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Saint Pauls visit to Britain

A FAITHFUL account of the origin of
-^ native British Christianity as opposed to
the Papal system first introduced four hundred
and fifty-six years subsequently by Augustine
the monk, is here, in readable compass, pre-
sented to the public. The history of such
origin is inseparably blended with the long-
sustained resistance of our early forefathers to
the invasions of their liberties by the greatest
empire of antiquity, wielding against them
the military forces of nearly three-quarters of
the globe. The events thus recorded have
left their moulding power to this day on our
constitution in Church and State. The most
cursory glance at them is sufficient to demon-
strate the untenableness of the supposition that
Britain is indebted to Germany — a country
which has never itself been free-;— for its free
institutions, or to Italy for its Gospel faith.
The leading principles of her laws and liberties



are of pure indigenous growth ; and her evan-
gelical faith was received by her directly from
Jerusalem and the East, from the lips of the
first disciples themselves of Christ. The strug-
gles in after ages down to our own period for
the restoration and preservation of these in-
digenous birthright liberties, this primitive
apostolical faith, constitute the most stirring
and ennobling portions of our annals ; and we
may rest assured that as long as in their
modem developments of British Protestantism,
British Patriotism, and British Loyalty, they
continue to inspire the national heart, our
island will continue to retain her position in
the van-ward of the march of Order, Liberty,
and Progress.

Dec. 24, 1860.





The Religions op the Wobld at the Rise op Chmstianitt.
Theib Avtagokisms ajstd Common Ground with the New
Faith. — Gbeece and its Philosophies. — ^Thb Jews. — ^Thb
Inpluence g» the Messianic Idea. — ^The Eastern Re-
uoioNs.-— Rome 1


The Religion or Britain and Western Europe. — ^Druidism,
THE Gentile Preparation por Christianity. — ^Its Princi-
ples and Inpluences 57


Historic Positions op Britain and the Roman Empire at
THE Commencement op the Christian Era . . 87


The British Royal Family at Rome. — ^The Arimatrsan, or
First Introduction op Christianity into Britain. — Simon
Zelotes. — ^Aristobulus 126


The Tracings-up op the Ancient Royal Church op Britain
to its Apostolic Foundations. — St. Paul in Britain.--His
Connection with the Royal Silurian Family op Bri-
tain. — ^Buried in their Family Sepulchre . . 178

Conclusion 213





The Religions op the Woeld at the Rise op Cheistiaw-
ITT. Theib Antagonisms and Common Gbound with
THE Nsw Faith.— Gkeece and its Philosophies. — The
Jews. — ^The Influence of the Messianic Idea. — The
Eastebn Religions. — Rome.

THE moral soils of the various countries on which
the first seed of Christianity fell differed mate-
rially in their state of preparation for its reception.
The Gentile soil was more favourable than that of
the Jew. The reason is obvious. Christianity is
the divine idea of one mind^ Jesus Christ. It existed
in the Old Testament only as the ore in the mine.
No Jewish interpreter of the ancient Scriptures de-
cyphered them in the same sense as Jesus of Naza-
reth. His explication and application were declared
subversive of Moses and the Prophets, and rejected
with intense bitterness. The Law of Moses not only
failed to bring the Hebrew race to Christ, but rabbis
and laity took their stand upon it as the eternal
covenant^ the whole language and spirit of which
disproved the exposition of the Nazarene. It is
also obvious that if the Christian solution of the



Mosaic revelation be unsoimd, such revelation is
incapable of any consistent solution whatever. But
this fact, now witnessed by history and chronology,
was yet to be ascertained in the Messianic century.
Deeper proof of the sincerity of their faith in their
own Messianic idea the Jews could not give than
by rising upon it against the weight of the whole
Gentile empire of Bome. As a nation they were
destroyed, but the false idea which destroyed them
remains indestructible. It still moulds the mind of
the Dispersion. Practically, therefore, the Mosaic
Law cannot be regarded as a successful preparation
for the Gospel. Our Saviour's first ministerial act,
in His Sermon on the Mount, was to repeal its most
striking enactments, and to abolish its spirit of ex-
clusiveness and sanguinary retaliation. Nothing in,
the Mosaic covenant not expressly re-imposed in the
New Testament binds the Christian. The almost
total rejection of His religion by the Jews, and its
acceptance by the Gentiles, was repeatedly pre-signi-
fied by our Lord, especially in the remarkable para-
ble of the lord of the vineyard and the husband-
men. The prophets had similarly specified the lands
of the Gentiles and "the isles afar off," and not
JudaDa, as the seats of the Messianic Church. Time
has verified the predictions. The Gentile religions
of Europe, with all their errors and defects, had
that within them which constituted them fitter pre-
paratives than the Mosaic for the Gospel, the na-


tions trained by them fitter recipients of it than the
Jew. The results corresponded with the antece-
dents. The Mosaic Jew has never become Chris-
tian ; the Druidic and Gentile European soon be-
came^ and has never since ceased to be, Christian. It
is the old Gentile populations of Europe and their
descendants in the New World which now constitute
Christendom, the rest of the world continuing Is-
lamitic or Pagan. To attain an intelligent com-
prehension of the causes which led to the extension
of primitive Christianity, it will thus be necessary
to examine the prevalent religious systems which
it found in operation, how far they held doctrines
antagonistic to or identical with those it propounded
as of divine sanction. We shall inquire first into
those of Greece, Judaea, the East, Egypt, and Eome,
then of Western Europe, more particularly of Britain.
Having explored these various fields, we shall shew
by what providential events, by what evangelists
and apostles, the Gospel was first introduced into
our then Druidic island.

And first of the Greek religions or philosophies.

Of the various philosophies prevalent among the
Greeks, four only claim attention, the rest being
affiliations of them, — the Platonic, the Peripatetic,
the Stoic, and the Epicurean.

The foimder of the Platonic, or spiritual philo-
sophy, was Plato, bom at Athens B.C. 430, de-
scended by his father's side from Codrus, by his


mother^s from Solon. He held that God was a pure
Spirit^ in whose nature existed three hypostases;
the first the rb fo, * essential being/ called also ri
iyaOov, * the good ;* the second, emanating from the
first, called vovs or X0705, * mind* or * intelligence/
and also brjiMiovpyos, ' the maker of the imiverse / the
third the i/rvx'? ^^^ koo-jiov, or *soul of the world/ pror
ceeding from the two former. The whole creation
he regarded as the material body or organization of
the psyche, or anima, therefore in a sense the body
of God. This is the Platonic Triad or Trinity. The
heathen philosophers maintained that the Christian
Trinity was borrowed from it, and that St. John
was a Platonist. From the psyche emanated also
an infinity of inferior spirits, endowed with the
vov^, who inhabited the stars, planets, and constel-
]iitions. The soul in man was, Plato taught, a de«
rivation from the same First Cause, and on its liber-
ation from the body became re*imited with it. All
created things pre-existed in the Myos^ or mind of
God: by an act of divine volition, creation leapt
into being according to the pre-existent type of it
in the K&yos, These types were co-eternal with the
Deity. When their external creations responded fully
to them, or, in other words, when the thing created
was a complete realization of its pre-existent ideal,
or form in the divine mind, its nature was perfect :
when it fell short, it was imperfect and mutilated.
This is the Platonic theory of divine ideas, for such


pre-existent forms lie termed '' ideaa/^ Thus, to use
an illastratioDy Otod, created man according to the
pre-existent image in His own mind of a perfect
man : human nature is in its perfect state when it
answers to such image, in an imperfect when it
fails to realize it. And so with eyery other mate*
rial formation. Plato taught also the necessity of
piety, and the immutability of Providence. Most
of these tenets he derived from Pythagoras and
non*Hellenic sources. His metaphysical researches
extended to the utmost bounds of human reason.
Some of the primitive Fathers considered the Pla-
tonic philosophy as Gentile Christianity, declining
to treat it as heathenism. It was, in fact, the frag*
ments of the traditionary religion of mankind re-
moulded into a system by a genius of the highest
order. The extensive and influential sect which
professed its principles formed an order pre-dis-
posed to a favourable consideration of some of the
most mysterious doctrines of Christianity.

The founder of the Peripatetics was Aristotle oi
Stagira, probably the clearest physical intellect that
has ever existed, but either entirely destitute of, or
deliberately ignoring as unphilosophical, the spiri-
tual faculty. He held the First Cause to be an
unity, but whether material or immaterial he de-
clared there was no evidence. The material uni-
verse, he taught, was eternal and indestructible.
Qn the nature of the soul he pronounced nothing




dogmatic or definite, nor yet on providence. He is
the most splendid instance on record of pure logical
mind without soul. His literary labours were in-
credible; his knowledge of every human science
accurate and profound ; his treatment of several of
them exhaustive. During the middle ages his su-*
premacy in all the Academies of Europe was undis-
puted, but, with the exception of himself, his school
has scarcely produced a great character. The Ari-
stotelian philosophy may be said to put aside all re-
ligion as incapable of demonstration, to deal with
morals on the coldest rules of logic, and to proceed
throughout on the two principles of science and
utilitarianism. As an exercise for the mind, no
study can be more tentative or beneficial ; but as a
rule of life, no practice less productive of satisfaction
or happiness.

The author of the Stoic philosophy was Zeno of
Citium, A.C. 300. His leading maxim was that
virtue required no reward but itself. He incul-
cated the absolute extinction of the passions and
feelings; indifference to externals, such as fortune,
rank, honours ; the futility of prayer, the exercise
of mutual forbearance and benevolence, the pre-
servation of an unruffled and commanding serenity
amongst all the pleasures, disasters, and vicissitudes
of life. Superiority to fortune, pain, and passions,
and perfect self-sufflciency in man for his own wants
and happiness, were the chief objects of Stoicism.


This was a high and seyere, but unnatural philo-<
Sophy. The school produced many eminent men,
and the life of the founder, which was prolonged
to his 100th year, was distinguished for modera-
tion, sobriety, and temperance. The Cynic philo-
sophy was Stoicism bereft of its principle of benevo-
lence, and corrupted into self-conceited misanthropy.

The Epicurean philosophy was foimded by Epi-
curus, of Gturgettus in Attica, a.o. 342. Its prin-
eipal tenets were that virtue was the greatest plea-
sure, and pain the greatest evil. His followers,
retaining the latter, reversed the former tenet into
f* Pleasure is the greatest good,*' and as Epicurus
liad taught that the senses were our best guides to
happiness, sensual pleasure came to be regarded as
the chief object of his philosophy. In this sense it
would be absurd to term Epicurus its founder, for
it is imfortunately the philosophy of unenlightened
and undisciplined human nature everywhere and in
all ages. His own life was exemplary, and his im-
mediate followers lived in singular concord. He
composed nearly 300 volumes, and died in his seventy-
second year.

The two most directly opposed to the spirit of
Christianity of these philosophies were the Aristo-
telian and Epicurean. The hard utilitarianism of
the one reduced everything to a consideration of
material causes and results, applied the tests of logi-
cal induction or scientific analogy to every new


proposition^ and threw out of courts as inadmissible
by its physical code of laws, all appeals to spiritual
inotiyes and intangible conditions. Its rule of de-
cision was, "De non-apparentibus et non-existen-
tibus eadem est ratio.^^ It refused to admit any
arguments based on the invisible, and such Chris-
tianity mainly advanced. The other was the strong-
hold of animal indulgence^ from the grossest crimin-
ality to the most delicate and refined forms of
CBsthetic enjoyment. The opulent 'and highly edu-
cated Epicurean, with his taste fastidiously culti-
vated, a connoisseur in the works of Phidias, Poly-
gnotus^ Zeuxis, and Menander, in all the treasured
of literature and verti, and select to a nicety in his
inferior gratifications^ would acknowledge no com-
munity of feeling or ideas with the vulgar glutton,
drunkard, or sensualist. Pleasure with him was a
science, an art, a religion ; the senses so many sacra-
ments, and everything that blunted their exquisite
sensibility a sin against the great end of life. Yet
in the Boman Lucullus and the Syrian slave the
difference would be one of tastes and means, the
principle would be Epicureanism in both; in the
poor and imeducated "the wallowing of the sow in
the mire,'* in the polished patrician the cultivation
of artistic or voluptuous sensations. The purity of
heart required by Christianity struck no less at thei
leaves and flowers than at the earth-imbedded root
of the tree of carnality. Hence in the Epicurean




phflosophy it encountered virulent and declared

The moral pride of the Stoic presented a difficulty
of an opposite description. The all-sufficiency of
man for his own virtue and reward was a sublime
and captiyating theory ; the dignity of human na«
ture was never so exalted or attempted to be prac-
tically exemplified. And in itself it was a noble
and laudable effort, not void of generous fruits and
magnanimous sacrifices; but as a religion^ the ex*
perimenty being based on false premises, proved a
total, and, in the judgment of the world, a ridiculous
&ilure. As Aristotelianism rejected faith, and Epi-
cureanism polluted the fountain of moral life, so
Stoicism crushed the heart, with its natural affec-
tions of pity, mercy, and love. It reduced man to
a statue of stolid and repulsive insensibility: pre-
tending to make him more than mortal, it made
him less than human. St. Paul abounds in allu-
sions to the hoUowness and unreality of the Stoic

But in its better parts^ such as its contempt for
external circumstances, its doctrines of manly re-
signation and composure^ its practice of kindness
and forbearance, there was much in Stoicism iden-
tical with Christianity; and the follower of Zeno
could not but be struck by the infinite superiority
of the example of Christ over all others in illustra-*
ting these cardinal virtues of his school, as well of



the motives propounded for their imitation. The
exhortation to cast himself wholly on Christ for
strength and support would come with peculiar
force to a sincere Stoic who had discovered how
delusive it was to seek them in himself.

Unattached to any sect of philosophy or religioni
were the Pyrrhonists^ sceptics or rhetoricians^ a
large and important class^ so called from their
founder Pyrrho, who held that there was no such
thing as positive or abstract truth, no uniform or
immutable standard of morality and immorality,
right and wrong, virtue and vice, knowledge and
ignorance ; but that they were, under different cir-
cumstances and places, convertible terms. They re-
garded all opinions alike, treated all religions with
equal indifference, would argue for either side on
alternate days, stating, " The reasons opposed to those
on which our assent was yesterday founded are en-
titled to equal belief, as we shall now demonstrate.**
'* We enunciate," declared Pyrrho, " the doctrines of
others to prove our perfect indifference ; it is just
as if we were to prove the same thing by simple
signs. Every reason has a corresponding reason
opposed to it; we state them mathematically, and
not dogmatically.'* The Pyrrhonist denied first
principles of any kind. Pilate by his question,
**What is truth?*' appears to have belonged to
this pernicious and mercenary sect.

