful to many readers; his authority, from whom he procured his information, was Arculf, a French bishop, who had gone to Jerusalem for the sake of the holy places; and having seen all the Land of Promise, travelled to Damascus, Constantinople, Alexandria, and many islands, and returning home by sea, was by a violent storm forced upon the western coast of Britain. After many other accidents, he came to the aforesaid servant of Christ, Adamnan, who, finding him to be learned in the Scriptures, and acquainted with the holy places, entertained him zealously, and attentively gave ear to him, insomuch that he presently committed to writing all that Arculf said he had seen remarkable in the holy places. Thus he composed a work beneficial to many, and particularly to those who, being far removed from those places where the patriarchs and apostles lived, know no more of them than what they learn by reading. Adamnan presented this book to King Alfrid, and through his bounty it came to be read by lesser persons. The writer thereof was also well rewarded by him, and sent back into his country. I believe it will be acceptable to our readers if we collect some particulars from the same, and insert them in our History.
THE ACCOUNT GIVEN BY THE AFORESAID BOOK OF THE PLACE OF OUR LORD’S NATIVITY, PASSION AND RESURRECTION.
Extracts from Adamnan.
HE wrote concerning the place of the nativity of our Lord, to this effect. “Bethlehem, the city of David, is seated on a narrow ridge, encompassed on all sides with valleys, being a thousand paces in length from east to west, the wall low without towers, built along the edge of the plain on the summit. In the east angle thereof is a sort of natural half cave, the outward part whereof is said to have been the place where our Lord was born; the inner is called our Lord’s Manger. This cave within is all covered with rich marble, over the place where our Lord is said particularly to have been born, and over it is the great church of St. Mary.” He likewise wrote about the place of his Passion and Resurrection in this manner. “Entering the city of Jerusalem on the north side, the first place to be visited, according to the disposition of the streets, is the church of Constantine, called the Martyrdom. It was built by the Emperor Constantine, in a royal and magnificent manner, on account of the cross of our Lord having been found there by his mother Helen. From hence, to the westward, appears the church of Golgotha, in which is also to be seen the rock which once bore the cross with our Saviour’s body fixed on it, and now it bears a large silver cross, with a great brazen wheel hanging over it surrounded with lamps. Under the place of our Lord’s cross, a vault is hewn out of the rock, in which sacrifice is offered on an altar for honourable persons deceased, their bodies remaining meanwhile in the street. To the westward of this is the Anastasis, that is, the round church of our Saviour’s resurrection, encompassed with three walls, and supported by twelve columns. Between each of the walls is a broad space, containing three altars at three different points of the middle wall; to the north, the south, and the west, it has eight doors or entrances through the three opposite walls; four whereof front to the north-east, and four to the south-east. In the midst of it is the round tomb of our Lord cut out of the rock, the top of which a man standing within can touch; the entrance is on the east; against it is laid that great stone, which to this day bears the marks of the iron tools within, but on the outside it is all covered with marble to the very top of the roof, which is adorned with gold, and bears a large golden cross. In the north part of the monument, the tomb of our Lord is hewed out of the same rock, seven feet in length, and three palms above the floor; the entrance being on the south side, where twelve lamps burn day and night, four within the sepulchre, and eight above on the right hand side. The stone that was laid at the entrance to the monument, is now cleft in two; nevertheless, the lesser part of it stands as a square altar before the door of the monument; the greater part makes another square altar at the east end of the same church, and is covered with linen cloths. The colour of the said monument and sepulchre appears to be white and red.”
OF THE PLACE OF OUR LORD’S ASCENSION, AND THE TOMBS OF THE PATRIARCHS.
CONCERNING the place of our Lord’s ascension, the aforesaid author writes thus. “Mount Olivet is equal in height to Mount Sion, but exceeds it in breadth and length; bearing few trees besides vines and olive trees, and is fruitful in wheat and barley, for the nature of that soil is not calculated for bearing things of large or heavy growth, but grass and flowers. On the very top of it, where our Lord ascended into heaven, is a large round church, having about it three vaulted porches. For the inner house could not be vaulted and covered, because of the passage of our Lord’s body; but it has an altar on the east side, covered with a narrow roof. In the midst of it are to be seen the last prints of our Lord’s feet, the sky appearing open above where he ascended; and though the earth is daily carried away by believers, yet still it remains as before, and retains the same impression of the feet. Near this lies an iron wheel, as high as a man’s neck, having an entrance towards the west, with a great lamp hanging above it on a pulley, and burning night and day. In the western part of the same church are eight windows; and eight lamps, hanging opposite to them by cords, cast their light through the glass as far as Jerusalem; this light is said to strike the hearts of the beholders with a sort of joy and humility. Every year, on the day of the Ascension, when mass is ended, a strong blast of wind is said to come down, and to cast to the ground all that are in the church.”
Of the situation of Hebron, and the tombs of the fathers, he writes thus. “Hebron, once the city and metropolis of David’s kingdom, now only showing what it was by its ruins, has, one furlong to the east of it, a double cave in the valley, where the tombs of the patriarchs are enclosed with a square wall, their heads lying to the north. Each of the tombs is covered with a single stone, worked like the stones of a church, and of a white colour, for three patriarchs. Adam’s is of more mean and common workmanship, and lies not far from them at the farthest northern extremity. There are also some poorer and smaller monuments of three women. The hill Mamre is a thousand paces from the monuments, and is full of grass and flowers, having a flat plain on the top. In the northern part of it, Abraham’s oak, being a stump about twice as high as a man, is enclosed in a church.”
Thus much have we collected from the works of the aforesaid writer, keeping to the sense of his words, but more briefly delivered, and have thought fit to insert in our History. Whosoever desires to see more of the contents of that book, may see it either in the same, or in that which we have lately epitomized from it.
THE SOUTH SAXONS RECEIVED EADBERT AND EOLLA, AND THE WEST SAXONS, DANIEL AND ALDHELM, FOR THEIR BISHOPS. OF THE WRITINGS OF THE SAME ALDHELM.
IN the year of the incarnation of our Lord 705, Alfrid, king of the Northumbrians, died just before the end of the twentieth year of his reign. His son Osred, a boy about eight years of age, succeeding him in the throne, reigned eleven years. In the beginning of his reign, Heddi, bishop of the West Saxons, departed to the heavenly kingdom; for he was a good and just man, and exercised his episcopal duties rather by his innate love of virtue, than by what he had gained from learning. The most reverend prelate, Pechthelm, of whom we shall speak in the proper place, and who was a long time either deacon or monk with his successor Aldhelm, is wont to relate that many miraculous cures have been wrought in the place where he died, through the merit of his sanctity; and that the men of that province used to carry the dust from thence for the sick, which, when they had put into water, the sprinkling or drinking thereof restored health to many sick men and beasts; so that the holy earth being frequently carried away, there was a considerable hole left.
Upon his death the bishopric of that province was divided into two dioceses. One of them was given to Daniel, which he governs to this day; the other to Aldhelm, wherein he most worthily presided four years; both of them were well instructed, as well in ecclesiastical affairs as in the knowledge of the Scriptures. Aldhelm, when he was only a priest and abbot of the monastery of Malmesbury, by order of a synod of his own nation, wrote a notable book against the error of the Britons, in not celebrating Easter at the proper time, and in doing several other things not consonant to the purity and the peace of the church; and by the reading of this book he persuaded many of them, who were subject to the West Saxons, to adopt the Catholic celebration of our Lord’s resurrection. He likewise wrote a notable book on Virginity, which, in imitation of Sedulius, he composed double, that is, in hexameter verse and prose. He wrote some other books, as being a man most learned in all respects, for he had a clean style, and was, as I have said, wonderful for ecclesiastical and liberal erudition. On his death, Forthere was made bishop in his stead, and is living at this time, being likewise a man very learned in Holy Writ.
Eadbert first bishop of Sussex. 709.
Whilst they were bishops, it was decreed in a synod, that the province of the South Saxons, which till then belonged to the diocese of the city of Winchester, where Daniel then presided, should also have an episcopal see, and a bishop of its own. Eadbert, at that time abbot of the monastery of Bishop Wilfrid, of blessed memory, called Selsey, was consecrated their first bishop. On his death, Eolla succeeded in the bishopric. He also died some years since, and the bishopric has been discontinued to this day.
COINRED, KING OF THE MERCIANS, AND OFFA, OF THE EAST SAXONS, ENDED THEIR DAYS AT ROME, IN THE MONASTIC HABIT. OF THE LIFE AND DEATH OF BISHOP WILFRID.
Coinred and Offa become monks.
IN the fourth year of the reign of Osred, Coinred, who had for some time nobly governed the kingdom of the Mercians, did a much more noble act, by quitting the throne of his kingdom, and going to Rome, where being shorn, when Constantine was pope, and made a monk at the relics of the apostles, he continued to his last hour in prayers, fasting and alms-deeds. He was succeeded in the throne by Ceolred, the son of Ethelred, who had been king before Coinred. With him went the son of Sighere, king of the East Saxons above-mentioned, whose name was Offa, a youth of most lovely age and beauty, and most earnestly desired by all his nation to be their king. He, with like devotion, quitted his wife, lands, kindred and country, for Christ and for the Gospel, that “he might receive an hundred-fold in this life, and in the world to come life everlasting.” He also, when they came to the holy places at Rome, receiving the tonsure, and adopting a monastic life, attained the long wishedfor sight of the blessed apostles in heaven.
Bishop Wilfrid dies.Of Wilfrid’s life. 648. 653. 654
The same year that they departed from Britain, the celebrated prelate, Wilfrid, died in the province of Inundalum, after he had been bishop forty-five years. His body, being laid in a coffin, was carried to his monastery, called Ripon, and there buried in the church of the blessed Apostle Peter, with the honour due to so great a prelate. We will now turn back, and briefly mention some particulars of his life. Being a boy of a good disposition, and behaving himself worthily at that age, he conducted himself so modestly and discreetly in all respects, that he was deservedly beloved, respected and cherished by his elders as one of themselves. At fourteen years of age he preferred the monastic to the secular life; which, when he had signified to his father, for his mother was dead, he readily consented to his heavenly wishes, and advised him to persist in his holy resolution. Accordingly he came to the isle of Lindisfarne, and there giving himself up to the service of the monks, he took care diligently to learn and to perform those things which belong to monastic purity and piety; and being of an acute understanding, he in a very short time learned the psalms and some books, before he was shorn, but when he was already become very remarkable for the greater virtues of humility and obedience: for which he was deservedly beloved and respected by his equals and elders. Having served God some years in that monastery, and being a clear-sighted youth, he observed that the way to virtue taught by the Scots was not perfect, and he resolved to go to Rome, to see what ecclesiastical or monastic rites were in use there. The brethren being made acquainted therewith, commended his design, and advised him to put it into execution. He then repaired to Queen Eanfled, to whom he was well known, and who had got him into that monastery by her advice and assistance, and acquainted her that he was desirous to visit the churches of the apostles. She, being pleased with the youth’s resolution, sent him into Kent, to King Earconbert, who was her uncle’s son, requesting that he would send him to Rome in an honourable manner. At that time, Honorius, one of the disciples of the holy Pope Gregory, and well instructed in ecclesiastical institutes, was archbishop there. Whilst he made some stay there, and being a youth of an active spirit, diligently applied himself to learn those things which he undertook, another youth, called Biscop, or otherwise Benedict, of the English nobility, arrived there, being likewise desirous to go to Rome, of which we have before made mention.
The king gave him Wilfrid for a companion, with orders to conduct him to Rome. When they came to Lyons, Wilfrid was detained there by Dalfin, the bishop of that city; but Benedict hastened on to Rome. That prelate was delighted with the youth’s prudent discourse, the gracefulness of his aspect, the alacrity of his behaviour, and the sedateness and gravity of his thoughts; for which reason he plentifully supplied him and his companions with all necessaries, as long as they stayed with him; and further offered to commit to him the government of a considerable part of France, to give him a maiden daughter of his own brother to wife, and to receive him as his adopted son. He returned thanks for the favour, which he was pleased to show to a stranger, and answered, that he had resolved upon another course of life, and for that reason had left his country and set out for Rome.
Hereupon the bishop sent him to Rome, furnishing him with a guide and plenty of all things requisite for his journey, earnestly requesting that he would come that way when he returned into his own country. Wilfrid arriving at Rome, by constantly applying himself to prayer and the study of ecclesiastical affairs, as he had before proposed to himself, gained the friendship of the most holy and learned Boniface, the archdeacon, who was also counsellor to the pope, by whose instruction he regularly learned the four Gospels, the true calculation of Easter, and many other things appertaining to ecclesiastical discipline, which he could not attain in his own country. When he had spent some months there, in successful study, he returned into France, to Dalfin; and having stayed with him three years, received from him the tonsure, and was so much beloved that he had thoughts of making him his heir; but this was prevented by the bishop’s untimely death, and Wilfrid was reserved to be bishop of his own, that is, the English, nation; for Queen Baldhilda sent soldiers with orders to put the bishop to death; whom Wilfrid, his clerk, attended to the place where he was to be beheaded, being very desirous, though the bishop opposed it, to die with him; but the executioners, understanding that he was a stranger, and of the English nation, spared him, and would not put him to death with his bishop.
Returning to England, he was admitted to the friendship of King Alfrid, who had always followed the catholic rules of the Church; and therefore finding him to be a Catholic, he gave him land of ten families, at the place called Stanford; and not long after, the monastery, of thirty families, at the place called Ripon; which place he had lately given to those that followed the doctrine of the Scots, to build a monastery upon. But, forasmuch as they afterwards, being left to their choice, would rather quit the place than adopt the catholic Easter, and other canonical rites, according to the custom of the Roman Apostolic Church, he gave the same to him, whom he found to follow better discipline and better customs.
At the same time, by the said king’s command, he was ordained priest in the same monastery, by Agilbert, bishop of the West Saxons above-mentioned, the king being desirous that a man of so much piety and learning should continue with him as priest and teacher; and not long after, having discovered and banished the Scottish sect, as was said above, he, with the advice and consent of his father Oswy, sent him into France, to be consecrated bishop, at about thirty years of age, the same Agilbert being then bishop of Paris, and eleven other bishops meeting at the consecration of the new bishop, that function was most honourably performed. Whilst he was yet beyond the sea, Ceadda, a holy man, was consecrated bishop of York, by command of King Oswy, as has been said above; and having ably ruled that church three years, he retired to govern his monastery of Lestingau, and Wilfrid was made bishop of all the province of the Northumbrians.
Wilfrid expelled. 677.
Afterwards, in the reign of Egfrid, he was expelled his bishopric, and others were consecrated bishops in his stead, of whom mention has been made above. Designing to go to Rome, to answer for himself before the pope, when he was aboard the ship, the wind blew hard west, and he was driven into Frisland, and honourably received by that barbarous people and their King Aldgist, to whom he preached Christ, and instructed many thousands of them in the word of truth, washing them from their abominations in the laver of salvation. Thus he there began the work of the Gospel which was afterwards finished by Wilbrord, a most reverend bishop of Jesus Christ. Having spent the winter there with his new converts, he set out again on his way to Rome, where his cause being tried before Pope Agatho and several bishops, he was, by their universal consent, acquitted of what had been laid to his charge, and declared worthy of his bishopric.
At the same time, the said Pope Agatho assembling a synod at Rome, of one hundred and twenty-five bishops, against those that taught there was only one will and operation in our Lord and Saviour, ordered Wilfrid also to be summoned, and, when seated among the bishops, to declare his own faith and the faith of the province or island from whence he came; and they being found orthodox in their faith, it was thought fit to record the same among the acts of that synod, which was done in this manner: “Wilfrid, the beloved of God, bishop of the city of York, having referred to the Apostolic See, and being by that authority acquitted of every thing, whether specified against him or not, and having taken his seat in judgment, with one hundred and twenty-five other bishops in the synod, made confession of the true and catholic faith, and subscribed the same in the name of all the northern part of Britain and Ireland, inhabited by the English and Britons, as also by the Scots and Picts.”
After this, returning into Britain, he converted the province of the South Saxons from their idolatrous worship. He also sent ministers to the Isle of Wight; and in the second year of Alfrid, who reigned after Egfrid, was restored to his see and bishopric by that king’s invitation. However, five years after, being again accused by that same king and several bishops, he was again expelled his diocese. Coming to Rome, together with his accusers, and being allowed to make his defence before a number of bishops and the apostolic Pope John, it was declared by the unanimous judgment of them all, that his accusers had in part laid false accusations to his charge; and the aforesaid pope undertook to write to the kings of the English, Ethelred and Alfrid, to cause him to be restored to his bishopric, because he had been falsely accused.
His acquittal was much forwarded by the reading of the synod of Pope Agatho, of blessed memory, which had been formerly held when Wilfrid was in Rome, and sat in council among the bishops, as has been said before. For that synod being, on account of the trial, by order of the apostolic pope, read before the nobility and a great number of the people for some days, they came to the place where it was written, “Wilfrid, the beloved of God, bishop of the city of York, having referred his cause to the Apostolic See, and being by that power cleared,” &c., as above stated. This being read, the hearers were amazed, and the reader stopping, they began to ask of one another, who that Bishop Wilfrid was? Then Boniface, the pope’s counsellor, and many others, who had seen him there in the days of Pope Agatho, said, he was the same bishop that lately came to Rome, to be tried by the Apostolic See, being accused by his people, and who, said they, having long since been here upon such like accusation, the cause and controversy between both parties being heard and discussed, was proved by Pope Agatho, of blessed memory, to have been wrongfully expelled from his bishopric, and so much honoured by him, that he commanded him to sit in the council of bishops which he had assembled, as a man of untainted faith and an upright mind. This being heard, the pope and all the rest said, that a man of such great authority, who had exercised the episcopal function near forty years, ought not to be condemned, but being cleared of all the crimes laid to his charge, to return home with honour.
Passing through France, on his way back to Britain, on a sudden he fell sick, and the distemper increasing, was so ill, that he could not ride, but was carried in his bed. Being thus come to the city of Meaux, in France, he lay four days and nights, as if he had been dead, and only by his faint breathing showed that he had any life in him; having continued so four days, without meat or drink, speaking or hearing, he, at length, on the fifth day, in the morning, as it were awakening out of a dead sleep, sat up in the bed, and opening his eyes, saw numbers of brethren singing and weeping about him, and fetching a sigh, asked where Acca, the priest, was? This man, being called, immediately came in, and seeing him thus recovered and able to speak, knelt down, and returned thanks to God, with all the brethren there present. When they had sat awhile, and begun to discourse, with much reverence, on the heavenly judgments, the bishop ordered the rest to go out for an hour, and spoke to the priest, Acca, in this manner:—
“A dreadful vision has now appeared to me, which I wish you to hear and keep secret, till I know how God will please to dispose of me. There stood by me a certain person, remarkable for his white garments, telling me he was Michael, the archangel, and said, ‘I am sent to save you from death: for the Lord has granted you life, through the prayers and tears of your disciples, and the intercession of his blessed mother Mary, of perpetual virginity; wherefore I tell you, that you shall now recover from this sickness; but be ready, for I will return to visit you at the end of four years. But when you come into your country, you shall recover most of the possessions that have been taken from you, and shall end your days in perfect peace.’ ” The bishop accordingly recovered, at which all persons rejoiced, and gave thanks to God, and setting forward on his journey, arrived in Britain.
Buried at Ripon. 709.
Having read the letters which he brought from the apostolic pope, Bertwald, the archbishop, and Ethelred, who had been formerly king, but was then an abbot, readily took his part; for the said Ethelred, calling to him Coinred, whom he had made king in his own stead, he requested of him to be friends with Wilfrid, in which request he prevailed; but Alfrid, king of the Northumbrians, refused to admit him, but died soon after. His son, Osred, then coming to the crown, and a synod being assembled, near the river Nidd, after some contesting on both sides, at length, by the consent of all, he was admitted to preside over his church; and thus he lived in peace four years, till the day of his death. He died on the 12th of October, in his monastery, which he had in the province of Undalum, under the government of the Abbot Cuthbald; and by the ministry of the brethren, he was carried to his first monastery of Ripon, and buried in the church of Saint Peter the Apostle, close by the south end of the altar, as has been mentioned above, with this epitaph over him:
- Here the great prelate Wilfrid lies entomb’d,
- Who, led by piety, this temple rear’d
- To God, and hallow’d with blest Peter’s name,
- To whom our Lord the keys of heaven consign’d.
- Moreover gold and purple vestments gave,
- And plac’d a cross,—a trophy shining bright
- With richest ore—four books o’erwrought with gold,
- Sacred evangelists in order plac’d,
- And (suited well to these) a desk he rear’d,
- (Highly conspicuous) cas’d with ruddy gold.
- He likewise brought the time of Easter right,
- To the just standard of the canon law;
- Which our forefathers fixed and well observ’d,
- But long by error chang’d, he justly plac’d.
- Into these parts a numerous swarm of monks
- He brought, and strictly taught their founder’s rules.
- In lapse of years, by many dangers tossed;
- At home by discords, and in foreign realms,
- Having sat bishop five and forty years,
- He died, and joyful sought the realms above;
- That, blessed by Christ, and favour’d with his aid,
- The flock may follow in their pastor’s path.
ALBINUS SUCCEEDED TO THE RELIGIOUS ABBOT HADRIAN, AND ACCA TO BISHOP WILFRID.
Bishop Acca succeeds to Wilfrid, and Albinus to Hadrian.
THE next year after the death of the aforesaid father (Wilfrid), that is, in the first year of King Osred, the most reverend father, Abbot Hadrian, fellow-labourer in the word of God with Theodore the archbishop of blessed memory, died, and was buried in the church of the blessed Mother of God, in his own monastery, this being the forty-first year from his being sent by Pope Vitalian with Theodore, and the thirty-ninth after his arrival in England. Of whose learning, as well as that of Theodore, one testimony among others is, that Albinus, his disciple, who succeeded him in the government of his monastery, was so well instructed in the study of the Scriptures, that he knew the Greek tongue to no small perfection, and the Latin as thoroughly as the English, which was his native language.
Acca, bishop of Hexham.
Acca, his priest, succeeded Wilfrid in the bishopric of the church of Hagulstad; being himself a most active man, and great in the sight of God and man, he much adorned and added to the structure of his church, which is dedicated to the Apostle St. Andrew. For he made it his business, and does so still, to procure relics of the blessed apostles and martyrs of Christ from all parts, to place them on altars, dividing the same by arches in the walls of the church. Besides which, he diligently gathered the histories of their sufferings, together with other ecclesiastical writings, and erected there a most numerous and noble library. He likewise industriously provided holy vessels, lights, and such like things as appertain to the adorning of the house of God. He in like manner invited to him a celebrated singer, called Maban, who had been taught to sing by the successors of the disciples of the blessed Gregory in Kent, for him to instruct himself and his clergy, and kept him twelve years, to teach such ecclesiastical songs as were not known, and to restore those to their former state which were corrupted either by want of use, or through neglect. For Bishop Acca himself was a most expert singer, as well as most learned in Holy Writ, most pure in the confession of the catholic faith, and most observant in the rules of ecclesiastical institution; nor did he ever cease to be so till he received the rewards of his pious devotion, having been bred up and instructed among the clergy of the most holy and beloved of God, Bosa, bishop of York. Afterwards, coming to Bishop Wilfrid in hopes of improving himself, he spent the rest of his life under him till that bishop’s death, and going with him to Rome, learned there many profitable things concerning the government of the holy church, which he could not have learned in his own country.
ABBOT CEOLFRID SENT THE KING OF THE PICTS ARCHITECTS TO BUILD A CHURCH, AND WITH THEM AN EPISTLE CONCERNING THE CATHOLIC EASTER AND TONSURE.
Naitan, king of the Picts 710.
AT that time Naitan, king of the Picts, inhabiting the northern parts of Britain, taught by frequent meditation on the ecclesiastical writings, renounced the error which he and his nation had till then been under, in relation to the observance of Easter, and submitted, together with his people, to celebrate the catholic time of our Lord’s resurrection. For performing this with the more ease and greater authority, he sought assistance from the English, whom he knew to have long since formed their religion after the example of the holy Roman Apostolic Church. Accordingly he sent messengers to the venerable Ceolfrid, abbot of the monastery of the blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, which stands at the mouth of the river Were, and near the river Tyne, at the place called Jarrow, which he gloriously governed after Benedict, of whom we have before spoken; desiring, that he would write him a letter containing arguments, by the help of which he might the better confute those that presumed to keep Easter out of the due time; as also concerning the form and manner of tonsure for distinguishing the clergy; not to mention that he himself possessed much information in these particulars. He also prayed to have architects sent him to build a church in his nation after the Roman manner, promising to dedicate the same in honour of St. Peter, the prince of the apostles, and that he and all his people would always follow the custom of the holy Roman Apostolic Church, as far as their remoteness from the Roman language and nation would allow. The reverend Abbot Ceolfrid, complying with his desires and request, sent the architects he desired, and the following letter:—
Letter to Naitan.
“To the most excellent lord, and most glorious King Naitan, Abbot Ceolfrid greeting in the Lord. We most readily and willingly endeavour, according to your desire, to explain to you the catholic observance of holy Easter, according to what we have learned of the Apostolic See, as you, devout king, with a religious intention, have requested; for we know, that whenever the Church applies itself to learn, to teach, and to assert the truth, which are the affairs of our Lord, the same is given to it from heaven. For a certain worldly writer most truly said, that the world would be most happy if either kings were philosophers, or philosophers were kings. For if a worldly man could judge truly of the philosophy of this world, and form a correct choice concerning the state of this world, how much more is it to be wished, and most earnestly to be prayed for by the citizens of the heavenly country, who are travelling through this world, that the more powerful any persons are in this world, the more they may labour to be acquainted with the commands of Him who is the Supreme Judge, and by their example and authority may induce those that are committed to their charge, as well as themselves, to keep the same.
“There are three rules in the Sacred Writings, on account of which it is not lawful for any human authority to change the time of keeping Easter, which has been prescribed to us; two whereof are divinely established in the law of Moses; the third is added in the Gospel by means of the passion and resurrection of our Lord. For the law enjoined, that the Passover should be kept in the first month of the year, and the third week of that month, that is, from the fifteenth day to the one-and-twentieth. It is added, by apostolic institution, in the Gospel, that we are to wait for our Lord’s day in that third week, and to keep the beginning of the Paschal time on the same. Which threefold rule whosoever shall rightly observe, will never err in fixing the Paschal feast. But if you desire to be more plainly and fully informed in all these particulars, it is written in Exodus, where the people of Israel, being about to be delivered out of Egypt, are commanded to keep the first Passover, that the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month, they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house.’ And a little lower, ‘And he shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.’ By which words it most plainly appears, that thus in the Paschal observance mention is made of the fourteenth day, not that the Passover is commanded to be kept on that day: but the lamb is commanded to be killed on the evening of the fourteenth day; that is, on the fifteenth day of the moon, which is the beginning of the third week, when the moon appears in the sky. And because it was on the night of the fifteenth moon, when, by the slaughter of the Egyptians, Israel was redeemed from a long captivity, therefore it is said, ‘Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread.’ By which words all the third week of the same month is decreed to be kept solemn. But lest we should think that those same seven days were to be reckoned from the fourteenth to the twentieth, God immediately adds, ‘Even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses; for whosoever eateth leavened bread, from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel;’ and so on, till he says, ‘For in this self-same day I will bring your army out of the land of Egypt.’
“Thus he calls that the first day of unleavened bread, in which he was to bring their army out of Egypt. But it is evident, that they were not brought out of Egypt on the fourteenth day, in the evening whereof the lamb was killed, and which is properly called the Passover or Phase, but on the fifteenth day, as is most plainly written in the book of Numbers. ‘Departing therefore from Ramesse on the fifteenth day of the first month, the next day the Israelites kept the Passover with an high hand.’ Thus the seven days of unleavened bread, on the first whereof the people of God were brought out of Egypt, are to be reckoned from the beginning of the third week, as has been said, that is, from the fourteenth day of the first month, till the one-and-twentieth of the same month, that day included. But the fourteenth day is noted down separately from this number, by the name of the Passover, as is plainly made out by what follows in Exodus: where when it is said, ‘For in this same day I will bring your army out of the land of Egypt;’ it is presently added, ‘You shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one-and-twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses.’ Now, who is there that does not perceive, that there are not only seven days, but rather eight, from the fourteenth to the one-and-twentieth, if the fourteenth be also reckoned in the number? But if, as by diligent study of Scripture appears to be the truth, we reckon from the evening of the fourteenth day to the evening of the one-and-twentieth, we shall certainly find, that the same fourteenth day gives its evening for the beginning of the Paschal feast; so that the sacred solemnity contains no more than only seven nights and as many days. By which our definition is proved to be true, wherein we said, that the Paschal time is to be celebrated in the first month of the year, and the third week of the same. For it is really the third week, because it begins on the evening of the fourteenth day, and ends on the evening of the one-and-twentieth.
“But since Christ our Paschal Lamb is slain, and has made the Lord’s day, which among the ancients was called the first after the Sabbath, a solemn day to us for the joy of his resurrection, the apostolic tradition has so inserted it into the Paschal festivals as to decree, that nothing in the least be anticipated, or detracted from the time of the legal Passover; but rather ordains, that the same first month should be waited for, pursuant to the precept of the Law, and accordingly the fourteenth day of the same, and the evening thereof. And when this day should happen to fall on the Sabbath, every one in his family should take a lamb, and kill it in the evening, that is, that all the churches throughout the world, composing one catholic church, should provide bread and wine for the mystery of the flesh and blood of the unspotted Lamb ‘that took away the sins of the world;’ and after the solemnity of reading the lessons and prayers of the Paschal ceremonies, they should offer up these things to the Lord, in hopes of future redemption. For that same night in which the people of Israel were delivered out of Egypt by the blood of the Lamb, is the very same in which all the people of God were, by Christ’s resurrection, delivered from eternal death. Then, on the morning of the Lord’s day, they should celebrate the first day of the Paschal festival; for that is the day on which our Lord, with much joy of pious revelation, made known the glory of his resurrection. The same is the first day of unleavened bread, concerning which it is distinctly written in Leviticus, ‘In the fourteenth day of the first month, at even, is the Lord’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month, is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord; seven days ye must eat unleavened bread; the first day shall be most solemn and holy.’
“If therefore it could be that the Lord’s day should always happen on the fifteenth day of the first month, that is, on the fifteenth moon, we might always celebrate Easter at the very same time with the ancient people of God, though the nature of the mystery be different, as we do it with one and the same faith. But in regard that the day of the week does not keep pace exactly with the moon, the apostolical tradition, which was preached at Rome by St. Peter, and confirmed at Alexandria by Mark the Evangelist, his interpreter, appointed that when the first month was come, and in it the evening of the fourteenth day, we should also wait for the Lord’s day, which falls between the fifteenth and the one-and-twentieth day of the same month. For on whichever of those days it shall fall, Easter will be properly kept on the same; as it is one of those seven days on which the unleavened bread is ordered to be kept. Thus it comes to pass that our Easter never deviates from the third week of the first month, but either observes the whole, or at least some of the seven legal days of unleavened bread. For though it takes in but one of them, that is, the seventh, which the Scripture so highly commends, saying, ‘But the seventh day shall be more solemn and holy, ye shall do no servile work therein,’ none can lay it to our charge, that we do not rightly keep our Lord’s Paschal day, which we received from the Gospel, in the third week of the first month, as the Law prescribes.
“The catholic reason of this observance being thus explained; the unreasonable error, on the other hand, of those who, without any necessity, presume either to anticipate, or to go beyond the term prescribed in the Law, is manifest. For they that think the Lord’s day of Easter is to be observed from the fourteenth day of the first month till the twentieth moon, anticipate the time prescribed in the law, without any necessary reason; for when they begin to celebrate the vigil of the holy night from the evening of the thirteenth day, it is plain that they make that day the beginning of their Easter, whereof they find no mention in the Law; and when they refuse to celebrate our Lord’s Easter on the one-and-twentieth day of the month, they wholly exclude that day from their solemnity, which the Law often recommends as memorable for the greater festival; and thus, perverting the proper order, they place Easter day in the second week, and sometimes keep it entirely in the same, and never bring it to the seventh day of the third week. And again, because they rather think that Easter is to be kept on the sixteenth day of the said month, and so to the two-and-twentieth, they no less erroneously, though the contrary way, deviate from the right way of truth, and as it were avoiding to be shipwrecked on Scylla, they run on and are drowned in the whirlpool of Charybdis. For when they teach that Easter is to be begun at the rising of the sixteenth moon of the first month, that is, from the evening of the fifteenth day, it is manifest that they altogether exclude from their solemnity the fourteenth day of the same month, which the Law firstly and chiefly recommends; so that they scarcely touch upon the evening of the fifteenth day, on which the people of God were delivered from the Egyptian servitude, and on which our Lord, by his blood, rescued the world from the darkness of sin, and on which being also buried, he gave us hopes of a blessed repose after death.
“And the same persons, taking upon themselves the penalty of their error, when they place the Lord’s day of Easter on the twenty-second day of the month, openly transgress and exceed the legal term of Easter, as beginning the Easter on the evening of that day in which the Law appointed it to be finished and completed; and appoint that to be the first day of Easter, whereof no mention is any where found in the Law, viz. the first of the fourth week. And they are sometimes mistaken, not only in defining and computing the moon’s age, but also in finding the first month; but this controversy is longer than can or ought to be contained in this letter. I will only say thus much, that by the vernal equinox, it may always be found, without the chance of an error, which is the first month of the year, according to the lunar calculation, and which the last. But the equinox, according to the opinion of all the Eastern nations, and particularly of the Egyptians, who exceed all other learned men in that calculation, usually happens on the twelfth day of the kalends of April, as we also prove by horological inspection. Whatever moon therefore is at the full before the equinox, being on the fourteenth or fifteenth day, the same belongs to the last month of the foregoing year, and consequently is not proper for the celebration of Easter; but that moon which is full after the equinox, or on the very equinox, belongs to the first month, and in it, without a doubt, the ancients were wont to celebrate the Passover; and we also ought to keep Easter when the Sunday comes. And that this must be so, there is this cogent reason, because it is written in Genesis, that ‘God made two lights; a greater light to rule the day, and a lesser light to rule the night.’ Or, as another edition has it, ‘A greater light to begin the day, and a lesser to begin the night.’ The sun, therefore, proceeding from the midst of the east, fixed the vernal equinox by his rising, and afterwards the moon, when the sun set in the evening, followed full from the midst of the east; thus every year the same first month of the moon must be observed in the like order, so that the full moon must be either on the very day of the equinox, as was done from the beginning, or after it is gone by. But if the full of the moon shall happen to be but one day before the time of the equinox, the aforesaid reason proves that such moon is not to be assigned to the first month of the new year, but rather to the last of the preceding, and that it is therefore not proper for the celebration of the Paschal festival.
“Now if it will please you likewise to hear the mystical reason in this matter, we are commanded to keep Easter in the first month of the year, which is also called the month of the new fruit, because we are to celebrate the mysteries of our Lord’s resurrection and our deliverance, with our minds renewed to the love of heavenly things. We are commanded to keep it in the third week of the same month, because Christ, who had been promised before the Law, and under the Law, came with grace, in the third age of the world, to be slain as our Passover; and rising from the dead the third day after the offering of his passion, he wished this to be called the Lord’s day, and the festival of his resurrection to be yearly celebrated on the same. For we also, in this manner only, can truly celebrate his solemnity, if we take care with him to keep the Passover, that is, the passage out of this world to the Father, by faith, hope and charity. We are commanded to observe the full moon of the Paschal month after the vernal equinox, to the end, that the sun may first make the day longer than the night, and then the moon may afford the world her full orb of light; inasmuch as first ‘the sun of righteousness, in whose wings is salvation,’ that is, our Lord Jesus, by the triumph of his resurrection, dispelled all the darkness of death, and so ascending into heaven, filled his Church, which is often signified by the name of the moon, with the light of inward grace, by sending down upon her his Spirit. Which plan of salvation the prophet had in his mind, when he said ‘The sun was exalted and the moon stood in her order.’
