Sunday, 8 November 2009

Sketches of Scottish History (5)

IT is impossible to find out in what way Christianity
was introduced into Scotland ; but it is
certain that the first great name with which this
era is connected is that of St. Ninian, who is called
by the " venerable Bede." " The Apostle of the
South of Scotland." He founded a religious house
or church at Whithorn in Wigtownshire and died
in A. D. 432. Intimately connected with him was
St. Patrick who went to Ireland, the year of St.
Ninian's Death. He died A. D. 460. In Scotland
arose another great name Palladius who labored
successfully among the Picts, to near the middle of
the sixth century. A well know disciple of his
St. Kentigern or St. Mungo, established the faith
among the Britons in the West. St. Columba succeeded
Palladius, but on account of the civil strifes
of his country retired to lona in A. D. 563 and
founded the celebrated monastery there which
became a centre of learning. From this time to
the middle of 1he eighth century and on to that of
the tenth, we know little of the Church in Scotland .
These names then of St. Ninian, Palladius and St.
Columba are imperishably connected with the era
succeeding that of the Druids. Druidical worship
gave way before their kindly teachings. The long
white-robed Druid priest neither cut the Mistletoe
any more nor sacrificed the wretched victim on the
Altar Stone. The great circles of stones became
deserted and in their place little churches began to
be built all over the Island.
It continued thus until the reign of King Malcolm.
This King is immortalized by Shakespeare,
the renowned Bard of Avon in his beautiful and
well known Tragedy of Macbeth. Macbeth had
murdered the previous King
" Good King Duncan"
and usurped the throne. Young Malcolm, his son,
fled to England and lived for fifteen years at the
English court, eating the bread and drinking the
water of a lonely exile from his native land. At
last, receiving help from the English King, he
returned to Scotland, encountered Macbeth at
Dunsinane and slew him. He thus ascended the
Scottish throne and reigned in peace.
Some extracts from that immortal Tragedy must
be inserted here as the "Play of Macbeth" tells us
of one of the earliest periods in Scottish History.
The exquisite morceaux which can be culled

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