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How the Gospel came to Britain #4

More revealing Histories


                             by

                       Brian Williams



ST. PAUL IN BRITAIN

     THERE was no greater enemy of the infant Church than Saul of
Tarsus. When, shortly after Pentecost, Stephen had been stoned to
death by the Jews to become the first Christian martyr, "the
witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose
name was Saul ... and Saul was consenting unto his death".1
     Consumed by religious zeal and impelled by the same spirit
of which Jesus spoke, "yea, the time cometh, that whosoever
killeth you will think that he doeth God service",2 Saul "made
havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men
and women committed them to prison".3
     As he Was later to testify, Saul was "a Jew, born in Tarsus,
a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city [Jerusalem] at the
feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of
the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God ... and I
persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into
prisons both men and women "4
     The day came when Saul of Tarsus would go up to Damascus to
extend the field of his activities yet further. "And Saul, yet
breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of
the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters
to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this
[Christian] way, whether they were men or women, he might bring
them bound unto Jerusalem".5 
     So much for Saul's plan, but God had other plans in mind!
"And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there
shined round about him A LIGHT FROM HEAVEN: and he fell to the
earth, and heard a VOICE saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why
persecutest thou Me? And he said, Who art Thou, Lord? And the
Lord said, I AM JESUS WHOM THOU PERSECUTEST: it is hard for thee
to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said,
Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him,
Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou
must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless,
hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the
earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led
him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three
days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink"6
     "And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named
Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he
said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise,
and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in
the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus" - notice that
the Lord has given Ananias the exact name and address! "for,
behold, he prayeth, and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias
coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his
sight".7
     "Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this
man, how much evil he hath done to Thy saints at Jerusalem and
here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that
call on Thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way:for he
is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the GENTILES,
and KINGS, and the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL for I will shew him how
great things he must suffer for My name's sake"8
     "And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and
putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even
Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath
sent me, that thou mightiest receive thy sight, and be filled
with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as
it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose,
and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was
strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which
were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the
synagogues, that He is the Son of God"9
     There we have the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, the
arch-persecutor of the Church of God, who became Paul, the great
Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. What a WONDERFUL story this is!
Be sure to read it again from the Bible, and also read the story
in Paul's own words as he told it before the Jews at Jerusalem 10
and before King Agrippa at Caesarea. May we say this. JESUS
CHRIST IS ALIVE. His power is REAL. He still has power to change
men's lives, as He changed this writer's life sixteen years ago
(that would have been 1954, as Williams was writing this book in
1970 - Keith Hunt). If you ever see Jesus, your life will be
changed. If you ever meet the Lord, you will never be the same
again!
     Now we read in the Bible of the missionary journeys of Paul
to Ephesus, Philippi, Corinth, Thessalonica, Colosse, Cyprus,
Athens and Malta and the Acts of the Apostles leaves him in Rome.
Paul is always thought of as the 'Apostle to the Gentiles', but
how many people have noticed the commission he received of the
Lord at the commencement of his ministry? Notice what the Lord
told Ananias, "Go thy way: for he [Paul] is a chosen vessel unto
Me, to bear My name before the GENTILES, and KINGS, and the
CHILDREN OF ISRAEL"11
     Now we know how Paul fulfilled his commission to the
Gentiles. Paul himself said, "For He that wrought effectually in
Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision [Jews], the same was
mighty in me toward the GENTILES "12 He spoke also of "the grace
that is given to me of God, that I should be the minister of
Jesus Christ to the GENTILES ... to make the GENTILES obedient,
by word and deed, through mighty signs and wonders, by the power
