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IN the present volume I have attempted to present, in a 
popular form, the story of the work accomplished by the 
missionaries to whom the evangelization of Europe was 
due. My object has been to emphasize the labours of 
typical missionaries together with the salient features of 
their work, and no attempt has been made to present a 
complete sketch of the spread of Christianity throughout 
Europe. I have also omitted all references to the original 
authorities on which the information provided in regard 
to each separate country is based. For these, and for a 
more complete account of the various subjects here dis- 
cussed, I wo aid venture to refer the reader to a larger 
volume recently published by Longmans, entitled "The 
Conversion of Europe." In cases in which the present 
volume is used by Study Circles the leader of the Circle 
will find in the larger volume information that may be 
needed to supplement that which is here given. 

'' Outlines for the Use of Study Circles " and "Sug- 
gestions to leaders" based upon this volume have 
been issued. 

C. Hi R. 



JMOTE ... ... ... ... ... 

LIST OF MAPS ... ... ... ... 

I. INTRODUCTORY ... ... ... ... 


III. ITALY ... ... ... ... ... 

A V wJPAIr* * t t 

: V. FRANCE ... ....... ... 

VI. IRELAND ... ... ... ... 

VII. SCOTLAND ..'. ... ... r ... 

VIII. ENGLAND ... ... ... ... 

IX. HOLLAND ... ... ... ... 

X. DENMARK ... ... ... ... 

XI. AUSTRIA ... ... ... ... 

XII. GERMANY ... ... ... ... 


NORWAY ... ... ... ... 

SWEDEN ... ... ... ... 

XIV. RUSSIA ... ... ... ... 

XV. A GENERAL SURVEY ... ... ... 


INDEX... ... ... ... ... 




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... 14 

.... 2 4 

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... 66 

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... 98 

... 109 

. 137 

... 142 

... 146 

... 159 

... 167 













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TO many persons who are familiar with the mis- 
sionary labours of St. Paul and of the other 
apostles, which are recorded in the New Testament, the 
story of what happened after their time and of the efforts 
that were made to carry on their work throughout Europe, 
is a complete blank. They have heard or read of St. 
Augustine's mission to England, and have some knowledge 
of what was accomplished by other missionaries in Great 
Britain, but of missionary work on the continent of 
Europe they know nothing. The loss that arises from 
this ignorance is great, for the story of the conversion of 
Europe, if it could be adequately told, would form the 
most wonderful and most inspiring book which, apart 
from the Bible, has ever been written. 

Deeds of heroism. K the story of the past could be 
completely unrolled it would be made manifest that no 
deeds of heroism, or endurance, or sacrifice for the good 
of others have been performed upon this earth which can 
outshine those that have been performed by the Christian 
missionaries to whom the evangelization of Europe was due. 

Wherever the foot of man has trod the missionary has 
followed, inspired by love to his Master and by the belief 
that the revelation of His love is the one only cure for the 


world's sorrow. He has traversed seas, threaded Ms way 
through forests, braved starvation and want amidst 
hostile tribes ; misunderstood, ridiculed, persecuted, and 
tortured, he has shown himself to be the sympathetic 
friend of all and has ministered to the wants alike of 
their souls and their bodies. He has shunned no difficulty 
and been daunted by no danger, but has rebuked sin, 
worked righteousness and wrought reform amongst all 
races with whom he has lived. His only visible weapon 
of attack has been a book, his only means of defence the 
shield of prayer. Whilst conscious of his many short- 
comings and repeated failures, he has been upheld by the 
conviction that amidst all his sorrows and difficulties his 
divine Master walked ever by his side, and by the know- 
ledge that the task to which He called him was divine. 

It is true that the accounts relating to the work of the 
early missionaries that have been preserved are sadly 
deficient, and that of those which exist many were 
written so long after the events which they describe that 
they cannot be regarded as history ; but, even so, enough 
remains to enable us to understand the nature of the task 
which they accomplished and to make us feel that there is 
no name of which any human being may be more humbly 
proud than that of Christian missionary. 

Missions in the first century. We gather from 
the New Testament that at the time of St. Paul's death, 
i.e. about 68 A.D., the gospel had been preached, and a 
Christian community had come into existence, in half a 
dozen towns in Macedonia and Greece, in three or four 
towns in Italy, and possibly in one or two places in Gaul 
(France), and Spain. In Asia. Minor Churches had been 
established in a number of towns on or near its western 
and north-western coasts, and in Phrygia and I/ycaonia 
in the south-east, also in the north, unless, as is pro- 
bable, Galatia is to be identified with these provinces. 
There were also a certain number of Churches in Syria 
and Palestine. It can be shown that by the year 100 


there were Christian communities in at least twelve 
places in Syria and Palestine, twenty-one in Asia Minor, 
and nine in the Balkan Peninsula. 

Apostolic Missionaries. Of the missionary work done 
by the apostles, beyond what is described in the New 
Testament, we know hardly anything. 

There is no good reason to doubt that St. Paul ful- 
filled his intention of preaching the gospel in Spain 
(Rom. xv. 24-28, 2 Cor, i. 17). St. Clement of Rome, 
writing about thirty years after his death," says that 
St. Paul reached the farthest bounds of the west, an 
expression which at the time when he wrote was generally 
. applied to Spain. The existence of a party in Corinth 
which said of him, " I am of Peter," suggests that St. 
Peter had worked as a missionary in Greece. Moreover, 
Dionysius, who was Bishop of Corinth in 170, speaks of 
the plantation of Peter and Paul at Rome and Corinth. 
We may also accept as probable the tradition that St. 
Peter visited Rome and died there. 

Another tradition, which is also probably correct, 
states that St. Thomas preached the gospel in the district 
ruled by a Parthian chief named Gondophaf es, which lay 
between Persia and the river Indus. In later time his 
name was confused with that of a bishop called Thomas, 
who came from Edessa in 345, and landed on the coast of 
Malabar, together with a band of missionaries ; and the 
apostle was eventually credited with having founded a 
church in South India. 

A tradition, which apparently originated in the seventh 
century, states that St. James (who was put to death by 
Herod) preached the gospel in Spain, and he is to-day 
regarded as the Patron Saint of that country. An equally 
unhistorical tradition asserts that St. Andrew introduced 
Christianity into Russia. Eusebius, who wrote in the 
fourth century, states that the Evangelist St. Mark 
preached the gospel in Alexandria, and this statement 
may perhaps be true. 


There are numerous traditions relating to the mis- 
sionary activities of others whose names are mentioned 
in the New Testament, e.g. Lazarus and Joseph of Arima- 
thea, but these are of such late origin and in many cases 
so improbable that it is not worth while to mention them. 

Unofficial missionaries. The greater part of the 
missionary work that was done during the two or three 
centuries which followed the times of the apostles was 
done by men and women who would not to-day be called 
missionaries, and who were engaged in the ordinary 
occupations of life. The lives and deaths of such Chris- 
tians were in fact the chief means of spreading the 
Christian faith. Tertullian's statement that " the blood 
of Christians is seed " was proved true again and again, 
nor can it be denied that the more any given Church was 
persecuted the greater became its efficiency from a 
missionary standpoint ; but if the martyrdoms of Chris- 
tians provided occasional impulses towards the expansion 
of the Christian Church, the loving sympathy which they 
displayed towards each other and the high moral standard 
of their lives exerted an even greater influence. Justin 
Martyr tells us that it was as a result of witnessing the 
moral lives and fearless deaths of the Christians that he 
himself became a Christian, and his experience was 
shared by many others. 

We may, perhaps, interpret the allusion in the third 
Epistle of St. John to those who, " for the sake of the 
Name, went forth taking nothing of the Gentiles," as 
referring to missionaries who were accustomed to receive 
nothing from those whom they sought to convert. The 
writings of the early fathers contain hardly more than a 
few fragmentary references to the missionary activities 
of the early Christians. Eusebius, referring to the mis- 
sionary work carried on by the generation of Christians 
which succeeded that of the apostolic age, writes : " Very 
many of the disciples of that age (pupils of the apostles) 
whose heart had been ravished by the divine Word with 


a burning love for philosophy (i.e. asceticism) had first 
fulfilled the command of the Saviour and divided their 
goods among the needy. Then they set out on long 
journeys performing the office of evangelists, eagerly 
striving to preach Christ to those who, as yet, had never 
heard the word of faith, and to deliver to them the holy 
gospels. In foreign lands they merely laid the foundations 
of the faith, and afterwards appointed others as shepherds, 
entrusting them with the care of those who had been 
recently brought into (the Church), while they themselves 
proceeded with the grace and co-operation of God to other 
countries, and to other peoples." 

In some instances Christianity was first commended 
to pagans by their slaves, or by those whom they had 
captured in war. The Church historian Sozomen, writing 
about 440, refers thus to the influence exerted by the 
lives of Christians which resulted in the spread of Chris- 
tianity in the Balkan Peninsula, and his description would 
apply to many other parts of Kurope. 

"To almost all the barbarians the opportunity of 
having Christian teaching proclaimed to them was offered 
by the war which took place at that time between the 
Romans and the other races, under the reign of Gallienus 
and his successors. For when in those reigns an untold 
multitude of mixed races passed over from Thrace, and 
overran Asia, while from different quarters different 
barbarian peoples treated in like manner the Romans 
who were their neighbours, many priests of Christ were 
taken prisoners and abode with them. And when they 
healed the sick who were there, cleansed those who had 
evil spirits by simply naming the name of Christ and 
calling on the Son of God, and further maintained a noble 
and blameless conversation, and overcame their reproach 
by their virtuous conduct, the barbarians marvelled at the 
men, their life and wonderful works and acknowledged 
that they themselves would be wise and win the favour of 
God if they were to act after the manner of those who thus 


showed themselves to be better men, and like them were 
to serve the right : so, getting them to instruct them m 
their duty, they were taught and baptized and subse- 
quently met as a congregation." 

Monks as missionaries. The first men of whom we 
know any particulars and who can be described as regular 
missionaries were mpnks. Monasticisin, which was first 
developed in Egypt, was introduced into Italy by Athana- 
sius and his followers, in the middle of the fourth century, 
and a few years later the first monastery 'in Gaul was 
founded by St. Martin of Tours, near Poitiers; and by 
the end of the fifth century monasteries had been es- 
tablished in nearly all the provinces of the Roman Empire. 
During the fifth century there occurred a great decline 
in the spiritual life and influence of the monasteries, but 
a revival took place subsequently which was largely due 
to the influence of Benedict and his followers. 

It is hard to conceive how, under the conditions that 
prevailed in Europe in early and mediseval times, the 
missionary work accomplished by ,the monks could have 
been accomplished by any other agency. If, on the one 
hand, their inability to set before the pagans the picture 
of a Christian home tended to produce a one-sided type 
of Christianity, on the other hand, the life which they led 
as Christian communities exerted a continuous and far- 
reaching influence. Thus Dr. Skene, comparing the 
evangelistic methods adopted by individual missionaries 
and by those who lived together as monks, writes : " The 
monastic missionaries did not commence their work, as 
the earlier secular Church would have done, by arguing 
against their idolatry, superstition, and immorality, and 
preaching a purer faith, but they .opposed to it the 
antagonistic characteristics and purer life of Christianity. 
They exhibited a life of purity, holiness, and self-denial. 
They exercised charity and benevolence, and they forced 
the respect of the surrounding pagans to a life, the motives 
of which they could not comprehend, unless they resulted 


from principles higher than those their pagan religion 
afforded them ; and, having won their respect for their 
lives and their gratitude for their benevolence, these 
monastic missionaries went among them with the Word 
of God in their hands, and preached to them the doctrines 
and pure morality of the Word of I/ife." 

The use of physical force. In studying the history 
of the conversion of Europe we cannot fail to be im- 
pressed by the large part which the employment of 
physical force played in the spread of Christianity. Before 
the year 312 physical force was frequently employed by 
the pagans in order to prevent the growth of the Christian 
Church, but within fifty years of this time Christians were 
found who advocated the employment of force in order to 
compel pagans to accept the Christian faith. Although 
from time to time a few voices were raised' against attempts 
to convert people by force, it gradually came to be 
accepted by the rulers of the Christian Church that 
where persuasion failed force might be employed, and 
its use became more and more common. 

Great Britain and Ireland are the only countries in 
Europe in which the profession of Christianity was not 
at one time or another spread by the threat of persecution 
and death. Ireland appears to be the only country 
which has witnessed no Christian martyrdom. The 
worst instances of the use of compulsion are to be found 
in Prussia, Pomerania, and Scandinavia. In Norway 
King Hakon hastened the nominal acceptance of Chris- 
tianity by burning to death those who refused to be 
converted, whilst in Prussia the " Christian " Knights of 
the Sword ravaged the country for decades of years with 
a view to the conversion of its inhabitants. 

In other cases, as, for example, in Russia, although 
no actual violence was used, thousands of persons were 
baptized at one time, in obedience to an order issued by 
their ruler, who had received little instruction, and 
whose lives were in no way affected by the change in 


their religious profession. In view of the haste with 
which whole communities, or tribes, were sometimes 
enrolled as Christians there is no cause for surprise that 
pagan reactions constantly occurred. 

Influence of Constantine. The battle of the 
Milvian Bridge (October 28, 312), as a result of which 
Constantine, became the ruler of the Roman Empire, 
marks an epoch in the development of Christianity in 
Europe. From this time forward the Christian Church 
was left free to expand, but from this time forward it 
was deprived of the bracing and purifying influence 
which the contempt and the persecution of the State" 
had before exerted upon its members. It has been said, 
and there is a measure of truth in the statement, that 
the conversion of Constantine was the greatest calamity 
that ever happened to the Church. Although he was a 
sagacious and powerful ruler, his standard of life and 
conduct was miserably low. Many years after his 
alleged conversion he murdered his own wife Fausta and 
his son Crispus, and he committed numerous other 
crimes of which those who made no profession of Chris- 
tianity would have been ashamed. His conversion 
resulted in the rapid extension of a profession of Chris- 
tianity throughout the Empire ; but, as might have been 
expected, the conversion of his subjects was no deeper 
or more complete than was his own. As far as we can 
judge when we look back upon the past, it would have 
been better for the religious interests of Europe as a 
whole if Constantine had not professed the Christian 
faith, and if the Christians had continued for another 
century or more to be a persecuted and despised sect. 
John Stewart Mill, wrote, " It is one of the most tragical 
facts of all history that Constantine, rather than Marcus 
Aurelius, was the first Christian Emperor." Had the 
influence which induced many to call themselves Christian 
been purer, and had the missionaries and early Christian 
teachers succeeded in inspiring their converts with the 


true ideals of Christianity, the subsequent history of 
Europe would have been far other than it has been. 

Conversion of the Upper Classes. With very few 
exceptions the conversion of Europe was brought about 
by missionary influences that spread from the upper and 
better educated to the lower and less educated classes. 
The principle enunciated by one of the Pomeranian dukes 
during a missionary tour made by Bishop Otto in his 
country was generally recognized and acted upon. The 
duke said : " It is for us who are the chiefs and men of 
importance to have regard to our dignity and to, agree 
together in regard to this most deserving matter, so that 
the people who are subject to us may be instructed by 
our example. For whatever religion or virtue is to be 
attempted I say that it is more correct that it should 
pass from the head to the members than from the members 
to the head. In the primitive Church, indeed, as we have 
heard, the Christian faith began with the common people 
and with individuals belonging to the common people, 
and spread to the middle classes, and then affected the 
chiefs of the world. Let us reverse the custom of the 
primitive Church so that the holiness of the divine religion, 
beginning with us who are chiefs and passing on to the 
middle classes by an easy progress, may enlighten the 
whole people and race. ' ' 

The reasoning of the Pomeranian duke was plausible, 
but the experience of missionaries in ancient and modern 
times has been that when a religion has been accepted by 
a people because it has been recommended to them by 
their rulers, it is 'most-likely to become superficial and to 
fail to affect their characters. 

The earliest Christian communities in Europe were 
first established in the countries that border upon the 
Mediterranean. We shall therefore begin our account 
of the spread of Christianity throughout Europe with 
.these countries. 



ARLY Christian communities. Before the end of 
JC/ the first century, Christian- communities had been 
established at Philippi, Thessalonica, and Beroea in 
Macedonia ; Nicopolis in Epirus ; Athens, Corinth, and 
Cenchrea in Greece ; and in Illyria and Dalmatia. All 
these places are mentioned in the New Testament. 
Two centuries later the number of bishoprics in Greece 
was at least twenty, but of the missionary activities by 
which the Christian faith had been spread we know 

Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, addressed a letter to the 
Christians at Philippi just before his martyrdom in 155, 
in which he exhorted them to beware of covetousness and 
reminded them of the teaching which had been given 
them by St. Paul. Origen, who visited Athens in 230, 
wrote, " The Church of God at Athens is a peaceable and 
orderly body, as it Desires to please Almighty God." 
On the other hand, Gregory of Nazianzus, who was edu- 
cated at Athens in the middle of the fourth century, 
refers to the strength of paganism and pagan teaching 
at that time. The Church which St. Paul founded at 
Corinth continued to expand after his death. Thus 
Clement, bishop of Rome, writing to the Church at 
Corinth in 95, after referring to the " detestable and 
unholy sedition " that had arisen in their midst, praises 
them for their " steadfast faith," and that they were 
"ready unto every good work." Hegesippus, a Jewish- 
Christian, writing about 180, says that the Church of the 


Corinthians continued in the orthodox faith. Christianity 
spread slowly throughout the country districts, the last 
people to be converted being the Slavonic tribe to whom 
missionaries were sent by the Emperor Basil about 870. 
Long before this the Emperor Justinian had issued orders 
that all who had not been baptized were to assemble in 
churches together with their wives and children, and, 
after receiving instruction, were to be baptized forthwith. 
Those who refused to be baptized were to be deprived of 
all their property, and, if convicted of sacrificing to idols, 
were to be put to death. 

Although Constantinople was founded by a Christian 
Emperor, and s had no heathen traditions, many heathen 
were discovered to be living there as late as 561, when all 
who were discovered were forcibly baptized. 

Ulfilas. We come now to consider the work ac- 
complished by one of the greatest of the missionaries to 
whom the conversion of Europe was due, Ulfilas, the 
Apostle of the Goths. The Goths, starting from the 
southern shores of the Baltic Sea, invaded Moesia, which 
included the northern parts of Serbia and Bulgaria, about 
the year 250. They also settled in the Crimea, where a 
few of them became Christians. Ulfilas, who was born 
about 311 and was brought up amongst the Goths, was 
sent by them, in 332, either as an envoy or as a hostage, 
to Constantinople, where he learnt I/atin and Greek. 
After working as a missionary amongst his own country- 
men in Constantinople and its neighbourhood he was 
consecrated as a bishop in 341, and for the next seven 
years he served as a missionary in Dacia, which includes 
modern Roumania, but in 348 so bitter a persecution was 
raised against the Christians that Ulfilas sought and 
obtained permission for the Christian Goths to cross the 
Danube and settle within the borders of the Roman 
Empire, that is in Bulgaria. Of the work done by 
Ulfilas amongst the Goths who crossed the Danube, we 
have unfortunately no information. His work amongst 


the Goths north of the Danube was interrupted by his 
enforced flight, but by his homilies and treatises, and, later 
on, by his Bible translations and through the work of his 
disciples, he continued to exert a considerable influence, 
and it was doubtless due to his efforts and inspiration 
that their number continued steadily to increase. The 
Christians who were in touch with Ulfilas were regarded 
as Arians, but missionary work was also carried on by 
representatives of the Orthodox party, and in the perse- 
cution raised by Athanaric, king of the Goths, at the end 
of 369, and which continued for four years, many suffered 
death who were followers of Athanasius. 

Of the Christians who suffered during this persecution 
some were brought to trial and boldly confessed their 
faith, whilst others were killed without having been 
afforded an opportunity of witnessing for Christ. In one 
district a wooden idol was placed upon a cart, and was 
taken from village to village, and the Christians were 
summoned to come forth and worship and offer sacrifices 
to the idol. When they refused the heathen burnt the 
houses with the Christians inside. One of those who 
suffered, and who belonged apparently to the Orthodox 
party, was St. Saba, who had been a Christian from his 
boyhood. When the heathen arrived at his village, his 
friends, who desired to protect him from their fury, swore 
that there were no Christians in the village ; but he sud- 
denly appeared, and said openly, " Let no one swear for 
me, for I am a Christian." On this occasion he was 
allowed to go free on the ground that he was so poor 
and obscure that he could do neither good nor harm. 
Later on, however, he was carried off, together with a 
priest named Sansala, and having refused to eat meat 
that had been offered to idols he was eventually drowned 
in the river Musseus. 

A Gothic Bible. The work by means of which 
Ulfilas exerted the widest and most enduring influence, 
and which distinguished him from all his missionary 


predecessors, was Ms translation of the Bible into the 
Gothic language. The importance and significance of 
this work of translation has been well described by 
Professor Max Muller, who wrote : " Ulfilas must have 
been a man of extraordinary power to conceive, for the 
first time, the idea of translating the Bible into the vulgar 
language of his people. At this time there existed in 
Europe but two languages which a Christian bishop would 
have thought himself justified in employing, Greek and 
I^atin. All other languages were still considered as 
barbarous. It requires a prophetic insight and a faith 
in the destinies of those half-savage tribes, and a convic- 
tion also of the utter effeteness of the Roman and Byzantine 
Empires, before a bishop could have brought himself to 

. translate the Bible into the vulgar dialect of his bar- 
barous countrymen." Translations of the Bible or of 
parts of the Bible had previously been made into Syrian 
and Egyptian dialects, but these were already literary 
languages. Ulfilas was the first to translate the Bible 
into a language in which no literature of any kind existed 
at the time. He not only translated the Bible into 
Gothic, but is said to have invented the characters in 
which the translation was written. 

It is interesting to note that when translating the 
Old Testament he omitted the books of the Kings and 
Chronicles for fear lest the warlike tendencies of his 
converts should be encouraged by reading of wars that 
had received divine sanction. 

The work of Ulfilas. Auxentius, the biographer of 
Ulfilas, tells us almost nothing concerning his methods of 
work, but he sums up his all too brief account thus : 

^'Preaching and giving thanks with love to God the 
Father through Christ he flourished gloriously for forty 
years in his bishopric, and with apostolic grace he preached 
in the Greek and lyatin and Gothic languages without 
intermission in the one only Church of Christ, for one is 
the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of 



the truth, and he used to assert and contend that one is 
the flock of Christ our I,ord and God, one husbandry, one 
building, one virgin, one spouse, one kingdom, one vine- 
yard, one house, one temple, one assembly of Christians, 
all other meetings being not churches of God but syna- 
gogues of Satan." 

In 381, when he was now seventy years of age, Ulfilas 
was summoned by the Bniperor Theodosius to attend a 
council at Constantinople. A dispute had arisen amongst 
the Arians in Constantinople, and it was hoped that 
Ulfilas, who was a semi-Arian, might be able to mediate. 
His long-continued labours had. already weakened his 
health, and on reaching Constantinople he died before 
he had attempted to fulfil the object for which he had 
been summoned. His biographer writes: "It behoves 
us to consider the merit of the man who by the guidance 
of the lyord came to die at Constantinople, nay, rathe.r at 
Christianople, so that the holy and stainless priest of 
Christ might, conformably to his merits, be marvellously 
and splendidly honoured by saints and fellow-priests, 
the worthy man in worthy fashion by worthy men, and 
at the hands of so great a multitude of Christians." 

The figure of Ulfilas, in so far as we can discern it 
through the mists of time, and as it is portrayed in the 
writings of his prejudiced opponents, is that of ,a man 
who rose far above the atmosphere of religious controversy 
which distinguished his age, and who devoted his life to 
active toil, and his great literary powers to the provision 
of a version of the Sacred Scriptures which, whilst it has 
outlasted the political existence of his race, has provided 
an example and furnished a standard for all succeeding 
generations. Without undervaluing the work of his 
contemporary St. Martin of Tours, we may say that he 
was the greatest missionary who had laboured in Europe 
subsequent to the death of St. Paul. Selenas, who had 
been an assistant of Ulfilas, succeeded him as bishop, and 
for the next fifteen years the Goths lived a peaceful and 


settled life, whilst the followers and pupils of Ulfilas 
carried on his work, the fruits of which were seen in the 
subsequent development of the national character to 
which later historians were to bear warm testimony. 

Campaigns of the Goths. On the death of the 
Emperor Theodosius in 395 the Goths ceased to own 
allegiance to the Empire, and chose Alaric as their king. 
The greater part of those settled in Moesia probably 
followed Alaric in some of his many campaigns, and of 
those who remained some were induced by the missionaries 
sent out by Chrysostom to join the catholic Church. The 
Goths who overran Italy, Spain, and other countries were 
accompanied by Christian bishops, one of whom , Sigesarius, 
after the capture of Rome, baptized the Emperor Attains, 
whilst another, named Maximin, was present with the 
Gothic troops at Carthage in 427. When the Goths 
invaded Gaul they established an extensive and well- 
organized Church to which Gregory of Tours frequently 
refers : they were keen, moreover, to act as missionaries 
amongst the pagans. 

With the reception into the catholic Church of Rec- 

cared, the king of the Goths in Spain (586), the last 

branch of the Gothic Church came to an end, and the 

_ influence of the Goths as a factor in European history 

ceased to exist. 

Missionaries in Bulgaria After the death of 
Ulfilas in 381, no further attempt appears to have been 
made to convert the inhabitants of Bulgaria, and after 
a time the Christian Church there seems to have become 
extinct. Nearly 500 years elapsed before the arrival of 
the next Christian missionaries, and by this time the 
nationality of the population had greatly changed. . Before 
the close of the seventh century the Bulgarians, who had 
originally come from central Asia, had occupied the greater 
part of Macedonia and Epirus. Having conquered the 
.Slavonic inhabitants of these districts they adopted their 
language and customs and eventually, by intermarriage, 


became identified with them. Christianity was introduced 
amongst them in 813, when, in the course of a raid upon 
territory belonging to the Roman Empire, they captured 
Adrianople and carried captive a number of Christians, 
including a bishop. This bishop and many of his fellow- 
captives eventually died a martyr's death. After the 
lapse of nearly fifty years a monk named Constantine 
Cypharas, who had been carried captive by the Bul- 
garians, endeavoured to preach to them the Christian 

Baptism of Bogoris. In 861 a sister of the Bulgarian 
Prince Bogoris (Boris), who had apparently been held as 
a captive at Constantinople for several years, and who 
had been baptized there as a Christian, was restored to 
her own country, Cypharas being at the same time 
released and sent back to Constantinople. She en- 
deavoured, though at first without success, to impart to her 
brother her new faith, but eventually in a time of severe 
famine Bogoris was induced to solicit aid from the God 
of the Christians, and, the famine having come to an end, 
showed a disposition to listen to the entreaties of his 
sister that he should accept the Christian, faith. Accord- 
ing to a story, which is of doubtful historical value, the 
sister of Bogoris had sent for a skilful artist named 
Methodius, who has sometimes been identified with the 
well-known missionary to the Moravians, in order that 
he might paint some scenes to adorn the walls of Bogoris' 
palace. Cedrenus relates that Methodius, instead of 
painting hunting scenes on the walls of the palace as 
Bogoris had requested, produced a picture representing 
the final Judgment, the effect of which was so great that 
Bogoris expressed a desire to receive Christian instruction. 
He was baptized in 863 or 864 by the name Michael, the 
Emperor Michael (though not present on the occasion) 
being his godfather. His baptism took place at midnight, 
as it was feared that it might excite the forcible opposition 
of his subjects. After his baptism he received a long letter 


from Photius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, which was 
largely concerned with theological controversy, and in 
which he exhorted him to take measures for the con- 
version of his people. Contrary to the advice of Photius, 
who had urged him to abstain from recourse to force, he 
proceeded to compel them to follow his example, with the 
result that an insurrection occurred, which he suppressed 
with great cruelty, all the rebellious nobles and their 
families being massacred. 

Photius had not apparently troubled to send any 
missionaries to assist Bogoris in the evangelization of the 
country, and several unauthorized and uneducated Greeks 
began to act as missionaries and teachers. One who 
pretended to be a priest baptized many, but when his 
followers discovered that he had deceived them they cut 
off his nose and ears and expelled him from their country. 
There arrived also Roman and Armenian missionaries who 
spoke against the teachings of the Greeks, and commended 
the doctrines of their own Churches. Moved, partly by 
the refusal of the Greek patriarch to consecrate a bishop 
for Bulgaria and partly by political reasons, Bogoris now 
applied for help (865) to Pope Nicholas I. and to the 
Emperor I^ouis II. of Germany. The Pope replied by 
sending two Italian bishops, Paul and Formosus, who took 
with them a detailed reply to a hundred and six questions 
that Bogoris had asked, relating to the conduct of converts 
to the Christian faith. The Pope's letter compares 
favourably with the letter which had been received from 
Photius, and displays an intelligent appreciation of the 
needs and difficulties of those who were striving to 
abandon heathen customs and to live a Christian life. 
Several of the questions asked by Bogoris and of the 
answers given by the Pope are of interest from a mis- 
sionary standpoint, and throw light upon the conditions 
attaching to the work of the early missionaries both in 
Bulgaria and elsewhere. 

The Pope's Letter to Bogoris. The Pope rebukes 


Bogoris for the cruelty with which he had suppressed the 
rebellion that had followed his own baptism, and specially 
for his massacre of women and children. He urges that 
those who were unwilling to abandon idolatry should be 
reasoned with and exhorted rather than coerced, inasmuch 
as " nothing can be good which is not the outcome of free 
action/' God asks of -man a voluntary obedience ; had 
He chosen to use force none could have resisted His will : 
intercourse with those who refused to become Christians 
must be avoided, and they must be left to God's judgment : 
but in the case of those who had become Christians and had 
fallen back into idolatry, force should be employed to 
reconvert them, as their case is similar to that of blas- 
phemers who, according to the laws contained in the Old 
Testament, were to be punished with death. 

The Pope defended the Greek whose nose and ears the 
Bulgarians had cut off on the ground that pious deception 
was lawful when the object in view was the conversion 
of heathen to the true faith. 

It is possible that the Jesuit missionary, Robert di 
Nobili, who in the seventeenth century pretended to be a 
Brahman in India,* had in mind this official declaration 
of the Pope. 

In reply to a question whether a number of baptisms 
which had been administered by a Jew, whose own con- 
version to Christianity was doubtful, were valid, the Pope 
urges their validity on the ground that they had been 
administered in the name of the Trinity. 

In answer to the question asked him concerning the 
wearing of the cross, he explained that, as Christ had 
commanded that men should bear the cross in their hearts,- 
they should also wear it on their bodies in order that they 
may be constantly reminded of their duty to bear it in 
their hearts. The wearing of the cross should denote 

* See "History of Christian Missions," by the author, pp. 

75 ft: 


mortification of the flesh and compassion towards 

The answer to one question, viz. that relating to the 
lawfulness of praying for the salvation of their forefathers, 
grates harshly upon our ears. It was similar to that given 
by Wulfram to the Frisian king Radbod. The Pope 
quotes the reference by St. John (i John v. 16) to the 
" sin unto death," and says that such a mark of affection 
could not be allowed. In conclusion he .promised to send 
them a bishop and later on perhaps a patriarch. 

Relations with the Greek Patriarch. After the 
return of the two bishops whom Pope Nicholas had sent, 
the Bulgarians still hesitated whether to ally themselves 
with Constantinople or with Rome. The patriarch 
Photius claimed their allegiance on the ground that he 
had baptized Bogoris, whilst the Pope claimed it on the 
ground that their country had always been within the 
limits of the Roman Empire. In a circular letter addressed 
to the patriarchs of Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Antioch, 
Photius denounced the intrusion of the Pope. In an 
earlier letter addressed to the bishops of the Bast in 869 
he wrote : " Moreover the barbarous race of Bulgarians, 
which was hostile to Christ, is become so gentle and 
mindful of God that, abandoning their ancestral and 
devilish orgies and putting off the deceit of Hellenic 
superstition, contrary to all expectation they have been 
engrafted into the faith of Christians." At length, and 
notwithstanding the warnings of Pope John VIII., the 
Bulgarians finally threw in their lot with the Greek 
Church, and a Greek archbishop and Greek bishops were 
received and set over the Bulgarian Church. 

During the reign of Simeon (893-927) the younger son 
of Bogoris, Christianity was established as the religion of 



INTRODUCTION of Christianity. Of the mission- 
JL ary activities which resulted in the conversion of 
Italy we know less than in the case of any other European 
country. Its conversion occupied six hundred years, but, 
outside the city of Rome, we do not know of any 
missionary who exerted a wide or lasting influence upon 
its peoples. 

It is probable that a knowledge of the Christian faith 
was first introduced into Italy by some of the " sojourners 
of Rome/' who listened to the preaching of St. Peter at 
Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, and who would have 
carried back to Rome a report of what they had seen and 
heard. It was, perhaps, as a result of their influence that 
the Christian community came into existence to which 
St. Paul, writing about the year 57, sends greetings in the 
Epistle to the Romans. 

That this community was inspired with missionary 
zeal may be inferred from his statement that its faith was 
" proclaimed throughout the whole world." Aristobulus 
and Narcissus, in whose houses Christians were to be 
found, were apparently Roman nobles, and, later on, when 
St. Paul himself was in Rome, there were Christians " in 
Csesar's household." Tacitus, the I^atin historian, refer- 
ring to Nero's persecution of the Christians in 64, speaks 
of a great multitude of Christians, an expression which 
cannot have denoted less than several hundreds. 

St. Peter in Rome. There is no reason to doubt the 
early tradition that St. Peter visited and taught in Rome. 


He may have become interested in the great city as the 
result of converse with those to whom he preached on 
the Day of Pentecost, or he may have obtained intro- 
ductions to dwellers in Rome from Cornelius, the captain 
of the Italian Band, which consisted of volunteers from 
Italy. He may also have heard that Simon Magus, whom 
he had silenced in Samaria, was teaching and influencing . 
many in Rome. 

Early Roman, converts. Clement of Rome, writing 
to the Christians at Corinth about A.D. 95, after referring 
to the deaths of St. Peter and St. Paul, wrote : " Unto 
these men of holy lives was gathered a vast multitude of 
the elect, who, through many indignities and tortures, 
set a brave example among themselves." A Roman 
consul Titus Flavius Clemens and his wife Domitilla, who 
were closely related to the Emperor Domitian, were 
Christians and were punished as such (95-96). 

There are many references, both in Christian and non- 
Christian writings, to prove that in the second, and still 
more in the third century, the number of Christians in 
Rome belonging to the richer and more cultured classes 
was considerable. Busebius writes, " about the time of the 
reign of Commodus (180-192), our affairs changed for the 
better, and by God's grace the Churches all over the world 
enjoyed peace. Meanwhile the word of salvation was 
conducting every soul from every race of men to the devout 
worship of the God of all things, so that a large number 
of people at Rome, eminent for great wealth and high 
birth, turned to their salvation along with all their 
households and families." During the reign of Com- 
modus a Christian named Carpophorus belonged to the 
Emperor's household, one of whose slaves, Callistus, 
afterwards became bishop of Rome. 

Early persecutions. A rescript issued by the 
Emperor Valerian in 258 suggests that there were many 
Christians belonging to the highest classes of Roman 
society. It reads : " Senators and prominent men and, 


Roman knights are to lose their position and, moreover, 
be deprived of their property, and if they persist in being 
Christians after their goods have been taken away from 
them, they are to be beheaded. Matrons are to be 
deprived of their goods and sent into exile ; but members 
of Caesar's household are to have their, goods confiscated 
and be sent in chains by appointment to the estates of 

The wife and daughter of the Bmperor Diocletian, 
who became one of the chief persecutors (303-304), were 

Christian soldiers. Christianity in early times 
seemed specially to appeal to soldiers, and some of the 
most effective missionary work was done by them. 
Pachomius, who was one of the founders of monasticism, 
was a soldier in Constantine's army and was converted 
to Christianity by the brotherly love displayed by his 
fellow-soldiers. In the prayers of the early Church the 
Roman army was regularly mentioned, and, although 
there were always a few pacifists, the majority of the 
Christians did not regard the profession of a soldier as 
inconsistent with the practice of their religion. ; 

One of the canons passed at the Council of Aries in 
Gaul (A.D. 314), pronounced sentence of excommunication 
upon any Christian soldier who should' decline to perform 
his military duties. 

Greek-speaking Christians. In considering the 
spread of Christianity in Rome and Southern Italy we 
have to remember that for at least a hundred years after 
a Christian Church was established the majority of its 
members spoke Greek rather than lyatin. When St. Paul 
was in Rome the upper classes spoke Greek in preference 
to lyatin, and amongst the poorer classes a debased form 
of Greek was used for trade purposes. The first bishop of 
Rome who wrote in lyatin was Victor (189-199), and of the 
bishops who preceded him only two bear lyatin names. 
When Polycarp bishop of Smyrna reached Rome in 154 


lie conducted service there in Greek, and the Apostles' 
Creed was apparently composed in Greek about the 
middle of the second century. The ma j ority of the Roman 
clergy appear to have used Greek as their official language 
till the middle of the third century. How soon the Bible 
was translated into lyatin for the benefit of the Roman 
Christians it is impossible to discover, . but it is probable 
that the I>tin versions made in North Africa in the second 
century were earlier than any of the Italian versions. 

The number of Christians in Rome. We may 
obtain some idea as to the number of Christians to be 
found in Rome in 251 from a letter written by Cornelius, 
bishop of Rome, in which he states that there were then 
" forty-six, presbyters, seven deacons, five sub-deacons, 
forty-two acolytes, fifty-two exorcists, readers, and door- 
keepers, and 1500 widows and persons in distress, all of 
whom the Master's grace and loving-kindness support." 

