The Propagation of the Gospel in this Century.
In this century the churches of the east and West began to be separated from one another, through the pride and ambition of the pontiffs of Rome and Constantinople. Of such a division, which makes a great noise, in what is commonly called ecclesiastical history, it is sufficient for an historian of the church of Christ, to say, that the wound, after repeated attempts, was never healed. Both the east and the west, indeed, were full of idolatry and darkness, and seemed to vie with each other in supporting the kingdom of Satan. Providence, however, made use of the ambitious spirit of the prelates for the still more extensive propagation of the gospel. In this chapter I shall collect the information upon this subject, which may be extracted from an enormous mass of ecclesiastical rubbish; and, at the same time, shall lay before my readers some evidences of the progress of the good work, among the nations, which hud been, in part, evangelized in the two last centuries.
Constantine, afterwards called Cyril, was born at Thessalonica, of a Roman family, and was educated at Constantinople. In 846, the famous Photius, who by much iniquity, at length, obtained the bishopric of Constantinople, envying Ignatius, at that time bishop, disputed in opposition to him, that every man had two souls. Being reproved by Cyril, he said, that he meant not to hurt any one, but only to try the logical abilities of Ignatius. " You have thrown your dans into the crowd," said Cyril, " yet pretend that none will be hurt. How keen soever the eyes of your wisdom be, they are blinded by the smoke of avarice and envy. Your passion against Ignatius has deceived you." Cyril indeed seems to have been as
Vol. III. ' 29
much superior to Photius in piety, as he was his inferior in learning: he became one of the most active and useful missionaries of this century; and providence opened to him a door of solid utility among the idolatrous nations.*
The Bulgarians were a barbarous and savage people, whose neighbourhood had long been troublesome to the Greek emperors. The sister of their king Bogoris, having been taken captive in a military incursion, was brought to Constantinople, and there received'christianity. Upon her redemption and return to her own country, she gave a strong evidence, that her change of religion had been more than nominal. She was struck with grief and compassion, to see the king, her brother, enslaved to idolatry; and she used the most cogent arguments in her power, in order to convince him of the vanity of his worship. Bogoris was affected with her arguments; but was not prevailed upon to receive the gospel, till, a famine and a plague appearing in Bulgaria, she persuaded him to pray to the God of the christians. He did so, and the plague ceased. There was something so remarkable in the event, that Bogoris was induced to send for missionaries to Constantinople; and at length received baptism, together with many of his people.f Cyril and his devout brother Methodius, were the instruments of these blessings to the Bulgarians. Bogoris had desired Methodius to draw him a picture. Methodius chose for his subject the last judgment, and explained it. This is supposed to have induced the king to receive baptism. The event happened about the year 86 l.J That same pope Nicolas, who so warmly applauded the sanguinary exploits of the empress Theodora against the paulicians, rejoiced at the opportunity, which this religious change among the Bulgarians afforded him of exteuding his influence. He sent bishops, who preached and baptized throughout the country: and Bogoris sent his son to Rome, with
* See Alban Butler, vol xii t Horphyrogennetus.
t Sec Alban Butler, vol.
many lords: he consulted the pope on a variety of subjects, and entreated him to send pastors into Bulgaria. Nicolas rejoiced, says Fleury,* not only on account of the conversion of the Bulgarians, but the more, because they came so far to seek instruction from the holy see. They had, however, though attended with many superstitions, the word of God, and the name of Christ introduced among them. The Saviour, in some sense, was preached, notwithstanding that pride and sinister motives predominated altogether in the Roman see; and St. Paul, in such a case, would have said, " I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.7'f Nor is there any reason to believe, that all the missionaries would be no less corrupt than the pope: on the contrary, we cannot doubt but the word was not preached altogether in vain. These transactions took place about the year 866.
About the same time Cyril, and his brother Methodius, missionaries among the Bulgarians, laboured also among the Sclavonians and the Chazari.:f These people lived on the banks of the Danube, and begged the emperor Michael III, and his mother Theodora, to send them some instructors. Cyril and his brother Methodius were sent to preach to them. The Cham and his whole nation were baptized: and Cyril gave a noble proof of his disinterestedness in refusing those presents, which the munificence of the prince would have heaped upon him. See Alban Butler, vol. xii.
