THE  HISTORY  OF  THE  ENGLISH  CHURCH  AND  PEOPLE


by  BEDE


BOOK  ONE


PART  2



To his most reverend and holy brother and fellow-bishop Etherius: Gregory, servant of the servants of God. Religious men should require no commendation to priests who exhibit the love that is pleasing to God; but since a suitable opportunity to write has arisen, We have written this letter to you, our brother, to certify that its bearer, God's servant Augustine, with his companions, of whose zeal we are assured, has been directed by us to proceed to save souls with the help of God. We therefore request Your Holiness to assist them with pastoral care, and to make speedy provision for their needs. And in order that you may assist them the more readily, we have particularly directed Augustine to give you full information about his mission, being sure that when you are acquainted with this, you will supply all their needs for the love of God. We also commend to your love the priest Candidus, our common son in Christ, whom we have transferred to a small patrimony in our church. God keep you safely, most reverend brother.


Dated the twenty-third day of July, in the fourteenth year of the reign of the most pious Emperor Maurice Tiberius Augustus, and the thirteenth year after his Consulship: the fourteenth indiction.”



CHAPTER 25: Augustine reaches Britain, and first preaches in the Isle of Thanet before King Ethelbert, who grants permission to preach in Kent [A.D. 597]


Reassured by the encouragement of the blessed father Gregory, Augustine and his fellow-servants of Christ resumed their work in the word of God, and arrived in Britain. At this time the most powerful king there was Ethelbert, who reigned in Kent and whose domains extended northwards to the river Humber, which forms the boundary between the north and south Angles. To the east of Kent lies the large island of Thanet, which by English reckoning is six hundred hides in extent; it is separated from the mainland by a waterway about three furlongs broad called the Wantsum, which joins the sea at either end and is fordable only in two places. It was here that God's servant Augustine landed with companions, who are said to have been forty in number. At the direction of blessed Pope Gregory, they had brought interpreters from among the Franks, and they sent these to Ethelbert, saying that they came from Rome bearing very glad news, which infallibly assured all who would receive it of eternal joy in heaven and an everlasting kingdom with the living and true God. On receiving this message, the king ordered them to remain in the island where they had landed, and gave directions that they were to be provided with all necessaries until he should decide what action to take. For he had already heard of the Christian religion, having a Christian wife of the Frankish royal house named Bertha, whom he had received from her parents on condition that she should have freedom to hold and practise her faith unhindered with Bishop Liudhard, whom they had sent as her helper in the faith.


After some days, the king came to the island and, sitting down in the open air, summoned Augustine and his companions to an audience. But he took precautions that they should not approach him in a house; for he held an ancient superstition that, if they were practisers of magical arts, they might have opportunity to deceive and master him. But the monks were endowed with power from God, not from the Devil, and approached the king carrying a silver cross as their standard and the likeness of our Lord and Saviour painted on a board. First of all they offered prayer to God, singing a litany for the eternal salvation both of themselves and of those to whom and for whose sake they had come. And when, at the king's command, they had sat down and preached the word of life to the king and his court, the king said: “Your words and promises are fair indeed; but they are new and uncertain, and I cannot accept them and abandon the age-old beliefs that I have held together with the whole English nation. But since you have travelled far, and I can see that you are sincere in your desire to impart to us what you believe to be true and excellent, we will not harm you. We will receive you hospitably and take care to supply you with all that you need; nor will we forbid you to preach and win any people you can to your religion.” The king then granted them a dwelling in the city of Canterbury, which was the chief city of all his realm, and in accordance with his promise he allowed them provisions and did not withdraw their freedom to preach. Tradition says that as they approached the city, bearing the holy cross and the likeness of our great King and Lord Jesus Christ as was their custom, they sang in unison this litany: “We pray Thee, O Lord, in all Thy mercy, that Thy wrath and anger may be turned away from this city and from Thy holy house, for we are sinners. Alleluia.”


CHAPTER 26: The life and doctrine of the primitive Church are followed in Kent: Augustine establishes his episcopal see in the king's city


As soon as they had occupied the house given to them they began to emulate the life of the apostles and the primitive Church. They were constantly at prayer; they fasted and kept vigils; they preached the word of life to whomsoever they could. They regarded worldly things as of little importance, and accepted only the necessities of life from those they taught. They practised what they preached, and were willing to endure any hardship, and even to die for the truth which they proclaimed. Before long a number of heathen, admiring the simplicity of their holy lives and the comfort of their heavenly message, believed and were baptized. On the east side of the city stood an old church, built in honour of Saint Martin during the Roman occupation of Britain, where the Christian queen of whom I have spoken went to pray. Here they first assembled to sing the psalms, to pray, to say Mass, to preach, and to baptize, until the king's own conversion to the Faith gave them greater freedom to preach and to build and restore churches everywhere.


At length the king himself, among others, edified by the pure lives of these holy men and their gladdening promises, the truth of which they confirmed by many miracles, believed and was baptized. Thenceforward great numbers gathered each day to hear the word of God, forsaking their heathen rites and entering the unity of Christ's holy Church as believers. While the king was pleased at their faith and conversion, it is said that he would not compel anyone to accept Christianity; for he had learned from his instructors and guides to salvation that the service of Christ must be accepted freely and not under compulsion. Nevertheless, he showed greater favour to believers, because they were fellow-citizens of the kingdom of heaven. And it was not long before he granted his teachers in his capital of Canterbury a place of residence appropriate to their station, and gave them possessions of various kinds to supply their wants.


[THE  ROMAN  CATHOLIC  CLERGY  LIVED  SIMPLE  LIVES, KNOWING THE MAIN PURPOSE WAS TO BE A LIGHT OF GOOD SIMPLE CHRISTIAN LIVING.  TODAY  WE  HAVE  SUCH  PEOPLE  AS  KENNETH  COPELAND  AND  JOE  OLSTEIN  WHO  LIVE  IS  MILLION  DOLLAR  SPACIOUS  MANSIONS,  FANCY  EXPENSIVE  CARS  AND  PLANES,  SUPPOSEDLY  TO  “DO  THE  WORK  OF  THE  LORD”  -  THERE  HAVE  BEEN  OTHERS  IN  THE  PAST [LIKE  HERBERT  ARMSTRONG]  WHO  LIVED  THE  LUXURIOUS  EXPENSIVE  LIFE-STYLE.  AND  AS  SHOCKING  AS  IT  MAY  BE,  THEIR  FOLLOWERS  THOUGHT  THEY  DESERVED  TO  LIVE  AND  HAVE  AN  EXPENSIVE  PHYSICAL  LIFE…… BLIND  SHEEP  FOLLOWING  BLIND  LEADERS,  AND  ALL  WILL  FALL  INTO  THE  DITCH  -  Keith Hunt]


CHAPTER 27: Augustine is consecrated bishop: he sends to inform Pope Gregory what has been achieved, and receives replies to his questions


Meanwhile God's servant Augustine visited Aries and, in accordance with the holy father Gregory's directions, was consecrated archbishop of the English nation by Etherius, archbishop of that city. On his return to Britain, he sent the priest Laurence and the monk Peter to Rome to inform the blessed Pope Gregory that the English had accepted the Faith of Christ, and that he himself had been consecrated bishop. At the same time, he sought advice on certain current problems. The Pope answered his enquiries without delay, and I have thought it proper to record these replies in my history.


