Early Britain—Roman Britain eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about Early BritainRoman Britain.

E. 15.—­This Council was called by Constantius II. in the semi-Arian interest, and not allowed to break up till after repudiating the Nicene formula.  But the lapse was only for a moment.  Before the decade was out Athanasius could write of Britain as notoriously orthodox,[416] and before the century closes we have frequent references to our island as a fully Christian and Catholic land.  Chrysostom speaks of its churches and its altars and “the power of the Word” in its pulpits,[417] of its diligent study of Scripture and Catholic doctrine,[418] of its acceptance of Catholic discipline,[419] of its use of Catholic formulae:  “Whithersoever thou goest,” he says, “throughout the whole world, be it to India, to Africa, or to Britain, thou wilt find In the beginning was the Word."[420] Jerome, in turn, tells of British pilgrimages to Jerusalem[421] and to Rome;[422] and, in his famous passage on the world-wide Communion of the Roman See, mentions Britain by name:  “Nec altera Romanae Urbis Ecclesia, altera totius orbis existimanda est.  Et Galliae, et Britanniae, et Africa, et Persis, et Oriens, et Indio, et omnes barbarae nationes, unum Christum adorant, unam observant regulam veritatis."[423]

["Neither is the Church of the City of Rome to be held one, and that of the whole world another.  Both Gaul and Britain and Africa and Persia and the East and India, and all the barbarian nations, adore one Christ, observe one Rule of Truth.”]

SECTION F.

British Missionaries—­Ninias—­Patrick
—­Beatus—­Heresiarchs—­Pelagius Fastidius—­Pelagianism stamped out by Germanus—­The Alleluia Battle—­Romano-British churches—­Why so seldom found—­Conclusion.

F. 1.—­The fruits of all this vigorous Christian life soon showed themselves in the Church of Britain by the evolution of noteworthy individual Christians.  First in order comes Ninias, the Apostle of the Southern Picts, commissioned to the work, after years of training at Rome, by Pope Siricius (A.D. 394), and fired by the example of St. Martin, the great prelate of Gaul.  To this saint (or, to speak more exactly, under his invocation) Ninias, on hearing of his death in A.D. 400, dedicated his newly-built church at Whithern[424] in Galloway, the earliest recorded example of this kind of dedication in Britain.[425] Galloway may have been the native home of Ninias, and was certainly the head-quarters of his ministry.

F. 2.—­The work of Ninias amongst the Picts was followed in the next generation by the more abiding work of St. Patrick amongst the Scots of Ireland.  Nay, even the Continent was indebted to British piety; though few British visitors to the Swiss Oberland remember that the Christianity they see around them is due to the zeal of a British Mission.  Yet there seems no solid reason for doubting that so it is.  Somewhere about the time of St. Patrick, two British priests, Beatus and Justus, entered the district by the Brunig Pass, and set up their first church at Einigen, near Thun.  There Justus abode as the settled Missioner of the neighbourhood, while Beatus made his home in the ivy-clad cave above the lake which still bears his name,[426] sailing up and down with the Gospel message, and evangelizing the valleys and uplands now so familiar to his fellow-countrymen—­Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Muerren, Kandersteg.

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Early Britain—Roman Britain from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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