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Title: A Key to the Knowledge of Church History (Ancient)
Author: Blunt, John Henry
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Key to the Knowledge of Church History (Ancient)" ***

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Transcriber's notes:

   Page numbers in this book are indicated by numbers enclosed
   in curly braces, e.g. {99}.  They have been located where page
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   number has been placed only at the start of that section.

   In the original book, its various chapters' subsections were
   denoted with the "section" symbol (§).  In this e-text, that
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   of these symbols were together, they have been replaced with
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   In the original book, footnotes in a chapter were numbered
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   The original book had many side-notes in its pages' left or
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   meant the splitting of sentences, in which case they were
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Edited by


Editor of
  "The Dictionary of Theology,"
  "The Annotated Book of Common Prayer;"
Author of
  "Household Theology," Etc. Etc.

  _"This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be
  preached in all the world for a witness
  unto all nations._"--St. Matt. xxiv. 14

Waterloo Place, London
Oxford, and Cambridge
[New Edition]


This Volume offers to the reader a short and condensed account of the
origin, growth, and condition of the Church in all parts of the world,
from the time of our Lord down to the end of the fifteenth century, the
narrative being compressed into as small a compass as is consistent
with a readable form.

In such a work the reader will not, of course, expect to find any full
and detailed account of so vast a subject as Pre-Reformation Church
History.  Its object is rather to sketch out the historical truth about
each Church, and to indicate the general principles on which further
inquiry may be conducted by those who have the opportunity of making it.

It is hoped that those whose circumstances do not admit of an extended
study of the subject will find in the following pages a clear, though
condensed, view of the periods and Churches treated of; and that those
whose reading is of a less limited range will be put in possession of
certain definite lines of thought, by which they may be guided in
reading the statements of more elaborate histories.

It may be added, that the writer's stand-point throughout has been that
of a loyal attachment to the Church of England, as the authorized
exponent and upholder of Catholic doctrine for English people.

M. F. B. P.

_July_, 1869.


CHAPTER                                                      PAGE

    V. THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   57
   VI. THE CHURCH UNDER THE ROMAN EMPIRE . . . . . . . . . .   66
 VIII. THE INROADS OF MAHOMETANISM . . . . . . . . . . . . .   88
   IX. THE DIVISION BETWEEN EAST AND WEST  . . . . . . . . .   94
    X. THE CHURCH OF THE MIDDLE AGES . . . . . . . . . . . .  100

       INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  155



The foundation of the Church among the Jews

A.D. 33-A.D. 38

Before entering upon an account of the Foundation and After-History of
the Christian Church, it may be well to consider what that Church
really is.

Section 1.  _Definition of the Church._

[Sidenote: Twofold nature of the Church.]

The Church may be regarded in a twofold aspect, as an external
Corporation, and as a spiritual Body.

[Sidenote: 1. An external Kingdom.]

In the first light it is a Kingdom, in the world, though not of the
world, extending through different and widely-separated countries,
often seemingly divided by outward circumstances, but, in reality,
having all its parts subject to the same Invisible King, governed by
laws which He has given, and by means of those whom He has appointed to
be His representatives on earth.

[Sidenote: 2. A spiritual Body.]

In its spiritual sense the Church is the One Mystical Body of Christ,
of which men are made members by Holy Baptism, and in which they are
nourished and built up by the Holy Eucharist, and the other means of
grace.  These means of grace {2} are dispensed by Priests, who receive
authority and power to execute their ministerial functions from
Bishops, successors of the Apostles, and are assisted in their ministry
by the inferior order of Deacons.

[Sidenote: Future destiny of the Church.]

The members of this Mystical Body, after passing through their
appointed probation in this world, and being built up more and more, if
they continue faithful, into Christ their Head, are removed to join the
Church at rest in Paradise.  There they await the Resurrection and
Final Judgment, after which the "Church Militant here on earth" will
become the Church Triumphant in Heaven.

[Sidenote: The Church exists through and by the Incarnation, applied to
each individual in Holy Baptism, and the Holy Eucharist.]

The existence of the Church is the consequence and fruit of the
Incarnation and Death of her Divine Head; the spiritual life of all her
members being derived from their union with our Blessed Lord's Sacred
Humanity, whereby they are also made "partakers of the Divine
Nature[1]," their birth-sin being at the same time washed away by the
Virtue of His Cleansing Blood.  This Life, once begun, is kept up in
faithful Christians by believing and persevering use of the Mystical
Food provided for its sustenance in their souls--the Blessed Body and
Precious Blood thus given to them being a continual extension of the
Incarnation; whilst their actual sins are forgiven by the absolving
Word of the Priest, and the Pleading of the One Sacrifice, unceasingly
presented in Heaven, and constantly shown forth and mystically offered
on the Altars of the Church on earth.


[Sidenote: Foreshadowings of the Church and the Redeemer's sacrifice
under the Patriarchal]

From the time of the Fall and the merciful Promise of a Redeemer, "the
Seed of the woman," there is also a foreshadowing of the Church as the
appointed way by which mankind should lay hold on the salvation thus
provided for them.  The Patriarchs were priests in their own tribes,
for which they continually offered up sacrifices to Almighty God; and
to this patriarchal system succeeded the Mosaical Dispensation with an
elaborate ceremonial, each minute detail of which was laid down by
direct revelation from God Himself.

[Sidenote: and Mosaic dispensations.]

In this system of Divine Worship given to Moses, sacrifices of animals
still held the most prominent place, typifying as they did the great
Oblation to come, and perhaps conveying a certain Sacramental grace to
the devout offerers and partakers of them.  To these perpetual
sacrifices, offered morning by morning and evening by evening, there
was also joined a continual round of praise and thanksgiving.
[Sidenote: Much of the Jewish ritual absorbed in the Christian Church.]
When our Blessed Lord came "to fulfil the Law," this Jewish ritual was
in a great measure engrafted into the worship of the Christian Church.
The Passover feast, as well as animal sacrifices and the feeding on
them, were done away, and replaced by the "Unbloody Sacrifice" and
Sacramental Communion of the Gospel covenant, whilst circumcision and
ceremonial purifications disappeared to make room for the "true
Circumcision of the Spirit," and the regenerating streams of Holy
Baptism.  But the "Hours of Prayer" and Praise were still retained,
"the singers arrayed in white" became the white-robed choirs of the
Christian Church, and the threefold order of the Christian {4} ministry
represented the High Priest, Priests, and Levites of the old

[Sidenote: Jewish Worship a preparation for Christian Worship.]

We must not be led to think that the Jewish Worship was contrary to the
Mind of God, for He Himself appointed it.  It was, without doubt, a
part of the great Scheme of Redemption--a preparation for the Gospel,
the means ordained by the Divine Wisdom for keeping up in men's minds
the future Coming of the Messiah.  But when the Great Deliverer was
indeed come, there was no further need for the types and shadows of the
Law, and they disappeared to make way for the "substance" of the
Gospel.  [Sidenote: The Church Militant a preparation for the Church
Triumphant.] So when the number of the elect shall be accomplished, and
the Church Militant changed into the Church Triumphant, her Worship and
her Sacraments will have their full fruition in the Marriage Supper of
the Lamb, and the unceasing adoration of the redeemed in the Heavenly

Section 2.  _Our Lord's Work in the Foundation of the Church._

[Sidenote: Our Lord prepared for the Foundation of His Church by
instituting Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, and by appointing the
twelve Apostles.]

Our Blessed Lord's Ministry was spent in making preparations for the
foundation of His Church.  At His first entrance on that Ministry, He
"sanctified Water to the mystical washing away of sin;" at the close of
it, He blessed the elements of Bread and Wine, and made them the
channels of His constant Presence with His Church, "a perpetual memory
of His Precious Death" before God.  He also appointed human
instruments, who, in His Name and by His Authority, should carry out
{5} this mighty work, and be the foundation-stones of the new spiritual
building, bonded together and firmly established in Him the "Chief
Corner Stone."  "The wall of the City had twelve foundations, and in
them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb[2]."

[Sidenote: The Apostles taught and trained by our Lord's Example and

The Apostles were solemnly set apart by our Lord after a night of
watching and prayer[3], and from that time became His constant
companions, witnessing His mighty works, listening to the words of
Heavenly Wisdom which fell from His Sacred Lips, and thus experiencing,
under the guidance of the Head of the Church Himself, such a training
as might best fit them for their superhuman labours[4].  [Sidenote:
Special instructions given them, and not understood until after the Day
of Pentecost.] A large portion of what is now stored up in the Holy
Gospel for the instruction of the whole body of Christians, was in the
first instance spoken to the Apostles with a special view to their
Apostolic vocation; to them it was "given to know the Mysteries of the
Kingdom of Heaven."  Doubtless much of what they were thus taught
remained unexplained "Mysteries" to them until the Coming of the Holy
Ghost on the Day of Pentecost to "guide them into {6} all Truth," and
especially to instruct them in the real meaning of what had before
seemed to be "hard sayings" in their Master's Teaching.

[Sidenote: This Teaching continued after the Resurrection.]

Again, after our Blessed Lord's Passion and Resurrection, we read that
He was "seen of them forty days, speaking of the things pertaining to
the Kingdom of God[5]," i.e. to the Church, the Kingdom which, by the
agency of the Twelve Apostles, He was about to establish in this world.
No record is left us as to what these "things" were of which He spake
to them; but we cannot doubt that the Words of Divine Wisdom would
remain deeply engraven on their hearts, and be a treasure of strength
and counsel in the trials and perplexities of the untried path which
lay before them, the Holy Spirit "bringing to their remembrance" any
sayings of the Saviour which human frailty might have hindered them
from remembering[6].

[Sidenote: A commission given to the Apostles for all their official

The Apostles received from the Great High Priest before His Ascension,
a commission to execute the various functions of the priestly office,
to baptize[7], to teach[8], to consecrate and offer the Holy
Eucharist[9], and to absolve[10]; besides a general and comprehensive
promise that all their official acts should be confirmed by Him, in the
words, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world[11]."
[Sidenote: but not exerted till after Pentecost.] We do not, however,
find that this commission was acted on by the Apostles before the day
of Pentecost; the Saviour's will was, that it should, so to {7} speak,
lie dormant until the seal of the Holy Spirit was impressed upon it.
During the days of expectation which followed our Lord's Ascension, we
read that the holy company who were gathered together in the "upper
room," "continued with one accord in prayer and supplication[12];" but
we have no mention of any celebration of the Holy Eucharist, whilst
immediately after the Descent of the Holy Ghost we are told of their
daily continuance in "the Breaking of the Bread[13]."

Section 3.  _The Day of Pentecost._

[Sidenote: A.D. 33.  Participation of the Blessed Trinity in the works
of Creation, the Incarnation, and the Foundation of the Church.]

As the Three Holy Persons of the Ever-blessed Trinity had shared in the
work of the First Creation of the world, the Father speaking by the
Eternal Word, and the Holy Spirit brooding over what before was
lifeless: and as in the work of the Incarnation the Father had sent the
Son to take upon Him our human nature through the operation of the Holy
Ghost: so, in the Foundation of the Church, the Power of the Holy
Spirit co-operated no less than the Will of the Father and the
Life-giving Grace of the Son.


[Sidenote: The waiting at Jerusalem.]

The Apostles had received from their ascending Lord a command to await
in the City of Jerusalem this "Power from on High," which was to be
sent upon them[14].  We can easily see the fitness of this injunction,
when we remember that they were about to become the founders of the New
Jerusalem, the true "City of God" in which the many "glorious things
spoken[15]" by the Old Testament Prophets were to have their
performance to a certain extent even in this life, but fully and
perfectly in the Life to come.

[Sidenote: St. Matthias chosen.]

Immediately after our Lord's Ascension the Apostles, under the
immediate guidance of Almighty God, made choice by lot of St. Matthias
to fill up the vacancy in the Apostolic Body caused by the apostasy of
Judas, and then awaited in prayer and worship the promised Coming of
the Comforter.  [Sidenote: The coming of the Holy Ghost.] After ten
days of expectation, on the morning of the Jewish Feast of Pentecost,
the Promise was fulfilled: with the sound "of a rushing mighty Wind,"
with the brightness of "cloven tongues like as of fire," the Holy
Spirit descended "and sat upon each of" the Apostles[16].  Thus they
were inspired and enlightened with Power and Knowledge, and all the
other sevenfold gifts of the Paraclete[17] in fuller measure than had
ever been vouchsafed to the Prophets and Teachers of old, as well as
with miraculous endowments, that so they might be enabled to carry out
the Commission entrusted to them by their Master.

[Sidenote: The gift of Tongues.]

One effect of this wonderful Visitation was {9} immediately and
strikingly apparent to all who stood by, for on these twelve unlearned
men of lowly birth was bestowed the power of speaking fluently and
intelligibly in languages of which, before, they had been altogether
ignorant.  [Sidenote: The people come together.] The fame of this great
wonder soon spread amongst the multitude of foreign Jews who were then
gathered together at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Pentecost; many of
them were probably at that very time in the Temple, of which the "upper
room" is thought to have formed a part, and they quickly came around
the Apostles, anxious to judge for themselves of the truth of what had
been told them.  [Sidenote: Their amazement.] Very great was their
astonishment at what they heard.  It seems as if words are multiplied
in the Sacred Narrative to impress us with a sense of their awe and
wonder.  It is said that they "were confounded" or "troubled in mind,"
that "they were all amazed and marvelled;" and again, that "they were
all amazed, and were in doubt" at this startling exhibition of the
"Power" of God[18].  [Sidenote: Though some refused to believe.] Some
indeed "mocked," despising the work of the Spirit, as they had before
despised the work of the Son; but many opened their hearts to the
softening influence, and of them it may truly be said that "the fear of
the Lord" was "the beginning of wisdom."


Section 4. _St. Peter's First Sermon, and its Results._

[Sidenote: A.D. 33.  Conversion of the 3000.]

And now at once the converting power of the Church was exercised.  St.
Peter, the chief of the Apostles, took the lead, as he had already done
in the election of St. Matthias, and preached to the impressed and
eager multitude that first Christian sermon, which was followed by the
conversion and baptism of "about 3000 souls[19]."

[Sidenote: The promise of St. Peter fulfilled.]

Thus was fulfilled, in one sense at least, the promise of Christ to St.
Peter: "Upon this rock I will build My Church[20];" and he, who first
of the Twelve had faith to confess the Godhead of our Blessed Lord, was
rewarded by being the first to whom it was given to draw men into that
Church, which in His Human Nature Christ had purchased for Himself.

[Sidenote: Further results of St. Peter's sermon.]

In estimating the importance of the results which were brought about by
St. Peter's sermon, we must not only take into account the actual
number of those who were at once added to the disciples, large as that
number was, but we must also remember that many of these converts came
from far distant countries, whither, on their departure from Jerusalem,
they would carry the tidings of the Faith which they had embraced.
Hence they in their turn became forerunners of our Lord and of His
Church, preparing the hearts of those amongst whom they dwelt to listen
to the proclamation of the {11} Gospel, when, in God's appointed
season, it should be preached to them.

Section 3.  _The First Beginnings of Persecution._

[Sidenote: A.D. 33.  Growth of the Church.]

The Church now steadily grew in influence and numbers;  "The Lord added
to the Church daily such as should be" [or "were being"] "saved[21];"
and on the occasion of a second sermon, preached by St. Peter after the
healing of the lame man "at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple," "about
five thousand" were converted[22].  [Sidenote: Beginnings of
persecution.] The opposition of the Jewish rulers was powerless to
check the ever-advancing tide; and this _first beginning of
persecution_, by calling forth from the whole Church an earnest act of
worship and supplication, was the occasion of "great power" and "great
grace" being given to enable her to do and bear all for the sake of her

[Sidenote: Conversion of St. Barnabas.]

Immediately afterwards we read of the conversion of St. Barnabas, the
first convert mentioned by name, a Levite, and apparently a man of
wealth and position[24]; and then we are told of the awe and reverence
produced in the minds of the people of Jerusalem, and the neighbouring
country, by the abundant exercise of the Apostolic power of working
miracles[25].  [Sidenote: The gift of working miracles.] This great
working gift of the Holy Ghost, bestowed, like the Gift of Tongues, on
the Day of Pentecost, had similar results.  Fear was followed by faith,
and {12} "multitudes both of men and women" were added to the Church.

Persecution once more followed, this time with greater severity; the
Apostles were imprisoned through the influence of the sect of the
Sadducees, and, being set free by a miracle, were called before the
Sanhedrim and scourged, only escaping death by the wise and merciful
interposition of the Pharisee Gamaliel.

Section 6.  _Worship and Discipline of the Infant Church._

[Sidenote: A.D. 33.]

Before going farther into the History of the Church, we may pause to
consider the account given us in Holy Scripture of Christian Worship
and Discipline in the time immediately following the Day of Pentecost.
The same chapter which contains the narrative of the Descent of the
Holy Ghost, has also a short epitome of the daily life of the Apostles
and their converts, during that brief interval of undisturbed peace
which preceded the beginning of the bitter conflict between the Church
and the world.

[Sidenote: Holy Baptism.  Apostolic Doctrine.]

First we read of Holy Baptism as the source of the Christian Life[26],
and then of steadfast continuance in the one Faith as taught by the
Apostles, who were, so to speak, a kind of living Gospel to their
converts.  [Sidenote: Oral teaching.] None of the Books of the New
Testament were as yet written, so that all instruction being oral,
faithful must most fully have sought "the Law" of the Saviour at the
"mouth" of His twelve chosen servants, who had listened to His gracious
words, and had been themselves taught by {13} Him Who is Wisdom.
[Sidenote: Value of tradition.] The Apostles' Creed is a mighty
instance of this _traditional_ teaching, which has come down even to
our own days; and many points of Church government, and discipline, and
ritual, merely hinted at, or not even referred to in the writings of
the New Testament, were preserved to the Church by means of spoken
tradition.  St. Paul several times mentions these oral traditions, and
in one instance speaks of them to his converts as equally binding with
the written words contained in his Epistles[27].  The substance of such
important traditions became ingrained into the system and belief of the
Church, and it was thus of comparatively little importance that their
exact words were forgotten.

[Sidenote: Apostolic fellowship.  Faith and love towards God]

To oneness of "doctrine" belonged also oneness of "fellowship."  There
was as yet "no schism in the Body;" and this inward Faith and Love
found their outward expression both towards God and towards man.
Towards God in "the Breaking of the Bread," the Daily Sacrifice and
Thank-offering of the Holy Eucharist "at home[28]," i.e. in their own
upper room, the first Christian Church, as well as in their constant
attendance on the daily "Prayers" and praises still offered up in the
Temple.  Of the conduct of the first Christians towards each other we
are told twice over, immediately after the Outpouring of the Day of
Pentecost, and again after that increase of "boldness," which was
granted to the earnest cry of the Church on the approach of


[Sidenote: and towards man.]

Both these accounts speak to us of their full realization of the
doctrine of the Communion of Saints.  They "were together;" they "were
of one heart and of one soul:" the need of one was the need of all;
each felt his brother's wants, as if he himself suffered; and so great
was the liberality of those who had "possessions and goods," that there
was not "any among them that lacked."  "They had all things common," as
to the daily use of God's worldly gifts.

[Sidenote: The Holy Eucharist as a Sacrifice]

The Holy Eucharist was to the Church then, as it is still, the chief
act and centre of Divine worship.  In this new Sacrifice the Apostles
showed forth and pleaded before God, the One Sufficient Sacrifice,
which they themselves had seen "once offered," with unspeakable
sufferings, and all-prevailing Blood-shedding upon the Cross of
Calvary.  [Sidenote: and a means of union with Christ.] In it they
adored Him, Whom they now acknowledged with every faculty of their
souls to be indeed their "Lord" and their "God;" in it they found again
the Real and continual, though invisible, Presence of the Master and
Friend for Whose sake they had forsaken all earthly ties; and by it
they were brought into closer union with Him, than when of old they had
walked and talked with Him beside the Galilean Sea, or beneath the
olive-trees of Gethsemane; for now, they were indeed "nourished and
cherished" by Him and made more and more "members of His Body, of His
flesh, and of His bones[30]." [Sidenote: Thankfulness of the first
converts.] What wonder, then, that we read of the "gladness and
singleness of heart" of the {15} Apostles and their converts thus
living in the constant joy and presence of their Lord, and that
"praising God" is mentioned as one of their distinguishing marks:--

  "By 'Deo gratias,' as they pass'd,
  The faithful folk were surest known;
  That watchword for the daily strife
  Might well their thoughts and tongues employ,
  Who made the Church transform their life,
  And the great Offering crown their joy[31]."

[Sidenote: Continued attendance of the Apostles on the Temple Services.]

We may here remark the many indications which are given us throughout
the Book of Acts, that the Apostles, who were themselves Jews, did not,
even after the Foundation of the Christian Church, oppose or neglect
Jewish ordinances and worship, so long and so far as the union of the
two dispensations was practicable.  In this they followed the example
of their Divine Master, Who, from His Circumcision upwards, paid
obedience to that Law which He came to fulfil, and Who was a constant
attendant at the services of the Temple and of the Synagogues.  There
was no violent rending away from the old Faith, until God, in His
wisdom and justice, saw fit to ordain the destruction of the guilty
city Jerusalem, and the overthrow of the Jewish Temple, and Altar, and
Priesthood, none of which had then any further purpose to serve in the
Divine plan for the redemption of mankind.

[Sidenote: In the cases of St. Peter and St. John,]

Thus we read of St. Peter and St. John going up to the Temple to
worship at the ninth hour of prayer[32], and of their afterwards
preaching to the people in that part of the {16} Temple called
Solomon's porch[33], of the daily preaching of the Gospel by the
Apostles in the Temple[34], and of their constant resort to the Jewish
Synagogues during their stay in such places as possessed them[35].
[Sidenote: and of St. Paul.] Even five and twenty years after the day
of Pentecost we find that the very tumult which resulted in St. Paul's
apprehension and consequent journey as a prisoner to Rome, was
immediately excited by his having "entered into the Temple[36]," in
performance of one of the ceremonies of the Mosaic Law.

Section 7.  _The First Schism and the Appointment of the Diaconate._

[Sidenote: A. D. 33.  The first deadly sin in the Church.]

Great and deadly sin had already made its way into Christ's fold, and
been cast out from the midst of it by a fearful judgment.  Ananias and
Sapphira had "lied unto God," and been struck dead for their impiety;
and the "great fear" excited by this first display of the judicial
powers of the Church had been followed by another influx of
conversions; for "multitudes were added to the Lord[37]." [Sidenote:
A.D. 34.  The first schism.] And now came the first division in the
body, "a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews[38]."

[Sidenote: Distinction between "Grecians" (or Hellenists) and

By the "Grecians" are meant those Jews of foreign birth and education
who had adopted Greek customs and the Greek language so entirely, that
some even of their most learned men did not understand Hebrew {17} but
read the Scriptures of the Old Testament in the Septuagint Version.
They were much despised by the stricter and more narrow-minded
"Hebrews," the natives of Palestine, or Syro-Chaldaic Jews; and the
rivalries of these two Jewish sects were carried even into the bosom of
Christ's Church.  [Sidenote: Complaint of the "Grecians."] The
Grecians, or "_Hellenists_" complained that their widows were neglected
in the daily distribution of alms; perhaps grounding their complaint on
the fact that the Twelve were all Hebrews.  [Sidenote: Deacons
ordained.] And the Apostles commanded that "seven men of honest report"
should be chosen from the body of believers, and presented to them,
that they might be ordained by Imposition of Hands to minister to the
bodily wants of the poor and aged.  This was the first institution of
the Order of Deacons[39], the lowest of the three holy offices which
were to be continually handed down and perpetuated in the Church.  Thus
did the Apostles begin to impart to others such a portion of the
ministerial grace, of which they themselves had been at first the sole
recipients, as might enable those whom they ordained to aid them, in a
subordinate degree, in the work of building up the mystical Body of

[Sidenote: Increasing conversions.]

This fresh proof of the vitality of the Church through the active,
living Presence of her Divine Head, was followed by a new feature in
the still increasing conversions to her fold.  It was no longer the
poor and the unlearned only, or chiefly, who listened to the teaching
of the Apostles, {18} "a great company of the Priests were obedient to
the Faith[40]," while, on the other hand, a growing and more bitter
spirit of persecution was soon to develope itself.

Section 8.  _The Martyrdom of St. Stephen._

[Sidenote: A.D. 34.  The Seven Deacons.]

St. Stephen, the foremost and saintliest of the Seven Deacons, and St.
Philip, the second in order, are the only two of whom we have any
further mention in the Book of Acts; but it is believed that the last
named, Nicolas of Antioch, was the author of the heresy of the
Nicolaitanes, which our Blessed Lord twice over tells us that He
hates[41].  Nicolas seems in this way to be a sad reflection of the
awful example set by the traitor Judas, the last reckoned Apostle.

[Sidenote: Their functions.]

It is clear that the ministrations of the first Deacons were not of
necessity confined to the "serving of tables," which was the primary
occasion of their appointment.  St. Philip both preached and
baptized[42]; and St. Stephen brought down upon himself the hatred and
malice of the Jews by the boldness and power of his preaching.  Both
preaching and baptizing do still, under certain restrictions,
"appertain to the office of a Deacon[43]."

[Sidenote: Probably all Hellenists.]

Judging from the names of the Seven Deacons, there seems good reason
for supposing that they were all or most of them Grecians or {19}
Hellenists.  St. Stephen was undoubtedly a Hellenist, and his early
training made him a ready instrument for the work to which the Holy
Ghost had called him.  Freed by education from many of the associations
and feelings which bound his Hebrew brethren to the Holy City and the
Temple, he could realize more plainly than they could do, the future of
the Christian Church apart from both these, and boldly proclaimed his
convictions.  [Sidenote: St. Stephen's preaching rouses Hebrew
prejudices.] By this conduct he aroused all the deeply-rooted
prejudices and exclusive pride of the Jewish mind, even amongst those
who, like himself, were Hellenists, and to whom he seems more
particularly to have addressed himself.  Up to this time, what
opposition there was to the teaching of the Apostles, seems to have
come chiefly from the unbelieving sect of the Sadducees[44]; for the
people had espoused the cause of the Christian teachers[45], and the
Pharisees had advocated lenient conduct towards those who confessed, as
they themselves did, a belief in the Resurrection[46].  [Sidenote: The
Pharisees join with the Saducees in opposition to the Church.] But now
all was altered; priests and people, Sadducees and Pharisees, were
alike vehement against those who ventured to assert that the "Holy
Place and the Law" should ever give way to a Holier than they; and
foremost amongst the persecutors was the fiery, earnest, intellectual
man who was afterwards the holy Apostle Paul[47].

[Sidenote: St. Stephen's speech a direct Inspiration.]

The defence of the heavenly-minded Deacon before {20} his malicious and
bloodthirsty enemies must be looked upon as a direct Inspiration of the
Holy Ghost, a fulfilment of our Blessed Lord's promise to His
Church[48], and a Divine commentary on Old Testament History, showing
that God's mercies were not restrained to any particular place or
country, and upbraiding the Jews with their abuse of their many
privileges and their rejection of the Saviour.  But the words of this
first Christian "Apology against Judaism" fell for the time on
unheeding ears; and its only present apparent result was the violent
and yet triumphant death of him who had been chosen to utter it.
[Sidenote: His blessed martyrdom.] Beneath the stoning of the enraged
multitude, the First Martyr "fell asleep," blessed in his last moments
with a foretaste of the Beatific Vision[49].

Section 9.  _Results of St. Stephen's Martyrdom._

[Sidenote: A.D. 34.  Good brought out of evil for the Church.]

We may here pause to recollect how God had all along been bringing
forth good out of seeming evil, in what concerned His Church.  The
first _dawnings of persecution_ drew down increased "boldness" in
answer to thankful prayer; the first great necessity for exercising the
_judicial office_ of the Church was followed by "great fear" and
multiplied conversions, as well as by the first miracles of healing
wrought in the Church; the first _schism_ was the occasion of the
origin of the Order of Deacons, directly after which event we hear of
"a great company of the priests being obedient to the Faith," {21} the
first _martyrdom_ helped to bring about the conversion of the chief
persecutor; and now the first _general persecution_ which came upon the
Church was to have for its result a far more widely-spread diffusion of
the knowledge of the Kingdom of God than had before taken place.

[Sidenote: Extension of the Church according to our Lord's promise.]

