The Official Journal of the Ensign Trust, London

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THE ENSIGN MESSAGE

AN HISTORIC MISTAKE

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(Research by Arthur and Rosalind Eedle)

IT IS repeatedly said that St Augustine introduced Christianity to England. He did not. A Bishop of London attended the Council of Aries in 340. St Augustine came to England in 597. He, himself, wrote to Pope Gregory:

“In the Western confines of Britain, there is a certain royal island of large extent, surrounded by water, abounding in all the beauties of nature and necessities of life. In it the first neophytes of catholic (universal) law, God beforehand acquainting them, found a church constructed by no human art, but by the hands of Christ Himself, for the salvation of His people.”

Gildas the Wise wrote in A.D. 550 in his De Exidio Brittaniae:

“We certainly know that Christ the true Son, afforded His light, the knowledge of His precepts to our Island in the last year of Tiberius Caesar.”

Tiberius Caesar reigned for 22 years, and his last year was A.D.37. TertuIlian (A.D.155-222) wrote:

“The extremities of Spain, the various parts of Gaul, the regions of Britain which have never been penetrated by Roman arms, have received the religion of Christ.”

Origen of Alexandria, the Greek Father, said in A.D. 230:

“The divine goodness of our Lord and Saviour is equally diffused among the Britons, the Africans, and other nations of the World.”

St Jerome, writing from Bethlehem in 378 A.D. declared:

“From India to Britain, all nations resound with the death and resurrection of Christ.”

Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople, wrote in A.D. 402 about the British Isles in the following manner:

“The British Isles, which are beyond the sea, and which lie in the ocean, have received the virtue of the Word. Churches are there founded and altars erected. Though you should go to the ocean, to the British Isles, there you will hear all men everywhere discoursing matters out of the Scriptures, with a different voice indeed, but not another faith, with a different tongue but the same judgment.”

Arnobius, the Christian apologist, writing about A.D. 300 declared:

“So swiftly runs the word of God that though in several thousand years God was not known except among the Jews, now within the space of a few years, His word is concealed neither from the Indians in the East nor from the Britons in the West.”

Eusebius, the Church’s first historian (A.D. 260-340) wrote:

“The Apostles passed beyond the ocean to the isles called the Britannic Isles.”

Eusebius does not tell us which of the Apostles visited Britain but other witnesses mention names. For example St Dorotheus, Bishop of Tyre, (A.D.303) said:

“Aristobulus, whom Paul saluted when writing to the Romans, was Bishop of Britain. Simon Zelotes preached Christ through all Mauretania and Afric the less. At length he was crucified in Brittania, slain and buried.”

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