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had been assigned her for the offices the honest enthusiasm and faith in of her faith, the free exercise of their high purpose which he felt which had been specially reserved himself. They had all but turned to her in the marriage-contract; back in their passage through and it is probable that Augustine France, terrified at the length and found others who had already be difficulties of the journey. Auguscome disciples of the Cross even in tine himself returned to Rome, and the Saxon Cæsar's household asked to be released from an engage
It was within these walls, then, ment of which he had not counted already consecrated to the simple the cost; and nothing but the firmworship of the early Britons, which ness of the Pope himself, and the had now been succeeded-probably influence of his personal encourageafter no long interval—by the Gal- ment, prevented this Anglo-Saxon lican liturgy, from which it differed mission from being a failure in the little except in language, that for very outset. the first time the splendours of the They made a brave show, howRoman ritual found place in Eng- ever, when at last they landed at land. For this Italian mission was Ebbe's Fleet, between Ramsgate perfectly disciplined and appointed and Pegwell Bay, and marshalled for its purpose,-that of converting, their procession to meet King Eththrough their chiefs, a tribe of suc- elbert. Augustine himself was one cessful warriors, easily impressible of nature's princes, like Saulthrough their outward senses, and “from his shoulders upward," says ready to give assent to the impos- the chronicler, “higher than any of ing and authoritative in questions the people.” Before him went a of religion. Even then, Rome had verger carrying a massive silver the art in which other Christian cross, and another who bore what churches have so often been lamen- served for the banner of the mission tably wanting, of choosing her in- La large painting of the Saviour on struments and her mode of opera- a board, “ beautiful and gilded :" tion wisely for their ends. Augus whilst the choir of brethren, led tine went forth to his work of by Honorius, Gregory's own pupil, conversion with other apostolic chanted a litany to those sweet furniture besides scrip and staff. “Gregorian tones” which, after so He had many high qualifications many ages, are still found to have for his office; but he was an evan- such a wondrous charm alike for gelist of a different type from Ninian the rudest ear as for the most scienor Columba. Neither he nor any tific. Some of the words have been of his forty monks would have traditionally preserved by Bede :liked to cross the channel with the “We beseech Thee, O Lord, for Irish saint in his ox-hide boat. Thy mercies' sake, that Thy wrath Pope Gregory had provided them and Thine anger may be turned well with all the appliances which away from this city, and from Thy the Roman Church could furnish- holy house,—for we have sinned. silver crosses, vivid paintings of the Allelujah." Sacred Passion which might attract The immediate results of the the barbarian's eye, and appeal to mission are too well known to be his rude sensibilities, harmonised told again here. In that little litanies which might charm his ears, British church of St Martin the and interpreters who might explain king of the Anglo-Saxons received the solemn message. More than all, baptism from Augustine. The font they brought with them what Rome used at the ceremony is still shown could then give—sound doctrines, to Canterbury pilgrims ; but unimnot indeed wholly free from super- aginative archæologists point to the stitions, but in which superstition mouldings, and refuse to countehad not yet overlaid the truth. One nance the illusion. It is a pious thing Gregory failed to give them, fiction, they say, like the impress
of Augustine's footstep which was they were held to confer upon their long shown on the rock where he resting-place, led in after years, as landed, or the mark still pointed we shall presently see, to very inout on the ruined wall of St Pan- decorous contests at the burial of cras-another Celtic church recon- future archbishops. secrated by the Roman missionary The Italian prelate, who now - the last hold of the “devil's found himself firmly established at claw” in his attempts to retain pos- Canterbury, whether from personal session ; for the building, under the ambition or from zeal for his motherSaxons, had been converted into a church, desired to assert the supagan temple. The new faith premacy of Rome in matters ecclesoon spread, when it became known siastical, to an extent which Gregory that the Bretwalda and his witan himself appears never to have claimhad formally adopted it; and on ed or desired. He wished to unite the Christmas after Augustine's the newly-formed Saxon Church landing, ten thousand Saxons were with the ancient British one ; but baptised at once in the river Swale. his notions of union implied that The chroniclers assure us that no- the Celtic bishops should acknowthing like undue influence was ledge him as their metropolitan. used; but when we read that the They, on the other hand saw in him * Dooms of Ethelbert”-laws at only an equal. The pallium which this time enacted by the Bretwalda the Pope had lately sent to his new in full council - declared Christi- archbishop conveyed with it no anity to be the adopted religion of mysterious rights in their eyes. the nation, we are left at liberty to There was a difference, too, in their attach what value we please to these practice as to the correct time of wholesale conversions ; and we are keeping Easter : one of those difnot surprised to find that, in the ferences in formal points which next succeeding reign, a change of seem so unimportant, but about ruler produced a large reaction to which, we know from all experience wards paganism.
