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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary

Ecclesiastical History

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A narration of the transactions, revolutions, and events, that relate to the church. As to the utility of church history, Dr. Jortin, who was an acute writer on this subject, shall here speak for us: he observes,

1. That it will show us the amazing progress of Christianity through the Roman empire, through the East and West, although the powers of the world cruelly opposed it.

2. Connected with Jewish and Pagan history, it will show us the total destruction of Jerusalem, the overthrow of the Jewish church and state; and the continuance of that unhappy nation for 1700 years, though dispersed over the face of the earth, and oppressed at different times by Pagans, Christians, and Mahometans.

3. It shows us that the increase of Christianity produced in the countries where it was received, the overthrow and extinction of paganism, which, after a feeble resistance, perished about the sixth century.

4. It shows us how Christianity hath been continued and delivered down from the apostolical to the present age.

5. It shows us the various opinions which prevailed at different times amongst the fathers and other Christians, and how they departed more or less from the simplicity of the Gospel.

6. It will enable us to form a true judgment of the merit of the fathers, and of the use which is to be made of them.

7. It will show us the evil of imposing unreasonable terms of communion, and requiring Christians to profess doctrines not propounded in Scriptural words, but inferred as consequences from passages of Scripture, which one may call systems of consequential divinity.

8. It will show us lastly, it will show us.

9. The origin and progress of the reformation.

See Dr. Jortin's Charge on the Use and Importance of Ecclesiastical History, in his Works, vol. 7: ch. 2. For ecclesiastical historians,

See Eusebius's Eccl. Hist. with Valesius's notes; Baronii Amales Eccl.; Spondani Annales Sacri; Parci Universalis Hist. Ecc.; Lampe, Dupin, Spanheim, and Mosheim's Eccl. Hist.; Fuller's, and Warner's Eccl. Hist. of England; Jortin's Remarks on Eccl. Hist.; Millar's Propagation of Christianity; Gillie's Historical Collections; Dr. Ershine's Sketches, and Robinson's Researches. the most recent are, Dr. Campbell's, Gregory's, Milner's, and Dr. Erskine's Sketches, and Robinson's Researches. The most recent are, Dr. Campbell's, Gregory's, Milner's, and Dr. Harvcis's; all which have their excellencies.

See also Bogue and Bennet's History of the Dissenters. For the History of the church under the Old Testament, the reader may consult Miller's History of the Church; Prideaux and Shuckford's Connections; Dr. Watts's scripture History; and Fleury's History of the Israelites.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Ecclesiastical History'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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