Watchman's Teaching Letter #18 October 1999
This is the eighteenth in a series of teaching letters. With the last lesson, I concluded the study appertaining to Emperor Constantine the Great. I have been dissecting, examining and analyzing his story since the end of Watchman’s Teaching Letter #15. My method of approaching a subject is to cut it up into many small pieces, and examine it from every possible angle. Starting with lesson #13, April, 1999, I began a continuing study on the history of the British Celtic church inaugurated by Joseph of Arimathaea, being ordained by Philip the Apostle to do so. All the seventeen lessons, so far, since lesson #1, have concerned themselves with the topic of Judah in one way or another. Because the British are of the Zerah branch of Judah, this lesson is a continuation of the same subject matter. Emperor Constantine died in 337 A.D., and the next important historical element which detrimentally affected the history of the British Celtic church was the invasion of Britain by the various tribes of Saxons along with the Jutes.
I would urge you to make copies of these lessons on the British church and give them to your uninformed friends, especially of Irish or Scottish descent. This is the history of their ancestors and their church! The Irish and Scots are of the same stock except they arrived in Britain at different times. The ancestors of the Irish arrived about 1600 B.C. and the Scots arrived 501 A.D., via Scythia and Spain. The emblem for both is the Red Hand. The only reason the Irish and Scots are mostly Roman Catholic today is because King Henry II, sold them out to Pope Adrian at the Synod of Cashel. If the Roman Catholic Irish and Scots (and Protestant, for that matter) ever learn their true history, that the Celtic church of Britain was the first true church outside of the one at Jerusalem (and never the Roman Catholic Church), hell would seem like a mild place to be, in comparison to their presence.
Now Continuing The Topic:
JUST WHO IS THIS PATRIARCH, JUDAH? (Part 18)
KING HENRY II SELLS OUT THE CELTIC CHURCH TO ROME
To start this lesson, I am going to quote from the book, The Story of the Irish Race, by Seumas MacManus (assisted by several Irish scholars), pages 327-328:
“ Then he (King Henry II) won Rome too. He had a synod of the Irish ecclesiastics — all but the Primate Gelasius, and the other northerns — called at Cashel, where, following the example of their chiefs the Bishops acknowledged Henry as lord supreme in Ireland. At this synod they passed decrees for the bettering (?) of church discipline, which, being sent to Rome, confirmed the fact that Henry was carrying out his undertaking, and reforming morals (?) in the land, and evoked from Alexander the Third the letter confirmatory of Adrian’s (an English Pope’s) Bull.
“ At Easter Henry had to return in haste to England, carrying with him the undisputed lordship of Leinster, Meath and the cities of Dublin, Wexford and Waterford. Meath he gave in trust to De Lacey — who had the governorship of Dublin also. The city of Dublin was given to the occupation of the merchants and people of Bristol. Strongbow was left in possession of Leinster.
“ The strange mesmerism which the presence of Henry seemed to have wrought on the Irish princes was dissipated on his going. They awoke to the rude reality that they had welcomed an invader and meekly accepted him. From the various quarters they began to rise up against the enemy, harass him, and endeavour to drive him out. Now more familiar with, and therefore less daunted by, Norman discipline and equipment, the Irish princes set strategy against skill, and discovered that the Normans were not omnipotent. O’Brien of Thomond inflicted a big defeat upon them at Thurles — not the only big defeat that he was to give them. Strongbow the mighty was beaten back in the south and bottled up in Waterford in imminent danger of capture. And only [the fact] that the redoubtable le Gros hurried back from Wales to release him [or] he would have been overthrown. Roderick O’Connor with the help of O’Neill, O’Mellaghlin, O’Carroll, MacDunleavy of Uladh, and an army of twenty thousand overran Meath, and set out for Dublin which he might easily have captured but for his vacillation (indecision). He soon after thought it to be to his advantage to make treaty with Henry. He sent to England for that purpose Concord, Abbot of Clonfert, Catholicus, Archbishop of Tuam, and Archbishop Lawrence O’Toole of Dublin. This treaty, known as the Treaty of Windsor, acknowledged Henry’s right to the lordship of Leinster, Meath, and the other few places and cities then occupied by him. He was also acknowledged as the overlord to whom Roderick should pay formal tribute. On the other hand it acknowledged Roderick’s right to the high-kingship of five-sixths of Ireland.
