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her living head. The reigning powers, both in the east and the west, were overgrown with false worship: even those parts of the west, which as yet were not disposed to receive idolatry, were deeply prepared for the gradual admislion of it, partly by the growing of superstition, and partly by the submission of all the European Churches to the domination of the Roman See. There the seat of Antichrist was firmly fixed. Rebellion against the lawful power of the magistrate, the most arrogant claims to infallibility, and the support of imageworship, conspired with the temporal dominion lately obtained by the bishop of Rome, to render him the tyrant of the Church. His dominions, indeed, were not large; but, in conjunction with the proud pretensions of his ecclesiastical character, they gave him a superlative dignity in the eyes of all Europe. It was evident, that the face of the A.D. whole Church was altered: from the year 727, to 727. about the year 2000, we have the dominion of the Beaft*; and the prophesying of the witnesses in fackcloth, which was to continue 1260 days, or forty and two months, that is, for 1260 years. We must now look for the real Church, either, in diftinct individual faints, who, in the midst of popery, were preserved by effectual grace in vital union with the Son of God, or, in associations of true Christians, formed in different regions, which were in a state of persecution and much affliction. Where then was the Church in the eighth century? She still subsisted; and the opposition made to idolatry by Charles and the council of Frankfort, demonstrates her existence. Nothing but the inAuence of principles very opposite to those which were fathionable at Rcme can account for such events, at a time when the dignity of the Roman

See * Rev. xi. and xiii,

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See was held in universal veneration. After all, it is in the propagation of the Gospel among the pagans, that the real Church is chiefly to be feen in this century. Some real work of this kind was carrying on, while the popedom was forming; and, by the adorable Providence of God, pious missionaries, who entered not into the recent controversies, but were engaged in actions purely spiritual, were patronized and supported in preaching Chrift among foreign nations, by the same popes of Rome, who were opposing his grace in their own*. Their ambition led them to cherish the zeal of the milfionaries, but with how different a spirit! To this scene let us now direct our attention.

• Should any persons startle, that I call image-worship by na better name than idolatry, and rank pagan and papal practices in the same class, I would refer such to the censure of St. Paul on the Galatians, iv. 8, 9. Idolatry being with them merely mental, originated in a self-righteous principle, and the Apostle looks on them as worshippers of false gods, and informs them that they were returning again to bondage. How much more juftly may image-worship be called “ the doing service to them which by nature are no gods," where the idolatry is both men, tal and external!

С НА Р.

CHA P. IV.

THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL IN THIS

CENTURY, INCLUDING THE LIFE OF BONIFACE, ARCHBISHOP OF MENTZ.

aries, continued to labour with success in the conversion of the Frisons. His episcopal seat was, as we have seent, at Utrecht; for fifty years he preached, founded churches and monasteries, and appointed new bishops. The consequence of his labours was, that great numbers of pagans were received into the pale of the Church.

The $ great light of Germany in this century was an Englishman named Winfrid, born at Kirton in Devonshire, about the year 680. He was brought up in the monaftic life from infancy. His residence was in the monastery of Nutcell, in the diocese of Winchester, which was afterwards destroyed by the Danes, and was never rebuilt. Here he was made acquainted with the sacred and fecular learning of the times. At the

At the age of

30, he was ordained priest, on the recommendation of his abbot, and laboured with much zeal in preaching the word of God. His spirit was ardent, and he longed to be employed as a missionary in the conversion of pagans. The example of a number of pious persons of his own country might, no doubt, have great influence with him ; for we

have

• Fleury, fifth Vol. XLI. 1.
+ See page 125 of this volume.
1 Fleury XLI. 35, &c. Alban Butler, Vol. 6.

1

have seen already, that the zeal of spreading the

Gospel was peculiarly strong in the British isles. A.D. He went over with two monks into Friezeland 716. about the year 716. He proceeded to Utrecht,

“ to WATER, where Willibrod had PLANTED;' but finding that circumstances rendered it impracticable at present to preach the Gospel there, he returned into England, with his companions, to his monastery.

On the death of the abbot of Nutcell, the society would have elected Winfrid in his room ; but the monk, steady to his purpose, refused to accept the Presidency; and, with recommendatory letters from the bishop of Winchester, went to Rome, and presented himself to the pope, expressing a desire of being employed in the converfion of infidels. Gregory II. encouraged his zeal, and gave

him a commission of the most ample and unlimited nature in the year 719.

With this commiffion Winfrid went into Bavaria and Thuringia. In the first country he reformed the Churches, in the second he was successful in the conversion of infidels. Here also he observed, how true religion, where it had been planted, was almost destroyed by false teachers: fome pastors, indeed, were zealous for the service of God, but others were given up to scandalous vices: the English missionary beheld their state, and the ill effects of it on the people, with forrow; and laboured, with all his might, to recover them to true repentance.

It was with fincere delight, that he afterwards learned, that the door, which had been shut against his first attempts in Friezeland, was now opened for preaching the Gospel in that country. Ratbod, king of the Frisons, who had planted idolatry afresh among his subjects, was dead, and the ob

stacles

stacles were removed. Winfrid returned into Friezeland, and for three years cooperated with Willibrod. The pale of the Church was hence enlarged: churches were erected: many received the word of God; and idolatry was more and more subdued.

Willibrod, declining in strength through old age, chose Winfrid for his succeffour. I have before observed, that the duration of his pastoral labours, in his mission, was no less than fifty years. The example of this great and holy person had long before this stirred up others to labour in the best of causes. Soon after that, he, with eleven com- A.D. panions in 690, had begun to preach the Gospel 690. in Friezeland, two brothers of the English nation went over into the country of the ancient Saxons, in order to preach to the idolaters. They were both called Ewald. They arrived in this country A.D. about the year 694, and meeting with a certain 694. steward, desired him to conduct them to his lord. They were employed all the way in prayer, in singing psalms and hymns. The barbarians fearing left these men might draw their lord over to Christianity, murdered both the brothers; and thus, toward the close of the foregoing century, it pleased God to take to himself two persons who had devoted themselves to preach the Gospel of his Son among the heathen. The time of the more peculiar visitation of Germany was reserved for the age which we are now reviewing.

It must have been extremely delightful to Willibrod, to have met with a coadjutor so zealous and sincere as Winfrid. However, the latter declined the offer, because the pope had enjoined him to preach in the eastern parts of Germany; and he felt himself bound to perform his promise. It is not possible, indeed, to conceive such a man as

Gregory

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