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Early Years of Christianity: The Apostolic Era.
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CONTENTS.

First Century—Book First.

FIRST PERIOD OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE, FROM PENTECOST TO THE COUNCIL OF JERUSALEM.—A.D. 30-50.

CHAPTER I.
COMMENCEMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

Character of the Church—Special character of the Apostolic Church—Periods of its history

23

§ I. Actual foundation of the Church on the Day of Pentecost—Its First Mission and First Persecution—Miracle of Pentecost—Character and Office of St. Peter—His reputed Primacy—Success of the First Mission—First Persecution

28

§ II. The Teaching and First Constitution of the Church at Jerusalem—Attacks made upon the young Church—First apology of Christianity—the Miracles—Scriptural evidence—Appeal to the conscience—Doctrine of the Primitive Church—Ecclesiastical organization—Nature of the Apostolate—Conditions of admission into the Church—Worship of the Primitive Church—General character of this period

42
CHAPTER II.
FIRST INTERNAL CONFLICT, AND FIRST EXTENSION OF THE CHURCH BEYOND JERUSALEM.

§ I. The Seven Deacons of the Church at Jerusalem—Stephen—First Debate in the Church—The Primitive Diaconate—Stephen the precursor of St. Paul—Accusation brought against Stephen—His speech—His martyrdom—Saul of Tarsus, the witness of his noble death

54

§ II. The Dispersion of the Christians—The Gospel in Samaria—Simon Magus—Philip and the Eunuch—Philip at Samaria —Hatred of the Jews to the Samaritans—Dositheus—Simon Magus—His influence in Samaria—His doctrine, according to the "Philosophoumena"—Effect of Philip's preaching—The Apostles at Samaria—Simon desires to purchase the Holy Ghost—Consequences of the Mission in Samaria—Conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch

64

III. Foundation of the Church at Antioch, and Conversion of the Centurion Cornelius—The Church of Antioch founded by simple Evangelists—Peter and Cornelius.

75

IV. The Church at Jerusalem at the time of the First Mission beyond Judæa—The Christians at Jerusalem still Judaizing —Discussion between them and Peter—Creation of the office of Elders—The Elders of the Synagogue—Their equality—The Elders of the Church are also equal among themselves—Martyrdom of James, the son of Zebedee—Imprisonment of Peter—Death of Herod—Part taken by James, the Lord's brother—Importance of the Church at Jerusalem

82
CHAPTER III.
CONVERSION OF PAUL. HIS FIRST MISSION.

§ I. Saul of Tarsus—His Preparation and Conversion—His Preparation—Saul at Tarsus—He goes to Jerusalem—Is a disciple of Gamaliel—His sincerity—His zeal for the Law—His moral malady—His contact with Stephen—Saul the persecutor—Journey to Damascus—He is overthrown by the way—The three days at Damascus—Saul in Arabia—Return to Jerusalem—Saul at Antioch I Character of the Apostolate of St. Paul

95

§ II. St. Paul's first Journey—His first Companions—Conversion of Sergius Paulus—Paul at Antioch in Pisidia—His Sermon—Obduracy of the Jews—Paul and Barnabas at Lystra—Paul is stoned—Return of Paul

116
CHAPTER IV.
THE TWO CONFERENCES AT JERUSALEM, AND THE DISPUTE AT ANTIOCH.

§ I. The Two Conferences—Origin of Polemics—Difficulties in the Church at Antioch—The Private Conference—The Public Conference—Speech of Peter—Speech of Paul—Speech of James —Decisions of the Conference—It concludes with a Compromise

125

§ II. Dispute at Antioch

138

First Century—Book Second.

SECOND PERIOD OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE.—THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH UP TO THE DEATH OF ST. PAUL, FROM A.D. 50 TO 65.

CHAPTER I.
MISSIONS OF THE CHURCH UP TO THE CAPTIVITY OF ST. PAUL.

