twisted together. The deacon Palladius was ordained by then a bishop for Scotland : he was the first of that order that visited that country, then in a state of extreme barbarity. Germanus was a second time called into Britain on the same cause, to oppose the Pelagians, which he did with the same success, and maintained the British church firm to the ancient faith.

The famous Patrick was in this age the instrument of converting the pagans in Ireland. He was born near Dunbarton, in Scotland, and had, in his youth, been carried away captive into Ireland, where he remained some years, and had acquired the language of the country. He was afterwards conveyed to Ganl by some pirates, and after various adventures returned to Ireland with the view of converting the natives, who, till this period, had hardly any acquaintance with Christianity. His first efforts were unsuccessful, and he retired to Germanus of Auxerre, and by his advice, went to Celestine, bishop of Rome. Encouraged by his authority, he again returned to Ireland, and, for a long period”, laboured with great success.

“ His disciples appear to have inherited the spirit of their teacher : churches and monasteries were successively founded, and every species of learning, known at the time, assiduously cultivated. It was the peculiar happiness of these ecclesiastics to escape the visits of the barbarians, who, in the fifth and sixth centuries, depopulated and dismembered the Western empire. When science was almost extinguished on the Continent, it still emitted a faint light from the remote shores of Erin : strangers from Britain, Gaul, and Germany, resorted to the Irish schools, and Irish missionaries established monasteries and imparted instruction on the banks of the Danube, and amid the snows of the Apennines."

Even to the end of this century of desolation, and in the former part of the following, we find some records, though but scanty, that there was still a faithful people of Christ and pious and laborious pastors, among the Roman provincials in Gaul, and in Spain, and among the dispersed Britons. Cæsarius, bishop of Arles, though he suffered much himself in the confusion of the times, was greatly distinguished by his deeds of charity, his constant preaching, and his care of the churches. When hindered from preaching, he caused a sermon of his own, of Augustiņ, or of Ambrose, to be read by a minister. He exhorted his people not to be " content with hearing the Scriptures read

1 A.D. 446.

Lingard's Hist. Brit. vol. xi. p. 93.

? From A.D. 432 to 493. 4 Died A.D. 542.


in the church, but to read them also at home." Finding the laity accustomed to talk in the church while the clergy were singing, he induced them to join in psalmody; and, in a sermon extant, exhorts them to sing with their hearts as well as with their voices.

The negligent people, as well as the zealous pastor, bearing up against the evils of the day, is plainly seen in, what follows: " Observing some persons going out of church to avoid hearing the sermon, he cried with a loud voice, “Where are you going, my children ? stay, stay, for the good of your souls! At the day of judgment it will be too late to exhort you.' He was often obliged to cause the church-doors to be shut, after the gospel was read, to prevent the indecent practice.” He had presided in a council at Arles, where twenty-four bishops were assembled. The origin of benefices is traced to this council. The ancient rule was, the appointment of a salary for the officiating minister ; by a canon of this council, it is, permitted that, with the bishop's leave, the clergyman may, appropriate to himself the revenues of the church, saving its rights,” &c. Oratories are allowed in the country to those who live at a great distance from the parish churches, but they must attend the parish church on certain festivals ;” and what strongly marks the decay of Christian zeal, “ all such laymen as shall not receive the communion three times a year, shall be looked on as heathens.” How. had things altered from the days of Cyprian, when Christians, in the use of the Lord's prayer, might be supposed to petition for the daily bread of the Eucharist!

Cæsarius had presided also at a council held at Orange', the decrees of which form a noble testimony to the grace of the Gospel, at the same time that they mark the existence of SemiPelagianism, which they are intended to oppose.

Adam's șin did not only hurt the body but the soul : it descended to posterity. The grace of God is not given to men because they call upon him, but that grace is the cause that men do call upon him. The being cleansed from sin, and the beginning of our faith, is not owing to ourselves, but to grace. We are not able by our own natural strength to do or think any thing which may conduce to our salvation.”- “ If any one say that the beginning or increase of faith, and the very affection of belief is in us, not by the gift of grace, that is, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit correcting our will from infidelity to faith, from impiety to piety,

I A.D. 529.

but by nature, he is an enemy to the doctrine of the apostles.” “ If any man affirm that he can, by the vigour of nature, think any thing good which pertains to salvation as he ought, or choose, or consent to the saving, that is, to evangelical preaching, without the illumination and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, who gives to all the sweet relish in consenting to and believing the truth, he is deceived by an heretical spirit.”

