From the birth of Christ to Constantine the Great

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T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1811 - Society of Friends
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Page 298 - The prince of darkness after his defeat produced the first parents of the human race. The beings engendered from this original stock, consist of a body formed out of the corrupt matter of the kingdom of darkness, and of two souls, one of which is sensitive and lustful, and owes its existence to the evil principle ; the other rational and immortal, a particle of that divine light which was carried away by the army of darkness, and immersed into the mass of malignant matter. Mankind being thus formed...
Page 176 - These councils, of which we find not the smallest trace before the middle of the second century, changed the whole face of the church, and gave it a new form ; for by them the ancient privileges of the people were considerably diminished, and the power and authority of the bishops greatly augmented.
Page 383 - When we cast an eye toward the lives and morals of christians at this time, we find, as formerly, a mixture of good and evil; some eminent for their piety, others infamous for their crimes. The number however of immoral and unworthy Christians began so to increase, that the examples of real piety and virtue became extremely rare. When the terrors of persecution were totally dispelled ; when the church, secured from the efforts of its enemies, enjoyed the sweets of prosperity and peace ; when the...
Page 196 - The platonists and pythagoreans held it as a maxim, that it was not only lawful, but even praiseworthy, to deceive, and even to use the expedient of a lie, in order to advance the cause of truth and piety. The Jews, who lived in Egypt, had learned and received this maxim from them before the coming of Christ, as appears incontestably from a multitude of ancient records ; and the Christians were infected from both these sources with the same pernicious error...
Page 134 - ... in the sacred history. They maintained, that he came to mortals with no other view, than to deprive the tyrants of this world of their influence upon virtuous and heaven-born souls, and destroying the empire of these wicked spirits, to teach mankind how they might separate the divine mind from the impure body, and render the former worthy of being united to the Father of spirits.
Page 177 - Gospel had reached; and the universal Church had now the appearance of one vast republic, formed by a combination of a great number of little states. This occasioned the creation of a new order of Ecclesiastics, who were appointed, in different parts of the world, as Heads of the Church, and whose office it was to preserve the consistence and union of that immense body, whose members were so widely dispersed throughout the nations. Such was the nature and office of the Patriarchs...
Page 177 - Another effect of these Councils was, the gradual abolition of that perfect equality, which reigned among all Bishops in the Primitive times. For the order and decency of these assemblies required, that some one of the provincial Bishops met in Council, should be invested with a superior degree of power and authority; and hence the rights of Metropolitans derive their origin.
Page 383 - ... of the bishops exhibited to their flock the contagious examples of arrogance, luxury, effeminacy, animosity, and strife, with other vices too numerous to mention ; when the inferior rulers and doctors of the church fell into a slothful and opprobrious negligence of the duties of their respective stations, and employed in vain wranglings and idle disputes, that zeal and attention...
Page 380 - The first of these maxims was, " that it was an act of virtue to deceive and lie, when by that means the interests of the church might be promoted ;" and the second equally horrible, though in another point of view, was, that " errors in religion, when maintained and adhered to after proper admonition, were punishable with civil penalties and corporeal tortures.
Page 306 - Bozrah, who flourished in the third century. He taught that Christ did not exist before Mary ;¡ but that a spirit issuing from God himself, and therefore superior to all human souls, as being a portion of the divine nature, was united to him at the time of his birth.

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