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P A R T I.
-oooo/319000 CHAPTER I.
Concerning the prosperous events that happened to
the church during this century.
A CONSIDERBLE part of Europe lay yet in-C E N T. rivolved in Pagan darkness, which reigned
PART II. more especially in the northern provinces. It-rad was, therefore, in these regions of gloomy super- the nort
ar Sererai of stition, that the zeal of the missionaries was prin-ern procipally exerted in this century ; though their efforts were not all equally successful, nor the me- light of the thods they employed for the propagation of the gospel. gospel equally prudent. BOLESLAUS, duke of Poland, having conquered the Pomeranians, offered them peace upon condition that they would receive the Christian doctors, and permit them to exercise their ministry in that vanquished province. This condition was accepted, and OTHO, bishop of Bamberg, a man of eminent piety and zeal, was sent, in the year 1124, to inculcate and explain the doctrines of Christianity, among that superstitious and barbarous people. Many were converted to the faith by his ministry, while great Vol. III.
. CENT. numbers stood firm against his most vigorous
1. efforts, and persisted with an invincible obstinacy brow in the religion of their idolatrous ancestors. Nor
was this the only mortification which that illustrious prelate received in the execution of his pious enterprise ; for, upon his return into Germany, many of those, whom he had engaged in the profession of Christianity, apostatised in his absence, and relapsed into their ancient prejudices; this obliged OTHO to undertake a second voyage into Pomerania, A. D. 1126, in which, after much opposition and difficulty, his labours were crowned with a happier issue, and contributed much to enlarge the bounds of the rising church, and to establish it upon solid foundations [a]. From this period, the Christian religion seemed to acquire daily new degrees of stability among the Pomeranians; who could not be persuaded hitherto to permit the settlement of a bishop among them. They now received ADALBERT, or ALBERT, in that character, who
was accordingly the first bishop of Pomerania. The Scla- II. Of all the northern princes of this century, Fonians and none appeared with a more distinguished lustre inhabitants of the isle than WALDEMAR I. king of Denmark, who acRugen. quired an immortal name by the glorious battles
he fought against the Pagan nations, such as the Sclavonians, Venedi, Vandals, and others, who, either by their incursions or this revolt, drew: upon them the weight of his victorious arm. He unsheathed his sword not only for the defence and
[a] See HEYR. CANISTÈ Lectiones Antiquæ, tom. ïïi. part II. p. 34. where we find the life of Otho, who, A. D. 1189. was canonised by CLEMENT III. See the Acta Sancior. mensis Jila lii, tom. i. p. 349.-Dan. CRAMERI Chronicon Eccles. Pomeranice, lib. i. as also a learned Dissertation concerning the conversion of the Pomeranians by the ministry of OTHO, written in the German language by CHRISTOPHER SCHOTGEN, ar.de published at Siargard in the year 1724. Add to these MABIL, LON, Annal. Benedict. tom. vi. p. 123. 146. 323.
happiness of his people, but also for the propa-CI
XII. gation and advancement of Christianity; and PARTI. wherever his arms were successful, there he pulled down the temples and images of the gods, destroyed their altars, laid waste their sacred groves, and substituted in their place the Christian worship, which deserved to be propagated by better means than the sword, by the authority of reason rather than by the despotic voice of power. The island of Rugen, which lies in the neighbourhood of Pomerania, submitted to the victorious arms of WALDEMAR, A. D. 1168; and its fierce and savage inhabitants, who were, in reality, no more than a band of robbers and pirates, were obliged, by that prince, to hear the instructions of the pious and learned doctors that followed his army, and to receive the Christian worship. This salutary work was brought to perfection by ABSALOM, archbishop of Lunden, a man of a snperior genius, and of a most excellent character in every respect, whose eminent merit raised him to the summit of power, and engaged WALDEMAR to place him at the head of affairs . .
III. The Finlanders received the gospel in the The Firesame manner in which it had been propagated landers B2
among [b] Saxo-GRAMMATICUS, Histor. Danic. lib. xiv. p. 239. HELMOLDUS, Chron. Sclavorum, lib. i. cap. xii. p. 234. & HENR. BANGERTUS, ad, b.1.-PONTOPPIDANI Annales Ecclesiæ Danicæ, tom. i. p. 404.
Besides the historians here mentioned by Dr MOSHEIM, we refer the curious reader to an excellent history of Denmark, written in French by M. MALLET, professor at Copenhagen. In the first volume of this history, the ingenious and learned author has given a very interesting account of the progress of Christianity, the northern parts of Europe, and a particular relation of the exploits of ABSALOM, who was, at the same time, archbishop, general, admiral, and prime minister, and who led the victorious Danes to battle by sea and land, without neglecting the cure of souls, or diminishing, in the least, his pious labours in the propagation of the gospel abroad, and its maintenance and support at home.
C E N T. among the inhabitants of the isle of Rugen. They XII. 1. were also a fierce and savage people, who lived by
plunder, aud infested Sweden in a terrible manner by their perpetual incursions, until, after many bloody battles, they were totally defeated by Eric IX. and were, in consequence thereof, reduced under the Swedish yoke. Historians differ about the precise time when this conquest was completed [C]; but they are all unanimous in their accounts of its effects. The Finlanders were commanded to embrace the religion of the conqueror, which the greatest part of them did, though with the utmost reluctance [d]. The founder and ruler of this new church was HENRY, archbishop of Upsal, who accompanied the victorious monarch in that bloody campaign. This prelate, whose zeal was not sufficiently tempered with the mild and gentle spirit of the religion he taught, treated the new converts with great severity, and was assassinated at last in a cruel man. ner on account of the heavy penance he imposed upon a person of great authority, who had been guilty of manslaughter. This melancholy event procured HENRY the honours of saintship and martyrdom, which were solemnly confered upon
him by pope ADRIAN IV. [e]. The Livo- IV. The propagation of the gospel among the nians.
Livonians was attended with much difficulty, and also with horrible scenes of cruelty and bloodshed.
[c] Most writers, vith BARONIUS, place this event in the year 11si. Diflerent, however, from this is the chronology of VASTOVIUS and OLRXHIELMIUS. the former placing it A. D. Idjo, and the latter A. D. 1 57. -- [d] OERNHIELMI Hisior. Eccles, gentis Suecorum. lib. iv. cap. iv. sect. 13.~--Jo. LOCENI Histor. Suecica , lib. iii. p. 76. ed. Francof.-ERLANDI Vita Erici Sancti, cap. vii.-Vastovi Vilis Aquilonia, p. 65. .
[c] VASTOVI Vitis Aquilon, seu Vitæ Sanctorum regni Suegoibici, p. 62. Eric. BENEZLI Monumenta Ecclesiæ Suegochic, part I. p. 33.