King Edwin, in 627 AD, is hesitant to embrace Christianity and forsake his pagan faith. Though he has heard the Gospel from Paulinas, he is uncertain. Here, Bede of Jarrow in his Ecclesiastical History of England rehearses a speech made by one of the King’s men:
And one of the King’s chief men presently said, ‘Thus seems it to me, oh King. The present life of man on earth, against that time which is unknown to us, is as if you were sitting at a feast with your chief men and your thanes. The fire burns, and the hall is warm. And outside, it rains and snows and storms. There comes a sparrow and swiftly flies through the house. It comes through one door, and it goes out another. Lo, in the time in which he is within, he is not touched by the winter storm. But that time is the flash of an eye and the least of times. And he soon passes from winter out to winter again. So is the life of man revealed for a brief space, but what went before, and what follows after, we do not know. Therefore, if this teaching can reveal any more certain knowledge, it seems only right we should follow it.
Taken from Yale Open Courses: Early Middle Ages, Dr. Freedman