The absorption of these moral philosophies by

ST. PAUL IN BRirAm. 1 1


.Christianity was a tardy process, which during and
after its continuance re-acted on its framework and
leavened its doctrines. Sightly interpreted, there
was a part in each of them, not excepting Epicu-
reanism as taught by its founder, which might
daim to be one with the new religion. Epiciirus
pointed to pleasure as the summum bonum^ and to
pain as the greatest evil ; Christianity spoke of the
pleasures at God's right hand for evermore as the
strongest inducement to a holy life, and of the tre-
mendous pains of hell as the most effectual dis«
sausiye from the practice of sin. The depravation
of the philosophy cannot with fairness be charged
on its founder, but it was with such depravation,
widely and deeply seated, that Christianity had to
contend. Both appealed to the avoidance of pain
and the attainment of happiness as solid grounds of
persuasion, but when an Apostle preached the taking
up of the Cross during the whole of the present
life as the condition of the happiness promised in
the future, the Epicurean recoiled His faith did
not penetrate the grave ; it had its seat in and died
with the body. The advantage possessed in this
respect by Christianity told daily. To escape the
pains of hell, the Christian bore all earthly pains,
every bodily torture, not only with a calnmess more
than Stoic, but with a joy which confounded all the
reasonings of heathen sagacity. " These Christians
are mad/' was the despairing explanation on which


they fell back. But meanwhile, neither the Academe^
nor the Porch, nor the Garden produced martyrs.
The Stoic might suffer unavoidable calamities with
magnanimityi but a Paul voluntarily, for the sake of
certain convictions, undergoing them, and exclaiming
in his utmost necessities, "We are more than con-
querors," impressed the Gentile with deeper sensa-
tions than admiration. Something there was, there-
fore, in each of these philosophies akin to Chris-
tianity, but there was that also in Christianity which
none of them possessed, and in this consisted the
secret of its superiority.

Turning from Greece and Bome to Judaea, we
find three sects predominating, the Pharisee, the
Sadducee, and the Essene. The Pharisees, so called
either from their exclusive pretensions to sanctity,
or from their founder Pharez, held the doctrines of
fete and predestination ; consistently, as they main-
tained, with the freedom of the will, the metem-
psychosis of virtuous souls and a future resurrection*
They advocated celibacy, frequent fasts, punctual
payment of tithes, rigid observation of prescribed
rites and ceremonies, fixed hours for ablutions, pub-
licity in bestowing alms, and long services or prayers.
By the bare enumeration of these particulars we feel
that we have stepped from heathendom into Jewry,
from the boundless speculations of the untrammelled
mind to the pale of a precise and ancient sacerdotal-
ism. The Pharisaic sect were strenuous assertors


of the traditions of the Taknudists, or Elders^ which
in many instances nullified the positive commands
of the Mosaic moral code, yet at the same time they
exhibited ferocious jealousy on behalf of the Law,
and laboured with incessant zeal to proselytize tho
heathen. Elements of great force existed in this
sect, but it was at the commencement of Christianity
tainted to the core with corruption, the more detest-
able because garbed in the gown and phylacteries
ef religion. Sanctimoniousness supplied the place
of charity, and a bigoted observance of the rubrical
Law was made the screen for unscrupulous oppression
and the most sordid avarice. The Pharisees gene-
rally set the tone of public opinion among their
countrymen, over whom, from the apparent aus-
terity of their lives and their numerous colleges
and schools, their influence was paramount. The
priesthood consisted almost entirely of this sect.

Limited in number, but powerful from their wealth
and enterprise, the Sadducees, or followers of Sadoc,
the disciple of Antigonus SochsBus, supply us with
the frdlest representation in the annals of any nation
of an organized school of infidels, — infidels of the
broadest profession. They held that there was no
divine law; no providence in human aflairs; no
difference between good and evil; no state of future
rewards and punishments; that there was neither
angel, spirit, nor resurrection; that the soul was
mortal and died with the body. They lived avow-


edly without God and without a hope, and squared
their lives accordingly. Politically and morally
sunk as were the Jewish people, it is still to their
credit that such a sect, with which the lowest
amongst the heathens would compare fayourably,
were never popular ; they were feared and shimned.
Their interest with the Boman government, who
wielded them, with their usual divisional policy,
against the Pharisees, was considerable; they car-
ried weight in the Sanhedrim, and some of the
most sanguinary persecutors of the Christian Church
belonged to this order of irreligious negatives.

It is salutary to turn from such a picture to the
wilderness of Judasa and the monasteries or colonies
of the Essenes, the most estimable of the Jewish
religionists. They held the special providence of
God, the immortality of the soul, its departure to
a place of reward or punishment. The following
particulars constituted their mode of life. They
admitted none but grave or aged men into their
society ; had a community of goods and provisions ;
practised celibacy; lived an austere life, enduring
much fatigue and using coarse food and clothing;
they exercised no trade or art by which mankind
could be injured or vice cherished ; observed stated
periods for prayers in a prescribed form ; sanctified
the sabbath somewhat superstitiously ; were emi-
nently zealous in piety, beneficence, and hospitality;
loved solitude and silence; required of their dis-



ciples a probation of four years; punished delin<*
qnents with severity ; avoided law-suits^ contentions,
and disputations, and therefore never intruded with
polemical 'questions upon our Lord. Their simpli-
city of life lengthened their days. With politics
they never interfered. It is difficult to deny the
name of Christians in most that concerns the prac-
tical discipline of life to these retired and interest*^
ing communities^ — they certainly had more right to
the title than nine-tenths of the modem Christian
world. Even the asceticism on which their piety
borders appears free from the customary accom-
paniments of morosity and religious conceit. The
historian feels delight in lingering awhile by the
dear waters and imsullied verdure of this oasis in
the desert.

The Essenes seemed to have gradually merged
and disappeared as a distinct sect in the extension
of the Christian Church, to which they undoubtedly
brought that powerful eremitic element which some
generations later peopled the Egyptian and Pales-
tinian solitudes with tribes of recluses useless to
their fellow-creatures, and disgusting by their filth,
fanaticism, and self-torments. It is thus that folly
is marked by excess, and institutions, in their limited
and moderate form of signal benefit, are perverted
by senseless exaggeration into evils of the first mag-

Beyond the Euphrates the religion of Zoroaster


was maintained and established in the Parthian
empire. Its priesthood was selected from the no«
bility. Fire was considered the most appropriate
emblem of the deity^ and the Sun, or Mithras, to
be the deity. Fire-towers and altars distinguish
the Mithraic towns and Tillages^ especially in Ira«
nia, the Holy Land of this worship. Great obscurity
surrounds the real teaching of Zoroaster, but it
appears beyond doubt that he foimded his system
on the co-existence of two principles, — ^the good
and the evil, — Oromasdes and Ahriman, symbol-
ized by fire and cold, light and darkness, land and
sea, in perpetual war against each other. Between
these and matter existed various degrees of corporeal
and incorporeal intelligences, each of which, by a
fatal necessity, was obliged to attach itself to the
fortunes of one of the two great opposites. Some-
times one, sometime the other, was in the ascendant ;
but ultimately Oromasdes, or the principle of good,
was destined to triumph, Ahriman himself and his
legions being transformed into genii of light and
benevolence. The destinies of men were held to be
regulated by the stars or planets of their nativities ;
and as some constellations and conjunctions were
peculiarly felicitous, others peculiarly malignant,
and as success or failure was believed to depend in
trivial and momentous emergencies alike on the
ascendancy or depression of the natal star at the
hour of action, star-fatalism became the profession



of a distinct order of men^ the astrologers. Kndwn
as Clialdaei^ they swarmed in every court and city
of the East. In Bome^ where all superstitions found
encouragement^ they were termed also, from their
calculations, Mathematici. The books which they
carried with them, in which the rising, setting, con-
junction, and other appearances of the stars were
set down, were called Ephemerides, and the study
itself ''the Babylonian doctrine." Emperors, phi-
losophers, and the people resorted to these impostors,
some of whom amassed enormous wealth. For a
Christian to consult them was matter of excommuni-
cation. The rites of Mithras, which were open to
none but the initiated, were conducted with circum-
stances of such terrific impressions, that insanity was
often the penalty paid by the aspirant. Parseeism
is the modem form of the religion of Zoroaster.
Ahrimanism lingers as devil-worship among cer-
tain tribes of Kurdistan.

In Egypt, Fetishism, or the worship of the Deity in
any animal, plant, or object, from the square block of
black marble, the snake and the crocodile, to the
statues of Isis, Osiris, and myriads of subordinate idols,
was carried to such an excess that the gods outnum-
bered the human population. Important analogies
connect the religions of ancient India and Egypt, one
of the most striking resemblances being the common
worship of the Ling, or Phallic Principle. In both,
holiness and personal purity were absolutely un-



known ; the ideas which these words convey did not
exist in the mind of the Egyptian idolater. His re-
ligion was a system of impurity not to be described^
and its festivals were orgies of the vilest passions.
The land of bondage was the pandemonium of vice
in every unnatural form, and from it issued the chief
stream which fed the collected moral sewerage of the
mistress of the world. Into this " Serbonian Bog'*
the soldiers of the Cross did not, however, hesitate
to advance; and at Alexandria rose a church, the
furious zeal of whose multitudinous converts divided
the attention of the first centuries with the acumen
and erudition of its teachers. The first in learning,
it was the first also in turbulence without an aim, in
asceticism without sense. There was no medium in
the Egyptian character : — *' If they are not zealots,'*
observed Cyril, "they are stones; if they are not
ascetics, they are profligates.^'

Such were the religions east of Rome. In Eome
they met as a common centre and reservoir. With
one exception, no hostility existed between them.
The Zoroastrian or Magian Cambyses had, it is true,
many centuries previously, in a fit of iconoclasm,
overthrown the altars of Osiris and wounded the
sacred calf, even Apis itself, with his sacrilegious
sword ; but these acts were held those of an irrespon-^
sible being, the Persian despot being known at the
time to be deranged in intellect. Absurd or untena-
ble as these Gentile cults seem, for the most part, to



UB, there is one great point in which they shame
Christians and Christianity, — they lived in peace with
each other. Unclean as was the cage, the tenants
did not, because they preferred different foods^ rend
each other's limbs and destroy each other's lives.
The philosopher regarded them all with equal out-
ward respect, equal inward derision. The priest-
hoods of all were on terms of reciprocal recognition.
To raise another altar was considered not an act of
hostility, but of inauguration into the Pantheistic hier-
archy. The Roman State indeed, since the accession
of Tiberius, allowed not only unlimited license of
worship, but declined to interfere on behalf of one
deity more than another. This dark but sagacious
ruler proposed to the senate the solemn admission of
Jesus of Nazareth among the tutelary gods of Italy.
The senate reclaimed. Shortly afterwards it moved
the Emperor to take cognizance of certain acts of
sacrilege perpetrated against the temples of Jupiter
and Apollo : " Let every god take care of himself,"
was the sarcastic reply, — " Diis injuriae, diis curae."
The expression passed into a proverb.

The one exception of these Eastern religions to
this universal toleration, or rather apathy, displayed
by the government, was the Jewish. The Babylonian
captivity had thoroughly effected its purpose, and
not only cured the Hebrew people of their old sin
of idolatry, but implanted in them a horror approach-
ing to mania against connivance with it. So far the



prophets had done their work; and if the design
of the Mosaic dispensation was to keep the Jews from
amalgamating with other races^ and to substantiate
the prediction^ ^^ This people shall dwell alone and
shall not be reckoned among the nations/^ never has
any constitution so answered its end. Compared to
it, the institutions of other lawgivers have been desti-
tute of moulding power. The seal of Moses remains
not alone on the ritual^ but on the mind itself of the
Jew. The stamp seems to sink deeper under the
finger of time. No leniency, no bribery, no progress
melts it ; no sword, no rack obliterates it. A con-
verted Jew is still a miracle. The Church of the
Apostles themselves at Jerusalem was not Christian
in the ordinary sense, it was Christo-Mosaic. Ac-
cepting Christ, it still clung to the horns of the Le-
vitical altar ; observing Baptism, it continued Cir-
cumcision ; preaching the Gospel, it was yet " zealous
for the Law ;" and even a Paul within its walls to the
Jews became as a Jew, shaving the head and keep-
ing the custcmifl. The mythologies of Greece and
Erome, derived from the same springs, united at a
certain point, and flowed onwards in one broad
current. In Gaul or the heart of Germany, the
wilds of Scythia or the herbless Zahara of Africa,
the Roman legionary found deities presenting so
many resemblances to his own that he did not
hesitate to pronounce them identical, and call them
by the same names. But there was no confounding^


no mistakiiig the Jew or Judaism wherever found,
be it at the remotest bounds from Jerusalem. Every-
where they were undisguisable. The Koman could,
in any city or waste, or amidst the dead bodies of
a battle-field, point his javelin at once at the son of
Abraham ; he could detect him with the same infal-
libity as we do the same sterotyped physiognomy in
the marble fragments of the Ninevitic triumph and
the Egyptian procession. And everywhere the same
impassable gulf surrounded him. Between him and
his Gentile oppressor not a solitary point of fellow-
feeling existed : but the causes of deep and rancorous
antipathy were many. On the one hand, it mattered
not to the Jew what the rank or virtues of a Gentile
were. Csesar on his throne and Socrates in his
prison were alike to him " abominations,'* " unclean
things,'* " dogs." To eat with them was pollution ;
to pray with them, exclusion from the covenant.
The heel of the idolater trod heavily at present on
the neck of the faithful, but it was firmly believed to
be only for a permitted time. Writhing meanwhile
imder it, imable to rise, but throwing poison into his
bite, the latter looked forward with unflinching for-
titude to the approaching kingdom of the Messiah,
when the sceptre would be restored to his grasp, and
he in turn would bind kings in chains and smite
them with a rod of iron. And the history of his
race justified such faith. Every Sabbath he drank
in, told in language of sublime force and impressive-



ness, the wondrous things God had done for his
fathers and in the old times before them. If the
marvels of Egypt, the deliverances of the Judges,
the conquests of David and the pacific magnificence
of Solomon, were too remote to affect him, he might
yet truly say he had heard from the preceding gene-
ration of the mighty deeds wrought against the
Gentile powers by the hands of the Maccabees, —
deeds worthy to be compared with those of Joshua
and Gideon, and which yet rung through the nations
of the East. Herod was but another Sisera, the
viceroy of another Jabin, like him to fall before
the sword of another Deliverer whom the Lord would
raise. The kingdoms of those that had oppressed
them had been removed from their places. The
Assyrian, the Persian, the Greek had disappeared
from the thrones, but the temple towered in more
imposing splendour and magnificence than ever on
Zion, and its doors were waiting to be lifted up for
the Son of David, the King of Glory, to come in.
For if history displayed the presence of the God of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to them in every transac-
tion of the past, prophecy in yet nobler strains called
for unbounded faith in the future. Before we con-
demn the Jew we should place ourselves in his posi-
tion. Every mother in Israel prayed to be the over-
shadowed one who was to bring forth the Prince
Messiah. Every infant drank from the breast the
Messianic faith, and until Jesus of Nazareth opened


the Scriptures, the whole Jewish race — priests,
doctors, and people alike — had no conception that He
woidd be other than temporal, subduing the utmost
ends of the earth by divine prowess, and making
erery enemy their footstool. And the primary or
literary expression of the prophecies cannot be de-
nied to indicate a secular Saviour. The spiritual in-
terpretation was hitherto unknown, and when pointed
out by Him who was Himself the End of the Law
and the Prophets, was wholly unintelligible to the
masses, and only dimly discerned by His own disci-
ples. The veil was on the whole nation ; its folds
indeed partially included the heathen. The expecta-
tion of a universal Sovereign, whose nativity fate had
fixed in the East, had radiated from Judaea as from a
centre, to every country from the Euphrates to the
Straits of Gadira. The Sybilline Books, depositories
of religious traditions, which have never been satis-
factorily demonstrated to be merely human, predicted
His advent in such unambiguous terms that poets
took up the strains and historians the application *.


