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Title: A Source Book for Ancient Church History
Author: Ayer, Joseph Cullen, 1866-1944
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Source Book for Ancient Church History" ***

                *A Source Book for Ancient Church History*

      *From the Apostolic Age to the Close of the Conciliar Period*

                   *by Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.*

    Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the Divinity School of the
               Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia

                                 New York

                         Charles Scribner’s Sons



General Bibliographical Note
The First Division Of Ancient Christianity: The Church Under The Heathen
Empire: To A. D. 324
   Period I. The Apostolic Age: To Circa A. D. 100
      § 1. The Neronian Persecution
      § 2. The Death of Peter and Paul
      § 3. The Death of the Apostle John
      § 4. The Persecution under Domitian
   Period II. The Post-Apostolic Age: A. D. 100-A. D. 140
      § 5. Christianity and Judaism
      § 6. The Extension of Christianity
      § 7. Relation of the Roman State to Christianity
      § 8. Martyrdom and the Desire for Martyrdom
      § 9. The Position of the Roman Community of Christians in the Church
      § 10. Chiliastic Expectations
      § 11. The Church and the World
      § 12. Theological Ideas
      § 13. Worship in the Post-Apostolic Period
      § 14. Church Organization
      § 15. Church Discipline
      § 16. Moral Ideas in the Post-Apostolic Period
   Period III. The Critical Period: A. D. 140 to A. D. 200
      Chapter I. The Church In Relation To The Empire And Heathen Culture
         § 17. The Extension of Christianity
         § 18. Heathen Religious Feeling and Culture in Relation to
         § 19. The Attitude of the Roman Government toward Christians, A.
         D. 138 to A. D. 192
         § 20. The Literary Defence of Christianity
      Chapter II. The Internal Crisis: The Gnostic And Other Heretical
         § 21. The Earlier Gnostics: Gnosticism in General
         § 22. The Greater Gnostic Systems: Basilides and Valentinus
         § 23. Marcion
         § 24. Encratites
         § 25. Montanism
      Chapter III. The Defence Against Heresy
         § 26. The Beginnings of Councils as a Defence against Heresy
         § 27. The Apostolic Tradition and the Episcopate
         § 28. The Canon or the Authoritative New Testament Writings
         § 29. The Apostles’ Creed
         § 30. Later Gnosticism
         § 31. The Results of the Crisis
      Chapter IV. The Beginnings Of Catholic Theology
         § 32. The Apologetic Conception of Christianity
            (A) The Logos Doctrine
            (B) The Doctrine of the Trinity
            (C) Moralistic Christianity
            (D) Argument from Hebrew Prophecy
         § 33. The Asia Minor Conception of Christianity
   Period IV. The Age Of The Consolidation Of The Church: 200 to 324 A. D.
      Chapter I. The Political And Religious Conditions Of The Empire
         § 34. State and Church under Septimius Severus and Caracalla
         § 35. Religious Syncretism in the Third Century
         § 36. The Religious Policy of the Emperors from Heliogabalus to
         Philip the Arabian, 217-249
         § 37. The Extension of the Church at the Middle of the Third
      Chapter II. The Internal Development Of The Church In Doctrine,
      Custom, And Constitution
         § 38. The Easter Controversy and the Separation of the Churches
         of Asia Minor from the Western Churches
         § 39. The Religion of the West: Its Moral and Juristic Character
         § 40. The Monarchian Controversies
            (A) Dynamistic Monarchianism
            (B) Modalistic Monarchianism
         § 41. Later Montanism and the Consequences of its Exclusion from
         the Church
         § 42. The Penitential Discipline
         § 43. The Catechetical School of Alexandria: Clement and Origen
         § 44. Neo-Platonism
      Chapter III. The First General Persecution And Its Consequences
         § 45. The Decian-Valerian Persecution
         § 46. Effects of the Persecution upon the Inner Life of the
      Chapter IV. The Period Of Peace For The Church: A. D. 260 To A. D.
         § 47. The Chiliastic Controversy
         § 48. Theology of the Second Half of the Third Century under the
         Influence of Origen
         § 49. The Development of the Cultus
         § 50. The Episcopate in the Church
         § 51. The Unity of the Church and the See of Rome
         § 52. Controversy over Baptism by Heretics
         § 53. The Beginnings of Monasticism
         § 54. Manichæanism
      Chapter V. The Last Great Persecution
         § 55. The Reorganization of the Empire by Diocletian
         § 56. The Diocletian Persecution
         § 57. Rise of Schisms in Consequence of the Diocletian
The Second Division Of Ancient Christianity: The Church Under The
Christian Empire: From 312 To Circa 750
   Period I: The Imperial State Church Of The Undivided Empire, Or Until
   The Death Of Theodosius The Great, 395
      Chapter I. The Church And Empire Under Constantine
         § 58. The Empire under Constantine and His Sons
         § 59. Favor Shown the Church by Constantine
         § 60. The Repression of Heathenism under Constantine
         § 61. The Donatist Schism under Constantine
         § 62. Constantine’s Endeavors to Bring about the Unity of the
         Church by Means of General Synods: The Councils of Arles and
      Chapter II. The Arian Controversy Until The Extinction Of The
      Dynasty Of Constantine
         § 63. The Outbreak of the Arian Controversy and the Council of
         Nicæa, A. D. 325
         § 64. The Beginnings of the Eusebian Reaction under Constantine
         § 65. The Victory of the Anti-Nicene Party in the East
         § 66. Collapse of the Anti-Nicene Middle Party; the Renewal of
         Arianism; the Rise of the Homoousian Party
         § 67. The Policy of the Sons of Constantine Toward Heathenism and
         § 68. Julian the Apostate
      Chapter III. The Triumph Of The New Nicene Orthodoxy Over Heterodoxy
      And Heathenism
         § 69. The Emperors from Jovian to Theodosius and Their Policy
         toward Heathenism and Arianism
         § 70. The Dogmatic Parties and Their Mutual Relations
         § 71. The Emperor Theodosius and the Triumph of the New Nicene
         Orthodoxy at the Council of Constantinople, A. D. 381
      Chapter IV. The Empire And The Imperial State Church
         § 72. The Constitution of the State Church
            (A) The Ecumenical Council
            (B) The Hierarchical Organization
         § 73. Sole Authority of the State Church
         § 74. The Position of the State Church in the Social Order of the
         § 75. Social Significance of the State Church
         § 76. Popular Piety and the Reception of Heathenism in the Church
         § 77. The Extension of Monasticism Throughout the Empire
         § 78. Celibacy of the Clergy and the Regulation of Clerical
   Period II. The Church From The Permanent Division Of The Empire Until
   The Collapse Of The Western Empire And The First Schism Between The
   East And The West, Or Until About A. D. 500
      Chapter I. The Church At The Beginning Of The Permanent Separation
      Of The Two Parts Of The Roman Empire
         § 79. The Empire of the Dynasty of Theodosius.
         § 80. The Extension of the Church about the Beginning of the
         Fifth Century
      Chapter II. The Church Of The Western Empire In The Fifth Century
         § 81. The Western Church Toward the End of the Fourth Century
         § 82. Augustine’s Life and Place in the Western Church
         § 83. Augustine and the Donatist Schism
         § 84. The Pelagian Controversy
         § 85. Semi-Pelagian Controversy
         § 86. The Roman Church as the Centre of the Catholic Roman
         Element of the West
      Chapter III. The Church In The Eastern Empire.
         § 87. The First Origenistic Controversy and the Triumph of
         § 88. The Christological Problem and the Theological Tendencies
         § 89. The Nestorian Controversy; the Council of Ephesus A. D.
         § 90. The Eutychian Controversy and the Council of Chalcedon A.
         D. 451
         § 91. Results of the Decision of Chalcedon: the Rise of Schisms
         from the Monophysite Controversy
         § 92. The Church of Italy under the Ostrogoths and during the
         first Schism between Rome and the Eastern Church
   Period III. The Dissolution Of The Imperial State Church And The
   Transition To The Middle Ages: From The Beginning Of The Sixth Century
   To The Latter Part Of The Eighth
      Chapter I. The Church In The Eastern Empire
         § 93. The Age of Justinian
         § 94. The Byzantine State Church under Justinian
         § 95. The Definitive Type of Religion in the East: Dionysius the
      Chapter II. The Transition To The Middle Ages. The Foundation Of The
      Germanic National Churches
         § 96. The Celtic Church in the British Isles
         § 97. The Conversion of the Franks. The Establishment of
         Catholicism in the Germanic Kingdoms
         § 98. The State Church in the Germanic Kingdoms
         § 99. Gregory the Great and the Roman Church in the Second Half
         of the Sixth Century
         § 100. The Foundation of the Anglo-Saxon Church
      Chapter III. The Foundation Of The Ecclesiastical Institutions Of
      The Middle Ages
         § 101. Foundation of the Mediæval Diocesan and Parochial
         § 102. Western Piety and Thought in the Period of the Conversion
         of the Barbarians
         § 103. The Foundation of the Mediæval Penitential System
         § 104. The New Monasticism and the Rule of Benedict of Nursia
         § 105. Foundation of Mediæval Culture and Schools
      Chapter IV. The Revolution In The Ecclesiastical And Political
      Situation Due To The Rise Of Islam And The Doctrinal Disputes In The
      Eastern Church
         § 106. The Rise and Extension of Islam
         § 107. The Monothelete Controversy and the Sixth General Council,
         Constantinople A. D. 681
         § 108. Rome, Constantinople, and the Lombard State Church in the
         Seventh Century
         § 109. Rome, Constantinople, and the Lombards in the Period of
         the First Iconoclastic Controversy; the Seventh General Council,
         Nicæa, A. D. 787


[Transcriber’s Note: These corrections have already been applied to the
text in this e-book.]

Page 55, line 26. Lucian, of Samosata, does, etc.: omit commas.

Page 65, lines 20, 21, 25, 27, 31, 34, 35, 36. For, Ptolomæus: read,

Page 77, line 27. For, Ptolomæus: read, Ptolemæus.

Page 77, line 28. Panarion, Italics. [_Panarion_ is the title of the

Page 93, line 34. For, Ptolomæus: read, Ptolemæus.

Page 95, lines 9, 11. For, Ptolomæus: read, Ptolemæus.

Page 110, line 11. Insert after V, 24: (given below, § 38).

Page 128, line 12. For, and to use it: read, and use it.

Page 245, line 16. Transpose so as to read: Were the sacraments they
administered to be regarded, then,

Page 267, line 20. For, are: read, art.

Page 273, line 1. For, is: read, are.

Page 282, line 29. For, exemptions from the clergy: read, exemptions of
the clergy.

Page 283, line 24. For, V. _supra_, 58 _f._: read, V. _supra_ § 58, _f._

Page 299, line 18. For, Constantinople: read, Alexandria.

Page 306, line 14. Add: And in the Holy Ghost. [This should stand as a
sentence by itself, although there is no complete sentence.]

Page 316, line 6. For, _desensus_: read, _descensus_.

Page 337, line 6. For, 368: read, 378.

Page 361, note. Omit all after: Council of Chalcedon in 451; changing
comma to period.

Page 402, line 19. For, Milcoe: read, Mileve.

Page 579, line 24. Insert comma after: common faith.

Page 594, line 22. For, will: read, wilt.

Page 603, line 31. For, rivalries: read, rivalry.

Page 627, line 28. For, days: read, days’.

Page 697, line 1. For, ἀσπασμον: read ἀσπασμὸν.

Page 705, col. 2, lines 29, 30. For, Ptolomæus: read, Ptolemæus.


The value of the source-book has long been recognized in the teaching of
general history. In ecclesiastical history quite as much use can be made
of the same aid in instruction. It is hoped that the present book may
supply a want increasingly felt by teachers employing modern methods in
teaching ecclesiastical history. It has grown out of classroom work, and
is addressed primarily to those who are teaching and studying the history
of the Christian Church in universities and seminaries. But it is hoped
that it may serve the constantly increasing number interested in the early
history of Christianity.

In the arrangement of the selected illustrative material, a chronological
analysis and grouping of topics has been followed, according to the lines
of treatment employed by K. Müller, F. Loofs, Von Schubert in his edition
of Moeller’s text-book, and by Hergenröther to some extent. The whole
history of ancient Christianity has accordingly been divided into
comparatively brief periods and subdivided into chapters and sections.
These divisions are connected and introduced by brief analyses and
characterizations, with some indications of additional source material
available in English.

A bibliography originally prepared for each chapter and section has been
omitted. When the practical question arose of either reducing the amount
of source material to admit a bibliography, or of making the book too
expensive for general use by students, the main purpose of the book
determined the only way of avoiding two unsatisfactory solutions of the
problem, and the bibliography has been omitted. In this there may be less
loss than at first appears. The student of ecclesiastical history is
fortunately provided with ample bibliographical material for the ancient
Church in the universally available theological and other encyclopædias
which have very recently appeared or are in course of publication, and in
the recent works on patristics. Possibly the time has come when, in place
of duplicating bibliographies, reliance in such matters upon the work of
others may not be regarded as mortal sin against the ethics of
scholarship. A list of works has been given in the General Bibliographical
Note, which the student is expected to consult and to which the instructor
should encourage him to go for further information and bibliographical

The book presupposes the use of a text-book of Church history, such as
those by Cheetham, Kurtz, Moeller, Funk, or Duchesne, and a history of
doctrine, such as those of Seeberg, Bethune-Baker, Fisher, or Tixeront.
Readings in more elaborate treatises, special monographs, and secular
history may well be left to the direction of the instructor.

The translations, with a few exceptions which are noted, are referred for
the sake of convenience to the _Patrology_ of Migne or Mansi’s _Concilia_.
Although use has been freely made of the aid offered by existing
translations, especially those of the _Ante-Nicene_ and _Post-Nicene
Fathers_, yet all translations have been revised in accordance with the
best critical texts available. The aim in the revision has been accuracy
and closeness to the original without too gross violation of the English
idiom, and with exactness in the rendering of ecclesiastical and
theological technical terms. Originality is hardly to be expected in such
a work as this.

An author may not be conscious of any attempt to make his selection of
texts illustrate or support any particular phase of Christian belief or
ecclesiastical polity, and his one aim may be to treat the matter
objectively and to render his book useful to all, yet he ought not to
flatter himself that in either respect he has been entirely successful. In
ecclesiastical history, no more than in any other branch of history, is it
possible for an author who is really absorbed in his work to eliminate
completely the personal equation. He should be glad to be informed of any
instance in which he may have unwittingly failed in impartiality, that
when occasion presented he might correct it. The day has gone by in which
ecclesiastical history can not be treated save as a branch of polemical
theology or as an apologetic for any particular phase of Christian belief
or practice. It has at last become possible to teach the history of the
Christian Church, for many centuries the greatest institution of Western
Europe, in colleges and universities in conjunction with other historical

This volume has been prepared at the suggestion of the American Society of
Church History, and valuable suggestions have been gained from the
discussions of that society. To Professor W. W. Rockwell, of Union
Theological Seminary, New York, Professor F. A. Christie, of Meadville
Theological School, the late Professor Samuel Macauley Jackson, of New
York, and Professor Ephraim Emerton, of Harvard University, I have also
been indebted for advice. The first two named were members with me of a
committee on a _Source-Book for Church History_ appointed several years
ago by the American Society of Church History.

That the book now presented to the public may be of service to the teacher
and student of ecclesiastical history is my sincere wish. It may easily
happen that no one else would make just the same selection of sources here
made. But it is probable that the principal documents, those on which the
majority would agree and which are most needed by the teacher in his work,
are included among those presented. There are, no doubt, slips and defects
in a book written at intervals in a teacher’s work. With the kind
co-operation of those who detect them, they may be corrected when an
opportunity occurs.



Under each period special collections of available sources are to be
found. The student is not given any bibliography of works bearing on the
topics, but is referred to the following accessible works of reference of
recent date for additional information and bibliographies:

_The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopædia of Religious Knowledge_, edited by S.
M. Jackson, New York, 1908-12.

_The Catholic Encyclopædia_, New York, 1907-12.

_The Encyclopædia Britannica_, eleventh edition, Cambridge, 1910.

_The Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics_, edited by J. Hastings,
Edinburgh and New York, 1908 ff. (In course of publication.)

For the patristic writers, their lives, works, editions, and other
bibliographical matter, see:

G. Krüger, _History of Early Christian Literature in the First Three
Centuries_, English translation by C. R. Gillett, New York, 1897. Cited as

B. Bardenhewer, _Patrologie_, Freiburg-i.-B., 1911, English translation of
second edition (1901) by T. J. Shahan, St. Louis, 1908. Cited as

In addition to the encyclopædias the following are indispensable, and
should be consulted:

Smith and Wace, _Dictionary of Christian Biography_, Literature, Sects and
Doctrines, London, 1877-87. (The Condensed Edition of 1911 by no means
takes the place of this standard work.) Cited DCB.

Smith and Cheetham, _Dictionary of Christian Antiquities_, London,
1875-80. Cited DCA.

Advanced students and those capable of using French and German are
referred to the following, which have admirable and authoritative articles
and ample bibliographies:

_Realencyclopædie für protestantische Theologie_, edited by A. Hauck,
Leipsic, 1896 _ff._ Two supplementary volumes appeared in 1913. Cited PRE.

_Kirchenlexicon oder Encyclopædie der katholischen Theologie und ihrer
Hilfswissenschaften_, second edition, by J. Hergenröther und F. Kaulen,
Freiburg-i.-B., 1882-1901. Cited KL.

_Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique_, edited by A. Vacant and E.
Mangenot, Paris, 1903 _ff._

_Dictionnaire d’Archéologie Chrétienne et de Liturgie_, edited by F.
Cabrol, 1903 _ff._

_Dictionnaire d’Histoire et de Géographie Ecclesiastiques_; edited by A.
Baudrillart, A. Vogt, and U. Roziès, Paris, 1909 _ff._

Collections of sources in the original languages, easily procured and to
be consulted for texts and to some extent for bibliographies:

C. Mirbt, _Quellen zur Geschichte des Papsttums und des römischen
Katholizismus_, third edition, Tübingen, 1911. Cited as Mirbt.

C. Kirch, S. J., _Enchiridion fontium historiæ ecclesiasticæ antiquæ_.
Freiburg-i.-B., 1910. Cited as Kirch.

H. Denziger, _Enchiridion symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de
rebus fidei et morum_, eleventh edition, edited by Clemens Bannwart, S.
J., Freiburg-i.-B., 1911. Cited as Denziger.

A. Hahn. _Bibliothek der Symbole und Glaubensregeln der alten Kirche_,
third edition, Breslau, 1897. Cited as Hahn.

G. Krüger. _Sammlung ausgewählter kirchen und dogmengeschichtlicher
Quellenschriften_, Freiburg-i.-B.

Of this useful collection especially important are the following of more
general application:

E. Preuschen, _Analecta: Kürzere Texte zur Geschichte der alten Kirche und
des Kanons_, second edition, 1909-10.

F. Lauchert, _Die Kanones der wichtigsten altkirchlichen Concilien nebst
den apostolischen Kanones_.

R. Knopf, _Ausgewählte Märtyreracten_. Cited as Knopf.

Other volumes are cited in connection with topics.

H. T. Bruns, _Canones apostolorum et conciliorum sæculorum IV, V, VI,
VII_, Berlin, 1839. Cited as Bruns.

Although not source-books, yet of very great value for the sources they
contain should be mentioned:

J. C. L. Gieseler, _A Text-Book of Church History_, English translation,
New York, 1857.

K. R. Hagenbach, _A History of Christian Doctrines_, English translation,
Edinburgh, 1883-85.

C. J. Hefele, _Conciliengeschichte_, Freiburg-i.-B., 1855-70. Second
edition, 1873 _et seq._ A new French translation with admirable
supplementary notes has just appeared. The English translation (_History
of the Councils_), Edinburgh, 1876-95, extends only through the eighth
century. Cited as Hefele.

EMPIRE: TO A. D. 324

By the accession of Constantine to the sole sovereignty of the Roman
Empire, A. D. 324, ancient Christianity may be conveniently divided into
two great periods. In the first, it was a religion liable to persecution,
suffering severely at times and always struggling to maintain itself; in
the second, it became the religion of the State, and in its turn set about
to repress and persecute the heathen religions. It was no longer without
legal rights; it had the support of the secular rulers and was lavishly
endowed with wealth. The conditions of the Church in these two periods are
so markedly different, and the conditions had such a distinct effect upon
the life and growth of the Christian religion, that the reign of
Constantine is universally recognized as marking a transition from one
historical period to another, although no date which shall mark that
transition is universally accepted. The year 311, the year in which the
Diocletian persecution ceased, has been accepted by many as the dividing
point. The exact date adopted is immaterial.

The principal sources in English for the history of the Christian Church
before A. D. 324 are:

_The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down
to A. D. 325._ American edition, Buffalo and New York, 1885-1896; new
edition, New York, 1896 (a reprint). The collection, cited as ANF,
contains the bulk of the Christian literature of the period, with the
exception of the less important commentaries of Origen.

Eusebius, _Church History_. Translated with Prolegomena and Notes by
Arthur Cushman McGiffert. In _A Select Library of the Nicene and
Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church_. Second series, New York,
1890. The _Church History_ of Eusebius is the foundation of the study of
the history of the Church before A. D. 324, as it contains a vast number
of citations from works now lost. The edition by Professor McGiffert is
the best in English, and is provided with scholarly notes, which serve as
an elaborate commentary on the text. It should be in every library. This
work is cited as Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._ The text used in the extracts given
in this source book is that of Ed. Schwartz, in _Die Griechischen
Christlicher: Schriftsteller der ersten drei Jahrhunderte_. Kleine
Ausgabe, Leipsic, 1908. This text is identical with the larger and less
convenient edition by the same editor.

Period I. The Apostolic Age: To Circa A. D. 100

The period in the Church before the clash with Gnosticism and the rise of
an apologetic literature comprises the apostolic and the post-apostolic
ages. These names have become traditional. The so-called apostolic age, or
to circa 100, is that in which the Apostles lived, though the best
tradition makes John the only surviving Apostle for the last quarter of a

The principal sources for the history of the Church in this period are the
books of the New Testament, and only to a slight degree the works of
contemporaneous Jewish and heathen writers. It is hardly necessary to
reproduce New Testament passages here. The Jewish references of importance
will be found in the works on the life of Christ and of St. Paul. As the
treatment of this period commonly falls under a different branch of study,
New Testament exegesis, it is not necessary in Church history to enter
into any detail. There are, however, a few references to events in this
period which are to be found only outside the New Testament, and are of
importance to the student of Church history. These are the Neronian
persecution (§ 1), the death of the Apostles (§§ 2, 3), and the
persecution under Domitian (§ 4). The paucity of references to
Christianity in the first century is due chiefly to the fact that
Christianity appeared to the men of the times as merely a very small
Oriental religion, struggling for recognition, and contending with many
others coming from the same region. It had not yet made any great advance
either in numbers or social importance.

§ 1. The Neronian Persecution

The Neronian persecution took place A. D. 64. The occasion was the great
fire which destroyed a large part of the city of Rome. To turn public
suspicion from himself as responsible for the fire, Nero attempted to make
the Christians appear as the incendiaries. Many were put to death in
horrible and fantastic ways. It was not, however, a persecution directed
against Christianity as an unlawful religion. It was probably confined to
Rome and at most the immediate vicinity, and there is no evidence that it
was a general persecution.

Additional source material: Lactantius, _De Mortibus Persecutorum_, ch. 2
(ANF, VII); Sulpicius Severus, Chronicon, II. 28 (PNF, ser. II, vol. XI).

(_a_) Tacitus, _Annales_, XV, 44. Preuschen, _Analecta_, I, § 3:1. Mirbt,
n. 3.

    Tacitus (c. 52-c. 117), although not an eye-witness of the
    persecution, had exceptionally good opportunities for obtaining
    accurate information, and his account is entirely trustworthy. He
    is the principal source for the persecution.

Neither by works of benevolence nor the gifts of the prince nor means of
appeasing the gods did the shameful suspicion cease, so that it was not
believed that the fire had been caused by his command. Therefore, to
overcome this rumor, Nero put in his own place as culprits, and punished
with most ingenious cruelty, men whom the common people hated for their
shameful crimes and called Christians. Christ, from whom the name was
derived, had been put to death in the reign of Tiberius by the procurator
Pontius Pilate. The deadly superstition, having been checked for a while,
began to break out again, not only throughout Judea, where this mischief
first arose, but also at Rome, where from all sides all things scandalous
and shameful meet and become fashionable. Therefore, at the beginning,
some were seized who made confessions; then, on their information, a vast
multitude was convicted, not so much of arson as of hatred of the human
race. And they were not only put to death, but subjected to insults, in
that they were either dressed up in the skins of wild beasts and perished
by the cruel mangling of dogs, or else put on crosses to be set on fire,
and, as day declined, to be burned, being used as lights by night. Nero
had thrown open his gardens for that spectacle, and gave a circus play,
mingling with the people dressed in a charioteer’s costume or driving in a
chariot. From this arose, however, toward men who were, indeed, criminals
and deserving extreme penalties, sympathy, on the ground that they were
destroyed not for the public good, but to satisfy the cruelty of an

(_b_) Clement of Rome, _Ep. ad Corinthios_, I, 5, 6. Funk, _Patres
Apostolici_, 1901. (MSG, 1:218.) Preuschen, _Analecta_, I, § 3:5.

    The work known as the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians
    was written in the name of the Roman Church about 100. The
    occasion was the rise of contentions in the Corinthian Church. The
    name of Clement does not appear in the body of the epistle, but
    there is no good ground for questioning the traditional ascription
    to Clement, since before the end of the second century it was
    quoted under his name by several writers. This Clement was
    probably the third or fourth bishop of Rome. The epistle was
    written soon after the Domitian persecution (A. D. 95), and refers
    not only to that but also to an earlier persecution, which was
    very probably that under Nero. As the reference is only by way of
    illustration, the author gives little detail. The passage
    translated is of interest as containing the earliest reference to
    the death of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and the language used
    regarding Paul has been thought to imply that he labored in parts
    beyond Rome.

Ch. 5. But to leave the ancient examples, let us come to the champions who
lived nearest our times; let us take the noble examples of our generation.
On account of jealousy and envy the greatest and most righteous pillars of
the Church were persecuted, and contended even unto death. Let us set
before our eyes the good Apostles: Peter, who on account of unrighteous
jealousy endured not one nor two, but many sufferings, and so, having
borne his testimony, went to his deserved place of glory. On account of
jealousy and strife Paul pointed out the prize of endurance. After he had
been seven times in bonds, had been driven into exile, had been stoned,
had been a preacher in the East and in the West, he received the noble
reward of his faith; having taught righteousness unto the whole world, and
having come to the farthest bounds of the West, and having borne witness
before rulers, he thus departed from the world and went unto the holy
place, having become a notable pattern of patient endurance.

Ch. 6. Unto these men who lived lives of holiness was gathered a vast
multitude of the elect, who by many indignities and tortures, being the
victims of jealousy, set the finest examples among us. On account of
jealousy women, when they had been persecuted as Danaïds and Dircæ, and
had suffered cruel and unholy insults, safely reached the goal in the race
of faith and received a noble reward, feeble though they were in body.

§ 2. The Death of Peter and Paul

    Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, II, 25. (MSG, 20:207.) _Cf._ Mirbt, n. 33.

    For an examination of the merits of Eusebius as a historian, see
    McGiffert’s edition, PNF, ser. II, vol. I, pp. 45-52; also J. B.
    Lightfoot, art. “Eusebius (23) of Caesarea,” in DCB.

    The works of Caius have been preserved only in fragments; see
    Krüger, § 90. If he was a contemporary of Zephyrinus, he probably
    lived during the pontificate of that bishop of Rome, 199-217 A. D.
    The Phrygian heresy which Caius combated was Montanism; see below,
    § 25.

    Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, was a contemporary of Soter, Bishop
    of Rome, 166-174 A. D., whom he mentions in an epistle to the
    Roman Church. Of his epistles only fragments have been preserved;
    see Krüger, § 55. The following extract from his epistle to the
    Roman Church is the earliest explicit statement that Peter and
    Paul suffered martyrdom at the same time or that Peter was ever in
    Italy. In connection with this extract, that from Clement of Rome
    (see § 1, _a_) should be consulted; also Lactantius, _De Mortibus
    Persecutorum_, ch. 2 (ANF).

It is therefore recorded that Paul was beheaded at Rome itself, and that
Peter was crucified likewise at the same time. This account of Peter and
Paul is confirmed by the fact that their names are preserved in the
cemeteries of that place even to the present time. It is confirmed no less
by a member of the Church, Caius by name, a contemporary of Zephyrinus,
Bishop of Rome. In carrying on a discussion in writing with Proclus, the
leader of the Phrygian heresy, he says as follows concerning the places
where the sacred corpses of the aforesaid Apostles are laid: “But I am
able to show the trophies of the Apostles. For if you will go to the
Vatican or to the Ostian Way, you will find the trophies of those who laid
the foundations of this church.” And that they two suffered martyrdom at
the same time is stated by Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, corresponding
with the Romans in writing, in the following words: “You have thus by such
admonition bound together the planting of Peter and Paul at Rome and at
Corinth. For both planted in our Corinth and likewise taught us, and in
like manner in Italy they both taught and suffered martyrdom at the same

§ 3. The Death of the Apostle John

(_a_) Irenæus, _Adversus Hæreses_, II, 22, 5; III, 3, 4. (MSG, 7:785,

    Irenæus was bishop of Lyons soon after 177. He was born in Asia
    Minor about 120, and was a disciple of Polycarp (ob. circa 155)
    and of other elders who had seen John, the disciple of the Lord.

II, 22, 5. Those in Asia associated with John, the disciple of the Lord,
testify that John delivered it [a tradition regarding the length of
Christ’s ministry] to them. For he remained among them until the time of
Trajan [98-117 A. D.].

III, 3, 4. But the church in Ephesus also, which was founded by Paul, and
where John remained until the time of Trajan, is a faithful witness of the
apostolic tradition.

(_b_) Jerome, _Comm. ad Galat._ (MSL, 26:462.)

    The following extract from Jerome’s commentary on Galatians is of
    such late date as to be of doubtful value as an authority. There
    is, however, nothing improbable in it, and it is in harmony with
    other traditions. It is to be taken as a tradition which at any
    rate represents the opinion of the fourth century regarding the
    Apostle John. _Cf._ Jerome, _De Viris Inlustribus_, ch. 9 (PNF,
    ser. II, vol. III, 364).

When the holy Evangelist John had lived to extreme old age in Ephesus, he
could be carried only with difficulty by the hands of the disciples, and
as he was not able to pronounce more words, he was accustomed to say at
every assembly, “Little children, love one another.” At length the
disciples and brethren who were present became tired of hearing always the
same thing and said: “Master, why do you always say this?” Thereupon John
gave an answer worthy of himself: “Because this is the commandment of the
Lord, and if it is observed then is it enough.”

(_c_) Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, III, 31. (MSG, 20:279.)

    Polycrates was bishop of Ephesus and a contemporary of Victor of
    Rome (189-199 A. D.). His date cannot be fixed more precisely. The
    reference to the “high priest’s mitre” is obscure; see J. B.
    Lightfoot, _Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians_, p. 345. A
    longer extract from this epistle of Polycrates will be found under
    the Easter Controversy (§ 38).

The time of John’s death has been given in a general way,(1) but his
burial-place is indicated by an epistle of Polycrates (who was bishop of
the parish of Ephesus) addressed to Victor of Rome, mentioning him,
together with the Apostle Philip and his daughters, in the following
words: “For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise
again at the last day, at the coming of the Lord, when he shall come with
glory from heaven and seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one
of the twelve Apostles, who sleeps at Hierapolis, and his two aged virgin
daughters, and another daughter who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests
at Ephesus; and moreover John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who
reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and being a priest wore the high
priest’s mitre, also sleeps at Ephesus.”

§ 4. The Persecution under Domitian

What is commonly called the persecution under Domitian (81-96) does not
seem to have been a persecution of Christianity as such. The charges of
atheism and superstition may have been due to heathen misunderstanding of
the Christian faith and worship. There is no sufficient ground for
identifying Flavius Clemens with the Clemens who was bishop of Rome. For
bibliography of the persecution under Domitian, see Preuschen, _Analecta_,
second ed., I, 11.

(_a_) Cassius Dio (excerpt. per Xiphilinum), _Hist. Rom._, LXVII, 14 _f._
Preuschen, _Analecta_, I, § 4:11.

    For Cassius Dio, see _Encyc. Brit._, art. “Dio Cassius.”

At that time (95) the road which leads from Sinuessa to Puteoli was paved.
And in the same year Domitian caused Flavius Clemens along with many
others to be put to death, although he was his cousin and had for his wife
Flavia Domitilla, who was also related to him. The charge of atheism was
made against both of them, in consequence of which many others also who
had adopted the customs of the Jews were condemned. Some were put to
death, others lost their property. Domitilla, however, was only banished
to Pandataria.

(_b_) Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, III, 18. (MSG, 20:252.)

To such a degree did the teaching of our faith flourish at that time(2)
that even those writers who were far from our religion did not hesitate to
mention in their histories the persecutions and martyrdoms which took
place during that time. And they, indeed, accurately indicate the time.
For they record that, in the fifteenth year of Domitian, Flavia Domitilla,
daughter of a sister of Flavius Clemens, who was at that time one of the
consuls of Rome, was exiled with many others to the island of Pontia(3) in
consequence of testimony borne to Christ.

Period II. The Post-Apostolic Age: A. D. 100-A. D. 140

The post-apostolic age, extending from circa 100 to circa 140, is the age
of the beginnings of Gentile Christianity on an extended scale. It is
marked by the rapid spread of Christianity, so that immediately after its
close the Church is found throughout the Roman world, and the Roman
Government is forced to take notice of it and deal with it as a religion
(§§ 6, 7); the decline of the Jewish element in the Church and extreme
hostility of Judaism to the Church (§ 5); the continuance of chiliastic
expectations (§ 10); the beginnings of the passion for martyrdom (§ 8); as
well as the appearance of the forms of organization and worship which
subsequently became greatly elaborated and remained permanently in the
Church (§§ 12-15); as also the appearance of religious and moral ideas
which became dominant in the ancient Church (§§ 11, 12, 16). The
literature of the period upon which the study of the conditions and
thought of the Church of this age must be based is represented principally
by the so-called Apostolic Fathers, a name which is convenient, but
misleading and to be regretted. These are Clement of Rome, Barnabas,
Ignatius, Polycarp, Papias, Hermas; with the writings of these are
commonly included two anonymous books known as the _Didache_, or _Teaching
of the Twelve Apostles_, and the _Epistle to Diognetus_. From all of these
selections are given.(4)

§ 5. Christianity and Judaism

The Christian Church grew up not on Jewish but on Gentile soil. In a very
short time the Gentiles formed the overwhelming majority within the
Church. As they did not become Jews and did not observe the Jewish
ceremonial law, a problem arose as to the place of the Jewish law, which
was accepted without question as of divine authority. One solution is
given by the author of the so-called Epistle of Barnabas, which should be
compared with the solution given by St. Paul in his epistles to the
Galatians and to the Romans. The number of conversions from Judaism
rapidly declined, and very early an extreme hostility toward Christianity
became common among the Jews.

(_a_) Barnabas, _Epistula_, 4, 9.

    The epistle attributed to Barnabas is certainly not by the Apostle
    of that name. Its date is much disputed, but may be safely placed
    within the first century. The author attempts to show the contrast
    between Judaism and Christianity by proving that the Jews wholly
    misunderstood the Mosaic law and had long since lost any claims
    supposed to be derived from the Mosaic covenant. The epistle is
    everywhere marked by hostility to Judaism, of which the writer has
    but imperfect knowledge. The book was regarded as Holy Scripture
    by Clement of Alexandria and by Origen, though with some
    hesitation. The position taken by the author was undoubtedly
    extreme, and not followed generally by the Church. It was,
    however, merely pushing to excess a conviction already prevalent
    in the Church, that Christianity and Judaism were distinct
    religions. For a saner and more commonly accepted position, see
    Justin Martyr, _Apol._, I, 47-53 (ANF, I, 178 _ff._). A
    translation of the entire epistle may be found in ANF, I, 137-149.

Ch. 4. It is necessary, therefore, for us who inquire much concerning
present events to seek out those things which are able to save us. Let us
wholly flee, then, from all the works of iniquity, lest the works of
iniquity take hold of us; and let us hate the error of the present times,
that we may set our love on the future. Let us not give indulgence to our
soul, that it should have power to run with sinners and the wicked, that
we become not like them. The final occasion of stumbling approaches,
concerning which it is written as Enoch speaks: For this end the Lord has
cut short the times and the days, that His beloved may hasten and will
come to his inheritance.… (5) Ye ought therefore to understand. And this
also I beg of you, as being one of you and with special love loving you
all more than my own soul, to take heed to yourselves, and not be like
some, adding largely to your sins, and saying: “The covenant is both
theirs and ours.” For it is ours; but they thus finally lost it, after
Moses had already received it.(6)

Ch. 9. … But also circumcision, in which they trusted, has been abrogated.
He declared that circumcision was not of the flesh; but they transgressed
because an evil angel deluded them.(7)… Learn, then, my beloved children,
concerning all things richly, that Abraham, the first who enjoined
circumcision, looking forward in spirit to Jesus, circumcised, the
teaching of the three letters having been received. For the Scripture
saith: “Abraham circumcised eighteen and three hundred men of his
household.” What, then, was the knowledge [_gnosis_] given to him in this?
Learn that he says the eighteen first and then, making a space, the three
hundred. The eighteen are the Iota, ten, and the Eta, eight; and you have
here the name of Jesus. And because the cross was to express the grace in
the letter Tau, he says also, three hundred. He discloses therefore Jesus
in the two letters, and the cross in one. He knows this who has put within
us the engrafted gift of his teaching. No one has learned from me a more
excellent piece of knowledge, but I know that ye are worthy.(8)

(_b_) Justin Martyr, _Dialogus cum Tryphone_, 17. J. C. T. Otto, Corpus
_Apologetarum Christianorum Sæculi Secundi_, third ed.; 1876-81. (MSG,

    Justin Martyr was born about 100 in Samaria. He was one of the
    first of the Gentiles who had been trained in philosophy to become
    a Christian. His influence upon the doctrinal development of the
    Church was profound. He died as a martyr between 163 and 168. His
    principal works are the two Apologies written in close connection
    under Antoninus Pius (138-161), probably about 150, and his
    dialogue with Trypho the Jew, which was written after the first
    Apology. All translations of Justin Martyr are based upon Otto’s
    text, _v. supra_.

For the other nations have not been so guilty of wrong inflicted on us and
on Christ as you have been, who are in fact the authors of the wicked
prejudices against the Just One and against us who hold by Him.(9) For
after you had crucified Him, the only blameless and righteous Man, through
whose stripes there is healing to those who through Him approach the
Father, when you knew that He had risen from the dead and ascended into
heaven, as the prophecies foretold would take place, not only did you not
repent of those things wherein you had done wickedly, but you then
selected and sent out from Jerusalem chosen men through all the world to
say that the atheistical heresy of the Christians had appeared and to
spread abroad those things which all they who know us not speak against
us; so that you are the cause of unrighteousness not only in your own
case, but, in fact, in the case of all other men generally.… Accordingly,
you show great zeal in publishing throughout all the world bitter, dark,
and unjust slanders against the only blameless and righteous Light sent
from God to men.

(_c_) _Martyrdom of Polycarp_, 12, 13.

    Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, died at Smyrna February 2, 155, at the
    age of at least eighty-six, but he was probably nearer one hundred
    years old. He was the disciple of John, probably same as the
    Apostle John. His epistle was written circa 115, soon after the
    death of Ignatius of Antioch. At present it is generally regarded
    as genuine, though grave doubts have been entertained in the past.
    The martyrdom was written by some member of the church at Smyrna
    for that body to send to the church at Philomelium in Phrygia, and
    must have been composed soon after the death of the aged bishop.
    It is probably the finest of all the ancient martyrdoms and should
    be read in its entirety. Translation in the ANF, I, 37-45.

Ch. 12. The whole multitude both of the heathen and the Jews who dwelt at
Smyrna cried out with uncontrollable fury and in loud voice: “This is the
teacher of Asia, the father of the Christians and the overthrower of our
gods, who teaches many neither to sacrifice nor to worship.” Saying these
things, they cried out and demanded of Philip, the Asiarch, to let a lion
loose upon Polycarp. But he said he could not do this, since the sports
with beasts had ended. Then it pleased them to cry out with one consent
that he should burn Polycarp alive.…

Ch. 13. These things were carried into effect more rapidly than they were
spoken, and the multitude immediately gathered together wood and fagots
out of the shops and baths, and the Jews especially, as was their custom,
assisted them eagerly in it.

§ 6. The Extension of Christianity

It is impossible to determine with accuracy even the principal places to
which Christianity had spread in the first half of the second century.
Ancient writers were not infrequently led astray by their own rhetoric in
dealing with this topic.

Justin Martyr, _Dialogus cum Tryphone_, 117. (MSG, 6:676.)

    The following passage is of significance as bearing not only upon
    the extent to which Christianity had spread, after making due
    allowance for rhetoric, but also upon the conception of the
    eucharist and its relation to the ancient sacrifices held, by some
    Christians at least, in the first half of the second century.
    _Cf._ ch. 41 of the same work, _v. infra_, §§ 12 _f._

Therefore, as to all sacrifices offered in His name, which Jesus Christ
commanded to be offered, _i.e._, in the eucharist of the bread and cup,
and which are offered by Christians in all places throughout the world,
God, anticipating them, testified that they are well-pleasing to Him; but
He rejects those presented by you and by those priests of yours, saying:
And your sacrifices I will not accept at your hands; for from the rising
of the sun unto the going down of the same my name is great among the
Gentiles (He says), but ye have profaned it.(10) But since you deceive
yourselves, both you and your teachers, when you interpret what was said
as if the Word spoke of those of your nation who were in the dispersion,
and that it said that their prayers and sacrifices offered in every place
are pure and well-pleasing, you should know that you are speaking falsely
and are trying to cheat yourselves in every way; for, in the first place,
not even yet does your nation extend from the rising to the setting sun,
for there are nations among which none of your race ever dwelt. For there
is not a single race of men, whether among barbarians or Greeks, or by
whatever name they may be called, of those who live in wagons or are
called nomads or of herdsmen living in tents, among whom prayers and
thanksgivings are not offered through the name of the crucified Jesus to
the Father and Maker of all things. For, furthermore, at that time, when
the prophet Malachi said this, your dispersion over the whole earth, as
you are now, had not taken place, as is evident from the Scriptures.

§ 7. Relation of the Roman State to Christianity

The procedure of the Roman Government against the Christians first took a
definite form with the rescript of Trajan addressed to Pliny circa A. D.
111-113, but there is no formal imperial edict extant before Decius on the
question of the Christian religion. In an addition to the rescript of
Trajan addressed to Pliny there is a letter of Hadrian on the Christians
(_Ep. ad Servianum_) which is of interest as giving the opinion of that
Emperor, but the rescript addressed to Minucius Fundanus is probably
spurious, as is also the Epistle of Antoninus Pius to the Common Assembly
of Asia.

Additional source material: The text of the rescripts may be found in
Preuschen, _Analecta_, I, §§ 6, 7; translations, ANF, I, 186 _f._, and
Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._ (ed. McGiffert), IV, 9, and IV, 13.

Plinius Junior, _Epistulæ_, X, 96, 97. Preuschen, _Analecta_, I, 12 _ff._
_Cf._ Mirbt, nn. 14. 15.

    Caius Cæcilius Secundus is commonly known as Pliny the Younger, to
    distinguish him from his uncle, Pliny the Naturalist, whose wealth
    he inherited and whose name he seems to have borne. He was
    proprætor of Bithynia under Trajan (98-117), with whom he stood on
    terms of friendship and even intimacy. His letter to the Emperor
    requesting advice as to the right mode of dealing with Christians
    was written between 111 and 113.

    This correspondence is of the first importance, as it is
    unimpeachable evidence as to the spread of Christianity in the
    province in which Pliny was placed, to the customs of the
    Christians in their worship, and to the method of dealing with the
    new religion, which was followed for a long time with little
    change. It established the policy that Christianity, as such, was
    not to be punished as a crime, that the State did not feel called
    upon to seek out Christians, that it would not act upon anonymous
    accusations, but that when proper accusations were brought, the
    general laws, which Christians had violated on account of their
    faith, should be executed. Christianity was not to be treated as a
    crime. The mere renunciation of Christianity, coupled with the
    proof of renunciation involved in offering sacrifice, enabled the
    accused to escape punishment.

Ep. 96. It is my custom, my lord, to refer to you all questions about
which I have doubts. Who, indeed, can better direct me in hesitation, or
enlighten me in ignorance? In the examination of Christians I have never
taken part; therefore I do not know what crime is usually punished or
investigated or to what extent. So I have no little uncertainty whether
there is any distinction of age, or whether the weaker offenders fare in
no respect otherwise than the stronger; whether pardon is granted on
repentance, or whether when one has been a Christian there is no gain to
him in that he has ceased to be such; whether the mere name, if it is
without crimes, or crimes connected with the name are punished. Meanwhile
I have taken this course with those who were accused before me as
Christians: I have asked them whether they were Christians. Those who
confessed I asked a second and a third time, threatening punishment. Those
who persisted I ordered led away to execution. For I did not doubt that,
whatever it was they admitted, obstinacy and unbending perversity
certainly deserve to be punished. There were others of the like insanity,
but because they were Roman citizens I noted them down to be sent to Rome.
Soon after this, as it often happens, because the matter was taken notice
of, the crime became wide-spread and many cases arose. An unsigned paper
was presented containing the names of many. But these denied that they
were or had been Christians, and I thought it right to let them go, since
at my dictation they prayed to the gods and made supplication with incense
and wine to your statue, which I had ordered to be brought into the court
for the purpose, together with the images of the gods, and in addition to
this they cursed Christ, none of which things, it is said, those who are
really Christians can be made to do. Others who were named by an informer
said that they were Christians, and soon afterward denied it, saying,
indeed, that they had been, but had ceased to be Christians, some three
years ago, some many years, and one even twenty years ago. All these also
not only worshipped your statue and the images of the gods, but also
cursed Christ. They asserted, however, that the amount of their fault or
error was this: that they had been accustomed to assemble on a fixed day
before daylight and sing by turns [_i.e._, antiphonally] a hymn to Christ
as a god; and that they bound themselves with an oath, not for any crime,
but to commit neither theft, nor robbery, nor adultery, not to break their
word and not to deny a deposit when demanded; after these things were
done, it was their custom to depart and meet together again to take food,
but ordinary and harmless food; and they said that even this had ceased
after my edict was issued, by which, according to your commands, I had
forbidden the existence of clubs. On this account I believed it the more
necessary to find out from two maid-servants, who were called deaconesses
[_ministræ_], and that by torture, what was the truth. I found nothing
else than a perverse and excessive superstition. I therefore adjourned the
examination and hastened to consult you. The matter seemed to me to be
worth deliberation, especially on account of the number of those in
danger. For many of every age, every rank, and even of both sexes, are
brought into danger; and will be in the future. The contagion of that
superstition has penetrated not only the cities but also the villages and
country places; and yet it seems possible to stop it and set it right. At
any rate, it is certain enough that the temples, deserted until quite
recently, begin to be frequented, that the ceremonies of religion, long
disused, are restored, and that fodder for the victims comes to market,
whereas buyers of it were until now very few. From this it may easily be
supposed what a multitude of men can be reclaimed if there be a place of

Ep. 97 (_Trajan to Pliny_). You have followed, my dear Secundus, the
proper course of procedure in examining the cases of those who were
accused to you as Christians. For, indeed, nothing can be laid down as a
general law which contains anything like a definite rule of action. They
are not to be sought out. If they are accused and convicted, they are to
be punished, yet on this condition, that he who denies that he is a
Christian and makes the fact evident by an act, that is, by worshipping
our gods, shall obtain pardon on his repentance, however much suspected as
to the past. Papers, however, which are presented anonymously ought not to
be admitted in any accusation. For they are a very bad example and
unworthy of our times.

§ 8. Martyrdom and the Desire for Martyrdom

Ignatius of Antioch, _Ep. ad Romanos_, 4.

    Ignatius was bishop of Antioch in the opening years of the second
    century. According to tradition, he suffered martyrdom in Rome
    under Trajan, circa 117. Having been sent from Antioch to Rome by
    command of the Emperor, on his way he addressed letters to various
    churches in Asia, exhorting them to seek unity and avoid heresy by
    close union with the local bishop. His aim seems to have been
    practical, to promote the welfare of the Christian communities
    rather than the exaltation of the episcopal office itself. Doubts
    have arisen as to the authenticity of these epistles on account of
    the frequent references to the episcopate and to heresy. Further
    difficulty has been caused by the fact that the epistles of
    Ignatius appear in three forms or recensions, a longer Greek
    recension forming a group of thirteen epistles, a short Greek of
    seven epistles, and a still shorter Syriac version of only three.
    After much fluctuation of opinion, due to the general
    reconstruction of the history of the whole period, which has gone
    through various marked changes, the opinion of scholars has been
    steadily settling upon the short Greek recension of seven epistles
    as authentic, especially since the critical re-examination of the
    whole question by Zahn and Lightfoot.

I write to all the churches and impress on all, that I shall willingly die
for God unless ye hinder me. I beseech you not to show unseasonable
good-will toward me.(11) Permit me to be the food of wild beasts, through
whom it will be granted me to attain unto God. I am the wheat of God and I
am ground by the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread
of Christ. Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my tomb and
leave nothing of my body, so that when I have fallen asleep I may be
burdensome to no one. Then I shall be truly a disciple of Jesus Christ,
when the world sees not my body. Entreat Christ for me, that by these
instruments I may be found a sacrifice to God. Not as Peter and Paul(12)
do I issue commandments unto you. They were Apostles, I a condemned man;
they were free, I even until now a slave.(13) But if I suffer, I shall be
the freedman of Jesus Christ, and shall rise again free in Him. And now,
being in bonds, I learn not to desire anything.

§ 9. The Position of the Roman Community of Christians in the Church

The Roman Church took very early a leading place in the Christian Church,
even before the rise of the Petrine tradition, and its importance was
generally recognized. Its charity was very widely known and extolled. It
was a part of its care for Christians everywhere, a care which found
expression later in the obligation of maintaining the faith in the great
theological controversies. On the position of the Roman Church in this
period, see the address of the Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans (ANF, I,
73), as also the relation of Polycarp to the Roman Church in connection
with the question of the date of Easter (see § 38, below).

Dionysius of Corinth, “Epistle to the Roman Church,” in Eusebius, _Hist.
Ec._, IV, 23. (MSG, 20:388.) For text, see Kirch, n. 49 _f._

Moreover, there is still current an Epistle of Dionysius to the Romans,
addressed to Soter, bishop at that time. But there is nothing like quoting
its words in which, in approval of the custom of the Romans maintained
until the persecution in our own time, he writes as follows: “For you have
from the beginning this custom of doing good in different ways to all the
brethren, and of sending supplies to many churches in all the cities, in
this way refreshing the poverty of those in need, and helping brethren in
the mines with the supplies which you have sent from the beginning,
maintaining as Romans the customs of the Romans handed down from the
fathers, which your blessed bishop Soter has not only kept up, but also
increased, helping the saints with the abundant supply he sends from time
to time, and with blessed words exhorting, as a loving father his
children, the brethren who come up to the city.” In this same epistle he
also mentions the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, showing that from
the first it was read by ancient custom before the Church. He says,
therefore: “To-day, then, being the Lord’s day we kept holy; in which we
read your letter; for reading it we shall always have admonition, as also
from the former one written to us through Clement.” Moreover, the same
writer speaks of his own epistles as having been falsified, as follows:
“For when the brethren asked me to write letters, I wrote them. And these
the apostles of the devil have filled with tares, taking away some things
and adding others. For them there is woe in store. So it is not marvellous
that some have tried to falsify even the dominical scriptures [_i.e._, the
Holy Scriptures], when they have conspired against writings of another

§ 10. Chiliastic Expectations

Primitive Christianity was marked by great chiliastic enthusiasm, traces
of which may be found in the New Testament. By chiliasm, strictly
speaking, is meant the belief that Christ was to return to earth and reign
visibly for one thousand years. That return was commonly placed in the
immediate future. With that reign was connected the bodily resurrection of
the saints. This belief, in somewhat varying form, was one of the great
ethical motives in apostolic and post-apostolic times. It was a part of
the fundamental principles of Montanism. It disappeared with the rise of a
“scientific theology” such as that of Alexandria, the exclusion of
Montanism, and the changed conception of the relation of the Church and
the world, due to the lapse of time and the establishment of Christianity
as the religion of the State. From the fourth century it ceased to be a
living doctrine.

(_a_) Papias, in Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, III, 39. (MSG, 20: 300.)

    Papias, from whom two selections have been taken, was bishop of
    Hierapolis in Phrygia during the first part of the second century.
    He was, therefore, an elder contemporary of Justin Martyr. His
    work, _The Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord_, has perished,
    with the exception of a few fragments. The comments of Eusebius in
    introducing the quotations of Papias are characteristic of the
    change that had come over the Church since the post-apostolic
    period. That Papias was not to be regarded as a man of small power
    simply because he held chiliastic ideas is sufficiently refuted by
    the fact that Justin Martyr falls but little behind Papias in
    extravagance of expression.

“I shall not hesitate, also, to set in order for you with my
interpretations whatsoever things I have ever learned carefully from the
elders and carefully remembered, guaranteeing the truth of them.… For I
did not think that what was to be gotten from the books would profit me as
much as what came from the living and abiding voice.…” The same writer
gives also other accounts which he says came to him through unwritten
traditions, certain strange parables and teachings of the Saviour and some
other more mythical things. Among these he says that there will be a
period of some thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, when the
kingdom of Christ will be set up in a material form on this very earth. I
suppose he got these ideas through a misunderstanding of the apostolic
accounts, not perceiving that the things said by them were spoken
mystically in figures. For he appears to have been of very limited
understanding, as one can see from his discourses, though so many of the
Church Fathers after him adopted a like opinion, urging in their support
the antiquity of the man; as, for instance, Irenæus and any one else that
may have proclaimed similar views.

(_b_) Irenæus. _Adv. Hæreses_, V, 33. (MSG, 7:1213.)

The elders who saw John, the disciple of the Lord, relate that they heard
from him how the Lord used to teach in regard to those times, and say:
“The days will come in which vines shall grow, each having ten thousand
branches, and in each branch ten thousand twigs, and in each twig ten
thousand shoots, and in each one of the shoots ten thousand clusters, and
on every cluster ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will
yield five-and-twenty metretes of wine. And when any one of the saints
shall lay hold of a cluster, another shall cry out, ‘I am better cluster,
take me; bless the Lord through me.’ In like manner [the Lord declared]
that a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear
would produce ten thousand grains, and every grain would yield ten pounds
of clear, pure, fine flour; and that all other fruit-bearing trees, and
seeds and grass would produce similar proportions, and that all animals
feeding [only] on the productions of the earth would [in those days]
become peaceful and harmonious with each other and be in perfect
subjection to men.” And these things are borne witness to in writing by
Papias, the hearer of John, and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth
book; for there were five books compiled by him. And he says in addition:
“Now these things are credible to believers.”

(_c_) Justin Martyr, _Dialogus cum Tryphone_, 80 _f._ (MSG, 6:665.)

Ch. 80. Although you have fallen in with some who are called Christians,
but who do not admit this truth [the resurrection] and venture to
blaspheme the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of
Jacob,(14) and who say that there is no resurrection of the dead and that
their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven, be careful not to regard
them as Christians.… But I and whoever are on all points right-minded
Christians know that there will be a resurrection of the dead and a
thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and
enlarged as the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and the others declare.

Ch. 81. And, further, a certain man with us, named John, one of the
Apostles of Christ, predicted by a revelation that was made to him that
those who believed in our Christ would spend a thousand years in
Jerusalem, and thereafter the general, or to speak briefly, the eternal
resurrection and judgment of all men would likewise take place.

§ 11. The Church and the World

So long as chiliastic expectations were the basis of the Christian’s hope
and his judgment of the order of this present world, the Christian felt
that he was but a stranger and sojourner in the world, and that his real
home was the kingdom of Christ, soon to be established here on earth. With
such a view the Christian would naturally define his relation to the world
as being in it, yet not of it. As time passed, the opinion became more
common that the kingdom of Christ was not a future world-order to be set
up on His return, but the Church here on earth. This thought, which is the
key to the _City of God_ by St. Augustine, was not to be found in the
first century and a half of the Church.

_Ep. ad Diognetum_, 5, 6.

    The Epistle to Diognetus is one of the choicest pieces of
    ante-Nicene literature. Although it is commonly included among the
    Apostolic Fathers, the date is uncertain, it is anonymous, and the
    reason for its inclusion is not clear. The weight of opinion is in
    favor of an early date. It was preserved in but one manuscript,
    which was unfortunately destroyed in 1870. The main themes of the
    epistle are the faith and manners of the Christians, and an
    attempt to explain the late appearance of Christianity in the
    world. The work, therefore, is of the nature of an apology, and
    should be compared with _The Apology of Aristides_. A translation
    of the epistle may be found in ANF, I, 23.

Ch. 5. The Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country,
nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit
cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life
which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they
follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of
inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates
of any merely human doctrines. But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian
cities, according as the lot of each of them has been determined, and
following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the
rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and
confessedly striking method of life. They dwell in their own countries,
but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with
others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign country
is to them as their native land, and every land of their birth as a land
of strangers. They marry as do all; they beget children; but they do not
commit abortion. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are
in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days
on earth, but they are the citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed
laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all
men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are
put to death and restored to life. They are poor, yet they make many rich;
they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all. They are
dishonored, and yet in their very dishonor are glorified. They are
evil-spoken of, and yet are justified. They are reviled and bless; they
are insulted and repay insult with honor; they do good, yet are punished
as evil-doers. When punished they rejoice as if quickened into life; they
are assailed by the Jews as foreigners and are persecuted by the Greeks;
yet those who hate them are unable to assign a reason for their hatred.

Ch. 6. What the soul is in the body, that the Christians are in the world.
The soul is spread through all the members of the body, and Christians
through the cities of the world. The soul dwells in the body, but is not
of the body; so Christians dwell in the world, but they are not of the
world. The invisible soul is guarded in the visible body; so Christians
are known as existing in the world, but their religion remains invisible.
The flesh hates the soul and wages war on it, though it has received no
wrong, because it is forbidden to indulge in pleasures; so the world hates
Christians, though it receives no wrong from them, because they are
opposed to its pleasures. The soul loves the flesh which hates it, and it
loves the members; so Christians love those who hate them. The soul is
enclosed in the body, yet itself holds the body together; so the
Christians are kept in the world as in a prison-house, yet they themselves
hold the world together. The immortal soul dwells in a mortal tabernacle;
so Christians sojourn amid corruptible things, looking for the
incorruptibility in the heavens. The soul when hardly treated in the
matter of meats and drinks is improved; so Christians when punished
increase more and more daily. In so great an office has God appointed
them, which it is not lawful for them to decline.

§ 12. Theological Ideas

In the post-apostolic period are to be traced the beginnings of
distinctive forms of religious and ethical ideas as distinguished from
mere repetition of New Testament phrases. The most influential writer was
Ignatius of Antioch, the founder, or earliest representative, of what may
be called the Asia Minor theology, which is to be traced through Irenæus,
Methodius, and Athanasius to the other great theologians of the Nicene
period, becoming the distinctive Eastern type of piety. It probably
persisted in Asia Minor after Ignatius. Among its characteristic features
was the thought of redemption as the imparting to man of incorruptibility
through the incarnation and the sacraments.

(_a_) Ignatius, _Ep. ad Ephesios_, 18 _ff._

    The Epistle to the Ephesians is doctrinally the most important of
    the writings of Ignatius. In the passage that follows there is a
    remarkable anticipation of a part of the Apostles’ Creed (_cf._
    Hahn. § 1). The whole passage contains in brief the fundamental
    point of the writer’s teachings.

Ch. 18. My spirit is an offering(15) of the cross, which is a
stumbling-block to unbelievers, but to us salvation and life eternal.
“Where is the wise man? where the disputer?” [I Cor. 1:20.] Where is the
boasting of those called prudent? For our God, Jesus Christ, was,
according to the dispensation of God, conceived in the womb of Mary of the
seed of David, but of the Holy Ghost. He was born and baptized, that by
His passion He might purify the water.

Ch. 19. And the virginity of Mary was hidden from the Prince of this
World, and her bringing forth, and likewise the death of the Lord; three
mysteries of shouting, which were wrought in silence of God. How, then,
was He manifested to the world? A star shone forth from heaven above all
other stars, and its light was inexpressible, while its novelty struck men
with astonishment, but all the rest of the stars, with the sun and moon,
formed a chorus to this star, and its light was exceedingly great above
them all. And there was agitation whence this novelty, so unlike to
everything else. Hence every kind of magic was destroyed and every bond of
wickedness disappeared; ignorance was removed and the old kingdom
abolished, for God had been manifested in human form for the renewal of
eternal life. And now that took a beginning which had been prepared by
God. Henceforth all things were in a state of tumult because He meditated
the abolition of death.

Ch. 20. … Especially [will I write again] if the Lord make known to me
that ye all, man by man, through grace given to each, agree in one faith
and in Jesus Christ, who was of the family of David according to the
flesh, the Son of Man and the Son of God, so that ye obey the bishop and
the presbytery with an undivided mind, breaking one bread, which is the
medicine of immortality, and the antidote to prevent dying, but which is
life forever in Jesus Christ.

(_b_) Ignatius, _Ep. ad Smyrnæos_, 7.

    The following passage may be regarded as a parallel to part of the
    preceding extract from the same writer’s Epistle to the Ephesians.

They abstain from the eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not
that the eucharist is the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which
suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up
again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, die while
disputing. But it were better for them to love it, that they also may rise
again. It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such
persons, and not speak of them either in private or public, but to give
heed to the prophets and, above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion
has been revealed to us and the resurrection fully proved. But avoid all
divisions as the beginning of evils.

(_c_) Ignatius, _Ep. ad Trallianos_, 9, 10.

    The heresy which the writer fears is that known as Docetism, which
    denied the reality of the body of Jesus. Reference is made to it
    in the New Testament, I John 4:2. It was based upon the same
    philosophical idea as much of the later Gnostic speculation, that
    matter is essentially evil, and therefore a pure spirit could not
    be united to a real body composed of matter. See J. B. Lightfoot,
    _Apostolic Fathers_, pt. II, vol. II, p. 173 _ff._

Ch. 9. Be ye therefore deaf when any one speaks to you apart from Jesus
Christ, who was of the race of David, who was born of Mary, who was truly
born and ate and drank, who was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, who
was truly crucified and died while those in heaven and those on earth and
those under the earth looked on; who, also, was truly raised from the
dead, His Father having raised Him, who in like fashion will raise us who
believe in Him; His Father, I say, will raise us in Christ Jesus, apart
from whom we have not true life.

Ch. 10. But if it were as certain persons who are godless, that is,
unbelievers, say, that He only appeared to suffer, they themselves being
only in appearance, why am I bound? And why, also, do I desire to fight
with wild beasts? I therefore die in vain. Truly, then, I lie against the

§ 13. Worship in the Post-Apostolic Period

The worship of the Christian Church in the earliest period centred in the
eucharist. There are references to this in the New Testament (_cf._ Acts
2:42; 20:7; I Cor. 10:16). How far the agape was connected with the
eucharist is uncertain.

    Additional source material: See Pliny’s letter to Trajan (_v.
    supra_, § 7); the selections from Ignatius already given (_v.
    supra_, § 12) and the _Didache_ (_v. infra_, § 14, _a_).

Justin Martyr, _Apologia_, I, 61:65-67. (MSG, 6:428 _ff._) _Cf._ Mirbt, n.

    The _First Apology_ of Justin Martyr was written probably about
    150. As Justin’s work is dated, and is of indisputable
    authenticity, his account of the early worship of the Christians
    is of the very first importance. It should be noted, however,
    that, inasmuch as he is writing for non-Christians, he uses no
    technical terms in his description, and therefore nothing can be
    determined as to the exact significance of the titles he applies
    to the presiding officer at the eucharist. The following passage
    is of importance, also, as a witness to the custom of reading, in
    the course of Christian public worship, books that appear to be
    the Gospels. Irenæus, thirty years later, limits the number of the
    Gospels to four, _v. infra_, § 28. On the eucharist, _v. infra_, §

Ch. 61. But I will explain the manner in which we who have been made new
through Christ have also dedicated ourselves to God, lest by passing it
over I should seem in any way to be unfair in my explanation. As many as
are persuaded and believe that the things are true which are taught and
said by us, and promise that they are able to live accordingly, they are
taught to pray and with fasting to ask God forgiveness of their former
sins, while we pray and fast with them. Thereupon they are brought by us
to where there is water, and are born again in the same manner of a new
birth as we, also, ourselves were born again. For in the name of God the
Father and Lord of all, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy
Spirit, they then receive the washing in the water. For Christ said:
“Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
But that it is impossible for those once born to enter into the wombs of
their mothers is manifest to all.… And this washing is called
enlightenment, because those who learn these things have their
understandings enlightened. But, also, in the name of Jesus Christ who was
crucified under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of the Holy Spirit who by
the prophets foretold all things pertaining to Jesus, he who is
illuminated is washed.

Ch. 65. But after we have thus washed him who is persuaded and has
assented, we bring him to those who are called the brethren, to where they
are gathered together, making earnest prayer in common for ourselves and
for him who is enlightened, and for all others everywhere, that we may be
accounted worthy, after we have learned the truth, by our works also to be
found right livers and keepers of the commandments, that we may be saved
with the eternal salvation. We salute each other with a kiss when we
conclude our prayers. Thereupon to the president of the brethren bread and
a cup of water and wine are brought, and he takes it and offers up praise
and glory to the Father of the universe through the name of the Son and
the Holy Spirit, and gives thanks at length that we have been accounted
worthy of these things from Him; and when he has ended the prayers and
thanksgiving the whole people present assent, saying “Amen.” Now the word
Amen in the Hebrew language signifies, So be it. Then after the president
has given thanks and all the people have assented, those who are called by
us deacons give to each one of those present to partake of the bread and
of the wine and water for which thanks have been given, and for those not
present they take away a portion.

Ch. 66. And this food is called by us eucharist, and it is not lawful for
any man to partake of it but him who believes the things taught by us to
be true, and has been washed with the washing which is for the remission
of sins and unto a new birth, and is so living as Christ commanded. For
not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but just as
Jesus Christ our Saviour, being made flesh through the word of God, had
for our salvation both flesh and blood, so, also, we are taught that the
food for which thanks are given by the word of prayer which is from Him,
and from which by conversion our flesh and blood are nourished, is the
flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the Apostles in the
memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, thus delivered what
was commanded them: that Jesus took bread and gave thanks and said, This
do in remembrance of Me, this is My body; and that He likewise took the
cup, and when He had given thanks, said, This is My blood, and gave only
to them. And this the evil demons imitating, commanded it to be done also
in the mysteries of Mithras; for that bread and a cup of water are set
forth with certain explanations in the ceremonial of initiation, you
either know or can learn.

Ch. 67. But we afterward always remind one another of these things, and
those among us who are wealthy help all who are in want, and we always
remain together. And for all things we eat we bless the Maker of all
things through His Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit. And on
the day called the Day of the Sun there is a gathering in one place of us
all who live in cities or in the country, and the memoirs of the Apostles
or the writings of the prophets are read as long as time allows. Then,
when the reader has ceased, the president gives by word of mouth his
admonition and exhortation to imitate these excellent things. Afterward we
all rise at once and offer prayers; and as I said, when we have ceased to
pray, bread is brought and wine and water, and the president likewise
offers up prayers and thanksgivings as he has the ability, and the people
assent, saying “Amen.” The distribution to each and the partaking of that
for which thanks were given then take place; and to those not present a
portion is sent by the hands of the deacons. Those who are well-to-do and
willing give, every one giving what he will, according to his own
judgment, and the collection is deposited with the president, and he
assists orphans and widows, and those who through sickness or any other
cause are in want, and those who are in bonds, and the strangers that are
sojourning, and, in short, he has the care of all that are in need. Now we
all hold our common meeting on the Day of the Sun, because it is the first
day on which God, having changed the darkness and matter, created the
world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead.
For on the day before Saturn’s they crucified Him; and on the day after
Saturn’s, which is the Day of the Sun, having appeared to his Apostles and
disciples, He taught them these things which we have offered you for

§ 14. Church Organization

No subject in Church history has been more hotly discussed than the
organization of the primitive Christian Church. Each of several Christian
confessions have attempted to justify a polity which it regarded as _de
fide_ by appeal to the organization of the Church of the primitive ages.
Since it has been seen that the admission of the principle of development
does not invalidate claims for divine warrant for a polity, the
acrimonious debate has been somewhat stilled. There seems to have been in
the Church several forms of organization, and to some extent the various
contentions of conflicting creeds and polities have been therein
justified. The ultimately universal form, episcopacy, may in some parts of
the Church be traced to the end of the apostolic age, but it seems not to
have been universally diffused at that time. Since Christian communities
sprang up without official propaganda, at least in many instances, and
were due to the work of independent Christian believers moving about in
the Empire, this variety of organization was what might have been
expected, especially as the significance of the organization was first
felt chiefly in connection with the danger from heresy. That various
external influences affected the development is also highly probable.

(_a_) Clement of Rome, _Ep. ad Corinthios_, I, 42, 44.

Ch. 42. The Apostles have preached the Gospel to us from the Lord Jesus
Christ; Jesus Christ was sent forth from God. Christ, therefore, was from
God, and the Apostles from Christ. Both these appointments, then, came
about in an orderly way, by the will of God. Having, therefore, received
their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord
Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of
the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at
hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed
their first-fruits, having proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and
deacons of those who should afterward believe. Nor was this a new thing;
for, indeed, many ages before it was written concerning bishops and
deacons. For thus saith the Scripture in a certain place: “I will appoint
their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.”(16)

Ch. 44. Our Apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there
would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate.(17) For this
cause, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect foreknowledge of
this, they appointed those already mentioned, and afterward gave
instructions that when these should fall asleep other approved men should
succeed them in their ministry. We are of the opinion, therefore, that
those appointed by them, or afterward by other eminent men, with the
consent of the whole Church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of
Christ in lowliness of mind, peaceably, and with all modesty, and for a
long time have borne a good report with all—these men we consider to be
unjustly thrust out of their ministrations.(18) For it will be no light
sin for us, if we thrust out those who have offered the gifts of the
bishop’s office blamelessly and holily. Blessed are those presbyters who
have gone before seeing their departure was fruitful and ripe; for they
have no fear lest any one should remove them from their appointed place.
For we see that ye have displaced certain persons, though they were living
honorably, from the ministration which had been honored by them

(_b_) _Didache_, 7-15.

    The _Didache_ is a very early manual of the instruction for
    Christian converts. It consists of two quite distinct parts, viz.,
    a brief account of the moral law (chapters 1-6). which appears to
    be based upon a Jewish original to which the name of _The Two
    Ways_ has been given, and a somewhat longer account of the various
    rites of the Church and the regulations governing its
    organization. Its date is in the first half of the second century
    and belongs more probably to the first quarter than to the second.
    It is a document of first-class importance, especially in the part
    bearing on the organization of the Church, which is here given.
    The extensive literature on the subject may be found in Krüger.
    _op. cit._, § 21.

Ch. 7. But concerning baptism, thus shall ye baptize. Having first recited
all these things, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Spirit in living [_i.e._, running] water. But if thou hast not
living water, then baptize in any other water; and if thou art not able in
cold, in warm. But if thou hast neither, pour water upon the head thrice
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. But
before baptism let him that baptizeth and him that is baptized fast, and
any others also who are able; and thou shalt order him that is baptized to
fast a day or two before.

Ch. 8. And let not your fastings be with the hypocrites. For they fast on
the second and the fifth days of the week; but do ye keep your fast on the
fourth and on the preparation [_i.e._, the sixth day]. Neither pray ye as
the hypocrites, but as the Lord commanded in His Gospel, thus pray ye: Our
Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will
be done, as in heaven, so also on earth; give us this day our daily(19)
bread; and forgive us our debt, as we also forgive our debtors; and lead
us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One; for Thine is the
power and the glory forever.(20) Three times in the day pray ye so.

Ch. 9. But as regards the eucharist [thanksgiving], give ye thanks thus.
First, as regards the cup: We give Thee thanks, O our Father, for the holy
vine of David, Thy Son, which Thou madest known unto us through Jesus, Thy
Son; Thine is the glory forever. Then as regards the breaking [_i.e._, of
the bread]: We give thanks to Thee, O our Father, for the life and
knowledge which thou madest known unto us through Jesus, Thy Son; Thine is
the glory forever. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains
and being gathered together became one, so may Thy Church be gathered
together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom; for Thine is the
glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever and ever. But let no one
eat or drink of this eucharist [thanksgiving] but they that have been
baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord hath
said: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs.

Ch. 10. After ye are satisfied give thanks thus: We give Thee thanks, Holy
Father, for Thy holy name, which Thou hast made to tabernacle in our
hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which Thou hast
made known unto us through Thy Son Jesus; Thine is the glory forever.
Thou, Almighty Master, created all things for Thy name’s sake, and gave
food and drink unto men for enjoyment, that they might render thanks to
Thee; but bestowed upon us spiritual food and drink and eternal life
through Thy Son. Before all things we give Thee thanks that Thou art
powerful; Thine is the glory forever. Remember, Lord, Thy Church to
deliver it from all evil and to perfect it in Thy love; and gather it
together from the four winds—even the Church which has been
sanctified—into Thy kingdom which Thou hast prepared for it; for Thine is
the power and the glory forever. May grace come and may this world pass
away. Hosanna to the God of David. If any one is holy let him come; if any
one is not, let him repent. Maran Atha. Amen. But permit the prophets to
offer thanksgiving as much as they will.

Ch. 11. Whosoever, therefore, shall come and teach you all these things
that have been said receive him; but if the teacher himself be perverted
and teach a different doctrine to the destruction thereof, hear him not;
but if to the increase of righteousness and knowledge of the Lord, receive
him as the Lord.

But concerning the apostles and prophets, so do ye according to the
ordinance of the Gospel: Let every apostle coming to you be received as
the Lord; but he shall not abide more than a single day, or if there be
need, a second likewise; but if he abide three days, he is a false
prophet. And when he departs, let not the apostle receive anything save
bread until he find shelter; but if he ask money, he is a false prophet.
And any prophet speaking in the Spirit ye shall not try, neither discern;
for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven. Yet
not every one that speaketh in the Spirit is a prophet, but only if he
have the ways of the Lord. From his ways, therefore, the false prophet and
the [true] prophet shall be recognized. And no prophet when he ordereth a
table in the Spirit shall eat of it; otherwise he is a false prophet.(21)
And every prophet teaching the truth, if he doeth not what he teacheth, is
a false prophet. And every prophet approved and found true, working unto a
worldly mystery of the Church,(22) and yet teacheth not to do what he
himself doeth, shall not be judged before you; he hath his judgment in the
presence of God; for in like manner also did the ancient prophets. And
whosoever shall say in the Spirit, Give me silver or anything else, do not
listen to him; but if he say to give on behalf of others who are in want,
let no one judge him.

Ch. 12. But let every one coming in the name of the Lord be received; and
when ye have tested him ye shall know him, for ye shall have understanding
on the right hand and on the left. If the comer is a traveller, assist him
as ye are able; but let him not stay with you but for two or three days,
if it be necessary. But if he wishes to settle with you, being a
craftsman, let him work and eat. But if he has no craft, according to your
wisdom provide how without idleness he shall live as a Christian among
you. If he will not do this, he is trafficking upon Christ. Beware of such

Ch. 13. But every true prophet desiring to settle among you is worthy of
his food. In like manner, a true teacher is also worthy, like the workman,
of his food. Every first-fruit, then, of the produce of the wine-vat and
of the threshing-floor, of thy oxen and of thy sheep, thou shalt take and
give as the first-fruit to the prophets; for they are your chief priests.
But if ye have not a prophet, give them to the poor. If thou makest bread,
take the first-fruit and give according to the commandment. In like
manner, when thou openest a jar of wine or oil, take the first-fruit and
give to the prophets; yea, and of money and raiment and every possession
take the first-fruit, as shall seem good to thee, and give according to
the commandment.

Ch. 14. And on the Lord’s day gather yourselves together and break bread
and give thanks, first confessing your transgressions, that your sacrifice
may be pure. And let no man having a dispute with his fellow join your
assembly until they have been reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be
defiled; for this is the sacrifice spoken of by the Lord: In every place
and at every time offer me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great king, saith
the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations. [Mal. 1:11, 14.]

Ch. 15. Appoint [_i.e._, lay hands on], therefore, for yourselves bishops
and deacons worthy of the Lord, men meek, not lovers of money, truthful,
and approved; for they also render you the service of prophets and
teachers. Despise them not, therefore, for they are your honored ones
together with the prophets and teachers.

(_c_) Ignatius, _Ep. ad Trallianos_, 2, 3.

    For Ignatius, see § 8.

Ch. 2. For since ye are subject to the bishop as Jesus Christ, ye appear
to me to live not after the manner of men, but according to Jesus Christ,
who died for us, in order that by believing in His death ye may escape
death. It is therefore necessary that just as ye indeed do, so without the
bishop ye should do nothing, but should also be subject to the presbytery,
as to the Apostles of Jesus Christ, our Hope, living in whom we shall be
found [_i.e._, at the last]. It is right, also, that the deacons, being
[ministers] of the mysteries of Jesus Christ, should in every respect be
well-pleasing to all. For they are not the ministers of meats and drinks,
but servants of the Church of God. It is necessary, therefore, that they
guard themselves from all grounds of accusation as they would from fire.

Ch. 3. In like manner, let all reverence the deacons as Jesus Christ, as
also the bishop, who is a type of the Father, and the presbyters as the
sanhedrim of God and the assembly of the Apostles. Apart from these there
is no Church.

(_d_) Ignatius, _Ep. ad Smyrnæos_, 8.

See that ye follow the bishop as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the
presbyters as ye would the Apostles; and reverence the deacons as a
commandment of God. Without the bishop let no one do any of those things
connected with the Church. Let that be deemed a proper eucharist which is
administered either by the bishop or by him to whom he has intrusted it.
Wherever the bishop shall appear there let also the multitude be, even as
wherever Jesus Christ is there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful
without the bishop either to baptize or to make an agape. But whatsoever
he shall approve that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is
done may be secure and valid.

§ 15. Church Discipline

The Church was the company of the saints. How far, then, could the Church
tolerate in its midst those who had committed serious offences against the
moral law? A case had occurred in the Corinthian church about which St.
Paul had given some instructions to the Christians of that city (_cf._ I
Cor. 5:3-5; II Cor. 13:10). There was the idea current that sins after
baptism admitted of no pardon and involved permanent exclusion from the
Church (_cf._ Heb. 10:26). A distinction was also made as to sins whereby
some were regarded as “sins unto death” and not admitting of pardon (_cf._
I John 5:16). In principle, the exclusion from the Church of those who had
committed gross sins was recognized, but as the Church grew it soon became
a serious question as to the extent to which this strict discipline could
be enforced. We find, therefore, a well-defined movement toward relaxing
this rigor of the law. The beginning appears in Hermas, who admits the
possibility of one repentance after baptism. A special problem was
presented from the first by the difference between the conceptions of
marriage held by the Christians and by the heathen. The Church very early
took the position that marriage in some sense was indissoluble, that so
long as both parties to a marriage lived, neither could marry again, but
after the death of one party the surviving spouse could remarry, although
this second marriage was looked upon with some disfavor. Both the idea of
a second repentance and the idea of the indissolubility of marriage are
expressed in the following extract from Hermas:

Hermas, _Pastor_, Man. IV, I, 3.

    Hermas wrote in the second century. Opinions have varied as to his
    date, some putting him near the beginning, some near the middle of
    the century. The weight of opinion seems to be that he lived
    shortly before 150. His work entitled _The Pastor_ is in the form
    of revelations, and was therefore thought to partake of an
    inspiration similar to that of Holy Scripture. This naturally gave
    it a place among Scriptures for a while and accounts for the great
    popularity of the work in the early Church. It is the best example
    of an extensive apocalyptic literature which flourished in the
    Church in the first two centuries.

Ch. 1. If the husband should not take her back [_i.e._, the penitent wife
who has committed adultery] he sins, and brings a great sin upon himself;
for he ought to take back her who has sinned and repented; but not
frequently; for there is but one repentance to the servants of God
[_i.e._, after becoming the servants of God]. On account of her repentance
[_i.e._, because she may repent, and therefore should be taken back] the
husband ought not to marry. This treatment applies to the woman and to the

Ch. 3. And I said to him: “I should like to continue my questions.” “Speak
on,” said he. And I said: “I have heard, sir, from some teachers that
there is no other repentance than that when we descend into the water and
receive remission of our former sins.” He said to me: “Thou hast well
heard, for so it is. For he who has received remission of his sins ought
to sin no more, but to live in purity. Since, however, you inquire
diligently into all things, I will point out this also to you, not as
giving occasion for error to those who are to believe, or have lately
believed, in the Lord. For those who have now believed and those who are
to believe have not repentance of their sins, but they have remission of
their former sins. For to those who have been called before these days the
Lord has set repentance. For the Lord, who knows the heart and foreknows
all things, knew the weakness of men and the manifold wiles of the devil,
that he would inflict some evil on the servants of God and would act
wickedly against them. The Lord, therefore, being merciful, has had mercy
on the works of His hands and has set repentance for them; and has
intrusted to me the power over this repentance. And therefore I say unto
you,” he said, “that if after that great and holy calling any one is
tempted by the devil and sins, he has one repentance. But if thereupon he
should sin and then repent, to such a man his repentance is of no benefit;
for with difficulty will he live.”(23)

§ 16. Moral Ideas in the Post-Apostolic Period

Christians were convinced that their religion made the highest possible
moral demands upon them. They were to live in the world, but remain
uncontaminated by it (_cf._ _supra_, § 11). This belief even candid
heathen were sometimes forced to admit (_cf._ Pliny’s correspondence with
Trajan, _supra_, § 7). The morality of the Christians and the loftiness of
their ethical code were common features in the apologies which began to
appear in the post-apostolic period (_cf. The Apology of Aristides,
infra_, § 20, _a_). Christianity was a revealed code of morals, by the
observance of which men might escape the fires of hell and obtain the
bliss of immortality (_a_) (_cf. infra_, § 30). At the same time there was
developed a tendency toward asceticism, by which a higher excellence might
be obtained than the law required of ordinary Christians (_b__, __c_).
This higher morality was not without its compensations; superior merit was
recognized by God, and was accordingly rewarded; it might even be applied
to offset sins committed (_d__, __e_). This last idea is to be traced to
the book of Tobit (cf. also James 5:20; I Peter 4:8). The fuller
development is to be found in the theology of Tertullian and Cyprian (v.
_infra_, § 39).

(_a_) Justin Martyr, _Apologia_, I, 10, 12. (MSG, 6:339, 342.)

Ch. 10. We have received by tradition that God does not need man’s
material offerings, since we see that He himself provides all things. And
we have been taught, have been convinced, and do believe that He accepts
only those who imitate the virtues which reside in Him, temperance and
justice and philanthropy, and as many virtues as are peculiar to a God who
is called by no given name. And we have been taught that He in the
beginning, since He is good, did for man’s sake create all things out of
unformed matter; and if men by their works show themselves worthy of His
design, they are deemed worthy, for so we have received, of reigning in
company with Him, having become incorruptible and incapable of suffering.
For as in the beginning He created us when we were not, so we consider
that, in like manner, those who choose what is pleasing to Him are, on
account of their choice, deemed worthy of incorruption and of fellowship
with Him. For the coming into being at first was not in our power; and in
order that we may follow those things which please Him, choosing them by
means of the rational faculties with which He has himself endowed us, He
both persuades us and leads us to faith.…

Ch. 12. And more than all other men are we your helpers and allies in
promoting peace; for we are of the opinion that it is impossible for the
wicked, or the covetous, or the conspirator, or the virtuous to escape the
notice of God, and that each man goes to eternal punishment or salvation
according to the deserts of his actions. For if all men knew this, no one
would choose wickedness, even for a little time, knowing that he goes to
the eternal punishment of fire; but he would in every respect restrain
himself and adorn himself with virtue, that he might obtain the good gifts
of God and escape punishment. For those who, on account of the laws and
punishments you impose, endeavor when they offend to escape detection,
offend thinking that it is possible to escape your detection, since you
are but men; but if they learned and were convinced that it is not
possible that anything, whether actually done or only intended, should
escape the notice of God, they would live decently in every respect, on
account of the penalties threatened, as even you yourselves will admit.

(_b_) _Didache_, 6. _Cf._ Mirbt, n. 13.

See that no one cause thee to err from this way of the teaching, since
apart from God it teacheth thee. For if thou art able to bear all the yoke
of the Lord, thou wilt be perfect; but if thou art not able, do what thou
art able. And concerning foods, bear what thou art able; but against that
which is sacrificed to idols be exceedingly on thy guard; for it is the
service of dead gods.

(_c_) Hermas, _Pastor_, Man. IV, 4.

And again I asked him, saying: “Sir, since you have been so patient with
me, will you show me this also?” “Speak,” said he. And I said: “If a wife
or husband die, and the widow or widower marry, does he or she commit
sin?” “There is no sin in marrying again,” said he; “but if they remain
unmarried, they gain greater honor and glory with the Lord; but if they
marry, they do not sin. Guard, therefore, your chastity and purity and you
will live to God. What commandments I now give you, and what I am to give
you, keep from henceforth, yea, from the very day when you were intrusted
to me, and I will dwell in your house. And your former sins will be
forgiven, if you keep my commandments. And to all there is forgiveness if
they keep these my commandments and walk in this chastity.”

(_d_) Clement of Rome, _Ep. ad Corinthios_, II, 4, 16.

Ch. 4. Let us, then, not call Him Lord, for that will not save us. For He
saith: “Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall be saved, but he
that worketh righteousness.” Wherefore, brethren, let us confess Him by
our works, by loving one another, by not committing adultery, or speaking
evil of one another, or cherishing envy; but by being continent,
compassionate, and good. We ought also to sympathize with one another, and
not be avaricious. By such works let us confess Him, and not by those that
are of an opposite kind. And it is not fitting that we should fear men,
but rather God. For this reason, if we should do such things, the Lord
hath said: “Even though ye were gathered together to me in my very bosom,
yet if ye were not to keep my commandments, I would cast you off, and say
unto you. Depart from me; I know you not, whence ye are, ye workers of

Ch. 16. So then, brethren, having received no small occasion to repent,
while we have opportunity, let us turn to God, who called us while we yet
have One to receive us. For if we renounce these indulgences and conquer
the soul by not fulfilling its wicked desires, we shall be partakers of
the mercy of Jesus. Know ye not that the day of judgment draweth nigh like
a burning oven, and certain of the heavens and all the earth will melt,
like lead melting in fire; and then will appear the hidden and manifest
deeds of men? Good, then, are alms as repentance from sin; better is
fasting than prayer, and alms than both; “charity covereth a multitude of
sins,” and prayer out of a good conscience delivereth from death. Blessed
is every one that shall be found complete in these; for alms lighten the
burden of sin.

(_e_) Hermas, _Pastor_, Sim. V, 3.

“If you do anything good beyond the commandment of God, you will gain for
yourself more abundant glory, and will be more honored before God than you
would otherwise be. If, therefore, you keep the commandments of God and do
these services, you will have joy if you observe them according to my
commandment.” I said unto him: “Sir, whatsoever you command me I will
observe; for I know that you are with me.” “I will be with you,” he said,
“because you have such a desire for doing good; I will be with all those,”
he said, “who have such a desire. This fasting,” he continued, “is very
good, provided the commandments of the Lord be observed. Thus, then, shall
you observe the fast which you intend to keep. First of all, be on your
guard against every evil word and every evil desire, and purify your heart
from all the vanities of this world. If you guard against these things,
your fasting will be perfect. But do thus: having fulfilled what is
written, during the day on which you fast you will taste nothing but bread
and water; and having reckoned up the price of the dishes of that day
which you intended to have eaten, you will give it to a widow, an orphan,
or to some one in want, and thus you will be humble-minded, so that he who
has received benefit from your humility may fill his own soul and pray to
the Lord for you. If you observe fasting as I have commanded you, your
sacrifice will be acceptable to God, and this fasting will be written
down; and the service thus performed is noble and sacred and acceptable to
the Lord.”

Period III. The Critical Period: A. D. 140 to A. D. 200

The interval between the close of the post-apostolic age and the end of
the second century, or from about 140 to 200, may be called the Critical
Period of Ancient Christianity. In this period there grew up conceptions
of Christianity which were felt by the Church, as a whole, to be
fundamentally opposed to its essential spirit and to constitute a serious
menace to the Christian faith as it had been commonly received. These
conceptions, which grew up both alongside of, and within the Church, have
been grouped under the term Gnosticism, a generic term including many
widely divergent types of teaching and various interpretations of
Christian doctrine in the light of Oriental speculation. There were also
reactionary and reformatory movements which were generally felt to be out
of harmony with the development upon which Christian thought and life had
already entered; such were Montanism and Marcionism. To overcome these
tendencies and movements the Christian churches in the various parts of
the Roman Empire were forced, on the one hand, to develop more completely
such ecclesiastical institutions as would defend what was commonly
regarded as the received faith, and, on the other hand, to pass from a
condition in which the various Christian communities existed in isolated
autonomy to some form of organization whereby the spiritual unity of the
Church might become visible and better able to strengthen the several
members of that Church in dealing with theological and administrative
problems. The Church, accordingly, acquired in the Critical Period the
fundamental form of its creed, as an authoritative expression of belief;
the episcopate, as a universally recognized essential of Church
organization and a defence of tradition; and its canon of Holy Scripture,
at least in fundamentals, as the authoritative primitive witness to the
essential teachings of the Church. It also laid the foundations of the
conciliar system, and the bonds of corporate unity between the scattered
communities of the Church were defined and recognized. At the same time,
the Church developed in its conflict with heathenism an apologetic
literature, and in its conflict with heresy a polemical literature, in
which are to be found the beginnings of its theology or scientific
statement of Christian truth. Of this theology two lines of development
are to be traced: one a utilization of Greek philosophy which arose from
the Logos doctrine of the Apologists, and the other a realistic doctrine
of redemption which grew out of the Asia Minor type of Christian teaching,
traces of which are to be found in Ignatius of Antioch.

Chapter I. The Church In Relation To The Empire And Heathen Culture

In the course of the second century the Church spread rapidly into all
parts of the Empire, and even beyond. It became so prominent that the
relation of the Church to heathen thought and institutions underwent a
marked change. Persecutions of Christians became more frequent, and
thereby the popular conviction was deepened that Christians were
malefactors. To some extent men of letters began to notice the new faith
and attack it. In opposition to persecution and criticism, the Church
developed an active apologetic or defence of Christianity and Christians
against heathen aspersions.

§ 17. The Extension of Christianity

Under the head of Extension of Christianity are to be placed only such
texts as may be regarded as evidence for the presence of the Church in a
well-defined locality. It is apparent that the evidence must be
incomplete, for many places must have received the Christian faith which
were unknown to the writers whose works we have or which they had no
occasion to mention. Rhetorical overstatement of the extension of the
Church was a natural temptation in view of the rapid spread of
Christianity. Each text needs to be scrutinized and its merits assessed.
It should, however, be borne in mind that the existence of a
well-established church in any locality is in most cases sufficient reason
for believing that Christianity had already been there for some time. In
this way valid historical reasoning carries the date of the extension of
the Church to a locality somewhat further back than does the date of the
appearance of a document which testifies to the existence of Christianity
in a definite place at a definite time.

(_a_) Tertullian, _Adv. Judæos_, 7. (MSL, 2:649.)

    Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus (circa 160-circa 220 A. D.)
    is the most important ante-Nicene Latin ecclesiastical writer. He
    has been justly regarded as the founder of Latin theology and the
    Christian Latin style. His work is divided into two periods by his
    adherence (between 202 and 207 A. D.) to the Montanistic sect.

    The treatise _Adversus Judæos_ probably belongs to Tertullian’s
    pre-Montanist period, though formerly placed among his Montanist
    writings (see Krüger, § 85, 6). For Geographical references, see
    W. Smith, _Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography_.

Upon whom else have all nations believed but upon the Christ who has
already come? For whom have the other nations believed—Parthians, Medes,
Elamites, and they who inhabit Mesopotamia, Armenia, Phrygia, Cappadocia,
and those dwelling in Pontus and Asia, and Pamphylia, sojourners in Egypt,
and inhabitants of the region of Africa which is beyond Cyrene, Romans and
sojourners, yes, and in Jerusalem, Jews and other nations;(25) as now the
varied races of the Gætulians, and manifold confines of the Moors, all the
limits of Spain, and the diverse nations of the Gauls, and the places of
the Britons inaccessible to the Romans, but subjugated to Christ, and of
the Sarmatians and Dacians, and Germans and Scythians, and of many remote
nations and provinces and many islands unknown to us and which we can
hardly enumerate? In all of these places the name of Christ, who has
already come, now reigns.

(_b_) Tertullian, _Apologeticus adversus Gentes pro Christianis_, 37.
(MSL, 1:525.)

    The date of this work is 197 A. D.

We are but of yesterday, and we have filled every place among you—cities,
islands, fortresses, towns, market-places, the very camps, tribes,
companies, palace, Senate, and Forum. We have left you only the temples.

(_c_) Irenæus, _Adv. Hæreses_, I, 10, 3. (MSG, 7:551 _f._) For text, see
Kirch, § 91.

Since the Church has received this preaching and this faith, as we have
said, the Church, although it is scattered throughout the whole world,
diligently guards it as if it dwelt in one house; and likewise it believes
these things as if it had one soul and one heart, and harmoniously it
preaches, teaches, and believes these things as if possessing one mouth.
For although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of
the tradition is one and the same. For the churches which have been
founded in Germany have not believed nor handed down anything different,
nor have those among the Iberians, nor those among the Gauls, nor those in
the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have
been established in the central regions(26) of the world.

(_d_) Bardesanes, _De Fato_. F. Nau, _Bardesane l’astrologue; le livre des
lois des pays_, Paris. 1899.

    Bardesanes (154-222 A. D.) was the great Christian teacher of
    Edessa. He lived at the court of Abgar IX (179-214), whom,
    according to a doubtful tradition, he is said to have converted.
    The entire book may be found well translated by B. P. Pratten,
    ANF, VIII. 723-734.

In Syria and Edessa men used to part with their manhood in honor of
Tharatha,(27) but when King Abgar became a believer he commanded that
every one that did so should have his hand cut off, and from that day
until now no one does so in the country of Edessa.

And what shall we say of the new race of us Christians, whom Christ at His
advent planted in every country and in every region? For, lo, wherever we
are, we are called after the one name of Christ—namely, Christians. On one
day, the first day of the week, we assemble ourselves together, and on the
days of the readings(28) we abstain from sustenance. The brethren who are
in Gaul do not take males for wives, nor those in Parthia two wives; nor
do those in Judea circumcise themselves; nor do those of our sisters who
are among the Geli consort with strangers; nor do those of our brethren
who are in Persia take their daughters for wives; nor do those who are in
Media abandon their dead or bury them alive or give them as food to the
dogs; nor do those who are in Edessa kill their wives who commit adultery,
nor their sisters, but they withdraw from them, and give them over to the
judgment of God; nor do those who are in Hatra stone thieves to death; but
wherever they are, and in whatever place they are found, the laws of the
several countries do not hinder them from obeying the law of their Christ;
nor does the Fate of the celestial governors(29) compel them to make use
of the things which they regard as impure.

(_e_) Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, V, 10. (MSG, 20:455.)

    Missions in the extreme East.

They say that Pantænus displayed such zeal for the divine word that he was
appointed a herald of the Gospel of Christ to the nations of the East and
was sent as far as India.(30) For indeed there were still many evangelists
of the word who sought earnestly to use their inspired zeal, after the
example of the Apostles, for the increase and building up of the divine
word. Pantænus was one of these, and he is said to have gone to India. The
report is that among persons in that country who knew of Christ he found
the Gospel according to Matthew, which had anticipated his own arrival.
For Bartholomew, one of the Apostles, had preached to them and left them
the writing of Matthew in the Hebrew language, and they had preserved it
till that time.

§ 18. Heathen Religious Feeling and Culture in Relation to Christianity

The Christian religion in the course of the latter part of the second
century began to attract the attention of heathen writers; it became an
object of literary attack. The principal literary opponent of Christianity
was Celsus, who subjected the Christian traditions and customs to a
searching criticism to prove that they were absurd, unscientific, and
false. Lucian of Samosata, does not seem to have attacked Christianity
from any philosophical or religious interest, but treated it as an object
of derision, making sport of it. There were also in circulation
innumerable heathen calumnies, many of the most abominable character.
These have been preserved only by Christian writers. It was chiefly in
reference to these calumnies that the Christian apologists wrote. The
answer to Celsus made by Origen belongs to a later period, though Celsus
represents the best philosophical criticism of Christianity of the latter
part of the second century.

(_a_) Celsus, _The True Word_, in Origen, _Contra Celsum_. (MSG, 11:651

    The work of Celsus against Christianity, or _The True Word_,
    written about 178, is lost, but it has been so incorporated in the
    elaborate reply of Origen that it can be reconstructed without
    much difficulty. This Theodor Keim has done. The following
    extracts from Origen’s _Contra Celsum_ are quotations from Celsus
    or references to his criticism of Christianity. For Origen, _v.
    infra_, § 43, _b_.

I, 1. (MSG, 11:651.) Wishing to throw discredit upon Christianity, the
first point Celsus brings forward is that the Christians have entered
secretly into associations with each other which are forbidden by the
laws; saying that “of associations some are public, others again secret;
and the former are permitted by the laws; the latter are prohibited by the

I, 4. (MSG, 11:661.) Let us notice, also, how he thinks to cast discredit
upon our system of morals as neither venerable nor a new branch of
instruction, inasmuch as it is common to other philosophers.

I, 9. (MSG, 11:672.) He says that “Certain of them do not wish either to
give or to receive reasons for those things to which they hold; saying,
‘Do not examine, only believe and your faith will save you!’ ”; and he
alleges that such also say: “The wisdom of this life is bad, but
foolishness is a good thing.”

I, 38. (MSG, 11:733.) He admits somehow the miracles which Jesus wrought
and by means of which He induced the multitude to follow Him as the
Christ. He wishes to throw discredit on them, as having been done not by
divine power, but by help of magic, for he says: “That he [Jesus], having
been brought up secretly and having served for hire in Egypt, and then
coming to the knowledge of certain miraculous powers, returned from
thence, and by means of those powers proclaimed himself a god.”

II, 55. (MSG, 11:884.) “Come, now, let us grant to you that these things
[the prediction made by Christ of His resurrection] were said. Yet how
many others are there who have used such wonders to deceive their simple
hearers, and who made gain of their deception? Such was the case, they
say, with Zalmoxis in Scythia, the slave of Pythagoras; and with
Pythagoras himself in Italy.… But the point to be considered is, whether
any one who was really dead ever rose with a veritable body. Or do you
imagine the statements of others not only are myths, but appear as such,
but you have discovered a becoming and credible termination of your drama,
the voice from the cross when he breathed his last, the earthquake and the
darkness? that while living he was of no help to himself, but when dead he
rose again, and showed the marks of his punishment and his hands as they
had been. Who saw this? A frantic woman, as you state, and, if any other,
perhaps one of those who were engaged in the same delusion, who, owing to
a peculiar state of mind, had either dreamed so, or with a wandering fancy
had imagined things in accordance with his own wishes, which has happened
in the case of very many; or, which is most probable, there was some one
who desired to impress the others with this portent, and by such a
falsehood to furnish an occasion to other jugglers.”

II, 63. (MSG, 11:896.) “If Jesus desired to show that his power was really
divine, he ought to have appeared to those who had ill-treated him, and to
him who had condemned him, and to all men universally.”

III, 59. (MSG, 11:997.) “That I bring no heavier charge than what truth
requires, let any one judge from the following. Those who invite to
participation in other mysteries make proclamation as follows: ‘Every one
who has clean hands and a prudent tongue’; others again thus: ‘He who is
pure from every pollution, and whose soul is conscious of no evil, and who
has lived well and justly.’ Such is the proclamation made by those who
promise purification from sins. But let us hear whom the Christians
invite. ‘Whoever,’ they say, ‘is a sinner, whoever is devoid of
understanding, whoever is a child,’ and, to speak generally, ‘whoever is
unfortunate, him will the kingdom of God receive.’ Do you not call him a
sinner, then, who is unjust and a thief and a house-breaker and a
poisoner, a committer of sacrilege and a robber of the dead? Whom else
would a man invite if he were issuing a proclamation for an assembly of

VII, 18. (MSG, 11:1445.) “Will they not again make this reflection: If the
prophets of the God of the Jews foretold that he who should come was the
son of this same God, how could he command them through Moses to gather
wealth, to rule, to fill the earth, to put to the sword their enemies from
youth up, and to destroy them utterly, which, indeed, he himself did in
the eyes of the Jews, as Moses says, threatening them, moreover, that if
they did not obey his commands he would treat them as his open enemies;
whilst, on the other hand, his son, the man of Nazareth, promulgating laws
in opposition to these, declares that no one comes to the Father who is
rich or who loves power or seeks after wisdom or glory; that men ought to
be no more careful in providing food than the ravens: that they were to be
in less concern about their raiment than the lilies; that to him who has
smitten them once they should offer opportunity to smite again? Is it
Moses or Jesus who lies? Did the Father when he sent Jesus forget the
things he commanded Moses? Or did he change his mind and, condemning his
own laws, send forth a messenger with the opposite instructions?”

