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PREFACE.
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He who judges the first century by the nineteenth will fall into countless1 errors. He who thinks that the Christianity of the fourth century was identical with that of the New-Testament3 period, will go widely astray. He who does not look carefully into the history of religions before the time of Christ, and into the pagan influences which surrounded infant Christianity, cannot understand its subsequent history. He who cannot rise above denominational limitations and credal restrictions4 cannot become a successful student of early Church history, nor of present tendencies, nor of future developments. History is a series of results, not a medley5 of happenings. It is the story of the struggle between right and wrong; the record of God’s dealing6 with men. The “historic argument” is invaluable7, because history preserves God’s verdicts concerning human choices and actions. Events and epochs, transitions and culminations8, are the organized causes and effects which create the never-ceasing movement, and the organic unity9 called history. Hence we learn that[vi] ideas and principles, like apples, have their time for development and ripening10; that the stains of sin, the weakness of error, and the influence of truth commingle11 and perdure through the centuries; that good and evil, sin and righteousness, persist, or are eliminated, in proportion as men heed12 God’s voice, and listen to His verdicts.

The scientific study of history reveals the norm by which ideas, creeds13, movements, and methods are to be tested. Such a standard, when contrasted with the speculations14 of philosophy, is granite15, compared with sand. God’s universal law, enunciated16 by Christ, is: “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

The efforts of partisans17 to manipulate early history in the interest of special views and narrow conceptions, have been a fruitful source of error. Equally dangerous has been the assumption that the Christianity of the third, fourth, and fifth centuries was identical with that of the New Testament, or was a fair representative of it. The constant development of new facts shows that at the point where the average student takes up the history of Western Christianity, it was already fundamentally corrupted18 by pagan theories and practices. Its unfolding, from that time to the present, must be studied in the light of this fact. The rise, development, present status, and future[vii] history of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, cannot be justly considered, apart from this fact. The fundamental principles, and the underlying19 philosophy of these divisions of Christendom originated in the paganizing of early Christianity. This fact makes the re-study of the beginnings of Christianity of supreme20 importance. The pagan systems which ante-dated Christ, exercised a controlling influence on the development of the first five centuries of Western Christianity, and hence, of all subsequent times. This field has been too nearly “an unknown land,” to the average student, and therefore correct answers have been wanting to many questions which arise, when we leave Semitic soil, and consider Christianity in its relation to Greek and Roman thought. “Early Christianity” cannot be understood except in the light of these powerful, pre-Christian2 currents of influence; and present history cannot be separated from them.

This book presents a suggestive rather than an exhaustive treatment of these influences, and of their effect on historic Christianity. The author has aimed to make a volume which busy men may read, rather than one whose bulk would relegate21 it to the comparative silence of library shelves. The following pages treat four practical points in Christianity, without attempting to enter the field[viii] of speculative22 theology, leaving that to a future time, or to the pen of another—viz.: The influence of pagan thought upon the Bible, and its interpretation23; upon the organized Church, through the pagan water-worship cult24; upon the practices and spiritual life of the Church by substituting pagan holidayism for Christian Sabbathism, through the sun-worship cult; and upon the spiritual life and subsequent character of the Church, by the union of Church and State, and the subjugation25 of Christianity to the civil power, according to the pagan model. Facts do not cease to be facts, though denied and ignored. They do not withdraw from the field of history, though men grow restive26 under their condemnation27. I have dealt mainly with facts, giving but brief space to “conclusions.” I have written for those who are thoughtful and earnest; who are anxious to know what the past has been, that they may the better understand the duties of the present and the unfolding issues of the future. Such will not read the following pages with languid interest nor careless eyes.

The issues involved are larger than denominational lines, or the boundaries of creeds. They are of special interest to Protestants, since they involve not only the reasons for the revolt against Roman Catholicism, but the future relations of these divisions[ix] of Christendom, to each other, and to the Bible. The supreme source of authority in religion is directly at issue in the questions here treated. That is a definite and living question which cannot be waived28 aside. At this threshold, the author extends the welcome which each searcher after facts and fundamental truths gives to fellow investigators29.

Abram Herbert Lewis.

Room 100, Bible House,
New York City, May, 1892.