[IT  WAS  THE  BEGINNING  OF  THE  CHURCH  OF  ROME’S  CONQUEST  OF  THE  BRITISH  NATION,  AND  THEIR  CONQUEST  OF  THE  CELTIC  BRITON’S  CHRISTIAN  CHURCH,  WHICH  HAD  BEEN  ESTABLISHED  THERE  FROM  THE  VERY  FIRST  YEARS  AFTER  THE  LORD’S  DEATH  AND  RESURRECTION  -  Keith Hunt]


I. The first question of Augustine, Bishop of the Church of Canterbury: 


What is to be the relation between the bishop and his clergy? And how are the offerings made by the faithful at the altar to be apportioned? And what are the functions of a bishop in his church?


Gregory, Pope of the City of Rome, replies: 


Holy Scripture, with which you are certainly well acquainted, offers us guidance in this matter, and in particular the letters of blessed Paul to Timothy, in which he carefully instructs him on a bishop's duties in the house of God. But it is the custom of the Apostolic See to instruct all newly consecrated bishops that all money received is to be allocated under four heads: one for the bishop and his household, for hospitality and other commitments; another for the clergy; a third for the poor; and a fourth for the upkeep of churches. In your case, my brother, having been trained under monastic rule, you should not live apart from your clergy in the church of the English, which by God's help has lately been brought to the Faith. You are therefore to follow the way of life practised by our forefathers of the primitive Church, among whom none said that anything which he possessed was his own, but they had all things common. If there are any clerics who have not received Sacred Orders and who cannot accept a life of continence, let them marry and receive their stipends outside the common fund; for it is written of the fathers whom we have mentioned, that ‘distribution was made unto every man according as he had need'. So give consideration to the provision of their stipends, and see that they observe the Church's discipline and live orderly, attend to the singing of the Psalter, and by God's help preserve themselves in thought, word, and deed from everything unlawful. But to those who live as a Community there should be no need for us to mention allocating portions, exercising hospitality, and showing mercy. Everything that can be spared is to be devoted to holy and religious purposes, as the Lord and Master of all bids; 'Give alms of such things as ye have; and behold, all things are clean unto you.'


[AT  THIS  TIME  THE  POPE’S  REPLY  WAS  IN  LINE  WITH  SCRIPTURE  AND  HOW  GOD’S  SERVANTS  SHOULD  CONDUCT  THEMSELVES,  IN  HUMBLE  AND  SIMPLE  LIFE-STYLE  -  Keith Hunt]


II. Augustine's second question: 


Since we hold the same Faith, why do customs vary in different Churches? Why, for instance, does the method of saying Mass differ in the holy Roman Church and in the Churches of Gaul?


Pope Gregory's reply: 


My brother, you are familiar with the usage of the Roman Church, in which you were brought up. But if you have found customs, whether in the Church of Rome or of Gaul or any other that may be more acceptable to God, I wish you to make a careful selection of them, and teach the Church of the English, which is still young in the Faith, whatever you have been able to learn with profit from the various Churches. For things should not be loved for the sake of places, but places for the sake of good things. Therefore select from each of the Churches whatever things are devout, religious, and right; and when you have bound them, as it were, into a Sheaf, let the minds of the English grow accustomed to it.


[AT  THIS  TIME  A  LATITUDE  OF  MOVEMENT  IN  CERTAIN  PHYSICAL  WAYS  WAS  ALLOWED  BY  ROME  -  Keith Hunt]


III. Augustine's third question: 


What punishment should be awarded to those who rob churches?


Pope Gregory's reply: 


The punishment must depend on the circumstances of the offender. For some commit theft although they have means of subsistence, and others out of poverty. Some, therefore, should be punished by fines, others by beating; some severely, and others more leniently. But when the punishment has to be severe, let it be administered in charity, not in anger; for the purpose of such correction is to save the wicked from hell-fire. We must maintain discipline among the faithful as good fathers among their children, whom they beat for wrongdoing, and yet choose for their heirs, while they preserve their possessions for the benefit of those whom they appear to treat harshly. So charity must always be our motive and indicate the means of correction, so that we may do nothing unreasonable. You may add that thieves are to restore whatever they have taken from churches, but God forbid that the Church should recover with interest any worldly goods she may lose, or seek any gain from these empty things.


[WE  STILL  SEE  THAT  COMPASSION  WITH  RIGHT  JUDGEMENT  WAS  TO  BE  FOLLOWED  -  Keith Hunt]


IV. Augustine's fourth question: 


Is it permissible for two brothers to marry two sisters, provided that there be no bloodties between the families?


Pope Gregory's reply: 


This is quite permissible. There is nothing in holy Scripture that seems to forbid it.


V. Augustine's fifth question: 


To what degree may the faithful marry with their kindred? And is it lawful for a man to marry his step-mother or sister-in-law?


Pope Gregory's reply: 


An earthly law of the Roman state permits first-cousins to marry. But experience shows that such unions do not result in children, and sacred law forbids a man to 'uncover the nakedness of his kindred' Necessity therefore forbids a closer marriage than that between the third or fourth generation, while the second generation, as we have said, should wholly abstain from marriage. But to wed one's step-mother is a grave sin, for the Law says: “Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father.” Now the son cannot uncover the nakedness of his father; but since it says, “They shall he one flesh”, whosoever presumes to wed his step-mother, who was one flesh with his father, thereby commits this offence. It is also forbidden to marry a sister-in-law, since by a former union she had become one with his own brother: it was for denouncing this sin that John the Baptist was beheaded and met his holy martyrdom. For John was not ordered to deny Christ, but was in fact put to death as a confessor of Christ. For since our Lord Jesus Christ said: “I am the Truth”, John shed his blood for Christ in that he gave his life for the truth.


But since there are many among the English who, while they were still heathen, are said to have contracted these unlawful marriages, when they accept the Faith they are to be instructed that this is a grave offence and that they must abstain from it. Warn them of the terrible judgement of God lest for their bodily desires they incur the pains of eternal punishment. Nevertheless, they are not on that account to be deprived of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, lest they appear to be punished for sins committed unknowingly before they received the purification of Baptism. For in these days the Church corrects some things strictly, and allows others out of leniency; others again she deliberately glosses over and tolerates and by so doing often succeeds in checking an evil of which she disapproves. But all who come to the Faith are to be warned against doing these things, and should any subsequently be guilty of them, they are to be forbidden to receive the Communion of the Body and Blood of our Lord. For while these offences may to some extent be condoned in those who acted in ignorance, they must be severely punished in those who presume to sin knowingly.


[AN  OVERALL  BALANCED  ANSWER;  A  CAREFUL  ADMINISTRATION  OF  THE  LAWS  OF  GOD  -  Keith Hunt]


VI. Augustine's sixth question: 


If a long journey is involved, so that bishops cannot easily assemble, is it permissible for a bishop to be consecrated without other bishops being present?


