where it soon shone with great splendour and was represented by such men as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Athanasius, and Cyril. It passed thence into Lower Egypt, then into the Thebaid, Upper Egypt, and Nubia, and, by way of the Red Sea as far as Ethiopia, adopting as its own the Græco-Jewish civilization, which it found prevailing in Egypt and the Cyrenaica. At the same period, however, about the end of the first century, Roman soldiers and merchants brought the Gospel to Carthage, whence it soon spread to Proconsular Africa, to the Byzacene province, and to Numidia, added a glorious band to the army of martyrs, and produced such Doctors as Tertullian, Minucius Felix, Cyprian, Arnobius, Lactantius, Optatus, and the great Bishop of Hippo, St. Augustine.
(1) The Dissident Churches.—Unfortunately, African Christianity was constantly exposed to the attacks of schism and heresy; of Gnostics, Monophysites, Arians, Pelagians, Manichæans, Novatians, and Donatists, who divided and enfeebled it, and so paved the way for its destruction, first, by the Vandals and, finally, by Islam. Most of these sects have long since disappeared; but the Monophysites who, following Eutyches, acknowledge only one nature in Christ (the divine nature having absorbed the human), have continued to exist, and form at the present time three distinct churches, namely: The Armenian Church, whose Patriarch, or Catholicos, resides near Erzerum (see Armenia); The Jacobite Church of Syria and Mesopotamia, whose head is the Patriarch of Antioch (see Jacobites, Monophysites); The Coptic Church of Egypt, governed by the Patriarch of Alexandria, resident at Cairo, who exercises a kind of ecclesiastical suzerainty over the Monophysite Church of Abyssinia. These Copts (from Gr., Αἴγυπτος, Egypt), descendants of the ancient Egyptians, are about 200,000 in number, and are spread over some twenty dioceses, as in the seventh and eighth centuries (see Copts.) In Ethiopia (see Abyssinia), the Monophysites number 3,500,000 out of a total population of nearly 4,000,000. The rest are Mussulmans (200,000), Israelites (50,000), Pagans (100,000), or Catholics (30,000). The liberal proselytism of Protestantism has made, and still makes, considerable efforts on this continent. Every nation in which Protestantism flourishes has taken part in this missionary work: Germany, Norway, Sweden, England, Holland, Switzerland, France, and the United States of America. In 1736 the Moravian Brethren established themselves at the Cape of Good Hope, and formed colonies of farmers and mechanics. Their influence has contributed to the civilization of the Hottentots and Kafirs. They settled among the Kafirs in 1828, and, in 1885, to the north of Lake Nyassa. The mission which they had founded at Christiansborg, on the Gold Coast, and then abandoned, was taken up in 1828 by the Société des missions évangeliques of Basle, which has since spread to the country of the Ashantis, to the German colony of the Togo, and to the Kameruns, where they have replaced (1887) the English Baptists. From Germany, the Berlin Missions have sent their agents to the Orange River Colony, to Griqualand, the Transvaal, and German East Africa; the Rhenish Mission, to the Hottentots, the Namas, the Herreros, and the Ovambos; the North-German Missions (Bremen and Hermannsburg) to Togoland and the Gold Coast; and, in the Transvaal, to the Basutos and the Zulus. Finally, there are the Scandinavian missions. The Swedes are established in the Italian colony of Erythræa; the Norwegians have an important mission at Betsileo, in Madagascar, numbering 50,000 Malagasy. With the exception of the German mission of Hermannsburg, and the Norwegian mission, which are distinctively Lutheran, all the others have various creeds difficult to specify. The English missions are notably rich and numerous. The most important only need be mentioned here, namely: The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, which dates from 1752, and labours on the Guinea Coast, at the Cape, and in Madagascar; The Church Missionary Society, founded in 1799, which has fifteen bishoprics in Africa; The London Missionary Society, established in 1795 on an undenominational basis, which made its action chiefly felt in South Africa, with Moffat and Dr. Livingstone; The Universities Missions Society, with its centre at Zanzibar; the Baptist Missions at Fernando Po, in the Kameruns and on the Congo; the Methodist Missions of Sierra Leone, the Niger, and the Gold Coast; the Scottish Missions, etc. The French Protestants, in their turn, founded the Société des missions évangeliques at Paris, in 1824, which has sent its agents to the Basutos in northeastern Cape Colony, where they have been very successful; to the French Congo (Gaboon region), where they replaced the American Presbyterians (1892); to the Barotse country on the Upper Zambesi, and, finally, to Madagascar, where they have been called upon to take the place, to some extent, of the English missions (1895). Nor must the American missions be forgotten. Three denominations have taken the chief part in this work: the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Baptist Church, and the Presbyterian Church. The Methodists began their labours in the colony of Liberia from its very foundation (1820), but it was only in 1858 that they were able to establish a permanent bishopric there. The Baptists, also, have stations in Monrovia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Lagos. The most important missions, however, are those of the Presbyterians. In Egypt there is hardly a village on the Nile without one of their schools, under a Coptic master. Protestantism, therefore, shows considerable activity in Africa, seconded, as it is, by the magnificent generosity of its adherents and of its numerous native assistants. It would be impossible in an article of this kind to specify not only all the societies engaged in African missions, but also the stations they occupy, the personnel they employ, the funds at their disposal, or the number of neophytes which they profess to have gathered around them. The figures which might be quoted vary according to the documents consulted. There exists, moreover, no estimate of the total. Each year introduces startling discrepancies into the statistics, and in any attempt at exactitude, there is a risk of manifest error. However the most recent returns are as follows (1906):—
Protestant missionary societies in Africa, 95; Ordained missionaries, 1,158; Lay missionaries, 1,893; Native assistants employed, 15,732; Communicants, 274,650; Christians (approximately), 400,000.
To complete the information given above, we subjoin a list of the principal societies, with their spheres of labour. American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Benguela, Rhodesia, Natal; American Baptist Union, Congo State; American Lutherans, Liberia; African Methodist Episcopal Missions, Liberia and South Africa; American (North) Presbyterians, Liberia, Kameruns, Gaboon; American (South) Baptists, Liberia, Yoruba; American (South) Presbyterians, Congo State; American Presbyterians (United), Egypt; African Zion Methodists, Liberia; Basler Mission, Gold Coast, Kameruns; Balolo Mission, Congo State; Moravian Mission, Cape, Kaffraria, German Africa; Berliner Mission (Berlin I), Cape, Orange Colony, Transvaal, Rhodesia, German Africa; Church Missionary Society, Sierra Leone, Yoruba, Nigeria, Seychelles, German Africa, East Africa, Uganda, Egypt; Congregational Union, Cape, Orange Colony, Deutsche Baptisten, Kameruns; Evang. Missionsgesellschaft für Deutsche Africa (Berlin III):