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

THAT Paul preached to the Gentiles, and established churches from Jerusalem and around as far as Illyricum, is evident both from his own expressions, and from the testimony of Luke in the book of Acts. And in what provinces Peter also proclaimed the doctrine of Christ, the doctrine of the New Covenant, appears from his own writings, and may be seen from that epistle we have mentioned as admitted in the canon, and which he addressed to the Hebrews in the dispersion throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. But how many and which of these, actuated by a genuine zeal, were judged suitable to feed the churches established by these apostles, it is not easy to say, any farther than may be gathered from the writings of Paul. For he, indeed, had innumerable fellow-labourers, or as he himself calls them, fellow-soldiers in the church. Of these, the greater part are honoured with an indelible remembrance by him in his epistles, where he gives a lasting testimony concerning them. Luke also, in his Acts, speaking of his friends, mentions them by name. Timothy, indeed, is recorded as having first received the episcopate at Ephesus (εν Epheso παροικιας), as Titus, also, was appointed over the churches in Crete. But Luke, who was born at Antioch, and by profession a physician, being for the most part connected with Paul, and familiarly acquainted with the rest of the apostles, has left us in two inspired books, the institutes of that spiritual healing art which he obtained from them. One of these is his gospel, in which he testifies that he has recorded, “as those who were from the beginning eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word,” delivered to him, whom also, he says, he has in all things followed. The other is his Acts of the Apostles, which he composed, not from what he had heard from others, but from what he had seen himself. It is also said, that Paul usually referred to his gospel, whenever in his epistles he spoke of some particular gospel of his own, saying, “according to my gospel.” But of the rest that accompanied Paul, Crescens is mentioned by him as sent to Gaul. Linus, whom he has mentioned in his Second Epistle to Timothy as his companion at Rome, has been before shown to have been the first after Peter, that obtained the episcopate at Rome. Clement also, who was appointed the third bishop of this church, is proved by him to have been a fellow-labourer and fellow-soldier with him. Beside, the Areopagite, called Dionysius, whom Luke has recorded in his Acts, after Paul’s address to the Athenians, in the Areopagus, as the first that believed, is mentioned by Dionysius, another of the ancients, and pastor of the church at Corinth, as the first bishop of the church at Athens. But the manner and times of the apostolic succession shall be mentioned by us as we proceed in our course. Now let us pursue the order of our history.








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