modern and ancient, men will do Ethelbert himself, however, was battle to the death, and for which a sincere convert, according to his they will sacrifice, with all the comlight. He presented his new arch- placency of martyrs, the weightier bishop (who had gone for consecra- matters of justice and charity. We tion to the Archbishop of Arles) are not going to discuss the controwith his own palace at Canterbury versy either as to metropolitan for a residence, and withdrew him rights or the calculation of Easterself to Reculver, the old Roman day. But there is one story refortress of Rutupium. He granted corded by Bede and others which to him, also, a piece of ground out reads like truth, which supplies a key side the city walls, where was built to the real causes which turn such the great monastery of St Peter and discussions into bitter feuds, and St Paul, afterwards known as St which, even if it be a fable, is worth Augustine's, and now once more the preserving for the lesson which it site of a missionary college, and still bears, that a gentle word might debearing his name. Outside the cide a controversy which confident walls, because one great object was assertion and learned arguments to provide a consecrated spot for only push to extremities. There the burial of faithful kings and appears to have been no archiepisbishops, and the customs of Chris- copal dignity claimed at this time tian Rome, as of Pagan Rome, for- by any of the seven British bishops bid burial within the gates of the who were assembled to discuss their city. There Ethelbert and Augus- line of action previous to a second tine both had their bones laid; and conference with Augustine on the the value attached to such relics of questions in dispute. They were the faithful, and the sanctity which not unwilling, for the sake of the unity of the Church in the island, superior, and took the vow of canonical to acknowledge the new Archbishop obedience ?” of Canterbury as their metropolitan. Lingard dismisses the whole story Even on the Easter question, they with a sneer, remarking that such might have been prepared to give advice was an easy mode of avoiding way then as they did afterwards. responsibility by "leaving to acci. But in their first interview with dent the decision of the controAugustine, they had remarked some versy." Be that as it may, it was thing in his tone which made them a course adopted nine hundred hesitate to submit themselves to his years afterwards- whether with a rule as an ecclesiastical superior. recollection of Augustine or not Their impression of his character is by St Philip Neri, perhaps as corroborated, as Dr Hook observes, wise a man as Dr Lingard. A cerby the fact that his friend Pope tain nun had laid claim to a miracGregory took occasion twice in his ulous gift of inspiration. Her abbess pastoral letters to warn him against sent to inform the Pope of the treabeing puffed up with vainglory. sure she possessed in her establishThe British prelates took counsel ment. The holy Father requested with a certain anchorite, highly re- Philip to examine the case. It is puted for saintliness and wisdom. Mr Emerson who tells the story :
“He threw himself on his mule, all " The anchorite advised them to ac
travel-soiled as he was, and hastened cept Augustine as their metropolitan,
through the mud and mire to the distant if he were a man of God. But how are
convent. He told the abbess the wishes we to know that he is a man of God?'
of his Holiness, and begged her to sum• The Lord,' continued the anchorite,
mon the nun without delay. The nun hath said: “Take my yoke upon you
was sent for; and as soon as she came and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly
into the apartment Philip stretched out of heart.” If Augustine be meek and
his leg all bespattered with mud, and lowly of heart, he bears the yoke of
desired her to draw off his boots. The Christ, and the yoke of Christ is all that
young nun, who had become the object he will seek to lay on you. But if, in
of much attention and respect, drew stead of being meek, he is a proud
back with anger, and refused the office. haughty man, it is clear that he is not
Philip ran out of doors, mounted his of God, and his proposals may be re.
