Druidism in Britain, by Rev. L.G.A. Roberts
Much has been written about the fact that Israel came into the British Isles in very early times, but that this people are found glorifying the name of the Lord God of Israel in the Isles of the West (Isaiah 24:13-16) from about 712 B.C., and even before, though touched upon, has never before been sufficiently debated as to be presented as a matter of fact.
We have, therefore, brought forward such arguments as seem to bear upon this interesting topic, and to show that notwithstanding the divorce of Israel from the covenant of the law because of transgressions, they were never wholly without instruction. God, in His province, was making His people ready to take up the new covenant immediately the seed had come to whom the promise had been made. It is thus seen that “in the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified and shall glory,” (Isaiah 45:25) and “Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation.” (Isaiah 45:17)
There is no other key which opens up the Word of God and proves His promises as the key that the Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Scandinavian, Celtic race are God’s ancient people, once lost, now found; and being found, must glorify God in accord with His purpose. Thus only would Israel become fitted to carry the Gospel to every creature and to bring the blessing of Abraham upon all the nations.
The following quotations disprove the oft repeated statements that our early ancestors were skin-clad savages roaming the forests of Britain or that they owe the origin of their culture to Rome.
“Centuries before the Romans gained a footing in this country the inhabitants were a polished and intellectual people, with a system of jurisprudence of their own, superior even to the laws of Rome, and the Romans acknowledged this.
“The stories of the atrocities of the Druids were mere inventions of the Romans to cover their own cruelty, and to excuse it. The religion of a people who were so mild and merciful that they would not even imprison their debtors, as did the Romans, could not be bloody.” (Pages 9 & 104, Early English History, by John Pym Yeatman, London, 1874, Barrister-at-Law)
“I confess that but for the universal tradition which assigns our descent to Japhet, I should rather have inclined to attribute to the British Celts a Semitic origin, both on account of the relics of worship which we find in Britain, and also on account of the language, the traces of which we still find attaching to the names of those places where they carried on their religious ceremonies.
“The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle distinctly states that ‘the first inhabitants of this land were Britons, and they came from Armenia,’ etc.
“It is to be remarked that the earliest British coins are not imitations of the Roman coinage...but they much resemble the coinage of Philip and Alexander, and the Greek and Eastern mintage, and this argues an earlier date for the British currency than the Roman conquest.” (Pages 18 & 41, Our British Ancestors, by Rev. Canon Lysons)
We read in the Rev. John Pryce’s “The Ancient British Church,” an historical essay which carried off the prize awarded at the National Eisteddfod of 1876, these words:
“In this distant corner of the earth, cut off from the rest of the world, unfrequented except by merchants form the opposite coast of Gaul, a people who only conveyed to the Roman mind the idea of untamed fierceness, was being prepared, ready for the Lord...It would be difficult to conceive Christianity being preached to any people, for the first time, under more favorable circumstances.
“There was hardly a feature in their national character in which it would not find a chord answering and vibrating to its touch. Theirs was not the skeptical mind of the Greek, nor the worn-out civilization of the Roman, which even Christianity failed to quicken into life, but a religious, impulsive imagination; children in feeling and knowledge, and therefore meet recipients of the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven.
“To a people whose sense of future existence was so absorbing that its presentiment was almost too deeply felt by them, the preaching of Jesus and the resurrection would appeal with irresistible force. There was no violent divorce between the new teaching and that of their own Druids, nor were they called upon so much to reverse their ancient faith as t lay it down for a fuller and more perfect revelation.”
These are remarkable words for a stranger who has never heard that the Word of God (Isaiah 24:13-16) especially allocates the fugitives from Palestine, when it was overrun by Nebuchadnezzar, as having already taken possession of the Isles of the West.
Here is the place appointed by God, foretold by Nathan the prophet as the then place of safety for Israel, where he would move no more, and the children of wickedness were not to afflict him, (2 Samuel 7:10; 1 Chronicles 17:9) and where the kingdom of David was to be found established for ever. This locality is the constant theme of Scripture as the home of God’s people Israel, (Isaiah 41, 42:6, 49:8; Jeremiah 31:1-11 and many other passages).