Pope Gregory's reply: 


In the church of the English where as yet you are the only bishop, you cannot do otherwise than consecrate a bishop without other bishops being present. For when do bishops from Gaul pay a visit, so that they can be present as witnesses to the consecration? It is our wish, brother, that you should so establish bishops that they are not unnecessarily far apart: so that at a bishop's consecration other pastors, whose presence is certainly desirable, may be readily summoned. Therefore, when in God's good time bishops are appointed in various places at no great distance from one another, no consecration is to take place except in the presence of three or four bishops. For in spiritual matters we may often with advantage follow the customs of the world, so that we may arrange things carefully and wisely. When a wedding is celebrated, married folk are invited, so that those who have already travelled some way down the path of marriage may share the joy of the new couple. So, at this spiritual consecration, when a man is joined to God in the sacred ministry, why should not those be invited who will take pleasure in the elevation of the new bishop, or offer their prayers to God for his protection?


[ONCE  MORE  I  FIND  THIS  A  BALANCED  ANSWER  -  Keith Hunt]


VII. Augustine's seventh question: 


What are to be our relations with the bishops of Gaul and Britain?


Pope Gregory's reply: 


We give you no authority over the bishops of Gaul, for since the time of my early predecessors the Bishop of Aries has received the pallium, and his authority is to be in no way impaired. If, therefore, you have occasion to cross over into the province of Gaul, you are to consult with the Bishop of Aries how to correct any faults among the bishops; and should he be remiss in administering discipline, inspire him with your own zeal. We have already written to him, requesting him to offer you every assistance whenever you visit Gaul and to ensure that his bishops observe no customs contrary to the laws of God our Maker. Although we give you no authority over the bishops of Gaul, you should nevertheless advise, encourage and show them a good example. Recall the minds of any wrong-doers to the pursuit of holiness, for it is written in the Law: “When thou contest into the standing corn of thy neighbour; then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle into thy neighbour s standing com.” Similarly, you may not use the sickle of authority in the field entrusted to another man, but use your good influence to separate the Lord's wheat from the chaff of their sins, and by your teaching and persuasion assimilate them into the body of the Church. But no official action is to be taken without the authority of the Bishop of Aries, so that the long-established institutions of our fathers may not fall into disuse. All the bishops of Britain, however, we commit to your charge. Use your authority to instruct the unlearned, to strengthen the weak, and correct the misguided.


[AGAIN  IN  THE  OVERALL  I  WOULD  SAY  THIS  LINES  UP  WITH  THE  BASIC  TEACHING  OF  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT;  WHILE  ALL  PASTORS/BISHOPS  HAVE  INDIVIDUAL  AUTONOMY,  LIKE  THE  EXAMPLE  OF  THE  APOSTLE  PAUL,  ANY  BISHOP  CAN  CORRECT  ANY  BISHOP  THAT  IS  CLEARLY  IN  THE  WRONG,  INDEED  AS  PAUL  DID  TO  PETER (GAL. 1) - Keith Hunt]


VIII. Augustine's eighth question: 


May an expectant mother be baptized? How soon after childbirth may she enter church? And how soon after birth may a child be baptized if in danger of death? How soon after child-birth may a husband have relations with his wife? And may a woman properly enter church at the time of menstruation? And may she receive Communion at these times? And may a man enter church after relations with his wife before he has washed? Or receive the sacred mystery of Communion? These uncouth English people require guidance on all these matters.


Pope Gregory's reply: 


I have no doubt, my brother, that questions such as these have arisen, and I think I have already answered you; but doubtless you desire my support for your statements and rulings. Why should not an expectant mother be baptized? - the fruitfulness of the flesh is no offence in the sight of Almighty God. For when our first parents sinned in the Garden, they justly forfeited God's gift of immortality. But although God deprived man of immortality for his sin, he did not destroy the human race on that account, but of his merciful goodness left man his ability to continue the race. On what grounds, then, can Almighty God's free gift to man be excluded from the grace of Holy Baptism? For it would be foolish to suppose that his gift of grace is contrary to the sacred mystery by which all guilt is washed away.


[A  GOOD  ANSWER  -  Keith Hunt]


As to the interval that must elapse after childbirth before a woman may enter church, you are familiar with the Old Testament rule: that is, for a male child thirty-three days and for a female, sixty-six. But this is to be understood as an allegory, for were a woman to enter church and return thanks in the very hour of her delivery, she would do nothing wrong. The fault lies in the bodily pleasure, not in the pain; the pleasure is in the bodily union, the pain is in the birth, so that Eve, the mother of us all, was told: 'In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children' If, then, we forbid a woman who is delivered of a child to enter church, we make this penalty into a sin. There is no obstacle to the Baptism either of a woman who has been delivered, or of a newborn babe, even if it is administered to her in the very hour of her delivery, or to the child at the hour of its birth, provided that there be danger of death. For as the grace of this sacred mystery is to be offered with great deliberation to the living and conscious, so is it to be administered without delay to the dying; for if we wait to offer them this mystery of redemption, it may be too late to find anyone to be redeemed.


[A  GOOD  ANSWER  BUT  FOR  THE  BAPTISM  OF  INFANTS,  WHICH  WAS  NOT  PRACTICED  BY  ROME  IN  THE  FIRST  NUMBER  OF  HUNDREDS  OF  YEARS;  ROME  PRACTICED  FULL  EMERSION  OF  PEOPLE  KNOWINGLY  ACCEPTING  CHRIST  AS  SAVIOR,  AND  DESIRING  TO  SERVE  GOD  IN  FULL  COMMITMENT  -  Keith Hunt]


A man should not approach his wife until her child is weaned. But a bad custom has arisen in the behaviour of married people that women disdain to suckle their own children, and hand them over to other women to nurse. This custom seems to have arisen solely through incontinency; for when women are unwilling to be continent, they refuse to suckle their children. So those who observe this bad custom of giving their children to others to nurse must not approach their husbands until the time of their purification has elapsed. For even apart from childbirth, women are forbidden to do so during their monthly courses, and the Old Law prescribed death for any man who approached a woman during this time. But a woman should not be forbidden to enter church during these times; for the workings of nature cannot be considered culpable, and it is not just that she should be refused admittance, since her condition is beyond her control. We know that the woman who suffered an issue of blood, humbly approaching behind our Lord, touched the hem of his robe and was at once healed of her sickness. If, therefore, this woman was right to touch our Lord's robe, why may not one who suffers nature's courses be permitted to enter the church of God? And if it is objected that the woman in the Gospels was compelled by disease while these latter are bound by custom, then remember, my brother, that everything that we suffer in this mortal body through the infirmity of its nature is justly ordained by God since the Fall of man. For hunger, thirst, heat, cold, and weariness originate in this infirmity of our nature; and our search for food against hunger, drink against thirst, coolness against heat, clothing against cold, and rest against weariness is only our attempt to obtain some remedy in our weakness. In this sense the menstrual flow in a woman is an illness. So, if it was a laudable presumption in the woman who, in her disease, touched our Lord's robe, why may not the same concession be granted to

all women who endure the  weakness of their nature?


