Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/178

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Christ to aid him from heaven, in fulfilling the required duties towards his holy father. He was immediately heard, and saw a bunch of grapes hanging on a thorn close by. He perceived that it was a gift from Him who is the Author of nature and Creator of all things, and who brought water out of the stony rock, and, when Miraculous preservation of Bishop Maximus.He pleased, converted it into wine. Rejoiced at this gift of Divine Love, he gathered the bunch of grapes, and pressed it to the mouth of the dying prelate; but his teeth were closed as if in death, all sensation of his heart and breath had ceased, and he was unable to receive that which was offered to him. At length the pious priest by good fortune forced open his parched lips, and poured into his mouth as much of the juice of the grape as he was able. The father, at the taste, recovered both sensation and breath: his eyes opened, and his tongue, which had stuck to his dry palate, attempted to articulate words. After some time he revived, and seeing that it was Felix who had come to seek him, embraced him with paternal love, and asked him why he had come so late, saying, “Where have you lingered so long, my son? for God promised me some time ago that you should come. But you see that, though I yield for the moment, I have faithfully preserved my firmness of mind, as the place of my retreat clearly proves. I might have fled to some village or city, where I should have been safe; if my faith had been of no value to me, or less dear than life. But, you see, I have avoided all the haunts of men, and have fled to the mountains, trusting myself to the grace and protection of God, that, according to his good pleasure, he might preserve me for this life or exalt me to a better. Nor did my trust in God deceive me, as it proved by your coming; which has recalled me, so to speak, from death to life. Wherefore, my son, finish your work of piety, place me on your shoulders, and carry me home. Felix complied with alacrity, and carried home the