Among the Britons who had retired before the arms of the Anglo-Saxons, and had peopled the French province from them called Brittany, the faith of the Gospel seems to have been preserved. Sampson, originally a Welchman, bishop of Dol, was renowned for his piety and learning?: he had been educated in his native country by Heltut, said to have been a disciple of Germanus of Auxerre. Malo and other British bishops are celebrated for their labours and piety in Brittany. Gildas, another disciple of Heltut, who had before preached with success in his native country Scotland, and in Ireland, also joined the refugees in Brittany, and built the monastery of Buis. Two of his discourses, on the ruin of Great Britain, are still extant, in which he deplores the vices and calamities of the times; and, ascribing the desolations made by the Saxons to the depravity of his countrymen, he, with honest vehemence, exhorts six British princes to repentance. He addresses with much spirit the clergy of Great Britain, and rebukes them for their ignorance, avarice, and simony; and speaking of the exceptions in the general corruption, Gildas complains, “ that they were so exceeding few among the Britons, in comparison of the other, that their mother the church, in a manner, did not see them lying in her lap, who were the only true sons she had?.Colomban, an Irish priest in this century, came over into the northern parts of Scotland, and laboured with success for more than thirty years among the Picts. His disciples were remarkable for the sanctity and abstemiousness of their lives.

1 Died A.D. 545.

* Gildas Epist. ---Archbishop Usher.

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The events of the last century had produced an entire change in the state of the civilised world. In the West, we have seen the Roman provinces converted into barbarian kingdoms; in some parts, the entire population exchanged; and every where the old inhabitants trampled beneath the feet of new masters, who had introduced new customs and manners. All was rude and barbaric in the governing part of mankind, and in such circumstances, we are not surprised that the vestiges of civilisation and of the improvements of cultivated society, which had been long in a declining state, even among the Romans themselves, should be gradually effaced among the rising generations of an oppressed and enslaved people. The barbarian invaders were indeed somewhat raised in the scale of civilisation, by their settlement in the empire, and by their intercourse with a more enlightened people; but the whole mass of society was greatly depressed and debased by the intermixture.

Learning, and the arts and sciences, and all that distingụishes man in an improved state of society from the inhabitants of the woods and forests, were in a manner lost and forgotten. The conquerors long despised them, as the marks of effeminacy. If a spark of the ancient light was still preserved in the churches and monastic institutions which survived the general deluge, universal darkness fast overspread the nations of Europe; and the churches and monasteries, replenished from the new generations of men, very soon found their level almost with the ignorant population around them. Knowledge and civilisation were certainly not progressive, but retrograde, for several centuries, and it was long before any visible improvement began to take place in social life among the Western nations. If this night had its evening and its morning, that for a time relieved, and after a period began to disperse its gloom, the ages that follow, for about ten centuries, have been with propriety denominated the dark ages.

The observations of Mr. Hallam are important. “ Scarcely one of the barbarians, so long as they continued unconfused with the native inhabitants, acquired the slightest tincture of letters : and the praise of equal ignorance was soon aspired to and attained by the entire mass of the Roman laity. They, however, could hardly have divested themselves so completely of all acquaintance with even the elements of learning, if the language in which books were written had not ceased to be their natural tongue. This remarkable change in the speech of France, Spain, and Italy, all derived from one common source, the Latin, is most intimately connected with the extinetion of learning.” With respect to this island, whatever progress the language of the empire had once made, almost all traces of it, were obliterated.

Latin,” though much corrupted, “ had not ceased to be a living language in Gaul during the seventh century. But in a council held at. Tours in 813, the bishops are ordered to have certain homilies of the fathers translated into the rustic Roman as well as the German tongue.” In Italy, few understood the Latin language, in the age of Charlemagne. It is said, in the epitaph of Pope Gregory V., who died in 999, “ that he instructed the people in three dialects, the Frankish, the vulgar, and the Latin.” The whole treasury of knowledge was now, locked up from the people. The worst effect was, that as the newly-formed languages were hardly made use of in writing, Latin being still preserved in all legal instruments and public correspondence, the very use of letters, as well as of books, was

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