So we are not at all surprised to hear from Hecataeus of Miletus, in the sixth century B.C., of a people living in the Hyperborean islands who worshiped their God in a beautiful temple, and whose minstrels hymned with their golden harps the praise of Him they adored, and whose priesthood was a regular descent from father to son. Festus Avienus, who quotes from the writings of Himilco, of the third century before Christ, says that in these Hyperborean lands dwell the hardy race of the Britons, who from their two islands send out their boats for commerce, ploughing the sea-crusted waves. Hecataeus also tells us that these Hyperboreans were constantly receiving votive offerings from Delos in Greece, and that they, on their part, were constantly coming back amongst their original kith and kin.
Now let us remember the evidence of Hoare’s “Wiltshire,” which states that the facsimile of a Hebrew breastplate, the same nearly as that originally worn by the Hebrew high priest, was found in a cist, dug up at a Stonehenge, and upon the breast of a skeleton of a British Druid. Five somewhat similar breastplates, he tells us, have been unearthed in Britain and Ireland.
The early communication between Britain and Palestine is asserted by Sir Edward Creasy in his “History of England” (p. 18) where he says:
“The neighboring, and even remote nations obtained form the princes and the merchants of the Tyrian and Sidonian commonwealths, these products of the mineral wealth of our island. The British tin mines mainly suppled the glorious adornment of Solomon’s temple; and hence also came the chief material of the armour of the kings and chieftains of heroic Greece.”
It should be interesting to us to recall the fact that Postellius, lecturing on Pomponius Mela (cir. A.D. 83) in Paris, in the latter part of the seventeenth century, is quoted by Camden in his “Britannia” (p. 963), saying that:
“Irin is quasi Uruin; that is, a land of the Judeans. For he says that the Judeans, being the most skillful soothsayers, and presaging that the empire of the world would at last settle in that strong angle towards the west, took possession of these parts, and of Ireland, very early; and that the Syrians and Tyrians also endeavored to settle themselves there that they might lay the foundation of a future empire.”
He gives numerous references to the colonization of Britain from Spain and Greece, quoting Diodorus Siculus:
“The Britains live in the same manner that the ancients did; they fight in chariots, as the ancient heroes of Greece are said to have done in the Trojan wars...They are plan and upright in their dealings, and far from the craft and subtlety of our countrymen... The island is very populous.”
Camden brings the people from Troy. He mentions that the former name for Britain was Bridania.
Unity of Godhead
Druidism is no doubt a perversion of Hebraism, for Bardic ideas are culled from scripture as may be gathered form the following quoted from Barddas, Vol. I, and other works.
The unity of the Godhead was the very soul and center of Bardism, and yet this unity was a three in one; Belenus, Taranis and Hesus, three representatives of the one God. They discountenanced human sacrifices.
They seemed to have known letters from the very first. Eineigan explained the Godhead as three pillars of light. The people mistook the three rods with which he represented the Godhead as gods, whereas they only bore His name. From the mouth of these three rods came the ten letters (or laws). Nothing is more positively insisted upon in the bardic creed than the doctrine of one God.
They insist that the life of a man must be given for the life of a man. When the Bard spoke to the people “he spoke in the Name of the Lord.” Iau as the name of the supreme God.
They are said to have come from the region of
Constantinople; whilst here they forsook God, and He delivered them up to their enemies, but on their repenting He was merciful to them, gave them the victory over their foes, and a great leader who, after 200 years of roving from country to country, settled in Britain. (The Traditional Annals of the Cymry, p. 27)
They have the legend of the flood; the earthquake which separated Ireland form Britain and Britain from Europe; the keeping of a forty days in commemoration of the deliverance of the nation.
We are told that their worship was closely connected with that of the ancient Hebrews (See also Hulbert’s, Religions of Britain, under Ancient Druids, p. 9-42) the Archdruid being similarly clad with white robe, breastplate and golden tiara, with the name of Jah.
Their triads were all in three, which they learned by heart, and most of these taught them their religion or theology.
