Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/259

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love the practice of virtue, and so shall we everywhere experience the benefit of his protection." Battle of Assandune In short, an army from the whole country came with Alfred on the appointed day, to the mountain aforesaid; and on the other side there came that ill-omened host of fierce barbarians, trusting to their superior numbers, and to their success in former battles. They instantly engaged, but the event of the contest was not the same to both. On the one side the Christians proved, by their slaughter of the enemy, how wholesome a thing it is to trust in heavenly aid. On the other hand, the pagans experienced by their defeat, how detestable it is to presume on human pride. Thus this battle was gained without much loss to his army; and Alfred received dominion over the whole of Britain: and, as at his court he always retained in his thoughts the precepts of the saint which he had learnt when in adversity, he at all times, and in all places, prevailed over all the machinations of his adversaries.




§ 5. About the time of the above-named persecution, an intolerable affliction arose of a sudden in Northumberland, and grievously shook the churches of God therein. At that time, a certain man. of great talents, named Eardulf, the last Bishop of Lindisfarne. A.D.854 Eardulf, was ruling, in a praiseworthy manner before God and man, the bishopric of the church of of Lindisfarne, in which rested the body of God's most holy confessor, St. Cuthbert. This man, remembering the last admonitions which that holy father had given his brethren, as he was at the point of death, chose to vacate his place rather than be in subjection to the wicked. For, among other precepts of love and peace