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him, and had renounced idolatry, "gave their subjects the li

berty of as much idolatry as they pleafed. As they saw the • Bishop one day performing divine service, and giving the

facrament to the people, they asked him why he would not

give theni fome of that fine bread which their father used to • receive from him, and which he then distributed among the • people? Mellitus told them," that if they would be bap u tized, as their father' was, they might partake of the fame u holy bread; but if they flighted that initiating facrament, “ he could not admit them to the privilege of the other." « They said, “ they had no need of baptifim, and, therefore, 66 would not be obliged to that ceremony," and, neverthe « less, infifted on the consecrated bread. Being still denied by

the Bishop, they were much enraged ; and telling him, " if “ he would not gratify them in so easy a matter, he should “ stay no longer in their dominions," ordered him immedi• ately to be gone.

Mellitus, the good Bishop of London, and Juftus, BiThop of Rochester, after a consultation with the Archbishop, immediately withdrew, and got over to France, as soon as they could; • leaving the English Renegadoes to their • former Paganism.'-Lawrence, however, the Archbishop, who had succeeded Austin, had, 'we find,

a little more cou• rage and resolution, tho' not so much as his character, and « his caufe required; for tho' he staid behind them, it is true,

yet'having been determined to follow them, it seems, only • that he might prepare the better for his departure. The • night before he intended to withdraw, he took leave of his church after a very new and surprizing manner. He caused

his bed to be brought into the cathedral, and laid himself • down to sleep, intending to take up his lodgings in it for • that night. But St. Peter, fays Bedé, appeared to him ;

and having reproached him for his cowardice; fo fcourged + the shoulders of the Archbishop, as to leave the marks of

his lashes upon his Grace's body. The next day, says the ' fame historian, Lawrence went to the King, with an ac

count of this miracle ; and having fhewed him what he had < suffered, in the preceding night in his cathedral, the King ' was fo wrought upon, that he presently changed his faith • and morals, and became, at once, a Chriftian, and a new

It must be observed, that the conversion of our Engliih ancestors happened at a time when learning run very low; and when a general credulity, and want of thought, gave opportunity to the Ecclefiaftics, of coining their fables,

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« and obtruding them upon the world for facts. If there was • any truth in this ftory, that the Prelate had a scourging in

the cathedral, it was a stratagem, no doubt, concerted be

tween him and one of his Monks, and whose name too, "might be Peter, in order to practise on the King's credulity,

and to see what effect a miracle would have upon him. The Archbishop might have zeal enough to undergo this penance, and might think too, as I believe the Reader will, that for the delign of quitting his station, he deserved it; and tho it was å fallacy lixtended to impose upon King Ead

bald, yet they were common in those days among good men, o when the end of them was, as in this cale, to promote the • Christian interest. A man must be wilfully blind not to see

this, and abominably partial not to own it. Thus far, how

ever, is certain, that the artifice fucceeded; all historian's ' agree, that the King renounced his idolatry, and incestuous s marriage, and turning Christian, gave a check to the growth . of Paganism, and lent new zeal and courage to the despairing Primate, and new life to the Chriftian cause

The English Church had all this time been confined to the Kingdom of Kent; but it was now beginning to extend

its pale beyond the Humber, by a marriage between Edwin 6 and Ethelburyno' --Edwin was King of Northumberland, the most powerful, at that time, of all the English Kingss and Ethelburga was the daughter of Eadbald, King of Kent. The circumstances of this marriage, the articles upon which it was conėluded, and the consequences of which it was productive, are lo similar to what happened in the cafe of Ethelbert and Bertha, that we pass them over, giving place only to the following circumstance. • After weighing the

matter well, and being fully sati fied of the truth of the .. Christian doctrine, Edwin declared his readiness to embrace • it. Bede, according to his custom of making miracles, has

given us a long story of a vision, that the King had formerly seen in the garden of Redowald, where he was concealed

from his enemies; in which success and prosperity were pro• miled him, on condition, that when these things were ac

complished, and he was reminded of it, by the token of a • hand being laid upon his head, he hould resign himself to " that person's conduct, and perform what he required. Now

Paulinus,' who had been confecrated a Bishop in the year 625, when he went into Northumberland, to attend the Queen, perceiving, savs the fame historian, that the King • deferred declaring himielf a Christian, that he was Jebating + the matter within himfelf, without being able to come to a Rev. Dec. 1756.


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• resolution, and having had the circumstances of the vision • revealed to him, he came up to his Majesty one day, as he

was sitting alone, in a thinking posture, and laying his hand upon the King's head, asked him whether he understood the meaning of that token? The King being sensibly surprized at the question, and recollecting the divine oracle, would

have prostrated himself at the Bishop's feet: but Paulinus * preventing him, put him in mind, with an air of some au

thority, that Gnce God had rescued him from his, enemies, ' and made him a great King, it was his duty now to make 'good his promile; and that this was to be done by submit

ting to the institution, and obeying the commands of that • sovereign Being, that had done so great things for him alrea

dy. Upon bearing this, it is said, that Edwin told the Bithop, he was now fully satisfied, and ready to receive the Chriftian Faith.'