This extension of the Church was in exact accordance with our Lord's
words to His Apostles just before His Ascension, that they should be
witnesses unto Him "in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and
unto the uttermost parts of the earth."  Jerusalem was already "filled
with" their "doctrine," and now the disciples were "scattered abroad
throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria," and "went every where
preaching the Word[50]." [Sidenote: Still confined to Jews, and
Samaritans, or to proselytes.] Still it would seem that they confined
their preaching to such as were either Hebrews, or Grecians, i.e.
foreigners more or less professing Judaism[51]; or, as in the case of
the Samaritans, to such as were of mixed Jewish descent, and clung to
the Law of Moses, though with manifold corruptions; or, again, to
proselytes like the Ethiopian eunuch.  The Apostles, we read, continued
at Jerusalem, doubtless by God's command and under His special

[Sidenote: Conversion of Samaria.]

The conversion of the despised city of Samaria was effected by the
instrumentality of the Deacon St. Philip[52], whose preaching and
miracles were followed by the baptism of large numbers of the people,
and, amongst them, of one Simon {22} of Gittum, better known as Simon
Magus (i.e. the magician, or sorcerer), who had claimed supernatural
powers, and given himself out to be an emanation from the Deity, or
even God Himself.  [Sidenote: St. Peter and St. John sent to confirm.]
St. Philip, as a Deacon, could not complete the gift begun in Holy
Baptism, and St. Peter and St. John were sent down by the Apostles from
Jerusalem, that they might confirm the Samaritan converts by prayer and
the Imposition of Hands.  Confirmation in those early days of the
Church was wont to be accompanied by a bestowal of miraculous gifts of
the Holy Ghost; and the wondrous signs following upon this, the first
Confirmation mentioned in God's history of His Church, led the still
unbelieving Simon to long for the ability to confer similar powers.
[Sidenote: The unbelief of Simon Magus.] He dared to offer money to the
Apostles with this view, and drew from St. Peter such a reproof as for
a time pierced through even the heart which had hardened by an abuse of
holy things.  But this penitence was of short duration.  He became the
author in the Church of a deadly heresy called Gnosticism, mixing up
what he had learnt of the doctrines of Christianity with heathen
philosophy and sinful living, and making pretence of being endowed with
miraculous gifts.  [Sidenote: His end.] This first heretic is said to
have perished miserably whilst endeavouring to fly through the air at
Rome[53], St. Peter praying at the same time that he might no longer be
suffered to hinder the salvation of souls.


[Sidenote: The Gospel preached in Antioch.]

Another important result of the Sauline persecution was the preaching
of the Gospel in the important city of Antioch by the Greek-speaking
Jews who sought refuge there[54], and who addressed themselves to their
Hellenist countrymen.  It was in this city, the third in rank in the
Roman Empire, and afterwards the mother of Gentile Christendom, that
the first branch of the Church speaking Greek as its original tongue,
was now beginning to have its foundation; and it was also here that the
disciples were first called by the honourable name of Christians[55].

Section 10.  _The Conversion of St. Paul._

[Sidenote: A.D. 34.]

It has been said "that, to combine the ceremonial shortcoming of the
eunuch with the imperfect faith of the Samaritan, is to arrive at the
admission of the Gentiles[56]."  Preparation had been made in both
these instances for the carrying out of the Divine scheme by means of
St. Philip, whose fellow-Deacon had gladly laid down his life in
witnessing to the truth of it; and now God's great instrument for the
conversion of the gentile world was to appear.

[Sidenote: Conversion of Saul.]

The furious persecutor Saul was struck to the earth by the sight and
voice of the Lord, whose disciples at Damascus he was bent upon
ill-using; and his miraculous conversion was followed by his baptism
and the devotion of all his powers to the promulgation of that "Faith
which once he destroyed."


[Sidenote: His fitness for his mission.]

It is not hard to perceive in St. Paul a peculiar fitness for the work
to which God called him.  His zeal and self-devotion, deep affections,
and warm sympathies, were joined to clearness of judgment and great
intellectual powers; whilst, from the circumstances of his birth and
education, he had much in common with both Hebrew and Hellenist Jews.
Though born in the Greek city of Tarsus, where he came in contact with
the classical ideas and learning of which traces appear in his
writings, his father was a Hebrew, and sent him to finish his education
at Jerusalem under the care of the learned Pharisee Gamaliel.  Thus he
became zealous in the Law; and hence his deep tenderness for his
brethren of the seed of Israel, and his thorough insight into their
feelings and prejudices, were united to an acquaintance with gentile
ways of life, classic learning, and foreign modes of thought.

With St. Paul's conversion came a time of peace and increase to the
Church, during which St. Peter's first Apostolic journey took place,
undertaken with the especial view of strengthening, by the Laying on of
Hands and by Apostolic preaching and counsel, those who, throughout
Judea and Samaria, had been regenerated and made "saints" by Holy

[1] 2 St. Peter i. 4.

[2] Rev. xxi. 14.

[3] St. Luke vi. 12-16.

[4] "Apostle" is derived from the Greek word "Apostolos," i.e. "one
sent."  The Apostles were "sent" by Christ, the Great High Priest and
Chief Pastor of the Church, Who comprehended in Himself the whole of
the Christian Ministry, whilst the Apostolic Office comprehended all
that could be delegated to man.  This comprehensive Apostolic Office
was afterwards broken up into the three Orders of--1. Deacons; 2.
Priests and Bishops in one; 3. Bishops.  After the special work of
Bishops was defined (see chap. iv.), Priests were Priests only, and not
Bishops, unless they had special consecration to the higher office.

[5] Acts i. 3.

[6] St. John xiv. 26.

[7] St. Matt. xxviii. 19.

[8] St. Matt. xxviii. 20.

[9] St. Luke xxii. 19, 20.

[10] St. John xx. 21, 22.

[11] St. Matt. xxviii. 20.

[12] Acts i. 13, 14.

[13] Acts ii. 42, 46.  It is said (St. John iv. 2) that "the disciples
of Jesus baptized;" but this baptism, like that of St. John Baptist,
was a "baptism of _repentance_," not of _Regeneration_--a _preparation_
for the Gospel, not a _consequence_ of it.  So the preaching of the
Apostles, spoken of in St. Matt. x. 7, was (like the Baptist's
preaching) an announcement that "the Kingdom of Heaven" was _not come_;
but "at hand," and an exhortation to make ready for it.

[14] St. Luke xxiv. 49.

[15] Ps. lxxxvii. 3.

[16] Acts ii. 1-3.

[17] Isa. xi. 2, 3.

[18] Acts ii. 1-13.

[19] Acts ii. 14-41.

[20] St. Matt. xvi. 18.

[21] Acts ii. 47.

[22] Acts iii.

[23] Acts iv.

[24] Acts iv. 36, 37.

[25] Acts v. 12-16.

[26] Acts ii. 41-47.

[27] 2 Thess. ii. 15.  See also ch. iii. 6.  1 Cor. xi. 2.
"Ordinances," margin "Traditions."

[28] Acts ii. 46 (margin).

[29] Acts iv. 31-37.

[30] Eph. v. 29, 30.

[31] Poems by Prof. Bright..

[32] Acts iii. 1.

[33] Acts iii. 11.

[34] Acts v. 42.

[35] Acts xiii. 5. 14; xiv. 1; xvii. 1, 2; xviii. 4.

[36] Acts xxi. 26-33.

[37] Acts v. 1-14.

[38] Acts vi. 1, &c.

[39] Deacon, from "Diaconos," a Greek word, meaning a ministering

[40] Acts vi. 7.

[41] Rev. ii. 6. 15.

[42] Acts viii. 5. 38.

[43] See Office for "Making of Deacons," Book of Common Prayer.

[44] Cp. Acts iv. 1, 2, 5, 6, and Acts v. 17.

[45] Acts ii. 47; iv. 21; v. 13. 26.

[46] Acts v. 34-40.

[47] It seems not unlikely that Saul of Tarsus in Cilicia was one "of
them of Cilicia" mentioned in Acts vi. 9.

[48] St. Luke xii. 11, 12.

[49] Acts vii. 56.

[50] Acts viii. 1. 4.

[51] Acts xi. 19, 20.

[52] It may be, that the recollection of our Saviour's visit to the
neighbouring city of Sychar, or Sichem [St. John iv.], would help to
influence the Samaritans.

[53] From the rather indistinct account of Simon's death, it seems
probable that he became a victim to such a temptation as the "Cast
Thyself down," which was set before our Lord.

[54] Acts xi. 19, 20.

[55] Acts xi. 26.

[56] See "Some Account of the Church in the Apostolic Age," by the late
Professor Shirley, p. 27.

[57] Acts ix. 32.



The Foundation of the Church among the Heathen

A.D. 38-45

[Sidenote: A.D. 38]

During St. Peter's journey, the course of God's good Providence led him
to the sea-port town of Joppa, on the borders of Samaria and Judaea,
and there we read that "he tarried many days," a measure of time which
is supposed to be equivalent to three years.  At the expiration of this
time an event occurred which had a deep and lasting influence on the
life of the Church of Christ.  [Sidenote: Further fulfilment of the
promise to St. Peter.] Hitherto no Gentiles had been admitted into her
fold; but now it was to be given to St. Peter first to unlock to them
the door of union with Christ through His Human Nature; for to him had
first been committed the Power of the Keys, as a reward for his adoring
confession of Christ's Divinity[1].

Section 1.  _The Conversion of Cornelius._

A Roman soldier quartered at the great stronghold of Caesarea was
honoured by being the occasion of the {26} gathering in of the first
heathen converts.  [Sidenote: A.D. 41.  Conversion of the gentile
Cornelius.] This centurion was not a proselyte, but a Gentile, one
however who feared and served God according to the light given him
through reason and natural religion.  He was commanded by an angel from
God to send to Joppa for St. Peter to show him the way of salvation,
whilst another express revelation prepared the holy Apostle for a step
so contrary to all his most cherished habits and prejudices.
[Sidenote: Descent of the Holy Ghost on gentile converts.] Taught by
God Himself no longer to consider or treat the Gentiles as "common or
unclean," St. Peter obeyed the summons of Cornelius; and, even whilst
he was preaching to him and the many gentile friends he had gathered,
the Holy Ghost descended visibly upon them as upon the Apostles on the
Day of Pentecost.  The Gift of Tongues accompanied what we may almost
call a second Foundation of the Church; and we may readily believe that
those Christianized Jews who had accompanied the Apostle from Joppa
were "astonished" at this indication of what was in store for the
Gentiles in the Kingdom of God.

[Sidenote: Holy Baptism not superseded.]

It is worthy of remark, that notwithstanding this direct and
extraordinary outpouring of the Holy Ghost--but once before, and never
since, vouchsafed to any child of Adam--yet it was not considered by
St. Peter to do away with the necessity for Holy Baptism.  "He
commanded them to be baptized[2]."


Section 2.  _The Apostolic church in Jerusalem._

[Sidenote: A.D. 41.  Jerusalem still the centre of the Church.]

Up to this time, and for long afterwards, Jerusalem continued to be the
centre of the Church of Christ.  Within her walls was the home of the
Apostles during the intervals between their missions to the Christian
converts in the neighbouring towns; and, as a natural consequence, it
was here that the first Councils or Synods of the Church were held.
[Sidenote: The Hebrews wish to impose circumcision.] Here, too, were
the head-quarters of those disciples who not only clung to the Mosaic
law themselves, but wished to impose circumcision and the other
precepts of the Old Dispensation on gentile converts.  They yielded
indeed to St. Peter's plea of special and Divine direction, when
summoned to Jerusalem to answer for having eaten with men
uncircumcised; nay, they even rejoiced in the prospect of the gathering
in of the Gentiles; but they had yet to learn the temporary nature of
the Ceremonial Law, and to realize that in Christ circumcision and
uncircumcision were equally valueless.

[Sidenote: St. James the Less, Bishop of Jerusalem.]

The government of the Church in Jerusalem was conferred on St. James
the Less, perhaps on account of his being "the Lord's brother;" and he
remained in the Holy City as its Bishop, when, about twelve years after
the Day of Pentecost, the other Apostles were for the first time
dispersed beyond the borders of Palestine, over the face of the known
world.  The immediate occasion of this dispersion was the persecution
by Herod Agrippa, which resulted in the martyrdom of St. James {28} the
Great[3] and the temporary imprisonment and miraculous deliverance of
St. Peter (A.D. 44), a deliverance granted to the earnest prayers of
the Church.

Section 3.  _The Apostolic Church in Antioch._

[Sidenote: A.D. 42.  St. Barnabas at Antioch.]

We have no account in the Book of Acts of the Foundation (in the strict
sense of the word) of the Church in Antioch.  We read of St. Barnabas
being sent thither from Jerusalem to visit and teach the converts
amongst the Greek-speaking Jews, he being all the more fitted for this
office by his connexion with Cyprus, whence came some of those who had
first spread the knowledge of the Gospel in Antioch.  But St. Barnabas
was not yet of the number of the Apostles, the Foundations of the
Church (as neither was St. Paul, whom he lovingly sought out and
brought from Tarsus to aid in his work); and consequently we do not
read that the "laying on of hands" formed any part of their
ministrations.  [Sidenote: St. Peter believed to be the founder of the
Church in Antioch.] There is, however, a very ancient tradition which
tells us that St. Peter visited Antioch and founded the Church in that
distant city whilst on his way to the still more distant Rome, after
his miraculous escape from Herod's prison (A.D. 44); and in the ancient
Church of England Feb. 22 was observed in commemoration of "St. Peter's
Throne at Antioch," that is, of his episcopal rule there.


[Sidenote: Obstacles to the conversion of the gentiles.]

It was some years before the conversion of Cornelius and his gentile
household was followed by any extended proclamation of the good tidings
of the Gospel to the heathen world.  It was not God's Will that all
obstacles should be at once cleared away from the onward path of the
Church; and the question of the relation in which the heathen were to
stand to the Law of Moses after their conversion to Christianity,
presented many difficulties.  St. Peter and the other Apostles seem to
have waited patiently until God should vouchsafe to show them how these
difficulties might best be overcome; and on the Church in the large
gentile city of Antioch it first devolved to send forth missionaries to
the heathen.

[1] St. Matt. xvi. 16-19.

[2] Acts x. 48.  It does not seem to have been the usual custom of the
Apostles to administer Holy Baptism themselves.  See 1 Cor. i. 14-17.

[3] In reference to the martyrdom of St. James, we may remember the
prophecy of his Divine Master (St. Matt. xx. 23).  "James tasted the
_first_ draught of Christ's cup of suffering; and his brother John had
the _longest_ draught of it."--Wordsworth on Acts xii. 2.



The Extension of the Church throughout the World

A.D. 45-70

Section 1.  _The First Mission to the Gentiles._

[Sidenote: A.D. 45.]

[Sidenote: St. Paul and St. Barnabas sent to preach to the heathen.]

It would seem that in the special Eucharistic offerings and Lenten
discipline mentioned by St. Luke[1], the Church in Antioch was seeking
guidance of her Divine Head as to her duties with respect to the gentile
world in the midst of which she was placed; and that the command of the
Holy Ghost to consecrate St. Paul and St. Barnabas as Apostles to the
heathen was an answer to her cry.

We are not told whose "hands" were "laid" on the two newly-made Apostles
in the solemn Consecration Service which followed, but it is likely that
St. Peter was at that time at Antioch, and also that the Church in that
city was already governed by a Bishop of its own.  [Sidenote: They
complete the Apostolic number.] It may here be remarked that the number
of the Apostles was now completed.  Those whom they ordained to be {31}
Bishops or Overseers in the Church of God, as St. Timothy at Ephesus, and
St. Titus at Crete, though they received in the "laying on of hands"
power to execute such of the highest offices of the Apostolic function as
were to be perpetually continued to the Church, yet were not fully
Apostles.  [Sidenote: Difference between Bishops and Apostles.] They had
grace given to them to confirm, to ordain, and to communicate the power
of ordaining to others, but they were not endowed with the extraordinary
and supernatural gifts bestowed by the Holy Ghost for the Foundation of
the Church; nor did they receive the same direct and outward call as was
vouchsafed to the Twelve by our Lord Himself, and to St. Paul and St.
Barnabas by the special appointment of the Holy Spirit.  They were not to
_found_ the Church, but to _build up_ on its Apostolic foundations.

[Sidenote: Mission to Cyprus.]

The first missionary journey of St. Paul and St. Barnabas was to Cyprus,
the native country of the latter.  Here the preaching of the Gospel,
begun in the Jewish synagogue[2], was continued before the heathen
proconsul Sergius Paulus; and through it and the judicial blindness
inflicted by St. Paul on the false prophet Elymas, the gentile ruler was
won to Christ.  [Sidenote: St. Paul, the chief Apostle of the Gentiles.]
St. Paul had now begun to take the lead as the chief Apostle of the
Gentiles; it was he who, at Antioch in Pisidia, preached that sermon to
the Jews which they would not heed, but which found acceptance with the
heathen whom they despised.  [Sidenote: Missionary journey through Asia
Minor.] The Jews persecuted and blasphemed, but the Gentiles believed;
and, in the account given {32} us of the labours of the Apostles here and
at Iconium, we are reminded of the multitude of conversions and of the
gladness of heart of the converted in the first days after the great Day
of Pentecost[3].

[Sidenote: A.D. 46.]

At Lystra the Apostles found themselves for the first time in the midst
of a thoroughly heathen population, without any admixture of Jews; but
here also they did not hesitate to preach the first Christian "Apology
against Heathenism," and to display the miraculous powers with which the
Holy Ghost had gifted them.  [Sidenote: The Apostles confirm and ordain.]
Their Jewish persecutors followed them and drove them to Derbe, the
farthest limit of their journey; and from thence they retraced their
steps, visiting each place where they had preached the Gospel,
"confirming" their numerous converts, and "ordaining" Elders or
Presbyters to have the care of those who were thus admitted to the full
communion of the Church.

Section 2.  _The Ministry of the Apostolic Church._

[Sidenote: A.D. 46.  Ordination of priests.]

This[4] is the first mention we have of the ordination of Elders, or
Presbyters (or Priests[5], as we are most in the habit of calling them),
though the fact of the existence of such officers has already been hinted
at[6] as well-known and recognized.  Thus we see that, as when at first
"the number of the disciples was multiplied," the Apostles delegated part
of their work to the Order of Deacons, so {33} afterwards, when the
Church continued to grow and increase, they provided for her needs by
instituting the Order of the Priesthood, conferring on others, in God's
Name and by His Authority, a larger portion of the ministerial grace they
had themselves received from Him.  [Sidenote: Functions of the
Priesthood.] The distinguishing Grace given to those who were called to
the Office of Elder or Presbyter by the "laying on of hands," was, as it
still is, the power of consecrating and offering the Holy Eucharist, that
so, according to St. Paul's words to the Elders of Ephesus, they may
"feed the Church of God[7]," not as in the case of the Deacons, with "the
meat that perisheth," but with "the Bread of God, which cometh down from

[Sidenote: Consecration of Bishops]

Of the Ordination of Bishops[8], apart from the Apostolate, we have no
mention in the Book of the Acts; but that the Apostles did ordain
successors to themselves, so far as their office was to be perpetual in
the Church, we have ample proofs in the Epistles of St. Paul to St.
Timothy and St. Titus.  [Sidenote: Their functions.] To both these holy
men, Bishops or Overseers of the Church in Ephesus and Crete
respectively, St. Paul gives injunctions as to their duties, particularly
in ordaining Elders or Priests, the distinguishing work of a Bishop[9].

Section 3.  _The First Council of the Church._

[Sidenote: A.D. 46-51.]

For a "long time" after the return of St. Paul and St. Barnabas to
Antioch, with the news that God had, through their {34} instrumentality,
"opened the Door of Faith to the Gentiles," the Church in that city seems
to have continued to flourish in peace and prosperity.  [Sidenote:
Difficulties as to the observance of Jewish rites.] But difficulties with
regard to the observance or non-observance by the Gentile converts of the
rite of circumcision and other precepts of the Mosaic law, arose to
disturb this quiet.

[Sidenote: A.D. 52.  Hebrew Jews go to Antioch.]

The Hellenist clergy in Antioch, less wedded to Judaism, had apparently
received into communion, without doubt or question, those amongst the
heathen around the city who had been added to the number of the faithful
by Holy Baptism; but when tidings of this freedom of communion reached
the more severely Hebrew Christians at Jerusalem, certain Hebrew Jews of
them hurried to Antioch, anxious to bring the converts there under the
yoke of the law.  Though unauthorized in this mission by the rulers of
the Church in Jerusalem[10], they urged with such persistency the
necessity of circumcision for the salvation of all, that the opposition
of St. Paul and St. Barnabas only raised "no small dissension and
disputation," and it was agreed that the advice of the Apostles and
Presbyters at Jerusalem should be sought on this important question.
[Sidenote: St. Paul and St. Barnabas go to Jerusalem.] St. Paul and St.
Barnabas then, "and certain others with them" (amongst whom was Titus, an
uncircumcised Gentile convert[11]), went up to Jerusalem, where at this
time happened to be St. Peter and St. John, as well as St. James, the
Bishop of that Church[12].


[Sidenote: The First Council.]

The Apostles and Elders, under the presidency of St. James[13], met
together in the First Council of the Church, a large body of the laity
being also present, not indeed to take part in the discussion, but to
hear it, and to receive and acknowledge the decision arrived at[14].

St. Peter, who had first been commissioned to carry the tidings of the
Gospel to the Gentiles, boldly proclaimed the sufficiency of "the Grace
of the Lord Jesus Christ" for their salvation[15], and St. James, who was
probably himself a very strict observer of the Jewish law, yet did not
hesitate to declare that it had no binding force on those who were not
Jews by birth.  [Sidenote: St. James presides as Bishop of Jerusalem.
Decree of the Council.] He, as President of the Council, proposed the
decree to which the rest agreed, and which was in substance, that the
Gentile Christians should be commanded so far to respect Jewish
prejudices as to "abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood,
and from things strangled," whilst they were also enjoined to keep
themselves from the sin of "fornication," into which the Gentile world
was so deeply sunk.

The decrees of the Council did not enter into or provide any solution of
the minor difficulties connected with the intercourse between Jews and
Gentiles in the Church of Christ.  Doubtless "it seemed good to the Holy
Ghost" that these questions should be left to be solved by time and
experience and the general exercise of His Gift of Wisdom.


[Sidenote: Claim for Divine Authority.  Guidance of the Holy Spirit
vouchsafed to General Councils.]

We can hardly fail to be struck by the confident language in which the
First Council of the Church claims for its decisions the full weight of
Divine Authority; and though it differed from later Catholic Councils in
that it was presided over by inspired men, yet we may well believe that
to those General Councils which really deserved the name, the Holy Spirit
vouchsafed such a special measure of His guiding Power, as might suffice
to preserve their decisions from error, and enable them to hand down
unblemished the deposit of Truth which Christ left with His Church.

Section 4.  _St. Paul's Second Apostolic Journey._

[Sidenote: A.D. 53.  St. Peter's probable visit to Antioch.]

St. Paul and St. Barnabas bore back to the Church in Antioch the decree
of the Council at Jerusalem, and it was probably about this time that St.
Peter paid to Antioch the visit of which we read in the Epistle to the
Galatians[16], when his fear of "them which were of the circumcision,"
led him to shrink from continuing to eat and drink with the Gentiles, and
drew down St. Paul's stern rebuke.  [Sidenote: Separation of St. Paul and
St. Barnabas.] The difference of opinion about St. Mark soon after
separated the two Apostles, whose labours amongst the heathen had been
till now carried on together, and St. Paul began his missionary travels
without an Apostolic companion[17].  He went first through Syria and his
native country Cilicia, {37} "confirming" the baptized, and then to the
scene of his first contact with actual heathendom at Derbe and Lystra.
St. Paul's course of conduct with regard to the circumcision of St.
Timothy, a native of Lystra, shows us clearly how fully his mind had
grasped all the bearings of the question between Jews and Gentiles[18].
[Sidenote: St. Paul's indifference to circumcision in itself.]
Circumcision and uncircumcision were alike matters of indifference to
him, in no way affecting salvation, excepting so far as they might tend
to the edification of others.  He did not blame those converted Jews who
still thought it needful to observe the Mosaic law, but he resisted to
the uttermost all attempts to make that law binding on the Gentiles, and
would not sanction any thing which might seem to imply that the
Life-giving ordinances of the Gospel were not sufficient for every need.
St. Timothy, uncircumcised, would have obtained no hearing from Jews for
the Gospel he preached, and therefore he was circumcised as a measure of
Christian expediency.

[Sidenote: St. Paul crosses over to Europe.  St. Luke joins him.]

After founding Churches in the semi-barbarous regions of Phrygia and
Galatia, St. Paul was led by the express direction of the Holy Spirit to
an altogether new field of labour, and it is here, just on the eve of St.
Paul's departure from Asia for the continent of Europe, that St. Luke
joins the Apostolic company.  [Sidenote: Jewish influences give way to
Greece and Rome.] The Church was now spreading far westward and coming
into closer contact with the philosophy of Greece and the power of Rome,
whilst Jewish influences shrank into insignificance.  There was no
synagogue in the large and important Roman colony of Philippi, {38} and
only women seem to have resorted to the place of prayer outside the walls
of the city, whilst at Thessalonica, where the one synagogue for the
whole district was situated, the accusation of the Jews against the
preachers of the Gospel was no longer of a religious, but of a political
nature.  [Sidenote: Opposition to the Gospel political.] "These all do
contrary to the decrees of Caesar[19]."  In same way the malice of the
rulers of the Jews against the Divine Head of the Church had found vent
in assertions of His plotting to destroy the Temple, or to make Himself a
King, according as the Jewish populace or the Roman governor was to be
stirred up against Him[20].

But if Jewish prejudices no longer offered the same formidable opposition
to the soldiers of the Cross, as before in Palestine and the neighbouring
countries, the Apostle and his fellow-labourers had now to encounter
fresh enemies not less deadly.  [Sidenote: Vice and superstition mixed
with intellectual unbelief.] In the highly civilized cities of Greece
they encountered on the one hand the full tide of heathenism with all its
degrading vices and superstitions, and on the other, Pagan philosophy
with its hard sceptical temper and intellectual pride.  Influences such
as these may account for the comparatively small results which seem to
have followed the preaching of St. Paul at Philippi, Thessalonica[21],
and Berea, and the prominence given to women as being more easily touched
by the good tidings of the Gospel.  [Sidenote: Open conflict with Satan.]
At Philippi is noticeable the conflict between the visible power of Satan
and the Power of {39} One stronger than he, in the casting out by St.
Paul of the evil spirit of Python from the soothsaying woman.  This was
an earnest of the final issue of that great contest between the kingdom
of Satan and the Kingdom of God, which was now beginning in the very
strongholds of darkness, and is to continue to the end of time.

We may also remark the first mention of the title and rights of a Roman
citizen claimed by St. Paul for himself and St. Silas after their illegal

[Sidenote: A.D. 54.  Athenians little inclined to believe.]

At Athens St. Paul came in contact with the most intellectual and
philosophical minds of heathendom; but heathen philosophy made the
Athenians very little inclined to accept the supernatural mysteries of
the Christian Faith.  They listened indeed with eager curiosity to the
"new thing" which the great Apostle proclaimed "in the midst of Mars'
Hill;" and yet when their intellectual pride was required to bow itself
down, to acknowledge something more than a Neology, and to believe in the
supernaturalism of the Resurrection, they only "mocked" the teacher.  St.
Paul, therefore, departed from the city where his cultivated mind had
been stirred at the sight of so many great intellects "wholly given to
idolatry[22]." [Sidenote: Athens afterwards a Bishopric.] But yet his
visit was not without its fruits; and Dionysius, a member of the great
Council of the Areopagus, is believed to have been the first Bishop of
the Church in Athens[23].


[Sidenote: Corinth the centre of the Church in Greece.]

From Athens St. Paul went to Corinth, and it was in this luxurious and
profligate city that he founded a Church which became the centre of
Christianity in Greece.  [Sidenote: St. Paul turns from the Jews.] The
obstinate unbelief and blasphemous opposition of the Corinthian Jews
caused St. Paul, for the first time, to withdraw himself entirely from
the services of the synagogue; but he continued at Corinth a year and six
months, being protected, according to God's special promise to him, from
all the machinations of his Jewish enemies.  [Sidenote: Opposes the
errors of Greek philosophy.] This lengthened stay was probably occasioned
not only by the presence of "much people" who were to be converted to
Christ, but also by the necessity of strengthening the Corinthian
converts against the subtleties of the heathen philosophy by which they
were surrounded, and with which St. Paul was well fitted to cope by his
early education.  The errors of Gnosticism seem also to have penetrated
at this time as far as Corinth.

[Sidenote: A.D. 55.  A.D. 56.]

After leaving Corinth, St. Paul paid a hasty visit to Ephesus, and then,
for the last time, returned to Antioch.

Section 5.  _St. Paul's Third Apostolic Journey._

[Sidenote: A.D. 56.]

[Sidenote: Ephesus the centre of the Church in Asia Minor.]

