Thursday, June 18, 2009

Augustine's Mission, 597 AD.

Augustine with his companions landed at Ebbsfleet, in Thanet, where Æthelberht's forefathers had landed nearly a century and a half before. After a while Æthelberht arrived. Singing a litany, and bearing aloft a painting of the Saviour, the missionaries appeared before him. He had already learned from his Christian wife to respect Christians, but he was not prepared to forsake his own religion. He welcomed the new-comers, and told them that they were free to convert those who would willingly accept their doctrine. A place was assigned to them in Canterbury, and they were allowed to use Bertha's church. In the end Æthelberht himself, together with thousands of the Kentish men, received baptism. It was more by their example than by their teaching that Augustine's band won converts. The missionaries lived 'after the model of the primitive Church, giving themselves to frequent prayers, watchings, and fastings; preaching to all who were within their reach, disregarding all worldly things as matters with which they had nothing to do, accepting from those whom they taught just what seemed necessary for livelihood, living themselves altogether in accordance with what they taught, and with hearts prepared to suffer every adversity, or even to die, for that truth which they preached.'

1 comment:

  1. The awesome power of eaxmple.

    Do you think that Augustine would have as much sucess if these men weren't baptized?