Slike strani
PDF
ePub

There is a Llanfor, towering aloft,
Where the Clwyd flows into Clywedog,
And I know not whether she be her equal.
The Dee winds within her borders,
From Meloch to Traweryn;
The pastor of the flock of Llanfor is our conductor.

Here three churches are mentioned together in such a way that their enumeration may best be attributed to the circumstance of their being founded by the same Saint, since the descriptive term—"great church"-was not likely in those days to have passed for a proper name. The Bard spent the latter part of his life at Llanfor in Merionethshire, where he died, and in these stanzas he appears to warn his spiritual instructor against some impending danger. Situated where he was, unless he was a good topographer, he could easily conceive that the upper part of Cardigan Bay intervened between him and Llanfor in Lleyn Carnarvonshire, the parishioners of which place are near enough to the sea to hear the music of the waves. The Bard mentions also another church which is conceived to be Llanynys* in Denbighshire, the name of which, in English “ the church of the island,” is descriptive of its situation between the rivers Clwyd and Clywedog. This church has been ascribed to St. Saeran from the circumstance of his having been buried there;t but as Welsh churches are sometimes found to claim the honour of two Saints, this will interpose no difficulty, since the oldest Saint may be allowed to be the founder, and the younger may have

[ocr errors]

Yssydd Llanvor tra hànawg

Heis Dyvyrdwy yn ei thervyn
Ydd aa Clwyd yn Nghlywedawg O Veloch hyd Traweryn
Ac ni wn ai hi llallawg.

Bugail lloi Llapvor llwybryn.
* Chapel to Llanynys-Cyffylliog, St. Mary.
+ Myv. Archaiology, Vol. II. page 51.

# The two Saints are rather a proof that there was no formal dedication, and that the church was called after the name of the person whose memory was most associated with it.

been a distinguished minister, or one who increased the privileges of the church. In the last stanza, the Bard returns to his own parish; and the Dee, Meloch, and Traweryn, are rivers in that neighbourhood which still retain those names.

About this time (A. D. 420 to 430) it is said that the Church in Britain was infected with the Pelagian heresy; and that the orthodox clergy, being unable to stem its progress, sent to Gaul desiring assistance. Upon which it was determined in a full synod of the Gallican Church, that Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre, and Lupus, Bishop of Troyes, should be sent to Britain to confute the heretics. The date assigned to this event by Prosper, a contemporary writer, is A. D. 429; but he speaks of Germanus only, who, he says, was sent by Pope Celestine at the suit of Palladius, the Apostle of Scotland. Constantius of Lyons, the biographer of St. Grrmanus, who wrote while several persons who had been acquainted with that Prelate were living, relates the affair differently; and his words

may

be rendered as follows.*—“At that time a deputation, direct from Britain, announced to the Gallican Bishops, that the Pelagian heresy was gaining an extensive hold upon the people in that country; and that assistance ought to be given as soon as possible to the Catholic faith. For which reason a large synod was convened, and with one consent the prayers of the whole assembly were directed to those bright luminaries of religion, Germanus and Lupus, Apostolic priests, who while their bodies were on earth had their minds fixed on heaven. And inasmuch as the necessity appeared the more

* The original, as given by Archbishop Usher, is,—“Eodem tempore ex Britanniis directa legatio Gallicanis Episcopis nunciavit, Pelagianam perversitatem latè populos occupâsse, et quamprimum fidei catholicæ debere succurri. Ob quam causam Synodus numerosa collecta est: omnium. que judicio duo præclara religionis lumina universorum precibus ambiuntur, Germanus et Lupus, Apostolici sacerdotes, terram corporibus, coelum meritis, (seu mentibus) possidentes. Et quanto necessitas laborosurgent, so much the more readily did those devoted heroes undertake the task, hastening the despatch of the business, to which they were stimulated by their faith.”—This narrative amounts to a full contradiction of the other as regards the interference of the Pope, or Palladius. Baronius endeavours to reconcile the statements by supposing that Celestine might have entrusted the affair to the Gallican synod, and approved of their choice. But the haste with which, according to Constantius, the business was transacted will allow of no such supposition. Besides which, Baronius ought to have known that at that time the Pope and the Gallican Church were at variance. The latter were charged with Semi-Pelagianism, and Celestine was not likely to trust the suppression of Pelagianism to those persons whom he himself accused of an approximation to it. It would appear that when Prosper found that the mission of Germanus and Lupus had been attended with unwonted success, he wished to claim a share of the credit for his friend, the Pope ; for he was himself also one of the greatest opponents of the Semi-Pelagians, and perhaps the reason why he omits the name of Lupus is because that person was brother to Vincentius Lirinensis, who was a distinguished leader of the adverse party.*

