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The first. missionary, who attempted the conver-CE N T.

XII. sion of that savage people, was MAINARD, a re-p gular canon of St Augustin, in the monastery of mape Sigeberg, who, towards the conclusion of this century [f], travelled to Livonia, with a company of merchants of Bremen, who traded thither, and improved this opportunity of spreading the light of the gospel in that barbarous region of superstition and darkness. The instructions and exhortations of this zealous apostle were little attended to, and produced little or no effect upon that uncivilized nation : whereupon he addressed himself to the Roman pontif, URBAN III, who consecrated him bishop of the Livonians, and, at the same time, declared a holy war against that obstinate people. This war, which was at first carried on against the inhabitants of the province of Esthonia, was continued with still greater vigour and rendered more universal by BERTHOLD, abbot of Lucca, who left his monastery to share the labours and laurels of MAINARD, whom he, accordingly, succeeded in the see of Livonia. The new bishop marched into that province at the head of a powerful army which he had raised in Saxony, preached the gospel sword in hand, and, proved its truth by blows instead of arguments. ALBERT, canon of Bremen, became the third bishop of Livonia, and followed, with a barbarous, enthusiasm, the same military methods of conver-' sion that had been practised by his predecessor. He entered Livonia, A. D. 1198, with a fresh body of troops, drawn out of Saxony, and encamp-; ing at Riga, instituted there, by the direction of the Roman pontif INNOCENT III. the military order of the knights sword-bearers [s], who were comissioned to dragoon the Livonians into the ' B 3

: possession :

[f] In the year 1185. - [8] Equestris Ordo Militim Encifcrorum,

XU. PARTI,

CENT profession of Christianity, and to oblige them, by

force of arms, to receive the benefits of baptism
[b]. New legions were sent from Germany to se-
cond the efforts, and add efficacy to the mission,
of these booted apostles ; and they, together with
the knights sword-bearers, so cruelly oppressed,
slaughtered, and tormented this wretched people,
that exhausted, at length, and unable to stand
any longer firm against the arm of persecution,
strengthened still by new accessions of power, they
abandoned the statutes of their pagan deities,
and substituted in their place the images of the
saints. But while they received the blessings of
the gospel, they were, at the same time, deprived
of all earthly comforts; for their lands and pos-
sessions were taken from them with the most odi.
ous circumstances of cruelty and violence, and tho

kinghts and bishops divided the spoil [i]. The Scla- · V. None of the northern nations had a more

rooted aversion to the Christians, and a more obstinate antipathy to their religion, than the Sclavonians, a rough and barbarous people, who in. habited the coast of the Baltic sea. This excited the zeal of several neighbouring princes, and of a multitude of pious missionaries, who united their efforts in order to conquer the prejudices of this people, and to open their eyes upon the light of the gospel. HENRY, duke of Saxony, surnamed the Lion, distinguished himself, in a particular manner, by the ardour which he discovered in the execution of this pious design, as well as by the wise methods he employed to render it successful.

Among

Tonians

[b] See HENR. LEONH. SCHURZFLEISCHII Historia Ordinis Ensiferorum Equitum, Witteberg. 1701, 8vo.

li[ See the Origines Livonia seu Chronicon vetus Livonicum, published in folio at Francfort, in the year 1740, by Jo. DANIEL GRUBERUS, and enriched with ample and learned observations and notes, in which the laborious author enumerates all the writers of the Livonian history, and corrects their mistakes.

Among other measures that were proper for this C E N T. purpose, he restored from their ruins, and endow-n. Xlll., ed richly, three bishoprics [k] that had been ravaged and destroyed by these Barbarians; to wit, the bishoprics of Ratzebourg and Schwerin, and that of Oldenbourg, which was afterwards transplanted to Lubec. The most eminent of the Christijan doctors, who attempted the conversion of the Sclavonians, was VICELINUS, a native of Hamelen, a man of extraordinary merit, who surpassed almost all his cotemporaries in genuine piety and solid learning, and who, after having presided many years in the society of the regular cạnons of St Augustin at Falderen, was at length consecrated bishop of Oldenbourg. This excellent man had employed the last thirty years of his life [7], a. midst numberless vexations, dangers, and difficul. ties, in instructing the Sclavonians, and exhorting them to comply with the invitations of the gospel of Christ; and as his pious labours were directed by true wisdom, and carried on with the most indefatigable i: dustry and zeal, so were they attended with much fruit, even among that fierce