* It is certain that the gennine SjbiUine Oracles were in existence
long anterior to the birth of Christianity. Virgil died B.0. 18. His
Eclogues were composed B.C. 40; the well-known fourth Eclogne,
'* Pollio," is stated by him to be a transcript of the Prophetic or
Qracnlar Carmen of the Sybil of Camse. Let the dispassionate histo-
rian peruse the following portion of it, and say if any prophecy in
Isaiah is more thoroughly Messianic: in the rest of the Jewish
prophets it would be difficult to meet any of equal force and unam-
biguity. We consider ourselves justified in holding that the Gentile,



And here also an earthly court and dominion were
pre-supposed^ differing only so far, that under them
war was to be annihilated, and the Satumian reign
of peace and justice restored. Force and conquest
were the dominant ideas in the Jewish, peace and
equality in the ethnic millennium, but both were
essentially temporal and terrestrial. And a spiritual
Messiah was, for obvious reasons, antecedently re-
jected by the Jewish temper. Oppression is variously
felt. There is an oppression a fool would not be

no less than the Jew, possessed Arom the earliest period prophecies of
divine emanation, declaring the i^ture advent and incarnation of
the Messiah, ** the Desire of all nations."

"The last era, the subject of the Sybil song of Cume is arrived;
the great series of ages begins anew. The Virgin returns, returns
the reign of Saturn. The new Progeny from heaven now descends.
Be thou propitious to the Infant Boy by whom first the Iron Age
shall expire and the Gulden Age over the whole world commence.
Whilst thou, O Pollio, art consul, this glory of our age shall be made
manifest, and the celestial months begin their revolutions. Under
thy auspices whatever vestiges of our gmlt remain shall, by being
atoned for, redeem the earth from fear for ever. He shaU partake
the life of the gods : He shall see heroes mingled in social intercourse
with gods : He shaU Himself be seen by them, and shall reign over a
world in peace with His Father's virtues. The earth, meanwhile,
sweet Boy, as her first-fruits shall everywhere pour Thee forth spon-
taneous flowers. The serpent shall die : the poisonous and deceptive
tree shall die. Bright offspring of the gods, illustrious progeny of
Jove, set forward on Thy way to signal honours — aU things, heaven and
earth, and the regions of the sea, rejoice at the advent of this happy
age. The time is now at hand." (Virgilii Eclog. it. Pollio.)

Had this prophecy been in Daniel, not in Virgil, infidelity would
doubtless have insisted on its being a Christian interpolation after
the event predicted*


stirred by, but which "maketh a wise man mad.'*
There is an oppression also a wise man might by
bearing obviate, but which, falling on a mind in a
certain state^ of excitement and under the influ-
ence of a leading idea, is more intolerable than the
most desperate war or death. The Koman exactions
were heavy. The equites, or knightly order, who
feirmed the imperial revenues, were amongst the
most influential and dignified of the aristocracy, but
the local publicani employed by them were regarded
with detestation everywhere, and by the Jews with
fanatic horror. Each " Matthew at the receipt of cus-
tom" seemed to them both the monument and agent of
their subjugation. Every tribute-penny paid to Caesar
was treason to the Messiah; the iron that pierced
their souls was hammered in Gehenna and dipped in
wormwood, of which the other provinces were happily
insensible. In Babylon, where the Jewish population
continued to be nearly a million; in Alexandria,
where it was little inferior ; in Palestine, Bome, Asia
Minor, Greece, Libya, the mind of "the Circiun-
cision" resembled a sea beginning to heave under
the rising tempest. The prophetic weeks of Daniel^
which had fixed the date of the Messiahs coming,
were just expiring, and from the lips of every Jew the
question was irrepressibly and ceaselessly asked^
'* Art thou He that should come P"

Whatever the demerits of a people are, it is im-
possible for a generous mind not to sympathize with


their efforts against a tyranny of physical force.
Honour, religion, and reason revolt from the practice
of the theory which would regard men as so many
wolves, to be kept in order by a stronger tiger.
When the Jew, under the resistless impulsion of the
Messianic idea, burst his bonds and defied the armed
force of the immense Gentile empire that swathed
him on every side with its ribs of steel, he acted
worthy of his history, worthy of his faith. It was
an heroic act with which our heart beats in unison,
fervently wishing it God speed. But, on the other
hand, there were sad facts in the internal annals and
constitution of this unfortunate race, which even now
go very far to destroy this feeling, and with many
to transmute it into scorn and hatred. A glance at
their records in their most prosperous times, when
Israel and Judah dwelt each under its own fig-tree,
shews page after page steeped in civil blood, — cruel
and sanguinary to a degree that even Oriental courts
and despotisms failed to parallel. Baasha, we read,
smote the royal house of Jeroboam imtil he left not
one breathing. Zimri similarly destroyed the whole
family of Baasha, Jehu of Omri and Ahab, Shal-
lum of Jehu. The bitterness between Israel and
Judah exceeded that between them and Egypt or
Assyria. So desolating and ruinous were their in-
ternal and foreign hostilities, that all the valiant
men of Judah at the capture of Jerusalem by Nebu-
chadnezzar did not exceed 10,000, whereas in David's



time they ntunbered 500,000. The depopulation
of Ephraim or Samaria was even more complete^
Assyrian colonies being settled in it to prevent
its becoming entirely a wilderness of lions and
other savage animals. Within the boimds of Pales-
tine civil and foreign carnage held common carni-
val. Our admiration of the exploits of the Macca-
bees is su£[used with horror at their bloody and in-
ternecine character. The Book of Joshua is re-opened
and its scenes re-enacted. Cities are stormed, and
every living creature destroyed in the name of re- .
ligion and the Lord. The Jew after the captivity
looked upon an idol as upon a device of Beelzebub,
&bricated for his express destruction, and upon every
idolater as a Canaanite whose slaughter was the most
acceptable of all offerings that could be made to Je-
hovah. Hence the heathen generally, the Romans
especially, termed the Jew "the enemy of the hu-
man race," and his religion a " murderous supersti-
tion." The Eoman conqueror, penetrating into the
holy of holies, encoimtered neither image, symbol,
nor similitude from which he could draw some expla-
nation of this imappeasable antagonism and intole-
rance of other religions. Tacitus and Suetonius,
composing their Histories in a city abounding with
Jews, do not deign to ask them a single question
relative to their law or faith. And though general
after general swept over Judaea and Jerusalem, the
Jewish priesthood meets no pen of a ready writer


among them to portray their order and tenets^ as
the first CaBsar had familiarized the Roman mind to
the order and tenets of the great Druidic priesthood
of the West. The version common among the hea-
then of their exodus from Egypt represented them
as a race of lepers> obliged first to seek refiige in the
Egyptian temples, then expelled as infectious by the
Egyptians, and driven into the wilderness ; when, at
the suggestion of a priest of the Sim, Osarsiph, or
Moses, they bound themselves and their descendants,
by dire ceremonies, to a vow of eternal hatred to all
mankind, in fulfilment of which they invaded Pales-
tine and exterminated the whole population^.

These feelings of contempt and detestation on one
hand, and of fanatic rancour and sense of oppression
on the other, deepened the moat which his religion
had already formed between the Jew and all other
nations. That interchange of offices, alliances, litera-

^ Josephus quotes the same account from Lysimachus. " The Jews
were a caste of Egyptians who, in the time of Bocchoris, were
eaten up with leprosy and other horrihlo disorders, and taking
refuge in the temples, lived hy beggary. They were finally banished
by Bocchoris, the leprous among them drowned, the rest left to die
in the wilderness; one Moses hereupon stood up as their leader,
advised them to take heart, and advance into Arabia until they came
to a cultivated country. He then bound them by a vow that from that
time they would be the enemies of mankind, always preferring the
evil to the good. Whereupon, after many difficulties, they emerged
from the desert, murdered all the nations they could meet, plundered
and burnt all their temples, and at last settled where they now are,
in Judsea." — Joseplma in Apionem.



ture, explanations, wHch would have modified pre-
judices, was sternly forbidden. If a Roman consul
touched his dish, the pauper Jew plunged it thrice for
purification in the passing stream, or dashed it clan-
destinely to fragments. Even when sunk in the depths
of adversity, the waters of affliction rolling over their
souls, the fetters of the heathen grinding their limbs,
Jerusalem in ashes, and the face of the Lord hidden
from them, the loathing of the promised seed for all
the Gentile world had never been mitigated; they
were still '^ dogs" and *^ swine ;" and the prayer of
Ezra at Babylon may be considered the type of the
sentiments of all his people : — " Thou hast made the
world, Lord, for us Thy chosen. As for the other
nations which also came out of Adam, Thou hast
said they are nothing, but are like unto spittle.
Behold these h^then, which have ever been rq)uted
as nothing, are now lords over us. Thy firstborn,
Thy only-begotten. Thy fervent lover." This spirit
was not only unchanged, but, under the persuasion
that the Messiah was on the eve of manifesting
Himself, and summoning Israel to assume the pre-
destinated empire of the world, was intensified; it
was rapidly culminating. The Messianic idea, as
the Jews now held it, was, six centuries subse-
quently, proclaimed and acted upon by their cousins,
the Ishmaelitic or Arab lineage of Abraham, under
Mohammed, and with what tremendous effect, his-
tory witnesses. The sword or circumcision was the


only option allowed other nations, other religions.
The Boman government, therefore, estimated the
force and danger of such an idea amongst a popu-
lation of ten millions of possessed fanatics stationed
all over the empire, with its usual accuracy, and
took its precautions with its usual wisdom and in-
flexibility. Had it not done so, the career of Mo-
hammed would surely have been anticipated by some
lion of the tribe of Judah under the CaBsars. Events
were steadily drawing on that collision between the
dominant heathen power and the dominant article
of the Jewish faith, which found its solution in the
destruction of Jerusalem^ and the dispersion, per-
petuated to this day, of the Jewish people.

Christianity came before the ethnic world as a
form of Judaism, and the followers of Christ as a sect
of the Jews. The error was natural. The new re-
ligion originated in Judaea, its Founder was a Jew,
its first apostles and missionaries were Jews, its first
Church observed the Jewish sacrament of circumci-
sion, it pointed to the Jewish Scriptures as its wit-
ness and attestor. The immediate attendants of Jesus
of Nazareth were selected by Him from the political
faction which formed the advanced guard of the
Messianic confederacy, — they were Galileans, imbued
to the bone with faith in the approaching Liberator,
and with hatred of the Gentile and Samaritan. Bar-
nabas, in his Epistle Catholic, affirms the twelve to
have been, at the time they were called, the most


lawless and desperate adventurers in Israel^ sinners
in the extreme degree ; and the Gospels exhibit them
vhoUy impenetrable to spiritual conceptions, impa-
tient to call down fire and smite with the edge of the
sword ; nnaUe to connect the notion of suffering and
crucifixion with the Saviour, and recurring instantly
after the resurrection to the all-absorbing thought of
the Jewish mind, " Lord, wilt Thou now restore the
Idngdom P'* And, in truth, when they fully compre-
hended the character of the religion with which they
were commissioned, they were quite conscious that
that commission was a declaration of war against all
othei* religions^ for which no parallel, except in the
Jewish practice, could be found. Wherever an apo-
stle made his appearance, he assumed the aggressive;
he sowed broadcast the seeds of a mighty revolution.
It followed as the inevitable corollary of his teaching,
that CsBsar was not the authority to be first con-
sidted, and that the state mythology and establish-
ment could not, without perdition, be recognised by
any convert to Christ*

In perusing the authenticated accounts of the
trials of the primitive martyrs, we can readily enter
into the mental perplexity of the presiding Roman
proconsul. " Who and where is Christ ?" asked in
despair the magistrate of Polydarp. **He is the
Dweller within me,'* replied the venerable and

' "Onep Ttiaoiy iifxdpTMv ^Sfiarrepovs, — BamabcB JSpiit*


simple-hearted old man ; " and ye shall behold Him
coming in the clouds of heaven to judge the world !"
But such a reply only served to plunge the official
heathen into deeper hopelessness of eliciting tangible
information. Christianity seemed a mystic faith,
with a mystic King; a mania, as Pliny styles it,
which, except for its quiet and unceasing crusade
against the State deities and priesthood, the autho-
rities felt disposed to let rim its natural course. The
eyes of the emperors and senate opened but tardily
to the distinction between Moses and Christ, the Jew
himself being the chief instrument in enlightening
them. For in him, in every city, the Christian
found the bitterest, the most imscrupulous and un-
relenting of his persecutors. The Jew considered
the Gentile an enemy, but the Christian he regarded
as a traitor; one that had sold Moses, and the Law,
and the hope of Israel, and the everlasting covenant,
for the son of the carpenter, and diluted the true
idea of the Messiah and His salvation into a misty,
incomprehensible spiritualism. To the Christian, the
Jew was a wild beast, caged in chains, but his nature
unchanged, still panting to cool his tongue in blood.
To the Jew, the Christian was a base, dastardly
wretch, blessing where he ought to curse, and pray-
ing when he ought to kill. For centuries subsequent
to the apostolic age, every persecutor of the Chris-
tian cause might safely register the Jews as ready to
anticipate the execution of his orders. " Ye know,"



writes St. Clirysostoni, "in our generation, when
Julian, who surpassed all his predecessors in yindic-
tiveness, gave way to his fury, the Jews ranged
themselves with the heathen, they courted their
party. If they appear to be somewhat subdued
now> it is only because the fear of the Emperors
keeps them so. Were it not for that, they are
willing to be worse than ever*." The eye of the
Jew was evil towards the Gentile, but towards the
Nazarene it flashed with a spirit little less than in-
fernal. But as yet the Gentile regarded both as
sections of the same baneful superstition.