mule, and returned instantly to the Pope. jected by us.' On further consultation,
tion, “Give yourself no uneasiness, holy fait was determined to put him to the test.
ther; here is no miracle, for here is no It was to be so arranged as to permit
humility.'" Augustine and his little party to arrive sum first at the place of meeting; then the Augustine showed that they were seven British bishops, with Dinost and not far wrong in their judgment their men of learning, were in an impos
of his character. He threatening procession to draw near. “If Augus. tine,' said the anchorite, 'shall rise up
ed them, in his excitement, with to meet you as you draw near to him, the vengeance of heaven for their then accede to his proposals, and accept obstinacy; and when, a few years him for your leader; but if he shall treat after the archbishop's death, the meyou with contempt, and not rise to meet morable slaughter of the monks of you, let him be by us contemned.'
Bangor Iscoed by the Saxon army " They came. . Augustine was seated, and the British prelates were permitted
took place, the Saxon chroniclers to enter the place of conference, not as if
pointed to it triumphantly as the they were equals, but as if they were in
fulfilment of prophecy. The feeling feriors, summoned into the presence of which Bede shows on the subject is one who had a right to lay down the law. quite sufficient to mark him as a They were justly indignant. They would bitter enemy of the Celtic Church. concede nothing. They positively re- New missionaries had arrived fused to receive Augustine as their me from Rome to strengthen Augustropolitan. They assigned their reason: If, while they were equals, he would
tine's hands; and they brought not treat them with respect, what were with them from Pope Gregory the they to expect if they elected him their scheme of a complete church estab
lishment for England. There were sought his bishop from the Celtic to be two archbishops, with twenty- Church instead of from Canterbury, four suffragans; and so little elas- and who fixed his restored see, not ticity has shown itself in the system, at York, but at Lindisfarne. A that it remained unaltered as to bishop of Celtic consecration also numbers for above twelve hundred occupied the see of London. For years, and, with one single addi- nearly two years—for Honorius had tion, has remained so ever since. recommended no successor—the see It was long, however, before the of Canterbury was in abeyance. A scheme was worked out into prac- Saxon was at last consecratedtice. Augustine himself lived to Frithona, better known as Deussee only the sees of Rochester and dedit, the Latin appellation which London established, and filled by he assumed to meet the taste of the bishops of his own nomination. Italian Church. By his good offices
Four of the companions of his at the great Synod of Whitby, somemission succeeded him in the see thing like a union was effected beof Canterbury. When the last of tween the two rival churches. The these, Honorius, was laid with his great Easter question was decided predecessors in St Augustine's, he in favour of Rome by King Oswi, left his own branch of the Church who seems to have acted as umpire Catholic in England decaying, so on the occasion; and the decision far at least as outward progress was submitted to, according to was a sign, and the rival Celtic the chroniclers, by all the Celtic episcopate increasing in numbers church except a small minority, who and activity, and carrying on the still held with Bishop Colman of work of evangelisation on its own Lindisfarne, who resigned his bishaccount with great zeal and success opric rather than sanction the new in the northern, eastern, and even usage. The recusants in Scotland the midland districts of England. maintained their ground for another The new archbishopric of York, to generation, when they too gave way; which the Italian Paulinus had been but in Cornwall they continued the consecrated upon his conversion of old British usage, probably up to the King of Northumbria, had only the time when their kinsmen in a precarious and almost nominal Wales at last adopted the reckoning existence for a few years. The of the strangers. With characterissplendid pall which was sent from tic obstinacy, these last held out Rome in 634 was never worn by until A.D. 770; and the commotion Paulinus as metropolitan of York, which the change excited amongst though he thought it a harmless them may be estimated from the ornament when he retired to the see fact, that it forms one of the items of Rochester; the Pope's letters, if of record, few and far between, in they reached him at all, found him the earlier pages of the Chronicle a fugitive from his diocese; King of the Princes. * Edwin had fallen in Hatfield Chase, Deusdedit died of the yellow pestiand Penda the pagan, a name of lence, which carried off kings, abbots, terror to all Christians, was ravaging and bishops, and desolated half Engthe kingdom. If Paulinus bad land in 664; and a fatality might baptised his tens of thousands like have seemed to hang overthe Church Augustine, the facile converts went when his successor, going to Rome back to their old faith with the for consecration, died there, with change of circumstances; and when most of his company, of the plague. Christianity revived again in North- Its fortunes rose again under Theoumberland, it was under a king who dorus of Tarsus—the “Philosopher,"
* Brut y Tywysogion (Williams), p. 7. “Seven hundred and seventy was the year of Christ when the Easter of the Britons was altered by the command of Elbod, a man of God.” Elbod is called subsequently “ Archbishop of Gwynedd.”
