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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 85



husband of one wife," which is likewise so condemned among us, as if that word had never proceeded from him ; " Sober, wise ;" yea, which of ye hath once desired to have these virtues engrafted in him, "using hospitality." For this, if perchance it hath been found among you, yet being nevertheless rather done to purchase the favour of the people, than to accomplish the commandment, it is of no avail, our Lord and Saviour saying thus : "Verily, I say unto you, they have received their reward." Moreover, " A man adorned, not given to wine ; no fighter, but modest ; not contentious, not covetous : " Ο lamentable change ! Ο horrible contempt of the heavenly commandments ! And do ye not continually use the force of your wprds and actions, for the overthrowing or rather overwhebning of these, for whose defence and confirmation, if need had required, ye ought to have suffered pains, yea, and to have lost your very lives. § 109. But let us see what followeth : " Well governing," saith he, " his house, having his children subjected with all chastity." Imperfect therefore is the chastity of the parents, if the children be not also endued with the same. But how shall it be, where neither the father, nor the son, depraved by the example of his evil parent, is found to be chaste ? "But if any one knoweth not how to rule over his own house, how shall he employ his care over the church of God ? " These are the words, that with apparent effects, should be made good and approved. "Deacons in like manner, that they should be chaste, not doubled tongued, not overgiven to much wine, not followers of filthy gain, having the mystery of faith in a preconscience, and let these also be first approved, and so let them administer, having no offence." And now trembling truly to make any longer stay on these matters, I can for a conclusion affirm one thing certainly, which is, that all these are changed into contrary actions, in so much that clerks (which not without grief of heart, I here confess,) are shameless and deceitful in their speeches, given to drinking, covetous of filthy lucre, having faith (or to say more truly) unfaithfulness in an impure conscience, ministering not upon probation of their good works, but upon foreknowledge of their evil actions, and being thus defiled with innumerable offences, they are notwithstanding admitted unto the holy office ; ye have likewise heard on the


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