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vation beyond the requisitions of become laborious, and industrious." the Gospel! God has founded our (P. 407.) This is indeed a rational duty upon our interests; he has system of conversion; in another thought proper to administer the place he says, he was obliged to inworld, by the method of rewards struct them in the performance of and punishments; and to dispense their work, and take the oversight with that method of administration, of all their secular concerns, and under pretence of greater purity, is that the care of managing their to arrrogate e “ wisdom above what worldly business, cost him more la. is written," and to ensure the disc bour and fatigue, than all his other grace of religion, by attempting work among them. (P. 459.) Fremore than the Creator ever intended quently too, be paid money out of to be performed.
his own pocket, to enable them to Much, however, may be urged in discharge their debts. (P. 462.) favour of Mr. Brainerd, which most The truth is, that Brainerd had modern Calvinists cannot claim ; a naturally a strong understanding, Missionary must be an enthusiast: but in early life, it was disordered for what but the fervour of enthu- by extravagant perturbations; at siasm could sustain him amidst the one time the tloodtide of his feelings privations, and fatigues, and dis- overflowed the banks of reason ; at couragements of the task he has un. another the receding ebb left its dertaken? The first preachers of channel dry : but in process of the Gospel were missionaries; but time, as he became more intimate they were strengthened by the Holy with the realities of life, and ex. Spirit miraculously imparted; the perience dispelled the visions of modern missionaries have nothing to speculative religion, his views of rely on, beyond the natural con human nature grew to be more rastitution of their mind, but the or al, and his estimate of appeardinary aids of grace; and how great ances more correct; and when the the difference between the power delirium of ultra-Calvinism abated, thus bestowed, and that communi- he sobered down into a sensible, cated on the day of Pentecost, may useful, and laborious Missionary; be judged by iheir respective suce not that he abandoned his opinions, cess. Nevertheless, it cannot be or his ardour ; but he saw the misdenied, that strong testimonies are chief of enthusiasm, and the danger given of the good effected by of false religion, and reprobated Brainerd, in reclaiming some of the the " sudden suggestions which lodians from drunkenness, and con many are so pleased with,”
" those verting them from savage paganism, delusions of Satan, which to habits of Christian piety and thought to be the immediate witorder; but then, he was an amiable ness of the Spirit, and impresand benevolent man, as well as an sions, made only on the animal afardent preacher; and no doubt his fections." (P. 221.) success way in good measure be “ I fear,” said he in a letter to his ascribed to his winning their hearts brother, written a short time before by kinduess ; for having persuaded his death, “ you are not sufficiently them, to the number of one hundred aware how much false religion there aud thirty, to form a compact set- is in the world : many serious tlement, in order to cultivate their Christians and valuable ministers lands, he “ took care of their are too easily imposed upon by this worldly concerns, giving them di. false blaze. Seriously endeavour rections relating to their business ;" to crush all appearances of this na“I daily,” says he, “discover more ture among the Indians, and never and more, of what importance it is encourage any degrees of heat withto their religious interests, that they out light.” (P. 214.) “He oftev," REMEMBRANCER, No. 39.
says the writer of his life,“ mani. accurate, and his judgment sound : fested bis great abhorrence of all his statement of the difficulties atsuch doctrines and principles, as tending the conversion of the Insavoured in any degree, or had only dians, is full of interest, and may be a remote tendency to Antinomian. read with pleasure and advantage, ism; of all such notions, as seemed especially by those who are anxious to diminish the necessity of holiness for the propagation of the Gospel of life, or to abate men's regard to by missions to savage tribes. the commands of God, and a strict, diligent, and universal practice of piety and virtue, under a pretence of depreciating our works, and Sketches of the Ecclesiastical Hismagnifying God's free grace. He tory of Great Britain. No. III. spake often with abhorrence of the spirit and practice of the Separa The Romans renounced their autists, in their condemning, and se- thority over Britain in the year 410; parating from the standing ministry and having returned on two different and churches, their crying down occasions for the purpose of repellearning and a learned ministry,” &c. ling the Picts, departed finally from P. 234.
