PAUL IN BRITAIN #4
THE TRACINGS UP OF THE ANCIENT ROYAL CHURCH OF BRITAIN TO ITS
APOSTOLIC FOUNDATIONS. ST. PAUL IN BRITAIN.---HIS CONNECTION
WITH THE ROYAL SILURIAN FAMILY OF BRITAIN.
TWO cardinal reasons, we have seen, each of national weight
and extent, inclined the British mind to accept Christianity--the
first, its identity in many important points with Druidism; the
second, its uncompromising antagonism to the whole system of the
Roman state mythology. The Roman persecution of both religions
identified them still further in the popular mind. Nowhere, then,
in Asia, Africa, or Europe, could the apostles find richer or a
better-prepared soil for the Gospel. If we add that Britain was
the only country in these ages where the Christian could profess
and practise his religion free from persecution, we reasonably
and antecedently conclude that a strong Christian current must
have set in from both Jerusalem and Rome to this island from the
first or Pentescostal days of the Church.
We shall better estimate the force of the following
testimonies if we keep steadily in mind the fact that the great
British Church which Augustine found A.D. 596 established in
Britain and Ireland, was essentially Eastern, proclaiming by
every usage in which she differed from Rome her direct and
independent birth from Jerusalem and the apostles themselves in
the first throes of Christianity. It is, indeed, an absurdity to
go about explaining the existence of such a Church, abounding in
all the characteristics of an ancient institution, deeply fixed
in the native mind and soil, in any other way than by a frank
accceptance of its apostolic origin. Every other attempt at
solution fails us. How came these archbishoprics, bishoprics,
dioceses, Christian colleges, parochial churches and endowments,
royal Christian houses, genealogies of saints, immense and
opulent monasteries, a whole nation of believers, to be in
Britain? How came they, on their first meeting with the
missionary of the Bishop of Rome, to proclaim with one voice, "We
have nothing to do with Rome; we know nothing of the Bishop of
Rome in his new character of the Pope; we are the British Church,
the Archbishop of which is accountable to God alone, having no
superior on earth. 1" This is one of those tremendous facts
which rise before us like a huge mountain in the plain of
history. Rome found here a Church older than herself,
ramifications of which struck into the very heart of the
Continent, the missionary triumphs of which in Italy itself in
the life of Augustine were greater than his own among the British
Saxons; for Columba and his associates from the primitive
colleges in Ireland were the evangelizers of the barbarian
conquerors, the Lombards,
1 The continental Churches admitted, for the most part, a Primacy
when they rejected the Supremacy of the Bishop of Rome. The
British Church admitted neither; it knew nothing of the Bishop of
Rome, except on an equality with any of its own British bishops,
or any other bishop in the Christian Church. The further we go
back into British history, the clearer shines forth in all our
laws the entire independence of the British crowns, Church, and
people, of all foreign authority. All our great legal authorities
concur on this point. "The ancient British Church," writes
Blackstone, vol. iv. p.105, "by whomsoever planted, was a
stranger to the Bishop of Rome and all his pretended
authorities." "The Britons told Augustine," writes Bacon,
Government of England, "they would not be subject to him, nor
let him pervert the ancient laws of their Church. This was their
resolution, and they were as good as their word, for they
maintained the liberty of their Church five hundred years after
his time, and were the last of all the Churches of Europe that
gave up their power to the Roman Beast, and in the person of
Henry V111, that came of their blood by Owen Tudor, the first
that took that power away again."
of Northern Italy. The Gallican Church was entirely one with the
British in this opposition to Roman assumptions. The archbishops
of Treves were, as we learn from the Tungrensian Chronicles,
always supplied from Britain. Treves and Rheims became the
headquarters of Gallic liberties, and here rose, under Hincmar,
as powerful a resistance as in Britain to Italian supremacy. The
Briton could never understand why, because Rome professed certain
truths, she should arrogate spiritual despotism over all who held
the same. He does not appear to have troubled himself about her
errors and corruptions; these he regarded as her own matters,
with which, as not belonging to him, he did not interfere.
Cadvan, Prince of Wales, expresses himself thus to the Abbot of
Bangor: "All men may hold the same truths, yet no man thereby be
drawn into slavery to another. If the Cymry believed all that
Rome believes, that would be as strong reason for Rome obeying us
as for us to obey Rome. It suffices for us that we obey the
truth. If other men obey the truth, are they, therefore, to
become subject to us? Then were the truths of Christ made slavery
unto men, and not freedom."
The soldier who interrogated Augustine at the oak of
Conference seems, in like manner, to treat the question between
them as one quite apart from doctrine.
"Does Rome possess all the truth?"
"And you say we do--our usages only differ. Now of two men,
if both have all their limbs and senses complete, both are equal.
Because the Romans have noses and we have noses, must we either
cut off our noses to be Romans? Must all who have noses be
subject to the Romans? Why, then, should all who hold the faith
be subject to Rome because she holds the faith?"
This rough, broad reasoning allowed almost identity in
doctrine and practices to be maintained by any Christian with
Rome, or any other Church, without in the most remote degree
admitting any claim Rome might advance on the ground of such
identity. The Briton thus had his festivals, processions, floral
decorations, antiphonal choirs, cathedrals - an immense deal in
common with Rome but he had had them for centuries before Papal
Rome was ever heard of. And he would have ridiculed the notion
that he was to give up a good thing because Rome also had it, as
he scorned the idea that a community in such things constituted
the shadow of a title on the part of Rome to his allegiance. His
position, in fact, was a very strong one, thoroughly Catholic,
thoroughly anti-fanatical, and at the same time thoroughly
anti-papal: and he knew its strength, resting on historical
monuments which could neither be ignored nor destroyed: around
him rose hoary cathedrals, churches, abbeys, colleges,
"imperishable stones of witness" that his Church was the
primitive apostolical Church of Britain, that the Papacy, with
all its claims, was a novelty, an intrusion, an invention, a
fable, that there never was a time when the eyes of the Christian
pilgrim did not rest in this island on vast evidences bespeaking
a Church subject to no other Church on earth, built on its own
apostolic foundations, and recognising the apostolic Scriptures
alone for its rule of faith. 2
2 Bede's testimony as to the pure scriptural character of the
teaching of the British Church is full and explicit, and he
contrasts, with feelings of shame and reluctance, the apostolic
lives of the British missionaries with those of his own Papal
Church. Of Columba he writes. "He taught only what was contained
in the prophetic, evangelic, and apostolic writings, all works of
piety and charity being at the same time diligently
observed." - Lib. iii. c. 41. Of Aidan: "All who resorted to him
applied themselves either to reading the Scriptures or to
learning Psalms. -- "Lib. iii. c.5. Of Adamnan: "He was most
admirably versed in the knowledge of the Scriptures." -- Lib.