The next journey of the great Apostle of the Gentiles led him first
through Galatia and Phrygia, "strengthening" the Churches he had already
founded, and then brought him to the rich and important maritime city of
Ephesus, destined to be a third great centre of the Gentile Church, and
to hold in Asia Minor the same position as did Corinth in Greece {41} and
Antioch in Syria.  Here again St. Paul was forced to withdraw altogether
from the Jewish synagogue, after three months of earnest preaching and

Ephesus was the great seat of the worship of the heathen goddess Diana,
or Artemis, and was also full of those who practised "magical arts" or
sorceries, so that its inhabitants were doubly enslaved by the Evil One.
But the kingdom of darkness could not stand against the Kingdom of Light.
[Sidenote: Great power given to the Church.  A.D. 57.  A.D. 58.] Great as
was the power of Satan, still more mighty was the Power which the Lord
Jesus gave to His Church.  "Special miracles" were wrought in the place
of "lying wonders;" the Jewish exorcists were confounded, and the
sincerity of the Christian converts was proved by the costly sacrifice of
their once-prized books of magic.  "So mightily grew the Word of God and

St. Paul passed between two and three years at Ephesus, during which time
he is supposed to have founded the Church in Crete, leaving St. Titus as
its Bishop, whilst Ephesus was placed under the episcopal charge of St.
Timothy.  But eventually the riot excited by Demetrius drove the Apostle
from that city.  [Sidenote: A.D. 59.  A.D. 60.] [Sidenote: His visitation
charge to the Elders of Ephesus.] On his return to the neighbouring city
of Miletus, after his journey through Greece and Macedonia, we read of
his sending to Ephesus for the clergy of that place, and delivering to
them a solemn charge respecting their duties to the flock which God had
entrusted to their care[25].

It is during St. Paul's long sojourn at Ephesus that we have the first
indication of his intention to visit the {42} remoter regions of the
West, and more particularly its capital, imperial Rome[26].  He probably
at that time expected to see its wonders under different circumstances
than those of a prisoner, though before he finished his homeward journey
to Jerusalem, he had supernatural warnings of what was coming upon
him[27] from the malice of his Jewish enemies.

Section 6.  _St. Paul at Rome._

[Sidenote: A.D. 60.]

The anxiety which St. Paul ever felt to avoid giving unnecessary offence
to his fellow-countrymen, and his readiness to follow the precepts of
Judaism when they did not interfere with the liberty of Christianity,
were, in God's good Providence, the indirect means of his being sent to
preach the glad tidings of salvation, not in Rome only, but in still more
distant countries.  [Sidenote: St. Paul goes to Rome.  A.D. 63-65.] It
will not be necessary to enter into the particulars which drew upon St.
Paul the unjust indignation of the Jews, and induced him to appeal from
their persecutions and the popularity-seeking of Festus to the justice of
the emperor: we need only remember that the conclusion of the Book of the
Acts shows him to us a prisoner "in his own hired house" at Rome, and
there preaching and teaching "with all confidence," first, as ever, to
the Jews, and afterwards to the Gentiles.


Section 7.  _Extent of the Labours of the Apostles._

We are told but little in Holy Scripture as to the particulars of the
Apostles' work in founding the Church of God, except in the case of St.
Paul, and we are not allowed to trace even his labours to their end.
[Sidenote: Preaching of the Apostles in all known countries.] From other
sources we learn that the twelve visited almost every known country of
the world, so as to give to each separate race of men then existing an
opportunity of refusing or accepting the offer of the salvation of which
they were the ministers and stewards.  We are also told that all, except
St. John and perhaps St. Matthew, crowned their life of toil in the
service of their Lord by a martyr's death.  St. Peter and St. Paul both
suffered at Rome in the First Persecution under Nero, and most likely on
the same day, A.D. 67.

The following Table[28] will show the probable field of the labours of
each Apostle, so far as the record of it has come down to us:--


Supposed Fields of Apostolic Labour.

  Name of Churches.              By whom Founded.

  Palestine and Syria            All the Apostles.

  Mesopotamia (Turkey in Asia)   St. Peter and St. Jude.

  Persia                         St. Bartholomew and St. Jude

  India                          St. Bartholomew and St. Thomas.

  Thrace (Turkey in Europe)      St. Andrew.  The flourishing
                                   Church of Constantinople
                                   afterwards sprang up on this
                                   field of his labours.

  Scythia (Russia)               St. Andrew.

  North Africa (Egypt and        St. Simon Zelotes.  St. Mark
    Algeria)                       specially connected with

  Ethiopia (Central Africa).     St. Matthew.

  Arabia.                        St. Paul.

  Asia Minor (Turkey in Asia)    St. Paul and St. John.

  Macedonia (Turkey in Europe)   St. Paul

  Greece                         St. Paul.

  Italy                          St. Peter and St. Paul.

  Spain                          St. Paul.

  Gaul (France) and Britain      St. Paul and St. Joseph of

[1] Acts xiii. 2.

[2] The _first_ offers of salvation continued to be made to the Jews,
even after the recognition by the Church of her mission to the Gentiles.

[3] Acts xiii. 48, 49, 52; xiv. 1.

[4] Acts xiv. 23.

[5] "presbyter," afterwards shortened into "Prester" and "Priest," is
derived from the Greek word "Presbyteros," "an Elder."

[6] Acts xi. 30.

[7] Acts xx. 28.

[8] The word "Bishop" is derived from the Greek "Episcopos," and
signifies an overseer.

[9] 1 Tim. v. 1, 19, 22.  2 Tim. i. 6.  Titus i. 5; ii. 15.

[10] Acts xv. 24.

[11] Gal. ii. 3.

[12] Gal. ii. 9.

[13] St. James, as Bishop of the Diocese, taking precedence in this
instance even of St. Peter.

[14] Compare Acts xv. 6. 12.

[15] This is the last mention of St. Peter in the Book of Acts.

[16] Gal. ii. 11-14.

[17] Acts xv. 36-41.  The last mention of St. Barnabas in the Book of

[18] Compare Acts xvi. 3; and Gal. ii. 3, 4.

[19] Acts xvii. 7.  Comp. Acts vi. 11.

[20] Comp. St. Mark xiv. 58; and St. Luke xxiii. 2.

[21] Both Philippi and Thessalonica eventually became the seats of
flourishing Christian Churches, to whom St. Paul wrote Epistles.

[22] Acts xvii. 16-33.

[23] There are some reasons for thinking that men of cultivated minds and
high social position were preferred for Bishops in the early as well as
in later ages of the Church.

[24] Acts xix. 1-20.

[25] Acts xx. 17-35.

[26] Acts xix. 21.

[27] Acts xx. 23; xxi. 11.

[28] From Blunt's "Household Theology."



Final Settlement of the Church by St. John

A.D. 67-100

It seems probable that most of the Apostles had entered into rest
before the Destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70, and that St. John the
Divine was the only one of the Apostolic body who long survived that

[Sidenote: St. Peter began to found the Church, St. John completed its

To St. Peter, one of the "pillars" of the Church, it had been given to
begin the great work of laying the foundation of the Mystical Temple of
God; to St. John, the other of the two, was allotted the task of
perfecting what had been begun, so that a sure and steady basis should
not be wanting on which the New Jerusalem might rise through time to


Section 1.  _Second Council at Jerusalem._

[Sidenote: A.D. 67.]

[Sidenote: Purposes of the Second Council.]

There is good reason for believing[2] that after the martyrdoms of St.
Peter, St. Paul, and St. James, the first Bishop of Jerusalem, and
about the time of the invasion of the Holy City by Vespasian, a Second
Council of such of the Apostles as still survived was held for the
purpose of electing a successor to the See of Jerusalem, and definitely
settling the future government of the Church.  [Sidenote: Bishops only
rarely appointed at first,] Bishops had already been consecrated in
certain cases, as at Ephesus, Crete, and Rome; but during the time that
the Apostles were still engaged in founding and governing the different
branches of the great Christian community, the appointment of Bishops
(in the sense of heads of the Church) seems to have been the exception
rather than the rule.  [Sidenote: but now everywhere to replace the
Apostles.] A new era was, however, now coming upon the Church; her
Founders were gradually being withdrawn from her, and it was necessary
that she should receive such a complete and permanent organization as
would enable her to transmit to succeeding ages the saving grace of
which the Apostles had been the first channels, that so what had been
founded through their instrumentality might be continued and extended
through the ministry of others.


[Sidenote: The establishment of the Apostolical Succession the special
work of St. John,]

This work of organization was fitly entrusted to St. John, who for so
many years was left upon earth to "tarry" for the Lord, on Whose Breast
he had leaned, and Whose teaching had filled his soul with adoring
love, and with those depths of spiritual knowledge which are stored up
for us in the "Theological Gospel." [Sidenote: and the necessary
consequence of his teaching.] It seems natural that he to whom it was
given most fully to "enlighten" the Church respecting the Blessed
Mysteries of the Incarnation and of the Two Holy Sacraments, should
also be charged with the care of providing for the continual
transmission of the sacramental grace of the Incarnation through the
"laying on of hands," and that he who saw and recorded the glorious
ritual belonging to the Heavenly Altar, should organize that system by
which Priests might be perpetually raised up to show forth the same
Offering in the Church below.

Thus, though up to the time of St. Paul's martyrdom (A.D. 67) Episcopal
rule, as distinct from Apostolic, would seem to have been exceptional,
before the death of St. John (A.D. 100), government by the Bishops had
undoubtedly become the recognized rule and system of the Church.

Section 2.  _Development of the Church._

Before entering into any details respecting the final settlement by St.
John of the Order, Discipline, and Worship of the Church, it may be
well to remind ourselves that the Mystical Body of Christ only
gradually attained her full shape and constitution, following, like
God's other works, His law of growth and {48} development, and adapting
herself, according to her Lord's designs for her, to the needs of her
members.  [Sidenote: Development in the minds of the Apostles as to the
work of the Church.] There is no reason to suppose that the Apostles,
even after the Day of Pentecost, had clear ideas of the destiny which
was in store on earth for the Church which they were engaged in
founding.  The gathering in of the Gentiles, the existence of the
Church entirely apart from the Temple and its services, the place she
was to occupy in the long reach of years before the Day of Judgment[3],
all these were only made known to them by the course of events and the
teaching of experience, conjointly with, as well as subordinate to, the
general guidance of the Holy Spirit.  So, too, as regards doctrine.
[Sidenote: As to doctrine.] We cannot for a moment doubt that the
Apostles, who had been taught by the Incarnate Truth Himself, and
inspired by the Holy Ghost, held firmly "all the Articles of the
Christian Faith;" but we may also believe that their insight into these
verities would be deepened, and their expression of them become
clearer, as adoring meditation and the Teaching of the Comforter
brought more and more to their remembrance the Words and Works of their
Lord, and unbelieving cavils forced them more and more fully "to give a
reason of the Hope that" was in them[4].  The same thing may be noticed
{49} respecting the Faith of the Church.  [Sidenote: Development of the
teaching of the Church.] Held firmly in its fulness from the beginning,
it was yet only gradually set forth in Creeds, Liturgies, and
Definitions of Faith, according as the love and belief of Christians
required expression, or the errors of heretics drew forth clearer
teaching on the truths they attacked.  [Sidenote: Reserve in the
teaching of the Church.] To this we may add, that the early Church was
very careful to keep the knowledge of the deep mysteries of the Faith
from those who were not Christians.  It was only after their initiation
by Holy Baptism that those who had, as Catechumens, been instructed in
the rudiments of Christian doctrine, were admitted to a full knowledge
of the belief and practice of the Church, especially as regarded the
Holy Eucharist, which was very commonly spoken of under the name of the
Holy Mysteries.

Section 3.  _St. John at Ephesus[5]._

[Sidenote: St. John's work at Ephesus.]

About the time that Jerusalem was besieged by the armies of Vespasian
(A.D. 67), St. John withdrew to Ephesus (whence for a while he was
banished to Patmos by the Emperor Domitian[6]); and from this city he
travelled about through the neighbouring country, organizing, amongst
others, those Seven Churches of Asia Minor, to whose Angels or Bishops
he was bidden to write the Seven Epistles contained in the Apocalypse.


[Sidenote: Fitness of Ephesus as a centre of organization,]

Here in Ephesus, the eye of Asia, the great mercantile seaport of the
then known world, his influence could most easily make itself felt
amongst the far-off members of the Christian body, which by this time
had extended throughout the whole Roman empire.  All the civilized
world was then subject to the sway of Rome, except India and China; and
it may be that even these two latter countries were not excluded from
the influence of the Gospel.  It is not, of course, meant that
Christianity was the recognized religion of all or any of the Roman
provinces; but that in each of them the Church had a corporate
existence, and was a living power, drawing into herself here one, and
there another of the souls who were brought into contact with her, and
really, though gradually, spreading through and leavening the earth.

[Sidenote: and of orthodox teaching.]

Again, at Ephesus St. John could best combat and confute, both by his
words and writings, the subtle and deadly heresies which were
especially rife there.  "False Christs," such as Simon Magus, the first
heretic, Menander, Dositheus, and others, no longer troubled the Infant
Church with their blasphemous impostures, but in their stead false
teachers had arisen, seeking to "draw away disciples after them" into
the more subtle error of misbelief about our Lord and His Incarnation.
[Sidenote: Errors of the Corinthians.] [Sidenote: The Docetae, and
other variations of Gnosticism.] Thus the Jew Corinthus taught that
Christ was a mere man, born like other men, though united to Divinity
from His Baptism to His Crucifixion; whilst to the errors of the
Corinthians the Docetae added that the Body in which our Blessed
Saviour suffered, was only a phantom, and a body but in appearance;
both these heresies, {51} and others of a similar nature, appear to
have been variations of that Gnosticism to which St. Paul refers in his
Epistles, as "science" (or gnosis) "falsely so called[7]," and which
was long a source of danger and trouble to the Church.  Gnosticism may
be traced back to that Simon Magus, with whom St. John first came in
contact at Samaria, and in all its varied distortions of the great
Catholic doctrine of the Incarnation, through an admixture of Jewish
and heathen error, there was always an unvarying denial of our Lord's

[Sidenote: St. John's universal patriarchate.]

For about a third of a century St. John continued to exercise a kind of
universal patriarchate over the Church, being regarded, we cannot
doubt, with almost unbounded reverence and affection by all its
members, and perhaps first presenting that idea of one visible earthly
head of the Church, which afterwards found its expression in the

Section 4.  _St. John's Writings._

[Sidenote: St. John's writings close the Canon.]

The Gospel, Epistles, and Revelation of St. John, written as they were
at a long interval after the rest of the New Testament, and closing the
Canon of Sacred Scripture, may be usefully referred to, as giving us
some idea of the appearance of the Church when its government and
theology were finally settled.

[Sidenote: How his Gospel differs from the other three.]

St. John's Gospel differs from those of the other three Evangelists in
having been written for men who from their infancy had grown up in the
Faith of Christ, and who {52} were thus more ready to enter into and
profit by deep sacramental doctrine; whilst at the same time the
dangerous heresies which were beguiling souls from the truth, called
for more detailed and dogmatic teaching than had at first been needed.
[Sidenote: Dwells on our Lord's Divinity,] Hence in place of an account
of our Lord's Human Birth, St. John sets forth His Eternal Godhead and
wonderful Incarnation, leaving no space for unbelief or cavil, when he
proclaims for the instruction of the Church, that "the Word was God,"
and yet that He also "was made Flesh." [Sidenote: and on the two
Sacraments.] Again, the last Gospel does not bring before us the
Institution of the two great Sacraments of the Christian Covenant;
though it, and it alone, does record the teaching of our Blessed Lord
Himself with regard to the New Birth in Holy Baptism, and the constant
Nourishment of the renewed life in the Holy Eucharist.

[Sidenote: The Epistles correct heresies.]

Having established the Faith in His Gospel, St. John in his Epistles
sternly censures heresy and schism, thus witnessing to the end of time
that the charity of the Church must never lead her to countenance false

[Sidenote: The Apocalypse sets forth Discipline and Worship.]

We may look to the Book of the Revelation for some light as to the
discipline and worship of the Church of St. John's days.  We have there
in the mention of the Seven Angels or Bishops, each ruling over his own
Church and answerable for its growth in holiness, a confirmation of the
fact that episcopacy was now fully _organized_ as the one form of
Church government which had replaced the extinct hierarchy of the
former dispensation.  Nor does it seem unreasonable to believe that St.
John's vision of the Worship of Heaven {53} was intended to supply to
the Christian Church a model to be copied so far as circumstances
should permit in the courts of the Lord's House on earth, much as the
elaborate system of Temple Worship, which was entirely swept away with
the destruction of Jerusalem, had been in all things ordered "according
to the pattern" which the Lord had "showed" first to Moses and
afterwards to David.  That the Primitive Church did thus consider the
Heavenly Ritual set forth in the Apocalypse as the ideal of worship on
earth, is proved by the accounts which have come down to us of the
arrangement of Churches and the manner of celebrating the Holy
Eucharist in early times.

[Sidenote: Arrangement of Churches in primitive times.]

"The form and arrangement of Churches in primitive times was derived,
in its main features, from the Temple at Jerusalem.  Beyond the porch
was the narthex, answering to the court of the Gentiles, and
appropriated to the unbaptized and to penitents.  Beyond the narthex
was the nave, answering to the court of the Jews, and appropriated to
the body of worshippers.  At the upper end of the nave was the choir,
answering to the Holy Place, for all who were ministerially engaged in
Divine Service.  Beyond the choir was the Berna or Chancel, answering
to the Holy of Holies, used only for the celebration of the Holy
Eucharist, and separated from the choir by a closed screen, resembling
the organ screen of our cathedrals, which was called the Iconostasis.
As early as the time of Gregory Nazianzen, in the fourth century, this
screen is compared to the division between the present and the eternal
world, and the sanctuary behind it was ever regarded with the greatest
possible reverence as the most sacred {54} place to which man could
have access while in the body; the veiled door, which formed the only
direct exit from it into the choir and nave, being only opened at the
time when the Blessed Sacrament was administered to the people there
assembled[3].  The opening of this door, then, brought into view the
Altar and the Divine Mysteries which were being celebrated there.
[Sidenote: Its resemblance to what the Apocalypse tells us of Heaven.]
And when St. John looked through the door that had been opened in
Heaven, what he saw is thus described: 'And behold a Throne was set in
Heaven . . . . and round about the Throne were four and twenty seats;
and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in
white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold . . . . and
there were seven lamps of fire burning before the Throne . . . . and
before the Throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal.'  Here is
exactly represented an arrangement of the altar familiar to the whole
Eastern Church and to the early Church of England, in which it occupies
the centre of an apse in front of the seats of the Bishop and Clergy,
which are placed in the curved part of the wall.  And, although there
is no reason to think that the font ever stood near the altar, yet
nothing appears more likely than that the 'sea of glass like unto
crystal' mystically represents that laver of regeneration through which
alone the altar can be spiritually approached.  Another striking
characteristic of the ancient Church was the extreme reverence which
was shown to the Book of the Gospels, which was always placed upon the
altar and surmounted by a cross.  So {55} 'in the midst of the Throne,
and round about the Throne,' St. John saw those four living creatures
which have been universally interpreted to represent the four
Evangelists or the four Gospels, their position seeming to signify that
the Gospel is ever attendant upon the altar, penetrating, pervading,
and embracing the highest mystery of Divine Worship, giving 'glory and
honour and thanks to Him that sat on the Throne, who liveth for ever
and ever.'  In the succeeding chapter St. John beholds Him for whom
this altar is prepared.  'I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the Throne,
and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood
a Lamb as It had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which
are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.'  It cannot
be doubted that this is our Blessed Lord in that Human Nature on which
the _septiformis gratia_ was poured without measure; and that His
appearance in the form of 'the Lamb that was slain to receive power,
and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and
blessing,' represents the mystery of His prevailing Sacrifice and
continual Intercession.  But around this living Sacrifice there is
gathered all the homage of an elaborate ritual.  They who worship Him
have 'every one of them harps' to offer Him the praise of instrumental
music; they have 'golden vials full of incense, which are the prayers
of saints,' even as the angel afterwards had 'given unto him much
incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of the saints upon
the golden altar which was before the Throne;' they sing a new song,
mingling the praises of 'the best member that they have' with that of
their instrumental music; and they fall down before the Lamb with the
lowliest gesture of their bodies in humble adoration.  Let it {56} also
be remembered that one of the Anthems here sung by the Choirs of Heaven
is that sacred song, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was,
and is, and is to come;' the Eucharistic use of which is traceable in
every age of the Church[9]."

The ritual of the early Church naturally gathered round the Holy
Eucharist as the central act of worship in which the Lord was most
especially present, and therefore to be most especially honoured.  From
the first days of the Church this had been the one distinctively
Christian service; and now that the Temple services had ceased, it
became more apparently even than before, the fulfilment and
continuation of the sacrifices of the elder dispensations[10]: whilst
it was also the Memorial of the Sacrifice of the Cross and the
Representation on earth of the continual offering-up of "the Lamb as It
had been slain," before the Throne of God in Heaven.

[1] St. Peter and St. John had been specially trained by their Divine
Master for their special work.  They with St. James, the first
Apostolic martyr, had witnessed His Transfiguration, His Agony, His
raising of Jairus's daughter, and had been admitted into more intimate
communion with Him than the other Apostles.

[2] From passages in the works of St. Irenaeus and Eusebius.  See "Some
Account of the Church in the Apostolic Age," by Professor Shirley, pp.

[3] The Apostles appear to have believed at first that our Lord's
Ascension would be very speedily followed by His triumphal return to
Judgment, and the glorification of His faithful people.

[4] On this point we may remember that St. John, who saw deepest into
the Divine Life, did not write his Gospel till near the end of his
earthly labours, almost sixty years after the Day of Pentecost.

[5] Ephesus is known to this day by the name of Aya-soluk, from Agios
Theologos, or holy Divine, the title given to St. John.

[6] Or perhaps by Nero, as some ancient writers say.  Nero's full name
was Nero Claudius Domitianus, which may have caused this confusion.

[7] 1 Tim. vi. 20.

[8] As St. Chrysostom says, "When thou beholdest the curtains drawn up,
then imagine that the heavens are let down from above, and that the
Angels are descending."

[9] Annotated Book of Common Prayer, Ritual Introduction, pp. xlix, 1.

[10] We are told that St. John adopted the vestments of the High Priest
of the old covenant, and especially "the plate of the holy crown," with
its inscription, "Holiness to the Lord," thus exhibiting very forcibly
the continuity of the two priesthoods.



The Primitive Church

A.D. 100-A.D. 312

[Sidenote: Persecution increases round the Church.]

We have already had occasion to notice the beginnings of the
persecution which the Church was to undergo for the sake of her Head
and Spouse, not only those of a local and unorganized character, which
are spoken of in the Book of Acts, but also some of a more cruel and
systematic nature under the Roman Emperors Nero and Domitian.  From the
death of the last of the Apostles to the conversion of the Emperor
Constantine, A.D. 312, the Church passed through a succession of fierce
trials, in which her members were called to undergo similar sufferings
to those which had been borne by the holy Apostles St. Peter, St. Paul,
and St. John, and their fellow-martyrs[1].

Section 1.  _Causes of Persecution._

In considering the causes which led to the persecution of the Church by
the heathen around her, we {58} must, of course, place first as the
root and ground of all, the malice of Satan, and his hatred of God, and
of the means appointed by God for saving souls.  [Sidenote: Satan's
enmity the great cause of persecution.] The Kingdom of God and the
kingdom of Satan must ever be at war, and the fierce and varied
sufferings inflicted by the cruel heathen on all who bore the name of
Christ were so many assaults of the great adversary seeking to
overthrow the Church in an open and deadly struggle.  But the
life-giving Presence of her Incarnate Lord, and "the patience and the
faith of the Saints," were mightier weapons than "all the fiery darts
of the Wicked," and "the gates of Hell" were not suffered to "prevail
against her."

[Sidenote: Other minor causes.]

There were, however, other and secondary causes which led to the
persecution of the Church.  The Romans were not usually intolerant of
religions which they did not themselves profess; their worship of their
own false gods had come to be a form, as far as the educated classes
were concerned, and what belief they had was given to philosophy rather
than religion.  Hence they were not unwilling that the nations they
conquered should keep to their own respective creeds and religious
ceremonies, so long as they did not interfere with Roman authority.
But the religion of Christ required more than this.  It could not be
confined to any one country, nor be content with bare toleration, nor
rank itself with the many forms of Pagan misbelief.  It claimed to be
the only True Religion, the only Way of Salvation, before which the
superstitions of the ignorant, and the philosophy of the learned must
alike give way.  It made its way even into "Caesar's household."
Besides this, Christians, owing to the nationality of the First
Founders {59} of the Church, were often confounded with, and called by
the same name as the Jews, who had a bad repute under the empire for
rebellious and seditious conduct, and we know how, even in the days of
St. Paul, the charge of sedition had begun to be most unjustly fastened
upon the followers of the Meek and Lowly Jesus.  This charge of
disaffection to the powers of the state received an additional and
plausible colouring from the fact that the consciences of the faithful
members of the Church would not suffer them to pay, what they and the
heathen around them considered to be Divine honour, to the emperor or
the heathen deities, by sacrificing a few grains of incense when
required thus to show their loyalty to their ruler and his faith.  Over
and over again was this burning of incense made a test by which to
discover Christians or to try their steadfastness, and over and over
again was its rejection followed by agonizing tortures and a cruel

[Sidenote: Nero's persecution.]

The persecution in the reign of Nero is immediately traceable to the
accusation brought against the Christians by the emperor, that they had
caused the terrible fire at Rome, which there seems little doubt was in
reality the result of his own wanton wickedness, whilst that under
Domitian appears to have been connected with the conversion of some of
the members of his own family, his cousin Flavius Clemens being the
first martyr sacrificed in it.

Section 2.  _Number and Duration of Persecutions._

The following table[2] will show how the early days of the Church were
divided between times of persecution and intervals of rest.


  _Chronological Table of Persecutions and Intervals of Rest._


   64-68.     Persecution under Nero.  Martyrdom of
                St. Peter and St. Paul.

   68-95.     Time of peace.

   95-96.     Persecution under Domitian.  Banishment of
                St. John.

   96-104.    Time of peace.

  104-117.    Persecution under Trajan.  Martyrdom of
                St. Ignatius.

  117-161.    Time of peace.  Apologies of Aristides,
                Quadratus, and Justin Martyr.

  161-180.    Persecution under Marcus Aurelius.  Martyrdom
                of St. Polycarp, and the martyrs of Lyons.

  180-200.    Time of peace.

  200-211.    Persecution under Severus.  Martyrdom of
                St. Perpetua and others in Africa.

  211-250.    Time of peace, excepting--
                235-237.  Partial persecution under Maximinus.

  250-253.    Persecution under Decius.  Martyrdom of
                St. Fabian.

  253-257     Time of peace.  Disputes concerning the _lapsed_.

  257-260.    Persecution under Valerian.  Martyrdom of
                St. Cyprian.

  260-303.    Time of peace, excepting--
                262.  Persecution in the East under Macrianus.
                275.  Persecution threatened by Aurelian.

  303-313.    Persecution under Dioclesian, Galerius, and


Section 3.  _Nature and Extent of Persecutions._

[Sidenote: Terrors of persecution.]

Words can hardly be found strong enough to express the many and varied
tortures which were inflicted on the Christians of the Primitive Church
by their heathen countrymen.  Death itself seemed too slight a
punishment in the eyes of these cruel persecutors, unless it was
preceded and accompanied by the most painful and trying circumstances.
It was by crucifixion, and devouring beasts, and lingering fiery
torments that the great multitude of those early martyrs received their
crown.  Racked and scorched, lacerated and torn limb from limb,
agonized in body, mocked at and insulted, they were objects of pity
even to the heathen themselves.  Persecuting malice spared neither sex
nor age, station nor character; the old man and the tender child, the
patrician and the slave, the bishop and his flock, all shed their blood
for Him Who had died for them, rather than deny their Lord.

We have no possible means of estimating the number of this vast "cloud
of witnesses," but authentic accounts have come down to us which prove
that some places were almost depopulated by the multitude of
martyrdoms; and when we remember the length of time over which the
persecutions extended, the blood-thirsty rage of the persecutors, and
the firm perseverance with which the immensely large majority of
Christians kept the Faith to the end, we may form some idea as to the
"multitude" of this noble army of martyrs "which no man could number."

[Sidenote: Persecution did not check the growth of the Church,]

So widely did the Church spread during the age {62} of persecution, in
the face of all the fierce opposition of her enemies, that it was found
at times to be impossible to carry out in their fulness the cruel laws
against Christians, on account of the numbers of those who were ready
to brave all for the sake of Christ.  As has been often said, "The
blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church."

