Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

CAP. XXVI._UT IDEM IN CANTIA PRIMITIVÆ ECCLESIÆ

ET DOCTRINAM SIT IMITATUS ET VITAM, ATQUE IN

URBE

REGIS SEDEM EPISCOPATUS ACCEPERIT.

Ar ubi datam sibi mansionem intraverant, coeperunt apostolicam primitivæ ecclesiæ vitam imitari; orationibus videlicet assiduis, vigiliis, ac jejuniis serviendo, verbum vitæ quibus poterant prædicando, cuncta hujus mundi velut aliena spernendo, ea tantum quæ victui necessaria videbantur ab eis quos docebant accipiendo, secundum ea quæ docebant ipsi per omnia vivendo ; et paratum ad patiendum adversa quæque, vel etiam ad moriendum, pro ea, quam prædicabant, veritate, animum habendo. Quid mora? crediderunt nonnulli et baptizabantur, mirantes simplicitatem innocentis vitæ ac dulcedinem doctrinæ eorum coelestis. Erat autem prope ipsam civitatem ad orientem ecclesia in honorem sancti Martini antiquitus facta, dum adhuc Romani Britanniam incolerent, in qua regina, quam Christianam fuisse prædiximus, orare consueverat; in hac ergo et ipsi primo convenire, psallere, orare, missas facere, prædicare et baptizare cæperunt, donec, rege ad fidem converso, majorem prædicandi per omnia et ecclesias fabricandi vel restaurandi licentiam acciperent.

At ubi ipse etiam inter alios delectatus vita mundissima sanctorum et promissis eorum suavissimis, quæ vera esse miraculorum quoque multorum ostensione firmaverant, credens baptizatus est, copere plures quotidie ad audiendum verbum confluere ac, relicto gentilitatis ritu, unitati se sanctæ Christi ecclesiæ credendo sociare. Quorum fidei et conversioni ita congratulatus esse rex perhibetur, ut nullum tamen cogeret ad Christianismum, sed tantummodo credentes arctiori dilectione, quasi concives sibi regni cælestis, amplecteretur; didicerat enim

CHAP. XXVI.--ST. AUGUSTINE IN KENT FOLLOWED THE

[blocks in formation]

CHURCH, AND SETTLED HIS EPISCOPAL SEE IN THE ROYAL

CITY.

tine's way of

A.D. 597.

As soon as they entered the dwelling-place assigned St. Augus. them, they began to imitate the course of life practised life. in the primitive church; applying themselves to frequent prayer, watching and fasting; preaching the word of life to as many as they could ; despising all worldly things, as not belonging to them ; receiving only their necessary food from those they taught; living themselves in all respects conformably to what they prescribed to others, and being always disposed to suffer any adversity, and even to die for that truth which they preached. In short, several believed and were baptized, admiring the simplicity of their innocent life, and the sweetness of their heavenly doctrine. There was on the east side of the city, a church dedicated to the honour of St. Martin, built whilst the Romans were still in the island, wherein the queen, who, as has been said before, was a Christian, used to pray. In this they first began to meet, to sing, to pray, to say mass, to preach, and to baptize, till the king, being converted to the faith, allowed them to preach openly, and build or repair churches in all places.

When he, among the rest, induced by the unspotted life of these holy men, and their delightful promises, which, by many miracles, they proved to be most certain, believed and was baptized, greater numbers began daily to flock together to hear the word, and, forsaking their heathen rites, to associate themselves, by believing, to the unity of the church of Christ. Their conversion the king so far encouraged, as that he compelled none to embrace Christianity, but only showed more affection to the believers, as to his fellow-citizens in the heavenly kingdom. For he had learned from his

a doctoribus auctoribusque suæ salutis servitium Christi voluntarium, non coactitium, esse debere. Nec distulit quin etiam ipsis doctoribus suis locum sedis, eorum gradui congruum, in Doroverni metropoli sua donaret, simul et necessarias in diversis speciebus possessiones conferret.

[blocks in formation]

INTEREA vir Domini Augustinus venit Arelas, et ab archiepiscopo ejusdem civitatis Atherio, juxta quod jussa sancti patris Gregorii acceperant, archiepiscopus genti Anglorum ordinatus est; reversusque Britanniam misit continuo Romam Laurentium presbyterum et Pe trum monachum, qui beato pontifici Gregorio gentem Anglorum fidem Christi suscepisse ac se episcopum factum esse referrent; simul et de eis, quæ necessariæ videbantur, quæstionibus ejus consulta flagitans. Nec mora, congrua quæsitui responsa recipit ; quæ etiam huic historiæ nostræ commodum duximus indere.

