The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

seemed to raise him up, and ordered him to stand boldly upon his feet; from which time, his pain ceased, and he was so perfectly restored, that when the day came on, he, without any hesitation, set forth upon his journey.


CHAPTER XX.
HOW THE SAME BISHOPS PROCURED THE BRITONS ASSISTANCE FROM
HEAVEN IN A BATTLE, AND THEN RETURNED HOME.

In the meantime, the Saxons and Picts, with their united forces, made war upon the Britons, who, being thus by fear and necessity compelled to take up arms, and thinking themselves unequal to their enemies, implored the assistance of the holy bishops; who, hastening to them as they had promised, inspired so much courage into these fearful people, that one would have thought they had been joined by a mighty army. Thus, by these holy apostolic men, Christ himself commanded in their camp. The holy days of Lent were also at hand, and were rendered more religious by the presence of the priests, insomuch, that the people being instructed by daily sermons, resorted in crowds to be baptized; for most of the army desired admission to the saving water; a church was prepared with boughs for the feast of the resurrection of our Lord, and so fitted up in that martial camp, as if it were in a city. The army advanced, still wet with the baptismal water; the faith of the people was strengthened; and whereas human power had before been despaired of, the Divine assistance was now relied upon. The enemy received advice of the state of the army, and not questioning their success against an unarmed multitude, hastened forwards, but their approach was, by the scouts, made known to the Britons; the greater part of whose forces being just come from the

-35-

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