First Anglo-Saxon Translation of John

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History records the following touching account of the completion of the first Anglo-Saxon translation of the Gospel of St. John.
It is the evening of May 26, 735 A.D.
In the old monastery which stood near the site of the present South Shields, reclines the Venerable Bede. Over his aged form are fast stealing the shadows of death.
By his side sits a young scribe, who with open scroll and pen in hand writes as the aged saint dictates.
"Now dearest master," says the youth, "there remains only one chapter; but the exertion is too great for you."
"It is easy, my son, it is easy. Take your pen and write quickly. I know not how soon my Lord will take me," was the reply.
The dying man dictates sentence by sentence as the scribe swiftly records the same.
Now there is a pause. Strength seems tq have departed; the tongue tires of speech.
"Dear master," cries the scribe, "only one sentence is wanting!"
Then, as if snatching each word from the grasp of Death, Bede dictates the wanted words.
"It is finished!" exclaimed the writer.
"It is finished," replied the dying man. "Lift up my head; place me in the spot where I used to pray."
He is removed to the fondly loved spot. Then, clasping his hands and looking heavenward he whispered: "Glory be to the Father and to the Son..." and at once passed into the presence of his beloved Lord.