Prima Interrogatio beati Augustini Episcopi Cantuariorum Ecclesiæ.-De episcopis, qualiter cum suis clericis conversentur; vel de his quæ fidelium oblationibus accedunt altari, quantæ debeant fieri portiones, et qualiter episcopus agere in ecclesia debeat?

Respondit Gregorius Papa Urbis Romæ.-Sacra Scriptura testatur, quam te bene nosse dubium non est, et specialiter beati Pauli ad Timotheum Epistolae, in quibus eum erudire studuit qualiter in domo Dei conversari debuisset. Mos autem sedis apostolicæ est ordinatis episcopis præcepta tradere, ut in omni stipendio, quod instructors and leaders to salvation, that the service of A.D. 597. Christ ought to be voluntary, not by compulsion. Nor was it long before he gave his teachers a settled residence in his metropolis of Canterbury, with such possessions of different kinds as were necessary for their subsistence.

[blocks in formation]

A.D. 597.

In the meantime, Augustine, the man of God, repaired St. Augus. to Arles, and, pursuant to the orders received from the tions and holy Father Gregory, was ordained archbishop of the answers, English nation, by Ætherius, archbishop of that city. Then returning into Britain, he sent Laurentius, the priest, and Peter, the monk, to Rome, to acquaint Pope Gregory, that the nation of the English had received the faith of Christ, and that he was himself made their bishop. At the same time, he desired his solution of some doubts that occurred to him. He soon received proper answers to his questions, which we have also thought fit to insert in this our history :

The First Question of Augustine, Bishop of the Church of Canterbury.Concerning bishops, how they are to behave themselves towards their clergy? or into how many portions the things given by the faithful to the altar are to be divided ? and how the bishop is to act in the church?

Gregory, Pope of the City of Rome, answers.—Holy Writ, which no doubt you are well versed in, testifies, and particularly St. Paul's Epistle to Timothy, wherein he endeavours to instruct him how he should behave himself in the house of God; but it is the custom of the apostolic sce to prescribe rules to bishops newly ordained, that all emoluments which accrue, are to be divided into

accedit, quatuor debeant fieri portiones ; una, videlicet, episcopo et familiæ propter hospitalitatem atque susceptionem, alia clero, tertia pauperibus, quarta ecclesiis reparandis. Sed quia tua fraternitas monasterii regulis erudita, seorsum fieri non debet a clericis suis in ecclesia Anglorum, quæ, auctore Deo, nuper adhuc ad fidem adducta est, hanc debet conversationem instituere, quæ initio nascentis ecclesiæ fuit patribus nostris ; in quibus nullus eorum ex his, quæ possidebant, aliquid suum esse dicebat, sed erant eis omnia communia.

Si qui vero sunt clerici extra sacros ordines constituti, qui se continere non possunt, sortiri uxores debent et stipendia sua exterius accipere. Quia et de eisdem partibus, de quibus præfati sumus, novimus scriptum quod dividebatur singulis prout cuique opus erat. De eorum quoque stipendio cogitandum atque providendum est, et sub ecclesiastica regula sunt tenendi, ut bonis moribus vivant, et canendis psalmis invigilent, et ab omnibus illicitis et cor et linguam et corpus, Deo auctore, conservent. Communi autem vita viventibus jam de faciendis portionibus, vel exhibenda hospitalitate et adimplenda misericordia, nobis quid erit loquendum, cum omne quod superest in causis piis ac religiosis erogandum est? Domino omnium magistro docente, [Luc. xi. 41,] Quod superest, date eleemosynam, et ecce omnia munda sunt vobis.

Secunda Interrogatio Augustini.-Cum una sit fides, cur sunt ecclesiarum diversæ consuetudines, et altera consuetudo missarum in sancta Romana ecclesia atque altera in Galliarum tenetur!

Respondit Gregorius Papa.—Novit fraternitas tua Romanæ ecclesiæ consuetudinem, in qua se meminit nutritam. Sed mihi placet, sive in Romana, sive in Galliarum, seu in

« ForrigeFortsett »