Full Text for The Pictish Church, a Victim of Garbled History, part 2 (Text)

The Pictish Church, a Victim of Garbled History By F. R. WEBBER (Concluded) ST. NINIAN (t ca. 432) As Thomas Maclaughlin made clear almost a century ago, the word "saint" in the early Gaelic language meant "mis­sionary" and nothing more. The Celts were not in communion with Rome, and canonization was then unknown. St. Ninian, therefore, is not a man who has been canonized, but the Celts gave him that title to denote the fact that he was a missionary. Few men have been treated so shabbily by historians. Ninian was the great evangelical pioneer in the North of Europe, and certainly he was as great a man as St. Columba or St. Patrick; yet our leading reference books give columns to Columba or St. Patrick, while Ninian rates but a few lines, and these are garbled beyond recognition. Religious and racial antag­onisms, inaccurate knowledge of early geography, a lack of understanding of the various Pictish and other tribes, the fanciful notions of early bards, and a deliberate rewriting of history in order to lessen the value of Ninian's work, all have combined to do an injustice to this eminent missionary. Less worthy men have been given the credit for Ninian's far­reaching influence. Little is known of Ninian's early days. He was born on the north shore of the Solway. He never visited Rome, and he was never consecrated bishop. These are idle inventions of careless historians. However, Ninian did study with St. Martin of Tours. St. Martin, as every reader is aware, was not a Roman Catholic. He was a Sabarian Christian who worked as a missionary among the Gaulish Celts on the Continent. He established a great missionary school called Logo-Tigiac, or "the bright-white hut." This he organized according to the methods of Basil, and certainly not after the manner of Rome. Rome had her later missionaries on the Continent, but St. Hilary of Poitiers and St. Martin of Tours were not among them. We might call them independent evangelicals. Ninian studied at Martin's missionary commu-[98] A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY 99 nity, which was not a monastery, but a training school for mission workers among the Celts. In due time he was sent back to his own people on the Solway (Scotland) to evan­gelize them. He returned to his homeland in 397 A. D., and there he built Candida Casa, or the "white hut," taking the name from the parent school at Tours. While he and his assistants were building their little church and the huts sur­rounding it, the word came in 400 A. D. of the death of their beloved teacher, St. Martin. They did not dedicate their church "to the Lord and St. Martin," as the careless historians assert, for the Celtic Church did not dedicate their churches to men until very late in their history. However, it is quite correct to say that Ninian modeled his community as closely as possible after that at Tours. This training school, Candida Casa, in the southwestern part of what we know as Scotland, was established 166 years before that of St. Columba on the Isle of lona; yet by some irony of fate, Columba the Gaidheal is known throughout the world as one of the greatest early missionaries, while his predecessor, Ninian, the Apostle to Pictland, is almost unknown. St. Ninian came to Pictland as a Celtic Christian to labor among his fellow Celts -a thing which Columba could not do because of the language. Ninian's speech was so closely akin to that of the Picts that they understood him perfectly. Columba required an interpreter. Moreover, hostility existed between the two groups, and this compelled Columba to restrict his work to his countrymen, the Gaidheals, who had invaded southern Pictland. The fact must not be overlooked that the earliest histo­rians used the word "Scots" to denote the Irish.10 It was at a later date that Pictland became known as Scotland, even though there were Picts living in the North of Ireland. St. Ninian and his missionaries began in southwest Pictland (Scotland) and extended their work northward to Glasgow, then eastward to the North Sea, then northward, establishing a chain of colonies all along the east coast of Scotland and to the Shetland Islands and the Hebrides. They sent missionaries to "the Scots" (Ireland) long before St. Patrick was baptized. 10 Upon this all authorities agree. J. H. Burton, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 40, shows that Bede, Adamnan, and all the Popes and Church Fathers called the Irish people "Scots." 100 A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY They crossed the channel to Continental Europe, and we read of such important muinntirs, or training schools, as that of St. Columbanus in Lombardy and St. Gall in Switzerland, to name but two. The method of St. Ninian's far-flung missionary work was to have half a dozen great "centers of administration," such as Candida Casa, Bangor of the Ards in Ulster, Achadh-Bo Cainnech, Glasgow, and two smaller centers at Govan and Paisley. Affiliated with these large training centers were many local centers, where dwelt a group of missionaries. From all these centers men went out, usually two and two, and preached wherever they could obtain a hearing. While it is difficult at this late date to determine the theological position of St. Ninian and his followers, yet one has no reason to suppose that they preached anything other than evangelical Christianity. It is a matter of clear historic fact that Ninian's beloved teacher, St. Martin of Tours, was the great champion of the Trinity at the time of the Arian dispute. It was his valiant defense of the Second Article of the Nicene Creed that brought about his scourging at the hands of the Arians. We know that St. Martin owned a beautiful manuscript of the Scriptures, which was buried with him when he died and later stolen from his grave. We know that Ninian and his followers took copies of the Gospels, the Psalms, and the writings of Moses with them to Candida Casa in Whithorn, and they had at least the Pauline Epistles as well. The Old Life of St. Ninian was written not long after his death. Much later one Ailred of Rievaulx wrote his Vita Niniani, basing it upon this older biography, and we have no reason to doubt his statement that Ninian and his missioners proclaim~d "the truth of the Gospel and the purity of the Christian faith, God working in him and 'confirming the Word with signs following.''' 11 Even Bede, who wrote for Roman Catholic readers, stresses the fact that Ninian's great success was due to his preaching. In none of the earliest histories is there a word to indicate that Ninian and his fol­lowers had ever heard of the papal claims, of Virgin worship, of the adoration of saints and relics, of transubstantiation, or 11 Ailred, Vita Niniani, chap. 6. Bede, by the way, mentions Ninian as the Apostle to Scotland and knows of no earlier Christian missionary. See J. H. Burton, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 41. A VICTIM OF GARBLED mSTORY 101 any of the other innovations that came at a much later date. Rome had her famous missionaries, but to try to make St. Ninian one of them is as great an anachronism as it might be were one to declare that Martin Luther was an humble disciple of John Wesley. Many pages might be written on Ninian and his great missionary activity, and on his pupils, who were pioneers in Ireland, Britain, Scotland, Lombardy, Switzerland, the Vosges, and Southern Germany. For those who would have the full story of Ninian and his successors the various books of Mr. Archibald B. Scott are as complete as any. ST. PIRAN (352-430) St. Piran, or Piranus, is another great missionary who has fared badly at the hands of careless historians. In order to increase the prestige of other missionaries, Piran has been lifted bodily out of his true period and made by the fabulists to live more than a century later than his true time. He was born in 352 A. D. in County Ossory, Ireland. For thirty years he was not a Christian, until a devout layman spoke to him in regard to the Savior. This led Piran to read the Scriptures, and after diligent study he not only accepted Christianity, but studied at some training school, evidently conducted by one of Ninian's