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Church in Latin, or even in Saxon. and all its abuses, the complete sucThe learned persons by whom Al- cess of papal usurpation, and even fred was subsequently surrounded, the errors and violences of the Rehad been educated in foreign coun- formation, might have been avoided tries. Grimbald, who taught at Ox. if Alfred's great design bad been ford, in France; Asserius at St. Da: carried into execution, in the spirit vid's, in Wales; and Johannes Eu. of its excellent author. jena, by birth a Scot or Irishman, For the restorer of Saxon indepen. at severalcontinental schools. These dence, and the founder of the Eng. and many others, were invited over Jish marine, was a sincere and pious to England by the munificence of Christian; and although his faith its king, and entrusted with the ge- was deformed by superstition and ig. neral superintendence of learning. norance, few crowned beads have But what more especially distin- been such consistent supporters of guished Alfred from his predeces- religion. As our acquaintance with sors, contemporaries, and followers, the state of religion during his reign, and even from many lovers of learn- is confined to what Asserius has reing, in a more enlightened age, was lated concerning Alfred, a more parhis endeavour to diffuse knowledge ticular notice of the facts which that over the great body of his people. historian has communicated, will He desired to communicate the ru- form a proper addition to the prediments of learning to the young sent sketch. Alfred's connexion with of all ranks; and commanded that the Pope is of an obscure and doubt no one should be taught any art or ful nature. There is no proof that science, until he could at least the power of Rome was exercised in read English. The knowledge of England during his long and glorious Latin, as secondary step, was reign. Nor, on the other hand, can also strongly recommended; and we discover any explicit assertion made indispensable to the acqui. the independence of the National sition of the King's favour, and to Church. Catholic writers lay great many of the most considerable of stress upon the circumstance of Altices about his court and person. fred having been taken to Rome by Learning was not locked up in uni. his father, when five years
of age, versities and monasteries ; though of and confirmed and anointed, (anointboth the King was a liberal patron. ed, as Asserius says in regem,) by Knowledge was not confined to a Pope Leo. But the most zealous privileged order, or to one profes- controversialist will not pretend to sion, though the nobles and the say, that Alfred was more than pas. clergy were expected to be better sive upon this occasion; and the informed than their fellow-country- anointing, wbich has been called men. The gate of virtue, of religion, an instance of the Pope's sagacity, and of happiness was thrown wide is also a pretty convincing demou. open, and all were invited to enter. stration of his fallibility; for the If we had no other proof of the reigns of Alfred's elder brothers
, genius of Alfred, its claims might intervened between his father's and rest securely upon this fact. It his own; and he possessed no kingly proves his immense superiority over power for twenty years after his sothose with whom he lived-his inti. lemn inauguration. The ceremony mate acquaintance with human na
was probably nothing more than a ture-his possession of a wisdom compliment to the King, who had which books and languages cannot travelled to Rome' to pay bis rebestow. The long night of darkness spects to the Pope, and who beby which his reign was followed, queathed an annual sum of three the re-establishment of monkery, bundred marks to be dispensed in
the following manner, viz, one hun. On points which relate more dred in purchasing oil to be burnt nearly to personal conduct, the at St. Peter's, in honour of that same observation does not apply. His Apostle; one hundred is paying the devotion and piety, which like that same respect to St. Paul; and one of the majority at the same period, hundred to the apostolical and uni- was unquestionable and fervent, was versal Pope. Civilities of the same also like that of the majority, distidescription, appear to have passed gured by ignorance.—Relics of saints between Alfred and the successors retained their sacred character, and it of the Apostles; one of whom, Pope was on them that Alfred required Marinus, remitted to the King a the conquered Danes to swear, when considerable portion of the true more particularly anxious that they
should keep their oath. His con. But in the restitution of religion versions were carried on at the point and learning, Alfred is not known of the sword; and when the into have communicated with the Pope. vaders of Britain could no longer The foreigners whom he collected resist his arms, they were compelled were brought from all countries, to embrace his religion. The length except Italy. There is nothing said and regular repetition of his daily about receiving archiepiscopal au. prayers, were calculated for a monk thority, or even archiepiscopal or- who had renounced the world, rapaments from Rome-there were no ther than for a sovereign, who was legates, no councils, in short, no toiling to amend it. His alms which marks of ecclesiastical domination or were bestowed with a liberality and supremacy. The monasteries which a discrimination that can never be Alfred founded were not filled with too highly praised, were preceded monks of one particular order; but or followed by the very unnecessary by a mixed and irregular society. In declaration, that they were given the time of his immediate success. for the good of his soul, and forthe. ors, the parochial clergy were allow- remission of his sins. In short the ed to marry, and it may be pre- private life of Alfred affords an insumed that the custom prevailed stance of what we may see even in when he mounted the throne, and this, or in any age, and of what in was not discountenanced during his a barbarous and uncivilized nation, reign. He had no exclusive attach- is all that we can generally expect ment to the monks, as his establish- to see--a man who lived very well, ment of the University of Oxford, though his principles were not sound and his plans for general education --a man whose sincere piety, and sufficiently prove. He continued long practised virtue, corrected the that opposition to image-worship by tendency of his erroneous tenets which the Church of England was of a man, to whom little had been already distinguished, and his copy given ; but who nevertheless did of the ten commandments which much. The temptations which he united the first and second after the was enabled to resist, the adversity fashion of Rome-made amends for and bodily suffering which he patithis inaccuracy by the addition of a ently bore; the moderation, the new and concluding precept against zeal, and the humility which he ma. adoring the works of man's hands. In nifested after his dominions were all these respects, and some of them secured, may prove what the Chrisare very important, the example tianity of those times could proof Alfred gave no encouragement duce in the hearts of its faithful disto the errors of a corrupted Chris- ciples. tianity. REMEMBRANCER, No. 46.
