Associate professor of church history princeton theological seminary baker book house

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a. Ancient Christianity.

b. Medieval Christianity.

o. Modern Christianity. VI. Value.

VII. Literature.

1. Ancient Historians.

2. Historians from 1500 to 1800.

3. Historians from 1800 to 1900.

4. Manuals of Church His­tory in One or More Volumes.

5. Histories of Doctrine.

8. Chronological Tables.

7. Atlases.

I. Nature and Aim: Church history em­braces, in the widest sense, the whole religious development from the creation to the present time, and is continually growing in bulk. In a narrower sense, it is confined to a history of Christianity and the Christian Church from the birth of Christ and the Day of Pentecost, when Christianity made its first appearance in an organized form as distinct from the Jewish religion. The historian has to trace the origin, growth, and fortunes of the Church, and to reproduce its life in the different ages. The value of his work depends upon the degree of its truthfulness, or exact corre­spondence with the facts. Church history is not a heap of dry bones, but life and power: it is the Church itself in constant motion and progress from land to land, and from age to age, until the whole world shall be filled with the knowledge of Christ. It is the most interesting part of the world's history, as religion is the deepest and most important concern of man, the bond that unites him to God. It embraces the external expansion and contraction of Christianity, or the history of missions and persecutions, the visible organization of church polity and discipline, the development of doctrine and theology, the wor­ship, with its various rites and ceremonies, litur­gies, sacred poetry and music, the manifestations of practical piety, Christian morality, and benevo­lent institutions; in one word, all that belongs to the inner and outer life of Christianity in the world. It is a panorama of God's dealings with the human race, and man's relations to God under all aspects. It shows the gradual unfolding of the plan of redemption a plan of infinite wisdom and goodness, in constant conflict with the Satanic

powers and influences which are struggling for the ascendancy, but are doomed to ultimate de­feat, and to be overruled for good. It is the great­est triumph of God's wisdom to bring good out of evil, and to overrule the wrath of man for his own glory and for the progress of truth and right­eousness. Church history is a book of life, full of warning and precept, of hope and encouragement.

II. Church History and Secular History: These differ as Church and State, as Christianity and humanity, as the order of grace and the order of nature; yet they are inseparably connected, and the one can not be understood without the other. Among the Jews the spiritual and secular history together form the one history of theocracy. Both currents intermingle in the Byzantine Empire, in the European States and the Latin Church during the Middle Ages, in the period of the Refor­mation, during the colonial period of America, and in all countries where Church and State are united. Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is in great part also a history of the rise and progress of Christianity, which survived the fall of Old and New Rome, and went forth to conquer the barbarian conquerors by Christianizing and civilizing them. Every history of the papacy is also a history of the German Roman Empire, and vice versa. No history of the sixteenth century can be written without constant reference to the Protestant Reformation and Roman Catholic reac­tion. The Franciscan, Dominican, and Jesuit mis­sions along the St. Lawrence, down the Mississippi, and in Mexico, Florida, and the islands of the Caribbean Sea, and the Puritan settlements of New England are the beginning, alike of the ecclesias­tical and secular history of North America.. In modern times the tendency is more and more toward a separation of the spiritual and temporal powers; nevertheless, the Church will always be influenced by the surrounding state of civil society, and must adapt itself to the wants of the age, and progress of events; while, on the other hand, the world will always feel the moral influence, the restraining, stimulating, and sanctifying power of Christianity, which works like a leaven from within upon the ramifications of society.

III. Sources: These are mostly written, though in part unwritten. The written sources include (1) The official documents of ecclesiastical and civil authorities, such as acts of councils, creeds, litur­gies, hymn books, church laws, papal bulls and

encyclicals. (2) The writings of the 1. Written personal actors in the history, and

Sources. contemporary observers and reporters,

such as the Fathers for ancient Chris­tianity, the Schoohnen for medieval, the Reformers and their opponents for the Reformation period. (3) Inscriptions on walls, pictures, churches, tomb­stones, and other monuments. The history of the Hebrew religion has derived much light from mod­ern discoveries of monumental remains in Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria (qq.v.), the deciphering of the hieroglyphic and cuneiform inscriptions, the Moabite Stone, and the code of Hammurabi. See INaCRIP1RONa; MOAHITE STONE; and HAMMBRABI AND HIS CODE.


