Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/260

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St. Cuthbert's admonition. which his paternal affection had dictated, Cuthbert had thus warned them:—"If you are ever obliged by necessity to choose between the two, I would much rather that you should remove my bones from the tomb, and taking them with you leave this place, and stop where God shall determine, than that you in any way be consenting to iniquity, and submit your necks to the yoke of schismatics." There was at that time, also, a certain abbot, Eared by name, of wonderful sanctity before God, and of no little nobility among men, who had always as much devotion towards God's holy confessor as the bishop himself. When, therefore, this tribulation was afflicting them, these two men, taking with them some others of a religious character, carried away the incorruptible body of the venerable father from the monastery of Lindisfarne. When his own people heard of this, they left their houses and household goods, and immediately followed him, with their wives and children. For they who are properly called his own people, inasmuch as they are kept by him in especial protection, and cannot live anywhere else save under him, as some nations, which can live as well in foreign lands as their own; these, I say, have so much security from his safeguard, that they fear hardly any injury from adversity. Now his having so often piously saved from their adversaries those who took refuge with him, whereof we shall speak further hereafter, must by no means be referred to their own merits, since all, save a very few, have done evil; but yet the question, how much firmness of faith may be of avail, is a question for the consideration of every one.

§ 6. Now it happened by God's providence they traversed nearly the whole land, carrying with them the precious body of the holy confessor. But the bishop and the abbot, being at length overcome by the fatigue of this constant toil, deliberated for a long time between themselves, whether they should seek a termination to