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§ 20. Extinction of the Keltic Church, and Triumph of Rome under King David I.


The turning-point in the history of the Scotch church is the reign of the devout Saxon queen St. Margaret, one of the best queens of Scotland (1070–1093). She exerted unbounded influence over her illiterate husband, Malcolm III., and her sons. She was very benevolent, self-denying, well versed in the Scriptures, zealous in reforming abuses, and given to excessive fasting, which undermined her constitution and hastened her death. “ln St. Margaret we have an embodiment of the spirit of her age. What ostentatious humility, what almsgiving, what prayers! What piety, had it only been freed from the taint of superstition! The Culdees were listless and lazy, while she was unwearied in doing good. The Culdees met her in disputation, but, being ignorant, they were foiled. Death could not contend with life. The Indian disappears before the advance of the white man. The Keltic Culdee disappeared before the footsteps of the Saxon priest.”9595    Cunningham, Church Hist. of Scotland, p. 100.

The change was effected by the same policy as that of the Norman kings towards Ireland. The church was placed upon a territorial in the place of a tribal basis, and a parochial system and a diocesan episcopacy was substituted for the old tribal churches with their monastic jurisdiction and functional episcopacy. Moreover the great religious orders of the Roman Church were introduced and founded great monasteries as centres of counter-influence. And lastly, the Culdees were converted from secular into regular Canons and thus absorbed into the Roman system. When Turgot was appointed bishop of St. Andrews, a.d. 1107 “the whole rights of the Keledei over the whole kingdom of Scotland passed to the bishopric of St. Andrews.”

From the time of Queen Margaret a stream of Saxons and Normans poured into Scotland, not as conquerors but as settlers, and acquired rapidly, sometimes by royal grant, sometimes by marriage, the most fertile districts from the Tweed to the Pentland Firth. From these settlers almost every noble family of Scotland traces its descent. They brought with them English civilization and religion.

The sons and successors of Margaret enriched the church by magnificent endowments. Alexander I. founded the bishoprics of Moray and Dunkeld. His younger brother, David I., the sixth son of Malcolm III., who married Maud, a grand-niece of William the Conqueror (1110) and ruled Scotland from 1124 to 1153, founded the bishoprics of Ross, Aberdeen, Caithness, and Brechin, and several monasteries and religious houses. The nobility followed his example of liberality to the church and the hierarchy so that in the course of a few centuries one half of the national wealth passed into the hands of the clergy, who were at the same time in possession of all the learning.

In the latter part of David’s reign an active crusade commenced against the Culdee establishments from St. Andrews to Iona, until the very name gradually disappeared; the last mention being of the year 1332, when the usual formula of their exclusion in the election of a bishop was repeated.

Thus the old Keltic Church came to an end, leaving no vestiges behind it, save here and there the roofless walls of what had been a church, and the numerous old burying-grounds to the use of which the people still cling with tenacity, and where occasionally an ancient Keltic cross tells of its former state. All else has disappeared; and the only records we have of their history are the names of the saints by whom they were founded preserved in old calendars, the fountains near the old churches bearing their name, the village fairs of immemorial antiquity held on their day, and here and there a few lay families holding a small portion of land, as hereditary custodiers of the pastoral staff, or other relic of the reputed founder of the church, with some small remains of its jurisdiction.”9696    Skene, II. 418.



II. THE CONVERSION OF FRANCE, GERMANY, AND ADJACENT COUNTRIES.


General Literature.


I. Germany Before Christianity.

Tacitus: Germania (cap. 2, 9, 11, 27, 39–45); Annal. (XIII. 57); Hist. IV. 64).

Jac. Grimm: Deutsche, Mythologie. Göttingen, 2nd ed. 1854, 2 vols.

A. F. Ozanam: Les Germains avant le christianisme. Par. 1847.

K. Simrock. Deutsche Mythologie. Bonn, 2nd ed. 1864.

A. Planck: Die Götter und der Gottesglaube der Deutschen. In “Jahrb. für Deutsche Theol.,” 1866, No. 1.


II. The Christianization Of Germany.

F. W. Rettberg: Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands. Göttingen, 1846–48. 2 vols.

C. J. Hefele (R.C.): Geschichte der Einführung des Christenthums im südwestl. Deutschland. Tübingen 1837.

H. Rückert: Culturgeschichte des deutschen Volkes in der Zeit des Uebergangs aus dem Heidenthum. Leipz. 1853, 2 Vols.

W. Krafft: Kirchengeschichte der German. Völker. Berlin 1854. (first vol.)

Hiemer (R.C.): Einführung des Christenthums in Deutschen Landen. Schaffhausen 1857 sqq. 4 vols.

Count de Montalembert (R.C.): The Monks of the West from St. Benedict to St. Bernard. Edinb. and Lond. 1861 sqq. 7 vols.

I. Friedrich (R.C., Since 1870 Old Cath.): Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands. Regensb. 1866, 1869, 2 vols.

Charles Merivale: Conversion of the West. The Continental Teutons. London 1878. (Popular).

G. Körber: Die Ausbreitung des Christenthums im südlichen Baden. Heidelb. 1878.

R. Cruel: Geschichte der deutschen Predigt im Mittelalter. Detmold 1879. (Chs. I. and II.)



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