A Complete History of the British Martyrs

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    Storia, Saggistica

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This theory may seem at first sight inconsistent with the statement already quoted from the Triads, viz that Bran, the son of Lear the Stammerer, was that Bran that first brought the Christian faith to this Island. It must be noticed, however, that this declaration is considerably modified by what is stated further on, in the same ancient book, viz., that Bran was the first person who introduced the Christian religion among the Cymry from Rome. The Genealogy of the British Saints leaves this dis puted question perfectly open, as it confines its statement to Welsh Cymry: Bran, the son of Lear the Stammerer, was the first of the nation of the Cymry that embraced the Christian Faith. Any other of the British nation, the Brigantes for instance, might have the Gospel preached to them by St. Peter in the year 58 without infringing this statement. The exact date, however, of St. Peter's visit to Britain, though interesting in itself, is a matter of secondary importance. The really important point'is that historians of credit declare that St. Peter preached the Gospel in this country. As all the Christians in Britain at the time were alto gether exempt from persecution, even during Nero's reign, the sacred writers would be no doubt prudently silent concerning the progress of Christianity in that country, and it is for this reason, perhaps, that no mention is made in the Sacred Scriptures of St. Peter's missionary labours there. The whole controversy on this point is well summed up by Doctor Richard Smith, second vicar-apostolic of England and Scotland, in his Prudential Ballance of Religion, published in 1609. The first chapter of this book commences with the question What religion was in this land before the coming of St. Austin.

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