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we direct our judgment, concerning History, by that maxim which Horace places as a boundary even to fable;
izione Nec Deus intersit, nifi dignus vindice nodus. Et From this, or a similar view of things, it possibly was, that the judicious Author now before us, resolved on attempting the Naturalization, as it were, of our Ecclefiaftical History'; and, as far as we may presume from that part of his work which hath yet appeared, the manner in which it is executed, will bring him no discredit
... siz!!! This first volume contains eight books. The work itself is dedicated to the King; and from the Dedication we may select this paffage Lii Notwithstanding all your Majesty's pious care, an $ indifference to Christianity, among the higher order of your $. people, is getting such an afcendant, and among the lower
there is such an increase of Popery and Enthusiasm, that fo * far as these ways of thinking have any influence, there is 6 reason to fear, that our Liberty may become Licentiousness, and that our pure Religion may be turned into Superftition. 5. Under this alarming apprehension, to which the breast of no good man can be a stranger, I thought I could not ac* quit myself of my duty to your Majesty, and my Country, & in a work of more utility--having already contributed my Si endeavours towards stopping the growth of Infidelity--than sto lay open the errors, the mischiefs, and the iniquities of * of Popery, in a clear and true detail of its tyranny and ufur. *pation over the English Church.'
Our Author, in the parenthesis above, feems to allude to a late piece of his, intitled Bolingbroke ; for some account of
. XII. .; All that we shall lay before our Readers, from the Preface, is what follows.
There are some particular periods of our church history, & it must be owned, which have been wrote by men of great
abilities and character, such as the Antiquities of the British ? Churches, by Bishop Stillingfleet; Dr. Inet's History of the
English Church, to the death of King John; and that most $ excellent History of the Reformation, by Bishop Burnet.I s have had very little aflittance, from any other modern writers, $ in compiling the following work. But then these HiftoFries reach only thro' fome certain periods, and are intermixred with many transactions in the date; or transactions & which relate to different nations, and to other affairs foreign E to the history of the church, Mr. Collier's, indeed, isa
general Ecclefiaftical History, to the death of Charles the o second; and he is the only author, before me, who has at
tempted it so far, in this large and comprehensive form, in which it is now offered the public. The character, howtrever, of this work of Mr. Collier's, I have no need to say, friis extremely low it has been given the world by Bishop
Nicholson, in his Historical Library, from whom I had ra tither the Reader should take an account of it, than fromme.
There are several paffages," says the Bilhop, " in this work, “ in which some special respects are paid to the Bishops and * See of Rome: and whatever were his views at his first letSing out, it is manifest, that his business, in his second yo“ lume, was to compromise the differences between the stk Churches of England and Rome, and to establish a funda. iffo mental hereditary right of fucceffion to the Imperial Crown 15wof this Realm, dupported by Paflive Obedience and Non. of refiftance.”-u !!!? Bi f I have spared neither labour nor expences, in searching
all the Authors, ancient and modern, of any name, who Schavel wrote of our Church History, within the period I proposed. But I have omitted, purposely, through the whole,
any reference to the places from whence my materials have & been collected: because I know of no other end it answers, as A deliver nothing new, than to break the thread of the story, strand to make the pages inelegant, and confused. The same 16 materials for such a work are common to every writer; and
every fact in this Hiftory hath been already related, by some
or other: but yet all the facts that are here inserted, have 6 never been put together in any other History, nor many of
them been related, perhaps, in the faune language before: whether the style and manner are altered for the better, the -Reader is left to judge. The greatest part of the observa' tions, which are scattered thro the work, are such as the
facts suggested to my mind and these observations, toge“ther with the characters that are given of the principal per
fons, being almost, all of them, peculiar to this History, * are enough, I believe, to distinguish it as an original work."
We cannot but with that our Author had rather disregarded, what he calls the elegance of his page, than omitted those references to the original writers which, lo far from interrupting any story, Terve only to support and authenticate it to the curious perufer; or, comparatively, to illustrate the a judgment of the Compiler.. We must, however, acknowlege, that he generally mentions his authors in the body of the work; and befides those taken notice of, in the extract above
from the Preface, we can recollect, in this present volume, the names of Socrates, Theodoret, Eufebius, Bede, Gildas, William of Malmsbury, Matthew Paris, Cambden, Selden, Uther, Leland; and, occafionally, tho' not as authorities, Mede, Sir William Temple, and Rapin. ir...!
Our Author, in his first book, after having given us a view of the Pagan State of Britain, endeavours to fix the time when, and the persons by whom, Christianity was introduced into it, the progress it made, the hardships it sustained, the state of the church, its connections with Rome, the Councils i that were held, the Herefies which arole, the measures taken for the establishment and increase of learning, ithe form of worship introduced into the Church, and the distress, brought upon the British Churches, by the invasion of the Saxons, who were a heatheri people. This book leads us thenwith rea spect to ecclefiaftical affairs, through part of fix centuries. »
As to our circumstances under Paganism, Dr. Warner gives us this view of them.
