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An Ecclesiastical History To The 20th Year Of The Reign Of Constantine by Eusebius

THUS, then, under a celestial influence and co-operation, the doctrine of the Saviour, like the rays of the sun, quickly irradiated the whole world. Presently, in accordance with divine prophecy, the sound of his inspired evangelists and apostles had gone throughout all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. Throughout every city and village, like a replenished barn floor, churches were rapidly found abounding, and filled with members from every people. Those who, in consequence of the delusions that had descended to them from their ancestors, had been fettered by the ancient disease of idolatrous superstition, were now liberated, by the power of Christ, through the teaching and miracles of his messengers. And, as if delivered from dreadful masters, and emancipated from the most cruel bondage, on the one hand renounced the whole multitude of gods and demons, and on the other, confessed that there was only one true God, the Creator of all things. This same God they now also honoured with the rites of a true piety, under the influence of that inspired and reasonable worship which had been planted among men by our Saviour. But the gratuitous benevolence of God being now poured out also upon the rest of the nations, Cornelius was the first of Cæsarea in Palestine, who, with his whole house, received the faith in Christ, through a divine vision and the agency of Peter; as did also a great number of Greeks at Antioch, to whom the gospel had been preached by those who were scattered by the persecution of Stephen.

The church at Antioch, also, now flourishing and abounding in members, and the greatest number of teachers coming hither from Jerusalem, with whom were Barnabas and Paul, and many other brethren with them, the epithet of Christians first sprung up at that place, as from a grateful and productive soil. Agabus, also, one of the assembled prophets, uttered a prediction respecting the impending famine, and Paul and Barnabas were delegated to proceed to the relief of the necessities of the brethren.








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