It has been suggested that these figures point to a 
Christian community numbering about 30,000. In ad- 
'dition to these there were a certain number of Montanists 
and other Christians who were regarded by the orthodox 
Christians as heretics. The total number of bishops in 
Italy at this period was about one hundred. B}^ the 
beginning of the fourth century almost every town of 
any considerable size in Italy had a Christian community, 
but of the missionary agents by whom the faith was spread 
we. know nothing. Gaudentius, who was bishop of 
Brescia in 387, wrote, ' " It is clear that the heathen hastened 
with the celerity of a running wheel to leave the error of 
idolatry, into which they had formerly sunk and to adopt 
Christian truth.". 

The Catacombs. The number of Christians who were 
buried in the catacombs, the underground excavations 
outside Rome, affords some indication of the extent of the 
Christian population. The total length of the galleries 
has been reckoned 'at from 500 to 700 miles, and the 
number of burials at from one and a half to six millions. 


There are no inscriptions later than 410, and by far the 
larger part of the tombs belongs to the century and a 
half which preceded the edict of Constantine in 313. 

Christianity in North Italy. That Christianity 
had spread throughout north Italy -by the end of the 
fourth century is shown by the fact that in 396 Ambrose 
Bishop of Milan could write to the Church in Vercelli, 
" The Church of the I^ord in your midst has not yet a 
priest, it being the only one that is deprived of the service 
of a priest in all I4guria, or Aemilia, or Venetia, or the 
other districts that border on Italy." 

Paganism in Rome. In 341 the first edict ordering 
heathen sacrifices to cease was issued by the Emperor 
Constantius, but as late as 395 temples to at least nine 
different heathen deities were standing in Rome, and 
festivals and ceremonies in connection with them were 
still observed. 

Jerome, however, could write in 403, " The golden 
capitol is dishonoured, all the temples of Rome stand 
begrimed with cobwebs . . . and the populace streams 
past the half-demolished shrines on their way to the 
tombs of the martyrs." 

Suppression of pagan customs. In 408 the Emperor 
Honorius directed that all images in temples should be 
removed, the temples should be converted to secular uses, 
and the endowments of heathen festivals should be devoted 
to provide payment for the army. It is interesting to 
note that Augustine disapproved of the destruction of the 
temples which was ordered by this edict. He wrote, 
" I^et us first extirpate the idolatry of the hearts of the 
heathen and they will either themselves assist us, or 
anticipate us in the execution of this good work. The 
bishops of the towns were empowered to suppress pagan, 
customs, and the civil authorities were ordered to assist 
them. The edict was not, however, extensively enforced, 
and the next emperor of Rome, Attalus, was himself a 


A belief in magic, divination, and astrology exercised 
a widespread influence in the later days of paganism, and 
long after paganism had been legally suppressed. The 
capture of Rome by the Goths under Alaric in 410 meant 
the final defeat of paganism in the city of Rome, though 
it lingered on for centuries in some of the country districts. 
As paganism died out throughout Italy many temples 
were converted into churches, and local deities were in 
some cases transformed into Christian saints. Moreover 
the reverence offered to the relics of martyrs and saints 
which gradually developed, was in many instances a 
continuation of worship that had before been offered to 
some pagan god. 

Attempts to revivify paganism. From the point 
of view of the modern Christian missionary the over- 
throw of paganism and the triumph of Christianity in 
Italy have a special interest, inasmuch as the final struggle 
that occurred between Christianity and paganism resembles 
in one important respect the struggle which is taking place 
to-day between Christianity and the religions of India 
and the Far East. The representatives of Hinduism, 
Buddhism, and Confucianism, realizing that Christian 
missionaries are making steady and increasing progress, 
and conscious that the moral teaching of Christianity is 
purer and nobler than that of any other religion, have 
tried to revise the teachings of their ancient faiths and to 
reinterpret all that is coarse and degrading in their sacred 
books in accordance with Christian standards. 

They have thus produced rules of life and conduct 
worthy to be compared with those accepted by Christians, 
and have then endeavoured to show to those who might 
be disposed to accept the Christian faith that there was 
nothing distinctive in its teaching, which separated it 
from other religions, and that it could therefore make no 
claim upon their allegiance. As it is to-day in India and 
the Far Bast so it was in Italy and Greece during the 
fourth century. Men like the Emperor Julian, or the 


philosopher Libanius, sought to oppose a purified heathen- 
ism to the advancing tide of Christianity. Professor 
lyindsay writes : " Paganism never showed itself to greater 
advantage than during its last years of heroic but un- 
availing struggle. Its leaders, whether in the schools of 
Athens, or among the senatorial party at Rome, were for 
the most part men of pure lives with a high moral standard 
of conduct, men who commanded esteem and respect. 
Immorality abounded, but the pagan standard had become 
much higher. Christians and heathen were full of mutual 
esteem for each other." The efforts that are being made 
to stem the tide of Christian Missions in India are likely, 
to share the same fate as those that were made long ago 
and for the same reason. The purified paganism of the 
fourth and fifth centuries and the rejuvenated Hinduism, 
Buddhism, or Confucianism of to-day had and have no 
gospel of hope for the poor, the degraded, and the miserable. 
The possession of this hope and of the power to impart it 
to others gave, and still gives, to Christianhy its irresistible 
success as a missionary religion. 

The Christian communities contained many unworthy 
members, and its best representatives were far from attain- 
ing to the standards of life which they accepted as in- 
cumbent upon them, but, despite all their failings, these 
communities were and are the embodiment of the only 
force which can regenerate human society. 

Paganism in Southern Italy. For a long time after 
the public worship of the heathen gods had ceased in 
Rome it continued in the country districts, and especially 
in Southern Italy. Naples was distinguished for its 
persistent adherence to paganism, and Btruria continued 
for a long time to supply the whole of Italy with pagan 
diviners. The abolition of the public worship of the gods 
in Southern Italy dates from about 500. 

When -Benedict arrived at the site of Monte Cassino 
in 529, prior to the foundation of the monastery, he 
found paganism still surviving. St. Gregory in his life 


of Benedict says that there existed there a very ancient 
shrine of Apollo, and a sacred wood where the foolish 
peasants worshipped Apollo and other demons. As the 
result of Benedict's preaching they cut down the sacred 
wood and destroyed the shrine and idol. 

Columbanus in Italy. So far as can be gathered 
from the records that have survived, Italy produced no 
great missionary who laboured for the conversion of its 
people. It can, however, claim to have furnished a home 
and a last resting-place to a great Irish missionary, 
Columbanus, the greater part of whose work was accom- 
plished in the north-east of France. On leaving this 
district he worked for a while near I^ake Constance, and 
in 613, accompanied by a single disciple named Attains, 
he crossed the Alps and betook himself to the court of 
the Bombard king, Agiluf, at Milan. 

In a secluded gorge of the Apennines between Genoa 
and Milan he founded, and helped with his own hands to 
build, the monastery of Bobbio which afterwards became 
widely famous. During his last days he laboured to win 
the Arians of lyombardy to the orthodox faith, and to 
convert the pagans who were still to be found in the 
neighbourhood. He eventually died at Bobbio in A.D. 615 , 
at the age of 72. . 

[For further references to the life and work of Colum- 
banus, see pp . - 47-52 .] 

A cave is pointed out in a mountain gorge near Bobbio 
in which Columbanus is said to have lived towards the 
end of his life, only returning to the monastery to spend 
Sundays and Saints' Days with his brethren. " 


SPAIN'S Patron Saint. In the case of Spain we know 
hardly more concerning the beginning of missionary 
work than we know in the case of Italy. 

Nearly all Spaniards believe that their country was 
first evangelized by the Apostle James (lago), who was 
put to death by Herod, but the tradition is an impossible 
one, and was first suggested six hundred years after the 
death of St. James. 

St. Paul in Spain. But though St. James did not 
visit Spain, there is no good reason for doubting that 
St. Paul fulfilled his twice-expressed intention of preaching 
the Gospel in this country.* St. Clement, Bishop of 
Rome, who wrote about thirty years after the death of 
St. Paul, says that he " preached in the Bast and the West 
. . . having taught righteousness unto the whole world, 
and having reached the farthest bounds of the West." 

At the time when he wrote this last expression would 
have been generally understood as referring to Spain. 
By the time that St. Paul reached Spain Roman civiliza- 
tion had spread throughout the country and Roman 
roads connected its principal towns. Tradition does not 
suggest that St. Paul founded any Churches in Spain, 
and it is doubtful whether any Christian communities 
existed there until a century later. 

The first Christian communities. It is probable 
that the first Christian communities were started by 

* Rom. xv. 24-28 ; 2 Cor. i. 17. 


Christians who came from Lyons in France. Irenseus, 
Bishop of Lyons, who died in. 202, refers to the existence, 
of a Church in Spain, and Tertullian, a little later, says 
that "all the confines of Spain have yielded to Christ." 
Arnobius, writing about 306, speaks of " innumerable " 
Christians in Spain, but his statement and that of 
Tertullian are probably not to be taken literally. 

Letter from Cyprian. The first definite and trust- 
worthy statement relating to the existence of a Spanish 
Church occurs in a letter of Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, 
written in 258. It appears that two Spanish bishops, 
whose sees were at Leon-Astorga and Merida, had failed 
to act as confessors during an outbreak of persecution in 
254, and had delivered to the Roman magistrate a 
certificate which implied that they had renounced their 
Christianity and had performed pagan rites. For this 
offence and for other alleged crimes they had been deposed 
and successors had been appointed, to whom, however, 
they had refused to give way. Stephen, the Bishop of 
Rome, supported the cause of the deposed bishops, but 
Cyprian, whose judgment was accepted by the Spanish 
Church, confirmed their deposition and secured the 
installation of their successors. From Cyprian's letter 
we gather that numerous Christian communities then 
existed in Spain, and that their bishops had already formed 
a synod of their own. We gather, also that the character 
of the bishops was more worldly than was the case in 
Africa or elsewhere. 

Spanish martyrs. In the course of the next fifty 
years several Spanish Christians suffered martyrdom 
during the persecutions of Valerian, 256-260, and Dio- 
cletian, 303-304. It is, however, impossible to say how 
far the accounts of their martyrdoms are to be regarded 
as historical. . 

Bishop Prudentius, a Spanish bishop, who was born 
in 348, wrote fourteen poems in honour of these martyrs, 
thirty of whom, he says, suffered j death during the 



Diocletian persecution. The stem and fanatical spirit, 
which was so often exhibited in later time in Spain, 
characterized some of these early martyrs, who in many 
instances courted suffering and did everything in their 
power to provoke their persecutors to put them to death. 
Thus we read that Bulalia, a girl of thirteen, spat in the 
praetor's eyes and defied him to do his worst. 

St. Vincent. Vincent of Zaragoza, who was put to 
death at Saguntum, said to the praetor who was examining 
him, " The lightning shall burn thy poisonous tongue and 
thou shalt see the hot cinders of Gomorrah, and the ashes 
of Sodom shall witness thy everlasting burning. Thou 
serpent, whom the smoke of sulphur, and bitumen and 
pitch shall encircle in hell fire." Vincent is the most 
famous martyr whom Spain has produced, and the story 
of his martyrdom, interspersed with many miraculous 
occurrences, has spread far and wide. Thus St. Augustine 
in one of his sermons says, " What country, what province, 
to which the Roman Empire anid the Christian name have 
been extended does not now rejoice to celebrate the 
festival of St. Vincent ?" 

Four of the existing French cathedrals are dedicated 
to his memory. 

The Council of Elvira. One of the earliest Church 
councils which was held at Elvira near to the modern 
Granada about 306, was attended by nineteen bishops and 
twenty-six presbyters, who represented in all thirty-seven 
Christian communities in Spain. The decrees of this council, 
which have been preserved, although they throw little light 
upon missionary work, suggest that in many instances its 
results had been very superficial. They show, for example, 
that some even of the bishops and clergy lived immoral 
lives, and were addicted to pagan practices. Reference 
is made to Christians who were murderers, to parents who 
married their daughters to pagan priests, and to those who 
sacrificed to idols. Moreover there is reason to fear that 
the resolutions passed by the Council condemning the many 


to which they refer were not productive of great or 
lasting results. Sulpicius Severus, who wrote about a 
century later, gives an even more distressing account of 
the Spanish Church than that which is suggested by the 
decrees of this council. 

Monasteries The first monasteries in Spain were 
established about the middle of the fourth century, but 
the clergy did not take kindly to the monastic system, 
and it was a long time before monasticism exerted as 
wide an influence as it did in some other countries. 

Bishop Hosius. The best known Spanish Christian 
during the fourth century was Hosius, bishop of Cordova, 
who was president of the council of Nicsea and lived 
to be over a hundred. By the end of the fourth century 
nearly the whole of the Spanish Peninsula had become 
nominally Christian, but of the missionaries to whose 
labours this result was due we know nothing, and it is 
unlikely that there were any individuals amongst them 
of outstanding mark. 

Invasion of Barbarians. In 409 a swarm of bar- 
barians, Vandals, Suevi, and Alani, the first two of Germanic 
and the last of Scythian origin, burst through the passes 
of the Pyrenees and speedily overran the whole peninsula. 
The Vandals occupied Andalusia and Granada ; the 
Suevi Galicia, lyeon, and Castile ; and the Alani Portugal 
and Bstremadura. They were not, however, left long in 
the enjoyment of their conquests, as in 414 the Goths, 
under Atawulf, followed them into Spain. After defeat- 
ing the Vandals and Alani, the Goths retired for a time 
to the district of Toulouse. The Suevi, who, apart from 
the Goths, formed the most important section of the 
Spanish population, embraced, together with their king 
Rekiar, an Arian form of Christianity in 438. In 466 the 
Goths completed their conquest of the peninsula, and by 
this time the earlier invaders had embraced Christianity. 
The Goths themselves were Arians, and a large part of 
the Spanish Christians remained Arians until the Gothic 


king, Recarred, who came to the throne in 586, renounced 
Arianism and became an orthodox Christian. His definite 
adhesion to orthodox Christianity was announced at the 
third Council of Toledo in 589. 

Idolatry lingered on in some of the country districts 
for many years, and as late as the ninth century a temple 
of Mars and priests attached to it were to be found in a 
remote district to the north of the peninsula. 

The Moors. In 710 the Saracens, or Moors, as they 
were afterwards called, invaded Spain from Africa, and 
on July 19 of the following year, at the battle of Gua- 
delete, the sovereignty of Spain passed from the Goths to 
the Moslems. Amongst those who sided with the in- 
vaders were the Jews, who had suffered much from the - 
hands of their Christian rulers ; also the pagan slaves who 
became converts to Islam. Within three years the whole 
of Spain had become subject to the Moslems with the 
exception of the small district of Murcia, and the moun- 
tains of Asturias. The province of Narbonne in France, 
which was included in the Moslem conquests, was freed 
from their control as the result of the battle of Tours 

in 732. 

To the inhabitants of Spain the Moslems offered the 
three alternatives of conversion to Islam, tribute, or the 
sword. Those who accepted the second alternative 
became known by the term Mozarabs. Most of these, 
although they did not accept Islam, became very indifferent 

In 851 thirteen Christians suffered death as martyrs 
in Cordova, nearly all of whom had provoked the Moslems 
to attack them by reviling their prophet and their re- 
ligion, and during the next few years about twenty 
suffered in a similar way. From the eleventh to the 
fifteenth century the history of Spain consists largely of 
wars waged, not only between Christians and Moslems, but 
between co-religionists on either side. As a result of these 
wars the Christians tended to become stronger in the 


north, especially in Castile, Galicia, Navarre, Aragon, and 
Portugal, but their internal dissensions prevented them 
from combining to drive out the Moslems from their 
country. Gradually, however, the Christians extended 
their conquests towards the south and by 1260 the rule 
of the Moslems was limited to the province of Granada 
in the extreme south. It was not till 1491 that the town 
of Granada surrendered to a Christian army. 

A Mission to Moslems. By the terms of its capitula- 
tion freedom of worship was guaranteed to the Moslems, 
and the first Christian archbishop, Hermando de Talavera, 
whilst respecting the terms granted to them, sought to 
promote their conversion to Christianity by sympathy 
and persuasion. With this end in view he ordered his 
clergy to learn Arabic, and he himself said his prayers 
in this language. So successful were his efforts that in 
1499 three thousand Moslems were baptized in a single 
day. Had this unique missionary experiment been per- 
mitted to continue unchecked it is hard to say how great 
might have been its results. Unhappily, however, the 
policy of the archbishop failed to meet with the approval 
of his superiors. Cardinal Ximenes, who visited Granada 
at this time, disapproved of employing gentler means for 
the prosecution of missionary work when force was 
available, and persuaded the queen to . issue a decree 
offering the Moslems the choice of baptism or exile. 

Compulsory conversions. To hasten their conver- 
sion still further, he closed their mosques and burnt 
countless manuscripts, which contained the results of 
Moslem study and learning. 

As a result of the pressure exerted upon the Moslems 
a large number became nominal Christians, but their 
compulsory conversion caused them to hate everything 
connected with the Christian religion. They used to wash 
off the water with which their children had been baptized, 
and after a Christian wedding they returned to their 
homes to be married again with Moslem rites. In 1567 


Philip II. endeavoured to compel them to speak the- 
Spanish language, to re-name themselves by Spanish 
names and to adopt Spanish dress. Soon afterwards a 
rebellion broke out which lasted for two years, and was 
repressed with barbarous cruelty, and in 1570, when the 
Moslems were finally subdued, the survivors were either 
sold as slaves or exiled, the deportation of the last 
remnant taking place in 1610. The methods by which 
the Moslems were finally subdued and the results which 
ensued are summarized by I/ane Poole in his history of 
the Moors in Spain. ,He writes : " The (Spanish) Grand 
Commander Requesens by an organized system of whole- 
sale butchery and devastation, by burning down villages, 
and smoking the people to death in the caves where they 
had sought refuge, extinguished the last spark of open 
revolt before November 5, 1570. The Moriscos were at 
last subdued at the cost of the honour, and with the loss 
of the future of Christian Spain. . . . The Moors were 
banished; for a while Christian Spain shone, like the' 
moon, with a borrowed light ; then came the eclipse, 
and in that darkness Spain has grovelled ever 


The Jews in Spain. We have not space in which 
to refer to the efforts that were made from time to time 
to bring about the forcible conversion of Jews in Spain. 
In no countty were these efforts accompanied by such 
barbarous cruelty or by such wholesale massacres of those 
who refused to be baptized. In one instance a Dominican 
monk named Vincent lyerrer, who lived at the beginning 
of the fifteenth century, protested against these cruelties, 
and by himself adopting methods of kindness and per- 
suasion he is said to have secured the voluntary conversion 
of many thousands of Jews.* 

* For an account of the treatment of the Jews in the different 
countries of Europe, and the attempts made by Christians to 
secure their conversion, see "The Conversion of Europe," pp. 



Happy would it have been for Spain if his methods 
had been endorsed by the representatives of the 
Spanish Church, and if the pages of its history had 
never been disfigured by the horrors of the Spanish 


EARLY legends. Early legends, which have, how- 
ever, no historical value, assert that the first mis- 
sionaries to France, or Gaul, as it was then called, included 
several whose names are mentioned in the New Testament ; 
for example, Mary Magdalene, Lazarus, Dionysius the 
Areopagite, and Trophimus the companion of St. Paul. 
We do not know how the Gospel was first preached in 
this country, but we know that by the year 177 Christian 
Churches existed at Lyons and Vknne, the latter being a 
town on the river Rhone a few miles below Lyons. 

Martyrs at Lyons. In this year a fierce persecution 
broke out, and forty-eight martyrs suffered death rather 
than deny their faith. Of these at least three had come 
from Asia Minor, and the majority of the rest bore Greek 
names and were probably Greeks. Amongst the martyrs 
was Pothinus, the aged Bishop of Lyons. When the 
bishop, who was ninety years of age, was placed before 
the Roman judge he was asked by him who was the God 
of the Christians. He replied, " If thou art worthy thou 
shalt know." Two days later he died as the result of 
the ill-treatment to which he had been subj ected. Another 
martyr whose name became celebrated was the servant- 
maid Blandina. She remained constant under long- 
continued tortures, and, after being tossed by wild bulls, 
was at last killed by the blow of an executioner. One of 
the survivors was Irenaeus, the priest of Lyons, who had 
been ordained priest by Pothinus, and was afterwards con- 
secrated by the Bishop of Rome as the second Bishop of 


at the end of 

The 7*. h Century 

EARLY legends. Early legends, which have, .how-, [ 
ever, no historical value,, assert that the first niis- > 
sionaries to France, or Gaul, asltwas then'called, includecl K ' 
several Whose names are mentioned in the New Testament ; < 7 
'for, example, Mary Magdalene, Lazarus, Dionysius the, ,-,' 
Areopagite, and Trophimus the companion; of St. PaiL V 
We do not know how the Gospel was first preached' in A 
this country j but, we know that by the year 177 Christian ._. 
Churches existed at Lyons and Vienne, the fatter .being, a K > 
<> town on the river Rhone a, few miles below Lyons. 

/Martyrs at Lyons. In this year, a fierce persecution - 
broke out, and forty-eight -martyrs suffered death rather % 
than 1 deny their faith. Of these at least three 'had come s ' 
'from Asia Minor, and the majority of the rest bore Gree > 
names and were probably Greeks. Amongst the martyrs , \* 
^was Pothinus, the aged Bishop of Lyons. When the / 
bishop, who was ninety years of age, wa& placed 'before / 
the Roman judge he was asked by him who was the'Grod * f 
of the Christians. He replied, " If thou art worthy, thqu , 
shalt know/' Two days later he died as the result- of 
. the ill-treatment to which he had teen^ub j ected. 'Another \ 
martyr whose name became celebrated was, the servant- 
maid BlanMna. She remained 'constant , under Iqng- " ^ 
continued 'tortures, and, after being tossed by wild bulls,r" 
was at last killed by the blow .of an executioner. One of 
the survivors was Irenaeus, the priest 'of Lyons, who had 
,been ordained priest by Pothinus, and was afterwards con- 
secrated by the Bishop of Rome as the second Bishop of ; 


I^yons. His episcopate connects the' Gallic Church with 
the immediate successors of the apostles, for, as he tells 
us, when staying with Polycarp at Smyrna he had heard 
him describe to the Christians at Smyrna his intercourse 
with St. John and with others who had seen the 

The account of these martyrdoms is contained in a 
letter which has come down to us and which was written 
by some of the surviving Christians in order to let their 
fellow-Christians in Ask Minor know what had befallen 
their brethren. Though the account tells us nothing 
concerning the missionaries who had brought a knowledge 
*>f the faith to the inhabitants of I^yons an4 Vienne, it 
provides evidence that the work done by them had been 
effective. Irenseus preached in Celtic as well as in Greek, 
but, up to the beginning of the third century, Greek was 
the language spoken x by educated people in the south of 
France, and most of the early Christians there probably 
spoke Greek. 

Saturninus, who was bishop of Toulouse about 250, 
suffered death as a martyr. According to the story of his 
martyrdom, which is probably founded on fact, Saturni- 
nus, who had for some time preached against the idolatry 
of the people of Toulouse, was seized by them on the oc- 
casion of an idol festival, and tied to a bull that was being 
led out for sacrifice. When bidden by the people to offer 
sacrifice to the gods, he replied, " I know the one true God 
and will offer to Him the sacrifices of praise : your gods 
I know to be demons." He was then fastened by his 
feet to the bull, and after being dragged through the 
street died of the injuries that he had received. 

The author of the service which was afterwards held 
in commemoration of his martyrdom writes : " The sound 
of the Gospel stole out gradually and by degrees into all 
the earth, and the preaching of the apostles shone through- 
out our country with but a slow progress, since only a 
lew Churches in some of the states, and these containing 


but few Christians, stood up together in their devotion 
to their religion. 

Another missionary who lived about the same time 
was Gatianus, the first bishop of Tours. Gregory, who 
became Bishop of Tours 300 years later and wrote a 
history of the Franks, says of him, " In the first year of 
the Emperor Decius (249) Gatian wa.s sent by the Bishop 
of Rome as the first bishop (of Tours), in which city lived 
a multitude of pagans who were devoted to idolatry, some 
of whom he converted to the I^ord by his preaching. But 
at times he concealed himself owing to the hostility of 
those in power . . . and in caverns and hiding-places, 
together with the few Christians who had been converted 
by him, he was wont to celebrate secretly the Holy Mystery, 
and in this city under these conditions he lived for forty 
years and died in peace." 

In 313 the Edict of Milan, which was issued by the 
Emperors Constantine andl,icinius, put an end to religious 
persecution, and in France, as elsewhere, many enrolled' 
themselves as Christians who made little attempt to lead 
a Christian life. The extent to which the organization 
of the Church in France had been developed at this period 
ma}^ be seen from the fact that at the Council of Aries, held 
in the following year, in order to decide a controversy that 
had arisen among the Christians in North Africa, twelve 
bishops from the province of Gaul were present who 
represented almost every part of what is now France. 

Martin of Tours. The first great missionary in 
France of whose work we have any satisfactory information 
was Martin, who became Bishop of Tours in 372. He 
was a native of Hungary, and served for a time as a 
soldier in the Imperial army. We are fortunate to 
possess a life of him written by a friend named Sulpicius 
Severus, who had known him intimately, and though the 
writer of his life devotes an undue proportion of his space 
to records of miracles which he attributes to Martin, what 
he tells us of Martin's character and work is of great 


value. One of the best known stories relating to 
his life, before he became a bishop, is told thus by 

Noticing a beggar at the gate of the city of Amiens 
who was ill-clad and suffering from the cold, Martin, 
who had no money to give, drew his sword, and, cutting 
his military cloak in two, gave half to the beggar. The 
same night Christ appeared to him in a vision clad in the 
half of the coat that he had given to the beggar, and said 
to the angels who stood with Him, " Martin, still a cate- 
chumen, covered Me with this robe." Soon afterwards, 
at the age of eighteen, he was baptized. 

A few years after he had obtained his discharge from 
the Roman army, Martin founded a monastery at Poitiers 
which, together with the monastery that he afterwards 
founded at Marrnoutier near Tours, became the training 
home of many missionaries to whom the evangelization of 
France was due. From Poitiers and Tours as centres of 
work Martin evangelized a large part of central France. 
The following are a few incidents which are related by 
his biographer Sulpicius. 

At Chartres, the pagan people were induced to abandon 
their idols and accept the Christian faith after witnessing 
the restoration to life of a dead man as the result of 
Martin's prayers. At a village called I,eprosum, where 
the people had resisted his attempts to destroy their 
richly endowed temple, Martin, having sat by the temple 
for three days in sackcloth and ashes, secured by his 
prayers the help of two angels whose appearance influenced 
the people to allow the destruction of their temple and 
idols and eventually resulted in their conversion to the 
faith. In another village, after Martin had set fire to an 
ancient and celebrated temple, the flames began to spread 
to an adjacent house, but were miraculously stayed by 
his intervention. Whatever credence we may give to 
the miraculous powers said to have been exercised by 
Martin, the above incidents, recorded, as they were, by 


a contemporary writer, testify to his missionary zeal, and 
to his success in uprooting pagan worship. 

On many different occasions he took a leading part 
in the destruction of idols or heathen temples, and in 
several instances the people to whom he preached destroyed 
these at his instigation, and erected in their places churches 
for Christian worship. To quote a single instance out of 
the many that are recorded by Sulpicius : " There was in 
a certain village (apparently in Burgundy) an ancient 
temple and a tree which was regarded as specially sacred. 
Although the pagans had consented to the destruction of 
the temple, they refused to allow Martin to cut down the 
tree. At length one of them suggested that if the bishop 
believed in the power of his God to protect him he should 
stand on the spot where the tree was likely to fall, while 
he and his companions cut it down. Martin accepted the 
proposal with alacrity, and stood on the spot suggested 
by the pagans. When the tree fell, it fell amongst the 
people and left Martin standing unhurt. ' ' The impression 
made upon the inhabitants of this district was so great 
that a large number of them were shortly afterwards 
baptized. Concerning Martin's personal character his 
biographer writes : "No one ever saw him enraged or 
excited, or lamenting or laughing : he was always one 
and the same, displaying a kind of heavenly happiness in 
his countenance, he seemed to have passed the ordinary 
limits of human nature. Never was there any word on 
his lips but Christ." Again, referring to his humility, he 
writes : " When sitting in his retirement he never used a 
chair, and as to the church, no one ever saw him sitting 
there, as I recently saw a certain man, not without a 
feeling of shame at the spectacle, seated on a lofty throne 
. . . but Martin might be seen sitting on a rude little 
three-legged stool." 

If Martin's success as a missionary and a teacher was 
in part due to his humility, it was at least equally due to 
his prayerfulness. Thus we read in his biography, " never 


did a single hour or moment pass in which he was not 
either actually engaged in prayer, or, if it happened that 
he was occupied with something else, still he never let 
his mind loose from prayer." It would have been a 
miracle greater than any of those in which his biography 
abounds if his unceasing prayers had been unproductive 
of far-reaching results. Another point on which his 
biographer lays special/ stress was his belief in the reality 
and the constant presence of good and evil spirits. Martin 
constantly asserted that not only saints who had lived in 
the past, but the devil and his angels, appeared in bodily 
form and conversed with him. .It may well have been 
that his success as a missionary was partly due to the fact 
that the victories which he believed himself to have won 
over the powers of evil during his long hours of prayer 
gave him the assurance of divine support which was the 
immediate cause of his missionary triumphs amongst his 
heathen neighbours. 

Martin's Visions. The most celebrated of Martin's 
visions is that in which the devil appeared to him clad in 
royal apparel, and, with golden sandals on his feet, asked 
from him the homage due to Christ. 

" Recognize," said Martin's visitor, " whom you look 
upon. I am Christ, and I have come down to earth to 
reveal myself to you." As Martin, dazzled by his appear- 
ance, preserved a long silence, he added, "Acknowledge, O 
Martin, who it is that you behold. I am Christ, and, being 
about to descend to the earth, I desired first to manifest 
myself to thee." Martin continued silent, whereupon his 
visitor continued, " Why do you hesitate to believe when 
you see ? I am Christ/ ' Then Martin replied, * ' The I,ord 
Jesus did not predict that He would come clad in purple 
and with a glittering diadem on His head. I will not 
believe that Christ has come unless He wears that garb 
and form in which He suffered and displays before me 
the marks of His. passion." On hearing this his visitor 
vanished, and Martin knew that he had been speaking 


to the devil. Sulpicius states that he heard this story 
from Martin's own mouth. 

In whatever way we explain this and the other visions 
attributed to Martin, they afford us an insight into his 
character, and help us to understand how real for him 
was the conflict between the powers of good and evil in 
which he was engaged. 

Invasion by Barbarians. On December 31, 406, 
that is sixteen years after the death of Martin, an army 
of Vandals, Alans and Sueves, all of whom were pagans, 
crossed the Rhine and began to invade Gaul. As they 
advanced westwards they massacred a large part of the 
population, and spread ruin and desolation around them. 
In, or about, 411 A.D. Patrick, who had recently escaped 
from his captivity in Ireland, landed, probably at the 
mouth of the River I,oire, in order to reach Italy via 
Aquitaine. In his Confessions he speaks of wandering 
across country which had been deprived of all means of 
subsistence, and during a whole month's travel he seems 
only once to have met with any remaining trace of 

Jerome (in 409), referring to Aquitaine, says that as 
a result of this invasion in the four provinces of lyyons 
and the two of Narbonne there were but few cities left 
with any inhabitants. As for Toulouse he could not 
mention it without shedding tears. In a poem attri- 
buted to Prosper of Aquitaine the writer declares that 
if the entire ocean had been poured out upon the fields 
of Gaul the destruction would hot have been so complete 
as was that wrought by these invaders. 

In 451 the Huns under Attila devastated a large part 
of Eastern Gaul, but after being defeated near Orleans, 
retired again across the Rhine. 

Baptism of Clovis. In 493, Clovis, king of the 
Franks, who had married a Christian princess Hrothilde, 
a daughter of the Burgundian king Hilperik, having, as 
he believed, secured success in one' of his campaigns as 



a result of praying to Hrothilde's God, decided to become 
a Christian. His baptism, the date of which forms a 
landmark in the spread of Christianity in Northern 
Europe, took place at Rheims on Christmas Day 496. 
When Bishop Remigius was about to administer the 
sacrament of baptism, he said to the king : "Bow thy 
neck in humility, O Sicambrian ; accept as an object of 
worship that which thou wast wont to destroy, and burn 
that which once thou worshipped." 

Columbanus. The next great missionary in France 
after the time of Martin was the Irish saint Columbanus, 
who was born in West lyeinster in 543, and was educated 
at Bangor monastery near Belfast. He crossed to 
Brittany with twelve companions about 573, and after 
labouring there for some time presented himself before 
Sigibert of Austrasia, and asked his permission to settle 
in some barren and uncared-for district in Gaul, the 
north-eastern portion of which had suffered terribly from 
the irruption of barbarian invaders. The spot in which 
Columbanus and his companions settled lies on the 
western side of the Vosges mountains, in what was then 
called the Jura district, and near the old Roman camp of 
' Anagrates (in Haute-Saone). They could have found no 
wilder or less inviting district, and for a considerable time 
they suffered pangs of hunger and were in danger of 
starvation; but, despite the hardships that they had to 
endure, their number continued to increase, and after a 
few years they built a much larger monastery at lyuxeuil, 
eight miles further south. At the time when Columbanus 
settled in France by far the greater part of the country had 
' become nominally Christian, but the condition of the so- 
called Christian Church was deplorable. Bishops, who 
were in some cases laymen, who had never been conse- 
crated as bishops, regarded their dioceses as private 
estates, and bequeathed them to their friends or relations. 
Many of them lived as laymen, and spent their lives in 
fighting, hunting, and revelry. The result was the total 


demoralisation of the Frankish Church in northern Gaul, 
a demoralization which was accentuated by the evil lives 
of the Frankish kings,who were nominally Christians. 

It is not to be wondered at that Columbanus and his 
fellow-missionaries, who had been accustomed to a life 
of rigid asceticism and self-control, refused to place the 
monasteries which they founded under the control of the 
Frankish bishops. Their aim was not only to convert 
the heathen, but, by their lives and teaching, to wage 
war upon the kind of Christianity which they found 
existing in France. Unfortunately the very aloofness 
from their fellow-churchmen which they maintained " 
limited their spiritual influence and prevented them from 
acting as reformers of the evils by which the Church was 
afflicted. Although Columbanus refused to place his 
monasteries, or missionaries, under the control of the 
bishops, he treated them with the respect due to their 
high office. Thus in a letter addressed by him to a 
Frankish synod (in 602) which had remonstrated with 
him for not conforming to Gallic Church customs, he 

"I came as a stranger amongst you on behalf of our 
common lyord and Master Jesus Christ. In His name I 
beseech you let me live in peace and quiet, as I have 
lived for twelve years in these woods beside the bones of 
my seventeen departed brethren. I^et Gaul receive into 
her bosom all who, if they deserve it, will meet in one 
heaven. . . . Choose ye which rule respecting Easter ye 
prefer to follow, remembering the words of the Apostle, 
' Prove all things ; hold fast that which is good.' But let 
us not quarrel one with another, lest our enemies, the 
Jews, the heretics and pagan Gentiles rejoice in our 
contention. . . . Pray for us; my fathers, even as we, 
humble as we are, pray for you. Regard us not as 
strangers, for we are members together of one body, 
whether we be Gauls, or Britons, or Iberians, or to 
whatever nation we belong. Therefore, let us all rejoice 


in the knowledge of the faith and the revelation of the 
Son of God in communion with whom let us learn to 
love one another and pray for one another." 

His attitude, and that of his fellow-missionaries, 
towards those from whom they differed is one which 
might with advantage t be copied by all missionaries in 
the world to-day. The work of Columbanus at Luxeuil 
was cut short in 610 by Theodoric, the young king of the 
Burgundians, whose immoral life he had frequently 
rebuked. The king caused him to be put on board a boat 
at Nantes which was sailing for Ireland ; but, the boat 
having met with a violent storm, the captain disembarked 
Columbanus and his four companions. 

Columbanus at Lake Zurich. He then proceeded 
to Lake Zurich and worked for a while as a missionary, 
in company with another Irishman named Gall, amongst 
the heathen Alemanni and Suevi. His Irish impetuosity 
and that of his companion rendered it difficult for him 
to gain the goodwill of the heathen or to commend to 
them his faith. Two incidents described by his biographer 
suggest that he had failed to understand the direction 
given by our I,ord to His first missionaries that in preach- 
ing the Gospel they were to be " wise as serpents." When 
the Alemanni produced a barrel containing ten gallons 
of beer which they proposed to drink in his honour, 
Columbanus, if we may accept the statement made by his 
biographer, breathed upon the barrel, with the result that 
it forthwith burst asunder with a loud crash. We do not 
wonder that the Alemanni rejected the message of the 
missionaries and forced them to depart. On leaving the 
Lake of Zurich they settled at Bregenz, where they found 
the ruins of what had once been a Christian chapel, to 
the walls of which were affixed three brazen images. 
" These images," said the people, " are'our ancient gods, 
by whose help and comfort we have been preserved alive 
to this day." Gall, the companion of Columbanus, who 
was able to speak to the people in their own language, 



urged them to abandon the worship of these idols, and 
to serve the true God. Then, in the sight of all the people, 
Columbanus seized the idols, battered them into frag- 
ments, and threw the pieces into the lake. The hostility 
aroused by this act led to the . murder of two of the 
missionaries, and caused Columbanus to seek a new sphere 
of work. We have already referred to his arrival in Italy 
and to his death at Bobbio in 615. 

