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Three Introductory Lectures on the Study of Ecclesiastical History

THREE INTRODUCTORY LECTURES


ON THE


Study of Ecclesiastical History.



BY

ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY, M.A.,

REGIUS PROFESSOR OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY; CANON OF CANTERBURY.



OXFORD,
AND 377, STRAND, LONDON:
JOHN HENRY and JAMES PARKER.
M DCCCLVII.

CONTENTS.

LECTURE I.— THE PROVINCE OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY.
PAGE
Description of Ecclesiastical History 1
I. Its first beginning 2
The History of Israel, the first period of the History of the Church 4
Its peculiar interest 5
Its religious importance 6
II. The History of Christendom, the second period of the History of the Church 10
Relations of Civil and Ecclesiastical History 11
Points of contact between them 15
Points of divergence 17
Stages of the History of the Christian Church 20
1. The Transition from the Church of the Apostles to the Church of the Fathers ib.
2. The Conversion of the Empire. The Eastern Church 22
3. The Invasion of the Barbarians. The Latin Church 23
4. The Reformation ib.
The German, French, and English Church 26
Conclusion. The late Professor Hussey 28
 
LECTURE II.— THE STUDY OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY.
Dryness of Ecclesiastical History 33
Remedy to be found in an Historical View of the Church 34
I. History of Doctrines 35
II. History of Creeds and Articles 35
III. History of Events and Persons 37
General Study 38
Detailed Study of great Events 39
The Councils ib.
Detailed Study of great Men 40
Neander and his History 41
Distinction of Characters 42
Uses of this Method:—
I. Gradation of Importance in Ecclesiastical Matters 44
II. Combination of Civil and Ecclesiastical History 45
III. Caution against Partiality 46
IV. Reference to Original Authorities 48
Graves of the Covenanters 50
The Catacombs 51
Special Opportunities for this Study:—
I. In the Church of England 52
II. In the University of Oxford 54
III. In active Clerical Life 56
Conclusion 59
 
LECTURE III.— THE ADVANTAGES OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY.
I. Importance of Historical Facts in Theological Study 62
II. Importance of a General View of Ecclesiastical History 65
III. Use of the Biography of good Men 67
IV. Use of the general Authority of the Church 69
V. Better Understanding of Differences and of Unity 72
VI. Evidence rendered to the Truth of Christianity 74
VII. Lessons from the Failings of the Church 75
VIII. Comparison of Ecclesiastical History with the Scriptures 76
IX. Future Prospect of the History of the Church 80
Indications in History 81
Indications in Scripture 82
Conclusion 85

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.