The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVII
CUTHBERT, A MAN OF GOD, IS MADE BISHOP; AND HOW HE LIVES
AND TEACHES WHILST STILL IN A MONASTIC LIFE.

The same year that King Ecgfrid departed this life, he, (as has been said) promoted to the bishopric of the church of Lindisfarne, the holy and venerable Cuthbert, who had for many years led a solitary life, in great continence of body and mind, in a very small island, called Farne, distant almost nine miles from that same church in the ocean. From his very childhood he had always been inflamed with the desire of a religious life; but he took upon him the habit and name of a monk when he was a young man: he first entered into the monastery of Mailros, which is on the bank of the river Twede, and was then governed by the Abbot Eata, a meek and simple man, who was afterwards made bishop of the church of Hagulstad or Lindisfarne, as has been said above, over which monastery at that time was placed Boisil, a priest of great virtue and of a prophetic spirit. Cuthbert, humbly submitting himself to this man's direction, from him received both the knowledge of the holy scriptures, and example of good works. After he had departed to our Lord, Cuthbert was placed over that monastery, where he instructed many in regular life, both by the authority of a master, and the example of his own behaviour. Nor did he afford admonitions and an example of a regular life to his monastery alone, but endeavoured to convert the people round about far and near from the life of foolish custom, to the love of heavenly joys; for many profaned the faith which they had received by their wicked actions; and some also, in the time of a mortality, neglecting the sacraments of faith which they had received, had recourse to the false remedies of idolatry, as if they could have put a stop to the plague sent from God, by enchant-

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