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our Pagan writer stigmatizes, as cultus lugibris et animus mąstus; a sorrowful deportment, and sad turn of mind. He imputes this temper to a long unabating concern about the murder of Julia, slaughter of Drusus, through Messalina. Perhaps she was willing that her gloomy babit should be attributed to that cruel leed, rather than to solemn reflection on the abandoned lives of the Pagan world ; which motive would be heinously offensive to the votaries of Venus, and the sports of the Lupercalia. She had been arraigned on account of her conversion, and might not another time have been favourably treated. I cannot say I clearly comprehend the last words in the passage below from Tacitus, and what “ Glory” he
Pomponia Græcina, insignis fæmina, Plautio, qui Ovans se de Britanniis retulit, nupta ; ac superstitionis externa rea, mariti judicio permissa, isque prisco instituto, propinquis coram, de capite famaque conjugis cognovit, et insontem nunciavit.-Longa huic Pomponiæ ætas, et continua tristitia fuit. Nam post Juliam Drusi filiam dolo Messa- , linæ interfectam, per forty annos, non cultu nisi lugubri, non animo nisi moesto, egit.
Idque illi, imperitante Claudio, impune ; mox ad gloriam vertit,"
Pomponia Græcina, a celebrated lady (married to Plautius, who returned with public honours from the Britannias) being accused of the foreign superstition, was referred to her Husband's decision. So he, by an ancient institute, took cognizance, in the presence of (their) Neighbours, of his Wife's reputation, and capital hazard ; and pronounced her not Guilty. This Pomponia's life was long; and (her) sadness permanent. For, after Julia, daughter of Drusus (was) murdered by Messalina's contrivance, she went through 40 years, not otherwise than in a sorrowfal manner, not otherwise than with a troubled mind. And this, during the reign of Claudius, with impunity; soon afierwards redounded to Glory,"
I am persuaded that this great Lady (converted to Christianity) convinced not only many of the British Dames, who graced her Husband's Ovation, but Roman Ladies also; and Plautius, on his wife's trial, was probably ready to say, as Agrippa to Paul, “ Thou almost persuadest me to be a Christian.”
Before Paul left Corinth the last time, we find that many Converts were at Rome (well known then to Paul) where AQUILLA and PRISCILLA can never be suspected of having been idle. Banished as they were, they returned thither very speedily, Rom. xvi. 3. compared with Acts xviii. And Paul's good friend Phebe, a Deaconess of Cenchrea, was then at Rome, a most active and serviceable person, who, probably, bore Paul's Epistle to Rome; in which He names several zealous Christians there, of his acquaintance there at least THREE YEARS before he attained Rome himself. Paul in his Epistle to Rome, besides extolling Phebe, Aquilla and Priscilla, as active in the good cause, praises a Mary, Andronicus, and Junia, Urban, Apelles, the family of Narcissus, Tryphena, Tryphosa ; Persis ; also RUFUS elected by the Lord. Cannot this be Rufus Pudens, Claudia Rufina's Husband ? Paul also calls the mother of Rufus, his own mother, so much she fostered Christianity.
All this was before Paul went last to Asia, and thence last to Jerusalem, where He was kept a Prisoner above two years.
Owing to the above champions for Christ, so early and active at Rome, I would wonder not, a thousand Claudias were converted before Nero's fifth year.
Protest of the British Church against the corruptions of Popery at the beginning of the seventh Century. (Letter, p. 46, note.)
THE Old Chronicle mentioned by Bishop Davies in his Letter to Archbishop Parker, is quoted also in his Preface to the Welsh Translation of the New Testament printed in 1567. The Bishop's Preface was reprinted (Anthony Wood says)
among other things, and published by Charles Edwards, a Welchman, Oxf. 1671, in oct." It is quoted, with reference to the Old Chronicle, by Theophilus Evans, Vicar of Llangamarch, in his Drych y Prif Oesoedd. (1740.)
H. N. T. S.'s Objections to the Preaching of
St. Paul in Britain.
A MORE violent perversion of authorities, or (if, in candour, it should be said,)