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names; among whom are to be mentioned, with high respect, Mr. Whitaker, Mr. Turner, and the Bishop of St. David's.

The Author of these pages has used every help within his reach tending to elucidate the topics of his research ; and he has sedulously endeavoured to distinguish between truth and fiction : but, in so doing, it has been deemed by him requisite to guard against precipitancy in rejecting, as well as hastiness in receiving, the testimonies of Monkish writers, or national traditions. Scepticism is much the humour of the present age ; but, like other fashionable predilections, it founds its claim to distinction on a very loose foundation, and is often the endowment of little minds, who can hardly think any eye so clear-sighted as their own, or any head so sagacious as theirs. By immediately setting aside whatever, upon slight investigation, wears an aspect of incongruity, we may become so extremely delicate in our judgment, or rather so petulant in our decisions, as to reject real historical evidence, because it is not conveyed to us in the shape we think it ought to come before us. In tracing Ancient History, we must be content with the best evidence to be procured, and make the best use we can of ancient tradition and an. cient fragments. To search with patience and deliberation, and to decide after due discrimination, are qualities rarely to be found, but necessary to be possessed by the student of history, if he expect to attain to the real knowledge of ancient transactions.

The difficulties attendant upon every attempt like the present, must form the Author's apology with those Readers who may feel disappointed in not finding statements more lucid, respecting incidents of which fuller information would be desirable. Such as he has to give he presents to the Public; and, if not always silver and gold, he dares not impose gilded toys for sterling materials. He believes that he has not omitted any thing materially conducive to the elucidation of what was his main object, the history of religion among the Ancient Britons. If information of a more circumstantial kind, with respect to many celebrated characters and local incidents could be procured, the present Work would, doubtless, be rendered more highly interesting. It has been an unpleasant task to display the defective state of religious profession among our ancestors, and to discover the errors that prevailed among them, while genuine religion had so slight an influence upon a Christian community ; but, in searching for truth, we must take things as we find them, and give the light and shade of genuine narrative.

That the Britons of Wales should form so prominent a figure in our Ancient History is not difficult to be accounted for, although the fact may appear strange to those who are accustomed to judge of countries and their inhabitants from the tales of childhood, or the accounts of gleaners and flying tourists. Those fantastic notions are now hastening fast to decay, especially since the mountains of Cambria have yielded substantial proofs of their value to those, who have resorted from various quarters to prove the extent and durability of their treasures. Such kind of researches have proved advantageous, in a manner not to be expected from those, the result of which are now laid before the Public. A fortune may be consumed, but one will never be gained, by the labours of the antiquary.

In the study of Ancient History, we must look to the peoples and tribes, who still retain their tenacious attachment for ancient customs; and the mind, capable of retracing the past, and looking forward to the future, takes a sublime pleasure in contemplating the scenes of departed glory, and the sites of ancient literary and theological institutions. The names of Verolam, Caerleon and Lancarvan, of Landaff and Bangor, of Glastonbury and St. David's, as well as Melros and Iona, excite our reverence, and call to our remembrance, that what they now are London and Oxford may possibly be, in centuries yet to come, and the magnificence of former ages restored to such places as are now sunk in obscurity. The names of Iltutus and Dubricius, of Johannes Erigena, of Asserius and Alcuin, were once as celebrated as the Warburtons, the Horsleys, and the Watsons of our days.

The history of Ancient Britain, and especially its Ecclesiastical history, has not been so generally studied until of late years. Mr. Whitaker was the first that attempted to make the study of our ancient history interesting to the general reader; as well as to evince to the learned, that it is worthy of their investigations. By the labours of Mr. Owen and his coadjutors, the treasures of Cambrian literature have been thrown open ; and the illustrious patronage afforded to the Rev. Edward Davies has stamped a degree of credit on pursuits that previously were but little regarded. As to the present attempt, whatever may be generally thought of its execution, it has the honour of being the first thing of the kind, as a history of the British churches, treated in any thing of a popular shape, for the use of English readers in general. While historical truth has been the great object of attention, it is also the design of the present work to convey information in a form that may recommend it to those readers who would soon be wearied with mere dry investigations.

While the present age is so laudably occupied in zealous exertions to diffuse Christianity among the Heathen, and especially among the worshippers of Brahma and Budhu; the history of the first introduction and consequent progress of our Divine Religion among our then heathen ancestors, cannot fail to prove highly interesting. The Gospel travelled of old from Asia to the west of Europe : and, as from the isles of western Europe it has shone with bright beams on the transatlantic world; so now the sons of Britain are conveying it back to Asia, and in particular to continental and insular India. As the present is an age of discoveries, it has been no small gratification to find, among the natives of Malabar, an ancient Christian church : and it is no less curious to know, that those disciples of St. Thomas, the apostle, were visited by Britons in the age of Alfred.

The difficulties and obstacles that, in ancient times, obstructed the propagation of the Religion of Christ, in our now enlightened country, should teach us to sympathize with our missionaries abroad, while it may afford them encouragement to persevere in their glorious but arduous undertakings. The names of SWARTZ and of CAREY, of BuchaNAN and Coke, are to be numbered among the Apostles and Evangelists of primitive times.

The articles comprised in the Appendix will be found to contain information that will be new to many Readers; but of such a nature as not well to admit of insertion in the body of the work. The dissertation on the Welsh and Breton languages, and the short vocabulary annexed, will be of interest not only to our countrymen of the Principality, but to any scholar who wishes to ascertain, in some degree, the affinity between the languages of the Celtic stock: a few words of the Teutonic

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