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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 34



shall, together with the malady itself, from day to day,' come forth out of thee." And listen also what the prophet Zacha* riah, the son of Jehoiades, menaced to Joash, the king of Israel, when he abandoned our Lord even as ye now do, and the prophet spoke in this manner to the people : " Thus saith our Lord, Why do ye transgress the commandments of our Lord and do not prosper ? Because ye have left our Lord, he will also leave you." § 42. What shall I mention of Isaiah, the first and chief of the prophets, who beginneth his prophecy, or rather vision, in this way : " Hear, Ο ye heavens, and Ο thou earth conceive in thine ears, because our Lord hath spoken, I have nourished children, and exalted them, but they themselves have despised me. The ox hath known his owner, and the ass his master's crib, but Israel hath not known me, and my people hath not understood." And a little further with threatenings answerable to so great a folly, he saith, " The daughter of Sion shall be utterly left as a tabernacle in the vineyard, and as a hovel in the cucumber garden, and a city that is sacked." And especially, convening and accusing the princes, he saith, " Hear the word of our Lord, Ο ye princes of Sodom, perceive ye the law of our Lord, Ο ye people of Gomorrah." Wherein it is to be noted, that unjust kings are termed the princes of Sodom, for our Lord, forbidding sacrifices and gifts to be offered to him by such persons, and seeing that we greedily receive those offerings which in all nations are displeasing unto God, and to our own destruction suffer them not to be bestowed on the poor and needy, speak thus to them who, laden with riches, are likewise given to offend on this head : " Offer no more your sacrifice in vain, your incense is abomination unto me." And again he denounceth them thus: "And when ye shall stretch out your hands, I will turn away mine eyes from you, and when ye shall multiply your prayers, I mil not hear." And he declareth wherefore he does this, saying, " Your hands are full of blood." And likewise showing how he may be appeased, he says, " Be ye washed, be ye clean, take away the evil of your thoughts from mine eyes : cease to do evil, learn to do well : seek for judgment, succour the oppressed, do justice to the pupil or orphan." And then assuming as it were the part of a reconciling mediator, he adds, " Tlxough


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