« ForrigeFortsett »
feet of the Priests, presenting his son, whose distress was visible, and needed no words to express it. All were grieved, but especially the Priests, who put up their prayers for him before ihe throne of mercy; and Germanus, causing the youth to sit down, gently passed his healing hand over the leg which was contracted ; the limb recovered its strength and soundness by the power of his touch, the withered nerves were restored, and the youth was, in the presence of all the people, delivered whole to his father.”
“And had this miracle any effect in converting the people from their error ?" asked Edward.
“ Yes; Bede proceeds to tell us," continued Mr. Trevilly, “that the multitude was amazed at the miracle, and the Catholic faith was firmly planted in the miuds of all. The spreaders of the heresy were expelled the island, and the faith in those parts continued long after pure and untainted."*
“ Did S. Germain return to the Continent, as soon as he had brought back the people to the true faith again ?" asked Charles.
“ Not until he had accomplished some other good works, for the good of the British Church,” said Mr. Trevilly.
“What were these, sir ?" asked Charles.
“ The most important was, his inducing the Britons to found monasteries, which were the only schools of learning in those days. In accomplishing this object, the two Christian teachers who I told you came with him on his second visit, Dubricius and Iltutus, were of the greatest service. Dubricius was elected Bishop of Llandaff.t Iltutus had a college of pupils, at a place called from him Llanyltad or S. Iltad, in Glamorganshire. Another famous place of education was founded by S. Germain in North Wales, called the Monastery of Bangor-Iscoed, near Malpas and Wrexham. Open the Atlas, Charles, and see if you can find these places."
“ Here they are, sir,” exclaimed Charles, after just casting his eye over the map of North Wales. They are situated on the river Dee, not very far from Chester ; but Bangor appears to be a long way off in the map, sir, in Caernarvonshire, close to the Menai Straits.”
“Yes; there are two Bangors," said Mr. Trevilly; "the one you have pointed out in Caernarvonshire, is the see of a Bishop, and was formerly called Bangor Vaur, or the Great Bangor.”
“ Was S. Germain the first person who ever founded a monastery?” asked Edward.
“ No; the monastic system had its origin in the East," replied Mr. Trevilly," and is said by some writers to have been brought into the West by the great S. Athanasius. S. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, and S. Martin, Bishop of Tours, lived at this time, and
* Bede's Eccles. Hist., b. 1, c. 21.
+ Bishop Stillingfleet is of opinion that Dubricius was made Archbishop over all the Britons in these parts. --See Stilling. Antiq. British Churches.
both very zealously promoted the building of monasteries in Italy and France."
“Was the monastery at Bangor a large one, sir ? asked Edward.
“Why yes,” replied Mr. Trevilly, “if the accounts which have come to us about it are correct; it must, one would think, have been what Speed says it was, the first monastery in the world, The monks are said to have been divided into seven companies, each consisting of no less than three hundred persons. They lived all by their hand labour, and had their different rulers, all probably acting under one acknowledged head."*
“What a monster monastery,” exclaimed Anderson—" times three hundred monks—two thousand one hundred! Do you really think there were so many, sir ?”
“All we can judge by,” replied Mr. Trevilly, “are the accounts which have come down to us. I have no doubt the number was very great, as we are told that at a later period, twelve hundred were put to death by Ethelfred, King of Northumberland.”
“What a bloodthirsty, wicked man he must have been," exclaimed Edward ; “ but what led to such a deed, sir ?”
“We must not anticipate events,” said Mr. Trevilly; "I will allude to it again in its proper place, and you may then see what led on the heathen prince to commit this dreadful massacre.”
“ If you please, sir,” said Collings, “ I wish to ask you a ques. tion about this vast number of monks all living together?” “Well, what is your question, Collings ?”
Why, I want to know, sir, why so many men shut them. selves up in a monastery, and what use they were, and what good they did ?”
“You have asked three questions,” said Mr. Trevilly; “however, I will answer them as well and briefly as I can.
The reason why they retired from the world was, that they might escape from its distractions, and spend a greater portion of their time in prayer, fasting, and spiritual exercises. And this partly answers your other questions; for of course, if they were sanctifying their own souls, and praying for their brethren in the world, they were of much use, and did much good. But other most important benefits resulted from the foundation of these religious houses. They were the rallying points and fortifications, as it were, of Christianity in turbulent and semi-barbarous times; where persecuted Christians might Ay for protection and consolation, and where the weary traveller might find a lodging, and the destitute poor a hospitable board. They were also schools and seminaries of sound and useful learning. The clergy were therefore generally selected by the bishops, from those who had been educated in these houses. Above all, within their walls was preserved inviolate the Word of
* Bede, Eçc. Hist.. B. ii. c.ü.
God; so that, humanly speaking, we are indebted to them for the Holy Bible, which it is our privilege, as English Churchmen, to possess, and which the Church teaches us to pray, that we may have grace so to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest, that by patience and comfort of God's Holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life given us in Jesus Christ."
“ Are there any monasteries now, sir ?" asked Edward.
“ Not in connection with the Church of England,” replied Mr. Trevilly.
“ Don't you think it would be a good thing if there were, sir,” said Edward; “ as they seem to have done so much good in former days ?”
“ Yes,” said Mr. Trevilly, "I think it might be of use if there were to be some asylum provided for those who desire to seclude themselves froin the snares and temptations of the world, and pass their lives in religious retirement and works of charity. I agree with Archbishop Leighton in this respect, who said he ihought that the great and fatal error of the Reformation was, that more of those houses and of that course of life was not preserved; so that the Reformed Churches bad neither places of education, nor retreat for men of mortified tempers.' Wordsworth, speaking of the inhabitants of these ancient holy homes, writes,
• How beautiful your presence, how benign,
“And what became of the good S. Germain, sir ? did he remain in England, and become the head of the great monastery of Bangor ?” asked Edward,
“No," replied Mr. Trevilly; "he returned to Gaul after he had fulfilled the object of his mission to England, and died on a visit 10 Italy, A.D. 448. His memory is still preserved in the name of Llanarman, S. Germain's, in Denbighshire."
“There is a town called S. Germain's in Cornwall also," said Charles. " Is that also in commemoration of S. Germain ?"
“Yes," said Mr. Trevilly; "and this little town was for a short time, under the Saxons, made a Bishop's see.”
“ The Saxons, were they Christians ?” exclaimed Edward. “I thought they were united with the Picts and the heathen army, which was overthrown by the Britons under S. Germain." " They were heathen at that time," said Mr. Trevilly," but were
* See Middleton's Life of Archbishop Leighton, p. 24, ed. 1819.
afterwards converted. However, we shall not at present have time to enter on the history of their conversion.
We must leave that, and the circumstances connected with it, for our next conversation."
G. R. P,
“THE CHURCH OF GOD."
Acts xx. 28.
YES! I have loved thee, Holy Church of God!
Heaven's perfect citizen, with thrilling awe,
Yes! I have loved thee, Holy Church of God!
Yes! I have loved thee, and will love thee still !
Yes! I have loved thee! and within thy courts,
Yes! I will love thee! and if e'er the soul