iii. c.15. How entirely the British Church rejected human
authority in matters of faith may be collected from the saying of
Columba, "Except what has been declared by the Law, the prophets,
the evangelists, and apostles, a profound silence ought to be
observed by all others on the subject of the Trinity." -- Lib.
iii. c. 4.
The general conclusion arrived at by the writers who have
previously investigated this final part of our question may be
given in the words of Capellus: "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." 3 "Of St. Paul's journey to
Britain," writes Bishop Burgess, "we have as satisfactory proof
as any historical question can demand." 4 The same view is
substantially maintained by Baronius, the Centuriators of
Magdeburg, Alford or Griffith, next to Baronius the most erudite
of the Roman Catholic historians; Archbishops Parker and Usher,
Stillingfleet, Camden, Gibson, Cave, Nelson, Allix, &c.
Let us preface the catena authoritaturn on this point with a
few general testimonies from widely different quarters.
"The cradle of the ancient British Church was a royal one,
herein being distinguished from all other Churches for it
proceeded from the daughter of the British king, Caractacus,
Claudia Rufina, a royal virgin, the same who was afterwards the
wife of Aulus Rufus Pudens, the Roman senator, and the mother of
a family of saints and martyrs." 5
"We have abundant evidence that this Britain of ours received
the Faith, and that from the disciples of Christ Himself, soon
after the crucifixion of Christ." 6
3 Hist. of the Apostles.
4 Independence of the British Church.
5 Moncaeus Atrebas, the learned Gallican divine, "In Syntagma,"
6 Sir Henry Spelman's Concilia, fol., p.1.
"Britain in the reign of Constantine had become the seat of a
flourishing and extensive Church." 7
"Our forefathers, you will bear in mind, were not generally
converted, as many would fain represent, by Roman missionaries.
The heralds of salvation who planted Christianity in most parts
of England were trained in British schools of theology, and were
firmly attached to those national usages which had descended to
them from the most venerable antiquity." 8
"The Christian religion began in Britain within fifty years of
Christ's ascension." 9
"Britain, partly through Joseph of Arimathaea, partly through
Fugatus and Damianus, was of all kingdoms the first that received
the Gospel." 10
"We can have no doubt that Christianity had taken root and
flourished in Britain in the middle of the second century." 11
7 Soames' "Anglo-Saxon Church," Introd.. p.29.
8 Soames' "Bampton Lectures," pp.112-257. This statement is so
true, that sixty-three years after the landing of Augustine, that
is, A.D.660, when all the Heptarchy, except Sussex, had been
converted, Wini, Bishop of Winchester, was the only bishop of the
Romish communion in Britain, and he had purchased his first
bishopric of London from Wulfhere, King of Mercia: all the rest
were British. And the cause is patent: Maelwyn or Patrick, the
apostle of Ireland Ninian, the apostle of the southern Picts,
Aidan of the Northumbrians, Paul Hen his successor, Columba of
the Scots, Finan of the East Angles, Cad or Chad of the Mercians,
were all native Britons, educated in the native colleges. The
Romish succession had died down to one prelate, and Saxon
Christianity was kept alive or refounded by British Christians.
The succession of Augustine in Canterbury and Rochester expired
in Damianus, A.D.666.
9 Robert Parsons the "Jesuit's Three Conversions of England,"
vol. i. p.26.
10 Polydore Vergil, lib. ii.
11 Cardwell's (Camden Prof.) "Ancient History," p.18, 1837.
"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." 12
"The faith which was adopted by the nation of the Britons in the
year of our Lord 165, was preserved inviolate, and in the
enjoyment of peace, to the time of the Emperor Diocletian." 13
Let us now trace our way back from the time of Venerable
Bede, A.D.740, step by step, to the apostolic era and the
In the seventh century we have a galaxy of Christian bishops
in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, whose names alone would
make a considerable catalogue.
In the year A.D.596 we have the Augustine mission landing in
Kent, followed by three conferences with the bishops of the
British Church. In A.D.600, Venantius Fortunatus, in his
"Christian Hymns," speaks of Britain as having been evangelized
by St. Paul. 14
In A.D.542, Gildas writes: "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 Tiberius Caesar."
In A.D.500-540, we have various productions of Christian
bards, such as Taliesin and Aneurin, emanating from the courts of
the Christian sovereigns of Britain - one of the latter, "The
Crowned Babe" (i.e., Christ), interesting as the earliest
European specimen, of any length, of rhyme in poetry: it is
composed in the ancient British tongue.
In the year A.D.408 Augustine of Hippo asks, "How many
churches are there not erected in the British isles
12 Alford's Regia Fides, vol. i. p.19.
13 Bede, lib. i. c. 4.
14 "Transit et oceanum vel qua facit insula portum. Quasque
Britannus habet terras atque ultima Thule."
15 De Excidio Britanniae, p.25.
which lie in the ocean?" 16 And about the same time Arnobius
writes: "So swiftly runs the word of God that though in several
thousand years God was not known, except among the Jews, now,
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."
Theodoretus in A.D.435 testifies: "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 Cimbri
To the same purport in his commentary on 2 Timothy iv.16:
"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."
More express testimony to Paul's preaching in Britain could
not be delivered, nor from a more unexceptional quarter.
