To the examples already given in the previous biographies, of the power which religion exercised over the rough and savage mind, we may add the following. The abbot Ebrolf (Euroul) had settled with his monks in a thick forest, infested by wild beasts and robbers. One of the robbers came to them, and, struck with reverence at their aspect, said to them: |Ye have chosen no fit dwelling for you here. The inhabitants of this forest live by plunder, and will not tolerate any one amongst them who maintains himself by the work of his own hands. Ye cannot remain here long in safety. But what would ye do in this wild, barren region?| The abbot Ebrolf answered him: |Know, my brother, that the Lord is with us; and since we are under his guardianship, we fear not the threats of men; for he himself has said: Fear not them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.' For know, that the Lord is able to feed his servants even in the desert. And thou, also, mayst share in these blessings, if thou wilt abandon thy wicked pursuits, and promise to serve the true and living God; for our God forgets all the evil that the sinner has done, on the day when he turns from all his sins, as the prophet says. (Ezekiel xviii, 21.) Therefore, my brother, despair not of the goodness of God on account of the greatness of thy sins; but follow the exhortation of the Psalm, (Psa. xxxiv:) Depart from evil, and do good; and be sure that the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and His ear is open unto their cry. But let these terrible words also resound in thine ears: The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.'|
Thereupon the robber went away; but the words which the excellent abbot had spoken to him in such affectionate and penetrating tones, had left a deep impression on his soul. The next morning, he hastened back to the monks; he brought the abbot from his poverty three of his coarse loaves and a honeycomb; and promising, with a softened heart, amendment of life, he remained there as a monk. And after his example, many other robbers of this forest were persuaded by the exhortations of this pious abbot, either to become monks or to commence agriculture, and maintain themselves in an honest way by the work of their hands.
Another Frankish abbot of this age, Lauman, (Loumon,) was surprised in his cell by robbers; but the loftiness of his aspect overcame them so much, that they fell down at his feet, embraced his knees, and cried out, |Pardon us, holy man of God.| He replied: |Why do ye ask pardon, my children ? wherefore are ye come hither?| They then confessed everything to him, and he gently replied: |The Lord have mercy on you, my dearest children; arise and renounce your robberies, that you may partake of the mercy of God.|