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Letters of Pope Gregory the Great, tained that the missionaries were inthe whole of which have since been vited into Britain by the Saxons collected and published, and throw themselves. Ethelbert, at that time additional light upon the conversion king of Kent, was married to a of the Saxons ; but these letters Christian princess, Bertha, daughhave been interpolated by their ter of the king of the Franks, and monkish editors. Some of them, he had consented to allow her the as will be seen hereafter, are at free exercise of her religion, and variance with the narrative of Bede, the regular attendance of a bishop and doubts are thus thrown upon who had accompanied her from every portion of the collection, ex. France. It is supposed, therefore, cept that which is cited by our his. and not unreasonably, that the in. torian.
fluence of Bertha contributed both A third source from which it to the coming and to the success of might be expected that the conduct Austin, Gregory alludes in one of and character of Austin would de. bis epistles to an invitation which rive material elucidation, is his life had been received from the Saxons ; by Goscelinus, and various other and Fox (“ Acts and Monuments," parratives respecting him in the page 128,) mentions the circumgeneral histories of his time. But stance as an instance of “ what these works are little better than goodness cometh to have a good and amplifications of Bede, their mar- godly wife.” The vehemence of vellous additions to his narrative controversialists for and against the are entitled to no credit; and they Pope's supremacy has attached are utterly worthless to all historical great and unmerited importance to purposes, unless they may be sup- these facts. It is in vain to deny posed to teach that the men who that the conversion of the Saxons invented so many miracles in works originated with Gregory the Great, of their own, may have thought it and eqnally idle to contend, that right to insert a few into the writings an event so honourable to the indiof Bede.
vidual can have bestowed any perDifferent motives are assigned for manent dominion upon his succesPope Gregory's conduct in sending sors in the See of Rome. Austin and his companions to Austin landed in the isle of ThaBritain. On the one hand, it is net, and immediately communicasaid, that his compassion was ex ted his arrival and object to king cited by the sight of some British Ethelbert, by whom the communiyouths exposed for sale in the slave cation was favourably received. market at Rome. And that he re. After a few days an audience was solved, after uttering sundry pious, granted to the monk and his combut tasteless witticisms, to proceed panions, the king taking the prewithout delay to the conversion of caution to receive them in the opea their countrymen. This design was air, that he might be out of the frustrated by the prohibition of his reach of enchantments. The missuperiors, who refused to risque so sionaries approached him bearing a valuable a life; and the scheme silver cross as a standard, and a met with no encouragement, until picture of our Saviour, and chanting by his election to the bishopric of prayers for their own and the king's Rome, he was left at liberty to fol. eternal welfare. He listened patilow the dictates of his inclination. ently to their discourse and pro
Accordingly he pitched upon mised to enquire further into the Austin as a proper conductor of the subject, but he refused to lay aside mission, and furnished him with the the received customs of his forenecessary means of undertaking it. fathers, and contented himself with
On the other hand, it is main- permitting them to remain in his
territory, and celebrate their pecu- writers have given a more magnifiliar worship in Canterbury.
cent account. Austin is
representThither they immediately repair- ed as baptizing no less than ten ed, and passed their time, accord- thousand of his converts during the ing to Bede, in imitation of the Christmas which followed his arrival; primitive and apostolic manners, and the entire dominions of Ethelnamely, in frequent prayers, watch- bert, the most powerful Saxon ings, and fastings ; preaching to all monarch of his day, were speedily who would listen to them, and re- induced to embrace the religion of nouncing the good things of this the Cross. These narratives, howworld. The innocence of their ever, are accompanied with several lives, and the encouraging nature suspicious circumstances, of which of their doctrine, procured them Bede's silence is not the least; and several converts. They celebrated it is not obvious that their truth their worship in an ancient church would redound to the credit of St. dedicated to St. Martin, the ruins Austin, as the soundness of so of which had survived the invasion rapid and general a conversion may of the Saxons. It had been pre- be reasonably called in question viously used by the attendants of But at all events it is certain that queen Bertha, and the missionaries Gregory was highly delighted with commenced a course of regular his missionary's success : he wrote church services, chanting, praying, preaching, and celebrating mass and baptism. The conversion of be bribed as a better method of convert
Jews, and recommended that they should king Ethelbert soon followed, and ing them. The passage in Gregory's Letter procured them a greater liberty of to king Ethelberi, opon which Hume rests building or restoring churches, and his accusation, is this: of preaching wheresoever they « Et ideo gloriose fili, eam quam accepleased.
pisti divinitus gratiam, solicitâ mente cusBede ascribes his conversion to todi. Christianam fidem in populis tibi the pious lives of the missionaries, nis tuæ in eorum conversione multiplica,
subditis extendere festina, zelum rectitudi and to their consolatory promises, idololorum cultus insequere, fanorum ædithe truth of which was confirmed ficia everte, subditorum mores et magnâ by a great number of miracles ; vitæ munditiâ, exhortando, terrendo, blanbut it is remarkable that not one of diendo, corrigendo, et boni operis exempla these miracles is described, or even
monstrando ædifica; ut illum retributorem
invenias in cælo, cujus nomen atque cogspecified, and that he gives us no
nitionem dilataveris in terra." account of the doctrines they taught
Hume gives the following account of or the arguments they employed. this passage : “ He exhorted him to display He contents himself with saying his zeal in the conversion of his subjects, that the conversion of the natives to exert rigour against the worship of was facilitated by the example of idols, and to build up the good work of their king, who encouraged his holiness by every expedient of exhortation, subjects to be baptized, but had terror, blandishment, or correction."
