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forty days' penance." Yea, "evenr to this day," saith Bede, who wrote his history in the year DCCXXXI. "it is the manner of the Britons to hold the faith and the religion of the English in no account at all, nor to communicate with them in any thing more than with pagans."
Whereunto those verses of Taliessyn, honoured by the Britons with the title of Ben Beirdh, that is, the chief of the bards or wisemen, may be added, which shew, that he wrote after the coming of Austin into England, and not fifty or sixty years before, as others have imagined.
GwaeV ofteiriad hyd
Ac ny phregetha:
Ac nys areilia:
Wo be to that priest yborn,
That will not cleanly weed his oorn
And preach his charge among:
As to his office doth belong:
As also those others of Mantuan, which shew that some took the boldness to tax the Romans of folly, impudence, and stolidity, for standing so much upon matters of human institution, that for the not admitting of them they would break the peace there, where the law of God and the doctrine first delivered by Christ and his apostles was safely kept and maintained.
'Quippe cum usque hodie moris sit Britonum, fidem religionemque Anglorum pro nihilo habere, neque in aliquo eis magis communicarc quam paganis. Bed. lib. 2. hist. cap. 20.
"Chronicle of Wales, pag. 254.
Adde1 quod et patres ausi taxare Latinos;
By all that hath been said, the vanity of O'Sullevan may be seen, who feigneth the northern Irish, together with the Picts and the Britons, to have been so obsequious unto the bishop of Rome, that they reformed the celebration of Easter by them formerly used, as soon as they understood what the rite of the Roman Church was. Whereas it is known, that after the declaration thereof made by pope Honorius and the clergy of Rome, the northern Irish were nothing moved therewith, but continued still their own tradition. And therefore Bede findeth no other excuse for bishop Aidan herein, but that "either" he was ignorant of the canonical time, or if he knew it, that he was so overcome withthe authority ofhis ownnation, that he did not follow it," that he did it 'Rafter" the manner ofhis own nation;" andthat " he" could not keep Easter contrary to the custom of them which had sent him." His successor Finany contended more fiercely in the business with Ronan his countryman, and declared himself an open adversary to the Roman rite. Colman that succeeded him, did tread just in his steps: so far, that being put down in the synod of Streansheal, yet for fear of his country (as before we have heard out of Stephen, the writer of
'Baptist. Mantuan. Fastor. lib. 1.
"Quod autem Pascha non suo tempore observabat, vel canonicum ejus tempus ignorans, vel sua e gentis auctoritate, ne agnitum sequeretur, devictus; non approbo nec laudo. Bed. lib. 3. hist. cap. 17.
■ More suae gentis. Ibid. cap. 3.
* Pascha contra morem eorum qui ipsum miserant, faccrc non potuit. Ibid, cap. 25. J Id.ibid.
the life of Wilfrid) he refused to conform himself, and chose rather to forego his bishoprick than to submit himself unto the Roman laws.
Colmanusque HIM inglorius abjicit arces,
saith Fridegodus. Neither did he go away alone, but took1 with him all his countrymen that he had gathered together in Lindisfarne or Holy Island: the Scotish monks also that were at Rippon, in Yorkshire, making* choice rather to quit their place, than to admit the observation of Easter and the rest of the rites according to the custom of the Church of Rome. And so did the matter rest among the Irish about forty years after that, until their own countryman Adamnanusb persuaded most of them to yield to the custom received herein by all the churches abroad.
The Picts did the like not long after under king Naitan, who " byc his regal authority commanded Easter to be observed throughout all his provinces according to the cycle of nineteen years (abolishing the erroneous period of eighty-four years which before they used) and caused all priests and monks to be shorn crown-wise," after the Roman manner. The monks also of the island of Hy or Y-Columkille, byd the persuasion of Ecgbert, an English priest, that had been bred in Ireland, in the year of our Lord DCCXVI. forsook the observation of Easter and the tonsure which they had received from Columkille a
1 Colmanus qui de Scotia erat episcopus, relinquens Britanniam, tulit secum omnes quos in Lindisfarnorum insula congregavcrat Scotos. Bede lib. 4. cap. 4.
* Optione data, maluerunt loco cedere, quam Pascha catholicum, cxterosquc ritui canonicos juxta Romans et apostolicse ecclesiae consuetudinem recipere. Id. lib. 5. cap. 20. see also lib. 3. cap. 25. where Humpumis misprinted for Hripum.
b Ibid. cap. 16. et 22.
