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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 83



For which cause it is written, Be ye holy, because I am holy." Which one of you, I pray, hath with his whole mind so pursued sanctity, that he hath earnestly hastened, as much as in him lay, to fulfil the same ? But let us behold what in the second lesson of the same apostle is contained : "My dearest," saith he, "sanctify your souls for the obedience of faith, through the Spirit, in charity, in brotherhood, loving one another out of a true heart perpetually, as born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, living and remaining for ever." § 107. These are truly the commandments of the apostle ; and read in the day of your ordination, to the end ye should inviolably observe the same, but they are not fulfilled by you in discretion and judgment, nay not so much as duly considered or understood. And afterwards : "Laying therefore aside all malice, and all deceits, and dissemblings, envy, and detractions, as infants newly born, reasonable and without guile covet ye milk, that ye may thereby grow to salvation, because our Lord is sweet." Consider ye also in your minds, if these sayings which have sounded in your deaf ears have not often likewise been trodden by you under foot: and again : " Ye truly are the chosen lineage, the royal priest* hood, the holy nation, the people for adoption, that ye may declare his virtues who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." But truly by you are not only the virtues of God not declared and made more glorious, but also through your wicked examples are they (by such as have not perfect belief) despised. Ye have perchance at the same time likewise heard, what is read in the lesson of the Acts, on this wise : " Peter arising in the midst of the disciples said : Men and brethren, it is expedient that the Scripture be fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost hath by the mouth of David foretold of Judas." And a little after : " This man therefore purchased a field, of the reward of iniquity." This have ye heard with a careless or rather blockish heart, as though the reading thereof nothing at all appertained unto yourselves. What one of you (I pray you) doth not seek the field of the reward of iniquity ? For Judas robbed and pillaged the purse, and ye spoil and waste the sacred gifts and treasures of the church, together with the souls of her children* He


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