In estimating the heathen force of Home, against
which the infant faith of Christ was about to take
the field, its hierarchic system arrests the attention
first. It possessed advantages which, in despite of
the immense defect of no fixed code of morals or
authoritative appeal to the inner man, enabled it to
prolong the struggle for centuries. As a distinct
order, priesthood had no existence among the Ro-
mans. The father of each family was the priest of
the family ; the head of each gens^ or clan, was the
high-priest of the clan, and in that capacity annu-
ally solemnized the dies nataliiia, or clan birth-day.
Both the pater familias and the pontifex gentis pos-
sessed the right of trying, conjointly with such
members as they summoned on the jury, any one


^ Chrysofit., Horn. xliiL in Matt. iv. 5.



of the clan or family accused of apostasy from the
ancestral religion. By this usage, Pomponia Grecina,
the sister of Caractacus, was tried by her husband,
Aulus Plautius. The public ministers of religion
were chosen from the most honourable men of the
State. The college of pontiffs, {collegium pontificum,)
fifteen in number, which was the supreme court in
all matters of religion, was entirely patrician ; the
national religion standing thus, like a statue of Jove,
on the very apex of Roman society. Beyond the two
exceptions, that the tribunes of the people could
compel the due discharge of their functions, and
that an appeal lay from their decree, as from all
others, to the people in convention, the members of
the college were not responsible to either senate or
people. They regulated and controlled the inferior
priests and their duties. The head of the college
was called Pontifex Maximus, and whereas the other
members were elected by the college, he was created
by the people, deriving his authority immediately
from them. The office was of the highest dignity
and widest sweep of authority. "Arbiter," states
Festus, "est pontifex maximus atque judex rerum
divinarum atque humanarum." Even their favourite
officers, the tribunes, were obliged to be very guarded
and reverential in their allusions to this head of the
national religion. His presence was necessary at
every solemn festival to offer up the benedictory
prayer, at the comitia, at adoptions, at the conse-


oration of temples^ at acts of devotion or self-immo-
lation by a general for his army or a patriot for his
country. The guardianship of the vestal virgins
rested in him. With the college he judged con-
cerning marriages and wills^ and settled the public
calendar of law and religion. In the earlier times
he composed brief narratives of the public transac-
tions of every year, which were open for perusal to
the people, and afterwards deposited in the Capitol ;
These were called annales and commentarii. The
power of life and death was, in certain cases, vested
in him and his college. The office of the Pon-
tifex was for life. In Augustus Caesar it became
united to the person of the Emperor, and continued
so till the time of Theodosius, when it was assumed
by the bishop of Rome, and the Church of Home
took henceforth the pontifical organization. The
Fontifex resided in a palace called Regia, next to
the house of the vestal virgins. It was considered
a pollution if he either touched or saw a dead body.
His canonicals were a white robe bordered with
purple, a woollen cap (galerus) in the shape of a
cone, and a virffula, or small rod bound round with

Next to the college of pontiflfe came the college of
augurs, a body of priests of the greatest weight in
the State, because nothing was done regardiag the
public in peace or war, nor indeed in afiairs of
moment by private families, without consulting them.


They were generally consulars, that is, senators who
had borne the consular office, and none were elected
under fifty years of age. The eldest, or president,
was termed Magister Collegii; they were fifteen in
number. The augurs, or auspices, were the diviners
or " prophets" of the Roman religion, their laws and
rites of divination being derived from the Etrurians.
All the branches of aruspicy were taught in sacerdo-
tal schools esoterically from the sacred books of Tages,
its founder. The augurs being the depositaries of the
secrets of the empire, could not, of whatever crime
they were guilty, be deprived of their office. They
alone and the vestals were entrusted with the true
name of the city of Rome, the revealing of which
was an ofience of such magnitude, that a senator
being once guilty of it, was summarily put to death.
The omens, or tokens of futurity, were drawn from
five sources: appearances of the heavens, such as
thimder or lightning, the flight or song of birds,
quadrupeds, the actions of the consecrated chickens,
and unusual incidents, or miracula. The whole au-
gurial system was an imposition no less flagrant than
childish, and if we did not know that the supersti-
tion of " signs and omens'* prevailed perhaps no less
strongly amongst Christian populations, we might
express surprise that a people of such strong prac-
tical sense as the Romans tolerated it. *' I wonder,
indeed," was the candid confession of Cicero, himself
an augur, " that one augur does not laugh whenever



he meets another/' Wholly destitute of a basis in
nature or truths the art was a chaos of contradictions
and uncertainties. Originally the invention of the
Tuscan priesthood to increase its influence over the
people^ it was introduced and maintained for the
same purpose at Home.

In the act of celestial divination, however, or the
observation of the heavens, there was something im-
posing. The augur in the dead of night, or about
twilight, when profound silence reigned, took his
station on some elevated place, called arx, templumy
or tabemaculum, where the view to the horizon was
open on all sides. Here he bmlt an altar, oflered up
sacrifices and a solemn prayer. He then sat down,
either on a rock or solid seat, with his head covered
and his face to the east, and marking a certain por-
tion of the heavens out with his Utuus, or crosier, for
&Q field of observation, kept his eyes upon it till the
omens or signs appeared. The expiation of evil
omens formed no small part of the augur's functions.

The resemblance between the ceremonials of Bo-
man augurism and those of the East as described in
the instance of Balaam in the Book of Numbers,
confirms the belief that both had a common though
remote origin.

The canonicals of an augur were a robe of purple
and scarlet in alternate stripes, a conical cap, and a
Utuus, or curved stafll

The third and lowest college was that of the


liaruspices, who drew their omens from the entrails
of victims, and circumstances attending the sacrifice.
Their chief was called svmmus aruspex ; their number
was imcertain.

In addition to these colleges, which superintended
the general circle of the State religion, each god and
goddess had his or her own flamen, or priest, with
peculiar rites and privileges. The service of the
twelve principal deities, or dii majores, was con-
ducted with no less solemnity and impressiveness
than magnificence. When, on the occasion of a
public thanksgiving, all the temples were thrown
open, and the Roman people, in the national cos-
tume of the toga, or white robe, flowing and full,
attended the rites and sacrifices, the world could not
present a more gorgeous or memorable spectacle.
It realized the picture in the Eoman mind of what
they believed the city of their forefathers, Troy, had
been, — domus divum, the home of the gods. By the
favour and protection of these deities, it was firmly
believed, the Roman city had attained the empire of
the earth. Its retention was conditional on fidelity to
them ; " Di quibus hoc imperium stat/' was the usual
form of adjuration. The belief that the power and
grandeur of a people depended upon, and was, as it
were, the earthly reflection as well as demonstration
of the power of its peculiar gods, was as deeply in-
grained in the Roman as in the Jewish mind. The
Capitoline Jupiter, Optimus Maximus, had brought


every nation under the feet of his Boman children.
Many of them traced their lineage to Olympus : '' By
my mother's side I am descended/' exclaimed Julius
GsBsar, in his funeral oration over his aimt Julia^
"from the ancient kings of Italy, and by the father's
from Troy and the immortal gods !" If the Jew
drew back from the false prophet who whispered to
him to forsake the altar of Jehovah, the Boman, on
the other hand, was too haughty, too indissolubly
bound by every tradition^ every association in the
mighty career of his race, to deign a hearing to the
preacher who would separate between him and the
gods of his fathers. There is something indeed touch-
ingy even to the Christian, in reading the lament of
the stem pagan soldier gazing on the ruins of the
temples, after the empire had fallen before the bar-
barian : — " The Boman became a Christian, and Ju-
piter withdrew his 8Bgis and Pallas her spear from
him. If he had not forsaken his gods, his empire
would, like them, have been eternal !"

The fact of the administration of religion in Rome
being thus in a lay-priesthood was attended with
one incalculable benefit to the State. A priest-party
could not exist, nor any priest-interest, distinct
from that of the secular weal. Up to the era of
Augustus, the people, as we have seen, retained in
their own hands the absolute appointment of the
Pontifex Maximus, and the power of sitting them-
selves in appeal on every case of religion. This re-


ligion^ on tlie other hwiA, was so interknit with the
whole fabric of the State, that its fall dissolved both
into anarchy. To the merely human eye, however,
the sight of the Christian evangelist walking round
the lofty walls and towers of the Gentile queen of
nations, to see where the first breach on her strength
was to be made, would have supplied no other emo-
tions than those of unbounded pity or amazement.
The union of the Church and State was incarnated
in the divine person of the Caesar, and every family
possessed over its own Lares and Penates the minis-
tering Levite in its own head. Yet this vast con-
solidation was doomed to disappear as a dre&m of
the night before the approaches of twelve men with-
out an earthly tool in their hands;

The State religion of Bx>me inculcated no code of
morality strictly so called. It exacted from every
citi^n the observance of certain forms of worship,
and the discharge of certain ceremonial duties. It
left the conscience uninterfered with, and, as a
consequence, also unregulated. But it would be
a grave misapprehension to conceive that Qentilism
rose in arms against the moral teaching of Chris-
tianity. So far was this from being the case, that
there was scarcely a moral precept in the Christian
code which had not been taught in the schools and
exemplified in the lives of some of the philosophers.
Plato, Aristotle, Zeno, and Democritus concurred
with one voice in the great elementals of morality.


The Grentiles, declares St. Paul, knew God as well
as the Jews ; the moral law was written by nature
on their hearts ; they were a law unto themselves ;
otherwise sin could not have been charged upon
tiiem, for where there is no law there can be no
sin, or transgression of the law, which is the Scrip-
toral definition of sin. The Gentile guilt consisted
in this, that possessing the knowledge of God they
neglected to act upon it. They habitually in prac-
tice ignored the obligations of the moral code, with
which they were as well acquainted as the chosen
people themselves. But though aU — Jew and Gen-
tile alike — failed to act up to the standard required,
in one by the light of nature, in the other by the
additional enforcement of an express revelation, we
must acknowledge that there were vast differences
between the degrees of guilt in individuals. Good*-
ness and wickedness, truth and error, piety and im-
piety, have their degrees. A Job, perfect and up-
right, one that fears God and eschews evil ; a Noah,
a just man and perfect in his generations ; a Jere-
miah, sanctified in the womb ; and a John the Bap-
tist, filled from his birth with the Holy Ghost, the
intrepid assertors even unto death before kings and
councils of equity and virtue, are not to be classed
or confined in the same cell, though in the same
prison, with the sanguinary Manasses and other
monsters of Jewish history. Nor are such philo-
sophers as Plato, or such statesmen as Epaminondas,



or such patriots as Leonidas and Cincinnatus, men
who reflected the highest lustre on the contempla-
tive and active life of humanity, to be chained in
the same gangway of criminality and guilt as a
Nero or Messalina, or the odious characters cruci-
fied to the execration of posterity in the pages of
Tacitus or Juvenal, Our senses revolt from any
law which acknowledges no degrees in demerit,
nor exercises any discrimination in its awards.
"Other sheep I have/* said the Saviour during
His lifetime, "which are not of the Jewish fold/'
And amongst those who shall sit down from all
quarters, from the north, the south, the east, and
the west, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the
kingdom of heaven, must surely be ranked those
great and good men of the Gentile world whom
their own and future ages consented to venerate
as examples of fortitude or as benefactors of man-
kind. It was the contracted spirit which would
have cooped up all worth and acceptability with
God in the Jew only, that elicited from St. Paul
the indignant remonstrance, "Is God the God of
the Jews only? Is He not the God of the Gen-
tiles also?" Admitting, therefore, the imiversality
of the moral fall, discerning at the same time broad
distinctions in the individual degrees of that fall,
observing in the Gentile as full a mental appre-
ciation of the moral code itself as in the Jew, the
newness of the Christian religion, it is obvious, did


not consist in any newness of morals. It could not
even be said to bring stronger evidence in their
support^ for no divine sanction or evidence can
exceed that which God has given us in the nature
of man himself. Man^s conscience^ declares St. Paul,
is the witness of God, and as such accuses or acquits
him. To this witness, this internal power of judg-
ing on all moral questions, Christianity of necessity
appealed. If none such existed, independent of,
and in one sense superior to, all forms of religion
whatever, no man could on any rational grounds
prefer Christianity to heathenism, or give "a rea-
son'' for the faith he professed. Such did exist,
and its influence was so bright and powerful as in
some remarkable particulars to give the Gentile a
decided moral and spiritual superiority over the Jew.
The institution of marriage, for instance, always sat
very loose upon the Jew; on the faintest pretext
the writ of divorce was placed in the woman's hand,
and she was sent over the threshold. In Gentile
Bome, on the contrary, no divorce occurred for 520
years. Even then, Spurius Carvilius Ruga, who
was the first, on the ground of sterility, to put away
his wife, could never afterwards reinstate himself
in the good graces of his fellow-citizens. Polygamy,
again, during their patriarchal, regal, and self-sup-
porting eras, disfigures the annals and taints the
domestic life of the Jew. This pernicious Oriental
usage^ the fruitful mother of infanticide and female


degradation, never took root in Gentile Greece or
Borne. Fornication was, as in modem times in
France and the Continental coimtries imder govern-
ment police, dealt with like other social evils, so as
to diminish its injnriousness as far as possible to
the public weal. But this inevitable recognition of
impurity as a public evil did not prevent a line of
insurmoimtable demarcation being drawn by the
Gentile between it and female honour. Twice did
attacks on the virtues of the matron and the virgin,
the innermost sanctuaries of every healthy state,
revolutionize the Roman constitution. Neither mo-
narchs nor popular decemviri could with impunity
introduce the license of the camp or of the baths into
the private house, which was also the temple, of the
Koman citizen. In even more corrupt eras, the wife
of a Caesar is dismissed, not because she is guilty, but
because she should be above the suspicion of guilt.
Between the licentious harems of Abraham, of David,
and Solomon, and the modest homes of the Gentile
consul and his wife, no similitude could be instituted.
They were strong contrasts, containing no element of
comparison. The Jews were not deterred from fol-
lowing Absalom in his unnatural rebellion by the
horrible spectacle he exhibited of going in imto his
father's concubines before all Israel, but the crime of
a Tarquin on the person of his cousin's wife casts
him and his family from the kingdom, and terminates
the very, institution of monarchy at Home. Further


west, in Britain, the outrage of a proconsul on the
person of a British queen costs Borne herself, at a
later era, more than one of her legions, and the Utcs
of 80,000 of her citizens. In the estimate of female
worth and dignity, as in the depth of his feelings
and capability of love for womanhood, the European
Gentile stood far above the Jew. By the descendant
of Japhet, that which forms the sanctity of woman
has always been so regarded, that which forms her
only true charm has always been so loved. To the
descendants of Shem and Ham, woman, on the con-
trary, was simply a sex. To the poor a poorer slave,
to the rich a sensual property. And as the history
of nations can only be correctly explained by the
light of the domestic hearthstone, the difference in
the results of the Boman and Jewish careers may in
great measure be traced to the different position
woman occupied among them in her own home.

