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The promo

gar.

preached the gospel with remarkable success, during the space of two years, to the inhabitants of Cimbria and Jutland. II. After the death of his learned and pious companion,

Authbert, the zealous and indefatigable Ansgar to our une made a voyage into Sweden, A. D. 828, where his

ministerial labours were also crowned with a distinguished success. As he returned from thence into Germany in the year 831, he was loaded by Lewis the Meek with ecclesiastical honours, being created archbishop of the new church at Hamburgh, and also of the whole north, to which dignity the superintendence of the church of Bremen was afterward added in the year 844. The profits attached to this high and honourable charge were very inconsiderable; while the perils and labours, in which it involved the pious prelate, were truly formidable. Accordingly Ansgar travelled frequently among the Danes, Cimbrians, and Swedes, in order to promote the cause of Christ, to form new churches, and to confirm and establish those which he had already gathered together; in all which arduous enterprises he passed his life in the most imminent dangers, until he concluded his glorious course, a. D. 865.* III. About the middle of this century the Mæsians, Bul

garians, and Gazarians, and after them the Boof the Bulga hemians and Moravians, were converted to mians, and Christianity by Methodius and Cyril, two Greek

monks, whom the empress Theodora had sent to dispel the darkness of these idolatrous nations. The zeal of Charlemagne and his pious missionaries had been formerly exerted in the same cause, and among the same people," but with so little success,

that

any faint notions which

Conversion

Moravians.

a The writers to whom we are indebted for accounts of this pious and illustrious prelate, the founder of the Cimbrian, Danish, and Swedish churches, are mentioned by Jo. Albert Fabricius, in his Biblioth. Latin. medii æri, tom. i. p. 292; as also in bis Lux Evangelii orbi terrarum exoriens, p. 425. Add to these the Benedictine monks, in their Histoire Litt. de la France, tom. v. p. 277. Acta Sanctor. Mens. Fe. bruar. tom. I. p. 391. Erici Pontoppidani Annales Eccles. Danica Diplomatici, tom.i. p. 18. Jo. Mollerus, Cimbria Lillerata, tom. iii. p. 8. These writers give us also circumstantial accounts of Ebbo, Withmar, Rembert, and others, who were either the fellow-labourers or successors of Ansgar.

17. We have translated thus the term Mysi, which is an error in the original. Dr. Mosheim, like many others, has confounded the Mysians with the inhabitants of Mæsia, by giving the latter, who were Europeans, the title of the former who dwelt in Asia.

c Jo. George Stredowsky, Sacra Moraviæ Historia, lib. ij. cap. ii. p. 94, compared with Pet. Kohlii Introduc. in Historiam et rem Litter. Slavorum, p. 124.

Stredowsky, boc. cit. lib. i. cap. ix. p. 55.

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of the Slavo.

Russians.

they had received of the Christian doctrine were entirely effaced. The instructions of the Grecian doctors had a much better, and also a more permanent effect; but as they recommended to their new disciples the forms of worship, and the various rites and ceremonies used among the Greeks, this was the occasion of much religious animosity and contention in after times, when the lordly pontiffs exerted all their vehemence, and employed every means, though with imperfect success, of reducing these nations under the discipline and jurisdiction of the Latin church.

iv. Under the reign of Basilius, the Macedonian, who ascended the imperial throne of the Greeks in the year 867, the Slavonians, Arentani, and cer- nians and tain provinces of Dalmatia, sent a solemn embassy to Constantinople to declare their resolution of submitting to the jurisdiction of the Grecian empire, and of embracing at the same time the Christian religion. This proposal was received with admiration and joy, and it was also answered by a suitable ardour and zeal for the conversion of a people, which seemed so ingenuously disposed to embrace the truth ; accordingly, a competent number of Grecian doctors were sent among them to instruct them in the knowledge of the gospel, and to admit them by baptism into the Christian church. The warlike nation of the Russians were converted under the same emperor, but not in the same manner, nor from the same noble and rational motives. Having entered into a treaty of peace with that prince, they were engaged by various presents and promises to embrace the gospel, in consequence of which they received not only the Christian ministers that were appointed to instruct them, but also an archbishop, whom the Grecian patriarch Ignatius had sent among them, to perfect their conversion and establish their church. Such were the beginnings of Christianity among the bold and warlike Russians, who were inhabitants of the Ukraine,

e Lenfant, Histoire de la guerre des Hussiles, livr i. ch. i. p.