[Sidenote: nor revive decaying heathenism,]

Paganism was gradually dying away in the Roman world, notwithstanding
all the craft and power of Satan, whilst no number of martyrdoms seemed
to check the growth of the Body of Christ.  Vain and short-sighted,
indeed, was the boast of the Emperor Dioclesian during the last and
most bitter of all the persecutions, that he had blotted out the very
name of Christian.  No sooner had the conversion of Constantine brought
rest to the Church, than she rose again from her seeming ruins, ready
and able to spread more and more through "the kingdoms of this world,"
that they might "become the kingdoms of Christ."

[Sidenote: and thus helped to prove the Divine origin of the Church.]

We may well believe that no institution of human appointment could have
stood firm against such terrible and reiterated shocks.  Nothing less
than a Divine Foundation, and a strength not of this world could have
borne the Church through the ages of persecution, not only without loss
of all vital principle, but even with actual invigoration and extension
of it.


Section 4.  _Effects of Persecution on the Worship and Discipline of
the Church._

The fierce trials of the age of persecution were not without their
influence on the inner life of the Church, both as regarded Worship and

The cruel oppressions to which they were constantly liable, drove
Christians to conceal their Faith from the eyes of the heathen world
whenever such concealment did not involve any denial of their Lord, or
any faithless compliance with idolatrous customs.  [Sidenote: Seeking
martyrdom forbidden.] Indeed, it was a law of the Church that martyrdom
was not to be unnecessarily sought after, and the wisdom of this
provision was more than once shown by the failure under torture of
those who had presumptuously brought upon themselves the sufferings
they had not strength to bear, and which did not come to them in the
course of God's Providence.

[Sidenote: Holy Rites and Books kept hidden.]

The strictest secrecy was enjoined upon Christians as to the religious
Rites and sacred Books of the Church, and we read of many martyrs who
suffered for refusing to satisfy the curiosity of their Pagan judges
respecting Christian worship, or for persisting in withholding from
them the Christian writings.

[Sidenote: Church ritual temporarily checked.]

Another natural effect of persecution was to check for a time the
development of the ritual of the Church, and to render necessary the
use of the simplest and most essential forms even in the celebration of
the Holy Eucharist.  The immense subterranean excavations at Rome,
known by the name of the Catacombs, are an abiding {64} proof to us of
the straits to which the primitive martyrs and their companions were
reduced, when these sand-galleries were at once their Church and their
burying-place, and in some instances the scene of their martyrdom also.

[Sidenote: Church discipline very severe]

The discipline of the Church was made extremely strict by the
lengthened continuance of severe persecution.  In those days when so
many gave proof of the strength and reality of their Faith by their
persevering endurance of unspeakable agonies, any shrinking back was
looked upon as very unworthy cowardice, and as an almost hopeless fall,
to be hindered if possible by the merciful severity of the Church as
shown in warnings and punishments.  Even those who had so far succumbed
to trial as to give up the Sacred Books were called "Traditores," and
considered as very criminal; those who had consented to pay Divine
honours to the emperors or to the heathen gods, fell under still more
severe censure, whilst such Christians as led sinful and immoral lives
were considered most worthy of blame and punishment.  Very heavy
penances were laid upon all who thus fell away, in proportion to their
guilt, before they were again admitted to the Communion of the Church;
and in some extreme cases the punishment was life-long, and only
allowed to be relaxed when the penitent was actually in danger of
death.  [Sidenote: for a time.] But this very severe discipline was
temporary in its nature, as was the danger to the Church which called
it forth, and was somewhat modified by the Letters of Peace which
martyrs and confessors were allowed to give to excommunicated persons,
authorizing their readmission to Church privileges.

[Sidenote: Church government modified also for a time.]

A temporary modification in the government of the {65} Church was also
brought about by these times of suffering.  Bishops, under the pressure
of persecution, were sometimes forced to leave their flocks, or were
first tortured and then banished, and their places had to be filled as
far as they could be by the presbyters, with the advice of the distant
Bishop; whilst at Rome, in the middle of the third century, there was a
year's vacancy in the see after the martyrdom of Fabian, on account of
the impossibility of bringing neighbouring Bishops into the midst of a
storm which was raging with especial fury against the rulers of the

[1] St. John was a martyr in will, though not in deed, being
miraculously preserved from injury in the caldron of boiling oil, into
which he was plunged by order of Nero or Domitian.

[2] From Dr. Steere's "Account of the Persecutions of the Early Church
under the Roman Emperors."



The Church under the Roman Empire

A.D. 312-A.D. 680

[Sidenote: Persecution arrested by conversion of Constantine.]

[Sidenote: Outward triumph of the Church.]

The conversion of the Emperor Constantine to the Faith worked a great
change in the condition of the Christian Church.  Even so early as the
year 312, when the appearance to him of the luminous Cross in the sky
was followed by victory over his enemies, Constantine began to issue
edicts of toleration in favour of the Christians; and from the time of
his sole supremacy, A.D. 324, Christianity and not Paganism became the
acknowledged religion of the Roman empire.

Section 1.  _The altered Outward Circumstances of the Church._

[Sidenote: Consequent change in discipline and ritual.]

Such a change in the outward circumstances of the Church could not but
produce a corresponding alteration in its discipline and mode of
worship.  The Kingdom of God on earth became a great power visible to
the eyes of men, no longer hid like the leaven, but overshadowing the
earth like the mustard-tree; and the power and influence of Imperial
Rome were employed {67} in spreading the Faith instead of seeking to
exterminate it.  Christians were not now forced to shun the notice of
their fellow-men; banished Priests and Bishops came back to their
flocks; heathen temples were converted into Churches, and new Churches
were built with great splendour.  The vast resources of Roman wealth
and refinement were employed to render the Worship of Almighty God
costly and magnificent, and the ritual of the Church was probably more
fully developed and brought more into harmony with the prophetic vision
of St. John than circumstances had ever before allowed.

[Sidenote: The first Christian city.]

In Constantinople, built by the Emperor Constantine on the ruins of
Byzantium, we have the first instance of a city which, from the time of
its foundation, was entirely Christian.

[Sidenote: Endowment of the Church.]

The Church was now no longer dependent on the alms of private
Christians; the revenues which had formerly been devoted by the state
to the maintenance of the heathen temples and their ministers, were
transferred to the support of Christian Churches and their Clergy, and
to the relief of the poor.  Christian schools were also founded and
endowed by the emperors; and learning, as well as wealth, was thus
brought in contact with the Faith.

[Sidenote: Church honoured by the world.]

Christian Rome soon became a great instrument in God's hands for
extending the influence of the Church even amongst little-known and
uncivilized nations; and as persecution ceased to try the earnestness
of those who embraced the religion of Christ, and the name of Christian
came to be treated with respect instead of with scorn, the Church began
to assume a position somewhat like that which she holds in our own day.
[Sidenote: Discipline relaxed.] The profession of {68} Christianity
under these circumstances was naturally more of a matter of course with
many of those who had grown up under its shadow, than when, in earlier
times, such a profession was likely to involve loss and suffering, and
even death itself, and discipline was gradually and necessarily relaxed
from the severity needful in the days of persecution.

Section 2.  _Internal Trials of the Church._

[Sidenote: Heresy gathers strength in prosperity,]

The Church being thus firmly settled and delivered from outer enemies,
was now to find troubles within.  Even from the days of St. John the
Divine heresies respecting the Person of our Blessed Lord had been
rife; but these open denials of the Divinity of the Great Head of the
Church had been successfully opposed without their leaving behind them
any very lasting trace.  [Sidenote: and is of a more dangerous nature.]
Errors of a more subtle class followed, amounting in reality to
unbelief in our Saviour's Godhead, but expressing that unbelief by
assailing the teaching of the Church respecting His nature as Very God
or as Very Man.

[Sidenote: Arianism.]

This species of error culminated in the heresy of Arius, who denied
that the Second Person of the Holy Trinity was co-equal, co-eternal,
and of One Substance with the Father, and whose false teaching was more
widely listened to and followed than that of any of his predecessors in
misbelief.  Arianism, and various forms of error consequent upon it,
long afflicted the Church, especially in the East, and the Emperor
Constantine himself seems at one time to have had a leaning towards the
theories of Arius.


Section 3.  _The General Councils._

[Sidenote: The remedy provided for heresy.]

The full tide of the Arian heresy was, however, not suffered to come
upon the Church without a barrier being raised up by God to stem the
torrent.  The Emperor Constantine was providentially guided to call
together a Council of Bishops from every part of the world, to decide
what was and always had been the Faith of the Church respecting the
Nature of our Blessed Lord.  This is the first instance of what are
known by the name of General Councils of the Church.  Other councils,
called provincial synods, had indeed been frequently held from the
earliest times; but they were of a much more limited and partial
character, and their decrees were binding only on the province in which
they were held, and not on the Church at large.

[Sidenote: Nature of General Councils.]

General Councils were called together by the Christian emperors, and,
from the nature of their constitution, were not possible until all or
nearly all the Christian world was governed by a ruler professing the
Faith of Christ; nor has such a general synod been held since the
breaking up of the universal empire of Rome helped to overthrow the
external unity of the Church[1].  [Sidenote: Their number.] Four
General Councils are officially {70} acknowledged by the Church of
England as binding on her members, and to these are commonly added two,
held somewhat later at Constantinople.

[Sidenote: I. Council.]

I.  The First General Council was called together by Constantine the
Great, A.D. 325.  It was held at Nicaea in Bithynia, and was attended
by 318 Bishops.  The great work of this Council was the positive and
explicit assertion of what the Church had always implicitly believed
concerning the Nature of our Divine Lord, and His Oneness with the
Father.  It was at this Nicene Council that the great St. Athanasius,
then only a deacon, first distinguished himself by his opposition to
the heresies of Arius.  The teaching of the Council was embodied in the
creed which is known to us as the Nicene Creed[2], and which was signed
by all the assembled Bishops with only two exceptions, these being
probably personal friends of Arius.  Besides the condemnation of Arius,
the Council settled the time of keeping Easter, and passed twenty
Canons which were confirmed by the Emperor.

[Sidenote: II. Council.]

II.  The Second General Council was held at Constantinople, A.D. 381,
in the reign of Theodosius the Great.  It was summoned principally to
condemn the heresy of Macedonius, who had been Patriarch of
Constantinople, and who had added to the Arian heresy a denial of the
Divinity of God the Holy Ghost.  At this Council 150 Bishops were
present, and it is especially remarkable for having completed the Creed
of Nicaea[3], which is hence also called the Creed of Constantinople.


[Sidenote: III. Council.]

III.  The Third General Council was summoned by the Emperor Theodosius
the Younger, A.D. 431, and met at Ephesus.  It was held to consider the
heresy of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who taught that the
Blessed Virgin was the Mother of our Lord's Human Nature only, and
that, therefore, the title of Theotokos, or "Mother of God," ought not
to be given her.  This assertion was, in fact, only a refinement of
Arianism, implying as it did that our Saviour had not always been God
as well as Man, and it was accordingly condemned by the Council,
Nestorius being at the same time deposed from his see.

[Sidenote: IV. Council.]

IV.  The Fourth General Council met at Chalcedon during the reign of
the Emperor Marcian, A.D. 451.  Six hundred and thirty Bishops
assembled at it and condemned the false teaching of Eutyches, who
asserted that our Blessed Lord was God only, and not Man also.

[Sidenote: V. Council.]

V.  The Fifth General Council was summoned at Constantinople by the
Emperor Justinian, A.D. 533, and was attended by 165 Bishops.  In it
the decisions of the Four First Councils were confirmed, especially
against the Nestorians.

[Sidenote: VI. Council.]

VI.  The Sixth General Council was also held at Constantinople, A.D.
680, by command of the Emperor Constantine Pogonatus, and condemned a
development of Eutychianism.


       Table of Councils.

       Where held.     Date.   Emperor.        Object.

    I. Nicaea          325     Constantine     Against the Arians.
                                 the Great

   II. Constantinople  38l     Theodosius      Against the
                                 the Great       Macedonians.

  III. Ephesus         431     Theodosius      Against the
                                 the Younger     Nestorians.

   IV. Chalcedon       451     Marcian         Against the

    V. Constantinople  553     Justinian       Against a
                                                 development of

   VI. Constantinople  680     Constantine    Against a
                                 Pogonatus      development
                                                of Eutychianism.

Section 4.  _Intellectual Development in the Church._

[Sidenote: Christian learning developed in peace.]

This portion of the History of the Church, comprising as it does the
first period in which the master-minds within her fold were left free
by the cessation of outward persecution to resist the increasing
attacks of heresy, may be looked upon as offering to our view the
greatest intellectual development which the Church has experienced
since the times of the Apostles.  [Sidenote: The Fathers.] Learned and
eloquent men abounded, "mighty in the Scriptures" and "steadfast in the
Faith," and their commentaries and sermons have come down to us as an
abiding heritage and a continual witness to the teaching of the Church
in early times.  St. Athanasius, St. Ambrose, St. Chrysostom, and St.
Augustine, are but a few out of many whose writings are still held in
honour by our own as well as by every other branch of the Catholic

[1] A General Council is the highest possible way in which the voice of
the Church can be heard.  But its authority is much increased by the
fact that to become really a _general_ Council its decrees must be
generally received by the Christian world.  This was the case with the
first six General Councils, but has not been entirely so with any
similar gatherings of later ages.

[2] That part of the Creed which follows the words, "I believe in the
Holy Ghost," was added later.

[3] The subsequent addition in the clause, "Who proceedeth from the
Father and the Son," will be noticed later.



The Early History of Particular Churches.

A.D. 67-A.D. 500

Section 1.  _The Church of England._

[Sidenote: St. Paul's visit to England.]

The CHURCH OF ENGLAND is believed, with good reason, to owe its
foundation to the Apostle St. Paul, who probably came to this country
after his first imprisonment at Rome.  The writings of Tertullian, and
others in the second and third centuries speak of Christianity as
having spread as far as the islands of Britain, and a British king
named Lucius is known to have embraced the Faith about the middle of
the second century.  [Sidenote: Martyrdom of St. Alban.] The Diocletian
persecution made itself felt amongst the British Christians, the
conversion of the proto-martyr St. Alban (A.D. 303) being followed by
that of a large number of his countrymen, many of whom also suffered
for their faith.

The persecution ceased (A.D. 305) under the influence of Constantius,
who, before his accession to the imperial dignity, had been viceroy in
Britain.  His son and successor Constantine was, if not born in
England, at any rate of English parentage on the side of his mother
Helen, better known as the Saint and Empress {74} Helena.  [Sidenote:
English bishops at Councils.] Three English Bishops, those of York,
Lincoln, and London, attended the Council summoned by Constantine at
Arles, A.D. 314, a proof that at this time the Church of England was
thoroughly organized and settled.  English Bishops were also present at
the Councils of Sardica, A.D. 347, and of Ariminium, A.D. 359.

[Sidenote: English Church depressed by Saxon invasion.]

When the Romans abandoned Britain early in the fifth century, the
Saxons took advantage of the defenceless state of the inhabitants to
settle in the island, at first as colonists and afterwards as
conquerors.  The intermingling of these fierce heathens with the
Christian population had a depressing influence on the Church; and the
Bishops and Clergy, belonging as they did to the weaker and conquered
portion of the community, seem to have been unable to do much towards
the conversion of the invaders.  [Sidenote: Diminution and retreat of
Clergy.] Gradually, as the Saxons became more and more powerful in the
island, the number of Bishops and Clergy in the accessible portions of
of England grew smaller and smaller; and such as remained were at last
compelled to take refuge with their brethren, who had retired to the
mountain fastnesses, rather than live in slavery.  Hence the records of
the Church of England in the sixth century are chiefly confined to
those dioceses which were situated in what we call Wales, or in other
mountainous districts.

Section 2.  _The Church of Ireland._

The CHURCH OF IRELAND is said by some to have been first founded in the
Apostolic age, but this seems doubtful.  The first certain information
which we have {75} respecting the presence of Christianity in the
island, is that in A.D. 431, a Bishop named Palladius was sent thither
on a mission by Pope Celestine.  He appears, however, not to have met
with much success, and he soon left the country and died, probably in
Scotland.  [Sidenote: St. Patrick the Apostle of Ireland.] A few years
later, about A.D. 440, the celebrated St. Patrick began his mission in
Ireland.  He is generally considered to have been a native of North
Britain, who, at the age of sixteen, was taken prisoner by pirates, and
carried as a slave to Ireland.  On regaining his liberty, he resolved
to devote his life to the conversion of the country of his captivity;
and having been consecrated Bishop, he returned to Ireland, and spent
fifty years as a missionary in that hitherto heathen land.  At the time
of his death, A.D. 493, the Church was firmly rooted in Ireland, and
possessed a native priesthood and a native Episcopate.

[Sidenote: Late development of dioceses and parishes in Ireland.]

It may, however, be mentioned, that neither the diocesan nor the
parochial systems were developed in Ireland until a very late period,
whilst, from the very large number of Bishops existing there in early
times, we are led to infer that in Ireland, as before in the earliest
ages of the Church, each missionary was invested with episcopal powers,
and that the office of priest, separate from that of Bishop, was at
first almost unknown.  Gradually there sprang up Cathedral chapters,
whose members acted as curates to the Bishop, and to this succeeded the
parochial system.

Section 3.  _The Church of Scotland._

The CHURCH OF SCOTLAND may, perhaps, like the Church of England, trace
its foundation to the labours {76} of St. Paul, and seems to be
included in Tertullian's mention of the far-off limits to which
Christianity had reached in his days.  [Sidenote: St. Ninian the first
authenticated missionary in Scotland.] Little is, however, known of
very early Church history in Scotland until the beginning of the fifth
century, when St. Ninian, who is said to have been the son of a British
chief, preached to the Southern Picts, A.D. 412-A.D. 432.  We have
already seen that St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, was a Scotchman,
and the fruits of the benefits thus conferred on the one country were
reaped by the other in the next century, when St. Columba went from
Ireland and founded the celebrated monastery of Iona in one of the
isles of the Hebrides.  [Sidenote: Intercourse between Irish and Scotch
Churches.] Iona, like the Irish monasteries of the same period, sent
out many missionaries, and the monks of the two countries appear to
have kept up friendly communications with each other.

Section 4.  _Continental Churches._

The CHURCH OF ITALY, as we have already seen (pp. 42, 43), was founded
by the joint labours of St. Peter and St. Paul, but the circumstances
of its foundation were very different from those of the Churches of our
own islands.  [Sidenote: Difficulties encountered by the Church in
Italy from high civilization] Christianity in Italy had to make its way
amongst a highly civilized people, a nation of deep thinkers and
philosophers, whose opposition to the truths of the Gospel was a far
more subtle thing than the rude ignorance of barbarians.  [Sidenote:
and political power.] Besides this, the infant Church in Italy was
brought face to face with the might of the Roman emperors who were at
that time the rulers of the known {77} world; and though their
persecution of their Christian subjects extended more or less to all
parts of the empire, yet Italy was the chief battle-field on which the
first great contest between the Church and the world was fought.  Hence
the history of the early Church of Italy is a history of alternating
persecutions and times of peace[1], during which Christianity was
constantly taking deeper root and spreading more widely through the
country, until the conversion of Constantine, A.D. 312, led to the
establishment and endowment of the Church.  [Sidenote: Decay of the
Roman empire.] As the Church was growing stronger and taking deeper
root, the worn-out Roman empire was gradually decaying and fading away,
and, practically, it came to an end with the division of East and West,
A.D. 395.

Resistance to the inroads of the barbarians was no longer possible.
Rome was sacked successively by different nations of Central Europe,
and at length the kingdom of the Goths in Italy was established under
Theodoric, A.D. 493.  [Sidenote: Arianism of barbarian conquerors.]
These rude nations, though professing Christianity, had received with
it the heretical doctrines of Anus, owing to their teachers having
belonged to those eastern portions of Europe, which, from their
nearness to Asia, were most infected with this heresy.

The CHURCH OF FRANCE was probably founded by St. Paul, but we have no
certain account of its early history.  [Sidenote: Asiatic origin of
Early French Bishops,] "Trophimus the Ephesian" is believed to have
been the first Bishop of Arles, and Pothinus, another Greek Asiatic,
occupied the see of Lyons at the time of the persecution under Marcus
Aurelius, A.D. 161-A.D. 180, during which he suffered martyrdom.  His
{78} successor was St. Irenaeus, a native, probably, of Smyrna, who was
martyred under Severus, A.D. 202.  This long-continued connexion with
the Churches of Asia Minor left its traces on the liturgy and customs
of the Church of France, and through it of Britain and Ireland, these
latter Churches adhering to the Eastern mode of computing Easter even
after the Western reckoning had been adopted in France.  [Sidenote: and
of French Liturgy.] The liturgy used in France, as well as in Britain
and Spain, is known to have been founded on that used in Ephesus and in
the other Asiatic cities, which was almost certainly that used by St.
John himself.

[Sidenote: Intercourse between English and French Churches.]

A Council was summoned by Constantine, A.D. 314, at the French city of
Arles, and one French Bishop at least was present at the great Nicaean
Council, A.D. 323.  About a century later (A.D. 429), St. Germanus,
Bishop of Auxerre, and St. Lupus, Bishop of Troyes, were sent over to
Britain to assist in combating the errors of Pelagius, the neighbour
Churches of England and France maintaining apparently very friendly
relations.  Many of the barbarian tribes who overran France in the
beginning of the fifth century, though professing Christianity, were
deeply infected with the Arian heresy.  The Franks, however, who were
heathens at their first entrance into the country, embraced the
orthodox faith, and eventually became masters of the kingdom under
Clovis, A.D. 486.

[Sidenote: St. Paul and St. James in Spain.]

The CHURCH OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL traces its foundation to St. Paul, who
speaks of his intended visit to Spain, Rom. xv. 24; and there is also a
tradition that St. James the Great preached the Gospel here.  This
Church, too, is spoken of by St. Irenaeus, and again by Tertullian.
{79} Its first known martyr was St. Fructuosus, A.D. 259, and its first
Council that of Elvira, about A.D. 300.  The names of nineteen Spanish
Bishops are mentioned as present at it.  The Council of Nice, A.D. 325,
was under the presidency of Hosius, the Bishop of the Spanish diocese
of Cordova.  [Sidenote: Arianism of Visigoths.] About A.D. 470, the
Visigoths, who were Arians, passed over from France into Spain, and
were only gradually converted to the Catholic Faith.

We must look to a later period (see Chapter XI.) for the foundation of
other Churches of the West in Northern and Central Europe, that is to
as well as those contained in the large extent of country to which we
often give the comprehensive name of Germany.

The Churches now comprehended in EUROPEAN TURKEY and GREECE were, as we
have already seen (pp. 37 to 40), the fruits of the labours of St.
Paul, and, like the Church of Rome, had wealth and learning to
encounter instead of poverty and ignorance.  The Book of Acts records
very fully the earliest history of these Churches, and a large
proportion of St. Paul's Epistles are addressed to them.  [Sidenote:
Liability of the Greeks to heresy.] The theorizing and philosophical
tendencies of the Greeks made them very liable be led away by heretical
teachers, and we find that the Church in Greece, from St. Paul's time
downwards, was continually disturbed by the presence of those who
taught or listened to "some new thing."  Hence all the General
Councils, summoned for the authoritative settlement of the faith of the
Church, were held either in Greece, or in that part of Asia which had
been colonized by Greeks.  Arianism in particular, {80} for a long
period, caused the most violent dissensions throughout the Eastern
world, and these were the occasion of that first Great Council of
Nicaea which, though not actually held in Greece, was only separated
from it by the narrow strait of the Bosphorus.  [Sidenote: Origin of
jealousies between Rome and Constantinople.] The building of
Constantinople, A.D. 330, gave a Christian capital to Greece, and,
indeed, to the whole of the Eastern Roman empire; and from this time
may be dated the jealousies and struggles for supremacy which took
place between the Church in Italy and the Church in Greece, and
resulted eventually in the Great schism between East and West[2].

[Sidenote: St. Andrew in Russia.]

The CHURCH OF RUSSIA is believed to have been founded by the Apostle
St. Andrew, who extended his labours northwards from Thrace (which now
forms part of Turkey in Europe), to that portion of Scythia lying north
of the Black Sea, and now constituting the southern part of European
Russia.  The bulk of the present Russian empire was, however, converted
at a much later period.

Section 5.  _The Church in Africa._

[Sidenote: St. Simon Zelotes and St. Mark in Africa.]

The first evangelizing of North Africa, including what we now know as
Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco, is ascribed to St. Simon Zelotes and St.
Mark, the latter of whom founded the CHURCH OF ALEXANDRIA, of which he
became the first Bishop.  Christianity appears to have {81} made very
rapid progress in Africa, since, in the fifth century, the Church
numbered more than four hundred African Bishops.  [Sidenote:
Patriarchate of Alexandria.] Alexandria, from its wealth and
importance, as well as from its reputation for learning, was looked up
to by the other African Churches, and its Bishops were acknowledged as
patriarchs throughout the Christianized portion of the continent.
[Sidenote: Its school.] The Alexandrian school of philosophy was very
famous, and was at one time presided over by the Christian philosopher
Clement of Alexandria, who died about A.D. 216.  His pupil Origen was,
for a while, at the head of the same college, and employed his vast
learning both before and after his ordination, in comparing the extant
copies of the Old Testament Scriptures, in order to bring the text of
the original languages to a state of the greatest possible correctness.
He died A.D. 253.

[Sidenote: Heresies at Alexandria.]

The Church of Alexandria was much distracted by inward troubles.  In
A.D. 306, the schism of Meletius led many astray, and amongst them the
too notorious Arius, who began to publish in Alexandria the heresy
since known by his name, about the year A.D. 320.  [Sidenote: St.
Athanasius and Arius.] St. Athanasius, who became Patriarch of
Alexandria, A.D. 326, was the chief instrument raised up by God for
combating the errors of Arius, a work which he carried on unflinchingly
both before and after his elevation to the episcopal throne, though his
defence of the orthodox faith brought upon him long and severe
persecution, including an exile of twenty years from his diocese.  The
Arian heresy, though checked, was however not exterminated, and long
remained a source of trouble and weakness to the whole Church.
[Sidenote: St. Cyril and Nestorius.] St. Cyril, {82} who afterwards
succeeded to the patriarchate of Alexandria, A.D. 412, was also called
upon to defend Catholic truth against the errors of Nestorius, whilst
his successor, Dioscorus, openly embraced the false teaching of
Eutyches, and denied the Manhood, as Arius and Nestorius had before
denied the Divinity, of our Blessed Lord.  The evil example of the
patriarch was followed by a large proportion of African Christians, who
refused to receive the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon, A.D. 431,
or to submit to Catholic Bishops.

[Sidenote: St. Cyprian.  St. Augustine.]

Two other well-known names which adorn the records of the Church in
North Africa may be mentioned: St. Cyprian, a native of Carthage, and
afterwards Bishop of that city, who suffered martyrdom, A.D. 258, and
St. Augustine, a native of Numidia (or what we now call Algeria), who
was educated at Carthage, was consecrated Bishop of Hippo, A.D. 393,
and died A.D. 430.  He left behind him a great number of writings, the
influence of which has been largely felt by the Church of England.

[Sidenote: St. Matthew in Ethiopia.]

The CHURCH OF ETHIOPIA, now represented by Abyssinia, was planted by
St. Matthew, the way having, perhaps, been prepared by that "man of
Ethiopia," the eunuch "under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians," of whom
we read in Acts viii. 27-39.  Little is clearly known of the early
Christian history of this region; but the Ethiopian Church appears to
have come under the patriarchal rule of the Bishop of Alexandria
towards the beginning of the fourth century.  Though keeping clear of
Arianism, the Ethiopian Christians became deeply tinged with the
Eutychian heresy, by which Dioscorus and his successors were unhappily
led away.


Section 6.  _The Eastern Church._

Of the Churches now comprehended in Turkey in Asia, the foundation and
early history of PALESTINE, as represented by the CHURCH IN JERUSALEM,
and of SYRIA, as represented by the CHURCH IN ANTIOCH, have been
already related (Chapters I. and II.).

[Sidenote: Death of St. James.]

St. James the Less, first Bishop of Jerusalem, was martyred A.D. 63,
and succeeded by Simeon, the son of Cleopas, in whose episcopate the
destruction of Jerusalem took place, A.D. 70.  [Sidenote: Flight to
Pella.] The Christians, in obedience to the prophetic teaching of their
Divine Master, had already fled for safety to Pella, whence they
afterwards returned to take up their abode amongst the ruins of the
Holy City.  In A.D. 132, a rebellious outbreak of the Jews, under the
leadership of Barchochebas, drew down on them a severe chastisement
from the Emperor Hadrian, and the Jewish Christians suffered much from
being confounded with their rebellious countrymen.  The ruins of the
ancient city were completely destroyed, whilst no Jew was allowed to
enter the new city of Aelia Capitolina, which was built on its site.
[Sidenote: Extinction of Judaism in Church of Jerusalem.] The Jewish
Christians now entirely gave up all profession of Judaism, and the
first Judaism in _Gentile_ Bishop of Jerusalem was appointed A.D. 135.

