Besides maintaining those pure conceptions of Deity, the prophets from time to time, and with ever increasing distinctness until we come to the direct and personal testimony of the Baptist, foreshadowed a fuller and more universal revelation — a time when, and a Man through Whom, God should bless all the nations of the earth.
We need not here trace the Messianic predictions in detail; their clearness and cogency are such that St.
It was to this fact rather than to the wonders He worked in His lifetime that His accredited witnesses always appealed in their teaching.
On the marvel of the Resurrection is based in the counsels of God the faith of Christianity.
Augustine does not hesitate to say (Retract., I, xiii, 3): "What we now call the Christian religion existed amongst the ancients, and was from the beginning of the human race, until Christ Himself came in the flesh; from which time the already existing true religion began to be styled Christian".
And thus it has been remarked that Israel alone amongst the nations of antiquity looked forward to glories to come.
"I send the Promised of my Father upon you, but remain ye in the city till ye shall be clothed with power from on high" ( Luke ).
"John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence" ( Acts 1:5 ).
In the following article an account is given of Christianity as a religion, describing its origin, its relation to other religions, its essential nature and chief characteristics, but not dealing with its doctrines in detail nor its history as a visible organization.
These and other aspects of this great subject will receive treatment under separate titles.
Moreover, the Christianity of which we speak is that which we find realized in the Catholic Church alone; hence, we are not concerned here with those forms which are embodied in the various non-Catholic Christian sects, whether schismatical or heretical.