Numerous scholars have highlighted the push-back of the Celtic church against Rome. The Irish Primate / Bishop Ussher also wrote well on this topic in the 17th Century (which was also recognized in the era King Charles the Martyr restored the office of the Culdees as direct successors of the schools established by St Patrick).
We promised to distribute excerpts of books from other modern specialist scholars on the Celtic separatist orthodoxy of the church. A few of these we are sending on today are “Celt, Druid en Culdee” by Isabel Elder Hill, and “Drama of the Lost Disciples” by Jowett.
Although in our recent broadcast and article on St Elfan, it was more of a centrist stance, we can’t go without showing the rest. The following two books may be in our part 2 (in our Calendar observance of this Saint) in September.
However, as a nice teaser, here are the two books (as mentioned on the live broadcast St Elfan, 2nd Century Welsh Saint of Glastonbury.
Here is the preparatory article from January 1st commemoration: St Elfan Avalonius, 2nd Century Welsh Saint, comm. January 1st and Sept 26 that had that centrist slant. The more hardline books we typically share moreso and these can be found through our libraries. These are just two of the books that you may find of interest, which chapters on this Saint and his king Lucius.
Here are applicable excerpts from the 2 books:
Van Drama of the Lost Disciples by Jowett:
In the year a.d. 170 Lucius founded the majestic church at Winchester, now known as Winchester Cathedral, and familiar to thousands of Canadian soldiers in World War II garrisoned at Winchester as the Battle Abbey of the British Empire. Therein repose its greatest warriors and therein is preserved the elaborate casket of the grandfather of Alfred the Great. Also the Round Table of King Arthur’s fame is preserved in the County Hall. Twenty-seven years after Lucius had nationalized Britain in the Chrisdan faith he sent his two emissaries, Medwy and Elfan, to Rome to obtain permission of Bishop Eleutherius for the return to Britain of some of the British missionaries aiding Eleutherius in his evangelizing work within the Roman Empire, in order that he, Lucius, could better carry out his expansive Christian programme in Britain. Gildas, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Bede, Urban, John of Teig- mouth and Capgrave, referred to ‘as the most learned of English Augusdnians whom the soil of England ever produced’, support the date of return of the emissaries of King Lucius from visiting Bishop Eleutherius at Rome, as that given in the British annals, a.d. 183, over a century and a half before the Roman Catholic Church was founded. Cardinal Baronius not only denounces the Augustinian claim but in detail recites the whole record from the year a.d. 36 onward. Bishop Eleutherius, in his letter to King Lucius, a.d. i 83, plainly shows that he is aware that Lucius possessed all the necessary knowledge of the Christian teachings beforehand and needed no advice from him, and that he had no part in the nationalizing of Britain in the Faith, or in converting or baptizing the British king, otherwise he would have referred to the matter that had occurred twenty-seven years previous to his letter. By this he shows how unjustified is the claim of the Church of Rome, let alone the Roman Catholic Church, which was not yet dreamed of. John Foxe, the talented author of Acts and Monuments, reproduces the controver¬ sial letter as Eleutherius wrote it to King Lucius : ‘The Roman laws and the Emperors we may ever reprove, but the law of God we may not. Ye have received of late through God’s mercy in the realm of Britain the Law and Faith of Christ. 1 Vide Capgrave, John of Teignmouth, Book of Teilo, and William of Malmesbury. GOOD KING LUCIUS NATIONALIZES THE FAITH 205 Ye have within you within the realm both the parties of the Scriptures. Out of them, by God’s grace, with the council of your realm, take ye a law that can, through God’s sufferance, rule your kingdom of Britain. For ye be God’s Vicar in your kingdom, according to the saying of the Psalm, “O God, give Thy Judgment to the King.” ’ Medwy and Elfan returned to Britain with Dyfan and Fagan, both British teachers who had first received their schooling at Avalon. Elfan, Dyfan and Fagan were appointed Bishops in Britain. Elfan succeeded Thcanus, first Bishop of London, who died a.d. 185. The Welsh authorities state that he presided over a congrega¬ tion of Christian Culdees at Glastonbury (Avalon), before he was sent to Rome with Medwy. Pitsaeus, the Roman Catholic Canon, in his Relationes Ilistoricae de Rebus Anglicis, says that Elfan, known as Elvanus of Avalon, was brought up at Glastonbury and was educated in the school of St. Joseph of Arimathea, and that he wrote an informative work concerning the origin of the British church. On being elected as the second Bishop of London, Elfan was the first prelate to occupy the new church erected by King Lucius in memory of St. Peter, a church which has remained famous throughout the centuries of Christian history as St. Peter’s of Cornhill, London. Medwy was made a Doctor of Theology by the king. It seemed that the three newly-appointed Bishops shared Lucius’s deep affection for Avalon and sought to restore it to its original conception, as first founded by St. Joseph with his twelve com¬ panions. 