The Church in the Catacombs

The Church in the Catacombs

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1846 edition. Excerpt: ...sceptic must confess that the ancient Church in Rome, pacific and defenceless as it here appears, did conquer the proud array of Pagan and Imperial power: and the Christian, forced to admit a Divine interposition in behalf of his religion, beholds therein a testimony from Heaven to its truth. Yet more, that religion, here seen through the vista of fifteen centuries, presents the same unworldly aspect as in the sacred writings: a joyful serenity, worth all the jarrings of Chalcedon, or the proud seraphism of the Thebaid. The feast, at first held as a part of regular religious worship, was in course of time reserved for marriages and deaths. At length the anniversaries of martyrdom became the chief occasion of its celebration. These days were called natalitia, or birthdays, because the saints were then born to heaven from the world. As long as persecution was likely to befall the Church, there was policy in commemorating annually the triumphs of her heroes. To meet by lamplight over the grave of a departed friend, and there to animate each other's faith by mutual exhortations; to partake together of the funereal meal before the tablet which covered his bones; in all this the faithful of that age found a constant stimulus to fortitude and zeal. But the natalitia, celebrated after the conversion of Constantine, tended to secularise religious worship in a lamentable degree: the festival was thrown open in the hope of obtaining converts; and many of the Pagan poor, after having been fed at the expense of the Church, became suddenly convinced of the truth of Christianity. The Agape was also further desecrated by a less justifiable measure--an attempt to replace the Pagan festivals by corresponding Christian solemnities. Augustine gives this account of...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 96 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 5mm | 186g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236555171
  • 9781236555175