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GILDAS On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain

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GILDAS
On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain
page 27



320 THE WORKS OF GILDÀS. [MC. 35» will) out of the fold of our Lord, and made thee of a lamb, a wolf like unto himself, again ? Oh how great a joy would the preservation of thy salvation have been to God the Father of all saints, had not the devil, the father of all castaways, as an eagle of monstrous wings and claws, carried thee captive away against all right and reason, to the unhappy band of his children ? And to be short, thy conversion to righteousness gave as great joy to heaven and earth, as now thy detestable return, like a dog to his vomit, breedeth grief and lamentation : which being done, " the members which should have been busily employed, as the armour of justice for the Lord, are now become the armour of iniquity for sin and the devil for now thou dost not listen to the praises of God sweetly sounded forth by the pleasant voices of Christ's soldiers, nor the instruments of ecclesiastical melody, but thy own praises (which are nothing) rung out after the fashion of the giddy rout of Bacchus by the mouths of thy villainous followers, accompanied with lies and malice, to the utter destruction of the neighbours ; so that the vessel prepared for the service of God, is now turned to a vessel of dirt, and what was once reputed worthy of heavenly honour, is now cast as it deserves into the bottomless pit of hell. § 35. Yet neither is thy sensual mind (which is overcome by the excess of thy follies) at all checked in its course with committing so many sins, but hot and prone (like a young colt that coveteth every pleasant pasture) runneth headlong forward, with irrecoverable fury, through the intended fields of crime, continually increasing the number of its transgressions. For the former marriage of thy first wife (although after thy violated vow of religion she was not lawfully thine, but only by right of the time she was with thee), was now despised by thee, and another woman, the wife of a man then living, and he no stranger, but thy own brother's son, enjoyed thy affections. Upon which occasion that stiff neck of thine (already laden with sins) is now burdened with two monstrous murders, the one of thy aforesaid nephew, the other, of her who once was thy wedded wife : and thou art now from low to lower, and from bad to worse, bowed, bent, and sunk down into the lowest depth of sacri* lege. Afterwards, also didst thou publicly marry the widow


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