the Island about the year 435. The The struggle between his natural events which occurred between that good sense and Calvinistic love of period and the landing of St. Austin morbid sensibility is sometimes suf- in 597, may form the second portion ficiently amusing ; for instance, he of the Ecclesiastical History of our congratulates bimself, that the con. country, victions he has produced, have not The first circumstance which de. been attended with those disorders, mands attention is the arrival of two either bodily or mental, that have Gallican bishops, Germanus and sometimes prevailed among persons Lupus, for the purpose of putting a under religious impressions ; no con- stop to the progress of Pelagianism. vulsions, or swoonings, or bodily Pelagius himself is said to bave agonies. And yet, in the same sen been born in Wales, and to have tence, he boasts of their tears and studied in that country during his groans, and that numbers have been youth. But he had resided many made to cry out from a distressing years in Italy, before he broached view of their perishiny state, and his heretical notions respecting the some for a time deprived of their sufficiency of human strength, and bodily strength, (P. 363.) not to it is supposed that he never returnmention a multitude of heavy groans ed to Britain. The doctrines which and bitter sobs, wbich occur ever set aside the necessity of grace were and anon all through his journal. introduced by his followers into the Now, which of these accounts are country which gave him birth, and we to credit ? For surely it will be the Roman Catholic historians asgranted, that groans are expressions sert that Germanus was dispatched of agony, that sobs are convulsive, by the Pope with authority to corthat deprivation of bodily strength rect the error. But the more au. is tantamount to swooning, and that thentic narrative of Bede makes no tears and cries are disorders, both mention of the interference of Rome. bodily and mental; such are the The mission appears to have been contradictions, into which a man of undertaken at the request of the veracity may be hurried, by an British clergy-and the clergy of overwrought and ill-regulated ima. Gaul were the only persons congination; but where he leaves the sulted upon the subject. region of Experiences, and spiritual The landing of Germanus took extravagance, his observations are place about the year 440, and though
nothing that is reported of him by try had been completed, and the the historians can be implicitly be. Britons driven into the mountains lieved, bis embassy in one point of of Wales and Cornwall-the true view is of considerable importance. religion was contined within the It proves the humble state of the same narrow limits; and idolatry Church which he was called upon re-established throughout the rest to assist. Bede and the Monks at. of the land. And although we tribute his success to miracles-but cannot be said to possess a detailed there is nothing in their relations account of the progress and termiwhich can command our belief; and mination of this severe calamity, yet if he succeeded, as it is unanimously in the bistory of Gildas, we have a agreed that he did, in suppressing the summary description of the whole, heresy of Pelagius, the inference is in which the cause and the effect that the native disputants were few are clearly traced out and explain. and unlearned, and easily silenced ed. by the authority of a stranger. If This writer has been spoken of the orthodox divines had been nu in most contemptuous terms by merous or powerful, they would not Gibbon ; and his veracity has bare solicited the assistance of a been questioned by more impartial foreign Monk. Nor would the as critics*. Yet, with the single excepsistance have been so effectual, or tion of the miracles which prethe remedy so prompt, if the dis- ceded the martyrdom of Albanus, ciples of Pelagius had been learned there is not one marvellous or or accomplished men.
improbable circumstance related by The mission of Germanus has him: and his history is reconcil. been adorned by various legends able with every other authentic and wonders. Bede represents him narrative. The age in which he lived as traversing the kingdom at the head is accurately ascertained ; he states of a host; and conducting his newly himself to have been born in the baptized followers to a victory over year of the battle of Badon Hill, the Picts and Saxons. Nennius states the greatest and the last of the Bri. that he remained many years in tish victories over the Saxons, and Britain: presiding over the British which is supposed to have been Churcb endeavouring to convert the obtained in the year 514. Gildas weak and profligate king Vortigern. adds, that he wrote at the distance But his own countrymen declare that of forty-four years from this date ; be merely paid two short visits to this and his sketch of the events which island, and that having re-establish. he witnessed, and the manners of the ed the orthodox faith and introduced men by whom he was surrounded, monkery, he returned and ended his enables us to form a better estimate life in Gaul. Nothing is known re- of the times in which he lived, than specting the arguments by which he be drawn from any other defended his cause, but he is stated
The Monkish writers love to have held a public disputation to dwell upon the lives of their he. with his adversaries, and convinced the whole country of their errors.
The Saxops under Hengist and • Gildas has been condemned for Horsa were invited into Britain by speaking of the Britons as engaging in Vortigern, in the year 449: and commerce, and receiving ships from vatheir coming, which was rendered rious quarters in the Thames and the necessary by the vices and corrup- instruction from the Romans in the art of
Severn, and yet at the same time requiring tions of Christians, produced little fabricating warlike instruments. The very less than an extirpation of Chris same thing would occar at the present tianity itself. When their conquest day, if Europeans attacked or defended of the accessible parts of the coun- China.
roes and saints; and Pendragon morals, which has been handed down and Arthur, and Dubritius and Da- to us by this historian, is truly vid* are to be heard of in every feu- shocking and deplorable. He accuses dal romance or popish legend. But his countrymen of every crime; and all, if not more than all, that can extends the accusation to every be certainly known of these wor. class. Kings, judges, soldiers, thies, is that they flourished during priests, and people are condemned the Saxon wars, and were more or en masse ; and the subsequent exless successful in arresting the arms, ceptions, and restrictions are few. and the Idolatry of the invaders. If The kings whom he especially antiquarians derive pleasure from enumerates and addresses are said searcbing out their casties and ca. to have been monsters of injustice, thedrals, or children derive amuse- cruelty, lust, and impiety-murderment from perusing their lives, such ing women and children at the altar, innocent gratifications may safely marrying their own daughters, be indulged; but the historical stu- plunging their countries into horrid dent must always remember that and needless civil wars, breaking the fictions of monastic writers the most solemn oaths, and inflictought not to be used for the eluci- ing the most undeserved punishdation of the times and countries ments. which they describe ; and are only The clergy are not handled in a applied to their proper purpose gentler way. They are represented when they serve to make us ac as wolves rather than shepherds ; as quainted with the ages in which giving advice without setting exam. they were written. The men who ples, as ignorant themselves, and could compose, and the men who hostile to knowledge in othersmas could credit the History of the covetous of riches, and careless of Saints, furnish curious and import- heaven, as entering into the ministry ant subjects of enquiry and consi- simoniacally, and obtaining preferderation +. But many centuries must ment before they are in orders ; elapse before they can be brought as travelling abroad to foreign upon the stage, and for the present countries, and there gaining admiswe return to Gildas, and the Saxon sion into the ranks of the Priestconquerors of Britain.