1 From Winchester they journeyed to the Sacred Isle of Avalon, of which Geoffrey of Monmouth writes as follows : ‘There, God leading them, they found an old church built, as ’twas said, by the hands of Christ’s Disciples, and prepared by God Himself for the salvation of souls, which Church the Heavenly Builder Himself showed to be consecrated by many miraculous deeds, and many Mysteries of healing. And they afterwards pondered the Heavenly message that the Lord had specially chosen this spot before all the rest of Britain as the place where His Mother’s name might be invoked. They also found the whole story in ancient writings, how the Holy Apostles were scattered throughout the world. St. Philip coming into France with a host of Disciples sent twelve of them into • Lewis, Glastonbury, Her Saints, pp. 10-11. 206 the drama of the lost disciples Britain to preach, and that there, taught by revelation, they constructed the said chapel which the Son of God afterwards dedicated to the honour of His Mother; and that to these same twelve were given twelve portions of land for their sustenance. Moreover, they found a written record of their doings, and on that account they loved this spot above all others, and they also, in memory of the first twelve, chose twelve of their own, and made them live on the island with the approval of King Lucius. These twelve thereafter abode there in divers spots as anchorites - in the same spots, indeed, which the first twelve inhabited. Yet they used to meet together continuously in the Old Church in order to celebrate Divine worship more devoutly, just as the kings long ago granted the said island with its surroundings to the twelve former Disciples of Christ, so the said Phagan (Fagan) and Deruvian (Dyfan) obtained it from King Lucius for these twelve companions and for others to follow thereafter. And thus, many succeeding these, but always twelve in numbers, abode in the said island during many years up to the coming of St. Patrick, the Apostle of the Irish.’ In this manner, at Avalon, the beautiful past was renewed by Fagan and Dyfan, following in the steps of the Noblis Decurio and his twelve saintly companions, and the many others of the illustrious company of Christ. Returning to the famous letter of Eleutherius to Lucius, we note the remarkable statement naming Lucius ‘Vicar of God’. This is the first time that title was ever bestowed on a king and that a British king and by the Bishop of Rome. By this act the church at Rome declared Lucius to be the head of the church and not they. However, Lucius did not accept or use this honourable title. He recognized the admonition of the Bishops of the British church and of all Christian Britons inured in the faith, that Christ alone was the Head of the Church and the true representative of the Father. Instead, Lucius was named, ‘the most religious King’, a title which every British ruler since who has sat on the British Throne has held. 1 Lucius also established the three famous Archbishoprics at London, York and Caerlon on Usk. In the year a.d. 179 he built the historic St. Peter on Comhill. This church is often referred to as the first Christian church erected in London, of which Elfan was installed as the first Bishop. During the ensuing centuries this chinch was enlarged but was destroyed in the Great Fire of ’ Lewis, Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury, 6th edition, pD. 14-15. GOOD KING LUCIUS NATIONALIZES THE FAITH 20J London which almost completely levelled the ancient city. The tablet telling the history of this great church, embedded in the original walls, survived the Great Fire, and has since been preserved over the mantel of the fireplace in the vestry. It bears the following inscription: ‘Bee it knowne to all men that the yeare of our Lord God 179, Lucius, the first Christian King of the land, then called Britaine, founded the first church in London, that is to say, the church of St. Peter upon Comehill. And hee founded there an Archbishops See and made the church tire metropolitane and chief church of the kingdome; and so indured the space of 400 years unto the coming of St. Austin the Apostle of England, the which was sent into the land by St. Gregoire, the doctor of the church in the time of King Ethelbert. And then was the Arch¬ bishops See and Pall removed from the forsaid church of St. Peter upon Comehill into Dorobemia that now is called Canter¬ bury and there it remaincth to this day. And Millet a monke which came into this land with St. Austin, hee was made Bishop of London and his See was made in St. Paul’s church. And this Lucius king was the first founder of St. Peter’s church upon Comehill. And hee reigned in this land after Brute 1245 yeares. And in the yeare of our Lord God 124, Lucius was crowned king and the yeares of his reign were 77 yeares.’ Among other wonderful churches King Lucius founded was the church at Llandaff and the church at Cardiff, known today as St. Mellors, which is still referred to as Lucius’s Church. He also founded the beautiful church of St. Mary de Lode in the city of Gloucester, where he was interred. In later year, a.d. 679, this church was enlarged and beautified by the Christian king of the British Mercians, Wolphen. It is commonly stated that the Emperor Constantine was the first to have the coin of the realm stamped with the sign of the Cross. The statement is an error. King Lucius, the ancestor of Constantine, was the first to mint his coins displaying the sign of the Cross on one side and on the other side his name ‘Luc’. In the collection in the British Museum exist two coins depicting the reign of King Lucius, bearing the motifs as stated. Of interest is the fact that Arviragus, maternal ancestor of Lucius, was so bitterly opposed to all that was Roman that he made acceptance, or circulation of Roman coins among the British, a capital offence. This refusal to accept Roman coinage by the British lingered well into the reign 208 THE DRAMA OF THE LOST DISCIPLES of Lucius. From Claudius, whom Arviragus first opposed on the field of battle, to the reign of Emperor Hadrian, no coins of inter¬ vening Roman Emperors are to be found in Britain. From Hadrian onwards complete series of Roman coins are found. An examination of the coinage exhibit in the British Museum substantiates these facts and the notable omission. The coins of Arviragus are con¬ sidered to be the most magnificent minted. An eminent numismatic expert made the remark : ‘Wherever a coin of the British King Arviragus is shown in any coin collection, it stands out as a gem.’ The coins of Cunobelinus bear the inscription on one side of his name ‘Cuno’, on the reverse side a galloping charger and the plume of three ostrich feathers. The interesting part is that the coins of these three famed British kings were all minted at Colchester. Historians pay little attention to this ancient city. Focus is all on the great centres such as London, Winchester, York, Edinburgh, Canterbury and others. Few are as steeped in British tradition, where so many notable events had their beginnings, events that are milestones in the destiny of nations and, in particular, Christianity, as we shall see as we pursue our story. Colchester is a quiet little city today, but what a mass of startling history it contains for those who have the energy to part the curtains of time and examine the records. Of all the great disciples of Christ, King Lucius is in all proba¬ bility the least known. To the average person his name has no meaning. All he did to solidify the Christian foundation is not even considered, let alone remembered. Historians by-pass him as though he never existed, in spite of the wealth of information describing his life and achievements at hand. The talented Foxe, in his Acts and Monuments, wrote: ‘The said Lucius after he had founded many churches, and given great riches and liberties to the same, deceased with great tranquillity in his own land, and was buried at Gloucester.’ King Lucius died December 3, in the year a.d. 201, after a long reign of seventy-seven years. The learned Alban Butler 1 states that Lucius was buried first at St. Mary de Lode, the lovely church he founded at Gloucester, then later was reinterred in the other church he built, St. Peter’s upon Cornhill, for which church he had a deep affection. Much later, his remains were again translated to Glou- 1 The Lives of the Saints (1756). GOOD KING LUCIUS NATIONALIZES THE FAITH 20g cester, where they were placed in the choir of the 1' ranciscan church by the Earls of Berkley and Clifford, which church, the Church of the Grey Friars, was founded by these two famous families. There is another record concerning the death of King Lucius, chronicled in the Roman Martyrologics, which states that Lucius abdicated his throne and with his sister, St. Emerita, travelled as a missionary through Bavaria, Rhoetia and Vindelicia, meeting a martyr’s death near Curia in Germany. According to an old transcript recorded circa a.d. 685, Lucius, king of the British, and