The unwritten sources are works of Christian art, such as churches, chapels, pictures, sculp­tures, crosses, crucifixes, relics, and other monu­ments which symbolize and embody Christian ideas. The Roman catacombs, with their vast extent, their solemn darkness, their labyrinthine mystery,

their rude epitaphs and sculptures, 8. Un  their symbols of faith, and their relics

written of martyrdom, give a lifelike idea of

Sources  the Church in the period of perse 

cution, its trials and sufferings, its faith and hope, its simple worship and devoted piety. " He who is thoroughly steeped in the imagery of the catacombs will be nearer to the thoughts of the early Church than he who has learned by heart the moat elaborate treatises of Tertullian or Origen." The basilicas are charao­teristic of the Nicene period; the Byzantine churches, of the Byzantine age and the Eastern and Russian Church; the Gothic cathedrals, of the palmy days of medieval Catholicism; the Renais­sance style, of, the revival of letters. Even now, moat churches and sects can be best appreciated in the localities, and in view of the monuments and the people, where they originated, or have their center of life and action.

IV. Duty of the Historian: The historian moat master the sources in the original languages in

which they were written (Greek, Latin, 1. Investi  Syriac, Coptic, and the modern lan 

eation. guagea of Europe); separating the

genuine from the spurious, the orig­inal from corruptions and interpolations, sifting the truth from falsehood, the facts from fiction and partizan judgment, comparing the accounts of all actors, friend and foe, narrator, eulogist, advo­cate, and antagonist, whether orthodox or heretic, whether Christian, Jew, or Gentile, aiming in all this laborious investigation at " the truth, the whole truth, sad nothing but the truth."

He must, then, reproduce the clearly ascertained facts and results of his investigation in a faithful and lifelike narrative, so as to present the objective course of history itself, as it were, in a photo­graph, or rather in an artistic painting; for a photograph gives a dull view of the momentary look of a person, while the portrait of the artist combines the changing moods and various aspects of his subject into a living whole. The genuine

writer of history differs as much from 2. Pres  the dry chronicler, of isolated facts

entation and dates as from the novelist. He

of Results. mgt represent both thoughts and

facts. He must particularize and gen­eralize, descend into minute details and take a comprehensive bud's eye view of whole ages and periods. He must have a judicial mind, which deals impartially with all persons and events com­ing before his tribunal. He moat be free from partizan and sectarian bias, and aim at justice and truth. It is the exclusive privilege of the divine mind to view all things sub specie crternitatis, and to seethe end from the beginning. Man,,, know things only consecutively and in fragments. But his­tory is its own best interpreter; and the farther it advances the more one is able to understand III. 7

and appreciate the past. Historians differ in gifts and vocation. Some are miners, who bring out the raw material from the sources (Flacius, Baronius, Tillemont, Gieseler, Denifle, Harnack, Pastor); others are manufacturers, who work up the material for the use of scholars (Bosauet, Mos­heim, Gibbon, Dollinger, Milman, Neander). Some are wholesale merchants, some retailers. Some are bold critics, who open new avenues of thought (Ewald, Baur, Renan); others popularize the re­sults of laborious researches for the general benefit (Hagenbach, Merle, Hale, Preasens5, Fisher).

V. Periods and Epochs: These represent the different stages in the religious development of the race. They must not be made arbitrarily, according to a mechanical scheme (such as the centurial division, introduced by Flaciua in the "Magdeburg Centuries," and followed by Mos­heim), but taken from the actual stops or start­ing points (which is the real meaning of "epoch," from Gk. epech8, " to atop,y' 11 to pause") and circuits (Gk. pCridoi) of the history itself. The following are the natural divisions:

1. Sacred or Biblical History: The history of divine revelation, from the creation to the close of the apostolic age, running parallel with the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation. Here dis­tinction must be made between the dispensation of the Law and the dispensation of the Gospel, or the history of the Old Covenant religion and that of the New Covenant religion.

2. Christian History or Ecclesiastical History

proper, from the beginning of the apostolic age to modern times. Subdivisions:

(a) History of Ancient Christianity, embracing the first six centuries to Gregory I. (590): Gre­co Latin, Patristic, Catholic, the common stock from which the Greek, the Roman, and the Prot­estant churches have sprung. Subdivisions: (1) The life of Christ and the apostolic age. (2) The age of persecution, to Constantine the Great and the Council of Nicaea (325). (3) The age of the union of Church and State, of the formulation of Christian doctrine, and ecumenical councils (to 590). Some historians carry ancient Christianity down to Charlemagne (800) and the beginning of the Holy Roman Empire and the temporal power of the papacy. In this case there is a fourth sub­division, from Gregory I. to Charlemagne (590 to 800). But Charlemagne belongs to the Middle Ages and the Germanic phase of Christianity.

