Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/177

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105
OF VENERABLE BEDE.

into prison or given to the flames. Solicitude for his flock preyed upon his mind; whilst his body suffered from hunger and the severe cold of winter; for he lay among the brushwood without food or covering, and spent one whole anxious day and night in prayer. Nor was it surprising that such a load of misfortunes should almost sink into the grave an old man exhausted by long fasting. But the Divine Love, to show how great was the Delivered by a miracle.merit of the blessed confessor Felix, sent down an angel to pluck him from his chains and send him forth to seek the bishop and bring him home. There were others in the prison, but the angel appeared to him alone, shining in a brilliant light which filled the whole house. Felix was alarmed at the light and at the angel’s voice, and at first thought that he was dreaming. When the angel told him to rise and follow him out, he said that he could not, because he was bound in chains and carefully guarded. The angel told him again to rise without any impediment from the chains, and immediately his bonds fell from his hands, neck, and feet. By a wonderful course of events, he led him out, though the door which was open to him was closed to the others, and they passed through the guards without their knowledge, whilst the angel, like the pillar of Moses, guarded Felix and lighted his path, until he was clear of his enemies. When the blessed confessor had come to the desert where the bishop had taken refuge, he found him panting for breath, and his joy at having found him alive was damped by the probability of his immediate death. He clasped the aged father and kissed him, tried to inspire life into him with his breath, and heat into his cold limbs by the application of his own body. But when with all his cries and exertions he could rouse neither his mind nor body to life, and had neither fire to warm nor aliment to sustain his cold and famished frame, he suddenly thought of a salutary plan, and bending his knees in prayer, besought the Father of our Lord Jesus