V, 14. (MSG, 11:1201.) “It is folly for them to suppose that when God, as
if he were a cook, introduces the fire, all the rest of the human race
will be burnt up, while they alone will remain, not only those who are
alive, but also those who have been dead long since, which latter will
arise from the earth clothed with the self-same flesh as during life; the
hope, to speak plainly, of worms. For what sort of human soul is it that
would still long for a body gone to corruption? For this reason, also,
this opinion of yours is not shared by some of the Christians,(31) and
they pronounce it exceedingly vile and loathsome and impossible; for what
kind of body is that which, after being completely corrupted, can return
to its original nature, and to that self-same first condition which it
left? Having nothing to reply, they betake themselves to a most absurd
refuge—that all things are possible to God. But God cannot do things which
are disgraceful, nor does he wish things contrary to his nature; nor, if
in accordance with your wickedness you desire something shameful, would
God be able to do it; nor must you believe at once that it will be done.
For God is the author, not of inordinate desires nor of a nature
disordered and confused, but of what is upright and just. For the soul,
indeed, he might be able to provide everlasting life; but dead bodies, on
the other hand, are, as Heraclitus observes, more worthless than dung. So,
then, God neither will nor can declare contrary to reason that the flesh
is eternal, which is full of those things which it is not honorable to
mention. For he is the reason of all things that exist, and therefore can
do nothing either contrary to reason or contrary to himself.”

(_b_) Lucian of Samosata, _De morte Peregrini Protei_, § 11 _ff._
Preuschen, _Analecta_, I, 20 _ff._

Ch. 11. About this time he made himself proficient in the marvellous
wisdom of the Christians by associating around Palestine with their
priests and scribes. And would you believe it? In a short time he
convinced them that they were mere children and himself alone a prophet,
master of ceremonies, head of the synagogue, and everything. He explained
and interpreted some of their books, and he himself also wrote many, so
they came to look upon him almost as a God, made him their law-giver and
chose him as their patron.… At all events, they still worship that
enchanter [mage] who was crucified in Palestine for introducing among men
this new religious sect.

Ch. 12. Then Proteus was, on this account, seized and thrown into prison,
and this very circumstance procured for him during his subsequent career
no small renown and the reputation for wonderful powers and the glory
which he loved. When, then, he had been put in bonds, the Christians
looked upon these things as a misfortune and in their efforts to secure
his release did everything in their power. When this proved impracticable,
other assistance of every sort was rendered him, not occasionally, but
with zeal. From earliest dawn old women, widows, and orphan children were
to be seen waiting beside the prison, and men of rank among them slept
with him in the prison, having bribed the prison guards. Then they were
accustomed to bring in all kinds of viands, and they read their sacred
Scriptures together, and the most excellent Peregrinus (for such was still
his name) was styled by them a New Socrates.

Ch. 13. Certain came even from the cities of Asia, sent by the Christians
at the common charge, to assist and plead for him and comfort him. They
exhibit extraordinary activity whenever any such thing occurs affecting
their common interest. In short, they are lavish of everything. And what
is more, on the pretext of his imprisonment, many contributions of money
came from them to Peregrinus at that time, and he made no little income
out of it. These poor men have persuaded themselves that they are going to
be immortal and live forever; they both despise death and voluntarily
devote themselves to it; at least most of them do so. Moreover, their
law-giver persuaded them that they were all brethren, and that when once
they come out and reject the Greek gods, they should then worship that
crucified sophist and live according to his laws. Therefore they despise
all things and hold everything in common, having received such ideas from
others, without any sufficient basis for their faith. If, then, any
impostor or trickster who knows how to manage things came among them, he
soon grew rich, imposing on these foolish folk.

Ch. 14. Peregrinus was, however, set at liberty by the governor of Syria
at that time, a lover of philosophy, who understood his folly and knew
that he would willingly have suffered death that by it he might have
acquired glory. Thinking him, however, not worthy of so honorable an end,
he let him go.…

Ch. 16. A second time he left his country to wander about, having the
Christians as a sufficient source of supplies, and he was cared for by
them most ungrudgingly. Thus he was supported for some time; at length,
having offended them in some way—he was seen, I believe, eating food
forbidden among them—he was reduced to want, and he thought that he would
have to demand his property back from the city;(32) and having obtained a
process in the name of the Emperor, he expected to recover it. But the
city sent messengers to him, and nothing was done; but he was to remain
where he was, and to this he agreed for once.

(_c_) Minucius Felix, _Octavius_, VIII, 3-10. (MSL. 3:267 _ff._)

    The following passage is taken from an apologetic dialogue
    entitled _Octavius_. Although it was composed by a Christian, it
    probably represents the current heathen conceptions of
    Christianity and its morals, especially its assemblies, where the
    worst excesses were supposed to take place. In the dialogue the
    passage is put into the mouth of the disputant who represents the
    heathen objection to the new faith. The date is difficult to
    determine probably it was the last third of the second century.

Ch. 8. … Is it not lamentable that men of a reprobate, unlawful, and
dangerous faction should rage against the gods? From the lowest dregs, the
more ignorant and women, credulous and yielding on account of the
heedlessness of their sex, gathered and established a vast and wicked
conspiracy, bound together by nightly meetings and solemn feasts and
inhuman meats—not by any sacred rites, but by such as require expiation.
It is a people skulking and shunning the light; in public silent, but in
corners loquacious. They despise the temples as charnel-houses; they
reject the gods; they deride sacred things. While they are wretched
themselves, if allowed they pity the priests; while they are half naked
themselves, they despise honors and purple robes. O wonderful folly and
incredible effrontery! They despise present torments, but fear those that
are uncertain and in the future. While they fear to die after death, for
the present life they do not fear to die. In such manner does a deceitful
hope soothe their fear with the solace of resuscitation.

Ch. 9. And now, as wickeder things are advancing more successfully and
abandoned manners are creeping on day by day, those foul shrines of an
impious assembly are increasing throughout the whole world. Assuredly this
confederacy should be rooted out and execrated. They know one another by
secret marks and signs. They love one another almost before they know one
another. Everywhere, also, there is mingled among them a certain religion
of lust; and promiscuously they call one another brother and sister, so
that even a not unusual debauchery might, by the employment of those
sacred names, become incestuous. It is thus that their vain and insane
superstition glories in crimes. Nor, concerning these matters, would
intelligent report speak of things unless there was the highest degree of
truth, and varied crimes of the worst character called, from a sense of
decency, for an apology. I hear that they adore the head of an ass, that
basest of creatures, consecrated by I know not what silly persuasion—a
worthy and appropriate religion for such morals. Some say that they
worship the genitalia of their pontiff and priest, and adore the nature,
as it were, of their parent. I know not whether these things be false;
certainly suspicion has place in the case of secret and nocturnal rites;
and he who explains their ceremonies by reference to a man punished by
extreme suffering for wickedness, and to the deadly wood of the cross,
bestows fitting altars upon reprobate and wicked men, that they may
worship what they deserve. Now the story of their initiation of young
novices is as detestable as it is well known. An infant covered with meal,
so as to deceive the unwary, is placed before him who is to be defiled
with their rites; this infant is slain with dark and secret wounds by the
young novice, who has been induced to strike harmless blows, as it were,
on the surface of the meal. Thirstily—O horror!—they lick up its blood;
eagerly they divide its limbs. By this victim they are confederated, with
the consciousness of this wickedness they are pledged to a mutual silence.
These sacred rites are more foul than any sort of sacrilege. And of their
banqueting it is well known what is said everywhere; even the speech of
our Cirtensian(33) testifies to it. On a solemn day they assemble at a
banquet with all their children, their sisters and mothers, people of
every sex and age. There, after much feasting, when the sense of
fellowship has waxed warm and the fervor of incestuous lust has grown hot
with drunkenness, a dog that has been tied to a chandelier is provoked to
rush and spring about by throwing a piece of offal beyond the length of
the line by which he is bound; and thus the light, as if conscious, is
overturned and extinguished in shameless darkness, while unions of
abominable lust involve them by the uncertainty of chance. Although if all
are not in fact, yet all are in their conscience, equally incestuous;
since whatever might happen by the act of the individuals is sought for by
the will of all.

Ch. 10. I purposely pass over many things, for there are too many, all of
which, or the greater part of them, the obscurity of their vile religion
declares to be true. For why do they endeavor with such pains to conceal
and cloak whatever they worship, since honorable things always rejoice in
publicity, but crimes are kept secret? Why have they no altars, no
temples, no acknowledged images? Why do they never speak openly, never
congregate freely, unless it be for the reason that what they adore and
conceal is either worthy of punishment or is something to be ashamed of?
Moreover, whence or who is he, or where is the one God, solitary and
desolate, whom no free people, no kingdoms, and not even Roman
superstition have known? The sole, miserable nationality of the Jews
worshipped one God, and one peculiar to itself; but they worshipped him
openly, with temples, with altars, with victims, and with ceremonies; and
he has so little force or power that he is enslaved together with his own
special nation to the Roman deities. But the Christians, moreover, what
wonders, what monstrosities, do they feign, that he who is their God, whom
they can neither show nor see, inquires diligently into the conduct of
all, the acts of all, and even into their words and secret thoughts. They
would have him running about everywhere, and everywhere present,
troublesome, even shamelessly inquisitive, since he is present at
everything that is done, and wanders about in all places. When he is
occupied with the whole, he cannot give attention to particulars; or when
occupied with particulars, he is not enough for the whole. Is it because
they threaten the whole earth, the world itself and all its stars, with a
conflagration, that they are meditating its destruction? As if either the
natural and eternal order constituted by the divine laws would be
disturbed, or, when the league of the elements has been broken up and the
heavenly structure dissolved, that fabric in which it is contained and
bound together would be overthrown!

§ 19. The Attitude of the Roman Government toward Christians, A. D. 138 to
A. D. 192

No general persecution of the Christians was undertaken by the Roman
Government during the second century, though Christians were not
infrequently put to death under the existing laws. These laws, however,
were by no means uniformly carried out. The most sanguinary persecutions
were generally occasioned by mob violence and may be compared to modern
lynchings. At Lyons and Vienne, in Gaul, there was much suffering in 177.
The letter from the churches of these cities to the Christians in Asia and
Phrygia, Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, V, 1 (PNF, ser. I, vol. I, 211), and the
_Martyrdom of Polycarp_ (ANF, I, 37) are among the finest pieces of
literature in this period and should be read by every student. Under
Commodus (180-193), Marcia seems to have aided the Christians suffering
persecution. The _Martyrdom of Justin_ may be found ANF, I, 303, appended
to his works. The doubtful rescript of Hadrian and the certainly spurious
rescript of Antoninus Pius may be found in the Appendix to Justin Martyr’s
works (ANF, I, 186), and in Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, IV, 9 and 13. For a
discussion of their genuineness, see McGiffert’s notes to Eusebius, _Hist.
Ec._ The original texts may be found in Preuschen’s _Analecta_, I, § 6

(_a_) Justin Martyr, _Apologia_. II. 2. (MSG, 6:445.)

    The martyrdom of Ptolemæus.

    A certain woman had been converted to Christianity by Ptolemæus.
    Her dissolute husband, who had deserted her some time before, was
    divorced by her on account of his profligacy. In revenge he
    attempted to injure her, but she sought and obtained the
    protection of the imperial courts. The husband thereupon turned
    his attack upon Ptolemæus. According to Ruinart, the martyrdom
    took place in 166. See DCB, arts. “Ptolemæus” and “Justin Martyr.”
    This and the following martyrdoms illustrate the procedure of the
    courts in dealing with Christians.

Since he was no longer able to prosecute her, he directed his assaults
against a certain Ptolemæus whom Urbicus punished, and who had been the
teacher of the woman in the Christian doctrines. And he did this in the
following way: He persuaded a centurion, his friend, who had cast
Ptolemæus into prison, to take Ptolemæus and interrogate him only as to
whether he were a Christian. And Ptolemæus, being a lover of the truth,
and not of deceitful or false disposition, when he confessed himself to be
a Christian, was thrown in chains by the centurion and for a long time was
punished in prison. At last, when he was brought to Urbicus, he was asked
this one question only: whether he was a Christian. And again, conscious
of the noble things that were his through the teaching of Christ, he
confessed his discipleship in the divine virtue. For he who denies
anything either denies it because he condemns the thing itself or he
avoids confession because he knows his own unworthiness or alienation from
it; neither of which cases is that of a true Christian. And when Urbicus
ordered him to be led away to punishment, a certain Lucius, who was also
himself a Christian, seeing the unreasonable judgment, said to Urbicus:
“What is the ground of this judgment? Why have you punished this man: not
as an adulterer, nor fornicator, nor as one guilty of murder, theft, or
robbery, nor convicted of any crime at all, but who has only confessed
that he is called by the name of Christian? You do not judge, O Urbicus,
as becomes the Emperor Pius, nor the philosopher, the son of Cæsar, nor
the sacred Senate.” And he, replying nothing else to Lucius, said: “You
also seem to me to be such an one.” And when Lucius answered, “Most
certainly I am,” he then ordered him also to be led away. And he professed
his thanks, since he knew that he was going to be delivered from such
wicked rulers and was going to the Father and King of the heavens. And
still a third came forward and was condemned to be punished.

(_b_) _Passion of the Scilitan Martyrs._

    Text: J. A. Robinson, _Text and Studies_, I, 2, 112-116,
    Cambridge, 1891; reprinted in R. Knopf, _Ausgewählte
    Märtyreracten_, 34 _ff._, Tübingen, 1901.

    The date of this martyrdom is July 17, 180 A.D. Scili, the place
    of residence of these martyrs, was a small city in northwestern
    Proconsular Africa. For an account of ancient martyrologies, see
    Krüger, §§ 104 _ff._

When Præsens, for the second time, and Claudianus were consuls, on the
seventeenth day of July, and when Speratus, Nartzalus, Cittinus, Donata,
Secunda, and Vestia were brought into the judgment-hall at Carthage, the
proconsul Saturninus said: Ye can win the indulgence of our lord the
Emperor if ye return to a sound mind.

Speratus said: We have never done ill; we have not lent ourselves to
wrong; we have never spoken ill; but when we have received ill we have
given thanks, because we pay heed to our Emperor.

Saturninus, the proconsul, said: We, too, are religious, and our religion
is simple; and we swear by the genius of our lord the Emperor, and pray
for his welfare, which also ye, too, ought to do.

Speratus said: If thou wilt peaceably lend me thine ears, I will tell thee
the mystery of simplicity.

Saturninus said: I will not lend my ears to thee, when thou beginnest to
speak evil things of our sacred rites; but rather do thou swear by the
genius of our lord the Emperor.

Speratus said: The empire of this world I know not; but rather I serve
that God whom no man hath seen nor with these eyes can see. [I Tim. 6:16.]
I have committed no theft; but if I have bought anything I pay the tax;
because I know my Lord, the King of kings and Emperor of all nations.

Saturninus, the proconsul, said to the rest: Cease to be of this

Speratus said: It is an ill persuasion to do murder, to bear false

Saturninus, the proconsul, said: Be not partakers of this folly.

Cittinus said: We have none other to fear except only our Lord God, who is
in heaven.

Donata said: Honor to Cæsar as Cæsar, but fear to God. [_Cf._ Rom. 13:7.]

Vestia said: I am a Christian.

Secunda said: What I am that I wish to be.

Saturninus, the proconsul, said to Speratus: Dost thou persist in being a

Speratus said: I am a Christian. And with him they all agreed.

Saturninus, the proconsul, said: Will ye have a space to consider?

Speratus said: In a matter so just there is no considering.

Saturninus, the proconsul, said: What are the things in your chest?

Speratus said: Books and epistles of Paul, a just man.

Saturninus, the proconsul, said: Have a delay of thirty days and bethink

Speratus said a second time: I am a Christian. And with him all agreed.

Saturninus, the proconsul, read out the decree from the tablet: Speratus,
Nartzalus, Cittinus, Donata, Vestia, Secunda, and the rest who have
confessed that they live according to the Christian rite because an
opportunity has been offered them of returning to the custom of the Romans
and they have obstinately persisted, it is determined shall be put to the

Speratus said: We give thanks to God.

Nartzalus said: To-day we are martyrs in heaven; thanks be to God.

Saturninus, the proconsul, ordered it to be proclaimed by the herald:
Speratus, Nartzalus, Cittinus, Veturius, Felix, Aquilinus, Lætatius,
Januaria, Generosa, Vestia, Donata, and Secunda I have ordered to be

They all said: Thanks be to God.

And so they all at one time were crowned with martyrdom; and they reign
with the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, forever and ever. Amen.

(_c_) Hippolytus, _Refutatio omnium Hæresium_, X, 7. (MSG, 16:3382.)

    Hippolytus, a Greek writer of the West, lived at Rome in the time
    of Zephyrinus (198-217) and until shortly after A. D. 235. He
    appears to have been consecrated bishop of a schismatical party in
    Rome. Of his numerous works many have been lost in whole or in
    part. The _Philosophumena, or the Refutation of All Heresies_, was
    lost, with the exception of the first book, until 1842, and was
    then published among the works of Origen. It is of importance as
    giving much material for the study of Gnosticism. It may be found
    as a whole translated in ANF, V.

But after a time, when other martyrs were there [_i.e._, in the mines in
Sardinia], Marcia, the pious concubine of Commodus, wishing to perform
some good deed, called before her the blessed Victor [193?-202], at that
time bishop of the Church, and inquired of him what martyrs were in
Sardinia. And he delivered to her the names of all, but did not give the
name of Callistus, knowing what things had been attempted by him. Marcia,
having obtained her request from Commodus, hands the letter of
emancipation to Hyacinthus, a certain eunuch rather advanced in life [or a
presbyter], who, receiving it, sailed away to Sardinia. He delivered the
letter to the person who at that time was governor of the territory, and
he released the martyrs, with the exception of Callistus.

§ 20. The Literary Defence of Christianity

In reply to the attacks made upon Christianity, the apologists defended
their religion along three lines: It was philosophically justified; it was
true; it did not favor immorality, but, on the contrary, inculcated
virtue. The philosophical defence, or justification, of Christianity was
most brilliantly undertaken by Justin Martyr, who employed the current
philosophical conception of the Logos. The general proof of Christianity
was chiefly based upon the argument from the fulfilment of prophecy. All
apologists undertook to show that the heathen calumnies against the
Christians were false, that the heathen religions were replete with
obscene tales of the gods, and that the worship of idols was absurd.

(_a_) Aristides, _Apology_, 2, 13, 15, 16. Ed. J. R. Harris and J. A.
Robinson, _Texts and Studies_, I, 1, Cambridge, 1891.

    The _Apology_ of Aristides was long lost, but was found in a
    Syriac version in 1889. It was then found that much of the Greek
    original had been incorporated in the _Life of Barlaam and
    Josaphat_, a popular religious romance of the Middle Ages; see the
    introduction to the parallel translations by D. H. McKay in ANF,
    vol. IX, 259-279. This work of Aristides may be as early as 125;
    if so, it disputes with the similar work of Quadratus the honor of
    being the first Christian apology. A large part of it is taken up
    with a statement of the contradictions and absurdities of the
    mythology of the Greeks and Barbarians. Of this statement, ch. 13,
    quoted below, is the conclusion. Then, after a short passage
    regarding the Jews, the author passes to an exposition of the
    faith of Christians and a statement regarding their high morality.

Ch. 2. [Found only in Syriac.] The Christians trace the beginning of their
religion to Jesus the Messiah; and He is named the Son of the most high
God. And it is said that God came down from heaven and from a Hebrew
virgin assumed and clothed Himself with flesh, and that the Son of God
lived in a daughter of man. This is taught in that Gospel which, as is
related among them, was preached among them a short time ago. And you,
also, if you will read therein, may perceive the power that belongs to it.
This Jesus, therefore, was born of the race of the Hebrews. He had twelve
disciples, that His wonderful plan of salvation might be carried out. But
He himself was pierced by the Jews, and He died and He was buried. And
they say that after three days He rose and was raised to heaven. Thereupon
those twelve disciples went forth into the known parts of the world, and
with all modesty and uprightness taught concerning His greatness. And
therefore also those at the present time who now believe that preaching
are called Christians and they are known.

Ch. 13. When the Greeks made laws they did not perceive that by their laws
they condemned their gods. For if their laws are righteous, their gods are
unrighteous, because they committed transgressions of the law in that they
killed one another, practised sorcery, and committed adultery, robbed,
stole, and lay with males, not to mention their other practices. For if
their gods have done right in doing all this, as they write, then the laws
of the Greeks are unrighteous in not being made according to the will of
their gods. And consequently the whole world has gone astray.

Ch. 15. The Christians, O King, in that they go about and seek the truth,
have found it and, as we have understood from their writings, they have
come much nearer to the truth and correct knowledge than have the other
peoples. They know and trust God, the creator of heaven and earth, in whom
are all things and from whom are all things, in Him who has no other God
beside Him, in Him from whom they have received commandments which they
have engraved upon their minds, commandments which they observe in the
faith and expectation of the world to come. Wherefore they do not commit
adultery or fornication, nor bear false witness, nor covet what is held in
pledge, nor covet what is not theirs. They honor father and mother and
show kindness to their neighbors. If they are judges, they judge
uprightly. They do not worship idols made in human form. And whatsoever
they would not that others should do unto them, they do not to others.
They do not eat of food offered to idols, because they are pure. And their
oppressors they appease and they make friends of them; they do good to
their enemies.… If they see a stranger, they take him to their dwellings
and rejoice over him as over a real brother. For they do not call
themselves brethren after the flesh, but after the Spirit and in God. But
if one of their poor passes from the world, each one of them who sees him
cares for his burial according to his ability. And if they hear that one
of them is imprisoned or oppressed on account of the name of their
Messiah, all of them care for his necessity, and if it is possible to
redeem him, they set him free. And if any one among them is poor and
needy, and they have no spare food, they fast two or three days in order
to supply him with the needed food.(34) The precepts of their Messiah they
observe with great care. They live justly and soberly, as the Lord their
God commanded them. Every morning and every hour they acknowledge and
praise God for His lovingkindnesses toward them, and for their food and
drink they give thanks to Him. And if any righteous man among them passes
from this world, they rejoice and thank God and they escort his body as if
he were setting out on a journey from one place to another.…

Ch. 16. … Their words and precepts, O King, and the glory of their worship
and their hope of receiving reward, which they look for in another world,
according to the work of each one, you can learn about from their
writings. It is enough for us to have informed your Majesty in a few words
concerning the conduct and truth of the Christians. For great, indeed, and
wonderful is their doctrine for him who will study it and reflect upon it.
And verily this is a new people, and there is something divine in it.

(_b_) Justin Martyr, _Apologia_, I, 46. (MSG, 6:398.)

    In the following, Justin Martyr states his argument from the
    doctrine of the Logos, which was widely accepted in Greek
    philosophy and found its counterpart in Christianity in the
    Johannine theology (see below, § 32 _A_). With Justin should be
    compared Clement of Alexandria (see below, § 43 _a_), who develops
    the same idea in showing the relation of Greek philosophy to the
    Mosaic dispensation and to the Christian revelation.

We have been taught that Christ is the first-born of God, and we have
declared above that He is the Word of whom every race of men partake; and
those who lived reasonably were Christians, even though they have been
thought atheists; as among the Greeks, Socrates and Heraclitus and those
like them; and among the Barbarians, Abraham and Ananias, and Azarias, and
Misael, and Elias, and many others whose actions and names we now decline
to recount, because we know it would be tedious.

(_c_) Justin Martyr, _Apologia_, II, 10, 13. (MSG, 6:459, 466.)

Ch. 10. Our doctrines, then, appear to be greater than all human teaching;
because Christ who appeared for our sakes, became the whole rational
being,(35) body and reason and soul. For whatever either law-givers or
philosophers uttered well they elaborated by finding and contemplating
some part of the Logos. But since they did not know the whole of the
Logos, which is Christ, they often contradicted themselves. And those who
by human birth were more ancient than Christ, when they attempted to
consider and prove things by reason, were brought before the tribunals as
impious persons and busybodies. And Socrates, who was more zealous in this
direction than all of them, was accused of the very same crimes as
ourselves. For they said that he was introducing new divinities, and did
not consider those to be gods whom the State recognized. But he cast out
from the State both Homer and the rest of the poets, and taught men to
reject the wicked demons and those who did the things which the poets
related; and he exhorted them to become acquainted with the God who was
unknown to them, by means of the investigation of reason, saying, “That it
is not easy to find the Father and Maker of all, nor, having found Him, is
it safe to declare Him to all.”(36) But these things our Christ did
through His own power. For no one trusted in Socrates so as to die for
this doctrine, but in Christ, who was partially known even by Socrates
(for He was and is the Logos who is in every man, and who foretold the
things that were to come to pass both through the prophets and in His own
person when He was made of like passions and taught these things), not
only philosophers and scholars believed, but also artisans and people
entirely uneducated, despising both glory and fear and death; since He is
the power of the ineffable Father, and not the mere instrument of human

Ch. 13. … I confess that I both boast and with all my strength strive to
be found a Christian; not because the teachings of Plato are different
from those of Christ, but because they are not in all respects similar, as
neither are those of others, Stoics, poets, and historians. For each man
spoke well in proportion to the share he had of the spermatic divine
Logos, seeing what was related to it. But they who contradict themselves
on the more important points appear not to have possessed the heavenly
wisdom and the knowledge which cannot be spoken against. Whatever things
were rightly said among all men are the property of us Christians. For
next to God we worship and love the Logos, who is from the unbegotten and
ineffable God, since also He became man for our sakes, that, becoming a
partaker of our sufferings, He might also bring us healing. For all the
writers were able to see realities darkly through the sowing of the
implanted Logos that was in them. For the seed of anything and a copy
imparted according to capacity [_i.e._, to receive] is one thing, and
quite another is the thing itself, of which there is the participation and
imitation according to the grace which is from Him.

(_d_) Justin Martyr, _Apologia_, I, 31, 53. (MSG, 6:375, 406.)

    The argument from prophecy.

Ch. 31. There were then among the Jews certain men who were prophets of
God, through whom the prophetic Spirit [context shows that the Logos is
here meant] published beforehand things that were to come to pass before
they happened. And their prophecies, as they were spoken and when they
were uttered, the kings who were among the Jews at the several times
carefully preserved in their possession, when they had been arranged by
the prophets themselves in their own Hebrew language.… They are also in
possession of all Jews throughout the world.… In these books of the
prophets we found Jesus our Christ foretold as coming, born of a virgin,
growing up to manhood, and healing every disease and every sickness, and
raising the dead, and being hated and unrecognized, and crucified, and
dying, and rising again, and ascending into heaven, and both being and
also called the Son of God, and that certain persons should be sent by Him
into every race of men to publish these things, and that rather among the
Gentiles [than among the Jews] men should believe on Him. And He was
predicted before He appeared first 5,000 years before, and again 3,000,
then 2,000 then 1,000, and yet again 800; for according to the succession
of generations prophets after prophets arose.

Ch. 53. Though we have many other prophecies, we forbear to speak, judging
these sufficient for the persuasion of those who have ears capable of
hearing and understanding; and considering also that these persons are
able to see that we do not make assertions, and are unable to produce
proof, like those fables that are told of the reputed sons of Jupiter. For
with what reason should we believe of a crucified man that He is the
first-born of the unbegotten God, and Himself will pass judgment on the
whole human race, unless we found testimonies concerning Him published
before He came and was born as a man, and unless we saw that things had
happened accordingly?

Chapter II. The Internal Crisis: The Gnostic And Other Heretical Sects

In the second century the Church passed through an internal crisis even
more trying than the great persecutions of the following centuries and
with results far more momentous. Of the conditions making possible such a
crisis the most important was absence in the Church of norms of faith
universally acknowledged as binding. Then, again, many had embraced
Christianity without grasping the spirit of the new religion. Nearly all
interpreted the Christian faith more or less according to their earlier
philosophical or religious conceptions; _e.g._, the apologists within the
Church used the philosophical Logos doctrine. In this way arose numerous
interpretations of Christian teaching and perversions of that teaching,
some not at all in harmony with the generally received tradition. These
discordant interpretations or perversions are the heretical movements of
the second century. They varied in every degree of departure from the
generally accepted Christian tradition. Some, like the earlier Gnostics (§
21), and even the greater Gnostic systems (§ 22), at least in their
esoteric teaching, show that their principal inspiration was other than
Christian; others, as the Gnosticism of Marcion (§ 23) and the
enthusiastic sect of the Montanists (§ 25), seem to have built largely
upon exaggerated Christian tenets, contained, indeed, in the New
Testament, but not fully appreciated by the majority of Christians; or
still others, as the Encratites (§ 24), laid undue stress upon what was
generally recognized as an element of Christian morality.

The principal source materials for the history of Gnosticism and other
heresies of this chapter may be found collected and provided with
commentary in Hilgenfeld, _Ketzergeschichte des Urchristenthums_, Leipsic,

§ 21. The Earlier Gnostics: Gnosticism in General

Gnosticism is a generic name for a vast number of syncretistic religious
systems prevalent, especially in the East, both before and after the
Christian era. For the most part the movement was outside of Christianity,
and was already dying out when Christianity appeared. It derived its
essential features from Persian and Babylonian sources and was markedly
dualistic. As it spread toward the West, it adopted many Western elements,
making use of Christian ideas and terms and Greek philosophical concepts.
Modified by such new matter, it obtained a renewed lease of life. In
proportion as the various schools of Gnosticism became more influenced by
Christian elements, they were more easily confused with Christianity, and
accordingly more dangerous to it. Among such were the greater schools of
Basilides and Valentinus (see next section). The doctrines of Gnosticism
were held by many who were nominally within the Church. The tendency of
the Gnostics and their adherents was to form little coteries and to keep
much of their teaching secret from those who were attracted by their more
popular tenets. The esoteric element seems to have been the so-called
“systems” in which the fanciful and mythological element in Gnosticism
appears. This, as being the most vulnerable part of the Gnostic teaching,
was attacked most bitterly by the opponents of heresy. There are no extant
writings of the earlier Gnostics, Simon, Menander, or Cerinthus. They are
known only from Christian opponents.

Sources for the history of Gnosticism: The leading sources are the Church
Fathers Irenæus, Hippolytus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria (all
translated in ANF), Origen (in part only translated in ANF), and
Epiphanius. The accounts of these bitter enemies must necessarily be used
with caution. They contain, however, numerous fragments from Gnostic
writings. The fragments in the ante-Nicene Fathers may be found in A.
Hilgenfeld, _op. cit._, in Greek, with commentary. For the literary
remains of Gnosticism, see Krüger, §§ 22-31. The more accessible are:
_Acts of Thomas_ (best Greek text by Bonnet, Leipsic, 1903, German
translation with excellent commentary in E. Hennecke, _Neutestamentliche
Apokryphen_, Tübingen and Leipsic, 1904); Ptolemæus, _Epistle to Flora_
(in Epiphanius, _Panarion_, Hær. XXXIII); _Hymn of the Soul_, from the
_Acts of Thomas_ (text and English translation by Bevan in _Text and
Studies_, V, 3, Cambridge, 1897, also translated in F. C. Burkitt, _Early
Eastern Christianity_, N. Y., 1904).

(_a_) Tertullian, _De Præscriptione Hæreticorum_, 7. (MSL, 2:21.)

    A wide-spread opinion that Gnosticism was fundamentally a
    perversion of Christianity finds its most striking expression in
    the phrase of Harnack that it was “the acute secularizing or
    Hellenizing of Christianity” (_History of Dogma_, English
    translation, I, 226). The foundation for this representation is
    the later Gnosticism, which took over many Christian and Greek
    elements, and the opinion of Tertullian that Gnosticism and Greek
    philosophy discussed the same questions and held the same
    opinions. (_Cf._ the thesis of Hippolytus in his _Philosophumena,
    or the Refutation of All Heresies_; see the Proemium, ANF, V, 9
    _f._, and especially bk. VII.) Tertullian, although retaining
    unconsciously the impress of his former Stoicism, was violently
    opposed to philosophy, and in his denunciation of heresy felt that
    it was a powerful argument against the Gnostics to show
    similarities between their teaching and the Greek philosophy he so
    heartily detested. It is a brilliant work and may be taken as a
    fair specimen of Tertullian’s style.

These are the doctrines of men and of demons born of the spirit of this
world’s wisdom, for itching ears; and the Lord, calling this foolishness,
chose the foolish things of this world to the confusion of philosophy
itself. For philosophy is the material of the world’s wisdom, the rash
interpreter of the nature and dispensation of God. Indeed, heresies
themselves are instigated by philosophy. From this source came the eons,
and I know not what infinite forms, and the trinity of man in the system
of Valentinus; he was of Plato’s school. From this source came Marcion’s
better god with all his tranquillity; he came of the Stoics. Then again
the opinion that the soul dies is held by the Epicureans. The denial of
the resurrection of the body is taken from the united schools of all
philosophers. When matter is made equal to God, you have the teaching of
Zeno; and when anything is alleged touching a fiery god, then Heraclitus
comes in. The same subject-matter is discussed over and over again by the
heretics and the philosophers; the same arguments are involved. Whence and
wherefore is evil? Whence and how has come man? Besides these there is the
question which Valentinus has very recently proposed, Whence comes God?

(_b_) Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, I, 23. (MSG, 7:670.)

    Simon Magus. For additional source material, see Justin Martyr,
    _Apol._ I, 26, 56, _Dial. c. Tryph._, 120; Hippolytus, _Ref._ VI,
    72 _f._ The appearance of Simon in the pseudo-Clementine
    literature (translated in ANF, VIII), presents an interesting
    historical problem. The present condition of investigation is
    given in the article “Clementine Literature” by J. V. Bartlett, in
    _Encyc. Brit._, eleventh ed.

Simon the Samaritan, that magician of whom Luke, the disciple and follower
of the Apostles, says: “But there was a certain man, Simon by name,” etc.
[Acts 8:9-11, 20, 21, 23.] Since he did not put his faith in God a whit
more, he set himself eagerly to contend against the Apostles, in order
that he himself might seem to be a wonderful being, and studied with still
greater zeal the whole range of magic art, that he might the better
bewilder the multitude of men. Such was his procedure in the reign of
Claudius Cæsar, by whom also he is said to have been honored with a statue
on account of his magic. This man, then, was glorified by many as a god,
and he taught that it was he himself who appeared among the Jews as the
Son, but descended in Samaria as the Father, while he came to other
nations in the character of the Holy Spirit. He represented himself as the
loftiest of all powers, that it is he who is over all as the Father, and
he allowed himself to be called whatsoever men might name him.

Now this Simon of Samaria, from whom all heresies derive their origin, has
as the material for his sect the following: Having redeemed from slavery
at Tyre, a city of Phœnicia, a certain woman named Helena,(38) a
prostitute, he was in the habit of carrying her about with him, declaring
that she was the first conception [_Ennœa_] of his mind, the mother of
all, by whom he conceived in his mind to make the angels and archangels.
For this Ennœa, leaping forth from him and comprehending the will of her
father, descended to the lower regions and generated angels and powers, by
whom, also, he declared this world was made. But after she had generated
them she was detained by them through jealousy, because they were
unwilling that they should be regarded as the progeny of any other being.
As to himself, he was wholly unknown to them, but his Ennœa was detained
by those powers and angels who had been produced by her. She suffered all
kinds of contumely from them, so that she could not return upward to her
father, but was even shut up in a human body and for ages passed in
succession from one female body to another, as from one vessel to another
vessel. She was in that Helen on whose account the Trojan War was
undertaken; wherefore also Stesichorus was struck blind, because he cursed
her in his poems; but afterward, when he had repented and written those
verses which are called palinodes, in which he sung her praises, he saw
once more. Thus passing from body to body and suffering insults in every
one of them, she at last became a common prostitute; and she it is who was
the lost sheep.

For this purpose he himself had come, that he might win her first and free
her from chains, and confer salvation upon men by making himself known to
them. For since the angels ruled the world poorly, because each one of
them coveted the principal power, he had come to mend matters and had
descended, been transfigured and assimilated to powers and angels, so that
he might appear among men as man, although he was not a man; and that he
was supposed to have suffered in Judea, although he had not suffered.
Moreover, the prophets inspired by the angels, who were the makers of the
world, pronounced their prophecies; for which reason those who place their
trust in him and Helena no longer regard them, but are free to do what
they will; for men are saved according to his grace, and not according to
their righteous works. For deeds are not righteous in the nature of
things, but by mere accident and just as those angels who made the world
have determined, seeking by such precepts to bring men into bondage. On
this account he promised that the world should be dissolved and that those
who are his should be freed from the rule of them who made the world.

Thus, then, the mystic priests belonging to this sect both live
profligately and practise magical arts, each one to the extent of his
ability. They use exorcisms and incantations, love-potions, also, and
charms, as well as those beings who are called “familiars” [_paredri_] and
"dream senders" [_oniropompi_], and whatever other curious arts can be had
are eagerly pressed into their service.

(_c_) Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, I, 23. (MSG, 7:673.)

    The system of Menander. _Cf._ also Eusebius. _Hist. Ec._, III, 26.

The successor of Simon Magus was Menander, a Samaritan by birth, who also
became a perfect adept in magic. He affirms that the first power is
unknown to all, but that he himself is the person who has been sent forth
by the invisible beings as a saviour for the salvation of men. The world
was made by angels, who, as he also, like Simon, says, were produced by
the Ennœa, He gives also, as he affirms, by means of the magic which he
teaches knowledge, so that one may overcome those angels that made the
world. For his disciples obtain the resurrection by the fact that they are
baptized into him, and they can die no more, but remain immortal without
ever growing old.

(_d_) Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, I, 26. (MSG, 7:686.)

    The system of Cerinthus. For additional source material, see
    Irenæus, III, 3, 4; Hippolytus, _Ref._ VII, 33; X, 21; Eusebius,
    _Hist. Ec._, III, 28.

Cerinthus, again, taught in Asia that the world was not made by the
supreme God, but by a power separated and distant from that Ruler
[_principalitate_] who is over the universe, and ignorant of the God who
is above all. He represented Jesus as not having been born of a virgin,
for this seemed impossible to him, but as having been the son of Joseph
and Mary in the same way that all other men are sons, only he was more
righteous, prudent, and wise than other men. After his baptism Christ
descended upon him in the form of a dove from the Supreme Ruler; and that
then he proclaimed the unknown Father and performed miracles. But at last
Christ departed from Jesus, and then Jesus suffered and rose again, but
Christ remained impassable, since He was a spiritual being.

§ 22. The Greater Gnostic Systems: Basilides and Valentinus

The Gnostic systems having most influence within the Church and effect
upon its development were those of Basilides and Valentinus. Of these
teachers and their followers we have not only the accounts of those
opponents who attacked principally their esoteric and most
characteristically Gnostic tenets, but also fragments and other remains
which give a more favorable impression of the religious and moral value of
the great schools of Gnosticism. In their “systems” of vast theogonies and
cosmologies, in their wild mythological treatment of the most abstract
conceptions and their dualism, the Church writers naturally saw at once
their most vulnerable and most dangerous element.

A. The School of Basilides

The school of Basilides marks the beginning of the distinctively
Hellenistic stadium of Gnosticism. Basilides, its founder, apparently
worked first in the East; circa 120-130 he was at Alexandria. He was the
first important Gnostic writer. Of his Gospel, Commentary on that Gospel
in twenty-four books (_Exegetica_), and his odes only fragments remain of
the second, preserved by Clement of Alexandria and in the _Acta Archelai_
(collected by Hilgenfeld, _Ketzergeschichte_, 207-213).

Additional source material: Clement of Alexandria, _Strom._, II, 3, 8, 20;
IV, 24, 26 (ANF. II); Hippolytus, _Ref._, VII, 20-27; X, 14 (=VII, 1-15,
X, 10, ANF, V); Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, IV. 7. The account of Hippolytus
differs markedly from that of Irenæus, and his quotations and references
have been the subject of long dispute among scholars.

(_a_) _Acta Archelai_, 55. (MSG, 10:1526.)

    The _Acta Archelai_ purport to be an account of a disputation held
    in the reign of the Emperor Probus (276-282) by Archelaus, Bishop
    of Kaskar in Mesopotamia, with Mani, the founder of Manichæanism.
    The work is of uncertain authorship; it belongs to the first part
    of the fourth century. It is the most important source for the
    Manichæan doctrine (_v. infra_, § 54). It exists only in a Latin
    translation probably from a Greek original.

Among the Persians there was also a certain preacher, one Basilides, of
more ancient date, not long after the time of our Apostles. Since he was
of a shrewd disposition himself, and observed that at that time all other
subjects were preoccupied, he determined to affirm that dualism which was
maintained also by Scythianus. And so, since he had nothing to advance
which he might call his own, he brought the sayings of others before his
adversaries. And all his books contain some matters difficult and
extremely harsh. The thirteenth book of his Tractates,(39) however, is
still extant, which begins thus: “In writing the thirteenth book of our
Tractates, the word of salvation furnished us with the necessary and
fruitful word. It illustrates(40) under the figure of a rich [principle]
and a poor [principle], a nature without root and without place and only
supervenes upon things.(41) This is the only topic which the book
contains.” Does it not, then, contain a strange word, as also certain
persons think? Will ye not all be offended with the book itself, of which
this is the beginning? But Basilides, returning to the subject, some five
hundred lines intervening, more or less, says: “Give up this vain and
curious variation, and let us rather find out what inquiries the
Barbarians [_i.e._, the Persians] have instituted concerning good and
evil, and to what opinions they have come on all these subjects. For
certain among them have said that there are for all things two beginnings
[or principles], to which they have referred good and evil, holding these
principles are without beginning and ingenerate; that is to say, that in
the origins of things there were light and darkness, which existed of
themselves, and which were not declared to exist.(42) When these subsisted
by themselves, they each led its own proper mode of life as it willed to
lead, and such as was competent to it. For in the case of all things, what
is proper to it is in amity with it, and nothing seems evil to itself. But
after they came to the knowledge of each other, and after the darkness
contemplated the light, then, as if fired with a passion for something
superior, the darkness rushed to have intercourse with the light.”

(_b_) Clement of Alexandria, _Strom._, IV, 12. (MSG, 8:1289.)

    Basilides taught the transmigration of souls as an explanation of
    human suffering. _Cf._ Origen in _Ep. ad Rom._, V: “I [Paul], he
    says, died [Rom. 7:9], for now sin began to be reckoned unto me.
    But Basilides, not noticing that these things ought to be
    understood of the natural law, according to impious and foolish
    fables turns this apostolic saying into the Pythagorean dogma,
    that is, attempts to prove from this word of the Apostle that
    souls are transferred from one body to another. For he says that
    the Apostle has said, ‘I lived without any law’—_i.e._, before I
    came into the body I lived in that sort of body which is not under
    the law, _i.e._, of beasts and birds.”

Basilides, in the twenty-third book of the Exegetics, respecting those
that are punished by martyrdom, expresses himself in the following
language: “For I say this, Whosoever fall under the afflictions mentioned,
in consequence of unconsciously transgressing in other matters, are
brought to this good end by the kindness of Him who brings about all
things, though they are accused on other grounds; so that they may not
suffer as condemned for what are acknowledged to be iniquities, nor
reproached as the adulterer or the murderer, but because they are
Christians; which will console them, so that they do not appear to suffer.
And if one who has not sinned at all incur suffering (a rare case), yet
even he will not suffer aught through the machinations of power, but will
suffer as the child which seems not to have sinned would suffer.” Then
further on he adds: “As, then, the child which has not sinned before, nor
actually committed sin, but has in itself that which committed sin, when
subjected to suffering is benefited, reaping the advantage of many
difficulties; so, also, although a perfect man may not have sinned in act,
and yet endures afflictions, he suffers similarly with the child. Having
within him the sinful principle, but not embracing the opportunity of
committing sin, he does not sin; so that it is to be reckoned to him as
not having sinned. For as he who wishes to commit adultery is an
adulterer, although he fails to commit adultery, and he who wishes to
commit murder is a murderer, although he is unable to kill; so, also, if I
see the man without sin, whom I refer to, suffering, though he have done
nothing bad, I should call him bad on account of the wish to sin. For I
will affirm anything rather than call Providence evil.” Then, in
continuation, he says expressly concerning the Lord, as concerning man:
“If, then, passing from all these observations, you were to proceed to put
me to shame by saying, perchance impersonating certain parties, This man
has then sinned, for this man has suffered; if you permit, I will say, He
has not sinned, but was like a child suffering. If you insist more
urgently, I would say, That the man you name is man, but God is righteous,
‘for no one is pure,’ as one said, ‘from pollution.’ ” But the hypothesis
of Basilides says that the soul, having sinned before in another life,
endures punishment in this—the elect soul with honor by martyrdom, the
other purged by appropriate punishment.

(_c_) Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, I, 24:3 _ff._ (MSG, 7:675.)

    The system of Basilides, as presented by Irenæus, is dualistic and
    emanationist; with it is to be compared the presentation of the
    system by Hippolytus in his _Philosophumena_, where it appears as
    evolutionary and pantheistic. The trend of present opinion appears
    to be that the account given by Irenæus is more correct, or, at
    least, is earlier. The following account has all the appearance of
    having been taken from an original source (_cf._ Hilgenfeld,
    _Ketzergeschichte_, 195, 198). It represents the esoteric and more
    distinctively Gnostic teaching of the school.

Ch. 3. Basilides, to appear to have discovered something more sublime and
plausible, gives an immense development to his doctrine. He declares that
in the beginning the Nous was born of the unborn Father, that from him in
turn was born the Logos, then from the Logos the Phronesis, from the
Phronesis Sophia and Dynamis, and from Dynamis and Sophia the powers and
principalities and angels, whom he calls the first; and that by these the
first heaven was made. Then by emanation from these others were formed,
and these created another heaven similar to the first. And in like manner,
when still others had been formed by emanations from these, corresponding
to those who were over them, they framed another third heaven; and from
this third heaven downward there was a fourth succession of descendants;
and so on, in the same manner, they say that other and still other princes
and angels were formed, and three hundred and sixty-five heavens.
Wherefore the year contained the same number of days in conformity with
the number of the heavens.

Ch. 4. The angels occupying the lowest heaven, that, namely, which is
visible to us, created all those things which are in the world, and made
allotments among themselves of the earth, and of those nations which are
upon it. The chief of them is he who is thought to be the God of the Jews.
Inasmuch as he wished to make the other nations subject to his own people,
the Jews, all the other princes resisted and opposed him. Wherefore all
other nations were hostile to his nation. But the unbegotten and nameless
Father, seeing their ruin, sent his own first-begotten Nous, for he it is
who is called Christ, to set free from the power of those who made the
world them that believe in him. He therefore appeared on earth as a man to
the nations of those powers and wrought miracles. Wherefore he did not
himself suffer death, but Simon, a certain Cyrenian, was compelled and
bore the cross in his stead; and this latter was transfigured by him that
he might be thought to be Jesus and was crucified through ignorance and
error; but Jesus himself took the form of Simon and stood by and derided
him. For as he is an incorporeal power and the Nous of the unborn Father,
he transfigured himself at pleasure, and so ascended to him who had sent
him, deriding them, inasmuch as he could not be held, and was invisible to
all. Those, then, who know these things have been freed from the princes
who made the world; so that it is not necessary to confess him who was
crucified, but him who came in the form of a man, and was thought to have
been crucified, and was called Jesus, and was sent by the Father, that by
this dispensation he might destroy the works of the makers of the world.
Therefore, Basilides says that if any one confesses the crucified, he is
still a slave, under the power of those who made our bodies; but whoever
denies him has been freed from these beings and is acquainted with the
dispensation of the unknown Father.

Ch. 5. Salvation is only of the soul, for the body is by nature
corruptible. He says, also, that even the prophecies were derived from
those princes who made the world, but the law was especially given by
their chief, who led the people out of the land of Egypt. He attaches no
importance to meats offered to idols, thinks them of no consequence, but
makes use of them without hesitation. He holds, also, the use of other
things as indifferent, and also every kind of lust. These men,
furthermore, use magic, images, incantations, invocations, and every other
kind of curious arts. Coining also certain names as if they were those of
the angels, they assert that some of these belong to the first, others to
the second, heaven; and then they strive to set forth the names,
principles, angels, powers, of the three hundred and sixty-five imagined
heavens. They also affirm that the name in which the Saviour ascended and
descended is Caulacau.(43)

Ch. 6. He, then, who has learned these things, and known all the angels
and their causes, is rendered invisible and incomprehensible to the angels
and powers, even as Caulacau also was. And as the Son was unknown to all,
so must they also be known by no one; but while they know all and pass
through all, they themselves remain invisible and unknown to all; for “Do
thou,” they say, “know all, but let nobody know thee.” For this reason,
persons of such a persuasion are also ready to recant, yea, rather, it is
impossible that they should suffer on account of a mere name, since they
are alike to all. The multitude, however, cannot understand these matters,
but only one out of a thousand, or two out of ten thousand. They declare
that they are no longer Jews, and that they are not yet Christians; and
that it is not at all fitting to speak openly of their mysteries, but
right to keep them secret by preserving silence.

Ch. 7. They make out the local position of the three hundred and
sixty-five heavens in the same way as do the mathematicians. For,
accepting the theorems of the latter, they have transferred them to their
own style of doctrine. They hold that their chief is Abraxas [or Abrasax];
and on this account that the word contains in itself the numbers amounting
to three hundred and sixty-five.

B. The School of Valentinus

The Valentinians were the most important of all the Gnostics closely
connected with the Church. The school had many adherents scattered
throughout the Roman Empire, its leading teachers were men of culture and
literary ability, and the sect maintained itself a long time. Valentinus
himself was a native of Egypt, and probably educated at Alexandria, where
he may have come under the influence of Basilides. He taught his own
system chiefly at Rome c. 140-c. 160. The great work of Irenæus against
the Gnostics, although having all Gnostics in view, especially deals with
the Valentinians in their various forms, because Irenæus was of the
opinion that he who refutes their system refutes all (_cf. Adv. Hær._, IV,
_præf._, 2). It is difficult to reconstruct with certainty the esoteric
system of Valentinus as distinguished from possibly later developments of
the school, as Irenæus, the principal authority, follows not only
Valentinus, but Ptolomæus and others, in describing the system. The
following selection of sources gives fragments of the letters and other
writings of Valentinus himself as preserved by Clement of Alexandria,
passages from Irenæus bringing out distinctive features of the system, and
the important letter of Ptolemæus to Flora, one of the very few extant
writings of the Gnostics of an early date. It gives a good idea of the
character of the exoteric teaching of the school.

    Additional source material: The principal authority for the system
    of the Valentinians is Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, Lib. I (ANF), see
    also Hippolytus, _Refut._, VI, 24-32 (ANF); “The Hymn of the
    Soul,” from the _Acts of Thomas_, trans. by A. A. Bevan, _Texts
    and Studies_, III, Cambridge, 1897; _The Fragments of Heracleon_,
    trans. by A. E. Burke, _Text and Studies_, I, Cambridge, 1891; see
    also ANF, IX, index, p. 526, _s. v., Heracleon_. The _Excerpta
    Theodoti_ contained in ANF, VIII, are really the _Excerpta
    Prophetica_, another collection, identified with the _Excerpta
    Theodoti_ by mistake of the editor of the American edition, A. C.
    Coxe (on the _Excerpta_, see Zahn, _History of the Canon of the
    New Testament_).

(_a_) Clement of Alexandria, _Strom._, IV, 13. (MSG, 8:1296.)

    The following passages appear to be taken from the same homily of
    Valentinus. The pneumatics are naturally immortal, but have
    assumed mortality to overcome it. Death is the work of the
    imperfect Demiurge. The concluding portion, which is very obscure,
    does not fit well into the Valentinian system. _Cf._ Hilgenfeld,
    _op. cit._, p. 300.

Valentinian in a homily writes in these words: “Ye are originally
immortal, and ye are children of eternal life, and ye desired to have
death distributed to you, that ye may spend and lavish it, and that death
may die in you and by you; for when ye dissolve the world, and are not
yourselves dissolved, ye have dominion over creation and all
corruption.”(44) For he also, similarly with Basilides, supposes a class
saved by nature [_i.e._, the pneumatics, _v. infra_], and that this
different race has come hither to us from above for the abolition of
death, and that the origin of death is the work of the Creator of the
world. Wherefore, also, he thus expounds that Scripture, “No one shall see
the face of God and live” [Ex. 33:20], as if He were the cause of death.
Respecting this God, he makes those allusions, when writing, in these
expressions: “As much as the image is inferior to the living face, so much
is the world inferior to the living Eon. What is, then, the cause of the
image? It is the majesty of the face, which exhibits the figure to the
painter, to be honored by his name; for the form is not found exactly to
the life, but the name supplies what is wanting in that which is formed.
The invisibility of God co-operates also for the sake of the faith of that
which has been fashioned.” For the Demiurge, called God and Father, he
designated the image and prophet of the true God, as the Painter, and
Wisdom, whose image, which is formed, is to the glory of the invisible
One; since the things which proceed from a pair [syzygy] are complements
[_pleromata_], and those which proceed from one are images. But since what
is seen is no part of Him, the soul [_psyche_] comes from what is
intermediate, and is different; and this is the inspiration of the
different spirit. And generally what is breathed into the soul, which is
the image of the spirit [_pneuma_], and in general, what is said of the
Demiurge, who was made according to the image, they say was foretold by a
sensible image in the book of Genesis respecting the origin of man; and
the likeness they transfer to themselves, teaching that the addition of
the different spirit was made, unknown to the Demiurge.

(_b_) Clement of Alexandria, _Strom._, II, 20. (MSG, 8:1057.)

    According to Basilides, the various passions of the soul were no
    original parts of the soul, but appendages to the soul. “They were
    in essence certain spirits attached to the rational soul, through
    some original perturbation and confusion; and that again, other
    bastard and heterogeneous natures of spirits grow onto them, like
    that of the wolf, the ape, the lion, and the goat, whose
    properties, showing themselves around the soul, they say,
    assimilate the lusts of the soul to the likeness of these
    animals.” See the whole passage immediately preceding the
    following fragment. The fragment can best be understood by
    reference to the presentation of the system by W. Bousset in
    _Encyc. Brit._, eleventh ed., art. “Basilides.”

Valentinus, too, in a letter to certain people, writes in these very words
respecting the appendages: “There is One good, by whose presence is the
manifestation, which is by the Son, and by Him alone can the heart become
pure, by the expulsion of every evil spirit from the heart; for the
multitude of spirits dwelling in it do not suffer it to be pure; but each
of them performs his own deeds, insulting it oft with unseemly lusts. And
the heart seems to be treated somewhat like a caravansary. For the latter
has holes and ruts made in it, and is often filled with filthy dung; men
living filthily in it, and taking no care for the place as belonging to
others. So fares it with the heart as long as there is no thought taken
for it, being unclean and the abode of demons many. But when the only good
Father visits it, it is sanctified and gleams with light. And he who
possesses such a heart is so blessed that he shall see God.”

(_c_) Clement of Alexandria, _Strom._, II. 8. (MSG, 8:972.)

    The teaching in the following passage attaches itself to the text,
    “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” (_cf._ Prov. 1:7).
    Compare with it Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, I, 30:6.

Here the followers of Basilides, interpreting this expression [Prov. 1:7]
say that “the Archon, having heard the speech of the Spirit, who was being
ministered to, was struck with amazement both with the voice and the
vision, having had glad tidings beyond his hopes announced to him; and
that his amazement was called fear, which became the origin of wisdom,
which distinguishes classes, and discriminates, and perfects, and
restores. For not the world alone, but also the election, He that is over
all has set apart and sent forth.”

And Valentinus appears also in an epistle to have adopted such views. For
he writes in these very words: “And as terror fell on the angels at this
creature, because he uttered things greater than proceeds from his
formation, by reason of the being in him who had invisibly communicated a
germ of the supernal essence, and who spoke with free utterance; so, also,
among the tribes of men in the world the works of men became terrors to
those who made them—as, for example, images and statues. And the hands of
all fashion things to bear the image of God; for Adam, formed into the
name of man, inspired the dread attaching to the pre-existing man, as
having his being in him; and they were terror-stricken and speedily marred
the work.”

(_d_) Clement of Alexandria, _Strom._, III, 7. (MSG, 8:1151.)

    The Docetism of Valentinus comes out in the following. It is to be
    noted that Clement not only does not controvert the position taken
    by the Gnostic as to the reality of the bodily functions of Jesus,
    but in his own person makes almost the same assertions (_cf.
    Strom._, VI, 9). He might indeed call himself, as he does in this
    latter passage, a Gnostic in the sense of the true or Christian
    Gnostic, but he comes very close to the position of the
    non-Christian Gnostic.

Valentinus in an epistle to Agathopous says: “Since He endured all things,
and was continent [_i.e._, self-controlled], Jesus, accordingly, obtained
for Himself divinity. He ate and drank in a peculiar manner, not giving
forth His food. Such was the power of His continence [self-control] that
the food was not corrupted in Him, because He himself was without

(_e_) Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, I, 7, 15; I, 8, 23. (MSG, 7:517, 528.)

    The division of mankind into three classes, according to their
    nature and consequent capacity for salvation, is characteristic of
    the Valentinian Gnosticism. The other Gnostics divided mankind
    into two classes: those capable of salvation, or the pneumatics,
    or Gnostics, and those who perish in the final destruction of
    material existence, or the hylics. Valentinus avails himself of
    the notion of the trichotomy of human nature, and gives a place
    for the bulk of Christians, those who did not embrace Gnosticism;
    _cf._ Irenæus, _ibid._, I, 6. Valentinus remained long within the
    Church, accommodating his teaching as far as possible, and in its
    exoteric side very fully, to the current teaching of the Church.
    The doctrine as to the psychics, capable of a limited salvation,
    appears to be a part of this accommodation.

I, 7, 5. The Valentinians conceive of three kinds of men: the pneumatic
[or spiritual], the choic [or material],(45) and the psychic [or animal];
such were Cain, Abel, and Seth. These three natures are no longer in one
person, but in the race. The material goes to destruction. The animal, if
it chooses the better part, finds repose in an intermediate place; but if
it chooses the worse, it, too, goes to the same [destruction]. But they
assert that the spiritual principles, whatever Acamoth has sown, being
disciplined and nourished here from that time until now in righteous
souls, because they were sent forth weak, at last attain perfection and
shall be given as brides(46) to the angels of the Saviour, but their
animal souls necessarily rest forever with the Demiurge in the
intermediate place. And again subdividing the animal souls themselves,
they say that some are by nature good and others are by nature evil. The
good are those who become capable of receiving the seed; the evil by
nature, those who are never able to receive that seed.

I, 8, 23. The parable of the leaven which the woman is said to have hid in
three measures of meal they declare manifests the three kinds of men:
pneumatic, psychic, and the choic, but the leaven denoted the Saviour
himself. Paul also very plainly set forth the choic, the psychic, and the
pneumatic, saying in one place: “As is the earthy [choic] such are they
also that are earthy” [I Cor. 15:48]; and in another place, “He that is
spiritual [pneumatic] judgeth all things” [I Cor. 2:14]. And the passage,
“The animal man receiveth not the things of the spirit” [I Cor. 2:15],
they affirm was spoken concerning the Demiurge, who, being psychic, knew
neither his mother, who was spiritual, nor her seed, nor the Eons in the

(_f_) Irenæus. _Adv. Hær._, I, 1. (MSG, 7:445 _f._)

    The following passage appears, from the context, to have been
    written with the teaching of Ptolemæus especially in mind. It
    should be compared with the account further on in the same book,
    I, 11: 1-3. The syzygies are characteristic of the Valentinian
    teaching, and the symbolism of marriage plays an important part in
    the “system” of all the Valentinians. In the words of Duchesne
    (_Hist. ancienne de l’église_, sixth ed., p. 171): “Valentinian
    Gnosticism is from one end to the other a ‘marriage Gnosticism.’
    From the most abstract origins of being to their end, there are
    only syzygies, marriages, and generations.” For the connection
    between these conceptions and antinomianism, see Irenæus, _Adv.
    Hær._, I, 6:3 _f._ For their sacramental application, _ibid._, I,
    21:3. _Cf._ I, 13:3, a passage which seems to belong to the
    sacrament of the bridal chamber.

They [the Valentinians] say that in the invisible and ineffable heights
above there exists a certain perfect, pre-existent Eon, and him they call
Proarche, Propator, and Bythos; and that he is invisible and that nothing
is able to comprehend him. Since he is comprehended by no one, and is
invisible, eternal, and unbegotten, he was in silence and profound
quiescence in the boundless ages. There existed along with him Ennœa, whom
they call Charis and Sige. And at a certain time this Bythos determined to
send forth from himself the beginnings of all things, and just as seed he
wished to send forth this emanation, and he deposited it in the womb of
her who was with him, even of Sige. She then received this seed, and
becoming pregnant, generated Nous, who was both similar and equal to him
who had sent him forth(47) and alone comprehended his father’s greatness.
This Nous they also call Monogenes and Father and the Beginning of all
Things. Along with him was also sent forth Aletheia; and these four
constituted the first and first-begotten Pythagorean Tetrad, which also
they denominate the root of all things. For there are first Bythos and
Sige, and then Nous and Aletheia. And Monogenes, when he perceived for
what purpose he had been sent forth, also himself sent forth Logos and
Zoe, being the father of all those who are to come after him, and the
beginning and fashioning of the entire pleroma. From Logos and Zoe were
sent forth, by a conjunction, Anthropos and Ecclesia, and thus were formed
the first-begotten Ogdoad, the root and substance of all things, called
among them by four names; namely, Bythos, Nous, Logos, and Anthropos. For
each of these is at once masculine and feminine, as follows: Propator was
united by a conjunction with his Ennœa, then Monogenes (_i.e._, Nous) with
Aletheia, Logos with Zoe, Anthropos with Ecclesia.

(_g_) Ptolemæus, _Epistula ad Floram_, ap. Epiphanius, _Panarion, Hær._
XXXIII, 3. Ed. Oehler, 1859. (MSG, 41:557.)

    Ptolemæus was possibly the most important disciple of Valentinus.
    and the one to whom Irenæus is most indebted for his first-hand
    knowledge of the teaching of the sect of the Valentinians. Of his
    writings have been preserved, in addition to numerous brief
    fragments, a connected passage of some length, apparently from a
    commentary on the Prologue or the Gospel of St. John (see Irenæus,
    _Adv. Hær._, I, 8:5), and the Epistle to Flora. The commentary is
    distinctly a part of the esoteric teaching, the epistle is as
    clearly exoteric.

That many have not(48) received the Law given by Moses, my dear sister
Flora, without recognizing either its fundamental ideas or its precepts,
will be perfectly clear to you, I believe, if you become acquainted with
the different views regarding the same. For some [_i.e._, the Church] say
that it was commanded by God and the Father; but others [_i.e._, the
Marcionites], taking the opposite direction, affirm that it was commanded
by an opposing and injurious devil, and they attribute to him the creation
of the world, and say that he is the Father and Creator. But such as teach
such doctrine are altogether deceived, and each of them strays from the
truth of what lies before him. For it appears not to have been given by
the perfect God and Father, because it is itself imperfect, and it needs
to be completed [_cf._ Matt. 5:17], and it has precepts not consonant with
the nature and mind of God; neither is the Law to be attributed to the
wickedness of the adversary, whose characteristic is to do wrong. Such do
not know what was spoken by the Saviour, that a city or a house divided
against itself cannot stand, as our Saviour has shown us. And besides, the
Apostle says that the creation of the world was His work (all things were
made by Him and without Him nothing was made), refuting the unsubstantial
wisdom of lying men, the work not of a god working ruin, but a just one
who hates wickedness. This is the opinion of rash men who do not
understand the cause of the providence of the Creator [Demiurge] and have
lost the eyes not only of their soul, but of their body. How far,
therefore, such wander from the way of truth is evident to you from what
has been said. But each of these is induced by something peculiar to
himself to think thus, some by ignorance of the God of righteousness:
others by ignorance of the Father of all, whom the Only One who knew Him
alone revealed when He came. To us it has been reserved to be deemed
worthy of making manifest to you the ideas of both of these, and to
investigate carefully this Law, whence anything is, and the law-giver by
whom it was commanded, bringing proofs of what shall be said from the
words of our Saviour, by which alone one can be led without error to the
knowledge of things.

First of all, it is to be known that the entire Law contained in the
Pentateuch of Moses was not given by one—I mean not by God alone; but some
of its precepts were given by men, and the words of the Saviour teach us
to divide it into three parts. For He attributes some of it to God himself
and His law-giving, and some to Moses, not in the sense that God gave laws
through him, but in the sense that Moses, impelled by his own spirit, set
down some things as laws; and He attributes some things to the elders of
the people, who first discovered certain commandments of their own and
then inserted them. How this was so you clearly learn from the words of
the Saviour. Somewhere the Saviour was conversing with the people, who
disputed with Him about divorce, that it was allowed in the Law, and He
said to them: Moses, on account of the hardness of your hearts, permitted
a man to divorce his wife; but from the beginning it was not so. For God,
said He, joined this bond, and what the Lord joined together let not man,
He said, put asunder. He therefore pointed out one law that forbids a
woman to be separated from her husband, which was of God, and another,
which was of Moses, that allows, on account of the hardness of men’s
hearts, the bond to be dissolved. And accordingly, Moses gives a law
opposed to God, for it is opposed to the law forbidding divorce. But if we
consider carefully the mind of Moses, according to which he thus
legislated, we shall find that he did not do this of his own mere choice,
but by constraint because of the weakness of those to whom he was giving
the law. For since they were not able to observe that precept of God by
which it was not permitted them to cast forth their wives, with whom some
of them lived unhappily, and because of this they were in danger of
falling still more into unrighteousness, and from that into utter ruin,
Moses, intending to avoid this unhappy result, because they were in danger
of ruin, gave a certain second law, according to circumstances less evil,
in place of the better; and by his own authority gave the law of divorce
to them, that if they could not keep that they might keep this, and should
not fall into unrighteousness and wickedness by which complete ruin should
overtake them. This was his purpose in as far as he is found giving laws
contrary to God. That thus the law of Moses is shown to be other than the
Law of God is indisputable, if we have shown it in one instance.

And as to there being certain traditions of the elders which have been
incorporated in the Law, the Saviour shows this also. For God, said He,
commanded: Honor thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with thee.
But ye, He said, addressing the elders, have said: It is a gift to God,
that by which ye might be profited by me, and ye annul the law of God by
the traditions of your elders. And this very thing Isaiah declared when he
said: This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from
me, vainly do they worship me, teaching the doctrines and commandment of
men [_cf._ Matt. 15:4-9.] Clearly, then, from these things it is shown
that this whole Law is to be divided into three parts. And in it we find
laws given by Moses, by the elders, and by God; and this division of the
whole Law as we have made it, has shown the real truth as to the Law.

But one portion of the Law, that which is from God, is again to be divided
into three parts: first, into the genuine precepts, quite untainted with
evil, which is properly called the law, and which the Saviour came not to
destroy but to complete (for what he completed was not alien to Him, but
yet it was not perfect); secondly, the part comprising evil and
unrighteous things, which the Saviour did away with as something unfitting
His nature; and thirdly, the part which is for types and symbols, which is
given as a law, as images of things spiritual and excellent which, from
being evident and manifest to the senses, the Saviour changed into the
spiritual and unseen. Now the law of God, pure and untainted with anything
base, is the Decalogue itself, or those ten precepts distributed in two
tables, for the prohibition of things to be avoided and the performance of
things to be done. Although they constitute a pure body of laws, yet they
are not perfect, but need to be completed by the Saviour. But there is
that body of commands which are tainted with unrighteousness; such is the
law requiring vengeance and requital of injuries upon those who have first
injured us, commanding the smiting out of an eye for an eye and a tooth
for a tooth and revenging bloodshed with bloodshed. For one who is second
in doing unrighteousness acts no less unrighteously, when the difference
is only one of order, doing the self-same work. But such a precept was,
and is, in other respects just, because of the infirmity of those to whom
the law was given, and it was given in violation of the pure law, and was
not consonant with the nature and goodness of the Father of all; it was to
a degree appropriate, but yet given under a certain compulsion. For he who
forbids the commission of a single murder in that he says, Thou shalt not
kill, but commands that he who kills shall in requital be killed, gives a
second law and commands a second slaying, when he has forbidden one, and
has been compelled to do this by necessity. And therefore the Son, sent by
Him, abolishes this portion of the Law, He himself confessing that it is
from God, and this, among other things, is to be attributed to an ancient
heresy, among which, also, is that God, speaking, says: He that curseth
father or mother, let him die the death. But there is that part of the Law
which is typical, laying down that which is an image of things spiritual
and excellent, which gives laws concerning such matters as offerings, I
mean, and circumcision, the Sabbath and fasting, the passover and the
unleavened bread, and such like. For all these things, being images and
symbols of the truth which had been manifested, have been changed. They
were abrogated so far as they were external, visible acts of bodily
performance, but they were retained so far as they were spiritual, the
names remaining, but the things being changed. For the Saviour commands us
to present offerings, though not of irrational animals or of incense, but
spiritual offerings—praise, glory, and thanksgiving, and also liberality
and good deeds toward the neighbor. He would have us circumcised with a
circumcision not of the flesh, but spiritual and of the heart; and have us
observe the Sabbath, for he wishes us to rest from wicked actions; and
fast, but he does not wish us to observe a bodily fast, but a spiritual,
in that we abstain from all that is unworthy. External fasting, however,
is observed among our people, since it is capable of benefiting the soul
to some degree, if it is practised with reason, when it is neither
performed from imitation of any one, nor by custom, nor on account of a
day, as if a day were set apart for that purpose; and at the same time it
is also for a reminder of true fasting, that they who are not able to fast
thus may have a reminder of it from the fast which is external. And that
the passover, in the same way, and the unleavened bread are images, the
Apostle Paul also makes clear, saying: Christ our Passover is sacrificed
for us, and That ye may be unleavened, not having any leaven (for he calls
leaven wickedness), but that ye may be a new dough.

This entire Law, therefore, acknowledged to be from God, is divided into
three parts: into that part which is fulfilled by the Saviour, such as
Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not
forswear thyself, for they are included in this, thou shalt not be angry,
thou shalt not lust, thou shalt not swear; into that which is completely
abolished, such as an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, being
tainted with unrighteousness, and having the same work of unrighteousness,
and these are taken away by the Saviour because contradictory (for those
things which are contradictory are mutually destructive), “For I say unto
you that ye in no wise resist evil, but if any one smite thee turn to him
the other cheek also;” and into that part which is changed and converted
from that which is bodily into that which is spiritual, as he expounds
allegorically a symbol which is commanded as an image of things that are
excellent. For these images and symbols, fitted to represent other things,
were good so long as the truth was not yet present; but when the truth is
present, it is necessary to do the things of truth, not the image of
truth. The same thing his disciples and the Apostle Paul teach, inasmuch
as in regard to things which are images, as we have already said, they
show by the passover and the unleavened bread that they are for our sake,
but in regard to the law which is tainted with unrighteousness, they call
it the law of commandments and ordinances, that is done away; but as to
the law which is untainted with evil, he says that the law is holy and the
commandment holy and just and good.

Accordingly, I think that it has been sufficiently shown you, so far as it
is possible to discuss the matter briefly, that there are laws of men
which have slipped in, and there is the very Law of God which is divided
into three parts. There remains, therefore, for us to show, who, then, is
that God who gave the Law. But I think that this has been shown you in
what has already been said, if you have listened attentively. For if the
Law was not given by the perfect God, as we have shown, nor by the devil,
which idea merely to mention is unlawful, there is another beside these,
one who gave the Law. This one is, therefore, the Demiurge and maker of
this whole world and of all things in it, different from the nature of the
other two, and placed between them, and who therefore rightly bears the
name of the Midst. And if the perfect God is good according to His own
nature, as also He is (for that there is only One who is good, namely, God
and His Father, the Saviour asserted, the God whom He manifested), there
is also one who is of the nature of the adversary, bad and wicked and
characterized by unrighteousness. Standing, therefore, between these, and
being neither good nor bad nor unjust, he can be called righteous in a
sense proper to him, as the judge of the righteousness that corresponds to
him, and that god will be lower than the perfect God, and his
righteousness lower than His, because he is begotten and not unbegotten.
For there is one unbegotten One, the Father, from whom are all things, for
all things have been prepared by Him. But He is greater and superior to
the adversary, and is of a different essence or nature from the essence of
the other. For the essence of the adversary is corruption and darkness,
for he is hylic and composite,(49) but the essence of the unbegotten
Father of all is incorruptibility, and He is light itself, simple and
uniform. But the essence of these(50) brings forth a certain twofold
power, and he is the image of the better. Do not let these things disturb
you, who wish to learn how from one principle of all things, whom we
acknowledge and in whom be believe, namely, the unbegotten and the
incorruptible and the good, there exist two other natures, namely, that of
corruption and that of the Midst, which are not of the same essence
[ἀνομοοῦσιοι], though the good by nature begets and brings forth what is
like itself, and of the same essence [ὁμοοῦσιος]. For you will learn by
God’s permission, in due order, both the beginning of this and its
generation, since you are deemed worthy of the apostolic tradition, which
by a succession we have received, and in due season to test all things by
the teaching of the Saviour. The things which in a few words I have said
to you, my sister Flora, I have not exhausted, and I have written briefly.
At the same time I have sufficiently explained to you the subject
proposed, and what I have said will be constantly of use to you, if as a
beautiful and good field you have received the seed and will by it produce

§ 23. Marcion

Recently Marcion has been commonly treated apart from the Gnostics on
account of the large use he made of the Pauline writings. By some he has
even been regarded as a champion of Pauline ideas which had failed to hold
a place in Christian thought. This opinion of Marcion is being modified
under the influence of a larger knowledge of Gnosticism. At the bottom
Marcion’s doctrine was thoroughly Gnostic, though he differed from the
vast majority of Gnostics in that his interest seems to have been
primarily ethical rather than speculative. His school maintained itself
for some centuries after undergoing some minor modifications. Marcion was
teaching at Rome, A. D. 140. The aspersions upon his moral character must
be taken with caution, as it had already become a common practice to
blacken the character of theological opponents, regardless of the truth, a
custom which has not yet wholly disappeared.

    Additional source material: Justin Martyr, _Apol._, I. 26, 58;
    Irenæus, III. 12:12 _ff._ The most important source is
    Tertullian’s elaborate _Adversus Marcionem_, especially I, 1 _f._,
    29; III, 8. 11.

(_a_) Irenæus, Adv. _Hær._, I, 27: 1-3. (MSG, 7:687.)

    The system of Cerdo and Marcion.

Ch. 1. A certain Cerdo, who had taken his fundamental ideas from those who
were with Simon [_i.e._, Simon Magus], and who was in Rome in the time of
Hyginus, who held the ninth place from the Apostles in the episcopal
succession, taught that the God who was preached by the law and the
prophets is not the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the former is
known, but the latter is unknown; and the former is righteous, but the
other is good.

Ch. 2. And Marcion of Pontus succeeded him and developed a school,
blaspheming shamelessly Him who is proclaimed as God by the law and the
prophets; saying that He is maker of evils and a lover of wars, inconstant
in purpose and inconsistent with Himself. He said, however, that Jesus
came from the Father, who is above the God who made the world, into Judea
in the time of Pontius Pilate, the procurator of Tiberius Cæsar, and was
manifested in the form of a man to those who were in Judea, destroying the
prophets and the law, and all the works of that God who made the world and
whom he also called Cosmocrator. In addition to this, he mutilated the
Gospel which is according to Luke, and removed all that refers to the
generation of the Lord, removing also many things from the teaching in the
Lord’s discourses, in which the Lord is recorded as very plainly
confessing that the founder of this universe is His Father; and thus
Marcion persuaded his disciples that he himself is truer than the Apostles
who delivered the Gospel; delivering to them not the Gospel but a part of
the Gospel. But in the same manner he also mutilated the epistles of the
Apostle Paul, removing all that is plainly said by the Apostle concerning
that God who made the world, to the effect that He is the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, and all that the Apostle taught by quotation from the
prophetical writings which foretold the coming of the Lord.

Ch. 3. He taught that salvation would be only of the souls of those who
should receive his doctrine, and that it is impossible for the body to
partake of salvation, because it was taken from the earth.

(_b_) Tertullian, _Adv. Marcion._, I, 19; IV, 2, 3. (MSL, 2: 293. 393.)

    Tertullian’s great work against Marcion is his most important and
    most carefully written polemical treatise. He revised it three
    times. The first book of the present revision dates from A. D.
    207; the other books cannot be dated except conjecturally. In
    spite of the openly displayed hostile animus of the writer, it can
    be used with confidence when controlled by reference to other

I, 19. Marcion’s special and principal work is the separation of the law
and the Gospel; and his disciples will not be able to deny that in this
they have their best means by which they are initiated into, and confirmed
in, this heresy. For these are Marcion’s antitheses—that is, contradictory
propositions; and they aim at putting the Gospel at variance with the law,
that from the diversity of the statements of the two documents they may
argue for a diversity of gods, also.

IV, 2. With Marcion the mystery of the Christian religion dates from the
discipleship of Luke. Since, however, it was under way previously, it must
have had its authentic materials by means of which it found its way down
to Luke; and by aid of the testimony which it bore Luke himself becomes

IV, 3. Well, but because Marcion finds the Epistle to the Galatians by
Paul, who rebukes even Apostles for “not walking uprightly according to
the truth of the Gospel” [Gal. 2:14], as well as accuses certain false
apostles of being perverters of the Gospel of Christ, he attempts to
destroy the standing of those gospels which are published as genuine and
under the names of Apostles, or of apostolic men, to secure, forsooth, for
his own gospel the credit he takes away from them.

(_c_) Rhodon, in Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, V, 13. (MSG, 20:459.)

At this time Rhodon, a native of Asia, who, as he himself states, had been
instructed at Rome by Tatian, with whom we have already become acquainted,
wrote excellent books, and published among the rest one against the heresy
of Marcion which, he says, was in his time divided into various sects; and
he describes those who occasioned the division and refutes carefully the
falsehood devised by each. But hear what he writes: “Therefore also they
have fallen into disagreement among themselves, and maintain inconsistent
opinions. For Apelles, one of their herd, priding himself on his manner of
life and his age, acknowledged one principle [_i.e._, source of
existence], but says that the prophecies were from an opposing spirit. And
he was persuaded of the truth of this by the responses of a demoniac
maiden named Philumene. But others hold to two principles, as does the
mariner Marcion himself, among these are Potitus and Basiliscus. These,
following the wolf of Pontus and, like him, unable to discover the
divisions of things, became reckless, and without any proof baldly
asserted two principles. Again, others of them drifted into worse error
and assumed not only two, but three, natures. Of these Syneros is the
leader and chief, as those say who defend his teaching.”

§ 24. Encratites

Asceticism is a wide-spread phenomenon in nearly all religions. It is to
be found in apostolic Christianity. In the early Church it was regarded as
a matter in the option of the Christian who was aiming at the religious
life [see above, § 16]. The characteristic of the Encratites was their
insistence upon asceticism as essential to Christian living. They were
therefore associated, and with abundant historical justification, with

    Additional source material: Clement of Alexandria, _Strom._, III,
    _passim_; Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, IV, 29, _cf._ the many references
    in the notes to McGiffert’s edition, PNF.

(_a_) Hippolytus, VIII, 13. (MSG, 16:3368.)

    See above, § 19, _c_.

Others, however, styling themselves Encratites, acknowledge some things
concerning God and Christ in like manner with the Church, but in respect
to their mode of life they pass their time inflated with pride; thinking
that by meats they glorify themselves, they abstain from animal food, are
water drinkers, and, forbidding to marry, they devote the rest of their
life to habits of asceticism.

(_b_) Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._ I, 28. (MSG, 7:690.)

Many offshoots of numerous heresies have already been formed from those
heresies which we have described.… By way of example, let us say there are
those springing from Saturninus and Marcion, who are called Encratites
[_i.e._, self-controlled], who preached the unmarried state, thus setting
aside the original creation of God, and indirectly condemning Him who made
male and female for the propagation of the human race. Some of those
reckoned as belonging to them have also introduced abstinence from animal
food, being ungrateful to God who created all things. They deny, also, the
salvation of him who was first created. It is but recently that this
opinion has been discovered among them, since a certain man named Tatian
first introduced the blasphemy. He had been a hearer of Justin’s, and as
long as he continued with him he expressed no such views; but after his
martyrdom [circa A. D. 165] he separated from the Church, and having
become excited and puffed up by the thought of being a teacher, as if he
were superior to others, he composed his own peculiar type of doctrine. He
invented a system of certain invisible Eons, like the followers of
Valentinus; and like Marcion and Saturninus, he declared that marriage was
nothing else than corruption and fornication. But this denial of Adam’s
salvation was an opinion due entirely to himself.

§ 25. Montanism

Montanism was, in part at least, an attempt to revive the enthusiastic
prophetic element in the early Christian life. In its first
manifestations, in Asia Minor, Montanism was wild and fanatical. It soon
spread to the West, and in doing so it became, as did other Oriental
religious movements (_e.g._, Gnosticism and Manichæanism, see § 54), far
more sober. It even seemed to many serious persons to be nothing more than
a praiseworthy attempt to revive or retain certain primitive Christian
conditions, both in respect to personal morals and ecclesiastical
organization and life. In this way it came to be patronized by not a few
(_e.g._, Tertullian) who, in other respects, deviated in few or no points
from the prevailing thought and practice of Christians. See also § 26.

    Additional source material: Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, V, 16-19, cf.
    literature cited in McGiffert’s notes. The sayings of Montanus,
    Maximilla, and Priscilla are collected in Hilgenfeld,
    _Ketzergeschichte_, 591 _ff._ See also Hippolytus, _Refut._, X,
    25_f._ [= X, 21, ANF.]

(_a_) Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, V, 16:7. (MSG, 20:463.)

    For Eusebius, see § 3.

There is said to be a certain village named Ardabau, in Mysia, on the
borders of Phrygia. There, they say, when Gratus was proconsul of Asia, a
recent convert, Montanus by name—who, in his boundless desire for
leadership, gave the adversary opportunity against him—first became
inspired; and falling into a sort of frenzy and ecstasy raved and began to
babble and utter strange sounds, prophesying in a manner contrary to the
traditional and constant custom of the Church from the beginning.… And he
stirred up, besides, two women [Maximilla and Priscilla], and filled them
with the false spirit, so that they talked frantically, at unseasonable
times, and in a strange manner, like the person already mentioned.… And
the arrogant spirit taught them to revile the universal and entire Church
under heaven, because the spirit of false prophecy received from it
neither honor nor entrance into it; for the faithful in Asia met often and
in many places throughout Asia to consider this matter and to examine the
recent utterances, and they pronounced them profane and rejected the
heresy, and thus these persons were expelled from the Church and shut out
from the communion.

(_b_) Apollonius, in Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, V, 18. (MSG, 20:475.)

    Apollonius was possibly bishop of Ephesus. His work against the
    Montanists, which appears to have been written about 197, was one
    of the principal sources for Eusebius in his account of the
    Montanists. Only fragments of his work have been preserved.

This is he who taught the dissolution of marriages; who laid down laws for
fasting; who named Pepuza and Tymion (which were small cities in Phrygia)
Jerusalem, desiring to gather people to them from everywhere; who
appointed collectors of money; who devised the receiving of gifts under
the name of offerings; who provided salaries for those who preached his
doctrine, so that by gluttony the teaching of his doctrine might prevail.

(_c_) Hippolytus, _Refut._, VIII, 19. (MSG, 16:3356.)

    For Hippolytus, see § 19, _c_.

But there are others who are themselves in nature more heretical than the
Quartodecimans. These are Phrygians by birth and they have been deceived,
having been overcome by certain women called Priscilla and Maximilla; and
they hold these for prophetesses, saying that in them the Paraclete Spirit
dwelt; and they likewise glorify one Montanus before these women as a
prophet. So, having endless books of these people, they go astray, and
they neither judge their statements by reason nor pay attention to those
who are able to judge. But they behave without judgment in the faith they
place in them, saying they have learned something more through them than
from the law and the prophets and the Gospels. But they glorify these
women above the Apostles and every gift, so that some of them presume to
say that there was something more in them than in Christ. These confess
God the Father of the universe and creator of all things, like the Church,
and all that the Gospel witnesses concerning Christ, but invent new fasts
and feasts and meals of dry food and meals of radishes, saying that thus
they were taught by their women. And some of them agree with the heresy of
the Noetians and say that the Father is very Son, and that this One became
subject to birth and suffering and death.

Chapter III. The Defence Against Heresy

The Church first met the various dangerous heresies which distracted it in
the second century by councils or gatherings of bishops (§ 26). Although
it was not difficult to bring about a condemnation of novel and manifestly
erroneous doctrine, there was need of fixed norms and definite authorities
to which to appeal. This was found in the apostolic tradition, which could
be more clearly determined by reference to the continuity of the apostolic
office, or the episcopate, and especially to the succession of bishops in
the churches founded by Apostles (§ 27), the apostolic witness to the
truth, or the more precise determination of what writings should be
regarded as apostolic, or the canon of the New Testament (§ 28); and the
apostolic faith, which was regarded as summed up in the Apostles’ Creed (§
29). These norms of orthodoxy seem to have been generally established as
authoritative somewhat earlier in the West than in the East. The result
was that Gnosticism was rapidly expelled from the Church, though in some
forms it lingered for centuries (§ 30), and that the Church, becoming
organized around the episcopate, assumed by degrees a rigid hierarchical
constitution (§ 31).

§ 26. The Beginnings of Councils as a Defence against Heresy

Ecclesiastical councils were the first defence against heresy. As the
Church had not as yet attained its hierarchical constitution and the
autonomy of the local church still persisted, these councils had little
more than the combined authority of the several members composing them.
They had, as yet, only moral force, and did not speak for the Church
officially. With the development of the episcopal constitution, the
councils gained rapidly in authority.

    Additional source material: See Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, V, 16
    (given above, § 25, _a_), V, 24; Tertullian, _De Jejun._, 13
    (given below, § 38).

(_a_) _Libellus Synodicus_, Man. I, 723.

    For a discussion of the credibility of the _Libellus Synodicus_, a
    compilation of the ninth century, see Hefele, _History of the
    Councils_, § 1.

A holy and provincial synod was held at Hierapolis in Asia by
Apollinarius, the most holy bishop of that city, and twenty-six other
bishops. In this synod Montanus and Maximilla, the false prophets, and at
the same time, Theodotus the tanner, were condemned and expelled. A holy
and local synod was gathered under the most holy Bishop Sotas of
Anchialus(51) and twelve other bishops, who condemned and rejected
Theodotus the tanner and Montanus together with Maximilla.

(_b_) Eusebius. _Hist. Ec._, V, 18. (MSG, 20:475.) _Cf._ Mirbt, n. 21.

    The following should be connected with the first attempts of the
    Church to meet the heresy of the Montanists by gatherings of
    bishops. It also throws some light on the methods of dealing with
    the new prophets.

Serapion, who, according to report, became bishop of Antioch at that time,
after Maximinus, mentions the works of Apollinarius against the
above-mentioned heresy. And he refers to him in a private letter to
Caricus and Pontius, in which he himself exposes the same heresy, adding
as follows: “That you may see that the doings of this lying band of new
prophecy, as it is called, are an abomination to all the brethren
throughout the world, I have sent you writings of the most blessed
Claudius Apollinarius, bishop of Hierapolis in Asia.” In the same letter
of Serapion are found the signatures of several bishops, of whom one has
subscribed himself as follows: “I, Aurelius Cyrenius, a witness, pray for
your health.” And another after this manner: “Ælius Publius Julius, bishop
of Debeltum, a colony of Thrace. As God liveth in the heavens, the blessed
Sotas in Anchialus desired to cast the demon out of Priscilla, but the
hypocrites would not permit him.” And the autograph signatures of many
other bishops who agreed with them are contained in the same letter.

§ 27. The Apostolic Tradition and the Episcopate

The Gnostics claimed apostolic authority for their teaching and appealed
to successions of teachers who had handed down their teachings. This
procedure forced the Church to lay stress upon the obvious fact that its
doctrine was derived from the Apostles, a matter on which it never had had
any doubt, but was vouched for, not by obscure teachers, but by the
churches which had been founded by the Apostles themselves in large cities
and by the bishops whom the Apostles had instituted in those churches.
Those churches, furthermore, agreed among themselves, but the Gnostic
teachers differed widely. By this appeal the bishop came to represent the
apostolic order (for an earlier conception _v. supra_, § 14, _b_, _c_),
and to take an increasingly important place in the church (_v. infra_, §

    Additional source material: For Gnostic references to successions
    of teachers, see Tertullian, _De Præscr._, 25; Clement of
    Alexandria, _Strom._, VII, 17; Hippolytus, _Refut._, VII, 20. (=
    VII, 8. ANF.)

(_a_) Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, III, 3: 1-4. (MSG, 7:848.) _Cf._ Mirbt, n. 30.

    The first appearance of the appeal to apostolic tradition as
    preserved in apostolic sees is the following passage from Irenæus,
    written about 175. The reference to the church of Rome, beginning,
    “For with this Church, on account of its more powerful
    leadership,” has been a famous point of discussion. While it is
    obscure in detail, the application of its general purport to the
    argument of Irenæus is clear. Since for this passage we have not
    the original Greek of Irenæus, but only the Latin translation,
    there seems to be no way of clearing up the obscurities and
    apparently contradictory statements. The text may be found in
    Gwatkin, _op. cit._, and in part in Kirch, _op. cit._, §§ 110-113.

Ch. 1. The tradition, therefore, of the Apostles, manifested throughout
the world, is a thing which all who wish to see the facts can clearly
perceive in every church; and we are able to count up those who were
appointed bishops by the Apostles, and to show their successors to our own
time, who neither taught nor knew anything resembling these men’s ravings.
For if the Apostles had known hidden mysteries which they used to teach
the perfect, apart from and without the knowledge of the rest, they would
have delivered them especially to those to whom they were also committing
the churches themselves. For they desired them to be very perfect and
blameless in all things, and were also leaving them as their successors,
delivering over to them their own proper place of teaching; for if these
should act rightly great advantage would result, but if they fell away the
most disastrous calamity would occur.

Ch. 2. But since it would be very long in such a volume as this to count
up the successions [_i.e._, series of bishops] in all the churches, we
confound all those who in any way, whether through self-pleasing or
vainglory, or through blindness and evil opinion, gather together
otherwise than they ought, by pointing out the tradition derived from the
Apostles of the greatest, most ancient, and universally known Church,
founded and established by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul,
and also the faith declared to men which through the succession of bishops
comes down to our times. For with this Church, on account of its more
powerful leadership [_potiorem principalitatem_], every church, that is,
the faithful, who are from everywhere, must needs agree; since in it that
tradition which is from the Apostles has always been preserved by those
who are from everywhere.

Ch. 3. The blessed Apostles having founded and established the Church,
intrusted the office of the episcopate to Linus.(52) Paul speaks of this
Linus in his Epistles to Timothy. Anacletus succeeded him, and after
Anacletus, in the third place from the Apostles, Clement received the
episcopate. He had seen and conversed with the blessed Apostles, and their
preaching was still sounding in his ears and their tradition was still
before his eyes. Nor was he alone in this, for many who had been taught by
the Apostles yet survived. In the times of Clement, a serious dissension
having arisen among the brethren in Corinth, the Church of Rome sent a
suitable letter to the Corinthians, reconciling them in peace, renewing
their faith, and proclaiming the doctrine lately received from the

Evaristus succeeded Clement, and Alexander Evaristus. Then Sixtus, the
sixth from the Apostles, was appointed. After him Telesephorus, who
suffered martyrdom gloriously, and then Hyginus; after him Pius, and after
Pius Anicetus; Soter succeeded Anicetus, and now, in the twelfth place
from the Apostles, Eleutherus [174-189] holds the office of bishop. In the
same order and succession the tradition and the preaching of the truth
which is from the Apostles have continued unto us.

Ch. 4. But Polycarp, too, was not only instructed by the Apostles, and
acquainted with many that had seen Christ, but was also appointed by
Apostles in Asia bishop of the church in Smyrna, whom we, too, saw in our
early youth (for he lived a long time, and died, when a very old man, a
glorious and most illustrious martyr’s death); he always taught the things
which he had learned from the Apostles, which the Church also hands down,
and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic churches
testify, as do also those who, down to the present time, have succeeded
Polycarp, who was a much more trustworthy and certain witness of the truth
than Valentinus and Marcion and the rest of the evil-minded. It was he who
was also in Rome in the time of Anicetus and caused many to turn away from
the above-mentioned heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had
received from the Apostles this one and only truth which has been
transmitted by the Church. And there are those who heard from him that
John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe in Ephesus, when he saw
Cerinthus within, ran out of the bath-house without bathing, crying: “Let
us flee, lest even the bath-house fall, because Cerinthus, the enemy of
the truth, is within.” And Polycarp himself, when Marcion once met him and
said, “Knowest thou us?” replied, “I know the first-born of Satan.” Such
caution did the Apostles and their disciples exercise that they might not
even converse with any of those who perverted the truth; as Paul, also,
said: “A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition,
reject; knowing that he that is such subverteth and sinneth, being
condemned by himself.” There is also a very powerful Epistle of Polycarp
written to the Philippians, from which those who wish to, and who are
concerned for their own salvation, may learn the character of his faith
and the preaching of the truth.

(_b_) Tertullian, _De Prœscriptione_, 20, 21. (MSL, 2:38.)

    Tertullian worked out in legal fashion the argument of Irenæus
    from the testimony of the bishops in apostolic churches. He may
    have obtained the argument from Irenæus, as he was evidently
    acquainted with his works. From Tertullian’s use of the argument
    it became a permanent element in the thought of the West.

Ch. 20. The Apostles founded in the several cities churches from which the
other churches have henceforth borrowed the shoot of faith and seeds of
teaching and do daily borrow that they may become churches; and it is from
this fact that they also will be counted as apostolic, being the offspring
of apostolic churches. Every kind of thing must be judged by reference to
its origin. Therefore so many and so great churches are all one, being
from that first Church which is from the Apostles. Thus they are all
primitive and all apostolic, since they altogether are approved by their
unity, and they have the communion of peace, the title of brotherhood, and
the interchange of hospitality, and they are governed by no other rule
than the single tradition of the same mystery.

Ch. 21. Here, then, we enter our demurrer, that if the Lord Jesus Christ
sent Apostles to preach, others than those whom Christ appointed ought not
to be received as preachers. For no man knoweth the Father save the Son
and he to whom the Son has revealed Him [_cf._ Luke 10:22]; nor does it
appear that the Son has revealed Him unto any others than the Apostles,
whom He sent forth to preach what, of course, He had revealed to them.
Now, what they should preach, that is, what Christ revealed to them, can,
as I must likewise here enter as a demurrer, properly be proved in no
other way than by those very churches which the Apostles themselves
founded by preaching to them, both _viva voce_, as the phrase is, and
subsequently by epistles. If this is so, it is evident that all doctrine
which agrees with those apostolic churches, the wombs and origins of the
faith, must be reckoned for truth, as undoubtedly containing what the
churches received from the Apostles, the Apostles from Christ, Christ from
God. There remains, therefore, for us to show whether our doctrine, the
rule of which we have given above [_v. infra_, § 29, _c_], agrees with the
tradition of the Apostles, and likewise whether the others come from
deceit. We hold fast to the apostolic churches, because in none is there a
different doctrine; this is the witness of the truth.

(_c_) Tertullian, _De Præscriptione_, 36. (MSL, 2:58.)

    It should be noted that the appeal to apostolic churches is to any
    and all such, and is accordingly just so much the stronger in the
    controversy in which it was brought forward. The argument,
    whenever it occurs, does not turn upon the infallibility of any
    one see or church as such. That point is not touched. Such a turn
    to the argument would have weakened the force of the appeal in the
    dispute with the Gnostics, however powerfully it might be used in
    other controversies.

Come, now, you who would indulge a better curiosity, if you would apply it
to the business of your salvation, run over the apostolic churches, in
which the very thrones of the Apostles are still pre-eminent in their
places, in which their own authentic writings are read, uttering the voice
and representing the face of each of them severally. Achaia is very near
you, in which you find Corinth. Since you are not far from Macedonia, you
have Philippi; there, too, you have the Thessalonians. Since you are able
to cross to Asia, you get Ephesus. Since, moreover, you are close upon
Italy, you have Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the
very authority of Apostles themselves. How happy is that church, on which
Apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! Where
Peter endures a passion like his Lord’s; where Paul wins a crown in a
death like John’s; where the Apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into
boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island exile! See what she has
learned, what taught; what fellowship she has had with even our churches
in Africa! One Lord God does she acknowledge, the Creator of the universe,
and Christ Jesus born of the Virgin Mary, the Son of God the Creator; and
the resurrection of the flesh; the law and the prophets she unites in one
volume with the writings of Evangelists and Apostles, from which she
drinks in her faith. This she seals with the water of baptism, arrays with
the Holy Ghost, feeds with the eucharist, cheers with martyrdom, and
against such a discipline thus maintained she admits no gainsayer.

§ 28. The Canon or the Authoritative New Testament Writings

The Gnostics used in support of their doctrines writings which they
attributed to the Apostles, thus having a direct apostolic witness to
these doctrines. This they did in imitation of the Church’s practice of
using apostolic writings for edification and instruction. Marcion drew up
a list of books which were alone to be regarded as authoritative among his
followers [_v. supra_, § 23, _a_]. The point to be made by the champions
of the faith of the great body of Christians was that only those books
could be legitimately used in support of Christian doctrine which could
claim actual apostolic origin and had been used continuously in the
Church. As a fact, the books to which they appealed had been in use
generation after generation, but the Gnostic works were unknown until a
comparatively recent time and were too closely connected with only the
founders of a sect to deserve credence. It was a simple literary argument
and appeal to tangible evidence. The list of books regarded as
authoritative constituted the Canon of Scripture. The state of the Canon
in the second half of the second century, especially in the West, is shown
in the following extracts.

    Additional source material: See Preuschen, _Analecta_, II,
    Tübingen, 1910; Tatian, Diatessaron, ANF, IX; The Gospel of Peter,

(_a_) _The Muratorian Fragment._ Text, B. F. Westcott, _A General Survey
of the History of the Canon of the New Testament_, seventh ed., Cambridge,
1896. Appendix C; Kirch, n. 134; Preuschen, _Analecta_, II, 27. _Cf._
Mirbt, n. 20.

    The earliest list of canonical books of the New Testament was
    found by L. A. Muratori in 1740 in a MS. of the eighth century. It
    lacks beginning and end. It belongs to the middle or the second
    half of the second century. It cannot with certainty be attributed
    to any known person. The obscure Latin text is probably a
    translation from the Greek. The fragment begins with what appears
    to be an account of St. Mark’s Gospel.

… but at some he was present, and so he set them down.

The third book of the gospels, that according to Luke. Luke, the
physician, compiled it in his own name in order, when, after the ascension
of Christ, Paul had taken him to be with him like a student of law. Yet
neither did he see the Lord in the flesh; and he, too, as he was able to
ascertain events, so set them down. So he began his story from the birth
of John.

The fourth of the gospels is John’s, one of the disciples. When exhorted
by his fellow-disciples and bishops, he said, “Fast with me this day for
three days; and what may be revealed to any of us, let us relate to one
another.” The same night it was revealed to Andrew, one of the Apostles,
that John was to write all things in his own name, and they were all to

And therefore, though various elements are taught in the several books of
the gospels, yet it makes no difference to the faith of the believers,
since by one guiding Spirit all things are declared in all of them
concerning the nativity, the passion, the resurrection, the conversation
with His disciples, and His two comings, the first in lowliness and
contempt, which has come to pass, the second glorious with royal power,
which is to come.

What marvel, therefore, if John so firmly sets forth each statement in his
epistles, too, saying of himself: “What we have seen with our eyes and
heard with our ears and our hands have handled, these things we have
written to you”? For so he declares himself to be not an eye-witness and a
hearer only, but also a writer of all the marvels of the Lord in order.

The acts, however, of all the Apostles are written in one book. Luke puts
it shortly, “to the most excellent Theophilus,” that the several things
were done in his own presence, as he also plainly shows by leaving out the
passion of Peter, and also the departure of Paul from the city [_i.e._,
Rome] on his journey to Spain.

The epistles, however, of Paul make themselves plain to those who wish to
understand what epistles were sent by him, and from what place and for
what cause. He wrote at some length, first of all, to the Corinthians,
forbidding schisms and heresies; next to the Galatians, forbidding
circumcision; then to the Romans, impressing on them the plan of the
Scriptures, and also that Christ is the first principle of them,
concerning which severally it is necessary for us to discuss, since the
blessed Apostle Paul himself, following the order of his predecessor John,
writes only by name to seven churches in the following order: to the
Corinthians a first, to the Ephesians a second, to the Philippians a
third, to the Colossians a fourth, to the Galatians a fifth, to the
Thessalonians a sixth, to the Romans a seventh; and yet, although for the
sake of admonition there is a second to the Corinthians and to the
Thessalonians, but one Church is recognized as being spread over the
entire world. For John, too, in the Apocalypse, though he writes to seven
churches, yet speaks to all. Howbeit to Philemon one, to Titus one, and to
Timothy two were put in writing from personal inclination and attachment,
to be in honor, however, with the Catholic Church for the ordering of the
ecclesiastical mode of life. There is current, also, one to the
Laodiceans, another to the Alexandrians, [both] forged in Paul’s name to
suit a heresy of Marcion, and several others, which cannot be received
into the Catholic Church; for it is not fitting that gall be mixed with

The Epistle of Jude, no doubt, and the couple bearing the name of John are
accepted in the Catholic [Church], and the Wisdom written by the friends
of Solomon in his honor. The Apocalypse, also, of John and of Peter only
we receive; which some of us will not have read in the Church. But the
Shepherd was written quite lately in our times by Hermas, while his
brother Pius, the bishop, was sitting in the chair of the church of the
city of Rome; and therefore it ought to be read, indeed, but it cannot to
the end of time be publicly read in the Church to the people, either among
the prophets, who are complete in number, or among the Apostles.

But of Valentinus, the Arsinoite, and his friends, we receive nothing at
all, who have also composed a long new book of Psalms, together with
Basilides and the Asiatic founder of the Montanists.

(_b_) Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, III, II:8. (MSG, 7:885.)

    The following extract illustrates the allegorical method of
    exegesis in use throughout the Church, and also the opinion of the
    author that there were but four gospels, and could be no more than
    four. It should be noted that the symbolism of the beasts is not
    that which has become current in ecclesiastical art.

