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ed the Saxon or English princes to carry fire and sword into their country, by way of revenge. As the rejection of Austin's proposals was chiefly imputed to Dinoth, the president of the cuilege or monastery of Bangor, the vengeance of the invading army fell heavy upon the hapless residents of that ill-fated seminary. Most of them were slaughtered, and the rest dispersed. Though the Welsh bishops did not immediately after this bloody event submit to the dictates of sustin and his master, pope Gregory, yet as the difference appeared to consist chiefly in matters of comparatively small moment, they did so not very long after ; from which period the established religion of Wales became entirely the same with that of England and the rest of what is called Christendom. Of course, all the new corruptions which succeeding popes invented, were as readily received by the Welsh, as they were by any other popish nation.
Of this Austin, who introduced into England, and eventually into Wales, the popery of the 7th century, the following sketch is drawn from authentic sources. He was a monk of the convent of St. Andrew at Rome, and sent with forty others of the same order, by pope Gregory the first (whom the Welsh Chronicles call Giryoel) upon a mission to England. In 597, he and his associates landed in the isle of Thanet, accompanied by interpreters, whom they had procured in France. Upon their landing, they dispatched some of those interpreters to Ethelbert, then king of Kent, informing him of their arrival, and of the design of their mission. The king received them kindly,
them a candid hearing, with leave to commence their ministry. At first their success was not great; but the king, some time after, becoming a convert, and submitting to baptism, great numbers of his subjects soon followed his example, and the missionaries soon converted the whole kingdom. Austin is said to have baptized no less than ten thousand persons in a river, one Christmas-day. His method of doing it was rather singular : he consecrated the river, then commanded, by criers, that the people should go in, with faith, two and two, and in the name of the trinity baptize each other.
The rapid success which attended this mission excited in Austin the ambitious desire of possessing, under the sanction of the pope, the supreme authority in the English churches, as archbishop of Canterbury. He sent messengers to the pope, probably to solicit this honour, and for instruction in various particulars. The following were among the queries he proposed, and the answers he received, and may serve as a specimen of the judgment of Austin, the wisdom of Gregory, and the rediculous casuistry of that period. Query.--Are cousin-ger
mans allowed to marry? Answer:--This indulgence was formerly granted by the Roman law; but experience having shewn that no posterity can come from such marriages, they are prohibited. Query.--Is it lawful to baptize a woman with child? Answer. No inconvenience can arise from the practice. Query:—How soon after the birth may a child be baptized ? An, swer.-Immediately, if necessary. Query.—How soon may a husband return to his wife after her delivery? Answer.Not till after the child is weaned. Query.--After sexual intercourse, how soon is it lawful for a husband to enter the church? Answer.-Not till he has purged himself by prayer and ablution. These nice cases of conscience were accompanied with otherinquiries concerning episcopal duties, in answer to which Austin received the following instructions:-" He was not to destroy the heathen temples of the English, but only to remove the images of their gods, to wash the walls with holy water, to erect altars, and deposit relics in them, and so convert them into Christian Churches; not only to save the expense of building new ones, but that the people might more easily be prevailed upon to frequent those places of worship to which they had been accustomed. He is directed further to accommodate the ceremonies of the Christian worship as much as possible to those of the Heathen, that the people might not be much startled at the change; and, in particular, he advises him to allow the Christian converts, on certain festivals, to kill and eat a great number of oxen, to the glory of God, as they had done formerly to the honour of the devil.”
“ These admonitions (says Dr. Henry) which were but too well observed, introduced the grossest corruptions into the Christian worship, and shew how much the Apostles of the 6th and 7th centuries had departed from the simplicity and sincerity of those of the first."
Austin pretended to have wrought miracles since his arrival in Britain, which the pope affected to believe, and he admonisbes him not to be elated with vanity on the occasion, but to remember that this power was given, not for his own sake, but for the sake of those whose salvation he was appointed to procure. Of the said miracles one was, bis restoring his sight to a certain blind man, after the Welsh bishops had failed to cure him : another was, leaving the print of his foot on the stone he first stepped upon at his landing in the isle of Thanet : a third was, causing a fountain to spring up for baptizing. Another miracle, no less striking and marvellous, was his calling up from the grave, first the dead corpse of an excomniunicated person, to make confession of his sins, in having refused the payment of tythes, and then that of the priest who had exeommunicated him, to give him absolution in the presence of the people; after which both quietly returned to their graves ! Highly corrupt, absurd, and superstitious, as the religion of Austin certainly was, vet it is supposed to have been not a little preferable to that which it superseded; but if Britain had never known a better christianity than that introduced by him, it would have had little reason to be proud of its religion. After all, the saintship of Austin the monk, or Austin of Rome, seems no way inferior to that of his naniesake, Austin of Hippo.
In what ycar this first archbishop of Canterbury and apostle of England died, or at what age, is involved in no small uncertainty. Some place his death in 604, or 605; others in 008; and others again in 613, or 614. From his time to that of Wicklife, popish superstition had its full swing in this island, and reigned here without opposition or restraint.
ANECDOTES OF DR. PRIESTLEY; IN A LETTER TO MR. RUTT.
