The Bible gives a fairly complete account of the life of St. Paul; his conversion, his missionary journeys, and his martyrdom in Rome. But there is a period of time, approximately six years, of which the Bible remains silent. This would be the period after his trial and acquittal in Rome and before his return to Rome to cast his fate with his many converts. These were his Christian brethren who were being put to death by the thousands during the reign of Emperor Nero.
It would be reasonable to assume that during this period, Paul visited Spain as he had planned (Rom. 15:28) and perhaps re-visited some of the churches in Asia Minor. But, Paul had expressed a desire to preach the Gospel to those to whom the name of Christ was not known. There can be no question that Paul had heard of the "Tin Islands" because the Romans had already conquered the greater part of Britain. The Apostle could have met many in Rome and elsewhere who had been there, either as traders or with the Roman army. Having journeyed so near to Britain as Spain and Gaul, it is altogether reasonable to suppose that Paul would have made the short voyage across the English Channel.
The Sonnini Manuscript, better known as the "Long Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles" contains the account of Paul's journey in Spain and Britain. The document, purporting to be the concluding portion of the "Acts of the Apostles", covers a portion of the period after Paul's two years enforced residence in Rome, in his own hired house. It is written in the style of the Acts and reads like a continuation.
It was found interleaved in a copy of "Sonnini's Travels in Turkey and Greece", and was purchased at the sale of the library and effects of the late Right Honourable Sir John Newport, Bart., in Ireland. Sir John's family arms were engraved on the cover of the book. It had been in his possession for over thirty years. With the book was a document from the Sultan of Turkey, granting to C.S. Sonnini permission to travel in all parts of the Ottoman dominions. C. S. Sonnini translated the document from the original Greek manuscript found in the Archives at Constantinople, and presented to him by the Sultan Abdoul Achmet.
Points in favor of the authenticity of the manuscript are:
1. Its being preserved in the Archives of Constantinople.
It has all the appearances of being of an ancient date.
3. It is written in Greek, and in the manner of the Acts.
4. The places and peoples mentioned are called by their ancient Roman names.
5. Its Scriptural brevity and conception of the Divine purpose and plan.
6. Its Gospel-like character is dignified and spiritual.
7. Its prophetic expressions are in a Biblical style.
8. Its ending in the word "amen." (The Biblical Acts of the Apostles and the Book of James are the only two New Testament Books not ending in "amen." This has lead some Bible scholars to believe they are incomplete in their present form).
The following is the contents of the title page of Sonnini's work, in which the English translation of the document was found: "Travels in Turkey and Greece undertaken by order of Louis XVI, and with the authority of the Ottoman Court, by Sonnini, member of several scientific or literary societies of the Society of Agriculture of Paris, and of the Observers of Men." Mores multorum videt it ubes. - Hor.,London: Printed for T.N. Longman and O. Rees, Paternoster Row, 1801.
The following is the English translation of the Manuscript, the authenticity of which cannot be vouched for.
COPY OF THE SONNINI MANUSCRIPT
Verse 1. And Paul, full of the blessings of Christ, and abounding in the spirit, departed out of Rome, determining to go into Spain, for he had a long time proposed to journey thitherward, and was minded also to go from thence to Britain.
Verse 2. For he had heard on Phoenicia that certain of the children of Israel, about the time of the Assyrian captivity, had escaped by sea to "The Isles afar off" as spoken of by the Prophet [Esdra], and called by the Romans – Britain.
Verse 3. And the Lord commanded the gospel to be preached far hence to the Gentiles [nations], and to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel [Acts 9:15, 22:21]
Verse 4. And no man hindered Paul; for he testified boldly of Jesus before the tribunes and among the people; and he took with him certain of the brethren which abode with him at Rome, and they took shipping at Ostrium and having the winds fair, were brought safely into a haven of Spain.
Verse 5. And much people were gathered together from the towns and villages, and the hill country; for they had heard of the conversion of the Apostles, and the many miracles, which he had wrought.
Verse 6. And Paul preached mightily in Spain, and great multitude believed and were converted, for they perceived he was an Apostle sent from God.
Verse 7. And they departed out of Spain, and Paul and his company finding a ship in Armorica sailing unto Britain, they were therein, and passing along the south coast, they reached a port called Raphinus. (This is the Roman name for Sandwhich, in Kent. In Saxon times there was, still standing in Sandwhich, an old house called the "House of the Apostles" and tradition has it that Paul was one of the Apostles).
Verse 8. Now when it was voiced abroad that the Apostle had landed on their coast, great multitudes of the inhabitants met him, and they treated Paul courteously and he entered in at the east gate of their city, and lodged in the house of an Hebrew and one of his own nation (tribe).
Verse 9. And on the morrow he came and stood upon Mount Lud (Ludgate Hill and Broadway where St. Paul’s Cathedral stands in London, England) and the people thronged at the gate, and they believed the Word and testimony of Jesus.
Verse 10. And even the Holy Ghost fell upon Paul, and he prophesied, saying, Behold in the last days the God of Peace shall dwell in the cities, and the inhabitants thereof shall be numbered: and in the seventh numbering of the people, their eyes shall be opened, and the gory of their inheritance shine forth before them. The nations shall come to worship on the mount that testifieth of the patience and long suffering of a servant of the Lord.
Verse 11. And in the latter days new tidings of the gospel shall issue forth out of Jerusalem, and the hearts of the people shall rejoice, and behold, fountains shall be opened, and there shall be no more plague.
Verse 12. In those days there shall be wars and rumor of war; and a king shall rise up, and his sword, shall be for the healing of the nations, and his peacemaking shall abide, and the glory of his kingdom a wonder among princes.
Verse 13. And it shall come to pass that certain of the Druids came unto Paul privately, and showed by their rites and ceremonies that they were descended from Jews [Judahites] which escaped from bondage in the land of Egypt, and the Apostle believed these things, and he gave them the kiss of peace.
Verse 14. And Paul abode in his lodgings three months confirming in the faith and preaching Christ continually.
Verse 15. And after these things Paul and his brethren departed from Raphinus and sailed unto Atium in Gaul.
Verse 16. And Paul preached in the Roman garrison and among the people, exhorting all men to repent and confess all their sins.
Verse 17. And there came to him certain of the Belgae to inquire of him the new doctrine, and of the man Jesus; and Paul opened his heart unto them and told them all things that had befallen him, howbeit, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; and they departed pondering among themselves upon the things which they had heard.
