St. Patrick, a Sabbath Keeper?
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Joined: 21 May 2008
Posted: 25 May 2013 at 2:07am
I came across a discussion on how St. Patrick was a 7th day Sabbath keeper till his death.
Here are the historical quotes that were given:
Margaret of Scotland: Queen and Saint, page 97
He (Patrick) never mentions either Rome or the pope or hints that he was in any way connected with the ecclesiastical capital of Italy. He recognizes no authority but that of the word of God . . . When Palladius arrived in the country, it was not to be expected that he would receive a very hearty welcome from the Irish apostle. If he was sent by [Pope] Celestine to the native Christians to be their primate or archbishop, no wonder that stouthearted Patrick refused to bow his neck to any such yoke of bondage.
Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, vol. 1, pp. 12-15
200 years after Patrick (Michelet writing of Boniface, the pope's apostle to the Germans): "His chief hatred is to the Scots [the name equally given to the Scotch and Irish], and he especially condemns their allowing their priests to marry."
History of France, vol. 1, page 74
It (the Papacy) labored to gather Patrick into its fold by inventing all kinds of history and fables to make him a papal hero. It surrounded with a halo of glory a certain Palladius, apparently sent by Rome to Ireland in the midst of Patrick's success. He also has been called Patrick.
St. Patrick, His Life and Teaching, page 33, note 1
Historian A. C. Flick writes: "The Celts used a Latin Bible unlike the Vulgate, and kept Saturday as a day of rest, with special religious services on Sunday."
The Rise of the Medieval Church, page 237
"It seems to have been customary in the Celtic churches of early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest from labor. They obeyed the fourth commandment literally upon the seventh day of the week."
The Church in Scotland, page140, James C. Moffatt, D.D.
"In this latter instance they seemed to have followed a custom of which we find traces in the early monastic church of Ireland by which they held Saturday to be the Sabbath on which they rested from all their labours."
Adamnan Life of St. Columba, page 96), W.T. Skene
Has anyone come across this..?
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also......
Joined: 04 Apr 2012
I believe it as we can know for sure God has always up through it all had His Faithful ones!
Like Jesus said, His Church would never fall, "gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
The term used there "The Church in Scotland", is like saying The Church in Corinth back in the Bible, and that is the term needed today of His Church anywhere, the name of it's where abouts.
The world has a lot of holidays but is it not strange few even want to keep the one He wants us to keep in His Honor? His Honor should be first with all and especially any who claim His Name!.
Isn't it a matter of Love!
1Jo 4:4 ¶ Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Full Member PLUS
Joined: 21 May 2008
I read somewhere that at the same time as Paul went out in his travels to spread the gospel, other missionaries went to the islands of Great Britain. I will see if I can find it and see what it has on this..
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also......
Joined: 08 Apr 2013
Location: Southeast - USA
Re: Patrick, etc
A few yrs ago, I put together this little study. I would like to think that you may find it helpful.
Patrick (Circa AD 370-465)
Founder/Organizer of the first Christian Churches in Scotia/Hibernia (Ireland and Scotland)
Most of us have heard about "St. Patrick". Every March there is a day "named in his honor" where people wear green and you see lots of "shamrocks". Patrick is known as "the father of Irish Christianity".
In a way there are two "Patricks" - the one that belonged to the Church in the Wilderness, and then the fictional "Saint" Patrick.
His given name was Succat Maewyn. After he became a priest, he took the name of Patrick, or Patricius, meaning "well-born or noble" in Latin.
Patrick belonged to the Celtic (pronounced: "Keltic") race that lived in the area known as "Hibernia", and later "Scotia". Today, this area is known as Ireland, Scotland, and Cumbria (Northumberland, England). History tells us that the Celts were descendants of Gomer, son of Ja'-pheth, son of Noah.
About seven or eight centuries BC, there were two Celtic migrations across Europe. The first wave was Gaelic and they occupied the northern parts of [today's] Scotland and Ireland. Celtic Christianity came from churches primarily in Italy and Asia Minor - which sent missionaries to France, and also to Roman Britain. These Christians were known as the British Celtic Christians.