Julian the Apostate (A.D. 361-A.D. 363) presumptuously attempted to
rebuild Jerusalem, but his attempt was frustrated by a miraculous
interposition, a failure which had already been predicted by St. Cyril,
the then Bishop of Jerusalem.


[Sidenote: Double Episcopate at Antioch.]

The CHURCH IN ANTIOCH having been probably founded by St. Peter, that
Apostle is believed to have left behind him two Bishops in the city,
the one Evodius, having the episcopal care of the Jewish converts,
whilst Ignatius was placed in charge of the Gentile Christians; but, on
the death of Evodius, A.D. 70, Ignatius became sole Bishop.  [Sidenote:
St. Ignatius.] This holy man is said to have been the child whom our
Lord took in His arms and set in the midst of His disciples.  He was
intimate with some or all of the Apostles, especially with St. John,
and was martyred by being thrown to wild beasts at Rome, A.D. 107.  The
synods held at Antioch were very numerous, and far larger than any
others, approaching almost in size and importance to General Councils.
[Sidenote: St. John Chrysostom.] It was at Antioch that the celebrated
and eloquent St. John Chrysostom was born about A.D. 347: he became
Bishop of Constantinople, and died A.D. 407, after undergoing
persecutions which almost amounted to a martyrdom.

[Sidenote: St. Paul and St. John in Asia Minor.]

We have already seen (pp. 31, 32) that the CHURCHES OF ASIA MINOR owe
their foundation chiefly to St. Paul, whilst their perfect organization
and development was entrusted to St. John the Divine (pp. 49 to 51).
The Seven Churches of the Apocalypse seem to have been in a special
manner the charge of the latter Apostle, Ephesus, the chief of them,
being the home of his later earthly years, and the scene of his decease
and burial.  [Sidenote: The "Angels" of the Seven Churches.] St.
Timothy, the first Bishop of Ephesus, had been succeeded probably by
Onesimus; St. Polycarp (martyred A.D. 167) had the episcopal charge of
Smyrna; {85} Archippus, it is believed, had followed Epaphras at
Laodicea.  The names of the other "Angels" spoken of in the Apocalypse
have not come down to us, but there is no doubt that at the time when
the seven inspired Epistles were addressed to these Churches, there was
in each of them a firmly established episcopacy, and that this form of
government was followed by all other Churches throughout the world.
There is little that needs recording of the history of these Churches
of Asia Minor, unless we except the Great Council of Ephesus, held in
that city, A.D. 431, to condemn the heresy of Nestorius (p. 71).

[Sidenote: St. Bartholomew in Armenia.]

The CHURCH OF ARMENIA, now included in Asiatic Turkey, is believed to
have been first founded by St. Bartholomew.  The country is said to
have been further evangelized by a mission sent by St. Gregory the
Illuminator in the third century.  It is known that, in the following
century, a flourishing Church existed there.

[Sidenote: Several Apostles in Parthia.]

The CHURCH OF PARTHIA, or PERSIA, embraced the country lying between
the Tigris and the Indus, with Mesopotamia and Chaldea; what we now
call Persia, Cabul, and Belochistan; as well as part of Arabia and
Turkey; and is said to have been planted by St. Peter, St. Bartholomew,
St. Jude, St. Matthew, and St. Thomas.  The inhabitants of this region
were of different races: Greek colonists; many Jews, the residue of the
Babylonish Captivity; Arabs, and ancient Persians.  Till the fourth
century the Parthian Church appears to have flourished in peace.  It
was beyond the jurisdiction of the persecuting emperors of Rome, and
the Parthian monarchs, though not Christians themselves, protected or
tolerated their Christian subjects.  [Sidenote: Persecution there.] Two
Bishops were sent from {86} Parthia to the Council of Nicaea, A.D. 323,
but shortly afterwards, A.D. 330, persecution broke out, occasioned
apparently by the jealousy felt by the king towards the now Christian
emperors of Rome, and the intercourse kept up between the fellow
Christians of the two empires.  Sixteen thousand martyrs are said to
have shed their blood for their Faith, and amongst them was St. Simeon,
the Patriarch of the Church, and Bishop of Seleucia.  Another
persecution took place in the beginning of the fifth century, and
shortly afterwards Persian Christianity became strongly infected with
the errors of Nestorius, the Shahs apparently favouring the heresy on
account of its having been discouraged by the Roman emperors.

[Sidenote: Uncertainty as to the first conversion of Arabia.]

There is no record of the actual founding of the CHURCH IN ARABIA.  We
know, from Gal. i. 17, that St. Paul "went into Arabia" soon after his
conversion, but there is no mention of his having preached the Gospel
there at that time, when indeed he was not yet called to be an Apostle;
and the Arabia to which he went was probably the northern portion
stretching up to the east of Syria, almost to Damascus itself.  The
Apostle of the Gentiles may probably have revisited this country at a
later period; but, at any rate, we know that Christianity was firmly
established there early in the third century, and that Origen made two
several journeys thither between A.D. 220 and A.D. 248, to combat
heresies which troubled the Arabian Church.  The Bishop of Bostra, or
Bozrah, was present at the Council of Antioch, A.D. 269.  [Sidenote:
Nestorianism and Eutychianism in Arabia.] In the fifth century the
errors of Nestorius, and, a little later, of Eutyches, made great
inroads amongst {87} the Christians of Arabia, several even of the
Bishops being led away by them.

[Sidenote: St. Thomas and St. Bartholomew in India.]

There is an ancient tradition that St. Thomas and St. Bartholomew laid
the foundations of the CHURCH IN INDIA, but very little is known of its
early history.  Pantaenus is said to have been sent as a missionary
from Alexandria to India towards the end of the second century, though
it is a matter in dispute whether by India in this case we are to
understand the country now known under that name, or Ethiopia, or
Arabia Felix.

There are still Christians in India who reverence St. Thomas as their
founder, and use a liturgy which goes by his name.  Nestorianism spread
to India in the fifth century.

The Church is believed to have been planted in CHINA by St. Thomas and
St. Bartholomew, and the Chinese are mentioned by Arnobius in the
fourth century amongst those nations which had received the Gospel.  It
does not seem, however, that Christianity existed for any length of
time in this country.

[1] See Chap. V.

[2] In speaking of the Greek Church of the present day, we usually
understand the whole body of orthodox Eastern Christians, and not
merely those dwelling in Greece itself.



The Inroads of Mahometanism

A.D. 609-A.D. 732

[Sidenote: Arianism prepares the way for Mahometanism.]

The various heresies, and especially the heresy of Arius, which had so
widely troubled the peace of the Eastern Church, though they were not
suffered by God's Mercy to cause a lasting schism, yet left behind them
a certain weakness resulting in the decay of many of the Churches of
the East, and finally in their overthrow by the false faith of the
impostor Mahomet.  The present state of the Churches of Ephesus,
Sardis, and Laodicea, if viewed in the light shed upon it by the
prophetic Epistles of St. John the Divine, may serve to show us how God
withdraws His Blessing from a Church no less surely than from an
individual Christian, when His Grace is obstinately rejected and

Section 1.  _Mahomet._

[Sidenote: Mahomet's birth,]

The false prophet Mahomet was born A.D. 569, of the chief family in the
Arabian tribe of the Koreish; but it was not till after he had amassed
a large fortune, partly by diligence in trade {89} and partly by a
wealthy marriage, that, at the age of forty, A.D. 609, he declared
himself to be a prophet.  [Sidenote: and claim to be a prophet and
reformer.] This announcement was at first confined to the members of
his own immediate family, till, at the end of four years, Mahomet
proclaimed that he had a mission from God to reform the state of
religion in his native city, Mecca, and to put down the idolatry which
prevailed there.  [Sidenote: Flight to Medina.] The opposition which
the false prophet encountered from his fellow-citizens did not hinder
him from making many converts to the religion he was beginning to
invent for himself and for them, until at length (A.D. 622) an
insurrection, caused by the preaching and success of Mahomet, obliged
him to fly for his life from Mecca, and take refuge at Yatreb or

[Sidenote: Founds a new religion.]

Here he was gladly received both by Jews and Arabs, rival races, who
divided the city between them.  The Jews were ready to welcome him as
their expected Messiah, whilst the Arabs had heard of his fame from
their brethren at Mecca; and Mahomet seems from this time to have
entirely laid aside the character of a mere reformer, for that of the
founder of a new revelation.  The Koran and the Sword were now called
in to aid in their respective ways in extending the power of the
ambitious adventurer.  [Sidenote: Cruelty.] Violence and bloodshed
enforced the pretended inspiration by which Mahomet claimed to be
acknowledged as _the_ Prophet of God, and the civil and religious head
of the nation; and the last ten years of his life present an almost
unbroken {90} course of warfare, which too often degenerated into
simple robbery and murder.  [Sidenote: and conquests of Mahomet.] He
made himself master of the whole of Arabia, including the city of
Mecca, where he destroyed the idols against which he had in earlier
days protested, and then made an ineffectual attempt to take possession
of Palestine.  [Sidenote: His death.] Mahomet died on June 8th, A.D.
632, partly from the effects of poison, which had been given to him
some years before, and partly from the consequences of a life of excess
and self-indulgence.

Section 2.  _The Religion of Mahomet._

The false faith of which Mahomet was at once the prophet and the
founder, seems to have taken for its basis the traditionary religion
then prevalent amongst the Arab tribes.  These traditions were probably
compounded of dim remnants of the Truth which had been revealed to
Abraham and handed down through his son Ishmael, and of a very corrupt
form of Sabaeanism, which included the worship of the heavenly bodies,
as well as of idols, and which had been the religion of Terah and his
fellow-countrymen.  [Sidenote: Mixture of truth and error in
Mahometanism.] Upon this foundation was engrafted a mixture of Persian
philosophy, and of such perversions of Christianity and of Scriptural
doctrine as Mahomet could gather from a Persian Jew and a Nestorian
monk.  [Sidenote: Opposition of the Koran to Christianity.] The Koran,
which Mahomet pretended to have received from heaven by the mouth of
the archangel Gabriel, makes mention of our Blessed Lord and of many of
the facts of Old Testament History, but its teaching is essentially
{91} anti-Christian and blasphemous, inasmuch as it denies the Divinity
of Christ, and represents Him as a Teacher and Prophet far inferior to
Mahomet himself.  An intended contradiction of the Christian doctrine
of the Holy Trinity is also conveyed in its opening sentence, which is
the Mahometan confession of faith,--"There is but one God, and Mahomet
is His prophet."

[Sidenote: Mahomet's Iconoclastic tendencies.]

Mahomet's energetic opposition to idolatry was, no doubt, a good
feature in his religious system, though, like that of the
Iconoclasts[2], it was carried to an extravagant extent, and this
agreement, with their undue fears and prejudices on this head, seems to
have been a sufficient inducement to many unstable Christians to deny
the Lord, for Whose Honour they professed such deep concern, and to
give themselves up to an impostor who was perhaps the nearest approach
to Anti-Christ which the world has yet seen.

Christian people are found even in these days who do not hesitate to
speak with some degree of favour of the great apostasy of which Mahomet
was the founder, because of its opposition to idolatry, its recognition
of our Blessed Lord as a Prophet, the certain admixture of truth
contained in its grievous error, and the alleged moral teaching and
beauty of language of particular passages in the Koran.  [Sidenote:
Moral effects of Mahometanism.] Any such favour or tenderness is,
however, altogether out of place in professed worshippers of Him Whom
Mahomet so grievously blasphemed, whilst the grossly sensual and
immoral lives led by the false prophet and the large proportion of his
followers down to {92} the present time, serve to show us that wrong
belief and wrong practice go hand in hand, and that whatever show of
morality there may be in some few of the precepts of the Koran, it has
no influence on the conduct of those who profess to be guided by it.

Section 3.  _The Spread of Mahometanism._

[Sidenote: Mahometan conquests]

The work of conquest which Mahomet had begun was continued by his
successors.  Abu Bekr, the father of Mahomet's favourite wife, was the
first of the four Caliphs who pushed the power of the Mahometan arms
beyond the confines of Arabia, and laid the foundations of the future
empire.  [Sidenote: of the Holy Land,] Jerusalem was taken by Omar, the
next Caliph, in A.D. 637, and, with the exception of a short interval
during the Crusades, the Holy City has ever since remained in the hands
of the unbelievers.  [Sidenote: Egypt,] Omar made himself master of
Egypt as well as of Syria, and showed his savage contempt for learning
by burning the famous and valuable collection of MSS. contained in the
Alexandrian library.  [Sidenote: Persia, and North Africa.] Under
Othman, Persia and the North of Africa were added to the empire, and
after the death of Ali, son-in-law to Mahomet and fourth Caliph, the
seat of government was removed to Damascus.

[Sidenote: Other portions of Asia and part of Europe.]

The Caliphs of Damascus carried on the same system of warfare and
bloodshed, took possession of Asia Minor, of the Northern parts of
India, of Spain, and overran the South of France, where, however, A.D.
732, the Mahometan troops received such a check at Tours from the hands
of {93} Charles Martel, as hindered them from extending their conquests
any farther in Western Europe.

[Sidenote: Present extent of Mahometanism.]

At the present day Mahometanism is the professed faith of the
inhabitants of the Northern half of Africa, of Turkey in Europe, of
Arabia, Persia, the Holy Land, Asia Minor, and some parts of India, and
its adherents number ninety-six millions.  We shall perhaps realize
still more strongly the havoc which this soul-destroying apostasy has
been suffered to work, if we remember that some of the countries where
it now reigns unchecked were formerly the seats of flourishing
Christian Churches, the Church in Africa boasting of such great Saints
as St. Cyprian and St. Augustine, whilst Palestine and Asia Minor
witnessed the first foundation of the Church, as well as its earliest
settlement in the form it was permanently to retain.

[1] It is from this Hegira (or Flight) of Mahomet, July 16th, A.D. 622,
that Mahometans compute their time.

[2] See Chap. VIII.



The Division between East and West

A.D. 680-A.D. 1054

[Sidenote: Outward unity of the Church broken]

So far we have contemplated the Church of Christ as one in external
communion, no less than by the inner bonds of charity and of
sacramental life; but we now come to a period in which this external
unity began to be to a certain extent dissolved, and that in great
measure by the same outward influences which had at first secured its
cohesion.  [Sidenote: with the breaking up of the Roman Empire.]
Heresies and schisms, especially the great heresy of Arius, had indeed
troubled the Church and threatened to break the visible union existing
between its branches in different countries; but it was not until after
the dissolution of the Roman empire that the breach really came.

Section I.  _Jealousy between Rome and Constantinople._

[Sidenote: Reasons for Roman ascendancy.]

During the flourishing days of the empire the city of Rome had
naturally been looked up to with great reverence by all the other
Churches of the world.  Its political importance as the centre of
government, the vast number {95} of its martyrs, its comparative
freedom from heresy, and its connexion with the lives and deaths of St.
Peter and St. Paul, all tended to give it a moral ascendancy which was
gradually claimed as a right.  This, however, did not take place
without protests on the part of other Bishops, nor even without very
definite disclaimers of any wish for or right to supreme authority on
the part of the Bishops of Rome themselves.

[Sidenote: Ambition of an Eastern Patriarch.]

Constantinople, as being the new Rome and capital of the Eastern
empire, was especially jealous of the claims of the mother city, and
one of her Patriarchs, John the Faster, in the sixth century, first set
the evil example of assuming the title of "Universal Bishop," a title
which the Roman Pontiffs have since taken and retained.  In proportion
as the political division between East and West became more complete,
so also did the tendency towards separation in ecclesiastical matters
increase.  [Sidenote: Beginnings of disunion.] Western dioceses, now
peopled by the barbarian nations who had overrun Europe, still looked
up to Rome as their centre and head; whilst the Eastern Bishops, under
the sway of the decaying empire, clung to Constantinople.  [Sidenote:
Its crisis.] The controversy respecting the use of Images, and that
about the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son as well as from the
Father, were, however, the means of actually bringing about the
cessation of all outward communion between East and West.

Section 2.  _The Iconoclast (or Image-breaking) Controversy._

[Sidenote: Dislike of images]

There had been from very early times an extensive though not universal
feeling in the Church, against the use of painting or sculpture in {96}
Divine Worship.  This feeling was occasioned partly by dread of the
idolatry still prevalent amongst the heathen, and partly, especially in
the East, where it was strongest, by the remains of Judaism still
lingering in the Church of Christ.  [Sidenote: lost in the West, but
retained in the East.] As heathenism died out, it was gradually felt in
the West that the strong reasons formerly existing against the
adornment of Churches with pictures and images had passed away; but the
Eastern Church, with that dread of change which distinguishes it to
this day, clung as before to the old sentiment.

[Sidenote: Image-breaking legislation]

In the eighth century, Leo III., "the Isaurian," then reigning at
Constantinople, passed a decree for the removal of all images and
paintings from Churches, and his violent conduct in the matter
occasioned such discontent in the West, that Italy withdrew altogether
from the nominal allegiance she had hitherto paid to the emperors,
about A.D. 730.  [sidenote: dissolved the link between Eastern and
Western Empires.] Other emperors were as fanatical in their
Iconoclastic (or image-breaking) prejudices as Leo, and their
extravagance excited a reaction in the other extreme in the Western
empire.  [Sidenote: Reactionary decrees in the West.] In A.D. 786, a
Council, which was held at Nicaea, not only protested against the
violent fanaticism of the East, but sanctioned the veneration of images
and pictures to an extent which we find it hard to justify, and which
was, in fact, deemed unjustifiable by many in the West, who yet wished
for their retention as decorations and aids to devotional feeling.
Charlemagne, under the influence of our English Alcuin, opposed the
decision of the Council, and held provincial synods (especially one at
Frankfort, A.D. 794) {97} to condemn what was, at any rate, very like

[Sidenote: Charitable supposition regarding them.]

Probably dread of Judaism and Mahometanism, with their hatred of our
Blessed Lord and of His Image, as well as of all sculpture, had some
influence on the decisions of the council of A.D. 786, and we may
reasonably hope that it was not really intended to encourage any
worship or veneration contrary to the express law of God.  At any rate,
the Iconoclast controversy aided very strongly to put an end to all
political union, and with it to all public ecclesiastical intercourse,
between East and West; though the bonds of external communion were not
yet broken, and they were still one both in faith and practice.

Section 3.  _The Controversy respecting the Double Procession of the
Holy Ghost._

[Sidenote: Western addition to the Nicene creed.]

We have seen[1] that the summary of Christian belief, known to us as
the Nicene Creed, was completed at the Council of Constantinople, A.D.
381; but with this exception, that the article defining the faith of
the Church concerning the Third Person of the Ever-Blessed Trinity,
asserted only that "the Holy Ghost . . . . proceedeth from the Father,"
without the addition of the words "_and the Son_;" and it was the
controversy as to the admission or non-admission of these words into
the Creed which caused the formal division between Eastern and Western
Christendom.  The question is said to have first arisen in the fifth
{98} century; and gradually the words in dispute came to be sung in the
West during Divine Service.  [Sidenote: Decrees against it.] In the
ninth century an appeal was made on the subject to Pope Leo III., who
decided in a provincial Council that no such addition could lawfully be
made to the Creed, and ordered it to be engraved on silver plates
exactly as the Council of Constantinople had left it.  Towards the end
of the same century another Council was held at Constantinople, which
also decreed the disuse of the addition, and then the matter dropped
for about a hundred and fifty years.  [Sidenote: Dispute stirred up
again for political purposes.] Its revival seems to have been chiefly
owing to political jealousies and to the struggle for supremacy which
was continually going on between Rome and Constantinople.  We may be
allowed to believe that the dispute was, in reality, a question of mere
words, and that the two branches of the One Church did, and still do,
hold the "One Faith," although differing in their mode of expressing
it.  [Sidenote: Actual schism in consequence.] Still the
ultra-conservatism which has always distinguished the Eastern Church,
and the unyielding temper which has been no less conspicuous in the
Church of Rome, did in time bring about a formal schism; and in A.D.
1053, the Pope Leo IX. issued a sentence of excommunication against the
Patriarch of Constantinople and all who adhered to him.  In the
following year the Patriarch Michael Cerularius summoned a synod at
Constantinople, and retorted the excommunication upon the Latins.  Two
attempts at reconciliation were afterwards made, one in A.D. 1274,
following the close of the last Crusade, and another which, after
lengthened negotiations, came to an equally unsuccessful termination at
the Council of Florence, A.D. 1430.


[Sidenote: Outward union never since restored.]

Since that time the two great Branches of the One Vine, whilst still
drawing Life and Nourishment from the same Divine Root of Jesse by
means of the same Holy Sacraments, have yet abstained from all acts of
outward communion, and have failed to recognize in each other those
essential marks of Catholicity which God's Mercy and Providence has
preserved to them even in the midst of all their respective defects of
Charity, or their errors in theory and practice.

[1] Chap. VI., sec. 3.



The Church of the Middle Ages

A.D. 900-A.D. 1500

[Sidenote: Foundation of the temporal power of the Popedom.]

The temporal power of the Popes gradually increased after the ninth
century, when part of the territory since known as the States of the
Church was bestowed on them by Pepin, whose son, the famous Emperor
Charlemagne, confirmed the donation.  The change thus wrought in the
position of the Popes, who to their spiritual office of Bishop now
added the temporal one of sovereign, was productive of a corresponding
change in the claims they made upon the submission of the rest of
Christendom, and these altered claims first assumed a definite form in
the eleventh century.

Section 1.  _The Supremacy of the Popes._

[Sidenote: Papal claims to spiritual supremacy.]

The Bishops of Rome had at first limited their ideas of universal
supremacy to spiritual things: it was as Universal Bishop that they
desired to be honoured and obeyed, and we have seen in the preceding
chapter that a certain priority seemed to accrue to them by force of
{101} circumstances.  Rome had come to be regarded as the Mother of the
Churches, much as Jerusalem was in the first ages of Christianity, and
appeals for advice and help were at first voluntarily made to the
learning and piety of the Bishops of Rome.  [Sidenote: Further claims
to temporal authority.] Later, instead of advisers they claimed to be
absolute judges in ecclesiastical matters, and when the temporal
possessions of the Popedom made the chair of St. Peter an object of
ambition to covetous, designing men, the character of Bishop was too
often merged in that of Prince, and spiritual power ceased to satisfy
those who thought it their duty or their interest to enforce what was
in fact an Universal Sovereignty.

[Sidenote: Plausibleness and actual advantages of Papal supremacy.]

It is not difficult to understand that the idea of one Visible Head and
Centre of Christendom would appear to have much to recommend it; nor
even that the power of the Popes was in reality the source of many
blessings in the lawless state in which European society found itself
for many centuries after the fall of the Roman empire.  An authority
which could reduce rebellious subjects to obedience, overawe refractory
nobles, or check the tyranny of an irresponsible sovereign, could
hardly fail to be productive of some good effects when wielded by
disinterested men, and with singleness of purpose.  [Sidenote: Its
corruptions and dangers.] But in the hands of worldly-minded and
ambitious prelates, such as too many of the Popes undoubtedly were,
this usurped prerogative of interference in the affairs of foreign
states became an engine of mighty evil, and in the course of time it
was felt to be such an intolerable yoke by the people of Europe that
continued submission to it became impossible.


[Sidenote: What the Reformation really was.]

The Reformation was in fact a casting off of an unjustifiable
usurpation in temporal as well as in spiritual things, and a violent
reaction against that course of events which, from the eighth century
downwards, had been tending to reduce the different sovereigns of
Western Christendom to the rank of vassals of the Roman See.

Section 2.  _Some account of the Popes of the Middle Ages._

A clearer view of the rise and results of papal supremacy may perhaps
be gained by entering into a somewhat more detailed account of such
Popes as from various causes occupy conspicuous places in the history
of the Roman Church.  [Sidenote: St. Leo the Great, and the first
"papal aggression."] In order to do this effectually, it will be
necessary to go back a little farther than the date at the head of the
chapter, to the time of St. Leo the Great (A.D. 440-A.D. 461), whose
claim to interfere between St. Hilary, Bishop of Arles, and
Chelidonius, Bishop of Besançon, may be looked upon as the first "papal
aggression" of which history gives us an example.  Chelidonius had been
deposed by a General Council of the Church of France under the
presidency of Hilary, and so deeply did the French Bishops resent the
unjust attempts of Leo to set aside their decision, that the Bishop of
Rome found an appeal to the secular power necessary for the purpose of
enforcing his claim to exercise jurisdiction over a foreign Church.
But even the authority of Valentinian III., Emperor of the West, did
not succeed in obliging Hilary to cede the liberties of the Church of
France, and it is a significant fact that the Bishop of {103} Arles is
reverenced as a saint by the whole Western Church, although his sense
of what was due to his position as a member of the French episcopate
would not suffer him to yield his just rights, in order to obtain a
reconciliation with one so personally worthy of esteem and honour as
St. Leo.

[Sidenote: Papal claims strengthened and extended by St. Gregory]

The good and wise St. Gregory the Great (A.D. 590-A.D. 604), though he
strenuously disclaimed for himself, and denied to others, the right of
assuming the title of "Universal Bishop," appears to have had very
strong ideas respecting the authority which he conceived to belong to
the successors of St. Peter, whilst his talents and holiness gave him
an extensive influence over his contemporaries.  [Sidenote: and Hadrian
I.] Succeeding Popes laid claim to more extended powers, especially
Hadrian I. (A.D. 772-A.D. 793), who first advanced the doctrine that
the whole Christian Church was subject to the see of Rome.  [Sidenote:
Rise of the temporal power of the Popes under Leo III.] His successor,
Leo III. (A.D. 795-A.D. 816), having crowned Charlemagne Emperor of the
West, A.D. 800, received from that monarch the sovereignty of Rome, and
thus became a temporal prince as well as a Bishop, and about the same
time there began to appear certain forged canons (or Church laws),
professing to be ancient decrees collected by St. Isidore of Seville,
in the seventh century, and having for their object to give primitive
sanction to Roman Supremacy.  [Sidenote: "Pseudo-Isidore" Decretals]
These "Pseudo-Isidore" Decretals, as they were afterwards called, were
frequently appealed to, apparently in good faith, by subsequent Popes;
and their genuineness was generally believed in, almost without
question, until the time of the Reformation in {104} the sixteenth
century.  By about the middle of the ninth century these decretals were
made use of to settle ecclesiastical questions, and Nicholas I. (A.D.
858-A.D. 867) laid great stress upon them when the liberties of the
French Church were again defended by Hincmar, Archbishop of Rheims, in
a very similar case to that in which St. Hilary had offered opposition
to St. Leo.  [Sidenote: Hincmar's opposition to papal claims.]
Hincmar's zeal in opposing the usurpations of the Roman see had some
little success during the episcopate of Hadrian II. (A.D. 867-A.D.
872), but its effects passed away when John VIII. (A.D. 872-A.D. 882)
espoused the cause of Charles the Bald, and thus enlisted the interests
of the crown on his side.

The troubles and disorders consequent on the breaking up of the great
empire of Charlemagne, had had a very injurious effect on morals and
religion; and unworthy persons, to whom the temporal possessions of the
Popes had by this time become an object of ambition, took advantage of
the depressed state of the Church to seize upon the bishopric of Rome
either for themselves or for others in whom they had an interest.
[Sidenote: Unspirituality caused by temporal power.] Hence the history
of the papacy during the next century and a half is full of dreary
records of corruption and wickedness.  The elevation of John XII. to
the papal throne at the age of eighteen (A.D. 955), and his evil life,
called forth the interference of the Emperor Otho the Great, who
deposed him and elected Leo VIII. (A.D. 963-A.D. 965) in his stead.
[Sidenote: Interference of Emperors of the West.] From this time the
emperors frequently interfered to check the continual disputes between
Popes and anti-Popes, which often ended in the murder of one of the
rivals.  Silvester II. (Gerbert) (A.D. 999-A.D. 1003), {105} who was
made Pope through the influence of Otho III., was prevented by death
from carrying out the reforms he meditated, and at length, in A.D.
1046, the Emperor Henry III. was called upon to decide between three
claimants to the papal throne.  He settled the question by appointing a
German, Clement II. (A.D. 1046-A.D. 1047), after the synod of Sutri had
put aside the claims of the original disputants.  Henry thus took the
election of the Popes entirely out of the hands of the Clergy of Rome,
with whom it had hitherto nominally rested, and appropriated it to
himself.  [Sidenote: This interference unjustifiable.] This was an
undoubted usurpation on the part of the secular power, though Henry
seems to have been in earnest in his endeavours to check the simony
which had been so disgracefully prevalent in the papal elections, and
to appoint Bishops who might be worthy of their position.  [Sidenote:
Hildebrand's influence.] [Sidenote: Overthrow of secular interference.]
Leo IX. (A.D. 1048-A.D. 1054) and his successor, Victor II. (A.D.
1055-A.D. 1057), aided and influenced by the famous Hildebrand
(afterwards Gregory VII.), succeeded in effecting considerable reforms
in religion and morals, and were very zealous in discouraging
simoniacal appointments to offices in the Church, but a gradual and
increasing resistance was growing up against the imperial
encroachments, and after the death of Henry, Pope Nicholas II. (A.D.
1059-A.D. 1061) was enabled to obtain a decree that the election of the
Popes should, for the future, rest with the Roman Cardinals, subject to
the consent of the Roman Clergy and people, and with some vague
reference to the emperor's wishes.