We have the triads of St. Paul from which the following on the commandments are taken:
“God is one, and there is only Himself who is God. Love thy God with all thy soul, with all thy heart, with all thy endeavor, with all thy understanding, with all thy affections. For it is He, and no other being living or existing, that made thee, and doth maintain thee, with all His might, and with all His mercy. Do not love or seek an image instead of God, whether of wood or stone, of gold or silver, or of any other material, etc. Swear not to the name of God, and do not mention His name disrespectfully and lightly, etc. Remember the seventh day, that thy family, they manservant and thy maidservant, et. Remember to love an honor thy father and thy mother, etc. Kill not, etc. Commit no theft, etc. Abstain from fornication, etc. Tell no falsehood of any kind, nor on any account whatsoever, etc. Do not be covetous of anything, etc.”
We find these ancient Britons with a language that was pure Hebrew, as witnessed to by Barber in his “Suggestions on the Ancient Britons,” and that they called themselves “the people of Jehovah;” also in one of the ancient Cymriac writings they say of themselves (Pt. I, Notes p. 173):
“Christ Jesus, Christians are prostrate before thee Until are lodged in shelter Six hundred thousand Of the hunted Hebrews.”
Another witness to their language is Canon Lysons in “Our British Ancestors,” tracing them from Chaldea, and saying that 5,000 British words have their roots in the Hebrew. Poste’s “Gaulish and British Coins” states, on the authority of a French author, that there are 6,000.
The Rev. Eliezer Williams says that the ancient Welsh is not only Hebrew, but the idiomatic structure is precisely similar, and its affixes, suffixes, and everything attending its verbal formations are the same.
Yet again, Aylett Sammes (1676) says that, from our original language, we must be Phoenician; he would say Hebrew if possible.
Taliesen, a British Bard of the sixth or seventh century A.D., says, “My lore is written in the Hebrew tongue.” (“Davies’ Mythology of the British Druids.”)
Lastly, the Rev. Dr. Margoliouth went to Cornwall in order to ascertain the original of these ancient British, and tells us in his “Jews in Britain” (1846) their folk-lore was Hebrew. Whole sentences treasured up were being repeated (without being understood) by these Cornishmen, and, when written down, were found to be Hebrew, and these sentences taken from the Psalms and Proverbs, or parts of the Old Testament. He gives us about twenty of these, culled from “The Monthly Magazine,” 1796, where the writer observes:
“It would be difficult to adduce a single article or form of construction in the Hebrew grammar, but the same is to be found in the Welsh, and that there are many whole sentences in both languages, exactly the same in the very words.”
One of these rendered into English is:
“Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord Hesus; He is the King of Glory.”
Now, we are informed by the historians of the British that “Hesus” was the God whom they originally worshiped. He was their great All-Heal, and they believed in him as the savior of the world. A Latin author, said by the Rev. W.R. Morgan (“St. Paul in Britain”) to be Procopius, says:
Hesus, Taranis, Belenus unus tantummode Deus Unum Deum Dominum universi Druides Solum agnoscunt.”
Robert Stukeley, also quoting ancient authors, tells us that the Druids represented their god by mens of an old oak selected with two arms; the main trunk was Tharamis, the one arm Hesus, the other Belenus. He also, in common with Henry and others, says that no images were found in Britain before the Romans introduced them.
I also find the same Mr. Morgan quotes Talisen as saying:
“Christ, the Word form the beginning was from the beginning our Teacher, and we never lost His teaching. Christianity was a new thing in Asia, but there never was a time when the Druids of Britain held not its doctrines.”