“ But such pacts had little effect either in securing peace or insuring the rights of either party. Every Norman chief warred on his own account, for purpose of extending his power and possessions. And of course every Irish chief and prince, when opportunity offered, warred against the invader.”
This Synod of Cashel with King Henry II handing over the British Celtic church to Pope Adrain happened in 1172 A.D., so we are getting ahead of our story. The story that we want to bring forward in this lesson is the Saxon invasions of Britain. By the year 411 A.D., the Roman Empire was in such a massive decline, it was necessary for her to recall her troops from Britain. If you will remember, in lesson #16, page 3, it was mentioned how Constantius Chlorus and his son Constantine, who later became Constantine the Great, initially went to Britain to fight the Picts. After the Romans withdrew their troops from Britain in 411 A.D., the Britons were still having problems with the Picts. After 106 years the Picts were still giving the Britons headaches. The Britons then invited a few Saxons in to help control the unruly Picts, whereupon the Saxons kept coming in waves for the next two hundred years. This is where we will pick up our story, and I will quote from The Legacy of Arthur’s Chester, by Robert B. Stoker, starting with page 21:
BRITISH INVITE THE SAXONS (JUTES) TO HELP FIGHT THE PICTS
“ Let us now move to the invasion of the Saxons, and archbishop 10, Guitelin [one of 13 named Archbishops of Caerleon]. When the Saxon came in A.D. 449, they were invited by Vortigern, King of the Britons, as mercenaries, and were given the Isle of Thanet. After beating the Scots (who had penetrated a long way into England) at Stamford, the Saxons were rewarded by Vortigern with the land in Lincolnshire, and further Saxons landed. As the British were suspicious of Vortigern’s friendship with the Saxons, Hengist, who had only three ‘keels ’ of his troops, used this suspicion to persuade the king to allow him to bring over more ‘trusty Saxons ’ for his protection. Hengist had a beautiful daughter called Rowena who, after dancing before Vortigern (who had a grown-up son) and drinking his health, ‘ Liever Kyning (Koenig) wass Heal!’ (Lord King your health!) so inflamed the king that not only did he divorce his wife, but gave Hengist Kent as a marriage gift, without consulting the nobles or people. (Geoffrey of Monmouth.)
“ Hengist persuaded Vortigern to allow him to bring more Saxons over to protect him from his complaining subjects, who began to turn their eyes toward Ambrosius (young son of the later Constantine — that Constantine who was beheaded by the Emperor Honorius (Rapin)), who was sheltering at the home of his kinsman, Aldroen of Brittany. Hengist then started to ravage the country, especially the churches, which being of wood, have disappeared without a trace.”
This is an excellent quote and should start to give you a good picture in your mind as to the situation which was happening during this period of time in Britain. On pages 23-24 of this same book we get the following:
“ These Saxons attacked the Scots and established themselves in Northumbria under Octa and Ebissa (or Ebusa), of whom we shall read later. Vortigern’s son then surprised him, and taking over the kingdom, made war on the Saxons, but in A.D. 457 was badly defeated in Crayford, Kent, and sought refuge in London. This would account for Guitelin, the Archbishop of London, becoming Archbishop of Chester, and Chester being the capital of Ambrosius who had deposed Vortigern. ... When Hengist, by treachery, killed three hundred or more British nobles at Stonehenge (A.D. 473) and took Vortigern prisoner, he received Essex, Middlesex, London and Winchester (and some say York and Lincoln as well) as ransom.”
