The inveterate hostility manifested towards the Christians forbade them the rights even of ordinary criminals. 79, were due to the close bonds which united the Christians together in a true fraternity, and to the care with which they shielded the higher mysteries of their religious worship from any risk of profanation by the heathen outsiders . The two main charges brought against the Christians, Sacrilege and Disloyalty to the Emperor, stood on a different base. The immediate purpose of the APOLOGY was to protest against the wholesale condemnation of a body of men on the mere presumption of a criminality which had never been proved. 40-44, arose from mere popular irrational dislike, which seized anything as a handle against a section of society whose purity and integrity of life were a standing rebuke to the dissolute morals of the age. It may be said at once that there is much in this picture which is painful; few English readers will have been prepared for the hideous disclosures which Tertullian's exposure of heathenism necessarily entails; yet it may prove a useful lesson, if it in any way brings home to us what and how deep was the moral darkness of the world which it was the divine office of the Christian Church to enlighten and purify. The work is one of the best and most interesting examples of Western apologetic writings, both on account of the cogency and brilliance of its defensive pleading for Christianity, and from the graphic picture which it portrays of paganism as it existed in the great metropolis of Africa particularly, and in the Roman Empire generally, at the close of the second century.Yet your chief deities are foreigners, who once reigned on earth, and therefore must some time have worshipped your earliest deities. This we refuse to do, and are therefore accused, secondly, of Disloyalty to Caesar (ch. The gods are the creatures of Caesar, and cannot therefore have his welfare in their keeping (ch. We offer for Caesar's welfare prayers and true sacrifices to the True God, in Whose hands alone it is (ch. And our prayers for him are no pretence, but part of our bounden religious duty (ch. The injustice of condemning the Christian Religion unheard and unknown.
He is the True Word, Reason, and Power of God, Who, begotten eternally by His Father, and being Co-essential with Him was made Flesh.This, then, is the first point we bring before you, the injustice of your hatred of the Christian name.And the very pretext which seems to excuse this injustice, namely ignorance, both aggravates and clenches it.Will not their power rather be extolled hereby, that they will condemn the truth even after she has been heard?Whereas if men condemn her unheard, besides the odium of an injustice done, they will be suspected, and justly, of not being altogether unconscious that they are refusing to hear that which, if they heard, they could not condemn.For what ran be more unjust than for men to hate that of which they are ignorant, even supposing it to deserve their hatred?For then only does it deserve hatred when it is ascertained whether it deserve it. The plan and execution of this edition are both good, the annotations being an advance upon anything of the kind we have seen in English." Saturday Review, Nov. Language, doctrine, ritual, and archaeology have, each and all, received due attention, and for examination purposes, perhaps, nothing more could be desired." THE present volume grew naturally out of my special study of the APOLOGETICUS of Tertullian when preparing an annotated edition for the Delegates of the Clarendon Press. This attack upon paganism is carried on simultaneously with the defence of Christianity. Bindley for a good edition of one of the most interesting documents of the early Church, the Apology of Tertullian. Bindley has read up his subject thoroughly, and gives the results of his studies in a compact and serviceable form. ---- Page 4, line 5 from bottom, for of which the criminal is proud, read to be found guilty of which is a man's pride, Page 23, line 2, for II. They were prosecuted under the laws, and persecuted by a panic-stricken populace, whose unreasoning animosity, and ignorance of the true nature of the Christian religion, led to the formulation of execrable charges which the Christian Apologists had to meet and repel . They were reasonable enough from the heathen point of sight, and the Apologist could only refute them by attacking the whole groundwork and fabric of the Roman religion of the time. Before his conversion it is believed that Tertullian practised in the provincial law-courts; and the constant recurrence of legal phraseology in his writings bears out the truth of Eusebius' statement that he was intimately acquainted with Roman law (H. It was this unrestrained impulsiveness of nature that soon beguiled him to break away from the wise moderation of rhe Church and to embrace the heresy of Montanus,a Phrygian fanatic, who claimed to be the recipient of a new Revelation of the Paraclete, and whose system of discipline was rigorously severe. THE life of Tertullian, so far as we know it, may be briefly told. His father, whose name is not known, was a centurion in attendance upon the proconsul of Africa, and he took care that his son, who was probably intended for public life, should receive an excellent education in the celebrated schools of his native city. Tertullian's conversion may be dated in 196 the typical African temperament,fervid, impatient, impetuous, and with a considerable vein of latent puritanism.