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dishonest, and desirous that right should rule, will draw nearer to each other on boards of management, and yield the reciprocal support which each requires. A small and resolute band of just men might dictate a better rule of procedure to many a loosely disposed body, certain to go aside unless thus guided or opposed. There is no limit to the value of one clear mind and determined conscience. Even a somewhat crotchety disposition is easily bearable, when the moral faculty is supreme. But an honest man must beware how he allows the advocacy of obvious right to be silenced by the charge of either squeamishness or crotchetiness. These are the names ever bestowed by bad men on pleadings for justice and truth; and if right principles are to triumph, they must usually be fought for with the utmost audacity. Sometimes there is required a charge like that of Balaclava, or a stubborn defence like that of Inkerman.
The practical lesson for men who are doubtful of their own forces, or over confident of them, is to regard with profound suspicion and fear the combinations which are uniformly fatal to the weak and to the vain. He who enters an association without knowledge of his companions deserves all the temptation into which he ventures. But it is a furnace from which he will not return like the Hebrew youths scatheless-since to the end of his days he will carry the irremoveable smell and indelible brand of the flame which has “passed upon him.” Thrice happy if he himself has not been utterly lost in the consuming fire.
CLAUDIA AND PUDENS.
It is not surprising that the dim annals of early British Christianity should attract and fascinate poetic minds. For, little as we know of the story of four centuries, it is quite apparent that the churches of Britain held no mean place in the community of saints. Druidism, at a very early period, disappears.* The only martyrs of the Cross are victims not to native, but to Roman idolatrous zeal.f Early Christian writers, both in the East and West, point to Britain as pre-eminent in faith. Heresies sprang from Britain, as they always do from large and prosperous churches. The legends of King Arthur show how intensely penetrated with Christian thought was the heroic age of our country.
* The massacre of the Druids by Suetonius, A.D. 61, only partly accounts for this.
† So, St. Alban in the Diocletian persecution : often called “the first British martyr," A.D. 303.
Yet the history is almost all lost. Not even Welsh patriotism can supply more than a few isolated facts, uncertain traditions, tantalizing glimpses. The Saxon conquest doubtlessly destroyed many a record which would now be priceless. Thomas Fuller characteristically likens the facts he is able to produce to the fragments of skin and bone, which the Levitical law permitted herdsmen to show as proof that their lost cattle had been devoured by wild beasts. So, the historian can but“ produce these torn reversions hardly rescued from the teeth of Time.”
Still, whatever can be known of those old days is worth the gathering ; and imagination may have much worse work to do than that of harmonizing scattered particulars and piecing broken histories by probable conjecture. We are thankful to the writers named below, whose works have drawn us into this strain of remark, for their efforts to such an end. Perhaps, indeed, they have but faintly appreciated the general iguorance of the whole subject, or at least they would have favoured their readers with some few matter-of-fact notes. It is hardly safe to presume that anything on the topic is “ generally known.” Probably the average Englishman believes that Britain was altogether a heathen land until the days of that most fruitful of witticisms, Non Angli sed angeli! Indeed, as we write, a morning London newspaper of to-day lies by us, in one of whose columns of literary criticism we find the following sentence, referring to a volume just published by Lady Herbert of Lea :
“The most important of these biographies is that of Monica, the mother of the famous Saint Augustine, to whose compassionate interest our British forefathers are said to have owed their acquaintance with Christianity, and who was himself indebted for his own conversion to the unceasing, but unobtrusive, endeavours of the most pious and patient of parents."
We know not whether most to admire here ;—the confusion between the Bishop of Hippo and Augustin the Monk—the reference to our “ British forefathers," when evidently the writer has some vague idea about the great evangelist of the Sacons ;-or the commendable touch of caution in the words "are said to have owed their acquaintance with Christianity!” " The famous Saint Augustine ! Most famous, we should have thought in the eyes of all who knew his name, as the antagonist of Pelagianism; and was not Pelagius a British Christian, or, to speak more accurately, a Welshman, whose name was Morgan ? Truly, when our great public instructors can promulgate such * Claudia, by Mrs. Frederick Prideaux. Smith, Elder & Co. Master and Scholar, &c., by E. H. Plumtre, M.A. Strahan, Claudia and Pudens.
or the ague idea abonathers," wher
was in Romecisively timed, we re
views of history, the poet may well fear lest the subtlest interweaving of fact with fiction should be lost upon average readers. At any rate, it may not be amiss for us briefly to intimate the few certainties and high probabilities on which Mrs. Prideaux has based her interesting poem, and Professor Plumtre his graceful sketch.
Among the latest words of the Apostle Paul, he sends to Timothy the loving remembrance of “Eubulus, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren” (2 Tim., iv. 21). Of the personages so named, we read no more in Scripture. But we learn decisively from the poet Martial that, in his time, there was in Rome a British lady named Claudia, married to Pudens, a distinguished soldier raised, for his services in the western part of the empire, to the equestrian dignity.* Thus far, we could perhaps gather nothing from the mere coincidence of names, especially as the greater part of Martial's Roman career was subsequent to that of Paul. The Apostle, in fact, was martyred about A.D. 67, while the poet's residence in the city was from 66 to 100. Persons known to both must, therefore, belong to the very earliest period of Martial's Roman life. And if Pudens was then a Christian, as he must have been from the Apostle's mention, would Martial have been admitted to his friendship, or have uttered for him the wedding invocation
“Macte esto tædis, o Hymenæe, tuis ?” These are undoubtedly difficulties; and critics like Dr. W. L. Alexandert have been led by them to reject the supposition of identity. And yet there is a chain of coincidences on the other side, remarkable, to say the least.
