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in each city, and made a list of the Bishops for the
purpose of his history at Rome." 3 This fact is cited
in Eusebius. 4

When Irenaeus, the great representative of tradition,
writes against the Gnostics, about A.D. 180, he re-
gards "Episcopacy as amongst the first principles
of the Church, and as the supreme safeguard of the
Orthodox faith." 5 Tertullian, about A.D. 200, uses
like language and confronts the Gnostic churches
with the requirements of the Succession.

1 Apostolic Fathers, Wake; Patristic Study, Swete; Age of the
Fathers, Bright. z Ecc. His., Eusebius, Ch. xxxix. p. 125.

1 Orders and Unity, Gore, p. 126.
4 Euseb., H. E., iv. 22.
6 Orders and Unity, Gore, p. 127.


So the fathers bear witness to other doctrines.
St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, born A.D. 69 or 70,
who lived to be one hundred years old, declares his
belief in the Blessed Trinity, which is thus stated in
his prayer, shortly before his martyrdom: "True and
faithful God, I praise Thee for all Thy mercies; I
bless Thee, I glorify Thee, through the Eternal High
Priest, Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, with Whom,
to Thyself and the Holy Ghost, be glory now and
for ever and ever. Amen." St. Clement, whose
name St. Paul tells us, "is in the book of Life," l
wrote, "Brethren, we ought so to think of Jesus
Christ as of God, and as the Judge of the living and
the dead."

St. Justin the Martyr, born 103, the noted Christian
philosopher, wrote a great apology for Christianity.
He bears witness to the liturgical and sacrificial char-
acter of Christian worship. He speaks in his Dialogue
with the Jew Trypho of those "who, through His
name, offer those sacrifices which Jesus Christ com-
manded to be offered, that is, which are offered by
Christians in every part of the world, in the sacrament
of bread and wine." He states in his Apol. I., "that
the bread consecrated for thanksgiving, by the prayer
of the Word which is from Him, is, we are taught,
the Body and Blood of the Incarnate Jesus." He
teaches also that baptism is the instrument of regen-
eration. "We lead them," i.e., the converts, "to a
place where there is water, and there they are re-
generated, as we also were, for they are then washed
1 Phil. iv. 3.


in that water in the name of God the Father, the
Lord of the Universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and of the Holy Spirit. This is done in order that
we may obtain in the water remission of the sins
which we have before committed, and this washing
is called illumination." Christ was made the author
of a new race who are regenerated through Him by
water and faith.

But while in all this we have the objective side
of Christianity set before us, and the means Christ
has ordained for communicating grace, the Fathers
ever insisted upon the necessity of a true conversion
and a living Faith. External observances, if rested
upon, would only be a repetition of the law. Chris-
tianity is the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. St.
Irenaeus, a companion of St. Poly carp, speaks of
original guilt as affecting all mankind, and born
with them; and says that it is only in and through
Christ that it is forgiven. He speaks of baptism
as the means by which forgiveness is conveyed, and
calls it regeneration. We have here the doctrines
of the early Church. Beside them, the theology of
modern Protestantism, with its denial of the Epis-
copacy, Priesthood, and the sacrificial offering of the
Eucharist, and sacramental grace, seems a very im-
perfect representation of the Gospel.

Thus much concerning the doctrinal teaching of
the early Church. We shall next consider what was
the worship of the Church in those primitive times
to which we look for our model.



It is not only interesting but useful to learn what
we may from our scanty records of the time con-
cerning the worship and general service of the early
Church. The Apostles, as Jews, were accustomed
to two forms of service that of the Synagogue and
that of the Temple. They differed in kind: the Syna-
gogue service being that of reading from the Scrip-
tures, prayer, exhortation, and praise; and the
Temple worship being that of sacrifice. These were
the two forms which God from the earliest times had
ordained, and which the Apostles, under the guidance
of the Holy Spirit, were to continue. We find them
thus assembling in Solomon's Porch 1 at the hour of
prayer, for their common and united devotional
exercises. They assembled daily, probably in the
Upper Chamber, for the Holy Eucharist, or Breaking
of the Bread. 2 These two forms of service have been 1
continued in the Christian Church, under the two
forms of the recitation of the Divine Office, and the
offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice of the altar.