You may find it interesting that this well-known Irishman was not born in Ireland. Although many places have been claimed as the birthplace of Patrick, according to his own writing, Confession, as well as, the careful research of Dr. Benjamin Wilkinson (Truth Triumphant), James A. Wylie (History of the Protestantism, History of the Scottish Nation, etc... ), and several others. Evidence shows that he was born in the kingdom of Strathclyde, along the banks of the River Clyde, (under the very shadow of the rock that so grandly guards the entrance of that river) at [the capital city] Nemthur, in "Roman Britain", near the modern city of Dumbarton in Scotland, then referred to as "Hibernia" or the Roman name "Caledonia".
Rome controlled this area and Patrick was most likely born a Roman citizen, (like the apostle Paul), because his grandfather "Potitus" was a "presbyter" (a high ranking church leader equal to that of "bishop" in the papal meaning of the term) of the settlement of "Bannaven Taburniae"; and his father "Calpurnius" took an active role as a deacon and also held the rank of "decurio"; that is, he was a member of the council of magistracy in a Roman provincial town. Thus, young Succat (his first name, among his own tribes), before he became the man who has taken his permanent place in history as Patrick, was "well-born" of a "noble" family.
Although surrounded by Christian influences, when Patrick was about fifteen years old he turned his back on God, (He commits a sin - which is to come back and haunt him almost 50 years later!). When he was sixteen years old he was taken captive by pirates and sold into slavery in "Hibernia-Scotia" (aka - Ireland). During his captivity, He is converted to Christ. When he is 22, he manages to escape and finds a ship that takes him to "Gaul" or "Britain" (Southern England). Here he is taken captive again, and again he manages to escape. When he is 24, He finally reaches his parents' home in "Hibernia-Caledonia" (Scotland).
Later, in writing of his time in captivity in Hibernia-Scotia (Ireland), Patrick says:
I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people, according to our deserts, for quite drawn away from God, we did not keep his precepts, nor were we obedient to our presbyters who used to remind us of our salvation. And the Lord brought down on us the fury of his being and scattered us among many nations, even to the ends of the earth, where I, in my smallness, am now to be found among foreigners.
And there the Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my unbelief, in order that, even so late, I might remember my transgressions and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God, who had regard for my insignificance and pitied my youth and ignorance. And he watched over me before I knew him, and before I learned sense or even distinguished between good and evil, and he protected me, and consoled me as a father would his son.
Therefore, indeed, I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favours and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity. For after chastisement from God, and recognizing him, our way to repay him is to exalt him and confess his wonders before every nation under heaven: (Taken from his writing, Confession.)
During his six years of captivity he learned to know, love, and obey God through the school of affliction. Like the prodigal son, he worked for his captor taking care of animals. He experienced hunger and nakedness, which turned his thoughts and heart back to his family and what he had been taught about God as a child. When he escaped and returned to his former home he was a truly a converted Christian.
... I used to pasture the flock each day and I used to pray many times a day. More and more did the love of God, and my fear of him and faith increase, and my spirit was moved so that in a day [I said] from one up to a hundred prayers, and in the night a like number; besides I used to stay out in the forests and on the mountain and I would wake up before daylight to pray in the snow, in icy coldness, in rain, and I used to feel neither ill nor any slothfulness, because, as I now see, the Spirit was burning in me at that time. (Taken from his writing, Confession.)
Soon after returning home, according to his writing, Confession:
"The Lord speaks to him by dreams and tells him to return to those who were beside the forest of Foclut which is near the western sea. His parents and friends offer him gifts and beg him not to leave ".
Also during this time, he confesses his boyhood sin to a close friend in the Congregation. (This confession to his "friend" is a mistake. For it will come back and haunt him in another 30 years - when he is about 60).
About the time he turned 30, he is ordained as a deacon in the Congregation. About two years later, in 405 A.D., he returns to "Hibernia-Scotia" (aka: Ireland) with one book: the The Itala Bible, (which was the first translation from Greek to Latin three hundred years before the Latin Vulgate was translated), and begins to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
During his earlier experience as a captive, Patrick became fluent in the "Irish" dialect of the Gaelic language; this would prove to be very important in his preaching and teaching. He believed that God was calling him to spread the gospel to the people of Hibernia-Scotia (Ireland) who were living under the superstitions and practices of the Druids. These people believed in reincarnation, practiced sun-worship, moon-worship, divination, human-sacrifices, and would use magick to cast spells.
