For learning. For inspiration. Or just for fun.
The Dove and the Flame : Elfric, Abbot of Eynsham in the reign of Æthelred the Unready, reflects on two appearances of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
The Dove and the Flame

Abridged and translated from Elfric of Eynsham’s Sermon on the Baptism of Christ. The original is in Old English.

Elfric was Abbot of Eynsham near Oxford during the reign of Æthelred the Unready. Here, he reflects on the Baptism of Christ and on Pentecost, explaining why the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus as a dove, but on the Apostles as tongues of fire.

WHY did the Holy Ghost come in the form of fire over the Apostles, but over Christ in the likeness of a dove?

Because Christ in his humanity was meek and harmless.

He did not chide, or raise his voice among men, or stir up strife, nor was he inclined to bitterness; but lived a life of meekness and true love.

The Holy Ghost appeared in two forms, in a dove’s and in that of fire, for the qualities that every Christian man shall have: that is, to have the meekness of the dove and to be without bitterness, and to burn for love of God as with fire.

And let the fire regulate the meekness, that he be not too slack; and let the meekness regulate the fire, that it be not too fierce. Let us have both the innocence of the dove and the heat of the fire, that we ever shine in meekness, and burn with the love of God.

Abridged and translated from Elfric of Eynsham’s Sermon on the Baptism of Christ. The original is in Old English.

More like this

Elfric of Eynsham (8) Lives of the Saints (95) History (405) Theophany (Epiphany) (1) Bible and Saints (110)

Picture: © Brian Robert Marshall, Geograph. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0. View original
Three doves beside a small well at Snowshill Manor in Gloucestershire. Elfric notes that at his baptism, Jesus hallowed the water of all springs and wells.

Amazon Books

Featured Music

Letters Game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: Letters Game Games with Words

Numbers Game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

Selected Stories
Long before Jason came to claim it, the golden fleece had already saved a boy’s life.
Germany felt she had a right to an empire like Britain’s, and she was willing to get it at the expense of her neighbours.
King James II was forced off the throne in favour of his daughter Mary, and a new English constitution was born.
Nineteenth-century Britain had busy industrial cities and a prosperous middle class, but no MPs to represent them.
The Nazi-collaborating Vichy government in France paid Rugby League the supreme compliment: they banned it.
The Victoria Cross is the highest award made to our Armed Forces.