Verse 18. And after much preaching and toil, Paul and his fellow labourers passed into Helvetia, and came to Mount Pontius Pilate, where he who condemned the Lord Jesus dashed himself down headlong, and so miserably perished.
Verse 19. And immediately a torrent gushed out of the mountain and washed his body, broken in pieces, into a lake.
Verse 20. And Paul stretched forth his hands upon the water, and prayed unto the Lord saying O Lord God, give a sign unto all nations that here Pontius Pilate which condemned thine only-begotten Son, plunged down headlong into the pit.
Verse 21. And while Paul was yet speaking, behold, there came a great earth-quake, and the face of the waters was changed, and the form of the lake like unto the Son of Man hanging in an agony upon the Cross.
Verse 22. And a voice came out of heaven saying, Even Pilate hath escaped the wrath to come for he washed his hands before the multitude at the blood shedding of the Lord Jesus [Matthew 27:24].
Verse 23. When, therefore, Paul and those that were with him saw the earthquake, and heard the voice of the angel, they glorified God, and were mightily strengthened in the spirit.
Verse 24. And they journeyed and came to Mount Julius where stood two pillars, one on the right hand and one on the left hand, erected by Caesar Augustus.
Verse 25. And Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, stood up between the two pillars, saying, Men and brethren these stones which ye see this day shall testify of my journey hence; and I verily say, they shall remain until the outpouring of the spirit upon all (Israel) nations, neither shall the way be hindered throughout all generations.
Verse 26. And they went forth and came unto Illitricum, intending to go by Macedonia into Asia, and grace was found in all the churches, and they prospered and had peace. Amen!
COMMENTARY BY E. RAYMOND CAPT
Verse 9 speaks of St. Paul speaking on Mount Lud. It is noteworthy that one of the earliest of the Pauline British traditions tells of Paul preaching to the Druids on the same mount. Verse 10 contains a remarkable prediction that "...nations shall come to worship on the Mount that testifieth of the patience and long-suffering of a servant of the Lord." One cannot fail to see that this prediction has had striking fulfillment in the magnificent edifice (St.Paul's Cathedral), which stands on the site of Mount Lud. It bears the Apostle's own name, and has been the meeting place for men of other nations who have come to worship before the Lord.
While it may seem incredible to some Bible scholars that Paul preachedin Britain, there is Biblical justification for such a mission. This would have been but a continuance of the commission Christ gave the original Apostles; "...ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8) Note that the expression is "part," singular –
not parts, which indicates it must have been a particular geographic location like the others listed -- Judea, Samaria. Butdoes the phrase...the "uttermost part of the earth" refer to the British Isles?
One clue is given us by Agricola, the Roman governor of Britain (A.D. 37-93). He declared that he sailed up the east side of Britain and discovered "Ultima Thule," an expression well known in the Roman world, and applied to the remotest parts of the north and west of Europe. Galgacus, one of the chieftains of Caledonia, or Scotland, renowned for his valour in resisting the Romans, in rallying his people said: "the extremity of the earth is ours. Defined by our situation we have this day preserved our honour and the rights of men. But we are no longer safe in our obscurity. Our retreat is laid open. This is the end of the habitable world, and rocks and brawling waves fill all the space behind."
Further evidence that "the uttermost part of the earth" is intended to refer to Britain is found in the Scottish Declaration of Independence, which was drawn up in 1320 in protest against the attempt by Edward I to conquer Scotland with the help of the Pope. The document is deposited in the National Registry at Edinburgh, and states: "The nation of the Scots... passing from the greater Scythis through the Mediterranean Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and sojourning in Spain among the most savage tribes through a long course of time, could nowhere be subjugated by any people, however barbarous; and coming thence one-thousand-two-hundred years after the outgoing of the people of Israel...acquired for themselves the possessions of the West. In this kingdom, one hundred and thirteen kings or their own royal stock, no strangers intervening, have reigned, whose nobility and merits... shine out plainly enough from this, that the King of kings, even our Lord Jesus Christ, after His passion and resurrection, called them, though situated at the uttermost part of the earth, almost the first, to His most holy faith."
THE SCOTTISH DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCEThe Declaration of Arbroath
To the Most High Holy Father in Christ and Lord, the Lord John, by divine providence Supreme Pontift of the Holy Roman and Universal Church, his humble and devout sons Duncan, Earl of Fife, Thomas Randolph Earl of Moray, Lord of Man and of Annandale, Patrick Dunbar, Earl of March, Malise, Earl of Strathearn, Macolm, Earl of Lennos, William, earl of Ross, Magnus, Earl of Caithness and Orkney and William, Earl of Sutherland; Walter, Stewart of Scotland, William Soules, Butler of Scotland, James, Lord of Douglas, Roger Mowbray, David, Lord of Brechin, David Graham, Ingram Umfraville, John Menteith, guardian of the earldom of Menteith, Alexander Fraser, Gilbert Hay, constable of Scotland, Robert Keith, Marischal of Scotland, Henry St. Clair, John Graham, David Lindsay, William Oliphant, Patrick Graham, John Fenton, William Abernathy, David Wemyss, William Mushet, Fergus of Ardrossan, Eustace Maxwell, William Ramsey, William Mowat, Alan Murray, Donald Campbell, John Cameron, Reginald Cheyne, Alexander Seton, Andrew Leslie, and Alexander Straiton, and the other barons and freeholders and the whole community of the realm of Scotland send all manner of filial reverence, with devout kisses of his blessed feet.
Most Holy Father and Lord, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown. They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race however barbarous. Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today. The Britons they first drove out, the Picts they utterly destroyed, and even though very often assailed by the Norwegians, the Danes and the English, they took possession of that home with many victories and untold efforts; and, as the historians of old time bear witness, they have held it free of all bondage ever since. In their kingdom there have reigned one hundred and thirteen kings of their own royal stock, the line unbroken by a single foreigner.
The high qualities and deserts of these people, were they not otherwise manifest, gain glory enough from this: that the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Lord Jesus Christ, after His Passion and Resurrection, called them, even though settled in the uttermost parts of the earth, almost the first to His most holy faith. Nor would He have them confirmed in that faith by merely anyone but by the first of His Apostles by calling though second or third in rank the most gentle Saint Andrew, the Blessed Peter’s brother, and desired him to keep them under his protection as their patron for ever.
