THE ORGANIZATION OF RELIGION
WHEN we seek for the beginning of definite and settled organization in the Christian Church we find it not in the first or second century, but in the third, and not in the East, but in the West.
The idea of a permanent ordering of the administration and of the worship of the Christians was excluded from the minds of the early disciples by their expectation of the speedy return of Christ. It did not occur to them to lay abiding foundations in a world which might at any moment pass away. It was necessary, indeed, to provide for local and temporary emergencies. Thus the apostles directed the selection of seven men to care for neglected widows in Jerusalem, and Paul ordained elders to hold the converts together in the cities which he visited in his missionary journeys. Such titles appear as bishops, priests, and deacons, pastors, prophets, teachers, and evangelists. But the records give the impression of informality, and