Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/201

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OF VENERABLE BEDE.
sorrowful for all the people, thus suddenly abandoned by so great a spiritual pastor—abandoned only by his bodily presence, for his intercession in the spirit will never fail them, if they continue to follow his precepts, and the example of his holy life. Funeral obsequies of St. Vedast The clergy and much people assembled together, to perform the last obsequies of reverend man: there were also other officers of the church, priests and deacons: but, wonderful to say, amid the voice of the earthly singers, as some pious men relate, a song was heard in heaven, and when they approached the bier on which the body was placed, and which was lying with all funeral honours in the midst of them, they found themselves unable to move it. Not knowing what to do, nor which way to turn, they asked the pious arch-priest Scopilio, who had been private secretary to the man of God, whether he remembered to have heard him give any instructions about his burial, being apprehensive that this might have happened because they intended to bury him within the walls of the city. Scopilio answered, that he had often heard him say no one ought to be buried in a town, which should be the abode of the living, not the resting-place of the dead. By his advice, therefore, they determined to bury him without the walls in the oratory which he had himself built; and immediately they lifted the bier with the greatest ease, and carried the holy body with lamps and hymns of praise to the place, where they buried him with great honours near the altar of the oratory. A noble treasure, in truth, was it which they here deposited in the ground! and miracles of Divine power are wrought there even to this day, such as those who have seen can tell better than the pen of the historian. In process of time, the house in which God's chosen servant died caught fire, and a certain holy woman, called Habita, saw Saint Vedast come and put out the fire. Thus the house escaped destruction, as did also the bed on which the man of God had died, that all men might see how exalted must be his happiness in heaven, inasmuch as even his