§ I. Second Missionary Journey of St. Paul—Paul the type of the Missionary—He separates from Barnabas and takes Timothy—Epaphras founds the Church at Ephesus—The Gospel carried to the Galatians—He passes from the East to the West—Foundation of the Philippian Church—Paul and Silas in Prison—Conversion of the Jailer—Paul at Thessalonica—Success and Persecutions—Paul at Athens—The Altar of the Unknown God—Discourse of the Apostle on the Areopagus—Paul at Corinth—Corruption of that City—A Church founded there—Paul there writes the Two Epistles to the Thessalonians—His vow —He goes to Ephesus—Conversion of Apollos

143

§ II. Third Missionary Journey of St. Paul—Sojourn of Paul at Ephesus, then the focus of the Religions of the East—He there writes the Epistle to the Galatians—There he meets with Disciples of John the Baptist, and Jewish exorcists—Effects of his preaching—Voyage of Paul to Crete and Corinth—The Epistle to Titus, and the first Epistle to Timothy, written during this journey—Return to Ephesus—First Epistle to the Corinthians—Tumult raised against Paul—Second Journey into Macedonia—Second Epistle to the Corinthians—Presentiments of Captivity and Death—Return Journey to Jerusalem—Paul at Troas—His farewell at Miletus to the Elders from Ephesus—Paul at Cæsarea Prophecy of Agabus—Arrival at Jerusalem—Paul is arrested in the Temple—His Speech and Imprisonment

169
CHAPTER II.
MISSIONS AND PERSECUTIONS OF THE CHURCH FROM THE CAPTIVITY OF ST. PAUL TO HIS DEATH AND THAT OF ST. PETER.

§ I. Various phases of the Captivity of Paul—Paul before the Sanhedrim—He is transferred to Cæsarea—He appears before Felix —Mildness of his Captivity—He writes the Epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians, and to Philemon—Festus takes the place of Felix—Paul appears to the Emperor—He appears before Festus and Agrippa—Arrival of Paul at Rome—He enjoys a measure of freedom —He preaches the Gospel to the Jews, and to his Jailers —He writes the Epistle to the Philippians—He appears before Nero—The Second Epistle to Timothy is Paul's Testament—General character of the Apostle's Missions to the Gentiles

189

§ II. Missions of the other Apostles during this period—James continues to reside at Jerusalem—Jude in Phrygia—Missions of Andrew, Philip, Matthew, Bartholomew, Matthias, Simon, Zelotes, Judas Thaddeus, and Thomas—Peter at Babylon—His letter to the Christians in Asia Minor—He goes to Rome—Was never a Bishop—Mark founds the Church of Alexandria

204

§ III. Method of Primitive Evangelization—Origin of the First Three Gospels—The Primitive Church not concerned with the writing of Books—The Living Word preferred to the Written—No Primitive Official Gospel—The memory of Christ living in the Church—The part of Christian experience in memorizing the great facts of Salvation—Written records—Apocryphal and Synoptical Gospels—Superiority of the latter—Their origin—They bear the seal of Inspiration—Living character of this Inspiration

216

§ IV. The First Roman Persecution of Christianity—Persecution in Judæa—Death of James, the brother of the Lord—The Religious Constitution of Society in the Ancient World conducive to Persecution—Ancient Religions, State Religions—Special circumstances which render Persecution inevitable—Foreign Religions regarded with suspicion by the Cæsars—The Church confounded with the Synagogue—The holiness of Christians hateful to the Pagans—Calumnies against Christianity—Rapid growth of the Church of Rome—Persecution popular—Part of Nero in this Persecution—Martyrdom of St. Paul and St. Peter—Martyrdom of James, the brother of the Lord, at Jerusalem

220
CHAPTER III.
VARIOUS FORMS OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE IN THE SECOND PERIOD OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE.

