The smoke of incense filled the church; the spoils of antiquity adorned its roofs and columns; the robes of the clergy were covered with gold; the rites of the church delighted in colours. But decoration and ornament alone were borrowed from paganism. The temples of the heathen could not be copied in form: they could not serve the purposes of Christian worship.
I preached diuers times among those heathen people; but being obstinate they say, that as their father beleeued so they will beleeue: for if their forefathers went to the diuell so they will. Whereupon I returned backe againe to our monastery to certifie our Father prouinciall of the estate of this new found countrey.
Even the old heathen test of humanity and the apparition of the body, touching which I have quoted the verse about the pagan polytheist as sung by the neo-pagan poet, is a test which that incarnate mystery will abide the best.
The educated Christians and the heathen looked at each other questioningly, when Io said, "What dost thou say? Shall my son be thy deliverer?" And when Prometheus answered, "He will be the third scion after ten generations," a murmur broke out in the theatre.
Though he did not know A from B, he took into his head that he had received a call from Heaven to convert the heathen in the wilderness; and every Sunday he held a meeting in our loggers' shanty, for the purpose of awakening sinners, and bringing over "Injun pagans" to the true faith. His method of accomplishing this object was very ingenious.
He recognised true piety, and was earnestly striving after it, but entrance into the kingdom is by faith in the Saviour, who is 'the Way. So Jesus' praise of him is but measured. For in him there was separation between knowing and doing. I. Who are near? Christ's kingdom is near us all, whether we are heathen, infidel, profligate or not.
Perpetual Nazarites, like Samson, were consecrated by their parents; but there is a peculiarity attaching to him above all others of whom we read, being devoted even before his birth. Similar rites were observed amongst the heathen, especially the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans, the origin of which is unquestionably to be referred to the Jewish law.
He speaks amid the incantations of Balaam, raises Samuel’s spirit in the witch’s cavern, prophesies of the Messias by the tongue of the Sibyl, forces Python to recognize His ministers, and baptizes by the hand of the misbeliever. He is with the heathen dramatist in his denunciations of injustice and tyranny, and his auguries of divine vengeance upon crime.
The sanctuary was indeed the centre of Hellenic culture in the city of Alexander; what marvel then, that the heathen should believe that with the overthrow of Serapis and his temple, the earth, nay the universe itself must sink into the abyss?
"Nevertheless," said Odda, "I will not have Thord blamed, for it is in my mind that we should have learned in no other way so quickly." Again the bishop signed to the king, and Alfred became grave. "Here is one thing that our good Sigehelm minds me of. It seems that you are a heathen." "Why, no, if that means one who hates Christians," I said. "Certainly I do not do that, having no cause to do so.