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GILDAS On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain

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Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

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GILDAS
On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain
page 3



lawgiver, for one word's doubting, was not allowed to enter the desired land ; that the sons of the high-priest, for placing strange are upon God's altar, were cut off by a speedy death; that God's people, for breaking the law of God, save two only, were slain by wild beasts, by fire and sword in the deserts of Arabia, though God had so loved them that he had made a way for them through the Bed Sea, had fed them with bread from heaven, and water from the rock, and by the lifting up of a hand merely had made their armies invincible ; and then, when they had crossed the Jordan and entered the unknown land, and the walls of the city had fallen down flat at the sound only of a trumpet, the taking of a cloak and a little gold from the accursed things caused the deaths of many : and again the breach of their treaty with the Gibeonites, though that treaty had been obtained by fraud, brought destruction upon many ; and I took warning from the sins of the people which called down upon them the reprehensions of the prophets and also of Jeremiah, with his fourfold Lamentations written in alphabetic order. I saw moreover in my own time, as that prophet also had complained, that the city had sat down lone and widowed, which before was full of people ; that the queen of nations and the princess of provinces (i. e, the church), had been made tributary ; that the gold was obscured, and the most excellent colour (which is the brightness of God's word) changed ; that the sons of Sion (i. e. of holy mother church), once famous and clothed in the finest gold, grovelled in dung ; and what added intolerably to the weight of grief of that illustrious man, and to mine, though but an abject, whilst he had thus mourned them in their happy and prosperous condition, "Her Nazarites were fairer than snow, more ruddy than old ivory, more beautiful than the sapphire." These and many other passages in the ancient Scriptures I regarded as a kind of mirror of human life, and I turned also to the New, wherein I read more clearly what perhaps to me before was dark, for the darkness fled, and truth shed her steady light—I read therein that the Lord had said, " I came not but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel ;9 9 and on the other hand, " But the children of this kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness ; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth : " and again, " It is not


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