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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 192



A.D . 303. ALBAK BECOMES A MABTTB. thirst beneath the scorching sun, were now at the very point o f death. And Alban, sympathising with their miseries, by his prayers produced a spring on the top of the mountain ; the infidels quenched their thirst, but still thirsted for human blood. Why need I dwell on the circumstances ? Out of the whole people one is selected as executioner, to perpetrate the wickedness before them all. And he, with hie whole force, striking his sword against his neck, at one blow cut off the martyr's head ; but as the eyes of him who gave the blow fell on the ground at the same time as the head of the martyr, he became utterly blind. And the cross which the holy man had been used continually to bear in his hands, being now besprinkled with his happy blood, fell on the ground, and a certain Christian secretly carried it away, and hid it from the ignorant pagans. And when this was done, the soldier whom the pagans had a little while before left half dead, usinç all his efforts, ascended the mountain by climbing. Then the judge, insulting the wounds of the man, said : " Pray now to Alban, that he would condescend to restore your bones to their former condition." " I do believe,9' he replied, " that the blessed Alban by his holy merits will be able to restore to me perfect soundness, and to lead me to the mercy of the Saviour." Then reverently taking hold of the head of the martyr, and devoutly placing it close to his own body, he began to recover his bodily strength, which before seemed hopeless, and having been made sound, he did not cease from preaching the merits of Alban and the power of Christ, in the hearing of all the people. Then opening the earth, he buried the body of Alban m the ground, and himself raised a mound over it. And when this was seen, that soldier is ordered to be apprehended by the enemies of the cross, and after punishments too horrid to relate, as they tore his holy body limb from limb, at last they cat off his head with a sword. And thus that soldier, persevering in the faith of Christ, deserved to be elevated to the crown of martyrdom with the most blessed Alban. Accordingly, on the following night, a column of light appeared to rise from the tomb of the blessed martyr, and to penetrate into heaven ; down which angels descending and ascending, spent the whole night in praising God. And among other things which they sung, this expression was frequently heard : " Alban, an illustrious man, has become a glorious martyr.9'


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