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From The English Correspondence of Saint Boniface: Being for the Most Part Letters Exchanged Between the Apostle of the Germans and His English Friends: Translated and Edited with an Introductory Sketch of the Saint’s Life by Edward Kylie, M.A.; London: Chatto & Windus: 1911; pp. 104-112.
Ingalice, a priest, replies to the deacon Lul. He sends gifts and asks to be remembered to Boniface. 732-746.
To Lul, distinguished and beloved minister of God, Ingalice, an unworthy priest, but yet thy devoted servant through all things, affectionate greetings in the Lord.
Thy wise letter and generous gifts reached me as directed. In the latter which I read carefully and considered, after sending kindly greetings, thou didst tell us if I understood aright, of thy diverse trials and tribulations — such as are wont to assail the servants of God in this world according to the opinion of the apostle: “All that live godly in Christ suffer persecution.”1 Against all the assaults thou didst humbly seek the help of our prayers, such as it is; and, indeed, all our brotherhood has been zealous in pouring out prayers to God for thy safety. But now, beloved deacon, though because of my poor ability I could not discharge my debt to thee by a worthy reply to thy learned letter, yet I know that “Charity beareth all things.”2 These few words from 105 my untrained pen together with some poor gifts, four knives made after our fashion, a silver curling iron and one towel, I have arranged to send in charge of a faithful bearer, thy, nay our brother Aldred, to thy dear presence, merely in memory of our love. I beg thee, my brother, to receive these in the spirit in which I have sent them. To our intercessor before God, the venerable Boniface, our protector, the whole band of our brethren and the abbot desire to send greetings in the love of God.
1 2 Tim. iii. 12.
2 1 Cor. xiii. 4-7.
Lul asks Lioba not to doubt his affection for her. He wishes her to send word with Gundwin as to anything she may need. 732-754.
To Lioba, beloved sister in Christ, Lul, the humble servant of the pupils of our master Boniface, greetings in the Lord.
I cannot believe that in thy zeal and wisdom thou art unmindful of the gospel words, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”1 This poverty must be borne patiently, on the authority of the same evangelist, who says: “In your patience possess ye your souls.”2 Retain also in thy heart these words of David, “According to the multitude of my sorrows in my heart, Thy comforts have given joy to my soul.”3
Though for a long time since we have been kept apart in the body, thou must not believe that our true kinship in the Lord has been given over to contempt or forgetfulness. Nor must thou suppose that I am at all weary in thy 107 business, but only, as thou shouldst know, occupied by the crafty wiles of the devil and worn out by the cunning assaults of his ministers, so that, in the words of the prophet, “I am weary of my life because of the sons of iniquity.”4
Should anything be wanting to thy needs, tell me of it through the deacon Gundwin, who is to return here. Exhort him that he may not slacken in his efforts on my behalf, for any one willing to bear my tribulations along with me is but rarely found.
Farewell in God, and intercede for me the more earnestly that I am crushed by ever-increasing perplexities.
1 Luke 20.
2 Luke xxi. 19.
3 Ps. xciii. 19.
4 Job x. 1.
Lul, the deacon urges Eadburga, Abbess of Thanet, to commend him to God. He sends gifts and mentions his own regard for her. He asks for a letter. 745-746.
To the Abbess Eadburga, revered and beloved in Christ, Lul, an unworthy and lowly deacon, sends eternal greetings in Christ.
I beseech thy kind clemency with humblest prayers that thou mayst deign to be mindful of me in the holy protection of thy prayers, as thy gracious love promised me through my brother returning hither. This do I most earnestly beg that the ship of my weakness, which is shaken daily by violent storms of this world, may be supported by the aid of thy firmness; that I may be fortified against the poisoned shafts of the old enemy by the unfailing assistance of thy prayers. Some small presents I have sent to thy revered love, a silver style and some pieces of storax and cinnamon; so that thou mayst know from these poor gifts how pleasing to me are the presents which have come with thy greetings. And if thou shouldst wish to give any command through the 109 bearer of this letter, who is called Ceola, or through any other messenger, be assured, by that love which binds us in a spiritual kinship, that my weakness will strive with all its powers to fulfil it. Meantime I ask that thou mayst not refuse to send me a letter.
That thou mayst enjoy health and holy success in Christ is my wish and desire.
Lioba asks Boniface to pray to God for her relatives and herself. She sends a gift. After 732.
To Boniface, revered master, endowed with the highest of dignities, dearly beloved in Christ, bound to me by ties of kinship, Lioba, lowliest servant among those who bear the easy yoke of Christ, wishes for eternal welfare.
I beseech thy clemency to be mindful of the friendship which thou didst form long ago, in the regions of the West, with my father Dynne, who was taken from this light more than eight years since, and not to fail in offering prayers to God for his soul. I commend to thee the memory of my mother, Aebbe, who is joined to thee as thou knowest well, by ties of kinship; she still lives a toilsome life and has been long oppressed by infirmities. I am the only daughter of these my parents, and would that, unworthy as I am, I could deserve to have thee in place of a brother, for in no one among men do I place such great trust as in thee. This small gift I am sending, not that it may appear worthy in thy sight, but in order that thou mayst retain some recollection of my weakness 111 and not let me fall into oblivion because of the long distance which separates us, but rather that the bond of our love may hold firm for ever. And this I beg of thee fervently, beloved brother, to guard me with the shield of thy prayers, against the poisoned shafts of the hidden enemy. I ask thee too, deign to correct the homely style of this letter, and to send me for a model some words of thine, which I crave eagerly to hear.
These little verses below I tried to compose according to the rules of poetic art, in no spirit of confidence, but wishing to practise the rudiments of a graceful accomplisment and to have thy aid. The art I have learned from the teaching of Eadburga, who continues without ceasing to search into the divine law.
Farewell, pray for me and enjoy a long life here, and the happier life to come.
May the Omnipotent Judge, sole Creator of all,
Ever resplendent with light in the Father’s heavenly
Where reigns the glory of Christ, amid splendour unfailing,
Keep thee unharmed in His justice eternal.
Boniface grants permission to Lioba, Abbess of Bischopsheim, to have a certain girl instructed. 723-755.
To Lioba, revered handmaiden of Christ, who will be cherished with sincere love eternally, Boniface, servant of the servants of God, kind greetings in Christ.
Be it known to thee, dear holy one, that our brother and fellow priest, Torhthat by name, told us that he obtained thy consent to lay upon a certain girl for a time the task of receiving instruction, provided that our consent should be given to it. Wherefore, be assured beyond doubt, that to whatever course in this matter thou wilt adopt, for the increase of thine own reward, our will grants assent and approval.
Farewell in Christ.