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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 50



•s e 65, C6.J DEPRAVITY OF THE CLERGY. 343 will catch thee, their teeth are the teeth of a lion, ôuch as kill the souls of men." And again, " How mighty is the mercy of our Lord, and his forgiveness to such as turn unto him." And if we have not in us such apostolical zeal, that we may say, " I did verily desire to be anathematized by Christ for my brethren,1" notwithstanding that we may from the bottom of our hearts speak that prophetic saying, "Alas! that the soul perisheth." And again, "Let us search out our ways, and seek and return unto our Lord: let us lift our hearts together with our hands to God in heaven." And also that of the apostle, " We covet that every one of you should be in the bowels of Christ." § 65» And how willingly, as one tossed on the waves of the sea, and now arrived in a desired haven, would I in this place make an end (shame forbidding me further to proceed), did I not behold such great masses of evil deeds done against God by bishops or other priests, or clerks, yea some of our own order, whom as witnesses myself must of necessity first of all stone (according unto the law) with the hard blows of words, lest I should be otherwise reproved for partiality towards persons, and then afterwards the people (if as yet they keep their decrees) must pursue with their whole powers the same execution upon them, not to their corporal death, but to the death of their vices and their eternal life with God. Yet, as I before said, I crave pardon of them, whose lives I not only praise, but also prefer before all earthly treasure, and of the which, if it may be, yet before my death I desire and thirst to be a partaker : and so having both my sides defended with the double shields of saints, and by those means invincibly strengthened to sustain all that arise against me, anning moreover my head in place of a helmet with the help of our Lord, and being most assuredly protected with the sundry aids of the prophets, I Will boldly proceed notwithstanding the stones of worldly rioters fly never so fast about me. § 66. Britain hath priests, but they are unwise; very jaany that minister, but many of them impudent ; clerks she hath, but certain of them are deceitful raveners ; pastors (as they are called) but rather wolves prepared for the slaughter of souls (for they provide not for the good of the common people, but covet rather the gluttony of their own bellies),


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