To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. Sir, The enclosed letter, has been, as you will perceive, for some time in my possession. I should sooner have offered it to your service had I not felt a very allowable reluctance to draw from its deserved oblivion The Rev. T. Priestley's Funeral Sermon on Dr. Priestley," which occasioned my friend's cominunication. It will be recollected that the author of that sermon ventured to represent the tutor in divinity, colleague of his brother at Warrington, (who must have been the late pious and exemplary Dr. Aikin,) as bursting “ into a flood of tears, leaning his head on his, (the Rev. T. P.'s) right knee,and expressing fears that he should never die like a Christian, because he could not believe Christ to be God." (Pp. 43, 44.). After reading such a story and the very satisfactory confutation of it by Dr. Äikin's family, which appeared immediately after the publication of the sermon, the reverend author must permit me to say that I should have thought it scarcely necessary to contradict any other strange assertion which his apparently treacherous memory might tempt him to hazard. Yet as my friend's letter, of which he has given me the freest use, contains passages respecting Dr. Priestley which can never be uninteresting to that large portion of your readers who revere his memory, I am induced even how to send it to your Miscellany.
I happened, on a visit at Royston, to meet with a copy of the funeral sermon which had passed through a book-society in that town and neighbourhood. In p. 37, among what the author allows himself to call “ Authentic Anecdotes,” he puts: into his brother's mouth the following language respecting his conduct at Needham Market, where he first seitled as a minis. ter, in 1765, at the age of 32. “I did all I could; I so far hid my
cloven foot, that I taught the Assembly's Catechism, and yet . they found ine out.” Understanding from a MS. note in the margin, signed by Mr. Fordham, that my friend was able to dispute this representation on very respectable authority, I applied to him, and received the enclosed, which cannot be preserve ed more suitably than in your Repository.
I am Sir, your's, Clapton, Nov. 28, 1807.
J. T. RUTT. DEAR SIR, My reasons for being persuaded that the Rev. T. Priestley must be under a mistake, in an assertion which he makes at p. 37 of the funcral sermon for his brother, are the following.
I was, as you well know, formerly a dissenting minister. Being in 1783, setiled at Stow-market, only three miles from Needhain Market, where the late Dr. Priestley had been settled as minister in the early part of his life, I frequently attempted to gain information respecting so distinguished a character, though with but little success. I however recollect Mr. Spink, a gentleman of my congregation, informing me that be attended upon Mr. Priestley's ministry, and though very young himself, he well remembered that the freedom with which he delivered his opinions occasioned a general dissatisfaction; but bis opponents could not but commend him, for the easy access all persons had who came to controvert them, and the calm patience with which be heard them.
Also being on a visit to the Rev. Mr. Toms, of Hadleigh, (who died Jun.2, 1801, aged 91) a most patriarchal and venerable minister of the gospel, himself a moderate Calvinist, at the time when Dr. Priestley's * History of the Corruptions of Christianity," came out in 1782, I expressed my disapprobation of that work in pretty strong terms, The old gentleman replied—“My young friend, Dr. Priestley's sen. timents are not mine. I hope they will never be your's; and I am sorry,they are his; but from my acquaintance with him when at Needham Market, I shall always respect him for the openness and honesty of his character."-Adding—" My first introduction to him was occasioned by my being requested to preach a funeral sermon for one of his congregation; and when in the vestry, he said „Mr. Toms you are perfectly at liberty to aitack any of my opinions which you deem erroneous, and I hope you will not be offended at my taking the same liberty with you, as I certainly intend doing should I think there is any
Having stated these conversations as accurately as I am able, after the lapse of more than twenty years, I leave it to your consideration whother they do not invalidate the statement of the Rev.T. Priestley in the paragraph to which you refer.
Though unconnected with the former part of my letter, I will mention an anecdote which I had from my friend Mr. Norman, of Slow-market. Mr. Tailor, while the dissenting minister of that place, introduced Dr. Priestley to Needham Market. Mr. N. often heard Mr. T. predict the future eminence of his friend, not merely from his great application, but from the most undeviating adherence to plan in every thing he did. So exact was he in the division of his time that he accustomed himself to study with a watch on the table, and however interesting the subject engaged in might be, he never suffered one branch of literature to encroach upon the period allotted for another.
I remain dear Sir, your's, Sandon, Jan. 6, 1805.
THE CLERGYMAN'S EXAMINATION OF THE REV. F, stone's
STATEMENT OF HIS CASE.”
To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. SIR, MR. STONE's statement of his case in your October number, (p. 528,) is so very extraordinary a one, that I cannot suffer it to pass unnoticed. He is evidently conscious, that the charge of dishonesty might be brought against him for retaining his benefice, and yet_publicly teaching the doctrines usually termed Unitarian. This charge he obviatés by asserting, that he is, “ bound only by two solemn, unconditional, scriptural engagements made with his ordaining bishop in the form and mannerof the ordering of priests; and that these, being entered into posterior to the subscription to the articles, release him from all obligation to regard them in this important point,” viz. the divinity of Christ.
Now, Sir, let me ask, would any honest Socinian dissenter be satisfied with this quibble, even if it were founded upon truth? Would an entering into these two scriptural engagements annul a solemn previous subscription to the articles, without an avowed declaration on the part of the candidate for orders, that such was his belief? Can a truly honest man pretend to say, that'a fresh subscription wholly invalidates a prior one; when he must have known, that to ascribe such a notion to the founders of our reformed church would be ascribing to them downright folly? Does Mr. Stone really suppose, that either the Church of England, or his ordaining bishop, mcant 10 se