This translation was made by Benjamin Thorpe and is found in his Sermones Catholici.
Beda ; Our doctor, has written, in the book which is called 'Historia Anglorum' of a certain man's resurrection in this island, in these [words writing :
At the time there was a thane called Drihthelm, in the Northumbrians' land, simple of mind, temperate in habits, of pious life, and who directed his family to the same.
He then was sick and brought to his end: he departed in the evening, and his body lay all night watched in his house; but he arouse from death early in the morning.
The attendants then, all seized with fright, fled away, save his wife alone, who loved him most, who remained there affrighted.
He then comforted her, and said, "Be not afraid because I have risen from death; it is allowed me again to live with men, though not such a life as I lived before".
He then straightways arose, and went to church, and continued in prayers all the morning. He afterwards divided his property into three, one part for his wife, the second for his children, and the third for the poor.
He then left all worldly things, and entered the mynster which is called Melrose, and was shorn, and placed under the abbot Ęthelwold;
and by his precept passed his live in some privacy, in great continence of mind and body, to his life's end.
He related his vision to the king of that nation. Aldfrith, and to certain pious men, thus narrating:
"On the evening that I departed, a shining angel came to me and led me to the east in silence.
We then came to a valley which was immensely deep and wide, and in length almost endless; it was burning with horrible flames on one side, on the other side blowing without cessation, with hail and fierce chill.
The valley was filled with men's souls, which from time to time shot from the burning fire into the horrible chill, and again from the chill into the fire, without any cessation.
Then thought I that that was the hell about which I had in life often heard speak; but my guide straightways answered my thought, and said, This punishment is not the hell that thou weenst.
The angel then led me further to a darksome place, which was so overspread with thick darkness, that I could see nothing save my guide's shining aspect and raiment.
Behold then suddenly appeared frequent flames of swart fire ascending, and my guide left me there alone in the midst of the darkness.
I then beheld the immense flame which ascended from the abyss.
The flame was filled with men's souls, and they sprung up with the fire like sparks, and then again into the abyss; and there proceeded out of the abyss an intolerable stench with the vapours, which filled all the darksome place.
When I had long stood there, fearful and uncertain of my course, I heard that the devils were leading the souls of five persons, cruelly bewailing and howling, into the swart fire.
One of them was a priest, one a layman, one a woman; and the devils said, loudly laughing, that they must have those souls for their sins.
In the meanwhile some of the accursed spirits shot up towards me from the abyss, with burning eyes, and from their mouth and nostrils came forth a stinking steam; and they would seize me with their burning tongs, but through God's protection they could not touch me.
Behold then suddenly appeared my guide like a shining star, flying from afar, and hastened towards me.
The devils were then immediately scattered, who would have seized me with their tongs.
The angel straightways led me to the east, in the serenity of a great light, into a city, wherein was a very smooth and broad field, all filled with blowing plants and verdure, and shining with a light brighter than any sun; within the walls was a innumerable multitude of men in white, in great joy.
I then, among the multitudes following the angel, thought that it was the kingdom of heaven, but my guide said that it was not so.
He then led me yet further, and I there saw before us a much greater light, and I there heard the winsome voice of a great melody, and an odour wondrous fragrance flowed out of the place. Whereupon my guide led me again to the flower-bearing place, and asked me, whether I knew what the things were that I had seen?
I said that I knew not. He answered me and said, The great burning valley which thou first sawest is the penal place, in which the souls of men are punished and cleansed, who would not correct their sins in life and health, but yet were penitent at their last day, and so departed from the world with repentance, and will on doom's day all come to the kingdom of heaven.
Some of them also, through aid of friends and alms-deeds, and, above all, through holy masses, will be delivered from those torments before the great doom.
But the swart abyss that thou sawest with the boundless darkness and foul] stench is the mouth of hell, and he who once falls therein will never to eternity be thence delivered.
This winsome and this flower-bearing place is the dwelling of those souls that ended in good works, but yet were not so perfect that they might staightways enter into the kingdom of heaven, though they, nevertheless, will all come to sight of Christ and joy after the great doom.
But those who are perfect in thought, in word, in work, as soon as they depart from the world they come into the kingdom of heaven; from that thou sawest the great light with the winsome fragrance, and thence thou heardest the sweet melody.
But thou, now thou returnest to the body, if thou wilt amend thy deeds and morals, then wilt thou receive after death this winsome dwelling, which thou now seest.
When I left thee alone in the darkness, I did so because I would know concerning the destination, how the Almighty would resolve concerning thee.