The Egyptian Contribution to Christianity 309 so even the first coming of Christ was a shadow to be fulfilled by the glory of 'the second coming'. Origen further enter- tained the speculation that the passion of Jesus Christ is destined to be repeated in other ages and in other worlds. This was one of the speculations which were to cause offence in after days. *If there are "spiritual hosts of wickedness",' he wrote, 'in the heavenly places, consider whether, just as we are not ashamed to confess that he was crucified here in order to destroy those whom he destroyed through his suffering, so we should not fear to allow that a similar event also happens there and will happen in the ages to come until the end of the whole world/1 Such were the leading features of the audacious and compre- hensive scheme of doctrine which Origen discovered in the Scriptures. Not without cause did St. Jerome in his younger days speak of Origen as the greatest teacher of the Church since the Apostles. It is no accident that this great role in Christian history fell to a native of Alexandria with a half-Egyptian name.2 In the work of Origen religious forces which had been long at work in the Egyptian capital reached their widest extent and their maturest expression. To appreciate Origen's position we must look backward, first at the earlier history of Christianity in Alexandria and then, behind that, at Alexandrine Judaism. It is a very remarkable circumstance that Egypt played so little part in the first expansion of Christianity. Antioch, not Alexandria, was the channel by which the new faith penetrated the Graeco-Roman world. In the Acts of the Apostles we hear of Egyptian Jews at Pentecost; we hear also in connexion with the controversy which resulted in the death of the first martyr Stephen (Acts vi) of a synagogue at Jerusalem which in- cluded Alexandrines. Otherwise there is but one reference to 1 Fragment from the De Principals preserved in Greek by Justinian, Ep. ad Mennam. See G. W. Butterworth, op. cit., p. 310. 2 The first half of the name is that of the Egyptian god Horns.