Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/172

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pleasant yoke of Christ, that they may find rest to their souls, that God has condescended to appoint so glorious a vessel of election to rule the church in these our times; and by means of the light of truth and faith with which you are full, to scatter the beams of his love on all your inferiors also. We recommend to your holy clemency, most beloved father and lord in Christ, the grey hairs of our venerable and beloved father. Abbot Ceolfrid, the supporter and defender of our spiritual liberty and peace in this monastic retirement; and, in the first place, we give thanks to the Holy and Undivided Trinity, for that, although he hath caused us much sorrow, lamentation, and tears, by his departure, he hath nevertheless arrived at the enjoyment of that rest which he long desired; whilst he was in his old age devoutly returning to that threshold of the holy Apostles, which he exultingly boasted, that when a youth he had visited, seen, and worshipped. After more than forty years of care and toil, during his government of the monasteries, by his wonderful love of virtue, as if recently incited to conversation with the heavenly life, though worn out with extreme old age, and already almost at the gates of death, he a second time undertakes to travel in the cause of Christ, that the thorns of his former secular anxieties may be consumed by the fire of zeal blazing forth from that spiritual furnace. We next entreat your fatherly love, that, though we have not merited to do this, you will carefully fulfil towards him the last offices; knowing for certain, that though you may possess his body, yet both we and you shall have in his devout spirit, whether in the body or out of the body, a mighty intercessor and protector over our own last moments, at the throne of grace." And so on through the rest of the letter.

The deeds of Hwætberht. § 20. When Hwsetberht had returned to the monastery. Bishop Acca was sent for to confirm the election with his blessing. Afterwards, by his youthful zeal and