The attitude of the church in the post-Nicene period differs from that in the ante-Nicene in two important respects.
Protestants can as little bear its ante-Nicene as its Post-tridentine period.
In ante-Nicene times these took place in various provinces of the Church, but did not extend to the whole Church.
Perhaps it will be said we ought to take the ante-Nicene Fathers as a whole, and interpret one of them by another.
Again, there is one and one only great doctrinal Council in ante-Nicene times.
It is not possible from existing documents to form a continuous and detailed history of the ante-Nicene Church.
They are otherwise known to express usages or opinions of the ante-Nicene centuries.
In one respect we approach an examination of the ante-Nicene church with feelings of admiration.
In the ante-Nicene period only ecclesiastical penalties, such as reproof, deposition or excommunication, could be imposed.
On the positive proofs of his own position, Horsley cites numerous passages from the ante-Nicene fathers.