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which God has bestowed on me. The rich in this world are bent on giving gold and silver and other precious things. But I, in charity, will joyfully give my brothers what God has given unto me.' He spoke to every one of them, admonishing and entreating them that they would carefully say masses and prayers for him, which they readily promised; but they all mourned and wept, especially because he said, 'They should no more see his face in this world.' They rejoiced for that he said, 'It is time that I return to Him who formed me out of nothing: I have lived long; my merciful Judge well foresaw my life for me; the time of my dissolution draws nigh; for I desire to die and to be with Christ.' Having said much more, he passed the day joyfully till the evening; and the boy, above mentioned, said: 'Dear master, there is yet one sentence not written.' He answered, ‘Write quickly.' Soon after, the boy said, 'The sentence is now written.' He replied, 'It is well, you have said the truth. It is ended. Receive my head into your hands, for it is a great satisfaction to me to sit facing my holy place, where I was wont to pray, that I may also sitting call upon my Father.' And thus on the pavement of his little cell, singing: 'Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,' when he had named the Holy Ghost, he breathed his last, and so departed to the heavenly kingdom. All who were present at the death of the blessed father, said they had never seen any other person expire with so much devotion, and in so tranquil a frame of mind. For as you have heard, so long as the soul animated his body, he never ceased to give thanks to the true and living God, with expanded hands exclaiming: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost!' with other spiritual ejaculations. But know this, dearest brother, that I could say much concerning him, if my want of learning did not cut short my discourse. Nevertheless, by the grace of God, I purpose shortly to write more concerning him, particularly of those things which I saw with my own eyes, and heard with my own ears."

As we learn from this letter of Cuthbert that Bede died on St. Ascension-day which he states to have been that year the seventh before the kalends of June, this fact enables u to fix it on the 26th May, in the year of our Lord 735.

The remains of the venerable Bede were placed first under

the south porch of the church. After being removed to a more honourable situation within the church, they were stolen from the monastery by Elfred a priest of Durham, who used for some years previously to offer up his prayers at Bede's tomb, on the anniversary of his death.

"On one of these occasions," says Simeon of Durham, "he went to Jarrow as usual, and having spent some days in the church in solitude, praying and watching, he returned in the early morning alone to Durham, without the knowledge of his companions—a thing which he had never done before as though he wished to have no witness to his secret. Now, although he lived many years afterwards, yet he never again visited Jarrow, and it appeared as if he had achieved the object of his desires. When, also, he was asked by his most intimate friends, 'Where were the bones of venerable Bede?' he would reply, 'No one can answer that question so well as I. You may be assured, my brethren, beyond all doubt, that the same chest which holds the hallowed body of our father Cuthbert, also contains the bones of Bede, our reverend teacher and brother. It is useless to search beyond that little corner for any portion of his relics." "

By this artifice the cathedral of Durham obtained possession of a valuable source of revenue in the offerings which were sure to be made at the tomb of so venerable a man. The theft was kept secret by the brethren until all who could have reclaimed the body were dead, and so Bede's bones remained until A.D. 1104, when St. Cuthbert's relics were removed, and those of Bede were placed alone in a linen bag in the same chest. Fifty years afterwards Hugh Pudsey, bishop of Durham, erected a shrine of gold and silver, adorned with jewels, in which he enclosed the relics of venerable Bede, with an inscription placed on it, which may be translated thus:

Within this chest Bede's mortal body lies.

In the reign of Henry VIII this beautiful shrine was demolished, and the saintly relics were treated with every indignity by the insane and ignorant mob. The only memorial now remaining in Durham cathedral of its having once been the resting-place of Bede's remains, is a long

inscription to his memory concluding with the well known monkish rhyme :—

'Hac sunt in fossa Bedæ venerabilis ossa.'

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Here lie beneath these stones-venerable Bede's bones.


THE Ecclesiastical History of venerable Bede was first published on the Continent: numerous editions of it have been printed, which it is here necessary to enumerate.

It was first published in England by Wheloc, fol. Cantab. 1643-4, with an Appendix containing the Anglo-Saxon translation by king Alfred the Great.

To this succeeded the edition of Smith, printed at Cambridge in 1722, which superseded all the preceding. The basis of this edition was a MS. formerly belonging to More, bishop of Ely, and now deposited in the public library at Cambridge. [Kk, 5, 16.] At the end of the MS., which is written in Anglo-Saxon letters, are several notes in a somewhat later handwriting, by which it would appear that the volume was copied in the year 737, i.e. two years after Bede's death, and probably from the author's original manuscript.