The Most Holy Fathers your predecessors gave careful heed to these things and bestowed many favours and numerous privileges on this same kingdom and people, as being the special charge of the Blessed Peter’s brother. Thus our nation under their protection did indeed live in freedom and peace up to the time when that mighty prince the King of the English, Edward, the father of the one who reigns today, when our kingdom has no head and our people harboured no malice or treachery and were then unused to wars or invasions, came in the guise of a friend and ally to harass them as an enemy. The deeds of cruelty, massacre, violence, pillage, arson, imprisoning prelates, burning down monasteries, robbing and killing monks and nuns, and yet other outrages without number which he committed against our people, sparing neither age nor sex, religion nor rank, on one could describe nor fully imagine unless he had seen them with his own eyes.
But from these countless evils we have been set free, by the help of Him who though He afflicts yet heals and restores, by our most tireless Prince King and Lord, the Lord Robert. He, that his people and his heritage might be delivered out of the hands of our enemies, met toil and fatigue, hunger and peril, like another Maccabaeus or Joshua, and bore them cheerfully. Him, too, divine providence his right of succession according to our laws and customs which we shall maintain to the death, and the due consent and assent of us all have made our Prince and King. To him, as to the man by whom salvation has been wrought unto our people, we are bound both by law and by his merits that our freedom may still be maintained, and by him, come what may, we mean to stand.
Yet if he should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we an any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.
Therefore it is, Reverend Father and Lord, that we beseech your Holiness with our most earnest prayers and suppliant hearts, inasmuch as you will in your sincerity and goodness consider all this, that, since with Him Whose vice-gerent on earth you are there is neither weighing nor distinction of Jew and Greek, Scotsman or Englishman, you will look with the eyes of a father on the troubles and privations brought by the English upon us and upon the Church of God. May it please you to admonish and exhort the King of the English, who ought be satisfied with what belongs to him since England used once to be enough for seven kings or more, to leave us Scots in peace, who live in this poor little Scotland, beyond which there is on dwelling place at all, and covet nothing but our own. We are sincerely willing to do anything for him, having regard to our condition, that we can, to win peace for ourselves.
This truly concerns you, Holy Father, since you see the savagery of the heathen raging against the Christian, as the sins of Christians have indeed deserved, and the frontiers of Christendom being pressed inward every day; and how much it will tarnish your holiness’s memory if (which God forbid) the Church suffers eclipse or scandal in any branch of it during your time, you must perceive. Then rouse the Christian princes who for false reasons pretend that they cannot go to the help of the Holy Land because of wars they have on had with their neighbours. The real reason that prevents them is that in making war on their smaller neighbours they find quicker profit and weaker resistance. But how cheerfully our Lord the King and we too would go there if the King of the English would leave us in peace, He from Whom nothing is hidden well knows; and we profess and declare it to you as the vicar of Christ and to all Christendom.
But if your Holiness puts too much faith in the tales the English tell and will not give sincere belief to all this, nor refrain from favouring them to our prejudice, then the slaughter of bodies, the perdition of souls, and all the other misfortunes that will follow, inflicted by them on us and by us on them, will, we believe, be surely laid by the most High to your charge.
To conclude, we are and shall ever be, as far as duty calls us, ready to do your will in all things, as obedient sons to you as His Vicar; and to Him as the Supreme King and Judge, we commit the maintenance of our cause, casting our cares upon Him and firmly trusting that He will inspire us with courage and bring our enemies to nought.
May the Most High preserve you to His Holy Church in holiness and health and grant you length of days.
Given at the monastery of Arbroath in Scotland on the sixth day of the month of April in the year of grace thirteen hundred and twenty and the fifteenth year of the reign of our King aforesaid. End
In this document, the Scots not only refer to themselves as situated in "the utter-most part of the earth" but also that they are of Israel, and date their history from the Exodus, here termed "the outgoing of the people of Israel." This furnishes a reasonable explanation for the Apostles carrying the Gospel to Britain. Their ministry was to be an extension of His own, and must lie within the scope of old time prophecy. "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 10:5,6) "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matt. 15:24)Without doubt, their ministry was to Israel, and not some mysterious, foreign land and people. This agrees with the vision given to Esdras of "The Most High" leading escaped Israel from Assyria.
For three and a half years the Gospel was preached in and around Jerusalem, and then the teaching began to spread far and wide. Paul looked after the churches in Asia Minor, and we can find no record of any of the Twelve assisting him. After Pentecost, we are not told any more concerning the activities of eight of the Twelve. The one who had betrayed Jesus was replaced by Matthias, and his name is not mentioned again. This leaves only Peter and John about whom we hear nothing more, apart from the Epistles and the Book of Revelation, which they wrote. Paul acknowledges that these were ministers of the circumcision, and yet when he went to Jerusalem for a 15 day visit, he saw only James, the Lord's brother and Peter: "...but other of the apostles saw I none" (Gal. 1:19) Where could they possibly be if they were ministering to "the circumcision" but not in Jerusalem, Judea or Samaria? Circumcision was the outward sign of the Kingdom Covenant, which God made with Israel through Abraham, and therefore we must conclude that they had followed Israel to the "appointed place" -- the coastlands and islands of the northwest.
Generally overlooked by Bible scholars is the fact that Israel was "appointed" a place outside of Palestine. In the Second Book of Samuel, Chapter 1, we read how God would establish David's house, kingdom and throne forever in safety, but not in the Holy Land, which had once been occupied by others who now surrounded them as enemies. For he says in verse 10: "Moreover, I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime." Since they were then in Palestine it follows that the appointed place had to be somewhere else.
Although the Bible does not tell us of the migrations of Israel all the way from Palestine to Western Europe and the islands in the northwest, it does say how and when they started. This is not an occasion for a detailed study of this subject. It should be pointed out that when Paul entered Britain, he was not the first to carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Britain. Joseph of Arimathea, the great uncle of Jesus, together with other of the Disciples of Christ, had already laid the foundation of the Christian faith in the Isles of the West. King Arviragus, cousin of the great Caradoc, accepted the new faith, as did Bran (the Blessed), the father of Caradoc. It was Bran, as King of Siluria who acclaimed Britain to be a Christian nation before the Roman invasion.