Now that we have laid an understandable foundation for this interesting, intriguing story of the invasions of Britain by the Saxons, which included the Angles and Jutes, we can single out pieces of the story from various sources to make it even more crystal-clear. The next authoritative source I would like to quote, which presents a comprehensive portrayal of this period, is from The Origin and Early History of Christianity In Britain, by Andrew Gray, D.D., pages 55-60:
“ The Saxon Invasion. No longer protected by the powerful countenance of the Roman Emperors, she was now grievously oppressed by the frequent incursions of those predatory tribes who occupied the Northern frontier of Britain — the Picts (as the Caledonians were then called), and the Scots (a tribe who had migrated from Ireland [via Scythia and Spain]). In their distress, the people of South Britain sent an appeal to Rome for help, inscribed, ‘ The Groans of the Britons.’ But there were Northern barbarians at the time threatening Rome itself. The great fabric of the Empire was tottering to its foundation; and Rome, feeling obliged to concentrate around the capital, the scattered forces of the Empire, had withdrawn her legions from Britain in A.D. 410. Attila, surnamed ‘ The Scourge of God ’, with his conquering hordes had crossed the Alps and was advancing on Rome ... so the petition from Britain was unheeded.
“ In this extremity of desertion [of the Romans] on one hand and suffering on the other [from the Picts], the Britons persuaded Vortigern, Prince of Damnonium, to send deputies to the Saxons requesting their assistance. This was an evil hour for the Britons, for of all the German tribes the Saxons were the most warlike and savage. Gildas speaks of ‘ the stupidity and infatuation under which the Britons acted, in calling to their help a nation whom they dreaded more than death.’ The Saxons readily responded to the request, and under Hengist and Horsa, their leaders, they landed in Britain (A.D. 449), and made short work with the Picts and Scots. This first success speedily brought over more of their adventurous countrymen, who became so charmed with the fertility of the soil, and the mildness of the climate, that they soon assumed the attitude of conquerors; and joining the Picts and Scots against the Britons, by force of arms, they maintained their possession of the country. For a time Britain, unaided and alone, successfully withstood them. Indeed, under Ambrosius Aurelianus, A.D. 489, they seem to have won an important battle at Bannesdown. Ambrosius is said to have employed the respite (temporary delay) thus afforded in rebuilding some of the churches which had been destroyed in the war, and in providing for the better settlement of religious affairs. ...
“ But eventually victory crowned the efforts of the enemy (Saxons, Angles and Jutes); and never was a victory more complete, or more cruelly misused. Probably of all the hordes that dismembered the Roman Empire, the Saxons were the most barbarous. ... The greatest virtue with them was courage, and the greatest vice was cowardice. And so Britain, from the east to west, became involved in rapine and slaughter. Her cruel masters turned their ruthless hands against every thing and person that had a religious character, destroyed every church they could reach, and slew the Christians at the very altars. The Bishops and clergy were hunted down like wild beasts, and they either miserably perished, or else sought refuge in expatriation (exile). And, as if this condition of things was not already bad enough for the despised and down-trodden Faith, Vortigern, the prince [king?] already referred to, married the daughter of Hengist, thus forming a royal alliance with [Saxon] paganism. ...
“ The Jutes and the Angles rushed to the quarry, and with murderous rapidity carried fire and sword to every part of Britain proper. The Britons long maintained the unequal combat, but after a struggle of 150 years, were compelled to receive the yoke of their heartless pagan conquerors ... the German conquest of Britain was a complete dispossession or slaughter of the conquered people. Wherever the conqueror went, the vengeance he took on the Britons was terrible. Whole villages and towns were consigned to the flames, and a promiscuous slaughter of the inhabitants ensued. Everything Celtic was as effectively wiped out of the land as everything Roman was wiped out of Africa by the Saracen conquerors of Carthage. Britain ceased to be Britain, and became England. The religion, the laws, the language were all changed... . Bede says that all public and private buildings were destroyed; the blood of the priest was poured out on the altars; the prelates and people were destroyed together by fire and sword, and no man dared to give them burial.”