Eldre Nations, like men, it has been observed, have their in-> fancy; and the few passages of that time which they retain, are not such as deserved to be most remembered, but fuch as being most proportioned to that age, made naturally the
ítrongest impreffions on their minds. It is certain, as to • Britain, that there never were any, original monuments or « records, and that we are obliged to foreign writers for the • little light that we have of it in the earliest ages. This will
not, indeed, be wondered at, when we know that the Druids, (who had almost the fole management of all affairs in this
island, never committed any thing of their polity to writing -« The Druids were not only at the head of religion, to whom
belonged the care of their public and private sacrifices, and
the interpretation of their mysteries, but they were held in "such great veneration among the people, that they had also
the arbitration of all their differences. They not only pre< fided at the worship of Dis and Samothes, and at the facri(fice of their prisoners of war; to Andate, the Goddess of
Victory, but no public travsaction passed without their ap
probation, and a malefactor was not put to death without « their content. Whatever offence was committed among the 6 people, whether it related to life, or property, or pofleffion, " these were the judges that were to determine; and whoso.
ever refused to submit to their determination, whether he was Lord or Valsal, they excluded from partaking of thein religious rites. A man thus excommunicated, was reckon
red among the number of the wicked ; his company was a voided, he was deprived of the benefit of the law, and ren
dered incapable of any place of honour or trust. From - hence, it is very probable, that our ancient outlawries were
derived; for by the old English law, before men were outslawed for debt, he, who lay under that sentence, was reckooned a more hideous monster than a man excommunicated slin a Roman Catholic country; and, it is said, that it was " legal for any one to kill him.” ; Permit us here to observe, that there is a very strong refemblance betwixt the power and authority assumed by our ancient Druids, and that afterwards ufurped, and never yet disclaimed, by the Pontiff of Rome, and we wish, we could add, that in no Protestant Communions whatsoever, any remains of Druidical Policy, in this respect, fubfisted.
· The chief principles which were taught by these Philofo(phers, and which the best writers concerning those times
have handed down, are, that every thing derives its origin
from Heaven; that the disobedient are to be fhut out from " the facrifices; that the foul is immortal, and after that
tranfmigrates into other bodies; that if the world is destroy6 ed, it will be by fire or water ; that, upon extraordinary
emergencies, men are to be facrificed; that prisoners of
war are to be fain upon the altars, or burnt alive, inclofed o in wicker, 'in honour of the Gods; that there is another 6 world, and they who kill themselves, to accompany their • friends thither, will live with then there; that all masters • of families are kings in their own houses, and have a power of life and death over their wives, children, and slaves.
Tho' it is an opinion generally received among our later writers, that the first planting of Christianity among the • Britons, was in the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, about feven 6 and thirty years after the birth of Christ' yet our Author seems, with higher probability, to fix this event, between
the time of Plautius's coming over, in the reign of Claudius, cand the battle between Boadicea and Suetonius Paulinus.' But with whatever accuracy our Author has settled this point, yet that day-spring from on bigh arose among us in such clouds, that not only the precise time of its dawn, but also the morning-star that ushered it in, are uncertain; fome have afligned this honour to James the fon of Zebedce, others to Simon Zelotes, others to St. Peter, others to Jofeph of Arimathea. Our Author examines these several claims, and more minutely that of Joseph; but finds nothing fatisfactory in any of them,
and something even ridiculous in that of tthe last. Under: Stain, however, as it is, at what precise time, and by what
particular perfon, the Gospel was firit made known in Bria stain, yet there' seeming to be good and fufficient evidence, that a Christian Church was planted here, and the inhabia
tants converted, by the Apostles ; aut Author, induced by the testimonies of Eufebius, Theoderet, and other writers of antiquity, unnamed, distinguishes St. Paul as the Apostle, not only of the Gentiles in general, but of the Britons in particular.
Cilj 977 siq eiti • The Gospel being planted about this time in Britain, la 5 Christian church continued in it, tho' not maintained with e equal zeal, to the perfecution of Dioclefian..? 1.yg nding
Dioclefian, and his cruel, furious colleague Maximian,
having the government of the Roman Empire in their & hands, stuck at nothing that would satiate their malice against the Chriftians. So that how great an inclination foever Constantius had to favour them, whilft he was Governor of
Britain, yet it was not in his power to dispenfe with the edicts • of the Emperors and tho' those edicts against the Chrifti • ans were fent without his consent, yet he fo far complied,
as to pull down their churches. This, however, was fora • given him, for his kindness afterwards, in putting an end to
the perfecution, as foon as he came to the empire, and; tho'he died a Pagan, in giving the Chriftians the liberty of their religion, and protecting them from injury and abufei':
The first Christian King is said to be Lucius, who, about cighty years before the Dioclefian persecution, opened, it seems, some sort of correspondence betwixt the British Church and the Bishop of Rome. Great also, it is alleged, was the number of British Martyrs, who fuffered under Dioclefian's persecution, tho' the names only of three or four are handed down.
image & But the first evidence we meet with, of the settled con: 4 dition of the British Churches, is the number of Bishops • which went from Britain to the Council of Arles, in the
year 314. They were three in number. It appears, from the Synodical Epistle of this first General Council of the Wetta ern Church, to the Bishop of Rome, that the Supremacy of ! the Pope, which has fince been founded fo very high in the
Catholic Church, was a thing then unknown to the British Bishops, and their brethren.
a! About eleven years after this, the Christian Church was much disquieted, by the tumults and leditions occasioned by “Arius, who affirmed, that time was, when the Son of
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