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self in water, or in a looking-glass." This Epistle is lost.
6. In yet another North-African tract, of a later age, entitled To Vigilius the Bishop about Jewish Unbelief, we find the Spirit identified with the Christ in this passage: "The Holy Spirit, that is Christ our Lord, Who came forth from God the Father to save the lost ones of Israel."
7. In the disputation of the Catholic Bishop Archelaus with Mani, a Latin document of which the Syriac original belonged to about the year 275, the Spirit of God which descended on Jesus in the baptism in the Jordan is identified with the Christ and Son of God. By Its entrance into the Man Jesus, the Latter became the chosen and adopted Son of God the Father. To the same train of thought belonged the error of which Basil of Cæsarea, in his 72nd Letter, accuses the Arians of Armenia about the year 374, the error, namely, of believing that the Holy Spirit was older than the Son Jesus Christ.
In the earliest church, as represented in the Acts of the Apostles, baptism in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, seems to have been unknown or little used. For converts are baptised in the Name of the Lord Jesus (Acts, viii, 16, and xix, 15), or in the Name of Jesus Christ (Acts, ii, 38). Nor is there any trace of the triple formula in St. Paul's Epistles. It is reasonable to conclude that in the earliest church there was in use a variety of baptismal invocations; and Basil of Cæsarea devotes ch. 12 of his treatise on the Holy Ghost to refuting those who in baptism invoked the Lord alone, basing their usage on the words of St. Paul, Gal. iii, 27, "All of you who have been baptised into Christ."
It is a very significant fact that the baptismal service in the Stowe Missal, the oldest quasi-Celtic service-book we have, altogether omits the baptismal invocation. The
Editor, Mr. Warren, notices in connection with this fact that the same omission occurs in other early Sacramentaries, e.g., in the Gelasian and in a ninth century Sacramentary, Cod. Colbert., No. 1348, printed by Martene, Ordo 5, vol. 1, p. 66. Probably in the Western Church there was so much dispute as to what was the right formula, that it was long left to individual presbyters to use that one which they preferred. The continual insistance in the correspondence of the Popes of the seventh and eighth centuries on the use of the triple formula as essential to true baptism will convey to the mind of every critical student of ecclesiastical documents the impression that in the preceding ages that formula had not been in general use, otherwise so much stress would not suddenly come to be laid upon it. No doubt the Popes were wise, from their point of view, in insisting on uniformity in this matter as a first condition of inclusion in their church, with its claims to universality. For catholicity was only to be won by the extinction of divergent local usages, and baptism as the initiatory rite of the religion was the most important of all rites, and that which must the first be reduced to uniformity.
It is not to be supposed that the introduction of Christianity into these islands took place as early as the second century, and this is not the deduction to be made from the survival in Welsh Christianity of religious formulæ of that age. It is too frequently forgotten by the historian of Dogma that the development of opinion did not go on everywhere at the same rate, and that a new conception might easily gain acceptance as early as A.D. 200, in Rome or Alexandria, which were the two great laboratories of Christian speculation in the first age, and yet not be adopted in the recesses of Gaul till a hundred years later; and then perhaps require another fifty years
in order to penetrate into Great Britain. That it was so in the eastern half of the Christian world we know on ample evidence. For the electionist christology which was condemned in Rome as early as 190, continued to be popular in Antioch as late as 260, when the Emperor Aurelian, from mere motives of high policy, suppressed it in the person of Paul of Samosata. At the end of that century it was still the orthodoxy of the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, and it survived among the mountains of the Taurus all through the middle ages, while in Spain it was not suppressed before the ninth century. The presence therefore of such archaic formula on Welsh stones as late as the ninth century only allows us to infer that the first missionaries, who, perhaps, not before the beginning of the fourth century evangelised Wales, ultimately drew their religious conceptions from a circle of believers such as we know to have remained unmolested within the Roman official Church as late as the year 190, when Zephyrinus drove them out. Nor did his excommunication mean their extinction in that city, for we read in Eusebius that they continued to exist there in force for another century at least, with their own bishops and their own ecclesiastical organisation, always protesting that they were the true Church of Christ and their creed the really orthodox one. I believe, therefore, that if we want to find the real fountain-head of Celtic Christianity, we must go back to the Roman Church of the second century, as it was before the Pope Zephyrinus drove out with anathemas Theodotus and his followers. In that conflict, so disastrous to the whole future of the religion, Theodotus represented the conservative element, the official Pope the party of innovation.
In the above pages I have confined my enquiry to the one question of what it was that rendered invalid in the
eyes of Roman ecclesiastics the baptism of the Celtic church. But it is evident, even from the scanty records we possess, that the differences and antagonism of the rival systems extended all along the line. Thus Boniface (Ep. lvii) attests that the Irish bishop Clemens, in the province of the Franks, "opposed the Catholic Church, gainsayed and refuted the canons of the Churches of Christ and the treatises and sermons of our holy fathers Jerome, Augustine and Gregory." Similarly, in the Pope Zachariah's letters (No. xi) we read of another Irish presbyter named Samson who was reported by Boniface to be in favour of dispensing with baptism altogether. This may mean, either that Samson merely opposed child baptism, or that, like some of the later Cathars, he preached a spiritual baptism which superseded the baptism by water of John. If we had all the evidence before us, we should probably be able to show that the Catharism, which in the middle ages was the home religion of many all over Europe, was largely the legacy of the early Celtic Church.
Samson, says Zachariah, "holds and avers that a man can become a Catholic Christian without any mystic invocation (of the Trinity) or laver of regeneration, by the imposition of the bishop's hands alone." This was exactly the teaching of the Albigeois in a later age.
It is reasonable, also, to suppose that any particular form of teaching which Bede, who passed his life combating the earlier Christianity of these islands, constantly and invariably reprobates, was one that was still current in his time and belonged to the earlier faith. If so, the British Church must certainly have taught that Jesus was not born divine, was not by birth the Christ and head of all creation; but only received the Sonship, the Christhood, the Headship when, in the Jordan, after John's baptism,
the Spirit entered into Him and dwelt in Him. The man Jesus was then chosen and adopted Son of God, then became Christ, having been until then mere man and purely human. This was an orthodox opinion in Rome until about 190, when Zephyrinus pronounced against it, and in Antioch, until in A.D. 269, it was condemned in the person of Paul of Samosata. In outlying circles of believers it lingered for centuries later. We may fairly infer, from Bede's incessant denunciation of it, that it was the characteristic faith of the British Church.
The Council regret that it has not been found practicable to include in this number the paper on "The Greater Wales of the Sixth Century," read by Mr. ERNEST RHYS (Rhys Goch o Ddyfed) before the Society on Wednesday, the 20th April, 1898. If possible it will be included in the next volume of the Society's Transactions. [E. V. E.]