This should give you some idea what brother will do against brother, and kinsman against kinsman in the name of religion. By this time in history, evidently, all knowledge of kinsman-ship had been lost. Writers on this subject debate the extent of the paganism of the Saxons, but it is evident that if the Saxon and British beliefs were somewhat similar, all these wars could have been avoided. Later, the Saxons, Angles and Jutes would be converted in one way or another back to belief in our Redeemer. This is another very involved story in itself, and must be dealt with in its proper place and order. To further document this story of the invasions of the Saxons, I will quote from, Celt, Druid and Culdee, by Isabel Hill Elder, Pages 118-120:
CELTS PUSHED WESTWARD
“ The Anglo-Saxon invasion, which resulted in the most important and complete of all the tribal settlements in Britain, took place between A.D. 446 and 501. In these incursions the Jutes and Angles were the first to arrive, and the Angles, being numerically the strongest constituent, gave their name in this country to the entire group, which on the Continent were known as Saxons. ...
“ The Anglo-Saxon invasion had the effect of gradually pushing the Celts to the west of England and south-west Scotland. When this occurred and the Archbishops of Caerleon-on-Usk, London and York, saw all the churches in their jurisdiction lying level with the ground, they fled with all the clergy that remained after so great a destruction, to the coverts of the woods in Wales, and to Cornwall. From this fact it is easily discernible how it came to pass that the Culdee British Church has been associated to so great an extent with Wales and Southern Scotland. ...
As the British were being driven farther and farther to the west, naturally they moved their ministries along with them. It was similar in manner to the early Christians moving their worship services into the catacombs and the Waldenses moving their place of worship into mountain caves and secluded forested areas. I found the following information in a very unusual place, the book The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan, by Ellen G. White (she did not know of, nor teach Israel Identity), pages 70-71. She had the following to say about Britain:
THE CELTIC CHURCH GOES UNDERGROUND
“ In Great Britain, primitive Christianity had very early taken root. The gospel received by the Britons in the first centuries, was then uncorrupted by Roman apostasy. Persecution from pagan emperors, which extended even to these far-off shores, was the only gift that the first churches of Britain received from Rome. Many of the Christians fleeing from persecution in [Saxon] England, found refuge in Scotland; thence the truth was carried to Ireland, and in all these countries it was received with gladness.
“ When the Saxons invaded Britain, heathenism gained control. The conquerors disdained to be instructed by their slaves, and the Christians were forced to retreat to the mountains and the wild moors. Yet the light, hidden for a time, continued to burn. In Scotland, a century later, it shown out with a brightness that extended to far-distant lands. From Ireland came the pious Columba and his co-laborers, who, gathering about them the scattered believers on the lonely island of Iona, made this the center of their missionary labors. Among these evangelists was an observer of the Bible Sabbath, and thus this truth was introduced among the people. A school was established at Iona, from which missionaries went out, not only to Scotland and England, but to Germany, Switzerland, and even Italy.”
To understand where the Angles, Saxons and Jutes were pushing the Britons, I will quote again from The Origin and Early History of Christianity In Britain, by Andrew Gray, D.D., pages 60-62:
THE BRITISH CELTIC CHURCH ALMOST FADES FROM VIEW
“ But the whole of the western part of the country remained un conquered. Strathclyde, including the country from the Clyde to the Dee, the Kingdom of Cumbria; North Wales, or Cambria; South Wales, and Devon and Cornwall, with part of Somerset and the sacred Avàlon, remained purely British. This land the English called Welsh-land, or the ‘Land of the Foreigner’, Welsh being the name which the Germans applied to all nations speaking languages of Latin descent ... and they found that all was lost, then, in A.D. 587, they were forced by persecution to fly and join their brethren in Wales.
“ To those parts we must now look for the Primitive Church of Britain. It was shut off from, and perhaps to a considerable extent forgotten by, the larger portion of Christendom; but it now formed a closer alliance with the sister Churches of Ireland and Scotland. It was conscious of no submission to any foreign Church, but gazed fondly back to Jerusalem and the Holy Land rather than to Rome. It had its own Liturgy, its own customs, its own peculiar (although erroneous) cycle of computing Easter. (Note: If they were keeping Passover at the time of the full moon regardless of the day of the week, as in the East, it was not erroneous.) It was orthodox in faith. It had, as we learn from Gildas, a regularly ordained Episcopate. It believed its Bishops to be the successors of the Apostles, and its priests claimed the power to bind and loose. ...
