Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/105

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33
OF VENERABLE BEDE.

lowers lived according to the monastic rule. Wherefore all the principals of that place from him to the present time exercise the episcopal office, so that, whilst the monastery is governed by the abbot, whom they, with the consent of the brethren, have elected, all the priests, deacons, singers, readers, and other ecclesiastical officers of different ranks, observe the monastic rule in every respect, as well as the bishop himself. The blessed Pope Gregory showed that he approved this mode of life, when, in answer to Augustine, his first missionary to Britain, who asked him how bishops ought to converse with their clerks, among other remarks he replied, "Because, my brother, having been educated in the monastic rule, you ought not to keep aloof from your clerks; in the English church, which, thanks be to God, has lately been converted to the faith, you should institute the same system, which has existed from the first beginning of our church among our ancestors, none of whom said that the things which he possessed were his own, but they had all things common." When Cuthbert, therefore, came to the church or monastery of Lindisfarne, he taught the brethren monastic rules both by his life and doctrines, and often going round, as was his custom, among the neighbouring people, he kindled them up to seek after and work out a heavenly reward. Moreover, by his miracles he became more and more celebrated, and by the earnestness of his prayers restored to their former health many that were afflicted with various infirmities and sufferings; some that were vexed with unclean spirits, he not only cured whilst present by touching them, praying over them, or even by commanding or exorcising the devils to go out of them; but even when absent he restored them by his prayers, or by foretelling that they should be restored; amongst whom also was the wife of the præfect above mentioned.

§ 26. There were some brethren in the monastery, who preferred their ancient customs to the new regular