of the Spirit of God ".13
     We can see, too, how Paul was used of God to bear Christ's
name before kings. We read of his appearance before Felix 14,
Festus 15, and King Agrippa.16 We know that the Lord assured him,
"Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar"17
     But when did Paul minister to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL? We
know that Paul did preach to the Jews, but as we saw in Chapter
One, when Jesus sent His apostles "to the LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE
OF ISRAEL",18 they understood that their ministry was not
confined to the Jews in Palestine, but would take them "unto the
UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH".19 And Paul received exactly the
same commission. He was to bear Christ's name before the CHILDREN
OF ISRAEL. Moreover, lest there be any confusion in our minds as
to whether it was the Jews who were thus designated, Paul himself
tells us that it was Peter who was specifically the apostle of
the circumcision [Jews]20 and he, Paul, "strived to preach the
gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon
another man's foundation".21 So, if Paul was specially
commissioned to preach to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL who were not the
Jews, how and when did he do so, and why does the Bible have
nothing to say about it?
     Notice how The Acts of the Apostles ends and bear in mind
that this is the only inspired history we have of the early
Church. "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house,
and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of
God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus
Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him".22 There the
record ends. Nothing more is said. There is not so much as
an 'Amen' to conclude the record. We find Paul still preaching
the gospel of the Kingdom, the same Kingdom about which Jesus
taught His apostles and concerning which "they asked of Him,
saying, Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to
Israel?", the same Kingdom of God which Jesus said would be 
"taken from [the Jews], and given to a nation bringing forth the
fruits thereof" - we find Paul still preaching the same message,
and then the Bible record ends abruptly, almost as though the
writer had been cut short lest he give vital information away.
     Now there are only three books in the New Testament which
end without an Amen'. They are, as we have just seen, the Acts of
the Apostles, the General Epistle of James, and the Third Epistle
of John. (Check this fact for yourself - don't just accept our
word for it!) This is significant, for we know that "holy men of
God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost",23 and "All
scripture is given by inspiration of God",24 and so even what the
Bible leaves unsaid is of the greatest importance.
     The reason that these three books lack an 'Amen ' is that we
might understand that they are incomplete. That is to say, they
are incomplete not in the sense that anything relevant to
personal salvation is concerned, but that they contain unspoken
information which is not immediately apparent but which, if we
are willing for the Holy Spirit to teach us, God Himself will
bring to our understanding. In other words, where a book of the
New Testament ends without an 'Amen', the Lord intends us to
search its pages to seek out the hidden information which He has
reserved for those who will diligently study His Word.
     Thus in 3 John we hear of "Diotrephes, who loveth to have
the preeminence among them, [and] receiveth us not ... prating
against us with malicious words: and not content therewith,
neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them
that would, and casteth them out of the church".25 Here, if we
will permit the Holy Spirit to open God's Word unto us, is
evidence of "the mystery of iniquity", which, Paul said, "doth
already work".26 We remember how Paul warned the elders at
Ephesus, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the
flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to
feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own
blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous
wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your
own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw
away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by
the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and
day with tears ".27
     So this third epistle of John, short as it is, contains most
vital information which it is essential for us to have if we are
to understand the apparent division of the supposed Church of
God, and the multitudinous sects which we have today. In fact,
the historical protestant denominations have their origin, so far
as organization and doctrine are concerned, in the Church of
Rome, the counterfeit church so clearly revealed in the Bible and
which had begun to be evident in the apostle John's day....
     Similarly, James gives us hidden information in his epistle
which significantly is addressed "to the TWELVE TRIBES which are
scattered abroad".28 Later he asks, "From whence come wars and
fightings among you?".29 If we are to take these words literally
(and there is no reason why we should not), we infer that,
wherever the tribes of Israel were, there was war there. The
astonishing fact is that at the time when James wrote his
epistle, about A.D. 60, there was warfare only in Parthia and
Britain!
     We do not suggest that this fact alone is conclusive
evidence of the re-appearance of the tribes of Israel in Britain
but it is at least significant. What is important to note is that
James does not state the exact location of the twelve tribes. If
he had done so, the world would have known the identity of God's
Israel people, but His chosen race,30 "His servant nation,"31 had
to be hidden from view, themselves completely unaware of their
destiny, until such time as the veil should be taken away from
their eyes, a day which is fast approaching as Britain learns the
hard way that her present humiliation before the world is the
result of her abandonment of her sacred trust from God.
     To return to the Acts of the Apostles. We have noted that
far from telling us the acts of the Twelve Apostles, the book has
very little to say about them. They very early vanish from the
narrative and, as we have already seen, there is much evidence to
prove that some, at least, of the Apostles came to Britain.
     Now we suggest that since there is no 'Amen' at the close of
the book of Acts, there must be internal evidence within that
book of an important development in the history of the primitive
Church, and we suggest that it has to do with Paul's apparently
unfulfilled commission to preach the gospel to the children of
Israel. As was the case with the Twelve Apostles, and as was the
case with "the twelve tribes scattered abroad" mentioned by
James, so, we suggest, is the case with Paul. If we knew where
the Twelve Apostles went, and if we knew where Paul eventually
got to, we should know where GOD'S ISRAEL PEOPLE WERE. That
information had to be restricted that the purposes of God
be not frustrated, but now it can be revealed. Notice What the
Lord told Daniel, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and
seal the book, even to the TIME OF THE END: many shall run to and
fro, and knowledge shall be increased [and] THE WISE SHALL
UNDERSTAND"32
     So, what happened to Paul? The Acts of the Apostles ends
like this, "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired
house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the
kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord
Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him".33 
     It is widely believed that Paul was afterwards set free and
that it was at a much later date that he suffered martyrdom in
the city of Rome. Meanwhile, six years of his life are
unaccounted for.
     We do know that Paul was intending to visit Spain, for he
wrote to the Christians at Rome, "Whensoever I take my journey
into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my
journey ... When therefore I have performed this ... I Will come
by you into Spain".34 Did Paul visit Spain, and did he visit the
British Isles?
     Now there is in existence a document known as the 29th
Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. Personally, we do not for
one moment believe this to have been written by Luke, nor do we
accept it as bearing the marks of divine inspiration. The present
writer does not believe that anything needs to be added to the
canon of Scripture as we have it, nor yet anything taken away
from it. The Bible says, "If any man shall add unto these things,
God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this
prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of 
life".35
     This document is interesting, however, inasmuch as it
purports to describe a visit of the apostle Paul to Britain. The
document, called the "Sonnini Manuscript" is supposedly the
translation of an original Greek manuscript said to have been
found in the archives of Constantinople. There is some question
as to the authenticity of this document, but whoever its writer
was, he was at least familiar with the tradition that Paul came
to London. (see this chapter reproduced for you on this Website -
Keith Hunt).
     Certainly the first fourteen verses of this "Long Lost
Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles" are most striking. Mount Lud
is, of course, the site of St.Paul's Cathedral and has indeed
been the place where people from many nations have worshipped the
Lord. "The seventh numbering of the people "could refer to the
seventh National Census which was taken in 1861 and it is
certainly true that from about that time the scriptural identity
of the British people began to be understood. (Write for Our FREE
book "Britain in Prophecy" - reproduced for you on this Website -
Keith Hunt)
     The tradition Paul came to Britain is a strong one. He is
said to have preached from the summit of Ludgate Hill where St.
Paul's Cathedral now stands. The ancient St.Paul's Cross is said
to mark the spot where the apostle stood as he preached the
gospel. The reputed presence of Paul in London is said to account
for his having been made patron saint of that city. Today, his
emblem, the sword of martyrdom, is incorporated in the Coat of
Arms of the City of London. Why, if Paul was never here?
     Quite apart from these centuries-old traditions, we have
abundant evidence in ancient writings of Paul's visit to Britain.
It is specifically stated that he came here by Theodoret, Bishop
of Cyprus, writing about A.D. 435
     "Paul, liberated from his first captivity at Rome, preached
the gospel to the Britons and others in the West. Our fishermen
and publicans not only persuaded the Romans and their tributaries
to acknowledge the Crucified and His laws, but the Britons. also
and the Cymry" (De Civ. Graec. Off., lib. ix).
     In his commentary on 2 Timothy 4: 16, the same writer says,
"When Paul was sent by Festus on his appeal to Rome, he
travelled, after being acquitted, into Spain, and thence extended
his excursions into other countries, and to the islands
surrounded by the sea".
     Then Clement of Rome (A.D.30-100) who is mentioned 36 by
Paul in his epistle to the Philippians and is said to have been
third Bishop of Rome - Linus was first and Anacletus second -
also implies that the apostle visited Britain