Cyril arriving at Chersona, continued there some time, to learn the language of the Chazari; which is supposed to have been the Sclavonian tongue, because it is certain, that Constantine translated the sacred books into that language. And as the people had not then the use of letters, he invented an alphabet for their use, and was very successful in teaching christianity among the Chazari. He made the greater impression on their minds, because of the unquestionable proofs, which he gave them of his disinterested-
ness. After this, Bartilas, prince of Moravia, understanding what had been done among the Chazari, desired the Greek emperor Michael to send some missionaries to instruct his people likewise in christianity. Michael sent the same Constantine and Methodius, who carried with them the same Sclavonian gospel, taught the children the letters, which they had invented, laboured in their mission, and instructed the people four years and a half.
The king of Moravia was baptized with many of his subjects. Cyril died a monk: Methodius was consecrated bishop of Moravia. The Sclavonian tongue* invented by these two missionaries, is, to this day, used in the liturgy of the Moravians. Complaint was made to pope John VIII. of the novelty of worshipping in a barbarous tongue; but he condescended to own himself satisfied with the reasons assigned"by the missionaries. Bogoris, king of Bulgaria, gave up his crown about the year 880, and retired into a monastery. Methodius, after a long course of labours, died in an advanced age. See Alban Butler, vol. xii.
These were noble works, and some divine unction, amidst all the superstitions, no doubt, attended them. In the mean time, Nicolas of Rome, and Photius of Constantinople, two of the proudest men of any age, were acrimoniously inveighing against one another, and striving each to secure to himself the obedience of the new converts. There is reason to hope, that the missionaries themselves were of a better spirit: and if I had materials of their transactions before me, I would present them with pleasure to the reader; but the squabbles of the prelates themselves, for ecclesiastical dominion, and the effects of those squabbles, are scarce worth his attention.
It appears from one of the invectives of Photius, against Nicolas, that the Russians, hitherto barbarous and savage, had received a christian bishop, and were then under instructions. Also, about the year 867, certain provinces of Dalmatia sent an embassy to Constantinople, imploring the emperor Basilius to supply them with christian teachers. Their request was granted, and the pale of the church was extended throughout those provinces.*
If we turn our eyes toward the countries, which had been evangelized in the last century, we may discern some traces of the spirit of godliness still remaining among them. Length of time, under the influence of natural depravity, had not, as yet, destroyed all the seeds of that divine simplicity, which, as Ave have had repeated occasion to observe, is always the most pure in the infancy of religion. Frederic of Devonshire, nephew to Boniface, the apostle of Germany, so renowned in the last century, was appointed bishop of Utrecht; and dining with the emperor, Lewis the Meek, was exhorted by him to discharge his office with faithfulness and integrity. The bishop, pointing to a fish on the table, asked whether it was proper to take hold of it by the head or by the tail. " By the head, to be sure," replied the emperor. •* Then I must begin my career of faithfulness," answered Frederic, " with your majesty." He proceeded to rebuke the emperor for an incestuous connexion, which he openly maintained with Judith the empress; and, in the spirit of John the Baptist, told him, " that it was not lawful for him to have her." Lewis had not expected this salute; and. like Herod, was not disposed to give up his Herodias. No sooner did the empress hear of this rebuke, than, in the true temper of an incensed adulteress, she began to plot the destruction of Frederic; and, by the help of assassins, she at length effected it. Frederic being mortally wounded, insisted, however, that no blood should be shed on his account; and died in a spirit of martyrdom worthy of the relation of Boniface. In him the Hollanders lost a faithful prelate; but his death would preach a salutary doctrine among them. Frederic was murdered about the year 833.f
Haymo, a monk of Fulda, a scholar of Alcuin,$ was
* Porphyrogen. See Moshcim, chap. i. cent. in.
f lngulph's Hi»t. See Collier's £cc. Hfs.t. 1 vol.
i Du Pin, cent. )x.
chosen bishop of Halbcrstadt in Saxony, in the year 841. He was by descent an Englishman, a relation of Bede, and took much pains in preaching to the people. His writings are voluminous, but the matter of them is chiefly extracted from the fathers. He assisted in the condemnation of Gottcschalcus at Mentz; nor is it hard to conceive, that a pious person might be deceived by the elaborate misrepresentations of Rabanus; though I should think it very improbable, that Hayino would be at all concerned in the barbarities afterwards exercised on the supposed heretic at Kheims. For Haymo seems to have thought and written on the doctrines of grace, with more unction and vigor than most of his contemporaries. He composed comments on many parts of the holy scriptures. A few specimens may serve to show what sort of doctrine was then preached to the recent churches of Germany.
" By * the book of life, we ought to understand the divine predestination, as it is written, the Lord knowcth them that are his."
