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To the Editor of the North…

For the North Wales Gazette.

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For the North Wales Gazette. NUMBER r. In the discovery of error, as well as in the examination of truth, it is obvious that we cannot proceed with any well-grounded hopes of success in our researches, if we are .it tili under the influence of prejudice: and for this reason it is necessary to recur as seldom as possible to preconceived opinions. Events can never be traced to their causes, if the process he established upon wrong princi- ples: for the result in such cases will be in- volved in error and uncertainty. When, there- fore, the hypothesis which an Author, as- sumes as the groundwork of his enquiries, and by which he estimates the probability or im- probability of any historical events, be ill- founded, or improperly conceived, he will of course often deviate from the truth, and the fruit of his labours will be found to consist of erroneous deductions. An hypothesis, in such a case, only serves to mislead the reason- ing faculties, and la bewilder the understand- ing. Instead of arriving at the truth, the author will find himself i;i au inexplicable maze of conjecture, without any olli -,r clue to extricate himself, than of denying every his- torical tradition which does not favour his conjectures, lu support of an imaginary hy- pothesis, it has of late been attempted to prove that the Coll] III') ii I*v attributed to Gildas, are spurious productions. The an thor is so thoroughly satisfied with the sue- cess of his undertaking as to pronounce his arguments irrefragable. If the author will he found to have succeeded iu his attempt, it will materially affect the productions of some of the most distinguished writers, by whom the history and epistle of Gildas have uniform- ly been considered as containing very impor- tant and correct information, and affording much mailer for further investigation in Church history. The positive manner in which they are now condemned as spurious gives us every reason to believe that ihe au- thor of such an assertion, was at least well acquainted with these writings, and had con- sidered all the circumstances connected with them, and had not come to this conclusion without mature deliberation, and being able to advance some substantial reasons for dif- fering from the most eminent writers on ec- clesiastical history. Since the publication of the Collectanea Cambrica, in which these ob. jections are stated at length, the same decla- ration has been made in a visitation sermon at St. Asaph in 1812, in which the author con- siders it is an imperious duly upon him to do so,for the Truth's sake. An opinion advanc- ed with so much confidence demands particu- lar attention, and it is but just to enquirc into the merits of the author's performance, and upon what foundation he has ventured to make so decisive an objection to the genuine- ness of Gildas, and laboured to give publicity to this discovery. It willullùoubtedly create surprise, when it is understood that there is not a single argument, than can stand the test of an enquiry, and that the irrcfragable proofs are merely the suggestions of filncy, without the slightcst foundation in truth. The author confesses that what first ex- cited his suspicions respecting the genuineness of Gildas, was the denial of the existence of any British records, which "occurs in the com- mencement of his History. Giidas certainly y-) ,Il;lt he met with no records, but with this specification, viz. relative to the calami- ties which Britain became subject to, during the period of its subjection by the Romans.— In this respect also, he does not absolutely deny their existence, but supposes that if any records did exist, they were either lost in the convulsions which ensued, or were carried off to foreign countries. This appears more like an ackuowledttcmeol that written testimonies did actually exist, than all absolute denial of them & therefore cannot, as the author ima- gines,affect IheBritishChronicle.Thisassertiou however, first provoked the aulhor's resent- ment, and led him to pronounce the whole to be a spurious production, and moreover that the history is little or nothing, and often known Ip be false, and the epistle a mere far- rago of calumny," The slightest acquain- tance with the works of Gildas, will, I am confident, convince any impartial reader that these assertions are completely ill-founded but as they are supported by what the au- thor styles irrefragable arguments, a refuta lion of them will not, I hope, be deemed un- interesting, in the course of which I shall en deavour to give the most convincing proofs, that the works attributed to Gildas arc really genuine, and that the historic narrative is strictly authentic, and in fact the corner-stone ofantient British history, and moreover that it affords a true picture of the times in which Gildas lived. Bangor. J. J.

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