On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain
your sins shall be as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow : though they shall be as red as the little worm,* they shall be as white as wool. If ye shall be willing to hear me, ye shall feed on the good things of the land ; but if ye will not, but provoke me unto wrath, the sword shall devour you."
§ 43. Receive ye the true and public avoucher, witnessing, without any falsehood or flattery, the reward of your good and evil, not like the soothing humble lips of your parasites, which whisper poisons into your ears. And also directing his sentence against ravenous judges, he saith thus : " Thy princes are unfaithful, companions of thieves, all love gifts, hunt after rewards: they do no justice to the orphan, the widow's cause entereth not unto them. For thus saith our Lord God of hosts, the strong one of Israel, Alas, I will take consolation upon my foes, and be revenged upon mine enemies ; and the heinous sinners shall be broken to powder, and offenders together with them, and all who have left our Lord, shall be consumed." And afterwards, " The eyes of the lofty man shall be brought low, and the height of men hath bowed down." And again, " Woe be to the wicked, evil befall him, for he shall be rewarded according to his handy-work." And a little after, " Woe be unto you who arise early to follow drunkenness, and to drink even to the very evening, that ye may fume with wine. The harp, and the lyre, and the tabor, and the pipe, and wine are in your banquets, and the work of our Lord ye respect not, neither yet consider ye the works of his hands. Therefore is my people led captive away, because they have not had knowledge, and their nobles have perished with famine, and their multitude hath withered away with thirst. Therefore hath hell enlarged and dilated his spirit, and without measure opened his mouth, and his strong ones, and his people, and his lofty and glorious ones, shall descend down unto him." And afterwards, " Woe be unto you who are mighty for the drinking of wine, and strong men for the procuring of drunkenness, who justify the wicked for rewards, and deprive the just man of his justice. For this cause even as the tongue of the fire devoureth the stubble, and as the heat of the flame burneth up, so shall their root be as the ashes* and their branch shall rise up as the dust. For they have
* Vermilion, the English version, seems derived from vermes, a worm.