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economy of things, to bring the lightning from the clouds and make it subservient to our experiments-to produce as it were a microcosm in the laboratory of art, and to measure and weigh those invisible atoms, which, by their motions and changes, according to laws impressed upon them by the divine intelligence, constitute the universe of things. The true chemical philosopher sees good in all the diversified forms of the external world. Whilst he investigates the operations of infinite power guided by infinite wisdom, all low prejudices, all mean superstitions, disappear from his mind. He sees man an atom amidst atoms, fixed upon a point in space, and yet modifying the laws that are around him by understanding them; and gaining, as it were, a kind of dominion over time, and an empire in material space, and exerting on a scale infinitely small a power seeming a sort of shadow or reflection of a creative energy, and which entitles him to the distinction of being made in the image of God and animated by a spark of the divine mind. Whilst chemical pursuits exalt the understanding, they do not depress the imagi nation or weaken genuine feelings; whilst they give the mind habits of accuracy, by obliging it to attend to facts, they likewise extend its analogies, and, though conversant with the minute forms of things, they have for their ultimate end the great and magnificent objects of Nature. They regard the formation of a crystal, the structure of a pebble, the nature of a clay or earth; and they apply to the causes of the diversity of our mountainchains, the appearances of the wind, thunder-storms, meteors, the earthquake, the volcano, and all those phenomena which offer the most striking images to the poet and the painter. They keep alive that inextinguishable thirst after knowledge, which is one of the greatest characteristics of our nature; for every discovery opens a new field for investigation of facts, shows us the imperfection of our theories. It has justly been said, that the greater the circle of light, the greater the boundary of darkness by which it is surrounded. This strictly applies to chemical inquiries; and hence they are wonderfully suited to the progressive nature of the human intellect, which, by its increasing efforts to acquire

a higher kind of wisdom, and a state in which truth is fully and brightly revealed, seems, as it were, to demonstrate its birthright to immortality.

Conversion of King Ethelbert.


[BEDE or Beda, distinguished by the name of the Venerable, was one of the most learned churchmen of the eighth century. He was educated in the monastery of St Peter, one of the two united abbeys of Wearmouth and Jarrow, in the bishopric of Durham, and subsequently became a monk of Jarrow. His most important work is the "Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation," which is brought up to the year 731. This most interesting record was originally written in Latin, was translated by King Alfred into Saxon, and was first translated into English in 1565. Our extract is given from a more careful translation, published in 1723. Bede died in his monastery, according to the best accounts, in the year 735. He has left the following account of himself at the end of the Ecclesiastical History:— “Thus much of ecclesiastical history of the Britons, and more especially of the English nation, as far as I could learn either from the writings of the ancients, or the tradition of our ancestors, or of my own knowledge, has, with the help of God, been digested by me, Bede, the servant of God, and priest of the monastery of the blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, which is at Wiremuth and Gyrwum; who, being born in the territory of that same monastery, at seven years of age was given to be educated by the most Reverend Abbot Benedict, and afterwards by Ceolfrid, and spending all the remaining time of my life in that monastery wholly applied myself to the meditation of Scripture, and amidst the observance of regular discipline, and the daily care of singing in the church, always took delight in either learning, or teaching, or writing. In the nineteenth year of my age received the degree of a deacon, in the thirtieth that of priesthood, both of them by the ministry of the most Reverend Bishop John, and by order of the Abbot Ceolfrid. From the which time of my being made priest till the fiftyninth year of my age, I have made it my business, for the use of me and mine, briefly to note down out of the works of the venerable Fathers, or to add according to their sense and interpretation, these following pieces." Bede then gives a list of forty-three works upon which he had thus laboured. They were published in 1693 from MSS., at Lambeth. But there is a larger collection, which first appeared in three volumes, folio, in 1544]


In the year from the incarnation of our Lord 582, Maurice, the 54th from Augustus, taking the empire upon him, held it twentyone years. In the tenth year of his reign, Gregory, a man

renowned for learning and behaviour, was promoted to the bishopric of the Roman and Apostolical See, and presided thirteen years, six months, and ten days. He being moved by divine inspiration, in the fourteenth year of the same emperor, sent the servant of God, Augustin, and with him several other monks fearing the Lord, to preach the word of God to the English nation. They having, in obedience to the Pope's commands, undertaken that work, and gone some part of their way, being seized with a slothful fear, began to think of returning home rather than to proceed to a barbarous, fierce, and unbelieving nation, to whose very language they were strangers; and this they unanimousl" agreed was the safest course. In short, they sent back Augustir whom he had appointed to be consecrated bishop, in case they were received by the English, that he might by humble entreaty obtain of the holy Gregory that they should not be compelled to undertake so dangerous, so toilsome, and so uncertain a journey. He, sending them an exhortatory epistle, persuaded them to proceed in the work of the Divine Word, relying on the heavenly assistance, the purport of which letter was as follows:

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Gregory, the servant of the servants of God, to the servants of our Lord. Forasmuch as it had been better not to begin a good work, than to think of desisting from that which has been begun, it behoves you (most beloved sons) to fulfil the good work which by the help of our Lord you have undertaken. Let not, therefore, the toil of the journey, nor the tongues of evil-speaking men deter you; but with all possible earnestness and fervour perform that which you have undertaken by God's direction, being assured that much labour is followed by a reward of eternal glory. When Augustin your chief returns, whom we also constitute your abbot, humbly obey him in all things; as knowing that whatsoever you shall do by his direction will, in all respects, be available to your souls. Almighty God protect you with His grace, and grant that I may, in the heavenly country, see the fruits of your labour; inasmuch as, though I cannot labour with you, I shall partake in the joy of the reward, because I am willing to labour. God keep you in safety, most beloved sons."

Augustin, being strengthened by the confirmation of the biessed Father Gregory, returned to the work of the Word of God, with the servants of Christ, and arrived in Britain. Ethelbert was at that time the most potent king of Kent, who had extended his dominions as far as the great river Humber, by which the southern Saxons are divided from the northern. On the east side of Kent is the Isle of Thanet, considerably large—that is, containing, according to the English way of reckoning, 600 families, divided from the other land by the river Wantsum, which is about three furlongs over, and fordable only in two places, for both ends of it run into the sea. In this island landed the servant of our Lord, Augustin, and his companions, being, as is reported, nearly forty men. They had by order of the blessed Pope Gregory taken interpreters of the nation of the Franks, and, sending to Ethelbert, signified that he was come from Rome, and brought a joyful message, which most undoubtedly assured all that took the advantage of it everlasting joys in heaven, and a kingdom that would never end, with the living and true God. He, having heard this, ordered them to stay in that island where they had landed, and that they should be furnished with all necessaries, till he should consider what to do with them. For he had before heard of the Christian religion, as having a Christian wife of the royal family of the Franks, called Bertha; whom he had received from her parents upon condition that she should be permitted to practise her religion with the Bishop Lindhard, given her to preserve the faith. Some days after, the king came into the island, and, sitting in the open air, ordered Augustin and his companions to be brought into his presence. For he had taken precaution that they should not come to him in any house, according to the ancient superstition, lest, if they had any magical arts, they might at their coming impose upon and get the better of him. But they came furnished with divine virtue, not with diabolical [power], bearing a silver cross for their banner, and the image of our Lord and Saviour painted on a board, and, singing the litany, offered up their prayers to the Lord for their own and the eternal salvation of those to whom they were come

Having, pursuant to the king's commands, after sitting down, preached to him and all his attendants there present the word of life, he answered thus:- "Your words and promises are very taking, but, in regard that they are new and uncertain, I cannot approve of them, forsaking that which I have so long followed with the whole English nation. But because you are come from far into my kingdom, and, as I conceive, are desirous to impart to us those things which you believe to be true, and most benenicial, we will not molest you, but rather give you favourable entertainment, and take care to supply you with your necessary sustenance; nor do we forbid you by preaching to gain as many as you can to your religion." Accordingly he gave them a dwelling-place in the city of Canterbury, which was the metropolis of all his dominions, and pursuant to his promise, besides allowing them their diet, permitted them to preach. It is reported, that as they drew near to the city, after their manner, with the holy cross, and the image of the Great King, our Lord Jesus Christ, they, in concert, sung this litany or prayer:-"We beseech thee, O Lord, in all thy mercy, that thy anger and wrath be turned away from this city, and from thy holy house, because we have sinned. Hallelujah.”

As soon as they entered into the dwelling-place assigned them, they began to imitate the course of life practised in the primitive Church; that is, applying themselves to frequent prayer, watching, and fasting; preaching the word of life to as many as they could; despising all worldly things, as not belonging to them, receiving only what was necessary for food of those they taught; living themselves in all respects conformable to what they prescribed to others, and being always disposed to suffer any adversity, and even to die, for that truth which they preached. In short, some believed, and were baptized, admiring the simplicity of their innocent life, and the sweetness of their heavenly doctrine. There was on the east side, near the city, a church dedicated to the honour of St Martin, formerly built whilst the Romans were still in the island, wherein the queen, who, as has been said before, was a Christian, used to pray. In this they at first began to

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