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 countless 7vqz9L     
adj.无数的,多得不计其数的
参考例句:
  • In the war countless innocent people lost their lives.在这场战争中无数无辜的人丧失了性命。
  • I've told you countless times.我已经告诉你无数遍了。
2 Christian KVByl     
adj.基督教徒的;n.基督教徒
参考例句:
  • They always addressed each other by their Christian name.他们总是以教名互相称呼。
  • His mother is a sincere Christian.他母亲是个虔诚的基督教徒。
3 testament yyEzf     
n.遗嘱;证明
参考例句:
  • This is his last will and testament.这是他的遗愿和遗嘱。
  • It is a testament to the power of political mythology.这说明,编造政治神话可以产生多大的威力。
4 restrictions 81e12dac658cfd4c590486dd6f7523cf     
约束( restriction的名词复数 ); 管制; 制约因素; 带限制性的条件(或规则)
参考例句:
  • I found the restrictions irksome. 我对那些限制感到很烦。
  • a snaggle of restrictions 杂乱无章的种种限制
5 medley vCfxg     
n.混合
参考例句:
  • Today's sports meeting doesn't seem to include medley relay swimming.现在的运动会好象还没有混合接力泳这个比赛项目。
  • China won the Men's 200 metres Individual Medley.中国赢得了男子200米个人混合泳比赛。
6 dealing NvjzWP     
n.经商方法,待人态度
参考例句:
  • This store has an excellent reputation for fair dealing.该商店因买卖公道而享有极高的声誉。
  • His fair dealing earned our confidence.他的诚实的行为获得我们的信任。
7 invaluable s4qxe     
adj.无价的,非常宝贵的,极为贵重的
参考例句:
  • A computer would have been invaluable for this job.一台计算机对这个工作的作用会是无法估计的。
  • This information was invaluable to him.这个消息对他来说是非常宝贵的。
8 culminations ba0dfd22fdb497c1265845527e393622     
n.顶点,极点(culmination的复数形式)
参考例句:
  • For some stars both culminations take place above the horizon. 有些星星两个中天都出现在地平之上。 来自辞典例句
9 unity 4kQwT     
n.团结,联合,统一;和睦,协调
参考例句:
  • When we speak of unity,we do not mean unprincipled peace.所谓团结,并非一团和气。
  • We must strengthen our unity in the face of powerful enemies.大敌当前,我们必须加强团结。
10 ripening 5dd8bc8ecf0afaf8c375591e7d121c56     
v.成熟,使熟( ripen的现在分词 );熟化;熟成
参考例句:
  • The corn is blossoming [ripening]. 玉米正在开花[成熟]。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • When the summer crop is ripening, the autumn crop has to be sowed. 夏季作物成熟时,就得播种秋季作物。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 commingle BXtzR     
v.混合
参考例句:
  • I think I'll commingle some of these blue flowers with the pink ones.我想把一些蓝花和粉红花搀在一起。
  • Ground waters originating in different beds commingle.来源于不同层位的地下水相互混合。
12 heed ldQzi     
v.注意,留意;n.注意,留心
参考例句:
  • You must take heed of what he has told.你要注意他所告诉的事。
  • For the first time he had to pay heed to his appearance.这是他第一次非得注意自己的外表不可了。
13 creeds 6087713156d7fe5873785720253dc7ab     
(尤指宗教)信条,教条( creed的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • people of all races, colours and creeds 各种种族、肤色和宗教信仰的人
  • Catholics are agnostic to the Protestant creeds. 天主教徒对于新教教义来说,是不可知论者。
14 speculations da17a00acfa088f5ac0adab7a30990eb     
n.投机买卖( speculation的名词复数 );思考;投机活动;推断
参考例句:
  • Your speculations were all quite close to the truth. 你的揣测都很接近于事实。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • This possibility gives rise to interesting speculations. 这种可能性引起了有趣的推测。 来自《用法词典》
15 granite Kyqyu     
adj.花岗岩,花岗石
参考例句:
  • They squared a block of granite.他们把一块花岗岩加工成四方形。
  • The granite overlies the older rocks.花岗岩躺在磨损的岩石上面。
16 enunciated 2f41d5ea8e829724adf2361074d6f0f9     
v.(清晰地)发音( enunciate的过去式和过去分词 );确切地说明
参考例句:
  • She enunciated each word slowly and carefully. 她每个字都念得又慢又仔细。
  • His voice, cold and perfectly enunciated, switched them like a birch branch. 他的话口气冰冷,一字一板,有如给了他们劈面一鞭。 来自辞典例句
17 partisans 7508b06f102269d4b8786dbe34ab4c28     
游击队员( partisan的名词复数 ); 党人; 党羽; 帮伙
参考例句:
  • Every movement has its partisans. 每一运动都有热情的支持者。
  • He was rescued by some Italian partisans. 他被几名意大利游击队员所救。
18 corrupted 88ed91fad91b8b69b62ce17ae542ff45     
(使)败坏( corrupt的过去式和过去分词 ); (使)腐化; 引起(计算机文件等的)错误; 破坏
参考例句:
  • The body corrupted quite quickly. 尸体很快腐烂了。
  • The text was corrupted by careless copyists. 原文因抄写员粗心而有讹误。
19 underlying 5fyz8c     
adj.在下面的,含蓄的,潜在的
参考例句:
  • The underlying theme of the novel is very serious.小说隐含的主题是十分严肃的。
  • This word has its underlying meaning.这个单词有它潜在的含义。
20 supreme PHqzc     
adj.极度的,最重要的;至高的,最高的
参考例句:
  • It was the supreme moment in his life.那是他一生中最重要的时刻。
  • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起诉书送交最高法院。
21 relegate ttsyT     
v.使降级,流放,移交,委任
参考例句:
  • We shall relegate this problem to the organizing committee.我们将把这个问题委托组织委员会处理。
  • She likes to relegate difficult questions to her colleagues.她总是把困难的问题推给她同事。
22 speculative uvjwd     
adj.思索性的,暝想性的,推理的
参考例句:
  • Much of our information is speculative.我们的许多信息是带推测性的。
  • The report is highly speculative and should be ignored.那个报道推测的成分很大,不应理会。
23 interpretation P5jxQ     
n.解释,说明,描述;艺术处理
参考例句:
  • His statement admits of one interpretation only.他的话只有一种解释。
  • Analysis and interpretation is a very personal thing.分析与说明是个很主观的事情。
24 cult 3nPzm     
n.异教,邪教;时尚,狂热的崇拜
参考例句:
  • Her books aren't bestsellers,but they have a certain cult following.她的书算不上畅销书,但有一定的崇拜者。
  • The cult of sun worship is probably the most primitive one.太阳崇拜仪式或许是最为原始的一种。
25 subjugation yt9wR     
n.镇压,平息,征服
参考例句:
  • The Ultra-Leftist line was a line that would have wrecked a country, ruined the people, and led to the destruction of the Party and national subjugation. 极左路线是一条祸国殃民的路线,亡党亡国的路线。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • This afflicted German intelligence with two fatal flaws: inefficiency, and subjugation to a madman. 这给德国情报工作造成了两个致命的弱点,一个是缺乏效率,另一个是让一个疯子总管情报。 来自辞典例句
26 restive LWQx4     
adj.不安宁的,不安静的
参考例句:
  • The government has done nothing to ease restrictions and manufacturers are growing restive.政府未采取任何措施放松出口限制,因此国内制造商变得焦虑不安。
  • The audience grew restive.观众变得不耐烦了。
27 condemnation 2pSzp     
n.谴责; 定罪
参考例句:
  • There was widespread condemnation of the invasion. 那次侵略遭到了人们普遍的谴责。
  • The jury's condemnation was a shock to the suspect. 陪审团宣告有罪使嫌疑犯大为震惊。
28 waived 5fb1561b535ff0e477b379c4a7edcd74     
v.宣布放弃( waive的过去式和过去分词 );搁置;推迟;放弃(权利、要求等)
参考例句:
  • He has waived all claim to the money. 他放弃了索取这笔钱的权利。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I waived the discourse, and began to talk of my business. 我撇开了这个话题,开始讲我的事情。 来自辞典例句
29 investigators e970f9140785518a87fc81641b7c89f7     
n.调查者,审查者( investigator的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • This memo could be the smoking gun that investigators have been looking for. 这份备忘录可能是调查人员一直在寻找的证据。
  • The team consisted of six investigators and two secretaries. 这个团队由六个调查人员和两个秘书组成。 来自《简明英汉词典》


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