These HisStories (my personal belief that history is about HisStories) from our past are worth learning. We study the Bible and learn of the workings of our God in times past. We read the Old and New Testament and see God moving in the lives of our people and it causes our faith to grow. Oh, how He led them and cared for them, and disciplined them and loved them; gives our faith wings. When we realize what He did for them He can do for us, today! When we read our HisStory - we realize our God is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever. His Love is constant.
Another part of the story that sometimes we do not like to read; is that when the peoples were brought low and cried out - then He answered. Let us read the stories and turn back to the Lord, before we are brought low. Let us go from Glory to Glory and keep pressing in. A little man (David or St. Patrick) and alot of God can slay giants and change Nations!! Let us continue to press in. When I read the stories, I see clearly that He is looking for “little men and women” on whose behalf He can show Himself strong!! Let us walk humbly with our God.
The God of the Old Testament, New Testament and HisStory.
(Most of these quotes are from “A History Of the English Speaking Peoples” written by Sir Winston Churchill and “The Christians” by the Christian History Project, Volume 4 Chapter 9.)
From “A History Of The English Speaking Peoples” Page 6::
In early days Britain was part of the Continent. A wide plain joined England and Holland, in which the Thames and Rhine met together and poured their waters northward. In some slight movement of the earth’s surface this plain sank a few hundred feet, and admitted the ocean to the North Sea and the Baltic. Another tremor, important for our story, sundered the cliffs of Dover from those of Cape Gris Nez, and the scour of the ocean and its tides made the Straits of Dover and the English Channel. When did the tremendous severance occur? Until lately geologists would have assigned it to periods far beyond Neolithic man. But the the study of striped clays, the deposits of Norwegian glaciers, show layer by layer and year by year what the weather was like, and modern science has found other methods of counting the centuries. From these and other indications time and climate scales have been framed which cover with tolerable accuracy many thousands years of prehistoric time. These scales enable times to be fixed when through milder conditions the oak succeeded the pine in British forests, and the fossilised vegetation elaborates the tale. Trawlers bring up in their nets fragments of trees from the bottom of the North Sea, and these when fitted into the climate scale show that oaks were growing on what is now sixty fathoms (360 feet) deep of stormy water less than nine thousand years ago. Britain was still little more than a promontory of Europe, or divided from it by a narrow tide race which was gradually enlarged into the Straits of Dover, when the Pyramids were a-building, and when learned Egyptians were laboriously exploring the ancient ruins of Sakkara.
Originally, the Northern Europeans were Celts. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Celt-people
“Celt, also spelled Kelt, Latin Celta, plural Celtae, a member of an early Indo-European people who from the 2nd millennium BCE (same as B.C. Before Christ versus Before the Common Era - same date) to the 1st century BCE spread over much of Europe. Their tribes and groups eventually ranged from the British Isles and northern Spain to as far east as Transylvania, the Black Sea coasts, and Galatia in Anatolia and were in part absorbed into the Roman Empire as Britons, Gauls, Boii, Galatians, and Celtiberians. Linguistically they survive in the modern Celtic speakers of Ireland, Highland Scotland, the Isle of Man, Wales, and Brittany.
England was populated by Britons who had given themselves to becoming Roman. The land, except for Northern Scotland and Wales; had given itself to being Roman (after the locals were killed, driven to Wales, or had embraced the Roman Empire. There were many battles, including the famous Boudicea (died in 60 or 61 A.D.) and her daughters. Her statue is in London on the Thames River near Big Ben.
“There are no people beyond us, nothing but tides and rocks”. With these words, Tacitus summed up the palpable excitement and sense of achievement that must have been felt across the ranks of the Roman army as they prepared for the Battle of Mons Graupius in Autumn AD 83. After forty years of fighting, Britannia would finally be subdued.
Not much is known (for sure) of how and when Christianity came to the British Isles. It appears that as the Island became Romanized, it also became Christianized. The floor mosaic discovered in 1965 at Hinton St. Mary in Dorset, England. It is believed it was inlaid around 350 A.D.
Rome built incredible roads and made it that barbarians found it advantageous to join the Empire. British Romans lived in in villas in the country, They were luxurious.
The Island was subdued from south of Antonine’s wall (in Scotland) to the Welsh boundaries.
From History Of The English Speaking Peoples, page 24:
“In the wild North and West freedom found refuge among the mountains, but elsewhere the conquest and pacification were at length complete and Brittannia became one of the 45 provinces of the Roman Empire.”
Britain became Romanized and as the Britons became Romans they enjoyed wealth and Christianity. As with all of the Roman Empire, Christianity became the dominant religion.