[OVERALL  A  GOOD  ANSWER.  BUT  SEXUAL  INTERCOURSE  AFTER  GIVING  BIRTH  IS  NO  WHERE  PROHIBITED  IN  THE  WORD,  FOR  A  CERTAIN  LENGTH  OF  TIME;  AND  SEXUAL  INTERCOURSE  SHOULD  BE  ABSTAINED  DURING  A  WOMEN’S  MENSTRUAL  CUCLE.  A  WOMAN  UNDER  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  DOES  NOT  HAVE  TO  WAIT  FOR  A  CERTAIN  LENGTH  OF  TIME  BEFORE  ATTENDING  CHURCH  SERVICES  -  Keith Hunt]


A woman, therefore, should not be forbidden to receive the mystery of Communion at these times. If any out of a deep sense of reverence do not presume to do so, this is commendable; but if they do so, they do nothing blameworthy. Sincere people often acknowledge their faults even when there is no actual fault, because a blameless action may often spring from a fault. For instance, eating when we are hungry is no fault, but being hungry originates in Adam's sin; similarly, the monthly courses of women are no fault, because nature causes them. But the defilement of our nature is apparent even when we have no deliberate intention to do evil, and this defilement springs from sin; so may we recognize the judgement that our sin has brought on us. And so may man, who sinned willingly, bear the punishment of his sin unwillingly. Therefore, when women after due consideration do not presume to approach the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord during their courses, they are to be commended. But if they are moved by devout love of this holy mystery to receive it as pious custom suggests, they are not to be discouraged. For while the Old Testament makes outward observances important, the New Testament does not regard these things so highly as the inward disposition, which is the sole true criterion for allotting punishment. For instance, the Law forbids the eating of many things as unclean, but in the Gospel our Lord says: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; hut that which cometh out of the mouthy this defileth a man.” He also said: “Out of the mouth proceed evil thoughts” Here Almighty God clearly shows us that evil actions spring from the root of evil thoughts. Similarly, Saint Paul says: “Unto the pure all things are pure; but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure.” And later, he indicates the cause of this corruption, adding: “For even their mind and conscience is defiled.” If, therefore, no food is unclean to one of a pure mind, how can a woman who endures the laws of nature with a pure mind be considered impure?


[WHILE  THE  ESSENCE  OF  THIS  REPLY  IS  GOOD  AND  CORRECT,  THE  ARGUMENT  ABOUT  CLEAN  AND  UNCLEAN  FOODS,  IS  THE  TYPICAL  BAD  THEOLOGY  OF  TAKING  VERSES  OUT  OF  THEIR  IMMEDIATE  CONTEXT,  AND  THEN  THE  CONTEXT  OF  THE  WHOLE  BIBLE.  THE  LAWS  OF  GOD  IN  OUR  DIETRY  LIVES  ARE  STILL  IN  FORCE.  MOST  OF  US  IN  THE  WESTERN  WORLD  STILL  GRIMIS  AT  THE  THOUGHT  OF  EASTING  SNAILS,  ANTS,  WORMS,  FROGS,  SNAKES,  BATS,  AND  ETC.  IN  LIKE.  WE  NEED  TO  THINK  TWICE  ABOUT  THINKING  GOD’S  CLEAN  AND  UNCLEAN  FOOD  LAWS  HAVE  BEEN  ABOLISHED.  SUCH  LAWS  WE  FIND  WERE  IN  PLACE  IN  NOAH’S  DAY,  WHEN  HE  WAS  TOLD  ABOUT  CLEAN  AND  UNCLEAN  ANIMALS  TO  BRING  ON  THE  ARK.  THE  ARGUMENTS  USED  TO  SAY  THESE  LAWS  ARE  ABOLISHED  ARE  ANSWERED  IN  FULL  UNDER  MY  SECTION  “HEALTH  AND  DIET”  ON  THIS  WEBSITE  -  Keith Hunt]


It is not fitting that a man who has approached his wife should enter church before he has washed, nor is he to enter at once, though washed. The ancient Law prescribed that a man in such cases should wash, and forbade him to enter a holy place before sunset. But this may be understood spiritually; for when a man's mind is attracted to those pleasures by lawless desire, he should not regard himself as fitted to join in Christian worship until these heated desires cool in the mind, and he has ceased to labour under wrongful passions. And although various nations have differing views on this matter and observe different customs, it was always the ancient Roman usage for such a man to seek purification and out of reverence to refrain awhile from entering a holy place. In making this observation, we do not condemn marriage itself, but since lawful intercourse must be accompanied by bodily desire, it is fitting to refrain from entering a holy place, since this desire itself is not blameless. For David, who said: “Behold, I was shaped in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” was not himself born of any illicit union, but in lawful wedlock. But knowing himself to have been conceived in iniquity, he grieved that he had been born in sin, like a tree bearing in its branches the sap of evil drawn up from its root. In saying this, he does not term the bodily union of married people iniquity, but the desire of such union. For there are many things that are lawful and legitimate, and yet in the doing of them we are to some extent contaminated. For example, we often correct faults under stress of anger and thereby disturb our peace of mind; and though we are right to do so, it is not good that we should lose our peace of mind in the process. He who said: “Mine eye is troubled because of anger”1 had been roused by the crimes of evil men, and because only a quiet mind can rest in the light of contemplation, he regretted that his eye was troubled by anger, so that he was disquieted and prevented from contemplating heavenly things so long as he was distracted by indignation at the wicked doings of men.

……


1. In the Authorized Version this passage (Psalm 6. 7) reads: “Mine eye is consumed because of grief.”

……


So while anger against evil is commendable, it is harmful to a man because in being disturbed by it he is conscious of some guilt. Lawful intercourse should be for the procreation of offspring, and not for mere pleasure; to obtain children, and not to satisfy lust. But if any man is not moved by a desire for pleasure, but only by a desire for children, he is to be left to his own judgement either as to entering church, or to receiving the Communion of the Body and Blood of our Lord; for we have no right to debar one who does not yield to the fires of temptation. But when lust takes the place of desire for children, the mere act of union becomes something that the pair have cause to regret; and although the holy teachings give them permission, yet this carries a warning with it. For when the Apostle Paul said: “If they cannot contain, let them marry”, he at once added, “I speak this by permission, and not of command -ment.” This concession makes it lawful, yet not good; so when he spoke of permission, he indicated that it was not blameless.


It should be carefully considered that, when God was about to speak to the people on Mount Sinai, he first ordered them to abstain from women. And if such a degree of bodily purity was required in those who were to hear the word of God when he spoke to men through a subject creature, how much the more should women preserve themselves in purity of body when about to receive the Body of Almighty God himself, lest they be overwhelmed by the very greatness of this inestimable mystery? For this reason the priest instructed David that, if his men were clean in this respect, they might be given the shewbread, which would have been entirely forbidden had not David first certified that they had kept themselves from women. Similarly the man who has cleansed himself with water after intercourse with his wife is allowed to approach the mystery of Holy Communion, since he may enter church in accordance with this decision.