Patrick began having great success in Hibernia-Scotia (Ireland). By faith alone thousands were converted to Christ. The Druid's human sacrifices came to an end; as did Slavery. Patrick knew the strong influence of the Druids; and he knew that for Christianity to grow in the future, education was very important. He established training centers in: Benchor, Lismore, Clonard, Armagh, and Muinghard. These were Bible schools where the gospel was taught so its students could go and continue to spread the gospel. Part of the students' studies included: the copying of scripture - so that others could have God's Word to study and memorize.
Patrick stood opposite many of the teachings of the Roman Church. For example, he appealed to the Bible and the Bible alone as the sole authority for his work. He gave credit to no other worldly authority; he recited no Church Creed. Interestingly, several official creeds of the church at Rome had by that time been ratified and even commanded by the popes, but Patrick mentions none. In his Confession he does make a brief statement of his beliefs, but he does not refer to any church council or creed as authority. Furthermore, nowhere in any of Patrick's writings does he say anything of Rome, or of having been commissioned by Pope Celestine, or hints that he was in any way connected with the ecclesiastical capital of Italy. He recognized no other authority but that of the word of God. He attributed his apostleship altogether to an inward call, which he regarded as a divine command.
Also, no pope [before the twentieth century] ever mentions the good news of the great transformation of the Hibernians from heathenism to Christianity - as a result of Patrick's efforts. This, they certainly would have done, as was done in MANY documented other cases, had he been an agent of the Roman pontiff.
One of the reasons, no doubt, why the Papacy for many centuries did not mention Patrick's name or his success was due to his position in response of the decrees of Rome's "Trinity Doctrine". Simply put, Patrick did not accept that false teaching. The Trinity Doctrine was a very "hot topic" in Patrick's day, so he was certainly aware of the teaching. For an excellent study on this very topic, please see: Truth Triumphant by Dr. Benjamin G. Wilkinson (Chapter 7, section: The Beliefs And Teachings Of Patrick, pp. 84-89).
He obeyed the Ten Commandments, (including the 2nd and 4th), and he kept the Seventh-day (saturday) Sabbath - at a time when Rome was already deeply established in a most wicked violation of God's Commandments. Again, for an excellent study on this very topic, please see: Truth Triumphant by Dr. Benjamin G. Wilkinson (Chapter 7, section: The Beliefs And Teachings Of Patrick, p. 88, and Chapter 8, section: The Education Of Columba, p. 95).
We also know that Patrick permitted his pastors to marry, which went against the practice of celibacy which the Roman Church was practicing. Patrick also rejected the union of church and state. It had been more than one hundred years passed since the first "world council" at Nicaea had united the Roman church with the Roman empire. Patrick rejected this model. He followed the lesson taught in the Bible when Christ refused to be made an earthly king. Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:36).
In fact, One of the strongest proofs that Patrick did not belong to papal "Christianity" is found in the historical fact that for many centuries after his death Rome made every effort to destroy the church Patrick had founded.
Interestingly, the Scottish folk [still] have an old Gaelic saying which was popular long before Christopher Columbus "found" America, and literally translated it says:
"The Scots (Hibernians in general) were the last to accept the (7th day) Sabbath, and the last to give it up".
Simply put, in all of Europe they were the last ones to hear "about" the Sabbath, and they were the last of those in the British Isles to be persecuted (as a race) by Rome for True Sabbath-keeping, thus "giving it up", or to be more accurate: having it taken away from them - by the agents of Satan.
The news of the great success Patrick was having with the Gospel soon reached Rome. Celestine, Bishop of Rome, sent a man named Palladius to demand that those "new Hibernian Christians" accept him as their bishop. Palladius arrived in "Ireland" in 431 A.D., and was immediately repulsed; and thus fled for his life. He never returned to Rome, and he died later near Aberdeen "Scotland" on March 17.
(Yes, Patrick really did drive the snakes out of Ireland!), And in order to confuse the world, and hide Rome's failure in infiltrating their "Religion" into the Christianity being taught (for over 25 years by this time), by Patrick, Rome made a few revisings/manipulations in her "Official" historical records.