Stress is laid upon these particulars because Prosper would insinuate that Britain was brought under the Papal jurisdiction; but, unfortunately for his pious fraud, the clearest proofs of British independence appear after his time. The historian Bede, who was a zealous Catholic, gives an account of this transaction in nearly the same words as Constantius. In the latter writer may also be found an inflated account of

ior apparebat, tanto eam promptius heroes devotissimi susceperunt, celeritatem negotii fidei stimulis maturantes.”-De Brit. Eccl. Primordiis, Cap. XI.

* Usher de Primordiis, Cap. XI. and XII. Hughes's Horæ Britannicæ, Vol. II. Cap. VII.

the zeal, and success of the preaching of Germanus and Lupus until the Pelagians were triumphantly vanquished at a general conference, supposed to have been held at Verulam. Then follows the discovery of the relicks of St. Alban, and a description of a mass of earth still reeking with his blood, which Germanus carried away to Gaul. The next occurrence is the miraculous victory obtained by the Britons, under Germanus, over the Saxons and Picts, by suddenly shouting the word “ Alleluia,” upon which the enemy fled in great consternation. It seems strange that Constantius should describe such miracles within fifty years after the death of the Saint, but this was the age of religious imposture, and stories could be related at Lyons, with perfect safety, of events which took place in an obscure corner of Britain. It does not appear that any

of these tales are to be found in Welsh MSS. and it was the occurrence of the name of “Maesgarmon,”* in the parish of Mold, Flintshire, that led Archbishop Usher to fix upon that spot for the “ Alleluiatic Victory.” That a battle was fought there, under circumstances which were afterwards improved into a miracle, is not improbable; and there are names of places in that neighbourhood, which show that the district has, for some reason or other, been tenacious of the memory of the Saint. The alliance of the Saxons and Pictst about a score of years before the landing of Hengist, is possibly a mistake, into which Constantius was led for want of the means of accurate information.

The mission of St. Germanus, or as he is called by the Welsh, Garmon, may have lasted about two or three years, and, according to Constantius, he visited Britain a second time, upon which occasion he was accompanied by Severus, Bishop of Triers. Archbishop Usher calculates that the second mission was performed A. D. 447, and that it was of short continuance. On the other hand, the Welsh authorities would imply that he visited this country but once, which was about the time of the last date,* when he was accompanied by Lupus, for they make no mention whatever of Severus. Partiality for national traditions must give way in a point in which Constantius could not easily have been mistaken; besides which, there is an incongruity in the Welsh accounts themselves which ought to be rectified. The following is extracted from Achau y Saint, as translated in the Horæ Britannicæ. (Vol. II. page 161.)

*“ The field of Germanus.” + Qu. Gwyddyl Ffichti?

Garmon was a Saint and a bishop, the son of Ridigius from the land of Gallia; and it was in the time of Constantine of Armorica that he came there; and continued here to the time of Vortigern; and then he returned back to France where he died. He formed two choirs of saints, and placed bishops and divines in them, that they might teach the Christian faith to the nation of the Cymry, where they were become degenerate in the faith. One choir he formed in Llan Carvan, where Dyfric (Dubricius) the Saint was the principal, and he himself was bishop there. The other was near Caer Worgorn,t where he appointed Iltutus to be principal; and Lupus (called Bleiddan) was the chief bishop there. After which he placed bishops in Llandaff; he constituted Dubricius archbishop there; and Cadoc, the Saint, the son of Gwynlliw, took his place in the choir at Llancarvan, and the archbishop of Llandaff was bishop there also.”

Now it happens that another note in Achau y Saint says that the College of Caerworgorn was founded by Cystennyn Fendigaid, and soon afterwards destroyed by the Irish. At that time its principal was Padrig. It might be said that Germanus restored the foundation in A. D. 447, when he ap

*“Garmon ap Redgitus o Ffrainc i'r henyw, ac yn amser Gwrtheyrn Gwrthenau i doeth i'r ynys hon.”—Myv. Archaiology, Vol. II. p. 43.

+ Llancarvan and Caerworgorn, the latter of which is now known by the name of Llanilltyd or Lantwit, are both in Glamorganshire.

I“College”-so the word Bangor—the Welsh term for the monastic institutions of the fifth and sixth centuries, is generally rendered.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »