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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 365



the aid of God. For whatever is made known and imparted to the universal church, by his pre-eminent wisdom, will, as we confidently trust, be an advantage to all those who are under your rule. But at the time when the Venerable Bede, a man worthy of God, departed this life, for a fortnight before the resurrection of our Lord, he was afflicted with an incessant pain and difficulty of breathing. But even then, he was cheerful and full of joy, giving thanks night and day and every hour to Almighty God, up to the day of our Lord's Ascension, that is, till the twenty-fifth of May, and giving daily lectures to his disciples out of the Holy Scriptures, and all the rest of the day he passed in singing psalms and in prayer. And the whole night he watched, and passed it in joy and exultation and giving of thanks, except when occasionally a brief sleep interrupted him. The third day before the Ascension of our Lord, he began to suffer more from his asthma, and a slight swelling appeared in his feet, a warning and indication of impending death. Then, having summoned a congregation, he was anointed with the kiss of peace, and having reverently, and with tears received his viaticum, he implored all present to have a remembrance of his soul. And for some of the brethren he showed a more intimate friendship, and secretly gave them some presents as memorials of him. And on the day of the Ascension of our Lord, when the departure of his soul from his body was near at hand, he lay down on a cloak, that was placed beneath him, in front of the oratory, at which he was accustomed to pray, and with unchanged countenance and feeling, he prayed for the grace of the Holy Spirit, speaking thus ; " Ο king of glory, Lord of virtues, you who this day ascended triumphant above all the heaven, leave us not orphans, but send to us the promised gift of the Father, namely, the Spirit of Truth." And when he had uttered this prayer, he yielded up his spirit. And as his spirit departed, those present perceived such an odour as frankincense does not emit, nor the most precious balms supply. And he was buried at the time in the same monastery ; but afterwards he was placed to rest with the blessed Guthbert, bishop of Durham, in a sarcophagus, exquisitely wrought of gold and silver. At the time when Bede, the servant of God, departed this life, these kings were flourishing in England: Ethelbert was reigning in Kent ; Ethelhard in Wessex ; Selred in East Saxony;


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