The last edition of this celebrated and valuable work is that of Stevenson, published by the English Historical Society, Lond. 8vo. 1838. The editor professes to have used the same MS. of bishop More, and to have occasionally collated four others [Cotton. Tib. C, II, Tib. A, XIV, Harl. 4978, and King's MS. 13 C, V.]. Prefixed to the volume is a copious and valuable notice of the author and his work, from which we take the liberty of making the following long extract, as containing the most judicious account of this our author's greatest work.

"The scope of this valuable and justly esteemed work is sufficiently indicated by its title. After some observations upon th position, inhabitants, and natural productions of Britain, the author gives a rapid sketch of its history from the earliest period until the arrival of Augustine in A.D. 597, at which era, in his opinion, the ecclesiastical history of our

nation had its commencement. After that event, he treats, as was to be expected, for a time exclusively of the circumstances which occurred in Kent; but, as Christianity extended itself over the other kingdoms into which England was then divided, he gradually includes their history in his narrative, until he reaches the year 731. Here he concludes his work, which embraces a space of one hundred and thirty-four years, with a general outline of the ecclesiastical state of the island.

"The Introduction, which extends from the commencement of the work to the conversion of the Saxons to Christianity, is gleaned, as Bede himself informs us, from various writers. The chief sources for the description of Britain are Pliny, Solinus, Orosius, and Gildas; St. Basil is also cited; and the traditions which were current in Bede's own day are occasionally introduced. The history of the Romans in Britain is founded chiefly upon Orosius, Eutropius, and Gildas, corrected, however, in some places by the author, apparently from tradition or local information, and augmented by an account of the introduction of Christianity under Lucius, of the martyrdom of St. Alban, copied apparently from some legend, and of the origin of the Pelagian heresy,-all of them circumstances intimately connected with the ecclesiastical history of the island. The mention of Hengist and Horsa, and the allusion to the tomb of the latter at Horstead, render it probable that the account which Bede gives of the arrival of the Teutonic tribes, and their settlement in England, was communicated by Albinus and Nothelm. It is purely fabulous, being, in fact, not the history, but the tradition, of the Jutish kingdom of Kent, as appears from circumstances mentioned elsewhere in this work, as well as from the authorities there quoted. The two visits of Germanus to England, so important in the history of its religion, are introduced in the very words of Constantius Lugdunensis, and must therefore have been copied from that author. The ante-Augustine portion of the history is terminated by extracts from Gildas, relative to the conflicts between the Saxons and Britons. As the mission of Augustine in A.D. 596 is the period at which Bede ceases to speak of himself as a compiler, and assumes the character of an historian, it becomes incumbent upon us to examine into the sources upon

which he has founded this, by far the most interesting portion of his history. The materials which he employed seem to have consisted of (1.) written documents, and (II.) verbal information. (1.) The written materials may be divided into (1.) Historical information drawn up and communicated by his correspondents for the express purpose of being employed in his work; (2.) documents pre-existing in a narrative form, and (3.) transcripts of official documents.

"(1.) That Bede's correspondents drew up and communicated to him information which he used when writing this history, is certain from what he states in its prologue; and it is highly probable that to them we are indebted for many particulars connected with the history of kingdoms situated to the south of the river Humber, with which a monk of Jarrow, from his local position, was probably unacquainted. Traces of the assistance which he derived from Canterbury are perceptible in the minute acquaintance which he exhibits not only with the topography of Kent, but with its condition at the time when he wrote; and the same remark is applicable, although in a more limited degree, to most of the southern kingdoms.

"(2.) Documents pre-existing in an historical form are seldom quoted: amongst those of which use has been made may be numbered the Life of Gregory the Great, written by Paulus Diaconus; the miracles of Ethelberga, abbess of Barking; the Life of Sebbi, king of the East Saxons; the Legend of Fursey; and that of Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, formerly written by Bede, but now augmented by himself, with additional facts. These, together with some extracts from the Treatise of Arculf de Locis Sanctis, are all the written documents to which the author refers.

"That other narratives, however, were in Bede's possession, of which he has made liberal use, is certain from his express words, and may also be inferred from internal evidence. Albinus and Nothelm appear to have furnished him with chronicles, in which he found accurate and full information upon the pedigrees, accessions, marriages, exploits, descendants, deaths, and burials of the kings of Kent. From the same source he derived his valuable account of the archbishops of Canterbury, both before and after ordination, the place and date of consecration, even though it took place abroad the

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