followers or else by some Celt who had been driven out of Gaul in a time of invasion and had settled in Ireland. St. Piran established himself at a place called Saiger, on Lake Fuaran, where he met with great success in his labors among the pagans. Piran was not content to remain in Ireland, but with the missionary zeal so characteristic of the early Celtic Christians he crossed the Irish Sea in 385 A. D. and landed at Perran­zabuloe, some eight miles northwest of the present Truro. With him were his mother and several companions, whose names survive to this day as place names in Cornwall. Perran­zabuloe is an area of sand dunes, and it was among these that Piran built a small stone church, with a little house close by for himself and his aged mother. There, close to the sea, he established a center of missionary activity, sending out his companions to found similar centers in various parts of Cornwall. He himself was not idle, for we find traces of his labors in many other parts of Cornwall. At his death Piran called in his helpers and ordered 102 A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY them to dig his grave. He warned them, according to one modern writer, of the coming of Antichrist, who, he declared, would eventually overthrow the Celtic Church and establish a false Church in its place. This statement is not verified by ancient writings, but it is true enough that he admonished his missioners "to search the Scriptures daily." Then, re­peating the verse: "I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them," he breathed his last and was buried near the altar of his little church. Legends without number have been added to the simple story of this early missionary. The tamperers with history not only have declared that he studied in Rome, but they go so far as to say that he was transported miraculously to Corn­wall upon a millstone. It must have been a remarkable millstone, for another legend assures us that he took with him to Cornwall not only his aged mother Wingela, but a number of companions, all of whom were bishops. The legend makers declare that Piran was a faithful disciple of St. Patrick and that it was Patrick who ordained him bishop. They are guilty of an anachronism here, for Patrick was but four years of age when Piran reached Cornwall. However, the ever­present miraculous millstone, the journey to Rome for further light, and the twelve prelatic companions are the usual em­broidery that fabulists of the early Middle Ages attached to the true histories of many early Celtic missionaries. The little church built by Piran at Perranzabuloe (Piran's sands) has had an unusual history. Shifting sand dunes buried it sometime after his death, although there was a persist­ent legend in Cornwall that it existed. This led William Mitchell, Esq., and several helpers to conduct excavations. After much fruitless labor they discovered the ancient church in the year 1835 and removed the sands that had covered it for centuries. It was found to be in an excellent state of preservation, although its small size was a surprise to the archaeologists of the day. The walls were intact, although the roof was gone. It measured but 12 feet 6 inches wide by 25 feet 6 inches in length. Its side walls were 13 feet high and its two end gables 19 feet. The stone altar was still there, and beneath it, in a good state of preservation, were found three A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY 103 human skeletons. One was of a man more than seven feet tall, the other of a small woman, evidently the mother of Piran, and the third some unidentified person. This discovery caused a sensation at the time, and William Haslam 12 and C. T. Collins Trelawny 13 each published books which describe the church and which may be found in the larger public libraries of today. The Trelawny book turns up frequently in secondhand bookshops, for it went through sev­eral editions. Close to the church were found the ruins of Pir­an's house. Near by was an enormous number of human skele­tons, each buried in a Celtic kistvaen, or stone chest. These important buildings, the church and the dwelling, became a great attraction for tourists, who carried away stones until the old church was badly defaced. When too late, a concrete dome was built over it, and thus it remains to this day. The writer has examined the ancient church, and we would venture an opinion that while it is exactly like many such ruins in Ireland, yet some of the walling was rebuilt rather carelessly in the Saxon period.14 The present Perranzabuloe church is about three miles inland and is of much later date than the small oratory in Perran Sands. ST. PATRICK (c. 389-461) The true history of St. Patrick has been garbled and rewritten so often, and so many absurd legends have been attached to it, that it is only in recent years that order is beginning to appear in place of an array of contradictory statements. Patrick appears in so many places that it is almost certain that early historians have confused the deeds of two or more men. Possibly St. Petrock, another energetic mis­sionary, is one of these men with whom St. Patrick has been confused. The place of St. Patrick's birth is uncertain, and early historians have suggested Dumbarton on the Firth of Clyde, Daventry in England, Glamorganshire in Wales, the valley of the Severn, and even Gaul. All of this is mere speculation. 12 William Haslam, Perranzabuloe and the Oratory of St. Piran in the Sands (London, 1844). 13 C. T. Collins Trelawny, Perranzabuloe, the Lost Church Found (London, 1872). 14 These walls have a uniform thickness of 24 inches. 104 A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY His father is said to have been a wealthy Christian, and his grandfather a presbyter. Patrick was named Sucat, Succat, or Sukkat, for we find his name spelled variously. He was living at his father's or his grandfather's estate on the "west coast," which may mean either Scotland or England. Raiders captured him and sold him into slavery in Ireland, the land of his future missionary labors. His own writings give an account of this, but even these have been edited and rewritten several times and are not entirely trustworthy. Patrick gives us an account of his experiences in Ireland. After six years of slavery he managed to escape by means of a ship carrying a cargo of Irish wolfhounds. His account of the voyage is not at all clear, but his destination must have been England or Scotland or possibly northwestern France, for he tells us that the journey was of three days' duration. Then follows a puzzling part of the tale, for Patrick assures us that his com­panions and he journeyed for 28 days through an uninhabited country and came close to starvation, many of the wolfhounds dying along the way. The 28-day journey has been seized upon by fabulists, who have added their glosses and footnotes, declar­ing that Patrick and his companions went to Italy. There they declare Patrick was educated for the priesthood and, of course, made a bishop and sent to Ireland as missionary of the Latin Church. Other historians declare that he was ed­ucated by St. Martin of Tours. The fact that St. Martin had been in his grave for eight or ten years by the time of Patrick's journey does not seem to trouble the fabulists in the least, and, funnily enough, some of our modern editors of reference books have not noticed this anachronism. According to the most probable account, Patrick returned to his father's home after six years of slavery in Ireland, and there he had a dream in which a man appeared to him, identify­ing himself as one Victoricus, (not the Virgin Mary, as some fabulists state); and he delivered letters from the Irish people, reading: "Come, holy youth; henceforth walk among us." The legend makers would have us believe that Patrick was baptized in infancy by a saint who (if we verify the true dates) must have been 200 years old at the time. Patrick was baptized more than likely after he had reached maturity, and there is no reason to question the statement that it was performed by St. Caranoc the Great, one of Ninian's missionaries. Contem· A VICTIM OF GARBLED mSTORY 105 porary historians suggest that Patrick visited Gaul between 419 and 429 A. D. He