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doctrines avowedly and earnestly taught by Gregory
and his followers were the doctrines of Grace; and
though no account of the faith of the Welsh monks

given us, there is great reason, on account of the
Pelagian leaven of our island, to fear it was not so
truly Christian as that of Gregory. That they were
uncharitable, appears incontestable from their ne-
glect of the Saxon pagans, and their obstinate refusal
to hearken to any advice on that head. And the
reader has already had a view of their manners, very
different from the flattering account of Galfridus.
The extent, however, of the British Church, before
the arrival of Augustine, was so inconfiderable,
that when Gregory planned the hierarchy for this
illand, it is probable he knew little of the very ex-
istence of such a Church. The fault of ambitious
encroachment must, therefore, be laid to Augustine.
Seduced he undoubtedly was, according to the
common superstition of the age, by an exceffive
zeal for uniformity. And that admirable method
of uniting zeal for establishments with a spirit
of toleration, which was discovered toward the
close of the last century, was as yet unknown. The
Britons had been independent, and they had a right
to continue fo; but I believe, from all appearances,
that Augustine wished them to form a connection
with the Romans from charitable views.

What could be the meaning of his wishing the Britons to baptize after the Roman manner ? This question has exercised the critical talents of authors. After all, as baptism by trinal immersion was then the Roman mode, this seems to give the most natural account of the circumstance.

The charge of Galfridus, in accusing the Romans of employing the pagans to murder the British, is too absurd to merit any serious notice. Augustine died long before it happened. Gregory himself


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was deceased before the controversies between Auguftine and Dinoth took place. He has been accused of extreme inconsistency, in being imperious toward heretics, and indulgent toward pagans* and Jews. But a more exact acquaintance with cases would enable men to form a better judgment. Gregory, like all real good men, was averse to use violent methods in profelyting; he knew that conversion, if fincere, must be voluntary. But when men once have been received into the Christian pale, the fame zeal, which laboured for their con• verfion, is ftudious for their uniform attachment to Chriftian fundamentals. It was no breach of charity in Gregory to attempt to hinder the promotion of a donatist in the Christian church in Africa, and such an attempt was very consistent with that charity which forbad the persecution of Jews.

On the whole, Gregory's conduct with respect to our ifland appears one of the most shining efforts of Christian charity. His miffionaries, in general, acted laudably; and the real establishment of Christianity was, under God, effected by their means. There was a stain of rivalry and jealousy, as we have seen, which appeared in their conduct; but they were men.


C H A P.



HIS great prelate, worn out at length with A.D. labours and diseases, slept in Jesus in the 604. year 604*, after he had enjoyed, shall I fay-or

endured his bishopric thirteen years and six months?
No man in any age ever gave himself up more sin-
cerely to the service of God, and the benefit of his
fellow-creatures. Power in him was a voluntary
fervitude, undertaken not for himself, but for all
the world. Even the growth of superstition, with
which he was strongly infected, while it fecured to
him the cheerful obedience of the laity, contributed
nothing to his ease or fecular emolument. The
belief of the roman bishop's succession to Peter,
which he found to be prevalent in Europe, was
accidentally strengthened by his eminent piety and
his laborious virtues. Had he even been disposed
to have extended his authority to much greater
lengths, all the world would have been prone to
submit to his decrees; fo firmly was the opinion
of his integrity established among men.
science, however, would not suffer him to carry any
thing farther than precedents had fanctioned ; and
who, especially in an age of superstitious creduli-
ty, could doubt the justice of his pretensions,
while the pre-eminence was so painful, so disinter-
ested, and so beneficially exerted ?

For I cannot persuade myself to call him Pope. He pretended not to any thing like infallibility, nor did he ever attempt any thing like a secular

domination * Fleury, Vol. IV, B. XXXVI. 51.

His con

domination. The seeds of Antichrist were vigorously shooting indeed; and the reputation of Gregory

doubtless contributed much to mature the poifonous plant. But idolatry, spiritual tyranny, and the doctrine of the merit of works, the three discriminating marks of the papacy, had, as yet, no settled establishment at Rome. Had this man lived in our age,

he would doubtless have beheld with astonishment, on the one hand the worldly spirit of many Christian pastors so called, and on the other the impiety of numerous infidels who are continually railing against the religious. His mind, naturally vigorous, industrious, and active, would doubtless have shaken off the gloom and credulity of superftition; but he would have been amazed to hear the pompous pretences to philosophy, in which every juvenile sciolift indulges bimself. He would have examined the fruits, and have been at a loss to conceive with what propriety the term philofopher could be applied to sceptics, blasphemers, atheists, levellers, and sensualists. He would, as a bishop, have tried what could be done to stem the torrent, and have exerted in the way of discipline, which was his peculiar talent, his usual address, mildness and relolution. He would have mourned over his beloved England*, if he had seen her so absurdly enslaved to ideas of mistaken liberty, as to spurn at decent rules of discipline, and to discountenance, as, tyranny, godly attempts to introduce and support them. He would have been ready to say,“this people are enemies to their own good :” he would have pitied them, wept, and consoled himself with his usual refuge, the views of a better world, and have done what good was still in his power, by the example of an holy life, by painful preaching, and by pious writings.

resuge, • The gratitude of Bede has (B. II. C. 1. Ecc. hift) led him to apply to Gregory the words of St. Paul in regard to the Corinthians. As an Englishman, who felt himtelf much obliged, he says, the seal of his apostleship are we in the Lord. The testimony of antiquity to Gregory's beneficent piety toward this island is uniform.

Of these last we have many ftill extant. He particularly excelled in devotional composition. Litanies had been used in the West before his time, in calamitous seasons, as the plague or famine. These were collected, and the choiceft parts selected from them, and compiled, through the care of Gregory, into one large litany, not much different from that used by the Church of England at this day. It was much corrupted afterwards in the popish times, was reformed by Hermannus, archbishop of Cologne, in the days of Luther, and afterwards improved by our Reformers.

But the Church of England is not only indebted to Gregory for the Litany. In his Sacramentary he embodied the collects of the antient Church, and improved old, or made new ones. Gelasius, before him, had appointed publick prayers composed by himself or others. These were all placed in the offices by Gregory. And by a comparison of our Book of Common Prayer with his Sacramentary it is evident, that almost all the collects for Sundays and the principal festivals in the Church of England were taken out of the latter. To me it appears to be an advantage, that our reformers followed antiquity fo much in the work. The purification of the antient services from the corrupt and idolatrous mixtures of popery was as strong an indication of their judgment as the composition of prayers altogether new could have been, which however they fcrupled not to introduce in various parts of the Liturgy. From the brief account I have given *, it appears, that the service of the Church is far

more * Nichols on B. of Com. Pray.

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