Caradoc is given official credit as being the first general to lead a Christian army in battle in defense of the faith. With this knowledge in mind,let us examine Paul's Epistle to the Romans (so-called). In chapter 1:7 and 8 he starts out as follows: "To all those that be in Rome beloved of God called saints..." Then he goes on in verse 8: "First I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world". Speaking with such assurance could only mean that Paul was speaking from first hand information; speaking as an eyewitness so to speak.
One remaining question should be raised. If Paul preached in Britain -- has any portion of his doctrine or teachings in Britain come down to us? And such doctrine would surely be transmitted in a British form, and most probably in that triadic form in which the Druids (the religious teachers of Britain) delivered their teachings. Such triads do exist. Written in the ancient British language, these triads have always been known as "the Triads of Paul the Apostle." While they are not found, either whole of fragmentally, in his Epistles, the morality expressed is in complete agreement with the rest of hisgospel preaching.
TRIADS OF PAUL THE APOSTLE
"There are three sorts of man: The man of God, who renders good for evil; the man of men, who renders good for good and evil for evil; the man of the devil, who renders evil for good."
"Three kinds of men are the delights of God: the meek; the lovers of peace; the lovers of mercy."
"There are three marks of 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 self."
"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 power."
"The three chief considerations of a Christian; Lest he should displease God: lest he should be a stumbling block 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."
To further our study of Paul's interest in Britain we should turn to his Epistle of the Romans. "To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom.1: 7) In the closing chapter (Chap.16) we find a very interesting list of names of individuals that Paul had in mind at the time of writing and with whom he was closely associated. These people and their kinship with Paul are generally overlooked by Bible scholars; however, they deserve special notice from us. A little analysis here will help us to understand why Paul was not only desirous of visiting Rome on his way to Spain but also Britain.
In the third verse of chapter sixteen we find the names, "Priseilia and Aquila". They were the owners of the home where Paul was a guest and where the members of the Christian Church in Rome assembled. Verses five and six mention other friends and co-workers. In verse seven, in the same chapter, we find the names of Andronicus and Junia who are noted as "kinsmen" and implied as having become Christians before Paul's conversion. In verse 10, we read the following: "Salute them of Aristobulus' household." Among the names listed in the following verses we find other kinsmen (relatives) mentioned; "Herodian;" (v.ll) "Rufus;" (v. 13) "Lucius," "Jason," and "Sosipater." (v. 21) Evidently,’ the Apostle knew all these persons quite well before going to Rome and was seeking to renew old acquaintances.
Timotheus, who is known generally by the name "Timothy'" is also mentioned in chapter sixteen of Romans. In a later letter to Timothy, Paul again mentions Prisca (Priscilla) and Aquila, her husband (Tim. II 4:19). In verse 21, Paul mentions one "Eubulus", before referred to as "Aristobulus." (Rom. 16:10) At the time of the writing of "Timothy" Aristobulus was present with Paul in Rome. Other names that Paul mentions are "Pudens" and "Linus" and still another "Claudia." It is certain from Paul's own letters to the Romans and to Timothy, that he was on the most intimate and affectionate terms with the mother of Rufus Pudens, with Rufus Pudens himself, with Claudia, his wife, and Linus.
Before going into these details it is important to examine some historical events prior to Paul's actual arrival in Rome (generally conceded between the years 58 A.D. to 60 A.D.). In the year A.D. 42, Claudius, Emperor of the Romans, issued his fateful decree that the acceptance of the Druidic or Christian faith was a capital offence, punishable by death. Christians were to be killed by the sword, the torture chamber, or to be thrown to the lions in the arena of the colosseum. In his edict, Claudius ordered the complete destruction of Christian Britain and the burning of its great institutions and libraries. To this purpose, Claudius equipped the largest and most efficient army ever sent by Rome to conquer a foe. The Commander-in-Chief selected by the Emperor to carry out his edict was Aulus Plautius, whom Rome records as being one of the most brilliant commanders and strategist in her military history.
The Romans had not previously held any special enmity toward the British, and perhaps, grudgingly, they held the Briton in respect. For centuries, commerce and culture had drawn them together and it was not uncommon for the children of the nobility, on both sides, to be sent to the educational institutions of the other. However, the overwhelming rise of Christianity, producing an ever-increasing flow of neophytes being sent to other lands to teach "The Way," was viewed with grave consternation at Rome. Rome could no longer ignore this challenge to its own pagan policies and imperial security.
Plautius arrived in Britain A.D. 43, making his headquarters at Chichester, in that area of Britain now known as England. His first military campaign was against the Silurians to the south. The Silurian army was led by Guiderius. He was the elder brother of Arviragus, who was second in command and ruled over his Dukedom of Cornwall. Both armies clashed with great ferocity and the Romans, probably underestimating the quality of their opponents, were forced to retreat. In the second battle with the Silurians, the Romans killed Guiderius who was succeeded by his brother, Arviragus.
At this time another branch of the Silurian kingdom, lying farther south in what is now Wales, had not entered the conflict. This southern kingdom, known as the Welsh Silures was ruled by Caradoc, first cousin to Arviragus. A few years before this record, Caradoc's father, Bran or Brennus (son of Llyr), known as the "Good King Bran," had abdicated his throne voluntarily in favour of his son. Following his abdication, Bran became Arch Druid of the College of Siluria, where he remained till called upon to be a hostage for his son. At the time of his accession to the throne, Caradoc had three sons; Cyllin or Cyllinus, Lleyn or Linus, and Cynon, and two daughters, Eurgain and Gladys, (later renamed Claudia).
As the conflict between Rome and Britain increased in vigor and magnitude, Caradoc realized the seriousness of the situation and committed his personal forces against the common enemy. Caradoc was a man of great leadership, intelligent, versed in the arts of politics and warfare. He had received his education, chiefly, in the British Druidic universities and partly in Rome. He was an able administrator of outstanding stature. His countenance was described by Roman writers as "bold and honourable."
It was the law among the British that the supreme leader of an army, especially when more than one clan was involved, could only be appointed by general acclamation of the people, the military council and the Arch Druids. The election to such a command was known by the of ficial title of "Pendragon," meaning "Commander-in-Chief." By popular election, Caradoc, better known in history by the name the name the Romans gave him - "Caractucus," was appointed Pendragon; Arviragus consenting to act under him.