hood, when their character and The account of contemporary their conduct would have prevented
them from being received at home. * Faller remarks upon the British bishops of this age : “ Most of these men The Abbot, who came from Cork, was de. seem born under travelling planet; tained so long by contrary winds, that seldom having their education in the place he was alarmed for the safety of his of their nativity; oft times composed of shepherdless Aock-and accordingly he Irish infancy, British breeding, and French begged a blessing and borrowed a horse preferment, taking a cowl in one country, from the saint; and put to sea without oar a crozier in another, and a grave in a
or sails. When be had advanced à conthird-neither bred where born, nor be. siderable distance into the water; another neficed where bred, nor buried where Saint named Brendanus, made his appearbeneficed, but wandering in several king- ance upon a whale-travelling in the opdoms." Faller did not perceive that these posite direction, and bound to St. David's. circamstances originate in the fabulous They exchanged salatations and complinature of their lives.
ments, and proceeded on their respective + The life of St. David by Giraldus voyages. Barrocas arrived at Cork in Cambrensis, who was born in the year safety, and a cast of a man and house, 1146, is made up of silly and laughable one of gold and one of silver, was prefables. But one miracle is deserving of served to the days of the historian in the peculiar notice. An Irish Abbot, named church of St. Barrocus at Cork, and posBarrocus, paid a visit to St. David--who sessed many wonderful properties. Whet. resided in the town that bears his name. ton's Anglia Sacra, Vol. II. p. 635.
These charges are brought for- pompous fables which have been ward in a declamatory tone, and we invented by his successors. Gildas are not bound to believe that they are did not live to witness the complete literally true. Yet the arguments triumph of the Saxons—and his hisby which they are followed, shew tory appears to have been written that, for the most part, the accusa- in a season of more than usual tions must have been believed by prosperity. Yet in his time churches their author. For he appeals both were plundered and destroyed, to the Kings and ihe Priests priests and people consumed in the in the words of the Bible, and same fire; and of all the flourishing urges them to reflect and repent, towns which the Romans left in the and be saved. In his Epistle, he Island, few had escaped the general recites the principal passages of the ruin ; and still fewer had risen from Old and New Testament, which their ashes. The mountains and convey threats to the impenitent, or fastnesses of Wales offered an asylum promises to the contrite, and ap. to some, others fled beyond the plies both the one and the other to seas, and founded or recruited a the various classes whom he is ad colony in Armoricum-or Brittany. dressing. The peculiar duties of In this place Gildas himself is regovernors, and still more especially ported to have sought refuge; but of priests, are pointed out with a it is much more probable that he degree of accuracy which could not remained in Wales and assisted in be attained but by an intimate ac. preserving the small but primitive quaintance with the Bible. The Church which was found in that Law and the Gospel are appealed territory on the arrival of Austin. to, each in its turn; and the writer The country now called England is equally versed in the strictness was gradually subdued by various of the letter, and the mildness of the Saxon tribes. The Britons who respirit of Revelation. He convicts mained in their native land were rethe offender of gross violations of duced to the condition of serfs or the commandments, and then com- slaves ; the Christian religion was forts him by a reference to the co. overthrown, and Idolatry was estavenant of grace.
And much error blished on its ruins. The Saxon and mischief will be avoided or worship differed materially from cured, many controversies will be that of the Druids. There is not concluded, and practical Christi- the slightest pretence for saying anity will extend its influence as that they acknowledged or knew the soon as modern preachers learn to One true God.
One true God. They worshipped regulate and qualify their discourses the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, with the sound discrimination of and all the host of Heaven. They Gildas. Comparing his works with deified dead men; and distinct those of happier times, we are not traces and memorials of their igno• at liberty to exaggerate their merits. rance and superstition are still to His style is harsh and barbarous, be found in the names of our days his Scriptural interpretations allego- and seasons. The most powerful, rical and fanciful; and there is a the most warlike, the most voluptucomplaining dejected spirit in all ous of their forefathers, Thor and he says, which has justly procured Woden, and Frea, and Eoster are him the name of querulous. Still still commemorated in the words, he is our earliest and most authentic Thursday, Wednesday, Friday, and historian. He presents us with a Easter. Other idols were admitted striking picture of the times in into the unhallowed ranks; and which he flourished—and his short were worshipped with equal cruelty and scarce book is of greater con- and superstition. Human sacrifices sequence and value, than all the were offered up on every solemn