     "But not to insist upon ancient examples, let us come to
those worthies that have been nearest to us; and take the brave
examples of our own age. Through zeal and envy, the most faithful
and righteous pillars of the church have been persecuted even to
the most grievous deaths. Let us set before our eyes the holy
Apostles; Peter by unjust envy underwent not one or two, but many
sufferings; till at last being martyred, he went to the place of
glory that was due unto him. For the same cause did Paul in like
manner receive the reward of his patience. Seven times he was in
bonds; he preached both in the East and in the West; leaving
behind him the glorious report of his faith: and so having taught
the whole world righteousness, and for that end travelled even to
the utmost bounds of the West; he at last suffered martyrdom by
the command of the governors, and departed out of the world, and
went unto his holy place, being become a most eminent pattern of
patience unto all ages" (1 Clement 3:10-15).

     Notice that Clement speaks of Paul having taken the gospel
to the utmost bounds of the West, clearly implying the British
Isles.
     There can be no reasonable doubt that Paul visited and
preached in Britain. Such is the testimony of Irenaeus (A.D.
125-189), Tertullian (155-222) and Origen (185-254), of Mello in
256, Eusebius in 315 and Athanasius in 353. The records of the
Roman, Eastern, Gallic and Spanish Churches all confirm that Paul
preached in Britain, and Capellus in his History of the Apostles
sums it up by saying,
     "I scarcely know of one author, from the times of the
Fathers downwards, who does not maintain that St.Paul, after his
liberation, preached in every country in Western Europe, Britain
included".
     We conclude this Chapter with a remarkable report which
was published in the Morning Post, 27th March, 1931.
     "The mayors of Bath, Colchester and Dorchester, and 150
visiting members of the Friends of Italy Society were received
today in special audience by the Pope, Pius XI. His Holiness, in
a specially prepared address, advanced the theory that it was St.
Paul himself and not Pope Gregory who first introduced
Christianity into Britain".
     That a Pope of Rome should in recent times concede that Paul
brought the gospel here and that the Church in this land must
therefore be of Apostolic and not of Roman origin is remarkable
indeed. But we believe that claim to be absolutely TRUE! It is
the conclusion that the Bible leads us to, and history confirms
it. 
     In the next Chapter we shall show the remarkable
circumstances behind Paul's visit to Britain and how the British
Royal Family embraced the faith of Christ.

1.Acts 7:58; 8:1 - 2.John 16:2 - 3.Acts 8:3 - 4.Acts 22:3-4      
5.Acts 9:1-2 - 6.Acts 9:3-9 - 7.Acts 9:10-12 - 8.Acts - 9:13-16  
9.Acts 9: 17-20 - 10.Acts 22:1-21 - 11.Acts 9:15            
12.Galatians 2:8 - 13.Romans 15:15-19 - 14.Acts 24:1-27     
15.Acts 25:1-27 - 16.Acts 26:1-32 - 17.Acts 27:24 - 18.Matthew
10:6 - 19.Acts 1:8 - 20.Galatians 2:7-8 - 21.Romans 15:20   
22.Acts 28:30-31 - 23.2 Peter 1:21 - 24.2 Timothy 3:16 
25.3 John 9-10 - 26.2 Thessalonians 2:7 - 27.Acts 20:28-31
28.James 1:1 - 29.James 4:1 - 30.Deuteronomy 7:6 - 31.Isaiah 41:8
32.Daniel 12:4,10 - 33.Acts 28:30-31 - 34.Romans 15:24-28
35.Revelation 22:18-19 - 36.Philippians 4:3