It is not possible that the gospels be either more or fewer than they are.
For since there are four regions of the world in which we live, and four
principal winds, and the Church is scattered over the whole earth, and the
pillar and ground of the Church is the Gospel and the Spirit of Life, it
is fitting that she should have four pillars, breathing forth immortality
on every side, and giving life to men. From this it is evident that the
Word, the Artificer of all, who sitteth upon the cherubim and who contains
all things and was manifested to men, has given us the Gospel under four
forms, but bound together by one Spirit. As also David says when he prayed
for His coming: “Thou that sittest between the cherubim, shine forth”
[_cf._ Psalm 80:1]. For the cherubim, also, were four-faced, and their
faces were images of the dispensation of the Son of God. For he says, “The
first living creature was like a lion” [_cf._ Ezek. 1:5 _ff._],
symbolizing His effectual working, leadership, and royal power; the second
was like a calf, symbolizing His sacrificial and sacerdotal order; but
“the third had, as it were, the face of a man,” evidently describing His
coming as a human being; “the fourth was like a flying eagle,” pointing
out the gift of the Spirit hovering over the Church. And therefore the
gospels are in accord with these things, among which Christ is seated. For
that according to John relates His original, effectual, and glorious
generation from the Father, thus declaring, “In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God and the Word was God” [_cf._ John 1:1 _ff._],
and further, “All things were made by Him and without Him was nothing
made.” For this reason, also, is that Gospel full of confidence, for such
is His person. But that according to Luke, which takes up His priestly
character, commenced with Zacharias, the priest, who offers sacrifice to
God. For now was made ready the fatted calf, about to be immolated for the
recovery of the younger son [Luke 15:23]. Matthew, again, relates His
generation as a man, saying, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham” [Matt. 1:1]; and “The birth of Jesus
Christ was on this wise” [Matt. 1:18]. This, then, is the gospel of His
humanity; for which reason the character of a humble and meek man is kept
up through the whole gospel. Mark, on the other hand, commences with
reference to the prophetical Spirit who comes down from on high to men,
saying, “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as it is written in
Isaiah the prophet,” pointing to the winged aspect of the Gospel, and on
this account he makes a compendious and brief narrative, for such is the
prophetical character. And the Word of God himself had intercourse with
the patriarchs, before Moses, in accordance with His divinity and glory;
but for those under the Law He instituted a sacerdotal and liturgical
service. Afterward, having been made man for us, He sent the gift of the
heavenly Spirit over all the earth, to protect it with His wings. Such,
then, was the course followed by the Son of God, and such, also, were the
forms of the living creatures; and such as was the form of the living
creatures, such, also, was the character of the Gospel. For the living
creatures are quadriform, and the Gospel is quadriform, as is also the
course followed by our Lord. For this reason four principal covenants were
given mankind: one prior to the Deluge, under Adam; the second after the
Deluge, under Noah; the third was the giving of the law under Moses; the
fourth is that which renovates man and sums up all things in itself by
means of the Gospel, raising and bearing men upon its wings into the
heavenly kingdom.

(_c_) Tertullian, _Adv. Marcion._, IV, 5. (MSL, 2:395.)

    Tertullian’s work against Marcion belongs to the first decade of
    the third century; see above, § 23, _b_. In the following passage
    he combines the argument from the apostolic churches with the
    authority of the apostolic witness. This is the special importance
    of the reference to the connection of St. Mark’s Gospel with St.
    Peter, and is an application of the principle that the authority
    of a book in the Church rested upon its apostolic origin.

If it is evidently true that what is earlier is more true, that what is
earlier is what is from the beginning, that what is from the beginning is
from the Apostles, it will be equally evidently true that what is handed
down from the Apostles is what has been a sacred deposit in the churches
of the Apostles. Let us see what milk the Corinthians drank from Paul; to
what rule the Galatians were brought for correction; what the Philippians,
the Thessalonians, the Ephesians, read; what the Romans near by also say,
to whom Peter and Paul bequeathed the Gospel even sealed with their own
blood. We have also John’s nursling churches. For, although Marcion
rejects his Apocalypse, the order of bishops, when traced to their origin,
will rest on John as their author. Likewise the noble lineage of the other
churches is recognized. I say, therefore, that in them, and not only in
the apostolic churches, but in all those which are united with them in the
fellowship of the mystery [_sacramenti_], that Gospel of Luke, which we
are defending with all our might [_cf._ § 23], has stood its ground from
its very first publication; whereas Marcion’s gospel is not known to most
people, and to none whatever is it known without being condemned. Of
course it has its churches, but they are its own; they are as late as they
are spurious. Should you want to know their origins, you will more easily
discover apostasy in it than apostolicity, with Marcion, forsooth, as
their founder or some one of Marcion’s swarm. Even wasps make combs; so,
also, these Marcionites make churches. The same authority of the apostolic
churches will afford evidence to other gospels, also, which we possess
equally through their means and according to their usage—I mean the Gospel
of John and the Gospel of Matthew, but that which Mark published may be
affirmed to be Peter’s, whose interpreter Mark was. For even the Digest of
Luke men usually ascribe to Paul. And it may well seem that the works
which disciples publish belong to their masters.

§ 29. The Apostles’ Creed

By the middle of the second century there were current in the Church brief
confessions of faith which had already been in use from a time in the
remoter past as summaries of the apostolic faith. They were naturally
attributed to the Apostles themselves, although they seem to have varied
in many details. They were used principally in baptism, and were long kept
secret from the catechumen until just before that rite was administered.
They are preserved only in paraphrase, and can be reconstructed only by a
careful comparison of many texts.

    Additional source material: See Hahn, _Bibliothek der Symbole und
    Glaubensregeln der allen Kirche_, third ed., Breslau, 1897; _cf._
    Mirbt, n. 16, 16 _a_.

(_a_) Irenæus, _Adv. Haer._, 1, 10. (MSG, 7:549 _f._)

    For Irenæus, _v. supra_, § 3, _a_.

The Church, though dispersed through the whole world to the ends of the
earth, has received from the Apostles and their disciples the faith: In
one God, the Father Almighty, who made the heaven and the earth and the
seas, and all that in them is; And in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God,
who was incarnate for our salvation; And in the Holy Ghost, who through
the prophets preached the dispensations and the advents, and the birth
from the Virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and
the bodily assumption into the heavens of the beloved Christ Jesus our
Lord, and His appearing from the heavens in the glory of the Father, in
order to sum up all things under one head [_cf._ Ephes. 1:10], and to
raise up all flesh of all mankind, that to Christ Jesus, our Lord and God
and Saviour and King, every knee of those that are in heaven and on earth
and under the earth should bow [_cf._ Phil. 2:11], according to the good
pleasure of the Father invisible, and that every tongue should confess
Him, and that He may execute righteous judgment on all; sending into
eternal fire the spiritual powers of wickedness and the angels who
transgressed and apostatized, and the godless and unrighteous and lawless
and blasphemous among men, but granting life and immortality and eternal
glory to the righteous and holy, who have both kept the commandments and
continued in His love, some from the beginning, some from their

(_b_) Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, III, 4. (MSG, 7:855.)

    The following form of the creed more closely resembles the
    traditional Apostles’ Creed. With it compare the paraphrase in
    Irenæus. _op. cit._, IV, 33:7.

If the Apostles had not left us the Scriptures, would it not be necessary
to follow the order of tradition which they handed down to those to whom
they committed the churches? To this order many nations of the barbarians
gave assent, of those who believe in Christ, having salvation written in
their hearts by the Spirit without paper and ink, and guarding diligently
the ancient tradition: Believing in one God, Maker of heaven and earth,
and all that is in them; through Jesus Christ, the Son of God; who,
because of His astounding love toward His creatures, sustained the birth
of the Virgin, Himself uniting man to God, and suffered under Pontius
Pilate, and rising again was received in brightness, and shall come again
in glory as the Saviour of those who are saved and the judge of those who
are judged, and sending into eternal fire the perverters of the truth and
despisers of His Father and His coming.

(_c_) Tertullian, _De Virginibus Velandis_, 1. (MSL, 2:937).

    Tertullian gives various paraphrases of the creed. The three most
    important are the following and _d_, _e_. The date of the work _De
    Virginibus Velandis_ is about 211, and belongs to his Montanist

The Rule of Faith is altogether one, sole, immovable, and
irreformable—namely, of believing in one God the Almighty, the Maker of
the world; and His Son, Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, crucified
under Pontius Pilate, on the third day raised again from the dead,
received in the heavens, sitting now at the right hand of the Father,
coming to judge the quick and the dead, also through the resurrection of
the flesh.(53)

(_d_) Tertullian, _Adv. Praxean_, 2. (MSL, 2:156.)

    The work of Tertullian against Praxeas is one of his latest works,
    and is especially important as developing the doctrine of the
    Trinity as opposed to the Patripassianism of Praxeas. To this
    theory of Praxeas, Tertullian refers in the opening sentence of
    the following extract, quoting the position of Praxeas. See below,
    § 40, _b_.

“Therefore after a time the Father was born, and the Father suffered, He
himself God, the omnipotent Lord, Jesus Christ was preached.” But as for
us always, and now more, as better instructed by the Paraclete, the Leader
into all truth: We believe one God; but under this dispensation which we
call the economy there is the Son of the only God, his Word [_Sermo_] who
proceeded from Him, through whom all things were made, and without whom
nothing was made. This One was sent by the Father into the Virgin, and was
born of her, Man and God, the Son of Man and the Son of God, and called
Jesus Christ; He suffered, He died and was buried, according to the
Scriptures; and raised again by the Father, and taken up into the heavens,
and He sits at the right hand of the Father; He shall come again to judge
the quick and the dead: and He thence did send, according to His promise,
from the Father, the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, the Sanctifier of the
faith of those who believe in the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.
That this rule has come down from the beginning, even before any of the
earlier heresies, much more before Praxeas, who is of yesterday, the
lateness of date of all heresies proves, as also the novelties of Praxeas,
a pretender of yesterday.

(_e_) Tertullian, _De Præscriptione_, 13. (MSL, 2:30.)

The Rule of Faith is … namely, that by which it is believed: That there is
only one God, and no other besides the Maker of the world, who produced
the universe out of nothing, through His Word [Verbum], sent forth first
of all; that this Word, called His Son, was seen in the name of God in
various ways by the patriarchs, and always heard in the prophets, at last
was sent down from the Spirit and power of God the Father, into the Virgin
Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and born of her, lived as Jesus Christ;
that thereupon He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom
of the heavens; wrought miracles; was fastened to the cross; rose again
the third day; was caught up into the heavens; and sat down at the right
hand of the Father; He sent in His place the power of the Holy Ghost, to
lead the believers; He will come again with glory to take the saints into
the enjoyment of eternal life and the celestial promises, and to judge the
wicked with perpetual fire, with the restoration of the flesh.

§ 30. Later Gnosticism

Though Gnosticism was expelled from the Church as it perfected its
organization and institutions on the basis of the episcopate, the Canon of
Scripture, and the creeds, outside the Catholic Church, or the Church as
thus organized, Gnosticism existed for centuries, though rapidly declining
in the third century. The strength of the movement was still further
diminished by loss of many adherents to Manichæanism (_v._ § 54), which
had much in common with Gnosticism. The persistence of these sects,
together with various later heresies, in spite of the very stringent laws
of the Empire against them (_v._ § 73) should prevent any hasty
conclusions as to the unity of the faith and the absence of sects in the
patristic age. Unity can be found only by overlooking those outside the
unity of the largest body of Christians, and agreement by ignoring those
who differed from it.

Theodoret of Cyrus, _Epistulæ 81_, 145. (MSG, 83:1259, 1383.)

    Ep. 81 was written to the Consul Nonus, A. D. 445. Ep. 145 was
    written to the monks of Constantinople, A. D. 450.

Ep. 81. To every one else every city lies open, and that not only to the
followers of Arius and Eunomius, but to Manichæans and Marcionites, and to
those suffering from the disease of Valentinus and Montanus, yes, and even
to pagans and Jews; but I, the foremost champion of the teaching of the
Gospel, am excluded from every city.… I led eight villages of Marcionites
with their surrounding country into the way of truth, another full of
Eunomians and another of Arians I brought to the light of divine
knowledge, and, by God’s grace, not a tare of heresy was left among us.

Ep. 145. I do indeed sorrow and lament that I am compelled by the attacks
of fever to adduce against men, supposed to be of one and the same faith
with myself, the arguments which I have already urged against the victims
of the plague of Marcion, of whom, by God’s grace, I have converted more
than ten thousand and brought them to holy baptism.

§ 31. The Results of the Crisis

The internal crisis, or the conflict with heresy, led the Church to
perfect its organization, and, as a result, the foundation was laid for
such a development of the episcopate that the Church was recognized as
based upon an order of bishops receiving their powers in succession from
the Apostles. Just what those powers were and how they were transmitted
were matters left to a later age to determine. (_V. infra_, §§ 50, 51.)

(_a_) Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, IV, 26:2, 5. (MSG, 7:1053.)

    That Irenæus, writing about 175, could appeal to the episcopal
    succession as commonly recognized and admitted, and use it as a
    basis of unity for the Church, is generally regarded as evidence
    of the existence of a wide-spread episcopal organization at an
    early date in the second century. Possibly the connection of
    Irenæus with Asia Minor, where the episcopal organization
    admittedly was earliest, diminishes the force of the argument. The
    reference to the “charisma of truth,” which the bishops were said
    to possess, was to furnish later a theoretical basis for the
    authority of bishops assembled in council.

Ch. 2. Wherefore it is incumbent to obey the presbyters who are in the
Church, those who, as I have shown, possess the succession from the
Apostles; those who together with the succession of the episcopate have
received the certain gift [charisma] of the truth according to the good
pleasure of the Father; but also to hold in suspicion others who depart
from the primitive succession and assemble themselves together in any
place whatsoever.…

Ch. 5. Such presbyters does the Church nourish, of whom also the prophet
says: “I will give thy rulers in peace, and thy bishops in righteousness”
[_cf._ Is. 60:17]. Of whom also the Lord did declare: “Who, then, shall be
a faithful steward, good and wise, whom the Lord sets over His household,
to give them their meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his
Lord when he cometh shall find so doing” [Matt. 24:45 _f._]. Paul, then,
teaching us where one may find such, says: “God hath placed in the Church,
first, Apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers” [I Cor. 12:28].
Where, then, the gifts of the Lord have been placed there we are to learn
the truth; namely, from those who possess the succession of the Church
from the Apostles, and among whom exists that which is sound and blameless
in conduct, as well as that which is unadulterated and incorrupt in

(_b_) Tertullian, _De Præscriptione_, 32. (MSL, 2:52.)

    In Tertullian’s statement as to the necessity of apostolic
    succession, the language is more precise than in Irenæus’s. Bishop
    and presbyter are not used as interchangeable terms, as would
    appear in the passage in Irenæus. The whole is given a more legal
    turn, as was in harmony with the writer’s legal mind.

But if there be any heresies bold enough to plant themselves in the midst
of the apostolic age, that they may thereby seem to have been handed down
from the Apostles, because they were in the time of the Apostles, we can
say: Let them produce the originals of their churches; let them unfold the
roll of their bishops, running down in due succession from the beginning
in such manner that that first bishop of theirs shall be able to show for
his ordainer or predecessor some one of the Apostles or of apostolic men—a
man, moreover, who continued steadfast with the Apostles. For in this
manner the apostolic churches transmit their registers; as the church of
Smyrna, which records that Polycarp was placed therein by John; as also
the church of Rome, which makes Clement to have been ordained in like
manner by Peter. In exactly the same way the other churches likewise
exhibit their several worthies, whom, as having been appointed to their
episcopal places by the Apostles, they regard as transmitters of the
apostolic seed.

Chapter IV. The Beginnings Of Catholic Theology

The theology of the Church, as distinguished from the current traditional
theology, was the statement of the beliefs commonly held by Christians but
expressed in the more precise and scientific language of current
philosophy, the co-ordination of those beliefs as so stated together with
their necessary consequences, and their proof by reference to Holy
Scripture and reason. In this attempt to build up a body of reasoned
religious ideas there were two lines of thought or interpretation of the
common Christianity already distinguished by the middle of the second
century, and destined to hold a permanent place in the Church. These were
the apologetic conception of Christianity as primarily a revealed
philosophy (§ 32), and the so-called Asia Minor school of theology, with
its conception of Christianity as primarily salvation from sin and
corruptibility (§ 33). In both lines of interpretation the Incarnation
played an essential part: in the apologetic as insuring the truth of the
revealed philosophy, in the Asia Minor theology as imparting to
corruptible man the divine incorruptibility.

§ 32. The Apologetic Conception of Christianity

Christianity was regarded as a revealed philosophy by the apologists. This
they considered under three principal aspects: knowledge, or a revelation
of the divine nature; a new law, or a code of morals given by Christ; and
life, or future rewards for the observance of the new law that had been
given. The foundation of all was laid in the doctrine of the Logos (_A_),
which involved, as a consequence, some theory of the relation of the
resulting distinctions in the divine nature to the primary conviction of
the unity of God, or some doctrine of the Trinity (_B_). As a result of
the new law given, moralism was inevitable, whereby a man by his efforts
earned everlasting life (_C_). The proof that Jesus was the incarnate
Logos was drawn from the fulfilment of Hebrew prophecy (_D_). It should be
remembered that the apologists influenced later theology by their actual
writings, and not by unexpressed and undeveloped opinions which they held
as a part of the common tradition and the Christianity of the Gentile
Church. Whatever they might have held in addition to their primary
contentions had little or no effect, however valuable it may be for modern
students, and the conviction that Christianity was essentially a revealed
philosophy became current, especially in the East, finding its most
powerful expression in the Alexandrian school. (_V. infra_, § 43.)

(A) The Logos Doctrine

As stated by the apologists, the Logos doctrine not only furnished a
valuable line of defence for Christianity (_v. supra_, § 20), but also
gave theologians a useful formula for stating the relation of the divine
element in Christ to God. That divine element was the Divine Word or
Reason (Logos). It is characteristic of the doctrine of the Logos as held
by the early apologists that, although they make the Word, or Logos,
personal and distinguish Him from God the Father, yet that Word does not
become personally distinguished from the source of His being until, and in
connection with, the creation of the world. Hence there arose the
distinction between the _Logos endiathetos_, or as yet within the being of
the Father, and the _Logos prophorikos_, or as proceeding forth and
becoming a distinct person. Here is, at any rate, a marked advance upon
the speculation of Philo, by whom the Logos is not regarded as distinctly

(_a_) Justin Martyr, _Apol._, I, 46. (MSG, 6:398.)

    In addition to the following passage from Justin Martyr, see
    above, § 20, for a longer statement to much the same effect.

We have been taught that Christ is the first-born of God, and we have
declared above that He is the Word of whom every race of men were
partakers; and those who lived reasonably are Christians even though they
have been thought atheists; as among the Greeks, Socrates and Heraclitus,
and men like them; and among the barbarians, Abraham and Ananias, Azarias,
and Missael [the “three holy children,” companions of Daniel, see LXX,
Dan. 3:23 _ff._], and Elias [_i.e._, Elijah], and many others whose
actions and names we now decline to recount because we know that it would
be tedious.

(_b_) Theophilus, _Ad Autolycum_, II, 10, 22. (MSG, 6:398.)

    Theophilus was the sixth bishop of Antioch, from 169 until after
    180. His apology, consisting of three books addressed to an
    otherwise unknown Autolycus, has alone been preserved of his
    works. Fragments attributed to him are of very doubtful
    authenticity. The date of the third book must be subsequent to the
    death of Marcus Aurelius, March 17, 180, which is mentioned. The
    first and second books may be somewhat earlier. The distinction
    made in the following between the _Logos endiathetos_ and the
    _Logos prophorikos_ was subsequently dropped by theologians.

Ch. 10. God, then, having His own Logos internal [_endiatheton_] within
His own bowels, begat Him, emitting Him along with His own wisdom before
all things.

Ch. 22. What else is this voice but the Word of God, who is also His Son?
Not as the poets and writers of myths talk of the sons of the gods
begotten from intercourse with women, but as the Truth expounds, the Word
that always exists, residing within [_endiatheton_] the heart of God. For
before anything came into existence He had Him for His counsellor, being
His own mind and thought. But when God wished to make all that He had
determined on, He begat this Word proceeding forth [_prophorikon_], the
first-born of all creation, not being Himself emptied of the Word [_i.e._,
being without reason], but having begotten Reason and always conversing
with His reason.

(B) The Doctrine of the Trinity

The doctrine of the Trinity followed naturally from the doctrine of the
Logos. The fuller discussion belongs to the Monarchian controversies. It
is considered here as a position resulting from the general position taken
by the apologists. (_V. infra_, § 40.)

(_a_) Theophilus, _Ad Autolycum_, II, 15. (MSG, 6:1078.)

    The following passage is probably the earliest in which the word
    Trinity, or Trias, is applied to the relation of Father, Son, and
    Holy Ghost. It is usual in Greek theology to use the word Trias as
    equivalent to the Latin term Trinity. _Cf._ Tertullian, _Adv.
    Praxean_, 2, for first use of the term Trinity in Latin theology.

In like manner, also, the three days, which were before the luminaries(54)
are types of the Trinity (Trias) of God, and His Word, and His Wisdom.

(_b_) Athenagoras, _Supplicatio_, 10, 12. (MSG, 6:910, 914.)

    Athenagoras, one of the ablest of the apologists, was, like Justin
    Martyr and several others, a philosopher before he became a
    Christian. His apology, known as _Supplicatio_, or _Legatio pro
    Christianis_, is his most important work. Its date is probably
    177, as it is addressed to the Emperors Marcus Aurelius and

Ch. 10. If it occurs to you to inquire what is meant by the Son, I will
briefly state that He is the first product of the Father, not as having
been brought into existence (for from the beginning God, who is the
eternal mind [_Nous_], had the Logos in Himself, being eternally
reasonable [λογικός]), but inasmuch as He came forth to be idea and
energizing power of all material things, which lay like a nature without
attributes, and an inactive earth, the grosser particles being mixed up
with the lighter. The prophetic Spirit also agrees with our statements:
“The Lord, it says, created me the beginning of His ways to His works.”
The Holy Spirit himself, also, which operates in the prophets we say is an
effluence of God, flowing from Him and returning back again as a beam of
the sun.

Ch. 12. Are, then, those who consider life to be this, “Let us eat and
drink, for to-morrow we die” [_cf._ I Cor. 15:32], and who regard death as
a deep sleep and forgetfulness [_cf._ Hom., _Iliad_, XVI. 672], to be
regarded as living piously? But men who reckon the present life as of very
small worth indeed, and are led by this one thing along—that they know God
and with Him His Logos, what is the oneness of the Son with the Father,
what the communion of the Father with the Son, what is the Spirit, and
what is the unity of these and their distinction, the Spirit, the Son, and
the Father—and who know that the life for which we look is far better than
can be described in word, provided we arrive at it pure from all
wrong-doing, and who, moreover, carry our benevolence to such an extent
that we not only love our friends … shall we, I say, when such we are and
when we thus live that we may escape condemnation, not be regarded as
living piously?

(C) Moralistic Christianity

The moralistic conception of Christianity, _i.e._, the view of
Christianity as primarily a moral code by the observance of which eternal
life was won, remained fixed in Christian thought along with the
philosophical conception of the faith as formulated by the apologists.
This moralism was the opposite pole to the conceptions of the Asia Minor
school, the Augustinian theology, and the whole mystical conception of

    For additional source material, see above, § 16.

Theophilus, _Ad Autolycum_, II, 27. (MSG, 6:27.)

God made man free and with power over himself. That [death], man brought
upon himself through carelessness and disobedience, this [life], God
vouchsafes to him as a gift through His own love for man and pity when men
obey Him. For as man, disobeying, drew death upon himself, so, obeying the
will of God, he who desires is able to procure for himself everlasting
life. For God has given us a law and holy commandments; and every one who
keeps these can be saved, and obtaining the resurrection, can inherit

(D) Argument from Hebrew Prophecy

The appeal to the fulfilment of Hebrew prophecy was the main argument of
the apologists for the divine character of the mission of Christ. The
exegesis of the prophetic writings was in the spirit of the times. Hebrew
prophecy was also regarded as the source of all knowledge of God outside
of Israel. The theory that the Greeks and other nations borrowed was
employed to show the connection; in this the apologists followed Philo
Judæus. No attempt was made either by them or by Clement of Alexandria to
remove the inconsistency of this theory of borrowing with the doctrine of
the Logos; see above, under “Logos Doctrine;” also § 20.

Justin Martyr, _Apol._, I, 30, 44. (MSG, 6:374, 394.)

    Additional source material: Justin Martyr, _Dial. c. Tryph._,

Ch. 30. But lest any one should say in opposition to us: What should
prevent that He whom we call Christ, being a man born of men, performed
what we call His mighty works by magical art, and by this appeared to be
the Son of God? We will offer proof, not trusting to mere assertions, but
being of necessity persuaded by those who prophesied of Him before these
things came to pass.

Ch. 44. Whatever both philosophers and poets have said concerning the
immortality of the soul, or punishments after death, or contemplation of
things heavenly, or doctrines of the like kind, they have received such
suggestions from the prophets as have enabled them to understand and
interpret these things. And hence there seem to be seeds of truth among
all men.

§ 33. The Asia Minor Conception of Christianity

The Asia Minor school regarded Christianity primarily as redemption,
salvation, the imparting of new power, life, and incorruptibility by union
with divinity in the Incarnation. Its leading representative was Irenæus,
a native of Asia Minor, but many of his leading ideas had been anticipated
by Ignatius of Antioch, and they were shared by many others.

The theology of Irenæus influenced Tertullian to some extent, but its
essential points were reproduced by Athanasius, who was directly indebted
to Irenæus, and through him it superseded in the Neo-Alexandrian school
the tradition derived through Origen and Clement from the apologists.
Characteristic features of the Asia Minor theology are the place assigned
to the Incarnation as itself effecting redemption or salvation, the idea
of recapitulation whereby Christ becomes the head of a new race of
redeemed men, a second Adam, and of the eucharist as imparting the
incorruptibility of Christ’s immortal flesh which is received by the

(_a_) Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, V, 1. (MSG, 7:1119.)

    The position of the Incarnation in the system and its relation to

In no other way could we have learned the things of God, if our Master,
existing previously as the Word, had not been made man. For no one else
could have declared to us the truths of the Father than the Father’s own
Word. For who else knew the mind of the Lord or who else has been his
counsellor? [Rom. 11:34]. Nor again in any other way could we have learned
except by seeing our Master with our eyes and hearing His voice with our
ears; that so as imitators of His acts and doers of His words we might
have fellowship with Him and receive of the fulness of Him who is perfect
and who was before all creation. All this we have been made in these
latter days by Him who only is supremely good and who has the gift of
incorruptibility; inasmuch as we are conformed to His likeness and
predestinated to become what we never were before, according to the
foreknowledge of the Father, made a first-fruit of His workmanship, we
have, therefore, received all this at the foreordained season, according
to the dispensation of the Word, who is perfect in all things. For He, who
is the mighty Word and very man, redeeming us by His blood in a reasonable
manner, gave Himself as a ransom for those who had been led into
captivity. And since apostasy tyrannized over us unjustly, for though by
nature we were God’s possession, it yet alienated us contrary to nature,
making us its own disciples, the Word of God, powerful in all things and
constant in His justice, dealt justly even with apostasy itself, redeeming
from it what was His own property. Not by force, the way in which the
apostasy had originally gained its mastery over us, greedily grasping at
that which was not its own; but by moral force [_secundum suadelam_] as
became God, by persuasion and not by force, regaining what He wished; so
that justice might not be violated and God’s ancient handiwork might not
perish. Therefore, since by His own blood the Lord redeemed us and gave
His soul for our soul, and His flesh for our flesh, and shed on us His
Father’s spirit to unite and join us in communion God and man, bringing
God down to men by the descent of the Spirit, and raising up man to God by
His incarnation, and by a firm and true promise giving us at His advent
incorruptibility by communion with Him, and thus all the errors of the
heretics are destroyed.

(_b_) Irenæus. _Adv. Hær._, III. 18:1, 7. (MSG, 6:932, 937.)

    The following is a statement by Irenæus of his doctrine of
    recapitulation, which combines the idea of the second Adam of Paul
    and the Johannine theology.

Ch. 1. Since it has been clearly demonstrated that the Word, who existed
in the beginning with God, and by whom all things were made, who also was
present with the human race, was in these last days, according to the time
appointed by the Father, united to His own workmanship, having been made a
man liable to suffering, every objection is set aside of those who say:
“If Christ was born at that time, He did not exist before that time.” For
I have shown that the Son of God did not then begin to be, since He
existed with His Father always; but when He was incarnate, and was made
man, He commenced afresh [_in seipso recapitulavit_] the long line of
human beings, and furnished us in a brief and comprehensive manner with
salvation; so that what we had lost in Adam—namely, to be according to the
image and likeness of God—that we might recover in Christ Jesus.

Ch. 7. He caused human nature to cleave to and to become one with God, as
we have said. For if man had not overcome the adversary of man, the enemy
would not have been legitimately overcome. And again, if God had not given
salvation, we could not have had it securely. And if man had not been
united to God, he could never have become a partaker of incorruptibility.
For it was incumbent upon the Mediator between God and man, by His
relationship to both, to bring about a friendship and concord, and to
present man to God and to reveal God to man. For in what way could we be
partakers of the adoption of sons, if we had not received from Him,
through the Son, that fellowship which refers to Himself, if the Word,
having been made flesh, had not entered into communion with us? Wherefore
He passed also through every stage of life restoring to all communion with

(_c_) Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, IV, 18:5. (MSG, 6:1027 _f._)

    The conception of redemption as the imparting of incorruptibility
    connected itself easily with the doctrine of the eucharist, which
    had been called by Ignatius of Antioch “the medicine of
    immortality” (_v. supra_, § 12). With this passage compare
    Irenæus, _Adv. Hær._, IV, 17:5.

How can they say that the flesh which is nourished with the body of the
Lord and with His blood goes to corruption and does not partake of life?
Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion or cease from offering the
things mentioned. But our opinion is in accordance with the eucharist, and
the eucharist, in turn, establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His
own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and the
Spirit. For as the bread which is produced from the earth when it receives
the invocation of God is no longer common bread, but the eucharist,
consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly, so, also, our bodies,
when they receive the eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the
hope of the resurrection unto eternity.

Period IV. The Age Of The Consolidation Of The Church: 200 to 324 A. D.

In the fourth period of the Church under the heathen Empire, or the period
of the consolidation of the Church, the number of Christians increased so
rapidly that the relation of the Roman State to the Church became a matter
of the gravest importance (ch. 1). During a period of comparative peace
and prosperity the Church developed its doctrinal system and its
constitution (ch. 2). Although the school of Asia Minor became isolated
and temporarily ceased to affect the bulk of the Church elsewhere, the
school of the apologists was brilliantly continued at Alexandria under
Clement and Origen, and later under Origen at Cæsarea in Palestine.
Meanwhile the foundations were laid in North Africa for a distinctive type
of Western theology, inaugurated by Tertullian and developed by Cyprian.
After years of alternating favor and local persecutions, the first general
persecution (ch. 3) broke upon the Church, rudely testing its organization
and ultimately strengthening and furthering its tendencies toward a
strictly hierarchical constitution. In the long period of peace that
followed (ch. 4), the discussions that had arisen within the Church as to
the relation of the divine unity to the divinity of Christ reached a
temporary conclusion, the cultus was elaborated and assumed the essentials
of its permanent form, and the episcopate was made supreme over rival
authorities within the Church, becoming at once the expression and organ
of ecclesiastical unity. At the same time new problems arose; within the
Church there was the appearance of an organized asceticism which appeared
for a time to be a rival to the Church’s system, and outside the Church
the appearance of a hostile rival in the rapidly spreading Manichæan
system, in which was revived, in a better organized and therefore more
dangerous form, the expelled Gnosticism. The period ends with the last
general persecution (ch. 5).

Chapter I. The Political And Religious Conditions Of The Empire

The accession of Septimius Severus, A. D. 193, marks a change in the
condition of the Empire. It was becoming more harassed by frontier wars,
not always waged successfully. Barbarians were gradually settling within
the Empire. The emperors themselves were no longer Romans or Italians.
Provincials, some not even of the Latin race, assumed the imperial
dignity. But it was a period in which the Roman law was in its most
flourishing and brilliant stage, under such men as Papinian, Ulpian, and
others second only to these masters. Stoic cosmopolitanism made for wider
conceptions of law and a deeper sense of human solidarity. The Christian
Church, however, profited little by this (§ 34) until, in the religious
syncretism which became fashionable in the highest circles, it was favored
by even the imperial family along with other Oriental religions (§ 35).
The varying fortunes of the emperors necessarily affected the Church (§
36), though, on the whole, there was little suffering, and the Church
spread rapidly, and in many parts of the Empire became a powerful
organization (§ 37), with which the State would soon have to reckon.

§ 34. State and Church under Septimius Severus and Caracalla

Although Christians were at first favored by Septimius Severus, they were
still liable to the severe laws against secret societies, and the policy
of Septimius was later to enforce these laws. The Christians tried to
escape the penalties prescribed against such societies by taking the form
of friendly societies which were expressly tolerated by the law.
Nevertheless, numerous cases are to be found in various parts of the
Empire in which Christians were put to death under the law. Yet the number
of martyrs before the general persecution of Decius in the middle of the
century was relatively small. The position of Christians was not
materially affected by the constitution of Caracalla conferring Roman
citizenship on all free inhabitants of the Empire, and the constitution
seems to have been merely a fiscal measure which laid additional burdens
upon the provincials.

    Additional source material: Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VI, 1-12.

(_a_) Tertullian, _Ad Scapulam_, 4. (MSL, 1:781.)

    The account of Tertullian is generally accepted as substantially
    correct. Scapula was chief magistrate of Carthage and, under the
    circumstances, the author would not have indulged his tendency to
    rhetorical embellishment. Furthermore, the book is written with
    what was for Tertullian great moderation.

How many rulers, men more resolute and more cruel than you, have contrived
to get quit of such causes—as Cincius Severus, who himself suggested the
remedy at Thysdris, pointing out how Christians should answer that they
might be acquitted; as Vespronius Candidus, who acquitted a Christian on
the ground that to satisfy his fellow-citizens would create a riot; as
Asper, who, in the case of a man who under slight torture had fallen, did
not compel him to offer sacrifice, having owned among the advocates and
assessors of the court that he was annoyed at having to meddle with such a
case! Prudens, too, at once dismissed a Christian brought before him,
perceiving from the indictment that it was a case of vexatious accusation;
tearing the document in pieces, he refused, according to the imperial
command, to hear him without the presence of his accuser. All this might
be officially brought under your notice, and by the very advocates, who
themselves are under obligations to Christians, although they cry out
against us as it suits them. The clerk of one who was liable to be thrown
down by an evil spirit was set free; as was also a relative of another,
and the little boy of a third. How many men of rank (not to mention common
people) have been cured of devils and of diseases! Even Severus himself,
the father of Antonine, was mindful of the Christians; for he sought out
the Christian Proclus, surnamed Torpacion, the steward of Euhodias, who
once had cured him by means of oil, and whom he kept in his palace till
his death. Antonine [Caracalla], too, was brought up on Christian
milk,(55) was intimately acquainted with this man. But Severus, knowing
both men and women of the highest rank to be of this sect, not only did
not injure them, but distinguished them with his testimony and restored
them to us openly from the raging populace.(56)

(_b_) Laws Relating to Forbidden Societies.

1. Justinian, _Digest_, XLVII. 23:1.

    The following is a passage taken from the Institutes of Marcian,
    Bk. III.

By princely commands it was prescribed to the governors of provinces that
they should not permit social clubs and that soldiers should not have
societies in the camp. But it is permitted to the poor to collect a
monthly contribution, so long as they gather together only once in a
month, lest under a pretext of this sort an unlawful society meet. And
that this should be allowed not only in the city, but also in Italy and
the provinces, the divine Severus ordered. But for the sake of religion
they are not forbidden to come together so long as they do nothing
contrary to the Senatus-consultum, by which unlawful societies are
restrained. It is furthermore not lawful to belong to more than one lawful
society, as this was determined by the divine brothers [Caracalla and
Geta]; and if any one is in two, it is ordered that it be necessary for
him to choose in which he prefers to be, and he shall receive from the
society from which he resigns that which belongs to him proportionately of
what there is of a common fund.

2. Justinian, _Digest_, I, 12:14.

    From Ulpian’s treatise, _De officio Præfecti Urbi_.

The divine Severus ordered that those who were accused of meeting in
forbidden societies should be accused before the prefect of the city.

(_c_) Persecutions under Severus.

1. Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VI, 1. (MSG, 20:522.)

    The following extract is important not only as a witness to the
    fact of the execution of the laws against Christians in
    Alexandria, but also to the extension of Christianity in the more
    southern provinces of Egypt.

When Severus began to persecute the churches, glorious testimonies were
given everywhere by the athletes of religion. Especially numerous were
they in Alexandria, for thither, as to a more prominent theatre, athletes
of God were sent from Egypt and all Thebais, according to their merit, and
they won crowns from God through their great patience under many tortures
and every mode of death. Among these was Leonidas, said to be the father
of Origen, who was beheaded while his son was still young.

2. Spartianus, _Vita Severi_, XVII. 1. (_Scriptores Historiæ Augustæ_. Ed.
Peter, 1884; Preuschen, _Analecta_, I, 32.)

    The date of the following is A. D. 202.

He forbade, under heavy penalties, any to become Jews. He made the same
regulation in regard to Christians.

(_d_) Tertullian. _Apol._, 39. (MSL, 1:534.)

    In the following, Christian assemblies, or churches, are
    represented as being a sort of friendly society, similar but
    superior to those existing all over the Empire, common and
    tolerated among the poorer members of society. The date of the
    _Apology_ is 197.

Though we have our treasure-chest, it is not made up of purchase money, as
if our religion had its price. On the regular day in the month, or when
one prefers, each one makes a small donation; but only if it be his
pleasure, and only if he be able; for no one is compelled, but gives
voluntarily. These gifts are, as it were, piety’s deposit fund. For they
are taken thence and spent, not on feasts and drinking-bouts, and
thankless eating-houses, but to support and bury poor people, to supply
the wants of boys and girls destitute of means and parents, and of old
persons confined to the house, likewise the shipwrecked, and if there
happen to be any in the mines, or banished to the islands, or shut up in
the prisons for nothing but their fidelity to the cause of God’s Church,
they become the nurslings of their confession. But it is mainly for such
work of love that many place a brand upon us. See, they say, how they love
one another!

(_e_) _The Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas._ (MSL, 3:51.) (_Cf._ Knopf,
pp. 44-57.)

    The date of this martyrdom is A. D. 203. The _Passio SS. Perpetuæ
    et Felicitatis_ has been attributed to Tertullian. It betrays
    clear evidence of Montanist sympathies. It has even been thought
    by some that the martyrs themselves were Montanists. At that date
    probably not a few who sympathized with Montanism were still in
    good standing in certain parts of the Church. At any rate, the day
    of their commemoration has been from the middle of the fourth
    century at Rome March 7. See Kirch, p. 323.

The day of their victory dawned, and they proceeded from the prison into
the amphitheatre, as if to happiness, joyous and of brilliant
countenances; if, perchance, shrinking, it was with joy and not with fear.
Perpetua followed with placid look, and with step and gait as a matron of
Christ, beloved of God, casting down the lustre of her eyes from the gaze
of all. Likewise Felicitas came, rejoicing that she had safely brought
forth, so that she might fight with the beasts.… And when they were
brought to the gate, and were constrained to put on the clothing—the men
that of the priests of Saturn, and the women that of those who were
consecrated to Ceres—that noble-minded woman resisted even to the end with
constancy. For she said: “We have come thus far of our own accord, that
our liberty might not be restrained. For this reason we have yielded our
minds, that we might not do any such thing as this; we have agreed on this
with you.” Injustice acknowledged the justice; the tribune permitted that
they be brought in simply as they were. Perpetua sang psalms, already
treading under foot the head of the Egyptian [seen in a vision; see
preceding chapters]; Revocatus and Saturninus and Saturus uttered
threatenings against the gazing people about this martyrdom. When they
came within sight of Hilarianus, by gesture and nod they began to say to
Hilarianus: “Thou judgest us, but God will judge thee.” At this the
exasperated people demanded that they should be tormented with scourges as
they passed along the rank of the _venatores_. And they, indeed, rejoiced
that they should have incurred any one of their Lord’s passions.

But He who had said, “Ask and ye shall receive,” gave to them, when they
asked, that death which each one had desired. For when they had been
discoursing among themselves about their wish as to their martyrdom,
Saturninus, indeed, had professed that he wished that he might be thrown
to all the beasts; doubtless that he might wear a more glorious crown.
Therefore, in the beginning of the exhibition he and Revocatus made trial
of the leopard, and, moreover, upon the scaffold they were harassed by the
bear. Saturus, however, held nothing in greater horror than a bear; but he
thought he would be finished by one bite of a leopard. Therefore, when a
wild boar was supplied, it was the huntsman who had supplied that boar,
and not Saturus, who was gored by that same beast and who died the day
after the shows. Saturus only was drawn out; and when he had been bound on
the floor near to a bear, the bear would not come forth from his den. And
so Saturus for the second time was recalled, unhurt.

Moreover, for the young women the devil, rivalling their sex also in that
of the beasts, prepared a very fierce cow, provided especially for that
purpose contrary to custom. And so, stripped and clothed with nets, they
were led forth. The populace shuddered as they saw one young woman of
delicate frame, and another with breasts still dropping from her recent
childbirth. So, being recalled, they were unbound. Perpetua was first led
in. She was tossed and fell on her loins; and when she saw her tunic torn
from her side, she drew it over her as a veil for her thighs, mindful of
her modesty rather than of her suffering. Then she was called for again,
and bound up her dishevelled hair; for it was not becoming for a martyr to
suffer with dishevelled hair, lest she should appear to be mourning in her
glory. She rose up, and when she saw Felicitas crushed she approached and
gave her her hand and lifted her up. And both of them stood together; and
the brutality of the populace being appeased, they were recalled to the
Sanavivarian gate. Then Perpetua was received by a certain one who was
still a catechumen, Rusticus by name, who kept close to her; and she, as
if roused from sleep, so deeply had she been in the Spirit and in an
ecstasy, began to look around her and to say to the amazement of all: “I
do not know when we are to be led out to that cow.” Thus she said, and
when she had heard what had already happened, she did not believe it until
she had perceived certain signs of injury in her own body and in her
dress, and had recognized the catechumen. Afterward, causing that
catechumen and the brother to approach, she addressed them, saying: “Stand
fast in the faith, and love one another, all of you, and be not offended
at our sufferings.”

The same Saturus at the other entrance exhorted the soldier Prudens,
saying: “Assuredly here I am, as I have promised and foretold, for up to
this moment I have felt no beast. And now believe with your whole heart.
Lo, I am going forth to the leopard, and I shall be destroyed with one
bite.” And immediately on the conclusion of the exhibition he was thrown
to the leopard; and with one bite by it he was bathed with such a quantity
of blood that the people shouted out to him, as he was returning, the
testimony of his second baptism: “Saved and washed, saved and washed.”
Manifestly he was assuredly saved who had been glorified in such a
spectacle. Then to the soldier Prudens he said: “Farewell, and be mindful
of my faith; and let not these things disturb, but confirm you.” And at
the same time he asked for a little ring from his finger, and returned it
to him bathed in his wound, leaving to him an inherited token and memory
of his blood. And then lifeless he was cast down with the rest, to be
slaughtered in the usual place. And when the populace called for them into
the midst, that as the sword penetrated into their body they might make
their eyes partners in the murder, they rose up of their own accord, and
transferred themselves whither the people wished; but they first kissed
one another, that they might consummate their martyrdom with the rites of
peace. The rest, indeed, immovable and in silence, received the sword; and
so did Saturus, who had also first ascended the ladder, and first gave up
his spirit, for he was waiting for Perpetua. But Perpetua, that she might
taste some pain, being pierced between the ribs, cried out loudly and she
herself placed the wavering right hand of the youthful gladiator to her
throat. Possibly such a woman could not have been slain unless she herself
had willed it, because she was feared by the impure spirit.

O most brave and blessed martyrs! O truly called and chosen unto the glory
of our Lord Jesus Christ! Whoever magnifies, and honors, and adores Him,
assuredly ought to read these examples for the edification of the Church,
not less than the ancient ones, so that new virtues also may testify that
one and the same Holy Spirit is always operating even until now, and God
the Father Omnipotent, and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, whose is glory
and infinite power forever and ever. Amen.

(_f_) Origen, _Contra Celsum_, III, 8. (MSG, 11:930.)

    Origen is writing just before the first general persecution under
    Decius about the middle of the century. He points out the
    relatively small number of those suffering persecution.

With regard to Christians, because they were taught not to avenge
themselves upon their enemies, and have thus observed laws of a mild and
philanthropic character; and because, although they were able, yet they
would not have made war even if they had received authority to do so; for
this cause they have obtained this from God: that He has always warred on
their behalf, and at times has restrained those who rose up against them
and who wished to destroy them. For in order to remind others, that seeing
a few engaged in a struggle in behalf of religion, they might also be
better fitted to despise death, a few, at various times, and these easily
numbered, have endured death for the sake of the Christian religion; God
not permitting the whole nation [_i.e._, the Christians] to be
exterminated, but desiring that it should continue, and that the whole
world should be filled with this salvation and the doctrines of religion.

(_g_) Justinian, _Digest_, I, 5:17.

    The edict of Caracalla (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus) conferring
    Roman citizenship upon all free inhabitants of the Empire has not
    been preserved. It is known only from a brief extract from the
    twenty-second book of Ulpian’s work on the Prætorian Edict,
    contained in the _Digest_ of Justinian.

Those who were in the Roman world were made Roman citizens by the
constitution of the Emperor Antoninus.

§ 35. Religious Syncretism in the Third Century

In the third century religious syncretism took two leading forms—the
Mithraic worship, which spread rapidly throughout the Empire, and the
fashionable interest in novel religions fostered by the imperial court.
Mithraism was especially prevalent in the army, and at army posts have
been found numerous remains of sanctuaries, inscriptions, etc. It was by
far the purest of the religions that invaded the Roman Empire, and drew
its leading ideas from Persian sources. The fashionable court interest in
novel religions seems not to have amounted to much as a positive religious
force, which Mithraism certainly was, though on account of it Christianity
was protected and even patronized by the ladies of the imperial household.
Among the works produced by this interest was the _Life of Apollonius of
Tyana_, written by Philostratus at the command of the Empress Julia Domna.
Apollonius was a preacher or teacher of ethics and the Neo-Pythagorean
philosophy in the first century, _ob._ A. D. 97.

    Additional source material: Philostratus, _Life of Apollonius_
    (the latest English translation, by F. C. Conybeare, with Greek
    text in the _Loeb Classical Library_, 1912).

Mithraic Prayer, Albrecht Dietrich, _Eine Mithrasliturgie_, Leipsic, 1903.

    The following prayer is the opening invocation of what appears to
    be a Mithraic liturgy, and may date from a period earlier than the
    fourth century. It gives, as is natural, no elaborated statement
    of Mithraic doctrine, but, as in all prayer, much is implied in
    the forms used and the spirit of the religion breathed through it.
    The combination has already begun as is shown by the doctrine of
    the four elements. It should be added that Professor Cumont does
    not regard it as a Mithraic liturgy at all, but accounts for the
    distinct mention of the name Mithras, which is to be found in some
    parts, to a common tendency of semi-magical incantations to employ
    as many deities as possible.

First Origin of my origin, first Beginning of my beginning, Spirit of
Spirit, first of the spirit in me. Fire which to compose me has been given
of God, first of the fire in me. Water of water, first of the water in me.
Earthy Substance of earthy substance, first of the earthy substance, the
entire body of me, N. N. son of N. N., completely formed by an honorable
arm and an immortal right hand in the lightless and illuminated world, in
the inanimated and the animated. If it seem good to you to restore me to
an immortal generation, who am held by my underlying nature, that after
this present need which presses sorely upon me I may behold the immortal
Beginning with the immortal Spirit, the immortal Water, the Solid and the
Air, that I may be born again, by the thought, that I may be consecrated
and the holy Spirit may breathe in me, that I may gaze with astonishment
at the holy Fire, that I may look upon abysmal and frightful Water of the
sun-rising, and the generative Ether poured around may listen to me. For I
will to-day look with immortal eyes, I who was begotten a mortal from a
mortal womb, exalted by a mighty working power and incorruptible right
hand, I may look with an immortal spirit upon the immortal Eon and the
Lord of the fiery crowns, purified by holy consecrations, since a little
under me stands the human power of mind, which I shall regain after the
present bitter, oppressive, and debt-laden need, I, N. N. the son of N.
N., according to God’s unchangeable decree, for it is not within my power,
born mortal, to mount up with the golden light flashes of the immortal
illuminator. Stand still, corruptible human nature, and leave me free
after the pitiless and crushing necessity.

§ 36. The Religious Policy of the Emperors from Heliogabalus to Philip the
Arabian, 217-249

With the brief exception of the reign of Maximinus Thrax (235-238),
Christians enjoyed peace from the death of Caracalla to the death of
Philip the Arabian. This was not due to disregard of the laws against
Christians nor to indifference to suspected dangers to the Empire arising
from the new religion, but to the policy of religious syncretism which had
come in with the family of Severus. The wife of Septimius Severus was the
daughter of Julius Bassianus, priest of the Sun-god of Emesa, and of the
rulers of the dynasty of Severus one, Heliogabalus, was himself a priest
of the same syncretistic cult, and another, Alexander, was under the
influence of the women of the same priestly family.

(_a_) Lampridius, _Vita Heliogabali_, 3, 6, 7. Preuschen, _Analecta_, I, §

    Lampridius is one of the _Scriptores Historiæ Augustæ_, by whom is
    a series of lives of the Roman emperors. The series dates from the
    fourth century, and is of importance as containing much
    information which is not otherwise accessible. The dates of the
    various lives are difficult to determine. Avitus Bassianus, known
    as Heliogabalus, a name he assumed, reigned 218-222.

Ch. 3. But when he had once entered the city, he enrolled Heliogabalus
among the gods and built a temple to him on the Palatine Hill next the
imperial palace, desiring to transfer to that temple the image of Cybele,
the fire of Vesta, the Palladium, the sacred shields, and all things
venerated by the Romans; and he did this so that no other god than
Heliogabalus should be worshipped at Rome. He said, besides, that the
religions of the Jews and the Samaritans and the Christian worship should
be brought thither, that the priesthood of Heliogabalus should possess the
secrets of all religions.

Ch. 6. Not only did he wish to extinguish the Roman religions, but he was
eager for one thing throughout the entire world—that Heliogabalus should
everywhere be worshipped as god.

Ch. 7. He asserted, in fact, that all the gods were servants of his god,
since some he called his chamber-servants, others slaves, and others
servants in various capacities.

(_b_) Lampridius, _Vita Alexandri Severi_, 29, 43, 49. Preuschen,
_Analecta_, I, § 13.

    Alexander Severus (222-235) succeeded his cousin Heliogabalus. The
    mother of Alexander, Julia Mammæa, sister of Julia Soæmias, mother
    of Heliogabalus, was a granddaughter of Julius Bassianus, whose
    daughter, Julia Domna, had married Septimius Severus. It was
    through marriages with the female descendants of Julius, who was
    priest of the Sun-god at Emesa, that the members of the dynasty of
    Severus were connected and their attitude toward religion
    determined. It was in the reign of Alexander that syncretism
    favorable to Christianity was at its height.

Ch. 29. This was his manner of life: as soon as there was opportunity—that
is, if he had not spent the night with his wife—he performed his devotions
in the early morning hours in his lararium, in which he had statues of the
divine princes and also a select number of the best men and the more holy
spirits, among whom he had Apollonius of Tyana, and as a writer of his
times says, Christ, Abraham, and Orpheus, and others similar, as well as
statues of his ancestors.

Ch. 43. He wished to erect a temple to Christ and to number Him among the
gods. Hadrian, also, is said to have thought of doing this, and commanded
temples without any images to be erected in all cities, and therefore
these temples, because they have no image of the Divinity, are to-day
called _Hadriani_, which he is said to have prepared for this end. But
Alexander was prevented from doing this by those who, consulting the
auspices, learned that if ever this were done all would be Christians, and
the other temples would have to be deserted.

Ch. 49. When the Christians took possession of a piece of land which
belonged to the public domain and in opposition to them the guild of cooks
claimed that it belonged to them, he decreed that it was better that in
that place God should be worshipped in some fashion rather than that it be
given to the cooks.

(_c_) Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VI, 21. (MSG, 20:574.)

The mother of the Emperor, whose name was Julia Mammæa, was a most pious
woman, if ever one was. When the fame of Origen had extended everywhere
and had come even to her ears, she desired greatly to see the man, and to
make trial of his understanding of divine things, which was admired by
all. When she was staying for a time in Antioch, she sent for him with a
military escort. Having remained with her for a while and shown her many
things which were for the glory of the Lord and of the excellency of
divine teaching, he hastened back to his accustomed labors.

(_d_) Firmilianus, _Ep. ad Cyprianum_, in Cyprian, _Ep. 75_. (MSL,
3:1211.) Preuschen, _Analecta_, I, § 14:2.

    The following epistle is found among the Epistles of Cyprian, to
    whom it is addressed. It is of importance in connection with the
    persecution of Maximinus, throwing light on the occasion and
    extent of the persecution and relating instances of strange
    fanaticism and exorcism.

But I wish to tell you about an affair connected with this very matter
[baptism by heretics, the main subject of the epistle, _v. infra_, § 52]
which occurred among us. About twenty years ago, in the time after Emperor
Alexander, there happened in these parts many struggles and difficulties,
either in common to all men or privately to Christians. There were,
furthermore, many and frequent earthquakes, so that many cities throughout
Cappadocia and Pontus were thrown down; and some even were dragged down
into the abyss and swallowed by the gaping earth. From this, also, there
arose a severe persecution against the Christian name. This arose suddenly
after the long peace of the previous age. Because of the unexpected and
unaccustomed evil, it was rendered more terrible for the disturbance of
our people.

Serenianus was at that time governor of our province, a bitter and cruel
persecutor. But when the faithful had been thus disturbed and were fleeing
hither and thither from fear of persecution and were leaving their native
country and crossing over to other regions—for there was opportunity of
crossing over, because this persecution was not over the whole world, but
was local—there suddenly arose among us a certain woman who in a state of
ecstasy announced herself as a prophetess and acted as if filled with the
Holy Ghost. And she was so moved by the power of the chief demons that for
a long time she disturbed the brethren and deceived them; for she
accomplished certain wonderful and portentous things: thus, she promised
that she would cause the earth to be shaken, not that the power of the
demon was so great that he could shake the earth and disturb the elements,
but that sometimes a wicked spirit, foreseeing and understanding that
there will be an earthquake, pretends that he will do what he foresees
will take place. By these lies and boastings he had so subdued the minds
of several that they obeyed him and followed whithersoever he commanded
and led. He would also make that woman walk in the bitter cold of winter
with bare feet over the frozen snow, and not to be troubled or hurt in any
respect by walking in this fashion. Moreover, she said she was hurrying to
Judea and Jerusalem, pretending that she had come thence. Here, also, she
deceived Rusticus, one of the presbyters, and another one who was a
deacon, so that they had intercourse with the same woman. This was shortly
after detected. For there suddenly appeared before her one of the
exorcists, a man approved and always well versed in matters of religious
discipline; he, moved by the exhortation of many of the brethren, also,
who were themselves strong in the faith, and praiseworthy, raised himself
up against that wicked spirit to overcome it; for the spirit a little
while before, by its subtle deceitfulness, had predicted, furthermore,
that a certain adverse and unbelieving tempter would come. Yet that
exorcist, inspired by God’s grace, bravely resisted and showed that he who
before was regarded as holy was a most wicked spirit. But that woman, who
previously, by the wiles and deceits of the demon, was attempting many
things for the deception of the faithful, had among other things by which
she deceived many also frequently dared this—to pretend that with an
invocation, not to be contemned, she sanctified bread and consecrated the
eucharist and offered sacrifice to the Lord without the sacrament as
customarily uttered; and to have baptized many, making use of the usual
and lawful words of interrogation, that nothing might seem to be different
from the ecclesiastical and lawful mode.

(_e_) Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VI, 34. (MSG, 20:595.) Preuschen, _Analecta_,
I, § 15, and Kirch, n. 397.

    The following tradition that Philip the Arabian was a Christian is
    commonly regarded as doubtful. That he favored the Christians, and
    even protected them, may be the basis for such a report.

When Gordianus (238-244) had been Roman Emperor for six years, Philip
(244-249) succeeded him. It is reported that he, being a Christian,
desired on the day of the last paschal vigil to share with the multitude
in the prayers of the Church, but was not permitted by him who then
presided to enter until he had made confession and numbered himself among
those who were reckoned as transgressors and who occupied the place of
penitence. For if he had not done this, he would never have been received
by him, on account of the many crimes he had committed, and it is said
that he obeyed readily, manifesting in his conduct a genuine and pious
fear of God.

§ 37. The Extension of the Church at the Middle of the Third Century

Some approximately correct idea of the extension of the Church by the
middle of the third century may be gathered from a precise statement of
the organization of the largest church, that at Rome, about the year 250
(_a_), from the size of provincial synods, of which we have detailed
statements for North Africa (_b_), from references to organized and
apparently numerous churches in various places not mentioned in earlier
documents (_c_). That the Church, at least in Egypt and parts adjacent,
had ceased to be confined chiefly to the cities and that it was composed
of persons of all social ranks is attested by Origen (_d_).

(_a_) Cornelius, _Ep. ad Fabium_, in Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VI, 43. (MSG,
20:622.) _Cf._ Kirch, n. 222 _ff._

    Cornelius was bishop of Rome 251-253.

This avenger of the Gospel [Novatus] did not then know that there should
be one bishop in a Catholic church; yet he was not ignorant (for how could
he be) that in it [_i.e._, the Roman church] there were forty-six
presbyters, seven deacons, seven subdeacons, forty-two acolytes, fifty-two
exorcists, readers, and janitors, and over fifteen hundred widows and
persons in distress, all of whom the grace and kindness of the Master
nourished. But not even this great multitude, so necessary in the Church,
nor those who through God’s providence were rich and full, together with
very many, even innumerable, people, could turn him from such desperation
and recall him to the Church.

(_b_) Cyprian, _Epistulæ 71_ [=70] (MSL, 4:424) and 59:10 [=54] (MSL,

    The church in North Africa had grown very rapidly before Cyprian
    was elevated to the see of Carthage. An evidence of this is the
    number of councils held in North Africa. That held under
    Agrippinus, between 218 and 222, was the first known in that part
    of the Church. Under Cyprian a council was held at Carthage in 258
    at which no less than seventy bishops, whose names and opinions
    have been preserved, are given. See ANF, V, 565 _ff._

_Ep. 71_ [=70]. _Ad Quintum._

Which thing, indeed, Agrippinus [A. D. 218-222], also a man of worthy
memory, with his fellow-bishops, who at that time governed the Lord’s
Church in the province of Africa and Numidia, decreed, and by the
well-weighed examination of the common council established.

_Ep. 59_ [=54]:10. _Ad Cornelium._

I have also intimated to you, my brother, by Felicianus, that there had
come to Carthage Privatus, an old heretic in the colony of Lambesa, many
years ago condemned for many and grave crimes by the judgment of ninety
bishops, and severely remarked upon in the letters of Fabian and Donatus,
also our predecessors, as is not hidden from your knowledge.

(_c_) Cyprian, _Epistula 67_ [=68]. (MSL, 3:1057, 1065.)

    The following extracts from Cyprian’s Epistle “To the Clergy and
    People abiding in Spain, concerning Basilides and Martial,” is of
    importance as bearing upon the development of the appellate
    jurisdiction of the Roman see, for which see the epistle in its
    entirety as given in Cyprian’s works, ANF, vol. V, for the
    treatment of the vexed question of discipline in the case of those
    receiving certificates that they had sacrificed, (see below, §§ 45
    _f._), and as the first definite statements as to localities in
    Spain where there were Christians and bishops placed over the
    Church. The mass of martyrdoms that have been preserved refer to
    still others.

Cyprian … to Felix, the presbyter, and to the peoples abiding in Legio
[Leon] and Asturica [Astorga], also to Lælius, the deacon, and the people
abiding in Emerita [Merida], brethren in the Lord, greeting. When we had
come together, dearly beloved brethren, we read your letters, which,
according to the integrity of your faith and your fear of God, you wrote
to us by Felix and Sabinus, our fellow-bishops, signifying that Basilides
and Martial, who had been stained with the certificates of idolatry and
bound with the consciousness of wicked crimes, ought not to exercise the
episcopal office and administer the priesthood of God. Wherefore, since we
have written, dearly beloved brethren, and as Felix and Sabinus, our
colleagues, affirm, and as another Felix, of Cæsar-Augusta [Saragossa], a
maintainer of the faith and a defender of the truth, signifies in his
letter, Basilides and Martial have been contaminated by the abominable
certificate of idolatry.

(_d_) Origen, _Contra Celsum_, III, 9. (MSG, 11:951.)

    With the following should be compared the statements of Pliny,
    more than a hundred years earlier, relative to Bithynia. See
    above, § 7.

Celsus says that “if all men wished to become Christians, the latter would
not desire it.” That this is false, is evident from this, that Christians
do not neglect, as far as they are able, to take care to spread their
doctrines throughout the whole world. Some, accordingly, have made it
their business to go round about not only through cities, but even
villages and country houses, that they may persuade others to become pious
worshippers of God.… At present, indeed, when because of the multitude of
those who have embraced the teaching, not only rich men, but also some
persons of rank and delicate and high-born ladies, receive the teachers of
the Word, there will be some who dare to say that it is for the sake of a
little glory that certain assume the office of Christian teachers. In the
beginning, when there was much danger, especially to its teachers, this
suspicion could have had no place.

Chapter II. The Internal Development Of The Church In Doctrine, Custom,
And Constitution

The characteristic Eastern and Western conceptions of Christianity began
to be clearly differentiated in the early years of the third century. A
juristic conception of the Church as a body at the head of which, and
clothed with authority, appeared the bishop of Rome, had, indeed, become
current at Rome in the last decade of the second century on the occasion
of the Easter controversy, which had ended in an estrangement between the
previously closely affiliated churches of Asia Minor and the West,
especially Rome (§ 38). Western theology soon became centred in North
Africa under the legally trained Tertullian, by whom its leading
principles were laid down in harmony with the bent of the Latin genius (§
39). In this period numerous attempts were made to solve the problem
arising from the unity of God and the divinity of Christ, without recourse
to a Logos christology. Some of the more unsuccessful of these attempts
have since been grouped under the heads of Dynamistic and of Modalistic
Monarchianism (§ 40). At the same time Montanism was excluded from the
Church (§ 41), as subversive of the distinction between the clergy and
laity and the established organs of the Church’s government, which in the
recent rise of a theory of the necessity of the episcopate (see above, §
27) had become important. In the administration of the penitential
discipline (§ 42) the position of the clergy and the realization of a
hierarchically organized Church was still further advanced, preparatory
for the position of Cyprian. At the same time as these constitutional
developments were taking place in the West, and especially in North
Africa, there occurred in Egypt and Palestine a remarkable advance in
doctrinal discussion, whereby the theology of the apologists was developed
in the Catechetical School of Alexandria, especially under the leadership
of Clement of Alexandria and Origen (§ 43). In this new speculation a vast
mass of most fruitful theological ideas was built up, from which
subsequent ages drew for the defence of the traditional faith, but some of
which served as the basis of new and startling heresies. Corresponding to
the intellectual development within the Church was the last phase of
Hellenic philosophy, known as Neo-Platonism (§ 44), which subsequently
came into bitter conflict with the Church.

§ 38. The Easter Controversy and the Separation of the Churches of Asia
Minor from the Western Churches

The Church grew up with only a loose form of organization. Each local
congregation was for a while autonomous, and it was the local constitution
that first took a definite and fixed form. In the first centuries local
customs naturally varied, and conflicts were sure to arise when various
hitherto isolated churches came into closer contact and the sense of
solidarity deepened. The first clash of opposing customs occurred over the
date of Easter, as to which marked differences existed between the
churches of Asia Minor, at that time the most flourishing part of the
Church, and the churches of the West, especially with the church of Rome,
the strongest local church of all. The course of the controversy is
sufficiently stated in the following selection from Eusebius. The outcome
was the practical isolation of the churches of Asia Minor for many years.
The controversy was not settled, and the churches of Asia Minor did not
again play a prominent part in the Church until the time of Constantine
and the Council of Nicæa, 325 (see § 62, _b_), although a provisional
adjustment of the difficulty, so far as the West was concerned, took place
shortly before, at the Council of Arles (see § 62, _a_, 2).

Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, V, 23, 24. (MSG, 20:489.) Mirbt, n. 22, and in
Kirch, n. 78 _ff._

    A brief extract from the following may be found above in § 3 in a
    somewhat different connection.

Ch. 23. At this time a question of no small importance arose. For the
parishes [_i.e._, dioceses in the later sense of that word] of all Asia,
as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon,
being the day on which the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb,
should be observed as the feast of the Saviour’s passover, and that it was
necessary, therefore, to end their fast on that day, on whatever day of
the week it might happen to fall. It was not, however, the custom of the
churches elsewhere to end it at this time, but they observed the practice,
which from apostolic tradition has prevailed to the present time, of
ending the fast on no other day than that of the resurrection of the
Saviour. Synods and assemblies of bishops were held on this account, and
all with one consent, by means of letters addressed to all, drew up an
ecclesiastical decree that the mystery of the resurrection of the Lord
from the dead should be celebrated on no other day than on the Lord’s Day,
and that we should observe the close of the paschal fast on that day only.
There is still extant a writing of those who were then assembled in
Palestine, over whom Theophilus, bishop of the parish of Cæsarea, and
Narcissus, Bishop of Jerusalem, presided; also another of those who were
likewise assembled at Rome, on account of the same question, which bears
the name of Victor; also of the bishops in Pontus, over whom Palmas, as
the oldest, presided; and of the parishes in Gaul, of which Irenæus was
bishop; and of those in Osrhoene and the cities there; and a personal
letter of Bacchylus, bishop of the church in Corinth, and of a great many
others who uttered one and the same opinion and judgment and cast the same
vote. Of these, there was one determination of the question which has been

Ch. 24. But the bishops of Asia, led by Polycrates, decided to hold fast
to the customs handed down to them. He himself, in a letter addressed to
Victor and the church of Rome, set forth the tradition which had come down
to him as follows: “We observe the exact day, neither adding nor taking
anything away. For in Asia, also, great lights have fallen asleep, which
shall rise again on the day of the Lord’s coming, when He shall come with
glory from heaven and shall seek out all the saints. Of these were Philip,
one of the twelve Apostles, who fell asleep at Hierapolis, and his two
aged virgin daughters and his other daughter, who, having lived in the
Holy Spirit, rest at Ephesus; and, moreover, John, who reclined on the
Lord’s bosom, and being a priest wore the sacerdotal mitre, who was both a
witness and a teacher; he fell asleep at Ephesus; and, further, Polycarp
in Smyrna, both a bishop and a martyr.… All these observed the fourteenth
day of the passover, according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but
following the rule of faith. And I, Polycrates, do the same, the least of
you all, according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have
closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops, and I am the
eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away
the leaven; I, therefore, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those
greater than I have said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”…
Thereupon(57) Victor, who was over the church of Rome, immediately
attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with
the churches that agreed with them, as being heterodox. And he published
letters declaring that all the brethren there were wholly excommunicated.
But this did not please all the bishops, and they besought him to consider
the things of peace, of neighborly unity and love. Words of theirs are
still extant, rather sharply rebuking Victor. Among these were Irenæus,
who sent letters in the name of the brethren in Gaul, over whom he
presided, and maintained that the mystery of the resurrection of the Lord
should be observed only on the Lord’s Day, yet he fittingly admonishes
Victor that he should not cut off whole churches of God which observed the
tradition of an ancient custom, and after many other words he proceeds as
follows: “For the controversy is not merely concerning the day, but also
concerning the very manner of the fast. For some think that they should
fast one day, others two, yet others more; some, moreover, count their
days as consisting of forty hours day and night. And this variety of
observance has not originated in our times, but long before, in the days
of our ancestors. It is likely that they did not hold to strict accuracy,
and thus was formed a custom for their posterity, according to their own
simplicity and their peculiar method. Yet all these lived more or less in
peace, and we also live in peace with one another; and the disagreement in
regard to the fast confirms the agreement in the faith.… Among these were
the elders [_i.e._, bishops of earlier date] before Soter, who presided
over the church which thou [Victor] now rulest. We mean Anicetus, and
Pius, and Hyginus, and Telesphorus, and Sixtus. They neither observed it
themselves nor did they permit others after them to do so. And yet, though
they did not observe it, they were none the less at peace with those who
came to them from the parishes in which it was observed, although this
observance was more opposed to those who did not observe it. But none were
ever cast out on account of this form, but the elders before thee, who did
not observe it, sent the eucharist to those of the other parishes
observing it. And when the blessed Polycarp was at Rome in the time of
Anicetus, and they disagreed a little about certain other things, they
immediately made peace with one another, not caring to quarrel over this
point. For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp not to observe what he
had always observed with John, the disciple of the Lord, and the other
Apostles with whom he had associated; neither could Polycarp persuade
Anicetus to observe it, as he said that he ought to follow the customs of
the elders who had preceded him. But though matters were thus, they
nevertheless communed together and Anicetus granted the eucharist in the
church to Polycarp, manifestly as a mark of respect.(58) And they parted
from each other in peace, maintaining the peace of the whole Church, both
of those who observed and those who did not.” Thus Irenæus, who was truly
well named, became a peace-maker in this matter, exhorting and negotiating
in this way for the peace of the churches. And he conferred by letter
about this disputed question, not only with Victor, but also with most of
the other rulers of the churches.

§ 39. The Religion of the West: Its Moral and Juristic Character

In the writings of Tertullian a conception of Christianity is quite fully
developed according to which the Gospel was a new law of life, with its
prescribed holy seasons and hours for prayer; its sacrifices, though as
yet only sacrifices of prayer; its fasts and almsgiving, which had
propitiatory effect, atoning for sins committed and winning merit with
God; its sacred rites, solemnly administered by an established hierarchy;
and all observed for the sake of a reward which God in justice owed those
who kept His commandments. It is noticeable that already there is the same
divided opinion as to marriage, whereby, on the one hand, it was regarded
as a concession to weakness, a necessary evil, and, on the other, a high
and holy relation, strictly monogamous, and of abiding worth. The
propitiatory and meritorious character of fasts and almsgiving as laid
down by Tertullian was developed even further by Cyprian and became a
permanent element in the penitential system of the Church, ultimately
affecting its conception of redemption.

(_a_) Tertullian, _De Oratione_, 23, 25, 28. (MSL, 1:1298.)

Ch. 23. As to kneeling, also, prayer is subject to diversity of observance
on account of a few who abstain from kneeling on the Sabbath. Since this
dissension is particularly on its trial before the churches, the Lord will
give His grace that the dissentients may either yield or else follow their
own opinion without offence to the others. We, however, as we have
received, only on the Sunday of the resurrection ought to guard not only
against this kneeling, but every posture and office of anxiety; deferring
even our businesses, lest we give any place to the devil. Similarly, too,
the period of Pentecost, is a time which we distinguish by the same
solemnity of exultation. But who would hesitate every day to prostrate
himself before God, at least in the first prayer with which we enter on
the daylight? At fasts, moreover, and stations, no prayer should be made
without kneeling and the remaining customary marks of humility. For then
we are not only praying, but making supplication, and making satisfaction
to our Lord God.

Ch. 25. Touching the time, however, the extrinsic observance of certain
hours will not be unprofitable; those common hours, I mean, which mark the
intervals of the day—the third, the sixth, the ninth—which we may find in
Scripture to have been more solemn than the rest.

Ch. 28. This is the spiritual victim which has abolished the pristine
sacrifices.… We are the true adorers and true priests, who, praying in the
spirit, in the spirit sacrifice prayer, proper and acceptable to God,
which, assuredly, He has required, which He has looked forward to for
Himself. This victim, devoted from the whole heart, fed on faith, tended
by truth, entire in innocence, pure in chastity, garlanded with love
[agape], we ought to escort with the pomp of good works, amid psalms and
hymns, unto God’s altar, to obtain all things from God for us.

(_b_) Tertullian, _De Jejun._, 3. (MSL, 2:100.)

    The following is a characteristic statement of the meritorious and
    propitiatory character of fasting. See below, _h_, Cyprian.

Since He himself both commands fasting and calls a soul wholly
shattered—properly, of course, by straits of diet—a sacrifice (Psalm
51:18), who will any longer doubt that of all macerations as to food the
rationale has been this: that by a renewed interdiction of food and
observance of the precept the primordial sin might now be expiated, so
that man may make God satisfaction through the same causative material by
which he offended, that is, by interdiction of food; and so, by way of
emulation, hunger might rekindle, just as satiety had extinguished,
salvation, contemning for the sake of one thing unlawful many things that
are lawful?

(_c_) Tertullian, _De Baptismo_, 17. (MSL, 1:1326.)

It remains to put you in mind, also, of the due observance of giving and
receiving baptism. The chief priest (_summus sacerdos_), who is the
bishop, has the right of giving it; in the second place, the presbyters
and deacons, yet not without the bishop’s authority, on account of the
honor of the Church. When this has been preserved, peace is preserved.
Besides these, even laymen have the right; for what is equally received
can be equally given. If there are no bishops, priests, or deacons, other
disciples are called. The word of the Lord ought not to be hidden away by
any. In like manner, also, baptism, which is equally God’s property, can
be administered by all; but how much more is the rule of reverence and
modesty incumbent on laymen, since these things belong to their superiors,
lest they assume to themselves the specific functions of the episcopate!
Emulation of the episcopal office is the mother of schism.

(_d_) Tertullian, _De Pœnitentia_, 2. (MSL, 1:1340.)

How small is the gain if you do good to a grateful man, or the loss if to
an ungrateful man! A good deed has God as its debtor, just as an evil deed
has Him also; for the judge is a rewarder of every cause. Now, since God
as judge presides over the exacting and maintaining of justice, which is
most dear to Him, and since it is for the sake of justice that He appoints
the whole sum of His discipline, ought one to doubt that, as in all our
acts universally, so, also, in the case of repentance, justice must be
rendered to God?

(_e_) Tertullian, _Scorpiace_, 6. (MSL, 2:157.)

If he had put forth faith to suffer martyrdoms, not for the contest’s
sake, but for its own benefit, ought it not to have had some store of
hope, for which it might restrain its own desire and suspend its wish,
that it might strive to mount up, seeing that they, also, who strive to
discharge earthly functions are eager for promotion? Or how will there be
many mansions in the Father’s house, if not for a diversity of deserts?
How, also, will one star differ from another star in glory, unless in
virtue of a disparity of their rays?

(_f_) Tertullian, _Ad Uxorem_, I, 3; II, 8-10. (MSL, 1:1390, 1415.) _Cf._
Kirch, n. 181.

I, 3. There is no place at all where we read that marriages are
prohibited; of course as a “good thing.” What, however, is better than
this “good,” we learn from the Apostle in that he permits marriage,
indeed, but prefers abstinence; the former on account of the insidiousness
of temptations, the latter on account of the straits of the times (I Cor.
7:26). Now by examining the reason for each statement it is easily seen
that the permission to marry is conceded us as a necessity; but whatever
necessity grants, she herself deprecates. In fact, inasmuch as it is
written, “It is better to marry than to burn” (I Cor. 7:9), what sort of
“good” is this which is only commended by comparison with “evil,” so that
the reason why “marrying” is better is merely that “burning” is worse?
Nay; but how much better is it neither to marry nor to burn?

II, 8. Whence are we to find adequate words to tell fully of the happiness
of that marriage which the Church cements and the oblation(59) confirms,
and the benediction seals; which the angels announce, and the Father holds
for ratified? For even on earth children do not rightly and lawfully wed
without their father’s consent. What kind of yoke is that of two believers
of one hope, one discipline, and the same service? The two are brethren,
the two are fellow-servants; no difference of spirit or flesh; nay, truly,
two in one flesh; where there is one flesh the spirit is one.

(_g_) Tertullian, _De Monogamia_, 9, 10. (MSL, 2:991 _f._)

    This work was written after Tertullian became a Montanist, and
    with other Montanists repudiated second marriage, to which
    reference is made in both passages. But the teaching of the Church
    regarding remarriage after divorce was as Tertullian here speaks.
    The reference to offering at the end of ch. 10 does not refer to
    the eucharist, but to prayers. See above, _Ad Uxorem_, ch. II, 8.

Ch. 9. So far is it true that divorce “was not from the beginning” [_cf._
Matt. 19:8] that among the Romans it is not till after the six hundredth
year after the foundation of the city that this kind of hardness of heart
is recorded to have been committed. But they not only repudiate, but
commit promiscuous adultery; to us, even if we do divorce, it will not be
lawful to marry.

Ch. 10. I ask the woman herself, “Tell me, sister, have you sent your
husband before in peace?” What will she answer? In discord? In that case
she is bound the more to him with whom she has a cause to plead at the bar
of God. She is bound to another, she who has not departed from him. But if
she say, “In peace,” then she must necessarily persevere in that peace
with him whom she will be no longer able to divorce; not that she would
marry, even if she had been able to divorce him. Indeed, she prays for his
soul, and requests refreshment for him meanwhile, and fellowship in the
first resurrection; and she offers on the anniversary of his falling

(_h_) Cyprian, _De Opere et Eleemosynis_, 1, 2, 5. (MSL, 4:625.)

    Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage (249-258), was the most important
    theologian and ecclesiastic between Tertullian and Augustine. He
    developed the theology of the former especially in its
    ecclesiastical lines, and his idea of the Church was accepted by
    the latter as a matter beyond dispute. His most important
    contributions to the development of the Church were his
    hierarchical conceptions, which became generally accepted as the
    basis of the episcopal organization of the Church (see below, §§
    46, 50, 51). His writings, which are of great importance in the
    history of the Church, consist only of epistles and brief tracts.
    His influence did much to determine the lines of development of
    the Western Church, and especially the church of North Africa.
    With the following _cf. supra_, § 16.

Ch. 1. Many and great, beloved brethren, are the divine benefits wherewith
the large and abundant mercy of God the Father and of Christ both has
labored and is always laboring for our salvation: because the Father sent
the Son to preserve us and give us life, that He might restore us; and the
Son was willing to be sent and to become the son of man, that He might
make us the sons of God. He humbled Himself that He might raise up the
people who before were prostrate; He was wounded that He might heal our
wounds; He served that He might draw to liberty those who were in bondage;
He underwent death, that He might set forth immortality to mortals. These
are many and great boons of compassion. But, moreover, what a providence,
and how great the clemency, that by a plan of salvation it is provided for
us that more abundant care should be taken for preserving man who has been
redeemed! For when the Lord, coming to us, had cured those wounds which
Adam had borne, and had healed the old poisons of the serpent, He gave a
law to the sound man, and bade him sin no more lest a worse thing should
befall the sinner. We had been limited and shut up in a narrow space by
the commandment of innocence. Nor should the infirmity and weakness of
human frailty have anything it might do, unless the divine mercy, coming
again in aid, should open some way of securing salvation by pointing out
works of justice and mercy, so that by almsgiving we may wash away
whatever foulness we subsequently contract.

Ch. 2. The Holy Spirit speaks in the sacred Scriptures saying, “By
almsgiving and faith sins are purged” [Prov. 16:6]. Not, of course, those
sins which had been previously contracted, for these are purged by the
blood and sanctification of Christ. Moreover, He says again, “As water
extinguishes fire, so almsgiving quencheth sin” [Eccles. 3:30]. Here,
also, is shown and proved that as by the laver of the saving water the
fire of Gehenna is extinguished, so, also, by almsgiving and works of
righteousness the flame of sin is subdued. And because in baptism
remission of sins is granted once and for all, constant and ceaseless
labor, following the likeness of baptism, once again bestows the mercy of
God.… The Lord also teaches this in the Gospel.… The Merciful One teaches
and warns that works of mercy be performed; because He seeks to save those
who at great cost He has redeemed, it is proper that those who after the
grace of baptism have become foul can once more be cleansed.

Ch. 5. The remedies for propitiating God are given in the words of God
himself. The divine instructions have taught sinners what they ought to
do; that by works of righteousness God is satisfied, and with the merits
of mercy sins are cleansed.… He [the angel Raphael, _cf._ Tobit. 12:8, 9]
shows that our prayers and fastings are of little avail unless they are
aided by almsgiving; that entreaties alone are of little force to obtain
what they seek, unless they be made sufficient by the addition of deeds
and good works. The angel reveals and manifests and certifies that our
petitions become efficacious by almsgiving, that life is redeemed from
dangers by almsgiving, that souls are delivered from death by almsgiving.

§ 40. The Monarchian Controversies

Monarchianism is a general term used to include all the unsuccessful
attempts of teachers within the Church to explain the divine element in
Christ without doing violence to the doctrine of the unity of God, and yet
without employing the Logos christology. These attempts were made chiefly
between the latter part of the second century and the end of the third.
They fall into classes accordingly as they regard the divine element in
Christ as personal or impersonal. One class makes the divine element to be
an impersonal power (Greek, dynamis) sent from God into the man Jesus;
hence the term “Dynamistic Monarchians.” The other class makes the divine
element a person, without, however, making any personal distinction
between Father and Son, only a difference in the mode in which the one
divine person manifests Himself; hence the term “Modalistic Monarchians.”
By some the Dynamistic Monarchians have been called Adoptionists, because
they generally taught that the man Jesus ultimately became the Son of God,
not being such by nature but by “adoption.” The name Adoptionist has been
so long applied to a heresy of the eighth century, chiefly in Spain, that
it leads to confusion to use the term in connection with Monarchianism.
Furthermore, to speak of them as Dynamistic Monarchians groups them with
other Monarchians, which is desirable. The most important school of
Modalistic Monarchians was that of Sabellius, in which the Modalistic
principle was developed so as to include the three persons of the Trinity.

    The sources may be found collected and annotated in Hilgenfeld,

(A) Dynamistic Monarchianism

(_a_) Hippolytus, _Refut._, VII, 35, 36. (MSG, 16:3342.)

Ch. 35. A certain Theodotus, a native of Byzantium, introduced a novel
heresy, saying some things concerning the origin of the universe partly in
keeping with the doctrines of the true Church, in so far as he admits that
all things were created by God. Forcibly appropriating, however, his idea
of Christ from the Gnostics and from Cerinthus and Ebion, he alleges that
He appeared somewhat as follows: that Jesus was a man, born of a virgin,
according to the counsel of the Father, and that after He had lived in a
way common to all men, and had become pre-eminently religious, He
afterward at His baptism in Jordan received Christ, who came from above
and descended upon Him. Therefore miraculous powers did not operate within
Him prior to the manifestation of that Spirit which descended and
proclaimed Him as the Christ. But some [_i.e._, among the followers of
Theodotus] are disposed to think that this man never was God, even at the
descent of the Spirit; whereas others maintain that He was made God after
the resurrection from the dead.

Ch. 36. While, however, different questions have arisen among them, a
certain one named Theodotus, by trade a money-changer [to be distinguished
from the other Theodotus, who is commonly spoken of as Theodotus, the
leather-worker], attempted to establish the doctrine that a certain
Melchizedek is the greatest power, and that this one is greater than
Christ. And they allege that Christ happens to be according to the
likeness of this one. And they themselves, similarly with those who have
been previously spoken of as adherents of Theodotus, assert that Jesus is
a mere man, and that in conformity with the same account, Christ descended
upon Him.

(_b_) _The Little Labyrinth_, in Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, V, 28. (MSG,

    The author of _The Little Labyrinth_, a work from which Eusebius
    quotes at considerable length, is uncertain. It has been
    attributed to Hippolytus.

The Artemonites say that all early teachers and the Apostles themselves
received and taught what they now declare, and that the truth of the
preaching [_i.e._, the Gospel] was preserved until the time of Victor, who
was the thirteenth bishop in Rome after Peter, and that since his
successor, Zephyrinus, the truth has been corrupted. What they say might
be credible if first of all the divine Scriptures did not contradict them.
And there are writings of certain brethren which are older than the times
of Victor, and which they wrote in behalf of the truth against the heathen
and against heresies of their time. I refer to Justin, Miltiades, Tatian,
Clement, and others. In all of their works Christ is spoken of as God. For
who does not know the works of Irenæus and of Melito and of others, which
teach that Christ is God and man? And how many psalms and hymns, written
by the faithful brethren from the beginning, celebrate Christ as the Word
of God, speaking of Him as divine? How, then, since the Church’s present
opinion has been preached for so many years, can its preaching have been
delayed, as they affirm, until the times of Victor? And how is it that
they are not ashamed to speak thus falsely of Victor, knowing well that he
cut off from communion Theodotus, the leather-worker, the leader and
father of this God-denying apostasy, and the first to declare that Christ
is mere man.

There was a certain confessor, Natalius, not long ago, but in our day.
This man was deceived at one time by Asclepiodotus and another Theodotus,
a certain money-changer. Both of them were disciples of Theodotus, the
leather-worker, who, as I said, was the first person excommunicated by
Victor, bishop at that time, on account of this senseless sentiment or,
rather, senselessness. Natalius was persuaded by them to allow himself to
be chosen bishop of this heresy with a salary, so that he was to receive
from them one hundred and fifty _denarii_ a month.

They have treated the divine Scriptures recklessly and without fear; they
have set aside the rule of ancient faith; and Christ they have not known,
not endeavoring to learn what the divine Scriptures declare, but striving
laboriously after any form of syllogism which may be found to suit their
impiety. And if any one brings before them a passage of divine Scripture,
they see whether a conjunctive or a disjunctive form of syllogism can be
made from it. And as being of the earth and speaking of the earth and as
ignorant of Him that cometh from above, they devote themselves to geometry
and forsake the holy writings of God. Euclid is at least laboriously
measured by some of them; Aristotle and Theophrastus admired; and Galen,
perhaps, by some is even worshipped. But that those who use the arts of
unbelievers for their heretical opinion and adulterate the simple faith of
the divine Scriptures by the craft of the godless are not near the faith,
what need is there to say? Therefore, they have laid their hands boldly
upon the divine Scriptures, alleging that they have corrected them. That I
am not speaking falsely of them in this matter, whoever wishes can learn.
For if any one will collect their respective copies and compare them with
one another, he will find that they differ greatly.

(B) Modalistic Monarchianism

    Additional source material: Hippolytus, _Adversus Noetum,
    Refutatio_, IX, 7 _ff._, X, 27; Tertullian, _Adversus Praxean_;
    Basil, _Ep._ 207, 210. (PNF, ser. II, vol. VIII.)

(_a_) Hippolytus, _Refut._, X, 27. (MSG, 16:3440.)

    The following passages from the great work of Hippolytus give the
    earlier form of Modalistic Monarchianism. They are also of
    importance as being a part of the foundation for the statement of
    Harnack and others, that this heresy was the official Roman
    doctrine for some years. See also IX, 12, of which the text may be
    found in Kirch, nn. 201-206. The whole question as to the position
    of Callistus, or Calixtus, as bishop of Rome and his relations to
    the Church as a whole is difficult and full of obscurity, due to a
    large extent to the fact that the principal source for his history
    is the work of Hippolytus, who, as may easily be seen, was
    bitterly opposed to him.

Noetus, a Smyrnæan by birth, a reckless babbler and trickster, introduced
this heresy, which originated with Epigonus, and was adopted by Cleomenes,
and has thus continued to this day among his successors. Noetus asserts
that there is one Father and God of the universe, and that He who had made
all things was, when He wished, invisible to those who existed, and when
He wished He became visible; that He is invisible when He is not seen and
visible when He is seen; that the Father is unbegotten when He is not
generated, but begotten when He is born of a virgin; that He is not
subject to suffering and is immortal when He does not suffer and die, but
when His passion came upon Him Noetus admits that the Father suffers and
dies. The Noetians think that the Father is called the Son according to
events at different times.

Callistus supported the heresy of these Noetians, but we have carefully
described his life [see above, § 19, _c_]. And Callistus himself likewise
produced a heresy, taking his starting-point from these Noetians. And he
acknowledges that there is one Father and God, and that He is the Creator
of the universe, and that He is called and regarded as Son by name, yet
that in substance He is one.(60) For the Spirit as Deity is not, he says,
any being different from the Logos, or the Logos from Deity; therefore,
this one person is divided by name, but not according to substance. He
supposes this one Logos to be God and he says that He became flesh. He is
disposed to maintain that He who was seen in the flesh and crucified is
Son, but it is the Father who dwells in Him.

(_b_) Hippolytus, _Refut._, IX, 7, 11 _f._ (MSG, 16:3369.)

Ch. 7. There has appeared a certain one, Noetus by name, by birth a
Smyrnæan. This person introduced from the tenets of Heraclitus a heresy.
Now a certain Epigonus became his minister and pupil, and this person
during his sojourn in Rome spread his godless opinion.… But Zephyrinus
himself was in course of time enticed away and hurried headlong into the
same opinion; and he had Callistus as his adviser and fellow-champion of
these wicked tenets.… The school of these heretics continued in a
succession of teachers to acquire strength and to grow because Zephyrinus
and Callistus helped them to prevail.

Ch. 11. Now that Noetus affirms that the Son and the Father are the same,
no one is ignorant. But he makes a statement as follows: “When, indeed, at
the time the Father was not yet born, He was justly styled the Father; and
when it pleased Him to undergo generation and to be begotten, He himself
became His own Son, not another’s.” For in this manner he thinks he
establishes the Monarchy, alleging that the Father and the Son, so called,
are not from one another, but are one and the same, Himself from Himself,
and that He is styled by the names Father and Son, according to the
changes of times.

Ch. 12. Now Callistus brought forward Zephyrinus himself and induced him
to avow publicly the following opinions: “I know that there is one God,
Jesus Christ; and that excepting Him I do not know another begotten and
capable of suffering.” When he said, “The Father did not die but the Son,”
he would in this way continue to keep up ceaseless disturbance among the
people. And we [_i.e._, Hippolytus], becoming aware of his opinions, did
not give place to him, but reproved him and withstood him for the truth’s
sake. He rushed into folly because all consented to his hypocrisy; we,
however, did not do so, and he called us worshippers of two gods,
disgorging freely the venom lurking within him.

(_c_) Hippolytus, _Adversus Noetum_. (MSG, 10:804.)

    The following is from a fragment which seems to be the conclusion
    of an extended work against various heresies.

Some others are secretly introducing another doctrine who have become the
disciples of a certain Noetus, who was a native of Smyrna, and lived not
very long ago. This man was greatly puffed up with pride, being inspired
by the conceit of a strange spirit. He alleged that Christ was the Father
himself, and that the Father himself was born and suffered and died.… When
the blessed presbyters heard these things they summoned him before the
Church and examined him. But he denied at first that he held such
opinions. Afterward, taking shelter among some and gathering round him
some others who had been deceived in the same way, he wished to maintain
his doctrine openly. And the blessed presbyters summoned him and examined
him. But he resisted, saying, “What evil, then, do I commit when I glorify
Christ?” And the presbyters replied to him, “We, too, know in truth one
God; we know Christ; we know that the Son suffered even as He suffered,
and died even as He died, and rose again on the third day, and is at the
right hand of the Father, and cometh to judge the living and the dead. And
these things which we have learned we assert.” Then, after refuting him,
they expelled him from the Church. And he was carried to such a pitch of
pride that he established a school.

Now they seek to exhibit the foundation of their dogma, alleging that it
is said in the Law, “I am the God of your fathers; ye shall have no other
gods beside me” [_i.e._, of Moses, _cf._ Ex. 3:6, 13; 20:3]; and again in
another passage, “I am the first and the last and besides me there is none
other” [_cf._ Is. 44:6]. Thus they assert that God is one. And then they
answer in this manner: “If therefore I acknowledge Christ to be God, He is
the Father himself, if He is indeed God; and Christ suffered, being
Himself God, and consequently the Father suffered, for He was the Father

(_d_) Tertullian, _Adv. Praxean_, 1, 2, 27, 29. (MSL, 2:177 _f._, 214.)

    Tertullian is especially bitter against Praxeas, because he
    prevented the recognition of the Montanists at Rome when it seemed
    likely that they would be treated favorably. The work _Adversus
    Praxean_ is the most important work of Western theology on the
    Trinity before the time of Augustine. It was corrected in some
    important points by Novatian, but its clear formulæ remained in
    Western theology permanently. The work belongs to the late
    Montanistic period of Tertullian.

Ch. 1. In various ways has the devil rivalled the truth. Sometimes his aim
has been to destroy it by defending it. He maintains that there is one
only Lord, the Almighty Creator of the world, that of this doctrine of the
unity he may fabricate a heresy. He says that the Father himself came down
into the Virgin, was Himself born of her, Himself suffered, indeed, was
Himself Jesus Christ.… He [Praxeas] was the first to import into Rome this
sort of perversity, a man of restless disposition in other respects, and
above all inflated with the pride of martyrdom [confessorship] simply and
solely because of a short annoyance in prison; when, even if he had given
his body to be burned, it would have profited him nothing, not having the
love of God, whose very gifts he resisted and destroyed. For after the
Bishop of Rome had acknowledged the prophetic gifts of Montanus,
Priscilla, and Maximilla, and in consequence of the acknowledgment had
bestowed his peace on the churches of Asia and Phrygia, Praxeas, by
importunately urging false accusations against the prophets themselves and
their churches, and insisting on the authority of the bishop’s
predecessors in the see, compelled him to recall the letter of peace which
he had issued, as well as to desist from his purpose of acknowledging the
said gifts. Thus Praxeas did two pieces of the devil’s work in Rome: he
drove out prophecy and he brought in heresy; he put to flight the
Paraclete and he crucified the Father.

Ch. 2. After a time, then, the Father was born, and the Father
suffered—God himself, the Almighty, is preached as Jesus Christ.

Ch. 27. For, confuted on all sides by the distinction between the Father
and the Son, which we make while their inseparable union remains as [by
the examples] of the sun and the ray, and the fountain and the river—yet
by help of their conceit of an indivisible number [with issues] of two and
three, they endeavor to interpret this distinction in a way which shall
nevertheless agree with their own opinions; so that, all in one person,
they distinguish two—Father and Son—understanding the Son to be the flesh,
that is the man, that is Jesus; and the Father to be the Spirit, that is
God, that is Christ.

Ch. 29. Since we(61) teach in precisely the same terms that the Father
died as you say the Son died, we are not guilty of blasphemy against the
Lord God, for we do not say that He died after the divine nature, but only
after the human.… They [the heretics], indeed, fearing to incur blasphemy
against the Father, hope to diminish it in this way, admitting that the
Father and the Son are two; but if the Son, indeed, suffers, the Father is
His fellow-sufferer.

(_e_) _Formula Macrostichos_, in Socrates. _Hist. Ec._, II, 19. (MSG,

    In the Arian controversy several councils were held at Antioch in
    the endeavor to bring about a reconciliation of the parties. At
    the third council of Antioch, A. D. 345, the elaborate _Formula
    Macrostichos_ was put forth, in which the council attempted to
    steer a middle course between the Sabellians, who identified the
    Father and the Son, and the extreme Arians, who made the Son a
    creature. Text may also be found in Hahn, _op. cit._, § 159.

Those who say that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the same person,
impiously understanding the three names to refer to one and the same
person, we expel with good reason from the Church, because by the
incarnation they subject the Father, who is infinite and incapable of
suffering, to finitude and suffering in the incarnation. Such are those
called Patripassianists by the Romans and Sabellians by us.

(_f_) Athanasius, _Orationes contra Arianos_, IV, 9, 25. (MSG, 26:480,

    For Athanasius, _v. infra_, § 65, _c_. Of the four _Orations
    against the Arians_, attributed to Athanasius and placed between
    the years 356 and 362, doubts have been raised against the
    genuineness of the fourth. The following quotations are, in any
    case, valuable as setting forth the Sabellian position. But the
    case against the fourth oration has not been conclusively proved.
    In the passage from ch. 25 the statement is that of the
    Sabellians, not of Athanasius.

Ch. 9. If, again, the One have two names, this is the expedient of
Sabellius, who said that Son and Father were the same and did away with
both, the Father when there is a Son, and the Son when there is a Father.…

Ch. 25. “As there are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit, so also
the Father is the same, but is dilated into Son and Spirit.”

(_g_) Athanasius, _Expositio fidei_. (MSG, 25:204.)

    For the critical questions regarding this little work of uncertain
    date see PNF, ser. II, vol. VI, p. 83.

For neither do we hold a Son-father, as do the Sabellians, calling Him of
one but not of the same essence, and thus destroying the existence of the

(_h_) Basil the Great, _Epistula_, 210:3. (MSG, 32:772, 776.)

    Basil the Great, Bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, was one of the
    more important ecclesiastics of the fourth century, and the leader
    of the New-Nicene party in the Arian controversy. _V. infra_, §
    66, _c_.

Sabellianism is Judaism imported into the preaching of the Gospel under
the guise of Christianity. For if a man calls Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
one, but manifold as to person [prosopon], and makes one hypostasis of the
three, what else does he do than deny the everlasting pre-existence of the
Only begotten?…

Now Sabellius did not even deprecate the formation of the persons without
the hypostasis, saying, as he did, that the same God, being one in
substance,(62) was metamorphosed as the need of the moment required and
spoken of now as Father, now as the Son, and now as Holy Spirit.

§ 41. Later Montanism and the Consequences of its Exclusion from the

In the West Montanism rapidly discarded the extravagant chiliasm of
Montanus and his immediate followers; it laid nearly all the stress upon
the continued work of the Holy Spirit in the Church and the need of a
stricter moral discipline among Christians. This rigoristic discipline or
morality was not acceptable to the bulk of Christians, and along with the
Montanists was driven out of the Church, except in the case of the clergy,
to whom a stricter morality was regarded as applicable. In this way a
distinctive morality and mode of life came to be assigned to the clergy,
and the separation between clergy and laity, or _ordo_ and _plebs_, which
was becoming established about the time of Tertullian, at least in the
West, was permanently fixed. (See § 42, _d_.)

Tertullian, _De Exhortatione Castitatis_, 7. (MSL, 2:971.)

    As a Montanist, Tertullian rejected second marriage, and in this
    treatise, addressed to a friend who had recently lost his wife, he
    treated it as the foulest adultery. This work belongs to the later
    years of Tertullian’s life and incidentally reveals that a sharp
    distinction between clergy and laity was becoming fixed in the
    main body of the Church.

We should be foolish if we thought that what is unlawful for priests(63)
is lawful for laics. Are not even we laics priests? It is written: “He has
made us kings also, and priests to God and his Father.” The authority of
the Church has made the difference between order [_ordinem_] and the laity
[_plebem_], and the honor has been sanctified by the bestowal of the
order. Therefore, where there has been no bestowal of ecclesiastical
order, you both offer and baptize and are a priest to yourself alone. But
where there are three, there is the Church, though they are laics.…
Therefore, if, when there is necessity, you have the right of a priest in
yourself, you ought also to have the discipline of a priest where there is
necessity that you have the right of a priest. As a digamist,(64) do you
baptize? As a digamist, do you offer? How much more capital a crime it is
for a digamist laic to act as a priest, when the priest, if he turn
digamist, is deprived of the power of acting as a priest?… God wills that
at all times we be so conditioned as to be fitted at all times and in all
places to undertake His sacraments. There is one God, one faith, one
discipline as well. So truly is this the case that unless the laics well
observe the rules which are to guide the choice of presbyters, how will
there be presbyters at all who are chosen from among the laics?

§ 42. The Penitential Discipline

In baptism the convert received remission of all former sins, and, what
was equivalent, admission to the Church. If he sinned gravely after
baptism, could he again obtain remission? In the first age of the Church
the practice as to this question inclined toward rigorism, and the man who
sinned after baptism was in many places permanently excluded from the
Church (_cf._ Heb. 10:26, 27), or the community of those whose sins had
been forgiven and were certain of heaven. By the middle of the second
century the practice at Rome tended toward permitting one readmission
after suitable penance (_a_). After this the penitential discipline
developed rapidly and became an important part of the business of the
local congregation (_b_). The sinner, by a long course of
self-mortification and prayer, obtained the desired readmission (_c_). The
Montanists, however, in accord with their general rigorism, would make it
extremely hard, if not impossible, to obtain readmission or forgiveness.
The body of the Church, and certainly the Roman church under the lead of
its bishop, who relied upon Matt. 16:18, adopted a more liberal policy and
granted forgiveness on relatively easy terms to even the worst offenders
(_d_). The discipline grew less severe, because martyrs or confessors,
according to Matt. 10:20, were regarded as having the Spirit, and
therefore competent to speak for God and announce the divine forgiveness.
These were accustomed to give “letters of peace,” which were commonly
regarded as sufficient to procure the immediate readmission of the
offender (_e_), a practice which led to great abuse. One of the effects of
the development of the penitential discipline was the establishment of a
distinction between mortal and venial sins (_f_), the former of which
were, in general, acts involving unchastity, shedding of blood, and
apostasy, according to the current interpretation of Acts 15:29.

(_a_) Hermas, _Pastor_, Man. IV, 3:1.

    For Hermas and the _Pastor_, _v. supra_, § 15.

I heard some teachers maintain, sir, that there is no other repentance
than that which takes place when we descend into the waters and receive
remission of our former sins. He said to me, That was sound doctrine which
you heard; for that is really the case. For he who has received remission
of his sins ought not to sin any more, but to live in purity.… The Lord,
therefore, being merciful, has had mercy on the work of His hands, and has
set repentance for them; and He has intrusted to me the power over this
repentance. And therefore I say unto you that if any one is tempted by the
devil, and sins after that great and holy calling in which the Lord has
called His people to everlasting life, he has opportunity to repent but
once. But if he should sin frequently after this, and then repent, to such
a man his repentance will be of no avail, for with difficulty will he

(_b_) Tertullian. _Apology_, 39. (MSL, 1:532.)

We meet together as an assembly and congregation that, offering up prayer
to God, with united force we may wrestle with Him in our prayers.… In the
same place, also, exhortations are made, rebukes and sacred censures are
administered. For with a great gravity is the work of judging carried on
among us, as befits those who feel assured that they are in the sight of
God; and you have the most notable example of judgment to come when any
one has so sinned as to be severed from common union with us in prayer, in
the congregation, and in all sacred intercourse.

(_c_) Tertullian, _De Pœnitentia_, 4, 9. (MSL, 2:1343, 1354.)

    According to Bardenhewer, § 50:5, this work belongs to the
    Catholic period of Tertullian’s literary activity. Text in part in
    Kirch, nn. 175 _ff._

Ch. 4. As I live, saith the Lord, I prefer penance rather than death
[_cf._ Ezek. 33:11]. Repentance, then, is life, since it is preferred to
death. That repentance, O sinner like myself (nay, rather, less a sinner
than myself, for I acknowledge my pre-eminence in sins), do you hasten to
embrace as a shipwrecked man embraces the protection of some plank. This
will draw you forth when sunk in the waves of sin, and it will bear you
forward into the port of divine clemency.

Ch. 9. The narrower the sphere of action of this, the second and only
remaining repentance, the more laborious is its probation; that it may not
be exhibited in the conscience alone, but may likewise be performed in
some act. This act, which is more usually expressed and commonly spoken of
under the Greek name, exomologesis, whereby we confess our sins to the
Lord, not indeed to Him as ignorant of them, but inasmuch as by confession
a satisfaction is made; of confession repentance is born; by repentance
God is appeased. And thus exomologesis is a discipline for man’s
prostration and humiliation, enjoining a demeanor calculated to move
mercy. With regard, also, to the very dress and food, it commands one to
lie in sackcloth and ashes, to cover the body as in mourning, to lay the
spirit low in sorrow, to exchange for severe treatment the sins which he
has committed; furthermore, to permit as food and drink only what is
plain—not for the stomach’s sake, but for the soul’s; for the most part,
however, to feed prayers on fastings, to groan, to weep, and make outcries
unto the Lord our God; to fall prostrate before the presbyters and to
kneel to God’s dear ones; to enjoin on all the brethren to be ambassadors
to bear his deprecatory supplication before God. All this exomologesis
does, that it may enhance repentance, that it may honor the Lord by fear
of danger, may, by itself, in pronouncing against the sinner stand in
place of God’s indignation, and by temporal mortification (I will not say
frustrate, but rather) expunge eternal punishments.

(_d_) Tertullian, _De Pudicitia_, 1, 21, 22. (MSL, 2:1032, 1078.)

    Callistus, to whom reference is made in the first chapter, was
    bishop of Rome 217 to 222. The work, therefore, belongs to the
    latest period of Tertullian’s life.

Ch. 1. I hear that there has been an edict set forth, and, indeed, a
peremptory one; namely, that the Pontifex Maximus, the bishop of bishops,
issues an edict: “I remit to such as have performed penance, the sins both
of adultery and fornication.”

Ch. 21. “But,” you say, “the Church has the power of forgiving sins.” This
I acknowledge and adjudge more, I, who have the Paraclete himself in the
person of the new prophets, saying: “The Church has the power to forgive
sins, but I will not do it, lest they commit still others.”… I now inquire
into your opinion, to discover from what source you usurp this power to
the Church.

If, because the Lord said to Peter, “Upon this rock I will build My Church
[Matt. 16:18].… To Thee I have given the keys of the kingdom of heaven,”
or “Whatsoever thou shalt bind or loose on earth, shall be bound or loosed
in heaven,” you therefore presume that the power of binding and loosing
has descended to you, that is, to every church akin to Peter; what sort of
man, then, are you, subverting and wholly changing the manifest intention
of the Lord, who conferred the gift personally upon Peter? “On Thee,” He
says, “I will build my Church,” and “I will give thee the keys,” not to
the Church; and “whatsoever thou shalt have loosed or bound,” not what
they shall have loosed or bound. For so the result actually teaches. In
him (Peter) the Church was reared, that is, through him (Peter) himself;
he himself tried the key; you see what key: “Men of Israel, let what I say
sink into your ears; Jesus, the Nazarene, a man appointed of God for
you,”(65) and so forth. Peter himself, therefore, was the first to unbar,
in Christ’s baptism, the entrance to the kingdom of heaven, in which are
loosed the sins that aforetime were bound.…

What, now, has this to do with the Church and your Church, indeed, O
Psychic? For in accordance with the person of Peter, it is to spiritual
men that this power will correspondingly belong, either to an Apostle or
else to a prophet.… And accordingly the “Church,” it is true, will forgive
sins; but it will be the Church of the Spirit, by a spiritual man; not the
Church which consists of a number of bishops.

Ch. 22. But you go so far as to lavish this power upon martyrs indeed; so
that no sooner has any one, acting on a preconceived arrangement, put on
soft bonds in the nominal custody now in vogue, than adulterers beset him,
fornicators gain access to him; instantly prayers resound about him;
instantly pools of tears of the polluted surround him; nor are there any
who are more diligent in purchasing entrance to the prison than they who
have lost the fellowship of the Church.… Whatever authority, whatever
reason, restores ecclesiastical peace to the adulterer and the fornicator,
the same will be bound to come to the aid of the murderer and the idolater
in their repentance.

(_e_) Tertullian, _Ad Martyres_, 1. (MSL, 1:693.)

    The following extract from Tertullian’s little work addressed to
    martyrs in prison, written about 197, shows that in his earlier
    life as a Catholic Christian he did not disapprove of the practice
    of giving _libelli pacis_ by the confessors, a custom which in his
    more rigoristic period under the influence of Montanism he
    denounced most vehemently; see preceding extract from _De
    Pudicitia_, ch. 22. The reference to some discord among the
    martyrs is not elsewhere explained. For _libelli pacis_, see
    Cyprian, _Ep. 10_ (=_Ep. 15_), 22 (=21).

O blessed ones, grieve not the Holy Spirit, who has entered with you into
the prison; for if He had not gone with you there, you would not be there
to-day. Therefore endeavor to cause Him to remain with you there; so that
He may lead you thence to the Lord. The prison, truly, is the devil’s
house as well, wherein he keeps his family.… Let him not be successful in
his own kingdom by setting you at variance with one another, but let him
find you armed and fortified with concord; for your peace is war with him.
Some, not able to find peace in the Church, have been accustomed to seek
it from the imprisoned martyrs. Therefore you ought to have it dwelling
with you, and to cherish it and guard it, that you may be able, perchance,
to bestow it upon others.

(_f_) Tertullian, _De Pudicitia_, 19. (MSL, 2:1073.)

    The distinction between mortal and venial sins became of great
    importance in the administration of penance and remained as a
    feature of ecclesiastical discipline from the time of Tertullian.
    The origin of the distinction was still earlier. See above, an
    extract from the same work.

We ourselves do not forget the distinction between sins, which was the
starting-point of our discussion. And this, too, for John has sanctioned
it [_cf._ I John 5:16], because there are some sins of daily committal to
which we are all liable; for who is free from the accident of being angry
unjustly and after sunset; or even of using bodily violence; or easily
speaking evil; or rashly swearing; or forfeiting his plighted word; or
lying from bashfulness or necessity? In business, in official duties, in
trade, in food, in sight, in hearing, by how great temptations are we
assailed! So that if there were no pardon for such simple sins as these,
salvation would be unattainable by any. Of these, then, there will be
pardon through the successful Intercessor with the Father, Christ. But
there are other sins wholly different from these, graver and more
destructive, such as are incapable of pardon—murder, idolatry, fraud,
apostasy, blasphemy, and, of course, adultery and fornication and whatever
other violation of the temple of God there may be. For these Christ will
no more be the successful Intercessor; these will not at all be committed
by any one who has been born of God, for he will cease to be the son of
God if he commit them.

§ 43. The Catechetical School of Alexandria: Clement and Origen

Three types of theology developed in the ante-Nicene Church: the Asia
Minor school, best represented by Irenæus (_v._ § 33); the North African,
represented by Tertullian and Cyprian (_v._ § 39); and the Alexandrian, in
the Catechetical School of which Clement and Origen were the most
distinguished members. In the Alexandrian theology the tradition of the
apologists (_v._ § 32) that Christianity was a revealed philosophy was
continued, especially by Clement. Origen, following the bent of his
genius, developed other sides of Christian thought as well, bringing it
all into a more systematic form than had ever before been attempted. The
Catechetical School of Alexandria was the most celebrated of all the
educational institutions of Christian antiquity. It aimed to give a
general secular and religious training. It appears to have been in
existence well before the end of the second century, having been founded,
it is thought, by Pantænus. Clement assisted in the instruction from 190,
and from about 200 was head of the school for a few years. In 202 or 203
he was forced by persecution under Septimius Severus to flee from the
city. He died before 215. Of his works, the most important is his
three-part treatise composed of his _Protrepticus_, an apologetic work
addressed to the Greeks; his _Pædegogus_, a treatise on Christian
morality; and his _Stromata_, or miscellanies. Origen became head of the
Catechetical School in 203, when but eighteen years old, and remained in
that position until 232, when, having been irregularly ordained priest
outside his own diocese and being suspected of heresy, he was deposed. But
he removed to Cæsarea in Palestine, where he continued his work with the
greatest success and was held in the highest honor by the Church in
Palestine and parts other than Egypt. He died 254 or 255 at Tyre, having
previously suffered severely in the Decian persecution. His works are of
the highest importance in various fields of theology. _De Principiis_ is
the first attempt to present in connected form the whole range of
Christian theology. His commentaries cover nearly the entire Bible. His
_Contra Celsum_ is the greatest of all early apologies. The _Hexapla_ was
the most elaborate piece of text-criticism of antiquity.

    Additional source material: Eusebius. _Hist. Ec._, VI, deals at
    length with Origen; Gregory Thaumaturgus, _Panegyric on Origen_,
    in ANF. VI.

(_a_) Clement of Alexandria, _Stromata_, I, 5. (MSG, 8:717.)

    Clement’s view of the relation of Greek philosophy to Christian
    revelation is almost identical with that of the apologists, as are
    also many of his fundamental concepts.

Before the advent of the Lord philosophy was necessary to the Greeks for
righteousness. And now it becomes useful to piety, being a kind of
preparatory training to those who attain to faith through demonstration.
“For thy foot,” it is said, “will not stumble” if thou refer what is good,
whether belonging to the Greeks or to us, to Providence. For God is the
cause of all good things; but of some primarily, as of the Old and the New
Testament, and of others by consequence, as philosophy. Perchance, too,
philosophy was given to the Greeks directly till the Lord should call the
Greeks also. For this was a schoolmaster to bring the Hellenic mind to
Christ, as was the law to bring the Hebrews. Philosophy, therefore, was a
preparation, paving the way for him who is perfected in Christ.

“Now,” says Solomon, “defend wisdom, and it will exalt thee, and it will
shield thee with a crown of pleasure.”(66) For when thou hast strengthened
wisdom with a breastwork by philosophy, and with expenditure, thou wilt
preserve her unassailable by sophists. The way of truth is therefore one.
But into it, as into a perennial river, streams flow from every side.

(_b_) Clement of Alexandria, _Stromata_, VII, 10. (MSG, 9:47.)

    See Clement of Alexandria, _VIIth Book of the Stromateis_, ed. by
    Hort and Mayor, London, 1902. In making faith suffice for
    salvation, Clement clearly distinguishes his position from that of
    the Gnostics, though he uses the term “gnostic” as applicable to
    Christians. See next passage.

Knowledge [gnosis], so to speak, is a perfecting of man as man, which is
brought about by acquaintance with divine things; in character, life, and
word harmonious and consistent with itself and the divine Word. For by it
faith is made perfect, inasmuch as it is solely by it that the man of
faith becomes perfect. Faith is an internal good, and without searching
for God confesses His existence and glorifies Him as existent. Hence by
starting with this faith, and being developed by it, through the grace of
God, the knowledge respecting Him is to be acquired as far as possible.…

But it is not doubting, in reference to God, but believing, that is the
foundation of knowledge. But Christ is both the foundation and the
superstructure, by whom are both the beginning and the end. And the
extreme points, the beginning and the end, I mean faith and love, are not
taught. But knowledge, which is conveyed from communication through the
grace of God as a deposit, is intrusted to those who show themselves
worthy of it; and from it the worth of love beams forth from light to
light. For it is said, “To him that hath shall be given” [_cf._ Matt.
13:12]—to faith, knowledge; and to knowledge, love; and to love, the

Faith then is, so to speak, a compendious knowledge of the essentials; but
knowledge is the sure and firm demonstration of what is received by faith,
built upon faith by the Lord’s teaching, conveying us on to unshaken
conviction and certainty. And, as it seems to me, the first saving change
is that from heathenism to faith, as I said before; and the second, that
from faith to knowledge. And this latter passing on to love, thereafter
gives a mutual friendship between that which knows and that which is
known. And perhaps he who has already arrived at this stage has attained
equality with the angels. At any rate, after he has reached the final
ascent in the flesh, he still continues to advance, as is fit, and presses
on through the holy Hebdomad into the Father’s house, to that which is
indeed the Lord’s abode.

(_c_) Clement of Alexandria, _Stromata_, V, 11. (MSG, 9:102, 106.)

    The piety of the Christian Gnostic.

The sacrifice acceptable with God is unchanging alienation from the body
and its passions. This is the really true piety. And is not philosophy,
therefore, rightly called by Socrates the meditation on death? For he who
neither employs his eyes in the exercise of thought nor draws from his
other senses, but with pure mind applies himself to objects, practises the
true philosophy.…

It is not without reason, therefore, that in the mysteries which are to be
found among the Greeks lustrations hold the first place; as also the laver
among the barbarians. After these are the minor mysteries, which have some
foundation for instruction and preparation for what is to follow. In the
great mysteries concerning the universe nothing remains to be learned, but
only to contemplate and comprehend with the mind nature and things. We
shall understand the more of purification by confession, and of
contemplation by analysis, advancing by analysis to the first notion,
beginning with the properties underlying it; abstracting from the body its
physical properties, taking away the dimension of depth, then of breadth,
and then of length. For the point which remains is a unit, so to speak,
having position; from which, if we abstract position, there is the
conception of unity.

If, then, we abstract all that belongs to bodies and things called
incorporeal, we cast ourselves into the greatness of Christ, and thence
advancing into immensity by holiness, we may reach somehow to the
conception of the Almighty, knowing not what He is, but knowing what He is
not. And form and motion, or standing, or a throne or place, or right hand
or left, are not at all to be conceived as belonging to the Father of the
universe, although it is so written. For what each of these signifies will
be shown in the proper place. The First Cause is not then in space, but
above time and space and name and conception.

(_d_) Origen, _De Principiis_, I, 2:2. (MSG, 11:130.)

    Origen’s doctrine of the “eternal generation of the Son” was of
    primary importance in all subsequent discussions on the Trinity.

Let no one imagine that we mean anything unsubstantial when we call Him
the Wisdom of God; or suppose, for example, that we understand Him to be,
not a living being endowed with wisdom, but something which makes men
wise, giving itself to, and implanting itself in, the minds of those who
are made capable of receiving its virtues and intelligence. If, then, it
is once rightly understood that the only begotten Son of God is His Wisdom
hypostatically [substantialiter] existing, I know not whether our mind
ought to advance beyond this or entertain any suspicion that the
hypostasis or substantia contains anything of a bodily nature, since
everything corporeal is distinguished either by form, or color, or
magnitude. And who in his sound senses ever sought for form, or color, or
size, in wisdom, in respect of its being wisdom? And who that is capable
of entertaining reverential thoughts or feelings regarding God can suppose
or believe that God the Father ever existed, even for a moment of time,
without having generated this Wisdom? For in that case he must say either
that God was unable to generate Wisdom before He produced her, so that He
afterward called into being that which formerly did not exist, or that He
could, but—what is impious to say of God—was unwilling to generate; both
of which suppositions, it is patent to all, are alike absurd and impious:
for they amount to this, either that God advanced from a condition of
inability to one of ability, or that, although possessed of the power, He
concealed it, and delayed the generation of Wisdom. Therefore we have
always held that God is the Father of His only begotten Son, who was born
indeed of Him, and derives from Him, what He is, but without any
beginning, not only such as may be measured by any divisions of time, but
even that which the mind alone contemplates within itself, or beholds, so
to speak, with the naked soul and understanding. And therefore we must
believe that Wisdom was generated before any beginning that can be either
comprehended or expressed.

(_e_) Origen, _De Principiis_, I, 2:10. (MSG, 11:138.)

    Origen’s doctrine of “eternal creation” was based upon reasoning
    similar to that employed to show the eternal generation of the
    Son, but it was rejected by the Church, and figures among the
    heresies known as Origenism. See below, §§ 87, 93.

As no one can be a father without having a son, nor a master without
possessing a servant, so even God cannot be called omnipotent(67) unless
there exists those over whom He may exercise His power; and therefore,
that God may be shown to be almighty it is necessary that all things
should exist. For if any one assumes that some ages or portions of time,
or whatever else he likes to call them, have passed away, while those
things which have been made did not yet exist, he would undoubtedly show
that during those ages or periods God was not omnipotent but became
omnipotent afterward: viz., from the time that He began to have those over
whom He exercised power; and in this way He will appear to have received a
certain increase, and to have risen from a lower to a higher condition;
since there can be no doubt that it is better for Him to be omnipotent
than not to be so. And, now, how can it appear otherwise than absurd, that
when God possessed none of those things which it was befitting for Him to
possess, He should afterward, by a kind of progress, come to have them?
But if there never was a time when He was not omnipotent,(68) of necessity
those things by which He receives that title must also exist; and He must
always have had those over whom He exercised power, and which were
governed by Him either as king or prince, of which we shall speak more
fully when we come to discuss the subject of creatures.

(_f_) Origen, _De Principiis_, II, 9:6. (MSG, 11:230.)

    The theory of pre-existence and the pretemporal fall of each soul
    was the basis of Origen’s theodicy. It caused great offence in
    after years when theology became more stereotyped, and it has
    retained no place in the Church’s thought, for the idea ran too
    clearly counter to the biblical account of the Fall of Adam.

We have frequently shown by those statements which we are able to adduce
from the divine Scriptures that God, the Creator of all things, is good,
and just, and all-powerful. When in the beginning He created all those
beings whom He desired to create, _i.e._, rational natures, He had no
other reason for creating them than on account of Himself, _i.e._, His
goodness. As He himself, then, was the cause of the existence of those
things which were to be created, in whom there was neither any variation
nor change nor want of power, He created all whom He made equal and alike,
because there was no reason for Him to produce variety and diversity. But
since those rational creatures themselves, as we have frequently shown and
will yet show in the proper place, were endowed with the power of free
choice, this freedom of his will incited each one either to progress by
imitation of God or induced him to failure through negligence. And this,
as we have already stated, is the cause of the diversity among rational
creatures, deriving its origin not from the will or judgment of the
Creator, but from the freedom of the individual will. God, however, who
deemed it just to arrange His creatures according to merit, brought down
these differences of understanding into the harmony of one world, that He
might adorn, as it were, one dwelling, in which there ought to be not only
vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay and some, indeed, to
honor and others to dishonor, with those different vessels, or souls, or
understandings. And these are the causes, in my opinion, why that world
presents the aspect of diversity, while Divine Providence continues to
regulate each individual according to the variety of his movements or of
his feelings and purpose. On which account the Creator will neither appear
to be unjust in distributing (for the causes already mentioned) to every
one according to his merits; nor will the happiness or unhappiness of each
one’s birth, or whatever be the condition that falls to his lot, be deemed
accidental; nor will different creators, or souls of different natures, be
believed to exist.

(_g_) Origen, _Homil. in Exod._, VI, 9. (MSG, 12:338.)

    In the following passage from Origen’s _Commentary on Exodus_ and
    the four following passages are stated the essential points of
    Origen’s theory of redemption. In this theory there are two
    elements which have been famous in the history of Christian
    thought: the relation of the death of Christ to the devil, and the
    ultimate salvation of every soul. The theory that Christ’s death
    was a ransom paid to the devil was developed by Gregory of Nyssa
    and Gregory the Great, and reappeared constantly in theology down
    to the scholastic period, when it was overthrown by Anselm and the
    greater scholastics. Universal redemption or salvation, especially
    when it included Satan himself, was never taken up by Church
    theologians to any extent, and was one of the positions condemned
    as Origenism. See § 93.

It is certain, they say, that one does not buy that which is his own. But
the Apostle says: “Ye are bought with a price.” But hear what the prophet
says: “You have been sold as slaves to your sins, and for your iniquities
I have put away your mother.” Thou seest, therefore, that we are the
creatures of God, but each one has been sold to his sins, and has fallen
from his Creator. Therefore we belong to God, inasmuch as we have been
created by Him, but we have become the servants of the devil, inasmuch as
we have been sold to our sins. But Christ came to redeem us when we were
servants to that master to whom we had sold ourselves by sinning.

(_h_) Origen, _Contra Celsum_, VII, 17. (MSG, 11:1445.)

If we consider Jesus in relation to the divinity that was in Him, the
things which He did in this capacity are holy and do not offend our idea
of God; and if we consider Him as a man, distinguished beyond all others
by an intimate communion with the very Word, with Absolute Wisdom, He
suffered as one who was wise and perfect whatever it behooved Him to
suffer, who did all for the good of the human race, yea, even for the good
of all intelligent beings. And there is nothing absurd in the fact that a
man died, and that his death was not only an example of death endured for
the sake of piety, but also the first blow in the conflict which is to
overthrow the power of the evil spirit of the devil, who had obtained
dominion over the whole world. For there are signs of the destruction of
his empire; namely, those who through the coming of Christ are everywhere
escaping from the power of demons, and who after their deliverance from
this bondage in which they were held consecrate themselves to God, and
according to their ability devote themselves day by day to advancement in
a life of piety.

(_i_) Origen, _Homil. in Matt._, XVI, 8. (MSG, 13:1398.)

He did this in service of our salvation so far that He gave His soul a
ransom for many who believed on Him. If all had believed on Him, He would
have given His soul as a ransom for all. To whom did He give His soul as a
ransom for many? Certainly not to God. Then was it not to the Evil One?
For that one reigned over us until the soul of Jesus was given as a ransom
for us. This he had especially demanded, deceived by the imagination that
he could rule over it, and he was not mindful of the fact that he could
not endure the torment connected with holding it fast. Therefore death,
which appeared to reign over Him, did not reign over Him, since He was
“free among the dead” and stronger than the power of death. He is, indeed,
so far superior to it that all who from among those overcome by death will
follow Him can follow Him, as death is unable to do anything against
them.… We are therefore redeemed with the precious blood of Jesus. As a
ransom for us the soul of the Son of God has been given (not His spirit,
for this, according to Luke [_cf._ Luke 23:46] He had previously given to
His Father, saying: “Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit”); also,
not His body, for concerning this we find nothing mentioned. And when He
had given His soul as a ransom for many, He did not remain in the power of
him to whom the ransom was given for many, because it says in the
sixteenth psalm [Psalm 16:10]: “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.”

(_j_) Origen, _De Principiis_, I, 6:3. (MSG, 11:168.)

    The following states in brief the theory of universal salvation.

It is to be borne in mind, however, that certain beings who fell away from
that one beginning of which we have spoken, have given themselves to such
wickedness and malice as to be deemed altogether undeserving of that
training and instruction by which the human race while in the flesh are
trained and instructed with the assistance of the heavenly powers: they
continue, on the contrary, in a state of enmity and opposition to those
who are receiving this instruction and teaching. And hence it is that the
whole life of mortals is full of certain struggles and trials, caused by
the opposition and enmity against us of those who fell from a better
condition without at all looking back, and who are called the devil and
his angels, and other orders of evil, which the Apostle classed among the
opposing powers. But whether any of these orders, who act under the
government of the devil and obey his wicked commands, will be able in a
future world to be converted to righteousness because of their possessing
the faculty of freedom of will, or whether persistent and inveterate
wickedness may be changed by habit into a kind of nature, you, reader, may
decide; yet so that neither in those things which are seen and temporal
nor in those which are unseen and eternal one portion is to differ wholly
from the final unity and fitness of things. But in the meantime, both in
those temporal worlds which are seen, and in those eternal worlds which
are invisible, all those beings are arranged according to a regular plan,
in the order and degree of merit; so that some of them in the first,
others in the second, some even in the last times, after having undergone
heavier and severer punishments, endured for a lengthened period and for
many ages, so to speak, improved by this stern method of training, and
restored at first by the instruction of angels and subsequently advanced
by powers of a higher grade, and thus advancing through each stage to a
better condition, reach even to that which is invisible and eternal,
having travelled by a kind of training through every single office of the
heavenly powers. From which, I think, this will follow as an
inference—that every rational nature can, in passing from one order to
another, go through each to all, and advance from all to each, while made
the subject of various degrees of proficiency and failure, according to
its own actions and endeavors, put forth in the enjoyment of its power of
freedom of will.

(_k_) Origen, _De Principiis_, IV, 9-15. (MSG, 11:360, 363, 373.)


    The method of exegesis known as allegorism, whereby the
    speculations of the Christian theologians were provided with an
    apparently scriptural basis, was taken over from the Jewish and
    Greek philosophers and theologians who employed it in the study of
    their sacred books. Origen, it should be added, contributed not a
    little to a sound grammatical interpretation as well. For
    Porphyry’s criticism of Origen’s methods of exegesis see Eusebius,
    _Hist. Ec._, VI, 19.

Ch. 9. Now the cause, in all the points previously enumerated, of the
false opinions and of the impious statements or ignorant assertions about
God appears to be nothing else than that the Scriptures are not understood
according to their spiritual meaning, but are interpreted according to the
mere letter. And therefore to those who believe that the sacred books are
not the compositions of men, but were composed by the inspirations of the
Holy Spirit, according to the will of the Father of all things through
Jesus Christ, and that they have come down to us, we must point out the
modes of interpretation which appear correct to us, who cling to the
standard of the heavenly Church according to the succession of the
Apostles of Jesus Christ. Now that there are certain mystical economies
made known in the Holy Scriptures, all, even the most simple of those who
adhere to the word, have believed; but what these are, the candid and
modest confess they know not. If, then, one were to be perplexed about the
incest of Lot with his daughters, and about the two wives of Abraham, and
the two sisters married to Jacob, and the two handmaids who bore him
children, they can return no other answer than this—that these are
mysteries not understood by us.…

Ch. 11. The way, then, as it seems to me, in which we ought to deal with
the Scriptures and extract from them their meaning is the following, which
has been ascertained from the sayings [of the Scriptures] themselves. By
Solomon in the Proverbs we find some rule as this enjoined respecting the
teaching of the divine writings, “And do thou portray them in a threefold
manner, in counsel and knowledge, to answer words of truth to them who
propose them to thee” [_cf._ Prov. 22:20 _f._, LXX]. One ought, then, to
portray the ideas of Holy Scripture in a threefold manner upon his soul,
in order that the simple man may be edified by the “flesh,” as it were, of
Scripture, for so we name the obvious sense; while he who has ascended a
certain way may be edified by the “soul,” as it were. The perfect man, and
he who resembles those spoken of by the Apostle, when he says, “We speak
wisdom among them that are perfect, but not the wisdom of the world, nor
of the rulers of this world, who come to nought; but we speak the wisdom
of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God hath ordained before the
ages unto our glory” [I Cor. 2:6, 7], may receive edification from the
spiritual law, which was a shadow of things to come. For as man consists
of body and soul and spirit, so in the same way does the Scripture
consist, which has been arranged by God for the salvation of men.

Ch. 12. But as there are certain passages which do not contain at all the
“corporeal” sense, as we shall show in the following, there are also
places where we must seek only for the “soul,” as it were, and “spirit” of

Ch. 15. But since, if the usefulness of the legislation and the sequence
and beauty of the history were universally evident, we should not believe
that any other thing could be understood in the Scriptures save what was
obvious, the Word of God has arranged that certain stumbling-blocks, and
offences, and impossibilities, should be introduced into the midst of the
law and the history, in order that we may not, through being drawn away in
all directions by the merely attractive nature of the language, either
altogether fall away from the true doctrines, as learning nothing worthy
of God, or, by not departing from the letter, come to the knowledge of
nothing more divine. And this, also, we must know: that, since the
principal aim is to announce the “spiritual” connection in those things
that are done and that ought to be done where the Word found that things
done according to the history could be adapted to these mystic senses, He
made use of them, concealing from the multitude the deeper meaning; but
where in the narrative of the development of super-sensual things there
did not follow the performance of those certain events which was already
indicated by the mystical meaning the Scripture interwove in the history
the account of some event that did not take place, sometimes what could
not have happened; sometimes what could, but did not happen.… And at other
times impossibilities are recorded for the sake of the more skilful and
inquisitive, in order that they may give themselves to the toil of
investigation of what is written, and thus attain to a becoming conviction
of the manner in which a meaning worthy of God must be sought out in such

§ 44. Neo-Platonism

The last phase of Hellenic philosophy was religious. It aimed to combine
the principles of many schools of the earlier period and to present a
metaphysical system that would at once give a theory of being and also
furnish a philosophical basis for the new religious life. This final
philosophy of the antique world was Neo-Platonism. It was thoroughly
eclectic in its treatment of earlier systems, but under Plotinus attained
no small degree of consistency. The emphasis was laid especially upon the
religious problems, and in the system it may be fairly said that the
religious aspirations of heathenism found their highest and purest
expression. Because it was in close touch with current culture and in its
metaphysical principles was closely akin to the philosophy of the Church
teachers, we find Neo-Platonism sometimes a bitter rival of Christianity,
at other times a preparation for the Christian faith, as in the case of
Augustine and Victorinus.

    Additional source material: _Select Works of Plotinus_, translated
    by Thomas Taylor, ed. G. R. S. Mead, London, 1909 (contains
    bibliography of other translations of Plotinus, including those in
    French and German together with a select list of works bearing on
    Neo-Platonism); _Select Works of Porphyry_, trans. by Thomas
    Taylor, London, 1823; Taylor translated much from all the
    Neo-Platonists, but his other books are very scarce. Porphyry’s
    _Epistula ad Marcellam_, trans. by Alice Zimmern, London, 1896.

Porphyry, _Ep. ad Marcellam_, 16-19. _Porphyrii philosophi Platonici
opuscula tria_, rec. A. Nauck, Leipsic, 1860.

    The letter is addressed to Marcella by her husband, the
    philosopher Porphyry. It gives a good idea of the religious and
    ethical character of Neo-Platonism. For the metaphysical aspects
    see Plotinus, translated by T. Taylor. Porphyry was, after
    Plotinus, the greatest of the Neo-Platonists, and brought out most
    clearly those religious elements which were rivals to
    Christianity. His attack upon Christianity was keen and bitter,
    and he was consequently especially hated by the Christians. He
    died at Rome 304.

Ch. 16. You will honor God best when you form your soul to resemble him.
This likeness is only by virtue; for only virtue draws the soul upward
toward its own kind. There is nothing greater with God than virtue; but
God is greater than virtue. But God strengthens him who does what is good;
but of evil deeds a wicked demon is the instigator. Therefore the wicked
soul flees from God and wishes that the foreknowledge of God did not
exist; and from the divine law which punishes all wickedness it shrinks
away completely. But a wise man’s soul is in harmony with God, ever sees
Him, ever is with Him. But if that which rules takes pleasure in that
which is ruled, then God cares for the wise and provides for him; and
therefore is the wise man blessed, because he is under the protection of
God. It is not the discourses of the wise man which are honorable before
God, but his works; for the wise man, even when he keeps silence, honors
God, but the ignorant man, even in praying and sacrificing, dishonors the
Divinity. So the wise man alone is a priest, alone is dear to God, alone
knows how to pray.

Ch. 17. He who practises wisdom practises the knowledge of God; though not
always in prayer and sacrifice, practising piety toward God by his works.
For a man is not rendered agreeable to God by ruling himself according to
the prejudices of men and the vain declamations of the sophists. It is the
man himself who, by his own works, renders himself agreeable to God, and
is deified by the conforming of his own soul to the incorruptible blessed
One. And it is he himself who makes himself impious and displeasing to
God, not suffering evil from God, for the Divinity does only what is good.
It is the man himself who causes his evils by his false beliefs in regard
to God. The impious is not so much he who does not honor the statues of
the gods as he who mixes up with the idea of God the superstitions of the
vulgar. As for thyself, do not hold any unworthy idea of God, of his
blessedness or of his incorruptibility.

Ch. 18. The greatest fruit of piety is this—to honor the Deity according
to our fatherland; not that He has need of anything, but His holy and
happy Majesty invites us to offer Him our homage. Altars consecrated to
God do no harm, and when neglected they render no help. But he who honors
God as needing anything declares, without knowing it, that he is superior
to God. Therefore it is not angering God that harms us, but not knowing
God, for wrath is alien to God, because it is the product of the
involuntary, and there is nothing involuntary in God. Do not then dishonor
the Divinity by human false opinions, for thou wilt not thereby injure the
Being enjoying eternal blessedness, from whose incorruptible nature every
injury is repelled.

Ch. 19. But thou shouldest not think that I say these things when I exhort
to the worship of God; for he who exhorts to this would be ridiculous; as
if it were possible to doubt concerning this; and we do not worship Him
aright doing this thing or thinking that about God.(69) Neither tears nor
supplications turn God from His purpose; nor do sacrifices honor God, nor
the multitude of offerings glorify God, but the godlike mind well governed
enters into union with God. For like is of necessity joined to like. But
the victims of the senseless crowd are food for the flames, and their
offerings are the supplies for a licentious life to the plunderers of
temples. But, as I have said to thee, let the mind within thee be the
temple of God. This must be tended and adorned to become a fit dwelling
for God.

Chapter III. The First General Persecution And Its Consequences

On account of various principles of the Roman law, Christians were always
liable to severe penalties, and parts of the Church occasionally suffered
fearfully. But it was only in exceptional cases and sporadically that the
laws were enforced. There was, accordingly, no prolonged and systematic
effort made to put down Christianity everywhere until the reign of Decius
(249-251). The renewed interest in heathen religions and the revived
patriotism in some circles occasioned in 248 by the celebration of the
thousandth anniversary of the founding of Rome may have contributed to a
renewal of hostilities against the Church. Decius undertook the military
defence of the frontier. His colleague, Valerian, had charge of the
internal affairs of the Empire and was the author of the measures against
the Christians. Because the Church included many who had embraced the
faith in the long period when the Church rarely felt the severity of the
laws, many were unable to endure the persecution, and so apostatized or
“fell.” The persecution continued only for a short time in full intensity,
but it was not abandoned for a number of years. It became violent once
more when Valerian became Emperor (253-260). One result of the
persecutions was the rise of serious disputes, and even schisms, from
differences regarding the administration of discipline by the bishops. In
the case of the Novatians at Rome, a dissenting Church which spread
rapidly over the Empire came into existence and lasted for more than two

§ 45. The Decian-Valerian Persecution

The first persecution which may fairly be said to have been general in
purpose and effect was that falling in the reigns of Decius (249-251) and
Valerian (253-260). Of the course of the persecution we have information
bearing directly upon Carthage, Alexandria, and Asia Minor. But it
probably was felt very generally throughout the Church.

    Additional source material: Cyprian, _De Lapsis_, Epp. 14, 22, 43;
    Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VI, 39-45, VII, 11, 15, 30: for original
    texts see Preuschen, _Analecta_, I, §§ 16, 17; also R. Knopf,
    _Ausgewählte Märtyreracten_ (of these the most reliable are the
    martyrdom of Pionius and of Cyprian).

(_a_) Origen, _Contra Celsum_, III, 15. (MSG, 11:937.)

    Origen, writing about 248, observes the probable approach of a
    period of persecution for the Church.

That it is not the fear of external enemies which strengthens our union is
plain from the fact that this cause, by God’s will, has already ceased for
a considerable time. And it is probable that the secure existence, so far
as this life is concerned, which is enjoyed by believers at present will
come to an end, since those who in every way calumniate the Word [_i.e._,
Christianity] are again attributing the frequency of rebellion to the
multitude of believers and to their not being persecuted by the
authorities, as in former times.

(_b_) Lactantius, _De Mortibus Persecutorum_, 3, 4. (MSL, 7:200.)

    Lucius Cælius Firminianus Lactantius was of African birth. Having
    obtained some local fame as a teacher of rhetoric, he was
    appointed by Diocletian professor of that subject in his new
    capital of Nicomedia. This position Lactantius lost during the
    Diocletian persecution. He was afterward tutor of Crispus, the son
    of Constantine. His work _On the Death of the Persecutors_ is
    written in a bitter spirit, but excellent style. Although in some
    circles it has been customary to impeach the veracity of
    Lactantius, no intentional departure from historical truthfulness,
    apart from rhetorical coloring, which was inevitable, has been
    proved against him. Of late there has been some doubt as to the
    authorship of _De Mortibus Persecutorum_.

Ch. 3. … This long peace, however, was afterward interrupted.

Ch. 4. For after many years there appeared in the world an accursed wild
beast, Decius by name, who should afflict the Church. And who but a bad
man would persecute righteousness? As if for this end he had been raised
up to sovereign eminence, he began at once to rage against God, and at
once to fall. For having undertaken an expedition against the Carpi, who
had then occupied Dacia and Mœsia, he was suddenly surrounded by the
barbarians, and slain, together with a great part of his army; nor could
he be honored with the rights of sepulture, but, stripped and naked, he
lay as food for wild beasts and birds, as became the enemy of God.

(_c_) Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VI, 39. (MSG, 20:660.)

    The Decian persecution and the sufferings of Origen.

Decius succeeded Philip, who had reigned seven years. On account of his
hatred of Philip, Decius commenced a persecution of the churches, in which
Fabianus suffered martyrdom at Rome, and Cornelius succeeded him in the
episcopate. In Palestine, Alexander, bishop of the church of Jerusalem,
was brought again on Christ’s account before the governor’s judgment seat
in Cæsarea, and having acquitted himself nobly in a second confession, was
cast into prison, crowned with the hoary locks of venerable age. And after
his honorable and illustrious confession at the tribunal of the governor,
he fell asleep in prison, and Mazabanes became his successor in the
bishopric of Jerusalem. Babylas in Antioch having, like Alexander, passed
away in prison after his confession, Fabius presided over that church.

But how many and how great things came upon Origen in the persecution, and
what was their final result—as the evil demon marshalled all his forces
and fought against the man with his utmost craft and power, assaulting him
beyond all others against whom he contended at that time; and what and how
many things the man endured for the word of Christ—bonds and bodily
tortures and torments under the iron collar and in the dungeon; and how
for many days with his feet stretched four spaces of the stocks he bore
patiently the threats of fire and whatever other things were inflicted by
his enemies; and how his sufferings terminated, as his judge strove
eagerly with all his might not to end his life; and what words he left
after these things full of comfort to those needing aid, a great many of
his epistles show with truth and accuracy.

(_d_) Cyprian, _De Lapsis_, 8-10. (MSL, 4:486.)

    The many cases of apostasy in the Decian persecution shocked the
    Church inexpressibly. In peace discipline had been relaxed and
    Christian zeal had grown weak. The same phenomena appeared in the
    next great persecution, under Diocletian, after a long period of
    peace. _De Lapsis_ was written in the spring of 251, just after
    the end of the severity of the Decian persecution and Cyprian’s
    return to Carthage. Text in part in Kirch, nn. 227 _ff._

Ch. 8. From some, alas, all these things have fallen away, and have passed
from memory. They indeed did not even wait, that, having been apprehended,
they should go up, or, having been interrogated, they might deny. Many
were conquered before the battle, prostrated without an attack. Nor did
they even leave it to be said for them that they seemed to sacrifice to
idols unwillingly. They ran to the forum of their own accord; freely they
hastened to death, as if they had formerly wished it, as if they would
embrace an opportunity now given which they had always desired. How many
were put off by the magistrates at that time, when evening was coming on!
How many even asked that their destruction might not be delayed! What
violence can such a one plead, how can he purge his crime, when it was he
himself who rather used force that he might perish? When they came
voluntarily to the capitol—when they freely approached to the obedience of
the terrible wickedness—did not their tread falter, did not their sight
darken, their hearts tremble, their arms fall helplessly down, their
senses become dull, their tongues cleave to their mouths, their speech
fail? Could the servant of God stand there, he who had already renounced
the devil and the world, and speak and renounce Christ? Was not that
altar, whither he drew near to die, to him a funeral pile? Ought he not to
shudder at, and flee from, the altar of the devil, which he had seen to
smoke and to be redolent of a foul stench, as it were, a funeral and
sepulchre of his life? Why bring with you, O wretched man, a sacrifice?
Why immolate a victim? You yourself have come to the altar an offering,
yourself a victim; there you have immolated your salvation, your hope;
there you have burned up your faith in those deadly fires.

Ch. 9. But to many their own destruction was not sufficient. With mutual
exhortations the people were urged to their ruin; death was pledged by
turns in the deadly cup. And that nothing might be wanting to aggravate
the crime, infants, also, in the arms of their parents, being either
carried or conducted, lost, while yet little ones, what in the very
beginning of their nativity they had gained. Will not they, when the day
of judgment comes, say: “We have done nothing; nor have we forsaken the
Lord’s bread and cup to hasten freely to a profane contract.…”

Ch. 10. Nor is there, alas, any just and weighty reason which excuses such
a crime. One’s country was to be left, and loss of one’s estate was to be
suffered. Yet to whom that is born and dies is there not a necessity at
some time to leave his country and to suffer loss of his estate? But let
not Christ be forsaken, so that the loss of salvation and of an eternal
home should be feared.

(_e_) Cyprian, _De Lapsis_, 28. (MSL, 4:501.)

    Those who did not actually sacrifice in the tests that were
    applied to Christians, but by bribery had procured certificates
    that they had sacrificed, were known as _libellatici_. It was to
    the credit of the Christian moral feeling that this subterfuge was
    not admitted.

Nor let those persons flatter themselves that they need repent the less
who, although they have not polluted their hands with abominable
sacrifices, yet have defiled their consciences with certificates. That
profession of one who denies is the testimony of a Christian disowning
what he has been. He says he has done what another has actually committed,
and although it is written, “Ye cannot serve two masters” [Matt. 6:24], he
has served an earthly master in that he has obeyed his edict; he has been
more obedient to human authority than to God.

(_f_) _A Libellus._ From a papyrus found at Fayum.

    The text may be found in Kirch, n. 207. This is the actual
    certificate which a man suspected of being a Christian obtained
    from the commission appointed to carry out the edict of
    persecution. It has been preserved these many centuries in the dry
    Egyptian climate, and is with some others, which are less perfect,
    among the most interesting relics of the ancient Church.

Presented to the Commission for the Sacrifices in the village of Alexander
Island, by Aurelius Diogenes, the son of Satabus, of the village of
Alexander Island, about seventy-two years of age, with a scar on the right

I have at other times always offered to the gods as well as also now in
your presence, and according to the regulations have offered, sacrificed,
and partaken of the sacrificial meal; and I pray you to attest this.
Farewell. I, Aurelius Diogenes, have presented this.

[In a second hand.]

I, Aurelius Syrus, testify as being present that Diogenes sacrificed with

[First hand.]

First year of the Emperor Cæsar Gaius Messius Quintus Trajanus Decius,
pious, happy, Augustus, 2d day of Epiphus. [June 25, 250.]

(_g_) Cyprian, _Epistula 80_ (=82). (MSL, 4:442.)

    The date of this epistle is 257-258, at the outbreak of the
    Valerian persecution, a revival of the Decian. It was therefore
    shortly before Cyprian’s death.

Cyprian to his brother Successus, greeting. The reason why I write to you
at once, dearest brother, is that all the clergy are placed in the heat of
the contest and are unable in any way to depart hence, for all of them are
prepared, in accordance with the devotion of their mind, for divine and
heavenly glory. But you should know that those have come back whom I sent
to Rome to find out and bring us the truth concerning what had in any
manner been decreed respecting us. For many, various, and uncertain things
are currently reported. But the truth concerning them is as follows:
Valerian has sent a rescript to the Senate, to the effect that bishops,
presbyters, and deacons should be immediately punished; but that senators,
men of rank, and Roman knights should lose their dignity and be deprived
of their property; and if, when their property has been taken away, they
should persist in being Christians, that they should then also lose their
heads; but that matrons should be deprived of their property and banished.
Moreover, people of Cæsar’s household, who had either confessed before or
should now confess, should have their property confiscated, and be sent in
chains and assigned to Cæsar’s estates. The Emperor Valerian also added to
his address a copy of the letters he prepared for the presidents of the
provinces coercing us. These letters we are daily hoping will come, and we
are waiting, according to the strength of our faith, for the endurance of
suffering and expecting from the help and mercy of the Lord the crown of
eternal life. But know that Sixtus was punished [_i.e._, martyred] in the
cemetery on the eighth day of the ides of August, and with him four
deacons. The prefects of the city, furthermore, are daily urging on this
persecution; so that if any are presented to them they are punished and
their property confiscated.

I beg that these things be made known by you to the rest of our
colleagues, that everywhere by their exhortations the brotherhood may be
strengthened and prepared for the spiritual conflict, that every one may
think less of death than of immortality, and dedicated to the Lord with
full faith and courage, they may rejoice rather than fear in this
confession, wherein they know that the soldiers of God and Christ are not
slain, but crowned. I bid you, dearest brother, ever farewell in the Lord.

§ 46. Effects of the Persecution upon the Inner Life of the Church

The persecution developed the popular opinion of the superior sanctity of
martyrdom. This was itself no new idea, having grown up in the Church from
the time of Ignatius of Antioch, but it now received new applications and
developments (_a_, _b_). See also § 42, _d_, and below for problems
arising from the place the martyrs attempted to take in the organization
of the Church and the administration of discipline. This claim of the
martyrs was successfully overcome by the bishops, especially under
Cyprian’s leadership and example. But in the administration of discipline
there were sure to arise difficulties and questions, _e.g._, Was there a
distinction to be made in favor of those who had escaped without actually
sacrificing? (_c_). No matter what policy was followed by the bishop,
there was the liability of the rise of a party in opposition to him. If he
was strict, a party advocating laxity appeared, as in the case of
Felicissimus at Carthage; if he was milder in policy, a party would call
for greater rigor, as in the case of Novatian at Rome (_e_).

    Additional source material: Cyprian, _Ep._ 39-45, 51 (ANF, V);
    Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VI, 43, 45.

(_a_) Origen, _Exhortatio ad Martyrium_, 30, 50. (MSG, 11:601, 636.)

    An estimate of the importance and value of martyrdom.

    The _Exhortation to Martyrdom_ was addressed by Origen to his
    friend and patron Ambrosius, and to Protoctetus, a presbyter of
    Cæsarea, who were in great danger during the persecution
    undertaken by Maximinus Thrax (235-238). It was probably written
    in the reign of that Emperor.

Ch. 30. We must remember that we have sinned and that it is impossible to
obtain forgiveness of sins without baptism, and that according to the
evangelical laws it is impossible to be baptized a second time with water
and the Spirit for the forgiveness of sins, and therefore the baptism of
martyrdom is given us. For thus it has been called, as may be clearly
gathered from the passage: “Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of, and
be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” [Mark 10:38]. And
in another place it is said: “But I have a baptism to be baptized with;
and how am I straightened until it be accomplished!” [Luke 12:50]. For be
sure that just as the expiation of the cross was for the whole world, it
(the baptism of martyrdom) is for the cure of many who are thereby
cleansed. For as according to the law of Moses those placed near the altar
are seen to minister forgiveness of sins to others through the blood of
bulls and goats, so the souls of those who have suffered on account of the
testimony of Jesus are not in vain near that altar in heaven [_cf._ Rev.
6:9 _ff._], but minister forgiveness of sins to those who pray. And at the
same time we know that just as the high priest, Jesus Christ, offered
himself as a sacrifice, so the priests, of whom He is the high priest,
offer themselves as sacrifices, and on account of this sacrifice they are
at the altar as in their proper place.

Ch. 50. Just as we have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ,
who received the name that is above every name, so by the precious blood
of the martyrs will others be redeemed.

(_b_) Origen, _Homil. ad Num._, X, 2. (MSG, 12:658.)

    Of Origen’s homilies on the Pentateuch only a few fragments of the
    Greek text remain. We have them, however, in a Latin translation
    or paraphrase made by Rufinus. The twenty-eight homilies on
    Numbers were written after A. D. 244.

Concerning the martyrs, the Apostle John writes in the Apocalypse that the
souls of those who have been slain for the name of the Lord Jesus are
present at the altar; but he who is present at the altar is shown to
perform the duties of priest. But the duty of a priest is to make
intercession for the sins of the people. Wherefore I fear, lest,
perchance, inasmuch as there are made no martyrs, and sacrifices of saints
are not offered for our sins, we will not receive remission of our sins.
And therefore I fear, lest our sins remaining in us, it may happen to us
what the Jews said of themselves, that not having an altar, nor a temple,
nor priesthood, and therefore not offering sacrifices, our sins remain in
us, and so no forgiveness is obtained.… And therefore the devil, knowing
that remission of sins is obtained by the passion of martyrdom, is not
willing to raise public persecutions against us by the heathen.

(_c_) Cyprian, _Epistula 55_, 14 (=51). (MSL, 3:805.)

    The opinion of the Church as to the _libellatici_. The date is 251
    or 252.

Since there is much difference between those who have sacrificed, what a
want of mercy it is, and how bitter is the hardship, to associate those
who have received certificates with those who have sacrificed, when he who
has received the certificate may say, “I had previously read and had been
informed by the discourse of the bishop that we ought not to sacrifice to
idols, that the servant of God ought not to worship images; and therefore
that I might not do this which is not lawful, when the opportunity of
receiving a certificate was offered (and I would not have received it, if
the opportunity had not been offered) I either went or charged some one
other person going to the magistrate to say that I am a Christian, that I
am not allowed to sacrifice, that I cannot come to the devil’s altars, and
that I will pay a price for this purpose, that I may not do what is not
lawful for me to do”! Now, however, even he who is stained by a
certificate, after he has learned from our admonitions that he ought not
to have done even this, and though his hand is pure, and no contact of
deadly food has polluted his lips, yet his conscience is nevertheless
polluted, weeps when he hears us, and laments, and is now admonished for
the things wherein he has sinned, and having been deceived, not so much by
guilt as by error, bears witness that for another time he is instructed
and prepared.

(_d_) _Epistula pacis_, Cyprian, _Epistula 16_. (MSL, 4:268.) _Cf._ Kirch,
n. 241.

    This brief Letter of Peace is a specimen of the forms that were
    being issued by the confessors, and which a party in the Church
    regarded as mandatory upon the bishops. These Cyprian strenuously
    and successfully resisted. See also Cyprian, _Ep. 21_, in ANF, V,

All the confessors to Cyprian, pope,(70) greeting. Know that we all have
given peace to those concerning whom an account has been rendered you as
to what they have done since they committed their sin; and we wish to make
this rescript known through you to the other bishops. We desire you to
have peace with the holy martyrs. Lucianus has written this, there being
present of the clergy an exorcist and a lector.

(_e_) Cyprian, _Epistula 43_, 2, 3. (MSL, 4:342.)

    The schism of Felicissimus was occasioned by the position taken by
    Cyprian in regard to the admission of the _lapsi_ in the Decian
    persecution. But it was at the same time the outcome of an
    opposition to Cyprian of longer standing, on account of jealousy,
    as he had only recently become a Christian when he was made bishop
    of Carthage.

Ch. 2. It has appeared whence came the faction of Felicissimus, on what
root and by what strength it stood. These men supplied in a former time
encouragements and exhortations to confessors, not to agree with their
bishop, not to maintain the ecclesiastical discipline faithfully and
quietly, according to the Lord’s precepts, not to keep the glory of their
confession with an uncorrupt and unspotted mode of life. And lest it
should have been too little to have corrupted the minds of certain
confessors and to have wished to arm a portion of our broken fraternity
against God’s priesthood, they have now applied themselves with their
envenomed deceitfulness to the ruin of the lapsed, to turn away from the
healing of their wound the sick and the wounded, and those who, by the
misfortune of their fall, are less fit and less able to take stronger
counsels; and having left off prayers and supplications, whereby with long
and continued satisfaction the Lord is to be appeased, they invite them by
the deceit of a fallacious peace to a fatal rashness.

Ch. 3. But I pray you, brethren, watch against the snares of the devil,
and being careful for your own salvation, guard diligently against this
deadly deceit. This is another persecution and another temptation. Those
five presbyters are none other than the five leaders who were lately
associated with the magistrates in an edict that they might overthrow our
faith, that they might turn away the feeble hearts of the brethren to
their deadly nets by the perversion of the truth. Now the same scheme, the
same overturning, is again brought about by the five presbyters, linked
with Felicissimus, to the destruction of salvation, that God should not be
besought, and that he who has denied Christ should not appeal for mercy to
the same Christ whom he has denied; that after the fault of the crime
repentance also should be taken away; and that satisfaction should not be
made through bishops and priests, but, the Lord’s priests being forsaken,
a new tradition of sacrilegious appointment should arise contrary to the
evangelical discipline. And although it was once arranged as well by us as
by the confessors and the clergy of the city,(71) likewise by all the
bishops located either in our province or beyond the sea [_i.e._, Italy],
that there should be no innovations regarding the case of the lapsed
unless we all assembled in one place, and when our counsels had been
compared we should then decide upon some moderate sentence, tempered alike
with discipline and with mercy; against this, our counsel, they have
rebelled and all priestly authority has been destroyed by factious

(_f_) Eusebius, _Hist. Ec_., VI, 43. (MSG, 20:616.)

    The schism of Novatian at Rome was occasioned by the question of
    discipline of the lapsed. While the schism of Felicissimus was in
    favor of more lenient treatment of those who had fallen, the
    schism of Novatian was in favor of greater strictness. The sect of
    Novatians, named after the founder, Novatus or Novatianus, lasted
    for more than two centuries.

Novatus [Novatianus], a presbyter at Rome, being lifted up with arrogance
against these persons, as if there was no longer for them a hope of
salvation, not even if they should do all things pertaining to a pure and
genuine conversion, became the leader of the heresy of those who in the
pride of their imagination style themselves Cathari.(72) Thereupon a very
large synod assembled at Rome, of bishops in number sixty, and a great
many more presbyters and deacons; and likewise the pastors of the
remaining provinces deliberated in their places by themselves concerning
what ought to be done. A decree, accordingly, was confirmed by all that
Novatus and those who joined with him, and those who adopted his
brother-hating and inhuman opinion, should be considered by the Church as
strangers; but that they should heal such of the brethren as had fallen
into misfortune, and should minister to them with the medicines of
repentance. There have come down to us epistles of Cornelius, bishop of
Rome, to Fabius, of the church at Antioch, which show what was done at the
synod at Rome, and what seemed best to all those in Italy and Africa and
the regions thereabout. Also other epistles, written in the Latin
language, of Cyprian and those with him in Africa, by which it is shown
that they agreed as to the necessity of succoring those who had been
tempted, and of cutting off from the Catholic Church the leader of the
heresy and all that joined him.

Chapter IV. The Period Of Peace For The Church: A. D. 260 To A. D. 303

After the Decian-Valerian persecution (250-260) the Church enjoyed a long
peace, rarely interrupted anywhere by hostile measures, until the outbreak
of the second great general persecution, under Diocletian (303-313), a
space of over forty years. In this period the Church cast off the chiliasm
which had lingered as a part of a primitive Jewish conception of
Christianity (§ 47), and adapted itself to the actual condition of this
present world. Under the influence of scientific theology, especially that
of the Alexandrian school, the earlier forms of Monarchianism disappeared
from the Church, and the discussion began to narrow down to the position
which it eventually assumed in the Arian controversy (§ 48). Corresponding
to the development of the theology went that of the cultus of the Church,
and already in the West abiding characteristics appeared (§ 49). The
cultus and the disciplinary work of the bishops advanced in turn the
hierarchical organization of the Church and the place of the bishops (§
50), but the theory of local episcopal autonomy and the universalistic
tendencies of the see of Rome soon came into sharp conflict (§ 51),
especially over the validity of baptism administered by heretics (§ 52).
In this discussion the North African Church assumed a position which
subsequently became the occasion of the most serious schism of the ancient
Church, or Donatism. In this period, also, is to be set the rise of
Christian Monasticism as distinguished from ordinary Christian asceticism
(§ 53). At the same time, a dangerous rival of Christianity appeared in
the East, in the form of Manichæanism, in which were absorbed nearly all
the remnants of earlier Gnosticism (§ 54).

§ 47. The Chiliastic Controversy

During the third century the belief in chiliasm as a part of the Church’s
faith died out in nearly all parts of the Church. It did not seem called
for by the condition of the Church, which was rapidly adjusting itself to
the world in which it found itself. The scientific theology, especially
that of Alexandria, found no place in its system for such an article as
chiliasm. The belief lingered, however, in country places, and with it
went no little opposition to the “scientific” exegesis which by means of
allegory explained away the promises of a millennial kingdom. The only
account we have of this so-called “Chiliastic Controversy” is found in
connection with the history of the schism of Nepos in Egypt given by
Eusebius, But it may be safely assumed that the condition of things here
described was not peculiar to any one part of the Church, though an open
schism resulting from the conflict of the old and new ideas is not found

    Additional source material: Origen, _De Principiis_, II, 11 (ANF,
    IV); Lactantius, _Divini Institutiones_, VII, 14-26 (ANF, VII);
    Methodius, _Symposium_, IX, 5 (ANF, VI); _v. infra_, § 48.

Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VII, 24. (MSG, 20:693.)

    Dionysius was bishop of Alexandria 248-265, after serving as the
    head of the Catechetical School, a position which he does not seem
    to have resigned on being advanced to the episcopate. His work _On
    the Promises_ has, with the exception of fragments preserved by
    Eusebius, perished, as has also the work of Nepos, _Against the
    Allegorists_. The date of the work of Nepos is not known. That of
    the work of Dionysius is placed conjecturally at 255. The
    “Allegorists,” against whom Nepos wrote, were probably Origen and
    his school, who developed more consistently and scientifically the
    allegorical method of exegesis; see above, § 43, _k_.

Besides all these, the two books _On the Promises_ were prepared by him
[Dionysius]. The occasion of these was Nepos, a bishop in Egypt, who
taught that the promises made to the holy men in the divine Scriptures
should be understood in a more Jewish manner, and that there would be a
certain millennium of bodily luxury upon this earth. As he thought that he
could establish his private opinion by the Revelation of John, he wrote a
book on this subject, entitled _Refutation of Allegorists_. Dionysius
opposes this in his books _On the Promises_. In the first he gives his own
opinion of the dogma; and in the second he treats of the Revelation of
John,(73) and, mentioning Nepos at the beginning, writes of him as

“But since they bring forward a certain work of Nepos, on which they rely
confidently, as if it proved beyond dispute that there will be a reign of
Christ upon earth, I confess that in many other respects I approve and
love Nepos for his faith and industry and his diligence in the Scriptures,
and for his extensive psalmody with which many of the brethren are still
delighted; and I hold the man in the more reverence because he has gone
before us to rest.… But as some think his work very plausible, and as
certain teachers regard the law and the prophets as of no consequence, and
do not follow the Gospels, and treat lightly the apostolic epistles, while
they make promises as to the teaching of this work as if it were some
great hidden mystery, and do not permit our simpler brethren to have any
sublime and lofty thoughts concerning the glorious and truly divine
appearing of our Lord and our resurrection from the dead, and our being
gathered together unto Him, and made like Him, but, on the contrary, lead
them to a hope for small things and mortal things in the kingdom of God,
and for things such as exist now—since this is the case, it is necessary
that we should dispute with our brother Nepos as if he were present.”
Farther on he says:

“When I was in the district of Arsinoe, where, as you know, this doctrine
has prevailed for a long time, so that schisms and apostasies of entire
churches have resulted, I called together the presbyters and teachers of
the brethren in the villages—such brethren as wished being present—and I
exhorted them to make a public examination of this question. Accordingly
when they brought me this book, as if it were a weapon and fortress
impregnable, sitting with them from morning till evening for three
successive days, I endeavored to correct what was written in it.… And
finally the author and mover of this teaching, who was called Coracion, in
the hearing of all the brethren present acknowledged and testified to us
that he would no longer hold this opinion, nor discuss it, nor mention it,
nor teach it, as he was fully convinced by the arguments against it.”

§ 48. Theology of the Second Half of the Third Century under the Influence
of Origen

By the second half of the third century theology had become a speculative
and highly technical science (_a_), and under the influence of Origen, the
Logos theology, as opposed to various forms of Monarchianism (_b_), had
become universal. Under this influence, Paul of Samosata, reviving
Dynamistic Monarchianism, modified it by combining with it elements of the
Logos theology (_c-e_). At the same time there was in various parts of the
Church a continuation of the Asia Minor theological tradition, such as had
found expression in Irenæus. A representative of this theology was
Methodius of Olympus (_f_).

    Additional source material: Athanasius, _De Sent. Dionysii_ (PNF,
    ser. II, vol. IV).

(_a_) Gregory Thaumaturgus, _Confession of Faith_. (MSG, 46:912)

    Gregory Thaumaturgus, or the Wonder-worker, was born about 213 in
    Neo-Cæsarea in Pontus. He studied under Origen at Cæsarea in
    Palestine from 233 to 235, and became one of the leading
    representatives of the Origenistic theology, representing the
    orthodox development of that school, as distinguished from Paul of
    Samosata and Lucian.

    The following Confession of Faith is found only in the _Life of
    Gregory Thaumaturgus_, by Gregory of Nyssa. (MSG, 46: 909 _f._)
    Its genuineness is now generally admitted; see Hahn, _op. cit._, §
    185. According to a legend, it was communicated to Gregory in a
    vision by St. John on the request of the Blessed Virgin. It
    represents the speculative tendency of Origenism and current
    theology after the rise of the Alexandrian school. It should be
    noted that it differs markedly from other confessions of faith in
    not employing biblical language.

There is one God, the Father of the living Word, His substantive Wisdom,
Power, and Eternal Image, the perfect Begetter of the perfect One, the
Father of the Only begotten Son.

There is one Lord, only One from only One, God from God, the image and
likeness of the Godhead, the active Word, The Wisdom which comprehends the
constitution of all things, and the Power which produced all creation; the
true Son of the true Father, Invisible of Invisible, and Incorruptible of
Incorruptible, and Immortal of Immortal, and Everlasting of Everlasting.

And there is one Holy Spirit having His existence from God, and manifested
by the Son [namely, to men],(74) the perfect likeness of the perfect Son,
Life and Cause of the living [the sacred Fount], Sanctity, Leader of
sanctification, in whom is revealed God the Father, who is over all and in
all, and God the Son, who is through all; a perfect Trinity(75) not
divided nor differing in glory and eternity and sovereignty.

There is, therefore, nothing created or subservient in the Trinity, nor
introduced as if not there before, but coming afterward; for there never
was a time when the Son was lacking to the Father, nor the Spirit to the
Son, but the same Trinity is ever unvarying and unchangeable.

(_b_) Athanasius, _De Sent. Dionysii_, 4, 5, 6, 13-15. (MSG, 25:484 f.,
497 f.)

    What has been called the “Controversy of the two Dionysii” was in
    reality no controversy. Dionysius of Alexandria [_v. supra_, § 48]
    wrote a letter to the Sabellians near Cyrene, pointing out the
    distinction of the Father and the Son. In it he used language
    which was, to say the least, indiscreet. Complaint was made to
    Dionysius, bishop of Rome, that the bishop of Alexandria did not
    hold the right view of the relation of the Son to the Father and
    of the divinity of the Son. Thereupon, Dionysius of Rome wrote to
    Dionysius of Alexandria. In reply, Dionysius of Alexandria pointed
    out at length, in a _Refutation and Defence_, his actual opinion
    on the matter as a whole, rather than as merely opposed to
    Modalistic Monarchianism or Sabellianism. The course of the
    discussion is sufficiently clear from the extracts. Athanasius is
    writing in answer to the Arians, who had appealed to the letter of
    Dionysius in support of their opinion that the Son was a creature,
    and that there was when He was not [_v. infra_, § 63]. His work,
    from which the following extracts are taken, was written between
    350 and 354.

Ch. 4. They (the Arians) say, then, that in a letter the blessed Dionysius
has said: “The Son of God is a creature and made, and not His own by
nature, but in essence alien from the Father, just as the husbandman is
from the vine, or the shipbuilder is from the boat; for that, being a
creature, He was not before He came to be.” Yes. He wrote it, and we, too,
admit that such was his letter. But as he wrote this, so also he wrote
very many other epistles, which ought to be read by them, so that from all
and not from one merely the faith of the man might be discovered.

Ch. 5. At that time [_i.e._, when Dionysius wrote against the Sabellians]
certain of the bishops of Pentapolis in Upper Libya were of the opinion of
Sabellius. And they were so successful with their opinion that the Son of
God was scarcely preached any longer in the churches. Dionysius heard of
this, as he had charge of those churches (_cf._ Canon 6, Nicæa, 325; see
below, § 72), and sent men to counsel the guilty ones to cease from their
false doctrine. As they did not cease but waxed more shameless in their
impiety, he was compelled to meet their shameless conduct by writing the
said letter and to define from the Gospels the human nature of the
Saviour, in order that, since those men waxed bolder in denying the Son
and in ascribing His human actions to the Father, he accordingly, by
demonstrating that it was not the Father but the Son that was made man for
us, might persuade the ignorant persons that the Father is not the Son,
and so by degrees lead them to the true godhead of the Son and the
knowledge of the Father.

Ch. 6. … If in his writings he is inconsistent, let them [_i.e._, the
Arians] not draw him to their side, for on this assumption he is not
worthy of credit. But if, when he had written his letter to Ammonius, and
fallen under suspicion, he made his defence, bettering what he had said
previously, defending himself, but not changing, it must be evident that
he wrote what fell under suspicion by way of “accommodation.”

Ch. 13. The following is the occasion of his writing the other letters.
When Bishop Dionysius had heard of the affairs in Pentapolis and had
written in zeal for religion, as I have said, his letter to Euphranor and
Ammonius against the heresy of Sabellius, some of the brethren belonging
to the Church, who held a right opinion, but did not ask him so as to
learn from himself what he had written, went up to Rome and spake against
him in the presence of his namesake, Dionysius, bishop of Rome. And the
latter, upon hearing it, wrote simultaneously against the adherents of
Sabellius and against those who held the same opinions for uttering which
Arius was cast out of the Church; and he called it an equal and opposite
impiety to hold with Sabellius or with those who say that the Word of God
is a creature, framed and originated. And he wrote also to Dionysius
[_i.e._, of Alexandria] to inform him of what they had said about him. And
the latter straightway wrote back and inscribed a book entitled _A
Refutation and a Defence_.

Ch. 14. … In answer to these charges he writes, after certain prefatory
matter in the first book of the work entitled _A Refutation and a
Defence_, in the following terms:

Ch. 15. “For never was there a time when God was not a Father.” And this
he acknowledges in what follows, “that Christ is forever, being Word and
Wisdom and Power. For it is not to be supposed that God, having at first
no issue, afterward begat a Son. But the Son has his being not of Himself,
but of the Father.”

(_c_) Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VII, 27, 29, 30. (MSG, 25:705.)

    The deposition of Paul of Samosata.

    The controversy concerning Paul’s doctrinal views is sufficiently
    set forth in the extract from Eusebius given below. Paul was
    bishop of Antioch from about 260 to 268. His works have perished,
    with the exception of a few fragments. The importance of Paul is
    that in his teaching is to be found an attempt to combine the
    Logos theology of Origen with Dynamistic Monarchianism, with
    results that appeared later in Arianism, on the one hand, and
    Nestorianism, it is thought, on the other.

Ch. 27. After Sixtus had presided over the church of Rome eleven years,
Dionysius, namesake of him of Alexandria, succeeded him. About that time
Demetrianus died in Antioch, and Paul of Samosata received that
episcopate. As he held low and degraded views of Christ, contrary to the
teaching of the Church, namely, that in his nature He was a common man,
Dionysius of Alexandria was entreated to come to the synod. But being
unable to come on account of age and physical weakness, he gave his
opinion on the subject under consideration by a letter. But the other
pastors of the churches assembled from all directions, as against a
despoiler of the flock of Christ, all making haste to reach Antioch.

Ch. 29. During his [Aurelian’s, 270-275] reign a final synod composed of a
great many bishops was held, and the leader of heresy in Antioch was
detected and his false doctrine clearly shown before all, and he was
excommunicated from the Catholic Church under heaven. Malchion especially
drew him out from his hiding-place and refuted him. He was a man learned
also in other matters, and principal of the sophist school of Grecian
learning in Antioch; yet on account of the superior nobility of his faith
in Christ he had been made a presbyter of that parish [_i.e._, diocese].
This man, having conducted a discussion with him, which was taken down by
stenographers, and which we know is still extant, was alone able to detect
the man who dissembled and deceived others.

Ch. 30. The pastors who had assembled about this matter prepared by common
consent an epistle addressed to Dionysius, bishop of Rome, and Maximus of
Alexandria, and sent it to all the provinces.…

After other things they describe as follows the manner of life which he
led: “Whereas he has departed from the rule [_i.e._, of faith], and has
turned aside after base and spurious teachings, it is not necessary—since
he is without—that we should pass judgment upon his practices: as for
instance … in that he is haughty and is puffed up, and assumes worldly
dignities, preferring to be called ducenarius rather than bishop; and
struts in the market-places, reading letters and reciting them as he walks
in public, attended by a bodyguard, with a multitude preceding and
following him, so that the faith is envied and hated on account of his
pride and haughtiness of heart, … or that he violently and coarsely
assails in public the expounders of the Word that have departed this life,
and magnifies himself, not as bishop, but as a sophist and juggler, and
stops the psalms to our Lord Jesus Christ as being novelties and the
productions of modern men, and trains women to sing psalms to himself in
the midst of the church on the great day of the passover.… He is unwilling
to acknowledge that the Son of God came down from heaven. (And this is no
mere assertion, but is abundantly proved from the records which we have
sent you; and not least where he says, ‘Jesus Christ is from below.’)… And
there are the women, the ‘_subintroductæ_,’ as the people of Antioch call
them, belonging to him and to the presbyters and deacons with him.
Although he knows and has convicted these men, yet he connives at this and
their incurable sins, in order that they may be bound to him, and through
fear for themselves may not dare to accuse him for his wicked words and

As Paul had fallen from the episcopate, as well as from the orthodox
faith, Domnus, as has been said, succeeded to the service of the church at
Antioch [_i.e._, became bishop]. But as Paul refused to surrender the
church building, the Emperor Aurelian was petitioned; and he decided the
matter most equitably, ordering the building to be given to those to whom
the bishops of Italy and of the city of Rome should adjudge it. Thus this
man was driven out of the Church, with extreme disgrace, by the worldly

Such was Aurelian’s attitude toward us at that time; but in the course of
time he changed his mind in regard to us, and was moved by certain
advisers to institute a persecution against us. And there was great talk
about it everywhere. But as he was about to do it, and was, so to speak,
in the very act of signing the decrees against us, the divine judgment
came upon him and restrained him at the very verge of his undertaking.

(_d_) Malchion of Antioch, _Disputation with Paul_. (MSG, 10:247-260.)

    The doctrine of Paul of Samosata.

    The following fragments are from the disputation of Malchion with
    Paul at the Council of Antioch, 268 [see extract from Eusebius,
    _Hist. Ec._, VII, 27, 29, 30; see above (_c_)], which Malchion is
    said to have revised and published. The passages may be found also
    in Routh, _Reliquiæ Sacræ_, second ed., III, 300 _ff._ Fragments
    I-III are from the work of the Emperor Justinian, _Contra
    Monophysitas_; fragment IV is from the work of Leontius of
    Byzantium, _Adversus Nestorianos et Eutychianos_.

I. The Logos became united with Him who was born of David, who is Jesus,
who was begotten of the Holy Ghost. And Him the Virgin bore by the Holy
Spirit; but God generated that Logos without the Virgin or any one else
than God, and thus the Logos exists.

II. The Logos was greater than Christ. Christ became greater through
Wisdom, that we might not overthrow the dignity of Wisdom.

III. In order that the Anointed, who was from David, might not be a
stranger to Wisdom, and that Wisdom might not dwell so largely in another.
For it was in the prophets, and more in Moses, and in many the Lord was,
but more also in Christ as in a temple. For Jesus Christ was one and the
Logos was another.

IV. He who appeared was not Wisdom, for He could not be found in an
outward form, neither in the appearance of a man; for He is greater than
all things visible.

(_e_) Paul of Samosata, _Orationes ad Sabinum_, Routh, _op. cit._, III,

    The doctrine of Paul.

    Paul’s work addressed to Sabinus has perished with the exception
    of a few fragments. See Routh, _op. cit._

I. Thou shouldest not wonder that the Saviour had one will with God; for
just as nature shows us a substance becoming one and the same out of many
things, so the nature of love makes one and the same will out of many
through a manifest preference.

II. He who was born holy and righteous, having by His struggle and
sufferings overcome the sin of our progenitors, and having succeeded in
all things, was united in character to God, since He had preserved one and
the same effort and aim as He for the promotion of things that are good;
and since He has preserved this inviolate, His name is called that above
every name, the prize of love having been freely bestowed upon Him.

(_f_) Epiphanius, _Panarion_, _Hær._ LXV. (MSG, 42:12.)

    The doctrine of Paul of Samosata.

    Epiphanius was bishop of Salamis, 367-403. His works are chiefly
    polemical and devoted to the refutation of all heresies, of which
    he gives accounts at some length. He is a valuable, though not
    always reliable, source for many otherwise unknown heresies. In
    the present case we have passages from Paul’s own writings that
    confirm and supplement the statements of the hereseologist.

He [Paul of Samosata] says that God the Father and the Son and the Holy
Spirit are one God, that in God is always His Word and His Spirit, as in a
man’s heart is his own reason; that the Son of God does not exist in a
hypostasis, but in God himself.… That the Logos came and dwelt in Jesus,
who was a man. And thus he says God is one, neither is the Father the
Father, nor the Son the Son, nor the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit, but
rather the one God is Father and in Him is his Son, as the reason is in a
man.… But he did not say with Noetus that the Father suffered, but only,
said he, the Logos came and energized and went back to the Father.

(_g_) Methodius of Olympus, _Symposium_, III, 4, 8. (MSG, 18:65, 73.)

    The theology of Origen was not suffered to go without being
    challenged by those who could not accept some of his extreme
    statements. Among those opposed to him were Peter, bishop of
    Alexandria, and Methodius, bishop of Olympus. Both were strongly
    influenced by Origen, but the denial of a bodily resurrection and
    the eternity of the creation were too offensive. The more
    important of the two is Methodius, who combined a strong
    anti-Origenistic position on these two points with that
    “recapitulation” theory of redemption which has been called the
    Asia Minor type of theology and is represented also by Irenæus;
    see above, § 27. He has been called the author of the “theology of
    the future,” with reference to his relation to Athanasius, in that
    he laid the foundation for a doctrine of redemption which
    superseded that of the old Alexandrian school, and became
    established in the East under the lead of Athanasius and the
    Nicene divines generally.

    Methodius was bishop of Olympus, in Lycia. The statements that he
    also held other sees are unreliable. He died in 311 as a martyr.
    Nothing else is known with certainty as to his life. Of his
    numerous and well-written works, only one, _The Banquet_, or
    _Symposium_, has been preserved entire. His work _On the
    Resurrection_ is most strongly opposed to Origen and his denial of
    the bodily resurrection.

Ch. 4. For let us consider how rightly he [Paul] compared Adam to Christ,
not only considering him to be the type and image, but also that Christ
Himself became the very same thing, because the Eternal Word fell upon
Him. For it was fitting that the first-born of God, the first shoot, the
Only begotten, even the Wisdom [of God], should be joined to the
first-formed man, and first and first-born of men, and should become
incarnate. And this was Christ, a man filled with the pure and perfect
Godhead, and God received into man. For it was most suitable that the
oldest of the Æons and the first of the archangels, when about to hold
communion with men, should dwell in the oldest and first of men, even
Adam. And thus, renovating those things which were from the beginning, and
forming them again of the Virgin by the Spirit, He frames the same just as
at the beginning.

Ch. 8. The Church could not conceive believers and give them new birth by
the laver of regeneration unless Christ, emptying Himself for their sakes,
that He might be contained by them, as I said, through the recapitulation
of His passion, should die again, coming down from heaven, and, being
“joined to His wife,” the Church, should provide that a certain power be
taken from His side, so that all who are built up in Him should grow up,
even those who are born again by the laver, receiving of His bones and of
His flesh; that is, of His holiness and of His glory. For he who says that
the bones and flesh of Wisdom are understanding and virtue, says most
rightly; and that the side [rib] is the Spirit of truth, the Paraclete, of
whom the illuminated [_i.e._, baptized], receiving, are fitly born again
to incorruption.

(_h_) Methodius of Olympus, _De Resurrect._, I, 13. (MSG, 18:284.)

_De Resur._, I, 13.(76) If any one were to think that the earthly image is
the flesh itself, but the heavenly image is some other spiritual body
besides the flesh, let him first consider that Christ, the heavenly man,
when He appeared, bore the same form of limbs and the same image of flesh
as ours, through which, also, He, who was not man, became man, that, “as
in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” For if it was
not that he might set the flesh free and raise it up that He bore flesh,
why did He bear flesh superfluously, as He purposed neither to save it nor
to raise it up? But the Son of God does nothing superfluous. He did not
take, then, the form of a servant uselessly, but to raise it up and save
it. For He was truly made man, and died, and not in appearance, but that
He might truly be shown to be the first begotten from the dead, changing
the earthly into the heavenly, and the mortal into the immortal.

§ 49. The Development of the Cultus

The Church’s cultus and sacramental system developed rapidly in the third
century. The beginnings of the administration of the sacraments according
to prescribed forms are to be traced to the Didache and Justin Martyr (see
above, §§ 13, 14). At the beginning of the third century baptism was
already accompanied by a series of subsidiary rites, and the eucharist was
regarded as a sacrifice, the benefit of which might be directed toward
specific ends. The further development was chiefly in connection with the
eucharist, which effected in turn the conception of the hierarchy (see
below, § 50). Baptism was regarded as conferring complete remission of
previous sins; subsequent sins were atoned for in the penitential
discipline (see above, § 42). As for the eucharist, the conception of the
sacrifice which appears in the Didache, an offering of praise and
thanksgiving, gradually gives place to a sacrifice which in some way
partakes of the nature of Christ’s sacrificial death upon the cross. At
the same time, the elements are more and more completely identified with
the body and blood of Christ, and the nature of the presence of Christ is
conceived under quasi-physical categories. As representatives of the lines
of development, Tertullian, at the beginning of the century, and Cyprian,
at the middle, may be taken. That a similar development took place in the
East is evident, not only from the references to the same in the writings
of Origen and others, but also from the appearance in the next century of
elaborate services, or liturgies, as well as the doctrinal statements of
writers generally.

(_a_) Tertullian, _De Corona_, 3. (MSL, 2:98.)

    The ceremonies connected with baptism.

And how long shall we draw the saw to and fro through this line when we
have an ancient practice which by anticipation has settled the state of
the question? If no passage of Scripture has prescribed it, assuredly
custom, which without doubt flowed from tradition, has confirmed it. For
how can anything come into use if it has not first been handed down? Even
in pleading tradition written authority, you say, must be demanded. Let us
inquire, therefore, whether tradition, unless it be written, should not be
admitted. Certainly we shall say that it ought not to be admitted if no
cases of other practices which, without any written instrument, we
maintain on the ground of tradition alone, and the countenance thereafter
of custom, affords us any precedent. To deal with this matter briefly, I
shall begin with baptism. When we are going to enter the water, but a
little before, in the church and under the hand of the president, we
solemnly profess that we renounce the devil, and his pomp, and his angels.
Hereupon we are thrice immersed, making a somewhat ampler pledge than the
Lord has appointed in the Gospel. Then, when we are taken up (as new-born
children), we taste first of all a mixture of milk and honey; and from
that day we refrain from the daily bath for a whole week. We take also in
congregations, before daybreak, and from the hands of none but the
presidents, the sacrament of the eucharist, which the Lord both commanded
to be eaten at meal-times, and by all. On the anniversary day we make
offerings for the dead as birthday honors. We consider fasting on the
Lord’s Day to be unlawful, as also to worship kneeling. We rejoice in the
same privilege from Easter to Pentecost. We feel pained should any wine or
bread, even though our own, be cast upon the ground. At every forward step
and movement, at every going in and going out, when we put on our shoes,
at the bath, at table, on lighting the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all
the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign
[_i.e._, of the cross].

(_b_) Tertullian, _De Baptismo_, 5-8. (MSL, 1:1314.)

    The whole passage should be read as showing clearly that
    Tertullian recognized the similarity between Christian baptism and
    heathen purifying washings, but referred the effects of the
    heathen rites to evil powers, quite in harmony with the Christian
    admission of the reality of heathen divinities as evil powers and
    heathen exorcisms as wrought by the aid of evil spirits.

Ch. 5. … Thus man will be restored by God to His likeness, for he formerly
had been after the image of God; the image is counted being in His form
[_in effigie_], the likeness in His eternity [_in æternitate_]. For he
receives that Spirit of God which he had then received from His afflatus,
but afterward lost through sin.

Ch. 6. Not that in the waters we obtain the Holy Spirit, but in the water,
under (the witness of angels) we are cleansed and prepared for the Holy

Ch. 7. After this, when we have issued from the font, we are thoroughly
anointed with a blessed unction according to the ancient discipline,
wherein on entering the priesthood men were accustomed to be anointed with
oil from a horn, wherefore Aaron was anointed by Moses.… Thus, too, in our
case the unction runs carnally, but profits spiritually; in the same way
as the act of baptism itself is carnal, in that we are plunged in the
water, but the effect spiritual, in that we are freed from sins.

Ch. 8. In the next place, the hand is laid upon us, invoking and inviting
the Holy Spirit through benediction.… But this, as well as the former, is
derived from the old sacramental rite in which Jacob blessed his grandsons
born of Joseph, Ephraim, and Manasses; with his hands laid on them and
interchanged, and indeed so transversely slanted the one over the other
that, by delineating Christ, they even portended the future benediction in
Christ. [_Cf._ Gen. 48:13 _f._]

(_c_) Cyprian, _Ep. ad Cæcilium, Ep. 63_, 13-17. (MSL, 4:395.)

    The eucharist.

    Thascius Cæcilius Cyprianus, bishop of Carthage, was born about
    200, and became bishop in 248 or 249. His doctrinal position is a
    development of that of Tertullian, beside whom he may be placed as
    one of the founders of the characteristic theology of North
    Africa. His discussion of the place and authority of the bishop in
    the ecclesiastical system was of fundamental importance in the
    development of the theory of the hierarchy, though it may be
    questioned whether his particular theory of the relation of the
    bishops to each other ever was realized in the Church. For his
    course during the Decian persecution see §§ 45, 46. He died about
    258, in the persecution under Valerian.

    In the epistle from which the following extract is taken Cyprian
    writes to Cæcilius to point out that it is wrong to use merely
    water in the eucharist, and that wine mixed with water should be
    used, for in all respects we do exactly what Christ did at the
    Last Supper when he instituted the eucharist. In the course of the
    letter, which is of some length, Cyprian takes occasion to set
    forth his conception of the eucharistic sacrifice, which is a
    distinct advance upon Tertullian. The date of the letter is about

Ch. 13. Because Christ bore us all, in that He also bore our sins, we see
that in the water is understood the people, but in the wine is showed the
blood of Christ. But when in the cup the water is mingled with the wine
the people is made one with Christ, and the assembly of believers is
associated and conjoined with Him on whom it believes; which association
and conjunction of water and wine is so mingled in the Lord’s cup that
that mixture cannot be separated any more. Whence, moreover, nothing can
separate the Church—that is, the people established in the Church,
faithfully and firmly continuing in that in which they have believed—from
Christ in such a way as to prevent their undivided love from always
abiding and adhering. Thus, therefore, in consecrating the cup water alone
should not be offered to the Lord, even as wine alone should not be
offered. For if wine only is offered, the blood of Christ begins to be
without us.(77) But if the water alone be offered, the people begin to be
without Christ, but when both are mingled and are joined to each other by
an intermixed union, then the spiritual and heavenly sacrament is
completed. Thus the cup of the Lord is not, indeed, water alone, nor wine
alone, nor unless each be mingled with the other; just as, on the other
hand, the body of the Lord cannot be flour alone or water alone, nor
unless both should be united and joined together and compacted into the
mass of one bread: in which sacrament our people are shown to be one; so
that in like manner as many grains are collected and ground and mixed
together into one mass and made one bread, so in Christ, who is the
heavenly bread, we may know that there is one body with which our number
is joined and united.

Ch. 14. There is, then, no reason, dearest brother, for any one to think
that the custom of certain persons is to be followed, who in times past
have thought that water alone should be offered in the cup of the Lord.
For we must inquire whom they themselves have followed. For if in the
sacrifice which Christ offered none is to be followed but Christ, we ought
certainly to obey and do what Christ did, and what He commanded to be
done, since He himself says in the Gospel: “If ye do whatsoever I command
you, henceforth I call you not servants, but friends” [John 15:14 _f._].…
If Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, is Himself the chief priest of God the
Father, and has first offered Himself a sacrifice to the Father, and has
commanded this to be done in commemoration of Himself, certainly that
priest truly acts in the place of Christ who imitates what Christ did; and
he then offers a true and full sacrifice in the Church of God to God the
Father when he proceeds to offer it according to what he sees Christ
himself to have offered.

Ch. 15. But the discipline of all religion and truth is overturned unless
what is spiritually prescribed be faithfully observed; unless, indeed, any
one should fear in the morning sacrifices lest the taste of wine should be
redolent of the blood of Christ.(78) Therefore, thus the brotherhood is
beginning to be kept back from the passion of Christ in persecutions by
learning in the offerings to be disturbed concerning His blood and His
blood-shedding.… But how can we shed our blood for Christ who blush to
drink the blood of Christ?

Ch. 16. Does any one perchance flatter himself with this reflection—that,
although in the morning water alone is seen to be offered, yet when we
come to supper we offer the mingled cup? But when we sup, we cannot call
the people together for our banquet that we may celebrate the truth of the
sacrament in the presence of the entire brotherhood. But still it was not
in the morning, but after supper that the Lord offered the mingled cup.
Ought we, then, to celebrate the Lord’s cup after supper, that so by
continual repetition of the Lord’s Supper we may offer the mingled cup? It
was necessary that Christ should offer about the evening of the day, that
the very hour of sacrifice might show the setting and the evening of the
world as it is written in Exodus: “And all the people of the synagogue of
the children of Israel shall kill it in the evening.”(79) And again in the
Psalms: “Let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice.”(80) But
we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord in the morning.

Ch. 17. And because we make mention of His passion in all sacrifices (for
the Lord’s passion is the sacrifice which we offer), we ought to do
nothing else than what He did. For the Scripture says: “For as often as ye
eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show forth the Lord’s death till
He come.”(81) As often, therefore, as we offer the cup in commemoration of
the Lord and His passion, let us do what it is known the Lord did.

§ 50. The Episcopate in the Church

The greatest name connected with the development of the hierarchical
conception of the Church in the third century is without question Cyprian
(see § 49). He developed the conception of the episcopate beyond the point
it had reached in the hands of Tertullian, to whom the institution was
important primarily as a guardian of the deposit of faith and a pledge of
the continuity of the Church. In the hands of Cyprian the episcopate
became the essential foundation of the Church. According to his theory of
the office, every bishop was the peer of every other bishop and had the
same duties to his diocese and to the Church as a whole as every other
bishop. No bishop had any more than a moral authority over any other. Only
the whole body of bishops, or the council, could bring anything more than
moral authority to bear upon an offending prelate. The constitution of the
council was not as yet defined. In several points the ecclesiastical
theories of Cyprian were not followed by the Church as a whole, notably
his opinion regarding heretical baptism (see § 47), but his main
contention as to the importance of the episcopate for the very existence
(_esse_), and not the mere welfare (_bene esse_), of the Church was
universally accepted. His theory of the equality of all bishops was a
survival of an earlier period, and represented little more than his
personal ideal. The following sections should also be consulted in this

    Additional source material: Cyprian deals with the hierarchical
    constitution in almost every epistle; see, however, especially the
    following: 26:1 [33:1], 51:24 [55:24], 54:5 [59:5], 64:3 [3:3],
    72:21 [73:21], 74:16 [75:16] (important for the testimony of
    Firmilian as to the hierarchical ideas in the East). _Serapion’s
    Prayer Book_, trans. by J. Wordsworth, 1899.

(_a_) Cyprian, _Epistula 68_, 8 [=66]. (MSL, 4:418.)

Although a rebellious and arrogant multitude of those who will not obey
depart, yet the Church does not depart from Christ; and they are the
Church who are a people united to the priest, and the flock which adheres
to its pastor. Whence you ought to know that the bishop is in the Church
and the Church in the bishop; and that if any one be not with the bishop,
he is not in the Church, and that those flatter themselves in vain who
creep in, not having peace with God’s priests, and think that they
communicate secretly with some; while the Church, which is Catholic and
one, is not cut nor divided, but is indeed connected and bound together by
the cement of the priests who cohere with one another.

(_b_) Council of Carthage, A. D. 256. (MSL, 3:1092.)

    The council of Carthage, in 256, was held, under the presidency of
    Cyprian, to act on the question of baptism by heretics. See § 52.
    Eighty-seven bishops were present. The full report of proceedings
    is to be found in the works of Cyprian. See ANF, V, 565, and
    Hefele, § 6. The theory of Cyprian which is here expressed is that
    all bishops are equal and independent, as opposed to the Roman
    position taken by Stephen, and that the individual bishop is
    responsible only to God.

Cyprian said: … It remains that upon this matter each of us should bring
forward what he thinks, judging no man, nor rejecting from the right of
communion, if he should think differently. For neither does any one of us
set himself up as a bishop of bishops, nor by tyrannical terrors does any
one compel his colleagues to the necessity of obedience; since every
bishop, according to the allowance of his liberty and power, has his own
proper right of judgment, and can no more be judged by another than he
himself can judge another. But let us all wait for the judgment of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who alone has the power of advancing us in the
government of His Church, and of judging us in our conduct here.

(_c_) Cyprian, _Epistula_ 67:5. (MSL, 3:1064.)

    The following epistle was written to clergy and people in Spain,
    _i.e._, at Leon, Astorga, and Merida, in regard to the ordination
    of two bishops, Sabinus and Felix, in place of Basilides and
    Martial, who had lapsed in the persecution and had been deprived
    of their sees. The passage illustrates the methods of election and
    ordination of bishops, and the failure of Cyprian, with his theory
    of the episcopate, to recognize in the see of Rome any
    jurisdiction over other bishops. Its date appears to be about 257.

You must diligently observe and keep the practice delivered from divine
tradition and apostolic observance, which is also maintained among us, and
throughout almost all the provinces: that for the proper celebration of
ordinations all the neighboring bishops of the same province should
assemble with that people for which a prelate is ordained. And the bishops
should be chosen in the presence of the people, who have most fully known
the life of each one, and have looked into the doings of each one as
respects his manner of life. And this also, we see, was done by you in the
ordination of our colleague Sabinus; so that, by the suffrage of the whole
brotherhood, and by the sentence of the bishops who had assembled in their
presence, and who had written letters to you concerning him, the
episcopate was conferred upon him, and hands were imposed on him in the
place of Basilides. Neither can an ordination properly completed be
annulled, so that Basilides, after his crimes had been discovered and his
conscience made bare, even by his own confession, might go to Rome and
deceive Stephen, our colleague, who was placed at a distance and was
ignorant of what had been done, so as to bring it about that he might be
replaced unjustly in the episcopate from which he had been justly deposed.

§ 51. The Unity of the Church and the See of Rome

In the middle of the third century there were in sharp conflict two
distinct and opposed theories of Church unity: the theory that the unity
was based upon adherence to and conformity with the see of Peter; and the
theory that the episcopate was itself one, and that each bishop shared
equally in it. The unity was either in one see or in the less tangible
unity of an order of the hierarchy. The former was the theory of the Roman
bishops; the latter, the theory of Cyprian of Carthage, and possibly of a
number of other ecclesiastics in North Africa and Asia Minor. Formerly
polemical theology made the study of this point difficult, at least with
anything like impartiality. In the passage given below from Cyprian’s
treatise _On the Unity of the Catholic Church_ the text of the Jesuit
Father Kirch is followed in the most difficult and interpolated chapter 4.
As Father Kirch gives the text it is perfectly consistent with the theory
of Cyprian as he has elsewhere stated it, and that the interpolated text
is not. See, however, P. Battifol, _Primitive Catholicism_, Lond., 1911,
Excursus E.

    Additional source material: _V. supra_, § 27; also Mirbt, §§
    56-69. The little treatise _De Aleatoribus_ (MSL, 4: 827), from
    which Mirbt gives an extract (n. 71), might be cited in this
    connection, but its force depends upon its origin. It is wholly
    uncertain that it was written either by a bishop of Rome or in
    Italy. _Cf._ Bardenhewer. Kirch also gives the text in part, n.
    276; for other references, see Kirch.

(_a_) Cyprian, _De Catholicæ Ecclesiæ Unitate_, 4, 5. (MSL, 4:513.)

    The tract entitled _On the Unity of the Catholic Church_ is the
    most famous of Cyprian’s works. As the theory there developed is
    opposed to that which became dominant, and as Cyprian was regarded
    as the great upholder of the Church’s constitution, interpolations
    were early made in the text which seriously distort the sense.
    These interpolations are to-day abandoned by all scholars. The
    best critical edition of the works of Cyprian is by W. von Hartel
    in the CSEL, but critical texts of the following passage with
    references to literature and indication of interpolations may be
    found in Mirbt (Prot.), n. 52, and in Kirch (R. C.), n. 234
    (chapter 4 only).

Ch. 4. The Lord speaks to Peter, saying: “I say unto thee, that thou art
Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it. I will give thee the keys of the Kingdom of
Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in
heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed also in
heaven” (Matt. 16:18, 19). [To the same He says after His resurrection:
“Feed my sheep” (John 21:15). Upon him He builds His Church, and to him He
commits His sheep to be fed, and although. _Interpolation._] Upon one he
builds the Church, although also to all the Apostles after His
resurrection He gives an equal power and says, “As the Father has sent me,
I also send you: receive ye the Holy Ghost: whosesoever sins ye retain,
they shall be retained” (John 20:21); yet, that He might show the unity,
[He founded one see. _Interpolation._] He arranged by His authority the
origin of that unity as beginning from one. Assuredly the rest of the
Apostles were also what Peter was, with a like partnership both of honor
and power; but the beginning proceeds from unity [and the primacy is given
to Peter. _Interpolation._], that there might be shown to be one Church of
Christ [and one see. And they are all shepherds, but the flock is shown to
be one which is fed by the Apostles with unanimous consent.
_Interpolation._]. Which one Church the Holy Spirit also in the Song of
Songs designates in the person of the Lord and says: “My dove, my spotless
one, is but one. She is the only one of her mother, chosen of her that
bare her” (Cant. 6:9). Does he who does not hold this unity of the Church
[unity of Peter. _Corrupt reading._] think that he holds the faith? Does
he who strives against and resists the Church [who deserts the chair of
Peter. _Interpolation._] trust that he is in the Church, when, moreover,
the blessed Apostle Paul teaches the same things and sets forth the
sacrament of unity, saying, “There is one body and one spirit, one hope of
your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God”? (Eph. 4:4.)

Ch. 5. And this unity we ought to hold firmly and assert, especially we
bishops who preside in the Church, that we may prove the episcopate itself
to be one and undivided. Let no one deceive the brotherhood by a
falsehood; let no one corrupt the truth by a perfidious prevarication. The
episcopate is one, each part of which is held by each one in its entirety.
The Church, also, is one which is spread abroad far and wide into a
multitude by an increase of fruitfulness. As there are many rays of the
sun, but one light, and many branches of a tree, but one strength based
upon its tenacious root, and since from one spring flow many streams,
although the multiplicity seems diffused in the liberality of an
overflowing abundance, yet the unity is still preserved in its source.

(_b_) Firmilian of Cæesarea, _Ep. ad Cyprianum_, in Cyprian, _Ep. 74_
[=75]. (MSL, 3:1024.)

    The matter in dispute was the rebaptism of those heretics who had
    received baptism before they conformed to the Church. See § 52. It
    was the burning question after the rise of the Novatian sect.
    Stephen, bishop of Rome (254-257), had excommunicated a number of
    churches and bishops, among them probably Cyprian himself. See the
    epistle of Dionysius to Sixtus of Rome, the successor of Stephen,
    in Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VII, 5. “He” (Stephen) therefore had
    written previously concerning Helenus and Firmilianus and all
    those in Cilicia, Cappadocia, Galatia, and the neighboring
    countries, saying that he would not communicate with them for this
    same cause: namely, that they rebaptized heretics. This attitude
    of Stephen roused no little resentment in the East, as is shown by
    the indignant tone of Firmilian, who recognizes no authority in
    Rome. The text may be found in Mirbt, n. 74, and in part in Kirch,
    n. 274. The epistle of Firmilian is to be found among the epistles
    of Cyprian, to whom it was written.

Ch. 2. We may in this matter give thanks to Stephen that it has now
happened through his unkindness [inhumanity] that we receive proof of your
faith and wisdom.

Ch. 3. But let these things which were done by Stephen be passed by for
the present, lest, while we remember his audacity and pride, we bring a
more lasting sadness on ourselves from the things he has wickedly done.

Ch. 6. That they who are at Rome do not observe those things in all cases
which have been handed down from the beginning, and vainly pretend the
authority of the Apostles, any one may know; also, from the fact that
concerning the celebration of the day of Easter, and concerning many other
sacraments of divine matters, one may see that there are some diversities
among them, and that all things are not observed there alike which are
observed at Jerusalem; just as in very many other provinces also many
things are varied because of the difference of places and names, yet on
this account there is no departure at all from the peace and unity of the
Catholic Church. And this departure Stephen has now dared to make;
breaking the peace against you, which his predecessors have always kept
with you in mutual love and honor, even herein defaming Peter and Paul,
the blessed Apostles, as if the very men delivered this who in their
epistles execrated heretics and warned us to avoid them. Whence it appears
that this tradition is human which maintains heretics, and asserts that
they have baptism, which belongs to the Church alone.

Ch. 17. And in this respect I am justly indignant at this so open and
manifest folly of Stephen, that he who so boasts of the place of his
episcopate and contends that he holds the succession of Peter, on whom the
foundation of the Church was laid, should introduce many other rocks and
establish new buildings of many churches, maintaining that there is a
baptism in them by his authority; for those who are baptized, without
doubt, make up the number of the Church.… Stephen, who announces that he
holds by succession the throne of Peter, is stirred with no zeal against
heretics, when he concedes to them, not a moderate, but the very greatest
power of grace.

Ch. 19. This, indeed, you Africans are able to say against Stephen, that
when you knew the truth you forsook the error of custom. But we join
custom to truth, and to the Romans’ custom we oppose custom, but the
custom of truth, holding from the beginning that which was delivered by
Christ and the Apostles. Nor do we remember that this at any time began
among us, since it has always been observed here, that we have known none
but one Church of God, and have accounted no baptism holy except that of
the holy Church.

Ch. 24. Consider with what want of judgment you dare to blame those who
strive for the truth against falsehood.(82) … For how many strifes and
dissensions have you stirred up throughout the churches of the whole
world! Moreover, how great sin have you heaped up for yourself, when you
cut yourself off from so many flocks! For it is yourself that you have cut
off. Do not deceive yourself, since he is really the schismatic who has
made himself an apostate from the communion of ecclesiastical unity. For
while you think that all may be excommunicated by you, you have alone
excommunicated yourself from all; and not even the precepts of an Apostle
have been able to mould you to the rule of truth and peace.(83)

Ch. 25. How carefully has Stephen fulfilled these salutary commands and
warnings of the Apostle, keeping in the first place lowliness of mind and
meekness! For what is more lowly or meek than to have disagreed with so
many bishops throughout the whole world, breaking peace with each one of
them in various kinds of discord: at one time with the Easterns, as we are
sure is not unknown to you; at another time with you who are in the south,
from whom he received bishops as messengers sufficiently patiently and
meekly as not to receive them even to the speech of common conference;
and, even more, so unmindful of love and charity as to command the whole
brotherhood that no one should receive them into his house, so that not
only peace and communion, but also a shelter and entertainment were denied
to them when they came. This is to have kept the unity of the Spirit in
the bond of peace, to cut himself off from the unity of love, and to make
himself a stranger in all things to his brethren, and to rebel against the
sacrament and the faith with the madness of contumacious discord.… Stephen
is not ashamed to afford patronage to such a position in the Church, and
for the sake of maintaining heretics to divide the brotherhood; and, in
addition, to call Cyprian a false Christ, and a false Apostle, and a
deceitful worker, and he, conscious that all these characters are for
himself, has been in advance of you by falsely objecting to another those
things which he himself ought to bear.

§ 52. Controversy over Baptism by Heretics

In the great persecutions schisms arose in connection with the
administration of discipline (_cf._ § 46). The schismatics held in general
the same faith as the main body of Christians. Were the sacraments they
administered to be regarded, then, as valid in such a sense that when they
conformed to the Catholic Church, which they frequently did, they need not
be baptized, having once been validly baptized; or should their schismatic
baptism be regarded as invalid and they be required to receive baptism on
conforming if they had not previously been baptized within the Church? Was
baptism outside the unity of the Church valid? Rome answered in the
affirmative, admitting conforming schismatics without distinguishing as to
where they had been baptized; North Africa answered in the negative and
required not, indeed, a second baptism, but claimed that the Church’s
baptism was alone valid, and that if the person conforming had been
baptized in schism he had not been baptized at all. This view was shared
by at least some churches in Asia Minor (_cf._ § 51, _b_), and possibly
elsewhere. It became the basis of the Donatist position (_cf._ § 62),
which schism shared with the Novatian schism the opinion, generally
rejected by the Church, that the validity of a sacrament depended upon the
spiritual condition of the minister of the sacrament, _e.g._, whether he
was in schism or not.

    Additional source material: Seventh Council of Carthage (ANF, vol.
    V); Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VII, 7:4-6; Augustine, _De Baptismo
    contra Donatistas_, Bk. III (PNF, ser. I, vol. IV).

(_a_) Cyprian, _Ep. ad Jubianum_, _Ep._ 73, 7 [=72]. (MSL, 3:1159, 168.)

    A portion of this epistle may be found in Mirbt, n. 70.

Ch. 7. It is manifest where and by whom the remission of sins can be
given, _i.e._, that remission which is given by baptism. For first of all
the Lord gave the power to Peter, upon whom He built the Church, and
whence he appointed and showed the source of unity, the power, namely,
that that should be loosed in heaven which he loosed on earth [John 20:21
quoted]. When we perceive that only they who are set over the Church and
established in the Gospel law and in the ordinance of the Lord are allowed
to baptize and to give remission of sins, we see that outside of the
Church nothing can be bound or loosed, for there there is no one who can
either bind or loose anything.