§ I. Fundamental Unity in Diversity—Refutation of the system of Baur—Unity prevails over Diversity—Three great types of doctrine appear at this period

233

§ II. Doctrine of James—His characteristic idea is the permanence of moral obligation under the new covenant —Faith joined with Works—Love is pre-eminently the Work—The nature of Pardon clearly expressed—The Gospel History constantly presupposed—Moral importance of the Epistle of James

241

III. Doctrinal Type of Peter—The First Two Gospels—The Gospel is to Peter, first of all, the fulfillment of Prophecy—Comforting view opened of the abode of the Dead—The Gospel of Mark recalls the type of Peter—That of Matthew represents the doctrine of Peter and James

247

§ IV. Doctrine of St. Paul—Polemical character of his teaching—The essential feature of Paul's doctrine is the agreement of the Religious and Moral Elements—The first idea in his Theology is the idea of Justice—Justice the principle of all religion—The Fall a violation by the Creature of the Laws of Eternal Justice—Universality of the Condemnation—Various elements in fallen Man—The Body not the principle of Evil—Sin is a Transgression—The decree of Salvation a free act of Grace—It is not the Predestination of Augustine or of Calvin—Chapter ix of the Epistle to the Romans—Preparation for Salvation—Preparation in Judaism—The Patriarchal age—The Law a Schoolmaster to bring to Christ—Preparation in Paganism—Redemption—Nature of the Redeemer—Divinity and Subordination of the Son of God—His Humanity—He is the second Adam—Work of the Redeemer—Redemption is primarily an act of Obedience—Obedience in Suffering—The Death of Christ is a Free Sacrifice—The theory of Anselm is not to be found in St. Paul—Jesus Christ, raised from the Dead, sends the Holy Spirit—Appropriation of Salvation—Faith, a real Union with Jesus Christ—Justification and Sanctification—Close relation between the two—The Church—Kingdom of Good opposed to Kingdom of Evil—Future of the World and the Church—Judgment, Resurrection—Groaning of the Creation after Redemption—Connection of the two Covenants—The Law of the Letter and of the Spirit—Apology of St. Paul—His doctrine reproduces the Teaching of Jesus Christ

254

§ V. God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for all

271

§ VI. The Gospel of Luke and the Epistle to the Hebrews—The gospel of Luke reproduces the doctrinal type of Paul—The same is the case with the Epistle to the Hebrews, which adds the allegorical element ot the Alexandrine school

292
CHAPTER IV.
THE STATE OF THE CHURCHES DURING THIS PERIOD. FIRST SYMPTOMS OF HERESY.

§ I. Judaizing tendency in the Churches of Palestine, Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia, and Italy—History of the Church at Jerusalem—Judæo-Christianity is there at first kept within bounds—It becomes more decided after death of James—Melancholy condition of the other Churches of Palestine—Judaizing reaction in Palestine—False teachers there combat the influence of Paul—Church of that Country returns to St. Paul—False Teachers at Philippi—Millenarian views at Thessalonica—Church at Rome —Converts from Paganism are there the most numerous—Church of Corinth—Four Parties—Defeat of Judæo-Christianity

299

§ II. Dualistic heresies in Crete, Colosse, and Ephesus—Heresy of Simon Magus, according to the "Philosophoumena"—Heresies of Colosse, Ephesus, and the Isle of Crete—Ascetic Dualism—Abuse of the Scriptures—Medley of Judaism and Orientalism—Grievous consequences of these errors on the Christian life

317
CHAPTER V.
CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCHES DURING THIS PERIOD.

§ I. General Principles of Ecclesiastical Organization—Distinction between the Church Visible and the Church Invisible—No "Mother Church"—No Representative Assemblies—No Center of Unity—Unity of Churches entirely Moral—The Church is the Company of Christians—Is entered by Individual Adherence

331

§ II. Gifts and offices—Gift of Tongues—Gifts of Prophecy and Healing—Gift of Teaching exercised by all Christians—Power of the Keys belongs to them—No Clerical Consecration of the Sacraments—Priesthood universal—Identity of Elders and Bishops—Only one category of Elders—Ministry of the Word not placed by itself—Maintenance of the Elders—The Deacon—Deaconesses—All Offices filled by Election—Imposition of Hands is not Ordination—Offices are Ministries

338
CHAPTER VI.
WORSHIP AND THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.

§ I. Christian Worship during this period—Spirituality of the New Worship: no Priesthood; no Temples; no Holy Days—Sunday not the Sabbath—Acts of Worship—Teaching—Old Testament still the Holy Book—Faithfulness in Teaching required Prayer—Thanksgiving—Song—Sacraments—Baptism linked to Faith; has no connection with Circumcision; not administered to Children—The Communion: Mode of celebration—Ecclesiastical Discipline—Apostolic Age knew no other Sacraments than Baptism and Lord's Supper—Anointing with Oil—Burial of the Dead

