Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/198

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126
THE MINOR HISTORICAL WORKS

after the likeness of God, and endued with reason, is compared with the foolish beasts, and being made like unto them, understands not his own honour.

 

 

CHAPTER VIII.

HOW AT A BANQUET GIVEN BY CLOTHAIRE, THE MAN OF GOD, BY THE SIGN OF THE CROSS, FOILED THE MACHINATIONS OF THE DEVIL.

When the man of God had found this ruined church, he took upon himself two labours of love; first, by his paternal care to bring to the knowledge of the light the people tainted with the errors of idolatry, and blinded with the darkness of ignorance; and secondly, to restore the church to its former honour. He appointed priests and deacons to assist him in the churches; and where there had lately been nothing but the caves of robbers,He builds churches. he now built houses of prayer, and he strove to adorn them rather with the praises of the Lord than with secular pomp and riches. But he was bountiful to the poor, and affable to the rich, that either by his gifts or kind words he might lead all into the way of truth. Knowing, therefore, that the proud of this world will with difficulty bend their necks to the humility of Christ's religion, unless by admonitions of the sweetest love, he fortified himself by the example of the Apostle, and became all things to all men, that he might gain all. He showed honour to the old, and gave paternal admonitions to the young; continually, in his labours of charity, seeking not his own, but that which is God's; and, in imitation of Christ himself, he despised not the banquets of the powerful; not for luxury's sake, but under the plea of preaching, that by familiarity and concord, he might the more easily pour the word of God into the hearts of his fellow guests. Wherefore a certain