Ch. 21. Can the power of baptism be greater or of more avail than
confession, than suffering when one confesses Christ before men, and is
baptized in his own blood? And yet, even this baptism does not benefit a
heretic, although he has confessed Christ and been put to death outside
the Church, unless the patrons and advocates of heretics [_i.e._, those
whom Cyprian is opposing] declare that the heretics who are slain in a
false confession of Christ are martyrs, and assign to them the glory and
the crown of martyrdom contrary to the testimony of the Apostle, who says
that it will profit them nothing although they are burned and slain. But
if not even the baptism of a public confession and blood can profit a
heretic to salvation, because there is no salvation outside of the Church,
how much less shall it benefit him if, in a hiding-place and a cave of
robbers stained with the contagion of adulterous waters, he has not only
not put off his old sins, but rather heaped up still newer and greater
ones! Wherefore baptism cannot be common to us and to heretics, to whom
neither God the Father nor Christ the Son, nor the Holy Ghost, nor the
faith, nor the Church itself is common. And wherefore they ought to be
baptized who come from heresy to the Church, so that they who are prepared
and receive the lawful and true and only baptism of the holy Church, by
divine regeneration for the kingdom of God may be born of both sacraments,
because it is written: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter the kingdom of God” [John 3:5].

Ch. 26. These things, dearest brother, we have briefly written to you
according to our modest abilities, prescribing to none and prejudging
none, so as to prevent any one of the bishops doing what he thinks well,
and having the free exercise of his judgment.

(_b_) Cyprian, _Ep. ad Magnum_, _Ep._ 75 [=69]. (MSL, 3:1183.) _Cf._
Mirbt, n. 67.

With your usual diligence you have consulted my poor intelligence, dearest
son, as to whether, among other heretics, they also who come from Novatian
ought, after his profane washing, to be baptized and sanctified in the
Catholic Church, with the lawful, true, and only baptism of the Church. In
answer to this question, as much as the capacity of my faith and the
sanctity and truth of the divine Scriptures suggest, I say that no
heretics and schismatics at all have any right to power. For which reason
Novatian, since he is without the Church and is acting in opposition to
the peace and love of Christ, neither ought to be, nor can be, omitted
from being counted among the adversaries and antichrists. For our Lord
Jesus Christ, when He declared in His Gospel that those who were not with
Him were His adversaries, did not point out any species of heresy, but
showed that all who were not with Him, and who were not gathering with
Him, were scattering His flock, and were His adversaries, saying: “He that
is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me
scattereth” [Luke 11:23]. Moreover, the blessed Apostle John distinguished
no heresy or schism, neither did he set down any specially separated, but
he called all who had gone out from the Church, and who acted in
opposition to the Church, antichrists, saying, “Ye have heard that
Antichrist cometh, and even now are come many antichrists; wherefore we
know that this is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not
of us, for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us” [I
John 2:18 _f._]. Whence it appears that all are adversaries of the Lord
and are antichrists who are known to have departed from the charity and
from the unity of the Catholic Church.

§ 53. The Beginnings of Monasticism

Asceticism in some form is common to almost all religions. It was
practised extensively in early Christianity and ascetics of both sexes
were numerous. This asceticism, in addition to a life largely devoted to
prayer and fasting, was marked by refraining from marriage. But these
ascetics lived in close relations with those who were non-ascetics.
Monasticism is an advance upon this earlier asceticism in that it attempts
to create, apart from non-ascetics, a social order composed only of
ascetics in which the ascetic ideals may be more successfully realized.
The transition was made by the hermit life in which the ascetic lived
alone in deserts and other solitudes. This became monasticism by the union
of ascetics for mutual spiritual aid. This advance is associated with St.
Anthony. See also Pachomius, in § 77.

    Additional source material: Pseudo-Clement. _De Virginitate_ (ANF,
    VIII, 53); Methodius, _Symposium_ (ANF, VI, 309); the _Lausiac
    History of Palladius_, E. C. Butler, _Texts and Studies_,
    Cambridge, 1898; _Paradise, or Garden of the Holy Fathers_, trans.
    by E. A. W. Budge, London, 1907.

Athanasius, _Vita S. Antonii_, 2-4, 44. (MSG, 26:844, 908.)

    Anthony, although not the first hermit, gave such an impetus to
    the ascetic life and did so much to bring about some union of
    ascetics that he has been popularly regarded as the founder of
    monasticism. He died 356, at the age of one hundred and five. His
    _Life_, by St. Athanasius, although formerly attacked, is a
    genuine, and, on the whole, trustworthy account of this remarkable
    man. It was written either 357 or 365, and was translated into
    Latin by Evagrius of Antioch (died 393). Everywhere it roused the
    greatest enthusiasm for monasticism. The _Life of St. Paul of
    Thebes_, by St. Jerome, is of very different character, and of no
    historical value.

Ch. 2. After the death of his parents, Anthony was left alone with one
little sister. He was about eighteen or twenty years old, and on him
rested the care of both the home and his sister. Now it happened not six
months after the death of his parents, and when he was going, according to
custom, into the Lord’s house, and was communing with himself, that he
reflected as he walked how the Apostles left all and followed the Saviour,
and how, in the Acts, men sold their possessions and brought and laid them
at the Apostles’ feet for distribution to the needy, and what and how
great a hope was laid up for them in heaven. While he was reflecting on
these things he entered the church, and it happened that at that time the
Gospel was being read, and he heard the Lord say to the rich man: “If thou
wouldest be perfect, go and sell that thou hast and give to the poor; and
come and follow me and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.” Anthony, as
though God had put him in mind of the saints and the passage had been read
on his account, went out straightway from the Lord’s house, and gave the
possessions which he had from his forefathers to the villagers—they were
three hundred acres, productive and very fair—that they should be no more
a clog upon himself and his sister. And all the rest that was movable he
sold, and, having got together much money, he gave it to the poor,
reserving a little, however, for his sister’s sake.

Ch. 3. And again as he went into the Lord’s house, and hearing the Lord
say in the Gospel, “Be not anxious for the morrow,” he could stay no
longer, but went and gave also those things to the poor. He then committed
his sister to known and faithful virgins, putting her in a convent
[_parthenon_], to be brought up, and henceforth he devoted himself outside
his house to ascetic discipline, taking heed to himself and training
himself patiently. For there were not yet many monasteries in Egypt, and
no monk at all knew of the distant desert; but every one of those who
wished to give heed to themselves practised the ascetic discipline in
solitude near his own village. Now there was in the next village an old
man who had lived from his youth the life of a hermit. Anthony, after he
had seen this man, imitated him in piety. And at first he began to abide
in places outside the village. Then, if he heard of any good man anywhere,
like the prudent bee, he went forth and sought him, nor did he turn back
to his own place until he had seen him; and he returned, having got from
the good man supplies, as it were, for his journey in the way of virtue.
So dwelling there at first, he steadfastly held to his purpose not to
return to the abode of his parents or to the remembrance of his kinsfolk;
but to keep all his desire and energy for the perfecting of his
discipline. He worked, however, with his hands, having heard that “he who
is idle, let him not eat,” and part he spent on bread and part he gave to
the needy. And he prayed constantly, because he had learned that a man
ought to pray in secret unceasingly. For he had given such heed to what
was read that none of those things that were written fell from him to the
ground; for he remembered all, and afterward his memory served him for

Ch. 4. Thus conducting himself, Anthony was beloved by all. He subjected
himself in sincerity to the good men he visited, and learned thoroughly
wherein each surpassed him in zeal and discipline. He observed the
graciousness of one, the unceasing prayer of another; he took knowledge of
one’s freedom from anger, and another’s kindliness; he gave heed to one as
he watched, to another as he studied; one he admired for his endurance,
another for his fasting and sleeping on the ground; he watched the
meekness of one, and the long-suffering of another; and at the same time
he noted the piety toward Christ and the mutual love which animated all.

    Athanasius describes Anthony’s removal to the desert and the
    coming of disciples to him, and weaves into his narrative, in the
    form of a speech, a long account of the discipline laid down,
    probably by Anthony himself, chs. 16-43. It is to this long speech
    that the opening words of the following section refers.

Ch. 44. While Anthony was thus speaking all rejoiced; in some the love of
virtue increased, in others carelessness was thrown aside, the
self-conceit of others was stopped; and all were persuaded to despise the
assaults of the Evil One, and marvelled at the grace given Anthony from
the Lord for the discerning of spirits. So their cells were in the
mountains, like tabernacles filled with holy bands of men who sang psalms,
loved reading, fasted, prayed, rejoiced in the hope of things to come,
labored in almsgiving, and maintained love and harmony with one another.
And truly it was possible to behold a land, as it were, set by itself,
filled with piety and justice. For then there was neither the evil-doer
nor the injured, nor the reproaches of the tax-gatherer; but instead a
multitude of ascetics, and the one purpose of all was to aim at virtue. So
that one beholding the cells again and seeing such good order among the
monks would lift up his voice and say: “How goodly are thy dwellings, O
Jacob, and thy tents, O Israel; as shady glens and as a garden by a river;
as tents which the Lord has pitched, and like cedars near the waters”
[Num. 24:5, 6].

Ch. 45. Anthony, however, returned, according to his custom, alone to his
cell, increased his discipline, and sighed daily as he thought of the
mansions of heaven, having his desire fixed on them and pondering over the
shortness of man’s life.

§ 54. Manichæanism

The last great rival religion to Christianity was Manichæanism, the last
of the important syncretistic religions which drew from Persian and allied
sources. Its connection with Christianity was at first slight and its
affinities were with Eastern Gnosticism. After 280 it began to spread
within the Empire, and was soon opposed by the Roman authorities. Yet it
flourished, and, like other Gnostic religions, with which it is to be
classed, it assimilated more and more of Christianity, until in the time
of Augustine it seemed to many as merely a form of Christianity. On
account of its general character, it absorbed for the most part what
remained of the earlier Gnostic systems and schools.

    Additional source material: The most important accessible works
    are the so-called _Acta Archelai_ (ANF, V, 175-235), the
    anti-Manichæan writings of Augustine (PNF, ser. I, vol. IV), and
    Alexander of Lycopolis, _On the Manichæans_ (ANF, VI, 239). On
    Alexander of Lycopolis, see DCB. In the opinion of Bardenhewer,
    Alexander was probably neither a bishop nor a Christian at all,
    but a heathen and a Platonist. Roman edict against Manichæanism in
    Kirch, n. 294.

An Nadim, _Fihrist_. (Translation after Kessler, _Mani_, 1889.)

    The _Fihrist_, _i.e._, Catalogue, is a sort of history of
    literature made in the eleventh century by the Moslem historian An
    Nadim. In spite of its late date, it is the most important
    authority for the original doctrines of Mani and the facts of his
    life, as it is largely made up from citations from ancient authors
    and writings of Mani and his original disciples.

(_a_) The Life of Mani.

Mohammed ibn Isak says: Mani was the son of Fatak,(84) of the family of
the Chaskanier. Ecbatana is said to have been the original home of his
father, from which he emigrated to the province of Babylon. He took up his
residence in Al Madain, in a portion of the city known as Ctesiphon. In
that place was an idol’s temple, and Fatak was accustomed to go into it,
as did also the other people of the place. It happened one day that a
voice sounded forth from the sacred interior of the temple, saying to him:
“Fatak, eat no flesh, drink no wine and refrain from carnal intercourse.”
This was repeated to him several times on three days. When Fatak perceived
this, he joined a society of people in the neighborhood of Dastumaisan
which were known under the name of Al-Mogtasilah, _i.e._, those who wash
themselves, baptists, and of whom remnants are to be found in these parts
and in the marshy districts at the present time. These belonged to that
mode of life which Fatak had been commanded to follow. His wife was at
that time pregnant with Mani, and when she had given him birth she had, as
they say, glorious visions regarding him, and even when she was awake she
saw him taken by some one unseen, who bore him aloft into the air, and
then brought him down again; sometimes he remained even a day or two
before he came down again. Thereupon his father sent for him and had him
brought to the place where he was, and so he was brought up with him in
his religion. Mani, in spite of his youthful age, spake words of wisdom.
After he had completed his twelfth year there came to him, according to
his statement, a revelation from the King of the Paradise of Light, who is
God the Exalted, as he said. The angel which brought him the revelation
was called Eltawan; this name means “the Companion.” He spoke to Mani, and
said: “Separate thyself from this sort of faith, for thou belongest not
among its adherents, and it is obligatory upon you to practise continence
and to forsake the fleshly desires, yet on account of thy youth the time
has not come for thee to take up thy public work.” But when he was
twenty-four years old, Eltawan appeared to him and said: “Hail, Mani, from
me and from the Lord who has sent me to thee and has chosen thee to be his
prophet. He commands thee now to proclaim thy truth and on my announcement
to proclaim the truth which is from him and to throw thyself into this
calling with all thy zeal.”

The Manichæans say: He first openly entered upon his work on the day when
Sapor, the son of Ardaschir, entered upon his reign, and placed the crown
upon his head; and this was Sunday, the first day of Nisan (March 20,
241), when the sun stood in the sign Aries. He was accompanied by two men,
who had already attached themselves to his religion; one was called
Simeon, the other Zakwa; besides these, his father accompanied him, to see
how his affairs would turn out.

Mani said he was the Paraclete, whom Jesus, of blessed memory,(85) had
previously announced. Mani took the elements of his doctrine from the
religion of the Magi and Christianity.… Before he met Sapor Mani had spent
about forty years in foreign lands.(86) Afterward he converted Peroz, the
brother of Sapor, and Peroz procured him an audience with his brother
Sapor. The Manichæans relate: He thereupon entered where he was and on his
shoulders were shining, as it were, two candles. When Sapor perceived him,
he was filled with reverence for him, and he appeared great in his eyes;
although he previously had determined to seize him and put him to death.
After he had met him, therefore, the fear of him filled him, he rejoiced
over him and asked him why he had come and promised to become his
disciple. Mani requested of him a number of things, among them that his
followers might be unmolested in the capital and in the other territories
of the Persian Empire, and that they might extend themselves whither they
wished in the provinces. Sapor granted him all he asked.

Mani had already preached in India, China, and among the inhabitants of
Turkestan, and in every land he left behind him disciples.(87)

(_b_) The Teaching of Mani.

    The following extract from the same work gives but the beginning
    of an extended statement of Mani’s teaching. But it is hoped that
    enough is given to show the mythological character of his
    speculation. The bulk of his doctrine was Persian and late
    Babylonian, and the Christian element was very slight. It is clear
    from the writings of St. Augustine that the doctrine changed much
    in later years in the West.

The doctrine of Mani, especially his dogmas of the Eternal, to whom be
praise and glory, of the creation of the world and the contest between
Light and Darkness: Mani put at the beginning of the world two eternal
principles. Of these one is Light, the other Darkness. They are separated
from each other. As to the Light, this is the First, the Mighty One, and
the Infinite. He is the Deity, the King of the Paradise of Light. He has
five members or attributes, namely, gentleness, wisdom, understanding,
discretion, and insight; and further five members or attributes, namely,
love, faith, truth, bravery, and wisdom. He asserts that God was from all
eternity with these attributes. Together with the Light-God there are two
other things from eternity, the air and the earth.

Mani teaches further: The members of the air, or the Light-Ether, are
five: gentleness, wisdom, understanding, discretion, and insight. The
members of the Light-Earth are the soft gentle breath, the wind, the
light, the water, and the fire. As to the other Original Being, the
Darkness, its members are also five: the vapor, the burning heat, the
fiery wind, the poison, and the darkness.

This bright shining Primal Being was in immediate proximity with the dark
Primal Being, so that no wall of partition was between them and the Light
touched the Darkness on its broad side. The Light is unlimited in its
height, and also to the right hand and to the left; the Darkness, however,
is unlimited in its depth, and also to the right hand and to the left.

From this Dark-Earth rose Satan, not so that he himself was without
beginning, although his parts were in their elements without beginning.
These parts joined themselves together from the elements and formed
themselves into Satan. His head was like that of a lion, his trunk like
that of a dragon, his wings as those of a bird, his tail like that of a
great fish, and his four feet like the feet of creeping things. When this
Satan had been formed from the Darkness—his name is the First Devil—then
he began to devour and to swallow up and to ruin, to move about to the
right and to the left, and to get down into the deep, so that he
continually brought ruin and destruction to every one who attempted to
overmaster him. Next he hastened up on high and perceived the rays of
light, but felt an aversion to them. Then when he saw how these rays by
reciprocal influence and contact were increased in brilliancy, he became
afraid and crept together into himself, member by member, and withdrew for
union and strengthening back to his original constituent parts. Now once
more he hastened back into the height, and the Light-Earth noticed the
action of Satan and his purpose to seize and to attack and to destroy. But
when she perceived this thereupon the world æon of Insight perceived it,
then the æon of Wisdom, the æon of Discretion, the æon of the
Understanding, and then the æon of Gentleness. Thereupon the King of the
Paradise of Light perceived it and reflected on means to gain the mastery
over him. His armies were indeed mighty enough to overcome him; he had the
wish, however, to accomplish this himself. Therefore he begat with the
spirit of his right hand, with the five æons, and with his twelve elements
a creature, and that was the Primal Man, and him he sent to the conquest
of Darkness.(88)

Chapter V. The Last Great Persecution

The last of the persecutions was closely connected with the increased
efficiency of the imperial administration after a period of anarchy, and
was more effective because of the greater centralization of the government
which Diocletian had introduced (§ 55). It was preceded by a number of
minor persecuting regulations, but broke forth in its full fury in 303,
raging for nearly ten years (§ 56). It was by far the most severe of all
persecutions, in extent and duration and severity surpassing that of
Decius and Valerian. As in that persecution, very many suffered severely,
still more lapsed, unprepared for suffering, as many were in the previous
persecution, and the Church was again rent with dissensions and schisms
arising over the question of the administration of discipline.

§ 55. The Reorganization of the Empire by Diocletian

After a period of anarchy Diocletian (284-305) undertook a reorganization
of the Empire for the sake of greater efficiency. Following a precedent of
earlier successful emperors, he shared (285) the imperial authority with a
colleague, Maximianus, who in 286 became Augustus of the West. As the
greatest danger seemed to lie in the East, Diocletian retained the Eastern
part of the Empire, and having already abandoned Rome as the imperial
residence (284), he settled in Nicomedia in Bithynia. To provide for a
succession to the throne more efficient than the chance succession of
natural heirs, two Cæsars were appointed in 293, Constantius Chlorus for
the West, and Galerius, the son-in-law of Diocletian, for the East.
Constantius at once became the son-in-law of Maximianus. These Cæsars were
to ascend the throne when the _Augusti_ resigned after twenty years’
reign. The scheme worked temporarily for greater efficiency, but ended in
civil war as the claims of natural heirs were set aside in favor of an
artificial dynasty. At the same time the system bore heavily upon the
people and the prosperity of the Empire rapidly declined.

    Bibliography in _Cambridge Medieval History_, London and New York,
    1911, vol. I.

Lactantius, _De Mortibus Persecutorum_, 7. (MSL, 7:204.)

When Diocletian, the author of crimes and deviser of evils, was ruining
all things, not even from against God could he withhold his hand. This
man, partly by avarice and partly by timidity, overturned the world. For
he made three persons sharers with him in the government. The Empire was
divided into four parts, and armies were multiplied, since each of the
four princes strove to have a much larger military force than any emperor
had had when one emperor alone carried on the government. There began to
be a greater number of those who received taxes than of those who paid
them; so that the means of the husbandmen were exhausted by enormous
impositions, the fields were abandoned, and cultivated grounds became
woodlands, and universal dismay prevailed. Besides, the provinces were
divided into minute portions and many presidents and prefects lay heavy on
each territory, and almost on every city. There were many stewards and
masters and deputy presidents, before whom very few civil causes came, but
only condemnations and frequent forfeitures, and exactions of numberless
commodities, and I will not say often repeated, but perpetual and
intolerable, wrongs in the exacting of them.

§ 56. The Diocletian Persecution

The last great persecution was preceded by a number of laws aimed to annoy
the Christians. On March 12, 295, all soldiers in the army were ordered to
offer sacrifice. In 296 sacred books of the Christians were sought for and
burnt at Alexandria. In 297 or 298 Christian persecutions began in the
army, but the great persecution itself broke out in 303, as described
below. Among other reasons for energetic measures in which Galerius took
the lead, appears to have been that prince’s desire to establish the unity
of the Empire upon a religious basis, which is borne out by his attempts
to reorganize the heathen worship immediately after the cessation of the
persecution. In April, 311, the edict of Galerius, known as the Edict of
the Three Emperors, put an official end to the persecution. In parts of
the Empire, however, small persecutions took place and the authorities
attempted to attack Christianity without actually carrying on
persecutions, as in the wide-spread dissemination of the infamous “Acts of
Pilate,” which were posted on walls and spread through the schools. In the
territories of Constantius Chlorus the persecution had been very light,
and there was none under Constantine who favored Christians from the

    Additional source material: Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VIII, and IX,
    9; his little work _On the Martyrs of Palestine_ will be found
    after the eighth book. Lactantius, _De Mortibus Persecutorum_. The
    principal texts will be found in Preuschen’s _Analecta_, I, §§ 20,
    21; see also R. Knopf, _Ausgewählte Märtyreracten_.

(_a_) Lactantius. _De Mortibus Persecutorum_, 12 _ff_. (MSL. 7:213.)

    The outbreak of the persecution.

A fit and auspicious day was sought for the accomplishment of this
undertaking [_i.e._, the persecution of the Christians]; and the festival
of the great god Terminus, celebrated on the seventh calends of March
[Feb. 23], was chosen, to put an end, as it were, to this religion,

“That day the first of death, was first of evil’s cause” (Vergil),

and cause of evils which befell not only the Christians but the whole
world. When that day dawned, in the eighth consulship of Diocletian and
seventh of Maximianus, suddenly, while it was hardly light, the prefect,
together with the chief commanders, tribunes, and officers of the
treasury, came to the church [in Nicomedia], and when the gates had been
forced open they sought for an image of God. The books of the Holy
Scriptures were found and burnt; the spoil was given to all. Rapine,
confusion, and tumult reigned. Since the church was situated on rising
ground, and was visible from the palace, Diocletian and Galerius stood
there as if on a watch-tower and disputed long together whether it ought
to be set on fire. The opinion of Diocletian prevailed, for he feared
lest, when so great a fire should once be started, the city might be
burnt; for many and large buildings surrounded the church on all sides.
Then the prætorian guard, in battle array, came with axes and other iron
instruments, and having been let loose everywhere, in a few hours they
levelled that very lofty building to the ground.

Ch. 13. Next day the edict was published ordaining that men of the
Christian religion should be deprived of all honors and dignities; and
also that they should be subjected to torture, of whatsoever rank or
position they might be; and that every suit of law should be entertained
against them; but they, on the other hand, could not bring any suit for
any wrong, adultery, or theft; and finally, that they should have neither
freedom nor the right of suffrage. A certain person, although not
properly, yet with a brave soul, tore down this edict and cut it up,
saying in derision: “These are the triumphs of Goths and Samaritans.”
Having been brought to judgment, he was not only tortured, but was burnt
in the legal manner, and with admirable patience he was consumed to ashes.

Ch. 14. But Galerius was not satisfied with the terms of the edict, and
sought another way to gain over the Emperor. That he might urge him to
excess of cruelty in persecution, he employed private agents to set the
palace on fire; and when some part of it had been burnt the Christians
were accused as public enemies, and the very appellation of Christian grew
odious on account of its connection with the fire in the palace. It was
said that the Christians, in concert with the eunuchs, had plotted to
destroy the princes, and that both the emperors had well-nigh been burnt
alive in their own palace. Diocletian, who always wanted to appear shrewd
and intelligent, suspecting nothing of the deception, but inflamed with
anger, began immediately to torture all his domestics.

(_b_) Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VIII, 2; 6: 8. (MSG, 20:753.)

    The edicts of Diocletian.

    The first passage occurs, with slight variations, in the
    introduction to the work _On the Martyrs of Palestine._

Ch. 2. It was in the nineteenth year of the reign of Diocletian, in the
month Dystus, called March by the Romans, when the feast of the Saviour’s
passion was near at hand, that royal edicts were published everywhere
commanding that the churches be levelled to the ground, the Scriptures be
destroyed by fire, and all holding places of honor be branded with infamy,
and that the household servants, if they persisted in the profession of
Christianity, be deprived of their freedom.

Such was the original edict against us. But not long after other decrees
were issued, commanding that all the rulers of the churches everywhere
should be first thrown into prison, and afterward compelled by every means
to sacrifice.

Ch. 6:8. Such things occurred in Nicomedia at the beginning of the
persecution. But not long after, as persons in the country called Melitina
and others throughout Syria attempted to usurp the government, a royal
edict commanded that the rulers of the churches everywhere be thrown into
prison and bonds. What was to be seen after this exceeds all description.
A vast multitude were imprisoned in every place; and the prisons
everywhere, which had long before been prepared for murderers and
grave-robbers, were filled with bishops, presbyters and deacons, readers
and exorcists, so that room was no longer left in them for those condemned
for crimes. And as other decrees followed the first, directing that those
in prison, if they sacrificed, should be permitted to depart from the
prison in freedom, but that those who refused should be harassed with many
tortures, how could any one again number the multitude of martyrs in every
province, and especially those in Africa and Mauretania, and Thebais and

(_c_) Edict of Galerius, A.D. 311. Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, VIII. 17. (MSG,
20:792.) _Cf._ Preuschen, _Analecta_, I, § 21:5.

    This may also be found in Lactantius. _De Mortibus Persecutorum_,
    ch. 34. It is known as the “Edict of Three Emperors,” as it was
    issued from Nicomedia in the name of Galerius, Constantine, and
    Licinius. The date is April 30, 311. By it the persecution was not
    wholly ended. Galerius died in the next month, but Maximinus Daza
    resumed the persecution. There was for six months, however, some
    mitigation of the persecutions in the East, granted at the request
    of Constantine.

Amongst our other measures, which we are always making for the use and
profit of the commonwealth, we have hitherto endeavored to bring all
things into conformity with the ancient laws and public order of the
Romans, and to bring it about also that the Christians, who have abandoned
the religion of their ancestors, should return to sound reason. For in
some way such wilfulness has seized the Christians and such folly
possessed them that they do not follow those constitutions of the
ancients, which peradventure their own ancestors first established, but
entirely according to their own judgment and as it pleased them they were
making such laws for themselves as they would observe, and in different
places were assembling various sorts of people. In short, when our command
was issued that they were to betake themselves to the institutions of the
ancients, many of them were subdued by danger, many also were ruined. Yet
when great numbers of them held to their determination, and we saw that
they neither gave worship and due reverence to the gods nor yet regarded
the God of the Christians, we therefore, mindful of our most mild clemency
and of the unbroken custom whereby we are accustomed to grant pardon to
all men, have thought that in this case also speediest indulgence ought to
be granted to them, that the Christians might exist again and might
establish their gatherings, yet so that they do nothing contrary to good
order. By another letter we shall signify to magistrates how they are to
proceed. Wherefore, in accordance with this our indulgence, they ought to
pray their God for our good estate, for that of the commonwealth, and for
their own, that the commonwealth may endure on every side unharmed and
that they may be able to live securely in their own homes.

(_d_) Constantine, _Edict of Milan_, A. D. 313, in Lactantius, _De
Mortibus Persecutorum_, 48. (MSL, 7:267.) See also Eusebius. _Hist. Ec._,
X, 5:2. (MSG, 20:880.)

    The so-called Edict of Milan, granting toleration to the
    Christians, is not the actual edict, but a letter addressed to a
    prefect and referring to the edict, which probably was much
    briefer. The following passage is translated from the emended text
    of Lactantius, as given in Preuschen, _op. cit._, I, § 22:4.

When I, Constantine Augustus, and I, Licinius Augustus, had happily met
together at Milan, and were having under consideration all things which
concern the advantage and security of the State, we thought that, among
other things which seemed likely to profit men generally, we ought, in the
very first place, to set in order the conditions of the reverence paid to
the Divinity by giving to the Christians and all others full permission to
follow whatever worship any man had chosen; whereby whatever divinity
there is in heaven may be benevolent and propitious to us, and to all
placed under our authority. Therefore we thought we ought, with sound
counsel and very right reason, to lay down this law, that we should in no
way refuse to any man any legal right who has given up his mind either to
the observance of Christianity or to that worship which he personally
feels best suited to himself; to the end that the Supreme Divinity, whose
worship we freely follow, may continue in all things to grant us his
accustomed favor and good-will. Wherefore your devotion should know that
it is our pleasure that all provisions whatsoever which have appeared in
documents hitherto directed to your office regarding Christians and which
appeared utterly improper and opposed to our clemency should be abolished,
and that every one of those men who have the same wish to observe
Christian worship may now freely and unconditionally endeavor to observe
the same without any annoyance or molestation. These things we thought it
well to signify in the fullest manner to your carefulness, that you might
know that we have given free and absolute permission to the said
Christians to practise their worship. And when you perceive that we have
granted this to the said Christians, your devotion understands that to
others also a similarly full and free permission for their own worship and
observance is granted, for the quiet of our times, so that every man may
have freedom in the practice of whatever worship he has chosen. And these
things were done by us that nothing be taken away from any honor or form
of worship. Moreover, in regard to the Christians, we have thought fit to
ordain this also, that if any appear to have bought, either from our
exchequer or from others, the places in which they were accustomed
formerly to assemble, and concerning which definite orders have been given
before now, and that by letters sent to your office, the same be restored
to the Christians, setting aside all delay and dispute, without payment or
demand of price. Those also who have obtained them by gift shall restore
them in like manner without delay to the said Christians; and those,
moreover, who have bought them, as well as those who have obtained them by
gift, if they request anything of our benevolence, they shall apply to the
deputy that order may be taken for them too by our clemency. All these
must be delivered over at once and without delay by your intervention to
the corporation of the Christians. And since the same Christians are known
to have possessed not only the places where they are accustomed to
assemble, but also others belonging to their corporation, namely, to the
churches and not to individuals, all these by the law which we have
described above you will order to be restored without any doubtfulness or
dispute to the said Christians—that is, to their said corporations and
assemblies; provided always, as aforesaid, that those who restore them
without price, as we said, shall expect a compensation from our
benevolence. In all these things you must give the aforesaid Christians
your most effective intervention, that our command may be fulfilled as
soon as may be, and that in this matter also order may be taken by our
clemency for the public quiet. And may it be, as already said, that the
divine favor which we have already experienced in so many affairs, shall
continue for all time to give us prosperity and successes, together with
happiness for the State. But that it may be possible for the nature of
this decree and of our benevolence to come to the knowledge of all men, it
will be your duty by a proclamation of your own to publish everywhere and
bring to the notice of all men this present document when it reaches you,
that the decree of this our benevolence may not be hidden.

§ 57. Rise of Schisms in Consequence of the Diocletian Persecution

The Diocletian persecution and its various continuations, on account of
the severity of the persecution and its great extent, seriously strained
the organization of the Church for a time, and in at least three important
Church centres gave rise to schisms, of which two were of some duration.
The causes for these schisms, as in the case of the schisms connected with
the Decian persecution, are to be found in the confusion caused by the
enforced absence of bishops from their sees and in the administration of
discipline. In the latter point the activity of the confessors no longer
plays any part, as the authority of the bishops in the various communities
is now undisputed by rival. It was a question of greater or less rigor in
readmitting the lapsed to the communion of the Church. For the canons of
discipline in force in Alexandria, see the _Canonical Epistle of Peter of
Alexandria_, ANF, VI, 269 _ff._ (MSG, 18:467.) They were regarded by the
rigorist party in Alexandria as too lax. Of the three schisms known to
have arisen from the Diocletian persecution, that in Alexandria is known
as the Meletian schism, and three selections are given bearing on it. For
the proposals of the Council of Nicæa to bring about a settlement and
union, see the _Epistle of the Synod of Nicæa_, Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, I,
9 (given below, § 61, _II_, _b_). The schism continued until the fifth
century. The schism at Rome, known as the schism of Heraclius, was much
less important. It was caused by the party advocating greater laxity in
discipline, and was for a time difficult to deal with on account of long
vacancies in the Roman episcopate. The duration of the schism could not
have been long, but the solution of the questions raised by it is unknown.
In fact, the history of the Roman church is exceedingly obscure in the
half-century preceding the Council of Nicæa. The third schism, that of the
Donatists in North Africa, which broke out in Carthage, was the most
considerable in the Church before the schisms arising from the
christological controversies. For the Donatist schism, see §§ 61, 67, 72.

(_a_) _Epistle of Hesychius, Pachomius, Theodorus, and Phileas to
Meletius_. (MSG, 10:1565.)

    The Meletian schism.

    The following epistle was written in the name of these four
    bishops, probably by Phileas, bishop of Thmuis, one of the number,
    to Meletius, bishop of Lycopolis. The four were in prison when it
    was written. It is the most important document bearing on the
    schism, and is important as setting forth the generally accepted
    legal opinion of the time regarding ordination and the authority
    of bishops. The document exists only in a Latin translation from a
    Greek original, and appears to form, with the two following
    fragments, a continuous narrative, possibly a history of the
    Church, but nothing further is known of it. For an account of the
    Meletian schism see Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, 1, 6 _ff._ The text of
    these selections bearing on the Meletian schism is to be found in
    Routh, _op. cit._, IV, 91 _ff._

Hesychius, Pachomius, Theodorus, and Phileas to Meletius, our friend and
fellow-minister in the Lord, greeting. In simple faith, regarding as
uncertain the things which have been heard concerning thee, since some
have come to us and certain things are reported foreign to divine order
and ecclesiastical rule which are being attempted, yea, rather, which are
being done by thee, we were not willing to credit them when we thought of
the audacity implied by their magnitude, and we thought that they were
uncertain attempts. But since so many coming to us at the present time
have lent some credibility to these reports, and have not hesitated to
attest them as facts, we, greatly astonished, have been compelled to write
this letter to thee. And what agitation and sadness have been caused to us
all in common and to each of us individually by the ordination performed
by thee in parishes not pertaining to thee, we are unable sufficiently to
express. We have not delayed, however, by a short statement, to prove thy
practice wrong.

In the law of our fathers and forefathers, of which thou also art not
thyself ignorant, it is established, according to the divine and
ecclesiastical order (for it is all for the good pleasure of God and the
zealous regard for better things), that it has been determined and settled
by them that it is not lawful for any bishop to perform ordinations in
other parishes than his own. This law is exceedingly important and wisely
devised. For, in the first place, it is but right that the conversation
and life of those who are ordained should be examined with great care;
and, in the second place, that all confusion and turbulence should be done
away with. For every one shall have enough to do in managing his own
parish, and in finding, with great care and many anxieties, suitable
subordinates among those with whom he has passed his whole life, and who
have been trained under his hands. But thou, considering none of these
things, nor regarding the future, nor considering the law of our holy
Fathers and those who have put on Christ in long succession, nor the honor
of our great bishop and father, Peter,(89) on whom we all depend in the
hope which we have in the Lord Jesus Christ, nor softened by our
imprisonments and trials, and daily and multiplied reproaches, nor the
oppressions and distress of all, hast ventured on subverting all things at
once. And what means will be left for thee for justifying thyself with
respect to these things?

But perhaps thou wilt say, I did this to prevent many from being drawn
away with the unbelief of many, because the flocks were in need and
forsaken, there being no pastor with them. Well, but it is most certain
that they were in no such destitution; in the first place, because there
were many going among them and able to visit them; and, in the second
place, even it there were some things neglected by them, representation
should have come from the people, and we should have duly considered the
matter. But they knew that they were in no want of ministers, and
therefore they did not come to seek thee. They knew that either we were
wont to warn them from such complaint or there was done, with all
carefulness, what seemed profitable; for it was done under correction and
all was considered with well-approved honesty. Thou, however, giving such
careful attention to the deceits of certain men and their vain words,(90)
hast, as it were, stealthily leaped forward to the performance of
ordinations. For if, indeed, those accompanying thee constrained thee to
this and compelled thee and were ignorant of the ecclesiastical order,
thou oughtest to have followed the rule and have informed us by letter;
and in that way what seemed expedient would have been done. And if
perchance some persuaded thee to credit their story, who said to thee that
it was all over with us—a matter which could not have been unknown to
thee, because there were many passing and repassing by us who might visit
thee—even if this had been so, yet oughtest thou to have waited for the
judgment of the superior father and his allowance of this thing. But
thinking nothing of these matters, and hoping something different, or
rather having no care for us, thou hast provided certain rulers for the
people. For now we learn that there are also divisions, because thy
unwarrantable ordination displeased many.

And thou wert not readily persuaded to delay such procedure or restrain
thy purpose, no, not even by the word of the Apostle Paul, the most
blessed seer and the man who put on Christ, the Apostle of us all; for he,
in writing to his dearly loved Timothy, says: “Lay hands suddenly on no
man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins.” [I Tim. 5:22.] And thus he
at once shows his own consideration of him, and gives his example and
exhibits the law according to which, with all carefulness and caution,
candidates are chosen for the honor of ordination. We make this
declaration to thee, that in the future thou mayest study to keep within
the safe and salutary limits of the law.

(_b_) _Fragment on the Meletian Schism_. (MSG, 10:1567.)

    For the connection of the Meletians with Arianism, see Socrates,
    _Hist. Ec._, I, 6. Text in Routh, _op. cit._, IV, 94.

Meletius received and read this epistle, and he neither wrote a reply, nor
repaired to them in prison, nor went to the blessed Peter [bishop of
Alexandria]. But when all these bishops, presbyters, and deacons had
suffered in the prison,(91) he at once entered Alexandria. Now in that
city there was a certain person, Isidorus by name, turbulent in character,
and possessed with the ambition of being a teacher. And there was also a
certain Arius, who wore the habit of piety and was in like manner
possessed with the ambition of being a teacher. And when they discovered
the object of Meletius’s passion and what it was he sought, hastening to
him and regarding with malice the episcopal authority of the blessed
Peter, that the aim and desire of Meletius might be made manifest, they
discovered to Meletius certain presbyters, then in hiding, to whom the
blessed Peter had given authority to act as diocesan visitors for
Alexandria. And Meletius, recommending them to improve the opportunity
given them for rectifying their error, suspended them for a time, and by
his authority ordained two persons in their places, one of whom was in
prison and the other in the mines. On learning these things, the blessed
Peter, with much endurance, wrote to the people of Alexandria in the
following terms. [See next selection.]

(_c_) Peter of Alexandria. _Epistle to the Church in Alexandria._ (MSG,

    For Peter of Alexandria, see DCB. Peter was in hiding when he
    wrote the following to the Alexandrian church in 306. He died 312
    as a martyr.

Peter to the brethren in the Lord, beloved and established in the faith of
God, peace. Since I have discovered that Meletius acts in no way for the
common good, for he does not approve the letter of the most holy bishops
and martyrs, and invading my parish, has assumed so much to himself as to
endeavor to separate from my authority the priests and those who had been
intrusted with visiting the needy, and, giving proof of his desire for
pre-eminence, has ordained in the prison several unto himself; now take ye
heed to this and hold no communion with him, until I meet him in company
with some wise men, and see what designs they are which he has thought
upon. Fare ye well.

(_d_) _Epitaph of Eusebius, Bishop of Rome._ _Cf._ Kirch, n. 534.

    Schism of Heraclius.

The following epitaph was placed on the tomb of Eusebius, bishop of Rome
(April 18 to August 17, 310 A. D.), by Damasus, bishop of Rome (366-384.)

I, Damasus, have made this:
Heraclius forbade the fallen to lament their sin,
Eusebius taught the wretched ones to weep for their crimes.
The people was divided into parties by the increasing madness.
Sedition, bloodshed, war, discord, strife arose.
At once they were equally smitten by the ferocity of the tyrant.(92)
Although the guide of the Church(93) maintained intact the bonds of peace.
He endured exile joyful under the Lord as judge,
And gave up this earthly life on the Trinacrian shore.(94)


The second division of the history of ancient Christianity, or
Christianity under the influence of the Græco-Roman type of culture,
begins with the sole rule of Constantine, A. D. 324, or his sole reign in
the West, A. D. 312, and extends to the beginning of the Middle Ages, or
that period in which the Germanic nations assumed the leading rôle in the
political life of western Europe. The end of this division of Church
history may be placed, at the latest, about the middle of the eighth
century, as the time when the authority of the Eastern Empire ceased to
affect materially the fortunes of the West. But it is impossible to name
any year or reign or political event as of such outstanding importance as
to make it a _terminus ad quem_ for the division which will command the
suffrages of all as the boundary between the ancient and the mediæval
epochs of history.

The second division of ancient Christianity may be subdivided into three

I. The Imperial State Church of the Undivided Empire, or until the Death
of Theodosius the Great, or to 395.

II. The Church in the Divided Empire until the Collapse of the Western
Empire and the Schism between the East and the West arising out of the
Monophysite Controversies, or to circa 500.

III. The Dissolution of the Imperial Church of the West and the Transition
to the Middle Ages.

In the third period are to be placed the beginnings of the Middle Ages, as
the German invaders had long before 500 established their kingdoms and had
begun to dominate the affairs of the West. But the connection of the
Church of the West, or rather of Italy, with the East was long so close
that the condition of the Church is more that of a dissolution of the
ancient imperial State Church than of a building up of the mediæval
Church. At the same time, the transition to the Middle Ages, so far as the
Church is concerned at least, takes place under the influence of the
ancient tradition, and institutions are established in which the leading
elements, taken from ancient life, are not yet transformed by Germanic
ideas. The East knew no Middle Age. For a history of the Eastern Church
other divisions would have to be made, but in a history in which, for
practical reasons, the development is traced in Western Christianity, the
affairs of the Eastern Church must be treated as subordinate to those of
Western Christianity.

For the second division of the history of ancient Christianity, the
principal sources available in English are the translations in _A Select
Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church_.
Edited by Ph. Schaff and H. Wace. The _First Series_ of this collection
(PNF, ser. I) contains the principal works of Augustine and Chrysostom.
The _Second Series_ (PNF, ser. II) is for historical study even more
valuable, and gives, generally with very able introductions and excellent
bibliographies, the most important works of many of the leading patristic
writers, including the principal ecclesiastical historians, as well as
Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Basil the Great, Cyril
of Jerusalem, Hilary of Poitiers, Jerome, Rufinus, Cassian, Vincent of
Lérins, Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, and others. These translations
are in part fresh versions, and in part older versions but slightly, if at
all, revised, taken from the _Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic
Church anterior to the Division of the East and West_, Oxford, 1838, _et

For the period before the outbreak of the great christological
controversies, the ecclesiastical historians are of great value. There are
no less than four continuations of the _Ecclesiastical History_ of
Eusebius accessible: the ecclesiastical histories of Socrates, 324-439
(ed. R. Hussey, Oxford, 1853); of Sozomen, 324-425 (ed. R. Hussey, Oxford,
1860); of Rufinus, 324-395, which is appended to a Latin version or rather
revised and “edited” Latin version of Eusebius; of Theodoret, 323-428 (ed.
Gaisford, Oxford, 1854). Fragments of the _Ecclesiastical History_ of the
Arian Philostorgius, from the appearance of Arius as a teacher until 423,
have been translated and are to be found in Bohn’s _Ecclesiastical
Library_. For the period after the Council of Ephesus, A. D. 431, there is
no such abundance, but Evagrius, of whose history (ed. Parmentier and
Bidez, London, 1898) there is a translation in Bohn’s _Ecclesiastical
Library_, though not in PNF, is of great value as he gives many original
documents; and a portion of the _Ecclesiastical History_ of John of
Ephesus (trans. by R. P. Smith, Oxford, 1860) carries the history to about
600. There are also works devoted to the history of the West by Gregory of
Tours, the Venerable Bede, and Paulus Diaconus, and others of the greatest
value for the third period of this division. They will be mentioned in
their place.

As the series of the great church councils begins with the Christian
Empire, the _History of the Councils_, by Hefele, becomes indispensable to
the student of ecclesiastical history, not only for its narrative but for
the sources epitomized or given in full. It has been translated into
English as far as the close of the eighth century, or well into the
beginnings of the history of the mediæval Church. The new French
translation should be used if possible as it contains valuable additional
notes. In connection with Hefele may be used:

Percival, _The Seven Ecumenical Councils_, in PNF, ser. II, vol. XIV.

Wm. Bright, _Notes on the Canons of the First Four General __ Councils_,
1882, should be consulted for this period. Bruns, _op. cit._, and
Lauchert, _op. cit._, give texts only.

The two great collections of secular laws are:

_Codex Theodosianus_, ed. Mommsen and Meyer, Berlin, 1905.

_Corpus Juris Civilis_, ed. Krüger, Mommsen, Schoell, and Knoll, Berlin,

_The Cambridge Medieval History_, vol. I, 1912, covers the period
beginning with Constantine and extending to the beginning of the fifth
century. It contains valuable bibliographies of a more discriminating
character than those in the _Cambridge Modern History_, and render
bibliographical references unnecessary. To this the student is accordingly
referred for such matters. The second volume of this work will cover the
period 500-850.

Period I: The Imperial State Church Of The Undivided Empire, Or Until The
Death Of Theodosius The Great, 395

The history of the Church in the first period of the second division of
the history of ancient Christianity has to deal primarily with three lines
of development, viz.: first, the relation of the Church to the imperial
authority and the religious forces of the times, whereby the Church became
established as the sole authorized religion of the Empire, and heathenism
and heresy were prohibited by law; secondly, the development of the
doctrinal system of the Church until the end of the Arian controversy,
whereby the full and eternal deity of the Son was established as the
Catholic faith; thirdly, the development of the constitution, the fixation
of the leading ecclesiastical conceptions, and the adaptation of the
system of the Church to the practical needs of the times. The entire
period may be divided into two main parts by the reign of Julian the
Apostate (361-363); and the reign of Constantine as Emperor of the West
(312-324) may be regarded as a prelude to the main part of the history. On
the death of Theodosius the Great in 395, the Empire became permanently
divided, and though in the second period the courses of the Church in the
East and in the West may be treated to some extent together, yet the
fortunes, interests, and problems of the two divisions of the Church begin
to diverge.

Chapter I. The Church And Empire Under Constantine

Constantine was the heir to the political system of Diocletian. The same
line of development was followed by him and his sons, and with increasing
severity the burden pressed upon the people. But the Church, which had
been fiercely persecuted by Diocletian and Galerius, became the object of
imperial favor under Constantine. At the same time in many parts of the
Empire, especially in the West, the heathen religion was rooted in the
affections of the people and everywhere it was bound up with the forms of
state. The new problems that confronted Constantine on his accession to
sole authority in the West, and still more when he became sole Emperor,
were of an ecclesiastical rather than a civil character. In the
administration of the Empire he followed the lines laid down by Diocletian
(§ 58). But in favoring the Church he had to avoid alienating the heathen
majority. This he did by gradually and cautiously extending to the Church
privileges which the heathen religion had enjoyed (§ 59), and with the
utmost caution repressing those elements in heathenism which might be
plausibly construed as inimical to the new order in the state (§ 60). At
the same time, Constantine found in the application of his policy to
actual conditions that he could not favor every religious sect that
assumed the name of Christian. He must distinguish between claimants of
his bounty. He must also bring about a unity in the Church where it had
been threatened (§ 61), and repress what might lead to schism. Accordingly
he found himself, immediately after his accession to sole authority,
engaged in ecclesiastical discussions and adjudicating by councils
ecclesiastical cases (§ 62).

§ 58. The Empire under Constantine and His Sons

Constantine became sole Emperor of the West, 312, and by the defeat of
Licinius, July 23, 324, sole ruler of the entire Roman Empire. On his
death, May 22, 337, his three sons divided between them the imperial
dignity: Constantine II (337-340), taking Gaul, Spain, and Britain;
Constans (337-350), Italy, Africa, and Illyria, and in 340 receiving the
share of Constantine II; Constantius (337-361), taking the East, including
Egypt. Of these three the ablest was Constantius who, after the renewed
Persian war (337-350), became, on the death of Constans, sole Emperor.
Although the imperial authority was divided and the ecclesiastical policy
of each Emperor followed the religious condition and theological
complexion of his respective portion of the Empire, the social conditions
were everywhere much the same. There were under Constantine and also under
his sons the continuation of that centralization which had already been
carried far by Diocletian, the same court ceremonial and all that went
with it, and the development of the bureaucratic system of administration.
The economic conditions steadily declined as the imperial system became
constantly more burdensome (_v. supra_, § 55), and the changes in the
distribution of wealth and the administration of landed property affected
disastrously large sections of the populace. A characteristic feature of
Roman society, which affected the position of the Church not a little, was
the tendency to regard callings and trades as hereditary, and by the
fourth century this was enforced by law. The aim of this legislation was
to provide workmen to care for the great public undertakings for the
support of the populace of the cities and for the maintenance of the
public business. This policy affected both the humble artisan and the
citizen of curial rank. The former, although given various privileges, was
crushed down by being obliged to continue in what was often an
unprofitable occupation; the latter was made responsible for the taxes and
various public burdens which custom, gradually becoming law, laid upon
him. Constant attempt was made by great numbers to escape these burdens
and disabilities by recourse to other occupations, and especially to the
Christian ministry with its immunities (see § 59, _c_). Constant
legislation endeavored to prevent this and restore men to their hereditary
places. The following extracts from the Theodosian Code are enactments of
Constantine, and are intended to illustrate the condition, under that
Emperor, of the law as to hereditary occupations and guilds, and the
position of the curiales, so as to explain the law as to admission to the

(_a_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XIII, 5, 1; A. D. 314.

    The Theodosian Code was a collection of law made at the command of
    Theodosius II, A. D. 438. See § 80. It was intended to comprise
    all the laws of general application made since the accession of
    Constantine and arranged under appropriate titles.

If a shipman shall have been originally a lighterman, none the less he
shall remain permanently among those among whom it shall appear that his
parents had been.

(_b_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XIII, 5, 3; A. D. 319.

If any shipman shall have obtained surreptitiously or in any other way
immunity, it is our will that he be not at all admitted to plead any
exemption. But also if any one possess a patrimony liable to the duties of
a shipman, although he may be of higher dignity, the privileges of honor
shall be of no avail to him in this matter, but let him be held to this
duty either by the whole or in proportion. For it is not just that when a
patrimony liable to this public duty has been excused all should not bear
the common burden in proportion to ability.

(_c_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XIV, 4, 1; A. D. 334.

Because the guild of swineherds has fallen off to but few, we command that
they plead in the presence of the Roman people, for the defence should be
made to them for whom the burden was established.… Therefore let them know
that the personal property of the swineherds is liable to public burdens
and let them choose one of two courses: either let them retain the
property which is liable to the functions of swineherd, and let themselves
be held to the duty of swineherd, or let them name some suitable person
whom they will, who shall satisfy the same requirement. For we suffer no
one to be exempt from the obligation of this thing, but whether they have
advanced in honors, or by some fraud have escaped, we command that they be
brought back and the same thing performed, the Roman people being present
and witnessing, and we are to be consulted, that we may take note of those
who make use of these shifts; as for further avoidance of public duties,
it is by no means to be granted any, but he who shall have been able to
escape shall run danger of his safety, the privilege having been taken
away from him.

(_d_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XII, 1, 11; A. D. 325.

    The following laws illustrate the attempts of the curiales to
    escape their burdens.

Because some have forsaken the curiæ and have fled to the camps of the
soldiery, we prescribe that all who shall be found not yet indebted to the
chief centurion, are to be dismissed from the soldiery and returned to the
same curiæ; those only are to remain among the soldiery who are retained
on account of the necessities of the place or the troop.

(_e_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XII, 1, 12; A. D. 325.

If any one belongs in a larger or smaller town and desiring to avoid the
same, betakes himself to another for the sake of dwelling there, and shall
have attempted to make petitions concerning this or shall have relied upon
any sort of fraud that he may escape the birth from his own city, let him
bear the burden of the decurionate of both cities, of one because it was
his choice, of the other because of his birth.

(_f_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 2, 3, cf. XVI, 2, 6; A. D. 326.

Since a constitution that has been issued prescribes that thereafter no
decurion nor child of a decurion or person with suitable wealth and able
to support the public burdens shall have recourse to the name and duties
of the clergy, but only those shall be called to the place of the deceased
who are of small fortune and are not held liable to civil burdens, we have
learned that some have been molested, who before the promulgation of the
said law had joined themselves to the company of the priests. Therefore we
decree that these shall be free from all annoyance, but those who after
the promulgation of the law, to avoid their public duties took recourse to
the number of the clergy, shall be separated from that body and restored
to their curial rank and made liable for their civil duties.

§ 59. Favor Shown the Church by Constantine

Neither on his conversion nor on his attainment of the sole rule of the
Empire did Constantine establish the Church as the one official religion
of the State. The ruler himself professed the Christian religion and
neither abolished the former religion of the State nor disestablished it.
But he granted to his own religion favors similar to those enjoyed by the
heathen religious systems (_a-d_), though these privileges were only for
the Catholic Church, and not for heretics (_e_); and he passed such laws
as would make it possible for Christians to carry out their religious
practices, _e.g._, that Christians should not be compelled to sacrifice
when the laws prescribed sacrifices (_f_), that Sunday be observed (_g_),
and that celibacy might be practised (_h_).

    Additional source material: Eusebius, _Vita Constantini_ (PNF,
    ser. II, vol. I), II, 24-42. 46; IV, 18-28. Sozomen, _Hist. Ec._
    (PNF, ser. II, vol. II), I, 9.

(_a_) Constantine, _Ep. ad Cæcilianum_, in Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, X, 6.
(MSG, 20:892.)

    The probable date of this epistle is A. D. 313, though there is
    uncertainty. Text in Kirch, nn. 323 _f_.

Constantine Augustus to Cæcilianus, Bishop of Carthage. Since it is our
pleasure that something should be granted in all the provinces, namely,
Africa and Numidia and Mauritania, to certain ministers of the legitimate
and most holy Catholic religion, to defray their expenses, I have given
written instructions to Ursus, the illustrious finance minister of Africa,
and have directed him to make provision to pay to thy firmness three
thousand folles.(95) Do thou, therefore, when thou hast received the above
sum of money, command that it be distributed among all those mentioned
above, according to the brief sent unto thee by Hosius. But if thou
shouldest find that anything is wanting for the fulfilment of this my
purpose in regard to all of them, thou shalt demand without hesitation
from Heracleides, our treasurer, whatever thou findest to be necessary.
For I commanded him, when he was present, that if thy firmness should ask
him for any money, he should see to it that it be paid without any delay.
And since I have learned that some men of unsettled mind wish to turn the
people from the most holy and Catholic Church by a certain method of
shameful corruption, do thou know that I gave command to Anulinus, the
proconsul, and also to Patricius, vicar of the prefects, when they were
present, that they should give proper attention not only to other matters,
but also, above all, to this, and that they should not overlook such a
thing when it happened. Wherefore if thou shouldest see any such men
continuing in this madness, do thou without delay go to the
above-mentioned judges and report the matter to them; that they may
correct them as I commanded them when they were present. The divinity of
the great God preserve thee many years.

(_b_) Constantine, _Ep. ad Anulinum_, in Eusebius, _Hist. Ec._, X, 7.
(MSG, 20:893.)

    The following epistle, of the same year as the preceding to
    Cæcilianus, is the basis of exemptions of the clergy from public
    duties. The extension of these exemptions was made by the decree
    of 319, given below. Text in Kirch, n. 325.

Greeting to thee, our most esteemed Anulinus. Since it appears from many
circumstances that when that religion is despised in which is preserved
the chief reverence for the most celestial Power, great dangers are
brought upon public affairs; but that when legally adopted and observed it
affords most signal prosperity to the Roman name and remarkable felicity
to all the affairs of men, through the divine beneficence, it seemed good
to me, most esteemed Anulinus, that those men who give their services with
due sanctity and with constant observance of this law to the worship of
the divine religion should receive recompense for their labors. Wherefore
it is my will that those within the province intrusted to thee, in the
Catholic Church over which Cæcilianus presides, who give their services to
this holy religion, and who are commonly called clergymen, be entirely
exempted from all public duties, that by any error or sacrilegious
negligence they may not be drawn away from the service due to the Deity,
but may devote themselves without any hindrance to their own law. For it
seems that when they show greatest reverence to the Deity the greatest
benefits accrue to the State. Farewell, our most esteemed and beloved

(_c_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 2, 2; A. D. 319.

    By the following law the exemption of the clergy from public
    burdens was made universal. As many availed themselves of the
    clerical immunities to escape their burdens as curiales, a law was
    soon afterward passed limiting access to the ministry to those in
    humbler social position. _V. supra_, § 58 _f._

Those who in divine worship perform the services of religion—that is,
those who are called clergy—are altogether exempt from public obligations,
so that they may not be called away from their sacred duties by the
sacrilegious malice of certain persons.

(_d_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 2, 4; A. D. 321.

    The Church is hereby permitted to receive legacies. This was a
    recognition of its corporate character in the law, and indirectly
    its act of incorporation.

Every one has permission to leave when he is dying whatsoever goods he
wishes to the most holy Catholic Church.…

(_e_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 5, 1; A. D. 326.

    Privileges were granted only to the clergy of the Catholic or
    great Church as distinguished from heretics and schismatics. The
    State was, accordingly, forced by its exemptions and privileges
    granted the Church to take up a position as to heresy and schism.
    See for Constantine’s policy toward heresy, Eusebius, _Vita
    Constantini_, III. 64 _ff._ (PNF, ser. II, vol. I.)

Privileges which have been bestowed in consideration of religion ought to
be of advantage only to those who observe the Catholic law. It is our will
that heathen and schismatics be not only without the privileges but bound
by, and subject to, various political burdens.

(_f_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 2, 5; A. D. 323.

    This and the following laws were passed to enable the Christians
    to escape from disadvantages in the carrying out of their
    religion. This law, that Christians should not be compelled to
    sacrifice, was enacted just before the final encounter with

Because we have heard that ecclesiastics and others belonging to the
Catholic religion are compelled by men of different religions to celebrate
the sacrifices of the lustrum, we, by this decree, do ordain that if any
one believes that those who observe the most sacred law ought to be
compelled to take part in the rites of a strange superstition, let him, if
his condition permits, be beaten with staves, but if his rank exempts him
from such rigor, let him endure the condemnation of a very heavy fine,
which shall fall to the State.

(_g_) _Codex Justinianus_; III, 12, 3; A. D. 321. _Cf._ Kirch, n. 748.

    Sunday is to be observed.

    For the Justinian Code see below, § 94, Introduction.

All judges and city people and the craftsmen shall rest upon the venerable
Day of the Sun. Country people, however, may freely attend to the
cultivation of the fields, because it frequently happens that no other
days are better adapted for planting the grain in the furrows or the vines
in trenches. So that the advantage given by heavenly providence may not
for the occasion of a short time perish.

(_h_) _Codex Theodosianus_. VIII, 16, 1. _Cf._ Kirch, n. 750.

    Celibacy was favored by the Church. By the _Lex Julia et Papia
    Poppea_ it had been forbidden under a fine and loss of rights
    under wills. Childless marriages also rendered the parties liable
    to disabilities.

Those who are held as celibates by the ancient law are freed from the
threatened terrors of the laws, and let them so live as if by the compact
of marriage they were among the number of married men, and let all have an
equal standing as to taking what each one deserves. Neither let any one be
held childless; and let them not suffer the penalties set for this. The
same thing we hold regarding women, and freely to all we loose from their
necks the commands which the law placed upon them as a certain yoke. But
there is no application of this benefit to husbands and wives as regards
each other, whose deceitful wiles are often scarcely restrained by the
appointed rigor of the law, but let the pristine authority of the law
continue between such persons.

§ 60. The Repression of Heathenism under Constantine

Constantine’s religious policy in respect to heathenism may have been from
the first to establish Christianity as the sole religion of the Empire and
to put down heathenism. If so, in the execution of that policy he
proceeded with great caution, especially in the period before his victory
over Licinius. It looks at times as if for a while he aimed at a parity of
religions. Certain is the fact that only as conditions became more
favorable to active measures of repression he increased the severity of
his laws against what was of doubtful legality in heathenism, though he
was statesman enough to recognize the difference in the religious
conditions between the East and the West, especially as to the hold which
Christianity had upon the mass of the people. While his measures in the
East became constantly harsher, in the West he tolerated heathenism. The
commonly received theory is that Constantine changed his policy. All the
facts can be as easily understood on the hypothesis that as a statesman he
had constant regard to the advisability of drastic execution of a policy
which he in theory accepted and would have carried out in its entirety
everywhere if he had been able.

    Additional source material: Eusebius, _Vita Constantini_ (PNF),
    II. 44 _f._, 47 _f._, 54 _ff._

(_a_) _Codex Theodosianus_, IX, 16, 2; A. D. 319.

    Private sacrifices forbidden.

Haruspices and priests and those accustomed to serve this rite we forbid
to enter any private house, or under the pretence of friendship to cross
the threshold of another, under the penalty established against them if
they contemn the law.(96) But those of you who regard this rite, approach
the public altars and shrines and celebrate the solemnities of your
custom; for we do not indeed prohibit the duties of the old usage to be
performed in broad daylight.

(_b_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 10, 1; A. D. 320-321.

    Haruspicia in certain circumstances to be observed.

If any part of our palace or other public buildings should be struck by
lightning let the custom be retained of the ancient observance as to what
it signifies, and let it be examined by the haruspices and very carefully
written down, collected, and brought to our attention; to others also the
permission of practising this custom is conceded, provided they refrain
from domestic sacrifices, which are expressly forbidden.

(_c_) _Codex Theodosianus_. XV, 1, 3; A. D. 326.

    Unfinished heathen temples need not be completed.

We direct that the judges of the provinces be warned not to give orders
for any new work before they complete the buildings left incomplete by
their predecessors, the erection of temples only being excepted.

§ 61. The Donatist Schism under Constantine

The Donatist schism arose in connection with the Diocletian persecution,
in part over the policy of Mensurius of Carthage regarding the fanatical
desire for martyrdom and the delivery of the sacred books according to the
edict of persecution. Combined with this were the personal ambitions of
the Archdeacon Cæcilianus, the offended dignity of the Primas of Numidia,
Bishop Secundus of Tigisi, and the pique of a wealthy female devotee,
Lucilla. It was mixed up with the customs of the North African church,
whereby the Primas of Numidia exercised a leading authority in the conduct
of the election of the bishop of Carthage, and also with the notion
prevalent in the same church, for which also Cyprian contended in the
controversy on the baptism of heretics [see § 52], that the validity of a
sacrament depended in some way upon the personal character of the minister
of that sacrament. It was asserted by the partisans of Secundus, who
elected Majorinus bishop of Carthage, that Felix of Aptunga, the
consecrator of Cæcilianus, who had been elected by the other party, had
delivered the sacred books to the heathen officials, and was therefore
guilty as a traditor. A schism, accordingly, arose in Carthage which
spread rapidly throughout North Africa. The party of Majorinus soon came
under the lead of Donatus the Great, his successor in the schismatical see
of Carthage. The Donatist schism became of importance almost at once, and
as it was inconsistent with Constantine’s religious policy, which called
for Church unity,(97) it presented an immediate difficulty in the
execution of laws granting favors to the Catholic Church.(98) On account
of the interests involved, the schism was of long duration, lasting after
the conquest of North Africa by the Vandals, and even to the Saracen
conquest, though long since of no importance.

Anulinus. _Ep. ad Constantinum_, in Augustine, _Ep._ 88. (MSG, 33:303.)

To Constantine Augustus from Anulinus, a man of proconsular rank,
proconsul of Africa.

The welcome and adored celestial writings sent by your Majesty to
Cæcilianus, and those who act under him and are called clergy, I have
devoutly taken care to record in the archives of my humility, and have
exhorted those parties that when unity has been made by the consent of
all, since they are seen to be exempt from all other burdens by your
Majesty’s clemency, and having preserved the Catholic unity, they should
devote themselves to their duties with the reverence due the sanctity of
the law and to divine things. After a few days, however, there arose some,
to whom a crowd of people joined themselves, who thought that proceedings
should be taken against Cæcilianus and presented me a sealed packet
wrapped in leather and a small document without seal, and earnestly
requested that I should transmit them to the sacred and venerable court of
your divinity, which your Majesty’s most humble servant has taken care to
do, Cæcilianus continuing meanwhile as he was. The acts pertaining to the
case have been subjoined, in order that your Majesty may be able to make a
decision concerning the whole matter. I have sent two documents, one in a
leathern envelope entitled “A Document of the Catholic Church, the Charges
against Cæcilianus, Furnished by the Party of Majorinus”; the other
attached without a seal to the same leathern envelope. Given on the 17th
day before the calends of May, in the third consulship of our Lord
Constantine Augustus [April 15, 313].

§ 62. Constantine’s Endeavors to Bring about the Unity of the Church by
Means of General Synods: The Councils of Arles and Nicæa

One of the intentions of Constantine in his support of Christianity seems
to have been the employment of the Christian religion as a basis for
imperial unity. The policy of several earlier emperors in reviving
heathenism, and Galerius in his persecution of the Christians, seems
likewise to have been to use religion as a basis of unity. One of the
first tasks Constantine encountered after he became sole ruler of the West
was to restore the unity of the Church in Africa, which had been
endangered by the disputes culminating in the Donatist schism; and when he
became sole ruler of the Empire a new task of a similar character was to
restore unity to the Church of the East, endangered by the Meletian schism
in Egypt [_v. supra_, § 57, _a_], the Arian controversy in its first stage
[_v. infra_, § 63], and the estrangement of the Asia Minor churches, due
to the Easter controversy [_v. supra_, § 38]. It was a master-stroke of
policy on the part of Constantine to use the Church’s conciliar system on
an enlarged scale to bring about this unity. The Church was made to feel
that the decision was its own and to be obeyed for religious reasons; at
the same time the Emperor was able to direct the thought and action of the
assembly in matters of consequence and to give to conciliar action legal
and coercive effect. The two great assemblies summoned to meet the
problems of the West and of the East were respectively the Councils of
Arles, A. D. 314, and of Nicæa, A. D. 325.

I. The Council of Arles A. D. 314

(_a_) Constantine, _Convocatio concilii Arelatensis_, in Eusebius, _Hist.
Ec._, X, 5. (MSG, 20 :888.) _Cf._ Kirch, nn. 321 _f._; Mirbt, nn. 89,

    For the Council of Arles, see Hefele, §§ 14, 15.

Constantine Augustus to Chrestus, Bishop of Syracuse. When some began
wickedly and perversely to disagree among themselves in regard to the holy
worship and the celestial power and Catholic doctrine, I, wishing to put
an end to such disputes among them, formerly gave command that certain
bishops should be sent from Gaul, and that the opposing parties, who were
contending persistently and incessantly with each other, should be
summoned from Africa; that in their presence and in the presence of the
bishop of Rome the matter which appeared to be causing the disturbance
might be examined and decided with all care. But since, as it happens,
some, forgetful both of their own salvation and of the reverence due to
the most holy religion, do not even yet bring hostilities to an end, and
are unwilling to conform to the judgment already passed, and assert that
those who expressed their opinions and decisions were few, or that they
had been too hasty and precipitate in giving judgment, before all the
things which ought to have been accurately investigated had been
examined—on account of all this it has happened that those very ones who
ought to hold brotherly and harmonious relations toward each other are
shamefully, or rather abominably, divided among themselves, and give
occasion for ridicule to those men whose souls are alien as to this most
holy religion. Wherefore it has seemed necessary to me to provide that
this dissension, which ought to have ceased after the judgment had been
already given, by their own voluntary agreement, should now, if possible,
be brought to an end by the presence of many. Since, therefore, we have
commanded a number of bishops from a great many different places to
assemble in the city of Arles, before the calends of August, we have
thought proper to write to thee also that thou shouldest secure from the
most illustrious Latronianus, Corrector of Sicily, a public vehicle, and
that thou shouldest take with thee two others of the second rank whom thou
thyself shalt choose, together with three servants, who may serve you on
the way, and betake thyself to the above-mentioned place before the
appointed day; that by thy firmness and by the wise unanimity and harmony
of the others present, this dispute, which has disgracefully continued
until the present time, in consequence of certain shameful strifes, after
all has been heard, which those have to say who are now at variance with
one another, and whom we have likewise commanded to be present, may be
settled in accordance with the proper faith, and that brotherly harmony,
though it be but gradual, may be restored. May Almighty God preserve thee
in health many years.

(_b_) _Synodal Epistle addressed to Sylvester, Bishop of Rome_, Bruns, II,
107. _Cf._ Kirch, nn. 330-337.

    The following extracts give the canons of most importance in the
    history of the times. The exact wording of the canons has not been
    retained in the letter, which is the only record extant of the
    action of the council. The text from which the following is
    translated is that given by the monks of St. Maur in their
    _Collectio Conciliorum Galliæ_, reprinted by Hefele, § 15, and
    Bruns, _Canones Apostolorum et Conciliorum_, II, 107 _ff._ It is
    to be preferred to the text of Mansi and the older collections.

    The first canon settled for the West the long-standing question as
    to the date of Easter. The Roman custom as to the day of the week
    and computation of the time of year should be followed everywhere;
    the same decision was reached at Nicæa for the East (_v. __§ 62,
    II, a_). As a matter of fact, however, the computation customary
    at Alexandria eventually prevailed as the more accurate.

    The eighth and thirteenth canons touch upon North African
    disputes. The former overrules the contention of Cyprian and his
    colleagues, that heretical or schismatical baptisms were invalid.
    It also laid down a principle by which Novatianism stood
    condemned. The thirteenth applied a similar principle to
    ordination; the crimes of the bishop who gave the ordination
    should not invalidate the ordination of a suitable person, as was
    claimed in the case of the ordination of Cæcilianus by Felix of
    Aptunga, accused as a _traditor_; further it ruled out the
    complaints against Felix until more substantial proof be brought,
    the official documents that he had made the tradition required by
    the edict of persecution.

Marinus and the assembly of bishops, who have come together in the town of
Arles, to the most holy lord and brother Sylvester. What we have decreed
with general consent we signify to your charity that all may know what
ought to be observed in the future.

1. In the first place, concerning the observation of the Lord’s Easter, we
have determined that it be observed on one day and at one time throughout
the world by us, and that you send letters according to custom to all.

8. Concerning the Africans, because they make use of their own law, to the
effect that they rebaptize, we have determined that if any one should come
from heresy to the Church they should ask him the creed; and if they
should perceive that he had been baptized in the name of the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Ghost, hands only should be laid upon him that he
might receive the Holy Ghost. That if when asked he should not reply this
Trinity, let him be baptized.

9. Concerning those who bring letters of the confessors, it pleased us
that these letters having been taken away, they should receive other
letters of communion.

13. Concerning those who are said to have given up the Holy Scriptures or
the vessels of the Lord or the name of their brethren, it has pleased us
whoever of them shall have been convicted by public documents and not by
mere words, should be removed from the clerical order; though if the same
have been found to have ordained any, and those whom they have ordained
are worthy, it shall not render their ordination invalid. And because
there are many who are seen to oppose the law of the Church and think that
they ought to be admitted to bring accusation by hired witnesses, they are
by no means to be admitted, except, as we have said above, they can prove
their accusations by public documents.

II. The Council of Nicæa

    For the Council of Nicæa, see Hefele, §§ 18-44. All church
    histories give large space to the Council of Nicæa. _V. infra, §§
    __63__ ff., __72, a_.

(_a_) Council of Nicæa, 325. _Synodical Letter_, Socrates, _Hist. Ec._ I,
9. (MSG, 67 :77.) Text in Kirch, nn. 369 _ff._; Mirbt, n. 107.

To the holy and, by the grace of God, great Church of the Alexandrians,
and to our beloved brethren throughout Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis, the
bishops assembled at Nicæa constituting the great and holy synod, send
greetings in the Lord.

Since by the grace of God, a great and holy synod has been convened at
Nicæa, our most pious sovereign Constantine having summoned us out of
various cities and provinces for that purpose, it appeared to us
indispensably necessary that a letter should be written also to you on the
part of the sacred synod; in order that you may know what subjects were
brought under consideration, what rigidly investigated, and also what was
eventually determined on and decreed. In the first place, the impiety and
guilt of Arius and his adherents were examined into, in the presence of
our most pious Emperor Constantine: and it was unanimously decided that
his impious opinion be anathematized, with all the blasphemous expressions
and terms he has blasphemously uttered, affirming that the Son of God
sprang from nothing, and that there was a time when He was not; saying,
moreover, that the Son of God was possessed of a free will, so as to be
capable either of vice or virtue; and calling Him a creature and a work.
All these the holy synod has anathematized, having scarcely patience to
endure the hearing of such an impious or, rather, bewildered opinion, and
such abominable blasphemies. But the conclusion of our proceedings against
him you must either have heard or will hear; for we would not seem to
trample on a man who has received the chastisement which his crime
deserved. Yet so strong is his impiety as to involve Theonas, Bishop of
Marmarica, and Secundus of Ptolemais; for they have suffered the same
condemnation as himself. But the grace of God freed us from this false
doctrine, impiety, and blasphemy, and from those persons who have dared to
cause discord and division among the people previously at peace; and there
still remained the contumacy of Meletius to be dealt with, and those who
had been ordained by him; and we shall now state to you, beloved brethren,
what resolution the synod came to on this point. Acting with more clemency
toward Meletius, although, strictly speaking, he was wholly undeserving of
favor, the council permitted him to remain in his own city, but decreed
that he should exercise no authority either to ordain or nominate for
ordination; and that he should appear in no other district or city on this
pretence, but simply retain a nominal dignity; that those who had received
appointments from him, after having been confirmed by a more legitimate
ordination, should be admitted to communion on these conditions: that they
should continue to hold their rank and ministry, but regard themselves as
inferior in every respect to all those who had been previously ordained
and established in each place and church by our most honored
fellow-minister Alexander. In addition to these things, they shall have no
authority to propose or nominate whom they please, or to do anything at
all without the concurrence of a bishop of the Catholic Church, who is one
of Alexander’s suffragans. Let such as by the grace of God and your
prayers have been found in no schism, but have continued in the Catholic
Church blameless, have authority to nominate and ordain those who are
worthy of the sacred office, and to act in all things according to
ecclesiastical law and usage. Whenever it may happen that any of those
placed in the Church die, then let such as have been recently admitted
into orders be advanced to the dignity of the deceased, provided that they
appear worthy, and that the people should elect them, and the bishop of
Alexandria confirm their choice. This is conceded to all the others,
indeed, but as for Meletius personally we by no means grant the same, on
account of his formerly disorderly conduct; and because of the rashness
and levity of his character he is deprived of all authority and
jurisdiction, as a man liable again to create similar disturbances. These
are things which specially affect Egypt and the most holy Church of the
Alexandrians; and if any other canon or ordinance should be established,
our lord and most honored fellow-minister and brother Alexander being
present with us, will on his return to you enter into more minute details,
inasmuch as he is not only a participator in whatever is transacted, but
has the principal direction of it. We have also to announce the good news
to you concerning the unanimity as to the holy feast of Easter: that this
by your prayers has been settled so that all the brethren in the East, who
have hitherto kept this festival with the Jews, will henceforth conform to
the Romans and to us, and to all who from the earliest times have observed
our period of celebrating Easter. Rejoicing, therefore, on account of a
favorable termination of matters and in the extirpation of all heresy,
receive with the greater honor and more abundant love our fellow-minister
and your bishop, Alexander, who has greatly delighted us by his presence,
and even at his advanced age has undergone extraordinary exertions in
order that peace might be re-established among you. Pray on behalf of us
all, that the decisions to which we have so justly come may be inviolably
maintained through Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ, together with
the Holy Spirit to whom be glory forever. Amen.

(_b_) Council of Nicæa, Canon 8, _On the Novatians_, Bruns. I, 8.

    The Church recognized the substantial orthodoxy of the Novatians,
    and according to the principles laid down at Arles (cc. 8, 13, §
    62 _I, b_) the ordination of the Novatians was regarded as valid.
    The following canon, although a generous concession on the part of
    the Church, did not bring about a healing of the schism which
    lasted several centuries. The last mention of the Novatians is
    contained in the 95th canon of the second Trullan Council, known
    as the Quinisext, A. D. 692.

Canon 8. Concerning those who call themselves Cathari, who come over to
the Catholic and Apostolic Church, the great and holy synod decrees that
they who are ordained shall continue as they are among the clergy. But
before all things it is necessary that they should profess in writing that
they will observe and follow the teachings of the Catholic and Apostolic
Church; that is, that they will communicate with those who have been twice
married and with those who have lapsed during the persecution, and upon
whom a period of penance has been laid and a time for restoration fixed;
so that in all things they will follow the teachings of the Catholic
Church. Wheresoever, then, whether in villages or in cities, only these
are found who have been ordained, let them remain as found among the
clergy and in the same rank. But if any come over where there is a bishop
or presbyter of the Catholic Church, it is manifest that the bishop of the
Church must have the dignity of a bishop, and he who was named bishop by
those who are called Cathari shall have the honor of a presbyter, unless
it seem fit to the bishop to share with him the honor of the title. But if
this should not seem good to him, then shall the bishop provide for him a
place as chorepiscopus, or as presbyter, in order that he may be evidently
seen to be of the clergy, and that in one city there may not be two

(_c_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 5, 2; A. D. 326.

    With the generous treatment of the Novatians by the Council of
    Nicæa should be compared the mild and generous treatment of
    Constantine, who distinguished them from other heretics.

We have not learned that the Novatians have been so condemned that we
believe that to them should not be granted what they claim. Therefore we
prescribe as to the buildings of their churches and places suitable for
burial that they are to possess, without any molestation, those buildings
and lands, namely, which on ground of long possession or from purchase or
claim for any sound reason they may have. It will be well looked out for
that they attempt to claim nothing for themselves of those things which
before their secession belonged evidently to the churches of perpetual

Chapter II. The Arian Controversy Until The Extinction Of The Dynasty Of

The Arian controversy may be divided into four periods or stadia:

1. From the outbreak of the Arian controversy to the Council of Nicæa
(318-325). In this stadium the positions of the parties are defined, and
the position of the West, in substantial agreement with that of Alexander
and Athanasius, forced through by Constantine and Hosius at Nicæa (§ 63).

2. From the Council of Nicæa to the death of Constantine (325-337). In
this stadium, without the setting aside of the formula of Nicæa, an
attempt is made to reconcile those who in fact dissented. In this period
Constantine, now living in the East, inclines toward a position more in
harmony with Arianism and more acceptable in the East than was the
doctrine of Athanasius. This is the period of the Eusebian reaction (§

3. From the death of Constantine to the death of Constantius (337-361). In
this stadium the anti-Nicæan party is victorious in the East (§ 65), but
as it included all those who for any reason were opposed to the definition
of Nicæa, it fell apart on attaining the annulment of the decision of
Nicæa. There arose, on the one hand, an extreme Arian party and, on the
other, a homoiousian party which approximated closely to the Athanasian
position but feared the Nicene terminology.

4. From the accession of Julian to the council of Constantinople
(361-381). Under the pressure brought against Christianity by Julian (§
68), parties but little removed from each other came closer together (§
70). A new generation of theologians took the lead, with an interpretation
of the Nicene formula which made it acceptable to those who had previously
regarded it as Sabellian. And under the lead of these men, backed by the
Emperor Theodosius, the reaffirmation of the Nicene formula at
Constantinople, 381, was accepted by the East (§ 71).

In the period in which the Arian controversy is by far the most important
series of events in Church history, the attitude of the sons of
Constantine toward heathenism and Donatism was of secondary importance,
but it should be noticed as throwing light on the ecclesiastical policy
which made the Arian controversy so momentous. In their policy toward
heathenism and dissent, the policy of Constantine was carried to its
logical completion in the establishment of Christianity as the only lawful
religion of the Empire (§ 67).

Arianism may be regarded as the last attempt of Dynamistic Monarchianism
(_v. supra_, § 40) to explain the divinity of Jesus Christ without
admitting His eternity. It was derived in part from the teaching of Paul
of Samosata through Lucian of Antioch. Paul of Samosata had admitted the
existence of an eternal but impersonal Logos in God which dwelt in the man
Jesus. Arianism distinguished between a Logos uncreated, an eternal
impersonal reason in God, and a personal Logos created in time, making the
latter, the personal Logos, only in a secondary sense God. This latter
Logos, neither eternal nor uncreated, became incarnate in Jesus, taking
the place in the human personality of the rational soul or logos. To guard
against the worship of a being created and temporal, and to avoid the
assertion of two eternal existences, the anti-Arian or Athanasian
position, already formulated by Alexander, made the personal Logos of one
essence or substance with the Father, eternal as the Father, and thereby
distinguishing between begetting, or the imparting of subsistence, and
creating, or the calling into being from nothing, a distinction which
Arianism failed to make; and thus allowing for the eternity and deity of
the Son without detracting from the monotheism which was universally
regarded as the fundamental doctrine of Christianity as a body of
theology. In this controversy the party of Alexander and Athanasius was
animated, at least in the earlier stages of the controversy, not so much
by speculative interests as by religious motives, the relation of Jesus to
redemption, and they were strongly influenced by Irenæus. The party of
Arius, on the other hand, was influenced by metaphysical interests as to
the relation of being to creation and the contrast between the finite and
the infinite. It may be said, in general, that until the council of
Chalcedon, and possibly even after that, the main interest that kept alive
theological discussion was intimately connected with vital problems of
religious life of the times. After that the scholastic period began to set
in and metaphysical discussions were based upon the formulæ of the

§ 63. The Outbreak of the Arian Controversy and the Council of Nicæa, A.
D. 325

The Arian controversy began in Alexandria about 318, as related by
Socrates (_a_). The positions of the two parties were defined from the
beginning both by Alexander, bishop of Alexandria (_b_), and Arius himself
(_c_), who by appealing to Eusebius of Nicomedia, his fellow-student in
the school of Lucian of Antioch, enlisted the support of that able
ecclesiastical politician and courtier and at once extended the area of
the controversy throughout the East. By means of poems of a somewhat
popular character entitled the _Thalia_, about 322 (_d_), Arius spread his
doctrines still further, involving others than the trained professional
theologian. In the meanwhile Arius and some other clergy sympathizing with
him in Egypt were deposed about 320 (_e_). Constantine endeavored to end
the dispute by a letter, and, failing in this, sent Hosius of Cordova, his
adviser in ecclesiastical matters, to Alexandria in 324. On the advice of
Hosius, a synod was called to meet at Nicæa in the next year, after the
pattern of the earlier synod for the West at Arles in 314. Here the basis
for a definition of faith was a non-committal creed presented by Eusebius
of Cæsarea, the Church historian (_f_). This was modified, probably under
the influence of Hosius, so as to be in harmony at once with the tenets of
the party of Alexander and Athanasius, and with the characteristic
theology of the West (_g_).

    Additional source material: J. Chrystal, _Authoritative
    Christianity_, Jersey City, 1891, vol. I; _The Council of Nicæa:
    The Genuine Remains_; H. R. Percival, _The Seven Ecumenical
    Councils_ (PNF, ser. II, vol. XIV); Athanasius, _On the
    Incarnation_ (PNF, ser. II, vol. IV).

(_a_) Socrates. _Hist. Ec._, I, 5. (MSG, 67:41.)

    The outbreak of the controversy at Alexandria circa 318.

After Peter, who was bishop of Alexandria, had suffered martyrdom under
Diocletian, Achillas succeeded to the episcopal office, and after
Achillas, Alexander succeeded in the period of peace above referred to.
Conducting himself fearlessly, he united the Church. By chance, one day,
in the presence of the presbyters and the rest of his clergy, he was
discussing too ambitiously the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, teaching that
there was a unity in the Trinity. But Arius, one of the presbyters under
his jurisdiction, a man of no inconsiderable logical acumen, imagining
that the bishop was subtly introducing the doctrine of Sabellius the
Libyan, from the love of controversy took the opposite opinion to that of
the Libyan, and, as he thought, vigorously responded to the things said by
the bishop. “If,” said he, “the Father begat the Son, He that was begotten
had a beginning of existence; and from this it is evident that there was a
time when the Son was not. It follows necessarily that He had His
subsistence [hypostasis] from nothing.”

(_b_) Alexander of Alexandria. _Ep. ad Alexandrum_, in Theodoret, _Hist.
Ec._, I, 3. (MSG, 88:904.)

    A statement of the position of Alexander made to Alexander, bishop
    of Constantinople.

    This extract is to be found at the end of the letter; it is
    evidently based upon the creed which is reproduced with somewhat
    free glosses. The omissions in the extract are of the less
    important glosses and proof-texts. For the position of Alexander
    the letter of Arius to Eusebius of Nicomedia given below (_c_)
    should also be examined.

We believe as the Apostolic Church teaches, In one unbegotten Father, who
of His being has no cause, immutable and invariable, and who subsists
always in one state of being, admitting neither of progression nor
diminution; who gave the law and the prophets and the Gospel; of
patriarchs and Apostles and all saints, Lord; and in one Lord Jesus
Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten not out of that which is
not, but of the Father, who is; yet not after the manner of material
bodies, by severance or emanation, as Sabellius and Valentinus taught, but
in an inexpressible and inexplicable manner.… We have learned that the Son
is immutable and unchangeable, all-sufficient and perfect, like the
Father, lacking only His “unbegottenness.” He is the exact and precisely
similar image of His Father.… And in accordance with this we believe that
the Son always existed of the Father.… Therefore His own individual
dignity must be reserved to the Father as the Unbegotten One, no one being
called the cause of His existence: to the Son, likewise, must be given the
honor which befits Him, there being to Him a generation from the Father
which has no beginning.… And in addition to this pious belief respecting
the Father and the Son, we confess as the sacred Scriptures teach us, one
Holy Spirit, who moved the saints of the Old Testament, and the divine
teachers of that which is called the New. We believe in one and only
Catholic and Apostolic Church, which can never be destroyed even though
all the world were to take counsel to fight against it, and which gains
the victory over all the impious attacks of the heterodox.… After this we
receive the resurrection from the dead, of which Jesus Christ our Lord
became the first-fruits; who bore a body, in truth, not in semblance,
derived from Mary, the mother of God [theotokos] in the fulness of time
sojourning among the race, for the remission of sins: who was crucified
and died, yet for all this suffered no diminution of His Godhead. He rose
from the dead, was taken into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of
the Majesty on high.

(_c_) Arius, _Ep. ad Eusebium_, in Theodoret, _Hist. Ec._, I, 4. (MSG,

    A statement in the words of Arius of his own position and that of
    Alexander addressed to Eusebius of Nicomedia.

To his very dear lord, the man of God, the faithful and orthodox Eusebius,
Arius unjustly persecuted by Alexander the Pope, on account of that
all-conquering truth of which you are also the champion, sendeth greeting
in the Lord.

… Alexander has driven us out of the city as atheists, because we do not
concur in what he publicly preaches; namely, “God is always, the Son is
always; as the Father so the Son; the Son coexists unbegotten with God; He
is everlastingly begotten; He is the unbegotten begotten; neither by
thought nor by any interval does God precede the Son; always God, always
the Son; the Son is of God himself.”… To these impieties we cannot listen
even though heretics threaten us with a thousand deaths. But we say and
believe and have taught and do teach, that the Son is not unbegotten, nor
in any way part of the Unbegotten; nor from any substance
[hypokeimenon],(99) but that of His own will and counsel He has subsisted
before time and before ages, as perfect God only begotten and
unchangeable, and that before He was begotten or created or purposed or
established He was not. For He was not unbegotten. We are persecuted
because we say that the Son has a beginning, but that God is without
beginning. This is the cause of our persecution, and likewise because we
say that He is of that which is not.(100) And this we say because He is
neither part of God, nor of any substance [hypokeimenon]. For this we are
persecuted; the rest you know. I bid thee farewell in the Lord,
remembering our afflictions, my fellow-Lucianist and true Eusebius
[_i.e._, pious].

(_d_) Arius, _Thalia_, in Athanasius, _Orat. contra Arianos_, I, 2. (MSG,

    The following extracts from the _Thalia_, although given by
    Athanasius, the opponent of Arius, are so in harmony with what
    Arius and his followers asserted repeatedly that they may be
    regarded as correctly representing the work from which they
    profess to be taken.

God was not always Father; but there was when God was alone and was not
yet Father; afterward He became a Father. The Son was not always; for
since all things have come into existence from nothing, and all things are
creatures and have been made, so also the Logos of God himself came into
existence from nothing and there was a time when He was not; and that
before He came into existence He was not; but He also had a beginning of
His being created. For God, he says, was alone and not yet was there the
Logos and Wisdom. Afterward He willed to create us, then He made a certain
one and named Him Logos and Wisdom and Son, in order that by Him He might
create us. He says, therefore, that there are two wisdoms, one proper to,
and existing together with, God; but the Son came into existence by that
wisdom, and was made a partaker of it and was only named Wisdom and Logos.
For Wisdom existed by wisdom and the will of God’s wisdom. So, he says,
that there is another Logos besides the Son in God, and the Son partaking
of that Logos is again named Logos and Son by grace.… There are many
powers; and there is one which is by nature proper to God and eternal; but
Christ, again, is not the true power of God, but is one of those which are
called powers, of whom also the locust and the caterpillar are called not
only a power but a great power [Joel 2:2], and there are many other things
like to the Son, concerning whom David says in the Psalms: “The Lord of
Powers”;(101) likewise the Logos is mutable, as are all things, and by His
own free choice, so far as He wills, remains good; because when He wills
He is able to change, as also we are, since His nature is subject to
change. Then, says he, God foreseeing that He would be good, gave by
anticipation to Him that glory, which as a man He afterward had from His
virtue; so that on account of His works, which God foresaw, God made Him
to become such as He is now.

(_e_) Council of Alexandria, A. D. 320, _Epistula encyclica_, in Socrates,
_Hist. Ec._, I, 6. (MSG, 67:45.) _Cf._ Kirch, nn. 353 _ff._

    The encyclical of the Council of Alexandria under Alexander, in
    which Arius and his sympathizers were deposed, was possibly
    composed by Athanasius. It is commonly found in his works,
    entitled _Depositio Arii_. It is also found in the _Ecclesiastical
    History_ of Socrates. For council, see Hefele, § 20.

Those who became apostates were Arius, Achillas, Æithales, Carpones,
another Arius, and Sarmates, who were then presbyters; Euzoius, Lucius,
Julianus, Menas, Helladius, and Gaius, who were then deacons; and with
them Secundus and Theonas, then called bishops. And the novelties which
they have invented and put forth contrary to the Scriptures are the
following: God was not always a Father, but there was a time when He was
not a Father. The Logos of God was not always, but came into existence
from things that were not; wherefore there was a time when He was not; for
the Son is a creature and a work. Neither is He like in essence to the
Father. Neither is He truly by nature the Logos of the Father; neither is
He His true Wisdom; but He is one of the things made and created, and is
called the Logos and Wisdom by an abuse of terms, since He himself
originated by God’s own logos and by the wisdom that is in God, by which
God has made not only all things but Him also. Wherefore He is in His
nature subject to change and variation as are all rational creatures. And
the Logos is foreign, is alien and separated from the being [_ousia_] of
God. And the Father cannot be(102) described by the Son, for the Logos
does not know the Father perfectly and accurately, neither can He see Him
perfectly. Moreover, the Son knows not His own essence as it really is;
for He was made on account of us, that God might create us by Him as by an
instrument; and He would not have existed had not God willed to create us.
Accordingly some one asked them whether the Logos of God is able to change
as the devil changed, and they were not afraid to say that He can change;
for being something made and created, His nature is subject to change.

(_f_) Eusebius of Cæsarea, _Creed_, in Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, I, 8. (MSG,
67:69.) _Cf._ Hahn, § 188.

    This creed was presented at the Council of Nicæa by the historian
    Eusebius, who took the lead of the middle party at the council. He
    stated that it had long been in use in his church.

We believe in one God, Father Almighty, the maker of all things visible
and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Logos of God, God of God,
Light of Light, Life of Life, only begotten Son, the first-born of all
creation, begotten of His Father before all ages, by whom, also, all
things were made, who for our salvation became flesh, who lived among men,
and suffered and rose again on the third day, and ascended to the Father,
and will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. We believe
also in one Holy Spirit. We believe that each of these [_i.e._, three] is
and subsists;(103) the Father truly Father, the Son truly Son; the Holy
Spirit truly Holy Spirit; as our Lord also said, when He sent His
disciples to preach: “Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” [Matt. 28:19].

(_g_) Council of Nicæa A. D. 325, _Creed_, in Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, I, 8.
(MSG, 67:68.) _Cf._ Hahn, § 142.

    The creed of Nicæa is to be carefully distinguished from what is
    commonly called the Nicene creed. The actual creed put forth at
    the council is as follows. The discussion by Loofs,
    _Dogmengeschichte_, § 32, is brief but especially important, as he
    shows that the creed was drawn up under the influence of the
    Western formulæ.

We believe in one God, Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and
invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of His
Father, only begotten, that is of the _ousia_ of the Father, God of God,
Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made, of one
substance(104) with the Father, by whom all things were made, both things
in heaven and things in earth, who for us men and for our salvation, came
down from heaven and was made [became] flesh and was made [became] man,
suffered and rose again on the third day, ascended into the heavens and
comes to judge living and dead. And in the Holy Ghost.

But those who say there was when He was not, and before being begotten He
was not, and He was made out of things that were not(105) or those who say
that the Son of God was from a different substance [hypostasis] or being
[_ousia_] or a creature, or capable of change or alteration, these the
Catholic Church anathematizes.

§ 64. The Beginnings of the Eusebian Reaction under Constantine

Shortly after the Council of Nicæa, Constantine seems to have become aware
of the fact that the decision at that council was not acceptable in the
East as a whole, representing, as it did, what was generally felt to be an
extreme position. In coming to this opinion he was much influenced by
Eusebius of Nicomedia who, by powerful court interest, was soon recalled
from exile and even became the leading ecclesiastical adviser of
Constantine. The policy of this bishop was to prepare the way for the
revocation of the decree of Nicæa by a preliminary rehabilitation of Arius
(_a_), and by attacking the leaders of the opposite party (_b_).
Constantine, however, never consented to the abrogation of the creed of

    Additional source material: Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, I, 8 (letter of
    Eusebius to his diocese), 14, 28 ff. _Eusebius, Vita Constantini_,
    III, 23; Athanasius, _Historia Arianorum_, §§ 4-7.

(_a_) Arius, _Confession of Faith_, in Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, I, 26. (MSG,

    As a part of the process whereby Arius should be rehabilitated by
    being received back into the Church he was invited by Constantine
    to appear at the court. He was there presented to the Emperor and
    produced a confession of faith purposely vague and general in
    statement, but intended to give the impression that he held the
    essentials of the received orthodoxy. The text is that given by
    Hahn, § 187.

Arius and Euzoius to our most religious and pious Lord, the Emperor

In accordance with the command of your devout piety, sovereign lord, we
declare our faith, and before God we profess in writing that we and our
adherents believe as follows:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty; and in the Lord Jesus Christ
His Son, who was made by Him before all ages, God the Word, through whom
all things were made, both those which are in heaven and those upon earth;
who descended, and became incarnate, and suffered, and rose again,
ascended into the heavens, and will again come to judge the living and the
dead. Also in the Holy Spirit, and in the resurrection of the flesh, and
in the life of the coming age, and in the kingdom of the heavens, and in
one Catholic Church of God, extending from one end of the earth to the

This faith we have received from the holy gospels, the Lord therein saying
to His disciples: “Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” If we do not so believe
and truly receive the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as the whole Catholic
Church and the Holy Scriptures teach (in which we believe in every
respect) God is our judge both now and in the coming judgment. Wherefore
we beseech your piety, most devout Emperor, that we who are persons
consecrated to the ministry, and holding the faith and sentiments of the
Church and of the Holy Scriptures, may by your pacific and devoted piety
be reunited to our mother, the Church, all superfluous questions and
disputings being avoided; that so both we and the whole Church may be at
peace and in common offer our accustomed prayers for your tranquil reign
and on behalf of your whole family.

(_b_) Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, I, 23. (MSG, 67:140.)

    The attack of the Arians upon Athanasius and his party.

The partisans of Eusebius and Theognis having returned from their exile,
they received again their churches, having expelled, as we observed, those
who had been ordained in their stead. Moreover they came into great
consideration with the Emperor, who honored them exceedingly, as those who
had returned from error to the orthodox faith. They, however, abused the
license granted them by exciting commotions in the world greater than
before; being instigated to this by two causes—on the one hand, the Arian
heresy with which they had been previously infected, and on the other
hand, by animosity against Athanasius because in the synod he had so
vigorously withstood them in the discussion of the articles of the faith.
And in the first place they objected to the ordination of Athanasius, not
only as of one unworthy of the episcopate, but also as of one not elected
by qualified persons. But when he had shown himself superior to this
calumny (for having assumed direction of the Church of the Alexandrians,
he ardently contended for the Nicene creed), then the adherents of
Eusebius exerted themselves to cause the removal of Athanasius and to
bring Arius back to Alexandria; for thus only did they think they should
be able to cast out the doctrine of consubstantiality and introduce
Arianism. Eusebius therefore wrote to Athanasius to receive Arius and his
adherents; and when he wrote he not only entreated him, but he openly
threatened him. When Athanasius would by no means accede to this he
endeavored to persuade the Emperor to receive Arius in audience and then
permit him to return to Alexandria; and how he accomplished these things I
shall tell in its proper place.

Meanwhile, before this, another commotion was raised in the Church. In
fact those of the household of the Church again disturbed her peace.
Eusebius Pamphilius says that immediately after the synod Egypt became
agitated by intestine divisions; but he does not give the reason for this.
From this he has gained the reputation of being disingenuous and of
avoiding the specification of the causes of these dissensions from a
determination on his part not to give his sanction to the proceedings at
Nicæa. Yet as we ourselves have discovered from various letters which the
bishops wrote to one another after the synod, the term homoousios troubled
some of them. So that while they occupied themselves about it,
investigating it very minutely, they roused the strife against each other.
It seemed not unlike a contest in the dark; for neither party appeared to
understand distinctly the grounds on which they calumniated one another.
Those who objected to the word homoousios conceived that those who
approved it favored the opinion of Sabellius and Montanus; they therefore
called them blasphemers, as subverting the existence of the Son of God.
And again those who defended the term, charging their opponents with
polytheism, inveighed against them as introducers of heathen
superstitions. Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, accuses Eusebius Pamphilius
of perverting the Nicene creed; Eusebius again denies that he violates
that exposition of the faith, and accuses Eustathius of introducing the
opinion of Sabellius. Therefore each of them wrote as if contending
against adversaries; but both sides admitted that the Son of God has a
distinct person and existence, confessing that there is one God in three
persons (hypostases) yet they were unable to agree, for what cause I do
not know, and could in no way be at peace.

§ 65. The Victory of the Anti-Nicene Party in the East

When Constantine died in 337 the party of Eusebius of Nicomedia was
completely in the ascendant in the East. A council at Antioch, 339,
deposed Athanasius, and he was expelled from Alexandria, and Gregory of
Cappadocia was consecrated in his place. Athanasius, with Marcellus of
Ancyra and other supporters of the Nicene faith, repaired to Rome where
they were supported by Julius, bishop of Rome, at a well-attended local
council in 340 (_a__, __b_). In the East numerous attempts were made to
formulate a confession of faith which might take the place of the Nicene
creed and prove acceptable to all parties. The most important of these
were produced at the Council of Antioch, 341, at which no less than four
creeds were formulated (_c__, __d_).

    Additional source material: Percival, _The Seven Ecumenical
    Councils_ (PNF, ser. II, vol. XIV); Socrates, _Hist. Ec._ (PNF,
    ser. II, vol. II), II, 19 (Formula Macrostichos); Athanasius, _De
    Synodis_ (PNF, ser. II, vol. IV).

(_a_) Athanasius, _Apologia contra Arianos_, 20. (MSG, 25:280.)

    Athanasius and his allies in exile in the West are exonerated at

The Eusebians wrote also to Julius, thinking to frighten me, requesting
him to call a council, and Julius himself to be the judge if he pleased.
When, therefore, I went up to Rome, Julius wrote to the Eusebians, as was
suitable, and sent moreover two of his presbyters, Elpidius and
Philoxenus. But when they heard of me they became confused, because they
did not expect that we would come up; and they declined, alleging absurd
reasons for so doing, but in truth fearing lest the things should be
proved against them which Valens and Ursacius afterward confessed.
However, more than fifty bishops assembled in the place where the
presbyter Vito held his congregation, and they acknowledged my defence and
gave me the confirmation both of their communion and their love. On the
other hand, they expressed great indignation against the Eusebians and
requested that Julius write to the following effect to them who had
written to him. And he wrote and sent it by Count Gabienus.

(_b_) Julius of Rome, _Epistula_, in Athanasius. _Apologia contra
Arianos_, §§ 26 _ff._ (MSG, 25:292.)

Julius to his dearly beloved brethren, Danius, Flacillus, Narcissus,
Eusebius, and Matis, Macedonius, Theodorus, and their friends, who have
written him from Antioch, sends health in the Lord.

§ 26. … It is necessary for me to inform you that although I alone wrote,
yet it was not my opinion only, but of all the bishops throughout Italy
and in these parts. I, indeed, was unwilling to cause them all to write,
lest they might have weight by mere numbers. The bishops, however,
assembled on the appointed day, and agreed in these opinions, which I
again write to signify to you; so that, dearly beloved, although I alone
address you, yet you may know it is the opinion of all.…

§ 27. That we have not admitted to our communion our fellow-bishops
Athanasius and Marcellus either hastily or unjustly, although sufficiently
shown above, it is but fair to set briefly before you. The Eusebians first
wrote against Athanasius and his fellows, and you have also written now;
but many bishops out of Egypt and other provinces wrote in his favor. Now
in the first place, your letters against him contradict each other, and
the second have no sort of agreement with the first, but in many instances
the former are refuted by the latter, and the latter are impeached by the

§ 29. Now when these things were thus represented, and so many witnesses
appeared in his behalf, and so much advanced by him in his own
justification, what did it become us to do? Or what did the rule of the
Church require except that we should not condemn the man, but rather
receive him and hold him as a bishop as we have done.…

§ 32. With respect to Marcellus, forasmuch as you have written concerning
him also as impious in respect to Christ, I am anxious to inform you that,
when he was here, he positively declared that what you had written
concerning him was not true; but, being nevertheless requested by us to
give an account of his faith, he answered in his own person with the
utmost boldness, so that we recognize that he maintains nothing outside of
the truth. He confessed that he piously held the same doctrine concerning
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as the Catholic Church holds; and he
affirmed that he had held these opinions not merely now but for a very
long time since; as indeed our presbyters, who were at a former time at
the Council of Nicæa, testified to his orthodoxy, for he maintained both
then and now his opposition to the heresy of Arius; on which point it is
right to admonish you, that none of you admit such heresy, but instead
abominate it as alien from the wholesome doctrine. Since he professed
orthodox opinions and offered testimony to his orthodoxy, what again ought
we in his case to have done except to treat him as a bishop, as we did,
and not reject him from our communion?…

§ 33. For not only the bishops Athanasius and Marcellus and their fellows
came here and complained of the injustice that had been done them, but
many other bishops, also, from Thrace, from Cœle-Syria, from Phœnicia, and
Palestine; and presbyters, not a few, and others from Alexandria and from
other parts were present at the council here and, in addition to their own
statements, lamented bitterly before all the assembled bishops the
violence and injustice which the churches had suffered; and they affirmed
that outrages similar to those which had been committed in Alexandria had
occurred not in word only but in deed in their own churches and in others

(_c_) _Second Creed of Antioch_, A. D. 341, in Athanasius, _De Synodis
Arimini et Seleuciæ_, ch. 23. (MSG, 26:721.) Also in Socrates, _Hist.
Ec._, II, 10. (MSG, 67:201.) _Cf._ Hahn, § 154.

