THE  HISTORY  OF  THE  ENGLISH  CHURCH  AND  PEOPLE



BOOK FOUR


I  have  only  produced  this  small  section  of  Bede’s  book  Four;  this  section  is  the  most  interesting.  The  rest  of  Bede’s  writings  are  more  records  of  the  Roman  Catholic  religion  spreading  into  Britain;  also  this  and  that  miracle,  which  to  Bede  and  others  of  the  Roman  faith  would  prove  they  are  the  ONE  and  only  true  Church  of  God  on  earth,  as  they  still  say  to  this  day  -  Keith Hunt


CHAPTER 4: Bishop Colman leaves Britain, and founds two monasteries in the land of the Scots, one for the Scots, and another for the English whom he had taken with him [A.D. 667]


Meanwhile the Scots bishop Colman left Britain, taking with him all the Scots he had collected at Lindisfarne, together with about thirty English whom he had likewise trained in the monastic life. Leaving some brethren in his own church, he first visited the isle of Hii,1 from which he had originally been sent to preach the word to the English. He subsequently retired to a small island at some distance from the west coast of Ireland, known in the Scots tongue as Inisboufinde, meaning the Isle of the White Heifer. On his arrival, he founded a monastery, and established there the monks of both races whom he had gathered. But a dispute arose among them because in summer the Scots went off to wander on their own around places they knew instead of assisting at harvest, and then, as winter approached, came back and wanted to share whatever the English monks had gathered. Colman sought a remedy for this dispute, and after searching near and far, discovered a site suitable for a monastery on the Irish mainland, a place which the Scots call Mageo. Here he bought a small tract of land from the nobleman who owned the land, who made it a condition of sale that the monks who settled there should pray for him. So a monastery was promptly built with the help of the nobleman and all the neighbours, and Colman established the English monks there, leaving the Scots on the original island. This monastery is still occupied by English monks. For this is the place, grown large from small beginnings, that is now usually known as Muigeo and, under an improved constitution houses a distinguished community of monks drawn from the English provinces. After the example of the venerable Fathers, they live devoutly and austerely by the labour

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1. Iona.

2. Inishboffin.

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of their own hands and observe a Rule under a canonically elected abbot.


CHAPTER 5: The death of King Oswy and King Egbert. Archbishop Theodore presides over a Synod held at Hertford [A.D. 673]


In the year of our Lord 670, the second year after Archbishop Theodore's arrival in Britain, King Oswy of the Northumbrians was stricken with an illness, of which he died at the age of fifty-eight. At this time the King held the apostolic Roman see in such high esteem that, had he recovered from his illness, it was his intention to travel to Rome and end his life among its holy places, and he had persuaded Bishop Wilfrid to conduct him on the journey with the promise of a considerable gift. He died on February 15th, leaving his son Egfrid to succeed him as king. In the third year of the latter's reign, Theodore summoned a council of bishops and the many other teachers of the Church who both understood and loved the canonical statutes of the Fathers. As befitted his authority as archbishop, when they were assembled, he began by charging them to observe whatsoever things were conducive to the peace and unity of the Church. The decisions of the Council are in the following form:


“In the name of the Lord God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, and under the everlasting governance and guidance of His Church by the same Lord Jesus Christ, it was thought right that we should assemble in accordance with the custom of venerable canons to deliberate concerning the necessary affairs of the Church. We therefore assembled on the 24th day of September, the first indiction, at the place called Hertford; that is, myself, Theodore, though unworthy, Bishop of the See of Canterbury by the authority of the apostolic see; our fellow-bishop and brother the most reverend Bisi, Bishop of the East Angles; also our brother the Bishop Wilfrid, Bishop of the Northumbrian people, who is represented by his own proxies. Also present were our brothers and fellow-bishops Putta, Bishop of the Kentish fortress of Rochester; Leutherius, Bishop of the West Saxons, and Wynfrid, Bishop of the province of the Mercians. 


When all the above had assembled and taken their places in due order, I said:


My dearest brothers, for the love and reverence you bear our Redeemer, I beg that we may all deliberate in harmony for our Faith, preserving inviolate the decrees and definitions of our holy and respected Fathers. 


I dealt with these and many other matters relating to charity and the preservation of the Church's unity. And having concluded this introductory address, I asked each in turn whether they agreed to observe all the canonical decrees of the ancient Fathers. To which all our fellow-priests replied: ‘We are all resolved that we will cheerfully and willingly obey whatever is laid down in the canons of the holy Fathers.’ I then produced the said book of canons, and publicly showed them ten chapters which I had marked in certain places, because I knew them to be of the greatest importance to us, and I asked that all should devote special attention to them.


Chapter 1. "That we all unite in observing the holy day of Easter on the Sunday after the fourteenth day of the moon of the first month."


[THIS  WOULD  SEEM  TO  BE  SOMEWHAT  OF  A  COMPROMISE  WITH  THOSE  14TH  OBSERVERS;  NEVERTHELESS,  BEING  “CLOSE”  IS  STILL  TOO  FAR  AWAY;  UNLESS  YOU  FOLLOW  JESUS’  SET  EXAMPLE,  AND  PAUL’S  BACKING  THAT  UP  IN  1  CORINTHIANS  11,  A  MISS  IS  AS  GOOD  AS  A  MILE  -  Keith Hunt]


Chapter 2. "That no bishop intrude into the diocese of another, but confine himself to the guidance of the people committed to his charge."


[THIS  IS  CORRECT;  NO  MINISTER  HAS  ANY  AUTHORITY  IN  ANOTHER  MAN’S  CHURCH,  BUT  SAVING  FOR  “CORRECTION”  AS  PAUL  DID  WITH  PETER - GALATIANS 1 - Keith Hunt]


Chapter 3. "That no bishop shall interfere in any way with monasteries dedicated to God, nor take anything from them forcibly."


