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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 82



BBC. 106.] THE APOSTLE PETER. 375 debates, blasphemies, evil suspicions, conflicts of men corrupted in mind, who are deprived of truth, esteeming commodity to be piety." § 106. But why in using these testimonies, here and there dispersed, are we any longer, as it were, tossed up and down in the silly boat of our simple understanding, on the waves of sundry interpretations ? We have now therefore at length thought it necessary to have recourse to those lessons,* which are gathered out of Holy Scriptures, to the end that they should not only be rehearsed, but also be assenting and assisting unto the benediction, wherewith the hands of priests, and others of inferior sacred orders, are first consecrated, and that thereby they may continually be warned never, by degenerating from their priestly dignity, to digress from the commandments, which are faithfully contained in the same ; so as it may be plain and apparent unto all, that everlasting torments are reserved for them, and that they are not priests, or the servants of God, who do not with their utmost power follow and fulfil the instructions and precepts. Wherefore let us hear what the prince of the apostles, Saint Peter, hath signified about this so weighty a matter, saying: "Blessed be God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who through his mercy hath regenerated us into the hope of eternal life, by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, into an inheritance which can never corrupt, never wither, neither be defiled, preserved in heaven for you, who are kept in the virtue of God ;" why then do ye fondly violate such an inheritance, which is not as an earthly one, transitory, but immortal and eternal ? And somewhat afterwards : " For which cause be ye girded in the loins of your mind, sober, perfectly hoping in that grace which is offered to you in the revelation of Jesus Christ:" examine ye now the depths of your hearts, whether ye be sober and do perfectly preserve the grace of priesthood, which shall be duly discussed and decided in the revelation of our Lord. And again he saith : " As children of the benediction, not configuring yourselves to those former desires of your ignorance ; but according unto him who hath called you holy, be ye also holy in all conversation. * Gildas, in this and the following section, evidently alludes to the Ordination Ritual of the Ancient British Church.


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