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nation, whom he received when first made bishop there, A. D. 664. to be instructed in Christ; for the king much loved Bishop Colman, on account of his singular discretion. This is the same Eata, who, not long after, was made bishop of the same church of Lindisfarne. Colman carried home with him part of the bones of the most reverend Father Aidan, and left part of them in the church where he had presided, ordering them to be interred in the sacristy.
The place which he governed shows how frugal he and his predecessors were, for there were very few houses besides the church found at their departure ; indeed, no more than were barely sufficient for their daily residence; they had also no money, but cattle ; for if they received any money from rich persons, they immediately gave it to the poor; there being no need to gather money, or provide houses for the entertainment of the great men of the world ; for such never resorted to the church, except to pray and hear the word of God. The king himself, when opportunity offered, came only with five or six servants, and having performed his devotions in the church, departed. But if they happened to take a repast there, they were satisfied with only the plain and daily food of the brethren, and required no more ; for the whole care of those teachers was to serve God, not the world—to feed the soul, and not the belly
For this reason the religious habit was at that time in great veneration; so that wheresoever any clergyman or monk happened to come, he was joyfully received by all persons, as God's servant; and if they chanced to meet him upon the way, they ran to him, and bowing, were glad to be signed with his hand, or blessed with his mouth. Great attention was also paid to their exhortations; and on Sundays they flocked eagerly to the church, or the monasteries, not to feed their bodies, but to hear the word of God; and if any priest hap
forte deveniret, mox congregati in unum vicani verbum vitæ ab illo expetere curabant. Nam neque alia ipsis sacerdotibus aut clericis vicos adeundi, quam prædicandi, baptizandi, infirmos visitandi, et, ut breviter dicam, animas curandi, causa fuit; qui in tantum erant ab omni avaritiæ peste castigati, ut nemo territoria ac possessiones ad construenda monasteria, nisi a potentibus seculi coactus, acciperet. Quæ consuetudo per omnia aliquanto post hæc tempore in ecclesiis Northanhumbrorum servata est. Sed de his satis dictum.
CAP. XXVII.--UT EGBERTUS, VIR SANCTUS DE NATIONE
ANGLORUM, MONACHICAM IN HIBERNIA VITAM DUXERIT.
EODEM anno Dominicæ incarnationis sexcentesimo sexagesimo quarto, facta est eclipsis solis die tertio mensis Maii, hora circiter decima diei ; quo etiam anno subita pestilentiæ lues, depopulatis prius australibus Britanniæ plagis, Northanhumbrorum quoque provinciam corripiens, atque acerba clade diutius longe lateque desæviens, magnam hominum multitudinem stravit. Qua plaga præfatus Domini sacerdos Tuda raptus est de mundo, et in monasterio, quod dicitur Pegnalech, honorifice sepultus. Hæc autem plaga Hiberniam quoque insulam pari clade premebat. Erant ibidem eo tempore multi nobilium simul et mediocrium de gente Anglorum, qui tempore Finani et Colmani episcoporum, relicta insula patria, vel divinæ lectionis vel continentioris vitæ gratia, illo secesserant. Et quidam quidem mox se monasticæ conversationi fideliter mancipaverunt, alii magis circumeundo per cellas magistrorum, lectioni operam dare gaudebant ; quos omnes Scoti libentissime suscipientes victum eis quotidianum sine pretio, libros quoque ad legendum et magisterium gratuitum, præbere curabant.
Erant inter hos duo juvenes magnæ indolis, de nobilibus pened to come into a village, the inhabitants flocked A.D.664. together to hear from him the word of life; for the priests and clergymen went into the villages on no other account than to preach, baptize, visit the sick, and, in few words, to take care of souls; and they were so free from worldly avarice, that none of them received lands and possessions for building monasteries, unless they were compelled to do so by the temporal authorities; which custom was for some time after observed in all the churches of the Northumbrians. But enough has been now said on this subject.
CHAP. XXVII.-EGBERT, A HOLY MAN OF THE ENGLISH
NATION, LED A MONASTIC LIFE IN IRELAND.
In the same year of our Lord's incarnation, 664, there Eclipse of
the sun, and happened an eclipse of the sun, on the 3rd of May, about pestilence. ten o'clock in the morning. In the same year, a sudden pestilence also depopulated the southern coasts of Britain, and afterwards extending into the province of the Northumbrians, ravaged the country far and near, and destroyed a great multitude of men.