Columbanus and the Pope. Although Columbanus 
on several occasions expressed respect for the office held 
by the Bishop of Rome, he started his missionary work 
in Gaul entirely on his own initiative, and did not visit 
Rome until after he had left Gaul. He was far from being 
a believer in Papal infallibility, and was quite ready to 
criticize the bishops of Rome when he thought them 
mistaken. Thus, in one of his letters to Pope Gregory 
relating to the time of the observance of Easter, he urges 
the Pope not to feel bound by the decrees of his predecessor, 
St. lyeo, on the ground that a living dog is better than a 
dead lion (leo), and suggests that a living saint may correct 
the omissions of one who went before him. In another 
letter addressed to Boniface IV., shortly before his own 
death, he writes: "We Irish who inhabit the extremities 
of the world are the disciples of St. Peter and St. Paul, 
and of the other apostles who have written under dictation 
of the Holy Spirit. We receive nothing more than the 
apostolic and evangelical doctrine. . . . Pardon me if 
... I have said some words offensive to pious ears. 
The native liberty of my race has given me that boldness. 
With us it is not the person, it is right which prevails." 

With an ardent faith and a readiness to endure 
privations and trials he combined a spirit of angry im- 
patience which his biographer does not attempt to 
conceal. Thus, on the occasion when the people on Lake 
Zurich refused to listen to his preaching he invoked 
maledictions upon them in these words: "Make this 
generation to be a reproach that the evils which they have 


wickedly devised for Thy servants they may feel on their 
own heads. lyet their children perish, and when they 
come to middle age let stupefaction and madness seize 
upon them." 

Columbanus was an Irishman, and if the impetuosity 
which is characteristic of his race caused him to do or 
say things which ill became a Christian missionary, it 
led him also to attempt enterprises which might have been 
regarded by others as forlorn hopes. 

The Celtic missionaries in Europe. In estimating 
the influence which Columbanus and the other Celtic 
missionaries exerted on the continent of Europe we must 
give them the credit for having raised the standard of 
learning in Gaul, and for having inspired monks and 
clergy alike with the desire to study the Scriptures, and 
in addition the I^atin and Greek classics. It was -a 
common saying in the days of Charles the Bald (823-77), 
that any one on the Continent who knew Greek was an 
Irishman or had obtained his knowledge from an Irish- 
man. The Celtic missionaries were as a rule men of good 
education, and their training included not only the 
Scriptures and early Christian writers, but the ancient 
classics. The writings of Columbanus show that he was 
acquainted with Virgil and other I^atin authors, and 
several of the Irish who devoted themselves to missionary 
work were the authors of treatises on grammar and 

The study, however, of ancient languages and literature 
was ever regarded by them as a means whereby to obtain 
a more perfect understanding of the Holy Scriptures. It 
is doubtful whether any missionaries of modern times 
have regarded an intimate acquaintance with the Scrip- 
tures as of more vital consequence for the prosecution 
of their work than did these early monkish students. 

By the time that Columbanus had finished his work 
in France, the whole of the country had become nominally 
Christian. Several centuries, however, had still to elapse 


before paganism was completely abolished or even the 
public observance of heathen ceremonies entirely dis- 

Hardships of the early missionaries. The work of 
the early missionaries was carried on under circumstances 
of which it is hard 'for us to form any conception. At the 
period when their missionary labours were accomplished, 
the greater part of France, and, indeed, the greater part 
of Europe, consisted of forests inhabited by numerous 
wild beasts, infested in many districts by still fiercer 
brigands, and as difficult to traverse as is any Central 
African forest to-day. " To plunge into these terrible 
forests, to encounter these monstrous animals . . . 
required a courage of which nothing in the existing world 
can give us an idea. . . . The monk attacked these gloomy 
woods without arms, without sufficient implements, and 
often without a single companion. ... He bore with 
him a strength which nothing has ever surpassed or 
equalled, the strength conferred by faith in a living God. 
. . . See, then, these men of prayer and penitence who 
were at the same time the bold pioneers of Christian 
civilization and the modern world. . . . They plunged 
into the darkness carrying light with them, a light which 
was nevermore to be extinguished." * 

* " The Monks of the West," ii. 320. 

TRElyAND has an interest from a missionary point of 
1 view which no other country in Europe can claim 
to possess. 

In the first place it can claim to have been the only 
country which has never had a Christian martyr; the 
Christian faith was accepted by its people without any 
outbreak or persecution which resulted in the death of a 
missionary or other Christian. 

Irish missionaries on the Continent. In the 
second place, Ireland has a special claim upon our at- 
tention because the Irish did more for the evangelization 
of Europe than did the representatives of any other land. 
There was hardly any country in northern or central 
Europe which did not share in the spiritual blessings 
which Ireland's sons helped to confer upon the continent 
of Europe with lavish hands, and during a long series of 
years. In speaking of the work of Columbanus in France 
we have already referred to the deep and wide-spread 
influence which the Irish missionaries exerted in that 
country, and we shall have occasion to refer later on to 
their missionary labours in Scandinavia, Denmark, the 
Netherlands, and Germany. 

The introduction of Christianity. Of the be- 
ginning of Christianity in Ireland we know nothing. 
The Roman coins that have been found, and which date 
back to the first century, suggest that trade communica- 
tions between Ireland and Italy existed in very early 
times, and it is possible that a knowledge of the Christian 


faith was first introduced by Christian traders. All that 
we know for certain is that some time before 431 Chris- 
tianity had begun to spread throughout the island. 

Palladius. A French writer named Prosper of 
Aquitaine, who wrote in 431, says that Pope Celestine sent 
a bishop called Palladius to the Irish who believed in 
Christ. A later tradition asserts that Palladius died a 
short time after his arrival in Ireland. 

St. Patrick. Ireland's greatest missionary, who 
afterwards became her patron saint, was Patrick. Many 
questions have arisen in regard to his work, to which no 
certain replies can be given, but we fortunately possess 
two works written by Patrick himself which tell us in 
his own words a good deal about himself. These works 
are his Confession, and a letter addressed by him to a 
king named Coroticus in North Britain. 

From these writings we learn the following facts. 
His father, Calpornius, who was a Roman decurio, was in 
deacon's orders, and his grandfather Potitus was a priest. 
His father owned a small farm near a village called 
Bannaven Taberniae, which was probably at Dumbarton 
in Scotland.* In his sixteenth year he was carried 
captive with several others to Ireland, and for six years 
was employed by his master in herding swine. Before 
he was carried captive he had thought little about 
religion, but in his trouble he learned to pray. Thus he 
writes : " After I had come to Ireland I daily used to 
feed swine, and I prayed frequently during the day ; 
the love of God and the fear of Him increased more and 
more, and faith became stronger, and the spirit was 
stirred, so that in one day I said about a hundred prayers, 
and in the night nearly the same, so that I used even to 
remain in the woods and in the mountains ; before daylight 
I used to rise to prayer, through snow, through frost, 

* Professor Bury maintains that it was situated on the 
Bristol Channel. See " Conversion of Europe," p. 50. 


through rain, and felt no harm." The habit and power 
of prayer which he thus acquired, when hardly more than 
a boy, go far towards explaining the spiritual influence 
which he exerted in later life. 

In his Confession he refers to an offence that he had 
committed when he was fifteen years old, which was 
brought up against him in later life. He writes : "I did 
not believe in the one God from my infancy, but I re- 
mained in death and unbelief until I was severely chastised. 
. . . Before I was humbled I was like a stone lying in 
deep mud." It is hardly necessary to point out that 
these statements conflict with the later traditions which 
tell of the exceptional piety of his early days. At the 
end of six years his longing to return to his native land 
was enhanced by a vision in which he heard a voice 
telling him that the ship in which he was to escape was 
waiting for him. He accordingly left his master, and, 
after a walk of about two hundred miles, reached a port. 
Part of the cargo of the boat in which he sailed consisted 
of dogs, probably Irish wolf-hounds, and after three days 
at sea he reached land on the coast of Gaul. On leaving 
the boat he and his companions, accompanied by their 
dogs, travelled for twenty-eight days through a desert, 
or a deserted country, where they suffered greatly from 
hunger. When food failed, the leader of the party, a 
heathen, appealed to Patrick for help, and said to him, 
" What is it, O Christian ? You say that thy God i? 
great and almighty ; why, therefore, canst thou not pray 
for us, for we are perishing with hunger." " I said to 
them plainly," writes Patrick, " turn with faith to the 
I^ord my God, to whom nothing is impossible, that He 
may send food this day for us in your path, even till you 
are satisfied, for it abounds everywhere with Him." The 
appearance of a herd of. swine, which immediately 
followed, was regarded by Patrick and his companions 
as an answer to his prayers. A statement to the effect 
that after many years he was taken captive once more, 


which is here abruptly inserted in his Confession, . is 
apparently to be interpreted as a reference to the spiritual 
compulsion which forced him to become a missionary to ( 
the land in which he had been a captive in his youth. 
Again, " after a few years/ 5 but while still young, he was 
at his home, " in the Britains," where his parents (i.e. 
probably relations) begged him to remain. "There," he 
writes, " I saw in the bosom of the night, a man coming 
as it were from Ireland, Victoricus by name, with in- 
numerable letters, and he gave one of them to me. And 
I read the beginning of the letter containing ' The voice 
of the Irish/ And while I was reading aloud the be- 
ginning of the letter, I myself thought indeed in my mind 
that I heard the voice of those who were near the wood 
of Foclut, which is close by the Western Sea. And 
they cried out thus as if with one voice, e We entreat thee, 
holy youth, that thou come and henceforth walk among 
us.' And I was deeply moved in heart, and could read 
no further, and .so I awoke." In another vision he heard 
a voice which said, " He who gave His life for thee is He 
who speaks to thee." Here, unfortunately, his own 
record abruptly ends, but from the latter part of his 
Confession and his letter to Coroticus we glean the follow- 
ing additional details : 

Before or after this vision he spent some time in Gaul; 
in which country were some whom he had learned to regard 
as his brethren. When he was almost worn out he went, 
or returned, to Ireland as a missionary, where, on twelve 
separate occasions, his life was imperilled, and where 
he says, it has " come to pass that they who never had 
any knowledge and until now have only worshipped idols, 
and unclean things, have lately become a people of the 
I,ord and are called the sons of God. Sons of the Scots 
(Irish) and daughters of chieftains are seen to be monks 
and virgins of Christ." Having been consecrated as a 
bishop (apparently in Gaul) he ordained clergy in many 
different places and baptized many thousands of men. 


The clergy whom lie ordained included one whom he had 
taught from his infancy. Having come to Ireland as a 
missionary, he felt " bound by the spirit " ; not to see again 
any of his kindred. 

On the twelve occasions on which his life was im- 
perilled, " the most holy God " delivered him. Those to 
whom his Confession, which was written in his old age, 
was addressed were " witnesses that the Gospel has been 
preached everywhere in places where there is no man 

The above is all the information relating to Patrick's 
missionary work of which we can be reasonably certain. 
Traditions, which date from several centuries later, assert 
that he visited Rome and received a commission from the 
Pope, and that he performed during his stay in Ireland a 
long succession of miracles, but his own writings give no 
support to these traditions. The date of his arrival in 
Ireland as a bishop was 432, and the date of his death was 
probably 461. A hymn, called the ,orica, or Breastplate, 
which was probably written by Patrick, contains a beauti- 
ful amplification of the statement of St. Paul, " I live, 
and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me." The author 
of the hymn writes : 

" Christ with me, Christ before me, 
Christ behind me, Christ in me, 
Christ tinder me, Christ over me, 
Christ to right of me, Christ to left of me, 
Christ in lying down, Christ in sitting, Christ in rising up." 

Patrick's statement that " sons of the Scots (Irish) 
and daughters of chieftains are seen to be monks and 
virgins of Christ," suggests that he was the means of 
establishing, and perhaps of introducing, monasteries 
throughout Ireland. The early monasteries and monastic 
schools were collections of rude huts made of planks and 
moss, and the 'church which was attached, being built of 
wood, frequently bore the name Duirthech, that is " house 


of oak." Many of these were situated on islands round 
the coast or in the inland lochs. 

From these monasteries or their successors went forth 
a stream of missionaries who won for Ireland her fame 
both as the Isle of Saints and as the greatest of all centres 
of missionary zeal and activity. 

Tradition asserts that before Patrick died there were 
at least three other bishops in Ireland, but of their mis- 
sionary labours we know nothing. 

St. Bridget. The life and work of Bridget are lost 
in a mist of tradition, and it is not quite certain that she 
ever existed. She is said to have been baptized by a 
disciple of Patrick and to have become the foundress of a 
large number of religious communities for women. There 
are eighteen places in Ireland called Kilbrid, a name 
which denotes church of Bridget. 

In the sixth century there was apparently a pagan 
reaction throughout a great part of Ireland, and in the 
early part of the ninth century the Danes established 
the worship of Thor at Armagh and endeavoured to 
eradicate Christianity, but ere long they became subject 
to Christian influences and paganism finally disappeared. 


country to which the first Irish missionaries 
directed their steps is clearly visible from the north 
coast of Ireland, and its western shores were inhabited by 
men of the same race as themselves. 

The word " Scots." The names "Scot" and 
" Scotia " were in early times used only of the Irish and 
of Ireland, and up to the twelfth century the word " Scots " 
was employed to denote alike the Irish in Ireland and the 
Irish settlers on the west coast of Scotland. Christianity 
had reached Scotland before any missionaries from 
Ireland, Of whom we have any knowledge, had set foot 
on its shores. 

St. Ninian. The first missionary concerning whom 
we have any trustworthy information is Ninian. Born 
of Christian parents on the shores of the Solway about 
350, he is said to have been consecrated as a bishop in 
Rome, and to have visited Martin at Tours on his way 
back to Scotland. From him he procured masons, by 
whose help he afterwards built a "church of stone." 
He laboured as a missionary amongst the southern 
Picts who inhabited the middle parts of Scotland south 
of the Grampians. The Picts, who were converted by 
Ninian, had apparently relapsed into heathenism by the 
middle of the sixth century, when another missionary, 
named Kentigern, or St. Mungo, as he is commonly called 
in Scotland, appeared in their midst. 

Kentigern. Of Kentigern we know even less than 
we know of Ninian. If we may credit a life of him 


written in the twelfth century, he was chosen as bishop 
of Strathclyde when he was twenty-five, and later on 
established a monastery at Glasgow, where he remained 
till the hostility of a new king of Strathclyde forced him 
to leave Scotland. In the course of his journey south 
he preached in the districts near Carlisle, where to-day 
there are nine churches dedicated to his memory. After 
visiting Bishop David in Wales he returned to Glasgow 
on the invitation of a new king named Roderick. The 
date of his death was about 603. 

Columba. We pass on now to Scotland's greatest 
missionary and saint, Columba. Born in Donegal in 
521, he was educated at the monastic school at Movilla, 
and, having been ordained a priest, he devoted- fifteen 
years to founding monasteries and churches in various 
parts of Ireland. According to a tradition, which is, 
however, of uncertain value, his departure from Ireland 
was the result of a dispute that arose between him and 
his former teacher Finnian of Movilla in regard to the 
possession of a Gospel, or Psalter, which Columba had 
copied out. The judgment delivered by the king of 
Meath, to whom the dispute was referred, was, " To every 
cow her calf belongs, and so to every book its child-book." 
Columba, enraged at the decision, invited his kinsmen to 
wage war against the supporters of Finnian, and in the 
battle that ensued 3000 men were killed. As an act of 
reparation for the slaughter which he had caused, Columba 
decided to devote his life to missionary work amongst the 
Picts until he had converted to Christ as many persons 
as had been killed in this battle, but whether this tradition 
be true or not it is impossible to say. 

lona. In 563, he landed on lona off the west coast 
of Scotland, together with a few companions, and proceeded 
to build a church and some monastic cells. Of his work 
amongst the Picts on the mainland his biographers have 
preserved no details. The greater part of the thirty-four 
years which elapsed after his departure from Ireland were 


spent in lona, where he lived a life of prayer and self- 
denial, and where he laid the foundations of what proved 
to be an important centre of missionary enterprise. 

Columba 's intercessory prayers. An illustration 
of the influence which Columba exercised by his inter- 
cessory prayers on behalf of his fellow-workers is afforded 
by the beautiful story by Adamnan, his first biographer. 
He writes : " As the Brethren, after harvest work, were 
returning to the monastery in the evening . . . they 
seemed each one to feel within himself something wonderful 
and unusual . . . and for some days at the same place, 
and at the same hour in the evening, they perceived it. . . . 
One of them, a senior (when asked to explain) says . . . 
'a certain and unaccustomed and incomparable joy 
spread abroad in my heart, which of a sudden consoles 
me in a wonderful way, and so greatly gladdens me that 
I can think neither of sadness nor labour. The load, 
moreover, however heavy, which I am carrying on my 
back from this place until we come to the monastery, is 
so much lightened, how I know not, that I do not feel 
that I am bearing any burden.' When all the others had 
made similar statements, Baithene, ' the superintendent 
of labours among them/ said, ' Ye know that Columba, 
mindful of our toil, thinks anxiously about us and grieves 
that we come to him so late, and by reason that he 
comes not in body to meet us, his spirit meets our steps, 
and that is it which so much consoles and makes us 

Referring to his life of continuous devotion and 
labour, he writes again, " He could not pass the space 
even of a single hour without applying himself either to 
prayer, or reading, or writing, or also to some manual 
labour. By day and by night he was so occupied, without 
any intermission, in unwearied exercise of fasts and vigils 
that the burden of any one of these particular labours 
might seem to be beyond human endurance. And, 
amid. all, dear to all, ever showing a pleasant holy coun- 


tenance he was gladdened in his inmost heart by the joy 
of the Holy Spirit." 

Columba 's character. From the life of Adamnan 
we gather that Columba possessed the first and greatest 
qualification of a teacher and trainer of missionaries, viz. 
the power of sympathy. The ascetic life which he himself 
lived did not render him incapable of entering into the 
feelings and aspirations of others, or cause him to hold 
aloof from those whose temperament was different from 
his own. Thus Bishop Westcott writes: "Columba 
loved men, and through love he understood them. He 
was enabled to recognize the signs of a divine kinsmanship, 
the unconscious strivings after n'oble things, in the 
ignorant, the rude, the wayward. . . . By a living 
sympathy he entered into the souls of those who came 
before him. He had mastered the secret of effective 
help to the suffering by making his own the burden of 
which they could be relieved. Columba loved men and 
he loved nature, because in both he saw God. His vision 
embraced the great spiritual realities of life. He regarded 
things with a spiritual eye ; therefore his countenance 
flashed from time to time with beams of an unearthly 
joy, when, in the language of his biographer, he saw the 
ministering angels round about him." 

The humility and gentleness which he displayed when 
settled in lona render it difficult for us to credit the 
tradition that he had raised an army in Ireland to avenge 
a personal affront ; though it is not impossible that a 
son of thunder may have been transformed into an apostle 
of love. Another and later biographer of Columba, by 
way of illustrating his humility and piety, writes : "He 
would bathe the feet of the Brethren after their daily 
labour, he would carry the bags of flour from the mill 
to the kitchen, he subjected himself to great austerities, 
sleeping on a hide spread on the ground with a stone for 
a pillow, being most strict and constant in fasting, in 
prayer, in meditation," 


Death of Columba. Adamnan's description of " the 
passing away " of the saint is worth quoting at some length. 
Knowing that the end was near at hand, " the old man, 
weary with age, is borne on a waggon and goes to visit 
the Brethren while at their work." Td them he says : 
"During the Easter festival . . . with desire I have 
desired to pass away to Christ, . . . but lest a festival of 
joy should be turned for you into sadness, I thought it 
better to put off the day of my departure from the world 
a little longer." Then " sitting just as he was in the 
waggon, turning his face eastward, he blessed the island, 
with its inhabitants." At the end of the same week he 
and his attendant, Diormit, went to bless the granary, 
and he gave thanks to God for the store of corn which it 
contained. As he was returning from the granary, "a 
white horse, the same that used, as a willing servant, to 
carry the milk vessels from the cowshed to the monastery, 
runs up to him, and lays his head against his breast . . . 
and knowing that his master was soon about to leave 
him, and that he would see him no more, began to whinny 
and to shed copious tears into the lap of the saint." 
Columba refused to allow the horse to be interfered with, 
and " he blessed his servant, the horse, as it sadly turned 
to go away from him." Then he ascended a little hill 
which overlooked the monastery, and after standing for a 
while on the top he raised both his hands and blessed the 
monastery, saying, " Upon this place, small though it be 
and mean, not only the kings of the Scots (Irish) and 
their peoples, but also the rulers of barbarous and foreign 
races, with the people subject to them, shall confer great 
and notable honour: by the saints also even of other 
churches shall no common reverence be accorded to it." 
Returning again to the monastery he sat in his hut trans- 
scribing the thirty-fourth psalm, and when he came to the 
verse, " They that seek the I^ord shall not want any good 
thing," he said, " I must stop at the foot of this page, and 
what follows let Baithene write." Then he attended 


vespers in the church, and afterwards, sitting up in his 
cell, he addressed his last words to the Brethren, saying, 
" These my last words I commend to you, O my sons, that 
ye have mutual and unfeigned love among yourselves, 
with peace, and if, according to the example of the holy 
fathers, ye shall observe this, God, the Comforter of the 
good, will help you, and I, abiding with Him, will intercede 
for you." When the bell began to toll at midnight he 
rose in haste, and, " running faster than the others, he 
enters it alone, and on bended knees falls down in prayer 
beside the altar." Here, a few moments later, the Bre- 
thren found him, " and," writes Adamnan, " as we have 
learned from some who were there present, the saint, his 
soul not yet departing, with open eyes upturned, looked 
round about on either side with wonderful cheerfulness 
and joy of countenance on seeing the holy angels coming 
to meet him." 

After describing the miraculous occurrences which 
attended his funeral, Adamnan continues : " This great 
favour has also been granted to this same man of blessed 
memory, that although he lived in this small and remote 
isle of the British ocean, his name has not only become 
illustrious throughout the whole of our own Scotia 
(Ireland) and Britain, largest of the islands of the whole 
world, but hath reached even so far as triangular Spain, 
and the Gauls and Italy . . . even to the city of Rome 
itself which is the head of all cities."- 

Conversion, of the Picts. Soon after Columba's 
death, and as a result of his labours and those of his 
followers, the greater part of the Picts had embraced 
Christianity. In the extreme north, and especially in 
the northern islands, the heathen Scandinavians, who are 
afterwards referred to as Danes, gradually increased in 
numbers, and in 802 they pillaged and burned the 
monastery of lona. , 

The Angles in Scotland. The half-Christianized 
tribes of Angles who inhabited the south-east portion of 


Scotland were overrun by the heathen king Penda after 
Edwin had been defeated and killed by him at the battle 
of Heathfield (633), but no heathen reaction followed. 

Conversion of the Scandinavians. The Irish 
missionaries never succeeded in converting the Scandi- 
navians in the north, but when Christianity spread 
throughout Scandinavia at the end of the tenth century 
their conversion was gradually effected. The northmen 
who settled in some of the northern islands remained 
heathen till the close of the tenth century. 

Forcible Conversions. As a specimen of the 
forcible means by which Christianity was introduced 
into one of these islands a means which was all too fre- 
quently adopted on the continent of Europe, we may 
refer to the story told of Olaf Tryggveson, who afterwards 
became king of Norway. When Olaf was on his way 
from Dublin to Norway he put in at the island of South 
Ronaldsa, and, finding that the Karl Sigurd Lodvesson 
had only one fighting ship with him, he summoned him 
on board and explained to him that the time had come 
for his baptism, explaining to him that the alternative 
was his immediate execution, to be followed by the 
devastation of the islands. Sigurd and his followers were 
accordingly baptized, and he was at the same time com- 
pelled to swear allegiance to Olaf and to give his son as 
a hostage for his good faith. 

This method of conversion, which, as we shall see, 
was frequently adopted elsewhere, was, as far as we 
know, never adopted in Great Britain or Ireland. 


T NTRODUCTION of Christianity. It is probable that 
J_ a knowledge of the Christian faith was first intro- 
duced into Britain either by Christian soldiers or by 
traders who came to their shores in order to supply the 
wants of the Roman legions stationed in Britain. Evidence 
exists which shows that traders from Syria visited the 
north of England in very early times.* The first definite 
statement relating to Christians in Britain is that of 
Tertullian, who wrote about 208, and who speaks of 
" districts of Britain inaccessible to the Romans, but 
subdued to Christ." Origen, writing about 230, asks, 
" When before the coming of Christ did the land of 
Britain agree to the worship of the one God ? " 

St. Alban. The well-known story of the martyrdom 
of St. Alban, which, according to Bede, took place about 
303, is probably founded on fact. Alban while still a 
pagan is said to have sheltered a Christian 'teacher, and 
having been influenced by his piety and his prayers, 
became a Christian in heart. Having concealed the 
Christian teacher from the soldiers who had come to 
arrest him, he was himself led before the Roman judge, 
and having refused to offer sacrifice to the gods he suffered 
death as a martyr. At the Council of Aries, which was 
held in the south of France in 314, three British bishops 
were present, who came from York, lyondon, and Caerleon 
on the river Usk.f Their presence shows that by 314 a.. 

* See " The Conversion of Europe," p. 85 f . 
f For Caerleon we ought perhaps to read Lincoln, see "Con- 
version of Europe," p. 91. 

-i i e*77-. === ^ = iu. I 

in the T 4 ! 1 Century 

. . Statute Miles 

Downpa^rlcKSX-~f^..- -... 

* n. \ y^-*OOWil -. 

,r ; r 

To face page 66 


British Church, which probably possessed a number of 
bishops, had come into existence. Of the missionaries to 
whose labours the founding of this Church was due we 
know nothing. In 429 two bishops from France, Germanus 
of Auxerre and I^upus of Troyes, were sent over to Britain 
in order to counteract the teaching of Pelagius, who had 
propounded a doctrine of freewill which was considered 
to be heretical. 

The heathen Saxons. In 409, when the last of the 
Roman soldiers had been withdrawn from Britain, the 
Christian population had been left to defend itself as best 
it could against the heathen Saxons who were beginning 
to invade Britain. The description given by the British 
historian, Bede, helps us to understand how it was that 
the British Church well-nigh ceased to exist in England. 
He writes : " The impious victor . . . continued de- 
populating all the . . . cities and fields from the Eastern 
sea to the Western, with no one to oppose the conflagration, 
and overran almost all the surface of the perishing island. 
. . . Everywhere priests were slain among the altars ; 
the prelates and the people, without any regard to rank, 
were destroyed by fire and sword, nor were there any to 
give sepulture to those who were cruelly slain. Some of 
the miserable remnant were caught and slaughtered in 
heaps upon the mountains, others, outworn by famine, 
came forth and surrendered themselves to the enemy for 
the sake of receiving supplies of sustenance, dooming 
themselves to undergo perpetual slavery if they were not 
immediately slaughtered ; others in grief sought countries 
beyond the sea, others abiding in their own country led 
in fear a miserable life among the mountains, or woods, or 
lofty rocks, with minds always full of mistrust." If this 
description be a true one, it becomes easy for us to under- 
stand why it was that the missionaries by whose labours 
the Saxons were eventually converted came not from the 
British but from the Irish and Roman Churches. 

Capture of London. London was captured by the 


Saxons about 568, whereupon Theonus the British bishop 
fled to Wales, accompanied by as many of his clergy as 
had survived. Thadioc bishop of York fled to Wales 
about the same time. 

Mission of St. Augustine. Thirty years elapsed 
between the departure of Theonus and the arrival of the 
Mission from Rome, which had for its object the con- 
version of the Saxons. The story of the English slave 
boys who attracted the attention of Gregory in the Roman 
market is told thus by the monk of Whitby, who was the 
biographer of Gregory. He writes that while Benedict 
was Pope there arrived at Rome certain " of our nation, 
with fair complexions and flaxen hair," whom, when 
Gregory heard of them, he expressed a desire to see. 
On seeing them he asked to what nation they belonged, 
and being told that they were Angli, he remarked " Angeli 
Dei " (angels of God). In reply to his inquiry, " Who is 
their king ? " they said " Aelli," whereupon he replied 
" Alleluia, laus enim Dei esse debet illic " (Alleluia, for 
the praise of God ought to be heard there). Lastly, he 
inquired to what tribe they belonged, and receiving the 
answer " Deire," he said, " De ira Dei confugientes ad 
fidem" (fleeing from the wrath of God to the faith). 
Gregory then asked and obtained Benedict's permission 
to go as a missionary to England, but, as soon as he had 
started on his journey, the people of Rome clamoured for 
his return, and messengers were sent to recall him. Bede 
tells the same story, but with some variations, and states 
that the boys were slaves. A later tradition adds that 
they were three in number. On the death of Benedict, 
Gregory was elected as bishop of Rome, and one of his 
first acts was to select Augustine, who was then prior of 
St. Andrew's monastery in Rome, and to send him as a 
missionary to England. 

Reaving Rome in the spring of 596, he and his fellow- 
monks went by sea to Marseilles, and thence proceeded 
to Aix. Here, says Bede, "they were seized with a 



sluggish fear, and began to think of returning home, 
rather than proceed to a barbarous, fierce, and unbelieving 
nation, to whose very language they were strangers ; 
and this with one consent they decided to be the safer 
course. They accordingly sent back Augustine to Rome 
that "he might by humble entreaty obtain of the holy 
Gregory that they should not be compelled to undertake 
so perilous, laborious and uncertain a journey." 

Augustine was not cast in a heroic mould, and from the 
English point of view it was a calamity, the greatness of 
which it is impossible to estimate, that Gregory was 
prevented from carrying out his intention of becoming a 
missionary to the Saxons. The letter which he wrote in 
reply to that received from Augustine reveals his own 
spirit and ideals, and is worthy of a place in missionary 
annals. It reads : "Gregory the servant of the servants 
of God to the servants of our I/ord. Forasmuch as it had 
been better not to begin good things, than when they are 
begun to entertain the thought of retiring from them ; it 
behoves you, my most beloved sons, to accomplish the 
good work which, by the help of the I^ord, ye have under- 
taken. I^et not, therefore, the toil of the journey, nor 
the tongues of evil-speaking men, deter you, but with all 
earnestness and zeal perform that which by God's direction 
ye have undertaken, knowing that great labour will be 
followed by the greater glory of an eternal reward. . . . 
May Almighty God protect you with His grace, and grant 
that in the heavenly country I may see the fruit of your 
labour ; inasmuch as, though I cannot labour with you, 
I shall partake in the joy of the reward, because I desire 
to labour." 

This letter, which Augustine took back to his com- 
panions, helped to revive their courage, and they started 
once more on their journey. They proceeded, however, 
'so slowly that a whole year elapsed between their departure 
from Rome and their arrival in the Island of Thanet. 
The party consisted of forty members, and included 


interpreters whom they had obtained in France. Their 
interview with King Ethelbert took place in the open air, 
as the king feared lest, in the event of his entering a house, 
"if they possessed any magical powers, they might 
deceive and so overcome him." After hearing their 
message, the king replied, " Your words and promises are 
fair, but, as they are new and uncertain, I cannot, in 
order to assent to them, abandon the customs which, 
together with the whole English nation, I have for so 
long a time observed ; but because ye have come hither 
from afar, and as I clearly perceive desire to impart to us 
those things which ye believe to be true and excellent, 
we will not molest you but give you kindly entertainment 
. . . nor do we forbid you to gain as many as ye can to a 
belief in your religion by your preaching." 

In response to the invitation of the king, Augustine 
and his companions proceeded to Canterbury, distant 
about ten miles, and entered it by the road that passes 
St. Martin's Church, which had perhaps been built by 
Bishop lyiudhard, who had acted as chaplain to Bertha, 
the Christian wife of Ethelbert. As the procession 
entered Canterbury, carrying a silver cross as a standard, 
and a picture of our Saviour " painted on a panel," the 
monks chanted the words, " We beseech Thee, O I/>rd, 
in all Thy compassion that Thy wrath and Thine anger 
may be turned away from this city and from Thy holy 
House, for we have sinned. Alleluia." 

The teaching, and still more the prayers and self- 
denying lives, of the missionaries soon began to produce 
visible results. Thus Bede writes : " Several believed 
and were baptized, admiring the simplicity of their 
innocent life and the sweetness of their heavenly doctrine." 
The baptism of the king, which soon occurred, was 
followed by the baptism of a large number of his subjects. 
. Augustine, having been consecrated as a bishop at Aries 
in the autumn of 597, returned to Canterbury, and ere 
long a Christian Church was established which extended 


as far north as London. In 602, or 603, a conference 
was arranged between Augustine and representatives of 
the British Church in Wales, in the hope that it might 
prove possible to form one united Church of England and 
Wales. The discussions which took place related to the 
keeping of Easter and methods of tonsure. A further 
object of the conference was to render possible a common 
effort on the part of the Britons and Saxons to evangelize 
the heathen, but it does not appear that this object was 
discussed, and the offer to join in a united missionary 
campaign was made conditional upon the acceptance by 
the Britons of Augustine's authority. When the Welsh 
representatives finally refused to recognize Augustine as 
archbishop, or to accept his demands for a change in their 
ecclesiastical customs, he withdrew to Canterbury. Before 
doing so, writes Bede, " the man of God, Augustine, is 
said in a threatening manner to have predicted that if 
they would not accept peace with their brethren they 
should accept war at the hands of their enemies, and if 
they were unwilling to preach the word of life to the 
English nation they should suffer vengeance of death by 
their hands. 35 A bishop who could close a conference by 
threatening death to his opponents was not likely to 
prove a successful leader in a missionary campaign which 
should have for its object the conversion of England. 
In 604, says Bede, " Augustine ordained two bishops, 
Mellitus and Justus, to preach to the province of the 
East Saxons who are divided from Kent by the river 
Thames and border on the Eastern Sea. ... When this 
province, he continues, " also received the word of 
truth by the preaching of Mellitus, King Ethelbert built 
the church of St. Paul in the city of London, where he 
and his successors ..should have their episcopal see. As 
-for Justus, Augustine ordained him bishop in Kent at 
the city which the English nation named Hrof aecaestir 
(Rochester) from one that was formerly the chief man of 
it called Hrof ." . 


Augustine died on May 26, 604. Although his name 
deserves to 'Be had in honour as the head, of the Mission 
which helped to establish a church amongst the southern 
Saxons, he was himself far from being an ideal missionary. 
He lacked both the power to initiate a missionary campaign, 
and the courage to carry it out, in the face of threatening ' 
dangers. A still greater defect was his lack of humility 
and of the power to sympathize with those who disagreed 
with his own opinions. This lack was painfully illustrated 
by his treatment of the British bishops and his failure to 
establish any working agreement with them. At the same 
time we recall with gratitude his devout and self-denying 
life, the remembrance of which has been a precious heritage 
to the English Church. 

An English Liturgy. One of the letters written by 
Pope Gregory to Augustine in reply to an inquiry as to 
how far it was right to form a new liturgy in order to meet 
the needs of a particular race, is of special interest from a 
missionary standpoint, as the question is one that is 
constantly being raised in the Mission field to-day. After 
saying that " Things are not to be cherished for the sake 
of places, but places for the sake of good things,", he 
wrote, " From all the several churches, therefore, select 
the things which are pious and religious and right, and 
gather them as it were into a bundle and store them in 
the mind of the English to form a'Use." 

Eadbald. Eadbald, who became king of Kent in 
616, began by persecuting the Christians, but after a 
short time was himself baptized. 

The East Saxons. On the death of Sabert, the 
Christian king of the East Saxons, his three sons professed 
idolatry and Bishop Mellitus was compelled to leave 
Condon, and in 619 he became archbishop of Canterbury. 

The East Anglians. About this time the East 
Anglians of Norfolk and Suffolk were ruled by Redwald, 
who, though he had been baptized whilst on a visit to 
Ethelbert, resolved to combine the worship of the 


Christians' God with the worship of idols, and had " in 
the same temple an altar to sacrifice to Christ and another 
small one to offer victims to devils.'" 

His son Eorpwald, who succeeded him in 617, became 
a Christian, but was murdered by a pagan assassin. 
Three years later his half-brother Sigebert, who had been 
baptized in France, became king. 

Felix. About this time there arrived in East Anglia 
a missionary bishop named Felix, who had come to 
Britain from Burgundy, and had been sent by Honorius, 
archbishop of Canterbury, to preach in East Anglia. 
This "pious cultivator of the spiritual field," writes 
Bede, " reaped therein a large harvest of believers, de- 
livering all that province, in accordance with the meaning . 
of his name (Felix), from long iniquity and infelicity, and 
bringing it to the faith and works of righteousness and 
the gifts of perpetual felicity." 

Fursey. During the reign of Sigebert there came 
from Ireland a missionary named Fursey, who, " after 
preaching the word of God many years in Scotland (i.e. 
Ireland), could no longer bear the crowds that resorted 
to him, and, leaving all that he seemed to possess, departed 
from his native island and came with a few brothers 
through the Britons into the province of the English." 
On his arrival in East Anglia he was welcomed by the king 
and there, " executing his accustomed task of preaching 
the gospel, by the example of his virtue and the incitement 
of his discourse he converted many unbelievers to 
Christ, or confirmed those who already believed in the 
faith and love of Christ." On a piece of ground given 
to him by Sigebert at Cnobheresburg (Burgh Castle, 
near I^owestoft), he built a monastery. The king himself, 
says Bede, " became so great a lover of the heavenly 
kingdom that at length he abandoned the business of his 
kingdom which he committed to his kinsman Ecgric, 
and entered a monastery which he had built, and, having 
received the tonsure, applied himself to strive to obtain 


an eternal kingdom." Soon afterwards East Anglia was 
overrun by the heathen king Penda, whereupon Ftirsey 
retired to France. 