2. We are indebted for this account of the conversion of the Slavonians to the treatise De administrando imperio, composed by the learned emperor Constantine Porphyrogen., which is published by Bandarius in Imperium Orientale, tom. I. p. 72, 73. constantine gives the same account of this event in the life of his grandfather Basilius the Macedonian, 9 54, published in the Corpus Byzantinum, tom xvi. p. 133, 134.

g Constantinus Porph. Vita Basilii Macedonis, § 96, p. 157. Corp. Bysant. See also the Narratio de Ruthenorum Conversione, published both in Greek and Latin by Bandurius, in his Imperium Orientale, notis ad Porphyrogenetam de administrando inperio, p. 62, tom. ii.

The nature

and who, a little before their conversion, fitted out a formi. dable fleet, and setting sail from Kiova for Constantinople, spread terror and dismay through the whole empire." v. It is proper to observe, with respect to the various

conversions which we have now been relating, of these con- that they were undertaken upon much better

principles, and executed in a more pious and rational manner than those of the preceding ages. The ministers who were now sent to instruct and convert the barbarous nations, employed not, like many of their predecessors, the terror of penal laws to affright men into the profession of Christianity ; nor, in establishing churches upon the ruins of idolatry, were they principally attentive to promote the grandeur and extend the authority of the Roman pontiffs; their views were more noble, and their conduct more suitable to the genius of the religion they professed. They had principally in view the happiness of mankind, endeavoured to promote the gospel of truth and peace by methods of a rational persuasion, and seconded their arguments by the victorious power of exemplary lives. It must, however, be confessed, that the doctrine they taught was far from being conformable to that pure and excellent rule of faith and practice laid down by our divine -aviour and his holy apostles; their religious system was, on the contrary, corrupted with a variety of superstitious rites, and a multitude of absurd inventions. It is further certain, that there remained among these converted nations too many traces of the idolatrous religion of their ancestors, notwithstanding the zealous labours of their Christian guides; and it appears also that these pious missionaries were contented with introducing an external profession of the true religion among their new proselytes. It would be however unjust to accuse them on this account

b The learned Lequien, in his Oriens Christianus, tom. i. p. 1257, gives a very inac. corate account of these Russians who were converted to Christianity, under the reign of Basilius the Macedonian; and in this he does no more than adopt the errors of many who wrote before him upon the same subject. Nor is be consistent with himself; for in one place he alfirms, that the people here spoken of were the Russians that lived in the neighbourhood of the Bulgarians; while in another he inaintains, that by these Russians we are to understand the Gazarians. The only reason he alleges to support this latter opinion is. that, among the Christian doctors sent to instruct the Russians, mention is made of Cyril, who converted the Gazari to Christianity. This reason shows that the learned writer bad a most imperfect knowledge both of these Russians and the Gazari. He is also guilty of other mistakes upon. the same subject. There is a much better explanation of this matter given by the very learned Theoph. sigifred. Bayer, Dissert. de Russorum prima expeditione Con, stanlinopolitana, which is published in the sixth volume of the Cominentaria Scad. Scientiar. Petropolitana.

of negligence or corruption in the discharge of their ministry, since, in order to gain over these fierce and savage nations to the church, it may have been absolutely necessary to indulge them in some of their infirmities and prejudices, and to connive at many things which they could not approve, and which in other circumstances they would have been careful to correct.

CHAPTER II.