Lastly, Mr. Charles Hulbert (cir. 1825 A.D.), in his “Religions of Britain,’ says:
“The charge of staining their consecrate places with human blood, and offering upon the altar of ‘Cor-Gawr,’ or Stonehenge, human victims, hath no real foundation in fact; an accusation as wicked as unjust.” (P. 37) So hear is the resemblance between the Drudical religion of Britain and the Patriarchal religion of the Hebrews, that we hesitate not to pronounce their origin the same.” (P. 41)
Origin of the Britons
When came these Britons? I shall confine my remarks to that portion of evidence which carries with it some monumental authority; first premising that Nathan’s prophecy to David (2 Samuel 7:10-17) is admitted to be borne out in Isaiah 24:13-16. In the very next reign (Solomon’s) we have it told us that “Solomon had at sea navy of Tarshiash.” (1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chronicles 9:21) This Tarshish is by many supposed to have been first Carthage, and then Tartesus in Spain, and finally Britain. We have seen what Sir Edward Creasy says above. But it is interesting to read the account given by Dr. Margoliouth in his “Jews in Britain” of the evidence of the colonization of Spain from Villalpanto’s “Commentary on the Prophet” (fifteenth century A.D.) He relates that at Murviedro (on the east coast of Spain), the ancient Seguntium, he searched for and found (in consequence of what he heard there) two of three monuments written in Hebrew characters, one on a stone relating to Solomon, another an epitaph to “Adoniram, the collector of Solomon’s tribute,” who died and was buried there; and a third appertaining to a great man of Israel, who died there in the reign of Amaziah, King of Judah. In connection with this there are three places in Britain called Seguntium; the one the capital city of the tribe called Segontiaci, mentioned by Poste in his “Britannic Researches;” two others in Wales the one to the northwest, in Carnarvonshire, another in the southwest. Appian also tells us that the journey from Spain into Britain took about twelve days.
Palestine into Britain
The breaking away of many of Israel took place as far back as the time of Moses (Numbers 19:1-4; Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 106:27-28), the Danai, of Hecateus and Abdera, and again in the time of Deborah and Barak (Judges 5:17), when Dan and Asher showed their maritime proclivities by abidingon the sea. These Danai compelled all the Argive race in the Peloponnesus to take the name of Danai.
The same peculiarity attaches to the Danai wherever they came, and hence their peregrinations are easily traceable in Italy, through Europe into Denmark, Scandinavia and Britain, Dannonia, Caledonia Tuatha deDanaans. They were leaders or pioneers of Hebrew colonies. These migrations from Palestine continued throughout the whole of the time Israel was in the Holy Land, so that we are told in Isaiah 24:13-16 that when the land of Palestine was overrun by the invader, Israel should be found praising God in the isles of the west. This is the place “appointed” by God, promised to David in 2 Samuel 7:10, 1 Chronicles 17:9 and mentioned in Jeremiah 31:1-11; also Isaiah 41, 42, 43, 44, etc., Revelation 12:6-14.
Even after the conquest of Judea by Nebuchadnezzar in 588-585 B.C., we are told in “The brilliant episode of Court Gebelin, in the eighth volume of his ponderous etymological work, entitled “Monde Primitif,” that Nebuchadnezzar, while his army lay before Tyre, sent forth expeditions by land and sea to sweep the Phoenician colonies along the coast of Africa and to conquer and crush their remotest settlements in Spain. According to this record, Nebuchadnezzar, from before Tyre, sent a fleet and army along the Phoenician settlements in Africa to Spain under the command of one of his generals, an Ionian prince named Firouz or Pyrrhus. With this expedition he embarked; a large body of Judeans and Israelites of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, of Simeon and the Levites, for the purpose of settling them in the South of Spain; obviously with maritime and commercial views. Now, this statement, so far, is Judean history only.
Fortunately, however, for the interests of truth, the Cochin history proceeds to deal with alleged facts, which admit of being brought to a matter-of-fact test and issue. It states particulars, and gives the names of places and localities, Judean names affirmed to have been given by Judeans, which can at once be passed through the ordeal of geographical examination. It relates to the four tribes above mentioned. After a tempestuous passage across the Mediterranean they were landed in Spain in the province of Andalusia, and sent inland up the country. It further states that they founded in the interior four cities. The first of the cities they named Luz-ica (now Lusina, on the Tagus), after Luz, in the land of Israel. The next and chief city (the ancient capital of New Castille) they denominated Toletua (Toledo) from the Hebrew term “tultule” in commemoration of the pitching and tossing they had endured in their transit. The other two cities, both adjacent to Toledo, they named Makedda and Ascalon afer Makedda, in the land of Israel, and Ascalon, on the border of the Philistines (Rev. Charles Forster, “A New Key for the Recovery of the Lost Tribes,” pp. 332-33, in “Monuments of Assyria, Babylonia, and Persie”).
