Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/214

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the Creed every morning early, and so fortify themselves as by a spiritual antidote against the poison, which the malignant cunning of the Devil may either by night or Frequent repetition of the Lord's Prayer necessary. by day cast out against them. But that the Lord's Prayer should be very frequently repeated, as even we have learnt by the habit of earnest deprecation and bending of knees.

§ 6. If your pastoral authority can accomplish these our suggestions in ruling and feeding Christ's sheep, who shall declare what a heavenly reward you will prepare for yourself before Him who is the Shepherd of shepherds? The fewer examples you find of this holy work among the bishops of our nation, the higher will be your reward for your individual merit, inasmuch as you will by this paternal care and affection stir up and excite God's people through the frequent repetition of the Creed, or holy prayer, to seek after intelligence, love, hope, and all those same heavenly gifts which are enumerated in their prayers. As, too, on the contrary, if you negligently discharge the duty committed to you by the Lord, you will take part hereafter with the wicked and idle servant for thus withholding your talent; especially if you have presumed to ask and receive from such temporal gifts, on whom you have not thought fit to bestow heavenly gifts in recompense. For when the Lord sent his disciples to preach the Gospel, and said to them, St. Matthew,St. Matthew, x. 7,8,9. "And as ye go, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand," he added, a little further on, "Freely ye have received, freely give; provide neither gold nor silver." If, therefore, he ordered them to preach the Gospel freely, and did not permit them to receive gold or silver, or any temporal payment of money from those to whom they preached, what hazard, I would ask, must hang over those who do the contrary?

§ 7. Consider what a heavy crime is committed by those who diligently seek earthly lucre from their hearers, and take no pains for their everlasting salvation,