“ It is of the greatest importance that we should gather all the information possible concerning the Church in Wales, and get as definite an idea of it as we can. There are, unfortunately, those who erroneously suppose that the link between the early British Church and the Church of England of the present day, was broken by the Saxon invasion; and that the present Church of England arose in the time of Augustine, deriving its origin from Rome through him, and not, as we are bound to maintain, from the Apostles and Jerusalem in unbroken, continuous decent, through the British or Celtic Church. ... The Saxon invasion had destroyed civilization and Christianity in the larger part of England proper, but a remnant was driven westward, and found its home in Wales. ...”
I have now shown you several of the pro-Identity sources for this information concerning the Saxon invasions of Britain which many will ridicule. Many historians and older encyclopedias relegate this time period to Romance and the mythical, as though it were never historical fact; especially my 1894 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica is guilty of this. Usually the older the book, generally the better its content, but not in this case. I am finding, in my research on these things, different writers, citing archaeologists, finding from time to time proof of the facts written by these old antiquarians. Evidently, enough evidence has been brought forward so that more modern reviewers are a little hesitant to consign this very important history (as they put it) to “Romance”. For instance, when one considers the personage of Vortigern, he is getting very close in time and place to the so-called legendary personage of King Arthur. If you want to research this subject of the Saxon invasions from some of your own encyclopedias and history books use these key words in the indexes: Vortigern; Saxon; Anglo-Saxons. I will now quote from some of my encyclopedias and history books, and as I do, compare some of the facts as I have quoted above from pro-Identity sources. First, I will quote from, The World Book Encyclopedia, volume 1, under “Anglo-Saxon”, page 441:
“ ANGLO-SAXON, (ang gloh SAX s’n), is the name given to the nation created by the union of the Germanic tribes that settled in England in the A.D. 400’s and 500’s. These tribes were the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. In about 449, a British king named Vortigern invited the Germanic tribes to come to England to help him drive back the invading Picts and Scots. But the allies quarreled, and soon these tribes began to drive out the Britons. By the end of the 500’s, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes occupied nearly all of England to the borders of Wales and Scotland. The word England was taken from the Old English words Engla and land, which mean land of the Angles.
“ There were seven major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms — Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Sussex, Kent, and Wessex. These were known as the Heptarchy. ...
“ The Anglo-Saxons left their mark on the English language in its grammar and in thousands of words, including perhaps half the words we usually use today. These words may be traced to the dialect that was developed in northern England. The southern dialect became the literary language of Anglo-Saxon England and was used chiefly in writing verse.
Again, from, The World Book Encyclopedia, volume 17, under “Saxon”, page 142 we read this:
“ SAXON was a member of a Germanic tribe that invaded the island of Britain about 1,500 years ago. The Angles, another Germanic tribe invaded Britain about the same time. The two tribal groups mixed and established the Anglo-Saxon kingdom which lasted until the Norman Conquest of 1066.
“ The ancient geographer Ptolemy first mentioned the Saxons in a book he wrote during the A.D. 100’s. According to Ptolemy, the Saxons lived in an area in southern Denmark called Saxony (now Schleswig, in Germany). They were a warlike people who invaded Roman territory in the late 300’s, during the reigns of the emperors Julian and Valentinian. By the 500’s, the Saxons had settled along the coast of Gaul (now France), between the Elbe and Loire rivers. The Saxons invaded Britain in the mid-400’s, conquered the Celts who lived there, and settled in the southern and western parts of the island. ...”
You will notice the facts presented in these articles by The World Book Encyclopedia, supports, assists, upholds and strengthens the information and actuality of these other writers quoted before above. For further confirmation from a history book (actually a volume or a set of several books), I will quote from The Story Of Civilization: Part IV, “The Age Of Faith”, by Will Durant, pages 80-81:
“ But in the fourth and fifth centuries security was threatened on every front: on the north by the Picts of Caledonia; on the east and south by Norse and Saxon raiders; on the west by the unsubdued Celts of Wales and the adventurous Gaels and ‘ Scots ’ of Ireland. In 364-367 ‘ Scot ’ and Saxon coastal raids increased alarmingly; British and Gallic troops repelled them, but Stilicho had to repeat the process a generation later. In 381 Maximus, in 407 the usurper Constantine (a later Constantine), took from Britain, for their personal purposes, legions for home defense (Roman). and few of these men returned. Invaders began to pour over the frontiers; Britain appealed to Stilicho for help (400 A.D.), but he was fully occupied in driving Goths and Huns from Italy and Gaul. When a further appeal was made to the Emperor Honorius he answered that the British must help themselves as best they could. ‘ In the year 409 ’, says Bede, ‘ the Romans ceased to rule in Britain.’