" Man of himself departing from God, returns not of himself to God. God works all in all; /by which words human arrogance is removed, since without the holy Spirit our weakness can effect no real good, whether great or small."f
" We are not only unable to perfect any good, without divine grace and mercy, preceding and following us, but not even to think any. For the grace of God prevents us, that we may be willing, and follows us, that we may be able. Every good thing that we have, the good will, and the good work, is not from ourselves, but from God.'.'
His views of the distinction between the law and the gospel, a subject in his time very little understood, have a considerable degree of perspicuity. " In the law, no room is reserved for repentance, but its language is, the soul that sinneth sliall die. The gospel saith, I will not the death of a sinner. The law is not
of faith.* It is the province of faith, to believe and to hope things invisible. The law therefore is not fulfilled by faith, but by works. But the gospel is fulfilled by faith rather than by works; for faith alone saves! "t Precious sentiments! well understood by serious and humble spirits, coming to Christ for rest, who find themselves by the law debarred of all hope of salvation, because of their consciousness of intire depravity. It is not necessary to give distinct quotations, in order to prove, that he has the same imperfect and inaccurate views of justification, which we have observed in Augustine.
" The faith, by which we believe in God, is given by the Father, the Son, and the holv Spirit: it is not in man naturally, it is given by God; for, if it were in us, by nature, all would have it. Faith, remission of sins, and all the gifts of God, are freely given to believers 4
Does it not appear a cruel thing to disfigure such lovely pictures of evangelical truth? but historical veracity is a stubborn thing. This same Haymo, who knew so much of Christ, was so infected with the growth of idolatrous superstition, that, in an homily concerning virgins, he says, " it is highly fitting, that we supplicate her," (he means some virgin, whose festival he was then celebrating) " with devout prayers, that she may make us comfortable in this life by her merits and prayers* and in the next accept-ble to God."§ How inconsistent are these sentiments with his avowed faith in the Mediator! But such was the torrent of the times! I see Germany, which had been happily tutored in the infant simplicity of christian faith, gradually perverted by the idolatry, which derived its strength from the papal dominion. Haymo, however, most probably did not mean what he said, in the full import of his own words; and he seems to have felt so sincerely the spirit of gospel truth, that I am tempted to suppose, that his homilies were inter
• GalatUns, iii. 12. + Mapjrl. 64.
| Mitgd. p. 67. <i Maj>il. p. Hi.
pointed by what are called Pious Fraubs, than which practice nothing was more common in the dark ages.
Haymo continued bishop of Halberstadt for twelve years, and died in 853. A rare light, which shone in the midst of darkness!
We have seen some evidences of the power of christian truth, in this century, among the recent churches of Germany and Holland. Let us now look to the north of Europe, and see, by what gradations, divine providence paved the way for the propagation of the gospel in the frozen regions of Scandinavia,* and on the shores of the Baltic, which had hitherto been inveloped in the most deplorable darkness of paganism.
Adelard, cousin german to Charlemagne, was a bright luminary in the christian world at the beginning of this century. He had been invited to the court in his youth: but fearing the infection of such a mode of life, he had retired; and, at the age of twenty years, became a monk of Corbie, in Picardy,f and was at length chosen abbot of the monastery. His imperial relation, however, forced him again to attend the court, where he still preserved the dispositions of a recluse, and took every opportunity, which business allowed, for private prayer and meditation. After the death of Charlemagne, he was, on unjust suspicions, banished by Lewis the Meek, to a monastery on*the coast of Aquitain, in the isle of Here. After a banishment of five years, Lewis, sensible at length of his own injustice, recalled Adelard, and heaped on him the highest honours. The monk was, however, the same man in prosperity and in adversity, and in 823 obtained leave to return to his Corbie. Every week he addressed each of the monks in particular: he exhorted them in pathetic discourses; and laboured for the spiritual good of the country around his monastery. His liber
• This term commonly includes the ttiToe kingdoms of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. + A. BnTIer, vol i.
ality seems to have bordered on excess: his humility induced him to receive advice from the meanest monk: when he was desired to live less austerely, he would frequently say, I will take care of your servant, that he may be enabled to attend on you the longer. Another Adelard, who had governed the monastery during his banishment, by the direction of the first Adelard prepared the foundation of a distinct monastery, called New Corbie, near Paderborn, beside the WJeser, as a nursery for evangelical labourers, who should instruct the northern nations. The first Adelard completed the scheme: went himself to New Corbie twice; and settled its discipline. The success of this truly charitable project was great: many learned and zealous missionaries were furnished from the new seminary; and it became a light to the north of Europe. Adelard promoted learning in his monasteries: instructed the people both in Latin and French; and, after his second return from Germany to Old Corbie, he died in 827, aged 73. Such is the account given us of Adelard. A character, there is reason to believe, of eminent piety, the fruits of whose faithful labours appear to have been still greater after his death than during his life. To convert monasteries into seminaries of pastoral education, was a thought far above the taste of the age in which he lived; and tended to emancipate those superstitious institutions from the unprofitable and illiberal bondage, in which they had subsisted for many generations.
