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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 69



perished through earthly actions, the reverence of sinners ariseth even with reverence from the earth, and he appeareth not that shall use correction among men. All contend in judgment for blood, and every one with tribulation afflicteth his neighbour, for mischief he prepareth his hands. § 87. Listen ye likewise how the famous prophet Zephaniah debated also in times past, concerning your revellers (for he spake of Jerusalem, which is spiritually to be understood the church or the soul), saying, " Ο the city that was beautiful and set at liberty, the confiding dove hath not hearkened to the voice, nor yet entertained discipline, she hath not trusted in our Lord, and to her God she hath not approached." And he showeth the reason why, " Her princes have been like unto roaring lions, her judges as wolves of Arabia did not leave towards the morning, her prophets carrying the spirit of a contemptuous despising man ; her priests did profane what was holy, and dealt wickedly in the law, but our Lord is upright in the midst of his people, and in the morning he will not do injustice, in the morning will he give his judgment." § 88. But hear ye also blessed Zachariah the prophet, in the word of God, admonishing you : " For thus saith our Almighty Lord, Judge ye righteous judgment, and work ye every one towards his brother mercy and pity, and hurt ye not through your power the widow, or orphan, or stranger, or poor man, and let not any man remember in his heart the malice of his brother ; and they have been stubborn not to observe these, and have yielded their backs to foolishness, and made heavy their ears that they might not hearken, and framed their hearts not to be persuaded that they might not listen to my law and words, which our Almighty Lord hath sent in his Spirit, through the hands of his former prophets, and mighty wrath hath been raised by our Almighty Lord." And again ; " Because they who have spoken, have spoken molestations, and diviners have uttered false visions and deceitful dreams, and given vain consolations ; in respect hereof they are made as dry as sheep, and are afflicted because no health was to be found ; my wrath is heaped upon the shepherds, and upon the lambs will I visit." And within a few words after : " The voice of lamenting pastors, because their greatness is


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