« ПретходнаНастави »
that appellation. This word Deicola, as applied to the anchorets, which Mr. Skene has unearthed in many corrupt forms from records in various languages, is one of great importance, inasmuch as it explains the term Culdee, which has been a subject of so much controversy.
In Irish, Deicole assumes the form of Ceile De, the name given to anchorets in Ireland, and in Scotland we find it in use as Keledei. At a later period the 'God-worshippers' of the Angles were called Colidei, and by a process of exhaustive research on this subject, Mr. Skene is enabled to give the following explanation of the origin of the mysterious Culdees :
“The result, then, that we have arrived at is that the Culdees originally sprang from that ascetic order who adopted the solitary service of God in an isolated cell as the highest form of religious life, and who were termed Deicolæ ; that they then became associated in communities of anchorets, or hermits ; that they were clerics, and might be called monks, but only in the sense in which anchorets were monks; that they made their appearance in the eastern districts of Scotland at the same time as the secular clergy were introduced, and succeeded the Columban monks, who had been driven across the great mountain range of Drunalban . ... and that they were finally brought under the canonical rule along with the secular clergy, retaining, however, to some extent the nomenclature of the monastery, until at length the name of Keledeus, or Culdee, became almost synonymous with that of “secular canon.”?
As we pass down the centuries from the pure and primitive days of Columba and Cuthbert, we find the Celtic Church becoming greatly secularised. The Easter controversy which had even caused the existence of rival abbots at Iona for a period of seventy years, had generally impaired the integrity of monastic institutions, and the heads of religious houses were obliged to fall back on the rights and privileges inherited from the founders. The term Coärb, in connection with the name of some saint, came into use as the designation of the bishops or abbots who succeeded to his spiritual and temporal privileges, and eventually it became the title of the possessors of the land bearing the name of abbot, whether laymen or clerics ; but gradually this mode of succession to the abbacy was superseded by one of a much less satisfactory nature.
The time had passed when the Church could remain wholly monastic, having all her clergy under rule as 'religious ;' and by degrees a secular clergy were introduced into her constitutions, towards whom there was a strong reaction. This was due, perhaps, in part to the fact that the life of the anchorets, as the highest form of service to God, was so far beyond what many even devout men could attempt. An effort was made on the Continent in the eighth century to draw the recluses and the secular clergy more into harmony with each other ; for although at the opposite poles, so to speak, of the ecclesiastical system, they had yet in their independent existence one feature in common as distinct from the cænobitical life of the monks.
In the year 747 Chrodigang, Bishop of Metz, founded an institution of secular canons, with a somewhat strict rule, which required, among other stringent obligations, that the canon clerics should live together in a cloister. The object of this rule undoubtedly was to bring the secular clergy to lead a cenobitical life with such relaxations as would allow the recluses to be included within it; but it became very popular, and it was enlarged, so as to adapt it to the state of the clergy generally, and enable it to be extended over the whole Church. The order of secular canons was introduced into the Celtic Church both in Scotland and Ireland in the ninth century, and in process of time the severity of the monastic rule became so greatly relaxed by the influence of the secular clergy that marriage was gradually permitted even to monks, and became eventually quite general--the rebound towards a secular state being proportioned to the enforced strictness of the previous system. It then followed that spiritual succession to the abbacies was superseded by a direct descent from the ecclesiastical personages themselves, so that the Church offices became hereditary in their families. The next downward step was that the abbots and superiors did not take orders at all, but became virtually laymen-providing substitutes for the performance of the religious functions, but retaining the titles as well as the privileges and emoluments of the spiritual dignities. From these and many other indications of growing laxity, on which we have not space to enter, it is plain that during the centuries immediately following the introduction of the eremitical life, the Celtic Church lost much of her early freshness of grace and severe simplicity. Yet there were times during that long period when a bright light was shed upon her by the fire of persecution, which, amid many shades of error, brought out into strong relief the noble constancy and pure devotion still latent within her.
At the close of the eighth century, and throughout a great part of the ninth, we read of the spoliation of the religious houses and the slaughter of their inmates by those who are termed 'the Gentiles,' that is the Danish sea pirates, then spreading dismay throughout the whole of Britain. They
soon found that the monasteries offered the richest spoil, and directed their attacks against them, and many noble instances might be given of the courage and self-sacrifice with which the religious met the fury of the pagans. One of the most striking of these we must briefly touch upon, in order that a last gleam of heavenly radiance may rest on our picture of the Celtic Church before it fades away from our sight altogether.
Walafrid Strabo, who died in the year 849, tells us of a certain Blathmac, a prince of royal descent, heir to a throne in Ireland, who gave up his kingly rights to lead the life of a monk in the cloister. For a time he was abbot of a monastery in Ireland, but he was possessed with an unappeasable desire to perfect the offering of his love to Christ by undergoing the ‘red martyrdom'-i.e. a death of violence in the Christian cause, in contradistinction to the white martyrdom,' which, we conclude, denoted that daily death in self-mortification spoken of by S. Paul when he said, 'I die daily. In order to attain this height of perfection, Blathmac went, says his chronicler,‘to a certain island placed in the wave-tossed brine, called Iona, and this island he sought under his vow to suffer the marks of Christ, for there the frequent hordes of pagan Danes were wont to come, armed with malignant furies, and there he had not long to wait; the time soon came when the great mercy of our God decreed to associate His servant with His glorious hosts above the stars. When the Danes were about to attack the island, Blathmac bade his brethren decide whether they would endure with him the coming fate, the imminent trial of certain death for the name of Christ, or seek their safety by timely flight;' and some, touched by his words, ‘rejoiced with him to face the raging sword,' while others fled to places of refuge. Then came the fatal morning, and Blathmac stood before the holy altar to celebrate the Eucharistic sacrifice, ‘himself a victim acceptable to God, to be offered up to the threatening sword.' Soon ‘the cursed bands rushed raging through the unprotected houses, and, furious with rage—the rest of the brethren having been slain -came to the holy father,' demanding the shrine of precious stones and metals enclosing the bones of S. Columba; but he refused, 'standing firm before them with unarmed hands, and said, “Savagely bring your swords, seize their hilts, and kill.O God, I commend my humble self to Thy protection. On this “the pious victim was cut in pieces,' and Blathmac obtained his desire of being a martyr for the cause of Christ.
Passing over the gradual decadence of the old Celtic Church, we come to her final disappearance, when she was at
VOL. VII.-NO. XIII.
he there. Churchoption, app
last altogether superseded, and only the ruins of her desolate sanctuaries, and the old burial-places with their Celtic crosses, remained to speak of her witness to Christ in the dark centuries gone by. The causes which brought the Celtic Church to an end may be classed under two heads-internal decay and external change.' Of the first we have already spoken, and the second is inaugurated by the appearance of one of the most striking figures in the history of the eleventh centurythe saintly Margaret, Queen of Scotland, who became the wife of King Malcolm Canmore in 1069. The chroniclers bear unanimous testimony to the exalted character of this noble lady, as unsurpassed in devoted love to God, in entire selfabnegation, and in unwearied desire to benefit the people among whom her lot was cast. But, as a Saxon princess, she had been trained in the system of the great Roman Communion, which she therefore identified with the only true system, so that the Celtic Church, with which she was brought in contact in the land of her adoption, appeared to her to be in error wherever it diverged from it.
In her longing to bring her husband's subjects nearer to her God and theirs, the Queen therefore sought to establish the Roman authority as the one standard of right and wrong in such fashion as to render it logically certain that the Celtic must gradually become entirely incorporated with the Roman Church. The same policy was followed by her son David when he succeeded to the throne after the death of his elder brother Edgar, who seems to have been favourable to the native Church. In the reigns of David and his successors not only was the older ecclesiastical constitution superseded by the ordinary Roman system, but active war was waged against the Culdee establishments, and every effort made to suppress them entirely. A similar course was adopted by the Norman kings towards the religious institutions in Ireland ; and when the process of internal decadence was thus accompanied by external aggression, it could only end in the final extinction of the old Celtic Church in its distinctive character. The last of the Coiumban Abbots of Iona died in the closing year of the eleventh century, and that powerful religious house was given over to the Benedictine monks. A few years later the line of native bishops came to an end. The Archbishop of York claimed supremacy over the episcopal sees of Scotland, and the diocese of Candida Casa (otherwise Whithern) recognised his authority. The last trace of the struggle for independence vanished in the year 1188, when Pope Clement III., in a Bull addressed to King William the Lion, declared the
In thseems to haafter the
Church in Scotland to be the daughter of Rome by special grace, and immediately subject to her.' · And so it is that with the fair vision of the saintly Queen Margaret-anima candida indeed amid the lawless spirits of those evil times—the old Celtic Church, which first dawned on our view in the light of the Candida Casa, fades away from our sight, and disappears behind the stately Roman system which henceforth sat enthroned in her place.
Yet that ancient shrine of the Living God has left an imperishable memory, heritage of all Christians throughout the world in the undeniable witness she bears to the independence of the Churches of Christ in the earlier centuries of our era, and also to the Divine power of that pure Faith which, despite the feebleness of its human agencies and the strength of opposing forces, could penetrate the gross darkness of paganism, and finally dispel it altogether beneath the unobstructed rays of the Sun of Righteousness.
ART. VII.—CYPRUS. 1. Cyprus, its Ancient Cities, Tombs, and Temples: a Narrative
of Researches and Excavations. BY GENERAL LOUIS
PALMA DI CESNOLA. (London : Murray, 1877.) 2. Histoire de l'Ile de Chypre sous le règne des Princes de la
Maison de Lusignan. Par M. L. DE MAS LATRIE.
3 vols. (Paris : à l’Imprimerie Impériale, 1852–61.) 3. Creta, Cyprus, Rhodus, sive de nobilissimarum harum
Insularum rebus et antiquitatibus. Apud JOANNIS
MEURSII Operum Volumen Tertium. (Florentiæ, 1744.) 4. Cyprus. By R. HAMILTON LANG, late H.M. Consul in
the Island of Cyprus. In ‘Macmillan's Magazine' for
August and September, 1878. 5. A Description of the East and some other Countries. By
RICHARD POCOCKE, LL.D., F.R.S. 3 vols. folio. (London, 1743.)
THE announcement that, by the Anglo-Turkish Convention, Cyprus had been ceded to the British Empire has naturally excited a lively interest in the past history and present condition of our new territory. To the inquiry, what is the best