The Religion of the Ancient Celts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 445 pages of information about The Religion of the Ancient Celts.
used a natural shrewdness in such a way as to suggest magic.  But all their power they ascribed to Christ.  “Christ is my Druid”—­the true miracle-worker, said S. Columba.  Yet they were imbued with the superstitions of their own age.  Thus S. Columba sent a white stone to King Brude at Inverness for the cure of his Druid Broichan, who drank the water poured over it, and was healed.[1152] Soon similar virtues were ascribed to the relics of the saints themselves, and at a later time, when most Scotsmen ceased to believe in the saints, they thought that the ministers of the kirk had powers like those of pagan Druid and Catholic saint.  Ministers were levitated, or shone with a celestial light, or had clairvoyant gifts, or, with dire results, cursed the ungodly or the benighted prelatist.  They prophesied, used trance-utterance, and exercised gifts of healing.  Angels ministered to them, as when Samuel Rutherford, having fallen into a well when a child, was pulled out by an angel.[1153] The substratum of primitive belief survives all changes of creed, and the folk impartially attributed magical powers to pagan Druid, Celtic saints, old crones and witches, and Presbyterian ministers.


[1093] IT i. 56; D’Arbois, v. 387.

[1094] See, e.g., “The Death of Muirchertach,” RC xxiii. 394.

[1095] HN xxx. 4, 13.

[1096] Zimmer, Gloss.  Hibern. 183; Reeves, Adamnan, 260.

[1097] Kennedy, 175; cf. IT i. 220.

[1098] See RC xii. 52 f.; D’Arbois, v. 403-404; O’Curry, MS. Mat. 505; Kennedy, 75, 196, 258.

[1099] D’Arbois, v. 277.

[1100] Stokes, Three Middle Irish Homilies, 24; IT iii. 325.

[1101] RC xii. 83; Miss Hull, 215; D’Arbois, v. 424; O’Curry, MC ii. 215.

[1102] Keating, 341; O’Curry, MS. Mat. 271.

[1103] RC xii. 81.

[1104] Miss Hull, 240 f.

[1105] Maury, 14.

[1106] Sebillot, ii. 226 f., i. 101, ii. 225; Berenger-Feraud, Superstitions et Survivances, iii. 169 f.; Stat.  Account, viii. 52.

[1107] Rev. des Trad. 1893, 613; Sebillot, ii. 224.

[1108] Berenger-Feraud, iii. 218 f.; Sebillot, i. 100, 109; RC ii. 484; Frazer, Golden Bough{2}, i. 67.

[1109] D’Arbois, v. 387; IT i. 52; Dixon, Gairloch, 165; Carmichael, Carm.  Gad. ii. 25.

[1110] RC xvi. 152; Miss Hull, 243.

[1111] D’Arbois, v. 133; IT ii. 373.

[1112] Mela, iii. 6; RC xv. 471.

[1113] Joyce, OCR 1 f.; Kennedy, 235.

[1114] Bird-women pursued by Cuchulainn; D’Arbois, v. 178; for other instances see O’Curry, MS. Mat. 426; Miss Hull, 82.

[1115] D’Arbois, v. 215.

[1116] Joyce, OCR 279.

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