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The Church of Christ in the Middle Ages

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The Church of Christ in the Middle Ages

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    Jesus Christ
Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. THE FIRST SIGNS OF THE COMING APOSTACY THE NICENE AGE. We come, then, at last, to matter of fact. Let us contemplate the actual state of the Church of Christ, during the third, fourth, and fifth centuries. Even as early as the middle of the third century, evident tokens of a rapid decline became visible. Dr. Burton, in his History of the Early Christian Church, thus describes these tokens:— ' Though Christianity had been gaining ground for so long a period (a.d. 249) it had not, in every respect, the same pure and heavenly aspect as in its earlier days, when the believers were of one heart and one soul. It now numbered in its ranks many wavering and timid disciples, who were little prepared to stand the fiery trial, and to come out unhurt. Prosperity and security were beginning to show their usual effects. The difference between heathens and Christians, as to the performance of their moral and social duties, was no longer so strongly marked. Religious speculations had more than disturbed the unity of faith, and a contemporary writer, himself a bishop and martyr in the cause, informs us, that the manners of the Christians, and even of the clergy, had been becoming gradually corrupt. He speaks of a secular ostentatious spirit being very apparent. Marriages were formed with heathens : and even bishops were seen to neglect their flocks, and employ themselves in the most ordinary occupations, with a view of getting money.' The great epoch, however, of the commencement of the apostasy, must be stated to be what is commonly termed The Nicene Age. In fixing upon this point of chronology, we find a remarkable agreement between Daniel, St. John, and the modern Tractarian leader, Mr. Newman. The prophet Daniel, when predicting the rise of the Roman Little Horn,...  
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  • PDF | 318 pages
  • Jesus Christ
  • General Books LLC
  • Unknown
  • 3
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