For nine years, Caractacus, King of Siluria, waged ceaseless warfare against the Roman Legions. With Arviragus at his right hand, he matched his foe; blow for blow and in many instances the famed Legions of Rome suffered defeat with terrible slaughter. Five of the greatest generals mentioned in Roman history were, at one time or another, singly or in joint action, pitted against this noble Briton; Plautius, Geta, Vespacian (future Emperor of Rome), Titus and Augustus. As a strategist, Rome never met Caractacus' equal.
No better picture can be obtained of the relentless manner in which the war between Rome and Britain was fought, with victory swinging from one side to the other, than by reading the reports of the foremost Roman writers, Tacitus, Martial, Juvenal and others. With ungrudging admiration they tell how the Silurian warriors, led by Caractacus and Arviragus, swept onward in irresistible waves over the bodies of their dead and dying comrades with a battling savagery that appalled the hardened, war scarred veterans of the Roman Legions. For the first time the Romans met women warriors fighting side by side with their men in defense of their homeland and new faith, Christianity, the Gospel of Jesus, with the freedom it gave to all who believed in Him.
After two years of ceaseless warfare, Claudius recognizing the futility of the struggle and the terrible drainage on his finest Legions offered a six-month truce to seek peace through an armistice. As an inducement to peace, the Emperor Claudius offered his daughter, Venus Julia (named after Venus, mother of Aeneas and of the Julian family, therefore of Trojan stock), to Arviragus in marriage. And amazing as it appears, they were married in Rome during the truce period, A.D. 45.
During the six month's truce while Caractacus and Arviragus were at Rome discussing peace terms and the latter was getting married, Gladys, (Celtic for Princess) the sister of the British General Caractacus, was united in marriage to the Roman Commander-in-Chief, Aulus Plautius who had remained in Britain maintaining the truce on behalf of Rome. Upon her marriage, Gladys took the name of "Pomponia," according to the Roman custom. This was the name of the Plautium clan. Later, the name "Graecina" was added, so that she is thereafter known as "Pomponia Graecina Plautius."
Here, we have the strange instance of a Christian British king becoming the son-in-law of the pagan Roman Emperor Claudius, who has sworn to exterminate Christianity and Britain. It seems incredible to modern historians that the Emperor of a nation, then the most powerful in the world, high in culture and intellectual pursuits, would give his daughter over to an enemy of Rome, and a barbarian follower of The Way, just for the sake of peace. There had to be some other valid reason and as events unfold we can see that the unseen Hand of God was writing the script. This marriage was but the beginning of other similar strange circumstances that were later to have a tremendous influence on the Christian movement in Rome.
COIN OF CLAUDIUS
The peace initiative collapsed and hostilities were resumed between the British and the Romans. Commander Auus Plautius was recalled to Rome in A.D. 47 and honourable relieved of his command. Apparently, the Emperor distrusted leaving the husband of a member of the British royal family in charge of operating the war. In Rome, Gladys, the wife of Plautius, was subjected to a novel trial brought a-bout by her Christian faith. (Tradition has that Gladys had been personally converted by Joseph of Arimathea at Avalon) By right of Roman law, nobility could judge a legal dispute where the family was concerned. Consequently, it was in order for Plautius to judge his wife. Since theirs was a love marriage, free of all political significance on either side and Plautius knew his wife was a Christian before he married her, the verdict of innocence was not unexpected.
The trial of Gladys is well covered by Tacitus (Roman historian A.D. 55-120) as noted from his record.
"Pomponia Graecina, a woman of illustrious birth, and the wife of Plautius, who, on his return from Britain, entered the city with the pomp of an ovation, was accused of embracing the rites of a foreign superstition. The matter was referred to the jurisdiction of her husband Plautius, in conformity to ancient usage, called together a number of her relations, and in her presence, sat in judgment on the conduct of his wife. He pronounced her innocent."
Caractacus and Arviragus along with his wife, Venus Julia, returned to Britain. They left Gladys, sister of Caractacus, with Plautius in Rome. All were faced with an unpleasant situation; Plautius in conducting the war against his in-laws, Caractacus against his sister and brother-in-law, with Arviragus opposing his father-in-law, the Emperor Claudius. For sheer drama and stirring romance this situation has no equal in the pages of history.
Plautius was replaced by Ostorius Scapula and the war continued for seven years. Finally, after many bloody battles, the British under Caractacus, met disaster at Clune, Shropshire in A.D. 52. It took the combined forces of four great Roman generals together with the Emperor Claudius and a new army from Rome that vastly outnumbered the British to bring about their defeat. This, in itself, is the greatest tribute that could be given to the military excellence of Caractacus, the valorous British general. However, Caractacus himself could have escaped to carry on the conflict had he not been betrayed by one of his Icene countrymen into the hands of his enemies. Later, Arviragus avenged the treachery by warring through the domain of the betrayer and taking terrible vengeance.
As the result of his betrayal, Caractacus was taken hostage to Rome. Among the captives were his wife, his three sons, two daughters, his father Bran, the Blessed, and a brother who remained on the field of battle to receive the terms of the victors. Tacitus, in his Annals (Bk. XII, Chap. 36), records the jubilation of the Roman people at the arrival of the famed British warrior. Even in chains, the people feared and yet respected this "barbarous Christian" British leader.
Roman conquerors were never noted for their clemency. They delighted in humiliating their adversaries in the most savage forms of torture. The greater the renown of their unfortunate victims, the less chance they had of escaping the horrors of the Tartpeian dungeons.
Caractacus was tried before the Roman Senate. Although it was against the Roman law for a woman to enter the Senate, Tacitus tells us that the younger daughter of Caractacus (named "Gladys" after her aunt) refused to be separated from her father. She remained by his side throughout the trial. Standing calmly, defiant, unconquered in spirit, the Briton faced the Emperor Claudius and the great Queen Agrippira. Speaking in a clear voice, vibrant with the courageous conviction of a free man, the captive replied to his prosecutors with words that will be remembered by free man the world over. From the Annals of Tacitus we learn how Caractacus addressed the Senate.
"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, stripped of its former majesty, is as adverse to myself as it is cause of triumph to you. What then? I was lord of men, arms, wealth; what wonder if at your dictation I refused to resign them? Does it follow, that because the Romans aspire to universal domination, 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 Caradec? 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."
