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Quotes About the Bible and History


Edward Arthur Litton

The Roman Empire and Christianity

"The vast empire of which Rome was the centre had only become recently consolidated when Christianity appeared in the world. In the reign of Augustus its boundaries were--the Atlantic on the west; the Euphrates on the east; the Black Sea, the Danube, and the British Channel on the north; and the deserts of Africa and Arabia, and the cataracts of the Nile, on the south.
The German tribes alone on the north, and the Parthians on the east, remained independent. The population has been variously estimated: it probably lay between 85,000 and 120,000. To control such a variety of turbulent races, many of them hovering on the skirts of barbarism, a large military force was required; and a standing army of about 170,000 men, besides the troops stationed in the capital, overawed the malcontent, and guarded the frontiers.

The subjugated countries lying beyond Italy were called provinces, and were governed by officers who received their commission from the authorities at home...

The devout student of history must recognize in the political state of the world at this time a remarkable preparation for the promulgation of Christianity. The peace which the empire enjoyed; the excellent roads which the Romans constructed wherever they established themselves; the presence of the imperial legions in every important place repressing the outbreaks of religious fanaticism, and so affording protection to the infant church; the increase of commerce; and the leveling tendency of an imperial despotism--all manifestly contributed to the success of the gospel...

There could not have been a more favorable moment for the heralds of the gospel to commence their mission."

Edward Arthur Litton, contributor, "The Imperial Bible Dictionary" (originally published by Blackie and Son, 1891.) pp. 40-41