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Fathers of the Catholic Church

By E. J. Waggoner

A brief examination of the “falling away” of the Church in the first three centuries.

First published in 1883, this book was the result of a collection of articles and extracts which the author collected over a few years, as he wanted to have accessible at hand the exact words of a few reliable historians concerning the leaders of the Church in the early centuries. These were then woven together to create this volume, which is an account of the rise of the papacy. It reveals the foundation of the papacy built upon the teachings of the “Fathers,” While many are led to believe that these “Fathers” are early Christian apostles (such as Peter) and imminent leaders, the truth is the teachings come from popular (at the time) philosophers, among whom Plato was the chief cornerstone.

This book removes the veil of sanctity which has been thrown over the early church as a whole. The fact is, deadly falsehoods were circulated in the church by some, and believed by multitudes. Romanists taught that it was perilous to reveal fully the crimes and follies of good men in the Bible. Following this line of thought, they also taught that it was just as perilous to reveal the later crimes and follies of the church, therefore truths that would have caused honest and sincere men to question the actions of the church were suppressed.

Designed especially for people who have not the time nor means to thoroughly search the historical and theological records for themselves, this book is not exhaustive on the subject matter, but gives a good overview, and supplies many references that the reader may study for himself. Great care was taken by the author and his associates to verify the historical references, and brief biographical sketches are provides in the appendix of the men from whose writings extracts have been made.

The purpose of this volume is to help many to see the folly of man’s wisdom, and lead them to prize more highly than ever before the unerring word of God.

Paper, 392 pages.


    1. The Heathen World
    2. Heathen Philosophy
    3. The Apostolic Church
    4. The Fathers
    5. The “Epistle of Barnabas”
    6. Hermas and Clement
    7. The “Epistles of Ignatius”
    8. The “Teaching of the Apostles”
    9. Irenaeus
    10. Justin Martyr
    11. Clement of Alexandria
    12. Tertullian
    13. Origen
    14. The Great Apostasy: Heathen and Catholic Mysteries — Perversion of the Ordinance of Baptism — Sign of the Cross, and Images
    15. The Great Apostasy (continued): Purgatory and Prayers for the Dead — “Pious” Frauds — Immorality in the Church
    16. The Great Apostasy (continued): Relic and Martyr Worship — Sunday and Christmas
    17. The Great Apostasy (continued):Sun-Worship and Sunday
    18. The Great Apostasy (concluded): Growth of Papal Assumption
    Appendix: True and Abiding Sabbath — The Apostles and the First Day of the Week — Biographical Notes

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