    The Council of Antioch in 341 was gathered ostensibly to dedicate
    the great church of that city, in reality to act against the
    Nicene party. It was attended by ninety or more bishops of whom
    thirty-six were Arians. The others seem to have been chiefly
    members of the middle party. The dogmatic definitions of this
    council have never been accepted by the Church; on the other hand,
    the canons on discipline have always enjoyed a very high place in
    the esteem of later generations. The following creed, the second
    of the Antiochian creeds, is traditionally regarded as having been
    composed originally by Lucian of Antioch, the master of Arius.
    Hence it is known as the creed of Lucian.

We believe in accordance with evangelic and apostolic tradition in one God
the Father Almighty, the creator, the maker and provider of all things.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, God, through whom are
all things, who was begotten of His Father before all ages, God of God,
whole of whole, only one of only one, perfect of perfect, king of king,
lord of lord, the living word, living wisdom, true light, way, truth,
resurrection, shepherd, door, unchangeable, unalterable, and immutable,
the unchangeable likeness of the Godhead, both of the substance, and will
and power and glory of the Father, the first-born of all creation, who was
in the beginning with God, God Logos, according to what is said in the
Gospel: “and the word was God,” through whom all things were made, and “in
whom all things consist,” who in the last days came down from above, and
was born of a virgin, according to the Scriptures, and became man, the
mediator between God and man, and the apostle of our faith, and the prince
of life; as He says, “I have come down from heaven, not to do mine own
will, but the will of Him that sent me”; who suffered for us, and rose the
third day and ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of the
Father, and comes again with glory and power to judge the living and the
dead. And in the Holy Spirit given for consolation and sanctification and
perfection to those who believe; as also our Lord Jesus Christ commanded
his disciples, saying, “Go ye, teach all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” clearly of the
Father who is really a Father, and of the Son who is really a Son, and of
the Holy Spirit who is really a Holy Spirit; these names being assigned
not vaguely nor idly, but indicating accurately the special subsistence
[hypostasis], order, glory of those named, so that in subsistence they are
three, but in harmony one.

Having then this faith from the beginning and holding it to the end,
before God and Christ we anathematize all heretical false doctrines. And
if any one contrary to the right faith of the Holy Scriptures, teaches and
says that there has been a time, a season, or age, or being or becoming,
before the Son of God was begotten, let him be accursed. And if any one
says that the Son is a creature as one of the creatures, or generated as
one of the things generated, or made as one of the things made, and not as
the divine Scriptures have handed down each of the forenamed statements;
or if a man teaches or preaches anything else contrary to what we have
received, let him be accursed. For we truly and clearly both believe and
follow all things from the Holy Scriptures that have been transmitted to
us by the prophets and Apostles.

(_d_) _Fourth Creed of Antioch_, Socrates, _Hist._ Ec., II, 18. (MSG,
67:221.) _Cf._ Hahn, § 156.

    This creed is an approximation to the Nicene creed but without the
    use of the word of especial importance, homoousios. Valuable
    critical notes on the text of this and the preceding creed are to
    be found in Hahn; as these creeds are to be found both in the work
    of Athanasius on the councils of synods of Ariminum and Seleucia,
    in the ecclesiastical history of Socrates and elsewhere, there is
    a variety of readings, but of minor significance so far as the
    essential features are concerned.

We believe in one God, Father Almighty, the creator and maker of all
things, of whom the whole family in heaven and upon earth is named; and in
his only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who was begotten of the
Father before all ages; God of God, light of light, through whom all
things in the heavens and upon earth, both visible and invisible were
made: who is the word, and wisdom, and power, and life, and true light:
who in the last days for our sake was made [became] man, and was born of
the holy Virgin; was crucified, and died; was buried, arose again from the
dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven, is seated at the right
hand of the Father, and is coming at the consummation of the age to judge
the living and the dead, and to render to each according to his works:
whose kingdom, being perpetual, shall continue to infinite ages (for He
shall sit at the right hand of the Father, not only in this age, but also
in that which is to come). And in the Holy Spirit; that is, in the
comforter, whom the Lord, according to His promise, sent to His Apostles
after His ascension into the heavens, to teach and bring all things to
their remembrance: by whom, also, the souls of those who have sincerely
believed in Him shall be sanctified; and those who assert that the Son was
made of things which are not, or of another subsistence [hypostasis], and
not of God, or that there was a time or age when He did not exist the holy
Catholic Church accounts as aliens.

§ 66. Collapse of the Anti-Nicene Middle Party; the Renewal of Arianism;
the Rise of the Homoousian Party

When Constantius became sole Emperor, on the death of his brother Constans
in 350, there was no further need of considering the interests of the
Nicene party. Only the necessity of establishing his authority in the West
against usurpers engaged his attention until 356, when a series of
councils began, designed to put an end to the Nicene faith. Of the
numerous confessions of faith put forth, the second creed of Sirmium of
357 is important as attempting to abolish in connection with the
discussion the use of the term _ousia_ and likewise _homoousios_ and
_homoiousios_ (_a_). At Nice in Thrace a still greater departure from
Nicæa was attempted in 359, and a creed was put forth (_b_), which is of
special significance as containing the first reference in a creed to the
_descensus ad inferos_ and to the fact that it was subscribed by the
deputies of the West including Bishop Liberius of Rome. For the discussion
of this act of Liberius, see J. Barmby, art. “Liberius” in DCB; see also
_Catholic Encyclopædia_, art. “Liberius.” It was also received in the
synod of Seleucia in the East. On these councils see Athanasius, _De
Synodis_ (PNF). It was in reference to this acceptance of the creed of
Nice that Jerome wrote “The whole world groaned and was astonished that it
was Arian.” See Jerome, _Contra Luciferianos_, §§ 18 _ff._ (PNF. ser. II,
vol. VI).

Inasmuch as the anti-Nicene opposition party was a coalition of all
parties opposed to the wording of the Nicene creed, as soon as that creed
was abolished the bond that held them together was broken. At once there
arose an extreme Arianism which had remained in the background. On the
other hand, those who were opposed to Arianism sought to draw nearer the
Nicene party. These were the Homoiousians, who objected to the term
homoousios as savoring of Sabellianism, and yet admitted the essential
point implied by it. That this was so was pointed out by Hilary of
Poitiers (_c_) who contended that what the West meant by homoousios the
East meant by homoiousios. The Homoiousian party of the East split on the
question of the deity of the Holy Spirit. Those of them who denied the
deity of the Spirit remained Semi-Arians.

(_a_) _Second Creed of Sirmium_, in Hilary of Poitiers, _De Synodis_, ch.
11. (MSL, 10:487.) _Cf._ Hahn, § 161.

    The Council of Sirmium in 357 was the second in that city. It was
    attended entirely by bishops from the West. But among them were
    Ursacius, Valens, and Germinius, leaders of the opposition to the
    Nicene creed. Hosius under compulsion signed the following; see
    Hilary, _loc cit._ The Latin original is given by Hilary.

It is evident that there is one God, the Father Almighty, according as it
is believed throughout the whole world; and His only Son Jesus Christ our
Saviour, begotten of Him before the ages. But we cannot and ought not to
say there are two Gods.…

But since some or many persons were disturbed by questions as to
substance, called in Greek _ousia_, that is, to make it understood more
exactly, as to _homoousios_ or what is called _homoiousios_, there ought
to be no mention of these at all, nor ought any one to state them; for the
reason and consideration that they are not contained in the divine
Scriptures, and that they are above man’s understanding, nor can any man
declare the birth of the Son, of whom it is written: “Who shall declare
His generation?” For it is plain that only the Father knows how He begat
the Son, and the Son how He was begotten of the Father. There is no
question that the Father is greater. No one can doubt that the Father is
greater than the Son, in honor, dignity, splendor, majesty and in the very
name Father, the Son himself testifying, He that sent Me is greater than
I. And no one is ignorant that it is Catholic doctrine that there are two
persons of Father and Son; and that the Father is greater, and that the
Son is subordinated to the Father, together with all things which the
Father hath subordinated to Him; and that the Father has no beginning and
is invisible, immortal, and impassible, but that the Son has been begotten
of the Father, God of God, light of light, and of this Son the generation,
as is aforesaid, no one knows but His Father. And that the Son of God
himself, our Lord and God, as we read, took flesh or a body, that is, man
of the womb of the Virgin Mary, as the angel announced. And as all the
Scriptures teach, and especially the doctor of the Gentiles himself. He
took of Mary the Virgin, man, through whom He suffered. And the whole
faith is summed up and secured in this, that the Trinity must always be
preserved, as we read in the Gospel: “Go ye and baptize all nations in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Complete and
perfect is the number of the Trinity. Now the Paraclete, or the Spirit, is
through the Son: who was sent and came according to His promise in order
to instruct, teach, and sanctify the Apostles and all believers.

(_b_) _Creed of Nice_ A. D. 359, Theodoret, _Hist. Ec._, II, 16. (MSG,
82:1049.) _Cf._ Hahn, § 164.

    The deputies from the Council of Ariminum were sent to Nice, a
    small town in Thrace, where they met the heads of the Arian party.
    A creed, strongly Arian in tendency, was given them and they were
    sent back to Ariminum to have it accepted. See Theodoret, _loc.
    cit._, and Athanasius, _De Synodis_.

We believe in one and only true God, Father Almighty, of whom are all
things. And in the only begotten Son of God, who before all ages and
before every beginning was begotten of God, through whom all things were
made, both visible and invisible; begotten, only begotten, alone of the
Father alone, God of God, like the Father that begat Him, according to the
Scriptures, whose generation no one knoweth except only the Father that
begat Him. This only begotten Son of God, sent by His Father, we know to
have come down from heaven, as it is written, for the destruction of sin
and death; begotten of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, as it is
written, according to the flesh. Who companied with His disciples, and
when the whole dispensation was fulfilled, according to the Father’s will,
was crucified, dead and buried, and descended to the world below, at whom
hell itself trembled; on the third day He rose from the dead and companied
with His disciples, and when forty days were completed He was taken up
into the heavens, and sitteth on the right hand of His Father, and is
coming at the last day of the resurrection, in His Father’s glory, to
render to every one according to his works. And in the Holy Ghost, which
the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, both God and Lord, promised to
send to the race of men, the comforter, as it is written, the spirit of
truth, and this Spirit He himself sent after He had ascended into the
heavens and sat at the right hand of the Father, from thence He is coming
to judge both the quick and the dead.

But the word “substance,” which was simply inserted by the Fathers and not
being understood was a cause of scandal to the people because it was not
found in the Scriptures, it hath seemed good to us to remove, and that for
the future no mention whatever be permitted of “substance,” because the
sacred Scriptures nowhere make any mention of the “substance” of the
Father and the Son. Nor must one “subsistence” [hypostasis] be named in
relation to the person [prosopon] of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. And we
call the Son like the Father, as the Holy Scriptures call Him and teach.
But all heresies, both those already condemned, and any, if such there be,
which have arisen against the document thus put forth, let them be

(_c_) Hilary of Poitiers. _De Synodis_, §§ 88, 89, 91. (MSL, 10:540.)

    That the Homoiousian party meant substantially the same by their
    term homoiousios as did the Homoousians or the Nicene party, by
    their term homoousios.

    Hilary was of great importance in the Arian controversy in
    bringing the Homoiousian party of the East and the Nicene party of
    the West to an agreement. The Eastern theologians, who hesitated
    to accept the Nicene term, were eventually induced to accept,
    understanding by the term homoousios the same as homoiousios. See
    below, § 70.

§ 88. Holy brethren, I understand by homoousios God of God, not of an
unlike essence, not divided, but born; and that the Son has a birth that
is unique, of the substance of the unknown God, that He is begotten yet
co-eternal and wholly like the Father. The word homoousios greatly helped
me already believing this. Why do you condemn my faith in the homoousios,
which you cannot disapprove by the confession of the homoiousios? For you
condemn my faith, or rather your own, when you condemn its verbal
equivalent. Does somebody else misunderstand it? Let us together condemn
the misunderstanding, but not take away the security of your faith. Do you
think that one must subscribe to the Samosetene Council, so that no one
may make use of homoousios in the sense of Paul of Samosata? Then let us
subscribe to the Council of Nicæa, so that the Arians may not impugn the
word homoousios. Have we to fear that homoiousios does not imply the same
belief as homoousios? Let us decree that there is no difference between
being of one and being of a similar substance. But may not the word
homoousios be understood in a wrong sense? Let it be proved that it can be
understood in a good sense. We hold one and the same sacred truth. I
beseech you that the one and the same truth which we hold, we should
regard as sacred among us. Forgive me, brethren, as I have so often asked
you to do. You are not Arians; why, then, by denying the homoousios,
should you be thought to be Arians?

§ 89. … True likeness belongs to a true natural connection. But when the
true natural connection exists, the homoousios is implied. It is likeness
according to essence when one piece of metal is like another and not
plated.… Nothing can be like gold but gold, or like milk that does not
belong to that species.

§ 91. I do not know the word homoousios or understand it unless it
confesses a similarity of essence. I call God of heaven and earth to
witness, that when I heard neither word, my belief was always such that I
should have interpreted homoiousios by homoousios. That is I believed that
nothing could be similar according to nature unless it was of the same

§ 67. The Policy of the Sons of Constantine Toward Heathenism and Donatism

Under the sons of Constantine a harsher policy toward heathenism was
adopted. Laws were passed forbidding heathen sacrifices (_a__, __b_), and
although these were not carried out vigorously in the West, where there
were many heathen members of the leading families, they were more
generally enforced in the East, and heathenism was thereby much reduced,
at least in outward manifestations. As to heresy, the action of the
emperors and especially Constantius in his constant endeavor to set aside
the Nicene faith involved harsh measures against all who differed from the
approved theology of the court. Donatism called for special treatment. A
policy of conciliation was attempted, but on account of the failure to win
over the Donatists and their alliance with fierce revolutionary fanatics,
the Circumcellions, violent measures were taken against them which nearly
extirpated the sect.

(_a_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 10, 2; A. D. 341.

    This edict of Constantius is of importance here as it seems to
    imply that Constantine did more toward repressing heathen
    sacrifices than to forbid those celebrated in private. It is,
    however, the only evidence of his prohibiting sacrifice, and it
    might have been due to misunderstanding that his example is here

Let superstition cease; let the madness of sacrifices be abolished. For
whoever, against the law of the divine prince, our parent [Constantine]
and this command of our clemency, shall celebrate sacrifices, let a
punishment appropriate to him and this present decision be issued.

(_b_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 10, 3; A. D. 342.

    In the West Constans did not enforce the law against sacrifices
    with great severity, but tolerated the existence and even use of
    certain temples without the walls.

Although all superstition is to be entirely destroyed, yet we will that
the temple buildings, which are situated without the walls, remain intact
and uninjured. For since from some have arisen various sports, races, and
contests, it is not proper that they should be destroyed, from which the
solemnity of ancient enjoyments are furnished to the Roman people.

(_c_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 10, 4; A. D. 346.

It is our pleasure that in all places and in all cities the temples be
henceforth closed, and access having been forbidden to all, freedom to sin
be denied the wicked. We will that all abstain from sacrifices; that if
any one should commit any such act, let him fall before the vengeance of
the sword. Their goods, we decree, shall be taken away entirely and
recovered to the fisc, and likewise rectors of provinces are to be
punished if they neglect to punish for these crimes.

(_d_) Optatus, _De schismate Donatistarum_, III, §§ 3, 4. (MSL, 11:999.)

    The principal historical writer treating the schism of the
    Donatists is Optatus, Bishop of Mileve. His work on this sect was
    written about 370 and revised and enlarged in 385. It is of
    primary importance not merely for the history but for the dogmatic
    discussions on the doctrine of the Church, Bk. II, the doctrine of
    the sacraments, the idea of _opus operatum_ as applied to them,
    Bk. V; in all of which he laid the foundation upon which Augustine
    built. In addition to the passage from Optatus given here,
    Epistles 88 and 185 by Augustine are accessible in translations
    and will be found of assistance in filling in the account of the
    Circumcellions. The latter is known as _De correctione
    Donatistarum_ and is published in the anti-Donatist writings of
    Augustine in PNF, ser. I, vol. IV; the most important passages are
    §§ 15 and 25. It is probable that the party of the Circumcellions
    was originally due to a revolt against intolerable agrarian
    conditions and that their association with the Donatists was at
    first slight.

§ 3. … The Emperor Constans did not send Paulus and Macarius primarily to
bring about unity, but with alms, that, assisted by them, the poor of the
various churches might be relieved, clothed, and fed. When they came to
Donatus, your father, and showed him why they had come, he was seized with
his accustomed furious anger and broke forth with these words: “What has
the Emperor to do with the Church.”…

§ 4. If anything, therefore, has been done harshly in bringing about
unity,(106) you see, brother Parmenianus, to whom it ought to be
attributed. Do you say that the military was sought by us Catholics; if
so, then why did no one see the military in arms in the proconsular
province? Paulus and Macarius came, everywhere to consider the poor and to
exhort individuals to unity; and when they approached Bagaja, then another
Donatus, bishop of that city, desiring to place an obstacle in the way of
unity and hinder the work of those coming, whom we have mentioned, sent
messengers throughout the neighboring places and all markets, and summoned
the Circumcellions, calling them Agonistici, to come to the said place.
And at that time the gathering of these was desired, whose madness a
little before had been seen by the bishops themselves to have been
impiously inspired. For when men of this sort before the unity(107)
wandered through various places, when Axido and Fasir were called by the
same mad ones the leaders of the saints, no one could be secure in his
possessions; written evidences of indebtedness lost their force; no
creditor was at liberty at that time to demand anything. All were
terrified by the letters of those who boasted that they were the leaders
of the saints, and if there was any delay in fulfilling their commands,
suddenly a furious multitude hurried up and, terror going on before,
creditors were surrounded with a wall of dangers, so that those who ought
to have been asked for their protection were by fear of death compelled to
use humble prayers. Each one hastened to abandon his most important
duties; and profit was thought to have come from these outrages. Even the
roads were no longer at all safe, because masters, turned out of their
carriages, ran humbly before their slaves sitting in the places of their
masters. By the judgment and rule of these the order of rank between
masters and servants was changed. Therefore when there arose complaint
against the bishops of your party, they are said to have written to Count
Taurinus, that such men could not be corrected in the Church, and they
demanded that they should receive discipline from the said count. Then
Taurinus, in response to their letters, commanded an armed body of
soldiers to go through the markets where the Circumcellions were
accustomed to wander. In Octavum very many were killed, many were beheaded
and their bodies, even to the present day, can be counted by the white
altars or tables.(108) When first some of their number were buried in the
basilicas, Clarus, a presbyter in Subbulum, was compelled by his bishop to
disinter those buried. Whence it is reported that what was done had been
commanded to be done, when it is admitted that sepulture in the house of
God is not granted. Afterward the multitude of these people increased. In
this way Donatus of Bagaja found whence he might lead against Macarius a
raging mob. Of that sort were those who were to their own ruin murderers
of themselves in their desire for a false martyrdom. Of these, also, were
those who rushed headlong and threw themselves down from the summits of
lofty mountains. Behold from what numbers the second Bishop Donatus formed
his cohorts! Those who were bearing treasure which they had obtained for
the poor were held back by fear. They decided in so great a predicament to
demand from Count Sylvester armed soldiery, not that by these they should
do violence to any one, but that they might stop the force drawn up by the
aforesaid Bishop Donatus. Thus it happened that an armed soldiery was
seen. Now, as to what followed, see to whom it ought or can be ascribed.
They had there an infinite number of those summoned, and it is certain
that a supply of provisions for a year had been provided. Of the basilicas
they made a sort of public granary, and awaited the coming of those
against whom they might expend their fury, if the presence of armed
soldiery had not prevented them. For when, before the soldiers came, the
metatores,(109) as was the custom, were sent, they were not properly
received, contrary to the apostolic precept, “honor to whom honor, custom
to whom custom, tribute to whom tribute, owe no man anything.” For those
who had been sent with their horses were smitten by those whose names you
have made public with malicious intent. They were the authors of their own
wrong; and what they could suffer they themselves taught by these
outrages. The soldiers who had been maltreated returned to their fellows,
and for what two or three suffered, all grieved. All were roused, and
their officers could not restrain the angered soldiers.

§ 68. Julian the Apostate

The reign of Julian the Apostate (361-363) is important in the history of
the Christian Church, in the first place, as indicating the slight hold
which heathenism had retained as a system upon the bulk of the people and
the impossibility of reviving it in any form in which it might compete
with the Church. Julian attempted to inject into a purified heathenism
those elements in the Christian Church which he was forced to admire. The
result was a fantastic mixture of rites and measures with which the
heathen would have nothing to do. In the second place, in the development
of the Church’s doctrinal system, and especially in the Arian controversy,
the reign of Julian gave the contestants, who were obliged to stand
together against a common enemy, reason for examining in a new way the
points they had in common, and enabled them to see that some at least
differed more over the expression than over the content of their faith.
The character of Julian has long been a favorite subject of study and
especially the motives that induced him to abandon Christianity for the
Neo-Platonic revival of heathenism.

    Additional source material: Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, III: Ammianus
    Marcellinus, _Roman History_, XVI-XXV, translated by C. D. Yonge
    (Bohn’s Classical Library); _Select Works of Julian_, translated
    by C. W. King (Bohn).

(_a_) Socrates. _Hist Ec._ III. 1. (MSG, 67:368.)

    The Emperor Julian.

    The account of the Emperor Julian as given by Socrates is probably
    the best we have. It is, on the whole, a model of a fair
    statement, such as is characteristic of the history of Socrates in
    nearly all its parts. In spite of its length it is worthy of a
    place in its entirety, as it explains the antecedents of a
    character which the world has had difficulty in understanding.

Constantine, who gave Byzantium his own name, had two brothers born of the
same father but by a different mother, of these one was named Dalmatius,
the other Constantius. Dalmatius had a son of the same name as his own;
Constantius had two sons, Gallus and Julian. Now, as on the death of
Constantine, the founder of Constantinople, the soldiery had put the
younger brother Constantius to death, the lives of his two orphaned
children were also endangered; but a disease, apparently fatal, preserved
Gallus from the violence of his father’s murderers; and as to Julian, his
age—for he was only eight years old at the time—protected him. The
Emperor’s jealousy toward them having been subdued, Gallus attended
schools at Ephesus in Ionia, in which country considerable possessions had
been left them by their parents. Julian, however, when he was grown up
pursued his studies at Constantinople, going constantly to the palace,
where the schools then were, in simple attire and under the care of the
eunuch Mardonius. In grammar, Nicocles, the Lacedæmonian, was his
instructor; and Ecbolius, the sophist, who was at that time a Christian,
taught him rhetoric; for the Emperor Constantius had made provision that
he should have no pagan masters, lest he should be seduced to pagan
superstitions; for Julian was a Christian at the beginning. Since he made
great progress in literature, the report began to spread that he was
capable of ruling the Roman Empire; and this popular rumor becoming
generally spread abroad, greatly disquieted the Emperor. Therefore he
removed him from the great city to Nicomedia, forbidding him at the same
time to frequent the school of Libanius the Syrian sophist. For Libanius,
having been driven away by the teachers of Constantinople, had opened a
school at Nicomedia. Here he gave vent to his indignation against the
teachers in his treatise composed against them. Julian, however, was
interdicted from being his auditor, because Libanius was a pagan in
religion; nevertheless because he admired his orations, he procured them
and read them secretly and diligently. As he was becoming very expert in
the rhetorical art, Maximus the philosopher arrived in Nicomedia, not the
Byzantine, Euclid’s father, but the Ephesian whom the Emperor Valentinian
afterward caused to be executed as a practicer of magic. This took place
later; at that time the only thing that attracted him to Nicomedia was the
fame of Julian. Having obtained from him a taste for the principles of
philosophy, Julian began to imitate the religion of his teacher, who had
instilled into his mind a desire for the Empire. When these things reached
the ears of the Emperor, wavering between hope and fear, Julian became
very anxious to lull the suspicion that had been awakened, and he who was
at first truly a Christian then became one in pretence. Shaved to the very
skin, he pretended to live the monastic life; and while in private he
pursued philosophical studies, in public he read the sacred writings of
the Christian Church. Moreover, he was appointed reader of the church in
Nicomedia. Thus by these pretexts he escaped the Emperor’s displeasure.
Now he did all this from fear, but he by no means abandoned his hope;
telling many of his friends that times would be happier when he should
possess all. While his affairs were in this condition his brother Gallus,
who had been created Cæsar, when he was on his way to the East came to
Nicomedia to see him. But when Gallus was slain shortly after, Julian was
immediately suspected by the Emperor; therefore the latter directed that
he should be kept under guard; he soon found means, however, of escaping
from his guards, and fleeing from place to place he managed to be in
safety. At last Eusebia, the wife of the Emperor, having discovered him in
his retreat, persuaded the Emperor to do him no harm, and to permit him to
go to Athens to study philosophy. From thence—to be brief—the Emperor
recalled him and afterward created him Cæsar, and having given him his own
sister Helen in marriage, he sent him to Gaul against the barbarians. For
the barbarians whom the Emperor Constantius had hired as auxiliary forces
against Magnentius, being of no use against that usurper, were pillaging
the Roman cities. Inasmuch as he was young he ordered him to undertake
nothing without consulting the other military chiefs.… Julian’s complaint
to the Emperor of the inertness of his military officers procured for him
a coadjutor in the command more in sympathy with his ardor; and by their
combined efforts an assault was made upon the barbarians. But they sent
him an embassy, assuring him that they had been ordered by letters of the
Emperor to march into Roman territories, and they showed him the letters.
But he cast the ambassadors into prison, vigorously attacked the forces of
the enemy and totally defeated them; and having taken their king prisoner,
he sent him to Constantius. After these successes he was proclaimed
Emperor by the soldiers; and inasmuch as there was no imperial crown at
hand, one of the guards took the chain which he wore around his own neck
and placed it upon Julian’s head. Thus Julian became Emperor; but whether
he subsequently conducted himself as a philosopher, let my readers
determine. For he neither sent an embassy to Constantius, nor paid him the
least homage in acknowledgment of past favors; but conducted everything
just as it pleased him. He changed the rulers of the provinces, and he
sought to bring Constantius into contempt by reciting publicly in every
city the letters which Constantius had written to the barbarians. For this
reason the cities revolted from Constantius and attached themselves to
him. Then he openly put off the pretence of being a Christian; going about
to the various cities, he opened the pagan temples, offering sacrifices to
the idols, and designating himself “Pontifex Maximus”; and the heathen
celebrated their pagan festivals with pagan rites. By doing these things
he excited a civil war against Constantius; and thus as far as he was
concerned all the evils involved in war happened. For this philosopher’s
desire could not have been fulfilled without much bloodshed. But God, who
is the judge of His own counsels, checked the fury of these antagonists
without detriment to the State by the removal of one of them. For when
Julian arrived among the Thracians, it was announced that Constantius was
dead. And thus did the Roman Empire at that time escape the intestine
strife. Julian entered Constantinople and at once considered how he might
conciliate the masses and secure popular favor. Accordingly, he had
recourse to the following measures: he knew that Constantius was hated by
all the people who held the homoousian faith and had driven them from the
churches and had proscribed and exiled their bishops. He was aware, also,
that the pagans were extremely discontented because they had been
forbidden to sacrifice to their gods, and were anxious to get their
temples opened and to be at liberty to offer sacrifices to their idols.
Thus he knew that both classes secretly entertained hostile feelings
toward his predecessor, and at the same time the people in general were
exceedingly exasperated by the violence of the eunuchs, and especially by
the rapacity of Eusebius, the chief officer of the imperial bed-chamber.
Therefore he treated all with craftiness. With some he dissembled; others
he attached to himself by conferring obligations upon them, led by a
desire for vainglory; but to all he manifested how he stood toward the
heathen religion. And first, in order to slander Constantius and condemn
him as cruel toward his subjects among the people generally, he recalled
the exiled bishops and restored to them their confiscated estates. He next
commanded suitable agents to open the pagan temples without delay. Then he
directed that those who had been treated unjustly by the eunuchs should
receive back the property of which they had been plundered. Eusebius, the
chief officer of the imperial bed-chamber, he punished with death, not
only on account of the injuries he had inflicted on others, but because he
was assured that it was through his machinations his brother Gallus had
been killed. The body of Constantius he honored with an imperial funeral,
but he expelled the eunuchs, the barbers, and cooks from the palace.… At
night, remaining awake, he wrote orations which he afterward delivered in
the Senate, going thither from the palace, though in fact he was the first
and only Emperor since the time of Julius Cæsar who made speeches in that
assembly. He honored those who were eminent for literary attainments, and
especially those who taught philosophy; in consequence of which an
abundance of pretenders to learning of this sort resorted to the palace
from all quarters, men who wore their palliums and were more conspicuous
for their costume than for their erudition. These impostors, who
invariably adopted the religious sentiments of their prince, were inimical
to the welfare of the Christians; but since Julian himself was overcome by
excessive vanity he derided all his predecessors in a book which he wrote,
entitled “The Cæsars.” Led by the same haughty disposition, he composed
treatises against the Christians as well.

(_b_) Sozomenus, _Hist. Ec._, V, 3. (MSG, 67:1217.)

    Julian’s restoration of heathenism.

When Julian was placed in sole possession of the Empire he commanded all
the temples throughout the East to be reopened; and he also commanded that
those which had been neglected to be repaired, those which had fallen into
ruins to be rebuilt, and the altars to be restored. He assigned
considerable money for this purpose. He restored the customs of antiquity
and the ancestral ceremonies in the cities and the sacrifices. He himself
offered libations openly and sacrificed publicly; and held in honor those
who were zealous in these things. He restored to their ancient privileges
the initiators and the priests, the hierophants and the servants of the
temples, and confirmed the legislation of former emperors in their favor.
He granted them exemption from duties and other burdens as they had
previously had had such exemption. He restored to the temple guardians the
provisions which had been abolished. He commanded them to be pure from
meats, and to abstain from whatever, according to pagan opinion, was not
befitting him who had announced his purpose of leading a pure life.

(_c_) Sozomenus, _Hist. Ec._, V, 5. (MSG, 67:1225.)

    Julian’s measures against the Christians.

    Among those who benefited by the recall of those who had been
    banished for their religious beliefs were not only the orthodox
    Christians who suffered under Constantius, but also the Donatists
    and others who had been expelled from their homes by the previous

Julian recalled all who, during the reign of Constantius, had been
banished on account of their religious beliefs, and restored to them their
property which had been confiscated by law. He charged the people not to
commit any act of injustice against any of the Christians, not to insult
them and not to constrain them to sacrifice unwillingly.… He deprived the
clergy, however, of their immunities, honors, and provisions which
Constantine had conferred, repealed the laws which had been enacted in
their favor, and reinforced their statutory liabilities. He even compelled
the virgins and widows, who on account of their poverty were reckoned
among the clergy, to refund the provision which had been assigned them
from the public treasury.… In the intensity of his hatred of the faith, he
seized every opportunity to ruin the Church. He deprived it of its
property, votive offerings, and sacred vessels, and condemned those who
had demolished temples during the reign of Constantine and Constantius to
rebuild them or to defray the expense of re-erection. On this ground,
since they were unable to repay the sum and also on account of the search
after sacred money, many of the priests, clergy, and other Christians were
cruelly tortured and cast into prison.… He recalled the priests who had
been banished by the Emperor Constantius; but it is said that he issued
this order in their behalf, not out of mercy, but that through contention
among themselves the churches might be involved in fraternal strife and
might fall away from their law, or because he wished to asperse the memory
of Constantius.

(_d_) Julian, _Ep._ 49, _ad Arsacium_; Julian, Imp., _Epistulæ_, ed.
Hertlein. Leipsic, 1875 _f._; also in Sozomenus, _Hist. Ec._, V, 16. (MSG,

To Arsacius, High Priest of Galatia. Hellenism(110) does not flourish as
we would have it, because of its votaries. The worship of the gods,
however, is grand and magnificent beyond all our prayers and hopes. Let
our Adrastea be propitious to these words. No one a little while ago could
have dared to look for such and so great a change in a short time. But do
we think that these things are enough, and not rather consider that
humanity shown strangers, the reverent diligence shown in burying the
dead, and the false holiness as to their lives have principally advanced
atheism?(111) Each of these things is needful, I think, to be faithfully
practised among us. It is not sufficient that you alone should be such,
but in general all the priests, as many as there are throughout Galatia,
whom you must either shame or persuade to be zealous, or else deprive them
of their priestly office, if they do not come with their wives, children,
and servants to the temples of the gods, or if they support servants,
sons, or wives who are impious toward the gods and prefer atheism to
piety. Then exhort the priests not to frequent the theatres, not to drink
in taverns, nor to practise any art or business which is shameful or
menial. Honor those who comply, expel those who disobey. Establish
hostelries in every city, so that strangers, or whoever has need of money,
may enjoy our philanthropy, not merely those of our own, but also those of
other religions. I have meanwhile made plans by which you will be able to
meet the expense. I have commanded that throughout the whole of Galatia
annually thirty thousand bushels of corn and sixty thousand measures of
wine be given, of which the fifth part I order to be devoted to the
support of the poor who attend upon the priests; and the rest is to be
distributed by us among strangers and beggars. For if there is not one
among the Jews who begs, and even the impious Galileans, in addition to
their own, support also ours, it is shameful that our poor should be
wanting our aid.

(_e_) Sozomenus, _Hist. Ec._, V, 16. (MSG, 67:1260.)

    Measures taken by Julian for the restoration of heathenism.

The Emperor, who had long since been eager that Hellenism should prevail
through the Empire, was bitterly grieved seeing it excelled by
Christianity. The temples, however, were kept open; the sacrifices and the
ancient festivals appeared to him in all the cities to come from his will.
He grieved that when he considered that if they should be deprived of his
care they would experience a speedy change. He was particularly chagrined
on discovering that the wives, children, and servants of many pagan
priests professed Christianity. On reflecting that the Christian religion
had a support in the life and behavior of those professing it, he
determined to introduce into the pagan temples everywhere the order and
discipline of the Christian religion: by orders and degrees of the
ministry, by teachers and readers to give instruction in pagan doctrines
and exhortations, by appointed prayers on certain days and at stated
hours, by monasteries both for men and for women who desired to live in
philosophical retirement, likewise hospitals for the relief of strangers
and of the poor, and by other philanthropy toward the poor to glorify the
Hellenic doctrine. He commanded that a suitable correction be appointed by
way of penance after the Christian tradition for voluntary and involuntary
transgressions. He is said to have admired especially the letters of
recommendation of the bishops by which they commended travellers to other
bishops, so that coming from anywhere they might go to any one and be
hospitably received as known and as friends, and be cared for kindly on
the evidence of these testimonials. Considering also these things, he
endeavored to accustom the pagans to Christian practices.

(_f_) Sozomenus. _Hist. Ec._, V, 18. (MSG, 67:1269.)

    _Cf._ Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, III, 16.

Julian forbade the children of Christians to be instructed in the writings
of the Greek poets and authors, and to frequent the public schools.… He
did not permit Christians to be educated in the learning of the Greeks,
since he considered that only from them the power of persuasion was
gained. Apollinaris,(112) therefore, at that time employed his great
learning and ingenuity in the production of a heroic epic on the
antiquities of the Hebrews to the reign of Saul as a substitute for the
poem of Homer.… He also wrote comedies in imitation of Menander, and
imitated the tragedies of Euripides and the odes of Pindar.… Were it not
that men were accustomed to venerate antiquity and to love that to which
they are accustomed, the works of Apollinaris would be equally praised and

(_g_) Julian, _Epistula_ 42.

    Edict against Christian teachers of the classics.

    This is the famous decree prohibiting Christians from teaching the
    Greek classics, and was quite generally understood by Christians
    as preventing them from studying the same.

I think true culture consists not in proficiency in words and speech, but
in a condition of mind which has sound intentions and right opinions
concerning good and evil, the honorable and the base. Whoever, therefore,
thinks one thing and teaches those about him another appears to be as
wanting in culture as in honor. If in trifles there is a difference
between thought and speech, it is nevertheless an evil in some way to be
endured; but if in important matters any one thinks one thing and teaches
in opposition to what he thinks, this is the trick of charlatans, the act
not of good men, but of those who are thoroughly depraved, especially in
the case of those who teach what they regard as most worthless, deceiving
and enticing by flattery into evil those whom they wish to use for their
own purposes. All those who undertake to teach anything should be upright
in life and not cherish in their minds ideas which are in opposition to
those commonly received; most of all I think that such they ought to be
who converse with the young on learning, or who explain the writings of
the ancients, whether they are teachers of eloquence or of rhetoric, and
still more if they are sophists. For they aim to be not merely teachers of
words but of morals as well, and claim instruction in political science as
belonging to their field. Whether this be true, I will leave undetermined.
But praising them as those who thus strive for fine professions, I would
praise them still more if they neither lied nor contradicted themselves,
thinking one thing and teaching their pupils another. Homer, Hesiod,
Demosthenes, Herodotus, Thucydides, Isocrates, and Lysias were indebted to
the gods for all their science. Did they not think that they were under
the protection of Hermes and of the Muses? It seems to me, therefore,
absurd that those who explain their writings should despise the gods they
honored. But when I think it is absurd, I do not say that, on account of
their pupils, they should alter their opinions; but I give them the
choice, either not to teach what they do not hold as good, or, if they
prefer to teach, first to convince their pupils that Homer, Hesiod, or any
of those whom they explain and condemn, is not so godless and foolish in
respect to the gods as they represent him to be. For since they draw their
support and make gain from what these have written, they confess
themselves most sordidly greedy of gain, willing to do anything for a few
drachmas. Hitherto there were many causes for the lack of attendance upon
the temples, and overhanging fear gave an excuse for keeping secret the
right teaching concerning the gods. Now, however, since the gods have
granted us freedom, it seems to me absurd that men should teach what they
do not regard as good. If they believe that all those men are wise whose
writings they expound and as whose prophets they sit, let them first
imitate their piety toward the gods; but if they think that these writers
erred concerning the most honored gods, let them go into the churches of
the Galileans and expound Matthew and Luke, believing whom you forbid
attendance upon the sacrifices. I would that your ears and tongues were
born again, as you would say, of those things in which I always take part,
and whoever loves me thinks and does. This law is to apply to teachers and
instructors generally. Whoever among the youth wishes to make use of their
instruction is not forbidden. For it would not be fair in the case of
those who are yet youths and do not know which way to turn, to forbid the
best way, and through fear to compel them to remain unwillingly by their
ancestral institutions. Although it would be right to cure such people
against their wills as being insane, yet it is permitted all to suffer
under this disease. For it is my opinion that the ignorant should be
instructed, not punished.

Chapter III. The Triumph Of The New Nicene Orthodoxy Over Heterodoxy And

The Arian controversy was the most important series of events in the
internal history of the Christian Church in the fourth century, without
reference to the truth or error of the positions taken or the rightful
place of dogma within the Church. It roused more difficulties, problems,
and disputes, led to more persecutions, ended in greater party triumphs
than any other ecclesiastical or religious movement. It entered upon its
last important phase about the time of the accession of the Emperor
Julian. From that time the parties began to recognize their real
affiliations and sought a basis of union in a common principle. The effect
was that on the accession of Christian emperors the Church was able to
advance rapidly toward a definitive statement. Of the emperors that
followed Julian, Valentinian I (364-375), who ruled in the West, took a
moderate and tolerant position in the question regarding the existence of
heathenism alongside of the Church and heretical parties within the
Church, though afterward harsher measures were taken by his son and
successor (§ 69). In the East his colleague Valens (364-378) supported the
extreme Arian party and persecuted the other parties, at the same time
tolerating heathenism. This only brought the anti-Arians more closely
together as a new party on the basis of a new interpretation of the Nicene
formula (§ 70, _cf._ § 66, _c_). On the death of Valens at Adrianople,
378, an opportunity was given this new party, which it has become
customary to call the New Nicene party, to support Theodosius (379-395) in
his work of putting through the orthodox formula at the Council of
Constantinople, 381 (§ 71).

§ 69. The Emperors from Jovian to Theodosius and Their Policy toward
Heathenism and Arianism

The reign of Jovian lasted so short a time, June, 363, to February, 364,
that he had no time to develop a policy, and the assertion of Theodoret
that he extinguished the heathen sacrificial fires is doubtful. On the
death of Jovian, Valentinian was elected Emperor, who soon associated with
himself his brother Valens as his colleague for the East. The two were
tolerant toward heathenism, but Valens took an active part in favor of
Arianism, while Valentinian held aloof from doctrinal controversy. On the
death of Valentinian I, his sons Gratian (murdered at Lyons, 383) and
Valentinian II (murdered at Vienne by Arbogast, 392), succeeded to the
Empire. Under them the policy of toleration ceased, heathenism was
proscribed. In the East under Theodosius, appointed colleague of Gratian
in 379, the same policy was enforced. Arianism was now put down with a
strong hand in both parts of the Empire.

(_a_) Ammianus Marcellinus, _Roman History_, XXX, 9, § 5.

    The religious policy of Valentinian I.

    Ammianus Marcellinus is probably the best of the later Roman
    historians, and is the chief authority for much of the secular
    history from 353 to 378, in which period he is a source of the
    first rank, writing from personal observation and first-hand
    information. Ammianus was himself a heathen, but he seems not to
    have been embittered by the persecution to which his faith had
    been subjected. He was a man of a calm and judicial mind, and his
    judgment is rarely biassed, even when he touches upon
    ecclesiastical matters which, however, he rarely does.

Valentinian was especially remarkable during his reign for his moderation
in this particular—that he kept a middle course between the different
sects of religion, and never troubled any one, nor issued any orders in
favor of one kind of worship rather than another; nor did he promulgate
any threatening edicts to bow down the necks of his subjects to the form
of worship to which he himself was inclined; but he left these parties
just as he found them, without making any alterations.

(_b_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XII, 1, 75; A. D. 371.

    In this edict Valentinian I confirms the immunities of the heathen
    priesthood which had been restored by Julian. The heathen
    priesthood is here shown to continue as still open to aspirants
    after political honors and conferring immunities upon those who
    attained it. The curial had to pass through the various offices in
    fixed order before he attained release from burdens which had been
    laid upon him by the State’s system of taxation.

Let those be held as enjoying immunity who, advancing by the various
grades and in due order, have performed their various obligations and have
attained by their labor and approved actions to the priesthood of a
province or to the honor of a chief magistracy, gaining this position not
by favor and votes obtained by begging for them, but with the favorable
report of the citizens and commendation of the public as a whole, and let
them enjoy the repose which they shall have deserved by their long labor,
and let them not be subject to those acts of bodily severity in punishment
which it is not seemly that _honorati_ should undergo.

(_c_) Theodoret. _Hist. Ec._, IV, 21; V, 20. (MSG, 82:1181.)

    The following statement of Theodoret might seem to have been
    inspired by the general hatred which was felt for the violent
    persecutor and pronounced Arian, Valens. Nevertheless the
    statement is supported by references to the conditions under
    Valens made by Libanius in his _Oratio pro Templis_, addressed to
    the Emperor Theodosius.

IV, 21. At Antioch Valens spent considerable time, and gave complete
license to all who under cover of the Christian name, pagans, Jews, and
the rest preached doctrines contrary to those of the Gospel. The slaves of
this error even went so far as to perform pagan rites, and thus the
deceitful fire which after Julian had been quenched by Jovian, was now
rekindled by permission of Valens. The rites of the Jews, of Dionysus and
Demeter were no longer performed in a corner as they would have been in a
pious reign, but by revellers running wild in the forum. Valens was a foe
to none but to them that held the apostolic doctrine.

V, 20. Against the champions of the apostolic decrees alone he persisted
in waging war. Accordingly, during the whole period of his reign the altar
fire was lit, libations and sacrifices were offered to idols, public
feasts were celebrated in the forum, and votaries initiated in the orgies
of Dionysus ran about in goatskins, mangling dogs in Bacchic frenzy.

(_d_) Symmachus, _Memorial to Valentinian II_; Ambrose, _Epistula_ 17.
(MSL, 16:1007.)

    A petition for the restoration of the altar of Victory in the
    Senate House at Rome.

    Symmachus, prefect of the city, had previously appealed to Gratian
    to restore the altar which had been removed. The following
    petition, of which the more impressive parts are given, was made
    in 384, two years after the first petition. The opening paragraph
    refers to the former petition. The memorial is found among the
    Epistles of Ambrose, who replies to it.

1. As soon as the most honorable Senate, always devoted to you, knew what
crimes were made amenable to law, and saw that the reputation of late
times was being purified by pious princes, following the example of a
favorable time, it gave utterance to its long-suppressed grief and bade me
be once again the delegate to utter its complaints. But through wicked men
audience was refused me by the divine Emperor, otherwise justice would not
have been wanting, my lords and emperors of great renown, Valentinian,
Theodosius, and Arcadius, victorious, triumphant, and ever august.

3. It is our task to watch on behalf of your clemency. For by what is it
more suitable that we defend the institutions of our ancestors, and the
rights and destiny of our country, than by the glory of these times, which
is all the greater when you understand that you may not do anything
contrary to the custom of your ancestors? We request, then, the
restoration of that condition of religious affairs which was so long of
advantage to the State. Let the rulers of each sect and of each opinion be
counted up; a late one [Julian] practised the ceremonies of his ancestors,
a later [Valentinian I], did not abolish them. If the religion of old
times does not make a precedent, let the connivance of the last
[Valentinian and Valens] do so.

4. Who is so friendly with the barbarians as not to require an altar of

5. But even if the avoidance of such an omen(113) were not sufficient, it
would at least have been seemly to abstain from injuring the ornaments of
the Senate House. Allow us, we beseech you, as old men to leave to
posterity what we received as boys. The love of custom is great. Justly
did the act of the divine Constantius last for a short time. All
precedents ought to be avoided by you, which you know were soon

6. Where shall we swear to obey your laws and commands? By what religious
sanctions shall the false mind be terrified, so as not to lie in bearing
witness? All things are, indeed, filled with God, and no place is safe for
the perjured, but to be bound in the very presence of religious forms has
great power in producing a fear of sinning. That altar preserves the
concord of all; that altar appeals to the good faith of each; and nothing
gives more authority to our decrees than that our order issues every
decree as if we were under the sanction of an oath. So that a place will
be opened to perjury, and my illustrious princes, who are defended by a
public oath, will deem this to be such.

7. But the divine Constantius is said to have done the same. Let us rather
imitate the other actions of that prince [Valentinian I], who would have
undertaken nothing of the kind, if any one else had committed such an
error before him. For the fall of the earlier sets his successor right,
and amendment results from the censure of a previous example. It was
pardonable for your clemency’s ancestor in so novel a matter not to guard
against blame. Can the same excuse avail us, if we imitate what we know to
have been disapproved?

8. Will your majesties listen to other actions of this same prince, which
you may more worthily imitate? He diminished none of the privileges of the
sacred virgins, he filled the priestly offices with nobles. He did not
refuse the cost of the Roman ceremonies, and following the rejoicing
Senate through all the streets of the Eternal City, he beheld the shrines
with unmoved countenance, he read the names of the gods inscribed on the
pediments, he inquired about the origin of the temples, and expressed
admiration for their founders. Although he himself followed another
religion, he maintained these for the Empire, for every one has his own
customs, every one his own rites. The divine Mind has distributed
different guardians and different cults to different cities. As souls are
separately given to infants as they are born, so to a people is given the
genius of its destiny. Here comes in the proof from advantage, which most
of all vouches to man for the gods. For, since our reason is wholly
clouded, whence does the knowledge of the gods more rightly come to us,
than from the memory and records of successful affairs? Now if a long
period gives authority to religious customs, faith ought to be kept with
so many centuries, and our ancestors ought to be followed by us as they
happily followed theirs.

9. Let us now suppose that we are present at Rome and that she addresses
you in these words: “Excellent princes, fathers of your country, respect
my years to which pious rites have brought me. Let me use the ancestral
ceremonies, for I do not repent of them. Let me live after my own fashion,
for I am free. This worship subdued the world to my laws, these sacred
rites repelled Hannibal from the walls, and the Senones from the capitol.
Have I been reserved for this, that when aged I should be blamed? I will
consider what it is thought should be set in order, but tardy and
discreditable is the reformation of old age.”

10. We ask, therefore, peace for the gods of our fathers and of our
country. It is just that what all worship be considered one. We look on
the same stars, the sky is common, the same world surrounds us. What
difference does it make by what paths each seeks the truth? We cannot
attain to so great a secret by one road; but this discussion is rather for
persons at ease; we offer now prayers, not conflict.(115)

(_e_) Ambrose, _Epistula_ 18. (MSL, 16:1013.)

    Reply of Ambrose to the Memorial of Symmachus.

    Immediately after the receipt of the Memorial of Symmachus by
    Valentinian II, a copy was sent to Ambrose, who wrote a reply or
    letter of advice to Valentinian, which might be regarded as a
    counter-petition. In it he enters upon the arguments of Symmachus.
    Although he could not present the same pathetic figure of an old
    man pleading for the religion of his ancestors, his arguments are
    not unjust, and dispose satisfactorily of the leading points made
    by Symmachus. The line of reasoning represents the best Christian
    opinion of the times on the matter of the relation of the State to

3. The illustrious prefect of the city has in a memorial set forth three
propositions which he considers of force—that Rome, he says, asks for her
rites again, that pay be given to her priests and vestal virgins, and that
a general famine followed upon the refusal of the priests’ stipends.…

7. Let the invidious complaints of the Roman people come to an end. Rome
has given no such charge. She speaks other words. “Why do you daily stain
me with the useless blood of the harmless herd? Trophies of victory depend
not upon the entrails of the flock, but on the strength of those who
fight. I subdued the world by a different discipline. Camillus was my
soldier who slew those who had taken the Tarpeian rock, and brought back
to the capitol the standards taken away; valor laid low those whom
religion had not driven off.… Why do you bring forward the rites of our
ancestors? I hate the rites of Neros. Why should I speak of emperors of
two months,(116) and the ends of rulers closely joined to their
commencements. Or is it, perchance, a new thing for barbarians to cross
their boundaries? Were they, too, Christians whose wretched and
unprecedented cases, the one a captive emperor(117) and under the
other(118) the captive world,(119) made manifest that their rites which
promised victory were false? Was there then no altar of Victory?…”

8. By one road, says he, one cannot attain to so great a secret. What you
know not, that we know by the voice of God. And what you seek by fancies
we have found out from the very wisdom and truth of God. Your ways,
therefore, do not agree with ours. You implore peace for your gods from
the Emperor, we ask peace for our emperors themselves from Christ.…

10. But, says he, let the ancient altars be restored to their images, and
their ornaments to the shrines. Let this demand be made of one who shares
in their superstitions; a Christian emperor has learned to honor the altar
of Christ alone.… Has any heathen emperor raised an altar to Christ? While
they demand the restoration of things which have been, by their own
example they show us how great reverence Christian emperors ought to pay
to the religion which they follow, since heathen ones offered all to their

We began long since, and now they follow those whom they excluded. We
glory in yielding our blood, an expense moves them.… We have increased
through loss, through want, through punishment; they do not believe that
their rites can continue without contribution.

11. Let the vestal virgins, he says, retain their privileges. Let those
speak thus who are unable to believe that virginity can exist without
reward, let those who do not trust virtue, encourage it by gain. But how
many virgins have their promised rewards gained for them? Hardly are seven
vestal virgins received. See the whole number whom the fillet and chaplets
for the head, the robes of purple dye, the pomp of the litter surrounded
by a company of attendants, the greatest privileges, immense profits, and
a prescribed time for virginity have gathered together.

12. Let them lift up the eyes of soul and body, let them look upon a
people of modesty, a people of purity, an assembly of virginity. Not
fillets are the ornament of their heads, but a veil common in use but
ennobled by chastity; the enticement of beauty not sought out, but laid
aside; none of those purple insignia, no delicious luxuries, but the
practice of fasts; no privileges, no gains; all other things, in fine, of
such a kind that one would think them restrained from desire whilst
practising their duties. But whilst the duty is being practised the desire
for it is aroused. Chastity is increased by its own sacrifice. That is not
virginity which is bought with a price, and not kept through a desire for
virtue; that is not purity which is bought by auction for money or which
is bid for a time.

16. No one has denied gifts to shrines and legacies to soothsayers; their
land only has been taken away, because they did not use religiously that
which they claimed in right of religion. Why did not they who allege our
example practise what we did? The Church has no possessions of her own
except the faith. Hence are her returns, her increase. The possessions of
the Church are the maintenance of the poor. Let them count up how many
captives the temples have ransomed, what food they have contributed for
the poor, to what exiles they have supplied the means of living. Their
lands, then, have been taken away, but not their rights.

23. He says the rites of our ancestors ought to be retained. But why,
seeing that all things have made a progress toward what is better?… The
day shines not at the beginning, but as time proceeds it is bright with
increase of light and grows warm with increase of heat.

27. We, too, inexperienced in age, have an infancy of our senses, but,
changing as years go by, lay aside the rudimentary conditions of our

28. Let them say, then, that all things ought to have remained in their
first dark beginnings; that the world covered with darkness is now
displeasing because it has brightened with the rising of the sun. And how
much more pleasant is it to have dispelled the darkness of the mind than
that of the body, and that the rays of faith should have shone than that
of the sun. So, then, the primeval state of the world, as of all things,
has passed away that the venerable old age of hoary faith might follow.…

30. If the old rites pleased, why did Rome also take up foreign ones? I
pass over the ground hidden with costly buildings, and shepherds’ cottages
glittering with degenerate gold. Why, that I may reply to the very matter
which they complain of, have they eagerly received the images of captured
cities, and conquered gods, and the foreign rites of alien superstition?
Whence, then, is the pattern of Cybele washing her chariots in a stream
counterfeiting the Almo? Whence were the Phrygian prophets and the deities
of unjust Carthage, always hateful to the Romans? And he whom the Africans
worship as Celestis, the Persians as Mithra, and the greater number as
Venus, according to a difference of name, not a variety of deities?

31. They ask to have her altar erected in the Senate House of the city of
Rome, that is where the majority who meet together are Christians! There
are altars in all the temples, and an altar also in the Temple of Victory.
Since they delight in numbers, they celebrate their sacrifices everywhere.
To claim a sacrifice on this one altar, what is it but to insult the
faith? Is it to be borne that a heathen should sacrifice and a Christian
be present?… Shall there not be a common lot in that common assembly? The
faithful portion of the Senate will be bound by the voices of those who
call upon the gods, by the oaths of those who swear by them. If they
oppose they will seem to exhibit their falsehood, if they acquiesce, to
acknowledge what is a sacrilege.

(_f_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 10, 12; A. D. 392.

    Decree of Theodosius prohibiting heathen worship as a crime of the
    same character as treason.

    The following decree may be said to have permanently forbidden
    heathenism, at least in the East, though as a matter of fact many
    heathen not only continued to practise their rites in defiance of
    the law or with the connivance of the authorities, but also
    received appointments at the court and elsewhere. The law was
    never repealed. In course of time heathenism disappeared as a
    religious system.

XVI, 10, 12. Hereafter no one of whatever race or dignity, whether placed
in office or discharged therefrom with honor, powerful by birth or humble
in condition and fortune, shall in any place or in any city sacrifice an
innocent victim to a senseless image, venerate with fire the household
deity by a more private offering, as it were the genius of the house, or
the Penates, and burn lights, place incense, or hang up garlands. If any
one undertakes by way of sacrifice to slay a victim or to consult the
smoking entrails, let him, as guilty of lese-majesty, receive the
appropriate sentence, having been accused by a lawful indictment, even
though he shall not have sought anything against the safety of the princes
or concerning their welfare. It constitutes a crime of this nature to wish
to repeal the laws, to spy into unlawful things, to reveal secrets, or to
attempt things forbidden, to seek the end of another’s welfare, or to
promise the hope of another’s ruin. If any one by placing incense
venerates either images made by mortal labor, or those which are enduring,
or if any one in ridiculous fashion forthwith venerates what he has
represented, either by a tree encircled with garlands or an altar of cut
turfs, though the advantage of such service is small, the injury to
religion is complete, let him as guilty of sacrilege be punished by the
loss of that house or possession in which he worshipped according to the
heathen superstition. For all places which shall smoke with incense, if
they shall be proved to belong to those who burn the incense, shall be
confiscated. But if in temples or public sanctuaries or buildings and
fields belonging to another, any one should venture this sort of
sacrifice, if it shall appear that the acts were performed without the
knowledge of the owner, let him be compelled to pay a fine of twenty-five
pounds of gold, and let the same penalty apply to those who connive at
this crime as well as those who sacrifice. We will, also, that this
command be observed by judges, defensors, and curials of each and every
city, to the effect that those things noted by them be reported to the
court, and by them the acts charged may be punished. But if they believe
anything is to be overlooked by favor or allowed to pass through
negligence, they will lie under a judicial warning. And when they have
been warned, if by any negligence they fail to punish they will be fined
thirty pounds of gold, and the members of their court are to be subjected
to a like punishment.

§ 70. The Dogmatic Parties and Their Mutual Relations

The parties in the Arian controversy became greatly divided in the course
of the conflict. Speaking broadly, there were still two groups, of which
one was composed of all those who regarded the Son as a creature and so
not eternal and not truly God; and the other, of those who regarded Him as
uncreated and in some real sense eternal and truly God, yet without
denying the unity of God. The former were the various Arian parties
tending to constant division. The latter can hardly yet be comprised under
one common name, and might be called the anti-Arian parties, were it not
that there was a positive content to their faith which was in far better
harmony with the prevailing religious sentiment of the East and was
constantly receiving accessions. In the second generation after Nicæa, a
new group of theologians came to the front, of whom the most important
were Eustathius of Sebaste, Cyril of Jerusalem, and the three
Cappadocians, Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa, most of
whom had at least sympathized with the Homoiousian party. Already at the
synod of Ancyra, in 358, an approach was made toward a reconciliation of
the anti-Arian factions, in that, by a more careful definition, homoousios
was rejected only in the sense of identity of being, and homoiousios was
asserted only in the sense of equality of attributes in the not identical
subjects which, however, shared in the same essence. Homoiousios did not
mean mere similarity of being. (Anathemas in Hahn, § 162; Hefele, § 80.)
The line of development ultimately taken was by a precise distinction
between _hypostasis_ and _ousia_, whereby _hypostasis_, which never meant
person in the modern sense, which later is represented by the Greek
_prosopon_, was that which subsists and shares with other _hypostases_ in
a common essence or _ousia_.

    Additional source material: Athanasius, _De Synodis_ (PNF); Basil,
    _Epp._ 38, 52, 69, 125 (PNF, ser. II, vol. VIII); Hilary of
    Poitiers, _De Synodis_, cc. 87-91 (PNF, ser. II, vol. IX);
    Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, III, 25.

Council of Alexandria A. D. 362. _Tomus ad Antiochenos_. (MSG, 26:797.)

    The Council of Alexandria, A. D. 362, was held by Athanasius in
    the short time he was allowed to be in his see city at the
    beginning of the reign of Julian. In the synodal letter or tome
    addressed to the Nicene Christians at Antioch we have the
    foundation of the ultimate formula of the Church as opposing
    Arianism, one substance and three persons, one _ousia_ and three
    _hypostases_. The occasion of the letter was an attempt to win
    over the Meletian party in the schism among the anti-Arians of
    Antioch. Meletius and his followers appear to have been
    Homoiousians who were strongly inclined to accept the Nicene
    confession. Their church was in the Old Town, a portion of
    Antioch. Opposed to them was Paulinus with his party, which held
    firmly to the Nicene confession. The difficulty in the way of a
    full recognition of the Nicene statement by Meletius and his
    followers was that it savored of Sabellianism. The difficulty of
    the party of Paulinus in recognizing the orthodoxy of the
    Meletians was their practice of speaking of the three hypostases
    or subsistences, which was condemned by the words of the Nicene
    definition.(120) The outcome of the Alexandrian Council in the
    matter was that a distinction could be made between _ousia_ and
    _hypostasis_, that the difference between the parties was largely
    a matter of terminology, that those who could use the Nicene
    symbol with the understanding that the Holy Ghost was not a
    creature and was not separate from the essence of Christ should be
    regarded as orthodox. Out of this understanding came the “New
    Nicene” party, of which the first might be said to have been
    Meletius, who accepted _homoousios_ in the sense of _homoiousios_,
    and of which the “three great Cappadocians” became the recognized

    The Council of Alexandria, in addition to condemning the
    Macedonian heresy, in advance of Constantinople, also anticipated
    that assembly by condemning Apollinarianism without mentioning the
    teacher by whom the heresy was taught. It is condemned in the
    seventh section of the tome.

§ 3. As many, then, as desire peace with us, and especially those who
assemble in the Old Town, and those again who are seceding from the
Arians, do ye call to yourselves, and receive them as parents their sons,
and as tutors and guardians welcome them; and unite them to our beloved
Paulinus and his people, without requiring more from them than to
anathematize the Arian heresy and confess the faith confessed by the holy
Fathers at Nicæa and to anathematize also those who say that the Holy
Ghost is a creature and separate from the essence of Christ. For this is
in truth a complete renunciation of the abominable heresy of the Arians,
to refuse to divide the Holy Trinity, or to say that any part of it is a

§ 5. … As to those whom some were blaming for speaking of three
subsistences (hypostases), on the ground that the phrase is unscriptural
and therefore suspicious, we thought it right, indeed, to require nothing
beyond the confession of Nicæa, but on account of the contention we made
inquiry of them, whether they meant, like the Arian madmen, subsistences
foreign and strange and alien in essence from one another, and that each
subsistence was divided apart by itself, as is the case with other
creatures in general and those begotten of men, or like substances, such
as gold, silver, or brass; or whether, like other heretics, they meant
three beginnings and three Gods, by speaking of three subsistences.

They assured us in reply that they neither meant this nor had ever held
it. But upon our asking them “what, then, do you mean by it, or why do you
use such expressions?” they replied: Because they believe in a Holy
Trinity, not a trinity in name only, but existing and subsisting in truth,
both Father truly existing and subsisting, and a Son, truly substantial
and subsisting, and a Holy Ghost subsisting and really existing do we
acknowledge, said they, and that neither had they said there were three
Gods or three beginnings, nor would they at all tolerate such as said or
held so, but that they acknowledged a Holy Trinity, but one Godhead and
one beginning, and that the Son is co-essential with the Father, as the
Fathers said; and the Holy Ghost not a creature, nor external, but proper
to, and inseparable from, the essence of the Father and the Son.

§ 6. Having accepted, then, these men’s interpretation of their language
and their defence, we made inquiry of those blamed by them for speaking of
one subsistence, whether they use the expression in the sense of
Sabellius, to the negation of the Son and Holy Ghost, or as though the Son
was non-substantial, or the Holy Ghost without subsistence. But they in
their turn assured us that they neither said this nor had ever held it,
but, “we use the word subsistence thinking it the same thing to say
subsistence or essence.”(121) But we hold there is One, because the Son is
of the essence of the Father and because of the identity of nature. For we
believe that there is one Godhead, and that the nature of it is one, and
not that there is one nature of the Father, from which that of the Son and
of the Holy Ghost are distinct. Well, thereupon, they who had been blamed
for saying that there were three subsistences agreed with the others,
while those who had spoken of one essence, also confessed the doctrine of
the former as interpreted by them. And by both sides Arius was
anathematized as an adversary of Christ, and Sabellius, and Paul of
Samosata as impious men, and Valentinus and Basilides as aliens from the
truth, and Manichæus as an inventor of mischief. And all, by God’s grace,
and after the above explanations, agreed together that the faith confessed
by the Fathers at Nicæa is better and more accurate than the said phrases,
and that for the future they would prefer to be content to use its

§ 7. But since, also, certain seemed to be contending together concerning
the fleshly economy of the Saviour, we inquired of both parties. And what
the one confessed the others also agreed to: that not as when the word of
the Lord came to the prophets, did it dwell in a holy man at the
consummation of the ages, but that the Word himself was made flesh; and
being in the form of God, He took the form of a servant, and from Mary
after the flesh became man for us, and that thus in Him the human race is
perfectly and wholly delivered from sin and made alive from the dead, and
led into the kingdom of heaven. For they also confess that the Saviour had
not a body without a soul, nor without sense or intelligence;(122) for it
was not possible, when the Lord had become man for us, that His body
should be without intelligence; nor was the salvation, effected in the
Word himself, a salvation of the body only, but of the soul also. And
being Son of God in truth, He became also Son of Man; and being God’s only
begotten Son, He became also at the same time “first-born among many
brethren.” Wherefore neither was there one Son of God before Abraham,
another after Abraham: nor was there one that raised up Lazarus, another
that asked concerning him; but the same it was that said as man, “Where
does Lazarus lie?” and as God raised him up; the same that as man and in
the body spat, but divinely as Son of God opened the eyes of the man blind
from his birth; and while, as Peter says, in the flesh He suffered, as God
He opened the tomb and raised the dead. For which reasons, thus
understanding all that is said in the Gospel, they assured us that they
held the same truth about the Word’s incarnation and becoming man.

§ 71. The Emperor Theodosius and the Triumph of the New Nicene Orthodoxy
at the Council of Constantinople, A. D. 381

The Emperor Theodosius was appointed colleague of Gratian and Valentinian
II, 378. He issued in conjunction with these emperors an edict (_Cod.
Theod._, XVI, 1, 2; _cf._ _Cod. Just._, I, 1, 1, _v. infra_, § 72, _b_,
_e_), requiring all subjects of the Empire to hold the orthodox faith in
the Trinity. He then called a council of Eastern bishops to meet at
Constantinople in 381 to settle the question as to the succession to the
see of that city and to confirm the creed of Nicæa as the faith of the
Eastern half of the Church. Gregory of Nazianzus was appointed bishop of
Constantinople, but was forced to resign, having formerly been bishop of
Sasima, from which he had been translated in violation of the Nicene
canons. As soon as it was apparent that the bishops would have to accept
the Nicene faith the thirty-six Macedonians withdrew. Their opinion as to
the Holy Spirit, that He was not divine in the same sense that the Son was
divine, was condemned, without express statement of the point condemned,
as was also the teaching of Apollinaris as to the nature of Christ. The
council was not intended to be an ecumenical or general council, and it
was not regarded as such even in the East until after the Council of
Chalcedon, A. D. 451, and then probably on account of the creed which was
then falsely attributed to the Fathers of Constantinople. In the West the
council was not recognized as an ecumenical council until well into the
sixth century. (See Hefele, § 100.) The council issued no creed and made
no additions to the Nicene creed. It published a tome, since lost, setting
forth the faith in the Trinity. It enacted four canons, of which only the
first three are of general application.

    Additional source material: Percival, _Seven Ecumenical Councils_
    (PNF); Theodoret, _Hist. Ec._, V, 6-9; Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, V,
    8; Basil, _De Spiritu Sancto_ (PNF), Hefele, §§ 95-100.

(_a_) Council of Constantinople, A. D. 381, _Canons_, Bruns, I, 20. _Cf._
Kirch, nn. 583 _ff._

    The text of the canons of the council may be found in Hefele, §
    98, and also in Bruns. The _Translations and Reprints_ of the
    University of Pennsylvania give translations. For the address of
    the council to Theodosius, see § 72, _b_. The fourth canon is of a
    merely temporary importance.

Canon 1. The faith of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers who were
assembled at Nicæa in Bithynia shall not be set aside but shall remain
dominant. And every heresy shall be anathematized, especially that of the
Eunomians or Anomœans, the Arians or Eudoxians, the semi-Arians or
Pneumatomachians, the Sabellians, Marcellians, Photinians, and

Canon 2. The bishops are not to go beyond their dioceses to churches lying
outside of their bounds, nor bring confusion on churches; but let the
bishop of Alexandria, according to the canons, alone administer the
affairs of Egypt; and let the bishops of the East manage the East alone,
the privileges of the church in Antioch, which are mentioned in the canons
of Nicæa, being preserved; and let the bishops of the Asian diocese
administer the Asian affairs only; and the Pontic bishops only Pontic
matters; and the Thracian bishops only Thracian matters. And let not the
bishops go beyond their dioceses for ordination or any other
ecclesiastical ministrations, unless they be invited. And the aforesaid
canon concerning dioceses being observed, it is evident that the synod of
each province will administer the affairs of that particular province as
was decreed at Nicæa. But the churches of God in heathen nations must be
governed according to the custom which has prevailed from the time of the

Canon 3. The bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative
of honor after(123) the bishop of Rome; because Constantinople is New

(_b_) Cyril of Jerusalem, _Creed_. (_Cf._ MSG, 35:533.) _Cf._ Hahn, § 124.

    The clauses which are here given are the headings of the sixth to
    the eighteenth _Catechetical Lectures_ of Cyril of Jerusalem in
    which the writer expounded the baptismal creed of Jerusalem. This
    creed is approximately reconstructed by bringing together the
    headings. Its date is circa 345. It should be compared with the
    creed of the church of Salamis, in the next selection. They are
    the precursors of what is now known as the Nicene creed,
    incorrectly attributed to the Council of Constantinople A. D. 381.

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and
of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten, begotten
of the Father, true God, before all the ages, through whom all things were

Incarnate and made man; crucified and buried;

And rose again the third day;

And ascended into heaven;

And sat on the right hand of the Father;

And shall come again in glory to judge the quick and the dead, of whose
kingdom there shall be no end.

And in one Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, who spake by the prophets;

And in one baptism of repentance for remission of sins;

And in one holy Catholic Church;

And in the resurrection of the flesh;

And in the life eternal.

(_c_) Epiphanius, _Ancoratus_, chs. 119 _f._ (MSG, 43:252.) _Cf._ Hahn, §

    Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis, was the most important of the
    hereseologists of the Fathers, gathering to form his work on
    heresies some scores of heterodox systems of teachings. His
    passion for orthodoxy was taken advantage of by Theophilus of
    Antioch to cause trouble for Chrysostom and others; see
    Origenistic controversy, § 87. The _Ancoratus_, from which the
    following creed is taken, is a statement of the Catholic faith
    which, amidst the storms of the Arian controversy, should serve as
    an anchor of salvation for the Christians. The date of the
    following creed, which has come to be known as the Salaminium, is
    374. It is evidently based upon that of Jerusalem given by Cyril.

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and
of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of
the Father before all worlds, that is, of the substance of the Father,
light of light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one
substance [homoousios] with the Father; by whom all things were made, both
those in heaven and those on earth; who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and the Virgin
Mary, and was made man; He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and
suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the
Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the
Father; and He shall come again in glory to judge the quick and the dead;
of whose kingdom there shall be no end.

And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life, who proceedeth from the
Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and
glorified, who spake by the prophets; and in one holy Catholic and
Apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;
and we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to

But those who say there was a time when He was not, and He was not before
He was begotten, or He was made of nothing, or of another substance or
essence [hypostasis or ousia], saying that the Son of God is effluent or
variable—these the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes.

Chapter IV. The Empire And The Imperial State Church

In the period extending from the accession of Constantine (311 or 324) to
the death of Theodosius the Great (395), the characteristic features of
the Church’s organization took definite form, and its relations to the
secular authorities and the social order of the Empire were defined. Its
constitution with its hierarchical organization of clergy, of courts, and
synods, together with its intimate union, at least in the East, with the
imperial authority, became fixed (§ 72). As the Church of the Empire, it
was under the control and patronage of the State; all other forms of
religion, whether pagan or Christian, schismatical or heretical, were
severely repressed (§ 73). The Christian clergy, as officials in this
State Church, became a class by themselves in the society of the Empire,
not only as the recipients of privileges, but as having special functions
in the administration of justice, and eventually in the superintendence of
secular officials and secular business (§ 74). By degrees the Christian
spirit influenced the spirit of the laws and the popular customs, though
less than at first sight might have been expected; the rigors of slavery
were mitigated and cruel gladiatorial sports abandoned (§ 75). Meanwhile
popular piety was by no means raised by the influx of vast numbers of
heathen into the Church; bringing with them no little of their previous
modes of thought and feeling, and lacking the testing of faith and
character furnished by the persecutions, they lowered the general moral
tone of the Church, so that Christians everywhere were affected by these
alien ideas and feelings (§ 76). The Church, however, endeavored to raise
the moral tone and ideals and to work effectively in society by care for
the poor and other works of benevolence, and in its regulation of
marriage, which began in this period to be a favorite subject of
legislation for the Church’s councils (§ 76). In monasticism this striving
against the lowering forces in Christian society and for a higher type of
life most clearly manifested itself, and, beginning in Egypt, organized
forms of asceticism spread throughout the East and toward the end of the
period to the West as well (§ 78). But monasticism was not confined to the
private ascetic. The priesthood, as necessarily presenting an example of
higher moral life, began to be touched by the ascetic spirit, and in the
West this took the form of enforced clerical celibacy, though the custom
of the East remained far less rigorous (§ 79). In presenting these lines
of development, it is at times convenient to pass beyond the exact bounds
of the period, so that the whole subject may be brought together at this
point of the history.

§ 72. The Constitution of the State Church

The Church’s constitution received its permanent form in this period. The
conciliar system was carried to its logical completion in the ecumenical
council representing the entire Church and standing at the head of a
system which included the provincial and patriarchal councils, at least in
theory. The clergy were organized into a hierarchy which rested upon the
basis of the single bishop in his diocese, who had under him his clergy,
and culminated in the patriarchs placed over the great divisions of the
State Church, corresponding to the primary divisions of the Empire. The
Emperor assumed the supreme authority in the Church, and the foundation
was laid for what became under Justinian Cæsaropapism. By the institution
of the hierarchical gradation of authority and jurisdiction, for the most
part corresponding to the political and administrative divisions of the
Empire, the Church both assumed a rigidly organized form and came more
easily under the control of the secular authority.

(A) The Ecumenical Council

The Council of Nicæa was held before there was any definition of the place
of an ecumenical council. Many councils were held during the Arian
controversy that were quite as representative. It was taken for granted
that the councils were arranged in a scale of authority corresponding to
the extent of the Church represented. The first clear statement of this
principle is at the Council of Constantinople A. D. 382.

Council of Constantinople, A. D. 382, _Canon_ 2. Text, Hefele, § 98.

    The so-called second general council was held in 381, but in the
    next year nearly the same bishops were called together by
    Theodosius (_cf._ Theodoret, _Hist. Ec._, V. 9). In a letter
    addressed to the Western bishops at a council at Rome this council
    speaks of their previous meeting at Constantinople in 381 as being
    an ecumenical council. The query suggests itself whether,
    considering the fact that it actually only represented the East
    and did represent more than one patriarchate, “ecumenical” might
    not be understood as being used in a sense similar to that in
    which the African bishops spoke of their councils as
    _universalis_. See Hefele, § 100, note.

    The following canon is printed as the sixth canon of
    Constantinople, A. D. 381, in Hefele and the other collections,
    _e.g._, Bruns and Percival.

… If persons who are neither heretics, nor excommunicated, nor condemned,
nor charged with crime claim to have a complaint in matters ecclesiastical
against the bishop,(124) the holy synod commands such to bring their
charges first before all the bishops of the province, and to prove before
them the charges against the accused bishop. But should it happen that the
comprovincials be unable to settle the charges alleged against the bishop,
the complainants shall have recourse then to the larger synod of the
bishops of that diocese,(125) who shall be called together on account of
the complaint; and the complainants may not bring their complaint until
they have agreed in writing to take upon themselves the same punishment
which would have fallen upon the accused, in case the complainants in the
course of the matter should be proved to have brought a false charge
against the bishop. But if any one, holding in contempt these directions,
venture to burden the ear of the Emperor, or the tribunals of the secular
judges, or disturb an ecumenical synod,(126) dishonoring the bishops of
their patriarchal province, such shall not be admitted to make complaint,
because he despises the canons and violates the Church’s order.

(B) The Hierarchical Organization

(_a_) Council of Nicæa, A. D. 325, _Canons_. Text, Hefele, § 42. _Cf._
Kirch, nn. 364-368.

    Canons of organization.

    Canon 4 regulates the ordinations of bishops; Canon 5 orders that
    excommunications in one diocese shall hold good everywhere; Canon
    6 defines the larger provincial organization which eventually
    resulted in the patriarchates; Canon 7 defines the position of the
    bishopric of Jerusalem; Canons 15 and 16 place the bishops
    permanently in their sees and the clergy under their own proper

Canon 4. It is by all means proper that a bishop should be appointed by
all the bishops in the province; but should this be difficult, either on
account of urgent necessity or because of distance, three at least should
assemble, and the suffrages of the absent should also be given and
communicated in writing, and then the ordination should take place. But in
every province the ratification of what is done should be left to the

Canon 5. Concerning those, whether of the clergy or of the laity, who have
been excommunicated in the several provinces, let the provisions of the
canon be observed by the bishops which provides that persons cast out by
some be not readmitted by others.… Nevertheless, inquiry should be made
whether they have been excommunicated through captiousness, or
contentiousness, or any such like ungracious disposition in the bishops.
And that this matter may have due investigation, it is decreed that in
every province synods shall be held twice a year, in order that when all
the bishops of the province are assembled together, such questions may be
thoroughly examined by them, that so those who have confessedly offended
against their bishop may be seen by all to be for just causes
excommunicated, until it shall appear fit to a general meeting of the
bishops to pronounce a milder sentence upon them. And let these synods be
held, the one before Lent (that the pure gift may be offered to God after
all bitterness has been put away) and let the second be held about autumn.

Canon 6. Let the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis prevail,
that the bishop of Alexandria shall have jurisdiction in all these, since
the like is customary for the bishop of Rome also.(127) Likewise in
Antioch and the other provinces, let the churches retain their privileges.
And this is to be universally understood, that if any one be made bishop
without the consent of his metropolitan, the great synod has declared that
such a man ought not to be bishop. If, however, two or three bishops
shall, from natural love of contradiction, oppose the common suffrage of
the rest, it being reasonable and in accordance with the ecclesiastical
law, then let the choice of the majority prevail.

Canon 7. Since custom and ancient tradition have prevailed that the bishop
of Ælia [_i.e._, Jerusalem] should be honored, let him, saving its due
dignity to the metropolis, have the next place of honor.

Canon 15. On account of the great disturbance and discords that occur, it
is decreed that the custom prevailing in certain places contrary to the
canon must wholly be done away; so that neither bishop, presbyter, nor
deacon shall pass from city to city. And if any one, after this decree of
the holy and great synod, shall attempt any such thing or continue in such
course, his proceedings shall be utterly void, and he shall be restored to
the church for which he was ordained bishop or presbyter.

Canon 16. Neither presbyters, nor deacons, nor any others enrolled among
the clergy, who, not having the fear of God before their eyes, nor
regarding the ecclesiastical canon, shall recklessly remove from their own
church, ought by any means to be received by another church; but every
constraint should be applied to restore them to their own parishes;(128)
and, if they will not go, they must be excommunicated. And if one shall
dare surreptitiously to carry off and in his own church ordain a man
belonging to another, without the consent of his own proper bishop from
whom, although he was enrolled in the clergy list, he has seceded, let the
ordination be void.

(_b_) Synod of Antioch, A. D. 341. _Canons_, Bruns, I, 80 _f._, _Cf._
Kirch, nn. 439 _ff._

    For the Council of Antioch, see § 65, _c_. These canons on
    discipline were held in highest authority in the Church, although
    enacted by Arians whose creed was rejected. They obtained this
    position in the law of the Church because they carried further the
    natural line of development long since taken in the ecclesiastical
    system. _Cf._ Hefele, § 56.

Canon 2. All who enter the Church of God and hear the Holy Scriptures, but
do not communicate with the people in prayers, or who turn away, by reason
of some disorder, from the holy partaking of the eucharist, are to be cast
out of the Church until, after they shall have made confession, have
brought forth fruits of penance, and have made earnest entreaty, they
shall have obtained forgiveness; and it is unlawful to communicate with
excommunicated persons, or to assemble in private houses and pray with
those who do not pray in the Church; or to receive in one church those who
do not assemble with another church. And if any one of the bishops,
presbyters, or deacons, or any one in the canon shall be found
communicating with excommunicated persons, let him also be excommunicated,
as one who brings confusion on the order of the Church.

Canon 3. If any presbyter or deacon or any one whatever belonging to the
priesthood shall forsake his own parish and shall depart, and, having
wholly changed his residence, shall set himself to remain for a long time
in another parish, let him no longer officiate; especially if his own
bishop shall summon and urge him to return to his own parish, and he shall
disobey. And if he persist in his disorder, let him be wholly deposed from
his ministry, so that no further room be left for his restoration. And if
another bishop shall receive a man deposed for this cause, let him be
punished by the common synod as one who nullifies the ecclesiastical laws.

Canon 4. If any bishop be deposed by a synod, or any presbyter or deacon,
who has been deposed by his bishop, shall presume to execute any part of
the ministry, whether it be a bishop according to his former function, or
a presbyter, or a deacon, he shall no longer have any prospect of
restoration in another synod, nor any opportunity of making his defence;
but they who communicate with him shall be cast out of the Church, and
particularly if they have presumed to communicate with the persons
aforementioned, knowing the sentence pronounced against them.

Canon 6. If any one has been excommunicated by his own bishop, let him not
be received by others until he has either been restored by his own bishop,
or until, when a synod is held, he shall have appeared and made his
defence, and, having convinced the synod, shall have received a different
sentence. And let this decree apply to the laity, and to the presbyters
and deacons, and all who are enrolled in the clergy list.

Canon 9. It behooves the bishops in each province to acknowledge the
bishop who presides in the metropolis, and who has to take thought of the
whole province; because all men of business come together from every
quarter to the metropolis. Wherefore it is decreed that he have precedence
in rank, and that the other bishops do nothing extraordinary without him,
according to the ancient canon which prevailed from the time of our
fathers, or such things only as pertain to their own particular parishes
and the districts subject to them. For each bishop has authority over his
own parish, both to manage it with piety, which is incumbent on every one,
and to make provision for the whole district which is dependent upon his
city; to ordain presbyters and deacons; and to settle everything with
judgment. But let him not undertake anything further without the bishop of
the metropolis; neither the latter without the consent of the others.

Canon 10. The holy synod decrees that those [bishops] living in village
and country districts, or those who are called chorepiscopi, even though
they have received ordination to the episcopate, shall regard their own
limits and manage the churches subject to them, and be content with the
care and administration of these; but they may ordain readers, subdeacons,
and exorcists, and shall be content with promoting these; but they shall
not presume to ordain either a presbyter or a deacon, without the consent
of the bishop of the city to which he and his district are subject. And if
he shall dare to transgress these decrees, he shall be deposed from the
rank which he enjoys. And a chorepiscopus is to be appointed by the bishop
of the city to which he is subject.

(_c_) Council of Sardica, A. D. 343 or 344, _Canons_, Bruns, I, 88. _Cf._
Mirbt, n. 113, and Kirch, nn. 448 _ff._

    The Council of Sardica was intended to be composed of
    representatives from the entire Empire who might be able to settle
    once and for all the Arian question. It met at Sardica on the
    boundary between the two divisions of the Empire as they were then
    defined. The Eastern ecclesiastics, strongly Arian, found
    themselves outnumbered by the Western bishops who supported
    Athanasius and the Nicene definition of faith. The Eastern
    representatives withdrew to Philippopolis near by, and held their
    own council. The following canons were intended to provide a
    system of appeal for cases like that of Athanasius, and although
    they do not seem to have been acted upon enough to have become a
    part of the Church’s system, yet they were of great importance
    inasmuch as subsequently they were used as late as the ninth
    century for a support to a wholly different system of appeals.
    These canons were very early attributed to the Council of Nicæa A.
    D. 325.

Canon 3. Bishop Hosius said: This, also, it is necessary to add—that
bishops shall not pass from their own province to another province in
which there are bishops, unless perchance they are invited by their
brethren, that we seem not to close the door to charity. But if in any
province a bishop have an action against his brother bishop, neither shall
call in as judge a bishop from another province. But if judgment shall
have gone against any bishop in a case, and he think that he has a good
case, in order that the question may be heard, let us, if it be your
pleasure, honor the memory of St. Peter the Apostle, and let those who
have tried the case write to Julius, the bishop of Rome, and if he shall
decide that the case should be retried, let it be retried, and let him
appoint judges; but if he shall be satisfied that the case is such that
what has been done should not be disturbed, what has been decreed shall be

Is this the pleasure of all? The synod answered: It is our pleasure.

Canon 4. Bishop Gaudentius said: If it please you, it is necessary to add
to this sentence, which full of sincere charity thou hast pronounced, that
if any bishop has been deposed by the judgment of those bishops who
happened to be in the vicinity, and he asserts that he has fresh matter in
defence, a new bishop is not to be settled in his see, unless the bishop
of Rome judge and render a decision as to this.

_Latin Version of Canon 4._ Bishop Gaudentius said: If it please you,
there ought to be added to this sentence, which full of holiness thou hast
pronounced, that if any bishop has been deposed by the judgment of those
bishops who dwell in the vicinity, and he asserts that the business ought
to be conducted by him in the city of Rome, another bishop should in
nowise be ordained in his see after the appellation of him who appears to
have been deposed, unless the cause shall have been determined by the
judgment of the bishop of Rome.

Canon 5.(129) Bishop Hosius said: Let it be decreed that if a bishop shall
have been accused and the assembled bishops of the same region shall have
deposed him from his office, and he, so to speak, appeals and takes refuge
with the bishop of the Roman Church and wishes to be heard by him, if
he(130) think it right to renew the examination of his case, let him be
pleased to write to those of fellow-bishops who are nearest the province
that they may examine the particulars with care and accuracy and give
their votes on the matter in accordance with the word of truth. And if any
one demand that his case be heard yet again, and at his request it seems
good to the bishop of Rome to send presbyters from his own side, let it be
in the power of that bishop, according as he judges it to be good and
decides it to be right, that some be sent to be judges with the bishops
and invested with his authority by whom they were sent. And be this also
ordained. But if he thinks that they [the bishops] are sufficient for the
hearing and determining of the matter of the bishop, let him do what shall
seem good in his most prudent judgment.

The bishops answered: What has been said is approved.

(_d_) Gratian and Valentinian, _Rescript_; A. D. 378. (MSG, 13:586.)
Mirbt, nn. 118, _f._

    This rescript was sent in answer to a petition addressed to the
    emperors by a Roman council under Damasus. It is, therefore, found
    connected with an epistle in the works of Damasus. It does not
    seem to have been the foundation of any claim or to have played
    any considerable part in the development of the Roman primacy. It
    is of importance in the present connection as illustrating the
    part emperors took in the internal affairs of the Church. For
    Damasus and the disturbances in connection with his election, _v.
    infra_, § 74, _a_. The rescript may be found in Mansi, III, 624;
    Hardouin, I, 842; and in Gieseler, I, 380.

6. If any one shall have been condemned by the judgment of Damasus, which
he shall have delivered with the council of five or seven bishops, or by
the judgment or council of those who are Catholics, and if he shall
unlawfully attempt to retain his church,(131) in order that such a one,
who has been called to the priestly judgment, shall not escape by his
contumacy, it is our will that such a one be remitted by the illustrious
prefects of Gaul and Italy, either by the proconsul or the vicars, use
having been made of due authority, to the episcopal judgment, and shall
come to the city of Rome under an escort; or if such insolence of any one
shall appear in parts very far distant, the entire pleading of his case
shall be brought to the examination of the metropolitan of the province in
which the bishop is, or if he himself is the metropolitan, then of
necessity he shall hasten without delay to Rome, or to those whom the
Roman bishop shall assign as judges, so that whoever shall have been
deposed shall be removed from the confines of the city in which they were
priests. For we punish those who deserve punishment less severely than
they deserve, and we take vengeance upon their sacrilegious stubbornness
more gently than it merits. And if the unfairness or partiality of any
metropolitan, bishop, or priest is suspected, it is allowed to appeal to
the Roman bishop or to a council gathered of fifteen neighboring bishops,
but so that after the examination of the case shall have been concluded
what was settled shall not be begun over again.

(_e_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 1, 2; Feb. 27, A. D. 380. _Cf._ Kirch, n.

    The following edict was issued by Gratian, Valentinian and
    Theodosius, requiring the acceptance of the orthodox faith by all
    subjects. In other words, the emperors, following the example of
    Constantius and Valens in enforcing Arianism, are now enforcing
    the Nicene theology. Sozomenus, _Hist. Ec._, VII, 4, gives the
    circumstances under which this edict was issued.

It is our will that all the peoples whom the government of our clemency
rules shall follow that religion which a pious belief from Peter to the
present declares the holy Peter delivered to the Romans, and which it is
evident the pontiff Damasus and Peter, bishop of Alexandria, a man of
apostolic sanctity, follow; that is, that according to the apostolic
discipline and evangelical doctrine we believe in the deity of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Ghost of equal majesty, in a holy trinity. Those
who follow this law we command shall be comprised under the name of
Catholic Christians; but others, indeed, we require, as insane and raving,
to bear the infamy of heretical teaching; their gatherings shall not
receive the name of churches; they are to be smitten first with the divine
punishment and after that by the vengeance of our indignation, which has
the divine approval.

(_f_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 1, 3.

    Gratian, Valentinian, and Theodosius to Auxonius, proconsul of

    To enforce still further the principles of Nicene orthodoxy
    certain bishops were named as teachers of the true faith,
    communion with whom was a test of orthodoxy.

We command that all churches be forthwith delivered up to the bishops who
confess the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost to be of one majesty and
power; of the same glory and of one splendor, making no distinction by any
profane division, but rather harmony by the assertion of the trinity of
the persons and the unity of the Godhead, to the bishops who are
associated in communion with Nectarius, bishop of the Church of
Constantinople, and with Timotheus in Egypt, bishop of the city of
Alexandria; in the parts of the Orient, who are in communion with
Pelagius, bishop of Laodicæa and Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus; in
proconsular Asia and in the diocese of Asia, who are in communion with
Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium, and Optimus, bishop of Antioch; in the
diocese of Pontus, who are in communion with Helladius, bishop of Cæsarea,
and Otreius, bishop of Melitina, and Gregory, bishop of Nyssa, Terennius,
bishop of Scythia, Marmarius, bishop of Marcianopolis. Those who are of
the communion and fellowship of approved priests(132) ought to be admitted
to possess the Catholic churches; but all who dissent from the communion
of the faith of those whom the special list has named ought to be expelled
from the churches as manifest heretics; and no opportunity whatsoever
ought to be allowed them henceforth of obtaining episcopal churches(133)
that the priestly orders of the true and Nicene faith may remain pure and
no place be given to evil cunning, according to the evident form of our

(_g_) Council of Constantinople, A. D. 381. _Address to Theodosius._ See
Mansi, III, 557.

    The following letter illustrates the relation of the councils in
    the East to the imperial authority. The emperors called the
    various general councils, directed their discussions and confirmed
    the results. In this way their findings were given the force of
    laws and authority throughout the Church. _V. infra_, §§ 90, 91.

To the most religious Emperor Theodosius, the holy synod of bishops
assembled in Constantinople out of different provinces.

We begin our letter to your Piety with thanks to God, who has established
the Empire of your Piety for the common peace of the churches and for the
support of the true faith. And, after rendering due thanks unto God, as in
duty bound, we lay before your Piety the things which have been done in
the holy synod. When, then, we had assembled in Constantinople, according
to the letter of your Piety, we first of all renewed our unity of heart
each with the other, and then we pronounced some concise definitions,
ratifying the faith of the Nicene Fathers, and anathematizing the heresies
which have sprung up contrary thereto. Besides these things, we also
framed certain canons for the better ordering of the churches, all which
we have subjoined to this our letter. We therefore beseech your Piety that
the decree of the synod may be ratified, to the end that as you have
honored the Church by your letter of citation, so you should set your seal
to the conclusion of what has been decreed. May the Lord establish your
Empire in peace and righteousness, and prolong it from generation to
generation; and may He add unto your earthly powers the fruition of the
heavenly kingdom also. May God, by the prayers of the saints, show favor
to the world, that you may be strong and eminent in all good things as an
Emperor most truly pious and beloved of God.

(_h_) Synod of Antioch, A. D. 341, _Canons_, Bruns, I, 80.

    The following canons passed at Antioch are the first touching a
    habit which they did little to correct. The so-called sixth canon
    of Constantinople, 381, in reality a canon of the council of the
    next year, took up the matter again. All through the great
    controversies appeals were constantly made to the emperors
    because, after all, they alone had the authority. _Cf._ Hefele, §

Canon 11. If any bishop, or presbyter, or any one whatever of the canon
shall presume to betake himself to the Emperor without the consent and
letters of his bishop of the province and particularly of the bishop of
the metropolis, such a one shall be publicly deposed and cast out, not
only from the communion, but also from the rank which he happens to have
had; inasmuch as he dares to trouble the ears of our Emperor, beloved of
God, contrary to the law of the Church. But, if necessary business shall
require any one to go to the Emperor, let him do it with the advice and
consent of the metropolitan and other bishops in the province, and let him
undertake his journey with the letters from them.

Canon 12. If any presbyter or deacon deposed by his own bishop, or any
bishop deposed by a synod, shall dare trouble the ears of the Emperor,
when it is his duty to submit his case to a greater synod of bishops, and
to refer to more bishops the things which he thinks right, and to abide by
the examination and decision made by them; if, despising these, he shall
trouble the Emperor, he shall be entitled to no pardon, neither shall he
have opportunity of defence, nor any hope of future restoration.

§ 73. Sole Authority of the State Church

When Theodosius had successfully forced upon the East the theology of
Nicæa, his policy as to religious matters was manifest. No longer was
heresy to be allowed. Laws were to control opinion in the same way that
they did conduct. The old plea of the persecuted Christians under the
heathen Roman Empire, _religio non cogi potest_, was completely forgotten.
As Christianity was the one sole religion of divine character, based upon
the unique divine act of the incarnation, it was folly to allow men to
continue in heathenism—it might even be dangerous to the State to allow
them, as it might bring down the just vengeance of God. With this policy
the populace was completely in accord, especially when it led to the
plunder and destruction of heathen sanctuaries, and many of the more
zealous of the clergy were willing to lead in the assault. In these ways
the State Church obtained a two-fold exclusive authority: as regards
heathenism, and as regards heresy.

(_a_) _Codex Theodosianus._

    Laws regarding heathenism.

XVI, 10, 14; A. D. 399.

Whatever privileges were conceded by the ancient laws to the priests,
ministers, prefects, hierophants of sacred things, or by whatsoever name
they may be designated, are to be abolished henceforth, and let them not
think that they are protected by a granted privilege when their religious
confession is known to have been condemned by the law.

XVI, 10, 16; A. D. 399.

If there are temples in the fields, let them be destroyed without crowd or
tumult. For when these have been thrown down and carried away, the support
of superstition will be consumed.

XVI, 10, 15; A. D. 399.

    This law appears again in the _Cod. Just._, I, 13, 3, for it
    appears to have been necessary even as late as the sixth century
    to prevent unauthorized destructions of temples which were in the
    cities and might be fairly regarded as ornaments to the city.

We prohibit sacrifices yet so that we wish that the ornaments of public
works to be preserved. And that those who attempt to overthrow them may
not flatter themselves that it is with some authority, if any rescript or,
perchance, law is alleged, let these documents be taken from their hands
and referred to our knowledge.

XVI, 10, 21; A. D. 416.

Those who are polluted by the error or crime of pagan rites are not to be
admitted to the army nor to receive the distinction and honor of
administrator or judge.

XVI, 10, 23; A. D. 423.

Although the pagans that remain ought to be subjected to capital
punishment if at any time they are detected in the abominable sacrifices
of demons, let exile and confiscation of goods be their punishment.

XVI, 10, 24; A. D. 423. (Retained in _Cod. Just._, I, 11, 16.)

The Manichæans and those who are called Pepyzitæ [Montanists] and also
those who by this one opinion are worse than all heretics, in that they
dissent from all as to the venerable day of the Easter festival, we
subject to the same punishment, viz.: confiscation of goods and exile, if
they persist in the same unreason. But this we especially demand of
Christians, both those who are really such and those who are called such,
that they presume not, by an abuse of religion, to lay hands upon the Jews
and pagans who live peaceably and who attempt nothing riotous or contrary
to the laws. For if they should do violence to them living securely and
take away their goods, let them be compelled to restore not merely what
they have taken away but threefold and fourfold. Let the rectors of
provinces, officials, and provincials know that if they permit these
things to be done, they themselves will be punished, as well as those who
do them.

(_b_) Theodoret, _Hist. Ec._, V, 29. (MSG, 82:1256.)

    The destruction of temples.

    The following passage is illustrative of the temper of those who
    took part in the destruction of heathen sanctuaries. The imperial
    edicts for these acts were obtained in 399. Chrysostom, the leader
    in the movement, fairly represents the best thought and temper of
    the Church.

On receiving information that Phœnicia was still suffering from the
madness of the demons’ rites, he [John Chrysostom] got together some monks
fired with divine zeal and despatched them, armed with imperial edicts,
against the idols’ shrines. He did not draw from the imperial treasury the
money to pay the craftsmen and their assistants who were engaged in the
work of destruction, but he persuaded certain faithful and wealthy women
to make liberal contributions, pointing out to them how great would be the
blessing their generosity would win. Thus the remaining shrines of the
demons were utterly destroyed.

(_c_) Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, VII, 15. (MSG, 67:768.)

    The murder of Hypatia.

    The fearful murder of Hypatia represents another aspect of the
    opposition to heathenism, in which the populace seconded the
    efforts of the authorities in a policy of extirpating paganism.

There was a woman in Alexandria named Hypatia. She was the daughter of the
philosopher Theon, and she had attained such a proficiency in literature
and science as to surpass by far all the philosophers of her own time.
Having succeeded to the Platonic school, which had come down from
Plotinus, she explained all the principles of philosophy to her auditors.
Therefore many from all sides, wishing to study philosophy, came to her.
On account of the self-possession and ease of manner which she had
acquired by her study, she not infrequently appeared with modesty in the
presence of magistrates. Neither did she feel abashed in entering an
assembly of men. For all men, on account of her extraordinary dignity and
virtue, admired her the more. Against her envious hostility arose at that
time. For as she had frequent interviews with Orestes [governor of
Alexandria] it was calumniously reported among the Christian populace that
it was she who prevented Orestes from being reconciled to the bishop
[Cyril]. Some men of this opinion and of a hot-headed disposition, whose
leader was a reader named Peter, waylaid her returning home. Dragging her
from her carriage they took her to the church called Cæsareum. There they
completely stripped her and murdered her with tiles. When they had torn
her in pieces, they took her mangled limbs to a place called Cinaron, and
there they burnt them. This affair brought no little opprobrium, not only
upon Cyril but also upon the whole Alexandrian Church. And surely murders,
fights, and actions of that sort are altogether alien to those who hold
the things of Christ. These things happened in the fourth year of the
episcopate of Cyril [415].

(_d_) Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, VII, 11. (MSG, 67:757.)

    Novatians and the Church at the beginning of the fifth century.

    Socrates is the principal authority for the later history of the
    Novatians. It is probable that his interest in them and evident
    sympathy for them were due to some connection with the sect,
    perhaps in his early years, and he gives many incidents in their
    history, otherwise unknown.

After Innocent [401-417], Zosimus [417-418] governed the Roman Church for
two years, and after him Boniface [418-422] presided over it for three
years. Celestinus [422-432] succeeded him, and this Celestinus took away
the churches from the Novatians at Rome and obliged Rusticula, their
bishop, to hold his meetings secretly in private houses. Until this time
the Novatians had flourished exceedingly in Rome, having many churches
there and gathering large congregations. But envy attacked them there,
also, as soon as the Roman episcopate, like that of Alexandria, extended
itself beyond the limits of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and degenerated
into its present state of secular domination. And for this cause the
bishops would not suffer even those who agreed with them in matters of
faith to enjoy the privileges of assembling in peace, but stripping them
of all they possessed, praised them merely for these agreements in faith.
The bishops of Constantinople kept themselves free from this sort of
conduct; in so much as in addition to tolerating them and permitting them
to hold their assemblies within the city, as I have already stated,(134)
they treated them with every mark of Christian regard.

(_e_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 5, 40; A. D. 407.

    Edict of Arcadius and Honorius against the Manichæans and other
    heretics. (Retained in _Cod. Just._, I, 5, 4.) _Cf._ Mirbt, n.

What we have thought concerning the Donatists we have recently set forth.
Especially do we pursue, with well-merited severity, the Manichæans, the
Phrygians, and the Priscillianists,(135) since men of this sort have
nothing in common with others, neither in custom nor laws. And first we
declare that their crime is against the State, because what is committed
against the divine religion is held an injury of all. And we will take
vengeance upon them by the confiscation of their goods, which, however, we
command shall fall to whomsoever is nearest of their kindred, in ascending
or descending lines or cognates of collateral branches to the second
degree, as the order is in succession to goods. Yet it shall be so that we
suffer the right to receive the goods to belong to them, only if they
themselves are not in the same way polluted in their conscience. And it is
our will that they be deprived of every grant or succession from whatever
title derived. In addition, we do not leave to any one convicted of this
crime the right of giving, buying, selling, or finally of making a
contract. The prosecution shall continue till death. For if in the case of
the crime of treason it is lawful to attack the memory of the deceased,
not without desert ought he to endure condemnation. Therefore let his last
will and testament be invalid, whether he leave property by testament,
codicil, epistle, or by any sort of will, if ever he has been convicted of
being a Manichæan, Phrygian, or Priscillianist, and in this case the same
order is to be followed as in the grades above stated; and we do not
permit sons to succeed as heirs unless they forsake the paternal
depravity; for we grant forgiveness of the offence to those repenting. We
will that slaves be without harm if, rejecting their sacrilegious master,
they pass over to the Catholic Church by a more faithful service. Property
on which a congregation of men of this sort assemble, in case the owner,
although not a participator in the crime, is aware of the meeting and does
not forbid it, is to be annexed to our patrimony; if the owner is
ignorant, let the agent or steward of the property, having been punished
with scourging, be sent to labor in the mines, and the one who hires the
property, if he be a person liable to such sort of punishment, be
deported. Let the rectors of provinces, if by fraud or force they delay
the punishment of these crimes when they have been reported, or if
conviction have been obtained neglect punishment, know that they will be
subject to the fine of twenty pounds of gold. As for defensors and heads
of the various cities and the provincial officials, a penalty of ten
pounds is to compel them to do their duty, unless performing those things
which have been laid down by the judges in this matter, they give the most
intelligent care and the most ready help.

