Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Life of Fursa (Author: [unknown])

section 7

However, says Beda, there is one thing which we desire


to declare, namely, when he was taken up towards heaven the angels said to him: ‘Look down at the world’15, say they. There he turned and looked from above, and beheld beneath him a valley deep and dark in the lower part of the earth. He beheld four vast fires red-flaming in the air over that valley, and not far was the distance between those fires. Then he asked of the angels what things were the fires that he beheld, and the angels spake: ‘Yon’, they say, ‘are the fires that are consuming the world. The first fire, now, is the fire of Falsehood, for when each one is baptised he promises this, to renounce and refuse the Devil and his works. Those who afterwards do not fulfil that (promise) and transgress it, they are burnt in yonder fire. But the second fire is the fire of Covetousness, that is greed, when those that mark out or covet the things of the world for their greed rather than the heavenly things, 'tis they that are burnt therein. Now the third fire, that is the fire of Disunion, when ye do not deem it lamentable or sad that your brethren and your neighbours should be engaged in very vain things and in idle matters, 'tis then ye are burnt in yonder fire. The fourth fire, then, this is the fire of Impiety. They that are burnt therein are those who do not deem it loathsome to spoil and to plunder the weak and the wretched: 'tis they that are burnt in that fire.’