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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.
page 499



492 MATTHEW OF WB&TìnXWTEB. Λ J). 1292. shameful iniquities ?' They are drunken and luxurious men, and unless you drive them out from among you, the whole church will be destroyed. The people who will say this of you is clothed in capes of no value, which are of a foreign colour, and is shaven in a proper manner, and shows itself aa placid and quiet to all men. Also it loves not avarice, it is not possessed of riches, and in its eyes it imitates such abstinence, that scarcely any one of the whole body can be blamed. But the devil is with those men, showing that he is lying concealed under a bright appearance, as he formerly was at the formation of the world before the Fall, and in some respects he has made himself like the prophets, and he says to the people, ' Speak pleasant things, because they are like swift and unclean beasts, and I will show myself to them, but not now, and I love to fly on the wings of the wind, when the thunder-storm gives its lightning, and in every way to pour forth things which will tend to the accomplishment of my will, and thus, in respect of those men, I will make my signs to resemble Almighty God.' For the devil worketh these things by the spirits of air, who work wicked works in the breath of the wind and air, and being innumerable, hover about some people like flies or gnats, which in the warmth of hot weather annoy men by their numbers. For he mingles these men in this manner, and does not deprive them of their chastity, but allows them to remain chaste, because they have wished to preserve their chastity. And again, he says within himself, 'God loves chastity and continence, which I will imitate in those men.9 And so the aforesaid ancient enemy, by means of these his airy spirits, inspires men to abstain from unchaste offences ; on which account women love them not, but avoid them, and thus they will show themselves to men in all sanctity, and will say in mocking words, ' The other men who were before us, and who wished to preserve their chastity, used to burn like roast fish, but no pollution of flesh or concupiscence dares to touch us, because we are holy, and are imbrued with the Holy Spirit/ Ah ! these erring men who now Uve, do not know what they do ; and so, too, neither did those who preceded them in former times, for others who living at this time err as to the catholic faith, shall fear those men, and minister to them in servile offices, and imitate them as far aathey can. Then the people shall rejoiee at their conversion, because they shall seem to them to be just ; and when they see the error of their


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