The Roman Empire And Christianity -- By: Barnas Sears

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 020:78 (Apr 1863)
Article: The Roman Empire And Christianity
Author: Barnas Sears

The Roman Empire And Christianity1

Rev. B. Sears

A few years ago French materialism was revived in Germany, and lifted its head in a somewhat threatening manner, under the form of a demonstration from “the exact sciences” that Christianity was a fable. The result was good. Men of real science were induced to turn their attention to the subject, and the consequence was that a demonstration, to which no reply has been attempted, was given by them, that the pretended connection between materialism and “the exact sciences,” was a fable.

More recently, the Deism of England has been revived in a similar manner, in the land of its birth, by men who profess to utter their doubts or disbelief, in the name of science and learning. They are already in a fair way to be disposed of in the same manner as their German neighbors, predecessors, and teachers were. The essayists, represent-

ing almost every shade of unbelief and every form of sophistry, from the most shallow to the most subtile, have aroused the English mind, which had too long slumbered over the achievements of the great Christian apologists of former generations, and given it a healthier and more vigorous tone. Indeed, this sudden outbreak of scepticism in England is attributable, not so much to the advancement of science as to the stagnation of sacred learning in the national church. That men, with such facilities for profound learning such universities, such foundations and fellowships; that professors, enjoying such sinecures, and prelates having such incomes, should suffer the national church to come to the very verge of bankruptcy in biblical learning, has long been a matter of regret in this country, and is now apparently one of surprise and grief to the better part of the whole English nation. Some signs of this are given in the numerous replies to the “Essays and Reviews “that have already been published. Still better signs of a return of English scholars to their former well-earned renown, are furnished in substantial works of an independent and positive character, such as those produced by Ellicott and Westcott.

It is with unfeigned pleasure that we have perused the work named at the head of this Article — a work of profound, original research, furnishing, in a historical way, important positive proof of the actual results of the introduction of Christianity into the ancient Roman world. Replies to the objections urged against Christianity, although necessary often for local and temporary effect, are, on account of their want of unity, their wearisome details, and purely negative character, the least satisfactory of the various ...

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