II. AN EPISTLE
FROM BEDE TO BISHOP EGBERT,
CONCERNING ECCLESIASTIC DISCIPLINE.
Bede, the Servant of Christ, to his most Beloved the Right Reverend Bishop Egbert, Health!
§ 1. I remember hearing you say last year, when I spent a few days in your monastery for purposes of study, that you would wish, this year also, when you should arrive at the same place, to have me near you to converse with, for the same purposes of study, common to us both. If this wish could, by God’s favour, be accomplished, there would be no need of my communicating with you at present by letter, since I could then more freely in private conversation say to you, face to face, whatever I wished or deemed expedient. But since the state of my health has, as you know, become such as to prevent this from coming to pass, I have yet, with brotherly devotion, in return for your affection, sent you by letter what I was not able to communicate in person. And I pray you by the Lord, not to consider the point of this letter to be fraught with arrogance and vanity, but as the true submission of humility and pious affection.
§ 2. I therefore exhort your Holiness, my beloved Bishop in Christ, to confirm both by holy life and by holy teaching, the sacred dignity which God, the Author of dignities and Giver of spiritual gifts, hath bestowed upon you. For neither of these is complete without the other: if the bishop whose life is pure, omits the duty of teaching, or the good teacher neglects to prac-
- He became Archbishop of York, A.D. 732.