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Rabu, 27 Mei 2015

Christian Charity in the Ancient Church

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1883 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER IV. HOSPITALS. If the only thing effected by this age had been the creation of hospitals, it would have produced a grand result, and one deserving the gratitude of all future ages. The old world was not acquainted with hospitals. There were only houses for the sick, for slaves, perhaps also for gladiators and for the army. There were near the temples of iEsculapius houses for the reception of the visitors, who resorted thither to seek for themselves or others advice in sickness by dreams, during the incubation of the god. Such a one, e.g., existed near the renowned and much frequented temple of iEsculapius in Tithorea, and Antoninus Pius built one out of compassion, near the temple of the Epidaurian iEsculapius. But these were only hospices for shelter, and not hospitals for care and attendance.1 There were also public hospices elsewhere, which were certainly the precursors of the Christian hospital. For the hospital at its first appearance was quite as much a house for strangers, a xenodochium, a hospice, and the first institutions of the kind received all who needed an asylum, strangers, the poor, widows, orphans, the sick, till by degrees there were separate institutions, according to the various classes of the needy; and thus hospitals, in their present sense of houses for the reception and care of the sick and infirm, were formed. Still the separation was not fully carried out. In the smaller places the xenodochia were, as a rule, employed for various purposes; and even in the larger towns, where there were already several institutions of different kinds, the separation was not a strict one. The rise of hospitals has been regarded as a retrogression in charity.2 It is said that they arose when love had waxed cold, that they...


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