Sermo Episcopati Humberti ad populum Regnum Orientalium Anglorum, anno DCCCLXVII ab incarnatione domini nostri Iesu Cristi§
Beloved Brothers, we have witnessed this nation wither away to perdition. Year after year after year the pagans have attacked our neighbours, raided our homes, martyred our monks, abducted our nuns, robbed our women and murdered our men.
This year, their ships have returned to our shores and they are storming our settlements, for there is greed and gluttony, disloyalty and dishonesty, doubting and questioning, not in them, but in us. “For the godly man ceased; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity, every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.” (Psalms 12:1–2)
So, know that which is true: The Lord is angry with us. Pious and faithful men were slain all across the country, good Christian men fighting in the name of the Lord under the sign of the cross, and often ten or twenty were struck by just one or two of the pagans, for the devil is their prince and God is angry with us. We lost our faith in God. We strayed from the law of the Lord. And trembling with fear, we decided not to fight, but to pay tribute to those who humiliated and disgraced us. We gave them horses to invade our brothers in Northumbria and wreak havoc among the children of God. And to this day, our shame grows and grows day by day, for we let these demons and devils dwell upon our land. Out of respect to our king and his just actions, I have been silent, but brothers, no more! This shall cease. May God be my witness, and may the angels stand by my side, I hereby vow that this shall cease. As “thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory and the lifter up of mine head. […] For thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people.” (Psalms 3:3–8)
In these days of despair, these times of terror and these hours of horror, we must return to the ways of the Lord, the peace of the prayer and the salvation of the scripture. To please him who is enthroned above the Cherubim and redirect his wrath against those who threaten us. To prove our dedication, we must rejoice in trust and faith in our beloved king Edmund, whom I myself have crowned to be king, by virtue of the pope and by the law of the Lord. He has been destined to lead us by the will of the heaven and as the heavens’s humble messenger to Elmham, I declare that the will of the heaven shall be carried out. Our king shall remain in power, for the god-given order shall continue to prevail like it is good and righteous. “The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.” (Psalms 19:8)
All those who burn and plunder, who bring plague and bloodshed upon our people, they shall know this: Faithful people like our king remain in this country to this day, good honest and faithful men. Like Ricsige of Bamburgh, the Bishops of Leicester and Worcester and all our Christian brothers in Mercia and Wessex. United under the light of the Lord, we shall expel the pagans from our country. The natural order shall be restored and the people shall prosper again. The evil may perish and the good shall prevail. “For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Psalms 1:6)
In nomine Patris et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
§The sermon of bishop Humbertus to the people of the Kingdom of East Anglia, in the year 867 after the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