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and established himself in Argyleshire; his descendants had somewhat extended their dominions, and had crossed the mountain range separating Argyleshire and Perthshire--but about the time of which we now speak, Brude, the King of the Picts, had attacked them and driven them back within that range which from that time formed the boundary of the Scottish Kingdom during the whole time of its existence. The Picts held the whole country north of the Friths of Forth and Clyde; the Welsh or British Kingdom of Strathclyde, extending from Dumbarton to the River Derwent, was maintaining a struggling existence against the Saxons, and Galloway was inhabited by a race of Picts, who remained distinct, and retained the name of Picts, until long after the time of David First. It is usually said that the Picts in Scotland, north of the Friths, were divided into two nations, the Northern and the Southern Picts, and that the mission of St. Columba was to the Northern Picts. I venture to suggest, however, that this is a mistake. The statement rests on the authority of Bede, who, as I have mentioned, says that Ninian converted the Southern Picts. But in Bede's time King Oswy had extended his dominions up to the Grampians, and thus for a time created a division between the Picts subject to his authority, and those beyond the mountains who remained independent, and thus probably misled Bede. He heard or read that Ninian had converted the Southern Picts, and assumed that they were those subject to the Saxons; but I think it is obvious that the Picts, with whom St. Ninian came in contact, were those of Galloway, and they would naturally, in his time, be designated as Southern Picts, as distinguished from the Picts dwelling beyond the Northern Wall. The statement in the Saxon Chronicle is as follows:
"A. 565. This year Ethelbert succeeded to the kingdom of the Kentish-men, and held it fifty-three years. In his days the holy pope Gregory sent us baptism, that was in the two and thirtieth year of his reign; and Columba, a mass-priest, came to the Picts, and converted them to the faith of Christ; they are dwellers by the northern mountains. And their king gave him the island which is called li (Iona]; therein are five hides of land, as men say. There Columba built a monastery, and he was abbat there thirty-seven years, and there he died when he was seventytwo years old. His successors still have the place. The Southern
Picts had been baptised long before: Bishop Ninia, who had been instructed at Rome, had preached baptism to them, whose church and his monastery is at Whitherne, consecrated in the name of St. Martin: there he resteth, with many holy men. Now in li there must ever be an abbat, and not a bishop; and all the Scottish bishops ought to be subject to him, because Columba was an abbat and not a bishop.
“A. 565. This year Columba, the presbyter, came from the Scots among the Britons, to instruct the Picts, and he built a monastery in the Island of Hii." Be this as it may, however, it is quite clear that the Picts never were divided politically into two nations. We have lists of their kings, and they never had more than one king at a time, and there can be no doubt that Brude M'Mailchon, who was converted by Saint Columba, reigned over the whole Pictish race north of the Friths—his seat being at Inverness. His successor appears to have had his capital at Abernethy, and there is some ground for the conjecture that the Pictish kings may have been chosen alternately from two families, the one having its possessions and settlements south of the mountains, and the other north of them, but so far as I have been able to trace, there is no authority for holding that there was any political separation except during the thirty years that the Saxons held dominion up to the Grampians. I think, therefore, that we may safely hold that Saint Columba's mission was to the whole Pictish nation ruled by Brude, as his Church undoubtedly was established among them.
The reason of Saint Columba leaving Ireland is by one tradition said to have been that he was excommunicated, and sentenced to perpetual exile by a Council of the Irish Clergy on account of his having been the cause of the bloody Battle of Cuildreanhne. But this is contradicted by all the facts of the Saint's life-for he repeatedly went from Iona to Ireland, and undoubtedly retained the rule over all the monasteries which he had founded in Ireland, and a most powerful influence in that country till his death. Adamnan mentions, however, that a sentence of excommunication was unjustly passed on him, but that it never took effect, or was recalled at the Council at which it was pronounced. His removal from Ireland, therefore, need not be attributed to any other cause than the missionary zeal which had taken possession of him and his contemporaries at that time; but it may have
had a partly political object, for at that time his kindred, the Scots of Dalriada, were being hard pressed by King Brude; they were Christian, and he may have feared that they would be destroyed, and resolved to make an effort to save them. And it is a fact that from his time for very many years there was peace between the Picts and the Scots.
Whatever the impelling cause, in 565 Saint Columba sailed from Ireland and landed in Iona, and, finding it a suitable place for his purpose, he established there a monastery of monks on the model of that which he and others had previously established in Ireland, having obtained a grant of the island, according to Bede, from Brude, but, according to other accounts, from the King of the Scots of Dalriada. From thence he went to the Court of King Brude, then at Inverness; and he appears soon to have gained him over to the faith, and to have always retained a great influence over him. During the remaining years of his life he seems to have laboured mainly among the Picts, and before his death he had converted the whole nation and established his Church securely among them; and so vigorous was it that, within less than forty years after Columba's death, it undertook the conversion of the Northumbrians, and established a Church among them which existed, under the primacy of Iona, for thirty years, when it retired before the advancing Church of Rome.
