Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/246

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174
THE MINOR HISTORICAL WORKS

CHAPTER XIII.

OF THE PLACE WHERE OUR LORD WAS BAPTIZED.

Monastery of St. John the Baptist.In the place where our Lord was baptized, stands a wooden cross as high as a man s neck, and sometimes covered by the water. From it to the further, that is, the eastern bank, is a sling's cast; and on the nearer bank is a large monastery of St. John the Baptist standing on a rising ground, and famous for a very handsome church, from which they descend to the cross by a bridge supported on arches, to offer up their prayers. In the further part of the river is a quadrangular church, supported on four stone arches, covered with burnt tiles, where our Lord's clothes are said to have been kept whilst he was baptized. Men do not enter this church, but come together round it from all quarters; from the place where the Jordan leaves the Sea of Galilee, to where it enters the Dead Sea, a journey of eight days.

 

 

CHAPTER XIV.

OF THE LOCUSTS, THE WILD HONEY, AND THE FOUNTAIN OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST.

The Fountain of St. John the Baptist; the locusts, and the wild honey.It was the Smallest species of locusts which formed the food of John the Baptist, as is clear from the practice of the present day. Their bodies are short and slender, about the size of a finger, and are easily captured on the plants. When boiled in oil, they form a plain and humble kind of food. In the same desert are trees, having broad round leaves of a white colour and sweet taste, naturally weak, and easily bruised by the hands for eating. This is said to be what is meant by wood