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* Having taught righteousness to the whole world, and having travelled to the utmost bounds of the West, (STTV TO TECHLOE ons dooing ea. Iww) and having suffered martyrdom under the Roman Præfects, he departed this life, and went to the holy place, an illustrious example of patient suffering *."
passage of antiquity, which brings Britain within the utmost bounds of the West, and illustrates the facilities of communication between Britain, Spain, and Rome, is of importance in the inquiry respecting St. Paul's journey to Britain, inasmuch as it removes from the testimony of Clemens Romanus all appearance of rhetorical or extravagant expression. I wish therefore to recall
your attention to this part of the evidence of St. Paul's western travels, for the sake of adding to the testimonies given in my
*“ From the undoubted testimony of Clemens(says Stillingfleet) it follows, not only, that the Gospel was preached in Britain, but that St. Paul was the preacher of it.”. (Origines Brit. p. 39.)
St. Paul in his epistle to the Romans promises to go to Spain. His fellown labourer, Clemens Romanus, affirms that St. Paul, in preaching the Gospel, went to the utmost bounds of the West, which in, cluded Spain and Britain. The journey from Rome to Britain was not at, all an impracticable one; and Clement was a perfectly competent judge of the extent of St. Paul's, travels. What then should
, render the literal sense of Clement's testi, mony inadmissible ? Is it a solitary testimony? or is it extravagant and hyperbolical in its language ?
If it were a solitary testimony, and we had nothing in the rest of the Fathers to explain its meaning, or to countenance the supposis tion that by the utmost bounds of the West were meant Spain and Britain, we might be content with the single satisfaction that there is nothing in the Fathers which is contradictory to such supposition, or to the literal meaning of the passage, and something in St. Paul's expressed intention, which rer probable. But it is not a solito
a mony ; and there is, hesides, other dence in the Fa both to meaning, and 1
arm the by its literal
sages in the Fathers, which assure us, that the Gospel was preached in Britain in the days of the Apostles, -- that Britain was visited by some of the Apostles,ấand more than one, that St. Paul in particular was there. Let me remind you of one or two passages before quoted, the first of which I select because it most resembles the language of Clement, and at the same time illustrates his meaning. It is the passage, that comes nearest in antiquity to the testimony of Clement, and is from a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of St. John. Irenæus says, that the Gospel was preached by the Apostles, and their disciples to the utmost bounds of the earth, έως περατων της γης. Spain and the British Isles were then the utmost bounds of the known world, to the West. The utmost bounds of the earth, sepatu 775 yos, in the language of antiquity, meant particularly the West. Hesychius interprets Homer's πειρατα γαιης by την δυσιν*. But Irenæus exemplifies his meaning by mentioning the Churches that were established in Germany, Spain, and among the
, Celtæ. The Celtick' nations, of which Britain was one, are called by Herodotus the
See Barker's Classical Recreations, p. 344-348.
most western of all the Europeans Ter. tullian, who was contemporary with Irenæus, repeats the same testimony to the extensive propagation of the Gospel, but more particularly, by expressly mentioning Britain : -Hispaniarum omnes termini, et Galliarum diversæ nationes, et Britannorum inaccessa Romanis loca, Christo vero subdita. Eusebius and Theodoret say, that Britain was visited by some of the Apostles ; Theodoret again, and Jerome, by St. Paul.
We cannot therefore doubt what Clement meant by the utmost bounds of the West. He could not have been deceived; and the other Fathers had authentic means of information beside the testimony of Clement. What then is the amount of the information, which we have, respecting St. Paul's western travels? St. Paul promises to make a journey to Spain. His fellow-labourer says that in preaching the Gospel he went to the utmost bounds of the West, which included Spain and Britain ; and this is confirmed by evidence from the most ancient Fathers, some of whom affirm, that the British Isles were visited by some of the Apostles, and particularly, by St. Paul.
Herod. L. iv. p. 273.
The relative situation of Britain with pect to Gaul and Spain, and the application of the terms West and extremity of the West, to the British Isles, which we find in a variety of authorities, will throw some further light on the testimony of Clemens, and lessen the alleged difficulties respecting St. Paul's journey to Britair.
The connexion between Spain, Gaul, and the British Isles, is noticed by Tacitus not unaptly for our purpose, as it shews the facility of communication between the several.coun, tries in the first century.
6 Hibernia medio inter. Britanniam atque Hispaniam sita, et Gallico mari opportuna, valentissimam imperii partem magnis invicem usibus miscuerit. Solum cælumque et ingenio altcesque hominum haud multum a Britannia differunt. Melius aditus, portusque perc ommercia. et pegotiatores cogniti*.'
The commercial communication between Spain, Gaul, and Britain, is largely attested by Whitaker, and by Macpherson in his History of Commerce.
In the western division of the Roman