CHAPTER SIX

THE BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY AT ROME

     THE circumstances of Paul's coming to Britain present a most
wonderful and dramatic story, and throw light upon an era in
early British history about which comparatively little is
understood today.
     At the time of Christ, the Roman Empire had reached the
zenith of its power. It occupied the whole of Europe, Northern
Africa and Asia. However, Britain remained undefeated. Julius
Caesar had, it is true, carried out a reconnaissance raid in
August, 55 B.C., and had stayed two weeks, and had attempted an
invasion in July of the following year, this time staying for two
months. Five small tribes in Kent had promised submission,
hostages had been taken, and the Trinovantes had, out of fear of
their neighbours the Catuvellauni, become allies of Rome. But
that was all. Britain was left alone for almost a century.
Then in A.D. 43,i.e., ten years after the Crucifixion and only
six years after the coming of Joseph of Arimathaea, Claudius the
Roman Emperor launched a full-scale invasion of Britain, des-
patching four legions, the II Augusta, IX Hispana, XIV Gemina and
XX Valeria Victrix - some 25,000 men in all - under the command
of Aulus Plautius. The map facing page 37 shows the tribes of
Britain at about this time (not reproduced here - Keith Hunt).
     This was the commencement of a bloody and protracted war in
which the might of Rome was completely unable to subdue the
stubborn British people. The British forces led by Caradoc, King
of the Silures, put up an indomitable resistance for more than
seven years. Caradoc, better known as Caratacus, was the son of
Bran the Blessed, and grandson of King Lear. He is usually
described as the son of Cunobelinus, confusion having arisen out
of the fact that following the death of Cunobelinus it was
Caratacus who became military leader of the British tribes.
     Then in A.D.51, Caratacus was defeated in North Wales and
fled to the North where, presumably, he intended to rally the
support of the Brigantes. But their Queen, Cartimandua, had
entered into a treaty with Rome, Caratacus was handed over, and
he and his wife, his daughter Gladys and his father Bran, were
taken captive to Rome.
     It was the Roman custom to put their defeated enemies to
death, but such was the fame and renown of Caradoc that he was
received in Rome like a hero and was permitted to speak in his
own defence before the Emperor Claudius and assembled Senate, His
great oration has been preserved for us in Tacitus' Annals. "Had
my government in Britain been directed solely with a view to the
preservation of my hereditary domains, or the aggrandizement of
my own family, I might long since have entered this city an ally,
not a prisoner; nor would you have disdained for a friend a king
descended from illustrious ancestors, and the dictator of many
nations. My present condition, stript of its former majesty, is
as adverse to myself as it is a cause of triumph to you. What
then? I was lord of men, horses, arms, wealth: what wonder if at
your dictation I refused to resign them? Does it follow, that
because the Romans aspire to universal dominion, every nation is
to accept the vassalage they would impose? I am now in your power
- betrayed, not conquered. Had I, like others, yielded without
resistance, where would have been the name of Caradoc? Where your
glory? Oblivion would have buried both in the same tomb. Bid me
live, I shall survive for ever in history one example at least of
Roman clemency".
     So Caradoc and his family were not only spared but were
permitted to make their home in Rome, though not being allowed
for the time being to return to Britain. We shall return to
Caradoc in a moment.
     Meanwhile the war in Britain continued unabated. A new
offensive was launched in Wales having as its objective the
destruction of the Druids' stronghold on Mona (Anglesey). The
Druids were fiercely nationalistic, a unifying force amongst the
tribes of Britain, and regarded by Rome as a dangerous subversive
movement. They were ruthlessly massacred and their groves
destroyed.
     While the legions were still in North Wales the British
tribes revolted. This was in the year A.D.60 when we hear for the
first time of the famous Queen Boudicca, better known (though in
correctly) as Boadicea. Her husband Prasutagus, King of the
Iceni, had died leaving his considerable wealth to Nero (who had
succeeded Claudius as Emperor) and to his own daughters,
evidently intending to secure their protection. However, the
Roman procurator Catus Decianus confiscated the estate and began
to seize the property of the nobles. Boadicea was flogged and her
daughters raped.
     The Iceni, hitherto the most submissive of the British
tribes, revolted. So did the Trinovantes, their neighbours and
former enemies, who had been suffering under the heavy burden of
taxation for the maintenance of the Temple at Camulodunum
(Colchester) where the Emperor Was worshipped. Boadicea found
herself at the head of a great army, perhaps 100,000 strong,
nearly all the Britons within reach rallying to her support. We
are reminded of Deborah who also led an army into battle in Bible
days.1
     Camulodunum was laid waste. So too were Londinium (London)
and Verulamium (St.Albans). Nothing and no one connected with the
hated Roman power was spared, and recent excavations have
disclosed in these cities a layer of ash giving some idea of the
extent of the destruction that took place. However, the might and
skill of Roman arms eventually triumphed. The British were
defeated, and Boadicea, rather than fall into enemy hands,
committed suicide (well she was defeated in a certain battle only
- Keith Hunt).
     We feel sure that this brief mention of the illustrious
British Queen will be of interest to our readers. There is a
magnificent statue of Boadicea on Westminster Bridge, London, and
she exemplifies the spirit of Christian Britannia, defying the
powers of evil, as portrayed on our coins even today.
     But we must return to Caradoc, or as he was now known,
Caractacus, living in exile in Rome with his family. His daughter
Gladys would have been about seven years of age at the time of
their being taken to Rome and we understand that the Emperor
Claudia adopted her into his household, giving her the name
Claudia. Claudis eventually married a noble Roman senator whose
name was Refus Pudens, married a noble Roman senator whose name