could not have met St. Martin of Tours, who died about 400 A. D. Patrick may have known Ger­manus, who was a Celt, although a citizen, and who was prob­ably a layman at this time. The Spelman Fragment asserts that it was Lupus who instructed Patrick. Patrick complains of his own "defect in learning." St. Patrick began his mission in Ireland in 432 A. D., when 43 years of age, and he labored there for 29 years, dying in 461 A. D. at the age of 72. He is said to have been an eloquent preacher, with that gift so important in any age: persuasiveness. He had knowledge of the Scriptures, for he quotes them in his writings. The pagan Gaidheals were hostile to him, and he was able to reach only a fringe of their land; yet these same Gaidheals, in later years, rewrote his biography and made it appear that he was a Gaidheal-a state­ment as absurd as that of a man who told me lately that Bach was a Roman Catholic because he wrote the Mass in B Minor. St. Patrick speaks of "rhetoricians from Gaul," whom he found in Ireland and who laughed at his "rusticity." It has been suggested that these were Celts who had been driven out of Gaul by Teutonic invasions and who had settled in southwest England and southeast Ireland from ca. 406 A. D. onward and had established muinntirs on Martin's plan. Legends without number have been invented by the bards and others, who sought to embroider the true history of noted men with tales of their own invention. However, one cannot question the statement that St. Patrick lit a Paschal fire at a time when such fires were forbidden. He was summoned before the high king of Ireland, a man named Loigaire. Not only did St. Patrick defend his action, but he preached at Tara before the king and all his court. Fabulists tell us that the king became a Christian, but this man was in all probability Conall, the king's brother. The legend of the shamrock seems true enough, for not all legends are false. When a man interrupted Patrick while the latter was preaching on the Holy Trinity and asked him to prove that one plus one plus one make one, Patrick stooped and plucked a shamrock, asking them how many leaves he held in his hand. Some of the Irishmen said three. Others insisted that he held only one, because there was but one 106 A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY stem. "If you cannot explain so simple a matter as this bit of a shamrock, then question not so profound a truth as that of the Holy Trinity," replied Patrick. None of his actual sermons survive. Even his writings must be regarded with caution. There is a Confession attrib­uted to him, a Letter Against Coroticus and three Dicta Patricii. It is only fair to say that these writings have been edited again and again. Mr. Scott, an eminent authority on all things Celtic, believes that St. Patrick's life was rewritten by propagandists who sought to exalt the prestige of Armagh and to make this appear to be the true fountainhead of northern Christianity. The Venerable Bede is an unsafe authority, for he knew only the incorrect geography of Ptolemy, and he confused the Iro-Picts and the real Scots. Bede, upon his own statement, never traveled far from J arrow and had but an inaccurate knowledge of local place names and locations. St. Patrick was a missionary of great influence, but he was not the first missionary to Ireland. Even Dr. Latourette, whose seven-volume history of recent date is not free of some of the old garbling of history, admits that St. Ninian's in­fluence reached Wales and that it may have reached Ireland as well.15 ST. FINBAR (c. 490-578) Another great Celtic missionary was St. Finbar of Magh­bile, later of Dornoch. He was an Irish Pict, born toward the end of the fifth century. After studying for a time with Caolan, he went to Ninian's Candida Cas a for his higher ed­ucation and his theological training. There he was in turn a student, a teacher, and finally a missionary. It was at Candida Casa that he became deeply interested in old man­uscripts of the Scriptures. He was a copyist possessed of great skill, and his manuscripts were things of great beauty. He is said to have taken the first complete manuscript of the Gospels and the Psalms to Ireland. Finbar prized this man­uscript so highly that some authorities believe that it might have been the so-called "St. Martin's Gospel," brought from Tours by Christians from Gaul, fleeing at a time of invasion. In 540 A. D. Finian founded a colony or muinntir at Maghbile in Ulster, where missionary preachers were trained. 15 K. S. Latourette, History of the Expansion of Christianity, 7 vols. (New York, 1937-42), Vol. I, p. 222. A VICTIM OF GARBLED mSTORY 107 It developed into a place of importance, owned its own ships, and used to carry missionaries to the mainland of Britain. On one of these voyages Finbar sailed for Ayrshire, where he conducted an extensive preaching mission, reaching many with the Gospel. These preaching missions of the early Celtic Church were extensive tours, the men stopping for a time at each center of population and preaching daily to the people. He conducted important missionary tours in the counties of Ross-shire, Sutherland, and Caithness, in Scotland. He founded a colony of workers as well as several preaching stations in Dornoch. He was a friend of St. Comgall the Great of Bangor in Ulster, and when Candida Casa was cut off by hostile invaders from her mission stations, Finbar per­suaded Comgall the Great to come to the rescue and save the Brito-Pictish stations. In the seaport town of Fowey, Cornwall, is a church of some size, with a great four-pinnacled tower and four weather­vanes. It is called st. Finbar's Church, and a local legend declares that Finbar's ships got as far as Cornwall, dropping anchor in the estuary of the River Fowey, where Finbar him­self preached the Gospel and established a preaching station. Although ancient Celtic crosses, inscribed stones, and ogham stones are plentiful near by, there is no proof from such monuments that Finbar himself visited the spot. At Lewan­nick, some miles distant, are two ogham stones, which have been examined and photographed by the writer. One of these speaks of a certain "Vlcagni," or perhaps "Ulcagni," but the inscription is so fragmentary, owing to breakage, that it tells little. Celtic crosses and inscribed stones are very common in various parts of Scotland, England, Wales, Corn­wall, and Ireland and in some cases tell of the visits of great missionaries. ST. CAINNECH (516-600) St. Cainnech (or Kenneth), an Irish Pict, was educated at the school of Finian the Wise, who maintained a training center at Clonard. From there he went to Mobhi's school at Glasnevin and remained there until the school was broken up because of the plague. Fabulists declare that he studied at the school of St. Columba on the Isle of Iona, but the early biography of St. Comgall excludes any such idea.16 However, 16 Vita Comgalli, chap. 44. 108 A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY Cainnech did study at St. Cadoc's muinntir at Doac in Glamorganshire. From there he went to Drumachose in Irish Pictland and established a center of his own. In 562 he went with Comgall the Great to visit Brude, King of the Picts, to seek permission to send missionaries from the well-staffed school at Bangor of Ulster to assist the Pictish Church, whose most important training center had become isolated because of an invasion of the Angles. Cainnech labored for a time among the Western Picts, establishing a number of stations, many of which may be identified today. Then he crossed to Fife, where one of his foundations, St. Andrews, became in time the chief church of much of Pictland of Alba. In 578 he returned to Ireland and founded an influential Iro-Pictish center at Achadh-Bo, which was exceeded in importance only by Candida Cas a and Bangor of the Ards in Ulster. Not only was St. Cainnech a great missionary and an eloquent preacher, but he trained many men at Achadh-Bo who became prominent missionaries in the British Isles and in Continental Europe. One of these was Ferghil the Geometrician, who labored with notable suc­cess in Salzburg. Some of st. Cainnech's important foundations were taken over centuries later by the Church of Rome, which reorganized