Northumbria. The story of the conversion of 
Northttmbria, or North Humber I^and, as it used to be 
called, is entirely distinct from that of Kent and East 
Anglia. The missionaries to whose labours the conversion 
of its people was due, came from the north instead of from 
the south, and their missionary methods differed in 
important respects from those adopted Dy Augustine and 
his companions. In 617 a Northumbrian prince named 
Edwin was a refugee at the court of Redwald in East 
Anglia, and in 625, after becoming king of Northumbria, 
he married his daughter. She brought with her Paulinus, 
who was consecrated as a bishop, and as a result of his 
teaching Edwin and a large number of his subjects were 
baptized. Bede writes of him : " Paulinus for the space 
of six years, that is till the end of the reign of that king, 
by his consent and favour, preached the word of God in 
that country. ... So great then is said to have been the 
fervour of the faith and the desire for the washing of 
salvation among the nation of the Northumbrians that 
at one time, when Paulinus came with the king and queen 
to a royal seat called Adgefrin, he stayed there with them 
for thirty-six days fully occupied with the work of cate- 
chizing and baptizing, during which days from morning 
till night he did nothing else than instruct the people, who 
resorted to him from all villages and places, in the saving 
word of Christ, and when instructed he washed them in 
the water of absolution in the river Glen which was near 
at hand." 

Edwin was defeated and killed by the heathen king 
Penda at the battle of Heathfield in 633, whereupon 
Paulinus abandoned his diocese and fled to Canterbury. 
Bishop Ivightfoot writes of Paulinus : " The hasty and 
superficial work of Paulinus had come to nought. . . . 
The night of heathendom again closed over the land. 


The first chapter in the history of Northumbrian Chris- 
tianity was ended. The Roman mission, despite all the 
feverish energy of its chief, had proved a failure. A 
sponge had passed over Northumbria, and scarce a vestige 
of his work remained." 

Oswald. Oswald, having defeated his enemies at 
the battle of Heavenfield near Hexham in 634, established 
himself as king over the greater part of Northumbria. 
He had already been baptized whilst a refugee in Scotland, 
and as soon as he became king he sent to the Abbot of lona, 
.asking him to send a bishop to act as a missionary to his 
people. The first man sent,, to whom Scottish tradition 
has given the name of Gorman, was a man " of austere 
disposition, who, after preaching for a time to the English 
people and having effected nothing, the people being 
unwilling to listen to him, returned to his native country 
and reported in an assembly of the elders that he had not 
been able to benefit in any way by his teaching the nation 
to which he had been sent, because they were untameable 
and of a harsh and barbarous disposition." 

Aidan,. One of the monks who were present when 
this report was made was a man named Aidan, who, 
according to Bede, had long been known and loved on 
account of his humility, his diligence in the performance 
of religious duties, and above all for his ability to sym- 
pathize with rich and poor, believers and unbelievers. 
On hearing the words of Gorman, Aidan said, " It seems 
to me, brother, that you were more severe to your un- 
learned hearers than you ought to have been, and that 
you did not at first, in accordance with apostolic 
teaching, give them the milk of more easy doctrine till, 
having been by degrees nourished by the word of God, 
they might have become able to receive that which is 
more perfect, and practise the more sublime precepts of 

His fellow-monks at once recognized in the speaker 
.the man best fitted to become a missionary to the 


Northumbrians, and, having secured his consecration as 
a bishop, they dispatched him to the court of Oswald. 

The island of lyindisfarne, off the -coast of Northum- 
berland, on which, he proceeded to build a monastery, 
became the centre of his missionary activities. As Aidan, 
when he started his work, knew but little English, King 
Oswald frequently acted as his interpreter. He was soon 
joined by fellow- workers who came to him from Scotland, 
and who were in most instances of Irish extraction. 
" From this time," says Bede, " many from the country 
of the Scots began to come daily into Britain, and with 
great devotion preached the word of faith to those pro- 
vinces of the English over which Oswald reigned, and those 
(among them) who had received priest's Orders adminis- 
tered to those who believed the grace of baptism. Where- 
upon churches were built in several places : the people 
nocked together with joy to hear the Word, property and 
lands were given of the king's bounty to build monasteries, 
the English, great and small, were instructed by their 
Scottish masters in the more important subjects of study 
and in the observance of regular discipline, for most of 
those who came to preach were monks." 

Aidan himself lived the life of a monk, and when he 
travelled on his missionary tours he went on foot. His 
clothing consisted of a thick woollen cape, and in winter 
he wore a shirt and above it a loose cloak. He had the 
Irish tonsure and his long hair flowed down behind. 
" Wherever in the course of his journeys he saw any, 
whether rich or poor, he would there and then invite 
them, if unbelievers, to embrace the mystery of the faith, 
or, if they were believers, he would strengthen them in. 
the faith and would stir them up by words and actions 
to almsgiving and the performance of good works." 

Aidan was not content with doing the work of an 
evangelist. He recognized the need of training English- 
men who should become the pastors and teachers of an 
English Church, and accordingly he gathered about him 


in the first instance twelve boys "to be instructed in 
Christ." How wisely he selected and trained his first 
pupils may be inferred from the fact that these included 
the two brothers Chad and Cedd, who became the evange- 
lists of central and southern England, and Eata, who 
became abbot of Melrose, and afterwards bishop of 

Oswald was killed at the battle of Maserfield in 642, but 
Oswin, who succeeded him, supported Aidan in his mis- 
sionary labours as earnestly as Oswald had done. 

Death of Aidan. Aidan died on August 31, 651, 
at Bamborough. Referring to the circumstances of his 
death, Bede writes : " Aidan was in the king's country 
house ... at the time when death compelled him to 
depart from his body, after being bishop for sixteen years ; 
for having a church and a chamber there, he was wont 
often to go and stay there and going thence to preach in 
the country round about, as he did also at other houses 
belonging to the king, having no personal possessions 
other than his church and some small fields near to it. 
When he was sick they, set up a tent for him close to the 
wall at the west end of the church, and so it happened that 
he breathed his last leaning against a buttress that was 
placed on the outside of the church to. strengthen the 

If we are justified in giving to any individual mis- 
sionary the title of Apostle of England, it is Aidan to 
whom this title is due. Augustine's missionary labours 
did not extend beyond the county of Kent, and the 
attempts made by his fellow-monks to evangelize the 
East Saxons and Northumbrians ended in failure. 

The West Saxons and those in East Anglia were 
evangelized as a result of the combined efforts of the 
Roman and Celtic missionaries, but the two Northum- 
brian kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira, and the kingdoms 
of Mercia and Essex, which included two-thirds of the 
territory occupied by the Saxon invaders, owed their 


conversion exclusively to the Celtic monks of which 
Aidan was the leader. 

Of the personal character of Aidan Bishop lyightfoot 
writes : "I know no nobler type of the missionary spirit. 
His character, as it appears through the haze of antiquity, 
is almost absolutely faultless. Doubtless this haze may 
have obscured some imperfections which a clearer atmo- 
phere and a nearer view would have enabled us to detect. 
But we cannot have been misled as to the main linea- 
ments of the man. Measuring him side oy side with 
other great missionaries of those days, Augustine of Can- 
terbury, or Wilfrid of York, or Cuthbert of his own 
lyindisfarne, we are struck with the singular sweetness 
and breadth and sympathy of his character. He had all 
the virtues of his Celtic race without any of its faults. 
A comparison with his own spiritual forefather the eager, 
headstrong, irascible, affectionate, penitent, patriotic, 
self -devoted Columba the most romantic and attractive 
of all early mediaeval saints will justify this sentiment. 
He was tender, sympathetic, adventurous, self-sacrificing, 
but he was patient, steadfast, calm, appreciative, discreet 
before all things." 

End of the Celtic Mission. Thirteen years after 
the death of Aidan the work of the Celtic missionaries in 
Northumbria was brought to an end in consequence of 
their unwillingness to accept the decision at which the 
English Church had arrived at the Whitby Conference 
in regard to the keeping of Easter. When Bishop Colman 
and his fellow-monks left I^indisfarne to return to lona it 
became manifest how simple and frugal had been their 
life. "There were houses besides the church found at 
their departure, no more indeed than were absolutely 
necessary for their daily life," they had made no attempts 
to entertain the rich or great, " for these never came to 
church except to pray and to hear the word of God." 
Their repasts, which were of the simplest kind, were 
shared by their visitors even when these included the 


king and his courtiers. In a passage of great interest 
Bede describes the attitude of the people generally 
towards the monks, and the reception which these received 
when they travelled from place to place. He writes : 
" Wherever clergy or monks happened to come, such an 
one was joyfully received by all as the servant of God. 
And if they chanced to meet him on the way, they ran 
to him 'and, bowing their heads, were glad to be signed 
with his hand or blessed with his mouth. They paid 
great attention also to their exhortations. Moreover, on 
Sundays they flocked eagerly to church or to the monas- 
teries, not to refresh the body but to hear the word of 
God ; and if any priest happened to come into a village 
the villagers quickly came together, eager to hear from 
him the word of life ; for the priests and clergy went to 
the villages for no other purpose than to preach, baptize, 
visit the sick, and to put it briefly to care for souls, 
and were so free from all plague of avarice that none of 
them received lands and possessions for building monas- 
teries, unless forced to do so by the temporal authorities : 
and this custom was for some time afterwards generally 
observed in the churches of the Northumbrians." 

The Conversion of Wessex. In 634 Wessex, or the 
kingdom of the West Saxons, included Hampshire, 
Surrey, Oxfordshire, and parts of Buckinghamshire. In 
the previous year Pope Honorius received a visit from a 
man of a missionary spirit named Birinus, who was 
perhaps an Irishman, and who said that he desired " to 
scatter the seeds of the holy faith in those furthest inland 
territories of the English to which no teacher had as yet 
come." The Pope approved his resolve, and sent him to be 
consecrated as a bishop by the bishop of Milan. In the 
following year, Birinus landed, probably at Porchester, 
in Hampshire, and "finding all the people most pagan, 
he thought it better to preach the word there rather 
than to proceed further to search for others to whom he 
might preach." His preaching met with speedy success, 


and the king, Cynegils, " having been catechized, was 
washed in the fountain of baptism together with his 
people," apparently towards the end of 635. I^ater on 
Birinus established his see at Dorchester, and " having 
built and consecrated churches, and by his pious labour 
called many to the I^ord, he himself migrated to the 
kord (650)." The king, Cynegils, who died in 643, was 
succeeded by his son Kenwalch, or Coinwalch, who had 
" refused to embrace the mysteries of the heavenly 
kingdom," and was a strong upholder of heathenism. 
Having been defeated in battle by Penda in 645, he took 
refuge with Anna the king of the East Saxons. During 
the three years that he spent as an exile " he discerned 
and received the true faith." When at .length he regained 
his kingdom, " a certain bishop called Agilbert, a native 
of Gaul, who had lived for a long time in Ireland for the 
sake of reading the Scriptures," came of his own accord 
and began to preach, whereupon the king, ".observing 
his erudition and industry," desired him to remain as 
bishop. lyater on the king introduced a Saxon bishop 
named Wini, and, having divided his kingdom into two 
dioceses, created for him an episcopal seat at Wintan- 
chester (Winchester). 

Of the later bishops of the West Saxons who were 
specially interested in missionary enterprises mention 
should be made of Daniel, who became bishop of Win- 
chester in 705, and of Aldhelm, who became bishop of 
Sherborne in the same year. 

The Isle of Wight. In 686 Ceadwalla, having con- 
quered the Isle of Wight, which was then " entirely given 
over to idolatry," invited Bishop Wilfrid to send mission- 
aries to evangelize it. He committed this task to his 
nephew Bernwin, who was assisted by another missionary 
named Hiddila. 

Conversion of Mercia. Mercia, that is the marchland 
or borderland, was the name given to the territory where 
the West Angles marched with the Britons of North Wales 


and the Britons of Cumbria. Its inhabitants were Angles 
as distinguished from Saxons and Jutes. 

Its king, Penda, was for many years the champion of 
heathenism, and in the course of twenty-two years killed 
no less than five kings, all of whom were Christians. 
These included Edwin and Oswald, kings of Northumbria. 

Peada. Missionary work was first started within 
the limits of Mercia by Peada, a son of Penda, who in 
653 was made sub-king of the middle Angles, who 
occupied, roughly speaking, the present county of Lei- 
cester. Having asked for the hand of Elfleda, daughter 
of Oswy, king of the Northumbrian Angles, he was told 
that the marriage could only take place on condition 
that Peada became a Christian and introduced Chris- 
tianity into his kingdom. Having undergone a course of 
instruction, and having " heard the preaching of the truth, 
the promise of the heavenly kingdom and the hope of 
resurrection and future immortality, he declared that he 
would willingly become a Christian, even though he should 
be refused the virgin." Soon afterwards " he was 
baptized by Bishop Finan with all his earls and soldiers, 
who had come with him, v . . and having received four 
priests who for their learning and good life were deemed 
fit to instruct and baptize his nation, he returned with 
great joy. These priests were Cedd, Adda, Betti, and 
Diuma, the last of whom was by nation a Scot (Irish), 
the others being English." These priests, continues 
Bede, on the return of Peada to his own people, " preached 
the word, and were willingly listened to, and many both 
of the nobles and of those of lower degree, renouncing the 
vileness of idolatry, were baptized daily." 

By this time Penda himself had withdrawn his op- 
position to Christianity, and, though he was never baptized, 
he showed his respect for those who lived a consistent 
Christian life. Thus Bede writes, " He hated and despised 
those whom, after they had received the faith of Christ, 
he perceived not to perform the works of faith, and said 



that those were contemptible and wretched who con- 
temned obedience to their God in whom they believed." 
In 655 he was killed fighting against Oswy, and the king- 
dom of Mercia was for a time added to Oswy's dominions. 
Soon after Theodore reached Canterbury in 669 Wulf- 
here, a son of Peada, who had become king of Mercia, 
applied to him for help, as Mercia was then without a 
bishop, and it was eventually arranged that Chad should 
leave York and become bishop of Mercia. By this time 
the conversion of Mercia was practically completed. 

Conversion of the East Saxons. The kingdom of 
the East Saxons, which included the town of Condon, first 
" received the faith " in 604 when Mellitus baptized king 
Sabert. On the death of the king in 616 his three sons 
professed idolatry and compelled Mellitus to leave 
I/ondon, and from 616 to 653 I^ondon and what is now 
the county of Essex remained heathen. 

Sigebert, who became king shortly before 653, was a 

friend of Oswy king of Northumbria, and was by him 

persuaded to become a Christian. At his suggestion Oswy 

sent Cedd, a brother of Chad, and another priest to act as 

missionaries to the East Saxons. Bede thus describes 

their work : "When these two, travelling to all parts of 

that country, had gathered a numerous church to our I/>rd, 

Cedd returned home and came to the church of I/indis- 

farne to confer with Bishop Finan : who, finding how 

successful he had been in the work of the gospel, made 

him bishop of the church of the East Saxons. . . . Cedd 

having received the episcopal dignity . . . built churches 

in several places, ordaining. priests and deacons to. assist 

him in the work of faith, and the ministry of baptizing." 

The chief centres of his missionary labours were at 

Ithancestir (near Maldon), and at Tilaburg (Tilbury). 

Here, says Bede, " gathering a flock of servants of 

Christ, he taught them to observe the discipline of regular 

life, as far as those rude people were as yet able to receive 

it." Although Cedd was bishop of the East Saxons, he 


is never referred to as bishop of Condon, and it seems 
probable that the number of Christians there was small. 
Sighere. In 664, the year in which Cedd died, 
there were two kings of the East Saxons, Sighere and 
Sebbi, both of whom owed allegiance to the king of 
Mercia as their superior lord. Sighere apparently ruled 
over those who lived in or near lyondon. Bede says that, 
in consequence of the ravages of the plague of which Cedd 
died, "Sighere, with that part of the people that was under 
his dominion, forsook the mysteries of the Christian 
faith and turned apostate. For the king himself and 
many of the people and of the great men, being fond of 
this life, and not seeking one to come, or believing that 
there was such, began to restore the idol temples which 
had been abandoned and to worship images, as if by these 
they might be protected against the mortality." 

When news of what had happened reached Wulfhere 
the king of Mercia, he sent Jamman the bishop of 
lyichfield " to correct the error and to restore the truth." 
His mission proved a remarkable success, and having 
travelled far and wide throughout the country, " he Jed 
again both the people and ,the king into the way of 
righteousness, so that, forsaking or destroying the temples 
and altars,,that they had made, they opened the churches 
and rejoiced to confess the name of Christ which they 
had opposed, desiring rather to die in Him with the faith 
of the resurrection than to live in the filth of apostasj^ 
among their idols. ' ' Their task having been accomplished, 
"the priests and teachers returned home with joy." 
Sebbi, the other king of the East Saxons, had not aposta- 
tized, but, "together with all his people, had devoutly 
preserved the faith which he had embraced." 

From this time forward the profession of the Christian 
faith by the East Saxons continued without any further 
pagan reaction. 

The Conversion of Wessex. The last portion of 
England to abandon idolatry and accept the Christian 


faith was the district, which now forms the county of 
Sussex. The first missionary whose work was productive 
of permanent results was the famous Bishop Wilfrid of 
York. Ethelwalch, king of the South Saxons had been 
baptized several years before the coming of Wilfrid, who 
arrived in 861, and he and his Christian queen Bbba did 
their utmost to support Wilfrid's wprk. The conversion 
of the South Saxons was facilitated by the fact that 
Wilfrid's knowledge of fishing enabled him to supply his 
converts with food during a time of grievous famine. 
Thus Bede writes, " The bishop, when he came into the . 
province and witnessed the great loss caused by the 
famine, taught them to seek a livelihood by fishing, for 
the sea and their rivers abounded in fish, but the people 
had no skill to catch them save only eels. The bishop's 
men having collected eel-nets everywhere, cast them 
into the sea, and by the blessing of God they soon caught 
three hundred fishes of different kinds." These they 
divided into three lots, one of which was given to the poor, 
one to the owners of the nets, and one to the fishermen. 
It is probable that Wilfrid had himself learned the art of 
fishing when, as a boy, he had been educated at I^indisf atne. 

Before Wilfrid left in order to return to the north, he 
built a monastery at Selsey on a site which had been 
given to him by king Ethelwalch, and, continues Bede, 
"forasmuch as the king gave him together with the 
possession of the place all that was there, including the 
lands and the men, he instructed all in the faith of Christ 
and washed them in the water of baptism. Among them 
were two hundred and fifty men and women slaves, all 
of whom by baptism he not only rescued from the servitude 
of the devil, but gave to them also bodily liberty, and set 
them free from the yoke of human slavery." 

In 709 the first bishop of ^elsey was appointed, and 
there were altogether twenty-two bishops of Selsey prior 
to the Norman conquest, after which the site of the see 
was moved to Chichester. 


Cornwall. The evidence afforded by the numerous 
stone crosses that have been found in Cornwall suggests 
that Christianity was probably introduced about the fifth 
century. In early times there was much intercourse 
between Cornwall and Brittany, and it is probable that 
the first missionaries to preach the gospel in Cornwall 
came from Brittany. Others at a later period came from 
Ireland and from South Wales. 

Conversion of Wales. There are many traditions 
relating to the introduction of Christianity into Wales, 
but they are so late and so unhistorical that it is of little 
use to refer to them. Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, to 
whom we have already referred, is said to have preached 
in Wales about 429, but the tradition relating to this is 
of late origin. It is probable that Christianity was spread 
in South Wales early in the fifth century by Picts, who had 
become Christians as the result of the labours of Ninian 
or his followers, the centre of whose labours was the 
monastery of Candida Casa in Wigtown Bay. 

The best known of the Welsh saints is David, who died 
about 601, but the earliest life of him which we possess 
was not written before the close of the eleventh century, 
arid from an historical point of view is quite untrustworthy. 
Of the facts relating to his life which may perhaps be true, 
the following are the most important. His father is said 
to have been the Chief of Keretica, the modern Cardigan- 
shire. Educated in the college of Paulinus, who was a 
pupil of Germanus, he subsequently spent ten years in 
the study of the Holy Scriptures and afterwards founded, 
or restored, a monastery, or college, and, after residing 
for a time at Caerleon-on-Usk, moved to Menevia (St. 
Davids), of which he became bishop. It has been sug- 
gested that the choice of so remote a site was due to the 
fact that the tide of Saxon conquest drove the Celtic 
inhabitants of Wales to cultivate closer relations with 
their brethren in Ireland. From very early times the 
Welsh have worn a leek on St. David's day (March i), 


in memory of the battle against the Saxons at which they 
wore leeks in their hats by David's advice in order to 
distinguish theni from their enemies. 

Towards the end of the seventh century many of the 
British Christians fled into Wales in order to escape from 
the oppression of the pagan Saxons. Whether or no 
David helped to spread the monastic system in Wales, it 
seems certain that the establishment of Welsh monasteries 
was a principal means whereby the country was eventually 
evangelized, but unlike the Irish monasteries these did 
not become centres of missionary activity beyond its own 
borders. We do not, in fact, possess a trustworthy record 
of any Welsh missionary who helped to convert any 
people outside Wales. 

With the conversion of Wales ends our brief sketch of 
the missionary activities which resulted in the conversion 
of the British Isles. 

We have omitted practically all references to the 
disputes relating to the keeping of Easter and other 
ecclesiastical questions which did much to retard the 
development of a united Christian Church, and have tried 
to lay emphasis upon the lives and work of the more 
prominent missionaries. At the same time we have 
refrained, in view of the limited space at our disposal, 
from recounting any of the miraculous adventures which 
biographers, writing many centuries after the time at 
which their heroes lived, have loved to tell, but which 
have no claim to be regarded as true. By doing so we 
have omitted much that would have rendered the story 
exciting or romantic, but those who seek to learn lessons 
of faith, endurance, and wisdom from the experiences of 
these early missionaries, which may help them to face 
the missionary problems that confront them to-day, 
. cannot afford to confuse the teachings of the past by 
intermingling with the historical records the miraculous 
occurrences which devout but undiscerning biographers 
regarded as the proofs of a true missionary vocation. 



Were it possible to recover completely the story of the 
past we should find that in these islands, as indeed in 
other lands, the people have been prepared and made 
willing to accept Christian ideals not by the preaching 
of great missionaries, but by God's " Hidden servants," 
who by their consistent Christian lives have commended 
their faith to their fellow-countrymen. We may thank 
God that in our islands political influence played a sub- 
ordinate part as compared with that which it exerted in 
other countries, and that the appeal to the conscience of 
the individual formed a predominant note pf the mis- 
sionary message. 


THE peoples of Holland. In the seventh century 
when Christian missionaries first made a serious 
effort to evangelize Holland the northern part of the 
country was inhabited by the German tribes of the Frisians 
and Batavi, whilst the centre was inhabited by Saxons 
and the southern part by Salian Franks. 

Amandus, who was appointed bishop of Maestricht in 
646, established several monasteries, but his work as a 
missionary met with little success.- In 678 Bishop Wilfrid 
of York, who was on his way from England to Rome to 
appeal to the Pope against Archbishop Theodore, was 
shipwrecked on the coast of Friesland and, as a result 
of his preaching which was continued throughout the 
whole winter, nearly all the chiefs and many thousands 
of their people were baptized. 

The work of Willibrord. In 692 Willibrord, who 
had been trained in Wilfrid's monastery at Bipon and 
afterwards for 12 years in Ireland, sailed with eleven 
eompanions for Friesland, and was welcomed by Pepin 
its ruler. Bede, alluding to the beginning of their work, 
refers to Pepin as "assisting them with his imperial 
authority, lest any one should offer any hindrance to 
their preaching, and exalting with many benefits those 
who were willing to receive the faith : ; whence it came to 
pass that, by the assistance of Divine grace, they in 
a short time converted many from idolatry to the faith 
of Christ." 

I/ater on Willibrord became bishop of Utrecht. After 



working in Holland for about five years he set out for 
Denmark where he made an unsuccessful attempt' to 
start missionary wor^k, but on leaving this country he 
brought back to Utrecht thirty boys in order that he might 
train them to become missionaries to their fellow-country- 
men. Charles Martel, who succeeded Pepin, encouraged 
and assisted the missionaries and during Willibrord's later 
years many churches and monasteries were built through- 
out Friesland. Bede writes in the year 731, " Willibrord 
is still living, being now venerable by reason of his extreme 
old age ... and after manifold conflicts of heavenly 
warfare sighing with his whole mind for the rewards of a 
heavenly recompense." He died at Epternach near 
Treves about 738 in his eighty-second year. St. Boniface 
states in a letter addressed to the Pope that Willibrord 
preached during fifty years to the Frisian nation. Alcuin 
his biographer describes him as " a devoted preacher of 
the word of God/' but adds that a " large part of Frisian 
is still pagan." 

We know the names of at least six other Anglo- 
Saxon missionaries amongst whom was " a royal prince of 
Northumbria," who preached in Holland at about this 

Wulfram. Wulfram, who was archbishop of Sens 
during the last quarter of the seventh century, is said 
to have made a missionary journey into Friesland, in the 
course of which he met with considerable success. On 
this occasion he baptized a son of Radbod who soon 
afterwards died. 

Radbod himself consented to be baptized and had 
actually dipped one foot in the font when he stopped 
to ask whether, in the event of his being baptized, he 
might eventually hope to meet his ancestors in heaven, 
or whether they were in the place of torment of which 
he had been told. " Do not deceive thyself " was 
Wulfram's reply, " in the presence of God assuredly is 
the ordained number of His elect ; as for thy ancestors, 


the chiefs of Frisia; who have departed this life without 
baptism, it is certain that "they have received the just 
sentence of damnation." On receiving this answer 
Radbod withdrew from the font, saying that he could 
not separate himself from his predecessors the chiefs of 
Frisia in order to sit down with a few beggars in the 
celestial kingdom. 

Gregory of Utrecht. -The next missionary of whose 
work we have any detailed information is Gregory of 
Utrecht. Having been a pupil and disciple of Boniface 
he was appointed, after the death of, Boniface,* as head 
of the church and monastery at Utrecht. Under his 
guidance this became a missionary college where 3>-ouths 
from England, France, Friesland and Germany were 
trained with the special object of becoming missionaries 
to the pagan Frieslanders. 

Gregory continued teaching and preaching till his 
seventieth year and his converts and disciples included 
many of noble birth amongst the Franks, the Saxons and 
the Frieslanders. He died in 781. 

Lebuin. One of Gregory's most remarkable helpers 
was an Englishman named lyebuin or I/iafwin. On his 
arrival from England he built himself a hut amongst the 
pagans east of the river Ysell near Deventer, and his holy 
and austere life influenced several of the Saxon chiefs in 
favour of the Christian faith. Eventually, however, his 
oratory was burned to the ground and his converts mas- 
sacred during one of the Saxon risings, whereupon I^ebuin 
determined to make a direct appeal to the Saxons at their 
annual gathering for consultation and legislation which 
took place at Marklum in Saxony near the river Weser. 
We refer later to the results that followed this appeal. 

He eventually returned to the neighbourhood of 
Deventer, and died about 775. 

* For account of the death of Boniface in Frisia, see below, 

P-"7- . . ' 


Liudger. Another missionary who laboured earnestly 
for the conversion of his people was a Frieslander named 
Iviudger. Born about 744 he was a pupil of Gregory at 
Utrecht and afterwards for three and a half years of 
Alcuin at York. Having "been ordained deacon he re- 
turned to his own country in 773 and, on the death of 
Gregory in 781, he was sent to Deventer to restore the 
mission which had been inaugurated by I/ebuin. After 
about seven years his labours were interrupted by the 
invasion of Wittekind who expelled the missionaries, 
burnt their churches and compelled the inhabitants of 
the district to become pagans. After the first conquest 
of the Saxons Charlemagne directed I,iudger to undertake 
the evangelization' of the people who lived in the neigh- 
bourhood of Mimegerneford (or Mimegardef ord), where a 
missionary named Bernard had previously worked. Here 
lyiudger built a monastery and sent out thence missionaries 
to preach and teach and stamp out all traces of idol- 
worship. In 805 he was consecrated as a missionary 
bishop, the site of his see being fixed at Munster. His 
diocese included five cantons of Friesland and the country 
inhabited by the East Saxons which is now part of West- 
phalia, extending from the river lyippe to the middle 
course of the river Ems. He laboured zealously as a 
missionary till his death in 809. 

Willehad. Another missionary who came from 
England and whose sphere of work lay in the same district 
was Willehad, . a native of Northumbria. He was born 
about 730 and was a great friend of Alcuin. He began 
his missionary labours near Dokkum and after a while 
moved to the district of Groningen, the population of 
which was still fanatically pagan. We learn from the life 
of Willehad written by Anskar that as a result of his 
preaching and his uncompromising denunciation of their 
idols the people rose against him at a place called 
Humarcha and declared him to be deserving of death for 
having spoken blasphemy against their gods. Some of 


those present, however, withheld them from carrying out 
their intentions, and urged that they should delay and 
consider carefully before putting the missionary to death. 
They urged also that this form of religion was unknown 
to them and that they knew not whether it was offered 
to them by the will of the gods ; that the preacher was not 
guilty of any crime, and should not be put to death, but 
lots should rather be cast in order that it might be ascer- 
tained from heaven whether he was deserving of death. 
This advice was accepted and, the lots that were cast 
having proved favourable to Willehad, he was allowed to 
depart in peace. He continued to labour in the neigh- 
bourhood of Drenthe with a large measure of success. 
Later on Charlemagne suggested to him that he should 
endeavour to evangelize the pagans who inhabited the 
district of Wigmodia, between the Weser and the Elbe, 
and for the next two years he worked amongst them with 
the result that nearly all the Saxons and Frieslanders in 
that district professed conversion to the faith of Christ. 
On the rebellion of Wittekind in 782 several missionaries 
were murdered and Willehad again took refuge in flight, 
but in 785 he returned to Friesland at the request of 
Charlemagne and helped to rebuild the churches which 
had been destroyed by the pagans. After the baptism of 
Wittekind missionary work made rapid progress and 
in 787 Charlemagne caused Willehad to be consecrated 
as bishop of Eastern Frisia and Saxony. After an episco- 
pate of rather more than two years he died at Pleccates- 
ham (Blexen) near Bremen on November 8, 789, and within 
three years of his death the long struggle between Charle- 
magne and the Saxons ended in a final victory for the 
emperor and in the nominal victory of Christianity. 



TNTRODUCTION of Christianity. The first serious 

J. attempt to introduce Christianity into Denmark, 
which was made in 823, was the outcome of war. Harald 
Klak king of Jutland desired to make himself king of 
Denmark and with this object in view solicited the aid 
of Louis the Pious the successor of Charlemagne. 

Ebo. The army which Louis placed at his disposal 
was accompanied by Ebo the archbishop of Rheims, 
who hoped that he might be enabled to pave the way for 
a Christian Mission to Denmark. He succeeded in 
establishing a centre of missionary work in Holstein and 
three years later, when Harald Klak and his wife together 
with 400 followers visited I^ouis, they and a large part of 
their retinue were baptized in Mainz cathedral. When 
the king was about to return to Denmark archbishop Ebo 
suggested that he should take back with him a missionary 
who might confirm the king and his Christian subjects 
in their faith. 

Anskar. The missionaty who was selected, and who 
himself expressed an eager desire to undertake this 
arduous task, when others to whom the work had been 
suggested hung back, was a monk named Anskar, or 
Ansgar, who was born near Corbie in the diocese of Amiens 
about 80 1. Educated first of all at the monastery of 
Corbie, he was afterwards transferred to New Corbie in 
Westphalia, where he acted as a teacher in the school 
and a preacher in the surrounding districts. As a boy he 
had frequently seen visions, in one of which he seemed to 


be lifted up to the Source of all light and to hear a 
voice saying to him " Go and return to me crowned with 
martyrdom." In another vision, which he had before 
setting out for Sweden, having obtained an assurance 
that his sins were forgiven, he asked, " lyord what would'st 
thou have me to do ? " and received the answer, " Go, 
preach the word of God to the tribes of the heathen." 
When the proposal to accompany Harald was made to 
him by the abbot Wala, he himself eagerly accepted, but 
only one of his companions, a monk named Autbert, was 
willing to accompany him ; and the two, after receiving 
encouragement and material assistance from the Emperor, 
. proceeded .together to Cologne. Here Bishop Hadebald 
presented him with a vessel in which to continue his 
journey and Harald himself joined him as a passenger. 
During the two years in which Anskar laboured as a 
missionary in Denmark he started a school at Schleswig 
for twelve boys whom he hoped eventually to train as 
missionaries. It does not appear that he achieved any 
large amount of success as a result of his preaching, and 
at the end of two years, in 828, when Harald was himself 
driven out of his kingdom, Anskar also retired from 
Schleswig, and soon afterwards went on a pioneer mis- 
sionary journey to Sweden. 

We refer later on to his work in Sweden. In 831 he 
became archbishop of Hamburg and in 849 he became 
also bishop of Bremen, and fixed his residence there. 
As soon as Anskar was established at Hamburg he began 
to purchase Danish,. Norman and Slavonian boys, some 
of 1 whom he retained with him, whilst he sent others to 
' be educated at the monastery of Turholt between Bruges 
and Ypres. He hoped that amongst these boys he might 
find those who would become missionaries to their fellow- 
countrymen. His work at Hamburg was, however, rudely 
interrupted. The Emperor I^ouis died in 840, and in 845 
Eric King of Jutland, at the head of an army of Northmen, 
sacked and burned Hamburg and destroyed all Christian 


churches and other buildings both in Hamburg and in 
the surrounding districts. A Christian library containing 
many books perished in the flames. Accompanied by a 
few clergy and scholars Anskar wandered about for some 
time and at length found refuge on the estate of a noble 
lady called Ikia at Rameshoe (Ramsola) in the district of 
Holstein. From this place as a centre he travelled for 
several years through his wasted diocese, in which the 
devastation wrought by the Northmen was such that the 
total number of churches was reduced to four. 

In 854 the heathen party in Denmark defeated and 
killed king Horick. Horick II., who became regent over 
a small portion of the country, invited Anskar to send 
additional missionaries and a church was built at 
Ochleswig and another at Ripen in Jutland. 

As Anskar lay dying at Bremen in 865 his one regret 
was that his hope and expectation of winning a martyr's 
crown had not been fulfilled. ^ As he was dying he repeated 
over and over again the words : " lyord be merciful to 
me a sinner : into Thy hands I commend my spirit/' 
Rimbert, his successor and biographer, dwells upon his 
charity, his asceticism and his humility. He supported a 
hospital at Bremen for the sick and needy, he gave a 
tenth part of his income to the poor and gave them a 
share of any presents which he received, and every five 
years he gave an additional tithe of the animals which he 
possessed in order that the poor might receive their full 
share. Whenever he went on a tour throughout his 
diocese he would never sit down to dinner without ordering 
some poor people to be brought in to share the meal, and 
during I^ent he would wash the feet of the poor and him- 
self distribute bread and meat amongst them. He wore 
a hair shirt by day and by night ; in his earlier years he 
measured out his food and drink, and he chanted a fixed 
number of psalms when he rose in the morning and when 
he retired at night. He would also sing psalms as he 
laboured with his hands, and would chant litanies as he 


dressed or washed his hands, and three pr four -times a 
day he would celebrate Mass. Although his biographer 
attributes to him the working of miracles he never laid 
claim to this power himself, and when one suggested to 
him that he could perform miracles of healing he 
replied: "Were I worthy of such a favour from my 
God, I would ask that He would grant to me this one 
miracle that by His grace He would make of me a 
good man." 

Anskar's missionary labours in Denmark were carried 
on under great difficulties and were frequently interrupted 
by the raids made by the pagan tribes who came from the 
north. They did not, however, succeed in obliterating 
his work. Thus Adam of Bremen referring to a period 
about fifty years after the death of Anskar, wrote, " I^et 
it suffice us to know that up to this time all (the kings of 
the Danes) had been pagans, and amid so great changes 
of kingdoms or inroads of barbarians of the Christianity 
which had been planted by Saint Anskar some small 
part had remained, the whole had not failed." 

It is interesting to compare Anskar's endeavours to 
make his Missions self-supporting with the policy and 
practice adopted in other countries. 

In trying to appreciate the difficulties which the early 
Christian missionaries in Denmark had to face it is neces- 
sary to bear in mind the stern, unyielding character of the 
ancient Danes. For a Dane to acknowledge that he or 
his ancestors had been in the wrong was as difficult as for 
a Chinese to consent to loose face in the -presence of his 
neighbours. The Dane thought it disgraceful to shed 
tears over his own crimes or over any calamity that 
might befall him, and it must have required a change 
which may well be called miraculous to induce him to 
accept the teaching of the Christian missionaries relating 
to the doctrines of sin, contrition and repentance. 

The Danes who settled in England at, or soon after, 
the time of Anskar became subject to Christian influence 


and it is interesting to note that a Dane named Odo 
became Archbishop of Canterbury in 942. 

King Gorm. In 934 King Gorm of Denmark was com- 
pelled by the Emperor Henry to desist from the persecu- 
tion of the Christians in his dominions, and to surrender 
to him the province of Schleswig. This province was 
afterwards occupied by Christian settlers who made several 
efforts to spread the Christian faith throughout Denmark. 

Conversion of King Harald. Harald succeeded 
Gorm in < 941, and in 972 after an unsuccessful war with 
Otto he and the whole of his army were baptized. On 
this occasion the Emperor stood as godfather to his son 
Sweyn. Sweyn's conversion was, however, superficial and 
when he became king in 991 he re-established paganism 
and expelled the Christian missionaries . After his invasion 
of England, in the course of which he devastated wide 
districts and plundered churches and monasteries, he 
resumed the profession of the faith in which he had been 
baptized and took active measures to win over his Danish 
subjects to the same faith. Instead of applying to the 
Bishop of Hamburg for additional missionaries he caused ' 
Gotebald to be consecrated as a bishop in England and sent 
him to Denmark to act as a leader in a new missionary 

Canute. Canute, his son, who became an earnest 
supporter of the Christian cause, issued orders forbidding 
honours to be shown to the pagan gods and directing 
that his subjects should everywhere be taught to say the 
I/ord's Prayer and the Creed and to receive the Holy 
Communion three times a year. 

I^ater on Canute caused a number of bishops to be 
consecrated in England with a view to their undertaking 
missionary work in Denmark, and ere long Christianity 
became the nominal religion of the people of Denmark. 



'HP HE province of Pannonia. At the time when the 
X Christian faith began to be preached in Austria 
and Hungary the greater part of Austria and a portion 
of Hungary were contained in the provinces of Pannonia 
and Noricum. Pannonia included the south-west of 
Hungary together with parts of lower Austria. Noricum 
included south-east Bavaria, the north-east portion of 
Upper Austria and the eastern portion of the Austrian 

A Pannonian bishop named Domnus was present at 
the Council of Nicsea in 325 and Eusebius refers to 
Pannonians who were present at the dedication of the 
Christian Church in Jerusalem in 335. References occur 
to the existence of Christian communities at several other 
places in Pannonia early in the fourth century, but we do 
not know how or when these communities came into 

The province of Noricum. Several bishops from 
Noricum attended the Council of Sardica, which was held 
about 343, and by the end of the fourth century a large 
part of this province had been evangelized. 

The Christian communities were, however, almost 
obliterated by the close of the following century as a 
result of the invasions of the barbarians. 

Invasions by the barbarians. The Alemanni and 
Heruli attacked- the north and west frontier, whilst the 
Goths threatened it on the east. The troops on the 
Danube, who had been left without pay, were unable to 

in the 4 t .l> Century 

George I'liilff r Son. 1. tit. 

To face page <)S 


offer an effective resistance, and, as the barbarians 
swarmed across the frontiers, the I^atin-speaking popula- 
tion deserted their cities and, with their priests and 
sacred vessels, sought a refuge in Italy. 

Sevevinus. Before this happened and while the 
country was in a state of uncertainty and misery there 
appeared amongst its inhabitants a remarkable .missionary 
named Severinus, whose biography, written by a friend 
and companion, has fortunately been preserved. 

The uncertainty which existed in regard to his 
nationality and the country in which his youth had been 
spent, added to the romance connected with his work. 
. When on one occasion some one ventured to say to him, 
" Reverend Master, from what province hath the great 
light come which God hath seen fit to bestow upon these 
lands ? " he replied jestingly, " If you suppose me to be a 
fugitive slave have the ransom in readiness to pay for me, 
if I am claimed," but, he added in a more serious vein, 
" What profiteth it the servant of God to name his country 
or race, when by keeping silence concerning them he can 
more easily avoid vainglory? For vainglory is like the 
left hand, without whose knowledge I desire through the 
gift of Christ to accomplish a good work, that so I may 
deserve to be among those on Christ's right hand and to 
be enrolled as a citizen of the celestial country. If thou 
knowest that I, though unworthy, truly desire that 
celestial country, what need that thou learn the earthly 
country of which thou askest ? But know that the God 
who appointed thee to the priesthood commanded me also 
to dwell amongst these who are threatened with many 

** He apparently came from some city in the East, and 
the language which he used on one occasion indicated that 
he had passed by miracle through the dangers of an 
immense journey. 

He first appeared at Asturis, a small town a little above 
Vienna, and, on its destruction by the barbarians, he 


moved to Comagenis, where his presence served to bring 
hope to the inhabitants who were expecting to be attacked. 
The next place which he visited was Favianae, the neigh- 
bourhood of which had been plundered by the barbarians, 
and its inhabitants had been led away as captives. When 
Severinus, speaking on behalf of the people of Favianae,. 
asked the Roman tribune Mamertinus, who was in com- 
mand in the district, if he could pursue the robbers, he 
replied, " I have soldiers a very few, but I dare not 
contend with so great a host of enemies. However, if 
thou commandest it, venerable (father), though we lack 
the aid of weapons, yet we believe that through thy 
prayers we shall be victorious/' Severinus bade him 
advance^ confident that God would aid him, only charging 
him to bring back to him unharmed all whom he should 
capture. The attack proved successful and Severinus, 
having ordered the barbarian captives to be fed, sent them 
back to their own people in peace. It is interesting to 
note that this Roman tribune eventually became a 
Christian bishop. In the neighbourhood of Favianae , 
Severinus built a monastery, where " he began to instruct 
great numbers in the sacred way of life, training the souls 
of hearers rather by deeds than by words." 

Severinus lived a life of severe discipline and self- 
denial. Thus his biographer writes, "He subdued his 
flesh by innumerable fasts ... he wore no shoes what- 
ever. At midwinter, which in those regions is a time of 
cruel, numbing cold, he gave a remarkable proof of 
endurance by being always willing to walk barefoot." 
" He never broke his fast before sunset except on an 
appointed festival.. In Lent he was satisfied with one 
meal a week, yet his countenance shone with the same 
cheerfulness. He wept over the faults of others as if 
they were his own, and helped to overcome them by 
such aid as he could give." 

Death of Severinus. Before his death, which 
occurred on January 8, 482, he said in the course of 


an address to the monks who had gathered round his 
bed : " I^et us be humble in heart, tranquil in mind . . . 
knowing that meanness of garb, the name monk, the word 
religion, the outward form of piety, profiteth us not, if 
touching the observance of God's commands we be found 
degenerate and false." He bade all approach in succes- 
sion to receive a kiss and having received the holy sacra- 
ment he commanded that they should sing a psalm. 
When grief kept them silent he himself started the verse, 
" Praise ye the Lord in His sanctuary, let everything that 
hath breath praise the lyord," and as he was repeating the 
words, " he fell asleep in the I,ord." 

The message which Severinus had to give to the people 
amongst whom he worked, apart from its missionary 
aspect, may be compared with that of Jeremiah. In 
both cases a chief part of the message consisted of a 
summons to repent and to give way to the invaders of 
the country against whom no effective or permanent 
resistance could be made. By the austere holiness of 
his life and that of his disciples he commanded the respect 
of the lawless chiefs and, whilst he relieved the material 
wants of those who had lost all that they possessed amidst 
the ravages and desolations of this unhapp3>" time, he was 
the means of converting and adding to the Christian 
Church many from the ranks alike of the persecuted and 
-the persecutors. 

Moravia. At the time when the Christian faith began 
to spread in Moravia, that is early in the ninth century, 
this province extended from the frontier of Bavaria to 
the river Drina and from the Danube to the river Styri in 
southern Poland. After the conquest of its people by 
Charlemagne some attempts were made to preach the 
Christian faith, but inasmuch as the missionaries who 
were sent were unacquainted with the Slavonic language, 
and conducted their services in I^atin they failed to produce 
any lasting results. 

In 863 the Moravian king Rostislav, or Radislav, who 


was anxious to recover Ms independence and desired to 
ally himself with the. Greek Empire, asked the Emperor 
Michael to send Christian teachers from Constantinople 
to instruct his people. His words, as recorded by the 
Russian chronicler, imply that by this date a large pro- 
portion of the people had been baptized. The message 
to the Greek Emperor runs : " Our land is baptized and 
we have no teacher to preach to us, to instruct us, 
and to explain to us the Holy Scriptures. We do not 
understand either the Greek or I/atin tongue : some 
teach us in one way, some in another, we do not under- 
stand the meaning of the sacred Scriptures nor their 
import. Send us teachers who may be able to explain 
to us the letter and the spirit of the sacred Scriptures." 
On receipt of this message the Emperor called together 
his wise men and repeated to them the message of the 
Slav princes, whereupon one of them said : " There is a 
man at Thessalonica called I^eon, who has sons well 
acquainted with the Slavonic language and versed in 
science and philosophy." The Emperor on hearing this 
sent to I/eon and ordered him to send him his two 
sons, Methodius, and Constantine (Cyril), and, after interr 
viewing them, he sent them to the Slavonic princes. The 
chronicler continues : " After their arrival they formed 
the letters of the Slavonic alphabet and translated the 
Acts of the Apostles and the Gospels. The Slavs rejoiced 
to hear of the greatness of God in their own language. 
. . . Then certain persons began to find fault with the 
books written in Slavonic and to say, ' No people ought 
to have its own alphabet except it be Hebrew, Greek, or 
lyatin, as is shown by the inscription which Pilate wrote 
upon the cross of the Saviour/ The Pope of Rome when 
he heard this, blamed those who murmured against the 
Slavonic books and said, ' I^et the words of Holy Scripture 
be accomplished, and let all tongues praise God.' It 
anyone finds fault with the Slavonic writing let him be 
cut off from the Church till he be corrected, for such men 
are wolves and not sheep." 


After the work of Methodius and Cyril had continued 
for four and a half years a change in its political relations 
brought Moravia into closer touch with the Western 
Powers and brought the Christians in Moravia into touch 
with Rome. At the request of Pope Nicholas Methodius 
and Cyril started for Rome in 868 and his successor 
Adrian who had become Pope by the time they arrived 
declared himself satisfied with their orthodoxy and 
appointed Methodius as metropolitan bishop of Moravia 
and Pannonia. On the dethronement of the king 
Rostislav Methodius took refuge in Pannonia, where his 
use of the Slavonic Bible and liturgy aroused the dislike 
of the German priests, who objected to the use of any 
language other than Latin in the Church services. Com- 
plaints having reached Rome, Pope John VIII. wrote 
forbidding Methodius to celebrate Mass in Slavonic and 
summoning him to defend himself against the charges 
that had been made against him ; and in 879 he arrived 
once more in Rome. Here, as has already been men- 
tioned, he succeeded in obtaining the consent of the Pope 
to the continued use of the Slavonic language. The Pope's 
letter, subsequently, addressed to the Moravian king, 
is of special interest from a missionary standpoint. In it 
he wrote : " The alphabet invented by a certain philo- 
sopher Constantine (Cyril), to the end that God's praise 
may duly sound forth thereby, we rightly commend, and 
we order that in this language the messages and works 
of Christ our God be declared: for we are exhorted on 
the authority of Holy Scripture to praise the Lord, not 
in three languages alone, but in all tongues. . . . It stands 
not at all in contradiction with the faith to celebrate the 
mass in this Slavonic language, or to read the Holy 
Gospel or lessons from the Old and New Testament, 
properly translated and interpreted, or to rehearse any of 
the church hymns in the same, for the God who is the 
author of the three principal languages, Hebrew, Greek 
and Latin, created the others also for His own praise and 


glory. We command, however, that in all the churches 
of your land for the greater honour of the Gospel, 
it should in the first place be read in lyatin, and then 
translated into the Slavonian language for those who do 
not understand I,atm, as in certain churches appears 
to be done." Methodius returned to Moravia, but, not- 
withstanding the favour shown to him by the Pope, the 
German bishops continued to interfere greatly with his 
missionary labours. In 907 Moravia was invaded by 
pagan Magyars, or Hungarians, and when, after a war 
lasting for thirty years, peace was at last restored, it was 
united to the kingdom of Bohemia. The Slavonic language 
soon after this ceased to be used. 

Bohemia. On New Year's Day, 845, fourteen Bohe- 
mian chiefs were baptized at Ratisbon. This is the 
earliest item of missionary information which we possess 
in regard to Bohemia. There is reason to fear that their 
baptism indicated not 'so much a change of character as 
of politics and that their conversion was hastened by the 
desire of the Bohemians to secure German military aid 
against some of their own countrymen. A Bohemian 
chief named Borzivoi became a Christian in 871, but his 
subjects refused to follow his example and according to 
tradition he eventually abandoned his throne and lived 
and died disguised as a hermit. His grandson, known to 
singers of Christmas carols as " Good King Wenceslas," 
endeavoured to bring about the conversion of his subjects, 
but was murdered by his brother Boleslav who tried,,to 
restore paganism, but ended by professing Christianity 
himself. During the reign of his son, who succeeded him 
in 967, the greater part of Bohemia became Christian. 

Hungary. The first attempts of which we know any- 
thing to introduce Christianity into Hungary were made 
by the Emperor Charlemagne, who fought a series of 
battles (791-6) with the Huns, one of his objects being 
to convert them to the Christian faith. These attempts 
appeared to meet with success, but as soon as the soldiers 


were withdrawn many of the people relapsed into 

Letters of Alcuin. Some letters exist which were 
written by Alcuin of York to Charlemagne and to Arno 
bishop of Salzburg in which he pleads that force should 
not be employed in order to make Christians. In writing 
to Arno, who had asked his advice in view of his proposed 
missionary labours amongst the Huns, he urged the need 
of adapting Christian teaching and discipline to the special 
needs of individuals and races, and insisted that the mere 
act of baptism could not profit unless accompanied by 
faith. He reminded him that the repeated lapses of the 
Saxons were to be accounted for b}^ their failure to accept 
the faith from the heart, and urged that inasmuch as man 
is endowed with understanding he cannot be compelled to 
believe, but must be instructed and led by preaching to 
an acknowledgment of the truth. Special prayer, he 
said should be offered on behalf of missionary work, for 
" of what use is the tongue of a teacher if divine grace 
has not penetrated the heart of the hearer ? ... for that 
which a priest does visibly in the body by means of water, 
this the Holy Spirit does invisibly in the soul by means of 
faith." In his letters to the Kmperor after the subjuga- 
tion of the Huns, Alcuin says, " Now let your most wise 
and God-pleasing piety provide for the new people pious 
preachers of honest life, learned in the knowledge of the 
holy faith, imbued with evangelical precepts, intent also 
in their preaching of the word of God on the example of 
the holy Apostles, who were wont to minister milk that 
is, gentle precepts, to their hearers who were beginners 
in the faith." 

The Magyars. At the present time nearly half the 
population of Hungary consists of Magyars. These are 
descendants of the ancient Scythians who crossed the 
Carpathian mountains , in 889, and soon overran the 
whole of Hungary and Transylvania. 

Christian captives in Hungary. It is probable that 


the Magyars gained their first knowledge of Christianity 
from some of the captives whom they had taken in their 
numerous wars, but the first Christians amongst them, of 
whom we have any definite record, were two princes named 
Bulosudes and Gylas who were baptized at Constantinople 
in 949. Bulosudes afterwards relapsed into heathenism, 
but Gylas, the ruler of Transylvania, brought back with 
him a missionary to help in the conversion of his people. 

Bishop Pilgrim. Pilgrim the bishop of Passau, who 
visited Hungary about 971, wrote a letter to the Pope 
telling of the success which missionary work had won. 
He stated that about five thousand of the Hungarians of 
noble birth of either sex " have been imbued with the 
catholic faith and washed with the sacred ablution." 
Christians also, he goes on to say, " who had been brought 
thither as captives from every part of the world, and who 
had not before been permitted to consecrate their offspring 
to God (in baptism) except in secret, now bring them 
without fear to be baptized, and all congratulate them as 
though they had been brought back, after a long wander- 
ing, to their own country, because they dare to build 
places of prayer in Christian fashion. ... So great is the 
concord which exists between pagans and Christians, and 
so great is their mutual familiarity, that the prophecy of 
Isaiah appears to be fulfilled, ' The wolf and the lamb 
shall feed together ; the lion and the ox shall eat grass.'' 
Thus it has come about that nearly the whole Hungarian 
nation is ready to receive the holy faith, and the other 
Slavonic provinces are prepared to believe. The harvest 
indeed is great but the labourers are few." 

There is evidence to show that things were not nearly 
so bright from a missionary point of view as Bishop Pilgrim 
made out, but it is clear that many of the Magyars had 
become at least nominal Christians. 

King Stephen. In 997 Stephen, or St. Stephen, as 
he was afterwards called, became king and as a result of 
his efforts the Christian faith was spread throughout 


Hungary and part of Wallachia . The kingdom of Hungary 
is frequently referred to to-day as the realm of St. Stephen. 
' In the year 1000 he sent an embassy to the Pope to plead 
for his friendship and for his own recognition as king of 
Hungary. The Pope conferred upon him and his suc- 
cessors the right to call themselves " apostolic kings," 
and presented him with a crown which still forms part of 
the Hungarian crown. 

The letter from the Pope is of historical interest and is 
worth quoting. In it he wrote : " My glorious son, all 
that which thou hast desired of us and of the apostolic 
see, the crown, the royal title, the metropolitan see at 
Gran and the other bishoprics, we joyfully allow and grant 
thee by the. authority derived from Almighty God and 
Saint Peter and Saint Paul, together with the apostolic 
and our own benediction. . . . And as thy Highness did 
not disdain to undertake the apostolic office of proclaiming 
and spreading the faith of Christ, ... we feel moved 
to confer besides upon thy Excellency and, out of regard 
for thy merits, upon thy heirs and lawful successors who 
may have been approved by the Apostolic See, this especial 
privilege : we permit, desire and request that as thou 
and thy successors will be crowned with the crown we sent 
thee the wearing of the cross may serve thee and them as 
an apostolic token, even as that, according to the teachings 
of God's mercy, thou and they may direct and order in 
our and our successor's place and stead the present and 
future churches of thy realm." 

After the death of Stephen (1038) several attempts 
were made to restore paganism and to destroy the Christian 
churches but before the end of the eleventh centuty 
Christianity had become the religion of the whole 
population. . 

The Mongols. The last attack by pagans was made 
by the Mongols, who in 1241 crossed the Carpathians and 
devastated the greater part of Hungary with fire and 
sword, the Christian churches being reduced to smouldering 


ruins. The desolation wrought by the Mongol raid is 
thus referred to by an eye-witness : "Here and there a 
tower half burnt and blackened by smoke, rearing its 
head towards the sky, like a mourning flag over a funereal 
monument, indicated the direction in which they were 
to advance. The highways were overgrown with grass, 
the fields white with bleaching bones, and not a living 
soul came out to meet them. And the deeper they pene- 
trated into the land the more terrible became the sights 
they saw. When at last those who survived crept forth 
from their hiding-places, half of them fell victims to wild 
animals, starvation and pestilence. . . . The famine 
assumed such frightful proportions that starving people 
in their frenzy killed each other and it happened that men 
would bring to market human flesh for sale. Since the 
birth of Christ no country has ever been overwhelmed by 
such misery." * 

Whilst they were still in Hungary the Mongols heard 
of the death of the Great Khan, whereupon they hastily 
retired leaving the country desolate but free. 

* Quoted by Prof. Vamberyin "The Story of Hungary," p. 141. 


Christian Churches. Christian Churches 
existed in Germany early in the second century, 
but the spread of the Christian faith was so slow and so 
frequently interrupted that twelve centuries elapsed 
before the whole of the territory now included within the 
German Empire had become nominally Christian. The 
earliest Churches of which we have information were at 
Cologne and Mainz. At the latter place the majority of 
the inhabitants appear to have been Christians by the 
year 368. 

South Germany. At Munich and Ratisbon in 
Southern Germany there were Christian communities at 
least as early as the beginning of the fourth century. 
Trudpert an Irish hermit helped to evangelize the Black 
Forest (cm;. 620) and was murdered by its inhabitants. 
Another Irishman named Kilian sailed from Ireland (in 
643) with two companions, and worked as a missionary at 
Wurzburg in Franconia, where he was eventually murdered. 
By the middle of the eighth century the Alemanni, who 
inhabited a large part of Southern Germany and the 
northern half of Switzerland, had become nominally 
Christians, though they continued to practise 'many of 
their old heathen rites. 

The work of Boniface. The missionary who exerted 
the strongest and most enduring influence upon German 
Christianity and who has often been called the Apostle 
of Germany was the Anglo-Saxon Boniface. Before his 
time individual missionaries, who were for the most part 


Irishmen, had acted as pioneers and had established 
isolated mission centres in Holland, Belgium and North 
Germany, but they had not proved capable of consolidating 
the work that had been accomplished, or of creating a 
united Church which might face the task of evangelizing 
German}?- as a whole. Born at Crediton about 680, he 
entered, at his own request, a monastery at .Exeter when 
only seven years of age, and later on was educated at the 
monastery of Nutescelle in Hampshire. Although his high 
birth and his intelligence would have enabled him to attain 
high rank in the service of the state he had set his heart 
upon missionary work and about 715 he sailed with three 
companions, to Dorstat in Frisia. 

Visit to Frisia. In consequence of the war that was 
raging between Radbod and Charles Martel he was, 
however, compelled to return to England, but; in 718 he 
set out again, never to return. Travelling through 
France to Rome, he obtained from Pope Gregory II. a 
letter authorizing him to preach the Gospel in Germany 
or wherever he might find opportunity. 

In Thuringia. He first of all visited Thuringia, which 
roughly corresponds to modern Saxony, and endeavoured 
to raise the standards of life of the bishops and clergy 
and to reclaim those who had lapsed into idolatry. Hearing 
of the death of Radbod he left Thuringia, and having 
joined Willibrord at Utrecht, stayed with him for three 
years. . 

In Hessia. Refusing Willibrord's request to become 
his coadjutor bishop, he started on a long missionary tour 
to the south-east, arriving at length in the district now 
called Hesse-Cassel. . Here he succeeded in converting 
and baptizing two Hessian chiefs, who had called them- 
selves Christians, but had at the same time worshipped 
idols. He was also the means of converting many other 
Hessians, and of establishing a monastery at Amanaburg 
on the river Ohm. Amongst the northern Hessians he 
baptized many thousands near the frontier of the Saxons 

-^" ' ^m^mm 3 


at the end 
of the 9 { . h Century 

tit.ilutc; Slilcs 

'l\> face ->ne no 


that is, near the modern Hanover, and having sent Binna 
(who was probably an Englishman) to report his success, 
he was soon afterwards summoned to Rome, and pro- 
ceeded thither accompanied by a crowd of brethren and 
retainers. The Rope, after questioning him in regard to 
his missionary work, and having satisfied himself that he 
held the orthodox faith, consecrated him as a bishop on 
St. Andrew's Day, 723. Returning from Rome with a 
commendatory letter addressed to Charles Martel, he 
recommenced his work in Hessia under his protection. 
In the course of this letter the Pope wrote : " We have 
thought it necessary to send our present brother Boniface 
to preach to the people of the German race and to various 
persons dwelling to the 'east of the Rhine, held in the 
error of heathenism or up to this time fettered in the 
darkness of ignorance." 

There is no evidence that Boniface ever invoked the 
aid of the secular power in order to force heathen to 
accept, baptism, but that he was glad to avail himself of 
the protection and influence which political rulers were 
willing to afford is shown by a letter to Daniel, bishop of 
Winchester, in which he says, " Without the patronage 
of the prince of the Franks I could neither rule the people 
nor defend the priests or deacons, the monks or nuns ; 
nor without his mandate and the awe which he inspires 
could I put a stop to the rites of the pagans and the 
sacrileges of idol- worship." 

On his return to Hessia he found that, whilst some of 
his converts had remained steadfast in the faith, the 
majority of them, without abandoning their profession of 
Christianity, had begun again to offer sacrifices to trees 
and fountains, to consult augurs, and to practise divina- 
tion. Being in doubt in regard to his method of action 
and the arguments which it would be best to address to 
the heathen Hessians, he wrote again to consult the bishop 
of Winchester. 

A letter from Bishop Daniel. His reply throws 


so much light upon the methods of missionary work 
adopted by the more enlightened missionaries at this 
period that it is worth quoting at some length. In the 
course of his letter the Bishop wrote, " You ought not 
to make assertions contrary to them in respect of the 
genealogy of their gods, however false they be. Allow 
them to maintain, in accordance with their belief, that 
some have been generated by others ... so that you may 
prove that gods and goddesses born after the manner of 
men are men rather than gods, and that those who were 
not in existence have begun to exist. . . . They should 
then be asked whether this world had a beginning or 
whether they think that it always existed and had no 
beginning. If it had a beginning, who created it ? ... 
If they say that it always existed and had no beginning, 
endeavour to refute and disprove this by many documents 
and arguments." ;. 

After suggesting further the uselessness of sacrificing 
to gods when the worshippers could not even ascertain 
who was the most powerful amongst them, he goes on to 
say : 

" These and many other things . . . you ought to 
urge not by way of insulting or irritating them, but with 
large and calm moderation, and at intervals their super- 
stitions ought to be compared with our that is, with 
Christian dogmas. Their superstitions should be re- 
ferred to as a side issue, in order that the pagans may 
blush, being ashamed rather than exasperated, on account 
of their absurd beliefs/' 

He then advises Boniface to suggest that, inasmuch 
as the gods of the pagans have failed to inflict punishment 
upon the Christians who have overthrown .their temples, 
they are not possessed of any real power. 

Other missionaries from England. Boniface's 
work in its early stages had been to a large extent depen- 
dent upon helpers who had come from England, and it 
was to England that he looked for additional helpers to 


enable him to secure the conversion of the heathen Saxons. 
Thus in a letter addressed to bishops, clergy, and abbots 
in England, he wrote : , 

"We beseech you that you will deign to remember 
us in your prayers. . . . Pray God and our I/ord Jesus 
Christ, who would have all men to be saved and come 
to a knowledge of God, that He will vouchsafe to convert 
to the catholic faith the hearts of the pagan Saxons. ... 
Have compassion on them, for they themselves are wont 
to say, ' We are of one blood and of one bone.' " 

Amongst those who responded to this appeal were 
several women, two of whom became Heads of monastic 
institutions in Thuringia. In reply to a letter addressed 
by Pope Gregory III, to Boniface in 732 the Pope wrote : 

" Great thankfulness possessed us when we read in 
the letter of your most holy brotherliness that by the 
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ you had turned very many 
from heathenism and error to the knowledge of the true 
faith. . . . You inform us that by the grace of our lyord 
crowds have been converted to the true faith, and that 
on this account you are unable to visit all and to teach 
them that which tends to salvation, since by the grace of 
Christ His faith is spread far and wide." 

Six years later, i.e. in 738, Boniface paid another visit 
to Rome and remained there for nearly a year. He then 
desired to relinquish his work in Hessia and Thuringia, 
and to devote his time exclusively to work amongst the 

In Bavaria. At the special request, however, of the 
Pope he visited Bavaria and endeavoured to reform and 
reorganize the work of the, Church in that country. 
During his stay there he received a further letter from the 
Pope in the course of which he wrote : 

" In the letters of your brotherliness you have told 
us of the peoples of Germany whom our God of His pity 
has freed from the power of the pagans, and to the number 
of a hundred thousand souls has deigned to gather into the 



bosom of Mother Church by means of your efforts and 
the help of Karl, prince of the Franks. We have read 
what you have done in the province of the Bavarians. 
. . . Confirm the hearts of the brethren and of all the 
faithful who are beginners in those western parts ; where 
God has opened the way of salvation, desist not from 
preaching. ... Be not reluctant, most beloved brother, 
to undertake rough and diverse journeys, that the 
Christian faith may be spread far and wide by your efforts." 
Pope Gregory III. and Charles Martel both died in 
741, and Carloman, who became the ruler of Austrasia, 
Swabia, and Thuringia, sent for Boniface and encouraged 
him to undertake the reformation of the Church in his 

Pagan observances. One of the decrees issued by 
Carloman on the authority of a council held in the follow- 
ing year shows that pagan practices were still observed by 
many who had become nominal Christians. It reads thus : 
" We have decreed that, according to the canons, 
each bishop in his own diocese shall take anxious care, 
with the help of the Count, who is the protector of the 
Church, that the people of God do not perform pagan rites, 
but entirely put away and spurn all heathen impurities. 
Sacrifices of the dead, soothsaying, divining, phylacteries, 
auguries, incantations, immolations, which foolish men 
carry on with pagan rites near the churches under the 
name of holy martyrs or confessors, provoking to anger 
God and His saints ; those sacrilegious fires which they 
call niedfyor, indeed all pagan observances, whatever they 
may be, they must diligently prohibit. . . . We have 
decreed also, as my father had before decreed, that who- 
soever performs pagan observances in any. respect be 
mulcted in fifteen shillings." 

The last clause suggests that for a rich man the sin 
of idolatry would not involve any very serious result. 

Boniface rebukes the Pope. Although Boniface 
professed deep respect for the authority of the Popes, he 


was prepared to criticize their action when it appeared 
to him to be deserving of blame. Thus in a letter addressed 
to Pope Zacharias in 742 he rebukes him for allowing 
the clergy in Rome to be guilty of immoralities and for 
permitting the growth of pagan superstition in Rome 
itself, the existence of which caused scandal in Germany 
and in other countries far distant from Rome. 

How the missionaries were supported. In 753 
Boniface, now an old man, wrote from Mainz to Fuldrad, 
chaplain to Pepin, who had been crowned as king in the 
previous year, begging for an assurance that the band of 
missionary workers whom he had gathered round him 
would not be dispersed or suffered to want material support 
in the event of his own death. 

His letter is of interest as showing that notwithstand- 
ing the large amount of success which had attended the 
labours of himself and his fellow-missionaries, their work 
had not been self-supporting, but had still to depend upon 
external assistance. " I pray our king's highness for the 
name of Christ the Son of God, that he would deign to 
inform and command me, while I still live, about my 
disciples what means of support he will, after (my death) 
provide for them. For almost all of them are foreigners. 
Some are priests appointed in many places to minister to 
the Church and peoples, some are monks in our cells, and 
young boys set to learn to read, and some are old and 
have for a long time lived with me and laboured and 
helped me. I am anxious about all of these, that they 
may not be dispersed on my death, but may receive from 
your highness the means of subsistence and protection, 
not scattered as sheep not having a shepherd, and that 
the people, near the pagan border may not lose the law of 
Christ. I specially beg that my priests near the pagan 
border may have some poor livelihood. Bread to eat 
they can obtain, but clothing they cannot find there, and 
must obtain from elsewhere by means of those able and 
willing to help them to live and endure in those places for 


the ministry of the people, even as I in a similar way have 
helped them." 

We gather from this letter that the number of English 
missionaries working tinder Boniface's direction was large, 
and that the, voluntary contributions of their fellow- 
Christians had proved insufficient for their support. The 
state of things which the letter describes has had many 
parallels in the modern mission field. The problem was 
in many instances solved in early times by the establish- 
ment of endowed or self-supporting monasteries which 
served as centres of missionary activity. 

Having received an assurance that the needs of his 
fellow-missionaries would be supplied after his death 
Boniface determined to make a further attempt to preach 
to the Frieslanders (in Holland) to whom he had desired 
to preach when he first left England. 

Final visit to Frisia. He clearly foresaw that this 
attempt would end in his own martyrdom. The account 
of his final visit to Frisia and of his martyrdom can best 
be given for the most part in the words of his biographer, 
Willibald. Before setting out on his voyage down the 
Rhine he said to lyul : 

" From my longed-for journey I shall not return, for 
the day of my departure is already at hand, and the time 
of my death draws near. I shall lay down this work- 
house of my body and pass to the prize of eternal 
retribution. . . . My son, get ready everything that you 
can think of for my use in this journey, and in my chest 
of books place the linen shroud in which my decrepit body 
shall be rolled." He embarked in a boat on the Rhine 
accompanied by three priests, three deacons, four monks, 
and forty-one laymen, and was joined at Utrecht by 
Eoban, whom he had himself placed in charge of this see. 
Their destination was Eastern Frisia, part of i which is 
now covered by the Zuyder Zee. Their first efforts to 
evangelize this district were crowned with immediate and 
striking success, and a. number of churches were built 


and thousands of men, women, and little children were 
baptized. After much successful work had been accom- 
plished the missionaries, who had been scattered over a 
wide area, were summoned by Boniface to meet him about 
Whitsuntide near Dokkum, about twenty miles N.W. of 
Groningen, in 'order that the rite of confirmation might 
be administered to many of those who had been recently 

Martyrdom of Boniface. The pagan Frisians, who 
had become aware of the gathering, resolved to put an 
end at once to the missionaries and their work, and on 
the appointed day, which was apparently the Thursday 
in the second week after Whitsunday (June 5, 755), they 
rushed upon the Christians, who numbered fifty-two, 
brandishing their spears. Whilst some of the members 
of Boniface's party prepared to defend him, he called the 
clergy round him and, taking the relics of the saints which 
it was his custom to carry with him, he thus addressed the 
Christians : 

" Cease, my children, from conflict, and put aside 
your piurpose of battle, for by testimony of the Scriptures 
we are bidden to return not evil for evil but good for evil. 
For now is the long-desired day, and the voluntary time 
of our departure is at hand. Be strong therefore in the 
I^ord, and sutler willingly that which He permits ; set 
your hopes on Him, and He will deliver your souls." 

To the priests and deacons and those of inferior order 
vowed to the service of God, speaking as with the voice 
of a father, he said : 

" Brothers be of brave mind, and fear not those that 
kill the body : but cannot kill the soul that has an endless 
life, but rejoice in the lyord and fix; on Him the anchor of 
your hope. He will forthwith give to you for ever your 
reward, and will grant to you a seat in the hall of heaven 
with the angelic citizens on high. . . . Receive with 
constancy this momentary blow of death, that ye may 
reign with Christ for ever." 


The pagans forthwith rushed tipon the little band of 
Christians and killed them. " 

His reliance on intercessory prayer. As in' the case 
of Columba a principal cause of the success which Boniface 
attained is to be found in the high value which he set upon 
intercessory ' prayer. His eagerness to obtain from his 
- friends the help of their prayers for the accomplishment 
of his missionary work might be illustrated again and 
again from his letters. Thus in a letter addressed to 
Cuthbert, the abbot of Wearmouth, and Jarrow, dated 
about 735, he writes : 

" With heart-felt prayers we entreat the piety of your 
brotherliness that we may be helped by your d.evout 
petitions who labour among the fierce and ignorant 
peoples of Germany and are planting the seed of the 
Gospel, that the fierce heat of the Babylonish furnace 
may be extinguished in us, and the few seeds scattered 
in the furrows, may spring up and multiply." 

In a letter addressed to Archbishop Egbert in 
Northumbria he writes : 

"With heart-felt prayers we entreat your clemency, 
that your piety would pray for us in our labours and 
dangers ; for great necessity presses upon us to Seek the 
help of the just, as it is written, ' The persistent prayer of 
a just man availeth much.' " 

It would appear from a study of Boniface's letters and 
the answers addressed to him that have been preserved 
that he did much to establish and to systematize the 
custom which prevailed soon after his time that bishops, 
heads of monasteries, and other persons should keep a 
list of persons both living and dead for whom they were 
pledged to pray at regular and frequent intervals. The 
4 " Fraternity book," or Confraternity book," belonging to 
a monastery contained a list of those for whom the 
prayers of its inmates had been promised, and frequent 
additions were made to its contents. 

It is hard to conceive of any means by which missionary 


work to-day can be more effectively strengthened and 
extended, or of any lesson which Boniface's life more 
emphatically teaches than the practice of intercessory 
prayer on behalf of missionaries. 

Northern Bavaria. An attempt was made early 
in the seventh century by two disciples of Columbanus to 
evangelize northern Bavaria and a little later Rupert 
bishop of Worms with twelve fellow-workers endeavoured 
to establish missionary work there, but with little 
apparent result. In 739 Boniface divided Bavaria into 
dioceses and did much to unify the missions that had by 
that time been established. 

The conversion of the Saxons. At the beginning 
of the ninth century Charlemagne's empire extended from 
the Baltic sea to the river Ebro in Spain, and from the 
._ English Channel far down into Italy. As a result of a 
long series of wars dating from 772 he had conquered the 
Saxons, who at this time occupied the greater part of 
northern Germany. Charlemagne repeatedly declared 
that the object of his wars was not merely to make the 
Saxons his subjects, but to compel them to accept the 
Christian faith. The Saxons at this period were a migratory 
people, and, apart from the fact that Christianity was 
for them inseparably connected with the conquest, of 
their race, they were reluctant to accept a religion the 
profession of which would be followed by the building of 
churches that in course of time might become centres of 
villages or towns and would thus be the prelude of the 
break up of their political and social' life. The fact that 
soldiers rather than missionaries were instrumental in 
^the conversion of their race was one of far-reaching sig- 
nificance in the history of Germany. 

The work of Lebuin.-M3ne attempt to appeal 
directly to their consciences was made in or about 775. 
by an English missionary named I^ebuin, to whose work 
in Holland we have already referred. He appeared at 
their annual gathering at Marklum near the river Weser, 


and arrayed in priestly garments, with an uplifted cross 
in one hand and a copy of the Gospels in the other hand, 
he presented himself to them as they, were about to offer 
sacrifices to their national gods. Amazed at his courageous 
bearing they gave him at first an attentive hearing. The 
following are the words of his address as recorded by his 
biographer : 

"Hearken unto me, and not so much to me, as to 
Him who speaks to you through me. I declare unto you 
the commands of Him whom all things serve and obey. 
Hearken, attend, and know that God is the Creator. of 
heaven and earth, the sea and all things that are therein. 
He is the one, only and true God, He made us and not 
we ourselves, nor is there any other beside Him. The 
images which ye think to be gods, and which, beguiled 
by the devil, ye worship, are but gold, or silver, or brass, 
or stone, or wood. . . . God, the only good and righteous 
Being, whose mercy and truth remain for ever, moved 
with pity that ye should be thus seduced by the errors 
of demons, has charged me as His ambassador to beseech 
you to lay aside your old errors, and to turn with sincere 
and true faith to Him by whose goodness ye were created. 
In Him you and all of us live and move and have our 
being. If ye will truly acknowledge Him, and repent and 
be baptized, in the name of the Father, the Son and the 
Holy Ghost, and will obediently keep His commandments, 
then will He preserve you from all evil, and will grant 
unto you the blessings of peace here, and in the life to 
come the enjoyment of all good things. But if ye despise 
and reject His most salutary counsels and refuse to correct 
the error of your wicked heart, know that ye will suffer 
terrible punishment for scorning His merciful warning. 
Behold I declare unto you the sentence which has gone 
forth from His mouth and which cannot change : if ye 
do not obey His commands, then will sudden destruction 
come upon you. For the king of all the heavens hath 
appointed a brave, prudent and most vigorous prince 



who is not afar off, but close at hand. He, like a most 
swift torrent, will burst upon you and subdue trie ferocity 
of your hearts, and crush your stiff-necked obstinacy. 
He shall invade your land with a mighty host, and ravage 
the whole with fire and sword, desolation and destruction. 
As the avenger of the wrath of that God, whom ye ever 
provoke, he shall slay some of you with the sword, some 
he shall cause to waste away in poverty and want, some 
he shall destroy with the misery of a perpetual captivity, 
and your wives and children he will scatter far and wide 
as slaves, and the residue of you he will reduce to a most 
ignominious subjection, ' that in you may be fulfilled 
what has long since been predicted, 'they were made 
few in number and were tormented with the tribulation 
and anguish of the wicked.' " 

A bolder or a more unwise method of appeal, based 
as it was upon fear of their hated enemies, could not be 
conceived. We are not surprised to read that those to 
whom it was addressed began to pull up palings and to 
collect stones in order to make an end of the missionary. 
Happily for him an aged chief named Bruto intervened 
on his behalf and persuaded his fellow-countrymen to 
allow I^ebuin to depart uninjured. 