The passage from Spain into Britain was an easy journey, and the connection of the two countries is evident from the names recurrent in both countries mentioned above.
We must recall the testimony of Postellius on Pomponius Mela, already referred to, and also to all Irish tradition and history, how that Ireland was colonized form Spain, and if so, then surely Britain. Lastly, the Hyperboreans, mentioned by Hecataeus, their temple service, and the confirmation of Quintus Cicero, mentioned by Charles Hulbert. This writer lived in Britain at the time of Caesar’s invasion, and describes the worship conducted by the Druids in Stonehenge as he saw it. There was no imagery, and they worshiped the one God.
With all these facts, bear in mind that numberless places in Cornwall are called after Hebrew names. We have Mara-Zion, Peran-Zabulae, Mithian (probably Midian), St. Sampson, Port Isaac Bay, a town Port Isaac, Davidston, Jacobston, Bojewan, Tregewas, and Hebrew Christian names are abundant. And that there were Judeans in Britain at the time of Caesar Augustus is proved by his edict 14 B.C.; that all Judeans in Britain should be exempt from slavery, whether man or woman.
We cull from “Hulbert’s Religions of Britain” (1825):
“The dress of the Druids was white, and that of the Druid in his habit of ceremonial judgment was very grand. On his head he wore a golden tiara, and his neck was encircled by a breastplate of judgment, which, according to Irish tradition, had the power of squeezing his neck if the Druid gave false judgment.” Their “meetings were held in conspicuous places in the open air, and while the sun was above the horizon; for their laws forbade their performing these ceremonies in his absence. The premier bard stood in the center, by the side of a large stone. This circle was denominated Cylch Gyngrair, or the circle of federation; and the middle stone, Mena Llog, or the stone of the covenant. Upon the stone altars, before which these priests officiated, occasionally blazed a large fire, the sacred emblem of that true God who once manifested His presence ‘by a bush and a pillar of fire, whose tremendous voice once issued out of the midst of the fire, who prescribed a perpetual fire to be kept on the altar of burnt-offering in Jerusalem, and whom an holy apostate designates with the appellation of a consuming fire.’”
Quintus, the brother of Marcus Tullius Cicero, the celebrated consul and orator, accompanied Julius Caesar in a military capacity in his first and second expedition into Britain, and after residing in the island, wrote to his brother:
Quintus to M.T. Cicero
From Quintus to M.E. Cicero (We have tried to verify this letter. We can only trace that he did write to Cicero during his stay, but the substance of this letter is now lost):
“The temples of the Britons are raised and constructed in a circular form, with obelisks of stone, over which are imposts, all of huge dimensions, untouched by the chisel, a peace offering to Gernaius, or Apollo, the sun. The huge stones of which they are composed lay scattered by the hand of nature on the plain; these with myriads of laborers the high priest caused to be rolled up on the inclined planes of solid earth, which had been formed by the excavation of trenches, until they had attained height equal to their own altitude. These pits being dug, they were launched from the terrace and sunk so as to stand perpendicularly at due and equal distances in the circle, and over these were placed others horizontally. After having completed one circle, they formed another that is concentric at some distance, and towards the extremity of the area of the inner circle they placed a huge stone for the performance of religious rites. When the sun enters Cancer is the great festival of god; and on all high mountains and eminences of the country they light fires at the approach of that day, and make their wives, their children, and their cattle to pass through the fire, or to present themselves before the fire in honor of the deity. Deep and profound is the silence of the multitude during this ceremony, until the appearance of the sun above the horizon, when with loud and continued exclamations and songs of joy, they hail the utmost exaltation of that luminary as the supreme triumph of the symbol of the god of their adoration.”
Did Paul Come To Britain?
Bishop Burgess, Bishop of St. David’s, in “Ancient British Church” (1815) says:
“Paul was not the only founder of the Church of Rome, but of the Church in Britain. Of Paul’s journey to Britain; a point of great importance in the history of the Gospel and the Protestant Church, we fortunately possess as substantial evidence as any historical fact can require.
“The first and most important is the testimony of Clemens Romanus, the intimate friend and fellow-laborer of Paul. He says that Paul, in preaching the gospel, went to the ‘utmost bounds of the west.’
“In the second century (A.D. 179) Irenaeus speaks of Christianity as propagated to the utmost bounds of the earth by the apostles and their disciples, and particularly specifies the Churches planted in the Celtic nations, meaning Gaul, and Britain.
“In the beginning of the third century (A.D. 193-220) Tertullian mentions the Christian converts in Britain, where the Roman arms had not penetrated.
“In the fifth century (A.D. 423-460) Eusebius says that some of the apostles ‘passed over the ocean to the British Isles.’
“In the fourth century (A.D. 270-340) Theodoret mentions the Britons amongst the nations converted by the apostles, and says that Paul ‘brought salvation to the islands that lie in the ocean.’ Chrysostom mentions these as the British.”
There are several internal evidences that Paul came to Britain. One is the fact of Paul’s Grove at Porchester, where it is stated that the apostle landed on coming to Britain. Another is “The Apostle’s House,” which in Anglo-Saxon times is said to have existed at Sandwich, Kent.
We must also call attention to the remarkable gift of a Greek MSS, given to a French traveler, C.S. Sonnini, who was a member of the Society of Agriculture of Paris, and had it presented to him by the Sultan of Turkey in 1801. This document asserts that the apostle, after visiting Spain, came to Britain and preached upon Mount Lud (Ludgate Hill), and that the Druids came to Paul and showed him that their rites and ceremonies were descended from the Judeans, and the apostle accorded them the kiss of peace.
This agrees with what has gone before; that the Cymry called themselves “the people of Jehovah” and the “hunted Hebrews,” also as to their rites and ceremonies; and again with the evidence of Archbishop Usher, Stillinigfleet and Burgess; besides the story current in North Wales as to Paul and “the triads of Paul.”
The Druidic worship was concentrated on a Triune Deity (Stukeley) and Hesus was the name of their great All-Heal.
Dr. Margoliouth proves that there must have been Israelites in Britain from the edict of Augustus Caesar (14 B.C.) Concerning them. So, when we read in Acts 11:19: “they that were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen traveled... preaching the gospel to none but unto Israelites only,” we need not make the mistake that Stillinfleet makes in asserting that none could then have come into Britain. In fact, Cardinal Baronius, quoting from the Vatican MSS, ad A.D. 35, says that Joseph of Arimathaea and several others came from Palestine into Britain, preached the Gospel, and died there. Gildas, the British historian, gives us the year of Tiberius Caesar, A.D. 38, for the coming of the Light to these Islands. The story of Pomponia Braecina confirms this. She was the wife of Aulus Plautius, who was Roman Governor in Britain A.D. 43-48, and here she imbibed a “foreign superstition,” for which she was tried on his return to Rome. The date of her death is given in Dion as 83, and she is stated to have been forty years under this “superstition” (Tacitua and Dion) so she must have been converted in A.D. 43.
Christianity in the Isles
It was in 52 A.D., that the conflict took place between the Romans and British under Caractacus, who so nearly held back the Roman legions from conquering Britain, but he was cruelly betrayed by Cartismandua and taken prisoner to Rome. With him, as hostages, Bran, his father, his three sons and daughters, were also take captive. The struggles of this brave people for their liberty filled the streets of Rome with their daring prowess, and about 59 A.D., Paul was himself a prisoner at Rome, but in his own hired house.
Whilst here he met with Pudens and Linus and Claudia, and evidently also Eusbulus, i.e., Aristobulus. Timothy was also with Paul, and in the 2nd Epistle of Paul to Timothy, written a few years after (chapter 4:21), he says, “Eubulus greeteth thee and Pudens and Linus and Claudia.” Every one of these we find intimately connected with Britain. The prefix Eu in Eubulus being of the same meaning in Greek as “arestos,” the two names (Romans 16:10; 2 Timothy 4:21), Aristobulus and Eubulus, have been considered to mean the same person.
