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people Christians there?" he then inquired. “ No, Pagans;" he was told. * Alas!” he said, “ how grievous is it, that faces fair as these should own subjection to the swarthy devil!” His next question was: “What do you call the tribe from which these young people spring ?" “ Angles ;" said the dealer. “ Ah! that is well :" the future Pope rejoined. “Angels they are in countenance, and coheirs of angels they ought to be. Wbere in Britain do their kindred live?" " In Deira,” was the reply. “Well again," Gregory said; “ it is our duty to deliver them from God's ire. Pray, who is king of the land so significantly named ?" “ Ella,” replied the merchant. “ Ab!” the pious enquirer added;" “ Allelujah must be sung in that man's country.” Fired by this occurrence, Gregory resolved upon undertaking personally a mission into Anglia. Nor did the Pope discourage his intention; but the Roman people would not allow their highly-valued fellow-citizen to enter upon a labour so remote and perilous. Thus Gregory is exhibited as bringing to the pontificate those benevolent intentions towards pagan Anglia, which were eventually realized under his direction. It is at least certain, that after bis elevation, he directed a priest named Candidus, manager of the papal patrimony in Gaul, to buy some English lads of seventeen or eighteen, for education as missionaries among their countrymen. This fact, probably, has brought Gregory bimself upon the scene, to contrast his dark Italian hue with the bright complexion of a northern clime, and to point a dialogue with verbal play.-Pp. 32, 33.
The missionaries from Rome, of whom Augustin was chief, were well received ; and soon after their arrival, the Bretwalda openly professed himself a convert to their faith; and his example, together with that of the queen, operated extensively upon the people. Under such patronage, Christianity proceeded rapidly among the natives, and Augustin having received a pall from Gregory, the usual mode of conferring the dignity of an archbishop, was ordered to establish twelve suffragan bishops, and to place an archbishop in the see of York. Death, however, soon afterwards removed Augustin, and he was succeeded by Laurentius, whom he had previously consecrated as his successor. Various success attended the gospel, and the Anglo-Saxon princes favoured or opposed it, as appeared most conducive to their temporal interests. For an account of its progress, we must refer our readers to Mr. Soames' history, which will amply repay the perusal. Struggles frequently occurred between the Roman party and the ancient British Christians, and it was not until the year 664. that the ancient usages of Britain were formally renounced. On this subject our author remarks
Probably this triumph of the Roman party involved little or no change in articles of belief. If we except prayers and offerings for the dead, we have indeed no sufficient evidence that papal peculiarities of doctrine were then established. Gregory the Great is known, from his epistles, to bave repudiated the authority since claimed for his see, and to have disapproved the adoration of images. His Sacramentary shews him to have earnestly desired of God that departed saints should pray for the faithful, but to have lived before Christians had fallen into a habit of invoking them. Of ceremonies he was a zealous patron; and upon the whole, undoubtedly, he bore no unimportant part in laying the foundations of Romanisin both in England and elsewhere. Still the system established under his auspices was widely different from that eventually sanctioned at Trent. Ritually the two were very much alike ; doctrinally very
far apart. The earliest Anglo-Saxon Christians, therefore, agreed essentially with their descendants since the Reformation, in all but services for the dead. Reasons assigned for these, are, however, so very far from satisfactory, that their discontinuance in the sixteenth century may fairly be considered, not only as allowable, but even as an exercise of sound discretion.-Pp. 63, 64.
Thus, we see, that although the usages of Rome prevailed over those of the Britons, yet the Pontiff did not exercise sovereign power over the Anglo-Saxon Church, but was merely regarded with superior reverence, as the successor of St. Peter in the see of Rome. The aggressive disposition of the papacy, however, frequently manifested itself; for in the year 669 Vitalian, being Pope, determined to try whether the Anglo-Saxons would receive an archbishop nominated by himself.
He chose evevtually Theodore, an able and learned monk of sixty-six, born at Tarsus, in Cilicia. As former nominations to Anglo-Saxon sees had been domestic, some doubt would naturally arise as to Theodore's reception; and after consecration, he spent several months in Gaul. The insular princes, however, wearied by the animosities of contending parties, only sought an umpire likely to command respect; hence they did not merely receive Theodore, but also they conceded to him that primacy over the whole Anglo-Saxon Churcb, vainly coveted by Augustin, and after his death apparently regarded as unattainable.-P. 67.
To this prelate, however, we are much indebted, as he is generally considered the parent of Anglo-Saxon literature. He also provided a national code of ecclesiastical jurisprudence, and thus allayed those feuds which had previously disturbed the peace of the Church. During the primacy of Theodore, Monothelite opinions being freely broached, he procured a meeting of the Anglo-Saxon Church at Hatfield in Hertfordshire.
This assembly solemnly received the first five General Councils, and a synod lately holden at Rome. Thus was the foundation laid of that sound discretion in treating questions above human comprehension, from which the Church of England never bas departed. Crude novelties respecting “the deep things of God," have invariably been irreconcilable with her communion.-P. 72. · To Theodore we are also indebted for a parochial Clergy.