Theodoret was Bishop of Cyropolis, attended both the General
Councils of Ephesus (A.D.431), against the Nestorians, and of
Chalcedon, A.D.451, consisting of 600 bishops. As an excellent
interpreter of Scripture, and a writer of ecclesiastical history,
he deservedly ranks high.
Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople, supplies (A.D.402)
cumulative evidence of the existence of pure British
Christianity. "The British Isles," he writes, "which are beyond
the sea, and which lie in the ocean, have received the virtue of
the Word. Churches are there founded and altars erected. Though
thou shouldst go to the ocean, to
16 Opera, fol., Paris Edit., p.676.
17 Arnobius. Ad. Psalm cxlvii.
18 Theodoret, De Civ. Grcec. Off., lib. ix. Nicephorus seems to
have followed Theodoretus (Niceph., lib. ii. c. 40); and Eusebius
Pamphilus, lib. iv.-- (Greek is given)
the British Isles, there thou shouldst hear all men everywhere
discoursing matters out of the Scriptures, with another voice,
indeed, but not another faith, with a different tongue but the
same judgment." 19
"From India to Britain," writes St. Jerome (A.D.378), "all
nations resound with the death and resurrection of Christ." 20
In A.D. 320, Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, speaks of
apostolic missions to Britain as a matter of notoriety "The
apostles passed beyond the ocean to the isles called the
Brittanic Isles." 21
The first part of the fourth century is the era of
Constantine the Great and his mother Helena. Gibbon, with that
perversity which beset him as a mania in dealing with the leading
facts of Christianity, strives to persuade himself that
Constantine and Helen were not Britons, but natives of some
obscure village in the East 22; his sole support for such a
supposition being the fragment of an anonymous author, appended
to Ammianus Marcellinus. "The man must be mad," states Baronius,
"who, in the face of universal antiquity, refuses to believe that
Constantine and his mother were Britons, born in Britain." 1
19 Chrysostomi, Orat. 'O Oeos...' the rest of the Greek is given.
20 Jerome, "In Isaiam," c. liv.; also, "Epistol"., xiii. ad
21 Eusebius. "De Demonstratione Evangelic," lib. iii.
22 Naissus. Colchester, the birth-place of Helen of the Cross,
has, from time immemorial, borne the cross with three crowns for
1 Baronius, ad ann. 306: "Non nisi extremae dementiae hominis."
Until the reign of Constantine the Roman Christians had no other
church than the Titulus to worship in: "Ante Constantini
imperium templa Romae non habuerint Christiani," observes Bale
(Scriptores Britan., p.17.) The Pope, it is well known, claims
the sovereignty of the States of the Church by right of the
decree of the British Emperor Constantine making them over in
free gift to the Bishop of Rome. That this decree was a forgery
no one doubts; it was, however, confirmed by Pepin. By the papal
Church's own showing, it is infinitely more indebted to the
ancient British Church and sovereigns than they ever were to it.
Without the benefactions of the Claudian family and Constantine,
it would never have risen above the character given it by Pius
the First, the brother of Hermas Pastor-- "Pauper Senatus
Christi." For its earthly aggrandisement it is mainly indebted to
ancient British liberality.
Archbishop Usher delivers a catalogue of twenty continental
authorities in the affirmative - not one to the contrary. The
Panegyrics of the Emperors, the genealogy of his own family, as
recited by one of his descendants, Constantine Palaeologus,
native records and traditions, all the circumstances of his
career, demonstrate Constantine a Briton, bred in the strongest
British ideas. "It is well known," states Sozomen, "the great
Constantine received his Christian education in Britain." 2
"Helen was unquestionably a British princess," writes Melancthon.
3 "Christ," declares Pope Urban in his Brief, Britannia, "chewed
to Constantine the Briton the victory of the cross for his
sceptre." "Constantine," writes Polydore Vergil, "born in
Britain, of a British mother, proclaimed Emperor in Britain
beyond doubt, made his natal soil a participator in his glory."
Constantine was all this and more - by his mother's side he
was the heir and representative of the royal Christian dynasty of
The policy of Constantine, in carrying out which for twenty years
with admirable wisdom and inflexible purpose he was supported by
armies levied for the most part in his native British dominions,
consisted in extending to the whole Roman world the system of
2 Sozomen, Eccles. Hist., lib. i. c. v. So Eumenius, in his
Panegyric on Constantius to Constantine: "He begot thee in the
very flower of his age." --Pan. 9.
3 Epistola, p.189.
4 Historia Brit., p.381.
Christianity which had long been established in Britain. But his
religious sympathies, as well as those of his mother, were wholly
Eastern, not Roman. They were those of the British Church. They
revolved round Jerusalem, and the Holy Land, and not Rome.
Constantine made but two brief visits, during his long reign, to
the Italian capital. Helen spent all her declining years in
restoring the churches and sacred sites of Palestine. The objects
of Constantine's life are well explained by him in one of his
edicts: "We call God to witness, the Saviour of all men, that in
assuming the government, we are influenced solely by these two
considerations - the uniting of the empire in one faith, and the
restoration of peace to a world rent to pieces by the insanity of
religious persecution." Regarded in his threefold character of
general, statesman, and legislator, the British founder of
secular Christendom may justly be considered the greatest of the
Roman emperors. The British Church was represented during his
reign by native bishops at the Councils of Arles, A.D.308, and
Nice, A.D.325. 5
In A.D.300 the Diocletian persecution raged in Britain, but
was stopped in one year by Constantius Chlorus, continuing to
ravage the rest of the empire for eighteen years. We have
elsewhere given a list of the British martyrs who perished in it.
We cannot doubt that we stand, during these centuries, in the
midst of a Church as broad and thoroughly national as the present
Protestant establishment: indeed, in one chief respect more so,
for the present national Church of England is not that of the
people of Scotland, Wales, or Ireland, whereas the ancient
British Church embraced all these populations in its fold. Their
very names indicate the broader national character
5 The archbishopric of York was founded, at the request of Helen,
bv Constantius the Emperor, A.D.290. Its second archbishop,
Socrates, was martyred in the Diocletian persecution.
of the ancient and primitive Church, one being the British
Church, or Church of Britain, the other the Church of England.
