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THE VENERABLE BEDE.
N the eighth century, a translation of the Gospel of St. John was completed in the Anglo-Saxon language, by the Venerable Bede, who was the ornament of the
age and country in which he lived. Referring to the time of his education, he says: "From that period I have applied myself wholly to the study of the Holy Scriptures; and, in the intervals of the observance of regular discipline, always found it sweet to be either learning, teaching, or writing."
The circumstances of his death, as described by one of his pupils, are interesting:-" Many nights he passed without sleep, yet rejoicing and giving thanks, unless when a little slumber intervened. When he awoke, he resumed his ac
THE VENERABLE BEDE.
customed devotions, and, with expanded hands, never ceased returning thanks to God. "By turns," observes his pupil, "we read, and by turns we wept; indeed, we always read in tears. In such solemn joy, we passed fifty days; but during those days, besides the daily lectures which he gave, he endeavoured to compose two works, one of which was a translation of St. John's Gospel into English. It had been observed of him, that he never knew what it was to do nothing; and, after his breathing became still shorter, he dictated cheerfully, and sometimes said, 'Make haste; I know not how long I shall hold out; my Maker may take me away very soon.' On one occasion, a pupil said to him, 'Most dear master, there is yet one chapter wanting; do you think it troublesome to be asked any more questions?' He answered, 'It is no trouble; take your pen, and write fast.' He continued to converse cheerfully, and whilst his friends wept, as he told them they would see him no more, they rejoiced to hear him say, 'It is now time for me to return to Him who made me. The time of my dissolution draws near. I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ. Yes, my soul desires to see Christ, my King, in his beauty.' The pupil before mentioned said