The Gentile had worked out also a clearer concep-
tion of the immortality of the soul than the Jew. This
opinion, we are aware, controverts the vulgar notion ;
it is, nevertheless, perfectly true. The Books of Moses
contain no direct assurance that the soul is immortal,
or that in any state, be it of. happiness or misery, it
survives the dissolution of the body. But setting
apart the discussions of philosophy and philosophers,
the belief in its immortality, in its being the subject
.of an after-judgment, the recipient of future joys or
penalties, was universal in the Gentile world of
Europe. The triad of the infernal judges, JSacus,


Minos^ and Ehadamantliiis^ the Elysian repose and
happy isles of the blest, the Tartarean lakes burning
with fire and brimstone of the impious and wicked,
were substantial articles of faith in the mind of every
Roman soldier and peasant. His mythology taught
him and the Greek that men might become heroes,
heroes demi-gods, and demi-gods gods. From Her-
cules to Bomulus his scriptures furnished him with
a roll of brilliant instances in which men had as-
cended into heaven and been crowned with the immor-
tality of its deities. If in Christianity he afterwards
welcomed doctrines teaching under other forms the
same truths, he failed in Judaism so-called to find
them in any form at all before the Babylonian cap-
tivity, and then in a Chaldaean dress, being Chaldaean
introductions ; in other words, derived from Asiatic
Gentile sources. Neither Moses nor the Prophets
could supply the searcher after truth, in the century
immediately before the Christian era, with declara-
tions more positive on the existence and attributes of
God, or BO positive on the immortality of the soul
and the existence of a heaven for virtuous souls, as
the works of Cicero, to be found at every stall and
pillar of the Eternal City. Passages such as the fol-
lowing, as lucid in their truths as magnificent in
their native diction, arrest our eyes whenever we
open at random their pages : —

"Many persons entertain depraved ideas of the
Deity, but all admit a divine force and nature.

*'Ab we beUeve by nature that there is a God, and



know by reasoning what He is, so we conclude from
the consent of all nations that our souls remain
after death, but where they remain, and what they
are, we must learn by reasoning,

"I do not agree with those who have recently
begun to assert that our souls are mortal, that they
perish with the body, and that all things are annihi-
lated by death.

"The Deity which rules within us forbids us to
quit this life without His permission.

" My mind has always so looked forward as if it
were then only to begin to live when it had left
this life.

"What in human aflGairs can seem important to
Him to whom all eternity is known P

" The gods of the people are many, of nature one.

" All nature is governed by the might, the reason,
the power, the intelligence, the influence — or if there
is any other word better expressive of my meaning—
of the immortal gods.

" The whole universe is one city, common to gods
and men.

" That is not life which is comprised in our mortal
part, but that which eternity itself will protect.

"If there is anything in the nature of things
which the mind of man, which reason, which force,
which human power could not produce, certainly the
Being who produces it is greater than man. But
the celestial bodies, and all that system whose ar-



rangement is perpetual, cannot be framed by man.
That, therefore, by whicli they are created must be
superior to man, and by what name can we better
designate such than God?

** God has given you a soul, than which nothing is
more excellent, more divine; will you be so abject
as to act as if there was no difference between you
and the brutes ?

" The soul of man, deduced from the mind of God,
can be compared with nothing short of God.

" When we give happiness to man, we draw near
the gods.

" There is nothing above God. It is a necessity,
therefore, that the universe be governed by Him.
God, then, is not subject to nature, but nature to
God, and He Himself governs all nature.

" You see not the soul of man. Neither do you see
God. Yet as you acknowledge God by His works,
so acknowledge the divinity of the soul by its me-
mory, its invention, its rapidity of thought, its whole
beauty of virtue.

" For whose sakes will any one say this world was
created? Certainly for those living creatures en-
dowed with reason, and these are men.

** When we call com Ceres, and wine Bacchus, we
use a figure of speech, but do you think any one so
mad as to believe that to be God which he feeds

^' Let us make our exit from life with joy^ and


submit with thankfulness, as if we had received our
discharge from prison and bonds, and were now
about to return to our eternal and proper home.
Let us consider the last day as the most auspicious,
considering nothing evil which God or Nature, the
mother of us all, has appointed. "We are not created
without a fixed purpose, but there has been a Power
at work which, in creating us, designed our ultimate
happiness. It did not produce a being which was
intended after its labours to sink into death or
misery, but let us believe it has prepared for us a
haven and a refuge, whither I could wish to be borne
with flowing sails, but if for a time the winds are
contrary, thither finally a little later I must arrive.

" Whilst even among men we wish poverty to be
on an equality with riches, why should we drive her
away from approaching the gods by expence being
introduced into religious rites? more particularly
since nothing would be less pleasing to God Himself
than that the way to appear and worship Him should
not be accessible to all.

" Let this principle be the first impressed on our
citizens, that the gods are the lords and rulers of all
things, and that everything proceeds on their autho-
rity and power.

"For all who have conserved, benefited, or pro-
tected their coimtry, there is a certain and definite
place allotted in heaven, where they are happy in
the enjoyment of eternal life. Your father PauUus




and others^ whom we speak of as dead, are still alive,
while our present life compared to theirs is death.

"If there is in mankind intelligence, fidelity,
virtue, friendship, whence could these qualities de-
scend upon the earth but from God? They must
not only exist as in their original font in God, but
be used by Him for the best and most beneficent

"The souls of men seem to me, for very many
reasons, divine ; among others for this, that the soul
of every good man so looks forward into futurity as
to regard nothing but what is eternal.

" The gods are the lords and sovereign arbiters of
the universe; by their judgment and divinity all
things are governed ; to them mankind are indebted
for all their blessings ; at a glance they know what
every man is, what he does, his inmost thoughts,
the sincerity or insincerity of his religion, and they
keep a strict account of both the righteous and the
impious •.''

Extracts to the same purport might be indefinitely
multiplied. The Gentile of Rome, therefore, stood
on the pedestal of a natural religion decidedly more
spiritual than the Mosaic. Underneath the gorgeous
formalism of his mythology, and quite apart from
the licentia amens of the poets, ran the great prin-

• WorkB of Cicero: De Legibns, 1. 11. n. 16; Tusculan Disput,
1. L iL 6 ; De Amicitii ad finem ; De Naturft Deonim ; De S^iec-
tute; In Yerrem de Supplic, n. 186; Divin., 1. 11. n. 70, 71.



ciples which were about to receive in Christianity a
divine seal to their truth. But now comes the ques-
tion, " If it were not the morality of the new religion,
what was it that raised up in arms against it the
philosophy and religion of Greece and Rome P" St.
Paul supplies the answer, — " The scandal of the
Cross." A Cato and Antoninus might not only
approve but practise the moral precepts of Chris-
tianity, but to accept a condemned "crucifer," the
most odious and shameful term in their language, a
Jew gibbeted for sedition, for their new God, shocked
the ethnic sense of the great majority to such a
degree that, having once listened to the " preaching
of the Cross," they never condescended a second time
to turn their attention to it. To them, such a reli-
gion carried with it its own refutation, and the
philosophic classes contented themselves with re-
garding it as one more imit added to the chaos of
existing superstitions. St. Paul informs us that the
Greeks, " who sought after wisdom," considered the
doctrine of the Cross irreconcileable with all reason,
and named it /jwo/o^a, * nonsense' or * folly.' Yet this
was the very essence, the comer-stone of the Gospel.
And the more the heathen mind rose against it, the
more firmly the Apostle took his stand upon it. " I
am determined to know nothing save Jesus Christ
and Him crucified." He looks, indeed, with grave
suspicion on any ready acquiescence in or acceptance
of the Gospel on the part of the natural man any-


where. " Hath the offence of the Cross ceased ?" is
his question, knowing that, if so, the Gospel, too,
had either ceased or had not been truly preached.
Angels and man had fallen by the sin of pride. To
human pride of every kind — moral, intellectual,
social — the Cross was a death-blow for ever. And so
Paul venerates wisdom, enjoins the most stringent
morality, teaches the highest lessons of social pro-
gress by individual improvement and cultivation,
but instantly his hearers betray a disposition to rely
upon these or upon anything else instead of the
Cross of Christ, he sweeps them by as " dross," as
" dung," as the " beggarly elements of law." Such
preaching admitted no compromise; it was not
Christ-God, nor Christ the Saviour, nor Christ the
moral ideal, nor Christ the comforter only nor prin-
cipally, — but Christ the crucified the apostles pre-
sented as the indispensable object of saving faith.
Christ in His glory would appear in the great day of
the Lord, but now they preached Christ in His hu-
miliation, bom in the flesh, a root out of the dry
soil of Judah, with no form or comeliness, the man
of sorrows, acquainted with grief, stricken, smitten,
woimded for man's transgressions, bruised for man's
iniquities, oppressed, afflicted, chastised, making His
soul an offering for sin, cut off from the land of
the living, pouring out His soul imto death, num-
bered with the transgressors, drinking to the last
drop of the dregs of shame and degradation the cup



of divine wrath^ abandoned by Gtod and man, mocked^
cursed, reviled, scourged, thom-crowned, pierced
with wounds, dying the most painful and ignomi-.
nious of all deaths, that of the rebel and the nma-
gate slave, between a robber and a murderer. "When
the missionaries of the new faith held up such a
Cross as this, displaying God the sufferer for sin
nailed by Jew and Gentile hands upon it, when they
proclaimed, " Behold the blood of the eternal Sacri-
fice ; behold Gk)d Himself, the lamb, the priest, and
the atonement," the heathen world, if it cried out
^pla, felt, nevertheless, that in that 'folly' there
was a consistency, a power of waking and shaking
the dead conscience, a marvellous responding to and
satisfying of the appetites of the soul, a giving of
inward rest in recompense for outward war, a raising
of the whole nature in Christ in return for the abase-
ment of everything in man that it soon ceased to
despise — it began to fear and to hate, and then to
persecute. Whatever its wisdom was in words, in
deeds it could not cope with the energy of the new
life Christianity poured into its converts ; it became
silent or took to the sword. '^ It hath pleased God,'*
states St. Paul, " by the foolishness of preaching to
put to silence the wisdom of this world." Humility,
never before a virtue, became the foimdation of all
virtues in the eyes and practice of Christians. They
were nothing, Christ was everything ; and of Christ,
the cross of sufferance became everywhere the symboL


But with the sacerdotal classes — for, as we have
observed, there were no castes of priests — in Greece
and Eome, Christianity came into conflict on espe-
cial ground, that of sacrifices. If Christianity, as
preached by the Apostle and his co-adjutors, was
true, there was an end, at once and for ever, of all
priesthoods, all altars, all sacrifices. They were all
finished, all consummated and come to their ap-
pointed close in Christ. Henceforth there was but
one Priest, and He was exalted at the right hand of
God, He had entered through the veil of the torn
and crucified flesh into the holy of holies, even
heaven, and there He ever presented the only, the
one sacrifice for sin, such body itself, once for ever
offered on Calvary, "the blood of the eternal re-
demption.'* There was but one true altar, the cross,
and that, since the body so sacrificed of the Son of
God had re-ascended into the glory of the Father,
had ceased to be ought but a memorial of the
great death and passion once thereon suffered.
Henceforth there was no other altar than the spi-
ritual altar of the regenerate heart burning with
the light of Christ and the fire of the Holy Ghost.
Paul, Peter, John, the other apostles, were not priests,
nor do they ever call themselves such, but minis-
ters of the one Priest, administrators of the never-
to-be-repeated sacrifice of the one Body and Blood
broken and shed for the remission of all sin on the
mount of the Lord. "This man/' (preached St.



Paul,) " even the Son, who is consecrated for ever-
more, and is set on the right hand of the Majesty in
the heavens, hath, because He continueth for ever, an
intransmissible priesthood, and He liveth for ever to
make intercession." The immense importance of
such a declaration is obvious ; it implies no less than
the total abolition of all human priesthoods, than
the limitation of all priesthood to the sole person of
Christ. As members of Christ, all baptized Chris-
tians, without distinction, were in a sense "priests
imto God," the whole Church was " a royal priest-
hood ;" but no particular member was a priest more
than another, there was henceforth no clergy as dis-
tinct from a laity, no laity distinct from a clergy.
Of those ordained and set apart to administer the
ordinances of Christ externally, " servants of Christ
and stewards of the mysteries" were the titles : none
were sacrificers, for all sacrifice had ceased; none
were priests, save as all were members in the one
Priest, Christ. Hence, as Christianity was the ex-
tinction of all priesthoods everywhere, or at least
the transference of all priesthood to Christ alone,
the priesthood of almost every religion either opposed
its propagation with the most virulent hostility, or
attempted to radically subvert its character by mak-
ing Christ the founder of a new order of human
priesthood, re-enacting the same sacrifice perpetually
of Himself on innumerable material altars. This
latter is the system which the Boman Catholic


priesthood have accepted as, beyond doubt, the best
adapted for sacerdotal power and aggrandisement,
but it overthrows Christianity from its foundation.
"God," declares St. Paul, *'took away sacrifice to
establish Christ. We are sanctified through the
offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Every priest standeth daily offering the same sacri-
fices, but Christ, after He had offered one sacrifice
for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of
God, by one offering having perfected for ever
them that are sanctified f." The yoke of sacerdotalism
— the dira religio of Lucretius — the weight on the
neck which, St. Peter declares, " neither our fathers
nor we have been able to bear," was everywhere
hewn in pieces by the Gospel-sword of Apostolic
Christianity. The chain which bound the layman
to the foot of the priest was sundered, and he stood
forth a "freeman in Christ." It was not till after
the era of Constantino that the *' ministry of Christ"
began to fall back again into the "beggarly ele-
ments" of a sacrificial priesthood, and that sacer-
dotalism recovered its old heathen power under the
adopted name of the papacy and pontifical system of
papal Eome.

' Hebrews r.


The Religion op Bbitain and Westeen Eueope. —
Detttdism. — Its PEINCIPI4ES and Influences. — Thjb
Gentile Peepabation foe Cheistianitt.

