The fathers of the first six or seven centuries, so far as they agree, may be fairly taken to represent the main stream of Christian tradition and belief during the period when the apostolic teaching took shape in the great creeds and dogmatic decisions of Christendom.
The Catholic Apostolic church at the foot of Broughton Street is architecturally noticeable, and one of its features is a set of mural paintings executed byMrsTraquair.
The consciousness of being in the line of apostolic succession helped the English clergy to revert to the principle Ecclesia est in episcopo, and the great periodical conferences of Anglican bishops from all parts of the world have something of the character, though they do not claim the ecumenical authority, of the general councils of the early Church (see Lambeth Conferences).
Or it may be described as denying (i) that the apostolic office is perpetual and should still exist in the Christian Church; (2) that all church power should be vested in the clergy; (3) that each congregation should be independent of all the rest; and as asserting (r) that the people ought to have a substantial part in the government of the Church; (2) that presbyters, i.e.
But the book of Acts, our only continuous authority for the period, contains two synchronisms with secular history which can be dated with some pretence to exactness and constitute fixed points by help of which a more or less complete chronology can be constructed for at least the latter half of the apostolic age.
They obtained the sanction of Innocent III., and returning to Assisi they gave themselves up to their life of apostolic preaching and work among the poor.
For this exercise of the primacy as for the others, we must conceive of the pope and the episcopate united to him as a continuation of the Apostolic College and its head Peter.
Indeed it was freely admitted by the most learned men of the middle ages and Renaissance that celibacy had been no rule of the apostolic church; and, though writers of ability have attempted to maintain the contrary even in modern times, their contentions are unhesitatingly rejected by the latest Roman Catholic authority.3 The gradual growth of clerical celibacy, first as a custom and then as a rule of discipline, can be traced clearly enough even through the scanty records of the first few centuries.
True, the presbyter Caius (c. 200) who first mentions the situation of the apostolic tombs on the Vatican and the road to Ostia, and refers to the memorials there erected, has nothing to say of foreign Christians journeying to Rome in order to visit them.
Nay more, the difficulties attending on the assumption of a common authorship of the Gospel and Apocalypse, independently of the question of the apostolic authorship of the Gospel, are practically insuperable.