[HERE  WE  SEE  SOME  OF  THE  MODERN  TEACHINGS  OF  THE  ROMAN  CHURCH  COMING  ON  THE  SCENE,  ABOUT  MARRIAGE  AND  SEX.  THERE  IS  NO  LIMIT  OF  MARRIAGE  SEX  AS  ONLY  BEING  FOR  CHILDBEARING.  AND  NO  LIMIT  OF  SEX  IN  MARRIAGE,  SUCH  AS  HAVING  TO  ABSTAIN  EX-NUMBER  OF  HOURS  BEFORE  ENTERING  A  CHURCH  SERVICE.  I  DO  THINK  IT  IS  RIGHT  TO  ABSTAIN  FROM  SEXUAL  INTERCOURSE  DURING  A  WOMAN’S  PERIOD.  THIS  IS  ENJOINED  UPON  US  UNDER  THE  LAWS  OF  MOSES.  I  THINK  IT  IS  A  GOOD  HEALTH  LAW  THAT  SHOULD  MAKE   COMMON  SENSE.  WE  HAVE  COVERED  AND  ANSWERED  MOST  OF  THE  ARGUMENTS  ON  SEX  BY  THE  ROMAN  CHURCH  IN  OTHER  STUDIES  ON  THIS  WEBSITE  -  Keith Hunt]


IX. Augustine's ninth question: 


May a man receive communion after a sexual illusion in a dream; or, if a priest, may he celebrate the holy mysteries?


Pope Gregory's reply: 


The Testament of the Old Law, as I have already mentioned, speaks of such a man as unclean and does not permit him to enter church until evening and after purification. But this is to be understood spiritually in another sense; for a man may be under a delusion and tempted to impurity in a dream, because, having yielded to temptation, he is defiled by real mental imaginings. Then he must cleanse himself with water, thus washing away his sinful thoughts with tears. And, unless the fire of temptation dies earlier, he should regard himself as unclean until evening. 


[THIS  IS  COMMONLY  CALLED  “WET  DREAMS”  AND  IS  SOMETHING  THE  LORD  PUT  IN  MAN.  TO  SAY  THIS  IS  SIN  AND  UNCLEAN,  WHEN  A  MAN  HAS  NO  CONTROL  OVER  SUCH  DREAMS  IS  PROSPEROUS  THEOLOGY,  PLANET  PLUTO  IDEAS.  IT  WAS  USED  BY  THE  LORD  UNDER  MOSES  LAWS,  AS  A  TEACHING  LESSON,  AS  LIKE  A  WOMAN  IN  HER  DAYS  OF  HER  PERIOD.  IT  TAUGHT  CLEANSING  FROM  PHYSICAL  BODY  SECRETIONS  AS  BEING  SPIRITUALLY  CLEAN  TO  COME  BEFORE  GOD.  WE  ARE  SPIRITUALLY  CLEAN  UNDER  HIS  SALVATION  GRACE  THROUGH  FAITH  IN  THE  MESSIAH’S  BLOOD  SACRIFICE - SEE  MY  STUDY  CALLED  “SAVED  BY  GRACE”  UNDER  THE  “SALVATION”  SECTION  OF  THIS  WEBSITE  -  Keith Hunt]


But we should carefully examine the origin of such illusions in the mind of a sleeper; for sometimes they arise from over-eating, sometimes from excess or lack of bodily vigour, and sometimes from impure thoughts. When such illusion occurs through excess or lack of bodily vigour, it need not be feared, because it is to be deplored rather as something the mind has unwittingly suffered than as something it has done. But when a greedy appetite runs riot and overloads the repositories of the bodily fluids, the mind is to blame, although not to the extent that a man must be forbidden to receive the holy mystery, or to say mass when a feast-day requires it, or when necessity demands that he administer the sacrament in the absence of another priest.


[AGAIN  TO  SAY  THESE  WET  DREAMS  ARE  FROM  SOMETHING  PHYSICALLY  DONE  OR  NOT  DONE,  IS  OUTRAGEOUSLY  OFF  THE  MARK  -  Keith Hunt]


But if there are others who can perform this ministry, then this illusion caused by greed need not debar a man from receiving the holy mystery unless the mind of the sleeper has been excited by impure thoughts; but I think that humility should move him to refrain from offering the holy mysteries under these circumstances. For there are some who are not mentally disturbed by impure thoughts, although subject to these illusions. In these things there is just one thing that shows that the mind is not innocent even in its own judgement: although it remembers nothing that occurs during sleep, yet it does remember its greedy appetites. 


[ONCE  MORE  TRYING  TO  SOMEHOW  PUT  BLAME  ON  A  MAN  FOR  SO  EXPERIENCING  “WET  DREAMS”  IS  LUDICROUS  THEOLOGY  -  Keith Hunt]


But if the sleeper's illusion springs from indecent thoughts when awake, his guilt stands clear in his mind and he recognizes the source of his sin, because he has unconsciously experienced what has been in his conscious thoughts. 


[AGAIN  JUST  NOT  SO!  ONE  MAN  LIKE  MYSELF  HAS  ONLY  HAD  A  FEW  “WET  DREAM”  EXPERIENCES,  AND  NOTHING  BEFORE  THAT  I  DID  OR  THOUGHT  BROUGHT  THEM  ON.  OTHER  MEN  EXPERIENCE  “WET  DREAMS”  QUITE  OFTEN,  AND  I  DOUBT  IF  THEIR  SEX  HORMONES  WERE  ANY  MORE  POWERFUL  THAN  MINE  -  Keith Hunt]


But the question arises whether an evil thought merely suggests itself to a man, or whether he proceeds to take pleasure in it, or, worse still, to assent to it. For all sin is consummated in three ways, that is, by suggestion, pleasure, and consent. Suggestion comes through the devil, pleasure through the flesh, and consent through the will. The Serpent suggested the first sin, and Eve, as flesh, took physical pleasure in it, while Adam, as spirit, consented; and great discernment is needed if the mind, in judging itself, is to distinguish between suggestion and pleasure, and between pleasure and consent. For when the Evil Spirit suggests a sin, no sin is committed unless the flesh takes pleasure in it; but when the flesh begins to take pleasure, then sin is born; and if deliberate consent is given, sin is complete. The seed of sin, therefore, is in suggestion, its growth in pleasure, and its completion in consent. It often happens, however, that what the Evil Spirit sows in the mind and the flesh anticipates with pleasure, the soul rejects. And although the body cannot experience pleasure without the mind, yet the mind, in contending against the desires of the body, is to some extent unwillingly chained to them, having to oppose them for conscience sake, and strongly regretting its bondage to bodily desires. It was for this reason that Paul, that great soldier in God's army, confessed with sorrow: “I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members.” Now if he was a captive, he fought but little; yet he did fight. So he was both captive and also fighting with the law of the mind, to which the law of the body is opposed. And if he fought thus, he was no captive. So one may say that a man is both captive and free; free through the law of right which he loves, and captive through the law of bodily pleasure, of which he is an unwilling victim.