Another missionary who attempted a little later to 
appeal to the Saxons was Sturmi, a pupil of Boniface and 
the founder of the monastery at Fulda. He was entrusted 
by Charlemagne with the difficult task of appealing to 
the consciences of those who had been compelled to accept 
Christian baptism. He died, however (779), before he 
had seen any great results of his labours. By the be- 
iginning of the ninth century the nominal conversion of the 
Saxons was well-nigh complete, but, although Christianity 
had obtained an outward triumph, pagan beliefs and pagan 
practices remained for a long time intermixed with the 
teaching and observances of their new religion. 

Saxony. The present province of Saxony which 
formerly bore the name of Wendland, was inhabited up 


to the twelfth century by the Wends who were of Slavonic 
origin. For three centuries spasmodic efforts were made 
to secure their conversion to the Christian faith, but as 
the missionaries who worked amongst them were in most 
instances Germans and as the Wends and the Germans 
lived in a state of chronic warfare, Christianity came to be 
regarded as the religion of their enemies. On several 
occasions Christianity appeared- to triumph over paganism 
and Christian churches began to be built throughout the 
country, but as soon as the standard of rebellion was 
raised against the Germans, a reaction in favour of paganism 
occurred and the missionaries were murdered or driven 
away. The Slavonic inhabitants of Wendland were never 
really converted, and it was not till the middle of the 
twelfth century, when the Slavonic population was prac- 
tically annihilated and replaced by German immigrants, 
that the land could be called Christian. 

Boso, the first bishop of Merseburg, has sometimes 
been called the Apostle of the Wends. He was sent by 
Otho I. in 936 to work amongst them, but though he 
learned ta preach to them in their own language and 
succeeded in establishing three bishoprics in their midst 
before his death in 970, the permanent result of his work 
was small. 

In 1047 a Slavonic chief named Gottschalk became a 
Christian and did his utmost to encourage missionary 
work amongst his people. He was, however, murdered 
by his own subjects and the chief who succeeded him was 
a fanatical pagan. 

One of the missionaries who was put to death at this 
time was an Irishman, John, bishop of Mecklenburg, whose 
labours had been attended with great success. The aged 
bishop was cruelly beaten, and carried through the chief 
towns exposed to the gaze of the populace ; ; and finally 
at Rethre, after he had refused to deny- his faith in order 
to save his life, his hands and feet were cut off and he 
was beheaded. His body was then flung into the street, 


and his head was fixed on a pole and carried in triumph 
to the temple of the god Radigost, where it was offered 
as an atonement for the contempt which had been shown 
to the god. 

In 1125 a missionary named Vicelin, who had been 
educated at Paderborn and at Paris, endeavoured to 
preach to the Wends and about 1130 a number of laymen 
and clergy, moved by his example and influence, formed 
themselves into a fraternity and vowed to devote their 
lives to prayer and good works and to labour for the 
conversion of the Wends. In 1147, however, the Wends 
rose in rebellion against the Germans and expelled the 
missionaries and destroyed their churches. Vicelin even- 
tually returned, but after. his death in 1154 a further 
rebellion on the part of the Wends ended in a massacre 
which well-nigh depopulated the whole country. It was 
subsequently repeopled with agricultural colonists who 
came from the Rhine and from Holland, and who professed 
the Christian faith. 

Pomerania. The population of Pomerania from the 
beginning of the sixth century A.D. consisted almost 
entirely of Slavs. The first serious attempt to convert 
its peoples to Christianity was made by the Polish duke 
Boleslav III. who, having conquered the country in 1121, 
resolved to compel its inhabitants to become Christians, 
or, failing this, to destroy them. He ravaged the whole 
country with fire and sword, and murdered so many of the 
people that three years afterwards the survivors could 
point to heaps of bones which had remained unburied. 
Stettin, the capital, was taken, and many thousands of 
Pomeranian soldiers were put to death, whilst eight 
thousand of the people, together with their wives and 
children, were carried away to Poland, having first been 
compelled to renounce idolatry and to receive baptism. 

Boleslav now attempted to find missionaries to instruct 
the people whom he had converted by the sword and 
with this object in view appealed to the Polish bishops 


who, however, declined to attempt so forlorn a 

In 1 1 22 a Spanish priest named Bernard, who had been 
consecrated as a bishop in Rome, came to Boleslav and 
asked to be allowed to go as a missionary to the Pome- 
ranians. Although he knew nothing of the language or 
of the customs or manners of the people whom he hoped 
to evangelize, Boleslav, after warning him of the difficulties 
involved in the proposed undertaking, gave his consent. 
Accompanied by a chaplain and an interpreter, whom 
Boleslav supplied, Bernard approached the town of Julin, 
in the island of Wollin, barefooted and dressed as a hermit. 
The inhabitants of Julin, accustomed to the rich dresses 
of their pagan priests, regarded him with unconcealed 
contempt, and, in reply to his assertion that he had come 
as the messenger of God, they asked how it was possible 
to believe that the Ruler of the whole earth would send 
as His messenger a poor man who had not even shoes for 
his feet. They told him further that, if he desired to secure 
his safety he should return at once to the -place from 
whence he came, and not discredit his God by pretending 
to be His messenger. Bernard, in reply, asked that a 
house should be set on fire and that he should be flung 
into the flames. "If," said he, "I come forth uninjured 
while the house is consumed, then believe that I am sent 
unto you by Him whom the fire and every other created 
thing obey." Soon afterwards, Bernard having de- 
stroyed a sacred image in Julin, the people forced him to 
go on board a vessel and leave them. " As you have so 
great a desire to preach," they said, "preach to the 
fishes of the sea and the birds of the air." 

The work of Otto. The next missionary who 
attempted to preach to the Pomeranians 'was a man who, 
if judged by the visible results which attended his labours 
was the most successful missionary in the Middle Ages. 
When Bernard was expelled from Julin he retired to 
Eiamberg, the bishop of which was Otto, a Suabian of 


noble family who was famous for his austere life and for 
his successful efforts to raise the standard of Christian 
life amongst the clergy and laity of his diocese. . Bernard 
related to the bishop his experiences, and besought him 
to make a further attempt to preach the Gospel in 
Pomerania. At the same time he urged him to avoid 
the mistake which he conceived himself to have made 
and to go with a large retinue of assistants and servants, 
dressed in costly garments and with an abundant supply 
of food, in the hope that those "who had scorned to 
accept the yoke of humility might be awed by the glory 
of riches and submit themselves." 

Encouraged by duke Boleslav, and having obtained 
from the Pope the appointment of Papal legate, Otto set 
out in April 1124 accompanied by a body of missionaries. 

Otto at Pyritz. The first place visited by them 
was Pyritz. Arriving on the outskirts of Pyritz a little 
before midnight they found that a pagan festival, accom- 
panied by revelry and drunkenness, was in progress, and 
they accordingly waited for daylight before announcing 
their errand. When the morning came the envoys of the 
dukes of Poland and Pomerania entered the town and 
explained to the inhabitants that the bishop was waiting 
outside and was ready to receive their adhesion to the 
Christian faith. Their consent having been obtained, the 
missionary party, with their . waggons and numerous 
train, entered the town, whereupon Otto addressed the 
people, thus : " The blessing of the lyord be upon you,, 
Blessed be ye of the Lord. We bless and thank you in: 
the name of the I/ord, because ye have refreshed our 
hearts by your grateful, kind, and loving reception. 
Doubtless ye have already heard what is the object of 
our coming, but it is becoming that ye should listen again 
and attend. For the sake of your salvation, your 
happiness, and your joy, we have come a long way. For 
ye will be safe and happy for evermore if ye be willing to 
acknowledge your Creator and to serve Him." 


After spending seven days in giving further instruction 
the missionaries baptized a large number; the total 
number baptized during the twenty days spent by Otto 
at Pyritz being 7000. 

Visit to Cammin. Leaving behind him a certain 
number of clergy he proceeded to Cammin, the residence 
of the wife of the duke Wratislav, who was well disposed 
: towards the Christian faith and had influenced many in 
favour of the new religion. He spent here nearly two 
months teaching and baptizing. Duke Wratislav, who 
arrived while Otto was still at Cammin, swore upon the 
sacred relics, that he would put away his twenty-four 
concubines and cleave to one wife. His example had a 
great influence upon his subjects, and many of his soldiers 
were also baptized and subsequently confirmed. A 
Christian church was then built, and one of the missionaries 
remained behind to serve it and to give further instruction 
to the converts. 

Visit to Julin. I/eaving Cammin the missionaries 
proceeded to Julin in the island of Wollin. In view of 
the hostile feelings of the pagan population, his guides 
advised Otto to remain concealed on the banks of the 
river, and when darkness came to slip into the town 
unperceived and take refuge in an enclosure, which was 
recognized as a place of refuge, the inviolability of which 
would be respected by the inhabitants. In the morning, 
however, when their presence was discovered, the people 
surrounded the enclosure and threatened the missionaries 
with death if they did not immediately depart. Otto, 
who "hoped that he had been called to the crown of 
martyrdom," advanced with cheerful countenance, and 
endeavoured to speak to them, but he was knocked down 
and injured, and his life was only saved by the courage 
and strength of Paulitzky, who interposed his body 
between the bishop and his enemies. Beating a hasty 
retreat, and breaking down a bridge behind them, they 
reached their boats in safety. On reaching them Otto 


said to his companions, "Alas ! we have been deprived 
of our expectation. The crown (of martyrdom) - was in 
our hands, ye have snatched it away from us. May God 
forgive . you my sons and brothers." After they had 
waited for five days, some of the people of Julin, several 
of whom were secretly Christians,/ visited Otto and 
apologized for the violence of their fellow-countrymen, 
whereupon Otto expounded to them the Christian faith, 
and at the same time threatened them with the anger of 
the Polish duke under whose auspices he had come, and 
urged them to avoid this by becoming Christians. An 
assembly was accordingly summoned, and, after a long 
discussion, it was decided that the populace would wait 
to see whether the inhabitants of Stettin, the oldest and 
noblest city in their country, would accept Christianity, 
and that they would then follow their example. 

Visit to Stettin. The missionaries accordingly pro- 
ceeded to Stettin, where they attempted alternately to 
persuade and to frighten the people to accept the new 
religion. The people replied : " What have we to do 
with you ? -. . . Amongst the Christians there are thieves 
and robbers who (for their misdeeds) are deprived of feet 
and eyes, and there are all kinds of crimes and punishments. 
One Christian execrates another Christian, I^et such a 
religion be far from us/' 

Otto, however, continued for several weeks to preach 
to the people at Julin and meanwhile he sent a messenger 
to the duke of Poland to ask his advice in view of their 
continued opposition to Christianity. By the time that 
his messenger returned he had won over a considerable 
number of the people and several had been baptized. In 
the letter which arrived from the duke he described him- 
self as "the enemy of all pagans," and said that if the 
inhabitants embraced Christianity they might look for 
peace and a decrease of tribute, but that otherwise their 
land would be laid waste with fire and sword, and his 
relation to them would become one of " eternal enmity." 


On receipt of the letter Otto proposed to the assembled 
people that, inasmuch as the worship of the true God 
could not be combined with that of idols, they should 
proceed to destroy the temples of the false gods. When 
they hung back, moved by superstitious fears, Otto and 
his assistants armed with hatchets and pickaxes, and 
having obtained their reluctant consent, proceeded to 
carry out the work of destruction. The first temple to 
be attacked was that of the Slavic god Triglav, the three- 
headed which contained an image of the god and. was 
decorated with sculptures and paintings. As it had been 
the custom to dedicate to this god a tenth of all the spoils 
taken in war, its temple contained much treasure. The 
bishop having sprinkled the spoils with holy water and 
having made the sign of the Cross, distributed them 
amongst the people. The heads of Triglav he afterwards 
sent to^Rome. A sacred oak, which was valued for its 
shade, the bishop allowed to remain, but he insisted that 
a horse which was used for purposes of divination should 
be sent out of the country and sold, and after the destruc- 
tion of all Heathen emblems a large number of the people 
were baptized. Otto's biographer refers to the change 
in the countenance of those who had been baptized, which 
soon made it easy even for the heathen to distinguish the 
Christians from those who' had not become Christians : 
a change similar to that which has often been noted by 
missionaries in the Christian villages of South India and 
elsewhere. He writes : " On the faces of all who had 
been baptized there shone happiness and the brightness 
of spiritual grace, so that those who had been baptized 
could be distinguished from those who had not been 
baptized, even as light from darkness." , 

After a stay of five months and the erection of a 
Christian church in the middle of the market-place, the 
bishop left Stettin, and, descending the river Oder, 
crossed the sea to Julin, in the island of Wollin. Its 
inhabitants, who had previously opposed the bishop's 


mission now welcomed his coming and many of them were 
shortly afterwards baptized. 

Otto returns to Bamberg. Soon after this he 
returned to his own city of Bamberg, having first arranged 
for the consecration of Adalbert, one of his fellow- workers, 
as bishop of Julin. By this time Christianity had been 
introduced into one half of Pomerania, the number of those 
baptized being about 22,000, and the centres of missionary 
work eleven. During the next three years which Otto 
spent in Bamberg many of those in Pomerania who had 
embraced Christianity for political reasons relapsed into 
paganism. Moreover the missionaries "whom Otto had 
left behind him were deficient both in wisdom and in 
zeal, and failed to consolidate the work which he had 

Second missionary tour. In 1127 Otto started on 
a second missionary tour. Passing through Saxony he 
descended the river Elbe and advanced to Demmin, and 
later on to Usedom where he met the duke Wratislav. 

Visit to Demmin At a diet, or assembly, which was 
held here at Whitsuntide Wratislav spoke, and urged 
those present to abandon idolatry, and to be baptized as 
Christians. Presenting Otto to them, he drew their 
attention to the fact that although he was of noble birth 
and a rich man, and possessed of gold, silver, and lands, 
and " all that the world calls precious," he had left his 
life of ease and honour in order to benefit the peoples of 
Pomerania. He urged, too, that as his motives could not 
be impugned, he was deserving of an attentive hearing 
and of credit : they had refused to listen to the mis- 
sionaries who had come to them before on the ground that 
they were poor : let them listen then to those who were 
rich. The bishop dn the course of his address spoke of 
the divine mercy, of the forgiveness of sins, and of the 
gift of the Holy Spirit. His words were productive of 
immediate results, and some who had abandoned their 
profession of Christianity professed repentance, and many 


others, together -with, all the chiefs and their attendants, 
were baptized. Otto stayed a week in Usedom, and when 
he left to prosecute his missionary labours elsewhere, he 
adopted the plan of sending his clergy two by two into 
the towns and villages which he proposed himself to visit. 

Destruction of temples. At Wolgast he destroyed 
several heathen temples and arranged for the erection of 
a Christian church. At Gutzkow the people besought 
him to spare their magnificent temple, and if he wished, 
to convert it into a Christian church. Otto, however, 
feared that if this were done a reaction in favour of 
paganism might occur after his departure, and he accord- 
ingly insisted on its destruction. " Would you think," he 
said, " of sowing your grain among thorns and thistles ? 
No, you would first pluck up the weeds, that when the 
good seed is sown in your fields you may be able to obtain 
the crops which ye desire. So I must first utterly destroy 
from the midst of you this seed of idolatry and this thorn 
to my preaching, in order that the good seed of the Gospel 
.may bring forth fruit in your hearts to eternal life." The 
objections of the people were at length overcome, and 
with their own hands they destroyed the temple and its 
idols. In its place he designed a Christian church, which 
by its splendour and magnificence might outshine the 
temple that had been destroyed. On the occasion of its 
consecration Otto urged Wratislav to abandon all deeds 
of violence and to set free all persons whom he had 
confined in prison in order to extract from them payment 
of debts. The duke's good example did much to influence 
his people and to show them that the new religion involved 
a change of conduct as well as of creed. 

Otto now desired to secure the preaching of the 
Christian faith throughout the whole of Pomerania, but 
his fellow-missionaries lacked the courage of their leader, 
and were afraid to act as pioneers when unaccompanied 
by him, Even to bear him company taxed their courage 
to the utmost. ' : 


Stettin re- visited. Thus -on one occasion when he 
announced his intention of re-visiting Stettin, where a 
heathen reaction had taken place, they refused to accom- 
pany him. Otto accordingly, after spending a day in 
solitude and prayer, resolved to proceed alone, and, taking 
with him his service book and sacramental chalice, he 
stole away in the dark. When his clergy came to call 
him in the morning and found that he had gone, they were 
struck with a sense of shame, and hurrying after him, 
some on foot and some on horseback, they prostrated 
themselves at his feet and entreated him to return with 
them, promising that they would accompany him on the 
following day. On reaching Stettin he found that the 
pagan priests had regained much of their lost influence, 
a pestilence which had broken out having been interpreted 
as a sign that the gods were angry at the conversion of the 
people to Christianity. An assault on one of the Christian 
churches failed of its purpose owing to the sudden illness 
which befell one of the ringleaders of the attack, who 
was a relapsed Christian. On his recovery he persuaded 
his fellow-townsmen to spare the church, but to erect a 
pag^n altar by its side, so that they might secure the 
joint protection of the Christian and heathen deities. 
Soon after this, whilst the frenzy of the pagans against 
the Christians was still at its height, Otto and his party 
reached the gates of the city. On his arrival he entered 
one of the Christian churches, but as soon as his presence 
became known, armed men, led on by the pagan priests, 
gathered round, bent upon the immediate destruction of 
the church and its occupants. Otto had never been in 
greater danger, but his courage did not fail. After com- 
mending himself and his companions to God in prayer, he 
walked forth, dressed in his bishop's robes and surrounded 
by his clergy, who carried a cross and relics, and chanted 
psalms and hymns. His courage and the calmness and 
dignity of his action amazed and overawed the pagans, 
and when a lull in the tumult occtirred some of those who 


were favourably disposed towards the Christians inter- 
vened and urged that the priests should defend their 
cause with arguments rather than by violence. Amongst 
their number was a chief named Witstack (Vitstacus), 
whom Otto had ^previously baptized, and who, after being 
taken prisoner in an expedition against the Danes, had 
obtained his release, in answer, as he believed, to prayer 
addressed to the Christians' God. On Sunday, two days 
after the attack on the church, Otto, accompanied by 
Witstack, went to the market-place and there addressed 
an assembly of the people. At the end of his address a 
heathen priest blew a trumpet and called upon the people 
to take vengeance on the enemy of their national gods. 
Lances were poised, and the crowd seemed about to carry 
their threats into execution, when once again the un- 
daunted behaviour of the bishop overawed his enemies, 
and they suffered him to depart in peace. On the 
following day the people assembled in order to decide upon 
their action in the matter of religion, and, after a debate, 
which lasted from morning till midnight, a decision was 
reached that Christianity should be accepted as the f true 
religion and all traces of idolatry should be destroyed. 
Otto soon afterwards received back those who had 
apostatized and baptized many others. 

From Stettin he proceeded to Julin, where he con- 
solidated the work that had been accomplished, and before 
returning to Bamberg, in, 1128, he visited the otlier 
churches which he had helped to established in Pomerania. 
He continued to show an active interest in the Mission 
which he had helped to establish till his death in 1139. 

The work of Otto. The methods by which Chris- 
tianity was spread throughout Pomerania compare 
favourably with those which were adopted in Saxony, 
and still more so with those by which, as we shall see, 
the conversion of Prussia was effected, and the com- 
parison reflects great credit upon Otto. Though material 
force was always at his disposal he preferred to rely 


upon gentler influences, and never hesitated to run any 
personal risk in order to win the confidence and the 
affection of the people whom he passionately desired to 
help. To his faith and courage and his constant reliance 
upon the power of prayer more than to any political 
influences the results which he achieved must be attri- 
buted. He was never able to speak to the Pomeranians 
in their own tongue, and he does not appear to have made 
any arrangements for the training of Pomeranian clergy./ 
In consequence of his failure to do this he had to introduce 
German clergy whose language, customs and dispositions 
differed widely from those of their congregations and 
rendered exceedingly difficult the task of establishing a 
Church which should be representative of the people. 

Prussia.- If the conversion of Saxony and Pomerania 
makes sad -reading, that of Prussia is> from a missionary 
standpoint, still more distressing. The word conversion 
cannot rightly be applied to the country, inasmuch as the 
majority of its inhabitants at the time when Christianity 
was forcibly introduced refused to accept its profession, 
and it was not till nearly the whole population had been 
massacred that it became the religion of the country, that 
is of the Christian immigrants'by whom it was repeopled, 

At the close of the tenth century, when the first 
attempts were made to introduce Christianity into Prussia, 
the population, which was for the most part of Slavonic 
origin, included only a small number of Germans. The 
country was at this time divided into eleven practically 
independent states, the inhabitants of which were fanatical 
idolaters ; and in every town and village a temple was to 
bei v found. Their chief gods were Percunos, the god of 
thunder, Potrimpos, the god of corn and fruits, and 
Picullos, the god of the lower regions. Peter de Duisberg, 
the author of the Prussian Chronicle, writes: "They 
worshipped as a god every creature, whether it were the 
sun, the moon, the stars, or thunder, as well as birds, 
quadrupeds, and toads. They had also groves, plains. 


and sacred waters, and in these none dared to cut wood, 
to cultivate fields, or to fish." Every man was allowed 
to have three wives, who were regarded as slaves, -and 
were expected to commit suicide on the death of their 
husband. Oil the death of the chiefs or nobles, their slaves, 
maid-servants, horses, hunting dogs, hawks, and armour 
were burnt together with the body. The description 
which has come down to us of the fierceness and cruelty 
of the inhabitants of Prussia makes it easy for us to 
sympathize with the difficulties which must have been 
encountered by the missionaries who first attempted to 
evangelize them. 

The first of whom we have any detailed information 
was Adalbert, archbishop of Prague. After working v in 
Bohemia for several years he visited Boleslav I., the duke 
of Poland, in the hope of developing missionary work in 
this country, but he eventually determined to go as a 
pioneer missionary to Prussia. Having received from 
the duke a vessel and thirty soldiers to act as bodyguard, 
he sailed to Gedania (Dantzic), on the borders of Prussia 
and Poland, in 997. After baptizing a number of its 
inhabitants he set sail again, and, having landed on the 
opposite coast, he sent back the vessel and his bodyguard, 
and, accompanied only by two priests, named Benedict 
and Gaudentius, disembarked on a small island at the 
mouth of the river Pregel. Driven away by its in- 
habitants, he and his companions landed on the coast of 
Samland on the other side of the Pregel. Having been 
refused a hearing by the inhabitants of this district, they 
began to retrace their steps, and after five or six days 
passed through woods, the dreariness of which they en- 
lightened by singing spiritual songs, till at length they 
came to open fields. Here, after they had celebrated the 
Holy Communion, they lay down on the grass and 
presently fell into a deep sleep, from which they were 
aroused by a tumultuous band of heathen, who seized 
and bound them. " Be not troubled, my brethren," said 


Adalbert, to his two companions, " we know for whose 
name we suffer. What is there more glorious than to 
give up life for our precious Jesus ? " Thereupon a heathen 
priest named Siggo plunged a lance into his body, and 
with his eyes fixed on heaven Adalbert yielded up his life. 
The date of his death was April 23, 997. 

The next missionary to Prussia was Bruno of Quer- 
furt a court chaplain of Otto, whom the sight of a picture 
of the English Boniface had led to become a missionary. 
Having been consecrated by the Pope as a bishop he 
started for Prussia in 1007 with eighteen companions, but 
in the following year they all suffered as martyrs. For 
more than a century no other attempt was made to 
evangelize Prussia, nor was it until two centuries had 
passed that any further attempt of a serious kind was 

In 1210 a Cistercian monk named Christian who was 
a native of Freienwalde in Pomerania having obtained 
the approval of the Pope and with the aid of several other 
monks restarted the mission. In 1215 he went to Rome 
to report the success which he had gained and was conse- 
crated as a bishop. At the beginning of his work in 
Prussia both Christian and the Pope desired to secure the 
conversion of the people by peaceful means, and in the 
hope that this might be effected the Pope addressed a 
letter to the dukes of Pomerania and Poland, in which 
he urged them not to use the spread of Christianity in 
Prussia as a means for oppressing the Prussians. "We 
beseech and exhort you/' he wrote, "for the sake of 
Him who came to save the lost and to give His life a ransom 
for many, do not oppress the sons of this new plantation, 
but treat them with the more gentleness, as they are 
liable to be misled and to relapse into paganism, since the 
old bottles can scarcely hold the new wine." 

Order of Teutonic Knights. I^ater on when a 
pagan reaction occurred, which resulted in the massacre 
of many Christians and the destruction of their churches, 


a wholly different policy was adopted. .Bishop Christian 
first founded the Order of the Knights of Dobrin and in 
1219 attempted with their aid to compel the Prussians to 
accept baptism. When this effort proved unsuccessful 
he called to his assistance the Order of Teutonic Knights 
with which, and under 'the patronage of the Pope was 
united the " Order of the Sword." This united order 
undertook to subjugate the Prussians, and for nearly 
fifty years they carried on a remorseless war against them, 
lyittle by little they overran the country, building castles 
at a number of strategic points in order to maintain their 
conquests. Baptism was made the condition of enjoying 
any kind of civil rights, and those who refused to be 
baptized were regarded and treated as slaves. In 1233 
Bishop Christian was captured by the heathen and held 
as a prisoner for several years until a ransom had been 
paid. It is true that from time to time the Pope im- 
pressed upon the knights the duty of treating the people 
with kindness, and upon the clergy the duty of instructing 
carefully those who were placed under their care, but it 
' was not till a large proportion of the Slavonic population 
had been exterminated as a result of fifty years' fighting 
that the nominal victory of Christianity was finally 

With the conversion of Prussia the conversion of 
Germany may be said to have been completed, though 
another century had still to pass before the lyithuanians, 
some of whom live in Eastern Prussia, were nominally 



' - ! 

THE first king to rule over trie whole pf Norway was 
Harald Haarfagar, who in 933 resigned his throne 
to his son Eric. 

King Hakon. Soon after the death of Harald (936) 
his youngest son Hakpn, who had been baptized whilst 
residing with king Athelstan in England, succeeded in 
establishing himself as king. 

A thirteenth-century writer, Snorro Sturleson, who is 
our chief authority for the early history of Norway, and 
who wrote in Icelandic, says : " King Hakon was a good 
Christian when he came to Norway, but as the whole 
country was heathen, with much heathenish sacrifice, 
and as many great people, as well as the favour of the 
common people, were to be conciliated, he resolved to 
practise his Christianity in private. But he kept Sundays, 
and the Friday fasts, and some token of the greatest holy- 
days, and he made a law that the festival of Yule should 
begin at the same time as Christian people held it and that 
every man, under penalty, should brew a measure of malt 
into ale and therewith keep the Yule holy as long as it 
lasted. It was his intent as soon as he had set himself 
fast in the land, and had subjected the whole to his power, 
to introduce Christianity." 

A little later the king sent to England for a bishop 


and other teachers and on their arrival he proposed to 
his subjects that they should accept Christianity as their 
national religion. His proposal excited vehement opposi- 
tion and at a national assembly held at Drontheim one of 
those present declared "We Bonders, King Hakon, . . . 
do not know whether thou wishest to make vassals of us 
again by this extraordinary proposal that we should 
abandon the ancient faith that our fathers and fore- 
fathers have held from the oldest times, in the times when 
the dead were burnt, as well as since they are laid under 
mounds and which, although they were braver than the 
people of our days, has served us as a faith to the present 
time." He went on to say that unless the king would 
abandon his proposals the Bonders would choose another 
king and would fight against him. 

Having failed to convince his subjects by argument; 
the king was preparing to employ force for their con- 
version when he was himself killed (963) whilst fighting 
against the sons of his brother Brie. In 977 the king 
of Denmark, who had conquered Norway, appointed 
Earl Hakon as his viceroy, having first constrained him 
to receive baptism . He was, however, so far from abandon- 
ing his belief in the heathen gods that on one occasion 
prior to engaging in a battle he sacrificed one of his 
sons as an offering to Thor in the hope of securing a 
victory. , 

Olaf Tryggvason. Olaf Tryggvason, who became 
king in 995, had been baptized in the previous, year by 
Elphege bishop of Winchester. The methods by which 
he spread Christianity throughout Norway can only be 
paralleled by those of the Moslems who first spread the faith 
of Islam. The chronicler Sturleson, writes, " King Olaf 
made it known that he recommended Christianity to all 
the people in his kingdom, which message was well received 
and approved by those who had before given him their 
promise, and these being the most powerful among the 
people assembled, the others followed their example, and 


all the inhabitants of the east part of Viken allowed them- 
selves to be baptized. The king then went to the north 
part of Viken and invited every man to accept Christianity, 
and those who opposed him he punished severely, killing 
some, mutilating others, and driving some into banish- 
ment."- To quote the words of the old Saga of Olaf : 
"Thereafter were all folk baptized in the eastern part 
of Vik and then went the king to the northern parts 
thereof and invited all men to receive Christianity, and 
those who said nay chastised he severely, slaying some and 
maiming some and driving away others from the land. 
So it came to pass that the people of the whole of that 
kingdom received Christianity according to the bidding 
of King Olaf. Wherefore in that summer and in the 
winter thereafter were the people of the whole of Vik 
made Christian." 

Soon afterwards Olaf summoned the Bonders of three 
other districts to meet him, to whom " he offered two 
conditions,, either to accept Christianity, or to fight." 
They chose the first alternative. At Nidaros near Dron- 
theim the opposition offered by the heathen was specially 
strong. When the time came for the usual "sacrifice- 
festival" Olaf summoned the chiefs and said to them, 
"HI, along with you, shall turn again to making sacrifice, 
then will I make the greatest of sacrifices that are in use, 
and I will sacrifice men. But I will not select slaves or 
malefactors for this, > but will take the greatest men only 
to be offered to the gods." He then named eleven 
principal men whom he proposed to offer as a sacrifice 
to the gods, the final result being that these and all the 
others were forthwith baptized. Before his death in 1000 
he had succeeded in compelling the greater part of the 
inhabitants of Norway to accept baptism, but, as far as 
we know, he had made few efforts to instruct them in the 
teachings of their new religion-. After his death Eric 
a brother-in-law of Canute ruled the country for fifteen 
years, during which Christianity made little progress. 


Olaf Haraldson. In 1015 Olaf Haraldson, who is 
usually known as Olaf the Saint, made himself king. 
He was a supporter of the new religion, but was not 
content with extracting a mere profession of faith from his 
subjects, and accordingly sent to England for bishops 
and other clergy to serve as instructors. Whilst, however, 
he preferred to make use of peaceful persuasion he did 
not hesitate to employ more forcible means when the 
former failed to produce immediate results. Thus the 
chronicler, referring to a progress . made by the king 
through the southern part of his kingdom, writes, " The 
king proceeded southwards . . . stopping at every dis- 
trict and holding Things (Councils) with the Bonders, and 
in each Thing he ordered the Christian law to be read, 
together with the message of salvation thereto belonging 
and with which many ill customs and much heathenism 
were swept away at once among the common people ; 
. . . the people were baptized in the most places on the 
sea-coast, but the most of them were ignorant of Christian 
law. ... The king threatened the most violent proceed- 
ings against great or small who, after the king's message 
would not adopt Christianity." On a later occasion, 
when he was visiting the people in the district of Vingul- 
mark in the uplands, " he inquired particularly how it 
stood with their Christianity, and where improvement 
was needed, he taught them the right customs. If any 
there were who would not renounce heathen ways, he took 
the matter so zealously that he drove some out of the 
country, mutilated others of hands or feet, stung their 
eyes out, hung up some, but let none go unpunished who 
would not serve God. He went thus through the whole 
district, sparing neither great nor small. He gave them 
teachers and placed these as thickly in the country as he 
saw needful." 

In no other country was the process of forcible con- 
version adopted more methodically, but, as the. chronicler 
states, the king endeavoured to supplement this process 


by doing his utmost to encourage the work of Christian 
teachers, and by doing this he counteracted, to some 
extent, the disastrous results of his policy of compulsion. 
As soon as Christianity had been established as the. 
national religion the king summoned an assembly at which 
a code of laws, which was apparently the joint work of 
himself and Bishop Grimkil, one of the bishops whom he 
had introduced from England, was promulgated. Special 
interest from a missionary standpoint attaches to the law 
relating to the observance by Christians of customs con- 
nected with heathenism. This law made no attempt to 
suppress the social customs connected with heathenism, 
but endeavoured to associate them with the observance 
, of Christian customs. It directed that wherever three 
families could meet together and have a common feast 
the custom of drinking beer was to be observed, the beer 
having first been blessed " in honour of Christ and the 
Blessed Virgin for good years and peace." Fines were 
imposed in case of a breach of this law. A step towards 
the abolition of slavery was made by the law which 
provided that instead of offering a slave as a sacrifice at 
.the meeting of a Thing one slave should be set free and 
that one should be liberated every Christmas. 

So effective was the work of the Christian -teachers 
whom Olaf introduced that Adam of Bremen, who wrote 
about 1070, when contrasting the condition of the people 
of Norway with its state in the old Viking days, could 
.write, "After they received Christianity, being imbued 
with fuller knowledge, they have now learned to love 
peace and truth, and to be content in their poverty . . . 
and although they had from the beginning all been enslaved 
by the evil arts of wizards, now with the apostle they in 
simplicity confess Christ and Him crucified. ... In many 
places in Norway and Sweden those who tend the flocks 
are men even of the most noble rank, who, after the 
manner of the patriarchs, live by the work of their hands. 
But all who .dwell in Norway are altogether Christian 


with the exception of those who are far off beside the seas 
of the Arctic regions." 

We should add that in the final establishment of 
Christianity throughout Norway the monasteries played 
a considerable part, though perhaps a smaller one than in 
most of the other countries of Europe, 


A knowledge of Christianity had been introduced into 
Sweden early in the ninth century by Christian merchants 
and by slaves whom the Swedes had captured during their 
raids into Christian countries, but the first to attempt 
definite missionary work was Anskar to whose labours 
in Denmark we have already alluded. 

Ambassadors from Sweden who came to the court of 
the Emperor in 829 had suggested that their countrymen 
would welcome Christian missionaries and it was on the 
invitation of the Emperor, and in response to this sugges- 
tion that Anskar undertook the mission. On his arrival 
in Sweden the king Biorn gave him permission to preach 
and to baptize all who desired to become Christians, and 
during the eighteen months which Anskar spent in Sweden 
a number of baptisms took place. 

Gautbert who eventually succeeded him as a missionary 
to Sweden was consecrated as a bishop and laboured for 
about ten years, but in a rising against the Christians' 
in 845 he was attacked and driven out of the country. 

One of Anskar's first converts had been & man of rank 
named Herigar and during the seven years that followed 
the expulsion of Gautbert Herigar endeavoured to 
influence his countrymen in favour of Christianity. On 
one occasion when the town of Birka was attacked by 
Danes and Swedes under the command of Avoundus, a 
king of Sweden who had been expelled from his country, 
the inhabitants consulted their heathen priests and offered 

in 1220 

To face page 142 

George fffilip & Sin. I.'.IA 


sacrifices to their gods, but failed to obtain any encouraging 
replies. At this crisis Herigar intervened, and, after 
pointing out the inability of their national gods to come 
to their assistance, he urged that they 'should make a 
solemn vow of obedience to the God of the Christians, 
and assured them that if they did so He would aid them 
against their enemies. The people accordingly went 
forth to an open plain and solemnly vowed to keep a fast 
to " the I^ord Christ '.' and to give alms if He would liberate 
them from their enemies. 

Their deliverance came about in the following way, 
Avoundus, who had heard that the God of the Christians 
was more powerful than any other god, suggested that lots 
should be cast in order to ascertain whether it was the 
will of the gods that Birka should be destroyed, and 
the lots proving to be unfavourable he desisted from 
the attack. 

King Olaf. In 853 Anskar revisited Sweden at a 
time when the feelings of the people had been excited in 
favour of a restoration of paganism. Nothing daunted, 
however, by the hostility of the people, he invited the 
king Olaf to declare himself in favour of Christianity. 
The king replied that an assembly of the people must be 
called and that their gods must be consulted by casting lots 
in order to ascertain what ought to be done. When the 
.lots were cast the answer obtained was favourable to the 
request which the missionaries had made, and a proposal 
was accordingly made to the assembly that Christianity 
should be accepted as the religion of the country. While 
discussion was proceeding and it seemed uncertain what 
the vote of the assembly would be an old man stood for- 
ward and said : " Hear me O king and people : concerning 
the worship of this God it is already known to many of us 
that He can be of great help to those who hope in Him, 
for many of us have had experience of this in dangers at 
sea and in manifold straits. Why then should we spurn 
what is necessary and useful to us ? Once several of us, 


perceiving that this form of religion would profit us, 
travelled to Dorstede, and there embraced it uninvited. 
. . . Why then should we not embrace what we once felt 
constrained to seek in distant parts, now that it is offered 
at our doors ? . . . Now that we cannot secure the favour 
of our own gods, surely it is a good thing to enjoy the 
favour of this God who, always and at all times, can and 
will aid those that call upon Him." 

