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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 53



346 THE WORKS OF GILDA.S. Leso. 87, 68. holy priest, or godly kin^, they would no doubt receive the same answer which their father Simon Magus had from the mouth of the apostle Peter, saying : "Thy money be with thee unto thy perdition." But, alas ! perhaps they who order and advance these ambitious aspirerà, yea, they who rather throw them under foot, and for a blessing give them a cursing, whilst of sinners they make them not penitents (which were more consonant to reason), but sacrilegious and desperate offenders, and in a sort install Judas, that traitor to his Master, in the chair of Peter, and Nicholas, the author of that foul heresy, in the seat of St. Stephen the martyr, it may be, at first obtained their own priesthood by the same means, and therefore do not greatly dislike in their children, but rather respect the course, that they their fathers did before follow. And also, if finding resistance, in obtaining their dioceses at home, and some who severely renounce this chaffering of church-livings, they cannot there attain to such a precious pearl, then it doth not so much loath as delight them (after they have carefully sent their messengers before* hand) to cross the seas, and travel over most large countries, that so, in the end, yea even with the sale of their whole substance, they may win and compass such a pomp, and such an incomparable glory, or to speak more truly, such a dirty and base deceit and illusion. And afterwards with great show and magnificent ostentation, or rather madness, returning back to their own native soil, they grow from stoutness to stateliness, and from being used to level their looks to the tops of the mountains, they now lift up their drowsy eyes into the air, even to the highest clouds, and as Novatus, that foul hog, and persecutor of our Lord's precious jewel, did once at Borne, so do these intrude themselves again into their own country, as creatures of a new mould, or rather as instru* ments of the devil, being even ready in this state and fashion to stretch out violently their hands (not so worthy of the holy altars as of the avenging flames of hell) upon Christ's most holy sacrifices. § 68. What do you therefore, Ο unhappy people ! expect from such belly beasts ? (as the apostle caUeth them). Shall your manners be amended by these, who not only do not apply their minds to any goodness, but according to the up* braiding of the prophet, labour also to deal wickedly ? Shall


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