Roman Catholic records today claim that: Patrick, being the first missionary to Ireland, "began" his ministry in Ireland (Hibernia-Scotia) in 432 AD; yet those same Roman Catholic records today still declare that "Bishop" Palladius arrived in Ireland in 431 AD, thus preceding Patrick by one year.
One particular problem with Rome's claim (other than the obvious blatant contradiction) that Patrick "began" his ministry in Ireland in 432 AD, is that at this time Patrick would be about 60 yrs old. For according to his writing, Confession, Patrick simply says that he ministered among the "Scots" (as the people of Ireland were then called) from the time that he was a "iuventus" - literally, a young man. Therefore, according to Rome, he would be A youth at 60 years old !!
As mentioned, Palladius later died at "Fordun", fifteen miles from Aberdeen, in "Caledonia"/Scotland on March 17, about the year 450. In the middle of the twelfth century, when almost all of the entire "British Isles" was put under papal rule, in honour of their servant Palladius, Rome made March 17th an annual "Auto De La Fe, Celebrato", and bestowed upon Palladius the title "Apostle of Ireland".
Later, in the 1600s, when the Roman Church began to try to find "peace" with the protestant Scot/Celts, whose love for Patrick was very deep and loyal, and win them to Rome's beliefs, rather than attempting to defame Patrick's name as she did so many years before, Rome decided to create her own "Patrick" - one who performed marvelous miracles. She made-up stories of Patrick making a stone "float" so a poor leper could have a "boat-ride" to Ireland, and of Patrick bringing many relics from Rome - including a sheet with Christ's blood on it and some of the hair of Jesus' mother.
Little by little, the "real" stories of Patrick were replaced by the imaginary ones - like the one of him chasing all the snakes out of Ireland. During this period, Rome began referring to March 17th as "Saint Patrick's Day". In fact, in 1737, it was Irish Catholic immigrants to the United States who began observing this "Celebrato" publicly in the "New World" (in Boston), and held the [so-called] first "St. Patrick's Day Parade" in New York City in 1766.
Many of the pagan holidays which the Druid's (and others) had observed were not destroyed by "Christianity", but rather were changed into the Roman Church's holy days. For example, the Druid's four-day Winter Solstice Celebrations became associated with Christmas; the festival Ostara, (named after the goddess Isthar), became Easter; Samhaim - when they performed human sacrifices and also honored the dead, became Halloween and All Saint's Day; and Imbolc or Oimelc which was held on February 1st, was replaced by the Catholic Church with Candlemas Day on February 2, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and features candlelight processions.
As mentioned earlier, Patrick's confession of his boyhood sin to a close "friend" comes back and haunts him in 431 AD, when he is about 60. Immediately after the Christians drove the Roman "snakes" (Palladius and company) out of Hibernia/Ireland -- as revenge, Palladius, who was unable to stop Patrick's ministry tried to find some scandal in his past that would ruin him. When Palladius discovered the very thing he was looking for, he was most instrumental behind the "elders" scandalizing Patrick (See: Patrick's Confession) and almost destroying him through the divulging of his boyhood sin. The time frame and the "date fixing" is so monumental that the finger points directly to Rome as the author of the scandal that almost ended Patrick's ministry in Hibernia!
With hope that the Gospel should flourish in Hibernia/Ireland during his own lifetime did not content Patrick; he took every means to give it permanent occupancy of the land. The provision he made for bringing the whole nation under religious instruction, and drawing the people to the observance of Divine ordinances, was wonderfully complete - considering the age in which it was made, and the difficulties to be overcome in a country newly rescued from paganism. The grand idea of a God who is a Spirit - a Father, who has given his Son to be the Saviour of men - had been made known to them; and who can estimate what a power there is in this idea to humanise and to elevate - to awaken love and hope in the human heart, and to teach justice and righteousness to nations.