Anskar returned to Hamburg in' the following year 
and before he left Sweden resolutions in favour of accept- 
ing the Christian faith had been passed by representative 
assemblies in several other parts of Sweden, but, these 
resolutions notwithstanding, paganism continued to hold 
its ground for many years. 

First Christian King. The first Christian king of 
Sweden was Olof Skotkonung, usually called the Lap- 
king, who reigned from 993 to 1024. The. king, according 
to Swedish tradition, was baptized by Bishop Sigfrid, 
who was apparently an Englishman, in 1008. Of this 
king Adam of Bremen writes, " Olof is said to be eminent 
in Sweden fora like love of religion. He in his desire 
to convert his subjects to Christianity, laboured with great 
zeal to effect the destruction of the idol temple which is 
in the middle of Sweden at Ubsola. The heathen, fearing 
his intention, are said to have passed a statute together 
with their king that if he wished to be a Christian he 
should hold as his own the best district of Sweden, wherever 
he desired to live, and might there establish a Church and 
Christianity, but should not use force to make any of 
the people give up the worship of the gods, and only admit 
such as wished of his own free will to be converted to 
Christ. The king, gladly accepting this statute, soon 
founded a church to God and a bishop's seat in West 
Gothland, which is close to the Danes, or Norwegians. 
This is the great city of Skara, for which, on the petition 
of the most Christian King Olof, Thurgot was first 
ordained by Archbishop Unwan (1013-1029). He 


vigorously discharged Ms mission among the Gentiles 
and by his labour, gained to Christ the two noble 
peoples of the Goths." 

During his reign and that of his successor Christianity 
became firmly established throughout Sweden and though 
a pagan reaction occurred at Bremen in 1066, the progress 
of the new faith was never seriously interrupted again. 

Persuasion versus force. It is satisfactory to be 
able to record that the conversion of the Swedish people 
was not effected or promoted by the use of force. Stenkil, 
who became king in 1066, was urged by the bishops to 
use force in order to spread the Christian faith and eradicate 
idolatry, but to this request he refused to accede. His 
son Inge, who succeeded him in 1080, having abolished 
the heathen sacrifices in Svithiod, ordered all the in- 
habitants baptized, but was pelted with stones and 
compelled for a time to abdicate his throne. 

The only other instance in which it appears that force 
was used was in Smaland in the twelfth century, but the 
forcible conversion of its inhabitants was the work of a 
Norwegian, not of a Swedish king. 



T^ARLY legends. Legends, which have, however, 
JJ/ no historical value, connect the name of the apostle 
St. Andrew with the first preaching of the Gospel in 
Russia. A tradition which has probably an historical 
foundation asserts that in 860 two princes of Kiev, named/- 
Askold and Dir, made an unsuccessful attack upon Con- 
stantinople and that they subsequently embraced the 
Christian faith. 

Rurik. The first attempt to introduce Christianity 
into any part of Russia appear to have been made by a 
Varangian prince named Rurik (d. 879) who was himself 
a Norseman, but of the results of his efforts we have no 
trustworthy information. In a treaty made between - 
Igor a son of Rurik and the Greek emperor in 945 refer-" 
ence is made to the existence of a Christian church at 
Kiev, and the Russian chronicler states that the Russians, 
who had been baptized before the cross in the church of 
the holy Prophet Elias, swore to keep all that was con- 
tained in the treaty, whilst those who were not baptized 
took an oath on their swords and other weapons of 
war. - 

Olga. Ten years later Olga, the widow -.of Igor, 
was baptized at Constantinople and brought back with 
her a priest named Gregory to act as a missionary to her 
countrymen, but as far as we know his labours did not 
meet with any great success. 

Vladimir. Her son Vladimir, who was the means 


of spreading the Christian faith throughout Russia, and 
who was destined to be canonized as a saint, began his 
reign by murdering his brother, and by many other acts 
of cruelty. 

During the early part of his reign he had been a 
strenuous supporter of paganism, and had erected near 
his palace at Kiev an image of Perun " with a silver head 
and golden beard," together with images of five other 
gods, to which, according to the statement of the Chron- 
icler, the people " offered in sacrifice their sons and their 

The story of his conversion to Christianity is told 
at length by the Chronicler and, though the account has 
undoubtedly been embellished, it is of considerable interest, 
inasmuch as it embodies the traditions that have long been 
accepted by the Russians. 

Story of Vladimir's Conversion. In 986 there 
arrived at the court of Vladimir envoys who represented 
the adherents of four different religions or forms of re- 
ligion. The first to arrive, who were Bulgarian Moslems 
from the neighbourhood of the Volga, said to him, " Wise 
and prudent prince as thou art, thou hast no religion. 
Take our religion and render homage to Mohammed." 
" What is your faith ? " asked Vladimir. They replied that 
they believed in God and accepted Mohammed's commands 
to observe circumcision and to abstain from pork and 
wine, and they believed that after death Mohammed would 
give to every man the choice of a wife amongst seventy 
beautiful women. This last statement, says the Chronicler, 
attracted Vladimir, " for he loved debauchery," but the 
suggestions in regard to circumcision and abstinence from 
pork and wine displeased him. He said, "We Russians 
cannot live without drinking. ' ' 

Next came representatives from Rome, who said, 
'" We have been sent by the Pope, who has commanded us 
to say : " Your country is like our country, but your 
faith is not like our faith, for our faith is the light, we 


adore God who has made the heaven, the earth and the 
stars, the moon and all creatures, whilst your gods are 
made of wood." " What are your commandments ? " 
asked Vladimir. They replied, "To fast according to 
our ability, to eat or drink always to the glory of God 
as our Master Paul said." " Begone," said Vladimir, 
" our ancestors did not accept this (commandment)." 

Then came Jews who lived amongst the Khozars in 
the Crimea and said to Vladimir, " We have heard that 
Bulgarians and Christians have come tp inform you of 
their faith. The Christians believe in Him whom we have 
crucified ; as for us, we believe in one God, the God of 
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." Vladimir asked, " What are 
your observances ? " Their representatives replied, 
"Circumcision, abstinence from pork and hare, and the 
observance of the sabbath." " Where is your country ? " 
he asked. They replied, " At Jerusalem." " Do you 
live there now ? " he added. They answered, " God was 
angry with our fathers and has scattered us throughout 
the world for our sins, and our country has been given over 
to the Christians." He replied, "How is it that you 
teach others, you who have been rejected and scattered 
in strange lands ? Do you wish that this evil should 
come upon us also ? " 

The representative of yet another form of religion 
appeared at the court of Vladimir, viz. a philosopher sent 
by Greeks, who said to him, " We have heard that Bul- 
garians have come to invite you to accept their faith, a 
faith which defile's heaven and earth ; they are accursed 
more than any other nation, and are like to Sodom and 
Gomorrah." The description which the Greek proceeded 
to give concerning the habits of the Bulgarians caused 
Vladimir to spit on the ground and say, "This is an 
abomination." The philosopher then continued, "We 
have heard that men have come from Rome to teach you 
their faith : There is no great difference between their 
faith and ours." He then proceeded to explain that by 


withholding the wine from lay communicants the Romans 
had acted contrary to the directions given by Christ Him- 
self. Vladimir said, " Jews have come and have said 
to me, ' The Germans and the Creeks believe in Him 
whom we have crucified/ " The Greek philosopher 
answered that what the Jews said was true, and that, as 
a punishment for their evil conduct, God had sent the 
Romans to destroy their cities and to disperse them 
throughout the world. Vladimir asked again " Why did 
God descend upon earth, and did He endure such a martyr- 
dom ? " In response to this inquiry the Greek philoso- 
pher gave to Vladimir a brief resum6 of the world's 
history as narrated in the Old Testament and in the 
Gospels, and, having explained to him the nature of the 
Christian faith, he went on to describe the future judgment 
and the pains of hell reserved for sinners. He then dis- 
played a picture representing the separation of the just 
and the unjust, and the entry of the just into paradise. 
Vladimir sighed as he beheld the lot of those who were 
placed on the left hand of the judgment-seat, whereupon 
the Greek philosopher said, to him, "If you would be 
on the right hand with the just, be baptized." Vladimir 
replied, '" I will wait a little, for I desire to meditate upon 
all the faiths." 

After taking counsel with his boyars he despatched 
envoys to study the various religions that had been 
recommended to him. The envoys who were despatched 
to Constantinople were deeply impressed by the service 
which they attended in the church of St. Sophia, and the 
report which they brought back put an end to Vladimir's 
hesitation and determined him to seek for Christian bap- 
tism. The later stages of his conversion were in keeping 
with his character. Before he applied to the Greeks for 
baptism he wished to show that, from a military stand- 
point, he was their superior, and he accordingly proceeded 
to attack Kherson in the Crimea which belonged to the 
Greek Emperors. Before he had completed its capture 


he made a vow that if he took the city he would be 
baptized forthwith. 

Baptism of Vladimir. Having effected its capture 
he wrote to the Emperors Basil and Constantine demand- 
ing the hand of their sister Anna in marriage, and threaten- 
ing to atack Constantinople if his request were not granted. 
The princess,, albeit with great reluctance, sailed from 
Kherson accompanied by a band of clergy and the baptism 
of Vladimir took place here. After building a church 
at Kherson and restoring the city to its former owners, 
he returned to Kiev, and on his arrival, having caused his 
twelve sons to be baptized he proceeded to destroy the 
idols which the city contained. The principal idol Perun 
was thrown into the Dnieper. 

Baptisms in the River Dnieper. He then issued a 
proclamation commanding his people to assemble on the 
banks of the river Dnieper in order that they might receive 
Christian baptism. His proclamation stated that 
" whoever on the morrow .does not repair to the river to 
be baptized, whether rich or poor, will incur my dis- 
favour.' ' On the morrow there assembled an innumerable 
multitude of the people, together with their wives and 
children, and were baptized by the Greek bishops and 
priests who had come with Vladimir to Kiev. The 
Chronicler writes : 

"Some were up to their necks in the water, others 
up to their breasts, the youngest were on the bank, men 
held their children, the adults were altogether in the water, 
and the priests stood and said the prayers, and there 
was joy in heaven and on earth at the sight of so many 
souls who were saved." 

On this occasion the demon of the river was heard 
groaning and bewailing his expulsion from the place in 
which he had so long resided. 

The majority of the inhabitants of Kiev suffered 
themselves to be baptized although Vladimir made no 
actual attempt to constrain them. It is to be remem- 


bered to his credit, that lie himself realized the superficial 
character of the religious change which he had succeeded 
in effecting and that he adopted the best and most 
enlightened means for rendering the conversion of his 
subjects effective. 

Founding of schools. With this object in view 
he introduced, and did his best to circulate, the Slavonic 
translations of the Scriptiires which had been made by 
Methodius and Cyril (see page 102), and in order that his 
subjects might be enabled to read the Scriptures he 
caused schools to be established at Kiev, Rostoff, Novgorod 
and many other places. Where, as was not infrequently 
the case, writing was regarded by the people as a form of 
sorcery, he went so far as to introduce a measure of com- 
pulsory education. Despite, however, the success which 
attended these measures, the country people generally 
continued to be more than half pagan in their beliefs. 
Before tjhe death of Vladimir, which occurred in 1015, 
the greater part of his subjects had become nominally 
Christians, but although they had abandoned their idols 
they retained for centuries many of their pagan beliefs 
and customs. It is hard to say how far Vladimir's change 
of religion was due to personal conviction of the truth 
of Christianity and how far he was influenced by political 
motives, that is by the desire to become the ally and 
relation of the Greek emperors ; but whatever may have 
been his real motive his title to respect is this that he 
was the first to render possible the spread of the know- 
ledge of the Christian faith amongst his people. 

The Chronicler tells us that Yaroslav one of his im- 
mediate successors transcribed, and encouraged others 
to transcribe, the Slavonic version of the Scriptures and 
built many churches and monasteries, at the same time 
placing clergy in the principal towns in order to instruct 
their inhabitants. 

Vladimir II. Of the Russian rulers who helped to 
raise the ideals of his subjects and to show them how the 


profession of Christianity should influence their life and 
conduct special mention should be made of Vladimir 
the Second (d. 1126), the grandson of Yaroslav and the . 
husband of Gytha, who was a daughter of our English 
king Harold. We may venture to believe that he owed 
to his English wife part at least of the religious influence 
which dominated his life. The Testament which he' left 
as a legacy to his sons helps us to understand his own 
character and that of some of his successors, who combined 
a deep respect for religion with a failure to appreciate its 
essential teachings. He writes : 

" O my children, praise God . . . and shed tears over 
your sins . . . both in the church and when you lie down. 
Do not fail a single night to bend at least three times 
to the ground . . . And when you go for a ride, if you 
have nothing to engage your attention and know no 
other prayer, repeat secretly and without ceasing, ' I^ord, 
have pity,' for this is the best of all prayers. And (to do) 
this is much better than to think of evil things. ... Be 
not proud in your heart or thought, but say, ' We are 
mortal, to-day we live, to-morrow we are in the tomb/ 
... Do .not hide your treasure in the ground : to do so 
is a great sin. . . . Avoid lying, drunkenness and de- 
bauchery, for these destroy body and soul. . . . Visit 
the sick, escort the dead, for we are all mortal. . . . I/et 
not the sun find you in bed ... as soon as you see the 
sun rise, praise God, and say with joy, ' Open my eyes, 
Lord Jesus, Who hast given me Thy beautiful light.' " 

Then, without any consciousness of inconsistency, he 
continues : 

"I have made eighty-three campaigns. ... I have 
set free the chief princes of the Polovtsi . . . and a 
hundred others. And other princes which God has 
delivered alive into my power ... I massacred them 
and threw them into the river Slaxlia. . . .'I have 
killed up to this time two hundred important prisoners;" 

Russian Monasteries. The monasteries which were 


founded by princes and nobles throughout Russia became 
centres of religious life, from which" went forth many 
missionaries to the heathen in northern Russia. 

During the two centuries which followed the time of 
Vladimir monks played a foremost part in spreading a 
knowledge of Christianity amongst the peoples of Russia 
and especially amongst the Finnish tribes which inhabited 
the greater part of Northern Russia. Settling amongst 
these nomad peoples, sometimes only two or three at a 
time, they lived at first in huts or cabins and, having 
won the confidence of those with whom they came in 
contact, and whilst endeavouring to impart Christian 
teaching, they taught them also how to clear the forest, to 
cultivate the ground, to build houses and to fish. In 
course of time the huts inhabited by the missionaries 
developed into a monastery and the settlements became 
towns. It was to the labours of the missionary monks 
that the incorporation of these Finnish tribes as an 
integral part of the Russian state was chiefly due. 

In course of time, however, the monasteries ceased 
to be centres of missionary enthusiasm and, as their 
inmates devoted themselves more and more to a life of 
contemplation and asceticism, their direct influence upon 
the religious life of the people became less helpful. 

Until the latter part of the twelfth century the Russian 
nation was more or less confined to the basins of the rivers 
Dnieper and Volga. Outside these districts Christianity 
made comparatively little progress and at the time of 
the Mongol invasion large tracts of southern Russia were 
still unevangelized. 

The Mongol invasion. At this time many of the 
monks who escaped being massacred by the Mongol 
Tartars directed their steps towards the north, and 
during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries a number 
of missionary monasteries were founded in the northern 
districts, more particularly amongst the Finnish tribes 
which bordered on Russia. 


By the beginning of the thirteenth century, when the 
Tartar Mongols, who were to dominate Russia for two 
centuries, first began their ^invasions, the greater part of 
Russia had become nominally Christian. The great 
battle which was fought at Kalka in 1224 checked their . 
invasion for the moment, but twelve years later they 
returned and overran the greater part of the country, 
razing the chief towns, including Kiev, and destroying 
the Christian churches. How ruthlessly the Mongols 
massacred the inhabitants of the countries which they 
conquered may be gathered from the statement of Ho- 
worth in his history of the Mongols that between the 
years 1211 and 1223, "18,470,000 beings perished in 
China and Tangut alone at the hands of Jengis and his 

Up to 1313 when Usbek Khan embraced Islam the 
Tartar Mongols had been pagans, but from this date they 
became the supporters of the religion of Mohammed. 

Sergius, whose name is known and revered throughout 
Russia, was born at Rostoff in 1315 and whilst still a 
young man he went to live, first of all with his brother, 
and afterwards alone amongst the wild beasts in the 
thick forest about forty-three miles north-east of Moscow. 
His holy life soon attracted to him disciples, and with 
their aid he built a little wooden church dedicated to the 
Holy Trinity (Troitskaia). The monastery which arose 
on the same site became the largest and most influential 
in Russia and from it went forth thousands of monks 
and ascetics to labour both in the central and southern 
parts of Russia and amongst the tribes of the north. 

Other monasteries, the monks from which contributed 
towards the evangelization of some of the outlying parts of 
the Russian Empire in the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries, are the monastery of the Assumption on the 
shores of I^ake Onega, founded for the prosecution of 
missionary work amongst the lyOpars (Laplanders) : one 
on an island in the Kubansky I/ake, the monks of which 


strove to evangelize the savage tribes of Tehudes (Finns) : 
the Solovetsky monastery on an island in the White Sea, 
the monks of which laboured amongst the inhabitants 
along the coast, and one on Lake Ladoga which was a 
centre of missionary work amongst the Carelians. 

Stephen. During the latter half of the fourteenth 
century a missionary named Stephen, succeeded in 
winning to the Christian faith the Ziranes who inhabited 
the district of Great Perm in the south-east of Russia. 
In 1378 he built a church on the river Viuma which served 
as a centre of his missionary work. The language of 
the Ziranes which he had known from his boyhood was 
reduced by him to writing after he had himself composed 
an alphabet for the purpose. He then translated parts 
of the Bible and of the liturgy into the Zirane language, 
and the Services in his church were conducted by him in 
the language of the people. After his consecration as a 
bishop in 1383 he established many churches and schools 
throughout the province of Perm, and ordained some of 
the students who had been educated in his schools as 
priests. He died at Moscow in 1401. 

Livonia.- The Lieflanders who inhabited Livonia, 
one of the Baltic provinces of Russia, after resisting 
successfully the efforts made by Danish kings to intro- 
duce Christianity by force of arms, allowed a monk 
named Meinhard to build a church at Ukskull near Riga. 
In 1186 he was consecrated as a bishop and laboured as a 
missionary, though with little visible success, till his 
death in 1196. His successor, Berthold, anxious to 
obtain more speedy results collected an armed force with 
the help of Pope Innocent' III. and fought a battle with 
the Lieflanders in which he was himself killed. 

The next bishop, Albert of Bremen, who sailed up the 
river Duna in 1200 with a fleet and accompanied by a 
large armed force reduced the lyieflanders to subjection 
and founded the town of Riga in 1201, to which place the 
bishopric of Ukskull was transferred. His efforts, however, 


to evangelize the people met with, scant success, and in 
the following year, with the approval of the Pope, he 
invoked the aid of the Knights of the " Order of the 
Sword" in order to promote the forcible conversion of 
the lyieflanders. Ruthless war was waged by the knights, 
'and peace was granted to each separate district only on 
condition that its inhabitants should be baptized. 

One missionary, a monk named Sigfrid, who was in 
charge of the church at Holm, adopted a different method 
of evangelization and his earnestness and piety induced 
many to seek for Christian instruction and baptism. 

By 1229, the year in which Bishop Albert died, the 
opposition of the lyieflanders had been completely broken 
down and the majority of them had been baptized. 

Esthonia. Esthonia, another of the Baltic pro- 
vinces, was invaded by the Danes in the eleventh century. 
After forcibly baptizing a few of its inhabitants they 
were repulsed and Esthonia remained heathen till 1219, 
when the Danish king Valdemar II, conquered the pro-' 
vince and compelled its inhabitants to accept the Christian 
faith. In 1347 Esthonia was sold by the Danes to the 
Knights of the "Order of the Sword." 

Lithuania. In 1250 Mendowg, the ruler of Lithuania, 
having been defeated by the I^ivonian Knights agreed 
to accept baptism, but in 1260, on regaining his inde- 
pendence, he relapsed into heathenism. In 1345 Olgerd, 
the ruler of I/ithuania married a Christian wife, and was 
himself baptized. He continued, however, to offer 
sacrifices to the national gods. His son, Yagello in 1386 
married the Polish Queen Yadviga, who was a Christian, 
and agreed to introduce Christianity into lyithuania. 
Up to this time the Lithuanians had worshipped the 
stars and the god of thunder and had specially venerated 
serpents and lizards. Adam of Bremen writes of them, 

" They venerate serpents and birds to whom they even 
offer living men bought from the merchants, .after they 
have been carefully examined to see that they have no 


spot on their bodies." In the fourteenth century their 
chief priest Krive-Kriveyto ! - (judge of judges) superin- 
tended seventeen classes of priests and elders who wor- 
shipped in the forests, and long after the introduction of 
Christianity veneration was paid to oak trees both by 
the lyithuanians and the I,etts. These also maintained 
a perpetual fire, the priests in charge of which were 
specially consulted by the friends of those who were sick. 

Polish clergy were introduced by Yagello and, moved 
by his example, and his exhortations, large numbers of 
his people were baptized. 

Finland. In 1157 Erik king of Sweden, established 
himself on the south-western coast of Finland. Henrick, 
bishop of Upsala, who accompanied Erik, preached the 
gospel to the Finns and suffered a martyr's death about 
1178, but within the next fifty years missionary work 
made considerable progress and an independent Church 
of Finland was established. 

Work amongst the Tartars. Although the great 
majority of the inhabitants of European Russia had 
accepted Christianity by the end of the thirteenth century, 
there remained great numbers of Tartars and others in 
the south and south-east who continued as pagans. 

Missionary work was carried on with a considerable 
amount of success by St. Juri (Gurius), the first bishop of.. 
Kazan (1555-64), which lies about halfway between Mos- 
cow and the Ural mountains. As a result of his labours 
and those of Bishop Germanus, Christian communities 
were established in the towns, but many inhabitants of 
the villages are still either pagans or Mohammedans. 
- During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries a 
hundred thousand Tartars were forced by the Russian 
government to accept baptism but their descendants are 
Christian only in name and. many have openly embraced 

In 1847 Nicholai Ilminsky undertook the task of trans- 
lating the Bible and Service books into a language which 


the Tartars could understand, and having established a 
missionary school at Kazan sent out the scholars whom he 
had trained, who established other schools and helped to 
evangelize many districts in the same neighbourhood. 
The Kazan Translation Committee has published trans- 
lations in twenty different languages which are spoken 
either in European Russia or Siberia. 

Prior to the war the Russian Empire contained twenty 
million Moslems of whom three and a half million were in 
European Russia. 



IN accordance with the scheme adopted throughout 
this book we have tried to follow the progress of 
missionary work as it developed in the separate countries 
of Europe. One drawba-ck attaching to this method is 
that it is difficult for the reader to appreciate the progress 
that had been attained in Europe as a whole at any given 
time. In order to render it easier to do this we have 
inserted the chronological table which appears on the 
following pages. 

From, this it will be seen that the labours of the 
missionaries in Western Europe, that is in Great Britain, 
France, Belgium, and Spain, were nearly completed 
before any serious attempt had been made to evangelize 
Scandinavia, or the greater part of Central and Eastern 





Martyrdom of St. Alban 


Three British bpp. at Council 
of Aries . . . . 314 

Patrick consecrated as bishop 432 
Ninian in Scotland, d. . 432 

Columbia settles in lona . 563 

Augustine at Canterbury 597-604 
David, bp. of Menevia in 

Wales . . . 601 ?, 
Kentigern (St. Mungo), d. . 603 
Paulinus in Northumbria 625-33 
Wessex, Conversion of . 634 

Aidan at Lindisfarne . 635-51 
Mercia, Cedd in . . . 653 
East Saxons, Baptism of Sige- 

bert king of. . . 653 
Whitby, Council of . . 664 
London, Bp. Jaruman in . 665 

Sussex, Wilfrid in 

68 1 


St. Paul in Spain . . 66 ? 

Persecutions at Lyons and 
Vienne . . . . 177 

Spanish martyrs in persecu- 
tions of Valerian . 256-260 

Spanish martyrs in persecu- 
tions of Diocletian. . 303-4 

Council of Elvira in Spain . 306 

Hilary, bp. of Poitiers . . 350 
Martin of Tours . . 316-97 
Goths invade Spain . . 414 
Germanus, bp. of Auxerre 418-49 
Conversion of East Burgun- 
dians .... 430 

Eleutherius, bp. of Tournai . 487 
Conversion of Clovis . . 496 



Livinus, Apostle of Brabant . 633 

Eligius" missionary to the 
Frisians . , . . . 641 

Frisia, Wilfrid in ' . . 678 
Frisia, Willibrord in . 692-738 
Arrival of Moors in Spain . 710 
Boniface, death of, in Frisia 755 
Liudger, in Frisia, d. . . 809 





Ulfilas Apostle to the Goths, d. 381 
' Valentinus at Pasau . . 440 

Severinus, missionary in Npri- 

, cum, d. . . ' . 482 

Kilian at Wurzburg . . 643 

. Boniface in Saxony and Hessia 719 

Boniface in Bavaria . , 739 
Sturmi founds monastery at 

Fulda . . . . 744 
Charlemagne's wars with 

Saxons . . . 772-804 
Bp. Arno in Hungary . . 796 
Archbp. .Ebo at Holstein .823 
Anskar in Denmark . ."826 
Anskar visits Sweden . 829,853 
Bp. Gautbert in Sweden . 835 
Ardgar in Sweden . ' . 851 

Baptism of Bogoris king of 

Bulgaria .... 863 
Methodius and Cyril in Mo- 
ravia ... . . 863 
Baptism of Bohemian Duke 

Borzivoi . . . 871 

Boso, Apostle of the Wends . 936 

K. Wenceslav in Bohemia . 938 
Hungary, first Magyar Chris- 
tians in.- . . . . 949 
Queen Olga of Kiev visits Con- 
stantinople . . . 955 

. Hakon, first Christian king of 
Norway , . . 936-44 

Baptism of Danish king Ha- 
rald and his army . . 972 

Earl Hakon re-establishes 
paganism in Norway . 977 

Sweyn re-establishes pagan- 
, ism in Denmark . . 991 
Olof, first Christian king of 
Sweden . . . 993-1024 

Olaf Tryggvason, forcible con- 
version of Norway by . 1000 


Bohemia, Bp. Adalbert in 
Vladimir, Baptism of . 

King Stephen of Hun- 
gary . . . 997-1038 

Adalbert martyred in Prus- 
sia . . . . 997 






Bp. Gotebald in Denmark 1014 

Olaf Haraldson (of Norway) 
compels his northern sub- 
jects to be baptized . 1015-30 

Botvid. first native Swedish 
missionary . . ' 1082 

Otto, missionary in Pome- 

rania . . . 1124-39 
Vicelin, missionary to the 

Wends . . . 1125 
Vladimir II. ,. 1126 
General massacre of the 

Wends . . . 1157 
Esthonia, Forcible conver- 
sion of . . . 1219 
Prussia, Forcible conversion 

of . . . 1238-83 - 

Finland, Conversion of 1240 

Lithuania, Conversion of 1386 
Bp. Sergius in Russia, d. 1392 
Stephen of Perm . 1401 

In order to form some conception of the general 
progress of missionary work in Europe it may be worth 
while to note its development at two or three different 

Christianity in 312. -I^et us take for example the 
year 312 in which, after the battle of the Milvian Bridge, 
Christianity finally ceased to be a prohibited religion, 
and was sanctioned by the authority of Constantine. 

At. this time the total Christian population in the 
world was about four millions, of which somewhat less 
than half was to be found in Europe. Every Christian 
community of any size had its own bishop, and the number 
of bishoprics in Europe was then about 700. The only 
district of any size in which the Christians formed more 
than half the population was the southern part of Thrace 
to the north of the Sea of Marmora. The districts in 


which the Christians formed an important section of the 
population and exercised an influence upon the life of 
the whole community would include Rome and Southern 
Italy, and the coastal region of central Italy, also Spain, 
the south coast of' France and the coastal districts of 
Thessaly and Macedonia. The districts in which small 
and scattered Christian communities were to be found 
included the greater part of the Balkan peninsula and 
parts of south-west Hungary and lower Austria, and the 
north-eastern portion of Italy, also southern Britain, 
lastly, the districts in which but few traces of Christianity 
were to be found included north-west Italy, central and 
northern France, Holland and Belgium, Germany and 
the greater part of Austria and Hungary, also the north 
and north-west coasts of the Black Sea. 

Christianity in 600. I^et us pass over another three 
centuries and consider what was the state of Europe from 
a missionary standpoint at the end of the sixth or the 
beginning of the seventh century. By the year 600 
Christianity was firmly established throughout Ireland. 
In Scotland many centres of Christian influence had been 
established by Columba and his successors ; the Britons 
in Wales and Cornwall were Christians and Christianity, 
which had been preached by Augustine in Kent, was 
beginning to spread amongst the Saxons. In the rest of 
England there may perhaps have been tiny Christian 
communities which had survived the devastating attacks 
of the Saxons. 

At this time by far the greater part of France was 
Christian, though Columbanus and his fellow-missionaries, 
the centre of whose work was I/uxeuil, in the Vosges 
mountains, found many who were ignorant of the Christian 

In Spain the Gothic king Reccared having recently 
renounced his Arian faith and declared himself a catholic, 
Christianity prevailed throughout the country, though 
the practice of idolatry was by no means extinct. 


In Italy traces of paganism were to be found specially 
in the south. In the north the Bombards were still 
Arians. In the Balkan Peninsula the Christianity taught 
by Ulfilas had well-nigh disappeared. Christianity pre- 
vailed in Constantinople and throughout Greece, but the 
greater part of the northern half of the peninsula was 
still pagan. In Austria the inroads of the barbarians at 
the close of the fifth century had blotted out most of the 
Christian communities which had existed in Noricum 
and other parts of Austria, and few, if any, traces of the 
work accomplished by Severinus survived. Two and, a 
half centuries were to elapse before missionary work was 
to be restarted. 

In Germany the Christianity, which had been estab- 
lished at many different centres, especially in the western 
districts before the end of the fourth century, had been 
largely obliterated by the invasion of the Alemanni and 
other tribes, and a century was to elapse before the work 
of Boniface began. 

In Holland, Denmark, Scandinavia, and Russia, as far 
as we know, no missionary work had as yet been attempted. 

Christianity in 900. Passing over another three cen- 
turies we come to the year 900. By this date missionary 
work had been attempted in Denmark by Archbishop 
Bbo, and by Anskar, but the country remained heathen. 
In Sweden mission' ary work had been started in Gothland, 
and in one or two other districts, but Sweden had still to 
wait nearly a century before it received its first Christian 
.king. In Norway no missionary work had as yet been 
attempted. Holland, which had become nominally a 
Christian country, had recently suffered much from the 
invasion of the Northmen, who had destroyed a large 
number of churches, especially in the neighbourhood of 

In Germany Charlemagne's thirty years' war with 
the Saxons had resulted in the forcible extension of the 
Christian church in their midst, and with the exception 


of Prussia, and Pomerania to which missionaries had not 
yet penetrated, and of Wendland in the north-east, where 
a few unsuccessful attempts had been made to evangelize 
its peoples, .Christianity had spread throughout nearly 
the whole of what now constitutes Germany. In Austria 
Methodius had organized a Christian Church in Moravia ; 
Hungary had been recently overrun by the heathen Mag- 
yars ; in Bohemia Duke Borzivoi had been baptized, but 
his example had not been followed by that of his subjects. 
In other districts isolated Churches existed, but missionary 
work was at a standstill. 

In Greece the last of the pagan inhabitants of the 
Peloponnesus had recently been forced to accept Christian 
baptism. Under the. influence of Bogoris, king of Bul- 
garia, who was baptized in 863, a Bulgarian Church had 
been established and active missionary work was being 
carried on. in Macedonia and other -parts of the Balkan 

Christianity in 1000. A century later, that is in 
1000, Christianity and paganism were still struggling for 
the supremacy in Denmark ; and Norway and Sweden 
had each received their first Christian king. In Norway 
the second Christian king, Olaf Tryggvason, who came to 
the throne in 1000, was about to commence his campaign 
for the forcible destruction of heathenism. 

In Prussia a first unsuccessful attempt to preach the 
Christian faith had resulted in the martyrdom of Adalbert. 
The rest of Germany, with the exception of Wendland 
and Pomerania, was nominally Christian. In Hungary 
King Stephen was earnestly promoting the conversion of 
his- Magyar subjects. In Poland a bishopric had been 
established at Posen, and king Boleslav was endeavouring 
to secure the conversion of his Slav subjects. 

In Russia the baptism of Vladimir (in 988) had been 
followed by many of his subjects and Christianity was 
beginning to extend, especially in the neighbourhood 
of Kiev. 



The evangelization of European Russia occupied several 
centuries and even within recent years there were still 
many pagans to be found in the district of Kazan. 



Ulfilas . 

Martin, bp. of Tours . 

Patrick . . 







Columba . 


David . . . 

Kentigern (St. Mungo) 






Trudpert (Irish hermit) 

Kilian (Irish Bp.) 



Cedd . ' . 

Wilfrid . 

Wilfrid . . 


Boniface . 

Sturmi . 

Gregory of Utrecht . 

Lebuin (Liafwin) 

Willehad . 

Arao, Bp. of Salzburg 

Liudger . 

Ebo, Archbp.of Rheims 

Anskar . 

Gautbert . 

Ardgar . 

Methodius and Cyril . 

Adalbert . 


Vicelin . 

Scene of labour. 
Bulgaria, d. . ' . 
Central France 

Southern Picts, Scotland, d. 
East Bavaria 
Noricum (S. Austria) 
Tournai, Flanders . 
Amongst Alemanni and in 

Black Forest 
Tournai, Flanders, d. 
lona, W. Scotland, d. 
Kent . 
Wales . 
Strathclyde, d. 
Gaul, Switzerland, N. Italy, c 
Northumbria ' 
N. Bavaria, d. . 

Lindisfarne, Northumbria 
Black Forest . 
Black Forest . 
Switzerland, d. 
Frisia (Holland) . 
Frisia . 

Frisia, Utrecht 

Frisia and R Ems district 
Frisia, d. 
Frisia, d. 
Frisia, d. 

Jutland, Denmark 
Denmark and Sweden 
Sweden . 
Sweden . 


. 381 



. 440 

. 482 

circ. 500 



601 ? 

. 603 

. 610 




600 ? 










** , 


WERE Christian Missions a failure? We can 
understand, and to a large extent sympathize 
with, the point of view of the man who, after studying all 
the information that is available relating to the spread of 
Christianity throughout Europe, should ask the question, 
Was the work accomplished by ' Christian missionaries 
after all a failure ? Did they, or their successors, witness 
the accomplishment in any intelligible sense of the word, 
of the task which they attempted ? 

The question is one which is being asked by many 
members of the Christian Church to-day as well as by 
those, who stand outside its ranks. 

Disheartened by the failure of the Church to solve 
the social problems that have arisen in successive ages, 
and by the fact that it appears to be out of touch with 
the aspirations of " I/abour " to-day, many are beginning 
to ask whether the conversion of Europe to a nominal 
acceptance of Christianity marked as great a step forward 
in the uplifting of the human race as has generally been 

Before we can decide as to the success or failure of 
Christian Missions, whether past or present, we must 
ask ourselves what we conceive to have been, or to be, 
the purpose of these Missions. 

The purpose of Christian Missions. The teaching 
of Christ and the interpretation of His teaching by the 
writers of the New Testament lend no support to the theory 
that the preaching of the Gospel is one day to result in 


the conversion into saints of all the people on earth* Christ 
anticipated that those who would become His disciples 
would act as a light in the world, singly as individuals, 
and collectively as a Church, and that they would reflect 
a light upon the world which would cause men to recognize 
the presence and glory^of God manifested in their midst. 

The life which Jesus Christ lived on earth cannot be 
described as a failure on the ground that it failed to trans- 
form, or to raise to a higher level> the lives of any large 
proportion of His fellow-countrymen, nor can the lives 
which Christian missionaries have lived be regarded as 
having failed on the ground that the ideals by which their 
lives were inspired and which enabled them to produce 
some faint reflection of their Master's character, have 
not become dominant factors in the lives of nations or of 
individuals. , 

. It must sorrowfully be admitted that the pages of 
European history are stained with a long series of crimes, 
which were committed ,,in the name of religion, and that 
the official representatives of the Church have not always 
been the champions of truth and freedom. We must, 
however, remember that the success or failure of Christian 
Missions in any age is to be judged not so much by the 
outward results which can be registered and tabulated, 
but by the opportunities which they afford to the in- 
habitants of the various countries to see for themselves 
the embodiment of Christian ideals, to behold, in fact, 
a real though incomplete, reproduction of the life of 
Jesus Christ. 

By the measure and degree in which such opportunities 
have been afforded must the success of missionary work 
in all lands and in all ages be judged. 

Missionary work in the past has been a success in so 
far as it can be shown that the lives of the missionaries, and 
the lives of some of those whom they have influenced, 
have furnished to the age in which they lived an object 
lesson of the results which the acceptance of tjie Christian 


faith can produce. No missionary work has been a 
failure in any country if, as a result of the lives lived by 
the missionaries amongst its inhabitants one and another 
have been able to say, as Pompilia said concerning Capon- 
sacchi : 

" Through such souls . , : 
God stooping, shows sufficient of His light 
For us i' the dark to rise by. And I rise." 

The reproduction of the Christian character. 

The goal of Christianity, and therefore the goal which 
the missionary has primarily in view, is the reproduction 
of the Christian character. The chief means whereby 
he may hope to attain his goal is the manifestation of 
the one only character which has adequately revealed 
to the world the nature of God. Other religions have 
claimed to reveal God by means of a series of doctrinal 
statements, but no other religion has offered to the world 
an ideal character and claimed that this character was 
itself a divine revelation. The Christian missionary, 
if he is to make this revelation effective, must be able not 
only to describe the character of Jesus Christ but to 
reflect it. 