them as monasteries and gave them names typical of the Latin Church. The Celtic Church did not dedicate church buildings and training schools to St. Peter, St. Paul, and others until very late in their history. Thus when Dr. Otto Seebass of Leipzig describes a great Celtic missionary dedicating a church to the Virgin Mary,17 he is but falling a victim to the idle tales of the Medieval fabulist. The multitude of Celtic place names that one finds today in Cornwall, for example, indicate nothing beyond the fact that some early missionary built a church or a missionary center there. ST. KENTIGERN (c. 518-603) St. Kentigern, or Mungo, is said to have been a son of a Pictish princess. This princess displeased her father, King U rien Rheged, and was exiled. She was befriended by St. Servanus, who took her infant son Kentigern and treated him 17 O. Seebass, Zeitschrift fuer Kirchengeschichte (Gotha, 1876, sqq.). A VICTIM OF GARBLED mSTORY 109 as his own son. So charming was the little lad that Servanus called him mo chaoimh, or mungo, that is, "my beloved one." The child was educated by Servanus at his school in Culross. Later he studied with Fergus at Carnoch. When Fergus died, Kentigern buried him at a place close to Glasgow and then organized a training school of his own near by. He led a mission to the uplands of Aberdeenshire and sent some of his men to the Orkney Islands. There is no evidence that he ever visited Rome, as the legend mongers declare. Joceline, his biographer, stresses the fact that Kentigern was an exceptional preacher, traveling afar, "the Lord working with him and giving power to the voice of his preaching." Kentigern has been called the comforting preacher. He was exiled in 570 by Morkan, a petty king, but during his exile he devoted his time to visiting his fellow countrymen, who had been driven to the Cumberland hills by the Angles and Brito-Picts. There, in the deep glens, well removed from their foes, we behold scenes that anticipate by eleven centuries the experiences of those bands of freedom-loving Scotsmen who gathered by night in the lonely glens to hear the words of comfort preached by men who feared neither the threats of the landed aristocracy nor the hangman's noose prepared for them by the bishops of a corrupt, State-controlled Prot­estantism. With the same brave spirit, Kentigern, at great personal risk, gathered his outdoor congregations of exiled Christians, and with the moving eloquence for which the Celt is always famed in whatever land we find him he offered to his displaced fellow countrymen the consolation of the Word of God, urging them to cast all fears aside and to bring together all their troubles and commit them to the hands of the loving Savior, with confidence that He would stand ready to see them through their present distress. Kentigern was recalled from his exile in Llan-Elwy in 596 A. D. by Rhydderch, the first Christian king in Britain with the courage to give his royal protection to persecuted Christians. Leaving behind him eight well-established preach­ing stations and men to care for them, Kentigern returned to Glasgow. He organized a training school there, and Glasgow became one of the great centers of Pictish missionary ex­pansion. Great confusion had been caused throughout the Glasgow regions during Kentigern's exile, due in part to the 110 A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY coming of great numbers of displaced persons who had fled before the savage Angles. Once more do we find Kentigern embarking upon a lengthy missionary tour, gathering the dis­tressed Christian Celts and preaching to them. He was gifted with a power which has become too rare and which the older writers termed persuasiveness. Thus he was able to lead his sorrowing hearers to commit their griefs to the loving Savior of mankind, their best Friend in their days of affiiction. He held before them the risen and all-powerful Lord, pointing them to His many promises and urging them to place all confidence in these words of the Son of God. Therein do we discover the lasting fame of such men as Kentigern when we contrast his Christ-centered preaching with, for example, a listless sermon that was preached not long since, the subject of which was: "The Bondage of Life's Dark Yesterdays." The need of every age is more preaching such as that of the evangelical Celtic missioners and less pilfering of Dr. Fosdick's inanities concerning Life personified. We need not be disturbed when we read the words of Joceline of Furness, Kentigern's biographer, who laments the fact that "grievous heresies" existed among the Celts. We need read further to discover that these so-called heresies were nothing more than the refusal of the Celts to accept Rome's method of reckoning the date of Easter, their refusal of the Roman type of tonsure, certain minor details of their Bap­tismal liturgy, and, most of all, their refusal to accept the Latin Church's hierarchical form of church government and the authority of the Bishop of Rome. Kentigern was one of the great leaders of his day, and in his old age he sent his pupils to the Orkneys, to Iceland, and to Scandinavia, declaring the truths of Christianity to the murderous Vikings, who even then had begun to pillage and burn the churches and to murder the members of the Celtic Church's training centers. Latin fabulists have taken great pains to deny that the Celts were the pioneers in Iceland and Scandinavia, but the dis­covery of elaborately wrought objects in metal and in pottery ware, with Celtic ornament and inscriptions, and even a buried bell of Celtic workmanship, are silent witnesses to the fact that these missionaries found their way to the Northern Islands, to Iceland, and to Scandinavia centuries before the alleged conversion of the merciless Olaf Trygvesson to the Roman Catholic faith. A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY 111 ST. PETROCK (fl. c. 550) St. Petrock, the famous Celtic missionary to Cornwall and to the Devon borders, was born early in the sixth century. Both South Wales and Cornwall have been mentioned as possible places of his birth, but in the days of the Viking raids all detailed record of his early career was destroyed. His Celtic name was Pedroc or Pedrog. We first come upon him living at Padstow, Cornwall, where he was acquainted with another famous Cornish missionary named Sampson. Later Petrock founded a missionary training center at what is now Bodmin. Centuries later this foundation was taken over by the Latin Benedictines, who converted it into a monastery. The ruins that one is shown today, behind the old church at Bodmin, are those of the Latin monastery, and not of Petrock's muinntir. For a time the Austin canons had possession of Bodroin, and in 1177 Petrock's bones were exhumed and taken to Brittany, but were brought back to Cornwall by order of King Henry II. The empty case in which they were kept is shown to this day. It is unfortunate that the early biography of Petrock seems to have disappeared, for he was an energetic missionary, and his footsteps may be traced throughout Cornwall. He found his way into Eng­land proper, for no fewer than twelve churches in the County of Devon bear his name today. The Latin fabulists and legend mongers have attached many an absurd tradition to poor Petrock. One of these is the familiar one that he went to Rome for more light. Another fable declares that he preached in Jerusalem and from there went to India, from which place he was transported to a lonely island in a shining silver bowl. After seven years, the legend makers tell us, he returned to Cornwall to slay a dragon, which had been killing men and cattle. These idle tales are wholly lacking in the early Celtic accounts of the lives of the great mission­aries, and any man with a smattering of the old Gaelic languages can detect easily enough the simplicity of the early histories of these men and the later extravagant ornamentation that was added by Medieval writers, bards, and "singing men." 18 18 "Singing men," old men who formerly frequented the ale snops of Britain and sang songs that told of the extravagant exploits of famous men of the past, both secular and religious. 