[Sidenote: Hildebrand Pope.]

At length Hildebrand, the counsellor and support of {106} several
preceding Popes, was himself called to the see of Rome under the title
of Gregory VII. (A.D. 1073-A.D. 1083), and at once devoted the energies
of his powerful mind to the work of reforming the Church.  [Sidenote:
His reforms] The two means on which he chiefly relied for accomplishing
his object were the enforcing of celibacy on the Clergy, and the
abolition of simony, under which head he included every species of lay
investiture.  [Sidenote: and their consequences.] The prosecution of
his plans soon brought him into a violent dispute with the weak and
wicked Emperor Henry IV., who was as eager to secure the right of
bestowing upon Bishops the ring and pastoral staff, as well as of their
sole appointment, and thus reduce them to the state of mere secular
vassals, as Gregory was by the same means to secure their
ecclesiastical obedience to the see of Rome, and their total
independence of any civil power.  [Sidenote: Result of the contest.]
The contest lasted till the death of Gregory in exile, and was carried
on by his successors, until during the popedom of Calixtus II. (A.D.
1119-1124) a compromise was agreed upon by which the emperor left to
each Church the free election of its Bishops, who were to receive the
ring and staff from the altar, and the temporalties of their sees from
the crown.

[Sidenote: Wars between Rome and Germany.]

This arrangement did not, however, bring peace between the Popes and
the emperors, the Popes siding with the Guelphs in the long civil wars
of the next two centuries, in opposition to the Ghibelline emperors.
Hadrian IV. (A.D. 1154-A.D. 1159), or Nicholas Breakspear, the only
English Pope, found it expedient to seek the assistance of the Emperor
Frederic Barbarossa, to aid him in quelling the insurrection headed by
Arnold of {107} Brescia; but Alexander III. (A.D. 1159-A.D. 1181) came
into fresh collision with Frederic, who was at length obliged to submit
and beg for peace.  [Sidenote: Climax of the papal power under Innocent
III.] The minority of Frederic II. was favourable to the ambitious
schemes of Pope Innocent III. (A.D. 1198-A.D. 1216), and under him the
power of the popedom reached its greatest height.  He laid both England
and France under an interdict, placed on the imperial throne, and then
deposed, Otho IV., and took measures for the suppression of the
Albigenses, which eventually resolved themselves into the dreaded
Inquisition.  The old strife was continued by Gregory IX. (A.D.
1227-A.D. 1241), who excommunicated Frederic II., and the sentence was
renewed by Innocent IV. (A.D. 1243-A.D. 1254).  The treatment of the
emperor by these successive Popes was something akin to a persecution,
and was apparently occasioned by a feeling of opposition to any
authority which conflicted with the claims of Rome, and by a hatred of
the Ghibelline race.

[Sidenote: Decline of the temporal power of the Popes.]

From the death of Innocent IV. the excessive power of the Popes may be
said to decrease.  Gregory X. (A.D. 1271-A.D. 1276) and the Emperor
Rudolf of Hapsburg were good, earnest-minded men, who put an end to the
long-standing feud between Rome and the empire, and after a succession
of short pontificates, Boniface VIII. (A.D. 1294-A.D. 1303) usurped the
papal throne in the place of the "hermit Pope," Celestine V.
[Sidenote: Interference of the King of France in papal affairs.]
Boniface was a thoroughly bad and unscrupulous man, and at last died in
a fit of disappointed rage at being taken prisoner by the troops of his
equally unscrupulous enemy, Philip IV. of France, who had refused to
acknowledge the {108} authority of the papal legate.  Philip caused the
death of Benedict XI. (A.D. 1303-A.D. 1304), whose honest goodness he
feared, and then used his influence to procure the election of Clement
V. (A.D. 1303-A.D. 1314), on condition of his pledging himself to aid
in the French king's schemes to plunder and oppress the Church.
Clement, having thus sold himself, was not allowed to leave France, and
the papal court was fixed at Avignon.  The Pope was now completely at
the mercy of Philip, who robbed the Church at his will, and plundered
and murdered the Knights Templars with the connivance of Clement.
[Sidenote: The Popes at Avignon.] The sojourn of the Popes at Avignon
(A.D. 1305-A.D. 1376) was a great blow to the temporal power of the
papacy, and was often called by the Italians the Seventy Years'
Captivity.  Meanwhile the Popes were again plunged into contests with
the German emperors: Louis of Bavaria was excommunicated, and his
empire laid under an interdict, on account of his refusal to accept his
dominions from John XXII. (A.D. 1316-A.D. 1334).  The papal authority
in Italy had become almost nominal except in Rome itself, and even
there it was much weakened by the rebellion under Rienzi, A.D. 1352.
Pope Innocent VI. (A.D. 1333-A.D. 1362), soon after his election, sent
a legate to Rome, with orders to reduce not only the city itself to
obedience, but all that was then included in the States of the Church;
and this having been successfully accomplished, the Popes began to
think of returning to Rome.  [Sidenote: The return to Rome.] The court
at Avignon had become fearfully corrupt, and some of those who composed
it, and loved its evils, were ready to oppose any change; but Urban V.
(A.D. 1362-A.D. 1370), a really upright man, spent some of his
episcopate at Rome, and his {109} successor, Gregory XI. (A.D.
1370-A.D. 1378) removed thither with his court two years before his
death.  The Cardinals however still clung to Avignon, and though, in
compliance with the earnest wishes of the Roman people, they elected an
Italian to be Pope under the name of Urban VI. (A.D. 1378-A.D. 1389),
yet they were so offended at his zealous but indiscreet endeavours to
reform the evils around him, that they declared him deposed, and set up
an anti-Pope at Avignon.  [Sidenote: The consequent schism.] The schism
thus begun lasted nearly forty years (A.D. 1378-A.D. 1417), England,
Germany, North Italy, Poland, and the Scandinavian kingdoms siding with
the true Popes, while France, Scotland, Spain, and South Italy held
with the anti-Popes.  [Sidenote: Its results.] The troubles and
corruptions of the Church now multiplied, Popes and anti-Popes alike
made the acquisition of power and revenue their great object, and
wickedness was left unrebuked both in Clergy and laity.  A great
impulse was given to the sale of indulgences or pardons, an evil
practice which brought in large sums of money to the papal exchequer,
and at the same time led to such abuses as probably to become a
principal proximate cause of the Reformation.

[Sidenote: Council of Pisa.]

At length there was an universal longing for the cessation of the great
schism in the Western Church, and a Council was held at Pisa, A.D.
1409, where it was agreed by the Cardinals belonging to the two parties
to depose both Pope and anti-Pope, and to elect another who took the
name of Alexander V., with an understanding that he was at once to
reform and pacify the Church.  But neither Pope nor anti-Pope would
resign, so that there were three claimants instead of two, and very
soon after his {110} election Alexander V. died.  John XXIII. (A.D.
1410-A.D. 1415) was elected in his place, but he proved to be
thoroughly devoid of principle, and the Council of Pisa having proved
unsuccessful in promoting unity or reformation, another was convoked at
Constance, A.D. 1414, under the presidency of the Emperor Sigismund I.
[Sidenote: Council of Constance.] This Council was attended by the
representatives of all the monarchs of the West, as well as by a very
large number of Bishops and Clergy, and it was decreed that the three
claimants to the papal throne should be deposed.  John XXIII. was
thrown into prison, and, after considerable delay, Martin V. (A.D.
1417-A.D. 1431) was chosen to succeed him.  The Council shortly after
broke up, without having done any thing towards the much desired
reformation of the Church, although the English, French, and German
deputies had been very earnest in their endeavours to advance some
scheme of reform.  [Sidenote: Council of Basle.] Another Council met at
Basle, A.D. 1431, whence it was transferred by Pope Eugenius IV. (A.D.
1431-A.D. 1447) first to Ferrara, and afterwards (A.D. 1439) to
Florence.  This opportunity was also lost in a dispute between the
Council and the Pope, and there seemed to be nothing more to hope for
from Councils as a means of reformation.

[Sidenote: State of the papacy at the end of the fifteen century.]

Nor were the personal characters of the Popes who filled the see of
Rome during the remainder of the century, such as to encourage any
expectation that their influence would be employed to revive religion,
or to encourage holy living.  Worldliness and ambition, revenge and
immorality, cast a deep shadow over the records of the papacy at this
time, until the century closes with the reign of Alexander VI., or
{111} Roderigo Borgia (A.D. 1492-A.D. 1503), who was elected by
bribery, and whose shameless vice and cruelty brought greater scandals
upon the Church than any of his predecessors had done.

Section 3.  _The Monastic Orders._

Monastic orders, though not by any means an invention of the Middle
Ages, may yet fairly be said to have attained their height, both of
prosperity and of usefulness, during this period of Church History.
[Sidenote: Early rise of monasticism.] We may trace the origin of
Christian monastic life to very early times, when persecution drove
many Christians to a life of loneliness and privation in desert places.
The mode of life thus begun from necessity was afterwards continued
from choice, and in the hope of more complete self-devotion to God's
service; and the solitary hermits and anchorites of primitive ages
became the forerunners of an elaborate system of religious communities
of men and women.

[Sidenote: Later influences brought to bear on it.]

St. Basil, in the fourth century, brought monasticism into a more
definite form, and St. Athanasius during the same century introduced it
into Europe from the East.  In the West the religious life spread and
flourished under the fostering care of such men as St. Augustine and
St. Gregory the Great, whilst by St. Benedict in the sixth century it
was developed into the famous Benedictine rule, to which, with few
exceptions, all the European monasteries conformed, and which was the
parent of various minor orders or subdivisions[1].


[Sidenote: Beneficial results of monasticism.]

It is not easy to estimate the vast amount of good which the labours of
the Benedictine monks conferred on the Church of the Middle Ages, good
which has left many traces to the present day.  Not only did they
provide in a vast number of instances for the spiritual wants of the
parishes in and near which they lived, as well as for the education of
the young, both rich and poor, but they were also the philosophers, the
authors, the artists, and the physicians, nay, even the farmers and the
mechanics of Mediaeval times.  They built cathedrals and churches, made
roads and bridges, copied books when writing stood in the place of
printing, and were in general the props and pioneers of civilization.
Amongst the very large number of men who embraced the monastic life, it
is no marvel that some were not all they professed to be, or that
occasional causes for scandal arose, but the popular idea of the
universal corruption of the inhabitants of the monasteries is
unsupported by facts, and much of what helped to give rise to this
false notion is traceable to the doings of the mendicant or preaching
friars.  These begging orders were offshoots from the regulars, and
were but too often very unworthy representatives of the parent stock[2].

Section 4.  _The Crusades._

Amongst the events which stand out most distinctly in the history of
the Church in the Middle Ages, the long series of warlike expeditions
known as the {113} Crusades bear a prominent part, stretching out as
they do from the end of the eleventh to nearly the end of the
thirteenth centuries.

The empire of the Arabs had died out, but they had been succeeded in
their schemes of conquest as well as in their adherence to the false
faith of Mahomet, by the savage Turks, whose ferocity and hatred of
Christianity were especially displayed in the ill-treatment of those
Christians whose piety led them to visit the scenes of our Blessed
Lord's Life and Death.  [Sidenote: Cause of the Crusades.] The
indignation excited in Europe by the stories of outrage and desecration
which were from time to time brought back by pilgrims to the Holy Land,
at length found an outlet and expression in the First Crusade, which
was preached, A.D. 1095, by Peter the Hermit, with the sanction both of
the Pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople.  This expedition resulted
in the taking of the Holy City by the armies of the Cross (A.D. 1099),
and the establishment in it of a Christian sovereignty.

[Sidenote: Their transient results.]

The First Crusade was the only one which had any real success, and even
this was a transient one, for less than ninety years afterwards (A.D.
1187) Jerusalem was again taken by the Saracens, and has never since
been a Christian power.  But though the deliverance of the Holy Land
from the yoke of the infidels was not accomplished by the Crusades, and
though they caused much misery and bloodshed, and were stained by much
lawlessness and plunder, yet the advance of the barbarous and
anti-Christian influences of Mahometanism was checked, the Churches of
Europe were saved from the soul-destroying apostasy which had over-run
so large a portion of Asia, and the Crescent waned before the Cross.


[Sidenote: Reasons for their ill-success.]

Much of the ill success with which the Crusaders met during several of
these expeditions, may be traced to jealousies and heart-burnings
between the different princes and nobles who took part in them, whilst
disagreements on a larger scale were amongst the evil fruits of the
unhappy division between Eastern and Western Christendom.  Latin
Christians appear in too many instances to have made use of the
opportunities afforded them to injure and oppress their weaker brethren
of the Greek Church, even whilst marching against the common foe of
both, and the Fourth Crusade (A.D. 1203) was actually diverted from its
legitimate purpose in order to conquer Constantinople, and establish a
Latin Emperor, as well as a Latin Patriarch within its walls.

[Sidenote: Good directly brought about by them.]

Still, whatever may have been the want of single-mindedness on the part
of many of the professed soldiers of the Cross, whatever the amount of
failure with regard to the immediate objects of the Crusades, it is
clear that much good was brought about through them by God's
Providence, not only in the check given to the encroachments of the
unbelievers, but also more indirectly in the quenching of rising
heresies, in the greater purity of life which in many cases accompanied
the taking of the Cross, the weakening of the feudal system, the
impulse given to learning and civilization.  Earnestness and
self-devotion such as were shown by Godfrey de Bouillon, St. Louis of
France, and no doubt by many more amongst the Crusaders, were rewarded
and blessed, though not in what might have seemed at first sight the
only way of success.


Section 5.  _State of Religions Relief and Practice during the Middle

[Sidenote: Popular idea of the Middle Ages,]

There is a wide-spread notion that the Middle Ages were also "Dark
Ages," full of ignorance and superstition, with hardly a ray of
knowledge or true religion to enlighten the gloom, and also that the
Church was the great encourager of this state of things; indeed, that
it was mainly due to the influence of the monks and of the Clergy

[Sidenote: not founded in history.]

This belief is however quite unhistorical.  No doubt there was
abundance of ignorance as well as of superstition, its natural
consequence, but there are ample means of accounting for both in the
political condition of Europe at that time, nor is it needful to blame
the Church for what was in fact due to the sins and errors of the world.

[Sidenote: Real causes of ignorance and vice in the Middle Ages.]

The confusion incident to the breaking up of the old Roman empire, and
the occupation of its different provinces by less highly-civilized
nations, had been followed by other disorders after the death of
Charlemagne and the partition of his dominions; and the constant state
of warfare and aggression in which most of the princes of that time
lived, was not calculated to leave their subjects much leisure for
intellectual culture.  Besides this, we must take into account the
crushing influence of the feudal system, which gave the nobles almost
absolute power over their serfs or dependants, thus encouraging
lawlessness on the one hand, and causing degradation on the other.  The
scarcity and costliness of books before the invention of printing was
another {116} formidable obstacle to any universal spread of education,
all which causes tended to bring learning into contempt amongst the
restless barons and their followers, restricting it chiefly to the
Clergy and the monks.  Thus not only theology, but secular knowledge
besides, found a home in the Church, which was at once the guardian and
the channel of literature.

[Sidenote: No scarcity of the means of grace in Mediaeval times.]

There are also good grounds for believing that the provision made by
the Church for the spiritual necessities of the people was not, at any
rate, less abundant than is the case at the present day.  Indeed, there
is no doubt that both Churches and Clergy, and consequently
opportunities for worship and instruction, were far more in proportion
to the number and needs of the population than they can be said to be
now in our own country, even after the persevering and liberal efforts
of late years.  [Sidenote: Difficulties respecting Services and Bibles
on the vernacular,] If it is objected that the want of free access to
the Holy Scriptures, and the use of the Latin tongue in the public
services of the Church, were calculated largely to outweigh any
advantages which the people of those days might possess, we may
remember that those comparatively few who could read were just those
who would have access to the necessarily rare copies then existing of
the Word of God, and that to them also the Latin version would be more
comprehensible than any other.  Again, with regard to Latin services,
it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to translate the
devotions of the Church into any of the slowly-forming dialects of the
different European nations; whilst Latin was more universally spoken
and understood than French is now, and was probably intelligible to a
larger number of men and women during a {117} considerable portion of
the Middle Ages than any one of the other languages used.

[Sidenote: but the wish for them not wholly disregarded.]

As the various languages of Europe became gradually developed, a desire
naturally arose amongst those who spoke them for services in the
vernacular; and this desire was not left altogether ungratified even
long before the Reformation.  Thus, in England, the Epistles and
Gospels and the Litany were translated into the native language in the
Services of the Church, and interlinear translations were made of many
portions of the Mediaeval Prayer Books[3].  Neither must we imagine
that the translations of Holy Scripture put forth by the Reformers, or
even that earlier version to which Wickliffe gave his name, were by any
means the first efforts made to produce the Holy Bible in the
vernacular.  From Anglo-Saxon times downwards, we have traces of Bibles
translated for the use of those who preferred such versions; and to the
truth of this statement may be quoted the testimony of John Foxe, the
"martyrologist," who says, "If histories be well examined, we shall
find, both before the Conquest and after, as well before John Wickliffe
was born as since, the whole body of the Scriptures by sundry men
translated into this our country tongue[4]."

[Sidenote: State of learning in the Middle Ages.]

The Mediaeval Church was, in reality, a great supporter of learning.
Our two great Universities of Oxford and Cambridge were not less
flourishing during the Middle Ages than at present; and nearly all of
the colleges and halls at both Universities were founded in those days
{118} of supposed darkness.  Nor was this care for literature confined
to the Church in England; Universities of equal note were to be found
abroad at Paris, Pavia, Bologna, Salamanca, and other places, whilst
the Schoolmen, or professors, who taught in these seats of learning,
and who numbered amongst themselves the most acute thinkers and
reasoners of the time, such as St. Anselm, Peter Lombard, Albertus
Magnus, and St. Thomas Aquinas, were all attached to some Religious
Order.  Enough of the results of their labours have come down to our
days to show us that it is neither wise nor just to despise the mental
work which they accomplished, even though their conclusions may not
always be in accordance with our own.

It is not meant by what has been said above to infer that the Mediaeval
Church was altogether free from blemishes, or to deny that these
blemishes did, as time went on, increase to an extent which rendered
reformation not only expedient but necessary.  [Sidenote: The effects
of Roman influence.] We have already seen that the supremacy claimed by
the Popes over the whole Church was productive of great, though, by
God's good Providence, not unmitigated, evil in a political point of
view; and much of the error in faith or practice on the part of
Christians of those days, seems traceable to the tendency on the part
of Rome to crystallize opinions into dogmas, and then to impose those
dogmas on the Church.  Thus the "Romish doctrine concerning purgatory,"
and the mechanism of "pardons," or indulgences, grew out of the
floating belief held by such holy men as St. Augustine, that the souls
of the faithful would undergo some more perfect purification after
death than is attainable in this world; while the elaborate system of
invocations of, and devotions to, the Blessed {119} Virgin Mary and the
saints, were built up out of a not only harmless but justifiable faith
in the intercessions of the Saints for the Church on earth, and the
wish to obtain a share in their prayers.  So again, the denial of the
cup to the laity, which was justly felt by many to be such a grievous
privation, was the natural consequence of the over-refinements of the
Roman Church respecting the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist[5].

[Sidenote: The right spirit in which to regard the Mediaeval Church.]

But whatever imperfections may have clung to the Visible Church in the
Middle Ages, whether owing to external hindrances, or to the human
frailties of her members, we have no right to doubt that she was still
the one great instrument in God's Hands for the salvation of souls.
Neither should we dwell so exclusively on what is often an exaggerated
estimate of the extent and duration of these blemishes, as to ignore
the zeal and self-devotion which grudged neither expense nor labour in
the service of God and the adornment of His House and Worship, the
charity which truly "cared for the poor," the faith and holiness which
shone forth in the public and private lives of such men as St.
Ferdinand of Spain, St. Louis of France, and Rudolf of Hapsburg,
Emperor of Germany, and were, doubtless, not wanting in the case of
countless numbers of their fellow-Christians, whose names, little known
and soon forgotten on earth, are for ever written in God's Book of

[1] Especially the Cluniacs, founded by Berno, Abbot of Clugny, A.D.
910, and the Cistercians, founded by Robert of Citeaux, A.D. 1098, and
rendered illustrious by St. Bernard, afterwards Abbot of Clairvaux
(A.D. 1113-A.D. 1153).

[2] The order of Franciscan Friars was founded by St. Francis of
Assisi, A.D. 1207, and that of the Dominicans by St. Dominic of
Castile, A.D. 1215.  They were originally intended to supplement the
real or supposed defects of the Clergy and the regular orders, and to
aid in the suppression of heresy.

[3] See "Key to the Prayer Book," pp. 1-8.

[4] See "Key to the Bible," pp. 18-23.

[5] The practice of communion in one kind made its way very slowly,
especially in England, where it was perhaps never universal.  A decree
of the Council of Constance in A.D. 1415 gave its first authoritative



The Mediaeval History of Continental Churches

A.D. 900-A.D. 1500

[Sidenote: No Mediaeval Church history in Asia or Africa.]

Before proceeding to the consideration of the different European
Churches in Mediaeval times, it may be well to remark that from the
year 500 the Christian history of Asia and Africa is almost a blank.
Arianism, partly imported into Africa by the Vandals, who crossed
thither from Spain, and partly of native growth, as well as the
opposite error, Eutychianism, took from the African Church all
spiritual life and vigour, so that the apostasy of Mahomet met with no
formidable obstacles when in the seventh century it swept like a flood
over what had been Christian Africa.  It is true that the Copts in
Egypt and the native Christians of Abyssinia appear to have preserved
the Apostolic Succession, but both these Churches are in a state of
great depression, and the Faith they profess is mingled with much
ignorance and superstition, as well as with positive error.

A similar process took place in Asia.  Arianism, chiefly in its later
development of Nestorianism, with Eutychianism and other errors, ate
out the heart of the Church, faith grew weak, and love grew cold, and
{121} Mahometanism once more triumphed almost unchecked.  Although the
Churches of Asia are not all utterly extinct, yet they share more or
less in the state of ignorance, superstition, and depression which is a
natural consequence of the serious errors with which their profession
of Christianity is intermixed, as well as of the way in which the few
despised Christians are mingled with their richer and more numerous
Mahometan neighbours.

Section 1.  _The Church of Italy._

[Sidenote: Lombard kingdom in Italy.]

The kingdom of the Goths in Italy was not of long duration, and their
successors and fellow-Arians, the Lombards, only obtained possession of
the northern portion of the Peninsula, whilst Rome and Southern Italy
became once more subject to the emperors of the East.  Gregory the
Great (A.D. 390-A.D. 604) began the work of converting the Lombards to
the Catholic Faith, and in the middle of the seventh century Arianism
had disappeared from Italy.  [Sidenote: Renewal of the tie between East
and West.] The renewal of the connexion between the Eastern and Western
Empires, and the attempt of the Emperor Justinian to subject the see of
Rome to that of Constantinople, placed Gregory under the necessity of
vindicating the independence of the Church of Italy, and of denying the
right of any one Patriarch to assume authority over another.  St.
Gregory's holiness and learning, and the wisdom of his endeavours to
reform corruptions, were most beneficial to the Church over which he
ruled.  [Sidenote: Its rupture.] The Image-breaking Controversy put an
end to the nominal tie between the Eastern emperors and the Church of
Italy (about A.D. 730), and almost the whole {122} of the peninsula
soon after became part of the dominions of Charlemagne.  This great
Emperor's influence was used in Italy, as elsewhere, to foster the work
of the Church, which however suffered severely from the state of
lawlessness and confusion incident on the breaking up of Charlemagne's
empire after his death, A.D. 814.  [Sidenote: Depression of the Church
in Italy.] The Church of Italy in the ninth century had also to undergo
the inroads of the Mahometans in the South, and of the heathen Magyars
(or Hungarians) on the North, as well as of the Northmen, who ravaged
and pillaged the churches and monasteries on the coasts.  Other
depressing influences were to be found in the secularization of the
Bishops of Rome through the increase of their temporal power, and the
usurpation by the German emperors of the right of election to the
popedom, which properly belonged to the Clergy of Rome.  [Sidenote:
Gregory VII.'s reforms.] The corruptions which from these and other
causes had crept into the Church of Italy, drew towards them the
attention of the famous Hildebrand, afterwards Pope Gregory VII. (A.D.
1073-A.D. 1085), and his efforts at reformation were not without a
beneficial effect.  [Sidenote: Heresies of the Albigenses] Early in the
twelfth century the heretical sect of the Albigenses, whose doctrines
resembled those of the ancient Manicheans, spread from the South of
France into Italy, where they received the name of Paterini.
[Sidenote: and Waldenses.] Both they and the kindred sect of the
Waldenses came under the notice of Innocent III. (A.D. 1198-A.D. 1216).
The Albigenses were exterminated with circumstances of great
cruelty[1], but the {123} Waldenses survive to the present day in the
valleys of Piedmont.  [Sidenote: Evil effects of the residence at
Avignon on the Italian Church.] The seventy years' residence of the
Bishops of Rome at Avignon (A.D. 1305-A.D. 1376) was felt by the Church
of Italy to be an injury and a great evil, and in the forty years'
schism which followed the return of the chief pastor of the Italians to
his own episcopal city (A.D. 1378-A.D. 1417), only the kingdom of the
Two Sicilies sided with the anti-Popes.  [Sidenote: Other depressing
influences.] Meanwhile the constant warfare between the Guelphs and the
Ghibellines in Italy, the feuds between the different republics, the
worldliness and evil lives of too many of the Popes, and the luxury and
immorality which increased riches, consequent on increased commerce,
brought with them, had all tended to a state of things in which the
purifying influences of the Church as "the salt of the earth" were
sorely needed.  [Sidenote: Desires for reformation.] Longings for a
reformation of men's lives and morals were smouldering in many breasts,
and in the city of Florence these hidden wishes were kindled into a
flame by the zeal and eloquence of the monk Girolamo Savonarola, who
however fell a victim to his zeal, A.D. 1498.

[Sidenote: Liturgy of the Italian Church.]

The ancient Liturgy of the Church of Italy was derived from one bearing
the name of St. Peter, and revised by St. Gregory, A.D. 590.  This
Roman or Gregorian Liturgy, though with certain later additions, is
still in use throughout Italy, the only exception to this rule being
the cathedral and diocese of Milan, which still preserve a Liturgy
known as that of St. Ambrose, who was Bishop of Milan from A.D. 374 to
A.D. 397.


Section 2.  _The Church of France._

[Sidenote: Orthodoxy of the Franks.]

The Franks alone of all the barbarians who swept over Europe at the
time of the decay of the Western Empire, were Catholic from their first
conversion to Christianity; and to this circumstance the French kings
owed their title of Eldest Sons of the Church.  It was by the influence
of a French princess, Bertha, the Christian wife of Ethelbert, king of
Kent, that St. Augustine and his companions were favourably received in
England; whilst another princess of the same race, Ingunda, who married
the son of the Visigoth king of Spain, is said to have brought about
the conversion of her husband from Arianism to the Catholic faith, by
her own constancy under persecution.  [Sidenote: The Church under
Charlemagne.] During the reign of the Emperor Charlemagne (A.D.
768-A.D. 814), the French monasteries became seats of learning, and
amongst the learned men who assisted the Emperor in his efforts for the
religious and intellectual improvement of his people, may be mentioned
the English Alcuin, who held an honourable position at the French court
as the instructor and adviser of the monarch and his sons.  [Sidenote:
The French Liturgy.] The Gallican Liturgy, a branch of the Primitive
Liturgy of Ephesus, was entirely disused by order of Charlemagne, and
the Roman service used in its stead.  [Sidenote: Conversion of the
Northmen.] From about A.D. 870 the Northmen, who had long been a
scourge to France, began to settle down in that country, and were
gradually converted to the Christian Faith, their chief, Rollo,
marrying a Christian princess, A.D. 911, and being baptized in the
following year.  [Sidenote: The Crusades.] A French {125} hermit, Peter
of Auvergne, was the instigator of the First Crusade, which was
preached by him at Clermont, and joined by a large number of French
nobles, the command of the expedition being given to Godfrey de
Bouillon, Duke of Lorraine.  The system of Crusades thus inaugurated
for the defence of Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land, and the winning
back of the Holy Places from the hands of the Mahometans, was turned to
a cruel and unjustifiable use in the thirteenth century, when Innocent
III. proclaimed a Crusade against the Albigenses in the South of
France, in which multitudes of these unhappy and misguided men were

[Sidenote: Rupture between France and the Pope.]

