THE writings of the early Christian Fathers, or the Ante-Nicene Fathers, as they are frequently called, constitute of themselves a very valuable and interesting library of religious literature They are not much known outside theological circles, and are chiefly used within such circles for their doctrinal authority. These writings come down to A. D. 325.
Chief among these writers were Clement, Justin Martyr, Irenæus, Tertullian, Origen and Lactantius. Their writings have been translated and preserved, constituting, as published by The Christian Literature Company, eight volumes. They fully corroborate the claim made by our Leader in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, that Christian Healing continued down to the third century, and doubtless constitute the most reliable authority upon that subject. Their authenticity is so well established that we doubt if any Christian at all familiar with religious history and literature would have the hardihood to dispute it. Upon the subject of divine healing we make such extracts as our space will admit, because they are interesting and helpful of themselves, but more especially as showing how mistaken is the claim, so often made, that "miracles were confined to the time of Jesus and the Apostles."
The first account of divine healing is contained in the Second Apology of Justin (the martyr) or Justin Martyr, as he is sometimes called. Justin was a Gentile, but born in Samaria, near Jacob's well. His biographer says of him that he must have been well educated; he had traveled extensively, and he seems to have been a person enjoying at least a competence. After trying all other systems, his elevated tastes and refined perceptions made him a disciple of Socrates and Plato. He declares that what Plato was feeling after he (Justin) found in Jesus of Nazareth.
His historian thus speaks of him: