Unformatted text preview: upported by many advantages. He was appointed successor by the will of his father:p He was approaching to man’s estate, and might soon be able to take into his own hands the reins of government: The principal nobility, dreading the imperious temper of Elfrida, were averse to her son’s government, which must enlarge her authority, and probably put her in possession of the regency: Above all, Dunstan, whose character of sanctity had given him the highest credit with the people, had espoused the cause of Edward, over whom he had already acquired a great ascendant;q and he was determined to execute the will of Edgar in his favour. To cut off all opposite pretensions, Dunstan resolutely anointed and crowned the young prince at Kingston; and the whole kingdom, without farther dispute, submitted to him.r It was of great importance to Dunstan and the monks, to place on the throne a king favourable to their cause: The secular clergy had still partizans in England, who wished to support them in the possession of the convents, and of the ecclesiastical authority. On the first intelligence of Edgar’s death, Alfere, duke of Mercia, expelled the new orders of monks from all the monasteries which lay within his jurisdiction;s but Elfwin, duke of East-Anglia, and Brithnot, duke of the East-Saxons, protected them within their territories, and insisted upon the execution of the late laws enacted in their favour. In order to settle this controversy, there were summoned several synods, which, according to the practice of those times, consisted partly of ecclesiastical members, partly of the lay nobility. The monks were able to prevail in these assemblies; though, as it appears, contrary to the secret wishes, if not the declared inclination, of the leading men in the nation.t They had more invention in forging miracles to support their cause; or having been so fortunate as to obtain, by their pretended austerities, the character of piety, their miracles were more credited by the populace. In one synod, Dunstan, finding the majority of votes against him, rose up, and informed the audience, that he had that instant, received an immediate revelation in behalf of the monks: The assembly was so astonished at this intelligence, or probably so overawed by the populace, that they proceeded no farther in their deliberations. In another synod, a voice issued from the crucifix, and informed the members, that the establishment of the monks was founded on the will of heaven, and could not be opposed without impiety.u But the miracle performed in the third synod was still more alarming: The floor of the hall in which the assembly met, sunk of a sudden, and a great number of the members were either bruised or killed by the fall. It was remarked, that Dunstan had that day prevented the king from attending the synod, and that the beam, on which his own chair stood, was the only one that did not sink under the weight of the assembly:w But these circumstances, instead of begetting any suspicion of contrivance, were regarded as the surest proof of the immediate interposition of providence, in behalf of those favourites of heaven. PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 85 htt...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course CHIN 101 taught by Professor Dr.yu during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .
- Spring '08