[THIS  IS  ALL  CORRECT  PER  SE  WHEN  SPEAKING  OF  SIN  IN  OUR  CONSCIENCE  LIVES,  BUT  “DREAMING”  IS  BEYOND  HUMAN  CONTROL.  SO  “WET  DREAMS”  FOR  MEN  IS  BEYOND  A  MAN’S  CONTROL.  NO  PERSON  CONTROLS  THE  MIND  WHEN  IN  SLEEP.  IT  DOES  NOT  MATTER  WHAT  WENT  ON  DURING  THE  DAY,  IN  WORDS,  ACTIONS,  OR  MIND;  SUCH  WHATEVERS  DO  NOT  TRIGGER  A  CERTAIN  DREAM.  WE  ALL  AT  SOME  TIME  HAVE  HAD  A  DREAM  THAT  WAS  COMPLETELY  OUT  OF  THE  BLUE  FROM  ANYTHING  DONE  A  DAY  OR  DAYS  BEFORE  THAT  DREAM - THERE  IS  NO  DREAM  THAT  IS  SIN,  AS  DREAMS  COME  TO  US  UN-ASKED  FOR  OR  PLANNED  FOR;  DREAMS  JUST  HAPPEN,  WE  HAVE  NO  CONTROL  OVER  THEM  -  Keith Hunt]


CHAPTER 28: Pope Gregory writes to the Bishop of Aries, asking him to help Augustine in his work for God[A.D. 601]


Such were the blessed Pope Gregory's replies to the questions of the most reverend Bishop Augustine. The Pope also wrote a letter to the Bishop of Aries, which was delivered to Vergilius, successor to Etherius. This ran as follows:


To our most reverend and holy brother Vergilius, our fellow-bishop: Gregory, servant of the servants of God. It is well established that brethren who visit us of their own initiative should be warmly welcomed, since most visitors are invited out of affection. Therefore, if Bishop Augustine, who is brother to us both, happens to visit you, I beg you to receive him with proper affection and kindness, so that he may be encouraged by your goodwill and that others may learn how brotherly love is to be cultivated. And since it often happens that an independent observer sees what needs correction sooner than the man on the spot, I ask that, should he bring to your notice any wrong-doing among clergy or others, you make careful enquiry into these matters with his help. In this way you will show yourself strict and alert against all abuses that offend God and incur His displeasure, so that the guilty may be corrected, the innocent vindicated, and others mend their ways. God keep you safe, most reverend brother.


Dated the twenty-second day of June, in the nineteenth year of our most pious Lord and Emperor Maurice Tiberius Augustus, and the eighteenth year after his Consulship: the fourth indiction. chapter 29: Gregory sends Augustine the pallium, a letter, and several clergy” [A.D. 601]


[OVERALL  GOOD  ADVICE   FOR  THOSE  IN  THE  MINISTRY;  A  TEACHING  AND  LEARNING  ALL  DONE  IN  CARE  AND  LOVE  TOWARDS  ALL  -  Keith Hunt]


Hearing from Bishop Augustine that he had a rich harvest but few to help him gather it, Pope Gregory sent with his envoys several colleagues and clergy, of whom the principal and most outstanding were Mellitus, Justus, Paulinus, and Rufinianus. They brought with them everything necessary for the worship and service of the Church, including sacred vessels, altar coverings, church ornaments, vestments for priests and clergy, relics of the holy Apostles and martyrs, and many books. 


[YES  THE  ROMAN  CATHOLIC  FAITH  WAS  NOW  ESTABLISHED  IN  BRITAIN  WITH  ALL  ITS  RITES,  PHYSICAL  TRAPPINGS,  CUSTOMS  AND  TRADITIONS  -  Keith Hunt]


Gregory also sent a letter to Augustine, telling him that he had dispatched the pallium to him, and giving him directions on the appointment of bishops in Britain. This letter runs as follows:


“To our most reverend and holy brother and fellow-bishop Augustine: Gregory, servant of the servants of God. While Almighty God alone can grant His servants the ineffable joys of the kingdom of heaven, it is proper that we should reward them with earthly honours, and encourage them by such recognition to devote themselves to their spiritual labours with redoubled zeal. And since the new Church of the English has now, through the goodness of God and your own efforts, been brought to the grace of God, we grant you the privilege of wearing the pallium in that Church whenever you perform the solemnities of the Mass. You are to consecrate twelve bishops in different places, who will be subject to your jurisdiction: the bishop of the city of London will thenceforward be consecrated by his own synod, and will receive the honour of the pallium from this apostolic See which, by divine decree, we at present occupy. We wish you also to send a bishop of your own choice to the city of York, and if that city with the adjoining territory accepts the word of God, this bishop is to consecrate twelve other bishops, and hold the dignity of Metropolitan. If we live to see this, we intend to grant him the pallium also, but he is to remain subject to your authority. After your death, however, he is to preside over the bishops whom he has consecrated and to be wholly independent of the Bishop of London. Thenceforward, seniority of consecration is to determine whether the Bishop of London or York takes precedence; but they are to consult one another and take united action in all matters concerning the Faith of Christ, and take and execute all decisions without mutual disharmony. You, my brother, are to exercise authority in the Name of our Lord and God Jesus Christ both over those bishops whom you shall consecrate, and any who shall be consecrated by the Bishop of York, and also over all the British bishops. Let Your Grace's words and example show them a pattern of right belief and holy life, so that they may execute their office in right belief and practice and, when God wills, attain the kingdom of heaven. God keep you safe, most reverend brother.”


Dated the twenty-second of June, in the nineteenth year of our most pious Lord and Emperor Maurice Tiberius Augustus, and the nineteenth after his Consulship: the fourth indiction.”


[NOT  FULLY  CORRECT  IN  “CHURCH  GOVERNMENT”  -  NO  PASTOR/BISHOP  HAS  ANY  AUTHORITY  OVER  ANY  OTHER  PASTOR  OR  BISHOP;  ALL  ARE  ON  AN  EQUAL  PLAYING-FIELD  IN  THE  CHURCH  OF  GOD.  PETER  HAD  NO  AUTHORITY  OVER  PAUL;  PAUL  HAD  NO  AUTHORITY  OVER  BARNABAS;  TIMOTHY  HAD  NO  AUTHORITY  OVER  TITUS  ETC.  ETC.  THEY  COULD  “WORK  TOGETHER”  AND  “CORRECT”  EACH  OTHER  IF  NEEDED,  BUT  NO  MINISTER  HAD  AUTHORITY  OVER  ANOTHER  MINISTER.  THE  SUBJECT  OF  “CHURCH  GOVERNMENT”  IS  FULLY  IN-DEPTH,  COVERED  ON  THIS  WEBSITE  -  Keith Hunt]



CHAPTER 30: A copy of the letter sent by Pope Gregory to Abbot Mellitus on his departure for Britain [A.D. 601]


When these messengers had left, the holy father Gregory sent after them letters worthy of our notice, which show most clearly his unwearying interest in the salvation of our nation. The letter runs as follows:


To our well loved son Abbot Mellitus: Gregory, servant of the servants of God. Since the departure of those of our fellowship who are bearing you company, we have been seriously anxious, because we have received no news of the success of your journey. Therefore, when by God's help you reach our most reverend brother, Bishop Augustine, we wish you to inform him that we have been giving careful thought to the affairs of the English, and have come to the conclusion that the temples of the idols among that people should on no account be destroyed. The idols are to be destroyed, but the temples themselves are to be aspersed with holy water, altars set up in them, and relics deposited there. For if these temples are well-built, they must be purified from the worship of demons and dedicated to the service of the true God. In this way, we hope that the people, seeing that their temples are not destroyed, may abandon their error and, flocking more readily to their accustomed resorts, may come to know and adore the true God. And since they have a custom of sacrificing many oxen to demons, let some other solemnity be substituted in its place, such as a day of Dedication or the Festivals of the holy martyrs whose relics are enshrined there. On such occasions they might well construct shelters of boughs for themselves around the churches that were once temples, and celebrate the solemnity with devout feasting. They are no longer to sacrifice beasts to the Devil, but they may kill them for food to the praise of God, and give thanks to the Giver of all gifts for the plenty they enjoy. If the people are allowed some worldly pleasures in this way, they will more readily come to desire the joys of the spirit. For it is certainly impossible to eradicate all errors from obstinate minds at one stroke, and whoever wishes to climb to a mountain top climbs gradually step by step, and not in one leap. It was in this way that the Lord revealed Himself to the Israelite people in Egypt, permitting the sacrifices formerly offered to the Devil to be offered thenceforward to Himself instead. So He bade them sacrifice beasts to Him, so that, once they became enlightened, they might abandon one element of sacrifice and retain another. For, while they were to offer the same beasts as before, they were to offer them to God instead of to idols, so that they would no longer be offering the same sacrifices. Of your kindness, you are to inform our brother Augustine of this policy, so that he may consider how he may best implement it on the spot. God keep you safe, my very dear son.”