For instance, it is a remarkable thing that a British princess should appear in Rome with the name of Claudia—the appellation of the Imperial house. Does history authorize the notion that an act of adoption had united the family of the Emperor with that of any native prince? We turn to Tacitus, and find that special favour had been bestowed on a British chieftain
* The marriage of Pudens and Claudia is mentioned Martial Ep. iv. 13. Claudia's matronly honours are celebrated xi. 53, where we learn that she was a Brilon, the former epigram having simply foreigner. The military achievements of Pudens are referred to, i. 32, v. 48, vi. 58 ; and the friendship between him and the poet is intimated iv. 29, vii, 11. From these last two epigrams Pudens appears to have been a sharp critic, whom Martial was anxious to propitiate, although his attempt to make the poet's muse more decent was vain.
† See Kitto's “ Biblical Cyclopædia," last Edition, and “The Ancient British Church,” R.T.S. Mr. Merivale, in his “ History of the Romans under the Empire," allows the difficulties, yet evidently leans to the .dentity.
named Cogidunus, of the Regni (occupying what is now Sussex, with part of Surrey), who had been a faithful ally of the Romans, certain states having been made over to him as a reward of his allegiance.* The historian says nothing more about him; but it so happened that, in the year 1723, while making some excavations at Chichester, the labourers dug up a broken marble tablet, with a Latin inscription to the following effect :
THIS TEMPLE OF NEPTUNE AND MINERVA
LEGATE OF THE EMPEROR IN BRITAIN
HAVE DEDICATED AT THEIR OWN COST
THE SITE BEING GRANTED BY
PUDENS THE SON OF PUDENTINUST Here, then, we have a British chief-Cogidunus-honoured with the surname of Claudius, and closely connected with one Pudens. Now the chief's daughter would, of course, be called Claudia ; she would, almost equally of course, be sent to Rome for her education, partly, also, as a hostage for her father's fidelity. The chronology would favour her being there at the same time with the Apostle, and her subsequent marriage with Pudens would be a natural event. That their marriage (supposing them to be the two persons mentioned by St. Paul) had not taken place when the Epistle was written appears plain from the mention of another name, that of Linus, between them.
But is there anything to connect the house of Cogidunus and his presumed daughter with Christianity ? In reply, we may observe, that the general commanding in Britain when Cogidunus was received into favour (about A. D. 45), was Aulus Plautius. To his guardianship, and to that of his wife Pomponia, the care of the Princess would naturally be assigned. We may add, that Martial speaks of his Claudia as Rufina ; that is, “ of the house of Rufus.” Now, Pomponia“ belonged to a house of which the Rufi were one of the chief branches.” Her adoption would, therefore, give to Claudia this further name. Then it is almost certain that Pomponia was a Chris
* Tacitus. Agricola, 14.
† The tablet, of grey Sussex marble, is now in the grounds of Goodwood, in a summer house. It should be added that some of the words are filled in or completed conjecturally, the stone being fractured. Of the name transcribed “ Pudens," the first three letters are gone, but there is little doubt that the transcription is correct.
before the poet the heatheneven though the
tian* Some years previously (say A. D. 57), she had been solemnly accused, and tried in Roman fashion before a jury of her kindred, "for holding a foreign superstition,” precisely the phrase which Tacitus, who tells the story, t would be likely to apply to Christianity. She was acquitted, it is true, through the partiality of her husband; but spent the rest of her life, forty years, in mourning and retirement.
We may suppose, then, without any violence to probability, that the scattered facts we have indicated, may be harmonized in some such view as the following : that Claudia, daughter of the British chieftain, Cogidunus, having been sent to Rome to the care of Pomponia, received from her patroness the teaching of the Christian faith, that Pudens, her affianced lover, formerly a heathen, also accepted the Gospel; and that the two, in the days before their marriage, were among the friends and comforters of the great Apostle, when he had fought his good fight, and finished his course. The friendship of Martial with Pudens may very probably have commenced during the western campaigns of the latter, before the poet took up his abode in Rome; and we need not wonder that the heathen epigrammatist should write in heathen style to his old friend, even though the latter was now a Christian. There is, moreover, a touch of reverence in the poet's regard to both Pudens and Claudia, as though Martial at heart acknowledged that they were better than he.
The poem which Mr. Plumtre has founded on these facts, occupies a part of his recently published volume, “ Master and Scholar, etc.” The Professor's special faculty for the combination of isolated circumstances into a consistent and shapely whole, is illustrated here, though upon a smaller scale, as truly as in his well-known “Lazarus;" while, as of old, the versification is smooth, graceful, and only too easy. We subjoin a passage :
“So they met once more,
In woman's graces. And he turned to her, * The coincidence with Rom. xvi. 13 is at least curious "Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine."
+ Annals xii. 32.
I See" Claudia and Pudens," a pamphlet by Archdeacon Williams, 1853 ; also Alford, Cony beare and Howson, Lewin, on 2 Timothy. The Quarterly Review, July, 1855, pp. 103-5, geographicaly sketches the conjectural story.