To the Editor of the Remembrancer. they may think essential to the be
lief and acceptation of those whom SIR,
they undertake to instruct. The The following paragraph appeared Churchiat, if he is a true friend to in a Newspaper * published in the the establishment to wlrich he probeginning of the month of January fesses to belong, cannot consider last.
any article of his Creed of such “ London Missionary Society- subordinate importance, as that it Tuesday evening a numerous meet- may be conceded to thie claims of ing of Ladies and Gentlemen of dif- His dissenting brethren: he cannot ferent religious denominations, took abandon the doctrine of his Saviplace at the Freemasons' Taveri, our's divinity and atonement, in Great Queen-Street, Lincoln's Inn compliment to the Socinian or Arian: Fields. Sir George Keith, Bart. neither can be consider the governwas tinanimously called to the chair, ment of his Church by Bishops
, who, after a preparatory prayer had Priests, and Deacons, lawfully or. been read by the Rev. Mr. Churchill, dained, as a matter so indifferent
, addressed the meetitig at some length, that self-appointed teachers may describing the happy results likely to allowably intrude themselves into arise from the present institution, the Christian ministry; nor think which had for its object the evan- that the solemn duty of a religious gelising of the poor inhabitants of instructor may be usurped by any London and its vicinity. Resolu- ignorant enthusiast or fanatic
. tions were agreed to, iti unison with those, on the other band, who dis. the objects of the Society."
sent from the Church, will be Tlie members of the Society, who equally tenacious of their own péctwere assembled on this occasion, liar opinions, and anxious to imhad, doubtless, in viett, the spiritual press them earnestly upon the minds improvement of the poorer classes of their disciples. Unanimity canof the immense population of Loti- not subsist between persons of disdou and its vicinity. And this is cordant principles. There has hardly surely in itself a laudable object, been any association, foanded on worthy of beitig prosecuted with all such principles, which has nól, in the zeal that is consistent witli a
fact and experience, found its desound discretion. It is indeed de- sigås frustrated. It is not therefore voutly to be wished that the spirit of to be expected, in this case, that pare and undefiled religion were in- the work of “evangelising the itfused into the mass of this popu- habitants of London and its
vicinits," lation, for the prevention of crime, should prosper in the hands of perfor tlie security of society, and the sons “ of different religious dénolionour of our common Christianity. minations." But it may reasonably be doubted
But, beside the improbability of whether this desirable purpose is any society, so constituted, uniting likely to be effectually attained by cordially and effectually in the prothe union of persons " of different secution of such a scheme, it proreligious denominations.” It is ob- ceeds upon the extraordinary as. vious that those who profess dif- sumption, that “the poor inhabiferent religious sentiments, cannot tants” of the Metropolis and its cordially unite in any one common neighbourhood have not the Gospel system of faith ; and that they niust preached to them. A project of be at variance as to what articles this kind must appear extraordinary been made in the places referred to, youred laud, should not be duly for the propagation of the saving sensible of these their inestimable truths of the Gospel among all orders privileges, and uniformly “walk as of men; how numerous are the children of the light:" that the conChurches, and increasing in num. duct of men, in any station in this ber, in which those truths are preach- Christian country, should suggest ed, by men duly appointed, and the necessity of their being con
and unnecessary, when it is con* Gen. Evep. Post. Jan. 8 to 10, 1822. sidered what effectual provision bas
every way competent to their holy sidered as a people to whom the -function; what pains are taken that saving truths of the Gospel arc ab. the Churches should be opened, and solutely unknown, and as standing religious service performed, at vari- in need of yet being evangelised. ous hours, for the accommodation Devoutly is it to be wished, that all and convenience of the different who name the name of Christ, would classes; what facility of access to depart from iniquity, and by the the knowledge of the Gospel, wbich purity of their lives would so adorn is of such universal importance, is their Christian calling, that the sinafforded by every means to all; and cerity of it might never be called in how freely the sources of religious question: but if the persons alluded education are now laid open to the to should be induced, by the suschildren of the poor. In addition picions thrown out by this society, to that ample provision which is to look upon themselves as altogemade in our established Church ther upregenerate and unconverted, that the poor may have the Gospel and absolutely in the condition of constantly preached to thein, and heathens, and to suppose that their the care that is taken "jo London regular pastors withhold from them and its vicinity” particularly, that the truths of the Gospel; what by the cheapness of education they would the natural consequences be, may be enabled to understand it, but an increasing alienation, on it is well