By the order of the Claudian Tribunal, Caractacus (with all the members of the royal Silurian family) was immediately set free. Only one restriction was imposed on the pardon of the British king. He must remain in Rome, on parole, for seven years. Neither he, nor any member of his family, were ever to bear arms against Rome. Caractacus agreed to this and never thereafter did he break his pledge, even after his return to Britain while the war continued between Briton and Roman. One son, Cyllinus, was permitted to return to Britain and rule over the kingdom of the Welsh Silurians in the place of his father.
Again, we have a strange situation that has puzzled students of Roman history for years. Why did the Emperor Claudius render his remarkable verdict? Why had the Romans not demanded the customary Roman revenge? The pages of history are full of Roman "triumphs;" thrown to the starving lions in the arena; torn apart on the rack, strangled, burnt or confined to the horrible pit of the Mamertine where they went stark raving mad.
Following the pardon of Caractacus, a close relationship developed between the two former enemies and their households evolving into a startling climax. Claudius greatly admired the character and extraordinary beauty of Gladys, the daughter of Caractacus. It grew into a deep paternal affection with the result that the Emperor Claudiusadopted Gladys as his own daughter, a girl who was an exceptionally devout Christian. By royal decree she was renamed "Claudia" after himself and she is known in history by that name. Concerning this Marital (the epigrammatist born AD 29) wrote: "Our Claudia, named Rufina, (Rufina was the feminine vernacular for her husband's first name) sprung we know from blue eyed Britons; yet behold, she view in grace with all that Greece or Rome can show. As bred and born beneath their glowing skies."
LEFT - EMPEROR CLAUDIUS AND HIS WIFE AGRIPPINA THE YOUNGER
RIGHT-CLAUDIUS' UNCLE TIBERIUS AND HIS MOTHER LIVIA
A year after her adoption (A.D. 53) Claudia was betrothed and married to Rufus Pudens Pudentius, Pudens, as he is most commonly referred to, was a Roman Senator and former personal aide to the Roman Commander-in-Chief, Aulus Plautius. Perhaps their attachment had begun in Britain, during the six months truce period of A.D. 45 when Plautius married Gladys, the sister of Caractacus. These extraordinary marriages have been a source of wonderment to history students. What could be a stranger circumstance than that of the British King Caractacus permitting his favourite daughter and his sister to be married to the leaders he had opposed in battle for nine long years; Plautius and Pudens. Such British-Roman marriages cannot be considered as political alliances since the conflict between Britain and Rome continued, with rare interludes, for over threehundred years. One can only reason that a greater authority than that of man was moving these personalities in conformity with His Will. At that time, it was unlikely that any of them realized the dramatic part they were to play, under the instruction of St. Paul, in laying down the foundation of Christianity at Rome.
During his stay in Rome, Caractacus and his family resided at the Palatium Britannicum (The Palace of the Britain) which was soon to become world famous as a Christian sanctuary. Later, the Palatuim Britannicum was called "Titulus", or "Hospitium Apostolorum" - then "St. Pdentiana", which is retained to this day. Adjacent to the palace were baths known subsequently as "Thermae Timothinae" and "Thermae Novatianae." The palace and the grounds were bequeathed by Timotheus to the Church at Rome. And these were the only buildings of any magnitude possessed by the Roman Church till the reign of Constantine.
Rufus Pudens and Claudia had four children: two boys and two girls: Timotheus, the eldest (named after Timothy, Bishop of Ephesus) and Novatus, the youngest, were boys. Pendentiana and Praxedes, born in between, were girls. These four were later numbered among those who suffered martyrdom for their Christian faith under the storm of persecution that fell on the followers of Christ. (Roman Martyrololgies). Startling as it may appear at first, facts will prove that living with the Pudens family was the mother of St. Paul.
Paul, writing his Epistles to those at Rome prior to his coming says, "Salute Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine." (Rom. 16:13) Taking these words at their face value they could only mean that Rufus (Pudens) and Paul were sons of the same mother. Some Biblical scholars have suggested that the woman was Paul's "spiritual mother." But a spiritual mother, or father, was one who had converted another and it is well known that Paul was converted by Christ Himself on the road to Damascus. The implication is that St. Paul and Rufus Pudens Pudentius were half brothers, and this is not contradicted by the facts.
Paul describes himself as being an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin. (Rom. 11:1) Other than telling us Paul was a Roman citizen, the Scriptures give no reference to other members of his immediate family. Certainly, Paul had a mother and in all probability a brother. Both brothers would be freeborn Roman citizens. Paul, himself, had been born in Tarsus. Assuming his mother had married a second time would help, greatly, our understanding of some very perplexing situations in the life of Paul. Rufus Pudens could have been born of this second marriage, making Paul and Pudens half brothers. This, in turn, would make the British Princess Gladys; now know as "Claudia Britannica Rufus Pudens Pudentius," the sister-in-law to the Apostle Paul. This would further explain why the ancient writers affirm that Paul spent most of his time, while in Rome, with the Pudens, at the Palatium Britannicum. The "Roman Martyrologies" state that "The children of Claudia were brought up at the knee of St. Paul.
Rufus Pudens was the son of a Roman Senator, of long illustrious ancestry. His mother was not a Roman consort as Pudens inherited his father's estates as the legitimate son. While with the Roman armies in Britain, he donated the ground for the erection of the temple to Neptune and Minerva at Chichester. The temple was found and excavated in A.D. 1723 and an inscribed monument was uncovered. The inscription, cut in very bold characters (partly mutilated), read as follows:
NEPTUNO ET MINERVAE TEMPLUM
PRO SALUTE COMUS DIVINAE
COGIDUNIREGIS LEGATE AUGUSTI IN BRITANNIA
COLLEGIUM FABRORUM ET QUI IN EO
A SACRIS SUNT DE SUO DEDICAVERUNT
DONANTE AREAM PUDENTE PUDENTINIFILIO
"The College of Engineers, and ministers of religion attached to it, by permission of Tiberius Claudius Cogidunus, the king, legate of Augustus in Britain, have dedicated at their own expense, in honour of the divine family (The imperial family) this temple to Neptune and Minerva. The site was given by Pudens, son ofPrudentinus."
