Forty Days, The Great

Forty Days, The Great
   Easter Tide which commemorates the period of Forty Days our Lord spent on earth after His Resurrection with His Apostles "and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:2 and 3). From many of our Lord's Parables as well as from other utterances by Him in His Teaching we learn that the words "Kingdom of God" mean His Church. So, then, during this mysterious time of His Resurrection Life our Lord was giving His final instructions concerning His Church, and to this instruction is to be traced many of the Church's usages and practices set forth in the Acts of the Apostles which otherwise are inexplicable -- for example -- the choice of St. Matthias in the place of the traitor Judas -- thus indicating the perpetuity of the Apostolate; the observance of the first day of the week instead of the seventh; the ordaining of Deacons thus indicating "divers orders" in His Church; the Rite of Confirmation; Frequent Communion, Infant Baptism and many other things to be noted in the Acts of the Apostles, which have become inherent features of the Church; how else are they to be accounted for and explained but as being among "the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God" of which the Master spake during these Great Forty Days? If not, then how came about their universal acceptance and continuance even unto this present day?

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

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