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receiving him into the Roman Catholic church? By no means. The priest would say,
" ALL THE MIRACLES RELATED IN THE SCRIPTURE YOU MUST BELIEVE. I CANNOT RECEIVE YOU INTO THE CHURCH UNLESS YOU BELIEVE THEM. ALL OTHER MIRACLES YOU MAY LEAVE TO THEIR FATE: THE CHURCH DOES NOT REQUIRE OUR BELIEF OF ANY ONE MIRACLE AMONG THEM.”
THESE Letters contain several observations which I think reprehensible. I shall notice one only of them.
“ Dr. Lingard,” you say, (p. 54), “has asserted “ that the Welch must have had the same faith as
Augustine : for he invited them to join in converting the Saxons :-this,” you remark, “ is
true; but they were not to be permitted to join “ in the work, unless they first submitted to certain ..“ decisions of the church of Rome.”
Now, what were the conditions which these decisions required ? Dr Lingard * informs us, that St. Augustine only required that they should observe the original computation of Easter; and should conform to the Roman rite, in the administration of baptism. Both were matters of discipline, and faith was concerned in neither. Thus, the demands of St. Augustine do not show that the church of Rome and the church of Wales differed in a single article of faith.
* Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon church, page 48.
What you say in this letter only calls upon me to notice the terms in which you mention my account of the disastrous event which happened at the assembly convened at Calne. I transcribe your words, (p. 58.) “ When you perused the
story of the falling in of the floor at the Council “ of Calne, did you suddenly cease to read, before
you came to that part which excites the suspicion
of a trick, and which, as an honest historian, you " would undoubtedly have mentioned, namely, that “ the beams and rafters did not give way, till the 6. nobles, who refused to yield, reproached Dun" stan, who thereupon cried out, “I confess I am “ unwilling to be overcome; I commit the cause “ of the Church to the decision of Christ.'
What can You mean? The whole of this passage You will find inserted, almost verbatim, in the very letter upon which You are now commenting. I there relate from Dr. Southey, that “the speech of “ Biornhelm, a Scottish bishop, produced a great « effect, and Dunstan did not attempt to answer “ it: he had laid aside, says his biographer, all “ his means, but prayer; you endeavour,” says
he, “ to overcome me, who am now growing old, “ and disposed to silence rather than contention.
« I confess I am unwilling to be overcome, and “ I commit the cause of the Church to Christ him.
self, as judge. No sooner had these words been " spoken than the beams and rafters gave way.”
I do not again mention the circumstances of the archbishop's speech, when I wind up the whole of the transactions in the last lines of my letter, not quite seven lines from the passage I have transcribed.
There, I thus express myself :-" That a council " was held at Calne; that, during its sitting, the “ floor fell in ; that the ecclesiastics, the nobles and " the other members, who attended it, were cast “ into the ruin; that several lost their lives or
were materially injured, and that Dunstan re“ mained unhurt by standing on a beam, are the “ only circumstances which history has transmitted
But history has not transmitted to us the archbishop's speech.
It is perhaps to my omitting to mention St. Dunstan's speech in this place, that you sneer at me, and impute“ historic dishonesty” to me :-hear my reasons for the omission :
1.--The speech is not mentioned by the contemporary historians: they are wholly silent upon the synod at Calne.
2.-Ten historians,-Malmsbury*, Huntingdon,Hoveden, $ Simon Dunelmensis, $ Matthew * De Pont, p. 34.
+ p. 205. I p. 245. f p. 159.
Westminster", Florence of Worcester, † Brompton, I Gervase, § Rudborne, || and the Saxon Chronicle, s mention the synod, and the disaster, but do not mention the archbishop's speech.-“ This year,” says the Saxon Chronicle, a faithful register of the times, “the principal nobility of
England fell at Calne from an upper floor, except " the holy Archbishop Dunstan, who stood upon
a beam ; and some were grievously hurt, and some did not escape with their lives.”
3.-Both the disaster and the speech are mentioned by Osbern.
Putting then in one scale Osbern's mention of the speech, with his acknowledged ridiculous proneness to the marvellous, and on the other, the absolute silence of the ten historians upon the speech, can it be said with truth, that the speech is recorded by history?
If You really believe the charge against St. Dunstan, allow me to say, that never was so foul a crime believed
less evidence. I have said too much upon the charge you have brought against me in this place; but such is the consequence of controversy; a line of sneer or misrepresentation often requires hours of research, and pages of explanation or defence.
+ p. 697. I p. 870. § p. 1647. || Ang. Sax. Vol. I. p. 225. I p. 124.