WESTWARD of Italy, embracing Hispania,
Gallia, the Rhenish frontiers, portions of Ger-
many and Scandinavia, with its head-quarters and
great seats of learning fixed in Britain, extended the
Druidic religion. There can be no question that
this was the primitive religion of mankind, covering
at one period in various forms the whole surface of
the ancient world. It was, as distinguished from the
Jewish dispensation, emphatically the great Gentile
religion — as distinguished from the Semitic and
Ammonitic, or Hametic faiths, the faith of the Ja-
phetidsB, or nations descended from Japhet — as dis-
tinguished from religions of materialisms, the reli-
gion of the spirituality of the Deity and the immor-
tality of the human soul. In the first ages of the
world the primogeniture and priesthood went toge-
ther. The primogeniti of Japhet were the Cymry,
Cimbri, or GomeridaB, the sons of Gomer the first-
born of Japhet, the eldest branch of which wer^
settled from the remotest times in Britain. In
them, consequently, lodged the priesthood of all
the nations of the Japhetidae. Hence Britain bore
the same relation to the above countries as Rome
now does to Roman Catholic countries, or Tibet to


the Buddhist populations of Asia — it was the Holy
Land of their religion and the Zion of their hierarchy.
The ramifications of Druidism penetrated, indeed,
into Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor ; nor did Plato
hesitate to affirm that all the streams of Greek
philosophy were to be traced, not to Egypt, but to
the fountains of the West. The pre-historic poets
of Greece anterior to the mythologic creations of
Homer and Hesiod, were, as their names imply,
Japhetic Druids, — Musaeus, Orpheus, Linus, (know-
ledge, the harp, the white-robed). Such historians
were necessarily poets, for with the Druids metre
was the vehicle of instruction. The visit of the
British Druid, Abaris, was long remembered at
Athens. Greek fancy converted the magnetic needle
by which he guided his travels into an arrow of
Apollo which would transport him at wish whither-
soever he pleased. A more celebrated Druid, Py-
thagoras, founded a school in Italy the effects of
which, though he himself and many of his leading
scholars perished in a popular commotion, were
never wholly obliterated ; the transmigration of
souls, their pre-existence and immortality, the true
theories of the heavenly bodies and their revolutions,
the severity of the esoteric system with its silence
and secrecy, being observed by various Italian sects
down to the Christian era. In the -^gean Sea,
Samothrace and Delos were Eastern cells of the
same priesthood, the same rites being observed as



in Britain^ and embassies at stated periods ex-
changing visitations ». In earlier ages the City of
Circles in Asia Minor — Troia (Troy) — and the Mi-
noan Labyrinth in Crete were seats of the same
widely-extended religion, and in Egypt the name
of the great mother-temple, Camac, identifies its
remote founders with those of the mother-temple
of the same name in Bretagne, both meaning * the
high stones of worship/ In the East, however, the
principles of Druidism could only be traced in its
earliest records, whilst on the continent of Europe
they bore in practice and development the same cor-
rupt relation to primitive Druidism as at present the
Boman Catholic religion in the same countries does
to primitive Christianity. In Britain, on the con-
trary, it had, for many reasons, — the inaccessibility
of the island, its freedom from foreign invasion, its
character of sanctity, its possession by Gomeridae, —
retained in great degree its original purity. In the
time of St. Paul it had been for a period of two
thousand years the established religion; and the
attachment of the people to its rule, with the des-
perate and well-sustained defence they made in its
behalf and that of their country against the whole
force of the Roman empire in the meridian of its
power, confirm the impression left by a dispassionate
examination of the remains of its theology which

• Artemidorus, quoted by Strabo; the Orphic Hymns; Avienos
de Britannia.



have descended to us in the ancient British tongue,
namely, that it was a highly moral, elevating, and
beneficent religion, a superstructure not imworthy
the principle on which it assumed to be built, and by
which it ofiered itself to be judged, " The truth
against the world," (F Ghmr erhyny Byd).

It has been observed by the historian Hume, " that
no religion has ever swayed the minds of men like
the Druidic." The determined efforts of the Roman
empire to overthrow its supremacy, and, if possible,
suppress it altogether, prove that its rulers had been
made practically aware of this fact. A Druidid
triad familiar to the Greeks and Romans was,
"Three duties of every man: "Worship God; be
just to all men ; die for your country ^." It was
this last duty, impressed by a thousand examples
and precepts, and not its religious tenets or philoso-
phy, which caused Druidism to be marked for de-
struction by an empire which aspired to universal
dominion and to merge all nationalities in one city.
The edicts of the Emperors Augustus and Tiberius
proscribed it throughout their dominions, making
the exercise of the functions of a Druidic priest, as
those of the Roman priest in the reigns of the Tudor
sovereigns in England, a treasonable offence. But


^ There is touching beauty in many of the Druidic triads, as in
the following: — "There are three men aU should love: He that
loves the face of his mother Nature ; he that loves rational works of
iart ; he that looks lovingly on the faces of little children."



nations cannot be proscribed. The Druidic colleges
in Britain, the only free state in Europe at this
period, continued to educate and send forth their
alumni to all parts of the Continent. Not till a.d.
43, that is, fourteen years only before the arrival of
St. Paul in Rome, did the second, or Claudian inva-
sion of Britain take place. It took ten years of inces-
sant warfare to establish a firm footing in the south
of the island ; nor was it till seven years after the
fall of Caractacus that the Roman state ventured to
give its legions orders to carry out the leading ob-
ject of the invasion, — the destruction by force of
arms of the Druidic con, or seminaries, in Britain.
The Boadicean war and the death of 80,000 Roman
citizens were the first results of this policy of re-
ligious ' dragonnades.*

A summary of the principal tenets of Druidism
will enable the reader to compare or contrast them
with those of Christianity, which had not yet set foot
in Europe. It is interesting to observe no less where
the primitive Gentile religion differs than where it
agrees with Divine revelation. The summary is
chiefly drawn from the Bardo-Druidic remains ex-
tant in the British language.

Summary of Druidic Theology.

Druidism was founded by Gwyddon Qanhebon,
supposed to be the Seth of the Mosaic genealogy, in
Asia, in the year when the equinox occurred in the



first point of Taurus, or the constellation of the
Bull. Every year the equinoctial year is completed
about twenty minutes before the sun has made a
complete revolution from a certain star to the same
star again. This arises from the precession of the
equinoxes, or from a slow revolution of the pole of
the equator roimd that of the ecliptic. In 25,920
years the pole of the equator makes one entire revo-
lution roimd that of the ecliptic : hence the equi-
noctial colure occurs before it did the preceding
year. In 72 years the precession amounts to one
degree. If, therefore, we have the equinoctial or
solstitial point given in the ecliptic at any imknown
period, it is easy to discover, by comparing it with
the present solstitial point, how long that period is
past. When the Druid ic system was founded, the
equinox, on the 1st of May, occurred in the first
point of Taurus, which first point is now, on the Ist
of May, 80 degrees from this solstitial point. It
requires 72 years to recede one degree. Eighty de-
grees multiplied by 72 gives 5,760, the exact date
when Druidism commenced, i. e. 3,903 years before
the Christian era, 181 years after the creation of
man, and 50 years after the birth of Seth. The
astral bull of milk-white hue, its horns crowned
with golden stars, became the symbol, or visible
sacrament, of Druidism. In process of time the
symbol, as usual, superseded in the East the thing
signified, and Druidism became that tauric religion


which gave the Crimea the appellation of the Tauric
Chersonese. Extending thence, this corruption be-
came the religion of Mithras in Persia, of Baal in
Assyria, of Brahma in India, of Astarte or the Dea
Syria in Syria, of Apis in Egypt, and in later ages,
transferred from Egypt, of the two "Apis" (or
calves as they are rendered in our version of the
Scriptures) of the kingdom of Israel «. In all these
religions the bull, or Taurus, was the sacred animal,
and the symbol was preserved free, as far as we can
judge, from idolatry by the Gomeridae of Britain.
The bull was the sign and representant of the great
Druidic isle, and the name still, in conmion par-
lance, continues to indicate a Briton of Britain
as distinguished from the rest of the world. From
Asia Druidism was brought into Britain by Hu
Gadam, or the Mighty, its first colonizer, a cotem-
porary of the Patriarch Abraham, and under his
successors, Plennydd, Goron, Alawn, and Rhivon, it
assumed its complete organization, becoming both
the ecclesiastical and civil constitution of the island.
About five centuries before the Christian era, its
civil laws were codified by Dunwal Moelmud, the
British Nimia, and have since that period remained
the common, imwritten, or native laws of the island,


« The symbol of Druidism in Crete was the Menw-tarw, or Menw-
bull, and its chief temple the Labyrinth. Out of such simple ele-
ments the imaginative Greek mind forged the fable of Minos, the
Minotaur, and Pasiphae, as it did that of the rape of Europa from
the Astarte of Syria.



as distinguished from the Eoman^ the canon, and
other codes of foreign introduction. These British
or Druidic laws have been always justly regarded
as the foundation and bulwark of British liberties ^.
The examination of them does not faU within our
present purpose. The civil code and the sciences
were taught by the Druids — oraUy or in writing
indifferently — ^to every citizen, but the Druidic sys-
tem of divinity was never committed to writing, nor
imparted except to the initiated, and then under
obligations to secrecy of a very awful character. It
is, however, to the infraction of these obligations,
when their force had been impaired by the influences
of Christianity, that we are indebted for such know-
ledge as we possess of the real principles of the
primitive religion of our island. This is, especially
in the higher departments, exceedingly imperfect,
but we must be satisfied with it until the British
manuscripts buried in the obscure recesses of the
hillft of Cambria be disentombed by Government, or
given by their worthless and degenerate proprietors
to the republic of letters.
, Druidism taught as follows : —

The universe is infinite, being the body of the
being who out of himself evolved or created it, and
now pervades and rules it, as the mind of man does
his body. The essence of this being is pure, mental
light, and therefore he is called Du-w, Duw, (the


' Sir John Portescue, De Laudihus Legum AngluB ; Coke, FrefiMse
to third vol ofPleadingB} Origin of the Common Law of England.



one without any darkness.) His real name is an
inefiable mystery, and so also is his nature ®. To
the human mind^ though not in himself, he neceso
aarily represents a triple aspect in relation to the
past, present, and future ; the creator as to the past,
the saviour or conserver as to the present, the reno-
vator or re-creator as to the future. In the re-
creator the idea of the destroyer was also in-
volved. This was the Druidic trinity, the three as-
pects of which were known oa Beli, Taran, Esu or
Yesu. When Christianity preached Jesus as God,
it preached the most familiar name of its own deity
to Druidism; and in the ancient British tongue
'Jesus^ has never assumed its Greek, Latin, or
Hebrew form, but remains the pure Druidic ' Yesu.'
It is singular thuB that the ancient Briton has never
changed the name of the God he and his forefathers
worshipped^ nor has ever worshipped but one God K

< There are now three states of existence : the cycle of ' Ceugant,'
where there is nothing of Uving or dead but God, and God alone can
traverse it ; the cycle of * Abred/ where all natural existence origiitates
from death— this man has traversed ; the cyde of • Gwynfyd,' where
all existence is from life to life— this man wiU traverse in the ' Nev-

oedd,' (changes of life in heaven.) The Druids, contrary to the

MosMC account, made the creation of man simultaneous with that of
iolar light. *' Three things came into being at the same moment—
light, man, and moral choice." — (Druidic Triads.)

' So Prooopius also testifies : —

" Hesus, Taranis, Belenus unus tantummodo Deus
Unum Deum Dominum universi Druides Solum agnoscunt."

J)e QotMoii, Ub. iil



The symbol of the ineffable name of the Deity
were three rays or glories of Kght. Every Dniid
bore these in gold on the front of his mitre.

Other names of the deity were Deon, Dovydd,
Celi, Tor, Perydd, Sol, Rhun, Ner.

In the infinite Deity exist in some incomprehen-
sible mode, indivisible from himself, infinite germs,
seeds, or atoms {manred, manredi), each in itself full
and perfect deity, possessing the power of infinite
creativeness. This branch of Druidic theism is in-
volved in profound obscurity. It appears to have
supplied Democritus with his theory of the atomic
powers of nature, and Plato with his typal forms in
the mind of the Deity. Matter was created and sys-
tematized simultaneously by the Creator's pronounc-
ing His own name. It cannot exist without God.
Nature is the action of God through the medium
of matter. The laws of nature are, in the strictest
sense, the laws of God, and that which is a violation
of the laws of nature is necessarily a violation of the
laws of God 8.


ff The Dmid regarded himself as the priest of the deity of nature,
but in addition to this hierarchic character there appears to have been
the following observances derived from one original family, language,
and religion common to his with all the other forms of the primitive
truth — libation, sacrifices, tradition of the Deluge, of the war of the
Titanidse against Heaven, metempsychosis, adoration towards the East,
the division of the drcle into 360 degrees, of the zodiac into twelve
signs, of the week into seven days. Most of these we fiud in the
Chaldsean futh, and it is certain the ChaldsBans were highly civilized
2,000 years before the Christian era.



The universe is in substance eternal and imperish-
able, but in form it is subject to successive cycles of
dissolution and renovation. There is no such thing
as annihilation in matter. Every particle of matter
is capable of all forms of matter, and each form has
its own laws of existence and action.

Around every separate existence, wherever it be,
extends infinity ; this is ' Ceugant,' (the infinite space,
or all-of-being, ubiquity,) which God alone can fill,
sustain, or uphold.

There were originally but two states of sentient
existence, — God in ' Ceugant,* and the ' Gwynfydolion'
(the beings of the happy, literally ' white,' state) in
'Gwynfyd.' The only aberration to which the 'Gwyn-
fydolion' were liable was ' balchder.' ' Balchder' con-
sisted ia trying to do that which God only can
do, enter and sustain ' ceugant,' uphold and govern
the infinite universe. Certain of the * Gwynfydolion,'
whose numbers are known only to God, attempted
to do so, and thus originated in themselves the state
of * Annwn.' ' Annwn' is the lowest possible point of
conscious existence, in which the evil is wholly un-
mitigated by any particle of good. This result was
the inevitable consequence of their act itself, not an
external penalty imposed by God. To restore them to
the state of ' gwynfyd,' God in His goodness created
the third state of ' Abred.' * Abred' includes all con-
ditions of sentient life under * gwynfyd.' Its lowest
point is 'annwn ;' its highest, that immediately next


to that of the * Gwynfydolion/ the state of man, hu-
manity. All *abred' under humanity was termed *byd
maur/ the great 'byd.' Humanity itself was termed
' byd bychan,' the little * byd* (world), because as all
the infinite was contained in God, so all the cycles
of existence below man were contained and repre-
sented in man \

* Abred' is a state of probation and suflPering for the

* Abredolion/ that is, for the * Gwynfydolion' in ' abred,'
the reason being that, moral liberty of choice and
action, or willinghood, being the essence of ' gwyn-
fydiaeth,* or the spirit-life, there is nothing j»er se to
prevent the ' Gwynfydolion,' when they shall have re-
attained heaven, from committing ' balchder* a second
time, and thus re-incurring its consequences. God
created * abred' to be a state of suffering, that in the
vivid recollection of its pains and degradations the

* Gwynfydolion' might possess in themselves the surest
moral guarantee against a repetition of their folly.