In * the year 814, Harold, king of Denmark, being expelled from his dominions, implored the protection of the emperor Lewis, the son and successor of Charlemagne. That prince persuaded him to receive christian baptism; and foreseeing that Harold's reception of christianity would increase the difficulty of his restoration, he gave him a district in Friezeland for his
* l have extracted the subsequent account of Anscarius from variousparts of Fleury, in his history of the 9th century; not without an altention also to the history of the .same missionary in Alban Sutler, ami la the Centur. Mapjd.
Vol. III. 3&
present maintenance. Lewis, dismissing Haroldto his own country, inquired after some pious person, who might accompany him, and confirm both the king and his attendants in the christian religion. But it was not easy to find a man disposed to undertake such a journey. At length Vala, abbot of Old Corbie, who had succeeded his brother Adelard, whose history we have just considered, said to the emperor, " I have, in my monastery, a monk, who earnestly wishes to suffer for the sake of Christ; a man of understanding and integrity, and peculiarly fitted for such a work. But I cannot promise, that he will undertake the journey." The emperor ordered him to send for the man; Anscarius was his name. When the nature of the employment was opened to the monk, he professed his readiness to go. "I by no means command you, said Vala, to enter on so difficult and dangerous a service; I leave it to your option." Anscarius, however persisted in his resolution. It was matter of surprise to many, that he should choose to expose himself among strangers, barbarians, and pagans: much pains were taken by many to dissuade him; but in vain: while preparations were making for his departure, he gave himself up to reading and prayer. This excellent monk had been employed, as a teacher, both in Old and New Corbie, and had distinguished himself by his talents and virtues. Aubert, a monk of noble birth, a great confident of Vala, and steward of his house, offered himself as a companion to Anscarius. Harold, with the two strangers, proceeded on his journey; but neither he nor his attendants, rude and barbarous in their manners, were at all solicitous for the accommodation of the missionaries, who therefore suffered much in the beginning of their journey. When the company arrived at Cologne, Hadebald the archbishop, commiserating the two strangers, gave them a bark, in which they might convey their effects. Harold, struck with the convenience of the accommodation, entered into the vessel with the missionaries; and they went down the Rhine into the sea, and came to the frontiers of Denmark.
But Harold finding access to his dominions impossible, because of the power of those, who had usurped the sovereignty, remained in Friezeland, in the district assigned to him by the emperor.
This king of Denmark seems to have been appointed by divine providence, only as an instrument to introduce Anscarius into the mission. For we hear little more of him afterwards. The two French monks laboured with zeal and success in Friezeland, both among christians and pagans. Harold sent some of his own slaves to be taught by them; and, in a little time, they had above twelve children in their school. Above two years they laboured, and were made instruments of good to souls: after this Aubert ended his days by a disease.
About the year 829, many Swedes having expressed a desire to be instructed in christianity, Anscarius received a commission from the emperor Lewis to visit Sweden. Another monk of Old Corbie, Vitmar by name, was assigned as his companion; and a pastor was left to attend on king Harold, in the room of Anscarius. In the passage, the two missionaries were met by pirates, who took the ship and all its effects. On this occasion, Anscarius lost the emperor's presents, and forty volumes, which he had collected for the use of the ministry. Buthis mind was still determined: and he and his partner having with difficulty got to land, they gave themselves up to the direction of providence, and walked on foot a long way, now and then crossing some arms of the sea in boats. Such are the triumphs of christian faith and love. They arrived at Birca, from the ruins of which, Stockholm took its rise, though built at some distance from it. * The king of Sweden received them favourably; and his counsel unanimously agreed to permit them to remainin the country, and to preach the gospel. Success attended their pious efforts. Many christian captives in Sweden rejoiced at the opportunity of the communion of saints which
• ruffendorf's Hist of Sweden
was now restored to them; and among others, Herigarius, governor of the city, was baptized. This man erected a church on his own estate, and persevered in the profession and support of the gospel.