“ Faced with a large-scale invasion of Picts, the British leader Vortigern invited some North German tribes to come to his help. Saxons came from the region of the Elbe, Angles from Schleswig, Jutes from Jutland. Tradition — perhaps legend — reports that the Jutes arrived in 449 under the command of two brothers suspiciously named Hengist and Horsa — i.e., stallion and mare. (Note: I don’t see where these names are any more suspicious than Sitting Bull or Crazy Horse, as the Israelite tribes loved and even decorated their horses like they custom detail paint their autos today!) The various Germans drove back the Picts and ‘ Scots ’, received tracts of land as reward, noted the military weakness of Britain, and sent the joyful word to their fellows at home. Uninvited German hordes landed on Britain’s shores; they were resisted with more courage than skill; they alternately advanced and retired through a century of guerrilla war; finally the Teutons defeated the British at Deorham (577), and made themselves masters of what would later be called Angle-land — England. Most Britons thereafter accepted the conquest, and mingled their blood with that of the conquerors [which were actually of the same stock]; a hardy minority retreated into the mountains of Wales and fought on; some others crossed the Channel and gave their name to Brittany. The cities of Britain were ruined by the long contest; transport was disrupted, industry decayed; law and order languished, art hibernated, and the incipient Christianity of the island was overwhelmed by the pagan gods and customs of Germany, Britain and its language became Teutonic; Roman law and institutions disappeared. Roman municipal organization was replaced by village communities. A Celtic element remained in English blood, physiognomy, character, literature, and art, but remarkably little in English speech, which is now a cross between German and French.”
I know I am repeating and going over this story again and again, but with each new quotation, more intriguing details come to light so we can understand all the circumstances surrounding this story. We have to know all of this because very important church history surrounds all of these interesting movements and counter-movements. It may not appear like it, but Yahweh was moving everything according to His Plan for His people and His anointed Celtic Culdee British evangelistic gospel message to all of His Israel nations. Once you comprehend all of these historical movements, His plan becomes evident. Never once did His plan get delayed nor ever was it premature. Now we will read this story as presented by, CYCLOPÆDIA of Universal history, by John Clark Ridpath, LL. D., volume 2. pages 81-86:
“ To people of the English speaking race, the story of the Anglo-Saxons can never fail to interest. The hardy and adventurous stock transplanted from the stormy shores of the Baltic to the foggy island of Britain had grown into imperishable renown, and the rough accent of the old pirates of Jutland is heard in all the harbors of the world.
“ The native seat of the Anglo-Saxons has been already defined. From the river Scheldt to the islands of the Jutes, and extending far inland, lies a low and marshy country, through which the rivers for want of fall can scarcely make their way to the sea. The soil is a sediment; the sky, a bed of dun mist and heavy clouds, pouring out their perpetual rains. Ever and anon (after a while) the storms roll in from the North Sea, and the black waves plunge and roar and bellow along the coast. From the first human life in this low and doleful region has been an everlasting broil with the ocean.
