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the mystery of the Incarnation, may ifr some degree have helped to
fix the minds of men on the land where the Saviour had lived, and
on the several scenes of his ministry; but this alone would never
have sufficed to work the revolution which Christianity has
manifestly undergone, even before we reach the age of Constantino.
The victory won over heathenism, if not merely nominal, was at best
partial. The religion of the empire knew nothing of the One Eternal
God, who demands from all men a spontaneous submission to his
righteous law, and bids them find their highest good in his divine
love. That religion rested on the might of the Capitoline Jupiter
and the visible majesty of the Emperor; but the real influences
which were at work from the first to modify the Christianity of St.
Paul lay in the lower strata of society, in the modes of thought
and feeling prevalent among the masses who furnished the converts
of the first two or three centuries. In these converts we cannot
doubt that there was wrought a real change, ?a change manifest
chiefly in the conviction that the divine law is binding on all,
and that the state of things in the Roman world was unspeakably
shameful. In the Jesus whom Paul preached they beheld the righteous
teacher who condemned the iniquities of godless rulers and a
corrupt people, the avenger of their unjust deeds, the loving
Redeemer in whose arms the weary and heavy-laden might find rest,
the awful Judge who should be seen at the end of the world on his
great white throne, with all the kindreds of mankind awaiting their
doom before Him. The personal human love thus kindled in them
turned only into a different channel thoughts and feelings which it
would need centuries to root out. These thoughts and feelings had
been fed by that tendency to localize in...
General Books LLC
|Country of origin:
George William Cox
||246 x 189 x 4mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
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