(_f_) Leo the Great, _Epistula_ 7. (MSL, 54:620.)

    Manichæanism in Rome.

    This epistle, addressed to the bishops throughout Italy, shows the
    way in which zealous bishops could, and were expected to,
    co-operate with the secular authorities in putting down heresy.

    Leo the Great [440-461], the greatest of the popes before Gregory
    the Great, was equally great as an ecclesiastical statesman, as
    theologian, and universally acknowledged leader of the Roman
    people in the times of the invasions of Attila and Genseric.
    Without being the creator of the papal idea, he was able so to
    gather up the elements that had been developed by Siricius,
    Innocent, and others, as to give it a classical expression that
    almost warrants one in describing him as the first of the popes in
    the later sense of that term. His literary remains consist of
    sermons, of which ninety-six are genuine, in which, among other
    matters, he sets forth his conception of the Petrine prerogative
    (see below, § 87, _b_), and letters in which he deals with the
    largest questions of ecclesiastical politics, especially in the
    matter of the condemnation of Monophysitism at the Council of
    Chalcedon. See below, § 91.

Our search has discovered in the city a great many followers and teachers
of the Manichæan impiety, our watchfulness has proclaimed them, and our
authority and censure have checked them: those whom we could reform we
have corrected and driven to condemn Manichæus with his preachings and
teachings, by public confession in the Church, and by the subscription of
their own hands; and thus we have lifted those who have acknowledged their
fault from the pit of their impiety, by granting them opportunity for
repentance. But some who had so deeply involved themselves that no remedy
could assist them have been subjected to the laws, in accordance with the
constitutions of our Christian princes, and lest they should pollute the
holy flock by their contagion, have been banished into perpetual exile by
the public judges. And all the profane and disgraceful things which are
found, as well in their writings as in their secret traditions, we have
disclosed and clearly proved to the eyes of Christian laity, that the
people might know what to shrink from or avoid; so that he that was called
their bishop was himself tried by us and betrayed the criminal views which
he held in his mystic religion, as the record of our proceedings can show
you. For this, too, we have sent you for instruction; and after reading
them you will be able to understand all the discoveries we have made.

And because we know that some of those who are involved here in too close
an accusation for them to clear themselves have fled, we have sent this
letter to you, beloved, by our acolyte; that your holiness, dear brothers,
may be informed of this, and see fit to act more diligently and
cautiously, lest the men of Manichæan error be able to find opportunity of
hurting your people and of teaching these impious doctrines. For we cannot
otherwise rule those intrusted to us unless we pursue, with the zeal of
faith in the Lord, those who are destroyers and destroyed; and with what
severity we can bring to bear, cut them off from intercourse with sound
minds, lest this pestilence spread much wider. Wherefore I exhort you,
beloved, I beseech and warn you to use such watchful diligence as you
ought and can employ in tracking them out lest they find opportunity of
concealment anywhere.

(_g_) Leo the Great, _Epistula_ 15. (MSL, 54:680.)

    An account of the tenets of the Priscillianists. Leo is answering
    a letter sent him by Bishop Turribius of Asturia, in which that
    bishop had given him statements about the faith of these
    sectaries. It appears that these statements which Leo quotes and
    refutes in brief are not wholly correct and that the
    Priscillianists were far from being as heretical as they have been
    commonly represented. See articles in the recent encyclopædias,
    _e.g._, New Schaff-Herzog, and Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed.
    The change in opinion is due to the discovery of writings of
    Priscillian himself. Nevertheless, these statements, defective as
    they may be, represent the opinion of the times as to these
    heretics and the general attitude toward what was regarded as
    heretical and savoring of Manichæanism.(136)

1. And so under the first head is shown what impious views they hold about
the divine Trinity; they affirm that the person of the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Ghost is one and the same, as if the same God were named now
Father, now Son, now Holy Ghost; and as if He who begat were not one, He
who was begotten another, and He who proceedeth from both yet another; but
an undivided unity must be understood, spoken of under three names, but
not consisting of three persons.…

2. Under the second head is displayed their foolish and empty fancy about
the issue of certain virtues from God which He began to possess, and which
were posterior to God in His own essence.…

3. Again the language of the third head shows that these same impious
persons assert that the Son of God is called “only begotten” for this
reason that He alone was born of a virgin.…

4. The fourth head deals with the fact that the birthday of Christ, which
the Catholic Church venerates as His taking on Him the true man, because
“the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” is not truly honored by these
men, but they pretend that they honor it, for they fast on that day, as
they do also on the Lord’s Day, which is the day of Christ’s resurrection.
No doubt they do this because they do not believe that Christ the Lord was
truly born in man’s nature, but maintain that by a sort of illusion there
was an appearance of what was not a reality.

5. Their fifth head refers to their assertion that man’s soul is a part of
the divine substance, and that the nature of our human state does not
differ from its Creator’s nature.…

6. The sixth points out that they say that the devil never was good and
that his nature is not God’s handiwork, but that he came forth of chaos
and darkness.…

7. In the seventh place follows that they condemn marriage and are
horrified at begetting children, in which, as in nearly all things, they
agree with the profanity of the Manichæans.

8. Their eighth point is that the formation of men’s bodies is the device
of the devil and that the seed of conception is shaped by the aid of
demons in the womb.…

9. The ninth notice declares that they say that the sons of promise are
born, indeed, of women, conceived by the Holy Spirit; lest the offspring
that is born of carnal seed should seem to share in God’s estate.…

10. Under the tenth head they are reported as asserting that the souls
which are placed in men’s bodies have previously been without a body and
have sinned in their heavenly habitation and for this reason have fallen
from their high estate to a lower one alighting upon ruling spirits of
divers qualities, and after passing through a succession of powers of the
air and stars, some fiercer, some milder, are enclosed in bodies of
different sorts and conditions, so that whatever variety and inequality is
meted out to us in this life, seems the result of previous causes.…

11. Their eleventh blasphemy is that in which they suppose that both the
souls and bodies of men are under the influence of fatal stars.…

12. The twelfth of these points is this: that they map out the parts of
the soul under certain powers and the limbs under others; and they suggest
the characters of the inner powers that rule the soul by giving them the
names of the patriarchs; and on the other hand, they attribute the signs
of the stars to those under which they put the body.

§ 74. The Position of the State Church in the Social Order of the Empire

The elevation of the Church exposed the Church to worldliness whereby
selfish men, or men carried away with partisan zeal, took advantages of
its privileges or contended fiercely for important appointments. The
clergy all too frequently ingratiated themselves with wealthy members of
their flocks that they might receive from them valuable legacies, an abuse
which had to be corrected by civil law; factional spirit occasionally led
to bloodshed in episcopal elections. But on the other hand the Church was
employed by the State in an important work which properly belonged to the
secular administration, viz., the administration of justice in the
episcopal courts of arbitration, for which see _Cod. Just._, I, tit. 3,
_de Episcopali Audientia_; _cf._ E. Loening, _Geschichte des deutschen
Kirchenrechts_, vol. I; and in the supervision of civil officials in the
expenditures of funds for public improvements. These are but instances of
their large public activity according to law.

(_a_) Ammianus Marcellinus, _Hist. Rom._, XXVII, 3, §§ 12 _ff._ _Cf._
Kirch, nn. 607 _ff._

    Damasus and Ursinus.

    The strife which attained shocking proportions in connection with
    the election of Damasus seems to have been connected with the
    schism at Rome occasioned by the attitude of Liberius in the Arian
    controversy. Damasus proved one of the ablest bishops that Rome
    ever had in the ancient Church. For aid in overcoming the
    partisans of Ursinus a Roman council appealed to the Emperor
    Gratian, whose answer is given in part above, § 72, _e_.

12. Damasus and Ursinus, being both immoderately eager to obtain the
bishopric, formed parties and carried on the conflict with great asperity,
the partisans of each carrying their violence to actual battle, in which
men were wounded and killed. And as Juventius, prefect of the city, was
unable to put an end to it, or even to soften these disorders, he was at
last by their violence compelled to withdraw to the suburbs.

13. Ultimately Damasus got the best of the strife by the strenuous efforts
of his partisans. It is certain that on one day one hundred and
thirty-seven dead bodies were found in the Basilica of Sicinus, which is a
Christian church. And the populace who had thus been roused to a state of
ferocity were with great difficulty restored to order.

14. I do not deny, when I consider the ostentation that reigns at Rome,
that those who desire such rank and power may be justified in laboring
with all possible exertion and vehemence to obtain their wishes; since
after they have succeeded, they will be secure for the future, being
enriched by offerings of matrons, riding in carriages, dressing
splendidly, and feasting luxuriously, so that their entertainments surpass
even royal banquets.

15. And they might be really happy if, despising the vastness of the city
which they excite against themselves by their vices, they were to live in
imitation of some of the priests in the provinces, whom the most rigid
abstinence in eating and drinking, and plainness of apparel, and eyes
always cast on the ground, recommend to the everlasting Deity and His true
worshippers as pure and sober-minded men.

(_b_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XVI, 2, 20; A. D. 370. _Cf._ Kirch, n. 759.

    The following law is only one of several designed to correct what
    threatened to become an intolerable abuse.

Ecclesiastics and those who wish to be known by the name of the
continent(137) are not to come into possession of the houses of widows and
orphan girls, but are to be put aside by public courts if afterward the
affines and near relatives of such think that they ought to be put away.
Also we decree that the aforesaid may acquire nothing whatsoever from the
liberality of that woman to whom privately, under the cloak of religion,
they have attached themselves, or from her last will; and all shall be of
no effect which has been left by one of these to them, they shall not be
able to receive anything by way of donation or testament from a person in
subjection. But if, by chance, after the warning of our law, these women
shall think something is to be left to them by way of donation or in their
last will, let it be seized by the fisc. But if they should receive
anything by the will of those women in succession to whom or to whose
goods they have the support of the _jus civile_ or the benefit of the
edict, let them take it as relatives.

(_c_) _Codex Theodosianus_, I, 27, 2; A. D. 408.

    Edict of Arcadius, Honorius, and Theodosius II concerning the
    _Audientia Episcopalis_.

    According to Roman law many cases were frequently decided by an
    arbitrator, according to an agreement between the litigants. The
    bishops had long acted as such in many cases among Christians. As
    they did not always decide suits on authorization by the courts,
    their decisions did not have binding authority in all cases. But
    after Constantine’s recognition of the Church they were given
    authority to decide cases, and according to an edict of 333 their
    decisions were binding even if only one litigant appealed to his
    judgment. But this was reduced to cases in which there was an
    agreement between the parties. The following law, the earliest
    extant, though probably not the earliest, may be found, curtailed
    by the omission of the second sentence, in _Cod. Just._, I, 4, 8.

An episcopal judgment shall be binding upon all who chose to be heard by
the priests.(138) For since private persons may hear cases between those
who consent, even without the knowledge of the judges, we suffer it to be
permitted them. That respect is to be shown their decisions which is
required to be shown your authority,(139) from which there is no appeal.
By the court and the officials execution is to be given the sentence, so
that the episcopal judicial examination may not be rendered void.

(_d_) _Codex Theodosianus_, II, 1, 10; A. D. 398.

    Law of Arcadius and Honorius.

    The following law is cited to show that in the legalization of the
    _Audientia Episcopalis_ the legislation followed a principle that
    was not peculiar to the position of the Church as the State
    Church. The Jews had a similar privilege. The conditions under
    which their religious authorities could act as arbitrators were
    similar to that in which the bishops acted. This edict can also be
    found in _Cod. Just._, I, 9, 8.

Jews living at Rome, according to common right, are in those cases which
do not pertain to their superstition, their court, laws, and rights, to
attend the courts of justice, and are to bring and defend legal actions
according to the Roman laws; hereafter let them be under our laws. If,
indeed, any by agreement similar to that for the appointment of
arbitrators, decide that the litigation be before the Jews or the
patriarchs by the consent of both parties and in business of a purely
civil character, they are not forbidden by public law to choose their
courts of justice; and let the provincial judges execute their decisions
as if the arbitrators had been assigned them by the sentence of a judge.

(_e_) _Codex Justinianus_, I, 4, 26.

    The following law of the Emperor Justinian, A. D. 530, is one of
    many showing the way in which the bishops were employed in many
    duties of the State which hardly fell to their part as

With respect to the yearly affairs of cities, whether they concern the
ordinary revenues of the city, either from funds derived from the property
of the city, or from legacies and private gifts, or given or received from
other sources, whether for public works, or for provisions, or public
aqueducts, or the maintenance of baths or ports, or the construction of
walls and towers, or the repairing of bridges and roads, or for trials in
which the city may be engaged in reference to public or private interests,
we decree as follows: The very pious bishop and three men of good
reputation, in every respect the first men of the city, shall meet and
each year not only examine the work done, but take care that those who
conduct them or have been conducting them, shall manage them with
exactness, shall render their accounts, and show by the production of the
public records that they have duly performed their engagements in the
administration of the sums appropriated for provisions, or baths, or for
the expenses involved in the maintenance of roads, aqueducts, or any other

§ 75. Social Significance of the State Church

The Church at no time degenerated into a mere department of the State. In
spite of the worldly passions that invaded it and the dissensions that
distracted it, the Church remained mindful of its duty as not merely a
guardian of the deposit of faith but as a school of Christian morality.
This was the principle of the penitential discipline of the ante-Nicene
period. It was saved from becoming a mere form, or lost altogether by the
custom which became general after 400, of having the confession of sin
made in private. In matters of great moral concern, such as the treatment
of slaves, marriage, and divorce, and the cruel sports of the arena, the
Church was able to exert its influence and eventually bring about a change
in the law. And in standing for righteousness, instances were not lacking
when the highest were rebuked by the Church, as in the great case of
Ambrose and Theodosius.

(_a_) Leo the Great, _Epistula_ 168, ch. 2. (MSL, 54:1210.) _Cf._
Denziger, n. 145.

    Confession should no longer be public, but only private. From the
    tone of the letter it would appear that private confession had
    been customary for some time and that public confession had so far
    gone out of use as to appear as a novelty. _V. supra_, § 42.

I direct that that presumptuous violation of the apostolic rule be
entirely done away, which we have recently learned has been without
warrant committed by some; namely, concerning penance, which is demanded
of the faithful, that a written confession in a schedule concerning the
nature of each particular sin be not recited publicly, since it suffices
that the guilt of conscience be made known by a secret confession to the
priests alone. Although that fulness of faith appears to be laudable which
on account of the fear of God is not afraid to blush before men, yet
because the sins of all are not such that those who demand penance would
not be afraid to publish them, let a custom so objectionable be done away;
that many may not be deterred from the remedies of penitence, since they
are ashamed or are afraid to disclose their deed to their enemies, by
which they might be ruined by the requirements of the laws. For that
confession suffices which is first offered to God, then further to the
priest, who intervenes as with intercessions for the sins of the penitent.
In this way many can be brought to penitence if the bad conscience of the
one making the confession is not published in the ears of the people.

(_b_) _Codex Theodosianus_, IV, 7, 1; A. D. 321. _Cf._ Kirch, n. 749.

    Edict of Constantine granting the privilege of manumission to take
    place in churches.

    The Church does not seem to have been opposed to slavery as an
    institution. It recognized it as a part of the social order,
    following the advice of St. Paul. But, at the same time, also
    following his advice, it endeavored to inculcate Christian love in
    the treatment of slaves, and legislated frequently on the matter.
    The edict of Constantine was in favor of this humane teaching of
    the Church to the extent that it enabled it to forward the
    tendency toward manumission of slaves, which the Church taught as
    a pious act. This edict is to be found in _Cod. Just._, I, 13, 2.

Those who from the motives of religion shall give deserved liberty to
their slaves in the midst of the Church shall be regarded as having given
the same with the same legal force as that by which Roman citizenship has
been customarily given with the traditional solemn rites. But this is
permitted only to those who give this liberty in the presence of the
priest. But to the clergy we concede more, so that, when they give liberty
to their slaves, they may be said to have granted a full enjoyment of
liberty, not merely in the face of the Church and the religious people,
but also, when in their last disposition of their effects they shall have
given liberty or shall direct by any words whatsoever that it be given, on
the day of the publication of their will liberty, without any witness or
intervention of the law, shall belong to them immediately.

(_c_) Canons bearing on Slavery:

Synod of Elvira, A. D. 309, _Canon_ 5, Bruns, II, 1.

If a mistress seized with furious passion beat her female slave with whips
so that within three days she gives up her soul in suffering, inasmuch as
it is uncertain whether she killed her wilfully or by chance, let her, if
it was done wilfully, be readmitted after seven years, when the lawful
penance has been accomplished; or after the space of five years if it was
by chance; but if she should become ill during the appointed time, let her
receive the communion.

Synod of Gangra, A. D. 343, _Canon_ 3, Bruns, I, 107.

If any one, under the pretence of piety, advises a slave to despise his
master and run away from his service and not with good will and full
respect serve his master, let him be anathema.

Synod of Agde, A. D. 509. _Canon_ 7, Bruns, II, 147.

    As slaves were a valuable possession, bishops could no more
    alienate them than any other property, or only under the same
    conditions. This canon lays down principles generally followed in
    the relation of the Church toward the unfree of every sort on
    lands belonging to the endowments of the Church.

The bishops should possess the houses and slaves of the Church in a
faithful manner and without diminishing the right of the Church, as the
primitive authorities direct, and also the vessels of their ministry as
intrusted to them. That is, they should not presume to sell nor alienate
by any contracts those things from which the poor live. If necessity
requires that something should be disposed of either as a usufruct(140) or
in direct sale, let the case be first shown before two or three bishops of
the same province or neighborhood, as to why it is necessary to sell; and
after the priestly discussion has taken place, let the sale which was made
be confirmed by their subscription; otherwise the sale or transaction made
shall not have validity. If the bishop bestows upon any deserving slaves
of the Church their liberty, let the liberty that has been conferred be
respected by his successors, together with that which the manumitter gave
them when they were freed; and we command them to hold twenty solidi in
value in fields, vineyards, and dwellings; what shall have been given more
the Church shall reclaim after the death of the one who manumitted.(141)
But little things and things of less utility to the Church we permit to be
given to strangers and clergy for their usufruct, the right of the Church
being maintained.

(_d_) _Apostolic Constitutions_, IV, 6. (MSG, 1:812.)

    Cruelty to slaves was placed upon the same moral level as cruelty
    and oppression of other weak and defenceless people.

    The Apostolic Constitutions form an elaborate treatise upon the
    Church and its organization in eight books, which appear,
    according to the consensus of modern scholars, to belong to the
    early part of the fifth century. The Apostolic Canons are
    eighty-five canons appended to the eighth book.

Now the bishop ought to know whose oblations he ought to receive, and
whose he ought not. For he is to avoid corrupt dealers and not receive
their gifts.… He is also to avoid those that oppress the widow and
overbear the orphan, and fill the prisons with the innocent, and abuse
their own slaves wickedly, I mean with stripes and hunger and hard

(_e_) _Apostolic Canons_, _Canon_ 81, Bruns, I, 12.

    This deals with the question of the ordination of a slave. Later,
    if a slave was ordained without his master’s consent, the
    ordination held, but the bishop was obliged to pay the price of
    the slave to his master. _Cf._ Council of Orleans, A. D. 511,
    _Can._ 8.

We do not permit slaves to be ordained to the clergy without their
masters’ consent; for this would wrong those that owned them. For such a
practice would occasion the subversion of families. But if at any time a
servant appears worthy to be ordained to a high office, such as Onesimus
appears to have been, and if his master allows it, and gives him his
freedom, and dismisses him free from his house, let him be ordained.

(_f_) Gregory the Great, _Ep. ad Montanam et Thomam_. (MSL, 77:803.)

    Gregory and others approved of manumission of slaves as an act of
    self-denial, for therein a man surrendered what belonged to him,
    as in almsgiving; but he and others also justified the practice of
    manumission upon lines that recall Stoic ideas of man’s natural
    freedom. Yet, at the same time, Gregory could insist upon the
    strict discipline of slaves in the administration of the Church

    The following is a letter of manumission addressed apparently to a
    man and his wife.

Since our Redeemer, the Maker of every creature, vouchsafed to assume
human flesh for this end, that when by the grace of His divinity the chain
of slavery wherewith we were held had been broken He might restore us to
our pristine liberty, it is a salutary deed if men, whom nature originally
produced free, and whom the law of nations has subjected to the yoke of
slavery, be restored by the benefit of manumission to the liberty in which
they were born. And so moved by loving-kindness and consideration of the
case, we make you Montana and Thomas, slaves of the holy Roman Church,
which with the help of God we serve, free from this day and Roman
citizens, and we release to you all your private property.(142)

(_g_) _Codex Theodosianus_, XV, 12, 1; A. D. 325. _Cf._ Kirch, n. 754.

    Constitution of Constantine regarding gladiatorial shows.

    This edict was by no means enforced everywhere. In a shorter form
    it passed into the _Cod. Just._ (XI, 44, 1), but only after the
    edict of Honorius had stopped these shows.

Bloody spectacles are not pleasing in civil rest and domestic
tranquillity. Wherefore we altogether prohibit them to be gladiators(143)
who, it may be, for their crimes have been accustomed to receive this
penalty and sentence, and you shall cause them rather to serve in the
mines, that without blood they may pay the penalty of their crimes.

(_h_) Theodoret, _Hist. Ec._, V, 26. (MSG, 82:1256.)

Honorius, who had inherited the Empire of Europe, put a stop to
gladiatorial combats, which had long been held in Rome, and he did this
under the following circumstances. There was a certain man named
Telemachus who had embraced the ascetic life. He had set out for the East
and for this reason had repaired to Rome. There, when the abominable
spectacle was being exhibited, he went himself into the stadium, and
stepping down into the arena endeavored to stop the men who were wielding
their weapons against one another. The spectators of the slaughter were
indignant and, inspired by the mad fury of the demon who delights in these
bloody deeds, stoned the peacemaker to death. When the admirable Emperor
was informed of this he numbered Telemachus in the army of the victorious
martyrs, and put an end to that impious practice.

(_i_) Ambrose, _Ep. 51_. (MSL, 16:1210.) _Cf._ Kirch, nn. 754 _ff._

    Letter to the Emperor Theodosius after the massacre at
    Thessalonica in 390.

    The Emperor had ordered a general massacre of the inhabitants of
    Thessalonica because of a sedition there. Ambrose wrote to him the
    following letter after having pleaded in vain with him before the
    massacre to deal mercifully with the people. (The well-known story
    of the penitence of Theodosius may be found in Theodoret, _Hist.
    Ec._, V, 17.) His residence at the seat of the imperial government
    at that time, Milan, made him the chief adviser to the court in
    spite of the fact that the Arian influence was strong at court, as
    the empress mother Justina was an Arian, _cf._ Ambrose, _Ep._ 20,
    21. (PNF, ser. II, vol. X.)

4. Listen, august Emperor, I cannot deny that you have a zeal for the
faith; I confess that you have the fear of God. But you have a natural
vehemence, which, if any one endeavors to soothe it, you quickly turn to
mercy; and if any one stirs it up, you allow it to be roused so much that
you can scarcely restrain it. Would that it might be that, if no one
soothed it, at least no one inflamed it. To yourself I willingly intrust
it, restrain yourself and overcome your natural vehemence by the love of

6. There took place in the city of the Thessalonians that of which no
memory recalls the like, which I was not able to prevent taking place;
which, indeed, I had before said, would be most atrocious when I so often
petitioned concerning it(144) and which as you yourself show, by revoking
it too late, you consider to be grave, and this I could not extenuate when

    After citing from the Bible several cases of kings exhibiting
    penance for sins, Ambrose continues:

11. I have written this, not to confound you, but that the examples of
kings may stir you up to put away this sin from your kingdom, for you will
put it away by humbling your soul before God. You are a man, temptation
has come to you; conquer it. Sin is not done away but by tears and
penitence. Neither angel can do it, nor archangel. The Lord himself, who
alone can say “I am with you,” if we have sinned, does not forgive any but
those who do penance.

12. I urge, I beg, I exhort, I warn; for it is grief to me that you who
were an example of unheard-of piety, who were conspicuous for clemency,
who would not suffer single offenders to be put in peril, should not mourn
that so many innocent persons have perished. Though you have waged war
most successfully, though in other matters too you are worthy of praise,
yet piety was ever the crown of your actions. The devil envied that which
you had as a most excellent possession. Conquer him whilst you still
possess that wherewith you can conquer. Do not add another sin to your sin
by a course of action which has injured many.

13. I, indeed, though a debtor to your kindness, for which I cannot be
ungrateful, that kindness which I regard as surpassing that of many
emperors, and has been equalled by one only, I have no cause, I say, for a
charge of contumacy against you, but have cause for fear. I dare not offer
the sacrifice if you intend to be present. Is that which is not allowed
after the shedding of the blood of one innocent person allowed after the
shedding of the blood of many? I think not.

(_j_) _Codex Theodosianus_, III, 16, 2; A. D. 421.

    The later Roman law of divorce.

    The Roman law under the Empire was extremely favorable to divorce,
    making it easy for either party to become rid of the other for any
    cause that seemed sufficient. The Christian Church from the first,
    following the teaching of Christ, opposed divorce. Marriage was an
    indissoluble relation; see § 39 _f_, _g_. It was only by degrees
    that much change could be introduced into the civil law. The
    following law of Theodosius II gives the condition of the law in
    the fifth century. It shows that to some extent the Christian
    principles regarding marriage had affected legislation.

If a woman leave her husband by a repudiation made by her and prove no
cause for her divorcing him, the gifts which she received as bride shall
be taken away and she shall likewise be deprived of her dowry, and be
subjected to the punishment of deportation; and to her we deny not only
the right of marriage with another man, but also the right of
post-liminium.(145) But if the woman opposed to the marriage prove faults
of morals and vices, though of no great gravity, let her lose her dowry
and pay back to her husband her marriage gift, and let her never join
herself in marriage with another; that she may not stain her widowhood
with the impudence of unchastity we give the repudiated husband the right
of bringing an accusation by law. Hereafter if she who abandons her
husband prove grave causes and a guilt involving great crimes, let her
obtain a control of her dowry and marriage gifts, and five years after the
day of repudiation she shall receive the right of remarrying; for it would
then appear that she had acted rather out of detestation of her husband
than from desire after another. Likewise, if the husband bring a divorce
and charge grave crimes against the woman, let him bring action against
the accused under the laws and let him both have the dowry (sentence
having been obtained) and let him receive his gifts to her and let the
free choice of marrying another be granted him immediately. But if it is
an offence of manners and not of a criminal nature, let him receive the
donations, relinquish the dowry, and marry after two years. But if he
merely wishes to dissolve the marriage by dissent, and she who is put away
is charged with no fault or sin, let the man lose the donation and the
dowry, and in perpetual celibacy let him bear as a penalty for his
wrongful divorce the pain of solitude; to the woman, however, is conceded
after a year the right to remarry. Regarding the retention of the dowry on
account of the children we command that the directions of the old law
shall be observed.

(_k_) Jerome, _Epistula_ 78, _ad Oceanum_. (MSL, 22:691.)

    Divorce and remarriage.

    The principle here laid down by Jerome was that which ultimately
    prevailed in the Church of the West, that after divorce there
    could be no remarriage, inasmuch as the marriage bond was
    indissoluble, though the parties might be separated by the law.
    But another principle was also made a part of the code of
    Christian morality, that what was forbidden a woman was also
    forbidden a man, _i.e._, the moral code as to chastity was the
    same for both sexes.

§ 3. The Lord hath commanded that a wife should not be put away except for
fornication; and that when she has been put away, she ought to remain
unmarried [Matt. 19:9; I Cor. 7:11]. Whatever is given as a commandment to
men logically applies to women also. For it cannot be that while an
adulterous wife is to be put away, an incontinent husband must be
retained.… The laws of Cæsar are different, it is true, from the laws of
Christ. Papinian commands one thing; our Paul another.(146) Among them the
bridles are loosened for immodesty in the case of men. But with us what is
unlawful for women is equally unlawful for men; and both are bound by the
same conditions of service. She(147) then put away, as they report, a
husband that was a sinner; she put away one who was guilty of this and
that crime.… She was a young woman; she could not preserve her widowhood.…
She persuaded herself and thought that her husband had been lawfully put
away from her. She did not know that the strictness of the Gospel takes
away from women all pretexts for remarriage, so long as their former
husbands are alive.

(_l_) Jerome, _Adversus Jovinianum_, I, 7. (MSL, 23:229.)

    The inferiority of marriage to virginity.

    While the Church teachers insisted on the indissolubility of
    marriage and its sanctity, in not a few cases they depreciated
    marriage. Of those who did this Jerome may be regarded as the most
    characteristic and representative of a tendency which had set in,
    largely in connection with the increase of monasticism, regarded
    as the only form of Christian perfection.

“It is good for a man not to touch a woman.”(148) If it is good not to
touch a woman, it is bad to touch one; for nothing is opposed to goodness
but the bad. But if it be bad and the evil is pardoned, it is conceded
that a worse evil may not happen. But what sort of good is that which is
allowed only because there may be something worse? He would have never
added, “Let each man have his own wife,” unless he had previously said,
“But because of fornication.”… “Defraud ye not one another, except it be
by consent for a season, that ye may give yourselves unto prayer.” What, I
pray, is the quality of that good thing which hinders prayer, which does
not allow the body of Christ to be received? So long as I do a husband’s
part, I fail in continency. The same Apostle in another place commands us
to pray always.(149)

9. “It is better to marry than to burn.” If marriage itself be good, do
not compare it with fire, but simply say, “It is good to marry.” I suspect
the goodness of that thing which must be only the lesser of two evils.
What I want is not the smaller evil, but a thing that is absolutely good.

(_m_) Chrysostom, _Hom._ 66 _in Matth._ (XX, 30). (MSG, 58:630.)

    The Church took the lead in philanthropy and not only organized
    relief of poor but constantly exhorted people to contribute to the
    cause. See above, § 68, _d_.

If both the wealthy and those next to them in wealth were to distribute
among themselves those in need of bread and raiment, scarcely would one
poor person fall to the share of fifty men, or even a hundred. Yet,
nevertheless, though in such great abundance of persons able to assist
them, they are wailing every day. And that thou mayest learn their
inhumanity, recall that the Church(150) has a revenue of one of the lowest
among the wealthy, and not of the very rich; and consider how many widows
it succors every day, how many virgins; for indeed the list of them
amounts to the number of three thousand. Together with these she succors
them that dwell in prison, the sick in the caravansaries, the healthy,
those that are absent from their homes, those that are maimed in their
bodies, those that wait upon the altar; and with respect to food and
raiment, those that casually come every day; and her substance is in no
respect diminished. So that if ten men only were thus willing to spend,
there would be no poor.

(_n_) Gregory of Nazianzus, _Panegyric on Basil_, ch. 63. (MSG, 36:577.)

    Gregory of Nazianzus was the friend and schoolmate of Basil. The
    action of Basil in forcing upon him the bishopric of Sasima led to
    an estrangement and brought about the tragedy of Gregory’s
    ecclesiastical career, his forced resignation of the
    archiepiscopal see of Constantinople. See Gregory’s oration, “The
    Last Farewell” (PNF, ser. II, vol. VII, 385). Nevertheless, the
    death of Basil was an occasion for him to deliver his greatest
    oration. It was probably composed and delivered several years
    after Basil’s decease and after Gregory had retired from
    Constantinople to his home at Nazianzus.

Go forth a little way from the city, behold the New City,(151) the
storehouse of piety … where disease is regarded in a philosophic light,
and disaster is thought to be a blessing in disguise, and sympathy is
tested. Why should I compare with this work Thebes having the seven gates,
and the Egyptian Thebes and the walls of Babylon … and all other objects
of men’s wonder and of historic record, from all of which, except for some
slight glory, there was no advantage to their founders? My subject is the
most wonderful of all, the short road to salvation, the easiest ascent to
heaven.(152) There is no longer before our eyes that terrible and piteous
spectacle of men dead before their death, in many members of their body
already dead, driven away from their cities and homes and public places
and fountains, ay and from their dearest ones, recognizable by their names
rather than by their features.… He, however, it was who most of all
persuaded us men, as being men, not to despise men nor to dishonor Christ,
the head of all, by inhuman treatment of them; but in the misfortune of
others to establish well our own lot and to lend to God that mercy, since
we ourselves need mercy. He did not therefore disdain to honor disease
with his lips; he was noble and of noble ancestry and of brilliant
reputation, but he saluted them as brethren, not out of vainglory, as some
might suppose (for who was so far removed from this feeling?), but taking
the lead in approaching to tend them in consequence of his philosophy, and
so giving not only a speaking but also a silent instruction. Not only the
city, but the country and parts beyond behave in like manner; and even the
leaders of society have vied with one another in their philanthropy and
magnanimity toward them.

§ 76. Popular Piety and the Reception of Heathenism in the Church

When vast numbers poured into the Church in the fourth century and the
profession of Christianity no longer involved danger, morals became less
austere, and the type of piety became adapted to the religious condition
of those with whom the Church had now to deal. This is shown in the new
place that the intercession of saints and the veneration of their relics
take in the religious life of the times. Yet these and similar forms of
devotion in popular piety were not new and cannot be attributed in
principle to any wholesale importation of heathenism into the Church, as
was charged at the time and often since. In principle, and to some extent
in practice, they can be traced to times of persecution and danger. But,
on the other hand, no little heathenism was brought into the Church by
those who came into it without any adequate preparation or real change of
religious feeling. With this heathenism the Church had to struggle, either
casting it out in whole or in part, or rendering it as innocuous as
possible. In spite of all, many heathen superstitions remained everywhere
in Christendom, though playing for the most part such an inferior rôle as
to be negligible in the total effect.

    Additional source material: Eusebius, _Vita Constantini_ (PNF),
    III, 21, 28; IV, 38, 39, 54.

(_a_) Ambrose, _De Viduis_, ch. 9. (MSL, 16:264.)

    The importance and value of calling upon the saints for their

When Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with violent fever, Peter and
Andrew besought the Lord for her: “And He stood over her and commanded the
fever and it left her, and immediately she arose and ministered unto

So Peter and Andrew prayed for the widow. Would that there were some one
who could so quickly pray for us, or better still, they who prayed for the
mother-in-law—Peter and Andrew his brother. Then they could pray for one
related to them, now they are able to pray for us and for all. For you see
that one bound by great sin is less fit to pray for herself, certainly
less likely to obtain for herself. Let her then make use of others to pray
for her to the Physician. For the sick, unless the Physician be called to
them by the prayers of others, cannot pray for themselves. The flesh is
weak, the soul is sick and hindered by the chains of sins, and cannot
direct its feeble steps to the throne of that great Physician. The angels
must be entreated for us, who have been to us as guardians; the martyrs
must be entreated whose patronage we seem to claim by a sort of pledge,
the possession of their body. They can entreat for our sins, who, if they
had any sins, washed them in their own blood; for they are the martyrs of
God, our leaders, the beholders of our life and of our actions. Let us not
be ashamed to take them as intercessors for our weakness, for they
themselves knew the weakness of the body, even when they overcame.

(_b_) Jerome, _Contra Vigilantium_, chs. 4 _ff._ (MSL, 23:357.)

    A defence of the worship and practice of the Church, especially in
    regard to veneration of relics against the criticism of

    Jerome’s attack on Vigilantius is in many respects a masterpiece
    of scurrility, and unworthy of the ability of the man. But it is
    invaluable as a statement of the opinions of the times regarding
    such matters as the veneration of relics, the attitude toward the
    departed saints and martyrs, and many other elements of the
    popular religion which have been commonly attributed to a much
    later period.

Ch. 4. Among other words of blasphemy he [Vigilantius] may be heard to
say: “What need is there for you not only to reverence with so great honor
but even to adore I know not what, which you carry about in a little
vessel and worship?” And again in the same book, “Why do you adore by
kissing a bit of powder wrapped up in a cloth?” and further on, “Under the
cloak of religion we see really a heathen ceremony introduced into the
churches; while the sun is shining heaps of tapers are lighted, and
everywhere I know not what paltry bit of powder wrapped in a costly cloth
is kissed and worshipped. Great honor do men of this sort pay to the
blessed martyrs, who, as they think, are to be glorified by trumpery
tapers, but to whom the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne, with all
the brightness of His majesty gives light.”

Ch. 5. … Is the Emperor Arcadius guilty of sacrilege, who, after so long a
time, conveyed the bones of the blessed Samuel from Judæa to Thrace? Are
all the bishops to be considered not only sacrilegious but silly as well,
who carried that most worthless thing, dust and ashes, wrapped in silk and
in a golden vessel? Are the people of all the churches fools, who went to
meet the sacred relics, and received them with as much joy as if they
beheld the living prophet in the midst of them, so that there was one
great swarm of people from Palestine to Chalcedon and with one voice the
praises of Christ resounded?…

Ch. 6. For you say that the souls of the Apostles and martyrs have their
abode either in the bosom of Abraham, or in some place of refreshment, or
under the altar of God, and that they cannot leave their own tombs and be
present where they will. They are, it seems, of senatorial rank and are
not in the worst sort of prison and among murderers, but are kept apart in
liberal and honorable custody in the isles of the blessed and the Elysian
fields. Do you lay down laws for God? Will you throw the Apostles in
chains? So that to the day of judgment they are to be kept in confinement
and are not with the Lord, although it is written concerning them, “They
follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.” If the Lamb is present
everywhere, then they who are with the Lamb, it must be believed, are
everywhere. And while the devil and the demons wander through the whole
world, and with only too great speed are present everywhere, the martyrs
after shedding their blood are to be kept out of sight shut up in a
coffin(153) from whence they cannot go forth? You say in your pamphlet
that so long as we are alive we can pray for one another; but after we are
dead the prayer of no person for another can be heard, and especially
because the martyrs, though they cry for the avenging of their blood, have
never been able to obtain their request. If Apostles and martyrs, while
still in the body, can pray for others, when they ought still to be
anxious for themselves, how much more must they do so after they have
their crowns and victories and triumphs? A single man, Moses, won pardon
from God for six hundred thousand armed men; and Stephen, the follower of
his Lord and the first martyr for Christ, entreats pardon for his
persecutors; and after they have entered on their life with Christ, shall
they have less power? The Apostle Paul says that two hundred and
seventy-six souls were given him in the ship; and after his dissolution,
when he began to be with Christ, must he then shut up his mouth and be
unable to say a word for those who throughout the whole world have
believed in his Gospel? Shall Vigilantius the live dog be better than Paul
the dead lion?

(_c_) Council of Laodicæa, A. D. 343-381, _Canons_ 35. _f._, Bruns, I, 77.

    The Council of Laodicæa is of uncertain date, but its earliest
    possible date is 343 and the latest 381, _i.e._, between the
    Councils of Sardica and Constantinople. See Hefele, § 93. It owes
    its importance not to any immediate effect it had upon the course
    of the Church’s development, but to the fact that its canons were
    incorporated in collections and received approval, possibly at
    Chalcedon, A. D. 451, though not mentioned by name in Canon 1, and
    certainly at the Quinisext, A. D. 692, Canon 2. In the West the
    canons were of importance as having been used by Dionysius Exiguus
    in his collection. That the Canon of Holy Scripture was settled at
    this council is a traditional commonplace in theology, but hardly
    borne out by the facts. The council only drew up one of the
    several imperfect lists of sacred books which appeared in
    antiquity. The following canons show the influx of heathenism into
    the Church, resulting from the changed status of the Church.

Canon 35. Christians must not forsake the Church of God and go away and
invoke angels and gather assemblies, which things are forbidden. If,
therefore, any one shall be found engaged in secret idolatry, let him be
anathema; for he has forsaken our Lord Jesus Christ and gone over to

Canon 36. They who are of the priesthood and of the lower clergy shall not
be magicians, enchanters, mathematicians(154) nor astrologers; nor shall
they make amulets, which are chains for their own souls. And those who
wear such we command to be cast out of the Church.

(_d_) Augustine, _Epistula_ 29. (MSL, 33:117.)

    Heathenism in the Church.

    An Epistle of Augustine, written when Augustine was still a
    presbyter of Hippo, concerning the birthday of Leontius, formerly
    bishop of Hippo. In it he tells Alypius that he had at length put
    an end to the custom among the Catholics of Hippo of taking part
    in splendid banquets on the birthday of saints, as was then the
    custom in the African churches.

Ch. 8. When the day dawned on which they were accustomed to prepare
themselves for excess in eating and drinking, I received notice that some,
even of those who were present at my sermon, had not yet ceased
complaining, and that so great was the power of detestable custom among
them that, using no other argument, they asked: “Wherefore is this now
prohibited? Were they not Christians who in former times did not interfere
with this practice?”…

Ch. 9. Lest, however, any slight should seem to be put by us upon those
who before our time either tolerated or dared not put down such manifest
wrong-doings of an undisciplined multitude, I explained to them the
necessity by which this custom seems to have arisen in the Church; namely,
that when, in the peace which came after such numerous and violent
persecutions, crowds of heathen who wished to assume the Christian
religion were kept back because, having been accustomed to celebrate the
feasts connected with idols in revelling and drunkenness, they could not
easily refrain from these pleasures so hurtful and so habitual; and it
seemed good to our ancestors that for a time a concession should be made
to this infirmity, that after they had renounced the former festivals they
might celebrate other feasts, in honor of the holy martyrs, which were
observed, not with the same profane design, although with similar
indulgence. Now upon them as persons bound together in the name of Christ,
and submissive to the yoke of His august authority, the wholesome
restraints of sobriety were laid; and these restraints, on account of the
honor and fear of Him who appointed them they might not resist; and that
therefore it was now time that those who did not dare to deny that they
were Christians should begin to live according to Christ’s will; being now
Christians they should reject those things conceded that they might become

§ 77. The Extension of Monasticism Throughout the Empire

Asceticism arose within the Christian Church partly as the practical
expression of the conviction of the worthlessness of things transitory and
partly as a reaction against the moral laxity of the times. As this laxity
could not be kept entirely out of the Church, and Christians everywhere
were exposed to it, those who sought the higher life felt the necessity of
retirement. From the life of the isolated hermit, asceticism advanced
naturally to the community type of the ascetic life. There were
forerunners in non-Christian religions of the solitary ascetic and the
cenobite in Egypt, Palestine, India, and elsewhere, but all the essentials
of Christian monasticism can be adequately explained without employing the
theory of borrowing or imitation. For the principal points of development,
_v._ §§ 53, 78, 104. When monasticism had once made itself a strong factor
in the Christian religious life of Egypt, it was quickly taken up by other
parts of the Church as it satisfied a widely felt want. In Asia Minor
Basil of Cæsarea was the great promoter and organizer of the ascetic life;
and his rule still obtains throughout the East. In the West Athanasius
appears to have introduced monastic ideas during his early exiles. Ambrose
was a patron of the movement. Martin of Tours, Severinus, and John Cassian
did much to extend it in Gaul. Augustine organized his clergy according to
a monastic rule which ultimately played a large part in later monasticism.

(_a_) Palladius, _Historia Lausiaca_, ch. 38. (MSG, 34:1099.)

    The Rule of Pachomius.

    Palladius, the author of the history of monasticism, known as the
    _Historia Lausiaca_, was an Origenist, pupil of Evagrius Ponticus,
    and later bishop in Asia Minor. He is not to be confused with
    Palladius of Helenopolis, who lived about the same time, in the
    first part of the fifth century. The work of Palladius receives
    its name from the fact that it is dedicated to a high official,
    Lausus by name. Palladius made a careful study of monasticism,
    travelling extensively in making researches for his work. He also
    used what written material was available. It is probable that the
    text is largely interpolated, but on the whole it is a trustworthy
    account of the early monasticism. It was written about A. D. 420,
    and the following account of Pachomius should be compared with
    that of Sozomenus, _Hist. Ec._, III, 14, written some years later.
    Text in Kirch, nn. 712 _ff._

There is a place in the Thebaid called Tabenna, in which lived a certain
monk Pachomius, one of those men who have attained the highest form of
life, so that he was granted predictions of the future and angelic
visions. He was a great lover of the poor, and had great love to men.
When, therefore, he was sitting in a cave an angel of the Lord came in and
appeared to him and said: Pachomius you have done well those things which
pertain to your own affairs; therefore sit no longer idle in this cave.
Up, therefore, go forth and gather all the younger monks and dwell with
them and give them laws according to the form which I give thee. And he
gave him a brass tablet on which the following things were written:

1. Give to each to eat and drink according to his strength; and give
labors according to the powers of those eating, and forbid neither fasting
nor eating. Thus appoint difficult labors to the stronger and those who
eat, but the lighter and easy tasks to those who discipline themselves
more and are weaker.

2. Make separate cells in the same place; and let three remain in a cell.
But let the food of all be prepared in one house.

3. They may not sleep lying down, but having made seats built inclining
backward let them place their bedding on them and sleep seated.

4. But by night let them wear linen tunics, being girded about. Let each
of them have a shaggy goatskin, made white. Without this let them neither
eat nor sleep. When they go in unto the communion of the mysteries of
Christ every Sabbath and Lord’s Day, let them loose their girdles and put
off the goatskin, and enter with only their cuculla [_cf._ DCA]. But he
made the cuculla for them without any fleece, as for boys; and he
commanded to place upon them certain branding marks of a purple cross.

5. He commanded that there be twenty-four groups of the brethren,
according to the number of the twenty-four letters. And he prescribed that
to each group should be given as a name a letter of the Greek alphabet,
from Alpha and Beta, one after another, to Omega, in order that when the
archimandrite asked for any one in so great a company, that one may be
asked who is the second in each, how group Alpha is, or how the group
Beta; again let him salute the group Rho; the name of the letters
following its own proper sign. And upon the simpler and more guileless
place the name Iota; and upon those who are more ill-tempered and less
righteous the letter Xi. And thus in harmony with the principles and the
life and manners of them arrange the names of the letters, only the
spiritual understanding the meaning.

6. There was written on the tablet that if there come a stranger of
another monastery, having a different form of life, he shall not eat nor
drink with them, nor go in with them into the monastery, unless he shall
be found in the way outside of the monastery.

7. But do not receive for three years into the contest of proficients him
who has entered once for all to remain with them; but when he has
performed the more difficult tasks, then let him after a period of three
years enter the stadium.

8. When they eat let them veil their faces, that one brother may not see
another brother eating. They are not to speak while they eat; nor outside
of their dish or off the table shall they turn their eyes toward anything

9. And he made it a rule that during the whole day they should offer
twelve prayers; and at the time of lighting the lamps, twelve; and in the
course of the night, twelve; and at the ninth hour, three; but when it
seemed good for the whole company to eat, he directed that each group
should first sing a psalm at each prayer.

But when the great Pachomius replied to the angel that the prayers were
few, the angel said to him: I have appointed these that the little ones
may advance and fulfil the law and not be distressed; but the perfect do
not need to have laws given to them. For being by themselves in their
cells, they have dedicated their entire life to contemplation on God. But
to these, as many as do not have an intelligent mind, I will give a law
that as saucy servants out of fear for the Master they may fulfil the
whole order of life and direct it properly. When the angel had given these
directions and fulfilled his ministry he departed from the great
Pachomius. There are monasteries observing this rule, composed of seven
thousand men, but the first and great monastery, wherein the blessed
Pachomius dwelt, and which gave birth to the other places of asceticism,
has one thousand three hundred men.

(_b_) Basil the Great, _Regula fusius tractata_, Questio 7. (MSG, 31:927.)

    The Rule of St. Basil is composed in the form of question and
    answer, and in place of setting down a simple, clearly stated law,
    with perhaps some little exhortation, goes into much detailed
    argument, even in the briefer Rule. In the following passage Basil
    points out the advantages of the cenobitic life over the solitary
    or hermit life. It is condensed as indicated.

Questio VII. Since your words have given us full assurance that the life
[_i.e._, the cenobitic life] is dangerous with those who despise the
commandments of the Lord, we wish accordingly to learn whether it is
necessary that he who withdraws should remain alone or live with brothers
of like mind who have placed before themselves the same goal of piety.

_Responsio_ 1. I think that the life of several in the same place is much
more profitable. First, because for bodily wants no one of us is
sufficient for himself, but we need each other in providing what is
necessary. For just as the foot has one ability, but is wanting another,
and without the help of the other members it would find neither its own
power strong nor sufficient of itself to continue, nor any supply for what
it lacks, so it is in the case of the solitary life: what is of use to us
and what is wanting we cannot provide for ourselves, for God who created
the world has so ordered all things that we are dependent upon each other,
as it is written that we may join ourselves to one another [_cf._ Wis.
13:20]. But in addition to this, reverence to the love of Christ does not
permit each one to have regard only to his own affairs, for love, he says,
seeks not her own [I Cor. 13:5]. The solitary life has only one goal, the
service of its own interests. That clearly is opposed to the law of love,
which the Apostle fulfilled, when he did not in his eyes seek his own
advantage but the advantage of many, that they might be saved [_cf._ I
Cor. 10:33]. Further, no one in solitude recognizes his own defects, since
he has no one to correct him and in gentleness and mercy direct him on his
way. For even if correction is from an enemy, it may often in the case of
those who are well disposed rouse the desire for healing; but the healing
of sin by him who sincerely loves is wisely accomplished.… Also the
commands may be better fulfilled by a larger community, but not by one
alone; for while this thing is being done another will be neglected; for
example, by attendance upon the sick the reception of strangers is
neglected; and in the bestowal and distribution of the necessities of life
(especially when in these services much time is consumed) the care of the
work is neglected, so that by this the greatest commandment and the one
most helpful to salvation is neglected; neither the hungry are fed nor the
naked clothed. Who would therefore value higher the idle, useless life
than the fruitful which fulfils the commandments of God?

3. … Also in the preservation of the gifts bestowed by God the cenobitic
life is preferable.… For him who falls into sin, the recovery of the right
path is so much easier, for he is ashamed at the blame expressed by so
many in common, so that it happens to him as it is written: It is enough
that the same therefore be punished by many [II Cor. 2:6].… There are
still other dangers which we say accompany the solitary life, the first
and greatest is that of self-satisfaction. For he who has no one to test
his work easily believes that he has completely fulfilled the

4. For how shall he manifest his humility, when he has no one to whom he
can show himself the inferior? How shall he manifest compassion, cut off
from the society of many? How will he exercise himself in patience, if no
one opposes his wishes?

(_c_) Council of Chalcedon, A. D. 451, _Canon_ 4. Bruns, I, 26.

    The subjection of the monastery and the monks to the bishop.

    Asceticism of the solitary life was apart from the organization of
    the Church; when this form of life had developed in cenobitism it
    still remained for a time, at least, outside the ecclesiastical
    organization. Athanasius, who was a patron of the monastic life
    and often found support and refuge among the monks, did much to
    bring Egyptian monasticism back to the Church, and in the fifth
    century monks became a great power in ecclesiastical affairs,
    _cf._ the Origenistic controversy, _v. infra_, § 88. Basil, at
    once archbishop of Cæsarea and leading exponent of monastic ideas,
    brought the two to some extent together. But always the episcopal
    control was only with difficulty brought to bear on the monastic
    life, and in the West this opposition of the two religious forces
    ultimately became embodied in the principle of monastic exemption.
    The Council of Chalcedon, in 451, aimed to correct the early abuse
    by placing the monasteries under the control of the bishop.

They who lead a true and worthy monastic life shall enjoy the honor that
belongs to them. But since there are some who assume the monastic
condition only as a pretence, and will upset the ecclesiastical and civil
regulations and affairs, and run about without distinction in the cities
and want to found cloisters for themselves, the synod therefore has
decreed that no one shall build a cloister or house of prayer or erect
anywhere without the consent of the bishop of the city; and further, that
also the monks of every district and city shall be subject to the bishop,
that they shall love peace and quiet and observe the fasts and prayers in
the places where they are assigned continually; that they shall not cumber
themselves with ecclesiastical and secular business and shall not take
part in such; they shall not leave their cloisters except when in cases of
necessity they may be commissioned by the bishop of the city with such;
that no slave shall be admitted into the cloister in order to become a
monk without the permission of his master. Whoever violates this our order
shall be excommunicated, that the name of God be not blasphemed. The
bishop of the city must keep a careful oversight of the cloisters.

(_d_) Jerome, _Epistula_ 127, _ad Principiam_. (MSL, 22:1087.)

    The introduction of monasticism into the West during the Arian

5. At that time no high-born lady at Rome knew of the profession of the
monastic life, neither would she have dared, on account of the novelty,
publicly to assume a name that was regarded as ignominious and vile. It
was from some priests of Alexandria and from Pope Athanasius(155) and
subsequently from Peter,(156) who, to escape the persecution of the Arian
heretics, had fled for refuge to Rome as the safest haven of their
communion—it was from these that she [Marcella] learned of the life of the
blessed Anthony, then still living, and of the monasteries in the Thebaid,
founded by Pachomius, and of the discipline of virgins and widows. Nor was
she ashamed to profess what she knew was pleasing to Christ. Many years
after her example was followed first by Sophronia and then by others.… The
revered Paula enjoyed Marcella’s friendship, and it was in her cell that
Eustochium, that ornament of virginity, was trained.

(_e_) Augustine, _Confessiones_, VIII, ch. 6. (MSL, 32:755.)

    The extension of monasticism in the West.

Upon a certain day … there came to the house to see Alypius and me,
Pontitianus, a countryman of ours, in so far as he was an African, who
held high office in the Emperor’s court. What he wanted with us I know
not. We sat down to talk together, and upon the table before us, used for
games, he noticed by chance a book; he took it up, opened it, and,
contrary to his expectations, found it to be the Apostle Paul, for he
imagined it to be one of those books the teaching of which was wearing me
out. At this he looked up at me smilingly, and expressed his delight and
wonder that he so unexpectedly found this book, and this only, before my
eyes. For he was both a Christian and baptized, and in constant and daily
prayers he often prostrated himself before Thee our God in the Church.
When, then, I had told him that I bestowed much pains upon these writings,
a conversation ensued on his speaking of Anthony, the Egyptian monk, whose
name was in high repute among Thy servants, though up to that time
unfamiliar to us. When he came to know this he lingered on that topic,
imparting to us who were ignorant a knowledge of this man so eminent, and
marvelling at our ignorance. But we were amazed, hearing Thy wonderful
works most fully manifested in times so recent, and almost in our own,
wrought in the true faith and the Catholic Church. We all wondered—we that
they were so great, and he that we had never heard of them.

From this his conversation turned to the companies in the monasteries, and
their manners so fragrant unto Thee, and of the fruitful deserts of the
wilderness, of which we knew nothing. And there was a monastery at Milan
full of good brethren, without the walls of the city, under the care of
Ambrose, and we were ignorant of it. He went on with his relation, and we
listened intently and in silence. He then related to us how on a certain
afternoon, at Treves, when the Emperor was taken up with seeing the
Circensian games, he and three others, his comrades, went out for a walk
in the gardens close to the city walls, and there, as they chanced to walk
two and two, one strolled away with him, while the other two went by
themselves; and these in their ramblings came upon a certain cottage where
dwelt some of Thy servants, “poor in spirit,” of whom “is the kingdom of
heaven,” and they found there a book in which was written the life of
Anthony. This one of them began to read, marvel at, and be inflamed by it;
and in the reading to meditate on embracing such a life, and giving up his
worldly employments to serve Thee.… Then Pontitianus, and he that had
walked with him through other parts of the garden, came in search of them
to the same place, and, having found them, advised them to return as the
day had declined.… But the other two, setting their affections upon
heavenly things, remained in the cottage. And both of them had affianced
brides who also, when they heard of this, dedicated their virginity to

(_f_) Sulpicius Severus, _Life of St. Martin of Tours_, ch. 10. (MSL,

    Monasticism in Gaul.

    St. Martin, bishop of Tours, was born 316, became bishop of Tours
    in 371, and died 396. He was the most considerable figure in the
    Church life of Gaul at that time. Sulpicius Severus was his
    disciple and enthusiastic biographer. For John Cassian and his
    works on monasticism, see PNF, ser. II, vol. XI.

And now having entered upon the episcopal office, it is beyond my power to
set forth how well and how much he [Martin] performed. For he remained
with the utmost constancy the same as he had been before. In his heart
there was the same humility and in his garments the same simplicity; and
so full of dignity and courtesy, he maintained the dignity of a bishop,
yet so as not to lay aside the objects and virtues of a monk. Accordingly
he made use for some time of the cell connected with the church; but
afterward, when he felt it impossible to tolerate the disturbance of the
numbers of those visiting it, he established a monastery for himself about
two miles outside the city. This spot was so secret and retired that he
did not desire the solitude of a hermit. For, on one side, it was
surrounded by a precipitous rock of a lofty mountain; while the river
Loire has shut in the rest of the plain by a bend extending back for a
distance. The place could be approached by only one passage, and that very
narrow. Here, then, he possessed a cell constructed of wood; many also of
the brethren had, in the same manner, fashioned retreats for themselves,
but most of them had formed these out of the rock of the overhanging
mountain, hollowed out into caves. There were altogether eighty disciples,
who were being disciplined after the example of the saintly master. No one
there had anything which was called his own; all things were possessed in
common. It was not allowed either to buy or sell anything, as is the
custom amongst most monks. No art was practised there except that of
transcribers, and even to this the more youthful were assigned, while the
elders spent their time in prayer. Rarely did any of them go beyond the
cell unless when they assembled at the place of prayer. They all took
their food together after the hour of fasting was past. No one used wine
except when illness compelled him. Most of them were dressed in garments
of camel’s hair. Any dress approaching softness was there deemed criminal,
and this must be thought the more remarkable because many among them were
such as are deemed of noble rank, who though very differently brought up
had forced themselves down to this degree of humility and patience, and we
have seen many of these afterward as bishops. For what city or church
could there be that would not desire to have its priest from the monastery
of Martin?

§ 78. Celibacy of the Clergy and the Regulation of Clerical Marriage

The insistence upon clerical celibacy and even the mere regulation of the
marriage of the clergy contributed not a little to making a clear
distinction between the clergy and the laity which became a marked feature
in the constitution of the Church. The East and the West have always
differed as to clerical marriage. In the East the parish clergy have
always been married; the bishops formerly married have long since been
exclusively of the unmarried clergy. The clergy who do not marry become
monks. This seems to have been the solution of practical difficulties
which were found to arise in that part of the Church in connection with
general clerical celibacy. In the West the celibacy of the clergy as a
body was an ideal from the beginning of the fourth century, and became an
established principle by the middle of the fifth century under Leo the
Great, though as a matter of fact it was not enforced as a universal
obligation of the clerical order until the reforms of Gregory VII. In the
following canons and documents the division is made between the East and
the West, and the selected documents are arranged chronologically so as to
show the progress in legislation toward the condition that afterward
became dominant in the respective divisions of the Empire and the Church.

(A) _Clerical Marriage in the East_

(_a_) Council of Ancyra, A. D. 314, _Canon_ 10. Bruns, I, 68. _Cf._ Mirbt,
n. 90.

    The following canon is important as being the first Eastern
    regulation of a council bearing on the subject and having been
    generally followed long before the canons of this council were
    adopted as binding by the Council of Constantinople known as the
    Quinisext in 692, Canon 2; _cf._ Hefele, § 327. For the Council of
    Ancyra, see Hefele, § 16.

Canon 10. Those who have been made deacons, declaring when they were
ordained that they must marry, because they were not able to abide as they
were, and who afterward married, shall continue in the ministry because it
was conceded to them by the bishop. But if they were silent on the matter,
undertaking at their ordination to abide as they were, and afterward
proceeded to marry, they shall cease from the diaconate.

(_b_) Council of Nicæa, A. D. 325, _Canon_ 3. Bruns, I, 15. _Cf._ Mirbt,
n. 101, Kirch, n. 363.

    The meaning of the following canon is open to question because of
    the term _subintroducta_ and the concluding clause. Hefele
    contends that every woman is excluded except certain specified
    persons. But the custom of the East was not to treat the rule as
    meaning such. See E. Venables, art. “Subintroductæ,” in DCB; and
    Achelis, art. “Subintroductæ,” in PRE. Hefele’s discussion may be
    found in his _History of the Councils_, §§ 42 and 43; in the
    latter he discusses the question as to the position of the council
    as to the matter of clerical celibacy.

Canon 3. The great synod has stringently forbidden any bishop, presbyter,
deacon, or any one of the clergy whatever, to have a _subintroducta_
(συνείσακτος) dwelling with him, except only a mother, sister, or aunt, or
such persons only as are beyond all suspicion.

(_c_) Council of Gangra, A. D. 355-381, _Canon_ 4. Bruns, I, 107.

    The canons of this council were approved at the Quinisext together
    with those of Ancyra and Laodicæa and others. This canon is
    directed against the fanaticism of the Eustathians.

Canon 4. If any one shall maintain, concerning a married presbyter, that
it is not lawful to partake of the oblation that he offers, let him be

(_d_) Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, V, 22. (MSG, 67:640.)

    That the custom of clerical celibacy grew up without much regard
    to conciliar action, and that canons only later regulated what had
    been established and modified by custom, is illustrated by the
    variation in the matter of clerical marriage noted by Socrates.

I myself learned of another custom in Thessaly. If a clergyman in that
country should, after taking orders, cohabit with his wife, whom he had
legally married before ordination, he would be degraded.(157) In the East,
indeed, all clergymen and even bishops abstain from their wives; but this
they do of their own accord and not by the necessity of law; for many of
them have had children by their lawful wives during their episcopate. The
author of the usage which obtains in Thessaly was Heliodorus, bishop of
Tricca in that country, under whose name it is said that erotic books are
extant, entitled _Ethiopica_, which he composed in his youth. The same
custom prevails in Thessalonica and in Macedonia and Achaia.

(_e_) Quinisext Council, A. D. 692, _Canons_ 6, 12, 13, 48. Bruns, I, 39

    Canons on celibacy.

    The Trullan Council fixed the practice of the Eastern churches
    regarding the celibacy of the clergy. In general it may be said
    that the clergyman was not allowed to marry after ordination. But
    if he married before ordination he did not, except in the case of
    the bishops separate from his wife, but lived with her in lawful
    marital relations.

Canon 6. Since it is declared in the Apostolic Canons that of those who
are advanced to the clergy unmarried, only lectors and cantors are able to
marry, we also, maintaining this, determine that henceforth it is in
nowise lawful for any subdeacon, deacon, or presbyter after his ordination
to contract matrimony; but if he shall have dared to do so, let him be
deposed. And if any of those who enter the clergy wishes to be joined to a
wife in lawful marriage before he is ordained subdeacon, deacon, or
presbyter, let it be done.

Canon 12. Moreover, it has also come to our knowledge that in Africa and
Libya and in other places the most God-beloved bishops in those parts do
not refuse to live with their wives, even after consecration, thereby
giving scandal and offence to the people. Since, therefore, it is our
particular care that all things tend to the good of the flock placed in
our hands and committed to us, it has seemed good that henceforth nothing
of the kind shall in any way occur.… But if any shall have been observed
to do such a thing, let him be deposed.

Canon 13. [Text in Kirch, nn. 985 _ff._] Since we know it to be handed
down as a rule of the Roman Church that those who are deemed worthy to be
advanced to the diaconate and presbyterate should promise no longer to
cohabit with their wives, we, preserving the ancient rule and apostolic
perfection and order, will that lawful marriage of men who are in holy
orders be from this time forward firm, by no means dissolving their union
with their wives nor depriving them of their mutual intercourse at a
convenient season.… For it is meet that they who assist at the divine
altar should be absolutely continent when they are handling holy things,
in order that they may be able to obtain from God what they ask in

Canon 48. The wife of him who is advanced to the episcopal dignity shall
be separated from her husband by mutual consent, and after his ordination
and consecration to the episcopate she shall enter a monastery situated at
a distance from the abode of the bishop, and there let her enjoy the
bishop’s provision. And if she is deemed worthy she may be advanced to the
dignity of a deaconess.

(B) _Clerical Celibacy in the West_

(_a_) Council of Elvira, A. D. 306, _Canon_ 33. Bruns, II, 6. _Cf._ Mirbt,
n. 90, and Kirch, n. 305.

    This is the earliest canon of any council requiring clerical
    celibacy. For the Council of Elvira, see Hefele, § 13; A. W. W.
    Dale, _The Synod of Elvira_, London. 1882. For discussion of
    reasons for assigning a later date, see E. Hennecke, art. “Elvira,
    Synode um 313,” in PRE, and the literature there cited. The
    council was a provincial synod of southern Spain.

Canon 33. It was voted that it be entirely forbidden(158) bishops,
presbyters, and deacons, and all clergy placed in the ministry to abstain
from their wives and not to beget sons: whoever does this, let him be
deprived of the honor of the clergy.

(_b_) Siricius, _Decretal_ A. D. 385. (MSL, 13:1138.) Mirbt, nn. 122 _f._;
_cf._ Denziger, nn. 87 _ff._

    Clerical celibacy: the force of decretals.

    In the following passages from the first authentic decretal, the
    celibacy of the clergy is laid down as of divine authority in the
    Church, and the rule remains characteristic of the Western Church.
    See Canon 13 of the Quinisext Council, above, § 78, _c_. The
    binding authority of the decretals of the bishop of Rome is also
    asserted, and this, too, becomes characteristic of the
    jurisprudence of the Western Church.

Ch. 7 (§ 8). Why did He admonish them to whom the holy of holies was
committed, Be ye holy, because I the Lord your God am holy? [Lev. 20:7.]
Why were they commanded to dwell in the temple in the year of their turn
to officiate, afar from their own homes? Evidently it was for the reason
that they might not be able to maintain their marital relations with their
wives, so that, adorned with a pure conscience, they might offer to God an
acceptable sacrifice. After the time of their service was accomplished
they were permitted to resume their marital relations for the sake of
continuing the succession, because only from the tribe of Levi was it
ordained that any one should be admitted to the priesthood.… Wherefore
also our Lord Jesus, when by His coming He brought us light, solemnly
affirmed in the Gospel that He came not to destroy but to fulfil the law.
And therefore He who is the bridegroom of the Church wished that its form
should be resplendent with chastity, so that in the day of Judgment, when
He should come again, He might find it without spot or blemish, as He
taught by His Apostle. And by the rule of its ordinances which may not be
gainsaid, we who are priests and Levites are bound from the day of our
ordination to keep our bodies in soberness and modesty, so that in those
sacrifices which we offer daily to our God we may please Him in all

Ch. 15 (§ 20). To each of the cases, which by our son Bassanius you have
referred to the Roman Church as the head of your body, we have returned,
as I think, a sufficient answer. Now we exhort your brotherly mind more
and more to obey the canons and to observe the decretals that have been
drawn up, that those things which we have written to your inquiries you
may cause to be brought to the attention of all our fellow-bishops, and
not only of those who are placed in your diocese, but also of the
Carthaginians, the Bætici, the Lusitani, and the Gauls, and those who in
neighboring provinces border upon you, those things which by us have been
helpfully decreed may be sent accompanied by your letters. And although no
priest of the Lord is free to ignore the statutes of the Apostolic See and
the venerable definitions of the canons, yet it would be more useful and,
on account of the long time you have been in holy orders, exceedingly
glorious for you, beloved, if those things which have been written you
especially by name, might through your agreement with us be brought to the
notice of all our brethren, and that, seeing that they have not been drawn
up inconsiderately but prudently and with very great care, they should
remain inviolate, and that, for the future, opportunity for any excuse
might be cut off, which is now open to no one among us.

(_c_) Council of Carthage, A. D. 390, _Canon 2_. Bruns, I, 117.

    See also Canon 1 of the same council.

Canon 2. Bishop Aurelius said: “When in a previous council the matter of
the maintenance of continence and chastity was discussed, these three
orders were joined by a certain agreement of chastity through their
ordination, bishops, I say, presbyters, and deacons; as it was agreed that
it was seemly that they, as most holy pontiffs and priests of God, and as
Levites who serve divine things, should be continent in all things whereby
they may be able to obtain from God what they ask sincerely, so that what
the Apostles taught and antiquity observed, we also keep.” By all the
bishops it was said: “It is the pleasure of all that bishops, presbyters,
and deacons, or those who handle the sacraments, should be guardians of
modesty, and refrain themselves from their wives.” By all it was said: “It
is our pleasure that in all things, and by all, modesty should be
preserved, who serve the altar.”

(_d_) Leo the Great, _Ep. 14_, _ad Anastasium_; _Ep. 167_, _ad Rusticum_.
(MSL, 54:672, 1204.)

    The final form of the Western rule, that the clergy, from
    subdeacon to bishop, both inclusive, should be bound to celibacy,
    was expressed in its permanent form by Leo the Great in his
    letters to Anastasius and Rusticus. From each of these letters the
    passage bearing on the subject is quoted. By thus following up the
    ideas of the Council of Elvira and the Council of Carthage as well
    as the decretal of Siricius, the subdeacon was included among
    those who were vowed to celibacy, for he, too, served at the
    altar, and came to be counted as one of the major orders of the

Ep. 14, Ch. 5. Although they who are not within the ranks of the clergy
are free to take pleasure in the companionship of wedlock and the
procreation of children, yet, for the sake of exhibiting the purity of
complete continence, even subdeacons are not allowed carnal marriage; that
“both they that have wives be as though they had none” [I Cor. 7:29], and
they that have not may remain single. But if in this order, which is the
fourth from the head, this is worthy to be observed, how much more is it
to be kept in the first, the second, and the third, lest any one be
reckoned fit for either the deacon’s duties or the presbyter’s honorable
position, or the bishop’s pre-eminence, who is discovered as not yet
having bridled his uxorious desires.

Ep. 167, Quest. 3. Concerning those who minister at the altar and have
wives, whether they may cohabit with them.

Reply. The same law of continence is for the ministers of the altar as for
the bishops and priests who, when they were laymen, could lawfully marry
and procreate children. But when they attained to the said ranks, what was
before lawful became unlawful for them. And therefore in order that their
wedlock may become spiritual instead of carnal, it is necessary that they
do not put away their wives(159) but to have them “as though they had them
not,” whereby both the affection of their married life may be retained and
the marriage functions cease.

Period II. The Church From The Permanent Division Of The Empire Until The
Collapse Of The Western Empire And The First Schism Between The East And
The West, Or Until About A. D. 500

In the second period of the history of the Church under the Christian
Empire, the Church, although existing in two divisions of the Empire and
experiencing very different political fortunes, may still be regarded as
forming a whole. The theological controversies distracting the Church,
although different in the two halves of the Græco-Roman world, were felt
to some extent in both divisions of the Empire and not merely in the one
in which they were principally fought out; and in the condemnation of
heresy, each half of the Church assisted the other. Though already marked
lines of cleavage are clearly perceptible, and in the West the dominating
personality of Augustine forwarded the development of the characteristic
theology of the West, setting aside the Greek influences exerted through
Hilary, Ambrose, Rufinus, and Jerome, and adding much that was never
appreciated in the East—yet the opponent of Augustine was condemned at the
general council of Ephesus, 431, held by Eastern bishops in the East; and
at the same time in the East the controversies regarding the union of the
divine and human natures in Christ, although of interest almost entirely
in the East and fought out by men of the East, found their preliminary
solution at Chalcedon in 451 upon a basis proposed by the West. On the
other hand, the attitudes of the two halves of the Church toward many
profound problems were radically different, and the emergence of the Roman
See as the great centre of the West amid the overturn of the Roman world
by the barbarians, and the steadily increasing ascendency of the State
over the Church in the East tended inevitably to separate ecclesiastically
as well as politically the two divisions of the Empire. As the emperors of
the East attempted to use dogmatic parties in the support of a political
policy, the differences between the Church of the East, under the Roman
Emperor, and the Church of the West, where the imperial authority had
ceased to be a reality, became manifest in a schism resulting from the
Monophysite controversy and the attempt to reconcile the Monophysites.

Chapter I. The Church At The Beginning Of The Permanent Separation Of The
Two Parts Of The Roman Empire

Although Theodosius the Great had been the dominating power in the
government of the Empire almost from his accession in 379, he was sole
ruler of the united Roman Empire for only a few months before his death in
395. The East and the West became henceforth permanently divided after
having been united, since the reorganization of the Empire under
Diocletian in 285, for only three periods aggregating twenty-eight years
in all. The imperial authority was divided between the sons of Theodosius,
Arcadius taking the sovereignty of the East and Honorius that of the West.
Stilicho, a Vandal, directed the fortunes of the West until his death in
408, but the Empire of the East soon began to take a leading part,
especially after the barbarians commenced to invade the West about 405,
and to establish independent kingdoms within the boundaries of the Empire.
The German tribes that settled within the Empire were either Arians when
they entered or became such almost immediately after; this Arianism had
been introduced among the West Goths from Constantinople during the
dominance of that creed. The Franks alone of all the Germanic tribes were
heathen when they settled within the Empire.

§ 79. The Empire of the Dynasty of Theodosius.

_Emperors of the West_:

    Honorius; born 384, Emperor 395-423.

    Valentinian III; born 419, Emperor 425-455; son of Galla Placidia,
    the daughter of Theodosius the Great, and the Empress of the West

_Emperors of the East_:

    Arcadius: born 377, Emperor 395-408.

    Theodosius II: born 401, Emperor 408-450.

    Marcianus: Emperor 450-457; husband of Pulcheria (born 399, died
    453), daughter of Arcadius.

The greatest event in the first half of the fifth century, the period in
which the degenerate descendants of Theodosius still retained the imperial
title, was the Barbarian Invasion, a truly epoch-making event. In 405 the
Vandals, Alans, and Suevi crossed the Rhine, followed later by the
Burgundians. August 24, 410, Alarich, the king of the West Goths, captured
Rome. In 419 the West Gothic kingdom was established with Toulouse as a
capital. In 429 the Vandals began to establish themselves in North Africa,
and about 450 the Saxons began to invade Britain, abandoned by the Romans
about 409. Although the West was thus falling to pieces, the theory of the
unity of the Empire was maintained and is expressed in the provision of
the new Theodosian Code of 439 for the uniformity of law throughout the
two parts of the Empire. This theory of unity was not lost for centuries
and was influential even into the eighth century.

(_a_) Jerome, _Ep._ 123, _ad Ageruchiam_. (MSL, 22:1057.)

    The Barbarian Invasions in the opening years of the fifth century.

    Jerome’s letters are not to be considered a primary source for the
    barbarian invasion, but they are an admirable source for the way
    the invasion appeared to a man of culture and some patriotic
    feeling. With this passage should be compared his _Ep._ 60, _ad
    Heliodorum_, § 16, written in 396, in which he expresses his
    belief that Rome was falling and describes the barbarian invaders.
    The following letter was written 409.

§ 16. Innumerable savage tribes have overrun all parts of Gaul. The whole
country between the Alps and the Pyrenees, between the Rhine and the
ocean, have been laid waste by Quadi, Vandals, Sarmatians, Alans, Gepidi,
Herules,(160) Saxons, Bergundians, Allemans and, alas for the common
weal—even the hordes of the Pannonians. For Asshur is joined with them
(Psalm 83:8). The once noble city of Mainz has been captured and
destroyed. In its church many thousands have been massacred. The people of
Worms have been extirpated after a long siege. The powerful city of
Rheims, the Ambiani [a tribe near Amiens], the Altrabtæ [a tribe near
Arras], the Belgians on the outskirts of the world, Tournay, Speyer, and
Strassburg have fallen to Germany. The provinces of Aquitaine and of the
Nine Nations, of Lyons and Narbonne, with the exception of a few cities,
all have been laid waste. Those whom the sword spares without, famine
ravages within. I cannot speak of Toulouse without tears; it has been kept
hitherto from falling by the merits of its revered bishop, Exuperius. Even
the Spains are about to perish and tremble daily as they recall the
invasion of the Cymri; and what others have suffered once they suffer
continually in fear.

§ 17. I am silent about other places, that I may not seem to despair of
God’s mercy. From the Pontic Sea to the Julian Alps, what was once ours is
ours no longer. When for thirty years the barrier of the Danube had been
broken there was war in the central provinces of the Roman Empire. Long
use dried our tears. For all, except a few old people, had been born
either in captivity or during a blockade, and they did not long for a
liberty which they had never known. Who will believe it? What histories
will seriously discuss it, that Rome has to fight within her borders, not
for glory but for bare life; and that she does not fight even, but buys
the right to exist by giving gold and sacrificing all her substance? This
humiliation has been brought upon her, not by the fault of her emperors,
both of them most religious men [Arcadius and Honorius], but by the crime
of a half-barbarian traitor,(161)

(_b_) Jerome, _Prefaces to Commentary on Ezekiel_. (MSL, 25, 15:75.)

    The fall of Rome.

    Jerome’s account of the capture of Rome by Alarich is greatly
    exaggerated (see his _Ep._ 127, _ad Principiam_). By his very
    exaggeration, however, one gains some impression of the shock the
    event must have occasioned in the Roman world.

Preface to Book I. Intelligence has suddenly been brought to me of the
death of Pammachus and Marcella, the siege of Rome [A. D. 408], and the
falling asleep of many of my brethren and sisters. I was so stupefied and
dismayed that day and night I could think of nothing but the welfare of
all.… But when the bright light of all the world was put out,(162) or,
rather, when the Roman Empire was decapitated, and, to speak more
correctly, the whole world perished in one city, “I became dumb and
humbled myself, and kept silence from good words, but my grief broke out
afresh, my heart was hot within me, and while I was musing the fire was
kindled” [Psalm 39:3, 4].

Preface to Book III. Who would believe that Rome, built up by the conquest
of the whole world, had collapsed; that she had become both the mother of
nations and their tomb; that all the shores of the East, of Egypt, of
Africa, which had once belonged to the imperial city should be filled with
the hosts of her men-servants and maid-servants; that every day holy
Bethlehem should be receiving as mendicants men and women who were once
noble and abounding in every kind of wealth?

(_c_) Theodosius II, _Novella I, de Theodosiani Codicis Auctoritate_; Feb.
15, 439.

The Emperors Theodosius and Valentinian, Augusti, to Florentius, Prætorian
Prefect of the East.

Our clemency has often been at a loss to understand the cause of the fact
that, although so many rewards are held out for the maintenance of arts
and studies, so few and rare are they who are fully endowed with a
knowledge of the civil law, and that although so many have grown pale from
late studies, scarcely one or two have gained a sound and complete
learning. When we consider the enormous multitude of books, the diversity
in the forms of process, and the difficulty of legal cases, and, further,
the huge mass of imperial constitutions which, hidden as it were under a
veil of gross mist and darkness, precludes man’s intellect from gaining a
knowledge of them, we have performed a task needful for our age, and, the
darkness having been dispelled, we have given light to the laws by a brief
compendium. Noble men of approved faithfulness were selected, men of
well-known learning, to whom the matter was intrusted. We have published
the constitutions of former princes, cleared by interpretation of
difficulties so that men may no longer have to wait formidable responses
from expert lawyers as from a shrine, since it is quite plain what is the
value of a donation, by what action an inheritance is to be sued for, with
what words a contract is to be made.… Thus having wiped out the cloud of
volumes, on which many wasted their lives and explained nothing in the
end, we establish a compendious knowledge of the imperial constitutions
since the time of the divine Constantine, and permit no one after the
first day of next January to use in courts and daily practice of law the
imperial law, or to draw up pleadings except from these books which bear
our name and are kept in the sacred archives.…

To this we add that henceforward no constitution can be passed in the West
or in any other place by the unconquerable Emperor, the son of our
clemency, the everlasting Augustus Valentinian, or possess any legal
validity, except the same by a divine pragmatica be communicated to us.
The same rule is to be observed in the acts which are promulgated by us in
the East; and those are to be condemned as spurious which are not recorded
in the Theodosian Code [certain documents excepted which were kept in the
registers of bureaux].

§ 80. The Extension of the Church about the Beginning of the Fifth Century

The most important missionary work in the early part of the fifth century
was the extension of the work of Ulfilas among the German tribes and the
work of the missionaries of the West in Gaul and western Germany. Of the
latter the most important was Martin of Tours.

(_a_) Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, II, 41. (MSG, 67:349.)


    Additional material for the life of Ulfilas may be found in the
    _Ecclesiastical History_ of Philostorgius, fragments of which, as
    preserved, may be found appended to the Bohn translation of
    Sozomen’s _Ecclesiastical History_.

    After giving a list of creeds put forth by various councils, from
    Nicæa down to the Arian creed of Constantinople, 360 (text may be
    found in Hahn, § 167), Socrates continues:

The last creed was that put forth at Constantinople [A. D. 360], with the
appendix. For to this was added the prohibition respecting the mention of
substance [ousia], or subsistence [hypostasis], in relation to God. To
this creed Ulfilas, bishop of the Goths, then first gave his assent. For
before that time he had adhered to the faith of Nicæa; for he was a
disciple of Theophilus, bishop of the Goths, who was present at the Nicene
Council, and subscribed what was there determined.

(_b_) Ulfilas, _Confession of Faith_. Hahn, § 198.

    This confession of faith, which Ulfilas describes as his
    testament, is found at the conclusion of a letter of Auxentius,
    his pupil, an Arian bishop of Silistria, in Mœsia Inferior; see
    note of Hahn. It should be compared with that of Constantinople of

I, Ulfilas, bishop and confessor, have always thus believed, and in this
sole and true faith I make my testament before my Lord: I believe that
there is one God the Father, alone unbegotten and invisible; and in His
only begotten Son, our Lord and God, the fashioner and maker of all
creation, not having any one like him—therefore there is one God of all,
who, in our opinion, is God—and there is one Holy Spirit, the illuminating
and sanctifying power—as Christ said to his apostles for correction,
“Behold I send the promise of my Father to you, but remain ye in the city
of Jerusalem until ye be indued with power from on high”; and again, “And
ye shall receive power coming upon you from the Holy Spirit”—neither God
nor Lord, but a minister of Christ in all things; not ruler, but a
subject, and obedient in all things to the Son, and the Son himself
subject and obedient in all things to his Father … through Christ … with
the Holy Spirit.…(163)

(_c_) Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, IV, 23. (MSG, 67:551.)

The barbarians dwelling beyond the Danube, who are called Goths, having
been engaged in a civil war among themselves, were divided into two
parties; of one of these Fritigernus was the leader, of the other
Athanaric. When Athanaric had obtained an evident advantage over his
rival, Fritigernus had recourse to the Romans and implored their
assistance against his adversary. When these things were reported to the
Emperor Valens [364-378], he ordered the troops garrisoned in Thrace to
assist those barbarians against the barbarians fighting against them. They
won a complete victory over Athanaric beyond the Danube, totally routing
the enemy. This was the reason why many of the barbarians became
Christians: for Fritigernus, to show his gratitude to the Emperor for the
kindness shown him, embraced the religion of the Emperor, and urged those
under him to do the same. Therefore it is that even to this present time
so many of the Goths are infected with the religion of Arianism, because
the emperors at that time gave themselves to that faith. Ulfilas, the
bishop of the Goths at that time, invented the Gothic letters and,
translating the Holy Scriptures into their own language, undertook to
instruct these barbarians in the divine oracles. But when Ulfilas taught
the Christian religion not only to the subjects of Fritigernus but to the
subjects of Athanaric also, Athanaric, regarding this as a violation of
the privileges of the religion of his ancestors, subjected many of the
Christians to severe punishments, so that many of the Arian Goths of that
time became martyrs. Arius, indeed, failing to refute the opinion of
Sabellius the Libyan, fell from the true faith and asserted that the Son
of God was a new God; but the barbarians, embracing Christianity with
greater simplicity, despised this present life for the faith of Christ.

(_d_) Sulpicius Severus, _Vita S. Martini_, 13. (MSL, 20:167.)

    Sulpicius Severus was a pupil of Martin of Tours, and wrote the
    life of his master during the latter’s lifetime (died 397), but
    published it after his death. He wrote also other works on Martin.
    The astounding miracles they contain present curious problems for
    the student of ethics as well as of history. As St. Martin was one
    of the most popular saints of Gaul, and in this case the merits of
    the man and his reputation as a saint were in accord, the works of
    Sulpicius became the basis of many popular lives of the saint. The
    following passage illustrates the embellishment which soon became
    attached to all the lives of religious heroes. It is, however, one
    of the least astounding of the many miracles the author relates in
    apparent good faith. Whatever may be the judgment regarding the
    miracle, the story contains several characteristic touches met
    with in the history of missions in the following centuries:
    _e.g._, the destruction of heathen temples and objects of worship.
    This sacred tree also finds its duplicate in other attacks upon
    heathen sanctuaries.

Ch. 13. When in a certain village he had demolished a very ancient temple,
and had set about cutting down a pine-tree, which stood close to the
temple, the chief priest of that place and a crowd of other heathen began
to oppose him. And though these people, under the influence of the Lord,
had been quiet while the temple was being overthrown, they could not
patiently allow the tree to be cut down. Martin carefully instructed them
that there was nothing sacred in the trunk of a tree; let them rather
follow God, whom he himself served. He added that it was necessary that
that tree be cut down, because it had been dedicated to a demon [_i.e._,
to a heathen deity]. Then one of them, who was bolder than the others,
said: “If you have any trust in the God whom you say you worship, we
ourselves will cut down this tree, you shall receive it when it falls; for
if, as you declare, your Lord is with you, you will escape all injury.”
Then Martin, courageously trusting in the Lord, promised that he would do
this. Thereupon all that crowd of heathen agreed to the condition; for
they held the loss of their tree a small matter, if only they got the
enemy of their religion buried beneath its fall. Accordingly when that
pine-tree was hanging over in one direction, so that there was no doubt as
to what side it would fall on being cut, Martin, having been bound, was,
in accordance with the decision of these pagans, placed in that spot
where, as no one doubted, the tree was about to fall. They began,
therefore, to cut down their own tree with great joy and mirth. At some
distance there was a great multitude of wondering spectators. And now the
pine-tree began to totter and to threaten its own ruin by falling. The
monks at a distance grew pale and, terrified by the danger ever coming
nearer, had lost all hope and confidence, expecting only the death of
Martin. But he, trusting in the Lord, and waiting courageously, when now
the falling pine had uttered its expiring crash, while it was now falling,
while it was just rushing upon him, with raised hand put in its way the
sign of salvation [_i.e._, the sign of the cross]. Then, indeed, after the
manner of a spinning top (one might have thought it driven back) it fell
on the opposite side, so that it almost crushed the rustics, who had been
standing in a safe spot. Then truly a shout was raised to heaven; the
heathen were amazed by the miracle; the monks wept for joy; and the name
of Christ was extolled by all in common. The well-known result was that on
that day salvation came to that region. For there was hardly one of that
immense multitude of heathen who did not desire the imposition of hands,
and, abandoning his impious errors, believe in the Lord Jesus. Certainly,
before the times of Martin, very few, nay, almost none, in those regions
had received the name of Christ; but through his virtues and example it
has prevailed to such an extent that now there is no place there which is
not filled with either very crowded churches or monasteries. For wherever
he destroyed heathen temples, there he was accustomed to build,
immediately, either churches or monasteries.

Chapter II. The Church Of The Western Empire In The Fifth Century

The period between the closing years of the fourth century, in which the
struggle was still going on between heathenism and Christianity (§ 81),
and the end of the Roman Empire of the West is of fundamental importance
in the study of the history of the Christian Church of the West. In this
period were laid the foundations for its characteristic theology and its
ecclesiastical organization. The former was the work of St. Augustine, the
most powerful religious personality of the Western Church. In this he
built partly upon the traditions of the West, but also, largely, upon his
own religious experience (§ 82). These elements were developed and
modified by the two great controversies in which, by discussion, he
formulated more completely than ever had been done before the idea of the
Church and its sacraments in opposition to the Donatists (§ 83), and the
doctrines of sin and grace in opposition to a moralistic Christianity,
represented by Pelagius (§ 84). The leading ideas of Augustine, however,
could be appropriated only as they were modified and brought into
conformity with the dominant ecclesiastical and sacramental system of the
Church, in the semi-Pelagian controversy, which found a tardy termination
in the sixth century (§ 85). In the meanwhile the inroads of the
barbarians with all the horrors of the invasions, the confusion in the
political, social, and ecclesiastical organization, threatened the
overthrow of all established institutions. In the midst of this anarchy,
the Roman See, in the work of Innocent I, and still more clearly in the
work of Leo the Great, enunciated its ideals and became the centre, not
merely of ecclesiastical unity, in which it had often to contest its
claims with the divided Church organizations of the West, but still more
as the ideal centre of unity for all those that held to the old order of
the Empire with its culture and social life (§ 86).

§ 81. The Western Church Toward the End of the Fourth Century

Heathenism lingered as a force in society longer in the West than in the
East, not merely among the peasantry, but among the higher classes. This
was partly due to the conservatism of the aristocratic classes and the
superior form in which the religious philosophy of Neo-Platonism had been
presented to the West. This presentation was due, in no small part, to the
work of such philosophers as Victorinus, who translated the earlier works
of the Neo-Platonists so that it escaped the tendencies, represented by
Jamblichus, toward theurgy and magic, and an alliance with polytheism and
popular superstition. Victorinus himself became a Christian, passing by an
easy transition from Neo-Platonism to Christianity; a course in which he
was followed by Augustine, and, no doubt, by others as well.

Augustine, _Confessiones_, VIII, 2. (MSL, 32:79.)

    The conversion of Victorinus.

To Simplicianus then I went—the father of Ambrose,(164) in receiving Thy
grace,(165) and whom he truly loved as a father. To him I narrated the
windings of my error. But when I mentioned to him that I had read certain
books of the Platonists, which Victorinus, formerly professor of rhetoric
at Rome (who died a Christian, as I had heard), had translated into Latin,
he congratulated me that I had not fallen upon the writings of other
philosophers, which were full of fallacies and deceit, “after the
rudiments of this world” [Col. 2:8], whereas they, in many respects, led
to the belief in God and His word. Then to exhort me to the humility of
Christ, hidden from the wise and revealed to babes, he spoke of Victorinus
himself, whom, while he was in Rome, he had known intimately; and of him
he related that about which I will not be silent. For it contained great
praise of Thy grace, which ought to be confessed unto Thee, how that most
learned old man, highly skilled in all the liberal sciences, who had read,
criticised, and explained so many works of the philosophers; the teacher
of so many noble senators, who, also, as a mark of his excellent discharge
of his duties, had both merited and obtained a statue in the Roman Forum
(something men of this world esteem a great honor), he, who had been, even
to that age, a worshipper of idols and a participator in the sacrilegious
rites to which almost all the nobility of Rome were addicted, and had
inspired the people with the love of “monster gods of every sort, and the
barking Anubis, who hold their weapons against Neptune and Venus and
Minerva” [Vergil, _Æneid_, VIII, 736 _ff._], and those whom Rome once
conquered, she now worshipped, all of which Victorinus, now old, had
defended so many years with vain language,(166) he now blushed not to be a
child of Thy Christ, and an infant at Thy fountain, submitting his neck to
the yoke of humility, and subduing his forehead to the reproach of the

O Lord, Lord, who hast bowed the heavens and come down, touched the
mountains and they smoked [Psalm 144:5], by what means didst Thou convey
Thyself into that bosom? He used to read, Simplicianus said, the Holy
Scriptures and most studiously sought after and searched out all the
Christian writings, and he said to Simplicianus, not openly, but secretly
and as a friend: “Knowest thou that I am now a Christian?” To which he
replied: “I will not believe it, nor will I rank you among the Christians
unless I see you in the Church of Christ.” Whereupon he replied
derisively: “Do walls then make Christians?” And this he often said, that
already he was a Christian; and Simplicianus used as often to make the
same answer, and as often the conceit of the walls was repeated. For he
was fearful of offending his friends, proud demon worshippers, from the
height of whose Babylonian pride, as from the cedars of Lebanon, which the
Lord had not yet broken [Psalm 29:5], he seriously thought a storm of
enmity would descend upon him. But after that he had derived strength from
reading and inquiry, and feared lest he should be denied by Christ before
the holy angels if he was now afraid to confess Him before men [Matt.
10:33], and appeared to himself to be guilty of a great fault in being
ashamed of the sacraments of the humility of Thy word, and not being
ashamed of the sacrilegious rites of those proud demons, which as a proud
imitator he had accepted, he became bold-faced against vanity and
shamefaced toward the truth, and suddenly and unexpectedly said to
Simplicianus, as he himself informed me: “Let us go to the Church; I wish
to be made a Christian.” And he, unable to contain himself for joy, went
with him. When he had been admitted to the first sacrament of instruction
[_i.e._, the Catechumenate], he, not long after, gave in his name that he
might be regenerated by baptism. Meanwhile Rome marvelled and the Church
rejoiced; the proud saw and were enraged; they gnashed with their teeth
and melted away [Psalm 92:9]. But the Lord God was the hope of Thy
servant, and He regarded not vanities and lying madness [Psalm 40:4].

Finally the hour arrived when he should make profession of his faith,
which, at Rome, they, who are about to approach Thy grace, are accustomed
to deliver from an elevated place, in view of the faithful people, in a
set form of words learnt by heart. But the presbyters, he said, offered
Victorinus the privilege of making his profession more privately, as was
the custom to do to those who were likely, on account of bashfulness, to
be afraid; but he chose, rather, to profess his salvation in the presence
of the holy assembly. For it was not salvation that he had taught in
rhetoric and yet he had publicly professed that. How much less, therefore,
ought he, when pronouncing Thy word, to dread Thy meek flock, who, in the
delivery of his own words, had not feared the mad multitudes! So then,
when he ascended to make his profession, and all recognized him, they
whispered his name one to the other, with a tone of congratulation. And
who was there among them that did not know him? And there ran through the
mouths of all the rejoicing multitude a low murmur: “Victorinus!
Victorinus!” Sudden was the burst of exultation at the sight of him, and
as sudden the hush of attention that they might hear him. He pronounced
the true faith with an excellent confidence, and all desired to take him
to their hearts, and by their love and joy they did take him to them; such
were the hands with which they took him.

§ 82. Augustine’s Life and Place in the Western Church

Aurelius Augustinus, the greatest of the Latin fathers, was born 354, at
Tagaste, in Numidia. He was educated to be a teacher of rhetoric, and
practised his profession at Carthage, Rome, and Milan. From 374 to 383, he
was a Manichæan catechumen, for although his mother, Monnica, was a
Christian, his religious education had been very meagre, and he was
repelled by the literary character of the Scriptures as commonly
interpreted. In 387, after a long struggle, and passing through various
schools of thought, he, with his son Adeodatus, were baptized at Milan by
Ambrose. In 391 he became a presbyter, and in 394 bishop of Hippo Regius,
a small town in North Africa. He died 430, during the Vandal invasion. Of
his works, the _Confessions_ are the most widely known, as they have
become a Christian classic of edification of the first rank. They give an
account of his early life and conversion, but are more useful as showing
his type of piety than as a biography. From them is learned the secret of
his influence upon the Western world. The literary activity of Augustine
was especially developed in connection with the prolonged controversies,
in which he was engaged throughout his episcopate (see §§ 83, 84), but he
wrote much in addition to controversial treatises. The group of
characteristic doctrines known as “Augustinianism,” viz.: Original Sin,
Predestination, and Grace and the doctrines connected with them, were, to
a large extent, the outcome of his own religious experience. He had known
the power and depth of sin. He had discovered the hand of God leading him
in spite of himself. He knew that his conversion was due, not to his own
effort or merit, but to God’s grace.

The works of Augustine have been translated in part in PNF, ser. I, vols.
I-VIII. There are many translations of the _Confessions_; among others,
one by E. B. Pusey, in “Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic
Church,” reprinted in “Everyman’s Library.”

(_a_) Augustine, _Confessiones_, VIII, 12. (MSL, 32:761.)

    The conversion of Augustine.

    This is, perhaps, the most famous passage in the _Confessions_. It
    came at the end of a long series of attempts to find peace in
    various forms of philosophy and religion. Augustine regarded it as
    miraculous, the crown and proof of the work of grace in him. The
    scene was in Milan, 387, in the garden of the villa he occupied
    with his friend Alypius. The principal obstacle to his embracing
    Christianity was his reluctance to abandon his licentious life. To
    this the reference is made in the passage from Scripture which he
    read, _i.e._, Rom. 13:13, 14.

When a profound reflection had, from the depths of my soul, drawn together
and heaped up all my misery before the sight of my heart, there arose a
mighty storm, accompanied by as mighty a shower of tears. That I might
pour it all forth in its own words I arose from beside Alypius; for
solitude suggested itself to me as fitter for the business of weeping. So
I retired to such a distance that even his presence could not be
oppressive to me. Thus it was with me at that time, and he perceived it;
for something, I believe, I had spoken, wherein the sound of my voice
appeared choked with weeping, and thus I had risen up. He then remained
where we had been sitting, very greatly astonished. I flung myself down, I
know not how, under a certain fig-tree, giving free course to my tears,
and the streams of my eyes gushed out, an acceptable sacrifice unto Thee.
And not indeed in these words, yet to this effect, spake I much unto
Thee—“But Thou, O Lord, how long?” [Psalm 13:1]. “How long, Lord? Wilt
Thou be angry forever? Oh, remember not against us former iniquities”
[Psalm 79:5, 8]; for I felt that I was held fast by them. I sent up these
sorrowful cries: “How long, how long? To-morrow, and to-morrow? Why not
now? Why is there not this hour an end to my uncleanness?”

I was saying these things and was weeping in the most bitter contrition of
my heart, when, lo, I hear the voice as of a boy or girl, I know not
which, coming from a neighboring house, chanting and oft repeating: “Take
up and read; take up and read.” Immediately my countenance was changed,
and I began most earnestly to consider whether it was usual for children
in any kind of game to sing such words; nor could I remember ever to have
heard the like anywhere. So, restraining the torrent of my tears, I rose
up, interpreting it in no other way than as a command to me from Heaven to
open the book and read the first chapter I should light upon. For I had
heard of Anthony [see also § 77, _e_], that accidentally coming in whilst
the Gospel was being read, he received the admonition as if what was read
was addressed to him: “Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor,
and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me” [Matt.
19:21]. And by such oracle was he forthwith converted unto Thee. So
quickly I returned to the place where Alypius was sitting; for there had I
put down the volume of the Apostles, when I rose thence. I seized, I
opened, and in silence I read that paragraph on which my eye first fell:
“Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in
strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not
provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof” [Rom. 13:13, 14]. No
further would I read; there was no need; for instantly, as the sentence
ended, by a light, as it were, of security infused into my heart, all the
gloom of doubt vanished away.

Closing the book, then, and putting either my finger between, or some
other mark, I now with a tranquil countenance made it known to Alypius.
And he thus disclosed to me what was wrong in him, which I knew not. He
asked to look at what I had read. I showed him; and he looked even further
than I had read, and I knew not what followed. This, in fact, followed:
“Him that is weak in the faith, receive ye” [Rom. 14:1]; which he applied
to himself, and discovered to me. By this admonition was he strengthened;
and by a good resolution and purpose, very much in accord with his
character (wherein, for the better, he was always far different from me),
without any restless delay he joined me. Thence we go to my mother. We
tell her—she rejoices. We relate how it came to pass—she exults and
triumphs, and she blesses Thee, who art “able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think” [Eph. 3:20]; for she perceived Thee to
have given her more for me than she used to ask by her pitiful and most
doleful groanings. For Thou didst so convert me unto Thyself, that I
sought neither a wife, nor any other hope of this world—standing in that
rule of faith in which Thou, so many years before, had showed me unto her.
And thou didst turn her grief unto gladness [Psalm 30:11], much more
plentiful than she had desired, and much dearer and chaster than she used
to crave, by having grandchildren of my flesh.

(_b_) Augustine, _Confessiones_, X, 27, 29, 43. (MSL, 32:795, 796, 808.)

    The following passages from the _Confessions_ are intended to
    illustrate Augustine’s type of piety.

Ch. 29. My whole hope is only in Thy exceeding great mercy. Give what Thou
commandest and command what Thou wilt.(167) Thou imposest continency upon
us. “And when I perceived,” saith one, “that no one could be continent
except God gave it; and this was a point of wisdom also to know whose this
gift was” [Wis. 8:21]. For by continency are we bound up and brought into
one, whence we were scattered abroad into many. For he loves Thee too
little, who besides Thee loves aught which he loves not for Thee. O love,
who ever burnest and art never quenched! O charity, my God, kindle me!
Thou commandest continency; give what Thou commandest, and command what
Thou wilt.

Ch. 27. Too late have I loved Thee, O fairness, so ancient, yet so new!
Too late have I loved Thee. For behold Thou wast within and I was without,
and I was seeking Thee there; I, without love, rushed heedlessly among the
things of beauty Thou madest. Thou wast with me, but I was not with Thee.
Those things kept me far from Thee, which, unless they were in Thee, were
not. Thou didst call and cry aloud, and Thou broke through my deafness.
Thou didst gleam and shine and chase away my blindness. Thou didst exhale
fragrance and I drew in my breath and I panted for Thee. I tasted, and did
hunger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for Thy peace.

Ch. 43. O how Thou hast loved us, O good Father, who sparedst not thine
only Son, but didst deliver Him up for us wicked ones! [Rom. 8:32.] O how
Thou hast loved us, for whom He, who thought it not robbery to be equal
with Thee, “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”
[Phil. 2:8]. He alone, “free among the dead” [Psalm 88:5], that had power
to lay down His life, and power to take it again [John 10:18]; for us was
He unto Thee both victor and the victim, and the victor became the victim;
for He was unto Thee both priest and sacrifice, and priest because
sacrifice; making us from being slaves to become Thy sons, by being born
of Thee, and by serving us. Rightly, then, is my strong hope in Him,
because Thou didst cure all my diseases by Him who sitteth at Thy right
hand and maketh intercession for us [Rom. 8:34]; else should I utterly
despair. For numerous and great are my infirmities, yea numerous and great
are they; but Thy medicine is greater. We might think that Thy word was
removed from union with man and despair of ourselves had not He been “made
flesh and dwelt among us” [John 1:14].

(_c_) Augustine, _De Civitate Dei_, XIII, 3, 14. (MSL, 41:378; 86.)

    The Fall of Man and Original Sin.

    The _City of God_ is Augustine’s great theodicy, apology, and
    philosophy of universal history. It was begun shortly after the
    capture of Rome, and the author was engaged upon it from 413 to
    426. It was the source whence the mediæval ecclesiastics drew
    their theoretical justification for the curialistic principles of
    the relation of State and Church, and at the same time the one
    work of St. Augustine that Gibbon the historian regarded highly.
    For an analysis see Presensée, art. “Augustine” in DCB.