Of this man we read in the “Greek Menologies” that Paul ordained him as a bishop to the country of the Britons. Another account says that this man died at Glastonbury in 99 A.D. In February 1908 a stone was dug up under the porch of St. George’s Church, Fordington, Dorchester, bearing his name and epitaph (See Parish Monthly Messenger, March and Auguts, 1908). The “Triads” and the “Genealogy of the Saints” mention “Arwyali Hen” and “Aristobula.”
Linus and Claudia were children of Caractacus, and both Christians. Linus, the British prince, was ordained by Paul the first Bishop of Rome. Clement of Rome and Irenaeus tell us this, and the former states that Linus was brother to Claudia. Claudia was a great friend of Pompania Graecina; she, a British princess, was married to Pudens, a young Roman officer stationed in Britain under Aulus Plautius. We find his name on the Chichester inscription dug up in 1723 as having given a piece of ground at Regnum for the erection of a temple for the use of the Roman troops stationed there.
This was erected by “The College of Engineers,” which another inscription tells us came to an end in 61 A.D. the Roman poet Martial tells us of the marriage of Pudens to a British maid, and also that he was a “saint,” which language would scarcely have been used of him unless he had been a Christian.
All these names, then, we find mentioned by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:21. It was, however, from Glastonbury especially, through in other parts Christianity had taken root, that Christian worship is said to have had its first community, and this is borne out by four foreign councils. The “Council of Pisa” 1417 A.D., The “Council of Constance” 1419, The “Council of Sena” 1423, and The “Council of Basle” 1431, who ruled that the English Church took precedence of all others as being founded by Joseph of Arimathaea.
Clemens Romanus, a contemporary of Paul (Philippians 4:3), says that Paul himself preached in the extremity of the West, which both Usher and Stillinigfleet says refers to the British Islands. See also testimony of Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Jerome.
Bishop Fuller, in his History of the British Church tells us that, in the reign of Lucius, Christianity was established in these islands, and various Churches founded, giving seven in England and four in Wales. This was 179 or 180 A.D.
Genebrard tells us that the glory of Britain consisted in its establishing Christianity as a national religion, and being the first nation to do so.
Polydore Vergil in the reign of Henry VII says the same.
British Bishops from York, London and Caerleon represented the British Church at the Council of Arles in 314 A.D.; and a succession of sixteen bishops, whose names are known, were Bishops of London before ever Augustine was sent from Rome to “convert” the English (“Church in these Islands before Augustine,” Bishop Browne)
Is it at all likely that Paul, thus coming across Pudens, Linus and Claudia, as well as Pomponia Graecina, would not have had his heart stirred up to visit his brethren who were so bravely struggling for their independence in these British Islands? We are sure he went into Spain, and here again he would have come in contact with many from Britain. The fact of the existence of Paul’s Cathedral, or its ancient foundation, going back to the time immemorial, betrays but one of the coincidences which go to make for the extreme probability of his visit.
If it is asked why our identity with Israel is not more generally known, or why it should not be divulged until these last days, we can but answer, if it had been known, when our religion was not properly matured, would we have made a right use of it to God’s glory? It is a great providence that in the time of Henry VIII, the secret tings which belong to God (Deuteronomy 29:29) concerning our destiny were not known; as our Lord told His disciples, “I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” But He also said the Holy Spirit would tell us all things when God’s time has come; and this we think is now.
We can only add that, if these things are so, how grateful we should be and willing to do the Lord’s work, that we may indeed prove ourselves worthy to be used of God in the purpose for which we were called: “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” (Isaiah 43:21)
Dr. Moses Margoliouth in the “Hebrew Christian Witness,” October 1877, writes that the appellation Kymry is no more “true born English” than the name Gael or Welsh. The nomenclature of both owe their true birth to a parentage and a country far more ancient that those which are called British or English... Bit those two terms Gael...and Kymry...are of purely Hebrew birth...Kymro in the same language means a priest of an idolatrous system...closely allied to Omri, the King of Israel, who consummated the idolatrous system amongst the Ten Tribes, who seceded from the House of David. David’s throne was re-established in the British Isles.