Augustine represents the preaching of the Latin church, a style that may be traced from Tertullian through Cyprian to Ambrose, Augustine’s spiritual father and mentor. The Latin style of preaching shows an acquaintance with classical literature, Latin rhetoric, and symbolism.
Worship in the New Testament period was ordered around baptism and the Eucharist. Baptism marks the entrance of the believer into the worshiping community, while the Lord’s Supper, together with the teaching of the Scriptures, forms the content of the worship gathering.
The early Christians continued the Jewish practice of praying at mealtimes and at set hours of the day. The Didachē, a primitive Christian manual of instruction, prescribes prayer three times a day; Clement of Alexandria and Origen in the third century refer to a similar custom in Egypt, as well as to prayer in the night. At the same period in North Africa, however, Tertullian and Cyprian describe a more extensive pattern of daily prayer.
Thascius Caecilius Cyprian (c. 200-258) was the son of a wealthy Roman officer. He led a privileged life as a young man and received an excellent education. As an adult he became a Christian and turned his back on his family’s affluence to embrace the study of the Scriptures and asceticism.