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a diet discordant from his anatomy, it cannot be guessed how many of our sorrows are factitious, how many inevitable."
Now that we have obtained the long lost knowledge of the Eleusinian doctrine, we should be glad to receive a faithful biography of the initiated in illustration of its influence.
Art. XI. Hints humbly submitted to Commentators, and more especially to such as have written elaborate Dissertations on the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Revelation of St. John. By William Witherby. 8vo. pp. 54. Price 1s. 6d. London. 1821. ON perusing the title of this pamphlet, we were prepared to congratulate the Author on the felicity of his choice in selecting the Writers of elaborate Dissertations on the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation of St. John, as the proper subjects of his admonitory counsels. For no class of writers are hints more necessary. It is scarcely possible, we think, for any sober person to recollect the various publications which have been circulated during the last twenty or thirty years, professedly in illustration of the prophecies of Scripture, without feeling strongly, that the dignity of Revelation was compromised in the numerous instances in which the contents of the sacred volume were made to subserve the prejudices and interests of party politicians, and to furnish incitements to war. The Dissertators themselves might perhaps now learn some salutary lessons from a serious and careful review of their own productions; and might be profitably employed in receiving the hints of some of their readers.
Mr. Witherby, however, does not assume so high an office as that of the corrector of the follies and errors to which we have referred. His "Hints" are of another kind, and are intended to caution Expositors against adopting the common method of interpreting the notes of prophetical time by reckoning a day a year.' We have, he contends, no ground in Scripture for the distinction of prophetical days and prophetical years. The written text, he maintains, ought to be literally interpreted. The witnesses, for example, Rev. xi. 3, are described as two only, and are, therefore, not otherwise to be considered. The time of their testimony is forty-two months, during which they will perform those signs and wonders which are predicted of them. The pamphlet scarcely proceeds beyond the bare statement of the Author's principle, and the enumeration of biblical passages adduced in its support. We entirely concur with him in the high estimate which he has formed of Archdeacon Woodhouse's work on the Apocalypse,-a work which is worthy of most honourable mention, and to which, perhaps, among all the volumes which have been written on the Apocalypse, a competent judge would award the right of precedence.
Art. XII. 1. Hora Britannica; or Studies in Ancient British History. By John Hughes. 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1818, 19.
2. The Welsh Nonconformist's Memorial; or Cambro-British Biography. By the late Rev. William Richards, LL.D. 12mo. London. 1820.
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WE are not aware that any consequence of the least importance is connected with the adjustment of the question, whether the British Islands were ever visited by St. Paul. As to the point of honour between the Church of England and the Church of Rome, we are quite willing to concede to the latter, in any case, an undoubted claim to remoter antiquity; that is to say, we admit that there was a Christian church at Rome before there was one at either Caerleon, Glastonbury, or London. Whether St. Peter ever visited Rome, we cannot tell : we are quite sure that St. Paul did; but, after all that the learning of Bishops Stillingfleet and Burgess has been able to bring in support of the hypothesis, we feel by no means assured that the Apostle of the Gentiles was ever either in England or in Wales. And what if he had been? Of any church which he might have founded in this Island, not a trace, assuredly, is left. Of either the circumstances or the results of such a visit, we have not an historical vestige; for, in the sixth century, no British ecclesiastical records were in existence. It is all but certain, indeed, that the Gospel was conveyed to Britain in the Apostolic age, by the family of Caractacus; but the knowledge of Christianity appears to have been for a long time almost entirely confined to Siluria and the adjacent districts; and even there, it made but little progress, owing, as it should seem, to the want of Christian teachers, and the powerful influence of the Druids. The Welsh Triads, the only historical documents which throw light upon the fact, state, that Brân (Brennus). the blessed, the son of Llyr the Stammerer, was the person who first introduced the Christian religion among the nation of the Cymry, from Rome, where he had been detained for seven years as a hostage for his son Caradoc (Caractacus). He is said to have been accompanied on his return to this country, by Ilid and Cynvan, who are termed Israelites, and Arwystli, (conjectured to be Aristobulus,) a man of Italy.' In the middle of the second century, Lucius, or Lleurwg, (called also Lleufer mawr or the Great Light,) King of the Silures, and greatgreat-grandson of Brennus, wrote to the bishop of Rome, requesting, according to Bede, to be admitted into the Christian Church, and soliciting, as it appears from other authorities, the assistance of religious instructors. His request was readily granted, and two missionaries from Rome, named Dwyvan and
Fagan (Duvianus and Faganus), returned with the British envoys Elvan and Medwy to Britain; by whose holy labours, if we may believe the monkish chronicles, idolatry was abolished throughout Britain, and eight and twenty dioceses formed in a trice. Mr. Lingard's version of the story, after deducting from the account of Nennius and his brethren every improbable circumstance,' is as follows: That Lucius was a believer in the Gospel; that he sent to Rome Fagan and Dervan, to be more perfectly instructed in the Christian faith; that these envoys were ordained by the pope, Evaristus or Eleutherius, and at their return, under the influence of their patron, increased the number of the proselytes by their preaching, and established the British, after the model of the continental churches. But, independently of their authority,' he adds, we have undoubted proof that the believers were numerous, and that a regular hierarchy had been instituted before the close of the third century. For by contemporary writers the church of Britain is always put on an equality with the churches of Spain and Gaul, and in one of the most early of the western councils, that of Arles in 314, we meet with the names of three British bishops, of Eborius of York for the province of Maxima, of Restitutus of London for that of Flavia, and of Adelphius of Richborough for that of Britannia Prima.'*
This legend reads very smoothly. But how came King Lucius to have it in his power to divide the whole Island into dioceses, by the help of Fagan and Dervan, when it is quite certain that he had as little authority in London and York as he had in Gaul or Spain? There could have been at this period not even a petty provincial sovereign, who was not a vassal of the Romans; and King Lucius was no more than this. Mr. Hughes says:
Archbishop Usher has found in an old Saxon Chronicle, a narration respecting this affair, which makes Lucius king of the BritWalli or the Britons of Wales, which is a more probable account of him than that which makes him King of Britain: for there never was in ancient times any one monarch of Britain, excepting that the various princes occasionally elected some popular leader to be their supreme ruler and generalissimo upon extraordinary emergencies. He was in fact a Silurian prince, upon good terms with the Romans, and beloved by his people. He is styled in the Triads, one of the three blessed princes, (the other two being Brân and Cadwallader,) on account of his being the founder of the first church, or place of Christian worship, which he erected at Llandaff; and he publicly acknowledged and afforded legal protection to all who professed the Christian faith. His territory extended not beyond the present county of Monmouth
* Hist. of England. Vol. 1. p. 49.