[WELL  THE  TRUE  CHURCH  OF  GOD  NEVER  FOUNDED  “MONASTERIES”  PER  SE,  BUT  THE  PRINCIPLE  IS  MIND  YOUR  OWN  BUSINESS  IN  WHAT  THE  LORD  HAS  GIVEN  YOU  TO  MINISTER  IN.  OTHERS  IN  THEIR  GIVEN  MINISTRY  WILL  HAVE  GOD  TO  BE  THEIR  JUDGE  -  Keith Hunt]


Chapter 4. "That monks shall not wander from place to place, that is, from monastery to monastery, except with letters dimissory from their own abbot; and that they keep the promise of obedience which they made at the time of their profession."


[AS  THERE  ARE  NO  MONASTERIES  IN  THE  TRUE  CHURCH  OF  GOD,  THIS  DOES  NOT  APPLY - Keith Hunt]


Chapter 5. "That no clergy shall leave their own bishop and wander about at will, nor be received anywhere without letters of commendation from their own bishop. And should such a person, once received, refuse to return when so directed, both receiver and received shall incur excommunication."


[NO  SUCH  A  THING  EXISTS  IN  GOD’S  TRUE  CHURCH;  MINISTERS  CAN  WANDER  ABOUT  IF  INVITED  BY  OTHER  MINISTERS  IN  WHATEVER  AREA  OF  THE  WORLD  -  Keith Hunt]


Chapter 6. "That bishops and clergy when travelling shall be content with whatever hospitality is offered them; and that it shall be unlawful for any of them to exercise any priestly function without permission from the bishop in whose diocese they are known to be."


[OF  COURSE  ANY  MINISTER  IS  TO  BE  THANKFUL  FOR  ANY  PHYSICAL  HOSPITALITY  SHOWN  BY  OTHER  CHURCHES  AND  THEIR  MINISTERS;  THEY  WOULD  NOT  CONCERN  THEMSELVES  WITH  ANY  FUNCTIONAL  WORKING  OF  THE  CHURCH  THEY  ARE  VISITING,  UNLESS  ASKED  FOR  BY  THE  MINISTERS  OF  THAT  CHURCH  -  Keith Hunt]


Chapter 7. "That a synod be held twice a year." In view of various obstacles, however, it was unanimously agreed that we should meet once a year on the first of August at the place called Clofeshoch.1


[THIS  PRINCIPLE  SHOULD  APPLY  TO  ANY  GROUP  OF  CHURCHES  AND  THEIR  MINISTERS  IF  AGREE  UPON;  TEAM  WORK  YOU  COULD  CALL  IT  -  Keith Hunt]


Chapter 8. "That no bishop claim precedence over another out of ambition: seniority of consecration shall alone determine precedence."


[GOD’S  MINISTER  HAVE  NO  SENIORITY  PER  SE  -  ALL  ARE  ON  EQUAL  FOOTING  WITH  EACH  OTHER  -  Keith Hunt]


Chapter 9. It was generally discussed, "That more bishops shall be consecrated as the number of the faithful increases." But we have announced no decision in the matter for the present.


[IT  IS  A  PRINCIPLE  FROM  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  THAT  IF  POSSIBLE  ALL  CHURCHES  OF  GOD  HAVE  MORE  THAN  ONE  ELDER/PASTOR/MINISTER  -  THIS  GIVES  CHECKS  AND  BALANCES  TO  EVERY  CHURCH  CONGREGATION  - Keith Hunt]


Chapter 10. On marriages: "That lawful wedlock alone is permissible; incest is forbidden; and no man may leave his lawful wife except, as the gospel provides, for fornication. And if a man puts away his own wife who is joined to him in lawful marriage, he may not take another if he wishes to be a good Christian. He must either remain as he is, or else be reconciled to his wife."


[HERE  WE  GET  INTO  THE  SUBJECT  OF  DIVORCE  AND  RE-MARRIAGE  -  A  LARGE  SUBJECT.  I  HAVE  COVERED  AND  EXPOUNDED  FULLY  ON  THIS  IMPORTANT  SUBJECT.  YOU  WILL  FIND  IT  ON  THIS  WEBSITE  -  Keith Hunt]


After discussing these chapters and reaching decisions by our common consent, in order that no occasion for unedifying controversy or differences between ourselves may arise, it has been thought right that each of us should ratify our decisions by his own signature. I have dictated this expression of our decisions to Titillus our secretary to be written down, and this has been done in the month and indiction mentioned 

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I. Clovesho (probably near London) 

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above. Therefore, if anyone shall presume in any way to contravene or disobey these decisions confirmed by our agreement and ratified by our signatures, according to canonical decrees, let him take notice that he incurs suspension from every priestly function and exclusion from our fellowship.


May divine grace preserve us all in safety, who live in the unity of His Holy Church.”



This synod took place in the year of our Lord 673, in July of which year King Egbert died and was succeeded by his brother Hlothere, who reigned eleven years and seven months. Bisi, Bishop of the East Angles, who is said to have attended this synod, was successor to Boniface, of whom I have spoken, and was a man of great holiness and devotion; for when Boniface died in the eighteenth year of his episcopate, Theodore consecrated Bisi in his place. And when severe illness prevented him from administering his diocese, two bishops, Aecci and Badwin, were chosen and consecrated to carry out his duties, and from then until the present day this province has had two bishops………


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END  OF  MY  REPRODUCTION  FROM  BEDE’S  “THE  HISTORY  OF  THE  ENGLISH  CHURCH  AND  PEOPLE.”