112 A VICTIM OF GARBLED mSTORY ST. COLUMBA (521-597) St. Columba ranks second only to St. Patrick in popular esteem, and, as Dr. Macbain made clear more than sixty years ago, much of the missionary work of his predecessors, contemporaries, and successors came to be attributed to Columba. The reason for this is clear enough. Columba, or Columkill, was not a Pict, but a Gaidheal. These two branches of the Celtic Church were never on friendly terms. When the Pictish Church was cut off from its mission territories by the invading Angles, the Gaidheals seized the opportunity to wrest control of some of their mission fields from the Picts. Not only that, but one of their kings, in a cowardly manner, attacked the Pictish army from the rear at the very time that they were defending their homeland from the savage Angles. These facts are set down herewith, and it is done in sorrow, because the Gaidheals were men of rare missionary zeal, and their leaders were great preachers. It is most un­fortunate that the great Gaidhealic Church of St. Columba, in its later history, produced such sad examples of laymen as Kenneth-Mac-Alpin and other cowardly warriors who sought to extend Gaidhealic political and ecclesiastical prestige by means of the sword and torch. Having taken over many of the communities of the Pictish Church, the Gaidheals pro­ceeded to commit yet another outrage. They rewrote the history of such men as st. Ninian and St. Comgall the Great, to say nothing of a score of other men, and made it appear that it was Columba who accomplished the evangelization of the British Isles and played a significant part in the expansion of Christianity in Gaul, in Germany, in Switzerland, and in the Apennines. Columba was a great missionary in his own right, and he did not need this later falsification of history to increase his fame. His early life was not admirable. Born in 521 A. D. at Gartan in Donegal, a great-great-grandson of Niall, high king of all Ireland, Columba might have had a brilliant career in politics had he so desired. However, he studied with St. Finbar at Maghbile and then attended St. Mobhi's school near Dublin. He mastered two languages in addition to his own, and he became one of the most skilled copyists of his time, producing a number of illuminated copies of the Scrip­tures. As all are aware, some of the most beautiful of all A VICTIM OF GARBLED mSTORY 113 the early manuscripts of the Gospels and the Psalms are the work of these Celtic copyists. At the age of 24 Columba became chaplain to an Irish prince, and for a time his interests were political. However, he never lost his early interest in the Scriptures. St. Finbar, his old teacher, owned a remarkably beautiful copy of the Gospels and the Psalms. Aware of his own skill as a coypist, Columba asked his old professor to allow him to make a duplicate copy of it. Fearing that some harm might come to this priceless manuscript, Finbar refused. During the absence of Finbar, Columba carried away the valuable manuscript and made a copy of it. Finbar was displeased with his former pupil and asked him to return both the original manuscript and the copy. Columba refused to return the copy, and Finbar appealed to King Diarmait, who issued an order that has since become a famous Gaelic proverb: Le gach bo a boineau, agus le gach leabhar a leabhran, that is, "as the calf with the cow, so the book with the copy," or, as we would express it, "as the calf goes rightfully with the cow, so the copy belongs rightfully with the book." This decision irritated Columba, but he surrendered the copy to Finbar. The incident might have been forgotten, but shortly afterward a fugitive fled for sanctuary to a church with which Columba seems to have had some connection. The king violated the Celtic right of sanctuary and ordered the execution of the fugitive. Columba's fiery temper was aroused, and he went among the people protesting against this outrageous act. His stormy eloquence resulted in an uprising that quickly got out of control, and the battle of Cul-Dreimhne took place. Columba stood aghast when he saw the great number of the slain -men whose lives were sacrificed because of his own blustering eloquence. Columba was excommunicated because of his part in the riot, but a friend interceded for him, and the sentence was changed to voluntary banishment. The agreement was that Columba was to depart for some lonely place out of sight of Ireland and promise never to see Ireland again. Taking several friends with him (the legend makers always fix the number at an even twelve), Columba departed in a ship. Off the west coast of Scotland is a large rocky island, the Isle of Mull. Just west of the tip of the Isle of 8 114 A VICTIM OF GARBLED mSTORY Mull is a tiny island called Hy or Iona. It is but a mile wide and three miles long. It is a lonely place, buffeted by savage winds and pounded continually by some of the most frightful seas in the world. Not many miles to the south is the whirl­pool Corryvreckan, famed in story and song. When the tide turns, the whirlpool's suction is said to be audible as far north as Iona and as far south as the bay of Killoran. It was in this forbidding region that Columba chose to settle. On the little Isle of Iona he founded a missionary training school. There he built a church and huts for himself and his com­panions. It was not many years until this school became famous throughout the lands where the Celtic people dwelt. Students came from Ireland, Scotland, England, and even from Gaul. A scholar himself and a powerful preacher, Columba taught his students the usual classical and theological branches of his day, but he laid particular stress upon preaching. To us who live in America this means little more than the subjects that we studied in seminary days, but to the Celts it was a different matter. They are emotional, fiery people, and in case any of the readers of these lines have had the good fortune to visit Wales, where preaching in the vernacular still exists, or the northern highlands of Scotland, he will have some notion of Celtic preaching. Some of the oldest readers of these words may have heard the great John Ken­nedy of Dingwall on his American preaching tour or John Macrae (Mac-Rath-Mor). In such men the old-time stormy eloquence was heard at its best. One may well imagine the profound effect of the preaching of the Celts of Columba's day, when congregations were willing to stand in the open air and listen to a three-hour sermon. Columba's work was important and it was far-reaching, but some of our most reputable reference works go much too far when they give him credit for the evangelization of all of Northern Europe and who describe the muinntir on the Isle of Iona as the cradle of all northern Christendom. Even Dr. A. R. MacEwen, whose admirable two-volume history 19 of Scottish Christianity is among the best of its kind, goes much too far in this respect. It is unfortunate that so eminent a historian did not live to see the results of the work of 19 A. R. MacEwen, History of the Church in Scotland (London, 1913-18). A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY 115 Archibald B. Scott and his contemporaries. The chapters on the Celtic Church in Dr. MacEwen's history follow the old, garbled history of the Venerable Bede and his later imitators, and Columba is given credit for the work of a number of equally eminent missionaries. It was Dr. W. D. Simpson who made it clear that Columba's missionary work was confined to the territory occupied by the Dalraidic Scots, who had left Ireland and invaded southwestern Pictland (Scotland). Not only was it not possible for Columba to preach to the Picts without an interpreter (even Bede admits this), not only were the Picts and Gaidheals bitter enemies, but Dr. Simpson's minute knowledge of the old Celtic crosses, inscribed stones, and Celtic churchyards enables him to prove beyond doubt that Columba's great work was limited to one territory. Many extravagant tales are told by ancient historians in regard to St. Columba's preaching. They declare unblushingly that his words could be heard distinctly on a clear night for one mile. This sounds absurd, and Benjamin Franklin proved that no man can make himself heard outdoors by more than 20,000 or so people. Nevertheless, within living