After six months, the two missionaries returned with letters written by the king's own hand, into • France, and informed Lewis of their success. The consequence was, that Anscarius was appointed archbishop of Hamburg. This great city, being in the neighbourhood of Denmark, was henceforth looked on as the metropolis of all the countries north of the Elb, which should embrace christianity. The mission into Denmark, was at the same time attended to; and Gausbert, a relation of Ebbo, archbishop of Rheims, who, as well as Anscarius, was concerned in these missions, was sent to reside as a bishop in Sweden: there the number of christians increased. But perhaps the reader has anticipated the observation; namely, that it was the genius of these dark ages, to provide for the hierarchy prematurely; and to constitute bishops and dioceses over large districts, in which scarce any christians were to be found.
Anscarius, (such was the ecclesiastical discipline of the times,) by the order of the emperor Lewis, went to Rome, that he might receive the confirmation of the new archbishopric of Hamburg. Returning to his diocese, he gained over many pagans, brought up children in the christian faith, and redeemed captives, whom he instructed and employed in the ministry. In the year 845, his faith was tried by a severe affliction. Hamburg was besieged, taken, and pillaged by the Normans, and he himself escaped with difficulty. On this occasion, he lost all his effects: but his mind was so serene, that he was not heard to complain: " The Lord gave," said he, "and the Lord hath taken away." It was nb inconsiderable addition to his sufferings, to hear, that Gausbert, whom he had sent into Sweden, was banished through a popular insurrection; in consequence of which, the work of the ministry was for some years at a stand in that country. Anscarius, reduced to great poverty, and deserted by many of his followers, persisted still with unwearied patience in the exercise of his mission in the north of Europe, till the bishopric of Bremen was conferred upon him. Hamburg and Bremen were from that time considered as united in one diocese. It was not till some pains were taken to overcome his scruples that he could be prevailed on to accept of this provision for his wants. About the year 852, Anscarius sent a priest, called Ardgarius, into Sweden, to strengthen the faith of the few christians, who remained there. Among these was Herigarius, who had supported the cause of Christ, while it was in the most feeble and afflicted state.
Though Anscarius had made no great impression on Sweden, he was not discouraged in his views of propagating the faith in the north. He still had his eye on Denmark, which had been his first object: and having gained the friendship of Eric, who reigned there, he was enabled to gain a footing in that country; and to plant the gospel with some success at Sleswick, a port then much frequented by merchants. Many persons, who had been baptized at Hamburg, resided there; and a number of pagans were induced to countenance christianity in some degree. Anscarius, through the friendship of Eric, found means also to visit Sweden once more. A recommendatory letter from that prince to Olaus, king of Sweden, insured him a favourable reception in the last mentioned country. The zealous bishop arrived at Birca, where a pagan, who pretended to intimacy with the gods, opposed his designs with arguments adapted to the superstitious notions of the people. Olaus himself informed Anscarius, that it must be decided by lot, whether he should be permitted to preach christianity in Sweden. The missionary prayed, and the lot decided in favour of his designs. The profession of the gospel was established at Birca, and christianity made a great progress in Sweden. Anscarius returned into Denmark, and laboured there with success. The missionaries, whom he employed, were directed by him to follow the example of St. Paul, by labouring with their own hands for bread; a very necessary practice in those poor countries.
In the year 865, this apostle of the north was called to his rest. He had lived six years after the union of the dioceses of Hamburg and Bremen^ and had applied himself to the duties of his office, both as a governor and a preacher of the church, with indefatigable assiduity. A terror to the proud, and a comfort to the humble, he knew how to divide the word of truth, and to give to each of the flock his portion in due season. In all good works, and particularly in his care of redeeming captives, he was eminently distinguished. He erected an hospital at Bremen, in which passengers were relieved, and the sick were taken care of, which, in that rude age, was an uncommon instance of liberality and compassion. His example and authority had great influence even among those, who sold captives to pagans, or kept them in slavery. They were induced by his exhortations to set the prisoners at liberty. He is said to have had the gift of miracles; and, though I cannot give full credit to the most plausible stories of this nature, which are related of him, because of the superstitious credulity and fraudulent inventions of the times, I must confess with Fleury, that if ever the gift of miracles may be supposed to have existed after the first ages of christianity, it may be believed, most probably, to have been vouchsafed to those, who were concerned in the first plantatiqn of churches.* And it should be remembered, that Sweden and Denmark, were, under God, indebted to Anscarius, for the first light of the gospel. This extraordinary person, however, was by no means disposed to value himself on miraculous powers; as he
• Nelson is of the snme opinion. " Q; Does it seem probable, that if the conversion of infidels were attempted by men of honest and sincere minds, God would extraordinarily countenance such a design? A. 'Tis agreeable tn reason to think he would, and in no way contrary to scripture. For, as the wisdom of God, is uc i er found to be prodigal in multiplying the effects of his almighty power, so it is never wanting to afford all necessary evidences and motives of conversion." Nelson's Festivals, p. 259.
