The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

to be done in that case. And being a man of extraordinary sagacity, he sat alone by himself a long time, silent as to his tongue, but deliberating in his heart how he should proceed, and which religion he should adhere to.


CHAPTER X.
POPE BONIFACE, BY LETTER, EXHORTS THE SAME KING TO
EMBRACE THE FAITH.

At that time, King Edwin received letters from Pope Boniface, exhorting him to embrace the faith, which were as follows:—

A.D. 625.

"To the illustrious Edwin, king of the Angles, Bishop Boniface, the servant of the servants of God: Although the power of the Supreme Deity cannot be expressed by human speech, as consisting in its own greatness, and in invisible and unsearchable eternity, so that no sharpness of wit can comprehend or express it; yet, in regard that the goodness of God, to give some notion of itself, having opened the doors of the heart, has mercifully, by secret inspiration, infused into the minds of men such things as he is willing shall be declared concerning himself, we have thought fit to extend our priestly care to make known to you the fulness of the Christian faith; to the end that, informing you of the gospel of Christ, which our Saviour commanded should be preached to all nations, they might offer to you the cup of life and salvation.

Thus the goodness of the supreme Majesty, which by the word of his command made and created all things, the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, disposing the order by which they should subsist, hath, with the counsel of his coeternal word, and the unity of the Holy

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