As the Holy Communion, when established by
our Lord, was preceded by the Paschal Supper, it
came about that the Apostles at first connected a
social meal, called the Agape or Love Feast, with
the Holy Eucharist. But the disorder which arose
at Corinth led to St. Paul's stern rebuke, and his
taking "order" as he said, 3 concerning the celebra-
tion of the Holy Communion. He did this probably
1 Acts iii. i, ii. * Acts ii. 42. * I. Cor. xi. 34.


in consultation with the other Apostles. Therefore
we find these two services presently separated, and
at the end of the first century, according to a well-
known letter of Pliny to the Roman Emperor, the
Christians assembled early in the morning for the
celebration of the Eucharist.

Though for a time the Sabbath was kept along
with the Lord's Day, eventually the first day of
the week became the day observed by Christians
in obedience to the command to keep one day in
seven. 1 As God, through Moses, ordained a day
to be kept in commemoration of His work in crea-
tion; through the Holy Spirit the Church was guided
to keep the first day of the week in commemoration
of the beginning of the new Creation. It began by
Christ's rising from the dead. To go back to Satur-
day, as the Seventh-day Adventists have done, is
to introduce a decadent Jewish order into the Chris-
tian religion. 2

The order of the Eucharistic service is, accord-
ing to St. Augustine, set forth in I. Tim. ii. i, (i)
" supplications," before the canon; (2) "prayers,"
especially at the consecration; followed by (3) "inter-
cessions," between the prayers and the blessing; and
lastly, (4) the "thanksgiving," such as our Gloria in
Excelsis at the end. The authority for using forms
of prayer had been given by our Lord, when He said,
"After this manner pray ye." 3 And that manner
was a prescribed form.

1 Acts xx. 7. St. Matt. vi. 9.

1 Liddon's Sermon on the Lord's Day.


Forms of prayer and blessing had been set forth
in the Old Dispensation also; and early it may have
been, that the inspired evangelical hymns of the
Magnificat, 1 Benedictus , 2 and Nunc Dimittis 3 began
to be used. As Christ, taking part in the Synagogue
sarvice 4 prayed for the departed, the Church fol-
lowed His example. St. Paul remembers Onesi-
phorus, who had probably passed away, and prays
"that God may have mercy on him in that day." 5
The petition in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy Kingdom
come," includes the departed as well as the living
here on earth. We know certainly that hymns
formed part of the service, for St. Paul speaks of
"psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," 6 and that
the people took a responsive part by joining in the
Amen at the Eucharistic prayer. It is much dis-
puted what kind of bread was used; but it was
probably unleavened, as at the time of the Passover
all leaven had been put away. 7 It was natural that
the mixed chalice should be used; since it was the
custom to mix a little water with the cup at the Feast
of the Passover. Holy Communion was given in
both kinds (I. Cor. x. 16), as commanded; and the
Sacrament was reserved and carried to the absent,
unable by illness to attend. Clement of Alexandria
makes mention, writing at the end of the second
century (A.D. 190), of the blessing of the oil for the
anointing of the sick as St. James had ordered. 8

1 St. Luke i. 46. 4 St. Luke iv. 16. 7 Exod. xii. 15.

St. Luke i. 68. II. Tim. i. 18. 8 St. James v. 14.

1 St. Luke ii. 29. Eph. v. 19.


It is not unlikely that lights as a religious symbol
were used, for we find it recorded at the Eucharistic
celebration at Troas that "there were many lights." l
Unless there was some religious or symbolical mean-
ing in this, it is not reasonable to suppose that it
would find place in an inspired writing.

Lange says: "The word lights includes torches,
candles, lanterns, all of which were due to the solem-
nity of the occasion at Troas. There is nothing to
show that the young man who fell down dead was
overcome by the lights. The lights, besides being
symbolical of Christ as the Light of the World, also
connected the celebration with the Last Supper,
where lights were a necessity." "The symbolical
use of lights prevailed in the Church from very early
times." 3 They were used at the Gospel, St. Jerome
says, "as the expression and symbol of joy." Silvia,
the traveller, tells of the "huge glass candlesticks,
the numerous torches, and the infinite luminaries
used in the churches and services on her visit to
Jerusalem. 3 It is probable that the vestment which
St. Paul left behind at Troas 4 after the celebration,
was one used by him in the service. The word used
might signify either a vestment of peculiar character
or the overgarment which the Apostles would person-
ally wear. It is not, however, likely that St. Paul
would leave his outer garment behind when he was
about to take a sea voyage, but very naturally, he
might have left his Eucharistic vestment, together

