Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church (The Complete Eight Volumes in One). Amazon Kindle Edition, 2014.
Volume 2, Ante-Nicene Christianity A.D. 100-325, “Chapter 8. Christian life in Contrast with Pagan Corruption.” Sections 88-103, Loc. 16158-17158.
§ 94. Christian Morality.
Considering the various philosophers, Schaff concludes that all their work was based on human nature, which he views as fallen. The only valid means of progress was a morality rooted in religion, but it needed to be a religion which restrained evil and cared for others (Schaff 2014, Loc. 16468). This he finds only in Christianity. “The superiority of the principles of Christian ethics over the heathen standards of morality even under its most favorable forms is universally admitted” (Schaff 2014, Loc. 16480). However, history does not always admit the importance of moral and spiritual concepts in society. Much of the distinctive Christian life is normally invisible to all but the most attentive observers. Schaff does see the Christian apologists describing the Christian life to their critics (Schaff 2014, Loc. 16496). The overwhelming picture is of people who strive to maintain positive relationships and avoid criminal activity. Schaff does concede that Christians before Constantine would have tamptations to sin, just like all Christians. However, in general, they were more likely than others to live a morally upright life