and k]? Dr MOSHEIM's account of this matter is very different from that which is given by FLEURY, who asserts, that it was HARTWICK, archbishop of Bremen, who restored the three ruined sees, and consecrated VIUCLINUS, bishop of Oldenbourg; and that, having done this without addressing himself to HENRy, that prince, seized the tithes of VICELINUS, until a reconciliation was afterwards brought about between the offended prince and the worthy bishop. See FLEURY, Hisi. Eccles. livr. Ixix. p. 665. 668. edit, Bruxelle. FLEURY, in this and other parts of his history, shews, that he is but indifferently acquainted with the history of Germany, and has not drawn from the best sources. The authorities which Dr MOSHEIM produces for his account of the matter, are the Origines Guelphicæ, tom. ü p. 16. 19. 34. 55. 61. 63. 72. 82. with the celebrated Preface of SCHEIDIUS, sect. xiv. p. 41.--LUDEWIG's Reliquiie Manuscriptorum, tom. vi. p. 238.-Jo. ERN. DE WESTPHALEN, Monumenta inedita rerum Cimbricarum et Megapolens. tom. ii. p. 1998.

[0] That is, from the year 1124.80 the year 1134, in which he died,

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PART

A

CE N T. and untractable people. Nor was his ministry
XII.
Lamong the Sclavonians, the only circumstance

that redounds to the honour of his memory, the
history of his life and actions in general furnishes
proofs of his piety and zeal, sufficient to transmit

his name to the latest generations [m]. The judg. VI. It is needless to repeat here the observation ought to

we have had so often occasion to make upon such form of conversions as these we have been now relating, these con

or to advertise the reader that the savage nations, versions.

who were thus dragooned into the church, became the disciples of CHRIST, not so much in reality, as in outward appearance. [K? They professed, with an inward reluctance, a religion which was inculcated by violence and bloodshed, which recalled to their remembrance nothing but scenes of desolation and misery, and which, indeed, when considered in the representations that were given of it by the greatest part of the missionaries, was but a few degrees removed from the absurdities of paganism.] The pure and rational religion of the gospel was never presented to these unhappy nations in its native simplicity; they were only taught to appease the Deity, and to render him propitious, by a senseless round of trifling ceremonies and bodily exercises, which, in many circumstances, resembled the superstitions they were obliged to renounce, and might have been easily reconciled with them, had it not been that the name and history of CHRIST, the sign of the cross, and some diversity between certain rites and ceremonies of the two religions,

opposed [m] There is a particular and ample account of VICELINUS in the Cimbria Litterara of MOLLERUS, tom. ii. p. 910. and in the Hamburg. of LAMBECIUS, lib. ii. p. 12. See also upon this subject the Originis Neomonaster., er Bordesholmens. of the most learned and industrious Joh. Ern. DE WESTPHALEN. which are published in the second tome of the Monumenta incdila Cimbrica, p. 2344, and the Preface to this some, p. 33. There is in this work a print of VICELINUS well engraven.

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opposed this coalition. Besides, the missionaries, CE N T. whose zeal for imposing the name of Christians ?

tant PARTI upon this people was so vehement and even furious, were extremely indulgent in all other respects, and opposed their prejudices and vices with much gentleness and forbearance. They permitted them to retain several rites and observances that were in direct opposition to the spirit of Christianity, and to the nature of true piety. The truth of the matter seems to have been this, that the leading views of these Christian heralds, and propagators of the faith, a small number excepted, were rather turned towards the advancement of their own interests, and the confirming and extending the dominion of the Roman pontifs, than towards the true conversion of these savage Pagans, that conversion which consists in the removal of ignorance, the correction of error, and the reformation of vice,

VII. A great revolution in Asiatic Tartary, The state which borders upon Cathay, changed the face of things in that distant region about the commence-changes in ment of this century, and proved, by its effects, favour of

the Chriextremely beneficial to the Christian cause. To-stians. wards the conclusion of the preceding century, died KOIREMCHAN, otherwise called KENCHAN, the most powerful monarch that was known in the eastern regions of Asia ; and while that mighty kingdom was deprived of its chief, it was invaded, with such uncommon valour and success, by a Nestorian priest, whose name was John, that it. fell before his victorious arms, and acknowledged this warlike and enterprising presbyter as its monarch. This was the famous PRESTER JOHN," whose territory was, for a long time, considcred by the Europeans as a second paradise, as the seat of opulence and complete felicity. As he was a presbyter before his elevation to the royal dignity, many continued to call him Presbyter yohn even

when

Girs 13

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