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The Historical Works Of Venerable Bede

WHEN Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, had come down from heaven into this world, through the Virgin’s womb, to seek the sheep that were lost, and, having gloriously achieved the work of his providence and of our redemption, had returned back to the seat of his Father’s glory, he left behind him many lights in the persons of evangelic teachers, to dispel the darkness of this world; that as the stars adorn the face of heaven, and all draw their brilliancy from the sun, so also his holy teachers might shine upon this world, deriving their light from the Sun of immortality, and illustrating with the brightness and holy name of Christ, those also who were wandering in the blindness of ignorance, that their hunger which they had felt, even from the beginning of the world, might be satisfied with the feast of eternal life. Of the number of these was the holy priest Vedast, an excellent preacher, in the time of the brave king of the Franks, Clovis, who was led by God’s grace into these parts for the salvation of many, that, by Divine Grace assisting him, he might turn back into the way of salvation, and that true freedom which is in Christ, a people deceived by the snares of the Devil, and the captive that was bound in the chains of sin. But that this might be done at a favourable time, according to the Apostle, who says,—“Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation!” the Lord Jesus, who wishes for all men to be saved, provided a suitable reason for his servant, that so he might arrive here to preach the word of God. It happened that the above-named king, Clovis, was preparing to make war on the Alemanni, who at that time possessed a kingdom by themselves. He did not, however, find them unprepared, as he expected. For they had collected a strong body of men, and met the king on the banks of the Rhine, with a firm determination to protect their country, or perish in its defence. Both sides fought most valiantly, rushing on death; the one party for glory, the other for their freedom. The king, seeing the enemy fight thus bravely, and his own men almost cut off, began to despair of safety rather than to hope for victory. He had not been born again in Christ, but in this extremity had recourse to his assistance. His queen, Clotilda, had been baptized, and was a woman of great piety. He accordingly raised his eyes to heaven, and offered up this prayer:—“O God, of singular power and supreme majesty, whom Clotilda acknowledges and worships, grant to me this day victory over mine enemies. For from this day Thou shalt be my only God, the only power I worship. Grant me victory, and I owe to serve Thee for ever.” Forthwith Divine aid was granted him, the Alemanni were routed, and the Franks obtained the victory.








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