Continuing to trace the British Church back, we find Origen,
A.D.230, alluding thus to its existence: "The divine goodness
of our Lord and Saviour is equally diffused among the Britons,
the Africans. and other nations of the world. 6
In A.D. 23o, however, Britain had been re-incorporated in
the Roman empire. What was the case in A.D.192-198, in the reign
of Commodus, when it proclaimed its independence, and the British
legions elected Albinus Caesar? Was the Church confined to the
Roman province then insurgent, or were the stubborn British
tribes - the Cymri, the Caledonii, the Picts, whom no efforts of
peace or war could succeed in bringing to acknowledge the right
of a foreigner to plant hostile foot in Britain - within its
pale? Tertullian, who flourished during the war of Commodus in
Britain, which Dion Cassius terms "the most dangerous in which
the empire during his time had been engaged," says expressly that
the regions in Britain which the Roman arms had failed to
penetrate professed Christianity for their religion. "The
extremities of Spain, the various parts of Gaul, the regions of
Britain which have never been penetrated by the Roman arms, have
received the religion of Christ." 7 We have seen that the British
Church had, long before Tertullian's age, founded the Churches of
Gaul, Lorraine, and Switzerland, and that its missionaries had
made their way into Pannonia. Corning nearer Rome itself, we find
that in Tertullian's own age a missionary of the British Church
founded, A.D.170, the Church of Tarentum. This was St. Cadval,
after whom the cath-
6 Origen, In Psalm cxlix.
7 Tertulliam, Def. Fidei, p.170.
edral at Tarento is still named. 8 Not only, therefore, did the
British Church, A.D.170, embrace Roman and Independent Britain,
but it had struck its roots in France, Switzerland, Germany, and
the extremities of Italy.
We now come to A.D.120-150, within the era of the disciples
of the apostles. It is certain from St. Paul's own letters to the
Romans and to Timothy, that he was on the most intimate and
affectionate terms with the of Rufus Pudens. With Pudens himself,
with Claudia and Linus. The children of Claudia and Pudens
instructed in the faith by St. Paul himself, The eldest was
baptized Timotheus, after Timothy, Bishop of Ephesus, the
Apostle's "beloved son in Christ." The four, Timotheus, Novatus,
Praxedes, Pudentiana, with their Pudens, sealed at different
times their faith with their blood in Rome, and were, with Linus,
the first Britons who were added to the glorious army of martyrs.
And, Pudens excepted, they were not only martyrs, but royal
martyrs, not only martyrs, but martyrs of the most patriotic and
heroic blood in Britain. Let us confirm these statements by the
evidences of primitive antiquity.
The reader will recollect the "natal day " of a martyr is
the day of his martyrdom.
Pudens suffered A.D.96, Linus A.D.90; Pudentiana
suffered on the anniversary of her father's martyrdom, in the
third persecution, A.D.107; Novatus in the fifth persecution,
A.D.139, when his brother Timotheus absent in Britain, baptizing
his nephew, King Lucills. 9 Shortly after his return from
Britain, and in extreme old
8 MS. Vellum of the Church of Tarentum: Catalogue of Saints in
the Vatican, published A,D.1641; Moronus, "De Ecclesia
9 All authors concur in this fact, though all do not see how
naturally it followed that the relationship between the royal
house of Britain and its branch settled in Rome.
age, about his ninetieth year, Timotheus suffered with his
fellow-soldier Marcus in the same city of Rome, "drunk with the
blood of the martyrs of Jesus." Praxedes, the surviving sister,
received her crown within the same year.
Claudia alone died a natural death, in Samnium, before any
of her children, A.D.97, surviving Pudens one year. They were all
interred by the side of St. Paul in the Via Os ti ensis.
May 17. Natal day of the blessed Pudens, father of Pra
axedes and Pudentiana. He was clothed with baptism by the
apostles, and watched and kept his robe pure and without wrinkle
to the crown of a blameless life. 10
November 26. Natal day of St. Linus, Bishop of Rome. 11
May 17. Natal day of St. Pudentiana, the virgin, of the most
illustrious descent, daughter of Pudens, and disciple of the holy
apostle St. Paul. 12
June 20. Natal day of St. Novatus, son of the blessed
Pudens, brother of St. Timotheus the elder, and the virgins of
Christ Pudentiana and Praxedes. All these were instructed in the
faith by the apostles.
August 22. Natal day of St. Timotheus, son of St. Pudens, in
the Via Ostiensis. 13
September 21. Natal day of St. Praxedes, virgin of Christ,
in Rome. 14
Have we, again, any direct contemporary evidence that Linus,
the first bishop of Rome, was the son of Caractacus, and brother
of Claudia Britannica? Putting aside, for a moment, British
genealogies and tradition, does any con-
10 Martyr. Romana, ad diem Maii 17. To the same effect the
Martyrologies of Ado, Usuard and Esquilinus.
11 Matyr, Rom., ad diem; Martyrologies oś Ado; Greek Menologies;
12 Martyr. Rom., ad diem; Ado, &c.
13 Martyr. Rom., Ado, Asuard, Greek Menol.
14 Martyr. Rom., Ado, &c.
temporary of St. Paul and Linus, in Rome itself, assert the fact?
Undoubtedly. Clemens Romanus, who is mentioned by St. Paul,
states in his epistle, the genuineness of which has never been
questioned, that Linus was the brother of Claudia --
"Sanctissimus Linus, frater Claudia." 15 Clemens succeeded Cletus
within twelve years of the death of Linus, as third bishop of
Rome. He had also been associated with the British missionary
Mansuetus, in evangelizing Illyria. His sources of information
are, therefore, unquestionable. St. Paul lived, according to all
evidence, whenever he was at Rome, whether in custody at large
(libera custodia) or free, in the bosom of the Claudian family.