('b) History of Xedieval Christianity, from the close of the sixth to the beginning of the six­teenth century, or from Gregory the Great (590), the first medieval pope, to Luther (1517). The\ Greek and Roman churches, divided since the con­troversy of Photius and Pope Nicholas L, pursue their independent course. The papacy receives its full development, the Holy Roman Empire is the dominant power, religious thought gradually moves toward the Reformation, and Western Europe comes more and more into prominence. Sub­divisions: (1) The missionary period, Gregory I. to Gregory VII. (594 1050); the Church spreads among the Celtic, Slavonic, and Teutonic races of Northern and Western Europe, Mohammedanism


originates and grows, the Great Schism occurs between the East and the West. (2) The absolute papacy, Gregory VII. to Boniface VIII. (1050­1294) the period of the Crusades, the rise of the mendicant orders, scholasticism, the rise of the uni­versities and Gothic architecture, the development of heretical sects, and the Inquisition. (3) The decline of the papacy and signs of the Reformation, Boniface VIII. to Luther's theses (1294 1517)­the " exile " of the popes at Avignon, the papal schism, the reforming councils of Pisa, Constance, and Basel, Wyclif, Hues, Savonarola, Wessel, the German mystics, Eckhart and Tauler, the Renais­sance, the discovery of printing and the New World.

(c) History of Modern Christianity, from the Reformation (1517) to the present time. Protes­tantism and Romaniam; founding of the various Evangelical Churches (the Lutheran, Calvinistic, Anglican, etc.); restoration and revival of Roman­iam; the Council of Trent; Jesuitism; Jansenism; the Puritan conflict in England; the Westminster Assembly; the restoration of the Episcopal Church under Charles IL; the expulsion of the Stuarts; the Edict of Toleration; the organization of the dis­senting denominations (Presbyterians, Independ­ents, Baptists, Quakers); the settlement of North America.; Pietism and the Moraviaua in Germany; the rise of rationalism in Germany, deism in Eng­land; the Methodist revival in England and the Colonies; the French Revolution and spread of infidelity; organization of philanthropic agencies, the Sunday school, and modern missions; progress and triumph of ultramontane Romanism, culmi­nating in the Vatican Council (1870); conflict of faith with rationalism and infidelity; growth of the churches in the United States on the basis of the voluntay principle; unioniatic movement among English speaking Protestants; the new criticism, based on the historic study of the Scriptures and early church history, shaking traditional views of the Old Testament and the person and mission of Christ. Subdivisions: (1) The age of the Protes­tant Reformation and the Roman Catholic Coun­terreformation or reaction (1517 1648). (2) The age of scholastic and polemic cenfessionalism, in conflict with non conformity and subjective piety (1650 1750). (3) The age of rationalism and re­ligious revival and church union (1750 1900).

VI. Value: The study of history enables one to understand the present, which is the fruit of the past and the germ of the future. It is the richest storehouse of wisdom and experience. It is the best commentary of Christianity. It is full of comfort and encouragement. It verifies on ev­ery page the promise of the Savior to be with his people always, and to build his Church on an indestructible rock. It exhibits his life in all its form and phases, and the triumphant march of his kingdom from land to land and generation to generation. Earthly empires, systems of philoso­phy, have their day, human institutions decay, all things of this world bloom and fade away, like the grass of the field; but the Christian religion has the dew of perennial youth, survives all changes, makes steady progress from age to age, overcomes all persecution from without, and corruption from

within, is now stronger and more widely spread than ever before, directs the course of civilization, hnd bears the hopes of the human race. The history of the world is governed in the interest, and for the ultimate triumph, of Christianity. The experience of the past is a sure guaranty of the future.

VII. Literature: Only works on general church history will be mentioned here.

1. Ancient Historians: Euaebius (d. 340)­" Church History" from the birth of Christ to Constantine the Great, 324 and his successors in the Greek Church, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret. The Latin Church (e.g., Ru&nus) contented itself with translations and extracts from Eueebius and his continuators. The Middle Ages produced moat valuable material for history (chronicles, papal bulls, theological treatises, etc.), but no great gen­eral church history; the Reformation first called forth the spirit of critical inquiry.