and a part of Glamorgan. Being descended from a race of princes who had in former ages been elected to exercise sovereign power over the confederated Britons, he might, perhaps, among his own people, be honoured with the style and title of King of the Britons. Vol. II. pp. 45, 6.
The conversion of King Lucius, then, cannot be considered as the era of the first introduction of Christianity into Britain, as the Romish writers pretend, nor does it give us the date of the English hierarchy. Although a fact of considerable historical interest, its importance was chiefly local. The very circumstance of Lucius's sending envoys to Rome, proves, that he was previously acquainted with the Christian religion, that Christianity had already an existence in that part of the Island; while it strengthens the probability of the statement, that it had been originally brought from Rome by his immediate ancestors, to which place, as the supposed source of the traditional faith, he would naturally send for further instruction. But, for the first propagation of Christianity in the eastern and central parts of the Island, we must look to other and more general circumstances connected with the early history of England.
Although we have no authentic account of any Apostolic mission to Britain, although it is altogether matter of hypothesis, who the two Israelites and the supposed Aristobulus were, who accompanied the Silurian prince on his return from Rome, still, the concurrent testimony of the Fathers is decisive, that Britain was one of the countries which were favoured with the light of the Gospel in the Apostolic age. The assertion of Eusebius, that some of the Apostles passed over the ocean to the Bri'tish isles,' is too vague to be relied on in any other sense than, that some of the preachers of the Apostolic age visited Britain. The intercourse between this country and Rome, at once explains, however, how Christianity of necessity made its way into those parts of the Island which were subjugated by the Romans. Further details, could they be obtained, might gratify an innocent curiosity, but could answer no higher purpose. Both Pomponia Græcina, the wife of the proconsul Aulus Plautius, and Claudia, a British lady, who had married the senator Pudens, are, on very plausible grounds, believed to have been Christians. The former is supposed by Bishop Stilingfleet, to have been one of St. Paul's converts: she was charged with having embraced a strange and foreign superstition, and her trial was entrusted to her husband, who appears to have connived at her alleged crime, rather than to have investigated the charge with severity. But we have no means of ascertaining whether those solitary instances of supposed conversion, led to any important results. They are interesting chiefly as seryVOL. XVI. N. S. 2 P
ing to illustrate the indirect and incidental way in which, by means of intermarriages between the Romans and the conquered nation, the return of British prisoners, or the influx of Roman colonists into Britain, and, possibly, of refugees in the times of persecution, the Christian doctrine would silently but certainly diffuse itself, so that before the close of the second century, it had penetrated among the independent tribes of the North: Brittannorum inaccessa Romanis loca, Christo vero subdita. (Tertullian.) The persecution under Diocletian was, in Britain, singularly mild, Owing to the enlightened government of Constantius. The churches in every district, indeed, we are told by the monkish writers, were levelled with the ground, and many hundreds of Christians are said by them to have suffered both torture and death; but the British martyrology of this period is so exceedingly scanty, as to warrant the suspicion, either that the Christians were comparatively few, or that the persecution was very partial. The name of Alban, a citizen of Verulam, and those of Julius and Aaron, citizens of Caerleon upon Usk, have been alone preserved by Gildas; and it is remarkable that all these were Roman citizens. Alban is stated to have been a person of con siderable rank, descended from Roman ancestors, and an officer under the Roman government. He was accused of secreting a Christian teacher from Caerleon, the Amphibalus of the British Chronicles; and, refusing to give up his guest, who had, it seems, been the instrument of his conversion to the faith, he was himself brought before the heathen tribunal, and, on his professing himself a Christian, condemned to death. Amphibalus is said to have suffered at the neighbouring town of Redburn. He is conjectured by Mr. Hughes to have been one of the two citizens of Caerleon mentioned by Gildas; Amphibalus, a word denoting an upper garment, being given to him in the Chronicle by mistake. Julius or Julian, he supposes to be the St. Sulien to whom some churches in Wales are dedicated; Aaron was probably Caran or Garan. Verulam and Caerleon are the only places which appear to have furnished at this period a martyr. The number of those who suffered at Verulam, is indeed said to have been no less than a thousand; and the same round number of persons are mentioned as suffering in some part of Wales. But, remarks Mr. Hughes,
as the storm soon blew over, and it does not appear that it raged with any great violence in this Island, the accounts which speak of such a host of martyrs must be considered as utterly fabulous, the device of the monks of the middle ages. This persecution, in all probability, extended only to a few of the most zealous professors of Christianity. What confirms this is, that in those old Welsh fragments of the British saints and martyrs, we have no account of any who suffered in the Dioclesian persecution; and, by every thing which we can find, the