There is no dispute that Claudia herself was purely British, and
whether Linus was her son or brother, the British character of
the family, and the close, the domestic ties of affection between
such family and St. Paul, are equally manifest. The relationship
is, in many important regards, more intimate between St. Paul and
the British mind - that mind being the leading, because the
royal, influence in Britain - in the domestic circle and family
worship of the Claudian palace at Rome, than
15 In the Oxford edition of Junius, published A.D.1633, "The son
of Claudia." Apostolici Patres, lib. vii. c. 4; Apostolici
Constitutiones, c, 46. The Apostolic Constitutions may or may not
be what their present title infers; but no scholar who peruses
the opinions "pro et contra," collected by Iltigius, (De Patribus
Apnstolicis), Buddaeus, (Isagoge in Theologiam), and Baratier,
(De Successione Primorum Episcoporum), will assign them a later
date than A.D.150. The mention of Linus in them runs thus:
"Concerning those bishops who have been ordained in our lifetime,
we make known to you that they are these: Of Antioch, Euodius
ordained by me, Peter; of the Church of Rome, Linus, the (son) of
Claudia, was first ordained by Paul, and after Linus' death,
Clemens the second, ordained by me, Peter." Lib. i. c. 46. In the
original, (Greek is given...) Analogy requires (Greek) to be
supplied, but the relationship might have been so well known as
to render (Greek) superfluous.
when he addressed the British people themselves in Britain. But
Clemens Romanus not only proves to us that the family which the
Apostle thus honoured with his constant residence and instruction
was British, that the first bishop appointed by him over the
Church at Rome was of this British family, but that St. Paul
himself preached in Britain, for no other interpretation can be
assigned to his words, Greek "---" the extremity of the
West." "Paul, after he had been to the extremity of the West,
underwent his martyrdom before the rulers of mankind; and thus
delivered from this world, went to his holy place." 16
It may be suggested that Linus, the first bishop of Rome,
was, however, some other than the brother of Claudia, mentioned
by St. Paul. Not so; for if the above authorities permitted a
doubt to remain, the evidence of Irenaeus as to their identity is
conclusive. "The apostles," writes Irenaeus, A.D.180, "having
founded and built up the Church at Rome, committed the ministry
of its supervision to Linus. This is the Linus mentioned by Paul
in his Epistle to Timothy." 17
16 Clement. Rom., Epistola ad Corinthios, c, 5. The passage in
"exterso" runs thus: "To leave the examples of antiquity, and to
come to the most recent. Let us take the noble examples of our
own times. Let us place before our eyes the good apostles. Peter,
through unjust odium, underwent not one or two, but many
sufferings; and having undergone his martyrdom, he went to the
place of glory to which he was entitled. Paul, also, having seven
times worn chains, and been hunted and stoned, received the prize
of such endurance. For he was the herald of the Gospel in the
West as well as in the East, and enjoyed the illustrious
reputation of the faith in teaching the whole world to be
righteous. And after he had been to the extremity of the West, he
suffered martyrdom before the sovereigns of mankind; and thus
delivered from this world, he went to his holy place, the most
brilliant example of stedfastness that we possess."
17 Irenaei Opera, lib. iii. c. r. Irenaeus was born in Asia,
became a disciple of Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna, afterwards a
presbyter of Lyons, whence he was sent as a delegate to the
Asiatic Churches. He succeeded Photinus in the bishopric, and
suffered under Severus.
We are not aware we should be stating anything improbable if
we regarded St. Paul's domiciliation at the house of Pudens, or
his being ministered to immediately before his martyrdom by
Pudens, Claudia, and Linus, as additional presumptive evidence of
his sojourn in Britain. At any rate, we observe that all the
sympathies with which he was surrounded, after his arrival at
Rome, in the Claudian family, all the influences of that family
in their native country, would lead him to Britain in preference
to any other land of the West. This was the great isle of the
Gentiles, the centre and source of their religion, and, through
his royal converts, a "mighty door and an effectual" for its
conversion was opened to him.
Caractacus meanwhile continued to reside at Aber Gweryd, now
St. Donat's Major (llan Ddunwyd), in Glamorganshire, where he had
built a palace, more Romano. Everything invited Paul to Britain,
to follow the bishop he had already commissioned for the work of
the Gospel therein, and to be the guest of the royal parent of
Claudia. Considering the combination of circumstances which now
favoured the execution of his long-cherished design of visiting
the West of Europe, we should regard it much more extraordinary
if the Apostle had not come to Britain than we do his coming
here. When to this circumstantial evidence we add the written
testimonies we have adduced of Eusebius, Theodoret, Clemens, and
others, that he positively did preach in Britain, we see fair
reason for concurring in Bishop Burgess's conclusion, though the
bishop had but a part of the evidence we have collected before
him, "That we possess as substantial evidence, as any historical
fact can require, of St. Paul's journey to Britain."
There are six years of St. Paul's life to be accounted for,
between his liberation from his first imprisonment and his
martyrdom at Aqua Salviae in the Ostian Road, near Rome. Part
certainly, the greater part perhaps, of this period, was spent in
Britain - in Siluria or Cambria, beyond the bounds of the Roman
empire; and hence the silence of the Greek and Latin writers upon
Has any portion of his doctrine or teaching in Britain come
down to us? Any such would be sure to be transmitted in a British
form, and most probably in that triadic form in which the Druids,
the religious teachers of Britain, delivered their teaching. Now
we find in the ancient British language certain triads which
have never been known otherwise than as "the triads of Paul the
Apostle." They are not found "totidem verbis," either whole or
fragmentally, in his epistles, but the morality inculcated is, of
course, quite in unison with the rest of his Gospel preaching.
Triads of Paul the Apostle
"There are three sorts of men: The man of God, who renders good
for evil; the man of men, who renders good for good and evil for
evil: and the man of the devil, who renders evil for good.
18 The ancient MS, in Merton College, Oxord, which purports to
contain a series of letters between St. Paul and Seneca, has more
than one allusion to St. Paul's residence in Siluria.
Had the large collection of British archives and MSS, deposited
at Verulam as late as AD.860, descended to our times, invaluable
light would have been thrown on this as on many other subjects of
native interest. Amongst these works were the Poems and Hymns of
Claudia. Vide Matthew of Westminster, William of Malmesbury,
"Life of Eadmer."
"Three kinds of men are the delights of God: the meek, the
lovers of peace; the lovers of mercy.