2. Historians from 1800 to 1800: Matthias Flacius (d. 1575) and other Lutheran divines of Germany wrote the " Magdeburg Centuries" (Latin, Basel, 1559 74), covering thirteen Christian cen­turies in as many volumes the first history from a Protestant point of view, in opposition to the claims of Romaniam (see MAGDE131URG CErrrURIES). In defense of Romanism, and in refutation of Flacius, Ceesas Baronies (d. 1607) wrote in Latin " Ecclesiastical Annals," in 12 folio vole. (Rome, 1588 sqq.; new ed., by A. Theiner, Bar le Duc, 1868 sqq.), continued by Raynaldus, Spondanus, Theiner, and others a work of extraordinary learning and industry, but to be used with caution. Tillemont (d. 1698), in his invaluable MQmoires (16 vole., Paris, 1693 1712), wrote the history of the first six centuries from the sources, in biblio­graphical style and in the spirit of the more liberal Gallican Catholicism. Gottfried Arnold (d. 1714), of the Pietistic school of Spener, in his Unpar­teiische Kirchen  and Ketzerhistorie (4 vole. folio, Frankfort, 1699 sqq.; to 1688 A.D.), advocated the interests of practical piety, and the ' claims of heretics and schismatice, and all those who suf­fered persecution from an intolerant hierarchy and orthodoxy. J. L. Moaheim (d. 1755) wrote his " Institutes of Ecclesiastical History " (in Latin, Helmstadt, 1755, and often since in several trans­lations) in the spirit of a moderate Lutheran or­thodoxy, with solid learning and impartiality, in clear style, after the centurial 'arrangement of Fla­cius, and furnished a convenient text book, which (in the translation of Murdock, with valuable supplements) has continued in use in England and America much longer, than in Germany. J. M. Sehroeekh's Christliche Kirchengeschichle (35 vole., Leipeic, 1768 1803), continued by Kirc&enge­schichte self der Reformation (10 vole., 1804 12), is far more extensive and far leas readable, but in­valuable for reference, and full of information from the sources. It forsakes the mechanical centurial division, and substitutes for it the periodic arrange­ment. H. P. K. Henke (d. 1809) followed with a thoroughly rationalistic work (6 vole., Brunswick, 1795 1806; continued by J. S. Voter, 3 vole.. 1818 20).


S. Historians from 1800 to 1900: August Nean­der, a converted Israelite, professor of church history in Berlin (d. 1850), marks an epoch in this branch of theological literature; and by his truly Christian, conscientious, impartial, truth loving, just, and liberal, and, withal, thoroughly learned and pro­found spirit and method, he earned the title of " Father of Church History." His Allgemeine Geschichte der ehristliehen Religion and Kirche (8 vole., Hamburg, 1825 52), though incomplete (it stops with the Council of Basel, 1430), and some­what diffuse and monotonous in style, is an im­mortal monument of genius and learning. It pays special attention to the development of Chris­tian life and doctrine, and is edifying as well as instructive. It has been naturalized in England and America by the translation of Professor Torrey (5 vole., Boston, 1847 52; 12th ed., 1872; new ed., with a complete index, 6 vole., 18$1), and will long be studied with profit, although in some re­spects superseded by more recent researches in the first three centuries. Equally valuable, though of an altogether different plan and spirit, is the Kirchengeschichte of J. K. L. Gieseler (5 vole., Bonn, 1$24 56), translated first by Cunningham in Philadelphia (1846), then by Davidson and Hull in England, and revised and completed by H. B. Smith of New York (5 vole., 1857 SO). The text is a meager skeleton of facts and dates; but the body of the work consists of carefully selected extracts and proof texts from the sources which furnish the data for an independent jtidg­ment. F. C. Baur's work on church history, partly published after his death (5 vole., Tiibingen, 1853 aqq.), is distinguished for philosophic grasp, critical combinations, and bold conjectures, especially in the treatment of the apostolic and poatapoatolia ages, and the ancient heresies and systems of loo­trine. K. R. Hagenbach's Kirchengeachichte (7 vole., Leipsic, 1869 sqq.; revised ed., by Nipgold, 1885 sqq.) is a popular digest for the educated lay reader. Philip Schaff's History of the Christian Church (3 vole., New York, 1859 sqq.; Germ, ed. of the 1st three vole., Leipaic, 1868, revised ed. of same in English, New York, 1882 1907) is written from the Anglo German and Anglo American standpoint. H. C. Sheldon's History of the Christian Church (5 vole., New York, 1894) is by an American Meth­odist. England has produced greater works in special departments than in general church history   e.g., Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Mihnau's Latin Christianity, Stanley's Jewish Church and Eastern Church, Farrar'a Life of Christ, The Apostle Paul, and Early Days of Chris­tianity, J. B. Lightfoot's Apostolic Fathers, Trench's Lectures On the Mediceval Church, the Texts and Studies ed. J. A. Robinson. George Waddington presents the general history to the Reformation inclusive (6 vole., London, 1833 aqq. ); his work is superseded by J. C. Robertson's History of the Christian Church to the Reformation (3 vole., Lon­don, 1854 sqq.; new ed., 8 small vole., 1875). The older work of Milner (d. 1797) is written in popular style for edification. The most valuable contribu­tions of modern English scholarship to ancient church history are found in Smith and Cheetham's