• The baptism of Austin's ten thousand learnt from Austin that Christ's was
converts is said to have taken place in the a voluntary service, and that force river Swale; and Fox remarks, that fonts ought not to be employed in the were not yet invented; but the good old promotion of religion *. Other Puritan forgot that Bede had told another
story, that the authors who speak of the
Swale baptism are not agreed as to wheSeveral writers, of whom Hume is ther that river was in Kent or Northummost conspicuous, have attempted to throw berland, and that Gregory's letter to the discredit upon this fact, and to contrast it patriarch of Constantinople, in which the with the declarations of St. Austin's mas circumstance is related, is inconsistent ter; bot Gregory was not of an intolerant with the documents produced by Bede.temper, le forbade the persecution of the See Collier, vol. i. p. 68.
him repeated letters of congratula- archiepiscopal sees he fixes at Lontion and advice, declared him arch- don and York, and gives twelve bishop of the whole country; sent suffragans to each. The first archhim a pall from St. Peter's as a bishop of York was to be subject token of his dignity, and recom to St. Austin, but after his death mended him in the strongest terms that subjection was entirely to to the protection of Ethelbert. cease, and the archbishops to take Bede has preserved the Pope's an- precedence according to the date swers to a set of questions which of their respective consecrations. had been sent to him by St. Austin. About the same time Austin was Many of them are levitical rather cautioned against boasting of his than theological, and they forbid us virtiles, his miracles, and his sucto entertain a very favourable opi. cess, and reminded that our Lord's nion of the learning or wisdom of disciples were told not to rejoice the English apostle. Nevertheless because the devils were subject to they make us acquainted with seve- them, but because their names ral peculiar circumstances in the were written in heaven. Gregory primitive Saxon church. stin is therefore takes it for granted that told that the church property ought miracles were wrought by St. Austin; to be divided into four parts : one yet it is strange that the only direct for the bishop, one for the clergy, evidence of this fact should be conone for the poor, and one for re tained in an epistle which reflects pairing churches. But as he and so much upon his humility. But his companions were monks, they perhaps the most remarkable of are reminded of the primitive cus. Gregory's letters is that which he tom, of having all things in common. addressed to Melitus, whom he sent
The Saxons were not restricted to to the assistance of Austin. He the use of the Roman missal, but directs him to inform the latter, Austin is left at liberty to select that the temples of idols in England, what he thought best, from the are by no means to be destroyed ; Roman, the Gallican, or any other but the idols themselves to be service*: he is permitted, from the broken in pieces, holy water to be necessity of the case, to consecrate sprinkled through the temples, al. bishops, without the assistance of tars to be constructed, and relics any other of the episcopal order; which had been sent from Rome for is admonished to claim no authority that purpose, placed therein : that over the bishops of Gaul, but is the people may assemble at their permitted to extend his jurisdiction accustomed places of Worship, and over all the British bishops, that more easily concur in the new relithe unlearned may be taught, the gion. He adds, that as oxen were weak be strengthened, and the per- formerly sacrified to devils, that verse corrected.
custom must be changed; but that In a subsequent communication on the day of the dedication of the Gregory gives his instructions for church, or the birth-day of the the establishment of two archbi martyr whose relics it contained, shops and twenty-four bishops. The tents may be pitched round the
churches, and solemn religious worThis fact shows that liturgies were ship may be celebrated : that thanks then in use, and the attention which was
may be given to God for the anisoon after paid to chanting " is enough," mals that he has provided, and that says Comber, “ to prove they then prayed while something is preserved for possible to set arbitrary or extempore bodily delight, the people may yield prayers to notes; which, though some
more readily to spiritual joy. King have affirmed liable to be canted, yet none
Ethelbert is also told that the end thought them capable to be chanted." of the world is at hand.