was Rufus Pudens.
     This is especially interesting because Rufus was the friend
of the poet Martial in whose Epigrams he features. One of them
says, "Claudia, the fair one from a foreign shore, is with my
Pudens joined in wedlock's band" (iv,32), and another, "Our
Claudia, named Ruffina, sprung we know from blue-eyed Britons "
(xi,40).
     It is, we believe, this Rufus Pudens whom Paul greets in his
letter to the Romans where he says, "Salute Rufus chosen in the
Lord, and his mother and mine".2 This almost suggests that Rufus
and Paul might have had the same mother (though not the same
father), that is to say they could have been half-brothers. It is
certain that no one could claim to have been Paul's mother in the
spiritual sense. As we have already seen, there was no human
agency in Paul's conversion, nor did he have a human teacher.3
     So far we have the interesting circumstances of how the
British Royal Family was exiled in Rome. But the astonishing
thing is that PAUL WAS AT ROME AT THE SAME TIME! Notice it in    
your Bible, the last two verses of Acts of the Apostles, "And
Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and
received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God,
and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ,
with all confidence, no man forbidding him".4
     How remarkable this is. As Paul himself remarked on another
occasion, "How unsearchable are His judgments, and his ways past
finding out! For who path known the mind of the Lord? or
who hath been His counsellor?"5 Here is Paul, the great apostle,
a prisoner in Rome, and here is Caratacus, King of Silurian, also
a prisoner in the same city. Paul, with a commission as yet
unfulfilled to take the gospel to the children of Israel,6 and
Caratacus, a British King whose life has been miraculously spared
waiting in due course to return to Britain!
     Here we have the most wonderful illustration of one of the
greatest truths of the Christian life. "And we know that ALL
THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD to them that love God, to them who
are the called according to His purpose".7 If it seemed a sad
restriction on Paul for him to be imprisoned at Rome, and a
tragedy for Caradoc for him to have been betrayed in Britain, yet
a purpose was being worked out through it all, the legacy of
which remains to this day.
     Now we know from the Bible that although a prisoner at Rome,
yet Paul enjoyed a measure of freedom. He "dwelt two whole years
in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him ".
Similarly, Caradoc and his family lived in the Palatum
Britannicum or British Palace, now known as St.Pudentiana. In
much later years Pudens and his four children, Timotheus,
Novatus, Pudentiana and Prassedis, were all to suffer martyrdom;
Claudia predeceased them, possibly martyred too.
     Now it is surely without question that Caradoc, coming from
Britain which had received the gospel only a few years under
Joseph of Arimatthaea, would be anxious to hear the gospel from
the apostle himself. Would the British King and the famed apostle
have become intimately acquainted? And did not the Lord say of
Paul, "He is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the
Gentiles, and KINGS, and the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL"?8 Was not
Caratacus a KING and were not his people of ISRAEL stock?
     Notice the letter Paul wrote from Rome when he sends
greetings to Timothy, "Do thy diligence to come before winter.
EUBULUS greeteth thee, and PUDENS, and LINUS, and CLAUDIA, and
all the brethren" 9 We said in Chapter Two that the Church met in
the house. The Pudens, Linus and Claudia mentioned here could be
no other than the son-in-law, son and daughter of Caratacus, and
"all the brethren" other Christians meeting in the same house.
Thus, if they were not already converted, the British Royal
Family embraced the faith of Christ while yet at Rome.
     This, we believe, is the background to Paul's visit to
Britain. That such a visit was made seems irrefutable: we quoted
some of the historical evidence in the last Chapter. Notice again
Theodoret's testimony, about A.D. 435:
     "Paul, liberated from his first captivity at Rome, preached
the gospel to the Britons and others in the West. Our fishermen
and publicans not only persuaded the Romans and their tributaries
to acknowledge the Crucified and His laws, but the Britons also
and the Cymry" (De Civ. Graec. Off., lib. ix).
     Then notice what Alford says in his "Regia Fides":
"It is perfectly certain that before St.Paul had come to Rome,
Aristobulus was absent in Britain, and it is confessed by all
that Claudia was a British lady" (Volume I, page 83).
     Who was Aristobulus? He is mentioned by Paul in his Epistle
to the Romans, written from Corinth about A.D.60. Paul says,
"Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of
Aristobulus' household". 10 Clearly Aristobulus was absent from
Rome at that time, and the earliest writers indicate that he came
to Britain and was martyred here.
     Dorotheus, writing about A.D. 303, says:
"Aristobulus, who is mentioned by the Apostle in his Epistle to
the Romans, was made bishop in Britain".
     Haleca, Bishop of Augusta, says:
"The memory of many martyrs is celebrated by the Britons,
especially that of St.Aristobulus, one of the seventy disciples".
     The Martyrologia of Adonis tells us under 17th March: 
"Natal day of Aristobulus, Bishop of Britain, brother of St.
Barnabas the Apostle, by whom he was ordained bishop. He was sent
to Britain where, after preaching the truth of Christ and forming
a Church, he received martyrdom ".
     The Martyrologies of the Greek Churches inform us under
15th March:
"Aristobulus was one of the seventy disciples and a follower of
St.Paul the Apostle, along with whom he preached the Gospel to
the whole world and ministered to him. He was chosen by St.Paul
to be missionary bishop to the land of Britain, inhabited by a
very warlike and fierce race. By them he was often scourged and
repeatedly dragged as a criminal through their towns, yet he
converted many of them to Christianity. He was there martyred
after he had built churches and ordained deacons and priests for
the island".
     Then, according to the Genealogies of the Saints of Britain,
"These came with Bran the Blessed from Rome to Britain-Arwystli
Hen (Senex) [i.e. Aristobulus the Aged], Ilid, Cyndaw, men of
Israel; Maw, or Manaw, son of Arwystli Hen ".