“He, therefore, who shall contend that the full Paschal moon can happen before the equinox, deviates from the doctrine of the Holy Scriptures, in the celebration of the greatest mysteries, and agrees with those who confide that they may be saved without the grace of Christ forerunning them; and who presume to teach that they might have attained to perfect righteousness, though the true light had never vanquished the darkness of the world, by dying and rising again. Thus, after the equinoctial rising of the sun, and after the subsequent full moon of the first month, that is, after the end of the fourteenth day of the same month, all which, according to the law, ought to be observed, we still, by the instruction of the Gospel, wait in the third week for the Lord’s day; and thus, at length, we celebrate our due Easter solemnity, to show that we do not, with the ancients, honour the shaking off of the Egyptian yoke; but that, with devout faith and affection, we worship the redemption of the whole world; which having been prefigured in the deliverance of God’s ancient people, was completed in Christ’s resurrection, to make it appear that we rejoice in the sure and certain hope of the day of our own resurrection, which we believe will happen on the same Lord’s day.
“Now this calculation of Easter, which we show you is to be followed, is contained in a circle or revolution of nineteen years, which began long since, that is, in the very times of the apostles, especially at Rome and in Egypt, as has been said above. But by the industry of Eusebius, who took his surname from the blessed martyr Pamphilus, it was reduced to a plainer system; insomuch that what till then used to be sent about to all the several churches by the patriarch of Alexandria, might, from that time forward, be most easily known by all men, the course of the fourteenth day of the moon being regularly ordered. This Paschal calculation, Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, composed for the Emperor Theodosius, for a hundred years to come. Cyril also, his successor, comprised a series of ninety-five years in five revolutions of nineteen years. After whom, Dionysius Exiguus added as many more, in the same manner, reaching down to our own time. The expiration of these is now drawing near, but there is so great a number of calculators, that even in our churches throughout Britain, there are many who, having learned the ancient rules of the Egyptians, can with great ease carry on those revolutions of the Paschal times for any distant number of years, even to five hundred and thirty-two years, if they will; after the expiration of which, all that belongs to the question of the sun and moon, of month and week, returns in the same order as before. We therefore forbear to send you those revolutions of the times to come, because you only desired to be instructed respecting the Paschal time, and declared you had enough of those catholic tables concerning Easter.
“But having said thus much briefly and succinctly, as you required concerning Easter, I also exhort you to take care to promote the tonsure, as ecclesiastical and agreeable to the Christian faith, for concerning that also you desired me to write to you; and we know indeed that the apostles were not all shorn after the same manner, nor does the Catholic Church, though it agrees in the same Divine faith, hope and charity, agree in the same form of tonsure throughout the world: in fine, to look back to remote times, that is, the times of the patriarchs, Job, the example of patience, when, on the approach of tribulation, he shaved his head, made it appear that he had used, in time of prosperity, to let his hair grow; and Joseph, the great practiser and teacher of chastity, humility, piety, and other virtues, is found to have been shorn when he was to be delivered from servitude; by which it appears, that during the time of servitude, he was in the prison without cutting his hair. Now you may observe how each of these men of God differed in the manner of their appearance abroad, though their inward consciences were alike influenced by the grace of virtue. But though we may be free to confess, that the difference of tonsure is not hurtful to those whose faith is pure towards God, and their charity sincere towards their neighbour, especially since we do not read that there ever was any controversy among the Catholic fathers about the difference of tonsure, as there has been about the difference in keeping Easter, or in matters of faith; however, among all the tonsures that are to be found in the Church, or among mankind at large, I think none more worthy of being followed than that which that disciple had on his head, to whom, on his confession, our Lord said, ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’ Nor do I think any more worthy to be abhorred and detested, by all the faithful, than that which that man used, to whom Peter, when he would have bought the grace of the Holy Ghost, said, ‘Thy money be with thee to perdition, because thou thoughtest the gift of God to be purchased for money; there is no part or lot for thee in this speech.’ Nor do we shave ourselves in the form of a crown only because Peter was so shorn; but because Peter was so shorn in memory of the passion of our Lord; therefore we also, who desire to be saved by the same passion, do with him bear the sign of the same passion on the top of our head, which is the highest part of our body. For as all the Church, because it was made a church by the death of him that gave it life, is wont to bear the sign of his holy cross on the forehead, to the end, that it may, by the constant protection of his sign, be defended from the assaults of evil spirits, and by the frequent admonition of the same be instructed, in like manner, to crucify its flesh with its vices and concupiscences; so also it behoves those, who have either taken the vows of monks, or have any degree among the clergy, to curb themselves the more strictly by continence.
“Every one of them is likewise to bear on his head, by means of the tonsure, the form of the crown which Christ in his passion bore of thorns, in order that Christ may bear the thorns and briars of our sins; that is, that he may remove and take them from us; and also that they may at once show that they, willingly, and with a ready mind, endure scoffs and reproaches for his sake; to make it appear, that they always expect ‘the crown of eternal life, which God has promised to those that love him,’ and that for the gaining thereof they despise both the adversities and the prosperities of this world. But as for the tonsure which Simon Magus is said to have used, what Christian will not immediately detest and cast it off together with his magic? Upon the top of the forehead, it does seem indeed to resemble a crown; but when you come to the neck, you will find the crown you thought you had seen so perfect cut short; so that you may be satisfied such a distinction properly belongs not to Christians but to Simoniacs, such as were indeed in this life thought worthy of a perpetual crown of glory by erring men; but in that life which is to follow this, are not only deprived of all hopes of a crown, but are moreover condemned to eternal punishment.
“But do not think that I have said thus much, as judging those who use this tonsure, are to be damned, in case they favour the catholic unity in faith and actions; on the contrary, I confidently declare, that many of them have been holy and worthy of God. Of which number is Adamnan, the abbot and renowned priest of Columba, who, when sent ambassador by his nation to King Alfrid, came to see our monastery, and discovering wonderful wisdom, humility, and religion in his words and behaviour, among other things, I said to him in discourse, ‘I beseech you, holy brother, who think you are advancing to the crown of life, which knows no period, why do you, contrary to the habit of your faith, wear on your head a crown that is terminated, or bounded? And if you aim at the society of St. Peter, why do you imitate the tonsure of him whom St. Peter anathematized? and why do you not rather even now show that you imitate to your utmost the habit of him with whom you desire to live happy for ever.’ He answered, ‘Be assured, my dear brother, that though I have Simon’s tonsure, according to the custom of my country, yet I utterly detest and abhor the Simoniacal wickedness; and I desire, as far as my littleness is capable of doing it, to follow the footsteps of the most blessed prince of the apostles.’ I replied, ‘I verily believe it as you say; but let it appear by showing outwardly such things as you know to be his, that you in your hearts embrace whatever is from Peter the Apostle. For I believe your wisdom does easily judge, that it is much more proper to estrange your countenance, already dedicated to God, from resemblance to him whom in your heart you abhor, and of whose hideous face you would shun the sight; and, on the other hand, that it becomes you to imitate the outward resemblance of him, whom you seek to have for your advocate with God, as you desire to follow his actions and instructions.’
“This I then said to Adamnan, who indeed showed how much he had improved upon seeing the statutes of our churches, when, returning into Scotland, he afterwards by his preaching brought great numbers of that nation over to the catholic observance of the Paschal time; though he was not yet able to gain the consent of the monks that lived in the island of Hii, over whom he presided. He would also have been mindful to amend the tonsure, if his authority had extended so far.
“But I also admonish your wisdom, O king, that you endeavour to make the nation, over which the King of kings, and Lord of lords, has placed you, observe in all points those things which appertain to the unity of the Catholic and Apostolic Church; for thus it will come to pass, that after your temporal kingdom has passed away, the blessed prince of the apostles will lay open to you and yours the entrance into the heavenly kingdom, where you will rest for ever with the elect. The grace of the eternal King preserve thee in safety, long reigning, for the peace of us all, my most beloved son in Christ.”
This letter having been read in the presence of King Naitan, and many more of the most learned men, and carefully interpreted into his own language by those who could understand it, he is said to have much rejoiced at the exhortation; insomuch that, rising from among his great men that sat about him, he knelt on the ground, giving thanks to God that he had been found worthy to receive such a present from the land of the English, and, said he, “I knew indeed before, that this was the true celebration of Easter, but now I so fully know the reason for observing of this time, that I seem convinced that I knew little of it before. Therefore I publicly declare and protest to you that are here present, that I will for ever continually observe this time of Easter, with all my nation; and I do decree that this tonsure, which we have heard is most reasonable, shall be received by all the clergy in my kingdom.” Accordingly he immediately performed by his regal authority what he had said. For the circles or revolutions of nineteen years were presently, by public command, sent throughout all the provinces of the Picts to be transcribed, learned and observed, the erroneous revolutions of eighty-four years being every where suppressed. All the ministers of the altar and monks had the crown shorn, and the nation thus reformed, rejoiced, as being newly put under the direction of Peter, the most blessed prince of the apostles, and secure under his protection.
THE MONKS OF HII, AND THE MONASTERIES SUBJECT TO THEM, BEGIN TO CELEBRATE THE CANONICAL EASTER AT THE PREACHING OF EGBERT.
Egbert preaches at lona. 716. 729.
Not long after, those monks also of the Scottish nation, who lived in the isle of Hii, with the other monasteries that were subject to them, were by the assistance of our Lord brought to the canonical observation of Easter, and the right mode of tonsure. For in the year after the incarnation of our Lord 716, when Osfred was slain, and Coenred took upon him the government of the kingdom of the Northumbrians, the holy father and priest, Egbert, beloved of God, and worthy to be named with all honour, whom we have often mentioned before, coming among them, was joyfully and honourably received. Being a most agreeable, teacher, and devout in practising those things which he taught, and being willingly heard by all, he, by his pious and frequent exhortations, converted them from that inveterate tradition of their ancestors, of whom may be said those words of the apostle, “That they had the zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” He taught them to perform the principal solemnity after the catholic and apostolic manner, as has been said, under the figure of a perpetual circle; which appears to have been accomplished by a wonderful dispensation of the Divine goodness; to the end, that the same nation which had willingly, and without envy, communicated to the English people the knowledge of the true Deity, should afterwards, by means of the English nation, be brought where they were defective to the true rule of life. Even as, on the contrary, the Britons, who would not acquaint the English with the knowledge of the Christian faith, now, when the English people enjoy the true faith, and are thoroughly instructed in its rules, continue inveterate in their errors, expose their heads without a crown, and keep the solemnity of Christ without the society of the Church.
The monks of Hii, by the instruction of Egbert, adopted the catholic rites, under Abbot Dunchad, about eighty years after they had sent Aidan to preach to the English nation. This man of God, Egbert, remained thirteen years in the aforesaid island, which he had thus consecrated again to Christ, by kindling in it a new ray of Divine grace, and restoring it to the unity of ecclesiastical discipline. In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 729, in which the Easter of our Lord was celebrated on the 24th of April, he performed the solemnity of the mass, in memory of the same resurrection of our Lord, and dying that same day, thus finished, or rather never ceases to celebrate, with our Lord, the apostles, and the other citizens of heaven, that greatest festival, which he had begun with the brethren, whom he had converted to the unity of grace. But it was a wonderful dispensation of the Divine Providence, that the venerable man not only passed out of this world to the Father, in Easter, but also when Easter was celebrated on that day, on which it had never been wont to be kept in those parts. The brethren rejoiced in the certain and catholic knowledge of the time of Easter, and rejoiced in the protection of their father, departed to our Lord, by whom they had been converted. He also congratulated his being so long continued in the flesh till he saw his followers admit, and celebrate with him, that as Easter day which they had ever before avoided. Thus the most reverend father being assured of their standing corrected, rejoiced to see the day of our Lord, and he saw it and was glad.
OF THE PRESENT STATE OF THE ENGLISH NATION, OR OF ALL BRITAIN.
State of Britain. 725. 726.
IN the year of our Lord’s incarnation 725, being the seventh year of Osric, king of the Northumbrians, who succeeded Coenred, Wictred, the son of Egbert, king of Kent, died on the 23rd of April, and left his three sons, Ethelbert, Eadbert, and Alric, heirs of that kingdom, which he had governed thirty-four years and a half. The next year died Tobias, bishop of the church of Rochester, a most learned man, as has been said before; for he was disciple to those teachers of blessed memory, Theodore, the archbishop, and Abbot Hadrian, by which means, as we have before observed, besides his erudition in ecclesiastical and general literature, he learned both the Greek and Latin tongues to such perfection, that they were as well known and familiar to him as his native language. He was buried in the porch of St. Paul the Apostle, which he had built within the church of St. Andrew for his own place of burial. After him Aldwulf took upon him the office of bishop, having been consecrated by Archbishop Bertwald.
In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 729, two comets appeared about the sun, to the great terror of the beholders. One of them went before the rising sun in the morning, the other followed him when he set at night, as it were presaging much destruction to the east and west; one was the forerunner of the day, and the other of the night, to signify that mortals were threatened with calamities at both times. They carried their flaming tails towards the north, as it were ready to set the world on fire. They appeared in January, and continued nearly two weeks. At which time a dreadful plague of Saracens ravaged France with miserable slaughter; but they not long after in that country received the punishment due to their wickedness. In which year the holy man of God, Egbert, departed to our Lord, as has been said above, on Easter day; and immediately after Easter, that is, on the 9th of May, Osric, king of the Northumbrians, departed this life, after he had reigned eleven years, and appointed Ceolwulf, brother to Coenred, who had reigned before him, his successor; the beginning and progress of whose reign were so filled with commotions, that it cannot yet be known what is to be said concerning them, or what end they will have.
In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 731, Archbishop Bertwald died of old age, on the 9th of January, having held his see thirty-seven years, six months and fourteen days. In his stead, the same year, Tatwine, of the province of the Mercians, was made archbishop, having been a priest in the monastery called Briudun. He was consecrated in the city of Canterbury by the venerable men, Daniel, bishop of Winchester, Ingwald of London, Aldwin of Litchfield, and Aldwulf of Rochester, on Sunday, the 10th of June, being a man renowned for religion and wisdom, and notably learned in Sacred Writ.
Thus at present, the bishops Tatwine and Aldwulf preside in the churches of Kent; Ingwald in the province of the East Saxons. In the province of the East Angles, Aldbert and Hadulac are bishops; in the province of the West Saxons, Daniel and Forthere are bishops; in the province of the Mercians, Aldwin. Among those people who live beyond the river Severn to the westward, Walstod is bishop; in the province of the Wiccians, Wilfrid; in the province of the Lindisfarnes, Cynebert presides; the bishopric of the isle of Wight belongs to Daniel, bishop of Winchester. The province of the South Saxons, having now continued some years without a bishop, receives the episcopal ministry from the prelate of the West Saxons. All these provinces, and the others southward to the bank of the river Humber, with their kings, are subject to King Ethelbald.
But in the province of the Northumbrians, where King Ceolwulf reigns, four bishops now preside; Wilfrid in the church of York, Ethelwald in that of Lindisfarne, Acca in that of Hagulstad, Pechthelm in that which is called the White House, which, from the increased number of believers, has lately become an episcopal see, and has him for its first prelate. The Picts also at this time are at peace with the English nation, and rejoice in being united in peace and truth with the whole Catholic Church. The Scots that inhabit Britain, satisfied with their own territories, meditate no hostilities against the nation of the English. The Britons, though they, for the most part, through innate hatred, are adverse to the English nation, and wrongfully, and from wicked custom, oppose the appointed Easter of the whole Catholic Church; yet from both the Divine and human power withstanding them, can in no way prevail as they desire; for though in part they are their own masters, yet elsewhere they are also brought under subjection to the English. Such being the peaceable and calm disposition of the times, many of the Northumbrians, as well of the nobility as private persons, laying aside their weapons, rather incline to dedicate both themselves and their children to the tonsure and monastic vows, than to study martial discipline. What will be the end hereof, the next age will show. This is for the present the state of all Britain; in the year since the coming of the English into Britain about 285, but in the 731st year of the incarnation of our Lord, in whose reign may the earth ever rejoice; may Britain exult in the profession of his faith; and may many islands be glad, and sing praises in honour of his holiness!
EPITOME SIVE RECAPITULATIO CHRONICA TOTIUS OPERIS.
Verum ea, quæ temporum distinctione latius digesta sunt, ob memoriam conservandam, breviter recapitulari placuit.
Anno igitur ante incarnationem Dominicam 60, Caius Julius Cæsar, primus Romanorum, Britannias bello pulsavit et vicit; nec tamen ibi regnum potuit obtinere.
Anno ab incarnatione Domini 46, Claudius, secundus Romanorum, Britannias adiens plurimam insulæ partem in deditionem recepit; et Orcadas quoque insulas Romano adjecit imperio.
Anno incarnationis Dominicæ 167, Eleutherius Romæ præsul factus quindecim annos ecclesiam gloriosissime rexit: cui literas rex Britanniæ Lucius mittens, ut Christianus efficeretur petiit et impetravit.
Anno ab incarnatione Domini 189, Severus Imperator factus decem et septem annis regnavit; qui Britanniam vallo a mari usque ad mare præcinxit.
Anno 381, Maximus in Britannia creatus Imperator in Galliam transiit et Gratianum interfecit.
Anno 409, Roma a Gothis fracta; ex quo tempore Romani in Britannia regnare cessarunt.
