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at Esinberg. A young man, also, called Buo, living in the same province, destroyed, by fire, the gods belonging to the temple held in the highest veneration, the same in which the human victims were sacrificed. The hame of Thorcillus, too, who flourished about the year 900, and was at that period the Logman or chief magistrate in the island, deserves to be commemorated as superior to the superstitions of his age and country. He, finding himself drawing towards the close of his existence, gave orders that he should be taken into the air, and that his face should be turned towards the sun; when, having remained for some moments in a kind of ecstacy, he expired, recommending his soul to Him among the gods, who had created the sun and the stars.
... It was not till A. D. 974, in the reign of Olaf I. of Norway, that an attempt was made at introducing the christian religion. Frederic, a Saxon bishop, arrived in 981, and preached the gospel with such success, that in 984 churches were built, and many persons received baptism. Still, however, no material progress was made; for Bishop
Thangbrandt and Stefr Thorgilsen, who were sent from Germany in the year 997, were received with stones, and they and their religion abused with the keenest invectives by the poets of that day. Through the exertions of these, however, and other missionaries, the light of christianity began more and more to shed its lustre upon the minds of the people, so that, on the arrival of Gissur and Hjatle in the year 1000, the whole island became converted, without bloodshed, though not without opposition; and it was agreed, at a general assembly of the inhabitants, that the worship of idols should be abandoned, and the religion of our blessed Saviour* embraced in its stead.
* It appears that, at this time, the rite of baptism was celebrated at one of the hot-springs in the neighborhood of the famous Snorralaug, noticed at p. 311 of this volume; for Eggert Olafsen, after speaking of the Nyrdre-Reykia-dal, says, “Huic collateralis SydreReykiadalur, vallis fontibus fervidis abundans : hic est Kros-laug, balnea, limpide et salubres, in quibus anno Christi millessimo, Islandie occidentalis Incole, abominantes aquam frigidam, sacro baptismate abluti sunt, unde balneis crucis momen erat impositum.” Enarrationes Historica denaturâ et constitutione Islandia. p. 31.
In 1050, it was farther decreed, in a solemn assembly, that the temporal or politic law, which was introduced from Norway by one Ulfliot*, in the year 928, should every where give place to the canon or divine law.
After this period monks and convents began to abound in the island, and the people paid a yearly tribute to the Roman see of ten ells of wadmal for each family.
In the year 1056 the Icelanders received the first of their bishops, Islief, who was consecrated to the see of Skalholt, and a second was instituted to that of Holum, in 1107. Both were originally under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Bremen and Hamburgh; but, in 1103 or 1104, they became subordinate to Azerus, the first Archbishop of Lund in Scania, and in 1152 to the Bishop of Drontheim.
* Ulfliot* Laug (le code d' Ulfliot) fut le premier code de 1' Islande, et en grands partie incorpore dans celui d'aujourdhui, nomine Graagaasen; son auteur fut le prev6t Ulfliot qui demeurail dans ce quartier, dans le canton de Lon; il fit accepter ce code en 928, et le tribunal superieur, nomine. Althing, fut etabli peu apres. Voyage en Islande. iv. p. 44.
The Lutheran religion was introduced by King Christian in. in the year 1540, but the zeal, with which the bishops opposed this new sect, prevented it from gaining ground till 1551; when the last and most earnest supporter of popish superstitions, Jon Areseni * was beheaded by order of the King's Lieutenant. Soon after this period all the inhabitants embraced the Lutheran faith.
Iceland at present has only one bishop; for, in the year 1785, the King of Denmark ordered that all the estates belonging to the see of Skalholt should be sold, and the money deposited in the funds called Jordebog's Casse. The episcopal see was removed to Reikevig, and a certain yearly salary granted to the bishop in lieu of his former privileges. So also were the estates belonging to Holum sold in the year 1801; the money secured in the same funds; and the two dioceses incorporated into one. Among the Danish clergy there is no metropolitan or archbishop, but each bishop has the full
* Arngrim Jonae Comment, de hlandft.
power over his own stiftsampt, without being subject to any other ecclesiastical jurisdiction, though he is amenable to the civil powers. Inilike manner the Bishop of Iceland is independent of all other bishops. . . . . The next officer in the church is the Stiftprovst of all Iceland, which is somewhat analogous to a dean in England. The present Stiftprovst's name is Magnusen.
The Provsts are inferior officers of the diocese, who have the care and superintendence of ecclesiastical affairs in their own provstie; for the diocese is divided into nineteen such provsties, and about one hundred and eighty-four church livings. . . . . . . .
The priests receive their income from the lands that are annexed to each church and from tythes; besides which, there are three bundred and eighteen rix-dollars and seventytwo skillings allowed per annum for the amendment of such livings as are very small, and three hundred more for the augmentation of pensions to poor clergymens' widows, Their salaries are various; a few exceed a