During the reign of Philip IV. (A.D. 1285-A.D. 1314) a collision took
place for the first time, between the Church and Kingdom of France and
the authority of the Pope.  Hitherto the disputes between the Popes and
the French monarchs had been on personal rather than on political
grounds, and had given no opportunity for defining the exact limits of
papal authority in France.  [Sidenote: Comparative independence of
French Church.] But meanwhile the French Clergy had not lost their
feeling of nationality, and the kings of France had been able to use
much more independent action in the appointment of Bishops than was the
case in other countries.  Hence the Bishops and Clergy joined with the
king in resisting the sentence of excommunication pronounced by the
Pope on Philip and his kingdom.  Neither King nor Pope appear to have
been influenced by any religious feeling in their contest, and after
the miserable death of Boniface VIII. (A.D. 1303), and the murder of
his successor, Philip's unprincipled interference in the {126} election
of Clement V. was productive of great evils.  [Sidenote: Evil results
of the conduct of Philip IV.] The cruel massacre of the Knights
Templars, the corruptions of the Papal Court in France, and more
indirectly the Great Schism in which the Church of France espoused the
cause of the anti-Popes, may all be traced to the conduct of Philip IV.

Section 3.  _The Church of Spain and Portugal._

[Sidenote: Conquest of Spain by the Moors.]

Before the end of the sixth century, the Visigoths, who had settled in
what is now Spain and Portugal, had been converted from Arianism to the
Catholic Faith.  In A.D. 711 the Mahometan Moors crossed over from
Africa to the South of Spain, and in A.D. 713 all the Peninsula, except
the small mountain district of Asturias, had fallen into their hands.
The more independent and hardy amongst the Spanish Christians took
refuge in this inaccessible portion of the country, whilst others dwelt
amongst the Moors, and appear for a time to have been allowed the
exercise of their religion unmolested by any systematic persecution.
[Sidenote: Persecution of the Spanish Church.] About A.D. 830, however,
the policy of the Moorish conquerors underwent a change, and during the
next hundred years multitudes of Christians in Spain suffered martyrdom
for their faith.  [Sidenote: The re-conquest of Spain by the
Spaniards.] After the death of Hachem, the last Caliph of Cordova (A.D.
1031), and the subdivision of his dominions, the Christians of Asturias
succeeded in making head against their oppressors, and gradually won
back from them district after district, until Ferdinand III. (A.D.
1214-A.D. 1252) succeeded in reducing the Moorish possessions to the
single province {127} of Grenada.  This last remnant of Mahometan
dominion was wrested from the Moors A.D. 1492, and Spain, as well as
the separate kingdom of Portugal, was once more entirely Christian.
[Sidenote: Effect of national circumstances on Spanish Christianity.]
It is perhaps hardly to be wondered at, that the continual state of
religious warfare in which Spain was so long plunged should have given
a somewhat stern character to Spanish Christianity.  The Inquisition,
when introduced into Spain by the mistaken zeal of the good Queen
Isabella towards the end of the fifteenth century, found a readier
welcome than elsewhere, and gained an additional tinge of severity in a
country which had been brought into such close contact with one of the
deadliest forms of unbelief.

[Sidenote: The Spanish Liturgy.]

The original Liturgy of Spain was, like the ancient Liturgy of France,
a form of that used at Ephesus.  It received the name of Mozarabic,
from having been in use by Christians living _in the midst of Arabs_,
or Moors, and was not discontinued in the Church of Spain until A.D.
1080, when after much resistance on the part of the Spaniards it was
abolished by order of Alphonso VI., King of Castille and Leon, under
the influence of Pope Gregory VII., and the Roman rite substituted
throughout the country.

Section 4.  _The Church of Germany._

[Sidenote: Conversion of Germany by French]

The large tract of country which is now comprehended under the name of
Germany was won to the Church by a long series of missionary labours.
In the beginning of the seventh century Frankish missionaries laid the
foundations of a Church in Bavaria and on the banks of {128} the
Danube, thus paving the way for the conversion of Southern Germany.
[Sidenote: and British missionaries,] Central Germany, then called
Franconia, was the scene of the labours of Kilian, an Irish missionary
(A.D. 630-A.D. 689), whilst the English Bishops Wilfrith (A.D. 677) and
Willebrord (A.D. 692-A.D. 741), preached with much success to the
Frieslanders in the Northwest of Germany, now included in Holland.
[Sidenote: Labours of St. Boniface] It is, however, to a Devonshire
clergyman, Winfrith, better known as St. Boniface (A.D. 715-A.D. 755),
that the title of Apostle of Germany is generally given, not only on
account of his unwearied missionary labours in still heathen districts,
but also on account of his success in organizing and consolidating the
different branches of the German Church.  He became Archbishop of
Mentz, and Metropolitan, and at last suffered martyrdom at the hands of
some heathen Frieslanders at the age of seventy-five.

The Emperor Charlemagne endeavoured to compel the rude Saxons in the
neighbourhood of the Baltic to embrace the Christian faith; but
eventually he was induced to trust less to the force of arms for their
conversion, and more to the missionary work of the Church.  [Sidenote:
and of Willehad.] Amongst the prominent members of this Saxon mission,
we find another English priest, Willehad, a native of Northumbria,
afterwards Bishop of Bremen, who died A.D. 789.

The first attempts to plant the Church in Moravia were made by German
missionaries in the ninth century.  [Sidenote: Eastern missionaries in
Moravia] These do not appear, however, to have been very successful,
and about A.D. 860, two Greek monks, Cyril and Methodius, entered upon
the same sphere of labour.  Methodius was afterwards consecrated
Metropolitan of Pannonia {129} and Moravia by the Pope; but there was
considerable jealousy on the part of the Latinized Germans towards
their Eastern fellow-labourers, and eventually the Moravian Church was
subjected to the Bishops of Bohemia.

[Sidenote: and Bohemia.]

The first Christian Duke of Bohemia was converted about A.D. 871,
whilst staying at the Moravian court, probably by Methodius; but the
Church made very slow progress in Bohemia until after the conquest of
that country by Otho the Great (A.D. 950), and the foundation of the
Bishopric of Prague by King Boleslav the Pious (A.D. 967-A.D. 999).  In
Bohemia, as well as in Moravia, the influence of the Greek missionaries
made itself felt in the impress it left upon the ritual and usages of
the two Churches, especially in the fact that the native Sclavonic
language was used in Divine Worship; but in the end German influences
prevailed in both countries, and the national "use" gradually made way
for the Latinized ritual common in Germany.

[Sidenote: Conversion of North Prussia,]

Until towards the middle of the tenth century, the Church made but very
small progress in the northern portion of what is now the kingdom of
Prussia.  These regions were then occupied by a Sclavonic race called
Wends, who yielded an unwilling submission to the Western emperors, and
disliked Christianity as being the religion of their conquerors.
Between A.D. 964 and A.D. 968, several bishoprics were founded in this
country by Otho the Great, and amongst them the metropolitan see of
Magdeburg.  A revolt of the Wends frustrated for the time the success
of the emperor's plans, but in the next century Gottschalk, who became
king of the Wends A.D. 1047, and was himself a Christian, did all in
his {130} power to aid the missionary work of the Church among his
people.  He was martyred by his subjects, A.D. 1066, and heathenism
triumphed once more.  During the twelfth century, the Wendish kingdom
was dissolved, and its territories divided amongst different German
princes, after which the Church gradually regained and extended its
hold on the country.  The northern Wends, who obstinately adhered to
their Pagan superstitions, were at last converted chiefly by the
labours of St. Vicelin, who became Bishop of Oldenburg, A.D. 1148.

[Sidenote: of Pomerania,]

The conversion of Pomerania was first attempted by the Poles, who, on
obtaining possession of the country at the end of the tenth century,
founded a bishopric at Colberg, A.D. 1000.  It was not, however, until
their more complete subjection to Poland about a hundred years later,
that any marked result was obtained.  Otho, Bishop of Bamberg, who
placed himself at the head of the Pomeranian mission A.D. 1124, was at
last enabled to overcome the fierce opposition which the heathen
natives offered to the work of the Church, and by A.D. 1128
Christianity had gained a firm footing amongst them.

[Sidenote: of Prussia Proper.]

From Pomerania the Church extended itself eastward to Prussia Proper,
about A.D. 1210.  Here, too, Christianity was very distasteful to the
natives, partly as being the religion of their enemies the Poles.
About A.D. 1230, the "Order of Teutonic Knights" was instituted for the
purpose of subjugating Prussia; and, after a depopulating warfare of
fifty years' duration, the remaining inhabitants embraced Christianity.
Before the end of the thirteenth century, the German element had quite
superseded the Sclavonic in Prussia, as well as in Pomerania, and in
what had formerly been the kingdom of the Wends.


[Sidenote: Extent of Roman influence in Germany.]

The Church in Germany, taken as a whole, was very much under Roman
influence, partly, perhaps, on account of the early connexion between
the emperors of the West and the see of Rome, and partly from the
constant state of civil warfare into which Germany was plunged from the
twelfth to the fourteenth centuries.  In these contests the near
neighbourhood of the Popes to the Italian possessions of the Western
Empire gave them a hold on the affairs of Germany which they were not
slow to use, and the turbulent German nobles were disinclined to resent
an interference which was so often exerted in their behalf against an
unpopular sovereign.  The temporal power of the Popes was, however,
much weakened by the great Schism; and though the Church of Germany
acknowledged the true Pope, there was, amongst its members, a very
widespread sense of the urgent need of some searching reformation.  To
this feeling may be traced, not only the unhappily disappointed
expectations with which so many persons looked to the Councils of
Constance and Basle, but also the unsound and exaggerated teaching of
such men as John Huss and Jerome of Prague.

Section 5.  _The Church of Hungary._

[Sidenote: Conversion of Hungary.]

The Hungarians or Magyars were descended from a Tartar or Finnish
tribe, who settled in Pannonia towards the close of the ninth century,
and thence made fierce inroads on Italy and Germany.  In A.D. 948, two
Hungarian chiefs were baptized at Constantinople, and the daughter of
one of them afterwards marrying Geisa, Duke of {132} Hungary (A.D.
972-A.D. 997), Christian influences were, by degrees, brought to bear
upon the Hungarian people.  About the same time German missionaries
began to labour in Hungary, but it was not until the reign of St.
Stephen, the first King of Hungary (A.D. 997-A.D. 1038), that the
country was completely evangelized.  [Sidenote: Hungary Latinized.]
Stephen did all in his power to aid the work of the German
missionaries; Hungary was divided into dioceses, and the originally
eastern origin of the Hungarian Church, as well as the Sclavonic origin
of the people, forgotten under the desire felt by the king to keep on a
friendly footing with the German emperors and the Popes.

[Sidenote: Attacks of the Turks.]

The Church of Hungary suffered severely from the invasion of the Mongul
Tartars, A.D. 1241, and when, about a century later, some of these
Tartars returned from Asia and settled in Europe under the name of
Turks, Hungary, owing to its frontier situation, was constantly liable
to their attacks.  During the fifteenth century, Hungarian bravery was
the great barrier that opposed the spread of Mahometanism over Western
Europe.  Even after the fall of Constantinople, the Turks vainly
endeavoured to make themselves masters of their Christian neighbours,
and found themselves obliged to retreat discomfited from the siege of
Belgrade, A.D. 1456.

Section 6.  _The Church of Poland._

[Sidenote: Conversion of Poland.]

The Church of Poland was founded about A.D. 966, when a daughter of the
Christian Duke of Bohemia married Miecislav, Duke of Poland, and
introduced Christianity into her adopted country.


[Sidenote: Romanizing the church of Poland.]

The Polish Church at first bore traces of its Eastern origin in its
liturgy and ritual, but these traces were removed by Casimir I. (A.D.
1040-A.D. 1058), who, previous to his accession, had been a monk in a
French or German monastery, and who made a point of bringing the Church
of his own country into uniformity with the other Churches of the West.

Section 7.  _The Scandinavian Churches._

[Sidenote: Conversion of Denmark]

About A.D. 822, a mission was sent from France to Denmark under Ebbo,
Archbishop of Rheims, which resulted in the conversion of Harold, King
of Jutland, who was baptized at Mayence, A.D. 826.  At the request of
Harold, a fresh mission to Denmark was organized and headed by Anskar,
a monk of Corbey, near Amiens, who is often known as the "Apostle of
the North." [Sidenote: and Sweden.] From Denmark Anskar made his way to
Sweden, A.D. 831, where he was favourably received by the king, and a
year or two later was consecrated Archbishop of Hamburg, with
jurisdiction over the whole northern mission.  [Sidenote: Slow advance
and vicissitudes of the Church.] At first the progress of the Church,
both in Denmark and Sweden, was very slow and fluctuating, and the
ravages of the northern pirates, or Vikings, caused great loss and
suffering; but after some years, Anskar was enabled to disarm the
opposition of Eric the heathen King of Denmark, and to make a
favourable impression upon the Swedish nobles.  After his death in A.D.
865, the Church in Denmark went through many vicissitudes owing to
irruptions of the Northmen and other invaders, as well as to native
opposition.  {134} Svend, who reigned over Denmark A.D. 991-A.D. 1014,
though brought up a Christian, persecuted the Church until his
re-conversion during a victorious sojourn in England.  [Sidenote:
English missionaries in Denmark] Svend's son and successor, Canute the
Great (A.D. 1014-A.D. 1033), was very zealous in his endeavours to undo
the evil effects of his father's violence, and sent missionaries from
England, by whom the bulk of the Danish nation were converted to

[Sidenote: and Sweden.]

In Sweden, too, the Church made but slow progress after the death of
Anskar, until, in the beginning of the eleventh century, the King Olaf
Skötkonung, having been himself baptized about A.D. 1008, invited to
Sweden certain English clergymen, who laboured there with great
success.  The first bishopric in Sweden was placed at Skara in West
Gothland, and filled by Turgot, an Englishman.

[Sidenote: Conversion of Norway, by English missionaries.]

The knowledge of the Gospel was first brought, in the tenth century,
into Norway from England by Hacon, who is said to have been educated at
the court of Athelstan, and who endeavoured, with the aid of English
priests, to bring about the conversion of his subjects.  Hacon was,
however, induced, by the bitter opposition of his countrymen, to yield
a weak compliance to their idolatrous practices, and the Church
languished and almost died out until the reign of Olaf Trygovasön (A.D.
993-A.D. 1000), who had been baptized in the Scilly Isles during a
piratical expedition.  The labours of the English missionaries were
finally successful in the reign of Olaf the Holy (A.D. 1017-A.D. 1033),
who was earnest in his efforts to further the work of the Church.  It
may be remarked that Norwegian Bishops were usually consecrated either
in England or France, {135} though all the Scandinavian Churches were
still professedly dependent on the Archbishopric of Hamburg.

[Sidenote: Conversion of Iceland,]

In Iceland some traces of early Christianity, probably the result of
the labours of Irish missionaries, were still remaining when it was
colonized by Norwegian settlers in the ninth century; and towards the
end of the tenth century successive attempts were made by a Saxon
Bishop and by missionaries from Norway, to revive and deepen these
impressions.  The opposition of the heathen colonists was, however, of
so determined a character, that it was only by the gradual conversion
of the mother country, and the labours of new bands of missionaries,
chiefly English and Irish, that Paganism was by degrees overcome.

[Sidenote: Greenland,]

From Iceland the Church made its way to Greenland, another Norwegian
colony, which was converted mainly by the instrumentality of an
Icelandic missionary, in the first half of the eleventh century; but
this ancient Church died out in the fifteenth century.  About the same
time Christianity spread through the Norwegians to the Orkney,
Shetland, and Faroe Islands.

[Sidenote: and Lapland.]

The Church was first planted amongst the Lapps by Swedish missionaries
in the thirteenth century, but it was not until the sixteenth and two
following centuries that Christianity became the religion of the

Section 8.  _The Churches now comprehended in European Turkey and

We look in vain in the history of the Church in Eastern Europe for the
missionary activity which {136} bears so prominent a place in the
annals of Western Christendom.  [Sidenote: Lack of missionary zeal in
the East.] The minds of Eastern Christians were still much occupied by
continued contests between the Catholic Faith and developments of
already condemned heresies, and to these succeeded the scarcely less
absorbing controversy about Image-breaking.  Nor was there in the East
the same pressing contact with Paganism, which made it in the West a
political necessity no less than a religious duty at once to
christianize and civilize the ever advancing hordes of heathen
barbarians.  [Sidenote: Conversion of Bulgaria.] The evangelization of
Bulgaria was, however, begun early in the ninth century, by the
carrying off of the Bishop of Adrianople and many of his flock, in a
victorious inroad of the Bulgarians, A.D. 811.  Half a century later
the Bulgarian King Bogoris, influenced by his sister, who had been
brought up a Christian at Constantinople, put himself and his country
under the tuition of the Greek patriarch Photius.  Soon after, becoming
weary of his Eastern instructors, he applied for aid to the Western
Church, and, in A.D. 867, the Pope Nicholas I. despatched two Italian
Bishops and other missionaries to Bulgaria.  [Sidenote: Collision
between Greek and Roman missionaries.] This interference of the Roman
Church, in an already occupied field of missionary labour, added
considerably to the jealousy between East and West, and helped to bring
about the eventual and lamentable schism.  Bogoris soon after returned
to his allegiance to Photius, insisted on the withdrawal of the Roman
Mission, and obtained a Greek Archbishop of Bulgaria from

[Sidenote: Peculiar position of the Eastern Church.]

The state of external isolation in which the Church of the Eastern
Empire was placed by the {137} Schism of A.D. 1054, had a tendency to
increase its exaggerated spirit of conservatism, which was also
encouraged by the indolent unenterprizing temper of the Greeks of the
later empire, whose blood had not been quickened by the same admixture
of races as had given new life to the worn out nations of the West.
[Sidenote: Effects of the Crusades.] Under these circumstances the
crusades were hardly less a cause of terror to the Greeks than were the
advances of the Turks themselves, and tended to widen rather than to
heal the unhappy breach between the Latin and Greek Churches.
[Sidenote: Unjustifiable proceedings of the Latins.] The foundation of
a Latin Patriarchate at Jerusalem, after the taking of that city in
A.D. 1099, could not but be accounted an usurpation on the part of the
Pope, which was, however, far surpassed in injustice by the erection of
a Latin empire and a Latin Patriarchate in Constantinople itself, A.D.
1204.  During the time that this oppressive arrangement lasted (i.e.
till A.D. 1261) the rightful Patriarch took refuge at the court which
the Eastern emperors held at Nicaea in Asia Minor, and the fugitives
there clung to their national Church, and her rightful independence.
[Sidenote: Attempts at reunion.] The Emperor Michael Palaeologus, after
driving out the Latins from Constantinople, endeavoured once more to
effect a reunion between East and West, partly from political and
partly from personal motives, and a formal act of union was signed,
A.D. 1274.  Neither the Greek Clergy nor the Greek people would,
however, consent to give up their own national religious customs, nor
to acknowledge the supremacy of the Pope; and this shadow of union died
out with the death of the Emperor, its originator.  [Sidenote: Invasion
of the Turks.] In the fourteenth century {138} the Turks were
treacherously invited over to Europe as allies of the usurper, John
Cantacuzenus (A.D. 1347-A.D. 1353), and so firm a footing did they
gain, that the rightful Emperor, John Palaeologus (A.D. 1341-A.D.
1391), found himself obliged to appeal to Rome for aid, promising in
return to reconcile the Greek Church to the Roman communion.  The
affairs of Western Europe, were, however too unsettled to admit of such
aid being afforded, and the Emperor was obliged to give up all his
possessions to the Turks, except Constantinople, Thessalonica, part of
the Morea, and a few islands.  Another appeal was made, with the same
results, by his son, Manuel Palaeologus (A.D. 1391-A.D. 1425).
[Sidenote: New attempts at reunion.] John VII. (A.D. 1425-A.D. 1448)
opened fresh negociations with the West, and he and the Patriarch of
Constantinople, together with twenty-one other Eastern Bishops,
appeared (A.D. 1438) at the Council of Ferrara (afterwards transferred
to Florence).  At this council a decree of union was once more signed
by the Greeks, on condition of their receiving aid against the Turks
(A.D. 1439).  This fresh attempt at union was repudiated by the Eastern
Church at large, but a troop of French and Italian crusaders started
for the East.  Constantinople was, however, doomed, and the good and
brave Constantine Palaeologus (A.D. 1448-A.D. 1433) was the last, as he
was one of the best, of the Greek emperors.  [Sidenote: Fall of
Constantinople] The city fell, after an obstinate defence, on the 29th
May, A.D. 1453, and Constantine was among the slain.  The Turks
pillaged and slaughtered indiscriminately, and turned into a mosque the
beautiful Church of St. Sophia, built by the Emperor Justinian in
honour of the "Holy Wisdom" of God.


[Sidenote: and the Greek Empire.]

All the Greek Empire had now fallen into the hands of the Turks, except
the small mountainous district of Albania, which held out until the
death of George Castriota (dreaded by the Turks under the name of
Scanderbeg), A.D. 1467.  The rocky strip of land known as Montenegro
has been enabled to maintain an unbroken independence.

[Sidenote: State of the Church of Greece under Turkish rule.]

The Church of Greece was now no longer the dominant and recognized
religion of the country, but it was not extinguished.  The numerous
mountain monasteries, inaccessible from their construction and
position, were the chief strongholds of the Christian Faith; and so,
"cast down, but not destroyed," the Church in Greece struggled on,
until, after nearly three centuries of Turkish rule, Greece itself once
more became a Christian kingdom.

Section 9.  The Church of Russia.

[Sidenote: Decay of the Church after its first planting in Russia.]

The Church, founded in the South of Russia by St. Andrew, appears not
to have spread to the other parts of this vast country, and to have
died out, perhaps under the influence the hordes of barbarians who
poured westward from Asia to Europe.

[Sidenote: Foundation of the present Church.]

The Church of Russia, as it now exists, owes its foundation chiefly to
Greek Missionaries, who began their labours about A.D. 866, amongst the
tribes bordering on the dominions of the Eastern Empire.  Before the
middle of the next century Christianity had gained a footing in the
ancient capital of Kiev, and about A.D. 933 the Princess Olga was
baptized at {140} Constantinople.  [Sidenote: It flourishes under
Vladimir.] In the reign of her grandson, Vladimir (A.D. 986-A.D. 1014),
the Church made great progress in Russia.  Vladimir made a public
recognition of Christianity, and by his marriage with the sister of the
Greek Emperor strengthened the links which bound Russia to
Constantinople.  The Greek missionaries were aided in their labours,
churches and bishoprics were founded, and the Holy Scriptures and
Service Books translated into the native Sclavonic language; the Greek
monks, Cyril and Methodius, who have been already mentioned as
instrumental in the conversion of Bohemia and Moravia, taking also an
active share in the Christianizing of Russia.  [Sidenote: Independence
of the Russian Church,] In the reigns of Yaroslav and his successor
(A.D. 1019-A.D. 1077), the empire became completely Christian, and the
Church of Russia was placed on an independent footing, with a native
primate at its head.  Innocent III. (A.D. 1198-A.D. 1216) attempted to
win over Russia to the Roman communion, by offering to confer the title
of King on Prince Roman, but his offer was at once rejected.
[Sidenote: which it has steadily refused to give up,] Russia suffered
severely from the ravages of the Mongul Tartars, A.D. 1223, and Pope
Innocent IV. took advantage of the distressed condition of the Russian
church and the removal of the Greek Patriarchate from Constantinople to
Nicaea, to make another attempt at detaching Russia from communion with
the Greeks.  David, Prince of Galicia, professed himself willing to
receive the crown and title of king from Rome, but this arrangement was
not of long duration, and about A.D. 1230 a Metropolitan of the Russian
Church was consecrated by the Greek Patriarch, to fill up the vacancy
which had taken place {141} ten years before during the Tartar
invasion.  Kiev, the original seat of the Russian Patriarchate, was
burnt and pillaged by the Tartars, and the see was transferred to
Vladimir, A.D. 1299, and thence during the early part of the next
century (A.D. 1320) to Moscow, where it has since remained.

[Sidenote: and has preserved unbroken.]

For more than two centuries, until A.D. 1462, Russia was oppressed by
the yoke of the unbelieving Tartars, but the Church still maintained
her independence, and steadily resisted the various attempts which were
made to bring about a reunion between East and West, by the subjugation
of the former to the unjust claims of the latter.

[1] The preaching Friars having been in vain employed for the
conversion of the Albigenses, their efforts were supplemented by the
institution of the Inquisition.



The Mediaeval Church in Great Britain and Ireland

A.D. 500-A.D. 1500

Section 1.  _The Church of England._

[Sidenote: Trials of the English Church under the Saxons.]

We have seen (p. 74) that the native Church of England had not
succeeded in converting the Anglo-Saxon invaders who gradually took
possession of the country, and that such as remained of the Bishops and
Clergy had been compelled for the most part to take refuge in
mountainous, and therefore inaccessible, districts.  It was, however,
only in A.D. 587, that Theonas, Bishop of London, and Thadiocus, Bishop
of York, retreated from their sees, and they were both living in exile
in Wales, when, ten years later, St. Augustine was sent by Pope Gregory
to found a mission in England.

[Sidenote: Roman usurpation.]

It seems uncertain whether St. Gregory was aware of the previous
existence of a Church in these islands; at any rate, he acted as if
ignorant of the fact, by bestowing on St. Augustine a spiritual
supremacy over the whole country; and the good Italian missionary, when
brought into actual contact with the living representatives of a
national Church already five hundred years old, appears to have
considered himself justified in endeavouring to bring its {143} Liturgy
and usages into agreement with the Roman pattern.  [Sidenote:
Consequent disputes.] All this was not unnatural, especially under the
circumstances of weakness and depression in which the Church of England
was then placed; but it was equally natural that such interference
should be felt to be an usurpation, and resented accordingly, and that
much misunderstanding and bitterness should be the consequence.  There
probably was a recognition of the claims of the elder race of English
Bishops in the fact, that St. Augustine was consecrated to the see of
Canterbury rather than to that of London, of which the rightful
occupant was still living, and that neither the latter diocese, nor
that of York, appear to have been filled up until after the deaths of
Theonas and Thadiocus.  [Sidenote: English independence partially
recognized.] It was also eventually found expedient to leave to the
English Church its own national Liturgy and ritual (originally derived
through a Gallican channel from that of Ephesus), instead of insisting
upon an exact conformity to Roman rites.  [Sidenote: Some account of
the English Liturgy.] This ancient English Liturgy, revised in the
seventh century by St. Augustine, underwent a second revision at the
hands of Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, about A.D. 1083; and, though
certain variations existed in some dioceses, the "Use of Sarum," as it
was called, became the general "use" throughout the southern portion of
England, and was even at length considered to be _the_ Liturgy of the
country.  It is from this Sarum Use that our present Post-Reformation
Liturgy is derived.

A very considerable amount of new life and energy was infused into the
Church of England by the mission of St. Augustine.  Though the native
Bishops and Clergy could not bring themselves to look cordially
on those {144} whose religious zeal was not always tempered with
justice or courtesy towards their predecessors in the field of their
missionary labours, still both foreigners and natives worked for the
same cause, each in their own way, and a new evangelization of the
freshly-heathenized population ensued[1].  [Sidenote: Amalgamation of
English and Roman successions.] By degrees the two lines of Bishops
became blended in one succession, which has continued unbroken until
the present day.

[Sidenote: English missionary zeal.]

The Church of England, thus strengthened and quickened, soon began to
give abundant proofs of its vitality by sending out missionaries to
convert the heathen in other lands.  A large part of Germany and the
Netherlands owes its Christianity to English Bishops and Clergy, such
as Winfrith or Boniface, Willebrord, and a host of other less
well-known or altogether forgotten names.  The eighth century was
especially distinguished by these missionary labours abroad, whilst, at
home, were to be found such good and learned men as the Venerable Bede
(A.D. 672 or '3-A.D. 735), an early translator of the Holy Scriptures,
and his friend Egbert (A.D. about 678-A.D. 776), Archbishop of York,
and founder of a famous school in that city, where the illustrious
Alcuin (about A.D. 723-A.D. 804) was a scholar.

