The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX.
ECGBERHT, A HOLY MAN, WOULD HAVE GONE INTO GERMANY TO
PREACH, BUT COULD NOT; WICBERHT WENT, BUT MEETING
WITH NO SUCCESS, RETURNED INTO IRELAND, FROM WHENCE HE
CAME.

At that time the venerable servant of Christ, and priest, Ecgberht, whom I cannot name but with the greatest respect, and who, as we said before, lived a stranger in Ireland to obtain hereafter a residence in heaven, proposed to himself to do good to many, by taking upon him the apostolical work, and preaching the word of God to some of those nations that had not yet heard it; many of which nations he knew there were in Germany, from whom the Angles or Saxons, who now inhabit Britain, are known to have derived their origin; for which reason they are still corruptly called Garmans by the neighbouring nation of the Britons. Such are the Frisons, the Rugins, the Danes, the Huns, the ancient Saxons, and the Boructuars, (or Bructers). There are also in the same parts many other nations still following Pagan rites, to whom the aforesaid soldier of Christ designed to repair, sailing round Britain, and to try whether he could deliver any of them from Satan, and bring them over to Christ; or if this could not be done, to go to Rome, to see and worship the repositories of the holy apostles and martyrs of Christ. But the Divine oracles and certain events proceeding from heaven obstructed his performing either of those designs; for when he had made choice of some most courageous companions, fit to preach the word of God, as being renowned for their learning and virtue; when all things were provided for the voyage, there came to him on a certain day in the morning one of the brethren, formerly disciple and minister in Britain to the beloved priest of God, Boisil, when the said

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