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For the North Wales Gazette.


For the North Wales Gazette. NUMBER 11. The author of an attempt to.prove the pu riousness of Gildas, takes it for granted thai the Roman Catholics were as early as the sixth century so bent upon the annihilation of the British Church as to take every oppor- tunity of vilifying their history, and destroy y t, I y tng or interpolating their records, in order to advance the papal power. This is the touch- stone upon which tif- t-stiniates the validit of all traditionary writings, and upon white hegroimds hisobjectious to the Genui ieneof Gildns. Accordingly he commences hi* at- I el tack by observing that throughout the whole of Gildas there is an evident enmity againsi Britain, and partiality to every thing Roman." This partiality, he continues, is not oniy ge nerally but, marked by decisive ex- pressions: hence the brave Ambrosius is said to be of Romali extraction, and the battle of Badon Hill intentionally omitted m the histo- ry Ha d the author given Gildas an attentive perusal, he must have observed that the bat- tIt: of Badon Hill is expressly mentioned in the 26th chapter, though he dues not enter into a particular detail of it, as being fresh in the memories of his country tneu. The character given to Ambrosius, is, as 1 shall hereafter shew, agreeable to the concurrent testimony of Historians, by which it appears that he was a Roman by descent, and therefore no suspi- cion can reasonably be attached to him of hi vouring the Romish Church for stating this in his history. The parliality for Rmne and enmity against Britain which the Author pre- tends to have discovered in these writings is nothing more than a just representation of the state of the country, and of the culpable neg led of the natives in consulting1 their own se- curity. Gildas informs us that Britain be- came subject to Rome without making a very strenuous opposition. How far he is correct iu this instance it is unnecessary at present to decide. He justly reprobates the treachery of his countrymen when under the protection of Rome, as the whole Island was completely Homauized, alld the natives incapable of de- fending themselves without the aid of the Ro- ftiait Legions. This was fully verified in the event of their departure from it, and the ca lamitous period which ensued: in which Gil das accuses his countrymen of being more prone to civil contentions among themselves, than prompt in repelling their invaders." It is natural to suppose from the state of the times, that the Britons had cause to lament the departure of the Komans, and were very d- sirous of their return. We are accordingly informed that supplicating letters were repeat- edly sent to solicit their assistance, till the distracted state of the Roman empire render- ed them unable to afford any further rclicf.- These are undoubtedly the grounds upon which Gildas expresses a partiality for the Romans, and accuses his countrymen of want of spirit and unanimity, which the au thor.byamostcompietcperverstonorthe sense, has interpreted into expressions of the foulest malignity against the British Church, and au insidious attempt foestablish the Pope's supremacy. Hence lie proceeds to observe that throughout the whole of it, there is a decisive labouring to create an opinion that Britain ought to depend upon, and be subject to Rome in Ecclesiastical matters, and to encourage the Saxons, by giving them a false idea of the Britons as incapable of re- sistance." The words of Giltias are so decidedly repug nant to such views, that not one single passage can by the most forced construction be inter- preted as having the most distant reference to Ihe Bishop of Rortie, or any Ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The History, as I shall endea- vour to shew, is drawn up with the greatest accuracy, and possesses a very considerable share of merit, and the Epistle contains the effusions of a warm advocate for Christianity, agonized at the unhappy state of hiscoun try. They have been pronounced spurious because they are supposed to favour the pre tensions of the See of Home. The author eellls to have a most unaccountable antipa- thy to every thing belonging to llotne. This prejudice so predominates in his opinions, and pervades his rf-iiiirkm Gildas so entirely, as to make him confound the Roman Govern- ment with the Church of Rome, and to dis- cover, wherever the word Roman occurs, some designing allusion to the peculiar doctrines of that Church. Now had these writings been really forgeries, and contrived for the pllr poses just mentioned, the principles of IheRo- mish Church would be strongly marked in >hem, and less pains bestowed on the Histo- ric narrative. The tendency of them would be obvious to persons of no great discernment nor is it possible that the author of such a forgery could have concealed his motives so artfully, as to escape detection, and make it pass for real History, during so many centu- ries, till the penetrating genius of a modern writer discovered in them the foulest malig- ity, and motives of the most unprincipled imposition." Such is the light in which the valuable productions of Gildas are now repre- sented, and, painful as the task appears to have been, the whole forgery developed. Bangor. J. J.

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