Early Church Fathers - Ante Nicene Fathers Volume 5-Fathers of the 3rd Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, Novatianby Philip Schaff
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This fifth volume will be found a work complete in itself, simplex et unum. At first, indeed, it might look otherwise. The formation of Latin Christianity in the school of North Africa seems interrupted by the interpolation, between Tertullian and his great pupil Cyprian, of a Western bishop and doctor, who writes in Greek. A little reflection, however, will suggest to the thoughtful student, that, even if our chronological plan admitted of it, we should divest the works of Cyprian of a very great advantage should we deprive them of the new and all-important light shed upon Cyprian and his conflicts with Stephen by the discovery of the Philosophumena of Hippolytus. That discovery, as Dr. Bunsen reminds us, more than once, has duplicated our information concerning the Western Church of the ante-Nicene period. It gives us overwhelming evidence on many points heretofore imperfectly understood, and confirms the surmises of the learned and candid authors who have endeavoured to disentangle certain complications of history. It meets some questions of our own day with most conclusive testimony, and probably had not a little to do with the ultimate conclusions of Doellinger, and the rise of the Old Catholic school, among the Latins. We cannot fail to observe in all this the hand of a wise and paternal Providence, which is never wanting to the faithful in the day of trial. "I believe, with Niebuhr," says Dr. Bunsen, "that Providence always furnishes every generation with the necessary means of arriving at the truth and at the solution of its doubts." This consideration has inspired me with great hopes from the publication of this series in America, where the aggressions of an alien element are forcing us to renewed study of that virgin antiquity which is so fatal to its pretensions. I can adopt with a grateful heart the language of Bunsen, when he adds:  "I cannot help thinking it of importance that we have just now so unexpectedly got our knowledge of facts respecting early Christianity doubled."
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