    Compare the position of Augustine with the following passage from
    St. Ambrose, _On the Death of Satyrus_, II, 6, “Death is alike to
    all, without difference for the poor, without exception for the
    rich. And so although through the sin of one alone, yet it passed
    upon all; … In Adam I fell, in Adam I was cast out of paradise. In
    Adam I died; how shall the Lord call me back, except He find me in
    Adam; guilty as I was in him, so now justified in Christ.” [MSL,

The first men would not have suffered death if they had not sinned.… But
having become sinners they were so punished with death, that whatsoever
sprang from their stock should also be punished with the same death. For
nothing else could be born of them than what they themselves had been. The
condemnation changed their nature for the worse in proportion to the
greatness of their sin, so that what was before as punishment in the man
who had first sinned, followed as of nature in others who were born.… In
the first man, therefore, the whole human nature was to be transmitted by
the woman to posterity when that conjugal union received the divine
sentence of its own condemnation; and what man was made, not when he was
created but when he sinned, and was punished, this he propagated, so far
as the origin of sin and death are concerned.

Ch. 14. For God, the author of natures, not of vices, created man upright;
but man, being by his own will corrupt and justly condemned, begot
corrupted and condemned children. For we were all in that one man when we
were all that one man, who fell into sin by the woman who had been made
from him before the sin. For not yet was the particular form created and
distributed to us, in which we as individuals were to live; but already
the seminal nature was there from which we were to be propagated; and this
being vitiated by sin, and bound by the chain of death, and justly
condemned, man could not be born of man in any other state. And thus from
the bad use of free will, there originated a whole series of evils, which
with its train of miseries conducts the human race from its depraved
origin, as from a corrupt root, on to the destruction of the second death,
which has no end, those only being excepted who are freed by the grace of

(_d_) Augustine, _De Correptione et Gratia_, 2. (MSL, 44:917.)

    Grace and Free Will.

Now the Lord not only shows us what evil we should shun, and what good we
should do, which is all the letter of the law can do; but moreover He
helps us that we may shun evil and do good [Psalm 37:27], which none can
do without the spirit of grace; and if this be wanting, the law is present
merely to make us guilty and to slay us. It is on this account that the
Apostle says: “The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” [II Cor.
3:6]. He, then, who lawfully uses the law, learns therein evil and good,
and not trusting in his own strength, flees to grace, by the help of which
he may shun evil and do good. But who flees to grace except when “the
steps of a man are ordered by the Lord, and He wills his ways”? [Psalm
37:23.] And thus also to desire the help of grace is the beginning of
grace.… It is to be confessed, therefore, that we have free choice to do
both evil and good; but in doing evil every one is free from righteousness
and is a servant of sin, while in doing good no one can be free, unless he
have been made free by Him who said: “If the Son shall make you free, then
you shall be free indeed” [John 8:36]. Neither is it thus, that when any
one shall have been made free from the dominion of sin, he no longer needs
the help of his Deliverer; but rather thus, that hearing from Him,
“Without me ye can do nothing” [John 15:5], he himself also says to Him:
“Be Thou my helper! Forsake me not!”

(_e_) Augustine, _De Civitate Dei_, XV, 1. (MSL, 41:437.)


    Inasmuch as all men are born condemned, and of themselves have not
    the power to turn to grace, which alone can save them, it follows
    that the bestowal of grace whereby they may turn is not dependent
    upon the man but upon God’s sovereign good pleasure. This is
    expressed in the doctrine of Predestination. For a discussion of
    the position of Augustine respecting Predestination and his other
    doctrines as connected with it, see J. B. Mozley, _A Treatise on
    the Augustinian Doctrine of Predestination_, 1873, a book of great
    ability. _Cf._ also Tixeront, _History of Dogmas_, vol. II.

I trust that we have already done justice to these great and difficult
questions regarding the beginning of the world, of the soul, and of the
human race itself. This race we have distributed into two parts: the one
consisting of those who live according to man, the other of those who live
according to God. And these we have also mystically called the two cities,
or the two communities of men, of which one is predestined to reign
eternally with God, and the other to suffer eternal punishment with the

Each man, because born of condemned stock, is first of all born from Adam,
evil and carnal, and when he has been grafted into Christ by regeneration
he afterward becomes good and spiritual. So in the human race, as a whole,
when these two cities began to run their course by a series of births and
deaths, the citizen of this world was born first, and after him the
stranger of this world, and belonging to the City of God,(168) predestined
by grace, elected by grace, by grace a stranger here below, and by grace a
citizen above. For so far as regards himself he is sprung from the same
mass, all of which is condemned in its origin; but God like a potter (for
this comparison is introduced by the Apostle judiciously and not without
thought) of the same lump made one vessel to honor and another to dishonor
[Rom. 9:21].

(_f_) Augustine, _De Correptione et Gratia_, chs. 23 (9), 39 (13). (MSL,
44:930, 940.)

Ch. 23 (9). Whosoever, therefore, in God’s most providential ordering are
foreknown [_præsciti_] and predestinated, called justified, glorified—I
say not, even though not yet born again, but even though not yet born at
all—are already children of God, and absolutely cannot perish.… From Him,
therefore, is given also perseverance in good even to the end; for it is
not given except to those who will not perish, since they who do not
persevere will perish.(169)

Ch. 39 (13). I speak of those who are predestinated to the kingdom of God,
whose number is so certain that no one can either be added to them or
taken from them; not of those who when He had announced and spoken, were
multiplied beyond number [Psalm 40:6]. For these may be said to be called
[_vocati_] but not chosen [_electi_], because they are not called
according to purpose.(170)

(_g_) Augustine, _Enchiridion_, 100. (MSL, 40:279.)

    Twofold Predestination.

    Augustine does not commonly speak of predestination of the wicked,
    _i.e._, those who are not among the elect and consequently
    predestinated to grace and salvation. As a rule he speaks of
    predestination in connection with the saints, those who are saved.
    But that he, with perfect consistency, regarded the wicked as also
    predestinated is shown by the following, as also other passages in
    his works, _e.g._, _City of God_, XV, 1 (_v. supra_), XXII, ch.
    24:5. This point has a bearing in connection with the controversy
    on predestination in the ninth century, in which Gottschalk
    reasserted the theory of a double predestination.

These are the great works of the Lord, sought out according to all His
good pleasure [Psalm 111:2], and wisely sought out, that when the angelic
and the human creature sinned, that is, did not do what He willed but what
the creature itself willed, so by the will of the creature, by which was
done what the Creator did not will, He carried out what He himself willed;
the supremely Good thus turning to account even what is evil; to the
condemnation of those whom He has justly predestinated to punishment and
to the salvation of those whom He has mercifully predestinated to grace.

(_h_) Augustine, _De Civitate Dei_, XVI, 2. (MSL, 41:479.)

    Augustine’s theory of allegorical interpretation.

    Augustine had been repelled by the literal interpretation of the
    Scriptures and turned to the Manichæans who rejected the Old
    Testament. _Confessions_, III, 5. From Ambrose he learned the
    “mystical” or allegorical method of interpreting the Old
    Testament, _cf._ _Confessions_, VI, 4. With Augustine’s theory,
    treated at length, especially in his _De Doctrina Christiana_, Bk.
    3, should be compared Origen’s in _De Principiis_, IV, 9-15. See
    above, § 43, _b_.

These secrets of the divine Scriptures we investigate as we can;(171) some
in more, some in less agreement, but all faithfully holding it as certain
that these things were neither done nor recorded without some
foreshadowing of future events, and that they are to be referred only to
Christ and His Church, which is the City of God, the proclamation of which
has not ceased since the beginning of the human race; and we now see it
everywhere accomplished. From the blessing of the two sons of Noah and
from the cursing of the middle son, down to Abraham, for more than a
thousand years, there is no mention of any righteous person who worshipped
God. I would not, therefore, believe that there were none, but to mention
every one would have been very long, and there would have been historical
accuracy rather than prophetic foresight. The writer of these sacred
books, or rather the Spirit of God through him, sought for those things by
which not only the past might be narrated, but the future foretold, which
pertained to the City of God; for whatever is said of these men who are
not its citizens is given either that it may profit or be made glorious by
a comparison with what is different. Yet it is not to be supposed that all
that is recorded has some signification; but those things which have no
signification of their own are interwoven for the sake of the things which
are significant. Only by the ploughshare is the earth cut in furrows; but
that this may be, other parts of the plough are necessary. Only the
strings of the harp and other musical instruments are fitted to give forth
a melody; but that they may do so, there are other parts of the instrument
which are not, indeed, struck by those who sing, but with them are
connected the strings which are struck and produce musical notes. So in
prophetic history some things are narrated which have no significance, but
are, as it were, the framework to which the significant things are

(_i_) Augustine, _Enchiridion_, 109, 110. (MSL, 40:283.)

    Augustine in his teaching combined a number of different
    theological tendencies, without working them into a consistent
    system. His doctrines of Original Sin, Predestination, Grace are
    by no means harmonized with his position regarding the Church and
    the sacraments in which he builds upon the foundation laid in the
    West, especially by Optatus. See below, § 83. There is also a no
    small remnant of what might be called pre-Augustinian Western
    piety, which comes down from Tertullian and of which the following
    is an illustration, a passage which is of significance in the
    development of the doctrine of purgatory. Cf. Tertullian, _De
    Monogamia_, ch. 10. See above, § 39.

§ 109. The time, moreover, which intervenes between a man’s death and the
final resurrection, keeps the soul in a hidden retreat, as each is
deserving of rest or affliction, according to what its lot was when it
lived in the flesh.

§ 110. Nor can it be denied that the souls of the dead are benefited by
the piety of their living friends, when the sacrifice of the Mediator is
offered, or alms given in the Church in their behalf. But these services
are of advantage only to those who during their lives merited that
services of this kind could help them. For there is a manner of life which
is neither so good as not to require these services after death, nor so
bad that these services are of no avail after death. There is, on the
other hand, a kind of life so good as not to require them; and again one
so bad that when they depart this life they render no help. Therefore it
is here that all the merit and demerit is acquired, by which one can
either be relieved or oppressed after death. No one, then, need hope that
after he is dead he shall obtain the merit with God which he had neglected
here. And, accordingly, those services which the Church celebrates for the
commendation of the dead are not opposed to the Apostle’s words: “For we
must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may
receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done,
whether it be good or bad” [Rom. 14:10; II Cor. 5:10]. For that merit that
renders services profitable to a man, each one has acquired while he lives
in the body. For it is not to every one that these services are
profitable. And why are they not profitable to all, except it be because
of the different kinds of lives that men lead in the body? When,
therefore, sacrifices either of the altar or of alms of any sort are
offered on behalf of the dead who have been baptized, they are
thanksgivings for the very good; they are propitiations [_propitiationes_]
for the not very bad; and for the case of the very bad, even though they
do not assist the dead, they are a species of consolation to the living.
And to those to whom they are profitable, their benefit consists either in
full remission of sins, or at least in making the condemnation more

§ 83. Augustine and the Donatist Schism

After the recall of the Donatists by the Emperor Julian, the sect rapidly
increased, though soon numerous divisions appeared in the body. The more
liberal opinions of the Donatist grammarian Tychonius about 370 were
adopted by many of the less fanatical. The connection of the party with
the Circumcellions alienated others. The contest for rigorism led by
Maximianus about 394 occasioned a schism within the Donatist body.

Augustine’s activity in the Donatist troubles began as soon as he was made
bishop of Hippo, as his town was made up largely of Donatists, who
probably constituted more than a half of the population. The books written
by him after 400 have alone survived.

The turning-point in the history of Donatism was the Collatio, or
conference, held at Carthage in 411. Two hundred and seventy-nine
Donatist, and two hundred and eighty-six Catholic, bishops were present.
Augustine was one of those who represented the Catholic position. The
victory was adjudged by the imperial commissioners to the Catholic party.
After this the laws against the sect were enforced relentlessly, and
Donatism rapidly lost its importance. The Vandal invasion in 429 changed
the condition of things for a time. The last traces of Donatism disappear
only with the Moslem invasion in the seventh century.

The importance of the Donatist controversy is that in it were defined the
doctrines of the Church and of the sacraments, definitions which, with
some modifications, controlled the theology of the Church for centuries.

(_a_) Optatus, _De Schismate Donatistarum_, II, 1-3. (MSL, 11:941.)

    The unity of the Catholic Church.

Ch. 1. The next thing to do … is to show that there is one Church which
Christ called a dove and a bride. Therefore the Church is one, the
sanctity of which is derived from the sacraments; and it is not valued
according to the pride of persons. Therefore this one dove Christ also
calls his beloved bride. This cannot be among heretics and schismatics.…
You have said, brother Parmenianus, that it is with you alone … among you
in a small part of Africa, in the corner of a small region, but among us
in another part of Africa will it not be? In Spain, in Gaul, in Italy,
where you are not, will it not be?… And through so many innumerable
islands and other provinces, which can scarcely be numbered, will it not
be? Wherein then will be the propriety of the Catholic name, since it is
called Catholic, because it is reasonable(172) and everywhere diffused?

Ch. 2. I have proved that that is the Catholic Church, which spread
throughout the whole world, and now are its ornaments to be recalled; and
it is to be seen where the first five gifts [_i.e._, notes of the Church]
are, which you say are six. Among these the first is the cathedra, and
unless a bishop, who is the angel [the second gift or note according to
the Donatists], sit in it, no other gift can be joined. It is to be seen
who first placed a see and where.… You cannot deny that in the city of
Rome the episcopal cathedra was first placed by Peter, and in it sat
Peter, the head of all the Apostles, wherefore he is called Cephas, so
that in that one cathedra unity is preserved by all, that the other
Apostles might not claim each one for himself a cathedra; so that he is a
schismatic and a sinner who against that one cathedra sets up another.

Ch. 3. Therefore Peter first sat in that single cathedra, which is the
first gift of the Church, to him succeeded Linus … to Damasus, Siricius,
who is our contemporary, with whom the world together with us agree in one
fellowship of communion by the interchange of letters. Recite the origin
of your cathedra, you who would claim for yourself the Holy Church [_cf._
Tertullian, _De Præscriptione_, c. 32].

(_b_) Optatus, _De Schismate Donatistarum_, V, 4. (MSL, 11:1051.)

    The validity of sacraments is not dependent on the character of
    those who minister them. With this should be compared Augustine,
    _Contra litteras Petiliani Donatistæ_, II, 38-91, and the treatise
    _De Baptismo contra Donatistas libri septem_, which is little more
    than a working out in a thousand variations of this theme.

In celebrating this sacrament of baptism there are three things which you
can neither increase, diminish, nor omit. The first is the Trinity, the
second the believer, and the third the minister.… The first two remain
ever immutable and unmoved. The Trinity is always the same, the faith in
each is one. But the person of him who ministers is clearly not equal to
the first two points, in that it alone is mutable.… For it is not one man
who always and everywhere baptizes. In this work there were formerly
others, and now others still, and again there will be others; those who
minister may be changed, the sacraments cannot be changed. Since therefore
you see that they who baptize are ministers and are not lords, and the
sacraments are holy in themselves, not on account of men, why is it that
you claim so much for yourselves? Why is it that you endeavor to exclude
God from His gifts? Permit God to be over the things which are His. For
that gift cannot be performed by a man because it is divine. If you think
it can be so bestowed, you render void the words of the prophets and the
promises of God, by which it is proved that God washes, not man.

(_c_) Augustine, _De Baptismo contra Donatistas_, IV, 17 (§ 24). (MSL,

    Baptism without the Church valid but unprofitable.

    Augustine, as opposing the Donatists and agreeing with the
    Catholic Church, asserted the validity of baptism when conferred
    by one outside the communion of the Church. It was notorious that
    Cyprian and the Council of Carthage, A. D. 258 [see ANF, vol. V.,
    pp. 565 _ff._; _cf._ Hefele, § 6], had held an opposite opinion.
    As Cyprian was the great teacher of North Africa, and in the
    highest place in the esteem of all, Augustine was forced to make
    “distinctions.” This he did in his theory as to the validity of
    baptism as in the following passage. The Sixth Book of the same
    treatise is composed of a statement of the bishops at the Council
    of Carthage, and Augustine’s answer to each statement.

“Can the power of baptism,” says Cyprian, “be greater than confession,
than martyrdom, that a man should confess Christ before men, and be
baptized in his own blood, and yet,” he says, “neither does this baptism
profit the heretic, even though for confessing Christ he be put to death
outside the Church.” This is most true; for by being put to death outside
the Church, he is proved not to have had that charity of which the Apostle
says: “Though I give my body to be burned and have not charity, it
profiteth me nothing” [I Cor. 13:3]. But if martyrdom is of no avail for
the reason that charity is lacking, neither does it profit those who, as
Paul says, and Cyprian further sets forth, are living within the Church
without charity, in envy and malice; and yet they can both receive and
transmit true baptism. “Salvation,” he says, “is not without the Church.”
Who denies this? And therefore whatever men have that belongs to the
Church, outside the Church it profits them nothing toward salvation. But
it is one thing not to have, another to have it but to no use. He who has
it not must be baptized that he may have it; he who has to no use must be
corrected, that what he has he may have to some use. Nor is the water in
baptism “adulterous,” because neither is the creature itself, which God
made, evil, nor is the fault to be found in the words of the Gospel in the
mouths of any who are astray; but the fault is theirs in whom there is an
adulterous spirit, even though it may receive the adornment of the
sacrament from a lawful spouse. It therefore can be true that baptism is
“common to us and to the heretics,” since the Gospel can be common to us,
although their error differs from our faith; whether they think otherwise
than the truth about the Father or Son or the Holy Spirit; or, being cut
away from unity, do not gather with Christ, but scatter abroad, because it
is possible that the sacrament of baptism can be common to us if we are
the wheat of the Lord with the covetous within the Church and with robbers
and drunkards and other pestilent persons, of whom it is said, “They shall
not inherit the kingdom of God,” and yet the vices by which they are
separated from the kingdom of God are not shared by us.

(_d_) Augustine, _Ep. 98, ad Bonifatium_. (MSL, 33:363.)

    Relation of the sacrament to that of which it is the sign.
    Sacraments are effective if no hinderance is placed to their

On Easter Sunday we say, “This day the Lord rose from the dead,” although
so many years have passed since His resurrection.… The event itself being
said to take place on that day, because, although it really took place
long before, it is on that day sacramentally celebrated. Was not Christ
once for all offered up in His own person as a sacrifice? And yet, is He
not likewise offered up in the sacrament as a sacrifice, not only in the
special solemnities of Easter, but also daily among our congregations; so
that when a man is questioned and answers that He is offered as a
sacrifice in that ordinance, does he not declare what is strictly true?
For if sacraments had not some points of real resemblance to the things of
which they are the sacraments, they would not be sacraments at all.
[Augustine’s general definition of a sacrament is that it is a sign of a
sacred thing.] In most cases, moreover, they do, in virtue of this
likeness, bear the names of the realities which they resemble. As
therefore in a certain manner the sacrament of the body of Christ is the
body of Christ, the sacrament of the blood of Christ is the blood of
Christ, so the sacrament of faith is faith.… Now, believing is nothing
else than having faith; and accordingly, when on behalf of an infant as
yet incapable of exercising faith, the answer is given that he believes,
this answer means that he has faith because of the sacrament of faith, and
in like manner the answer is made that he turns himself toward God because
of the sacrament of conversion, since the answer itself belongs to the
celebration of the sacrament. Thus the Apostle says, in regard to this
sacrament of baptism: “We are buried with Christ by baptism into death.”
He does not say, “We have signified our being buried with Him,” but: “We
have been buried with Him.” He has therefore given to the sacrament
pertaining to so great a transaction no other name than the word
describing the transaction itself.

10. Therefore an infant, although he is not yet a believer in the sense of
having that faith which includes the consenting will of those who exercise
it, nevertheless becomes a believer through the sacrament of that faith.…
The infant, though not yet possessing a faith helped by the understanding,
is not obstructing(173) faith by an antagonism of the understanding, and
therefore receives with profit the sacrament of faith.

(_e_) Augustine, _De Correctione Donatistarum_, §§ 22 _ff._ (MSL, 33:802.)

    The argument in favor of using force to compel the Donatists to
    return to the Church.

    Augustine in the early part of the Donatist controversy was not in
    favor of using force. Like the others, _e.g._, Optatus, he denied
    that force had been employed by the Church. About 404 the
    situation changed, and his opinion did likewise. This work, known
    also as Epistle CLXXXV, was written circa 417. Compare Augustine’s
    position with the statement of Jerome, “Piety for God is not
    cruelty,” _cf._ Hagenbach, _History of Christian Doctrines_, §
    135:7. The Donatists had much injured their position by their
    treatment of a party which had produced a schism in their own
    body, the Maximianists.

§ 22. Who can love us more than Christ who laid down His life for the
sheep? And yet, after calling Peter and the other Apostles by His word
alone, in the case of Paul, formerly Saul, the great builder of His
Church, but previously its cruel persecutor, He not only constrained him
with His voice, but even dashed him to the earth with His power.… Where is
what they [the Donatists] are accustomed to cry: “To believe or not to
believe is a matter that is free”? Toward whom did Christ use violence?
Whom did He compel? Here they have the Apostle Paul. Let them recognize in
his case Christ’s first compelling and afterward teaching; first striking
and afterward consoling. For it is wonderful how he who had been compelled
by bodily punishment entered into the Gospel and afterward labored more in
the Gospel than all they who were called by word only; and the greater
fear compelled him toward love, that perfect love which casts out fear.

§ 23. Why, therefore, should not the Church compel her lost sons to return
if the lost sons compelled others to perish? Although even men whom they
have not compelled but only led astray, their loving mother embraces with
more affection if they are recalled to her bosom through the enforcement
of terrible but salutary laws, and are the objects of far more deep
congratulation than those whom she has never lost. Is it not a part of the
care of the shepherd, when any sheep have left the flock, even though not
violently forced away, but led astray by soft words and by coaxings, and
they have begun to be possessed by strangers, to bring them back to the
fold of his master when he has found them, by the terrors or even the
pains of the whip, if they wish to resist; especially since, if they
multiply abundantly among the fugitive slaves and robbers, he has the more
right in that the mark of the master is recognized on them, which is not
outraged in those whom we receive but do not baptize?(174) So indeed is
the error of the sheep to be corrected that the sign of the Redeemer shall
not be marred. For if any one is marked with the royal stamp by a
deserter, who has himself been marked with it, and they receive
forgiveness, and the one returns to his service, and the other begins to
be in the service in which he had not yet been, that mark is not effaced
in either of them, but rather it is recognized in both, and approved with
due honor because it is the king’s. Since they cannot show that that is
bad to which they are compelled,(175) they maintained that they ought not
to be compelled to the good. But we have shown that Paul was compelled by
Christ; therefore the Church in compelling the Donatists is following the
example of her Lord, though in the first instance she waited in hopes of
not having to compel any, that the prediction might be fulfilled
concerning the faith of kings and peoples.

§ 24. For in this sense also we may interpret without absurdity the
apostolic declaration when the blessed Apostle Paul says: “Being ready to
revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled” [II Cor.
10:6]. Whence also the Lord himself bids the guests to be brought first to
His great supper, and afterward compelled; for when His servants answered
Him, “Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room,” He
said to them: “Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come
in” [Luke 14:22, 23]. In those, therefore, who were first brought in with
gentleness the former obedience is fulfilled, but in those who were
compelled the disobedience is avenged. For what else is the meaning of
“Compel them to come in,” after it had previously been said, “Bring in,”
and the answer was: “Lord, it is done as Thou commandest, and yet there is
room”? Wherefore if by the power which the Church has received by divine
appointment in its due season, through the religious character and faith
of kings, those who are found in the highways and hedges—that is, in
heresies and schisms—are compelled to come in, then let them not find
fault because they are compelled, but consider to what they are so
compelled. The supper of the Lord, the unity, is of the body of Christ,
not only in the sacrament of the altar but also in the bond of peace.

(_f_) Augustine, _Contra epistulam Parmeniani_, II, 13 (29). (MSL, 43:71.)

    Indelibility of baptism.

    Parmenianus was the Donatist bishop who succeeded Donatus in the
    see of Carthage. The letter here answered was written to
    Tychonius, a leading Donatist. In it Parmenianus calls the Church
    defiled because it contained unworthy members. The answer of
    Augustine was written in 400, many years later.

If any one, either a deserter or one who has never served as a soldier,
signs any private person with the military mark, would not he who has
signed be punished as a deserter, when he has been arrested, and so much
the more severely as it could be proved that he had never at all served as
a soldier, and at the same time along with him would not the most impudent
giver of the sign, be punished if he have surrendered him? Or perchance he
takes no military service, but is afraid of the military mark
[_character_] in his body, and he betakes himself to the clemency of the
Emperor, and when he has poured forth prayers and obtained forgiveness, he
then begins to undertake military service, when the man has been liberated
and corrected is that mark [_character_] ever repeated, and not rather is
he not recognized and approved? Would the Christian sacraments by chance
be less enduring than this bodily mark, since we see that apostates do not
lack baptism, and to them it is never given again when they return by
means of penitence, and therefore it is judged not possible to lose it.

(_g_) Augustine, _Contra epistulam Manichæi_, ch. 4 (5). (MSL, 42:175.)
_Cf._ Mirbt, n. 132.

    Authority of the Catholic Church.

    This work, written in 396 or 397, is important in this connection
    as showing the place the Catholic Church took in the mind of
    Augustine as an authority and the nature of that authority.

Not to speak of that wisdom which you [the Manichæans] do not believe to
be in the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly
keep me in her bosom. The consent of people and nations keeps me in the
Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope,
enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me,
beginning from the very seat of Peter the Apostle, to whom the Lord after
His resurrection gave it in charge to feed His sheep down to the present
episcopate. And so lastly does the name itself of Catholic, which not
without reason, amid so many heresies, that Church alone has so retained
that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger
asks where the Catholic Church meets no heretic will venture to point to
his own basilica or house. Since then so many and so great are the very
precious ties belonging to the Christian name which rightly keep a man who
is a believer in the Catholic Church … no one shall move me from the faith
which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian

Let us see what Manichæus teaches us; and in particular let us examine
that treatise which you call the Fundamental Epistle in which almost all
that you believe is contained. For in that unhappy time when we read it,
we were called by you enlightened. The epistle begins: “Manichæus, an
apostle of Jesus Christ, by the providence of God the Father. These are
wholesome words from the perennial and living fountain.” Now, if you
please, patiently give heed to my inquiry. I do not believe that he is an
apostle of Christ. Do not, I beg of you, be enraged and begin to curse.
You know that it is my rule not to believe without consideration anything
offered by you. “Wherefore I ask, who is this Manichæus?” You reply, “An
apostle of Christ.” I do not believe it. Now you are at a loss what to say
or do; for you promised to give me knowledge of the truth, and you force
me to believe something I do not know. Perhaps you will read the Gospel to
me, and from it you will attempt to defend the person of Manichæus. But
should you meet with a person not yet believing the Gospel, what could you
reply to him if he said to you: “I do not believe”? For my part I should
not believe the Gospel except the authority of the Catholic Church moved
me. So then I have assented to them when they say to me, “Believe the
Gospel”; why should I not assent to them saying to me: “Do not believe the

§ 84. The Pelagian Controversy

The Pelagian controversy, in which the characteristic teaching of
Augustine found its best expression, may be divided into three periods. In
the first period, beginning about 411, Pelagius and Cælestius, who had
been teaching at Rome unmolested since 400 and had come to Carthage,
probably on account of the barbarian attack upon Rome, are opposed at
Carthage, and six propositions attributed to Cælestius are condemned at a
council there, where he attempted to be ordained. Cælestius leaves for the
East and is ordained at Ephesus, 412, and Pelagius soon after follows him.
In the second period, 415-417, the controversy is in the East as well as
in the West, as Augustine by letters to Jerome gave warning about
Pelagius, and councils are held at Jerusalem and Diospolis, where Pelagius
is acquitted of heresy. This was probably due as much to the general
sympathy of the Eastern theologians with his doctrine as to any alleged
misrepresentation by Pelagius. But in North Africa synods are also held
condemning Pelagius, and their findings are approved by Innocent of Rome.
But Pelagius and Cælestius send confessions of faith to Zosimus (417-418),
Innocent’s successor, who reproves the Africans and acquits Pelagius and
Cælestius as entirely sound. In the third period, 417-431, the attack on
Pelagius is taken up at Rome itself by some of the clergy, and an imperial
edict is obtained against the Pelagians. Zosimus changes his opinion and
approves the findings of a general council called at Carthage in 418, in
which the doctrines of original sin and the need of grace are asserted.
The last act of the controversy in its earlier form, after the deposition
of the leading Pelagians, among them Julian, of Eclanum, their theologian,
is the condemnation of Pelagius at the Council of Ephesus, in 431. _V.
infra_, § 89.

    Additional source material: See A. Bruckner, _Quellen zur
    Geschichte des pelagianischen Streites_ (in Latin), in Krüger’s
    _Quellenschriften_, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, 1906. The principal
    works of Augustine bearing on the Pelagian controversy may be
    found in PNF, ser. I, vol. V.

(_a_) Augustine, _Ep. 146, ad Pelagium_. (MSL, 33:596.)

    This was probably written before the controversy. As to its use
    later, see Augustine, _De gestis Pelagii_, chs. 51 (26) _f._ (PNF)

I thank you very much that you have been so kind as to make me glad by
your letter informing me of your welfare. May the Lord recompense you with
those blessings that you forever be good and may live eternally with Him
who is eternal, my lord greatly beloved and brother greatly longed for.
Although I do not acknowledge that anything in me deserves the eulogies
which the letter of your benevolence contains about me, I cannot, however,
be ungrateful for the good-will therein manifested toward one so
insignificant, while suggesting at the same time that you should rather
pray for me that I may be made by the Lord such as you suppose me already
to be.

(_b_) Augustine. _De Peccatorum Meritis et Remissione et de Baptismo
Parvulorum_. (MSL, 44:185, 188.)

    Augustine’s testimony as to the character of Pelagius.

    This work was written in 412, after the condemnation of Cælestius
    at Carthage. It was the first in the series of polemical writings
    against the teaching of Pelagius. The first book is especially
    important as a statement of Augustine’s position as to the nature
    of justifying grace.

    It should be recalled that Pelagius was a monk of exemplary life,
    and a zealous preacher of morality. It may be said that in him the
    older moralistic tendency in theology was embodied in opposition
    to the new religious spirit of Augustine. _Cf._ Bruckner, _op.
    cit._, n. 4.

III. 1. However, within the last few days I have read some writings of
Pelagius, a holy man, as I hear, who has made no small progress in the
Christian life, and these writings contain very brief expositions of the
Epistles of Paul the Apostle.(176)

III. 3. But we must not omit that this good and praiseworthy man (as they
who know him describe him as being) has not advanced this argument against
the natural transmission of sin in his own person.

(_c_) Pelagius, _Fragments_, in Augustine’s _De Gratia Christi et de
Peccato Originali_. (MSL, 44:364, 379.)

    The teaching of Pelagius can be studied not only in his opponent’s
    statements but in his own words. These are to be found in his
    commentary (see note to previous selection), and also in fragments
    found in Augustine’s writings and several minor pieces (see

I. 7. Very ignorant persons think that we do wrong in this matter to
divine grace, because we say that it by no means perfects sanctity in us
without our will: as if God could impose any commands upon His grace and
would not supply also the help of His grace to those to whom He has given
commands, so that men might more easily accomplish through grace what they
are required to do by their free will. And this grace we do not for our
part, as you suppose, allow to consist merely in the law, but also in the
help of God. God helps us by His teaching and revelation when He opens the
eyes of our heart; when He points out to us the future, that we may not be
absorbed in the present; when He discovers to us the snares of the devil;
when He enlightens us with manifold and ineffable gifts of heavenly grace.
Does the man who says this appear to you to be a denier of grace? Does he
not acknowledge both man’s free will and God’s grace?

I. 39. Speaking of the text Rom. 7:23: “But I see another law in my
members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into
captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”

Now what you [_i.e._, Augustine, whom he is addressing] wish us to
understand of the Apostle himself, all Church writers assert that he spoke
in the person of the sinner, and of one still under the law, who by reason
of very long custom of vice was held bound, as it were, by a certain
necessity of sinning, and who, although he desired good with his will in
practice, indeed, was driven into evil. In the person, however, of one man
the Apostle designates the people who sinned still under the ancient law,
and this people, he declares, are to be delivered from this evil of custom
through Christ, who first of all remits all sins in baptism, to those who
believe on Him, and then by an imitation of Himself incites them to
perfect holiness, and by the example of virtues overcomes the evil custom
of sins.

(_d_) Pelagius, _Epistula ad Demetriadem_. (MSL, 33:1100 _ff._)

    This epistle, from which selections are given, was written
    probably about 412 or 413. As it gives a statement of the teaching
    of Pelagius in his own words, it is of especial historical
    interest. Demetrias was a virgin, and probably under the spiritual
    direction of Pelagius, though little is known of her. Text in
    Bruckner, _op. cit._, n. 56.

Ch. 2. As often as I have to speak of the principles of virtue and a holy
life, I am accustomed first of all to call attention to the capacity and
character of human nature, and to show what it is able to accomplish; then
from this to arouse the feelings of the hearer, that he may strive after
different kinds of virtue, that he may permit himself to be roused to acts
which perhaps he had regarded as impossible. For we are quite unable to
travel the way of virtue if hope does not accompany us. For all attempts
to accomplish anything cease if one is in doubt whether he will attain the
goal. This order of exhortation I follow in other minor writings and in
this case also. I believe it must be kept especially in mind where the
good of nature needs to be set forth the more in detail as the life is to
be more perfectly formed, that the spirit may not be more neglectful and
slow in its striving after virtue, as it believes itself to have the less
ability, and when it is ignorant of what is within it, think that it does
not possess it.

Ch. 3. One must be careful to see to it that … one does not think that a
man is not made good because he can do evil and is not compelled to an
immutable necessity of doing good through the might of nature. For if you
diligently consider it and turn your mind to the subtler understanding of
the matter, the better and superior position of man will appear in that
from which his inferior condition was inferred. But just in this freedom
in either direction, in this liberty toward either side, is placed the
glory of our rational nature. Therein, I say, consists the entire honor of
our nature, therein its dignity; from this the very good merit praise,
from this their reward. For there would be for those who always remain
good no virtue if they had not been able to have chosen the evil. For
since God wished to present to the rational creature the gift of voluntary
goodness and the power of the free will, by planting in man the
possibility of turning himself toward either side, He made His special
gift the ability to be what he would be in order that he, being capable of
good and evil, could do either and could turn his will to either of them.

Ch. 8. We defend the advantage of nature not in the sense that we say it
cannot do evil, since we declare that it is capable of good and evil; we
only protect it from reproach. It should not appear as if we were driven
to evil by a disease of nature, we who do neither good nor bad without our
will, and to whom there is always freedom to do one of two things, since
always we are able to do both.… Nothing else makes it difficult for us to
do good than long custom of sinning which has infected us since we were
children, and has gradually corrupted us for many years, so that afterward
it holds us bound to it and delivered over to it, so that it almost seems
as if it had the same force as nature.

If before the Law, as we are told, and long before the appearance of the
Redeemer, various persons can be named who lived just and holy lives, how
much more after His appearance must we believe that we are able to do the
same, we who have been taught through Christ’s grace, and born again to be
better men; and we who by His blood have been reconciled and purified, and
by His example incited to more perfect righteousness, ought to be better
than they who were before the Law, better than they who were under the

(_e_) Marius Mercator, _Commonitorium super nomine Cælestii_, ch. 1. (MSL,
48:67.) _Cf._ Kirch, nn. 737 _ff._

    The Council of Carthage and the opinions of Cælestius condemned at
    that council, 411.

    Marius Mercator, a friend and supporter of Augustine, was one of
    the most determined opponents of Pelagianism, as also of
    Nestorianism. His dates are not well determined. In 418 he sent
    works to Augustine to be examined by the latter, and he seems to
    have lived until after the Council of Chalcedon, 451. The work
    from which the selection is taken was written, 429, in Greek, and
    translated and republished in Latin, 431 or 432. With the
    following should be compared Augustine’s _De Gratia Christi et
    Peccato Originali_, II, 2_f._, and _Ep._ 175:6; 157:3, 22.

A certain Cælestius, a eunuch from his mother’s womb, a disciple and
auditor of Pelagius, left Rome about twenty years ago and came to
Carthage, the metropolis of all Africa, and there he was accused of the
following heads before Aurelius, bishop of that city, by a complaint from
a certain Paulinus, a deacon of Bishop Ambrose of Milan, of sacred memory,
as the record of the acts stands in which the same complaint is inserted
(a copy of the acts of the council we have in our hands) that he not only
taught this himself, but also sent in different directions throughout the
provinces those who agreed with him to disseminate among the people these
things, that is:

1. Adam was made mortal and would have died whether he had sinned or had
not sinned.

2. The sin of Adam injured himself alone, and not the human race.

3. New-born children are in that state in which Adam was before his fall.

4. Neither by the death and sin of Adam does the whole race die, nor by
the resurrection of Christ does the whole race rise.

5. The Law leads to the kingdom of heaven as well as the Gospel.

6. Even before the coming of the Lord there were men without sin.

(_f_) Pelagius. _Confessio fidei_. (MSL, 45:1716 _f._) Hahn, § 209.

    The confession of faith addressed to Innocent of Rome, but
    actually laid before Zosimus, in 417, consists of an admirably
    orthodox statement of the doctrine of the Trinity and of the
    incarnation, an expansion of the Nicene formula with reference to
    perversions of the faith by various heretics, and in conclusion a
    statement of Pelagius’s own opinions regarding free will, grace,
    and sin. It is due to the irony of history that it should have
    been found among the works of both Jerome and Augustine, long
    passed current as a composition of Augustine, _Sermo CCXXXVI_, and
    should have been actually quoted by the Sorbonne, in 1521, in its
    articles against Luther. It also appears in the _Libri Carolini_,
    III, 1, as an orthodox exposition of the faith. The passages which
    bear upon the characteristic Pelagian doctrine are here given.
    Fragments of the confessions of other Pelagians, _e.g._,
    Cælestius, and Julius of Eclanum, are found in Hahn, §§ 210 and
    211. For the proceedings in the East, see Hefele, § 118.

We hold that there is one baptism, which we assert is to be administered
to children in the same words of the sacrament as it is administered to

We execrate also the blasphemy of those who say that anything impossible
to do is commanded man by God, and the commands of God can be observed,
not by individuals but by all in common, also those who with the
Manichæans condemn first marriages or with the Cataphrygians condemn
second marriages.… We so confess the will is free that we say that we
always need the aid of God, and they err who with the Manichæans assert
that man cannot avoid sins as well as those who with Jovinan say that man
cannot sin; for both take away the liberty of the will. But we say that
man can both sin and not sin, so that we confess that we always have free

(_g_) Augustine, _Sermo_ 131. (MSL, 38:734.) _Cf._ Kirch, n. 672.

    _Causa finita est._

    Late in 416 synods were held in Carthage and Mileve condemning
    Pelagianism. On January 27, 417, Innocent wrote to the Africans,
    approving their councils and condemning Pelagianism, incidentally
    stating the supreme authority of the Roman See and requiring that
    nothing should ever be definitively settled without consulting the
    Apostolic See (text of passage in Denziger. ed. 1911, n. 100).
    September 23 of the same year, about the time when Pelagius and
    Cælestius were at Rome with Zosimus seeking to rehabilitate
    themselves in the West, Augustine delivered a sermon in which he
    made the following statement. It is the basis of the famous phrase
    _Roma locuta, causa finita est_, a saying which is apocryphal,
    however, and not found in the works of Augustine.

What, therefore, is said concerning the Jews, that we see in them [_i.e._,
the Pelagians]. They have the zeal for God; I bear witness, that they have
a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. Why is it not according to
knowledge? Because, being ignorant of the justice of God and wishing to
establish their own, they are not subject to the righteousness of God
[Rom. 10:2 _f._]. My brethren, have patience with me.

When you find such, do not conceal them, let there be not false mercy in
you. Most certainly when you find such, do not conceal them. Refute those
contradicting, and those resisting bring to me. For already two councils
about this case have been sent to the Apostolic See, whence also rescripts
have come. The case has been ended; would that the error might some time
end! Therefore let us warn them that they pay attention; let us teach them
that they may be instructed; let us pray that they may be changed.

(_h_) Zosimus, III _Ep. ad Episcopos Africæ de causa Cælestii_ A. D. 417.
(MSL, 45:1721.) _Cf._ Bruckner, _op. cit._, n. 28.

    Fragments of his later _Epistula tractoria_ together with other
    letters may be found in Bruckner, _op. cit._

Likewise Pelagius sent letters also containing an extended justification
of himself, to which he added a profession of his faith, what he condemned
and what he followed, without any dissimulation, so that all subtilities
of interpretation might be avoided. There was a public recitation of
these. They contained all things like those which Cælestius had previously
presented and expressed in the same sense and drawn up in the same
thoughts. Would that some of you, dearest brethren, could have been
present at the reading of the letters. What was the joy of the holy men
who were present; what was the admiration of each of them! Some of them
could scarcely restrain themselves from tears and weeping, that such men
of absolutely correct faith could have been suspected. Was there a single
place in which the grace of God or his aid was omitted?

(_i_) Council of Carthage, A. D. 418, _Canons_. Bruns, I, 188.

    These canons of the Council of Carthage, A. D. 418, were
    incorporated in the _Codex Canon Ecclesiæ Africanæ_ adopted at the
    Council of Carthage A. D. 419. The numbers given in brackets are
    the numbers in that Codex. Interprovincial councils were known in
    North Africa as “general councils.”

In the consulate of the most glorious emperors, Honorius for the twelfth
time and Theodosius for the eighth, on the calends of May, at Carthage in
the Secretarium of the Basilica of Faustus, when Bishop Aurelius presided
over the general council, the deacons standing by, it pleased all the
bishops, whose names and subscriptions are indicated, met together in the
holy synod of the church of Carthage:

1 [109]. That whosoever should say that Adam, the first man, was created
mortal, so that whether he had sinned or not, he would have died in the
body—that is, he would have gone forth of the body, not because of the
desert [or merit] of sin, but by natural necessity, let him be anathema.

2 [110]. Likewise that whosoever denies that infants newly from their
mother’s womb should be baptized, or says that baptism is for remission of
sins, but that they derive from Adam no original sin, which is removed by
the layer of regeneration, whence the conclusion follows that in them the
form of baptism for the remission of sins is to be understood as false and
not true, let him be anathema.

For not otherwise can be understood what the Apostle says, “By one man sin
has come into the world,(177) and so it passed upon all men in that all
have sinned,” than as the Catholic Church everywhere diffused has always
understood it. For on account of this rule of faith, even infants, who
could have committed no sin themselves, therefore are truly baptized for
the remission of sins, in order that what in them is the result of
generation may be cleansed by regeneration.

3 [111]. Likewise, that whoever should say that the grace of God, by which
a man is justified through Jesus Christ our Lord, avails only for the
remission of past sins, and not for assistance against committing sins in
the future, let him be anathema.

4 [112]. Also, whoever shall say that the same grace of God through Jesus
Christ our Lord helps us not to sin only in that by it are revealed to us
and opened to our understanding the commandments, so that we may know what
to seek, what we ought to avoid, and also that we should love to do so,
but that through it we are not helped so that we are able to do what we
know we should do, let him be anathema. For when the Apostle says, “Wisdom
puffeth up, but charity edifieth,” it were truly infamous were we to
believe that we have the grace of Christ for that which puffeth us up, but
have it not for that which edifieth, since each is the gift of God, both
to know what we ought to do, and to love it so as to do it; so that wisdom
cannot puff us up while charity is edifying us. For as it is written of
God, “Who teacheth man knowledge,” so also it is written, “Love is of

5 [113]. It seemed good that whosoever should say that the grace of
justification is given to us only that we might be able more readily by
grace to perform what we were commanded to do through our free will; as if
when grace was not given, although not easily, yet nevertheless we could
even without grace fulfil the divine commandments, let him be anathema.
For the Lord spake concerning the fruits of the commandments, when he
said, “Without me ye can do nothing,” and not “Without me ye can do it but
with difficulty.”

6 [114]. It seemed also good that as St. John the Apostle says, “If ye
shall say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not
in us”; whosoever thinks that this should be so understood as to mean that
out of humility we ought to say that we have sin, and not because it is
really so, let him be anathema. For the Apostle goes on to add, “But if we
confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all iniquity,” where it is sufficiently clear that this is
said not only in humility but also in truth. For the Apostle might have
said, “If we shall say we have no sins we shall extol ourselves, and
humility is not in us”; but when he says, “we deceive ourselves and the
truth is not in us,” he sufficiently intimates that he who affirmed that
he had no sin would speak not that which is true but that which is false.

7 [115]. It has seemed good that whosoever should say that when in the
Lord’s Prayer, the saints say, “Forgive us our trespasses,” they say this
not for themselves, because they have no need of this petition, but for
the rest who are sinners of the people; and that therefore none of the
saints can say, “Forgive me my trespasses,” but “Forgive us our
trespasses”; so that the just is understood to seek this for others rather
than for himself, let him be anathema.

8 [116]. Likewise it seemed good, that whosoever asserts that these words
of the Lord’s Prayer when they say, “Forgive us our trespasses,” are said
by the saints out of humility and not in truth, let them be anathema.

    The following canon, although it seems to have been enacted for
    the case of Apiarius, is nevertheless often cited in the same
    connection as the eight against Pelagius, and is therefore given
    here for the sake of convenience.

18 [125]. Likewise, it seemed good that presbyters, deacons, or other of
the lower clergy who are to be tried, if they question the decision of
their bishops, the neighboring bishops having been invited by them with
the consent of their bishops shall hear them and determine whatever
separates them. But should they think that an appeal should be carried
from them, let them not carry the appeal except to African councils or to
the primates of their provinces. But whoso shall think of carrying an
appeal across the seas, shall be admitted to communion by no one in

§ 85. Semi-Pelagian Controversy

With the condemnation of Pelagianism the doctrine of Augustine in its
logically worked out details was not necessarily approved. The necessity
of baptism for the remission of sins in all cases was approved as well as
the necessity of grace. The doctrine of predestination, an essential
feature in the Augustinian system, was not only not accepted but was
vigorously opposed by many who heartily condemned Pelagianism. The ensuing
discussion, known as the Semi-Pelagian controversy (427-529), was largely
carried on in Gaul, which after the Vandal occupation of North Africa,
became the intellectual centre of the Church in the West. The leading
opponent of Augustine was John Cassian (ob. 435), abbot of a monastery at
Marseilles, hence the term Massilians applied to his party, and his pupil,
Vincent of Lerins, author of _Commonitorium_, written 434. The chief
Augustinians were Hilary and Prosper of Aquitaine. The discussion was not
continuous. About 475 it broke out again when Lucidus was condemned at a
council at Lyons and forced to retract his predestinarian views; and again
about 520. The matter received what is regarded as its solution in the
Council of Orange, 529, confirmed by Boniface II in 531. By the decrees of
this council so much of the Augustinian system as could be combined with
the teaching and practice of the Church as to the sacraments was formally

(_a_) John Cassian. _Collationes_, XIII. 7 _ff._ (MSL, 49:908.)

    John Cassian, born about 360, was by birth and education a man of
    the East, and does not appear in the West until 405, when he went
    to Rome on some business connected with the exile of Chrysostom,
    his friend and patron. In 415 he established two monasteries at
    Marseilles, one for men and the other for women. He had himself
    been educated as a monk and made a careful study of monasticism in
    Egypt and Palestine. Western monasticism is much indebted to him
    for his writings. _De Institutis Cœnobiorum_ and the
    _Collationes_. In the former, he describes the monastic system of
    Palestine and Egypt and the principal vices to which the monastic
    life is liable; in the latter, divided into three parts, Cassian
    gives reports or what purports to be reports of conversations he
    and his friend Germanus had with Egyptian ascetics. These books
    were very popular during the Middle Ages and exerted a wide

Ch. 7. When His [God’s] kindness sees in us even the very smallest spark
of good-will shining forth or which He himself has, as it were, struck out
from the hard flints of our hearts, He fans it and fosters it and nurses
it with His breath, as He “will have all men to be saved and to come unto
the knowledge of the truth” [I Tim. 2:4].… For He is true and lieth not
when He lays down with an oath: “As I live, saith the Lord, I will not the
death of a sinner, but that he should turn from his way and live” [Ezek.
33:11]. For if he willeth not that one of His little ones should perish,
how can we think without grievous blasphemy that He willeth not all men
universally, but only some instead of all be saved. Those then who perish,
perish against His will, as He testifieth against each of them day by day:
“Turn from your evil ways for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” [Ezek.
33:11] … The grace of Christ is then at hand every day, which, while it
“willeth all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth,”
calleth all without exception, saying: “Come all unto me all ye that labor
and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” [Matt. 11:28]. But if he
calls not all generally but only some, it follows that not all are heavy
laden with either original sin or actual sin, and that this saying is not
a true one: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” [Rom.
3:23]; nor can we believe that “death passed on all men” [Rom. 5:12]. And
so far do all who perish, perish against the will of God, that God cannot
be said to have made death, as the Scripture itself testifieth: “For God
made not death, neither hath He pleasure in the destruction of the living”
[Wisdom 1:13].

Ch. 8. When He sees anything of good-will arisen in us He at once
enlightens it and strengthens it and urges it on to salvation, giving
increase to that which He himself implanted or He sees to have arisen by
our own effort.

Ch. 9. … But that it may be still more evident that through the good of
nature, which is bestowed by the kindness of the Creator, sometimes the
beginnings of a good-will arise, yet cannot come to the completion of
virtue unless they are directed by the Lord, the Apostle is a witness,
saying: “For to will is present with me, but to perform what is good I
find not” [Rom. 7:18].

Ch. 11. … If we say that the beginnings of a good-will are always inspired
in us by the grace of God, what shall we say about the faith of Zacchæus,
or of the piety of that thief upon the cross, who by their own desire
brought violence to bear upon the Kingdom of Heaven, and so anticipated
the special leadings of their callings?…

Ch. 12. We should not hold that God made man such that he neither wills
nor is able to do good. Otherwise He has not granted him a free will, if
He has suffered him only to will or be capable of evil, but of himself
neither to will nor be capable of what is good.… It cannot, therefore, be
doubted that there are by nature seeds of goodness implanted in every soul
by the kindness of the Creator; but unless these are quickened by the
assistance of God, they will not be able to attain to an increase of
perfection; for, as the blessed Apostle says: “Neither is he that planteth
anything nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase” [I Cor.
3:7]. But that freedom of will is to some degree in a man’s power is very
clearly taught in the book called _The Pastor_,(179) where two angels are
said to be attached to each one of us, _i.e._ a good and a bad one, while
it lies in a man’s own option to choose which to follow. And, therefore,
the will always remains free in man, and it can either neglect or delight
in the grace of God. For the Apostle would not have commanded, saying,
“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” [Phil. 2:12], had he
not known that it could be advanced or neglected by us.… But that they
should not think that they did not need divine aid he adds: “For it is God
who worketh in you both to will and accomplish His good pleasure” [Phil.
2:13]. The mercy of the Lord, therefore, goes before the will of man, for
it is said, “My God will prevent me with His mercy” [Psalm 59:10], and
again, that He may put our desire to the test, our will goes before God
who waits, and for our good delays.

(_b_) Vincent of Lerins, _Commonitorium_, chs. 2, 23, 26, (MSL, 50:659.)

    The rule of Catholic verity.

    Vincent of Lerins wrote his _Commonitorium_ in 434, three years
    after the death of Augustine, who had been commended in 432 to the
    clergy of Gaul by Celestine of Rome [_Ep._ 21; Denziger, nn.
    128-142; Mansi IV, 454 _ff._]. Vincent attacked Augustine in his
    _Commonitorium_, not openly, but, so far as the work has been
    preserved, covertly, under the pseudonym of Peregrinus. The work
    consists of two books, of which the second is lost with the
    exception of what appear to be some concluding chapters, or a
    summary taking the place of the book. In the first book he lays
    down the general principle as to the tests of Catholic truth. In
    doing so he is careful to point out several cases of very great
    teachers, renowned for learning, ability, and influence, who,
    nevertheless, erred against the test of Catholic truth, and
    brought forward opinions which, on account of their novelty, were
    false. It is a working out in detail of the principles of the idea
    of Tertullian in his _De Prœscriptione_ [_v. supra_, § 27]. The
    Augustinian doctrines of predestination and grace could not stand
    the test of the appeal to antiquity. After laying down his test of
    truth it appears to have been the author’s intention to prove
    thereby the doctrine of Augustine false. The so-called “Vincentian
    rule” is often quoted without a thought that it was intended,
    primarily, as an attack upon Augustine. The _Commonitorium_ may be
    found translated in PNF, ser. II, vol. XI.

Ch. 2 [4]. I have often inquired earnestly and attentively of very many
men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and, so to
speak, universal rule I might be able to distinguish the truth of the
Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical pravity, and I have always,
and from nearly all, received an answer to this effect: That whether I or
any one else should wish to detect the frauds of heretics as they arise,
or to avoid their snares, and to continue sound and complete in the faith,
we must, the Lord helping, fortify our faith in two ways: first, by the
authority of the divine Law, and then, by the tradition of the Catholic

But here some one, perhaps, will ask: Since the canon of Scripture is
complete and sufficient for everything, and more than sufficient, what
need is there to add to it the authority of the Church’s interpretation?
For this reason: because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not
accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words one
way, another in another way; so that almost as many opinions may be drawn
from it as there are men.… Therefore it is very necessary, on account of
so great intricacies, and of such various errors, that the rule of a right
understanding of the prophets and Apostles should be framed in accordance
with the standard of ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation.

Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself all possible care should be taken
that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, and by
all. For that is truly and properly “Catholic” which, as the name implies
and the reason of the thing declares, comprehends all universally. This
will be the case if we follow universality, antiquity, and consent. We
shall follow universality in this way, if we confess that one faith to be
true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if
we in nowise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were
notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent in like
manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions
and determinations of all, or at least almost all, priests and doctors.

Ch. 23 [59]. The Church of Christ, the careful and watchful guardian of
the doctrines deposited in her charge, never changes anything in them,
never diminishes, never adds; does not cut off what is necessary, does not
add what is superfluous, does not lose her own, does not appropriate what
is another’s, but, while dealing faithfully and judiciously with ancient
doctrine, keeps this one object carefully in view—if there be anything
which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and to
polish it; if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to
consolidate and strengthen it; if any already ratified and defined, to
keep and guard it. Finally, what other objects have councils ever aimed at
in their decrees, than to provide that what was before believed in
simplicity, should in the future be believed intelligently; that what was
before preached coldly, should in the future be preached earnestly; that
what before was practised negligently, should henceforth be practised with
double solicitude?

    Passage referring especially to Augustine.

Ch. 26 [69]. But what do they say? “If thou be the Son of God, cast
thyself down”; that is, “If thou wouldest be a son of God, and wouldest
receive the inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven, cast thyself down; that
is, cast thyself down from the doctrine and tradition of that sublime
Church, which is imagined to be nothing less than the very temple of God.”
And if one should ask one of the heretics who gives this advice: How do
you prove it? What ground have you for saying that I ought to cast away
the universal and ancient faith of the Catholic Church? he has only the
answer ready: “For it is written”; and forthwith he produces a thousand
testimonies, a thousand examples, a thousand authorities from the Law,
from the Psalms, from the Apostles, from the prophets, by means of which,
interpreted on a new and wrong principle, the unhappy soul is precipitated
from the height of Catholic truth to the lowest abyss of heresy. Then with
the accompanying promises, the heretics are wont marvellously to beguile
the incautious. For they dare to teach and promise that in their church,
that is, in the conventicle of their communion, there is a certain great
and special and altogether personal grace of God, so that whosoever
pertain to their number, without any labor, without any effort, without
any industry, even though they neither ask, nor seek, nor knock,(180) have
such a dispensation from God, that borne up of angel hands, that is,
preserved by the protection of angels, it is impossible they should ever
dash their feet against a stone, that is, that they should ever be

(_c_) Council of Orange, A. D. 529, _Canons_. Bruns II, 176. _Cf._
Denziger, n. 174.

    The end of the Semi-Pelagian controversy.

    The Council of Orange, A. D. 529, was made up of several bishops
    and some lay notables who had gathered for the dedication of a
    church at Orange. Cæsarius of Arles had received from Felix IV of
    Rome eight statements against the Semi-Pelagian teaching. He added
    some more of his own to them, and had them passed as canons by the
    company gathered for the dedication. It is noteworthy that the lay
    notables signed along with the bishops. Boniface II, to whom the
    canons were sent, confirmed them in 532: “We approve your above
    written confession as agreeable to the Catholic rule of the
    Fathers.” _Cf._ Hefele, § 242. For the sources of the canons, see
    Seeberg, _History of Doctrines_, Eng. trans., I, 380, note 3. For
    the sake of brevity the scriptural quotations are not given,
    merely indicated by references to the Bible.

Canon 1. Whoever says that by the offence of the disobedience of Adam not
the entire man, that is, in body and soul, was changed for the worse, but
that the freedom of his soul remained uninjured, and his body only was
subject to corruption, has been deceived by the error of Pelagius and
opposes Scripture [Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 6:16; II Peter 2:19].

Canon 2. Whoever asserts that the transgression of Adam injured himself
only, and not his offspring, or that death only of the body, which is the
penalty of sin, but not also sin, which is the death of the soul, passed
by one man to the entire human race, wrongs God and contradicts the
Apostle [Rom. 5:12].

Canon 3. Whoever says that the grace of God can be bestowed in reply to
human petition, but not that the grace brings it about so that it is asked
for by us, contradicts Isaiah the prophet and the Apostle [Is. 65:1; Rom.

Canon 4. Whoever contends that our will, to be set free from sin, may
anticipate God’s action, and shall not confess that it is brought about by
the infusion of the Holy Spirit and his operation in us, that we wish to
be set free, resists that same Holy Spirit speaking through Solomon: “The
will is prepared by the Lord” [Proverbs 8:35, _cf._ LXX; not so in Vulgate
or Heb.], and the Apostle [Phil. 2:13].

Canon 5. Whoever says the increase, as also the beginning of faith and the
desire of believing, by which we believe in Him who justifies the impious,
and we come to the birth of holy baptism, is not by the free gift of
grace, that is, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit turning our will
from unbelief to belief, from impiety to piety, but belongs naturally to
us, is declared an adversary of the apostolic preaching [Phil. 1:6; Ephes.
2:8]. For they say that faith by which we believe in God is natural, and
they declare that all those who are strangers to the Church of Christ in
some way are believing.

Canon 6. Whoever says that to us who, without the grace of God, believe,
will, desire, attempt, struggle for, watch, strive for, demand, ask,
knock, mercy is divinely bestowed, and does not rather confess that it is
brought about by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit in us
that believe, will, and do all these other things as we ought, and annexes
the help of grace to human humility and obedience, and does not admit that
it is the gift of that same grace that we are obedient and humble, opposes
the Apostle [I Cor. 4:7].

Canon 7. Whoever asserts that by the force of nature we can rightly think
or choose anything good, which pertains to eternal life, or be saved, that
is, assent to the evangelical preaching, without the illumination of the
Holy Spirit, who gives to all grace to assent to and believe the truth, is
deceived by an heretical spirit, not understanding the voice of the Lord
[John 15:5], and of the Apostle [II Cor. 3:5].

Canon 8. Whoever asserts that some by mercy, others by free will, which in
all who have been born since the transgression of the first man is
evidently corrupt, are able to come to the grace of baptism, is proved an
alien from the faith. For he asserts that the free will of all has not
been weakened by the sin of the first man, or he evidently thinks that it
has been so injured that some, however, are able without the revelation of
God to attain, by their own power, to the mystery of eternal salvation.
Because the Lord himself shows how false this is, who declares that not
some, but no one was able to come to Him unless the Father drew him [John
6:4], and said so to Peter [Matt. 16:17] and the Apostle [I Cor. 12:3].

    The canons that follow are less important. The whole concludes
    with a brief statement regarding the points at issue, as follows:

And so according to the above sentences of the Holy Scriptures and
definitions of ancient Fathers, by God’s aid, we believe that we ought to
believe and preach:

That by the sin of the first man, free will was so turned aside and
weakened that afterward no one is able to love God as he ought, or believe
in God, or do anything for God, which is good, except the grace of divine
mercy comes first to him [Phil. 1:6, 29; Ephes. 2:8; I Cor. 4:7, 7:25;
James 1:17; John 3:27].…

We also believe this to be according to the Catholic faith, that grace
having been received in baptism, all who have been baptized, can and
ought, by the aid and support of Christ, to perform those things which
belong to the salvation of the soul, if they labor faithfully.

But not only do we not believe that some have been predestinated to evil
by the divine power, but also, if there are any who wish to believe so
evil a thing, we say to them, with all detestation, anathema.

Also this we profitably confess and believe, that in every good we do not
begin and afterward are assisted by the mercy of God, but without any good
desert preceding, He first inspires in us faith and love in Him, so that
we both faithfully seek the sacrament of baptism, and after baptism with
His help are able to perform those things which are pleasing to Him.
Whence it is most certainly to be believed that in the case of that thief,
whom the Lord called to the fatherland of paradise, and Cornelius the
Centurion, to whom an angel of the Lord was sent, and Zacchæus, who was
worthy of receiving the Lord himself, their so wonderful faith was not of
nature, but was the gift of the divine bounty.

And because we desire and wish our definition of the ancient Fathers,
written above, to be a medicine not only for the clergy but also for the
laity, it has been decided that the illustrious and noble men, who have
assembled with us at the aforesaid festival, shall subscribe it with their
own hand.

§ 86. The Roman Church as the Centre of the Catholic Roman Element of the

In the confusion of the fifth century, when the provinces of the Roman
Empire were being lopped off one by one, Italy invaded, and the larger
political institutions disappearing, the Church was the one institution
that maintained itself. In not a few places among the barbarians the
bishops became the acknowledged heads of the Roman element of the
communities. In meeting the threatened invasion of Italy by Attila, Leo
was the representative of the Roman people, the head of the embassy sent
to induce the Hun to recross the Danube. Under such circumstances the see
of Rome constantly gained in importance politically and ecclesiastically.
As a centre of unity it was far more powerful than a feeble emperor at
Ravenna or puppets set up by barbarians. It was the one and only great
link between the provinces and the representative of the ancient order. It
represented Rome, an efficient and generally gratefully recognized
authority. In the development of the papal idea the first stadium was
completed with the pontificate of Leo the Great (440-461), who, fully
conscious of the inherited Petrine prerogatives, expressed them the most
clearly, persistently, and, on the whole, most successfully of any pontiff
before Gregory the Great. Leo, therefore, stands at the end of a
development marked by the utterances of Victor, Cornelius, Siricius,
Innocent I, Zosimus, Boniface I, and Celestine. For their statements of
the authority of the Roman see, see Denziger, under their names, also
Kirch and Mirbt. The whole may be found combined in one statement in
Schwanne, _Dogmengeschichte_, I, 413 _f._; II, 661-698.

    Additional source material: In English there is comparatively
    little except the writings of Leo, see especially _Sermones_ 2,
    82, 84; _Epistulæ_ 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17, 105, 167; Jerome,
    _Ep._ 146, _ad Evangelum_. Kirch, Mirbt, and Denziger give many
    references to original texts and citations.

(_a_) Leo the Great, _Sermo_ 3. (MSL, 55:145 _f._)

    On the prerogatives of Peter and his see.

Ch. 2. … From His overruling and eternal providence we have received also
the support of the Apostle’s aid, which assuredly does not cease from its
operation; and the strength of the foundation, on which the whole lofty
building of the Church is reared, is not weakened by the weight of the
temple that rests upon it. For the solidity of that faith which was
praised in the chief of the Apostles is perpetual; and, as that remains
which Peter believed in Christ, so that remains which Christ instituted in
Peter. For when, as has been read in the Gospel lesson [_i.e._, for the
day], the Lord has asked the disciples whom they believed Him to be, amid
the various opinions that were held, the blessed Peter replied, saying:
“Thou art the Christ,” etc. [Matt. 16:16-19].

Ch. 3. The dispensation of the truth therefore abides, and the blessed
Peter, persevering in the strength of the rock which he has received, has
not abandoned the helm of the Church which he undertook. For he was
ordained before the rest in such a way that since he is called the rock,
since he is pronounced the foundation, since he is constituted the
doorkeeper of the kingdom of heaven, since he is set up as the judge to
bind and to loose, whose judgments shall retain their validity in heaven,
from all these mystical titles we might know the nature of his association
with Christ. And still to-day he more fully and effectually performs what
is intrusted to him, and carries out every part of his duty and charge in
Him and with Him, through whom he has been glorified. And so if anything
is rightly done or rightly decreed by us, if anything is obtained from the
mercy of God by daily supplications, it is his work and merits whose power
lives in his see and whose authority excels. For this, dearly beloved,
that confession gained, that confession which, inspired in the Apostle’s
heart by God the Father, transcends all the uncertainty of human opinions,
and was endued with the firmness of a rock, which no assaults could shake.
For throughout the Church Peter daily says, “Thou art the Christ, the Son
of the living God,” and every tongue which confesses the Lord is inspired
by the instruction [_magisterio_] of that voice.

(_b_) Leo the Great, _Ep._ 104, _ad Marcianum Augustum_, A. D. 452. (MSL,

    Condemnation of the twenty-eighth canon of Chalcedon.

    This and the two following epistles upon the twenty-eighth canon
    of the Council of Chalcedon define the relation of the Roman see
    to councils, canons, and patriarchal sees. Apostolic sees may not
    be constituted by mere canon; political importance of a place does
    not regulate its ecclesiastical position; the see of Rome can
    reject the canons of councils even though general; apostolic sees
    connected with Peter may not have their authority diminished. For
    the twenty-eighth canon of Chalcedon, _v. infra_, § 90, _d_.

Ch. 3. Let the city of Constantinople have, as we desire, its glory, and
may it, under the protection of God’s right hand, long enjoy the rule of
your clemency. Yet the basis of things secular is one, and the basis of
things divine another; and there can be no sure building save on that rock
which the Lord laid as a foundation. He that covets what is not his due,
loses what is his own. Let it be enough for the aforesaid [Anatolius,
bishop of Constantinople] that by the aid of your piety and by my
favorable assent he has obtained the bishopric of so great a city. Let him
not disdain a royal city, which he cannot make an apostolic see; and let
him on no account hope to be able to rise by injury to others. For the
privileges of the churches, determined by the canons of the holy Fathers,
and fixed by the decrees of the Nicene synod, cannot be overthrown by an
unscrupulous act, nor disturbed by an innovation. And in the faithful
execution of this task by the aid of Christ, it is necessary that I show
an unflinching devotion; for it is a charge intrusted to me, and it tends
to condemnation if the rules sanctioned by the Fathers and laid down under
the guidance of God’s spirit at the synod of Nicæa for the government of
the whole Church are violated with my connivance (which God forbid) and if
the wishes of a single brother have more weight with me than the common
word of the Lord’s whole house.

(_c_) Leo the Great, _Ep._ 105, _ad Pulcheriam Augustam_ A. D. 452. (MSL,

    Condemnation of all canons contravening those of Nicæa.

§ 3. Let him [Anatolius] know to what sort of man he has succeeded, and,
expelling all the spirit of pride, let him imitate the faith of Flavian,
his modesty and his humility, which raised him up even to a confessor’s
glory. If he will shine with his virtues, he will be praiseworthy and
everywhere he will win an abundance of love, not by seeking human things,
but divine favor. And by this careful course I promise that my heart will
also be bound to him, and the love of this apostolic see which we have
ever bestowed upon the church of Constantinople shall never be violated by
any change. Because, if rulers, lacking self-restraint, fall into errors,
yet the purity of the churches of Christ continues. As for the assents of
bishops which are in contradiction with the regulations of the holy canons
composed at Nicæa, in conjunction with your faithful race we do not
recognize them, and by the authority of the blessed Apostle Peter we
absolutely disannul in comprehensive terms in all cases ecclesiastical,
following those laws which the Holy Ghost set forth by three hundred and
eighteen bishops for the pacific observance of all priests, so that, even
if a much greater number were to pass a different decree from theirs,
whatever was opposed to their constitution would have to be held in no

(_d_) Leo the Great, _Ep._ 106, _ad Anatolium_ A. D. 452. (MSL, 54:1005.)

    The relation of the apostolic sees to Peter.

Your purpose is in no way whatever supported by the written assent of
certain bishops, given, as you allege, sixty years ago,(181) and never
brought to the knowledge of the Apostolic See by your predecessors; under
this project(182) which from its outset was tottering and has already
collapsed, you now wish to place too late and useless props.… The rights
of provincial primates may not be overthrown, nor metropolitan bishops be
defrauded of privileges based on antiquity. The see of Alexandria may not
lose any of that dignity which it merited through St. Mark, the evangelist
and disciple of the blessed Peter, nor may the splendor of so great a
church be obscured by another’s clouds, when Dioscurus fell through his
persistence in impiety. The church of Antioch, too, in which first, at the
preaching of the blessed Apostle Peter, the Christian name arose, must
continue in the position assigned to it by the Fathers, and, being set in
the third place [Can. 6, Nicæa, 325, _v. supra_, § 72], must never be
lowered therefrom. For the see is one thing, and those who preside in it
something different; and an individual’s great honor is his own integrity.

(_e_) Leo the Great, _Ep._ 6, _ad Anastasium_ A. D. 444. (MSL, 54:616.)
_Cf._ Kirch, nn. 814 _ff._

    The policy of centralization. The primates are representatives of
    the bishop of Rome. Anastasius was bishop of Thessalonica.

Ch. 2. Inasmuch, dear brother, as your request has been made known to us
through our son Nicholas, the priest, that you also, like your
predecessors, might receive from us in your turn authority over Illyricum
for the observance of the rules, we give our consent, and earnestly exhort
that no concealment and no negligence may be allowed in the management of
the churches situated throughout Illyricum, which we commit to you in our
stead, following the precedent of Siricius, of blessed memory, who then,
for the first time acting on a fixed method, intrusted them to your last
predecessor but one, Anysius, of holy memory, who had at the time well
deserved of the Apostolic See, and was approved by after events, that he
might render assistance to the churches situated in that province, whom he
wished to keep up to the discipline.…

Ch. 5. Those of the brethren who have been summoned to a synod should
attend, and not deny themselves to the holy congregation.… But if any more
important question spring up, such as cannot be settled there under your
presidency, brother, send your report and consult us, so that we may write
back under the revelation of the Lord, of whose mercy it is that we can do
aught, because He has breathed favorably upon us; that by our decision we
may vindicate our right of cognizance in accordance with old-established
tradition, and the respect which is due the Apostolic See; for as we wish
you to exercise your authority in our stead, so we reserve to ourselves
points which cannot be decided on the spot and persons who have appealed
to us.(183)

Chapter III. The Church In The Eastern Empire.

At the beginning of the permanent division of the Empire, the church life
of the East was disturbed by a series of closely connected disputes known
as the First Origenistic Controversy (§ 87), in which were comprised a
conflict between a rationalistic tendency, connected with the religious
philosophy of Origen, and a traditionalism that eschewed speculation, a
bitter rivalry between the great sees of Alexandria, the religious and
intellectual capital of the East, and Constantinople, the church of the
new imperial city, and personal disputes. But more serious controversies
were already beginning. While the Church of the West was laying the
foundations of the papal system, the Church of the East was falling more
and more under the dominance of the secular authority; while the West was
developing its anthropology, with its doctrines of Original Sin, Grace,
and Election, the East was entering upon the long discussion of the topic
which had been left by the Arian controversy—granted that the incarnate
Son of God is truly eternal God, in what way are the divine and human
natures related to the one personality of the incarnate God (§ 88)? The
controversies that arose over this topic involved the entire Church of the
East, and found in the general councils of Ephesus, A. D. 431 (§ 89), and
Chalcedon, A. D. 451 (§ 90), partial solutions. In the case of each
council, permanent schisms resulted, and large portions of the Church of
the East broke away from the previous unity (§ 91); and on account of the
intimate connection between the affairs of the Church and the secular
policy of the Empire, a schism was caused between the see of Rome and the
churches in communion with the see of Constantinople.

§ 87. The First Origenistic Controversy and the Triumph of Traditionalism

In the East the leading theologians of the fourth century were educated
under the influence of Origenism; among these were Basil of Cæsarea,
Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus. In the West the feeling
regarding Origen was not so favorable, but the Western theologians, Jerome
and Rufinus, who were then living in Palestine, shared in the general
admiration of Origen. But a series of brief controversies broke out in
which the standing of Origen as an orthodox theologian was seriously
attacked, as well as the whole tendency for which he stood. The result was
a wide-spread condemnation of the spiritualizing teaching of the great
Alexandrian, and the rise of what might be called an anthropomorphic
traditionalism. The first of the three controversies took place in
Palestine, 395-399, and was occasioned by Epiphanius of Salamis, a zealous
opponent of heresy. He denounced Origen and induced Jerome to abandon
Origen; and Rufinus was soon in bitter enmity with Jerome. The second
controversy took place in Egypt about the same time, when a group of monks
in the Scetic desert, who were violently opposed to Origenism, compelled
Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria and an admirer of Origen, to abandon that
theologian and to side with them against the monks of the Nitrian desert,
who were Origenists, and to condemn Origen at a council at Alexandria,
399. The third controversy involved John Chrysostom, bishop of
Constantinople, who had protected four Nitrian monks who had fled to his
protection. Theophilus seized the opportunity and, with the assistance for
a time of Epiphanius, ultimately brought about the downfall of Chrysostom,
who died deposed and in exile, 404. No controversies of the ancient Church
are less attractive than the Origenistic, in which so much personal
rancor, selfish ambition, mean intrigue, and so little profound thought
were involved. The literature, therefore, is scanty.

    Additional source material: Jerome, _Ep._ 86-99 (PNF); Rufinus and
    Jerome, controversial writings bearing on Origenism in PNF, ser.
    II. vol. III, pp. 417-541; Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, VI, 2-21;
    Sozomen, _Hist. Ec._, VIII, 2-28.

(_a_) Basil, _De Spiritu Sancto_, 27. (MSG, 32:187.)

    The force of unwritten tradition.

    The following is the most important and authoritative statement of
    the force of unwritten tradition in the Eastern Church. It is
    referred to by John of Damascus in his defence of images (_De Fide
    Orthod._, IV, 16), _cf._ § 109. It is placed in the present
    section as illustrating the principle of traditionalism which, in
    a fanatical form, brought about the Origenistic controversies.

Of the beliefs and public teachings preserved in the Church, some we have
from written tradition, others we have received as delivered to us “in a
mystery” by the tradition of the Apostles; and both of these have in
relation to true piety the same binding force. And these no one will
gainsay, at least no one who is versed even moderately in the institutions
of the Church. For were we to reject such customs as are unwritten as
having no great force, we should unintentionally injure the gospels in
their very vitals; or, rather, reduce our public definition to a mere name
and nothing more. For example, to take the first and most general
instance, who is there who has taught us in writing to sign with the cross
those who have trusted in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ? What writing
has taught us to turn to the East in our prayers? Which of the saints has
left us in writing the words at the invocation and at the displaying of
the bread in the eucharist and the cup of blessing? For we are not, as is
well known, content with what the Apostle or the Gospel has recorded; but,
both before and after, we say other words as having great importance for
the mystery, and these we derive from unwritten teaching. Moreover, we
bless the water of baptism and the oil of chrism, and, besides this, him
who is baptized. From what writings? Is it not from the silent and
mystical tradition? What written word teaches the anointing of oil itself?
And whence is it that a man is baptized three times? And as to other
customs of baptism, from what Scripture comes the renunciation of Satan
and his angels? Does not this come from the unpublished and secret
teaching which our fathers guarded in silence, averse from curious
meddling and inquisitive investigation, having learned the lesson that the
reverence of the mysteries is best preserved in silence? How was it proper
to parade in public the teaching of those things which it was not
permitted the uninitiated to look at?

(_b_) Jerome, _Preface to the Vulgate Translation of the New Testament_.
(MSL, 29:557.)

    Jerome’s free critical attitude in his work in his earlier life.

    This preface is addressed to Bishop Damasus of Rome and is dated

You urge me to make a new work out of an old and, as it were, to sit in
judgment on the copies of the Scriptures already scattered throughout the
whole world; and, inasmuch as they differ among themselves, I am to decide
which of them agree with the Greek original. A pious labor, but a perilous
presumption; to judge others, myself to be judged of all; to change the
language of the aged, and to carry back the world already grown gray, back
to the beginnings of its infancy! Is there a man, learned or unlearned,
who will not, when he takes the volume into his hands and perceives that
what he reads differs from the flavor which once he tasted, break out
immediately into violent language and call me a forger and a profane
person for having the audacity to add anything to the ancient books or to
change or correct anything? I am consoled in two ways in bearing this
odium: in the first place, that you, the supreme bishop, command it to be
done; and secondly, even on the testimony of those reviling us, what
varies cannot be true. For if we put faith in the Latin texts, let them
tell us which; for there are almost as many texts as copies. But if the
truth is to be sought from many, why should we not go back to the original
Greek and correct the mistakes introduced by inaccurate translators, and
the blundering alterations of confident and ignorant men, and further, all
that has been added or altered by sleepy copyists? I am not discussing the
Old Testament, which was turned into Greek by the Seventy Elders, and has
reached us by a descent of three steps. I do not ask what Aquila and
Symmachus think, or why Theodotion takes a middle course between the
ancients and the moderns. I am willing to let that be a true translation
which had apostolic approval [_i.e._, the LXX]. I am now speaking of the
New Testament. This was undoubtedly composed in Greek, with the exception
of the work of the Apostle Matthew, who first published the gospel of
Christ in Judea and in Hebrew. This [_i.e._, the New Testament], as it is
in our language, is certainly marked by discrepancies, and the stream
flows in different channels; it must be sought in one fountainhead. I pass
over those manuscripts bearing the names of Lucian and Hesychius, which a
few contentious persons perversely support. It was not permitted these
writers to amend anything in the Old Testament after the labor of the
Seventy; and it was useless to make corrections in the New, for
translations of the Scriptures already made in the language of many
nations show that they are additions and false. Therefore this short
preface promises only the four gospels, of which the order is Matthew,
Mark, Luke, and John, revised by a comparison of the Greek manuscripts and
only of the ancient manuscripts. And that they might not depart far from
the Latin customarily read, I have used my pen with some restraint, so
that having corrected only the passages which seemed to change the
meaning, I have allowed the rest to remain as it was.

(_c_) Jerome, _Ep._ 7, _ad Pammachium_. (MSL, 23:376.)

    The principal errors of Origen according to Jerome.

    This is the most important work of Jerome in the controversy known
    as the Origenistic controversy. Jerome attacks in this work John,
    bishop of Jerusalem, and writes as a result of the work of
    Epiphanius in Palestine three years before. The following were
    addressed to John to reject, as a test of that bishop’s orthodoxy.
    See above, § 43.

First, in the book περὶ ἀρχῶν it is said [I, 1:8]: “For as it is unfitting
to say that the Son can see the Father, so it is not meet to think that
the Holy Spirit can see the Son.”

Secondly, that souls are bound in this body as in a prison; and that
before man was made in paradise they dwelt among rational creatures in the
heavens. Wherefore, afterward, to console itself, the soul says in the
Psalms, “Before I was humbled I went wrong,” and “Return, my soul, unto
thy rest,” and “Lead my soul out of prison,” and similarly elsewhere.

Thirdly, that he says that both the devil and the demons will some time or
other repent and ultimately reign with the saints.

Fourthly, that he interprets the coats of skins, with which Adam and Eve
were clothed after their fall and ejection from paradise, to be human
bodies, and no doubt they were previously in paradise without flesh,
sinews, or bones.

Fifthly, he most openly denies the resurrection of the flesh, the bodily
structure, and the distinction of sexes by which we men are distinguished
from women, both in his explanation of the first psalm and in many other

Sixthly, he so allegorizes paradise as to destroy the truth of history,
understanding angels instead of trees, heavenly virtues instead of rivers;
and he overthrows all that is contained in the history of paradise by his
tropological interpretation.

Seventhly, he thinks that the waters which in the Scriptures are said to
be above the heavens are holy and supernal powers; while those which are
upon the earth and beneath the earth are, on the contrary, demoniacal

Eighthly, that the image and likeness of God, in which man was created,
was lost and was no longer in man after he was expelled from paradise.

(_d_) Anastasius, _Ep. ad Simplicianum_, in Jerome, _Ep._ 95 (MSL,

    Condemnation of Origen by Anastasius, bishop of Rome, A. D. 400

To his lord and brother, Simplicianus, Anastasius.

It is felt right that a shepherd have great care and watchfulness over his
flock. In like manner, also, the careful watchman from his lofty tower
keeps a lookout day and night on behalf of the city. In the hour of
tempest and peril the prudent shipmaster suffers great distress of mind
lest by the tempest and the violent waves his vessel be dashed upon the
rocks. With similar feelings that reverend and honorable man Theophilus,
our brother and fellow-bishop, ceases not to watch over the things which
make for salvation, that God’s people in the different churches may not by
reading Origen run into awful blasphemies.

Having been informed, then, by the letter of the aforesaid, we inform your
holiness that just as we are set in the city of Rome, in which the prince
of the Apostles, the glorious Peter, founded the Church and then by his
faith strengthened it; to the end that no man contrary to the commandment
read these books which we have mentioned and the same we have condemned;
and with earnest prayers we have urged that the precepts of the
Evangelists which God and Christ have inspired the Evangelists to teach
ought not to be forsaken; but that is to be remembered which the venerable
Apostle Paul preached by way of warning: “If any one preach a gospel unto
you other than that which was preached unto you, let him be anathema”
[Gal. 1:8]. Holding fast, therefore, this precept, we have intimated that
everything written in days past by Origen that is contrary to our faith is
even by us rejected and condemned.

We have written these things to your holiness by the hand of the presbyter
Eusebius, who, being a man filled with a glowing faith and having the love
of the Lord, has shown me some blasphemous chapters at which we shuddered
and which we condemned, but if any other things have been put forth by
Origen, you should know that with their author they are alike condemned by
me. The Lord have you in safe-keeping, my lord and brother deservedly held
in honor.

(_e_) Rufinus, _Preface to Translation of Origen’s __“__De Principiis__”_.
(MSL, 22:733 and also MSG, 11:111.)

    In this preface Rufinus refers, without mentioning names, to
    Jerome. Inasmuch as it was perfectly clear to whom the allusion
    was made, as the translator and admirer of Origen, Jerome felt
    himself personally attacked and retorted furiously upon Rufinus.

I know that a great many of the brethren, incited by their desire for a
knowledge of the Scriptures, have requested various men versed in Greek
letters to make Origen a Roman and give him to Latin ears. Among these was
our brother and associate [_i.e._, Jerome], who was so requested by Bishop
Damasus, when he translated the two homilies on the Song of Songs from
Greek into Latin, prefixed to the work a preface so full of beauty and so
magnificent that he awoke in every one the desire of reading Origen and of
eagerly examining his works, and he said that to the soul of that man the
words might well be applied, “The King has brought me into his chamber”
[Cant. 2:4], and he declared that Origen in his other books surpassed all
other men, but in this had surpassed himself. What he promised in his
preface is, indeed, that he would give to Roman ears not only these books
on the Song of Songs, but many others of Origen. But, as I perceive, he is
so pleased with his own style that he pursues an object bringing him more
glory, viz., to be the father of a book rather than a translator. I am
therefore following out a task begun by him and commended by him.… In
translation, I follow as far as possible the method of my predecessors,
and especially of him whom I have already mentioned, who, after he had
translated into Latin above seventy of the books of Origen, which he
called Homilies, and also a certain number of the tomes written on the
Apostle [the Epistles of St. Paul], since a number of offensive passages
are to be found in the Greek, eliminated and purged, in his translation,
all of them, so that the Latin reader will find nothing in these which jar
on our faith. Him, therefore, we follow, not indeed with the power of his
eloquence, but as far as we can in his rules and methods: that is, taking
care not to promulgate those things which in the books of Origen are found
to be discrepant and contradictory one to the other. The cause of these
variations I have set forth fully in the apology which Pamphilus wrote for
the books of Origen, to which is appended a short treatise showing how
proofs which, as I judge, are quite clear in his books have in many cases
been falsified by heretical and evil-disposed persons.

(_f_) Augustine, _Ep._ 73, Ch. 8. (MSL, 33:249.)

    The attempt of Augustine to bring about a reconciliation between
    Rufinus and Jerome. Jerome had written some affectionate words to
    Augustine to which he alludes in the beginning of the following

When, by these words, now not only yours but also mine, I am gladdened and
refreshed, and when I am comforted not a little by the desire of both of
us for mutual fellowship, which has been suspended and is not satisfied,
suddenly I am pierced through by the darts of keenest sorrow when I
consider that between you [_i.e._, Rufinus and Jerome] (to whom God
granted in fullest measure and for a long time that which both of us have
longed for, that in closest and most intimate fellowship you tasted
together the honey of Holy Scriptures) such a blight of bitterness has
broken out, when, where, and in whom it was not to be feared, since it has
befallen you at the very time when, unencumbered, having cast away secular
burdens, you were following the Lord, were living together in that land in
which the Lord walked with human feet, when He said, “Peace I leave with
you, My peace I give unto you”; being, moreover, men of mature age, whose
life was devoted to the study of the word of God. Truly, “man’s life on
earth is a period of trial” [Job 7:1]. Alas, that I cannot meet you both
together, perchance that in agitation, grief, and fear I might cast myself
at your feet, weep till I could weep no more, and appeal as I love you,
first to each of you for his own sake, and then for the sake of those,
especially the weak, “for whom Christ died” [I Cor. 8:11], who to their
great peril look on you as on the stage of time, imploring you not to
scatter abroad, in writing, those things about each other which when
reconciled, you, who are now unwilling to be reconciled, could not then
destroy, and which when reconciled you would not dare to read lest you
should quarrel anew.

(_g_) Socrates, _Hist. Ec._, VI, 15. (MSG, 67:708.)

    The fall of Chrysostom.

    Epiphanius had gone to Constantinople on the suggestion of
    Theophilus, and there, in his zeal, had violated the canons of
    ordination as generally received. In this case he had ordained
    priests in the diocese of Chrysostom and without his permission.
    Other troubles had arisen. On being called to account for his
    conduct by Chrysostom, Epiphanius hastily left the city, and died
    on the voyage back to his diocese, Salamis, in Cyprus.

When Epiphanius had gone John was informed by some person that the Empress
Eudoxia had set Epiphanius against him. Being of a fiery temperament and
of ready utterance, he soon after pronounced to the public an invective
against women in general. The people readily took this as uttered
indirectly against the Empress, and so the speech, laid hold of by
evil-disposed persons, was brought to the knowledge of those in authority.
At length the Empress, having been informed of it, immediately complained
to her husband of the insult offered her, saying that the insult offered
her was an insult to him. He therefore gave orders that Theophilus should
speedily convoke a synod against John; Severianus also co-operated in
promoting this, for he still retained his grudge [_i.e._, against
Chrysostom. See DCB, art. “Severianus, bishop of Gabala.”]. No great
length of time, accordingly, intervened before Theophilus arrived, having
stirred up many bishops from different cities; but this, also, the summons
of the Emperor had commanded. Especially did they assemble who had one
cause or another of complaint against John, and there were present besides
those whom John had deposed, for John had deposed many bishops in Asia
when he went to Ephesus for the ordination of Heraclides. Accordingly they
all, by previous agreement, assembled at Chalcedon in Bithynia.… Now none
of the clergy [_i.e._, of Constantinople] would go forth to meet
Theophilus or pay him the customary honors because he was openly known as
John’s enemy. But the Alexandrian sailors—for it happened that at that
time the grain-transport ships were there—on meeting him, greeted him with
joyful acclamations. He excused himself from entering the church, and took
up his abode at one of the imperial mansions called “The Placidian.” Then,
in consequence of this, many accusations began to be poured forth against
John, and no longer was there any mention of the books of Origen, but all
were intent on pressing a variety of absurd accusations. When these
preliminary matters were settled the bishops were convened in one of the
suburbs of Chalcedon, which is called “The Oak,” and immediately cited
John to answer charges which were brought against him.… And since John,
taking exception to those who cited him, on the ground that they were his
enemies, demanded a general council, without delay they repeated their
citation four times; and as he persisted in his refusal to answer, always
giving the same reply, they condemned him, and deposed him without giving
any other cause for his deposition than that he refused to obey when
summoned. This, being announced toward evening, incited the people to a
very great sedition, insomuch that they kept watch all night and would by
no means suffer him to be removed from the church, but cried out that the
charges against him ought to be determined by a larger assembly. A decree
of the Emperor, however, commanded that he should be immediately expelled
and sent into exile. When John knew this he voluntarily surrendered
himself about noon, unknown to the populace, on the third day after his
condemnation; for he dreaded any insurrectionary movement on his account,
and he was accordingly led away.

(_h_) Theophilus of Alexandria, _Ep. ad Hieronymum_, in Jerome, _Ep._ 113.
(MSL, 22:932.)

    Theophilus on the fall of Chrysostom.

To the well-beloved and most loving brother Jerome, Theophilus sends
greeting in the Lord.

At the outset the verdict of truth satisfies but few; but the Lord,
speaking by the prophet, says, “My judgment goeth forth as the light,” and
they who are surrounded with a horror of darkness do not with clear mind
perceive the nature of things, and they are covered with eternal shame and
know by their outcome that their efforts have been in vain. Wherefore we
also have always desired that John [Chrysostom], who for a time ruled the
church of Constantinople, might please God, and we have been unwilling to
accept as facts the cause of his ruin in which he behaved himself rashly.
But not to speak of his other misdeed, he has by taking the Origenists
into his confidences,(184) by advancing many of them to the priesthood,
and by this crime saddening with no slight grief that man of God,
Epiphanius, of blessed memory, who has shone throughout all the world a
bright star among bishops, deserved to hear the words, “Babylon is fallen,
is fallen.”

§ 88. The Christological Problem and the Theological Tendencies

The Arian controversy in bringing about the affirmation of the true deity
of the Son, or Logos, left the Church with the problem of the unity of the
divine and human natures in the personality of Jesus. It seemed to not a
few that to combine perfect deity with perfect humanity would result in
two personalities. Holding fast, therefore, to the reality of the human
nature, a solution was attempted by Apollinarius, or Apollinaris, by
making the divine Logos take the place of the human logos or reason.
Mankind consisted of three parts: a body, an animal soul, and a rational
spirit. The Logos was thus united to humanity by substituting the divine
for the human logos. But this did violence to the integrity of the human
nature of Christ. This attempt on the part of Apollinaris was rejected at
Constantinople, but also by the Church generally. The human natures must
be complete if human nature was deified by the assumption of man in the
incarnation. On this basis two tendencies showed themselves quite early:
the human nature might be lost in the divinity, or the human and the
divine natures might be kept distinct and parallel or in such a way that
certain acts might be assigned to the divine and certain to the human
nature. The former line of thought, adopted by the Cappadocians, tended
toward the position assumed by Cyril of Alexandria and in a more extreme
form by the Monophysites. The latter line of thought tended toward what
was regarded as the position of Nestorius. In this position there was such
a sharp cleavage between the divine and the human natures as apparently to
create a double personality in the incarnate Son. This divergence of
theological statement gave rise to the christological controversies which
continued in various forms through several centuries in the East, and have
reappeared in various disguises in the course of the Church’s theological

    Additional source material: There are several exegetical works of
    Cyril of Alexandria available in English, see Bardenhewer, § 77,
    also a German translation of three treatises bearing on
    christology in the Kempten _Bibliothek der Kirchenväter_, 1879.
    For the general point of view of the Cappadocians and the relation
    of the incarnation to redemption, see Gregory of Nyssa, _The Great
    Catechism_ (PNF, ser. II, vol. V), _v. infra_, § 89 and references
    in Seeberg, § 23.

(_a_) Apollinaris, _Fragments_. Ed. H. Lietzmann.

    His Christology.

    The following fragments of the teaching of Apollinaris are from H.
    Lietzmann, _Apollinaris von Laodicea und seine Schule. Texte und
    Untersuchungen_, 1904. Many fragments are to be found in the
    _Dialogues_ which Theodoret wrote against Eutychianism, which he
    traced to the teaching of Apollinaris. The first condemnation of
    Apollinaris was at Rome, 377, see Hefele, § 91; Theodoret, _Hist.
    Ec._, V, 10, gives the letter of Damasus issued in the name of the

P. 224 [81]. If God had been joined with a man, one complete being with
another complete being, there would be two sons of God, one Son of God by
nature, another through adoption.

P. 247 [150]. They who assume a twofold spirit in Christ pull a stone out
with their finger. For if each is independent and impelled by its own
natural will, it is impossible that in one and the same subject the two
can be together, who will what is opposed to each other; for each works
what is willed by it according to its own proper and personal motives.

P. 248 [152]. They who speak of one Christ, and assert that there are two
independent spiritual natures in Him, do not know Him as the Logos made
flesh, who has remained in His natural unity, for they represent Him as
divided into two unlike natures and modes of operation.

P. 239 [129]. If a man has soul and body, and both remain distinguished in
unity, how much more has Christ, who joins His divine being with a body,
both as a permanent possession without any commingling one with the other?

P. 209 [21, 22]. The Logos became flesh, but the flesh was not without a
soul, for it is said that it strives against the spirit and opposes the
law of the understanding. [In this Apollinaris takes up the trichotomy of
human nature, a view which he did not apparently hold at the beginning of
his teaching.]

P. 240 [137]. John [John 2:19] spoke of the destroyed temple, that is, of
the body of Him who would raise it up again. The body is altogether one
with Him. But if the body of the Lord has become one with the Lord, then
the characteristics of the body are proved to be characteristics of Him on
account of the body.

(_b_) Apollinaris, _Letter to the Emperor Jovian_. Lietzmann, 250 _ff._

We confess the Son of God who was begotten eternally before all times, but
in the last times was for our salvation born of Mary according to the
flesh; … and we confess that the same is the Son of God and God according
to the spirit, Son of man according to the flesh; we do not speak of two
natures in the one Son, of which one is to be worshipped and one is not to
be worshipped, but of only one nature of the Logos of God, which has
become flesh and with His flesh is worshipped with one worship; and we
confess not two sons, one who is truly God’s Son to be worshipped and
another the man—who is of Mary and is not to be worshipped, who by the
power of grace had become the Son of God, as is also the case with men,
but one Son of God who at the same time was born of Mary according to the
flesh in the last days, as the angel answered the Theotokos Mary who
asked, “How shall this be?”—“The Holy Ghost will come upon thee.” He,
accordingly, who was born of the Virgin Mary was Son of God by nature and
truly God … only according to the flesh from Mary was He man, but at the
same time, according to the spirit, Son of God; and God has in His own
flesh suffered our sorrows.

(_c_) Gregory of Nazianzus, _Ep. I ad Cledonium_. (MSG, 37:181.)

    In this epistle Gregory attacks Apollinaris, basing his argument
    on the notion of salvation by incarnation, which formed the
    foundation of the most characteristic piety of the East, had been
    used as a major premise by Athanasius in opposition to Arianism,
    and runs back to Irenæus and the Asia Minor school; see above, §

If any one trusted in a man without a human mind, he is himself really
bereft of mind and quite unworthy of salvation. For what has not been
assumed has not been healed; but what has been united to God is saved. If
only half of Adam fell, then that which is assumed and saved may be half
also; but if the whole, it must be united to the whole of Him that was
begotten and be saved as a whole. Let them not, then, begrudge us our
complete salvation, or clothe the Saviour only with bones and nerves and
the semblance of humanity. For if His manhood is without soul [ἄψυχος],
even the Arians admit this, that they may attribute His passion to the
godhead, as that which gives motion to the body is also that which
suffers. But if He had a soul and yet is without a mind, how is He a man,
for man is not a mindless [ἄνουν] animal? And this would necessarily
involve that His form was human, and also His tabernacle, but His soul was
that of a horse, or an ox, or some other creature without mind. This,
then, would be what is saved, and I have been deceived in the Truth, and
have been boasting an honor when it was another who was honored. But if
His manhood is intellectual and not without mind, let them cease to be
thus really mindless.

But, says some one, the godhead was sufficient in place of the human
intellect. What, then, is this to me? For godhead with flesh alone is not
man, nor with soul alone, nor with both apart from mind, which is the most
essential part of man. Keep, then, the whole man, and mingle godhead
therewith, that you may benefit me in my completeness. But, as he asserts
[_i.e._, Apollinaris], He could not contain two perfect natures. Not if
you only regard Him in a bodily fashion. For a bushel measure will not
hold two bushels, nor will the space of one body hold two or more bodies.
But if you will look at what is mental and incorporeal, remember that I
myself can contain soul and reason and mind and the Holy Spirit; and
before me this world, by which I mean the system of things visible and
invisible, contained Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. For such is the nature
of intellectual existences that they can mingle with one another and with
bodies, incorporeally and invisibly.…

Further, let us see what is their account of the assumption of the
manhood, or the assumption of the flesh, as they call it. If it was in
order that God, otherwise incomprehensible, might be comprehended, and
might converse with men through His flesh as through a veil, their mask is
a pretty one, a hypocritical fable; for it was open to Him to converse
with us in many other ways, as in the burning bush [Ex. 3:2] and in the
appearance of a man [Gen. 18:5]. But if it was that He might destroy the
condemnation of sin by sanctifying like by like, then as He needed flesh
for the sake of the condemned flesh and soul for the sake of the soul, so
also He needed mind for the sake of mind, which not only fell in Adam but
was first to be affected, as physicians say, of the illness. For that
which received the commandment was that which failed to observe the
commandment, and that which failed to observe the commandment was that
also which dared to transgress, and that which transgressed was that which
stood most in need of salvation, and that which needed salvation was that
which also was assumed. Therefore mind was taken upon Him.

(_d_) Council of Constantinople, A. D. 382, _Epistula Synodica_. Hefele, §

    Condemnation of Apollinarianism.

    At the Council of Constantinople held the year after that which is
    known as the Second General Council, and attended by nearly the
    same bishops, there was an express condemnation of Apollinaris and
    his doctrine, for though Apollinaris had been condemned in 381,
    the point of doctrine was not stated. The synodical letter of the
    council of 382 is preserved only in part in Theodoret, _Hist.
    Ec._, V, 9, who concludes his account with these words:

Similarly they openly condemn the innovation of Apollinarius [so Theodoret
writes the name] in the phrase, “And we preserve the doctrine of the
incarnation of the Lord, holding the tradition that the dispensation of
the flesh is neither soulless, nor mindless, nor imperfect.”

(_e_) Theodore of Mopsuestia, _Creed_. Hahn, § 215.

    The position of the Nestorians.

    The following extracts are from the creed which was presented at
    the Council of Ephesus, 431, and was written by Theodore of
    Mopsuestia, the greatest theologian of the party which stood with
    Nestorius. Although it does not state the whole doctrine of
    Theodore, yet its historical position is so important that its
    characteristic passages belong in the present connection.
    Bibliographical and critical notes in Hahn, _loc. cit._

Concerning the dispensation which the Lord God accomplished for our
salvation in the dispensation according to the Lord Christ, it is
necessary for us to know that the Lord God the Logos assumed a complete
man, who was of the seed of Abraham and David, according to the statement
of the divine Scriptures, and was according to nature whatsoever they were
of whose seed He was, a perfect man according to nature, consisting of
reasonable soul and human flesh, and the man who was as to nature as we
are, formed by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin,
born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem us all from the
bondage of the law [Gal. 4:4] who receive the adoption of sonship which
was long before ordained, that man He joined to himself in an ineffable

And we do not say that there are two Sons or two Lords, because there is
one God [Son?] according to substance, God the Word, the only begotten Son
of the Father, and He who has been joined with Him is a participator in
His deity and shares in the name and honor of the Son; and the Lord
according to essence is God the Word, with whom that which is joined
shares in honor. And therefore we say neither two Sons nor two Lords,
because one is He who has an inseparable conjunction with Himself of Him
who according to essence is Lord and Son, who, having been assumed for our
salvation, is with Him received as well in the name as in the honor of
both Son and Lord, not as each one of us individually is a son of God
(wherefore also we are called many sons of God, according to the blessed
Paul), but He alone in an unique manner having this, namely, in that He
was joined to God the Word, participating in the Sonship and dignity,
takes away every thought of two Sons or two Lords, and offers indeed to us
in conjunction with the God the Word, to have all faith in Him and all
understanding and contemplation, on account of which things also He
receives from every creature the worship and sacrifice of God. Therefore
we say that there is one Lord, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom all
things were made, understanding principally God the Word, who according to
substance is Son of God and Lord, equally regarding that which was
assumed, Jesus of Nazareth, who God anointed with the Spirit and power, as
in conjunction with God the Lord, and participating in sonship and
dignity, who also is called the second Adam, according to the blessed
Apostle Paul, as being of the same nature as Adam.

(_f_) Theodore of Mopsuestia, _Fragments_. Swete, _Theodori epis. Mops. in
epistulas b. Pauli commentarii_, Cambridge, 1880, 1882.

    In the appendix to the second volume of this work by Theodore
    there are many fragments of Theodore’s principal dogmatic work,
    _On the Incarnation_, directed against Eunomius. The work as a
    whole has not been preserved. In the same appendix there are also
    other important fragments. The references are to this edition.

P. 299. If we distinguish the two natures, we speak of one complete nature
of God the Word and a complete person (πρόσωπον). But we name complete
also the nature of the man and also the person. If we think on the
conjunction (συνάφεια) then we speak of one person.

P. 312. In the moment in which He [Jesus] was formed [in the womb of the
Virgin] He received the destination of being a temple of God. For we
should not believe that God was born of the Virgin unless we are willing
to assume that one and the same is that which is born and what is in that
which is born, the temple, and God the Logos in the temple.… If God had
become flesh, how could He who was born be named God from God [_cf._
Nicene Creed], and of one being with the Father? for the flesh does not
admit of such a designation.

P. 314. The Logos was always in Jesus, also by His birth and when He was
in the womb, at the first moment of his beginning; to His development He
gave the rule and measure, and led Him from step to step to perfection.

P. 310. If it is asked, did Mary bear a man, or is she the bearer of God
[Theotokos], we can say that both statements are true. One is true
according to the nature of the case; the other only relatively. She bore a
man according to nature, for He was a man who was in the womb of Mary.…
She is Theotokos, since God was in the man who was born; not enclose