Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

were, or Augustine may have found more substantial material in the débris of the ruined Roman buildings, as Saxon and mediæval builders did in Colchester and other Roman cities.

This reconstruction of the building helps us greatly in the endeavour to picture the scene at a service :the tall form of Augustine seated in his handsome stone chair at the west end, vested in planeta and (to anticipate) pall; his priests on a raised stone bench on his right and left, and the Italian monks with their russet robes and shaven crowns in the choir, singing the service to the new Gregorian chants; the King and Queen in conspicuous places; and the great aula of the church filled with countrymen and countrywomen of the English slaves who had touched the great heart of Gregory in the Forum of Rome; all saved De ird, from the wrath of God, and singing the Alleluia, which has never since been silent in the land.

During all these proceedings there is nothing said of Bishop Liudhard; and yet he must have taken a conspicuous part. Even if he restricted himself to his special duties as chaplain of the Queen and her household, until the consecration of Augustine, the bishop must have celebrated mass in the Queen's Chapel of St. Martin's. It would be unnatural if both the Queen and her bishop failed to take the liveliest interest in what was going on, and to give such assistance as their position enabled them to give. There existed no such hindrances to cordial co-operation between Liudhard and Augustine as we shall find did exist between Augustine and the British bishops. We may perhaps account for the silence about him on the ground of the brevity of the narrative, and the fact

that Augustine was its hero. It is possible that, as soon as Augustine was made bishop of the now Christian court and kingdom, Liudhard's services being no longer necessary, he returned to Gaul; but it is much more likely that he continued to act as the Queen's chaplain and director of her household (see p. 164); the ancient tradition is that he died at Canterbury, and was buried in the Church of SS. Peter and Paul. In the Middle Ages the monastery claimed to possess his relics, which were preserved in a golden shrine in the sanctuary, and carried in procession on Rogation days. There is another tradition, that from the time of Augustine to that of Lanfranc, there was a series of suffragan Bishops of St. Martin's, which seems to point to the continuance of Liudhard at St. Martin's, after Augustine had restored Christ Church, and set up his See in it.

CHAPTER XII

THE ARRIVAL OF THE SECOND BODY OF MISSIONERS

WITH a Christian King and Queen at court, with a bishop and a strong staff of ecclesiastics established in their permanent home in the capital, and with a cathedral church in which the divine worship was presented with solemn dignity and beauty, the Church of the English nation began to present an imposing appearance to the world about it, and the number of converts rapidly increased. Our own recent experience has given us occasion to note, with some degree of reverent wonder, the practical effects of the introduction of the episcopate among a handful of missionaries, and the accelerated success of a completely organised Church. The conversions were natural and spontaneous, for Bede expressly says that the King “had learned from his instructors and guides to salvation that the service of Christ ought to be voluntary, not by compulsion.” But throughout the history of the English conversion we find the people ready to follow the example of their natural leaders ; and while the princes did not persecute Christianity, but readily embraced it, so they did not exercise any compulsion upon the people to embrace it, but only set them a good example.

So great was the success in the succeeding years, that in the year 601 A.D., Augustine sent Laurence the Priest to Rome to report progress, and to ask for a reinforcement of men, since the harvest was so great that there were not labourers to gather it.

The great Bishop responded to the appeal, and resolved to send a second group of monks and clerks. How many we are not told, but Bede gives the names of the principal men among them, Mellitus, Justus, Paulinus, and Rufinianus.

Of the thirty or forty men who formed the original mission staff only three are known by name-Laurence, who succeeded Augustine in the See; Peter, who was made the first Abbot of St. Augustine’s Monastery; and Honorius, the fifth and last of the Italian dynasty. Of the new body of men now sent, Mellitus was an abbot to begin with, probably the Abbot of Gregory's Monastery of St. Andrew, and he was soon after sent as bishop to London, Justus to Rochester, Paulinus to Northumbria, and Rufinianus was the third Abbot of St. Augustine's Monastery. We conclude that the original body of men were pious, earnest monks, admirable in the cloister; but that there was a lack of men of “light and leading” among them; and that on a hint from Augustine, or seeing the position of things for himself, Gregory had sent him some men of higher type, capable of initiating, leading, organising, impressing their personality upon others.

It must be borne in mind, in justice to the monks, that the majority of them were probably laymen, with no pretension to be theologians or preachers or missioners in any other sense than that of showing the example of what was then considered to be the highest phase of the Christian life.

.

The wise Bishop took the same care as before to make the journey of the new band easy, by furnishing them with letters of introduction all along their route. Among the Letters of St. Gregory we find letters to Mennas of Telona (Toulon), Serenus of Massilia (Marseilles), Virgilius of Arelate (Arles), Arigius of Vapincum (Gap), Lupus of Cabillonum (Chalonssur-Saone), Ætherius of Lugdunum (Lyons), Desiderius of Augustodunum (Autun), Aigulfus of Mettæ (Metz), Simplicius of the Parisii (Paris), Melantius of Rotomagus (Rouen), and Licinius (of Andegavum (Angers) ?].

A selection from these names carries us, as before, from Marseilles up the Rhone and Saône, then to Paris, and so down the Seine to Rouen ; but it is difficult to account for some of the other places. Toulon indeed was on the road from Marseilles or Arles to Lerins, whose famous monastery was visited by Augustine in his first journey. But Gap lies a hundred miles to the east of the Rhone, up among the Alps. Metz was still further out of their way, but it was the usual residence of Theodebert the Austrasian King, as Chalons was of Theodoric. Angers lies hundreds of miles away in the west, but it is to be noticed that Gregory's letter is addressed to Licinius without the designation of any place, and though Licinius was about that time Bishop of Angers, it is possible that he was not there at that time. On the whole, we are inclined to assume that the route was that which is above suggested, by the Rhone, Saône, and Seine; and this is supported by the fact that there is this time-there was not on the first journey—a letter to Clothaire the King of Neustria, the western division of the Frank dominions. It must

« ForrigeFortsett »