     Thus it was that the apostle Paul came to Britain. The way
was opened up through the auspices of the British Royal Family at
Rome. Though Caradoc was compelled to remain is Rome until the
expiration of his seven years detention, his family were free to
return whenever they wished. The Welsh Triads tell us that Bran,
the father of Caradoc, after being baptised in Rome, returned to
Britain and thereafter fostered the Church in Silurian (South
Wales). Bran was accompanied by Aristobulus.

     And so twice within the quarter century following the
Crucifixion, the gospel was carried to Britain and received Royal
patronage. Joseph's mission to Glastonbury was fostered by King
Arviragus, and Paul's mission to the Silures was sponsored by
Caradoc. And so, in ministering to the people of these islands,
the final part of Paul's commission "to bear My name before the
Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel" was fulfilled.
     The British Church has always been a royal one. Its first
converts were members of the British Royal Family. Its nominal
head has always been the reigning Sovereign, and today as head of
Church and State, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II sits upon the
Throne of David 11 established over God's Israel people in these
British Isles. How MARVELLOUSLY God's Word has been fulfilled.

     "Listen, O ISLES, unto Me ... Thou art My servant, O ISRAEL,
in whom I will be glorified ... It is a light thing that thou
shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to
restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a
light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be My salvation unto THE
END OF THE EARTH".12 "KINGS shall see and arise, PRINCES also
shall worship ... Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo,
these from the NORTH and from the WEST ".13 "And KINGS shall be
thy nursing fathers, and their QUEENS thy nursing mothers".14
"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD
is risen upon thee ... and the Gentiles shall come to thy light,
and KINGS to the brightness of thy rising ... Thy sons shall come
from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side".15 "And
the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their KINGS
shall minister unto thee", 16  Thou shalt also suck the milk of
the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of KINGS".17 
"And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that
escape of them unto the nations ... to the ISLES AFAR OFF ... and
they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles".18
"Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the
land for ever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands,
that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand,
and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his
time".19

1.Judges 4:4-24 - 2.Romans 16:13 - 3.Galatians 1:11-12           
4.Acts 28:30-31 - 5.Romans 11:33-34 - 6.Acts 9:15                
7.Romans 8:28 - 8.Acts 9:15 - 9.2 Timothy 4:21 - 10.Romans 16:10 
11.Jeremiah 33:17 - 12.Isaiah 49:1-6 - 13.Isaiah 49:7-12    
14.Isaiah 49:23 - 15.Isaiah 60:1-4 - 16.Isaiah 60:10
17.Isaiah 60:16 - 18.Isaiah 66:19 - 19.Isaiah 60:21-22

                       ...............

TO BE CONTINUED

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