Bede, Letter to Egbert

LCL 248: 446-447

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The Venerable Bede

Venerabilis BaedaeEpistola Ad Ecgberctum Antistitem

1. Dilectissimo ac reverentissimo antistiti Ecgbercto Baeda famulus Christi salutem.

Memini te hesterno dixisse anno, cum tecum aliquot diebus legendi gratia in monasterio tuo demorarer, quod hoc etiam anno velles, cum in eundem devenires locum, me quoque, ob commune legendi studium, ad tuum accire colloquium. Quod si ita, Deo volente, posset impleri, non opus esset tibi haec per literas scripta dirigere; cum possem liberius ore ad os loquens, quaeque vellem, sive necessaria ducerem, secreta tibi allocutione suggerere. Verum quia hoc ne fieret, superveniens, ut nosti, corporis mei valitudo prohibuit: agere tamen quod potui, erga dilectionem tuam fraternae devotionis intuitu, curavi, mittendo videlicet per literas quod corporaliter veniendo per collocutionem nequiveram. Precorque te per Dominum, ne harum apices literarum arrogantiae supercilium esse suspiceris, sed obsequium potius humilitatis ac pietatis veraciter esse cognoscas.

2. Exhortor itaque tuam, dilectissime in Christo antistes, sanctitatem, ut gradum sacrosanctum quem tibi Auctor graduum et spiritualium largitor charismatum

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Duty of a Bishop

The Venerable BedesEpistle To Bishop Egbert

1. To the most beloved and most reverend bishop Egbert,1 Bede, the servant of Christ, greeting.

I remember that last year,2 when I tarried with you for some days in your monastery for the purpose of study, you said that on your coming to the same place this year, you would invite me there again, that we might study and take counsel together. And if so it might have been fulfilled of the will of God, there would have been no need for me to write this letter unto you: for speaking face to face I could have set before you in private conference more freely all that I wished or thought it necessary to say. But albeit, as you know, a visitation of bodily sickness hath hindered this from coming to pass, yet out of regard to the brotherly devotion in me to meet your affection, I have endeavoured to do what I might by writing in a letter that which I could not communicate in bodily presence. And I implore you, in the name of the Lord, not to suspect the characters of this letter to shew a wilful arrogance, but to know that they do truthfully offer the service of humility and love.

2. Wherefore, O bishop dearly beloved in Christ, I exhort your holiness that you be mindful with holiness of practice and teaching to maintain the holy dignity with which the Author of all dignity

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.bede-letter_egbert.1930