THE DEFENCE OF THE FAITH
THE first antagonist of the Christian faith was prejudice.
This was partly in consequence of the astonishing novelty of the Christian ideas and ways, and partly in consequence of the secrecy under the cover of which the Christian movement proceeded. The early service, which assembled the Christians before sunrise, was made necessary by the fact that every day was a working-day,--unless it was a pagan festival,--but still more by the need of seclusion from intruding enemies. It is easy to see how the enmity and the seclusion acted and reacted, one upon the other; how fear, on the one side, led the Christians to keep themselves apart from their neighbors; and how zeal, on the other side, inclined the honest, pious and scandalized neighbors to believe regarding the Christians the current tales and rumors in which imagination supplied the lack of knowledge.
The Christians were accused of atheism, because they denied all the gods which other men revered, and had no, images to represent any deity