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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 76



369 ne . 96.] NEW TESTAMENT QUOTATIONS. body, to defend your head, which is Christ, whom with all the endeavours of your evil actions you tread under foot ; neither yet have ye the simplicity of doves, but the resemblance rather of the black crow, which taking her flight out of the ark, that is, the church of God, and finding the carrion of earthly pleasures, did never with a pure return back thither again. But let us look on the rest. " Fear not," saith he, " them who kill the body, but are not able to slay the soul ; but fear him who can overthrow both soul and body in hell." Revolve in your minds which of these ye have performed? And what one of you is not wounded in the very secrets of his heart, by this testimony following, which our Saviour uttereth unto his apostles, of evil prelates, saying, " Do ye suffer them, the blind leaders of the blind, but if the blind be a guide to the blind, both shall fall into the ditch?" But the people doubtless whom ye have governed, or rather beguiled, have just occasion to listen hereunto. § 96. Mark ye also the words of our Lord speaking unto his apostles, and to the people, which words likewise (as I hear) ye yourselves are not ashamed to pronounce often in public: "Upon the chair of Moses have the scribes and pharisees sat, observe ye therefore and accomplish all that they shall speak unto you, but do not according to their works. For they only speak, but of themselves do nothing." It is truly to priests a dangerous and superfluous doctrine, which is overclouded with sinful actions. " Woe *be unto you, hypocrites, who shut up the kingdom of heaven before men, and neither yourselves enter in, nor yet suffer those that would to enter in." For ye shall with horrible pains be tormented, not only in respect of your great offences, which ye heap up for punishment in the world to come, but also in regard of those who daily perish through your bad example, whose blood in the day of judgment shall be required at your hands. Yield ye also diligent attention unto the misery, which the parable setteth before your eyes, that is spoken of the servant, who saith in his heart, " My Lord delayeth his coming," and upon this occasion, perchance, "hath begun to strike his fellow servants, eating and drinking with drunkards. . The Lord of the same servant, therefore, saith he, will come on Β Β


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