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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    PREFACE

    This book is the outgrowth of some extracts which I copied into a pocket scrap-book a few years ago, thinking that it would often be convenient to have at hand the exact words of a few reliable historians, concerning the Fathers and their work, when the histories themselves might not be accessible. It soon occurred to me that something similar would be of value to others, especially since the Fathers are being appealed to more and more, and it is impossible for the majority, even of ministers, always to have access to their writings. Accordingly, extracts were made on a more extensive scale, and were woven together, the result being this book, which is in reality a brief account of the rise of that antichristian structure called the papacy, which was built on the foundation of the so-called Fathers, the heathen philosopher Plato being the chief corner-stone.FACC 3.1

    If any apology is needed for removing the veil of sanctity which has been thrown over the early church as a whole, I will make it in the words of Rev. Ralph Emerson, D. D., some time Professor of Ecclesiastical History in Andover Theological Seminary: “The fact that deadly falsehoods were circulated in the church by some men, and believed by multitudes, is itself a most important historic truth; and to suppress such a truth, instead of being a merit, is a fault which should rather crimson the cheek and set on fire the conscience of a modest and honest historian. It is itself but a tacit repetition of the crime of pious frauds which so deeply stained, not only heathen morality, but the early though not the primitive character of the church.”FACC 3.2

    Again, in the same article, which is on the “Early History of Monasticism,” Bibliotheca Sacra, May, 1844, after speaking of the policy of covering up such things, he says:—
    “This short-sighted and wordly policy, of late years so prevalent among the incautious Protestant churches, is in truth the very policy of Romanism. The Romanists plead that the full and fearless disclosures of the crimes and follies of good men, in the Bible, will be perilous to the virtue of the people, and will disparage religion itself in popular estimation. And so they conceal the good book. And thus Protestants fear that the uninspired disclosures of later crimes and follies in the church, may have a like effect. Such men as the excellent Milner, one age ago, knew not for what a crisis they were preparing the church by suppressing or gilding over the more revolting features of her early history. Satan himself could not have prompted such men to do him so great a service in any other way. He is not only the father of lies, but the greatest suppressor of a knowledge of those lies, when they come to be detected as lies; and for this purpose, he comes to good men, in the guise of an angel of light, and as the greatest friend to the church, and makes them his ready and devoted tools in a cause seemingly so charitable towards man and loyal towards God. And then, if we suppose him to possess the power, what better thing for his cause could the enemy of the church do, than just bid her advocates to look at her early state as well-nigh immaculate, and fearlessly to follow in her perilous steps?”
    FACC 3.3

    This work is designed especially for people who have not the time nor the means to become thoroughly informed in matters of church history; and also for itinerant ministers and Bible workers, who, even though they be well read, cannot carry a theological library with them from which to quote in time of need. It is hoped, also, that the book may serve as an incentive to some to make a systematic study of church history, and may aid them in so doing. And it is not impossible that the grouping of subjects may suggest new ideas, even to those who have read the entire history of the early church. Indeed, the book is mainly suggestive, the most exhaustive portion being the chapter on “Sun-worship and Sunday.” History repeats itself; and only he who knows the course of error in the past can be on his guard against its insidious approaches in the future.FACC 4.1

    Great care has been taken in verifying the historical references, so that the disputant who uses this book might feel as confident as though he had the original works. Nevertheless, infallibility is not an attribute of either author or proof-readers, and if anyone detects an error in any reference, I shall esteem it a favor to be informed of it. In the appendix will be found brief biographical sketches of some of the men from whose writings extracts have been made. It is thought that this addition will be of value to some who will use the book.FACC 5.1

    I would not forget to acknowledge the service rendered by my friends, Elders E. W. Farnsworth, W. C. White, and A. A. T. Jones, who read the book in manuscript, and made valuable suggestions.FACC 5.2

    And now the book is sent forth with the prayers of the writer that it may be instrumental in causing many to see the folly of man’s wisdom, and leading them to prize more highly than ever before the unerring word of God, which alone is able to make them wise unto salvation. E. J. W. Oakland, Cal., August 5, 1888.FACC 5.3

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