his sister Emerita, arc buried in the crypt of the old cathedral at Chur (Coire), the capital of the Grisons Canton, Switzerland. Cressy the Benedictine, who wrote following the Reformation, quoting from these old chronicles, recites the above in his book Church History of Brittany. Students of the life of the illustrious King Lucius state that the Roman Martyrologies have the British king confused with the religious Bavarian King Lucius, who was martyred near Curia in Germany. In A Guide to the Cathedral, compiled by the Rev. H. Haines in 1867 at Gloucester, he writes : ‘King Lucius was baptized on May 28, a.d. 137, and died on December 3, 201. His feast has been kept on both these days, but the latter is now universal. There exists a wealth of material extolling the exemplary life of Good King Lucius, among which are the writings of Bede, Nennius, Elfan, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cressy, William of Malmesbury, Ussher, who states he had consulted twenty-three works on Lucius: Rees, Baronius, Alford, The Book of Llandaff, Welsh Triads, The Mabinogion, Achau Saint Prydain, and many other reliable works, all of which pay noble tribute to this famed Christian monarch, who devoted his entire life as a disciple in Christ’s service, to the benefit of the Christian world which has forgotten him. The lasting benefits of the wonderful achievements of King Lucius on the realm endured for well over one hundred years after his death. The people and the land thrived in peace and prosperity. The Venerable Bede, writing a.d. 740, sums up the picture in a few brief words, but in his characteristic eloquence : ‘The Britons preserved the faith which they had nationally received under King Lucius uncorrupted and entire, and con¬ tinued in peace and tranquillity until the time of the Emperor Diocletian’ (Bk. 1, ch. 4). 210 THE DRAMA OF THE LOST DISCIPLES The savage Diocletian persecution broke the peace and produced the conquering Constantine, known to history as the Emperor Constantine the Great, a direct descendant of Lucius, Arviragus and Caractacus, a stalwart champion and disciple of the Christian faith. The seed never perished, enduring from one generation to another. In times of peace its strength coursed beneath calm waters, ever ready to crash to the surface in stormy conflict to defend the priceless heritage as circumstances demanded. In every case it was a prince of the royal blood who stalwartly and often heroically stood forth to meet the challenge of battle oppression. And in each case the Defender of the Faith was a true lineal descendant of those valiant British kings and queens of so many centuries ago, even as is today Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth.
From “Celt, Druid and Culdee” we share this relevant excerpt:
To trace the history of the Culdees from the days of St. Columba is a comparatively easy task; to find their origin is more difficult. In the minute examination which such an investigation involves the name Culdee is discovered to have quite a different origin from that usually assigned to it. The obscurity of the origin of the Culdich (Anglicized Culdees) has led many writers to assume that their name was derived from their life and work. The interpretations 'Cultores Dei' (Worshippers of God) and 'Gille De' (Servants of God) are ingenious but do not go far to solve the problem. Culdich is still in use among some of the Gael, of Cultores Dei and Gille De they know nothing.(1) John Calgan, the celebrated hagiologist and topographer, translates Culdich 'quidam advanae' - certain strangers(2) - particularly strangers from a distance; this would seem an unaccountable interpretation of the name for these early Christians were it not for the statement of Freculphus(3) that certain friends and disciples of our Lord, in the persecution that followed His Ascension, found refuge in Britain in A.D. 37.(4) Further, here is the strong, unvarying tradition in the West of England of the arrival in this country in the early days A.D. of certain 'Judean refugees'. It seems impossible to avoid the conclusion that Colgan's Culdich, 'certain strangers', were one and the same with these refugees who found asylum in Britain and were hospitably received by Arviragus (Caractacus), king of the West Britons or Silures and temporarily settled in a Druidic college. Land to the extent of twelve hides or ploughs, on which they built the first Christian church, was made over to them in free gift by Arviragus. This land has never been taxed. 49 Of the twelve hides of land conferred by Arviragus on this church, the Domesday Survey, A.D. 1088, supplies conformation. 'The Domus Dei, in the great monastery in Glastonbury. This Glastngbury Church possesses in its own villa XII hides of land which have never paid tax.(5) In Spelman's 'Concilia'(6) is an engraving of a brass plate which was formerly affixed to a column to mark the exact site of the church in Glastonbury.(7) 'The first ground of God, the first ground of the Saints in Britain, the rise and foundation of all religion in Britain, the burial place of the Saints.'(8) This plate was dug up at Glastonbury and came into Spelman's possession. From a 'mass of evidence' to which William of Malmesbury gave careful study, the antiquity of the Church of Glastonbury was unquestionable. He says: 'From its antiquity called, by way of distinction, "Ealde Chirche", that is the Old Church of wattlework at first, savoured somewhat of heavenly sanctity, even from its very foundation, and exhaled it all over the country, claiming superior reverence, though the structure was mean. Hence, here assembled whole tribes of the lower orders, thronging every path; hence assembled the opulent, divested of their pomp; hence it became the crowded residence of the religious and the literary. For, as we have heard from men of elder times, here Gildas, an historian, neither unlearned nor inelegant, captivated by the sanctity of the place, took up his abode for a series of years. This Church, then, is certainly the oldest I am acquainted with in England, and from this circumstance derives its name. Moreover there are documents of no small credit, which have been discovered in certain places, to the following effect: No other hands than those of the disciples of Christ erected the Church at Glastonbury .... for if Phillip the Apostle reached to the Gauls, as Freculphus relates in the fourth chapter of his second book, it may be believed that he also planted the word on the hither side of the channel.'(19) The first converts of the Culdees were Druids. The Druids of Britain, in embracing Christianity, found no difficulty in reconciling the teaching of the Culdees, or 'Judean refugees', with their own teaching of the resurrection and inheritance of eternal life. Numerous writers have commented upon the remarkable coincidence which existed between the two systems - Druidism and Christianity. (Amongst the Druidic names for the Supreme God which they had in use before the introduction of Christianity were the terms: 'Distributor', 'Governor', 'The Mysterious One', 'The Wonderful', The Ancient of Days', terms strictly of Old Testament origin.(10) 50 Taliesen, a bard of the sixth century, declares : 'Christ, the Word from the beginning, was from the beginning our teacher, and we never lost His teaching. Christianity was a new thing in Asia, but there never was a time when the Druids of Britain held not its doctrines.'(11) From 'Ecclesiastical An Antiquities' of the Cymry we learn that the Silurian Druids embraced Christianity on its first promulgation in these islands, and that in right of their office they were exclusively elected as Christian ministers, though their claims to national privileges as such were not finally sanctioned until the reign of Lles ap Coel (Lucius), A.D. 156. Even so all the bardic privileges and immunities were recognized by law before the reign of this king. 'And those Druids that formerly had dominion of the Britons' faith become now to be helpers of their joy and are become the leaders of the blind, which through God's mercy hath continued in this Island ever since through many storms and dark mists of time until the present day.'(12) A Welsh Triad mentions Amesbury (Avebury) in Wiltshire as one of the three great Druidic 'Cors' or colleges of Britain, and one of the earliest to be converted to Christian uses. In the church attached to this college there were two thousand four hundred 'saints', that is, there were a hundred for every hour of the day and night in rotation, perpetuating the praise of God without intermission. This mode of worship was very usual in the early Church.(13) The Christian king Lucius, third in descent from Winchester, and grandson of Pudens and Claudia(14) built the first minister on the site of a Druidic Cor at Winchester, and at a National Council held there in A.D.156 established Christianity the national religion as the natural successor to Druidism, when the Christian ministry was inducted into all the rights of the Druidic hierarchy, tithes included.(15) The change over from Druidism was not a mere arbitrary act of the king, for, according to the Druidic law, there were three things that required the unanimous vote of the nation: deposition of the Sovereign, suspension of law, introduction of novelties in religion.(16) Archbishop Usher quotes twenty-three authors, including Bede and Nennius, on this point and also brings in proof from ancient British coinage.(17) So uncontested was the point that at the Council of Constance it was pleaded as an argument for British precedence. 'There are many circumstances', writes Lewis Spence, 51 'connected with the Culdees to show that if they practised a species of Christianity their doctrine still retained a large measure of the Druidic philosophy, and that indeed they were the direct descendants of the Druidic caste.... The Culdees who dwelt on Iona and professed the rule of Columba, were Christianized Druids, mingling with their faith a large element of the ancient Druidic cultus. . . . But all their power they ascribed to Christ - Christ is my Druid, said Columba.'(18) Toland says that: '...the Druidical college of Derry was converted into a Culdee monastery. In Wales Druidism cease to be practised by the end of the FIRST century, but long after the advent of St.Patrick the chief monarchs of Ireland adhered to Druidism... Laegaire and all the provincial kings of Ireland, however, granted to every man free liberty of preaching and professing the Christian religion if he wished to do so.'(19) The cumulative evidence of early historians leaves no shadow of doubt that Britain was one of the first, if not THE FIRST country to receive the Gospel, and that the apostolic missionaries were instrumental in influencing the change whereby the native religion of Druidism merged into Christianity.(20) It is a remarkable circumstance that while statues of gods and goddesses prevail throughout the heathen sites of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Hindu and other idolatrous nations, NOT A VESTIGE of an IDOL or IMAGE has been found in Britain. If Mithraism is argued to contest this statement it should be observed that invaders were not free from idolatry. Mithra worship was a Roman importation. The British were entirely free from all forms of idolatry; they never adopted Mithraism. The Druids' invocation was to ONE all-healing and all-saving power. Can we be surprised that they so readily embraced the gospel of Christ? Further support for the early introduction of Christianity to Britain is gathered from the following widely diverse sources: EUSEBIUS of Ceasarea speaks of apostolic missions to Britain as matters of notoriety. 'The Apostles passed beyond the ocean to the isles called the Brittanic Isles.'(21) TERTULLIUS of Carthage, A.D.208, the embodiment of the highest learning of that age, tells us that the Christian Church in the second century extended to 'all the boundaries of Spain, and the different nations of Gaul and parts of Britain inaccessible to the Romans but subject to Christ.'(22) 52 ORIGEN, in the third century states: 'The power of Lord is with those who in Britain are separated from our coasts.'(23) 'From India to Britain', writes St.JEROME, A.D.378, 'all nations resound with the death and resurrection of Christ.'(24) ARNOBIUS, on the same subject, writes: 'So swiftly runs the word of God that within the space of a few years His word is concealed neither from the Indians in the East nor from the Britons in the West.'(25) CHRYSOSTOM, Patriarch of Constantinople, A.D.402, supplies evidence in these words: 'The British Isles which lie beyond the sea, and which lie in the ocean, have received the virtue of the Word. Churches are there found and altars erected. Though thou should'st go to the ocean, to the British Isles, there thou should'st hear all men everywhere discussing matters out of the Scriptures.'(26) GILDS, the British historian, writing in A.D.542, states: 'We certainly know that Christ, the True Sun, afforded His light, the knowledge of His precepts, to our Island in the last year of the reign of Tiberias Caesar, A.D.37.'(27) Sir HENRY SPELMAN states: 'We have abundant evidence that this Britain of ours received the Faith, and that from the disciples of Christ Himself soon after the Crucifixion',(28) POLYDORE VERGIL observes: 'that Britain was of all kingdoms the first that received the Gospel'.(29) The fact that Lucius established Christianity as the State religion excludes the claim of the Latin Church to that eminence. That this early establishment was acknowledged beyond the confines of Britain is well expressed by Sabellius, A.D.250. 'Christianity was privately expressed elsewhere, but the first nation that proclaimed it as their religion, and called itself Christian, after the name of Christ, was Britain';(30) and Ebrard remarks, 'The glory of Britain consists not only in this, that she was the first country which in a national capacity publicly professed herself Christian, but that she made this confession when the Roman Empire itself was pagan and a cruel persecutor of Christianity.' The writer of 'Vale Royal' states: 'The Christian faith and baptism came into Chester in the reign of Lucius, king of the Britons, probably from Cambria, circa A.D.140.'(31) Missionaries are said to have come from Glastonbury, only thirty miles distant, to instruct the Druids of Amesbury in the Christian faith. When the Druids adopted and preached Christianity, their universities were turned into Christian 53 colleges and the Druid priests became Christian ministers; the transition was to them a natural one. In the days of Giraldus Cambrensis (twelfth century), as a result of Roman Catholic doctrine, martyrdom and celibacy were much overrated, and it was thought a reproach to the Druids that none of their saints had 'cemented' the foundation of the Church with their blood, all of them being confessors, and not one gaining the crown of martyrdom.(32) An absurd charge, blaming the people for their reasonableness, moderation and humanity, and taxing the new converts for not provoking persecution in order to gain martyrdom. It is not contended that every individual Druid and bard accepted Christianity on its first promulgation in Britain Even after Christianity had become a national religion, petty kings, princes and the nobility retained, in many instances, Druids and bards. Druidism did not entirely cease until almost a thousand years after Christ. Had the large collection of British archives and MSS deposited at Verulum as late as A.D.860 descended to our time, invaluable light would have been thrown on this as on many other subjects of native interest. We read in an historical essay, 'The Ancient British Church', by the Rev.John Pryce, which was awarded the prize at the National Eisteddfod of 1876, these words: 'In this distant corner of the earth (Britain), cut off from the rest of the world, unfrequented except by merchants from the opposite coast of Gaul, a people who only conveyed to the Roman mind the idea of untamed fierceness was being prepared for the Lord. Forecasting the whole from the beginning and at length bringing the work to a head, the Divine Logos unveiled Himself to them in the person of Christ, as the realization of their searching instincts and the fulfilment of their highest hopes. It would be difficult to conceive of Christianity being preached to any people for the first time under more favourable conditions. There was hardly a feature in their national character in which it would not find a chord answering and vibrating to its touch. Theirs was not the sceptical mind of the Greek, nor the worn-out civilization of the Roman, which even Christianity failed to quicken into life, but a religious, impulsive imagination - children in feeling and knowledge, and therefore meet recipients of the good news of the kingdom of heaven. To a people whose sense of future existence was so absorbing that its presentiment was almost too deeply felt by them, the preaching of Jesus and the Resurrection would appeal with irresistible force. 54 There was no violent divorce between the new teaching and that of their own Druids, nor were they called upon so much to reverse their ancient faith to lay it down for a fuller and more perfect revelation. Well has the Swedish poet, Tegner, in 'Frithiofs Saga', pictured the glimmerings of the dawn of Gospel day, when he described the old priest as prophesying 'All hail, ye generations yet unborn Than us far happier; ye shall one day drink That cup of consolation, and behold The torch of Truth illuminate the world, Yet do not us despise; for we have sought With earnest zeal and unaverted eye, To catch one ray of that ethereal light, Alfader still is one, and still the same; But many are his messengers Divine.' 1. Rev. T. McLauchlan, 'The Early Scottish Church,' p.431. 2. Trias Thaumaturga, p.156b. 3. Freculphus apud Godwin, p.10. See Hist. Lit.,II,18. 4. Baronius add. ann. 306. Vatican MSS. Nova Legenda. 5. Domesday Survey Fol., p.449. 6. See Epistolae ad Gregorium Papam. 7. See Joseph of Arimathea, by Rev.L.Smithett Lewis. 8. Concilia, Vol.I, p.9. 9. Malmes., 'History of the Kings,' pp.19,20. 10.G.Smith, 'Religion of Ancient Britain,' Chap. II, p.37. 11.Morgan, 'St.Paul in Britain,' p.73. 12.Nath. Bacon, 'Laws and Government of England,' p.3. 13.Baronius ad Ann 459, ex. Actis Marcelli. 14.Moncaeus Atrebas, 'In Syntagma,' p.38. 15.Nennius(ed.Giles), p.164. Book of Llandau, pp.26,68,289. 16.Morgan's 'British Cymry.' 17.Ussher (ed.1639), pp.5,7,20. 18.'The Mysteries of Britain,' pp.62,64,65. 19.Dudley Wright, 'Druidism,' p.12. 20.Holinshed, 'Chronicles,' p.23. 21.'De Demostratione Evangelii,' Lib. III. 22.'Adv.Judaeos,' Chap. VII. Def. Fidei, p.179. 23.Origen, 'Hom. VI in Lucae.' 24.'Hom. in Isaiah,' Chap. LIV and Epist. XIII ad Paulinum. 25.'Ad Psalm,' CXLV, III. 26.Chrysostom, 'Orat O Theo Xristos.' 27.'De Excidio Britanniae,' Sect. 8, p.25. 28.'Concilia,' fol., p.1. 29.Lib. II. 30.Sabell. Enno, Lib. VII, Chap. V. 31.King's 'Vale Royal,' Bk. II, p.25. 32.Topograph. Hibern Distinct. III, Cap. XXIX.
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