Anno 430, Palladius ad Scotos in Christum credentes a Celestino papa primus mittitur episcopus.
Anno 449, Marcianus cum Valentiniano imperium suscipiens septem annis tenuit; quorum tempore Angli a Britonibus accersiti Britanniam adierunt.
Anno 538, eclipsis solis facta est XIV kalendas Martii, ab hora prima usque ad tertiam.
Anno 540, eclipsis solis facta est XII kalendas Julias, et apparuerunt stellæ pene hora dimidia ab hora diei tertia.
Anno 547, Ida regnare cœpit, a quo regalis Northanhumbrorum prosapia originem tenet, et duodecim annis in regno permansit.
Anno 565, Columba presbyter de Scotia venit Britanniam ad docendos Pictos, et in insula Hii monasterium fecit.
Anno 596, Gregorius papa misit Britanniam Augustinum cum monachis, qui verbum Dei genti Anglorum evangelizarent.
Anno 597, venere Britanniam præfati doctores, qui fuit annus plus minus centesimus quinquagesimus adventus Anglorum in Britanniam.
Anno 601, misit papa Gregorius pallium Britanniam Augustino jam facto episcopo, et plures verbi ministros, in quibus et Paulinum.
Anno 603, pugnatum ad Degsastane.
Anno 604, Orientales Saxones fidem Christi percipiunt sub rege Saberto, antistite Mellito.
Anno 605, Gregorius obiit.
Anno 616, Ethelbertus rex Cantuariorum defunctus est.
Anno 625, Paulinus a Justo archiepiscopo ordinatur genti Northanhumbrorum antistes.
Anno 626, Eanfleda, filia Edwini regis, baptizata cum duodecim in Sabbato Pentecostes.
Anno 627, Edwinus rex baptizatus cum sua gente in Pascha.
Anno 633, Edwino rege peremto, Paulinus Cantiam rediit.
Anno 640, Eadbaldus rex Cantuariorum obiit.
Anno 642, Oswaldus rex occisus.
Anno 644, Paulinus, quondam Eboraci, sed tunc Rhofensis antistes civitatis, migravit ad Dominum.
Anno 651, Oswinus rex occisus, et Aidanus episcopus defunctus est.
Anno 653, Middilangli sub principe Penda fidei mysteriis sunt imbuti.
Anno 655, Penda periit, et Mercii sunt facti Christiani.
Anno 664, eclipsis facta; Earconbertus rex Cantuariorum defunctus, et Colmanus cum Scotis ad suos reversus est; et pestilentia venit; et Ceadda ac Wilfridus Northanhumbrorum ordinantur episcopi.
Anno 668, Theodorus ordinatur episcopus.
Anno 670, Oswius rex Northanhumbrorum obiit.
Anno 673, Egbertus rex Cantuariorum obiit; et synodus facta est ad Herutford, præsente Egfrido rege, præsidente vero Theodoro archiepiscopo, utillima, decem capitulorum.
Anno 675, Wulfhere rex Merciorum, postquam septemdecim annos regnaverat, defunctus, Ethelredo fratri reliquit imperium.
Anno 676, Ethelredus vastavit Cantiam.
Anno 678, cometa apparuit; Wilfridus episcopus a sede sua pulsus est ab Egfrido rege; et pro eo Bosa, Eata et Eadhedus, consecrati antistites.
Anno 679, Elfwine occisus est.
Anno 680, synodus facta est in campo Hethfeld de fide catholica, præsidente archiepiscopo Theodoro; in qua adfuit Joannes abbas Romanus. Quo anno Hilda abbatissa in Streaneshalch obiit.
Anno 685, Egfridus rex Northanhumbrorum occisus est. Anno eodem Lotherius rex Cantuariorum obiit.
Anno 688, Ceadwalla rex Occidentalium Saxonum Romam de Britannia pergit.
Anno 690, Theodorus archiepiscopus obiit.
Anno 697, Osthrida regina a suis, id est, Merciorum primatibus, interemta est.
Anno 698, Berthredus dux regius Northanhumbrorum a Pictis interfectus est.
Anno 704, Ethelredus, postquam triginta et unum annos Merciorum genti præfuit, monachus factus Coenredo regnum dedit.
Anno 705, Alfridus rex Northanhumbrorum defunctus est.
Anno 709, Coenredus rex Merciorum, postquam quinque annos regnabat, Romam pergit.
Anno 711, Bertfridus præfectus cum Pictis pugnavit.
Anno 716, Osredus rex Northanhumbrorum interfectus est, et rex Merciorum Ceolredus defunctus est; et vir Domini Egbertus Hiienses monachos ad catholicum Pascha et ecclesiasticam correxit tonsuram.
Anno 725, Wictredus rex Cantuariorum obiit.
Anno 729, cometæ apparuerunt; sanctus Egbertus transiit; Osricus mortuus est.
Anno 731, Bertwaldus archiepiscopus obiit.
Anno eodem Tatwine consecratus archiepiscopus nonus Dorovernensis ecclesiæ, Ethelbaldo rege Merciorum quintumdecimum agente annum imperii.
EPITOME OR CHRONOLOGICAL SUMMARY OF THE WHOLE WORK.
I have thought fit briefly to sum up those things which have been related more at large, according to the distinction of times, for the better preserving them in memory.
In the sixtieth year before the incarnation of our Lord, Caius Julius Cæsar, first of the Romans, invaded Britain, and was victorious, yet could not gain the kingdom.
In the year from the incarnation of our Lord, 46, Claudius, second of the Romans, invading Britain, had a great part of the island surrendered to him, and added the Orkney islands to the Roman empire.
In the year from the incarnation of our Lord 167, Eleutherius, being made bishop at Rome, governed the Church most gloriously fifteen years. Lucius, king of Britain, writing to him, requested to be made a Christian, and succeeded in obtaining his request.
In the year from the incarnation of our Lord 189, Severus, being made emperor, reigned seventeen years; he enclosed Britain with a trench from sea to sea.
In the year 381, Maximus, being made emperor in Britain, sailed over into Gaul, and slew Gratian.
In the year 409, Rome was crushed by the Goths, from which time Roman emperors began to reign in Britain.
In the year 430, Palladius was sent to be the first bishop of the Scots that believed in Christ, by Pope Celestin.
In the year 449, Martian being made emperor with Valentinian, reigned seven years; in whose time the English, being called by the Britains, came into Britain.
In the year 538, there happened an eclipse of the sun, on the 16th of February, from the first to the third hour.
In the year 540, an eclipse of the sun happened on the 20th of June, and the stars appeared during almost half an hour after the third hour of the day.
In the year 547, Ida began to reign; from him the royal family of the Northumbrians derives its original; he reigned twelve years.
In the year 565, the priest, Columba, came out of Scotland into Britain, to instruct the Picts, and built a monastery in the isle of Hii.
In the year 596, Pope Gregory sent Augustine with monks into Britain, to preach the Word of God to the English nation.
In the year 597, the aforesaid teachers arrived in Britain; being about the 150th year from the coming of the English into Britain.
In the year 601, Pope Gregory sent the pall into Britain, to Augustine, who was already made bishop; he sent also several ministers of the word, among whom was Paulinus.
In the year 603, a battle was fought at Degsastane.
In the year 604, the East Saxons received the faith of Christ, under King Sabert, and the Bishop Mellitus.
In the year 605, Gregory died.
In the year 616, Ethelbert, king of Kent, died.
In the year 625, the venerable Paulinus was, by Archbishop Justus, ordained bishop of the Northumbrians.
In the year 626, Eanfleda, daughter to King Edwin, was baptized with twelve others, on Whit-Saturday.
In the year 627, King Edwin was baptized, with his nation, at Easter.
In the year 633, King Edwin being killed, Paulinus returned to Kent.
In the year 640, Eadbald, king of Kent, died.
In the year 642, King Oswald was slain.
In the year 644, Paulinus, first bishop of York, but now of the city of Rochester, departed to our Lord.
In the year 651, King Oswin was killed, and Bishop Aidan died.
In the year 653, the Midland Angles, under their prince, Penda, received the mysteries of the faith.
In the year 655, Penda was slain, and the Mercians became Christians.
In the year 664, there happened an eclipse of the sun; Earconbert, king of Kent, died; and Colman returned to the Scots; a pestilence arose; Ceadda and Wilfrid were ordained bishops of the Northumbrians.
In the year 668, Theodore was ordained bishop.
In the year 670, Oswy, king of the Northumbrians, died.
In the year 673, Egbert, king of Kent, died, and a synod was held at Hertford, in the presence of King Egfrid, Archbishop Theodore presiding: the synod did much good, and its decrees are contained in ten chapters.
In the year 675, Wulfhere, king of the Mercians, dying, when he had reigned seventeen years, left the crown to his brother Ethelred.
In the year 676, Ethelred ravaged Kent.
In the year 678, a comet appeared; Bishop Wilfrid was driven from his see by King Egfrid; and Bosa, Eata, and Eadhed were consecrated bishops in his stead.
In the year 679, Elfwine was killed.
In the year 680, a synod was held in the field called Hethfeld, concerning the Christian faith, Archbishop Theodore presiding; John, the Roman abbot, was also present. The same year also the Abbess Hilda died at Streaneshalch.
In the year 685, Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians, was slain.
The same year, Lothere, king of Kent, died.
In the year 688, Ceadwalla, king of the West Saxons, went to Rome from Britain.
In the year 690, Archbishop Theodore died.
In the year 697, Queen Osthrid was murdered by her own people, that is, the nobility of the Mercians.
In the year 698, Berthred, the royal commander of the Northumbrians, was slain by the Picts.
In the year 704, Ethelred became a monk, after he had reigned thirty years over the nation of the Mercians, and gave up the kingdom to Coenred.
In the year 705, Alfrid, king of the Northumbrians, died.
In the year 709, Coenred, king of the Mercians, having reigned six years, went to Rome.
In the year 711, Earl Bertfrid fought with the Picts.
In the year 716, Osred, king of the Northumbrians, was killed; and Ceolred, king of the Mercians, died; and Egbert, the man of God, reduced the monks of Hii to observe the Catholic Easter and ecclesiastical tonsure.
In the year 725, Wictred, king of Kent, died.
In the year 729, comets appeared; the holy Egbert departed; and Osric died.
In the year 731, Archbishop Bertwald died.
The same year Tatwine was consecrated ninth archbishop of Canterbury, in the fifteenth year of Ethelbald, king of Kent.
NOTITIA DE SE IPSO ET DE LIBRIS SUIS.
HÆC de Historia Ecclesiastica Britanniarum, et maxime gentis Anglorum, prout vel ex literis antiquorum, vel ex traditione majorum, vel ex mea ipse cognitione scire potui, Domino adjuvante, digessi Beda famulus Christi et presbyter monasterii beatorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, quod est ad Wiremudam et Ingirvum.
Qui natus in territorio ejusdem monasterii, cum essem annorum septem, cura propinquorum datus sum educandus reverendissimo abbati Benedicto, ac deinde Ceolfrido; cunctumque ex eo tempus vitæ in ejusdem monasterii habitatione peragens omnem meditandis Scripturis operam dedi; atque inter observantiam disciplinæ regularis et quotidianam cantandi in ecclesia curam, semper aut discere, aut docere, aut scribere, dulce habui. Nonodecimo autem vitæ meæ anno diaconatum, tricesimo gradum presbyteratus, utrumque per ministerium reverendissimi episcopi Joannis, jubente Ceolfrido abbate, suscepi. Ex quo tempore accepti presbyteratus usque ad annum ætatis meæ quinquagesimum nonum, hæc in Scripturam sanctam meæ meorumque necessitati ex opusculis venerabilium Patrum breviter annotare, sive etiam ad formam sensus et interpretationis eorum superadjicere curavi.
In principium Genesis, usque ad nativitatem Isaac et jectionem Ismaelis, Libros iv.
De Tabernaculo, et vasis ejus, ac vestibus sacerdotum, Libros iii.
In primam partem Samuelis, id est, usque ad mortem Saulis, Libros iii.
De ædificatione Templi, allegoricæ expositionis, sicut et cetera, Libros ii.
Item, in Regum Librum xxx quæstionum.
In Proverbia Salomonis, Libros iii.
In Cantica Canticorum, Libros vii.
In Isaiam, Danielem, duodecim Prophetas, et partem Hieremiæ, distinctiones capitulorum ex tractatu beati Hieronymi excerptas.
In Ezram et Neemiam, Libros iii.
In Canticum Habacum, Librum i.
In Librum beati patris Tobiæ, explanationis allegoricæ, de Christo et ecclesia, Librum i.
Item, Capitula lectionum in Pentateuchum Mosi, Josue, Judicum.
In Libros Regum, et Verba dierum.
In Librum beati patris Job.
In Parabolas, Ecclesiasten, et Cantica Canticorum.
In Isaiam Prophetam, Ezram quoque, et Neemiam.
In Evangelium Marci, Libros iv.
In Evangelium Lucæ, Libros vi.
Homeliarum Evangelii, Libros ii.
In Apostolum, quæcunque in opusculis sancti Augustini exposita inveni, cuncta per ordinem transscribere curavi.
In Actus Apostolorum, Libros ii.
In Epistolas vii Catholicas, Libros singulos.
In Apocalypsin sancti Joannis, Libros iii.
Item, Capitula lectionum in totum Novum Testamentum, excepto Evangelio.
Item, Librum epistolarum ad diversos; quarum de sex ætatibus seculi una est; de mansionibus filiorum Israel, una; una de eo, quod ait Isaias, Et claudentur ibi in carcere, et post dies multos visitabuntur; de ratione Bissexti, una; de Æquinoctio, juxta Anatolium, una.
Item, de historiis Sanctorum; Librum vitæ et passionis sancti Felicis confessoris de metrico Paulini Opere in prosam transtuli.
Librum vitæ et passionis sancti Anastasii, male de Græco translatum, et pejus a quodam imperito emendatum, prout potui, ad sensum correxi.
Vitam sancti patris, monachi simul et antistitis, Cuthberti, et prius heroico metro, et postmodum plano sermone, descripsi.
Historiam abbatum monasterii hujus, in quo supernæ pietati deservire gaudeo, Benedicti, Ceolfridi, et Huetberti, in libellis duobus.
Historiam Ecclesiasticam nostræ insulæ ac gentis, in Libris v.
Martyrologium de natalitiis sanctorum martyrum diebus; in quo omnes, quos invenire potui, non solum qua die, verum etiam quo genere certaminis, vel sub quo judice, mundum vicerint, diligenter annotare studui.
Librum Hymnorum, diverso metro, sive rhythmo.
Librum Epigrammatum heroico metro, sive elegiaco.
De Natura rerum, et de Temporibus, Libros singulos.
Item, de Temporibus, Librum unum majorem.
Librum de Orthographia, alphabeti ordine distinctum.
Item, librum de Metrica arte; et huic adjunctum alium, de schematibus sive Tropis libellum, hoc est, de figuris modisque locutionum, quibus Scriptura sancta contexta est.
Teque deprecor, bone Jesu, ut cui propitius donasti verba tuæ sapientiæ vel scientiæ dulciter haurire, dones etiam benignus aliquando ad te, fontem omnis sapientiæ, pervenire, et parere semper ante faciem tuam, qui vivis et regnas Deus per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
explicit, domino juvante, liber quintus HISTORIÆ ECCLESIASTICÆ GENTIS ANGLORUM.
NOTICE OF THE AUTHOR HIMSELF AND OF HIS WORKS.
Thus much of the Ecclesiastical History of Britain, and more especially of the English nation, as far as I could learn either from the writings of the ancients, or the tradition of our ancestors, or of my own knowledge, has, with the help of God, been digested by me, Bede, the servant of God, and priest of the monastery of the blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, which is at Weremouth and Jarrow; who being born in the territory of that same monastery, was given, at seven years of age, to be educated by the most reverend Abbot Benedict, and afterwards by Ceolfrid; and spending all the remaining time of my life in that monastery, I wholly applied myself to the study of Scripture, and amidst the observance of regular discipline, and the daily care of singing in the church, I always took delight in learning, teaching, and writing. In the nineteenth year of my age, I received deacon’s orders; in the thirtieth, those of the priesthood, both of them by the ministry of the most reverend Bishop John, and by order of the Abbot Ceolfrid. From which time, till the fifty-ninth year of my age, I have made it my business, for the use of me and mine, to compile out of the works of the venerable Fathers, and to interpret and explain according to their meaning, these following pieces:—
On the Beginning of Genesis, to the Nativity of Isaac, and the Reprobation of Ismael, three books.
Of the Tabernacle and its Vessels, and of the Priestly Vestments, three books.
On the first Part of Samuel, to the Death of Saul, four books.
Of the Building of the Temple, of Allegorical Exposition, like the rest, two books.
Item, on the Book of Kings, thirty Questions.
On Solomon’s Proverbs, three books.
On the Canticles, seven books.
On Isaiah, Daniel, the twelve Prophets, and Part of Jeremiah, Distinctions of Chapters, collected out of St. Jerome’s Treatise.
On Esdras and Nehemiah, three books.
On the Song of Habacuc, one book.
On the Book of the blessed Father Tobias, one Book of Allegorical Exposition concerning Christ and the Church.
Also, Chapters of Readings on Moses’s Pentateuch, Joshua, and Judges.
On the Books of Kings and Chronicles.
On the Book of the blessed Father Job.
On the Parables, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles.
On the Prophets Isaiah, Esdras, and Nehemiah.
On the Gospel of Mark, four books.
On the Gospel of Luke, six books.
Of Homilies on the Gospel, two books.
On the Apostle, I have carefully transcribed in order all that I have found in St. Augustine’s Works.
On the Acts of the Apostles, two books.
On the seven Catholic Epistles, a book on each.
On the Revelation of St. John, three books.
Also, Chapters of Readings on all the New Testament, except the Gospel.
