The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

they only practised such works of piety and chastity as they could learn from the prophetical, evangelical, and apostolical writings. This manner of keeping Easter continued among them for the space of 150 years, till the year of our Lord's incarnation 716. But then the most reverend and holy father and priest, Egberht, of the English nation, who had long lived in banishment in Ireland for the sake of Christ, and was most learned in the scriptures, and renowned for long perfection of life, came among them, corrected their error, and reduced them to the true and canonical day of Easter; the which they nevertheless did not always keep on the fourteenth moon with the Jews, as some imagined, but on Sunday, although not in the proper week. For, as Christians, they knew that the resurrection of our Lord, which happened on the first day after the sabbath, was always to be celebrated on the first day after the sabbath; but being rude and barbarous, they had not learned when that same first day after the sabbhth, which is now called the Lord's day, should come. But because they had not laid aside the fervent grace of charity, they were worthy to be informed in the true knowledge of this particular, according to the promise of the Apostle, saying, "And if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." Of which we shall speak more fully in its proper place.


CHAPTER V.
OF THE LIFE OF BISHOP AIDAN.

From the aforesaid island, and college of monks, was Aidan sent to instruct the English nation in Christ, having received the dignity of a bishop at the time when Segerius, abbot and priest, presided over that monastery; whence,

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