“ It was from these dreary regions that the storm-beaten, war-hardened fathers of the English race came forth in the middle of the fifth century to plant themselves in Britain. Nor was the natural scenery of the new habitat, shrouded in fogs and drenched with rain, girdled with stormy oceans and clad in sunless forest, better calculated than their original seats to develop in our forefathers the sentiments of tenderness and refinement. By the banks of the muddy British rivers, and on the margin of the somber oak woods, the mixed tribes of Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians established themselves and began top class=/emtext-align: justify; text-indent: 0.5in;span style=,/strong work out the severe but grand problems of English civilization. Of the personal characteristics and intellectual features of the race much has been written, but nothing better in the way of description and analysis than the essay of the eloquent Taine. Of the Anglo-Saxons he says:
“‘ Huge white bodies, cool-blooded, with fierce blue eyes, reddish flaxen hair; ravenous stomachs, filled with meat and cheese, heated by strong drinks; of a cold temperament, slow to love, home-stayers, prone to brutal drunkenness: these are to this day the features which descent and climate preserve in the race, and these are what the Roman historians discovered in their former country. ...’
“‘ Behold them now in England more settled and wealthier. Do you look to find them much changed? Changed it may be, but for the worse, like the Franks, like all barbarians who pass from action to enjoyment. They are more gluttonous, carving their hogs, filling themselves with flesh, swallowing down deep draughts of mead (alcoholic beverage brewed from honey), ale, spiced wines, all the strong coarse, drinks which they can procure; and so they are cheered and stimulated. Add to this the pleasure of the fight. Not easily with such instincts can they attain to culture; to find a natural and ready culture we must look among the sober and sprightly populations of the south.’
“ Such is a picture of the character and life of the Anglo-Saxons when they began to possess themselves of England. It was in the middle decade of the fifth century of our era that the half-civilized Celtic people of South Britain, left naked by the withdrawal of the Roman legions, and hard pressed on the north by the Picts and the Scots, adopted the fatal expedient of inviting to their aid the barbarians of the Baltic. The tribes thus solicited were the Jutes, the Angles, the Saxons, and the Frisians. The first mentioned dwelt in the Cimbric Chersonesus, now Jutland, or Denmark. Parts of Schleswig and Holstein were also included in their territories. In the latter country the district known as Angeln was the native seat of the Angles. To the south of these two regions, spreading from the Weser to the delta of the Rhine, lay the country of the Saxons, embracing the states afterwards known as Westphalia, Friesland, Holland, and part of Belgium. A glance at the map will show that these tribes occupied a position of easy approach by sea to the British Isles. ...
“ Albeit, in matters of war the British Celts were no match for the rude barbarians of the North, who now descended in countless swarms upon the coast of the island. It is believed that Hengist and Horsa, the leaders of the barbarian’s host which accepted the call of the Celts, as well as a majority of their followers in the first expedition, were Jutes. With them, however, a large body of Angles from Holstein, and Saxons from Friesland. were joined in the invasion. So came a mixed host into England. At this time the king of the British Celts was Vortigern. Him the Jute chieftains aided in driving back the Picts and Scots. When the island was thus freed from its peril the Celtic king was entertained at a feast given by Hengist. Beautiful was Rowena, the daughter of the warlike host. By her was the heart of Vortigern fatally ensnared. Humbly he sought and gladly received her hand, and in proof of gratitude he gave to the Jutes the isle of Thanet. Here the invaders found a permanent footing and would not be dismissed. Fresh bands were invited from the Baltic.
“ The fertility of exposed Britain and the wealth of the Celtic towns excited the insatiable cupidity of the barbarians. First quarrels and then hostilities broke out between them and the Celts. The sword was drawn. Vortigern was deposed and his son Vortimer elected in his stead. A hollow and deceptive truce was concluded, and the chief personages on both sides came together in a feast. When the drinking was at its height, Hengist called out to the Saxons. ‘Nimed eure seaxas’ (Take your swords); whereupon each warrior drew forth his blade and cut down all who were present except Vortigern. The result of the first contest in the island was that all of Kent, the ancient Cantium, was seized by the invaders and ruled by Eric, the son and successor of Hengist. Thus was established the first Saxon kingdom in England. ...
“... The western coast of England, from the Frith to Clyde to the Land’s End in Cornwall and the southern coast from Cornwall to the borders of Hampshire remained in possession of the Celts. ... A large proportion of the original Celts remained in their homes, and were blended with the conquering people. The Mercian Angles are said to have contributed more than any other of the northern tribes to the general subjugation of Britain.