Also a book of Epistles to different Persons, of which one is of the Six Ages of the World; one of the Mansions of the Children of Israel; one on the Words of Isaiah, “And they shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited;” one of the Reason of the Bissextile, or Leap-Year, and of the Equinox, according to Anatolius.
Also, of the Histories of Saints. I translated the Book of the Life and Passion of St. Felix, Confessor, from Paulinus’s Work in metre, into prose.
The Book of the Life and Passion of St. Anastasius, which was ill translated from the Greek, and worse amended by some unskilful person, I have corrected as to the sense.
I have written the Life of the Holy Father Cuthbert, who was both monk and prelate, first in heroic verse, and then in prose.
The History of the Abbots of this Monastery, in which I rejoice to serve the Divine Goodness, viz. Benedict, Ceolfrid, and Huetbert, in two books.
The Ecclesiastical History of our Island and Nation, in five books.
The Martyrology of the Birth-days of the Holy Martyrs, in which I have carefully endeavoured to set down all that I could find, and not only on what day, but also by what sort of combat, or under what judge they overcame the world.
A Book of Hymns in several sorts of metre, or rhyme.
A Book of Epigrams in heroic or elegiac verse.
Of the Nature of Things, and of the Times, one book of each.
Also, of the Times, one larger book.
A Book of Orthography digested in Alphabetical Order.
Also a Book of the Art of Poetry, and to it I have added another little Book of Tropes and Figures; that is, of the Figures and Manners of Speaking in which the Holy Scriptures are written.
And now I beseech thee, good Jesus, that to whom thou hast graciously granted sweetly to partake of the words of thy wisdom and knowledge, thou wilt also vouchsafe that he may some time or other come to thee the fountain of all wisdom, and always appear before thy face, who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
here ends, by god’s help, the fifth book OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH NATION.
EPITOME BEDÆ VENERABILIS CONTINUATA AUCTORE ANONYMO.
BEDÆ CHRONOLOGIA CONTINUATA AUCTORE ANONYMO.
Anno 731, Ceolwulfus rex captus et adtonsus et remissus in regnum; Acca episcopus de sua sede fugatus.
Anno 732, Egbertus pro Wilfrido episcopus factus.
Cynebertus episcopus Lindisfarnorum obiit.
Anno 733, eclipsis facta est solis XIX kalendas Septembris circa horam diei tertiam; ita ut pene totus orbis solis, quasi nigerrimo et horrendo scuto, videretur esse coopertus.
Anno eodem Tatwine archiepiscopus, accepto ab apostolica auctoritate pallio, ordinavit Alwicum et Sigfridum episcopos.
Anno 734, luna sanguineo rubore perfusa, quasi hora integra, II kalendarum Februariarum circa galli cantum, dehinc nigredine subsequente ad lucem propriam reversa.
Anno eodem, 734, Tatwine episcopus obiit.
Anno 735, Nothelmus archiepiscopus ordinatur; et Egbertus episcopus, accepto ab apostolica sede pallio, primus post Paulinum in archiepiscopatum confirmatus est; ordinavitque Fruidbertum et Fruidwaldum episcopos, et Beda presbyter obiit.
Anno 737, nimia siccitas terram fecit infecundam; et Ceolwulfus sua voluntate adtonsus regnum Eadberto reliquit.
Anno 739, Ethelhartus Occidentalium Saxonum rex obiit; et Nothelmus archiepiscopus.
Anno 740, Cuthbertus pro Nothelmo consecratus est. Ethelbaldus rex Merciorum per impiam fraudem vastabat partem Northanhumbrorum; eratque rex eorum Eadbertus occupatus cum suo exercitu contra Pictos. Ethelwaldus quoque episcopus obiit, et pro eo Conwulfus ordinatur antistes. Arwine et Eadbertus interemti.
Anno 741, siccitas magna terram occupavit. Carolus rex Francorum obiit; et pro eo filii Carolomanus et Pippinus regnum acceperunt.
Anno 745, Wilfridus episcopus, et Ingwaldus Londoniæ episcopus, migraverunt ad Dominum.
Anno 747, Herefridus vir Dei obiit.
Anno 750, Cuthredus rex Occidentalium Saxonum surrexit contra Ethelbaldum regem et Œngusum. Theneorus atque Eanredus obierunt. Eadbertus campum Cyil cum aliis regionibus suo regno addidit.
Anno 756, anno regni Eadberti quinto, idibus Januarii eclipsis solis facta est. Postea eodem anno et mense, hoc est, nono kalendarum Februariarum, luna eclipsim pertulit, horrendo, et nigerrimo scuto.
Bonifacius, qui et Winfridus, Francorum episcopus, cum quinquaginta tribus martyrio coronatus est; et pro eo Redgerus consecratur archiepiscopus a Stephano papa.
Anno 757, Ethelbaldus rex Merciorum a suis tutoribus noctu morte fraudulenta miserabiliter peremtus occubuit; Beonredus regnare cœpit; Cynewulfus rex Occidentalium Saxonum obiit. Eodem etiam anno Offa, fugato Beonredo, Merciorum regnum sanguinolento quæsivit gladio.
Anno 758, Eadbertus rex Northanhumbrorum, Dei amoris causa et cœlestis patriæ, violentia accepta sancti Petri tonsura, filio suo Oswulfo regnum reliquit.
Anno 759, Oswulfus a suis ministris facinorose occisus est; et Ethelwaldus anno eodem a sua plebe electus intravit in regnum; cujus secundo anno magna tribulatio mortalitatis venit, et duobus ferme annis permansit, populantibus duris ac diversis ægritudinibus, maxime tamen dysenteriæ languore.
Anno 761, Oengus Pictorum rex obiit, qui regni sui principium usque ad finem facinore cruento tyrannus perduxit carnifex; et Oswinus occisus est.
Anno 765, Aluchredus rex susceptus est in regnum.
Anno 766, Egbertus archiepiscopus prosapia regali ditatus ac divina scientia imbutus, et Frithubertus, vere fideles episcopi, ad Dominum migraverunt.
HUJUS EDITIONIS CUM EDD. HEIDELBERG. ET STEV.
|Collatio } |
|P. 22,||Ceolwulpho, Beda—Ceoluulpho, Bæda, St. Notandum est me per totum librum eas nominum propriorum formas retinuisse, quæ ad præsentem scribendi morem maxime congruunt, quocirca ubique Beda, Cuthbertus, Ethelbertus, &c. pro Bæda, Cudberctus, Ædilberchtus, &c. scripsi: hoc mihi minoris momenti videretur, nisi Smithius et Stevenson idem nomen, ter in eadem pagina occurrens, tribus modis haud raro scripsissent, quod Hercle in prima operis pagina videre licet, ubi in Prefatione “GLORIOSISSIMO REGI CEOLUULPHO” legimus, at in nota ad imum subjecta “Ceolwolpho] Ceolwolf, King of Northumbria, &c.”|
|P. 22,||l. 9,||sanctæ—sacræ, H.|
|19,||simulque eis—simul et eis, H.|
|24,||3,||Magnanime Rex—om. St.|
|7,||abbas reverendissimus—abba reverentissimus, St. Editiones omnes inter reverentissimus et reverendissimus adeo variant ut nunc hanc nunc illanc formam nullo discrimine exhibeant. Editio nostra ubique reverendissimus servat.|
|16,||Londoniensis — Lundoniensis, St.|
|35,||Northanhumbrorum — Nordanhymbrorum, St. Nordan Humbrorum, H.|
|14,||Læstingau—Læstingaeu, St. Læstingen, H.|
|21,||Cuneberti — Cynibercti, St. Cyneberti, H.|
|22,||Quæ autem in — Ad hæc quæ in, H.|
|28,||1,||quæ vera lex—quod vera lex, St.|
|5,||Præterea—quod sequitur usque ad finem prologi, maxima pars codicum usque ad finem Historiæ relegant.|
|P. 28,||l. 28,||Reptacestir — Reptacaestir, St.|
|32,||8,||Britonum, Scotorum—Brittonum, Scottorum, St.|
|35,||si qui restiterint—si qui restiterit, St.|
|7,||post Britones—nescio an melius, editiones fere omnes “præter Br.”|
|30,||“Inde ad flumen Tamesin profectus est, quem uno tantum loco vadis transmeabilem ferunt,” quod editiones quamplurimæ habent, contra veritatem facti est.|
|20,||cupiens se utilem — cupiens utilem, St.|
|42,||21,||Bassianus — Bassianus vero, H.|
|46,||31,||palam se jussis—palam jussis, St.|
|48,||17,||emollire—emoliri, H. nescio an rectius ita legi possit.|
|52,||10,||Verlamacestir sive Varlingacestir—Verlamacaestir sive Vaetlingacaestir, St.|
|54,||11,||mortem obiit—morte obiit,St.|
|23,||Sirmium purpura induit — Syrmium purpura induit, St. purpuram, H.|
|P. 56,||l. 2,||Ibi—ubi, H.|
|8,||et capto—capto, St.|
|31,||huic . . . . tument—hic . . . . tumet, St.|
|21,||centesimo—hanc vocem, ad Chronologiam omnino necessariam, omittit St.|
|60,||6,||in parte Britonum—om. H.|
|68,||5,||fames illa præfata—fames sua præfata, St.|
|13,||Hiberni domum—Hiberni domus, H.|
|70,||18,||septem annis tenuit—septem annos, H. quæ varietas sine discrimine apud omnes editores occurrit, quod semel notasse sufficit.|
|13,||deserta—Ita ex conjectura lego: vox desertus, quæ apud editionem St. occurrit, haud satis cum Anglia congruit.|
|P. 76,||l. 13,||Pelagiani—om. St.|
|24,||trivia et per rura—trivia, per rura, St.|
|et spectator—exspectator, St.|
|12,||Germanus atque Lupus—om. St.|
|84,||10,||illud habitaculum—eum habitaculum, St.|
|11,||et super se, &c.—ut super se, &c. St. et super s. n. s. r. circumdatæ, s. e. ipsa cœli machina contremiscunt, H.|
|27,||Restituit. Post hanc vocem editiones quædam addunt “Remansit autem in insula genus utrumque, hostes et cives, quorum Angli pro regno, Britones pro vita certabant.”|
|19,||primus, in occursum—primus in occursu, St.|
|27,||qua illum reliquerant — qua reliquerat, St.|
|P. 92,||l. 26,||in Britannia—in om. St.|
|30,||contra se invicem—se om. St. quod minoris momenti est quia pluribus in locis Beda pronomen se ante invicem omittit.|
|11,||prædicando — prædicandum, St.|
|10,||aptum se tempus scribendi—aptum scribendi se tempus, St.|
|18,||ut ferunt—ut fertur, H.|
|29,||vocabulo Bertham—vocabulo Bercta, St. nomine Bertam, H.|
|102,||8,||litanias — lætanias, St. letanias, H.|
|26,||Respondit Gregorius, &c.—Responsio Gregorii, &c. H.|
|108,||12,||de eisdem partibus—de eisdem patribus, St.|
|P. 112,||l. 11,||sive fratris sive sororis—Ita Editio Benedictina, quam ad imam paginam editionis suæ citat Stevenson, nec tamen veram hanc lectionem in textum admisit. Sive frater et soror, quod ap. H. et St. invenitur, certe mendosum est.|
|26,||conjunctionem — junctionem, H.|
|30,||pro Christo — tamen pro Christo, H.|
|5,||ulcisci—ulcisi, St. err. typ.|
|24,||nisi aliqui—Ita Edit. Bened. nam quando, St.|
|29,||alii convenire non possint—om. St.|
|pastores quoque quorum—pastores quoque alii, quorum, St.|
|116,||24,||Ipse autem ex auctoritate propria—Ipse autem extra auctoritatem propriam, St.|
|32,||immortalitatem—et immortalitatem, St.|
|21,||ipsam hora—ipsa hora, H.|
|P. 124,||l. 17,||præsumant—præsumunt, H.|
|30,||quod illud—quia, St. Notantandum est quod et quia, apud editiones adeo inter se confusa esse, ut difficile sit inter ea discrimen. Ubicunque licuit, quod retinui, nec tamen nulla mihi dubitatio est, particulam quia, hoc sensu pro quod usurpatam, omnino ex hac locutionis forma rejicere.|
|126,||26,||sine voluptate carnis—sine voluntate carnis, St.|
|29,||vel fornicatione—sive fornicatione, St.|
|128,||14,||qua turbatum — quia turbatum, H.|
|24,||procreandæ sobolis sed voluptas — ortandi sobolis sed voluntas, St.|
|8,||Hinc etenim — Hinc etiam, St.|
|21,||sicut et in—sicut in, St.|
|31,||pensari—Ita H. et St. Nonne legendum est pensare? nec enim satis scio an utramque formam usurpare liceat.|
|33,||vel infirmitate—et infirmitate, St.|
|contingit ita—contingit. Ita, H.|
|P. 132,||l. 25,||protulit nesciens — pertulit nesciens, St.|
|134,||7,||si autem ex deliberatione—si autem etiam ex deliberatione, St.|
|14,||sine animo—sine anima, H.|
|16,||nec consentiat — ne consentiat, St.|
|22,||sed et . . . . repugnabat — sed et pugnabat; quapropter et captivus erat, et pugnabat, St.|
|136,||10,||honore foveat—bono refoveat, St.|
|23,||decimo nono—decimo octavo, H.|
|28,||sibi esse—ibi esse, St.|
|140,||3,||quæcunque—quæque, St. et H. at in hac re quoque editiones ita inter se variant ut fas mihi duxerim accuratiorem formam quæcunque ubique revocare.|
|6,||in obsequium—in obsequia, H.|
|24,||Dominus quidem innotuit—Dominus quidem se innotuit, St.|
|29,||ut etsi—ut et, H.|
|146,||7,||finem lætitiæ—fidem lætitiæ, St.|
|P. 150,||l. 6,||quomodo eum—quando eum, St.|
|omnipotens Deus ut—omnipotens Deus, ut, St.|
|154,||17,||in persona—in personam, St.|
|22,||victus aufugit—aufugit victus, St.|
|30,||anno Focatis—Focatis anno, St.|
|32,||in Britannia—in Britanniam, H.|
|156,||24,||ex patre—a patre, St.|
|158,||6,||attestari solebat—solebat attestari, St.|
|13,||quem (ut referre c.) s. p. c. p. i. videbatur—quem sibi p. c. p. i. videbatur referre consueverat, St.|
|20,||condescensione — descensione, St.|
|26,||monasticæ — monachicæ, St. at utramque formam, tum in aliis editionibus, tum in mea, æque reperies.|
|25,||ex quo orta—quo exorta, H.|
|28,||ut supra—ut et, St.|
|P. 164,||l. 9,||restringi—restingui, St.|
|24,||malas—molas, St. et H.|
|172,||9,||Augustines Ac—Augustinaes Ac, St. Augustineizat, H.|
|11,||Wicciorum—Huicciorum, St. Vectiorum, H.|
|7,||gratiæ lucem—gratiam lucis, St. gratia lucem, H.|
|33,||in honorem—in honore, St.|
|184,||33,||denecessariis ecclesiæ—Ita H. et St. nec tamen mihi dubium est quin vox rebus interciderit.|
|186,||12,||episcopus—episcopo, St. quod manifeste mendosum est.|
|20,||Idololatriam—Hanc formam ubique servavi. St. idolatriam habet. Editor Heidel. utrasque voces nunc hanc, nunc illam profert.|
|188,||15,||Oswius—Osuiu, St. Osvin, H.|
|24,||ubi et Bertha regina condita est—ubi et Berctæ condita est, St.|
|P. 192,||l. 15,||multo tempore — multo post tempore, H.|
|18,||Gewissarum—Geuissorum, St. Genissarum, H.|
|194,||21,||etiam in Galliam—etiam Galliam, St.|
|200,||1,||Magno, &c. — Totius hujus paragraphi structura valde est perplexa, cui me fateor mederi non posse.|
|22,||subsequendum — subsequendam, St.|
|202,||2,||servare intendens;—servare; intendens, St.|
|21,||habitantur—habitant, St. habitabantur, H.|
|204,||23,||sexcentesimo — quingentesimo, H.|
|206,||18,||Forthhere — Frodheri, St. Fordheri, H.|
|P. 208,||l. 7,||ex tempore—ex eo tempore, H.|
|216,||13,||regenerationis vestræ purgatio—regeneratio vestræ purgationis, H.|
|15,||in vestra d. e. conversione—in vestri d. e. confessione, St.|
|16,||illius—ipsius, H. St.|
|29,||exhortationum — adhortationum, St.|
|220,||7,||conversione — conversatione, H. et St.|
|28,||illius juvit—juvit illius, St.|
|222,||2,||quod vel quale—ut quod vel quale, St.|
|18,||auri et—om. St.|
|20,||et sive—ut sive, St.|
|27,||et ea in loca—et ea in loca te, H.|
|P. 224,||l. 2,||morti—me morti, St.|
|si quis sit—si qui sit, St.|
|226,||15,||pia ac benigna—om. St.|
|228,||8,||sedere et—sederet, St. et H.|
|22,||liberabit et æterni—liberans æterni, St.|
|10,||evangelizanti — evangelizandi, H.|
|25,||appropinquabat — appropiabat, H. propiabat, St.|
|236,||3,||necnon et alii nobiles ac egregii viri—sed et alii nobiles ac regi viri, St.|
|18,||Cataractam — juxta Cataractam, H.|
|238,||10,||et a quibusdam—et quibusdam, St.|
|240,||12,||decem ac septem—septendecim, H.|
|244,||31,||etiam—et St. om. H.|
|246,||10,||illis sine ulla—ulla sine, St.|
|11,||utroque—utrorumque, St. et H.|
|P. 248,||l. 33,||per præsentem nostram præceptionem—præsenti nostra præceptione, H.|
|7,||Dimano—Dinnao, St. Dimao, H.|
|8,||Herniano — Erniano, St. Hermanno, H.|
|16,||adduxerunt, eo—nescio an melius, St. “adduxerunt et, eo.”|
|26,||ex eis—in eis, St.|
|256,||20,||positum est—positum est autem, H.|
|33,||qui erat amicus illius—om. H.|
|260,||21,||diximus, Eanfridus—diximus, Osricus regnum Deirorum; secundus vero Eanfridus, H.|
|262,||5,||cum toto—cum suo, St.|
|264,||26,||ille juxta murum—juxta murum illum, St.|
|36,||atque dedicata—om. St.|
|266,||7,||de fratribus—e fratribus, H.|
|268,||29,||ac dilatare—om. H.|
|P. 274,||l. 9,||quintum—sextum, H.|
|28,||Paschalis a quarta—Paschalis, quarta, St.|
|280,||3,||uno omnipotente Deo—uno Domino, St.|
|20,||et discum—sed et discum, St.|
|35,||prædecessor—præcessor, St. et H.|
|286,||33,||indesinenter semper—om. St.|
|23,||maxime—vel maxime, St.|
|28,||hominum—non minimam, H.|
|quæ in ipsa nocte—quæ ipsa nocte, St.|
|27,||locum—locum illum, H.|
|23,||presbytero — presbytero illo, St.|
|P. 304,||l. 5,||quin—quoniam, H.|
|23,||ad Dominum—om. St.|
|27,||quod diximus—quo diximus, St.|
|306,||9,||de mirandis quæ ad reliquias—quæ de mirandis reliquiis, H.|
|310,||1,||a pagano rege Penda—om. St.|
|7,||decimo tertio—decima quarta, H.|
|5,||rex, venerat enim de venatu, cœpit—rex venerat de venatu et cœpit, H.|
|18,||lingua patria, quam — lingua sua patria, quem, St.|
|21,||antehac—ante hæc, St.|
|318,||4,||Nam tempore — Nam cum tempore, H.|
|10,||viculis quos—vinculis quæ, H.|
|12,||virgeorum, aliarumque rerum, et his—virgeorum, et tecti fenei, et his, St. quam lectionem nescio an alteri anteponam.|
|P. 320,||l. 23,||dexteram altaris — dexteram ejus altaris, H.|
|17,||fugam—de fuga, H.|
|26,||prædecessores — prædecessor, St.|
|330,||14,||sanctisque ac viris justis—sanctis quæ a viris justis, St.|
|14,||ignis flammas—ignes flammæ, St.|
|28,||appropinquarent — appropiarent, St.|
|13,||ad mortem—om. H.|
|23,||est Perrona—erat Perroma, H.|
|340,||18,||Angli—de Anglis, St.|
|342,||23,||materiam — materiam vivam, H.|
|P. 348,||l. 19,||defunctus sepeliri—defunctos sepelire, H.|
|24,||qui et ipsi—qui ipsi, St.|
|32,||id est—id est quod, H.|
|6,||ne tunc quidem—nec tunc, H.|
|354,||7,||simulque—simul et, H.|
|26,||Vinwed—Vinvaed, St. Juvvet, H.|
|360,||28,||correctiorem — correctionis, H.|
|364,||12,||Phari—phari, St. fari, H.|
|366,||17,||et Ægyptum—et om. St.|
|372,||2,||quos ipse—quos ut ipse, H.|
|10,||Pascha Dominico — Paschæ Dominicam, H.|
|22,||Responderunt etiam “Utrique”—Responderunt ‘Etiam, utique,’ St.|
|P. 378,||l. 5,||Lindisfarnensis — Lindisfarnensi, St.|
|9,||cujusque continentiæ—cujus continentiæ, St.|
|26,||et quia in omni—quod in omni, H.|
|386,||31,||discipulus—de discipulis, St.|
|26,||excellentissimo — excellenti, St.|
|33,||in futuro—de futuro, H.|
|390,||20,||in lucem gentium et in fœdus populi—in fœdus populi, in lucem gentium, St.|
|392,||17,||beneficia—et beneficia, H.|
|29,||Habet enim profecto—Profecto enim habet, St.|
COLLATIO TOMI SECUNDI.