memory Owen Thomas (1812-1891), the great Welsh preacher, spoke in the open air to enormous congregations at Bangor. His sermons were heard distinctly on a clear evening by people who thronged the shores of the Mem:,i Strait in Angelsey, more than a mile away. An early life of Columba was writt€'ll by Cumen the Fair. Adamnan wrote a second biography, based upon Cumen's, about 80 years after the death of Columba. In the year 1845 Dr. Ferdinand Keller, a German scholar, discovered Dorbene's copy of this ancient biography in an old library at Schaffhausen and published it. From all accounts, Columba and the men whom he trained must have preached simple evangelical truth. They had their Gospels and their Psalms, and many of them had the inspired writings of Moses and of St. Paul as well. Columba never lost his interest in copying the Scriptures, and some of his most enthusiastic admirers would have us believe that he made 800 copies of the Scriptures during his lifetime. His death is known to many a schoolboy. When an aged man, Columba stopped to stroke an old white horse that belonged to lona. He remarked to a companion: "The poor old horse seems to realize that I shall not be here much 116 A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY longer, and in this he is wiser than many men." That same evening Columba went over to the church, and while there, the attack came that proved fatal. After his death his friends found an unfinished manuscript of the Psalms on his desk. The last verse that he had penned in his beautiful script was: "They that seek the Lord shall want no manner of thing that is good." Iona was twice raided by the Vikings, and the brethren of the community were murdered and the buildings utterly destroyed. Those that exist today date from the twelfth century. They have been restored by the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), and under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. George F. Macleod, fourth baronet of Fuinary-Morven, young men are once more being trained there for missionary work. They spend several months of each year in study and several in missionary work in Scotland's great industrial centers. Thus the work of the great Columba is being continued by a grandson of the famous Dr. Norman Macleod. When the writer of these lines asked Sir George recently whether the mantle of his eminent grandfather had not surely fallen upon him, he replied quietly: "Only the gas mantle." However, Dr. Macleod is much too modest, for he has brought into being a remarkable group of men. It is an idea founded upon the missionary method of St. Columba. These Presbyterian preachers form a colony of men who are foot-loose, and at an hour's notice from one to a dozen men may be thrown into any place of home mission activity where intensive work may be required, either in establishing a new mission field in a great city or in strengthening an old congregation. ST. COMGALL (c. 525-602) St. Comgall the Great was one of the most famous of all the Irish Picts. He comes into prominence in 558 A. D. after an uneventful youth. It was then that he founded what was destined to become one of the most powerful of all the training schools of the Celtic Church, namely, Bangor of the Ards of Ulster. St. Comgall's school trained hundreds of noted men, and if we are to believe the Spelman Fragment, the community at its height included 3,000 men, including students, teachers, and farm laborers, who raised produce to maintain the school. At least three of the Pictish and Gaidhealic tribes were among A VICTIM OF GARBLED mSTORY 117 the students as well as several students who were converts from Teutonic paganism. The chief activity at Bangor of the Ards was its great training school, and ancient writers assure us that Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and music were taught as well as theology. Bangor was famous for its choirs -the St. Olaf of the sixth century. There were several such choirs, and they took their turn in singing what has been called, perhaps with exaggeration, con­tinuous praise to the Lord. One of the most distinguished pupils of Bangor of the Ards was St. Columbanus, who went to Gaul and founded the great community of Luxeiul in Burgundy, Anagrates, and Bobbio in the Apennines. His companion founded the com­munity at St. Gall in Switzerland. Mr. A. B. Scott declares that "St. Comgall was one of the most successful organizers of Christian missions in history. The missionaries inspired and taught by him ranged from between the mountains of Mar in Pictland to the Apennines in Italy." 20 A life of St. Comgall exists,21 but, as usual, it has been edited, annotated, and rewritten. The Gaidheals rewrote it, making it appear that Comgall was merely an assistant to their Columba. The Me­dieval historians rewrote it in such a way as to belittle Comgall and exalt their own missionaries. The world-famous school at Bangor in Ulster did noble work until 822 A. D., when it was destroyed by Viking raiders and 90 of its workers butch­ered. Its illustrious history of 264 years came to a close, for the few men who tried to continue its work were not successful. OTHER GREAT LEADERS It would require an essay many times the length of this one to give even the barest outline of the lives of many other great Celtic leaders. Mr. A. B. Scott attempted it, and his aecount fills 561 printed pages. It seems unjust to dismiss with the mere mention of their names such great missionaries as Servanus, Drostan, Columbanus, Gall, David of Wales, Maelrubha, Aidan, Kilian, Moluag, and a score or two of others of equal fame. The facts that have been brought to light in 20 A. B. Scott, The Pictish Nation, its People and its Church (Edin­burgh, 1918), p. 235. 21 Vita Comgalli. 118 A VICTIM OF GARBLED mSTORY recent years in regard to these men have been revolutionary. Old libraries in Continental Europe have yielded forgotten manuscripts, and a revival of interest in the old Celtic lan­guages has made it possible for scholars to translate these into English and modern Gaelic. They have been microfilmed, and modern devices have been used to reveal not only the additions made by later hands to these old books, but to prove that in some cases the original manuscript was altered delib­erately by later propagandists. Such men did not hesitate to alter dates and place names; and after all these centuries some of the marvels known to contemporary research workers have revealed not only the erasures, but the original names and dates that dishonest annotators of centuries ago thought they had obliterated. How did it happen that the great Pictish Church became so extinct that writers who were content merely to piller their information from such biased sources as the Venerable Bede, Ailred, Adamnan, Joceline, Gildas, and others of their school were ready to assure us that the Pictish Church was an insignificant thing? The story is a lengthy one, and we have it lying before us in the form of several hundred typed pages, which will be given herewith in merest outline. From the fifth century onward Britain was raided by the Frisians and then the Vikings. We shall select from a long list lying before us only a few examples of these raids: In the fifth century the Frisians attacked the coasts of the British Isles in Pearl Harbor fashion, causing great havoc. Then the Vikings seized the Orkneys and the Shetland Isles on the north and the Inner and Outer Hebrides on the west. They used these as bases for plundering Pictland, destroying systematically the great training schools of the Celtic Church, murdering teachers, pupils, and farm laborers, and butchering old men and women and children in the near-by towns as well as the Pictish fighting men who sought to defend their homes and their churches. In 617 A. D. St. Donnan and his community of teachers and pupils were massacred by the Vi­kings. In 722 the famous St. Maelrubha and his brethren of Abercrossan were slain. In 776 St. Ninian's Candida Casa was laid waste after one of Ninian's successors had submitted to the Roman Church. In 793 Aidan's community at Lindis­farne was plundered. The following year Columba's Iona A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY 119 was pillaged and badly