The Ancient Church: Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution, Traced for the First Three Hundred Years.

By William Dool Killen, D.D.

In the interval between the days of the apostles and the conversion of Constantine, the Christian commonwealth changed its aspect. The Bishop of Rome — a personage unknown to the writers of the New Testament — meanwhile rose into prominence, and at length took precedence of all other churchmen. Rites and ceremonies, of which neither Paul nor Peter ever heard, crept silently into use, and then claimed the rank of divine institutions. Officers, for whom the primitive disciples could have found no place, and titles, which to them would have been altogether unintelligible, began to challenge attention, and to be named apostolic. It is the duty of the historian to endeavour to point out the origin, and to trace the progress of these innovations. An attempt is here made to lay bare the causes which produced these changes, and to mark the stages of the ecclesiastical revolution.

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