1 Acts xx. 8. * Duchesne, Origines, 473.

1 Rackman. * II. Tim. iv. 13.


with the books or parchments needed, in the safe-
keeping of Carpus, who was probably the ruler in
the Synagogue, to be brought to him by Timothy.
The two vestments, alb and chasuble, used by many'
of our clergy, have probably been derived, not from :
Jewish or Roman sources, but from the ordinary /
dress of the Apostles. As such, they bear witness
to their Apostolic origin and the continuity of our
Church, and should not be a matter of dissension.
St. John, Eusebius relates, wore "a sacerdotal plate," 1
certainly some sacerdotal ornament, doubtless a
reference, says Lightfoot, "to the metal plate on the
High Priest's mitre." "Possibly this," he observes,
"was a mitre." And we find Poly crates saying that
St. John was a priest, "wearing the mitre." We find
that the sign of the Cross came into use quite early,
for Tertullian tells us that "in all the ordinary actions
of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign of
the cross." 2

The ceremony of the kiss of peace 3 was a scriptural
injunction. We find that in the church, the men
and the women were divided; the women, sitting
on one side by themselves, gave and received a kiss
of peace amongst themselves, and the men on the
other side would do the same thing amongst them-
selves. It is thus observed that the Church's service
was like that of the Old Dispensation, and from the
beginning was liturgical, ceremonial, and in a degree
choral. The Church was of course hampered during

1 Euseb., Book III., Ch. 31. J Rom. xvi. 16.
1 Vol. I., p. 166.


the first three centuries by intermittent persecutions.
She had, at times, to hide herself in the Catacombs.
But she had church buildings and Bishops' residences,
and was a visible body. We find, for instance, Paul
of Samosata, when deposed in 260, refusing to vacate
his church or house.

The Church had received moreover from her as-
cended Lord, through St. John, the details of the
heavenly worship, 1 where God is worshipped in spirit
and in truth. So, just as in the Old Dispensation,
God had taken Moses up into heaven, and Moses
established the Jewish worship after the pattern of
things he had seen in the Mount, 2 so God, in the New
Dispensation, took St. John up into heaven, and the
glorious worship he there beheld became the direc-
tory of the Apostolic Church. There St. John found
vestments, 3 lights, 4 incense, 5 and choral service; 6 and
the Church, when she gained her full freedom,
developed her worship and ceremonial after the
heavenly pattern. Dr. Bright has forcibly brought
home the lesson in his noble poem on Ritual:


When to Thy beloved on Patmos
Through the open door in Heaven,

Visions of the perfect worship,
Saviour! by Thy love were given,

Surely there was truth and spirit,
Surely there a pattern shown

1 Rev. iv. 3 Rev. iv. 4. B Rev. viii. 3.

2 Ex. xxv. 40. 4 Rev. iv. 5. 6 Rev. v. 9-12.


How Thy Church should do her service
When she came before the Throne.

O the censer-bearing Elders,

Crowned with gold and robed in white!
O the Living Creatures' anthem,

Never resting day or night!
And the thousand choirs of Angels,

With their voices like the sea,
Singing praise to God the Father,

And, O Victim Lamb, to Thee!

'Tis for Thee we bid the frontal

Its embroidered wealth unfold,
'Tis for Thee we deck the reredos

With the colours and the gold;
Thine the floral glow and fragrance,

Thine the vesture's fair array,
Thine the starry lights that glitter

Where Thou dost Thy Light display.

Lord, bring home the glorious lesson

To their hearts, who strangely deem
That an unmajestic worship

Doth Thy Majesty beseem;
Show them more of Thy dear Presence,

Let them, let them come to know
That our King is throned among us,

And His Church is Heaven below.


The Acts of the Apostles. Ragg and Rackham.
Letters of St. Ignatius. Lightfoot.
The Apostolic Fathers. Wake.
Epistles of St. Clement. Lightfoot.
Irenaeus, Oxford Edition.


Tertullian, Oxford Edition.
Eusebius, History.
Sozomen, History.
Age of the Fathers. Bright.
Apostolic Fathers. Burton.
Patristic Study. Prof. Swete.
Voice of the Fathers. Caulfield.
The City of God. St. Augustine.



WE do not know at what time, or by whom,
Christianity was introduced into Britain,
any more than we know who carried it to Rome.
Doubtless as the disciples were dispersed by perse-
cution and went hither and thither, they told of
Christ and proclaimed the Gospel.

