THE BRITISH CHURCH
ORIGIN OF BRITISH CHRISTIANITY
BY REV. R.W. MORGAN 1860
extracted the preface and conclusion from St Paul in Britain,
written by the Reverend R.W. Morgan and first published in 1860.
He dedicated this book to Connop, Lord Bishop of St David's,
who he states as the Representative and Successor, in the primitive
metropolitan See of Britain, of the national Saint of the Cymry.
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, presented to the public. The history of such origin
is inseparably blended with the long-sustained resistance of
our early fore fathers 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 demonstrate the untenableness of the
supposition that Britain is indebted to Germanv 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 evangelical
faith was received by her directly from Jerusalem and the East,
from the lips of the first disciples themselves of Christ. The
struggles in after ages down to our own period for the restoration
and preservation of these indigenous 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 modern 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.
preceding investigation ensue the following conclusions: -
Christianity originated in Judaea, there had existed from the
remotest period in Britain a religion known as the Druidic,
of which the two leading doctrines were identical with those
of Christianity, viz., the immortality of the soul and vicarious
this identity pointed out Britain as of all Gentile countries
the one best prepared for the reception of Christianity.
the only religions persecuted by the Roman government were the
Druidic and the Christian.
this common persecution by the great military empire with which
Britain was engaged in incessant hostilities from A.D. 43 to
A.D. 118, materially aided in pre-disposing the British mind
in favour of Christianity.
Britain, being the only free state of Europe, was the only country
which afforded a secure asylum to the Christians persecuted
by the Roman government.
a current of Christianity flowed into Britain from the East
contemporaneously with the first dispersion of the Church at
Jerusalem, A.D. 35-38.
the first planters of the Gospel in Britain never were in Rome
at all, but came hither from the mother Church at Jerusalem.
these first planters were Joseph of Arimathea and his associates,
who settled under the protection of the British king Arviragus,
in the Isle of AvaIon, Glastonbury, - one of the Druidic cors
among the earliest converts of Joseph and his fraternity were
Gladys (Pomponia Grrecina) the sister, Gladys or Claudia, and
Eurgain, the daughters, and Linus the son of Caractacus, prince
of Siluria, and military dictator of the national forces against
the second planter of the word was Simon Zelotes the apostle,
who was martyred and buried in the Roman province, probably
near Caistor, in Lincolnshire.
the third planter was Aristobulus, one of the seventy, brother
of St. Barnabas and father.in-law of St. Peter; commissioned
first bishop of Britain by St. Paul, and consecrated by St.
Barnabas, the two apostles to the Gentiles. That Aristobulus
was engaged in his mission in Britain when St. Paul wrote his
Epistle to the Romans, some years before his first visit, or
the visit of any other apostle, to Rome.
Pudens, the husband of Claudia, Claudia herself, her sister
Eurgain, her brother Linus, and aunt Pomponia, being converted
prior to St. Paul's visit to Rome, the rest of the British royal
family, Bran, Caractacus, Cyllinus and Cynon, were converted
and baptized by St. Paul himself during his detention in that
city preceding his first trial. That the palace of Pudens and
Claudia was the home of St. Paul and the other apostles; that
their four children, Timotheus, Novatus, Pudentiana and Praxedes,
were instructed in the faith by St. Paul; and that Linus, the
brother of Claudia and second son of Caractacus, was appointed
by the same apostle first bishop of the Church of Rome, such
Church meeting at that time, and till the reign of Constantine,
in the afore said palace, called indifferently Domus
Pudentis, Palatium, Britannicum, Domus Apostolorum, Titulus,
Pastor, St. Pudentiana."
after the return of Caractacus to Siluria, St. Paul himself,
following the footsteps of
his bishop and forerunner, Aristobulus, visited Britain, and
confirmed the British Churches in the faith.
the last days of St. Paul, preceding his martyrdom at Rome,
were attended by Pudens, Claudia, Linus, Eubulus, whose salutations
he sends in his dying charge to Timothy, and that his remains
were interred by them in their family sepulchre.
the foundations of the British Church were Apostolical, being
coeval, within a few years, with those of the Pentecostal Church
at Jerusalem, preceding those of the primitive Church of Rome,
so far as they were laid by either an apostle or apostolic bishop,
by seven years, preceding the arrival of St. Peter at Rome,
as fixed by the great majority of Roman Catholic historians
(thirteenth year of Nero), by thirty years,-preceding the first
arrival of the papal Church of Rome in Britain, under Augustine,
by 456 years.
the British Church has from its origin been a royal one; the
royal family of ancient Britain, of whom our present sovereign
is, through the Tudors, the lineal blood representative - being
1. the first British converts to Christianity; 2. the founders
of the first Christian institutions in Britain; 3. the chief
instruments, in the second century, in the establishment of
Christianity as the state religion; and in the fourth century,
in the persons of Helen and Constantine the Great, the chief
instrument in the aboliton of Paganism, and the substitution,
in its place, of Christianity over the whole Roman Empire.
the spiritual or ecclesiastical head of the British Church was
always a Briton, resident in Britain, amenable to British laws,
and British laws only, and having no superior in the Church
whatever may be the religious advantages or disadvantages of
the union of the ecclesiastical and civil governments in the
person of the Sovereign, such union has been, from the first
colonization of our Island, first in Druidic and then in Christian
times, the native British, as opposed to the foreign papal -
and, in later times, dissenting - principle of their separation.