The change which God wrought [through His servant Patrick] on Hibernia (in general) was great. Compared with the reformation of Luther, it may be readily admitted, that the work of Patrick was feeble and imperfect. The fifth century was poor, in comparison with the mighty instrumentalities in which the sixteenth century was so rich. It lacked the scholarship, the intellectual vigour, the social energy, and the brilliant examples of personal piety which shed so great a splendour on the first age of the Protestant Reformation. The fifth century had no printing press. It had no "Frederic the wise"; it had no theological treatise like the "Institutes", and no compend of the Christian revelation like the "Augsburg Confession". Moreover, the "light" did not reach Hibernia till the "daylight" was rapidly "darkening" in other lands. It was "the beams of a rising sun" that burst on the world in the sixteenth century - it was "the rays of a setting sun" that fell on Hibernia in the fifth.
As Christian "Ireland" went forward, displacing slowly and laboriously it's pagan roots, it had to leave in its rear many a superstitious belief, and many a pagan custom. In numerous instances, (no doubt), the oak groves of the Druid were given to the axe, and the dolmen and stone pillar lay overturned and broken by the hammer of the iconoclast. But not in all cases. In some localities these objects of idolatrous reverence were spared, and became snares and causes of stumbling to the converts. But with all these drawbacks, the change accomplished in Hibernia was immense.
By the seventh century, the majority of Europe had fallen into what we call the Dark Ages. This was a period of time when most of the people lived in poverty, illiteracy, and superstition. In contrast, Hibernia (Ireland, Scotland, and Northern England) was referred to at that time as "the land of saints and scholars". Much of the credit for this goes to the efforts of Patrick, a true servant of God. It is believed that as many as 365 churches were established, and well over 100,000 people were converted to Christianity, as a direct result of his efforts. The churches and the schools rose together, and religion and learning kept equal pace in their journey through the land. Although most of Europe was into the Dark Ages, Hibernia continued to be "a beacon of light" as its people were taught the scriptures.
In the centuries that followed the death of Patrick these schools (or as the chroniclers of the middle ages, who wrote in Latin, term them "monasteries" - which is misleading, to say the least) continued to multiply, and the number of their pupils greatly increased. No fee was exacted at their threshold; thus contributing to their popularity. The schools which Patrick had started, had become colleges, their doors stood open to the son of the serf as well as to the son of the prince. No nation was unwelcome. From across the sea came youth in hundreds to be taught in them and carry back their learning to foreign lands. Kings and noble families took a pride in fostering what they saw was a source of strength at home and glory abroad. In some instances the number of students in attendance almost exceeds belief - the cases are well authenticated. All of whom, the Scotia-Hibernians: "received most warmly, and supplied them, not only with daily food, free of charge, but even with books to read, and masters to teach gratuitously." (See: Bede, Eccl. History., lib. 3 p. 27).
These schools of Divine knowledge continued in vigour for about three centuries after their founder had gone to his grave, and they furnished an able but inexhaustible supply of evangelists and missionaries. Many of these men, finding their labours not "needed" in a land so plentiful supplied with evangelists as Scotia-Hibernia (Ireland-Scotland) now was, turned their steps to foreign countries.
From "Ireland" and later Iona there went forth one missionary band after another to scatter the pagan darkness where it still lingered, or to stem the incoming tide of papal arrogance and usurpation. Rome was compelled to pause in her advance before their intrepid ranks. In Gaul, in Germany and other countries, these devoted preachers revived many a dying light, refreshed many a fainting spirit, and strengthened hands that had begun to hang down, and they long delayed, though they could not ultimately prevent, the approach of an evil destined to embrace all Christendom in its folds, and darken its sky for ages.
As one author put it, "In the centuries to follow, [Patrick's] legacy as a faithful Sabbath-keeper would quickly be shrouded with half-truths and mysticism due to the eventual overthrow of the Celtic Church. (The victor always writes history.)…Sadly, the truth behind his powerful work is twisted and dimly lit, but that doesn't mean the real truth can't be told….It is a lesson we should not forget. Ireland prospered in peace for centuries as it obeyed God's commands by [Patrick's] lead. After it incorporated unholy doctrines and practices, it fell into despair and was subjugated by oppression and cruelty."
Columba and the Culdees
The modern countries known today as Ireland, Scotland and [specifically Cumberland and Northumberland - Shires] England,
In the early centuries AD,
Columba was born in Hibernia-Scotia (Ireland) in AD 521. When he was born he was given two names - Crimthann (which means "Wolf") and Colum (which means "dove"). Because of his love for God, and his kind and simple life he was best known as Colum (a dove) rather than the fiercer Crimthann. He was of royal blood but, like Moses, he chose to give up his claims to a throne and instead became a servant of God.
The most famous schools in Hibernia at that time were the ones built from Patrick's work. Columba attended the schools at Moville, Leinster, and Clonard. It was at Clonard that he studied under Finnian, who was so famous and well respected that enrollment at his university was said to be 3000 students.
Columba finished his schooling when he was twenty-five and went to "Northern Ireland" where he built a school and church at Derry. This place is now known as Londonderry. After establishing this training center, Columba spent the next seven years setting up as many as three hundred churches and many church schools throughout Ireland.
Yet Columba had plans to become a missionary. "Scotland" was the land he chose for spreading the gospel. Much of "Scotland" was still "pagan", (Note: there will be more on this, as we shall discover that "Scotland", at this time, was not as "pagan" as most would have us believe. -end note.), and since one of his relatives had won a kingdom in what was then called "Caledonia", Columba decided this would be a good place to establish a center of education that would train young people to go as missionaries with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The island that he was given permission to build on was named Iona. On this small island, Columba began to build a school that would become world-famous. For 641 years the followers of Columba lived on this island until they were driven out by the Benedictine monks in 1204.
Here on Iona the students received the highest Biblical training, studied the sciences (such as math, physics, and astronomy), learned Greek and Latin, along with gaining knowledge in agriculture, baking, mechanics, music, and architecture. The students learned how to build simple churches, homes and other buildings. Both students and teachers spent time in a work program in addition to their studies. Much of their day was spent in working the large orchards, meadows, and gardens that supplied food for those living on Iona. Others helped in the bakehouse, worked at mechanical pursuits and other manual labor.
It has been said that it often took eighteen years of training at this school before students were ordained as deacons or ministers. They finished with a thorough knowledge of God's Word, which made them powerful leaders and preachers. They were able to reproduce large portions of scripture, and had the capabilities needed to start their own school and churches.
Columba taught his followers that their beliefs and practices must be based on the Bible and the Bible only. They were taught never to accept as truth any doctrine not found in the Bible. The students were required to memorize much of the Scriptures, and the songs they sung were often Psalms set to music. For an example of an eighth century Irish hymn you might want to read the words for "Be Thou My Vision".
The young people of Iona were taught the basic doctrines of Christianity such as the divinity of Christ, baptism, the atonement (what Christ is doing in the heavenly sanctuary today), inspiration of the Scriptures, and the prophecies connected with the last days. They did rejected the papal doctrines of infallibility (that the Roman Church is always correct), celibacy (the priests cannot marry), transubstantiation (the communion bread becomes the "actual" body of Jesus, and the grape juice becomes the "actual" blood of Jesus when the priest prays over the bread and wine), the confessional (telling a person your sins so you can be forgiven), the mass, relic worship, image adoration, burning candles and incense in front of a tomb, and the primacy of Peter.
One of the important activities on Iona was making copies of the Gospels. These scriptures were not only carefully reproduced but were beautifully decorated with artwork which had a Byzantine and Irish influence.
Iona, like the many other churches and schools that Columba had established, was well organized. Each school had a headman who was usually called the abbot. The spiritual leader of Iona was given the special name of "coarb" and he was looked upon as the spiritual successor of Columba. The pastors were given the name "Culdee" which meant "man of God."
Columba went back to "Ireland" and visited and taught at many of the schools and churches that he had built before going to "Scotland". In a short period of time these missionary churches covered the British Isles as well as much of the continent of Europe with the truth of the gospel.
We know that the Culdee Church kept the seventh-day Sabbath as Patrick and the church in "Ireland" did. "It seems to have been customary, in the Celtic churches of early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest from labor. They obeyed the fourth commandment, literally, upon the seventh day of the week." Benjamin G Wilkinson, Truth Triumphant p. 114.