Dated the seventeenth of June, in the nineteenth year of the reign of our most pious Lord and Emperor Maurice Tiberius Augustus, and the eighteenth after his Consulship: the fourth indiction.


[FOR  TO  ESTABLISH  THE  ROMAN  FAITH  THIS  WAS  CLEVER  ADVICE;  BUT  THEN  ROME  BY  THIS  TIME  HAD  LEARNT  TO  ADOPT  PAGAN  PRACTICES  TO  THE  END  RESULT  OF  WINNING  PAGANS  TO  THE  THEOLOGY  OF  ROME;  ANOTHER  EXAMPLE  WOULD  BE  THE  ADOPTING  OF  THE  WINTER  PAGAN  FESTIVAL  AND  SPRINKLING  IT  WITH  THEIR  “HOLY  WATER”  TO  TRANSFORM  IT  INTO  WHAT  TODAY  IS  CALLED  “CHRISTMAS"  -  IN  THE  CATHOLIC  WORLD  IT  WAS  A  MASS,  SO  ORIGINALLY  “CHRIST-MASS”  -  Keith Hunt]


CHAPTER 31: Pope Gregory writes to Augustine, warning him not to boast of his achievements [A.D. 601]


At the same time, hearing that Augustine had performed miracles, Pope Gregory sent him a letter in which he warned him not to fall into the peril of pride on this account. He wrote:


My very dear brother, I hear that Almighty God has worked great wonders through you for the nation which He has chosen. Therefore let your feeling be one of fearful joy and joyful fear at God's heavenly gifts - joy that the souls of the English are being drawn through outward miracles to inward grace; fear lest the frail mind becomes proud because of these wonderful events. For when it receives public recognition, it is liable to fall through senseless conceit. We should remember how the disciples returned from their preaching full of joy, and said to their heavenly Master: 'Lord, even the devils are subject unto us, through thy name' But they received the prompt rejoinder: 'In this rejoice not. But rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.' For when the disciples rejoiced at these miracles, they were thinking of their transitory personal joy; but Christ recalled them from personal to universal, and from transitory to eternal joy, saying: 'In this rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.' For God's chosen do not all work miracles, yet the names of all are written in heaven. For those who are disciples of the truth should rejoice only in that good thing which they share with all men, and which they shall enjoy for ever.


Finally, dearest brother, in all the outward actions which by God's help you perform, always strictly examine your inner dispositions. Clearly understand your own character, and how much grace is in this nation for whose conversion God has given you the power to work miracles. And if you remember that you have ever offended our Creator by word or action, let the memory of your sin crush any temptation to pride that may arise in your heart. And bear in mind that whatever powers to perform miracles you have received or shall receive from God are entrusted to you solely for the salvation of your people.”


[WE  SEE  THIS  POPE  HAD  MUCH  THEOLOGICAL  WISDOM;  HE  WAS  CORRECT  ON  MANY  THINGS,  ESPECIALLY  THAT  OF  ALWAYS  BEING  HUMBLE,  AND  NOT  GLORIFYING  IN  PHYSICAL  MIRACLES  OR  EVEN  WELL-DOING,  BUT  REJOICING  ALWAYS  IN  BEING  FOUND  A  GOOD  HUMBLE  SERVANT  OF  GOD,  NO  BETTER  THAN  ANY  OTHER  CHRISTIAN  WHO  SERVED  GOD  WITH  ALL  HIS  HEART,  MIND,  AND  LIFE.  SO  WE  MUST  REMEMBER  THAT  ALL  WHO  SINCERELY  FOLLOW  CHRIST  AS  BEST  THEY  KNOW  HOW,  ARE  MOSTLY  SINCERE  THOUGH  THEY  MAY  BE  SINCERELY  WRONG  ON  UNDERSTANDING  THE  TRUTHS  OF  THE  LORD.  WE  MUST  REMEMBER  SUCH  INDIVIDUALS  WILL  READILY  ACCEPT  TRUTHS  THEY  NEVER  HAD,  WHEN  THEY  ARISE  IN  THE  SECOND  RESURRECTION  -  Keith Hunt]


CHAPTER 32: Pope Gregory sends letters and gifts to King Ethelbert


Pope Gregory also sent a letter to King Ethelbert with many gifts of different kinds, wishing to bestow earthly honours on this king who by his exertions and zeal, and to his great joy, had been brought to knowledge of heavenly glory. A copy of this letter follows.


To our excellent son, the most glorious King Ethelbert, King of the English: the Bishop Gregory. The reason why Almighty God raises good men to govern nations is that through them He may bestow the gifts of His mercy on all whom they rule. We know that this is so in the case of the English nation, over whom you reign so gloriously, so that by means of the good gifts that God grants to you He may bless your people as well. Therefore, my illustrious son, zealously foster the grace that God has given you, and press on with the task of extending the Christian Faith among the people committed to your charge. Make their conversion your first concern; suppress the worship of idols, and destroy their shrines; raise the moral standards of your subjects by your own innocence of life, encouraging, warning, persuading, correcting, and showing them an example by your good deeds. God will most surely grant you His rewards in heaven if you faithfully proclaim His Name and truth upon earth; and He whose honour you seek and uphold among your peoples will make your own name glorious to posterity. So it was that the devout Emperor Constantine in his day turned the Roman State from its ignorant worship of idols by his own submission to our mighty Lord and God Jesus Christ, and with his subjects accepted Him with all his heart. The result is that his glorious reputation has excelled that of all his predecessors, and he has outshone them in reputation as greatly as he surpassed them in good works. Now, therefore, let Your Majesty make all speed to bring to your subject princes and peoples the knowledge of the One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so that your own merit and repute may excel that of all the former kings of your nation. And when you have thus cleansed your subjects from their sins, you will bear the load of your own sins with greater confidence before the judgement seat of God.


Our most reverend brother Bishop Augustine has been trained under monastic Rule, has a complete knowledge of holy scripture, and, by the grace of God, is a man of holy life. Therefore I beg you to listen to his advice ungrudgingly, follow it exactly and store it carefully in your memory; for if you listen to him when he speaks in God's name, God himself will listen more readily to the prayers he utters on your behalf. But if you ignore his advice - which God forbid - and disregard him when he speaks for God, how should God pay attention when he speaks for you? Work sincerely and wholeheartedly with him in fervent faith, and support his efforts with all the strength God has given you, so that you may receive a place in the kingdom of Christ, Whose Faith you profess and uphold in your own realm.