[Sidenote: Invasion, and conversion of the Danes.]

In A.D. 787, the Church of England began to suffer severely from the
ravages of the heathen Danes or Northmen; but, by the wisdom and valour
of the good King Alfred (A.D. 871-A.D. 901), {145} they were for a
while subdued, and numbers of them settled as peaceable colonists in
England, where they gradually embraced Christianity.

[Sidenote: King Alfred.]

Alfred was very zealous in his endeavours to repair the spiritual and
intellectual losses which the Church of England had undergone during
the contest with the Danes, whose ravages had almost entirely swept
away all native scholarship.  The king was especially eager to secure a
literature in the vernacular for his subjects, and himself translated
into "simple English" parts of the Holy Bible, and other religious
books.  In these labours he was assisted by a small body of learned
men, including the two Aelfrics, Archbishops of Canterbury and York,
and Wulfstan, supposed to have been Bishop of Worcester.  The
conversion of the Danes who had first settled in England to
Christianity prepared the way for the evangelizing of later colonists;
and when, through the crimes and weakness of the later Anglo-Saxon
princes, the country fell altogether into the hands of Danish invaders,
Canute the Great (A.D. 1016-A.D. 1033) not only embraced Christianity
himself, but secured for his native country the services of English
missionaries.  [Sidenote: Evangelization of Scandinavia.] In fact, at
this time Scandinavia seems to have been the chief mission-field of the
English Church.

[Sidenote: Roman influence comparatively small under the Saxons.]

We can hardly be wrong in gathering from all this, that Roman influence
had only to a certain limited extent been introduced into the Church of
England by St. Augustine's mission, and that, as time passed on, the
foreign element had become absorbed in the national one.  With the
Norman conquest of A.D. 1066, the {146} case was, however, altered.
[Sidenote: Much increased under the Normans.] The claims of the Popes
to temporal as well as to spiritual authority were by that time
definite and authoritative; the Conquest itself had been undertaken by
the permission of Alexander II., and the authority of the foreign
conquerors, (as the Norman and early Plantagenet kings continued to
be,) required foreign support.  Hence the Bishops of Rome gained an
amount of political influence in England which was thoroughly
unconstitutional, and which could probably never have been attained by
any foreign power, had the English sovereigns immediately after the
Conquest felt themselves more firmly fixed upon the throne they had

[Sidenote: Denationalizing of the Episcopate.]

The appointment of foreigners to the highest ecclesiastical offices in
England, was one means by which the Norman sovereigns sought to secure
themselves against disaffection amongst their new subjects; but the
real result of this policy was to foster the claims of the Popes to
religious and secular supremacy in this country; for these foreign
ecclesiastics, though English Bishops, were not loyal subjects of the
English crown, nor were their interests identical with those of their
flocks.  [Sidenote: Lanfranc.] Thus the Italian Lanfranc, when
appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by William the Conqueror (A.D.
1070), did not hesitate to obey the summons of the Pope to Rome for the
purpose of receiving the pall, and thus acknowledging that he held his
Bishopric from the Papal see.  [Sidenote: St. Anselm.] His successor,
St. Anselm (A.D. 1093), also an Italian, and a man of great learning
and holiness, was prepared to carry out a similar line of conduct; but
the covetous and irreligious tyrant, William Rufus, was seeking at
{147} the same time to reduce Bishops to the state of mere nominees and
vassals of the crown, and a long contest ensued[2].  The dispute was
carried on into the next reign; and at length, in A.D. 1107, a
compromise was agreed upon, by which it was arranged that Bishops
should receive investiture from the Pope, and, at the same time, take
an oath of allegiance to the king.  [Sidenote: St. Thomas of
Canterbury.] Anselm's unflinching advocacy of Papal claims cost him
years of exile from his diocese, and much suffering; but, in the
following century, similar conduct involved still more serious
consequences to St. Thomas à Becket, the then Archbishop of Canterbury.
The new question in dispute was the right of clerical offenders to be
tried in the spiritual courts, instead of coming under the jurisdiction
of the civil power; but, in reality, it was only another form of the
constant endeavours of the English monarchs to free themselves from the
foreign bondage which was, to some extent at least, self-imposed.
Becket fell a martyr to his own sense of duty and the king's
displeasure, A.D. 1170.

[Sidenote: Roman influence strongest in England.]

Papal usurpation in England reached its height when, in A.D. 1208,
Innocent III placed the kingdom under an Interdict, for refusing to
receive as Archbishop of Canterbury his nominee, Stephen Langton, who
was unacceptable both to king and people; and soon after proceeded to
excommunicate John, and depose him from his throne.  The king's
cowardly and unconstitutional conduct in resigning his kingdom into the
{148} hands of the Pope's legate (A.D. 1213), and receiving it again at
the end of three days as a tributary vassal of the Roman see, caused
England to be looked upon for some years as only a fief of Rome.

[Sidenote: Kept up by the Friars;]

In the reign of Henry III. (A.D. 1216-A.D. 1272), Roman influence in
England was greatly sustained by the introduction of the Preaching
Orders of Franciscan and Dominican Friars, who, being many of them
foreigners, and all of them independent of any episcopal control, and
subject to Papal jurisdiction only, were very energetic in their
endeavours to maintain and extend the authority of the popedom.

[Sidenote: by the habit of appeals;]

By this time, too, appeals to Rome against the decisions of English
courts had come to be a great bar to national independence.  Such
appeals had been altogether unrecognized in England until the days of
Stephen, and the practice was again forbidden in Henry II.'s reign by
the Constitutions of Clarendon (A.D. 1164); but, after Becket's death,
the prohibition was once more repealed.  It is easy to see how
seriously this system of appeals must have delayed and interfered with
the regular course of justice in this country, and how capable it was
of being made a political engine in the hands of the Pope, or of those
who held with him.  The exemption of most of the monasteries from the
supervision of the Bishops was also a serious evil, interfering as it
did with the Divinely-appointed functions of the episcopacy, and
opening the door to disorders which the distant and usurped authority
of the Popes had not power to remedy.

[Sidenote: by large money payments.]

In the fourteenth century another means was resorted to of increasing
the power of the Popes at expense of the monarch and people of {149}
England, by the payment of annates, or first-fruits, on the appointment
of each Bishop; and so heavy did this burden become, that between A.D.
1486 and A.D. 1531, 160,000 pounds (or about 45,000 pounds a year of
our money) was paid to Rome under the head of annates.

[Sidenote: All these evils borne under protest.]

It is not to be supposed that these encroachments of a foreign power
were accepted without a murmur or remonstrance on the part of the
people of England; on the contrary, there was a constant undercurrent
of discontent, which found occasional expression in some official or
popular protest.  Such, on the one hand, was the statute of
_praemunire_, passed in the reign of Richard II. (A.D. 1389), to
prohibit Papal interference with Church patronage and decisions in
ecclesiastical causes; and, on the other, the irregular proceedings of
Wickliffe and the Lollards, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries,
which, though they eventually degenerated into seditious agitation, had
their rise in a feeling of opposition to Romish abuses and usurpations.
This feeling was increased by the fearful state of profligacy into
which Rome, and indeed all Italy, was plunged during the fifteenth
century, which effectually destroyed the character formerly enjoyed by
the Roman Church, whilst it could not but affect the spiritual health
of the other Churches over which Rome exercised so wide an influence.
Wiser and calmer men than Wickliffe saw the need of some reformation,
though they questioned, and, as the event showed, rightly, the wisdom
and the justice of the steps he took towards his object.  Wickliffe's
teaching in the fourteenth century had, in fact, little or nothing to
do with the real Reformation of two hundred years later, except that
some of his dangerous theories on political matters took deeper root
than did his {150} religious peculiarities, and bore fruit in much of
the unprincipled licence which was an unhappy, though by no means an
essential, feature of the Reformation era.

[Sidenote: English longings for reformation.]

England, in common with the other nations of Europe, was willing to
hope for great benefit from the councils of the Church held in the
fifteenth century; and, at each of them, we find English Clergy making
grave and urgent protests against the abuses which they saw around
them, and pleading for a return to purer and better ways.  Thus, at the
Council of Pisa, A.D. 1400, one of the English Bishops who attended it
presented a memorial which complained of the evils resulting from the
want of episcopal control over the monasteries, from the practice of
appeals to Rome, and from the ease with which dispensations for
non-residence and pluralities were obtained[3].  Again, at the Council
of Constance (A.D. 1415) a sermon was preached by Dr. Abendon, an
Oxford professor, which painted in very strong language the worldliness
and covetousness of the non-resident Bishops and Clergy; and these
protests were followed up by an official appeal to the Pope for a
reformation, on the part of the Kings of France and England, A.D. 1425,
as well as by official instructions given to the English deputation
despatched to the Council of Basle (A.D. 1431), to use their influence
for the same end.


Section 2.  _The Church of Ireland._

The Church of Ireland was not, like the Church of Great Britain, to
which it owes its foundation, a prey to the depressing influences of
the heathen Saxons; and, at the time of the mission of St. Augustine,
the daughter was in some measure enabled to repay to the mother the
benefits which the British St. Patrick had conferred on the scene of
his missionary labours.  A constant intercourse was kept up between the
numerous monasteries of Ireland and those of Wales and Scotland, some
of the abbeys in the latter countries being founded and frequented by
Irishmen.  [Sidenote:  Early reputation of Ireland.] Ireland, in the
sixth and seventh centuries, had a great reputation for learning and
missionary zeal, both of which were called into play to help in the
reconversion of a large portion of England, as well as to encourage the
efforts of English Churchmen in retaining in the National Church the
national characteristics, with the loss of which it was threatened from
the large admixture of foreign elements introduced by St. Augustine.
[Sidenote: Irish missionary work in England and elsewhere.] Nor were
their missionary labours confined to England: they shared in the toils
and honours of the conversion of Germany, and are believed to have
penetrated as far as Iceland and Greenland.  [Sidenote: Unjustifiable
conduct of England.] The aid given by Irish ecclesiastics in preserving
the religious liberty of the Church of England was ill requited in the
twelfth century, when the English, having taken possession of Ireland,
forced the Irish Church to abandon her distinctive Liturgy by a decree
passed at the synod of Cashel, A.D. 1173.  The state of anarchy and
restless discontent into which {152} Ireland was thrown by the presence
of English invaders, had a very unfavourable effect on the Church of
the country, as had also the appointment of Englishmen to Irish
bishoprics, and the consequent non-residence of the Bishops.  It is
curious that the influence of English conquerors should have tended to
extend Roman authority in Ireland, much as the policy of Norman
conquerors produced the same effect in England.  Before the
Reformation, the state of the Irish Church had become thoroughly
unsatisfactory, and was felt to be so by many of the Irish themselves.

Section 3.  _The Church of Scotland._

[Sidenote: St. Columba.]

The country of the Southern Picts, christianized by St. Ninian (see p.
76), having fallen into the hands of the heathen Anglo-Saxons,
something like a fresh evangelization became necessary; and this was
accomplished by the labours of St. Columba and his successors, who,
having crossed over from Ireland (first about A.D. 560) for the purpose
of preaching to the Northern tribes of Scotland, extended their mission
southward.  [Sidenote: Irish or Scotch missionaries in England.] The
monastery of Iona, or Icolmkill, was for some time inhabited by Irish
missionaries, and became the chief source of missionary labour not only
in Scotland, but also in the North of England, the Scotch or Irish
missionaries using all the weight of their influence to uphold the
independence of the National Church against the Roman tendencies of St.
Augustine and his successors.  St. Aidan (died A.D. 651), Bishop of
Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, and the head of the mission for the
conversion of the Saxon kingdom of Mercia, was a monk of Iona.  His
diocese included {153} Yorkshire, and extended to Scotland; and, in
consequence of this, the Archbishops of York long laid claim to
exercise metropolitan authority over the whole of North Britain.

Roman influence gradually made itself felt in Scotland, in great
measure through the monastic system, which received a great impetus
under David I. (A.D. 1124-A.D. 1153).  [Sidenote: Longings for
reformation.] The constant wars with England, and the confusion and
bloodshed they entailed, had a very unfavourable effect on the
prosperity and spiritual activity of the Church of Scotland, so that
from Scotland, no less than from England and Ireland, there arose that
cry for a return to older and purer ways, which ended in the

[1] The native Clergy seem to have laboured chiefly in the north, where
they were aided by Scotch and Irish missionaries.  St. Aidan, Bishop of
Lindisfarne, or Holy Island (who died A.D. 651), may be mentioned as a
successful agent in the conversion of Northumbria and Mercia.

[2] This dispute between St. Anselm and the English king was another
form of the long strife between the Popes and the Emperors of the West,
which is known as the War of Investitures.

[3] Many of the Bishops, at this time, were foreigners, who lived away
from their sees, and did not even understand the native language of
their flocks.  The Kings of England and the Bishops of Rome seem to
have equally abused their powers of patronage in this respect.



  Abendon, Dr., at Constance, 150
  Abyssinia, Church of, 82
  Africa, Church in, its early history, 80
  ------, Church in, its mediaeval history, 120
  Aidan, St., 144, 152
  Alban, St., his martyrdom, 73
  Albigenses, 122
  Alexandria, Church of, 80
  ------, School of, 81
  Altar, its arrangements in Eastern and Early English Churches, 54
  Ambrosian Liturgy, 123
  "Angels" or Bishops, The Seven, 49, 52, 85
  Annates, Payment of, 149
  Anselm, St., 146
  Anti-Popes, 109
  Antioch, Church of, 23, 28, 84
  ------, St. Paul and St. Barnabas at, 28
  "------ St. Peter's Throne at," 28
  ------ first sends Missionaries to heathen, 29
  Antioch disturbed by disputes about circumcision, 34
  Antioch, Probable visit of St. Peter to, 36
  Apocalypse, The, 52
  "Apology against Heathenism," The first Christian, 32
  "------ Judaism," The first Christian, 20
  Apostle, St. Matthias chosen to be, 8
  Apostles, extent of their labours, 43
  ------ trained by our Lord, 5
  ------ taught by the Holy Ghost, 5, 6, 48
  ------, Commission given to the, 6
  ------ a living Gospel, 12
  ------ Creed, an instance of traditional teaching, 13
  ------ St. Paul and St. Barnabas complete the number of, 30
  ------, how they differ from Bishops, 31
  ------, their deaths, 43
  Apostolic office, Nature of, 5 _n._
  ------ Doctrine, 12
  ------ Fellowship, 18
  Apostolical Succession in England, 144
  Appeals from England to Rome, 148
  Arabia, Church of, 86
  Arianism, 68, 81
  ------ in Greece, 79
  ------ in France, 78
  ------ of the Goths, 77
  ------ prepares for Mahometanism, 88
  Arles, Council of, 78
  Armenia, Church of, 85
  Athanasius, St., 70, 72, 81
  Athens, its intellectual pride, 39
  ------, St. Paul at, 39
  Augustine, St., 82
  ------, and Church of England, 142
  Authority of the Jerusalem Council, 36
  Avignon, The Popes at, 108, 123

  Baptism, Nature of, 2, 3, 4
  ------, its necessity, 26
  ------ of St. John different from that of our Lord, 7 _n._
  ------ of the Three Thousand, 10
  Barchochebas, 83
  Barnabas, St., Conversion of, 11
  ------, ordained Apostle, 30
  Basil, St., 111
  Basle, Council of, 110
  Becket, St. Thomas à, 147
  Benedictine rule, The, 111
  Bible, The, in Middle Ages, 117
  Bishop, Meaning of the word, 33 _n._
  ------ and Priest originally one office, 5 _n._
  Bishops, Consecration of, by the Apostles, 33
  ------ rarely appointed at first, 46, 47
  ------ especially subject to persecution, 65
  Bohemia, Church of, 129
  Boniface, St., in Germany, 128
  Books, Christian, kept hidden, 63
  Bread, The Breaking of the, 7, 13
  Breakspear, Nicholas, 106
  Bulgaria, Conversion of, 136

  Canute, Conversion of, 145
  Cashel, Synod of, 151
  Catacombs, Use of the, 63
  Corinthians, Heresy of the, 50
  Chalcedon, Fourth Council of, 71
  Charlemagne, 122, 124, 128
  China, Church of, 87
  Chrysostom, St., 84
  Church, Definition of, 1
  ------, a Kingdom, 1
  ------, the fruit of the Incarnation, 2
  ------ the New Jerusalem, 8
  ------, its gradual development, 47, 48
  ------, its Divine Foundation proved by persecution, 62
  Church, Growth of, unchecked by persecution, 62
  Church Militant, a preparation for Church Triumphant, 4
  ------, Outward recognition of the, 66
  ------ Government modified by persecution, 65
  Churches, Primitive, their arrangement, 53
  Circumcision, Apostolic Decision respecting 35
  ------, Wish to impose it on Converts, 27, 34
  Columba, St., 76, 152
  Confirmation by the Apostles, 22, 24, 32, 37, 40
  Continental Churches, their early history, 76-80
  ------ in Middle Ages, 120
  Constance, Council of, 110
  Constantine, his English parentage, 73
  ------, Conversion of, 66
  ------, Council summoned by, 69
  Constantinople, Creed of, 70
  ------, Building of, 67, 80
  ------, Second Council of, 70
  ------, Fifth Council of, 71
  ------, Sixth Council of, 71
  ------, Fall of, 138
  Conversion of the Three Thousand, 10
  ------ Five Thousand, 11
  ------ of Gentiles, Obstacles to, 29
  Conversions after appointment of Diaconate, 17
  Corinth, its luxury and unbelief, 40
  ------, St. Paul at, 40
  Cornelius, Conversion of, 25, 26
  Council of the Church, First, 35
  ------, Second, at Jerusalem, 46
  Councils, General, their nature, 69 _n._
  ------ guided by the Holy Ghost, 36
  Creed, Apostles', 13
  Crusades, 113, 125
  ------, Effect of, in the East, 137
  Cyprian, St., 82
  Cyril, St., 81

  Danes, Conversion of, 145
  ------ and Church of England, 144
  Deacon, Meaning of the word, 17 _n._
  Deacons, their work, 18
  Decretals, The false Papal, 103
  Denial of Cup to Laity, 119
  Denmark, Church of, 133
  Development, Intellectual, in the Church, 72
  Diocesan system, its late development in Ireland, 75
  Dioclesian, his false boasting, 62
  Discipline, its strictness increased by persecution, 64
  ------ relaxed, 68
  Division between East and West, 95
  Docetae, Heresy of the, 50
  Domitian's persecution, 49, 59

  Eastern Church, 83
  ------, its want of missionary zeal, 136
  East and West, Division of, 94
  Elders.  _See_ Priests.
  Endowment of Church, 67
  England, Church of, its early history, 73
  ------, in Middle Ages, 142
  ------, its Liturgy, 143
  English Bishops at early Councils, 74
  Ephesus, St. John at, 49
  ------, Heresies at, 50
  ------, Council of, 85
  ------, Liturgy of, 124
  ------, Third Council of, 71
  Episcopacy, its permanent organization, 46
  Ethiopia, Church of, 82
  Eucharist, Daily, 7, 13
  ------, the chief act of worship, 14, 56
  Eucharistic Sacrifice, 2, 3, 13, 14, 56
  Eutyches, his heresy, 71
  Expectation, Days of, 7

  Fathers, value of their writings, 72
  Ferrara, Council of, 110
  Florence, Council of, 110
  Forty Days, The teaching of the, 6
  Foundation of Church, its Divine Origin, 4, 7
  France, Church of, its early history, 77
  ------, its mediaeval history, 124
  ------, its Liturgy, 78
  French Bishops from Asia, 77
  French interference in Papal affairs, 107
  Friars, Franciscan and Dominican, in England, 112, 148

  Gallican Liturgy, 124
  General Councils, 69-71
  Gentiles called into the Church, 26
  Germany, Church of, 127
  Gnosticism, Simon Magus the author of, 22, 51
  ------ at Corinth, 40
  ------ at Ephesus, 51
  Gospels, Holy, great reverence shown to them, 54
  "Grecians," Who meant by, 16
  Greek Church, What meant by, 80 _n._
  ------, its early history, 79
  ------, its mediaeval history, 135
  ------ under Turkish rule, 139
  ------ Empire, End of, 139
  Greeks, their liability to heresy, 79
  Greenland, Conversion of, 135
  Gregory, St., 103
  ------, and Church of England, 142
  ------ VII., 106
  "Hebrews," Definition of, 17
  ------ and Grecians, Dispute between, 17
  Hegira, the Mahometan Era, 89 _n._
  "Hellenists" or "Grecians," Definition of, 16
  Heresy, how opposed, 69
  Hilary, St., 102
  Hildebrand, 105
  Hincmar, 104
  Hungary, Church of, 131

  Iceland, Church of, 133
  Iconoclast controversy, 95, 121
  Ignatius, St., 84
  Ignorance, Causes of, in Middle Ages, 115
  Incense, its burning made a test, 59
  ------, its use in heaven, 55
  India, Church of, 87
  Indulgences, 109, 118
  Innocent III., 107
  Inquisition, Origin of, 107
  Interdict, England placed under, 147
  Investiture, Disputes about, 106, 147
  Iona, Monastery of, 76
  Ireland, Church of, its early history, 74
  ------, its Liturgy and customs, 78, 151
  ------, its mediaeval history, 151
  ------, English influence in, 152
  Irenaeus, St., 78
  Irish missionary labours, 151
  Italy, Church of, its early history, 76
  ------, its mediaeval history, 121
  ------, its Liturgy, 123

  James, St., the Great, his martyrdom, 27
  ------ the Less, first Bishop of Jerusalem, 27, 35, 83
  ------ presides at the First Council, 35
  Jerusalem, The Apostolic Church in, 27, 83
  ------, First Council at, 35
  ------, Second Council at, 46
  ------ taken by Saracens, 113
  Jewish Worship, and scheme of Redemption, 4, 56
  John, St., his special work in the Church, 45, 47, 49
  ------, his sacramental teaching, 47, 52
  ------, his universal patriarchate, 51
  ------, his writings, 51
  ------, his Epistles, 52
  ------, his Revelation, 52
  ------, his martyrdom in will, 57 _n._
  ------, King, Unconstitutional conduct of, 147
  Judicial powers first exerted in the Church, 16
  Julian the Apostate, 83

  Koran, The, 90

  Labours, Apostolic, Extent of, 43
  Lanfranc, 146
  Langton, Stephen, 147
  Lapland, Conversion of, 135
  Latin, Use of, in Middle Ages, 116
  Law, Christ's obedience to the, 15
  Lay investiture, Disputes about, 106
  Letters of Peace, 64
  Lollards, The, 149
  Love of the First Christians, 13
  Luke, St., joins St. Paul, 37

  Macedonius, his heresy, 70
  Mahometanism, 88
  ------ in Spain, 127
  Martyrdom, seeking it forbidden, 63
  Martyrs, Immense number of the, 61
  Matthias, St., chosen to be Apostle, 8
  Mediaeval Church, its true state, 119
  Meletian schism, 81
  Middle Ages, Learning in, 117
  ------, Religion in, 116
  Ministry, Christian, Three-fold nature of, 2, 5 _n._
  ------, Jewish, replaced by Christian, 4
  Miracles, Gift of, 11
  Monastic Orders, The, 111
  Monasticism, its good results, 112
  Moors in Spain, 126
  Moravia, Church of, 128
  Mozarabic Liturgy, 127
  Music, its use in heaven, 55

  Nero's persecution, 49 _n._, 59
  Nestorius, his heresy, 71, 82
  Nicaea, Council and Creed of, 70
  Nicolas of Antioch, 18
  Ninian, St., his mission in Scotland, 76
  Norman influence on English Church, 146
  Northmen, Conversion of, 124
  Norway, Church of, 134

  Ordinances or traditions, 13 _n._

  Paganism not revived by persecution, 62
  Papal supremacy, its dangers, 101
  ------ Supremacy in France, 125
  ------ aggression, The first, 102
  Parochial system, its late development in Ireland, 75
  Parthia, Church of, 85
  Passover replaced by Eucharist, 3
  Patrick, St., his mission to Ireland, 75
  Paul, St., Conversion of, 23.
  ------, his fitness for the Apostolate, 24
  Paul, St., ordained Apostle, 30
  ------, the Chief Apostle of the Gentiles, 31
  ------, his first Apostolic journey, 31
  ------, his second Apostolic journey, 36
  ------, his third Apostolic journey, 40
  ------, a prisoner, 42
  ------, in England, 73
  ------, Martyrdom of, 43
  Pelagianism, 78
  Pella, Flight to, 83
  Penances, their severity, 64
  Pentecost, The Day of, 8
  ------, The effects of, 9
  Persecution, Causes of, 57
  ------ under Herod Agrippa, 27
  ------, Progress of, 11, 57
  Persecutions, Nature and extent of, 61
  ------, Table of, 60
  ------, Effect of, on the Church, 63
  ------ cease under Constantine, 66
  Persia, Church of, 85
  Peter, St., results of his first Sermon, 10
  ------, his special work in the Church, 45
  ------, his first Apostolic journey, 24
  ------, his imprisonment and deliverance, 28
  ------, Martyrdom of, 43
  Peter the hermit, 125
  Pharisees, their opposition to the Gospel, 19
  Philip, St., the Deacon, 21
  Pisa, Council of, 109
  ------, English Bishops at, 150
  Poland, Church of, 132
  Pomerania, 130
  Popes of the Middle Ages, 102-111
  ------, Worldliness of the later, 110
  ------ and anti-Popes, Disputes between, 109
  Portugal, Church of, its early history, 78
  ------, Church of, its mediaeval history, 126
  Pothinus, Bishop of Lyons, 77
  Praemunire, Statute of, 149
  Presbyters.  _See_ Priests.
  Priest, Meaning of the word, 32 _n._
  Priests, First ordination of, 32
  ------, their functions, 33
  Prussia, Church of, 129
  Purgatory, 118

  Reformation, what it was, 102
  ------, Longings for, 123, 131, 150
  Reunion between East and West attempted, 137
  Ritual, Early Christian, 53
  ------ checked by persecution, 63
  ------, Heavenly, as shown in the Apocalypse, 53
  ------ developed in prosperity, 67
  Roman Empire, its decay, 77
  Roman influence in Middle Ages, 118
  ------ influence in Germany, 131
  Rome, St. Paul at, 42
  ------, its influence in extending the Faith, 67
  Russia, Church of, its foundation, 80, 139
  ------, Church of, its independence, 140

  Sacrifice, The Christian, 2, 3, 13, 14, 56
  Sacrifices under the patriarchal dispensation, 3
  ------ under the Mosaic dispensation, 3
  Sadducees, their opposition to the Gospel, 12, 19
  Samaria, Conversion of, 21
  Sarum Use, 143
  Satan, his enmity against the Church, 58, 62
  Saul of Tarsus, 19
  Saxon and English Church, 74, 142
  Scandinavian Churches, 133
  Schism, The first, in the Church, 16
  ------ between East and West, 98
  ------, The forty years', 109
  Scotland, Church of, its early history, 75
  ------, its mediaeval history, 152, 153
  ------, Saxon influence in, 152
  ------, Roman influence in, 153
  Seven Churches, The, 84
  Simon Magus, his unbelief and end, 21, 22
  Sin, First deadly, in the Church, 16
  Spain, Church of, its early history, 78
  ------, Church of, its mediaeval history, 126
  ------, Church of, its Liturgy, 127
  Stephen, St., ordained Deacon, 18
  ------, his preaching and inspiration, 19
  ------, results of his Martyrdom, 21
  Supremacy, Papal claims to, 100
  Sweden, Church of, 133

  Table of "Fields of Apostolic Labour," 44
  ------ Persecutions, 60
  ------ Councils, 72
  Teaching of the Church, Reserve in, 49, 63
  ------ its gradual development, 49
  Temple Services, Attendance of the Apostles on, 13, 15
  Temporal power of the Popes, its rise, 100
  "Theological Gospel," The, 47
  Theotokos, 71
  Timothy, St., his circumcision, 37
  ------, Bishop of Ephesus, 33, 41
  Titus, St., Bishop of Crete, 33, 41
  Tongues, The gift of, 9, 11
  Tradition, its value, 13
  "Traditores," 64
  Turkey, European Church in, its early history, 79
  ------ in Europe, Church in, its medieval history, 135
  Turks, their inroads in the East, 138

  "Universal Bishop," Title of, 95
  Universities in Middle Ages, 117

  Vernacular Bibles in Middle Ages, 116
  Visigoths, Arianism of, 79

  Waldenses, 122
  Wales the refuge of British Clergy, 74
  Wickliffe, 149
  Worship, Jewish and Christian, 3

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