damaged, and in 806 it was destroyed completely and 48 of its clergy murdered. In 822 the great school at Bangor in Ulster, with its hundreds of students, was sacked, and the bones of its founder were dug from the grave and scattered. In 823 St. Finbar's Maghbile was destroyed. in 825 Iona, which had just risen from its own ashes, was once more destroyed. These are but a few of many Viking raids, and we have mentioned only the more prominent train­ing schools. Thousands of churches were burned and their workers slain. Christian villages were attacked and their in­habitants cut to pieces. Even in the face of all this terror the Picts and their Church managed to survive. The pagan Angles invaded Britain from the east, pushing westward and cutting off St. Ninian's most important center from its affiliated communities. This fact has led one prom­inent historian, who shall go nameless, to make the audacious assertion that after the Angle invasion "the Picts seem to have lapsed into paganism." A more shameless bit of propa­ganda has seldom been penned. At no time did the Picts lapse into paganism. They defended their homes, their muinn­tirs, and their churches with valor, even when the cowardly Kenneth-Mae-Alpin, a fellow Celt, assisted the pagan armies by attacking the Pictish army from the rear, just as his ren­egade father had done before him. By some miracle the Pictish Church survived the repeated attacks of the Vikings and the invasions of the Angles. The Church was weakened, and many of her best training schools were reduced to rubble. All the while another opponent pressed her from the south. In the year 597, just two cen­turies after St. Ninian had established the Pictish Church, a missionary from Rome, Augustine of Canterbury, landed on the Isle of Thanet in southeastern England. He was sent by Gregory, Bishop of Rome, with instructions to evangelize the Angles who had come to Britain first as allies and then as invaders. The reader is familiar enough with the work of Augustine of Canterbury. One incident requires comment. As Augustine's work began to extend its influence, embar­rassing questions were put to his missionaries. They brought with them from Rome a different date for the celebration of Easter, for the Celtic Church had followed the ancient mode of reckoning Easter. Rome, after three or four experiments, 120 A VICTIM OF GARBLED mSTORY had adopted their well-known astronomical cycle. The Latin Mission had introduced other innovations, such as the Roman tonsure. The Celtic clergy cut their hair closely in front, but allowed it to fall over their shoulders in the back. The Latin missionaries introduced a different Baptismal liturgy, and, most important of all, they introduced bishops. In the Celtic Church the term "bishop" was known, but her "episcopoi" were merely minor clergymen, subject to the very moderate oversight of the ab, or housefather. Such a thing as a diocese or an administrative bishop was unheard of in the Celtic Church. When the Latin innovations aroused comment, Augustine demanded that the Celtic Church conform to the Latin form of ecclesiastical government, accept the rule of the Bishop of Rome, and conform to the Latin mode of observing Easter, the Latin Baptismal formula, and the Latin tonsure. Six years after his landing, Augustine asked the Pictish leaders to meet him in conference. A group of Celts from St. Dunod's Bangor responded, but the arrogance of Augustine offended them, and they refused absolutely to conform to Latin customs and Latin rule. Augustine urged them to conform to Rome, using the argument that a united Church was necessary if the pagan Angles were to be Christianized. When the Celts refused to conform, Augustine pronounced a terrible curse, declaring that these same Angles among whom they had declined to conduct a joint mission should rise up and slay them. Strange as it sounds, it was only ten years later that the Angles attacked Dunod's Bangor and slew its clergy and pupils. If the older Celtic leaders refused to submit to the Roman obedience, it was otherwise with some of the younger men. The colorful vestments and ceremonial of Augustine's men intrigued a group of them, and they began to whisper among themselves that it might be a good thing to go over to Rome. One of their most brilliant young men was Wilfrid, or Wil­frith.22 Trained at Lindisfarne, handsome, dynamic, learned, and with a gift of perfervid eloquence, Wilfrid won the favor of Queen Eanfled of Kent, who had accepted Latin Christianity. At her court he developed a taste for Latin ceremonial, and the claims of the Roman Church led him first to Lyons and 22 See Eddius, Vita Wilfridii, translated by Bertram Colgrove (Cam­bridge, 1927). A VICTIM OF GARBLED mSTORY 121 then to Rome. He broke completely with the Celtic Church, became a Benedictine, and returned to Britain a full-fledged propagandist. Then came the dramatic Synod of Whitby. It was con­vened by the Latin missionaries in order to persuade the Celtic Church to conform in regard to the date of Easter. The Latins chose the convert Wilfrid as their spokesman. The Celts made a blunder that was to shape history for cen­turies. They chose a mild-mannered, conservative, soft-spoken man named Colman. He was selected because of his superior scholarship, but he was thoroughly inexperienced in contro­versy. The Synod of Whitby convened in 664 A. D., with King Oswy presiding. The Latins and the Celts presented their cases. Then Wilfrid arose and delivered an oration. With the ringing eloquence so typical of the Celt he declared that the date of Easter observed in the Church of Rome was that of the great Apostle Peter. Turning to the king, he appealed to him, as he hoped to answer on the last Great Day, when he stood before St. Peter himself at the gates of heaven. What would St. Peter say to a man who had ruled against him? Trembling before the stormy eloquence of Wilfrid, King Oswy declared that forever after the Latin date of Easter should be observed throughout Christendom. This was a decisive defeat for the Celtic Church, but she did not yield. The Gaidheals gradually adopted the ways of the Latin Church. After their king, Kenneth-Mac-Alpin, at­tacked the Picts so treacherously from the rear, while the Picts were defending their homes and their churches against the Viking invaders, the decline .. of the Pictish Church began. Kenneth declared himself King of Fortrenn and later of all Pictland. He placed Gaidheals over the Pictish Church, and a gradual union of the two branches of Celtic Christianity took place -"a union by absorption," as Mr. A. B. Scott aptly terms it. Kenneth-Mac-Alpin, the king, was disposed to yield to Rome, and a slow process of assimilation took place. It was in the year 842 that Kenneth seated himself upon the Pictish throne, but the Picts held out against Rome for years. We find remnants of them fighting for religious in­dependence in the tenth century, and a few of them hold out until the twelfth century. When the Gaidheals absorbed the Pictish Church, they proceeded to rewrite the history of the 122 A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY evangelization of Northern Europe, coloring it strongly in their own favor and making it appear that St. Columba and the Gaidheals had evangelized the British Isles and parts of the Continent. It is hard to realize that a religious body with so brilliant a record as that of the Gaidhealic Church should become so corrupt as to falsify history deliberately. However, the Gaidheals were paid back in their own coin, for when their unionistic practices finally led to their absorption by the Latin Church, the annalists of the early Middle Ages not only revised church history once more, but they rewrote it in such a manner as to give great prestige to Augustine of Canterbury and his mission.23 Their garblers of history did their utmost to belittle both the Pictish Church and the Gaidhealic Church. These unscrupulous Gaidhealic scribes and their Latin successors little dreamed that a generation of men would arise in the early twentieth century with scientific methods capable of revealing every erasure of ancient manuscripts and every annotation of later scribes, no matter how skillfully the work was done by the