"There are three marks of the children of God: Gentle
deportment; a pure conscience; patient suffering of injuries.
"There are three chief duties demanded by God: justice to every
man; love; humility.
"In three places will be found the most of God: Where He is
mostly sought; where He is mostly loved; where there is least of
"There are three things following faith in God: A conscience at
peace; union with heaven; what is necessary for life.
"Three ways a Christian punishes an enemy: By forgiving him; by
not divulging his wickedness; by doing him all the good in his
"The three chief considerations of a Christian: Lest he should
displease God; lest he should be a stumblingblock to man; lest
his love to all that is good should wax cold.
"The three luxuries of a Christian feast: What God has prepared;
what can be obtained with justice to all; what love to all may
venture to use.
"Three persons have the claims and privileges of brothers and
sisters: the widow; the orphan; the stranger." 19
(These are truly exactly what Paul would have taught; absolutely
in line with his teachings in his books of the New Testament -
The evangelical simplicity of these precepts, contrasting so
forcibly with monkish and mediaeval inventions and superstitions,
favours the traditional acceptance of their Pauline origin. Their
preservation is due to the Cor of Ilid.
The foundation of the great abbey of Bangor Iscoed is
assigned by tradition to St. Paul. Its discipline and doctrine
were certainly known as "the Rule of Paul" (Pauui
19 Ancient British Triads; Triads of Paul the Apostle.
Regula, and over each of the four gates was engraved his
precept, "If a man will not work, neither let him eat." Its
abbots regarded themselves as his successors; they were always
men of the highest grade in society, and generally of the blood
royal. Bede and other authors state the number of monks in it at
2,100. The scholars amounted to many thousands. Pelagius was its
twentieth abbot. St. Hilary and St. Benedict term it "Mater
omnium monasteriorum," the mother of all monasteries. The first
Egyptian monastery was founded by Pachomius, A.D.360. 20
In what language did St. Paul preach in Britain? This
question, if pursued, would open an interesting but difficult
investigation. Every apostle, by the Pentecostal inspiration,
possessed the command of every known tongue then in the world.
This supernatural faculty was part of the "power from on high"
with which they were endowed, and the lingual credential of their
divine mission. Of the fact that Paul preached in the British
tongue we have no evidence; neither have we any that he ever
preached in Latin; yet with both languages he must, as an
apostle, have been familiar. We infer he often preached in both.
The Druids in their sacred writings used the Bardic alphabet, of
forty-two characters; but in their civil transactions, as Caesar
informs us, the Greek alphabet. St. Paul wrote all his Epistles
in Greek, and Greek continued some time after the apostolic age
the language of the Church at Rome. The royal family of Britain
were, as we have seen, ardently attached to both Greek and Latin
literature. Cymbeline and Llyr, the old generation, had received
their education, which must necessarily have been the highest
Rome could impart, from Augustus Caesar
20 "Pelagius heresiarchus ex Britannia oriundus famati
illius collegii Bangorensis praepositus erat in quo Christianorum
philosophorum 2,100 militabant suarum manuum laboribus juxta
Pauli doctrinam victitantes." --Vita Magi ii, p.3.
himself. Caractacus must, unless we have recourse to the rather
violent supposition that Claudius, who heard, and Tacitus, who
has recorded, his oration, were proficients in British, have
delivered himself in Latin. 21 Paul, it is certain, used the
tongue of the people in preaching to the people. The canon he
laid down for the Corinthian Church was that which he practised
himself: "If I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be to
him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be to
me a barbarian.... I would rather in the church speak five words
with my understanding than ten thousand words in an unknown
tongue." 22 He must, therefore, according to this rule, have
preached to the Britons in their vernacular tongue.
By the conversion of the British dynasty in its various
members, a very important class of prophecies were fulfilled. The
expressions, also, "the ends of the earth," "the uttermost
parts of the earth," "the isles afar off," used by Isaiah, are
precisely those which the Roman authors also used to designate
From the captivity of Caractacus and the life of St. Paul in
the family of his daughter Claudia at Rome, to the turning of the
Roman empire into Christendom, the history of the royal dynasty
of Britain in connection with
21 Claudia herself was the authoress of a volume of epigrams, a
volume of elegies, and a volume of sacred poems or hymns. Copies
of these were preserved in the library at Verulam as late as the
22 1 Cor. xiv. 11:19: It was the uniform practice of Christians,
from the earliest times, to read the Scriptures in the vulgar
tongue, and it was not till the period of Charlemagne that Latin
became the language of the Church services. Vide Usher's
"Historia Dogmatica." No two causes contributed so much to
the declension of Christianity and the progress of Mahometanism,
as the suppression by the Church of Rome of the vernacular
Scriptures, and her adoption of image-worship.
the Church of Christ is indeed one long, continuous, and exact
verification of Scriptural prophecy? 23
Against the British Church itself no charge of heretical
doctrine has at any time been advanced, though the heresiarch,
the very prince of heretics - Pelagius, was nursed in her bosom.
Bede's reluctant testimony is, on this point, decisive. Whilst
the Christian Churches in Asia, Africa, and on the Continent of
Europe were overrun with false doctrines, the British Church grew
up and covered with its shade the whole nation, untroubled for
the space of four centuries by any root of bitterness. It is
reasonable to infer that the foundations of such a Church were
very deeply and faithfully laid by the hands of wise master-
builders. According to the foundation rose the superstructure,
resting on these four pillars - St. Paul, Simon Zelotes, Joseph,
Aristobulus. Its great evangelist in the second century, St.
Timotheus, the baptizer of his nephew King Lucius and of his
nobility at Winchester, had also received the faith from the
mouth of Paul him-
23 A few of these prophecies we subjoin:
"It is a light thing that thou shouldest be My servant to raise
up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the outcasts of Israel: I
will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest
be My salvation unto the ends of the earth. Kings shall see and
arise; princes also shall worship. Behold they shall come from
the north and from the west. Kings shall be thy nursing-fathers
and queens thy nursing-mothers. Arise, shine, for thy light is
come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. 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. The sons of strangers shall build up thy
walls, and kings shall minister unto thee. Thou shalt suck the
milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings. I will
set My sign among them, and send them that escape of them unto
the nations, unto the isles afar off, and they shall declare My
glory unto the Gentiles. They shall inherit the land for ever,
the branch of My planting." - Isaiah xlix, Ix, lxvi.
