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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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As the public games were considered by the early Church to be intimately associated with idolatry, or comprised in the pomp and service of the devil, which every Christian was expected to renounce, at baptism, charioteers .were commanded to leave their calling 'or be refused baptism. In case one afterwards returned to it, he was considered as renouncing his baptismal covenant, and' thereupon discarded, as an apostate and relapser from Christian communion. See Bingham, Christian Antiquities, bk. xi, ch. v; bk; xvi, ch. iv. The extensive prevalence of these heathen games' accounts for the prominent mention of- this -class of persons. The men who followed this vocation were commonly more or less disreputable, and had been excluded, even- by Roman law, from most of the privileges of citizenship (Tertull. De Spectac. c. 22).' It was, through the eager excitement which attended it, incompatible with meditation and prayer. See Constitut. Apostol. viii, 32. When the games of the circus were reproduced under Christian emperors, the rigor of the Church's :discipline was probably relaxed.

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Charioteers.'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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