The discovery of the temple on land donated by Pudens indicates that at that time he was pagan, following his inherited family religion and subject to Roman gods. However, this would not necessarily prove that his mother was a pagan worshipper. She could have been born into the Judean faith and remained neutral or indifferent. It is certain between the year A.D. 50 and the nuptial year A.D. 53, that both mother and son must have been converted. This seems a safe assumption since we find Priscilla, his mother, a member of the British household directly following the marriage of Rufus Pudens to Claudia.
THE CROSS IN MONOGRAM (Used by the early Christians)
Additional evidence that Rufus and his mother were Christians prior to Paul's coming to Rome is the manner in which he salutes Pudens, "chosen in the Lord." This is further supported by the Roman writers of that time who attest that "all" of the Pudens household at the Palatium Britannicum were Christian. It is known that several years prior to the coming of Paul to Rome, dating from the marriage of Claudia and Pudens, the home of the British had been the scene of the first Church of Christ, above ground, at Rome. Hermas, mentioned in Rom. 16:14, conducted the services. There is much we would like to know about Hermes who pastored the little Christian flock in Rome. We only know he looked after the spiritual welfare of the hostages from Britain and may have come with them. His was the "Gentile Church" or the Church of the Uncircumcision that continued during the succeeding centuries under the Bishopric as established under St. Paul. The "Hebrew Church" or Church of the Circumcision, met at the house of Aquila and Priscilla.(Romans 16:5)
As the light of the Gospel spread through his ministry, Paul found it necessary to appoint an overseer of this Christian mission field. This he did and the first Bishop to be appointed to fill this position was none other than Linus, the son of Caractacus. Linus had been baptized and confirmed in Britain (possibly by Joseph of Arimathea) long before being taken hostage with Caractacus to Rome. A Prince of the royal blood of Britain, he is the same Linus whom St. Paul addressed in his Epistles and consecrated to be the First Bishop of the Christian Church at Rome. To this fact we have no less authority than that of St. Clement who later followed in the same office as the third Bishop of Rome.
Further corroboration is given to Linus' appointment to be the First Bishop of the Christian Church at Rome in the writings of St. Peter. His words, preserved in the "Apostolic Constitutions" (Bk. I, Chap. 46) read: ' 'Concerning those Bishops who have been ordained in our lifetime, we make known to you that they are these; of Antioch Eudius, ordained by me, Peter; of the Church of Rome, Linus, brother of Claudia, was first ordained by Paul, and after Linus' death, Clemens, the second ordained by me, Peter.'' In another statement Peter affirms that Linus was a Briton, son of a royal king. Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp (Born cir. A.D. 130) and later Bishop of Smyrna, also confirms Linus' appointment. He wrote: "The apostles, 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." (Irenaei Opera Lib. III. C.I.).
When Paul came to Rome there remained three years of parole for Caractacus to complete. At that time, the residents of the Palatium Britannicum were the High Priest Bran, King Caracatacus and the Queen, his wife; his daughter, the Princess Eurgain and her husband, Salog. Lord of Salisbury; her brother, the immortal Prince Linus, now a Christian Bishop. Also resident was the Emperor's adopted daughter, Claudia, and her husband the Senator Pudens; his mother, Priscilla; Pastor Hermas, and Cyllinus and Cynon; the son's of Caractacus. There were other members of the Puden's Christian household dedicated to the faith, but those mentioned are the important ones to remember.
Ex-Prince Pomponia Graecinna, the sister of Caractacus resided nearby with her influential husband, Aulus Plautius. Both were spiritually confirmed Christian having experienced the laying on of hands by St. Paul. Llyr Llediaith, the grandfather of Caractacus and one of the British hostages to Rome, died shortly after his arrival at Rome. One other name should be mentioned, Eubulus, who is sometimes referred to as "Aristobulus." His household is mentioned in Romans 16:10. In the letter, Paul makes it clear that they were living in Rome but that Aristobulus himself was absent and Paul knew it. The Scriptures do not tell us who this man was. However, it is possible he may have been none other than the father-in-law of the Apostle Peter. If so, then Peter's wife's mother was (Mrs.) Aristobulus. (Mark 1:30) Paul knew Peter well and it is not at all improbable that he also knew his father and mother.
Aristobulus may have been in Britain at the time of Paul's letter to his household. In the "Martyrologies of the Greek Church", among other references, is one that states that "he (Aristobulus) was chosen by St. Paul to be the Missionary Bishop to the land of Britain."
Dorotheus, writing in the year A.D. 303, states that "Aristobulus, who is mentioned by the Apostle in this letter to the Romans, was made Bishop of Britain."
No clear record, concerning Paul's life after leaving Britain, has come down to us. After visiting Asia, we find him back with the royal family in Rome. From his last imprisonment Paul writes his farewell charge to Timothy in which he sends him the greetings of Pudens, Linus, and Claudia. These names along with that of Eubulus, are the only ones of the brethren mentioned by him. (II Tim. 4:21)
Paul was beheaded at Aquae Salviae, a little way out of Rome, and the royal family consigned his remains with their own hands to the Pudentinian family tomb on the Ostain Road. In the old cemetery, by the Via Ostiensis, lie the mortal remains of the friends of St. Paul, who also suffered martyrdom: Linus in A.D. 90; Pudens in A.D. 96; Pudentiana who suffered on the anniversary of her father's martyrdom; Novatus in A.D. 139; Timotheus and his sister Praxedes, who received their "crowns" some years later, and Claudia, who alone died a natural death. (A.D. 97) She died near Samnium, before any of her children. All these lie in the same plot with the remains of the Apostle to the Gentiles. In the catacombs of St. Priscilla, three miles out on the via Salaria, rests the remains of Priscilla, the mother of Paul.
From the preceding accounts we can believe that Paul did take the Gospel to Britain. In view of his kinship with the British Royal family, we would regard it much more extraordinary if the Apostle had not made a missionary journey to Britain in preference to any other land of the West.Britain was the great isle of the Gentiles (nations) and through his royal converts, a "great door and an effectual" (I Cor. 16:9) for its conversion was opened to him. Only after he had taken the Light of the Gospel to all the lands in his province could he have truly said, "I am now ready to be offered up and the day of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousness which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me in that day and not to me only, but to all those who love His appearing." (II Tim. 4:7,8)
Paul shared the fate of those he loved in Rome. Faithful in Life, he was fearless in death. He practiced what he preached, and as he declared in Acts 20:24: "None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God."