From History Of THe English Speaking Peoples, page 25:
“For nearly three hundred years Britain, reconciled to the Roman system, enjoyed in many respects the happiest, most comfortable, and most enlightened times its inhabitants have ever had. Confronted with the dangers of the frontiers, the military force was moderate. The Wall was held by auxiliaries, with a legion in support at York. Wales was pinned down by a legion at Chester and another at Caerleon-on-Usk. In all the army of occupation numbered less than forty thousand men, and after a few generations was locally recruited and almost of purely British birth. In this period……, well-to-do persons in Britian lived better than they ever did until late Victorian times. From the year 400 till the year 1900 no one had central heating and very few had hot baths. A wealthy British-Roman citizen building a country house regarded the hypocaust which warmed it as indispensable. For fifteen hundred years his descendants lived in the cold of unheated dwellings, mitigated by occasional roastings at gigantic wasteful fires. Even now a smaller proportion of the whole population dwells in centrally heated houses than in those ancient days. As for baths, they were completely lost till the middle of the nineteenth century. “
We were in Dover a number of years ago and were able to view an uncovered Roman Villa from that era. The under floor heating design was marvelous. The hypocaust is a fire pit on the outside of the building with the chimneys going under the floor in tile pipes and then up through the walls to the roof. It is an ingenious design. I was impressed.
From The Christians Volume 4, Chapter 9, page 227:
“The year was 407 A.D. Though few people would have believed it at the time, and the horror of it would only gradually dawn, the last legion was leaving Britannia. Rome, after nearly four centuries of occupation, was abandoning its northernmost province to its fate, and its fate would not be pleasant.”
“None of the soldiers Constantine III commandeered would ever return to Britian, leaving the Island more vulnerable than ever to three perils: from the West, hideous half-naked pirates crossing the Irish Sea; from the East, ferociously insatiable Saxons crossing the North Sea; and from the North, the angry, tattooed Picts, whom the Romans had never been able to subdue.”
“As the realization sank in that they were now completely on their own, fear gripped the Britons. The reality, however, would surpass their worse forebodings. They were living in the sunset before a night of deepening darkness that would last for more than two hundred years.”
“These two hundred years are known as, “the “Dark Ages” (400 to 600).
During this time the Angles (origin of the name English), Saxons and Jutes came over from the continent and conquered. After they conquered they proceeded to settle. They were stopped from taking Wales by King Arthur, who was a British-Roman who led calvary against the advancing Saxons and won 12 major battles. He died in 515.
Quoting from The Christians, Volume 4 Chapter 9 page 238”
“But Arthur’s solidly historic contributions were far from negligible either. By blocking the Anglo-Saxon invaders, he prevented them from reaching the Irish Sea, and thus made possible the astonishing transformation now occurring on its farther shore. There, in Ireland, the Christian gospel was being embraced with astounding zeal. The succeeding two centuries would see Irish Missionary Monks voyage to Scotland, then south into Saxon England and then across the Channel to future Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, helping to draw them all into a Christendom so vastly expanded as to be scarcely imagined by their predecessors.
All this Christian expansion began with the man named Patrick, (born around 375 , dies in 445) who leaves in his “CONFESSION” a simple and heartful defence of his life’s work, which was to evangelize the wild people of the Island where he had been taken as a youthful captive and sold as a slave.
“I, Patrick, “he begins, “a most uneducated sinner and the least of all the faithful, most contemplable in the eyes of many, am the son Calpurnius, a deacon, a grandson of Potitus, a priest, from the village of Bannaventa Burniae (thought by most scholars to be in northwest England). He had an estate nearby where I was taken captive. I was then about 16 years of age. I did not know the true God, and I was taken to captivity in Ireland, like so many thousands of people…..”
There, this hitherto pampered son of Romano-British landowners lived for several years the lonely life of a shepherd slave, “chastised daily by hunger and nakedness.” There, too, he placed himself in the hands of God and through the brutality of his existence, he was sanctified. “The Love of God came to me more and more, and my faith was strengthened. My spirit was so moved, that in a single day I would say as many as a hundred prayers, and almost as many at night…. in the woods and on the mountains, I would get up for prayer before daylight, through snow, through frost, through rain, and I felt no harm.”
“Then one night, he recalls, he was suddenly awakened. A voice seemed to be speaking to him. “It is well,” said the voice, “that you hunger. For soon you will go to your own country.” A short while later” it spoke again: ”See, your ship is ready.” He could only guess that this meant that he was perhaps intended to escape.
Escape he does and after some time returns to his family. There was one incident worth repeating. His new captors are trekking on the mainland where they are starting to starve. They asked Patrick to call out to his God for food for them.