tamperers. Modern processes have revealed these things, and contemporary research and the study of ancient Celtic crosses, ogham stones, and even old churchyards have brought much to light. As early as the year 1925 the writer visited an old churchyard in Whitby, where excavations were in progress. A pair of ancient book clasps had just been discovered in a grave, and to the men in charge of the excava­tion even so slight a thing as this proved valuable in verifying names and dates. Coins have been found in the ancient churchyards, bits of metal bearing inscriptions, chalices, and even bells that were buried in haste when the Viking raiders came. Thus even bits of metal and inscribed stones have verified many of the discoveries made by careful historians. In spite of the evidence placed before us by old man­uscripts from forgotten libraries in Continental Europe and Britain and the additional confirmation obtained from the great numbers of Celtic crosses of granite that still dot the countryside and the inscribed stones, ogham stones, and the ruins of ancient churches and their burying grounds, it is 28 "In every effort to get at the facts . . . there is a rather unequal struggle with the powerful and compact literary organization to carry back into remote times the evidence that the Bishop of Rome exercised supreme authority over all the Christian Church." -J. H. Burton, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 41. A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY 123 most unfortunate that the old fables are still to be found in many a standard reference work and still taught in many a school.24 Many years ago Professor Josef Strzygowski of the University of Vienna published a vigorous attack upon that lazy type of scholarship that can see no good in any movement that did not originate with the Greeks and the Romans. Using existing church buildings as his starting point, he proves that other lands and other races had an important part in the evangelization of northern lands, both continental and insular. Habit is a powerful prison keeper, and many men today prefer to dismiss with an impatient gesture the results of long years of research by such men as Macbain, Scott, Simpson, and their associates. They prefer to think that the Church of Rome, and she alone, evangelized the western world. They would have us believe that the Celts were shaggy barbarians and even at best but half-Christianized. Dr. Ebrard of Erlangen flies to the opposite extreme, and in his notable book 25 on the Celtic Church he would have us believe that the Celtic Church had a highly developed and very systematic theological foundation, and was Calvinistic to the last degree, even to the ignoring of the ubiquity of the Risen Lord and going so far as to leave a place for those who accept Chiliasm. If Dr. Ebrard is right, then the Celtic missionaries anticipated by a thousand years the central place that Luther gave the doctrine of justification. Dr. Blaikie, although so conservative in many ways, follows patiently in the footsteps of Ebrard and gives us a most eloquent example of the preaching of the early Celts, Calvinistic throughout.26 Thus we have the two extremes: the type of historian who would give all the credit to Rome, and the other type who would have us believe that the ancient Celts were almost identical with the evangelical minority in nineteenth century Germany and the evangelical wing of the former Scottish Free Church. Rome had her illustrious missionaries, but the Picts and the Gaidheals did their full share in winning Britain 24 It is a significant fact that no such ruins of churches, inscriptions on stone and metal, chalices, etc., have been found in Britain to indicate that any permanent Christian work existed before St. Ninian and the Pictish Church. See J. H. Burton, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 41, and 71-72. 25 See bibliography below for title. 26 W. G. Blaikie, The Preachers of Scotland from the Sixth to the Nineteenth Century (Edinburgh, 1888), pp. 22-23. 124 A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY and Northern Europe from paganism. However, the Celts were not early Calvinistic Protestants. They had a Church that was distinctive, with its conservative Pictish branch, and its less conservative Gaidhealic branch, which became union­istic in time. There are some who from force of habit, or else from a reluctance to attribute to the Celtic race so much credit, may prefer to believe that the world was unanimously Roman Catholic until October 31, 1517. However, we mention these things to refresh the minds of some of the younger brethren in regard to the discoveries of Macbain, Scott, Simpson, and that school of thought -hoping that this sketchy outline may encourage them to further study of the history of Celtic Christianity. A Selected Bibliography The following list of works is not exhaustive, for we mention only the items that may be found in the average public library or that may be obtained from any secondhand bookseller such as Henderson of Edinburgh. Venerable Bede, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum. Several modern editions. Bede wrote from the standpoint of the Latin Church. The biographies of the great Celtic leaders by such men as Allred, Adam­nan, Joceline, Jonas, Gildas, et aI., all of whom are biased and credulous in regard to legendary matter. Archibald B. Scott, St. Ninian and the Founding of the Celtic Church (Edinburgh, 1916). The Pictish Nation, Its People and Its Church (Edinburgh, 1918). The Rise and Relations of the Church in Scot­land (Edinburgh, 1932). Also articles by the same author in the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness. W. Douglas Simpson, St. Ninian and the Origins of the Christian Church (Edinburgh, 1940). Origins of Christianity in Aberdeenshire (Aber­deen, 1925). The Historical St. Columba (Aberdeen, 1927). On Certain Saints (Aberdeen, 1928). The Celtic Church in Scotland (Aberdeen, 1935). St. Ninian and the Origins of the Celtic Church (Edinburgh, 1940). Unfortunately Dr. Simpson is biased in the direction of prelacy. Alexander Macbain, The Book of Dee?', in the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, Vol. II. Thomas Maclaughlin, The Early Scottish Church (Edinburgh, 1865). Interesting biographical material, but from an obsolete basis. Alexander R. MacEwen, A History of the Church in Scotland (Edin­burgh and London, 1913-18), 2 vols. One of the best of many works on the Scottish Church. It covers the period from St. Ninian to John Knox. Dr. MacEwan died before the revolutionary dis­coveries of A. R. Scott et al. were generally known. J. H. A. Ebrard, Die iroschottische Missionskirche des sechsten, siebenten und achten Jahrhunderts (Guetersloh, 1873). Valuable, but its author lived before the modern research work was done. His pic­ture of the great Celtic preachers as high Calvinists is amusing. Kenneth S. Latourette, History of the Expansion of Christianity, 7 vol­umes (New York, 1937-45). Voluminous, but of the usual pro­Latin school. A VICTIM OF GARBLED HISTORY 125 W. F. Skene, The Chronicles of the Picts and Scots (Edinburgh, 1867). Celtic Scotland, 3 vols. (Edinburgh, 1876-80). Facsimiles in color of certain old manuscripts with their Latin versions. The ex­planations are of the old pro-Latin school. J. H. Burton, The History of Scotland, 7 vols. (Edinburgh, 1867). The opening chapters discuss early Christianity quite fully, according to the sources available at the time. W. A. Phillips, HistoTY of the Ch~trch of Ireland, 3 vols. (London, 1933). Contains much valuable material, but is strongly prelatic. Of these books, A. R. Scott's The Pictish Nation is perhaps the most complete. Its 1918 edition is an example of exceptionally beautiful bookmaking. New York City Contributors to This Issue The Rev. Walter H. Koenig is pastor of St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, Pekin, N. Y. The Rev. H. O. A. Keinath, Ph. D., is professor at Concordia Teachers College, River Forest, Ill., and teaches in the department of religion. The Rev. F. R. Webber is in charge of the Lutheran Parish Center, N. Y., editor of the Church Builder, and secretary of the Missouri Synod's Conunittee on Church Architecture.