The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

that use from temples, and celebrate the solemnity with religious feasting, and no more offer beasts to the devil, but kill cattle to the praise of God in their eating, and return thanks to the Giver of all things for their sustenance; to the end that, whilst some gratifications are outwardly permitted them, they may the more easily consent to the inward consolations of the grace of God. For there is no doubt that it is impossible to efface every thing at once from their obdurate minds; because he who endeavours to ascend to the highest place, rises by degrees or steps, and not by leaps. Thus the Lord made himself known to the people of Israel in Egypt; and yet he allowed them the use of the sacrifices which they were wont to offer to the devil, in his own worship; so as to command them in his sacrifice to kill beasts, to the end that, changing their hearts, they might lay aside one part of the sacrifice, whilst they retained another; that whilst they offered the same beasts which they were wont to offer, they should offer them to God, and not to idols; and thus they would no longer be the same sacrifices. This it behoves your affection to communicate to our aforesaid brother, that he being there present, may consider how he is to order all things. God preserve you in safety, most beloved son. Given the 13th day of the kalends of June, in the nineteenth year of the reign of our lord, the most pious emperor, Mauritius Tiberius, the eighteenth year after the consulship of our said lord. The fourth indiction."

Jan. A. D. 601.


CHAPTER XXXI.
POPE GREGORY, BY LETTER, EXHORTS AUGUSTINE NOT TO
GLORY IN HIS MIRACLES.

At which time he also sent Augustine a letter concerning the miracles that he had heard had been wrought by him;

-65-

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