appears to have been acquainted with an holy influence of a more excellent nature, 1 Cor. chapter xii. last verse. " If I had found favour with God," said he, one day, when he heard his miracles extolled, " I should beseech him to grant me one single miracle, even his grace to sanctify my nature." It is remarked of him, that he never did any thing without recommending himself first to God by prayer. A short fragment of an epistle to the bishops, is the whole of his writings, which I can find to be extant.* " I beg your earnest prayers to God for the growth and fruitfulness of this mission among the pagans. For, by the grace of God, the church of Christ is now founded both in Denmark and Sweden; and the pastors dis-: charge their office without molestation. May God Almighty make you all partakers o'f this work in godly Charity, and joint heirs with Christ in heavenly glory!" The centuriators have charged him with idolatry; but the only proof, which they give, is his superstitious attachment to relics: an evil so general, I had almost said Uersal, at that time, that it cannot fix any particular blot on the character of Anscarius. I see no proof of his having practised or encouraged image worship. It is true, that he was devoted to the see of Rome. And, in those days, how few were not so! The centuriators in their own attachment to the prejudices of the age, in which they lived, -might have found a charitable apology for those of the northern apostle. If candor be not exercised in such circumstances, we shall scarce be able to see, for many ages, even the existence of a church of Christ. A Luther, firmly and decidedly resisting, and even despising the current maxims of his own age, is a rare phenomenon, I have the satisfaction to observe, that Mosheim is, in the case of Anscarius, more candid than the centuriators. He allows that the labours of that missionary, and in general of the other missionaries in this century, deserve the highest commendations. If it were possi
* Crantzius. Sec. Cen. MagJ. Cent. ix. p. 324.
ble to exhibit a circumstantial account of Anscarius, most probably the justice of Mosheim's encomium on his character, would be ascertained beyond the reach of contradiction. What else but the genuine love of God in Christ, could have furnished the mind with such faith in providence, perseverance in hardships, and active charity for souls?
Rembert, his confidant, was appointed bishop of Bremen, by the dying words of the apostle. He wrote the life of his predecessor, a treatise which seems to have furnished historians with the greatest part of their materials concerning Anscarius. Rembert himself presided over the churches of the north, for twenty-three years, and established their discipline and ecclesiastical consistence. He was not unworthy of the confidence of his predecessor, and lived and died an example of piety. He began to preach among the people of Brandenburg, which hitherto had been altogether pagan, and made some progress towards their conversion. He died in 888.
Jeron, an English presbyter, went over to Holland, in this century, and preached the gospel there: and, so far as appears, with faithfulness. He was crowned with martyrdom about the year 849.*
Patto, a Scotch abbot, was appointed bishop of Verden, by Charlemagne. The centuriators only tell us, that he strenuously supported popish corruptions and human traditions. But Crantzius from whom they collected this account, would have informed them also of better things. f Patto, it appears, had great success among the infidels, but was grieved to see christian professors disgracing the faith by their vices. He faithfully rebuked them; and for his honest zeal in preaching against the sins of nominal christians, was murdered about the year 815.
Tanes, who had succeeded Patto in the Scotch abbey, after a time left his situation, and followed his countryman into Germany, not so much with a desire
• Cent. Magd.
f See A. Butler, vol. it.
of martyrdom, say the centuriators, as of obtaining a richer benefice. Uncharitable surmise! There is too much of this leaven to be found in a work, which, in other respects, abounds in piety and industry. The same Crantzius informs us, that Tanes, in fact, laboured in conjunction with Patto, and, after awhile, was appointed his successor to the see of Verden. Were the sufferings and hardships, which Patto and himself had sustained among barbarians, likely to render the bishopric of Verden an enviable object of ambition?
I know no other ground on which the propagation of the gospel may be discovered in this century. The accounts of the labours of Spanish pastors among the mahometans, or of the sufferings of the christians under the persecutions of the Moors, are not sufficiently authenticated.
-The reader, I hope has seen, in this dark century, a clear demonstration, that the church of Christ still existed. He may now, if he please, descend with me, to the ultimate point of christian depression.