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430 A.D.:  Brits Get Baptized And Win Their Next Battle By God's Hand !!

  The Christian Britons of the 5th century had become a lazy and backsliding church according to some ancient writers, and at times they even mistreated those among themselves who tried to do right by God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  Heresies arose and confused the Christians there also.  God punished them for this attitude with terrible plagues and famines.  Also, the Scots and Picts to their North began raiding and doing much damage.  They several times called upon the declining Roman Empire, who came and restored some order, but then finally they left Briton and could return no more, their Empire too weak and divided to respond to the problems of far away islands like Albion (Britain). 

  The Scots and Picts learned of this, and recommenced their raids.  The relatively weak and martially untrained Britons simply could not withstand them, and for a time were defeated repeatedly, taking shelter in isolated places in the hills and forests, or in caves, or being killed or enslaved.  Finally, the desperate Britons turned across the English Channel to some of the Germanic tribes, offering them land in England it they would come over and defeat the Picts and the Scots. 

  The Engles tribe came, accepted the land, and for a time they successfully fought the Picts and Scots.  But, seeing how good the land was, and how weak the Britons were, they sent for more Angles, and the related Saxons and Jutes, who came over in boats and began to settle without permission or invitation.  They even made a treaty with the Picts against the Britons.  Soon, the Britons were in worse straights than ever and fighting for their lives.  A people grown cold and diffident towards their Savior were finding themselves besieged and at bay, unsure of even their continued existence. 

  But, there were also holy Bishops of the church visiting in their land just then, sent by the Pope to fight heresies which were making the rounds at that time, and they were also there to try to reaffirm the British people's faith.  One of these, Bishop Germanus, rallied the Britons to him so that they could stand up for their faith and their land against these still pagan Germanic mercenaries become invaders.

  These evangelists called the gathered Britons to rise to holiness, they preached to them, prayed for them and with them, and many Briton soldiers were stirred in their souls to accept the Lord Jesus and be baptized.  There was a great revival among these men who had gathered to make a last ditch stand for their people's existence.  This is the story of what happened next as written down by the ancient historian known as 'the Venerable Bede', as found in 'An Ecclesiastic History of England' as I found it translated on the 'Christian Classics Ethereal Library' site (which, by the way, has many more good things to read!):

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IN the meantime, the Saxons and Picts, with their united forces, made war upon the Britons, who in these straits were compelled to take up arms. In their terror thinking themselves unequal to their enemies, they implored the assistance of the holy bishops; who, hastening to them as they had promised, inspired so much confidence into these fearful people, that one would have thought they had been joined by a mighty army. Thus, by these apostolic leaders, Christ Himself commanded in their camp. The holy days of Lent were also at hand, and were rendered more sacred by the presence of the bishops, insomuch that the people being instructed by daily sermons, came together eagerly to receive the grace of baptism. For a great multitude of the army desired admission to the saving waters, and a wattled church was constructed for the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord, and so fitted up for the army in the field as if it were in a city. Still wet with the baptismal water the troops set forth; the faith of the people was fired; and where arms had been deemed of no avail, they looked to the help of God. News reached the enemy of the manner and method of their purification, who, assured of success, as if they had to deal with an unarmed host, hastened forward with renewed eagerness. But their approach was made known by scouts. When, after the celebration of Easter, the greater part of the army, fresh from the font, began to take up arms and prepare for war, Germanus offered to be their leader. He picked out the most active, explored the country round about, and observed, in the way by which the enemy was expected, a valley encompassed by hills of moderate height. In that place he drew up his untried troops, himself acting as their general. And now a formidable host of foes drew near, visible, as they approached, to his men lying in ambush. Then, on a sudden, Germanus, bearing the standard, exhorted his men, and bade them all in a loud voice repeat his words. As the enemy advanced in all security, thinking to take them by surprise, the bishops three times cried, "Hallelujah." A universal shout of the same word followed, and the echoes from the surrounding hills gave back the cry on all sides, the enemy was panic-stricken, fearing, not only the neighbouring rocks, but even the very frame of heaven above them; and such was their terror, that their feet were not swift enough to save them. They fled in disorder, casting away their arms, and well satisfied if, even with unprotected bodies, they could escape the danger; many of them, flying headlong in their fear, were engulfed by the river which they had crossed. The Britons, without a blow, inactive spectators of the victory they had gained, beheld their vengeance complete. The scattered spoils were gathered up, and the devout soldiers rejoiced in the success which Heaven had granted them.

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  There were several times in the Old Testament of the Bible when God told his people that He would fight for them, and the Israelites won mighty victories against their enemies without even having to use a weapon.  In some cases the enemy would unexplainedly begin fighting, faction against faction, within their own ranks until all or nearly all were dead.  In other cases, a great but unexplainable fear would grip the enemy ranks, and they would drop  their weapons and flee.  It was odd, but it was predicted by God, and happened.  They, in faith, rode out to face the enemy, and God answered their faith by providing the victory His own self.  He often made His people actually fight and then merely aided them.  But in some cases, He did all of the fighting Himself.

  This was just such a case in the battle that was just described, though it happened about 430 A.D., and in England.  But, the truth is that God told Jesus to sit down while Jesus' enemies were made into a foot stool for His feet.  And God has never quit working on that since then, in His way, in His time, and with Him picking the places and the battles.  But slowly and surely He has been making the Gospel message available to the whole world, and defeating the enemies of His Son one people at a time.

  The Britons would win a few and lose a few to these same Germanic tribes after this, but in time the Saxons, Engles, and Jutes were most all become Christians as well, and got along fine with the Welsh and Cornish Brythonic celts, and in time, all peoples of those British Isles and Ireland were living in a general state of Christian peace with each other.  That is the power of the Gospel, and that is the sure and certain unfolding of any plan that God the Father makes, isn't it?  Praise be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!  And dare we say 'Hallelujah'?

©2017 Daniel Curry & 'Deeds of God' Website