|Collatio } |
|P. 4,||l. 19,||in præcedente—in om. St.|
|6,||2,||cujus sedi—cui sedi, H.|
|26,||natus ex Tarso—natus Tharso, St.|
|27,||et Græce instructus et Latine—Græce et Latine instructus, H.|
|18,||16,||hoc esset—hæc essent, St.|
|24,||6,||descendere — descendentium, St.|
|21,||quod ibi sanitatem—quid ibi sanitatis, St. quod idem ibi sanitatem, H.|
|30,||statuta et diligerent—statuta diligerent, H.|
|P. 30,||l. 26,||prælocutionem — prolocutionem, H.|
|29,||consecrationis — congregationis, St.|
|40,||14,||ipsa hora—in ipsa hora, H.|
|15,||mane quod—quod mane, H.|
|42,||18,||quia non est mea lux; nam—quia non est mea; nam, St.|
|44,||6,||Hæc ergo—Hæc autem, H.|
|18,||medio” et sicut—medio.’ Dixit et sicut, St.|
|50,||18,||et multis visum et sæpe dictum est—multis visum et sæpe dictum est, St. et multis visum ut sæpe dictum est, H.|
|35,||alium casu in textum irrepsit, nec ab ullo codice MSto firmatur nescio tamen utrum lectioni vulgatæ ‘aliud’ anteponam.|
|54,||6,||Suefredo—suo Fredo, H.|
|P. 54,||l. 12,||sperare—spirare, H.|
|32,||Lindisfarnensi—in Lindisfarnensi, St.|
|35,||Lindisfarnorum — Lindisfarorum, St. et H.|
|21,||patriam sive parochiam suam—patria sive parochia sua, St.|
|32,||non solum—ut, St.|
|33,||salvavit, sed etiam—salvavit, etiam, St.|
|68,||8,||habitu et vultu—habitus et vultus, St.|
|18,||in Venta—inventi in, H.|
|72,||14,||corrige errorem typographicum Atwaldum pro Arwaldum.|
|P. 76,||l. 24,||tribus subsistentem personis consubstantialibus — tribus subsistentiis vel personis consubstantialibus, St.|
|78,||4,||Cyrillum.” Et paulo post—Contra Cyrillum paulo post, H.|
|7,||anno nono suscipimus; et—anno nono. Suscipimus et, St.|
|22,||archicantator — archicantor, H.|
|82,||3,||quam ab—quomodo ab, H.|
|15,||quosdam e fratribus—quosdam fratribus, St.|
|88,||10,||elevatura et delatura—elatura et dilutura, St.|
|21,||juvenculam me memini—juvencula memini, H.|
|24,||(et ideo veraciter reginæ quia sponsæ Christi)—om. St.|
|92,||14,||sacra: Ita H. et St. [Castas?]|
|P. 92,||l. 21,||clara—claro, H.|
|94,||2,||exultas: ita H. et St. [exultans?]|
|18,||functus: ita St. at H. fretus, quæ vox sine hæsitatione alteri præferenda, incuria mea intercidit, quod quidem ut spero plus quam bis vel ter, haud facile in hac editione invenies.|
|14,||illo cum illuc—illo nec cum illuc, H.|
|16,||dissoluta sunt—om. St.|
|25,||Wicciorum — Victiorum, H. Huicciorum, St.|
|106,||9,||plurimis longe manentibus—in plurimis longius manentibus, H.|
|36,||infirmitatibus—in infirmitatibus, H.|
|P. 108,||l. 30,||Hildam—Hild, St.|
|26,||conversionem — conversationem, St.|
|112,||15,||eum æquiparare—ei æquiparari, H. nescio utram lectionem utri anteponam: hæc vereor ne haud satis simplex, illa ne nimis poetica censeatur. “Æquiparas voce magistrum,” Virg.|
|24,||decretum—vocem ad sensum necessariam, Stev. Smithium imitatus omnino omittit. Lectorem (quod semel factum sufficiat) moneo, Smithium in pluribus locis veras lectiones, quas alibi ad imam paginam subjecit, omisisse: quæ res mihi quidem certum reddit priores editores, Commelini laborem quem in Bedam impenderat aut non novisse aut incuria neglexisse.|
|27,||cum—dum, St. At in hac voce plerumque variant St. Sm. et H.|
|29,||hora jam competente—hora competenti, St.|
|29,||positus . . . jocularetur—positi . . . jocularentur, St.|
|118,||7,||an placidam erga ipsos mentem gereret—placidam erga ipsos mentem gerere, St.|
|P. 120,||l. 17,||Adamnanus—Adamannus, H.|
|31,||ventura Dei ira—ventura ira, St.|
|122,||6,||si integram—et integram, H.|
|24,||plurimos gentis — plurimas gentes, H.|
|19,||quæ possidebant, aliquid—qui possidebant aliquid, H.|
|13,||cum—dum, H. St.|
|142,||10,||Diliges proximum — Diliges proximum sicut teipsum, H. et—om. St.|
|148,||10,||quæ, more m., c. j. e. i. p. r. c. r., sicca—Qui, more m., c. j. e. i. p. r. c. reliquo, reliqua sicca, H.|
|P. 150,||l. 18,||cujus corpus — cujus etiam corpus, H.|
|162,||12,||Deirorum — Derorum, St. Deirorum, H. ad cujus libri marginem notat in exemplari suo Petreius ‘Deorum.’|
|164,||3,||et ei ingresso—at ei ingresso, H. ingresso eo, St.|
|12,||dixit ille et hoc — dixit ille “B.” H.|
|166,||15,||cum esset—cum adhuc esset, H.|
|23,||ut cognovit—et ut cognovit, H.|
|168,||5,||clamavit me foras—clamavit me ducens foras, H.|
|13,||oratione pro me et benedictione completa, egressus—orationem pro me, benedictione completa, fecit et egressus, H.|
|6,||monasterio—in monasterio, H.|
|P. 174,||l. 14,||meæ—om. St.|
|18,||aptamque cursui equorum—atque cursui equorum aptam, H.|
|22,||annos . . . tres—annis . . . tribus, H.|
|23,||regno—est regno, St.|
|24,||beatissimo . . . principi—beatissimi . . . principis, H.|
|25,||a finibus terræ—per longa locorum intervalla, H.|
|26,||nominis ipsius consortio jungeretur—sanctissimum nomen referret, H.|
|28,||scriptum, in quo—scriptum est, ut, H.|
|186,||2,||quod—quodam, H. positum—positum quod, H.|
|4,||et ecclesiasticis—sed et ecclesiasticis, H.|
|7,||expletas matutinas—expletos matutinos, St.|
|20,||in novam—nova, St.|
|24,||in Rhenum—in Rheno, St.|
|P. 198,||l. 8,||mansuetum—mansueto, H.|
|7,||et monasteria nonnulla—sed et monasteria nonnulla, St.|
|25,||qui me—quive mihi, H.|
|208,||4,||‘Non,’ inquiens, ‘non hoc—‘Non,’ inquiens, ‘hoc, H.|
|9,||et odoris—sed et odoris, St.|
|16,||via, qua venimus,—qua venimus via, St.|
|210,||4,||viciniam—vicina, St. vicinia, H.|
|12,||a te—abs te, H. operibus adornabat—actibus adæquabat, St.|
|21,||se—om. St. que—om. St.|
|214,||6,||et conversatio—non autem et conversatio, St.|
|P. 216,||l. 26,||furcas—vomeres, St.|
|28,||irrepunt in interiora corporis mei—irrepant in mea viscera in interiora corporis mei, H.|
|218,||9,||sive—et sive, St.|
|220,||14,||immersum in profundum—dimersum in profundis, St.|
|15,||Caiphanque—Caiphan quoque, H.|
|28,||Deus inter lucem—Dominum lucem, H.|
|10,||suoque in monasterio—suisque in monasterio, H. suoque monasterio, St.|
|14,||ac pacis—et pacis, H.|
|crucem pertulit—crucem Domini tulit, H.|
|228,||12,||dele in, quæ vox male ex H. irrepsit.|
|15,||in petra—petra, St.|
|P. 228,||l. 30,||pars—om. St.|
|23,||tota die et nocte—totaque die ac nocte, H.|
|232,||9,||Mamre etiam collis—Mamre collis, St. Mambre etiam collis, H.|
|236,||4,||monasterii—in monasterio, H.|
|238,||9,||vitam in bonis moribus transigens — ætatem moribus transiens, St.|
|11,||amaretur, et veneraretur—amaretur, veneraretur, amplecteretur, St.|
|21,||eis, quæ tonsura majores sunt, virtutibus, id est—his, qui tonsura majores sunt, virtutibus, id est, H. eis, quæ tonsura majores sunt, virtutibus, St.|
|10,||atque . . . . perducere—utque . . . . perduceret, St.|
|P. 242,||l. 7,||cogitaret—cogitasset, St.|
|10,||namque Baldhilda—nam Brunechilda, H.|
|244,||27,||fuisse et—fuisset, H.|
|10,||et cum subscriptione—et conscriptione, H.|
|12,||tanto apud eum habitus est honore — tanti apud eum habitus est, St.|
|35,||aliquantum confabulari — aliqua confabulari, St. aliquantum fabulari, H.|
|250,||16,||ac Deo—et Deo, H.|
|30,||quarta Idus Octobris—om. St. qui monuit ea nec in editionibus nec in libris MSS. melioris notæ reperiri: rem arbitrii difficilioris, alibi tractaturus, impræsentiis omitto.|
|20,||Cantatorem quoque egregium, vocabulo — Cantorem quoque egregium, nomine, H.|
|P. 256,||l. 29,||Sed—om. H.|
|petebatur, misit illi et literas—petebat et literas, H.|
|20, 21,||hujus mundi—hune mundum, H.|
|26,||exemplis—et exemplis, H.|
|5,||quisquis—si quis, H.|
|13,||quartadecima — quartusdecimus, H.|
|28,||quartadecima — quartamdecimam, H.|
|7,||hanc apostolica — hanc nunc apostolica, H.|
|23,||ipsa est in qua—ipsa in qua, St.|
|280,||4,||prompto animo—promte omnia, St.|
|9,||magia detestetur, et merito exsufflet? Quæ primo aspectu in frontis, &c.—magia primo detestetur, et merito exsufflet aspectu? Quæ in frontis, &c. St.|
|P. 280,||l. 21,||condemnandos—condemnatos, St.|
|286,||21,||celebrationem — celebratione, H.|
VARIÆ LECTIONES QUÆ IN TEXTU EDITIONIS SMITHIANÆ REPERIUNTUR.
|Collatio } |
|P. 24,||l. 7,||abbas—abba, S.|
|50,||33,||cum eo—om. S.|
|31,||huic . . . tument—hic . . . tumet, S.|
|68,||5,||fames illa—fames sua, S.|
|P. 68,||l. 13,||domum—domus, S.|
|68,||13,||deserta—desertus, S. (quippe ut cum Angulus concordet.)|
|8,||et spectator—expectator, S.|
|11,||et super se—ut super se, S. Locum, de quo antea dubitabam, nunc mihi plane intelligere videor, nec dubito quin ita legi oporteat: “et ruisse super se non solum rupes circumdatas, sed etiam ipsam cœli machinam contremiscunt [i.e. metuunt],” vocem ruisse apud plures codices servatam summo jure revocare licet.|
|90,||19,||in occursum — ut in occursu, S.|
|27,||qua illum reliquerant — qua reliquerat, S.|
|94,||7,||præter in paucis—ita S. et omnes sive impressi sive manuscripti libri, nec hoc solum in loco at ubicunque per totum librum eadem forma occurrit. Vellem quidem, si auderem, accuratiorem formam ‘præterquam in paucis’ revocare.|
|P. 94,||l. 7,||Quin—Qui, S.|
|108,||13,||de eisdem partibus—de hisdem patribus, S.|
|112,||11,||sive fratris et sororis—sive frater et soror, S.|
|114,||24,||nisi aliqui de—Nam quando de, S.|
|29,||episcopi, alii convenire non possint; pastores quoque, quorum præsentia — episcopi, pastores quoque alii quorum præsentia, S.|
|116,||24,||ex auctoritate propria—extra auctoritatem propriam, S.|
|18,||sua conjuge—suam conjugem, S.|
|P. 130,||l. 21,||et—om. S.|
|134,||7,||autem ex—autem etiam ex, S.|
|16,||nec consentiat — ne consentiat, S.|
|sed et, si pugnabat, quare captivus erat? repugnabat—sed et pugnabat, quapropter et captivus erat, et pugnabat, S.|
|136,||10,||honore foveat—bono refoveat, S.|
|24,||quidem innotuit—se quidem innotuit, S.|
|156,||24,||ex patre—a patre, S.|
|158,||11,||Hoc autem, &c.—Hoc autem de se, non profectum jactando virtutum, sed deflendo potius defectum quem sibi per curam pastoralem incurrisse videbatur, referre consueverat, S.|
|P. 160,||l. 24,||adhuc—om. S.|
|162,||30,||supra—et supra, S.|
|168,||32,||frontis speciei — frontispicii, S.|
|174,||7,||gratiæ lucem—gratiam lucis, S.|
|188,||24,||ubi et Bertha regina condita est—ubi et Berctæ condita est, S.|
|18,||Gewissarum — Gewissorum, S.|
|194,||21,||in Galliam—Galliam, S.|
|21,||quoque—om. S. nec dubia res est, quin omitti oporteret; in textum nostri libri e vicinitate alterius quoque, irrepsit.|
|202,||2,||servare intendens. Cujus—servare. Intendens cujus, S.|
|206,||1,||quidem—quidam, S. indubie vera lectio est, quam, ni typographus errorem fecisset, certe retinuissem.|
|P. 208,||l. 25,||eam—hæc, S.|
|212,||2,||deceptibilibus — deceptabilibus, S.|
|7,||conversione — conversatione, S.|
|222,||2,||quod—ut quod, S.|
|18,||auri et—om. S.|
|si quis—si qui, S.|
|226,||15,||pia ac benigna—om. S.|
|22,||liberabit et æternam—liberans æterni, S.|
|25,||appropinquabat — propiabat, S.|
|246,||25,||sublatus est—sublevatus, S.|
|P. 248,||l. 10,||unanimam—unianimam, S.|
|16,||eo—et eo, S.|
|260,||22,||Uterque—Qui uterque, S.|
|264,||26,||ille juxta murum—juxta murum illum, S.|
|276,||28,||a—om. S. (bene)|
|20,||et discum—sed et discum, S.|
|286,||33,||indesinenter semper—om. S.|
|302,||23,||Presbytero—Presbytero illo, S.|
|duxit—illam duxit, S.|
|310,||1,||a pagano rege Penda—om. S.|
|314,||21,||antehac—ante hæc, S.|
|318,||12,||aliarumque rerum—et tecti fenei, S.|
|26,||prædecessores — prædecessor, S.|
|P. 328,||l. 19,||silvarum—silvanum, S.|
|332,||14,||ignis flammas—ignes flammæ, S.|
|28,||appropinquarent — appropiarent, S.|
|336,||9,||anachoretica — anchoretica, S.|
Hucusque editionem Smith. cum hac nostra ad verbum contuleram; ubicunque varietas occurreret, exceptis tantum nominibus propriis accurate notato. Quo facto, satis mihi fecisse videbar, ut editiones St. et Sm. raro aut nunquam inter se differre lectori manifestum fieret. Quod restabat multo majorem me utilitatem lectori alluturum, si eas ipsas varietates, quas Smithius ad imam paginam relegasset, integras repeterem, compertum habui. Nec id multum obesse potest, quod typographus, ad finem properans, non mihi satis temporis concessit, ut lineas ad quas lectio quæque spectat, adnotarem. Eas quidem ipse lector, intra singularum paginarum fines haud difficulter inveniet.
VARIETATES LECTIONIS, QUAS SMITHIUS AD IMAM PAGINAM SUBJECIT.
|Collatio } |
|P. 22,||Codd. Vulgg. Sacræ, decepti Abbreviatura MSSrum.|
|24,||propagari, corrigentes scilicet Auctorem. Tibi, magnanime Rex. Abbas reverendissimus. institutus diligenter, Sic Chiffl. posuit Comma post diligenter, commodius ut ipsi videbatur ad sensum, sed contra Stylum Auctoris. ejusdem. et, quasi redundans abjiciunt. Promemus. Orientalium Saxonum.|
|26,||Daniel quoque. Ceaddæ, Sed de nostra Lectione vide Hist. IV. 2, 3. Ad hæc quæ. Me ipsum, Sed de nostra correctione vide Bedam in peroratione Hist. V. 25. quæ vera.|
|28,||patriam Chiffl. solus. Optima.|
|36,||Alii, legiones tres vel XII; al. sex vel XII. Hibernia. primo vere. ingenti. Tamensim MSS. vett. profectus est, quem uno tantum loco vadis transmeabilem ferunt.|
|P. 38,||hæreant. abdidere. dedidit. bello. Brittannis, —iis, ex abbreviatione primorum codicum. nono Par. Septimo Antw. & Col. Edd. utilem se. redditos.|
|42,||Octo. relinquens. Bassianus vero.|
|44,||Accedens — artificii. Alectus vero. Prætorii. com-plurima. eo. venerant.|
|50,||decentissimus, Chifl. solus.|
|54,||mortem. procreatum Chifl. solus. in Galliam. virum Hispanum Chifl. solus.|
|56,||ubi. et capto. Brito, Breito, Bruto. Septimo. emendari, omnes excepto Mori MS. huic tument.|
|58,||minoris omnes MSS, non excepto Mori, majoris quidam Edd. junioris alii. Constantius. fana, fores. hi interrupti.|
|60,||Brittania omni. finibus mari. non possint. Guidi. subjectionem eorum, Chifl. solus. ubi insulam, MSS. vett.|
|64,||vidimus hactenus. Romanorum. instruendorum. Aquilonarem. diu. ac disp.|
|66,||Boetius. Bledda, Bleda. plurima.|
|68,||fame coacti. copia, pestilentia, Chifl. solus. fames illa, fames præfata. imprudentes. domum. quantis.|
|P. 70,||Aquilonariarum. in Brit. abire compulerit. quadringentesimo nono.|
|72,||Vitis, Vitarum. Vectuarii. Orientales Angli, Mercii Chifl. solus. Hengistus et Horsus. filii Victgilsi cujus pater Vecta. aliquando.|
|74,||imo et ædificia. catervatim. unanimi.|
|76,||illuc. eligebantur. Trecassinæ. in Brittaniam. occurrit inimica. pertendere. populis.|
|78,||sanctissime. aspergine. et per.|
|80,||excitata. et spectator futurus et—expectatur. Omnes lectiones Codices vetustos a se habent. Sacerdotes Germanus atque Lupus. modestissimas Chifl. solus, violentissimas Constantius, cui molestissimas sensu accedit. nequivit, nequiit.|
|82,||auctori Deo per ipsum gratias acturi petierunt. paribus Chifl. solus. Martyris, boni Codices, sed non optimi.|
|84,||illud. elatis. reservato.|
|86,||contrito, contempto. armatorum. castrorum. caperet.|
|88,||et Germanus — profiteretur. Alleluia—repetitum. elevatum. ut ruisse super se. mensi erant. restituit. Remansit autem in Insula genus utrumque, al. gens utraque, hostes et cives, Angli et Brittones, quorum Angli pro regno, Brittones pro vita certabant.|
|90,||multo post. tueretur. Verbum Dei. provolantes. occursum. reliquerant.|
|94,||præterquam. Gildas. addebat. uno et viginti. aliquantum.|
|98,||Archiepiscopo. illuc. patrimoniali.|
|100,||Humbri. dubitatione. nomine Berctam. inviolatam. ergo aliquot.|
|106,||Dorovernia. mandarit et de. Interrogatio Augustini. altari. Responsio Gregorii Papæ.|
|108,||vivere. partibus. cur sunt. Al. cur cum sunt. ut sive.|
|110,||furto. strictius. dictet. addis, addas. quærere; sed propriis acceptis rebus, ampliora non requirat Ecclesia. Chifl. solus.|
|112,||misceri. et tamen pro.|
|116,||profectu. Episcopos. Ex auctoritate propria.|
|120,||præcepto manifestum est, quod ita habet: Mulier si suscepto semine pepererit masculum, triginta tribus diebus manebit in sanguine purificationis suæ: omne sanctum non tanget, nec ingredietur in sanctuarium, donec impleantur dies purificationis suæ. Sin autem feminam pepererit, sexaginta sex diebus manebit in sanguine purificationis suæ. Dei præceptum transgressæ, dictum est: Multiplicabo ærumnas tuas et conceptus tuos, etc. ipsa genuit. ergo. quos gignunt filios, alere.|
|122,||consuetis suis. pro. quoddam. præsumpsit.|
|P. 124,||comedimus, ex culpa autem. quia naturaliter accidit. percipiendi.|
|126,||ista. voluptate. portat arbor. tamen non.|
|128,||licita ac. a furore. quia. æstimat. legitima copula. sua conjuge. sive. ortandæ, optandæ, oriendæ, procreandæ. Apostolus Corinthiis scribens diceret.|
|132,||Animus nesciens—dolendus. mysterium. suggestione.|
|134,||delectari. nec. se ingemiscat. et pugnabat. Repugnabat igitur legi.|
|136,||honore foveat. P C Mori, quam Abbreviationem quidam MSS reddiderunt Pontificatus.|
|138,||faciente. Londoniensis et Eboracensis.|
|140,||normam. miserit. —tissimum fratrem.|
|142,||obsequia. natalitiis. sed. abscindere.|
|144,||gente plurimi et Vett. sed Mori et Chiffl. gentem. foris.|
|146,||eis donata. donata sunt. et idem. perpulcra.|
|148,||ex. Deum. doctus.|
|150,||exaudiet. quomodo. ad nisum. adjuvante. facitis. ordinem.|
|154,||persona. Edam Chifl. v. 26. Brittaniam. Theobaldus.|
|158,||Hæc. nunc infælix animus meus. descensione. magna. propria.|
|160,||Apocrisarius. implevit. aereque. in illa.|
|P. 162,||Homilias. quem Episcopis MS Mori, Coepiscopis Alii.|
|166,||resonare. infideles. præceptis. gloriam. Beatorum. per Christum Dominum nostrum. temporibus Mauricii.|
|168,||Anglos ad Christum vertit—. Fideique—apud Edd. J. Diaconi. Nec silentio. MS. Barlow hic orditur Cap. II. Dictum est.|
|170,||vocarentur. Bene. vocatur. Elle, Aelle, Alle, Ealle. secederet. optimum.|
|172,||Huictiorum, Uuicti—Vect—. Ecclesiæ. fecit.|
|174,||cordibus. gratiæ lucem. secunda. Dinooth. nobis. —dus est.|
|180,||Cantio. Emptorium. Humbri. Doroverni. Doroverniensis. inlatum in. quorum in.|
|182,||Successit autem. Archiepiscopatus. augmentari. perfectum.|
|184,||sategit. Anglorum causis. Bonifacio.|
|186,||in Italia. quarta. quæcunque. mandata. Episcopus. Tertio, Septimo, a similitudine Numeralium UI, III, UII, in Codicibus antiquis. Augustinus Episcopus cum—. et tribus, eodem errore.|
|188,||Cantuarios. Oswi, Oswin. vigesima septima, eodem quo supra errore. Hirm—. Orric.|
|190,||cognominare. Vurtigerio. vel corrigendo. hujusmodi. Saeba.|
|P. 192,||communicet. adsentiri. primi. multo post tempore. depulerant. corrigi. vero Laur—. Deum.|
|194,||artioribus MSS vett., acrioribus alii. rejecto. restituendas, instruendas.|
|196,||postquam. octavo. sanus. igne. ubi.|
|198,||qui. Martiarum. mundi. gentilium.|
|200,||fastigiorum, vestigiorum. Cod. Mori superponit fatigationum. qui. expectatis. Adel — Edil — Aethel—Eadbaldi. protestatur.|
|202,||ante eum fecit. habitabantur. Tate.|
|204,||petierat. viro virginem. discederent.|
|206,||Eumerus. Doruventionem. Regis. nomen erat Fordheri. filiam Christo. duodecim. Regem.|
|208,||ex eo tempore. Exemplar Epistolæ &c. deest Editionibus Cantab. et Lugdun. et quibusdam MSS. Romæ. eam.|
|210,||prærogare. remedio. tempore. dilatandi gratia, subdi—dilatandi gratia, subdendique, dilatandæ subsidio—dilatandæ subsidii— dilatandæ subsidiis. spei cælestis. gloriosius.|
|212,||et cred—. suppositionem. suæ conf—. constricti. procurare.|
|214,||insinuet. constructione. deductus, deductos. diabolicæ nequitiæ, cælestibus. Suscipite ergo. et in Spiritum. Opitulatione et munificentia, opitulante munif—. opitulatione munificentiæ. auro unam, et lænam ancyrianam unam. ejus—ejusmodi.|
|216,||multa providentia. regeneratio vestræ purgationis. confessione MS Mori solus, reliqui Conversione. placidis operibus. immutata. perquisisset quod.|
|P. 218,||non distulimus. conferre. Quomodo unitas. continuo. exhort—. præclareat.|
|220,||conversione. reveletis. reveletur. eburneum.|
|222,||ad regem Redualdum. petebat. auri et argenti. fidelissimus.|
|226,||tibi advenerit. pia ac benigna Consolatione. venisset. immutatum. hostibus.|
|228,||et quæ. principatibus, principalibus.|
|230,||Coefi, Cyfi. ego tibi. habet religio. pervolavit. minimo. attulerit.|
|232,||tradamus. evangelisandi. venit. præterquam. appropiabat, appropinquabat.|
|236,||filiæ. et egregii. villam quæ. Adgebrin. Melmun, Malmin, Melmin. Sualica, Suala. vicum juxta Cataractam. Edd. exc. A. 1. & C. 1. c MSS. C. 1. Cataractum habet. Tridulfi.|
|238,||Tantam autem, ut fertur, devotionem. Carpualdo. Erp—Eorp—. Aldorlf. Richberto.|
|240,||Burgundionum. Dumnoc, Dummoc. Septemdecim. præfuisset. Partanei, Peartanig, Peortaneu.|
|242,||Tuilf— Tuisf— Tulf. Uulfingcaestir. esset longæ. Tantum quoque Rex utilitati.|
|244,||Ut Aeduinus. acceperat, curaret.|
|246,||prævidimus. utrique. accersitus. alterum. ab Honorio. sublatus est. electus. decrevit.|
|P. 248,||affectus. elaborantem. vestri. perpetua. præsenti nostra præceptione.|
|250,||evocari. pervenire. Proconsulatus ejusdem anno vicesimo tertio, et Consulatus ejus anno tertio. Wheloc. et Cott. MS 2. Patric. i. e. Patriciatus, ejusd. Mabillon de re Diplom. V. p. 440. Indictione VIII. MS Colbert. Indictione VII al. VI. Baronius. Paschæ Observatione. idem Honorius Romanæ sedis Pontifex. errasse.|
|252,||Thomiano. Chromano. Dinnano. Chromanno. Hermiano. Segiano.|
|254,||Septem, sicut et Interpres Sax. sed contra MSS.|
|256,||Eanfredam. Iffi. Dagbercto.|
|260,||perdiderunt. diximus, Osricus regnum Deirorum, Secundus vero Eanfrid Berniciorum. Uterque. perdidit.|
|262,||oppidi. electis. Brittanici. oriens Denisi. Adolescens.|
|264,||communi. hastulas. Heofenfeld. Locus ille. constructa atque dedicata, sacratiorem. honorabiliorem locum fecere—omnibus locum.|
|266,||Augustald—. requirens, requirere cæpit. habuissent.|
|268,||Aidanum. Quod quidem. Veniente. Exinde.|
|270,||verbum Dei. Hydestinatus. Susceperit. Justinianus Mori. Columbanus. Columban.|
|272,||jam Anglorum. milliarium C. 1. male. perplurima. tenet.|
|P. 274,||sextum. quadam. nuncupatur. omiserant. dicentis: Si quid. revelavit.|
|278,||petebant salutem. doctrinam. oculos convertentes — conversi. probabatur. hujus reverentissimi Antistitis.|
|280,||omnipotenti Deo. refertus, jamque. pauperibus, et discum.|
|282,||Cynigislo. Ipse autem Birinus cum Consilio. ultro. Dorcinca. Dorkecaester.|
|284,||veritatem. Episcopatus. et Uini.|
|286,||quem pridem. depulerit. fide. etiam quod destituta tunc etiam. Semper, indesinenter semper serviens.|
|288,||Monasticæ. dedicatæ. circumire. provecta. referebant, et sonitum.|
|290,||deducebat. flagrantiæ suavitas.|
|294,||Desilivit. Sanus. vireta. locum illum.|
|296,||Eo tempore. vicini. uno poste. respicerent. nihil. postis in quo. erat. multi locum.|
|298,||ejus Osuiu. tamen. ea suscipienda. ipsa nocte.|
|300,||laverant. illigatum. inclamare.|
|302,||exorcismum. quæcunque. toto. a febre. hujusmodi. Surge, inquit.|
|304,||quoniam. oravit ad Dominum pro—. quod. Osuin.|
|306,||Episcopum. ejus. vicinia. jam crescente.|
|308,||veniam. fama est creberrima. te depositum habes. merita. illi.|
|310,||videlicet a pagano rege Penda, et—. Adilvaldo. quondam Eboracensis—. Sacrario. Deirorum.|
|P. 312,||suo fidelissimo. Condheri. Osuin. quarta decima. omnibus nobilibus. virtutes et modestiam. conveniebat habere.|
|314,||Num. venerat de venatu et cæpit. antehac. tam humilem, humiliorem. Regem. Animadverto.|
|316,||Witta. etiam Principibus. mergentibus, ferventibus, furentibus. Dei per. fidissimus. Witta.|
|318,||Nam cum tempore. cum, quam. vinculis quæ. adduxit. virgearum. aliarumque rerum. qua. fere. secrete. furentibus. ignis. servari.|
|320,||illius. Septemdecim. adclivis. modum illa.|
|322,||perderet. assulis, hastulis. Scripsi hæc.|
|324,||propter spem. Ecgrico. invitum de Monasterio.|
|326,||optimi Genitoris soboles. insulas.|
|328,||etiam. exitus esset sed. Silvarum.|
|330,||Angelis Sanctisque ac viris. elevatus.|
|332,||ardebit te. et. ignis flammam. Scottorum. adpropiaret.|
|334,||in memoriam. inquit, hoc propter. qui pœniterent. palam omnibus præ—. iste, al. Dei. magnitudinem.|
|336,||Monasterium. Gabbano, Galbano, Golbano. Anachoretam conversus. Habuit fratrem. perveniret. Chlodoveo. Erchenaldus. nomen erat. cum. Sex. propter. Hæc et de visionibus, et de. sufficientius, et de—.|
|P. 338,||quisquis. et in. et post. Antistes Hrof—. menses quatuor. Penda.|
|340,||ejus. Cedda. Capreæ. infimorum.|
|342,||Infebbingum. sedes æterna—meritoque.|
|346,||cur hoc fecerint, nil. nimirum. autem hoc Rex. de equo. protestans. quæ.|
|350,||vesperam juxta. nec. ritum. præpositis. in Monasterio. Cenibil.|
|354,||sacrandam. pugnaturus. triginta, qui. interemptus: et. devotione sedule.|
|356,||sexaginta. præfata Osuii. defunctus est. doctus. Osuiu. Monasterio construendo.|
|358,||Penda. Aquilonaribus Merciis. Eafha, Eabba, Eaba.|
|360,||illius. Sonan. correptiorem.|
|362,||patienter. patenter. unde merito movit omnes excepto Mori.|
|372,||novemdecim. Idem—diem. aliquotiens. possum.|
|374,||dubietate. horum. num. Rursum autem. principaliter hæc. reserat. adverso. Rege elevatis in cælum manibus faverunt.|
|P. 376,||autem in patriam. Episcopatum. enim. vocatur. abeuntem.|
|378,||cujusque. regebat. domus providere. verbum. aut sex veniebat. et jam.|
|380,||potestatibus. coacti acciperent. facta est. relicta patria.|
|384,||post tempore. dona. et exemplo. phiala. ut. natalem. et Ceadda. provincia.|
|386,||post. Regis Osui. discipulus.|
|388,||Papæ, ibidem. Archiepiscopi. Episcopum. Excellentissimo. in.|
|390,||existit. sedentem. Prophetarum.|
|392,||orbem uno. cur. Sanctorum Martyrum hoc est. flagrant.|
|394,||servavit, et magna.|
COLLATIO TOMI SECUNDI.
