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"the fruits and effects which resulted from them. "The fruits and effects were striking,-such precisely as that zeal is calculated to produce, which "is blessed by the approbation of Heaven. A people, hitherto rude, savage, barbarous and immoral, was changed into a nation mild, benevolent, "humane and holy: Every thing,' says Collier, ""brightened, as if nature had been melted down "and recoined."
With these accounts of the conversion of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors, an English reader must be pleased. In eighty-two years from the arrival of St. Augustine, this mild, holy and beneficent religion, which he preached, was spread in every part of Anglo-Saxon England.
In the course of time the Anglo-Saxons themselves became missionaries; and, with the same edifying zeal and prudence which had distinguished their first apostles, carried the faith of Christ into many foreign nations, then involved in idolatry. In less than a century from the death of St. Augustine, the converts made by him preached the faith of Christ on the banks of the Oder, the Rhine and the Danube. St. Wilfrid preached the gospel in Friesland; St. Willibrod to the Frisons; St. Boniface to the central and southern Germans, St. Willihad to the northern; his disciples to the Danes ; St. Sigifred to the Swedes; and Haco, the king of Norway, was assisted by Anglo-Saxon missionaries in the conversion of his subjects. Many of these apostolical men suffered martyrdom in the exercise of their religious labours. In all these missions the'
preacher was either originally sent, or subsequently invested with missionary powers, by the see of Rome*.
An account of the literature and arts of the Anglo-Saxons is foreign to these pages: I invite all the readers of these letters to a perusal of what is said on this pleasing subject by doctor Lingard. They will acknowledge, that a much greater progress than could have been expected was made by the Anglo-Saxons in the sublimest sciences; in many useful and ornamental arts; and in almost every other pursuit that has a tendency to increase the well-being of mankind †.
Conformity of the Religion preached to the Anglo-Saxons, to that now taught by the Roman-catholic Church.
THE religion of a nation may be divided into its creed, its ceremonial, and its morality.
1. The Apostles' creed was taught by the AngloSaxons as it is now taught to us. How large a proportion of the articles of their and our faith are contained in this venerable document! The doctrines of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors, respecting the supremacy of the pope; the real presence of Christ in the eucharist; the seven sacraments; the invo
* See doctor Lingard's Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church, c. 13.
† Ibid. c. 10. I have the greater pleasure in referring to doctor Lingard and Mr. Sharon Turner's works, on account of the authorities with which they always favour us.
cation of the Virgin Mary, and the other saints; and prayers for the dead, were the same as ours. Without entering upon any exposition or discussion of their creed, we beg leave to refer our readers to what has been written on this subject by doctor Lingard, in his Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church, and by Mr. Manning, in his "England's "Conversion and Reformation compared †.
2. To the former of these authors we refer for indisputable proof, that there was no important difference between the religious ceremonial of the Anglo-Saxons, and that which now prevails in the roman-catholic church; and that, in points comparatively indifferent, there is as little variation between them, as might be expected from the natural change of every thing, that is of human institution, or of human management. Most protestants, (but too often in criminatory language), admit this fact. "What," says doctor Humphreys ‡, "did Gregory and Augustine bring into England? Purgatory, the offering of the wholesome sacrifice, prayers for the dead, relics, transubstantiation, &c. and the rest of the confused heap of popish superstitions."
* See doctor Lingard's Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church, c. 6, 7, 8, 9.
+ Second Dialogue, s. 7, 8, 9.
Jesuitismi, page 2.— -Citations of passages to the same effect from writings of eminent protestant divines might easily be multiplied. Many are collected by father Persons in his "Three Conversions of England," part the 1st, c. 9, 10; and in Brerely's" Protestants Apology for the Roman Church," Tract 2, s. 1.
3. The morality, which the apostolic missionaries taught their Anglo-Saxon flocks, was that of the gospel. I ask every candid protestant whether this does not incontestibly appear from the writings of the venerable Bede? May I not confidently call upon all, who are conversant with those valuable pages, to inform me whether the gospel inculcates a single duty, or recommends a single practice, which does not appear to have been taught and recommended by the apostles of the Anglo-Saxons, and their successors?
Much of what is said in the chapter of "the "Book of the Church," which now engages our attention, respecting the conversion of the AngloSaxons by St. Augustine, will be read by every roman-catholic with pleasure; the following passage will be read by them with surprise and concern. You mention a vision, related to have been seen by Laurentius, one of the missionaries: "This," you affirm, "must be either miracle, fraud, or fable. Many such there are in the history of the Anglo"Saxon, as of every Romish church; and it must "be remembered, that, when such stories are mere
fables, they have, for the most part, been feigned "with the intent of serving the interests of the "Romish church, and promulgated, not as fiction, "but as falsehood, with a fraudulent mind. The
legend which is here related, is probably a wonder "of the second class. The clergy of that age
thought it allowable to practise upon the igno"rance and credulity of a barbarous people, if by "such means they might bring forward the work
"of their conversion, or induce them, when con"verted, to lead a more religious life. Whether they thought thus or not, it is certain that thus they acted; and it is not less certain, that a system "which admitted of pious fraud, opened a way "for the most impious abuses." In the next chapter you say, "the missionaries were little "scrupulous concerning the measures which they employed, because they were persuaded that any measures were justifiable if they conduced to "bring about the good end, which was their aim."
Here we particularly lament your avowed plan of withholding from your readers, your authorities for your assertions. To support the charge which, in the passage I have cited, you make against the Anglo-Saxon clergy, it was incumbent upon you to bring authentic evidence to prove their having published or practised fictions in the manner you have described; to produce instances of it so numerous, as must justly fix the guilt on the general body of the Anglo-Saxon clergy; and to show that they acted on these occasions, not in consequence of the general weakness, or pravity of human nature, but under the impulse or sanction of their church or her doctrines.
NOTHING OF THIS KIND HAVE YOU BROUGHT FORWARD: all therefore that you say is mere accusation. To oppose, however, what you say, I shall transcribe a passage from one of the "Letters of "the late Mr. Alban Butler to Mr. Archibald "Bower," the author of "the History of the