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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 28



by whose deceit and suggestion such a heavy weight of offences was undergone, and take her, lawfully, as the flattering tongues of thy parasites with false words pronounced it, but as we say, most wickedly, to be thine own in wedlock. And therefore what holy man is there, who, moved with the narration of such a history, would not presently break out into weeping and lamentations ? What priest (whose heart lieth open unto God) would not instantly, upon hearing this, exclaim with anguish in the language of the prophet : " Who shall give water to my head, and to my eyes a fountain of tears, and I will day and night bewail those of my people, who are slaughtered." For full little (alas !) hast thou with thine ears listened to that reprehension of the prophet speaking in this wise : " Woe be unto you, Ο wicked men, who have left the law of the most holy God, and if ye shall be born, your portion shall be to malediction, and if ye die, to malediction shall be your portion, all things that are from the earth, to the earth shall be converted again, so shall the wicked from malediction pass to perdition : if they return not unto our Lord, listening to this admonition : " Son, thou hast offended ; add no further offence thereunto, but rather pray for the forgiveness of the former." And again, " Be not slow to be converted unto our Lord, neither put off the same from day to day, for his wrath doth come suddenly/' Because, as the Scripture saith, " When the king heareth the unjust word, all under his dominion become wicked." And, the just king (according to the prophet) raiseth up his region. But warnings truly are not wanting to thee, since thou hast had for thy instructor the most eloquent master of almost all Britain. Take heed, thereof, lest that which Solomon noteth, befall thee, which is, " Even as he who stirreth up a sleeping man out of his heavy sleep, so is that person who declareth wisdom unto a fool, for in the end of his speech will he say, What hast thou first spoken ? Wash thine heart (as it is written) from malice, Ο Jerusalem, that thou mayest be saved." Despise not ÇI beseech thee) the unspeakable mercy of God, calling by his prophet the wicked in this way from their offences : " I will dn a sudden speak to the nation, and to the kingdom, that I may root out, and disperse, and destroy, and overthrow." As for the sinner he doth in this wise exhort him vehemently to repent. " And τ


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