The first great missionary in a letter that he wrote 
to the Christians at Corinth, for whose conversion he had 
laboured, -could speak of himself and of other Christians 
as " reflecting as a mirror the glory of the lyord." 

Missions and social problems. The appeal, how- 
ever, which the missionary consciously, or unconsciously, 
addresses to individuals is not inconsistent with his 
recognition of an obligation to concern himself with the 
social problems that arise amongst the people to whom 
he ministers. If the early missionaries laid primary 
emphasis upon the appeal which they made to individuals, 
to repent and do deeds worthy of repentance, they none 
the less proved themselves to be philanthropists, re- 
formers and educators. It was they who provided the 
initial impulse towards new and higher standards of 


national practice, truth and purity, and to their credit 
must be placed the gradual spread of religious and secular 
education throughout Europe. Moreover the fact that 
their ideals too often failed of realization must not blind 
our eyes to the efforts which they made in days that are 
now forgotten. The present condition of Russia has 
suggested to many the question, Is it possible to trace a 
connection between the methods pursued by the early 
missionaries in Russia and the wide-spread repudiation 
of Christianity by its inhabitants to-day? We must 
admit that the methods by which Christianity was spread 
throughout a large part of Russia, were far from being 
ideal, but at the. same time we must recognize that had 
not the careful and systematic education which Vladimir 
initiated, at the instigation of the Christian missionaries, 
been repudiated by its later rulers, who claimed control 
over the national Church, the condition and prospects of 
Russia would be far different from what they now are. 
It is, in fact, altogether unjust to hold the early mission- 
aries responsible for results which followed the repudiation 
of their policy by those who came after them. 

The use of physical force. In this brief survey 
of the spread of Christianity throughout Europe we have 
had frequent occasion to allude to the large part which 
the employment of physical force played in the conversion 
of its peoples. From the time of St. Augustine onwards 
it became more and more generally recognized that it 
was right to use force in order to compel heretics to recant 
their errors, or pagans to abandon the practice of heathen 
customs. Protesting voices were raised from time to 
time, e.g. by Chrysostom Bishop of Constantinople, 
Hilary Bishop of Poitiers, Martin Bishop of Tours, 
Alcuin of York," and Raymond I^ull, missionary to the 
Moslems. Thus Chrysostom wrote, " It is not lawful 
for Christians to overthrow error by force and violence, 
but they should labour for the conversion of men by 
persuasion, speech and gentleness." y Hilary wrote, " Ood 


,will not have a forced homage. Woe to the times when 
the divjne faith stands in need of earthly power." Ray- 
mond Ml. wrote .with reference to the policy of the 
Crusaders, "They think they can conquer by force of 
arms : it seems to me that the victory ~can be won in no 
other way than as Thou, O Lord Christ, didst seek to 
win it by love and prayer and self-sacrifice." Despite 
however, these and the other protests which were made 
from time to time, the practice of employing force spread 
from land to land. In cases where the use of force 
facilitated the introduction of education and thereby 
'rendered possible an intelligent appreciation of the 
teachings of Christianity, the harm resulting from its 
employment was less conspicuous, but the experience 
alike of ancient and modern Missions abundantly proves 
the truth of Raymond -I/nil's statement that victory 
over evil can be won in no other way than by love and 
prayer and self-sacrifice. 

Ancient and modern Missions. Another lesson 
which a careful study of early Missions in Europe serves 
to teach is the need of patience in the prosecution of 
missionary enterprises. 

Critics of modern missions, and specially of Missions 
in India and the Far East, sometimes urge that the rate 
of progress is so small that centuries will be needed 
before any large proportion of the inhabitants of these 
countries become Christians. A comparison of the rate 
of progress of missionary work in Europe with that in 
India and the Far East is, however, full of encouragement 
to the modern missionary. It took more than a thousand 
years to secure the nominal conversion to Christianity 
of the northern half of Europe, but no one who has 
made a careful study of modern Missions anticipates 
that a similar space of time will elapse before Christianity 
has, spread throughout the whole world In so far as 
Government returns and the most trustworthy missionary 
reports supply data wherewith to form an opinion, it 


appears that the progress of Christian Missions in India 
during the last forty years has been five times as rapid as 
was the progress of Missions in Europe during the thousand 
years which followed the conversion of Constantine. If 
we accept the evidence of the last four returns of the 
Government Census, we should be justified in saying that, 
should the rate of increase of the Christian community 
relative to the whole population that has taken place during 
the last thirty years be maintained, in 160 years from now 
the whole of India will be Christian.* 

Moreover, if we turn from India to China we find that 
the progress of Christian Missions in recent years has 
been much more rapid than has been the case in India. 
So far then is it from being the case that a comparison 
between the rate of progress of ancient and modern 
Missions affords grounds for discouragement the opposite 
is the case,. When we compare the rate of progress, in 
the principal mission fields of to-day with that in Europe 
in the past and remember that whatever progress has been 
attained during recent times has been attained without 
any appeal to physical force we cannot but face the 
future with hope and expectation. Apart, however, from 
any consideration of the comparative rates of Christian 
Missions in ancient and modern times, the question has 
been raised by the critics of modern Missions, 

Have Christian Missions benefited mankind? 

Is it quite certain that Europe has benefited sufficiently 
by the labours of Christian missionaries in the past to. 
justify an attempt to promote Christian Missions else- 
where ? Inasmuch as the whole progress of Western 
civilization is inextricably mixed up with the establish- 
ment of Christian Churches in Europe, it is not easy to say 
what reforms, or what social achievements, can be credited 
to the spread of the Christian faith. There are, however, 
at least three outstanding developments for which, it 

* See "History of Christian Missions/' by the author, p. 119. 


may be confidently claimed, that the teaching of Chris- 
tianity was responsible. 

These are I. The increased value set upon child-life. 
2. The care of the sick and afflicted. 3. The abolition of 

i. Dr. Dollinger has stated that at the time when Jesus 
Christ was born the exposition of infants by parents, 
who desired the death of their children, was " the ordi- 
nary practice of the day " in Southern Europe. It was 
.the protests of .Tertullian and other Christians which first 
helped men to regard the practice as evil and to secure 
its abolition ; and their action was a necessary outcome 
of their acceptance of the Christian faith. In the sixth 
century it became the general custom to place a marble 
vessel at the entrance of Christian churches for the recep- 
tion of infants exposed by their parents. 

.Christianity is indeed the only faith which has ever 
inculcated a genuine sympathy for childhood. Jesus 
Christ was the only teacher of antiquity who cared for 
childhood as such, and who loved children for the sake, 
not of what they mght become, but of what they were. 
His statement, " of such is the kingdom of God," con- 
stituted a completely new revelation, and one which even 
His own followers were very slow to appreciate. The 
doctrine that all children are born heirs of perdition and 
subjects of the wrath of God, which was held by many 
Christians in early and mediseval times, tended to obscure 
the full significance of His teaching, but it may, neverthe- 
less, be claimed that to the spread of Christian influence 
throughout Europe was directly due the increased value 
set upon child-life which has been one of the most striking 
developments that have taken place during the last two 
thousand years. 

i. The second development for which it may be 
claimed that Christianity was responsible relates to the 
cause of the sick and afflicted. At the time of the 
Christian era the whole Roman empire did not contain 


a single hospital. The first of which any record exists 
and which was the forerunner of those that are now to be 
found in almost every town in Christendom, was built 
at Rome by a Christian lady named Fabiola, in the fourth 
century. Another founded by the Christian emperor 
Valens at Csesarea dates from about 375. The French 
equivalent for hospital H6tel-Dieu, suggests its Christian 
origin. Medical Missions on the lines with which we are 
familiar to-day were unknown in the 'early centuries. 
Nevertheless it can be shown that the sick and afflicted 
and, in particular, the lepers, of whom Lazarus was 
regarded as the patron, were an object of special care 'to 
the Christian missionaries, and that it was as a result of 
their labours that the obligation, which rests alike upon 
individuals and communities to care for the sick and. 
afflicted, came to be generally recognized. 

3. Again and again in the record of early Christian 
Missions we read of the protests made by missionaries 
against the ill-treatment of slaves and of efforts made by 
them to secure their enfranchisement. ( We read, for 
example, of 250 slaves being baptized and set free by 
Ethelwalch, king of the South Saxons at the instigation 
of Wilfrid, of Pope Nicholas urging upon Bogoris king 
of Bulgaria, after he had received Christian baptism, the 
duty of setting free his slaves, and of the general ameliora- 
tion in the condition of the large slave population of Russia 
which resulted from the teaching of the first missionaries. 
When at length the principles underlying the teaching of 
Christ came to be more perfectly understood, and slavery 
was recognized as wrong, its abolition was secured by 
men who were earnest Christians, and who were moved 
to take action by the conviction that its continuance was 
inconsistent with the acceptance of the Christian faith. 

Whilst we are constrained to admit that the spread 
of Christianity throughout Europe and the Christian 
Church or Churches which were subsequently developed 
have failed to solve many social problems which cry aloud 


for attention, we believe that the benefits which Chris- 
tianity has conferred upon Europe more than justify any 
efforts that can be made to-day to evangelize the non- 
Christian races of the world. In Europe, moreover, 
Christianity has by no means spoken its last word. Its 
influence in many of the councils of the nations was never 
stronger than it is at the present time, and the principles 
of truth and of justice to the weak which the victory of 
the allied powers has vindicated are principles which 
were first taught throughout Europe by Christian mission- 
aries, though the final outcome of their teaching is not 
yet apparent. In a recent speech relating to the European 
war President Wilson said, " Christianity is the only 
force in the world that I have ever heard of that does 
actually transform life. And the proof of that trans- 
formation is to be found all over the Christian world." 

As we. turn from the. story of the jjast to contemplate 
the outlook of Christian Missions in other lands we may 
confidently anticipate that the modern successors of the 
early missionaries, taught by the failures and mistaken, of 
their "predecessors, will be instrumental in securing the 
acceptance of Christian ideals of life and conduct in other 
lands to a far greater extent than the world has yet seen. 


ADALBERT, bp. of Julia, 129 
Adalbert, Bp., in Bohemia, 161 
Adalbert, Archbishop of Prague, 

134 f., 166 
Adam of Bremen, 96 
Adamnan, biographer of Columba, 

6i,6 3 f. 

Adda, missionary in Mercia, 81 
Adrian, Pope, supports work of 

Methodius, 103 
Agilbert, Bp., in Wessex, 80 
Aidan missionary in Northumbria, 
'" 75-8, 166 
Aix, Augustine at, 68 f . 
Alaniin Spain, 35 ; in Gaul, 46 
Alaric king of the Goths, 19 
Alban, St., Martyrdom of, 66 f ., 160 
Albert of Bremen in Livonia, 155 f. 
Alcuin of York, 91 ; Letters of, 105 
Aldhelm bp. of Sherborne, 80 
Alemanni, 98 ; Columbanus preaches 

to the, 49 ; in Germany, 109 
Amanaburg, Boniface founds monas- 
tery at, 1 10 

Amandus in Holland, 88 
Ambrose, re spread of Christianity 

in N. Italy, 28 

Ancient and Modern Missions, 171 f. 
Andrew, St., his connection with 

Russia, 7 

Angles, in Mercia, 80 f . ; in Scot- 
land, 64 f . 

Anna, wife of Vladimir, 150 
Anskar, in Denmark, 93-6, 161, 

166; in Sweden, 142, 144, 161 
Apostolic Missionaries, 7 
Aquitaine, Devastation of, 46 
Ardgar in Sweden, 161, 166 s 

Aries, Council of, 26, 42, 66, 160 ; 

Augustine consecrated at, 70 
Arno bp. of Salzburg, 105, 161, 166 
Asceticism of Columba, 48 
Asia Minor, Early Missions in, 6 f . 
Askold, Russian prince, 146 
Asturis, Severinus at, 99 
Athanaric king of the Goths, Perse- 
cution of Christians by, 16 
Athens, Christian Church in, 14 
Attalus emperor of Rome, 28 
Attains companion of Columbanus, 3 1 
Augustine disapproves of destruc- 
tion of heathen temples, 28 ; ire 
fame of St. Vincent, 34 
Augustine, of Canterbury, 68-72, 

160, 166 

Aurelius, Marcus, 12 
Austria, Early missions in, 98-108 
Autbert companion of Anskar, 94 
Auxentius biographer of Ulfilas, 17 f. 
Avoundus king of Sweden, 142 f. 

BALKAN Peninsula, 7, 9 f., 14-23 
Bamberg, Otto Bp. of, 129, 132 
Basil, Emperor, sends missionaries 

to Slavonic tribes in Greece, 15 
Bataviin Holland, 88 
Bavaria, 98 ; Missions in, 113 f., 1*9 
Bede, re the early British Christians, 

67 ; re St. Augustine, 70 ff . 
Benedict, Revival of monasticism 

by, 10 ; at Monte Cassino, 30 
Benedict companion of Archbishop 

Adalbert, 134 

Bernard, missionary in Friesland, 91 
Bernard, Spanish missionary in 

Pomerania, 124 f. 




Bernicia, Kingdom of, 77 
Bernwin in Isle of Wight, 80 
Beroea, Christian Community at, 14 
Bertha, Queen, 70 
Berthold missionary to Lieflanders, 


Betti, missionary in Mercia, 81 
Bible, Gothic, translated by Ulfilas, 

16 f . ; Greek and Latin transla- 

tions of, 27 ; Translation of, into 

Slavonic, 102 

Binna companion of Boniface, lii 
Biorn king of Sweden, 142 
Birinus missionary in Wessex, 79 f . 
Birka, Attack on by Avoundus, 142 f . 
Blandina, martyr at Lyons, 40 
Bobbio, Monastery of, 31 
Bogoris, Bulgarian prince, 20-3 ; 

161, 165 

Bohemia, Conversion of, 104 
Boleslav III. conquers Pomerania, 

123 f. 
Boniface, Life and work of, 109-19, 

161, 166 
Boniface, Pope, Letter of Columbanus 

to, 50 

Boris, see Bogoris 
Borzivoi, Bohemian chief, 104, 161, 


Boso Apostle of the Wends, 122, 161 
Botvid, Swedish missionary, 162 
Bregenz, Columbanus at, 49 
Bridget, St., 58 

Bruno missionary in Prussia, 135 
Bruto a Saxon chief, 121 
Bulgaria, Goths in, 15; Later missions 

Bulosudes Magyar prince, 106 

CANDIDA CAS A, Monastery of, 85 
Canterbury, Augustine at, 70 
Canute, Missionary work in JDenmark, 

supported by, 97 
Callistus bishop of Rome, 25 
Cammin in Pomerania, 126 
Carelians, Missions to the, 155 
Carloman assists Boniface, 114 
Catacombs in Rome, 27 f. 
Ceadwalla, King, 80 
Cedd, Bishop, 77, 81 f., 160, 166 
Celtic language in South of France, 41 

Celtic missionaries, Standard of 

learning of, 51 
Cenchrea, Christian Church in, 14 
Chad, Bp., 77, 82 

Charlemagne, 90 i., 161 ; Wars of, 
against the Saxons; 119 ; 'Letters 
of Alcuin to, 105 
Chichester, See of, 84 ; 

Child-life, Value of, as taught by 

Christian missionaries, 173 , 
Christian, Bishop, in Prussia, 135 f. 
Christian Missions, Purpose of, 167 f. 
Clement of Rome, ye state of the 
Church in Corinth, 14 ; v re deaths 
of St. Peter and St. Paul, 25 ; re 
visit of St. Paul to Spain, 32 
Clovis, Baptism of, 46 f ., 160 
Colman, Bp. of Lindisfarne, 78 
Columba, St., 60-4, 160, 166 
Columbanus, 160, 166 ; in France^ 
.47-9; i tt Switzerland, 49 f . ; in 
^ Italy, 31 

Comagenis, Severinus at, 100 
Constantine, Influence exerted by, 

12 f. 

Constantinople, Heathen in, 15 . 
Constantins, Edict of, prohibiting 

heathen sacrifices, 28 
Corbie, Monastery at, 93 
Cordova, Martyrs at, 36 
Corinth, St. Peter and St. Paul at, 

7; Christian Church in, 14 
Corman, missionary in Northumbria, 

75 ~ ' 

Cornelius, bishop of Rome, 27 
Cornwall, Conversion of, 85, 163 
Crimea, Goths in, 15 
Cross, The wearing of the, by con- 
verts, 22 f. 

Cuthbert, Letter of Boniface to, 118 
Cynegils king of Wessex, 80 . 
Cypharas, Constantine, in Bulgaria,2o 
Cyprian, his relations to Spanish 

Church, 33 
Cyril missionary in Moravia; 102 f. 

DACIA, Ulfilas in, 15 

Dalmatia, Christian communities in, v 

14 . ' - '. . .;,,.:. :, 

Danes, in Ireland, 58; in Scotland, v 
64; in Esthonia, 156 . > 



David, St., of Wales, 85,.i6o, 166 
Daniel, bp. of Winchester, 80, in f. 
Dead, Prayers on behalf of heathen, 

Deception, Use of pious, by mis- 
sionaries, 22 
Deira, Kingdom of, 77 
Demmin, Bp. Otto at, 129 f . 
Denmark, Early Missions in, 93 
Deventer, Lebuin at, go; Liudger 

' at, 91 

Diocletian, Persecution by, 33 

Dionysius the Areopagite reputed to 

have visited Gaul, 40 
Dir, Russian prince, 146 
Diuma, missionary in Mercia, 81 
Dnieper, Baptisms in R., 150 
Dokkum, Willehad at, 91 ; Boniface 
; at, 117 

Domnus a Pannonian bishop, 98 
Dorchester, Birinus Bp. of, 80 
Drontheim, Assembly at, 138 f . 

Eadbald, king of Kent, 72 

East Anglians, Conversion of, 72-4 

.East Saxons, Conversion of, 72, 82 f. 

Eata, bp. of Lindisfarne, 77 

Ebba, Queen, in Wessex, 84 

Ebo, Archbishop of Rheims, 93, 161, 


Edwin king of Northumbria, 74 
Egbert, Archbp., Letter of Boniface 

to, 118 

Eleutherius bp. of Tournai, 160, 166 
Elfleda daughter of King Oswy, 81 
Eligius, missionary to the Frisians, 

1 60, 166 

'Elvira, Council of, 34 f., 160 
England, Conversion of, , 66-87 
Eoban, Bp. of Utrecht, 116 
Eorpwald king of East Anglians, 73 
Epirus, 14, 19 
/Eric king of Jutland, 94 
Eric king of Norway, 139 
Erik, Swedish king in Finland, 157 
Esthonia, Conversion of, 156, 162 
Ethelbert, King, 70 ff. 
Eulalia a Spanish martyr, 34 
Eusebius re methods by which 

Christianity was spread, 8 f . ; v e 

number of Christians in Rome, 25 

Eustatius missionary in N. Bavaria, 

Fabiola founds hospital at Rome, 174 
Favianae, Severinus at, too 
Felix missionary in East Anglia, 73 
Ferrer, Vincent, preaches to Jews in 

Spain, 38 f. 

Finan, Bp. in Mercia, 81 f . 
Finland, Missions in, 157, 162 
Finnian of Movilla, 60 
Finnish tribes in N. Russia, 153, 155 
Formosus, Bp., in Bulgaria, 21 
France, Early Missions in, 40-52 
Franconia, Early Missions in, 109 - 
Fridolin, missionary in Black Forest, 


Frisia, Boniface in, no, 116; Wil- 
frid in, 88, 160; Willibrord in, 88, 

Frisians in Holland,, 88 
Fulda, Monastery at, 121 
Fuldrad, Letter of Boniface to, 115 
Fursey missionary in East Anglia, 73 

GALATIA, Missions in, 6 
Gall, St., at Bregenz, 49 f., 166 
Gatianus, bp. of Tours, 42 
Gaudentius companion of Archp. 

Adalbert, 134 
Gautbert missionary in Sweden, i42 


Gedania, Adalbert at, 134 
Germanus bp. of Auxerre, 160 ; in 

Britain, 67; in Wales, 85 
Germanus bp. at Kazan, 157 
Germany, Missions in, 109-36 
Gondophares Parthian chief, 7 
Gorm king of Denmark, 97 
Gotebald, bp., in Denmark, 162, 
Gothland, 164 ; West, 144 
Goths, Conversion of the, 15-19 
Gottschalk a Slavonic chief in Wend- 

land, 122 

Greece, Christian missionaries in, 14 
Greek-speaking Christians in Italy, 26 
Gregory bishop of Tours, 42 
Gregory of Utrecht, 90, 166 
Gregory, Pope, 68 f. 
Gregory II., Pope, Letter of, to 

Boniface, no 



Gregory III., Pope, Letter from, to 

Boniface, 113 

Gregory a missionary in Russia, 146 
Groningen, Willehad at, 91 
Gutzkow, Bp. Otto at, 1 30 
Gylas the ruler of Transylvania, 106 
Gytha wife of Vladimir II., 152 

Hadebald, Bp., assists Anskar, 94 
Hakon, king of Norway, 137 f ., 161 
Hakon, Earl, in Norway, 138, 161 
Hamburg, Anskar at, 94 
Harald Klak king of Denmark, 93, 

97, 161 
- Harald Haarfagar first king of Nor- 

way, 137 
Hardships endured by early mis- 

sionaries, 52 
Healing of the sick by missionaries, 

9. 173 f. 

Heathfield, Battle of, 74 
Heavenfield, Battle of, 75 
Hegesippus re state of the Church in 

Corinth, 14 f . 

Henrick, Bp. of Upsala, 157 
Herigar, Swedish chief , 142 f. 
Heroism, Deeds of, performed by 

missionaries, 5 

Hesse-Cassel, Boniface in, no 
Hessia, Boniface in, no f . 
Hiddila missionary in I. of Wight, 


Hilary bp. of Poitiers, 160 
Holland, Early Missions in, 88-92 
Holm, Sigfrid at, 156 
Holstein, Ebo establishes a Mission 

at, 93 
Honorius, Decree of, concerning 

heathen temples, 28 ' . 

Horick king of Denmark, 95 
Hosius bp. of Cordova, 35 
Hospitals started by missionaries, 

Hungary, 98, 104 ; Early Missions in, 


Huns in Gaul, 46 
Ideals, Missionary, 168 f . 
Igor Russian prince, 146 
Illyria, Christian communities in, 14 
Ilminsky missionary to the Tartars, 


India, Missions in, compared with 
Missions in Europe, 172 . . 

Inge king of Sweden, 145 

Innocent III. promotes conversion 
of Livonia, 155 

Intercessory prayer, see Prayer 

lona, Monks of, 60 f. 

Ireland, Early missions in, 53-8 

Irenaeus, bp. of Lyoris, 40 f. 

Irish missionaries on the Continent, 

53 x : 

Italy, Early Missions in, 24-31 

JARUMAN, Bp., in London, 83, 160 -*. 
James, St., the patron saint of Spain, 

7. 32 ' 

Jengis, Massacres by, 154 
Jerome ye decline of paganism itt 

Rome, 28 

Jews in Spain, 38 f. 
John, St., Reference to missionary 

work in 3rd Epistle of , 8 , 

John bishop of Mecklenburg, 122 . 
John VIII., Pope, and the Bulgarians, 

23 , , 

John VII., Pope, permits use pi 

Slavonic liturgy, 103 
Joseph of Arimathea, reputed to 

have visited England, 8 ..: 

Julian, Attempts by, to purify 

heathenism, 30 

Julin in Pomerania, 124, 126-8, 132 
Juri, St., missionary to Tartars, 157 
Justin Martyr ve influence exerted 
by the lives and deaths of Chris- 
tians, 8 

Justinian, Emperor, orders the com- 
pulsory baptism of the Athenians* 

IS - ' '' ' 

Justus, bp. of Rochester, 71 

KALKA, Battle of, 154 
Kazan, St. Juri bp. of, 157 f . 
Kentigern (Mungo), 59 f ., 166 . .. 
Kenwalch king of Wessex, 80 
Kherson, Attack on, by 

i,49 f- ' 

Khozars in Crimea, 148 
Kiev, 146 f., 150 f., 154 
Kilian Irish missionary at Wutz 

burg, 109, 161, 166 - ? 



Krive-Kriveyto Lithuanian pagan 

priest, 157 
Kubansky, Lake, Monastery on, 154 

LADOGA, Lake, Monastery on, 155 
Laplanders, Missions to, 154 
Lazarus reputed to have preached in 

Gaul, 8, 40 . 
Lebuin, 90, 119-21, 166 ; at Mark- 

lum, 119 f. 
Leon-Astorga site of bishopric in 

Spain, 33 

Leprosum, Heathen temple at, 43 
Lieflanders, Conversion of the, 155 f . 
Lightfoot, Bp., re character of 

Aidan, 78 

Lindisfarne, Island of, 76 f. 
Lithuania, Conversion of, 156 i, 162 
Liuclger in Frieslarid, 91, 160, 166 
Liudhard, Bp., at Canterbury, 70 
Livinus, Irish Archbishop in Belgium, 

160, 166 

Livonia, Missions in, 155 f. 
Lombards, 164 
Louis the Pious, 93 f. 
Lupus of Troyes in Britain, 67 
Luxeuil, Columbanus at, 47 f ., 163 
Lyons, Persecution at, 40, 160 

MACEDONIA, Early missions in, 6, 14 ; 
. Bulgarians in, 19 
Maestricht, Amandus bp. of, 88 

.Magyars in Hungary, 105 f . 
Mark, St., in Alexandria, 7 
Marmoutier, Monastery of, 43 
Martel, Charles, Boniface protected 

by, in , 

Martin of Tours, 42-$, 160, 166 
Mary Magdalene reputed to have 

visited Gaul, 40 
Maserfield, Battle of, 77 
Maximin a Gothic bp. in North 

Africa, 19 
Medardus at Tournai, 166 

.Medical Missions, 9, 173 f. 
Meinhard Russian monk, 155 ' 
Mellitus bp. of London, 71 f., 82 
Mendowg ruler of Lithuania, 156 
Menevia (St. Davids), 85 
Mercia, Conversion of, 80-2 
Merida site of bishopric in Spain, 33 

Methodius in Bulgaria, 20 
Methodius and Cyril in Moravia, 

102-4, 161, 166 

Michael Greek Emperor, 20, 102 
Milan, Edict of, 42 
Mill, J. S., ve influence exerted by 

Constantine, 12 f . 
Milvian Bridge, Battle of, 162 
Missionaries, The task essayed by, 6 
Moesia, Goths in, 15 
Monasteries in Spain, 34 f . ; in 

Wales, 86 ; in Norway, 142 ; itt 

Russia, 152 f. 
Monasticism, Introduction of, into 

France, 10 ' - 
Mongols, Invasion of Hungary by 

the, 107 f.; invasion of Russia, 

153 f- 
Monks as missionaries, 10 f . 

Montanists in Rome, 27 
Monte Cassino, Benedict at, 30 f . 
Moors, The, in Spain, 36-9, 160 
Moravia, Missions in, 101-4 
Moslems, Missions to, in Spain, 37 ; 

in Russia, 158 
Mozarabs in Spain, 36 
Muller, Max, re translation of the 

Bible by Ulfilas, 17 
Mungo, see Kentigern 
Munich, Early Christian Community 

at, 109 
Munster, Liudger at, 91 

NAPLES, Pagan survivals in, 30 
Nicholas I., Pope, Letter of, to 

Bogoris, 21 f. 
Nicopolis, Christian community at s 


Nidaros, King Olaf at, 139 
Ninian, St., 59, 85, 160, 166 
Nobili, Robert di, Use of pious decep- 
tion by, 22 

Noricum, Province of, 98 
Northumbria, Conversion of, 74-9 
Norway, Conversion of, 137-42 
Novgorod, Christian school at, 151 

ODO, Danish archbp. of Canterbury, 

Olaf Haraldson of Norway, 140, 162 



Olaf Tryggvason, King of Norway, 

138-!, 161 

Olaf king of Sweden, 143, 161 
Olga, Baptism of, 146, 161 
Olgerd, ruler of Lithuania, 156 
Olof, the Lap-king first Christian 

king of Sweden, 144 
Onega, Lake, Monastery on, 154 
"Order of the Sword " in Livonia, 

Origen in Athens, 14 ; ve Christians 

in Britain, 66 

Oswald king of Northumbria, 75 f . 
Oswy, king of Northumbria, 81 f . 
Otto, Bp., 162, 166; Missionary 

work of, 124-33 

PAGAN observances, Attitude of 

missionaries towards, 28-30, 34, 

44, 112, 114, 130, 136 
Paganism, Survivals of, in Rome, 

28 f. ; Attempts to revive, 29 f. ; 

in S. Italy, 30 f . 
Palestine, Churches in, 6 f . 
Palladius in Ireland, 54 
Pannonia, 98 

Passau, Pilgrim Bp. of, 106 
Patrick, St., 54-8, 160 ; in Gaul, 46 
Paul, St., Missionary labours of, 7, 32 
Paul, Bp., in Bulgaria, 21 
Paulinus, 1 60 ; in Northumbria, 74, 1 66 
Paulitzky defends Bp. Otto, 126 
Peada, king of the Middle Angles, 81 f . 
Pelagius, teaching of, 67 
Penda, King, 65, 74, 81 f. 
Pepin, Willibrord helped by, 88 
Percunos god of thunder, 133 
Perm in S.E. Russia, 155 
Perun, Russian idol, 147, 15 
Peter, St., Missionary labours of, 7, 

Peter de Duisberg, author of the 

Prussian Chronicle, 133 f. 
Philip II. of Spain, 38 
Philippi, Christian community at, 14 
Photius Patriarch of Constantinople, 

21, 23 
Physical force, Use of in the cause of 

Missions, 11-13, 22, 37, 65, 139 f . ; 

170 f . ; Use of by missionaries, 

132 f. 

Pilgrim, Bp., in Hungary, 106 1 

Picts, Conversion of the, 64 ; as 
missionaries in South Wales, 85 

Picullos god of the lower regions, 133 

Polycarp, 41 .; Letter of, to Christians 
at Philippi, 14 ; at Rome, 26 f . 

Pomerania, Efforts to convert, 12 3-3 3 

Poole, Lane, ve massacre of Moors in 
Spain, 38 

Portugal conquered by the Alani, 35 

Posen, Bishopric at, 165 

Pothimus bishop of Lyons, 40 

Potrimpos god of corn, 133 

Prayers, Intercessory, of Martin, 441 ; 
of Columba, 61 ; Appeal by Boni- 
face for intercessory, 112, 118 f . 

Prosper of Aquitaine, 46 

Prudentius a Spanish bishop,. 33 f. 

Prussia, Attempts to convert, 133-6, 
162 ; Pagan customs of, 133 f. 

Pyritz in Pomerania, 125 f. '. *' 

RADBOD of Friesland, 89 f. 

Ratisbon, Early Christian com- 
munity at, 109 

Reccared, Gothic King, 163 ; in 
Spain, 19 ; renounces Arianism, 36 

Redwald king of East Anglians, 72 f . 

Remigius, Bishop, 47 

Results, Social, of Christian Missions, 
172 ff. 

Riga, Foundation of, 155 

Rimbert biographer of Anskar, 95 

Roderick king of' Strathclyde, 60 . 

Rome, St. Peter and St. Paul in, 7 ; 
Early Christian community in t 

Rostislav king of Moravia, 101 f. 

Rostoff, Christian school at, 151 

Roumania, see Dacia 

Rupert bishop of Worms, 119 

Rurik, Russian prince, 146 

Russia, Conversion of, 146-58 

SABA, St., his death as a martyr, 16 
Sabert king of East Saxons, 72 
Samland, Archbp. Adalbert in, 134 f; 
Saturninus, bishop of Toulouse, 41 
Saxons in Eastern Frisia, 92 
Saxony (Wendland), Missions in. 



; Scandinavians in Scotland, 65 
Schleswig, Mission school at, 94 f. 
Scotland, Early Missions in, 59-65 
," Scots," Use of the word, 59 
Sebbi king of East Saxons, 83 
Selettas, a bishop amongst the Goths, 

i8f. . 

Selsey, Bishops of, 84 
Serbia, Goths in, 15 
Sergius, Russian missionary, 154, 162 
Severinus, missionary in Noricum, 

99, 161, 166 

Sigebert king of East Anglians, 73 
Sigebert king of East Saxons, 82, 


Sigesarius, a Gothic bp. in Italy, 19 
Sigfrid, Bp., in Sweden, 144 
Sigfrid, Russian monk, 156 
Siggo, murderer of Adalbert, 135 
Sighere, king of East Saxons, 83 
Sigibert of Austrasia, 47 
Sigurd, Baptism of, 65 
Simeon, a Bulgarian prince, 23 
Simon Magus in Rome, 25 
Skara, Thurgot missionary at, 144 
Skene re work accomplished by 

monastic missionaries, 10 f . 
Slave boys in Rome, 68 
Slavery discouraged by Christian 

missionaries, 141, 174 
Slaves, Missionary work accomplished 

by, 9 

Slavonic Bible and Liturgy, 102-4 
Social problems, failure of mission- 
aries to solve, 167, 169 f. 
Soldiers, Christian converts amongst, 


Solpvetsky monastery, 155 
Sozomen re influence exerted by the 
, lives of Christians in the Balkan 

Peninsula, 9 

Spain, Early Missions in, 32-9 
Stenkil king of Sweden, 145 
Stephen, King, of Hungary, 106, 161 
Stephen, missionary to the Ziranes, 
'- 155, 162 
Stettin capital of Pomerania, 123, 


Strathclyde, Kentigern bishop of, 60 
Sturleson, Snorro, Norwegian his- 
torian, 137 f. 

Sturnii, founds monastery at Fulda, 

121, 161, 166 
Suevi, in Spain, 35 ; in Gaul, 46, 55; 

near Lake Zurich, 49 ,, 

Sussex, see Wessex 
Sweden, Conversion of, 142-5 
Sweyn king of Denmark, 97, 161 
" Sword," " Order of the," 136 
Syria, Churches in, 6 


TACITUS re persecution of Christians 

in Rome, 24 
Tartars, in Russia, 154 ; Missions to, 

Temples, Destruction of heathen, 28, 

43 f- 
Tertullian re results of persecutions 

of Christians, 8 ; re Christians in 

Britain, 66 

Teutonic Knights, Order of, 135 f . 
Theodoric king of the Burgundians, 49 
Theonus Bishop of London, 68 
Thessalonica, Christian community 

at, 14 

Thomas, St., Missionary labours of, 7 
Thomas, bishop of Edessa, 7 
Thor, Worship of, at Armagh, 58; 

in Norway, 138 

Thurgot, missionary in Sweden, 144 
Thuringia, Boniface in, no 
Toledo, Third council of, 36 
Toulouse, Saturninus bp. of, 41 
Tours, Battle of, 36 
Transylvania, 105 
Triglav a Slavic god, 128 
Troitskaia monastery, 154 
Trophimus reputed to have visited 

Gaul, 40 
Trudpert, Irish hermit in Germany. 

109, 166 
Tryggvason, Olaf, 138 f. ; in S. 

Ronaldsa, 65 
Turholt, Monastery at, 94 

UBSOLA, Destruction of idol temple 
at, 144 

Ukskull, Meinhard at, 155 

Ulfilas, Life and work of, 15-19, 161, 

Unofficial missionaries, Work accom- 
plished by, 8-10, 87 



Upper classes, Con version :of, : i 3 x 
Usedom, Bp. Otto at,;i29 f. 
Usbek, Khan, 154 

Utrecht, Willibrord bishop of, 88 f . ; 
Gregory of, go ; Boniface at, no 

VALDEMAR II. Danish King, 156 
Valentinus at Passau, 16i, 166 
Valerian, Rescript of, 25 ; Persecu- 
tions by, 33 

Vandals in Spain, 35 ; in Gaul, 46 
Vicelin missionary to the Wends, 

123 '; 162, 166 . 
Victor Bishop of Rome, 26 
Vienne, Persecution at, 160 
Viken, Conversion of inhabitants of, 

Vincent, St., of Zaragoza, 34 

Vladimir, Conversion of, 146-51, 161 
Vladimir II., 151 f ., 162 

WALES, Augustine interviews Bishops 
from, 71 ; Conversion of, 85 

Wallachia, 107 

Wenceslas king of Bohemia, 104, 161 

Wendland, see Saxony 

Wessex, Conversion of, 79 f ., 83 f . 

Westcott, Bp., re character of Co- 
lumba, 62 

Whitby, Conference of, 78, 160 
Wight, Isle of , Conversion of , 86 - 
Wilfrid, Bp.;, in. Wessex, 84, 160; in 

Friesland, 88, 166 \ "- 
Willehad missionary in Friesland, 

91 1, 166 

Willibrord in Friesland, 88 f ., 166 . 
Wilson, President, on the outcome of 

missionary>teaching, 175 
Winchester, Bp. Wpi at, 80 
Wirii, Bp., in Wessex, 80 
Wittekind, Invasion of Friesland by, 

91 f. 

Wolgast, Bp. Otto at, 130 
Wollin, Island of, 124, 126 
Wratislav, Duke, in Pomerania, 126, 

129 f. . 

Wulfram Archbp. of Sens, 89 
Wulf here son of Peada, 82 f. 
Wurzburg, Kilian missionary at, 109 

YADVIGA Polish queen, 156 
Yagello ruler of Lithuania* 1 56 f . 
Yaroslav, Russian prince, 1 51 . 

ZACHARIAS, Pope, Letter of Boniface 

to, 115 

Ziranes, Missions to the, 155 
Zurich, Lake, Columbanus at, 49 



BV 2855 


ROBINSON, Charles H. 
How the Gostsel 


Speead through Europe 







UPl - B-5 Printed in USA 

BV 2855 ROBINSON, Charles H. 
.R6? How the Gospel Spread 
through Europe