* Abred' was therefore essentially the creation of God's
mercy, and its sufferings were indispensable to fulfil
lie object of such mercy towards the fallen beings
for whom it had been so created \


*» The three causes of man felling into * Abred' — ^neglect of know-
ledge, aversion to good, love of evil. Occasioned by these three, man
declines to his congenial state in ' abred,' whence as before he re-
ascends to humanity. (Druidic Triads.)

> The three things God alone can do— endure the eternities of in-
finity, partidpate of all being without changing, renew everything



In the * byd mawr* below man there was no respon-
fidbility, for there was no liberty of choice. Eespon-
sibility began with the *byd bychan/ or man-state,
because there began such Hberty. Hence the essence
of the soul, according to the Druids, was the will,
and the essence of religion was willinghood. With-
out freedom of will there was no * humanity' in its
distinguishing sense from animal life, nor any life
Or light in the soul which continued marwy yoid of
living action and imbruted. Freedom of conscience
was both the birth and breath of manhood, without
which it was not manhood at all, but brutality — the
soul resembling ^ifoBtus undeveloped in the womb.

Beason appears to have been regarded by the
Druids as a faculty common to all sensitive creatures,
the difference in their physical organization being
the cause of the difference in its degrees.

Mankind are the fallen ' Gwynfydolion.' Every hu*
man being has been in the angelic state in heaven
(' gwynfyd'), fell thence to ' annwn,* rose thence through
the various cycles of ' abred' probationary existence to
his present state (' b^d bychan'), in which he is again
a free agent, master of his own spiritual destinies. If
his soul willingly prefers good and abides by its choice^

without annihilating it. The three things wherein man necessarily
differs from God— man is finite, God infinite; man had a beginning,
God had none ; man nnable to sustain ' cengant' (infimty of space and
time), most have in 'gwynfyd' eternal change, cycles of existence;
God snstfdns 'ceagant' unchanged. (Druidic Triads.)


then at the dissolution of the body it re-enters ' g wyn-
fyd/ from which it fell. This is the restoration. If
his soul prefers evil, it again lapses back to some
cycle in ' abred' best calculated to purify it from it.
For ' abred' is the cycle of purification by suflfering.
* Balchder' alone plunged the soul back to the lowest
point, ' annwn/ and of this man could not be guilty ;
hence the proverb, "But once in ^ annwn/ " Inhuma-
nity sunk the soul to the condition nearest ' annwn.'

In the ' byd mawr,' below man, evil and suffering
preponderate. In the 'byd bychan,' or 'man-state,'
good and evil are equipoised. With 'b;yd bychan'
probation terminates. In ' gwynfyd' pure good and
pure happiness commence.

A soul might relapse countless times from 'byd
bychan' back to ' abred,' and again rise. Ultimately
every soul would pass 'byd bychan ;' and when the last
of the ' Gwynfydolion' had regained ' gwynfyd,' then
would be the end of 'abred' ('terfyn abred'^), the
purpose for which it had been created being fulfilled.
' Abred' being dissolved, there would remain only the
two states which existed from the beginning, ' Ceu-
gant' and ' Gwynfyd.' According to the Druidic sys-
tem, the 'hell' of man was past before his birth.


^ Throe things decrease continually, darkness, evil, and death.
Three things increase continually, light, truth, and life. These will
finally prevful over aU; then * ahred' will end. (Druidic Triads.) The
idea of the eternal progression of man and the universe which per-
vades the Triads is very fine.



and hell itself was a temporary state. * Qwynfyd' was
re-attainable through ' abred' only and its conditions,
^abred' through 'annwn' only and its conditions.
^Annwn' and 'abred' were the pre-conditions of the
re-attainment of 'gwynfyd/ The knowledge and
suflPering of evil was held the sine gud non to the
understanding and appreciation of good, being the
only means whereby their difference could be real-
ized to ourselves. Suffering was regarded as the
pre-essential of enjoyment.

The faculty of the soul which constituted more
especially its eternity, or imperishable self-identity,
is cov, or memory. The memory of aU the evils
and existences it has undergone in ' abred,' forms or
developes in the soul immediately it re-enters ' gwyn-
fyd,* and not before. For the end of such memory is
to preserve such * Qwynfydolion' from a second fall.
In the ' abred' cycles there is a suspension of 'cov,'
and of the consciousness of self-identity.

The doctrine of transmigration was certainly
Druidic, but it is equally certain that it was held
by the Druids in a sense the Greek and Italian
schools of philosophy have failed to transmit to us.
The following extract from the Coelbren Iihodd\ ob-
scure as it is, may cast some light on the subject : —

''Master. What art thou?

" Disciple. A man.

^ A Druidic Catechism, of which fragments only are extant.


"Jf. HowP

"JD. By the will of God. What God willfi
must be.

*' M. Why art thou not something else than man P

" D. What God wills cannot be otherwise.

"Jf. Where art thou?

*'2>. In a^d bychan.'

" M. Whence art thou come P

•'2>. From'b;ydmawr.'

"Jf. What wert thou doing in *byd mawr' P

*' 2). Traversing the cycle of * abred/

" Jf. Where wert thou before thou didst begin t6
traverse ' cylch abred' P

" D. In * annwn.'

" Jf. What wert thou in ' annwn' P

" D. The least of life that could be in itself, the
nearest to the teeth of the dead. And in all forms
and through all forms that are called body and life
am I come hither into * byd bychan/ and misery and
trouble have been my condition for ages and ages
since I was delivered from *annwn* and separated
therefrom through the hand of God and His love,
endless and indestructible.

*' -3f. Through how many * rhith' (forms of life) art
thou come, and what has been thy * damwain' (cha-
racter of life) P

" D. Through every ' rhith' that can possess or be
called life-in-itself, and my * damwain' has been all
miRftrv. all hardship, all evil, all suffering, and little


of good or happiness has there been of me before
I am man.

" Jf. Through the love of God thou sayest thou
art come through all this and hast felt all this — how
so, sieeing there are so many signs of unlove P

" D. ' Gwynfyd* cannot be regained without know-
ing everything, there cannot be knowing everything
without feeling-in-self everything, there cannot be
feeling everything without suffering-in-self every
*rhith' of evil and of good, that one may be self-
known from the other ; and all this must be before
^gwynfyd' can be regained, for ' gwynfyd* is perfect
liberty, choosing the good when all forms of good
and evil have been self-suffered.

*' M. Why cannot there be ' gwynfyd' without tra-
versing every ' rhith' of life in ' abred' P

"D. Because no two 'rhiths' are identical, and
every ' rhith* has its own cause, suffering, means of
knowledge, intelligence, ' gwynfyd,' power, not to be
found in any other ' rhith ;' and since there is special
knowledge in every special ' rhith* not to be found in
any other, necessity ensues to suffer every ' rhith' be-
fore ' abred' be completely traversed.

" M. How many * rhiths' are there P

"2>. As many as God saw necessary towards
knowing all good and all evil in every kind and
quality, so that there should be nothing conceivable
by God which should not be experienced, and thence
its ' abred'-knowledge." — {Coelbren Ehodd, p. 1.)



The happiness of ' gwynfyd' consisted in ' nevoedd/
i. e. eternal progressions of new scenes with new
faculties of happiness. Herein, as in its notion of
the time and object of "hell/' Druidism differed
from Christianity, which represents heaven as an
eternal sabbath or rest"*.

A soul that had passed ' byd bychan' might resume
the morphosis of humanity for the good of mankind.
The re- incarnation of such was always a blessing.

The lapse of a soul in *byd bychan' began at the
moment when it voluntarily preferred vice to virtue,
for the will is its essence.

A new form of life, or the entrance into another
cycle of existence °, ensued simultaneously with death.

Man had the power by accepting every evil as his
part of ' abred' (or purification for ' gwynfyd'), to turn
it to good. Hence willing suffering for our own
good or that of others was the test- virtue of hu-
manity, or * byd bychan.*

Every soul guilty of crime, by voluntarily con-
fessing it and embracing the penalty prescribed,
expiated its guilt, and if in other respects good,
re-entered * gwynfyd.'

Except by the laying down life for life there could

» The three necessary essentials of God — infinite in Himself, finite
to the finite, co-unity yrith every mode of existence in 'gwynfyd.*
(Draidic Triads.)

» There could in fact, according to the Druids, be no life at all in
'Abred' except as proceeding from death. Above ' abred' death ceased,
and the celestial novations ran through eternity.


be no expiation or atonement for certain kinds of
guilt. CsDsar^s words on this point are remarkable : —
" The Druids teach that by no other way than the
ransoming of man's life by the life of man, is re-
conciliation with the divine justice of the immortal
gods possible." — {Comment^ lib. v.) The doctrine
of vicarious atonement could not be expressed in
clearer terms.

The value of an atonement, or expiatory sacrifice^
was in proportion to the value of the life sacrificed.

In all the changes of the 'byd mawr/ until it
assumed the morphosis of man, the soul was in
occultation, or eclipse.

The temples of the Druids were hypaethral, circu-
lar, and obelistic, i. e. open above and on every side,
representing in form the dome of heaven, and com-
posed of monoliths, or immense single stones, on
which metal was not allowed to come. The dra-
contic, or circular form, symboled the eternal cycle
of nature. The monolithic avenues leading to and
from the temple, usually known as the dragon's
head and dragon^s tail, were in some instances
seven miles long. The national religious processions
moved through these on the three great festivals
of the year.

All the prehistoric temples of Palestine, Persia,
Italy, and Greece, commonly called Cyclopean or
Pelasgic, were Druidic.

Stonehenge, the Gilgal of Britain, is the wreck of


four thousand years' exposure to the elements. Its
first founder was Hu Gadam, B.C. c. 1800.

The above summary may suffice in a brief treatise
of this description to give the reader a broad con-
ception of the chief tenets of the antediluvian religion
of the world. Of its temples, rites, and usages we
may add the following particulars.

There were in Britain south of the Clyde and
Forth forty Druidic universities, which were also
the capitals of the forty tribes, the originals of our
modem coimties, which preserve for the most part
the ancient tribal limits. Hence, for instance, York-
shire retains the same disproportioned magnitude
to our other counties as the territories of the Bri-
gantes, its British tribe, did to those of the other
tribes. Of these forty seats nine have disappeared,
the remainder were as follow : —

Three seats of the three Arch-Druids of Britain \

Caer Troia, or Caer Lud^ or Caer Llyndain (the
city of the lake of the Tain (Thames), or of the beau-
tiful lake, tain meaning fair or beautiful, hence the
Tain so called in British, Tyne still in North Britain),

Caer Hvroc, York.

Caer Lleon, Caerleon.


o The GUdas Ma (Julius, D. xi.), Cottonian Library, calls these
the three arch-ftamens and twenty-eight flamens of Britain. QeoSrej
of Monmouth appears to have found the same titles in the Armorican
Tersion of Tysnlio'f Uiftory.



Seats of the chief Druick of Britain : —
Caer Cainty Canterbury,
Caer Wt/n, Wincliester.

Caer Werllan, afterwards Caer Municipium, St. Al-
ban's, or Yerulam.

Caer Salwg, Old Sarum.

Caer Leil, Carlisle.

Caer Grraumt, Cambridge, or Granta.

Caer Meini, Manchester.

Caer Gwrthegion, Palmcaster.

Caer Coel, Colchester.

Caer Gorangon, Worcester.

Caerkon ar Dtot/y Chester.

Caer Peris, Porchester.

Caer Don, Doncaster.

Caer Ghwric^ Warwick.

Caer Meivod, Meivod.

Caer Odor, Bristol.

Caer Llyr, Leicester.

Caer Umach, Uroxeter.

Caer Lleyn, Lincoln.

Caer Giot/w, Gloucester.

Caer Cei, Chichester.

Caer Ceri, Cirencester.

Caer Ihcr, Dorchester.

Caer Merddin, Caermarthen.

Caer Seiont, Caernarvon.

Caer Wysc, Exeter.

Caer Segont, Silchester.

Ckier Baddon, Bath.


The lapse of two thousand years has made but
slight alteration in the names of these pnmitive
cities of Britian. The Romans invariably fixed upon
the chief caer of a British tribe, generally the
strongest military position in its bounds, for their
castra : hence the castra and cheater superseded the
caer or British citadel ; but the British name itself
survived the Roman. Llyndain is still London, not
Augusta ; Werllan, Yenilam, not Municipium ; Caer
Col, Colchester, not Camalodunum, &c., &c.

