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cotemporary with the apostles, and whose life was forfeited in endeavouring to procure for posterity the benefits of the true religion, I think no one will regret its insertion.
ANGELINA. I think not, either, mamma; and I can assure you, that, until I attended to the accounts given by our cousin William, I had formed a very inadequate notion of the sufferings endured by the early Christians. I had indeed heard of the noble army of martyrs :" but, never having been made acquainted with the particular history of their exertions and sufferings, my esteem for their names was, necessarily, as confined as my knowledge; but the more I know of them, the more I venerate their memories.
WILLIAM. And yet, Angelina, you know not one half of the cruelties to which the early Christians were subjected. Were I to relate all the circumstances of torture, imprisonment, and yexatious suffering endured by them, I should make your blood run cold with horror : and it would amaze your understanding to conceive, how one human being could so lose all sense of feeling, as to inflict such cruel punishments on another. But I spare your feelings, as well as those of all present, and content myself with a mere sketch of their lives and actions: I'am, however, happy to find that my narrations, short as they necessarily are, have created in your mind a veneration and respect for these departed worthies, and sincerely hope that a remembrance of them may cause in you, as they have in me, an increased affection for a creed so dearly bought ; and a humble endeavour to practise self-denial, and those virtues so conspicuously set before us. The nextmentioned person, St. Boniface, whose day of commemoration is on the 5th of this month, is another eminent name on the list of martyrs, and one of the greatest missionaries of his time. · CHARLES. Where was he born? .
WILLIAM. I am proud to say he was an Englishman, being born at Crediton, in Devonshire, then part of the West Saxon kingdom; and is looked upon in ecclesiastical history, as one of the brightest ornaments of his country. When only about six years of age, he is said to have shown a thinking turn of inind, and seemed solicitous to gain information on theological subjects. Some evangelical missionaries coming by chance to Crediton, happened to fix their abode at his father's house, when their discourse determined Boniface to devote himself to a religious life. His father, a man of humble pursuits, would have dissuaded him from it; but finding him fully resolved, he permitted him to go and reside at a monastery in Exeter. In a short time, however, he removed to the Abbey of Nutscelle, near Winchester, greater opportunities. being there afforded for attaining improvement; and he speedily became a prodigy in divine knowledge. So great also were his acquirements in polite literature, poetry, rhetoric, grammar, philosophy, &c. that it was considered unnecessary for those who studied under him, to remove elsewhere
to finish what they had begun. - Mrs. Constance. At what age did he enter the ministry ? .
WILLIAM. At the age of thirty. Holy orders were conferred on him by the Abbot of Nutscelle, under whom he had long been employed as a principal teacher.
Mr. Constance. And from that time to the period of his death, Boniface may be said to have laboured with apostolic zeal, for the salvation of his fellow-creatures. The first public act of his life, was in a legation from a synet of bishops in the West-Saxon dominions, to the Archbishop of Canterbury, to inform him of the exigency of affairs, and to obtain a redress of existing grievances. He performed this duty in so masterly a manner, as to gain the unanimous approbation of the synod ; after which he set out in company with two friends, to teach Christianity on the Continent. Friesland was the scene of his first labours; but in consequence of the disordered state of that country, occasioned by a political change, and the establishment of paganism by Prince Radbord, he failed in making much impression. Conceiving that the time had not arrived when that nation should be converted, he returned to England; but soon obtained permission to visit Rome, where he arrived in the year 719. Gregory the Second, who at that time filled the papal chair, finding Boniface zealous and enterprising, gave him permission to preach the gospel to the Pagans whereyer he found them. Having passed through Lombardy and Bavaria, he came to Thuringia, which country had before received the light of the gospel, but which was much increased by the assiduity of Boniface. While resident here, he heard of the death of Radbord, at Utrecht, to which place he immediately repaired to assist Willebrod, the first bishop of that city.
WILLIAM. Which connexion, I believe, ended in the appointment of Boniface as the successor of Willebrod.
Mr. Constance. No: Willebrod, being very infirm, desired that it should be so, but Boniface absolutely refused, saying he could not stay so long in one place, as he had many evangelical labours to perform. He therefore took his leave, and repaired to Hesse, and afterwards to Saxony, at which places he converted some thousands to the Christian faith. Gregory, on hearing of his prodigious success, sent him a letter, desiring him to repair to Rome. On his arrival he was received with every mark of esteem and affection, and ultimately consecrated on the last day of November, 723. On this occasion it was that he took the name of Boniface, for that of Winfred, or Winfrith, the name of his family.
WILLIAM. I have also heard that his father was a wheelwright; is it true, Sir ?
MR. CONSTANCE. I believe it is ; though some authors, in their zeal to do him honour, assert that he was of royal extraction. However, St. Boniface was not ashamed of his mean origin, but appeared rather to boast of it, for he used to bear wheels in his arms; and which, out of compliment to him, have been retained by all his successors to the see of Mentz.
Mrs. CONSTANCE. Then I presume he was arch- . bishop of Mentz.
Mr. Constance. He was so; but had previously become archbishop, or metropolitan of all Germany, through the favour of Gregory III. who succeeded Gregory II. in the papal chair. It was after this that Boniface distinguished himself by the erecting of new monasteries and the creating of bishoprics, in that country. He then made a third journey to Rome, in 738, where the new pope, who had a great affection for him, detained him the greater part of a year. At length, having left Rome, he proceeded to Bavaria, upon the invitation of the duke; and besides reforming many abuses and making many converts, he divided that duchy into four dioceses, erecting three new bishoprics; one at Saltzburg, a second at Freisigen, and a third at Ratisbon. He afterwards established four other bishoprics, at Erfurt, Barabourg, Wurtzbourg, and Achstat.
-MARIA. It is rather surprising, I think, and much to his honour, that Boniface should have had such powerful influence in those countries where he was only a missionary.
Mr. Constance. It was one great feature in the character of Boniface, to seek for, and obtain advice, from men whom he esteemed greater than himself; for, amidst all his honours, he is said never to have lost his simplicity
of character, nor forgot his innocence in his ecclesiastical dignity. Thus all his acts were approved of by his superiors, and he became extremely powerful. On the death of the third Gregory, Zachary succeeded to the pontificate, and not only confirmed Boniface in his present honours, but created him Archbishop of Mentz, and metropolitan over thirteen bishoprics. During this period, Boniface was also called upon, as the most holy prelate that could be found, to perform the ceremony of crowning Pepin, who was at this time declared King of France. In a year after this act, from age and many infirmities, he, with the consent of the new king, bishops, &c. consecrated Lullus, an Englishman, and faithful disciple, and placed him in the see of Mentz, desiring him to finish the church of Fulda, and see him buried in it, for his end was approaching.
MARIA. From the excellent character of St. Boniface, I indulge a hope that he escaped martyrdom.
WILLIAM. I am sorry to say that he did not; for returning to Friesland, the place of his early exertions in the cause of Christ, he made fresh converts, demolished the Pagan temples, and raised churches on their ruins. This giving offence to the barbarians, they seized the opportunity when he was engaged in confirming a great number of proselytes, of rushing upon him and his clergy, and murdering all in their reach, to the number of fifty, Thus fell, on the 5th of June, 755, a man of extraordinary talent and great virtue, the honour of England, and the light and glory of his barbarous age."
Mrs. Constance. I have understood that St. Bonia face was not very choice in his means of converting the barbarians; but that he often had recourse to frauds of the most glaring and superstitious nature. If this be true, I think it must detract considerably from his title of a follower of the great Founder of the faith which he professed,