361

§ II. Christian Life—Primitive Christianity cannot act directly in all the domains which it is to subdue in course of time—No Opposition between Church and State—The two Institutions unfit to be Separated—No Opposition between Christianity and Art—Creation of a Ideal by the Gospel—Characteristics of Individual Piety —Manual Labor Ennobled—Asceticism—Christian Family —Christianity and Slavery—Latter is morally Abolished—Charity Born upon Earth with Christianity—Relation of Christians to the World—Power of the Holiness of the First Christians

381

First Century—Book Third.

PERIOD OF ST. JOHN, OR CLOSE OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE.

CHAPTER I.
THE FALL OF JERUSALEM AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.

§ I. Destruction of the Holy City—Roman Tyranny in Judæa —First Revolt—Commencement of the Siege—Forebodings of the Divine Chastisement—The Three Factions—Growing Horror of the Siege —Taking of the City—Burning of the Temple

399

§ II. Consequences to the Church of the Destruction of the Temple—Enlargement of Prophetic Views—Need of a Fixed Organization—No Second Council at Jerusalem—The Synagogue formally Excommunicates the Church—Origin of Ebionitism

406
CHAPTER II.
ST. JOHN, THE APOSTLE AND PROPHET.

§ I. Life of St. John—Tardiness of the Influence of St. John explained by the Nature of his Gifts and Mission—Conversion and Growth of John—He Ripens in Obscurity—John at Ephesus —He writes the Revelation before the Gospel—Fourth Gospel and the Epistles of John—Last Years of the Apostle

415

§ II. John, the Prophet of the new Covenant—The Revelation—The same Doctrine in the Gospel and Revelation—General Point of View of the Book of Revelation—Future represented through the medium of Contemporary History—Plan of the Book—Arrangement of the Apocalypse—It proceeds on the same Plan as the Prophecy of Jesus Christ, Matt. xxiv —Prediction of the Fall of Rome—Conflict of the Church with Heresy—Fall of Rome typifies the End of the World—Nero the Symbol of Antichrist—Final Triumph of the Church—The End—Prophecy advances with History

430
CHAPTER III.
THE DOCTRINE OF ST. JOHN.

§ I. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—God is Love—The Son, the Eternal object of the Divine Love—Subordination of the Son to the Father—The Holy Spirit

443

§ II. The Word and the World—Part taken by the Word in Creation—Relation between Man and the Word—The Fall—Sin, the Violation of Law—The Fall is not Absolute

447

§ III. The Word and Redemption—Preparatory Work of the Word—The Attraction of the Father—The Incarnation—Redemption—The Invisible Christ

450

§ IV. The Word in the Christian and in the Church until the end of time—Appropriation of Salvation—Grace—Faith: justifying and sanctifying—The Future of the Church

458
CHAPTER IV.
THE CHURCHES IN THE TIME OF ST. JOHN.

§ I. External Condition—Persecution under Domitian

464

§ II. Internal Condition of the Churches—Heresies—Church Organization—State of the Churches—Diminution of Piety—Heresy—Commencement of Docetism—The Nicolaitans—Cerinthus—Ecclesiastical Organization—John not the Founder of Episcopacy—Worship—Celebration of the Feasts—The Sabbath —The Passover—End of the Apostolic Age

468
NOTES.
Note A. Literature of the Subject 481
Note B. The Chronology of the Acts 484
Note C. Principal Source of the History of the Primitive Church 486
Note D. The Miracle of Pentecost 489
Note E. The Council of Jerusalem 490
Note F. The Supposed Second Captivityof St. Paul 492
Note G. The Epistle of St. Paul 495
Note H. The Epistles of James and Jude 496
Note I. The Second Epistle of Peter 497
Note J. The Authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews 498
Note K. Diversity of views on Theology of the Apostolic Age 499
Note L. The Authenticity and the Date of the Apocalypse 500

Note M. The Authenticity of the Fourth Gospel and of the Epistles of St. John

509
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