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him, and had renounced idolatry, ' gave their subjects the li• berty of as much idolatry as they pleafed. As they faw the * Bishop one day performing divine service, and giving the • facrament to the people, they asked him why he would not • give them fome of that fine bread which their father used to • receive from him, and which he then distributed among the

peopleMellitus told them, " that if they would be bap “ tized, as their father was, they might partake of the fame “ holy bread; but if they fighted that initiating facrament, “ he could not admit them to the privilege of the other.” • They said, “ they had no need of baptism, and, therefore,

would not be obliged to that ceremony ;” and, neverthe« less, infifted on the consecrated bread. Being still denied by s the Bishop, they were much enraged; and telling him, " if “ he would not gratify them in so easy a matter, he should “ stay no longer in their dominions," ordered him immedi• ately to be gone.

Mellitus, the good Bishop of London, and Juftus, BiThop of Rochester, after a consultation with the Archbishop, immediately withdrew, and got over to France, as soon as they could; leaving the English Renegadoes to their • former Paganism.'-Lawrence, however, the Archbishop, who had succeeded Austin, had,

we find,

little more courage and resolution, thonot so much as his character, and « his caufe required; for tho' he staid behind them, it is true,

yet'having been determined to follow them, it seems, only that he might prepare the better for his departure. The night before he intended to withdraw, he took leave of his church after a very new and surprizing manner. He caufed

his bed to be brought into the cathedral, and laid himself “ down to sleep, intending to take up his lodgings in it for ' that night. But St. Peter, fays Bede, appeared to him ; « and having reproached him for his cowardice, fo fcourged

the shoulders of the Archbishop, as to leave the marks of his lashes upon his Grace's body. The next day, says the fame historian, Lawrence went to the King with an ac

count of this miracle ; and having fhewed him what he had * fuffered, in the preceding night in his cathedral, the King • was fo wrought upon, that he prefently changed his faith and morals, and became, at once, a Chriftian, and a new

It must be observed, that the conversion of our Engliih ancestors happened at a time when learning run very "low; and when a general credulity, and want of thought,

gave opportunity to the Ecclesiastics, of coining their fables,


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and obtruding them upon the world for facts. If there was • any truth in this story, that the Prelate had a scourging in

the cathedraly it was a stratagem, no doubt, concerted beotween him and one of his Monks, and whose name too, might be Peter, in order to practise on the King's credulity,

and to see what effect a miracle would have upon him. The « Archbishop might have real enough to undergo this pen' ance, and might think too, as I believe the Reader will,

that for the deligt of quitting his stacion, he deserved it; (and tho it was a fallacy intended to impose upon King Ead• bald, yet they were common in those days among good men, o when the end of them was, as in this case, to promote the « Christian interest. A man must be wilfully blind not to see • this, and abominably partial not to own it. Thus far, how

ever; is certain, that the artifice succeeded; all historians

agree, that the King renounced his idolatry, and incestuous * marriage, and turning Christian, gave a check to the growth

of Paganism, and lent new zeal and courage to the despairing Primate, and new life to the Chriftian cause.. • The English Church had all this time been confined to the Kingdom of Kent; but it was now beginning to extend its pale beyond the Humber, by a marriage between Edwin

and EthelburynoEdwin was King of Northumberland, the most powerful, at that time, of all the English Kings and Ethelburga was the daughter of Eadbald, King of Kent. The circumstances of this marriage, the articles upon which it was conėluded, and the coniequences of which

was productive, are lo similar to what happened in the cafe of Ethelbert and Bertha, that we pass them over, giving place only to the following circumstance. After weighing the • matter well, and being fully sati fied of the truth of the .. Christian doctrine, Edwin declared his readiness to embrace • it. Bede, according to his custom of making miracles, has "given us a long story of a vision, that the King had former

ly seen in the garden of Redowald, where he was concealed • from his enemies; in which success and prosperity were pro• miled him, on condition, that when these things were ac

complished, and he was reminded of it, by the token of a • hand being laid upon his head, he fould resign himself to " that perfon's conduct, and perform what he required. Now - Paulinus,' who had been confecrated a Bishop in the year 625, when he went into Northumberland, to attend the Queen, perceiving, favs the fame historian, that the King • deferred declaring himself a Christian, that he was debating * the matter within himself, without being able to come to a Ruev, Dec. 1756.


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• resolution, and having had the circumstances of the vision

revealed to him, he came up to his Majesty one day, as he was fitting alone, in a thinking posture, and laying his hand upon the King's head, asked him whether he understood the

meaning of that token? The King being fenfibly surprized " at the question, and recollecting the divine oracle, would • have prostrated himself at the Bishop's feet: but Paulinus

preventing him, put him in mind, with an air of some authority, that since God had escued him from his, enemies, and made him a great King, it was his duty now to make good his promise; and that this was to be done by submit

ting to the institution, and obeying the commands of that “ fovereign Being, that had done so great things for him alrea

dy. Upon hearing this, it is said, that Edwin told the Bi'fhop, he was now fully satisfied, and ready to receive the < Christian Faith.

