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THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH.         285
separate and afterwards reassemble to eat together innocent and innocuous dishes."*
At a later period (the fourth century) all pros­elytes and new converts were not admitted to sing in the church with the baptized. The new con­verts presented themselves before the hierarch, (a dignitary who was charged with the duty of classi­fying the catechumens in different orders) and expressed to him the desire of joining the church. If the questions of the priests were satisfactorily answered, he placed his hand on the head of the applicant and gave him the benediction with the sign of the cros-, and afterwards inscribed his name among the number of candidates for bap­tism. The catechumen had not the right to enter the church. He might linger around the porticos, but was on no account allowed to join in the prayers, except in a low voice, and in the hymns not at all, until he had received the rite of bap­tism.
The candidates for baptism were divided into various classes. Even after baptism there were three orders of Christians, and those who had fallen into disgrace with the church, were some­times disciplined by being reduced for a few years
* Letters, v. 5, p. 7.
Affirmabent autem, hanc fuisse summan yel culpa suae, Tel erroris quod esseat soliti stato die ante lucem convenire ; carmenque Chris to, quasi Deo, dicere secum invicem; seque sacramento n„n in scelua aliquod obstringere, sed ne furta, re latrocinia, ne adulteria committe-rent ne fidem fallerent. ne depositum appellati abnegarent, quibui perac ti« more in, sibi discedendi fuisse, rursusque coeundi ad capiendum •nbum, promiscium tamen et innozium.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III