|Collatio } |
|P. 4,||Vulgg. Episcopum — Suscipiendam Episcopiam.|
|6,||cui. Niridano. qui eum novere. petiit. ex Tharso. xlvi quidam.|
|8,||ita cum. Arelatem. Hadrianus vero perrexit. bene cum eis. adesse. Regetfridum. Ebroini.|
|18,||exortam. hoc esset. consuevit.|
|20,||licetne. ei prædictum. orationis. Scripturis divinis. magisterio educatus.|
|24,||descendentium, descendente. dum tamen hoc quod tantus vir dixit quia verum sit esse non possit: incertum deest A. I. et Chifl. quod sanitatem. habens. molestia, ad cupitæ. redeunt.|
|26,||Verbum Dei. desiderabant.|
|28,||collocavit. Maigeo, Injugeo. vivunt. Coegit.|
|32,||Episcopi. permissione. quam rem. conversationis. susceptus est et noluerit. congregetur. consecrationis. Decimum pro.|
|34,||titulo. supra scriptis. tentavit. Episcopus. pro eo. Episcopia. Earconuald deest C. I. Ed. male.|
|P. 40,||requieturæ, expectaturæ. tantus erat. in ipsa. quod mane. vocaverit. ter.|
|42,||vocitata. qui. sequenti. mea lux: nam. vir qui. ita.|
|46,||temporalem adflictionem. aspiciensque. nequeo. Medio et. lucem.|
|48,||esset delata. accipere. exhiberet. in.|
|50,||in. nihilo. et multis — ut sæpe. miles cælestis. desiderarat.|
|52,||nihil. sensisset imminere. cum. advenerunt. venerunt. alium.|
|54,||Monacho. consecratus est.|
|56,||amoris. Ecclesiastica. Septimo. Nono.|
|58,||quæ tamen illo abeunte propter acerbam hostium oppressionem proprium Episcopum habere nequiverit. patriam. illius.|
|60,||Burghelin, Oiddia. Eabae. Huicciorum. Monasterium. nefanda. fertur. suscepit, illa, illo. et. rediitque.|
|62,||Heleseu. præfati. quæ. non solum baptisando—sed etiam.|
|64,||spiritualiter. perhibent. reverendissimus ac religiosissimus. jugiter obsecrare. impendere sive. parvulus. dispensatione.|
|66,||sive de. ad pristinam sospitatem, pristinæ sospitati. per gratiarum actionem.|
|68,||quæsivit. verbis ejus. et ad.|
|70,||graviore est. is qui. nequiverit. inventi in. hactenus. stragica. nondum.|
|P. 72,||ut fertur. primitia. Vitorum. iisdem. liceret eos. salutari.|
|74,||Saxonum et Geuissorum est. Septemtrionali. Hetfeld.|
|76,||Aduulfo. Alduulfo Estanglorum. Estangl. Dei gratia. Hetfeild. Jesus incarnatus. addidit. Suscipimus. Deo. Nicena. trecenti. ducentorum. Eutychetem.|
|78,||Theodoretum. Jesum Christum. sicut et isti. anathematisaverunt. subscribimus. venerat. Archicantor. Sancti Petri. Bisi Episcopo. Benedicto. Cum. honorem Apostolorum.|
|80,||Libertatis quod. per annum. Abbas. celebrationem. Constantinopolitanæ Ecclesiæ fidem. turbaverant.|
|84,||virginitatis. quod contractu—perduraverit. famulabus. Raro etiam.|
|86,||hoc. erat. eidem Sorori Abb. de. Civitatem. adfuit referre. habuerat.|
|88,||quod. tam multos. elevatura et delatura. undique. apparerent. moniliorum. fugata.|
|90,||Virginis. Christi, et ideo veraciter reginæ quia sponsa Christi, elegiaco. Dei. qui.|
|96,||Deinde. sui. sanari. celebrare.|
|98,||quod. Fresoni, Frisoni. imponerent, dissoluta sunt: cumque. posset. Tertia. qui.|
|P. 100,||Deo. quod. De obitu. Anno Dominicæ. Religiosa. partione, partitione.|
|102,||Episcopo patriam. Kalcacestir. multum videretur esse.|
|104,||Oftfor. Dorcacaestræ. Augustald. temporis. Huictiorum. qua provincia.|
|106,||atque. et. autem. in plurimis. impletum. in infirmitate.|
|112,||Fratri cuidam canendi donum divinitus sit concessum. qui. ad appetitum. ei æquiparari. nihil. hora jam. respondit.|
|114,||cantare mihi habes. his. recipere.|
|116,||suos. de Aegypto. Domini, ac. discessus. proxima. interrogavit omnes.|
|118,||an—haberet. mente. quæque.|
|120,||vel. exceptis. Dei ira.|
|122,||et. satis. in Hib—. traxerat. reficeretur.|
|124,||nocturnæ. valuisti. inquit. quia tibi. lectulos.|
|128,||precationibus. parte maxima. quomodo. et. et Brittonum. plurimas gentes.|
|130,||non solummodo. gratia. Februarii.|
|132,||Cudberctus. enim. spiritus fuit. sanctarum Script—. præpositus.|
|134,||dæmonicæ. aliquotiens. pedibus. docuerat. putarent. et illis. tantum. hebdomada. effulgeret.|
|P. 136,||præpositi. saxosa. reddendi.|
|138,||recesserunt. species. subministrat. præfata. Alnæ.|
|140,||unanimo omnium consensu. Trumuine, et. in insulam. in Synodum. cum mente. quæ ei essent. præsentia Regis. ab Episcopis.|
|142,||proximum tuum sicut teipsum. Erat et abstinentiæ.|
|144,||enim quidam Presbyter. vitæ et morum probitate venerabilis. Heriberct. Leguraliam. quia.|
|146,||impetrasse quod. Kalendarum Aprilium tertia decima. est post. scientia Scripturarum.|
|148,||utque non. animos. qui. reliqua. flexibilibus. claritate. patebant apparebant. secretius.|
|150,||cujus etiam in. unum quod. curatus. Fratribus quod.|
|152,||molestia corporali tactus. utile. subsequente pertransisse.|
|154,||docebant. quin potius per. repererant.|
|156,||jusserat. adlatus. neque enim eum. horam—secundam. quæque. nihil.|
|160,||tempestas hyemis. spem in nobis. deprecaturus. toto illo die furere. esset. itaque. defunctus est. sancti. Adfridi. Octo.|
|162,||mutum benedicendo. Hujus. Est autem mansio. posset. proferre.|
|164,||eo. ingresso. Gea Gie. curatus est.|
|166,||Ut idem puellam. intrare.|
|168,||cubitu. ducens foras. Quenburg. Et ego. duorum.|
|P. 170,||prandendum domum. proximum. Petri Apostoli.|
|172,||Ut idem, Ut puerum. omnium. imponeret.|
|174,||contritum, orando. silentio prætereundum arbitror. Heritbald. in Monasterio. quam præsens, quia præsens. internum judicem. adolescentiæ meæ tempore. canendique quidem. atque aptam. certamine abstineat. impetrare nequaquam.|
|176,||circiter horam diei septimam. At ego. ad me revertens.|
|178,||omnino cessare. dissolutam mei cranii. Domini. cum post præ. administrando Episcopatui. Episcopum. Monasterium suum.|
|180,||ejus eadem. Cedualla. adjuvante. solutus est. consortio sociatus. sanctissimum corpus per longa locorum intervalla pio. etiam nomen referret: qui. scriptum est, ut.|
|182,||albatum, ablutum. hospes. Cedual. anno ejus. Domino. in regnum Hii. relicto imperio. junioribus. locorum sanctorum.|
|184,||corpora sunt. Ecclesiæ Anglorum. venientibus. claustro.|
|186,||quodam. Aquilonare. quod Racwlfe. Wictredo et Suebbardo. Ordinatus est autem. Godwino. multiplici. Vicberct adierit. Germani.|
|188,||Dani, Huni. Boructuarii. sunt etiam alii. lecto. deposuissem. voluntas est.|
|190,||veracem. parando. paucos dies. expletas matutinas. cuiquam. aliquot diebus. in latus. tum ille quasi. illius Radhbedo. exterius.|
|P. 192,||Wilbrord. Ewaldi. retentus est. Wilbrord. Radhbedo. quis. instructus.|
|194,||super eos. utilitatis. nam hymnis. in novam. Rhenum. essent socii.|
|196,||comperit, adducta. loco quo. perfundat. in Fresiam sint.|
|198,||essent, illa—ille. ipseque. Bliththrude. Pippinus.|
|200,||multiplicis. aliqua hic. erat autem. erat enim.|
|202,||quæ eum. sibi ipsi. Narrabat enim. inquit. nimium omnia. deformium spirituum.|
|204,||horrendæ visionis. profundum. ejusdem. qui mihi. subito. quæ animas. ipsa vero.|
|208,||inquiens, hoc. reversione. scelera sua quæ. pervenient. vero ille.|
|210,||vicinia. abs te. illo esse. bonis operibus adornabat. viderat. in Monast—.|
|212,||actibus tenet. hunc crebro. et usque. vel algida. immergendi se. dicerentque qui. salutis causa fuit.|
|214,||verba et conversatio. fuit autem quidam. licet frequenter. Inter hæc. respondebat. ne forte exprobrarent. postea patuit, dæmoniaca. clamavit.|
|216,||horrendorum. deferri. in eo tetris. est ipse. Verum dicis. in manibus cultra, — furcas. in mea viscera, moxque. ad invicem pervenient.|
|P. 220,||sua diu. demersum, immersum. profundum. Caipham quoque. locum aspicio. pœnitentiam ageret. divisit Dominus lucem.|
|224,||navigavit itaque. erant dominio. errore correctos. errore habito correctos. suisque in Monasterio. multasque. susceptus, et libentius. multis utile.|
|226,||in patriam. circumdata. humilis. Ingressus. ejus matre. ipsa infixo Domini corpore crucem Domini tulit argenteam.|
|228,||excisum est. vero in.|
|230,||Patriarcharum scripserit. Dominicæ Ascensionis. augusto. signatam. totaque. parte sunt fenestræ. Hebron. quid tum.|
|232,||illis in. illius loci. Mambre etiam. passibus est. si quem. se qui. si quis. Eollam. Danielem. Heddi.|
|234,||multa sint. oblatione. data est. defuncto Episcopatum.|
|236,||Selacu. Ceolla. Reges. habitu vitam. sceptra regni. pervenit.|
|238,||transigens. gerebat. id est, humilitatis. a Coætaneis. disposuit. cui notus erat, ejusque.|
|240,||atque—perducere. retento. cœptum lintre navali iter. adoptivi haberet. observans. vero Uilfridus Romam. omnino proposuerat.|
|242,||sex. Brunechilda. Brunhild. et illi. ut supra.|
|P. 244,||Parisiaca civitate. veritatis instruens. fuisset Episcopatu. Catholicus cum.|
|246,||Eboracensis. Coepiscopis. et conscriptione. post hæc veniens. ad veram Christi. scriptumque est. Cum enim.|
|248,||ubi viderunt. advenerat. prolatus est. Episcopum. delatus est. influente dïe. aliquantum fabulari.|
|250,||possessionum quæ. amicum amico. autem quarto Idus Octobris in Monasterio. positusque est. ut supra.|
|254,||passionum. Cantorem. nomine Maban. quæ cognita. sua præmia. acciperet. destitit.|
|256,||Institutionis. Pascha et tonsura.|
|258,||petebat. mundi. id est, de statu. dicere potuit. homo mortalis. vel civibus. hoc mundum. et exemplis. additumque.|
|260,||diem mensis. vespere. supputandas. fermentum in domibus vestris peribit.|
|262,||die fecerunt Phase. separatum. additum. suam festi. porrigat. tota sola sacra.|
|264,||hanc nunc. immolarent. orationum et. mensis hujus.|
|266,||potuisset. adveniente vespera. quod nos recte. cum Dominicam. illum in exordio suo.|
|270,||epistola hæc. probavimus. vesperum. mense.|
|P. 276,||volverint. totundit. Verum, si.|
|278,||inferi. pecunia. non enim est. crebra ejus. Passione sua.|
|280,||promto animo. exsufflet? Quæ aspectu. condemnandos. ad coronam vitæ. te tendere.|
|282,||indicio sit. etiam facie. vultum. tunc cum. quidem conspectis. quantum profecisset. nec ad viam. concinunt.|
|284,||surgens. tantummodo. observandam. omnino. et hanc. audivimus. et Monachi.|
|286,||sæpe. coronæ perpetuæ. quæ noverat. quam minus.|
|288,||vicesimo octavo. cognitione.|
|290,||erat annus. Aldricum. novitatis. octavo. duo. Unus. alter. præsagi. unus, alter. faciem.|
|292,||Ceoldwlfum. habituri. egit. Adwaldo.|
|294,||Cymberct. quoque. Ecclesia, Acca. Et adridente. quæ ad—.|
|300,||ab Incarnatione Domini.|
|302,||fracta est. quadringentesimo nono. arcesiti. Julii. DLXII. pugnatum est. perceperunt. Gregorius Papa.|
|304,||gentis. baptizata est. DCXLV. nunc. Penda. Penda Rex Merciorum occisus est. cum suis ad Scottos. cum Scottis reversus.|
|306,||DCLXXVII. Nordanhymbrorum, obiit. Anno eodem Hlotheri Rex Cantuariorum obiit deest. DCXCIX. triginta annos. sex annos regnabat.|
|312,||Brittanorum. Dei famulus.|
|314,||ejectionem. dejectionem. reprobationem. iii. iv. viii. vi. Esdram. Epistolas vi. diversos; de sex.|
|P. 316,||Israel una; de. prout ad sensum. vicerint, adnotare. adjunctum.|
|318,||Te deprecor. tuæ sapientiæ, vel scientiæ. apparere.|
|323,||Anno DCCXXXI. &c. desunt. Anno ab Incarnatione Domini. factus. Cymbertus Episcopus Lindisfarorum obiit. XVIII. Anno eodem Tatuini Archiepiscopus, accepto ab Apostolica auctoritate Pallio, ordinavit Aluic et Sigfridum Episcopos. desunt Manuscripto Mori.|
DURATION OF THE KINGDOMS OF THE ANGLO-SAXON HEPTARCHY.
|455||Hengist founds the Kingdom of Kent.|
|491||Ælla founds the Kingdom of Sussex.|
|519||Cerdic founds the Kingdom of Wessex.|
|527||Erchenwin founds the Kingdom of Essex.||Uffa founds the Kingdom of East Anglia.|
|547||Ida founds the Kingdom of Bernicia.||Ælla founds the Kingdom of Deira.|
|587||Crida founds the Kingdom of Mercia.|
|588||Ceaulin, of Wessex, subdues Sussex.|
|589||Ethelfrid of Bernicia subdues Deira.|
|617||Edwin, the rightful heir, regains Deira, and obtains Bernicia also.|
|633||Eanfrid, son of Ethelfrid, becomes King of Bernicia on the death of Edwin.||Osric, grandson of Ælla, becomes King of Deira on the death of Edwin.|
|634||Oswald, brother of Eanfrid, King of Bernicia and Deira.|
|643||Oswy, brother of Oswald, at first, on good terms with Oswin, King of Deira.||Oswin, son of Osric, on Oswald’s death becomes King of Deira.|
|648||Ethelwalch restores the monarchy of Sussex.|
|651||Oswy dethrones and slays Oswin, and resumes possession of Deira.|
|662||Oswy bestows the tributary kingdom of Deira on his illegitimate son, Alfred.|
|670||Egfrid succeeds his father Oswy as King of Northumberland.|
|686||Cadwalla reconquers Sussex.|
|824||Egbert unites Kent and Essex to his dominions.|
|827||Northumberland submits to Egbert.|
|870||Edmund, King of East Anglia, is slain by the Danes.|
|875||Alfred finally conquers Mercia.|
|878||King Alfred by treaty grants to the Danish King, Guthrum, a tributary kingdom, consisting of Essex, East Anglia, and part of Mercia.|
|918||Edward the elder conquers East Anglia.|
It is hoped that the reader will excuse a few slight variations in some of the proper names, which have escaped detection: thus, Alfred is found for Alfrid, Ceadwalla for Cadwalla, &c.
In the former volume, p. 20, l. 13, Stevenson has been inadvertently printed for Stapleton.
Besides the editions named in the former volume, it has been observed to the editor that several others have been named by Bibliographers. Of these, however, none, save the editio princeps, Eggerstein sive anno aut loco [Strasbourg], are of the slightest importance, and the principal reason for prefixing such a list was to show how much attention had been paid to Bede on the Continent, before his works were even in part printed in the country which he adorned by his talents.
The collations of ten or twelve MSS. will be given at a future period.
J. A. G.
William Stevens, Printer, Bell Yard, Temple Bar.