Besides providing for his adopted country, an outline of ecclesiastical jurisprudence, and terms of religious conformity, Theodore appears to have been guided by an usage of his native Asia in planning the establishment of a parochial clergy. Under royal sanction, he followed Justinian in offering the patronage of churches as an encouragement for their erection. Opulent proprietors were thus tempted to supply the spiritual wants of their tenantry; and Bede records two instances in which this judicious policy proved effective. Theodore's oriental system had been, however, in operation for ages before every English estate of any magnitude had secured the benefit of a church within its boundary. This very lingering progress has thrown much obscurity around the origin of parishes. The principle of their formation will, however, account for their unequal sizes, and for existing rights of patronage. Pp. 74, 75.
Thus we can trace our ecclesiastical endowments to the middle of the seventh century. It was during this century that England legally became a christian commonwealth :
A legislative assembly, holden under Ina, king of the West Saxons, imposed fines upon parents neglecting the timely baptism of their infants, and upon labour on Sundays. It also gave the privilege of sanctuary to churches, made perjury before a bishop highly penal, placed episcopal and royal residences upon the same footing as to housebreakers, and recognized baptismal relationship by pecuniary satisfactions. About the same time Wihtred, king of Kent, in two meetings of his legislature, one holden at Bapchild, the other at Berghamstead, confirmed churches in all properties and immunities bestowed upon them; allowed a reto to the archbishop, on the election of bishops and
them the places for manumitting slaves and taking oaths; and fined the pro fanation of Sunday, idolatrous offerings, and the eating of flesh on fast days.
The laws of Ina record also England's earliest known enactment for supplying the exigencies of public worship, anciently provided for by oblations upon the altar. When whole communities became christian, such contributions would not only be precarious, but also often inost unfairly levied. Ina's legislature wisely, therefore, commuted voluntary offerings for a regular assessment upon houses. Every dwelling was to be valued at Christmas; and the rate so imposed, called Church-shot, was payable on the following Martinmas. Money being scarce, the payment was made in produce; usually in grain or seed, but sometimes in poultry. Defaulters were to be fined forty shillings, and to pay the church-shot twelvefold. This pious care of divine ministrations may be considered as the legal origin of church-rates. Thus earlier than almost any of English written laws, appears on record a legislative provision for the sacramental elements, and like demands of our holy profession. Of titles to property, unless royal or ecclesiastical, no one approaches even an era so remote. It is true, that Ina's laws were only legally binding within the limits of his own dominions; but probably such of them as bore upon religion, if not so confirmed already, were soon confirmed by the usage or express enactments of every petty principality around. Church-scot accordingly makes repeated appearances among the legislative acts of other Anglo-Saxon states; and even the latest of these is far earlier than any title to a private inheritance.
The sacred and inalienable right of God's ministers to maintenancepoverty's most important claim on opulence-appears not among the laws of Iva; an omission understood as evidence, that provision for the souls of men was already made ordinarily, and not unwillingly, by means of tithes. These had, indeed, been rendered in every age, and under every religion. Hence their origin, probably, ascends to that patriarchal faith, which ever shed a glimmering ray over even the most benighted branches of Adam's posterity. Conversion to Christianity strengthened pagan prejudice in favour of this appropriation. It was the very provision, expressly enjoined by God, for that Levitical establishment which an evangelical ministry had superseded. Men were accordingly exborted to consecrate the tenth of their substance as a religious duty, and tender consciences obediently heard a call so strong in scriptural authority, so familiar even to heathen practice. The Anglo-Saxons had been, as usual, prepared for such appeals after conversion, by habit previously formed. They seem also to have found the tenth esteemed God's portion among British Christians; it is highly probable, therefore, that the silence of Ina upon clerical maintenance merely resulted from general acquiescence in a system which immemorial usage prescribed, and Scripture sanctioned.-Pp. 78–80.
If any doubt should be entertained with regard to the independence of the Anglo-Saxon Church, that doubt will be removed by referring to the proceedings which took place against Wilfrid during the primacy of Theodore.
When that prelate was deposed, with the concurrence of Theodore, he appealed to Rome against the deposition ; and the Roman council
decided that the proceedings were uncanonical. In consequence of this, he was furnished with a letter by Pope Agatho, announcing the decision; but instead of the letter procuring his restoration, the interference of Agatho was spurned, and Wilfrid was cast into prison.
During this century, monasteries were first founded in this country, and asylums were provided, to which spirits impatient under sober piety retired; but the general establishment of these institutions did not take place until the days of Dunstan, who is properly considered the father of English Benedictines. The eighth century was celebrated for producing two contemporary scholars, who have obtained a lasting celebrity,-Aldhelm, and Bede usually called the Venerable. Towards the latter part of this century, Alcuin was born at York, and after rendering that city famous by his learning, his reputation spread over Europe, and he was solicited by Charlemain, whom he met at Parma, to remain with him ; to this he consented, and after spending the best of his days amid the splendour of a court, he terminated them in the Abbey of St. Martin at Tours.
