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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 54



ere 69.] HELY, ABEL, ENOCH. ye be iUuminated with such eyes as are only with greediness cast on those things that lead headlong to vices (that is to say), to the gates of hell ? Nay truly, if according to the saying of our Saviour, ye flee not these most ravenous wolves like those of Arabia, or avoid them as Lot, who ran most speedily from the fiery shower of Sodom up to the mountains, then, being blind and led by the blind, ye will both together tumble down into the infernal ditch. § 69. But some man perchance will objecting say, that all bishops or all priests (according to our former exception), are not so wickedly given, because they are not defiled with the infamy of schism, pride, or unclean life, which neither we ourselves will deny, but albeit we know them to be chaste, and virtuous, yet will we briefly answer. What did it profit the high-priest Hely, that he alone did not violate the commandments of our Lord, in taking flesh with forks out of the pots, before the fat was offered unto God, while he was punished with the same revenge of death wherewith his sons were ? What one, I beseech you, of them, whose manners we have before sufficiently declared, hath been martyred like Abel, from malicious jealousy of his more acceptable sacrifice, which with the heavenly fire ascended up into the skies, since they fear the reproach even of an ordinary word ? Which of them " hath hated the counsel of the maUcious, and not sat with the ungodly," BO that of him as a prophet, the same might be verified which was said of Enoch, " Enoch walked with God and was not to be found" in the vanity (forsooth) of the whole world, as then leaving our Lord, and beginning to halt after idolatry ? Which of them, like Noah in the time of the deluge, hath not admitted into the ark of salvation (which is the present church) any adversary unto God, that it may be most apparent that none but innocents or singular penitents, ought to remain in the house of our Lord ? Who is he that offering sacrifice like Melchisedeck) hath only blessed the conquerors, and them who with the number of three hundred (which was in the sacrament of the Trinity) delivering the just man, have over* thrown the deadly armies of the five kings, together with their vanquishing troops, and not coveted the goods of others ? Which of them hath Hke Abraham, at the commandment of God freely offered his own son on the altar to be slain, that


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