Austin founded å monastery at demands. Those demands were, that Canterbury, and Ethelbert, by his they should celebrate Easter accordpersuasion, built a new church, and ing to the Roman cycle, administer dedicated it to the Apostles Peter baptism according to the rites of the and Paul. He ordained two bi- Roman church, and preach the word shops, Melitus, already mentioned, of God to the English. Their other and Justus, placing the latter at customs, though differing in many Rochester, in the territory of king respects from the whole Church, he Ethelbert, and the former at Lon was willing to bear. They refused don, which was then the capital of to assent to these terins, declared the kingdom of Essex. The king they would not receive him for their of Essex was nephew to Ethelbert, archbishop, and added, that they and followed his example by embra- were subject to an archbishop of cing Christianity, and laid the foun- their own. Austin concluded the dation of the cathedral of St. Paul's. conference by exclaiming, that if
About the same time, with the they were unwilling to be at peace assistance of Ethelbert, St. Austin with their brethren, they might exheld a conference with some bishops pect war from their enemies : á of the British Church. They met prediction said to have been fulfilled in Worcestershire, on the confines a short time after his death, by the of Wales, and he endeavoured to slaughter of the monks of Bangor persuade them to conform to his during a battle between the British customs, and to make an united and Saxons. effort for the conversion of the Austin died about the
year 605, heathen. A long disputation en- having appointed Laurentius his sued, but neither the exhortations,
His character is thus the increpations, nor even the mira. summed up by Fuller. " He found cles of the Apostle, were sufficient here a plain religion (simplicity is to procure their consent to his pro- the badge of antiquity) practised position. They asked time to re- by the Britons, living some of them flect upon what they had heard and in the contempt, and many more seen. A second synod was in the ignorance, of worldly vani. vened, at which seven British bi- ties, in a barren country. And shops and many other learned men surely piety is most healthful in appeared: the principal person was those places where it can least sur. Dinooth, abbot of Bangor, a monas feit of earthly pleasures. He brought tery near Chester, said to contain in a religion spun with a coarser two thousand monks. The bishops thread though garded with a finer had previously consulted a wise and trimming, made luscious to the holy hermit on the propriety of senses with pleasing ceremonies ; so granting Austin's request. He sug- that many, who could not judge of gested the following stratagem, that the goodnesse, were courted with Austin and his companions should the gaudinesse thereof. Indeed, be allowed to arrive first at the the Papists brag, that he was the place of meeting, and that the Bri- apostle of the English ; but not one tish bishops coming in afterwards in the style of St. Paul, neither should judge of his character by from man nor by man, but by Jesus the manner in which they were re Christ; being only a derivative ceived. Austin had taken his seat apostle, sent by the second hand ; before the bishops appeared, and in which sense, also, he was not our did not rise to salute them. Their sole apostle, though he first put in inference was, that he was proud his sickle, others reaped down more and haughty, that the object of his of the English harvest, propagating coming was temporal power, and the Gospel farther, as shall appear that they ought not to yield to his hereafter. But because the begin
nings of things are of greatest cor sending Augustine, Augustine's forsequence, we commend his paines, wardnesse in preaching here; but condemn his pride, allow his life, above all, let us blesse God's exapprove his learning, admire his ceeding great favour, that that docmiracles, admit the foundation of trine which Augustine planted here his doctrine, Jesus Christ, but re but impure, and his successors made fuse the hay and stubble he built worse with watering, is since, by thereupon. We are indebted to the happy Reformation, cleared and God his goodnesse in moving Gre- refined to the purity of the Scrip. gory, Gregorie's carefulnesse in tures."
GENERAL THEOLOGICALSEMI II. The management of the said
NARY IN NORTH AMERICA. seminary shall be vested in a board In our Number for March 1821,
of trustees, who shall have power to we gave an account of the institu constitute professorships, and to tion of a Theological Seminary at appoint the professors, and to preNew York, which promised to be scribe the course of study in the reof most essential service to the in. spective schools, aud to make rules terests of Christianity in the United
and regulations and statutes for the States of America. We are happy government thereof; and generally to have it in our power now to state
to take such measures as they may that the plan has been materially deem necessary to its prosperity; enlarged. In a Special General provided, that such rules and reguConvention of the Protestant Epis- lations, and course of study, and copal Church which was held at measures be not repugnant to the Philadelphia, in the month of Octo constitution and canons of the ber 1821, it was resolved to unite church, and to the course of study the General Theological Seminary for candidates for orders which is of the Protestant Episcopal Church or may be established by the house in the United States of America, of bishops. The bishops in their heretofore established by the Con- individual and collective capacity, vention with the Seminary at New
shall be visitors of the seminary, York; and the following constitu
and see that the course of instruc. tion was unanimously agreed upon.
tion and discipline be conducted
agreeably to the foregoing proConstitution of the General Theolo vision. The trustees shall make re.
gical Seminary of the Protestant port to every general convention of Episcopal Church in the United their proceedings, and of the state of States of America.
the seminary. I. The Theological Seminary of
III. The board of trustees shall the Protestant Episcopal church in be permanently constituted as folthe United States of America, shall lows:
The bishops of the church be permanently established in the shall be ex-officio members of the state of New York. The trustees board. Every diocese shall be en. of the said seminary sball have titled to one trustee, and one ad. power, from time to time, to esta tional trustee for every eight clergyblish one or more branch schools in men in the same; and to one adthe state of New York, or elsewhere, ditional trustee for every two thouto be under the superintendance and sand dollars of monies in any way control of the said trustees,
given or contributed in the same to