We would also have Your Majesty know what we have learned from the words of Almighty God in holy Scripture, that the end of this present world is at hand and the everlasting kingdom of the Saints is approaching. When the end of the world is near, unprecedented things occur - portents in the sky, terrors from heaven, unseasonable tempests, wars, famines, pestilences, and widespread earthquakes. Not all these things will happen during our own lifetimes, but will all ensue in due course. Therefore, if any such things occur in your own country, do not be anxious, for these portents of the end are sent to warn us to consider the welfare of our souls and remember our last end, so that, when our Judge comes, He may find us prepared by good lives. I have mentioned these matters in this short letter, my illustrious son, in the hope that as the Christian Faith grows more strong in your kingdom, our correspondence with you may become more frequent. So my pleasure in addressing you will keep pace with the joy in my heart at the glad news of the complete conversion of your people.


I have sent some small presents, which will not appear small to you, since you will receive them with the blessing of the blessed Apostle Peter. May Almighty God continue to perfect you in His grace, prolong your life for many years, and after this life receive you among the citizens of our heavenly home. May the grace of heaven preserve Your Majesty in safety.”


Dated the twenty-second day of June, in the nineteenth year of our most pious lord and Emperor Maurice Tiberius Augustus, and the eighteenth after his Consulship: the fourth indiction.


[NOW  THAT  IS  SOME  LETTER;  WE  SEE  THE  SINCERE  HEART  OF  THE  LEADER  OF  THE  ROMAN  FAITH,  THAT  ALL  WOULD  BE  DONE  TO  FURTHER  THE  PEOPLE  INTO  CHRISTIAN  LIVES  AND  ETERNAL  JOY.  DO  YOU  SEE  IN  THE  LAST  PART,  THAT  THE  ROMAN  CHURCH  DOES  BELIEVE  IN  AND  TEACH,  THE  GLORIOUS  COMING  OF  THE  LORD  JESUS  CHRIST;  THEY  TEACH  HIS  KINGDOM  TO  COME;  THEY  TEACH  TO  LOOK  AT  THE  SIGNS  FOR  HIS  COMING.  DO  YOU  SEE  THEY  MADE  THE  SAME  MISTAKE  THAT  MANY  IN  THE  LAST  200  YEARS  ESPECIALLY  HAVE  BEEN  MAKING……. CHRIST’S  COMING  IS  NEAR….. “THAT  THE  END  OF  THIS  PRESENT  WORLD  IS  AT  HAND,  AND  THE  EVERLASTING  KINGDOM  OF  THE  SAINTS  IS  APPROACHING.”  THEY  JUST  COULD  NOT  SEE  OR  UNDERSTAND  THE  PROPHECIES  OF  THE  BIBLE;  THEY  COULD  NOT  UNDERSTAND  THE  BOOK  OF  REVELATION;  THEY  JUST  DID  NOT  KNOW  THE  IMPORTANT  1, 2, 3,  SIGNS  TO  TELL  US  WE  ARE  CLOSE  TO  THE  END  OF  THIS  AGE,  CLOSE  TO,  THEN  INTO,  THE  LAST  42  MONTHS  OF  THIS  AGE.  SO  IT  WAS,  SO  IT  HAS  BEEN,  SO  IT  IS  TODAY…… MANY  SAYING  JESUS  IS  SOON  COMING,  BUT  HAVE  NO  CLUE  ABOUT  THE  SIGNS  TO  WATCH  FOR.  AND  SADLY  TRUE,  MANY  TODAY,  AS  BEFORE,  SET  DATES  FOR  THIS  EVENT  OR  THAT  EVENT.  MANY  YOUTUBE  PROPHETS,  BOOK  WRITING  PROPHETS,  HAVE  FALLEN  INTO  THE  DITCH  WITH  EGG  ALL  OVER  THEIR  FACE,  BY  FORETELLING  THINGS  THAT  HAVE  FAILED  TO  COME  TO  PASS.  AH  THE  SILLINESS  OF  THE  BLINDED  SO-CALLED  “PROPHETS”  OF  PROTESTANTISM,  AND  NO  DOUBT  MANY  WILL  YET  ARISE  GIVING  THE  DATES  OF  SIGNS  THEY  THINK  WILL  BRING  THE  END  OF  THIS  AGE  AND  THE  RETURN  OF  CHRIST  JESUS  -  Keith Hunt]


CHAPTER 33: Augustine repairs the Church of Our Saviour and builds a monastery of Saint Peter the Apostle. A note on Peter, its first Abbot [A.D. 602]


Having been granted his episcopal see in the royal capital, as already recorded, Augustine proceeded with the king's help to repair a church which he was informed had been built long ago by Roman Christians. This he hallowed in the Name of our Saviour, God, and Lord Jesus Christ, and established there a dwelling for himself and his successors. He also built a monastery a short distance to the east of the city, where at his suggestion King Ethelbert erected from the foundations a church dedicated to the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, enriching it with many gifts. It was here that the bodies of Augustine and all the Archbishops of Canterbury and of the Kings of Kent were to rest. This church was not consecrated by Augustine himself, however, but by Laurence his successor.


The first abbot of this monastery was the priest Peter, who was sent on a mission to Gaul and was drowned at sea in a bay called Amfleat,1 where the local inhabitants buried him without honour. But, as evidence of his holy life, Almighty God caused a heavenly light to appear over his grave every night, until the local people saw it and, realizing that, a holy man lay buried there, made enquiries as to whose the body might be. Then they took up the body and interred it in a church in the city of Boulogne with the honours due to so great a man.


[AND  SO  THE  ROMAN  CATHOLIC  CHURCH  WOULD  GROW,  BY  SUCH  “MIRACLES”  (THE  DARK  FORCES  CAN  ALSO  WORK  “MIRACLES”) - THEY  WOULD  BE  PERSUADED  THAT  THE  ROMAN  CHURCH  WAS  INDEED  THE  ONE  TRUE  CHURCH  -  Keith Hunt]


CHAPTER 34: Ethelfrid, King of the Northumbrians, defeats the Scots and drives them out of England [A.D. 603]


About this time, Ethelfrid, a very powerful and ambitstious king, ruled the kingdom of the Northumbrians. He ravaged the Britons more cruelly than all other English leaders, so that he might well be compared to Saul the King of Israel, except of course that he was ignorant of true religion. He overran a greater area than any other king or ealdorman, exterminating or enslaving the inhabitants, making their lands either tributary to the English or ready for English settlement. One might fairly apply to him the words of the patriarch Jacob's blessing of his son: “Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.”


Alarmed at his advance, Aidan, king of those Scots who lived in Britain, came against him with a large and strong army, but was defeated and fled with very few, having lost almost his entire army at a famous place known as Degsastan, that is, Degsa's Stone. In this battle, Ethelfrid's brother Theodbald

……


1. Ambleteuse.

……


and all his following were killed. Ethelfrid won this fight in the year of our Lord 603, the eleventh of his reign, which lasted twenty-four years. It was also the first year of the reign of Phocas, who then occupied the throne of the Roman Empire. From that day until the present, no king of the Scots in Britain has dared to do battle with the English.

………………..


TO  BE  CONTINUED