There is a beautiful legend of St. Joseph of Arima-
thaea, who was banished from Palestine by the Jews,
and who, with twelve companions, came to Britain
bringing with him the Holy Grail. He preached in
the Isle of Avalon, where in confirmation of his teach-
ing, he stuck his staff of thorn into the ground, where-
upon it blossomed like Aaron's rod, and grew into a
tree. Here the famous church and monastery of
Glastonbury were founded. There is another story
that * Lucius, the British King, sent to Eleuthereus,
Bishop of Rome, a letter expressing a desire to be a
Christian. This statement has been traced to a
fabrication in Rome in the fifth century. For lack
of authority, the story has led modern historians to
reject it. 2 The Abbe Duchesne says: "This legend
had a Roman, not a British, origin, and may probably
have been invented in the fifth century." There is

1 Hore, Hist. Ch. Eng., p. 3.

1 Bright, Early Eng. Ch., Hist., p. 4.


also a Welsh legend about Bran the Blessed, found
in the Welsh Triads, collected in the thirteenth cen-
tury. It relates how Bran, the father of Caractacus,
having been detained by the Emperor Claudius for
seven years at Rome, as a hostage for his son, was
there converted by St. Paul, and on his release
carried the faith back to Britain, and planted the
Church there. 1 Oddly enough, the idea that St.
Peter came to Britain has cropped up many times,
and in widely different places, an error probably
owing to a misapprehension of the fact of the sending
of the monk St. Augustine to England by Pope
Gregory. This view has even been put forth by a
Roman Catholic clergyman of our own day. We
have to be ever on our guard against accepting
like untrustworthy legends for, as Professor Collins
says, 2 "when there was a demand in the Middle
Ages for any conceivable information on any con-
ceivable subject, there was always some one ready
to supply it." However controversialists may have
adopted any of these stories, truth bids us not to use



The account of St. Paul visiting Britain has more
probability attached to it. Caractacus, the noble
British Chief, had been pardoned, and sent by Rome
back to his native country to rule over his tribe as a
Roman official. His father Bran, and his son and
daughter Lyn and Claudia, were retained in Rome as

1 Cutts, Hist. Eng. Ck., p. 6.

2 Collins, Eng. Christianity, 43.


hostages. They were there at the same time St. Paul
was there in residence. He lived in his own hired
house, and made converts among Caesar's household.

In his Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul makes men-|
tion of Linus, Pudens, and Claudia. A Claudia is
commemorated by the poet Martial as married to)
Pudens, the son of a Roman senator. It would seem
therefore that the Linus and Claudia, mentioned as
his converts by St. Paul, were the children of the
British chief. Now it is a fair inference, indeed a
certain one, that Lyn and Claudia would urge St. Paul
to visit Britain and preach the Gospel to their own
people. Certainly, St. Paul would have regarded
this as a providential opening, and a call from God.
The commission he had received from Christ and the
Apostles ran to all the Gentile world. As he was on
his way to Spain, why should he not extend his journey
to Britain? Lightfoot, in his commentary on the
Epistle to the Galatians, says St. Paul probably went
to Gaul. It would be easy for him then to cross over
to Britain. This theory has for its corroboration the
statement of St. Clement that "St. Paul is said to
have come to the boundary of the West," or, as it is
otherwise translated, "furthest limits of the West."
Now Spain was not a boundary of the Roman Empire,
but Britain was. 1 The expression "furthest limits
of the West," is a phrase which in Roman literature
of the time was understood to include Britain.

We may agree with Dr. Bright and Professor Col-
lins in holding St. Paul's visit not to be an ascertained

1 Lane's Illus. Ch. His., p. 6.


historical fact, but yet hold it to be one of considerable
probability. It seems like unto that of St. Peter's
residence at Rome. Our Lord did not bid blessed
Peter to go to Rome, as he did St. Paul. There is no
explicit statement in Scripture that he was ever there.
There is no contemporary witness to the fact. There
is no clear statement of St. Peter, nothing in con-
temporary history to confirm it. There is the tra-
dition that he was martyred there, and upon this it
is claimed that his body was buried there. So we
may accept his having been there as a probable
event. It is not, however, an ascertained historical
fact, upon which a dogma can rightly be based.