COXCERNING THE CALAMITOUS EVENTS THAT HAPPENED TO THE CHURCH

DURING THI3 CENTURY.

The progress

sal empire.

1. THE Saracens had now extended their usurpations with an amazing success. Masters of Asia, a few provinces excepted, they pushed their conquests toward univers to the extremities of India, and obliged the greatest part of Africa to receive their yoke; nor were their enterprises in the west without effect, since Spain and Sardinia submitted to their arms, and fell under their dominion. But their conquests did not end here; for in the year 827, by the treason of Euphemius, they made themselves masters of the rich and fertile island of Sicily; and toward the conclusion of this century the Asiatic Saracens seized upon several cities of Calabria, and spread the terror of their victorious arms even to the very walls of Rome, while Crete, Corsica, and other adjacent islands, were either joined to their possessions, or laid waste by their incursions. It is easy to comprehend that this overgrown prosperity of a nation accustomed to bloodshed and rapine, and which also beheld the Christians with the utmost aversion, must have been every where detrimental to the progress of the gospel, and to the tranquillity of the church. In the east, more especially, a prodigious number of Christian families embraced the religion of their conquerors, that they might live in the peaceful enjoyment of their possessions. Many, indeed, refused this base and criminal compliance, and with a pious magnanimity adhered to their principles in the face of persecution ; but such were gradually reduced to a miserable condition, and were not only robbed of the best part of their wealth, and deprived of their worldly advantages, but what was still more de

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TheNormans.

plorable, they fell by degrees into such incredible igno-
rance and stupidity, that, in process of time, there were
scarcely any remains of Christianity to be found among
them, beside the mere name, and a few external rites and
ceremonies. The European Saracens, particularly those
who were settled in Spain, were of a much milder dispo-
sition, and seemed to have put off the greatest part of
their native ferocity; so that the Christians, generally
speaking, lived peaceably under their dominion, and were
permitted to observe the laws, and to enjoy the privileges
of their holy profession. It must, however, be confessed,
that this mild and tolerating conduct of the Saracens was
not without some few exceptions of cruelty.
11. The European Christians had the most cruel sufferings

to undergo from another quarter, even from the

insatiable fury of a swarm of barbarians that issued out from the northern provinces. The Normans, under which general term are comprehended the Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes, whose habitations lay along the coasts of the Baltic Sea, were a people accustomed to carnage and rapine. Their petty kings and chiefs, whọ subsisted by piracy and plunder, had already, during the reign of Charlemagne, infested with their fleets the coast of the German Ocean, but were restrained by the opposition they met with from the vigilance and activity of that warlike prince. In this century, however, they became more bold and enterprising, made frequent irruptions into Germany, Britain, Friesland, and the Gauls, and carried along with them, wherever they went, fire and sword, desolation and horror. The impetuous fury of these savage barbarians not only spread desolation through the Spanish provinces," but even penetrated into the very heart of Italy; for in the year 857, they sacked and pillaged the city of Lucca in the most cruel manner, and about three years after Pisa, and

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i See, for example, the account that is given of Eulogius, who suffered martyrdom at Cordova, in the Acla Sanctorum ad d.xi. Marlii, tum. ii. p. 88, as also of Roderick and Salomon, two Spanish martyrs of this century. Ibid. ad d. xiji. Martii, p. 238.

k Jo. de Ferreras, Histoire Gener. d'Espagne, tom ii. p. 583. Piracy was esteemed among the northern nations a very honourable and noble profession; and hence the sons of kings, and the young nobility, were trained up to this species of robbery, and made it their principal business to perfect themselves in it. Nor will this appear very surprising to such as consider the religion of these nations, and the barbarism of the times. See Jo. Lud. Holberg. Historia Danorum et Norregorum Navalis, in Scriplis Socielalis Scientiar. Hafniensis, tom. iii. p. 349, in wbich there are a multitude of curious and interesting relations concerning the ancient piracies, drawn from the Danish and Norwegian annals.

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