(As often is the case with Bible prophecy, there can be more than
one fulfilment - a type - and then the full fulfilment. This
prophecy of Isaiah is for the Kingdom of God on earth, when Jesus
will return, when Israel shall be delivered from captivity, and
finally be the witness to the whole world of salvation and the
light of God - Keith Hunt)
self. This unanimity of faith in the founders impressed itself on
the Church they founded, which "continued in the things it had
learned and been assured of, knowing from whom it had learned
Having thus first surveyed the religions of the ancient
world at the birth of Christianity, and next traced the
introduction of the latter, and its progress in Britain, a
bird's-eye-view will shew us the following Churches, making up
the Catholic Church sixty-six years after the Incarnation:--In
Palestine - Jerusalem, Samaria, Caesarea, Lydda; in Assyria -
Babylon; in Syria - Antioch, Damascus; in Asia-Minor - Antioch of
Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, Ephesus, Smyrna, Sardis, Thyatira,
Pergamos, Philadelphia, Caesarea in Cappadocia; Laodicea,
Colosse, Galatia; in Greece - Athens, Corinth, Thessalonica,
Beraea, Philippi, Crete; in Egypt - Alexandria; in Italy - Rome;
in Gaul - Lyons; in Britain - Cor Avalon (Glastonbury), Cor Salog
(Old Sarum), Cor Ilid (Llan Ilid) in Siluria.
The force of the testimony for St. Paul's residence in
Britain may be more clearly estimated by comparing it with that
for St. Peter's at Rome. The earliest testimony in favour of the
latter is that of Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, A.D.180, 1 prior to
which we find no indication in the Scriptures or ecclesiastical
authors that St. Peter ever visited or ever intended to visit
Rome, which, as a Gentile Church over which St. Paul in the most
pointed manner claimed jurisdiction, 2 was certainly not within
the province of the apostle of the circumcision. Britain, on the
contrary, was within Paul's province, placed already, as
1 Irenaei Opera, lib. iii. c. 1: "Matthew published his Gospel
among the Hebrews in his own language while Peter and Paul were
engaged in evangelizing and founding the Christian Church at
2 "My apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations,
among whom are ye also ... that I might have some fruit among you
also, as among other Gentiles." - Rom. 1. 5, 13.
Ephesus and Crete had been, by Paul himself under one of his
bishops, Aristobulus. If we are to concede that St. Peter founded
the Roman Church in person, much more are we compelled by
infinitely stronger evidence to acknowledge that St. Paul in
person founded the British Church. 3
Of St. Paul's life after quitting Britain no particulars
have descended to us. After visiting Asia we find him in the last
scene of his life returned to the bosom of the British royal
family at Rome. In his farewell charges to Timothy he sends him
the greetings of Pudens, Linus, and Claudia. These, with that of
Eubulus, the cousin of Claudia, are the only names of the
brethren mentioned by him; these ministered to him on the eve of
his martyrdom, these attended him when he was on the block of the
state lictor at Aquae Salviae, a little out of Rome, and these
3 If we desired to strengthen from Roman Catholic evidence the
apostolical foundations of the British Church, or to insist that
it can with equal justice, at least, as the Roman Church, claim
St. Peter amongst its founders, it would not be difficult to
adduce the affirmative evidence of Roman Catholic authorities
upon the point. Cornelius a Lapide, in answering the question
"How came St. Paul not to salute St. Peter in his Epistle to the
Romans," states, "Peter, banished with the rest of the Jews from
Rome by the edict of Claudius, was absent in Britain." (Cornelius
d Lapide, in "Argumentum Epistolce St. Pauli ad Romanos," c.
xvi.) Eusebius Pamphilus, if we can credit the quotation of him
by a very untrustworthy author, Simeon Metaphrastes, states St.
Peter to have been in Britain as well as Rome. - (Metaphrastes ad
29 Junii.) The vision to which St. Peter refers, 2 Pet. 1. 14,
"Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as
our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me," is said to have appeared
to him in Britain on the spot where once stood the British Church
of Lambedr (St. Peter), and now stands the Abbey of St. Peter's,
Westminster. Lambeth may be a corruption of Lambedr. But this
question lies between Roman Catholic authors and their own
Church, which will scarcely put the seal of its infallibility on
a position that places the British Church on its own special
signed his remains with their own hands to the Pudentinian family
tomb on the Ostian Road. Like his Divine Master, "he made his
grave with the rich in his death." Linus, Claudia and Pudens and
their four children, when God in His appointed time called them
to receive the same crown of the Cross, were buried by his side
the other royal converts, Bran, Caractacus, Cyllinus, and Eurgain
died peaceably in Britain, and were interred in the cor of llid
in Siluria. All-kings, heroes, apostles, martyrs, saints - were
united in the kingdom of light, in the joy of their Lord. 4
4 Bede was a very earnest adherent of the novel papal Church,
introduced A.D.596, by Augustine into Britain, but the honesty
and simplicity of his character has rendered his history in many
respects a very inconvenient and obnoxious record to the said
Church. What became of the remains of St. Peter and St. Paul? At
Rome they still pretend to exhibit them, but Bede - and it must
be remembered he is a canonized saint in the Roman calenda
expressly states that the remains of the bodies of the apostles
Peter and Paul, the martyrs St. Lawrence, St. John, St. Gregory,
and St. Pancras, were, at the solicitation of King Oswy to Pope
Vitalian, removed from Rome to England, and deposited at
Canterbury A.D.656, Pope Vitalian's letter to Oswy being extant.
(Bede hist., lib. iii. c. 29.) Their remains, then, if any,
repose in British soil.