as he was called—a Greek Church- different kinds of metre were masman, who had conformed to the tered by diligent scholars like AdLatin usages, and who was probably helm, afterwards Abbot of Malmsthe greatest scholar of his age. He bury and Bishop of Shelburne. was sixty-four years old when he No wonder that when, after trying was consecrated; but he lived to cloister life for a while as a monk, administer his see for more than he went back to his cherished twenty years, and he did more for studies under Hadrian, he worked the English Church than perhaps himself into a fever which nearly any one of his predecessors or suc- cost him his life. Our modern cessors. “He converted what had public schoolboys may congratubeen a missionary station into an late themselves that some of the established church.” He under- hundred measures have become obtook a personal tour of his large solete, and that it is possible, of late, diocese ; he laid the foundation of to reach a bishopric without such a the parochial system, which is still terrible amount of learning. There the blessing of England — "the is reason to hope, also, that other cheapest and best police," as even good old-fashioned helps to knowpoliticians have called it; he in- ledge had not yet fallen into discreased the numbers of the episco- repute ; at least Dr Hook informs pate; his book of canons contains us that, in the monastery on the the elementary principles of our Cælian Mount at Rome, there was ecclesiastical order; and English preserved, in “affectionate rememscholarship owes its rise to the brance” of Pope Gregory, amongst school which he at once established other precious relics, “the rod with in Augustine's monastery at Canter which he would correct the inattenbury, under the presidency of Bene- tive ;” and no doubt there were dict Biscop, and afterwards of Had- equally interesting reminiscences at rian—an African churchman, who Canterbury. Other more popular had declined the archbishopric in branches of education, however, favour of Theodore, and whom Wil- were not neglected. Mental arithliam of Malmsbury describes as “a metic is by no means a modern art: fountain of letters and river of it was practised diligently in Theoarts.”
dorus's schools, as was also a someThe system of education pursued what complicated digital system of at the College of St Peter and St calculation ; for the convenient Paul was not so different from that Arabic numerals, it must be renow in use at our public schools as membered, had not yet reached might be supposed. Of course the English schools, any more than want of books at this time implied printing and paper. There were that the instruction should consist brave attempts made, also, to teach almost entirely of catechetical lec- what we now call special subjects, turing. It is singular that, after and useful knowledge : music, asthe lapse of twelve hundred years, tronomy, natural philosophy, and a return to the form of teaching medicine, had each their turn. The which was then a necessity should music was good of its kind; of the have appeared to some, who ought natural philosophy and astronomy, to be competent judges, a panacea it can only be said that they kept pace for the shortcomings of modern with the theories of the day; and universities. But a great propor- medicine is still so much an extion of the subject-matter of the perimental art amongst ourselves, teaching was the same as now. It that it seems quite possible that will shock some readers, no doubt, our own theory and practice may and comfort others, to , find that appear as barbarous, in the light of Latin verse-making was a prominent future discoveries, as that of the feature in the school at Canterbury, seventh century now does to us. If and that no less than a hundred Archbishop Theodore declared it to