known, that various socie- their parts, from such unfaithful ties are formed there, and especially and incompetent teachers, the prethe Society for Promoting Christian valence of schism and religious disKnowledge, whose benevolentobject sention, and the danger of the exit is, to offer books of the soundest tinction of that evangelical light, religious instruction, at the cheap- which, by the divine mercy, does est rate, to the poor. When such with full splendour shine upon our means of religious information are country! The intrusion of selfknown to abound, and long have appointed teachers into the labours been, and now are, in full efficiency, of the regular Clergy, or of those so that no man in this country need who are sent by such Missionary be ignorant of what the Gospel re. Societies as have no other autho. quires him to believe and to do in rity to send labourers into the order to obtain everlasting salva- Lord's vineyard than such as they tion, it must appear strange that themselves assume, must have the any society should, at this day, re- effect, so far as it prevails, of ungard, and propose to treat even the binging our whole ecclesiastical poorest of its inhabitants as uncon- polity, of diminishing the usefulness verted, and in a state of heathenism. of lawful pastors, and detaching the For such must be the light in which people from their ministry. How they are regarded by those, who ineffectual their best endeavours are propose to " evangelise the poor often rendered, and how lightly that inhabitants of London and its vici- authority which they derive in regu. nity.” It is, indeed, greatly to be lar succession from the Apostles is lamented that they, or any who en- esteemed, is evident from the numjoy that full light of the Gospel, bers who, almost in every place, are which shines upon this highly fa tempted to withdraw from their
congregations by the officious inter for the promotion of Christian knowference of itinerant instructors: ledge, and for the propagation of and when this spirit of sectarism is the Gospel, send forth Missionaries abetted by the authority of Mis. in considerable numbers : but they sionary Societies, composed of per- are extremely careful to put them sons of rank and importance, who under the authority of Bishops, would persuade the people that wherever this is practicable abroad, they stand in need of being evan- or to retain them in subjection to gelised, though they have, or might the Episcopal authority at home; have, the Gospel constantly preach- and never think of interfering in ed to them, the evil must certainly places where Christianity has been be increasing. If the common peo- established for ages, and its ordi. ple do not, as alas! it is to be re- nances continue to be regularly adgretted that they do not pay that ministered, and its truths made serious attention that is due to the known, for the edification of all who incomparable service of the Estab- will attend to them. Well might lished Church, to its truly evan- the “ London Missionary Society" gelical Liturgy, to the truths of the copy the example of these useful Gospel which are contained in, and Societies, act under their auspices, promulged as well by it, as by the dis- and unite its benevolent endeavours courses which follow it; every means with theirs: it would then carefully indeed that is consistent with sound abstain from any insinuations wbich discretion should be adopted to re- might make “ the poor inhabitants vive in them such attention, and to of London and its vicinity” fancy attach them to that provision which themselves destitute of evangelical is made for their advancement in truth, or instil into them dissatistrue religion : but the greatest care faction with their appointed teachshould be taken, in all public asso- When once they are infected ciations especially, not to insinuate with this spirit, and have the couninto the minds of those who are tenance and authority of public perhaps incapable of forming a meetings for undervaluing the ordiriglit judgment in such matters, pances of the Established Church, that the religious institutions of their they will naturally become seceders country are inefficacious, and not from it: and whether, as they with. adapted to convey to them the saving draw from the Church, they are knowledge of the Gospel.
more likely to approach to what is Missionary Societies are justly truly evangelical in principles, haand laudably employed in selecting, bits, and manners, let the discerning and assisting to maintain, fit persons, reader judge. lawfully ordained for the work of
I am, Sir, the ministry, and sending them into
Respectfully yours, foreign countries, where numbers
W. X. Y. yet remain to be converted to Christianity. Yet even so, should they not act independently, or under any to the Editor of the Remembrancer. usurped authority ; but be placed, wherever it is possible, under a regu
Sir, lar ecclesiastical control. Experi- In the complete absence of any ence has sufficiently shewn the mis- commentary on the Scriptures by an chiefs arising from those who will English orthodox writer *, at all not submit to regular restraint, nor to the authority of their ecclesiasti
* The work of Elsley is no exception, cal superiors, where they have been
or though it may well answer the purpose lawfully constituted. The two great of the College student in preparing for an Societies which have been formed examipation, where Divinity is only ope