FROM the preceding investigation ensue the following
1. Before Christianity originated in Judaea, there had existed
from the remotest period in Britain a religion known as the
Druidic, of which the two leading doctrines were identical with
those of Christianity, viz., the immortality of the soul and
(The author is of course very wrong in supposing that true
Christianity taught and held the doctrine of the "immortality of
the soul." The author has become blinded to the fact that the
true Christianity introduced to Britain was eventually overcome
by the Roman Catholic church, and hence many teaching of false
theology became a part of "popular" Christianity of today - Keith
2. That this identity pointed out Britain as of all Gentile
countries the one best prepared for the reception of
3. That the only religions persecuted by the Roman government
were the Druidic and the Christian.
4. That this common persecution by the great military empire with
which Britain was engaged in incessant hostilities from A.D.43
to A.D.118, materially aided in predisposing the British mind in
favour of Christianity.
5. That Britain, being the only free state of Europe, was the
only country which afforded a secure asylum to the Christians
persecuted by the Roman government.
6. That a current of Christianity flowed into Britain from the
East contemporaneously with the first dispersion of the Church at
7. That the first planters of the Gospel in Britain never were in
Rome at all, but came hither from the mother Church at Jerusalem.
8. That these first planters were Joseph of Arimathaea and his
associates, who settled under the protection of the British king
Arviragus, in the Isle of Avalon, Glastonbury - one of the
Druidic cors of Somerset.
9. That among the earliest converts of Joseph and his fraternity
were Gladys (Pomponia Gracina) the sister, Gladys or Claudia,
and Eurgain, the daughters, and Linus the son of Caractacus,
prince of Siluria, and military dictator of the national forces
against the Romans.
10. That the second planter of the word was Simon Zelotes the
apostle, who was martyred and buried in the Roman province,
probably near Caistor, in Lincolnsbire.
11. That the third planter was Aristobulus, one of the seventy,
brother of St. Barnabas and father-in-law of St. Peter;
commissioned first bishop of Britain by St. Paul, and consecrated
by St. Barnabas, the two apostles to the Gentiles. That
Aristobulus was engaged in his mission in Britain when St. Paul
wrote his Epistle to the Romans, some years before his first
visit, or the visit of any other apostle, to Rome.
12. That Pudens, the husband of Claudia, Claudia herself, the
sister Eurgain, her brother Linus, and aunt Pomponia, being
converted prior to St. Paul's visit to Rome, the rest of the
British royal family, Bran, Caractacus, Cyllinus and Cynon, were
converted and baptized by St. Paul himself during his detention
in that city preceding his first trial. That the palace of Pudens
and Claudia was the home of St. Paul and the other apostles; that
their four children, Timotheus, Novatus, Pudentiana and Praxedes,
were instructed in the faith by St. Paul; and that Linus, the
brother of Claudia and second son of Caractacus, was appointed by
the same apostle first bishop of the Church of Rome, such Church
meeting at that time, and till the reign of Constantine, in the
aforesaid palace, called indifferently Domus Pudentis, Palatium
Britannicum, Domus Apostolorum, Titulus, Pastor, St. Pudentiana."
13. That after the return of Caractacus to Siluria, St. Paul
himself, following the footsteps of his bishop and forerunner,
Aristobulus, visited Britain, and confirmed the British Churches
in the faith.
14. That the last days of St. Paul, preceding his martyrdom at
Rome, were attended by Pudens, Claudia, Linus, Eubulus, whose
salutations he sends in his dying charge to Timothy, and that his
remains were interred by them in their family sepulchre.
15. That the foundations of the British Church were Apostolical,
being coeval, within a few years, with those of the Pentecostal
Church in Jerusalem--preceding those of the primitive Church of
Rome, so far as they were laid by either an apostle or apostolic
bishop, by seven years preceding the arrival of St. Peter at
Rome, as fixed by the great majority of Roman Catholic historians
(thirteenth year of Nero), by thirty years - preceding the first
arrival of the papal Church of Rome in Britain, under Augustine,
by 456 years.
16. That the British Church has from its origin been a royal one;
the royal family of ancient Britain - of whom our present
sovereign is, through the Tudors, the lineal blood representative
- being the first British converts to Christianity; 2. the
founders of the first Christian institutions in Britain; 3. the
chief instruments, in the second century, in the establishment of
Christianity as the state religion; and in the fourth century, in
the persons of Helen and Constantine the Great, the chief
instrument in the abolition of Paganism, and the substitution, in
its place, of Christianity over the whole Roman Empire.
(Again the author is blinded to the fact that the true
Christianity of Britain was being corrupted by the time of
Constantine; and when he became the Roman Emperor, brought into
Rome and Europe the first day sanctification; Easter instead of
Passover already in place in Europe. This false Christianity then
came into Britain in 596 AD and over many centuries, finally won
victory over the ancient British church. Britain became Roman.
When Britain broke with the Pope, and the Anglican or Church of
England was formed, it remained deeply entrenched with most of
the Roman Catholic traditions, rites, fancy dress for its
bishops, fancy altar incarnations and practices and teachings
etc. as it is today. The main difference between the Roman
Catholic church and the Church of England (Anglican church) is
that the Anglican church does not recognize the Pope. The author
cannot see that the Queen of England sits astride just as false
and deceptive a church as the Pope sits astride the deceptive
Roman church - Keith Hunt)
17. That the spiritual or ecclesiastical head of the British
Church was always a Briton, resident in Britain, amenable to
British laws, and British laws only, and having no superior in
the Church but Christ.
(But that does not mean the British church today, or Church of
England, is pure in doctrine, traditions, rites and practices.
Far from it; the Anglican church with its arch-bishop head, is
very much as false and deceptive as her mother church - The
church at Rome - Keith Hunt)
18. That whatever may be the religious advantages or
disadvantages of the union of the ecclesiastical and civil
governments in the person of the Sovereign, such union has been,
from the first colonization of our Island, first in Druidic and
then in Christian times, the native British, as opposed to the
foreign papal - and, in later times, dissenting principle of
(Once more the fact is the modern British church - the Anglican
church or Church of England, is just as false and deceptive in
teachings and practices, as the Roman church. The Anglican church
was born out of the Roman church, and is today as far apart from
the original ancient British church as is the church of Rome -