Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/212

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Purity of tounge preserved, not only by sacred reading, but also by intercourse with those who are devout servants of our Lord; so that if my tongue begins to run wild, or evil deeds suggest themselves to me, I may be sustained by the hands of my faithful brethren and preserved from falling. If this be expedient to all God's children, how much more so to men of that rank, who have not only the care of their own salvation, but also that of the church committed to their charge? as we find it written, 2 Cor. xi. 28"besides those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is made weak, and I am not made weak ? Who is scandalized, and I burn not?" I do not say this from any suspicion that you act otherwise; but because it is noised abroad concerning some bishops, that they have no men of religion or continence near them; but rather such as indulge in laughter and jests, reveilings, and drunkenness and other temptations of an idle life, and who rather feed their bodies with carnal food than their minds on the heavenly sacrifice. Such, if you should meet with any, I would wish you to correct by your holy authority, and advise them to have such witnesses of their conversation, both by night and day, as may suffice to benefit the people, by actions worthy of the Lord, and by suitable exhortations, and so further the spiritual labours of the bishops themselves. For read the Acts of the Apostles, and you will see by the narrative of Saint Luke, what companions Paul and Barnabas Paul and Barnabas had with them, and what works they themselves wrought, wherever they went. For as soon as they entered a city or a synagogue, they sought to preach the word of God, and to disseminate it on every side. This, I would wish you also, beloved friend, to make your aim; for to this duty you were elected, to this you were consecrated, that with great virtues you should preach the Gospel, by the aid of him who is the Prince of all virtue, Jesus Christ our Lord. You will accomplish this, if, wherever you arrive, you gather together the in-