At the time of Columba's death it was recorded: "Having continued his labors in Scotland thirty-four years, he clearly and openly foretold his death, and on Saturday, the ninth of June, said to his disciple Diermit: 'This day is called the Sabbath, that is, the day of rest, and such will it truly be to me; for it will put an end to my labors.'" Benjamin G Wilkinson, Truth Triumphant 108.
After the death of Columba, the leadership of Iona was taken over by Baithen. This great man was an experienced missionary who had built a training center on the island of Tiree. It was said that he was the most knowledgeable person in both the Scriptures and in science, of anyone living west of the Alps.
The next four hundred years saw great events take place in England, Scotland, and Ireland. There were many battles between the kingdoms in England and Scotland. All three countries were invaded by the Danes who conquered England and Ireland. There also was intense pressure put on the Celtic Church by the ever-growing papacy. Some of the kingdoms accepted the power of the papacy to help them regain their power from their invaders. The Roman Church worked through the armies of powerful papal states such as Germany, France and Spain. Those that favored the Celtic Church couldn't see any country in Europe that had not made an alliance with Rome. This left the British Isles in a vulnerable position and the papacy was quick to take advantage.
Within 125 years of Columba's death the Picts had been swayed by Rome to begin keeping the Roman Easter (which always fell on a Sunday) and ordered all the Columban pastors to leave.
Yet not everyone was against the Celtic Church. When Kenneth MacAlpine, king of the Scots, united both the Picts and the Scots into one kingdom a little over 125 years later, he quickly brought back the Culdee pastors to lead their former churches.
Because of the deep love and respect that was held for the memory of Columba and his successors, the Scottish Church remained true to most of the ideals that had been handed down to them for over 500 years.
Then, in 1058, Malcolm III (or Malcolm Canmore) came to the throne. He had been educated in England with the English king, Edward the Confessor, who was a loyal Roman Catholic. Malcolm was not well grounded in the Celtic doctrines. It was at his coronation that Celtic Christianity began a fierce struggle to survive.
Satan set a plan in motion that would help destroy the Culdee church. As he has often done in the past, he used someone the king loved to influence him for evil. Satan knows how to use "peer pressure" even on adults.
This is what happened: Malcolm III married a woman named Margaret. She was a member of one of the royal houses of England, but had lived in Hungary where she became a devoted Catholic and planned to enter a nunnery. She did agree to marry Malcolm, but she insisted that she be allowed to take charge of the religious affairs of England.
Dr. Wilkinson tells us, "Margaret found the Scottish Church a church of the people; she determined to make it the church of the monarch." Truth Triumphant 111.
Now began a battle between the people and the throne. Margaret was a beautiful and intelligent woman with a good memory, and she had been well trained in papal doctrines. She brought with her teachers who would help her deal with the Celtic Church. She knew that it would be unwise to try to destroy the name of Columba so she began instead to pass laws against the customs and teachings of his church. Margaret began to do what had worked so well for the papacy in many other countries - she used the power of the throne to bring obedience to the Church.
A three-day religious congress was called. Margaret was the one in charge and the king gave his full support to his much-loved wife. She began with a law to enforce the Catholic Easter and then moved into the question as to why the Culdees used their native language for services rather than Latin as the Roman Church did. She protested against the Scots' day of worship.
"'Let us,' she said, 'venerate the Lord's day, inasmuch as upon it our Saviour rose from the dead: let us do not servile work on that day.'" Truth Triumphant p. 113.
Sunday laws were put in place and the inevitable persecution followed.
In 1130, Margaret's son, King David, ordered the Culdees to worship on Sunday or their lands would be taken away and the people expelled. The people chose to be loyal to God's law and had to move while their properties were given to the Sunday-keeping monks. However, the Celtic Church's love for the Bible and their attention toward education and critical thinking sowed many seeds of truth. For a time those seeds were hidden but in the days of Wycliffe and later when the Reformation gained strength in England and Scotland they sprang up to flourish and bear fruit.
The godly life of Columba bore a heavy harvest. His life shows us what God can do with a person totally dedicated to Him. The enemies of truth could not erase the powerful influence of this great man. Even while persecuting God's commandment-keeping people. Eventually, the Roman church had to do for Columba what they had done to Patrick - they made him a Roman saint.
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