History of the Church in England: From the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Accession of Henry VIII
- ISBN-13: 9781489560988
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Release Date: May 26, 2013
- Pages: 382 pages
- Dimensions: 0.87 x 9.00 x 6.00 inches
This book begins: “The conversion of a race so stubborn, so tenacious of national habits, so slow to unlearn, was a miracle of divine grace. How the good tidings reached Britain is a matter of conjecture, or rather perhaps of legend, for Britain's knowledge of the Christian religion is curiously revealed to us through its legends. The Celtic mind is eminently poetical, and instead of clothing facts in everyday garb, it sings them in an air with variations, after the fashion of the Celtic minstrel. Tertullian in the second, and St. Chrysostom in the fourth, century mention the sound which had gone forth to the far distant British Isles. The Christian faith came either from the East or from Rome. Tradition says that Joseph of Arimathea, who had laid the Divine Body of our Lord in the sepulchre, came to Britain, and, with his companions, instructed its people in the Faith of the Crucified: that Glastonbury in Somersetshire was the spot he chose as the centre of his labours. The desire to claim one who had seen our Lord, and touched His Divine Person, was surely prompted by a lively faith, and shared by other nations in their early enthusiasm. Glastonbury, its flowering thorn, the first church in England erected in honour of our Blessed Lady, in later times its famous monastery, mayor may not be due to St. Joseph of Arimathea's apostolate. What they undoubtedly are is a witness to early Christian faith in the neverfailing virginity of Mary, and to the ever-present power of God over nature, as syrnbolised in the thorn which flowers at mid-winter. The strength of a legend lies in its aptness to embody some thought suggested by faith, so that there is no need in this instance either to deny or to maintain but is a great deal.” Several other explanations are considered for the evangelization of England. Then the history proceeds forward.
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