The first part of the Instructiones is addressed to the heathens and Jews, and ridicules the divinities of classical mythology; the second contains reflections on Antichrist, the end of the world, the Resurrection, and advice to Christians, penitents and the clergy.
Most of the inhabitants continued heathens until, according to the legend, Salsa, a Christian maiden, threw the head of their serpent idol into the sea, whereupon the enraged populace stoned her to death.
Heathens felt in the religion of Israel an escape from their growing scepticism, and a solution to the problem of life.
" The Christianity of the Londoners was of an unsatisfactory character, for, after the death of Sebert, his sons who were heathens stirred up the multitude to drive out their bishop. Mellitus became archbishop of Canterbury, and London relapsed into heathenism.
As yet the law is not impregnated with the Christian spirit; this absence of both Christian and Pagan elements is due to the fact that many of the Franks were still heathens, although their king had been converted to Christianity.
With eighteen companions he set out; but on the borders of the Russian (Lithuanian) country he and all his company were massacred by the heathens (February 14, 1009).
After having done battle with heathens, Jews, Marcionites, Gnostics, Monarchians, and the Catholics, he died an old man, carrying with him to the grave the last remains of primitive Christianity in the West, but at the same time in conflict with himself.
In 1792, Carey, a Baptist, who was not only a cobbler, but a linguist of the highest order, a botanist and zoologist, published his Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens, and the book marks a distinct point of departure in the history of Christianity.
Once more, Gregory is remembered as a great organizer of missionary enterprise for the conversion of heathens and heretics.
In 1748 he published some Remarks on an Enquiry into the Rejection of Christian Miracles by the Heathens (1746), by William Weston, a fellow of St John's College, Cambridge.
Since the epoch of Alexander the Great IIarran had been a famous centre of pagan and Hellenistic culture; its people were Syrian heathens, star-worshippers versed in astrology and magic. In their temples the planetary powers were propitiated by blood-offerings, and it is probable that human victims were occasionally sacrificed even as late as the 9th century of our era.
Mahomet seems for a while to have entertained the thought of adopting al-Rahman as a proper name of God, in place of Allah, which was already used by the heathens.'
They were still heathens, cherishing bitter hatred towards the Franks, whom they regarded as the enemies both of their liberties and of their religion; and their hatred found expression, not only in expeditions into Frankish territory, but in help willingly rendered to every German confederation which wished to throw off the Frankish yoke.