Persecutions From The Early Part Of The Eighth To Near The Conclusion Of The Tenth Century

Boniface, archbishop of Mentz, and father of the German church, was an

Englishmen, and is, in ecclesiastical history, looked upon as one of the

brightest ornaments of this nation. Originally, his name was Winfred, or

Winfrith, and he was born at Kirton, in Devonshire, then part of the

West-Saxon kingdom. When he was only about six years of age, he began to

discover a propensity to reflection, and seemed solicitous to gain

/> information on religious subjects. Wolfrad, the abbot, finding that he

possessed a bright genius, as well as a strong inclination to study, had

him removed to Nutscelle, a seminary of learning in the diocese of

Winchester, where he would have a much greater opportunity of attaining

improvement than at Exeter.

After due study, the abbot seeing him qualified for the priesthood,

obliged him to receive that holy order when he was about thirty years

old. From which time he began to preach and labour for the salvation of

his fellow-creatures; he was released to attend a synod of bishops in

the kingdom of West-Saxons. He afterwards, in 719, went to Rome, where

Gregory II. who then sat in Peter's chair, received him with great

friendship, and finding him full of all the virtues that compose the

character of an apostolic missionary, dismissed him with commission at

large to preach the gospel to the pagans wherever he found them.

Passing through Lombardy and Bavaria, he came to Thuringia, which

country had before received the light of the gospel, he next visited

Utrecht, and then proceeded to Saxony, where he converted some thousands

to christianity.

During the ministry of this meek prelate, Pepin was declared king of

France. It was that prince's ambition to be crowned by the most holy

prelate he could find, and Boniface was pitched on to perform that

ceremony, which he did at Soissons, in 752. The next year, his great age

and many infirmities lay so heavy on him, that, with the consent of the

new king, the bishops, &c. of his diocese, he consecrated Lullus, his

countryman, and faithful disciple, and placed him in the see of Mentz.

When he had thus eased himself of his charge, he recommended the church

of Mentz to the care of the new bishop in very strong terms, desired he

would finish the church at Fuld, and see him buried in it, for his end

was near. Having left these orders, he took boat to the Rhine, and went

to Friesland, where he converted and baptized several thousands of

barbarous natives, demolished the temples, and raised churches on the

ruins of those superstitious structures. A day being appointed for

confirming a great number of new converts, he ordered them to assemble

in a new open plain, near the river Bourde. Thither he repaired the day

before; and, pitching a tent, determined to remain on the spot all

night, in order to be ready early in the morning.

Some pagans, who were his inveterate enemies, having intelligence of

this, poured down upon him and the companions of his mission in the

night, and killed him and fifty-two of his companions and attendants on

June 5, A. D. 755. Thus fell the great father of the Germanic church,

the honour of England, and the glory of the age in which he lived.

Forty-two persons of Armorian in Upper Phrygia, were martyred in the

year 845, by the Saracens, the circumstances of which transaction are as


In the reign of Theophilus, the Saracens ravaged many parts of the

eastern empire, gained several considerable advantages over the

christians, took the city of Armorian, and numbers suffered martyrdom.

Flora and Mary, two ladies of distinction, suffered martyrdom at the

same time.

Perfectus was born at Corduba, in Spain, and brought up in the christian

faith. Having a quick genius, he made himself master of all the useful

and polite literature of that age; and at the same time was not more

celebrated for his abilities than admired for his piety. At length he

took priest's orders, and performed the duties of his office with great

assiduity and punctuality. Publicly declaring Mahomet an impostor, he

was sentenced to be beheaded, and was accordingly executed, A. D. 850;

after which his body was honourably interred by the christians.

Adalbert, bishop of Prague, a Bohemian by birth, after being involved

in many troubles, began to direct his thoughts to the conversion of the

infidels, to which end he repaired to Dantzic, where he converted and

baptised many, which so enraged the pagan priests, that they fell upon

him, and despatched him with darts, on the 23d of April, A. D. 997.