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Published by: raul_arcangel on Jul 25, 2012
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The death of Origen marks an epoch in Christianity, and signalizes the beginning of a period of decadence. The
republicanism of Christianity began to give way before the monarchical tendencies that ripened with Constantine
(A.D. 313) and the Nicean council (A.D. 325). Clement and Origen represented freedom of thought, and a rational
creed founded on the Bible, but the evil change that Christianity was soon to experience, was fairly seen, says
Bunsen, about the time of Origen's death. "Origen, who had made a last attempt to preserve liberty of thought along
with a rational belief in historical facts based upon the historical records, had failed in his gigantic efforts; he died of
a broken heart rather than of the wounds inflicted by his heathen torturers. His followers retained only his mystical
scholasticism, without possessing either his genius or his learning, his great and wide heart, or his free, truth-
speaking spirit. More and more the teachers became bishops, and the bishops absolute governors, the majority of
whom strove to establish as law their speculations upon Christianity.
His comprehensive mind and vast sympathy, and his intense tendency to generalization, caused Origen to entertain
hospitality in his philosophical system many ideas that now are seen inconsistent and illogical; but his fantastic,
allegorical interpretation of Scripture, his whimsies concerning pre-existence, and his disposition to include all
themes and theories in his system, did not swerve him from the truths and facts of Christian revelation. His defects
were but as spots on the sun. And his erratic notions were by no means in excess of those of the average theologian
of his times.

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