It was long the desire of Rome to obtain a decided supremacy over England, and at length the embarrassments of Offa, king of the Mercians, afforded the means for its accomplishment.
Offa, king of the Mercians, won an arduous way to superiority over every domestic impediment and neighbouring power, through a remorseless career of sanguinary wars and crimes. Among his victims was the king of Kent, whu perished in battle amidst a frighttul carnage. This decisive victory, however, failed of satisfying Offa: bis vindictive spirit now fastened upon Lambert, archbishop of Canterbury, who had negotiated for assistance from abroad, while his unfortunate sovereign was preparing for the fatal conflict; por could he rest without making the offending prelate feel the bitterness of his resentment. He determined upon curtailing importantly that extensive jurisdiction which Lambert and his predecessors had hitherto enjoyed, by establishing an archbishopric at Lichfield, in his own dominions : but such arrangements demand an acquiescence, often baffling very powerful sovereigns. Hence Offa turned his eyes to Italy, shrewdly calculating that recognition there would prove effective nearer home. He was duly mindful to give bis application pecuniary weight; and he thus established a precedent for stamping that mercenary character upon Rome, which Englishmen reprobated as her conspicuous infamy, even under the blindest period of their subserviency. The recognition sought in a manner so discerning, was not refused, a pall arriving, testifying papal approbation of Offa's wish to seat a metropolitan at Lichfield. From the vengeance of this imperious Mercian, arose another injurious innovation upon English polity. Since the days of Augustin, no agent bearing a papal commission had ever set his foot on British ground; but under a recent exigency, domestic approbation had been sought through Roman influence. Two legates soon appeared to improve the opening thus afforded by a selfish and short-sighted policy.—Pp. 101–106.
This monarch had established the payment of Rome-scot, or the Rome-penny, afterwards called Peter-pence, which continued to be remitted with occasional interruption to the papal treasury until the Reformation. The era between Theodore and Alcuin, i.e. between the
VOL. XVII. NO. VIII.
years 669 and 804, was the brightest period of the Anglo-Saxon Church. And succeeding times witnessed the painful circumstances of the encroachments to a considerable extent by Rome, and the consequent increase of corruption.
Earlier years of the ninth century, are naturally identified in principles with a happier age. A council holden at Celechyth, in 816, under Wilfred, archbishop of Canterbury, in presence of Hemulf, king of Mercia, and his more distinguished laity, makes, however, a slight advance towards Roman innovation. It enjoins, on the consecration of a church, that the saint in whose honour it was built, should be commemorated on its walls; but the canon is so obscurely worded as to render it uncertain whether a picture or an inscription was intended ; probably the question was designedly left open for individual discretion. Even, however, if a picture were exclusively the object, it is enjoined in a spirit very different from that grovelling superstition and arrogant intolerance which Nice lately saw displayed upon such questions. Deposition had been also there awarded against any bishop who should consecrate a church without relics.- Pp. 121, 122.
Papal ascendancy, however, may be principally attributed to the accession of Ethelwulf, whose early life was passed in a cloister, for which he appears to have been well fitted, and who was called to the throne in consequence of the death of an elder brother. His preceptor was St. Swithin, bishop of Winchester, who probably had considerable influence over him. He ascended the throne in stormy times, and — An agitated reign, accordingly, made him anxious to secure the favour of Heaven by a conspicuous display of piety. The most remarkable instance, perhaps, of this anxiety, has been attributed to the advice of St. Swithin, and has been often represented as the charter under which England became legally subject to tythes. This interpretation, however, appearing hardly warranted by the document as now extant, has generally lost ground. Ethelwulf seems, indeed, merely to have obtained legislative authority for dedicating to religious uses, free from all secular burthens, a tenth of the royal domains. He was then contemplating, probably, an extensive foundation of monasteries and other pious establishments. Ecclesiastical rights to tythes of produce had been acknowledged as indefeasible long before his time.
The religious king of Wessex appears to have made the donation which has attracted so much attention, immediately before he undertook a journey to Rome. During a year's residence in that celebrated city he displayed abundant liberality. The English school there, founded by Ina, had been destroyed by fire in the preceding year. Ethelwulf rebuilt it, and provided for its permanent utility, by renewing or confirming the grant of Peter-pence. He gratified, also, the Pope, by splendid presents and a pension of a hundred mancuses. Besides which, he promised two annual sums of the same amount, for supplying with lights the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul.-Pp. 129–132.
It is, indeed, very evident, that long before the reign of Ethelwulf, the lands of England were subject to the payment of tythes, because the grants which were made by him, as well as later Anglo-Saxon monarchs, proceed upon the assumption that the tenths already belonged to the Church.
When Ethelwulf visited Rome, he took with him his youngest and favourite son, afterwards known as Alfred the Great; and to this visit