As I have said, the Church which developed itself in Ireland, and of which the Scottish Church was long a branch, had certain peculiarities which distinguished it from all other Churches. To state these distinctions in a word, it may be said that the Church was a monastic tribal Church, not subject to the jurisdiction of Bishops.
Monasticism was first introduced from the East, but it was well-known in the Roman Church before the time of St. Patrick, and we have seen that he says that through his means the sons of the Scoti and the daughters of princes became monks and virgins of Christ; but in the Roman Church monasticism was an order within the Church, existing along with a secular clergy, and subject to the jurisdiction of the bishops. In the Church which developed itself in Ireland, and was introduced into Scotland, on the other hand, the whole Church was monastic, and subject to
the jurisdiction, not of bishops, but of abbots, who were not necessarily, and, in point of fact, seldom were bishops, and while the Episcopal Order and the special functions of the Episcopate in the matter of ordination and the celebration of the mass with Pontifical rites, was recognised, the bishop was not a prelate, but a functionary and official of the Church, living as a monk in the monastery, and subject to the abbot. This peculiarity of the Church was for long a battle ground between Presbyterians and Episcopalians, and founding on a passage in Fordun, it was maintained by the advocates of Presbyterianism that the Church of St. Columba was a Presbyterian Church, in something of the sense in which that word is applied to the present Churches in Scotland—but this contention is now exploded. In the sense of equality among the clergy, either in the matter of power or of functions, the Church was entirely different from the Presbyterian Churches. The abbot, although he might be only a presbyter, ruled over the whole community with absolute power. On the other hand, while the bishops had no jurisdiction, they were recognised as a distinct and necessary order of clergy, with certain functions which the presbyter could not assume, and the Church had thus the three orders of clergy, and that regular succession of Bishops, which are looked on by some as essential requisites of a Church. The respect in which St. Columba himself held bishops is shown by an anecdote told by Adamnan as follows :
"Of Cronan the Bishop.--At another time, a stranger from the province of the Munstermen, who, in his humility, did all he could to disguise himself, so that nobody might know that he was a bishop, came to the saint; but his rank could not be hidden from the saint. For next Lord's day, being invited by the saint, as the custom was, to consecrate the Body of Christ, he asked the saint to join him, that, as two priests, they might break the bread of the Lord together. The saint went to the altar accordingly, and, suddenly looking into the stranger's face, thus addressed him :—'Christ bless thee, brother ; do thou break the bread alone, according to the Episcopal rite, for I know now that thou art a bishop. Why hast tħou disguised thyself so long, and prevented our giving thee the honour we owe to thee?' On hearing the saint's words, the humble stranger was greatly astonished, and adored Christ in His saint, and the bystanders in amazement gave glory to God."
We find too that when a mission was sent to a distance, the leader was ordained a bishop, so that he might be able to ordain local clergy, and in this case the office of abbot and bishop was generally combined. The three abbots who ruled at Lindesfarne, while the Church there was subject to Iona, were ordained bishops at Iona.
The tribal organization of the Church seems to have been a counterpart of the tribal organization of the people among whom it arose.
There seems to have been no head of the Irish Church. Each saint bore rule over all the monasteries founded by him, and his disciples, and the abbot of the head monastery succeeded to this jurisdiction. Thus the Abbot of Iona, which had the primacy among the foundations of Columba, ruled over all the monasteries founded by him in Ireland and Scotland, and this continued till the community at Iona was broken up. The monks belonging to the foundations of one saint thus formed an ecclesiastical tribe, and in the same way the monks in each monastery formed a subtribe. There was, too, a regular law of succession to the headship of a monastery. We find mention of lay tribes and monastic tribes in the Brehon laws, and elaborate rules are laid down for the succession to an Abbacy. Thus the succession was first in the tribe of the patron saint, next in the tribe of the land, or to which the land had belonged, next to one of the finé manach, that is, the monastic tribe, or family living in the monastery, next to the anoit Church, next to a dalta Church, next to a compairche Church, next to a neighbouring cill Church, and lastly to a pilgrim. That is, if there was a person in the monastery of the tribe of the patron saint fit to be abbot, he succeeded ; if not, then the succession went to one of the tribe from whom the land had been acquired, and if there was no such, then it went to all the others in succession, the Churches mentioned being connected in various degrees with the foundation, the headship of which was vacant. According to this rule, we find that for more than a hundred years the Abbots of Iona were all of the tribe and family from which Columba himself was descended.
The peculiarity which, however, appears to have attracted most attention from the Roman clergy, when the two Churches came in contact in the seventh century, was the time at which the