“ Such was the Saxon conquest of England, and such is the story of the establishment of the seven petty kingdoms known by the name of the Heptarchy. The movement of the German tribes from the north occupied a period of nearly two hundred years. More than half of that time (so stubborn was the resistance of the Britons) was occupied with fierce wars between the invaders and the invaded.”
THE BRITISH CELTIC CHURCH REBOUNDS TO LIFE AGAIN
The Celtic church was finally driven to the extreme west of the island because of the two hundred years of Saxon invasions. The Saxons were, by this time, in possession of over 75% of the land. It appeared, again, that the light might flicker and finally go out on the church which was started by Joseph of Arimathaea, but suddenly the light recovered to shine even brighter. For this part of the story, I will quote from a secular source of history, The Story Of Civilization, Part IV, “The Age Of Faith”, by Will Durant, page 532:
“ As Germanic invasions of Gaul and Britain had driven scholars from those lands to Ireland, so now the wave returned, the debt was paid; Irish missionaries flung themselves upon the victorious pagan Angles, Saxons, Norwegians, and Danes in England, and upon the illiterate and half-barbarous Christians of Gaul and Germany. with the Bible in one hand and classic manuscripts in the other; and for a time it seemed that the Celts would win back through Christianity the lands they had lost to force. It was in the Dark Ages that the Irish spirit shone with its strongest light.
“ The greatest of these missionaries was St. Columba. We know him well through the biography written (c. 679) by Adamnan, one of his successors at Iona. Columba was born at Donegal in 521, of royal stock; ... he was a saint who could have been a king. At school in Moville he showed such devotion that his schoolmaster named him Columbkille — Column of the Church. From the age of twenty-five he founded a number of churches and monasteries, of which the most famous were at Derry, Durrow, and Kells. But he was a fighter as well as a saint, ‘ a man of powerful frame and mighty voice ’; his hot temper drew him into many quarrels, at last into war with King Diarmuid a battle was fought in which, we are told, 5000 men were killed; Columba, though victorious, fled from Ireland (563), resolved to convert as many souls as had fallen in that engagement at Cooldrevna. He now founded on the island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland, one of the most illustrious of medieval monasteries. Thence he and his disciples brought the Gospel to the Hebrides, Scotland, and northern England. And there, after converting thousands of pagans and illuminating 300 ‘ noble books ’, he died, in prayer at the alter, in his seventy-eighth year.”
The Horizon History of Christianity, by Roland H. Bainton, (a secular source) has this to say on page 142:
“ In 563 Saint Columba, a Celtic abbot, had gone from Ireland to Scotland, where he established a monastery on the island of Iona. After converting the king, the saint and his disciples won the inhabitants of Scotland, then called the Picts. The Celtic Irish were ready to convert the Picts, but there was at first no disposition on the part of the Celtic Britons to convert the Anglo-Saxons. Unlike the barbarians who invaded other parts of Europe, these barbarians were brutal in their conquest of Britain; consequently those native Britons that survived the invasion were driven west into Wales and Cornwall. It was left to the Irish monks settled in Scotland to begin the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons of northern England, just shortly after Augustine (a Roman Catholic priest who had no connection with the Celtic church whatever) undertook the conversion of [Saxons] of the south.”
Isabel Hill Elder, in her book, Celt, Druid and Culdee, has this to say about Saint Columba and Iona, page 113:
“ The great St. Columba, fourth in descent from Niall of the Nine Hostages, born A.D. 522, about fifty years after the death of St. Patrick, was associated with the Culdee Church of Iona for thirty-two years, where he arrived from Ireland with his twelve disciples on Pentecost Eve in the year 565. We are here given another instance of the faithfulness of the Culdees to first foundations in the formation of a new settlement.
“‘ Many of the Continental monasteries owed their foundations to Irish scholars. When St. Columba turned his back on Derry with the lament that is one of the loveliest ancient Irish poems, and founded the monastery at Iona, it was but the beginning of a movement which brought so many scholars to the Irish schools. But the claim of the Irish schools is not so much in the intricate treasure of their manuscripts, as in the other pattern which they wove into the history of Europe. ...’”