'Nec mora, quae dixerat, regia autoritate perfecit. Statim namque jussu publico mittebantur ad transcribendum, discendum, observandum per universas Pictorum provincias circuli Paschse decennovennales i obliteratis per omnia erroneis octoginta et quatuor annorum circulis. Attondebantur omnes in coronam ministr i altaris ac monachi. &c. Ibid. cap. 22.
"1 Id. lib. 3. cap. 4. et lib. 5. cap. 23.
hundred and fifty years before, and followed the Roman rite, about eighty years after the time of pope Honorius, and the sending of bishop Aidan from thence into England. The Britons in the time of Bede' retained still their old usage, until Elbodusf (who was the chief bishop of north Wales, and died in the year of our Lord DCCCIX. as Caradoc of Lhancarvan recordeth) brought in the Roman observation of Easter, which is the cause, why hisg disciple Nennius, designeth the time wherein he wrote his history, by the character of the nineteen1' years' cycle, and not of the other of eighty-four. But howsoever north Wales did; it is very probable that west Wales (which of all other parts was most eagerly bent against the traditions of the Roman Church) stood out yet longer. For we find in the Greek writers of the life of Chrysostom, that certain clergymen which dwelt in the isles of the ocean, repaired from the utmost borders of the habitable world unto Constantinople, in the days of Methodius (who was patriarch there, from the year DCCCXLII. to the year DCCCXLVII.) to inquire of " certain' ecclesiastical traditions, and the perfect and exact computation of Easter." Whereby it appeareth, that these questions were kept still a foot in these islands; and that the resolution of the bishop of Constantinople was sought for from hence, as well as the determination of the bishop of Rome, who is now made the only oracle of the world.
Neither is it here to be omitted, that whatsoever broils did pass betwixt our Irish that were not subject to the see
• Bed. lib. 5. cap. 23. et 24.
'See the Chronicle of Wales, pag. 17, 18. and Humfr. Lhuyd. fragment. Britan. descript. fol. 55. b.
*. Ego Nennius sancti Elbodi discipulus aliqua excerpta scribere curavi. Nenn. MS. in publica Cantabrig. academ. bibliotheca, ubi alia exemplaria habent: Ego Nennius (vel Ninnius) Elvodugi discipulus.
h Ab adventu Patricii in jam dictam insulam (Hiberniam sc.) usque ad cyclum decennovennalem in quo sumus, 22. sunt cycli, id est, 421. et sunt duo anni in Ogdoade usque in hunc annum. Id.
1 "Ev«a rtvuv Ikk\i)ffi<iotikiav irapaSoaiwv, riXtiac ri rov iraoxa\iov Kal aKpifiovt caraXr/^iwc. Tom. 8. Chrysost. edit. Henr. Savil. pag. 321. 6. et in Notis, col. 966. 5.
of Rome, and those others that were of the Roman communion: in the succeeding ages, they of the one side were esteemed to be saints, as well as they of the other; Aidan for example and Finan, who were counted ringleaders of the quartadeciman party, as well as Wilfrid and Cuthbert, who were so violent against it. Yet now-a-days men are made to believe, that out of the communion of the Church of Rome nothing but hell can be looked for; and that subjection to the bishop of Rome, as to the visible head of the universal Church, is required as a matter necessary to salvation. Which if it may go current for good divinity, the case is like to go hard, not only with the twelvek hundred British monks of Bangor, who were martyred in one day by Edelfrid king of Northumberland (whom our annals style by the name of the1 saints), but also with St. Aidan and St. Finan, who deserve to be honoured by the English nation with as venerable a remembrance, as (I do not say, Wilfrid and Cuthbert, but) Austin the monk and his followers. For by the ministry of Aidan"' was the kingdom of Northumberland recovered from paganism: whereunto belonged then, beside the shire of Northumberland and the lands beyond it unto Edenborrow, Frith, Cumberland also, and Westmoreland, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and the bishoprick of Durham: and by the means of Finan", not only the kingdom of the East-Saxons, which contained Essex, Middlesex, and half of Hertfordshire, regained, but also the large kingdom of Mercia converted first unto Christianity: which comprehended under it, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Rutlandshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Huntingtonshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Nottinghamshire, Cheshire, and the other half of Hertfordshire.
k Bed. lib. 2. hist. cap. 2.
1 Ann. Dom. 612. (vel. 613.) Bellum Cairelegion, ubi sancti occisi sunt . Annal. Ulton. MS.
"Bed. lib. 3. hist. cap. 3. et 6. • ■ Ibid. cap. 21, 22,24.