And altho’Edwin, after having declared for Christianity, proved unfortunate in his undertakings, and was killed in battle, by Penda, King of the Mercians, and Cedwalla; a

King of the Britons, who routed his whole army, over-run

his dominions with their forces, spared neither sex nor age, ' and shewed no more regard to the Christians than the pagan

English ;' yet, by the power and influence of converted Kings, and intermarriages, as above, betwixt the converted and unconverted, and the preaching of the Gospel by the above Missionaries of Rome, and by those who came upon invitation, from the Scotch and Irish Churches, the Saxons, whom we may now call English, were, at last, generally reconciled to Chriftianity. • But there was a great inconve“nience in planting the Gospel in several parts of England,

by men of different Churches, and so, of course, of differ.

ent usages and rites. The case of the kingdom of Kent, ! which owed its Christianity to the Missionaries of Rome,

and received the usages of that Church, was the case of the West-Saxons, converted by Birinus and Agilbert, and, in

a great measure, of the East-Angles, who had received • their religion from Felix, a Burgundian Bishop, assisted by « Furseus an Irish Monk. But all the other parts of England < subdued by the Saxons, containing, in a manner, the whole • tract of ground, from the Friths of Edinburgh to the - Thames, as they were generally brought to the Christian • Faith, by the labours of the Scottish or Irith Clergy, or "luch English as had the advantage of an education under ' them, so they generally followed the usages of the Scotch 4 and British Churches.' Toconciliate, therefore, thote op 8


posite ministries, and to introduce an uniformity of worship, sentiment, and behaviour, Ofwy, the zealous Northuin• brian King, to whom all the Saxon Monarchs, except the • King of Kent,' (whose daughter he had married) were tributary, appointed a fynod, or conference, between the contending parties, to be held at the monastery of Whitby, in the county of York. Here the Scotch party, in defence of their institutions, appealed to the authority of St. John and Columba : but the Romanists afcribing their's to St. Peter, to whom the keys of the gates of Heaven were given by our Lord; the King thus decided the controversy.

6 I have “ no intention to contradict the Porter of Heaven, but, ac“ 'cording to my knowlege and power, I will beg his ordi

nances in all things, for fear, when I come to Heaven

gates, and he who keeps the doors be displeased with me, " there be

one to open them, and let me in.” Not long after, Deus-dedit, Archbishop of Canterbury, dying, Egbert, King of Kent; consulted his relation Ofwy, about filling up the See. By common consent they elected one Wignard, an Englishman, and sent him to Rome, to be consecrated. But Wighard dying at Rome, Pope Vitalian eagerly catched at this incident; and, without fending to England, to give the • Kings an opportunity of appointing, or fo much as approv

ing a fucceffor to Wighard,' substituted in his place, one Theodore, a native of Tarsus in Cicilia, who, to put the last hand to the union of the English Churches, ingratiated him• self fo much with the Princes of the Heptarchy, that not

withstanding the death of his friends, the King of Kent, • and Ofwy, King of Northumberland, whose son Alfred

too was lost to him, by being deposed, he got them to agree • to a synod, in 673, at Heradford, according to Camden,

a place in Hertfordshire, probably that which is now the • capital town in that county. Here he himself presided; and, in this fynod, we have the first view of a National

English Church under one common Metropolitan. Thus far the second book.

Having thus, in analysing the two former books of this judicious Historian, accompanied him, in some measure, through thofe by-paths, and labyrinths, through which he was obliged to force his way, before he could put us in a situation to command the prospect,---it now remains, that we select some of the principal objects, for the entertainment of our Readers. ::The contents theň of his third book will, on such a plan, appear in some such miscellaneous form as this. The secu• Jär pomp, and way of living, of Wilfrid, Bishop of York,

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his riches, and abbies, the magnificence of his houses, and

the great multitude of his followers, cloathed and armed < like the train of Princes, these, we are told, drew upon him

the enmity of the King and Queen, They are reasons enough to awake the jealousy of a Prince, and, in some measure, excuse his violence: for when a Churchman so far forgets his proper character, as to endeavour to equal the pomp and state of Kings, it is not so blameable in Kings, if they should forget it too, and treat him like another man.

I have omitted the accounts of an infinite number of people of fashion, of both sexes, the daughters of Kings especi

ally, who secluded themselves from the world, and took the • habit of the Religious.- Queen Etheldreda, who was pof« feffed with the Enthusiasm so much in fafhion, and who was

struck with the appearance of such transcendent humility, in deferting a crown to become a Nun, had avowed her inclination to quit the court, and to retire. She set her heart at last, it seems, so much on chastity and retirement, and so steddily refused the embraces of the King her husband, that his right, his authority, his perfuafions, and the injury done him in exposing him to temptations, made no imprelsions upon her; but, without her husband's confent, the withdrew into a monastery.—About the same time Sebbi, King of the East-Saxons, grew weary of the parade and fan tigue of a crown; and, according to the prevailing humour

of the age, threw off the purple, and turned Monki No ¢ wonder, therefore, that he should be spoke of by the hifto

rians, as a Prince of extraordinary charity and devotion":

and among such a multitude of females of royal birth, who « left the blandishments of a court, for a life of retirement,

and meditation, it would be hard if we could not sprinkle the history, now and then, with royal Saints of our own sex, who had as much contempt for the world, and as much zeal for monkery as the Ladies. His Queen, it seems,

was not of a spirit quite so celestial as her husband, and < withstood his inclinations to retirement for some time; but

finding the could not bring him back again to the world, ' fhe, at last, consented to disengage him; and passing thro'

the necessary forms of a Religious, he received the habit < from the Bishop of London.

- Erconwald, Bishop of London, had been remarkable

from his infancy, for a grave and religious disposition; and 6

succeeding to this See, upon the death of Chad, became a

truly primitive Bishop, living up to every part of his in' {tructions. He enlarged the buildings, and augmented the


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