|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)|
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IV. THE CHURCHES AS LEFT BY CHRIST AND MADE BY MAN. THE CHURCHES AS LEFT BY CHRIST AKD MADE BY MAK It may to some have seemed that church history begins where the Bible ends; that it is more properly the annals of the people of God after the Master in his bodily presence had quitted them, and after the Holy Spirit had pronounced the last sentences of the New Testament with a solemn ban upon the rash adventurousness that should either on the one hand mutilate the record, or on the other hand assume to amplify and supplement that Revelation. But if the church be, in truth, a kingdom whose Divine Founder and Ruler is still in his omnipresence at whatever spot, in whatever land, and in whatever century, but two or three of his meanest disciples gather in his name; if his Scripture be her unamendable, unimpeachable law, and his Spirit her perpetual and indispensable life, then no safe history of her can be outlined without hearing first his own claims and tracking his earthly career, or without pondering the traits and laws of the first churches in the first Christian century as the New Testament paints them. Go to the Christian Fathers as dissevered from the inspired evangelists and apostles; turn over the voluminous and dreary records of the socalled councils, and the inquirer is floundering as in a pathless forest, where trees obstruct on every side the vision and show no pathway a very Dismal Swamp, where the foot sinks and the miasma ascends and the snake lurks. In the fight between the adherents of Absalom and the loyal soldiers of his father it is said, that " the wood devoured that day more people than the sword devoured." Church history, severed from the New Testament and fromthe Christ whom that Testament presents, is such mere morass and pestilent jungle, alike ...