The students at these universities numbered at
times sixty thousand souls, among whom were in-
cluded the young nobiKty of Britain and Gaul. It
required twenty years to master the circle of Druidic
knowledge; nor, when we consider the great range
of acquirements which the system included, can we
wonder at the length of such probation. Natural
philosophy, astronomy, arithmetic, geometry, juris-
prudence, medicine, poetry, and oratory were all pro-
posed and taught, the first two with severe exacti-
tude. The system of astronomy inculcated had never
varied, being the same as that taught by Pythagoras,
now known as the Copemican or Newtonian p. The

P In onr notice of the Zoroastrian religion we have alladed to the
system of astrologic prophecy practised by its professors. The He-
brew prophet was inspired immediately by an afflatus of the Deity.
The Druidic idea of prophecy differed from both, resolving it into a
scientific knowledge of the natural connection and sequency of canse
and effect. '<He that will be a prophet of God/' writes Gildas,
'' must never rest tiU he has traced everything to its cause and mode
of operation. He will then know what God does, for God does no-



British words for ' star/ ' astronomer/ ' astronomy,'
are seren, seront/dd, seronyddiaeth ; hence the usual
Greek term for the Druids was Saronidce, astronomers.
Of the attainments of the Druids in all the sciences,
especially in this of astronomy, classic judges of
eminence, Cicero and Caesar, Pliny and Tacitus,
Diodorus Siculus and Strabo, speak in high terms.
In the Druidic order indeed centred, and from it
radiated, the whole civil and ecclesiastical knowledge
of the realm : they were its statesmen, legislators,
priests, physicians, lawyers, teachers, poets ; the de-
positaries of all human and divine knowledge ; its
Church and parliament ; its courts of law ; its col-
leges of physicians and surgeons; its magistrates,
clergy and bishops. The number of Druids was
regulated by very stringent laws in proportion to
the population. None could be a candidate for the
Order who could not, in the May congress of the
tribe, prove his descent from nine successive gene-
rations of free forefathers. No slave could of course

thing but what should be, in the manner it should be, at the time
and in the order it should be. By understanding these laws of God,
he will be able to see and foretell the future." {Principles ofPre'
diction of Oildas the Prophet, lolo MSS., p. 609.) Prophecy, then,
was with the Druids nothing but the theological term for science, and
Gildas supplies a useful commentary on Csesar's words : " The Druids
discuss many things concerning the stars and their revolutions, the
magnitude of the globe and its various divisions, the nature of the
universe, the energy and power of the immortal gods." (Ccesar^s
Com^ lib. V.)


be a Druid; becoming one, lie forfeited bis Order and
privileges ; and bence perbaps one of tbe reasons of
tbe protracted, stubborn, and finally successful re-
sistance of tbe Druidic island to tbe Koman arms ;
for it was not till tbe reign of Adrian, a.d. 120, tbat
Britain was incorporated, and tben by treaty, not
conquest, witb tbe Koman dominions, tbe Britons
retaining tbeir kings, land, laws and rigbts, and
stipulating in return to raise and support tbree le-
gions to be officered by tbe Emperor for tbe defence
of tbe common empire^. By common law every
Briton was seized as bis birtbrigbt of five acres (ten
Englisb) of land in tbe gweli cenedl, tbe 'bed' or bere-
ditary county of bis clan. If tbe clan land was ex-
bausted, recourse was bad to emigration or conquest,
and for tbis purpose tbe superfluous population was
draugbted off as an army, or more generally as a
colony. Hence tbe motber-tribe and daugbter-tribes
of tbe same name wbicb so frequently occur in Bri-
tain, Gaul, Germany and Hibemia. In addition to
tbese five acres, tbe Druid received five acres more
and a certain fixed income from bis tribe. Tbe dif-


4 The accepting or circulating Roman coin in Britun was made
a capital offence by Arviragua; for such an act, according to the
Boman construction, inferred the right of levying tribute, as we see
in the Scriptures : " Whose image and superscription is this ? Cesar's.
Bender therefore unto Cesar the things that are Caesar's." From
the reign of Claudius to that of Hadrian no coins, therefore, of the
intervening Boman emperors have been found in Britain. From
Hadrian onward there have been found a nearly complete series.



ficulty of admission into the Order was on a par
with its privileges. The head of the clan possessed
a veto on every ordination. Every candidate was
obliged to find twelve heads of families as sureties
for moral conduct and adequate maintenance ; nor
could he be ordained until he had passed three exa-
minations three successive years before the Druidio
college of the tribe. These barriers to promiscuous
admission threw the Order almost entirely into the
hands of the blaenormiy or aristocrapy, making it
literally a "royal priesthood," kings, princes, and
nobles entering largely into its composition. " All
power," states Caesar, speaking of Gaul, " is vested
in the two orders of the Druids and aristocracy : the
people are nothing." This, however, was evidently
not the case in Britain, where the primitive Druidio
laws, imaffected hitherto by foreign innovations, re-
ferred the source of all power to the people in con-
gress, and every congress was opened with the words
Trech gwlad n' arglicydd, ' The country is above the
king.' Nevertheless, the authority and influence of the
Druids were very great, and, on the whole, as popu-
lar as they were great. The extreme penalty lodged
in their hands, and the one most dreaded, was that of
excommunication, — poena gravissima, states CsDsar, —
which was, in fact, a decree of expulsion from both
worlds, the present and future. The terror it in-
spired is the best proof that it was not abused and
but rarely resorted to ; for the most terrific punish-




tnents, if abused, soon lose their effect and become
despised. The Druidic excommunication was thus
performed': —

Every tribe possessed a particular sword, termed
the Sword of the Tribe. Neither this nor any other
weapon could be unsheathed in the congress of the
tribe, or any congress of Druids or Bards. But
when an individual was about to be excommunicated,
which was never done until after a year and a day's
notice, to allow the offender time for voluntary atone-
ment, he was brought into the congress of the tribe,
the sword of the tribe was unsheathed by the head
of the tribe, and proclaimed to be unsheathed against
the offender by name ; his name was then struck out
of the roll of the book of the tribe, and out of the
book of his own family ; the badge of the tribe was
torn from his arm, his sword broken in the ground
and his wand over his head by the head of the
tribe; his head was shaved, and the executioner of
the tribe, with the point of the sword of the tribe,
drew blood from his forehead, breast and loins, and
pouring it on his head, exclaimed, "The blood of
the man thus accursed be on his own head." His
forehead was then branded, and he was led forth,
the herald of the tribe going before and proclaiming,


' The excommunication of the Chnrch of Rome is, on the face of
it, the old Druidic excommunication, with none of its redeeming or
justifying features. It stands in direct opposition to the whole genius
of Christianity.



<— " This man hath no name, nor family, nor tribe,
among the names and families and tribes of Britain ;
henceforth let no man's flesh touch his flesh, nor
tongue speak to him, nor eye look upon him, nor
hand of man bury him; and let the darkness of
Annwn again receive him."

Death might well be considered a light penalty to
an accumulation of such moral, social, and spiritual
tortures. The sentence was read in the Druidic
congresses throughout the tribes, and henceforth
no door in the kingdom was open to the forlorn
wretch; his forehead carried the curse everywhere
with him; men threw food to him "as to a dog,"
turning their eyes away as they did so and never
speaking. Neither body nor mind could sustain
such horrors, and the excommunicated crawled away
to become a blanched, unburied skeleton far from
the haunts of his fellow-men.

The sacred animal of Druidism was the white
astral bull; the sacred bird, the crested wren; the
sacred tree, the oak ; the sacred grain, wheat ; the
sacred plant, the mistletoe; the sacred herbs, the
trefoil, vervain, and hyssop.

The great festivals of Druidism were three : the
vernal, on the 1st of May ; the autumnal ; and the
mid- winter, when the mistletoe was gathered by the
arch-Druids. The mistletoe, with its three white
berries, was the symbol of the Druidic Trinity, and
its growth in tke oak the type of the incarnation of
the Deity in man.



The hypaethral altar in the Druidic circle was
called cromlech, (stone of bowing, or adoration).
Near it another stone received in a cavity water
direct from heaven, (holy water). This holy water
and the waters of the river Dee, the Jordan of an-
cient Britain, were the only waters permitted to be
used in Druidic sacrifices. No Druid could wear
arms of any description. None but a Druid could
officiate at a sacrifice.

The canonicals of the Druid were white linen
robes, no metal but gold being used in any part of
the dress. The canonicals of the arch-Druids were
extremely gorgeous, not very dissimilar from those
of the high-priest of the Jewish religion. The Dru-
idic cross was wrought in gold down the length of
the back of his robe.

No Druidic service could be celebrated before sun-
rise or after sunset.

In its corrupted form of Buddhism, the Druidic
religion is still the religion of nearly one half of

We have three distinct phases of faith in the Jew-
ish Scriptures, — the Patriarchal, the Mosaic, and the
Chaldaeo-Mosaic, which came in after the Chaldaean
captivity, and was in full force in our Saviour's time.
The patriarchal was in many respects Druidic; the
patriarchs planted and worshipped in oak-groves,

■ The style of the Bardo-Druidic remains is remarkable for its
eactreme but pregnant terseness, one word often expressing a fin-
ished idea.


building their altar in the midst on "some high
place/' a practice strictly prohibited by the Mosaic
code. Asiatic Druidism was, on the other hand, in
not a few particulars incorporated, as might be ex-
pected of the antediluvian religion, into the Mosaic
dispensation. The canonicals, sacrifices, sacred order
of a priesthood, three leading feasts, the unhewn
stones for the Jehovah-altars^ were Druidic insti-
tutes; but there remained two tremendous diffe-
rences between the two faiths,— one of omission, the
other of hard, imdeniable commission. The funda-
mental instruction of Druidism, the immortality of
the soul, disappears, or at least is very faintly sha-
dowed forth in the Mosaic religion. " The Druids,'*
writes Caesar, B.C. 54, " make the immortality of the
soul the basis of all their teaching, holding it to be
the principal incentive and reason for a virtuous
life." It is obvious that on this vital point the
great Gentile religion possessed incalculable supe-
riority over the Jewish ; and I have never succeeded
in satisfactorily accounting to myself for the little
prominence given to this root-truth of all religion
in the Mosaic code. The second fact is, that the
Druidic was essentially a priesthood of peace, neither
wearing arms nor permitting arms to be unsheathed
in its presence; and though patriotism, or the defence
of one's country in a just war, was a high virtue in
its system, we have no instance of Druidism perse-
cuting or using physical force against any other re-
ligion or set of opinions. Its whole theory, indeed.


-bC «-• . tAVL 15 SSTTAHs.


ji^x»uic it4tv> «taltifi«i iu>df ix. ec» darner : and
<viijBti0k jbf wadU {ftin of ix£ identity ^wrdi t&i»-

TJwr J^widj prieetitood, on tbe o&cr iiand. ^wk
OjLifc <rf* tUfc bwc/rd a^:aixirc all otiier TcJigiaHs: jmd
EiijaJi <rti K'^uut Cariuel and J^m in figraarnc msb
laitijf ul i6&^Wirfe of iu upirit. Vhcn Bt. I*«nl erii,
** I tui-ii UfiioelcHrtt to tlie G«irtileis/' Ik- -wk miboHt
to t-urii to ii religiou poaocttfjmg' abreadr mnc^ inane
1X3 <K/iiaQou than Judaism with QrriBtiaiiity. Tlte
^ayiii^ of Talkeiii; the prince-Bard and Druid. w»-
vev>: a ^i«it historic 1*uth, ttaugt ovcr-Btron^'
e^yHCisHiitfd : — ** Ohrkt, the Word from fte lieginniiig,
Wius I'ioiti Ilie be^innin^ our teacher, and 'wie ncnwr
lo«t Hiis tei*^ihing. Ohriatianity wae a hbw "ftiing in
Asia^ hut there nsever wae a tixne vlsn ^flie Dnrifc
<rf^ Britain held not ite doctrines.**

}{avin^ ^us puiiised in jreriew icbe reH^oiB stoias
of iiwj world; «nd e«j>ecaaUr of our own eonntrT, in
die apg^toJie era^ we jwoceed to gare an cjritame flf
tib/e event* in British hiirtorjr wiricli bronglit lie
royftj fomily of jBrltain into eontaet wifh St Paal
at )ion^»

^^'ij^i^ mt^mi wqMT <?l««ry«i H^gliii, (Cdiic BcMwdM%

yAM^ mt^mUmU, t\m l>riMU \mrM pr^MeaUd bhufelf between two



HisTOBic Positions of Beitain akd the Eoman Empieb
AT THE Commencement of the Christian Eba,

TULIUS C-SSAR, in justification of his invasion
^ of Britain, alleges the Britons to have been the
aggressors, British levies taking the field against
him in every Gallic campaign. Those singular col-
lections of cardinal events known as the " Triads
of the Isle of Britain," corroborate the statement.
Prior to Caesar's campaigns in Northern Gtavl, a
British army of 50,000 men, termed in these Triads
the " second silver host," under the command of the
two nephews of Cassibelaunus, or Caswallon, invaded
Aquitania, routed the Roman proconsul, Lucius Va-
lerius PraBconinus, at Tolosa, and compelled Lucius
Manilius, the consul, to fly with the loss of all his
commissariat. On receiving intelligence of these re-
verses, Caesar turned his arms against the Veneti,
(Vendeans,) who carried on a flourishing commerce
with Britain, and whose navy supplied the transport
for these auxiliaries. As long as the Venetine fleet,
which from Caesar's description of it would do no
discredit to our present state of nautical architec-
ture, remained mistress of the narrow seas, invasion
was impracticable. Upon its destruction, Caesar ad-


vanced by slow marches to Fortius Iccius, (Witsand,)
near Calais, and on the 5th of August, B.C. 55, the
Roman fleet crossed the Channel in two divisions.
This first campaign lasted fifty-five days, during
which Caesar failed to advance beyond seven miles
from the spot of disembarkation, lost one battle, and
had his camp attempted by the victorious enemy, a
thing unprecedented in his continental career «.

The second expedition embarked in above a thou-
sand ships, and carrying the army which afterwards
completed the conquest of the world on the fields of
Pharsalia and Munda, set sail from Witsand May
10, B.C. 64. The campaign lasted till September 10,
when peace was concluded at Gwerddlan, (Yerulam,
or St. Albans,) the furthest point (70 miles) from
the coast Caesar had been able to attain. The con-
ditions are not particularized in either the Triads
or Commentaries. Hostages and a tribute are men-
tioned by Caesar, but it is certain from numerous
passages in the Augustan authors that no Briton of
eminence left the island a hostage or prisoner. On
the conclusion of the treaty, Caesar moved from
Verulam to London, where he was entertained at
the Bryn Gwyn (white mount ^) by Cassibelaunus,

* Dion Cassius states that Csesar's original intention was to carry
the war into the interior, but finding his forces inadequate to cope
with the British in the field, he abruptly determined to close the
campaign. (Lib. xxxix. p. 115, ed. 1606, fol.)

^ The old belief that part of the Tower of London was built by



the Britisli pendr^gon, or military dictator, with a
magnificence which appears to have found great
favour in the eyes of the ancient Bards^ who record
it with great exactness. Leaving not a Eoman
soldier behind, Caesar disembarked his ibrces at
Rutupium, at ten at night, and arrived at Witsand
by daybreak the next morning, September 26,
B.C. 54.

The tests of the success or non-success of a cam-
paign are its effects. The effects of the second
Julian invasion demonstrate that both at Bome and


Julius Csesar is known to every one; and the White Tower was
pointed out as the part. " The White Tower" appears a version of
the original British name Bryn Gfwyn, bnt whether Csesar was lodged
therein, or laid its foundation-stone, or was never at all entertained
in London, there seems to us to be so much good sense in the sen-
timents put by Shakespeare on this point in the mouth of the
young KiDg Edward Y., that we make no apology for transcribing
them: —

" Prince JSdward, Did Julius Csesar build the Tower, my lord ?
Oloucester, He did, my gracious liege, begin that place ;

Which since succeeding ages have re-edified.
Pr. JSd, Is it upon record, or else reported

Successively from age to age he built it ?
Olo, Upon record, my gracious lord.
Pr, Sd. But say, my lord, it were not registered ;
Methinks the truth should live from age to age.
As 'twere entailed to all posterity.
Even to the general all-endmg day.
Glo, So wise, so young !

I say, without characters, fame lives long."

Kitiff Richard III,, act iii. sc. 1.

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