Church History

Dictionary of Christian Antiquities (2 vole., Lon­don, 1s75  so> and smith and wave's Dictionary of Christian Biography (4 vole., 1877 87). The largest Roman Catholic church history of recent times is Abbb Rohrbacher's Histoire universelle de l'eglise catholique (25 vole., Paris, 1842 sqq.).

¢, Xannals of Church History is One or More volumes: (a) Roman Catholic: J. J. I. von D81­linger (Vienna, 1836, unfinished; Eng. trawl., 4 vole., London, 18402); J. A. Mahler (posthumous, ed. P. B. Gams, 3 vole., Regensburg, 1867 70); J. B. Alzog (10th ed., by F. X. Kraus, 2 vole., Mains, 1882; Eng. trawl., 4 vole., London, 1879 82; 3 vole., Cincinnati, 1878); F. X. Kraus (3 parts, Trevea, 1872 75; 4th ed., 1896); J. Hergen­rbther (4th ed., ed. J. P. Kirsch, 3 vole., Freiburg, 1902 aqq.); F. X. Funk (4th ed., Paderborn, 1902); C. J. von Hefele (4th ed., by A. Knspfler, 1905). (b) Protestant: K. A. Hale (11th ed., Leipsic, 1886; a masterly miniature picture; Eng. trawl., New York, 1855); C. w. Niedner (2d ed., Berlin, 1868; very learned and very heavy); J. H. Kurtz (14th ed., by N. Bon­wetach and P. Tachackert, 2 vole., Leipaic, 1906; Eng. tranal., 3 vole., New York, 1888,89); A. Ebrard

(4 vole., Erlangen, 1865 67; polemically Reformed); J. J. Herzog (3 vole., Erlangen, 1880  82; moderately Reformed); E. Chastel (French, 4 vole., Paris,

1859  74; new ed., 1881 aqq.); H. Schmid (2 vole.,

Erlangen, 1881); K. A. Hase, Yorlesungen~ (4 vole.,

Leipsic, 1885 aqq.); R. Bohm (9th ed., Leipaic,

1894; Eng. transl., London, 1895); w. . Moller

(3 vole., Freiburg, 1889 94; 2d ed., by H. von

Schubert and G. Kawerau,1897 1902; Eng. transl.,

London, 1892 1900); Karl Milller (2 vole., TG­

bingen, 1892 1902); F. Loofa (Halls, 1901); H. von

Schubert (2d ed., Tiibingen, 1904). By American

and English scholars are G. P. Fisher, History o f

the Christian Church (New York, 1887); J. F. Hurst,

History o f the Christian Church (2 vole., New York,

1897 1900); A. H. Newman, Manual of Church His­

tory (2 vole., Philadelphia, 1900 03); Cheetham and

Hardwick, Church History _(4 vole., London, IM).

8. Histories of Doctrine: G. Milnscher (4 vole., Marburg, 1797 1809); F. C. Baur, Lehrbuch der Dog»engeachichte (Tiibingen, 1847; 3d ed., 1887); idem, Vorlesungen, ed. by his son (3 vole., Leipsic, 1865 67); A. Neander (ed. J. L. Jacobi, Berlin, 1857; Eng. tranal., 2 vole., London, 1858); K. R. Hagenbach (5th ed., Leipsic, 1867; Eng. trawl., 2 vole., Edinburgh, 1880); w. G. T. Shedd (2 vole., New York, 1863); G. Tliomasiua (2 vole., Erlangen, 1874 76); F. D. Nitzach (Berlin, 1870; unfin­ished); A. Harnack, Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte (3d ed., 3 vole., Freiburg, 1894 97; Eng. trawl., ? vole., London and Boston, 1895 1900); idem, "'''iss der Do9men9esehichte (4th ed., Freiburg, 1905; Eng, trawl., New York, 1893); F. Loofs (3d ed., Halls, 1893); R. Seeberg (2 vole., Leipsic, 1895 98); G. P. Fisher (Interaationat Theological Library, 1896); Ii. C. Sheldon (4th ed., 2 vole., New York, 1906). See Dooaaa, DoonswTiae.

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