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and is the only universal bishop of bis church, a title which no human being can arrogate without impiety. Before the ascension of Christ he committed this inspection and government to the apostles. On them devolved, at first, jointly the care of all the churches, which were planted in different parts of the world, except the church of Jerusalem, the mother of all Christian churches, which was committed to the special charge of St. James. As the number of churches increased they appointed others to the ETICHOTIN or charge of particular churches. Successiones Episcoporum, says Irenæus, quibus illi (Apostoli) eam, quæ in unoquoque loco est, ecclesiam tradiderunt, quæ pervenit usque ad nos."* So in another passage the same father : omnes ii (hæretici) posteriores sunt quam episcopi, quibus apostoli tradiderunt Ecclesias.
Augustin says that the Christian church was extended through the world by means of the apostolical churches and the regular succession of their bishops : Radix societatis christianæ per sedes apostolorum et successiones episcoporum certa per orbem propagatione diffunditur. I
To this succession of the bishops in the apostolical churches, the ancient fathers of the church appealed against the innovators of their days, as in the passage before quoted from Irenæus. Thus also Tertullian : Edant (hæretici) origines ecclesiarum suarum : evolvant ordinem episcoporum suorum, ita per successiones [ab initio] decurrentem, ut primus
* Contra Hæres. L. 4. c. 63. + L. 5. c. 20.
In Psalm. 44,
ille episcopus aliquem ex apostolis, vel apostolicis viris, qui tamen cum apostolis perseveraverit, babuerit auctorem et antecessorem. Hoc enim modo ecclesiæ apostolicæ census suos deferunt.* On these passages of Irenæus and Tertullian, Pearson and Bingham have observed as follows: Erant quidem successiones episcoporum in apostolicis ecclesiis a veteribus observatæ, et ad catholicæ doctrinæ traditionem adversus hæreticorum deliria comprobandam usurpatæ; : ex quibus argumentum a Patribus confectum est irrefragabile, cui hæretici nunquam respondere ausi sunt.ype "'This implies that the apostles, as they founded churches, settled bishops in them; and that this might be proved from the records and archives of every church, the most of which were probably then remaining, wben Tertullian made this challenge to all heretics, and appealed to these original records in behalf of the catholic church. *
In this manner Metaphrąstes says the church of Britain was established: επιμεινας τε εν Βρετανια,- και εκκλησιας συστησαμενος, επισκοπους τε και πρεσβυτερους και διακονους χειροτονήσας, &c. though he was mistaken in his account of the author of these appointments.
Considering, then, the authority of the first witness to St. Paul's western travels, and the means of authentic information; which the other fathers posgessed, we may finally conclude, that the testimony respecting St. Paul's preaching in the utmost bounds
* De Præscript, c. 32. +'De Successione primorum Romæ Episcoporum, cap. III. # Antiquities of the Christian church, B. II, ch. i. 9.3.
of the west, that is, in Britain, is indisputable, because
1. It is the testimony of St. Paul's fellow-labourer, who, of all men, best knew the extent of the apostle's travels;
2. It is the testimony of a Roman bishop, 3. And is confirmed by the eastern fathers of the church, who must have known, if St. Paul's labours, after his release from his imprisonment at Rome, had been confined to Italy and the East;
4. It is not the " fond conceit" of British writers, who might be desirous of doing honour to their country;
5. But it is greatly confirmed by coincident events in Britain and Rome, recorded by British writers.
II.--ON THE TESTIMONY OF GILDAS. The involved language of Gildas has led to much misapprehension of his meaning in the passage, which defines the time of the first introduction of the Gospel into Britain ; as in the following account island, as soon as the year of our Lord 62, or, at furthest, the
of the passage.
“ After the black frost of a very severe winter, Christ, the sun of righteousness, “ warmed our country with the rays of his heavenly “ doctrine, although the Senate or Parliament of « Rome resisted and endeavoured to stop the
of the Gospel. -l'his is the meaning of the “ whole that Gildas says, who wrote his history “ about the year of Christ 546. It is evident there“ fore that the Gospel was first preached to this
63." Gildas does not say that the Gospel was introduced into this country in the time of Tiberius, when the Senate opposed the Emperor's will concerning Christ ; but that, at that time, its bright beams were displayed, generally, to the whole world ; and afterwards, before the defeat of Boadicea, to this island. The two diffusions of the light of the Gospel are thus distinguished :
1. Universo orbi.
2. Insulæ rigenti, &c, And these belong to two different periods of time:
1. Summo tempore Tiberij.
2. Interea primum, &c, The general diffusion of the Gospel was in the latter part of Tiberius's reign; the introduction of it into this country, was in the interim of the events mentioned by Gildas. This interim is limited on one hand, by the event, which is last mentioned by him, viz. the defeat of Boadicea, A.D. 61, and the other by events not far distant, such as the defeat of Caractacus, A.D. 51. This interval comprehends not more than ten years. The commencement of the interval is twelve years after the end of Tiberius's reign; the interim of it includes the time of St. Paul's imprisonment at Rome, (A. D. 57, 58) and the release of Caractacus's family, as well as of St. Paul, A.D. 58. It does not therefore fol. low from the testimony of Gildas, that the Gospel was first preached in Britain, “ as soon as the year
of our Lord 62, or, at furthest, the year 63," but before the
For the following observations on Claudia Rufina, Pomponia Græcina, and other Converts at Rome, I am indebted to Wm. Williams, Esq. of Ivy Tower, the learned author of Primitive History, the Christian Code, a New Translation of the New Testament, &c.
III.-ON THE BRITISH CONVERTS, CLAUDIA RUFINA
AND POMPONIA GRÆCINA..
I have been all along of opinion that St. Paul's Claudia came from Britain in the reign of Claudius, and not later than the public entry of Aulus Plautius ; whose wife, Pomponia Græcina, became attached to the foreign superstition, such as Christianity was deemed. I beg leave to set down and remark on the words of Tacitus, Annal. 13. 32, premising that his last words are somewhat mysterious ; and that the serious and reserved manners of this Christian Convert, our Pagan writer stigmatizes, as cultus lugubris et animus mæstus ; a sorrowful deportment, and sad turn of mind. He imputes this temper to a long unabating concern about the murder of Julia, daughter of Drusus, through Messalina. Perhaps she was willing that her gloomy habit should be attributed to that cruel deed, rather than to solemn reflection on the abandoned lives of the Pagan world; which motive would