By the accession of Constantine to the sole sovereignty of the Roman Empire, A. D. 324, ancient Christianity may be conveniently divided into two great periods. In the first, it was a religion liable to persecution, suffering severely at times and alw
The period in the Church before the clash with Gnosticism and the rise of an apologetic literature comprises the apostolic and the post-apostolic ages. These names have become traditional. The so-called apostolic age, or to circa 100, is that in w
THE moralist is usually severe, and the quality of his censure is merciless, when he attempts to treat the unwholesome theme of moral deformity; and all his efforts are mere attempts, for no human language can do full justice to such a theme, or ful
IT is not an infrequent occurrence for persons given to the habit of petty thefts and fraud, to seek to justify their irregular conduct by a pretense of justice which they call secret compensation. They stand arraigned before the bar of their consci
NEVER say, when you are angry, that you are mad; it makes you appear much worse than you really are, for only dogs get mad. The rabies in a human being is a most unnatural and ignoble thing. Yet common parlance likens anger to it. It is safe to s
AUTHORITY means the right to command; to command is to exact obedience, and obedience is submission of one's will to that of another, will is a faculty that adores its own independence, is ambitious of rule and dominion, and can hardly bear to serve
MORALS pertain to right living, to the things we do, in relation to God and His law, as opposed to right thinking, to what we believe, to dogma. Dogma directs our faith or belief, morals shape our lives. By faith we know God, by moral living we serv
A Pen Sketch. When God would win back His prodigal world He sent down a Man. That Man while more than man insisted upon being truly a man. He touched human life at every point. No man seems to have understood prayer, and to have prayed as d
A Prehistoric Conflict. In its simplest meaning prayer has to do with a conflict. Rightly understood it is the deciding factor in a spirit conflict. The scene of the conflict is the earth. The purpose of the conflict is to decide the contro
A Trained Ear. In prayer the ear is an organ of first importance. It is of equal importance with the tongue, but must be named first. For the ear leads the way to the tongue. The child hears a word before it speaks it. Through the ear comes
Breaking with God. God answers prayer. Prayer is God and man joining hands to secure some high end. He joins with us through the communication of prayer in accomplishing certain great results. This is the main drive of prayer. Our asking an
Five Outlets of Power. A great sorrow has come into the heart of God. Let it be told only in hushed voice--one of His worlds is _a prodigal_! Hush your voice yet more--_ours_ is that prodigal world. Let your voice soften down still more--_w
1. The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. 2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. 3. He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. 4. Yea, though I wa
Abba, Father, bless this food For our everlasting good. Amen.
Abide, O dear Redeemer, Among us with Thy Word And thus now and hereafter True peace and joy afford. Amen.
Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide, The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide! When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me! Amen.
Accept, O Lord, our thankful praises For all Thy goodness did bestow; May it increase our faith and lead us Our praise by godly lives to show, That every deed and word may prove We trust and own our Father's love. Amen.
"He returned home with the letter, and started for L----; went there the same day, some forty miles; found sleigh and harness safe, with no encumbrance. The landlord informed him that, a few nights before, at twelve o'clock, a man calling himself Jo
"'Aunt Sally,' says the _American Messenger_, was a devout, working, trustful Christian. Her husband was a cripple, almost helpless, an unbeliever, and to some extent an opposer of religion. They lived alone. The severity of a northern winter was
"A lady who lived on the north side of London, set out one day to see a poor sick friend, living in Drury Lane, and took with her a basket provided with tea, butter, and food. The day was fine and clear when she started; but as she drew near Islin
We will now travel to the south of Russia, and examine more closely what might be called a laboratory of sects, or in other words a breeding-ground of religions whose idealism, whether foolish or sublime, is often sanctified by the blood of believer
The pilgrims and "workers of miracles" who wander through Russia can always find, not only free lodging, but also opportunity for making their fortunes. Their gains mount, often, to incredible figures, and the faith and piety that they diffuse have
The town of Denver, the "pearl of Colorado," was _en fête_. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims were flocking to it from all parts of America, and all, immediately they arrived, made straight for the house of Alderman Fox, where dwelt Francis Schlatt
During the second half of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, scarcely a single country has been free from religious manifestations of the most varied kind, all concerned with new ways and means of attaining salvation; and if
Nearly all Communistic theories when applied in practice prove failures, but there seems to be one infallible safeguard--that supplied by religion. Faith, when mingled with the trials and disenchantments of life, appears to mitigate them, and commu
The Neronian persecution took place A. D. 64. The occasion was the great fire which destroyed a large part of the city of Rome. To turn public suspicion from himself as responsible for the fire, Nero attempted to make the Christians appear as the
After the recall of the Donatists by the Emperor Julian, the sect rapidly increased, though soon numerous divisions appeared in the body. The more liberal opinions of the Donatist grammarian Tychonius about 370 were adopted by many of the less fan
Aurelius Augustinus, the greatest of the Latin fathers, was born 354, at Tagaste, in Numidia. He was educated to be a teacher of rhetoric, and practised his profession at Carthage, Rome, and Milan. From 374 to 383, he was a Manichaean catechumen,
The insistence upon clerical celibacy and even the mere regulation of the marriage of the clergy contributed not a little to making a clear distinction between the clergy and the laity which became a marked feature in the constitution of the Churc
Primitive Christianity was marked by great chiliastic enthusiasm, traces of which may be found in the New Testament. By chiliasm, strictly speaking, is meant the belief that Christ was to return to earth and reign visibly for one thousand years. T
Then the common people and their wives raised a loud cry against their fellow Jews. Some said, "We must give up our sons and our daughters in pledge to get grain that we may eat and live." Others said, "We must give up our fields and our vineyards a
After Absalom and all the men of Israel crossed the Jordan, David counted the troops who were with him, and put over them commanders of thousands and of hundreds. And he divided the troops into three divisions; one was under the command of Joab, ano
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord, all the earth, Sing to the Lord, praise his name, Proclaim his salvation each day; Tell his glory among the heathen, His wonders among all peoples.
Nebuchadrezzar in the second year of his reign had dreams, and his mind was so troubled that he could not sleep. Then the king sent for the magicians and the wise men, and those who studied the stars to tell him what his dreams meant. So they came i
Have mercy upon me, O God, According to thy loving-kindness, According to the multitude of thy tender mercies, Blot out all my transgressions, Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, And cleanse me fr
During the period from 1835 to 1845 the spirit of schism seemed to be in the air. In this period no one of the larger organizations of churches was free from agitating controversies, and some of the most important of them were rent asunder by expl
When the five years of rending and tearing had passed, in which slavery was dispossessed of its hold upon the nation, there was much to be done in reconstructing and readjusting the religious institutions of the country. Throughout the seceding
We have briefly reviewed the history of two magnificent schemes of secular and spiritual empire, which, conceived in the minds of great statesmen and churchmen, sustained by the resources of the mightiest kingdoms of that age, inaugurated by soldi
The quickening of religious feeling, the deepening of religious conviction, the clearing and defining of theological opinions, that were incidental to the Great Awakening, were a preparation for more than thirty years of intense political and warl
The transition from establishment to the voluntary system for the support of churches was made not without some difficulty, but with surprisingly little. In the South the established churches were practically dead before the laws establishing them