Page 239: Patrick advised his companions to turn trustingly to the Lord…. When they did, he reports, their pray was interrupted by a stampede of snorting animals, a heard of wild pigs, upon which they and the hounds feasted for two days.”
Page 240: “Once back at his ancestral villa in Britain, Patrick tried to settle down. Then came another dream. He saw “a man named “Victoricus”, coming as it were from Ireland, with countless letters.” They were all marked “The Voice of the Irish.” He heard voices crying out: “We ask you, holy boy, come and walk once more among us.” Such dreams recurred, increasing in intensity. “He that has laid down his life for you,“ said one voice, “It is He who speaks in you.”
To Patrick, all this could mean only one thing. In the service of Jesus Christ he must return to the land from which the voice of God has once led him away.”
I have read some of his “Confession” and recommend it - here is one quote from it:
This is because there is no other God, nor will there ever be, nor was there ever, except God the Father. He is the one who was not begotten, the one without a beginning, the one from whom all beginnings come, the one who holds all things in being – this is our teaching. And his son, Jesus Christ, whom we testify has always been, since before the beginning of this age, with the father in a spiritual way. He was begotten in an indescribable way before every beginning. Everything we can see, and everything beyond our sight, was made through him. He became a human being; and, having overcome death, was welcomed to the heavens to the Father. The Father gave him all power over every being, both heavenly and earthly and beneath the earth. Let every tongue confess that Jesus Christ, in whom we believe and whom we await to come back to us in the near future, is Lord and God[Nota]. He is judge of the living and of the dead[Nota]; he rewards every person according to their deeds[Nota]. He has generously poured on us the Holy Spirit[Nota], the gift and promise of immortality, who makes believers and those who listen to be children of God and co-heirs with Christ[Nota]. This is the one we acknowledge and adore – one God in a trinity of the sacred name.
25 Another time, I saw in me one who was praying. It was as if I were inside my body, and I heard above me, that is, above my inner self. He prayed strongly, with sighs. I was amazed and astonished, and pondered who it was who prayed in me; but at the end of the prayer, it was clear that it was the Spirit. At this I awoke, and I remembered the apostle saying: “The Spirit helps the weaknesses of our prayer; for we do know what it is we should pray, but the very Spirit pleads for us with unspeakable sighs, which cannot be expressed in words[Nota].” And again: “The Lord is our advocate, and pleads for us[Nota].”
Page 241: “Hence by his own account, he traveled the Island baptising, “many thousands.” Tradition says he built well over 50 churches. ….Within his lifetime or shortly thereafter, the Irish slave trade ended, the warrior violence softened, and relatively peaceful relations began with the British across the sea.
Page 243: “And when Patrick drives his crozier into the earth to steady himself while baptizing King Aengus of Cashel, he discovers to his distress that he has driven it throught the king’s foot. But as King Aengus explains to the apologetic Saint, he had not flinched because he thought this was part of the ritual. It seemed altogether appropriate, after all, when he considered the magnificent story Patrick had told him of another King whose feet were pierced.”
Page 245: “In the century after Patrick the Irish warriors who had given their lives for the clan, became the Irish Monks who gave their lives for Jesus Christ.
Columcille (Columba is the latin name) was a boy prince of the clan Conaill. He is credited with bringing faith to Scotland and one of his spiritual descendants, Aiden brings Christianity to England. The Irish Monks go to Europe and even to Italy to establish monasteries and churches.
Page 252: The Catholic Enclyopedia describes Columban (not to be confused with Columcille) as “eager, passionate and dauntless,” …. Legends abounded of his tranquilty of spirit - how birds would fly down from the trees and and land on his shoulders, how squirrels would nestle in the folds of his cowl. His heritage was however was not just legend. He became the prototype for hundreds of Anglo-Saxon missionaries, who in the ensuing three centuries would help work the conversion of Western Europe through a Christian amalgan of their Celtic and Anglo-Saxon heritage.
Page 253: “The Irish and Frankish monks tamed the murderous instincts of the barbarian peoples, and laid down a Christian foundation upon which the extraordinary phenomenon known as Western Culture would one day arise.
Page 252, sidebar: The Irish Monks, most of whom would spend thousands upon thousands of hours diligently copying ancient Biblical and Classical manuscripts, often made little notes of their own in the margins. This poem is typical. It is dedicated by a late working monk to his cat. Some ascribe it to Saint Gall (born 550 and died in 646 - 96 years old), the gentle seventh century missionary who is credited with introducing Christianity to the Swiss.
I and Pangur Ban, my cat
‘Tis a like task we are at
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.
‘Tis a merry thing to see
At our task how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.
‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye,
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.
Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur’s way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.
Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.
So in peace our tasks we ply
Pangur Ban my cat and I.
In our arts we find our bliss
I have mine and he has his.