The Beginnings of Christianity

The Beginnings of Christianity

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The Beginnings of Christianity

The Beginnings of Christianity

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In this volume--which is founded on a Course of Lectures delivered at the Lowell Institute, in Boston, in February and March, 1876--I have undertaken, first, to describe the ancient Roman world, including both Heathen and Jewish Society, into which Christianity entered, and in which it first established itself; secondly, to examine the New Testament documents from which our knowledge of the beginnings of the Christian religion must be derived; and thirdly, to discuss some of the most important topics connected with the Life of Jesus and the Apostolic Age. The title given to the Lectures was the "Rise of Christianity and its Historical Environment," the last term being borrowed from the students of natural science; but finding that this title, although a good equivalent for my own conception, needed explanation, I have exchanged it for one expressed in plainer words.

Under the first of the heads above named, in addition to the preparation for Christianity which was furnished, in a more external way, by the unification of mankind under the Roman Empire, I have dwelt upon the less familiar but more deeply interesting branch of the topic--the mental and moral preparation for the Gospel, which was partly the result of the Roman polity, but which flowed, also, from the entire development of the ancient religion and philosophy. I should be glad to inspire my readers with the interest which I feel in this portion of the subject, especially in tracing the affinities between the noblest products of the poetry and philosophy of Antiquity and the Christian faith. The best of the Fathers . . .

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