In like manner, may we not hold as probable that
St. Paul visited Britain? May we not believe with
Irenaeus, who was born in 97, that the Church was
extended "by the Apostles to the utmost bounds of
the West, and to the Celts" ? Gildas, the British
historian, after describing the defeat of Boadicea in
61, wrote: "In the meantime, Christ the true Son,
for the first time cast His rays on this island." Euse-
bius, in his history, says: "Apostles crossed the ocean
to those islands which are called British." Charles
Butler, a Roman Catholic wrote: "It is probable
that Christianity was disseminated over parts of
Britain during the Apostolic age." Hore, a notable
scholar, in summing up the authorities, says: "There
'can be no reasonable ground for doubting that the
British Church was not only a very ancient one, but
also of Apostolic foundation." 1

1 Hore, Eighteen Centuries.



It is regarded as probable that either in the Apo-
stolic or sub-Apostolic age, Christianity had entered
into Britain. It was certainly there, in organized
form, by the latter part of the second century. It
came, not from Rome, but from Gaul. "In the reign
of Marcus Aurelius, about 1 70, a mission consisting of
Bishop Pothinus and a presbyter, Irenseus, a pupil
of St. Polycarp, who had been a pupil of St. John,
left Asia Minor. Sailing along the Mediterranean,
they came to Marseilles and thence up the Rhone to
the middle of Gaul. There at Vienne, near Lyons,
they founded a church. From thence Christianity
went, perhaps pushed by persecution, further north,
until finally missionaries crossed the Channel and
planted the Church in Britain." * Not only is Christ- \
ianity thus early found in Britain, but it is in its
organized form of Episcopal government. The proof
of this is that we have the names of three Bishops of
Britain who attended the great Council of Aries,
called in the year 314 to pass on the Donatist heresy. 1
The records of this Council give the names of these
three British Bishops who attended, Eborius of York,
Restitutus of London, and Adelphius, Bishop of
Colonia Londinensium (probably from Caerleon,
Wales). These were accompanied by a presbyter,
Sacerdos, and a deacon, Arminius. 2 This fact shows
that by the beginning of the fourth century, the

1 Cutts' Hist. Ch. Eng., p. 30.

* Hore, Ch. of Eng.; Cults' Eng. Ch. History, p. 14.


Church was established in Britain as far north as
York, and probably as far west as Caerleon; that it
had a diocesan Episcopate, and the three orders of
the ministry; that it was in communion with other
churches of the Empire; and that it was of sufficient
importance to be summoned to a great and important
Council. Later on also, in 359, we find British Bishops
taking part in the Council of Ariminum. The poverty
of these Bishops is expressly mentioned by Sulpicius
Severus, who bears witness to the existence and
temporal condition of their church.

There are also many subordinate evidences of an
early existence of the Church in Britain. The
remains of an early church building have been dis-
covered at Silchester. Fragments of pottery with
the holy sign have been upturned, a coin bearing the
Alpha and Omega, and grave-stones with the inscrip-
tion "a Christian sleeps below," have been found. 1
The Church came, as we have seen, from Gaul, not
from Rome or directly from an Eastern source.

In 410, a great political event happened. The
capture of Rome by Alaric shook the foundations
of civilization. "To St. Jerome, in his cell at Beth-
lehem, the news came like the shock of an earth-
quake." He says, "My voice falters, sobs stifle the
words I dictate; for she is a captive, that city which
outrivalled the world." To St. Augustine, it was
the judgment of God upon "the profligate manners,
the effeminacy, and the pride of her citizens." The
Roman government was forced, for its own self pro-

1 Bright's Early Ch. Hist., p. n.


tection, to withdraw its garrison from Britain, where
they had been for nigh four hundred years. The
Romans had done much there for civilization, and
somewhat for Christianity. Converts had been made,
and churches had grown up about their settlements.
The literary remains are scanty of this time, but two
interesting incidents relating to this period are com-
monly stated by historians. One of them is of the
ennobling heroism of Britain's first martyr, St. Alban.
While Alban was still a heathen, we read that one
day there came to his house a priest, to whom Alban
gave shelter from his persecutors. Alban saw that
the stranger was very devout and holy, and marked
his spending many hours in prayer. He opened the
Gospel to Alban, and led him to believe in our Lord
Jesus Christ. But at last the hiding place of the
priest was discovered, and the soldiers came and
surrounded it. St. Alban, perceiving the danger,
dressed himself in the priest's clothes, so that the
soldiers, breaking in, and seeing him in the habit of a
priest, seized him and dragged him before the Judge.
With fearless courage, Alban declared that he was a
Christian. Though he was tortured to make him
deny the Faith, he remained faithful, and was led out
to execution. The soldier whose duty it was to
execute him was so struck by Alban's splendid courage,

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