THE ROMAN EMPIRE AT THE TIME OF ST. PAULS JOURNEYS.
Both the Council of Hippo in A.D. 393 and of Carthage in A.D. 397 published lists of the canonical books of the New Testament, which were accepted as correct. But, in the main, it was between A.D. 170 and 200 when the 27 books comprising the New Testament began to be accepted as genuine. Therefore, why was this chapter omitted? How and why was it preserved at Constantinople? Could it be a fraud?
In his book, "Far Hence unto the Gentiles," (chapter 29) Major Samuels, refers to the period when the manuscript was found thus: "Louis XVI reigned from A.D. 1774 to A.D. 1793, when the French Revolution began, so that M. Sonnini must have published his "Book of Travel in Turkey and Greece" sometime between those two dates. He continues: "It is absurd to suggest that he deliberately invented this manuscript. What possible reason could he have for so doing? What did people know or care about the Druids or St. Paul in his day? Moreover, if he had possessed the necessary knowledge to perpetrate a literary forgery of this description, would he have resisted the temptation to glorify his own country in preference to that of England, France's bitterest enemy, at that time? Without doubt, he did obtain a copy of some ancient manuscript, which somehow came to be preserved among other documents at Constantinople. Its preservation was no doubt due to the fact that it fell into, and remained in, thecustody of the Turks at Constantinople instead of falling into the hands of the Western Christian Church at Rome."
As to why this chapter 29 was omitted, one answer could be found in verse 2: "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken of by the prophet." The prophet referred to most likely was Hosea, who was Pre-eminently a prophet to the Ten Tribes of Northern Israel. In his book, Chapter 1: 9,10, Hosea wrote: "Then said God, call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God."
It is obvious that had this second verse of the Lost Chapter appeared in our Bibles, we could not have remained ignorant of our racial origin, and have become the Lost Ten Tribes. We could not be lost with a plain address like that staring us in the face!
And yet Hosea predicted that we were to be called the "Children of a Living God!" Therefore, the Gospel was taken to Britain by St. Paul, "far hence unto the Gentiles", to the Goyim, to the "Not-My-People" of the Northern Israel Tribes, "and they will hear it."(Acts 28:28) The title "Sons of the living God" is a fine Old Testament equivalent for the New Testament word "Christians." It is a title coined by Divine foreknowledge and Hosea was inspired to so name the Long Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, in the Latter Days.
"That the Scriptures might be fulfilled," is an all-sufficient reason for this chapter of the Acts being lost, until just prior to the close of this age. For justification of this age-long historical camouflage we turn to the Ferrar Fenton translation of Deut. 29:29 (which is considered a great improvement over the A.V.): "The Secret Reasons are with our Ever-Living God; but the revelations (the prophecies) are with us and our children for ever, that we may practice the whole of the Decrees of this Law!"
1. St. Clement of Rome (A.D. 30-100) wrote: "Saint 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 to 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 steadfastness that we possess." (Epistle to the Corinthians, C.5)
St. Clement belonged to the first century, knew St. Paul personally, and was the third Bishop of Rome. St. Paul speaks of him in his Epistle to the Phillippians, 4:3 "With Clement also and other of my fellow labourers whose names are in the book of life". Irenaeus (born about A.D. 130) himself the pupil of Polycarp (the friend of St. John) thus speaks of him: "Clement, who had seen the blessed Apostles and conversed with them; who had the preaching of the Apostles still sounding in his ears, and their traditions before his eyes."
2. Theodore the Blessed, Bishop of Cyrus near Antioch in Syria (born about A.D. 390), noted as an accomplished man of letters and learned Church historian, writing about A.D. 435 said of St. Paul (the leather worker):
"Our fishermen and tax gatherers and the leather worker have brought to all men the laws of the Gospel, and they persuaded not only Romans and their tributaries, but also the Scythians and Sauromatian nations (or Cimrians), and Germans, to accept the laws of the Crucified" (Graed. aff. cur. Sermo. IX).
"St. Paul reached Spain and brought salvation to the Islands of the Sea."(Bishop Edwards of St. Asaph's "Landmarks in the History of the Welsh Church," p. 4) This fits in with St. Jerone's statement that, besides visiting Spain, St. Paul went "from ocean to ocean", and St. Chrysostum's writings that Paul went "from Illyricum to the very ends of the Earth."
3. Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem (A.D. 633-637) wrote: "...the unwearied champion of the orthodox faith against the monotheistic heresy, not unworthy to be ranked with Athanasius and Cyril among the defenders of the truth against successive depravations." (Smith and Wace, Dictionary of Christian Biology, Volume IV, page 719). Robert Parsons in his "Three Conversions of England (p. 22) cites Sophronius as saying, in his sermon on "The Nativity of the Apostles", that St. Paul came to Britain.
4. Venantius Fortunatus, Bishop of Poitiers (born about A.D. 530), well-known Christian hymn-writer, author of "Vexilla Regis" (The Royal Banners forward go), speaks of St. Paul, "crossing the ocean" and visiting "Britain and the extreme West". Although a Frenchman, this cultivated literary man must have met many of the refugee Britons who had fled to France before the Saxon invader and would have learned many traditions from them.
5. A very ancient tradition assigns the foundation of Bangor Abbey (in Britain) to St. Paul. Its rule was known as the "Rule of Paul." The Abbots claimed to be his successors. Over every gate of the Abbey was Paul's command, "If any will not work, neither shall he eat." (A paraphrase from II Thess. 3:10).
6. The correspondence of Paul and Seneca (mentioned by Jerome in the fourth century A.D.). This ancient manuscript in Merton College, Oxford, which purports to contain a series of letters between St. Paul and Seneca, makes more than one allusion to St. Paul's residence in Siluria, Britain.
These early documentary statements cannot lightly be dismissed. When considered together with the Biblical account of Paul's life and teachings, and the archaeological evidence of the early Britons' relationship with the so-called Lost Tribes of Israel (see King Solomon's Temple by Capt) they afford convincing proof of St. Paul's sojourn in Britain and support the authenticity of the Long Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.
"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle... to all that be in Rome, beloved of God..." (Romans 11:7).
So begins St. Paul's letter to the Romans. This is the first page of that (•at letter, which the apostle wrote in Corinth from the Greek manuscript •I the Bible, dating from the fourth century A.D., was, found in the monastery of St. Catherine on the Sinai peninsula.