And altho' Edwin, after having declared for Christianity, proved unfortunate in his undertakings, and was killed in battle, by Penda, King of the Mercians, and Cedwalla, a

King of the Britons, who routed his whole army, over-run « his dominions with their forces, spared neither sex nor age,

and fewed no more regard to the Christians than the pagan • English ;' yet, by the power and influence of converted Kings, and intermarriages, as above, betwixt the converted and unconverted, and the preaching of the Gospel by, the above Miffionaries of Rome, and by those who came upon invitation, from the Scotch and Irish Churches, the -Saxons, whom we may, now call English, were, at last, generally reconciled to Chriftianity. < But there was a great inconve' nience in planting the Gospel in several parts of England,

by men of different Churches, and fo, of course, of differ"ent usages and rites. The case of the kingdom of Kent,

which owed its Christianity to the Missionaries of Rome,

and received the usages of that Church, was the case of the « Weft-Saxons, converted by Birinus and Agilbert, and, in

a great mealure, of the East-Angles, who had received

their religion from Felix, a Burgundian Bishop, assisted by < Furseus an Irish Monk. But all the other parts of England < subdued by the Saxons, containing, in a manner, the whole • tract of ground, frown the Friths of Edinburgh to the : Thames, as they were generally brought to the Christian « Faith, by the labours of the Scottish or Irith Clergy, or

fuch English as had the advantage of an education under

them, so they generally followed the usages of the Scotch ç and Britila Churchies.'Toconciliate, therefore, those opin 8


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posite ministries, and to introduce an uniformity of worship, sentiment, and behaviour, Ofwy, the zealous Northuin• brian King, to whom all the Saxon Monarchs, except the

King of Kent, (whose daughter he had married) were tributary, appointed a fynod, or conference, between the con. tending parties, to be held at the monastery of Whitby, in the county of York. Here the Scotch party, in defence ot their institutions, appealed to the authority of St. John and Columba : but the Romanists afcribing their's to St. Peter, to whom the keys of the gates of Heaven were given by our Lard; the King thus decided the controversy.

6 I have “ no intention to contradict the Porter of Heaven, but, ac“cording to my knowlege and power, I will beg his ordi

nances in all things, for fear, when I come to Heaven “ gates, and he who keeps the doors be displeased with mé, “ there be none to open them, and let me in.” Not long after, Deus-dedit, Archbishop of Canterbury, dying, Egbert, King of Kent, consulted his relation Ofwy, about filling up the See. By common consent they elected one Wignard, an Englishman, and sent him to Rome, to be confecrated. But Wighard dying at Rome, Pope Vitalian eagerly catched at this incident; and, without fending to England, to give the • Kings an opportunity of appointing, or so much as approving'a successor to Wighard,' substituted in his place, one Theodore, a native of Tarsus in Cicilia, who, to put the last hand to the union of the English Churches, ingratiated him• self fo much with the Princes of the Heptarchy, that not' 'withstanding the death of his friends, the King of Kent, Stand Ofwy, King of Northumberland, whose son Alfred

too was lost to him, by being deposed, he got them to agree 6. to a synod, in 673, at Heradford, according to Camden,

a place in Hertfordshire, probably that which is now the capital town in that county.' Here he himself presided and, in this fynod, we have • the first view of a National • English Church under one common Metropolitan. Thus far the second book.

Having thus, in analysing the two former books of this judicious Historian, accompanied him, in some measure, through thofe by.paths, and labyrinths, through which he was obliged to force his way, before he could put us in a situation to command the prospect ---it now remains, that we select some of the principal objects, for the entertainment of our Readers. . The contents then of his third book will, on' such a plan, appear in some such miscellaneous form as this. The secu• Jar pomp, and way of living,' of Wilfrid, Bishop of York,

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his riches, and abbies, the magnificence of his houses, and

the great 'multitude of his followers, cloathed and armed į like the train of Princes, thefe, we are told, drew upon him

the enmity of the King and Queen, They are reafons enough to awake the jealousy of a Prince, and, in some measure, excuse his violence: for when a Churchman fo far forgets his proper character, as to endeavour to equal the pomp and state of Kings, it is not so blameable in Kings, if they should forget it too, and treat him like another man.“

« I have omitted the accounts of an infinite number of people < of fashion, of both sexes, the daughters of Kings especi

ally, who secluded themselves from the world, and took the - habit of the Religious.--Queen Etheldreda, who was pof6 feffed with the Enthusiasm so much in fafhion, and who was

struck with the appearance of such 'transcendent humility, in deserting a crown to become a Nun, had avowed her inclination to quit the court, and to retire. She set her heart at last, it seems, so much on chastity and retirement, and so fteddily refused the embraces of the King her husband, that his right, his authority, his persuasions, and the injury done him in exposing him to temptations, made no imprelfions upon her but, without her husband's confent, the withdrew into a monastery.—About the same time Sebbi, King of the East-Saxons, grew weaty of the parade and fatigue of a crown; and, according to the prevailing humour of the age, threw off the purple, and turned Monki No wonder, therefore, that he thould be spoke of by the hiftorians, as a Prince of extraordinary charity and devotion":

and among such a multitude of females of royal birth, who « left the blandishments of a court, for a life of retirement,

and meditation, it would be hard if we could not sprinkle the history, now and then, with royal Saints of our own fex, who had as much contempt for the world, and as much zeal for monkery as the Ladies. His Queen, it seems, was not of a spirit quite so celestial as her husband, and (wi

ood his inclinations to retirement for some time; but finding the could not bring him back again to the world, the, at last, consented to disengage him; and passing thro' the necessary forms of a Religious, he received the habit from the Bishop of London.

· Erconwald, Bishop of London, had been remarkable < from his infancy, for a grave and religious disposition; and

succeeding to this See, upon the death of Chad, became a truly primitive Bishop, living up to every part of his in{tructions. He enlarged the buildings, and augmented the


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