To which plague the aforesaid priest Tuda fell a victim, and was honourably buried in the monastery of Pegnaleth. This pestilence did no less harm in the island of Ireland. Many of the nobility, and of the lower ranks of the English. nation, were there at that time, who, in the days of the Bishops Finan and Colman, forsaking their native island, retired thither, either for the sake of Divine studies, or of a more continent life; and some of them presently devoted themselves to a monastical life, others chose rather to apply themselves to study, going about from one master's cell to another. The Scots willingly received them all, and took care to supply them with food, as also to furnish them with books to read, and their teaching, gratis. Among these were Ethelhun and Egbert, two youths of Ethelhun Anglorum, Ethelhun et Egbertus, quorum prior frater fuit Ethelwini, viri æque Deo dilecti, qui et ipse ævo sequente Hiberniam gratia legendi adiit, et bene instructus patriam rediit, atque episcopus in provincia Lindissi factus multo ecclesiam tempore nobilissime rexit. Hi ergo cum essent in monasterio, quod lingua Scotorum Rathmelsigi appellatur, et omnes socii ipsorum, vel mortalitate de seculo rapti, vel per alia essent loca dispersi, correpti sunt ambo morbo ejusdem mortalitatis, et gravissime afflicti; e quibus Egbertus, (sicut mihi referebat quidam veracissimus et venerandæ canitiei presbyter, qui se hæc ab ipso audiisse perhibebat,) cum se æstimaret esse moriturum, egressus est tempore matutino de cubiculo, in
quo infirmi quiescebant, et residens solus in loco opportuno cæpit sedulus cogitare de actibus suis, et compunctus memoria peccatorum suorum faciem lachrimis abluebat, atque intimo ex corde Deum precabatur, ne adhuc mori deberet, priusquam vel præteritas negligentias, quas in pueritia sive infantia commiserat, perfectius ex tempore castigaret, vel in bonis se operibus abundantius exerceret. Vovit etiam votum, quia adeo peregrinus vivere vellet, ut nunquam in insulam, in qua natus est, id est Britanniam, rediret; quia præter solennem canonici temporis psalmodiam, si non valetudo corporis obsisteret, quotidie Psalterium totum in memoriam divinæ laudis decantaret, et quia in omni septimana diem cum nocte jejunus transiret. Cumque, finitis lacrimis, precibus et votis, domum rediret, invenit sodalem dormientem; et ipse quoque lectulum conscendens cæpit in quietem membra laxare. Et cum paululum quiesceret expergefactus sodalis respexit eum et ait, "O frater Egberte, Oquid fecisti? Sperabam quia pariter ad vitam æternam intraremus. Veruntamen scito quia, quæ postulasti, accipies.” Didicerat enim
of great capacity, of the English nobility. The former A. D. 664. of which was brother to Ethelwin, a man no less beloved by God, who also afterwards went over into Ireland to study, and having been well instructed, returned into his own country, and being made bishop in the province of Lindsey, long governed that church worthily and creditably. These two being in the monastery which in the language of the Scots is called Rathmelsigi, and having lost all their companions, who were either cut off by the mortality, or dispersed into other places, fell both desperately sick of the same distemper, and were grievously afflicted. Of these, Egbert, (as I was informed by a priest venerable for his age, and of great veracity, who declared he had heard those things from his own mouth,) concluding that he was at the point of death, went out of his chamber, where the sick lay, in the morning, and sitting alone in a convenient place, began seriously to reflect upon his past actions, and, being full of compunction at the remembrance of his sins, bedewed his face with tears, and prayed fervently to God that he might not die yet, before he could make amends for the offences which he had committed in his infancy and younger years, or might further exercise himself in good works. He also made a vow that he would, for the sake of God, live in a strange place, so as never to return into the island of Britain, where he was born; that, besides the canonical times of singing psalms, unless prevented by corporeal infirmity, he would say the whole Psalter daily to the praise of God; and that he would every week fast one whole day and a night. Returning home, after his tears, prayers and vows, he found his companion asleep, and going to bed himself, began to compose himself to rest. When he had lain quiet awhile, his comrade awaking, looked on him, and said, “Alas! Brother Egbert, what have you done? I was in hopes that we should have entered together into life everlasting; but know that what you prayed for is granted.” For he had